Tag Archives: Learning the Ropes

Psychology in Business – Shapes

PPH Logo 2021

A while back I posted about the psychology behind FONTS and COLOURS, then I discovered SHAPES had various meanings as well. Pulling all three together to make a LOGO or ADVERTISING MEDIA when you’re starting your business would be a bit of a nightmare. The more I think about what I missed over the years while education myself as I went is horrifying. This is something I don’t remember covering in any business course I did in 2015/2016 and I did three, the last being a Diploma in Business Enterprise. It goes to show these courses don’t cover everything.


What do you know about SHAPES? Which one’s appeal to you? What draws you in?
Great questions and it makes me wonder what you notice when you watch adverts on TV or see adverts on billboards, in newspapers or social media. What shape do you see most often? Does it appeal to you? If you’re on social media, what makes you stop scrolling? The SHAPE, COLOUR or FONT! Perhaps all three, because someone got the right combination for their business.

How do you choose a SHAPE for a Logo? Good question. My logo is based on Family History of my partners line going back to the 1820s in London two hundred years ago. The Lamp still stands on Woolwich High Street, outside the building which was a pub. The last I heard, the building is now a hairdressing salon. This shows how much thought I put into my business when I first started in 2014. Not much at all. I was learning as I progressed. However, I will keep my logo. I like it as does my husband.

What do you need to do? Research the psychology of SHAPES. Watch Adverts and understand what you’re seeing, what they mean to the business who created it. Make a list of the ones you like along with the colours and hunt down fonts you can use. Bring them together by starting with a black and white design, edit the graphic until you’re happy with what you’ve drawn or had your graphic artist draw. Choose a font which matches your business and then you have millions of colours and shades to play with.

Last week, we travelled to Sanson and visited Viv’s Kitchen for a lovely morning tea of cream horns and iced chocolate drinks. It was sublime. What catches the eye though are the colours. They used various shades of a  gorgeous mint/pale green along with a retro style. It draws customers in and we had time there. Below are a set of photos from their website. The link you can find above.

This is just one example on how to get things right. The café has been busy everything we’ve visited. This lovely café has also been on TV and is famous for their cream horns. A lush pastry horn coated with sugar. In the centre is jam and cream. Most delicious.

Starting a business, then get your thinking caps on and research what you need to make you stand out from everyone else. 

Good Luck.


FIVERR the Pros and Cons and How to Pick a Graphic Designer

FIVERR... The place many people go to get cheap work done, especially new authors and those who don’t understand the ropes of how to get the best out of FIVERR.  This post is to help you find your way, researching who to trust and when to run. It’s a bit like people using Vanity Publishing, at times. A nightmare of…bad work. 

As a new author in 2013, I did use FIVERR after being introduced to them by a friend who worked in a different area and made items like you’d find on ESTY. Due to being a Family History Researcher, i tend to research everything and I was exceptionally lucky to find Seren Waters, who did my original Garrett Investigation Bureau book covers.  They were excellent – however, my problem was not knowing much about marketing books and book covers… Seren Waters now has 900 reviews with a 4.9 rating. This proves a point, that there are good graphic designers on FIVERR.

This is one of Seren Water’s book covers which he made for me way back in 2013. It is digital art and I love the cover, though my books weren’t selling.
The story was about an agent called Rosetta who was looking into an Art Theft Ring and like in many investigation books things go wrong.  The book cover shows a Rose for Rosetta, a drop of blood for the danger all in a picture frame with a price tag to show the Art Theft.

Today the book cover is totally different and the book is called Secrets Past. It may be time to update the book covers again. I sometimes wish I’d stayed with this one. However, the book series now has a logo and colour scheme which means this isn’t going to happen.


I have another lady who has also had good fortune with FIVERR. Her name is Judy Penz Sheluk, an Amazon Best Selling Author from Canada (I love Canada) Here are her words about the two people she has worked with:-

I’ve used Hadi Hassan for the concept art for four book covers (the text/layout is done by Hunter Martin, who is not on Fiverr). His prices have escalated since I first hired him, but he will do revisions without complaint and always delivers. One thing, I think when I started with Hadi, he was Level 1 (10 sales) and less expensive, but I loved his art and knew he’d get me my creepy hourglass (he did). A lot of it is also if you feel a connection to the work they do and how responsive they are to your questions. Hadi has 144 reviews with a 4.9 rating. Below are some of the images he did for Judy.






Sandi designed these double-sided bookmarks for me. Sandi has over 1K Reviews with a 4.9 rating.

Then I had them printed by Dan Fast turnaround and delivery, and you can’t beat his pricing. I’ve had many bookmarks printed by Dan (some repeat orders).

Dan has 43 Reviews with a 4.6 rating.

This shows they can be found on FIVERR. You just need to look and research thoroughly. Also asking the right questions would be good. This is where you…the new author has things to learn so YOU can get the best service possible if you wish to use FIVERR. Also, remember you get what you pay for…CHEAP isn’t always better.


Whenever I go to Fiverr for a service for the first time, I’ll Post a Request. This typically brings a ton of interest, but I whittle it down to a number of positive reviews and Level 2 seller (completed at least 50 orders on time, av. 4.8 or higher). Then I look at what they’ve done. Does it look like something “In my head?” Do they do revisions, etc? Once I’ve found a couple of possibles, I’ll send them an email through Fiverr with questions — how much, how fast, how many revisions, etc. Because the services offered can often be revised based on what someone is looking for.

Once I have found someone, and they’ve been reliable, I will keep on using them. When it comes to concept art, I will credit the artist (Hadi) in my books. It’s a small thing, but it means a lot. I will add a link to digital versions. I always send the artist the final cover in case they want to use it for promotion.
Dan Print came about in an odd way — he quoted on bookmarks but had this great printing/shipping service. I’ve used him many times and never been disappointed. Quality work, as described, with a fast turnaround.
Bookmarks by Sandi, he offers a few options and really listens to what you want. they all came about by the initial Post a Request and digging about, looking at their portfolio, etc.

In other words, you do have to do your due diligence.



1. Where do you get their images from?  – These should be stock photos and they should be able to provide a link and receipts for proof
2. Are you an illustrator, photo manipulator, comic book inker? – These could be one-off drawings, though DPI still needs to be relevant to either paperback or ebook…Perhaps both.
3. Do they know what DPI is? – DPI is Pixels per Inch, your graphic designer should know what they need to be. Paperback is 300 dpi and ebook at least 97 dpi.  This is for you to know. Ask your questions the right way. However, it is always best to do 300 dpi for ebooks as well, in case a customer wishes to zoom in on the image. Anything less than 200 dpi will be fuzzy.
4. What is the DPI for a paperback?
5. What is the DPI for an eBook?
6. Do you have a portfolio?
7. Do you have clients who share their work?
8. Do you have a logo? Are they wanting to display in on your work as a promo? – My business logo goes on the back of all paperback books and inside on the copyright page. You can find my logo at the top of this post.

Like with anything else in life. There is always a negative side and one you need to be aware of so you don’t have to find another graphic designer to get you out of a mess. I’ve worked with several authors who have had huge messes made of their artwork. The main worry for all authors should be copyright. None of us want you to get sued for using images that were plucked off google or anywhere else where you can prove ownership of the image.

Many authors use PIXABAY and UPSPLASH for images. Yes, they are FREE and good, though sometimes you can’t prove ownership even though they say they are Creative Commons.  I would personally only use them for TEASERSNEVER a book cover.
   To make a book cover you really should use STOCK IMAGES from places like DEPOSIT PHOTOS and ADOBE STOCK PHOTOS. These come with a standard license that covers about 500k uses. Most of us won’t sell that many books…unless we are exceptionally lucky. If you did hit this, then you can buy an extended license.
     If you are having illustrations drawn, some graphic designers do use VECTOR IMAGES, though they have to make at least seven changes for legal requirements. However, many also draw from scratch.
     If the images are not legal, you could be sued by the original artist/photographer. Please be careful and research well.  Make sure the business has a 4.5 rating or higher with reviews. In fact go read some of them, look at their work, see if anyone in your author groups can give recommendations for a book cover artist, be them on FIVERR or not. I know quite a few and I have some favourites which I will list on a Contractors Page, which I am going to establish in due course. Anyone who is on this list will have my recommendation for awesome work and there will be all price ranges to suit most people’s budgets.
Ask them questions from above to see what they know? As Judy pointed out you can get great work from those just starting out which presuming they’ve done an excellent job, you will review giving them a hand up the ladder to success. Make sure they will do at least three revisions. A good graphic artist will work with you, not against you. If they come across as rude and negative, then don’t hire them.

There is so much more we could discuss, though you all need to learn the ropes and make mistakes, the same as I did. Remember to research and use your instinct, it could save you $100s of dollars. None of you want your book cover screwed up.