Tag Archives: free

Giving Back Promo Results

Giving Back Promo Results

Because of the events of the last few days, I’m intentionally a little late with this report. As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, for the previous few months, I’ve been running a special promotion. I reduced eBook copies of The Stars Were Right were down to a buck, and 100% of the profits were going to be donated to the World Central Kitchen. Well, June 1st has rolled around, and the promotion has ended. I am proud to say that with your help, we raised OVER $500 for the WCK. ($516.94 to be specific.)

I am stunned and beyond amazed. Pat yourself on the back! Thank you, thank you, thank you! That can buy a lot of food, and it’ll go a long way to help those currently struggling with food insecurity. Thank you to everyone who joined in the promo, helped spread the word, bought a book from me or just donated directly. You did a little good, and we made our world a better place, it’s no secret we’re facing some tough times, and your generosity is something of which you can be proud. This letter isn’t just for me, it’s for us:

WCK Donation Confirmation

(Yeah, I rounded up and offered to cover the card fees, so the WCK got more of our donation, that’s what the end amount is a bit higher.) If you didn’t get an opportunity to join in the promotion, you can still donate to the WCK. Just click the link below and give what you can. A little bit can go a long way.

DONATE TODAY

Follow the WCK on social media, they’re very active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and you can get a glimpse at the noble work they’re doing. Want to volunteer? Details on how you can help are available here.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: World Central Kitchen/WCK.org


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Buy The Stars Were Right Now for 99¢ and Give Back

The Stars Were Right 99¢ Give Back Promotion Ends Today!

It feels weird promoting this in light of everything that’s happened over the last few days, but here we are. Pretty much what the title says—today is the last day you can buy my weird little Lovecraftian urban fantasy novel, The Stars Were Right, for only 99¢—all the profits will be donated to the World Central Kitchen in their fight against food insecurity here in America and abroad. I’ll reveal the results tomorrow! (They’re quite exciting.)

Links to purchase the ebook are below. Already have a copy? Consider buying one for your friends or a family member who might want a little escapism right now.


Kindle • Kobo • Nook • Apple Books• Google Play • Gumroad


I am also aware that many are facing severe economic instability. One in four Americans is out of work. For them, perhaps you, money is tight. If your interested in reading my book but can’t swing the 99¢, you can also download the book for free. (I’m serious.) Use the Gumroad link above and set the price at zero and bam, it’s yours. On me. Like the promotion, this will also end tonight. So don’t delay!


What if I want to help, but really don’t want an eBook?

No pressure! If you want to help but aren’t interested in my book, you can donate directly to the WCK by clicking the link below. They have options for a single donation, or you can become a monthly donor. It’s a phenomenal charity which I detailed in this post.

DONATE TODAY

Want to help in other ways? Follow the WCK on social media, they’re very active on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook, and you can get a glimpse at the noble work they’re doing. Want to volunteer? Details on how you can help are available here.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

EXTENDED—Helping the WCK Fight Hunger

I’ve seen a host of kind-hearted readers helping me raise money for the World Central Kitchen during the current COVID-19 crisis. Now more than ever it’s important to come together and help those facing food insecurity. To continue this fight, I’m going to extend my offer donating 100% of the profits of eBook copies of The Stars Were Right through June 1st. So there’s still time to help. Details about the WCK, the good work they’re doing, why I selected them, and how you can help are below.


I like food. I’m a food nerd. A “foodie.” I like to cook. I like to eat. I’ll try anything at least once. This isn’t a secret. So, it’ll come as no surprise that when I see a charity founded by a famous chef with the goal of helping the hungry during a time of crisis, it immediately piques my interest. It’s the sort of charity I’m glad to support.

Ten years ago, Chef José Andrés and his wife Patricia Fernández de la Cruz started the World Central Kitchen to prepare food for those in need following a devastating earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the organization has expanded and has continued working to solve the issues of hunger that always arrives alongside disaster. They’ve been everywhere and have helped in all sorts of emergencies, from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, wildfires, to the U.S. government shutdown, or the refugee crisis along the Colombia/Venezuelan and U.S./Mexico borders. Where there are hungry people, World Central Kitchen is there to feed them.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

Since the rise of COVID-19 and its rampage across the globe, World Central Kitchen has stepped up yet again, organizing food relief for communities struggling in the crisis as well as helping to feed the first-responders working to save the sick. With their #ChefsForAmerica program, they’re also recruiting local restaurants putting them back to work and bringing them into their fight against hunger. They’re currently serving over 160,000 meals per day.

I can’t think of a more noble cause right now, and I want to help the WCK as they work to help others. You can join me in donating to the World Central Kitchen by clicking the link below.

DONATE TODAY

Follow the WCK on social media, they’re very active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and you can get a glimpse at the noble work they’re doing. Want to volunteer? Details on how you can help are available here.


Need more incentive?

A few weeks ago, I lowered the eBook price of my first novel, The Stars Were Right down to 99¢—it’s as low as retailers will let me go. Since then, 100% of the profits from any purchase of The Stars Were Right from any channel will be donated to the World Central Kitchen. No matter where you make your purchase, you get a bit of escapism, and together we’ll help feed those in need during this time of crisis. Not a bad deal, right?

You can buy the eBook from any of the retailers listed below. Want to help me give more to the World Central Kitchen? Use Gumroad and name your price—100% of the earnings will be donated at the end of the promotion.

KindleKobo Nook Apple Books Google Play Gumroad

Speaking of name your own price…


Don’t have 99¢? Get the book anyway. (Seriously.)

I realize as I put this book on sale, an astronomical number of people around the world have lost their jobs over the last few weeks. To those folks, even 99¢ can seem like a lot to swing for a piece of entertainment. So, if you can’t afford to buy the book right now, you can download it for free. Use the Gumroad link above and set the price at zero and bam, it’s yours.


As I said a few weeks ago, we’re all in this together. Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Let’s flatten the curve. We’ll get through this.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Jansson: A Free 17th Century Cartography Brush Set

Janssonius: A Free 17th Century Cartography Brush Set for Fantasy Maps

If you’re like me most-likely you’re sheltering in place and doing your part to flatten the curve and keeping your loved ones, neighbors, and community healthy and safe. That comes with some downtime and that downtime is the perfect moment to dabble in cartography project! So, with that in mind, over the weekend I put together another free brush set for you to use in your projects.

This is Janssonius, a topographical brush set with a nautical flair based on Johannes Janssonius’ 1650 nautical chart of the Bay of Bengal, and I could see it being excellent for a wide variety of projects.

Often historical cartographers would use symbols familiar to their viewers no matter where a map was set, hills and mountains were rendered similar in appearance to those at home. Here, however, Janssonius incorporated local floral and landforms giving his chart a more tropical flair. It sets the symbols on these charts apart from his contemporaries like Joan Blaeu, and it adds a nice touch to the overall map.

I can’t wait to see what you create before now I haven’t based a set on nautical charts. So this round, I made sure to incorporate a whole host of maritime symbols—rocks, sounding marks, shallows, and a whole bunch more. This will be handy if you’re telling a tale set on the high seas or just want to add a flash of authenticity to the coasts of your maps. The full set has 275 brushes and includes the following:

  • 5 Individual Tents
  • 7 Grouped Tents
  • 25 Towns
  • 10 Cities
  • 6 Forts [Note: These could be symbols for mills, but taking into consideration the nature of the map, I believe they’re most likely fortifications.]
  • 25 Trees
  • 25 Palm Trees
  • 10 Palm Tree Groups
  • 8 Forests
  • 6 Fields
  • 20 Hills
  • 30 Mountains
  • 10 Mountain Ranges
  • 3 Anchorages
  • 2 Shipwrecks
  • 20 Rocks
  • 4 Shallows with Rocks
  • 10 Small Shallows
  • 5 Shallow Textures
  • 30 Sounding Marks
  • 5 People Cartouches
  • 3 Map Cartouches
  • 6 Ship Cartouches

The button below links to a ZIP file that contains a Photoshop brush set (it’ll also work in GIMP and with Affinity Photo) as well as a set of transparent PNGs in case you’re using a program that doesn’t support Adobe brush files. I’ve separated them by type: Settlements, Flora, & Landforms, and Nautical Symbols & Cartouches. They’re black, and they’ll look broken if viewed in Chrome, but trust me, they’re all there.


DOWNLOAD JANSSONIUS


As with all of my previous brush sets, Janssonius is free for any use. I distribute my sets with a Creative Common, No Rights Reserved License (CC0), which means you can freely use this and any of my brushes in commercial work and distribute adaptations. (Details on this decision here.) No attribution is required. Easy peasy!

Enjoy Janssonius? Feel free to show me what you created by sending me an email or finding me on Twitter. I love seeing how these brushes get used, and I’d be happy to share your work with my readers. Let me see what you make!


🌏 Janssonius In Use

Want to see this brush set in use? I put together a sample map and you can see the results below. There are three versions, a black and white version, one colored, and a decorated sample. Click on any of the images below to view them larger. Perhaps this will inspire you as you get started on your own projects!

         


💸 Supporting This Work

If you like the Janssonius brush set (or any of my free brushes, really) and want to support my work, instead of a donation, consider buying one of my speculative fiction novels. Digital copies of the first book—The Stars Were Right—are only 99¢ right now. With 100% of the profits being donated to the World Coastal Kitchen. I think you’ll dig it, You can find all my books in stores and online. Visit bellforgingcycle.com to learn more about the series. Tell your friends!

The Bell Forging CycleNot interested in my books but still want a way to support me? Buy me a coffee.


🗺 More Map Brushes

Janssonius isn’t the only brush set I’ve released. You can find other free brush sets with a wide variety of styles over on my Free Stuff page. Every set is free, distributed under a CC0 license, and open for personal or commercial use. I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that works for your project.

Vischer: A 17th Century Cartography Brush Set

Based on the amazing Archiducatus Austriae inferioris, an incredibly detailed map of lower Austria created by Georg Matthäus Vischer in 1697, this is the largest set I’ve released. Loads of detail and a unique approach to rendering forests and landforms aids this set in standing apart. A perfect set for the right project.

Braun: A Free 16th Century Urban Cartography Brush Set for Fantasy City MapsBraun: A 16th Century Urban Cartography Brush Set

The brushes within this urban-focused set are based on the incredible work of Georg Braun taken from his Civitates orbis terrarum—easily one of the most significant volumes of cartographic antiquity. The detail and density represented in these symbols give an extra layer of texture and is perfect for the right fantastical city map.

Ogilby - DecoratedOgilby: A Free 17th Century Road Atlas Brush Set

Taken from John Ogilby’s 1675 book Britannia, Volume the First, this set allows the creator to recreate road atlas from the 17th century in stunning detail, placing the traveler’s experience front and center. With over 800 brushes, this is my most extensive set to date and useful for a variety of projects. Several bonus downloads are also available, as well.

Van der Aa Sample Map - DecoratedVan der Aa: An 18th Century Cartography Brush Set

This regional map set is based on a map by Dutch cartographer and publisher, Pieter Van der Aa. It’s a beautifully rendered version of the Mingrelia region of northwest Georgia. While not as extensive as other sets, the size of the map allowed for larger brushes that helps highlight the uniqueness of each symbol. It also features a failed wall!

Gomboust: A 17th Century Urban Cartography Brush Set

My first brush set to focus on creating realistic maps for fantastical urban environments! Gomboust is a huge set, and its symbols are extracted from Jacques Gomboust’s beautiful 1652 map of Paris, France. His style is detailed yet quirky, isometric yet off-kilter, packed with intricacies, and it brings a lot of personality to a project.

Harrewyn: An 18th Century Cartography Brush SetHarrewyn: An 18th Century Cartography Brush Set

Based on Eugene Henry Fricx’s “Cartes des Paysbas et des Frontieres de France,” this set leans into its 1727 gothic styling and its focus on the developed rather than the natural. It’s hauntingly familiar yet strikingly different. If you’re looking for more natural elements, Harrewyn works well alongside other sets as well.

Popple: A Free 18th Century Cartography Brush SetPopple: A Free 18th Century Cartography Brush Set

This set has quickly become a favorite, and it’s perfect for a wide variety of projects. The brushes are taken from 1746’s A Map of the British Empire in America by Henry Popple, and it has a fresh style that does a fantastic job capturing the wildness of a frontier. Plus, it has swamps! And we know swamps have become a necessity in fantasy cartography.

Donia: A Free 17th Century Settlement Brush SetDonia: A Free 17th Century Settlement Brush Set

While not my most extensive set (a little over one hundred brushes), Donia boasts one of the more unique takes on settlements from the 17th century. If you’re looking for flora, I suggest checking out other sets, but if you want to pay attention to your map’s cities, towns, castles, churches, towers, forts, even fountains, then this is the right set for you.

Blaeu: A Free 17th Century Cartography Brush SetBlaeu: A Free 17th Century Cartography Brush Set

Based on Joan Blaeu’s Terræ Sanctæ—a 17th-century tourist map of the Holy Land—this set includes a ton of unique and varied signs as well as a large portion of illustrative cartouches that can add a flair authenticity to any fantasy map. Elegant and nuanced, everything works within a system, but nearly every sign is unique.

Aubers: An 18th Century Cartography Brush SetAubers: An 18th Century Cartography Brush Set

An 18th Century brush set based on a map from 1767 detailing the journey of François Pagès, a French naval officer, who accompanied the Spanish Governor of Texas on a lengthy exploration through Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico. A unique southwestern set with a few interesting deviations—including three volcanos!

L’Isle: An 18th Century Battlefield Brush SetL’Isle: An 18th Century Battlefield Brush Set

A departure from the norm, this set is based on the Plan Batalii map, which was included in a special edition of The First Atlas of Russia in 1745. A detailed view of a battle during the Russo-Turkish War of 1735–1739. Canon! Units! Battles! Perfect for mapping out the combat scenarios in your fantasy stories.

Widman: A 17th Century Cartography Brush SetWidman: A 17th Century Cartography Brush Set

A 17th Century brush set based on the work of Georgio Widman for Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi’s atlas published in 1692. A fantastic example of Cantelli da Vignola’s influence and a solid set for any fantastic map. This is the workhorse of antique map brush sets—perfect for nearly any setting.

Walser: An 18th Century Cartography Brush SetWalser: An 18th Century Cartography Brush Set

An 18th Century brush set based on the work of Gabriel Walser with a focus on small farms and ruins and a robust set of mountains and hills. This is a great brush set to see how Vignola’s influence persisted across generations. It was etched over 80 years after the Widman set, but you’ll find a few familiar symbols within.

Lumbia: A Sketchy Cartography Brush SetLumbia: A Sketchy Cartography Brush Set

A sketchy style brush set I drew myself that focuses on unique hills and mountains and personal customizability. My attempt at trying to channel the sort of map a barkeep would draw for a band of hearty adventurers. It includes extra-large brushes for extremely high-resolution maps.

Lehmann: A Hatchure Brush SetLehmann: A Hatchure Brush Set

Named after Austrian topographer Johann Georg Lehmann creator of the Lehmann hatching system in 1799, this is a path-focused brush set designed for Adobe Illustrator that attempts to captures the hand-drawn style unique 19th Century hachure-style mountains. This set works perfectly in conjunction with my other sets from the late 18th century.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Let's Help the World Central Kitchen Fight Hunger

Helping the World Central Kitchen Fight Hunger

I like food. I’m a food nerd. A “foodie.” I like to cook. I like to eat. I’ll try anything at least once. This isn’t a secret. So, it’ll come as no surprise that when I see a charity founded by a famous chef with the goal of helping the hungry during a time of crisis, it immediately piques my interest. It’s the sort of charity I’m glad to support.

Ten years ago, Chef José Andrés and his wife Patricia Fernández de la Cruz started the World Central Kitchen to prepare food for those in need following a devastating earthquake in Haiti. Since then, the organization has expanded and has continued working to solve the issues of hunger that always arrives alongside disaster. They’ve been everywhere and have helped in all sorts of emergencies, from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados, wildfires, to the U.S. government shutdown, or the refugee crisis along the Colombia/Venezuelan and U.S./Mexico borders. Where there are hungry people, World Central Kitchen is there to feed them.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

Since the rise of COVID-19 and its rampage across the globe, World Central Kitchen has stepped up yet again, organizing food relief for communities struggling in the crisis as well as helping to feed the first-responders working to save the sick. With their #ChefsForAmerica program, they’re also recruiting local restaurants putting them back to work and bringing them into their fight against hunger. They’re currently serving over 160,000 meals per day.

I can’t think of a more noble cause right now, and I want to help the WCK as they work to help others. You can join me in donating to the World Central Kitchen by clicking the link below.

DONATE TODAY

Follow the WCK on social media, they’re very active on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and you can get a glimpse at the noble work they’re doing. Want to volunteer? Details on how you can help are available here.


Need more incentive?

A few weeks ago, I lowered the eBook price of my first novel, The Stars Were Right down to 99¢—it’s as low as retailers will let me go. Since then, 100% of the profits from any purchase of The Stars Were Right from any channel will be donated to the World Central Kitchen. No matter where you make your purchase, you get a bit of escapism, and together we’ll help feed those in need during this time of crisis. Not a bad deal, right?

You can buy the eBook from any of the retailers listed below. Want to help me give more to the World Central Kitchen? Use Gumroad and name your price—100% of the earnings will be donated at the end of the promotion.

KindleKobo Nook Apple Books Google Play Gumroad

Speaking of name your own price…


Don’t have 99¢? Get the book anyway. (Seriously.)

I realize as I put this book on sale, an astronomical number of people around the world have lost their jobs over the last few weeks. To those folks, even 99¢ can seem like a lot to swing for a piece of entertainment. So, if you can’t afford to buy the book right now, you can download it for free. Use the Gumroad link above and set the price at zero and bam, it’s yours.


As I said a few weeks ago, we’re all in this together. Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Let’s flatten the curve. We’ll get through this.

Photo via World Central Kitchen/WCK.org

Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Buy The Stars Were Right Now for 99¢ and Give Back

Buy The Stars Were Right for 99¢ and Give Back

If you’re at all like me, chances are you could use a little escapism these days. Something to pull you away from refreshing news feeds and doomscrolling through social media all day. Perhaps I can help?


Let’s Give Back

For the next thirty days I’ve dropped the eBook price of my urban fantasy novel The Stars Were Right down to 99¢ everywhere it’s sold. Unfortunately, that’s as low as retailers will let me go, but let’s turn that into something useful. Along with the price reduction, I’ll be donating 100% of the profits to the World Central Kitchen who is working to safely distribute fresh, individually packaged meals in communities that need help. It’s an incredible charity that has become vital in recent days, and it’s one I’m proud to support. So, no matter where you buy The Stars Were Right, you get a bit of escapism, and together we help feed those in need during this time of crisis. Not a bad deal, right?

You can buy the eBook from any of the retailers listed below. Want to help me give more to the World Central Kitchen? Use Gumroad and name your price—100% of the earnings will be donated at the end of the promotion.


KindleKobo Nook Apple Books Google Play Gumroad


Don’t have 99¢? Get the book anyway. (Seriously.)

I realize as I put this book on sale, an astronomical number of people have lost their jobs over the last few weeks. To those folks, even 99¢ can seem like a lot to swing for a piece of entertainment. So, if you can’t afford to buy the book right now, you can download it for free. Use the Gumroad link above and set the price at zero and bam, it’s yours.


We’re all in this together. Stay home. Stay healthy. Let’s flatten the curve. 

I hope you enjoy losing yourself in a book for a bit.