‘Pencils and Process’ Book is Out Now

It feels weird to say this, but I finished writing a book…and it’s actually published and available now! The book is called Pencils and Process, and it’s available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It may be coming to some other retailers like Books-a-Million too, but I’m not sure when. For the non-Amazon angle, I’m using Ingram as my distributor and there are lots of possibilities with their network. The eBook version is only on Amazon right now, but paperback and hardcover are everywhere it’s sold.

Here are some links to where I’ve confirmed it’s available now:

The title and subtitle pretty well capture what it’s about I think. But overall, the book covers my experiences of the past two years, getting reacquainted with drawing and learning new techniques through practice. The book starts with some background and a brief discussion of my old artwork. Then, it gets into my decision to draw again, the use of grids, and my first attempts at using color. The book takes a break from chronology to discuss the concepts of heavy layering and burnishing using colored pencils (“colored pencil painting”), then gets back into the progression. Towards the end, there are chapters dedicated to sources of inspiration and miscellaneous tips/advice.

Although many lessons were learned simply from the experience of repeatedly creating art, I also have to thank artists on WordPress for their freely shared advice and encouragement. It means a lot to receive feedback from skilled, professional artists, as well as learn from what they’re up to on their own blogs. There are literally dozens I could list; thank you to Hilda Rogers, As Much Cake As You Want, Steve Kidd, Blu-Art, Anna Pishko, Christine Mallaband-Brown, Ionas Bakas, Suzy Walker-Toye, Outside Authority, Pamela Wagner, Claire Brach, and many others. I’ve written about some of them before, but I feel it’s appropriate to tip my hat again.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I really enjoy experimenting with new things. When something catches my interest, it’s quite fun to research and then attempt whatever that is. There are many examples over the years, but some fairly recent ones include building a Raspberry Pi device, trying out a digital drawing tablet, and even putting together this website. Writing a book was another of those experiments, and I’m glad to say the experience was a good one. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I’m already thinking about writing another! At some point, I think I’ll put together an in-depth post about the publishing experience through KDP and Ingram.

A final note if you’re thinking about buying: I changed the list price today to $9.99 ebook, $24.99 paperback, $34.99 hardcover. So if you see it for higher than that anywhere, just wait until the price updates. I haven’t seen the prices update yet today, so if they haven’t changed, I would probably wait a bit. Book pricing is really interesting; Barnes and Noble has fluctuated significantly already. I have the ability to set the baseline list price, but once retailers buy it wholesale from a distributor, they can further discount it however they like. So, I’ve already seen B&N drop the price to $17.99, then jump back up to my list price the next day. I’ll bet Amazon will eventually do the same thing – random “on sale” prices.

So, if anyone reading is interested in checking it out, I hope you enjoy! Also, I would appreciate any feedback you decide to leave in reviews on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. I will definitely read them, so thanks in advance for any comments you have. The commentary is useful for future reference, but search rankings and whatnot are tied in some way to reviews, so it helps in multiple ways.


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  • Wow, I’m really impressed Jon!

    • I appreciate that OutsideAuthority!

      I’m always glad to hear from you actually, because it reminds me I need to go catch up on your posts. You are such a prolific artist, it’s easy to miss fascinating new creations if I’m away even a couple weeks!

  • Wow!! So that’s three actual real authors I know now… I wish you every success with the book. It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out, books must surely outlive blog posts by a factor of thousands !!

    And I see you mentioned me in the “artist thanks”, I don’t even consider myself an artist yet so I’m well chuffed to be mentioned. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks Steve! It’s weird to think of myself as a “real author” but I guess I have to admit that’s true now.

      But along those same “am-I-really” lines, you are indeed an artist! Quite a skilled one in fact. But the biggest impact to me has been your knowledge base and the feedback you share. People like you and the others I referred to are what makes WP so valuable for artists (especially people just starting out). Slightly cheesy, but very true.

  • Congrats! Cover looks great. I look forward to reading ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Much appreciated Anna! I’m glad the cover looks okay, that was something I wasn’t sure about. I liked it, but I can never tell if my aesthetic choices actually translate well for other people. I kept comparing it to other art-related books on Amazon and waffling back and forth between “yeah it fits in” versus “not professional enough.” I’m obviously not a professional graphic artist, but hopefully it’s not too out of place

      • So, I read the book and it was really fun to see your art progress over time and learn about the process you use now. I think itโ€™s great to have a book like this out there, and I hope others get the same enjoyment from reading it that I did!

      • That really means a lot, thank you! I’m anxious to hear/read feedback, and very glad to hear it was overall a positive from your perspective.

        I’ve only seen one review on Amazon so far, so outside of my family, I wasn’t sure what people were thinking. Honestly, much like when I started this blog, I really couldn’t figure out how the content would be received. But, I decided if even a few people read it and think “hmmm okay interesting” then I’ll call that a success!

      • Iโ€™ll be sure to leave a review on Amazon for you ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That would be very cool! And really, the idea that I now know at least two people liked it just makes my day

  • Congratulations well done!

  • Wow! Thatโ€™s great. Congratulations!

    • Thank you! I’m still pumped up about it, but now what? I guess I need to Google “what to do after publishing” to see if there’s anything else I’m supposed to be doing. Since I’m totally new to it, I have no clue if I’m supposed to request/submit/work on anything else for this thing

  • Congratulations – hope it sells well!

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