How to Make a Basic e-mail Signature for the HTML Impaired

If you have a product to sell – if you are a performer or an artist – or if you just want to find more clients then a custom e-mail signature can help grow your business.  An e-mail signature is a stylish, effective and non-intrusive way to announce to the world (or at least the people you communicate with via e-mail) an abbreviated bit of your business story.

If you enjoy the do-it-yourself approach to marketing and technical ‘computery’ stuff doesn’t send you screaming for the hills, this article will show you the steps necessary to add flair to your online communications.

Disclaimer: I am not a programmer or an HTML expert. The information below was obtained through trial and error. The steps are for the e-mail program on your home computer. (Many of them will apply if you wish to customize the signature on your smartphone or cloud based e-mail program such as gmail or yahoo, but every platform has its differences and particularities.)

sample sig

html code only

1. Seeing the code. Once you learn what goes where, you can do a search for other types of HTML code that will do even fancier things. The graphic above shows a sample custom e-mail signature along with the code that is used to generate it. The first line of the signature “Samantha B. Jones” in the purple box, corresponds with the first line of HTML code. In the HTML purple box, notice that <b> means ‘bold,’ <font size=”4″> is the size of the font, and <face=”Times New Roman,” is the font type.

2. Basic Design. Simple is always a good rule of thumb. Think about the most effective e-mail signatures that you have received. Which ones invited you to click further to learn more and which ones turned you off?

alternate design

3. Write the Code.  Here is the code for the design above. Copy it and begin to play around with it. *The items that I highlighted in green are areas where you can customize it and where you need to provide links to online images or your websites.

<img src=”http://www.link to online image“>
<font size=”4” face=”Arial Black” color=”maroon“>My Awesome Company Name</b></font><font size=”1“face=”arial“><a href=”http://www.link to website“> visit my website </a>
<BR><font size=”1” face=”Lucida Console“>Subtext #1|Subtext #2|Subtext #3 <BR><p>
Express yourself here<BR>
<i><b>italic bold text here</i></b>

(I included Arial Black and Lucida Console as these are other fonts that are generally recognized by ‘most’ electronic devices.)

4. Test the Code. Copy and paste your code into an HTML viewer to see if it works.

This is the one I use – http://htmledit.squarefree.com/

html editor

Another option is to insert the code into your e-mail program, then send yourself multiple e-mails until you have it just right.

5. Insert the HTML code into your e-mail program.

The screen capture image shows Thunderbird e-mail, but the names and steps for other e-mail programs should be ‘roughly’ similar.

In Thunderbird, go to “Tools” > “Account Settings,” then insert your code in the ‘Signature text’ box. Once you click on ‘Save,’ you can write a new e-mail and send it to yourself to test any links or images that you’ve included.

Thunderbird tools

For Outlook, go to “Tools”> “Options”> “Mail Format” > “Signatures

There you have it – the basic steps to begin creating an enticing e-mail signature.

___________________________________________________________________

Additional Articles & Resources

http://www.emailsignature.com/cloud

http://www.digitechbranding.com/pages/email-signature-HTML-programming.html

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/corporate-email-signature-guidelines-10520.html

http://www.xink.io/news/email-signature-format-101-dos-donts/

http://www.xink.io/news/email-signature-format-101-dos-donts/

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/02/04/the-art-and-science-of-the-email-signature/

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-Facebook-and-Twitter-icons-to-your-email-signature-7b9fc0f6-1c25-45cc-8eae-dab15b78cf08?CorrelationId=d7474074-b1b6-45cc-a0b5-67804a173033&ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

Search YouTube for “How to create an e-mail signature in YOUR PROGRAM”

Narrator Spotlight – Meghan Kelly on Eargasms Audiobook Reviews

“I believe both creating a very intriguing story to listen to AS WELL AS the production being top notch are vitally important! “ – Meghan Kelly

When I met Meghan Kelly through ACX [Aubible], It was love at first listen.

If you are interested in turning your Amazon book into an audiobook, you can post your title on ACX.com. Once it’s live on the site, finding your voice artist is like a virtual dating game…

Voice artists may send authors auditions or authors can scour through voice artist profiles listening to their sample files. When I first set-up my ACX account, I didn’t think that the gender of the artist would matter. Boy was I wrong! (ha ha) After listening to lots of voice samples, I realized that there were HUGE differences…in performance, the overall vibe of the voice and in the recording quality. I had just begun to create a list of artists to contact when Meghan e-mailed her audition file. Was it a fated sign from the cosmos that the best voice I could possibly imagine for Haylee just turned up…or was it just simple luck?

Her professionalism made working long distance seem effortless. The quality of the final product is something we are both proud of.

The day that she sent over chapter proofs is a day that will linger in my memory. Hearing my words…with HER beautiful, sultry, sexy and animated voice….made me laugh (in sheer delight!) until tears were streaming down my face. I felt a little like Cyrano de Bergerac.

5 Tips to find the right professional editor for your book

It’s a special occasion! Only something sumptuous and sweet will satisfy the mood and pallet.  Delicate aromas float in the air as you approach the bakery. The corners of your mouth lift up as you fill your lungs with the heavenly smells.

pastries

 

When you step-up to the display case, you see that none of the cakes or pastries have frosting or decorations.

unfrosted cake

Will they still taste good?  Surely. But will they cause an ‘oooo’ or an ‘ahhhh’ at the moment of reveal?

Many aspects of Indy publishing are appealing because it puts ultimate control of a publishing project in the author’s own hands. You get to create your own original recipe, and blend flavors and textures without a publisher or cover designer in the kitchen telling you to adjust this or that. But just because you have all the tools you need to self-publish, does that mean you should do everything?

In every sole proprietorship, the business owner is required to perform the vast majority of the work. However; the savvy business person knows that at times it’s necessary, even critical, to hire an expert.  When you are just another author in an ocean filled with Indy authors, a pertinent question becomes how to differentiate your work from all the others in the marketplace?  Professional editing is one of the best ways to accomplish this.

Here are five tips to find the right professional editor for your book.

1. Decide if you want a local or a remote editor.

To find a local editor, tap into your personal networks – ask people you know and put it out there on your facebook or google+ pages. You can contact local writers groups, high school and college English and Literary professors as well as librarians.

Initially, I wanted an editor I could meet with in person. By going through the process above, I found several but did not find the one who was the right match for my subject. Eventually, the idea of finding a local editor was discarded in favor of finding the right one – no matter where he or she lived.

2. Contact a professional editors association.

The organizations below were the most helpful in my editor search.

Editorial Freelancers Association (1,100+ members) has a sort function that simplifies identifying the editors who match your search criteria.

Bay Area Editors Forum

Book Expo America

Additional resources: Google search – ‘Writers Conferences’  for conferences in your area.

3. Choose an editor who specializes in your genre.

Haylee, like pretty much all of my artistic expressions, does not clearly fit into one specific category. It’s a blend of paranormal, Sci-fi and adventure genres with a hint of romance sprinkled in. Because the story follows the main character from ages seventeen to twenty-five, most genre guidelines place it in the Young Adult category.  However, when viewed with the other titles in that group, Haylee does not play well with the others.

Once I released the Young Adult genre idea, I began to search for editors who specialize in paranormal subject matter. It quickly became clear that this was the right way to go.

4. Understand which editorial services you want.

According to Wikipedia, copy editing, “is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of text. Unlike general editing, copy editing might not involve changing the content of the text. Copy refers to written or typewritten text for typesetting, printing, publication, broadcast or other independent distribution.”

A line editor evaluates sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, spelling and verb agreement. Line editing is the final piece of the manuscript production process before it is ready for publication.

5. Request sample edits.

Compose a brief editor inquiry, but include enough information about your project so that the editor can make an informed decision.

Here is the query e-mail I sent. *Note. To make evaluation easier I asked each editor to make sample edits on the same four pages of my manuscript.

Dear ———,
 I would like to inquire about your editing services.
If it looks like a project you may be interested in, please let me know the next step.
Thanks!
Lisa Redfern (Grass Valley, CA)
The Project:
Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone | 86,000 words
A new adult, paranormal, romantic, time travel, thriller.
A Five Part Novella: Awakened Seed, Need To Feed, Burden of the Powerful, The Traveler and Upholders Redemption
____________________________________________________________________________
BACK COVER COPY
_____________________________________________________________________________
How can you stop being lonely when your touch destroys everyone you love?
Something triggers an ancient pattern…
Growing up with a father who could not climb out of his grief stricken oblivion, Haylee Garrett was left to fend for herself.  The desperately lonely girl is delighted with the sudden, dramatic physical changes that come over her on her seventeenth birthday. The boy she has been dreaming about for years finally sees her.
The pattern dictates dark deeds…
But with those changes comes a sinister drive; a fierce undeniable hunger. Haylee’s victims become hollow remnants of themselves.
Until two Travelers meet…
After her personal life is turned to ruins, Haylee is unceremoniously pulled through time to San Francisco during the 1849 Gold Rush. It is here that she must find the only person who can help her…the last Traveler in their lineage.
Emis Laurent is an infamous French Seer living the bawdy life of an entertainer at the Bella Union, a brothel in heart of Portsmouth Square. Emis has no intention of following the predestined course of their ancestors.
Haylee discovers an implausible alliance with two Irish emigrants; a friendship with fifteen-year-old Edward Keener and a reluctant, unavoidable love in his older brother, Reece.
Reece is the unfortunate recipient of fallout from Emis’s wayward plan. Can he bring a sense of order back to their lives after the Traveler has come and gone?

 

Every editor I contacted responded to my e-mail query. Each of them was timely, polite and had unique talents and skills. I was not prepared to like all of them!

Once I started comparing the sample edits, one clearly stood out – Erica Ellis.
Her changes sounded like my own voice. She took the time to explain Chicago Manual of Style rules and passed along information that helped with ‘Track Changes’ in Microsoft Word. Through the process of working with her, I learned to improve my writing and was overjoyed to see professional quality that the book took on after she was finished.

Erica Ellis

Erica lives too far away to take out to lunch.
If we ever have the 
opportunity to meet,
she will get a hug and a smile from a
very happy and appreciative client!

 

In my own Indy production process, professional editing was the area where I planned invest in an expert. I think it is a critical component in taking a manuscript from DIY  – OK to a polished product that is ready for readers. It’s like adding the frosting and finishing touches to a long and challenging baking project.

Ultra Chocolatey - Chocolate Coma Cake

Ultra Chocolatey – Chocolate Coma Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychic Web Marketing – Katrina Thompson

Born with psychic abilities, Katrina Thompson vividly remembers moments (when she was about nine) laying awake and seeing a series of kind faces…people she didn’t know. They didn’t frighten her; they were just there.  Eventually she would think, that was interesting – then she’d go to sleep.08 kat 3

Years later, as an adult, Katrina had an experience that led her to the realization that mediumship could function as a form of healing. While doing a tarot reading,  she was asked a question that the cards could not possibly answer…yet the answers came quite clearly. Following their direction Katrina, connected with a loving person in spirit who gave personal information and solace to her client.

One bereaved widow comments, “When I first lost my husband, it felt like a physical wound. Katrina helped stop the bleeding.”

Although her life and work were not devoted to using psychic abilities, Katrina always maintained close ties with the Spiritualist Community, participating in training and community giving activities. A pivotal moment in her career came when she attended her first mediumship development workshop in Canada in 2007.

With her abilities fine tuned, her children mostly all grown, and a business concept in place, Katrina set out to market her psychic development workshops and her personal psychic reading services.

Although, her husband and sons helped establish her initial online presence, with Adobe products, Katrina found it challenging to rely on them (with their own busy schedules) to keep her website updated with current information.

She has the skills to learn those programs but her time is a limiting factor. She needed a framework to work within that would allow her to ’hit the ground running’ while cultivating the relationships that would grow her business.

To accomplish this, we set up a WordPress site for Katrina. Using many of the images already created by her son, katrina 1I added artistic treatments, created a color pallet and color palletproduced a series of web videos.

kat2

After only one WordPress training session, Katrina was off and running with her own website and blog.

The fact that I can have this much power over my own website is AWESOME!”  she says  enthusiastically.

The combination of Katrina’s warm personality, good writing skills, an easy-to-use website with quality imagery and cohesive design elements is working; she has quickly gained numerous online followers. Her site has become a powerful ancillary tool in her business development activities where adding posts and information about upcoming events has become second nature. Katrina can now focus on what is really important…connecting with people and facilitating healing.

To learn more about Katrina and her mediumship services, visit her website at http://www.ultravimedium.com/

Developing an Online Brand – Toby Bear the eBook

In the spring of 2012, Lisa Boulton was designing her own line of jewelry, the mother of three grown sons, starting a new career as a health care provider … and a breast cancer survivor. At the end of that same year, she had added another accomplishment: published author.

author2imageblueweb

“When I first met with Lisa (Redfern), I had written the Toby Bear story and had created a series of pencil sketches. I loved the digital paintings of children that I’d seen in Redfern’s studio, so I thought I would ask if she’d work on the project with me,” says Boulton.

Lisa Boulton says that the Toby Bear project is her “passion” and the culmination of her life experiences: An opportunity to comfort and care for children and to help them build a strong sense of self-awareness with positive thinking techniques. Redfern too thought that the project would be a excellent vehicle to express her own amalgamation of professional skills and that it could add a new dimension (ePublishing) to her business.2013 TO Do graphic

Throughout the summer, the women worked together to execute their production schedule that involved finding models, scheduling photo shoots, creating art pieces, manuscript editing, shooting and editing their first Toby Bear web video. They also gathered data to set-up the TobyBearStories.com website and Facebook page that include resources for childrens yoga, healthy eating, meditation, care tips for cancer patients, a media kit and About the Author information.

facebook

website

blog

By June, the Toby Bear website and Facebook page had launched. The eBook, Toby Bear and the Healing Light, was published and available for sale on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Soney & Diesel in September.

Although Redfern was reluctant to enter the print book market, Boulton convinced her that a continued need for physical product-in-hand existed. So they developed the manuscript into a format for print-on-demand (also available through Amazon).

Lisa Boulton had her books in hand by Christmas time.

“I was exuberant when I received my first shipment of books.” said Boulton, “The clerk at the Nevada City Post Office saw my excitement and asked me to open the box so she could see them too (there wasn’t a line behind me). It was a fabulous moment! We were both so excited to see the whole community beautifully represented in the book,” comments the author.

To learn more about Lisa Boulton and Toby Bear and the Healing Light, visit TobyBearStories.com

Toby, Lisa & Lisa

Fall Colors Open Studio Tour

This weekend the Redfern Studio will be participating in the Fall Colors Open Studio Tour in Western Nevada County.  67 artists will be showing their work at 30 studios scattered through out the Grass Valley and Nevada City area.

Saturday, Oct. 6th & Sunday, Oct. 7th 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Showing at the studio will be Annika Hemminge, another artist who enjoys creating art pieces with bright colors!

Getting ready for the tour was a tiring – but wonderful – process. EVERY corner has been cleaned and straightened – including the back work room area. Wow!

Peggy and I both had strange feelings to see the front sales room stripped bare and awaiting Annika’s work. But when she arrived and started to hang her pieces – the space was electrified. It was exciting to feel the different energy that she brought into the space.

We are looking forward a fun weekend filled with connections and making new friends.

Universally Good Business Practices – Politeness & Polished Communication Skills

During the summer of 1988, I acted as a liaison between law school interns and the staff & professionals at a sizable legal firm in Sacramento. Within that group of interns were two who stood out. Mary; a bright, cheerful young woman with shoulder length auburn hair and Pei Yei; a quiet, unassuming Chinese exchange student still getting used to the differences between life in the US and China.

Mary arrived at that point in her career after spending many years participating in theater and drama productions. The way she carried herself – excellent posture, a confident attitude and a cheerful, friendly nature no doubt landed her numerous job offers. She was the first person to show me the proper way to shake someone’s hand. (I must have had one of those ’dead fish’ handshakes up until that point.) She demonstrated it by looking directly into my eyes, grasping my hand firmly – but not too tight – making a  single, strong up and down motion. It made a lasting impression.

By comparison, Pei Yei‘s presence, with her demure style of dress and soft voice didn’t immediately shine out from the group. However; after spending time with her, I learned that she was ultra intelligent, strong, brave and persistent. Our big adventure together was taking her to have her ears pierced – something her parents would be scandalized about once she returned home.

Both of these women had qualities that set them apart from the crowd in their own way, and – I am sure – made them successful business women. Politeness, polished communication skills and presenting a confident attitude about ones area of expertise are things all of us need to be continually thinking about whether we are teenagers applying for our first job or seasoned professionals at the top of our game.

In addition to how we project ourselves in person, our online marketing, sales and social networking reflect how we are perceived at first glance.

Whenever I get ready to promote a new product or service and I expect to be directing attention to my online presence, I read through every one of my website, FaceBook, and LinkedIn pages with a fresh perspective.

  • Is everything fresh, current, organized and easy-to-understand?
  • Do the images I have on display adequately demonstrate the story I am telling?
  • Have I clearly asked people for a specific action?

I recently completed an archive job for the General Motors Corporation. I landed this job, from thousands of miles away, through a Google search, a professional looking website, and clear, business-like communication skills.

It was a kick to cross paths with GM again. My first marketing internship in college was for General Motors. The goal was to expose up-and-coming professionals to GM cars. The ‘vehicle’ was to organize and promote a Future Fair with a multitude of vendors offering cutting edge products. The event was to be held on the campus quad and the biggest challenge was to work out a way for the grounds maintenance folks to allow us to let the cars sit on the grass for a few hours…

No matter where we are in our careers, projecting confidence & knowledge, being polished, polite and business-like both in person and online will take us to new places with many more opportunities to follow.