Title Leading Story – Writing Tips from R.L. Stine

Did you know that the national bestselling children’s author R.L. Stine comes up with his story ideas for his books by beginning with the title of the book? Spooky, right? It’s so different, but guess what? It obviously works. He has sold more than 350 million books and writes six books a year in his Goosebumps series!

Video courtesy of the Author Learning Center Continue reading

The Do’s and Don’ts of E-book Cover Design

The Do's and Don'ts of E-book Cover Design

You worked hard to write a book, and now you’re ready to publish. Woo hoo! But, wait. Have you thought about your e-book cover yet? As an e-book author, you face unique challenges when it comes to designing that perfect cover since it will only be seen online. 

E-book design is way more important than most authors realize. If your e-book cover doesn’t grab a reader’s attention, you could potentially lose a sale or even several thousand. Your design must represent the book you’ve created, draw in readers and make your title stand out from the competition.

That might sound overwhelming, so here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider as you create (or hire a pro to create for you) your e-book cover: Continue reading

Self-publishing with Google Docs and Booktango, a first-hand Experience

Self-publishing with Google Docs and Booktango, a First-hand Experiences

This in-depth blog post about a Booktango author’s first-hand experience was originally posted on William L. Weaver’s blog, Choice Management.

The Booktango Service

In March of 2012, I came across Booktango, a service of Author Solutions in Bloomington, Indiana which is now owned by Penguin Books, that in turn is owned by Pearson, PLC. The cool thing about Booktango is that it is a freemium service that provides individuals an online website to assemble their eBook, scan it for formatting errors, register and assign an ISBN, produce PDF, MOBI, and EPUB files, and have them listed for sale at Booktango, Amazon, Google Play, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Sony.

All of the above services are 100% free, and there is an additional menu of packages you can purchase that currently range from $49 – $359. The add-on services for a fee include things that employ creative humans who assist in your project including editing, interior images, U.S. Copyright filing, consultation on social media promotion, custom cover design, and marketing assistance. Continue reading

How to Write Romance Novels without Crossing the Line

How to Write Romance Novels without Crossing the Line

We’re not judging you if you enjoyed reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but if you want to write a bit more…ahem…tasteful romance novels, here are a few tips.

1.)    Focus on the emotional rather the physical. If writing detailed love scenes makes you blush, skip the gritty details and focus on how excited your couple feels in the moment. Romance novels aren’t all about shock and awe. Stay away from X-rated details, and focus more on the flirty side of things, such as the rush one feels when a new love interest holds their hand. Continue reading

Here’s My Card: How e-book publishing is the new business card.


With the job market as turbulent as ever, people are always looking to stand out from the crowd. One way to do so is by publishing a book on a subject that you know everything about. Okay, maybe not everything, but enough that your peers consider you an expert. Nothing cements your authority in your field like having an articulate and professional book in your hands.

A published book brings credibility and authority on your topic whether you are

  • networking at your local coffee shop,
  • attending a convention at a remote destination, or
  • approaching your boss on that long-overdue raise,

Your book is your business card, the tangible item that will make people remember you. Continue reading

Digital Shorts: Grow your readership by keeping it short with e-book publishing

Did you know that a goldfish has a longer attention span than the average human? Yes. It’s true. As authors what are we to do? If we don’t grab the attention of our readers within eight seconds – that’s the average attention span of mankind in 2012, down from a whopping 12 seconds over a decade ago – then how do we expect to galvanize them through the lengths of War and Peace. Or something similar?

The answer is quite simple, really. Enter digital shorts. A relatively new format for publishers have embraced, these pieces are digital and have a shorter lead time to market. Continue reading

Announcing New E-book Publishing Packages: Socializer & Eye Catcher

Since starting this blog back in April, we’ve discussed a wide variety of issues on the topic of e-book publishing. But we keep coming back to two key aspects that seem intrinsically important to publishing in the digital space: online marketing and e-book design.

As we’ve come to fully realize the importance of these topics, we’ve developed innovative enhancements to our online cover design platform, and we’ve added some unique e-book marketing services to help our authors create better-looking e-books and share them more efficiently with the world. Now, we’ve taken things a step further and created two new publishing packages that are designed to help authors meet their e-book publishing goals in these areas.

Introducing the Socializer package

Social media offers one of the most exciting opportunities for online book marketers; but it can also be one of the most daunting. There’s a lot to know and learn about the Continue reading

Booktango LiveChat Confessions: Helping Content Creators Create a Book

Booktango LiveChat Confessions: Helping Content Creators Create a BookSometimes it can be hard to create a book on your own. At Booktango, we try to both empower you to publish independently and provide you with helpful resources when you need it.

One of coolest options we have is called LiveChat, and it’s your 24/7 connection to real customer support staff. I talked with Earl Dimayuga, our Customer Support Manager, to get a closer look at what authors are saying inside the chat box.

This is when people stop being polite… and start getting real. It’s the Real LiveChat Confessions.

CONFESSION #1: I don’t know how to submit my book.

SOLUTION: It’s not nearly as hard to create a book as you might imagine. Follow these steps. Continue reading

Reset and Resub: How to Make an E-book and Keep it Fresh with New Information

How to Make an E-book and Keep it Fresh with New Content“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Any author knows that a fine piece of art — such as your e-book — occasionally needs some tweaking. Even when you have proofread, edited and put that final shine on your book, you may have some ideas later that would make it even better.

Perhaps you find a few lingering typos that you need to correct; or maybe you decide your cover should “pop” more, and you want to spruce up the image, colors or text fonts.

At Booktango, we respect your need as an author to make an e-book better. We understand you need to keep your book fresh and make changes based on your own review or on feedback from book buyers, family and friends. Whatever the reason, we’re here to make it as simple as we can for you. Continue reading

Turn Your Manifesto into a Movement – Create a Book to Spread Your Message

Create a Book to Spread Your MessageThere’s no question that the written word has always been a powerful agent of change. An idea, well-articulated, can instigate action and influence lives.

  • In 1517, Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses to a church door and sparked the Protestant Reformation. 
  • In 1924, poet and critic André Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto and started an avant-garde movement and artistic style that would permeate culture and influence creative expressions for decades.
  • In 1976, Louise Hay created a small pamphlet that would transform into her definitive manifesto on personal growth and well being — You Can Heal Your Life. The reach and influence she gained from those works gave her the momentum to become a world-renowned author, publisher and speaker whose ideas have inspired countless lives.

With powerful and innovative technology at your fingertips, you no longer have to post messages on doors or print pamphlets. Never before has it been so easy to create a book. Never before has it been so simple to deliver your message to the masses in a way that is both cost-effective and professional. Continue reading