Free Online Resources for Self-Publishers

free pixabay pay-706798_640
FREE courtesy of Pixabay!

Just over a year ago I wrote a post highlighting some free online resources for writers. Since that time, I’ve discovered even more wonderful free resources for photos, music, backgrounds, fonts, and more, so it’s definitely time for an update.

Each site has a section regarding licensing, which needs to be read prior to downloading and using content. Some sites don’t require any attribution, but some do, so make sure to read the fine print.

Links to all the various sites won’t be included in this post, because minions can get into trouble with Google for posting too many scammy-looking links. But at the bottom of this post will be a link to one of Indies Unlimited’s fabulous resource pages, where you can find links to all the sites mentioned.

First up, Photos: Continue reading “Free Online Resources for Self-Publishers”

Basic Elements of Digital Book Cover Design

book cover examplesby K. S. Brooks & Stephen Hise.

The books that appear in features on Indies Unlimited have been through a comprehensive vetting process, a portion of which considers the book cover. In many cases, the individual elements of the cover design do not work together to convey a professional representation of the book’s content. Sometimes, this means that someone took a photograph the equivalent of a “snapshot” and inserted some plain text on top of it. This can result in a homemade look which, to readers, may scream “amateur.” While the self-published stigma is fading, indies still have to work hard to put out a good quality product. And the cover is a big part of that. The reader will keep going if the cover is anything less than catchy and professional.

We understand that many indies do not have the funds to spend on a professionally-designed book cover. At Indies Unlimited, we try to give authors the tools to do these kinds of things themselves. We’ve published a number of posts on the importance of a good book cover and even provide a resource page with tips and tools on how to design a book cover.

This article details the specific elements we take into consideration when evaluating book covers. Of course, each cover is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. But don’t take our word for any of these. Take a peek at this page filled with sample book covers and see the difference for yourself. Continue reading “Basic Elements of Digital Book Cover Design”

How to Download and Install Fonts

fun with fontsNot long ago, an author asked me to take a look at her book cover while she was designing it. The old-style oil painting in the background was very nice – but I thought the title font was too modern. So, I searched for some rustic fonts online and gave her the links.

“Okay, now what?” she asked.

Hence, the reason for this tutorial. (By the way, she ended up going with a great font that fit the cover perfectly!)

There are lots of websites which offer free font downloads. As with anything you do online, check to make sure that before you open anything – you’ve ascertained it does not contain a virus, and check the licensing terms as far as usage goes. Some designers only allow free font downloads for personal use. Personal use is basically anything that does not generate financial income. Things like personal scrapbooking, family or non-profit websites, or anything printed to be used for non-profit organizations.

For a book cover, author website, advertising flyers, and/or swag – these items would fall under commercial usage. In these instances, if you really really want to use that font and it’s marked for personal use only, you would need to contact the artist directly to see what the terms would be.

So, with that out of the way, let’s locate a font to download. I’ve decided to try since Melissa Bowersock recommended them. What’s neat about this site is it actually gives you the opportunity to see what your book’s title (or whatever you need it for) will look like in the typeface before you download it. See screenshot below: Continue reading “How to Download and Install Fonts”

LynneQuisition with Joel Friedlander

This week, we’re beginning a new feature called LynneQuisition. Once a month or so, I’ll be grilling – er, asking questions of – some of the big names in our nascent industry.

My first guest is Joel Friedlander, a.k.a. the Book Designer – a great site with tons of terrific info for indies. (The fact that he picked up my IU post about formatting books for CreateSpace has in no way influenced my opinion of his expertise.) Continue reading “LynneQuisition with Joel Friedlander”