Marketing Tips

What’s Amazon up to now?

Amazon’s pricing

An acquaintance used a vanity press to publish and print his book. (I describe “vanity press” as paying to have your book published and using that company’s imprint/press name.) His book is for sale on Amazon. He sent an email mentioning how the list price is $15.95 (it’s even printed above the bar code on the back cover) and Amazon is selling it for more than $24! This is a new one. The author was advising people to purchase his book from a local bookstore instead of purchasing it from Amazon.

For years, Amazon has sold books below the list price. When I inquired about that, Amazon told me it is done to drive traffic to the book and the author is paid based on the list price so it’s a win-win.

What’s up with this new strategy remains to be seen.

Book design tips

My specialty is book design (interior pages and covers). I’m frequently asked what makes a good book design so here is the start of an ongoing column:

  1. The designer should follow The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers in order to give you the most polished look possible. This will enable your book to compete with traditionally-published books. For instance, I originally designed a cookbook that was picked up by a traditional publishing house. My client was told, “Self-published books don’t usually look this professional!”
  2. Stick to two—three at the most—typefaces (a typeface is a font family). Too many typefaces scream self-published.
  3. Blank pages should be blank, no page numbers.

New resources

I’ve added new resources including Five Rainbows Cataloging Services, proofreader Janet Basset, and permissions specialist Melissa Flamson. Please see my Resources page for their contact information.

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Typography, terminology, and more

Typography

Designing the interior pages of a book, I work with typography to make a book look inviting to read. It involves placing the writer’s manuscript into Adobe InDesign page layout software to create a beautiful, accurate print-ready file in the desired size. There are many details involved, including glyph positioning for titles. Examples can be seen in the article “Glyph Positioning and Baseline Shift” by Ilene Strizver.

Book terminology

Are you working with a book designer and confused by all the lingo? Here’s a quick look at “The Anatomy of a Book” by Jenna Homen of Chronicle Books.

New website

During the holiday break, I overhauled my website (the coding I’ve learned to create e-books helped me tremendously). I’ve launched it, but as author Dr. Christiane Northrup says, “The minute you update your surroundings, your wardrobe, or even your computer [which I also did over the break…hello 27-inch iMac Pro!], something will need to be changed. Accept this process and embrace it as part of joyous, ongoing, never-complete self-expression.”

However, don’t let that be the reason you never release your book or other creative works!

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from me to YOU!

Book Tips

While I’m not a book editor—although I do have an eye for spotting typos as I’m designing the interior pages of books—here is an article about the appropriate word count for several genres. The article came to my attention as it was recently endorsed via Twitter by a respected colleague who works for a large publisher.

I’m also not a book marketer, but here is some help in that area:

“14 Ways Authors Can Cross-Promote Each Other’s Books” by Diana Urban.

And a book marketing tip from Author Marketing Experts, “Enhance your Amazon Author Central Page by linking your blog, Twitter feed, or adding a video.”

For book design, because I AM a book designer [smiley face], please reach out.

book coverNew release

Congratulations to Bruce Johnson on his latest release: Reflections on an Adolescence: The Search for a Long Lost Friend.

I also designed Johnson’s Beyond the Dream: Bandon Dunes, which details the inception and building of that destination golf resort.

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

In gratitude for authors

In gratitude

During a talk I heard years ago the speaker said, “If you’re too busy to say thank you, you’re too busy.” (I wish I could remember who said it!)

So, I pause during the year-end book design rush to say, “Thank you for your friendship, your books to design, and entrusting me with your ‘babies.’”

Author Sue Monk Kidd said during a VOICES lecture this month, “Writing is an act of courage.”

Releasing your books to the world is a vulnerable act. Thank you to all who have done so. The world is a better place for your contributions and I’m immensely grateful that I’m gainfully employed doing what I love: Designing books!

Please celebrate you, your accomplishments, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Culture

I spent a day at the Art Institute of Chicago during a recent trip. Amazing works of art are housed there and I highly recommend visiting.

The architectural river tour was also fascinating.

New release

The Pattern Future: Finding the World’s Great Secrets and Predicting the Future Using Pattern Discovery by Mark R. Anderson was released this month. With a 94.5% accuracy rate since 1995, the author’s predictive successes include publicly predicting the Great Financial Collapse of late 2007 and the Oil Price Collapse of 2015.

I designed the interior pages of the paperback and the Kindle file.

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Book keyword tips, image sizing, and new release

Book keyword tips

While helping a client set up his book for sale on Amazon, I ran across these book keyword tips:
  • Combine keywords in the most logical order. Customers search for “military science fiction” but probably not for “fiction science military.”
  • Use up to seven keywords or short phrases.
  • Before publishing, search for your book’s title and keywords on Amazon. If you get irrelevant or unsatisfying results, make some changes. When searching, look at the suggestions that appear in the “Search” field drop down.
  • Think like a reader. Imagine how you’d search if you were a customer.
  • Your keywords can capture useful, relevant information that won’t fit in your title and description (setting, character, plot, theme, etc.).
  • You can change keywords and descriptions as often as you like.

Facebook image sizing

Over the years, I’ve designed 14 book covers for author Maureen Driscoll. In designing the 15th cover Where Light Shines, to be released later this year, I found the most informative article about sizing images for Facebook. (This information I could NOT find on Facebook.) The article reveals, “For a business page, the cover photo will be resized to 828 x 315px on desktop and 640 x 360 px on mobile devices. By uploading a 1656 x 930px image your cover photo will be fully optimized for high resolution devices and also accommodate the differing formats of desktop and mobile cover photos.” Good to know! Check out the Facebook cover photo I created of Maureen’s latest series.

New release

Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back by Dr. Marnie Loomis, ND, and Beth Genly, MSN, is hot off the press! Written by two professionals who suffered from burnout, this book provides insight, exercises, and strategies…a system for recovery.

I designed the cover and interior pages, and received this testimonial from Beth Genly, “Our book was a big design challenge, as it was packed with graphs, checklists, quizzes and more. We wanted it to look entirely professional while at the same time being inviting to the reader. Also, we wanted a well-designed cover with a little sizzle. Jennifer Omner of ALL Publications delivered all of that. Plus, she is a joy to work with: fast, knowledgeable, thoughtful, responsive, meticulous, and all-around good.”

A special thanks to speaker, trainer, author, and coach Susan Bender-Phelps for the referral!

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.

Book title tip, sales tool, for fun

Book title tip

Can the promise of your book be worked into the book title or subtitle?

For example, in designing the interior pages of Save Yourself from Burnout I noticed the authors had a subtitle and tagline on the title page. I suggested combining ideas into “A System to Get Your Life Back” which is the promise and premise of the book. They liked it! We deleted the tagline to eliminate confusion. Save Yourself from Burnout: A System to Get Your Life Back will be released in October and is available for preorder here. (I’m especially proud of my cover design.)

Sales tool

Speaking of preordering, Penny Sansevieri of Author Marketing Experts discusses preorders in this article “Use This Amazon Tool to Boost Your Book Sales.” She also has a book entitled 5-Minute Book Marketing for Authors.

For fun

I hope you’re having a fun summer. My reaction to these two pieces was wow, so I thought I’d share them with you. Enjoy!

Crystallized books.

Photos showing the making of the New York Times in 1942.

Help for Independent Presses

Book Design and Production

Have you written a nonfiction or fiction manuscript? After it has been professionally edited, I can design the interior pages and cover, plus guide you through the maze of book publishing and printing. To get started, call me at 503-690-2438 to discuss your project and my helpful guide for authors.