So I finally got around to updating the print book templates I in the freebie portion of this blog. Behold Jane v.2 and The Hannah 3.0. These are templates you can use for when you need to layout your manuscript for publishing via print-on-demand like CreateSpace. You open up the template, copy-paste your book info/book title/author name/book text in the appropriate places, save as a PDF and BAM! you have a thing to give to your printer who will then do their magic and churn out your lovely little print books. Each template has (1) a docx version to use on Microsoft Word and (2) a version to use on Pages for Mac.
Anyone who’s ever liked a book wants to be a writer. It’s natural — you’re moved by words on a page, you think, “Hey, I wonder if I can do that?” You start a journal. You attempt to write your own version of Sweet Valley High/Nancy Drew. You make up characters in your head.
Once you’ve written a couple of stories, you begin to think, “Maybe I can be a published author one day.” You start picturing your name on the covers of books on the shelves of National Bookstore, right next to, say, Nick Joaquin or Stephen King. You imagine couples naming their babies after characters you’ve created. You daydream of getting mobbed by journalists at the premiere of the movie based on your bestselling trilogy (right after they finish interviewing the star, maybe Angelina Jolie or Judy Ann Santos). You practice your speech for your first Hugo award (“Thank you, World Science Fiction Society. This means more to me than even my Academy Award for best original screenplay.”)
You find yourself a lot of the time, after reading a book, thinking, I can totally write better than this.
And then that’s it.
For most people, that’s where it stops.
- Your book cover isn’t an art thing. It’s a marketing thing. A pretty book cover is good, but what’s important is that it be able to sell the book it’s on the cover of.
- Do not make your own book covers. Unless you actually do make book covers — meaning, people hire you to do them.
- Not all amazing artists can design a decent book cover. (In the same way not all book cover designers can paint a decent portrait in watercolor, or design a corporate logo.)
- If a cover looks good for your print book, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the ebook version. You can have different covers for each, or you could just make sure your cover works for both print and digital versions.
- If your book cover is pretty or interesting, people will talk about it. This is a good thing.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a great tag line. It’s the first words your potential readers will see, apart from your book title, when they look at your book cover. Try to make it interesting (maybe even clever and/or funny) and short.