Speaking Engagement for Deborah Bowman, www.bowmanauthor.com, Washington, DC; 16-17 June, 2017. I’ll be talking about my 5-year professional progression, writing and editing tips, and ghost-writing/how to write your own story: Title of Presentation–“True Synergy Works!”

1 Deb's Speaker Poster Leading WithIN

“You Can’t Always Tell a Book by its Cover” As Authors, We Need Our Covers to be As Professional As Our Writing!

We dream about seeing our first book in print after all the hard work is done, and that excitement never goes away, no matter how many books we pour our hearts and souls into: The writing, the rewriting, the editing, the changes, the errors, the proofreading, and hopefully, catching every minute detail before it goes to print! But what about the cover?
 Who Would Pick Up a Blank Book Cover to Read?
 Who would pick up a book with a blank cover to read?
Maybe you should be thinking about the cover while you’re writing?
Here are some tips on covers:
  • What looks good in hardcopy print, usually 6×9 inches, can be much more detailed than an eBook because it is seen full-size on glossy or equally professional cover stock, which a reader can touch, hold, caress. You have space for a beautiful photo, drawing, illustration, or in my example below an oil painting, which was done by my mother, a professional artist, specifically for this novel.
  • The full cover in print has three sections: The eye-catching front cover, a spine with the title and publisher, and a back cover; all in one piece to wrap around the book. You may notice on the example below, the graphic artist who did this cover for me matched the color of the sky in the oil painting to “bleed” to the edges of the cover and continue across the spine to the back of the book. Nice consistency. The deep shadow of the title, of course, carries the theme of the words themselves. The back cover in my case was used for a full synopsis written by my editor, not by me. I did put a personal quote of my own next to my picture in what I call poetic prose. I love the mystique of language, and it can capture a reader’s attention.
  • The back cover can also be  used for testimonials about the book by editors, news releases, promotional material, or in the case of nonfiction, a specialist in the same field of endeavor. I want to emphasize here that even though I am also an editor/cover designer/publisher, it’s best not to do your own editing, design, and most importantly, don’t do your own proofreading. If you wrote it, you’ll read right over the little typos and errors that somehow sneak into a book, almost as if a gremlin tucked them there after everything was perfect. Your mind sees what it expects to see, not necessarily what is there.
  • A picture of the author is a nice touch on the back cover. My publisher chose to put his logo on the bottom of the spine so there was room to include the author’s name on the spine as well. The information for the publisher is included in the black “ribbon” that wraps around the bottom of the book, which includes the bar-code, ISBN, as if it’s part of the design.
  • eBooks have only a front cover. All of the publisher’s information will be on the copyright page. The cover can have pictures, design, and color, but remember the image size on the website is only one to two inches in size. Text needs to be in large-point sizes, and wording must be kept to a minimum. [Title, Series/Subtitle, Author, and maybe a designation: novel, nonfiction, true story].  Remember, you do have a webpage for the synopsis and description of the book to entice readers.
  • And keywords? They are so essential when someone is searching for the genre of book they’d like to read.
  • Even the biggest name writers, who have been publishing for decades, have only one front cover on an eBook. Therefore, they may have two different covers: One for the print book and a separate scaled-down version for the eBook, but they usually correspond in some fashion, unless the writer decides to change the cover, which happens more frequently on eBooks than hard print.
  • Testimonials, news releases, editorial reviews can go either at the front or back of the eBook. The author’s bio is a separate page in the back of the book, and most eBook sites will allow a picture of the author without an additional charge, but not always. It’s best to read all the guidance on pictures before submitting. Pictures can get expensive in an eBook, which is a consideration because the charge for an eBook is significantly less than hardcopy. I know horror stories of pictures promised and paid for that never showed up in the online book or were poor quality and spaced/sized incorrectly. The use of pictures in eBooks is improving, however.
  • As far a cover design, you have to think big, bold, simple because fine detail is lost on a one-inch thumbnail-sized cover. Nice things can be done with different fonts, but not all fonts are recognized on all websites. Bold-face/italics/colored fonts can add interest and usually do carry over to different sites, but not always. I do design my own covers for my eBooks, especially a YA novella series which I have used as an example below. Future novellas in this series may lean more toward colored text over a transparency picture with bold colors, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Always do a preview and see if it can be read and gets the message across. If you attempt to do your own cover, you need to know the basics of printing: Inserting text and pictures, pixels, fonts (serif vs. sans serif), point sizes, leading/spacing, cropping, scaling, enhancing pictures or changing colors. Microsoft Publisher 2013 (the newest MS software and part of Office 365) is a good package if you are familiar with the printing terms mentioned above, pagination for eBooks, and formatting for eBooks. Be sure and “bleed” the background color to the edges. Make sure you’re not using any copyrighted or royalty images.
Stroke of Midnight Cover
Go to www.clasidconsultantspublishing.com and look at my slideshow of designs, middle of HOME page. Also, at the bottom of the ABOUT page I have web links for other authors that I have worked with either editing, proofreading, design, ghost writer, or all of the above.
Let me know if I can be of assistance.
Deborah A. Bowman

Do you need some assistance in getting your book ready to market? clasidconsultantspublishing.com


A short note from the CEO of Clasid Consultants Publishing, Inc., Deborah A. Bowman:

I am an author, writer/editor, proofreader, book reviewer, cover/graphics designer, and publisher with 20+ years of experience. I really like to help new writers start off with a quality book. It’s how you get noticed and have your writing taken seriously.

I’m willing to coach and to teach, and questions are free. I learned to write, format, and layout books start-to-finish the old fashioned way, when cut-and-paste was done with an Xacto knife, scissors, light-table, and adhesive. The quality of these books was incredible, but it took as long as a year or more to crop, scale, strip-in, correct, and proofread one letter at a time.

I have taken my skills and applied them to the current technology. There are pros and cons to both, but I believe the quality of yester-year can be achieved with the rapidity of technology today. Do a search for writing, editing, proofreading, and tricks-of-the-trade for information I have already shared on my blog, bowmanauthor.com.

My company is www.clasidconsultantspublishing.com The website is up and running, but we’re constantly adding new consultants and referral partners. Notify us if you want to be included in our list of experts and specialists. Let me help you be the best that you can be at your chosen craft! My rates are based on your needs and budget. I’ll read and critique your first chapter for free!


Writing is like a game of Scrabble…you need the right letters to make the right words…


 I am a notorious wordsmith; this is my obsession.

I agonize over a conjunction or a preposition.

Adjectives are dear friends to me,

But my descriptive pals must let me see

A word painting come to life on the page!

I don’t count the words to set my gauge

Of whether I’ve said enough or way too much.

I brainstorm the words in a mad rush,

Then go back to the start and begin again.

I cut and I add, question and doubt, change and rearrange.

It’s like a Scrabble game; you make the words fit

With the luck of the draw, bit by bit,

Combined with the letters on the gameboard in play

To select words in a new and different way.

Such is the story and frank admission

Of a writer of words with a crazed obsession.

Deborah A. Bowman, wordsmith

Wrist Surgery. I won’t be able to type for 6 weeks…definitely going to try the Dragon Speech-to-text software! Read on to see how it could be a great proofreading/editing tool for everyone. Wish me luck!

blackdragonI was in a little car mishap about 14 months ago. Tendon and ligaments were torn in my right wrist. The doctor and I have tried everything to keep me typing…with no success. Surgery is tomorrow. 6 weeks in a cast from my fingertips to almost up to my shoulder. What’s a girl to do who’s a writer/editor/publisher/book reviewer? Maybe lots of time to read! Type reviews one-handed? I CAN DO THAT!

I purchased the DRAGON software/speech-to-text last year when I originally hurt my wrist, but since I could still type, albeit painfully, I never set it up completely. NOW I HAVE TO DO IT!

I’ll try to update with reports on the DRAGON for those of you out there interested in it. I actually think it could be a good editing tool. As I written about many times before…you can’t edit or proofread your own copy, no matter how good you are at spotting errors. If you wrote it…if you typed it…it’s engrained in your gray matter. When you try to proofread or edit, your brain automatically reads over the typos and errors. Your physical organ, the brain, sees what it thinks is there, not necessarily what is there.

WITH THE DRAGON, you’ll be using a completely different set of senses. You’ll be speaking. The more senses you can use to learn something or remember something (seeing, hearing, touching through typing), the more thoroughly you retain the information, which can be great if you want to memorize something, but not so much if you want to proofread or edit like it’s the first time you’ve seen the material. So, that said, tell stories or relate nonfiction to your heart’s content to get your initial ideas on screen with DRAGON. Then, look at it for your initial edit and rewrite. It will be fresh, new, and not all bogged up in your brain. It may look terrible for the first go-round, but that in itself can inspire your brain to see where it needs work.

I’ve learned much of this through trial-and-error, but just for those who need credentials, I have a master’s equivalent in Writing/Editing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate School (back when I went, it wasn’t counted as college credit as it is now) with a minor in Psychology and accredited ACPH–Advanced Clinical Psychological Hypnotherapist. Believe it or not, my hypnotherapy classes from the National Guild of Hypnotists is where I learned most of the brain retention/learning information. I specialized in ADHD teenagers. Please refer back to some of my previous blogs on editing and proofreading if this fascinating subject interests you.

I hope to stay in touch with everyone, and thank you all for checking out my blog.