Press: A.S. Chung on The Huffington Post

A.S. Chung’s blog post entitled: 10 Ways To Help Your New Partner Be The Best Stepparent is featured on The Huffington Post!

10 Ways to Help Your New Partner be the Best Stepdad

30 Facebook Groups Every Author Needs…..And It’s Free!

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

30 FACEBOOK GROUPS EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS…..AND IT’S FREE!
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
###

Photo Montage

Facebook Groups continue to evolve over time to support writers and authors in a myriad of ways. I have collated a list of Facebook Groups to help indie authors in all facets of the self-publishing journey. If you are searching for the following, you have come to the right place:

  • Support for self-publishing authors.
  • Book marketing ideas.
  • A space to promote your book/s.
  • Author support through discussions and forums.
  • Improve your writing and manuscript assistance.
  • Lover of books in general.

1. Amazon Book Club
Download free e-books, join our book loving platform, or read our daily reviews. If you are a published author, go ahead and announce yourself and your book(s) on this site. Readers, please go ahead and leave your reviews and recommendations.
28,237 members.

2. Aspiring Authors
If your dream is to become a published storyteller (novelist, screenwriter, poet, short story writer etc.), you’ve come to the right place! What we’re all about: books, novels, stories, writing, writers, plays, screenplays, short stories, plot, creative, creativity, fiction, interactive story.
26,996 members.

3. Authors
Anything about writing.
Stories, experiences, advice and tips.
Any new books, promotions or book cover designs.
27,769 members

4. Authors 99¢ e-Books Promotion
This is a group for .99 e-books only. Please promote your books here if they are .99 cents or free!
9,259 members.

5. Authors and Book Lovers Discussion Group
This is a discussion group for authors and book lovers to chat about their favourite books. All Authors are welcome to promote here!
21,778 members.

6. Authors, Agents, and Aspiring Writers
We welcome authors at every stage of their career. Here are the rules for this group: This group is for all things WRITING! You are free to promo new releases, your books, your writing blogs, your thoughts on writing and always ask for help from others to improve your craft. If you have information that you think will be beneficial to writers, please share.
18,750 members.

7. Authors, Bloggers, Writers, Readers and Books
Geared to Christian content. Space for authors, bloggers, writers, readers and books to post information about their blogs, books, reviews and their websites, etc. A group for sharing our interests and activities regarding our page title. – we encourage those of any faith or beliefs to join in the sharing. Only God knows where our seeds might be planted.
13,898 members.

8. Author Meeting Place
A place to meet and greet other authors. You might be able to share marketing ideas and/or events in your area if you meet someone close to you. Authors unite!
4,715 members.

9. Authors Promoting Authors
Authors Promoting Authors community group. This group serves as a forum for discussion, promotion and sharing
16,956 members.

10. Books, Books and more Books!!!
Where authors and readers can post to help promote their books and giveaways.
32,618 members.

11. Book Promotion
The goal of this page is to help you the author to accomplish your goals. It is similar to our mission at Best Seller Publishing – “To make our clients best-selling authors and launch them to a life of independence, generous income, and meaningful impact.” So from time to time we will be offering FREE training in the form of videos, webinars and recordings. They will be specifically focused on helping you become a best selling author and monetize your books.
25,808 members.

12. Book Review & Promotion
Writer · Books · Publishing
29,839 members.

13. Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook
A group for authors and illustrators of children’s books, from picture books to YA, in all genres, plus aspiring writers and all readers who love children’s literature.
5,542 members.

14. Free ebooks for Kindle, Nook, and More
Welcome readers and authors! This page is for listing free ebooks only. Authors, join this group to post notice of ebooks that you are giving away freely to everyone. This is a great way to promote “free ebook” days in Kindle’s KDP Select program, but please list your book only when it’s free to all Amazon customers.
2,540 members.

15. Free Kindle and Nook eBooks For Readers
This is a group for readers to come and find free Ebooks. Anyone can join and post links to the free Ebooks they have found; we especially love when authors join this group and post links to their free Ebooks! There are no limits for genres or where an Ebook can be read. Most of the Ebooks posted are available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook, Smashwords or even a plain PDF file.
33,013 members.

16. Free Today on Amazon
This group is for free books only!
18,578 members.

17. Free Today on Kindle & Beyond
Authors: Announce your free books here.
Readers: Learn which books are free today.
14,821 members.

18. Go Indie
All things book-related are welcome, including articles from author blogs and websites, announcements for free and discounted books, book discussions and more. Posts related to services being offered to authors are welcome as well, provided the owner/poster contact the admin beforehand.
5,756 members.

19. Indie Author Book Promotion Page
Welcome to the open group for Indie Author book promotions.
26,545 members.

20. Indie Authors International
READERS and WRITERS from EVERYWHERE, across borders, without barriers. EVERYONE WELCOME.
12,058 members.

21. KIDLIT411
A Facebook group of children’s writers and illustrators run by the founders of the website http://www.Kidlit411.com. Share your information and kid lit news and join a fun community.
2,037 members.

22. Kindle Authors Helping Authors
Welcome to a FB group that actually helps authors. Please take the time to visit other author’s pages and like them on Amazon FB and outside web blogs and websites. We also love receiving tips on what has helped authors sell books, receive helpful reviews or set up their platforms.
4,043 members.

23. Marketing for Authors
Written the book? Now what? Now it’s the hard part, now you have to market it….
This group is for fellow authors to swap marketing ideas with other authors and ask questions.
11,782 members.

24. Passion for Books
Everything related to books. Authors of books are welcome to post photos of your books. You can also post your videos. And talk about your books.
31,165 members.

25. Ready To Read
Open group to promote your new release. It is acceptable to promote a ready to read book, for blog posts that are about a ready to read book, and events for ready to read books.
13,369 members.

26. Review Seekers
This is where authors and publishers meet readers and users who write and post reviews of books and apps on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, and blogs. Members are invited to request a review if they indicate they will provide free copy to reviewer
12,037 members.

27. The Literary Lounge Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Illustrators
Calling all authors … is there a book in you? This is the place to be if you want to learn about writing, creating, strategizing, developing, publishing and selling your book. If you want to create a book that has pizzazz, punch and panache…
15,154 members.

28. We Love Books
Save money and time by buying on line. If you love books, please feel free to tell us about your book that you wrote, a recent one that you read or something you would like to recommend.
3,655 members.

29. Writers and Readers Unite
Invite all of your friends to a place for authors and readers to come together. Authors may post about their new books and readers may post review or comments Poems and personal blogs post are welcome
25,398 members.

30. Writer’s Group
This group is for writers and those interested in the craft of writing, to mingle, meet, inform, learn and cooperate (https://www.facebook.com/groups/memberswritersgroup). Writers of all skill levels and experience are encouraged to help each other through problem spots in their writing, bounce ideas off other members, and talk about the latest news affecting the industry/craft; exchange leads to discovery. Readers and fans are also welcome to participate. Anyone may submit passages of written work for group critiques. Surveys, both by post and software application, as well as thought experiments are also welcome.
30,892 members.

Illustrator Interview: Ben Sanders

Ben Sanders IllustratorPROFESSIONAL BIO:
I’m an Australian family man. I have a charming mid-twentieth century single car garage converted into a studio where I used to illustrate, stare blankly out of the window from my swivel chair and stroke my chin. But now I have a new studio in Bolivia, South America 
in the Spanish colonial city of Sucre, where I volunteer part-time while continue to illustrate for clients in Australia, USA and the UK. 
I’ve been an illustrator since 1987 but in that time I’ve completed secondary school, university and defected to the design and advertising industries from time to time.

1) How did you become an illustrator of children’s books or similar works? Did being in the advertising industry equip you to make this transition?
Yes my background in advertising and design was a big influence my return to illustration. I really enjoyed my time as an Art Director and Designer, and during that time I incorporated illustration into as many projects as I could. So it was inevitable that I would find a way back to full-time drawing. Having been on the ‘other side of the fence’, I knew what I needed to do to give freelance a good crack. I found out where to be found, and how to promote myself well enough to gain the work I wanted to do. I’m thankful that it worked out.

After establishing myself commercially, I had time to write children’s books and was fortunate enough to have a great agent who was able to connect me to publishers.

2) Describe your illustration style and creative process. What makes your illustrations unique and different?
The creative process for me is actually quite simple. If an idea enters the brain an attempt should always be made to scribble it down, no matter how bad I think the idea may be. After a while there should be quite a few badly drawn but reasonably good ideas on the page. I then need to recognise which idea will work best on the page, as well as deliver the story in the right ‘tone of voice’. I then work up a pencil sketches that will provide enough but not too much detail. 

Once the sketches have been given the thumbs up it’s time to apply colour. I recreate the drawing on my Mac in a vector format, and devise a simple, muted scheme. I then create a new file for each colour the same way a screen printer would build a new silkscreen for each ink. The separate colours are imported into Photoshop in individual layers and multiplied on top of each other. Often the intersecting of these layers will create new colours similar to letterpress. I then mess up the crispness of the vector shapes by erasing details and applying texture. 

If I’ve done a good job, we’re all satisfied. We exchange heart-warming emails about how we both enjoyed working with each other and vow to do it all again sometime soon.

3) When did you realise you could make a living from your talent?
Well, my dad was in the printing trade (and an excellent artist in his own right). One of his regular clients was a small local publishing outfit who needed a bunch of illustrations for a sheet of kids’ stickers. I was twelve years old, and in the late 1980’s child labour laws were easier to ignore than they are these days, so my dad encouraged me to submit a few drawings for consideration. 

During that summer I illustrated 32 stickers – things like elephants riding bicycles, walruses smoking pipes, apples with bites out of their bottoms – the usual stuff. Each summer holidays throughout secondary school I illustrated a new set of stickers. They were quite popular and the publisher found overseas markets for them, so it was nice to know my work was getting out there. It also meant that I didn’t need to get one of those summer jobs as a spotty-faced supermarket trolley-boy. So it was pretty early on that I got a taste of working as a professional illustrator.

It wasn’t until 2004, while working as an Art Director at an advertising agency that I made the decision to become a full-time illustrator. I was hiring illustrators for ad jobs and became a little jealous of their freelance-iness. I quit and started promoting myself as an illustrator.

4) Has technology changed your trade and the way you work?
Oh yes, technology has changed EVERYTHING. I couldn’t have imagined as a twelve year old watercolourist that I would be relying so heavily on technology for both communicating with clients as well as the execution of the illustrations themselves. These influences are obvious, but there is an even greater affect. Location. I live in Bolivia, South America now, volunteering, creating books, and illustrating for my commercial clients in Australia, the UK and the USA. None of these things would be possible for me without my computer, its applications and the reach of the internet all the way up the Andes Mountains. Ahhh … technology!

5) Who are your biggest influences in your artistic career and why?
My dad is the greatest influence. Our styles are completely different but nobody has influenced me more in this department. He was the one who got me my first freelance gig while I was still pre-teen.

My first full time job was at a place called Paul’s Signs. The owner Paul van Gaans is one of the most creative people I know. While we worked on signs in the mid-1990s we spurring each other on creatively. Paul taught me not to settle for less – to keep striving. That’s why we no longer make signs. Paul is now a hugely successful 3D Animator with a brilliant body of work.

In the recent past I worked collaboratively with a couple of other illustrators and friends in Ballarat. Both Travis Price and Sam Harmer have been influential in bringing me out of my creative shell.

6) When collaborating with an author or a client, how do you ensure you are able to translate their words into art and convey the message they are trying to portray?
On a weekly basis I’m reading stories and attempting to pick up on the right tone. That’s something that I’m used to now after illustrating for hundreds of magazine articles. For me it’s not so much interpreting the words or message, it’s more about what else I can contribute to the story. What can I add to the piece? Can I approach the subject in a different and complimentary way?

With picture storybooks, so far in my career I have only illustrated the books I have authored, so it’s a far easier process to understand where the writer is coming from. As I’m writing the books I’m often imagining the pages completely illustrated.

7) Tell us how you came about creating the Ben Sanders gift store and the products that you sell.
The Ben Sanders Shop on RedBubble is a fun side-project that has exceeded my expectations. I decided to utilise a bunch of out-of-use illustrations that I felt would work well as household and stationery items like cushions, journals, phone covers and even bed spreads.

8) What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators about being true to themselves and how to navigate the big bad world of publishing?
Well, the publishing world can seem big and bad at times, but I think that’s only a perception. There’s so much competition that you really need to have a unique voice in order to be heard, that’s the tough part.

When you have the opportunity to publish your work take as much advice as you are given by wiser and more experienced people in the industry. My books improved greatly during the development process, due to listening intently to editors and publishers. At the same time don’t be afraid to have your input and express your vision for the project. A good publisher will appreciate your enthusiasm, and take into consideration your ideas.

9) Please provide a short brief of each of the pictures you have submitted
Cover of I’ve an Uncle Ivan children’s picture book.

I've An Uncle Ivan by Ben Sanders

Cover of I Could Wear That Hat! children’s activity book.

I Could Wear That Hat by Ben Sanders

Buck gets his gut stuck in his truck, limited edition print of a character from I’ve an Uncle Ivan.

Buck Stuck Truck by Ben Sanders

Should you wish to know more about Ben, here are his pertinent details.

Website: Ben Sanders
Ben’s social media connections:

Linked-In-icon

Blogger Interview: Shari Anderson & Cheryce Thompson

Optimistic Divorcees by Shari Anderson & Cheryce ThompsonOPTIMISTIC DIVORCEES BY SHARI ANDERSON & CHERYCE THOMPSON

PROFESSIONAL BIO:
The Optimistic Divorcees was created as a way to share our experiences surrounding our marriages and divorces in an effort to encourage, support and relate to those who are experiencing separation or divorce. We realize that this transition is not easy and often times you may feel alone or believe no one understands. We do. It is our hope that this blog connects with those who need to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, life goes on and there’s reason to remain optimistic.

1) Tell us what your blog is about and what inspired its conception?
The Optimistic Divorcees blog is about encouraging, supporting and inspiring those who may have dealt or are currently dealing with or contemplating divorce through our stories and the stories of others who have experienced it. We aim to show that although divorce is painful, there IS life after divorce!

2) Who is your ideal reader and what do you hope they can gain from your blog?
Our ideal reader is anyone who has experienced divorce or may be contemplating a divorce. We hope that through the content of our blog, readers realize that they are not alone in their experiences and that leading a full, enjoyable, happy life is possible after divorce.

3) Where do you see your blog in 5 years’ time and will the topic continue to be as prevalent?
In 5 years time, it would be great to have a larger following of our blog as well as products based on our blogs – books, etc. The statistics for divorce haven’t decreased, so the topic will definitely continue to be a prevalent one.

4) How do you continually find content for your blog?
We typically find content for our blog just by conversations we have with one another or with friends, and of course pop culture. Relationship talk is always big among women. 🙂

5) How to do you remain committed to each other to keep the blog going?
There aren’t many successful blogs out there that are a collaboration! Admittedly, it’s hard to remain committed to keeping the blog going. It’s a much bigger task than we’d originally anticipated. We are actually just coming off of a three-month hiatus. However, we believe that our experiences and what we share in our content can be of help to those dealing with divorce. It’s also encouraging to hear from readers who tell us that were encouraged by something that read on the blog.

6) Tell us about your Hump Day Haiku and OD Adventures segments of your blog.
Our #HumpDayHaiku segment is a fun and creative way to poetically share our thoughts on topics related to relationships and divorce. We like to think of them as quick therapeutic exercises. Our OD Adventures segments seek to show us just living life and doing things we love – being tourists in our own city and other places we visit, dining out (we consider ourselves foodies), etc.

7) What would you say to a new divorcee on how to remain optimistic and positive?
Our advice would be to take the process one day at a time, surround yourself with those who will encourage and support you and keep moving forward. Don’t look at what was lost, but instead look for the lessons in how you can be even better in the new chapter of your life. What will help them get through the initial stages of loss? What will help them get through the initial stages of loss is actually allowing themselves to really acknowledge what their feeling and allow themselves to feel every emotion – anger, hurt, confusion, etc. Masking how they really feel during this time can only prolong the healing process.

8) Do you have any advice for aspiring bloggers?
When you want to give up, DON’T! Recognize and remember that what you have to share, someone needs to read to be inspired or encouraged!

THANK YOU FOR LETTING US GETTING TO KNOW YOU!
Should you wish to know more about Shari Anderson & Cheryce Thompson and would like to follow their blog, here are all their pertinent details.

Blog: Optimistic Divorcees
Shari & Cheryce’s social media connections:

social-facebook-box-blue-icon social-twitter-box-blue-icon 

How To Combat Blogger’s Block!

Susan DayGuest Posting by Susan Day.
Susan Day is a children’s author of over 20 print and eBooks. She has been working her social media presence for over five years and feels her head is just bursting with tips and advice. To alleviate this condition she has decided to blog a non-fiction book one post at a time entitled How to Publish a Children’s Book at Little or No Cost.

HOW TO COMBAT BLOGGER’S BLOCK!
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
###

Stop The Block

So, you’ve started a blog and you are going to rock the world with your insights, humour, wisdom and in-depth insights into your chosen field. Well, that’s the plan anyway. And sure, you plod along nicely posting relevant and important information to your league of avid followers. Things start to go a bit wonky and, one day, you find that you are bleeding your brain dry trying to find new ideas to blog about each day.

Well, this is certainly how I feel, that’s for sure.

A new blog starts every 4 minutes, or so I have been informed. Most blogs, however, don’t survive more than two years. Their creators simply can’t keep up with the constant demand to post new information. I can certainly sympathize with them. It’s darn hard work blogging each day.

I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years now. My first blog was about dog training – I am a canine behaviourist and was just starting a new dog training business at the time. That seems like a hundred years ago now. I have been writing children’s books for five years and my author blog has been going for just about the same time. Recently, I started blogging my first non-fiction book one post at a time. How do I keep motivated? How do I keep going?

Blogger’s Block hits us all at some time or another.

So what can be done about it? Here are a few tips that keep me on track and inspired.

  • Keep your eyes peeled for relevant information you can use. Follow other authors and publishers’ newsletters. If you are going to share something make sure you source it back to the original creator.
  • Go back and look at what you have done in the past. Is there anything you can take from an old post that you can expand upon to create a new one
  • Is there an aspect of your field that you haven’t thought of yet? A different angle you could look at and write about?
  • Pictures, memes, info-graphs are the most popular things looked at online. Why not repost a relevant one each week? Everyone loves cute and funny pictures and they are willing to share them.
  • What can you give away and make your blog much more interesting?
  • Ask others to participate as guest bloggers or ask people to contribute one or two sentences about a particular subject – just like I did below.

It’s true. When I was considering writing an article about Blogger’s Block I knew there would be loads of people out there with much better ideas than I have. So, I popped a short post on a couple of Facebook groups and below are the responses.

I think you’ll agree that they are very clever and helpful.

Melissa Gijsbers Khalinsky from Melissa Writes tells us that, “Some of the things I do to help me – have a theme day (e.g. Friday Five) and that can act as a prompt, another example is I try and put a post to do with the business of being a writer on a Monday. I also read other blogs and get involved in discussions in writers groups as they can give me some great ideas for blog posts. If I get really desperate, I look at some of my old posts and expand or update them. For example I did a post on ways you can use social media to help your writing, then did a follow up with 5 ways Pinterest can help your writing.”

June Perkins from Gumboots Pearlz has created 19 reflective and unique blog posts. She has even listed all the people who mentored and inspired her through her journey. This, in itself, is a great idea for a blog post.

Cate Brickell from Life Behind The Purple Door says, “My number one trick is to get outside with a notebook and free write, fresh air and sunshine always gets the juices flowing. Failing that, just sitting down and starting has always worked, just write anything and eventually the right words come out.”

Shellie Wilson from http://www.Craftgossip.com states, “I tend to sit down and think about what is bothering me about life, organization, food preparation, parenthood etc. I then come up with an article of interest. I know my issues are the same issues 100’s of people have. I work an angle from there.”

Kylie Archer from Kidgredients says, “Being a food blog, I just cook, without trying to make up a recipe for the blog. More often than not it works out well and there you go…a blog post!”

Anne Mazza from Domesblissity tell us, “I’m a food blogger as well and always have a recipe under my belt. If not, I do compilation posts like 10 things to do with cauliflower or other seasonal vegetable, for example. I also keep my ears and eyes open to find out what current food trends are and write about that. If not, I can always find something to write about my kids or parenting problems I have.”

Kelli Schultz from Nourishing Therapeutics states, “I find I write and write while I am in the mood and that leaves me enough posts for those times. I write about nutrition and health. We run fermenting workshops in Launceston, Tasmania.”

Lydia C Lee from Pandora and Max says, “I am struggling with this at the moment. I just write and write and currently have 8 unfinished posts sitting in draft, because I don’t like any of them. I did write one for tomorrow. It’s an honest admission, different to what I normally do. I think just keep writing and moving on to the next one if you don’t like it or can’t finish it.”

Robyna May from The Mummy and The Minx tells us, “I keep a notepad for ideas by my bed. Sometimes I just jot down a random idea and sometimes a whole outline for a post. When I’m stuck, that notepad provides inspiration.”

I’ve Written My Book, Now What? Where To From Here?

Posted by Deb Hockenberry.
Deb Hockenberry is the children’s picture book author of Where Can We Have The Party? Deb always wanted to write for children since she was a child myself! Deb also blogs about her writing journey and what happens after you’ve written your masterpiece!

I’VE WRITTEN MY BOOK, NOW WHAT? WHERE TO FROM HERE?
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
###

Milan Book Stall by Weldon Kennedy

YAY! I did it! My picture book is being just about ready to go to print. Okay, that’s great news for me but now what? I know I have to market and promote my book but exactly how do I do that?

I’ve found a few things out. First, it’s very important to have a web presence. Start a blog, a website, or both. If you want to do both, Weebly is a very good webhost. It’s a WYSIWYG website and that makes it very friendly for a non – techie person like myself. So is GoDaddy. There are also free ones out there like Blogger and WordPress. All of these are what-you-see-is-what-you-get sites.

Unfortunately, I’ve only found one book on how to market and promote a children’s book. That book is called: How To Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets To A Best Seller.  This book is chock full of information. I can tell you from experience that you really should read this eBook with a pen and notebook next to you!

From this book I’ve found out a few things.

  1. Join social networking sites. Yep, let yourself be known. I don’t mean to constantly talk about your book. That’s spamming. Just socialize—that’s the key word in social networking. Then when you get your book cover or box of books, take a picture and share it on those sites. Now, you can talk about your book. But again, don’t talk about it every day. You might get a sale this way!
  2. Pull up a spreadsheet (or write this down) of your plan to market your book. Are you going to ask your online friends to review your book? That’s always fun. I’ve been involved in many blog-hops! Do you plan on going through a paid publicity site like World of Ink? Are you going to contact the Author’s Showcase to see when you can be on that internet radio show? How about where you can do book signings and book readings? You can put an ad in the newspaper announcing your book. You can also have you friends who review books interview you. Actually, this can be any friend you blogs. Write all this down so you don’t forget your plan.
  3. Google the subject of your book in your town. For instance, my book subject is a birthday party. Google “birthday party + your town. I was so surprised at the amount of links I received for this! I had no idea there was a place specifically for parties in this town. You can use you phone book to look these places up.
  4. Have a media kit (media release) prepared. I’m still working on mine since my picture book won’t be out for a few months but here’s what you need: On one sheet of paper you should scan a picture of the book, have a short bio of yourself, and a blurb of the book. Also on this page you should have the pertinent information about your book (ISBN number, number of pages, price, and the buy links). Don’t forget you contact information on that page! This includes your mailing information, website, and email address. On a separate page have your publicity picture.
  5. Read marketing blogs and books. They’re full of advice. True they aren’t specifically geared to children’s writing but to marketing in general. I’ve found an excellent marketing website called The Publicity Hound by Joan Stewart. Don’t forget to sign up for her free ezine. It’s full of advice!
  6. Learn to make a video. Videos promote you and your book much better than plain text. I’ve found this out by using Facebook. It dawned on me one night when I was thinking about how to market my upcoming book, that I always stop at the videos on Facebook to watch them.

In your computer is a free movie maker. If you have Windows, you’ll have Movie Maker, for a Mac it’s called iMovie or iMovie Maker. Windows also has free music included with Movie Maker called All Free Music. The point is that you can make your own book trailer by yourself and for free. Book trailers raise interest in your book and that means more possible sales.

This is what I’ve learned so far with the most important being a web presence. You can advertise and even sell your book there. So, get one! Read those marketing books and form your own ideas. Join the many different social networking sites, get to know the people, and let them know you!

A Brand New Day Review: by C.J. Anaya

A Brand New Day receives a 5 STAR review from author C.J. Anaya of The Healer Series. She began writing short stories for family and friends when she was thirteen years old. This soon morphed into an extensive project every year during Christmas as a way to create a fun and inexpensive Christmas gift. Her passion for reading and writing led her to following her own dreams of becoming a published author.

C.J. also contributes her book reviews every fortnight for the Skin Deep Exposures online magazine. SDE Magazine is a quarterly publication committed to meeting women where they are and then inspiring and uplifting them as they discover where they are meant to be. Please find the original posting here.

Here is her most generous review:
Hello to all of you voracious readers. Today I’ve highlighted a story that takes on a difficult aspect of life and helps to search out the positives for children and parents alike. A Brand New Day introduces the issue of divorce and addresses the outcome in a way that helps children transition into their new and sometimes overwhelming circumstances.

I adored this children’s book. From the delightful illustrations to the sweet, poignant message, I think the author has provided families with a special treasure we should all add to our children’s book collection. Divorce is a difficult matter to take on, and finding the positives in this situation is a refreshing approach. I think the poetic lines of the poem break down the different moments spent with separate parents in a happy, feel good way, and the message of this book encourages little ones going through such a difficult experience to remember that separate doesn’t equal unloved. It simply means they are being loved in two different homes with two different families.

I’ve never experienced a divorce myself, but other parents going through it have mentioned to me their worries and concerns about their children and the negative emotional consequences they must suffer. It’s for this reason that I decided to highlight this book on my blog and SDE magazine in the hopes that it will help those of you who are going through a divorce to find a comforting resource within the pages of this book.

The author used a beautiful poem that is easily understood by children while being intricate enough for adults to appreciate the innate beauty in the words themselves. This story is meant to help parents in their quest to ease their children into that transition from one household to two. I highly recommend this children’s book to all families everywhere.

A Brand New Day Review: by Joss Rodillo

A Brand New Day receives a 5 STAR review from book review blogger, Joss Radillo of Chapter 5. Thank you Joss for your wonderful and insightful review!

Here is what she had to say:
“Aww this is such a cute bedtime or day time reading for little kids and for some oldies like me. I feel really touched with this short story. Love how this little girl embraced the fact that their parents were separated and instead of let that take over her. She enjoyed her time with her daddy, her mum and her little step brother and all the activities they do together. She feels so loved and cherished from both of them. I think this kind of stories are able to help kids during their parents split and make them embrace this situations and have fun with it.

My mom and dad were separate when I was little and really had a hard time dealing with it, more when my step dad came to my lives but at some point I felt blessed because now I have 2 Daddies. So I totally can relate to this book and feel a bond with it, which is excited and amazing totally a gain.

Overall, I’ll highly recommend A brand new day by A.S Chung and I’ll definitely will keep an eye on her. From the cover design, the catchy title ,the fast paced story and the beautiful illustrations in this book make it a must have on your kids shelf.”

Blogging Glossary, A Helpful Guide for Beginners: Part 3 of 3

A.S. Chung B&WPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

BLOGGING GLOSSARY, A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: PART 3 OF 3
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
###

Blog Wooden TilesIn part 1, I talked through the step by step fundamentals for blogging to help you get started and show you that it’s not as daunting as it looks. In part 2, I dug a little deeper and identified slightly more difficult terminologies that I believe are essential for taking your blog from amateur to professional.

In part 3, I am going to introduce you to some seriously boring and dry terms. Not that I am trying to get you to opt out of reading this post altogether but a little fore warning didn’t hurt anyone! This glossary page introduces you to some blogging terms that will help you in the long run. For the seasoned blogger, perhaps this may help you understand blogging in greater depth or perhaps give you some ideas of how to further improve your blog’s functionality and features.

ATOM
Atom is a machine-readable xml-based web syndication format which allows users to subscribe to blogs and allow your readers to get up to date content as you post them.

AUTOCASTING
This is an automated form of podcasting which allows your followers to have access to audio versions of your text only posts.

BLAUDIENCE
The audience of a blog.

BLOG CARNIVAL
A blog carnival is essentially a blog post that contains permalinks to other articles or blogs which cover a specific topic. It operates somewhat like a magazine which has an editor-in-chief, writers and readers. The editor-in-chief or owner of the carnival is responsible for soliciting submissions and inviting contributors.

BLOG HOPPING
Blog hopping is about following links from one blog to another. You may be invited by an organiser to participate. How it works is essentially all bloggers would post about an agreed topic or genre at one given time. The organiser would distribute all the permalinks to all bloggers so it is available on everyone’s post.

BLOGOSPHERE
This refers to the collective community of all blogs and bloggers.

BLOGROLL
This is a list of blogs a blogger either follows or recommends. It usually resides on the sidebar and is an excellent way to get to know the blogger and their affiliations. A blogroll may also be used as a means of advertising or cross promotion in support of the blogging community.

CAPTCHA
This stand for Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers And Humans Apart. For security purposes, have you ever had to type in a verification based on numbers and letters? That is CAPTCHA. It helps to minimise spam.

CMS
CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a software program that allows you to add content to a website more easily.

CSS OR STYLESHEET
This is short for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is written in HTML and is used to style your blog or website. This is required should you decide your blog needs to move onto the next level as the basic template no longer meets your needs.

EVENT BLOG
A blog that contains content specific to an event.

FEED
Much like all social media platform, particularly Facebook, a feed provides readers with frequently updated posts. They may be updated either via email or through an RSS reader.

IMPRESSION
This refers to the number of times your post has been viewed.

JPG
Stands for Joint Photographic Expert’s Group and is the most common file format for images.

MEME
This is about an idea that has been passed from one blogger to another.

META DESCRIPTION
This is a short and succinct description of your page or post. The description should be about 150 characters in length with strategic usage of keywords for search engine optimisation.

PAGERANK
Used by Google to rank websites in their returned results.

PHOTOBLOG
A blog that is built predominantly on images rather than words.

PING
A ping is an alert in the trackback system that informs the blogger that another blogger has submitted an entry that is about the original post.

PODCASTING
Podcasting are digital audio or video files which are produced in a series.

RECIPROCAL LINK
When one blogger exchanges links on its blogroll with another blogger’s blogroll.

THREAD
A series of posts on a specific topic.

TRACKBACK
A trackback is the ability for a blogger to let another blogger know you are talking about them. It is like cc mail. It allows a blogger to link to a post on other blogs.

TRACKBACK PING
A ping that notifies a blog’s server that a post on that blog has been commented upon.

WEBINAR
This is an online seminar, presentation or workshop.

Well, that’s it for the 3 part series on blogging glossary. If you missed the first two parts, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.

It would be an opportune time for me to note that majority of everything I have mentioned over the last 3 days, WordPress.com does it all automatically. I don’t build anything, download anything nor do I worry about RSS, Atom, PHP coding or CSS. In saying that however, I can’t customise my blog by purchasing different themes or plugins. But I work with what I have and live with no complications or hassles!

I hope this has helped you on your blogging journey!

Blogging Glossary, A Helpful Guide for Beginners: Part 2 of 3

A.S. ChungPosted by A.S. Chung.
Award-wining author of children’s picture books A Brand New Day: about divorce and Wishful Wedding: about LGBT equality and same gender families. Creator of Pigeonhole Books and blogs about self-publishing, writing, online book marketing, peer bloggers and illustrators.

BLOGGING GLOSSARY, A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS: PART 2 OF 3
ONLINE BOOK MARKETING TIP
###

BloggingLast week we explored the basic step by step guide of how to start a blog and understanding some fundamental definitions. Today, we will delve into more technical terms which are necessary for you to advance to the next level of blogging. These are important and you should learn to use them if you intend to blog on a regular basis and is an essential tool for you to market your book. They may seem daunting at first and no doubt you will have a few laptop throwing moments, but I assure you that a little persistence will pay off. I won’t be going into how to actually do it but rather just introduce you to these concepts.

AVATAR
An avatar is a photo, graphic or image that represents you. Select a suitable image that you can use across all your social networking sites, blogs and websites. It’s not required but it will provide you with a unified look and streamlines your platforms. When commenting on other blogs, you avatar will also appear so it doesn’t hurt to have one. Make sure the image represents you as an author as well as your books.

URL
URL is short for uniform resource locator. This is the address of a piece of information that can be found on the web such as a page, image or document.

PERMALINK
This is the unique URL of a single blog post. This is used when a readers wishes to link specifically to a post instead of a page. Example, the permalink for this post is https://pigeonholebooks.com/2015/07/31/online-marketi…-jargon-part-2/

BIT.LY
This is your new best friend. Bit.ly is a website that allows you to shorten your URLs. Have you ever copied a URL and its 3-4 lines long? Not only is it unsightly and messy, it would never fit on your social networking platforms where there is a character limit. Bit.ly shortens the links to an acceptable length. Example, the shorten bit.ly URL for the URL for this post is http://bit.ly/1eMmb80. So much more user friendly!

COMMENTS
Your readers have the opportunity to make comment on your blog post. Your blog may have the capability to moderate these comments prior to posting but it is suggested that disable this function to allow for immediate posting. Readers like seeing their comments appear immediately. If you encounter offensive comments, mark it as spam and trash them. Take negative comments on board and respond back positively in the hope of showcasing you as an author and your work.

FAVICON
This is the small graphic, typically your logo or other representation your website that appears in a browser’s address bar, favorites or bookmark lists. It certainly gives your blog a more professional look.

HEADER
The header appears on the top part of the blog. They generally include items such as logos, taglines, and navigation menus, which are meant to set the tone or theme of your blog.

HYPERLINK
A hyperlink is when we link specific content in your blog post to another website, blog, page or even something within the same page. The text (known as the anchor text) is usually underlined, appears in a different colour and/or is in italics. This allows the reader to know they can click on the text and be taken to another page with more information.

HTML
This is short for hypertext markup language, the language used to write web pages. Most html elements are written with a start tag  and an end tag, with content in between. This is important to understand as on occasion, your blog template or theme may not allow you to format your post in the manner you wish. You can then use html coding to give you what you want. I use Google to find the coding I need and it always works. It literally is a whole different language but unless you are writing a whole different piece of software, it’s not that difficult to use. Example, this is the HTML code to italicise the text <em> A Brand New Day</em>

PHP
PHP is hypertext preprocessor. It is also a computer language designed to create dynamic pages alongside HTML. This is difficult to create so I don’t try! My contact form is scripted in PHP but is already created by WordPress and I just place it where I need it with a click of a button!

POST SCHEDULING
You can schedule your blog posts anytime. Particularly useful if you know you are physically unable to do so at any given time, you’re blogging in a different time zone or if away on vacation.

PLUGIN
In WordPress.org, they offer plugin capabilities which essentially give your blog additional functionality. As you continue to blog over time and you become savvier, you may wish to add more features to your site. There are a plethora of plugins to select from that can give your blog that extra oomph!

RSS
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. This allows your readers to subscribe to your content so that when you update your blog, it will appear on their feed. As an example, if I followed 20 blogs, rather than going to 20 separate blogs one at a time, I have them on my reader feed so I can see posts from all 20 blogs on one screen. If you want your followers to have access to your posts, you must have this set up.

SITEMAP
A sitemap is a map of your blog. It enables readers to see your key pages and is in an outline format. This allows for easier navigation of your content. A sitemap is important because Google deems it important and it helps readers find you through search engines.

SOCIAL MEDIA SHARING
Social media sharing is an integral part of blogging. There is a high reliance on your readers to share your posts with the world! Ensure that you have all you icons under every post so that it can be shared on your readers’ Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr accounts and even via email.

SUBSCRIBE
For your blog posts to appear on your reader’s radar, you must give them the means to subscribe to your blog either via email or RSS.

SIDEBAR
This is usually one or more columns on the side of the blog that contains more static information that perhaps didn’t fit on the main menu bar. This could include sub-menus, images, categories etc. The side bar remains static so will appear on all pages.

TAG
A tag is used on every post to highlight the keywords of that post. It helps to identify the content and gives the reader a more succinct picture or summary of that post.

TAG CLOUD
This is a visual representation of the tags you have used on your posts. It acts as a form of content categorising and the more popular tags are represented by large texts to highlight frequency. You will notice my tag cloud on the right sidebar.

TAGLINE
A tagline can best be described as the slogan for your blog and would appear right under the name of your blog. Example, here is my tagline: Children’s picture books by award-winning author A.S. Chung about divorced, blended, multicultural and same-sex families.

These terminologies are essential and it would do you great justice if you learnt to master them one by one. Yes, I agree, it looks overwhelming but that’s because you are not familiar with them and what it can do for you.  Work through the list one by one and I assure you it will become second nature and you’ll wonder why you ever thought it was too difficult! If you missed part 1 of this series, click here.