sarah-ehlers-560509-unsplash

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book review

J. K. Rowling does it again with her latest book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book review of the Harry Potter series. The original story was written by J. K. Rowling, and the play production in London, England was adapted by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. That show was produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.


Are There Some Familiar Characters?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child of the Harry Potter seriesHarry Potter fans, be prepared. Our stories begins with a thirty-seven-year-old Harry. Yes, and he is married with children. We learn this on the first page, so don’t think I’m giving away too many secrets. We also find that he is still friends with old pals, Hermione and Ron. From the very start, it is apparent that things have been going quite well for the three friends. They have important jobs and have acquired a fair amount of success.

Some other characters are still around as well. We find Professor McGonagall still teaching at Hogwarts and Dumbledore is remembered fondly. There is a bit of friction between Harry and Draco and even Moaning Myrtle makes an appearance.

What’s New About This New Version of This Story?

As with J. K. Rowling’s other books, we are taken on a journey through a magical world filled with the impossible unfolding before our eyes. There is conflict at every turn. Ms. Rowling has managed to weave the angst, tension and unpredictability of her wonderful Harry Potter world into this updated story that thrusts us into the future. At one point, the entire story turns on its head and presents an entirely different reality. WHAT FUN!


Conclusion of Harry Potter and the cursed child book review of the harry potter series

Without giving away too much, Blackcurrant Press would recommend this book to its readers. Please note, it’s written as a play. You will enjoy entering into the wizarding world again, and have loads of fun seeing what has transpired with your favorite characters. The surprises are sharp and witty, just as in her other books. The transitions are believable and unforced. It’s a clever story that keeps you guessing to the end. If you have the way with all, this story is being shown in London, England.

Please leave a comment about this Harry Potter and the Curse Child book review of the Harry Potter series if this review has been helpful. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Copyright Instruction Guide-1

How to Copyright Your Work – FREE Downloadable PDF

How to copyright your work and obtain a FREE downloadable PDF, is a great question.  One often considered by anyone who wishes to protect their intellectual property.  Work completed?  The priority is to keep it safe. The good news is that copyrighting is fairly simple. The U.S. Government  produces a set of forms for this very purpose. These forms guide the creator of the intellectual property through a step-by-step process.  All this makes their work as legally secure as possible.

What Is the Purpose of a Copyright?

A copyright is the artist’s best recourse or weapon for unlawful usage of their property. It is a strong deterrent and often the only defense against infringement.  However, copyrights aren’t protection against theft though.  Surprised?  It is a fact!  Examples of these occurrences are plentiful.  The Vanilla Ice’s 1991 hit song, “Ice, Ice, Baby” included a part of “Under Pressure,” a David Bowie’s song.   Mr. Bowie didn’t receive credit for his rhythmic music.  He sued Vanilla Ice for its usage.  Under the law, these incidences are  illegal acts and often result in financial penalties. The case  settled out of court privately for an undeclared amount of money.

What CAN YOU Protect?

The following list from the United States’ government website,  are the allowable categories of properties:

literature copyrights
Literature Works (Paper Form TX)

Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Articles, Periodicals

Performing Arts (Paper Form PA)

Music, Lyrics, Sound Recordings, Scripts, Stage Plays

Visual Arts (Paper Form VA)

Artwork, Illustrations, Jewelry, Fabric, Architecture

unsplash-logoNordWood Themes
Digital Content

Computer Programs, Databases, Blogs, Websites

Motion Pictures

Movies, TV Shows, Video Games, Animation, Videos

How to Copyright Your Work - FREE Downloadable PDF
Photographs

News Photos, Selfies, Wedding Photos, Family Photos

previous arrow
next arrow
Slider

These categories have evolved over time. Categories have expanded based on a demand created by creators of intellectual properties. If you do not see a category that represents your work, call the U.S. Copyright Office and see what they suggest for your property.

U.S. Copyright Office

101 Independence Ave. S.E.

Washington, D.C. 20559-6000

(202) 707–3000 or 1 (877) 476–0778 (toll free)




Copyright Instructions

On-line registration for copyrights at $35 versus downloading or requesting forms and sending them in by mail at $85. Not very long ago, the mail-in options were only $45. The price disparity is unfair for those who do not wish to use the internet.  In their effort to save the environment, many companies are doing away with paper.

First log onto to the U.S. Copyright Office website.

US Copyright logo
Click onto Register a Copyright picture.


This launch will lead to a page for called Electronic Copyright Office or (eCO) Registration System. On this page are copyright categories with pictures and descriptions for each, a very important step in this process. Select the category that BEST fits your intellectual property. Click on the photograph associated with it and read the extended breakdown offered. If literature is your forte, there is a list of all types of writing including cookbooks, tests, blogs and more. If none seem to suit your particular work, call the U.S. Copyright Office and inquire. Each copyright application enters a lengthy review process based on the sheer volume of requests. Filing incorrectly will delay your copyright.

A Statutory Definition of Copyright (meaning defined as a written law) provides clarity for each category.  Below this are instructional videos and PowerPoint presentations and PDFs on the copyright process.  There are samples of their standard forms, plus tips on best practices. Take the time to review these resources in order to achieve the best outcome. Click Here for the U.S. Copyright Office’s Standard Application Tutorial.




How to Copyright Your Work – FREE Downloadable PDF

It takes time to write a book, song, make a movie, take a great photo, design a building, video game. Laboring over your original work was difficult. It costs you EVERYTHING – money, time, and sweat and tears. Don’t allow some mean spirited person(s) take it from you without a legal fight. Defend yourself and you intellectual property. Take the time to copyright your work and protect it. Give it its best shot for success.

Please find a FREE downloadable step-by-step PDF on filling out the U.S. Copyright Office form created by Blackcurrant Press. Click Here for the FREE download.

Please leave a comment below if this post has been helpful. Would like to hear from you!

 

 

 

Mavis Beacon 18 51BUtcXTKLL._SX466_

Typing Software – Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 18 Review

Are you still looking at your keyboard when you type? If so, imagine being able to touch type without looking or worrying if you’re typing correctly. Typing software – Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 18 being reviewed here can make a world of a different with a “hunt and peck” approach to typing. For those unfamiliar with the term, a writer searches for a letter on the keyboard and hits it usually with one or two fingers. With Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 18, you’re only a few lessons away from becoming an experienced typist. Truth is, it’s easy and it’s FUN!

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing 18 Details


  • Practice on 10 arcade style games
  • Choose from over 2500 lessons
  • Exercises for finger positions
  • English or Spanish Typing Instructions
  • For Windows XP/Vista and Macintosh OS 10.4-10.5
  • Product Dimensions are 5.5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight is 2.4 ounces
  • Developed by Software Toolworks


Your Computer System Must Meet These Requirements

Make sure your computer can support this application. Mavis Beacon works well on Windows and Macintosh.

Windows Xp (Home & Pro) Sp2/Vista¹, Pentium Iii 700 MHz or Higher (800 MHz Processor for Vista), 128 MB Ram (512 MB Ram for Vista), Video Card With 32 Mb of Video Ram, 800 X 600 24-Bit Color Display (1024 X 768 Resolution Recommended), Windows Compatible Sound Card, Speakers, Keyboard & Mouse.

Macintosh requires Os X 10.4 – 10.5, Powerpc G4, G5 or Intel Core Duo Processor, 800 MHz Processor or Higher, 256 Mb Ram, Video Card with 32 Mb of Video Ram, 1024 X 768 24-Bit.

Both systems require computer speakers, keyboard, mouse, CD/DVD-Rom drive, and 300 Mb of free hard disk space. Plus, Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view Mavis Beacon User Guide, that is also downloadable for free from company’s website.

¹Windows Xp and Vista require users to activate Administrator Privileges in order to properly Install the program. Unfortunately, these privileges aren’t activated during the activation process. Users must set up the program to “Run as Administrator” by using Authentication Key. Follow the steps for this process below:

  1. Right Click on the icon which starts the program.
  2. Left Click on Properties
  3. Left Click on the Compatibility Tab
  4. Check the box for “Run this Program as Administrator”
unsplash-logorawpixel.com
Proper fingering position on keyboard

Pros

At $14.95, these lessons are extremely affordable!

Easy lessons that are GREAT at teaching typing with simple, enjoyable repetitions.

Comes in a children’s version and one for professionals.

Good, clear instructions.

Rated 3.7 out of 5 Stars!

Capable of having multiple users with one license.

Great return policy.

Mavis Beacon has been around since 1987.

Cons

Mavis Beacon lessons display
Screen shot of Mavis Beacon typing lesson.

Check first to see if the application will work on your Macintosh. Some users have complaints that it does not work on MacBook Pro.

Application is in need of a face lit. The graphics are a bit old-fashioned.

No on-line downloadable version.

After achieving a 50-words-per-minute speed on typing tests, application may become glitchy.

Conclusion

Mavis Beacon games
Screen shot of Mavis Beacon game.

One of the best parts about this software are the games, that are primarily designed for children, but fun for any age. It is an intuitive program too, that has the ability to shift its intensity based on the progression of the user. In other words, as you move through the exercises, the program can give you an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses, that will act as a guide through the remaining lessons. It has greatly increased my skill level, even though I learned in school many years ago.

I’d mentioned in another post that I can type nearly at the speed of my thoughts, but had not expressed how wonderful it is to fill a page in a matter of minutes. It’s quite an extraordinary concept. For those who make their livings writing, typing is practically a mandatory skill.

If you’ve found this review helpful, please leave a comment below. Thank you.




 

 

 

 

 

dns-home-lg-banner

Dragon Naturally Speaking Review

Here’s a concept, speak rather than type all computer functions without having to use a pesky computer keyboard and mouse! Sounds FANTASTIC! Right? Well, it is. There is an application that will make this reality possible. It’s made by a company called Nuance Communications and it’s called Dragon Naturally Speaking. With a little setting-up and a few vocal adjustments, you can be a voice-activated, hands-free computer user. Take a look at some of the details below.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Details:


  • Speak naturally and software types, opens and closes computer applications, and learns phrases and word usage enabling it to become more personalized, and voice-driven.
  • Includes Nuance approved microphone.
  • Software is equipped with tutorials making it easy to master application functions.
  • Package has a DVD-ROM for installation
  • Dictate in all areas where one would normally type functions.
  • Nuance has Customer Service 1 (800) 654-1187 and Technical Support 1 (770) 702-6014 for problem solving.
  • Size is 7.5 x 5 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight, when shipped, is 4.8 ounces

Everything user needs is included in package to begin the process of making your computer a fully functioning voice-command marvel.

Before You Buy Dragon, Refer to the System Requirements

  • Dragon works best with a minimum of 2 GB (32-bit) for Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, and 4 GB (64-bit) Windows 7, 8, 8.1. Plus, Windows Servers 2008 R2, 2012, and Windows 10.
  • CPU – Minimum 2.2 GHz Intel dual core or equivalent AMD processor.
  • Application needs hard disk space of 4 GB
  • Dragon functions with Internet Explorer 9 or greater, Chrome or Firefox
  • It needs a sound card supporting 16-bit recording


Pros

Dragon can assist those with limited computer skills, allowing them to replace all mouse and keyboard functions with verbal commands.

Great for writers who can dictate faster than they can type.

Dragon has a 30-day money back guarantee.

Easy installation and voice recognition practice homework included.

Dragon supports Microsoft Office 2010 & 2013.

Dragon receives 3.2 out of 5 stars!




 

Cons

Nuance’s latest version 13 receives mixed reviews because of its accuracy or lack of accuracy in voice recognition. It costs $52.48 verses their older version, 12, that costs $78.82 (The latter is the one this reviewer recommends.)
Dragon’s mistakes are difficult to correct because many are pronunciation and not spelling. In other words, Dragon may hear speaker dictate “where”, when “wear” is the correct word. This may require extra editing.

Dragon does not support dictation into Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. However, there is a Dragon Medical Practice Edition for this area. Please be aware that the medical software is over $1,000 to purchase.

Nuance’s Customer Service needs improvement. Contacting them may try your patience, making refunds difficult to obtain. Sometimes customers are referred to Nuance Community of users for the answering of their questions.

Installing the downloadable version of Dragon can be problematic. Wait for the CD-ROM instead.

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px;" href="https://unsplash.com/@carlheyerdahl?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Carl Heyerdahl"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-1px;fill:white;" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M20.8 18.1c0 2.7-2.2 4.8-4.8 4.8s-4.8-2.1-4.8-4.8c0-2.7 2.2-4.8 4.8-4.8 2.7.1 4.8 2.2 4.8 4.8zm11.2-7.4v14.9c0 2.3-1.9 4.3-4.3 4.3h-23.4c-2.4 0-4.3-1.9-4.3-4.3v-15c0-2.3 1.9-4.3 4.3-4.3h3.7l.8-2.3c.4-1.1 1.7-2 2.9-2h8.6c1.2 0 2.5.9 2.9 2l.8 2.4h3.7c2.4 0 4.3 1.9 4.3 4.3zm-8.6 7.5c0-4.1-3.3-7.5-7.5-7.5-4.1 0-7.5 3.4-7.5 7.5s3.3 7.5 7.5 7.5c4.2-.1 7.5-3.4 7.5-7.5z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;">Carl Heyerdahl</span></a>
Imagine all you can accomplish!

Final Words on the Subject

Having purchased this software several years ago, I am a believer of its good qualities. There is a learning curve, though, for the software to recognize your voice pattern. However, once this is accomplished, this software is quite the handy tool. I’m fortunate to be able to type at the speed of my thoughts, yet I still use this software especially when I’m too tired to type. Writing books of 200-300+ pages can be tiresome, so having this sort of application can really come in handy.

As with all software, at times, the technology takes a while to catch up with the needs and demands. Each revision seems to include improvements, but somehow manage to leave out some of the more useful capabilities. This is true, unfortunately, with Dragon. I prefer the earlier versions to the latest. Hard to say what went wrong with the upgrades. Having said that, Blackcurrant Press recommends Dragon Naturally Speaking version 12. There are great applications here for having a hands-free computer. Can you think of any? Click Here to find more information.

Please leave a comment below if you found this review helpful. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

frank-holleman-458248-unsplash

How to Submit Your Manuscript for eBook Consideration or Do It Yourself

Blackcurrant Press is here to tell you how to submit your manuscript for ebook consideration or do it yourself!  Are you thinking about writing a book?  This is a great time! Electronic books are all the rage! Here’s information on how to submit and create  your own electronic books. Hopefully, this post can help writers become authors.

How to Submit Your Manuscript for eBook Consideration or Do It Yourself

Let’s begin. Electronic books or ebooks have become common place in the book market. If your story doesn’t come with a physical and electronic copy, it’s only reaching half its audience.  There is software available and it’s FREE!  It is designed to help writers become electronic authors without much more than their creativity and some know-how. Two of the biggest electronic stores in the world are Barnes & Noble (Nook) and Amazon (Kindle). See below how its done on their websites.

How to Submit a MANUSCRIPT to Barnes & Noble

Go to the Barnes & Noble homepage footer and click on Publisher & Author Guidelines. On this page there are a list of questions and answers helping the writer through the process of setting up their Vendor of Record Account on the B&N platform. There are two requirements for this account, the bibliographic and book data.  Writer must follow the formatting specifications. After account set-up, writer can submit their manuscript in three different ways.   Barnes & Noble will accept them via email, file transfer protocol (FTP) or by sending a CD Rom, zip-file, or even floppy disc.

try publishing an ebookCover image must be submitted with a high resolution TIFF or JPEG 100-150 dpi only, length between 1400-2000 pixels and width proportionally designed.

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px;" href="https://unsplash.com/@disguise_truth?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from Anastasia Zhenina"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-1px;fill:white;" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M20.8 18.1c0 2.7-2.2 4.8-4.8 4.8s-4.8-2.1-4.8-4.8c0-2.7 2.2-4.8 4.8-4.8 2.7.1 4.8 2.2 4.8 4.8zm11.2-7.4v14.9c0 2.3-1.9 4.3-4.3 4.3h-23.4c-2.4 0-4.3-1.9-4.3-4.3v-15c0-2.3 1.9-4.3 4.3-4.3h3.7l.8-2.3c.4-1.1 1.7-2 2.9-2h8.6c1.2 0 2.5.9 2.9 2l.8 2.4h3.7c2.4 0 4.3 1.9 4.3 4.3zm-8.6 7.5c0-4.1-3.3-7.5-7.5-7.5-4.1 0-7.5 3.4-7.5 7.5s3.3 7.5 7.5 7.5c4.2-.1 7.5-3.4 7.5-7.5z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;">Anastasia Zhenina</span></a>Text data can be submitted in Microsoft Word, HTML (computer code in text, not images), TXT (text) or ePub (International Digital Publishing Forum) only.  For the content to look its best in multiple e-readers, writers must be proficient in HTML and TXT formatting.  Book composites of text and chapter headings will look fine in Word, HTML or TXT despite naievete of writer. However, if there are images and a table of content, and footnotes, etc., skill in the areas of HTML and TXT formatting are a must.

For ePub, an extension of XML formatting, writers arrange book as a zip file with a MIMETYPE file, a META-INF folder, and a OEBPS folder. Each will contain all the files of the writer’s book perfectly set-up for the ebook platform and work best for the publisher. Those unfamiliar with these types of files need not worry. There are companies willing to convert Word, HTML, TXT and even PDF to ePub files for FREE. Altova has a 30-day FREE trail for epublishing software, afterwards pay $999 for full package and $499 for a subset.

Alternately, writers may also submit their hard and/or paperbacks and request to be included in B&N’s retail division (brick and mortar stores) by submitting a copy to their Small Press Department (212) 633-3388. Author’s book goes through a review process for placement in their stores. See address below.

The Small Press Department

Barnes & Noble

122 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10011


How to Submit YOUR MANUSCRIPT to Amazon Kindle

Go to the Amazon homepage footer and click on Kindle Direct Publishing. On this page there is a sign up button that launches to a series of forms for writers to complete.  Writer sets up an account, then creates and uploads their manuscript to the Kindle book store platform. Click on Get Started with Kindle content creation tools. This leads to a listing of what’s available. Kindle has an array of publishing tools that are FREE to end users. Whether the writer has a PC or Mac, Kindle provides downloadable applications (Mobi) that allow the user to upload their manuscripts from a Word or PDF file, manipulate it, add covers and even see how it will look in various types of Kindle Readers. These tools come with User Guides, making this process extremely user-friendly.

What Blackcurrant Can Provide for Writers

Here at Blackcurrant Press, we offer manuscript conversions too. Writers will receive completed files in one of the two digital standards, ePub and Mobi. Writers must supply their text files in WORD, PDF or InDesign and images in TIFF or JPEG formats and will receive a file that can be uploaded to Barnes & Noble’s Nook, or Amazon’s Kindle, iTunes, or any other on-line bookstore. Our price is $75 for this service. We offer this service for those who do not wish to convert their work themselves. You’re in luck! Click Here to submit your manuscript.

eBooks are all the Rage

With many bookstores closing and libraries in need of funding, ebooks have become more and more popular.   In some cases ebooks are the only way to publish books. There’s less overhead like with traditional publishing.  You don’t need a printer and materials, a brick and mortar store, a storage facility, physical distribution, or delivery. All electronic books require is a computer, creativity and a willingness to do the work.

Please leave a comment below.


<–Click Here for information on becoming an author.

 

 

 

 

daria-nepriakhina-474558-unsplash

A Publisher’s Opinion on the Importance of a Good Book Cover

Here’s a Publisher’s opinion on the importance of a good book cover.  Imagine buying an expensive piece of jewelry, a ring perhaps or bracelet. Now, think about a special someone who will be the recipient of this gift. Now, place it in an ordinary box like the ones found at a grocery store.  Then wrap the box in a crumbled paper bag. Not a great way to present a fine present, right? In fact, this will not be well-received at all unless the objective is to throw the recipient off in guessing what’s inside. This is an analogy of what happens with book covers all too often. An author spends days, months, or even years crafting their novel, only to dress it in rags.  Unless the book is about rags, this technique is ill-advised.

What is the purpose of the book cover?

Book covers have quite a few sections all purposely designed in order to inform readers, merchants, and libraries about the content within. In other words, it is an informational device and marketing tool of significance.

The dust jacket (sometimes book jacket, dust wrapper or dust cover) of a book is the detachable outer cover, usually made of paper and printed with text and illustrations. This outer cover has folded flaps that hold it to the front and back book covers. Often the back panel or flaps are printed with biographical information about the author, a summary of the book from the publisher (known as a blurb), and/or critical praise from celebrities or authorities in the book’s subject area. In addition to its promotional role, the dust jacket protects the book covers from damage. However, since it is itself relatively fragile, and since dust jackets have practical, aesthetic, and sometimes financial value, the jacket may in turn be wrapped in another jacket, usually transparent, especially if the book is a library volume.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_jacket] See illustration below of a hard cover book template. Soft covers do not have back or front flaps.

Hard Copy Book Cover Template Sample
hard cover book template

The lists below the bold cover section titles in the illustration above are the items that are typically found within those sections. Of course, these items need not be present on all book covers, however, the title, author’s name, bar code, price and ISBN must be present on the cover. Without the bar code, merchants will not be able to sell the book because this code holds the basic information about the product, tracking for inventory and publisher and distributor identification.

Hard Copy Book Jacket Cover 

Poor-ducing Theatre book cover

Above cover is from writer, Carl Clay, a book about producing theater and film at Black Spectrum Theatre sold in the Shop.

What about the book cover picture?

This can be a very subjective area, like all art, not everyone likes the same thing. That is why there are impressionists, abstract artists, realists, etc. Therefore, one cover design or formula cannot please all audiences. However, there are basic rules cover makers should follow.

Art work should be sharp and presentable with a minimum of 300 dpi resolution. The easiest way to describe this is to say that when the picture is magnetized to 400 in a photo viewer, the picture should still look sharp and not fuzzy. In other words, only use high quality photos, pictures and illustrations. Printers will typically ask designers to adhere to these conditions and some will even demand cooperation because the finished product now attaches their name and reputation to the work.

In the post-war era, book covers have become vitally important as the book industry has become commercially competitive. Covers now give detailed hints about the style, genre and subject of the book, while many push design to its limit in the hope of attracting sales attention. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_cover]

What about the content on the cover?

The content on the cover should give readers some clues to the story within. Good covers simply echo the book title, for example, book title Walk in the Park might have a picture or illustration of a park. Great covers tell a story in and of themselves, for example, book title The Eclipse might have a moon partially covering the silhouette of a man carrying a weapon. Both of these examples aren’t based on actual books, but are given in order to spark imaginations.

Best to think of the book cover similarly the way movie trailers are perceived, as ways to engage an audience and entice them into coming to see the show. Anything less than that, is a waste of valuable space on one’s cover.

What tools are used to make book covers?

Software in this area has come a long way, not to mention access to such powerful tools. Printing presses used to be the standard method for creating books and covers. Authors would have to go to a printing company and pay them to have their books and covers done. However, now-a-days nearly every household contains a personal computer. Publishing capabilities are no longer just in the hands of printing presses, but are now in the hands of the consumer.

In the opinion of Blackcurrant Press, one of the best book publishing software applications available is InDesign. A designer can either upload a cover template or create their own in this application and build their cover. Unfortunately, learning the InDesign application may not come naturally to users who are only used to Microsoft Word. This application has a few more features and capabilities. Plus, the price tag for this application ranges from $900-$1,200+ depending on package variation. Of course, for those who do not wish to learn a new software or create their cover on their own, outsourcing is the way to go. Book cover designers are plentiful and most will work within their clients’ budget.

Another good book publishing software application is Quarkxpress. This software has been around a while and some designers may not be familiar with it at all. It’s not as user-friendly as InDesign, nor as integrated with other applications. However, with a little effort and ingenuity, this application is capable of doing most of the things that InDesign can with a smaller price tag of $850. Again, outsourcing book cover production is always an option.

A favorite, of course is PhotoShop, with a price tag of $240.  It has a great deal of capabilities like the others, though basically known for its photo altering tools.

Also, there are websites that allow users to create a cover for FREE!  Try Canva, or Kindle Direct Publishing, or Create Space, to name a few.

Conclusion

Below are some samples of great book covers.  Hopefully these will inspire budding authors to create their own works of art!

example of a good book cover

 

Notice the picture is clear and high resolution.  It is a photo of a street in Tuscany.  It has a quote on the cover as well as an award.

 

A Publisher's opinion of a good book cover

Notice the words ‘the woman’ appear as if they’re peaking through the window blinds.  It has a best seller honorable mention and a quote.

 

 

This book cover shows the important of a book cover

Notice the word ‘Me’ wrapped around the Empire State Building.  Also, the author’s title mentions another book of distinction.

 

 

This Publisher’s opinion on covers is to ask writers to take a look at books similar to theirs. The intention for this is to illustrate industry quality and standard.  It would be lovely to report that this technique always works. Unfortunately, some writers do not believe that book covers matter.  To them, we say, “Sometimes the old barn needs a little paint!”

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below.

andrew-welch-155220-unsplash

Typing vs. Writing – Which is Better?

Mike Tinnon
Photo by Mike Tinnon

Typing vs. Writing – Which is Better? To Type or Write Long-hand – that is the question when starting one’s novel.  Ultimately, it’s author’s choice and which ever feels the most comfortable.  It is such a personal choice that each have merit.  Some like the flow of the pen ink as it glides along a blank page.  While others prefer tapping away on their lap tops for hours on end.

At Blackcurrant, when typing prose, poetry, novels, short-stories, lyrics, etc. a computer – WINS!   Also, there is a mighty good reason to type when one writes!  When typing one page per day as author of a book, by year’s end, will be 365 pages complete.  This way an editor can receive the work in less than a two minute e-mail and start refining one’s work into a masterpiece.  A writer can quickly become a published author!

<a style="background-color:black;color:white;text-decoration:none;padding:4px 6px;font-family:-apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, "San Francisco", "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Ubuntu, Roboto, Noto, "Segoe UI", Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;font-weight:bold;line-height:1.2;display:inline-block;border-radius:3px;" href="https://unsplash.com/@nordwood?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=photographer-credit&utm_content=creditBadge" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" title="Download free do whatever you want high-resolution photos from NordWood Themes"><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;"><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" style="height:12px;width:auto;position:relative;vertical-align:middle;top:-1px;fill:white;" viewBox="0 0 32 32"><title>unsplash-logo</title><path d="M20.8 18.1c0 2.7-2.2 4.8-4.8 4.8s-4.8-2.1-4.8-4.8c0-2.7 2.2-4.8 4.8-4.8 2.7.1 4.8 2.2 4.8 4.8zm11.2-7.4v14.9c0 2.3-1.9 4.3-4.3 4.3h-23.4c-2.4 0-4.3-1.9-4.3-4.3v-15c0-2.3 1.9-4.3 4.3-4.3h3.7l.8-2.3c.4-1.1 1.7-2 2.9-2h8.6c1.2 0 2.5.9 2.9 2l.8 2.4h3.7c2.4 0 4.3 1.9 4.3 4.3zm-8.6 7.5c0-4.1-3.3-7.5-7.5-7.5-4.1 0-7.5 3.4-7.5 7.5s3.3 7.5 7.5 7.5c4.2-.1 7.5-3.4 7.5-7.5z"></path></svg></span><span style="display:inline-block;padding:2px 3px;">NordWood Themes</span></a>
Photo by Nordwood

 

Now, if you prefer writing your pages out in long-hand, eventually those pages will have to be typed because most editors and publishers require it to be so.  Depending on how fast you type or how much money you have to pay someone else to type for you, will determine how long it will take to get your pages out to your editor.  At Blackcurrant, we’ve had many writers in this situation, and some of them weren’t typist and had very little money to hire one.

 

 



I wrote my first novel, Smart, Sexy, Spiritual, Strong  in long-hand.  I feel as if I’m still writing it because I had so many re-writes to do prior to publication.  It took me five years to finish this novel because I couldn’t make changes easily.  My advice, don’t waste time – type!

USING PAPER?  Save the Planet Along the Way

I use my scrap paper on both sides.  I simply pick it up off the floor (chuckle…chuckle) and put it into my printer face down.  This accomplishes three things:

1) If it is face down, I don’t have to look at the horrible draft I’ve just finished

2) I’m saving the planet, and

3) I’m saving up in case this whole writing thing doesn’t pay off!! (chuckle…chuckle)           

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” —Thomas Jefferson