Book Titles in Thumbnail: Size Does Matter

illegible titlesAs you are probably aware, back when IU was vetting books, the most common issue we saw with books during the process was an unclear or confusing book description. The second most common issue: unreadable titles on book covers in thumbnail size.

Who cares? Right? It’s just a tiny book cover. No one expects to read it in that size.

Um, wrong.

One of our most referenced articles is one that our Lynne Cantwell wrote about the Marketing Rule of 7 – that it takes at least seven instances of someone seeing your book before they actually purchase it. Well – what if those seven instances are in thumbnail size? Do you think they will remember to purchase a book when they can’t read the title? Moreover, will they even notice it to begin with? Probably not. Don’t waste a chance to get in front of someone and make an impression.

Here at Indies Unlimited, thumbnails are generally 120×177 pixels, which on my laptop ends up being around 1.75 inches high by just under 1.25 wide. There is no specific industry standard for thumbnails, (on WordPress it’s 150×150) and the size varies from site to site. Then, add to it people viewing sites on their tablets and cell phones – and you can end up with some mighty small thumbnails. Can you read your title under those circumstances? You may want to check. Continue reading “Book Titles in Thumbnail: Size Does Matter”

Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover

BAD BOOK LARGEI’m constantly looking at book covers as part of my “job” here at Indies Unlimited. On top of that, I run into authors posting their covers in groups all the time, asking for input. So I see a LOT of covers. And most of them all have the same issues.

What I find most ironic is that the same people keep posting book covers with the same problems. I don’t get that. Please allow me to make something perfectly clear. And I’m not just making this up to be difficult or bossy or right. I’m speaking from experience. I used to provide my own cover art to my small Indie publisher – and because of that, I’ve taken some lumps. But I’ve also learned some important things about book covers. I share this knowledge freely, to help my fellow Indie authors. Book covers are important. We all want to make a good first impression. Book sales count on it. Continue reading “Top Five Ways to Have an Awful Book Cover”

The “Writing the Last Chapter” Two-Step

last chapter 2 step feet-flesh4I’m working on the last chapter or two of my current WIP (I sometimes wait until the book is done to break it up into chapters). The ending is, of course, the culmination of everything that has gone before; it’s the climax, the resolution, the payoff. And if I’ve done my job well enough, it’s delicious.

This one feels delicious. What I’ve noticed is that I am torn between wanting to hurry up and finish the blinkin’ thing so I know how it’s all going to hang together, and taking my time, working it out slowly so every word is perfectly placed. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had this dilemma before. Continue reading “The “Writing the Last Chapter” Two-Step”

Be Ready for that Media Opportunity

One thing I’ve learned about this industry is that opportunities come up in a flash, and usually the first people to respond get them. The difference between being prepared and NOT being prepared can cost you. And it’s literally as simple as being organized.

KS Brooks Book Cover Folder
Go ahead, mouse over, see what happens.
Click once to enlarge.

I have a folder in Dropbox with all my book cover jpgs, my two author photos and a couple of other folders with high resolution versions and thumbnail size versions. (I keep it on Dropbox so I can access it from virtually anywhere. You never know when you will be asked for something!) I’ve made sure they’re all named clearly, so it’s easy for the recipient to identify. It also helps, if they don’t rename the file, with search engine optimization. It never hurts to take advantage of every opportunity to get your title in front of someone. Plus, it looks far more professional to have the book cover for Night Undone labeled as “NightUndone.jpg” instead of “niteundonecoverartsmall.jpg”. My author photo is labeled as “AuthorKSBrooks.jpg” instead of  “DSC00013”. Now, you might be thinking, I’ll just put “Author Photo” as the file name. Well, you and about a billion other authors thought that. It’s not going to make your photo easy to find. Continue reading “Be Ready for that Media Opportunity”