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  • rjagundez5

New Speaking Opportunities and Bookish Merch

Updated: Feb 27

In my endless pursuit to make a living off my writing, I've decided to try several new things this year. As some of you may have noticed, I have added a "Speaker" page to my website. This is because someone much more knowledgeable than me suggested that I open myself up to speaking engagements. I've already booked myself for a few events (visit the "Speaker" page for some of the details, although, more events are on the horizon). As terrifying as it is to think of standing up in front of a lot of people and talking about any subject, I'm more terrified of what would happen to my writing "career" if I didn't. So we're doing it. We're moving forward. We're trying something new. And by "we," of course, I mean "me."

First up will be a panel discussion at a convention hosted by my local library in March, followed by a Live Author Chat at an online convention in April, then a live reading at the virtual Beach Bound Book Bash in June, and then I'll be going to a writers convention in Oklahoma in August. Eek! And yay! All at once. I will also be participating in the Phoenix Fan Fusion (our version of Comic Con) in May, but I'll only be selling/signing books, not speaking. More news on that later!

On the subject of trying new things, I've taken it upon myself to create some bookish merchandise. I'm working with the same amazing artists who worked on my book covers to create some custom bookmarks for each of my books. I've also used my ever-expanding Canva stills to design some one-of-a-kind journals. I have some currently available for sale on Amazon! Two are pretty basic but beautiful, if I do say so myself. Here are some snapshots of each cover and the first page of each one:

(To keep costs low, the interiors were kept black and white but the covers are just as vibrant!)

The more I played with Canva, the more fun I started having. Pretty soon I was designing journals inspired by my books!

For the Dare Duology, I went with a beachy abstract cover and included some silhouettes from the first book's cover on the interior pages.

For the Chosen by the Masters series, I found this cool brown-paper-like texture for the cover. I included a unique series banner and found this gorgeous beige color for the interior pages (which reminded me of parchment paper).

For Death's Curses, I went really wild. The cover features images from the book cover as well as a scrap book design that reminded me of something you'd see in a cop show. Each page is inspired by one of the characters in the book, is in full color, and features small sections for organizing thoughts, priorities, feelings, and lists. This was by far my trickiest project but I think it was worth it! This weekly journal is currently under review by KDP, but should be available for purchase within the next week or so.

For the Andromeda Chronicles, I had to go a bit generic because the book and cover images are under contract with a publisher. But it still looks lovely and I'm proud to show it off! It's still awaiting approval also.

I'm playing with the idea of designing stickers for my books too. What do you guys think? What kind of bookish merchandise would you like to see?

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