Why you must attend the next self-publishing workshop at MONA

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Recently, the wonderful MONA gallery played host to TasRes and an assortment of visual artists and writers at a weekend-long workshop for self-publishers.

The focus was on software training for writers and artists keen to improve their technology skills.

Ensure your book is proof read

Julianne demonstrating Photoshop

The weekend kicked off with artist Julianne Clifford delivering a grammar quiz. Participants strained a few brain cells punctuating sentences and correcting grammatical errors.

The highest score was 18 out of 20 questions while the average was 10 to 12. Quite obviously, grammatical errors are a common problem for self-publishers. This means that even the most accomplished author needs an editor who can proofread a manuscript prior to publication.

Slate as a social media tool

Dr Tim Kitchn

Next, Dr Tim Kitchen spoke about Adobe Slate, an iPad-compatible product that turns images and messages into stories. A URL is generated to share quickly and easily and is helpful in establishing an online presence.

Keep book covers simple


Brett Kent followed with how to create Photoshop book covers and he encouraged participants to use original images to avoid copyright issues.

He took a book template cover (which can be downloaded from CreateSpace and Blurb) and filled it with text and images. He then altered its composition by selecting, masking, blending, and refining the edges.

Brett encouraged participants to keep book covers simple because too much clutter, color and typography looks amateurish and deters readers.

Photoshop tips

After lunch it was back to Julianne who demonstrated easy Photoshop techniques — such as adjustment layers and curves —  to improve images.

Creating flip books is fun

I delivered Day One’s last workshop on how to create a flip book in InDesign. Flip books are really quite simple and with a bit of InDesign savvy, self-publishers can create brochures, catalogs, picture books, albums and those cute little page curls that simulate page turning.

Day 2

Avatars make a memorable online presence

Brett Kent encouraged everyone to create an avatar for their social media pages. Building on techniques used in previous sessions, participants used textures and color to enhance their image and create an avatar to complement their online presence.

Video inspires

Tim Kitchen directing

Tim Kitchen followed with a popular session on promotional videos. Tim demonstrated green screen, audio recording, lighting and editing in Premiere Pro. The video was then exported and ready to upload to social media pages.

This workshop inspired many to create their own videos to use as an effective promotional tool.

Residencies are cool

Julianne concluded the weekend by discussing the value of artists’ residencies and how these events can inspire artists and provide plenty of networking opportunities. Her most recent residency was in Budapest where she came away with a wonderful collection of photographs and artwork.

The Venue

MONA was a fantastic venue to host a self-publishing residency. The highlight was the outstanding catering and the mixture of sweet and savoury dishes created by the gourmet chefs.

If you were unable to attend this unique event then please check out TasRes for upcoming news.

Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

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