5 Tips On How to Design a Professional Book Cover

1. Avoid using common fonts.
If you want your book cover to look professional, avoid common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica.

2. Avoid using too many graphics.
If you really want to use a bunch of images, make sure they work together and that they’re professionally done. If not, use one strong image that represents your book and make sure it’s not a generic one.

3. Keep the message simple and clear.
Make sure the book title is easy to find. If you’re going to use a tag line, make it short and catchy.

4. Design a cover that’s easy to read as a thumbnail.
People scan through so many books online. Make sure your thumbnail stands out by designing a cover that looks good big, as well as small. You want people to click on your thumbnail—not skip it.

5. Design a cover that works for your genre.
You want to attract your readers. A good tip is to check out books in your genre and see how their covers are designed. For instance, if you’re a fantasy writer, use “fantasy-like” fonts and images, and so on.

As much as it could be fun to experiment and design your own book cover—hire a designer, if you’re not one. The great thing is you can still share your ideas and they can help make them happen.

Another good tip: If you have postcards, business cards and bookmarks, make sure they match your book cover design. Consistency is important, especially when advertising.

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jefishman/2011/05/publishing-primacy-–-folio-9-8-book-jacket-design-essentials/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1781

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/06/picking-fonts-for-your-self-published-book/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1511

Before I end this post, I’d like to announce that my book cover for my upcoming novel, HIGH, will be revealed by next week, if not, sooner.

Stay tuned…

5 Tips On How to Design a Professional Book Cover

1. Avoid using common fonts.
If you want your book cover to look professional, avoid common fonts like Times New Roman, Arial and Helvetica.

2. Avoid using too many graphics.
If you really want to use a bunch of images, make sure they work together and that they’re professionally done. If not, use one strong image that represents your book and make sure it’s not a generic one.

3. Keep the message simple and clear.
Make sure the book title is easy to find. If you’re going to use a tag line, make it short and catchy.

4. Design a cover that’s easy to read as a thumbnail.
People scan through so many books online. Make sure your thumbnail stands out by designing a cover that looks good big, as well as small. You want people to click on your thumbnail—not skip it.

5. Design a cover that works for your genre.
You want to attract your readers. A good tip is to check out books in your genre and see how their covers are designed. For instance, if you’re a fantasy writer, use “fantasy-like” fonts and images, and so on.

As much as it could be fun to experiment and design your own book cover—hire a designer, if you’re not one. The great thing is you can still share your ideas and they can help make them happen.

Another good tip: If you have postcards, business cards and bookmarks, make sure they match your book cover design. Consistency is important, especially when advertising.

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jefishman/2011/05/publishing-primacy-–-folio-9-8-book-jacket-design-essentials/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1781

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/06/picking-fonts-for-your-self-published-book/

https://www.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1511

Before I end this post, I’d like to announce that my book cover for my upcoming novel, HIGH, will be revealed by next week, if not, sooner.

Stay tuned…

20 Ways to Tell You’re a Writer

20 Ways to Tell You’re a Writer:
(In random order)

  1. Ideas for plots, characters and dialogue pop up in your head anytime and anywhere.
  2. Aside from owning a lot of notebooks, you have post-its, napkins and sheets of papers filled with random things you’ve written. (When I was 18 and working at a retail store, I ripped a piece of receipt paper from the cash register because I had to write a poem.)
  3. You love books.
  4. You can write scenes and dialogue in your head while doing house chores.
  5. You’re observant.
  6. You can almost always predict what’s about to happen next during a movie.
  7. You don’t mind spending hours alone—writing.
  8. You love words.
  9. You don’t only love to write. You have to write.
  10. You get the urge to want to rewrite scenes from movies or TV shows you’ve just watched.
  11. You say this line too often, “I need to write that down”.
  12. You get frustrated when you don’t get to write.
  13. You can be many different characters at one time when writing stories.
  14. You daydream often.
  15. You can fill blank pages with stories that most of the time write themselves.
  16. You’re always editing.
  17. You have voices in your head and you can’t shut them up. You try, but they come back anyway.
  18. You have a crazy imagination.
  19. Going to bookstores excite you.
  20. You see things differently. To others, it’s just a photo, just a line from a song, just a train ride, but to you—it’s a story.

There are other ways to tell if you’re a writer, but I thought I’d stick to 20. Please feel free to add more. 🙂

Writing Tip #6: Watch Out for Misused Words

I see it happen all the time. Nope, they’re not typos. They’re misused words. They may sound alike, but they are nothing alike.

Here are the most common ones I’ve seen:
farther and further: Farther refers to distance; further refers to extent or degree
lie and lay: In the present tense, lie means to rest; lay means to put or to place
foreword and forward: Foreword is a noun that means an introductory note or preface; Forward is an adjective or adverb that means toward the front:
it’s and its: It’s is a contraction for it is; its is the possessive form of it
past and passed: Passed functions as a verb; past functions as a noun, adjective, or preposition
than and then: Than is a conjunction used in making comparisons; then is an adverb indicating time
their, they’re and there: Their is the possessive form of they; there refers to place; and they’re is the contraction of they are.
your and you’re: Your is the possessive form of you; you’re is the contraction you are

There are also misused words that don’t sound alike:
each other and one another: Each other is used to refer to two people; one another is used to refer to more than two people.
number and amount: Use number to things that can be counted; use amount for things that cannot be counted.

Don’t forget to check your emails and manuscripts for misused words before sending them out.

To see a longer list of misused words, check out my resources:
Easily Confused or Misused Words
The Little Red Writing Book

Writing Tip #4: How to Use Dialogue Tags

Although it may seem that “said” is the most boring and overused dialogue tag, it is actually the most acceptable. Using too many creative dialogue tags like “snarled, groaned, etc.,” can distract the reader from the actual dialogue.

Remember to show, not tell.
Don’t tell the reader how to read your dialogue by using too many creative dialogue tags, instead show them.

The link below has some good examples on this, and on how to avoid the “Creative Dialogue Tag Syndrome”: http://users.wirefire.com/tritt/tip4.html

Here is a helpful post on “Use and Abuse of Dialogue Tags”:
http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/said.shtml

I think creative dialogue tags are acceptable in certain cases. The key is to know when and how to use them.