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Kickstart This: The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing

Kickstart This: The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing

kickstarterimage

Starting today, The Indie Guide to Indie Publishing is seeking backers on KickstarterThe Indie Guide to Indie Publishing is a tool, a step-by-step guide to publishing your independent book. Each article is written by an experienced authority from the independent world, and the book includes an index and glossary to help aspiring authors and publishers along the way.

This book will have:

  • Nine (9) writers with experience publishing and promoting independent work.
  • An alphabetical glossary of terms you need to know for publishing success.
  • An index for quick reference and trouble-shooting.
  • A list of useful resources and references for further research.

A couple of the writers are people I have interviewed on this blog before (See Blake Northcott Arena Mode and JL Bryan Latest Work) and a couple more I met at Phoenix Festival (Teal Haviland and Bobby Nash.) All of the writers involved in this book have experience, credentials, and bragging rights that make them indie publishing experts.

If you’re interested in obtaining a copy of this book or simply giving us a dollar to help our dreams come true, head on over to the Kickstarter page. We have rewards at various levels, including copies of the book, t-shirts, Google Hangouts, cover designs, and more. For $60, we’ll all tweet your link to over 30,000 combined followers! Take a look and PLEASE spread the word to every writer you know.

 

For Prospective Cover Artists

For Prospective Cover Artists

I was on a panel this weekend at Alabama Phoenix Festival, talking with some cool guys about marketing for independent publishing. One question asked from the audience pertained to the vital topic of cover art; the best chance you can give your book to sell is to give it a great cover– or even a decent one– just not a terrible one. This audience-member wanted to know how cover artists could get into making covers for indie authors. As an indie author and the sister-in-law of a cover artist, let me give you my advice.

tumblr_mhriq3sWoD1qhxlq5o1_12801. Do a few for free. Ew, I know. You work for hours and you need to be compensated. I am related to a whole bunch of artists on both sides of my family and my husband’s family, and I know that people constantly expect you to do work for free, but you do need a portfolio. Non-creative types are dreadfully unimaginative and need to see examples of your cover art. It’s the same principal as painting a house beige to sell it. Non-creative people can’t get past that bright red paint in the dining room. Your portfolio of comics and logos just won’t do. They need to see book covers.

Now, there are two ways to go about this. You could go about looking for authors and designing their covers, or you could simply design a new cover for an old book (like this one by Carly Strickland, left).

2. Get a DeviantArt. Sign up for an account and post art often. Post art of nerdy things that people on the internet tend to like (yes, fan art) to build an audience and advertise CLEARLY that you do commissions (you can stress that you love to do book covers.) Make sure it’s easy to contact you outside of Deviant Messages, too. DeviantArt is a great place to find a variety of artists for commissions, so get on it.

3. Join Author Communities. Places that Indie Authors haunt (such as Createspace, Goodreads, and Google+ communities) are a great start. Join, chat, and keep an eye out for people seeking cover art. I have gotten my sister-in-law work through commenting on a  post asking for comments about where people get cover art (I posted the Royer cover).

4. Go to Cons! Go to conventions and meet authors. Talk to them at their booths. If you have your own booth, that’s good too! Some cons are better than others for meeting Indie Authors. Check your local con pages and see if they have more than a few writers as guests. The Alabama Phoenix Festival is HUGE for Indie Authors, but there are also a number of author-specific cons that would be worth your while.

5. Be Flexible. You don’t want to make art for prices that aren’t worth it, but sometimes you may need to go low to secure a repeat client. Use your better judgment. Are they really unable to pay more, or are they just being cheap? These are Indie Authors, so they don’t always have the money to pour out on a premium cover. Offer different tiers of work for different prices.

 

Remember, if you’re easy to work with and you do great work, word will spread. And if you’re an author looking for a cover artist, check out Carly Strickland.

Mothership Goose

Mothership Goose

Carly Strickland, my awesome illustrator/cover designer, has a brand new picture book that all nerds should love (and buy for their children, nieces, nephews, and strangers). Mothership Goose is a collection of nursery rhymes illustrated with a vintage Sci-Fi twist. The illustrations are rich, bright, and beautiful, and you’ll see something new on every read. Read the rhymes on their own or follow an adorable little mouse on his quest to repair the Great Goose!

Below are some previews of pages from the book. You can order it on Amazon.com, wait for the iBook version (coming soon), or buy a copy at the Alabama Phoenix Festival to have her sign. This book is the ultimate nerdy baby shower gift, so stock up now!

Psst, she does freelance cover design.

Pop! Goes the Weasel

Pop! Goes the Weasel

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

Little Bo Peep

Little Bo Peep

Cover Art

Cover Art

A new Mother Goose rhyme

A new Mother Goose rhyme

Old Mother Hubbard

Old Mother Hubbard

The Big *Olympia Heights: The Blood of Athens* Cover Reveal (With Giveaway)

The Big *Olympia Heights: The Blood of Athens* Cover Reveal (With Giveaway)

It’s here: the cover for Olympia Heights: The Blood of Athens, book 3 in the Olympia Heights series. The title was released in July and the cover is here today. Next I’ll release a synopsis (around Christmas), followed by the logo and excerpt and then… A BOOK! (Winter 2013)

Some fun facts about the cover…

  • The Olympia Heights title text was created by carving the title into a piece of clay and scanning it. A vector of the text was created from there.
  • The skull on the cover is real.
  • Thad, the model playing Peter (Hades) was actually the correct age at the time of the shoot.

 

Now you can enter to win an Olympia Heights Prizepack (pictured in the widget below) that includes signed posters of the three covers. Second prize gets just the posters, minus the other neat stuff. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Make all corrections to entries via the widget, NOT through comments.

Special thanks to Carly Strickland for the cover design and Terry Strickland for the photography. Thanks also for Thad Mickler for agreeing to be my Hades.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pocket Full of Sunshine

Pocket Full of Sunshine

My sister-in-law and husband put out a childrens’ book, Sunshine’s Night Out, at the end of October. It has received some GREAT reviews and sold a bunch of copies. A few weeks back I let y’all in on an opportunity to win the book with a plushie. Now we have a new prize, a super-sweet T-shirt.

Carly, the illustrator, also created the covers for the Olympia Heights series and my newest promotional poster (below). She designed the Pocket Full of Sunshine shirt that we’re giving away now. Check out the latest review and enter through the Rafflecopter form on that entry to win the shirt. Still looking for a holiday gift for the child or teacher in your family? Sunshine’s Night Out is on sale at Amazon.com for $9.35 and qualifies for super saver shipping. Support Indie Artists!

Holiday Deals

Holiday Deals

My publishing company, Matter Deep Publishing, is offering some holiday deals until December 10th. Included is a FREE digital book, a short story by my husband, Kyle Strickland. It was a 2007 story that was published in An Alabama Christmas and is now a FREE Kindle, Nook, or PDF book. There’s no need to Like or Subscribe to anything! Just go download it!

Also, relevant to me, is an announcement of another sale. Get Olympia Heights on sale until December 10th for 99¢. It goes back to $2.99 after that, so hurry up. A coupon code for Kindle makes a GREAT stocking stuffer!

A Holiday Gift from Matter Deep

Download Your Free Digital Copy of Smile and Greet the Customer

The Short Story

Smile and Greet the Customer is a short story by Kyle Strickland, author of Jeremey’s Mother is a Vampire, Love & Blood, Sunshine’s Night Out and the upcoming Say No to SparklesSmile and Greet the Customer is a holiday short about finding the holiday spirit amidst the chaos and capitalism of the Christmas season. It was first published in the 2007 Sweetwater Press book An Alabama Christmas alongside stories from Truman Capote, Helen Keller, Sonny Brewer, and others.

Digital Conversion: As a holiday gift to its readers, Matter Deep Publishing has convertedSmile and Greet the Customer to formats for the Nook and Kindle eReaders as well as PDF eBook. You can download the short story for free by visiting our site and selecting your prefered format. Download it now!

December Sunshine

Holiday Coupon Code: Matter Deep Publishing had some glowing November reviews of Sunshine’s Night Out.  We would especially like to thank Ashley at The Reynold’s Mom for hosting our giveaway. Three prize-packs including autographed books, hand-made plushies, and original tote bags have been rewarded to Amanda A., Janet W., and Renee R. Those items will be going out in the post this week.

Didn’t win one? You can use our Newsletter exclusive coupon-code, QFH6TAWDto get 10% off of Sunshine’s Night Out at the Create Space store. Hurry. This offer ends December 10th.

 

Snuggly Soft

Sunshine’s Night Out Plushies: Didn’t win the contest? Still want one of those adorable, cuddly plushies? Don’t worry, they are available! Carly Strickland, illustrator of Sunshine’s Night Out, is selling them on Etsy.

Sunshine plushies are bean and bead free and made of super soft fabrics. They are kid-safe and super-snuggly. Each one is hand made with love by the illustrator ofSunshine’s Night Out.

As a gift to our subscribers and followers, we’re offering a holiday discount. The combination of plushie and book makes a great Christmas gift for the little reader in your life. You can snag one for 10% off by using the coupon code CHRISTMAS11. This offer is only good until December 10th, so hurry to get yours in time for Christmas.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

One last gift…

The Return of the Olympia Heights, 99¢ eBook Sale

Less than a dollar for the Kindle and Nook: In anticipation of the release of Book 2, Olympia Heights: The Weight of the World, Book 1, Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, will be on sale for the entire month of December. From now until New Year you can get Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, for Kindle or Nook for only 99¢.

Have a friend who owns a Kindle? You can purchase gift codes for Kindle books and hand them out as stocking stuffers or holiday gifts.

Sunshine’s Night Out Giveaway

Sunshine’s Night Out Giveaway

I love to support Indie writers and I LOVE my husband and my sister-in-law even more. Kyle Strickland (the beau) wrote the story for Sunshine’s Night Out, an adorable children’s book about a real hamster that I helped pick out to purchase. Carly Strickland, who also helped design the Olympia Heights: The Pantheon cover and took over design responsibilities for the cover of Olympia Heights: The Weight of the World, illustrated this book.

You can watch a YouTube video I made for the book (below) and enter to win a copy of Sunshine’s Night Out with a custom tote and hand-made plushie. We have three (3) of these prize packs to give away. Enter through Sunshine’s microsite.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8-rbozbWZs