Screenshot of Symphytum Personal Information Manager

Free easy-to-use Personal Information Manager SYMPHYTUM helps you get organized

Indie Publishing Friends, Reviews, Writing

I’ve been CRAVING a virtual Rolodex/dossier box/index card program to help me organize things (like my book info)…today I stumbled upon a BEAUTIFUL and EASY TO USE Personal Information Manager (PIM) that let me do exactly what I wanted quickly, with little fuss.

It’s called SYMPHYTUM, it’s free for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and I love it already. Screenshot of Symphytum Personal Information Manager Each record starts as a blank screen, but you add the fields you want where you want them. Simple pick-an-option-then-drag-and-drop. I used a lot of “text” fields for my book page here, but the “date” field will pull up a calendar from which you can choose dates, and clicking the globe icon in a “web link” field will take you to the URL you entered in there. I’m sure there are other cool features.

You can also view all the records in a table, which makes things easy to see.

Two tricksy things:

  1.  When moving fields, they switch places with each other (when in a column I usually wanted it to bump the one I was replacing down)
  2. I couldn’t figure out how to resize my image at first, but after some experimenting I discovered the procedure: make the frame as big as you want, then get the image. If it’s not to your liking, resize the frame and get the image again.

My wishlist:

  1. It’d be nice if they had a toggle for “field-add” mode so I don’t accidently move things around when I’m just entering stuff (though I don’t think I’ve done that…yet.)
  2. I stumbled on a keyboard shortcut or two, but I don’t see ’em listed anywhere.

The next software program I want to get for writing is TrackerBox (which tracks sales across different vendors) but until then, Symphytum will work well in helping me keep ISBNs and the like straight.

 

(From a comment over at CoverCritics.com)

“I think this cover would not pass my test of imagining it with a title in an unfamiliar language. If you were to do that, would you still be able to tell anything at all about the nature, themes or even genre of the book?”

That’s a great idea. If everything about your book cover was the same (pics, typefaces) but the words were foreign/lorem ipsum, what assumptions would your viewer make?

Cool book cover design tip!

Indie Publishing Friends, Writing

Book Cover Makeover! Before and Afters, yay!

Art, Indie Publishing Friends

A friend of mine wrote a postmodern hypertext (like, CYOA) eBook called LOVE OCTOPUS TRANSFORMATION. My sketch has been on its cover for years now, but since I’ve learned more about eyecatching book cover design, I wanted to update it and make it purdy for her.

Here’s the before:

Sketchy octopus on black background.The test of a good eBook cover: does it catch audience interest? Does it signal the genre?

My old errors: I stretched the text, and you can’t figure out what the illio is in the thumbnail. Genre, what’s that?

Here comes the AFTER!

LOVE OCTOPUS TRANSFORMATION cover 2018. A woman's green face beneath pink tentacles, with the title in bold text.

LOVE OCTOPUS TRANSFORMATION cover 2018. A woman's green face beneath pink tentacles, with the title in bold text.

A mashup of CC-0 photos, a little Krita magic, and surprisingly little futzing in Inkscape for the text!
This one might be a little fantastical for the subject matter, but I think it’s striking! If I could do it again, I might move the author name to the top…but at least the typeface matches her other books! #branding

Do you love BEFORE AND AFTER style book cover makeovers? Comment below with some of your favorites!

 

Help a Therapy Cat named Punks

everyday, Indie Publishing Friends

punks-widget

Help Punks Get Her Tumor Removed!

Punks the Cat has a massive lipoma on her back between her shoulders that is limiting her mobility. We are trying to raise the funds necessary to get it removed. Visit our YouCaring page to read our story. If you can help, go to our campaign on YouCaring by clicking on the widget below. And please share. Each share means more than you know.

Punks is a therapy cat owned by Jennifer Amriss to help her with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and chronic anxiety. Any and all help is welcome and appreciated. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In my quest to figure out what to do for my latest webpage, I stumbled upon Ms. Amriss’ site and this plea to help get surgery for her therapy kitty. Our cat Pixel isn’t an official therapy cat, but he’s helped our family through a lot of tough times, so I wanted to pass word along in case you could help.

SCVK is turning into a book

Indie Publishing Friends, Writing

This is a thing. A real thing.

Last November I thought I’d be sending off SCVK to agents for years. Then I came across Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing and decided to go indie and go for broke.

Now, not even six months later, I’m closer than ever to making my dream come true.

Today Katie Payne just sent a finalized cover (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH IT’S AMAZING but I’mma ask for a couple tweaks! BUT IT’S STILL AMAZING AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!). And Colleen just sent over some interior files for me to choose from. You know, for, like, the printed book. Which is going to happen.

THIS IS HAPPENING. TO ME!  All I need now is more moolah. Oh and for my last Typo Patroller to finish reading so I can fix tracking errors. 😀

SCVK Cover teaser and other stuff

Art, Indie Publishing Friends, Writing

onekatie:
“Closeup of painting I’m chipping away at for the one and only Danielle!!
.
.
.
#digitalpainting #digitalart #artist #art #illustration #bookcover #sketch
”
That sound you hear is my face cracking because I’M GRINNING SO HARD

onekatie:

Closeup of painting I’m chipping away at for the one and only Danielle!!
.
.
.
#digitalpainting #digitalart #artist #art #illustration #bookcover #sketch

That sound you hear is my face cracking because I’M GRINNING SO HARD


 

In other news…*squints at 41 printed pages of Armello fanfic* When did this get so long?! Probably time to re-read it soon.

I wrote some today on Horror and Frenchies and suddenly my motivation’s run out. Literally nothing sounds good to do (except maybe play DROPSY, but I don’t want to continue on without my friend over so.)

Well, playing DEAD SECRET sounds good but the last time I played it it got my heart going and I’m already kinda hyped by the SCVK cover preview. X33 I don’t know if my heart could take it.

TACOS TONIGHT!!

Steel City, Veiled Kingdom cover sketch (by artist Katie Payne)

Art, Indie Publishing Friends, Writing

Really excited about this! Collaborating with an author to make a book cover for her life’s work novel that she’s going to self publish. She’s got a great vision! #art #painting #drawing #sketch #illustration

Approved this SCVK book cover sketch last Thursday! So psyched, Katie’s gonna knock this outta the park! XD EEE THIS IS GONNA BE *TOTALLY* *WICKED*!!!