Studio notes 14/06/19 - This week's seen me buying new paper-cutting equipment at last and designing & publishing my first paperback guided journal.

Last week I was feeling deflated and couldn’t get my head around going back to work on my sculpture. I couldn’t decide on the right equipment to buy either, so it felt as though I was spinning my wheels.

Just this minute I’ve settled on – and bought – a Brother Scan N Cut – so the design and construction process can resume once it arrives!

KDP self-publishing

In the meantime I had one good idea – ditch everything for a while and do something totally different. So with a couple of days’ worth of concentrated effort, I produced and published my first guided journal.

I’ve published e-books before – just cleaned up academic essays – but never tried publishing a paperback myself.

A few months ago I had taken out a 2-month Skillshare trial and came across a course on publishing low/no content books. Because of my longstanding (and long deferred) interest in writing a graphic novel, I played the videos in the background whilst cleaning up the studio and had a lightbulb moment.

The AHA! bit was that I could definitely create journals that I’d be proud of – and I have a mad love for notebooks, so two birds with the single rock, right?

The bleurgh bit was knowing that I had too many ideas on the go at once, so it sat on the back burner. That is, until last week when I decided to re-watch the Skillshare videos and do it straight away.

Designing and publishing

I didn’t create a blank book – it was more of a guided notebook based on a popular article I’d written on my finance blog.

So with a relatively high content level, I just had to design the page spreads, format and lay out the text, design the cover illustrations, export them all in the right formats and upload.

I say, “just” had to do all that – ok, it was a solid block of work, but the foundation’s been laid for at least four more notebooks based on my existing articles.

If you want to have a go at creating journals yourself, here are the resources I used:

  • DesignCuts for illustration packages. They have freebies every Friday that you can use in commercial projects.
  • Creative Market for fonts. They have free goods every Monday, including fonts.
  • RawPixel for stock imagery. You can get a free trial (and use the photos you download after your trial ends).

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Studio notes 14/06/19