But You Promised to Review My Book

sad author baby-cougar-1065101_960_720At first glance, my assignment seems straightforward. Write a post about what authors can do to not get taken advantage of by reviewers who ask for a print version of your book and then don’t come through with the promised review. The short answer is probably “not much.” But Ms. Brooks says one paragraph of seventy words won’t cut it as a “real post.” So, I’ll ramble on.

The reality is that once this has happened, there isn’t a whole lot you can do. It doesn’t matter whether the “reviewer” is a scam artist looking for inventory to sell at his or her local used bookstore, or a well-meaning reviewer who didn’t follow through. Continue reading “But You Promised to Review My Book”

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”