We’ve been chatting about making books and getting them ready for print over on Patreon this month. The first week was totally free to the public and the rest of the month (minus maybe a post or two) will be for patrons. You can access them for just a $1 pledge!
Here are the posts that will be on my page for free as long as Patreon is around:
Day 1 – Why You Should Become a Publisher
Day 2 – Reasons Not to Publish Your Own Books
Day 3 – Branding Your Publishing House
Day 4 – The Legalities of Being Your Own Business
Day 5 – Do you need an editor?
Day 6 – The spreadsheet method of comic writing – Complete with a live demo!
Day 7 – ISBN, UPC, LCCN… What do you really need
Hopefully these posts and resource links will bring you closer to printing your own books!
After years of writing and handbookbinding, I knew that my love for creating books would carry on throughout my lifetime. In 2013, I decided to try my hand at having a sketch book printed on demand. It shall not see the light of day. In 2014, I put together a short graphic novel and tried printing again. This book was Style Quest. Riding this success, I produced and crowdfunded the printing of my most recent book Bellmage.
Now, as I prepare for another book release later this year, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about publishing and preparing your book for print. This series will run on Patreon: a space where people who enjoy my work and my brand can help support the creation of more books. I believe in making information available to everyone, so the first week of these posts will be free to the public.
Today’s topic is why: Why producing and publishing your own books is a great idea. Read here.
Feel free to leave comments, questions or request topics for later on in the month!
I’ve put up a new comic explaining what goes on here at Blue Cat Co. It lives on the About page, but you can read it right here!
Until midnight tonight, we have original art for sale in the shop. Tomorrow, anything left over will be burned. Get them before they’re hot! There are 4 left available.
Head on over to the shop to check them out. Edit: The sale is over! The burn video will be posted soon.
Hello! The Kickstarter for Bellmage pre-orders is coming to a close in about 24 hours, after which, we get back to regularly scheduled programming! In the meantime, check out this video explaining, in-depth, the painting process for the exclusive Kickstarter print of the Bellmage map:
The Bellmage Kickstarter has launched!
I have a tendency to mention that I’m working on things without actually detailing what’s going on! Moving forward with Woolmancy, that will change. So what is Bellmage all about?
Bellmage is a 37-page graphic novel about an apprentice bell-crafter who is booted out of the academy with a challenge to make her stone bell ring. Unfortunately she’s yet to have any training. She’s also not sure where to turn now. So like all trainees in a crisis, she bravely… returns home to her parents. Great situation right?
Frankly, because I want to. But let me explain.
Last year I wrote and published Style Quest. While I still take delight in the story, and think the information is helpful, I really didn’t write it for myself.
So this year I decided to produce a story for me. It has silly bits and introspective bits. It has musical notation and footnotes; maps, new languages, fancy endpapers, visual guides and I’m seriously, seriously thinking of adding an endnotes section. In fact, just consider it done.
In being excited to work on something that contains a lot of what I love, I excite others. By writing stories about struggles and triumphs I’ve faced, I can bond with and inspire others.
I say that’s a pretty good reason.
What it is: Think of it as a fancy pre-order system. The book is finished (aside from that endnotes section) so now I’m asking for help to print it.
How it works: Over the course of one month, you can sign up to pre-order a book, or one of a few other goodies that I’m offering
> I hit my goal of $800 (or over fund even)
> I get the money
> I print the books and ship them out to you
What if I don’t hit my goal? I get nothing, your card doesn’t get charged and Bellmage will be printed in a distant future.
Let me be clear in saying that you don’t have to pledge. If you think the project seems fun, or if you want to donate without anything in return, fantastic. I really appreciate it.
But if you don’t, or can’t, I really won’t hold it against you at all. Really.
With that being said… Go check out the Bellmage Kickstarter page!
The Kickstarter for Bellmage is coming up on August 1st!
Getting Blue Cat Co. off the ground as a place where fantastical stories are built and distributed has been an interesting challenge. AND SO MUCH FUN! I love learning, and the fact that there are so many moving parts to creating visual stories and publishing them is daunting, but so rewarding.
Let’s talk about the first official tale from Blue Cat Co: Bellmage.
Bellmage is a light-hearted journey about the trials of starting out as an apprentice in a clan of magical bellmakers. The story follows the journey of a fresh apprentice who is sent on a quest, totally untrained, and tasked with making a stone bell ring. She must figure out, not only the bell’s mysteries, but her place in the world she lives in.
The book runs 48 pages long and is packed with extra notes, bell terminology and explanations in addition to the story. Though it premiered online last year, the art has been redone (in color!) and the story touched up to be a bit more cohesive.
From the beginning, I’ve asked for community involvement in picking the story and crafting it along the way. Now I’d love for your help in bringing it to life as well!
This is a simple Kickstarter. Just books and a few ways to get yourself into the next comic Woolmancy. If this is successfully funded, you can bet that I have some amazing plans for the next book launch!
Stay tuned for future updates and the Kickstarter link!
ON AUGUST 1st, 2017
After making this comic a day at a time, reworking it with new art and preparing to print… I realized I’d been making this project alone!
Posting the pages online did lead to some nice fan interaction, but I want to include more of you into my process from now on. I’ve decided crowdfund the printing of Bellmage as a first start.
The project will launch on Kickstarter on August 1st and run for 30 days. I’m offering reward tiers ranging from a digital copy of the comic, to printed comics, to even getting yourself or your business drawn into the next comic! I’ll get more detailed in the upcoming weeks.
To be perfectly honest, I’m so accustomed to doing everything by myself that crowdfunding feels like a major, terrifying step. Forget meeting the funding goal, what if I only get one backer? And it’s my relative??
Or even the flip side: What if it is wildly successful? What if it’s way too much to handle? What if I need to hire an assistant? Who would I even hire?!
In all directions it seems impossible. But why not attempt the impossible right? That’s how progress is made.
I’ll be back with more details soon! If you want to stay more up to date, sign up for the newsletter as I’ll be sharing more sneak peeks and tidbits there!
You may notice a few things flying about, in odd locations… Just doing some site maintenance! Shall all settle down soon.