The Illustrated Section is Closing

I regret to announce that I have decided to close The Illustrated Section.

This was not an easy decision, but as more and more digital marketplaces become more popular and accessible to indie creators, there is less of a need for me to continue with the site. TIS is a very small operation (me), and I juggle it along with a day job as an illustrator, artist, and writer. So unfortunately, I am shutting TIS down.

TIMELINE

I am going to leave TIS up and running normally until JULY 31, 2012. You can still purchase books during this time. * Note that purchased books are in DRM-free PDF format. The site closing will not affect your ability to read your purchases, and you will have at least several months to download your files, which are instantly available upon purchase. Please don’t let recent news deter you from supporting your favorite artists and buying their books! *

Starting AUGUST 1, I will disable all purchase capabilities, but you will still be able to log into the site and download your purchases.

The site will officially shut down for good on NOVEMBER 1, 2012. You MUST download all your purchased books before then.

Creators, I will no longer be taking new book submissions for the site. I also sent out an email detailing some other instructions and special deals. If you did not receive it, please let me know ASAP.

If you have made a donation to the site in the last three months or so and would like a refund, please let me know and I’ll take care of it.

Thank you to everyone who contributed, purchased books, and said kind words about the site during its run.

Best,
Dani

**UPDATE** I’ve had several inquiries from parties interested in taking over The Illustrated Section. Please note that while I appreciate the go-get-em spirit and the desire to keep the site running, I have decided not to move the site to someone else’s hands. This is partly because I don’t feel comfortable transferring control of so many artists’ work, many of whom first joined the site by my personal request; and partly because I would like to reserve the website to possibly promote digital comics in some other form in the future. Thanks for the interest though!

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How to Optimize PDF Files

Here’s a short video tutorial about how to reduce the file size of PDF comics and picture books using Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, or Photoshop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJHObSJb_6E

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List Your Book for Free!

Creators, you can now list your book here for FREE at The Illustrated Section. No more listing fees or commissions.

New Requirements

In exchange for the free listing, I am asking for just a few things in return:

  • The PDF files be kept under 15 MB.
  • Help promote The Illustrated Section.

I'm capping the file size to help make hosting more efficient, create easier downloads for customers, and make it easier to manage the site. However, if your file is too big, I'm not going to turn you away! I just ask that you make a $10 donation to help pay for site costs and the work to manage your file. In my experience, most books can be kept at 100-200 kb per page (that's 75-150 pages!) and still look good on most e-readers. Please do the best you can to optimize your file.

And for the other request – I would like to spread the word about the site not only to artists and creators, but to readers as well. In an effort to do so, I am reaching out to creators to help promote the The Illustrated Section to their audience via your websites, blogs, and social networks. It doesn't have to be anything big – just send a link out to your listing once it is up to help your readers know the site exists! The more readers that visit the site, the better for EVERYONE involved here in the store.

Here's to a great new year and lots of new books to read!

Donate

As part of my new strategy here for the site, I am opening up donations. If you enjoy the site and find it useful, you can contribute here.

Visit the submissions page for info about selling books in the store.

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Submissions to Go On Hold

On December 12, books submissions will be put on hold temporarily. No submissions will be accepted and no books will be added to the shop until early January. This is to give me, the lonely site runner, a break for the holiday, time to catch up on illustration work, and room to prepare for the upcoming year. I have some new ideas planned for the site.

If you have a book that you want added to the store this month, you must send it in before December 12 here.

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New Books – November 2011

Here are some of the best new books added in November:


The Marvellous Mischief and Mayhem of the Monkey and the Mouse by Kev Brett

A collection of the comic strip The Monkey and the Mouse


Told Fables by Ole Label

Join Captain Soggy Bottoms, Tits Calhoon, Will, Devin and many other hilarious characters in Told Fables. A mixed up messed up Comic magazine comprised of different artists and writers creating short comics for all to love.


The Specialists Issue 1 by Synchronicity Media

In an alternate history WWII, the Nazis use occult forces and eugenics to develop superhuman √úbermenschen. The Allies harness the power of the atom to create supermen of their own.


The Tell by Chris Kawagiwa

A traveling Inventor is rescued from attacking bandits by a mysterious Ringmaster. He’s given refuge within the magical Circus, but the longer he stays, the more he realizes there may be something more sinister afoot behind the striped curtain…

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New Books – October 2011

The Illustrated section has been consistently receiving some great new additions. I’ve decided to start a new series here on this blog in order to feature the best new books from each month.

So to start things off, check out some of these highlights from October:

The Horde by Bad Cat Comics

Imagine if the A-Team was asked to take part in a Super Soldier Serum experiment, but instead of turning out like Captain America, the serum they were given is slowly rewriting their DNA and turning them into Monsters. Think UNIV! ERSAL SOLDIER meets ALIENS.

Illustrator Income Survey by Charles Hively

The first of it’s kind: An international review of illustrator’s income. Countries include the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, as well as parts of Europe and Asia. Easy-to-read charts and graphs show total income broken down by source, age group and gender.

BOO!: Spooky Tales for Kids by Denver Wagner

A monster preparing for retirement. A 10-year-old mad scientist. A spirit fox. These are just a few of the characters you will meet in “BOO!: Spooky Tales for Kids”. Twelve artists from around the world have come together to produce this anthology of original spooky comic tales.

Julioh, a Visual Trip by Luis Prado

Julioh is a unique visual story about a young man obsessed with getting a job in advertising. Determined to make it big, Julioh will stop at nothing, trading a small town in Argentina, for Nueva York, the city of dreams.

My Sister the Freak Volume 1 by Dani Jones

Read the entire My Sister the Freak story so far in one book which collects all four chapters of the first volume.

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Lowering the File Size of Your PDF

If you are a creator and you are interested in selling PDF versions of your books and comics, here is a tip about formatting your PDF file:

    Lower the file size.

File size is important when your talking about a digital product. If it’s too big, then it becomes a hassle for your customer to download, save, and transfer to devices. It’s also less convenient for you when you store your files, transfer to devices for testing, or upload to your online store. The smaller you can get your file without compromising quality, the better.

The good news is that your pages don’t have to be too big to look good on digital devices. The iPad screen is 1024×768 pixels, which is not too large of a resolution.

I see this problem a lot, both as a consumer of digital books, and as a comic creator and manager of this website. I handle lots of digital files and PDFs.

You should easily be able to make the file size of your PDF to around 200-300 kb per page, or even smaller. My 24 page full color comic issues come in around 2-3 MB. I was able to create a 100 page full color comic at only 9 MB. So you can see why I get frustrated when I buy a 50 page digital comic and have to download a 80 MB file.

There is no real standard in the industry right now, but here are a few tips based on my personal opinions. Take them as you will. In my experience, these tips help to make comics that look beautiful on the iPad while taking up minimal space.

Tips for Lowering the File Size of PDF Files

    1. Save each page as an image. Lower the resolution of each page to around 1000-1500 pixels on its longest side. For my comics with a page size of 7″x10.5″, I lowered the resolution to 100 dpi. That made each page 700×1050 pixels, which is just large enough for an iPad screen. Use these images to create your PDF in your favorite application.

    2. If you have Photoshop, use the “Save For Web” option instead of the usual “Save As” command. This will lower the file size even more.

    3. Use a pro PDF-making application like Acrobat or InDesign. Using something like Word tends to make bloated PDF files.

    4. Sometimes, you don’t need to save each page as an image first. Some programs let you work with and place high-res files and then let you specify the image size when exporting a PDF.

    5. If you have an existing PDF file, you can use Adobe Acrobat’s Optimize feature to decrease the file size.

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The All-New Illustrated Section!

The Illustrated Section has recently gone through a major update. I hope you enjoy the new features and design!

Brand New Design

The site has been rebuilt from the ground up to look spiffier and hopefully more convenient.

Wish Lists

You can now easily bookmark the books you like, but maybe don’t want to buy just yet. Simply create an account, then add the book to your wish list for future reference.

New Shopping Cart System

All purchases now go straight to the artist who created the book, which means every time you check out, you pay the artist directly through their Paypal account.

Since you need to pay different artists for different books, you can now only buy one book at a time. If you’d like to bookmark a collection of books, you can put them in your wish list (see above).

Handy Features for Creators

Once you submit your book to the store, you’ll now have a lot more options for managing your books. Edit price and book descriptions at any time. Change the Paypal address you want your sales to go to. Have your own url with all of your books and a place for a bio/website links, which you can also edit at any time.

And again, with the new cart system, every sale made through the site goes straight to your Paypal account. You can also view your real-time sales stats in your creator account. No more waiting for monthly payments and statements.

For info and guidelines about selling a book in the store, go to the submissions page.

* * * * *

I hope you enjoy the site! Please let me know if you find a glitch or have a question.

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Support Independent Women Creators!

There’s a great collection of women artists and writers here on the site. You can check them all out right now in this special section of the store: http://theillustratedsection.com/women

Help support these lovely ladies in what they do and let them know you appreciate their work!

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Announcing New “Book-For-Book” Listing Discount!

As word has gotten out about The Illustrated Section, interest from artists continues to grow and grow. I am adding new books to the site on a regular basis. It makes me so happy to see so many creative and ambitious artists making stuff and putting it out there.

If you are familiar with the submission process for the site (if you’re not, go here to read the guidelines) you know there is a small flat fee to list a book here. I do this to help pay for the costs of the site and as an alternative to taking a percentage of the artist’s sales. Well, now I am going to provide a way for artists to list their book here on the site without paying that fee.

Here’s the details:

Book-For-Book

Buy at least $4 worth of books from the store, and list your book here for FREE.

The normal fee for listing a book for sale here is $5.99. Now, you can pay less AND get some comics.

My reasoning is, the money I receive from contributing artists mostly goes towards advertising and trying to find customers to buy the content being submitted. This would essentially do the same thing, except now you get to support the creators directly instead of handing your money over to me. I have no problem giving that up if it means more people are reading and checking out the awesome content here on the site.

And as a reminder, once your book is listed on the site, I won’t be taking any commissions or percentages from your sales other than the usual PayPal fees. You get paid for everything you sell on a monthly basis.

If you are an artist and are interested in selling a book here, all you need to know is on the submissions page.

The Fine Print

Here are the general rules about this new policy:

  • Contributors must provide an order # with their submission so I can confirm that they have bought some books. Order total must equal $4 or more.
  • An order # can be used only once for this deal, even if the order total is higher than $4. If you want to list another book under this deal, you’ll have to buy more comics or books.
  • It doesn’t matter how old your order is. If you bought books three months ago, you can still use it to pay for your listing fee today.
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