And we’re back! This time I thought I’d get into a little more detail of things like style, layout and content. Things every author should know and wield with impunity. First thing’s first. DISCLAIMER: Everything that follows is totally subjective opinion content based on a few years experience trying to sort my own website into some kind of order, and browsing other authors’ websites and (more often than I care to say) cringing at what I found. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt.
In the race to satisfaction, books are marathons, not a sprint. They take time to write, to discover, and to enjoy. They require focus and imagination, the ability to read yourself into the story until it feels like you are living it. If you’ve trained your brain for a sprint, you won’t bother with a marathon. You might not think you have what it takes to go the distance…
People have written oodles of books on the subject and I won’t bore you with too much detail. Just a short bullet point list of tips to help you navigate the shark infested waters of the Internet:
I didn’t have a DIYDay post in me this week. I don’t feel qualified to “teach” on this subject since I suck at it. But I am learning. For example, I have learned that a well-made graphic will draw thousands of eager eyes. A graphic is like the three-second window into YOU, which has massive appeal in today’s world of overstimulation, information overload and short attention spans. We can’t help it. We’re all busy people! We no longer have 30 seconds for the elevator pitch, there are too many of them vying for our attention. Give us something worth looking at, do a double take, and then come back to find out more. An invaluable lesson learned: A site banner will signal what kind of site you are running. A graphic advertisement will decide whether people click on it or not. An author picture will have you judged from appearances […]
DIYDay Lesson 14: HTML Basics. Ready to get back on the horse? Now that you know how to format a book, make a cover page, and all that jazz, let’s see if we can spruce up your internet homestead. Before I begin, I would like to say that there are many places out there which provide you with pre-made templates to make your life easier. But if you want more of a personal touch to your template or want to make your own, begin with the basics. Get ready for a lot of reading.
I reiterate here, if you have not read this post on Stocks and Resources, please read before continuing. This lesson is about patterns. I use them sometimes, but not very often. Patterns are basically tileable brushes you dump onto a layer with Bucket Fill rather than click by click. You can also use them in certain filters/scripts to add texture to your image. More on that later, as I have just recently discovered this. To install a pattern is not that different from installing a brush. Patterns will be files you move to a specific folder and they will automatically populate in GIMP when you start it or refresh the screen. In Windows 7, this will be in the following directory: (C:)–>Users–>YourUserName–>gimpX.X–>patterns (substitute X.X with the latest version you have installed). Once a pattern is installed, what you do with it is up to you. Each pattern or pattern set will be sized […]
Lesson 9: GIMP 102: Brushes
How to install and how to use them.
DIYDay Lesson 8: GIMP 101: Open, Save, Layers and Tools
The very basic first lesson in GIMP and image manipulation. Enough to get you started. More lessons on this to come.
Lesson 7: Stocks and Resources
Images, Fonts, Music and Videos, Application Resources. Just because you found it on the internet doesn’t mean you can use it however you want. Check the licenses and use requirements and when in doubt contact the creator before making something public.
Lesson 6: Author Finance 101
You have two commodities to spend on your writing and publishing: Time and money. It’s up to you to decide which is more valuable and how you want to spend it. Three things you really, really, really should invest in–with time or money or both–are your website, your cover page, and a professional edit for your book. Why? Because these are the three faces of you.