Blog

The Art of the Good Cover

Two Covers - Art of Foil Fencing You should never judge a book by it’s cover. But that’s exactly what we all do. The book stores are full of fantastic books with terrible covers that are never read. And also full of amazing covers selling terrible books that only disappoint.

Which is why you have to create the best cover you can just to draw readers to open the first page. It is the most important selling tool you have. …

Why every design needs three levels of typographic hierarchy (re-post)

Why every design needs three levels of typographic hierarchy“Hierarchy—it’s a big word, and an important but an easy-to-implement concept when it comes to typography.”

So begins an insightful beginner-level article on Canva written by Janie Kliever: Why every design needs three levels of typographic hierarchy, posted under Design elements and principles. …

Sample: The State of Play (Winning at Epée)

Winning at Epee cover croppedDepending on where you’re from, five foot seven may not seem that short. The trouble is that epée fencing, with its lack of priority or right of way rules, makes epée all the more attractive for the taller fencers.

Having the whole body as the target means that, unlike foil, almost anything goes. You only have to hit somewhere on your opponent before the 1/25th of a second lockout to score before they do. And if you’re in the lead, you can afford to take a few risks, concede double hits and still win the bout. …

DRM: still defective by design

Image: Microsoft e-book store on EdgeMicrosoft announced in April that it was closing the Microsoft Store’s e-books section. The short-lived foray into e-books began in 2017 as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update. With the closure of the store, Microsoft also set a date this month (July) by which it would remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them. The how and the why? Digital Rights Management – DRM. …

The role of independent publishers

Image: Spring sunrise captured by Jan Ubels, Creative CommonsTake a look at the output of the Big Five publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, along with their multitude of subsidiary imprints) and you’ll see a tendency to spend big on a few titles in the hope of getting enough big hits to cover losses on the rest. Like the Hollywood studios, the Big Five gamble on their reading of the mass market to move volume, on an International scale, and not cater for the full spectrum of audience tastes. …

The Self-publishing Revolution

Image: letterpress typeThe last two decades have seen huge changes in the publishing industries – the consolidation of publishers and agents, the advent of cost-effective digital printing for small runs, and the rise of the Internet as a discovery and distribution platform. It’s an industry my father would barely recognise from his time in publishing during the 1970’s. …

The First Draft

Image: Longhand pagesThere are many ways to start writing a book, both fiction and non-fiction. Without a first draft, you don’t have a book, just an idea. But a completed first draft is just that – a beginning and not an end.

Whether you sit down and start at the beginning and just write down whatever comes from your stream of consciousness, or you carefully plan and outline the whole thing from beginning to end, whatever gets you started has value. …