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JnK Clothing

Yesterday I, rather spontaneously, launched the clothing company I’ve been setting up with Keith Mountifield.

Junk has it’s very own fanpage here and is already taking orders for our very first two designs.

One is my own and you can see a picture of me wearing it to the right. This design called Sword And Fire and costs £21 for the t-shirt and can be ordered in colour of t-shirt and design of the buyers choice as well as male or female and all the normal sizes. Details of the colours and how to order can be found on the facebook photo for each t-shirt.

The other design we are taking orders for is Kez’s first design, Enjoying Time and can be seen below.

Hopefully new designs will keep coming and while they are the facebook page will be the first place updated with new designs and colours available. When we’ve got enough designs to warrant a website we’ll have one up and running with the same set up. The buyer will always be able to choose their t-shirt colour as well as design colour(s) from all available options.

Junk will also take requests to make a design to a specification as well as suggestions and requests for other items of clothing. Just email jess at jnkclothing.co.uk and someone will respond within 24 hours.


Designing t-shirts: What not to do

While setting up the new t-shirt company I did my usual trick and dived into the world of designing without really thinking. As such I made quite a few mistakes early on that cost me quite a bit of time. I thought I’d share a few of those here, mostly because their funny (looking back on them) but also because there is a chance it will help someone else.

Mistake 1

I drew my design by hand to try and get a rough idea of what I was doing. Now this would seem like a really good idea except I didn’t have a scanner when I first started. Make sure if you are drawing designs by hand that either you or a lovely friend has a scanner.

Mistake 2

When I first started drawing my designs on the computer I hadn’t ever heard of drawing with vectors. Therefore I drew my design quite literally pixel by pixel (yes this was after I’d drawn it by hand and then not scanned it) and it wasn’t until I showed my husband that I found out there was a way to do it line by line and also have it scalable. Yup by drawing it with vectors.

Mistake 3

My next assumption was that any program would do as long as it drew with vectors so I pulled up my little pixel drawing in Paint shop Pro 9 and started layering my vector drawing over the top. I then emailed my first design to a friend. They couldn’t open it. Paint shop Pro wasn’t an industry standard just because my husband had it and it was on my computer. Make sure you pick a drawing program that supports a good vector format that’s relatively standard in the industry. Inkscape is a good free one apparently and probably what I’ll be using in future. At least until I can afford Adobe Illustrator.

Mistake 4

Jpgs are the format used for all pictures when you save them to send to people. No they are not, it turns out. Jpgs are for photos with lots of colour and only sometimes useful for those. For designs svg is best. It keeps those vectors nicely formatted, where as jpgs just turn it back into a pixel design and a lower quality one at that.

There are probably other mistakes I’ve made along the way but I feel I’ve embarrassed myself enough for one day. I can now safely say the best way to do my t-shirt designs though is to draw them by hand, get them scanned in, use adobe illustrator to vectorise the hand drawn scan in, (there’s a tool for that) tweak where necessary and save in svg format. It takes a few hours max as opposed to the 50-60 hours I spent trying to do my first design.

 

The Plan: June 11

Last month’s progress

Well they say things don’t always go exactly according to plan and this month they definitely didn’t. I didn’t manage to make anymore tshirt designs, didn’t work on the graphic novels or my language and still don’t quite have my print version of the first book’s cover done. What I did do, however:

  • Decided on a company name for the clothing company.
  • Picked a t-shirt printer to print our designs.
  • Hand-wrote approx 2k of the novel.
  • Hand-wrote approx 11k of short stories.
  • Typed approx 15k words (including emails and blogs).
  • Spent approx 60 hours promoting the first book.
  • Worked approx 10 hours for Flight.
  • Spent approx 15 hours reading.
  • Gathered the final parts needed for the book front cover.
  • Sent 116 emails.

My promotion hours were very high last month as I lowered the price of my ebook to 99 cents as a promotion to tie in with the 4th pirates film release. I’ll post on how that affected sales in a short while. It can take a little while for all the sales figures to come in from all the different places.

I had an interview published on the Brazilian Book blog here, complete with a giveaway to win my book which runs until June 16th. All you have to do is go to the blog and comment on the post to enter. There aren’t many entrants yet so there is a high chance of winning.

As I posted last month The Romance Reviews is running a summer event and on the 9th June and 23rd June they will be running a giveaway competition for an ebook copy of my book each of those days. Click the picture to head to their blog and keep tabs on them. On 24th June I will also be available for a live chat about my books, writing etc here. If there is anything you’d specifically like me to talk about let me know in a comment and I’ll be sure to bring that up. It starts at 1pm BST and will last until I go to bed that day.

I’ve contributed to the I love Smashwords blog here and I’ve also been working hard (read as chatting) on the kindle discussion boards and have my very own little meet the author section here, please come on over and have a chat with me sometime.

Finally you may have noticed that I added a bullet point for hand writing short stories. I’m pleased to say as a development of last months not going according to plan I have found myself involved in a collaboration of fantasy shorts being written straight for ebook release. As I found myself with two very nice ideas right after the possibility was suggested I dropped everything to pen them down. The first is in editing stages now and will hopefully be out very very shortly.

This Month the plan is to catch up on everything I didn’t manage last month, including the second books first draft and those last few t-shirt designs. I’ve also got quite a few hours I’ll need to spend on both companies as they are both almost ready to launch something each and I’ve got things like contracts and business details to finish off. If I manage to get all that sorted I’ll spend some time editing the second book but I have a feeling this months going to be very businessy.

The Plan: May 2011

Last month’s progress:

Last month my aim was to do some t-shirt designs, finish my front cover for the print edition of my book and work on the graphic novels. I mostly made good progress in all three areas but didn’t get any of them finished. What I did do, however:

  • Finished polishing and emailed to my uncle 8 complete t-shirt designs.
  • Gathered everything for my front cover bar the hemp rope and mahogany table.
  • Worked a small amount on the language for one graphic novel.
  • Spent approx 40 hours networking and promoting the book.
  • Wrote 5k words of the new book
  • Typed 20k words (including emails and blogs)
  • Started planning my third book
  • Worked approx 10 hours for Flight
  • Spent approx 20 hours reading

As a result of promoting the book, it’s now listed as a featured ebook on the digital catalogue site Digycat. These guys have all sorts up here so if you are interested in browsing for new books it’s a good site.

There are also going to be two opportunities to win free copies of my ebook during TheRomanceReviews summer competition as well as a lot of other fun stuff and prizes. Click the picture to head to their blog and keep tabs on them. I’ll link and blog again closer to the date as well. They do have smaller contests running in the meantime, however.

I’ve had a review from another author as well with a few more in the pipeline. With the book being considered for a Top Indie book list as well as being on the ‘to review’ list for three other blogs. I’ll link all those from the blog here as the appear. My best quote so far though – “The plot takes off from the first page and never lets go. Great fun!” – Lisa Deckert.

Finally, I’ve also been interviewed for the blog Freelance and Fiction and they also have lots of other author interview, book reviews and events. While new this blog shows a lot of promise so please go check them out and watch out for my interview.

This month the plan is to finish the first draft of the newer novel, as well as continue to make progress with both graphical novels. I’d also really like to have the final t-shirt designs done and ready for the launch of the website and company. I’d like to find time for some more of the work on the third novel as I’m hoping this will be the start of a series of novels. More on that when I’ve finished plotting.