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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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?…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

DIY Book Cover Design: An Infographic That Explains Templates

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers 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…

Read More

Free Image Sites for Book Cover Designers

by Cathi Stevenson I’ve updated the free image resource list. Lots of interesting images. As always, I advise using caution, contact the photographer. Watch out for necessary model releases, trademarks and some landmarks prohibited from public use. I’m not a lawyer. Pexels This site was a pleasant surprise. I just discovered it. Great stuff. Unsplash Published under a Creative Commons Zero license (CC0) so you can do pretty much anything you want with this collection of unique images. Appears to…

Read More

Book Cover Design Award

by Cathi Stevenson A submission into the e-Book Cover Design Awards competition landed Book Cover Express an award for the design of Stan Levenson’s The Essential Fundraising Guide for K-12 Schools. Stan was an awesome client to work with, easy going, smart, responsive.The challenge with his cover design was that I had to make it stand out in its genre, but needed it to appeal to teachers who worked with students from kindergarten through high school. It was difficult to…

Read More