Cathi Stevenson, book cover designer

Cathi Stevenson, book cover designer

Since starting my own business, I have created more than 2000 book covers for large, traditional publishing organizations; small presses and indie publishers. My clients have been featured in numerous high-profile media sources including Oprah, 48-Hours, People Magazine and the Today show.

10 Tips for a Professional Book Layout

A book that has been professionally designed will appear more polished and appealing to potential buyers. These formatting tips are not limited to the front cover of a book. There are many ways to enhance the look and readability of  back cover text and interior layout. 1. Don’t make your line width too long. Many people assume the solution to too much text is to either drop the point size or extend the trim size or margins. This is not…

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Can I Fit 900 Words on the Back Cover?

Over the years, I’ve developed a file of information that I send to all of my clients as we’re nearing that part of the project. These are just guidelines, but for the typical 6 x 9 book this is what I have found works best, and what I share with my clients: BACK COVER TEXT: You have room for about 250 – 300 words on the back cover. Submit it in an unformatted (no boxes, no tabs, no indents, no…

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The Top 5 Questions I Am Asked About Book Design

1. Why shouldn’t I lay my book out in Word? Word is a word processing program, not designed to format files for press. There are lots of issues that can and do occur when you use Word to lay out a print project: Sometimes the black text is only at about 90% when printed, so you’re essentially getting a dark gray. Word does not work in CMYK colors, which are necessary for printed books. It works in RGB colors, which…

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Color Management & Book Covers

Color is tricky at the best of times. If you want exact color management for your book cover design (such as a particular shade of blue for a university logo), you really should use something called spot color. Spot colors are specially mixed ink colors. Like the paint you purchase for your walls, spot colors, or Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors, are mixed according to predetermined recipes. Each color in the PMS spectrum has an assigned number. When a client…

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Ready to Start Work on Your Book Cover Design?

This is What You Need To Do First: Book cover design is the most important part of your book marketing plan. It’s your advertisement, your product packaging, your handshake that greets the world. Whether you’re planning to create your own book cover, or hire a professional book cover designer and becoming the project manager, you really need to do your homework, that includes: understanding what purpose your book cover serves identifying your target audience doing extensive research on what’s selling…

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Tools You Can Use: Resources for Self-Publishers

by Cathi Stevenson Barcode generator I’ve used this service for years. Makes perfect EPS files that are formatted properly at 100% black. http://smallpressbarcode.com/ Book spine calculator The actual numbers for calculating your CreateSpace book spine. https://www.createspace.com/Products/Book/CoverPDF.jsp Amazon book cover image sizes This page tells you the exact size they want: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2J0TRG6OPX0VM#dim Cover template generator for Lightning Source https://www.lightningsource.com/covergenerator.aspx Get an ISBN in Canada http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/services/isbn-canada/Pages/isbn-canada.aspx BISAC subject headings Find your book category https://www.bisg.org/bisac/complete-bisac-subject-headings-2015-edition Book layout Where does the copyright page go?…

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Sell Sheets and Book Promotion

by Cathi Stevenson BookCoverExpress.com book cover design is offering a free, one-sided sell sheet with the order of a full-spread (front, back spine) print book cover until March 1, 2016. A sell sheet is a flier that provides details about your book on one convenient sheet of paper. It differs from a press release because it’s not focusing on “news” about your book, but rather on the book itself. It’s like a birth announcement: facts and details. You can use…

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Amazon Book Sellers Versus Kindle: The Odd and Unusual

by Cathi Stevenson A few days ago a fellow blogger reported that Amazon was removing books due to keywords. According to Suzie Ivy at The Bad Luck Detective, “Books were removed because of three keywords located in the title’s information page in the keywords section: Free, Bestseller and Kindle. It didn’t matter if your book was free, an Amazon bestseller, or a Kindle eBook; Amazon pulled the plug.” Well, isn’t that interesting? I guess you really should read those dreadfully long and often…

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DIY Book Cover Design: An Infographic That Explains Templates

by Cathi Stevenson Having an awesome book cover design will go a long in way in helping you sell your book. Self-publishing has come a long way since the advent of print-on-demand (POD) technology, and sophisticated, professional book cover design is available to everyone. There’s no need to look “self-published,” or to paraphrase the late guru of self-publishing, Dan Poynter, for your book to have that “loving hands at home,” look to it. The same stock images and freelancers are…

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