Category Archives: Marketing

Optimizing Your Online Book Description

ML Keller- The Manuscript Shredder

Effective online book descriptions are more than just the words. The internet is a visual medium, much like a magazine. Readers expect content to be presented in a visually interesting way. This means thinking about your description as a web design project, including visual arts elements, like white space, and formatting your text using HTML. Even if you are not a programmer, simple tags for bold, italic, H1, H2 are easy enough for the novice. (If you still need help, use a WYSIWYG HTML generator. Then, cut and paste the results in your Amazon description.)

Here is a book description that needs revision. Notice how the large block of text is unappealing, even daunting. Readers are conditioned to expect efficient content online, smaller chunks of text, and variety.

bad hook Giant blocks of text turn readers off

When designing your book descriptions, consider how all the elements of the page will work together…

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InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Part 3

Just Can't Help Writing

It’s time to put final elements together before producing a pdf suitable for submission to Ingram and CreateSpace. Most important at this final stage is your “front matter.”

Front Matter

This term refers to your title page(s), your copyright page, and any other elements you want to include, such as quotes from reviews or blurbs you’ve solicited, epigraphs like quotes from poems or songs, or an author’s note—everything leading up to the actual first page of Chapter One.

To begin, determine how many front matter pages you want. I’ve discovered that, except for the copyright page, most published books insert front-matter text only on odd-numbered pages, or the right-hand pages. So in my books, I include the following front matter pages:

  • Page 1: A “Praise for” page of quotes from editorial reviews
  • Page 2: Blank
  • Page 3: Title (return) by (return) Author, all centered
  • Page 4: Copyright page (see discussion…

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InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Part 2

Just Can't Help Writing

Three books fanned open from aboveIn this post, some final InDesign formatting must- and should-dos as you prepare to create the pdf of your print edition for proofing and upload to Ingram and CreateSpace.

Click images for larger versions. Click here for a complete list of posts in the InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet series.

Removing Master Formatting from Chapter Opening Pages

The experts in book-design informed me that the opening page of each chapter should NOT display the formatting I incorporated into the masters that control the appearance of each page. In other words, no page numbers, no running heads.

A chapter-opening page with running heads not removed The running heads and page numbers need to be removed from this pags. (Note that this spread is selected in the Pages panel to the left.)

Fortunately, it’s easy to remove these.

Select a chapter-opening page in the Pages panel by clicking on it. If you want to see that particular page on your…

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InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Part I

Just Can't Help Writing

This is Part 9 of my “InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet” series. You can follow the links at the bottom of this post to check out the whole series, from opening a file in InDesign to formatting.

In this post: Part 1 of some follow-up moves you can and should make in InDesign as you format your POD book interior.

***CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO SEE FULL-SIZED VERSIONS***

Creating Additional Styles for Chapter Titles and Numbers

Just like Word, InDesign works best if you create a style for each element you use often and apply that style consistently across chapters. So you need a style for whatever elements—for example, chapter names—that you plan to include.

Create these additional styles exactly as you created your original main body style.

  • Select the text you want to style, for example a chapter title.
  • Format it to look the way you want.
  • Click “Create New…

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Nine Strategies to Promote your Writing Locally

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By Jessica Mcneil

Do you ever wonder what happens once an author has their first ever title created and presses the ‘Publish’ button? You may not be a New York Times best-selling author, you may not become famous immediately, and your Amazon numbers may be awful, but does this mean that you should quit writing books? Absolutely Not!

No matter what kind of book you compile, success in self-publishing is all about discoverability, especially if you want to reach your target audience. Listed below are a couple of low-cost strategies that you could put into use to ensure that you achieve the kind of visibility and popularity your writing deserves.

Nine ideas may seem a bit overwhelming, but keep in mind that you only have to put them into practice one at a time. When the expected results come to pass, you will have secured a direct connection to a vast…

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How To Do Goodreads Giveaways (And Why You Should)

CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD

Welcome to the Distress Signals Blogging Bonanza! What’s that, you’re wondering? Well, you can either go and read this post or read the next sentence. In a nutshell: Distress Signals was out in paperback in the UK and Ireland on January 5 and hits the U.S.A. on February 2 (two weeks from today!), and every day in between I’m going to blog as per the schedule at the bottom of this postThursday is for replaying an old post and today I’m replaying this update on Goodreads giveaways from almost exactly a year ago – it was first published on 15 January 2016. But – surprise! – I’ve added a new ranty bit for January 2017. 

Back in August 2014, I blogged about Goodreads giveaways and what I thought was best practice for authors interested in using them as a means of promoting their books [Goodreads Giveaways: Don’t Do…

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