Tag Archives: Blog

#BOOKREVIEW Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin (@sgc58) Enchanting stories in a magical garden

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

Title:   Tales from the Garden
Author:   Sally Cronin
ASIN:  B0180Q6CKM
Published:  14th November 2015
Pages:  126
Genre:  Fantasy/fairy-tales

Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin
Tales from the Garden by Sally Cronin

Description:

Tales from the Garden reveals the secrets that are hidden beneath hedges and trees. You will discover what really happens at night as you sleep unaware in your bed. Stone statues and those hidden worlds within the earth are about to share their stories. The guardians who have kept the sanctuary safe for over fifty years will allow you to peek behind the scenes of this magical place. They will take you on a journey through time and expand your horizons as they transport you to the land of fairies, butterflies and lost souls who have found a home here.

Fairy Stories for children of all ages from five to ninety-five that will change the way you look at your garden forever.

Body of review:

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

I follow Sally Cronin’s Smorgasboard blog  and know she writes on a variety of themes, from the non-fictional: nutritional and health advice, features and reviews about books and writing, advice on marketing and blogging, and also fictional writing. After reading some of the stories she had shared on-line I had to read this book. And the description is correct. These are fairy tales for children of all ages. The characters are the stone sculptures in the garden and their adventures contain in equal parts warmth, pathos, magic and fantasy. We have animals escaping from hunting dogs, impossible love stories between humans and fairies, orchestras made up of the most varied characters, and a wonderful dedication to her mother and her gardens. You will go through a variety of emotions and always feel better and more positive by the end of each story. The book will leave you smiling and that’s something that cannot be said of many books these days.

The writing is fluid, perfectly suited to the theme and you get the sense that you’ve been taken into the confidence of the characters and have become an honorary inhabitant of this wonderful garden. The pictures —all from the author and her family’s gardens— that illustrate the book help make the reader feel even more at home.

Recommended to any readers who need a bit of magic and wonder in their lives.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think: 3.5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Kindle: $ 7.54 

The author also sells her books on her own site. Check it here 

Thanks for reading!

 Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

#InterviewsInTranslation ‘Sunrise in Southeast Asia’ by Carmen Grau (@CarmenGrauG ) A traveller and writer Down Under.

Hi all:

As you know I try to bring you writers who mainly publish in Spanish and whose works have been translated to English to help you discover their wonderful offerings. Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you Carmen Grau, a writer from Barcelona (like me) who after travelling widely (and she keeps travelling) now lives in Australia. Therefore the interview title is a bit of a misnomer as she has written it in English, but I thought you’d find it fascinating. And it’s  a topic fairly different to the fiction I usually bring you. If you have children you’ll find her take on children’s education pretty interesting too.

And here, without further ado, I introduce you to Carmen.

Author Carmen Grau
Author Carmen Grau

Biography

Carmen Grau was born and grew up in Barcelona, Spain. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Barcelona and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Providence College, R.I. She writes in English, Spanish, and Catalan. She has traveled extensively and lived in different countries like the USA, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. In the year 2000 she set out on an unplanned journey around several Southeast Asian countries, and a year later she wrote “Amanecer en el Sudeste Asiático” (Sunrise in Southeast Asia), the number one ebook in all travel categories on Amazon Spain in 2012 and 2013. In 2004, she wrote the novel “Trabajo temporal”. In 2013, she published a second travelogue, “Hacia tierra austral”, which tells her journey on board some of the most legendary trains in the world, from Barcelona, Spain to Perth, Australia. The novel “Nunca dejes de bailar” is her most recent work, published in February 2015. She writes regularly in her blogs: elblogdecarmengrau.blogspot.com, in Spanish, and raisingchildreninfreedom.blogspot.com, in English. Apart from writing and traveling, Carmen has many other passions like cooking, walking, and reading; most of all, spending time with her two unschooled sons, Dave and Alex. She is a child advocate and a firm believer in the right of children to self-education. When not traveling, Carmen and her two sons live in Dunsborough, a small town in the South West of Australia.

When and where did you start writing?

I started writing when I was little. I remember writing my first book when I was eight. I don’t know what happened to it, but I still keep the journals I started when I was ten or eleven. I never stopped, but I did burn some of the later journals so that my siblings would stop wanting to read everything I wrote. I find this very ironic now because they are not interested in reading my books. I don’t mind and we still get along great.

Sunrise in Southeast Asia by Carmen Grau
Sunrise in Southeast Asia by Carmen Grau. Trans. Brendan Riley

Tell us about your experience as an independent writer

I published my first book Amanecer en el Sudeste Asiático (now available in English as Sunrise in Southeast Asia) on Amazon in 2012. I wrote it in 2001, right after my seven-month journey around Southeast Asia. I tried to get it published in Spain with no success. In the meantime, I kept travelling and living life. I also got distracted with marriage and kids. One day it dawned on me that the book had been sitting in a drawer for ten years. I only gave it to read to friends who knew about it and asked for it. One day a writer contacted me. She had heard about my book through a common friend and wanted to read it. She liked it and encouraged me to do something about it. So I decided to try again to get it published in the traditional way. I sent it to over thirty literary agents in Spain. Four of them replied and one said they loved it and would be happy to represent me. However, they did not manage to find me a publisher and blamed it on the current economic crisis in Spain. It was then, at the end of 2011, when I decided to self-publish my book using my small second-hand book business name, Dunsborough Books. The book finally came out in April 2012 and started selling on Amazon straight away. Soon it became number one in all travelling categories on Amazon and has remained at the top since its publication. After that, I was encouraged to keep self-publishing and, of course, writing, which I had never stopped doing. Since then, I have been contacted by traditional publishers who are interested in my work, and I might consider trying this other way, but for the moment I am happy as an independent author and publisher.

Do you have a particular moment about your experience as a writer that you remember with particular affection?

I can’t think of one precise moment. I have lots of anecdotes regarding my readers which I cherish. Once a reader found one of my books on a bench. He picked it up, read it, loved it, and wrote to me to let me know all this. Another time, my sister went to Thailand for a month and she met a couple who started telling her about this great book they had just read. It was my book!

Do you have a favourite genre (as a reader and as a writer)

As a reader, I don’t have a favourite genre, but there are genres I wouldn’t read even if they paid me. I read a lot of non-fiction. I love travel books, but also psychology and science books. And I love reading fiction too, mainly literary fiction. As an author, I aspire to write good quality contemporary fiction and also non-fiction about the things that interest me, like education and travelling.

What made you decide to translate your book? And how did you go about it?

The Spanish version of my first book was so successful that I thought I should try to have it translated into English. Besides, all my English speaking friends asked me for it. At the time, I didn’t think I would have the patience or skill to translate it myself, so I looked for a professional translator. Someone recommended me one that turned out to be quite unprofessional. I saw that straight away, so nothing was lost. Then I did some research myself, through Linkedin. I found a translator that seemed very talented and professional and started working with him. It was a great experience and I will be recommending him to a lot of people.

Any advice for other writers?

Have your book read, proofread and revised by as many people as you can, prior to publication. You’ll be surprised at how disparaging your friends’ opinions will be. In the end, though, you decide what changes to make. Write for yourself, you’re the first one who has to like it. If you like it, many other people will like it too, because you’re not that unique. That’s what I do, anyway.

Links to follow Carmen and read more about her book:

Book in paperback (and you can also get the e-version matched for price if you get the paperback)

https://www.createspace.com/5706521

E-book

mybook.to/SunriseinSoutheastAsia

Carmen’s page in Amazon:

amazon.com/author/carmen-grau

A post by Brendan Riley, the translator, about the book.

https://brendanriley2015.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/sunrise-in-southeast-asia/

Thanks so much to Carmen for telling us about her book and her writing, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!

New LitWorldInterviews.com Team Member-Elizabeth Tyree!

Everyone welcome our newest Team Member here at LitWordInterviews.com.

ELIZABETH S. TYREE

Elizabeth Tyree

Some of you may know Beth from  Here there Be Dragons, her blog where she currently shares her own writing and book reviews.

Colleen, you all know the Silver One, led me to Beth after reading her reviews and thought she would make a great addition to the team. After reading some of her reviews, noting her unique voice and her professionalism, I immediately emailed her. And here we are. And I’ve already thrown some reviews her way that were waiting in line.

We get a lot more books than we are able to handle as fast as I like, but the authors have been patient, understanding the great demand for Book Reviewers. And demand good book reviewers who are fair and professional is even greater. That is something I hope LitWorldInterviews has a reputation for.

ABOUT BETH:
In addition to her blog link above you can visit her Gravatar page for her other sites to follow, including facebook.

Bio: “I am a mother, an author, a musician, a crafter, a teacher and a seer of dragons! This blog will be focused on sharing my experiences and, hopefully, helping you through book reviews, short articles on family and home life, crafting, and writing, and the occasional off topic ramble just for funsies. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and lurk! Welcome to the Whimsical World of ESTyree!”

When asked her favorite quote she responded with;

“Ronovan Rocks!”

No, sorry, I had to do that. When you’re the one writing these things you have to throw some self promotion in where you can.

I am hard pressed to choose a favorite quote but one of my favorites is “Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem ad everyone refuses to believe in magic.” The Mad Hatter. 

BETH’S GENRE INTERESTS
My main genre interests are ficiton, fantasy, fairy tale/folk tale/mythology retellings, teaching, picture books, children’s books, middle grade books, young adult books, mysteries, etc.

I am honestly up for reading just about anything. My typical genres are children’s, middle grade, and young adult because I write my own books in those areas and like to keep up with what is popular at the moment. However, I have no problem reading and reviewing the gamut of items. 
BETH’S HOBBIES
My hobbies include writing, blogging, reading, adding to my TBR list, playing the flute, crocheting, obsessively watching Netflix or movies while I color (Adult coloring books are AMAZING), and playing with my daughter (who I’m teaching to love the finer things in life, like superheros, comics, and 80s cartoons!). *Side Note* Halloween is my favorite holiday, I love semi-creepy things, and I believe that fairy tales exist somewhere and that’s why we can write them in so many forms and still have them feel relevant today.
BETH’S BACKGROUND
I have a teaching degree and certificate for 1st-8th grades with a strong background in English, Literature, Music, and Learning Types. I like to partake in continuing education so I’m starting to also have a strong background in Brain Based Learning, Sciences, Autism, and Jewelry Making.
BETH’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
I’m very excited to have Beth as part of the team. I am constantly on the lookout for an original voice and professionalism to help stay up with our demand here, and this time Colleen came through for me AND for you, the author, with Elizabeth Tyree.
I look forward to a long association with Beth and many reviews AND interviews from her. Follow her blog(s) and she will have her own page here you can submit a request to soon you can get to through our About page, that is if you don’t want to use the regular Book Review Request form.
*All requests for signed copies of Beth’s bio photograph must be made to her directly. Our site cannot handle that amount of traffic at this time.

 

*Humor intended, perhaps.

Much Respect
Ronovan (Writes) Hester

LitWorldInterviews.com The next step in our Commitment.

litworldinterviews.com

It has been over a year since I made a strange decision. I created a second blog.  A place to share my interests and love of books and authors and everything related to writing and literature.

With an ever growing team, now numbering TWELVE with the latest addition of Elizabeth Tyree of  Here there Be Dragons, a writer and reviewer I was led to by Colleen who was recently promoted to Editor here at LWI, we’re no longer a normal blog. We have schedules and committed professionals who have a love for this profession and give of their time to add to the joy of others and to the careers of fellow authors.

And a full post with details about Elizabeth will be coming soon.

Today I simply wanted to let you all know about our commitment to you, the author, and to you the reader. You all know that any time a writer shells out money for anything, it’s a big deal. No matter how little or how large.  It was determined a little could be put in the budget for something I love so much and I hope brings happiness to others.

Much Respect

Ronovan

We are what we eat…

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense)

#THREE

We are what we eat…

038-001

The Latin proverb simulac hoc, ergo propter hoc, which may be translated, “everything is the product of its environment,” is the basis for this writing theory.

According to this idea authors are like rivers. Rivers do not create water; they receive it from springs and streams. In the same way authors receive their ideas from the streams of thought that are flowing in the corner of the world in which they live. A middle-class Eastern author will receive middle-class Eastern ideas. A working-class Western author will receive working-class Western ideas.

To say it another way, authors “are what they eat.” This idea applies to minds as well as to bodies. It assumes that, just as my body is the product of red curry or pulled-pork BBQ (depending on my background), so also my mind is the product of French ideas or American ideas, liberal ideas or conservative ideas (depending on my background).

Growing authors, however, will realize this about themselves and seek out ways to “alternate” what they eat (every once in a while).

As a step toward becoming more aware of the kind of writer you now are. As a step toward becoming the kind of writer you someday wish to be—take time to consider not only how what you eat may be contributing to your writing, but how what you only eat may also be limiting your writing.

Variety adds spice . . . to writing life.

Silence Can Be Golden by @JERoyle

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense)

#TWO

 Silence Can Be Golden

Gettysburg, PA ,

Most literary criticism is concerned with what authors write.  The idea of strategically using silence in your writing, by contrast, is concerned not so much with what authors write as it is with what they do not write.

When it comes to writing a book, here are a couple of questions every author should consider:  Is it sometimes better to leave things a little open ended?  Or should you absolutely, every single time, try your best to describe every tiny detail your vivid imagination can divulge?  Do you leave room for your reader’s imagination to have a life of it’s own?  Or are you, perhaps, limiting the imagination of your reader by over doing it?  Do you have adjective-itis?

 “The dog did nothing in the nighttime.”

“That was the curious thing,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

The main weakness about this idea that silence can be golden, of course, is that it fails to take into account the way books are actually written—with adjectives.  But when is enough enough?  That’s the real question to consider.

Below is a six word story I recently entered in a contest:

The dawn.  The pilgrimage.  The dust.

What comes to mind when you think of the dawn?  Awakening?  A new day?  Who woke-up?  A teenager?  A married couple?   Whoever/whatever it was inspired a pilgrimage.  What kind of pilgrimage?  Spiritual?  Adventuresome?  Why dust?  You get the idea.

So the next time you want to include more because you feel a strong urge to tell your readers more about how Smith furrowed his brow and glared with genuine distrust at his shimmering spoonful of crimson colored magic tonic—NyQuil—force yourself to leave out the extra things you think you should include.

There will be plenty of opportunity in your book for you to write more—but sometimes less is the golden rule you should follow.

Jason Royle

Judas Hero Misunderstood

 

 

 

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2015

 

Book Cover Artist Chris Graham the @StoryReadingApe

Who knew an Ape could use a computer AND create book covers?

Lit World Interviews very own Jo Robinson did.

chris_graham_shadow_people_the_finding_cover_art.jpg

chris_graham_shadow_people_2_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_shadow_people_3_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_shadow_people_4_cover_art.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

The surprising thing is how many people don’t, even with the information right there on his VERY POPULAR site The Story Reading Ape Blog.

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/authors-resources-central/tsra-doings/

Blog: TheStoryReadingApeBlog.com
Twitter: @StoryReadingApe
Facebook Timeline
Facebook Promotion of New Authors and Books Page
Google+: Chris Graham (The Story Reading Ape)
LinkedIn: The Story Reading Ape
Pinterest: Graham Christopher
Goodreads: Chris The Story Reading Ape

Am I saying you should give Chris Graham a look at for creating you a book cover? I’ll say this, he’ll be creating one for me.  Interview here.

“What better holiday gift for the writer in your life than a professional book cover? Hugs!”Teagan Geneviene Author of Atonement, Tennessee review here.

chris_the_story_reading_ape.jpg

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

 

Book Cover Artist Q&A with Chris Graham the @StoryReadingApe

RW: You are the Indie Authors best friend. That’s something many people know you as, but there is another aspect of your contribution to the Author world that some are not quite as familiar with. Tell us about how and why you came to create book covers? What was your first one?

CHRIS: My first cover was for the late Steve K. Smy, ‘Shade of Evil’, the first of a new series that Steve intended to publish, this was quickly followed by two more for ‘Evil Under the Circle’ and ‘A Darkness in Amazonia’, unfortunately, Steve died shortly after publishing this last one, however, based on notes left behind by Steve, his son Damien has published one more book of a new Fantasy series (asking me to do the cover and a map) and already has the cover plus maps from me for a second book:

chris_graham_shade_of_evil_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_evil_under_the_circle_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_a_darkness_in_amazonia_cover_art.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

RW: What types of software or online tools do you use in creating the artwork for the book covers?

CHRIS: To create the scenes and characters in 3D, I use Smith Micro’s Poser 10TM and E-ON Software Inc’s VUE Esprit 10TM programmes and render them into exportable Image Formats (usually PNG for best resolution and Hard / Paper back books, plus jpg / jpeg for eBooks).

For working the rendered scenes into covers and add text, I use several Image Editors, the main one being a GIMP-like software called ‘Seashore’ which is compatible with my Mac. The others are mainly to generate any special fonts or effects.

RW: I’ve looked into free programs like Blender, since I was originally planning to be an art major way back in the day, so I am very interested in illustration and that part of the Lit World. Have you tried it and if so what has your experience with free programs similar to that?

CHRIS: I did try Blender and several other programs, but they are way to user unfriendly – you need to take courses on them. Poser and Vue are much easier and intuitive to use.

RW: I have to agree with you. Blender is so complicated, at least for me at the moment, that I just open it and close it again. But it might be I don’t have the time to invest in it. But Poser and Vue sound more user friendly. I saw the prices so I it will be a long time before I could even think about visiting those sites again to make a purchase. How do you do the layering using the different software packages and make them blend together?

CHRIS: Layering in any Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Gimp and similar programmes are all done the same way.

RW: Chris just showed his professional side there and did a duh answer on me. Okay, do you read the books first or does the Author give you an idea they have, such as a feel they are going for?

CHRIS: I’ve done both – but usually the author has a good general idea of what they’d like and I prefer to work with that – so far I’ve been lucky enough to hit close enough to their marks first or second time to work out the final details quickly.

RW: How long does it take to do a book cover on average?

CHRIS: I really couldn’t say – sometimes I can get something together in a day, but one cover took me over a week to get to the final tweaking part.

RW: What are some of the covers that come to mind that even impress you? I know you will say you love them all but there has to be some that once complete just took you by surprise how good they turned out.

CHRIS: The first one I did for Jo Robinson was a WOW moment for both of us, I did the cover image, Jo sourced and added the title, etc, font:

chris_graham_shadow_people_the_finding_cover_art.jpg

RW: How does one approach you to have a book cover done?

CHRIS: That’s easy, go to the following link:

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/authors-resources-central/tsra-doings/

You’ll also see all the covers and maps I’ve made for authors to date.

RW: Where do you get your inspiration for the artwork for the covers? Do you have an art background?

CHRIS: After reading the information the authors send me, I mull it over for a few days, maybe do a little research if there are any specific objects involved, then I just start pulling bits together until the scenes feel right, render, maybe enhance the image a few different ways and send low resolution copies, plus suggested enhancements, to the authors for them to consider.

I have GCE ‘O’ level and Royal Drawing Society Level 5 Certificates in Art and even had a (not all that good – I was only 16 years old at the time) painting exhibited in a London Museum (probably one of the easily missed back street ones NOT the Famous London Art Gallery lol).

However, any drawing and painting talents I ever had have long since vanished and that’s why I resort to using 3D computer programmes 😀

I trained as an Engineering Draughtsman, progressing onto Designer and as a Construction Site Project Director, had occasion to do some “Remedial Re-design” to suit site conditions, because the designers had not attended site to carry out proper surveys before making their designs.

RW: Most book cover makers source stock images online, then cut, paste and modify them to get the final result, but you use 3D programs to create the scenes instead – is there a reason for doing them this way?

CHRIS: Yes, several reasons:

Many of the stock image sites charge small fees, which is not a problem in itself and well worth it in many cases, plus, really great images quickly become popular for using in all sorts of ways, posters, banners, Websites, etc, and so may not be unique to the author’s book cover.

Any costs I incur would need to be passed onto the author whose book cover I’m making (thus adding to the price I quote – which is already nominal and affordable for custom made covers using my own materials), plus, it’s critical for any author who wants their book cover to stand out from the rest, to have a cover that no-one else can ever get, intentionally or unintentionally.

By custom creating the scenes myself for each author and saving those scenes, plus any resulting cover images right up to the final one, under that authors name and never using those scenes for anyone else, I can guarantee each cover will be unique.

RW: Is book cover creating something you would suggest people get into? For example; are there creative headaches involved? Be honest, Authors are very possessive and particular about their books. I have an image in my head for a book cover for one of mine and I can see it almost exactly, does that ever rear its ugly head and you have to rework a cover over and over?

CHRIS: Only one cover needed more than a few tweaks, but it was well worth the effort by both the author and myself.

RW: If someone wanted to become a cover designer how would you suggest they begin? Art classes, computer classes, or maybe just jump in and become familiar with things?

CHRIS: Some people seem to have a natural affinity for composing art (I had a friend once who used to doodle mini masterpieces on scraps of paper, then discard them), but like most things, art is learnable, so if someone is not feeling all that comfortable with their efforts, taking art and/or computer classes may help.

However, why not just jump in and have a go – you’ll have great fun even if you never sell any of it.

RW: Do you ever see a book cover or even a DVD/Blue Ray cover and think “They so got that wrong”?

CHRIS: I can’t think of any.

RW: You’ve recently started practicing Promotional Trailers, will you be offering this as another service?

CHRIS: Yes – but first I have to satisfy myself that I KNOW what I’m doing with the new software I’m teaching myself how to use, then I will definitely offer that service at competitive (and affordable) prices.

One thing I would like to make clear though.

It is NOT my intention to undermine Professional Book Cover and Promo Trailer Makers and steal business away from them – my intention is ONLY to offer Indie Authors an affordable alternative when starting out ,or, when trying to become better established and in a position to be able to afford those professionals.

RW: Lastly, as I ask all the creative people that come through here, what is your favorite word and why?

CHRIS: ‘FUN’ because everyone should enjoy what they do and if you take everything, including yourself, too seriously, you’ll go NUTS.

 

Blog: TheStoryReadingApeBlog.com
Twitter: @StoryReadingApe
Facebook Timeline
Facebook Promotion of New Authors and Books Page
Google+: Chris Graham (The Story Reading Ape)
LinkedIn: The Story Reading Ape
Pinterest: Graham Christopher
Goodreads: Chris The Story Reading Ape

 

 

chris_the_story_reading_ape.jpg

chris_graham_the_men_of_hwitern_cover_art.jpg

COVERS REVEALED BUT NOT YET PUBLISHED

chris_graham_shadow_people_2_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_shadow_people_3_cover_art.jpgchris_graham_shadow_people_4_cover_art.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

chris_graham_the_grey_book_cover_art.jpg

chris_graham_the_time_before_cover_art.jpg

Chris Graham is more than a blog host to Indie Authors. I wanted people to find out the talent behind the ape. I think after reading his answers you will all agree that there is a lot more than than the fur shows us. There is an intelligence there that he downplays but you can’t hide it for long. Doing illustrated work has long been one of my biggest dreams. In reality it was perhaps my first dream career. When I found out what Chris does I had to talk to him and share what I found out. I thank Chris for agreeing and sharing. Visit his blog, buy the books he covers, and as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

 

Author Presence: Gravatar.com

Author Presence: Gravatar.com

You have a blog. Either a well established or at least one set up with things on it, or you just did it recently with me. Now let’s get your Gravatar. Gravatar.com is a site that you put an image on, as well as other information, that will be used on WordPress.com when you post articles or comment on other peoples articles. And yes, you will be commenting.  So don’t give me that look or attitude. One thing about WordPress.com is that it has a great author/writing community that supports one another.

When you log into Gravatar.com it will basically tell you that you need a WordPress.com blog/account. Now you see why I had you go ahead and just get that out of the way. Now for some things to do that are similar to what you die with About.me.

So you have gone to Gravatar.com and clicked on Create Your Own Gravatar. Now let’s look at the places to go and see here.

My Gravatars

Manage Gravatars

You want to add an image to your Gravatars that you will be seen as around WordPress and other sites that use Gravatar. So think professional. Even if it is a fun photo, make it something universally acceptable. Anyone seeing this is a potential book buyer. More than likely if you look below the blue box that has your email address in it you will see a line beginning with Whoops. At the end of that line it says Add one by clicking here! Click.

You have four options to load a photo from.

  • My computer’s hard drive
  • An image on the internet
  • A previously uploaded image
  • A webcam attached to your computer

Choose your poison.

Whatever you choose you will probably get the page that says crop and finish. Do that, and the next page you rate your photograph as appropriate for whatever age. Now you should be back at the Manage Gravatars page. Your image should be next to your email.

Now for the

My Profile Page

Name and Details

Here you find all the basics like your name, location, display name, and About Me (Think Bio.)

For the Display name it will show whatever your site name is at first, like mine shows ronovanauthor. I will change it to Ronovan Author. As for the About Me part, what I like to do is use something from my About.me account. This way there is some uniformity across all the places that has Bio information about me.

Now you really only fill out as much as you want here. And you put in what you like.

Click Save Profile

You will notice on the right side of this page some options.

Photo Gallery-Yes, you can add more photos.

Websites-You can add your various website address, such as About.me, facebook, Twitter, any other blogs, GoodReads, Tumblr, Google+. You name you got it you put it. Everywhere a person can find you put where else they can find you.

Background-Yes you can load a background image, just like at About.me.

Contact Information-You can put in whatever form of contact you want people to use. Still it’s a good place to go ahead and put what you like.

Verified Services-You can add links to other places like Youtube and the like. (See the Help at the top for details.)

Cyrpto-currencies-You put in your wallet addresses. I don’t do these so not that familiar with them. (See the Help at the top for details.)

 

You might be thinking how this seems like a lot of STUFF by now. Well you don’t have to do it all at once, because for one thing you don’t have it all. Basically getting that image in there and your name right is good for now AND adding your blog address to the Websites option. You simply go in there, click what you want and you got it. One of my pet peeves is when a person has Gravatar and you see they make great comments on your blog or another blog and you want to check out their own blog. You click their image and no blog there. Sometimes they don’t have one. But most times they never put their blog in the Websites page.

 

This isn’t hard so far, right? Tedious? Maybe because of repeating some information. But you want to have everything in place and ready to go when your book is ready to go.

 

Until Next Time

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

Author Presence: Create a Blog and your Twitter Bio

Author Presence: Create a Blog and your Twitter Bio

During the previous article we talked about Your Brand Name. If you missed it, you really need to check it out as it will come in handy understanding the importance of what I mean by this and how important it is to you.

 

What are we talking about today?

We’ll discuss two things today.

  • Creating a blog with WordPress.com
  • Twitter Bio

So why are we doing two things today?

For one thing these will be relatively short and another thing, I want each day to be useful for everyone joining in. So for those with blogs, you might get something out of the Twitter Bio.

Blog Talk Time

Creating a Blog with WordPress.com

When you go to the site you will see where you type in a name and then click create blog. Once you have done this the fun begins. Don’t worry about today being intense, it won’t be. And you know what? If you change your mind about the blog name afterwards, you can create another blog with this same account. That’s right, you can create several blogs with different blog names/addresses within the same account. I have RonovanWrites.WordPress.com AND LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com under the same account. Sure I might could have done it separately but I wanted to be able to keep up with the activity on both at the same time.

For this I am creating a new blog called Ronovan Author so as we walk through I will fill in things appropriately

There are four fields to fill out on the

Get started with WordPress.com screen

E-MAIL ADDRESS–ronovanwrties@gmail.com

USERNAME–ronovanauthor

PASSWORD

BLOG ADDRESS–ronovanauthor  ( the wordpress.com part is already there for you)

Once you have filled in these you scroll down and click Create Blog under the FREE column. I mean you can do the premium ones if you like as they do have things like more space, but often times you probably want to at least try out blogging first. You can always upgrade at any time.

  • You will get two emails; one to confirm your email address and the other one saying you have your blog.
  • After you clicked Create Blog under FREE you will be taken to another page.

Step 1

Set up your blog

Blog Title–Ronovan (I could keep it as RonovanAuthor but not right now, although it might work. I can always change it at any time.)

Tagline (Optional)–Author of Imaginations and Realities

Language–English (Yes you can set it to different languages)

Click Next Step

Step 2

Choose a theme

It looks like at the moment the default Theme is one called Reddle. It’s fine to go ahead and just click on Next Step here as you will be able to change your Theme later. Your main goal today is to get your blog name and get to the point where you can start customizing, not that we will be doing that today. So don’t worry.

Step 3

Customize your blog (Reddle)

It tells you about the Theme but don’t worry about it right now. And when you see words like ‘custom colors’ and things like that, often times you have to upgrade to premium to get those.

Click Next Step

Step 4

Share your blog posts with family, friends, or followers

Basically it is wanting you to connect your blog to facebook or Twitter. We will be doing this later, but if you want to you can now. I will still be going through connecting these two at a later date.

Click Next Step

Now it will want you to create your first blog post. You don’t have to.  At the top of the screen you will see; Reader, My Sites, and Stats. You can click on any of these if you like and just look around.

Today I want to show you the ‘Dashboard’. The Dashboard is where you will spend a lot of time. You will create your blog post/articles here. You will select your Themes, create pages on your blog, and pretty much everything.

Click on My Sites at the top.

Now you will see all of your blog sites. By the blog you just created you will see a gear in the top right corner of the picture. Click the gear and then click Go to admin dashboard.

One thing you will see is a Welcome to WordPress.com Video. I want to say I watched it and it is rather useful so go ahead and watch it.

And that ends your Blog Talk for the day. You have created a Blog, an Author Blog. Next time we speak about Blogs I will want to give you some Theme ideas to use. The reason I want to discuss Themes before we get into the details of the Dashboard is because not all Themes have the same Dashboard options. But they all work basically the same way with just a few  Appearance differences.

 

Twitter Talk Time

The Twitter Bio

You might be wondering “I’m an author of YA SciFi/Fantasy/Dystopia.”

Nice. Yawn. Sorry, did you say something?

Yeah, that was a bit mean of me but I’m here for Straight Talk. In fact at times I do articles with the titles in them called Straight Talk with Ronovan. So let’s get to it. Your Bio needs to say who and what you are.

Here is my Twitter Bio:

Author. Promoter of Authors. Interviewer. Lover of History. Tacos are a food group.

Yeah, it’s not the best in the world. But it tells you what I am and do. It gives you a couple of insights into me. I love history, I obviously am a huge fan of tacos (humor there) (not really) and I have Fibromyalgia. I also have both of my main blog sites included.

I have had people follow me because of the Fibromyalgia. I have people comment on their agreement about Tacos being a food group. And I have had people say they Love History too. I apparently have some sense of humor by including the taco comment.

Be as creative as you like. Remember, be professional.

Neil Gaiman is famous. Being famous makes it a bit easier with the Bio but he still has to be somewhat creative.

“will eventually grow up and get a real job. Until then, will keep making things up and writing them down.”

Perfectly done. His sense of humor is there and he actually tells what he does in a creative way. In fact I need to rethink mine. Look around at your favorite authors and DON’T copy them but see how creative they are.

Jim Butcher is another popular author these days. Yeah, I met him and talked with him for a while during the first round of Dresden Files books. Was a really nice guy and humble.

“–Storyteller. Let’s not complicate things.”

Honestly, I can hear his Harry Dresden character saying this. Well not the storyteller part, but it is definitely Butcher’s writing style coming through in so few words.

 

Until Next Time

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

 

Author Presence: Your Brand Name

Author Presence: Your Brand Name

In my previous Author Presence article I discussed About.me, it’s importance, it’s various categories and some advice about what to do when setting your account up.

social_media_tips.jpg

Choosing Your Brand Name

Your name is the best thing to use across all of your social media if you are an author or a blogger wishing to create a brand. Yes, you are a brand waiting to happen. So pop your top, let that fizzy goodness sound and get ready to drink success.

Picking your blog name, even if not your own name itself, needs to be something you are willing to actually say out loud to people. Think about it. “Oh yes, my Twitter handle is Cheetos Fingers, Mr. Top Literary Agent Ever.” Or perhaps you have something even less appropriate that we won’t get into.

Today is about determining what your Brand Name will be. Yes, I have advised it should be your name. Some use the name of their books or the main character in their books.

How to determine a Brand Name even if not Your Name:

  • You need to Google or search with some search engine the name you want to use. If you are wanting to have the website Ronovan.com, it’s not happening because I own it. So even if your name is Ronovan, you can’t use that. Yes you can use your full name, ronovansmith.com but you need to search. Search all aspects, even Twitter. Just because your name is Ronovan Smith does not mean you are the only one out there and using Twitter. Research.
  • Don’t stress over this. Take your time. Pick your top three or five or however many you would be happy with BEFORE you begin the search. If your name is say . . . John Smith you might want to try  johnsmithauthor.com or authorjohnsmith.com. Google it. By the way, those two are apparently available.
  • You then use that everywhere. That is your Brand. You might add something to the end of it for whatever like when doing promotions. AuthorJohnSmith.com Books or BookSigning or T-Shirts. Yes, you might look at trademarks and copyrights as well, but you have your presence started.
  • Also setting up a widely used Brand Name will help with Search Engine Operations (SEO). The more your name appears on posts, articles and anything that goes up on the internet the more and more you will rise in the search engine, I’ll call them lists. Basically the more you are searched and the more you put out attached to your name on the internet the higher in ‘ranking’ you will appear on things like Google. In other words, your name gets closer to that first page of the search results.
  • Also if you have a Series then THAT can be a Brand Name to use as well. I already have sites saved with the name of future series.

To Do Today:

  1. Determine your Brand Name
  2. If just beginning your Author Presence then set up an email with that Brand Name that is dedicated to your professional life. Even if a veteran of social media, do this as well. You will be doing a lot of signing up for various things and you need to have it in a place that is for your business.
  3. If you do the email, you can go ahead and go to WordPress.com and grab that Brand Name as your blog name. We will be venturing into the Blog life next, but in a slow way. I will give suggestions for ‘Themes’ to use. A Theme is basically the layout possible for your site along with colors and other options. There are plenty of sites out there to tell you how to do this but I am going to do it anyway with an Author in mind. So the Blog is optional today.

As always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

Author Presence: About.me-What and How To.

Authors: Let’s get started setting up your web presence.

Each day this week I will have an article about another piece to setup. I am not into doing everything at once in one article. We’re not in a hurry. Doing everything in one article makes people feel overwhelmed when all they really need to do is come back to that article the next day. So what I like to do is . . . one thing at a time. Call it the reasonable teacher in me. Yes, I was a History teacher and a corporate trainer type among other things.

Something important to remember as we begin this process together; I want you to know that I will be giving ADVICE here. Take it or leave it. After I give it you then make it work or not. Everything I or anyone else tells you won’t do miracles on its own. YOU have to work it. I have social media things out there that I don’t ‘work’ and they are not doing anything for me. Actually putting all of this together for you is going to make me begin to ‘work’ what I have more.

I strongly advise you to sign up for a Twitter account. I know you might never use it but set one up. For one thing you want to get your Twitter Handle, your Name you like saved by you. But the real useful thing is that you will be able to use it in other accounts you set up. And you will be amazed at how many social media services out there will allow you to simply log in with Twitter. I tell you it comes in handy when you can’t remember a password. I have problems with remembering things, long story, amnesia’s a bummer.

This one account is what I have showing on my Twitter account for people to click on to find out about me.

It’s the About.me account.

Why set up an About.me Account.

Yes, that’s a big font there for this. I want you to know why you need one of these.

  • It’s a great place to point people to for all the basic information they need about you or you want to share and they can find links to everything else about you they might want. All of this is explained below in more detail.
  • You can connect to other authors and start networking by seeking them out and uniting. Building that platform.
  • People can find you based on your interests. Someone might be looking for a freelance writer and you have that down as an interest. Someone might want an interviewer and find me. You would be surprised at how many authors do NOT ask to be interviewed for free publicity for their books.

About.me

Think of your About.me as your central hub, the Grand Central Station of your social media empire.  From this one account people can find all the connections to your other media from one page.

What all can you include here?

I am going to give everyone credit for being able to sign up for an account. Once you’ve done that you will want to Edit Page. You do this by clicking your name in the top right and then Edit Page. If you are just signing in for the first time it may take you right to the Edit Page.

I’ll go in order of the tabs on the edit screen where you would actually be putting information you want to share.

As you are choosing images, links and information to share just remember that anyone can see this including agents and publishers.

Photo

  • Background Photo (You can choose from your computer, facebook, Instagram, or any you have saved with about. me so far.) This is the large full screen image. I have a photo of myself as my background. Why? Because this site is linked to my blog and I can use this photo or another photo mentioned later as my photo that I want people to see when the first show up to my Blog. One is professional and the other is casual and more of that sports guy in a baseball cap thing. You get to see two sides of my personality. Some people use a scenery photo as the Background Photo. It’s up to you.

Biography

  • Name-How do you want your name to appear. That’s right, just because you registered one way doesn’t mean it has to appear that way on the page. Don’t worry about the Font size now, you can change it later as well as for everything else in the Biography sections.
  • Headline-Think subtitle that appears under your Name. Ex: Author of the McGregor Trials Series.
  • Biography-This is where you get to tell everyone about you. You can put links in the Biography to any interviews you’ve been in or your books on whatever sales site you have them on. Brief or Long it’s up to you. But know this; the About.me is can appear on your blog and this Bio can appear there as well. Keep that in mind as you compose it.
  • Location-Don’t worry, you don’t have to be specific.
  • Work-Put what you want. I have writer, blogger, interviewer.
  • Education-Again, put what you want to.
  • Interests-You can have these displayed or not. I don’t see why not. People will find you based on these interests. Choose wisely.
  • Bio Photo-Uploaded from your computer and it’s best if it’s a head shot. Think Profile Photo. This is the other photo I was talking about earlier during the Background Photo explanation. This is my all American guy photo with sunglasses and baseball cap and looking a bit scruffy. There’s a reason it’s my smaller photo.

Colors-(Play around to see what looks best on your page.)

  • Page Colors-You can do both colors and patterns. Also choose the opacity.
  • Bio Box and Font Colors-You can choose the opacity. This is a tricky section. I have my box somewhat opaque instead of completely opaque because my words would not show up properly against the Background Photo. Think about that when choosing your Background Photo. One that has a lot of different colors in it will make choosing font colors difficult. Also remember there are people that are color blind so there are combinations that won’t work well.

Fonts

  • There are four different font areas on your About.me page. You can choose the font style you want and the size. The recommendation is no more than two font styles on the page. Play with it. Just remember people are looking at you. Don’t get so ‘fancy’ with your fonts that people have a difficult time reading them.

Apps

  • Apps are things like Twitter and Google+, in other words this is where you chose what Social Media Buttons will show up on your About.me page. They have three pages of apps/social media outlets for you to choose from. One thing to remember is, the About.me account is an app itself of sorts. When you set up your blog you can have a widget app for the About.me page. This is a great way to have all those media buttons for people to follow without cluttering up your blog.

Links

  • Featured Content-This will show recent content from the links you share.
    • Soundcloud-I don’t have Soundcloud right now but I have seen it out and about during my travels among various blog type platforms. You never know what will attract someone to follow you.
    • Links-My most recent blog post titles show on this page and people can click them to go to my Blog and read them.
    • Youtube or Vimeo-I have a Youtube account and am looking into doing something with it. Stay tuned for . . .  something. I really have no idea what.

Contact

  • Contact Info-This is just what it says it is, including your address. Doesn’t have to be filled out.
  • Settings-This is what you want to appear on your screen and what kind of compliments are possible. Yes, people can compliment your page. People will read your Bio and possibly be inspired by it or think you are creative or cool.  Groovy, right? Wait, I’m from the South. I spelled that wrong. Gravy, right?

 

Well that’s it for today. This should take you some time to set up if you do it properly and you know what? You can always make changes to it. I do all the time. And bonus tip time: Make sure to update your About.me page when things change About.YOU.

Come back tomorrow for the next step of setting up your web presence. It’s an easier one. Kind of. And it’s the next step closer to a Blog.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com