Tag Archives: book cover designer

List of 50 Book awards

50 Book Awards

Note: this list is old and some links might not work.


City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award


Deadline: December

“The City of Calgary established this prize, in honour of renowned Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell, to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors.”

Fiction, poetry, non-fiction, children’s literature, and drama books are eligible. Self-published works, anthologies, cookbooks, guidebooks, textbooks, technical manuals, bibliographies, works of a purely academic or scholarly nature, books of less than 48 pages (except children’s literature), books written in other than English or French, multi-authored books if any one of the authors is not a Calgarian, and reprints or new editions of previously published books are not eligible.

Next Generation Indie Book Award Continue reading

How to add a website Bookmark icon to your iphone

 How to make a desktop icon bookmark for your website url for use on your iphone so when someone asks about your book you can take them directly to your author website page of choice.

1. login to your phone
2. find the Safari icon and open the program
3. type in your website url
4. at the bottom of the screen you’ll see a rectangular icon page with arrow pointing out of the top…
5. tap the icon and when it opens successfully there will be a few options choose the one that works for your needs
4. you will be asked to choose a name for the icon… do so
5. go to your iphone desktop and find it… most likely on the last page of icons… remember you can move it by holding down the thumb button to get the icons giggling with an X… be sure not to hit the X but MOVE the icon to a forward page and once there hit the thumb button again.
Have fun with this easy way to visit your site.
Karrie Ross

Writer’s Block be gone! Finishing Your Book. I’m not just a Book Designer…

I don’t believe in writer’s block. (I can hear the gasps of disbelief already.) I make this statement based on my experience writing an award winning parenting book. So my experience is for non-fiction more than fiction. But I would think that much of what I outline could cover both.  I believe that if we follow one simple fist step that writer’s block melts away and the words start flowing. But what is that “first step”? Well, a big part of my job as a book consultant and coach is to help people create something they can actually market: a finished book. Many of us have plenty of ideas but not a clue how to get them started.

Unlike other professions, authors operate under a whole different set of rules. Not all of us can’t just sit down and pound out a story, and those who can have created their own formula for doing so. In our minds, we see the final story, we see the cover, we see the characters, we see the market potential. And we see us on TV smiling and holding up our book for the whole world to see. Then we glance back down at our monitor and see nothing but a blinking cursor and blank page. And we are again reminded we have not even written one sentence.

Authors who have trouble see a huge, overwhelming project in front of them not the steps to finish. You finish a book, one step at a time. So the first step is that you have to break down your book into manageable, bite-size pieces.

This can be accomplished by creating a Table of Contents, (TOC)  that will guide you through the book content. Think of the TOC as your map, the map that will get you from point A to point B, guiding your thought process through your book. Begin by writing out your chapters headings, then write a 2-3 sentence description of what the chapter encompasses, keep it brief. Once the TOC is outlined, you’ll have a vision of your book from start to finish. Of course you can move them around and change them all you want.

A few things that creating the first step TOC will do for you:

  •  It will show you any gaps in your story that might need to be fleshed out
  •  it will give you a sense of completion, of seeing the book or project actually done,
  •  this step alone can propel an author enough to get their book done
  •  give the project a darned good kick-start.

Once you’ve started your TOC, you’ll want to go through it and create a “to do” list. Regardless of what your books subject is, you will always have a to-do list. Whether it’s getting endorsements, doing research, or getting approvals for quotes or excerpts for your book, this to-do list will become yet another item that will help get your book toward completion.

Once the to-do list is done, set it aside. Now you should have your completed TOC with a vision of the entire book and a growing list of items that will need to be handled for the book to get done. Now the real fun begins.

Some books on writing will tell you to set aside a day or two a week, or an evening here and there to get your book completed. That might work for some authors, but it didn’t for me. I found that I needed to stay dialed into the topic and if I  put the project aside for days or weeks at a time, promising myself to schedule time “as soon as I could.”  that rarely happened. What I found is that when I set aside some time every day to do something on the book, I got it completed a lot quicker. That’s where I came up with  the statement I use at the end of all my blog posts. (it’s at the end of this one too)

Let your fascination with the subject take over. The more you keep your interest in your project, the more it, the book,  will stay at the front of your mind, and the more energy you will invest to finish it. I won’t tell you to set aside hours each day — in fact, you don’t even have to set aside an hour. Take 15 minutes, or even five — whatever your schedule permits. If this seems like a ridiculously short amount of time, consider this: You now have your to-do list and your outlined TOC!  . If you are short on time one day, pick a quickie item from your to-do list and get it done. If you have more time, then pound out a chapter or two. The idea behind creating the to-do lists and a TOC is to not only give your project a structure, but to also eliminate any and all excuses for getting it done. Don’t feel like writing today? No problem. There’s probably a mountain of research just waiting to be reviewed.

The TOC is your beginning focus. The entry into the subject content. It’s as simple as that. And the TOC doesn’t stop there — it is how you plan out the steps that will keep the reader interested. Find the “core” of your book or the focus of your story. Ask yourself:

  • What’s the one thing this book cannot do without?
  • What’s the one thing this story circles around?
  • That’s your core.
  • If you’re still coming up with three or four things that your story circles around, you aren’t focused enough and neither is your book.
  • Find that one thing and build your story or book around it.

If you follow these beginning steps, your book will get finished quicker than you could have ever imagined.

AND that’s the first step… next you plan out the chapters.

Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!
# # #

Writing Articles For Your Book, Service or Business

I’d like to say it’s tough out there, but then, it’s always been a challenge to promote a business… that’s what advertising and networking are for…and today the action of attracting targeted traffic to your website cannot be overemphasized. Fortunately, there are many different website promotion strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website. With all the new concepts, seo, spiders, and algorithms in use, directing internet traffic to your website can be your number one means of survival, especially in the world of ecommerce. Getting a high search engine ranking can be very tedious and time consuming.

There is a wide variety of strategies you can put into place—ranging from paid advertising to affiliate marketing. However, most of these techniques require payment. Nevertheless, there are ways to promote your website and increase your web traffic without spending anything. Writing articles is one of the best web site promotion strategies besides commenting on other peoples related blog posts, that you can use, and they can be very effective. How, you may ask, can writing articles help improve your web traffic? Here are the top seven ways in which it can help expand your business.

1. More people get to see what you are doing

Be sure you are writing articles for informative on-topic subjects, you want to share them. By posting  these articles to your website or online sites such as e-zine articles and other online e-publishers, you are exposing not only your ideas but also access to your website. By the simple action of including a link back to your site you get exposure and free advertising as well.  Remember that most people are looking for information online and by filling this need with your quality articles, you will reap the benefit of more exposure and higher web traffic.

2. Increases your chance of your website being raked higher on the search results seo

Create a post page for your article, and optimize it with appropriate keywords and content that are search-engine friendly. As soon as you publish the post, search engines will review it with their spiders. Remember that search engine optimized content is a very effective strategy to gain a high ranking in search results.

3. Optimizes your site for improved search engine ranking

By making your site keyword relevant, you can greatly improve the search engine ranking of your site. Remember that search engines are looking for keywords that match your site description and content.  Always provide current, useful and targeted information.  Relevance and quality is still the most important things to consider when writing articles and it will be doubly useful to your site when they pay attention to search-engine optimization.

4. Increases Link Popularity using other websites

Research how to submit your articles to other sites, both ones that are related to your subject and article libraries. Be sure to remember to include a link to your book website in your bio box. When other websites pick up and publish the article, you automatically get a link partner. Try to get as many link partners as you can. Link popularity is one of the factors used by search engines in determining search engine rankings. Make your article especially useful and appealing, so that more websites will be encouraged to publish it.

5. Seeing your name, book title,  or company name is just more Free Advertising

Submitting your articles to other websites is another form of advertising by way of using your name, book title or business name. Avoid heavy marketing language and make the article informative and useful. In addition, by making your article relevant and helpful you are making a good impression for your book or company, which could ultimately lead to a visit and hopefully a purchase. Good quality content in an article is far better and more effective than a few lines of ad space. You have a very special opportunity to presell your book, product or service to your prospective customer.

6. Establishes You as a professional and your book content as important

By writing comprehensive, original and relevant articles, you not only give your site exposure, you are also creating a good impression on your concepts and services. Encourage more people to visit your site and do business with you by establishing an impressive reputation through your articles. Be seen as an expert in the field and your will ultimately gain more customers eager to do business with you.

Remember, do something every day toward the production and promotion of your book, service or company and contact me to help move you faster and effectively. There are several consulting options to choose from. Lets talk!

# # #

News: The Differences between Reading Digital and Physical Books

bi-literal-readingI read more pbooks (physical books) than ebooks (digital) and I do lots of research online… mostly I find that the sitting posture for reading online disturbing as I work at a computer all day so it seems like work. I can understand how the article relates online reading to research, the ability to scan as that seems to be the action for work.

Mostly fiction books are ebooks which are for letting the mind escape. So I’m guessing e or p will work for that since you can take it anywhere with you.

Then there are the non-fiction books, some could have live links in a ebook form but when read in the pbook form might bring a different type of learning and remembering.

It all boils down to what we become accustomed to… I like pbooks best…

Here is the link to the article at POST LOCAL


Remember, do something every day  toward the production and promotion of your book, service, product or company and contact me to help you move it forward faster.

# # #

Where and how to begin your book promotion.

Book Promotion, or marketing can probably be said to be at least 90% of your job once you’ve decided to write a book and self publish it. But don’t feel overwhelmed just yet. You begin this process early on so by the time the book is written and designed you have a system created that works for you.

Here are some things you can think about setting up:
1.    I had an author that contacted schools like the ones she taught at
2.    Libraries
3.    Readers Groups
4.    Special Interest Clubs and Organizations
5.    Friends and family for suggestions… never know when a 6 year old will open your eyes
6.    Begin Local
7.    Small Business Associations
8.    National Assoc. for the Self Employed
9.    Local Seniors Assoc
10.    Any place that your target audience will go to
11.    Social Media
12.    Magazines and newspapers
13.    Do extensive internet searches
14.    Think, where would I look if I wanted this information or help
15.    lots more…. just think

That all being listed, seems like it’s just a matter of putting together another outline and mapping out the sequence you want to start with. Watch how every place you research for content development can turn into a place to promote.

Remember, do something every day  toward the production and promotion of your book, service, product or company and contact me to help you move it forward faster.

# # #

BOOK DESIGN: Everyone needs a Photo… Right? Headshots and other Photo Tips

Know, like and trust. This is what we build with our books, services and website. Visuals play a big part in creating this trust. And we all know we need a photo. Just how important that photo quality is depends on how you will be using it.

If you plan to use it for web use, the resolution doesn’t have to be very high, 72dpi will work fine. But anytime you plan to use a photo for print work you need to be sure the resolution is as high as you can get for best quality reproduction. Professional photographers will make your files high resolution. You’ll also need to think about the style you want them to be. Be sure to cover all looks, suit, jacket, dress, sweater, scarf, tie, accessories or not. Do a variety for best use of time and try not to do all the photos as planned poses.

If you want to take your own photos, I suggest you consider the following:

When taking shots with your own camera be sure it is at least 7 or more mega pixels and is set at the highest resolution it will go, or ask around at your local Continue reading

Book Promotion: How to write a “live” link that helps with Promotion

Get “them” to go to your site… each time you write a post for FaceBook, Twitter or other live feed site. Each time you add your URL, you create a back-link to your site which adds to the positive aspect of your site history for search engines.

The correct way to write your link so it is ‘live’ is to be sure to use — http:// — before the www. as I’ve done above in my contact tag… this will make your domain address a live link, which means a person can click on it and they will automatically be taken to Continue reading

Book Awards: Axiom Business Book Awards


image ©www.AxiomAwards.com

Here is another award show you might take a look at… remember, this is a part of your self publishing book promotion and marketing.

“The Axiom Business Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary business books and their creators, with the understanding that business people are a very well-read and informed segment of the population, eager to improve their careers and businesses. The Axiom Awards celebrate the innovative, intelligent, and creative aspects of the books that make us think, see, and work differently every day.” Axiom Awards
The Axiom Business Book Awards accepts entries starting in Sept-Dec (usually) To learn more about the Axiom Business Book Awards visit www.AxiomAwards.com

Remember, keep doing something every day toward your book and promotion.
Karrie Ross
Your Book Cover Designer

Places to get Publicity for your eBook….

Ebook Awards Bring Publicity to Your Ebook

Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards
Open to entries until June 30. eBooks in the English language from any country.

EPIC’s eBook Awards(TM)
Open to entries from June 1 to July 15. Entries must be published in English and released for sale between June 1 of the previous year through May 31 the current year.

These are just a few. Be sure to put your suggestions in the comments box on the actual post and thank you for sharing.

Obama Speech: Talking Speaker of the event….

No one can deny how amazing it is that 2 million showed up for the swearing in of our new President Barack Obama, it was an event to be watched. There is a company, TalkingSpeaker.com who takes recordings and then turns them into promotional vehicles for your product, service or business. Here is one he is giving away with the Obama speech

Get yours too… here is the link https://www.talkingspeaker.com/barack/obama.html

Remember, do something everyday to promote your product, service or company in a new and exciting way.

Karrie Ross

Tips: naming files; home pages; using icons

Here are a few tips about anything book or business…of course there are a lot more… and please write yours in the comments section below. It’s always nice to share your knowledge… and we love to hear it!

1. Naming files: don’t use punctuation. No ‘,’ commas or ‘.’ periods or ‘/’ slashes or other such OR spaces. Try to fill in any blanks with a ‘_’ underscore or a ‘-‘ hyphen. This will make your files read better is uploaded or imported.

2. Home pages: these do best when organized from the beginning leaving room to grow. Start with a flow chart of what you do and what you will be offering. There is a saying… nothing is more than two clicks away for your important messages. And don’t forget that the home page is best received by spiders when the SEO is clear and on keyword.

3. Using icons on your website: icons help an otherwise dull site to come alive and have / give direction to the people who come to the site. There are many places to buy full sets so they look the same or make your own using royalty free images and placing a name to them. Try to keep them in standard places from page to page and post to post, this way you begin to identify a process for your audience to follow to your information.

Are You Looking to Promote Your Book To Reading Groups?

Have you ever belonged to a Readers Group? They can be a great source of sales for your book. I’ve known many people who love their groups and the diversity of books they read and discuss. Some groups pick a book a week while other groups read a book a month…  They still need to find the books for the group to read and outline the interesting parts and things to consider .

Guides seem to be the way to do it. And as Book Club Resources defines it on their guide page “Reading group guides, also referred to as simply reading guides, are short documents designed to assist book clubs by providing specific discussion topics and questions for a given work.”

Here are some other sites I found:

Amazon has a page for the Month’s Book Club Pick

Random House has a Book Club Center

Reading Group Center Offers a list of Book Guides

Beacon Publishing has a guide list for both Fiction and Non-Fiction

And here is a site I looked through a little more about submitting your guide:
I ran across ReadingGroupGuides.com today and at first glance they seem to have it all covered. The ‘getting books in front of groups eyes’.   They have a long list of genres and titles.
The home page had lots of items listed to move the viewer along:
  • Reading Group Blog
  • Special Features and Contests
  • New and Recommended List for both Fiction and Non-Fiction
  • Christian Readers
  • Registered Book Club Promotions
  • What to Read Next Spotlight List
  • Book Group Feature
  • Top 25 Picks

Continue reading

Book Design: Now what was that phrase again…? Finding the lost words.

screenshot ©netspeak.org

I just heard about this site http://www.netspeak.org that finds words that finish phrases for you… all you do is type in the part you remember and a symbol suchs as ?  *  {   }  [  ] and it’s little wheel starts spinning and poof there is a list of completions for you to choose from.

I wonder if they have an app?

I know when I write I don’t always remember the phrases I’d like to use and tell stories about… this will come in handy.

Do you know of any other tools that might add to the writing experience? Let us know in the comments box on the post page.


Web-Presence: setting meta tags for SEO

There are a lot of websites out there that don’t use their meta-tags at all! These are very important for your SEO and page ranking. I use the following for my html and WordPress sites.

For an HTML Site:

They are positioned between  <head> and <head> above the <body>  in html.

Here are the meta-name tags I place

Continue reading

Book Production: making changes to the pdf you sent to the printer.

If you have Acrobat Professional you can make small changes to the pdfs you send to the printer. You will need to be sure to keep a list of the changes you make so when you go into your source files again you can be sure the file is up to date with the pdf. Both PC and MAC friendly.

Acrobat Professional allows you to make one character changes like adding an ‘s’ or comma within a line. It will also allow you to add at the end of a paragraph where there is room and if it goes to another line the must be room for that on the page. It has limitations and some of your changes may Continue reading