Wednesday, November 27, 2013

28 November the week that was.

Shorts of Air and Darkness Astro-photography
Don't you just love it when you meet people who find great value in what you have to offer? Skills, experience, knowledge - working experiential knowledge - that they can learn from to see their publishing dreams become a reality? I've met five more new self-publishers this week and was thrilled to be able to guide them towards their dreams coming true ~ I love my job! I don't remember drinking so many caramel latte coffees in one week before - I might have to go decafe.... Pffft ~ kidding!

Safe to say it has been another exceptional week at Findlay Books. We have formatted a few more ebooks for authors, and picked up another few clients who have a bunch of books to be converted and we discovered that we are under charging for our Digital Formatting Services by 75%, so our prices will be going up in the New Year.

We are planning a MASSIVE Christmas Giveaway this year. We are giving away 47 ebooks from 19 different kidlit authors who come from all over the world! Each of the 5 different
prize packs contain about 8 - 10 Kindle ebooks with one containing an Amazon gift eCard. So exciting, I can't wait, so watch out for it - Starts December 1st!!!

We have some very exciting changes in store for the new year - can't tell you much now, only that I am a little scared about how much LEARNING it will actually take to get it off the ground ~ talk about stretching the tent pegs aye?

If you love the new hoodies we purchased (pic above), please check our Jason Brown's Redbubble page. He has hoodies, calendars, posters, framed prints and so much more. He's a NZ local lad who is raising funds purchase professional astro-photography equipment so he can continue to do what he really does do best! Jason is on Facebook would love for you to visit his page. And if you are wondering how an astro-photographer has anything to do with self-publishing - Jason's amazing moon pics feature in our 'Rocket Boy goes to the Moon' and he didn't charge us to use them! We love supporting those who support us! Thank you Jason.

Have a fantastic week everyone and enjoy the season and the LOADS of free Christmas ebooks there are out there for the squidlets!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Finding an illustrator.

One of the biggest requests we get from workshop attendees is information on where they can find a reasonably priced illustrator. Below is a list of illustrators that other authors have used and recommended to me. What they will need to know is how many images/pages do you require, how much you will pay (negotiate) and how you will pay them. Below this list is an example of a Writer Illustrator Agreement once you have set the image amount and price for the job. 

Finding an the right illustrator for your project depends on a few things: quality of workmanship, the right 'look', ease of communication, and price comes into it too. I like working with new illustrators to give them an introduction into the world of self-publishing, I indicate what I would like my illustrations to look like, and we agree on 'price' or 'service'. Most important to me is being able to work with someone I can trust to create what I want. 

The two illustrators I currently work with have very different styles of artwork, but that works for the different series of books that I am creating. They communicate well, they are really easy to work with, and I have formed a great friendship with them too. When they are in the same room together they are so funny! They are going to be presenting at my next self-publishing workshop in the New Year and they both crack me up!

So, some things to be aware of: please be aware that you need to sign the rights over for the images from the illustrator to the writer, but they should still have the ability to use the art work to promote their own business/services, I.e: they can not on sell the images, and you can do with them what you want.

Also, make sure you agree to the length of time you expect work to be done by. The illustrators I work with have other jobs - plural - so my artwork fits in around their other paid work, meaning it takes much longer for them to create stuff for me. 

I checked out this week and have had nearly twenty responses to my ad in two days for an illustrator to illustrate a 32 page book with cover. One of these responses came from an illustrator in NZ, but he didn't state what he would charge which is a shame as I probably wont ask him. The average price has been about $500.00.

All the best in finding someone to help bring your children's stories to life! Please let us know how it all goes for you ~ Joy.

**Subscribe by email and 'Join this site' for more details on how to Self-Publish from NZ**

New Zealand Ilustrators
Sandra Morris Illustration Agency (NZ)   

FBI Illustrators (Fabulous Bureau of Illustrator) 

Jason Brown (NZ)
Photography can be found at 
Paul Lafaele (NZ)

Paul Elder (NZ)

Chan Ghee Leow (NZ)

Danielle Tran (NZ)
021 106 1755

Suzanne Beer (NZ?)

International Illustrators
Elance (Intl)

Ewa PodleĊ› (Intl)

Isella Vega (Intl)

Hozayfah Art (Intl)

Pat Lewis (Intl)

Jim Brenneman (Intl)

Veronica Grech (Intl)

Helen H. Wu (Intl)


Feel free to copy and past this agreement – fill in the (brackets) appropriately.

Writer Illustrator Agreement

(Author's name)
(Author's address)

(Illustrator's name)
(Illustrator's address)

Party A: (Author's name)
Party B: (Illustrator's name)

Party A has prepared a children’s book with a title of (Name of Book), of approximately (Number of words) words. Pursuant to the terms and conditions herein (Illustrator's name) shall prepare (Number) number of colour illustrations to be incorporated in the book. The completed illustrations shall be delivered to the (Author's name) no later than (Date), 2013.

(Author's name) shall reasonably cooperate with and assist the (Illustrator's name) in preparation of the materials. (Author's name) knows and accepts the style of drawing of the (Illustrator's name), possesses a sample of it and will give the (Illustrator's name) freedom in her artistic invention.

(Illustrator's name) shall prepare the following, to the satisfaction of the (Author's name):
1. a cover, with the original to be approximately 8.5 inches x 8.5 inches in size in colour
2. (Number) number of other illustrations related to the work, to be approximately 8.5 inches X 8.5 inches in size.

As (Illustrator's name)'s sole compensation herein, (Illustrator's name) shall be paid a total fee of $____ NZD, to be paid as follows:
Deposit of $____ NZD after all work has been completed. Fees related to wire money transfer shall be split between (Author's name) and (Illustrator's name) 50/50.
No further compensation shall be due. (Author's name) shall have the right to unlimited reproduction and use of the illustrations thereafter.

(Illustrator's name) shall keep the existence of the work, and all information related to the same strictly confidential until the work is published or otherwise is released into the public domain. After the publishing of the work the (Illustrator's name) will be entitled to present the illustrations as a part of a public presentation of her work (especially, but not limited to her internet profile), with a reference to the book of the (Author's name).

(Illustrator's name) shall receive credit in any distributed version of the work as the illustrator, in such places as are customary and usual within the trade for the type of work. (Illustrator's name) will be granted freely four copies of the above mentioned book (of each of its editions), after it will be published.

(Illustrator's name) warrants that the materials delivered herein are the original work of the (Illustrator's name) and that the same do not violate any copyright, trademark or other protection of intellectual property by (Illustrator's name). (Illustrator's name) further warrants that (Illustrator's name) has the full right to convey the rights granted to (Author's name) herein. (Illustrator's name) shall indemnify the (Author's name) from any such claims related to the work of the illustrator. Provided, however, that in the event that the (Author's name) specifically requests in writing a particular form of rendering that the (Author's name) shall be responsible for such claims to the extent that they are proximately caused by the (Author's name)'s request.

This is the entire agreement between the parties, and the same may only be modified by a writing executed by the parties hereto.

Partnering Organization: (Author's name) 





Partnering Organization: (Illustrator's name)





Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sideloading your MOBI files onto your Kindle Ereader or Kindle App.

 "Sideloading" MOBI files

If you have ever been given a MOBI file in a competition or a giveaway you need to follow the instructions below explain learn how to "side load" the files into the Kindle reader app. Kindle ebooks are MOBI files and can only be read with a Kindle Ereader or a Kindle app, or some other compatible software. If you do not have one of these you will need to download Kindle Reading Apps for FREE on your iPad, PC, Mac, Android tablet or phone. Find out more here:

Once you have the Kindle app on your computer/tablet/smart phone, you will need to follow one of the following sets of instructions.

Sideloading a MOBI e-book file into the Kindle for PC software:

  1. Ensure that you have installed, run and registered your Kindle for PC Software.
  2. Select the file you have downloaded (make sure you know where you downloaded the file to), right-click and go to "Copy".
  3. Now browse to your "Documents" folder (default C:\Users\\Documents), and you should see a folder called "My Kindle Content"; open this.
  4. Paste the files into this folder (shortcut: CTRL-V).
  5. Run the Kindle for PC software and your books should appear.
Sideloading a MOBI e-book file onto a Kindle Fire (or similar mobile device):

  1. Using a mini-USB to USB cord, connect the Kindle Fire to your computer.
  2. Download the e-book file to your computer (from the links above, again making sure you know where you downloaded the file to).
  3. Using a file explorer program (on a Windows PC, try pressing the Windows Key+E), open up the Kindle (will show as a temporary drive under "Computer"). Also open the folder on the computer with the file.
  4. Drag the e-book file from the computer to the Kindle Fire "Books" directory.
  5. Follow your computer's procedure for disconnecting peripheral devices. The book will now be available in the Kindle Fire's "Books" tab.

If you have any trouble, or any further queries, please feel free to contact us:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week that was: 13 November 2013

Another fantastic week here at Findlay Books. We have been gearing up for the workshop this weekend with registrations still coming in - seriously, I had one lady apply and pay today in less than two hours! Fastest rego ever!

Just call me SPAMMO! I have discovered that I have been spamming all of my international author friends untentionally by posting heaps to all the book groups that they belong to - I feel aweful - I hate spamming and find out I am the worst one of all. If you are reading this, my Az author friends - please forgive me - making loads of changes so this wont happen anymore. :)

My husband Bevan has finished his last exam today! Well done Babe, it has taken 5 years on and off for us all to live through this season, but it is finally over and I AM SO BLIMMIN' PROUD OF YOU!

I am trying out Amazon's new Countdown Deals to see how well my kids ebooks sell through this new promotional avenue on Amazon - very exciting results so far.

The week feels like it has only just begun and it has been really busy. I can't wait to let you all know how our second workshop goes this weekend. Stay tuned!

Over and out!

PS: If you are keen to read a few ebooks by Joy Findlay (me) then leave a comment below and I'll PM you a favourite.

*Giveaway not associate with Blogger or Amazon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Booksellers, Independent Bookstores and 'Treasure!'

Booksellers lists a bunch of contact details for independent books stores in NZ.  It is a great resource for finding email addresses for stores that could potentially purchase your printed books. Bronwen from Happy Bee Books has compiled a list of email address and started emailing them with some success. She found that some the of contact email address didn't work.

What a fantastic resource for those of you who are distributing in NZ.

All the best Bronwen, and congratulations on the launch of your first self-published book 'Treasure!'. You can find more information about Bronwen's new book here: She is also on Facebook:

Aaharrr me-harty!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Publishing on Draft2Digital

Just started using Draft2Digital today. Overall result - much more user friendly than Smashwords. Here are a few things I learned during my initial experience with D2D:

* Although they say they don't need a style guide like Amazon and Smashwords, you can upload your doc and Epub files but correct formatting is still really important.

* You have to use Word and not Libre Office to create the contents page, for some reason Libre Office spits the dummy at the contents table.

* We had to halve all of the URL links as they ran off the page on the PDF preview file (for CreateSpace).

* They do accept Epub files, but often the ones we create aren't acceptable to iBook...

* I'm not sure how it will go with a fixed format ebook though as they don't accept MOBI files, so if I only want to publish on B&N and Kobo then I think that its ok.

* You can email them your EIN number instead of printing and mailing forms.

* Royalties are paid via PayPal/Chq each month.

* No start-up fees. They take 15% royalties though.

* I received an email from D2D letting me know the additional information I would need to provide them with for publishing my book file to CreateSpace ie: Cover jacket (they attached a Createspace template for this!!!), update on the price (giving cost price amount and supposed royalties earned on each dollar I added to that cost price), and they asked me to email all of this BACK TO D2D - not to CreateSpace. Simple easy!

So far I'm pretty happy with the service - much more user friendly than Smashwords.

Now I just need to get a better cover designed and I can actually look at distribution in NZ.