Thursday, February 19, 2009

Feeney Teaches How To Design a Book Cover

FCCW was graced with Author/Speaker Rik Feeney.  Hands were busy writing as Rik expounded on his life, career, and secrets on how to get the most marketing value out of your book.  Rik  is an engaging speaker that had the audience on the edge of their seat trying to absorb all the great information he extols. Thankfully he had handouts for all of us which had all the great tips he went over.DSC03448 - Rik Feeney
Rik has a passion of sharing his knowledge with others.  He demonstrates this by becoming coaches to athletes and up and coming writers where he can, through the skills and wisdom he learned, in his stations of life, direct others on their own paths.
Twenty five years ago Rik was a competitive gymnast through High School and Temple University . During his career, Rik owned and worked at private gymnastics clubs where he trained gymnasts from state to national level competitors. Later he turned author.

Rik is the author of several books on the sport of gymnastics, the first of which was “Gymnastics: A Guide for Parents and Athletes” his latest book "Back Handsprings; The Secret Techniques" is featured in the movie "Fired UP."  True to form, he now coaches up and coming writers to fulfill their dreams of writing, his web site is

At FCCW he talked about the "three marketing stages of the book" and "marketing with book elements." Rik explains that books represent the author, the author is the product.  In today's market where less than 17% of people buy books and less than 10% of readers get past the first chapter you must put out a product that will bring book buyers and readers to your book. 

A good price point helps, but using the features of the book to do your marketing is key.  An example of this is the book's cover which should pass the ten foot rule; from ten feet a person should be able to tell what the book is about by its picture and title.   The title should lead with the main point and be 5-7 words in length. This will help when people are doing an Internet search and aid them while they are book shopping at the stores. 


Rik also explains how placement of the title and your name on the spine is important when your book is shelved in a library. The idea is to leave a one-inch space at the bottom of the spine so the author name is not covered by the library's coding. 

His great ideas continued as he explained how to use the back cover blurb to list benefits and especially a "call to action" requesting the consumer to buy the book. Rik also talked about book size, white space between paragraphs, and sub-headings to help grab the attention of readers.

For more information about Rik and his web sites, use the following information:

Rik Feeney
Richardson Publishing
PO Box 162115
Altamonte Springs, FL 32716

Upcoming talks by Rik Feeney:

March 21, 2009 - Ancient City Writers - St. John's Library / St. Augustine at 9:45 AM

Talk #1: Developing Author Web Sites

Talk # 2: Benefits & Concerns of Traditional, Print-On-Demand, and Self-Publishing Formats

March 22, 2009 - Gainesville Writers - Tower Road Library - 2:30 PM

Talk: You Can Write A Book in 60 Days!

April 15, 2009 - Melbourne Writers Group - Site TBA - Time TBA

Talk: Publishing 101: The Basics

April 19, 2009 - Pasco Writer's Conference - New Port Richey Library - Time TBA (must enroll in conference)

Talk: Article Writing Workshop


By Tracy Redman, FCCW Member

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