We’re heading to the final stages of your book now, as this chapter will deal with the structure of your book. Let’s get right to the writer tools you’ll need as you prepare for publication.
Writer Tools #1: The Title
Many authors start out knowing exactly what they plan to use as a title – others don’t. Either way, your title will be an important factor in whether someone will pick it up or not. So how do you choose a title?
Some go with their gut and others get advice and ideas from their friends and family. Others agonize over it throughout the process before eventually settling on a title. It’s a personal process, so do what works for you, but consider what sells:
I don’t know about you, but I’ve picked up books because the title appealed, just to be left wondering What the heck did the book have to do with the title? Don’t do that to your readers. By all means, make it catchy by applying a twist, but don’t forget that the title should explain what the book is about. Use this formula to help you create a name:
[Your book’s focus] + [a twist] = Your Title
Let’s look at the attributes of a good title:
- It grabs your attention
- It is memorable
- It is informative
- It is easy to say
You want your book to leave a lasting impression, and the title should be simple enough to remember and pronounce so that it can easily go viral.
Writer Tools # 2: Cover Design
Don’t fret if you’re not a designer, because you can get someone to do it for you for $5 on Fiverr. It may even be included in your publishing package, if you’re using a self-publishing service. However, bear in mind these important tips to ensure your cover is effective.
- Be open-minded regarding the design and look at a minimum of three options from your designer.
- Don’t be too specific on the cover as it can be overwhelming.
- Your cover image must be 300 PPI or DPI as a minimum.
- Ensure that the title is big and easy to read, and revise a thumbnail of the cover to see whether it is easy to read.
- Never use Papyrus or Comic Sans fonts.
- Limit your cover font to a maximum of two different fonts and avoid special styling.
- Avoid using clipart. Rather browse high quality stock photography sites.
- Pay attention to your color combinations.
I would recommend against attempting designing your own cover, unless you actually have experience. Rather find a designer to do it, or have your publisher take care of it.
Writer Tools #3: Writing the Back Page
Your back-cover copy needs to be compelling and persuasive. It has to be good enough to grab readers and entice them to read your book. You have up to 200 words in which to do that.
I recommend that you look at the best-sellers in your genre to get some ideas that you could incorporate in your own back page.
For a novel, you will write 2 short paragraphs:
Paragraph 1: Who is your protagonist?
Paragraph 2: What is his or her greatest challenge? (Use the hook of your story here)
For a non-fiction book:
Write a few (no more than 5) bullet points and place that on the back cover. These bullet points should cover the main features of your book and tell the reader why they should pick up your book. As with the rest of your book, keep the bullet points consistent in style.
Place the most powerful bullet point right at the top of the list and ensure only to use the most thought-provoking points.
The back page should tell readers why they should read your book at a glance. Use plenty headlines and sub headers and an abundance of white space.
If you’re still in the starting phases of the process and the writer’s tools on this page are not yet relevant to you, you might be looking for the writer’s tool box instead.