Tuesday, April 26, 2011

E-Book Cover Designers

Here are a few names to consider if you're looking for someone to design your cover:

And here's a book trailer producer in case anyone's interested:

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Short List of Editors

If you're in the market for an editor, here are a few reasonably-priced professionals that have come to my attention.

Of course editing and proofreading are optional for the self-publishing author, but then purchasing your book is optional for the book buyer.    

Derek Prior of Homunculus Editing Services

Hazard Editing Services

Red Adept Editing Services

Lyn Worthen @ Camden Park Press

Diana Cox

edited to add:

Jodie Renner

If anybody else has any names, feel free to include them in the comments section.  I'd love to hear about them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

On Writing and Writers with Roald Dahl

  • A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

  • A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.

  • A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.

  • The writer has to force himself to work. He has to make his own hours and if he doesn't go to his desk at all there is nobody to scold him.

  • The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it.

  • Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Verse From the Tao Te Ching


He who stands on tiptoe
doesn't stand firm.
He who rushes ahead
doesn't go far.
He who tries to shine
dims his own light.
He who defines himself
can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others
can't empower himself.
He who clings to his work
will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao,
just do your job, then let go.

(Translated by Stephen Mitchell)

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Verse From the Tao Te Ching


Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

(Translation by Stephen Mitchell)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Names For Old Things

It's amazing how many new words are being created or repurposed lately. Take the term "indie."  A few months ago an "indie" author was anyone who published with an independent or small press.  Now many are using it to describe any person who self-publishes.

Here's another term for the self-publisher I picked up this morning.  It's my favorite new portmanteau -- "nongatekept author."

I suppose then that a "traditional author" publishing with a "legacy publisher" might be a "gatekept author," which sounds rather ugly, doesn't it?  Like a shackled prisoner who's locked up for 18-24 months, forced to sign noncompete clauses, and when they're finally let out, have to perform like some sort of zoo animal in exchange for peanuts.

Let me know if you come across any others.    

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Power of Nine

It's a phenomenon known well and exploited by most marketers who deal with price.  Price tags ending in the number 9 often compel shoppers to open their wallets, while a slightly lower price that ends in zero may not.   In light of the recent e-book pricing debates, it might be interesting to take a look at why 99 cent and $2.99 price points are so prevalent.  Yes, 99 cents is the minimum Amazon will allow an author to charge, and $2.99 is the minimum to receive a 70% royalty.  But why did they pick those numbers, and might it be possible that $3.99 or even $3.95 is a more compelling number for e-book shoppers than $2.99?  Check out this article from Psychology Today and experiment for yourself.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Winner: Most Amazingly Similar Book Covers

I came across these two titles while browsing the Kindle store today.

It's easy to see how this can happen.  Just google "Magic Book," and you'll be amazed at how many similar stock images you'll find--open books with sparkles and magical effluvia and various otherworldy emanations.