If you are new to blogging or are even thinking about starting a blog, here my thirteen quick blogging tips to get you on your way.
It’s all about me. Ensure you have an ‘about me’ page. Tell visitors a little about yourself and at least give them a name by which they can call you. However, don’t have an ‘about me’ page that starts off by saying ‘This Is An Example Of An About Me Page’. Click here to read about setting up an ‘about me’ page and what it should include.
Make a journey outside of your own blog. I’ve always been amazed by just what information is out there in the blogging world. I’ve learned how to self-publishing a book, how to use social media and make it work for me, how to bake gin & tonic cupcakes, take great photos and, of course, picked up lots…
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.
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.
As a book publicist I can assure you they absolutely do matter! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel. Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.
You win awards you sell more products. Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon
Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference (Photo news.techniblogic.com
Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book.
Chris, The Story Reading Ape has provided us with part of a blog post and a link to the “Novel Factory”, where this particular post was published. The post provides us with the ultimate character questionnaire, asking 156 questions which help us to develop our characters.
(I thought the list was fascinating, even more since I don’t know myself as well as my characters after developing them with the help of this list.) But please, check it out. it is helpful.
This character questionnaire has been collated from a variety of sources. It has been split into categories to try to make it more manageable, but this categorisation is far from perfect and lots of the questions could probably be in more than one category.
If you can think of a question that isn’t here and think it should be added – let us know!
First name: Surname: Middle name: Nicknames: Date of birth: Age:
Height: Weight: Hair: Eyes: Distinguishing facial features? Which facial feature is most prominent? Which bodily feature is most prominent? Skin: Hands: Scars: Birthmarks? Physical handicaps? Type of clothes? How do they wear their clothes? What are their feet like? (type of shoes, state of shoes, socks, feet, pristine, dirty, worn, etc) Race / Ethnicity?
What words or phrases do they overuse? Are they more optimistic or pessimistic? Do they ever put on…
WHEN formatting your paperback manuscript for CreateSpace you can get away with a fair amount of fancy formatting. Fancy fonts, dropcaps, inserted widgets, bullets, tables, and all sorts of other things can be used. Pretty much if it’s locked into your PDF it will appear in your book. If you can’t lock it into your PDF then it won’t appear in your paperback. A Kindle eBook on the other hand should be rather thought of as an HTML page – just like a web page. The same way that when you set up a post on your WordPress blog various HTML codes are used for different things, when your eBook gets translated into HTML for publishing it will take anything that would normally be written as code and try to use that, often with disastrous results – rather than the gorgeous bullet list or laboriously tabbed lists that took you…
This is a great idea – and definitely worth following I think. Tech tips for writers. I thought there might be more writers out there being grateful for useful technical hints and tricks. Thank you so much, Jacqui Murray!
Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.
Q: Typing on the iPad keyboard is slow. You have to access two different screens to type most messages. How do I speed that up without buying (and installing) a separate QWERTY keyboard?
A: Here’s one time-saving tip: IPads and most Smartphones will add a period (which inconveniently is on the second screen) if you double-space.
Double-tapping seems to be a secret shortkey for many tools. For example, if you double-click the shift key, it turns the CAPS LOCK on.
Within this blog post is some excellent advice, shared by Jean Cogdell. and written by Christine Frazier. It seems it works quite well too, that’s what one of the authors says – and I’m sure he isn’t the only one. Make sure to click the link Jean provided and read the entire article.
I don’t know about y’all, but I read the back cover before I buy a book. If I’m downloading an ebook I read the excerpt too. What do you read before a book purchase?
Last week I posted links for those of you out there getting close to publishing.
The following article is a great follow-up.
I got more from the article than just writing a good back cover blurb. The way Christine Frazier deconstructed the back covers of a couple of best sellers gave me tips on how to write an elevator pitch too.
The book blurb is broken down with an index card style that makes doing your own a breeze. She makes weaving in the hook and back story simple breaking it down into sentences and word count.
Christine then goes a step further with the help of a brave volunteer and…