Wing'd Tower Press
Art and Design Books
A small press specializing in books on the visual and performing arts and other design topics, using this era's new print-on-demand and e-book possibilities. These will tend to be non-fiction books, but we will include fiction and poetry, especially if illustrations are important to the edition or if the text relates to the world of design.
We believe in unique, passionate books.
In order to further that belief (as a sort of Public Service, you know, like those TV emergency drills with the siren noise) we have here included all the most interesting sources we've found for information on writing, on agents, on traditional and indie publishing, on book editing and design, and on creating an author's platform, generating publicity, and that bless'd situation called "Buzz"... all the vital details of creating a Good Book yourself.
Announcing our SECOND publication!
John Donne: Selected Love Poems
Poetry is an Art, Yes? (and illustrated!)
Some of the best love poems in the English language are by John Donne.
This e-edition selects his most famous poems and other favorites of the illustrator's and adds detailed printer's ornaments at the head of each poem and some ink-line vignettes. Whimsical... and practical too, because they help you find favorite poems as you scroll through your e-reader.
Now you can e-carry with you such Greatest Hits as "Go and catch a falling star..."
The illustrator, C. F. DeVries, is known for her ink-line drawings. She also illustrated our first publication, Alice Through the Proscenium.
Kindle e-Book at Amazon
Keep some of the best love poetry on the planet on your Kindle in this charming e-version.
Easy to read and delicately embellished with ink-line printer's ornaments and vignettes.
Not just a fast-upload of public domain literature, these great poems are lovingly selected, arranged, and ornamented.
Or in ePub Format - For NOOK (and other e-readers)
For those poetry lovers not on Kindle, the alternative and most popular e-publishing format.
Other Wing'd Tower Titles...
Here follows our other in-print (and in-pixel) books:
Alice Through the Proscenium
A theater set design how-to
With wry humor, this book explains the strange world of theater (and a bit of TV/film) from a designer's eye-view.
Written by an architect and theater designer for beginning and developing designers, Alice Through the Proscenium explains in a step-by-step way the set design process from first reading the play; through "design" proper - including research and design methods and elements; to documenting that design through drawing and modeling; to constructing, painting, furnishing, and dressing your set onstage; right through Opening Night to Strike.
Alice includes: a fast illustrated romp through style history; lists of helpful tools, materials, and books; a glossary; and lots of advice. Sometimes life-saving advice like what to do when painting with a gorilla. Or about avoiding critics (much more dangerous than gorillas).
Release: first editions 2011
e-book edition: Barnes & Noble Pubit!
Paperback edition: Wing'd Tower Press / Lulu.com
Format: 8 1/2" x 11" paperback, perfect bind, 115 pg. B&W, color cover
Author: Clare Floyd DeVries - architect and award-winning theater set designer and production designer.
Illustrations: pen and ink, Clare Floyd DeVries - photo, Gary DeVries
Alice Through the Proscenium has been selected by the American Association of Community Theatre as a "Recommended" read in their on-line library
What's inside ALICE?
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 - Reading
Chapter 2 - Resources
Chapter 3 - Restraints
Chapter 4 - Design Process
Chapter 5 - Design Elements
Chapter 6 - Documentation
Chapter 7 - Construction
Chapter 8 - Paint
Chapter 9 - Furniture
Chapter 10 - Set Dressing
Chapter 11 - Join the Tea Party
Chapter 12 - Aftermath
Chapter 13 - Post (Theatrical) Production
Chapter 14 - n' More
Amalgamated Home & Field Kit
Glossary & Index
About the Author
The printer Lulu and booksellers Amazon and Barnes & Noble - all three sites feature slightly different sample pages.
Note: the e book edition contains all the same information and illustrations as the paperback edition, but due to limitations in the e format, some material, like the Glossary, are harder to use. (We're striving to improve this.)
Now the Public Service Part of Our Program...
Great resources for the Author on the topics of agents, publishing (both traditional and self-) and much much more.
Motivating yourself to write that long-planned book
Wow. A big job - writing a book. An even bigger job to FINISH it.
As first time writer/publishers we at Wing'd Tower Press know all about that.
ALICE was ten years in the making. It started as notes, little reminders-to-self jotted down in the course of teaching ourselves theater set design. (All too often the note read, "Don't do THAT again!") Gradually these notes began to build up until they seemed - almost by themselves - to foreshadow a book. After that it was just a matter of ---
--- lots of sweat and effort. Also lots of learning and fun. This is the book we'd looked for in vain when we started designing for theater. It turned out to be easier to write it, than to find it. Many, many writers start out that way, writing the book they wish they could find, just so they can read it - J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, for example.
Is there a book YOU want to read?
"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison
Books on Writing - (Not ours, but we love 'em anyway)
Some of the best books on writing we've found - every one of them on our own bookshelf.
The best and most famous - famously "little" book - on grammar with a terrific essay on writing style by E.B. White - who had some.
A wonderful discussion of the Writer's life and work, with helpful insights on craft and emotional maintenance.
Stephen King's memoir and explanation of the writer's craft and tool kit, with a helpful section on rewriting.
The why and wherefore of the novel - classic explanation of plot and story. Why DID the queen die?
A discussion of Jane Austen's novels, but also a description of the fiction writer's work and methods.
Sites and Blogs on Writing - An assortment of good stuff
Pay particular attention to Wordplayer's Terry Rossio and to Neil Gaiman - best to take advice from the best, huh?
- The Urban Muse
Blog about non-fiction, primarily on-line article writing.
THE site for screenwriters. Read the "Columns" by Terry Rossio - co-writer of (among other films) the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
- On-Line Classes
New York Times' list of on-line non-fiction writing courses.
- Allison Winn Scotch Blog
A good question-and-answer blog on writing and publication.
- Where Do You Get Your Ideas?
A fabulous answer to this age-old writers' question, by Neil Gaiman
- 10 Steps for Scriptwriters
A Squidoo lens full of writing tips
A great resource / organization for Indie authors and publishers.
- April L. Hamilton's site
By the author of The Indie Author Guide. 'Nuf said.
- Virtual Theater Book Shop
A selection of theater books.
- Writer's Notebook
An interesting Lens on the importance of that faithful sidekick The Notebook!
- Summer Reading for Writers
A few interesting, inspirational books for the beach.
- Dell Girl Publishing
One writer's experience of writing and self publishing.
- Miss Snark - advice goddess
Here's her post on writer's cover letters, but read around her site for her posts on other writerly issues.
- The Awl "Lies Writers Tell"
True, often funny, and good advice.
Agents - (Do you need one?)
In my own experience, an agent can get your book read where "sending it in over the transom" would either be too slow a process or is not allowed... but it won't get your book purchased unless that book is worth the publisher's while. However, if a publisher does want to buy your MS, then an agent can dicker for you and probably get a higher advance. For many books, especially literary fiction, you MUST have an agent - for others, like niche non-fiction, the book's audience is so small, no agent will be interested or needed.
(Or, now I've written it, what do I do with it?)
Or, as Woody Allen's character says in the voice-over at the beginning of his film Manhattan, "We want to sell some books here!"
ALICE's adventures (the book's even weirder in some ways than the girl's) started the traditional way, with book proposals submitted to editors. And those weren't this author's first submittals either - years before there had been the mystery novels and the NY literary agent and the rejection letters (some of them very encouraging - if "No" can be encouraging). The whole circus.
But the world is changing.
Self-publishing is ever so much simpler. Sorta.
As this lens develops, we'll add more information to help other new writers and new publishers. Meanwhile, contact us! Leave questions. Or answers.
Wittiest Comment on Publishing... (possibly) Ever
This from the gifted cartoonist who writes and draws the steampunk on-line comic 2D Goggles: Or theThrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, who is branching out into print:
"I'll tell you something about print though: it is a hella work. They take whole forests and chop them down and mash them up and flatten them out and then your lousy comic is sprayed onto it with LASER BEAMS! So it's kind of an operation."
Exactly! That's exactly how it is - whether it's publishing traditionally or on-demand yourself - a ton o' work.
Hie thee to her blog!
- 2D Goggles: Or the Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage
Thrilling. Adventurous. And steampunk-arific!
Go Traditional Publishing? Or Self Pub?
Here's a thought-provoking blog post by writer John Barlow on the pros and cons of traditional versus self publishing as the industry changes:
A successful mid-list novelist talks turkey about publishing.
Indie Self Publishing - The DIY guide to getting your book in print yourself
This book started as a self-published "Indie" so the author knows whereof she speaketh.
I used this book at the last stages of publishing my own Indie book (Alice Through the Proscenium) and found her information on building up an authors "platform" and publicizing the book very useful. My only quibble is in her suggestion that including illustrations in an e-book is just too difficult to attempt; it IS a major pain, but as Alice proves, it can be done. (Took a lot of cussin'.) Lists, glossaries, tables of content and anything requiring even the most basic formatting or changes in typeface are, um, maddening. At present, the DIY e-publishing system are really best suited to plain vanilla texts.
This is a truly useful book.
Books on Publishing and Self Publishing
An assortment of books that look helpful.
Websites and Blogs on Books and Publishing
- 50 Watts
A very beautiful blog collection on book covers and illustrations.
- Punch and Judy
A site showcasing the work - book illustration plus theater and other design - by Scott McKowen and Christina Poddubiuk. Lovely work.
- How to Make an eBook
Seth Godin (who should know) on how to e-publish.
- A Condensed History of the Book
From the History of Graphic Design site. Fascinating!
- Publishing Start Up
Lots of resources on self- or indie publishing... from a self-indie-publisher.
- Digital Novels
The future may belong to something more than the eBook - the interactive web-based novel.
- Before and After Magazine
Graphics design for publishing, business cards and brochures, etc. with handy tutorials and all sorts of graphic design tips like on how to choose colors, typefaces and much more. Look here before you design a book cover.
- TEDD Talk by Chip Kidd on book covers
Watch, watch, watch! this funny, brilliant discussion by Knoff's book designer on designing book covers and jackets. Wonderful!
- Self Publishing a Book: 25 Things You Need to Know
A very detailed post at Cnet Reviews on self-publishing, by David Carnoy.
- Hack the Cover
An interesting essay on the death of the traditional book cover and what opportunities there are for e-covers.
- "All is Not Vanity"
A really good article by Rich Archbold in Literary Review of Canada about self-publishing literary fiction. Well worth reading.
- The Cruel Paradox of Self-Publishing
A discussion of the self-publishing phenomenon and its becoming a new mainstream... and the sad fact that most books sell less than 100-150 copies.
- How Authors are Misled...
A useful - sometimes scary - discussion of self-publishing, vanity publishing, and the dubious business of non-traditional publishing.
- Self-Publishing a Book: 25 Things You Need to Know
Great voice-of-experience stuff here.
- Writing Kids' eBooks
Helpful advice on the nitty-gritty of getting your ebook published.
- Publishing Methods
A few years dated maybe, but still full of good advice on self-publishing.
- Self-Publishing? Don't Bother Unless...
Some great advice about WHY to write and publish.
- VQR - "On the Business of Literature"
A fascinating historical look at literature as a business and a culture... and where it is heading now.
- Survivorship Bias
OR Why 90% of the Advice on Writing is Bullshit Right Now. Some good points.
- "Self Publishing is the Future..."
By Hugh Howey, the author of Wool.
Latest Update! 2014
- "Self-Published eBooks: the surprising data from Amazon"
A fascinating article at BoingBoing about the MASSIVE impact of epublishing - especially of genre fiction.
Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography
Watch it - listen to it - enjoy it!
(Though I do enjoy Lynn Truss's "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves." Sorry, Stephen.)
Book Promotion and the Author's Platform
Yeesh! As if writing and publishing the book weren't enough... you have to promote it.
There's a fairy-tale that in the good ol' days of brick-n-mortar publishers (and ink-n-paper books) a publisher would gather your manuscript to its chest, pat you on your authorial head, and take things from there. Maybe the author would sign a few books for an eager crowd - somewhere glamorous like, say, Paris. If that ever happened, it ain't happening now.
It's up to YOU to do... well, everything. Including book promotion.
And to promote your book, you need an Author's Platform.
(I have a mental image of a rickety wood structure, like a gallows without rope, all draped with bunting and "Buy My Book!" signs that try to conceal that rickety-ness.)
Your platform is all the other stuff you do besides book writing: your expertise; your career, perhaps; talks you give; boards you sit on; news articles about you or your book; on-line articles you write (like this one); all the many things you do to make the world take notice of your book. Remember, until you present your book, you are its only friend in the world!
Your main goals are to:
1) Demonstrate your expertise on your subject (whether fiction or non- )
2) Get your name out there - in a positive way
3) Let people know about your book - and where to buy it!
Frankly, it's a ton of work.
Here's an interesting quote from Squidoo's patron Squid-Saint, Seth Godin (a man who knows about "platform") from an email about his Domino Project:
"...the lonely life of the self-published author. This is streetfighting, one reader at a time. Getting a word file turned into an ebook is trivially easy. Getting a book into the world isn't so hard. Being discovered and talked about: really hard.
Building a tribe is not a matter of a miracle, instead, it's about converting tiny groups of people at a time, leading them, connecting them, building an audience. When a self-published author does this, she has a new job. Not the author part, the publisher part. She's not putting a book into the universe and hoping it will be found. She's not even putting a book in a journalist's hands and hoping it will be hyped. No, she is engaging in a years-long journey to build a platform. It might take a decade to become an overnight success, but if you keep it up, if you keep building, the odds keep getting better and better."
That is our quest - to build our platforms.
As Woody Allen's Manhattan character says: "I mean, face it, I wanna sell some books here."
Links to More on Promotion and Author's Platform Jazz
Phew! What a lot of work... but it makes all the difference.
Really Gung-ho? - Go Audio!
Does your book lend itself to listening?
- How to Publish an Audiobook
A few first-thoughts on getting an audiobook made. (I strongly second the idea of a director if you're a novice wanting to narrate the book yourself - that and a really good sound engineer.)
Wing'd Tower Press is a micro-press. We only work with books we believe in.
We steer a worthy book through the confusion that is today's self-publishing world. All publications pass through the owner's hands - ensuring quality control and editing (and, therefore we hope, a certain amount of spelling and grammar and good sense).
Consider us for a second - impartial - opinion before launching.