Ever be cranking along on your work-in-progress (WIP) without a care and suddenly realize that your timeline is all discombobulated? Juggling numerous characters with a different point of view (POV) in each chapter has finally caught up with you. Don’t you hate it when that happens? I know I do.
This kind of thing is bound to occur, especially if you have characters who whisk off to far-away lands – which means you need to incorporate the gaps created by lengthy air travel as well as time zone changes. What a mess!
Here’s a handy little tip for you which costs nothing. In fact, it’s so simple that it may strike you as stupid initially, but sometimes simplifying is exactly what’s needed when a project goes out of control. Continue reading →
While a lot of folks can obviously easily upload their electronic manuscript files to Amazon, Smashwords, Createspace and the like, what happens when they want to send a copy to a friend so that person can read it on their Kindle? They have three options: Send it and have the friend pay the fee for converting a personal document, gift their friends a copy of the book from one of the websites, usually at the author’s cost, or send their friend a copy of the book in a format that’s already Kindle-compatible – i.e., a Mobi (short for Mobipocket) file. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to do this. Here’s how to do it easily, quickly and for free. Continue reading →
Last month I was busy making new business cards to distribute to unsuspecting tourists (see my post “Stop me and Buy One”.) I checked out what information should be on my card and having established that I needed to put some of my book covers on the back, and an eye catching simple design on the front, I discovered that I should really add a QR code. Yes, those foxed me too, but wait a minute and you too will find out that QR codes are utterly brilliant.
The QR code was invented in Japan by a subsidiary of Toyota to track vehicles during manufacture. It was designed to allow high-speed component scanning and has since become one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR codes then became common in consumer advertising. Smartphone users or iPad owners can install a free app with a QR-code scanner that is able to read a displayed code and convert it to a URL, which in turns directs the smartphone’s browser to the website of the company, store, product. Continue reading →
You’ve seen them, I know you have. The ugly, discombobulated, burdened Facebook page URL that has not been properly set up. My favorite is when someone who claims to be a social media or marketing expert sports one. “Come check out my page!” they’ll say to me, presenting me with a link that looks like “http://www.facebook.com/pages/Judy-the-marketing-pro-author/260458930631195″ Hey, Judy, guess what? No one’s going to remember how to get to your page with a link like that. Not to mention it’s kind of embarrassing.
What can you do about it? Well, I’m glad you asked.
As promised, this tutorial will cover the making of buttons, logos, banners, and other graphic types needed by writers. Not as sexy an issue as covers, but very necessary. And it all applies: if you can create a cool-looking logo, you can create a cool-looking title and byline. In fact, if you examine this collection of images I think you’ll see that the difference between a “logo”, a “banner”, a “button”, and even a “title” is pretty abstract. What you’re seeing there, top to bottom, are: the title for an online serial, my personal logo I use for many things including “signatures” in mailings and forums, a custom SmashWords buy button, a dragon social media avatar, a Twitter button in custom colors, three RSS buttons to match three different sites, and a website header. All basically the same thing, using the same resources and simple skills.
And you’ll love this: it’s a lot easier to do these things. Your chances of learning, fairly quickly, to create good-looking, useful graphic doodads is virtually 100%. And there’s better news than that for those less than comfortable with all the talk of installing and learning graphics programs: you can do it all online without having your own programs, and it’s easier to do that way and at least as high quality! Cool, huh? Continue reading →
Well hello there fans of Tutorial Tuesday. Here at Indies Unlimited, we take pride in bringing you tutorials each week to help you get more out of social media platforms, software packages, handy websites, tools, and more. You can check out past tutorials for free here. If you don’t feel like going through all the tedious and strenuous labor of repeatedly clicking that “older posts” arrow, you can check out this nifty book here.
Occasionally I’ll get messages from folks asking for tutorials on specific subjects, or I’ll write them based on queries which come up during conversations with other authors. Of course, that means we haven’t covered everything yet…
So how about we open up the comments section today and YOU tell US what you’d like to see tutorials about? Let’s not get silly here, we can’t give you tutorials on picking the right lottery numbers or on how to build a laser death ray (that’s proprietary), but we can help in author-related topics other than becoming a best-seller overnight or how to get on Oprah. And please, keep it clean, folks. Here are some upcoming tutorials: How to Create a Sell Sheet; How to Find Media Outlets; Preparing for a Radio Interview; and How to Write a Bio Blurb. We look forward to seeing your ideas. If we’ve already got a tutorial on it, we’ll let you know that, as well.
How did I make this? Stay tuned and you’ll find out!
Screen captures (also known as screen shots) come in handy for many reasons. You can use them to show someone when your computer is doing something funky, preserve book reviews in an image file, capture blog comments for legal reasons, provide instructions to someone, create print-outs of web-based stuff for promotional materials, and many other purposes.
While some things put up on the Internet are “forever,” some things aren’t. So I try to grab an image of any press I get and put that on my website. I include the link at the top so people can see where the story originated, but if that link becomes void it’s now literally preserved forever on my site. Here’s an example of a story run in a Vancouver-area online newspaper. The great thing about that is that you can trim out all the other “briefs” and just focus on yours. This, of course, is just one usage. Continue reading →
Why in the world could I possibly need to know how to resize a picture? you ask. Well, Skippy, it goes like this. A reporter or blogger or some other nice person who wants to feature your book asks you for a jpg image of your book cover – or a head shot – no larger than 500kb. But the only image you have of yourself looking all sexy and authory is 4 megabytes. So you send it anyway. BAD AUTHOR!!!! That’s a really good way to annoy someone who’s trying to help you. But…how do I make the image smaller? you say. Well, I’ll show you. Aren’t you glad you asked?
See the cover above? The size of the original file is 606 kb. That’s over half a megabyte and still doesn’t meet the criteria of the 500kb requested by whomever. Making it smaller is very fast and easy. Go to the folder where your picture is stored. If you mouse over it, that should tell you how large the file is. (I knew you were going to ask that next. Ha!) See the photo below. Continue reading →