Tuesday, August 14, 2012


It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. In essence, the same can be said of a writer. Without friends, families, co-workers, critique partners, editors, cover artists, formatters, etc. writers would be sunk (especially those of us who have just enough tech skills to be dangerous). Those folks are our support system. I thought it would be great to spotlight someone who was part of my support system when I made my debut as an indie author. Today, I'd like to shine that light on Deborah with Tugboat Design.

Welcome to my blog, Deborah!

Thank you for having me, Jan!

When I decided to enter the world of self-publishing with my book, Stay Close, Novac! I needed someone to format my book and design a cover. I also needed guidance on where to go/and how to upload to the various retail sites. I found all that I needed in Tugboat Design.

Deborah, can you tell us a little about your business?

Tugboat Design is geared toward providing high quality product at an affordable price for independent authors. We offer ready-made covers for $40 - $60. If you can't find what you're looking for there, we can design a personalized book cover for $125. We can turn any book cover into a paperback cover as well. We also format books on Amazon, Smashwords, B & N, and now, Createspace. Another service we offer is website design.

You have a gallery of ready-made covers. Do you also do specialized covers?

Yes. We can have ready-made covers because we get to download so many images a month from our subscription to thinkstockphotos.com. We generally don't download all of the allotted images per month, so instead of just letting them go to waste, we download images that we can make into ready-made covers. This way we can offer these covers at a reduced price. It's a win-win for everyone. If you can't find a ready-made cover that fits your book we are more than happy to design a personalized book cover. It's about even right now between people who have purchased ready-made covers vs. people who have had us design a specific cover for them. That knowledge makes me happy because I know that we can provide a high quality cover for people regardless of their budget.

What is your turn-around time for formatting and cover work?

For both formatting and designing a cover we generally say two weeks. It all depends on how long the book is, and how many revisions we have to do on the book cover. We have turned everything around in one week all the way up to three weeks.

You also do website design. Can you tell us a little about that?

Sure! We recently added website design to our list of services. We are not going for top of the line websites that have been hand coded (which would cost thousands of dollars), instead we are going for eye pleasing, easy to use, yet professional looking websites. We based everything off of weebly.com. We did that, because it's easy to use, it looks professional, and you can do a lot of things with it, even for a free site. It's great for authors who are looking for only a one page website up to authors who are looking for a ten page website. It's a wonderful tool, and with the right knowledge behind it, it can look highly professional.

As an added bonus, you do some excellent book promotion for authors who have used your services. You have a great presence on Twitter and I'm deeply grateful for your tweets about my book.

For authors who have used my service, on the "Links" page of my website I have everyone's book and links to purchase it on Amazon. I also try to tweet or retweet for everyone at least once a day to help get the word out. I like to help in any way that I can.

You've started a blog and have done some author interviews and articles. Can you direct us to your blog?

Of course. Our blog is at www.tugboatdesign.net/blog.html. I have written a few articles and I hope to have more author interviews on it in the coming months.

You have someone very close to you who is a published author. Would you like to say a few words about her?

Of course. Deanna Lynn Sletten is a very close friend and I have designed all of her book covers. We recently finished designing a cover for her book "Sara's Promise" which is due out in December 2012. She currently has two women's fiction books published: "Memories" and "Widow, Virgin, Whore". She also has a children's book "Outlaw Heroes".

Deborah, I appreciate you being on my blog today and I'd like to thank you for being part of a much-needed author support system.

You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

You can find Deborah and Tugboat Design at:

Website:  www.tugboatdesign.net

Twitter: @TugboatDesign

Email:  deborah@tugboatdesign.net


  1. Great interview, Jan! I love all of my book covers created by Tugboat Design - especially my latest one that you so generously shared with your readers. People do judge a book by its cover and Deborah makes sure readers are inticed by the covers she creates. Happy that you shared this with your readers!

    1. Thanks, Deanna :-)) You're right, our covers are the first things readers see - so they have to be incredible! We lucked out & found Deborah!!

  2. Fantastic interview...I love your book covers. I will always send authors your way if I can!

    1. Ann, thanks for your comments! Tugboat Design does excellent work. I'm thankful to have found Deborah to create a great cover for me!

  3. Hi Jan! Thanks for this informative interview. Tugboat Designs will be a resource I'll recommend to friends considering the indie author route.

    Good luck with your venture into indie authordom with STAY CLOSE, NOVAC!! :)

    1. Jolyse, you're such a sweet, supportive friend!! I'm so happy to know you!! Thanks for your great comments. Going indie has been an incredible adventure :-))

  4. Thanks Jan for sharing with your readers...this interview was very informative! I am a new indie author and always seek guidance wherever I can. I will be sure to try Tugboat Designs for my next book.

    1. Hello, Michelle :-)) Thank you for your sweet comments! *high-five at going indie* Have a great week!

  5. Haven't come across that saying before "It Takes A Village to Raise A Child" but it's very apt! Indie authors - all authors tend to look on their creative output as 'children' and we all want to send them out well dressed! Some lovely book covers and a lovely interview:)