Finding a Creative Publishing Team

I recently published my first eBook and it felt like such an achievement to me. After taking the time to work through a couple rounds of editing and then thinking through more changes after the Advance Reader Team helped me see where it could be improved, I felt ready to upload to IngramSpark to generate a paper version. Hurrah!

For me, a book isn’t “real” until I can order a paper format. Much as I love how digital products can generate royalties for their authors and creators, until I can hold something in my hands, it feels like a figment of my imagination. I crave the embodiment of something with weight and a cover that I might pick up in a store.

IngramSpark didn’t accept the fact that I didn’t yet have a professionally designed cover to add to my file. File rejected: bummer. I had hoped a “placeholder” cover would suffice could put off the process of locating a designer while I reviewed a bound and printed version.

What was I waiting for? I’d found my editor, Kay Grey, by putting a post in LinkedIn for an editing project. Within hours I got 8-9 applications. But only one person read the post closely and reached out to me to find out more about the budget. I was delighted when after viewing her website we connected and it seemed like a fit. Kay has made the book miles better than it could have been with my own editing.

Why couldn’t I find someone via LinkedIn for the cover design as well? Most professional designers might not work with just a one-week turnaround, I reasoned. But if I found someone who knew upfront that’s what I hoped for, maybe I could find them out there. Indeed within hours I received 8-10 applications again. I closed the post and took a look at the portfolios. One stood out in particular. I reached out. She scheduled a conversation. Turns out we have so many common interests I was delighted. She was able to take the art that I’d commissioned from a friend of mine, and turn it into a cover I really love.

Mock-up of the cover design; slight changes will be in the final version to be released in January.

This was not something I could have generated on Canva. It required an eye for visual art, competence with InDesign and an understanding of my vision for the overall project. And while there are many free tools that exist for eBook covers, I believe a physical book needs a professional to make it shine. So grateful to Natalya, who helped me visualize how this book might appear on my shelf (and hopefully for others) someday.

As authors, we can find the support of editors, artists, and cover designers to focus on our gifts. I have a deep appreciation for beautiful art, but that’s very different from actually making it. As indie authors who publish work ourselves, this can seem daunting at first. But taking it one step at a time, and being patient, it’s not so hard to find collaborators.

I’m already at work on the next book(s), which have been starting to present themselves in my morning freewriting sessions. Grateful to have worked with some amazing professionals that may accompany me on future book journeys if their schedules align.

Where have you found your best collaborators? I am curious to know.

Warm wishes for a lovely solstice or whatever holiday you celebrate.

Cristy

Self-confidence as embodied experience

Hello lovely friends,

Hope those of you in the United States enjoyed a beautiful and safe weekend and that everyone else is well also.

I spent time connecting with friends and enjoying mask-free, vaccinated “new freedom” and got to listen to live music, gather with those I enjoy and also have adequate time for solitude.

It’s those longer weekends that make us all feel refreshed, no?

Somatics of Self-Confidence is being offered free on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

But I digress. I have been excited to plan on a new free offering on the somatics of self-confidence upcoming on July 15, 2021. It’s unclear if I will use LinkedIn Live or Zoom for that event (I may try some experiments before that to test). However, I intend to make this a real-time practice session for those looking to build confidence on a non-left-brained way.

We will embody confidence by doing some small movements (somatics) in order to release chronic tension from our bodies. We will breathe deeply into our bellies (diaphragmatic breath) in order to generate the feelings of confidence we desire. And we can use this confidence for a number of things: ask for a raise, ask for a work-from-home day once or twice a week, apply for a new job, or even to give a presentation.

Can you benefit from a little more confidence?

Join us at 11:30am CST on Thursday July 15, 2021 by getting on my workshop list (free, no charge) and allow me to share a few techniques I have found helpful especially in the last few years.

Look forward to seeing you there!

P.S. I’m linking to a YouTube video that’s part of my series on the somatics of self-confidence in case you want a byte-sized version of what I will offer at the free webinar.

Starting the query journey

Hi Friends,

I hope you are well and enjoying the glorious month of May! Last week I reached out to my networks to ask for a few people who are willing to read my query letter draft before I start reaching out to agents.

When I began researching agents via QueryTracker, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a few prospects that seem like a fit for my manuscript. I looked on Manuscript Wish List for more information and got very excited. So I set about researching how to write a query letter.

I am curious about the “hook” and wish I could read examples of others’ winning query letters. If any of you writers out there have advice, I am open to your advice!

Cheers & happy writing,

Cristy

P.S. I have received both of my vaccine shots! So excited to be able to get out and about again, though this introvert will be pacing herself. Wishing you health and wellbeing for the season ahead.