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This Week in the Blogs, March 16 – 22, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Enjoying your weekend? Why not put your feet up and take a few minutes to catch up on some great articles on self-publishing related topics? You’ll be glad you did.

Don’t miss our latest e-Book Cover Design Awards post here tomorrow, and be sure to check back here next Sunday for our monthly Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies post.

Dan Wagstaff on The Casual Optimist
Book Covers of Note, March 2019
“It’s almost the first day of spring, the snow and ice have just about melted in Toronto (for now!), and everything is still awful, so it must be time for March’s book covers of note!”

Dave Chesson on Jane Friedman
Changes to Amazon Advertising: What Authors Need to Know
“On January 7, 2019, Amazon made some significant changes to the AMS features. Although there are slight variations throughout the entire system, most of the major changes can be grouped into three categories…”

Chris Syme on Smart Marketing for Authors
How to Put Together a Killer BookBub Ad
“In this episode David and Chris discuss the tips and tricks to images and targeting on BookBub ads. It’s not like Facebook or Amazon ads, so you need to know the guidelines for maximum results.”

Self-Publishing Review on Self-Publishing Review
When is the Best Time of Year to Release a Book?
“In Hollywood, there’s a pretty set calendar for when movies are released: horror movies are usually released around Halloween, high-concept blockbusters in the summer, Oscar movies start in November, movies that aren’t blockbusters or Oscar contenders in February. Does the book trade follow the same release schedule?”

Jay Artale on How to Blog a Book
Create Blog-Book Synergy to Reduce Content Creation Stress
“By building a synergy between my blogs and books, I’ve been able to streamline a continual flow of content and get maximum leverage out of every piece of content I create.”

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This Week in the Blogs, March 9 – 15, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Are you off in search of leprechauns and pots of gold today or perhaps sampling some green beer or dancing a jig? Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Enjoy this week’s selection of articles.

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just for Writers
New to Instagram? Here’s How to Start Plus 9 Tips for Authors
“If your reader demographic is between the ages of 18 and 49, Instagram can be a strategic application for you to use.”

John Doppler on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
How To Find the Perfect Title
“The harsh reality is that many of us rack our uncooperative brains for weeks in a fruitless search for a title. And when divine inspiration doesn’t appear and we’re nearing the point of desperation, we clutch at a semi-random title that feels only mediocre.”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
Use quirky April holidays for book promotion
“Schedule some fun into your book promotion in April by taking advantage of some of the quirkier holidays and special occasions that month brings us.”

Melissa Bowersock on Indies Unlimited
Tracking Kindle Sales with Book Report
“Book Report is a free app ( that adds a hot button to your browser.”

Reedsy on Writer’s Digest
5 Tips for Better Book Cover Typography
“A book’s cover is a key marketing tool, reflecting the contents of the book. As you might guess, the typeface of your book title and other cover text (the style and appearance on the page) are just as important.”

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Book Publishing: Are You Keeping Up? – Part 1

By Lee Foster

Book publishing best practices are evolving quickly around us. For each of us, the challenge is: How clearly are we seeing the big trends? And then: Are we making the practical adjustments to position ourselves successfully?

I’ve been thinking about these issues as I work on the 2019 update of my book on publishing, An Author’s Perspective on Independent Publishing: Why Self-Publishing May Be Your Best Option.

The book chapters are a manageable 10 aspects of modern book publishing. Here is a main trend and some key practical adjustments to keep in mind for each chapter.

1. How Traditional Publishing Worked (and Sometimes Still Works)

The shocking news today is the continuing deterioration of many of the landmark traditional publishers of books, magazines, and newspapers.

One of those in decline here in California is Sunset Publishing, which was the gold standard for dependable book contracts. I did a work-for-hire how-to book for Sunset long ago, and all went well, so I am not affected now. But a colleague today is owed $5,000 and is unsure of his prospects. Sunset’s utter collapse is public knowledge and would shock the founders, Mel and Bill Lane.

The practical reaction is to review your relationships, if you have any, with traditional publishers and see how things are going. Keep your relationships positive and see what is advantageous to you. For example, I had a successful travel book Northern California History Weekends with publisher Globe Pequot.

We worked well together and the book sold for 15 years. When they said last year that they would soon print a new 1,000 copies, I asked if they would just return all publishing rights to me. They said, “OK.” Soon I will have updated all the chapters and come out with a new self-published edition, as a print book, ebook, and website book.

If you have done any books with traditional publishers, what rights back might you secure, if you ask?

2. Why Independent Publishing─Also Known as Self-Publishing─Arose

One aspect of good news in modern publishing is that self-publishing continues to evolve as a practical path to success.

As Amazon appears to sell maybe 60% of all print books and maybe 80% of all ebooks (please correct my data if you know better), the independent publisher gets an ever-more-level playing field in the search for an audience. Moreover, Ingram, which can service all bookstores with printed books, continues to evolve as a welcoming home for the self-publisher.

One practical reaction to consider is to look around in your region and try to find a self-publishing group that supports your dreams. Collectively, we can learn a lot from colleagues as we strive for better covers, more inviting interior layouts, and more adroit editing.

The national organization IBPA lists regional affiliates, maybe one in your area. In the San Francisco region, I benefit from the monthly meeting of BAIPA. Joel Friedlander has been a leader in this local org.

Many examples of inspiring self-pub success can be seen at our monthly meetings. For example, I’ve watched for a couple of years as Steven Kessler, a psychology self-help author, reports on his progress. There are a hundred aspects of his story, some of which apply to me and to you. Steven announced last month that he had sold 10,000 copies of his book. Good things can happen.

3. Why Independent Publishing May Be Your Most Viable Option Now and in the Future

The “control factor” in indie publishing becomes more appealing to me every year as I think back on my “traditional publishing” ventures and our changing times.

For example, the Globe Pequot people who did my Northern California History Weekends (mentioned above) wanted a print book only. They had no interest in an ebook. As the ebook era arose, I gently encouraged them to pursue this new form. They said no. There was nothing I could do. The entire content was locked up in a print book and could not be exploited in any other way.

But now, with the book content back under my control, I can create not only the print book, but also an ebook. I can, and am, developing the 52 chapters in the book as website articles, making this a “website book.”

Think about your book dreams. What is the max that you could achieve in terms of forms?

  • Print book?
  • Plus ebook?
  • Possibly also a “website book”?
  • What about an audiobook of your book?
  • What about licensing of your content?
  • What about translation of your book into Chinese, the most widely read and spoken language on our planet?

Control over your destiny is a positive, the first step to success.

4. Your Print-on-Demand Book

Advancing print-on-demand technology (POD) has changed everything, and has spurred on the self-publishing movement. Color interiors at an affordable price could be the next breakthrough.

Because of print on demand, I don’t need huge capital to develop my books, as long as I stay with black-and-white only. Because of capital requirements for offset printing, we formerly needed traditional publishers.

The economics of self-publishing are favorable.

With print-on-demand, I don’t have to ship. My partners, Amazon and Ingram, take care of that.

The practical task at hand is to keep track of the evolving details in the two major print-on-demand worlds:

Joel Friedlander has a new step-by-step product on the details of the new Kindle Direct scene.

One vulnerability for authors is that the print-on-demand supplier can raise its per-page cost, as Ingram did recently. You might need to change your book price to keep it reasonably profitable.

Keep track of where the players continue to expand their global POD manufacturing network. Amazon and Ingram can now POD print in England and Australia.

It’s thrilling to know that foreigners can get your book tomorrow in those distant locations. Someone can order your POD book in London and get it tomorrow. No expensive overseas shipping is needed.

Self-publishing authors benefit immensely as this revolution proceeds.

5. Your Ebook Distribution

It is always helpful to remind ourselves of roughly the distribution of sales for what we ordinarily call “books.”

It appears to be about:

  • 70% print
  • 17% ebooks
  • 6% audiobooks

Rather than debate what format your book should be, just give the consumer every format that is appropriate for your book.

Start with the print book and the ebook. Possibly you have experienced, as I have, satisfied ebook consumers with poor eyesight who say, “Thank goodness for ebooks. I can make the type size as big as I want.”

Managing the best plan for ebooks for yourself is an ongoing challenge. I generally recommend now that you go with Amazon Kindle directly for Amazon and then with Smashwords for everyone else.

Keep the layout simple and “flowing” so the consumer can increase the type size and change the font, as they might wish, even on their phone readers.

One big issue with Amazon is whether you will go with them exclusively or not. Exclusivity is required to allow you to benefit from their KENP (Kindle Edition Normalized Pages) income for subscription reads. I don’t like exclusivity for myself, but your best path may differ. I’ve seen many exclusivity requirements ultimately damage the content creator in the stock photo marketing world, for example.

In conclusion, please share with us your success or disappointment as you observe the book publishing scene evolve quickly.

What’s happening with you, for better and for worse, as you struggle to keep up?

Watch for Part 2 of this discussion in about five weeks.

Photo: BigStockPhoto. Amazon links contain affiliate code.

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5 Tips for Better Book Cover Typography

Contributed by Reedsy.

A book’s cover is a key marketing tool, reflecting the contents of the book. As you might guess, the typeface of your book title and other cover text (the style and appearance on the page) are just as important.

First impressions count. Even if you’re not likely to pay a lot of attention to fonts on book covers, they make the difference between a book that will be picked up and a book that looks unprofessional, cheap, or simply misleading.

This post will dive into this crucial component of a book cover. Read on to find out how to handle book cover typography — and how to make yours stand out and sell your book.

1. Match the genre

All things considered, you want the appearance of your text to convey the message you are trying to get across. Whether that’s signaling that the book is a romance, a thriller, or an informative non-fiction book, the typography is going to be a crucial element of tying it all together.

For example, for Tara Westover’s non-fiction memoir Educated, a simple serif font is used for the title, and the subtitle (‘a memoir’) and author name are sans-serif (have noembellishments at the end of letters). Many say that serif fonts look more ‘trustworthy,’ and feel modern. This is because they are simple and matter-of-fact: all moods that a non-fiction book will want to elicit.

Readers of certain genres will, consciously or unconsciously, be expecting certain things from your book cover. Fantasy book covers are often home to sweeping calligraphy-style fonts, for example. Ilana C. Myer’s Fire Dance does this subtly — the embellishments on the ‘R’ and ‘N’ signal the genre, but it is still reasonably simple and easy to read.

2. No Papyrus, no Comic Sans

A general rule of thumb: don’t use a font that comes pre-installed on MS Word. Typefaces like Comic Sans and Papyrus are instantly recognizable and will make the cover look ‘handmade.’

If there’s one that’s very close to what you’re looking for, you can build up and edit fonts with programs like InDesign to alter spacings and the length of existing letterings, or even just remove the very edge of letters.

You can find ideas and free fonts to use on sites like and There are also plenty of other websites to search for where you will be able to access a variety of fonts without plagiarising (and also without spending dozens of dollars).

Free Webinar: What Every Author Should Know About Book Cover Design

3. Less is more

An effective approach can be to make typography the focus of your cover, or the only visual element. Playing with minimalism, space, and letter spacing is often an interesting way to make the absence of image or text just as effective as filling the cover. Dolly Alderton’s cover design is literally just the title, but it playfully hints at the narrative voice you’ll find within.

Particularly, conjunctions like ‘and,’ ‘the,’ or, ‘of the,’ can interact inventively with your background image or illustration, like in this novel by Tsh Oxenreider. The ‘less important’ words are made significantly smaller, which foregrounds the confusing pairing of ‘home’ and ‘world’ — central to the book’s idea of finding a home and belonging while travelling all over the globe.

Remember that you don’t have to use the same font for everything. However, don’t use more than, say, two or three, depending on if you have a subtitle, or reviews, etc — it will look messy and confusing.

And if you think you might have a potential series on your hands, aim for a simpler design. They are more transferable, and easier to be manipulated further down the line.

Having said all that, your title does need to be big! There are debates as to whether it should be legible in thumbnail form, but it certainly needs to be the focus of the cover.


4. Words are pictures, too

When your creativity is completely set free, your typography may end up looking like an image in and of itself.

Thinking of your imagery and typography as overlapping working parts can give you space for visual puns (like the small bombs on Karan Mahajan’s cover), hint at the characters or plot of the book, or even just allow you to exercise some creative license.

If your lettering is large and simple, it also adds character and room for some fun ideas. David Nicholls’ Us, similar to the design of some of his earlier novels, plays with this idea by having figures hang from and walk along the lettering of the title itself.

5. Consider the visual hierarchy

An awareness of the visual hierarchy of your text will make your book cover look professional and easy to navigate. Readers will assume what is important by the weight and size of the lettering, and you can direct their gazes accordingly.

The title, the author name, and (if applicable) your subtitle should be easily identifiable. Lisa Manterfield’s book cover strikes a balance between title and author name. It also follows the golden rule: if in doubt, keep it simple.

Natural contrast (light text on a dark background, for example) is a seamless way to highlight and make clear the information that you want your reader to receive.

What you’re seeking is balance: a delicate chemistry between image, text, and other information. Simply put, if your image is super busy, keep the type simple. But if you’ve got a large chunk of text that needs to go on the front cover, keep the imagery pared back.

The crux of typography on book covers is the potential to maximize the impact of your book title, and your book cover as a whole. When done well, it is an effective tool to utilize in order to give your book the best chance on the shelves, and hopefully you now have the tools to do just that.

This content was contributed by Reedsy and includes one or more affiliate links for their products and/or services. Writer’s Digest participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products and services purchased through our links to retailer and partner sites.

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This Week in the Blogs, March 2 – 8, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

Hope you’re having a great weekend. Enjoy this week’s selection of articles and don’t forget to submit your articles to our March blog carnival, Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies by the deadline–Friday, March 15th.

Anne R. Allen on Anne R. Allen’s Blog… with Ruth Harris
How to Write for a Blog: 10 Tips for Writing Strong Web Content
“Writing Web content is a little different from writing a traditional essay or magazine article, but it’s not hard. You just have to learn some basic guidelines.”

Elizabeth S. Craig on Author Imprints
Rights Reversion and What to Do After Reversion
“Asking for your rights and starting down the road of self-publishing a backlist can be overwhelming. But breaking down the project into smaller tasks makes the job manageable.”

Melinda Clayton on Indies Unlimited
KDP Print (formerly CreateSpace) vs. IngramSpark
“I think it’s probably time for a refresher post comparing KDP Print and IngramSpark.”

Kristen Lamb on Kristen Lamb – Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi
Editing for Authors: 7 Ways to Tighten the Story and Cut Costs
“Editing has always been a critical factor regarding any book’s success. This has NOT changed. If anything, proper editing is a complete game-changer now more than ever in the history of publishing.”

Russell Phillips on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
How to Set Up Local Book Links for your Ebooks
“Helping readers find your ebooks in the online store of their choice will increase the chances of making a sale, so it makes sense to provide convenient local book links on your author website to all the stores where your books are available.”

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3 Reasons to Self-Publish an eBook for Free (And How To Do It) 

Self-publishing can be a doorway to success the likes of which few authors rarely see. Some of the biggest names in the industry rose to prominence after independently publishing their works. But, reaching these lofty heights is not easy. Becoming an author through the self-published route is a challenging process, and presents a number of [...]

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This Week in the Blogs, February 23 – March 1, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

My preference is to stay inside where it’s warm and read a book, but my dogs, like the one in the picture, love to go outside and frolic in the snow. Is it balmy where you are or cold and snowy? Either way, find a comfy spot and take a few minutes to read this week’s selected articles.

And, here are your monthly reminders:

  • If you’d like to participate in our Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies blog carnival for March, please submit your blog posts by March 15th. All the information you need to know can be found here. Our Carnival of the Indies post will run on the last Sunday of the month.
  • Want to submit your e-book cover to us for our March e-Book Cover Design Awards? Be sure to submit it by March 31st. March’s submissions will be presented in a post at the end of April. Submission information can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Carnival of the Indies or the e-Book Cover Design Awards, just click on the Contact page and fill in that form, or leave a comment below.

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just for Writers
Are You Ready for Book Marketing? Take This Quiz
“Social media alone won’t cause your books to start flying off the proverbial bookshelf. … So, take this quiz and see if you’re ready to tackle book marketing on your own.”

Judith Briles on The Book Shepherd
10 Social Media Tips for 2019
“Social media is the town hall of marketing for most authors. It’s a landscape that has pros and cons and is in a constant mode of change.”

Jo Van Every on Self Publishing Advice From The Alliance Of Independent Authors
An Easier Way to Upload Book Metadata to Distribution Platforms
“An essential part of the indie author’s self-publishing process is to complete the metadata on the distribution platforms of your choice.”

Jason Matthews on How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks
Draft2Digital Adds Google Play Distributor for Your Ebooks
“This is a great addition by Draft2Digital for important retailers to work with. Google Play sells a lot of books for indie authors.”

Stephanie Chandler on Nonfiction Authors Association
Tips to Compiling an Anthology Book
“If you want to publish a compelling book in a short amount of time, compiling an anthology can be a fantastic solution.Tips to Compiling an Anthology Book As the primary author, you reap all of the rewards of writing a book without having to write the entire manuscript.”

Too Good To Miss

David Wogahn on Author Imprints
The 2019 Guide to Amazon Fees and Royalties for Kindle eBooks and KDP Print
“Setting a selling price for self-published Kindle eBooks or KDP Print books (formerly CreateSpace) sold on Amazon begins with understanding your costs.”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
How to announce your book with an e-mail blast
“I’ve received quite a few book announcement e-mails lately. I want to be excited for the authors, because this is a big deal. Sadly, though, most of the messages aren’t very compelling.”

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e-Book Cover Design Awards, January 2019

cover design

By Joel Friedlander

Welcome to the e-Book Cover Design Awards. This edition is for submissions during January, 2019.

This month we received:

64 covers in the Fiction category
8 covers in the Nonfiction category

Comments, Award Winners, and Gold Stars

I’ve added comments (JF: ) to many of the entries, but not all. Remember that the aim of these posts is educational, and by submitting you are inviting comments, commendations, and constructive criticism.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. Please leave a comment to let me know which are your favorites or, if you disagree, let me know why.

Although there is only winner in each category, other covers that were considered for the award or which stood out in some exemplary way, are indicated with a gold star:

Award winners and Gold-Starred covers also win the right to display our badges on their websites, so don’t forget to get your badge to get a little more attention for the work you’ve put into your book.

Also please note that we are now linking winning covers to their sales page on Amazon or Smashwords.

Now, without any further ado, here are the winners of this month’s e-Book Cover Design Awards.

e-Book Cover Design Award Winner for January 2019 in Fiction

Alexandra Brandt submitted Eloia Born designed by Alexandra Brandt. “Young Adult soft sci-fi (or potentially “science fantasy”). The cover depicts both the alien planet of Eloia and (symbolically, at least) the partially-blind heroine.”

cover design
cover design
JF: A gorgeous cover that artfully gives us insight into the story within a cool sci-fi look. Complemented by great type choices and the intrigue of the one-eyed woman, and with beautiful textural elements that enhance the design.

e-Book Cover Design Award Winner for January 2019 in Nonfiction

Lynn Michelsohn submitted Young Billy, Old Santa Fe (Billy the Kid in Santa Fe Series, Book One) designed by Lisa Burroughs. “Thank you, in advance, for your consideration and comments.”

cover design
cover design
JF: The strong title treatment and colorful background image work together to give this cover excellent impact, especially as a thumbnail.

Fiction Covers

A R Kennedy submitted Saving Ferris designed by Karen Phillips.

Saving Ferris
JF: Shows that an effective way to use a dog on your cover is to focus on the emotions stimulated by the canine/human interaction.

Alexandra Brandt submitted Along These Lines designed by Alexandra Brandt. “Science fantasy with ley lines, portals, Japan, and interdimensional space travel. I tried to keep the cover a bit simpler than that, but wanted both the sci-fi and fantasy aspects to come through.”

Along These Lines
JF: Frenetic energy emphasized by expert type handling.

Alexandra Brandt submitted Friends designed by Alexandra Brandt. “A gritty dystopian/post-apoc short story with a hopeful ending–tricky to try to get both tones across, especially with author branding to consider. Curious if I managed it.”

JF: Relies on a strong focus on the physical environment, and it works because it makes whatever story is happening here paramount in our interest.

Andrea Pearson submitted The Shade Amulet designed by Andrea Pearson. “Font used for the title: bu Oscar Diggs Font used for author and series: Felix Titling Head swap, hair swap, added the necklace. Title was rasterized then set as an overlay. Stock photos from Neostock, Shutterstock, Deposit Photos.”

The Shade Amulet
JF: A nice effort. You might try to differentiate the title color by not making it quite so similar to the gold in the background.

Andrew Leon Hudson submitted Welcome to Pacific City designed by Andrew Leon Hudson.

Welcome to Pacific City
JF: Lovely artwork, but it looks more appropriate to a print book because of the lack of contrast and impaired legibility at this size.

Aundriel Washington submitted Palera Dawn designed by Shelbi James. “The font’s name is Ruritania. The colors were chosen to show the depiction of the main character’s new world. The dragon is blue because rarely do we see blue dragons. They may have a hint of blue, but not completely. The image also represents two saviors, a human and her mighty beast.”

Palera Dawn
JF: “Primitive” art can be very effective, but the impact is weakened by the ornate font choice. (“…rarely do we see blue dragons.” Really? What color are the dragons you usually see?)

clyde McCulley submitted Panther Creek Mountain: The Haunted Pond designed by clyde McCulley. “The designer used the silhouette look to capture kid’s attention, and in some ways relate to the Harper Lee “To Kill A Mockingbird” woodcut style of the past, yet colors relate to today’s kids.”

Panther Creek Mountain: The Haunted Pond
JF: Seems like contradictory goals but the cover illustration is lovely.

Craig Chapman submitted In and for the District of Desire: Short Stories from the Dark Crimes-Of-The-Heart Beat designed by Craig M. Chapman. “Images were licensed through Shutterstock and iStock. Background image is a photo by G.H. Chapman”

In and for the District of Desire: Short Stories from the Dark Crimes-Of-The-Heart Beat
JF: Obviously the work of an amateur “cover designer.”

Cristelle Comby submitted Hostile Takeover (Vale Investigation, book 1) designed by Miguel A. Ereza.

Hostile Takeover (Vale Investigation, book 1)
JF: Expert artwork and typography but that big white background is confusing and seems arbitrary.

Dan Cray submitted Mother Tongue designed by Jeroen Ten Berge. “Jeroen blended two heads to express the notion that multilingual people often feel as if different aspects of their personality become more prevalent depending upon the language they’re speaking. For texture, he added a background grid of ‘Mother Tongue’ in a variety of languages.”

Mother Tongue
JF: An inventive concept, but perhaps a stronger or brighter title could help balance the overall dark and somewhat gloomy artwork.

Dan Van Oss submitted A Happy Bureaucracy designed by Dan Van Oss.

A Happy Bureaucracy
JF: A mordantly funny cover that hits just the right note for this humorous post-apocalyptic story.

Darja DDD submitted Love Me Once More designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Contemporary Romance book cover design, Mystic Point Book 0”

Love Me Once More
JF: A strong romance series design (see the two following) that relies on expert image compositing, contrasting type fonts, and coordinated color schemes. Interesting how the relationship between the two characters is quite different on this cover, and I do prefer the beautiful green and gold colors here.

Darja DDD submitted Love Me Now designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Contemporary Romance book cover design, Mystic Point Book 1”

Love Me Now

Darja DDD submitted Love Me Harder designed by Marushka from Deranged Doctor Design. “Contemporary Romance book cover design, A Mystic Point Novel”

Love Me Harder

Darja DDD submitted The Secret Apocalypse designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Post-Apocalyptic book cover design, A Secret Apocalypse Story, Book 1”

The Secret Apocalypse
JF: This series uses clean block type and an image with the main character on the cusp of action, highlighted by a flash of light at the center, and turned away from the viewer. On target genre design throughout the series (see the next two).

Darja DDD submitted Extinction Level designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Post-Apocalyptic book cover design, A Secret Apocalypse Story, Book 2”

Extinction Level

Darja DDD submitted Land of Dust and Bones designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Post-Apocalyptic book cover design, A Secret Apocalypse Story, Book 7”

Land of Dust and Bones

Darja DDD submitted Game of Nations designed by Milo from Deranged Doctor Design. “Mystery, Thriller & Suspense book cover design, A Game of Nations Thriller”

Game of Nations
JF: Exactly what we want for a contemporary thriller cover: impact and a sense of the kind of story within.

Dee J Holmes submitted An Inheritance of Curses designed by Deana J Holmes. “I wanted to strike a balance between modern and fantasy elements. To do this, I combined a close-up portrait of my main character with a softer setting and world-specific symbols. I painted first in sepia tones, then layered in colors. I ended up finding the right font in Cenzo Flare.”

An Inheritance of Curses
JF: Love the style of this illustration, but the title isn’t working so well, its shadow is distracting, and some of the type is disappearing entirely.

Donald Jacobsen submitted Mighty Mommies and Their Amazing Jobs designed by Graham Evans. “The cover for this children’s book was designed to evoke a comic book / superhero feel. Primary colors were selected to make the cover eye-catching to kids and the poses of the diverse characters are intended to imply confidence. MacGuffin font was used because it is dyslexia-friendly.”

cover design
JF: Love the illustration, it really works. For a two-word title, probably better to choose a font that suits the cover, but this one functions okay.

Doug Walsh submitted Tailwinds Past Florence designed by Doug Walsh. “It was important that the book convey a literary feel while maintaining a softer, romantic tone. The bicycle is an important clue to help explain the word “Tailwinds” in the title. The prominence of the color blue plays a large role in the book’s magical elements. The watercolor reveals the setting.”

Tailwinds Past Florence
JF: Both artful and literary.

Gina Smith submitted Plumb Twisted designed by Double J Book Graphics. “A lot of symbolism in PT. Cole is alone-a cancer survivor & distances himself from people. Title: heroine is a plumber’s daughter and a tornado hits the town. The weather is gloomy because of the darker elements of the story-a stalker, kidnapping, a natural disaster that destroys property & lives.”

Plumb Twisted
JF: While this one does its duty as a genre cover, helped by a simple photo and short title, the one below is hard to decipher. Why is a hat so prominent, and why did the designer leave a big empty space right in the middle of the cover?

Gina Smith submitted The Double D Ranch designed by Double J Book Graphics. “The Double D Ranch is a romantic comedy set in Texas. The flowers are bluebonnets the state flower of Texas.”

The Double D Ranch

Grace Blair submitted Einstein’s Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure designed by 1106 Design. “Symbols on the cover show pyramids for the images of Egypt and Atlantis, the origin of the supernatural compass that directs a dreamy Einstein through time and his discovery. The brown and orange palette give the sense of being lost in the desert and a metaphor for his life’s journey.”

Einstein's Compass a YA Time Traveler Adventure
JF: Dramatic lighting, expert image combinations, and pro-level typography make this cover stand out.

Hampton Lamoureux submitted Black Magic’s Prey designed by Hampton Lamoureux. “Kristin came to me with her dark fantasy novel, telling the tale of a young woman plagued by the curse of a Mexican black magic practitioner. The cover design features a portrait of Tess, the victim, with an Aztec rune cast on her face. The powerful antagonist is seen below her, cast in shadow.”

Black Magic's Prey
JF: Creepy, scary, menacing, sexy, and darkly attractive, this cover has it all. The “architecture” of the composition helps in the effect by creating a shape the eye naturally follows to highlight the relationship between the heroine and her adversary.

Ihor Tureha submitted Rexus designed by MiblArt.

JF: The complete weirdness of this cover looks like its greatest selling point as it highlights a “misunderstood chiropractor turned gamer.”

Jade Kerrion submitted Cursed Tides designed by Rebecca Frank. “This Little Mermaid retelling needed a non-mermaid cover (since it focuses on her evolution as a daughter of air) but still needed strong visual ties to the sea and other mermaid-like elements (e.g., trident, etc).”

Cursed Tides
JF: Looks like a home run to me. Lots of luscious details, plenty of sea and mystery elements, and a fetching heroine with awesome abs.

James Egan submitted Destroyer of Legends designed by James T. Egan of Bookfly Design.

Destroyer of Legends
JF: A strong illustration and hand-tooled type work great except where they overlap, slightly impeding readability.

James Egan submitted The King’s Assassin designed by James T. Egan of Bookfly Design.

The King's Assassin
JF: The off-kilter composition adds to the tension and drama of this cover, perfectly accessorized by the distressed font.

James Egan submitted The Lost Letter designed by James T. Egan of Bookfly Design.

The Lost Letter
JF: An exquisite piece of artwork lovingly matched to type allusive of the period, a great cover for this Victorian novel.

James Murdo submitted Fractured Carapace designed by James Murdo.

Fractured Carapace
JF: Black and white can provide a lot of drama, and you can see that here, but what are we looking at?

Jasmine Antwoine submitted The Fruits of the Earth designed by Jasmine P. Antwoine. “It is first in a YA fantasy series about a world where children are nothing but commodities.”

The Fruits of the Earth

Jeff Bolinger submitted Sea Raiders designed by Jeff Bolinger. “Illustrated by Omar Aranda. I wanted to create a sense of tension and danger for the cover of this children’s Middle Grade book- the third in a trilogy.”

Sea Raiders
JF: Good style, interesting “wavy” treatment for the title. The only problem I have with this cover is that the bottom is so murky the characters are hard to make out, and that’s where the interest is.

Jemma Hatt submitted The Adventurers and The Cursed Castle designed by Andrew Smith.

The Adventurers and The Cursed Castle
JF: Lots of style here too, between the illustration and all the customization of the title/logo. Oddly, although the figures are intended to be running, they look quite static. Love the dog, though.

JJ Johnson Johnson submitted Army of the Dog designed by Woody Myers. “In order to capture the look of the dog in “hunting” mode, we took hundreds of pictures while hiking the Rocky Mountains of Northern Colorado. Of these hundreds of images, two rose to the top of this magnificent Foxhound that is an integral part of the book.”

Army of the Dog
JF: It’s a great photo, and it is attention-getting. Not sure, however, if this is really the best representation of what appears to be a modern action novel based on ancient Greek philosophy.

John Foley submitted Begotten Not Made designed by John Foley. “Font is Tala by John Harrington, Shandon type”

Begotten Not Made
JF: Charming and clever cover for a modern “fairy tale.”

Jonathan LaPoma submitted Hammond designed by Jonathan LaPoma. “In the beginning and end of the novel, the protagonist is lying on a basketball court and staring up at a hoop with a rim that’s so gray, it’s fading into the thick clouds above. The white in the image captures the bleakness of winter in Buffalo, NY where the story is set.”

JF: I remember that snow very well from a few years I spent in Buffalo. The unusual perspective on the basketball hoop directs our attention right to the title.

Joseph Melesh submitted White or Black … Grey designed by Eight Little Pages. “A Psychological Thriller, that follows our Protagonist, a troubled teenage girl and her chance encounter with an opportunistic predator. The shipping containers with doors open as she walks into the unknown. A dark story, a flash of red on the cover a subtle hint of impending danger.”

White or Black ... Grey
JF: A good story-based design that invites us to follow the heroine into a dangerous spot.

K.M. Weiland submitted Wayfarer designed by Damonza.

JF: An artful design with implications of magic, but I don’t care for the way the top image is so divorced from the bottom one, which seems to contain almost no content at all. Why is it even there?

Katharine Wibell submitted Crocotta’s Hackles designed by Olivia Pro Design. “Crocotta’s Hackles is the third book of The Incarn Saga, a New Adult series, that deals with a race of shapeshifters during a time of war for their kingdom.”

Crocotta's Hackles
JF: An arresting image and carefully controlled colors help make an impact.

L.J. Engelmeier submitted A Shard of Sea & Bone designed by L.J. Engelmeier. “I wanted a design with a strong central image (in this case, my character Saedra) and a design that reflected the watery/somber atmosphere that crops up in the book.”

A Shard of Sea & Bone
JF: It does the job, and I say that despite whatever it is that’s on the girl’s head, and the “fire” circle has not been very well integrated with the rest of the cover.

Lark Barlow submitted Nina: The Livingston Estate designed by Lark Barlow. “Cover is an image detailed in the mystery.”

Nina: The Livingston Estate
JF: A very common type of solution to the problem of design from a non-designer. Does not compare well to most of the other books in this collection.

Laurie Loveman submitted The Farm Fires designed by Ben Bolt.

The Farm Fires
JF: An interesting image just crying out for a decent type treatment.

Laurie Loveman submitted The Quarry designed by Ben Bolt.

The Quarry
JF: Awkward.

Laurie Price submitted The Mask of Midnight designed by Scott Templeton. “The killer in this story has a background in theater so the stage set for murder. The tragedy mask appears alone because this is no comedy. The smoky beam of light warns us that something sinister behind the richness of the curtain is about to be revealed.”

The Mask of Midnight
JF: Questionable font choices; hard to read dark red type on a black background; too many unconnected images to make a unified message.

Lesli Richardson submitted The Great Turning designed by Lesli Richardson. “I love old sci-fi (Bradbury, etc.) and looked to vintage books in that genre for the feel I wanted to evoke.”

The Great Turning
JF: Well put together and with a great font choice for the title, but I’m not sure this landscape really says “sci-fi” or “post apocalyptic”.

Leslie Manning submitted i am Elephant, i am Butterfly designed by Jay Kenton Manning. “YA contemporary. I purchased the photo on Shutterstock and cropped the model’s face. The designer used a cursive script to represent the feminine handwriting found in the diary. It was not until right before the book went live that I realized those are butterflies on her shirt. Nice coincidence.”

i am Elephant, i am Butterfly
JF: Looks just right for the intended audience.

Lisa Reads submitted Bad Dad designed by BTP Designs. “I am super proud of this cover. The color scheme fit the almost dystopian fighting world that the love story takes place in. I used the sepia stained filter and grained it up a bit to give it some visual texture.”

Bad Dad

Lyss Em submitted Making It Better designed by Lyss Em.

Making It Better
JF: An affecting cover using a sensitive black and white image for this gay BDSM romance.

Marian Blue submitted Quantum Consequences designed by painting: Dean Gibson Design: Marian Blue. “The cover painting was original artwork by Dean Gibson.”

Quantum Consequences
JF: The unmistakable “self-published” look.

Mark Williams submitted Joe Phenix, The Bat of the Battery designed by John Coulthart.

Joe Phenix, The Bat of the Battery
JF: These series (see two following) are a great solution to how to stand out. These historical mysteries have been given a design that alludes to the “steampunk” era and the unique design really sets all these covers apart while instantly alerting fans that they are related stories.

Mark Williams submitted The Frisco Detective designed by John Coulthart.

The Frisco Detective

Mark Williams submitted Daring Desmond, The Elevated Railroad Detective designed by John Coulthart.

Daring Desmond, The Elevated Railroad Detective

Masha du Toit submitted The Strange designed by Masha du Toit. “Fonts: Alte Haas Grotesk and Arvo. The book deals with biological warfare and genetic manipulation. The textures are cross-sections of a human lung as well as various types of bacteria.”

The Strange
JF: A bit creepy, which gives it interest, and the background is used quite effectively.

Mike Crowl submitted Grimhilda! – a fantasy for children, and their parents designed by Mike Crowl.

Grimhilda! - a fantasy for children, and their parents
JF: Seems like a good font choice for the title, but the entire cover comes across as a bit … grim. Not sure that’s right for a children’s story.

Phillip McCollum submitted Fantastic Shorts: Volume One designed by Phillip McCollum. “This collection of 26 short stories covers a multitude of genres, but all of the stories contain elements of fantasy or science fiction. Each tag pasted onto one of the stacked books highlights a key element from one of the stories.”

Fantastic Shorts: Volume One
JF: A good concept, but it looks like it would take more design skill to carry it off.

Rachel Sawden submitted Runaways designed by Caroline Teagle Johnson. “The protagonist is an aspiring travel photographer so it was vital that the cover’s aesthetics reflected that. I wanted vivid colours, a youthful feel, and tropical vibe. It had to look like an adventure. I’m in love with the work that my designer produced and would love for more people to see it!”

JF: Well, lots of people will see it here. It has the “island” colors and vibe, but the type seems underwhelming, sometimes to the point of irrelevance.

Rena Hoberman submitted Half Cut designed by Rena Hoberman of Cover Quill.

Half Cut
JF: Cool and stylish.

Rena Hoberman submitted Some Can See designed by Rena Hoberman of Cover Quill.

Some Can See
JF: An expert combination of images that’s evocative of the atmosphere of this gothic novel, with beautiful textures and lots of appeal.

Sarah Begg submitted Laura the Explorer designed by Hazel Lam.

Laura the Explorer
JF: The cut-paper art is fanciful and attractive; I wish the title was a bit stronger.

Shaul Behr submitted Ari Barak and the Free-Will Paradox designed by Carlo Marco Alfonso. “Kanisah font is designed to look similar to Hebrew lettering”

Ari Barak and the Free-Will Paradox
JF: Yes, the font is just right! These guys mean business! Lots of action! People running!!

Sheryl Beaumont submitted The Carlswick Mythology designed by Jessica Bell. “The moody sky on the cover reflects the overall mystery genre and the image is a reference to both the mythology / archaeology themes and to one of the key locations in the book. The use of the curly font on the word Carlswick is a nod to the romance elements in the story.”

The Carlswick Mythology
JF: Strong photo, although the tilted image doesn’t match too well with the classical and symmetrically aligned type. And the title word “Carlswick” has been so overworked with effects and shadows it’s almost unreadable. Just a few adjustments would make this a really good cover.

Theresa Read submitted Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom designed by Kam Karem. “The cover image depicts Ranger and his sister Milly eclipsing the sun, symbolic for their triumph over Gilgamesh, a sun-god.”

Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom
JF: I like the energy and intensity of the design and colors, but I’m not sure the silhouettes work very well, they seem unfinished.

Nonfiction Covers

April Chapman submitted An Extreme God for An Extreme Life designed by April Chapman. “I found this picture online and was able to track it down to a photographer in Greece, Voula Vatsinea, and license it for use. I then added in the light from the clouds and used pink for the font because the book is written for women, and wanted to convey that clearly.”

An Extreme God for An Extreme Life
JF: Nice photo, but I don’t think these elements come together well.

Fiona Brichaut submitted Writing for Mobile designed by Fiona Brichaut.

Writing for Mobile
JF: A good nonfiction cover that’s clear, to the point, and lets us know in both words and images what the book is about.

James F. Brown submitted The Men’s Attire Answer Book designed by James F. Brown. “This book was created entirely by me: content, cover, and blurbs. The front cover photos are me, taken by a photographer friend. I used PhotoShop to tweak these photos and create the front and rear covers and spine. My goal was to show the book’s subject and make a legible thumbnail cover image.”

The Men's Attire Answer Book
JF: Hey, you could have taken the photos too! A good example of why we need cover designers if we want to produce covers for our books that measure up to the content. This one falls far short of the mark in both concept and execution.

MARION W OMALLEY submitted Shopping With Mama: Write ‘Til the End designed by Juanita Wrenn.

Shopping With Mama: Write 'Til the End
JF: Not sure I ‘get’ the title, but a good job of stitching together these images to create a cover that gets its message across.

Renata Lanzoni submitted Shattered Moon designed by Renata Lanzoni. “The image is of the place the book is set in and the eye conveys the theme of the story, which is horror and fear. This is also conveyed by the red color palette chosen.”

Shattered Moon
JF: Looks a lot more like a novel, and that disembodied eye is creepy.

Robert J Power submitted The Little book of Lies designed by Les at Germancreative. “The Little Book of Lies is a humour book filled with fictitious, yet genuine sounding, facts to fool your friends with. Les did great work making my pocket-sized illustrated companion book look bright and fun. I couldn’t be happier with it.”

The Little book of Lies
JF: Clean, simple, and effective.

Simeon Davis submitted The Bhagavad Gita for Awakening: A Practical Commentary for Leading a Successful Spiritual Life designed by Brother Simeon Davis. “The cover art shows Krishna and Arjuna, the main figures of the Bhagavad Gita, the epic classic of Indian religion. I aimed for simplicity, trying to make the type simple yet distinctive and readable, and letting the image carry the cover.”

The Bhagavad Gita for Awakening: A Practical Commentary for Leading a Successful Spiritual Life
JF: The illustration is used well, although it might have been interesting to zoom in more on the two figures and the ornate workmanship of the carriage.

Well, that’s it for this month. I hope you found it interesting, and that you’ll share with other people interested in self-publishing.

Use the share buttons below to Tweet it, Share it on Facebook, Link to it!

Our next awards post will be on March 31, 2019. Deadline for submissions will be February 28, 2019. Don’t miss it! Here are all the links you’ll need:

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Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies Issue #101


By Joel Friedlander

Welcome to this issue of the Carnival of the Indies blog carnival. This issue is for February, 2019. We welcome your submissions on topics related to writing, self-publishing, book design or marketing books.

A collection of outstanding articles recently posted to blogs, your reading here will be richly rewarded.

See the end of this post for links to submit your blog posts for the next carnival, or for participating Bloggers and Featured Bloggers to grab your sidebar badges. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Featured Posts

bloggingDaphne Gray-Grant presents How to establish a writing routine for 2019 posted at The Publication Coach, saying, “The vast number of words required for most books — about 80,000 — ends up intimidating many people. Worse, most of them think they’ll be unable to accomplish the writing if they DON’T devote at least an hour (or more!) a day to it. Instead, I’ve found that the best way to tackle a big project like a book is to work on it a little bit at a time, but do it every day.”

Martin CrosbieMartin Crosbie presents How Can I Gain More Subscribers for My Author Mailing List? posted at Indies Unlimited, saying, “Really great tips on how to build your list. We’ve figured out how to use Mailerlite or Mailchimp of some other mail delivery service, now how do we find readers who want to hear from us? Here are a few ways the IU staff builds their subscriber lists.”

Frances CaballoFrances Caballo presents How Not to Market Your Book – 12 Rookie Mistakes posted at Social Media Just for Writers, saying, “Did you just publish your first book? It’s an exciting time, isn’t it? You’re probably thinking that now it’s time to market your book. To learn about how to market your book, you’re probably reading blog posts like mine and absorbing as much information as you can. Writers put so much energy into writing their books that they have little time to think about marketing them until the final edit is done. That’s when your head tends to come up and when you stop typing. You think to yourself, “It’s time to publish!””

Book Design and Production

Carla King presents Two Online Book Creation Tools That Are Worth the Money posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “’s Tech Guru, Carla King, reviews two of her favorite online book creation tools that allow you to write, edit, share, publish and sell your books from the cloud, including examples of how they work.”

Dmitri Barvinok presents The reach of eBook platforms for Publishers from Kindle to Kobo posted at Front Edge Publishing Blog, saying, “THE POWERFUL REACH OF EBOOKS A QUARTER OF ALL AMERICANS read an eBook last year. In our Front Edge Publishing column this week, Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok writes about why eBooks remain a vital part of book distribution nationwide. In this column, Dmitri shares the latest trends in eBook sales and looks at the unique power and reach of several of the major eBook platforms, including Kindle and Kobo. Are you among those millions of eBook readers? You’ll find this a fascinating overview of how publishers are trying to reach out to you.”

Indie Author

Deborah Jay Deborah Jay presents Authors, are you applying what you learned last year to your current writing? #amwriting posted at Deborah Jay Author, saying, “I wrote this piece both to lay out for myself what I learned last year in my author journey, and to share with others in case it might help them move forward too.”

Lisa Lawmaster Hess presents Embracing My Options posted at The Porch Swing Chronicles.

Mary Patrick presents Are You Covered for Success? posted at Author M. J. Patrick, saying, “This blog follows a recent Indie author, M. J. Patrick, as she navigates through the mysterious of self-publishing. In a recent discussion about publishing woes and wins, choosing the right cover was well visualized when one author brought the same book wrapped in three different covers. This blog reveals the first cover – following blogs in quick succession will reveal the other two, ending with an interview about the entire process that teaches the value of cover design and getting it right.”

Sarah Bolme presents What To Do When Your Book is Pirated posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “Authors should be more concerned about obscurity than piracy. This is the conventional wisdom. However, piracy does happen. When it happens to you, do you know what to do about it?”

Marketing and Selling Your Books

Brianna Long presents Why Snail Mail is Still Effective in the Age of the Internet posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Now that brands can reach consumers through emails, texts, and social media, the idea of sending a physical postcard or promotional letter is obsolete, right? Nope! Let me explain why.”

Iola Goulton presents 12 Steps to a Great Blog Post posted at Australasian Christian Writers, saying, “Blogging. It’s often considered one of the basics of a good author platform. But a lot of authors find writing a great blog post an unpleasant chore. 12 Steps to a Great Blog Post will help you write and publish great posts.”

Nate Hoffelder presents How to be a Better Podcast Guest posted at The Digital Reader, saying, “Virtually every marketing expert agrees that if you want to get your message out there in 2018, podcasts are the way to go. We’re told we need to launch our own podcasts, or at the very least be frequent guests on podcasts. This is all very well and good, but how exactly do you go about being a guest on a podcast? How do you make sure that the resulting episode is both fun for listeners and achieves your goals? I can help you with that.”

Sabrina Ricci presents Social Media Updates and Trends posted at Digital Pubbing.

Sarah Bolme presents Don’t Pull a Bait and Switch posted at Marketing Christian Books, saying, “The first few pages of your book are extremely important. You must draw the reader in right from the start. But, be careful that you don’t create a bait and switch.”

Susan Stitt presents How Do I Create Videos to Promote My Book? It’s easier (and more powerful) than you may think! posted at Front Edge Publishing Blog, saying, “Video marketing of books is the future, as in the right now future! We’re just getting started and already the results have been impressive. We have no stake with the companies mentioned in the story, just happy to share what is working for us.”

Self-Publishing Success

Belinda Griffin presents Finding the Ideal Beta Reader to Match Your Target Reader posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “’s Reader Relationship expert, Belinda Griffin, explains how to find, select, and use the ideal beta reader who is aligned with your target reader for your writing and book marketing.”

Dave Chesson presents Setting Up Your Writing Business for Legal Protection posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “’s Author Branding Expert, Dave Chesson, discusses how authors can legally protect their writing business by setting up a company to operate under, something he learned about the hard way. Dave hopes by sharing his experience (and suggestions) he can spare you a similar nightmare.”

Iola Goulton presents Paths to Publishing | Vanity Publishing posted at Christian Editing Services, saying, “This is the final post in a recent series on paths to publishing, and looks at what is often called vanity publishing … when the providers aren’t trying to convince unsuspecting authors that it’s actually self-publishing or indie publishing or even traditional publishing.”

Tyler Doornbos presents DIY Author WordPress Site: 5 Skills for Success posted at BookWorks Blog, saying, “’s Web Lead, Tyler Doornbos, offers video walk-throughs of the 5 basic tech skills required to build a DIY WordPress site in his latest series.”

Writing Tools and Tips

Amanda Linehan presents The Emotional Stages Of Writing A Novel posted at Amanda Linehan, saying, “Writing a novel can involve many emotional ups and downs for the writer. What does your emotional arc look like?”

Belinda Pollard presents Survey Results: The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers posted at Write, Edit and Publish Like A Pro, saying, “My survey about people’s experience with beta readers received a rush of responses. Writers clearly find manuscript feedback valuable, but also sometimes struggle with the process. The good news is that there are answers to the problems.”

C. S. Lakin presents How to Advance Your Plot with Careful Scene Design – 5 Steps posted at Live Write Thrive, saying, “Plotting is complex, and whether you “wing it” or plot extensively, there are 5 key steps that will help you stay on track when brainstorming a scene.”

Lisa Poisso presents Formatting your manuscript for editors and agents posted at Clarity: Tools and Skills for Authors, saying, “When you want your work taken seriously, it should look as though it deserves that respect. You want the publishing professionals you work with to be able to focus on the story and the words, not flinching at how painfully small the type is or how tired their index finger is from scrolling through production-sized layouts.”

Lisa Poisso presents How to revise your manuscript: a revision planner posted at Clarity: Tools and Skills for Authors, saying, “Early revision is about big-picture revision: plot, characterization, point of view, and so on. Don’t waste your time tweaking writing you may end up pulling up by the roots. Your mantra: Don’t fiddle—revise.”

Louise Harnby presents How to convey accents in fiction writing: Beyond phonetic spelling posted at The Parlour, saying, “Do your characters speak with an accent? All of us speak in ways that are distinctive; we just don’t notice our own accents because they’re ours and we’re used to them. This article offers guidance on how to self-edit your fiction writing so that accents don’t become the primary story.”

Louise Harnby presents How to write thoughts in fiction posted at The Parlour, saying, “If you write fiction, chances are your characters will be thinking. This article shows you several different ways of conveying what’s going on in their heads.”

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky presents Energising your Plot posted at Mikhaeyla Kopievsky, saying, “An article that looks at ways to tighten the pace of your novel (particularly the difficult second act) using energy instead of conflict.”

Phillip McCollum presents Learning How to Learn Fiction posted at Phillip McCollum – Author, saying, “I’ve started a series on my blog that’s focused on optimizing the learning process (meta-learning) when it comes to writing fiction. We all want to become better writers, but what’s the “best way” to become better? That’s a question I hope to address.”

Zara Altair presents What’s Your Mystery Subgenre? posted at Write Time, saying, “An introduction to mystery subgenres for authors. Why you need to know your subgenre and how it will get you the right readers.”

Well, that wraps up this issue. I hope you enjoy some of the great articles here, and let other people interested in self-publishing know about the Carnival—Use the share buttons to Tweet it, Share it on Facebook, Link to it!

The next issue is March 31, 2019 and the deadline for submissions will be March 15, 2019. Don’t miss it!

Here are all the links you’ll need

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This Week in the Blogs, February 9 – 15, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

More great articles again this week for your reading pleasure so don’t miss out. Be sure to check back here next week for our Issue #101 of our blog carnival Self-Publishing: Carnival of the Indies to be followed on the very next day by January’s e-Book Cover Design Awards.

David Wogahn on David Wogahn
2019 eBook Distribution Round-up | Aggregators Comparison Chart and FAQs
“eBook distribution options in 2019 have expanded greatly the past two years. There are scores of online eBook retailers around the world and eBook aggregators abound to help self-publishers easily make their book available for sale.”

Sandra Beckwith on Build Book Buzz
2019 literary calendar with 98 holidays, weeks, and months for book lovers
“Whether you want to support your local library, honor an important author’s birthday, or promote a literacy campaign, you’ll find something in the 2019 literary calendar.”

Frances Caballo on Social Media Just For Writers
Using Video Marketing? Why It’s Important and 3 Apps to Try
“According to Comscore, adding video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times.”

Kristen Tsetsi on Jane Friedman
Understanding Audiobook Production: An Interview with Rich Miller
“When I entered into that first relationship with an audiobook narrator/producer, I knew absolutely nothing about how an audiobook was made (beyond the obvious “skilled voice actor records a reading of a book”). This meant I also had no idea how much there was to know.”

Dan Wagstaff on The Casual Optimist
Book Covers of Note February 2019
“Thanks to the weather cancelling everything, I’m not horrendously late with this month’s covers post!”


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