Your Unique Author Picture – Research By A. J. Alexander

Picture courtesy of: http://gregceoblog.com

 

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I have been thinking about Author Pictures lately. I know very well what I have on my Social Media accounts right now isn’t a great thing to do. One of the main reasons for these overexposed profile pictures is the fact that I don’t like it to be on pictures. And from what I heard this can be seen in the picture.

 

No matter how often I’m told the pictures look great, and I’m supposed to be pretty, I don’t believe it. This does, in fact, have a psychological root which was planted in my childhood, but I think this is another subject and doesn’t belong here.

 

Now, since one day I will undoubtedly be published I will sooner or later have to think about my author picture, and that’s why I went for another round of research.

 

One of the first interesting and informative articles I found on Huffington Post where Heather Hummel talks about the relevance of a professional author photo. She not only talks about the quality of the picture but also shows certain problems that can come up and presents the respective solutions. For example, does she mention the expression on the picture, the quality, the background and presents some final thoughts. (Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heather-hummel/the-relevance-of-a-profes_b_4498575.html)

 

By going on with my research, I found “The Review Review.” Written by Randy Susan Meyers the article “Look Great In Your Author Photo” gives you tips and tricks on colors, clothes, and makeup and also describes what you can do to hide certain flaws and how to choose your photographer. I thought it is a great helpful post who I would recommend reading when someone needs a (new) author photo. (To read the post click here: http://www.thereviewreview.net/publishing-tips/look-great-your-author-photo)

 

On the Author Media website, I found a fantastic post, written by author Thomas Umstattd. He clearly states that his article is not for the author, but for the photographer! And I think he did an amazing job. Even though being an author I learned a lot by reading his article, and I might even be able to show it to my future photographer if necessary, to show him what I need the picture for. The article is enormously useful to us ‘clients’ too! (It can be read here: http://www.authormedia.com/how-to-take-portraits-for-an-author-website/)

 

The last impressive article I found on “Book In A Box,” written by Tucker Max, Chairman & Co-Founder at Book In A Box. He shows what’s good and what’s bad and not just said, some pics are good or bad but also explains the reason in clear, simple words. He provides us with different examples and gives us great advice on what not to do and what he would recommend getting a great picture. I decided to provide you here with a small part of his article:

 

The Author Photo Rule That Rules Them All

Here’s the thing that makes author photos so hard to give advice about: There is not one “right” way to do it. Like I talked about above, the “right” way all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. But there is one overarching rule that you need to sear into your brain when it comes to author photos (or any profile photo):

Know what you want to say to what audience, and make sure you signal it properly.

This is the key to everything. The author photo for a CEO of a Fortune 500 company should be totally different from the author photo for an up-and-coming comedian. Why? Because they are signaling different things to different groups.
Generally speaking, the CEO’s author photo should signal professionalism, effectiveness, reliability, and trust. The comedian’s photo could be wacky, pensive, goofy or even serious, all depending on his comedic style and what he wanted to signal.

To read the full article go to http://bookinabox.com/blog/how-to-take-author-photo/

 

I have to say I learned a lot by reading these four articles, and I’m sure I’ll find a great photographer who helps me. But then, maybe I’ll just hide under a stone and rather provide the world with my stories than my face.

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Author James Jones
courtesy of: http://www.jamesjonesliterarysociety.org/

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71 Ways To Slowly Kill Your Blog

Hugh from ‘Hugh’s Views And News” provides us with a list of 71 ways to slowly kill your blog. Thanks for useful advice, Hugh! This is great for all bloggers.

Hugh's Views & News

I’ve got murder on my mind. Are you responsible for any of these?

  1. Do not have an ‘about me’ page on your blog
  2. Your ‘about me’ page takes more than a few seconds to find
  3. Your ‘about me’ page starts with these words – ‘this is an example of an about me page…’
  4. The number of followers you have is more important to you than what you write
  5. Poor quality posts
  6. Have broken links on your blog which you have no idea are broken or can not be bothered to fix
  7. Do not respond to comments
  8. Do not respond to questions
  9. Ignore your readers
  10. Do not treat visitors to your blog as guests
  11. Have no name to be called by
  12. Do not read other blogs
  13. Do not comment on other blogs
  14. Believe that blogging is going to make you rich
  15. Leave links with no relevance (usually to your own posts)…

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Anatomy of a Bad Review

Author Don Massenzio provides us with the analysis of a bad review written for one of his books. In my opinion he gives us a great example on how to handle bad reviews in general. But I figure I will find out for sure once one of my own books is published. Thanks for this post, Don!

Author Don Massenzio

online-reviewers Thumb up and down buttons

I’ve been blessed. I’ve written a number of books. I’ve been very fortunate. Readers that I don’t know have given my work reviews that have, in the vast majority, earned four or five stars.

That’s why, when I receive a bad review, I like to study it and figure out if there is something I can learn to improve my work.

Let Me Be Frank - CoverWhen I signed onto the Amazon author’s site, I saw this review for my second book, Let Me Be Frank:

bad review

I’ve redacted the name in this review. I didn’t want to make this post about the person who submitted the review, I wanted to make it a teaching moment.

First, I looked at the review. It’s titled ‘Boring’ and starts out with the words ‘too slow’. This is valid criticism for a book and sometimes, in a detective novel, the pacing can be…

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In Need Of A New Computer

 

 

It’s been seven years that I welcomed my desktop to my home… In all these years it has been a loyal and trustworthy accomplice to me in everything I had planned. But I feel it’s getting tired. Even though I can hear it works hard to fulfill my every need it has significantly slowed down.

I would say – another six months and my faithful friend is going to be retired. (or falling into a coma whichever comes first).

To me, this means I need to think about a successor for my dear electronic brother.

After thinking for quite some time and considering the move I have in mind, amongst other things, I decided for a laptop instead of a desktop. Well, that decision was easy, compared to deciding on a model.
The questions I had to ask myself to find THE laptop have been numerous, and I’m still not convinced I thought about everything. Finally, I found a page http://youthvillage.co.ke/top-10-best-laptops/ where they listed the ten best laptops. I was still not sure if one of these would be right for me.

 

I admit I’m lost. I feel overwhelmed with the sheer choices and possibilities. I’m a writer – and I work on a computer daily… but I’m still only a user, not an IT-expert.

After going on with research, I found a website with the best laptops for writers. http://www.144hzmonitors.com/best-laptop-for-writers/ Here they give me a table with the best laptops for writers.

 

 

To be honest: It doesn’t help. I’m still no expert and what they list here doesn’t tell me a lot. Yes, some things help – but some of the more detailed descriptions leave me more confused than ever.

I don’t know which one I should pick. I only know I won’t buy an Apple product. After this decision, it still leaves me with five laptops and just as lost as I was before.

 

Is there anyone who can give me a recommendation? Is someone using one of these laptops and can give me a review? Or is there any other suggestion or advice I can follow? I’d appreciate every help I can get.

 

 

How to Recycle Old Blog Content

Suzie speaks provides us with an excellent article about how to recycle old blog content. Thank you very much!

Suzie Speaks

Last week I decided to go through my old blog posts, which had quite a negative impact on my general confidence about my content and I had a little meltdown on the blog. After receiving lots of good advice from the blogging community I decided to ignore my initial knee-jerk intention to delete hundreds of posts that I considered to be inferior and instead spend a bit of time recycling some of my earliest articles.

There were a number of reasons for this:

1. My blog is nearly four years old, and I have a much bigger audience than when these posts were originally published. I wanted to reach my newer audience who would not have seen them.

2. My writing style has changed and my earlier offerings aren’t consistent with the quality (at least, in my opinion) that I produce now.

3. My lifestyle has changed for the…

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Prologues—What Doesn’t Work and What Does

Are Prologues bad? Read in Kristen Lamb’s blog what she recommends. It’s another great post she published! Thank you Kristen.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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We writers have a vast array of tools at our disposal to craft stories readers will love. But like any tool, it helps if we know how to use it properly. Theme is wonderful. It can keep us plunging a story’s depths for years when used correctly. Applied incorrectly? It just makes a story annoying and preachy.

Description! Love me some description! But pile on too much and we can render a story unreadable.

The same can be said of prologues. Now, before we get into this, I want to make it clear that certain genres lend themselves to prologues. But even then, we are wise to make sure the prologue is serving the story.

So, to prologue or not to prologue? That is the question.

The problem with the prologue is it has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially with agents. They generally hate them…

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6 Signs of Scam Publishers

Steven Capps gives us excellent advice on what to look for if we want to find out about whether our publisher is a scam. Thank you Steven. We appreciate your efforts!

Steven Capps

As a warning, I am writing the rough draft of this post on my IPhone while I do cardio at the gym (cue gym selfie below). I am trying to be more efficient and thought that this would be a good time to get in some writing.

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Earlier today, I was browsing Facebook and amid the swath of political drivel, I found an advertisement for a publisher looking for authors. Several red flags flickered almost immediately. Though this post is inspired by an actual publisher, I am going to omit their name because when I reached out to them, they deleted the content. It seemed like they were more of a naive kid rather than a malicious con-artist. Regardless, here are 6 Red Flags to be aware of when looking into a publisher.

Red Flags of Scam Publishers

1. Poor Marketing Design

It doesn’t take an award winning artist to…

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