Saturday, 4 March 2017

Free Writer Resources Roundup

Writing and publishing books has changed so much by 2017 as to be nearly incomprehensible from the old model of finding a publisher who will take your hard work and bring it successfully to the public.

Today, authors and especially indie authors by necessity have to do most if not all of the work themselves of not only writing their book but seeing to creation of book covers, publication in various formats, and advertising and media work to get the word out on their special creation they want to share with the world.

As an indie I’ve discovered several amazing free resources out there to help me with the various aspects of putting together my books including the interior design, book covers, social media advertising, and so much more.  So here’s an early 2017 round up of some wonderful free resources that I’ve found and use.  I hope they may be of use to you in your efforts to become a successful published author today.
Fabulous website of hundreds of free use fonts for commercial use listed under themed categories.  These are great to use for your promo Twitter cards, blog posts, and even dramatic text design within your book or on your book covers. 

Free Images and Attribution-Free Images from Pixabay
Pixabay is one of the greatest sites for free images not only for the quality of their images but because they are also attribution free (though I try to give credit to the author of an image I use as often as possible).  All images are Creative Commons CC0 so you are free to use them commercially, on your blogs, on items that you sell, for your book covers, business cards, etc.  They are my total go-to image source now.  You can ‘donate’ coffee money to any of the individuals whose images you use though I believe all the monies that go into a central pot to be paid to contributors.
So now you need a utility where to use those great images!

Free Online Photo Editing with iPiccy
Truly there are dozens of really good free online photo editors.  I found iPiccy when I first started and since I’ve learned a lot about their features, I’ve stuck with using them to create many composite images that I use for ads as well as for creating book covers.  But they can be used for so many more applications.
Here’s where I create my Twitter promo cards as I can upload a book cover image or other image that I want to combine with text to create an ‘ad’ which can be saved to a scaled MB size of your choice.
Here’s a sneak preview of my cover for Immortelle, book 2 in my Iron Web series!

Calibre – Free Book Converter
Take your MS Word ebook file and convert it to a variety of different formats, including Mobi for kindle, and ePub.
Of course, when uploading to Amazon, they have their own program.  Smashwords too has their own ‘grinder’ that authors use when uploading there.

Free Music
Incompetech provides free music selections in my categories, very easy to download.  They do ask for attribution but this is easy enough to add at the end of your video trailers, etc.
There are several categories of types of music to choose from so go check them out to see if they have something for your next project.

Free Movie Maker App/MS Word
Included in the MS Word suite is Movie Maker.  This is a very easy to use program that enables you to load images, other videos, and music to put together your own video.  I use this to create book trailers (have to get onto my next one for that!) but there are many different applications limited only by your own imagination.

The program comes with a variety of features that allow you to put various movie type effects onto your images such as fade in, pixelate in, etc.  There are loads of effects that you can apply to your images.  You can also easily upload a music file to your creation.  You can apply overlay captions, and there’s even a specific Credits slide.

There are lots of features in Movie Maker so you have to get in there and play around to get a good idea of what can be achieved!  This is one of my very early endeavours:

More Freebies
Internet’s largest free database of literary agents for those looking:
Free service to find out if anyone has plagiarised your work
Character Development Tool (a personality test that then gives personality traits!)

Hopefully some of these free resources will help you on your quest to becoming a successful self-published or agent/book house published author. Happy spring everyone!

Monday, 16 January 2017

True North, L.E. Sterling - Cover Reveal

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there's been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters' blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

Publication Date:  April 4, 2017 by Entangled Teen

Visit the Author at these sites!

Author Website 

Book 1, True Born, at Amazon                    

Monday, 17 October 2016

Wings on Her Heels by Angelika Schwarz

Wings on Her Heels
A Romance/Suspense Novel
By:  Angelika Schwarz
Publish Date:  August 25, 2015, Indie Published
Genre:  Young Adult, Romance, Suspense, International
Pages:  341
Source:  Amazon Purchase

What is a beautiful young woman from Massachusetts doing on a desolate mountain range, somewhere in Europe, running for her life? Melanie leaves her sheltered Boston suburban life and takes on a temporary job in Germany. Presented in the 70’s Hippie era, Melanie and her roommate Anne discover Europe together.

High on life and living the dream in cosmopolitan Munich, Melanie can’t believe her luck. To complete her happiness, Richard, a successful architect, turns her head with his fascinating and adventurous charm. But then her good fortune takes a sudden turn. Her sweet journey transforms into a tainted mixture of fear and despair.

Who is Richard Von Hallenburg really?

Tender romantic moments, depicted from the stormy shores of Cape Cod to the lush, German, cornflower fields, provide cutting contrasts to the intriguing entanglements of love, friendship, betrayal and murder. Who and why would anyone want Richard and Melanie dead?

Can the Raincoat Lady lead Melanie on to the right path, or is it too late?
Wings on Her Heels is initially a novel of young Melanie grabbing an amazing chance to work in Europe for a few months before settling down into marriage with Tony, and a job. This is a dream for many and Melanie decides to grab it, so if you’ve ever wanted to do Europe, check out this novel.

This is initially a fun, humorous and adventurous escapade as Melanie and co-worker Anne from New York take on Munich and the ski slopes.

This ends up being quite a journey. When we marry, it’s often difficult to see exactly what we’re getting into.

This is a great story to read for reminiscing the path we thought we wanted to take and took, but things turned out unexpectedly anyway. I really liked the overall viewpoint that the things we are drawn to may not be what are ultimately in our best interests. Still, there’s a little bit of what I call the Anna Karenina syndrome here in that the longed for dream of a young woman doesn’t end the way we’d all like it to. I’d like to find a story of a woman who gets her Count Alexei Vronsky and it works out fantastic, but maybe the story would be boreing?

Written in an easy reading nostalgic way, you will enjoy the humour, poignancy, and warmth of this satisfying story of a young woman sorting out what is truly important to her in life. 4.0 Stars!

Angelika loves to travel, and write, and you'll find her on the internet at these links:

Grab your copy of Wings here!