LynneQuisition with Joel Friedlander

This week, we’re beginning a new feature called LynneQuisition. Once a month or so, I’ll be grilling – er, asking questions of – some of the big names in our nascent industry.

My first guest is Joel Friedlander, a.k.a. the Book Designer – a great site with tons of terrific info for indies. (The fact that he picked up my IU post about formatting books for CreateSpace has in no way influenced my opinion of his expertise.) Continue reading “LynneQuisition with Joel Friedlander”

This One Time, In the Shower …

It started one morning while YA author Imogen Rose was in a hot, steaming shower … But Indies Unlimited has a strict policy about posts being suitable for work. I don’t want to risk my gruel rations getting cut as punishment, so let’s fade to black for a bit while I ramble. We’ll return to the shower momentarily.

There are a plethora of places for budding indie authors to gather information about the path they’ve taken. You’ve can check several websites with ideas and hints to help you on your way. I’m partial to a place called Indies Unlimited. Another good one is Joel Friedlander’s The Book Designer. There are internet forums where you can ask questions and get a bunch of answers, possibly contradictory. Many authors swear by the “Writer’s Café” forum on Kboards.

There are blogs that talk about Indie publishing. My go to blog is The Passive Voice where Passive Guy curates and aggregates stories from all over the web about the publishing world with an eye towards helping Indie authors stay abreast of the business world they’re operating in. Passive Guy’s background working for tech companies and as an intellectual property attorney as well as living with Mrs PG, an indie author, gives him a unique perspective, which he’ll sometimes add as story commentary. Continue reading “This One Time, In the Shower …”

Be Your Own Graphics Designer

This is an ongoing, basic course in graphic design for writers.

The complete resume of my education and credentials in graphic design can be expressed in one word: Nada.

And that’s why it might be worth listening to me. You’re a writer, possibly a small publisher. Like me. You probably don’t have art talent, can’t afford expensive programs, don’t have the time to study books or school courses aimed at producing designers and artists. Like me. And, like me, you have very specific needs: book covers, logos, banners, website graphics.

And speaking as a non-designer who has done pretty well in creating those things, I am telling you that you can do it. Using free or cheap programs, without a lot of didactic learning. Using ingenuity rather than money or talent. And having fun. Continue reading “Be Your Own Graphics Designer”


This article makes me feel a little weird because it runs counter to a longstanding peeve I’ve had with internet writing information. Namely the widespread impression that anybody with a keyboard is equally qualified to tell other people about how to write and publish, whether or not their degree of knowledge on that subject is greater than or equal to the average ass of the average rat.

I know of two blogs in which 13 year old writers give advice on how to write novels. Dozens with invaluable insights on writing from high school kids. How many more with scintillating tips from people who just wrote their first book, or are going to finish it any day now, except blogging writing advice takes up so much of their time? Many of the newbie forums like Writers Digest are packed with total wannabes who have no sense of irony when it comes to contradicting published authors, even best-selling authors. The equality of information seems to reduce experience to the quotidian.

You can imagine how fond I am of this sort of thing. Continue reading “EX-PERTISE”