Thinking About Design

By Willowbl00 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Willowbl00 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Good design can mean the difference between someone purchasing your product/book and passing on it. There’s a lot of emphasis on UX/UI design now, and the concepts can be applied to anything you sell.

Design and Words

Design Tools

Design Tutorials and Projects

Tips and Tricks


Guest Post: 5 Money-Saving DIY Design Tricks for Self-Publishers

You decided to put your thoughts to paper and have a manuscript that you deem worthy of publication. However, you do not want to pay a company to use expensive and proprietary software to make your book stand out among the rest of the books on a book store shelf or on Amazon. Here are 5 do-it-yourself design tricks that will save you money. Continue reading

Guest Post: Unleash the Power of Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful, flexible tool that allows you to create great art and graphics. Read on for how to learn more about taking advantage of all of Adobe Photoshop’s features.

By Brenda Barron

Photoshop gives you the tools to accomplish some amazing image editing techniques without having specialist knowledge, so think what you could achieve with a few handy tutorials to help increase your abilities.

101 Photoshop Tutorials is a handy resource that aims to fill any of those gaps in your knowledge and give you the confidence and know-how to create some awesome images once you know how to use the tool gallery, get to grips with grids and guidelines, create actions in Photoshop, plus many other features and tools aimed at helping you create a professional and creative image.


FotoJet, an Online Collage Maker, Graphic Designer, and Photo Editor

Visuals are an important aspect of building platforms. Think about it. What is more likely to catch your eye on Twitter or Facebook? A few words and maybe a link, or a strong image that conveys a message?

There’s a reason for the idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

With that in mind, I recently had the chance to try out a new graphics platform, called FotoJet. The folks at FotoJet were kind enough to give me a premium account so I could test out all their features. As a side note, you can sign up for a free account and use most of the features. But if you do choose to upgrade to the Plus account, for $4.99 per month, you get access to more editing tools and more content (templates, fonts, etc.).

I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first thing I heard about FotoJet was that I could use it to make posters. And that’s possible. It’s also possible to create collages, invitations, flyers, cards, and magazine covers, which you can download and print on your own. But it turns out to be a very useful tool for creating social media graphics.

What I ended up doing was creating an image for I Know Dino’s Instagram. Here’s the final result:

Continue reading

Photos, Stickers, Animation, and More : A Collection of Visuals for Authors

By davitydave from San Francisco, CA, USA (Wedding Cake  Uploaded by Mindmatrix) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By davitydave from San Francisco, CA, USA (Wedding Cake Uploaded by Mindmatrix) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to marketing, visuals are all important–both online and off.


Photos are great for blogs as well as for books. Make sure you have the rights to use those photos. That’s where stock images come in handy.


Just for fun, you can reverse GIFs with this handy tool.

You can also make stories out of GIFs. BoingBoing talks about novels that are comprised entirely of GIFs, and The Verge shows examples of James Kerr’s GIFs that repurpose Renaissance paintings.


For icons, animations, fonts, and more, check out Pixel Buddha.

For fonts, see “Not Sure What Font Looks Best for Web?” on Design School.

For fun dongers (unicode characters that form an emoticon), see Donger List.

Interesting Visuals

As Wired reported, even screenshots play an important role for people. Here’s a list of examples of visuals that have made an impact:

How Tos and Tools

To turn photos into line art:

To remove borders on a video:

To create your own animations:

To make your own stickers:

Indie Authors: What’s in a Book Cover?

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 8.29.56 PM

It’s well known that a good book cover is a key component of selling a book (aside from having a great story, of course). But with so many books out there for readers to choose from (especially now that indie authors as well as traditional publishers are now making high quality book covers of similar caliber, according to Publishing Perspectives) what can make your cover stand out? Continue reading

Ebook Formatting Options for Indie Authors

By Per Palmkvist Knudsen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Per Palmkvist Knudsen (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

For indie authors, one great way to save money when it comes to publishing your books is to learn how to make your own ebooks. Personally, when it comes to creating ebooks, I recommend using Sigil, and I teach an online course on Udemy on how to use Sigil and other free tools to create your own beautiful ebooks.

But there are a myriad of other options. Below are some examples: Continue reading

A Look at Interactive Ebooks

Interactive, multimedia ebooks are starting to gain some traction. In addition to embedding audio and video, some ebook creators are experimenting with game elements, using GPS, and adding activities. Continue reading

Indie Authors: Digital Comics

Novels, children picture books, and even cookbooks are often discussed in the digital publishing realm, but another type of book is gaining more prominence: comic books. Continue reading

Indie Authors: High Quality Book Covers

When it comes to selling books, having an eye-catching cover is high on the list of getting more readers and buyers.

But there’s a lot to consider. Should you make the cover yourself? Hire a designer? Use stock photos?  Continue reading