Radio Interview Link & Last Day for Kickstarter!

The link to the radio interview and a notice about the last day of my Kickstarter project!


Hi all,

As promised, here is the link to the Radio Interview that I just did. Since then, I’ve read a lot about how people think they are a scam and what not, but the way I see it, I’ve gained some confidence in myself, gained some practice at how to effectively talk about your story, and can now use this audio file to help expand my readership. I’m also going to turn it into a youtube video to provide another way for people to find me.

kickstarter logo
kickstarter logo (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

Also, the Kickstarter project for Copper Centurion is almost done! This is the LAST day for anyone to contribute to the cause! There are some awesome rewards available, such as a digital copy of all the artwork from books one and two, as well as getting a handwritten thank you note. Of course, my favorite is the one where you get to name your own character, but that is just me :-).

Ciao!

– Daniel

Radio Interview!

See the show notes from my five minute radio interview with Kevin from Global Talk Radio!


Hi All,

I recently did a radio interview with Kevin from Global Talk Radio after they had a promo for five minute radio interviews. What can I say, these guys were super nice and considerate. Because I live on the East Coast, it was sort of a challenge to match my schedule with theirs (west coast), but they made it happen. I’ve posted the questions and my answers below, and hope to be posting the actual radio episode later this week!

How did you get started being a writer?

I actually started as a writer in college, when I decided to write a story that used all of my friends as characters. I got about 7 or 8 chapters in, but then lost interest. For me, one of the hardest things about writing is being self-disciplined enough to actually finish the novel. When I wrote Brass Legionnaire, it helped that I actually wrote down the entire story in a journal I had lying around, rather than sit at the computer and start from scratch. The words seemed to flow more easily for me.

Why did you go the self-publishing route?

I’m impatient and like to be in control! Actually, I had been doing a lot of reading about self-publishing and it seemed to me like it was something that was more practical and doable then trying to get an agent and get my book published by a company. Brass Legionnaire is a good book, and I’ve found great people to back me up on it through my own research. That’s another important part. Instead of having my team picked for me, I could pick my team for the editing, cover art, illustrations, etc. I liked that level of control.

Why Roman Steampunk? 

It was actually an inside joke that took off. I’ve always loved Roman history, and studied aboard in Rome and Naples during college. I’m also a big fan of alternative history, and noticed that very few authors had examined how the world would have changed if the Roman Empire was still around, even though it very likely could have. Plus, I enjoyed novels with steampunk elements that are more realistic, so I used my own knowledge to try and create steampunk creations that would actually make sense in a Roman world. This isn’t Victorian steampunk, no canes and zombies or giant guns, but instead a focus more on animal-like machines and gunpowder loaded weaponry that could realistically evolve from the Romans of old. You’ll see the world really expand in Copper Centurion, my next novel.

What advice would you tell new authors?

Plan, save up, and write a lot! Plan out your novel, then your post-novel plan – who will edit, make cover art, format, and how will you publish. Will you go with Amazon KDP or for a more broad spectrum release with Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, etc. Save up your money, because you can do it cheap, but in this case cheap is not always good. You want your editor to really help clean up your story, not just do a one time sweep for loose punctuation.

How do you keep in touch with fans?

I have a twitter – @Dottalini, a blog – danielottalini.com, and a Facebook page. I also created a book page – brasslegionnaire.com for my novels, since I sort of wanted to keep that series separate from my author blog when I start writing other novels that aren’t part of this series.

What was your biggest mistake and your greatest achievement (so far)?

So far, I would say my biggest mistake was not writing more. I wish I had been smarter and had at least two stories ready to go, instead of just the one. It would have been fast and simply to make a 10-15,000 word novella and pop that out really cheap next to my other novel, that way I could hook more readers with a low-priced introductory story. My greatest achievement is that my novel – Brass Legionnaire – has been nominated for an EPIC – Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition – eBook award – it’s a finalist (top three) for the action adventure category. That is insanely cool considering that Brass Legionnaire is my first novel.

Round Up: Copper Centurion is coming out this spring, and a short story – Roma Aeronautica, is also coming soon. I’ll be starting work on novel number three, Iron Tribune, next! My books are on sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords.

 

(P.S – in case you were wondering, this is not a paid advertisement or whatnot – did you really think I would do that? I paid for the interview and simply enjoyed the experience. Ciao!

Ten Things to Know about Writing Historical Fiction (Guest Post by Hazel West)

Ten Rules to follow when Writing Historical Fiction – A Guest Post by Author Hazel West


Hi all,

As part of her blog tour for her new novel, By Blood or By Bond, Author Hazel West is joining us to talk briefly about the world of Historical Fiction, something similar (but not the same) as my personal favorite genre – alternate history. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good Roman History novel. Enjoy!

Ten (Unnoficial) Things You Should Know About Writing Historical Fictionbutton

1. First off, it’s fiction. That means you can bend the truth a little bit if you want to. So if you can’t find that info you need, make it up. Or add a little alternate history or steampunk if you want.

2. The awesome things you have the chance to try out. Think of it: reenacting epic battles in your back yard (scaring the neighbors), playing around with swords, (and don’t forget jousting with your bicycle and a broom handle!) trying Roman recipes, a medieval feast, or having a traditional posh English tea. The possibilities are endless.

3. You get to write about all your favorite historical figures if you so choose! Think of it: your words in the mouth of such as George Washington, or Hannibal! Okay, that might be a daunting thing at times, but if you just go for it, I find it works out a lot better.

4. You’ll get to clear the library out of all the books on your topic, thus making everyone else very annoyed, probably. Just remember not to hurt your back carrying them all out of the library.

5. Read some historical novels about the same time period. No, not to copy other author’s work (that’s plagiarism!), but to get a feel for how things are described or how you might go about it. Smells, sounds, sights, of the time period. Also, it’s a good excuse to get a few fun reads in while you’re supposed to be doing research.

6. If possible, check out the historical sights you are writing about. If this isn’t possible, then watching documentaries or travel videos works too. Just don’t put too much faith in Hollywood, because most of the time historical films are NOT filmed on site.

7. Okay, I won’t lie, you’re probably going to butt heads with people who say your books aren’t accurate. If this happens, direct them to Number One.

8. You’ll have to do copious amounts of research. There’s going to be a lot of every day things you won’t know about when writing historical fiction. Obviously, your medieval peasant can’t just pop open a package of Poptarts for breakfast, and if you think they can, you have a lot of research to do. 30% of writing historical fiction is coming up with a story and characters, the other 70% is research, research, and more research! Do not neglect it, even if you don’t use it all.

9. As with every novel, you are going to have to do multiple edits and possibly even re-writes. But with historical fiction, comes the further fact checking. Maybe if you’re lucky, you can find a fellow writer or reader who knows a lot about your book subject too to read it over for you and tell you if everything is good and historically sound (within reason, that is). If they complain about that crucial, irreplaceable part of your book not being accurate, remember to refer them, once again, to Number One.

10. As with every book, Have Fun! Historical fiction is probably the most fun genre to research next to mystery writing (unless you do historical mysteries, of course!). I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve come up with while researching for one book and finding other things that would make fantastic novels. It might be harder work than writing something from your own time period, but I guarantee you, it’s an adventure all on it’s own and very rewarding in the end!

About the Author:DSCN1548

Hazel West lives in Florida where she spend a good bit of time writing historical fiction about brave men and women who have graced the pages of history, trying to bring more light to their legacies so readers of all ages will enjoy them.

Hazel’s favorite things/hobbies: Writing obviously, listening to and playing Irish and Scottish folk music, practicing with all eras and types of historical weaponry, GOOD COFFEE, reading of course, dark (dark) chocolate, sketching/painting, hats, scarves and boots, collecting little old-fashioned things of all kinds, buying books, and don’t forget dressing in period clothing!

You can find Hazel on her Blog, via twitter @artfulscribbler, or on Goodreads

Click onward to read a description and teaser of Hazel’s new novel, By Blood or By Bond.

Continue reading “Ten Things to Know about Writing Historical Fiction (Guest Post by Hazel West)”

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays and best wishes for the new year to you, our loyal readers, family, and friends, enjoy this time of love and happiness. See you next year!

Ciao

– Daniel

Building a Better Book – Your World, Your Choices

This is the first post in a series entitled “Building a Better Book.” In this posting, I examine how to create an intriguing setting for your novel.


 

Greetings all! Welcome to the start of my new blog series “Building a Better Book”

In today’s episode, I’d like to talk a little about how to create a world that has elements of realism and fantasy (or science fiction, etc). For me, at least, building a world is all about three things.

1.) How is your world realistic? – Does it connect to our world? Obviously, for some stories this is not practical, but even space operas have their share of realistic environments – space battleships with bridges that would probably seem familiar to any current navy sailor, planets that are Earth-like (or perhaps more Moon-Mars-or-Jupiter like, etc. If your story takes place on Earth (future, present, or past) it’s even easier. For Copper Centurion, much of the story takes place in Nortland, otherwise known as present day Sweden and Norway. So what did I do? I popped onto Google Maps to get a top down view, found some more ancient maps to do a cross analysis, then went to work. I looked for roadways and rivers to help decide on the routes that different characters would take in my story. Thus, the world impacts my story. Which brings me to point two…

2.) How does your world match your characters? Your world must match your characters in terms of realism. Soft fluffy creatures won’t live on a harsh, rocky mountain. It just doesn’t make sense! Now, you could do a “farm girl in the big city” type situation, where the setting impacts the character’s development, and that’s fine, but if you’re creating a whole world, then you have to put more thought into the setting. Now finally…

3.) What else could impact the world? What I mean by this is simply how does the technology level of your characters impact the story. A story set in Victorian England will most likely need to have heavy periods of fog and smog impacting the characters as they run around. A story taking place in the Canadian Rockies will probably involve snow. A story taking place in the Middle East during the Crusades will not only have undercurrents of religious conflict, but also desertification and the need for water.
So you see, when creating a world, you really do have to do some research. It really does help lend power to your novel or story if readers can identify with the place that they are reading about. But if you go ‘hyper-local’ you have to get it right, at least in a standard fiction novel. Otherwise, readers may eat you for lunch!

Well, that’s all for today! See you next time!
Ciao!

 

Interview with Author Hazel B. West

Interview with Hazel West, Author of Freedom Come All Ye & Ballad of the Highwayman


Hi all,

A while ago, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed on Hazel’s blog, Character Purgatory (Very draconian name, but very non-draconian content!) about Brass Legionnaire. I figured I’d return the favor so all of you can get a chance to learn about her novels. (P.S. Full Disclosure – I did receive a review on amazon by Ms. West, but it was before she inquired about an author interview – No Funny Business here!)

You can read my interview with Hazel here.

Picture of William Wallace

First off, can you share with readers a brief blurb about your novels?

Well, first of all there’s “Freedom Come All Ye” which is a YA novel about William Wallace as a teenager. He’s sick of having to be in school while his father and older brother are fighting the English oppressors and one day he gets into a fight with the sheriff’s son and ends up accidentally killing him–thus having to run. He goes to stay with his uncle who’s the sheriff of English occupied Lanark and while Wallace is there trying to hide out he ends up having a brush with the general of the English garrison, Jack Moore–and he finds out that Jack Moore had killed his father. So he decides to start a resistance as he father had, and with a few friends, John Graham, Stephen Ireland, Kerlie, and eventually Marion Braidfoot, he hides out in the woods near the town, Robin Hood style, waiting for the chance to exact revenge on Jack Moore. I was inspired to write this book because there is so little known about Wallace’s childhood, and so I took the few stories we do know from reading accounts like Blind Harry’s epic (which may or may not be very true, we don’t have anything else to go on) and piecing them together with an added villain into what I thought Wallace’s teenage years might have been like.

My second novel is “Ballad of the Highwayman” jumping from medieval Scotland to Stuart England. In this book, my hero is Kilroy Allen; it opens with him at age ten, going to visit his father in prison on the eve of his execution. The book it set right after the English Civil War when Charles I lost his head, and the Royalists–which Kilroy’s father was–thought that his father had betrayed them to the opposition so they were going to kill him. He had actually been set up by an unknown source and he told Kilroy to find out who it was and clear his name one day. Fifteen years later, Kilroy is a highwayman by night (The Emerald Sword) and a trader named Jeremy Gelnnon by day. He can’t use his real name because everyone knows of Allen the “Traitor” and he has to have a cover so he can keep searching for his father’s betrayer. And also, of course, so he can keep an eye on his childhood sweetheart, Sylvia Davies. This book is pretty much a classic adventure/swashbuckler novel with sword duels, wrestling, robbing (the rich of course), a little detective work, and a bit of romance. Oh yes, and humor as well.

And right now, I’m working on another novel set during the Scottish Wars for Independence (Wallace’s time) Featuring Reeve, an English knight who is captured by the Scots on the field of battle. You can read an excerpt here if you’re interested.

How did you come up with the ideas for your novels?

“Freedom Come All Ye” was simply curiosity. I wanted to know what Wallace might have been like as a teenager and so I wrote about it!

“Ballad of the Highwayman” was, for the most part, inspired by Alfred Noyes’ poem “The Highwayman”. Ever since I read that for the first time, I cound never get the visionary out of my head, and I knew that someday I would have to write a highwayman novel. Besides that, it was a product of reading “Three Musketeers” and Louis L’Amour’s “The Lonesome Gods” in succession. And because I think there need to be more swashbucklers written by modern day authors. Everyone loves the genre (Come on, we know you do) but it’s kind of gotten lost.

 

Why did you choose to focus your novels on William Wallace?

 

 

Wallace is one of my favorite historical figures. He’s one of those people who stays in your head and you have to think: This can’t possibly be a true story! I didn’t know a thing about Scotland before I was fourteen and I read Jane Yolen’s novel “Prince Across the Water” about the Jacobite Rebellion. I loved it so much that I decided to do research on the time period since I had never read about it in school (and I was already a total history buff at that time). Reading about Bonnie Prince Charlie, I decided to look at more Scottish history and found the story of William Wallace, and since that day, after I read about all the things he did, and how he met his end, I’ve not been able to get him out of my head. So then I started reading everyone else’s novels and eventually decided I wanted to write my own. Wallace is one of those people who everyone can relate to because he fought for freedom and I hope that by writing more novels he will be carried on through the generations to inspire more young people.

How do you write? Do you set a schedule or is it a more free-form thing?

 

Truthfully, every book I write comes differently and my “favorite time to write” changes all the time. Right now, I write from about 11 pm to 2 am or later if I’m really working on something. I do not write during the day much at all anymore because it’s too noisy, and I think better at night. During the day, I go over previously written chapters, do research, fix things that need fixing and all that. Normally, I will save the chapters I write each week and edit them over the weekend since I usually don’t write saturday and sunday. But that’s the book I’m working on now, next one might change.

What do you do in your non-writing time?

Sleep. No, I like to read, play guitar or whatever else, practice upcoming battle scenes with various weaponry in the back yard. Occasionally I like to draw and paint or do some other kind of artsy stuff, and obviously, drink coffee because otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to write–yes, I firmly believe that 😉

Who is your favorite character?

Definitely a hard question. I love them all, but yet there are those who are just so fun to write about. I think that I would have to say it’s Roster Scarcliff from “Ballad of the Highwayman”. He’s Kilroy’s rival, and they fight all the time, but they end up having to work together and eventually become best buds. Roster might seem a little annoying and cocky on the outside, but he’s really the sweetest guy ever, and he gives almost all of his “profits” to the poor 😉

What are some of your favorite books and authors? Who inspires you?

My favorite authors are Rosemary Sutcliff, Alexandre Dumas, and Louis L’Amour–Okay, I have lots more favorite authors, but these are the ones who seem to inspire me mostly. Rosemary Sutcliff has gone and started me thinking about what may be my next book… but we’ll see about that when we get there 😉

 

And lastly, what is the best advice you would give to a new author or writer?

 

Don’t ever stop writing, no matter what anyone says, there’s no way you’ll get better unless you keep it up. Writing is seasoned with time, it has to age, and not everyone’s first story is going to be a New York Times’ Best Seller. The best thing to do is listen to criticism, and think about it even if you don’t follow all of it (because it is still your book, not theirs). And most of all, make sure that YOU are happy with it. Half the battle is making sure you yourself can approve of your story.

Thanks so much for having me, Daniel!

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions!

Here are the links to Hazel West’s Novels.

Freedom Come All Ye    

Ballad of the Highwayman

As a sidebar, I really enjoyed this experience of having a guest post/author interview. If you’re looking to be interviewed/get an interview from me about Brass Legionnaire or the Self-Publishing process, drop me a message through the contact page above.

Ciao!

How to respond to Reviews (positive or negative)

Brass Legionnaire gets a Five-Star Review, and how to deal with Reviews as an Author.


I’ve heard it been said before that self-published authors are a picky lot.

Who, us?

Actually, I agree. One of the downsides of being a writer/publisher is that you become so connected with your book that is is like a child. You are the one who put in love and effort and pushed it to grow and mature. You also scrapped up the funds to get it edited, revised, and probably some nice cover art or formatting along the way.

And heaven forbid someone dis your child. It’s like that annoying parent at the soccer game who is yelling at your kid because they just aren’t quite as fast as theirs, as good as theirs, or as big as theirs. Or perhaps, they’re making snide comments because your child is better, and they are jealous.

Either way – child or book – we get insulted. If you have to hop through a million hoops with a publisher – editor, cover art, everything else more outside of your direct control – You might not feel as protective about your novel.

Today, I’m exceptionally excited because Brass Legionnaire got a five star review from a reader. Now what should I do as the writer? I could go several routes. Since it is a positive review, I’m probably more likely to respond in a positive way. The review also included some constructive feedback – something the reader would like to see more of in Copper Centurion (ie book two).

I’m not going to respond on the posting because that’s not my place to respond. Could I? Yes, but I won’t (not because I don’t want to) but because I feel as though I don’t need to be such a micromanager.

But I’ll tell you what I will do. I’ll listen to the constructive criticism. The reviewer thought I should have more camaraderie between the troops. And you know what? I should!

Any author should be able to look at reviews with an objective eye. The key thing is to take a deep breathe and back off. Not everyone will find your novel their piece of cake. That’s a fact of life. There will always be someone out there who will be spiteful or angry or mad over small things. You can’t control that. What you can do is avoid petty fights and maintain your reputation as an author. If you become known as an author who takes feedback and criticism (with a grain of salt) with grace and a willingness to at least THINK about it, then you become someone who people want to work with or talk with or learn from.

So long story short, keep the reviewer’s wishes in mind, but the story is yours in the end. If they point our typos or errors or problems with formatting or editing, get it fixed! If its a story content thing, make sure you have beta readers.

No one likes a prickly porcupine, so don’t be one!

Illustration Rough Drafts

Rough Draft Illustrations are here! Check out the mid book scene and end book scene rough drafts! Plus another teaser from inside the book


Good Evening all!
Just got word from the illustrator that all the illustrations have been conceptualized and they are now hard at work putting the recommendations I asked for in place. I figured I’d share the rough drafts since you’ll have to buy the book to see the final ones 🙂

Concept Sketch of the descent from the airship - Mid-Novel

I’m really liking where these illustrations are going. My illustrators suggested a random edge effect on the final draft (which I’ve seen, and think you’ll like) that breaks up the ‘too neat’ border of the picture. Here’s the end of scene book.

Last Battle Scene View

Hope you enjoyed those! Just as a reminder, be sure to follow me here, on twitter or facebook to get the most recent updates and fun previews!

Speaking of that, here’s a sneak peek inside the world of Brass Legionnaire.

It was often said that even the fog feared to tread in the depths of Sludge Bottom. Only the brave, the foolhardy, the desperate, or the conniving dared to venture into that economically stagnant and most run-down sector of Brittenburg, where seedy gambling halls, dank, smoke-filled bars, and automaton-fighting pits in abandoned warehouses were the chief attractions. The operators of these businesses, always tight-fisted and tight-lipped, had tightened their vigilance as well, with the auxilia more active recently. Anyone who seemed a bit out of place or a tad too eager to learn more about their companions at the gambling table was “taken care of,” right along with anyone who happened to develop an exceptionally strong winning streak at the dice tables or during a rigged card game.

Here, Domino Grex ran the notorious Atrium, five stories of every kind of disreputable entertainment imaginable. The building stank of desperation and ill-gotten gains. The fact that it was neither as well-lit nor as well-ventilated as its name implied appealed to the con artists, runaway peasants, prostitutes, loan sharks, and the city’s assorted riff-raff who frequented the establishment. And no one crossed Grex. The survival rate for those who did was zero. Even the auxilia dared not raid the place. Domino Grex had so many illicit connections that his complex was untouchable; any officer who tried to impose the law soon found himself transferred to the city’s Sanitary Division.

Though the private rooms on the fifth floor could provide for any vice or perversion, they seemed to exude the evil, hatred, anger, and violence they’d witnessed over the years. No member of Grex’s staff was assigned up there for any length of time. Too many seemed to disappear, go mad, or simply see things that . . . shouldn’t . . . be there.

One of the largest of these rooms had been booked for the evening. Two muscular street toughs stood on either side of a dented copper door, the verdigris of age belying its well-oiled mechanisms. The men leaned on heavy clubs, and short swords and daggers were sheathed at their belts. The toughs stepped together in front of the door as three cloaked figures approached, blocking their passage.

The cloaked figures each withdrew necklaces from within their cowls to display small medallions with intricately geared moving components. Newly alert eyes lighting up their dull expressions, the thugs nodded to one another and moved aside to let the strangers pass. The leader inserted his medallion into an opening in the wall as if it were a key; after an audible hum, the door hissed open, sliding slowly into the wall. The figures passed between the two toughs, who ignored them—their job was to guard the door; what happened inside was not their business.

With another hiss, the door squealed shut behind the last cloaked figure to enter, and the gaslights blazed in their wall sconces, casting a yellowish haze throughout the room. Two of the figures moved to the last remaining high-backed chairs surrounding a massive brass table, designed in the shape of a gear, in the center of the room. The third figure stood between and slightly behind the two chairs, keeping his face in shadow. Anticipation weighted the air, seeming to make movement a challenge…

More to come later! Ciao!

The Realities of a Steampunk World

A quick look at making your story match the technology and things within it.


So I went to see the move John Carter yesterday. We shelled out the extra money to see it in IMAX, not because we really wanted to see it in IMAX, but because our local movie theater doesn’t like to show movies starting around 9 pm (It likes 8pm and 11 pm, but little in between) After being deafened and blinded in the previews, we were treated to a real spectacle of a movie. But I digress, this post isn’t a movie review, but rather how I saw a ton of amazing ideas that I COULD use in my novel, but will most likely choose not to.

The most challenging thing about a steampunk world is that you have to remain true to your specific subgenre. For example, Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books) includes undead, guns, airships, etc. But it stays true to roots without using ray guys, rocketpacks, or technology that is beyond what the locals *could* realistically have designed.

When I saw John Carter, the thing that stood out to me the most was this…

Yes, one of the coolest designed airships I’ve ever seen. And I would have loved to somehow make mine (in Brass Legionnaire) as cool as those. But I won’t for a few reasons.

1.) Believability – My Romans are still running around using steam power. Those are definitely not running off steam power.

2.) I don’t want to copy someone else’s idea. Could I take a few pointers from how they look and add descriptions to my story? Sure, but I don’t want to just blatantly take an idea and throw it into my story because it’s cool. That’s a bit too crude for me. Ideas and a story have to match.

3.) It would take my story in an entirely different direction than where I want it to go. I want my books to show technological process and advancement book by book. I don’t want it to be a ‘oh, look, in the last two months we developed this awesome airship that doesn’t rely on hydrogen, helium, or steam power and it works perfectly. By the way, we armed it with these artillery pieces.’

I guess the point of this post is simply to make sure that your technology matches your story. I’m not saying you can’t – or shouldn’t! – be outlandish, but I’m one of those people who get’s thrown out of the story when the main character pulls out a weapon that doesn’t match the rest of the world or story and just pulverizes the enemy.

It’s like the green skinned aliens in John carter who run around with spears, swords, and projectile guns, but aren’t lugging around the alien equivalent of the RPG – they aren’t up to that yet. If your steampunk story has guns, then give them guns, but they shouldn’t have an M16 while everyone else has a muzzle-loading rifle. Technological progress doesn’t move in that way. If one country or place has it, soon enough everyone else will beg/borrow/steal/take by force that technology.

A good book to read is Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Great read on a topic of technology among cultures.

Ciao!

PS – book editing is halfway done, hopefully it will be ready to go by May!

Who does my Cover Art & new advertisements for Brass Legionnaire!


So in case you didn’t know, I’ve been using the company Streetlight Graphics for my book’s cover art. I decided to splurge on their Ultimate Pro Package, which includes the following (Those people new to self-publishing may find this really cool!)

Ultimate Pro-Package: (Taken directly from their website)

Print (Createspace only)

Book Cover Interior Print (Createspace only)

Formatting E-Book Cover

Formatting for Kindle

Formatting for Nook

Formatting for Smashwords

A written tutorial explaining how to upload your e-book

All this for only $265!* (Since increased to $285)

(It also used to include banner ads for wherever you wanted them, but they claimed that most people didn’t want them. I asked nicely and got them included 🙂 )

To me, this was an awesome deal. I mean, I know I could spend some of my own time formatting them for all the different sites, or just pay someone $50 to do it, but the fact that I get a print cover, an e-book cover, and someone to do my formatting all at the same time is really cool. Also, its the convenience factor. It’s only one person to talk to, handle, and work with, instead of several different ones. Although I’m pretty technologically savvy, I’ll take all the help I can get on this first go around.

How did I find them, you ask? Actually, it was courtesy of Lindsey Buroker, (Encrypted) someone who I admire and have been following for the last few months. She puts out great comments, tips, tricks, and really useful stuff for us self-publishing people out there. She used these guys earlier to update her cover art for her novels. I have to say my experience with them has been awesome. No complaints at all! They are very communicative, open and helpful. They are able to change the smallest things to fit your wishes.  They knew how to deliver what I hadn’t even known I had wanted (If that makes sense?).
Anyways, on to the actual point of this post. I asked for and got two different advertisements that I can use on my YouTube page (not much there now, much more planned in the future). In addition, I’ll see if I can somehow adapt it for my twitter (@dOttalini – Add me!) I figure that I can use these cool advertisements to point people watching my videos or tweets in the direction of my book once it is published. So here, I’ll post them below.

This one is a 728 x 90, which is a perfect size for a youtube video. They can be made on photoshop if you’ve got the time and desire (I’ve done it before, even though I’m a poor hand at it!)

The second one is simply 468 x 90. It’s a bit smaller and may be a pop-up ad in a video, rather than the header of a video or posting. Let me know what you think of them. Like I said earlier, It’s important to keep the theme simple, but also demonstrate the concept of your book.

I’ll take this last moment to plug my kickstarter project. PLEASE consider donating any amount of money, there are some pretty cool rewards  you can earn (For those of you with lots of disposable income, You can not only name a character, but decide if, and how, you want them to die!) Here’s the link again, talk to you all soon! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/187272667/brass-legionnaire

– Daniel

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