facebook twitter pinterest

Free Stock Photos Website You Can Use on Your Book

Written by   |   Friday, 20 September 2013 03:14

Photos are some of the best ways to sum up a nice story. That’s why self-publishing authors, book formatting services, graphic designers chose to augment their titles or works with carefully chosen and professionally taken photos. However, if operating on a tight budget, it sometimes becomes necessary to look for professional photos for free or at a reduced price. This can be very useful if you’re not a professional photographer yourself or don’t have a close friend capable of helping in this regard. The good thing is that you can avail some of the most stunning and crisp photos for your book online and for free. Checkout the sites below:

Flickr Creative Commons
This is an extensive database of professionally taken photos you can use for publishing on any genre. The site provides various categories and options under the creative commons license, which you may use with attribution. For instance, there are free pictures for commercial use, non-commercial use and other categories, all of which should be used alongside due credit.

Over 30,000 photographers have come together here to share some of the best quality stock photos any author can use on their self-published title. The site gives you access to over 400,000 such photos.

Wikimedia Commons
Brought to you by the guys behind Wikipedia, this is another huge gallery of photos. Browse for all manner of categories from science and art to nature and engineering. The site has millions of photos and media available for free reuse.

Dreams Time
Get down here for some quality and professionally taken pictures. The site has premium photos and that’s why you should use the link below for specifically free photos.

Microsoft Image Gallery
The gallery features ultra-high quality photos-all for free reuse. From clip art and animations to photos and cartoons, there will always be something appropriate for your story in this gallery.

These are high-res stock photos for reuse on any media. Just type any specific topic, such as “animals” to bring up free quality photos you can use for your book.

RGB Stock
This is a huge gallery of free stock photos for both commercial and non commercial use. You can use them for free on your website, eBook, paperback, magazine, flayer or even broadcast film.

The website is packed with free stock photos of all categories. You need to sign up for free membership and also to be able to download the free images or pictures.

The site has royalty-free photos on a wide array of categories. You may either go straight to your desired category as offered on the menu or use keyword-based search to yield specific pictures.

Basically, you need to ascertain that you’re on an authentic site in order to download photos you can use on your book. Also, check a photo’s attribution requirement to learn how you need to give credit for use of specific downloads. This way, you’ll ensure top quality photos for your work, for free and without royalty issues having to come up.

Save Your Eyes for a Good Book!

Written by   |   Thursday, 19 September 2013 01:21

good book1

Key Factors to Consider in Book Design

Written by   |   Wednesday, 18 September 2013 23:29

Professional book design sees to it that independent authors deliver titles that meet the market’s expectations. For this reason, authors find it wise to utilize book design templates that help confine their creativity to acceptable norms of book making. Whichever way you approach book design, the key factors below must be considered.

Book Cover Design

Many readers will tell professional book design by its cover. That’s why a book designer incorporates your book’s theme into cover design, makes proper choice of color, and utilizes impressive images, photos or artwork. The designer also chooses the right font, text style and shape for your book cover.

Fonts play a critical role in making your book look professional, especially in the interior. Thus, it’s necessary for book designers to employ popular fonts that have proved stunning in successful titles. Don’t settle for simplistic fonts such as Times New Roman, which many readers of both fiction and nonfiction writing may not like. It’s also important to focus on readability as opposed to fanciness or style when choosing font for your book’s interior. Some authors approach book designers with samples of the font they want used for their book (even if they don’t know it’s name). You may pick such samples from successful titles in the market.


Photography or artworks may prove useful in non-fictional writing. Thus, if you’re writing a book that will require photos, images or illustrations in its interior, it’s critical you seek professional help in this regards. Professional designers will help you with graphic design as well as choice of photography that suits your writing. All the same, you still have a role to play in choice of artwork, especially if you’re writing on areas such as computer sciences, health, mathematics etc.

Images also bring about the questions of copyright and quality. It’s important you make good choice of your images’ sources so that you don’t run into trouble for copyright infringement. At the same time, the images must meet certain resolution standards for both print and electronic use. The standards may differ depending on what electronic platform the images will be displaying on, but for paperback formats, your book is good to go with a resolution of 300 dpi.

Book Formatting

Book formatting involves a lot of aspects and that’s why book design templates and professional designers play a critical role here. For instance, justifying text, hyphenation, running heads, margins and page numbering are just some of the areas that must conform to professional bookmaking standards. Here, you can also emulate other successful titles in bookstores.

How creative you might be, the role of book design templates in professional bookmaking cannot be overemphasized. See, the publishing industry is centuries old and carries with it certain expectations in book design areas such as photography, book cover design, page numbering, page breaks, sections and others. Thus, professional book designers may utilize templates to implement sophisticated design aspects that only experience and expertise can provide. Just make sure to engage in a designer or book formatting service who understands the quality you expect in the aspects described above.



Popular Fonts for Interior Book Design

Written by   |   Wednesday, 18 September 2013 05:13

If you’re self-publishing, it helps to appreciate the fact that your story does count, and so does the way it’s delivered. From cover design to pictures and images, all that does help to promote your title in the eyes of potential buyers. But the type of fonts you choose for interior book design play an even more important role. This is because fonts dictate the readability of your text (and the success of your title) in the long run, long after the book title and cover design have played their part in informing a purchasing decision. Thus, if you want a reader to continue enjoying your story and probably recommend it to others, you must choose an impressive font that’s also easier to read. But what are the most popular fonts for interior book design today?

How about Times New Roman or Arial? Are these fonts appropriate for modern day writing? Most authors choose to explore other fonts as opposed to default ones such as Times New Roman. Times New Roman was itself invented for the Newspaper, with aspects such as economy of space in mind. That’s why most such fonts won’t make an impressive read if used for other type of publishing, especially in entertainment.

Below are some of the most popular fonts in self-publishing:

Janson: the design dates back to the 17th century creativity of Nicholas Kis of Hungary. It’s one of the most stunning fonts to use for modern day publishing in a wide array of genres. Janson comes with distinct variations in font sizes and thickness.

Garamond: This is an old-style serif originally developed by Claude Garamont, a punch-cutter. The style was further developed by Jean Jannon, who later came up with a variety of Garamond faces. Thus, you may explore some of the most popular Garamond faces such as Sabon, Granjon and Stempel.

Caslon: This was designed by William Caslon of between 1692 and 1766. The group consists of stunning serif typefaces with irregular features. Go for this font to achieve an interior design with short ascenders and descenders, high contrast and prominent texture.

Gentium: Are you looking for a free font style for your new novel? Well, Gentium is an open source group of typefaces that can make an impressive read. The free font was designed by Victor Gaultney and today supports variants with over 5, 500 glyphs and stunning typographies.

Electra: The font dates back to 1935 and was designed by D.W. Dwiggings. According to its designer, the typeface was meant to inspire a sense of warmth in stories bordering on human nature and personality.

There are many fonts and variations you could choose for your book. But the most important thing to remember when picking a popular font type for book interior design is readability. While style is important, make sure your reader focuses on your story and not its style of delivery. That’s why many authors today don’t hesitate to seek expert assistance like book formatting services; when it comes to professional typefaces for bookmaking.

Are You a Book-a-holic?

Written by   |   Tuesday, 17 September 2013 14:42


Before publishing a book, there are many elements to consider when formatting your book and be sure to take care of them in order to make your book a success. Among these include; typography, line spacing, book margins, page numbers, page layout cover design, headers and footers, paper choice and above all; the book size.

Here are some important highlights on book size selection that will help you along the process of formatting.

Book Size

The first decision you will have to make regarding the design of your book is the size of your book. Commonly, 6*9 inches is basically the size used for trade paperbacks. A larger trim size is preferable for children or seniors. Graphics and illustrations will play part into it too.

The size of your book will determine its printing costs as digital books are priced depending on a range of sizes instead of a price for every different size. You will obtain a quotation for your book printing based on the size of your book.

Here are highlights on specific sizes for certain books.

Mass Market books need to be 4-1/4”*7”, the ideal size for selling through racks on various book points such as supermarkets; the size is ideal for the mode of distribution. However, this will probably not apply for self-published books.

Trade paperbacks - This category of books, often in 5-1/2”*8-1/2” to 6”*9” range, a proportion of 2:3, has long been considered ideal size especially for self-published books.

Manuals and workbooks are larger thus takes a range of 8”*10” to 8-1/2”*11”, sizes that are also good for instructional books with detailed drawing with lots of graphics and for directories. This design takes a 2 column layout that provides efficient space for use.

Novels and memoirs generally appear in a range of varied sizes such as; 5-1/2”*8-1/2”, 5-1/2”*8”, 5-1/4”*8” and 6”*9” respectively. These are quite charming and intimate sizes that are not overly bulky.  

Arts and photography books don’t necessarily conform to any size limits and comes in square or almost square shapes to allow for picture placement from any orientation, may it be vertical or horizontal.

Non-fiction titles generally, come out in one most popular size of 6”*9”, the most widely used size for hardcover books too. 7”*10” is frequently used to allow a larger range if need be when more room is needed for pull quotes or sidebars on a page.

With these guidelines coupled with the outlined requirements of your prospective publisher, no doubt that you will choose the most ideal size for your print depending on your book category and preferences.

What Will be Suitable for Your Book; White Paper or Cream Paper?

Written by   |   Saturday, 14 September 2013 13:05

There is a wide range of paper out there to choose from for your book printing. However, the question is; which paper type is most appropriate for your book? Colorful paper is not as suitable as plain paper because too many colors hamper reading. It’s easier to read text on a plain background thus white or cream paper is ideal as they are not too bright nor are they too dull to cause eye-strain when reading.

Basically, you may want to experiment on a range of paper choices just to be sure which one is more suitable for your needs. However, your preference may not count as the ideal paper as you should consider what will be suitable for your readers and not go by your tastes. No one wants to read something that is strenuous to read. Offer your readers what they will enjoy reading with ease.

What are some of the factors that could lead to white or cream paper preference?

Ideally, this will depend on the elements you desire to include in your book. For instance, using black for illustrations on white brings them out more boldly than on cream paper. The illustrations appear bolder and more 3D looking as opposed to cream. On the other hand, cream tends to drain some of the effects from the digitally printed illustrations making them a bit blurred.

White paper also adds more boldness to drop caps and the text in general and gives your readers a greater appeal than when you use cream paper. Black and white brings out a better rhyme of colors than black and cream.

On the other hand, if you are using plain text, the idea of using cream paper wouldn’t be that bad after all. However, it doesn’t really come with the much needed appeal for non-fiction books, may be probably suitable for fiction books.

Besides, cream paper pages tend to do better with Lightning Source more than it does with CreateSpace. Therefore you might have to opt for Lightning Source if you choose to settle for the cream paper to have the desired effects on your end-product.

Cream paper is preferably suitable for fictions books such as novels while white paper is often used for technical (How To Books) and such other nonfiction books.

Benefits of Publishing to CreateSpace; Your Best Self-Publishing Partner

Written by   |   Friday, 13 September 2013 09:34

Are you a self-publisher looking for a suitable option for your book? CreateSpace is your ideal printing and distribution service provider. Being Amazon’s DIY self-publishing platform, it remains the most popular option for both new and seasoned authors who opt to self publish. They provide the major most essential services to make book publishing for you a success. Createspace offers you digital fulfillment, print and distribution services.

Library books - Createspace produces library-quality books by using print-on-demand model. They offer varied services to suit an individual author’s needs.

Trim size - Createspace will ensure that your book is a quality product just as one of those published by major publishers as they produce both large and small paperback books in standard sizes. However, they don’t offer off-size book printing.

Cover finish - CreateSpace only offers printing of books with laminated covers which is beautiful and optimal for many authors, however, they don’t print those with matte finish mostly preferred my major publishers for their books. They also print paperback books but not hardcover.

Apt services - You get a range of reasonably priced services as an author from CreateSpace ranging from book design to marketing services. You can make a daunting process relatively easy and pain-free with a professional design and marketing team especially for first time self-publishers; precisely what CreateSpace offers you.

Cost setup - CreateSpace is the best priced for you as they charge no setup fees and proofs cost that placed on individual books; at $25 per title. They are the most reasonably priced in the market and allow you to set your own pricing for your books.

Royalties - For the CreateSpace store, the discounts are placed at 20% for expanded distribution. For instance, a book will assume a price of $14.95, of which you receive $6.91 in royalties for sales in CreateSpace store, $3.93 for sales on Amazon and 91 cents for sales of the same book through expanded distribution. This is applicable for a 350 page book going by the size 6” *9”.

Print on demand - CreateSpace offers on-demand printing technology which is highly profitable to authors as it costs them less in terms of printing investment. However, they don’t offer printing range options on bulk printing.

Distribution - CreateSpace offers two options for your book distribution; either on expanded distribution or via CreateSpace store and Amazon. The expanded distribution comprises of academic institutions, bookstores and libraries. Although as an author you may want to add expanded distribution, all books published on CreateSpace are enlisted both on Amazon and CreateSpace store.

Well, these are some of the benefits you gain when you enlist for CreateSpace to partner with you to make your book publishing a success. There are other numerous profitable services you obtain from CreateSpace that will surely make your book a success.

New Developments in Lulu that Will See your eBook Hit the Ground Running

Written by   |   Friday, 13 September 2013 02:43

No author has ever had to worry about meeting acceptable literary standards in book design aspects such as eBook formatting, cover design, image creation and others like the one who publishes independently. This is so because the independent author has more control (and therefore responsibility) over the book production process. That’s why Lulu has decided to make the achievement of an independent author’s goals a bit easier.

Of course, time is of the essence for any author who hopes to self-publish with Lulu. This makes it necessary to acquire book preparation tools that expedite the process with little hassle on the part of the author. Again, Lulu looked into this and came up with features you may wish to know about, if you hope to achieve industry standards in self-publishing.

Lulu is in itself a self-publishing agency that helps aspiring authors publish and distribute their books via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks. The agency has helped millions of authors tell their unique stories and is determined to make their experience faster and easier. The latest developments in the firm revolve around a revamped homepage, new book templates and new eBook solutions.

The New Templates

Lulu has introduced new templates that will help with book formatting. Additionally, the templates have support for content creation as well as layout aspects. With these, it’ll be easier for self-published books via Lulu to meet the best standards and compete on the same level with mainstream writers.

In the same vein, you can take advantage of tips from self-publishing experts, which are embedded in every section of the new templates. With this development, it’ll be extremely difficult not produce a world-class title.

New eBook Options

This strategy is aimed at giving authors more control over the book production process while shortening the time it takes to hit the market. Thus, Lulu has introduced four eBook publishing solutions that will make it easier for authors to distribute their titles on Apple iBookstore, Nook Bookstore (Barnes & Noble) and Lulu itself. With the recent introduction of iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, you have another useful tool to reach out to a wider audience.

A number of Lulu innovations and strategies have come up towards this end. For instance, Lulu exclusively partnered with The Book Genome Project and introduced the Helix Review feature. The analysis tool exposes authors to a database of over 100,000 famous titles, making it possible to draw comparisons and lay down workable formulas for successful market penetration.

Additionally, Lulu launched the Picture.com site, which will help authors with the quick creation of professional photo books. This comes complete with custom features to help enterprises capture and store fond memories and forged relationship uniquely via photography.

Already, professional eBook and paperback formatters have positioned themselves to take advantage of such developments at Lulu and help authors achieve their objectives faster and easier. Thus, don’t hesitate to let a self-publishing expert help with the nitty-gritty of eBook design in order to deliver a professional-grade product in the market.

Optimizing Images for the New iPhone 5c’s Retina Display

Written by   |   Thursday, 12 September 2013 08:46

Image formatting to publish on Apple books is not an issue for OS developers alone to worry about. That’s why self-publishing authors too must adhere to image optimization guidelines that enhance readability of their titles on Apple devices such as the iPhone 5C.

Apple’s retina display is nothing new to users of Apple devices. However, the technology continues to define Apple's top-notch display quality as evident in the new iPhone 5C. The new smart device brings with it incredibly awesome features, but its 4-inch retina display assures users of high-resolution and crisp quality images, text, widgets and other types of graphics.

Why should Authors Worry about Retina Display

Well, as an author you don’t have to be tech savvy to deliver the best image quality for retina display on iPhone 5C. But that stands for as long as you have at your disposal a professional eBook formatter that will help with the optimization of images for high quality display. However, it helps to know what to expect from your book formatter for all images, including those for cover design.

The retina display stands out for its capacity to display images at clarity and quality that’s 2-3 times better than standard density display. The images contain more detail, even when zoomed to a reasonable extent. However, authors need to follow the guidelines below to ensure images contained in their submissions for books publishing will display well on retina screens.

  • Apple recommends images of 2048 pixel width for display on retina screens. If you intend to publish on non retina display, images should be not more than 1024 pixels wide. This standard applies for all images except those meant for the book cover.
  • Your book cover designer should size it to 1400 (remember the book cover is an image too.)
  • For maximum quality, all images should be in JPG format. Apple recommends the format for opaque images. However, if you wish to achieve a certain level of transparency, the PNG format is recommended for images.
  • You may sharpen your images, but this is not necessary. Of course, your image designer can experiment with this feature on several zoom levels and see how it all works out.
  • Try to work with images on RGB or Adobe RGB colour.
  • Remember that image size and image quality are related. Images with more detail have more pixels and are larger. Photoshop is a good tool to use to optimize images for retina display on iPhone 5C by tweaking the size and quality (in this case you’ll be adjusting image height and width in pixels).

With the new iPhone 5C already in the market, the bonus is on you as an author, to take advantage and produce a quality e Book for publishing via iBooks. The platform will make your book available on Apple’s smart devices including iPhone. If you’re self-publishing, this is even better since the store never turns away aspiring authors, unlike what the case is with mainstream publishers.

User Login

Please login to upload your files. If you do not have an account yet, please click here to register.

Submit Book Promo

Authors please post your articles, pictures, press release, promotions, announcements of book signings and other events  regarding your book in our BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Click here to submit.

Book Formatting Service

Steps in availing our book formatting service:

  1. Register and login to our website: www.thefastfingers.com.
  2. Complete our CONTACT FORM.
  3. Upload your manuscript, cover files, images, etc. in our system through the MANAGE FILES menu.
  4. Proceed to purchase any of our book formatting service: www.thefastfingers.com.

Recent Posts