Category Archives: Amazons Kindle Direct Publishing

The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook Book Launch Party!

Phantom_Launch_CoverPhoto_Blog

Welcome!

I hope you’ll have a lot of fun, and feel free to invite your friends throughout the day.

The Phantom of the Opera Sktchbook Inktober 2016 Sketchbook CoveThe Phantom of the Opera Sktchbook Inktober 2016 Sketchbook CoveThe Phantom of the Opera Sktchbook Inktober 2016 Sketchbook CoveThe Phantom of the Opera Sktchbook Inktober 2016 Sketchbook Cove

Thank you again to everyone who helped me decide on what mood to use for my cover. The download links have expired on February 9, 2017.

Create Your Own Sketchbook

For those of you wishing to create your own sketchbook, I have created a brief tutorial article here.

A challenge!

I was challenged to sing a bit of The Phantom of the Opera, the musical. Ha-ha. I knew that saying I was a singer was going to come back and bite me in the… However, I did ask if there was something I could do to make this event more fun. Thank you so much to the person who suggested this. For those of you who do not know me, I’m not a trained singer, but I did sing in a choir for a few years. I also prefer being behind the camera, rather than being in front of one. However, I promise that once I get 100+ honest reviews on Amazon (something I sincerely doubt will happen any time soon), I will record myself singing “The Phantom of the Opera” song as requested, squeaky high-notes and all. Thus, I challenge my Challenger (and anyone visiting this page) to pick up the gauntlet. For now, you will just have to be content with this brief recording of “Think of Me”:

The Sketchbook is 50% off on Amazon

You can purchase the sketchbook from Amazon at its 50% of introductory price today and tomorrow. Or you can try your hand at the The Phantom of the Opera Trivia and win the book. For more detailed information on what’s happening today, see my earlier post here.

I will be present throughout the day, so if you have any questions about the sketchbook, Mili Fay Art, or anything you think I may be able to help you with, you can ask them in the comments below. I promise to answer every single question I receive today ASAP.

Event Schedule:

10:00 — Trivia Question 1
10:15 — Live Sketching 02 Request
11:00 — Trivia Question 2/I’ll share pictures of Live Sketches 01
11:15 — Live Sketching 03 Request
12:00 — Trivia Question 3/I’ll share pictures of Live Sketches 02
12:15 — Live Sketching 04 Request
13:00 — Trivia Question 4
13:00 – 14:00—Lunch Break
14:00 — Trivia Question 5/I’ll share pictures of Live Sketching 03
14:15 — Live Sketching 05 Request
15:00 — Trivia Question 6/I’ll share pictures of Live Sketching 04
15:15 — Live Sketching 06 Request
16:00 — Trivia Question 7/I’ll share pictures of Live Sketching 05
16:15 — Live Sketching 07 Request
17:00 — Trivia Question 8/I’ll share pictures of Live Sketching 06
17:15 — Live Sketching 08 Request
18:00 — Trivia Question 9/I’ll share Pictures of Live Sketching 07
19:00 — Trivia Question 10/I’ll share Pictures of Live Sketching 08
20:00 — Good-bye

If you encounter any technical difficulties, contact me.

Good Luck!

Mili

P.S. If you purchase the Sketchbook or win one, please share your honest Review on Amazon. It will help me reach other Phans.


LIVE SKETCHING REQUESTS

Request 01

Since no one submitted a request, and I’ve misplaced my The Phantom of the Opera book, I decided to sketch the project I’m currently working on, Beauty and the Beas“. Do you think that Gaston Leroux may have been inspired by the fairy tale?

Live Sketching Request 01

I’m working on a “Beauty and the Beast” illustration. Here are some concept sketches and studies.

Request 02

Once again, no one submitted their request so I’ve continued with my studies.

Live Sketching Request 02_01

I’m trying to find basic shapes for the wolf’s head.

Live Sketching Request 02_02

Wolf studies for Beauty and the Beast illustration.

Request 03

Since Bea made her request for Request 04, I needed to do some research, so I took the time for Request 03 and figured out some poses.

Glamorous Lady Phantom 01

Figuring out poses for glamorous gender-bent (a.ka. Lady) Phantom.

Request 04

Glamorous Lady Phantom 02

A quick colour sketch of Phantom as a Lady for Bea.

Request 05

Venom Phantom

Phantom-Venom composing.

I’m getting a bit tired of non-stop drawing. I need a break. 🙂

Request 06

Live Sketching 06

Bea’s Request: Old Phantom, Ghost Christine, rose, at Christine’s grave. Ink and Pantone Markers.

Request 07

Phantom jammin' with a Keytar.

Phantom jammin’ with a Keytar.

Request 08

Red Death

Red Death


Thank You Google Images and Photographers!

Reference Photos: Lady Phantom

Lady Phantom Reference 01Lady Phantom Reference 02Lady Phantom Reference 03Lady Phantom Reference 04

Reference Photo: Keytar Phantom

Keytar Phantom Reference

Reference Photos: Red Death

Red Death Reference 01Red Death Reference 02Red Death Reference 03Red Death Reference 04

THANK YOU FOR PARTICIPATING

Amy
Bea
Kathleen
Kay
Kei
Lyca
Zygona

Without you, this event would not have been fun.


Last, but not least…

There are still some Trivia Questions to be answered. Deadline is Monday, February 6, 2017, 0:01 am EST.

If you have your own Phantom drawings, books,… feel free to add them to the comments.

I forgot to take progress pictures with my phone :-(, but I did screen capture all the digital progress. I’ll post those ASAP.

Thank you again for making this launch fun. I hope to see you all at a future event.

Cheers!

Mili

Also posted in Art: Help!, Gifts, The Phantom of the Opera Sketchbook, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook Launch Party: Scheduled Events

Phantom_Launch_CoverPhoto_Blog

Free Art

The Phantom of the Opera Sketchbook Cover Color Moods

Each of these will be available for download during the day of the event.

To thank everyone who helped me choose a mood for the final cover art, on the day of the event I’m making the other cover art options available, so that everyone can download their favourite.

The Party Discount

The day before the event, the day of the event, and the day after the event both the Regular Edition and Artist’s Edition will be selling for 50% off on Amazon. (Note: Because of Amazon’s policy making the Countdown Deal available only in US and UK, I will manually be changing the prices of the book. For this reason, you may not realise that the book is discounted. The Regular Edition will be on sale from $5.99 to $2.99 US; Artist’s Edition* from $9.99 to $4.99 US.)

Phantom Trivia Game

At the top of each hour I will post a question from The Phantom of the Opera novel by Gaston Leroux to test your Phantom knowledge. The first person to answer this question, wins The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook. If you are the first to answer 3 questions in succession, you’ll win The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook: Artist’s Edition*. You have 10 chances to win. You cannot win more than one book. Answer by Replying to the Question written as a comment at the bottom of the page. I will email you a gift code from Amazon. If you do not claim your gift within the day, the code will be gifted to the next person on the list.

Live Sketching

I will post the Launch Party Page a day in advance. In the comments, I will write: “Live Sketching 01 Request.” If you are quick enough you can reply to this comment with a sketching request. On the day of the event beginning from 10:15 am to 11 am, I will take 45 min (or less) to sketch out your request (I need 15 minutes to check in with the party guests and share the artwork online). Each hour I will post a new Live Sketching Request comment, I will sketch what the first person to reply says. The theme of this event is The Phantom of the Opera. Requests relating to other subjects will be ignored. Though, if you come up with something I love, I may consider your offer if there are no other requests relating to the theme.

Phantom Sketchbook Sample

I’ll have 45 min to create a sketch of your choice. Vote on traditional or digital sketching in the comments.

Currently, we are voting on the Traditional or Digital option. If Traditional wins, I may not be able to record myself sketching live throughout the day, but I will be taking progress pictures that I will share online. If Digital wins, I will record my progress with Camtasia and will make it available online — raw, uncut and unedited. If the program dies on me (it happened before), I’ll post whatever has been saved. You can cast your vote in the comments by writing “traditional” or “digital”. If you are on the following platforms, you can also cast your vote on the Facebook Event Page and on my Deviant Art Poll.

Live Sketching Requests Timeline: This is the time you should be refreshing the webpage, so you can be the first to make your request the moment the comment is posted. You cannot make a request twice. If you do not reply to the comment “Live Sketching (01 – 08) Request” and just post a random comment, your request will be ignored.

01 the day before
02 at 10:15 am
03 at 11:15 am
04 at 12:15 pm
1 pm to 2 pm Lunch
05 at 2:15 pm (this is when I begin sketching request 04)
06 at 3:15 pm
07 at 4:15 pm
08 at 5:15 pm

On the day of the event the guests have one hour to make a request. If no one posts a response by the time I post the following request. I will flip through my copy of The Phantom of the Opera novel and will sketch a random scene.

Q and A

I will be at my computer from 10 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 8 pm. During that time, feel free to ask me any questions you like. If I’m not busy sketching I will respond immediately. If I am busy, I will respond to your question ASAP.

Special Requests

How can I make my own Kindle Sketchbook for sale?

I’ll answer this question.

Can you sing something from “The Phantom of the Opera” the Musical?

I knew that writing I was a singer in my biography will come to bite me in the…

I’m not a trained singer, but yes, I can sing. However, my voice has not returned since my last bout of flu in December 2016. The high-high notes are just gone. I have been losing my voice to colds and flus so frequently in the past few years that I’ve quit the choir practice.

I did manage to record myself singing a phrase from the musical, and I will share it on the day of the event, then I’ll remove it never to be heard again.

If you have any other questions or special requests, you can post them in the comments, and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my ability.

Looking forward to seeing you at the event!

Mili


*The Artist’s Edition allows you to download all the artwork from the book in a high enough resolution you can print at home.

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, an award winning artist, trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, but when computer animation took over the field, she decided that she loved drawing more than animating. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time. Today, she passionately creates imaginative artwork and stories, always graced with a humorous modern twist.

Currently, Mili is working on an epic YA fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess, Lauraliee, who learns to become a queen as she defends Ardan from dragon-people (people who turn into dragons).

Mili Fay Art Published Books Book Covers

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“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”

Shop Mili Fay Art
Facebook: Mili Fay Art
Twitter: @MiliFay

Also posted in Gifts, The Phantom of the Opera Sketchbook, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , , |

Welcome 2017! New Projects, New Artwork, More Fun!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I have so many exciting plans for 2017 that I do not know where to begin… Well, actually I do; I need to finish the projects I began in 2016.I do not know if you’ve noticed, but I get sick a lot. On average I get sick 11 times each year! At the end of 2016 I have been sick almost all of November and half of December. Crazy! I know! Consequently, I’m a bit behind in my projects.

However, 2017 has arrived, I’m healthy and ready to draw, write, publish… The only thing I cannot yet do is: sing. My voice has not returned after my last bout of flu. The high-notes are just gone.

I’m sorry for neglecting this blog. I have been active on other blogs and social sites, but for some reason, this blog — my home base, my favourite blog — slipped through the cracks. If like me, you have not visited artofmili.ca in a while, you may notice that the site has been updated. This past week, I have been doing some New Year’s Cleaning in preparation of moving forward with 2017 projects.

So, what have you missed.

Commissions and Portraits

I may be able to create some commissioned artwork in 2017. Do you need an avatar, an original book cover, a portrait… For more information, check out the new Commissions Page here. If you are interested in Portraits, see here. Because I’m so busy with my own work, the time to contact me for commissions is now.

WofV eBook and Kindle Templates for Text-Based Books

Warriors of Virtue eBook and Kindle Templates for Text-Based Books.

Finally! A way for authors and publishers to create eBooks and Kindle Books just by copying and pasting their work.

If you’ve followed my career, you know how much I struggled to figure out how to publish digital books. Eventually, I went back to school and excelled at University of Ryerson’s Digital Publishing and Design Course. The knowledge I gained, I used to publish my fantasy series Warriors of Virtue. To help other authors and publishers save time and money, I’ve made these templates, along with a user guide and a couple of checklists, available for sale on Gumroad. You can find out more about the templates here.

The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook

The Phantom of the Opera Inktober 2016 Sketchbook Launch Party Invitation.

I had so much fun sketching my first Inktober Challenge that I decided to do more sketching in the future and to publish my fist Kindle Sketchbook. Find out more about this sketchbook here. I’m planning a fabulous Book Launch Party on Saturday, February 4th, 2017. The Party will take place here, on this blog; mark your calendar and join me for a day of fun, free artwork, books, and games! Now, take a minute, save the above image, and share this even with any other Phantom or Mili Fay Art fans. Thanks!

Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series

Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series Episode 4 should be released February 1, 2017 (Text Edition) and February 15, 2017 (Artist’s Edition).

Princess Sketches and Sketchbook Series, a tribute to Maria Pascual and Walt Disney

A sample of Maria Pascual's artwork.

Maria Pascual has been my favourite illustrator since I was a little girl. This image is from the cover of “Tales of Alhambra” by Washington Irving. I loved this book so much! I lent it, and my friends lost it when they moved to their new home.

Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series will continue to be my major writing project for 2017. However, my major artwork project will be: Princesses. I began my drawing career with Disney’s Aurora and a cast of fairytale and mythology characters. For 2017 I’ve decided to get back to my roots. I intend to create a series of sketchbooks and original traditional artwork featuring Princesses. To narrow down my focus, I’ve decided to recreate Disney Princesses/Leading Ladies in a style inspired by Maria Pascual — the two major artwork influences of my youth. If you wish to be involved with this project and to win some Mili Fay Art Princess swag, follow me on social media. Because of the upcoming movie, the first princess I’ll tackle is Belle, from “Beauty and the Beast.”

Please note, FANtasy Character Designs, and Mini-MEs have been put on a creative hold indefinitely. I may get back to these projects in the future, but for now, I wish to work on the projects mentioned above.

Since this is a brand-new year, if there is something you would like to see from Mili Fay Art in 2017, let me know in the comments.

Until next time…

Cheers!

Mili

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, an award winning artist, trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, but when computer animation took over the field, she decided that she loved drawing more than animating. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time. Today, she passionately creates imaginative artwork and stories, always graced with a humorous modern twist.

Currently, Mili is working on an epic YA fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess, Lauraliee, who learns to become a queen as she defends Ardan from dragon-people (people who turn into dragons).

Warriors of Virtue Episode 5 CoverArt ThumbnailWarriors of Virtue Episode 4 Cover Art ThumbnailWarriors of Virtue Episode 3 Cover ArtWarriors of Virtue Episode 2 Cover ArtWarriors of Virtue Episode 1 Cover Art
“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”
Also posted in FANtasy Character Designs, Mili Fay Art Princesses, Portrait Painting, Ryerson Digital Publishing, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , |

How to create a Kindle book from scratch and WofV Episode 1

On November 1st, 2016, after twenty years since its conception, I have finally released Warriors of Virtue Epic YA Fantasy Series Episode 1: Text Edition (WofVE01T) for sale on Amazon Kindle.

Warriors of Virtue Episode 1 Kindle Cover Art

Then, as life would have it, before I could properly celebrate, I got sick. At first I thought it was just the regular kind of cold, or flu, but as it turns out, I caught the Flu From Hell. There were days I thought I was going to die; then, there were days I wish I would die. Two weeks later, I am still not well. I’m better, but I’m not well.

I’m letting you know this as a way of apologizing for my long absence.

And it has been a long absence. Not just these past couple of weeks, but two months+ of absence. The reasons for the long absence is that I have been far too busy to sit down and write a proper post as I was trying to make sure my first episode release was absolutely perfect, while working on the Inktober 2016 challenge for the first time in my life. Add to that the responsibility of being the head of the household for the month of October… Well, all I could manage were short post on Social Media.

Phantom, Erik, ink sketches for Inktober 2016 Day 21.

For Inktober 2016, I’ve decided to sketch one of my favourite books and my favourite musical of all time: The Phantom of the Opera. You can see more photos on Instagram, Twitter, Mili Fay Art Facebook Page, or artofMilica Deviant Art Page. I hope to scan, edit, and release the whole sketchbook soon.

Of course my first release was not “absolutely perfect”. I’m amazed by the fact that no matter how many times I checked, and rechecked, and proofread everything, tiny errors still cropped up. Thankfully, most of you will never know them, because they have been eradicated ASAP.

The most bizarre of these errors was that the cover art for Episode 1 read Episode 2. I have no idea how this happened, especially since the cover attached to the actual Mobi file said Episode 1.

Publishing on Amazon’s KDP

If you have followed my work from the beginning, you know that WofVE01T is not the first book I have ever published with Amazon’s KDP. That honor belongs to my picture book, Animals In My Hair. However, when I created the digital version of Animals In My Hair, I was using Amazon’s Kid’s Book Creator. This is a wonderful program that allowed me to upload a PDF file of my book and visually prepare it for Kindle. I did not have to write a single line of code or markup. The program did everything.

WofVE01T is the first book I marked up then published from scratch.

How to create a Kindle book from scratch?

This question has bugged me since the first day I decided to try out Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), because I did not have hundreds of dollars to spend for someone to do this service for me — especially since I wanted to create many books, not just one or two. I’m also the type of person who needs to know how something is done, because if there are errors that need to be fixed, I’d want to be able to fix them myself and not depend on someone else’s whims. I am not wealthy and I’ve taken quite a financial and emotional risk to bring my fantasy story to light; I could be working and earning a living, but instead I chose to take time off work to share this story with you. I believe in it that much.

At this time, Amazon does not have a program for publishing non-picture books on Kindle. The files that convert best into Kindle books are ePub and Mobi.

I’ve searched for Templates online that I could use, but the templates I found were overly formatted for Kindle books; the universal truth I’ve come to accept is that the more formatting there is, the more likely it is that the documents would not display properly on most devices.

So, I went back to school. I took Ryerson’s Digital Publishing and Design course, and I’ve learned everything I need to know to create a digital book (in ePub and Mobi formats) like a pro.

The steps I took to create WofVE01T Kindle Book

Step 1: I typed up my book in MS Word.

Step 2: My professional editor (who has a PhD in English) edited my book in MS Word and sent the files back.

Step 3: I applied my editor’s edits to my book in MS Word.

Step 4: I copied the 1st chapter of my book and pasted the text into a new Notepad++ .txt file. This got rid of all the MS Word formatting.

Step 5: Since the text in an eBook is comprised of XHTML documents, I had to make sure to remove all the characters in the text that would interfere with XHTML markup. All the ; # & ” etc. had to be replaced with their Unicode codes, which can be found online. This was done using the Find and Replace Window. I also used a simple Regular Expression to add basic paragraph XHTML markup to the text. If you have a blog, you may be able to see this markup if you click on the HTML tab instead of the Visual tab for your blog.

Step 6: I created a WofV ePub Template using the basic ePub Template I saved from my classes at Ryerson.

Step 7: I cut and pasted my Notepad++ text into WofV ePub Template.

Step 8: I went through my MS Word document, and added all the text decoration (italics, bold, etc.) to the document in the WofV ePub Template. Then I repeated the process for every chapter, and all the front and back matter.

Step 9: I edited the Table of Contents, the .opf file, and added my cover image (the one I created earlier this year in Photoshop) to the WofV ePub Template.

Step 10: I zipped up my ePub Book using the eCanCrusher.

Step 11: I used an ePub validator to make sure the book was working and then I uploaded it to my iPad to see if it worked visually.

Step 12: Now that I had an eBook (I may wish to publish an ePub version in the future), I went back to Notepad++ and removed most of the formatting from the book, added the ncx file for Kindle’s Table of Contents, removed ePub Table of Contents, then I zipped up another ePub Mobi Book using eCanCrusher.

Step 13: I uploaded the resulting ePub to Amazon’s Kindle Previewer. This program created a Mobi file for me, and also an AZK file I could upload to the Kindle app on my iPad, so that I could preview my book on an actual device.

Step 14: I went to my Amazon KDP account, added the necessary information, and uploaded my Cover Art and Mobi file.

Step 15: I published my book.

What can an author who has no XHTML markup experience do to create a Kindle book?

Before taking the class at Ryerson, I remember my frustration with trying to find a simple Template to help me publish my book on Kindle in such a way that I would know what was happening “under the hood”, so that I can make any changes necessary.

For this reason I took extensive notes and images as I was creating WofVE01T. I also added extensive notes to my WofV ePub Template, then I created a WofV Mobi ePub Template as well. I intend to make these templates and notes available for fiction authors soon. As a self-publishing author, all you’ll need to know to use the templates is how to cut and paste your work.

These templates will not be free. As you can see, it took many hours of work for me to create the templates, and it will take more time to create a PDF instruction file. However, I will also not sell my template for a huge sum of money. As a self-publishing author what do you think would be a fair price? What can you afford? Let me know in the comments.

For a chance to test out these Templates for free, join Mili Fay Art Fan Club.

Note: These templates are for fiction authors only — authors who do not have illustrated books. I may create a Template for illustrated books later on, but for now, these templates supports text, a single chapter-end (or chapter-beginning) decoration image, and the cover image.

To view the ePub, feel free to download the WofVE01T Sample book here. To see how it looks on Kindle, I’m afraid you’ll just have to buy WofVE01T;  it’s only $0.99.

That’s it for today’s post.

Wishing you only the best!

Mili

Mili Fay--Portrait by Catia Da Costa of CDC Photography

© 2014 CDC PHOTOGRAPHY

Mili Fay, an award winning artist, trained as a classical animator at Sheridan College, but when computer animation took over the field, she decided that she loved drawing more than animating. In November of 2011 she created Mili Fay Art determined to support the world one artwork at a time. Today, she passionately creates imaginative artwork and stories, always graced with a humorous modern twist.

Currently, Mili is working on an epic YA fantasy series, Warriors of Virtue, about a reluctant princess, Lauraliee, who learns to become a queen as she defends Ardan from dragon-people (people who turn into dragons).

Warriors of Virtue Episode 5 CoverArt ThumbnailWarriors of Virtue Episode 4 Cover Art ThumbnailWarriors of Virtue Episode 3 Cover ArtWarriors of Virtue Episode 2 Cover ArtWarriors of Virtue Episode 1 Cover Art
“Together we support the world one artwork at a time.”
Also posted in Ryerson Digital Publishing, Uncategorized, Warriors of Virtue Tagged , , , , , |