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Monday, April 20, 2015

Great Links for Indie Authors...and Normal People

There've been a lot great web content out there lately and I need to share.

First, for Self-publishing Indies, check this out: 7 foolproof design tips to crush your book cover.

If you're thinking of designing a cover, or having it designed, read this first. The last paragraph in this article is the best one. 

The number one tip in my opinion: Be clear before you are clever.

I was nodding my head the whole time I was reading it. 

For everyone else, some links for life outside of publishing. 

Gardening: 20 Insanely Clever Gardening Tips. Brilliant stuff. I especially like #19, the Dry Creek Bed landscape. 

Food. Easy Homemade Bagels, A Step-by-Step Tutorial. This looks easy enough that even I can do it.

Upcycle: 8 Clever Ways to Recycle the Things Your Kids Outgrow. So many great ideas here. Makes me wish I had kids so I could cannibalize their toys for the greater good of my yard. :cue the little urchins crying at my door:

Life and Death Stuff: Life Lessons from a Funeral Home. Really sobering article. I especially liked the paragraph that states: the real currency is time, not money

Lots to read here, but I promise, they're all good articles. 

Elsewhere in my life: Still waiting for baby goats to arrive. I've noticed some physical changes in the future mamas. I hope that  means we'll see babies soon.

My main garden looks great. Lots of rain, bees, and butterflies. Also a few snakes. Gotta have snakes in the Garden of Eden, I suppose.

A little bird told me we're getting new neighbors in our secret cul-de-sac. When you only have four neighbors in the immediate vicinity, this is news. I hope they're nice people.

Finished two more covers and assorted banners. I really love my job!

Greg is interfering with my yoga. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I have the best intentions, but an important task always comes up. Sometimes it involves his projects, but most of the time, it's me needing him for my mad machinations.

I'd go later in the day, but the traffic is awful, and I'm a grouch in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It would erase all my mellow after a yoga class.

What's new with you guys? What's the best thing that happened to you last week? What was the worst? I will comply with obligatory hugs and your choice of virtual chocolate or alcohol. 

Update: I'm a little late responding to comments. I came down with a killer headache yesterday that would not let go. It's still with me, but not quite as bad, thanks to a doting husband and a cold compress.


Sandra Almazan said...

I have to check out that article on covers when I have more time. What do you think about all-text covers, Maria? I'm thinking of turning my SF Women A-Z blogathon into an eBook and might want to take that route.

As far as my week, I've been dealing with last-minute formatting and revisions for Scattered Seasons, but I'm going to get a new bike. My current one is over 30 years old, so I guess I'm due for a new one!

Maria Zannini said...

I like all text covers.
#1 They're not used often so it makes for a fresh look.

#2 You can use a lot of nice special effects with text since it's big enough to dominate a page.

Re: bike
30 years! Wow! You deserve a new bike. Be sure to post a picture. I'd like to see it.

We were just talking yesterday about getting rid of our bikes. We no longer live in an area with nice bike trails, so they're kind of being wasted.

betty said...

That was an interesting article on death/dying. I couldn't agree with the author more on the points she listed, especially the importance of life insurance. You think you'll live forever and we all know we don't and it is good to have that buffer for the one left behind to be able to have a money as they are grieving, planning to do what next, etc. We carry a lot of it on hubby, a little less on me. I often think about reducing it but then think "nope" and continue on carrying it since it will come in handy to the one left behind.

How fun with the goats and potential babies; not fond of snakes so would avoid the garden, always interestng to wonder about new neighbors!

Not much going on here; just trying to finish up the A/Z challenge; I'll take a glass of wine :)


Stacy McKitrick said...

I liked the article on covers. And I've gotten lots of favorable comments on the cover you made for me (yay!). I think that's half the battle to get someone interested in your book. Now I just cross my fingers that I'll hook a lot of people! :)

As for last week, I guess it was pretty good. The re-draft of my current WIP is going well, so that's uplifting. I'm hoping I've fixed what was broken and will be able to finish the thing. I've been working on it much too long (the longest of ANY of my books).

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Have some chocolate for me. Will check out those links. Glad your garden is doing well. My tulips are finally blooming.

Diane Carlisle said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips! :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm going to check out that article on book covers.

I love the idea of taking a yoga class but the driving there and back would just stress me out. I've used some yoga videos at home in the past, and I might start that up again.

Went for a walk this morning and got to see the sun rise, creating a wild sky streaked with clouds. :)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Tell Greg Mac says to give you your time for yoga. I love da yoga with fruit in it.

Maria Zannini said...

Betty: I was especially inspired by the quote about time being the real currency. The only difference is, you can't make more of it.

One wine, coming up. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: That's good to hear about the cover, but you're right, that's only half the battle.

Once they get past the cover, they have to want to read it. That means a good blurb, a great hook, and an enticing come-hither price.

Take care of your cough first then you can worry about the next book.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I'm so glad winter finally let go of you guys. You had a rough one.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: There were so many good articles on the net this past week. I kept bookmarking them hoping I wouldn't forget to share.

Maria Zannini said...

Madeleine: I have a small window of opportunity with my outside classes. The early morning classes are my favorite, but it's dark out there and I hate to drive country roads in the dark. Too many deer and wild pigs.

PS Love sunrises! Watching one in person makes you feel alive.

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: Ha ha! You guys like to stick together, don't you?

Sarah Ahiers said...

I'm on my way to read the funeral home article. Earlier this year my sis and i read a book called SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES AND OTHER LESSONS FROM THE CREMATORY and it was fantastic and fascinating and sad and really solidified how i feel about what happens to my body after I'm dead.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh my, time is more precious than money!

Some of these links look awesome. TY

Just came back from spring break and had a board meeting and then I had to prepare a speech. Nothing like get hit in the face right after vacation. LOL

LD Masterson said...

I'm getting here a couple days late. Any more goat news?

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: We had decided long ago to be cremated after we die. Better than taking up space. ...I already did that when I was alive. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: Work never really eases up on you. It always jumps. And then I have to jump.


Maria Zannini said...

Linda: No goat news yet. They look close to me though. I just hope they decide not to deliver during the storms we're expecting.

Lynn Viehl said...

Very good article, thanks, Maria.

Worst first: my RA has moved into my right hip, which is making walking difficult again. Got the cane out of the closet to help me get around for now, but I'm hoping it's just a temp flare. If not I'll probably have to go back on the hard meds.

Best thing: Shopping with my daughter for her Prom dress. She's tiny -- wears a size double zero -- which makes it a bit of a challenge, but I had so much fun picking out different gowns for her to try and then taking pics of her in them. We also dared to walk into Prada and have a look. Prada is light years beyond our budget, of course, but the sales ladies there are just wonderful -- talked to and treated us like we were Kardashians. I love people with exquisite manners. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn: I'm sorry about your hip. I can certainly empathize.

I know the weather can affect my joints. I hope it's just temporary for you too.

Re: prom dress
That had to be fun! That's something she'll always remember. And that was smart of you to take pictures. What a brilliant way to see all of them at once to see which looked the best.