Maddie Bear’s Birthday: Free Kindle Edition w/Paperback Purchase

Amazon recently announced their new children’s book Kindle publishing tool for children’s book authors. If you have a children’s book written and illustrated, you can use the tool to upload your .pdf file and it will convert it to a Kindle-ready book to sell on Amazon. I decided to test it out this morning with my children’s book, “Maddie Bear’s Birthday.”

The nice part is, it gave me the option to let customers who purchase(d) the paperback version to download the Kindle version for free. So if you’ve already purchased the paperback copy of Maddie Bear’s Birthday through Amazon, you should get a free download of the Kindle version on their site.

You can pick up your paperback copy here and the Kindle version here. However, if you’re looking for a more interactive version of the book with animations, narration, sounds, and a mini game, you can get the iPad app here.

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Kwiksher: Under New Management

Alex Souza, the creator of Kwiksher, announced that he will be leaving the company, and Naoya Yamamoto will be the new owner. Readers of my blog may know that I’ve been a huge supportor of the Kwik Photoshop plugin for storybook apps created in Corona SDK. The tool makes app development so much faster and easier, and I’ve developed a friendship with Alex over the years since I first began using Kwik.

You can read Alex’s good-bye statement here: http://kwiksher.com/2014/09/02/alex-farewell/

For users of Kwik, this has a few changes in the works, which are covered here: http://kwiksher.com/2014/09/02/kwiksher-future/

It’s hard to imagine Kwiksher without Alex, but I wish him the best of luck in the future. Knowing him, the next big project is just around the corner.

 

Maddie Bear Books Revamp

Today I updated www.MaddieBearBooks.com with a new look and feel. It’s now one continuous page instead of different subpages. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, so I’m going to use it for a week before I decide if I should keep the new style or not.

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I also just got done drawing the 55th comic strip for the site, so the collection is adding up nicely. I’ve already started prepping the iBook and paperback versions. The comic strip collection book is going to include author’s commentary, additional artwork and some behind-the-scenes sketches. The paperback version has about 42 pages right now, so I’ll probably start publishing it when it’s around the 100 page mark.

Maddie Bear Comics

One June 24, I started a new comic strip series based on my Maddie Bear book & mobile app series. I didn’t really advertise it, I just made posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Behance. Since then, I’ve been getting about 50-100 readers a day. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been reading the series.

There’s no business model, no marketing, or source of income from the comics, it’s really just a labor of love. It forces me to come up with a new idea and to draw everyday, which is nice to exercise my creative muscles.

Check out the comics here: http://www.MaddieBearBooks.com/comics.html

Maddie Bear Comic #10
Maddie Bear Comic #10

Tile Review

About a year ago, I pre-ordered a product called “Tile.” Tile is a little white square that you can attach to objects that you don’t want to lose. If you do happen to lose the object, say for example your keys, you can open the corresponding iOS app and it will make the Tile ring.

Tile: Do Not Adhere to Pets
Tile: Do Not Adhere to Pets

Set up is pretty straightforward. You install the app on your iOS device, press the “e” on the Tile and the app will walk you through step-by-step. When you’re looking for whatever Tile is attached to, you can look at it’s location on a map in the Tile app and have it make the Tile start ringing as you track it down.

To test it, my wife hid the Tile somewhere in the house and using the app, I had to find it. It took me about a minute to locate it as it was ringing. It was in my daughter’s stuffed animal basket, by the way. I haven’t done any long-range tests with it yet though, to see how well it tracks it on the map.

Personally, I keep mine in my wallet in case I misplace it throughout the house. I haven’t adhered it to anything yet because I like the freedom of being able to attach it to multiple objects. Plus, working from home, I don’t have too many chances to lose my stuff. It’s still a nice piece of mind to have, though. Order your Tile here.

Photoshop CC 2014 3-D Model

On June 19, I wrote a post about how I created a little 3-D model of my logo in Photoshop CC 2014 and had it sent to Shapeaways to be printed (see June 19 post). 19 days later and it just arrived.

GP Animations 3-D Model
GP Animations 3-D Model

When I checked their website to see the progress of it, I saw that they started offering faster, cheaper shipping options after I had already paid for mine. Oh well.

The 3-D model fits in the palm of my hand, and as you can imagine by looking at it, it’s pretty flimsy since it’s such thin lettering. Still, it’s cool that I was able to create it with a couple clicks of a mouse. It was a fun process to test out, but in all honesty, I don’t foresee myself wanting to do 3-D printing in the future until it gets much cheaper.

Maddie Bear’s Birthday iPad App: FREE!

This is the month of my daughter Maddie’s birthday. To celebrate, I’m giving away Maddie Bear’s Birthday for iPad for free for a limited time. Some of you may remember the days when the birthday kid in school would bring in cupcakes to celebrate their birthday. This is Maddie’s version of that, everyone gets a free iPad app. If you could leave a review as a birthday gift to her, it would be very appreciated.

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Packt Publishing’s 10th Birthday Sale

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Packt Publishing is celebrating 10 years of delivering learning and information to IT professionals. To celebrate, they’re offering every eBook and video series they have for $10 a piece. Depending what subject you’re looking for, this could be a pretty big savings off of the regular price.

The only catch is, the sale only goes until July 5, 2014, so you have to act pretty quickly and stock up on learning material. This seems like a great time for me to start learning Unity…

Check out the sale here: http://bit.ly/1q8vtgN

Kaboom: Kwik Particle Emitter Plugin

A week or so ago, my colleague Alex Souza asked me to beta test his new plugin, “Kaboom“. It is an add-on for Kwik Photoshop plugin that lets you create particle emitters for your universal Corona apps. The benefit of using Kwik and Kaboom is that you can create full mobile applications with special effects without having to write a single line of code. Everything is done by placing artwork in Photoshop and telling it what you want it to do.

Within 5 minutes, I was able to create this:

I even wrote a tutorial on how to use Kaboom to create a similar project, which can be found here. If you order Kaboom within the next 2 weeks, you’ll actually save $20 off of the regular price, so it’s definitely worth acting quickly.

Please note: Corona Labs has not officially announced whether or not particle emitters will be supported in Starter or Basic versions of Corona SDK. If you’re a Pro user, you can use Kaboom today, but it’s unclear if Starter and Basic users will be granted access.