I want to start this blogpost firstly by saying: don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
That’s how we all learn. When we’re children, we try to walk, fall over, get up and try again, and think nothing of it. As adults we’re just out of practice at getting things wrong, or perhaps we never put ourselves in the position where mistakes are possible.
The best thing you can do to avoid unnecessary mistakes is to arm yourself with as much information about writing and publishing as possible. But life is a learning curve and none of us would be where we are today if we didn’t get it wrong sometimes.
Natalie Debrabandere is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. We first worked with her on a cover for her book ‘Switch On!’, a non-fiction book about NLP. Then we were thrilled to help her update her covers for two of her novels, ‘Strong’ and ‘Unbroken’.
We talked to Natalie about her writing career, and found out about her preference for background noise when she works, that she likes to acts out the scenes from her book when editing, and how one day, she might just travel into space.
Here’s how it all started for Natalie at 11 years old with her sister, her dad and a hand-made newspaper…
Last week I was reading some content online about self-formatting the interior of a book, typesetting and making the layout work. I was struck by how ‘jargony’ the terminology is, like a lot of industries I suppose.
Don’t forget, when typesetting language was first created, all type was set in blocks, by hand. Not on computers!
So here’s a summary of some jargon you might come across when formatting your book ready for self-publishing, and what those terms actually mean:
It’s the window to your book’s soul. The thing people will judge your book on in a split second.
Two book covers we designed for our clients here at BespokeBookCovers
But don’t forget it’s main job is to get people to buy your book.
NOT to convey accurately the small freckle on the left ear of your heroine.
NOT to show the exact shade of sandy brown of your leading man’s hair.
NOT to depict a purple octopus with yellow spots and the wings of a dragon, attacking a troll with rainbows for eyes, all set in a post-apocalyptic backdrop complete with high-rise buildings and flying cars.
You get the idea.
First and foremost, the purpose of your book cover is to make people pick up your book, or click on your virtual book.
I don’t know about you, but I had never really thought about books being published in different sizes. When you stand in a bookshop, it’s obvious of course, but it’s not your first consideration when you’re thinking about self publishing.
These are the traditional sizing conventions publishers tend to use:
One of the best ways to sell more books is to build a relationship with your audience. Once they engage with you, your stories, and your characters, readers are much more likely to continue to buy your work, and will become lifelong fans, just waiting for your next publication.
A great way to communicate with your readers is by email.
You can set up a form on your website to capture visitors’ email addresses. Then you will be able to keep in touch, and build your relationship with them. Here’s how to do it: