For some time now, I have been wondering how to expand my business portfolio and one of the options that keeps appearing at the top of my list of possibilities is online teaching.
To that end, some time ago I purchased a clutch of domain names based on the idea of the Gladius Academy, designed to work alongside my own self-publishing imprint Gladius Publications.
There are obviously almost limitless possibilities for the type of courses that I could run under the Gladius umbrella, but the first that I am working on is a series of lessons aimed at self-publishing authors to help them understand the process of designing book interiors and covers to professional standards. This should enable them to have a much better working relationship with any designer they commission to create their book covers and interiors, or even give them the knowledge they need to do the creative work themselves if they prefer and have the right tools at their disposal.
I intend to present the first course as a series of modules that will take the student through Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels, introducing all the usual aspects of cover and interior design, from ensuring that you are working to the right templates supplied by, say, Amazon or IngramSpark, understanding the design process, through to the finer points of typography, commissioning illustration (and why designers and illustrators are rarely the same people), Photoshop image manipulation and a great deal more.
I shall also be covering the work that needs to be done before the manuscript is even handed over to a designer, such as ensuring that the work is free of errors which will be much more expensive to correct further down the line, and that the written and any visual components are presented in the correct format for your creative partner to open and start working on your book as quickly as possible.
And as someone who has been running their own business for 30 years now, I shall also be offering advice on how to ensure that your approach to the subject and your dealings with the self-publishing world are on a professional level, avoiding the trap of being branded an ‘amateur’, unable to comprehend the complex world of graphic design or compete with traditional publishers.
I also intend to ‘share the love’ and showcase the work and examples of a range of other designers from around the world whose work helps authors to stand the best chance of getting noticed in the increasingly crowded marketplace of online book sales. I think I’m pretty good, but I tip my hat to some of my industry colleagues whose work is simply astounding.
We may even touch upon other aspects of self-publishing that are so critical nowadays, with aspects of marketing such as book trailers, social media publicity and audio formats getting attention.
I shall also be alerting students to the wisdom of becoming members of online groups and support forums such as The Alliance of Independent Authors who can help to make the difference between failure and success in producing and marketing your books.
So, watch this space, because I plan that the launch of the Gladius Academy is going to be one of the positive events of 2021, pandemic or no pandemic!
You can follow the progress of Gladius Academy by subscribing to this blog on the home page, and of course, as the launch approaches, the Academy will have its own site and social media accounts with full details of the course, pricing and so on.