About Michele DeFilippo

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So far Michele DeFilippo has created 57 blog entries.

Author Story: Matt Bloom

Matt Bloom’s closing words in our Author Story interview seem to sum up his approach to life: “You never know until you try.” Matt is the author of the children’s illustrated chapter book series Hello, My Name Is Bunny!, which he co-created with his wife, Shelley Simmons-Bloom. Their latest book in the series is Hello, My Name is Bunny! London.

According to Matt, the inspiration for the series was their adorable rescue cat, who motivated him and Shelley to help make life better for the vast number of homeless cats in the US. “We created Hello, My Name is Bunny! after […]

Author Story: Matt Bloom2019-07-19T13:25:41+00:00

Cover Design Mistakes Authors Should Avoid

I’ll just say it upfront: of all the cover design mistakes authors can make, the number one mistake is to design the cover themselves.

Mistake #1: Do-it-yourself Covers

If you’re looking for cover design tips, you’ve come to the wrong place. I know, affordability is the big issue, and you feel that doing it yourself is the solution. Authors who decide to design their own covers often don’t take into account what their time is worth; what is the cost of the time they are taking away from their job, their business, or their family? Affordability is easily addressed by researching the […]

Cover Design Mistakes Authors Should Avoid2019-07-19T13:25:42+00:00

Author Story: John Leifer

Book marketing got you down?

Author John Leifer has this advice for first-time indie publishers: Publish for your own gratification, not with the thought of how many books you will sell.

As the author and publisher of the Commander John Hart trilogy, John found book marketing to be by far the most challenging step, despite his books receiving numerous accolades. “Even as a former marketing officer, I found it to be a formidable challenge simply by virtue of the level of competition that now exists within self-published books,” explains John. But when asked if he’d do it again, John responds, “Of course! […]

Author Story: John Leifer2019-07-19T13:25:42+00:00

Mistakes to Avoid When Self-Publishing

Let’s talk about mistakes to avoid when self-publishing.

This past month, I spoke with two authors who came to me for advice after finding themselves in the same sticky situation. Both had hired individuals to work on their books—someone for cover design, another freelancer for page layout and typesetting, and someone else for editing. Their original goal was to save money and launch quality books—a reasonable expectation, except the authors were less than happy with the outcome. Both think their books are terrible, and both feel they have no choice but to release them as they are.

Thus, we will cover two […]

Mistakes to Avoid When Self-Publishing2019-07-19T13:25:42+00:00

Author Story: Juan Carlos Marcos

In a sense, it’s both an author’s dream and a nightmare: the chance to relay an amazing war tale of adventure, survival and resilience, supported by 600 pages of handwritten correspondence from husband to wife, all meticulously filed. At aged 98, the hero of the story was eager to be involved in the project.

But time is of the essence because, well, the hero of the story is age 98 and would like to see his memoir published. And while the 600 pages of correspondence are pure gold, the additional research and interviews required in a short time frame were challenging. […]

Author Story: Juan Carlos Marcos2019-07-19T13:25:42+00:00

How to Prepare a Manuscript for the Book Designer and Editor

Have you ever cleaned house before the house cleaner arrived? Done your hair up nicely before going to the hairdresser? Run your car through the car wash before sending it for detailing?

When we hire someone to take care of something we think we ought to have taken care of ourselves, or who we think might pass judgement on us based on the dilapidated state of our home, hair, car or whatever, we tend to make that last-minute push to make things look better.

Well, when it comes to preparing a manuscript for the book designer, you don’t need to make it […]

How to Prepare a Manuscript for the Book Designer and Editor2019-07-19T13:25:43+00:00

Author Story: Kathleen Vallee Stein

Most people today seek to connect on a personal level: authenticity is key. So, when author Kathleen Vallee Stein was told by agents and publishers that she needed to become an expert on hospice and write a how-to book, she knew instinctively that her book needed to be written from a family member’s perspective and not that of an expert or medical professional. “I wanted readers to feel as if they were standing beside me when the doctor told my dad that guys like him were considered terminal,” explains Kathleen. “Hopefully, the reader would think, ‘If she can do it, […]

Author Story: Kathleen Vallee Stein2019-07-19T13:25:43+00:00

Author Story: Bruce Bernstein

Ask any author—self-published or otherwise—what they consider the most challenging part of the publishing process, and most will rank marketing near the top of the list. Bruce Bernstein, author of the young adult book, You Gotta Have Heart, is no exception. Yet Bruce made some smart moves to get his book noticed.

You Gotta Have Heart is based loosely on a screenplay that Bruce wrote many years ago. The main character, Alan Michaels, was orphaned at an early age. As a biracial orphan growing up in New York City, all Alan wants is a place to belong. He finds that place in a […]

Author Story: Bruce Bernstein2019-07-19T13:25:43+00:00

Planning a Series of Books (from a Cover Design Perspective)

A book series is more than one book tied together by a common theme and author. If fictional, the series may continue a story with some of the same characters. Alternatively, the books may be tied together by a location or a genre. Or, the only thing the books have in common might be the author. Planning a series of books includes planning the design of your covers.

Book covers for a series are unified by graphic style and elements. For example, among other series, best-selling author […]

Planning a Series of Books (from a Cover Design Perspective)2019-07-19T13:25:43+00:00

Author Story: Melissa Ann

“Behind every face is a powerful story, and nothing is ever quite as it seems.”

Wise words from Melissa Ann, author of Hope, Love, and Me: My Journey of Choices and Second Chances. In this book, her new memoir, Melissa shares her story of the second chances she was given after making a decision as an 18-year-old that had life-changing consequences. “The inspiration for my book was the countless second chances God granted to me,” says Melissa Ann. “My goal in sharing my story has been and always will be to help as many people […]

Author Story: Melissa Ann2019-07-19T13:25:44+00:00
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