Tag Archives: graphic design

Choosing Illustrations, Graphics, or Images for Your Book

If you want to include any illustrations, graphics, or images on your book cover—or in your book’s interior, for that matter—you must ensure you have the legal right to use them. There are three ways you can do this: one, you can use photos, illustrations, or graphics that you have personally created and therefore own the copyright to; two, you can purchase them from someone else; or three, you can find public domain stock photos that are deemed as “free for commercial use” from whatever design-template program you’re using, or from websites such as Pixabay.com, as I did for this blog post.




It is crucial to respect another artist’s copyright. If you don’t—if you just pull any image file you find off the Internet and use that for your book without first confirming you have the right to use it—you may find yourself involved in an expensive copyright infringement lawsuit down the road. This isn’t only about protecting the rights of other artists; it’s also about protecting yourself. So, do a little research before you use any images for your ebooks. Pixabay.com is one of many websites containing free stock photos. You can find even more resources here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/1257937-avoid-copyright-infringement-use-tool-find-free-stock-photos-your-display-ads.html.

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People Judge a Book by Its Cover … AND Its Interior

After writing (ghostwriting) and copy editing comes the next step in the book publishing process: professional graphic design. This is a critical part of the process, and it is as important to an ebook as it is to a paperback or hardcover. 

Not All Designs are Equal

No matter how engaging your story might be, people are going to “judge your book by its cover” before they ever decide to read it. Yet, it won’t stop there. They’ll not only judge it by the cover design; they’ll also judge it by the interior design. Just as not all editors are equal, a noticeable difference is apparent between a book designed by a human or mechanical “template builder” and one designed by a professional graphic artist. As such, the graphic design of your book—both inside and out—should receive the same professional attention as the content itself.

When deciding how you would like your book’s cover and interior to appear, it is best to browse a bookstore (whether in person or online) and view the many different examples there first. What designs, colours, and fonts draw your attention the most? Write down the book titles and author names, so you can use this as a handy reference when it comes time to provide a description to your graphic designer. This will help the process run much more smoothly for both of you.




Put Some Thought Into It

It is very important to put a lot of thought into the design of your book rather than just leaving it to chance. Graphic designers can only take what is given to them and create the book from there. It’s downright dangerous to give someone a simple instruction such as “You choose the font for me” or “You choose the colour for me” because that’s exactly what the designer will do—choose it for you depending on his or her own personal preferences. What if that designer didn’t fully understand what you were after? What if you end up not liking it at all because of that? As a result, you might end up paying extra for a complete redo down the road. So, it’s best to do your homework ahead of time and provide as much detail to the designer as possible. 

Author Photos Say It All

Author photos make as powerful a statement about the author as a book cover makes about the story inside. As such, this photo should be given as much care and consideration as the rest of the book. When it comes to author photos, “attractive” can come in all kinds of forms. 

The back cover of a book is a great place to put an author photo, but sometimes it’s just as well to put it on the front. It can be a simple headshot or full-length portrait, depending on the writer’s preference. It can be done in black and white or color.

Visit the section of your local bookstore or favorite e-commerce site where your book will sell. Browse the covers and authors photos in there. Which one jumps out at you most? That’s your starting point. Run with it.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

How to Design a Paperback Book Then Convert it to Ebook Format

NOW AVAILABLE through Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo, and E-Sentral! Download it today!

Here are two common misconceptions held by many new indie authors: one, they assume most people only read ebooks nowadays; and two, they assume ebooks are the only books they can sell online using various forms of Internet marketing. Both of these statements are incorrect. The truth is, there are just as many people out there who still want to hold a paperback book in their hands as there are people who love the compact convenience of e-readers. So, if you only publish an ebook, you’re likely losing out on half your potential audience.

No budget to print a paperback book? That’s okay! With the invention of print-on-demand (POD) technology, today’s indie authors no longer have to print and store paperback books in order to sell paperback books. All you have to do is supply the digital files for your paperback’s cover and interior to the e-commerce site of your choice because most of these online retailers utilize POD technology to sell paperbacks rather than stocking those books in warehouses. Then, whenever they receive an order for a paperback, they simply print, bind, and ship the exact quantity ordered—whether it is one book or ten—all at the same time. Easy peasy!

Whenever possible, it’s always best to hire an experienced graphic designer to help you create both the interior and cover files of your paperback book. It is also wise to source professional ebook conversion services to convert your paperback’s digital files into ebook format for you. Doing so will bring you the most polished result, and it will also free up your time to do what you do best—write another book.




For the “do-it-yourselfers” out there who prefer spending time rather than money, there are ways to do your own graphic design and basic ebook conversions. That’s what this ebook is about. It will teach you how to create your paperback book using two common, user-friendly software programs that are part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs: Microsoft Word (for the interior) and Microsoft Publisher (for the cover). It will also teach you how to convert your paperback Word files into .EPUB and .MOBI ebook files using an online ebook conversion software called Calibre.

I used Microsoft’s 2016 Office programs on my PC computer to create my recent book titled How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers, so that is what the instructions in this ebook are based on. If your PC computer has a different version of Microsoft Office, or you’re using a Mac computer, then you may have to reference Microsoft’s help and training page alongside the instructions provided here. That’s because the tools you’ll be using to create your own book may be found in different places depending on which version of the Microsoft Office programs you’re using. Same thing with Calibre; I used the 3.18 version, but there are often new updates to that ebook conversion software. If any of the instructions I give you here seem slightly different than what you see on your screen, then you have most likely downloaded a different version and should consult Calibre’s help section for updated instructions.

How to Create Your Best Novel

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

Creating your best novel is a team effort. There is the writing portion which you will do on your own, within the solitude of your imagination and writing room. And then there is the “polishing” portion of the process which is equally important to your success and requires an outside team of professionals for best results.

Writing Your Novel

I’ll start by including one of my absolute favourite quotes about writing by Gary Provost:

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety.

Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.





It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It’s like music, as he says. This is the kind of writing that will keep an audience engaged. It not only sings to them; but, with the right combination of vivid adjectives and visceral verbs, it can create such authentic, powerful imagery inside their minds that it keeps them turning the pages for more. That’s what you’re after.

And yet, there’s more to writing your best novel. Two more elements must be considered: character development and plot development. Here are two links that go into great detail regarding these two aspects of writing, so I encourage you to click on both and really take in this advice before sitting down to write your book:

Once your novel is written, now the rest of the team comes into play. The best advice I have for all writers—but especially the ones who plan to self-publish—is to get support. Invest in proper copy editing, graphic design, and proofreading. If you’re serious about book publishing and want to present yourself to the public as a professional author, then these things are so important to your end result.

Polishing Your Novel

The fact is, self-publishers’ books are competing in the marketplace with trade publishers’ books. Trade (traditional) publishers always have their books professionally edited. Always. This is why they can boast such high quality. In light of this, can self-publishers truly afford not to have their work copy edited in the very least? It may seem excessive to some, but it is a necessary investment if that author is serious about publishing and competing in the marketplace.

And no matter how engaging your story may be, the public is going to “judge your book by its cover” before they ever decide to read it. In fact, they’ll judge the interior, too. So, the graphic design of your book—both inside and out—should receive the same professional attention as the content itself. Hiring a professional graphic designer is always better than using a generic template builder.




Last but not least, I highly recommend you also hire a professional proofreader—a different set of eyes from your copy editor—to do the following nine-point check of the final designed book before you self-publish it anywhere:

Interior

• the front matter (such as the table of contents) is accurate and correct
• the back matter (such as the index) is accurate and correct
• headers and footers are accurate and correct
• bad breaks are eliminated
• text is kerned to flow smoothly throughout
• margins and trim size all measure properly
• spelling and punctuation is correct

Cover

• spacing, bleeds, and trim size all measure properly
• spelling and punctuation is correct

These are the steps the traditional (trade) publishers put each and every one of their books through. These are the steps you should also take to create your best novel. This extra attention to detail with make a huge difference in the public perception of your book and your overall success as a result.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.