Peter Ralph writes fast-moving financial thrillers. Recently he wanted to bundle together three of his ebooks to sell as one unit. Though the books are packets of digital information, they are promoted online as physical objects, as if they were an actual ‘box’ set. So we created a graphic showing the three cased books in all their virtual/physical glory.
New Zealand type designer Kris Sowersby (National, Tiempos, Caliber) has some interesting things to say about type design and originality in this talk, given at TypeCon in 2018. He vigorously rejects any suggestion that type design is played out, and that new versions of old standards are a bad thing.
Kathryn Gauci writes with insight and sensitivity about the difficult and intertwined histories of Greece and Turkey, and also about the great drama of the Second World War. Her characters are caught up in the flow of events, and often forced to deal with great tragedies and make impossible choices. The Carpet Weaver of Usak depicts Greeks living alongside Turks in Asia Minor, a circumstance almost unimaginable today. Typefaces used: Orpheus Pro and Playfair italic. Code Name Camille explores the world of the Resistance in France, and the attendant dangers and betrayals.
Presenting an informative and inspiring post from independent author Mala Naidoo:
Starting out as a writer was a romantic inclination, a desire to bring my writing dream to reality.
Little did I realise how important it is to create awareness that you exist, first as a person and then specifically as a writer. Later genre and style become recognisable to readers who are also feeling their way through the stories crafted by a new author.
Striking a balance between writing and marketing your books is paramount, if you want your books in the hands of readers through online or in store purchases.
Starting off with friends, colleagues and family is necessary. Your supportive core, in your writing career, will always be vital for feedback on all your books.
Some of the ways to create awareness and promote your books
is by extending your readership.
How do we do this, let us count the ways.
- Promote your books in your local community, book stores, libraries and book clubs. Offer and accept speaking engagements at book club meetings, school talks and at your local library.
- Talk about your book covers and what they mean, the visual impact - colours, placement of images etc. This has value in eliciting interest.
Cover Design: WorkingType (www.workingtype.com.au)
- Hosting a book launch when your first book is out, attracts curiosity, interest and gets attention. An afternoon tea with light refreshments is a winner to draw a wider crowd. Friends and colleagues are excited for you and offer to assist on the day. As introverts, as most writers are, (we lock ourselves in solitude for days on end) it’s not easy to solicit assistance and market your books - but it’s an essential requirement. The after effects of a book launch are book leads - requests for more books and where they might be available.
- Befriend, online or in person local independent bookstores in your town or city, and through friends in other cities to get your book online and in stores, then encourage readers to purchase your books through these channels. This helps to get your print book into stores, maybe not on the same shelf as Stephen King or Lianne Moriarty, but it gets a space, a tangible space.
- Create a website to reach your readers through blog posts, and newsletters, invite readers in to take up your free offers, create fun giveaways for your subscribers. A simple fact file on a character your readers love is all you need to spur on their interest to read more of your books. It’s an ongoing, strategic process.
- Join online author associations to promote your books or at the very least to create awareness that you exist as a writer.
- Facebook ads are a great way to create awareness and invite the purchase of your book or sign ups to your newsletter. A permanent Facebook Ad for sign ups is necessary when you begin promoting your books, website, and blog.
- When you have a new book out, launch it through Facebook and AMS ads, send out friendly newsletter or messenger communication to your contacts telling them about your new book.
- Don’t overkill the advertising, do it tastefully to keep readers coming back for more.
- Online interactions with influencers of the craft, attending book fairs, writers’ festivals, listening to podcasts and attending webinars are great ways to connect with like-minded creatives, to extend the promotion of your books. Be selective in your choices because it’s easy to drown in a sea of algorithmic advice!
- Create awareness of all your books on Facebook (pin to top), Twitter,(pinned tweet) Instagram (create a cover story, add updated information related to your writing journey). Pinterest (pins that showcase your books with links) Google+, your website and blogposts.
At first I was awkward talking about my books. Fear held me back. Now I have a little story to tell: One day a lovely hairdresser probed into my silent, private world, I managed to slip in, amidst the heat and whirring of hairdryers, a quick biographical sketch, whispering that I was a writer too. Curiosity grew in the hairdressing salon from that whispered revelation as ladies, and the odd gentleman wanted to know more about my books. Having your latest book at the ready is a loaded gun for promotion, as is having an author business card, especially at the places like the hairdresser!
Writing is a process, just as marketing and creating awareness of your latest publication is. Both need equal attention. It’s a balance I continue to work on.
Happy reading, happy writing, happy creating!
Mala Naidoo writes literary fiction — she prefers evocative, atmospheric cover images. For this collection of short stories. the composition we designed incorporated four images, including the barely visible hut in the woods (featured in one of her stories). The title typeface is Roman SD and the subtitle and author name use Essonnes.
A generously detailed look at running a creative practice and dealing with clients in a sane and fair way. Full of excellent tips on pricing, time management, project management, decision-making and the psychology of making a sale.
Thomas and Rose spans the globe and many decades, while Memoirs of a Stay at Home Dad charts the efforts of one dad to raise his children and deal with the changing roles of men. The Thomas and Rose cover uses the sharply cut and elegant Orpheus Pro for the title, and the Stay at Home Dad sports the rough and warm finesse of Five Boroughs.
A bright and cheerful cover for a book showcasing techniques for increasing mental productivity and resilience, and targeting tertiary students. The rubbery title typeface is Hamurz and the subtitle is Gilbert.
Creatives often work in semi-isolation, even in the era of the Internet. The Creative Independent aims to provide an eclectic resource for artists and other creative people. Resources include interviews, practical advice for running a business, how to turn a creative idea into a career, avoid creative blockage etc. All clearly and unpretentiously written.
Some of the conventions of print live on in digital books ... for example bundled sets of books are often depicted as an actual box set of the printed kind. We set up the pictured box set for Peter Ralph, the successful author of numerous financial thrillers.
If you subscribe to email newsletters and regularly provide your email address online, you may find your inbox swamped with importuning emails. If it has all gotten too much, unroll.me offers you a quick and painless method for clearing out most of that recurrent clutter. The process is extremely simple, and what it reveals about the sheer number of marketers who have your email address can be fairly sobering.
The founders of this site and app aim to bring selected snippets from the vast, vast ocean of books whose time has come and gone, and hopefully resurface interesting ideas and insights for readers. The selections are made by humans rather than algorithms.
One of Google's many initiatives is Google Digital Garage, an entry point to many courses designed to assist people with skills necessary to negotiating the online world. According to the introductory material:
Grow your career or business at your own pace, with flexible and personalised training courses designed to build your confidence and help you thrive.
- Discover tools to make your business succeed
- Improve your interview skills
- Prepare for the career you want
Well worth a look for anyone wanting to enhance their digital skills, whether for business or other purposes.
Women Who Draw attempts to redress a perceived imbalance of female/male illustrators. According to their website:
Whatever the politics of the site, it showcases many excellent designers working in a wide range of styles.
Pawel has illustrated several books with us now, with a range of subject matter. He has adapted well to every request and produces illustrations with personality and energy. Here's an introduction from Pawel:
"My name is Pawel (the Polish cognate of Paul) and I’m a freelance illustrator based in Poznań, Poland. When I was a small boy, my father showed me a ballpen-made portrait — I've been drawing ever since. Being self-taught, I barely ever leave my pencil behind, wanting to be a better artist. Working almost my entire life in IT business has given me an interesting perspective on art, and at the same time equipped me with some skills that are helping me out with my art work. Coming from two such distant worlds is both advantage and a challenge which I take happily, having a great motivation from my family, especially from my beautiful wife Joanna.
I really enjoy black and white drawings. Book illustrations, comics and graphic novels were always something special for me. Being able to actually create book illustrations is like fulfilling my childhood dreams. This is also why I really enjoy working with Luke, for he is a professional, honest and friendly person, giving me the opportunity to do what I really love:)
If you are a book author and want to decorate your book with any kind of illustration I'm more than happy to help you. I always like to research the subject of the illustration to fit it best for authors idea. I usually do hand-drawn, pencil to paper sketches then scan and add some processing work on the computer with use of a graphic tablet. I always like to leave a hand-drawn feeling to the final effect. I can create book illustrations, portraits, caricatures, etc. but I stay open for any kind of drawing / art idea you might have!