Sunday, September 29, 2013

10 Tips for Storing and Organizing Your Photos


NER 0002 ~ Robert O. Myers with Asa Myers about 1920.
(Author's fraternal uncle and grandfather respectively.)
When writing historical books, memoirs or a story from your family's past, it's always a good idea to include photos. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is especially true with personal stories and history.
We've created this guide for the sorting and organizing of photos especially geared towards book use, but many of the tips are useful for general photo storage.
1. Gather your originals. Collect all your photos in one spot from the far corners of the house, historical societies, family and others. This will give you an idea of the size task facing you.
2. Set aside time. Thinking of doing everything at once? You may want to reconsider and break the task up. It may be a good idea to set aside an hour or two a week to avoid getting overwhelmed.
3. Chose a storage method. Whether in boxes or binders, make sure to use photo-safe materials. Make sure the photos are kept away from the air and finger oils, especially the older photos.
NER 0004 ~ Author at 9 months
of agewith mother 1954.
4. Decide what to keep. While a random vista you took on vacation my seem important, will it have the same meaning in twenty years. Keep photos with sentimental value or of important people in your story.
5. Go digital. When possible, scan your photos to keep an electronic copy. Create a remote back up of the photos either on another hard drive or in the cloud.
6. Chose a method of sorting. However you decide to sort, they need to be organized logically for you. Either places, years or people and go from there. This can also influence your directory system for digital storage.
7. Name your photos. When storing your photos for general use, you probably want to name the photos related to the contents. However, when setting photos aside for your book, you want to use a simpler system. Use your initials or initials of your book and label them numerically.  Label with sticky notes on the backs of originals using a naming convention such as NER 0001, NER 0002, NER 0003. The letters NER are my initials. You should use your own. The reason for beginning with 0001 is that when the photos are scanned into the computer or original digital photos are placed in a folder/directory, the photos will stay in order that you have placed them. When you need to add a photo to the sequence use an increment such as NER 0001A, NER 0001B. If you need to add photos, you can easily add A, B, etc to keep them in order. Note: when typing up your captions, label them with the same numbers.
NER 0001 ~ Author's fraternal
grandmother,
Maude Ellen Myers
8. Write captions for every photo. Before you sort your photos, write an important captions for the people and places shown. Include not just the names, but an anecdote or reason it's important. Each caption should tell a real story, not just be a label. People do not know your story. Tell the story behind the picture. Answer the question, "It is Aunt Betty Jo: so what or who cares?" The answer may be, "Aunt Betty Jo lived with my family when I was an infant and cared for me while my mother attended college, took care of the other children or worked at a job outside the home. Aunt Betty Jo went on to become a well-known author about child rearing. As a screaming colicky baby, I taught her everything she knew." The captions should use the same naming convention of NER 0001 so that the photos and caption maybe put together easily.
9. Copy photos for your book. When setting up your book photos, copy them to a different directory so you can organize, delete and rename without risk to the originals.
NER 0003 ~ Asa & Maude Ellen Myers 1940s.

10. Plan where to store your photos. Photos are susceptible to the elements. Don't store them in attics or basements where they may be exposed to damp air and temperature swings.
When you are finished with your project, consider making it into a slideshow. If this is a family project--make copies for your family.  If it is a book project, you'll love to be able to use the slideshow in a presentation.  Put all photos in the presentation and then customize it when you commit to present to a particular group.


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Author Talks: Robert Williams

Robert Williams came to Just Write Books on the advice of his brother John Vinton who had enjoyed a good business relationship with Nancy E. Randolph in her former business Just Write Communications. Bob and I met and found that we could work together quite well. Bob had gathered old photos and taken some of his own. He wrote Lovewell's Town, Lovell, Maine: From Howling Wilderness to Vacationland in Trust. He continues to sell copies of Lovewell's Town.

He is in the process of moving to Topsham, Maine and I've suggested a next project—the history of Topsham, Maine. Robert is a fine historian and I look forward to Topsham's history as “discovered” and revealed by Robert C. Williams.

JWB: When did you start writing?
Williams: I began writing poetry and essays in high school in the 1950s, then in college and graduate school. Initially I wanted to be a scientist, but decided that life was too short and History was sufficiently challenging and complex, as well as fun.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Williams: Much of my work in modern Russian, American and European history has involved what I call ‘collective biography,’ seeking patterns in the behavior and thoughts of a number of individuals. Sometimes I have found a single individual (the atomic spy Klaus Fuchs or the Newspaper editor Horace Greeley) who embodied those patterns (secrecy and security, or the distinction between liberty and freedom, in those two cases).

JWB: What is one event that has shaped your writing?
Williams: Reading good books. Outstanding teaching, especially my mentor Wilbury Crockett, who taught English and life at Wellesley High School for many years.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Williams: The poetry of Auden, Yeats and Eliot, the essays of Thoreau and Emerson, the novels of Dostoevsky and Tolstoi. Any good works of history.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Williams: You can’t read too many books. Avoid television, video games, and computers. Write for yourself as well as your intended audience.

JWB: What are you currently working on?
Williams: A history of Topsham in the short term, and a book on British intelligence and the politics of forgery in the longer term.

Author Bio
Dr. Robert C. Williams (Ph.D., Harvard, 1966) is a semi-retired historian and the author of numerous books and articles in modern Russian, European, and American history. He has taught at Williams College, Washington University in St. Louis, Davidson College and part-time at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He first came to his grandfather's summer camp on Kezar Lake in West Lovell in 1939. He and his wife Ann now live permanently in Center Lovell.



Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com

Sunday, September 15, 2013

10 Book-Related Things You Can Have Done for $5



If there are aspects of your book that you struggle with, it might be worth checking out a website called Fiverr.com. Using one of these services can take a roadblock out of your way when writing and finishing your book.
1. Design your book cover. If you have an idea for a book cover that you want, but don’t have the artistic ability to make it real, find one of the artists who will make a cover for you for $5. Make sure you search for an artist whose previous work you like. A word of caution though, if you are going the traditional publishing route, your cover may not be used for your book if the publisher has other ideas.
2. Proofread your book. Whether it’s by word or page count, there is someone who will professionally proofread your book. This is simply grammar and spelling checks. They will not check your plot and consistency throughout the book.
3. Create a 30-second commercial. Have someone create a 30-second commercial or review of your book. People find reviews ad testimonials from people they can see more trustworthy than written reviews.
4. Write a book review. If you need additional reviews on your Amazon listing or as a blog post, you can find someone to write one for you.
5. Create a book trailer. Like a movie trailer, a book trailer can incite interest in your book. Post it on your blog or have your friends do it. It’s a quick and graphic way to describe your book to viewers.
6. Write a press release. If you need to announce your book release or a book release party, have someone write the press release to make sure it gets included in the local media.
7. Create a flyer. If you need some type of flyer for a book release party or book signing, find someone with work that you like to make it for you.
8. Title your book. If the title of your book has you stumped, have someone else come up with a creative name for you.
9. Transcribe your book. If you write by dictating your story, you can hire someone to transcribe it into the written word for you. People will do varying amounts of time for $5.
10. Send press release to Google News. This will get your press release into a wider audience and be indexed for online searching.
As with any of these services, check the ratings of the service providers and look at the examples of work, if appropriate, to decide if their work is good for your project. Luckily, with a $5 investment, you won’t lose much if it doesn’t work out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Revision of Tom Seymour's Wild Plants of Maine in the final stages of birth

Wild Plants of Maine will be available
in softcover and hardback.  A color
app for mobile phones will be
available for holiday purchases.
I'm finalizing the latest revision of Tom Seymour's Wild Plants of Maine.  I have already incorporated Tom's additions and changes to the manuscript. What does finalizing the book mean?

At the minimum I must:
1. Assign a new ISBN for each version: softcover, hardcover (new with this revision) and the color ebook.
2. Check out the copyright page and ensure its accuracy for this title's edition.
3. Create new barcodes.
4. update the review blurb on the back of the book or place a new section inside the book to include any reviews.
5. Create a list of all books written by Tom to place on a page inside the book.
6. Create a new cover design--see the cover to the right.
7. Coordinate with Tom and create a page inside the book that lets folks know about his wild plant and wild mushroom walks and presentations. 

There are so many things to do even when the revision is adding only 12 new plants. 

Let me know how you like the cover.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

10 Simple Things to Know About Pinterest for your Business




This information was written for businesses but can easily be adapted for your author or book website.
1. Link your website. Connect your website to Pinterest through your profile settings and verify your address if you’re able to. This will help drive traffic from your Pinterest page to your website.

2. Add buttons to your website. In order to complete the integration of your website with Pinterest, add a “pin it” button to any items or services your selling. Also include a “follow,” “profile” and “board” buttons on your main page with the rest of your social media links.
3. Complete your profile. Make sure you fill out all the necessary fields so people know what they’re looking at.
4. Create a board for things that inspire you. While it’s important to include your products and link to your website, also include a board for things that inspire you. Pinterest is a very visual medium, so include vibrant photos. (We’ll do a future blog post on creating photos for pinterest.)
5. Create a board for your products. Create a products or services board for the items you sell. Include pictures and backlinks to your website.
6. Know what pinners want. Check the analytics of your website for where people spend most of their time. This way you know what it is important to put on your boards.
7. Stay engaged. Like and comment on other peoples’ boards. Your activity will elicit more interest and activity on your page.
8. Check your Pinterest analytics. When you know what people are liking, commenting and posting about in relation to your boards, you can ensure that you continue with similar information.

9. Use infographics. Infographics are a great way to share information and data but in a visual way. Infographics can be easily created using a Powerpoint program and then exported as a jpg. This allows you to represent more complex information clearly in one picture.  Providing education to your visitors is useful and likely to be repinned.

10. Check out the competition and related boards. Check out similar businesses and related businesses. Make sure you follow them to keep up with the trends in your industry.


Nancy E. Randolph operates Just Write Books, a publishing business with the tag line: Maine books by Maine authors telling Maine stories. Randolph quickly developed a reputation as a publisher of quality Maine books. An active community member along with two others she founded and serves as a member of the board of Save Our Swinging Bridge.Org to ensure the maintenance of the historic Roebling designed and built bridge connecting Topsham and Brunswick. She co-chairs with Cathy Lamb the Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk project--building a 2K walking/biking intown loop. To contact her directly: jstwrite@jstwrite.com