Graphic Designer Secret D’artiste #interview

Please give a warm welcome to graphic designer Evelyne aka. Secret D’artiste

Tell us a bit about yourself… 

My name is Evelyne and I am a freelance book cover designer based in Belgium (Europe). My fantasy adventure started when I laid eyes on the first Lord of the Rings movie in 2001 (I was 14 years old at that time). I was mesmerized, fascinated and loved the epic concept art so much that I started experimenting with Photoshop on my own. Until this day I have developed my own magical style, trained and improved my skills. My works are a combination of photo bashing/photo manipulation and digital painting, combining several stock photos and 3d renders into unique and finalized book covers, with a touch of magic! 😉 Besides design, I love nature, traveling (especially outside of Europe) and discovering new cultures, animals, places, etc … 

Have you always wanted to become an artist/cover designer? 

Actually not, it was something I rolled-in to. I practiced fantasy art for a long time as a hobby and was an active member of the photo manipulation community on Deviantart (before the change to Eclipse). I met some amazing people across the world, sharing interest in the same hobby. Only there I was introduced to the art of cover design and in 2015 I started my halftime freelance business. It’s actually until now, September 2021, that I have quit my main job and decided to become a fulltime book cover designer. And also now, I am still learning new things and that makes it so interesting 😉

Where do you find inspiration for your work? 

My source of inspiration comes from fairytales, myths & legends, fae & fairies, fantasy warriors, witches, assassins, etc … I love watching TV-series and movies in those genres and even in nature (when hiking) I can find the necessary inspiration to fill my creative bank account. I also love concept art books and magazines like ImagineFX to gaze upon epic and breathtaking art from other talented artists from all around the globe. 

What are you working on now? 

I am currently preparing lots of new premade book cover designs (especially trilogies) which I will launch in my Facebook-group in the next couple of weeks. You are all welcome to join if you want Secrets D’artiste premade covers  and you can also join my newsletter.

Do you have any quirks while working? 

I always need music when I work. I can’t work without it … Let’s say, to get into the ‘zone’ I need to close the door to ‘reality’ and open a much more fascinating door to this fantasy world in my imagination. And that’s not always easy … and there comes music into place. Music helps me in the process to allow ideas and concepts for my art. I am quite a fan of movie and game soundtracks, or any other whimsical voice/band that can feed inspiration.

Do you have any advice for new artists/cover designers about the publishing world? 

Yes, for beginning cover designers I would really recommend always purchasing the resources you need through legitimate stock sites and/or 3D render sites, due to copyright regulations. I know that’s not always easy because subscriptions for paid stock sites could be quite expensive and are a big cut in your budget (especially when you are a beginner), but in the end it really pays off. Not only can you make more ‘out of this world’ designs, it also helps you cover possible issues with copyright. One of my favorite 3D shops, where I shop for lots of my resources, is this one (and I can really recommend it due to good service and excellent quality): Fantasy Background Store

What are your hopes for the future? 

To be honest, I really hope I can do what I love doing in life. You only live once and you have to be carefull with the time that is given to us.

Do you have anything to say to your followers? 

If you are interested in going on an epic journey together, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! Or if you want to treat yourself or one of your loved ones with fantasy/gothic bookmarks or prints made by me, you are always welcome to check out my Etsy shop here (I would be so grateful for the support).

Deena Rae eBook Builders #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Deena Rae Schoenfeldt from Ebook Builders

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m a stage 3 cancer survivor, mother of 3. I have started doing ebook adaptation for my Mom’s publishing business in 2009 then opened up to independent authors and publishing houses. I have taken over all of the book – print and ebook – design of my mother’s business.

How long have you been a book designer?

I have been doing ebook adaptation – aka ebook building – for almost 12 years and have book doing the complete book design – paperback/hardback typography/layout and ebook adaptation for 7 years with a 2 year break while I underwent cancer treatment.

Have you always wanted to be a book designer?

Heavens, no. I wanted to be a lawyer, a dictator, a serial killer….anything at all to be different than my mom. But I am good at making a book fit with the author’s vision. Plus, I have a really bad temper and if I was a lawyer I would end up punching the opposing side.

What do you do as a book designer?

I take the author’s manuscript and flow it into InDesign. If the author wants the book to be branded to the storyline, I add page graphic backgrounds, images, etc to make it stand out from the majority of other books being sold. I then export it to epub (ebook) and tweak it so that the ebook and print editions are as similar as possible.

Do you have any quirks while working?

I cannot work in silence. Usually I have Fox Business on (during stock market hours since I also swing trade the market). But I have been know to work while I stream Law & Order. I also do not read the manuscript as I am doing the design. If I did it would add hours to the time it takes me to do the layout.

What are your hopes for the future?

World domination, always. I will settle for staying busy.

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Do you have any advice for new book designers?

For people wanting to do what most people call ‘formatting’ learn the industry specifics. Know about rules to paragraphs and headings.  Nothing irritates me quite as much as seeing a book that has been ‘formatted’ by someone who is just out to make a buck. Chicago Manual of Style is your friend. Always be learning more and improving your skills so your clients are thrilled and don’t get ‘dinged’ in reviews on the finished product. My advice for authors and really everyone is to have a tribe of professionals you can go to for advice or help. I have a group of people involved in publishing – authors, cover designers, book designers, editors – that I go to when I need help, advice or to bounce ideas off of.

Are you available for new work or booked solid.

My schedule is flexible. I can usually have 10-15 book projects in the various stages of completion during a week. I can do up a draft for an author then send it to them for approval then immediately start on another while I am waiting to hear from the previous author. I usually have no problem working in a rush job.

Deena and Tiffany M. Fox created these awesome notebooks for authors.

Now Pantsers Can Benefit From Simplified Plotting

Whether you are a bestseller or an aspiring author, this planning workbook will help you keep your characters, plot, and timeline straight.

With pages to detail your locations, characters, scenes, plot points, etc., this workbook organizes all the prewriting, writing, and post-production aspects of getting a book into print.

110 pages of plotting worksheets to help flesh out your characters, keep your timeline straight and keeps your book consistent and flowing

Each workbook contains:

  • 4 2-page spreads Main Character worksheets;
  • 6 2-page spreads Secondary Character worksheets;
  • 10 2-page spreads Location worksheets/visual ticklers;
  • Space for up to 84 scene breakdowns;
  • Book budget to track payments to each of your publishing team members and miscellaneous expenses;
  • Project production / publishing schedule;
  • 2 2-page spreads to list beta readers and reviewers for feedback tracking;
  • Lined pages for notes and ideas.

Contact E-BookBuilders if you have suggestions to make this better for your specific genre.

Self-Publishing in German: How to Translate, Publish and Market your Books by Skye B.MacKinnon

Self-Publishing in German: How to Translate, Publish and Market your Books by Skye B. MacKinnon

The German e-book market is growing rapidly and readers are hungry for more books – your books.

Translations are no longer just reserved for big publishers. More and more indie authors follow suit, commissioning their own translations and diving into a lucrative market. It’s a logical step for any successful author: you’ve already written the book, now find new ways to expand your reach.

In this book, you will learn how to go about translating your book, what to look out for when choosing a translator and what legal issues you have to consider. For example, did you know titles in Germany are protected and you can’t use one that already exists?

Once you have your finished translation, you will have to decide on how to publish the book. Direct with retailers, through a distributor or a mix of both – we’ll take a detailed look at all of the options to help you make an informed decision.We’ll also discuss how to produce print and audio versions of your book to give you maximum exposure.

The thing that may be most daunting for authors who don’t speak any German is how to market your book. How do you market in a foreign language? Where to get reviews? How do you access retailer promotions? Is there a German version of Bookbub?

This in-depth guide contains interviews with experts, insider tips from other authors as well as case studies that will help you succeed with your German self-publishing adventure.

Download a FREE printable English/German self-publishing dictionary at perytonpress.com/skye_b_mackinnon!

PA Annie Miller #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Annie Miller PA

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Hi! My name is Annie. I am obsessed with the 90s, tea, travel, and animals. I can be rendered completely useless by a cute baby animal. I am a stay-at-home mom, with two hilarious kids. 

 How long have you been a PA? 

I started back in January of this year. It’s been a really fun four months.

How did you get started as a pa? 

Accidentally? I was chatting with one of my favorite authors and she offered me the position. 

What do you do as a PA? 

I manage their schedules, do promo, transcription, alpha/beta reading,  help with their social media, I put together series bibles, and I’m learning graphics now. 

Do you have any quirks while working? 

I have to have music playing. That isn’t exclusive to working though. Music is almost always playing in my house.

What are your hopes for the future? 

To be lucky enough to keep doing what I am doing now, and to learn new and useful skills to further help my awesome authors.

Do you have any advice for new PA’s? 

Winging it is exhausting. Find a good mentor to help point you in the right direction. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The more experienced PAs are wonderful and will help you, when you do ask for help.

Are you available for new work or booked solid?

I do have availability.

Hanna Wenna PA #interview

Please give a warm welcome to PA Hanna Wenna

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Hannah ←←← not actually my real name 😂 I love love love to read! I’m married and have 2 demonspawn. I really love to stalk authors when, you know, I’m not reading books or talking about books… I totally don’t have a problem. 

How long have you been a PA? 

I’ve been a PA for about a year and a half probably closer to two years.

Graphic example

How did you get started as a PA? 

I became really interested in the PA side of things when I started beta reading. I really wanted to give it a try to see if it would be something I would like to do. I was at home on maternity leave so figured, why not? I reached out to another PA and asked her so many questions and she helped me get started. But stalking was a definite key aspect to starting out.

What do you do as a PA? 

I do so many things, it’s crazy! I’m an office worker and a babysitter←←←← authors are so needy!! But for real, I manage a lot of reader groups and I read a lot. I find ARC readers and bloggers for releases. Some days I live in photoshop and canva. I manage ARC & Street Teams. I format books. I do a ton of promo. I also organise anthologies and shared worlds with my partner in crime, Sarah Klinger. I live for google docs. I really don’t know what I would do without it. There’s so many other things I do, but basically I’ll do anything, even sell my soul….

Do you have any quirks while working? 

Not really, I work from home so I try to work around my 2 & 4 year olds, also known as the devil spawn. When they aren’t home though, I have to have my music on to jam to while I’m working. I get really distracted while I’m reading so I’m always switching to puzzle games every other chapter. 

What are your hopes for the future? 

I just want to keep doing what I’m doing. I would love to set up a publishing company. Do more formatting because it relaxes me. But this job, it’s not really a job, it’s more than that. I love helping authors and so many of them have other jobs so being able to help them achieve their dream is just the best feeling ever.

Graphic example

Do you have any advice for new PA’s?

Immerse yourself in the indie community. Join reader groups, find out as much as you can. Stalk authors, read as much as you can. Talk to PAs and find out from them how they got started and what they do. And seriously if you think it’s something you want to do, talk to an author you love and have a relationship with and ask them if they need help. Go from there. I’ll never regret taking that leap. It’s the best non-job ever and it’s changed my life.  

Graphic example

Are you available for new work or booked solid?

I do have some availability depending on the author’s needs. I’m always happy to help out an author who has questions – I’m on all the social medias and you can find the full list of what I offer on my website. 

Spanish Translator Cinta Garcia #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Spanish Translator Cinta Garcia

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m an international award-winning writer who lives in Spain with my wonderful American husband (he’s also a writer). When we take a holiday, which is rare, we sometimes vacation in the States, other times in lovely Europe. Apart from writing, I’m a full-time translator and proofreader. I typically spend my days typing like I’m crazy, totally submerged in whatever work is at the top of my task list. When not working and writing, I read. I’ve loved books since I was five years old, and currently average over one hundred books a year.

My BA is English Studies, and my field of expertise is Literature. Much of my Creative Writing Courses occurred at Oxford University in the UK. I rather miss England. But why wouldn’t I? I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen.

An unbridled passion for Literature is what makes me successful at literary assessments and proofreading, whereas my love for English and Spanish is what makes me a success at translating. Initially, I learned English on my own as a child. Later, I studied it throughout school, including university. I was so adept with English by the time I met my husband, his family had difficulty believing I was Spanish. 

How did you get started as a translator? 

Back in 2003, I was working as a private tutor of English for kids and teenagers. Although I enjoy teaching, it was never my passion. I had always wanted to work as a translator, but it is very difficult to get work translating books if you are not well connected with publishing houses and editors. One day, a family member told me that an acquaintance of hers was looking for someone to translate into Spanish several medical articles and she had recommended me, since I was quite proficient in the language pair. So I did that job, and then that led to me translating several medical textbooks.

From there, I started advertising myself as a translator and, with the boom of Indie publishing around 2012, a brand new world opened in front of me. Authors wanted to explore other markets and I had the key to the huge Spanish-speaking market. Slowly and steady, I have been able to build up a business around my passion for books, and I feel very happy and accomplished every day.

Do you have any quirks while working? 

Hmm… I don’t really think so. I need to have my desk arranged in a certain way and I always have a cup of tea handy. Are those quirks? I don’t know. I don’t really do anything crazy or weird. I have more quirks when I write my own stories, to be honest.

What are your hopes for the future? 

Well, it would be wonderful if one day I can collaborate with a big publisher and translate the works of some of my favorite authors. Mainly, I just want to be able to make myself a name in the freelancing world so I can truly save for the future.

Do you have any advice for newbie translators? 

Work hard, be humble, and be patient. Very patient. No business grows overnight and the competition is fierce. I would also recommend them not to sell themselves cheap. It’s not good for them or for any of the other translators who are trying to make a living out of it. There are enough scammers out there who use Google Translate and offer cheap translations with zero quality. So don’t become one of them.

Are you available for new work or booked solid?

Covid-19 has been a disaster for everybody, and we translators are no exception. So right now I’m not as busy as I normally am. I am absolutely available for new work and I would love to get new authors to translate. If people want to know more about me and my work, they can visit my website:

 

Thanks a lot, Helle, for hosting me on your website! It’s been fun. 

Photographer/Cover Model Alen Hasic #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Alen

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, my name is Alen, also known as Jack. Born in May, 15, 1994. Born in Trieste but having Bosnian rootes.

Have you always wanted to become a Photographer/Model?

– Have I? Not really no… Well I worked few times as model when I was younger, but I was never up to modeling honestly. Photography was always something I was attracted to. The problem is that I was always attracted to cars and speed also. When I traveled to Sofia I decided to merge photography passion and car passion. I am not really a materialistic guy, so I never wanted to do a job that would make me earn a lot of money. I always preferred to do a job – that is not a job, that would make me happy and give me the chance to share it with other people. About modeling, well that came out easily with photography. People as friends, clients etc.. they were all asking me: “Why you don’t pose on your own pictures? Your face is perfect, looks like an actors face”. That’s mainly the reason why I started “kinda modeling”.

Do you have any advice to give?

– Advices… Well there are some I can give for new models and photographers… But the best one is to live your life by your own rules. Don’t hesitate and always try something new. Never be afraid to change. Be kind always to everyone.

What are your hopes for the future?

I don’t really have any hopes for the future. I mean, I’m a guy who really lives the moment, the present. I just wish to share my passion with everyone as long as its appreciated.

Do you have anything to say to your followers?

Something I can say to my followers is: Thank you so much for your love! Stay humble and enjoy life 😀

Jenny Bodle PA #interview

Please give a warm welcome to PA Jenny Bodle

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Jenny and I live in Central Minnesota with my Husband, one of my kids, a cat and a dog.

How long have you been a PA? 

I have been a PA for about a year and a half now.  

Have you always wanted to be a PA? 

Actually, I didn’t even know what it was till Carissa Andrews found me.  I was working at a deli and she was one of my customers.  We became friends but I had no idea she was a writer till I was shopping at the local consignment shop when I picked up a book and found her picture in the back of it.  A while later she asked me to be her PA because she could not find one that was a good fit for her.  

What do you do as a PA? 

I do anything that the author does not want to do except write or edit the book. I help them as they write with ideas and things like that though. I do images, scheduling, market research, ads, uploading books to different platforms, newsletters.  I really can keep going but I think you get the drift. 

Do you have any quirks while working? 

When I do graphics I like to listen to the book I am working with on audio.  It gets me in the frame of mind so that the images match the book better. 

What are your hopes for the future? 

When I started I wanted to be an all inclusive service.  I would have graphic designers on hand and all that jazz.  I have since found that I like chatting with the authors so my goal is to get very effective for the authors so that I can charge more and take less clients.  I love the relationship I have with them and do not want to have to give that up to take on more clients. 

Do you have any advice for new PA’s? 

Charge what you are worth, ask questions, and take criticism. Not everyone’s the same and will want different things. Be flexible.  Join a PA group chat and do not hesitate to ask them questions. We are all here to work together.   

Are you available for new work or booked solid. 

For the right client I would take them on but I have become a little more picky.  I do not mind helping out anyone if they need it and I can answer questions for anyone. 

Allie Green PA #interview

Please give a warm welcome to PA Allie Green

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi, Everyone! I live in Monroe, Washington which is about a 45-minute drive North-East of Seattle. I work full time as a diesel mechanic although I don’t know how much longer I’ll be doing that if things go the way I want! I also pet sit in addition to being a PA to a bunch of wonderful writers. I love reading, writing, hiking, and camping.

How long have you been a PA?

I have been a PA for about a year now! And I’ve loved every second of it!

Have you always wanted to be a PA?

It isn’t even something that had crossed my mind until I stumbled across the Indie community on FB. I fell in love with the whole community and wanted to help out and the best way for me to do that seemed to be to offer up PA services!

What do you do as a PA?

Let’s see…. I help all my authors by promoting their work in various ways. I run their facebook groups to keep up interaction and ensure their names are staying out there! I am basically an emotional support animal in that I help keep their confidence up and help them work through any issues they may be having. While I might be an employee I am very much friends with all my authors and I enjoy being there to help them. I help them plan fun events and find fun events that they can participate in. I also help them find new opportunities for writing; if I find fun box sets or collaborations I think they would enjoy I make sure they get the information for them. Besides those things, I just help them with whatever they may need!

Do you have any quirks while working?

Not that I know of. Sometimes I spazz out and have to get a cup of tea to chill out when FB is being annoying but other than none that I can think of. You’d have to ask my authors lol! 😂

What are your hopes for the future?

I am hoping to help my authors reach their dreams of being full time writers or reach a bestsellers list. My personal goals are to finish writing MY first book that I have up for Pre-Order on Amazon right now. Starting off as a PA has really helped me make my dream of being a writer a little easier.

Do you have any advice for new PA’s?

I think the best advice I have for someone just starting as a PA would be to connect with PA’s that have been out there for awhile. I found a fabulous group that made my job a whole heck of a lot easier. They are able to answer questions, send you good opportunities, and offer you support. Besides that, you just need to be BOLD! If you see a job and think you’d be a good fit you need to jump at it even if it seems daunting!

Are you available for new work or booked solid.

At the moment I could only take on 1 or 2 more clients depending on what they might require.

Model – Actor – Writer Donny Lewis #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Donny Lewis

Tell us a bit about yourself…


Hello, my name is Donny Lewis.  I have been a professional model since I was 18 years old some 25 years at the top of the fashion industry.  My first big advertising campaign was for Guess jeans in 1996.  Since that time I have worked all over the world for most all of the major brands.  Levi’s, Valentino, Armani, Boss, YSL, Esprit, Zara, H&M, Dolce & Gabanna, Bulgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, and many many many others.  I am probably known in the industry more for the number of men’s and women’s fragrances I have done.  Don’t think there are many people that have done 18 different perfumes and had a perfume contract for 20 years straight with various brands!  All of this is easy tot find with a quick google search if you want.  I suppose you are asking for something a bit more personal.  

So here you go;
I am from a town in what is known as the South Plains of Texas.  Our big claims to fame in the area are, Buddy Holly (from Lubbock, TX), and Waylon Jennings (from Littlefield, TX).  We also have oil, cattle, cotton, route 66, and sand storms.  There is not much else there to speak of and in keeping with that theme, my home town had a total of 216 people in it.  I graduated with a class of 12 in my high school.  So it is safe to say that I am from small town USA.  I was never a good student but I did have good grades. I have a very curious mind and love to learn, I just did not always care for what they were teaching.

We were a farming family.  We raised cotton, sheep and boarder collies, mostly.  I could drive a tractor at 8 years old. (Not at all uncommon). My first car was a 1990 white 5.0 mustang. 

Have you always wanted to become a model?

No. lol  I actually had no idea that it could be a job until a model scout saw me and explained a bit about the business. 

How did you get started?  

Showing sheep actually. 🙂
I still was not interested in being a model until there was no dreamed of Football career and the best academic scholarships I was offered were only 1/2 scholarships to Yale, Princeton, Emory, Rice and Austin College. They all offered based on my SAT and ACT scores (standardized test required for entrance into university), which I scored in the top 1%.  That was quite a big deal but alas, for a farm boy from a modest family, 1/2 off of way too much is still way too much!  LOL. So I did about 2 years worth of University over the 2 summer semesters at the local junior college (they gave me a full scholarship) and one fall semester (I had to pay for at West Texas A&M University), and tested out of every class I could.    Finally, I decided that I would see if I could take up that model scout guy on his deal to fly me up to NYC and sign on with Next model management. They took care of my flight, my apartment, my first test shootings, and a little pocket money.  All as a loan that would need to be paid back if I started working!  But, no strings attached if it did not work out. The way I saw it I had nothing to loose.  I would try it for an experience.  IF, it worked out then I would do it for no more than 2 years so I could save up enough money to pay for the rest of my education.  I had plans to get a law degree, and move into politics.  
I actually really enjoyed my time in the business and making some pretty decent money while traveling around the world.  So, I just kept doing it.  Having been to 89 countries so far!  I mean, I am a little farm boy from West Texas that gets to live on two continents!  


Do you have any quirks while working?

I don’t think so.  The only thing that might be a quirk is that I almost always have gum in my mouth in every picture.  Can’t do it so much with the acting but for photo’s no one knows but me.

Do you have any advice for new models?

My standard answer for this question has always been find a good agent!  Though, the business has changed drastically in the past 5 to 6 years and there is a great deal of self promotion that is now required that was frowned up for most of my career.  I would still say though that having a great agent in your corner is the best way to advance in the modeling industry.  If you have say 1 million followers, then you will be just fine as well.  

What are your hopes for the future?

I have many plans in the works as I have always had.  I write, I have always loved books and wrote my first full novel when I was 14.  Also, short stories, poetry, and screen plays, I even created and wrote a TV series.  I will continue on that path, thankful that I have other means to keep the lights on!  Very hard to break into and become successful as a writer.  I applaud all that have and do!   Other than that I would say my hopes and plans for the future are much what they are for the present.  Do my best to be a good person and to be happy.  

Do you have anything to say to your followers? 

Thanks for following along @donny7lewis instagram, FB, Twitter, pinterest and youtube as well as my donnylewis.com  website.  As I experiment with this new dialog, sharing more of myself than just what I look like, the comments, ideas, and encouragement has been very nice.  In the same way I did not know what to think about modeling before I got started in the business, I really did not know if I was going to enjoy putting myself out there in other ways.  It’s always nice to learn new things about yourself.  I have all of followers to thank for that.  

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