• Author Bio Photography
    Book marketing,  Photogrpahy

    Guest Post: Author Photos: 6 Tips for Taking Flattering Bio Pics You’ll Actually Like

    Your bio picture holds a lot of power. It will become one of your most-prized assets in a book cover, website, or marketing materials. In this article, we’re sharing tips for taking flattering bio pics you’ll actually like, and that can best represent your writing style and genre. Bio pics should be realistic yet memorable. With some research, preparation, and proper equipment, you can have several professional-looking bio pics that can speak to your target audience and gain new readers. 1. Identify Your Message An author brand consists of a book cover, book description, author biography, and bio picture that showcase your personality, tone, and genre. Since this picture can…

  • Landscape Photography,  Story and Photos,  To Other Worlds

    Creating “To Other Worlds'” Print Cover, With Design Tips for Indie Authors

    I generally don’t have a preference for book format. Ebook, print, audio, I don’t particularly care. I just like books. But, there is a special kind of feeling when I’ve finished the print cover for my book. Maybe it’s because seeing the full front and back cover makes it seem real. But, designing a print cover is something special, in a good and slightly annoying way. Here’s To Other Worlds’ cover for posting online: Since I don’t want the headache of trying to make a photo book look pretty as an ebook, To Other Worlds will be only available as a hardback. Maybe, eventually, I’ll look into turning it into an…

  • Uncategorized

    When You’re Told You Can’t Make a Living as an Author?

    Recently, I read an article that said authors make a median of $6,000 a year.  Not the first time I’ve heard something like this. Over the years, I’ve read plenty of articles saying authors make less than minimum wage. When you ask most authors about doing it full-time, even the traditionally published ones will say don’t quit your day job. It is frustrating. Being an author is a full-time job. But, we don’t make full-time money and that doesn’t seem likely to change. You get people outside of the industry who see J.K. Rowling and Stephen King and assume their story is common. If we’re not at that stage then…

  • Uncategorized

    How to Learn Photoshop as an Author

    If you’re following me on social media, you’ve probably seen my recent map. It’s for The Sciell’s Legacy, the 4th and final book in The Merging Worlds series. This is how the map looked when I first created it. I created it entirely in Photoshop. In the beginning, I researched and watched tutorials about map making basics. Now, I study other maps and figure out how I can duplicate their design, collecting ideas from Pinterest. I’ve been using Photoshop for so long, I’m pretty comfortable with it. Don’t know everything about it. I don’t think anyone, except maybe the developers, knows that. The app is too complicated and you’re, more…

  • Uncategorized

    Removing Unnecessary Scenes from Your Novels Part 1

    I was reading a book where the first chapter was literally several pages of the character getting dressed to leave. Later, we got a detailed scene of the character getting into the car and buckling up. We even got Google Map directions as they drove to their destination, as in we turned right on this street and merged onto this highway. I skipped over most of it. The author probably added it to make the story more realistic and to help us get to know the characters. But was it needed?  Probably not. My stories were often workshopped in college. A professor asked me why I included this one scene.…

  • Book Design,  Book Publishing,  Indie Authors

    How Authors Can Learn to Design Eye-Catching Images

    It takes a lot of work to be an author. Being an indie author is double the work because you have to do everything or hire someone who can. You are the CEO of your own business. Indie fantasy and paranormal books are beautifully diverse. More so than traditionally published books. They are the kind of diverse I’d like to see more in mainstream media. I love indie authors. It breaks my heart when I see indie books with bad covers or promo images. Most authors aren’t designers. But most of us aren’t in a position financially where we can hire someone to take care of all our design needs. If you run…

  • Uncategorized

    Ever Had Your Book Suppressed by CreateSpace?

    I was going to do a behind the scenes blog post but this bit of annoyance needed its own post. You’ll still get that behind the scenes look on Monday. I like CreateSpace. The printing is of great quality. I’ve never been dissatisfied when I ordered books. Publishing on the platform is really easy. The one downside has been trying to get into more traditional publishing areas like libraries and bookstores. My publisher has found that bookstores and libraries don’t like Amazon so they won’t consider books published by CreateSpace. They’ve come out and said we don’t carry books from CreateSpace. Keep that in mind when you’re publishing your book. Side note:…

  • Book Design,  Book Formatting,  Merging Worlds Series,  Paperback Book Design

    Book Formatting Tips and Tricks: Create Your Own Templates

    You’ve finished writing. You’ve gotten comments from editors and beta-readers. Now, it’s time to publish your book. Unfortunately, you can’t upload the original Word document. Well, you can, but your book will look terrible. The online retailer might reject the file. Formatting your book property is hard. I’ve published 12 and I still run into hiccups. It’s fun to know how to do it. But, it took me all day to format my first ebook correctly. Took me about a week to make sure The Sciell paperback didn’t look like a self-published book. That was just getting the margins, paragraph styles and page layouts right. It took longer to add…

  • Uncategorized

    Design Tips for Authors: An Article Roundup

    Since I read mostly books by indie authors, I’m still coming across covers (and websites) that just break my heart.  In the post What Makes a Good Book Cover, I talked about cover design. Unless you have the funds to keep hiring a designer or you know someone, you’ll probably need to design more than a book cover. As a self-published author, you may even be creating promotional images and your website. I’m working with a small press publisher and even I do those things. Here are some resources to help you design content that’ll grab reader’s attention: 23 science fiction and fantasy book covers that are out of this…

  • Book Formatting Tips for Indie Authors
    Book Design,  Book Formatting,  Paperback Book Design

    Book Formatting Tips for Indie Authors

    Bad writing isn’t the only way to pull readers about out of a story. Bad formatting can as well. You put a lot of work into your story. You should present it as if it’s your pride and joy. I use InDesign to format my books. I know most people use Word. Some use Scrivener. Here are some book formatting tips, helpful no matter what app you use. Examine Other Books Sometimes I’ll open an ebook and find some obvious problems like block texts or inconsistent line spacing. Makes me wonder if the author ever read an ebook. Either the author saw the problem and thought it was okay or they didn’t…