Posts Tagged With: canada

Perk Spotlight — Imminent Danger Bumper Sticker!

In today’s perk spotlight for my IndieGoGo campaign, we have a bumper sticker! This baby will go out to people who acquire the Swag Bag perk ($25) and up. Haven’t you always wanted to loudly and proudly proclaim your love of all things Varrin on the back of your car? I know I have! Check it out:

bumper sticker 1And just to remind you, if I can raise a measly $15 more, I’ll reveal the cover art for the upcoming sequel, Chasing Nonconformity. So please share the campaign and let’s hit that goal! Woo!

Unrelated media of the day:

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Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Bookmarks, Customs, and Muffins … oh my!

We’ll start with the best first: Muffins!

I would like to share with you possibly my favourite joke of all time. I’m pretty sure everyone and their pet llama has heard this one, but whatever, I still think it’s hilarious:

Two muffins are sitting in a microwave. The microwave turns on.

The first muffin looks at the second muffin and says, “Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?”

The second muffin looks at the first muffin and screams, “OH MY GOD! A TALKING MUFFIN!”

He he he …

Right. Moving on to: Bookmarks!

In my continuing attempts to spend all my time thinking up marketing strategies for Imminent Danger instead of, say, actually doing my job and getting paid, I hit upon the idea of printing out massive amounts of bookmarks and leaving them randomly around town.

I found a site called nextdayflyers.com that claimed to be able to sell me 1000 bookmarks for a crazy-low sum like $60. I was sold. So I created a kick-bottom bookmark, which I shall now share with you in all it’s bookmarky glory:

bookmarkfrontback

Aren’t they gorgeous? Don’t they just make you want to run outside in the freezing cold in your bare feet and dance around in the snow exulting in the wonder of life?

Exactly. So I sent in the design files and paid the $60. I was a bit surprised that there was no charge for shipping, but I figured they were just doing one of those “Order over X amount of money and we’ll ship it for free!” promotions like other online companies do.

I was decidedly misinformed.

Three days later, I get a call from nextdayflyers.com. The nice man on the phone greets me, tells me my bookmarks are printed and ready to be shipped, and then says, “It will be $65 for customs and shipping, so I’ll just go ahead and charge that to your VISA, shall I?”

My response, obviously, was “Hell no.” It is absolutely ridiculous that an online company would not charge shipping up front … and even more ridiculous that they would actually print an order before securing the shipping fee from the client! That’s no way to run a business!

So I sadly had to cancel my order. I feel bad that they already printed it, but I’m not going to pay more for shipping than I did on the actual product. If I’d known that was the shipping charge, I would have never placed the order in the first place.

So the moral of the story is:

Check what the shipping charge is before you place your order!

And now I’m back to square one on the bookmark front. Le sigh. Anyone know of a good, cheap bookmark printer that I can order from in Canada without incurring crazy customs fees? Writer of the winning suggestion gets a free bookmark once I actually get my hands on them!!!

Unrelated images of the day:

I have no idea what this is, but it looks awesome!

And a cute/disturbing comic to brighten your Friday:

Categories: Random, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

My books are here!!! There are problems, but that’s okay!!!

Good news first — MY BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!!!

2013-01-24 18.05.56

There they are!!! Right in front of the gorgeous rose bouquet my best friend Rhiannon bought me to celebrate my published-author-dom.

It felt indescribably good to hold my own book in my own hands, although the joy of the moment was somewhat dampened by my nagging uncertainty that there would be something wrong with them.

When working with iUniverse, this seems to be an ongoing theme.

Mother was happy to oblige my concerns. She quickly noted that the titles on the spine and back cover — which looked perfectly readable when we printed off a copy of the covers ourselves — are virtually unreadable on the actual books. The spine/back cover titles are basically cut out of the front cover image (so they’re starry red and black), except the right edge fades to black so much that when you try to read the title, it appears to read “Immin Dang”.

Immin Dang. Not the most attractive title I’ve ever encountered. No one will pick up a book called Immin Dang. Although oddly, the more I write it, the more I kind of want to read it …

Now, the iUniverse graphic designers obviously should have realized this would happen when they designed the cover. They’re cover designers, after all — this is sort of what they do. They know that the cover will appear darker when it’s printed out, and they should have compensated accordingly. Mother and I already have a phone call planned for tomorrow to see about fixing this little (major) issue. I suspect iUniverse will attempt to charge me for making these changes, although you can be assured I will fight that with all my might.

More news as it happens.

Other issues included the softcover pages being white instead of cream. Now, I chose the page colouring a long time ago, so I’m only 98% certain I asked for cream. We’ll have to see what the records indicate.

UPDATE: I asked for white. Dang. Well, we’ll just have to see how much the change will cost me.

Oh, and in an odd publishing strategy, iUniverse elected to have the paperback/hardback title for sale before I had actually approved the printer review copy. So that means there are a handful of people out there who own the incorrectly-coloured-page, Immin Dang version of the book. Original, flawed print run, baby!

BUT OTHER THAN THAT, the books look amazing! Fantastic! Indescribably awesome! WOOOOOO!

Can you tell I’m trying to cover up my irritation by overcompensating in my joy? I really am excited, but it’s hard to keep the momentum going when tiny little things keep going wrong. I will not rest until this book has reached an acceptable quality level to be purchased by the general public, dammit!

On a slightly different note, I decided to give the first hardcover to my mother. Considering how many hundreds of hours she’s put into it, I figured she deserved some sort of reward for her efforts. Here’s the dedication:

2013-01-24 18.05.34She was a fan of the dedication. Tears may have been involved.

Well, that wraps up the exciting news for today. Oh no, wait!

The FREE MAGNET GIVEAWAY!!!

Hop over to this post before Saturday morning and get the chance to win an Imminent Danger magnet. Wow! Talk about a bank-breaking prize! You know you want one! Do it!

Unrelated image of the day:

I’m feeling patriotic. Here’s my country in an amusing and scarily accurate infographic:

Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 82 Comments

Final Tally = 11 Days

Remember that post I wrote a few weeks back, about having an addictive personality? Remember how I mentioned that I used to play World of Warcraft, that the expansion was coming out soon, and that I had to force myself to resist its siren-like allure at all costs?

I failed.

Yesterday afternoon, I purchased Mists of Pandaria, the latest World of Warcraft expansion. Now, in my defence, the expansion came out on September 25th, meaning that I managed to restrain myself from purchasing it for 11 entire days. I know, not too shabby, right?

The premise, for those of you who don’t obsessively follow online gaming, is that an island previously shrouded in fog and mystery has suddenly been discovered, and it is occupied by … wait for it … the Pandaren. Aka, anthropomorphized pandas. Pandas, ladies and gentlemen. It sounds stupid, but honestly, it’s awesome.

To help you grasp the awesome, I present to you the following cinematic trailer for Mists of Pandaria:

 

Makes you want to buy the game, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it? Do you see my problem? I have no self control!!!

Anyway …

Now for the big question: how is this going to affect my writing? I have an addictive personality, and I acknowledge this. As such, I have decided to put certain restrictions on my gaming in order to ensure that I still accomplish things, and don’t become a vaguely Michelle-shaped blob slumped over at my computer desk.

First of all, I’m only allowed to play on the weekends. If I want to play on the weekdays, I have to play before 9 am, or after 9 pm. I have also started scheduling my days, as in I print off a schedule each morning and then block out my time to achieve maximum doing-things-ness. It worked really well last week, and I have high hopes that it will curb my World of Warcraft addiction and allow me to continue functioning like a normal human being.

 

In other Canadian news …

Tomorrow — okay, technically Monday, but whatever — is Canadian Thanksgiving. Normally that means going home to see my dad for roast turkey and delicious, delicious stovetop stuffing. This year, however, my friend is throwing a Game of Thrones themed Thanksgiving dinner. There will be bison roast, honey biscuits, squash soup, and iced blueberries in sweet cream. The dinner is called “A Thanksgiving of Ice and Fire”. I am going to make cupcakes, which isn’t exactly Game of Thrones themed, but who turns away free cupcakes? No one, that’s who.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!!!

Unrelated image of the day:

Cute … or terrifying?
Source: http://i.imgur.com/Vg5jh.jpg

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Six degrees of TRAMPOLINES!!!

So for those of you who haven’t heard, Canada has officially won its first gold medal. This victory is the hard work of Rosie MacLennan, who bounced her way to gold on the trampoline. Who would have thought our first gold medal would be from Trampolining?

First of all, GO CANADA! Second, GO ROSIE!

Now for the six degrees of separation part. I actually went to school with Rosie in grades 7 and 8. I remember when we were doing the gymnastics unit in gym class, and while all we athletically-challenged kids were doing forward rolls across the mats, Rosie was off at the other end of the gym back-flipping and cartwheeling to her heart’s content. I believe that was the day I bent my glasses due to my inability to do a forward roll. My mother had to take me out of school early so we could go get my glasses fixed. That probably explains why she’s an Olympic gold-medallist, and I’m sitting in my apartment writing a blog about her accomplishments.

Anyway, I’m super excited for her and her win–although probably not a sixteenth as thrilled as she is right now.

Congrats Rosie, and congrats Canada!

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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