Having an online business is a challenging blend of personality and professional image; but in my experience almost everyone prefers to be dealing with a real person rather than a corporate face – hence I’ve tried to make this website “transparent” by blogging about works in progress and things that catch my eye in the publishing industry.
I focus mostly on the work; nothing I can say will influence you as much as the sample covers in my portfolio, but for those of you who’d like to know me better as an individual, here’s a short biography.
I’m from Portland, Oregon and started painting and sketching in high school – I even won a small scholarship from the National Art Honor Society. After high school I studied philosophy at the University of Malta (Europe), then lived in Barcelona and Florence studying classical oil painting.
I’m not that bad at painting (see above) but since then I’ve gotten into pop art surrealism, and just paint for fun.
In 2003 I moved to Taiwan to work on my PhD in Comparative Literature, with plans to become a professor (or full-time author). I started several small businesses, but I wanted to focus my time on my writing and art.
In 2003 I moved to Taiwan to work on my PhD in Comparative Literature, with plans to become a professor (or full-time author). After having my own adventures in self-publishing, I started and ran an editing company for six years, which brought me deeper into the world of publishing and working with authors. I began using my background in fine art to make book cover designs, which became really popular.
In 2012 I started this site to focus on book cover design. Since then, I’ve built about a dozen author-related businesses to solve challenges indie authors constantly face; have put out a handful of books on publishing, formatting and marketing; been asked to speak about book cover design at writing conferences; have rubbed shoulders with celebrities in the indie-publishing world and designed covers for many bestselling authors.
Now I’m building the first Chinese-language ebook publishing site, developing a “21 day to bestselling author platform course,” and preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign to buy a castle in Europe to use for writer retreats.
Although I’m pretty good at book cover design, I’m finding that a lot of my value lies in knowing how to make a book succeed, with positioning, building an author platform, marketing and publicity – professional design is a necessary starting point to publishing success, but it’s still just the beginning of a book launch or bestseller campaign.
I’ve gotten really good at launching services and businesses, building websites, getting more traffic, and creating content that people like and share. In other words, I have all the skills necessary to launch a book well; which is why my prices are higher than average.
More things you should know about me
I work hard and am a little obsessive. It’s easy for me to sit at the computer for 10 hours on a project. I need to get outside more often. I tend to be light on conversation and heavy on action – so my emails may seem terse at times (I don’t often add in the typical ‘greetings’ preamble before getting to the point). It’s also why I don’t include 1-hour phone calls to listen to your ideas; it’s far more productive to just let me do things whichever way will sell more copies (because that’s all that really matters).
This can make me seem rude or insensitive… but I do care about you, and your project, and I want to see you succeed.
Also, I get migraines about once a month that totally knock me out for a few days, so if it seems like I’ve “disappeared” for no good reason, I’m probably suffering in a dark room with an icepack on my head. Other than that, I’m usually pretty good at responding to emails quickly.
So now that you know me better, feel free to browse around or contact me with any questions.