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From Writing Books, to Making Books…

21 Feb

wallstreetartbookcoverscolorado-real-estatedeathandtaxes

 

 

bookcoveridea_one            

 

 

 

 Writing Books to Making Books…

 

In college I used to hand sew my own books. I miss the assembly, but I think since then I’ve found something with the same satisfaction, and joy. Recently, I’ve been designing book covers for other writers and I love it. I’ve done a business book for an entrepreneur/CEO in California called Iron Ambition, an Art book for a very intriguing project where artists interview artists, based off the blog Thinking About Art by J.T… My own books, both Moonlight Manor and Feather Book Series, and then some sample covers for wall-street guru’s and real-estate tycoons…

By literally quitting my job, I have found a whole new avenue. After writing my first book, I knew that making and designing signs for the University in a tiny office with no windows, was not for me. Deciding to cut down on my hours at the University was a heavy decision, especially when I was on the cusp of getting a mortgage for our the house I had been remodeling for over two years. I lost the dream health coverage, and the security that the job brought, but what I’ve found is that in the two months since, I have built a career outside of that place, with little effort and all the talent I could give. 

I was wasting my talent at the University, literally flushing each great idea down the toilet, with no hope of advancement. When I first started there, I worked my tale off, but like most state jobs, you realize there is no point in being an over achiever beyond earning a lame slip of paper that says you are employee of the quarter (I was nominated twice and won once) After I won, I was a little bummed. Where did that get me? NOWHERE…

I feel that the freelance I am doing now is gratifying, self-fulfilling, and certainly more entertaining. I have my small office in the basement, it’s warm, cozy, my cat’s visit on a regular basis, and I can exercise, do laundry, bake bread, clean, and run errands while I send artwork to be approved and changed by my clients.

Freelance isn’t for everyone, I believe you really have to have the mind for it, and the talent. I work weekends, because I love to work, and the schedule is all mine. Being busy makes me feel alive, gets my blood pumping, and my mind out of the negative…

Needless to say, I love it, and I’m glad I made the leap, and took the chance.

And my mortgage got approved 😉

Abra

 

If you need or like any of the designs in this blog post, or are looking for layout of your own book, or design for business reasons, or other, feel free to contact me…

abra@featherbookseries.com

or find me on elance: HERE and review my portfolio


I Finally Have an Office… and I’ve run off the Hippy ghosts…

27 Jan

 

remodeled kitchen

remodeled kitchen

I finally have an office as of today, the extensive remodel on our bad 70’s home, turned contemporary, is finally becoming fruitful. The 3500 square foot, tear-out-all-the-wood-paneling-and-shag project has revealed many surprises, asbestos, mold, rot, leaky roof, etc etc. 

 

My office until today, had been the dining room table, which is never very exciting, or good, hardly the place to escape the television and write…

Along with an office I have a bedroom, no longer haunted by the swingers of it’s horrible past, and a closet large enough to fit all my husbands clothes… yes, my husbands.

I am still hoping for another snow storm to hit and tear off the deck, but considering there was already fifteen feet piled on it from the snow drifting off the roof, it now seems unlikely that I will score a new porch via insurance…bummer.

 

the kitchen before we tore down the wall and canned the avocado...

the kitchen before we tore down the wall and canned the avocado...

 

 

The record player, that once housed the ever delightful Neil Sedaka vinyl, is long since trashed, as well as the avocado bathroom, and mint green kitchen.

6 bedrooms are now 5, and the entire lower floor is a separate apartment all together. 

The Bomb shelter (yes BOMB shelter) under the garage is still just storage, but someday it will serve as the wine cellar, but thats still a long ways away, so the bottles continue to collect dust.

There is still a hole in the floor that looks down on the lower level and basement, but the cats rather enjoy collecting nails and dropping them down there, so I can’t yet bring myself to patch it.

All in all I’d say. Never do this, you’re crazy.

What Makes Self-Publishing Happen?

15 Jan

 
Digg!

It Seems with the fall of commercial Publishers, there are more and more out there that are willing to put forth the effort and Self-Publish. I’ve written on this topic many times, but as a young ambitious writer, it’s fascinating to see it become a reality. For many of us, we struggle on a budget, but finding people or even family willing to support your efforts can really work. Here is one writers story, from an article I read in the New York Times by EDWIN MCDOWELL…

A Self-Publishing Budget

Evelyn Kaye, who had written 12 books, recently self-published ”Travel and Learn,” a guide to more than 1,000 study travel programs in the United States and abroad.

Ms. Kaye researched and wrote the book in six months, did the layout on her computer and paid a friend to design the cover. Then she paid to have 1,000 copies printed. ”I budgeted $5,000 for printing, design and postage,” Ms. Kaye said, ”and I’ve kept within that budget.”

To break even on the $23.95 book, she needs to sell just over 200 copies through the mail, or 400 copies in bookstores (which buy at discounts up to 50 percent), or a combination of the two. She said she already had orders for more than 210 copies.

”It’s hard work,” Ms. Kaye said. ”But there is great satisfaction in having control over everything about your book, from how many copies you print to what it looks like.”

She is a seasoned writer, with twelve books already under her sleeve, a painstaking road to getting her name out. But for writers who enjoy more than the profit, it’s just another luxury of finding what it is you contribute to this world. I find a lot of Self-Published writers struggling with the onset of price point, often finding that at 1000 copies, it’s hard to make a profit. Look at it this way, having your book out there, is better than anything. If you intend to share your story with the world, well, you’re doing it! It’s a slow snowball, that takes time to roll into the minds and hearts of all readers.

I am expecting my first run of “Feather” in about two weeks, and I am excited to be able to share it with my audience. Breaking even is the goal, because I believe my story will touch the hearts of all that read it, and perhaps change the mindsets of those expecting less from life.

I want to prove that Self-Publishing works, beyond the world of “Self Help”. There are so many authors out there, that can’t afford to wait for the expensive slow production of major houses, especially in the world of Fiction.

I believe Fantasy is at no loss for self-publishers though, purely based on stereotype, and I apologise. You don’t see many Chick Lit writers out there self publishing, there are the few, but not more than the world of Fantasy, the breeding ground of all computer nerds, including myself.

But back to the fall of major Publishers, it’s coming, and it’s only a matter of time. Already, my friend Brian Rathbone and I have challenged the world of EBook’s, making into the top three on MobiPocket for Fantasy. Both self Published, and both entrepreneurs in our own “write,” we’ve looped around the complicated path of submission and query.

Also from the same article…

The Biggest Paradox

Perhaps the biggest paradox is that at a time when commercial houses are investing a small fortune in money, time and energy trying to publish best sellers, self-published books – including some that were self-published and then bought by big publishers – are making the best-seller list with growing regularity.

Next week, for example, ”Life 101” (Prelude Press), a self-published book by John Roger and Peter McWilliams, will be No. 4 on the Advice, How-to and Miscellaneous list. And ”What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles, a guide for job seekers, has been on the Times best-seller list periodically for more than a decade; originally self-published, the Ten Speed Press edition has sold more than three million copies.

In the last year or so, a number of books that were initially self-published have become big best sellers, like ”Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” by Wess Roberts and ”The Book of Questions” by Gregory Stock, which was a best seller for 22 weeks (8 weeks at No. 1) and has sold more than a million copies in the Workman Publishing Company edition.

One of the biggest-selling hardcover books of the 1980’s, ”The One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, was self-published before the authors sold it to William Morrow & Company.

We have recently welcomed and endorsed Eckhart Tolle, one of the best examples of Self-Publishing success in the new age.

What makes it possible, is the highly networked world of today. People like you, whom have found this article across the lines of media and endless threads. Google, even Amazon help to spread the word, making self-made websites heavy hits, and blogs a fashionable hobby.

It seems the world has changed, and we rely on these changes to bring the voice of all people to a head. The freedom of Speech has never been so accessable, in a world of billions, where the other side of the earth no longer seems that far…

Thank you 🙂

Abra Ebner and Feather Book Series

Digg!

Does Anyone Agree That “The Day After Tomorrow” is coming true??

14 Jan

I watched this movie again last night, followed by Twister. Both tackle the idea of weather, and how we are effecting its inevitable change. It seems obvious that natural disasters are both increasing in occurrence, and strength. Sure sure, every couple of years there’s one big hurricane that destroys a bunch of things, but it seems in the last few years, there’s been a lot. Weather too. We’ve seen heavier snowfalls and floods worldwide. Snow in Vegas, and Switzerland’s lowlands as well.

It seems that things are swinging wide, severe colds to extreme highs, icecaps growing and shrinking. I had read a blog a good time back, about Iceland’s glacier’s growing, now I don’t know if I believe that, but if it were true, that would simply be amazing!

I feel that at some point, it is quite plausible that the whole world could be so thrown off balance, that something as drastic as seen in “The Day After Tomorrow” could really happen…

My battle with bad dreams…My haunted bedroom…

13 Jan

So I mean, I’m a rational person, very rational. Lately, I’ve been having bad dreams, and I think it’s because I recently had to move to another room in my house because my master is being remodeled. This other room was where the previous owners had stayed while they built the house over a number of years in the 70’s. Needless to say, that relationship ended in divorce, so I think the old wife, left some serious bad mumbo jumbo in there, or SOMETHING.

SO, I talked to this gal who is really into energy work, very interesting to say the least, I actually really liked it. She says, that if you plant 12 curnels of corn, it will draw all the negative energy out of the house.

I went to the store, bought a whole ear of corn, and shuved it in the dirt…

Lol-and-behold, I’ve slept like a baby the last few nights…

Now…I write fantasy novels, so I should believe in such things, but in the real world, typically these things don’t happen. This fact is half my intrigue with writing fantasy, but now, at least mentally, it’s a half-truth. It’s sort of like taking a placebo and being told it will cure cancer and then miraculously the cancer goes away. The mind is a powerful thing, and it’s sort of scary…

anyways…

at least I can sleep.

I feel like there are a lot of people out there, that could benefit from writing a book…

4 Jan

I was surfing various pages recently, and fell upon many topics like boredom and depression, etc etc. And a lot of the people I’ve met seem they could really benefit from writing, whether in a journal, or a novel. I know that when there’s someone in this world that really pisses me off, I like to write a book with them in it. It makes everything better, and gets it all out.

Hate your teacher? Write about it. Hate life? Write about it.

I’m really interested in some of the deepest thoughts people have. Especially when placed into a fictional setting. Making yourself into a fictional character allows you to fight through your own demons, whether literally, or metaphorically. You never know, maybe something will come of it…

A Double Divorced Family Christmas…

1 Jan

My family is not divorced, but being recently married, the holidays seem challenging enough for me, let alone my friend whom has recently been engaged and both, her side, and her fiance’s side, are double divorced…

That’s a big family. I’m bringing it up because today she is attending her eighth “Christmas” and I can see the disdain in her eyes. She is DONE with the holiday, not to mention having to buy gifts for all those people.

For heaven’s sake, they need to come up with some sort of system, or at least learn to get along for one day out of the year. Which I understand is a lot to ask, especially if the circumstances are unsavory.

My heart just goes out to all those families out there with multiple Christmas’s, toppling the average “two” we typically have…

The upside is, she has a ton of gift cards, and I love gift cards. THAT, and they got two copies of Mama Mia, Hitchcock, and Batman, that means I score the duplicates! YAY…