Archives for posts with tag: self-publishing

Carly sent me the images she took at the launch of The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. It was so difficult to whittle them down to a few. I am really impressed. Click on any of the images to enlarge and see the slideshow. (c)



The Dedepuppets started out as observers of life. These two are pals from the book Hermit’s web or the few friends I need I handcraft myself, that I did in 2012. The brainy Professor and his buddy Pig. They are a couple. The professor loves to talk and drink and comes across as being intelligent. His mate pig loves to drink. Fullstop! He doesn’t say much. And in the book the story goes, he is not a connoisseur at all, he just quaffs down the wine until he is plastered.

(Note: Little did I know back then what it actually means if you have to work with Professor and Pig. Back then I only knew them from a social setting. Socially they can be fun, but at work, oh dear… you don’t want go there!)

devil hammock

I have started to prepare for my book launch, which will be a pop-up kitchen. I think this is very appropriate for The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. I have been running around to find a suitable venue that I can hire without breaking the bank. (I am back on a serious flour and water diet and unfortunately I can’t pay my dues in buns and doughnuts). There are gazillions of self-published books out there and everybody who has ever published a book can confirm, the most difficult part is the marketing. Particularly when you are a hermit, as a lot of artists are. But in the meantime I have sold some copies via CreateSpace. It is so exciting, when you log in and you see for the first time that the 0 has turned into real a number!

Though I still have to finish my Pecha Kucha presentation that describes why I am playing with puppets. Here we are at slide number 9:

When I first started I with puppets, I was particularly ingtruiged by their completeness. They are viusal, sculptures, actors, storytellers all rolled up in one.  Puppetry has been an anarchic and subversive art throughout history and Peter Schumann, the founder of Bread and Puppetry said: It is an art which is easier researched in police records than in theatre chronicles.

Last Sunday I grabbed two of my puppets and together we made the best bun recipe from page 32. Just to prove that it is that simple. I hope you like it, it would be great if you could share. It is such a great Christmas present. Buy a bag of flour, a wooden spoon and the Artist’s Survival Cookbook and you can make someone a really happy kitchen god(ess).


The first shipment of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook has arrived. Just in time for the Indie bookfair at the Northshore Event Centre this weekend. For all my overseas friends… the book is now available at Amazon. I haven’t quite figured it out, but they already discounted the book, strange. It is also available on the CreateSpace Store, but here it is my intended price. This is one way of robbing the author of their royalties. Why would anybody buy it on CreateSpace when you can get it cheaper from Amazon, and the shipping is also cheaper there too. Grrrrr. But that is not what I wanted to write about!

The Indie bookfair was a very intersting affair. The exhibitors were small publishing houses, self published authors and companies that offer publishing services for those who want to become published authors. The visitors were mainly the latter or people who knew someone who was exhibiting. So there weren’t many sales to be had all around. I had prepared little bags with one bean plus a Dede instruction card on how to grow the bean, and on the back there was info about the book . At least the visitors were very happy to take the little gift and hopefully they will grow the bean and look up the book on Amazon (slim chance though, but I got some attention). As I was invited by my friend Dee to share her stall, I still came out ahead and Dee herself didn’t do too badly. We both made good contacts with people we can work with in future. And that is invaluable. The comments about the puppets were also nice. A few people knew the puppets from their exhibition and from puppet month last year, so they are little celebrities in their own right.

Personally, I get anxieties when I see so many people in one place all wanting to sell their books. I am pretty sure every single one is worthwhile reading and everyone poured their lifeblood into their work and then there I am, with a book too and wanting to sell it! I think I will have to retreat and play with my puppets again for a little while :)

devil whisper

I have finally uploaded the Artist’s survival cookbook to CreateSpace and ordered two copies. It is not available for purchase yet. The next step is to proof the quality of the images. I have printed two copies here on two different digital printers and both came out a bit too dark, with the blacks clogging up. Knowing how tempramental printers can be (as many small digital printers are not regularly calibrated) I have to get a print from the machine the book will be printed on. Then I’ll have to make a call on whether I need to work on the images to improve the result.

In the meantime, good old Mouse is still on Devil’s case. No matter what Devil says, Mouse is deeply concerned that he is not coping well at the moment. After enough pestering, he finally he told her what he is currently working on, just to shut her up. But she is not allowed to tell anyone else. Now this is a real test of will power for Mouse, as she is such a big gossip. Surprisingly, she has managed to keep the secret so far, though she let slip that all will be revealed by next weekend.

pledge me

Hurrah, I have done it. The crowdfunding campaign for the Artist’s survival cookbook is finally up and running. If you pledge, you basically pre-order the book but you also can pledge for a Lil’Dede, or the real thing, a Dede! They are not often for sale. Have a look, have a heart, and pledge. :) And if you know someone who might be interested in the book, share! Get the word out! The Dedes and I are grateful for all your support.



artist survival cookbook cover

Milky Bar Devil looked so cute with his hamburger bun the other day, that the Dedes decided they are making him the poster boy for the cover and L’Artiste played around with the arrangement today. Having arrived at this stage, the little light at the end of the tunnel is definitely in sight. I have three more recipes to add, and a couple other changes, the proof-reader is lined-up too…. So can’t be too long now.

In case you haven’t had dinner yet, here is a picture of the finished hamburger.




mouse devil reading book

“We won’t get 101 recipes” said Mouse again and looked at her list. “I think we have twenty-five or so.”

“There are still a few to come” said Witch. “I definitely want to do my teff custard”. Witch is the one that tries all sort of different flours. Teff is her favourite. It is an Ethiopian highland grain and is gluten-free, but has the stickiness of gluten. It is often used in gluten-free flour mixes, but it is hard to come by on its own and very expensive. For this reason, Mouse, who is a frugal Dede,  doesn’t want to include anything with teff flour in the book.

“But we have to talk about different flours in the book” insisted Witch. “And, okay, I have already published the teff custard on October 2013. I’ll just link to it here.”

“I think it is time to discuss how we make the book. We have enough material. Quality is better than quantity and our readers might be getting sick of all these flour and water recipes” continued Mouse.

Harvey, the rabbit, came into the room and said “but I want to make a yeast plait that you eat at Easter”. “And I want to make profiterole” chimed in Loudmouth, the chicken. “We haven’t even made any dumplings except for the bread dumplings” called someone from the back. “There are still more recipes to come!”

“Do we need to publish them all on the blog?” asked Mouse. “I am starting to worry about how we design the book. I have to get on with the editing. Do we just collate all the stories we have here, or what?” Mouse looked around for a response. She is not confident enough to make such far-reaching decisions on her own.

No answers were forthcoming so Devil, who has no problem with decision-making, stepped in. “Personally, I think the Dedes should be in the book, but we might rewrite the story a little to make it smoother. At the moment we just have blog posts. This doesn’t make a book!” He commended Mouse for all her valuable input into the recipes and how she explained what to watch out for, but he thinks it needs to be streamlined. The others agreed. Detail piped up and said “But if we don’t have 101 recipes the title doesn’t work anymore. Didn’t we want to call the book The Artist’s survival cookbook or 101 recipes with flour and water?”

“I noticed that too” said Philosopher. “What do you think about the title The Artist’s survival cookbook or how to make a crust

“We could also call it The Artist’s survival cookbook or living on the breadline” said L’Artiste who knows a thing or two about that.

“See?” Mouse was happy that the discussion finally started. “There are so many decisions to make. The title, and then the question, do we have to photograph everything again? How do we want to design the book? How are we going to publish it?”

“Do you really think our readers are interested in all this?” asked Philosopher. “Shouldn’t we discuss all this amongst ourselves?”



Summer came to a screeching halt yesterday. It rained! It was about time… The usually lush, green countryside had taken on a very parched look.

Being indoor creatures through and through, the Dedes become more active the more miserable the weather outside is. Unlike me, they are actually looking forward to the long wet winter. They are now sticking their heads together and hatching plans about what they are going to do next.

Last night, Lou, the young puppy, popped by and asked casually, “So when is your exhibition then?”

“End of June,” I answered. “It is still a while to go.”

“I thought you wanted to finish your next book by then” he reminded me. “I haven’t seen you writing lately.”

“No” I confirmed. “But I am working on it!”

“Just asking” he said. “With all the kerfuffle about the zazzle store we don’t want you to lose sight of what we are about.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with you being one of the main characters, does it?”

“Oh am I?” He tried hard to sound surprised, but he is the worst liar under the sun. And he immediately came to the real issue. “Any chance of having a sneak preview?”

“No way!” I exclaimed. “If I let you have a look the others will follow and want to have a read as well. Then everybody will tell me their opinion. That would be a recipe for disaster. I would never finish in time!”

There are certain things you just have to do on your own!

I took the opportunity to thank him for being on his best behaviour when we were in the studio taking photos for the “Embrace Diversity” series. Skeleton Edeltraut was terribly worried and it took me a while to convince her she has nothing to fear. Lou was just lovely that day and visually they are a very nice couple. I would never say this out aloud though.