Day 12: The Twelve Days of Author Goodies

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On the final day of Author Goodies, we’re talking design and layout advice…perfect if you need to format for e-book conversion or looking for tips when designing a cover.

E-book Formats and Formatting

Blog posts here at
The K.I.S.S. Principle

What is an e-book? Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Working with Styles

Hidden Characters

Building a Table of Contents

Working with Images

Good articles by others:
A good high-level overview to e-book formats and approaches to making them from BubbleCow.

For those of you who are HTML and CSS savvy, here’s the guide from Guido Henkel.


Bitmap images

Vector images

Design Tips

By yours truly and featured earlier this year at Upgrade Your Story: 10 tips from a cover designer

The 6 Principles of Design from J6 Design in Australia.

From Graphic Design Theory: 50 Resources and Articles

Thank you so much for following The Twelve Days of Author Goodies!

If you’ve picked one thing that makes the business of writing easier for you, then I’m thrilled. I’d love to know what was most helpful to you, so please leave a comment below and let me know. Or did I miss something you were hoping to see here? What was it? I may feature it in an upcoming blog post.

The Twelve Days of Author Goodies

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Top Dog

Top Dog ebook cover
Launched today! Jerry Jay Carroll has reissued Top Dog in a new Kindle format, and I was fortunate to work with him on a new cover, as well as formatting the manuscript for e-book conversion.

Jerry originally had an illustrated cover in mind for this satire. I provided a second option, developed as part of the design process, which Jerry selected with almost no revisions.

Congratulations on the launch Jerry!

Top Dog is available now in Kindle format at amazon.

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A Bold Vision

A Bold Vision Anthology cover

This summer, I was thrilled to play a small role in the creation of this piece of Canadiana! In September 2014, Prince Edward Island hosted A Bold Vision Women’s Leadership Conference, where 23 female visionaries shared their visions for Canada’s future. As a legacy piece, the conference committee decided to publish an anthology of essays written by the visionaries.

I worked with the anthology committee to select e-book distributor, short run book printer and print-on-demand partners, consulted on printing and publishing issues, designed the e-book and print covers, designed the custom print interior, and created formatted ebook versions.

Title Page

A Bold Vision title page

Contents Page

Contents page

Biography Page

Biography Page

Essay Introduction

Essay introduction

Interview-style Essay Page

Interview-style essay page

Essay Page with photography

Essay text with photography

E-book Cover

A Bold Vision ebook cover

E-book Interior Pages


A Bold Vision: Women Imagining Canada’s Future is available now. Here’s links to where it’s available for purchase. It’s also available for purchase in paperback and hardback at

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Starting to Frame – a memoir

I was thrilled to work with Roger Gordon on his memoir, Starting To Frame.
Roger tackled many important issues in this work, including mental illness, and I am proud to have played a small part.

Starting to Frame cover

Roger provided all the images for the cover, and we worked together to create this design. Legibility was a top priority for Roger, who has a family member with a vision impairment.

One of the challenges of the front cover artwork was the digital removal of another person in the ‘present day’ photo. Luckily, Roger had two shots to work with.
original images
Click on the cover above to have a better look at the final product.

For the interior of the printed book, Roger chose to start with a pre-designed interior and make some changes, again to maximize legibility for his readers.

Title page of Starting to Frane

Contents of Starting to Frame
For the e-book versions, we applied the KISS principle, prepping the manuscript for conversion (through Smashwords and Kindle) with Microsoft Word.
Starting to Frame ebook cover

Roger’s book is now available at Amazon and other online retailers.

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