"Rescue Sirens" reviews wanted! October 29, 2018 11:34From Jess:
Have you read our novel, "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist," and/or our children's picture book, "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up"? If so, Chris and I would love it if you'd leave us a review on Amazon or Goodreads!
Although the next books in the series have taken a bit of a back seat to other projects at the moment (my super-secret "Rescue Sirens" reference document; Chris's work directing Fox's film "The Call of the Wild"), we're always eager to hear what people think of what we've written so far.
What did you like? What weren't you crazy about? What would you like to see more of, or never see again? Constructive reader feedback is always, always welcome, as it helps us craft future adventures for Nim, Kelby, Echo, Pippa, and Maris. We have the stories themselves planned out, but knowing what people think allows us to fine-tune the details.
So where, exactly, can you write a review? If you've purchased your copy of the book from us on Amazon, you might've been prompted to leave a review once you received your package, which is where things can get a bit confusing: Amazon has one place to review the seller (in our case, we sell our books under our company name, Happy Tiki, Inc.), while reviewing the book itself is an entirely separate process.
Here are handy links to both of our books on Amazon and Goodreads:
"Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" on Amazon
"Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" on Goodreads
"Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" on Amazon
"Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" on Goodreads
If you've already left a review for us, thank you! Not only does your feedback aid us as writers, but sharing your thoughts also helps other potential readers decide if our books are up their particular alley. We'd love more people to discover "Rescue Sirens"!
New and upcoming MERchandise September 20, 2018 17:00From Jess:
Oh, man, you guys, what a summer it's been! Usually San Diego Comic-Con represents the pinnacle of our summer busy-ness, but 2018 just hasn't quit! Beyond a bit of unexpected traveling (Wyoming is stunning this time of year!), my husband and "Rescue Sirens" co-author Chris has begun filming his first live-action/CG hybrid project, 20th Century Fox's "The Call of the Wild" (based on the classic Jack London novel), and his schedule is all over the place -- which means mine is, too, haha.
That, and I'm still hard at work on my super-secret "Rescue Sirens" project. It's not a book (although I'm working on that, too!), but I can tell you that it does include brand-new artwork from Gabby Zapata, Kellee Riley, and "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" illustrator Genevieve Tsai (plus a couple of new artists, who I hope to introduce to you soon). I'm crossing my fingers that I'll be able to show this stuff to you before too long.
In the meantime, I've been slowly adding more merchandise to our online store. Being able to switch gears mentally and work on something completely different, like backpacks or throw pillows, is a great break from my current project, and I'm tickled pink with some of our newest goodies.
Let's see... since my last update about the backpacks, I've added an awesome beach bag, featuring Gabby Zapata's adorable artwork; a new premium throw pillow in the same print; and kids'/youth mermaid scale leggings in the five Rescue Sirens' signature colors (aqua for Nim, coral for Kelby, blue for Echo, purple for Pippa, and gold for Maris).
My plan is to eventually add leggings that mimic each Rescue Siren's tail pattern (not all of our mermaids even have scales, after all!), but, for a start, this classic mermaid scale motif looks great and pairs really well with our kids' T-shirts. The best part is: these leggings are designed to be worn on land or in the water, so they help provide sun protection for little legs while swimming! I'll create adult versions, as well, but I wanted to debut the kids' line first.
As always, if you'd like to share photos of you or your guppies sporting your "Rescue Sirens" gear, we'd love to see it! Tagging your pictures with #rescuesirens on Instagram is the best way to show them to us.
In addition to all things "Rescue Sirens," I've also been running my husband Chris's online store, and I've been using it as a testing ground for a warehousing and fulfillment service. So far, I really like the way it works, and I'm thinking of warehousing some of our "Rescue Sirens" items, too. What does that mean? You'd be able to purchase our books directly from our website (signed copies!), along with vinyl sticker sets and maybe even our enamel pins! This service ships worldwide with affordable pricing, too, which has been a very big priority for us. And, because I won't be mailing stuff out of our home, it frees up more time for me to write and create new "Rescue Sirens" content! Talk about a win-win-win.
Last, but not least, I'm testing high-quality "Rescue Sirens" art prints so you can add a splash of mermaid magic to your walls. Want to know when the prints are available? Remember to sign up for our newsletter! I don't have quite as much time for social media right now as I'd like, so the newsletter allows me to get all the latest announcements directly to you without spamming Facebook or Instagram.
That's a wrap for this post... see you next time!
Backpacks, SDCC, and a newsletter -- oh my! August 06, 2018 10:03From Jess:
At San Diego Comic-Con last month, I teased a new product that I've been chomping at the bit to share with you: "Rescue Sirens" backpacks! The backpacks that I brought with us to the convention were samples and not for sale, but now I'm happy with them and have added all five designs to our online store! You can click the image below to check 'em out.
Just like some of our new vinyl stickers and acrylic charms, these backpacks feature "Rescue Sirens" artwork by Kellee Riley; boasting bright colors, cute poses, and adorable faces, they really stand out in a crowd! If you know a little Rescue Siren-in-training, one of our backpacks makes the perfect back-to-school bookbag.
With a secret pocket on the lower back for your cash/cards and an interior sleeve for a 15" laptop, they're great for grown-ups, too. I used one of our sample backpacks to tote around everything but the kitchen sink at SDCC and was super pleased with how it held up.
Speaking of SDCC, 2018 was another wonderful year! It's so strange to me that Chris and I spend the first six months of each new year thinking about, planning, and making merchandise for SDCC, and then it arrives all of a sudden and it's over before we know it. The end of the convention always leaves me feeling a little out-of-sorts and bewildered -- like, this huge thing has come and gone, so what am I supposed to spend my time stressing out over and panicking about? (Just kidding; I have a million other things to stress over and panic about.)
After SDCC, Chris and I are exhausted and glad for a breather, but we miss our friends and fellow creatives, and, of course, the attendees. We never take enough photos during the show, but here are a few pictures that I shared on Instagram! I posted them as a pair of slideshows, so, you know, click the left and right sides to view them all.
We’ve been home from #SDCC2018 for a week now, and we’re finally starting to catch up on everything! 😅 As always, we had an amazing time, and we love getting the opportunity to see our friends, fellow exhibitors, and wonderful attendees. Here is just a small sampling of happy moments from the show! Post 1 of 2. 1️⃣ “Rescue Sirens” creator @jessicasteelesanders with her husband and co-author, @chrissandersart. 2️⃣ Artist @seangallowayart showing off a #rescuesirens commission that he drew for us. 3️⃣ Our friends and “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” collaborators, @delgaduck and @teresamtzjun. 4️⃣ Sneaking away from the convention center for an absolutely marvelous dinner with @coliegreno, @nathangreno, @tanyalehoux, and @jscottcampbell. 5️⃣ @jessicasteelesanders with stunning ladyfriends @tanyalehoux and @coliegreno. 6️⃣ @chrissandersart holding the first of two gorgeous original paintings by @pernilleoerum that we purchased... 7️⃣ ...while @jessicasteelesanders holds the other! Not pictured: the utterly delightful @kikidoodling and her husband, Nik; our dear friend and “Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist” illustrator @genevievetsai; awesome neighbor @terrydodsonart; brilliant and talented @whitneypollett; sweet @caseyrobin; and probably a million other of our beloved “art friends”! We need to remember to take more photos next year!
We’ve been home from #SDCC2018 for a week now, and we’re finally starting to catch up on everything! 😅 As always, we had an amazing time, and we love getting the opportunity to see our friends, fellow exhibitors, and wonderful attendees. Here is just a small sampling of happy moments from the show, focusing this time on mermaids! Post 2 of 2. 1️⃣ Bryn and Zach, part of the fin-omenal @finfolkproductions team, stopped by to visit! (And when @jessicasteelesanders was wearing her Finfolk leggings, too: perfect timing.) 2️⃣ Over at the truly incredible @cfxmasks booth, @jessicasteelesanders got in touch with her inner sea monster. (We totally bought that mask at the end of the show.) 3️⃣ It’s not SDCC until @mermaidkalynn drops by... 4️⃣ ...and the same goes for @badkidbebe/@themergoth! 🧜🏻♀️🖤 5️⃣ Okay, this was real SDCC magic: @jessicasteelesanders and @chrissandersart first noticed this adorable Orange Bird dress (Jessica owns it in navy), and then discovered that it was being worn by none other than @lovelysundae, who recently drew an outstanding Kelby illustration! She was an ab-shell-ute joy to talk to. #rescuesirens #sandiegocomiccon #finfolkproductions
As usual, we're already talking about what we're going to do for SDCC 2019!
And there's my cue to bring up my last topic for today: the "Rescue Sirens" newsletter, the most reliable way to find out what we're up to. Chris and I love keeping you up-to-date on what we're doing, but we've noticed a big difference in social media reach over the past couple of years; Facebook shows our posts to only a fraction of our followers unless we pay for more views, and Instagram is quickly heading in that direction, too. Lots of people just plain aren't hearing from us. The solution, it seemed to me, was to start an email newsletter and talk directly to you.
How can you join? When you purchase something from our online store, you have the option to subscribe to our mailing list; you can also do so by visiting our signup page. If you missed our introductory email, you can read it now! Future newsletters will include sneak peeks at what we're working on, event information, and maybe even some subscriber-only exclusives. It's also the first place that we'll announce new products (such as the backpacks!). I'll probably use it to share blogs with you, too, so you don't have to remember to check the website every month.
All in all, I expect to send out only a handful of newsletters per month. I hope you find this a fun and useful way to stay in the "Rescue Sirens" loop!
"Rescue Sirens" at SDCC 2018 July 17, 2018 00:00
That time has come around again! Chris and I are headed down to San Diego for Comic-Con International (affectionately known as SDCC), and, while this year's focus at our booth is on Chris's sketchbook full of personal artwork (his first in five years!), we're also bringing with us some fun new "Rescue Sirens" accessories that I've been dying to share with you all.
First up: stickers! Last year's weather-resistant vinyl stickers were really popular, so 2017's designs are making a reappearance along with eleven more sticker styles to collect! WOW!
Let's take a look at the new ones, shall we?
Aside from a brief teaser on Instagram, I haven't had an opportunity yet to really talk about our awesome new artwork from two of our favorite artists: Gabby Zapata (top) and Kellee Riley (bottom).
Chris and I love both of their respective art styles for different reasons, and we're already beginning to use these massively appealing illustrations in our online merchandise -- and, of course, these stickers! Want to plaster your world in Gabby's and/or Kellee's drawings of our lifeguard mermaids? Then swim by booth #4616, where we're selling each mermaid sticker for $4.00 apiece. (We also have a clear sticker with the "Rescue Sirens: Mermaids On Duty" logo in black for $3.00.)
And we can't forget our stickers from last year, which are Chris's chibi-style drawings of the Rescue Sirens -- also $4.00, with the round "Rescue Sirens" emblem available for $3.00.
In the past twelve months I've developed a bit of a... problem... with acrylic charms. (I can quit any time I want, I swear!) Maybe you've seen them on Etsy; these charms are typically sold as phone charms, something to hang on your Nintendo 3DS or other handheld console, tiny keychains, or even necklaces. I've amassed quite a collection, and I knew that I wanted to create our own for SDCC this year.
Ta-da! I turned Chris's chibi drawings into cute little charms, about 1.5" in height with the image visible on both sides, and I attached them to straps that you can loop onto--well, just about whatever you want! But did I stop there? Ohhhh, no.
Because the charms are double-sided, I really wanted to take advantage of that, so I asked Kellee if she would mind drawing two versions of each Rescue Siren: one in her lifeguard top, and one in her mermaid top. How cool did the charms turn out as a result?!
Chris and I also asked Gabby if she could do the same thing -- but with an added twist.
Gabby drew each Rescue Siren in her mermaid form AND in her human form! She did an amazing job coming up with poses that would work for both versions, didn't she? That's harder than it looks, but these all turned out super adorable.
On the human side of the charm, you'll notice that the extra space surrounding the girls' legs where their mermaid tails are on the reverse is a solid block of the color that I've been using to represent each Rescue Siren -- aqua for Nim, coral/pink for Kelby, blue for Echo, purple for Pippa, and yellow for Maris -- with similarly-colored straps to match.
Each double-sided charm costs $10.00, and you can add a color-coordinated necklace for $2.00.
In addition to the stickers and charms, we'll also be bringing a limited number of our first set of enamel pins, which we debuted in 2017.
We're down to literally a handful of our Nim pins, so please show up early if you'd like to snag one. I did set aside a few Nim pins for Etsy; after SDCC, I'll be selling three more full sets, along with individual pins from our remaining stock, but I don't recommend waiting until then if you don't have to. Last time we opened online orders, they sold quickly! Each pin sells for $12.00.
And, last but never least, we'll have signed copies of our fully-illustrated, water-resistant children's book, "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," and our novel, "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist," for $20.00 apiece.
There are also some new products that we have in the works that we've yet to add to the website, and we're going to be giving SDCC attendees a first look at those at our booth, with an opportunity to order them online -- right at our booth! -- before anyone else! Stay tuned for more about that as the week goes on.
Speaking of online sales, our intention as always is to make our SDCC merch available in our shop and/or on Etsy after we return (and recover) from San Diego. So, if you can't make it to SDCC, you can still add to your "Rescue Sirens" collection!
Okay, fishes. Let's do this!
SDCC takes place at the San Diego Convention Center from Wednesday, July 18th (Preview Night) through Sunday, July 22nd. "Rescue Sirens" is located at booth #4616 (Chris Sanders Art).
Happy third anniversary, "Rescue Sirens"! Let's shell-ebrate with a pin sale! July 01, 2018 00:00From Jess:
Wow! It's July, which means it's been three years since we first introduced the world to "Rescue Sirens"! The series has been around in development for considerably longer than that, but July 1st, 2015 is when Chris and I made it public with an announcement that we'd be selling our hardcover first editions of "Rescue Sirens: The Search for the Atavist" at San Diego Comic-Con later that month.
In 2015, Chris and I debuted the hardcover first edition; in 2016, we released the paperback second edition; in 2017, we published our first (water-resistant!) children's book, "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up"; and, while we won't be selling a new book in 2018, we do have some cool new merchandise that we're dying to share with you in the next couple of weeks leading up to SDCC.
But first! How can we shell-ebrate our third anniversary? By FINALLY making our hard enamel pins available online! Check them out here! (Announcer voice: link operational while supplies last.)
There are so many things that I want to get done when it comes to "Rescue Sirens," and, in general, I feel like I do an okay job of checking items off my prodigious to-do list. Sometimes, though, I'm forced to transfer tasks to the back burner, and selling our pins online has taken a lot longer than I would've liked. I can't thank you enough for your patience while I've gotten everything sorted and made the time to process and fulfill orders!
The pins will be up for sale in our Etsy shop in limited batches, stocked on the basis of when I can package and mail them to you. Each hard enamel pin costs $12 individually, or you can purchase all six together at a special discounted price of $65 (not including shipping and handling).
And some great news for our fans outside the US: these will ship internationally! Yay! Etsy calculates the shipping for me, based on package size and weight; if the actual cost of shipping is off by more than a dollar, I'll happily refund you the difference, so rest assured that even though US shipping prices are ridiculously high, I'm giving you the lowest price I possibly can. We don't profit on shipping.
What's next for our "Rescue Sirens" summer merchandise? You'll have to stay tuna'd! (Sorry, it'd been a second since I made a terrible ocean pun.) If you'd like to see a sneak peek, though, be sure to follow us on Instagram and check out our Stories feature.