Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Powering of Publishing Your Book with Blurb

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

So last week I shared a bit of the Blurb story and how they came to unleash the power of self-publishing. But Blurb is actually way more than a self-publishing platform. They are really a tour de force of creativity that strives to help give your story – your inspiration – a stage. And they provide some really incredible tools to make that possible.

Here are a few of my faves:

  1. Free book making tools – This one may be obvious, but there’s more here than meets the eye. Blurb offers multiple easy-to-use bookmaking tools and templates to give you complete creative control and customization:
    BookWright: The only desktop publishing software built for creating professional-looking print books, magazines, and ebooks. It’s super simple to use, which means you won't need to hire a fancy designer, know a line of code, or buy expensive software. BookSmart: A user-friendly book-making tool that allows you to create beautiful, professional-quality photo books, notebooks, and planners.
    Adobe InDesign Plug-In: If you use Adobe® InDesign® then this Blurb plug-in is for you. It lets you create and lay out books and magazines directly within InDesign and output in both print and digital formats. It also includes free professionally designed starter templates for photo books, cookbooks, portfolios, and magazines.
    Adobe Lightroom: This book creation tool is fully integrated into Lightroom, so users can make a gorgeous photography book without needing to leave the Lightroom workflow. It also includes 5 paper choices, including high-end photo-quality paper from Mohawk Fine Papers®.
  2. Online photo books – With this tool, you can create your very own online photo book in less than an hour. The online templates and layouts are gorgeous. All you have to do is drag & drop your photos from your computer, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
    Instagram Photo Book: Blurb allows you to make a little 7 x7 book that’s as unique as your Instagram feed. You can start with up to 60 images and go up to 240 pages! It’s like a tiny museum devoted to your style!
    Facebook Photo Book: Now you can turn those favorite socially-shared memories into a book-store quality book! You just curate your photos and any Facebook comments you want to include and voilĂ ! You’ve got a beautiful 60-page book of shared experiences.
  3. Step-by-step Tutorials & Webinars – If you ever get stuck on how to do something or just need some creative inspiration, you’ll definitely appreciate Blurb’s interesting and informative Webinars and Tips and Tutorials sections. So helpful.
  4. Free Tools to Use - Not sure what size book you want? Blurb shows you what a 10 x 8 book would look like versus a 13 x 11 with their creation and layout tools. You can also see what different paper types would look like, such as Premium Matte or Proline Uncoated and what makes them different.
  5. Pricing Tool – Blurb’s Pricing Calculator will save you from pricing surprises. You just select your book type, number of pages, type of cover, and paper you want and this tool calculates what your book will cost. They also have special pricing on large orders (e.g. 300+ books).
I encourage you to take some creative time for yourself and explore Blurb’s unique and valuable book-making tools. And remember that from now through 4/30 you can get 20% off any book you create, just use code: APRILLIGHTS! If you are thinking of self-publishing or starting a fundraiser use code: BIGAPRIL and get 20% off 20 or more books!

What are your favorite Blurb tools?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Learn How to Create Beautiful Books with Blurb

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

Like many great companies before it, Blurb was actually started by accident. In the early 2000s, Eileen Gittins, Blurbs' Founder, rekindled a passion for photography while trying to figure out her next career gig.

She wanted to compile her photos into a nice coffee table photo book, but she only wanted to print a handful of copies. The conundrum was that every publisher was quoting her hundreds of dollars for each book! She found this curious – and frustrating. So she asked herself, are there other people like me who want to affordability create their own high-quality book from their photos? The answer, of course, was yes, and it changed her life – and book publishing – forever.

In 2006, Eileen launched Blurb, a simple book-designing platform and a publishing process that could quickly produce beautifully made books at game-changing price.

Everyone from award-winning photographers, to couples wanting to commemorate the birth of their child started using Blurb – and they continue to do so today. Even after almost a decade, people are still blown away by Blurb’s user-friendliness, quality, and affordability. People trust Blurb to create every kind of book imaginable, including:
Blurb doesn’t just help people make books and magazines, they also help market them by providing publishers with their own dedicated sales page. Blurb’s dedicated sales pages allows authors to:
  • Make their book or magazine available to the public or by invitation-only
  • Write a compelling book description
  • Customize a preview of their book
  • Share their book with others on social media
Blurb also created their publishing platform to work seamlessly with Amazon and Apple iBooks Store so authors would have even more options for how they sell their books.

There are so many remarkable things to share about Blurb – too much for just one post! So keep an eye out for next week’s post because I’ll be sharing some of my favorite Blurb tools and tips -- which, if you’re like me, will leave you thinking … “I didn’t know Blurb could do all that!”

Oh! And I almost forgot to mention that now through 4/28 you can get 20% off any book you create! Can’t wait to see what kind of book you create!   Click Here to Save and Start Creating Your Book ....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

10 Handy Tips to Write a Better Book and Publish it on Amazon Kindle

Don't get caught plagiarizing

Amazon Kindle is one of the best resources for becoming a successful published author.  Writing a book may just be the easy part when it comes to getting others to ready your book.  Some of the best tools you can use when getting started and publishing your book through Amazon KDP and CreateSpace are listed below.  From checking your grammar to creating a book cover and marketing your book there are so many different things to think of before launching a book to the world.
Follow some of these FREE tips:

1.  How to Build Your Book for Kindle - One of the first things you need to do before writing your book is to make sure that you are formatting it correctly for Kindle and CreateSpace.  In order to format you book and get everything from the cover to the title in the correct order download the FREE book Building Your Book for Kindle. This book will walk you through the necessary steps to create a professional digital file for your book and upload it to Amazon. There are also several good books on formatting a book for CreateSpace and publishing a physical copy of your book.

Sell yourbook on

Proofread Your Texts2. Proofread and Check your Grammar - Spelling and grammar errors can hurt a book once it is published.  To avoid bad reviews and create the best book you can Use the FREE Grammar, Spelling and Plagiarism service Grammarly to proofread and weed out any errors.  If you use the Google Chrome APP it can assist you as  you write to suggest changes and corrections.  From checking your spelling and grammar to enhancing your vocabulary this is a must have for writers.

3.  Do Your Research -   If you are knowledgeable on the subject you are writing about that is one thing but checking your facts and researching your work is a good thing to do.  Websites such as Questia  will allow you to streamline your research with an extensive collection to use of journals, textbooks, and periodicals to use 24/7. Save 20% on any l subscription! Use coupon code QTACJ20

4.  Use Websites and Forums  - Ask questions in the Amazon KDP forum and read what others are saying to keep up on what's happening the writing world. Subscribe to other writer Facebook pages and follow authors Amazon to keep in the loop. Access sites such as Goodreads and other author sites to make sure you book is getting noticed.

5.  Create an Author Page on Amazon - Once your book has been published it is important to create an author page through Amazon Author Central.  This will allow you to write about yourself, post links to your blog or website and read any current reviews about your book.

6. Build a Website or Blog - One of the best ways to keep on top of things once you book has been published and stay in touch with readers it to have a website or blog that you write on daily or weekly to keep your readers updated.  Link the blog with your social media accounts so that when you post a new article your readers will be informed and go to your site. Also, post any deals, discounts, or contests about your books on the site.   Web Hosting by iPage - Affordable and E-Commerce Enabled

iPage has Outstanding Uptime and Performance

7.  Download Free Kindle Books on Amazon - There are several free Kindle books on writing, publishing, formatting, promoting and other ideas for your books. These FREE books are great for when you get stuck or just want inspirations.  Check out several of the FREE Kindle books for writers to download on your desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet or Kindle.

8.  Learn How to Create a Good Book Cover - If you are good at using software programs such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro you can easily create a great book cover for your book. A cover will draw in your audience and make them want to know more about your book.  Read how Amazon KDP can help you design your cover or check out website such as FiveRR to hire someone to create a cover for your book.   Have Blurb help format, create a cover and publish your book through Amazon. 

9.  Promote Your Book - Keep in touch with your readers by creating an author Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.  Write to readers on your website of Facebook page to let them know what is happening in your world and when your next book is being released.  Promote yourself to sell your book!

10.  Follow the Top 20 Rules for Writing - Stephen King one of the most successful authors of all time provides writer on what the best way to utilize your writing skills and make the most of your books. Read More.....

Make a book. Book layout software for any book

Also Read:
How to Improve your Writing Skills...
Learn How to Create an Online Store or Website for Free
Step by Step Guide for Publishing on Amazon Kindle
Start Writing a Cookbook today.
How to Write and Publish a Cookbook on Amazon Kindle

How to Publish and Sell Books online through Blurb

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How to Use Grammarly for Midterms and Papers

Grammarly - world's best grammar checkerGrammarly - Reviews
Grammarly - Reviews

No matter if you writer of books, a student, or write a blog or posts to other online the one thing you don't want to be faulted on is your grammar and spelling. That's where Grammarly comes in to play and best of all it's FREE!  
Instant Grammar CheckWhether you are in the midst of writing a Midterm or creating the perfect paper using Grammary (especially since it is free) will help provide necessary grammar checks and spelling checks to your papers and Midterms.  All you do is go to the Grammarly website found here, and sign up to start improving your writing and grammar and to have your papers proofread.
Grammarly is trusted by students, professional writers, business people, bloggers, and people who just want to write better. No matter what your writing situation is, Grammarly adapts to your needs, giving you the confidence of mistake-free writing every time you write. Plus Grammarly has a Chrome APP that will allow you check your spelling and grammar automatically on any paper or written material. 
Adding Grammarly to Chrome lets you take Grammarly with you, wherever you go on the Web.
With Grammarly by your side, your writing is always protected
from embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes.

Grammarly@EDU | Grammar Checker for Educational Institutions

Friday, March 13, 2015

How to Receive 10 FREE Graduation Invitations and Announcements from TinyPrints

10 Free Graduation Announcements
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Graduation time is upon us and it's time to start preparing to send out graduation announcements and party invitations.  One of the best ways to personalize your invitations is with Tiny Print and now through 3/17/2015 you can receive 10 free Graduations Announcements and 20% off additional cards using the code 10FREEGRAD with so many to choose from you will be delighted with how you can personalize your cards with photos and special dates. 
Plus the Graduation Party Invitations are a great way to invite family and friends to celebrate your special day.  These can be created with our without a photo depending on your preference.  If you miss the free promo offer don't worry there are always great deals on the site along with special discounts just click on the links and get started....

Academic Chic
Academic Chic you can easily change the colors, trims, lettering and more on all invitations and order matching address labels and other items.

10 Free Graduation Announcements

Stately Impression

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Academic Chic

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Helpful Tax Apps and Mobile Tax Tools for Smart Phones and Tablets

Here are some helpful tools to use on your smart phone or tablet this year when filing taxes.  The Mobile Tax Tools from HR Block  a 1040EZ for your Smart Phone, a Free iPad App, An Emerald Card App and an App that will help you locate an HR Block office near you or to estimate your taxes.  
You can view and download all of the Apps here...

Get the refund you deserve and find a tax professional near your home with the HR Block Expert help location finder.

It’s a useful resource that helps you locate the nearest tax professional in your city. Just enter your address, pick a date and a time for an appointment, and find the professional to help you do your taxes.
H&R Block has over 11,000 locations in the United States and their tax professionals are required to pass over 84 hours of specialty training each year in order to have the skills to handle your specific tax situation.

Check out the Mobile App to locate and HR Block professional or receive tax advice through your phone or mobile device.
If you prefer leaving your taxes up to the professionals than follow this link to find one to file your taxes near you.
File today at our lowest price ever - $9.99 for everything
HR Block Tax Software Deluxe + State 2014 Win [Download]  
If you prefer to use the HR Block Software here are some helpful online links
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