Scarlett Talks to Author David Partelow

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“David Partelow was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He is an avid poet, novelist, father, lover of life, connoisseur of sarcasm and all around pain in the hind end. He is the creator of the world of LORE and its continuing novels and has produced a poetry book called “Tomorrow was Yesterday”. He is currently working on the next novel of the Vallance War series in LORE and his other interests include writing adventure, steampunk and horror comedy” (Amazon Bio). David- thanks so much for answering these questions!

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Ant the Aero

Scarlett Talks to Anthony Lavisher on his biggest writing mistakes, what he’s most proud of, and what he thinks shouldn’t be on your book cover.

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Anthony Lavisher
is an author who’s love for writing came from swashbuckling adventures with Errol Flynn. His discipline in his routine, and dedication to his trilogy have set him on a straight course for publishing success! Thanks so much Anthony for taking the time to answer some of our questions. Without further ado…

james oswald

Author James Oswald on Writing, Publishing, Cover Design, and Running a Farm in Scotland

I’m especially excited to publish this interview with author James Oswald who talks in detail about his life as a writer and his approach to writing books while running a 350 acre farm in his spare time. You should also check out James’ book Dreamwalker which is receiving amazing reviews on Amazonand has it’s print release date set for 14th August 2014!

james oswaldDescribe your writing life as if it were a three course meal

The starter was short, but sweet. I began by writing comic scripts, sending them on spec to 2000 AD magazine, which I’d been reading since it first came out. They bought one of my scripts after less than a year of trying, and I thought my career was made. Sadly, although I tried to get more stories published over the next couple of years, 2000 AD was in a low point in its history, and not buying anything much from new writers.

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What If Book

Shirley Anne Edwards Talks about Writing, Schedules, Alternatives to Writing and Motivation

I’d like to reach out and say a massive thanks to Shirley Anne Edwards for agreeing to answer these questions about publishing, inspiration, morivation, book design and writing in general. What If BookShirley first found her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. She now reads close to 20 books a month and spends most of the rest of her time writing. Her current work in progress is What If?which you can find out more about at the end of the interview!

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Should I have a different eBook and Paperback cover?


Books now have two faces: one in the digital world and one in the printing world. The split of the two has brought with it different priorities in design. What works on a paperback will not work on an eBook, and vice versa. Should you consider two different book covers? Is this a trend that will pick up?

The benefits of having a different eBook and paperback cover:

  • I’ve not yet had an author ask for two different covers, but I expect it’s only a matter of time. I don’t envision this idea to be greatly practiced but it definitely has its benefits.
  • eBook covers are best viewed in black and white
  • eBook covers must have a clear message and typography at 180px high.
  • eBook covers are flat, and texture and definition of the paper doesn’t have any effect on the reader.

When I was convinced

I’m writing this blog post today because I was totally convinced this morning. It’s a question that’s been revolving around in my brain for a long time… is this something that should be offered more? What is the difference really?

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CreateSpace dark printing example

Why did my book print so dark from CreateSpace?

You’ve uploaded your book cover, waited for the proof from CreateSpace, and got it in the mail. Major issue: Your cover is mostly black! The shadows are where shadows are supposed to be, but everything else on your cover has turned to black too. What the hell happened?

Printers are finicky things. Kindle is fine, and dark covers still come out clear. But CreateSpace printers have a tendency to print super dark on covers that have a generally low contrast quality. Instead of printing beautiful details, even if you’ve trialled it on your home printer, CS wipes it out.

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What goes on the back of a fiction book?

You’ve uploaded your eBook to Kindle, and you’re organizing to print a paperback at CreateSpace, so what goes on the back of a cover? A blurb, a bio, a testimonial? Is there anything compulsory? Here’s the rundown of what goes on cover back matter.

blog_blurb_back_layoutThe Water Thief by Nicholas Lamar Soutter: Buy it here

The blurb

The first, obvious, necessity. The blurb is the second step after the cover, for your audience to read up and find out more about your story. I’ve heard of blurbs running up to 400 words, but for a standard 6×9” paperback (and smaller) I would recommend 180 tops, 120 minimum. This gives you plenty of room for additional elements, and leaves you some nice space for the readers eye to travel, instead of it looking compressed.

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Should I design my own book cover?

YWriting a bookou’ve spent months and years writing and finishing your book, now is the time to think about the book cover. Do you hire a professional to design your cover for you, or do you jump in and do it yourself? Let’s cover the pros and cons of designing your own eBook cover (without any history or knowledge of design)…

Pros of designing your own book cover:

- Cheap, don’t have to hire a professional.

- Might learn a thing or two for other book covers to design in the future.

- You have full control over everything

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I get asked all the time: What’s the most important element on a book cover?

the_war_on_words.largeI get a lot of e-mails from designers finishing school, to designers just entering the industry and have changed from a hobbyist to a professional, and there is one reoccurring question that comes up:

What is one thing that will help me create a good book cover?

You can’t ever just say it’s one single thing, design is such an all-encompassing experience. It’s like building a house, you can’t ask: what will help me build a good house? without expecting a list.

I’m going to tell you the one thing that is at the very top of the list. Often ignored, rarely thought out, and separate from the imagery. It’s seen as like a third cousin who lives out in the country, people don’t really want to talk to it.

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