About Laura Bowley

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So far Laura Bowley has created 41 blog entries.

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: 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What Author Services Companies Do for You

The author who chooses to self-publish rather than seek a traditional publisher faces a dilemma: who will polish and package the book and get it ready to sell?

That’s the job of author services companies.

Some authors, often to the detriment of their books, take on these tasks themselves. Others cobble together the services they need—editing, proofreading, cover design, page layout, marketing and more—by hiring independent editors, book designers and marketing consultants.

Then there are companies […]

Ideas for Author Websites

Are you looking for ideas for author websites? Look no further than our author website samples, which you’ll find at the bottom of this article. In these samples, you’ll find plenty of inspiration.

Before you scroll down, let’s take a step back. When you’re seeking ideas for author websites, it’s easy to overlook some of the basic components in favor of the bells and whistles. So, before delving into the samples, let’s go over some of the basic features of an author website and why you need them.

Feature Your Latest Release

The […]

3 Reasons Why the Best Place to Self-publish Is You!

When an author makes the positive decision to self-publish, one of the first questions is, “Where is the best place to self-publish my book?” It’s confusing, I know; if you’re not handing over your manuscript to a traditional publishing company, then who exactly publishes your book?

I think it’s this search for the best place to self-publish a book that makes authors (perhaps not as frequently now) susceptible to self-publishing companies that promise to publish their book in return for a large fee and a cut of the royalties. With an application process that attempts […]

Nonfiction Book Cover Design: How It Differs from Fiction

Compare the cover of a nonfiction book to the cover of a novel, and you’ll notice some distinct differences. The approach to nonfiction book cover design is also different from designing a cover for a novel. Understanding why it’s different can help you have an informed discussion with book designers.

First, let’s take a look at book cover design for novels.

Book Cover Design for Fiction

Fiction covers allow for more artistic license than nonfiction covers. They are vague by design. We want the prospective buyer to be intrigued without giving away the story. With the exception of romance titles, the main characters […]

Where to Get Book Ideas: Unpack the Box

If you’ve ever moved, you know the feeling. Before you can enjoy your new home, you must unpack a lot of boxes.

We moved to Hartsville, South Carolina, and we’re unpacking. We’re almost done, and we still haven’t found things we know are here some place. The unpacked boxes are unlabeled, or the label says, “office stuff” or “kitchen stuff.”

We won’t know what’s in any of the boxes until we unpack them. You’ve got the same problem when you start to write a book.

The Journey to Decision

Most of my clients don’t just wake up one morning, decide to write a book, […]

What an Author Marketing Coach Can Do for You

Lynn McGinnis has always loved books. She’s been an avid reader since she was big enough to pick up a book. So when it came time to think about how to transition her twenty-five years of experience in marketing, public relations and small business development into a new field, the decision to enter the field of author marketing and being an author marketing coach was a no-brainer.

Book Marketing Coach Lynn McGinnis, Book Marketing Coach

In 2017, Lynn worked as managing director of an indie publishing company. She got to experience the entire […]