Four P’s of Being a Published Writer

Living Your Dream of Being a Published Author

becoming a published writer

In the Beginning, We Know Very Little. All Authors Started this Way.

When we first begin to write, many of us question our ability to write and become a published writer. This is normal, because we compare ourselves to other successful authors. In the beginning of doing anything, most of us are not very good. We have to learn. The key aspects to making your way through the process to become a published writer are listed here.

The Four P’s of Becoming a Published Writer

Click Here for Your Free Self-Publishing Toolkit by Deborah S. Nelson from Publishing Solo

the 4 P's of becoming a published writerPassion: Are you passionate about writing? Do you seem to write journals, articles, books, constantly, even though you may  not be a professional writer? If you are passionate about writing, this is step one on the path to being a published writer.

the 4 P's of becoming a published writerPractice: When learning anything, practice makes perfect. How do you get practice? Start a journal, a blog, or find a blog for which you would like to be a guest writer. Bloggers are looking for fresh, new, content, and most would love to tap into guest writers. To sign up for your own free blog, go to or These are free blog formats.

the 4 P's of becoming a published writerPerfecting: Get connected with other writers by joining writer’s groups or taking courses. Learn, share, and grow by being with others who also love to write. Writer’s groups prompt writers to share writings and give critiques. Do not take these too seriously. If they offer ideas you like, take them and go. If not, just discard them.

the 4 P's of becoming a published writerPatience: Becoming a published writer can be a lifelong task. Your writing will get better with time and practice. Be willing to write for the pure passion of it, and do not get attached to making money. Sometimes taking a job as a part-time writer or working for a magazine or publisher can be helpful. I took a job with a publishing company for a few years; and the experience was invaluable.

If you love to write, and have a dream to be a published writer, keep going. Do not let anyone say that you are not a good writer. Just keep practicing, learning, and perfecting. I started writing in journals in my teens, and it was not until my fifties that I wrote and published my first book! Louisa Hay of Hay House Publishing published her first books in her sixties. Sometimes your passion takes a life time to come to fruition; but totally worth it!

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Judging Covers: Design a Book Cover

How to Design a Cover for a Self-Published Book

By Deborah S. Nelson

How to design a book cover

Design a Compelling Book Cover for your Self-Published Book

When publishing a book yourself, one of the most important aspects is how to design a book cover. Since the majority of  books are sold online, the book cover is a small icon, and you will only have a few seconds to entice readers to buy your books. To help you design a book cover which looks professional and compelling, be sure to include the following components:

  1. Front Cover: Compelling graphic (300 dpi) which represents the message of your book, book title, book subtitle, author name
  2. Spine: Book title, author name, publishing company. This must match exactly the information in your title that is associated with your book’s assigned ISBN number
  3. Back Cover: Author professional head shot, author bio, persuasively intriguing book synopsis, ISBN number

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Hire a Book Cover Designer

The best way how to design a book cover is to hire a professional designer, but be careful. This could run over $1,000 if you are not informed and ready. The following is a list of tips how to hire and manage a book cover designer:

Step 1: How to Make a Book CoverGet a Quote First: Hire a book cover designer with book cover experience and samples. Ask for written quotes for your book cover. Apply for print on demand account for access to printing specifications of the book cover. Provide this info to potential cover designers. For a print on demand account, sign up for a free CreateSpace account, it is free to apply.

Self-publish a book yourself Step 2Let me save you one nightmare: Do not agree to pay by the hour. Ask for a written estimate for the cost of the book cover and ask how many rounds of corrections this will include. Provide the exact specifications of your book cover, according to your print on demand company.

STEP 3: Making a Book CoverState a deadline:  Your book cover design could take a long time. Freelance graphic artists have other work to do for other clients, and yours will go to the bottom of the list without a clear and reasonable deadline for completion. .


How to Make a Book Cover-Step 3- Self-publishing a bookProvide the following: Author headshot, front cover graphic, ISBN number, synopsis, author bio for the back cover, the exact title and subtitle of your book; and cover template from your print on demand account. They will be clear of the EXACT printing specifications required. When time to print, the files will be accepted for printing, not rejected.

Making a Book Cover--Self-publishing a Book Step 5Images for the cover: Provide all images at least 300 DPI (300 dots per inch). Because of potential copyright infringement, buy the images or use your own images for which you own the copyrights. Be sure all images are graphically appealing and simple. Include only the headshot of the author, no complex background.

Making a Book Cover--Step 6 Self-Publishing a BookStart a DropBox Account: Organize all your book files in a file folder. When you need to transfer something to the designer, send them the link to avoid lengthy uploading process or difficulties with emailing large files. Going back and forth with trying to open files is quite time-consuming and will significantly slow the process down.

Making a Book Cover-Ste[ 7 Self-Publishing a BookPre-Design: Use the CreateSpace Cover Creator to establish an idea of what you want before you send the design concept to a book cover designer. This will save time and frustration. Communicate clearly with the designer by letting them know right up front the exact specifications for the book cover. Refer to our Createspace Cover Template if needed.

Low Cost DIY Covers or Free CreateSpace Cover Template

If you want to do it yourself, use the free CreateSpace Cover  Creator software or your own design software. Createspace offers a Cover Designer for free if you have a Createspace print on demand account.  Click on this link to watch the CreateSpace Cover Tutorial Video. If you want to know how to design a book cover yourself, you will need to use a good graphic design software. You can download a free trial of Adobe In Design and use it for 30 days. When you are complete with your book cover design, export it to a print ready PDF and upload to your print on demand account.

RELATED ARTICLE: Why Hire a Ghostwriter

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How to Make a Book | Three Types

How to Make a Book|Easy-Medium-Advanced

by Deborah S. Nelson, Author-Book Coach-Speaker
How to Make a Book

Three Ways How to Make a Book Online

Digital publishing has brought some new developments.  Now. it is easy for an ordinary person to learn how to publish a book. If you are creative and have always wanted to make a book, this article will give you an overview of the options and steps to make that possible. To simplify the process, I have divided different ways into three categories. These include, The Four-Color Gift Book,  Print on Demand Paperback, and Short Run Book Publishing. With these options, your creative spirit can soar.

Easy|Color Gift Book

Click Here for Your Free Self-Publishing Toolkit by Deborah S. Nelson from Publishing Solo

If you want only a one-time book project with no need to market your books, the four-color hard cover book is fun and easy to do. For this option, I feel that the the best company is I love Blurb! You can learn how to self publish a book with the greatest of ease using Blurb.

The beautiful thing with Blurb is you can create full-color books with a hard cover. If you want to publish a children’s book,  a book of art, a photography portfolio, or anything that requires full-color on the inside and outside, is your best choice to learn the beginning basics of how to make a book online. With their proprietary software, BookSmart, you can easily create books without the steep learning curve of professional book publishing software.

Easy User Friendly Book Publishing Software

Blurb software automatically does page numbering, the copyright pages, and the right blank pages, and a few pages of optional front matter. Blurb has no option for marketing your book through online booksellers or the book publishing industry.

This is a great option if you want to create a gift book or legacy book or a book to use for presentations in your business. The books might seem pricey, but the fact that you can print just one book using their print on demand system for under $25-$500 is phenomenal (depending on how many pages).DIY how to publish a book kits

Stunning Full-Color Gift Books

My daughter created an epoch 400-page book following her friend’s romance which led up to marriage as a wedding gift. Another book she created was a photo-journal of her best friend’s cat, about 250 pages, in memory of “Jet Boy” who had been lovingly euthanized. One of my students collected old Italian recipes from her beloved grandmother and published the recipes in memory of her.

If you prefer creativity and minimal technical frustrations, you can learn how to make your book with the greatest of ease using Blurb’s proprietary book software.

Medium|Print on Demand Books|Sell on Amazon

The next option, especially if you want to sell books, is to print on demand. This option is great if you want to buy books in small quantities to provide for workshops or seminars you may teach. Additionally, The easiest and least expensive print on demand option is to use the paperback format.

The paperback format offers multiple size options, depending on which print on demand company you choose. All of them offer four-color front and back covers with black and white interior, up to as much as 400 pages. Basically, you will need to create two digital files, one for the cover, and one for the interior of the book. Most print on demand companies require the file to be in a print ready (300 dpi) PDF format.

For a professional look, initially the layout is usually done in In Design. Next, the graphic artist will export that file to a print ready PDF, required by the printer. Lastly, upload these files to your print on demand account.
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Advanced|Short Run Book Printing|Book Store Sales

Finally, search Google for short run printing companies to print your book. Depending on size, color (or black and white), hard back cover, type of paper, number of copies required, and shape, you will gather different quotes. They will quote you based on “camera- or print-ready art.”

For starters, find a graphic design specialist for the cover, and one for the book interior.  Next, in order to sell in book stores, register as a publisher at Bowker Books. Once, registered, purchase an ISBN number, so your book will be listed in BOOKS IN PRINT. Notably, this is the main source from which book stores order their books.

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