Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Your Author's Website - It Needs To Represent You!

As authors, what do we want to include on our website? It can get a bit messy, especially if we write in more than one genre. My own site is a good example of just how messy it can get. I write in the genre of Tarot and divination, in the self-help genre, I am developing books in the mystery/cozy mystery genre. I also have blogs for my reviews, and for music. I am going to probably leave my current site as is, and purchase another one for my mystery writing. That is the plan, anyway.

Now we get to decide what to put on our site. We need to realize that our sites are part of our brand as authors, and that a website is the best way to build the very necessary e-mail list (so that we can keep our name out there, and sell our books!). If we depend on social media sites to build our e-mail list, we leave ourselves open to the crash and burn scenario, as these sites can change how they do things in a New York minute! We have control over our own sites, and we can present ourselves as we best see fit.

The first step to building a website is choosing a host. I use Word Press, because it is very easy to use. I choose to use the paid for version, through Blue Host. This has worked well for me, because I am not a tech savvy person, and their tech services have saved me a lot of headaches!

My domain name is registered, so that no one else can claim it. Why would they, you ask, since I am using my own name? Believe it or not, there is another Bonnie Cehovet! She is in South America. By registering my domain, I am saving myself from any future complications.

Develop an About page that represents you as a writer. Only talk about the things that you want people to know - which for me would be my cats, my love of reading, and my love of writing. My favorite author sites are those where the author shares a bit of themselves, so this is what I modeled my site after.  It is also a good idea to put a good photo of yourself on your About page. I am a bit behind with this. My goal is to get a professional photo done - one that I can use on my site, my book covers, and other promotional material.

Make sure that the image on your header represents who you are. I chose an image that focuses on a desk, because that is where I spend most of my time.  

Include a sign-up form for your newsletter (yes, you should be doing a newsletter!). Your newsletter allows you to keep in touch with your readers, and to promote your work.

Organize things in your menu so that the flow is easy to follow. Yes, you can do a single page, but I personally detest that type of site. 

Include links to your social media sites, so that your readers can follow you. I have separate pages on FaceBook for my friends, and for my professional work. If you have a blog connected with your site, make sure that site visitors can find it easily. My blog is separate from my site - this is just how my work evolved.

Allow your site to evolve as you evolve as a writer!

(c) December 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.


Friday, December 14, 2018

"Finish The Story" Collaboration - Listing of Stories

What a wonderful time this has been, being part of the "Finish The Story" collaboration (brought together by Tanmay Jain - Tanmay_Jain@Bookinton). I have loved experimenting with other people's prompts, and loved reading their stories! I would like to share the links to all of our stories, so that you can see what can be done with words.

The stories are listed below, by author and prompt.

Tanmay Jain (Tanmay_Jain@Bookinton) 
Prompt: “One day you’re sitting with your head in your mother’s lap and in the next you’re sitting in a holding cell waiting for the trial of your her murder. What happened to me?”

Bonnie Cehovet - https://bonnielcehovet.blogspot.com/2018/11/finish-story-collaboration-tanmay-jains.html 

Nideesh Samant - https://thedarknetizen.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/fts-project-2-believe-me/ 

Sitharaam Jayakumar - http://www.jaispoetryblog.com/2018/11/i-committed-matricide.html 

Sitharaam Jayakumar
Prompt: “I woke up with a severe hangover. I made my way to the bathroom lazily. I glanced at the mirror wondering if I looked as terrible as I felt. I stood staring in horror at the grotesque skull grinning at me…”

Tanmay Jain - https://bookinton.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/modern-medicine-finish-the-story-3/ 

Suchita Agarwal - https://talesofsuchita.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/the-devil-got-me/ 

Bonnie Cehovet - https://bonnielcehovet.blogspot.com/2018/11/finish-story-collaboration-this-story.html 

Nidheesh Samant - https://thedarknetizen.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/fts-project-3-punished/ 

Suchita Agarwal

Nidheesh Samant
Prompt: “The Emperor had summoned his Knights..and they had answered his summons. They knew that it was a matter of great importance. They waited patiently as their Emperor began to address them.”

Tanmay Jain - https://bookinton.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/a-knight-in-service-finish-the-story-2/ 

Suchita Agarwal - https://talesofsuchita.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/sir-nicklaus/ 

Sitharaam Jayakumar - http://www.jaispoetryblog.com/2018/11/the-world-war.html 

Bonnie Cehovet - https://bonnielcehovet.blogspot.com/2018/11/finish-story-collaboration-this-story_9.html 

Nidheesh Samant - https://thedarknetizen.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/fts-project-4-emperors-knights/

Asha Seth
Prompt: “As soon as Alicia stepped on to the second landing, the lights went out and a hand grapped her into the all-consuming darkness.”

Tanmay Jain - https://bookinton.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/the-enveloping-darkness-finish-the-story-4/ 

Bonnie Cehovet - https://bonnielcehovet.blogspot.com/2018/11/finish-story-collaboration-asha-seths.html 

Sitharaam Jayakumar - http://www.jaispoetryblog.com/2018/11/i-love-my-husband.html 

Shivangi Dua
Prompt: “Opening my eyes, I was in a world less familiar yet more beautiful and soothing than anything I had ever experienced…To breathe felt like living a new life!”

Tanmay Jain - https://bookinton.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/an-alien-world-finish-the-story-5/ 

Bonnie Cehovet - https://bonnielcehovet.blogspot.com/2018/11/finish-story-collaboration-using.html 

Sitharaam Jayakumar - http://www.jaispoetryblog.com/2018/11/the-halo-in-cave.html 

Suchita Agarwal - https://talesofsuchita.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/successful-trial/

Bonnie Cehovet
Prompt: “One never knew with Eleanor. Appearances could be deceiving – one moment she was very calm, the next … not so.”

Tanmay Jain - https://bookinton.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/the-bipolar-witness-finish-the-story-collaboration-6/

Suchita Agarwal - https://talesofsuchita.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/eleanor/ 

Sitharaam Jayakumar - http://www.jaispoetryblog.com/2018/11/eleanor.html 

Bonnie Cehovet - https://bonnielcehovet.blogspot.com/2018/11/finish-story-collaboration-bonnies.html 

© November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Publisher's Insurance? Who Needs It, and Why.

When I saw the headline "Publishers Insurance", the first thing that I did was scan the article to see if this is something I needed to consider as an independent publisher. From what I could tell at a glance, this insurance was for people establishing their own publishing companies. While I publish independently (through Kindle and KDP), I have not established my own publishing company.

I was interested to see why, if I do establish my own publishing company, I might need this insurance. Things to think about are copyright infringement, defamation, invasion of privacy, and more. Policies that cover this are loosely termed "publisher policies". A little scary, isn't it! I mean, I write fiction, but I can still be sued. Changing a characters name or even sex doesn't really cover things if they are easily identifiable as a public figure (or even a well known private figure).

I don't even want to think about the cost - I haven't published that many books, and at this point it is questionable if paying for editing will even pay for itself. I am going to keep this in mind for future reference, as I do intend to continue writing books (albeit cozy mysteries), and publishing them.

However, if you make the decision to publish not only your own work, but that of others, I would seriously consider looking at these policies. The following is a small list of places that offer publishers policies:

The following articles address what to look for in publishing insurance policies:

(c) December 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Create Space Morphs Into KDP

Not too long ago I found out, in a very round-about way, that CreateSpace was going out of business. Well, it was actually morphing into KDP Print (both entities being under the wing of Amazon). Fortunately, I had no problem moving my books (including the one that I co-wrote) over to KDP Print. In fact, I moved them all at once, no problem. 

The interesting thing is - if authors on CreateSpace choose to do nothing about moving their books over to KDP, they will (eventually) be moved over automatically. (Personally, I prefered to do the moving myself!) 

An important thing to watch is your historical sales data from CreateSpace, to make sure that it makes the move! ISBN's make the move without a problem. Essentially, KDP Print offers the same things that CreateSpace did. (One thing that you do want to check is the payment schedules, because they are not the same.)

A good place to find answers direct from Amazon's mouth is here.

(c) November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Bonnie's World

I recently read an amazing blog by my artist/writer friend Pamela Steele, where she talks about who she is. I love when writer's share a bit about who they are, and what is going on in their lives. Today I am going to share a bit about myself.

We are one week out from Thanksgiving, and two things are prevelant - I am very happy that I came across a new vegeterian recipie that I am going to make for Thanksgiving, and I am getting very irritated by Macy's constant blasts for their Thanksgiving Day Parade (I have left some choice responses to their posts). The parade has gone commercial, and, IMHO, is no longer worth watching.

I am enjoying my Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations (yes, I left Halloween up, just because), and am looking forward to putting up my Christmas decorations. I still have to purchase an artificial Christmas tree - which will be a first for me! I was torn between not wantng to see trees cut down for a one month celebration, and taking some of the "Chirstmas" out of Christmas with an artificial tree. Factoring in the cost of a cut tree, the artificial tree won. Wish me luck!

I am a bit behind myself this year, as I still need to order Christmas cards, seasonal stamps, and a day timer for 2019. I should have that done this week. I am also looking at taking a professional writing class , and joining at least one professional writing organization. Small steps that will take me into a (well) paid writing career!

(c) November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproducton prohibited without written permission of the author. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

"Finish The Story" Collaboration - Using Shivangi Dua's Prompt

This story, from the "Finish The Story" collaboration, is based on a prompt from Shivangi Dua (https://writersvicinity.wordpress.com/).

Prompt: “Opening my eyes, I was in a world less familiar yet more beautiful and soothing than anything I had ever experienced…To breathe felt like living a new life!”

I opened my eyes, not sure if I was asleep or awake. I was standing on a balcony, looking out over a spectacular world. Everything to me was beautiful, and I felt a sense of peace that I had never felt before. I realized that I was taking in whole breaths, without fear of dying. I was not afraid of being different, or of the consortium finding out that I was different.

In that parallel world, we were all robots, doing the bidding of the consortium. They had changed us, so that we no longer thought for ourselves. I was one of the few that could still think. We were all very careful to not let our keepers know that we could think. If they ever found out, they would morph us into something absolutely soul dead. We had seen it happen to people that we knew, and it was not a place that any of us wanted to go.

Looking around me, I saw beauty. Lovely buildings, beautiful colors, and green. Real trees, real flowers. This was not a manufactured world playing in my head. This was a real world, a real universe … a parallel universe where I could be me. Did I have the option of staying here? I certainly hoped that I did!

I took more breaths, filling myself with love and light, with peace and joy. This is where I belonged, this is where I could make a difference. I needed to be able to make a difference. I was a scholar, not a warrior. I needed to be able to help other people heal, to become all that they could be. This world needed no warriors. It was of a higher vibration, this I knew.

Had I needed to experience that other world to appreciate this one? Would I do better here because of having had that experience? We all take different paths, I just have to accept that both worlds are part of my path. I have no pull to go back and bring the others here. If this is part of their path, then they will find it. If it is not, there will be something else for them.

This was the beginning of a new life for me. I looked down, and saw people moving around - talking, smiling, and carrying on their daily life. I was now part of this world. I did not have to constantly look over my shoulder, to shield my thoughts from those that did not want me to have them.

Where I went now was up to me. I could read the works of others, I could write my own words. I could listen to music, or perhaps even write it. I could paint my thoughts, if I chose to do so. My life was one of choice – and my first choice was to stay here.

The "Finish The Story" collaboration was organized by Tanmay Jain

© November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Holiday Based Story Themes

As writers, we are always looking for themes for our stories. One of the greatest themes around, IMHO, is that of holidays. It gives us a common thread with our readers, a shared experience, of sorts, even though our personal experiences will differ. Holiday themes can be applied to many different genres - romance, mystery, general fiction, even science fiction can be written around a holiday theme.

There are a lot of different elements to holidays that can be used for the focus of a story:

  • food
  • family
  • family relationships
  • family expectations
  • travel
  • community events
  • thoughts and emotions triggered by the holiday (such as someone close dying during the holiday, the breakup of a relationship, a divorce, a major physical move, a major profesional move, meeting someone new) 
These elements can be used alone, or woven together to create a memorable story. We can bring things in from our own experience, from the experiences of other individuals that we know, and from our own vivid imaginations.

In many ways, we can actually work through our own holiday issues by writing about them, by having our characters come to resolution with their issues, and by providing the "happily ever after" that we would really like to see in our own lives.

What holiday attracts you? Why? What can you gain by writing about it?

(c) November 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Your Author's Website - It Needs To Represent You!

As authors, what do we want to include on our website? It can get a bit messy, especially if we write in more than one genre. My own si...