How to Draw Gold, Silver, Brass…

Colors Gold

COLORS

Whether you’re designing a book cover or creating an illustration for a blog post, you’re likely to run into the challenges of creating a very specific color.

For example, if you want to draw gold and silver, these colors aren’t easy to find on many software programs, such as Microsoft Word.

With the convenience of the computer, however, there are numerical methods of creating specific colors.

Two popular color schemes are RGB (red, green, blue) and web colors. If you’re working with Microsoft Word, you can create a specific color by entering the RGB values (click More Colors at the bottom of any of Word’s color palette’s to find this option). When designing on a website, web colors are more common (a 6-digit letter/number combination following the # symbol).

It’s easy to find the RGB and web values for many colors, even gold and silver. Here are a few examples:

  • Gold: R 212, G 175, B 55, web #D4AF37.
  • Silver: R 192, G 192, B 192, web #C0C0C0.
  • Brass: R 181, G 166, B 66, web #B5A642.
  • Chrome: R 227, G 222, B 219, web #E3DEDB.
  • Sapphire: R 15, G 82, B 186, web #0F52BA.
  • Ruby: R 212, G 175, B 55, #D10056.
  • Emerald: R 80, G 200, B 120, web #50C878.
  • Rose: R 255, G 0, B 127, web #FF007F.

You can find several tables of standard (and non-standard) web colors online. For example:

In some cases, it’s better to stick to standard colors when viable.

For example, if you’re creating an illustration that will be viewed on a device that can only produce 16 different colors, you’re better off using just those 16 standard colors (as any other color is apt to change).

Note that in Word 2007 and up, many of the colors on the palette are not standard, including a few rather common colors, like blue.

When printing in color, note that colors often appear much brighter on a color monitor and much darker in print. It’s wise to make several test prints to a deskjet printer (if you don’t have access to the same printer that will be used for the final image, as is the case with print-on-demand publishing, a deskjet can still offer some indication) to test the colors as you design your image. It’s very common for the designer to be shocked and frustrated after the art is complete, to see how much darker it appears in print. (If you’re making a book, you want to use regular paper and standard settings; using glossy photostock isn’t representative.)

Non-standard colors may be harder to reproduce than standard colors.

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

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Author Central Description Reverting to KDP when Republishing

Blurb Formatting

Blurb Formatting

The image with this post shows that your Amazon description can include blank lines, boldface, and bullets. It can also include italics and numbered lists.

One way to do this is by formatting your book’s blurb through Author Central:

Not only does Author Central allow you to edit and format your Amazon product description, but it also provides a preview of what to expect—a feature that Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) doesn’t offer.

Republishing Issues

It used to be that once you edited your book’s description at Author Central, it would become the only means of revising it in the future.

However, this has changed recently, and it’s causing some problems with Kindle e-books.

Presently, if you republish a Kindle e-book at KDP, the product description automatically reverts to whatever is entered at KDP.

So what’s the problem?

Suppose you just want to do something simple, like change your Kindle list price. You have to go into step 2 of the publishing process and “publish” your e-book again. When the price change takes effect (usually in about 12 hours for the US site), the formatting changes with it. That is, your Author Central formatting is stripped and replaced with your original plain KDP formatting.

If you’re just changing your price, it may not even occur to you that your description could change, too.

(At this time, CreateSpace paperbacks do not seem to be affected. However, it may be worth checking this, just in case things change.)

Solution

Before you republish a Kindle e-book, do the following:

  1. Visit Author Central.
  2. Find your book. Be sure to select the Kindle edition.
  3. Click the button to edit the product description.
  4. Click the HTML option.
  5. Copy and paste all of the code into Notepad.
  6. Save this file.

After you republish your Kindle e-book:

  1. Wait for the book to go live. (KDP usually sends an email.)
  2. Return to Author Central.
  3. Open the HTML version of your Kindle book blurb.
  4. If you see the old version there, replace it with the HTML that you saved in Notepad.
  5. Check several hours later to see if it took effect.
  6. Remember to check Amazon UK, too.

Rarely, you can get locked out of your Author Central description. This has happened once to me, and a simple email to Author Central resolved the issue.

Side Note

The best place to format the book description for CreateSpace paperbacks is at CreateSpace.

Why? Because if you use basic HTML at CreateSpace, the formatting will carry over to your eStore, BN.com, and some of the other online retailers that may pick up your book through the Expanded Distribution channel.

If you want to see an example of a CreateSpace paperback with HTML formatting in the Barnes & Noble product description, click here (then scroll down).

You don’t need to know HTML: Simply copy/paste the HTML from your Author Central description into your CreateSpace description. Be sure to remove the space from the <br /> tag, as CreateSpace and Author Central are inconsistent with this.

Important: After inserting HTML into your CreateSpace description, immediately run over to your eStore to view the description. If there are any problems (like a boldface tag that isn’t closed), you’ll be able to catch it and resolve the problem swiftly.

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.