BlueCotton Custom Prints T-Shirts for Authors, Artists, and Design Studios

BlueCotton is an experienced provider of custom-decorated T-shirts, sweatshirts, athletic wear, hats, and other garments as well as promotional items such as tote bags, drinkwear, and notebooks.

Using an assortment of screen printing, embroidery, and digital printing equipment, they have supplied custom-decorated apparel for major brands (such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Juicy Couture, and General Motors), small-business owners, and amateur sports teams. They also print custom-designed T-shirts for individuals planning reunions, weddings, or other events.


While there is no minimum order for most custom-designed products (you can even order just one!), you get better pricing when you order six or more. BlueCotton typically uses digital-printing technology for orders up to 20 items, and traditional screen printing for orders of 20 or more.

T-shirts for Authors and Artists

Through a close working relationship with the Print Mafia design studio, BlueCotton has seen how musicians and performance artists use T-shirts to promote themselves and supplement their revenues. Print Mafia reproduces their visually distinctive hand-lettered, hand-cut art on posters for rock concerts, tours, and festivals as well as tour merchandise.

According to Brad Wayland from BlueCotton, Print Mafia specializes in screen-printing their art on heavy, archival-grade paper but works with BlueCotton to produce T-shirts because “We have a vast array of sources for both high-end boutique-style shirts as well as basic tees.”

BlueCotton believes authors, photographers, and visual and performance artists can benefit by using custom-printed T-shirts either as promotional giveaways or fanwear.

BlueCottonCemetaryGirlPosterRecently, BlueCotton produced custom t-shirts for author David Bell. Bell used them during and after tours to promote his novel “Cemetery Girl” and “The Hiding Place.”

“Not only did the T-shirts look great for both books, they also proved to be one of the most popular giveaways we did,” says Bell. “Let’s face it, almost everybody likes getting a cool, well-designed T-shirt. They have a practical use–we have to wear clothes most places we go–and they are also conversation starters. People ask about the book, or the image, of the colors, and that can lead to instant connections and interest.”

Artists may want to have a few custom T-shirts printed for a gallery opening.

“Not everyone who attends a gallery opening can afford an original piece of art or even a giclee’ print, but they may certainly be able to carry home a custom t-shirt bearing an artist’s signature or mark,” says Brad Wayland. “A T-shirt embellished with the artist’s website address, a few words from the artist’s statement, and a representative image can help promote the artist and her work, and may spark a conversation that brings a collector your way.”

He points out that, “Installations or performance art events are perfect opportunities to offer custom apparel or other promotional merchandise because it enables the audience an opportunity to take away a tangible token of the experience when the art itself is not for sale.”

While digital-printing equipment has made it easier to reproduce photographs on T-shirts, many photographers still use custom T-shirts solely for branding purposes. T-shirts imprinted with the photographer’s logo are worn by the photographer as well as assistants in the studio or at art fairs or exhibitions.

If you’re a photographer, consider the extent your work can be used on promotional items such as T-shirts. Certain sizes and resolutions translate better in the screen printing process, and BlueCotton’s design team can give you tips on what types of images render the best results.

Design Your T-Shirt Online

Like many screen-printing firms, Blue Cotton regards printing as a craft. They have a natural rapport with artists and designers and strive to find creative ways to get the best possible results within the limitations of their equipment. While there are still some technical limitations as to the type of art that can be reproduced on T-shirts, the experts at Blue Cotton will advise you if the imagery that you upload to the site won’t reproduce well.

Through their online, interactive Design Studio, you can select the type of garment you would like printed, upload an image, and position the image and/or text on the garment. Images must be no larger than 5000 x 5000 pixels. They recommend uploading a 200 dpi PNG in the exact size you want the design reproduced.

As printing technology continues to improve, so does the quality of the T-shirts and imprinted designs. Whether you want to improve your branding, get your name out there, or show off your unique personality, you can show off your style and have a shirt that is an expression of who you really are.



Print Mafia


Book on Book Marketing Can Help Independent Authors

A new book entitled “Indie Author Book Marketing Success” is an anthology of articles covering various aspects of book marketing.  Fourteen experts in book marketing cover a variety of marketing tools, including author websites, e-mail marketing, Twitter, virtual book tours, group promotions, paid advertising, and teleseminars. They also address topics such as pre-selling on Amazon and Kindle keywords.

The book was compiled by Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart of, a website filled with free and low-cost resources that independent authors can use to create, publish, and market their books.


Contributors include Joel Friedlander, from The Book Designer website, and Laura Pepper Wu from 30 Day Books.

The book can be purchased for $2.99 as a Kindle edition. A 124-page paperback version is available for $9.95.


Indie Author Book Marketing Success: Proven 5-Star Marketing Techniques from Successful Authors and Book Marketing Experts


Conference Explains How to Build a Platform for Book Sales

WRITERS. Whether you are in the process or writing or book, or simply have an idea you might want to write about, it’s never too soon to starting building the visibility and authority you will need to create an audience for your books,

One place to learn how to build a ‘platform” for your work, is Authors Launch, a new full-day conference that will be held on Friday, January 18, immediately following the 2013 Digital Book World Conference + Expo Jan. 15-17 at the New York Hilton in New York City.

Presented by Michael Cader and Mike Shatzkin of Publisher’s Launch Conferences, Authors Launch is designed to help authors establish a platform for their content, grow awareness of their work, and ultimately drive book sales. At Authors Launch, you can learn:

  • How to establish and manage your brand through blogging, social media, video, and other online tools and channels
  • How to develop, maintain and monitor audience engagement
  • The strengths and weaknesses of book clubs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and other social media channels for different categories of work.
  • How to get measurably better returns on the time you invest in specific marketing strategies
  • When, why, and how to hire additional marketing and publicity help
  • Tips to develop a practical SEO strategy
  • How to prepare for an interview

Other topics that will be covered include: email list management; best practices for using audio and video; getting and dealing with reviews; and working with publishers and other marketing partners to coordinate a book launch. A variety of publishers and independent experts will share their expertise and discuss how you can most effectively work with their publishers to cultivate reader support and translate social media and online connections into book sales.

The cost of attending the full-day Authors Launch conference on January 18 is $495. If you would also like to attend the Digital Book World Conference from Jan. 15-17, you can buy choose the Authors Launch/Digital Book World Package foir $825


Authors Launch

Digital Book World Conference


Digital Book World Conference Looks at Business Challenges to Traditional Publishing

Exhibit Your Self-Published Book at Four Major Book Fairs

WRITERS. As an independent author, you not only must choose where to publish your book, you must also plan how to promote it. If one of your marketing goals is to have your book seen by publishing-industry professionals, consider the Global Book Tour package offered by Outskirts Press.  The book-exhibition service enables you to have your book seen at some of the largest book fairs and events in the world.

“The cost of traveling to and attending book fairs around the globe can easily add up to several thousand dollars,” said Elise Connors, Manager of Author Support at Outskirts Press.  Their Global Book Tour package ($1299) enables your book to be seen at four major book fairs.

At each show, your book will receive valuable, face-out exposure on a branded shelf with other titles. A representative will be on-hand to personally answer questions about your book and collect leads from booth visitors. All inquiries related to your book will be forwarded to you for personal follow-up after each show.

Here are the four top global book fairs at which Outskirts Press exhibits:

Frankfurt Book Fair: The world’s largest book fair and publishing event is the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. It attracts more than 250,000 visitors and 7,400 exhibitors from around the world.  The 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair will be held October 10-14. The 2013 event is planned for October 9-13.

London Book Fair: This book fair helps authors connect with over 23,000 publishing professionals from every point in the publishing supply chain. The 2013 London Book Fair is scheduled April 15-17 at the Earl Court Exhibition Centre.

Book Expo of America (BEA) Book Fair:  Organized with the support of associations such as the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA), this is the largest, most popular industry book fair and publishing event in the United States. The fair attracts more than 2,000 credentialed media personnel and more than 100,000 authors, publishers, agents and buyers. The 2013 fair will be held May 30 through June 1 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

Beijing Book Fair: With more than 200,000 attendees, this is the largest, most popular industry book fair and publishing event in China. China represents an enormous opportunity for translations and publishers seeking to feed the surging consumer demand for all types of books. The 2013 Beijing Book Fair will be held August 28 through September 28.


About Outskirts Press

Outskirts Press: Global Book Tour

Learn How to Write a Book-Announcement News Release

A veteran publicist and book-marketing coach has published a new e-book to teach authors how to create the all-important press release that announces their books.

Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book” by Sandra Beckwith takes you through the book-announcement press release writing process step-by-step. You will learn how to create a document that contains the information journalists need and expect in the format they prefer.

Beckwith’s 25+ years of experience are distilled into a handy guide that offers:

  • Nine ways to use an announcement press release to get publicity, attract book buyers to a website, or secure speaking engagements
  • A detailed, 13-step process for writing a book announcement press release and a companion fill-in-the-blanks template
  • Specifics on who to send the press release to, when, how to send it, and how to follow up
  • A list of the most common press release mistakes and advice on how to avoid them
  • Formatting instructions
  • A press release makeover
  • Press release distribution service recommendations and other resources

The bonus section of the e-book contains 11 actual press releases used to announce fiction and nonfiction books in several genres.

“A book announcement press release is probably the most essential and versatile book promotion tool because it can generate book reviews, news items, author interviews, blog columns, and speaking engagements,” says Beckwith. “Done right, it creates impressive and long-lasting exposure. Done wrong, it ends up in an electronic trash can.”

Beckwith is committed to helping authors learn how to be their own book publicists. She also teaches a “Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz” course online and publishes Build Book Buzz, a free e-newsletter available at  She has written (and publicized) three nonfiction books herself, including two on publicity topics, and an author publicity workbook.

“Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book” is available as a PDF for $9 on the Beckwith’s website.


Get Your Book in the News: How to Write a Press Release That Announces Your Book


Learn How to Market Your Book with a Book Trailer

Like a movie trailer, a book trailer is a short, video advertisement for your book. Websites such as, and are dedicated to sharing book-trailer videos.

One resource that explains how to use book trailers is “How to Market Your Book with a Book Trailer” by Maria Pinochet, Linda Wasserman, and Maggie Ruch. It is the first in series of books they are writing to help authors connect with readers and sell more books.

Iin the book, the authors guide you through the five steps needed to complete a book trailer marketing plan that will be as distinctive as you are as an author.

“With today’s access to desktop tools that rival those of the professionals, there is no reason motivated authors cannot take on more marketing functions to ensure the success of their books,” observes Maria Pinochet.

“If you able to focus on one task at a time, you can master the skills needed to create and use a book trailer,” says coauthor Linda Wasserman.

“How to Market Your Book With a Book Trailer,” is now available as a Kindle version at Amazon ($2.99) or as a print version at Createspace ($12.95)

Maria Pinochet is president and founder of the Kore Access marketing firm. Linda Wasserman is owner of Pelican Press Pensacola. Maggie Ruch, virtual assistant and social media consultant, is founder of Advanced Virtual Assistant Services.


How to Market Your Book with a Book Trailer

New Guide Suggests How Independent Authors Can Use Blogs

“Blogging 101 for the Independent Author” is the title of a new Bookbaby resource guide for self-publishing authors.  Written for newcomers to blogging, the book talks about ways to:

  • get exposure for your book on existing blogs
  • start your own blog
  • use your blog to promote and sell books

Cover Blogging 101 BookAlso discussed is how to attract readers to your blog by making your blog easy for readers to share the link with their friends and colleagues.

“Blogging 101” can be downloaded free from the Bookbaby website.

What’s interesting about the “Blogging 101” guide is that it’s actually an excerpt from a longer book: “55 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Book on the Internet” by marketing guru Bob Baker. Baker is a full-time author and independent publisher who has developed a niche writing and speaking about music marketing, and self-promotion for songwriters, musicians, and bands.

In “Blogging 101,” Baker points out that blogging can help you earn better search result positions: “Google and other search engines love blogs because it gives them more content to categorize, and it demonstrates which sites are active and growing. The more active and relevant your blog is, the greater your chances of ranking higher in search results.”

About Bookbaby

Bookbaby is the e-book publishing offshoot of CD Baby, the world’s largest digital distributor of independent music.  CD Baby helped level the playing field between do-it-yourself musicians and major labels by opening worldwide distribution channels to unsigned artists. Now , Bookbaby is helping to level the playing field for independent authors by providing ebook conversion and distribution services.


Blogging 101

Bookbaby: How It Works

55 Ways to Promote and Sell Your Book on the Internet


Bookbaby Helps Indie Authors Convert and Distribute E-Books

Bookbaby Offers E-Book Publishing Advice for Writers