Thursday, September 13, 2018

CREATOR WEEKLY WRAP-UP: The Hybrid Is Here!



She rides!

The Hybrid, headed by our own Ginger Hoesly, is now available for preorder. The Doctor Who zine features work from more than two dozen creators, both writers and artists, highlighting the Twelfth Doctor and Clara from Series 8 and 9.

Included in the mix are Owl's Flower co-creator Kara Dennison, Altrix Books co-founder and Seasons of War: Gallifrey co-writer Paul Driscoll, and R5 Central boss Mike Dent. You'll also see work from creators featured at SDCC, the Doctor Who World Tour, and beyond.


Proceeds go to One to One Children's Fund, so it's great content for a good cause!

And it wouldn't be a zine without merch. At present, the zine and merch bundle includes a physical copy of the book and three art prints. But as more bundles are bought, more stuff will become available -- including stickers, lanyards, charms, and pins!


And if you're really feeling it, there's the Cloister Bundle: a book, the merch bundle, and an acrylic standee designed by artist Staypee!


Ginger has been working hard on this amazing project, and seeing it come to fruition is so exciting for everyone involved. Now, let's raise money for a good cause and get cute stuff in the process!

Preorder The Hybrid!

Friday, August 31, 2018

CREATOR WEEKLY WRAP-UP: The State of Book 3, and Two More Anthologies


BOOK. 3. IS. DONE.

WELL THE WRITING PART IS.

Now that Kara's done putting her filthy little author hands all over it, it's time for Ginger to take over. Or, well, it will be. She's got another big responsibility on her plate before any of that, and that's wrapping up The Hybrid.


With the layout done, she's in the process of making the actual book happen. It's going to look utterly amazing, and we'll definitely have order information up for you when the time comes. That's her first priority right now.

Meanwhile, over on Altrix Books, Kara has sent out responses to everyone who pitched to Unearthed. A list of contributors will be going live on the Altrix blog Monday, so look forward to it! And, as mentioned, there will be a new Owl's Flower story in the anthology, so it's of interest to readers.

Stay tuned for more progress!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Behind-the-Scenes: Ebook Making for the Price of a Day of Self-Teaching


If you've been to one of our panels, you've heard Kara talk about how to make ebooks at home. If you want to take matters into your own hands, it's actually fairly simple -- which means you can put the work into testing the finished product and making it tidy.

We're not going to give away Every Little Thing here, because that'd take longer than a typical blog post, but here's a quick-start guide to formatting your own ebooks the way Kara does.


1. Get Calibre.

Okay, so heads up, computers don't seem to trust Calibre. They think it's evil. Considering Kara's just dealt with real malware recently? Trust us. It's fine.

So, get Calibre. It's free, and it has the bonus of being a place to store and organize any ebooks you already have.

Now, all love to the people who make it, but you'll notice it's a little... er... strappy looking. And that's fine. It gets the job done. Load a book in that you know and coast around in Calibre. The familiarity more than anything will help you acquaint yourself with what does what.


2. Start using actual formatting in Word.

Like. If you don't already. It's not necessarily good for sending things to printers unless you go really hard creating your own Word styles, but it is what Calibre will recognize.

There are good odds you'll end up with two versions of your manuscript if you're going both acoustic and digital. That's generally how I end up, and it's fine.

All things considered, using Styles for chapters is actually a huge help if you're a bit of a plantser like me. It won't seem so at first, but when you're looking for something pre-conversion in the editing/proofreading phase, it's gonna be a boon.


3. Prepare for your covers to be resized and greyscaled.

Story time. I was working on putting together the ebook for Seasons of War: Gallifrey, and we were having Issues. Not with the interiors, but with the cover. And not even with every ereader.

One thing that some free ereaders do is greyscale and re-color the cover. I don't know why. A style thing. A highlighting thing. This means you need to be careful of your cover format, because if some poor Joe has that, bad formatting could mean an empty void or just seeing one corner of the cover.

Go hi-res, not hi-scale. And test greyscaling your cover to make sure it looks okay.


4. Watch your page breaks.

As in. Like. Don't have any unless it's the end of a chapter or section. Since .epub and .mobi files automatically reformat font sizes and pages to fit the screen of the ereader, having page breaks means things are going to go all wrong. And sometimes something you did in your word processor may amount to awkward formatting in your ebook.

While Calibre is very good about catching things, I highly recommend you go through manually and check pages like copyrights, author info pages, signatures on forewords, etc. These are places where things can either get mis-formatted in Word, or misread as a Style by Calibre.


5. Epub, Mobi, and PDF.

If you're going to handle your own ebooks, those are the three formats to use. We operate like Rifftrax on this front: if you buy our stuff, we want to make sure you can access it, so we're going to load you down with multiple copies.

PDF isn't always necessary (it's mostly good for review/sample copies, though I know there are some people who read at their computer), but .epub and .mobi in one .zip file will be sufficient and accessible.


Is there more? Yeah, there's more. But that's, like, a class. Plus, it's something I taught myself, and it's something that's learnable. If you want to take back ebook production, it's a great way to do so. We look forward to seeing what you make!

Friday, August 17, 2018

CREATOR WEEKLY WRAP-UP: Seasons of War, Unearthed, and Gear Drive


Hello, readers! Work continues on Book 3 (seems like we're saying that a lot, but having jobs outside of the light novels means you can't spend all your time on just those), and we've got a few other things to check out in the meantime:


If you've not already grabbed your copy of Seasons of War: Gallifrey, be sure to grab it while you can! The book is a charity novel dealing with a hidden side of the Time War, co-written by Paul Driscoll and Kara. The amazing cover was created by Ginger. You can get print or digital copies, and proceeds will go to Caudwell Children!

Speaking of Altrix Books, we're currently going through the submissions sent in for Unearthed, an upcoming charity anthology that both Kara and Ginger are working on. There will be another Owl's Flower short story in it, too!


And finally... if you're a light novel lover, be sure to go check out Gear Drive on J-Novel Club! (Note: you will need a JNC subscription to read the full book.) Kara is serving as editor on this series, about a girl named Anti Kythera who uses all sorts of crazy gear magic. Volume 1 is drawing to a close soon!

Friday, August 3, 2018

CREATOR WEEKLY WRAP-UP: Happy Birthday, Ginger!


We couldn't let the week slip by without dropping a note that Owl's Flower co-creator Ginger Hoesly had a birthday! Kara has yelled it aggressively at her a few times online, but every little bit counts.

If you'd like to do something for her, here are a few ways to go about it:


Thanks to all our readers and followers for being supportive of both of us! There's more coolness to come.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Clarity Has Arrived!

We've teased it, we've chatted about it, and we've asked you to keep your eyes peeled... but now it's here! You can buy Relics, including the new Owl's Flower story "Clarity," right now from Red Ted Books!


It's the first time Owl's Flower has gone afield from the main light novel series, but it won't be the last. Nothing published outside the primary book series will ever be required for understanding or following the story... but we have a feeling you'll enjoy this look into a slightly different side of the story's world.

Pick it up now and enjoy... there's tons of other fun stories in the anthology, encapsulating different views of the life of immortals.

More news is coming soon concerning books you can hold in your hand... stay tuned!

Friday, July 6, 2018

State of the Hoots: Owl's Flower 3 and 4


As you can probably tell from our previous posts and social media, it's a whirlwind over here. Ginger and Kara are both finishing off work on other books, and starting work on a new zine. But that leaves the big question:

Where is Owl's Flower 3???

The short answer: in Kara's Dropbox, awaiting the last chapter and a half. Basically, she's to the Good Bit, and once that's wrapped, it goes along to Ginger. And then she works her artistic magic, and we leave her alone for that because art is hard and takes time and frankly we have no idea how she does it.

As for the future of Owl's Flower, avid listeners of fiction podcasts may have heard tell of what the fourth book's plot will entail. Future books are going to involve more explorations of mythology and world religion. In fact, the third book will do the same, so part of getting it to press will probably include some end notes.

In the meantime, we'll both be sharing some other related work. Relics with its stand-alone OF-verse short story is on the horizon, as is another book on which Ginger and Kara both worked. Stay tuned!