12/17/13

Bugburbia party scene – Breaking the ice (weekly cartoon)

This cartoon appeared today on my comics and cartoons website, Bugburbia. I’ve also begun creating video versions of the cartoons. Let me know if you like them!

 

 

Bugburbia What do you do for a living?

Bugburbia What do you do for a living?

12/16/13

Swimming in white chocolate anyone?

So this next kids book is about whims… sort of. The main-character girl wishes she could swim in white chocolate. That would be an experience… No? :) Happy Monday!

Swimming in white chocolate

Swimming in white chocolate

12/15/13

Teaching math to the pink monkey…

The little girl who is the main character of my new kids book dreams of teaching math to a pink monkey. The poor creature seems to enjoy it about as much as I do. :) What do you think, do monkeys like math?

Teaching math to the pink monkey

Teaching math to the pink monkey

12/13/13

A writer’s experiments with video and animation

I’ve been watching a webinar with Katie Davis, a writer and illustrator of kids books who also teaches other writers… various things, such as how to use videos to promote their writing. It seems like a very valid point – that video is now what websites were 10 – 15 years ago: on their way to being mandatory. Katie even says that if people don’t get on board with the video program, they will become obsolete… like the dinosaurs, yes. Whether that is going to happen or not is debatable but the main point remains: video is an important part of communicating with people.

So I was thinking… why not create very short animations of my cartoons on Bugburbia.com? They are perfect for that sort of thing – and I quite enjoy doing it (animating, that is)… if the process is easy.

I’ve been playing with this online tool called Powtoon, that allows you to create animated videos and presentations very, very easily. I quite like it, actually. But I think I will not stick to them as a long-term solution for several reasons:

- their free version gives you only 20 seconds

- after your 20 seconds they add an obnoxious sound-bite that can jolt you out of the deepest sleep that simply says “Created using Powtoon”

- they make it super easy to post the videos on Facebook, Tweeter and the other social channels. The problem is…. their self-promotion trumps yours. As in… everything starts with “Powtoon”…

It is a good first experiment though. I see lots of videos in my future.

Are you using videos to promote your materials? Care to share any of the technical details?

 

12/12/13

CARTOON CAPTION CONTEST – December 2013

Write a funny caption for the following cartoon. The deadline is Tuesday, December 31st. The winner will be announced in the first 10 days of January, 2014.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:

- SEND YOUR SUBMISSION(S) TO MARIA (AT) MARIA-ELLIS.COM

- SEND THEM IN A COMMENT TO THIS POST

- USE THE FORM AT THE END OF THE POST

Bugburbia Cartoon Caption Contest Dec 2013

Bugburbia Cartoon Caption Contest Dec 2013

Prizes: your satisfaction for writing the best joke around and a “I Am One Funny Bug” seal!

Bugburbia One Funny Bug Seal s

12/10/13

Dinner invitation in Bugburbia (weekly cartoon)

This cartoon appeared today on my cartoons / comics website, Bugburbia.

Bugburbia dinner invitation

Bugburbia dinner invitation

12/4/13

Grandpa and little girl (illustration for new book) – from sketch to full color

Grandpa and little girl sketch

Grandpa and little girl sketch

Grandpa and little girl color

Grandpa and little girl color

 

12/3/13

Pedestrian traffic in Bugburbia (weekly cartoon)

Appeared today on my comic strips and cartoons website, Bugburbia.com.

Pedestrian traffic in Bugburbia

Pedestrian traffic in Bugburbia

12/1/13

Character study for new kids book

I’ve started work on another kids book. The style is undergoing yet another transformation. I have recently discovered Sketchbook Pro. It’s simple, a lot simpler than Photoshop and Illustrator but it suits me just fine. Here’s a little character study of one of the characters.

11/30/13

Indie author breaks 3 million in sales… and gives some sound advice

Barbara Freethy writes contemporary romance – and other kinds of romance novels. Granted, that is the best selling area in all of publishing, but she managed to sell over 3 million books in a little over 2 years! In an article on her website she gives the short version of her story, including a bit about how she managed such a feast. She doesn’t go into details and oh how I would love to know what she learned from “observing other successful authors and watching a ton of tutorials”! In any case, I love her closing words to fellow authors:

“I’ve learned a lot, and the most important thing is to keep writing books. New material always drives sales, much more than any number of amazing tweets or FB posts. Social media/promotion are important but only as an adjunct to the most important thing which is writing more books!”

Mazel tov!

3 million books indie author