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1. Self-Editing

Here are some simple tricks for editing your manuscript.


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2. Fairy Tale-Themed Coloring Books Featured on Kickstarter

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3. Patrick Roche Poetry Video Goes Viral

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4. 4 Surefire Ways to Boost Book Sales & Giveaway - #IndieAuthor #SelfPubbed

The perfect book cover can mean the difference between mediocre sales to hitting the top 100 bestseller lists on Amazon. 

Quote: "Book covers are EXTREMELY important. The original cover of Elemental came off as very paranormal romance-y. And, unfortunately, it attracted readers who were avid paranormal romance fans. Many of them responded negatively to being surprised with a space opera with very little romance. A cover is a form of communication. It has to pique the interest of your target audience. If you pique the interest of someone who isn’t going to like what’s inside the book, you’ve just wasted your time." - bestselling Author, Emily White  (LOVE her cover on the left-side)

As a writer, your job is tell a great story, but I find that when it comes to fiction marketing or book cover design, some authors don't take the same time to study it, the same as they would if they were researching aspects of their latest book. 

Frustrated with low book sales?
It could a number of things, including your current cover design.

The cover should instantly let readers identify the genre, and if it catches their attention, then they will most likely read the back jacket copy and reviews, and buy the book.

But if your design is misleading, or doesn’t represent the genre, or looks unprofessional, it will almost certainly have readers skipping your book and clicking on someone else’s novel.

I know what you’re thinking…the book design shouldn’t matter. It’s what inside that counts. And maybe that’s true. 

However, as an indie author the odds are stacked against you. Self-published writers do not have huge marketing departments backing them, so please consider giving your book the best chance of piquing a reader’s interest by having a design that “fits” the genre. 

Sales for my own YA paranormal romance series, Spellbound had drastically declined. Each of the covers in my series had a different image and design, and it was confusing readers. I couldn't afford to hire another designer,  so I decided to create my own covers and see if new branding would help  boost sales. Within three weeks, my sales tripled. Then I redid the  designs on all of my book covers, and again my sales jumped. 

I honestly believe that book covers do help sell books!

It is NOT cliché to have a cover that represents your genre. In my opinion, it is an savvy marketing choice to allow readers to instantly recognize the genre of your amazing story. Many self-published authors believe a false assumption that covers should be unusual and distinctive, which is extremely risky. Misinformed self-published writers who don’t understand the purpose of the design will make fatal mistakes in cover art selections. I'm not saying your book has to be identical, but a design should be similar to others in the same genre. 

Whatever genre you write in, I suggest studying the book covers of the  bestsellers. There are trends in designs for a reason because a reader can tell at a glance what type of book it is, so I recommend having a cover similar to what is popular. It is a smart marketing strategy and guaranteed to get you results. 

If your goal is to sell more novels, market your work, and appear professional—with an amazing book cover you can attain all three objectives!

The majority of self-published bestsellers all have great cover designs that correspond with the genre that they write in, and you should do the same. For example if your book is a thriller, then study the cover art of the bestsellers in that genre.

Did you notice that all the bestsellers in "mystery / thriller" have a similar look to them?   

Really look at the fonts. They are all huge and bold and eye-catching. Study the colors used. These designs all share a washed-out look.

Again,  I know what you're thinking (because I used to think the same thing) that you want your design to "stand-out" or be unique. But professional book designers will all agree that it is better to have a cover that fits the genre than be different.

If your book is a New Adult Romance, browse the most popular books on places like goodreads.

Do you notice how all the covers appear to follow the same design "look"?

Readers of New Adult fiction can tell at a glance that these books are in the same genre. I recommend using the same types of fonts and colors that match the bestselling designs for whatever genre you write in, or if you're buying premade covers.

Even my own New Adult College Romance cover below matches the trend in NA designs.


If your genre is paranormal romance, I suggest you take a good look at the designs of the bestsellers:

Did you see how all of these PNR covers have a similar design?

Take a good long look. All of these awesome book covers convey the genre at a glance. The book cover I designed below fits the PNR genre with a moon, blue color, and a spooky vibe.

So choose a design that fits the genre, and the book cover will easily and effortlessly do some of the marketing for you. Having a design that doesn’t match the genre will not only impede sales, it’s essential for success. 

And that is your goal, right? RIGHT!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5. Stephenie Meyer Talks About Her Gender Swap Project and Midnight Sun at New York Comic Con

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6. The White House Reveals Winners of National Student Poets Program

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7. YALSAblog Tweets of the Week: October 9, 2015

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between October 9 and October 15 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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8. Van Jensen Lands Deal With Dark Horse Comics

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9. Just A "Heads Up"...

Some books are going to be removed from the store front and because it is a pain in the ass to upload and re-do things they will not be re-listed.

The books affected will be those with lower page counts so if you were thinking of buying any (I really do like kidding myself) they get removed next Tuesday.


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10. Yes. the correct term is Depth Map Displacement

i need to read this paper on the history of stereographic drawings.
stereographic drawing history. Depth map displacement is used in mine. I did test a real time stereoscopic drawing tool at Adobe but it really sucked.

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11. Maggie Says, ‘Hey, Track Folks! Save 14.92 Percent at USATF’s Columbus Day Sale!’

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12. The Evolution of Batman’s Car: INFOGRAPHIC

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13. #750 – Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar & Troy Cummings

Little Red Gliding Hood Written by Tara Lazar Illustrated by Troy Cummings .                         Random House Children’s Books  10/27/2015 .                      978-0-385-37006-6 .                     32 pages   …

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14. The Laws of Medicine

The practice of medicine affects all of us. Understanding how doctors think about treating illness, even more so. With precision and passion, Muhkerjee clearly and concisely sheds light on the three principles that he sees as the laws that govern medicine. As illuminating as his Pulitzer Prize–winning book on cancer, Emperor of all Maladies, this [...]

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15. Tricky Vic

tricky vicRobert Miller was known to everyone except his own family as Count Victor Lustig (or by any of forty-five other aliases). He was a con man, with a career full of ways to separate people from their money, including, believe it or not, selling the Eiffel Tower. He was “one of the most crooked con men ever to have lived.” Not your usual subject for a children’s picture book, but Geisel Award winner Greg Pizzoli pulls it off. Like any good picture book, Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower is written with a light touch, and the mixed media illustrations are gorgeously simple-seeming with plenty of visual play that will appeal to children and adults alike, and which complement and extend the text. Vic’s face, for example, is not a face at all, but a fingerprint, and one of his “marks” (victims) was Frenchman Andre Poisson (French for fish), his head replaced with that of a fish, with a speech bubble saying, “He took the bait.”

The beautiful design, the informative sidebars, and these amusing visual elements ought to play well with the Caldecott committee. These little touches are subtle but add up to a winning package. The muted color choices are a bit of a nod to the Elliot Ness era and allow the reader to feel as if he or she is in the middle of an old movie. A gray-green sensibility runs through the book, while the fingerprints and fish heads serve to keep the tone light. However, the committee may also consider one historical issue: Pizzoli says in his author’s note that he altered the actual timeline of Robert Miller’s story, placing Vic’s conning of Al Capone before the sale of the Eiffel Tower, when most accounts suggest he did that afterwards. Pizzoli felt he was giving precedence to character development over exact historical accuracy. Can he do that and have the book still be nonfiction? Will that matter to the Caldecott committee? As a former member of the Sibert committee, I can just picture the discussion through that Sibert lens. I think the Caldecott committee will see this as nonfiction: everything in the text is true — even if the sequence of events has been skewed — and it helps that Pizzoli points out what he did and why. It’s a bit of literary license in the service of good storytelling, which is what any book committee is looking to honor.

The post Tricky Vic appeared first on The Horn Book.

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16. Titmouse Announces R-Rated Feature ‘Nerdland’

The voice cast for the film includes Paul Rudd, Patton Oswalt, Mike Judge, Brendon Small, and Jackson Publick.

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17. Handful of Stars

Handful of Stars. Cynthia Lord. 2015. Scholastic. 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I was not disappointed by Cynthia Lord's newest middle grade novel, A Handful of Stars. The book is set in Maine during the summer. Lily is a girl being raised by her grandparents; her best, best friend is a nearly-blind dog named Lucky. Lily hasn't been spending much time with her human best, best friend, Hannah, though. The girls may just be drifting apart, something that Lily thought was impossible at one time. But a chance meeting with Salma, a migrant worker in a blueberry barren, changes everything. Lily and Salma soon are inseparable, and, they seem to have a lot in common considering there "apparent" differences. (Differences that don't matter all that much when all is said and done.) Salma seems to understand perfectly the bond between Lily and Lucky, and, is eager to help Lily find a way to pay for the surgery that may give Lucky back her sight. Not every near-stranger will volunteer their time and talent every single day after a long day picking blueberries! Salma has her own way of seeing the world, and, Lily is used to seeing things only one way, her way. And Salma's presence in her life seems to be a great thing for Lily, and Lucky. But can Lily be such a blessing to Salma too? She just might!

This is a friendship-themed coming of age story that is more sweet than bitter.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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18. Books I Had To Read

Reading a blog post in which the blogger complained bitterly about Walt Whitman's Leaves Of Grass, one of those national classics kids have to read because, well, it's a national classic, made me think of the books I've had to read in my time. 

Until about Year 10, there were no set texts that I can remember. We read what we wanted and wrote book reports. If the teacher was being especially creative, we were allowed to do these in the form of a book dust jacket - something I'm sorry to say has come back in my school at Year 7 level, where, until this year, there was a creative response that involved book trailers and fan fiction and such things that let the kids use their imaginations and show that they had understood the books. 

Anyway. At Year 10, we had to read John Wyndham's The Chrysalids, which I took home and read in an evening. Next day I asked my teacher,"What do I do now?" His response was,"I don't know. I haven't prepared anything yet. You were supposed to take three weeks." 

He was a nice man, but not a very good teacher. There should have been reading and discussion in class and some work given to us as we went. I'm not sure he had even read it himself yet. 

I did enjoy The Chrysalids, which was about a future dystopia in which, after a nuclear war, there is a Puritanical society where anyone with a mutation was banished to the lands still affected by the radiation. The children from whose viewpoint the story was told had an invisible mutation: telepathy. That could have been great for class discussion, though, having reread it, I loved it again, but felt that the style was a bit dated. I wouldn't set it, though I would invite good readers to try it. 

Our  Shakespeare that year was Julius Caesar. Again, we didn't actually read or discuss it in class. We saw the movie with James Mason and Marlon Brando(a very sexy Mark Antony), but that was it. I had so looked forward to discussing this in class, having read my sister's copy before I was out of primary school. I am not even sure the teacher ever read the essay I wrote. I don't think any school does that one any more; our own kids are doing Romeo And Juliet this year, and that one has been the Year 10 Shakespeare for many years. Probably more appropriate for teenagers - I was a very strange teenager, one who would have enjoyed any Shakespeare.  

The next year's texts were Catcher In The Rye and Brave New World, both of which I had already read and loved, our Shakespeare was Richard III. I've already mentioned in previous posts that this was the year I discovered Richard and went on to read Daughter Of Time and join the Richard III Society; we had a wonderful English teacher that year. I've downloaded both novels to my iPad recently. Going by all the complaints on Goodreads, Catcher In The Rye is not all that popular these days, but it's known as the "first" YA novel and it used to be an act of rebellion to read it, one of those "under the covers with a torch" books. Probably because there have been so many YA novels since it was published it no longer has the effect it once did and is a bit dated. The ultimate indignity is that it's now a set school text! Brave New World is, I think, still relevant, though I don't know if anyone still sets it. 

I get a bit of a mishmash in remembering my Year 12 books, because I did both English and literature, so there were a lot of books to read and I can't quite recall which books I had to read for what.

Here are some of them: the poet was Lord Byron. We had to read the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales. I loved both, but I wasn't very good at writing about poetry, alas! Reading it, writing it, but not writing about it.

The Jane Austen was Pride And Prejudice. I confess it took me a couple of re-reads to appreciate that one, though if you have to study Jane Austen at high school level, that one is probably the best. That was before all the dramatisations made this novel such a big deal - and well before Colin Firth emerged from the lake in his wet shirt! We only had the book and, while the teacher was much better than the one I had in Year 10, she couldn't quite get me enthused about the books we studied. Not her fault. 

The Dickens was Great Expectations, which I did enjoy. I have to agree with my sister that the hero,Pip, is "a little shit!" Peter Carey seems to think the same, judging by his novel Jack Maggs

We did The Importance Of Being Earnest - that year the Drama Club performed it. I got to be Lady Bracknell. It was a good thing to do, because we had to discuss the characters and how they should say the lines and why. 

The Shakespeare was King Lear and if I'd always been a fan, that one turned me into a raving Bardoholic. I remember my copy falling open to the scene where Lear banishes Cordelia with that passionate speech... and I was hooked for life.

We read James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain which, alas, I can't remember at all, and Darkness At Noon by Arthur Koestler. That one is about a former Party leader who is imprisoned and expecting to be shot any day. He has flashbacks and thinks about all the horrible things he's done for the Party in his time, and whether or not the end justifies the means. And he talks to the prisoner in the next cell by Morse code, as they can't talk any other way. I have read all three in that "trilogy".  It wasn't a trilogy in the normal sense, just three books on similar themes. I read The Gladiators, his novel about Spartacus, when I was about twelve or thirteen. The final was Arrival And Departure, which I read in my university years. 

You can see that the types of books we had to read for English in those days were very different from today. A lot more complicated,a lot more assumption you could handle them. 

And not one Australian book in the lot! 

What do you remember from school days? Did it affect you? If you are still at school what do you think of your set books? Are there any authors you'd read again? 

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19. Indiegogo Campaign Launched for Let’s Read! Asia

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20. Margaret Atwood and Ruth Reich Debut on the Indie Bestseller List

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21. New York Public Library Announces the 2015 Library Lions

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22. Svetlana Alexievich Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

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23. Week in Review, October 5th-9th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com…

All BGHB, all the time!

Starred reviews, November/December Horn Book Magazine

2015 Horn Boo!

From the Guide: YA Horror

Martha’s classic editorial “Rumpeta-ing Through Reading” (from the March/April 1997 Horn Book Magazine)

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger:

Out of the Box: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials movie review

Calling Caldecott:

Lolly’s Classroom: When picture books bring on tears

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

The post Week in Review, October 5th-9th appeared first on The Horn Book.

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24. Podcast Host Mike Duncan Inks Book Deal

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25. When Will Nickelodeon Strive Again For the Heights of ‘Avatar’ and ‘Legend of Korra?’

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko's animated series convincingly broke Nickelodeon's dudebro mold. Will they be the last?

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