Word on a Whim

Archive for the category “Self-Publishing”

Another review of The Lighthouse Tarot

Thank you Kayleigh for this lovely review 🙂

The Light Creatures Tarot – work in progress

I have no plans for a second print run of The Lighthouse Tarot – at least not for the foreseeable future.  Sales of The Lighthouse Tarot (there are still some left!) will be used to fund the printing of my current work in progress, The Light Creatures Tarot.  I started working on it before The Lighthouse Tarot was published and it won’t be finished for ages yet, but a few lovely people have expressed an interest in the current project, so I am sharing a preview here.

The Light Creatures Tarot” is a working title and might possibly change.  I feel that The Lighthouse Tarot has … a lightness about the whole deck, whereas some of my creatures so far have a bit of attitude about them. 

Here we have The Magician, The Hermit, Death & Rebirth, The Tower, The Moon and The Sun:

Love and Light 🙂

xxx

Video review of The Lighthouse Tarot

When I put a copy of the deck in the post to wing its way across the Atlantic to Jennifer, I had no idea this lovely lady has a YouTube channel, and was delighted to discover this review of The Lighthouse Tarot.

I love Jennifer’s warmth, humour and insightfulness – and the ironic connection with the Ten of Swords!  I also love the interaction with Baker the cat who appears to be able to count to seventy-eight and took centre-stage right on cue 🙂

Thank you, Jennifer!

The Lighthouse Tarot in action!

Donna was one of the first to buy The Lighthouse Tarot and it made my day when I was queueing for a Covid jab today and she sent me this link to a video of the cards in action. I am so impressed with Donna’s intuitive readings and her lovely voice!

The Lighthouse Tarot – more photos

I have been asked for more photos of the cards, so here are a few of the sample pack that I am keeping and using:

This is the back of the cards with a ‘choppy sea’ effect:

Enjoy 🙂

The Lighthouse Tarot – available for purchase

My small print run of The Lighthouse Tarot has been delivered:

I am selling them for £22 per deck plus postage by Royal Mail:

Price including postage for a single pack/deck:

UK standard 1st class: £22.00 + £3.85 = £25.85

UK standard 2nd class:  £22.00 + £3.20 = £25.20

Europe no tracking:  £22.00 +  £5.95 = £27.95

Europe tracked:  £22.00 +  £10.25 = £32.25

USA no tracking:  £22.00 + £10.95 = £32.95

USA tracked:  £22.00 + £13.45 =  £35.45

Canada no tracking: £22.00 + £8.30 = £30.30

Canada tracked: £22.00 + £12.70 = £34.70

Australia no tracking: £22.00 + £9.60 = £31.60

Australia tracked: £22.00 + £13.85 = £35.85

Please use the Contact Form to order a deck or to enquire about other postage options or for multiple decks.

 The cards come in a cardboard tuck box.  There is no booklet but a list of definitions can be found by clicking on “Tarot Card Meanings” tab or menu option.

They are standard tarot-size 7cm x 12cm, printed in the UK on 320gsm card with smooth finish – very easy to shuffle and fan.

Thank you 🙂

The Lighthouse Tarot

My latest project, “The Lighthouse Tarot” is ready to go to print.

I had intended to print the cards myself but when I used a whole ink cartridge to print a single deck, I decided it would be cost effective to have a small print-run done next year.  

Here is taster of the seventy-eight card deck – followed by some blurb.

My love of lighthouses started at an early age in Withernsea on the North East Coast of England.  My auntie had a holiday chalet and we went every year.  I remember that first night I noticed the huge spotlight sweeping rhythmically across the beach and reaching out to sea … eerie and compelling.

“It’s a lighthouse,” they told me.  “It protects the ships and keeps them safe by warning them of rocks and other hazards along the way.”

I was drawn to seek the source of this benevolent beam and it was some surprise to find it was on an ordinary residential street with houses either side – in reality far removed from the romantic images evoked when it came to life each night – although I still gazed in awe at its solid, reassuring mass.  I must have been about twelve when it was decommissioned and the seascape at night lost an important part of its magic.

As my interest in art developed, seascapes with lighthouses became a favourite theme – not just the reaching out across the sky and reflecting on the water but also the strength of these imposing structures that could withstand a battering from nature at its most unforgiving. When I decided to design tarot cards, “The Lighthouse Tarot” was a natural choice.  Just as the lighthouse provides a guiding light to help sailors avoid the rocks along the way, these cards aim to unlock the reader’s insight into past present and future events in the questioner’s life and provide support in this life’s journey.  Always bear in mind that we have free will, so if the reader suggests that your destiny is not what you were hoping for, you can make choices that will alter the course of events.  The ship’s wheel is in your hands and you are empowered to navigate your own path.

How to convert an image to 300 DPI for printing (using Microsoft Paint)

Being furloughed and locked-down owing to the pandemic has given me the time to get stuck into a project I have been toying with for a few months.  Yes, I do feel guilty that I am slightly enjoying this very difficult situation yet I am trying to make the best of it because this is where we are now.  I don’t want to jinx my project by saying too much about it here – but if it does come to fruition it will require me to convert images to 300 dpi to allow better quality printing.  Before getting on with this tutorial, I will also add that the printed images I would be required to convert to 300 dpi are relatively small, and when I experimented on my cheap little home printer by printing a 72 dpi image alongside the same image converted to 300 dpi I could not see any difference, so if I end up self-publishing my images I will leave them at 72 dpi to save ink.  It’s just that some publishing firms stipulate a 300 dpi image.

Here goes …

First you need a 300 dpi image of any shape or size.  Feel free to download this one:

I am going to convert a Poppy picture to 300 dpi by pasting it over the Riverside photo but first I need to change the dimensions of the Riverside photo to be the same as the Poppy.

To get the dimensions of the Poppy image right-click and select Properties/Details:

Make a note of the dimensions (360 pixels x 640 pixels).  This is the size I must make the 300 dpi Riverside image in order to use it as a template.

To resize the Riverside image, open it in Paint, select Resize, check the Pixels radio button and over-type the dimensions with those of the Poppy.  Be sure to uncheck the box ‘Maintain aspect ratio’, which is checked by default.

Save the picture with its new dimensions.  It should be distorted and the same size as the Poppy.

The last step is to copy the Poppy image and paste it over the Riverside image.

Open both pictures in Paint, in two separate windows:

Copy the Poppy – Image, Select, Select all

Click the Clipboard tab – select Copy

Move over to the Riverside photo.  Click the Clipboard tab – select Paste

After paste …

The Riverside image becomes the Poppy at 300 dpi.  Save it now and remember to rename it.

Of course if you have several images to convert to 300 dpi that are all the same size there is no need to repeat the re-sizing process.  Just keep a copy of the first converted image and use it as a template to paste over.

Hope this helps!

ISBN numbers

It seems you can’t buy just one ISBN number.  You can buy ten for £118.68 or a hundred for £256.32.  That’s either £11.87 each or £2.56 each.  They are not available in multiples of twenty or fifty.  Decisions ….

I will need two for ‘The Rise of Serge and the Fall of Leo’ because I intend to publish it as a paperback and as an e-book, and you need a different ISBN number for each format.  Then if I decide to resurrect and modernise some of my past novels (replacing phone kiosks with mobiles, getting rid of cars they no longer make and cameras that use films that need to be developed) I will use up all the ten and will need another ten for the novels I write in the future.  That will make the cost of twenty £237.36 when I could have a hundred for an extra £18.96.  I think that should be plenty!  But £256.32 does seem a lot to spend on, well, ISBN numbers.

Why I am going to self-publish

Because no-one else is likely to do it for me!

‘The Rise of Serge and the Fall of Leo’ is not the first novel I have written, but my past efforts have been rejected.  Maybe it is simply because I write crap but unless I get published and someone else reads my work, I will never know.  This time there seems to be little opportunity for rejection, with not many publishers accepting ‘unsolicited manuscripts’ (i.e. they want to be approached via a literary agent) whilst most agents are not taking on new authors ‘at present’, or are very specific in terms of genre or location.

I did contact one Small Press (or Indie) publisher about my latest novel.  They had an online Publication Enquiry Form, which impressed me as it does seem outdated to have to send printed work through the post, with return postage if you want it back.  One question on the form perplexed me; they wanted to know, if my book was accepted for publication, how many copies of it would I wish to purchase (at a discounted rate) to sell at literary festivals and such?   Did I stand more chance of being accepted if I stated a higher number of copies?  It was also apparent that I would be expected to generate my own publicity for book sales – and they were keen to know what I was doing already to publicise my work.  Urm … nothing at all … I prefer to spend my spare time working on my current writing project.

After I had emailed the Publication Enquiry Form, and during the three months before I received a reply, I researched self-publishing and now I understand that question about the number of copies: it is cheaper, per copy, to print a large number of copies in a print-run than a small number.  As for generating my own publicity, that is the general expectation of publishers and literary agents these days.  I began to think I would be better off self-publishing.  That way (as an obsessively reliable type) I would not be letting-down anyone other than myself if the book did not sell and would not feel guilty for not attending events that were aimed at promoting sales.  However, I needn’t have worried … they were not tempted by the sample pages I was invited to submit!

And so I decided not to contact any further publishers or literary agents about this novel.  I intend to publish for Amazon Kindle, but still enjoy the feel of a ‘real’ book and would like to have a few copies in print.

But where can I store my paperbacks without the pages becoming damp and yellow?  We already keep sacks of dog food in the bedroom for want of space!  A short ‘Litho’ print-run would be expensive, so I am going for ‘Digital’ printing that seems to offer a shorter print-run at a lower price.  I get the impression I may have to compromise on print-quality; that digitally-printed books have a different look and feel from lithographic publications; but I haven’t yet seen them side by side to compare.

I will try to share my self-publishing experience here, in the hope it may be of use to anyone else who decides to take this route; although I worry I will struggle to write entertainingly about ISBN numbers, fonts and book covers …

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