Cover design is essential to successful publishing – PlashMill Press

plashmill covers composite
plashmill covers composite
Some PlashMill Press book covers.

When you navigate the minefield of becoming a published author, one of the most important things to remember is this: a good, classy cover design that speaks to the content of the book is essential.

In today’s competitive retail market, good cover design must be as effective and eye-catching in all the digital or e-book formats as it is on the shelf of a conventional store. Potential readers are exposed to a book’s cover design for only a few seconds before moving on, so it must be strong enough to engage them, involve them, and lead them towards the purchase.

In other words, you need a good designer.

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Book-writing basics: how to begin to write

The lovely, late Gerard Kelly expressing the frustration all writers know. But we can help. Pic: ©Rod Fleming

There are two basic techniques for how to write a book — or for that matter, any piece. They just become more defined in a book because of the length.

The first is: begin at the top left hand corner of page one and finish at the bottom right hand corner of the last page, and in between follow your nose. We’ll call this the ‘free-form’ method.

The second is: plan everything out. Design the structure of the book with chapter and sub-chapter headings, right to the lowest level. Then fill it up. This one we’ll call the ‘structured’ method.

Most writers to some extent use a combination of both approaches; and they are in any case suited to different types of writing. For example a psychological drama that explores characters’ reaction to their environment, really has to be free-form, to allow the characters to live and to actually respond in a convincing manner. I used this technique in The Warm Pink Jelly Express Train, a novel in which a straight man meets a transsexual and falls in love with her.the-warm-pink-jelly-express-train-rod-fleming

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Welcome to PlashMill Press — we’re back!

Welcome to PlashMill Press.  After a long hiatus, the business has been reconstituted and is once again online. It’s hard to believe that it has been five years since the old PlashMill Press online business was closed down, but it has. Much has happened in that time, believe me.

We never stopped publishing books, but various technical and operational issues meant that we stopped selling books and services direct through our web presence.  As a result of this and other factors, the site here fell into disuse.

This new site and the new, rejuvenated PlashMill Press will grow into the profile developed and left behind by the old one. Perhaps most importantly, a number of new imprints have been added in the last five years, while we have been offline. These are described in the menu bar above.

Our author-assistance packages, which were previously available under the imprint PlashMill Press will now be available through a new one, Merrivale Press.  Author-assisted books previously published under PlashMill Press will be migrated to Merrivale as and when new editions are produced.

PlashMill Press remains the general-interest publishing imprint.

In addition to Merrivale and PlashMill, we have Rare Rose Press, which specialises in erotic thrillers and Rod Fleming Press, which publishes some of Rod Fleming’s books.

There is also Redefining the Sacred, which publishes non-fiction titles relevant to the subject areas of religion and religious culture, along with the history and development of religion and its consequences for the broader society.

I will be blogging on this site and you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow me personally, Rod Fleming, through my own site, Rod Fleming’s World.

We are still setting up the site and new features will appear in due course. Meantime do please check back for updates.