Hello again readers. This is an update on my upcoming first book, a True Crime Story about a very real and savage set of cut-throat murders in my former home town of Nottingham. Conceived after an Internet search for information about a Colwick factory in April 2011, my blog has been recording my progress or lack thereof. I carried out much research inc visiting many sites mentioned in the book in 2011 and thought I was ready to start writing in 2012. Fate stepped in when my neighbour put her semi on the market in Feb 2012 and I decided it really was time to move. 2012 saw me busily renovating house and garden in preparation for a house sale. Before the house went on the market I began house hunting. By the end of August 2012 we had sold our old house and by mid September we had purchased our new one. A move to the High Peak took place at the end of November. Research began again in May 2013 and I returned to Nottingham. In one visit I walked the near exact route taken by the tragic family in my story, taking photographs along the way. I prepared my book synopsis and first chapter for a Crime Writing event in Harrogate in July. I managed to pitch my book at this event to four agents/ publishers. There were no takers! This did not deter me, indeed it was the kick up the backside I needed. Since then I have uploaded a first draft of my book, chapter by chapter to this blog.
I am now working on a final draft and I plan to publish the book in Summer, first as an e-book on Amazon. There will be many differences to the original first draft. Further research showed some errors and I have totally re- organised the last few chapters. I have also added more detail and new chapters. Which brings me to a book cover design. As I can write but not draw I knew from the outset I would have to contract an artist, but where or how to find one? I recalled the jobs website called Rated People which I used to advertise a joinery job I needed doing in my new house. I figured there had to be one for artists or illustrators. There was indeed. It is called ELance.com and through their website I successfully found and contracted my book cover designer. It is really simple to use and you do not have to pay to create your account. Just go to the website and have your user-name and password ready. You can the create the details of the job you want doing, make clear if you want to pay by the hour or set a firm price, you can also add illustrations if you wish. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted so described it. you then post your job and sit back and wait for freelancers to read and reply to your job specs. i was a amazed by the response to mine. I got over 30 responses and from all over the world, from USA, Canada, India, Phillipines, plus nearer to home from Spain, Slovakia, Ukraine and the Uk. Those responding usually add a portfolio of their work and a brief message. They will also pitch a price for the job or give their hourly rate. After reading through my responses the decision was quite easy to make. I chose an artist with good it skills who had two things really going for him in my eyes. I particularly liked one of his images, it was the sort of thing I was looking for. He had also had experience of designing an e-book cover before, a SF novel. What does it cost? Well I was quoted sums from $49.00 to $1,150! Lets just say I chose a figure nearer to the former. You then have to put your agreed sum for the job in what is called escrow ( I used paypal for that but you can use a credit card) . This protects both the worker and the person placing the ad. When the job is accepted you set a timescale for completion, then work begins.
I am therefore pleased to announce that I will be working with artist Sergij Szczeglow, an artist, designer, illustrator and animator from the Ukraine. Sergij has my brief and is working on my front cover illustration right now, it will be ready by July 1st. It seems quite right that I found my illustrator on the Internet, after all I stumbled on this story via an Internet search in 2011. I will be revealing some more details about the cover design soon. In the meantime let us return to Elance.
Elance is not just about finding book cover illustrators. It is a freelance site where you can find highly skilled experts in a number of fields. These include IT, Web and Mobile, Data Science, Design and Multimedia, Writing, Translating, Office and Admin, Customer Services, Marketing and Sales, Engineering and Architecture, Finance and Management, Legal and Project Managers. I am highly impressed with the website and its easy to use and navigate. OK now the crunch question? How much does it cost to use Elance? Well unless I am very wrong the answer is next to nothing as the freelancers actually pay for Elance and their cut is taken out of the money you put in escrow. I recommend Elance to one and all, not least my fellow writers. Jump onto the hyperlink below to learn some more.
Until next time readers………. http://www.elance.com