Tag Archives: publishing

How To Design Book Covers

by Don Dyer

Don Dyer
Don Dyer

As a writer and an artist, the next logical step was for me to digitally create my own book cover. For my first book I created what I wanted and what would attract readers to buy it. Then I sent my manuscript to the publisher. I also told him that I had my own cover to go with the book, he promptly informed me that they were the ones that would be creating the cover for my book. He told me that I would have no say in the cover design. Their cover was nasty clip art hastily and sloppily thrown together. They sent me a galley copy. I contacted the publisher and begged them to at least look at the cover I’d created. I received a hateful no, and was told that I didn’t know the book business or what the public wanted to see.

I, brokenhearted, let it go after a rant and some broken things around the kitchen. Then, a couple years later I was ready to submit my second book. I thought I’d be devious, so I sent the book cover instead of the manuscript. After a confused email, I apologized for sending the cover file instead of the script. I said it was a simple mistake, that they were named the same. I was talking to an editor’s aide, and I told her to compare the two book covers. She pulled up my file on her computer and I heard a short gasp. I asked for her help as an advocate of the cover I’d sent. She told me that she just started as an aide, and she didn’t have much pull. I asked that she help plead my case. Later, after many emails, I was allowed to use my artwork for my second book cover. Continue reading How To Design Book Covers

The Revolution in Publishing

by Mike O’Mary

How many of you have tried to publish a book and been rejected? As an author, I was rejected many times. It’s not fun.

As a small (three books last year), indie publisher of other authors, I can also tell you that it’s not fun to reject book proposals — especially proposals for good ideas by some very good writers. But I have to reject books anyway. Part of it is due to limited resources (mainly my time). But part of it is also a matter of knowing my limitations when it comes to marketing and selling books. It’s hard enough to sell books that are in my area of expertise (short creative nonfiction and memoir). It would be really hard — and ultimately disappointing for the author — for me to try to sell books that target other audiences. So I don’t do it. Even if it’s a really good book.

Sometimes I will direct the author to another publisher that might be a good fit. But more and more, I am tempted to give this advice (and you are hearing it here on Freelance-Zone first!): Do it yourself. Continue reading The Revolution in Publishing

A BigDif Book Sampler


by Catherine L. Tully

You may have noticed that BigDif is one of our sponsors over here at Freelance-Zone. Part of our committment to readers is that we provide you with more information about those who advertise on our site so that you can decide for yourself if the product or service is something that might be beneficial to you.

Today we have with us Tom Watson–head of BigDif. He’s going to share some of the types of books that they publish over at their company so that you can get a feel for if this might be a good route for you to go if you are a budding chidren’s book author…or if you know someone who is…

Here’s Tom–

One of the things I really like about what we’re trying to do at this newfangled publishing company is give authors a chance to publish stories that traditional publishers just would be too wary to give a shot.  We make the books available digitally in our on-line e-reader.  And they can be printed at home.  We have about 40 books available now and each one stands on its own in different ways.  Here are some of my personal favorites:

Stick Dog Wants a Hamburger is one of our favorite books. It’s written and illustrated by Melissa Phillips. It’s longer form, probably 6,000 or 7,000 words, has a clever voice and here’s what I like the best:  The author-illustrator makes a real point of telling the reader she can’t draw. The whole idea that she’s up-front about it is funny the way she pulls it off.  Stick Dog’s name comes from the drawing.  You know, like how kids – and adults – draw stick people?  She draws stick dogs and writes about them.

The Night Before is written and illustrated by Annie Harmon who lives in Texas…. Continue reading A BigDif Book Sampler

Dream Catchers and Goodreads

Moon Sun Night - Copyby Mike O’Mary
Two news items this week, one for writers, one for readers:
1. Dream of Things launched a “Dream Catchers” section of its website to highlight authors whose work has been selected for future publication in a Dream of Things anthology. We get lots of great stories at Dream of Things, and our editors are constantly reviewing new submissions. The best creative nonfiction will be published in our anthologies. But putting an anthology together takes months.

Meantime, we’re sitting on all these great stories. Not anymore! Each week, we plan to feature a new story on the Dream Catchers section of dreamofthings.com. This week’s story is “Forever Sharp” by Terri Elders of Colville, Washington, and it will be published in an anthology about great teachers later this year.

2. Goodreads.com: I’m not sure the world needs another online social networking site, but if we have to make room for one more, goodreads.com looks like a pretty good one. It’s basically a place to rate books that you’ve read, share that info with others, and learn about new books you might want to read. Billed as “the largest social network for readers in the world” with 2.9 million members, Goodreads says, “Somehow, reading books seems to have gotten a bad rap. People are working too hard and not making time to read. But every once in a while you run into a friend who tells you about this ‘great new book I’m reading.’ And suddenly you’re excited to read it. It’s that kind of excitement that Goodreads is all about.”

Goodreads also looks like a good place for an author to set up shop. Take a look at the Goodreads Author Profile of yours truly for an example of what an author can do on their site.

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, a book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 15 topics.

Jennifer Layton: Publishing Your Book, Part I

Well readers….as promised….part one of Jennifer Layton’s guest blog on publishing her book….enjoy! Tune in tomorrow for part two and more juicy details….

How to Deliver Your Own Baby

(In other words, how to self-publish your own book)

by Jennifer Layton


Before we get started, let me share a blog entry.  This is what I posted on the evening of October 17, 2008:


I did not expect to have a baby tonight. But at 5:30pm, I stopped by the post office after work, and Trap Door Confessional was in my arms. She is perfect. And this is where the baby analogy ends because I’m about to talk about putting it up for sale on the internet, and that’s kinda creepy.


Trap Door Confessional is my collection of humor essays about being single, turning 40, and just exactly how weird I am.  It really is my baby.  Since I’ve decided I don’t want to have actual children, this is my offering to the world – the spirit that I’m going to leave behind as my legacy. 


And just like having an actual baby, it was a decision I made with my heart instead of my head. I figured it would be expensive.  I didn’t really know how to go about it, and there are no books or classes that can prepare you for every single thing that can go wrong.  But I knew it was right.  And even though it wasn’t going to be Pulitzer material, I was meant to share my story with the world.  (Even if the world was a little put off by my insistence on referring to Pope Benedict as “Pope Benny and the Jets.”  I blame my Catholic upbringing for the strangest stuff in my book.)


Now that my book is published and for sale at Amazon (Order now! Makes a great stocking stuffer!), it’s time to sit back, sort through the aftermath, and figure out just how I managed to do this in the first place.  Continue reading Jennifer Layton: Publishing Your Book, Part I