Category Archives: Books

Top Resources for Self-Published Authors

It’s no secret that I love editing novels. Some manuscripts I receive take multiple and sometimes complex rounds of substantive editing, while others involve relatively simple proofreading. What makes all projects memorable is that each represents a unique story, a unique perspective. Since I work with many self-published authors, I felt compelled to post a list of resources on book design, formatting, and marketing. This list is meant to guide authors who are considering self-publishing, but are unsure where to start.

The Book Cover Designer

A compilation of premade book covers from all across the spectrum of genres. Here you’ll find everything, from romance book covers to covers for thrillers. If you decide to purchase a cover, you’ll be able to fill in with your book title and author name. Be on the lookout for special promotions!

Robin Ludwig Design

Offers both premade and custom-made book covers to suit your needs. Additionally, this designer can create author swag items, such as bookmarks, business cards, and post cards.

Cover Design Studio

A good resource for both book design and interior layout. You can find a number of premade covers and manuscript layouts for a reasonable price. Based on the images, these cover designs may work best with literary fiction. Authors of non-fiction may also find inspiration here.

Self Pub Book Covers

Features a collection of covers from different genres similarly to the Book Cover Designer.

99 Designs  

A platform for graphic designers to advertise their services with a large section on book design as well.

Be sure to check out listings on Fiverr and Reedsy too!

A word of caution: Avoid designing your own book cover. You will find many online resources on DIY cover design, but the process might be tricky, especially if you come from a different field.  Even if you are a designer by trade, it’s best to hire someone else to create the cover for you.



A great online platform for digital and PDF formatting. Very user friendly and easy to navigate. The company occasionally offers online tutorials and live events offering industry advice.


Offers professional interior templates for paperbacks and e-books. This option may for someone who wants to create a more elaborate interior layout.

Platforms such as, Ingram Spark, and Kindle Direct Publishing also provide some practical guidelines on formatting and distribution.


Net Galley

A perfect place to obtain book reviews designed to bring authors and readers together. This platform is used by publishers and independent authors alike. A word of caution: it may appear a bit pricey to some, but it’s possible to get a discount though Xpresso Book Tours, which is listed below.

Kirkus Reviews

Offers advertisement and book reviews to presses and indie authors alike. May also appear a bit pricey, but if you can afford it, go for it! It may pay you in the long run.

Xpresso Book Tours

Offers everything from blog tours to book reviews and features a section with premade book covers. You can also obtain access to NetGalley for a discounted price.

The Takeaway

There is no right or wrong way to publish a book. Some prefer having a traditional publisher to take care of everything, while others would rather be in control of the entire process. No matter which path you choose, it will involve a lot of hard work. If you decide to go through a traditional or hybrid publisher, you’ll likely experience a period of rejections or unanswered queries. If you choose self-publishing, the process itself might be faster, but you’ll be the one in charge of creating the perfect book and getting it out there. As a prospective author, you know what works best for your writing needs.

Good Luck!

The Good Lands/Un Territoire À Partager

Good_LandsI’m excited to announce that the book I worked on this past summer is now available for purchase. Titled The Good Lands and written by Victoria Dickenson, Naomi Fontaine, and Lee Maracle, this book features some of the most notable works that reflect Native Canadian and Native-inspired art. Among the images, you’ll find acrylic, watercolor, and oil paintings; historic maps; photographs; woodwork; and even rock art from Canadian national parks. In addition to the artworks, the book also includes short chapters and poems written by different authors who share their views on nature and art and their role in shaping of Canada’s identity.

While the overall tone of the book appears to be positive, the authors and artists also touch upon the darker topics, such as past wars, injustices, and current environmental issues. The book includes an entire chapter devoted to the military art and a few artworks, such as Carapace by Brian Jungen, make an allusion to industrialization and its impact on our environment.

The idea beyond this project was “to celebrate the beauty and power of our shared spaces, and a reminder that we all live by the gifts of the land. This is a book that acknowledges the power of art to reveal what is hidden, to make visible the landscapes of our imagination.” Despite the past tensions between the Europeans and the Natives, the authors seem to be optimistic about future. They believe that art can help us to create common grounds for dialogue between different ethnic groups that now occupy Canadian soil. It is interesting to note that not all the artists presented in The Good Lands have Native background, but almost all have some form of affinity with Native culture. Local landscapes, wildlife, and cultural elements (i.e., Indigenous clothes, canoes) are the most common themes of their artworks.

As the proofreader, I was responsible for the final version of the French counterpart, Un Territoire À Partager. I must say that it’s been also a wonderful opportunity to work with talented people who are highly knowledgeable of the subject matter. In the process, I learned about the power of teamwork, as the project involved a lot of communication with different parties, including authors, fellow editors, and the publisher’s management team.

Both English and French versions are now available online at Amazon and Chapters Indigo as well as through local bookstores. To learn more about the book, you can also visit the publisher’s page created specifically for The Good Lands.