Self-Publishing: Going to Comic Con

Self-publishing: Table at Comic Con

Pre Set-up for Kitchener Comic Con April 2nd 2016

My brother Andy suggested we do a pre-set up.

T-shirts on racks; posters by Ian G.; posters in frames; and books with business cards in front.

Hidden is a price list, calculator, and cash box.


This was not only the first time with a table at Comic Con but my first time ever going to a Comic Con, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

2016 Kitchener Comic Con table

Our table:

This my stressed out look because I have no idea what’s going to happen now that we’re here.

I have to say the other vendors were very helpful and I learned a great deal from their displays.

Penney's Steampunk General Store
Handmade jewelry. Penney’s Steampunk General Store

This couple makes jewelry.

Underworld Larp PR@LARP.CA
Live Adventure with Underworld LARP

This group does live D&D weekends.

Knightmares & Daydreams
People loved this stand. Knightmares & Daydreams

Knightmares and Daydreams

This couple were our neighbors and very friendly and very busy for most of the day.

We didn’t make a lot of money but we had a great time meeting people and other vendors.  What we did learn was, most people who go to Comic Con want to buy books or comics of pre-established companies, such as, Marvel and DC.  They want to be able to dress up like the characters they read about.  Finally, we should have dressed up like the characters.

A table for 2 is more expensive (it was $100 for Kitchener Comic Con this year) but I would recommend you get a table for 2.  When it’s slow you have someone to talk to and you have someone to watch the table if you need to use the facilities or take a lunch break.

Next Up!  Writing a story for Young Adults:  Healing The Temple Of The Soul

Comic Con, Kitchener: Posters

September 19, 2016

If you are using artwork, the larger the reproduction the greater chance for graininess.  A graphic artist can only do so much.

20×66” or 51×66 cm Poster             5.5×8.5” or 14×21.5 cm Book Cover

I was very lucky to have the posters done by Ian G.  They’re photographs so the actual posters are brighter than what you see.

These pictures are from pre-display set-up (another Blog).  The posters giver you a better idea of how they actually look.

What we found was that Ruby, when blown up past a certain point, looked grainy.  Sylvia, because Randy (the artist) drew mostly her head on 11×14” (28×35.5 cm) paper whereas in Ruby, on the same size sheet, he drew the Queen’s entire body with background.

Ian made a number of samples and sizes.  My brother Andy, put them up on a wall and asked people to say what they liked, based on first impression.

We also made 8.5×11” (21.5×28 cm) posters in both colour and black and white for Sylvia and Ruby with just colour.

Next Blog is designing T-shirts and getting them printed this coming Saturday…

Asking Someone to Model for the Artwork on Your Cover

September 17, 2016


Asking Someone to Model for the Artwork on Your Cover


Somewhere on the Internet there are people willing to let you use their image for artwork.  If you find these websites remember life is about reciprocity.  Give them credit and pay them.

I asked friends to model.  The reason is you can bring them along for the ride.  Sam Nichols didn’t just model for Sylvia from the Children of the Myth Machine series, she also came to Kitchener Comic Con (that will be its own Blog).

Caedar Writing and Artwork

I offer a token amount of money to everyone I ask to model, and include their contact information.

The person I’m asking to model has the essence and fits the physical characteristics of the character in the book.

Be specific with the model.  “Here is the still action pose I am looking for in the picture.”  Short sleeve, shorts, pants, sandals, shoes, belly is showing/ isn’t.  Artists will add or subtract clothing and items.  It’s the pose and facial features that are most important for the picture, not necessarily the exact costume or lighting.

Still action draws people in.  When you look at a movie poster it’s a snapshot of something happening.  Ask someone to model who will put passion into their posing for the camera.  The better you explain the scene the easier it is for them to pose.

Taylor Norris portraying the AI transpecies, Whispers, in a future science fiction book called Brackish.


Taylor Norris as Whispers (for a story in progress).  Taylor owns the rights to this picture and it may not be reproduced without her explicit permission.


Taylor did more than twenty poses until we decided on this one.  The lighting is poor and the background doesn’t fit the scenario of the world Brackish.  That’s what the artist adds later.

When I asked one individual to model she told me she didn’t feel comfortable modelling nude.  I couldn’t remember ever asking her to pose nude for the photo that the artist would use.

Some artists prefer their models nude.  People draw nudes in art classes.  The backlash from asking someone to pose nude is you just sent up a red alert.  Why do I need to be nude?  And that’s a justifiable question.  If they think you have ulterior motives, you just lost trust.

Once someone is photographed nude it may get onto the Internet.  That could cause problems for their career if they are or want to become a civil servant, teacher, police officer and so on.  I mentioned to a woman who told me she posed nude for art classes, that she should make sure there are no cell phones, or other devices that can take pictures.  If the model has done nudes already, and is comfortable with it, that’s between the two of you.


Kitchener Comic Con Experience is the next Blog!

Self Publishing: Designing a Cover #1 With a lot of help from your Friends



A pet peeve for a lot of us is when we see an interesting cover but it has nothing to do with the story inside.

I wanted covers that represented a scene in the book.  But I’m not an artist.  So what I would do is ask a friend, my goddaughter, my niece, or my goddaughter’s sister if I can take a picture of them.  The picture would represent the image I wanted an artist (someone I know) to create.

For Sylvia, the second book in the Children of the Myth Machine series, I asked Sam Nichols, a budding personal trainer if I could take a picture of her with one hand on a tree trunk while she looked into the distance.  Time didn’t allow us to meet up so Sam put her camera on Timer and took a picture while the wind blew her hair.


[The picture of Sam is her sole property and not for reprint in any form without her express permission.]

The agreement is Sam keeps the right to the original photo but I can us  She was kind enough to let me use it so you can see the process.]e it for artwork.  In the story Sylvia has birch tree pupils and rabbit ears.  I drew a really rough sketch of what I wanted for my artistic friend Randy Bugdale.


[Copyright Dan Watt]

Randy used pencil crown to create the image of Sylvia.  He also designed the front cover for the few books I had printed to bring to Kitchener Comic Con.  The next Blog will discuss getting a model.

Sylvia 300 dpi for t-shirts - Copy

Self-Publishing–Printing Companies

Sept. 12, 2016

That’s Leah Weir, who has been a tremendous help holding the two self-published books for my Children of the Myth Machine Series: Sylvia and Ruby.  Only a limited number of hard copies were printed so they  are not available but they are available as e-books through Kobo or Chapters.  I’ll discuss e-books in another Blog.

A Printing Company might use Microsoft Word, often they prefer PDF files and now it’s easy to convert a Word Document to a PDF file.  There is a list of things you want to think about before you bring your book to a Printer:

  • You want an ISBN number (the Library of Canada likes 2 copies)
  • Hire someone who is a real editor to go through your book, and work with you on any grammatical or storyline corrections.
  • How many pages, what type of paper, what type of bonding?
  • If you’re going with 5.5×8.5”or another dimension convert your document or make a copy of it at those dimensions so you know how many pages will actually be printed based on the font size and type of font.
  • You want your fonts to be easily read.
  • The more copies you get the cheaper each book costs.
  • If you’re getting the story printed to give away to an organization, family, or friends that will limit the number of copies you want to make.
  • If you’re planning on selling the books, make sure they’re appealing to the readers you’re trying to attract (non-fiction: autobiography, historical, text; fictional: drama, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance)
  • Make an attractive, exciting front and back cover
  • Some Printers have artists you can hire to design your front and back cover, or you can try it on your own (that’s another story)