Cathi Stevenson, book cover designer

Since starting my own business, I have created more than 2500 book covers for large, traditional publishing houses, 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. I'm closely supervised by a small herd of rescue animals including two very large dogs, a cat that I'm not sure likes me very much, and a three-pound bunny who runs the whole show. When I'm not designing book covers I'm usually working on newsletters, infographics, signage and posters, or writing articles.

The Beginner’s Guide to Book Promotion Part 1: The Essential Website

As an indie author, having a website or blog is essential. It’s also the least expensive way to promote your book to the widest possible audience. In a 2009 book buying survey by Verso Digital (US), 58% of the 5,640 US respondents said they became aware of books online through search engine results. Author websites and blogs were the second most popular resource, with a respectable 30 percent. To set up a website or blog, you will need to do…

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Page Layout and Design Elements

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers One of the most important hurdles for an indie author / self-publisher to overcome is making sure your product can be displayed side-by-side with what the buying public is used to seeing from traditional publishers. This task is much easier for fiction than for nonfiction, but no matter what the subject, it costs just as much money to design and format a book that looks…

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Ten Tips for Laying Out Back Cover Text Like a Pro

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers You’ll no doubt find plenty of information on what to include on the back cover of your book. Things like synopsis, barcode, publisher imprint, author bio, author photo, credits, and reviews are all customary. But laying these elements out on the back cover of a paperback needs to be done properly. Careful attention has to be paid to the font size and spacing; margins have…

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Image for nonfiction self-publising

Why You Should Self-Publish Your Nonfiction Book

Guest post by David Varty Being an indie author or “self-publisher” used to have a bit of a stigma attached to it didn’t it? In some circles, it still might, but there is definitely growing acceptance for books not produced through traditional publishing. There are a number of benefits to self-publishing your nonfiction book, and if you’re using the book to increase your credibility as an expert, there’s little reason to avoid it. In fact, it can be a sound…

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An Indie-Author’s Guide to Organizing a Book for Publication

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers Whether you’re writing a novel or a nonfiction book, you’ll eventually need to organize the materials and format the interior for publication. This is something a professional book designer can do for you, but as the publisher, you should decide what sections you want to include. Some sections aren’t as important in today’s publishing world as they were even a decade ago, but for legal,…

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Top 5 Reasons Indie Authors Need Goodreads

by Cathi Stevenson | With more than 65 million members, 2 billion books and 68 million reviews, Goodreads is a major platform indie authors don’t want to overlook. There are ample opportunities to share your book cover image and much more. If you haven’t already signed up with the Goodreads’ Author Program, you need to do that now. Why? Well, here’s 5 great reasons. Goodreads is free You can set up a free profile that includes your photo, bio,…

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Is the Nonfiction Book Cover Important?

Are nonfiction book covers as important to sales as fiction book covers? Yes. And possibly even more so for indie authors. Regardless of the book, a strong cover is going to work as good advertising. The book cover really is the handshake that greets the world. Current data specifically on book covers and sales is hard to come by, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests cover design has a great deal of influence on buyers. In the…

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Advice for Hiring a Book Cover Designer

Professional book cover design is essential because readers, retailers and reviewers glance at a book for only a few seconds before they make a choice. But, finding and hiring a cover designer can be tricky. You have to find someone who has the right talent and the right technical skills. Sending improperly formatted book covers to your printer can be time consuming and expensive. How to Find a Book Cover Designer When hiring a cover designer, the first thing you…

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A Picture Might Be Worth 1000 Words, But Sometimes It Should Just Shut Up!

Your book cover is like a handshake. It’s the first impression the public will have of your book and it’s important to get it right. One of the biggest mistakes indie authors make is “image desperation.” Image desperation happens when a novice publisher is so desperate to have an image, any image, that he or she will make do with completely unsuitable photos or amateur illustrations that virtually shout, “homemade.” It’s not only damaging to your image, it’s completely unnecessary. It…

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