Book Cover Design Tip: Adding Depth to Text with Canva

One of the things I learned to do fairly recently with Canva is to add depth to the text on my book covers — without giving them a thick and ungainly drop-shadow. Photoshop (PS) fans may point out that their program of choice makes it easy to add shadow and adjust the settings (glow, transparency, etc.) until it looks just right. Maybe Canva doesn’t have all the features PS has, but for me and many others, it’s a heck of a...

We are not victims (of hypothyroidism)

*Update: A thoughtful reader on Twitter (Clutter @Clutter2) responded to this article with the following comment, which makes a valid and necessary point: “Many of us are, have been, and will be victims of our respective healthcare systems, which restrict the replacement hormone we are allowed.” And there are so many of us (myself included) who have a legitimate complaint in this regard. I still don’t like to think of myself as a victim, though, because it feels as though I’m...

What did I learn from botching my first novel launch?

Oh, the places we’ll go (in our heads) when we’re launching a first novel. Where did I go? Nowhere nice, friends. But I did learn a few things worth passing on.  What have I learned?  First of all, since this is my first novel, it’s hard to know whether my results might have been better if I’d done a better job on the cover or the book description — or on the writing of the novel itself. I had a...

Book Launch Evolution

book launch evolution

[*UPDATE: As of Tuesday, August 1st — Day 1 of the free launch for The Lazarus Door — so far, I’m less than thrilled with the results of the promos I set up this time. So, maybe the title should be “Book Launch Devolution” or “Book Launch Follies.” Live and learn. I’ll post an update on the results.] The book launch for my first novel, The Lazarus Door, will go a bit differently from previous launches. As I sketched out a...

Find the perfect font for your creative project — and use it legally

So, you found a font you love …  Can you use that font for your e-book, your blog, or your promotional graphics — or for all three? Does the font license allow for commercial or only personal use? Or does it say you can only use it for one project per license? How do you know if that free font you downloaded from the internet is okay to use for whatever you have in mind? I wondered this about a...

Launching the first novel

How different can launching a novel be from launching a nonfiction book? I’m about to find out. I’m getting ready to launch my first novel, The Lazarus Door — after finishing the launch for my fourth nonfiction book, Writer Overwhelmed! I was so nervous about launching my first novel that I went ahead and submitted my book to Kindle Scout. I thought, “Hey, if Kindle Press wants to publish a novel, I can just lean back and let them handle...

Upgrade your book cover design with Glitterboo, Deeezy, and Creative Market

The Empathalog book cover on Glitterboo.com

Free and low-cost resources for the DIY Book Cover Designer DIY Book cover design can be a rewarding adventure for some, and a growing number of free and low-cost design tools can make it budget-friendly, too. Canva is my favorite design program — intuitively-designed and ADHD-friendly (from my experience, anyway). But it can’t do everything. Some of the book covers I’ve seen on Amazon take my breath away, and I’ve saved images of them to a folder on my desktop —...

The Kindle Scout verdict is in.

The hard-working souls at Kindle Press have just emailed me to let me know they won’t be offering me a publishing contract for The Lazarus Door. Considering my book was only “hot and trending” for the last 48 hours of its 30-day campaign, I’m not surprised. But now I can get down the business of publishing it myself. I’ve already been working on the following: Creating a list of keywords for my Amazon ad campaigns for this novel (as well as...

7 Easy Steps to Add Flourishes to Your Ebook Chapter Pages

Ever wanted to fancy up the chapter headings for the ebook version of your novel? Wondering if KDP will choke on anything you add to dress it up and make it look more like the professionally-published novels you’ve seen?  I did, too. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Those of us who format our own books can get pretty good at it — given time and a willingness to experiment. Just look at Derek Murphy (whose websites and YouTube videos...

3 Different Ways to Convert your Word doc to a Kindle ebook

If your budget requires you to format your own books, rather than hiring a pro, there are three ways I know of to get your book from Word doc to finished, ready-to-upload ebook. I’ll be including links to other authors’ helpful videos and tools, since they’ve helped me. You’ll also get the chance to download a free and nifty little PDF describing in more detail (and with screenshots) the approach I used for my latest nonfiction book, Writer Overwhelmed!. I...