How to Reduce Image Sizes Using Outlook

Sometimes smaller is just better.

Sometimes smaller is just better.

Here at IU, we ask people not to send photos over 500kb. We’re all volunteers, and we have small, free email accounts. Therefore, large attachments cause a problem. If you’ve ever received a failure message from us stating “mailbox full” – that’s because someone sent us a large attachment which filled our mailbox to capacity. Naughty author!

We’ve run a couple of articles on this: Tutorial: Resizing Pictures and  How to Resize a Photo – Mac Edition. If you don’t have the software programs mentioned in those tutorials, here’s an easy way to make an image smaller when you need to email it to someone. (In fact, you can even use this to email images to yourself if you need to resize it for something you’re doing.) It’s super easy, too. Continue reading

Calibre for Readers – Part 1

calibre logoA few months ago I did a post about using the free program Calibre to create a Kindle compatible eBook file. That barely scratched the surface of the program’s capabilities. In this series of posts I’m going to discuss some of those other uses with a focus on how the program might be used by a reader. This won’t be a full blown tutorial. Instead I’ll make some suggestions and point you in the right direction. Obviously before you can do any of this you’ll need to download and install the proper version of Calibre for your computer. Continue reading

Kindle Scout

kindlescout logoAmazon, in its continuing quest to come up with innovative ways for us to sell books, has created a program called Kindle Scout. Think of it as a cross between the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards and regular ol’ KDP. As with KDP, you upload your book and cover image (with a few tweaks to your info that I’ll get to in a sec), and the Zon puts it up on their site for you. But as with the ABNA, there’s a crowdsourcing component, and a prize at the end – in this case, a $1,500, five-year contract with the Zon’s new Kindle Press.

Say what you will about it, but I think Amazon’s heart is in the right place with this one. Two of the hardest things for an indie author to do are to get noticed in the Zon’s giant slush pile and to grow your fan base. Kindle Scout is all about helping you market your work. Continue reading

Making a Book Trailer with Windows Movie Maker – Step #2 Adding Music

books-moviesLast month’s article was a tutorial on how to make a video trailer with Windows Movie Maker (WMM). Today we will cover adding music to and finalizing your video.

Lots of sites offer royalty-free music (and images) that you can use for your video trailer. You can find out more about these on the Indies Unlimited Video Trailer resource page. I used Incompetech to download royalty free music for my six book trailers. Kevin MacLeod has done an excellent job structuring that site to help find the type of music you are looking for. You can easily play music there before downloading. Once you click on the download, it places the music on your computer. Kevin doesn’t charge for the music, but donations are certainly appreciated!

Go to your project by opening Windows MovieMaker. You should see the screen below for a project in process. Continue reading