Creatives often work in semi-isolation, even in the era of the Internet. The Creative Independent aims to provide an eclectic resource for artists and other creative people. Resources include interviews, practical advice for running a business, how to turn a creative idea into a career, avoid creative blockage etc. All clearly and unpretentiously written.
Some of the conventions of print live on in digital books ... for example bundled sets of books are often depicted as an actual box set of the printed kind. We set up the pictured box set for Peter Ralph, the successful author of numerous financial thrillers.
If you subscribe to email newsletters and regularly provide your email address online, you may find your inbox swamped with importuning emails. If it has all gotten too much, unroll.me offers you a quick and painless method for clearing out most of that recurrent clutter. The process is extremely simple, and what it reveals about the sheer number of marketers who have your email address can be fairly sobering.
The founders of this site and app aim to bring selected snippets from the vast, vast ocean of books whose time has come and gone, and hopefully resurface interesting ideas and insights for readers. The selections are made by humans rather than algorithms.
One of Google's many initiatives is Google Digital Garage, an entry point to many courses designed to assist people with skills necessary to negotiating the online world. According to the introductory material:
Grow your career or business at your own pace, with flexible and personalised training courses designed to build your confidence and help you thrive.
- Discover tools to make your business succeed
- Improve your interview skills
- Prepare for the career you want
Well worth a look for anyone wanting to enhance their digital skills, whether for business or other purposes.
Women Who Draw attempts to redress a perceived imbalance of female/male illustrators. According to their website:
Whatever the politics of the site, it showcases many excellent designers working in a wide range of styles.
Pawel has illustrated several books with us now, with a range of subject matter. He has adapted well to every request and produces illustrations with personality and energy. Here's an introduction from Pawel:
"My name is Pawel (the Polish cognate of Paul) and I’m a freelance illustrator based in Poznań, Poland. When I was a small boy, my father showed me a ballpen-made portrait — I've been drawing ever since. Being self-taught, I barely ever leave my pencil behind, wanting to be a better artist. Working almost my entire life in IT business has given me an interesting perspective on art, and at the same time equipped me with some skills that are helping me out with my art work. Coming from two such distant worlds is both advantage and a challenge which I take happily, having a great motivation from my family, especially from my beautiful wife Joanna.
I really enjoy black and white drawings. Book illustrations, comics and graphic novels were always something special for me. Being able to actually create book illustrations is like fulfilling my childhood dreams. This is also why I really enjoy working with Luke, for he is a professional, honest and friendly person, giving me the opportunity to do what I really love:)
If you are a book author and want to decorate your book with any kind of illustration I'm more than happy to help you. I always like to research the subject of the illustration to fit it best for authors idea. I usually do hand-drawn, pencil to paper sketches then scan and add some processing work on the computer with use of a graphic tablet. I always like to leave a hand-drawn feeling to the final effect. I can create book illustrations, portraits, caricatures, etc. but I stay open for any kind of drawing / art idea you might have!
Alexis Madrigal explains why it is sometimes hard to get phone calls answered, and why you might not feel like answering your own. As he notes, the sheer number of alternatives to the vanilla phone call have rendered it "a vanishing cultural layer". Having so many communications options (email, text, phone, messenger, snapchat, skype, etc) does create a complex landscape where different people are approachable only via specific avenues, and if you try the wrong one, a reply might be slow in coming or nonexistent.
Abdi Aden, author of Shining and Yes I Can is very canny at promoting his books. Here are a few suggestions from him based on his experiences:
My PR is very basic and low budget.
- Word of mouth anywhere you can, such as my kids' basketball. Take-away shops, public places.
- Schools I visit and speak at.
- Making t-shirts.
- Websites, also other book-sellers websites.
- Calling places saying "I have a book." Like example some writers festivals, Dymocks Camberwell also run a book night every November for self-publishers.
- Social media like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Also learn when new social media come up like snapchat.
- Find small festivals, such as Clunes -- self publishers do well there. People attend from all over the world,
Melbourne has its own series, so if you're interested in designers talking about designy things (there's a different theme every month), then consider going along. At the price of free, how could you miss it? In a section impishly titled "convince your boss", the organisers advance the following argument:
We asked author Roger Mendelson, author of Eliyahu's Mistress, to jot down a few thoughts re. promoting his book in the age of social media:
"The days of publishers promoting novels are over, unless you are a high profile author. If you want to promote your book, you have to do it yourself. I am on this journey and despite my novel, Eliyahu’s Mistress winning the IPPY 2018 Bronze Award for best Australian/NZ fiction, am finding it difficult to gain momentum. There is no magic bullet. If you believe in your novel, you require more persistence with promoting it than writing it.I say this as someone with considerable business experience, so I can only imagine the frustration most authors must feel.
Traditional media is fast dying, so if you have a very low budget, social media is really the only option. For this to be effective, you need to define who your readership is likely to be and target this group. It needs to be very specific. Eg middle-aged country people, single older women, retired couples, young single men. I am not an effective Facebook user but I can see that with a very low budget, this really has to be the major medium to use."
Experienced traffic engineer Rob Morgan has written a scathing critique of the current road safety paradigm, the so-called "Safe System". He sums up his argument with the following excoriation: "the Safe System’s demand to abolish the old order of evidence-based road safety and speed management has been a clarion call to action and — unless we put a stop to it — its continuation will put us on an inexorable path to the creation of an unchecked state.
The cover incorporates surveillance, Victorian roads, an image of Stalin and is set in Proxima Nova.