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article review: “Book Cover, Cover Text, Interior” by Leslie Lee Sanders

Writer’s Digest produces books for writers and aspiring writers almost without end in sight. The books are often compendiums of articles over a spectrum of a particular topic with professional writers’ contributions.

This is the format for the current book, Writer’s Digest Guide to Self-Publishing 2015 . It’s divided into five main sections (in addition to a brief note from Editor Lee Brewer): 1) Production 2) Management 3) Promotion 4) Interviews 5) Listings 6) Resources and 7) Indexes.

I’d like to offer a brief overview of each article and note on each author over the next few weeks, then sum up the entire book. I don’t plan to review on lists or indexes, of course.

The first article in the opening topic of Production is unsigned. It is titled (fittingly) “Getting Started.” Quite short, it seems to be designed to reinforce the idea of the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing. It also points why self-publishing is not vanity publishing or its cousin, subsidy publishing. It does warn that authors need to be aware of what rights they are negotiating.

This may come across as basic information, but it is also fundamental and necessary to understand.

The next article it written by author and blogger Leslie Lee Sanders and is titled “Book Cover, Cover Text, Interior.” Sanders starts off by sayings that to get a reader’s attention, a book needs 1) a professional-looking book cover 2) an engaging back cover description and 3) well-edited interior text. She spends the rest of the article suggesting how the self-publishing author might achieve this.

While there aren’t many surprises in what has to say, she boils the essences down nicely.

Will it be helpful? Obviously it depends on the writer’s experience, skill set and immediate resources. Are you a published author of 20 books, your aunt a retired copyeditor, your brother-in-law a graphic artist and your old college roommate owner of half a dozen bookstores? Well, I hate you, but that’s beside the point. For those who have no experience and few connections, this helps provide a place to start.


Title: “Book Cover, Cover Text, Interior”

Author: Leslie Lee Sanders

Writer’s Digest Guide to Self-Publishing 2015









©2015 Denise Longrie

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PegCole17 wrote on February 22, 2015, 3:57 PM

This is the sort of book I'm reading currently as well. As a hopeful self publishing novelist I need all the information I can absorb in order to create a marketable product. This book sounds like it has a lot of good tips. The book cover has to be among the top priorities in attracting a potential reader.

valmnz wrote on February 22, 2015, 4:12 PM

I agree. When I self published my first book I paid for the cover design and consequently attracted a lot of compliments about it. I find Writers Digest produce useful information.

Last Edited: February 22, 2015, 4:28 PM

msiduri wrote on February 22, 2015, 4:58 PM

There is a lot to this book, both about the production and the legal aspects about self-publishing. Some of it, however, it common sense. Good luck with your book!

msiduri wrote on February 22, 2015, 5:22 PM

Congrats on the book and the cover design! I didn't pay for either of mine, but people seemed to like them. I used the CreateSpace template with photographs I already had. I can't say either book is exactly a runaway bestseller. Writer's Digest does produce helpful stuff often, but some of the stuff is... common sense.

crowntower wrote on February 25, 2015, 2:39 AM

And I guess an introduction that will hook the readers to your book and a great summary at the back of your book. I really hate boring introductions, that I am afraid it is the same thing with my future readers. Lol!

msiduri wrote on February 25, 2015, 8:28 AM

A great introduction, yes, but this also talks about book cover design and other things.