Wycked Concept and Creations #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Jace Durham

Tell us a bit about yourself…

My name is Jace and I’m the founder of Wycked Concepts and Creations; which is a business that offers a wide selection of different author services. 

What do you do as part of your author service?

Blurb writing, scenes, outlines, concepts, proofreading, alpha reading, renders, and so much more with new services added as the need for them is brought to my attention.

Have you always wanted to work with this?

Yes; owning my own business has always been a dream of mine and I love that I can help indie authors while I’m at it. 

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a proofread, 2 blurbs and an outline as well as teaching myself graphic design.

Do you have any quirks while working?

I stick my tongue out when I’m really focused. 

Do you have any advice for beginners about the publishing world?

Be careful who you trust. It’s too easy to get burned; make sure you know who your friends are.

What are your hopes for the future?

I’d like to buy a house for my wife and never have to work a day job again.

Do you have anything to say to your followers?

Thank you for supporting me; you’re making my dream come true and I can’t wait to help you create the magic you’ve been waiting to find with your book babies.

Wassay Kahn #spotlight

Please give a warm welcome to Illustrator Wassay Kahn

I am an Illustrator and Concept Artist, I am inspired by Frank Frazetta I have worked in the field of Games, Film, and Advertisement.

I am passionate about visual storytelling and world-building. Primarily using painting techniques, I’ve been involved in a wide range of productions providing a variety of work such as concept art, card illustrations, character design, environment design, and matte painting.

I am doing designing the last 8 to 9 years, and I have advice for beginners to be passionate hard work never disappoint, one day you will achieve your goals.

Graphic Designer Natasha from DAZED designs #interview

Please give a warm welcome to graphic designer Natasha from Dazed Designs

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I am a Self-taught graphic artist from Australia who currently resides in Tropical North Queensland. I have a beautiful family for who I would do anything. This little family includes three children, one husband, and one Neapolitan mastiff. I love reading, all forms of art (outdoor sculpture and installation art especially), heavy metal music (my music is my happy place), spending time exploring the world around us with my family (mainly locally because I am also not fond of people I don’t know LOL), beaches (not in North Queensland though because I don’t have a death wish – yes we have crocodiles, killer jellyfish, and big sharks everywhere) and dreaming of perfect Gothi/Gypsy inspired interior design. 

Hand Painted Suspenseful CONTEMPORARY

Have you always wanted to become a graphic artist? 

YES! I started painting and illustrating around 5 years old. It was here that I told my Aunt and Cousin (whose home I was staying at for a play date) that I wanted to be an artist! I was promptly informed – not for the last time either – that “artists don’t make any money, you will be poor your whole life”. I kept painting and illustrating anyway, and started my first art business in primary school – grade 5 (I was 11). I started illustrating game and TV characters onto canvas, painting them, and selling them to the other students for $5 each (not very smart in hindsight as the paint and canvas cost me about $10 hahaha). I was once again told in High School (when I was about 14 or 15 years old) that I would never make money from art unless I became a teacher. By this stage, I had started to believe it myself, so I started focussing on a teaching career instead. That didn’t last long. About 2 years into my degree (which I started AFTER I had my three children because I was never very interested in it) I started my business, by accident. An author friend of mine needed art for a cover. I drew her something (very basic) and she employed another designer to digitize it for her – they charged her AN ARM AND A LEG – so I got angry on her behalf, and taught myself photoshop in 2 days. The rest is history 😀 

Hand-painted 3d image manipulation SCI-FI/Fantasy

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I cannot cope without my music. A lot of my inspiration comes from the lyrics and music of my favorite artists, and you will find that a LOT of my premades are based on my favorite songs. I also absolutely LOVE Pinterest. If you go to my PINs you will see all kinds of cover art, mood boards, and digital art grouped together in quite random ways. This helps me visualize an overall LOOK as opposed to falling into the trap of stealing ideas vs borrowing inspiration. I am also connected to some fabulous online communities that give us tutorials, inspiration, feedback and overall advice on art. My main go-to is Photo Manipulation OFFICIAL, the artists from that group are some of the best in the world. I also rely heavily on the photos themselves to speak to me. Because I specialize in both contemporary and fantasy-based art for all genres of books, I use a lot of photorealism, photo manipulation, hand illustration, overpainting, and some 3D art. So, the areas I find inspiration may not be the same as other people. 

Photomanipulation DARK CONTEMPRARY

What are you working on now?

Today, I am working on a branding pack (logo and marketing material), and after that is done I am planning a three-book series for a historical fantasy saga. I am super excited about the covers. They will feature key elements from each of the books and an overall theme that includes apothecaries. This one will be an object cover, and as such will have no models. 


Do you have any quirks while working?

Mood music and coffee are a must. I cannot function without those. I HATE being interrupted. It throws my creativity off massively. I actually have alarms set for everything now, including taking the children to, and picking them up from, school. I have accidentally forgotten to pick my children up from school (don’t worry, I was only 10 minutes late). I have forgotten important appointments,  food breaks, and all kinds of things while being in the craziness that is my “mode of concentration”.

Hand-painted photo-based CONTEMPORARY Fiction

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

BE TRUE TO YOUR MORALS. If you know something is illegal, or against your policies, don’t give in due to peer pressure. KNOW YOUR WORTH. Do not let people take advantage of your generosity. If you do something for someone you deserve to be paid. KEEP LEARNING, ALWAYS. Never think you know it all. In the art world, we are always changing and developing our skills. This means, unless you do too, you will be left behind. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Some people are just not nice people. don’t take their word or actions personally. This is JUST a job. If someone doesn’t like your work, that’s ok! Everyone has different opinions. If someone lies to you (which they will) TRY to ignore it and move on. This industry can be toxic, it can also be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. You will possibly get to create art for some of the BEST authors or musicians in the world. I am so lucky that my current clients are the most beautiful, understanding, and talented group of authors you will ever meet. But I have, in the past, had some less-than-ideal clients. If you let these people win, you will never succeed. Do this for you and your family, keep it all in perspective, and move on.

3D and photo Manipulated sci-fi

What are your hopes for the future?

I am hoping to have enough time next year to start creating some more original artwork for sale, start winning commissions for more book illustrations, write and illustrate a children’s book with my kids, and start learning 3D creation software so I can start designing for designers as well as authors and artists.


Do you have anything to say to your followers?

I absolutely adore you all. if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here, living my best life, doing what I love. Thank you for letting me show all those people who said you “can’t make money with art” wrong. Thank you for letting me show my art to the world. 

Some of the amazing work Natasha has done for me and friends.

Samantha Shaffer PA #interview

Please give a warm welcome to Samantha Shaffer PA

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I have cerebral palsy. I’ve been with my fiance since high school. I love any and all pets. I’m obsessed with teal and purple. I live for coffee and Halloween. I love dragonflies and butterflies. Shockingly I hate pink. I have to college degrees an Associates in teaching with a minor in science and a bachelor’s degree in educational studies. I have a derpy Siamese cat mix named Anastasia. I hope to be expanding my pet mom portfolio soon do keep and eye out for cute pet picks. I love to read all the things but love dark romance reverse harem a paranormal romance the most. I also specially own a book blog called Begging for Bad Boy Book Boyfriends links are in my link tree.

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How long have you been a PA?

I’ve been a PA since December of 2019. It seems like it’s been way longer though.

How did you get started as a PA?

An author I reviewed for lost her PA and I offered to step in for bit since I had a lot of tech experience from the classes I was taking for my degree at the time after that it was word of mouth that got me where I am now. With my 5 full time ladies Emma Luna, K.L. HumphreyLexi Noir, Annie James, Mikki Noble, and Lark Anderson. I also have a few temp clients on and off as well.

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What do you do as a PA?

So much more than people realize. I manage multiple schedules at a time. I run reader groups as well as Arc and street team groups when asked. I find reviews and distribute Arcs. I do daily or weekly check-ins. I make graphics although I still need work here but you can always learn new things. I beta read their books and promote them. I make all their forms and sheets for things such as sign ups or giveaways. I sort newsletters so that includes finding swaps for them as well as the basic formats. I also keep track of social media and messages so that everything gets updated or answered in a timely manner. I close giveaways and send prizes as well as find takeotaks and spotlight opportunities. Then if your anything like me you send up doing random task for your authors like sorting through reviews, sending messages to people, or just totally off the wall things you’d never thought you’d ever need to know how to do.

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Do you have any quirks while working?

I have to have coffee first. If I work before my first cup it’s not pretty lol. I talk to myself constantly while I work. It drives everyone around me crazy lol. I also tend to use voice to text if I’m multitasking which leads to the most random typos which my authors lovingly refer to as their daily game of what dose Sam really mean lol.

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What are your hopes for the future?

I would love to still be a full time PA in the future because I absolutely love my job. However I like to keep an open mind because you never know just look at me I never even knew this job existed and now I’m over the moon to have it. I’ve had a revolving door of clients and I never thought I’d have so many but I love them all so much.

Do you have any advice for new PA’s?

Really think about what you want out of the job first. Talk to a PA so you’re not blindsided when you’re in the deep end. I’m always open to prospective PAs doing it alone sucks don’t Be afraid to reach out to us. We were you once too heck we still are some days. Be fluent in all things Google and book jargon. You’ll pick it up fast if your a reader. Be honest and ask questions no question is a dumb question. Don’t be afraid to learn a new skill if you stick around long enough it’ll be a daily thing and it keeps the job exciting.

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Are you available for new work or booked solid?

As of right now I’m booked but I’ve said that before lol. It never hurts to ask me or any PA for that matter we do take clients on monthly basis and sadly sometimes we part ways with a client or they need to take a break from our services it’s like a marry go round where you get to help tons of amazing people everyday.

Butterdragons Publishing #interview

I’m so happy to introduce you to my publisher – Butterdragons Publishing. Please give a warm welcome to BDP.

Tell us a bit about yourselves…

We are a relatively new publishing company, consisting of a small team of professionals and we aim to give our readers great books. We publish a limited number of books per year so that each of the books can get a full attention and be the best version possible. Our readers deserve the best stories we can give them.

Why did you decide to create Butterdragons Publishing? 

We always loved reading and collected books in ridiculous amounts, and we have been connected to the publishing world in various ways over the years. It was always our dream, so when the opportunity presented itself, we decided to turn our passion for books into a business.

What genres do you publish? 

We publish a wide variety of genres, from contemporary fiction and suspense to fantasy and horror, mostly with a romantic element, as well as poetry – we hold a special love for poetry, as you might have noticed.

What are you working on now? 

Currently, we have just released our second yearly anthology and we are preparing to release several poetry collections and a second book of Embers Duology by Victoria Larque, as well as a horror romance by Boris Bacic. For next year we are planning more fantasy books, contemporary fiction, as well as poetry collections, some in two languages.

Do you have any quirks while working? 

This is a tough question, as we are a team and we all have our ways of completing various tasks, but no matter what, we always come together with an optimal result. Some of us prefer to work in complete silence, some prefer noise – those two groups rarely work in the same office. Then we have unusual working hours as some of us are in Europe, some in Australia, some in the United States, but we always find time to come together.

What are your hopes for the future? 

We are hoping to grow but still maintain the exclusivity and not surpass thirty books a year. We plan to maintain and increase the quality of the books we publish, and of course, to win some literary awards.

Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world? 

Good editing is the key, as well as consistency in characters and the world building.

Do you have anything to say to your readers? 

Stay tuned because we have some amazing books coming your way!

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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.