March 9, 2020– Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge hockey fan. Publishing, for me, is a lot like hockey in the sense that there are coaches, teammates, and special teams who kill penalties/score on powerplays. Why is it important to have special teams in publishing, and what are they? I’m glad you asked.
Illustrators/Graphic Artists-These are the teammates that we depend on when we’re in a dire situation. These are the teammates behind the bench that are stitching us up after we’ve been hit with a puck to the face, and they’re making sure we can get back on the ice quickly and safely. They are always performing their best, and they stick to deadlines. Without them, our books would be black, white, and grey. They bring colour and imagination to an otherwise dull world. These are the teammates that I call on when we need changes made quickly and accurately. Thank you, Alex, Erin, Emily J, Emily K, Shamayal, Chris, Sarah, Dani, Nikki, Danielle, and Chi.
Editors-These are the teammates that are sent in to kill penalties and ensure that the House is protected and error-free in each and every manuscript that we publish. We depend on them to make sure we won’t be caught doing something stupid. They check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and sentence structure. They make sure that we are putting out our best work. Thank you, Helen.
Authors-These are the teammates that are sent out on a powerplay. They’re the ones who drive the business forward by selling their books, they do book signings, and get people interested in our publishing company. They are the ambassadors of our team, and they represent us well. They score the goals when the opportunities arise. They are the storytellers and they bring their genius to every project. Without them, there would be no team. Thank you, Tamara, Tim, Ken, Michelle, Samantha, Tonya, Joanne, Gina, Lindsay, Paul, and Rachel.
Coaches-This is me. I’m the one drawing up the plays on the ice and coming up with strategies. I say where we go and in which direction we’re headed to contend for Lord Stanley. I put the players where their strengths are and make adjustments as needed. I see the best in them and work with them accordingly for the benefit of the entire team. I’m on the ice with them for every practice, and at the end of the day, the team will rise to the level of their training. It’s my job to make sure that we are profitable, winning, and that everyone succeeds. I, like any other coach, am focused on developing my team to be the best that they can. And I’m also hoping to keep my job…
Special teams in publishing are so crucial because the entire team has different roles and will be called upon at various times to help the team where and when it needs it most. I’m not sending in our penalty killers when we’re on the powerplay. X LLB
January 10, 2020– Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to our very special guest blogger, Christopher Botting, the illustrator of Unfrogged! Let’s check out what he has to say about his experience as an illustrator with Pandamonium Publishing House.
Hello friends and fans of Pandamonium Publishing! My name is Chris Botting, and I am the illustrator for the ‘Unfrogged’ book; Pandamonium Publishing’s second book offering. One day back in two thousand and too far back to remember right now, my sister (Tamara Botting), had written a story she greatly desired to publish someday. She was asking me to do the artwork for it. I made a half-hearted attempt at some rough ideas, but in the end, I told her that publishing companies would have the final say on the art direction they were looking for and not necessarily something I may come up with. That it would be a waste of time to try anything before a publisher picked up her manuscript. What a big bother brother I quite often turn out to be. Well, time went on and one day I did receive a phone call….from a publisher…wow! (Good for little sis, she stuck with her dream and never gave up). Pandamonium Publishing’s very own Lacey Bakker was interested in seeing a sample of my art portfolio. She was hooked! She absolutely loved the idea of a brother/sister team working on their first published book together. (Bucket list items for both siblings!). There were meetings and deadlines made. The rough copy art sketches were approved and used for the final pieces after colour and corrections were added. Did I ever learn a thing or two about books; They have chapter titles to illustrate. They have front covers to draw. They have a back cover too…what? Whodathunk? Do you know what else they have? A spine that needs artwork! My first book art job, and it was a ton of work! But it was all well worth it! Someday, when I see a well-worn copy on a used book store shelf, I’ll know a second generation is about to enjoy something my sister and I put so much of ourselves in to; I’ll know we’ve ‘made it’. I believe that when you do something or create something, in the brief second that follows the last pen stroke, or saw cut, or screw turn, or musical note, or whatever; that your creation, your project, art piece is instantly a classic. Just in that moment, the passing of time. Because, when you look back at your accomplishment, finished or not, there’s that feeling of ‘I remember doing that’. And ‘it’s out there, other people are going to see it, and remember seeing it, and to them, it instantly becomes a classic. Because they’ll remember it too. Something ‘vintage’ with the passing of more time’. I know people enjoy our work, I can tell by the time they spend absorbing it and taking it in. By how long someone will look deep into a drawing I have done, and make positive comments. I really enjoy doing art and sharing it with other people. I hope it makes them feel good inside, peaceful. Open a sense of awe in them and myself that the world can be a beautiful place. I am so thankful for the experience of working with Pandamonium Publishing and my little bother sister on ‘Unfrogged’. They are creating great friendships and books along the way. Check them out and enjoy some instant classics!
December 5, 2018– Ok, so today is Walt Disney’s birthday and I know he wasn’t an author, but he was one hell of an entrepreneur! We talk a lot about entrepreneurs on this blog, and as authors and illustrators, well, we are entrepreneurs. Walt was an artist, producer, and game-changer. To celebrate his birthday, let’s look at some interesting facts about the man behind the magic!
He failed. A lot. Legend has it that Walt failed an epic 320 times before getting the financing for his dream of Disneyland. Imagine if he had of given up!
He helped with the war effort. Even though the Disney Company was not in a good financial position at the beginning World War II, Walt decided it was vital that he and his company help in the war effort. Walt Disney Training Films unit was created which were instruction films for the American military and propaganda films for the American public. He won an Academy Award in 1943 for his short propaganda film, Der Fuehrer’s Face.
He learned to draw by doing this. Walt spent most of his time at school doodling. He learned to draw by copying newspaper cartoons, specifically from an American Midwest newspaper called Appeal to Reason which his father was an avid reader of. Walt wasn’t interested in the political editorials, but he enjoyed looking at the front page cartoons. At this time there were no animated films or comic books, Walt found the cartoons exciting and the style demonstrated in the cartoons would later appear in his own!
November 16, 2017- I’m really excited to share this with you guys! Here is a special, never seen before, sneak peek of an up and coming character, illustrated by our very own, Shamayal Hayat. This children’s book will be launching in March 2018 so stay tuned for details! Until then, I’m not giving anything away…nope, not even the title!
August 5, 2017-I’m excited to let everyone know that Deer Diary is COMPLETE! A huge, very special thank you, to Shamayal Hayat, illustrator extraordinaire. She is crazy talented and never missed a deadline, for that, I am so grateful.
Look for Deer Diary in a book store near you, on October 1st, 2017. The book will sell for $12 CAD/US and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to protecting and conserving wildlife. The causes we support include the World Wildlife Fund, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, and the American Wildlife Foundation. I’ll also have limited edition finger puppets of all of the characters from the book! Collect them all!
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