How to Wrap Text around Images with Adobe PhotoShop (Tutorial)

The text in the above image was wrapped in PhotoShop.

The text in the above image was wrapped in PhotoShop.

WRAP TEXT AROUND IMAGES IN PHOTOSHOP

There is a little ‘trick’ to wrapping text around an image in Adobe PhotoShop.

You won’t find an automated option that identifies itself as text or image wrap.

But you can wrap text around a picture in PhotoShop with a few easy steps.

I will show this step by step, with illustrations, specifically for Adobe PhotoShop Creative Cloud 2015 for Windows, but the same principle applies to other versions (although the specific steps may be somewhat different).

0 START WITH THE IMAGE AND TEXT

The following image shows the text and image, but not yet wrapped as desired.

The text layer is presently in front of the image layer.

Don’t worry. We’ll fix that in the following steps.

Text Wrap PhotoShop Text

1 FIRST REMOVE THE TEXT BOX

The real ‘trick’ is that you don’t want to use an ordinary text box.

So let’s remove it. Well, you probably want to copy and paste the text into another file, so you can retrieve it later.

But then remove the text box from the PhotoShop file.

Just click on the text layer and delete it.

2 ADD A RECTANGULAR PATH INSTEAD

It’s easy:

  • Click on the Rectangle shape tool on the sidebar (which appears on the left by default; it’s about the 6th tool from the bottom). It may be hidden behind the Line tool (or Ellipse, Polygon, or Custom Shape). If so, click on the icon and hold your mouse there until the other options show up.
  • Before you draw the rectangle, click the dropdown menu that currently says Shape to change it to Path instead. (The third option is Pixels. We want Path.) You can find the dropdown menu in the illustration below (look for Path).
  • Now that you’ve changed it from a “shape” to a “path,” draw a rectangle on the screen. Place your cursor where you want the top left corner to be, then drag your cursor down to where you want the bottom right corner to be, and when you release your mouse, you will see a rectangle. You want the rectangle to be approximately the right size to hold your text.

Text Wrap Snip

The following illustration shows where I inserted my rectangular path (but I made the rectangle much bolder than it really is in order to help you see it).

Text Wrap PhotoShop Pic

3 SUBTRACT A PATH OVER THE IMAGE

Again, it’s easy:

  • First, exit the Rectangle tool so it knows that you want to make a new path (and not continue working on the previous one). Just click on the top tool from the toolbar on the left (the Move tool or the Artboard Tool), for example. Don’t use that tool. You’re just letting PhotoShop know that you’re finished with the previous step.
  • Now grab one of the shape tools. You might grab the Rectangle tool again (just like we did in Step 2), or you might pick the Ellipse tool if your image looks more like an oval or circle than a rectangle or square.
  • Again, you want to set it to Path (not Shape), just like Step 2.
  • But now you also want to select the option for Subtract Front Shape. You find this on another dropdown menu. Look at the Shape menu shown in Step 2 above. Click the icon just right of where it says “Shape” and beneath the word “View.” (The name of this icon is Path Operations. Just hover over an icon to find out what it’s called.) Then select “Subtract Front Shape.”
  • Now use the shape tool to create a rectangular or oval (depending on which Shape tool you chose) path around the image. In my case, I made a square around my image. See below (but remember, I made the rectangles appear bolder than they really are so that you can see them easily).

Text Wrap PhotoShop Pic 2

4 ADD YOUR TEXT TO THE RECTANGULAR PATH

Now you just need add your text to the first rectangular path:

  • Again, exit the Shape tool, like you did in the beginning of Step 3.
  • Grab the Horizontal Type tool.
  • You don’t want to insert an ordinary text box.
  • Instead, you want to add the text to the large rectangular path that you created in Step 2.
  • Place your cursor anywhere inside the large rectangular path (fully inside the path). When you position the cursor correctly, the icon will change appearance so that it has a circular outline around it. That’s when you want to paste the text. Make sure it pastes into the rectangular path, and doesn’t create an ordinary text box.

If done correctly, the text automatically wraps around your subtracted path, as in my example below. (My “subtracted path” was the smaller rectangle created in Step 3.)

The text in the above image was wrapped in PhotoShop.

The text in the above image was wrapped in PhotoShop.

You may want to go into the character or paragraph settings and spruce up the typography.

One issue with wrapping text around a picture is that it makes the text width significantly smaller. This can lead to large gaps in justified text, for example. One way around that is to use left alignment (ragged right) instead. Otherwise, you need to learn a little about the art of typography to improve the design of the text. (Possible solutions include hyphenation, kerning, scaling, and other typographical tricks. That’s a topic for another post…)

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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

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Book + Hook = Sales (Marketing Recipe for Authors)

Book Hook

BOOK MARKETING TIPS

Is your book full of hooks?

If you don’t understand the question, don’t worry. I’ll explain it shortly.

After I ask a different question.

Why did you read this article?

I realize that you haven’t committed yet. At any moment, you could walk away.

And so could customers when they check out your book. Remember that.

The hooks make the difference:

  • Did the title or image with this post grab your attention?
  • Did it make a promise, like more book sales?
  • Obviously, the beginning held your interest long enough for you to reach here.

YOUR BOOK NEEDS HOOKS

What is a hook?

A hook is something that catches your potential reader’s attention, arouses a reader’s curiosity, or engages your reader’s interest, for example. Anything that encourages potential customers to read your book effectively serves as a hook.

Your book should have several hooks:

  • Your title can actually have three hooks. (1) One hook comes from making a catchy title, a phrase that snaps the customer out of a trance. (2) Another hook conveys what the book is about, so when the customer reads the title, the customer knows the genre or subject. Be sure to put the right bait on your hook. (3) Any keywords in your title, subtitle, or series name help to hook readers through keyword searches. But you must balance this with 1 and 2. Also, shorter titles tend to sell better in fiction.
  • Your cover is another hook. For every 1000 or so customers that see your book cover, 1 may actually check out your book. It could be 1 out of 100. Or it could be 1 out of 10,000. But the difference can be huge. A cover also has multiple hooks. (1) What kind of book is this? That’s what every customer wants to know without having to work for it. Make it so easy that a customer can tell at a glance. (2) Even subconsciously. The right color scheme and font actually impact shopping behavior. It’s worth a little research. (3) Reinforce the title by making the most important keywords stand out even on a tiny thumbnail.
  • Your blurb is all about hooks. A customer reading your blurb is not committed. Not even to the first line. (1) The first line of your blurb can send 90% of your potential customers out the door. It’s your pick-up line. Pick this book up, please. But you have to be subtle. You need to arouse curiosity. Wake the customer from a trance, but use language the customer wants to hear. Make your blurb the dream date the customer has been yearning for. (2) You need to reinforce the subgenre or subcategory. The customer isn’t sure what kind of book this is. The title and cover create expectations. Don’t forget to make this clear in the blurb. Early in the blurb. (3) Concise is your friend, especially for fiction. Short sentences. Short blurb. Yet containing all the info the customer wants to know: What subgenre (implicit, but clear)? Engaging content (show it by example). What features will sell your book? Make these features—no, make the benefits of these features—clear, but be concise. For nonfiction, bullet points help break a long description into easy to identify points. (4) Cut out the material that customers don’t need to know, so only the hooks remain. For example, does the customer really need to know the names of multiple characters when just checking the book out? (5) Whatever material remains, make it seem more engaging. Trim and engage. Repeat. (6) Don’t spoil fiction. Definitely, don’t give away the ending. But don’t give away anything if you can avoid it. You don’t want the customer to feel like he or she already knows what will happen at some stage. Not knowing can help you sell books. There are words for this: Curiosity. Suspense. They are sales tools.
  • Your Look Inside is that last hook between the customer and a sale. Or walking away. And again, it should be full of hooks. Minimize the front matter to essentials that help sell your book, so the customer can reach the “hooks” without distraction. (1) The opening line is like the first line of your blurb. Many shoppers don’t get past that first line. (2) The customer isn’t committed to your book. The beginning needs to arouse curiosity and engage interest. Come out with your best stuff. Will a non-committed shopper read a lengthy build-up? You want the beginning to be so good that the customer clicks the magic Buy Now button. (3) Send a consistent message. The title and cover create expectations for a particular subgenre or subcategory. The blurb must reinforce the same message. And the Look Inside must also make this clear. Tell the customer (implicitly), “Yes, you’re in the right place. Now please make yourself at home.” (4) What will sell your book? Suspense? Curiosity? Fascination with a character? Language that flows well? Comb through your Look Inside to remove stuff that may inhibit sales, so that what remains will hook the reader.
  • It doesn’t end there. You don’t just want a purchase. You want the reader to continue onto the next chapter. You want the book to deliver on its promise so that the customer is already hooked on your next book. So that the customer helps you hook new readers. Word-of-mouth hooks are among the best hooks in the business. And the hardest to get.
  • Even the back matter can contain a hook: A captivating sample of one of your other books.
  • Let me back up a bit. Wise choice of keywords (or keyphrases) and categories can help you throw more hooks out into the sea of readers.
  • Hooks are everywhere. If people discover your blog, you want your blog to hook new readers, right? Well, then, your blog needs to be full of hooks. All of your marketing should have hooks. Even a catchy strapline—a phrase or sentence that helps create interest in your book (and also convey the right expectations)—can be used anywhere, even in daily conversations.

PRACTICE HOOKING (!)

(I really hope you don’t take this the wrong way!!)

Practice hooking your readers.

A great place to practice is with social media.

Every blog post, tweet, or Facebook post is an opportunity to practice hooking readers.

Learn how to write a title that achieves all of its three goals.

Learn how to find images that attract the right audience.

Learn how to say a lot in a little by learning how to use tweets effectively.

Social media offers a great way to practice, experiment, and learn the art of hooking readers.

But also practice from the other side. Practice getting hooked. Practice trying not to get hooked, and find yourself getting hooked despite that.

Check out successful books. Books that don’t sell because of name recognition or preexisting fan bases. Find new indie books that grow quickly, for example. Discover books with great hooks.

That can help you learn the art of hooking readers. See what kinds of hooks other authors use to hook their readers.

MARKETING WITH BOOK HOOKS

Think of writing as fishing.

You’re just one of millions of fishermen.

  • Location matters. You want to fish in a spot where there are plenty of fish. So you want to write a book that will attract readers. So write it with the customer in mind. What does the customer want? This question impacts your choice of topic, how you begin your book, how you write your book, how you package your book, etc.
  • There are a million fishing poles out there. You need lures and bait that will attract fish to you. Your title, cover, blurb, and Look Inside need effective hooks.
  • Authors wait patiently for readers to find their books. You need readers. You need them to discover your book. You need them to want to read your book once they discover it. The hooks on your product page and the hooks in your online and offline book marketing all help readers discover your book and decide to read it.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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

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How to Motivate more Amazon Follows

Amazon Following

HOW TO GET MORE AMAZONS FOLLOWERS

Amazon just announced a new tool designed to help authors generate many more Amazon followers.

First, let me give a little background:

  • Customers can follow their favorite authors directly at Amazon.com.
  • It seems ideal for both customers and authors, EXCEPT…
  • Unfortunately, most customers don’t think to do this.
  • Customers need to visit the author page and click the button to follow the author. Few do it, presently.
  • Amazon lets you send an email to your Amazon followers after publishing a new Kindle edition. But first, you need Amazon followers.

So just imagine how awesome it would be IF…

  • Amazon offered a tool to help authors generate more Amazon follows.
  • Through this tool, Amazon motivated customers to follow authors.
  • Many customers took advantage of this opportunity to follow authors of interest.
  • Amazon follows rose from a mere dozen to hundreds or thousands for many authors.
  • When you publish your next Kindle e-book, you could send an email through Amazon to hundreds or thousands of Amazon followers.

This seems like a distinct possibility now.

Here is how it works:

  • Visit the product page for a print edition of your book. (Don’t have one? Check out CreateSpace.)
  • Update: You no longer need a print edition if you publish through KDP.
  • Scroll down to the bottom. Click on the option to list an Amazon giveaway.
  • Check the box to require contestants to follow you on Amazon. (This is new!)
  • Everyone who enters the contest now also follows you on Amazon.
  • The next time you publish via KDP, you’ll be invited to notify your Amazon followers of your latest e-book.

In the past, you could only generate Twitter followers or require contestants to watch a YouTube video.

Now, you can require contestants to simply follow you on Amazon.

Finally, Amazon came up with an idea to help authors generate more Amazon follows.

It’s a win-win-win situation:

  • Customers don’t have to hunt down the author through social media or newsletters. Follow authors right on Amazon.
  • Customers get a chance to win free print books in exchange for becoming Amazon followers.
  • Authors get exposure through the giveaway and grow their Amazon following.
  • Amazon, of course, sells more books.

MY AMAZON GIVEAWAY

Click the following link or image to enter my Amazon giveaway for a chance to win my mathematical pattern puzzles book.

When you enter the contest, you’ll become one of my Amazon followers. It will keep you updated of new books that I publish.

AMAZON GIVEAWAY TIPS

  • When your Amazon Giveaway goes live, tweet about it.
  • Click the link in the giveaway email to tweet about it through Twitter.
  • Be sure to leave the #AmazonGiveaway hashtag in the tweet. This posts your tweet to the Amazon Giveaway page.
  • I’ve had better luck not adding an image directly to the tweet. (The cover for your book will probably still show automatically.) I seem to get more exposure by not including my own image.
  • Add 1 or 2 relevant hashtags to your tweet.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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

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New Look Inside at Amazon for Fixed Format Books (Kindle Textbook Creator, Kids’ Book Creator)

101 Teen Word Scrambles: http://amzn.com/B019JLJB00

101 Teen Word Scrambles: http://amzn.com/B019JLJB00

LOOK INSIDE FOR THE KINDLE TEXTBOOK CREATOR

Yesterday, I encountered a pleasant surprise shortly after publishing my mom’s latest word scramble e-book (101 Teen Word Scrambles).

We used the Kindle Textbook Creator because:

  • The letters are scrambled across 2 or 3 lines, so it’s a bit of a geometric formation.
  • The letters should ideally display the way that images do. Letters tend to pixelate in Kindle images, except when using the Kindle Textbook Creator (as long as you just leave the text as text, and don’t turn them into images).
  • It seemed ideal to have one image puzzle per page, a large image using large letters, for easy reading on any device.
  • Images usually take up a ton of memory, but they are greatly reduced when using the Kindle Textbook Creator.
  • It automatically centers images on each page.

In the past, I’ve always been informed by KDP that e-books produced using the Kindle Textbook Creator won’t generate a Look Inside. (Though it was always possible to place a request so that the print Look Inside would show in its place.)

However, the e-book I published yesterday generated its own Kindle Look Inside automatically. (This book doesn’t have a print edition, nor does it have an ISBN—it just has the free ASIN assigned by Amazon.)

Most of my older e-books published using the Kindle Textbook Creator still don’t show a Look Inside for the Kindle edition, but I expect this feature to roll out over the course of the coming weeks.

THANK YOU, AMAZON!

I’ve heard reports from authors who use the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator that a Look Inside can now generate for those, too.

Let me emphasize the word “can,” and this word may also apply for the Kindle Textbook Creator. Just because it can be done and it has be done, doesn’t mean it automatically will be done. First of all, there can be delays of weeks in generating a Look Inside regardless of how you publish; there is some luck involved in the timing. Secondly, if it doesn’t generate in a couple of weeks, you can place a request through support. It might help to provide the ASIN of an e-book showing an example where there is clearly a Look Inside of the Kindle edition of an e-book that was definitely published using the same tool as you used, either the Kindle Textbook Creator or the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

The Kindle Textbook Creator isn’t ideal for “all” types of e-books. You can find a discussion of the pros and cons of using this tool, and tutorials for how to use the Kindle Textbook Creator and the Kindle Kids’ Book Creator (both are free tools available straight from Amazon) at the following links (to my detailed free “how to” articles):

SAMPLE E-BOOKS

Here are a few sample e-books illustrating the Kindle Textbook Creator. (All of the following e-books are available with Kindle Unlimited, Amazon Prime, and of course good old-fashioned sales. However, I included the examples in case you’re curious about the Look Inside or how these tools work, not because I thought you might be shopping for e-books at the moment.)

The following e-book (which is presently 99 cents) illustrates that a Look Inside can automatically generate for e-books published using the Kindle Textbook Creator. It’s a simple design. (Carolyn Kivett also has a teen word scramble book in print, with many more puzzles, which can be found here; and she has also published several other word scramble books, both in print and for Kindle.)

101 Teen Word Scrambles by Carolyn Kivett

Below is an example that looks more like a textbook. The Look Inside is still showing for the print edition (though that may change in the near future, so by the time that you read this, it could be displaying for the Kindle edition).

The last example is fully illustrated. (My other astronomy e-book, which can be found here, is reflowable and offers both greater range and depth.)

KINDLE KIDS’ BOOK CREATOR vs. KINDLE TEXTBOOK CREATOR

Here is the basic difference between these two free Amazon tools:

  • The Kindle Kids’ Book Creator allows for pop-up text, which is nice for most illustrated children’s books. It also allows for two-page spreads. It is possible to edit the HTML, if you know what you’re doing, e.g. to add links.
  • The Kindle Textbook Creator is designed for pinch-and-zoom. It doesn’t allow for pop-up text (nor for two-page spreads). You can’t edit the HTML or add links at all. Update: The latest version of the Kindle Textbook Creator now supports hyperlinks (provided that you upload a PDF with fully functional hyperlinks).
  • The Kindle Textbook Creator generally produces much smaller files, saving you on the delivery fee.
  • Both are convenient because you can upload a PDF. The PDF generally converts very well. The text usually comes out crisp with the Kindle Textbook Creator. (PDF ordinarily doesn’t convert well to Kindle, but these two tools are an exception to the rule.)
  • Neither is suitable for a book like a novel, that mostly consists of text.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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

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What Did Kindle Unlimited Pay for Pages Read in November, 2015?

Image from ShutterStock.

Image from ShutterStock.

KENP PAGES READ FOR NOVEMBER, 2015

November, 2015 marks the first month that Amazon KDP is paying different royalty amounts in different countries for KENP pages read.

Here is the breakdown for November, 2015 by country:

  • United States: $0.00492 per page (US dollars). That’s an increase of 2.3% from October’s payment of $0.00481.
  • United Kingdom: ÂŁ0.00327 per page (British pounds). That’s also an increase of 2.3% from October’s ÂŁ0.003196.
  • Germany: €0.00425 per page (Euro). That’s a drop of 5.1% from October’s €0.00448.
  • France: €0.00458 per page (Euro). That’s an increase of 2.2% from October’s €0.00448.
  • Canada: $0.00608 per page (Canadian dollars). That’s a drop of 5.0% from October’s $0.0064. (Remember, these are Canadian dollars, not US dollars.)
  • India: â‚ą0.1075 per page (Indian rupees). That’s a drop of 66% from October’s â‚ą0.3163.

Are these changes to Kindle Unlimited pages read payments good or bad?

The most significant change occurred for India: KENP read for India dropped by 66% (from â‚ą0.3163 to â‚ą0.1075). As of today, 1 USD equates to 66.944 Indian rupees. So while â‚ą0.1075 may seem like a big number compared to $0.00492, it’s actually much less. Converting from â‚ą0.1075 (Indian rupees) to US dollars, it equates to $0.0016 per page read. (Compare this to October: The October payment of â‚ą0.3163 was equivalent to the US figure of $0.00481 per page read, using slightly different exchange rates from October’s reporting period.)

So we make about 1/3 the usual rate for Kindle Unlimited pages read in India, but every other country is within 5% of the US rate of $0.00492 per page. Why? It’s based on the local market. Whereas Amazon charges $9.99 per month for US subscribers to Kindle Unlimited, Amazon charges approximately $4 per month (after conversion) to customers in India.

Did you know that the population of India is approximately 1.3 billion, a close second to China’s 1.4 billion? Compare that to the United States, in third position with 0.3 billion. There are a lot of potential readers in India, but their subscription price is 2.5 times less. So the per page rate is now much less, too.

The US rate is slightly higher this month, and no doubt it’s because Amazon is paying different rates in different countries. India went down; the US went up. There was compensation.

I see positive indicators for Kindle Unlimited again this month:

  • The payout rose to a record $12.7M. That’s up 2.4% from October’s $12.4M payout. That’s a sign of either more subscribers or more pages read by the average customer. Either way, more pages are being read. Isn’t that what authors want? Our pages to be read?
  • The US pages read rate increased 2.3%. Although this is likely due to redistributing the payout by country (i.e. compensation for the significant reduction in India), it’s still nice to see the rebound.

Does it strike you as odd that Amazon is paying $0.00492 per page in the United States? It’s a mere $0.00008 per page from being $0.005. Wouldn’t $0.005 per page have psychological value? But while $0.00008 would scarcely make a difference to most authors, it would have cost Amazon approximately $200,000 to raise the per page rate from $0.00492 to $0.005.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

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

Click here to view my Goodreads author page.

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

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

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