25 Sites Where You Can Download Superb Free Stock Images – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines provides us with 25 pages where we can download pictures for free. Thank you very much Derek. We’re grateful for your help and support!


You always need free images for your blog or social media sites

The days of using Google Image Search to find images to download is over. Apart from the quality aspect, there are problems with the ownership of images indexed by Google.

If you want photos for personal and commercial use, you need to make sure that the images you use are copyright free.

You should also check if there are any attribution required notes on the image licence.

Most royalty free images have a Creative Commons licence.

To continue to Derek’s blog post go to:

https://justpublishingadvice.com/25-sites-where-you-can-download-superb-free-stock-images/

Unaccustomed as I am…. – Guest Post By Merlin Fraser

Recently on social media, I’ve been shouted at, again, for being too serious…  ME ?

After the usual accusations of being the devil or anti-Christ I was told to Lighten Up and get a Life !!! That and to stop picking on the poor Christians who apparently are still traumatised, something to with Romans and Lions apparently.

Of course, I suppose they’re right, I can’t remember when last I did a light hearted Blog so perhaps now is as good a time as any to relate my efforts and experiences as a Public Speaker.

As writers, we all assume that one day we will be famous and rub shoulders with the social elite, to be admired by our peers and invited to all the best parties but like everything else in life you have to start at the bottom and work your way up… Right ?

We can’t all know Beyoncé or Simon Cowell for Heaven’s Sake !

Anyway, any event organisers that know their salt and expect to get the unwashed hordes to beat a path to their function know they need a top Name to Tweet about or plaster all over their Facebook Page.

They also know that anybody who is anybody is on what is known as the ‘A List.’ These are the celebrities that most people want to sleep with or just to take a ‘Selfie’ inches away from their hero, who has that ‘They don’t Pay me Enough to do This’ look in their eyes… but they manage a toothy grimace anyway.

Therefore, if you have an important event up and coming the greater the celebrity you get to attend then the better the publicity you can attract and the number of punters who will hand over the readies to get up close and personal with the celebrity.  This is of course irrespective of whatever you are promoting or trying to sell.

However, this takes money and bags of it, sure you can dumb down a bit and go for a ‘B Lister’ but you’re taking a huge PR gamble here. Any lower than‘B’and you’re really on shaky ground, I mean by the time you get down to the ‘C’s’ then you are highly likely to get a ‘Has been a Neverwas or a Neverwillbe’. You know the type, they’re the ones who will usually turn up for free to the opening of an envelope or a Kitchen Drawer !

So you can imagine my surprise to receive an invitation to speak.  What list am I on for Pity’s sake… Are there even enough letters in the alphabet I hear you ask?

‘Dear Mr. Fraser’, (Good start, at least they spelt my name right that and I saw no immediate demand for payment). It continued :

‘As a more or less famous local author would you consider coming to St. Catherine’s Day Centre for the Terminally Incontinent and Permanently Bewildered next Wednesday and give us a short talk on the subject of your local history book ?

We apologise for the extremely short notice but the woman who comes to cut their toenails is off sick and cannot make it that day.  Everyone so looks forward to her visits and we desperately need someone to step in and help avoid disappointing the inmates.

If you can come after their lunchtime nap you can entertain them before afternoon tea, Wednesday’s is Walnut cake supplied by the local Women’s Institute although we have asked them not to put walnuts in the cake because so many of our guests wear dentures, so it will probably be jam sponge’.

Of course, I could have said No!  Local celebrities such as myself… Busy Schedules you Know.  Meetings with Agents… Need much more Notice Etc. Etc. Etc…. But there again one never wants to disappoint ones public does one ?

Plus with such a warm invitation how could I turn it down.  That and the promise of cake …I mean how often does one get offered such reward in lieu of actual money ?

Anyway I, digress, as the appointed hour approached I made my way to St. Catherine’s,  having to wait for the ambulance, blue lights flashing to exit the  parking area was not a particularly good omen but we Fraser’s are made of sterner stuff…so in I marched.

I was shown into a room that had the sign DAY ROOM above the door. I must admit that it seemed a superfluous title since the whole place was a Day Centre… but Hey ! What do I know ?  

More confusion was to followed as the nurse who guide my path through the maze of Zimmer frames, wheelchairs and trolleys carrying oxygen bottles, announced that it was also the games room and TV lounge so I might have to speak up a bit to my audience.

“Are they hard of hearing ”?   I asked and immediately thought what a bloody stupid thing to say given the average age of my impending audience.

“No,” she replied, “but you will have to compete with the John Wayne War movie on the TV they don’t want it switched off”.

“They not interested in local history then ”?

“That lot over there ?  They were probably there and helped make it”! She smiled sweetly, like Day Care Nurses do, she wished me luck and disappeared.

So there I was alone, abandoned by the staff who in all probability had buggered off to put their feet up for half an hour while I held the fort.

I looked at them and they looked back…Tough Crowd, I thought. It’s times like this I wish I had a song and dance routine or could do magic tricks like making dumb author’s disappear in a puff of smoke !

Too late to back out now, here I was, I had an audience of ten hearty souls, well eight anyway, two had already nodded off, or at least I hope they were asleep, difficult to tell in places like that especially if you are not packing a mirror.

Anyway with John Wayne saving the world in one corner and me in the other things got off to a slow wobbly start, “Good afternoon… my name is Merlin Fraser and I…..”

“Who is it ”?

“Somebody called Madeline Frey something …”!

“Does she want to see our Feet”?

“She’s not seeing my feet she looks like a man…”

I coughed to trying to bring the focus back to me, “ I AM a man and I don’t want to see anybody’s feet…alright”?

“Is it Thursday..? Don’t we have Bingo on a Thursday ”!

“And Fish on Friday’s …”

“We had fish today…!”

“They told me that was Chicken”.

“Tasted like Fish…”

“Yeah always does… That was chicken… I think they put vinegar on it makes it taste like fish”.

“Ladies…” I tried to bring the room to order, “Actually it’s only Wednesday…”

“What is ”?

“Today Is…”

“So you  ‘Ave come to see our feet then….?”

Already I’m ready to give up, “Would you prefer to watch the John Wayne film ”?

“Who”?

“John Wayne ”!

“I thought you said ‘is name was Madeline something or other….”

I coughed for silence, deep breath one last supreme effort, “I’m here to talk about local History, I have written a book on the subject”.

“What ”?

“A Book…”

“What about it ”?

“Did he leave it here ”?

“Tuesday is book day…. That big Van comes…”

“Is that the one that smells of Pee ”?

“No…! That’s the Mini bus ”!

“Ladies , Ladies… I- W-R-O-T-E  T-H-E  B-O-O-K ”!

“What about ”?

“Local History …About our town.”

“What’s he sayin’ ”?

“He asking about local history….”

“OH That ! What does he want to know?  I can remember the German’s dropped a bomb what killed a Cow during the war… best stew we’d had in years…”!

My heart sank, if nothing else I know when to quit….“I’ll just pop out and see if the tea is coming!”

“Who was that ”?

“Said his name was John Wayne I think”.

“You sure ? Though John Wayne always wore a big hat… hope his horse isn’t crapping on our lawn”!

Ya know those dangling cords that you are supposed to pull only in an Emergency ?

Well I pulled it….Twice !!

But what the Hell ! I Don’t Care !   I’m still putting Public Speaker on my CV…. !

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10 Instagram Tips for Writers – Written by Annie Sullivan

 

The other day, a high school freshman walked up to my book signing. When I asked if she had a Facebook account, she said, “No, Instagram.”

I should’ve known. For a while now, I’ve heard that Instagram is the new social media place for writers, but it felt confirmed in that moment. Younger generations (and even some older ones!) flock to Instagram for its feed of beautiful pictures.

So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit? Here are some easy things to keep in mind to find and engage your target readership on Instagram.

Continue reading the entire article here:

https://www.janefriedman.com/10-instagram-tips-for-writers/

70 Conversation Starters for Social Media Engagement

Jenn Hanson-dePaula of Mixtus Media provides us with a great article on conversation started for social media. Thank you Jenn!


Have you ever posted something on social media and nothing happens? You might feel like it’s a waste of time because no one ever responds to what you post. Or maybe you feel like you’re just contributing to the noise online and everyone simply tunes you out.

Social media outlets have hundreds of millions of users worldwide, and each outlet wants their users to see posts that they will find interesting. So to make this possible, they use something called algorithms.

An algorithm is like a filter – it keeps the posts that people aren’t responding to out while letting the popular posts through.

So how do you actually get your posts seen and in your audience’s news feed? One effective and simple way to do that is by asking questions that require a quick and easy answer.

Most people are scrolling through their news feed very quickly. But if something catches their eye and doesn’t require a lot of time or thought, they will most likely respond.

The more likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc., your post gets, the algorithms will see that people are interested and will make your post more visible.

To continue reading this post go to:

70 Conversation Starters for Social Media Engagement

 

Kristen Lamb Talks Twitter

Kristen Lamb, one of my favorite authors, bloggers, teachers, and so much more, published two blog posts I want to share with you. Kristen talks about Twitter. I thought it might be interesting for all of us to read what she has to say:


8 Ways to Make People on Twitter Want to STAB US IN THE FACE

Twitter used to be my absolute FAVORITE social site. Sure, I had a Facebook account but the real fun was always on Twitter…especially once I created the #MyWANA community so all the writers could socialize.

We laughed, talked about all the stuff “normal people” don’t get, and even had parties—*fondly remembers Sharknado Party of 2013*. We supported each other and pushed one another to be better and keep pressing.

***W.A.N.A. stands for “We are not alone,” btw.

To continue reading this post go to:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/08/twitter-abuse-bad-branding/


How to Use Twitter to Connect with Fans & Build a POWERFUL Brand

Last post was some tongue-and-cheek fun pointing out how brands (particularly author brands) abuse Twitter. Today, I want to shift gears and chat some about how writers—actually ALL brands—can use Twitter far more effectively.

Currently, too many writers are like Stormtroopers—lots of shots fired tweets that hit NOTHING.

Admittedly, when I got on Twitter (practically when it was invented) I didn’t get it. I would—KID YOU NOT—freak out when people I didn’t know followed me.

WHAT? Are you, like, a stalker?

Yes, I was missing the ENTIRE point of Twitter. Hey, we all start somewhere.

To continue reading this post go to:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/08/twitter-build-powerful-brand/

10 Tips To Focus On Writing

Life has become extremely hectic during the past decades. With the current development of technology, which, by the way, can be extremely helpful, in particular to us writers, it can as well be an enormous distraction. I caught myself so many times surfing through the internet, checking this or that social media account before writing, that, at the end of the day I had updated my accounts but haven’t written one single word.

According to scientists, the current average human attention span is around 8 seconds, which means, we are in fact, almost as low as a goldfish.

I was reading myself through psychological essays, meditation websites and a few other interesting pages for support on how to focus until I finally decided I needed my list of tips and tricks.

I am a writer, and besides being distracted by household things, health issues, cat stuff and social media, I love spending time outside… which, I finally realized, was one of the ways to focus on writing.

1. Spend time outside

Spend time outside. Maybe by going for a nice walk or enjoying the sunshine or taking a swim and thinking about your story, it will give you ideas you need to write down as soon as your back on your computer.

2. Work offline

Work offline. It will help you not to go on ‘checking’ on social media, and you can concentrate on your writing.

3. To-Do lists

Make two to-do lists. One for your regular day-by-day things and one for writing (and blogging). Make sure you don’t mix them up, but you need to block some time on your daily to-do list to keep some time for your writing.

4. Work spot

Look for your own silent work spot. Make sure you have a clean desk that doesn’t distract you and start your work. Enjoy and embrace the silence and, if necessary, keep the door closed.

5. Music

Help to focus on your work by listening to music you like. It will also help you to tune out the background noise that might distract you from your writing goal.

6. Big and small goals

Break down big goals into smaller ones. They’re easier to reach, and if you feel you are prepared and ready for the next goal, after a break you still can sit down and start to work on your next goal.

7. Breaks

Breaks! Allow yourself breaks in between your goals. Nothing is as relaxing as a break. It will refresh and reboot your brain. Just don’t forget to close the door again after you return to work.

8. Coffee

Caffeine helps to support your focus. It will wake you up, and while enjoying the warm, dark and spicy liquid in your cup your head is already on its way to your story. (You might ask, why does the coffee only make number eight? Well, I figure since we writers usually start our day with coffee, oral or by injection, I thought it doesn’t need to top this list.)

9. A Good Night’s Sleep

Live a healthy life with plenty of sleep. From what I read over the past few hours, many people are satisfied with only a few hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately being tired and confused in the morning after a lack of sleep, this might interfere with your ability to focus. Make sure you got plenty of sleep, with an average of 7 – 8 hours a night.

10. Keep your moods out

Keep work at work, frustration, and anger outside your work spot. Many writers do have a day job and don’t live off writing. To keep the focus on what you like to do, make sure you are relaxed and calm and left work at the office (or wherever) and blend out anger and frustration. It interferes with your writing.

Extra-tip: Certain food types might support the ability to focus. I figure to find out if that’s helpful, you will need to try: Blueberries, green tea, avocados, leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, water, dark chocolate, flax seeds, and nuts.

Picture courtesy of: https://www.liftlearning.ca/areas-of-focus/

How to Create Evergreen Blog Content

Suzie Speaks tells us how to create evergreen blog content. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

Suzie Speaks

How to create evergreen blog content

There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:

Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.

Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure…

View original post 870 more words

Should Authors #DeleteFacebook? – by Mixtus Media

I wanted to address a situation that might be concerning to you.
Facebook – yikes. There are a lot of questions rolling around.

Is my information safe? Is it going away? Should I delete my account? What the heck is going on?!?

Here’s the deal: there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered, and more information will be coming out over the next few weeks.

So what can you do until then?

If your ideal reader uses Facebook as their main social media outlet, there are ways that you can protect your information moving forward – which I’ll address in a minute.

But here are a few things I would encourage you to consider:

1. If you begin to see a dramatic decrease in engagement and growth of your Facebook Page, consider trying another social media outlet. I would encourage you to ask your audience what social media outlets they are on. Keep a clear line of communication flowing. If you see that they are moving to Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, strongly consider focusing more of your time and energy on one of those outlets.

To read the full blog post, go to:

https://www.mixtusmedia.com/blog/should-authors-delete-facebook

Author Spotlight Peter Castrillo

Welcome! Please introduce yourself.

Peter Costello, AKA, Peter Castrillo

1. When did you start writing? I liked to write as a child, no matter what it concerned,

for fun, school, or work. I started writing my story when I retired at age 65. But, had it in my head to do for fifty years. The actual writing took about two years, and I used Friesen Press for my Publisher.

2. What motivates you to write?

I have always had an opinion on most social political ideas, policy topics, and would write for my own understanding of subject, graduating in Political Science.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

I wrote this story In True Crime and Memoirs, because that is the area the story falls within.

4. What is your goal in writing?

My goal is to tell a good story that the reader enjoys. Make the reader not be able to put the book down because they want to see what happens with either the characters, or the plot. I like to write relevant dialogue, that releases emotional feelings. But, my very main goal is to entertain myself with a passionate hobby.
Do you have dreams where your writing should take you? Yes, dreams are everything to a writer, thinker, or ordinary person. Then, you organize those dreams into a plan of action.

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes, I’ve had writer’s block, and stop writing for a while, I need the inspiration and passion to want to write.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Sit and write it for yourself. Paint the picture you see and feel, and hope others read and feel it the way you intended.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Vegas Vendetta is a story about my years from 18 to 25, after growing up in a period at the end of World War II among the Italian immigrants who came through Ellis Island and practiced their lifestyle here in America. The state of the World and especially America after winning World War II was monumental to this 50’s generation. People were beyond proud, deservingly boastful, and confident in living life, knowing it was a new world coming, and it brought in the sixties drug, sex, rock and roll which were formative years for me. Las Vegas was built and controlled by gangsters, thugs, and killers, and that’s who I hustled for a living, and never considered myself one of them. I thought of it as a ‘Huckleberry Finn 1960’ adventure.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


About Peter:

Author Bio

The author grew up in a very narrow time period of social change that was brought on when the war ended. The large influx of immigration that was happening at Ellis Island that allowed the criminal element to enter and flourish with the daily numbers games, parlays, horse racing, and other non-violent crimes was a boon to the economy. Everybody in my neighborhood gambled and betting was a sport that gave hope of winning cash. It was common and accepted to play games of chance, and it was sometimes a relative, neighbor, or trusted family friend who booked the bet for you. It didn’t matter that it was turned in to a fella who gave it to another fella, who drove it to Brooklyn to another fella. We trusted the source all the way up the line and felt they were family, after all they came from Calabria, Naples or Florence….

Website: https://pacostel3.wixsite.com/petercastrillo
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/PeterCastrilloVegasVendetta/


Peter’s Book:

Book Description

IT’S THE 1960S. War is raging in Southeast Asia, and the draft board is looming over every young man’s shoulder, but recent high school graduate Peter Castrillo has a plan; enroll in college for as long as it takes to get a student deferment…and then head to Vegas! And Vegas is everything he dreamed it would be-parties at Sammy Davis’s place, hanging out at the bar with Elvis, and flirting with Mia Farrow in the elevators. It’s all bank-rolled lavishly by the clever cons that Peter and his pals devise, taking the casinos for a bundle in these low-tech security days. The drugs are plentiful, the girls are wild, and the glittery nights seem to go on forever. But when Peter makes the mistake of a romantic entanglement with the gorgeous trophy-wife of a venal Bulgarian mobster, his Vegas dream turns into a nightmare that he just might not survive. Based on true facts and dished out with equal portions of hilarity and horror, Vegas Vendetta tells one young man’s story of his quest to evade the draft, make money, meet women, and find excitement back in the days when Vegas truly was Sin City….

Buy it here

 

Writers: Don’t Use Up Your Word Count on Internet Rants – written by Bryn Donovan

Recently a writer I know talked about not getting sucked into an online argument with a stranger, “because your girl doesn’t work for free.” I was nodding in agreement.

I cut way, way back on Internet arguments and rants a few years ago. I felt like the habit could make anger or bitterness my default setting, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t see a lot of minds being changed, anyway, so I doubted whether it was really worth it. Internet arguments seemed to yield a truly miserable return on investment.

But every week, millions of writers and other creative people are working for free.
They’re putting in hours of careful thought for online arguments and lectures.

In online communities, sometimes you’ll see a truly epic argument thread. (Once I witnessed one in a “private” Facebook group, and soon after, sections of it were printed verbatim in an article in a major magazine.)

In these threads, one person posts something, and another person disagrees. Before long, some people are posting walls of text that could pass for op ed columns, while others are posting snappy insults and collecting verbal high fives for their wit.

Dozens of people may be involved in the thread. If they were getting paid, it would represent hundreds of dollars’ worth of work.

To continue reading this post, please go to:

http://www.bryndonovan.com/2018/02/27/writers-dont-use-up-your-word-count-on-internet-rants/#respond