Archive | November 2014

Need a Flyer Advertising Your Event? Use Poster My Wall

I am always loofinal flyer with watermarkking for easy to use graphic programs.  If they are online that is even better, nothing to download.  I was sitting down to create a flyer for an upcoming workshop and I ran across a simple, yet powerful website called PosterMyWall.  On this site you can use templates or create your own media from scratch.

The website says it is “The Best Online Custom Poster and Photo Collage Maker” and after using it I tend to agree.  I am sure there are others out there, but this is simple and if you are ok with a watermark it’s free.  I downloaded the flyer shown here for $2.99 without a watermark.  I am planning on buying a matte finish poster size of this for $7.99 and get twenty-five 4″ X 6″ cards with envelopes to mail out for $14.95.

What I really like about this site is that the interface is very simple.  You can upload your own pictures, place them where you want them, size them exactly how you want and add text anywhere on the document.

They have many templates and backgrounds.  I started with the background and just created text and graphics exactly where I wanted it.

I think this could also be used as a tool for creating book covers and a multitude of marketing materials.  The posters and cards that you purchase are all printed on photo stock and can also be mounted and framed.  I’ll try to update my post after the poster I order arrives.

P.S.  If you’re in Northern California on January 10th feel free to come to my workshop on self-publishing for free (or almost free.)  There’s a $20 donation for the workshop and my book will be available for $9.95 at the workshop.

Keep on writing!

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PicMonkey, More Thank Just an Awesome Place to Make Free (or almost free) Book Covers

PicMonkeyIf you haven’t used PicMonkey, you haven’t lived. It’s way more than just a super-easy online editing tool. I have to admit, I didn’t know about PicMonkey when I made the cover for my wife’s book. I used Gimp. It is also free, but I had to download it and it’s not-super easy to use. There was a learning curve. With PicMonkey, you just upload a picture from your computer and you can begin adding cover text immediately. They have plenty of fonts in the free version and you can upgrade for $4.99 a month or $33.00 a year.

You don’t need to create an account, it’s literally as fast as you can click the edit button, upload your picture, and add the cover text.

sample cover

The sample at the right took me three minutes to create.  I just picked a photo from a backpacking trip and uploaded from my computer and added the text. I would increase the font size (another simple task and orient on the page for best visual appear.)

Beyond the simple editing, there is the PicMonkey blog which has all kinds of useful posts from tips on Facebook to visual marketing ideas. You have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the navigation links. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Keep on writing!

What is Wattpad?

How about the “world’s largest community of readers and writers.”  According to Wattpad there are 35 millions “wattpaders” reading 75 million stories, spending 9 billion minutes on Wattpad every month.  According to Wikipedia over 1000 stories are being uploaded every day.  The Wattpad website describes itself  as “a place to discover and share stories: a social platform that connects people through words. It is a community that spans borders, interests, languages. With Wattpad, anyone can read or write on any device: phone, tablet, or computer.”  This is a unique relationship in real-time between the author and his or her readers.

Ashleigh Gardner, the Head of Content at Wattpad.com, describes Wattpad as “a very popular site for teens 13-18, but 35% of the site is 18-30. If you write YA or New Adult, you should be on Wattpad! Romance and sci-fi communities are very large. Without the gatekeepers, new trends and genres are also emerging. Urban fiction is a flourishing example. Fan fiction is hugely popular e.g. anything with One Direction.”

No matter what you write, this might be biggest well kept secret that no one knows about.  Wattpad is kind of like Facebook, but without the minute by minute descriptions of meaningless dribble.  Not to be dissing Facebook; there is definitely  a place in your author platform for Facebook.  Wattpad, on the other hand, is a platform that is used by readers.  Ninety percent of the 35 million people who use Wattpad are readers.  That means that only one out of ten people visiting Wattpad for those 9 billion minutes are readers.  The average time spent on Wattpad is 30 minutes.  There is plenty of room for writers.

It’s a simple process and free to join.  As a writer, you can upload your writing as you write or upload installments of your writing.  Readers find your writing and follow you, much like other social networks.  After following the readers receive notifications whenever a new chapter of a story is posted. Many writers share their work serially: posting stories one chapter at a time, so readers keep coming back.

I’m going to give it a try with my first novel, The Checkbook.

Here is a link to my story

Keep on writing!