Archive for April, 2015

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Social media is one of my favorite distractions. In this day and age, the user is constantly in their phone, whether it’s checking Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, email or some other app. A user roughly checks his phone over 150 times a day. It’s addicting and time consuming when you find something interesting to look at or read. Still think that social media is a bad idea to promote yourself?

     Very recently, I discovered that getting your name out there doesn’t solely rely on you writing a book, reading over it once or twice, fixing little mistakes like spelling or changing a word every now and then, and then sending out to publishers to become famous and solely rely upon them to make you a star. You’ve got to be willing to put in the same time and effort that you painstakingly (and frustratingly) stuck into the making of your glorious masterpiece into getting your name out there.
Publishers want to know if you’ve been seen before. They want to know that you are a good investment. Recently, a friend of mine told me that through Wattpad, she has managed an enormous following of over five million reads on her book, Marriage to An Adult. I never really realized how powerful gaining such a following could entail.

  The next day, I set about setting up a Facebook page for my writing; made a Twitter account to help gain a following; and created a Wattpad to further post snippets of my novels and to let loose the little prose and fluff that I had accumulated over the years. Some of this, I’ve already posted to my DeviantArt page that I’ve kept running for several years. I’ve gained some attention on there as well as become more comfortable with drawing and finding tips on there. During one of my fanfiction prose that I had posted, a person contacted me about getting published in his email chain magazine that he showcases anyone who wants to participate in the pictures, stories, short stories and poetry that grace the digital pages.
     Social media can be used to further the popularity and awareness of your book and self as an author. And, for those of you who draw, it will showcase your talents and hopefully get the attention of other authors looking for a graphic designer for the cover or art inside the book.

    Best of luck to all you lovely people who take time out of their day to read this. Use this infatuation our generation has and post, post, post!

Xoxo,
Ella

Twitter: Ella_C_Douglas

Facebook: Ella Charlotte Douglas (author page)

Wattpad: wattsyourstory

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Covers and Artwork

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I do write my own books, my stories, my plots, and do most of my own editing. I have my friends read my books and works and tell me what’s wrong with it on first impression and I’m in the process of editing a novel I wrote a year ago, titled: The Honor Code. It’s about pirates, soldiers, the war between Britain and America and all set on the high seas. But during all of this work and sketches that I’ve drawn, I figure at some point, I need a cover for my books. Very rarely do I use someone else’s pictures for a cover-in fact, I’m not even positive that I have done something like that since I had first begun.
Even if I only placed words on a colored piece of paper, I usually only used something that I had made for the covers. The only book that I have seriously considered publishing, really the only book that I felt like it was worth my time and effort to go through the painstaking editing and re-writing and plot fixing and such, was The Honor Code. During the writing of this book, I wanted to have visuals.
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Pinterest, as well as other medias might I add, has really helped me see the world of my stories or help me gain inspiration to keep writing and keep plodding on. I love to draw and sketch and flesh out my characters. Really the only reason why I began drawing was to gain my own private view of my characters.
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Even if you describe what you are thinking of in your head to anyone else, a friend, another artist, or family, they will only imagine it so closely to your own view of the character. I wanted to show other people what I saw. So I began drawing faces and profiles of my characters. Terrible at first, and even terrible now (although I have improved drastically since the days of flat Stanley), they are still my characters that I’ve wanted to show people. During my writing of The Honor Code, I wanted a visual,or at least, several visuals that I could choose from for the cover. My first thought was of a girl-one of my main characters from the story. Most of the story revolves around her past and what has shaped her to be the person that she is today. But even as I drew her, sketched whatever picture I wanted, it still didn’t convey the right picture that I wanted for the cover. I used Pinterest to find a silhouette of a soldier-the main character of my story is a soldier named Bayard- and thus, my cover began to take shape. I drew his silhouette but it still lacked what it needed to make it fit perfectly within my story. I added a second, lighter gray silhouette of my second main character and it was perfect. With creating your own cover and book art, it is definitely cheaper than hiring any number of amazing artists. You may want other artists to draw your characters and covers, and that is perfectly fine. But if you plan on selling your book and do not want to create more cost for yourself or more hassle if the pictures do not turn out perfectly, you may want to do them yourself. With a cover, you give your readers and fans something visual to latch onto. They remember that far more than they will ever remember a certain flash of words sketched across the top of a page (whatever font you choose to do).
I encourage you to create your own art, or at least experiment with the rough idea of what your characters will look and act like. It can even help with their personality creation if you have a visual of some sassy character with her hip jutted out and her arms crossed over her chest. It’s the little things that can all add up, and I hope this will encourage all of you to further your writing and drawing abilities in your- as my friend, S.G. Baker would say- quest for publishment.

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Xoxo,
Ella