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Showing posts from 2016

Machine Learning Tests Amazon Novels and Shows Book Covers Reflect Genre

We already know readers judge books by their covers. If you are still fighting this social truth, then close your eyes, take a deep breath and release your rebellion to the universe. Repeat after me, "Readers judge books by their covers".

If the above is true (and it is), can we say books in specific categories or genres have similar and distinct styles, fonts and images used in book cover design?

A quick scan of Goodreads can provide a visual for us to examine, but we could never go through as many books in as short a time, or with as much brain power as a computer could.

Brian Kenji Iwana and Seiichi Uchida conducted a study at the Kyushu University in Japan to determine if book genre could be guessed by cover design. What's interesting is they used a "Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to predict the genre of a book based on the visual clues".

In case you care...

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), in particular, are multilayer neural networks that apply …

From Toonies to Rupees to Pesos: How to price your novel for sale in other countries

While loading my novel, "Girl Desecrated" onto Draft2Digital, I was faced with the opportunity to change the price of my book for different sales regions. Meaning, I can choose how much my book costs in Sweden, and how much it costs in Hong Kong, instead of just allowing an algorithm to calculate $3.99 US into every other territorial price.

As a Canadian who pays more than Americans for many things, this is a great feature. The algorithm default jacks up my book's US price of $3.99 to a Canadian price of $4.99. Well, I ask, why should those North of the border pay more for an eBook that has no tangible upfront costs to produce? And I say, Draft2Digital has given me the option to control the pricing, so I am going to price my eBook the same for American and Canadian purchase, eh? (We'll continue this train of thought at Tim Hortons, first thing in the morning).

Controlling pricing is also good because there are a few golden rules on novel pricing, and I think it'…

Six Steps to Book Marketing - How to build awareness of your novel and increase sales

So you've written a novel, published on an internet-based retailer platform like Amazon, iBook, Kobo, and now you need to get the word out? Well Dorothy, the best thing you can do right now, is jump into the digital marketing funnel! It's going to carry you and your novel far. Here's how.

Step 1: Exposure- Let people know about your book through SEO, Ads, Word of Mouth, Groups, Posts, Tweets, Launches, Facebook Posts, signings, podcasts, interviews, a street team re-tweeting, re-posting, etc. Step 2: Discovery- Once you get their eyes on your novel promotion, you need to get potential readers to come closer and get more information. This requires a link to click through, a sample to read, a video of you reading aloud, a landing page, a pre-order link, an author interview, and a newsletter sign-up.

How to Design an eBook Cover that Hooks Readers

The number one rule to remember in designing e-book covers is readability. If people cannot see the images and text on the e-book cover, then they are not going purchase the novel.

Readability is affected by three things:
placement of elementsresolution of imagesize of imagePlacement of Elements

Your design is going to be made up of some or all of the following:
background colour, texture or imagelayered symbol or other imagetitle textseries textauthor textdescription text Too many elements can make for crowded design, which is a "no, no", but if you search cover designs online, you'll find some that incorporate all of the above six items well. Why would you? Well Amazon will not allow text in the "title" section of your book posting that is not on your cover. Think about that in terms of targeting keywords potential readers may be searching.

According to DigitalPublishing101's article The importance of ebook covers, an e-book cover has a different job to d…

How to write the best pitch for twitter pitch contests

I've participated in PitMad and NestPitch on Twitter, and both have provided the opportunity to pitch my manuscript to potential agents. I have also benefited from the wonderful opportunities to share my hopes, my dreams and my work with like-minded writers (who are also moms, dads, teachers, and members of communities all over the world).

Currently I'm participating in PitchSlam, and I have found this pitching competition offers a new benefit--critique by professionals. The process works like this.

Pitch 35 wordsReceive feedback for improvementSubmit first 250 wordsReceive feedback for improvementSubmit revised 35 word pitch and revised 250 wordsWhat I found is the reviewers caught some pretty obvious mistakes in my work that I did not catch after multiple reads. And once I followed the suggestions, the improvement of my pitch and first 250 is encouraging. Compare the results yourself.

My first 35 word pitch:

Name: Cheryl R Cowtan
Genre: Adult / Dark Fantasy
Title: The Precio…

How to Quote your Novel and Increase Book Sales

In a society where expressing ourselves is more trendy than ever, authors can use memorable and powerful lines from their novels to bring attention to their work.

People love quotes from novels because they reflect, in better words than most of us can come up with, life experiences, feelings and views on important issues. Quotes also have the ability to affect us on a sentimental level, reminding us of a time we may have first experienced the novel being quoted. 
The best lines are timeless.


How to Choose Quotes from your Novel For writers, quoted lines from a novel can accomplish a number of things, but the most important goal for quoting your book is to create a curiosity or desire in the reader to read more. Consider this goal when searching for good lines. 
Your quote also functions as a sample of your writing. The quote you choose can do any of the following: Show the author's styleShow the quality of writingExpress the genre through conventionsEngage readers with a characterHo…

How to Use MS OneNote to Organize Writing Research and Novel Outlines for Writers

Let’s Get Organized 
Writers take a gazillion notes.I don’t have to tell you this, because you know all about it. You also know how difficult it is to organize notes, search through paper notes, and sometimes even find all the notes you've written. 

In this day and age, going digital is the best way to keep track of your notes. If organized properly, digital notes are sortable, searchable, editable, accessible from anywhere, and light as a feather to carry around.

In this blog, I'm going to show you how to be note-efficient.
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The following is an excerpt from "Technology #WritingTips for Writers". First 100 subscribers athttp://www.cherylcowtan.comget a free copy at book launch. _____________________________________________________
The first step in getting note-efficient is finding the right software. For writers, finding a software that will meet all of our needs is like trying to pick a toothpick from a sea urchin... …