Book Cover Design- For Free!

Book CoverDesigningBook cover design for self-published authors offers a challenge in either cost or copyright. The process can be daunting to find something original without depleting your funds.  I have a solution that some would-be authors might appreciate:

Canva.com

This online service provides so much for the author. The main feature I want to point out is being able to design a Kindle book cover that fits the required dimensions. There’s also some pre-made designs available, but also a library of free and low cost designs you can pick from. You can also upload your own graphics.

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And it is easy to use. You can see in the graphic below that to the far left, you navigate between Search, Layouts, Text, Backgrounds, and Uploads. Once selected, it shows up in the work area where you can then edit size, color, and position.

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Each feature you add, a menu pops open that lets you edit the changes. Change the text, change colors, change where the elements are positioned.

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With your free Canva account, you can also create graphics for blogs, web sites, Facebook, Twitter, Ads and more. This means you can have a consistent marketing brand for your site, book, and social media sites.

Some graphics are free, while others cost $1 each.  This way you don’t have to worry about copyright.

Graphics also save to PNG format, so you can use when you self-publish.

I really like how the dimensions are set for you, the choice of designs and graphics there, and you can use your own graphics as well.

If you like this post- please share and/or comment. Winking smile

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In my own world

635668079090870143I think many writers tend to live on the edge of the imaginations all the time, only delving into the deep when actually writing their stories. I know I do.

I find myself lost in my own thought doing mundane things like walking my dog or washing dishes. Scenes play out like movies in my head, where sometimes I’m the character, while other times, I have a cast of characters to direct for a story.

Over the years I enjoyed alternative lives;

– An everyday housewife who plays secret agent at night. There was a twist of humor, since my made up nemesis was Kang Fang of the Nepal Mafia. Each story ended up with his defeat, often due to his poor planning, being outsmarted, or being too stupid.

– A house cat that ran the streets at night, fighting crime, only to return home to be a loveable house cat.

– A leader of a rag tag group of misfits, trying to survive an apocalypse.

– A ghost that haunts the house, struggling with her own demise, while trying to ‘help’ the family that lives in her house.

And how much have I written on this? Um…not much. Okay, not at all. The plots sit in a folder on my hard drive. <sighs> Yeah, I know. I need to get writing, not dreaming.

What sort of writer’s journey am I on if I’m not actually writing?  I need to get my inner world put to paper.

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Blogger’s Block

635641316744273312I hadn’t realized how much I’ve neglected this blog.  I blame blogger’s block- which is like writer’s block but for blogs. I wasn’t inspired, and everything I’d start to post seemed stupid and lacked depth.

I think, however, it is this type of block that demands a writer to write anyway. Ignore the stupidity, lack of entertaining phrases, and just blither if you must. Some authors claim you work through the block. And it’s not as if you have to post what you manage to type up.

Perhaps I will focus on other types of posts, like sharing links to writing programs, author’s sites, review writer-related products, or just blither on about Life in general. After all- a writer’s journey is just that- a journey. We meander away from sitting in front of a computer screen to get out into the world to find inspiration, right?

As for writing, I’ve worked a bit on some short stories in the hopes of publishing. I’m working on a sequel to Into the Shade, getting a few more reviews that were good. I’m also working on a novel, with another novel nagging at me to be written. Wait your turn!

Fireflies: A Vampire Story has some downloads but not many reviews. I’m also hoping to get my writer’s group another possible anthology but also to encourage my fellow authors to get their short stories published.

So on to the adventure!

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Formatting Manuscript and Helpful Writing Links.

SimpleLPCLogo copyWith my writer’s group, I often write up a newsletter for the members so they get the information we covered, but also to share with the members who couldn’t join, to catch them up on the topic.

Today’s meeting was all about manuscript formatting.

Manuscript formatting for standard publishing:

Always remember to follow guidelines, but these are the suggested standard formatting list of your manuscript.

Writer’s Digest: What Are the Guidelines for Formatting a Manuscript? This covers some of the basics to formatting your document. Remember, you’ll also need a synopsis and letter if you want to publish through a publishing company.

A Step-by-step Guide to Formatting Your Book’s Interior (Createspace.com) E-publishing and print-on-demand for Amazon marketplace. With e-publishing, you need to format correctly in order for the pages to view correctly on e-readers. Createspace also provides templates specific to the size books you want to use.

Click here to view templates you can download.

The Basics of DIY (Do It Yourself) E-Book Publishing by Writer’s Digest provides lots of tips to follow for publishing, to help decide how to publish but also the basics on how to publish.

Find and Replace Tips for MS Word- (Includes how to find and replace manual indents, double spaces, and more)

Find: ^t (this code will find all manually indents in your manuscript)

Replace (leave blank)

This will delete all manual indents

Want to know more things you can do with Find/replace? Click here.


Programs:

Chapter-by-Chapter:

This program provides a way to organize your MS Word documents (also works with OpenOffice) to sort files into chapters. You can then have the program assemble all files into a single Word file to publish. Unfortunately, this does not work with Mac computers.

https://sites.google.com/site/sebberthet/chapter-by-chapter

Need a quick tutorial on how to use the Chapter-by-Chapter? Check out my YouTube Video;

  Dropbox.com

Dropbox is one of many ‘cloud drives’ which are used to back up and share files. What I love about Dropbox is that it is easy to use and can synchronize files between smart phones, computers, and the Internet so you can always get your files.

http://www.dropbox.com

Want to learn more about the other cloud drives? Here is Top 10 Personal Cloud-Storage Services you can choose from. 

Web Site: https://www.openoffice.org

OpenOffice is a free software suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. This is free and works with MS Office documents.

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row”- Ray Bradbury

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