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From Writing Books, to Making Books…

21 Feb








 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 😉



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…

or find me on elance: HERE and review my portfolio

What Makes Self-Publishing Happen?

15 Jan


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


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…

Editing, editing, editing…

29 Dec

It never seems editing is ever truely done, or a book ever perfect. I keep finding some blaringly OBVIOUS mistakes in my book, time after time, and it’s just plum embarassing…

I’ve read through my book at least ten times, and have had editors as well, but it’s ENDLESS. Sometimes I wonder if one can truly be both imaginative, AND have spotless grammar. I know in some books I read, I often catch something, even those books that hit the best seller list. Forgive me for slamming it, but Twilight was a good example, lots of errors, but see, then again I’m not slamming it, because I fear mine will be the same.

But what it comes down to is the story, and how it effects us, dispite the errors. I don’t think Mark Twain gave much hum bug to his frequent use of run on sentences.

I just often read over certain things, like were and where, especially when the rest of the sentence flows, so trust me, you will find those in my book. Even though I’ve scanned the thing, to what I feel, an obsessive level.

I am only human, but aren’t we all?

The Best Flash Website Ever! This is so cool! and it’s a game!

25 Dec

I was searching flash sites for my dads adventure company, showing him the possibility’s that are out there and I came across this site.

It’s like watching the latest Pixar flick, and I can’t get enough of it! It’s a game, where the outcome is your choice… who knew milk was so fun!

its the “Got Milk” advertising campaign. amazing!

Ok, I still seriously wish I could put a chalkboard in the shower… my war with MOIST

20 Dec

So yesterday I posted that my best ideas come in the shower…

I am plain tired of running across the house dripping wet with four panoramic windows facing the whole neighborhood staring right back at me, just so that I can slop water all over my keyboard (thank god for $550 Dell’s)

I need something in the shower…

One very nice blogger suggested a tape recorder in a bag, I liked it, but realized I’m so scatter brained I need to draw out my plans.

Paper, as I said, does not work. It was even further confirmed this morning when I was cleaning the frother on my espresso machine with a wet paper towel. if that’s not the most disgustingly MOIST texture in the world, I don’t know what is.

not to mention the word MOIST freaks me out…

 and a chalkboard is eerie. I’m too afraid I will accidentally scrap my fingernail across it and that’s absolutely horrid. GAH just thinking of it. and the chalk, can you imagine MOIST chalk??

SO I need something you can put in the shower to draw/write notes on that wont smear, or bleed onto the travertine, and that can be operated under MOIST circumstances…

Help me please, we’re all brilliant here…

Feather: Book One available on ebook and Kindle @ amazon

19 Dec

the book was released on kindle and ebook last night. you can find the Kindle at Amazon, and the ebook on the site…

you can also request a two chapter sample with a buy now button included if you want to try it out first

email either or for details…

Word and grammar manipulation…

19 Dec

Before I went to bed last night I began thinking about a little grammar cartoon I saw in the “Grammar Girl” book. It had two characters, one was a banana, the other an aardvark.

The ardvark had a stand of bananas with a sign that read “Bananas $1.50”

The banana had a stand of coins that read “Banana’s $1.50”

Grammatically they are talking about possessives. And I began to think, what if we used grammar like an artist uses paint. I don’t believe an artist is the only one limited to manipulation and experimentation. What if we used grammar to hide secret codes, or special directions. Such as with a fantasy or mystery novel, sort of how The Davinci Code used words as encryption’s and riddles, or National Treasure…

fun fun, i think i’ll use that 🙂

Words everyone should know and use: Incertitude

17 Dec

a feeling or attitude that one does not know the truth, truthfullness, or trustworthyness of someone or something. Similar to doubt.

In the land of nod…part 3

15 Dec

So I love dreams, and as I have said I dream in color but have come to understand that not everyone does. Lately however, I’ve changed my diet, steering away from certain forms of liquid confidence, which is tough during the holidays, but it lets my mind go crazy with imagination.

So then as a result I’ve had a rich influx of dreams. Dreams where I am many different characters, and then some where I’m on a mission but not really sure why or where exactly, but somewhere important. One that made me laugh was something about elevators. I was stuck between two floors, but the doors were open and I could see both floors and I wasn’t really trapped but it was extremely interesting.

Most of the time it runs like a movie, even scenes where I may not be in it, but you’re watching from a third person perspective.

Anyways, my point is that I like these dreams. not to mention the fact I actually sleep through the night, though I’m really tired lately and I’m figuring, and I don’t know much about dreams, but it feels like I never really go to sleep because of my dreams, when I wake it’s like I’ve really been awake the full eight hours. The good news is, i have a whole story written in my head 🙂 and I actually remember it if I hold the thought.