A while back I posted about the psychology behind FONTS and COLOURS, then I discovered SHAPES had various meanings as well. Pulling all three together to make a LOGO or ADVERTISING MEDIA when you’re starting your business would be a bit of a nightmare. The more I think about what I missed over the years while education myself as I went is horrifying. This is something I don’t remember covering in any business course I did in 2015/2016 and I did three, the last being a Diploma in Business Enterprise. It goes to show these courses don’t cover everything.
PSYCHOLOGY OF SHAPES
What do you know about SHAPES? Which one’s appeal to you? What draws you in? Great questions and it makes me wonder what you notice when you watch adverts on TV or see adverts on billboards, in newspapers or social media. What shape do you see most often? Does it appeal to you? If you’re on social media, what makes you stop scrolling? The SHAPE, COLOUR or FONT! Perhaps all three, because someone got the right combination for their business.
How do you choose a SHAPE for a Logo? Good question. My logo is based on Family History of my partners line going back to the 1820s in London two hundred years ago. The Lamp still stands on Woolwich High Street, outside the building which was a pub. The last I heard, the building is now a hairdressing salon. This shows how much thought I put into my business when I first started in 2014. Not much at all. I was learning as I progressed. However, I will keep my logo. I like it as does my husband.
What do you need to do? Research the psychology of SHAPES. Watch Adverts and understand what you’re seeing, what they mean to the business who created it. Make a list of the ones you like along with the colours and hunt down fonts you can use. Bring them together by starting with a black and white design, edit the graphic until you’re happy with what you’ve drawn or had your graphic artist draw. Choose a font which matches your business and then you have millions of colours and shades to play with.
Last week, we travelled to Sanson and visited Viv’s Kitchen for a lovely morning tea of cream horns and iced chocolate drinks. It was sublime. What catches the eye though are the colours. They used various shades of a gorgeous mint/pale green along with a retro style. It draws customers in and we had time there. Below are a set of photos from their website. The link you can find above.
This is just one example on how to get things right. The café has been busy everything we’ve visited. This lovely café has also been on TV and is famous for their cream horns. A lush pastry horn coated with sugar. In the centre is jam and cream. Most delicious.
Starting a business, then get your thinking caps on and research what you need to make you stand out from everyone else.
Hurray, 2022 is here, well in New Zealand and a few other countries… Looking forward to you all joining us and celebrating a brand new year where positivity will move us all forward in leaps and bounds. At least I hope so.
Lots to do and a business plan for this year to sort out before work commences on the 6th Jan 2022. We have five books to work on over the next couple of months with another touching down in April. It is going to be great fun working with these clients, they are awesome writers and people.
Part of the plant this year is to take Monday’s off and do a course on Marketing. Though I have some marketing skills, I need to up my skills to move this business forward to the next stage. As many of you not, our business says Publishing House in the title. At this stage we don’t actually publish any client’s work, we only prepare work for distribution. I work as an Author Consultant and Formatter. This is due to the fact, USA business tax is complicated (to say the least) With saying this, we will eventually look into publishing in New Zealand, though the costs are much higher than KDP,Smashwords etc. This is because printers in New Zealand don’t understand the POD (Print on Demand) system or don’t use the system the same way as overseas. They have a single price for one book, it is set out… the more you buy the cheaper the books are. This means it can cost thousands to print books and is sadly out of many writers pockets, which is why we use places like KDP.
Sadly KDP can be tricky and terminate accounts and not pay-out royalties whenever they so choose. Considering those of us living outside an Amazon area/country, we only get paid after we’ve earned $100USD, POUNDS, EURO etc. With this warning, please be careful out there and read all the policies of the places your distribute your work through.
As well as up-skilling my marketing, I am also updating my graphic art skills, mainly on GIMP, learning to do layers etc. I had a blast about ten days ago with a new client and their book cover. Slightly frustrating, though enhancing my skill.
I have several new clients coming up this year, though will blog about them at a later date, when they are ready for publishing. An interview is a great way to introduce you all to new writers. Along with this I am hoping to have an Instagram day, where I will post about books once a week… first though, I need to learn how to use Instagram a bit better than I do. I’m not good with a phone and wish we could post via computer. I’ve heard some can, so will see what happens this year. We also need to finish updating this website and adding the links we are missing. If you see a broken link, please let me know.
Lots of learning. Weekends will be for family. We will have set hours, though we will also always answer Fb messages when we see them due to the time differences around the world.
If you have books on Kindle Unlimited and they are in a genre we read, then please let us know and we will read and review. Reviews will be fair and only done if we can give 4 or 5 stars. Anything less and we will message you… the author, instead and let you know what issues we’ve found, be it formatting, or editing, etc.
We’ve all been bullied at one stage or another. Narcissism is part of the world today, though it doesn’t mean we have to live with it. I, for one, am over the stupidity of some people and what they think they can do to you and or your business.
Let me tell you a story – It’s from the beginning of my business.
I was asked to format a book for a person who shall remain nameless. (I actually did two) We decided verbally to exchange service in 2014. They would help me with marketing my new business which I started about two months later in exchange for Formatting. My Formatting at that time was ok, not brilliant though good enough for publishing, after all, I was still learning the ropes on how things worked. This person knew this as well.
Part of my business was insisting that each client approved final manuscripts prior to me turning them into ebooks or paperbacks. This was to make sure nothing was wrong or if they wanted changes. They needed to reply with approval or changes, and this would go on until Approval was given. Yes, this person approved. I have the emails to this day along with a timeline of proof costing me over $500 in 2016.
Due to circumstances and their dislike of my Formatting which they said stopped them from selling books because it was so bad…(it wasn’t) I offered to redo them, mainly because my skills had improved. Once again they were APPROVED…and then they were unhappy again etc. What they were really after was FREE Formatting anytime they wanted it. Sorry NOT HAPPENING…I run a business. On top of this, they never did any marketing except printing off some posters at their expense. I also built two websites for this person.
NOW THEY SAID THEY WERE TAKING ME TO COURT.
It never happened. Meanwhile, I had the proof I had done my share of the work. Everything went quiet. Then in 2017, the HARASSMENT started on FB. I had to block them because someone mentioned something to them. They tried to leave a bad and unfair review. They tried to friend me through their partner and on other sites as well. I ignored them all. No court, nothing…It went quiet.
Meanwhile, my depression and anxiety kicked in so bad, I was a hermit in the town I lived to scared to go out and about in case I saw them. It was horrible. It affected my family life and my mental health.
I decided to take back control. Gave them one last offer which once again they didn’t accept. Not my problem. It was fair.
FOUR DAYS AGO the same person who told them something in about 2017 commented on a post. I thought it was nice to see them, even though I had unfollowed them. I noticed they had unfriended me…WEIRD. Anyway, we chatted for a few days on my Business Page. And this person did it again. Told the same person I was back in New Zealand. Next, my daughter gets an email about something and obviously told me. Apparently, said person has been sending emails to her on and off over the last few years which she deleted and ignored. Harassing my daughter. REALLY.
Today they sent me another email – SEE YOU IN COURT… (small claims court)
OVER THIS TOTALLY. STOP HARASSING ME AND MY FAMILY! NOW, I’M ANGRY AND NOBODY SHOULD MESS WITH A LEO. COME AND GET ME…SHOW ME A DAMN COURT DATE, AND I WILL DEMOLISH YOU AND SUE YOU FOR DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER AND HARASSMENT. I HAVE THE PROOF…EVERY EMAIL THEY SENT SET OUT IN A TIMELINE.
PLEASE DON’T LET ANYONE GET YOU INTO THIS TYPE OF SITUATION! DON’T SWAP WORK OR SERVICES UNLESS YOU KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT YOU CAN TRUST THEM 100%.
I hate bullies, trolls, and being harassed. Move on and get a life… and stop using people to spy for you.
The last bit… The person who spied for them deliberately sort me out chatted found out where I live (CITY) told the person harassing me and then deleted the chat they had with me. They are also now blocked on FB and Gmail.
I’m not a trusting person, and now… I’ve been stomped on again… Be careful out there.
I CAN GIVE ANYONE WHO ASKS A TESTIMONY FOR THE WORK I DO. ONE OF MY CLIENTS IS AN AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR. I HAVE WORKED WITH OVER FORTY CLIENTS WITH SUCCESS…
THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO THE STRUGGLES OF BUILDING A BUSINESS IN INTERIOR DESIGN & FORMATTING.
This is to let you know business will go on as normal except to any personal meetings. All meeting and work will now be via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom.
New Zealand is going into Lockdown on Wednesday at midnight. All but essential businesses will be self-isolating for at least four weeks, maybe longer. If you are asked to self-isolate please do so.
The longer this goes on… the longer it takes to recover. Please remember if you don’t you could be making this worse. People are dying alone. 11,000 plus worldwide. ALONE…no family visits, no funerals, no goodbyes… Please self-isolate for your family, friends.
I never name call anyone. I am always polite and rational with anyone with any discussion. If or when a person earns my ire I tend to grumble a lot, though I do step back and think about the situation which has arisen. I will help as much as I can or as the client will let me…One thing I am clear about is when a client has approved a final file then they will need to pay for extra work, whether the original job was a swap of skills, paid or a package.
2016 was a big year with a lot of changes. It wasn’t a good year on many fronts though I did have a favourite. Needless to say this year was filled with bullying clients and gossip in the local writers group which I didn’t know about for nearly two years. I was devastated by both of these. Luckily for me I have stong family support from my husband and children and some really great friend. Many of those friends were students from my Business Management Course and my Incubate Course.
There was one bully who I worked with. They were like an advisor, going to do marketing for me on a local scale, introduced me to a local reporter for one of the free newspapers. All of this was appreciated. In exchange I formatted their first book, pulled together a book cover – all to the best of my ability at that time – both ebook and print, assisted them set up accounts with createspace and kindle. Now if one thinks about all the time involved the different things I was learning, it was a lot of work. I can’t really put a price on this. They were happy with the result…UNTIL…They suddenly decided I’d not done the book properly(a word I now HATE) Thinking back I did two books for this person. The other was in exchange for a computer (desktop) he put a price of $300 on which strangley was raised to $400 during email discussions. It wasn’t acutally worth anything due to it’s age. Once again I did the second book plus two websites.
What I wonder now is if the second book was better set out than the first due to the growth in my learning…Would you redo a client’s book for free because you’ve learnt more about interior design?
One thing I will advise everyone with a small business…
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP ALL YOUR EMAILS FOR EACH CLIENT SO THEY CAN’T BITE YOU ON THE BUTT/ASS AT A LATER DATE!!
Even in those days, I insisted all clients to proofread their own books for any formatting edits. Bits that need changing or taking out etc. This person approved the final file. Six months later they complained I’d left their home address in the back of the book and I have the synopsis in the back as well. EXCUSE ME…YOU APPROVED IT!! Fed up with the ongoing emails, I redid the formatting which was once again APPROVED. Now we come to the end of 2016. They had decided to sue me…I presume at small claims court. They were going to win and take all my business/money etc.
WOW. Not only this, I had another client who disparaged my name (Yes I can still sue them for defamation of character) They contacted me for a meeting. I went into a deep depression and fog for three weeks…It was one of the worst time in the year for this to happen due to course work for Business Management along with trying to claw my way out of the fog and stabilise once more.
With the bully I was still getting emails. In the end I sent them an offer which most folks wouldn’t refuse. I got a unpleasent email stating I was to re-do the book, and upload it to createspace, and purchase 5 or so copies to be sent to them by a certain date. They had gone a step to far. I was now furious. Offering them one last deal. It took several weeks to prepare and over $500 out of my business…which is still a loss to this day. I printed off all their emails I met with my business admin who I had to pay ($75) to go through them and advise me if I was correct with my assumptions. That was another $300. Yes I was correct. If they sued me I could prove they were in the wrong, not only that, I could re-sue them for defamation of character. The email was sent. It wasn’t accepted. I still don’t understand why. The email was sent via my business admin. Their reply. “All I wanted was to have it edited” If a client has approved a final file then they need to pay for any further formatting edits. They also need to use the final file I sent them. I have about 4 different files with different words counts on my computer…Which is the right one? Why should I continue to edit their work for FREE when they had approved final files.
From this time one I went quiet on Facebook which of course, affected my business badly. This person was still on my friends list and in two groups I ran. It wasn’t until mid 2017 that I finally deleted them, unfriended and blocked them. This was all thanks to another online friend who is like a sister to me. The relief was immense, though with them still living locally I was real nervous going up town. Call it anxiety of thinking they’d verbally attack me in the street. This is also another reason few of my friends online know I went back to England.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU KEEP RECORDS FROM ALL YOUR CLIENTS AND ALSO ALL YOUR REPLIES. IT MAY SAVE YOU ONE DAY.
This same person also emailed saying they had paid for a membership to the Chamber of Commerce…NOPE they didn’t because I have my receipt. However I still wonder today if they paid for a second year – without my permission due to the fact I still received post from this group. I have never been able to find out.
SAVE ALL YOUR RECEIPTS!
As for the second person…They are still in the background, pottering along with life, asking me for coffee…well until they found out I was back in the UK…
The strange thing is that the only clients I’ve ever had issues with were all local males to were I used to live. All my online clients have been amazing and I have loved working and growing with them.
As for the Writers Group. I gave the then chairperson – who is an Editor, a printed out copy of my book to look through and advise. She came back that it wasn’t her style and a bit rude. Ok yes she is an older lady. What I didn’t know was that she’d told the rest of the committee and god knows who else that I wrote Erotica. The book at that time was called Malachy’s Unit – it is now called Hidden Secrets. It is not erotica or even erotic. It is murder, mystery romance with a bit of spice.
Nearly two years later I took my children’s book in to sell and show to the writers group. Girlie and the War of the Wasps. One of the gentlemen who approached me to buy a copy said. “Oh, I thought you only wrote erotica.” to my reply. “I don’t write erotica.” Once again I was as mad as hell. I never went back to the group. The thought they were all looking at me a a nonsense smut writer (yeah they were that bad) was beyond a joke.
The Best Part…
The best part of 2016 was assisting a client with three children’s book. ‘The Pottontots’is a set of three books with wonderful art work by the author. Keith Broad was awesome to work with and his stories are a great read for any child.
Here I was proud to be a Director of my own limited company. With a gentleman who was going to assist with Marketing in exchange for publishing a book and my daughter as a contractor to do Book Covers.
My daughters hobby business is Ceejay Designs. Claudia was studying Graphic Design after being trapped in our home with agoraphobia. This was her first step into the real world for two years. I was and still am so proud of her accomplishments. Today she still suffers from Anxiety, however she is braving the world, moving from New Zealand to England with her family to have time with her English grandparents.
Back to my Publishing Company…
It was the end of 2014 beginning of 2015 and I had a few articles in the Newspaper about my business, me as an author and my first client (exchange not paid). This bought in three more clients over 2015. It was great. A small amount of work, though I was still learning the ropes. This helped me grow at the rate I needed to. Those clients were – Norman McClean, Captain B M Commons & Bob Sutton, the last two have since passed away.
During 2015 I did two business courses. One was a short 12 week course – called Incubate, which was to advanced for my business at that stage. However, it was interesting all the same. I learnt a lot about the ins and outs of business. One thing I did realise was it would be years before I could employee anyone, however contracting out would work well until I was ready. The other course was a Certificate in Small Business Management, Level 4 which I studied one night a week at Te Wananga o Aotearoa which is a Maori College. I met some amazing students there who are still good friends today. The third course was a diploma in Small Business Enterprise, Level 5. Both of these taught me a lot of different skills which I needed to run a successful business. However, I also needed publishing skills. How to format a book to look professional.
What did I do…?
Research, which is something all authors need to do if they wish to be proficient and successful. This is where the library and the local book stores come in handy. You can look at books and see how they are set out. It is mind-blowing how much work goes into creating a book. As many say – ‘Writing the book is the easy part’. Not sure I would always agree with this, however I now know the ropes to help my clients get the best formatting around. Yeah, I am proud of myself and what I can do.
Some of the things you need to learn as a publisher…!
What does a paperback book page look like? Where does the Copyright page go? Do you need a Contents Page? Do you need a Contents Page?
Acknowledgements & Dedications? Where does the Author Biography go? Author Links? How do you make them and where do you put them
Then you need to style the paperback pages…
Headers for paperbacks Page Numbers. Fonts Style – Which are the best to use? Font Size
Footnotes & Endnotes
Criteria for Distribution Websites
What about ebooks…?
No Page Numbers
No blank pages
Remembering we read an e-book as if it is a scrolling document. You don’t need to choose a font or font size, the distribution websites do this for you. A reader can change the size and font to what they wish once the book is downloaded. This is unless you embed the fonts you are using
How do Children’s books Differ…?
Artwork & Illustrations.
Full Colour or Black & White Fewer Pages Bigger Font Size Different shape and size books – paperbacks.
What you need so you can turn your manuscript into a product people will buy…
Book Cover Design Editing and all the different types a writer may need
ARC Reviews Contacts & Connections Social Media Marketing
The list goes on and I continue to learn something new every few months. I will probably talk a bit more about my learning curve and how or what I had to do to get the job done.
Towards the end of 2015 Plaisted Publishing House made their first Anthology. There were so many entries that two books were made with about 600 pages in each one. These Anthologies were made in conjunction with the AwethorsGroup on Facebook. They were to be used as a marketing tool for the authors who participated. The e-book would be FREE and the paperbacks – due to being so big, were $25 a piece. It took months to organise with many of the group volunteering their services with Beta Reading, Editing and Checking. I was in charge of the formating and publishing. What a learning curve that was.
We had a huge release day over several continents and if I remember I think I stayed up for 17 hours posting on my website about each and every author who filled in an interview form. Of course in those days I was new to WordPress as well. If I knew I could schedule posts, I probably would have gone to bed a lot earlier.
During the Event several of us did Take Covers on various blogs. This was my post as an author. The characters take control…LOL. This was posted on Northern Witch Books
My Muse Attack
All in a day’s work by Claire Plaisted
“Claire what on earth are you doing to Fabia, who’s attacking her?” demanding Zoe, flying through the door, Jagan (thank the lord) a small drag on her hand blowing fire. “Slow down Zoe, and please tell Jagan to stop his fire, I don’t want the fire alarms or sprinklers being set off again,” I told her sternly. “Jagan,” she scolded. “Sorry, it’s such fun,” he sighed, curling up to go to sleep. “Fabia will be fine, she is allowed to have an adventure too.” “I don’t want her getting hurt.” “I won’t get hurt Zoe,” said a smiling voice from the door. “Fabia, she squeals, shoving Jagan in her pocket. They ran to each other hugging, both talking at once. “Girls, will you either calm down or get out of my office. “Sorry Claire,” they grinned. They sat on the sofa, clasped together giggling when Tristian from ‘Fred the Evil Incarnate’, walked in, they gawked, eyes wide. “Yes Tristian?” “What did you do with my son?” “He went exploring.” “Please find him.” “Da da, I’m going to have an awesome adventure.” Tristian’s youngest boy rushed through the door, his dark hair and grey eyes alight with excitement. “Where too young man,” he said crouching down. “Into the other worlds beyond the edge,” he replied. I cringed, waiting for the explosion of temper, before he could Abraham from GIB walked in, his hands in his pockets. He looked tired and on edge. “Abraham,” I murmured standing up and approaching him. “What’s wrong?” “The world is going to go to hell!” he said looking down at me. “What do you mean?” “I met…oh never mind, just get ready to die, the world…” sighing he walked out again. “What was that?” said Zoe?” “That was Abraham, he works with Garrett Investigation Bureau,” I replied frowning as I sat back at my desk. “What was he on about – the world going to hell stuff,” said Fabia. “Our world went to hell and is on the brink of returning to near normal again.” “Tristian, meet Zoe and Fabia, best friends from a book called “Princess of the Earth.” “Hi,” he smiled down at them kindly. His son tugged on his dad’s hand. “Yes son?” “Who’s that in the doorway?” “Hey Cera, solved anymore riddles lately,” I grinned. “No,” she scowled. I can’t find…” “You can find anyone.” “Those dratted faeries took her, I lost her track,” she snapped. “Well get the heck out of here and find her and hurry up. I want your novel on sale by this coming Christmas at the latest.” “Charming, has to be my fault.” “Well you’re the one with the magic powers Cera the Black Cat.” “Whatever,” she said as she changed into her cat form and padded out of my office, the others with their jaws dropped open. “Get outta here you lot and go do your thinking, I need to get some of these draft stories finished. There was a knock on my window. I looked out and nearly screamed, when I realised it was Paul the Moa with David his best friend. Quickly I jumped up and flung the windows open. “Oh my, it’s two years since I last saw you two, how you’ve both grown.” “Yeah Paul is quite scary now he’s twelve foot tall,” laughed David, with a cheerful grin. “So you must tell me your adventures, last time I was writing about you, Paul was only a baby and fast asleep.” “We’ll stop by soon when you’re not so busy,” he replied. Pulling on the bridle, Paul pecked me, making me laugh then lifted his head away and off the ran over my back garden, I looked now at the rather large footprints Paul left behind and winced, my gardener was not going to be pleased. “What the hell was that thing, it looked like an overly large Ostrich,” gasped Eilish Garrett, who’d entered my office while I was chatting with David. “That’s a Moa, a native New Zealand bird which was thought to be extinct.” “It’s huge.” “Maybe I’ll introduce you one day. Meanwhile, everyone out, I need my office back so I can finish at least one novel. “Grumbling the left, though I knew I would be disturbed again soon. It was always the same with my muses. God help me when the Gothixies finally put in an appearance.
The door crashed open. “When are you publishing my story?” demanded Jones. “Another few weeks, now get out,” I was getting aggravated with them all. “Touchy aren’t you,” he grinned and slammed out again. “Just one more interruption and I’ll scream,” I muttered as I began to type once more.
Since this was blogged. Jones’ story has been published, the world hasn’t ended and nor has Abraham’s book been finished so you still have time to prepare for the end of the world. The other lovely characters and muses have draft books still pending.
Back to the Event…
What I didn’t realise at the time, was this event would increase not only my knowledge but my connections as well. We enjoyed the event so much, we also did an Anthology in December. Religion sort of got in the way, however my daughter came up with the book title ‘December Awethology’. Once again there were two books though much small this time.
In Part Three I will tell you about the difficulties I had…Publishing isn’t all easy, sometimes Clients can misbehave and I’ve had several.
If I go back to when I first started writing in 2012 I didn’t know squat about publishing, never mind needing lessons in grammar, and the person’s voice. Like many others out there I tried traditional publishing. You remember the first publisher of Fifty Shades? It was an Australian Publisher – Yeah I tried them and was rejected, though I’ll say even now, my work was no worse than … I also looked for an Agent who thought they were Editors. No…they weren’t or if they were, they didn’t understand the historical genre of my novel. Since that time this same agent sent work to a UK Publisher who was iffy to say the least. In fact they closed down without paying anyone out and their bookstore was still going…probably still is.
Anyway I found out that manuscripts needed setting out a certain way to be accepted by a traditional publisher. While I set out to learn I bumped into self-publishing and decided to go that way instead.
By the time I had learnt enough to make paperbacks and ebooks I had written four books. I bought some copies and was delighted with the results (now I just groan at my obvious need to learn more). I took them to the local writers group which showed little interest. Few of them were authors even less were published. This is where my company came in. “Can you publish my books for me?” said one man. “I can give it a go.” And I did. That journey though, is another story.
This all happened in May 2014. My company Plaisted Publishing House became a Limited Company on 1st August 2014. I filled out all the forms, set up a bank account registered for GST (VAT) etc. After paying or getting a refund on GST over three months I discovered I didn’t need to pay any until my business earned $60K NZD which won’t happen anytime soon due to the fact I have no investment other than what I earn and put back into the company. My aim was to start slowly and build gradually and make sure I wouldn’t fail or should I say close my company. It’s worked too.
Now you’ll note that even though I’ve published my own books, I stated I still had much to learn. My journey was only at the beginning. Over the last four years I’ve developed my business, building my professionalism, sharing what I know with the Indie Author Community. I’ve assisted over Thirty Indie Authors. If I included the Anthologies I could say I’ve assisted over one hundred.
As I’ve improved my learning (which I am still doing today) I have increased my prices, however, they’re still lower than most. You see I work in a different way. The aim of my company is to work with small businesses to contract work out to them and create packages for clients. All clients keep their copyright, all royalties and receive at least four formatted manuscripts for the different distribution websites. A client pays once. There is no profit made from continual book sales. A client could become a best seller…a millionaire…YOU STILL WON’T PAY ME ANYMORE….well unless you want too…LOL.