Latest Tweet

The Serapeum - Saqquara, Egypt.

I’m using this location for a conflict and fight scene in my novel - it’s an amazing place and I’m hoping to visit it when I next return to Cairo.

The wonders of ancient Egypt never fail to amaze me-  with so little they created so much.

To see more of the wonders of Egypt visit my Pinboard - http://www.pinterest.com/hazell/egypt/


Read more at http://house-of-scarabs.tumblr.com/#lvuKg9C873OSxFIk.99

image

No one can seem to agree exactly how much weight the book cover contributes to overall book sales but everyone agrees it’s a heavy puncher. The slideshow, embedded below, has some interesting stats on the impact of design on sales and they support it’s importance. So it’s critical to get a design that really sells your book and jumps out in the crowded digital market place. 



So today’s Fab Five is focusing on five design routes that may help you find the perfect designer for your project.

Damon Za - http://bit.ly/17Cxuti

Pricing Structures: Damon Za offers five tiers of book cover design:

  1. Predesigned ebook covers amended for you - $195
  2. Ebook cover designed especially for you - $395
  3. Print and ebook cover design especially for you - $495
  4. Ebook cover and formatting - $559
  5. Print and ebook cover and formatting - $720

Work Examples:

image

CreativIndie Covers - http://bit.ly/17CCga5

Pricing Structures: CreativIndie offers 4 different options.

  1. Picasso - Simple ebook cover - $349
  2. Dali - Complex ebook cover - $449
  3. DaVinci -Ebook plus full print cover - $549
  4. Warhol - Ebook+ Print + extras -$849

Work Examples:

image


The Cover Collection - http://bit.ly/17CGtLb

Pricing Structures: This is slightly different to the other designers in that they have already designed covers for different genre’s and they will then amend them to add your title and name consequently this is a more cost effective (but less tailored) option. 

  1. Ebook cover with amendment - £30
  2. Ebook cover and 3d graphics - £50

Work Examples:

image

99 Designs - http://bit.ly/17CIkzB

With 99 Designs you create a design brief and up to 99 designers send you designs in the hope of winning the design and claiming the fee. 

Pricing Structure:

  1. Bronze - expect ~30 designs - £199
  2. Silver -  expect ~60 designs - £339
  3. Gold -  expect ~90 designs - £539
  4. Platinum - expect ~60 designs from the very best designers - £799

Work Examples:

image



Scarlett Rugers Book Design - http://bit.ly/19kLeZS

Pricing Structure:

  1. Bread and Milk Package - Ebook cover with 3 concepts and amends -$350
  2. Candy Store Book Package - Ebook and full print design $495
  3. Chocolate Fondue Book Promotion Package - Ebook and print plus marketing extra’s - $599
  4. The Elixir Book Layout+ Design +Marketing Package - Ebook, print design, internal layout and marketing extras - $1095

Work Examples:

image

There are loads of other designers out there and I have gathered a range of them in one of my pin boards - click here to view but if you have any others that you’d recommend please let me know in the comments section below and I will add them to the list.

* All prices taken from designer websites on date of publishing this article but may change.

Want to read a little more? Check these out:



3

Back in May I wrote an article on methods to fund a self-published book. I have since heard of another crowd-funding  route so thought I’d update the article.

NEW: Pubslush - http://bit.ly/18m2Oe6

Pubslush is a crowd-funding site that only offers funding for writers and thus provides additional services to many of the others listed below. It provides flexible funding meaning authors keep whatever they raise helping towards the production of their book. Pubslush takes a 4% commision fee on the funds raised plus a standard 3.5% processing fee and applicable wire fees.

See the original article below: 

The image of a struggling artist starving in their cold, gloomy garret  as they agonize over their creative masterpiece is familiar to all of us; although I haven’t seen many real estate agents advertising dark, cramped garrets recently - not certain where a writer would go to find one. Still we all understand the pressures of trying to make a living and follow our dreams of writing. 

Things may just have got easier….

There are now a number of social/crowd funding options available for all creative types. The basic premise of these sites is that you market your project (be it a book, a film, a graphic novel etc.)and you provide rewards for your backers. These rewards are at your discretion but obviously need to be attractive enough to encourage people to invest their hard-earned cash. Some sites charge a small percentage of the raised funds to cover their own handling and admin fee’s - so it’s definitely worth investigating which site suits you.

1. Kickstarter - http://kck.st/17KNXYr

The best known crowd funding site and the one with the strongest punch. This site works on the principal of “all or nothing”. You set an amount you wish to raise and if you achieve that goal you keep all the money plus any over funding but if you don’t achieve the funding goal you get nothing (except the possible exposure of your project amongst the Kickstarter community.

2. Sponsume - http://bit.ly/10cGl20

Sponsume have an open plan that enables you to set your target amount and if you reach it they charge you 4% of the amount you raise if you fail to meet the target then you are charged 9%.

3. Indiegogo -http://bit.ly/10cI5sf

Indiegogo is the only site I found that had two plans: 

Fixed: You set your target amount if you reach it you obtain the funding but if your fund raising is short of the target you receive nothing. If the funding exercise is successful 4% of the final amount is charged by indiegogo.

Flexible: Allows you to obtain all the money you raise whether you reach your target amount or not. It charges 4% of the raised funds if you reach your target and 9% if you don’t.

Both plans charge an additional 3% transaction fees on credit cards however Paypal charges may differ.

Read More

I saw a great marketing concept today that inspired me to leap out of bed (in my defense I was reading my kindle and it is the weekend) and rush to my computer to draft this short article.

6 self-publishing paranormal authors have combined their marketing klout in a unique way to promote their books to their respective readers in the run up to Halloween. In their Amazon book descriptions each have added the following:

Do you believe in ghosts? I bet we can make you say “boo!”
Grab these other five highly-rated ghost stories for FREE October 24-25:

TROUBLE IN MUDBUG by NY Times bestselling author Jana DeLeon

KEEP ME GHOSTED by Karen Cantwell

1816 CANDLES by Amanda Brice

THE MEDIUM by C.J. Archer

THE DEEPEST CUT by J.A. Templeton

image

This is a perfect example of author communities combining to support each other in a mutually beneficial way and I think it’s great. It immediately encourages readers who enjoy paranormal books to try new authors and, as most of the books offered are the first in a serial, will engage the reader to continue on and read the entire series and explore other items in the author’s back catalogue.

So as an author, for the price of providing a free book for 2 days they gain access to the readers and social media followers of 5 other authors in their field. Now that’s smart marketing.

Tips to Take-Away:

  • Create a community - find a group of authors in your genre whose sales rankings are similar to your own (I know - you’d rather target the best selling authors however it’s unlikely that they’d participate as there’s less in it for them) and approach them to undertake some collaborative promotions. 
  • The more the merrier - when you are targeting the same readers with the same tastes as another author working collaboratively enables you to reach a wider readership and expose your books to new readers. Whilst the work load is still the same (or maybe marginally less) the benefits are amplified by the number of members within your collaboration.
  • Everyone likes a bargain - to make the most of the promotion consider producing a compilation of the rest of your series available for less than the sum of the combined price. This may tempt those new readers to buy the whole series straight off - money banked - interest in your bank! Kerching….

Read More

4

image

It’s been a while since I was able to do a Fab Five article as I’ve been renovating my apartment and dealing with family illness. Unfortunately I lost my gorgeous Grandfather this week; at nearly 91 he’d had a great life but I will always miss his guidance and unquestioning love.

390+ of the webs best articles on writing

I’m really excited today to share 5 of my best Pinterest folders with you. I use Pinterest as a repository of all the webs best advice on writing, book promotion and marketing, editing, book cover design and blogging so you’ll have access to 390+ articles - truly the webs hidden gems 

For those of you who haven’t used Pinterest before an image from the website you are pinning is saved with a small description of the item. It couldn’t be easier to retrieve the original article - click the pin you are interested in and then click the website button and the article you want will open.

image

1. Writing Tips

This collection has 185+ pins covering all aspects of writing - grammar, story outlining, plotting, beating writers block, scheduling, character development etc. Go to Folder

image

Read More

3

I just recently stumbled across this book in one of my local bookshops – half an hour later, after losing myself within its covers, it became the latest member of my bookshelf and deservedly so - it’s fascinating So many sayings and phrases have mysteriously slipped into everyday use but where did they originate and how? Nigel Rees (one of the UK’s most prolific and entertaining wordsmiths) certainly answers those questions in this book but for me it’s also a great repertoire of expressions that I can explore to add colour to the dialogue of my characters - it’s like a compendium of writing tips for phrases and expressions.

 

Fit to a T - “To fit perfectly”. Apparently draughtsmen use T-Squares to draw perfectly accurate parallel lines and angles and it’s believed that could be the origin of the word although as the saying was in use by 1693 before the T-Square got its name that may not be the original source.

Propose a toast - Did you know that they used to put spiced toast in the wine to enhance the flavour and catch any loose sediment and thus they would “Propose a toast”.

Salt of the earth – This expression is biblical in origin. Jesus described Mathew as “Ye are the salt of earth”

The writing is on the wall – Also originated as an idea from the bible when King Belshazzar was informed of the forthcoming destruction of the Babylonian Empire through the appearance of a man’s hand-writing on the wall. The exact wording can be directly attributed to Jonathan Swift circa 1720

It’s really a great book and well worth a look. It’s the kind of book you should keep next to the WC or bed (or any other place you go for a little peace) so you can dip in and dip out of it when you have a spare moment.

See more ….

Want to read a little more? Check these out: