Kate Flora here, with a blog about marketing. Hang on, though, because I’m not really trying to sell you something. I’m just babbling a bit today about the trials of being graphically challenged. It began long ago. I couldn’t color within the lines or cut on a straight line. Still can’t. Being able to stray outside the lines in probably a good attribute for a writer, yes? But we live in those times when much of marketing, and the production of promotional materials, falls on the writer.
Even the challenged writer,.
Well, anyway, this past week, realizing that I had two books out I’d done little promotion for, and another co-written project coming next month, and I’d signed up for a number of book-related events this fall, I decided to try my hand at designing.
Have I mentioned, perhaps in past blogs, that I believe it is good for writers to try to do things that challenge them? Well, I mean writing a male character or a cop, or trying out a noir/fantasy crime story. I didn’t mean trying to create bookmarks; however, I already have written a middle-aged male cop and that noir/fantasy crime story. What I needed were bookmarks, and a poster, and postcards, and more bookmarks, and a giveaway for those events that take place at craft fairs.
So off to the internet I went. Some hours later, I emerged from my first battle with Canva with a simple design to put on lovely reusable shopping bags that fold into a pouch and store in your purse. (Man purses included, of course. Also backpacks, totes, coat pockets, or wherever YOU might want to store a reusable tote.) This is the result. In the fullness of time, perhaps the UPS man will bring a large box of these, and if you are the lucky person who leaves a comment admiring them, coveting them, or being kind and encouraging about my feeble attempts at graphics, you will be the first person to own one.
The internet was not done with me. Then it was on to bookmarks. Being a thrifty Yankee, I wanted a bookmark that would do double duty, so I put one book on one side, and the second book on the other. When I bravely sent them off to MirPrint, my printer of choice, they told me that a) I needed a bleed on the darn thing (and no, they did not mean, since I am a crime writer and generally anxious persons, that I should drip blood on the sample); and b) that the color was wrong and needed to by different. (They used a term not in my writerly vocabulary.) I pleaded ignorance, and general Luddite-hood, resent with the bleed, and they kindly fixed the color. Of course, I have no idea what I’m getting.
On to the poster, and bookmark for the October book, where I got utterly stymied by which quotes to use, which font to choose, and when I had finally muddled through, discovered that I had used the wrong version of the cover.
And then some Moo business cards with my book covers on the back.
All of this reminds me why others are graphic designers, while I tend more toward graphic violence.
Now I am heading back to the WIP, where I am on page 206 and have no idea what happens next.
P. 207: Alien butler kidnaps protagonist, terraflops to secret training facility where said protagonist is given a hypno-crash course in impersonating cheesy-haired one, does so and earns collective gratitude of billions on Planet Mongo.
How very strange…
I laughed as I read this as I, too, am graphically challenged. I have trouble making a simple, attractive handout for the library. I often cannot find the humor that you have. I was glad to be introduced to some of the resources available.
I am happy to share my resources any time.
I spent several hours this past weekend trying to create a flyer for a children’s book event coming up. I finally ended up literally cutting and pasting and copying with my printer. It ain’t perfect … but it’s the best I could figure out. You know, some people think writers only write …..
Being similarly technically challenged, I’m impressed with your bookmarks and absolutely love the tote. Would be happy to buy one if you i make them available!