More and more book sales are moving to Amazon and that means that book titles and keywords have become almost as important for sales as the content of the books. Perhaps even more so.
After coming up with the idea for today’s Arctic Circle comic, I thought it would be fun if the book existed for real, or at least digitally. 50 Habits of Highly Effective Grey Tabby Cats is now available on all ebook stores, mostly free (Amazon won’t let me price it for free initially, but may price match the other stores eventually).
The book sets out to answer the question, “why are cats the most popular pets in the country?” with lots of cartoons, of course.
We have had some unseasonably warm days this month, so I have downed tools for some proper skiving (English English for not working when you should be). One sunny Friday, Duncan, Billie and I took the ferry across to France (a five minute ride) and walked from Hendaye, around the estuary to Irun to have lunch before taking the bus home. There were some lovely views across the Bidasoa to Hondarribia, a bar that we could stop at for a beer and plenty of pee-mail for Billie to get his nose into. A very industrial section was transformed by an enormous stretch of boardwalk, paid for by the EU. It was a definite highlight and I don’t know why…
Read more of this month’s illustrated epistle at http://eepurl.com/cGYRmn and sign up for more using the form at the bottom of the page.
ALLi is behind the Indie Author Fringe 2017. It’s an online author conference that updates self-publishers with the latest tips, trends and tools, with a great line-up of speakers. The “Fringe” relates to the book fairs it runs concurrently with. The first one runs from March 18th, at the same time as the London Book Fair. Unlike the LBF, you don’t have to pay to get in. You also don’t have to be a member of ALLi to take part.
I’m working on a video presentation for the Fringe:
It’s going to cover the essentials of what an author needs to know when hiring an illustrator.
Being a cartoonist is (mostly) fun. Yes, you have to deal with unrelenting deadlines, odious tax forms and computer meltdowns (the only things I miss about working in an office are tech support and the stationery cupboard), but mostly it is ace. This week, I got to draw a lot of hamsters.
Every two weeks, I try to come up with about 21 Arctic Circle ideas. Being a daily comic, this means I can build up a backlog for when I’m travelling, or deluged by other clients’ deadlines. To come up with ideas, I read a lot of news, blogs and other posts about the environment, science and technology. This week, I read that French hamsters are becoming cannibalistic because of eating too much corn. It’s lucky that doesn’t happen to humans, else some people would be in trouble, given the Western diet. So there will be a couple of AC comics about that for sure.
The other hamster I had to draw was for a lovely Australian client of mine, CSIRO. I illustrate their puzzles page and it happened to feature a hamster (not a cannibal in this case).
This is an extract from my monthly-ish illustrated epistle. For more, sign up at the bottom of this page.
I love getting letters. The real ones are best, but very rare. I have a friend who I have written to since we were in school. During the summer holidays we would often exchange 3 or 4 letters over the six weeks. Now we write once or twice a year, but I relish getting those pages of news, views and illustrations.
Email letters aren’t quite the same, but when I see one from a friend I haven’t heard from in a while and open it up and find it is more than a couple of lines, I make a cup of tea, sit down and enjoy being transported into their world for a few minutes.
I subscribe to a few email newsletters. Some of them are good for getting information (Amy Lynn Andrews’s Useletter is full of technology tips for those who work from home) and some of them are fun and lovely to look at (the illustrator, Wendy MacNaughton’s is a personal favourite).
My Illustrated Epistle probably won’t have much useful information, but I hope you find it fun and worth making a cup of tea for.
You can sign up for it at the bottom of this page.