Project Successful! Beauty In the Beast Kickstarter successfully funded for publication!

Project Successful! Beauty In the Beast Kickstarter successfully funded for publication!

Project successful! Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, this author's book is getting published! Goes to show that the power of community is paramount when it comes to getting creative projects off the ground. 

Divided We Stood - Book Trailer

Divided We Stood - Book Trailer

The tides are turning - and during one of the critical times of the American Civil War, Lee decides to divide his army into segments. To inform the other Confederate Generals of his move, Lee commissions a courier by the name of Tad with a set of secret orders - the events that follow would change the course of history, as Tad loses the orders, and decides to take a chance that no one will ever discover his secret. 

Project Successful, Countess, the Sequel to Viscountess, is underway!

Screenshot 2014-10-30 12.19.40.png

Thanks to our incredible backers - On November 1st - the Countess Kickstarter - for the sequel to Viscountess, a Novel by Taverisa, was concluded - having raised a total of $3,253, 108% of our goal, for the publication of this stellar steampunk novel. This week, we begin formatting of the final manuscript.

We also received the artwork for the cover - and let's just say, it's every bit as epic as Viscountess

If you still want to pre-order Countess, to get your copy before it hits Amazon, or you want to be one of the first bookstores or coffeeshops to carry the book, please leave us your information in our contact section - we will be posting links for further pre-orders soon. 

The Best Place to Hold a Book Signing

Photo by Jennifer Smith, with Holon author Taversia, at her release of  Viscountess, a Novel by Taversia .  Story by Ian Girdley. 

Photo by Jennifer Smith, with Holon author Taversia, at her release of Viscountess, a Novel by Taversia
Story by Ian Girdley. 


If we want to do live book signings, as we covered in The Power of the Live Author, what is the best place to hold a book signing?  The short answer is anywhere and everywhere.  The more you vary your venues the larger and more varied group of readers you reach.

The long answer is that it depends.  First, it depends on your goals—are you just trying to garner exposure or do you need to maximize the money you make off of each book sold, do you simply need a location for those that you’ve invited or are you seeking a location that will drive traffic for you?  Second, it depends on your book.

Let’s digress for a moment then move backwards.  Let’s quickly define what a book signing is, or, what we want it to be.  What we don’t want is to sit at a table for two to four hours waiting for shoppers to come up and buy our book.  This type of book signing rarely yields much fruit in sales or engagement.  We want to hold book signings that are literary events, that give us a chance to engage an audience with a reading, a short talk, and/or a Q&A session before we get down to the business of signing and selling books. 

TIP:  A book signing with multiple authors can draw a larger crowd, and larger sales for all authors involved, but we will save the how and what of book signings for a later post and get back to the where.

Now, back to the question at hand:

To Bookstore or Not to Bookstore?

This question brings us back to your goals.  If you need to make a book signing financially lucrative then stay away from bookstores.  Bookstores take a fairly hefty cut of the profit leaving you with little in the way of revenue for each book sold.  Yes, this means that you will have to buy the books to sell at the venue, but the increased profit margin to yourself (generally 40-55% of the cover price) makes this the best strategy. 

Bookstores can be a good place to have a book signing if they are willing to promote the event and draw people in, basically earning their stake in the profits.  This is particularly good for authors that are more concerned with building their audience than gaining returns.  Local, independent bookstores tend to do this better than the national chains and are generally more willing to make your signing into an event rather than sit you at a table for a few hours to wait for your Facebook friend’s to show up and give the store the lion’s share of profits.

TIP:  If you still want to seek out bookstores after reading this, use Google Maps to search out bookstores in your area (Tutorial Here).  Visit each store’s website.  Bookstores that keep an up-to-date events calendar already featuring literary events are a good place to start.

Thinking Outside the Bookstore

So, you have decided to stay away from bookstores, or you are a wise author and want to gain as much exposure as possible by expanding your venues.  So now you ask, “Ian, where is anywhere and everywhere?  Where is the best place to hold a book signing?” 

There is really no wrong place to have a book signing, really.  There are the go-to places like cafes, libraries, restaurants, schools, community centers, etc.  There are also places that most people wouldn’t consider.  I have planned or attended successful literary events at a furniture store, in a random college student’s basement, at a yoga studio, at a dive bar, in the middle of the mall, and so on.  If you can get a reading with a student group at a college, even better, as they do all of the promotion for you and have a built in audience.

What you are really looking for is a place that can help draw in an audience and can benefit from the audience that you work together to create. 

Begin with places you are comfortable with or to which you have some connection.  Do you know the owner of the local drugstore?  Set up a signing there and leave a few books behind for them to sell.  Worked out theological details of your Christian fiction book with your pastor?  See if you can hold a reading in the fellowship hall.   Belong to a local club or lodge?  Speak with the events coordinator about a signing during an annual event or as a standalone event. 

Even some chain restaurants have hosted authors I’ve worked with because they spent so much time writing there.  From there explore other go-to places and then start to think outside the box.  Start close to home then expand geographically.

Venues that have a connection to your book’s theme can also be invaluable.  You published a non-fiction book on sports?  Approach a sporting goods store.  Your mystery novel is set largely on a golf course?  Consider a reading and a game at the country club?  The possibilities are endless.

Some months ago, I spent five minutes of a morning meeting with my team of Book Consultants on an activity brainstorming venues that were feasible for a book signing.  I listed bookstores and the other go-to venues before we began.  Within five minutes we had fifty different venues.

Where is the Best Place to Have a Book Signing? 

Again, the answer is anywhere and everywhere, so long as you are comfortable approaching the venue, they are willing to have you, and it will give you a chance to engage an audience instead of sitting at a table.  The best place isn’t a single place, but as many places as you can muster.

5 Tips for an awesome Book Cover Design

By Jeremy Gotwals | Photo by MIranda Hewins

By Jeremy Gotwals | Photo by MIranda Hewins

1. Less is More

In book design, clarity is essential. Typically, you have only milliseconds to appeal to your potential reader. Therefore, keep it simple. The best book covers have one incredible piece of art, and basic typography. Don't burden your cover with unnecessary effects or extras. 

2. Find a Brilliant Photo or Illustration

Find a unique image that represents your book, identity, and  brand. Remember: in a matter of moments, to a potential reader, the image, as well as the title, will tell the reader everything they want to know. Sometimes, to compel your reader, all you have is an image; so make sure it counts! Finding a brilliant photo or illustration often means finding a brilliant photographer or illustrator. Stock photos do not count! Remember, you want a unique image. 

3. Typography & Font selection

A title speaks 1,000 words, even if your title is only one word. However, it is not only the words that will speak to its readers on a subconscious level, but the typeface. Correct use and alignment of typography is often greatly overlooked by the Indie Author. You want to be sure to stick with fonts that are clear, easy to read, and also strong. Your font should never be an overused, or overdone font, such as Times New Roman, Papyrus, or Comic Sans, and you almost never want to have more than three fonts on the cover of your book. Furthermore, never mix moods to the point of confusion. 

4. Mood

Bring to life a cover that matches the mood of your manuscript. If your book is satire, you want the life of your cover to reflect the satyrical nature of your book. If you've written a thriller novel, craft a cover that takes the potential reader into the suspense of your tail. Treat your book cover like a living thing, allow it to speak for itself. A great book deserves a great book cover - allow for the mood and atmosphere to resonate with the reader upon the first glance. 

5. Tell Your Story 

The First Edition of the Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by J.R.R Tolkien. 

The First Edition of the Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by J.R.R Tolkien. 

Later edition of the Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien. 

Later edition of the Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien. 

The cover of your book should deliver a microcosm of your story. The very first edition of The Hobbit, by J.R.R Tolkien, portrayed a simple illustration of one of the books chief characters Smaug, and a simple portrayal of the Lonely Mountain at the top. This first illustration, by the author, is an example of the kind of minimalism we're discussing here, which gives readers a magical piece of the story, begging them to look deeper. Later, the over art was re-illustrated more elaborately, but still executed the same principles.

Whether you've crafted a work of fiction, a Children's book, or an educational treatise into health and happiness, tell the readers a story by delivering a cover that gives an insight into the nature of your core message. 

Remember that a great cover design is something to be carefully considered. If you're an independent author, or you're using a self-publishing service, sometimes the temptation to design the cover yourself is strong. If you want your book to be in the hands of readers, it's worth your time to invest in great design. Carefully chose designers, or a company, that can fit your budget and design needs.

Also remember that designing for web is not the same as designing for print. Make sure that your design utilizes high resolution images and files, and is also standardized for web, so that you can get the best of both worlds. 

New Children's Release: Jack & Emma's Adoptee Journey

Jack & Emma's Adoptee Journey - by Pam Kroskie - reaches out to children, while also offering afterthoughts for adults in subtle annotations. 

Jack & Emma's Adoptee Journey - by Pam Kroskie - reaches out to children, while also offering afterthoughts for adults in subtle annotations. 

"Jack & Emma's Adoptee Journey" - for adults and children alike. 

We're proud to announce the release of this special title - which will resonate powerfully not only with children, but their families, especially children and families who have adopted or been adopted. 

Pre-Order of this beautiful full-color, and fully-illustrated title begins today - and will ship before the book hits the stores or Amazon. 

For more information about the author and this wonderful title, visit the author's website:

Some recommendations from early readers: 
"I highly recommend this book to adults and children alike. This is a small book that goes right to the heart of the feelings of a young adoptee. It is written in a language that is sure to open communication between parents and children and provide safety about the sensitive issues often inherent in an adopted child. At the same time the child is “given permission” to speak of fears and anxieties about their adoption, the parent is given cues on techniques to guide their children through this complex maze. It captures the balance of education and emotion while stepping inside the heart and mind of a child’s questions. It is vibrantly illustrated and clearly written with warmth and honesty..."  Patti Hawn, Author of Good Girls Don't

"Anyone involved in the adoption constellation from lay people to professionals  will benefit from Pam Kroskie's words in Jack and Emma's Journey. She takes care to ensure that the adoptee's story is told with compassion and insight. It is an educational tool that pushes us to remember that knowing who we are is a right innate to life no matter family make up. Its encouraging to have adoptees working toward reform through such means and to share their knowledge." - Gigi Tsontos, LCSW, MPA, Birthmother

Holon Author Matt Seidel signs latest book "Saviors" during Wine & Sign Event

Holon Author Matt Seidel signs latest book "Saviors" during Wine & Sign Event

Holon author Matt Siedel signs latest book ‘Saviors’ during Wine & Sign event  
By Jaclyn Lansbery

Holon author Matt Siedel promoted his first published book “Saviors” during a Wine & Sign event at Blueline Creative Co-Op and Studio on Jan. 17. The book is also Siedel’s eighth novel, and was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign in April 2013.