Story Catcher Publishing Expansion: Meet the Design Team

When I first thought about starting my own publishing company, I had no idea of all the details and responsibilities which came with that decision. I had the simple dream that I was capable of releasing my own stories.

And I was.

What I didn’t bargain for was all the OTHER details that come with running a publishing company.

Editing

Illustrations

Cover Design

Formatting

Production Set Up

And other things that came with getting an idea out of my head and into a finished, published book. Over the next three years I realized I could figure out MOST of the things I needed to do, but then I lucked out! I met my design manager, Shahbaz Awan, in early 2021 and our personalities, work ethics, etc. meshed perfectly so I decided to offer him the opportunity to work with Story Catcher Publishing. I’m so happy he accepted! Here’s a little more about Shahbaz:

Story Catcher Publishing’s design team manager, Shahbaz Awan, comes to us all the way from Pakistan. Shahbaz received a degree in Computer Engineering, but due to the pandemic, he wasn’t able to find employment in that field. In March 2021, he decided to transition into the world of book publishing to design his own website (www.ilayoutbooks.com) where he quickly began offering freelance services in cover design and formatting. He showed his knowledge and professionalism, handling a variety of projects, to quickly became Story Catcher Publishing’s design team manager. Shahbaz’ team of seven formatters and designers, one cover designer, and one illustrator also offer freelance project support for fiction, non-fiction, picture books, magazine design, or cookbook design in both eBook and print formats on many available printing platforms.

You can follow Shahbaz on Facebook (www.facebook.com/I-layout-Books-101811825653145) or Instagram (www.instagram.com/ilayoutbooks).

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Then I found my lead illustrator, Nimra Junaid, in late 2021. Nimra is so talented and does hand drawn sketches that are later digitally colorized. She has brought four of Story Catcher Publishing’s picture books to life and we have plans for many more in the future! Here is more about Nimra:

Story Cather Publishing’s Illustrator, Nimra Junaid, also comes to us from Pakistan. Nimra joined us as our lead illustrator in the fall of 2021. As a child, Nimra was good at sketching. Her father encouraged her talent and made sure she had the right supplies to develop her skills. After receiving her degree in Fine Arts, she started her artist profession in 2007. In 2012, Nimra was chosen to participate in painting the World’s Largest Pakistan Flag and received a Guinness World Record certificate for her effort. You can see the record setting flag by clicking on https://youtu.be/6AzRvBycyZs. Nimra has completed several murals and ceiling oil paintings as well.

Nimra also offers freelance support to indie author projects with a variety of illustration styles to choose from. You can check out her portfolio at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1aXTpXDzxssWPhT5vCxz-ZqjOvfqlu0Od?fbclid=IwAR0r44ED7GeajwRtsLaGKzsmeEj0LGvqwthSgZ7zwewrwbwNQXTt3-Rx_YI

You can follow Nimra on Instagram at www.instagram.com/nimra_junaid89 or connect with her for a freelance quote at Nimraa.khaan@gmail.com

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There you have it. Story Catcher Publishing’s design team of hard-working artists ready to help other writers on their own publishing journey! Check back next week to find out more about our expansion coming this Fall!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

Story Catcher Publishing Expansion: Meet the Publisher, Donna L Martin

I have been writing and publishing for such a long time that I sometimes forget there are many people out there who might not know my author to publisher story…

Author Hat:

I’ve been writing ever since I was eight years old. Over FIFTY YEARS of creating stories out of pure magic and my imagination.

When I was eleven years old, I entered my first writing contest sponsored by my hometown library and I won first place! Right then I knew I would see my own name on the cover of a book some day. During my teenage years I wrote A LOT of poetry…sometimes collaborating with my sister …but usually all on my own. I was also working on my sketching skills, but wasn’t quite ready to share my works in progress with the world.

My twenties came along and I finally dared myself to submit some of my poetry for publication. A couple of my poems were accepted for inclusion in an anthology and I thought I was on my way to a writing career.

But a newbie writer’s ego is a fragile thing and harsh words can sometimes do long-lasting damage. When family members began to ridicule my work…to ridicule me, I decided to lay down my pen, to lay down my sketch pencil for the next TWENTY-FIVE years! I thought my dreams of becoming a sketch artist and author of children’s books were lost forever. But LIFE is funny that way…just when you think your boat is settled on a steady course in one direction, a squall rises up to toss you in an entirely different direction.

Fast forward to 2010 and a chance encounter with Tara Lazar and a funny little picture book challenge coming up where I was supposed to write down thirty ideas for stories in thirty days. I wasn’t going to join…until I dreamt of nothing but PICTURE BOOK IDEAS every night for two solid weeks prior to the challenge! I saw it as a sign that I needed to give my childhood dream a second chance and I signed up for the challenge before I could change my mind.

One of the story ideas to come out of that STORYSTORM challenge was a book about a girl named Addie who wanted so badly to learn how to read, but the words kept seeming to run away from her every time she sat down with a book. Five years later, in 2015, THE STORY CATCHER about Addies struggle with dyslexia was picked up during a Twitter Pitch and later traditionally published, which eventually led to my signing with a literary agent.

By the time 2017 came along, I realized that my agent’s vision of my writing future and mine wasn’t meshing too well so we parted ways as friends to pursue our own destinies which led me straight to my publisher’s path!

Publisher Hat:

With no agent and many, many manuscripts written over the years, I decided to look into indie publishing. Prior to then I had swore to myself I would never self-publish because the industry had such a negative connotation and most of the books I saw at the time just didn’t meet my personal high standards of what I wanted MY books to look like. But by the time I opened the door to STORY CATCHER PUBLISHING in January 2018, the indie industry was slowly improving the overall quality and standards of what would be put out into the world.

LUNADAR: Homeward Bound was the first book I released under my new publishing house. It is a young adult fantasy novel full of magic, mermaids, fairies, dark lords, mythical creatures, light romance, piracy, portal travel, and the ultimate battle to save the secret heir to the land of Lunadar. I was proud of the hard work I put into this baby, all the while still working full-time running a martial arts school five days a week.

Next came a historical fiction chapter book series called HISTORY’S MYSTERIES that was written for 7-12 year olds, but has become very popular with readers of all ages. Each book in the series is thoroughly researched and has a blend of fictional as well as historically depicted characters. I’m currently working on book four with many more titles to come!

Then came the release of my memoir (part one) of growing up among the Cajun people and the bayous of southern Louisiana. I had found my design team and started fine tuning the publishing process to make the most of both KDP for ebook files and IngramSpark for softcover and/or hardcover production. What once took me weeks to fight and figure out how to create, format, and design the files for production now takes days because I’ve delegated that side of the business to my design team who you will get a chance to meet next week.

Story Catcher Publishing 2022

Last year I introduced my picture book line to the world and ramped up working with my lead illustrator on the design team.

Now I’m ready to expand Story Catcher Publishing into realizing another dream I’ve had for almost five years now. I want to help strong writers publish THEIR stories under the umbrella of the SCP family, but all while teaching those writers how to set up their own author platform to take their careers to a whole new level! It will be a partnership where my design team sets up production, and I offer FREE services for helping create websites, blogs, social media sites, sales sheets, marketing plans, author events, book awards and much, much more! It’s my way of giving back to the KidLit community that has supported me for so many years, I’m really excited of what the Fall will bring!

Don’t forget to stop by next week to meet my design team and see what is on the horizon for Story Catcher Publishing…

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Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927