My Experience with Golden Box Books Publishing Services
By Joe Bonadonna
A friend suggested I contact Erika M Szabo and Golden Box Books Publishing Services. So I did, and that was the start of something very cool that I certainly never expected to happen in my writing and publishing experience.
Right out of the gate Erika and I were in sync. I gave her a few of my ideas on what I was looking for in a book cover and she immediately went to work. She works fast, too. Faster than I expected and could have hoped for.
Within a week or so she had a few variations on the cover I envisioned, and she must have been reading my mind because in each one she captured the essence of the novel and what I was looking for. Book covers are often more representative of a book than they are scenes literally taken from the story and transferred into a visual image. Erika managed to do both: the essence of my story was there, as well as certain elements that captured the mood and theme of my book. Not only that, she took my poorly self-drawn map of the world in which my story takes place and created something truly outstanding.
Working with Erika was a great experience. She’s highly professional, extremely talented and was very patient with me. She was all finished and waiting for me to finish my final proof and edit of my manuscript. Eventually I completed my part of the job and in less than a week Erika had the book formatted and ready for me to approve before she set it all up to go “live.” Roughly three or four days later my book appeared in paperback and Kindle editions, all ready for me to start my promo and marketing campaign. Erika did a fantastic job, which led to an interesting and fun collaboration between us.
After several weeks of chats and discussions, wherein I told her about this idea I had for a spooky children’s Halloween novel, we were tossing ideas back and forth, plotting our story and getting an outline down.
Then, while I worked on the first draft, Erika went to work designing not only a fantastic cover, but a number of very cool interior illustrations. After that, she went to work on a second draft, contributing more scenes and chapters to our short novel, while I continued to proof and edit my first draft. Well, you know how that process works so I won’t bore you with all the little details. However, before we knew it we had completed a 50-K word novel for middle-grade children: Three Ghosts in a Black Pumpkin, a novel Erika and I are both very proud of.
Not only did our book win an award, Erika and I found that we couldn’t let the story end there. So we immediately set to work on a sequel, a more ambitious and complex novel that turned into a 60-K word story. And once again Erika created the cover and some awesome interior illustrations. This time, I sent her an extremely crude sketch of the map of our world of Creepy Hollow, and she artfully created a gorgeous-looking map that we added to the book. Now we had our second collaboration finished, and we published The Power of the Sapphire Wand.
This all happened in 2017.
But wait! There’s more!
— Joe Bonadonna