Tag Archives: author photo

Thoughts on Publishing- DH Proof Copy Ordered, New Author Photo, and Next Sneak Peek from Distant Horizon!

I got the proof copy of Distant Horizon ordered! Woot!

I should get the printed proof sometime next week, which should give me enough time to do a final proofread before uploading the final files, sitting back… and working on promo materials. Well… it’s a start. 🙂

I would have had the proof copy ordered a couple days ago except that Createspace apparently doesn’t do well with transparent PNG images in PDFs (I’m testing out transparent images in the ebook files, and had simply let them transfer over. That didn’t work out well, as they turned into gray blocks). So I went back and redid the divider images, which ended up being easier than I thought because I found an article explaining how to find and replace images in Word. But be warned: those conversion problems don’t show up on the digital proofer until after you submit your files for review. So it’s a good idea to check the digital version again before ordering a print copy.

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In other news, Isaac and I now have an author photo!

Isaac and Stephanie Flint - Author Photo

I already had one for myself, which I used in Magic’s Stealing, and that’s the same one that I use for social media. But I wanted one that showed both Isaac and myself for our joint projects.

So we went to the same area where we shot my first author photo, waited for the golden light of the day (and mostly missed it, due to my temporarily breaking the tripod while trying to extend one of the legs), and set up the camera on a (fixed) tripod with the timer. I wore the same outfit I wore for the previous photo, which I’ve also started to wear when I go to various events.

So… look for our new author photo on our website, Infinitas Publishing, as well as in the author section of Distant Horizon. 🙂

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Since we’re rapidly approaching the release date of our upcoming book, I thought I’d share another sneak peek from Distant Horizon. I’m planning on releasing the first six chapters over the course of the pre-release period. 😉

(You can read the first chapter by clicking here.)

Chapter Two

(Section One)

Brisk October air snapped against my cheeks. Gray clouds obscured an even grayer sky, casting a dull shadow across the courtyard and the stone buildings, which loomed overhead with their tall domes and steep, towering columns.

I always admired the imposing structures because they had survived the plague. So many things hadn’t. But these bits of history I could touch with my fingertips: statues worn smooth with time, their copper turned green from rain, and best of all, the ivy that snuck through the cracks of a time-ravaged campus.

Lance and I were headed for our first morning class when a low, steady drone rumbled overhead. Lance yanked my sleeve. “Look!”

A well-decorated airship peeked through the heavy clouds. Brass, gold, and bronze ornamental railing adorned its gondola and complimented the high, arched windows. Elegant frames decorated the rotors with artistic flourishes. The symbol on its side was the Lady of the Cog: a crimson half-cog rising like a sun, embellished with the silhouette of a lady perched across the spoke-like rays.

My breath caught in my throat. The only people who used the Lady of the Cog belonged to International E-Leadership—the highest-ranking officials of the Community. Maybe Lady Winters was paying us a visit. She was one of the few leaders actually worth the speeches she gave. As Head of Efficiency, she made sure the Health Scans were thorough and that our international laboratories advanced. Maybe she was coming to tell us that she had made an advance against the plague, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the Health Scan anymore.

“That’s Commander Rick’s airship!” Lance grinned, his cheeks rosy from the wind.

I raised an eyebrow. “The commander?”

“Maybe he’s coming to visit. Let’s get to class—we might find out more there!” He dragged me down the sidewalk through the early crowd. Once inside, we took our seats in the second row. The first row was already filled—apparently in similar anticipation.

Professor Dragomirov smiled at everyone’s enthusiasm and put an image of the seventy-year-old commander on the giant touch screen at the front of the classroom. The chatter quieted as she spread her hands along the wrinkles in her uniform and puffed out her chest with pride.

“Tomorrow, Commander Rick is delivering a speech to our university regarding the upcoming Health Scan. Be advised, I will assign extra efficiency points to those who can secure an interview with the commander and produce a two-page report regarding his efforts in the security and efficiency of our modern society.”

More chatter erupted at the news. Lance grinned and nudged my shoulder. “It’s your lucky day.”

Lucky? If I accidentally let slip that I didn’t take the pills around the commander, I would not only be booted out of college, but out of the Community.

“Miss Nickleson?”

I jerked to attention at my name. Professor Dragomirov tapped the screen beside her. On it was an image of a tower with a gleaming set of windows. The whole thing was shaped like an absurdly unsafe letter “F.”

I blinked. “Yes?”

“Where was the final rebel base in Australia located when Commander Rick ended the resistance against the Community?”

Two locations popped into my head at the mention of Australia, and I knew Sydney wasn’t it.

“The Northern Territory?” I suggested. Hopefully she didn’t want the name of the actual town.

The professor smiled, switching the image on the touch screen to reveal a map. “Correct. Located near what used to be Birdum, Australia, the tower and its surrounding city thrived from those who threatened the Community’s security.”

She went on to repeat the same history lesson we’d heard since primary school: how our founding father, Lord Black, died infiltrating that tower, and how Commander Rick took his place, stomped out the Oriental Alliance and the remaining rebellions, declared world peace, and became the living embodiment of the Community and its virtues.

Nice resume, if I hadn’t heard it a dozen times before. I would’ve preferred that we spent our class learning something new, like who developed the treatment for theophrenia. I glanced at my book, then at the professor. She was paying more attention to her lecture than to the rest of the class, so I flipped to the back of the book, searching the index for “t” until I found theophrenia listed with a dozen page numbers.

I already knew that the first known treatment for theophrenia came shortly after EYEnet’s formation and that once the Community was established in 2027, the treatment was made routine. Occasional outbreaks of the disease—like the one that killed my grandparents—were common. While most of the book had information I’d read before, it added that Lady Bridget Winters had a hand in creating the most recent treatment—the one which effectively contained the threat in 2065.

A few pages later, I found the answer to my question. Apparently, Lady Winters’ predecessor, Doctor Sanders, had developed adominogen with funding from international E-Leadership—the original founders of EYEnet. The book went on to discuss the Community’s rise across the globe, but offered little else regarding the treatment.

I frowned and rested my cheek against my knuckles. Theophrenia was supposed to be dormant, but the book said the plague was only contained. That explained how Galina failed the scan. But most diseases only needed a single vaccination to offer a lifetime of immunity, so why did we take the pills on a daily basis? Did the pills have to be adjusted for various strains of the disease?

I flipped to the next passage, only half-listening as Professor Dragomirov went on about Commander Rick’s military prowess. It was thanks to his leadership that theophrenia was contained five years after he took power. He understood how people with theophrenia thought, and he personally assembled the best teams to seek out the last rebel hideouts. Despite my grandparents’ preference not to talk about their past, I’d managed to weasel a few pre-Community stories from them. Their tales about those who were infected mostly ended in chaos and destruction. The infected were paranoid and hard to catch. Crazy. They thought they could command the elements, and often took extreme measures to try manifesting their beliefs. They’d light themselves on fire, leap from tall buildings to prove they could fly…

I closed the book as the professor wrapped up her lecture. There was nothing about why we took the pill daily. The book was only a history book, and all it told me was the same lesson I’d heard since my year four teacher explained that E-Leadership created peace in the world, and that we should all be thankful the days of the plague were over.


Like what you read? Want to find out what happens next?

Pre-Order Distant Horizon today!
Amazon – Amazon UK – B&N – Kobo – iTunes – Smashwords

You can also find Distant Horizon on Goodreads.

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I hope you enjoyed this post. 🙂

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Author Photo Results and Magic’s Stealing Cover Reveal

I am thrilled to announced that Magic’s Stealing is now available for pre-order!

Now, for the moment you’ve been waiting for…

The cover reveal!

SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover

For centuries, ribbons of magic have provided the kingdom of Cirena with light, healing, and protection. Then, in a span of minutes, those ribbons fly from their masters, stolen, save for the magic of a few chosen mages. One of these mages is Toranih, a young noblewoman who would rather have a sword in her hand than use her powers to heal or throw fireballs. As a result, her magic skills are lacking. But with former mages dying from magic withdrawal, and the looming threat of an army of shadows who are impervious to mortal weapons, she must either embrace the responsibilities of a mage or watch her home perish.

This is a 34,000-word novella. Book one of The Wishing Blade series.

Preview the first four (almost five!) chapters at  Smashwords. 😀

Pre-order on Amazon US

Pre-order on Amazon UK

Pre-order on Smashwords

Add to Goodreads Shelf

*The Wishing Blade - Section Break - Magic Swirl*

In the meantime, you may have noticed that my author photo has changed across several of the sites I frequent. It’s time to reveal the author photo I chose!

The choice was between 1 and 4 (Read the post about author photos here):

Author Photo #1

Author Photo #1

Author Photo #4

Author Photo #4


It was a tough choice, but I ultimately chose #4, since that picture seemed to convey a quirky, adventurous feeling. You can see the three versions I’ve made for different social media uses. However, I plan to keep the first one around, since it has a nice, professional look to it. 🙂

Stephanie Flint - Author Photo Stephanie Flint - Author Photo Stephanie Flint - Author Photo

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you like fantasy stories, please pick up a copy of Magic’s Stealing and share the news of its release (September 17, 2015) with your friends. 😀


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Thoughts on Publishing – Author Photos

As I get closer to releasing Magic’s Stealing, I’ve been thinking about the little details that still need to be decided before publishing. What do I want to put on the copyright page? Where should I put the acknowledgements? Do I want the blurb after the title page inside the ebook edition? Should I have an author photo?

Let’s focus on the author photo, because that’s the one that’s been puzzling me.

SBibb - OldAuthorPhoto

Really Old Artsy Author Photo

My first author photo (artist photo, really, since I started by using it on DeviantArt) is quirky. I’m in costume and I’m holding a shiny, reflective ball that I bought at a renaissance faire. This particular photo is really small, I’m not sure where the original picture is, and it was probably taken during my early college years or during my late high school years.

Then there is my current author photo, which I use on Twitter and in various places. This was taken by my husband during college (edited by me), and still went for artsy . Black and white, a little mysterious. I’m fond of this photo. Problem is that I’ve heard from several people that it doesn’t look like me. (Striped lighting and no glasses… I guess I’m not too surprised).

SBibb - Current Author Photo

Current Black and White Author Photo

But I’ve been using this fairly consistently, so I wasn’t sure if I should change it. On the other hand, if the photo doesn’t look like me, and I ever do a local book signing… I can see a benefit to having a picture that looks more familiar.

For example, when I went to ConQuest this year, I could very easily recognize Brandon Sanderson and George R.R. Martin because their photos look like them, or at least how they present themselves publicly. I pulled out a few books on my bookshelf, and about half of them have author photos. It was interesting to find one of Brandon Sanderson’s earlier books that I bought, which has an early photo of him, and to compare it to later books, which have a more recent photo. So obviously, authors change which photo they use over a period of time.

Another thing to consider, author pictures often represent the author’s primary genre. For non-fiction, a more business-oriented photo lends credibility. For hard science fiction (I’m thinking of a few older authors here), the author might be sitting in a library setting, usually black and white. (Though the lack of color may have been due to printing limitations). For fantasy, authors might get dressed up in relevant costume. Middle grade authors often use more colorful photos, or illustrated pictures of themselves.

SBibb - Steampunk Author Photo

Steampunk Cosplay Snapshot

The question is, how do we want to be perceived? Should our author photos be a straightforward, contemporary photo? Or should we go for the fun costume pictures (as long as they still look like us)?

Do we really want to be recognizable? Should we even have a photo? A person with a pen name might not. Perhaps they have a hat that hides their face, yet makes them distinguishable (like Authoress, from a blog I follow).

We might not necessarily need an author photo, but there are cases where having one could prove useful. For one, an author can unite their Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook accounts with a single photo as their avatar. (Though they might use a relevant symbol, instead). Or an author might include a photo when guest blogging, or at conventions.

There are benefits to having a photo on hand, which brings me back to deciding on an author photo.

I did a little bit of reading on the subject, and one thing that stood out in the reading was a distinction between a professional head-shot versus a snapshot. Both of which can be a good photo, but a professional photograph will give the feeling that your book is professionally written. And having a picture that represents the genre (a more somber image for mystery and crime, versus a friendlier image for romance) can affect how a reader perceives a book.

Anyway, Isaac and I went out on Thursday evening, found a nature-y spot that still had some sunlight, and took a few pictures. I dressed up for them (semi-modern, semi steampunk), and Isaac had the camera. I have a degree in photography and he’s had a few classes, so I felt comfortable that we could get a reasonably professional photo on our own. Then we sorted through the pictures in Adobe Bridge and selected the best five. I did a few retouches to improve lighting, and we posted them to Facebook to see which ones our friends liked best.

These are the resulting favorites (in no particular order):

SBibb - New Author Photo Options

Author Photo Option 1

SBibb - New Author Photo Options

Author Photo Option 2

SBibb - New Author Photo Options

Author Photo Option 3

SBibb - New Author Photo Options

Author Photo Option 4

One of these has a few more friend votes than the others, but I’m curious to see which one you guys like best before I make my final decision. Once I decide on one of these photos, I’ll need to decide on how much editing to do to them, and whether or not to keep them in color, desaturate them, or go with black and white. Granted, the print edition will be in black and white, but I could use color on the web or in ebooks.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Which photo do you feel is the strongest, and have you chosen an author photo?


Further Reading About Choosing An Author Photo:







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