Posted in Ideas, Thoughts

Craziness overload!

Wow, it’s been hectic. My last post was over two months ago where I told everyone about my newest book release. That book has been doing very well with consistent sales and borrows, but when I completed it I decided I needed a break from writing. I searched around for something new I might enjoy.

I had previously dabbled a little on the redbubble site, uploading a few t-shirt designs with no luck. Another author suggested I try the Amazon merch program to sell t-shirts. I applied but not much luck there either. Then I found another site that allowed you to design and sell lots of products, not just tees. They also provided some great training on how to do it. I thought, why not use my illustration skills to try it!

So, did you notice the title? It got crazy!

At the same time I started this new venture, I decided to refinance my house. The weeks following are a bit of a blur. Many calls and emails from my bank about the house, scheduling the appraisal, answering questions, signing documents.

On the design side, I set up an Etsy shop, reopened my Ebay account, became a pro seller on Amazon and opened my very own Shopify store. I created, purchased or updated over 300 designs and placed them on t-shirts, coffee mugs, shot glasses and more.

Sounds like I was busy, huh? Well believe it or not, there was more! The designs started selling!

In August I had 75 sales for just over 100 products. This was a great surprise. I really wasn’t expecting the products to sell that quickly. As great as it was, it created problems. Mainly because the sales had to be shipped and paid for. This meant me placing and paying for them myself, then waiting for my money. Some of the sites you can sell on hold the funds to verify the seller is legit and the customer receives their purchase. Understandable, but an unexpected consequence to the sales.

So to sum it up, whew!

From blogger to book author and now a graphic designer and online salesman I guess. Great part is I really enjoy it. I sold an item and the buyer contacted me saying it was for a boot camp graduation. It was special to find out how much it meant to them. A couple others have been special gifts for loved ones. I’ve even designed a couple shirts for myself. I may never buy another t-shirt I didn’t design!

I just wanted to check in and let everyone know how things have been going. I hope all is well with my blogging friends. I did upload a coffee mug with bloggers in mind. What do you think? 

 

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Posted in Thoughts

Hi Again…

emoti 3So it’s been a while. I keep promising myself I’ll get back into writing regularly on this blog. I just don’t keep my promises. It’s not like I haven’t been busy. Since I got into doing my books I’ve just spent more time on them and other projects,not even thinking about my poor, nearly abandoned blog that started me in the direction of writing in the first place.

Even this weekend I set up a Facebook event with free books and prizes. I invited all my Facebook friends, posted in groups, shared on twitter. Then this morning it hit me. What about your blog? All those followers who supported you starting out and your ramblings for a couple years. You just went and forgot about them?

All I can say is – I’m sorry!

The event is still live and my books will be available (3 free to download and the rest on sale) until the end of today). You can visit the event here or go to my Amazon page for the freebies here.

I miss all my friends I made here in the blogging world and I really want to get back to sharing. No promises this time though. Maybe if I don’t set any plans out I’ll do better.

Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments. I want to hear from you.

Posted in Ideas, Thoughts

A new project

So I’ve ventured into a new area.

As a child who grew up in the 80’s I was introduced to comic books which then, were available at almost every convenience store. I read them, pretended to be the superheroes they were about (Pretending to be Wonder Women around your friends when you are a boy doesn’t bode well for your social status. Not my proudest childhood memory!) and I even attempted to become a comic book creator myself.

I remember using a notebook, adding empty boxes for panels to the pages and then drawing my form of characters in them (I’ve never been apt at drawing). Sometimes I would make my own Spider-Man or Superman stories and sometimes I’d create my own character. Either way it was a lot of fun.

With that in mind I decided to try something that I would have loved to have had when I was little. A sort of, create it yourself comic book template. All I do is come up with a cover, add some tips to the inside, then set up pages of blank, varying panels and ta-da……

My Own Comic Book

At the moment I’ve created 12 different covers with popular subjects like dragons, dinosaurs, zombies and of course, superheroes. Anyone can then take the pre-formatted pages and add their own story and artwork.

I’m still coming up with ideas for versions of the books. I have set them up with 21 pages of 75 empty comic book panels for the story. I think that’s a good number to tell a story without being too much. I can add up to 100 pages without changing the price, but that to me, seems like too many.

Anyone have any ideas for new versions or comments on what I’ve done so far?  If you don’t mind would you click over to the Facebook page and give me a like or share?  Much appreciated.

 

Posted in Thoughts

Still I try…

chimpanzee-751238_640The days come and go. No matter how hard I try to slow them down they leave me in the dust. Why is there never enough time in the day to work, sleep, eat and play?

Still I try. I grab my laptop and find projects to occupy my mind. I discover new worlds to explore and new friends to share my thoughts with. When my eyes become heavy and my brain goes numb I know it’s time to rest and get ready for the next day.

Lately the heavy eyes and numb brain are happening more and more. The exploring new worlds less and less.

monkey-645049_640Still I try. I lean in and type words on the screen. I think about how a dragon might battle a wizard. I think about how bad a zombie might stink. I wonder, I contemplate then I wonder some more. I read then listen to my own thoughts. Are they good or are they leading me astray?

It doesn’t make sense, or does it? I can no longer be sure. My mind is too random. I’m not sure what direction to go.

Still I try. I start a new line, a paragraph or two. I read til it pleases me, then I write a bit more. The clock is against me. It’s staring me down. Sleepy it asks, you know nighttime has come? Tomorrow is near and there are things for you to do. Why must the day end so soon?

Rest is a must, yet my mind won’t stop. I lay in bed counting sheep dragons hoping for sleep. If only my brain had a printer attached maybe I wouldn’t be in need of an extension of time.

Still I try. I find a way. I laugh at the dark closing in on me. I-am-a-writer. No one can take that away.

monkey-315130_640

Posted in Secure Files, Thoughts

Blogging and writing, writing and blogging

You know it really shouldn’t be this difficult to blog. In the last couple weeks I’ve fallen into a rut when it comes to blog posts. I have a list of excuses that are good ones, some animal related and some family related but I won’t bore you with the details.

Then of course there is a little project I took on with writing my own book series. As I said in an earlier post, writing is the simplest part of the whole process. It’s everything after that becomes an ordeal.

It’s the process of marketing that is mainly a hassle and pulls you away from the things you enjoy but if it’s not done you may find yourself and your book buried under the mountain of new releases in the days following.

I’ve worked on growing my twitter following, my Facebook likes on the book series page and even put up book trailer videos on YouTube. All were not bad to do just time consuming. I’ve spent time on boards about writing trying to learn any ways to market my product other than what I’ve already done.

The thing so far I’ve been the worst at is face to face marketing. It has been suggested I go to the libraries and schools in my local area to talk about my book, possibly set up a signing or just talk to a class. This is a great way to create a buzz locally that will hopefully lead to some reviews and spur sales.

Sounds great other than the fact I work a full time job spending 50+ hours most weeks in another state. How can I find the time to push my book when I can’t even find the time to mow my grass? Just the life of an aspiring writer I guess.

And yes I know I missed this past week on my comic (first time since it started) but I hope to get back on track this coming weekend. Maybe even participate in a few of the flash fiction challenges I enjoy. They say timing is everything but I think time is, not timing! Everyone could use a little more time.

With the little time I can find I am working on book three and have hinted at the fact I want it to be Halloween themed. Here is a possible illustration to be used in the book.

mystery

Yes that is the evil wizard and he has a troll just sitting waiting for orders. What do you think? Does it interest you to where the story may lead? If you have been along for my blogging the last couple of years you may know how much I enjoy the scary stories and a touch of horror. I’m hoping to reflect this in my new book but still keep it fun for kids.

I also have been working on the cover for the third book along with the backcover blurb. What do you think? Any changes I should make?

trickortreatcover

I’ve got the story idea in place and most of the first chapter done. I think it’s going to be another fun installment and build on the legend of Spark.

I have a lot going on right now but I’m trying not to let it detract me from what I enjoy, the writing and sharing with other bloggers. Be back soon.