Three years ago this month, the first edition of Book Design Made Simple rolled off the press. We expected book sales to start strong and increase immediately, but that didn’t happen. In this article we share with you our successes and failures, how plans can go awry, and about winging it. We hope you can skip some of the book marketing mistakes we made and go straight to success with your book as a self-published author. [Read more…]
Need an author website? Websites (including blogs) may be the most prevalent marketing medium these days, but the process of setting one up is still a complete mystery to most. When I teach self-publishing workshops and mention the necessity of having an author website, panic always ensues.
In this blog post, Fiona and I will explain what you need to know about author websites, how to set yours up, what costs to expect, and how to maintain it. After explaining all your options, we’ll also tell you exactly how we set up this website. Click here if you want to skip directly to that section. [Read more…]
Have you written a self-help book, DIY book, user manual, training book, or some other book that is full of advice? If so, don’t stop when it’s published. In fact, even before you start writing, make plans to use your book to build business. [Read more…]
Some people say that the first page is the most important one in any book—and that is probably true as a means for hooking a reader. Others say that the cover is the most important. But I contend that the copyright page wins the prize because it’s probably the first page that a librarian, bookseller, or distributor looks at. And that makes it an integral part of your book marketing program.
Many self-publishing authors find the copyright page to be horribly confusing. All that legal language! All those numbers! What does it all mean? [Read more…]
Some InDesign functions have names that you would never be able to guess, and that makes them really tough to discover and learn. One of these is Optical Margin Alignment (I’m calling it OMA), which is InDesign’s formal name for hanging punctuation. I used to see this effect in other people’s work and then try to imitate it, but I couldn’t because I had no idea what it was called. So this article explains what it is and how to do it. [Read more…]
If your book has footnotes, you’re probably using automatic InDesign footnotes in your layout. And that’s great! But what if you compiled your footnotes in a separate Word document or didn’t use the automatic footnote feature in Word or InDesign?
Before Word and InDesign added their automatic footnote features, and well before Fiona and I met each other, we both invented a way—interestingly, the same way—to lay out InDesign footnotes manually for print books. In this blog post, I’ll explain the layout method that we both used—it still works perfectly.
Book marketing to libraries can be tricky, but here’s a scheme we tried that worked for us.
How many people can you count as friends? You will soon find out when you ask for their help with this book marketing technique that works for even the most shy of authors.
With a little work and a big ask, you will soon find your book listed in public libraries all over the country. [Read more…]
In my previous blog post, I mentioned mixing two colors to use for 2-color printing. So now I’m back to explain how to do that in InDesign, plus how to make a 2-color photo (duotone) in Photoshop. And I’ll let you in on the simple way to make a fake duotone right in InDesign, too.
So let’s start with what we can do in InDesign. [Read more…]
Do you have a favorite color?
If you’re a designer, I hope your answer is no. Every color can look good or bad, and be valuable or useless, depending on where and how it is used.
In this blog post we’ll help you find colors for your next book project. [Read more…]
By now you all know that Book Design Made Simple is in its second edition and that we also have an ebook edition on the market. We’re going to reveal how it all came about, and we hope you can learn from some of our stumbles . . . yes, even seasoned publishing professionals can make mistakes, foul up, and generally just muddle through. Read on!