Pull up a log by the campfire and enjoy some original creations by Stuart J. Whitmore, including photos, fiction, software, technical solutions, video, and more.

Six Facts about ISBNs for Self-Publishers

When a company has a monopoly, they don’t have to worry about providing good service. Anybody who wants or needs what they provide will go to them, there is no competition. Over the past week, I’ve found out how that relates to publishing as I’ve dealt directly, for the first time, with Bowker, the one source of ISBNs in the United States. (Other “sources” such as CreateSpace and Smashwords just provide a different way to get ISBNs from Bowker.)

I’ll detail my experiences with Bowker below, but I want this to be an informative blog post more than a complaining one, so I will share with you some important information that you should know if you are interested in self-publishing your work. Read on to learn these six important facts about ISBNs.

An Early Look at Castle Vihaar

As I mentioned to my patrons earlier this week, I decided to take a short break from other work to start a 3D modeling project that I've wanted to do for years now. For a variety of purposes, I've been interested in building models of various scenes in a fantasy series I'm working on. This week I tackled an important castle. The image attached to this blog post is a rendering of the castle in a scene that doesn't match the story but at least it's more interesting than just looking at the castle with no setting. For an even better look at the castle, watch the "fly-around" animation on YouTube. Read on for a little more history regarding this modeling project.

You Can Talk to Dan Starney on Twitter

I'd like to introduce you to Dan. Of course, the best introduction is to read Lesson One: Revolution!, but what I'm talking about today is the @Dan Starney account on Twitter. Mostly just to have a little fun, but also for marketing, I decided to create an account for Dan to comment on current events as well as politics and government. That would be a Dan sort of thing to do, don't you think? So if you're a Twitter user, go follow Dan, harrass him a bit, and tell him I said hello. :) Read on to see a few tweets from Dan.

New Cover for Lesson One: Revolution! (2nd Edition)

Well, here it is. Maybe? This is what I'm planning for the new cover of Lesson One: Revolution! (Second Edition). This cover meets most or all of my cover requirements. However, it's not too late to scrap this and start over on the cover, and I've had some mixed reviews on it, so I'm hoping to get more feedback.

You can click on the small cover image on my blog to open a larger version of the image in a new tab or browser window. If you like it, hate it, or somewhere in between, please leave a comment or otherwise contact me.

Read on for more background on the cover design process.

Custom Book Covers for Free

What do the covers of Wolf Block, Take Five! for Better Photos, and Journey to Yandol, and other stories have in common? Despite looking very different and not all being in the same genre, they have one important design element in common. Like the fake Rudy's Revenge cover illustrating this blog post, all of them were created using 3D modeling software. This relates to the topic of this blog post, because 3D modeling software can give indie authors something that many want: A custom book cover, unlike any other, for free. Read on for more about this approach to making a cover, including details for how the Rudy's Revenge cover was created.


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