Saturday, September 10, 2011

Music City Writers! A local writers workshop!

Warrior Writer Workshop

Warrior-Writer is a one-of-a-kind Workshop focusing on you, the author. In the Warrior-Writer Workshop, Bob applies the battle-tested strategies of the Green Berets to the world of being a New York Times Best-Selling author. He’s taught thousands of writers over the years, but this new and innovative program probes deeper than words on the page. It is designed to teach you, the writer, how to think, plan, and become the future best sellers in the new age of publishing. The benefits you’ll gain from this workshop will extend far beyond your writing and reach into all areas of your life making dreams a reality. During the workshop, you will:
  • Develop an overall strategy for change and success. Specific tactics you can apply immediately.
  • Clearly define your writing goals and help you understand why you want to achieve them.
  • Examine your surroundings and discover those assets that will aid you in achieving desired goals.
  • Identify potential threats and help guide you around those barriers.
  • Locate your blind spot, the part of your character that hinders you from being as creative as you can be.
  • Discover what you fear and how that fear could be sabotaging you from turning your dreams into realities.
  • Overcome procrastination.
  • Finish what you start.
  • Be consistent in your work.
  • Set boundaries for work space and time.
  • Achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Registration Fees: (includes lunch, afternoon snack, and drinks throughout the day) Early registration (by 9/23/2011):
  • $45 – MCRW members
  • $55 – Non-members
Late registration (by 10/7/2011):
  • $55 – MCRW members
  • $65 – Non-members

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

8 tips for book cover design

We’ve all seen them. The train wrecks. The art class projects. The cringe-inducing artwork. It’s the world of do-it-yourself book cover design.
Somewhere between the quirky “cover design generators” on author-service company websites, and the All-American view that everyone should get a ribbon because, after all, they participated, the cover design is suffering at the hands of self-publishers.
And no, I’m not saying that self-published books aren’t getting better—there are a lot of great-looking indie books out there. But I am saying that you don’t have to go far to find the ones that went wrong.
Book cover design, at its height, is an amazing commercial art. The best book designers continue to amaze and surprise us with their graphic design prowess.
But anyone who can write and publish a book ought to be able to avoid at least the worst mistakes in cover design.

So, here without further ado, are my

Top 8 Cover Design Tips for Self-Publishers

  1. Establish a principal focus for the cover—Nothing is more important. Your book is about something, and the cover ought to reflect that one idea clearly.
    One element that takes control, that commands the overwhelming majority of attention, of space, of emphasis on the cover. Don’t fall into the trap of loading up your cover with too many elements, 3 or 4 photos, illustrations, maps, “floating” ticket stubs.
    You could think of your book cover like a billboard, trying to catch the attention of browsers as they speed by. Billboards usually have 6 words or less. You have to “get it” at 60 miles per hour, in 3 to 5 seconds.
    A book cover ought to do the same thing. At a glance your prospect ought to know;
    • the genre of your book,
    • the general subject matter or focus, and
    • some idea of the tone or “ambiance” of the book.
    Is it a thriller? A software manual? A memoir of your time in Fiji? Your ideas on reform of the monetary system? Each of these books needs a cover that tells at a glance what the book is about.
  2. Make everything count—If you are going to introduce a graphic element, make sure it helps you communicate with the reader.
  3. Use the background—Avoid white backgrounds, which will disappear on retailer’s white screens. Use a color, a texture, or a background illustration instead.
  4. Make your title large—Reduce your cover design on screen to the size of a thumbnail on Amazon and see if you can read it. Can you make out what it’s about? If not, simplify.
  5. Use a font that’s easy to read—See above. There’s no sense using a font that’s unreadable when it’s radically reduced. Particularly watch out for script typefaces, the kind that look lacy and elegant at full size. They often disappear when small.
  6. Find images that clarify—Try not to be too literal. Look for something that expresses the mood, historical period, or overall tone of the book; provide a context.
  7. Stay with a few colors—If you don’t feel comfortable picking colors, look at some of the color palettes available online to get a selection of colors that will work well together.
  8. Look at lots of great book covers—You may not be able to mimic all their techniques, but the best book covers are tremendous sources of inspiration and fresh ideas.


  • You can always send your book over to the Self-Published Book Designgroup at Self-Publishing Review. Get a Design Review of your book, inside and out.
  • There is lots of stock photography online to explore, and ways to find images you can use for free
  • Sites with color palettes can be helpful and just plain fun. Make up your own color palettes too.
Takeaway: Taking a little care with a book cover you’re designing yourself can produce big results. Look at lots of book covers for inspiration.

3 ?? to ask about your book covers

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 go the self publishing route or are picked up by a major publisher. All of this equates out into perceived value and the know, like and trust factor your cover creates for its market banding.

Good book cover design helps sell books! This is why we go to such lengths to have them professionally designed. I've been asked many times my professional opinion on if I thought a book cover was good or bad... to which I respond, they are different. That good or bad is subjective to the viewer. However, there are elements, when used or not used, that can be considered good or bad.

Here are 3 Questions to ask yourself when considering what constitutes an artful book cover design?

1. What is its eye appeal? Selecting the appropriate color, typeface and image for your audience will increase pick-up value.

2. Who is your audience? By knowing what your audience likes, where their attention goes, you are able to write a title and sub-title that will fit their listening.

3. Does your subject have ‘come-back-power’? An added value to your readers is if they can continue to learn from you over time.

So in the process of creating an artful book cover design, a professional book cover designer uses every bit of knowledge they can so that the cover has immediate appeal to the viewer. There are so many books out there today where the value of being transparent and available over time is considered a plus. More   information on book design.

Remember, do something every day toward your book, web-presence, product, service and promotion.
Karrie Ross,  Book Designer, Branding, Web-Presence, Coaching, Consulting Services