Tag Archives: book

The Evolution of Volume 5 Cover

The cover of Volume 5 has been officially released!!!  This means that Volume 4 can finally get published (since the cover of the next book always goes in the back of the present one).  The first arc of my series, The Golden Lands, is officially finished.

Check out the evolution of the cover for Volume 5:

First, my sister Clare, who does an amazing job with all of my covers, drew Kiilda.  “Kiilda” is the name of Volume 5, so I thought it was fitting to have Kiilda on the cover.

The first outline of Volume 5, as drawn by my awesome sister, Clare
The first outline of Volume 5, as drawn by my awesome sister, Clare

Next the coloring began, which has always been my job when it comes to creating our book covers.  The program I use, Pencil, has a few setbacks; namely, it will shut down about every fifteen minutes, so if you didn’t save your work, your progress is lost.  So it was difficult combating against Pencil while endeavoring to color/animate Clare’s original sketch.

A semi finished version of Volume 5 Cover
A semi finished version of Volume 5 Cover

Sometimes I will change what Clare initially whips up.   The main thing I changed for this cover was making Kiilda’s mouth open.  It’s a small change, but I thought it added some eerie emphasis.

After finally finishing the animation, next came:

DUM-DUM-DUM DUMMMM!

Copyright 2015
Copyright 2015

Add in the template I’m now using for all of my covers, a little extra shading on the ground, and Kiilda’s sword, and you’ve got an intense, dark, exciting cover for the beginning of my second story arc!  I’m genuinely pleased with this cover.  I hope you guys like it too!

And so there you have it: the evolution of Volume 5’s cover!


As always, Volume 1 of my series, The Golden Lands, is free!  Click here to download a free eBook version.

Stay awesome!

Dom

Want to know more about Dominic?  Click here for a Smashwords Author Interview.

Editing for Volume 4 is Complete!

Copyright 2015

The title says it all.  Editing for Volume 4 has been completed, which means I am one (huge) step closer to publishing Volume 4!

I hope you understand what is going on in the grand scheme of things; I hope you understand how big this is, not just for me, but for the overall series of The Golden Lands.  The first arc has been finished.  This means that the entire series, as it now exists, will be undergoing a sort of transformation, as if in honor of the first arc being complete.  The cover of Volume 1 (which is, by the way, still free as an eBook) has been changed/updated, and I intend to implement similar revisions to the other covers as well.  Volume 1 is also undergoing more vigorous editing…it shouldn’t change a whole lot, but the general idea is that Volume 1, the place where all of this began, will be given a new, fresh, professional feel.

001.001
Tell me that doesn’t look swagged-out

New ideas are springing into my mind like flowers in spring.  “Soul Bleeder”, the mini/background series that was supposed to be like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (but in The Golden Lands, of course), as of now, will become its own mini book series.  Writing a blog-series just doesn’t reach far enough, and it doesn’t make “Soul Bleeder” official enough.  Thus, turning it into a book series will ensure that I give “Soul Bleeder” the attention it deserves.

More artwork should be on the way too; I plan to make a poster in honor of the first arc.  It’s almost like the cover for a season of a TV show, containing epic shots of all the characters, but combined into one photo.  Volume 5’s cover is also on the way…it should be done fairly soon.  And, although I’m not sure if this will actually happen, Volume 3 might get an entirely different cover…maybe with *cough* Bernard on the front.

TONS of stuff happening, people.  Get hype and spread the word!!!


Stay awesome,

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

All images are copyrighted in this post.

The Evolution of My First Book Cover

Recently, I’ve been doing some work on changing the covers of The Golden Lands, in honor of the completion of the series’ first arc.  I’ve only gotten around to finishing (I think) the cover of Volume 1.  And I think it looks great!  But I think it’s just crazy to look back and see how the cover has progressed since we drew the first sketch.  See what I mean…

Copyright 2015
Copyright 2015

Then came the “colored pencil” version:

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 

Not bad, but definitely not professional!

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

This eventually lead to the current cover; the graphic-tablet-colored version.  Waaay better!

And last, after making a few changes as I saw necessary (or was just inspired to make):

Copyright 2015
Copyright 2015

Tadaa!!!  Quite a change.  But I like it!

What do you think?  Any critique or suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Dom

The Two Part Finale

copyright 2015 Dominic Sceski

You can blame me for not speaking about this as much as I should.  I’m usually the type of person that laughs at my own jokes, replays my own highlights in football, and acts out the greatest feats I’ve accomplished.  That being said, I think my own books are awesome.  What author wouldn’t?  Why else follow through with a book idea, if you don’t think it’s great?

Consequently, you can take my word for it: Volume 4 of The Golden Lands will be the best yet.  I’m not sure why I haven’t been blogging about it as much as I should be!

Pretty much, this how I’m viewing the “plot/story flow” of my series:

  • Things begin in Volume 1: Shadows in the Sunlight
  • Things get personal between the characters, and also between the characters and the readers in Volume 2: Wrath
  • Things get exciting in Volume 3: The Ghost of Hedekira
  • And finally, for Volume 4, things get epic, intense, and reach their pinnacle and ultimate fulfillment.

The title of Volume 4 may be undergoing some changes.  Why?  Well, Volume 4 is turning out to be much longer than expected, at least in comparison to all the other volumes.  So far, I haven’t published a volume of TGL that was longer than 90 pages.  Volume 4 is already 125 pages long, and I haven’t finished it yet (although I’m very close to).  Because of Volume 4’s length, I’ve decided to make it into two parts.  Don’t worry, it will still be one volume!  I’m just going to divide the actual book into two parts.

Part one, as of now, will be called either “The White City”, or “Howaito Maki” (the white city is called “Howaito Maki”, so both optional titles are centered around the same idea).

Part two will be given the original name for Volume 4, “The Red Captain” (a reference to Nirak, the antagonist).

If you haven’t already downloaded Volume 1 (which is a free ebook at Smashwords.com [click the image in the sidebar]), then I would highly encourage you to if you’re interested in my series.  The Golden Lands is a fantasy based story with characters that behave and think like characters from anime shows.  Why characters that resemble anime characters? Because anime characters (if it’s a good anime) have so much determination in whatever they’re doing, and the way they portray realistic, human emotion is one of the most beautiful portrayals I’ve ever seen in any form of art.

I’ll be releasing the overview of Volume 4 (containing the cover, description, and excerpt) very soon!


Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

 

The Woes of Self-Publishing

“The best people that you can get to download your books are other authors.  Chances are, if you’re a self-published author, you’re going to need help with promoting your work.  And that means we need to stick together.   Self-publishing doesn’t always have to be a lonely endeavor.  Make relationships and get the train moving again.”

If you’re like me, you’ve probably written a book, or you’re currently working on one.  You are either an author, or an aspiring author.

the image is not mine

And, chances are, if you’re like me, you’ve researched and found out that self-publishing is the easier path for ensuring your written work will get some attention.  It’s the fastest choice, the choice that gives you the most control over your manuscript, and, if you don’t want to, you don’t even have to spend a penny.

However, if you’re like me, then you’ve most likely also discovered that self-publishing is VERY HARD.

To be a self-publishing author…for those of you that don’t know what this entails, allow me to explain.  If you SELF-PUBLISH a book, then you are the publisher.  Based upon this discovery, we can go further and ask the necessary question: what does a publisher do?

Publishers distribute written or graphic works of art to the public.  They are advertisers, promoters, business-people, sales-people.  That’s their job.  And, with every job that involves showing off and selling some sort of item, you had better be good at it!

Most likely, if you’re a self-published author, the revenue you receive from selling your books is NOT your only source of income.  Most self-published authors would be in a lot of trouble, if that were the case!  Publishing a book (meaning actively distributing and selling it to the public) is a lot of work, and very often, not too profitable.

WHAT ARE SOME GREAT WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK?

ebook tablet

My books tend to have much more success when (guess what?) I make them free for a short amount of time.  I’m talking about the eBook versions, of course.  People will wait for me to make them free (which, of course, is smart), or maybe they’re people that haven’t heard of my book, but they notice it while scrolling through Smashwords.com.  They see that the novella is free, and then decide to give it a chance.  I mean, they don’t have anything to lose.

This sounds like a poor way to build a following; if your book is worth something, then people will pay for it!  This is very true, and it’s why I don’t advise that you keep your book forever free.  BUT, there are also some advantages to making your book free:

  1. If you’re writing a series (like me), having at least the first book free can act as the “hook”.  Then, if you’re worried about making sure people understand the worth of your book, you can charge readers for the subsequent books of your series.
  2. Ripple effect: the people that download your book for free might start talking, or other people online will see what they’re reading.  Maybe they’ll be interested in buying a copy too.

Another great way to promote your book is finding other authors that write about the same things you do.  Wordpress.com is great for that, especially since you can search for specific tags.  Writing a historical fiction? Search for others writing about the same thing.  Strike up a relationship and find ways to help each other out.  The best people that you can get to download your books are other authors.  Chances are, if you’re a self-published author, you’re going to need help with promoting your work.  And that means we need to stick together.   Self-publishing doesn’t always have to be a lonely endeavor.  Make relationships and get the train moving again.

The last way to promote your book would be to keep on writing; blog on different sites.  Personally email people, comment on their blogs, and find nook in the internet where your audience is hiding.  Whatever your endeavor is, keeping working for it.  And even if you’re not sure where your going with your self-publishing career, keep moving forward.  Keep searching.  Keep writing.

For those that suffer the woes of self-publishing: Go create.  Go writers.


Your Author,

Dom

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Aul

Praise God 😉

P.S. Volume 1 is still free as an eBook at Smashwords!

Another Book Ready to be Published!

Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski
Copyright 2015 Clare Sceski

It’s that time again 😀  The only left for me to do is press the “publish” button, and Volume 3 will officially be published at Smashwords!!!

Click here to read a post to discover what Volume 3 is all about!

Sure, it’ll take some time before it is distributed to other retailers, but in the meantime, I’m just relieved that I’ve finally gotten to this point.  That it’s finally time to publish yet again.  Make no mistake, publishing three books–whether you’re self publishing or not–is a tough thing to do.  And Volume 3, I must admit, has probably been harder to publish than Volume 2…for multiple reasons like formatting, editing, and polishing things off.  In short, completing this manuscript has been somewhat difficult.  But I’m glad that it’s finished and that I finally get to share it with you.

And, just so you know:

ALL THROUGHOUT TOMORROW, VOLUMES 1, 2 AND 3 WILL BE FREE AT SMASHWORDS.COM!

I believe that the occasion deserves a bit of celebration, and that includes a super nice discount for all of you faithful followers!

Thanks again for making this possible!

Praise God 😉


Dom

One Week Anniversary!

Hey all, guess what?

IT’S THE ONE WEEK ANNIVERSARY OF MY NEWLY PUBLISHED BOOK!  It’s been a reaaaaaaaaaly long week… 😛

So just some news for all of you:

First and foremost, I want to let all of you know that in exactly ONE MORE WEEK, the price for The Golden Lands, Volume 1 will go up!  It’s at $2.99 now, but I’ll be moving it up to $3.99.  THIS WILL BECOME A THING!  After publishing a book, the first two weeks it will remain at a low, discount price.  Afterwards, however, it the price will go up.  You may purchase my book here.

Second: my new blog series, “Soul Bleeder”, debuts tomorrow.  It’s pretty much about a character you WILL encounter in TGL, but not right off the bat.  You’ll get to experience my writing style, the magical characteristics of my created world, etc.  

I don’t know why, but it won’t let me get out of bold….

Anyway 🙂 I think that’s it.

Your Author,

Aul 

FIVE!!!

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

That’s right.

THE COUNTDOWN TO SELF-PUBLISHING HAS STARTED!

In (roughly) five days, I will publish the first volume of The Golden Lands.  My awesome mom has finished editing it, so once I make the changes, make sure the cover is polished, and check in with the website I’ll be using to publish the novella, things will get underway.

Get pumped, because the first of many volumes is about to come out!!!

Your AA (soon to be just “author”),

Aul

Revised Cover for Volume One!!!

*Trumpet blast*

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen.  Using a graphic tablet, I’ve finished recoloring the cover for volume one of The Golden Lands.  Check it out!

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved

Now you may notice few things different from when I first displayed the original version of the cover of Volume 1.  First of all, the graphics are way better.  That comes from using the graphic tablet.  Also, I changed the character’s shirt from brown to gray, because he wears gray shirts in the book.  And last of all, I added the title.

Tell me what you think?  THE GOLDEN LANDS IS GOING TO BE SELF-PUBLISHED VERY SOON!!!

Your AA,

Aul

So…When is the First Volume Coming Out?

I know I keep on saying that the first volume of The Golden Lands (TGL) is going to be self-published very soon.  But, as of yet, I still haven’t released it yet.

What’s the hold up?

Well, first of all, when I say “very soon”, that could mean within the next couple months.  I recall saying in a different post that I’d be publishing within the next two weeks.  And it’s been more than two weeks.  I apologize for not keeping my word.

However, some things need to be done before I feel comfortable releasing volume one.

The first most important thing that I want to accomplish with the first volume is getting some good proofreading.  I’ve already proofread it twice, but I’m having my awesome mom go over it just to make sure I haven’t made any silly grammatical errors.

The next thing I want to do is find out how to copyright my work properly.  I know that no matter what, The Golden Lands is mine by virtue of the fact that I wrote it, but I want to copyright it professionally and securely…just in case.

Then there’s the matter of finding a self-publishing website I like.  As of now, Smashwords is my #1.  They let you self-publish for free, although they get 40% of your royalties.

And last of all, I need another illustration done, just to make TGL look awesome and official.

So, in theory, TGL WILL be released very soon.  Just not as soon as I thought.  But that’s a big part of writing; sometimes you need to take time to do what needs to be done.


And introducing the new, “photoshop corrected” cover for volume one (hair color is better and so is blood-graphics):

© Copyright 2015 all rights reserved
© Copyright 2015 all rights reserved

Your AA,

Aul