Paranormal Book Cover Design Elements

Hindsight and fresh ‘enchilada’ wrappers open the door to effective paranormal book cover design.

If a writer’s journey begins with an idea and a few words, it concludes with multiple themes stacked like warm blankets atop a winter bed, bound together with colorful character threads.  The entire package, encompassing thousands of hours and hundreds and pages is wrapped by a thin layer of decorated cover stock that is supposed to, pictorially, represent the whole ‘enchilada.’

Read the entire article here.

Book Review – Raising Thinkers

Currently, the disconnect between necessary knowledge in the workplace and skill sets developed by higher education institutions is a ‘global migraine,’ says  Tremaine du Preez.

With big data mega-trends and AI on the verge of transforming business, production, and services into something no parent or educator has ever seen, how do we prepare our children for the future?

du Preez, a critical thinking instructor, executive coach, and mother has a few ideas. “I’ll help you help your child to think in alternative ways about information.“

In her book, she shows parents how to construct ‘cognitive Swiss Army Knives’ for their youngsters.

Topics include; identifying mind traps such as bias and groupthink, GROW coaching, Socrates Questioning Method, and learning the art of failing…well.
du Preez offers suggestions for fostering environments to ignite innovation, risk-taking, and emotional intelligence.

I tested the techniques on my tween – and they work!

“If every one of us could raise our children to be good decision makers, the world will be a better place,” comments du Preez.

Like Dr. Who with his Sonic Screwdriver, helping your child develop creative, outside the box thinking, might be the best navigation tool for going places where no one has been before.

I had so many requests to borrow this book that I bought multiple copies to give away to teachers, parent friends, and homeschool cohorts.

Click here to get Raising Thinkers by Tremaine du Preez.

 

 

Fiction Author Biography – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Three

When it comes to writing about themselves, authors usually languish. This post will help overcome Author Biography writing reluctance.

Sherlock GIFs - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Author Biography page on your website is a piece of your media kit that should be created before someone asks for it. 

While not as dynamic as a tweet or Facebook post, it needs to be updated regularly, especially when you’ve created new work. On your website, this page can be the ‘long version’ that every short version springs from.

Journalists, publicists, author appearance schedulers, and blog interviewers are just a few of the people who will pull information from this source.

Nonfiction Author Bio

A nonfiction author, with the aim of booking speaking engagements, will lean heavily on experience that lends authority to his / her topic. This type of author biography should adhere to business communications style and standards.

Fiction Author Bio

A fiction writer, memoirist, actor, or artist will have a softer approach, connecting with their audience on a personal level.

Author Biography Writing Steps

  1. Begin with a connecting statement, something your reading audience can relate too. This can be a hobby, belief, lifelong interest, etc. (Something that relates to your writing topics.)
  2. Details. This section is about the areas in which you are an expert, inside information that your book(s) didn’t cover,  or challenges you’ve faced.
  3. Authority. Education, experience, and publication credits (magazines, anthologies,  or awards).
  4. Additional titles you’ve published.
  5. Where you live.
  6. Option; endearing information about spouses and children or pets.
  7. Website & contact information.

Your published work is an opportunity for a reader to view the world with a fresh perspective. Your Author Biography builds trust and establishes you as a writer/creator with a unique perspective. It also sets a tone for how you conduct the business aspects of your career.

Investing the time to write your Bio –  well – before it is needed, will return long-term dividends.

*If this post helped you write an Author Bio that you are pleased with, feel free to post a short version of it in the comments section below.

Personality Tests

123test.com – personality test

Oprah.com – Who Am I Meant to Be?

Quibblo.com – What’s Your Personality Type

Quibblo.com – What’s Your Affinity

Other Blog Posts to Read

6 Elements of a News Release – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Two

100 Unusual Interview Questions – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part One

Resources:

Book in a Box – How to Write Your Author Bio (and Why it Matters) – examples
Dan Blank – The Daily Practice of Growing Your Audience
Forbes – Professional Bio Template

Hubspot – 6 of the Best Professional Bio Examples We’ve Ever Seen
Jane Friedman – Build a Better Author Bio for  Twitter
Template Lab – 45 MS Word Template Downloads

Turning Your Blog into an e-book

Back in 2012 when I had been blogging for two years, I had gotten to know the blogging community pretty well through top sites for bloggers like Copyblogger, which has since turned into a multi-faceted media and software company. I was struck at the time by the almost total disconnect between authors, who were learning…

via Attention Bloggers: The Future of Book Publishing Has Arrived — The Book Designer

Plot Diagram PDF & How to Use Freytag’s Pyramid

The Plot Diagram or Book Map is a graphic tool can be used to visualize key features of a chapter or an entire story. It helps identify areas that need additional work so that the entire piece is cohesive.

Below are several humorous videos explaining how to use a Plot Pyramid. At the bottom of the post is a FREE PDF download of Freytag’s Pyramid.

Note: Color code the diagrams by character so that in addition to seeing the rising and falling action of each chapter, you will also see the balance of your character points of view throughout your book.

 

Freytag’s Pyramid

Plot Mapping

 

Parts of the Pyramid

Inciting Incident – something occurs to start the conflict.

Rising Action – building tension.

Climax – the peak of the scene/story.

Falling Action – events that happen after the climax.

Resolution – how the conflict is resolved.

 

 

Recommended Editing and Writing Books.

Click on the image below to download a free Plot Map PDF.

freytags-plot-curve-gray

Copyright Law and Public Domain

‘New’ ideas are built on top of what already exists. 

Artists, authors, designers, and engineers may look like they are alone when they are working, but every creative knows that the things they produce are aggregates— with their own personal flair mixed in.

Like the famous Sagrada Familia it has taken five generations of builders to bring Antoni Gaudi’s grand vision to light. 

In the internet age, creatives turn to the worldwide web for inspiration— be it for photography, soundtracks or clip art.

Too many people believe that everything online is free. It’s not.

If you use media without proper licensing or permission, you could face a copyright infringement lawsuit, or get flagged on YouTube for improper use.

As a creative, it is important to understand how copyright works, what is protected, and when something is available for free use.

Copyright laws, in general, protect a creation from being copied for the life of the artist, plus 70 years.  After that, the piece enters the Public Domain. (SBTEA)

Public Domain works are 100% free for private and commercial use and do not require attribution.

Lawrence Lessig’s lectures and books help artists safely navigate the muddy waters of fair use. He is largely responsible for establishing an ever-growing community of photographers, artists, illustrators, videographers and musicians who support creativity by contributing current work to the Public Domain.

Copyright Law recommended reading.

Click here for Lisa’s extensive collection of public domain images, music, sound,  and video clips.

6 Elements of a News Release – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part Two

Writing a News Release (aka Press Release) is easy when you know the formula. It is a standard format that makes the job of the journalist efficient.

Authors can use News Releases to announce new titles, events, or highlight aspects of their work in progress.

The ‘trick’ to having your News Release picked up by media is filling in the blanks with interesting and mistake-free content. (The chances of your News Release being published are greater with local publications. If you’ve set your sites on national or world news coverage, a professional publicist is well worth his / her fee.)

Each element of the News Release, and where it belongs, is highlighted with purple arrows below. (Sample text is from a News Release for CyberPatriot team recruiting.)

At the bottom of this post, is a FREE PDF download of the 6 Elements of a News Release and links to additional Author Media Kit articles.

6 Elements

CyberPatriot is a National Youth Education Program. It was created by the Air Force Association to “inspire students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

CyberPatriot sponsors include Northrop Grumman Foundation, AT&T, Cisco, Microsoft, Norton, and Facebook. If teams advance high enough, they qualify for all expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition and for scholarships.

Recruiting for new teams begins in April. If you are interested in becoming a CyberPatriot Volunteer Mentor for your group or school, visit the CyberPatriot website for outreach materials.

The program also offers elementary school education and summer camps as well as the NYCDC program.

 

Resource Links:

Video Link: CyberPatriot IX: Securing Networks, Securing Futures

Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program website

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Resources:
Anatomy of a News Release PDF – free download
Media College – Journalism – Press Release Format
Ingredients of a Press Kit – Entrepreneur
14 Definitions You Need to Know When Creating an Author Media Kit – The Book Designer
Entire Coaching Cyber Defenders article

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100 Unusual Interview Questions – Creating an Electronic Media Kit for Authors – Part One