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December 2010

If You Want to Create an Artful Book Cover Design - Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

By guest author Karrie Ross.

Book cover design is an art - the art of catching attention, enticing the viewer to pick up your book, buy it and ultimately read it! Taking the time and learning about this art can add to the impact your book will have whether you plan to self-publish or promote to a major publisher. There is no question that good book cover design helps sell books. This is why smart authors go to such lengths to have them professionally designed.

The difference between a good and bad cover design is basically in the eyes of the viewer. However, there are elements you need to consider. To begin with, here are three questions to ask yourself when considering what constitutes an artful book cover design.

1. What is your cover's eye appeal? Selecting the appropriate color, typeface and image for your audience will increase your book's "pick up" value.

2. Who is your audience? By knowing who your audience is, what they like and where their attention goes, you will be better able to write a book title and sub-title that will fit their listening and interests.

3. Does you subject have "come back power?" Remember, an added value to your readers is if they can continue to learn from you over time.

In the process of creating an artful book cover design, a professional book cover designer will use every bit of knowledge he or she has, so that the cover they are creating will have immediate appeal to the viewer. And because there are so many books that you must compete with (for the attention of the prospective book buyer), being transparent and available over time is a great plus.

[Karrie Ross is a book design, marketing and branding consultant to authors, and can be contacted at Be It Now! Karrie Ross.]


How to Foster Success for a Book Launching Event

By guest author Jake Olvido.

Success in the self-publishing industry involves a lot of getting ahead of the game. How you plan and prepare shows how serious you are. After working hard to complete your book, you finally arrive at the point of getting your book ready for its launching - and a book launching event is the best time to introduce your book to your market.

Here are some ideas that can make your book launching event a success.

1. Come up with the right budget. Carefully assess what you really need, and seriously consider how much you are willing to spend on your event. And remember, your book launching event is only the beginning of your official book marketing campaign.

2. Send out-of-the-box and cost-free invitations and announcements. Take advantage of social networking sites to spread the news. For example, Facebook allows you to create automated event invitations through your profile where recipients can RSVP.

3. Inform the media. Send out press releases to different media organizations by fax and through the Internet. And don't forget your local media. Visit radio stations in your area to announce your book and your event. Seek out interviews where possible. Do some research to identify the right people in the media who can help promote your book. And most importantly, have press kits ready to hand out to the media right after your book launch.

4. Create promos and specials. Give out freebies and treats. It can be through bookmarks, button pins, cards, candies, pens, and the like. You can also offer discounted rates for those in attendance. It's a great way to make them feel special and a way to say "thank you."

A book's launch doesn't have to be that grand. And because your overal book marketing campaign can go all the way from 6 months to a year, it's important to spend your budget wisely and on what's worthwhile for the long term. Select a venue that works for you - a place such as your home, a local bookstore, or a university library could be the ideal location.

[Jake Olvido is a book marketing specialist and can be contacted at Bookwhirl.com.] 


Guidelines to Creating Great Book Titles and Subtitles

Creating your book title and subtitle is the single most important piece of copywriting you will do for your book. A great title will not sell a bad book, but a poor title will hide a good book from potential customers. Both your title and subtitle must sell your work. They are the hook that gets a potential buyer's attention. Here are a few guidelines to follow when creating that great book title.

1. Working title. Select a working title, one that you will most likely improve upon as you develop your book. Start with a short, catchy and descriptive title, and add a lengthy, explanatory subtitle.

2. Keyword. Whenever possible, the first word of your title should be the same as the subject - this to make your book easy to find. Bowkers Books in Print lists books by title, author and subject. If your title and subject are the same, you have doubled your exposure. Most other directories list books only by title - in alphabetical order.

3. Keyword exception. On the other hand, if you come up with a fantastic title and it does not begin with the keyword, it is possible that you may sell so many more copies of the book due to the title that the directory listings may become unimportant.

4. Subtitle. Most book listings do not describe the contents of a book, so your subtitle should explain clearly what your book is about. Visit bookstores and go online to check out other book subtitles. You'll find both good and bad examples, but the good ones will offer models you can follow.

Remember, if your title is not clear, potential buyers may not find your book because it has been mis-shelved. Or, they may not recognize it as being and important subject to them.

[This post was created from excerpts from Writing Nonfiction by Dan Poynter.]


Writing a Successful Nonfiction Book - Here's How to Get Started

Starting a book writing project is not an exact science. But there are some guidelines that successful authors have used to help them get their creative juices flowing. Some of them may work for you:

  1. Develop a mission statement - twenty to forty words that capture the essence of your message -  just like businesses do. Who is your book for? How will it assist them? What is the main thrust? A mission statement will help you stay focused.
  2. Determine who your audience is. How old are your typical readers? Which gender? Where do they rank educationally and financially? What special interests do they have?
  3. Next, write a book introduction. A good introduction tells the scope of your work and details the different ways people will benefit from reading it. You will likely re-write it after you have finished your manuscript, but it's initial purpose will be to keep you on target.
  4. Now think about ways you can embellish or clarify your message. Should you include sidebars of relevant information. Checklists? Samples? Dos and don'ts?
  5. Look at other writings you have done on the subject. Articles? Columns? Blogs? Repackage the data and you may find you already have the guts of your book.
  6. Similarly, speakers who have audio or video of their presentations have an advantage because they can simply transcribe the material to make it useful in a book.

These are just a few tips you can use to jump start your book writing project. But remember, be sure to deliver value. Hold nothing back, and make the information in your book as rich and enlightening as possible.

[This post was created from excerpts from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]