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Stand by Me RP exceeds expectations!

Stand by Me RP by Dave Steele

Only one week into launch and Stand by Me RP has already sold over 100 copies, made back its production costs in royalties and launched on Kindle. This has been a great title to work on for Kissed Off Creations Ltd.

The book was created to raise awareness of RP, as well as helping those who have been diagnosed with the condition.

As a first time author the publication of my first book was something I was very nervous and excited for. Natalie and all at Kissed Off Creations put me at ease straight away guiding me through every step of the process whilst showing a real care and understanding for the content of my work. From editing developing the structure and content of my book to designing the cover, Natalie made each step stress free and exciting as we moved closer to the release date. My Book entitled Stand by me RP has been out for only a week and has already been noted as the number one European poetry release by American Amazon and with the support of Kissed Off Creations it looks certain to go from strength to strength. I plan with following it up with an audiobook and other versions with Natalie’s help in the near future.
Kissed off creations have made a dream come true and this is just the beginning of a long and successful relationship.
Dave Steele Author of Stand by me RP

Stand by Me RP

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Deadlines: Why write NOW for Christmas?

Get writing to meet Christmas deadlines

Christmas sales are the main target for some titles (cookbooks, children’s titles and more), as well as some titles focussing on New Year release. However, production of these titles starts many months before, with our busy time typically being in summer. Last year, we had a few authors that wanted their books published for Christmas that simply left it too late. So to avoid that this year here’s a breakdown of deadlines for you.

When to order my publishing package for my pre-Christmas publishing date?

We would advise letting us know about your book at the earliest possible date. If you are purchasing our Write module, you should be telling us NOW about your book. This is due to the additional work required prior to design. Curate should be notified to us by the end of March/early April, with a list of sources available for us to start on. Titles that you would like us to proof read and Edit should be available to do so end of May/early June. For all other books, we recommend getting these to us by the end of June. These guidelines would then lead to your book being published in September to maximise the number of pre-Christmas sales.

What if I decide to go Print-on-Demand instead?

Print on demand titles and electronic titles can be provided to us a little later. Please note: this will require you to proof your book digitally, as printed proofs take additional time. Final deadline for sign off of artwork for print on demand would be 15th September.

What if I miss my deadline?

Although we will try our best, you may prefer to choose to change to a print-on-demand or digital only release.  The absolute cut off point for these is the start of September.

How can Kissed Off Creations Ltd help me meet my deadline?

We offer two content creation modules for those who are struggling to find the time to write their book. We also have some great writing blog posts that can help you when you have a blank page moment. We are also developing several writing aid tools to help you that are due to be released this year.

We also maintain a schedule of releases, so we can ensure that your launch does not clash with any of our other titles.

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Cover image: the Importance of a Great Cover!

Portfolio-Mockup

This month we have seen a number of cover issues arise. I thought this week’s blog post could be a way of covering these frequently asked questions to help you get your book right first time.

Can I use a cover I’ve already had designed?

Our packages all include cover design, however some authors come to us having one “ready to go”. In some cases, we are approached as “I’ve had this designed for me by [my daughter, my neighbour, a uni student, my dog]”, and while we celebrate creativity in all its forms, great cover design is key to good sales. People unfortunately DO judge books by their covers, and when its shown at 2x4cm on Amazon it needs to make an impact!

I’ve even received covers from other graphic designers that don’t meet the basic standards! Artwork not in the correct ratio, let alone the correct size and resolution for print. A few have even come with licensing issues (and therefore fall foul of our terms and conditions).

Cover guidelines for designers

If you are going to use another professional designer and/or illustrator to design your cover, then we recommend the following…

  • Add on extra design for bleeds as well as any formatting issues that may arise through changes in your book. We would recommend a 9th of your cover design size all the way around – too much is a lot better than too little.
  • Make sure artwork is supplied in a vector-based format PDF, with fonts embedded.
  • Any images and fonts used must be supplied with appropriate proof of licences.
  • Do not provide spine artwork with text unless your title is over 130 pages.
  • If your design has an underlying texture, provide this as a separate file.
  • Ensure your cover is legible when viewed at thumbnail size.
  • Mock book covers are unacceptable.

What we do with unacceptable designs

Where we are provided with unacceptable covers, we either ignore the file provided or use it as a base concept (depending on the issue).

A recent example used a strong concept, but all the images used had licensing issues. Instead, we used the basic concept to create a stronger, impactful cover that works much better on the platform.

Where this is not possible, we will ask you about the file you have provided in order to get a brief for your new cover.

Our usual process for cover design

Where we are left to do the cover design as included with your package, we simultaneously design your cover to fit your book’s specification as well as viewing it at thumbnail size. Our vast experience in cover design has been honed across many platforms, so we can deliver cross platform success.

Our cover development stage occurs towards the end of our process. Once, your book inners have been completed, we can ensure the perfect design including any spine that may need to be included. Before the sign off of your inners, this cannot be guaranteed. So by this time, we thoroughly know your book and its intended/likely audience, sales platforms and production methods.

We develop 3 initial concepts for your book outer as well as how the back of the book would work. It’s easy in these times of online book buying to underestimate the importance of your back cover. You can then choose your preferred concept, mix and match or we can create a new concept based on your feedback.

Once you are happy with your book design, we also develop a mock up book for social media and other marketing strategies. That way, you can market your book before its even out on Amazon. We encourage our authors to build their following throughout the book publishing process. If you want to ask your followers about your book concepts that is fine, and we can even help you by supplying social sized images.

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FTP: Terminology Explained

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. In the days when email could only carry very small attachments, large files could be transferred by FTP. However, these days the technology is only really used for bulk uploading of websites.

What are my FTP details?

These would be setup with your web hosting through your online panel. Usually you can find the format of these in their help files, but you will have to setup a password. In some cases, this would be your usual domain logon details. There will usually be an icon in your main control panel for accessing these settings (not to be confused with DNS settings).

If you don’t have hosting for your website, this is something we can help you with.

FTP is used when we code or design websites using HTML rather than WordPress based sites. If we ask you for FTP details, typically this would be for a managed site service where we would be updating the website for you.

Once you have the details, we would then enter this into our software for upload. At which point, the details become stored as part of your site file. These would only need to be updated upon software updates or due to changes made by you. Files are then transferred by our software direct from our web design software to keep your website secure.

 

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Terminology Explained: A new series

I’ve decided to start a new blog post series with Terminology Explained. This series will cover popular design, graphic and digital terminology.

Why?

It’s easy as a designer to use terminology as a shortcut to explaining an idea or concept. However, all too often we forget to tailor these for our audiences. So, when I use an industry term in place of describing something, I’m going to post the term on here. I will then add a full explanation in plain english. I also hope to include examples and visuals where needed. Hopefully, this will build into a great glossary research – both for our clients and also those who are considering working with us. I already have my first couple of posts planned based on the last 24 hours alone.

Make a terminology suggestion

Clients can also suggest terms we have used that they want a little more depth of detail on.

You will be able to find these terms both by searching this blog but also by referring to the Terminology Glossary page that will be made available shortly. If you have a term or concept you’d like us to cover, then drop us a line.