Kindle Ebook Cover Creator: Fast and Elegant

Judging by my writing students, sourcing Kindle ebook covers cause more angst that writing a book does. Yes, covers are important. However, you can create them yourself very easily. Perhaps you’ve heard of Canva, the graphics editor? It’s also the easiest ever Kindle ebook cover creator.

Canva does the hard work for you of ebook cover creation for you

Kindle Ebook Cover Creator: Fast and Elegant

In the image above, you can see one of the many images Canva provides for book covers. If you don’t like the image, just upload your own. It takes just minutes to develop your own ecover for your latest Kindle book.

A tip: if you’re writing a series of books, create several ecovers at the same time. Tie the series together with similar images, and use the same fonts. Add all the information which you’ll use for each ebook in the series. Later, when an ebook is ready to publish, just add the title.

As you may know, I have a busy ghostwriting practice. I create cover images in Canvas as a service for my clients. I don’t charge for them; clients are free to hire their own designer. However, it’s so easy to do, I do it so that if they wish, clients can publish to Kindle immediately, then change the cover later.

Canva for Work: coming soon

Canva is becoming the graphic design program of choice for authors, marketers, and others. And Canva for Work is coming soon; I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

If you’d like to receive early notification of the new program, enter your email address.

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits

Your Creative Business: Coaching to Turn Your Creativity into Profits

Want to turn your writing into a creative business? Over the past few months, we’ve had many queries asking when the Your Creative Business coaching program would return, and we’re happy to announce that it’s back. Get started today: put your creativity to work.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Writing Journal 66: Gorgeous Graphics for Your Blog

Writing Journal 66: Gorgeous Graphics for Your Blog

My writing journal for Friday, October 17, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

After yesterday’s running start, this morning started a lot slower. That’s the writing life for you. One day you can’t keep up with your thoughts, and the next your brain splutters and gasps. Nevertheless, I managed 1,900 words on the mystery novel, and 1,700 words on the two nonfiction books. So, it wasn’t too bad.

I make Honey’s breakfast, and then my own. Then I get down to reading email. I’m almost caught up; with a little effort tonight, I’ll be able to respond to the final batch of students’ exercises.

New website launch: next week (I hope)

I’d hoped to launch the new website this week, but that won’t happen. I’ve rescheduled it for next week. I got so frustrated with something that wouldn’t work on the site yesterday, I was close to pitching my computer out of the window. So, I got some help.

I don’t have much time for the website today, so I spend an hour on it, then it’s on to client projects.

Last night a client called with a rush project; he needs a presentation by the close of business today. He’s been asked to fill in at a conference. Luckily, I’ve created many presentations for him in the past, so we can re-purpose several slides and notes from older material.

Working on that takes me to right up to lunchtime. No time for our Friday lunch today, so I read social media while I’m eating.

With lunch over, it’s down to work on the presentation again.

Canva’s one of my favorite apps for graphics-creation. You can create a set of slides easily, and quickly too. They’ve just released their iPad app.

Gorgeous graphics for your blog

I’m no artist. If you’re like me, and nevertheless want to create graphics for your Kindle book covers, your blog, and your website, I’m sure you know all about Canva. Here’s what’s new: Canva for your iPad.

Here’s Canva’s blog post announcing the new app. I love the idea of creating images for social media, right on your iPad. No more excuses, you can create images for Twitter and Facebook while you’re sitting on your sofa, watching a movie.

I haven’t downloaded the app yet; however, I’ll make time to do it on the weekend.

Speaking of apps, if you’re a Mac person, you know that Mac OS X Yosemite was released today. I can’t wait to install it. On the other hand, I know that things can go wrong, and that some of the programs on which I rely may have issues with the new OS. So I’ll hold off for a month, until things settle down, and developers have had a chance to update their apps.

Finally, I complete the presentation, and send it off to the client for his review. I asked him to get back to me quickly, if he wants changes.

Next, it’s blogging time again. I’m a little behind on some of my clients’ blogs, so I need to spend some time drafting and scheduling posts. That’s easy, because I write most things in Markdown.

If you use Markdown, and Evernote, did you know that you can write in Markdown in Evernote?

Evernote trick for Web writers: write in Markdown

If you’re a Web writer, you know all about Markdown. If you’re also an Evernote fan, you may not know that you write in Markdown in your notes, then paste your notes into any Markdown editor, and get HTML, PDF, and Rich Text.

I said to someone the other day: “I write in Markdown so much that it’s completely automatic. I use it in Evernote even when the note will never leave Evernote.”

She said: “You can use Markdown in Evernote?”

Yes you can.

There’s even a Markdown editor for Evernote, called Marxico. I’ve never used it; I prefer to write in Evernote, then copy the text and paste it into Ulysses or Lightpaper (free.)

Now that I’ve caught up on SOME blogging, it’s time for my daily and weekly review, and then the week is done.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Book Marketing: Easy Images For Non-Designers (Free)

Book Marketing: Easy Images For Non-Designers

I’ve been helping several clients with book marketing over the past couple of months, and because they’re writers, they  think they “can’t do” images. Of course you can… The shining highlight of my artistic career was finger painting in kindergarten, with a notable mention going to wire-jewelry creation in high school (wire-wrapped gemstones, very pretty), so if I can do images, anyone can do them.

Why create images? Because you need them for social media, and advertising. Yes, you can hire a designer to create some wonderful images, and you should, if you can afford it. However, most marketing these days is done on the fly. You’re not going to hire a designer to create graphics for every blog post you write, or for every social media update.

Let’s look at some easy image creation tools for non-designers… they’re all FREE.

1. Easy: create images with presentation software

You’ve got presentation software lurking on your hard drive, admit it. Look for PowerPoint, or Keynote, if you’re a Mac user. I created the above image in about two minutes using Keynote; it’s for the Marketing Your Book in 5 Minutes a Day video series which is part of my new Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell In 24 Hours Or Less program.

If you don’t have an Office suite, download Open Office, it’s free. It includes the Impress app, which allows you to create fancy images and diagrams.

Consider using your presentation app to create: CTA (calls to action) images; advertising images; and images for social media.

2. Elegant: use Canva to create covers and ads

book cover templates

Canva.com comes with a slew of templates. To create a cover for an ebook, just click on the Kindle Cover template, and you’re good to go. Of course you can create images in custom sizes too.

The big benefit of Canva is that it’s HARD to create dud images. Your images may not make a design student or artist weep tears of envy, but they’re eye-catching, and that’s all you need. You want to pique your potential readers’ curiosity, and Canva helps you to do that, elegantly.

Consider using Canva to create: book covers in various sizes, as well as advertising collateral, and info graphics,  if you’re writing nonfiction.

3. Fast: anyone can get creative with PicMonkey

Create fast with PicMonkey

You can create images super-fast with PicMonkey.com. (You can even use your own fonts now.) It’s the easiest, and the fastest way not only to create simple text images, but also to add pizazz to your own photos. Just drag them in, and turn them into artistic wonders.

I use PicMoney whenever I want to create text images, or create a blog image in a minute or two.

Consider using PicMoney when you have NO TIME to market your book. Just drag an image into PicMonkey, jazz it up (or not), and share it at a click. You can see the many possible ways of sharing your image below; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.

Share an image

So, there you have it. Three ways to create book marketing images easily, completely for free, even if you’re not a designer.

Increase Your Income: Write and Sell Nonfiction

 Nonfiction Ebook Superstar: Write and Sell In 24 Hours Or Less

Every writer today is in a powerful position. You’ve got the power of Amazon, and the power of the Web. ALL of the tools you need to write and sell are FREE. However, few writers make use of that power. Can you spare just 24 hours to create an ebook that will sell for ten years?

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get Organized and Blog: (Free) Trello Makes It Easy

Get Organized and Blog

Want to make blogging easier? One word: planning. Plan your content, and then collect material for blog posts as you go through your day.

I’ve talked about blog planning before. Trello’s one of my favorite tools for planning various forms of writing. For me, it’s invaluable for plotting novels, as well as for collecting material for nonfiction.

Trello’s especially useful for blogging. If you’re a professional blogger, and blog for others, you’ll bless Trello. You can create a Trello board for each blog, so that you can focus on one blog at a time. And if you blog on the go as I often do, you can check your boards anywhere, on any device – Android, iOS, or Windows 8 Tablet.

Collect the graphics and other materials you want to use

When you’re planning blog posts, you need more than text. These days, graphics are vital, so that your posts stand out. You can drag the images you want to use this week or this month onto separate cards: an image will often provide the seed of a post. Add additional cards for keywords, post descriptions, and title ideas.

Once you’ve collected your materials, posts will almost write themselves.

Trello makes it easy to collaborate with others. After you’ve created a board, you can invite people to share it. They can add cards with information like checklists, assign tasks, and everyone working with a board gets notified of any changes.

Search and (never) destroy

Forgot which board you added a note to? Trello’s search works across all boards, so no matter how many lists and cards you and your co-workers add, you can find what you want easily.

Of course you can keep boards private too. No one else can see your personal boards.

If there’s a mistake – someone removes a list or a card – you can get it out of the archive. Trello is forgiving: you can add, move and remove lists and cards as much as you want to… and get material back if you need it.

Trello is an amazing tool for bloggers. Give it a try. You may find that blogging becomes less of a chore, because Trello will inspire you.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee