Archive for October, 2011

Download The Thing with No Head as an e-book for $4.00 here!

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The book is no longer available via Blurb. Look for news in summer of 2012 about a new version that will be released for reading on the iPad.


I’ve been very interested in the e-book fad. Well, the self publishing part of it is a fad. Of course I come from a background of comics, small press/self publishing AND making short animated films for the festival circuit. In comics, self publishing doesn’t carry the stigma it does in the ‘real’ book market. But as each day passes I think the issues become more complex and intertwined.

A few months back I published a free enhanced comic book for the iPad as an app. You can see Cave Bear and Duck here. It was a fun project. We developed it from scratch, recorded Tom Kenny (he of Sponge Bob fame) and got it into the App store for the iPad. It’s done well as a free download. I get a few emails from time to time about it. And I have to admit it’s a very particular type of comic book and not trying to be the broadest piece of entertainment. So I’m happy to see it finding readers. I would very much like to dig back into it and add more interactivity and perhaps some more material. But overall it’s been a worthwhile project that is satisfying because it ended up finding readers. That is the usual goal of someone who writes books or paints pictures, to find an audience. Making dummies and revising material isn’t REALLY the fun part…

Well, I have also made The Thing with No Head available as a e-book through Blurb. This too is an experiment. Blurb just started allowing for the publishing of books in the e-pub format for use in the iBook Store on the iPad and iOS devices. I wanted to try the process out and see how it worked and I already had the dummy in Blurb’s layout program called BookSmart. So it was as easy as proofing, again, and hitting export.

The Thing with No Head is available as a digital download for $4.00. It can be read on a computer or an iOS device. There is a print version also available on the Blurb store. Blurb makes you offer a print version if you want to sell an eBook version. The print version is very expensive as it is a print-on-demand product. I suspect Blurb will stop making you also sell print versions if they find any luck selling digital books. I’d rather sell e-books.

I have already learned a lot and I will write more about that later. But the process is still very disconnected. And while I don’t expect to sell bazillions of them, investigating the process fascinates me.

Blurb is not an ideal place to put a book such as this, but it will have to do for now. I guess it will make an appearance in the iBook Store at some point. But there is little way to market a book on the iBook Store right now for a self/small publisher. Especially as it is more or less a mixed-genre book. Trying to compete by sitting on the same page as Stephen King isn’t a great help. And it doesn’t help that the book is a hybrid. It is no easier to describe online as it would be in a book store. A comic-gothic-horror-kids focused-story in verse…Yeah, good luck with that…

I plan on taking it down in a few weeks, as I see nothing in the fine print that makes me keep it ‘in print’ and my experiment will be done. But the process is getting interesting and the opportunity for your work to find an audience can be fullfilling.

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The Earthling! website has been updated with a little more info including a link to the Chronicle Books website where you can read the first chapter. I’ve been working on an expanded website and hope to update the site right up until the book is released in June of 2012. Visit Earthling! The book by clicking here.

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Halloween humor…

Happy almost Halloween!

Maybe this cartoon is too subtle…a few people I’ve shown it to mentioned that it took them a moment to get it. Let me know if you think it’s an issue. I thought it was pretty clear. But then again, I think vampires trying to order ice cream is funny anyway…

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In my opinion this is one of the best non-Halloween, Halloween books out there. Of course I am biased.

What I mean is that the book is not ABOUT Halloween. But it captures the spirit of Halloween better than most of the floor displayed Halloween picture books I’ve picked up. And it EATS PEOPLE!

The Book That Eats People still digests new fans weekly, and I love getting the drawings sent in from kids who have been in its hungry presence.

Check it out at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble and Powell’s.

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To go ‘hiking with an arsonist’ has been my shorthand to describe the difficulty for two people to share a point of view about some of the aesthetic issues in life. What may seem beautiful, life affirming and a worthwhile experience may just be kindling for an arsonist. Also speaks to the current political climate. It’s hard to explain the value of good public schools, libraries and a functioning public sector to some people.

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I run this cartoon every year about this time. It’s easy to raise mud when you live in Oregon.

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