Mockingbird Books offered used books for sale from 1990 to 2018. That life enterprise prompted someone to comment that perhaps a book should be written instead of just reading them. That exercise led to a website named Hubpages. And the rest as they say is history.
The writing journey doesn't just begin once the great American novel is written. The novelist, in today's world, without an entrenched publisher has his or her work cut out for them. The marketing of their book initiates battles on many fronts. One such issue is the cover.
Once ‘Braids, Angel’s Field’ was published in 2014, Mockingbird Books became Mockingbird Books and Publishing. That brought several fine writers from Hubpages here, seeking help in getting their work into the print phase of their project.
Maria Jordan’s, ‘Kylie’s Blossoms’ became a full fledged publishing project from page design and layout to contracting the printing overseas to marketing.
Soon clients such as Joyce Haragsim, Epigramman, and Mary Craig became clients of Mockingbird Books book cover services. I was fortunate to help Sunnie Day with two of her short story titles.
Creating a book cover is a step by step process. Reading all of a client’s work, over time, made creating a cover easy. Then editing a person’s work brought an impression to mind to use as a guide. Now, just hearing the title often brings a general vision of what a book cover may look like.
At times, the customer has a vision of what they want the end product to look like. I have learned to be flexible over the years, remembering that ultimately the customer needs to be happy with the end result.
Many of the book covers created by Mockingbird Books canbe seen on the website. http://mockingbird-books.weebly.com/book-covers.html
GIMP software is used. There are some limitations between that and Photoshop, but generally GIMP can get the job done.
See for yourself.
Thanks, Mike --- and as far as “seeing for yourself”, here are some testimonials from your customers and friends. Seems safe to say, we think you’re the greatest… :)
Peg Cole: Mike has been instrumental in turning my manuscripts into finished products, proofing text, writing back cover blurbs as well as an introduction to the novel. He's a genius when it comes to cover design, taking a photo and transforming it into a viable, professional looking book cover. He has an abundance of patience, for example, when I added 10,000 words to my manuscript and wanted to republish the expanded edition a year later. I have Mike to thank for the release of my first novel along with the second release.
More recently, Mike transformed an image into what is among his finest design cover, (naturally I think that) for my work in progress, my second fiction novel. He's been more than patient with the evolution of the title that has seen a number of changes in text and design. The resulting image is a true keeper. His creative nature is further enhanced by his willingness to learn new design techniques and apply them.
Beyond his abilities as an incredible writer, he is the consummate professional when it comes to promotion and marketing. His ingenious artwork and glowing review of my book are regularly promoted on social media by Mike. Without his help and ongoing encouragement, my work would likely have remained buried in my files.
Gail Sobotkin: "Mike Friedman was a pleasure to work with on the Mysterious and Miraculous book series which he formatted for publication and helped promote. He has also been very supportive of my writing and I've enjoyed reading books he's written. I've also loved the book covers and illustrations he's done for some other writers that I know. Mike has excellent work habits, completes writing projects on schedule and is a great mentor."
Genna East: Thank you for the opportunity to offer a testimonial for someone so many of us admire. More than "the man behind our beloved Emerald Wells Cafe" on Hubpages, as well as the author of the wonderful The Carriage Driver and The Quinn Moosebroker Mysteries, Mike Friedman is a consummate writer and creative genius whose wisdom, inspiration and generosity of spirit reflect the best of the American heart.
From my own experience, he has encouraged me to "stay the path" with my writing, despite my uncertainties, lifestyle changes, or stumbling into the occasional rabbit hole of writer's block. He has also helped me to become an even better version of myself as a writer with his genuine, unwavering support. Such a gift is priceless. I think one of the reasons why his stories are so interesting -- why his words capture the reader -- is that he brings the same level of authenticity and understanding to his characters.
A gentleman in every sense of the word, Mike is a cherished colleague and friend, who is always there when others need him. We can't imagine life on the Hub, and beyond, without this remarkable man. Bless you, Mike. And thank you for being you.
Bill Holland (Author and Freelance Writer): "Yes, Mike's cover skills are exceptional. He seems to capture my novels without even reading them, and I would love to know what magic he uses to do that...but...what is more remarkable, to me, is the amount of time he takes to share the works of others. Rarely does a day go by he isn't on Facebook promoting a book written by another writer. That kind of selflessness is very unusual in today's world. I value Mike's friendship, admire his talents, and when I grow up I want to be like him."
Paula JayEm: "Mike. . . Our very own Mike Friedman of Mockingbird Books. I'm not sure how to express my opinion of Amazing Mike without getting all sugary sweet & sickening but I'll try. (Sigh....) What a guy. While his incredible writing talent is evident through all his work, the unique, precious man he is, is what truly impresses me. There are few people in this world who effortlessly share genuine warmth with those they interact on a daily basis....who go that one step further to express concern and fondness, when he magically senses that person could use a boost of friendship and concern. Yes, there really is a "Magic Mike" and he's right here in our midst, making people smile and feel valued. I think of Mike and envision a big, strong yet gentle Teddy Bear, who's a very soft place to fall....and I have to say, in this crazy, often cruel world of ours, that makes Mike a special gift. I feel extremely lucky to know him."
Martie Coetser Pozyn: In his capacity as publisher, Mike Friedman’s professional services deserve an honorable mention. His encouragement and patience during my Afrikaan's translation of “Kylie’s Blossoms” by Maria Jordan made a deep impression on me. In reviewing a draft of my unpublished novel, he provided relevant and well-needed advice. Mike’s opinions of a writer’s work should never be ignored, as they are always objective and profound. He is a man who will walks the extra mile every time.
Linda Bilyeu: "I appreciate the patience Mike had while he helped me in self-publishing my books. His professionalism is to be commended as well as his dedication to fellow writers."
Kim Thompson aka Sunnie Day: "There are so many wonderful stories I could share about Mike and all of them would be uplifting and full of love. He made his way into my life via Hubpages and then to become my personal editor, teacher, and lifelong friend. He is forever the encourager and once he made it into my heart, he never let go, and is family in my eyes forever. I could not begin to thank Mike for all he has done for me. He may not know this but he was there for me through some very dark times which were hidden behind words on a page. If I had not had his friendship to encourage me to write, I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you Mike for being a wonderful human being and not to mention a talented writer, publisher, and friend."
Sannel Larson: It's a humbling experience to get so much support and love from someone who previously you did not know and whose incredibly encouragement and support are endless. Mike has been promoting my work faithfully for many years now, and I'm just blown away by his kindness and big hearted generosity. He has given me renewed hope in mankind, seriously. I'm ever so grateful for all he has done sharing and marketing my work, beside all the encouraging, glowing reviews of my books.
Mike is a devoted colleague and friend to so many of us, and highly respected and admired by everyone. As an author and artist he is outstanding, and his books have given me many, many hours of inspirational and enjoyable reading. Mike, I adore you! I can't thank you enough for all that you have done."
Until next week, wishing you peace. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, mar
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marcoujor, Virtual Buskers' Guild
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