Client Testimonials


“Here at Deadly Writes Publishing, LLC, we wouldn't use anyone but Ellie to design our covers and our interiors. We want the most professional overall book design possible, inside and out, and Ellie consistently delivers above our expectations! She is the best media designer going, including not just books, but promotional material and website design too!” 

 - Sharon Hopkins, Editor and Publisher, Deadly Writes Publishing, LLC 

Video testimonial from Penny Zenker, author of THE PRODUCTIVITY ZONE

- Penny Zenker, 
Personal Productivity Expert,

"Ellie Searl is not just a fabulous, extraordinary book designer she’s an outstanding editor, agent, and personal creative director. She helped me bring a fifteen-year literary project to fruition with laughter, kindness, and inspiration. As my personal mentor, she always had time had to listen, discuss, and express her opinion. She had faith in my project and still does to this day, almost a year later. Artistically, she fashioned my calling cards, book marks, stationary, mugs, bags, and posters. For my original book launch, she conceived an elegant email invitation that was sent to all of my contacts. I would have never realized what a great book I had written if it had not been for her. Forever, she is in my heart, enabling me to soar with confidence on to the next project. I have touched gold with her and am a wiser writer because of her. Thank you God, for Ellie Searl, who made my dreams come true!"

– C. C. Gross, author of RISING UP . . . from a Long Way Down


"Ellie worked on my three novels, In His BloodSins of the Father, and THE GOVERNOR'S MAN, formatting them and designing the covers.  She also designed and managed my website,  www.leejwilliams.comAll three covers and the website are real eye catchers, and I have received a lot of positive feedback on them. Don't hesitate to use her. 

~ Lee Williams,



 "If you are looking for the best of the best in printing and design services for your website, promotional materials or your next book look no further than the one and only Publishista - Ellie Searl!

 With copies of my old business card and bookmark, Ellie created fabulous new designs for me! All she had to work with was what I didn't like and the fact that I did like the color of the old ones.

 Ellie's designs are up to date and original. Her prices can't be beat. I used other companies before being introduced to Ellie via friends and fellow authors, Bill and Sharon Hopkins - Ellie's work wins hands down.

 She will be doing my next book, too. I can't wait!"

~ Marilyn Slagel
Medical Editor &


"Seeking a graphic designer for my
book cover who is local and who I could work with in-person, I heard of Ellie Searl by way of a west suburban marketing association for book authors. Ellie proved to be everything I had hoped for: creative, flexible, reliable, and exceptional at her craft, as well as a nice lady who is easy to work with. Later on, Ellie designed a banner, bookmarks, and business cards to match the book cover. She also gave me friendly advice as I grappled with the ins and outs of self-publishing through a print-on-demand publisher. Having an attractive cover is an important part of sales and marketing, and now, people who see my book often comment on the great cover. Thank you, Ellie!"
~ Karen Field Bolek, Author of HOW TO APOLOGIZE TO YOUR WOMAN . . . so that she won't use it against you in the future 

"I am delighted with the Business Log and Calendar that Ellie

Searl formatted and created for me.  I wanted a useable gift for the people in my office, and this was just perfect
.  Now we are all able to notate our calendar items, make personal notes, and keep track of individual business contacts and opportunities.  And the logs are so pretty!  Ellie used our business logo and a photo of a popular bracelet design of ours to embellish the cover and inside pagesI love it!"

 ~ Carolyn Pann,
Lucky Me Jewelry 


Working with Ellie Searl has been a delight. While being one of the most creative people I have had the pleasure to work with, she is a total professional in every way.

Ellie thinks out of the box - but first she listens to you - really listens. She wants to know what is important to you right down to your favorite colors. She listens to find out if you tend to be more whimsical or serious, more artistic or more conventional. When Ellie finished my website, she captured my persona while at the same time  creating a site that is not only welcoming, it is exciting. Ellie Searl is the only graphic designer I would ever go to. Thank you Ellie."

~ Carol M. Volckmann, Winthrop, WA


"Ellie Searl has designed and launched three websites for me, each of them intricate and labor-intensive. I could not be happier with their look and their operation. She has also designed a humor blog and a "what makes us tick" blog for me, each design a great fit for the voice. As a bonus, Ellie is a joy to work with, and throws her considerable talent and experience fully into each of her projects. I could not recommend her more highly.

~ Carolyn B. Healy, 


"Words cannot express how much I value Ellie Seal and her stellar work. And that's saying a lot because I'm a prolific writer! She creates beautiful covers for me and does gorgeous interior design work. But even more important to me, she is so responsible and responsive to all my needs and requests, always going the extra mile or ten to help me create finished products that are perfect--books, both novels and nonfiction, that I am wholly proud of. I use Ellie for all my projects, and I almost hate to recommend her because I put so many demands on her time that I worry she will get too busy to help me! But seriously, I recommend Ellie to all my editing clients and author friends. I'm so glad I found her, and I'm not letting her go!" 
- C. S. Lakin, author of sixteen novels and The Writer's Toolbox Series of writing craft books.


"A working arrangement across the miles can be tricky. But Ellie Searl managed to make it smooth and easy by being prompt and available for multiple email transactions whatever the time of day. Whenever those conversations began to get long, there was no problem in reaching her by phone. Best of all, I found her to be good at deciphering my writer-psyche, sensing how much or how little I knew about the publishing business and responding with good humor and grace. This, in addition to being at all times, professional. I see her as a valued colleague and consider it to be my own good fortune to have found her."

- Beth Staas, author of Beside the Golden Door


"I was lucky to find Ellie through an author I thought the world of at an Authors’ workshop in San Francisco over two years ago.

 Since that time Ellie has taken on two of my books, and what can I say…this lady is all about the details. We’ve spent hours on the phone getting each book exactly right, sometimes even beyond my standards – Ellie’s standards are even beyond mine. Yes, she will call for that one more proof to ensure it’s right. And that does make all the difference. She cares about your work as much as you do. Maybe even more!

Ellie did two of my last novels, and my website. I’m now getting sales and visits to my website, which makes all the difference to an Indie author. I could not recommend anyone more highly."

- Lyle Nicholson, author of the Bernadette Callahan detective series and other novels of strange coincidence.


"Ellie Searl is a godsend for self-publishers.

Think that being an author and writing is hard? Try self-publishing your book and you'll really experience hard. Despite claims that you can do it yourself, you should get Ellie's help. She knew answers to my questions on why things worked (and didn't work) the way they did. She was incredibly fast in CORRECTLY prepping my files and spent gobs of time explaining everything so I could understand it all. 
There's no way I could have done this on my own the first time without ripping out my hair. I would use her for every subsequent book I publish, as well. Get an expert: get Ellie Searl's help!"
~ Gary Zenker, co-Author
(with his young son Seth) of
SAYS SETH - Life Observations of one very funny kid


“When I was trying to publish my first book, I was overwhelmed by waves of uncertainty and frustration. What do I do? Where do I start?  A friend in San Francisco suggested I contact Ellie. That advice proved to be invaluable. With her warm spirit, eye for detail, and publishing savvy, she listened carefully to my goals and answered my meandering questions. Within an hour we developed a plan, and six weeks later my book was published! Ellie is a joy and a gift! 

– Patrick Vaughn, author of Unlikely Glimpses of Grace 


"Ellie Searl, AKA Publishista, was recommended by a fellow Sisters in Crime member to design my first fiction book cover. I am delighted with the results. She designed an eye-catching cover with all the elements I wanted and she was professional and pleasant to work with. 

I will use her again for my next project.

Thank you Ellie!" 

- Cindy Sieberns-Martinez, Author of MOMMY'S MISSING and RIVER STALK,



“Being a new author is pretty overwhelming and preparing to publish even bigger! Ellie walked me through the whole process with all three of my books and was patient with every question that I threw at her.  I began taking notes as I spoke to her on the phone; that’s how knowledgeable she is!  

It was so exciting to watch my book covers come to life with Ellie’s help. I gave her a vague idea and she ran with it and changed it 100 times when that was what I needed, down to the very smallest detail.

Ellie has the patience of a saint and is a ROCK STAR when it comes to design, formatting and publishing. I look forward to working with her again!


~ Karen L. Boncela, author of WORDS TO LOVE BY, DARK SECRETS NO MORE, and ONE FATHER'S LOVE (with Daniel Stone).

“I published a digital first novel called DEATH AT THE VOYAGER HOTEL. Although Ellie also edits, my work had previously been revised by a freelance editor I’ve been with for years, so what I needed from Ellie was a jacket cover and the correct formatting for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and so on. A badly formatted book looks awful and unprofessional.

Ellie was with me all along in the process. The jacket cover took a lot of back-and-forth emailing, and Ellie never lost patience with my constant nitpicking about this detail or that (ugh, authors!) but we finally came up with something I really liked. During the uploading to the various platforms, Ellie let me know once each one was completed and sent me the links. All of them looked terrific.

I haven’t done an e-book again because I’ve been tied down with a paper publication, but if I ever need to again, Ellie will be first choice. She is the consummate professional.”

 - Kwei Quartey M.D. CEO, Adinkra Vehicles

The Inspector Darko Dawson Mysteries

Wife of the Gods (Random House, 2009) 
Children of the Street (Random House, 2011)
Murder at Cape Three Points (Soho Crime, March 2014)

Gold of the Fathers (coming 2016)

Other mysteries
Death at the Voyager Hotel (e-novella, August 2013)

Follow me on Twitter

Ellie Searl was unfailingly professional, helpful, and p
leasant as she created the cover and interior designs for my book, formatted the material for publication, uploaded the work to the printer, and managed the ISBN purchase. Expressed simply, Ellie made the process smoother and made my book better.

~ Jon Payne, Author of One Boy's Pike County


"The day that I connected with
Ellie Searl to get my children's book published was my lucky day.  Working with Ellie is a pure delight!  She is very talented and capable and made me feel as though she had all the time in the world just for me.  Although I'm good with children and have written two children's books, I am sadly deficient in terms of dealing with this electronic age.  Ellie was extremely competent and very patient with my lack of expertise.  I could not recommend her more highly, especially if you have a book with illustrations that need "tweaking" as mine did, Ellie is your person." ~ Cathy Blanford, M Ed, Author of MY BABY BIG SISTER

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