RSS

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Self-Publishing a Book with Blurb

Self-Publishing a Book with Blurb

Blurb.com – A Way for Authors to Self-Publish

What is Blurb? It’s a wonderful discovery for an aspiring author or someone who just wants a few books for a special occasion or to share with their family. When a writer chooses to self-publish their content, there are a number of Print-On-Demand sites like Lulu.com or Create Space, but let’s focus on Blurb.com here. I’ve used it a number of times with varied books and found it quite versatile.

Made using Blurb.com

Gail Lee Martin shows off her books with family memories. I used Blurb to publish both of these books for Mom and Dad.

The wonderful thing about Print-On-Demand (also called POD) is the author doesn’t have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of books to get the book published by a traditional printer or face rejection over and over from a traditional publisher. The way that POD works at Blurb is the author uploads the book content to the Blurb website. At that point, the only obligation is to buy one copy of the book. Anyone else wanting the book can order it directly from Blurb’s online bookstore. The author sets the price and keeps any income above the printing cost set by Blurb.

How To Do It

  1. Sign up with Blurb. It’s free and you put the usual information (username and password).
  2. Click on DOWNLOAD THE BOOKWRIGHT SOFTWARE at the Blurb site. This downloads Blurb’s software to your own computer. You work offline at your own pace. Use the Blurb BookWright Guide to learn more about it.
  3. Start a new book using the software. Choose a title, paste in the text and get the pictures from your own computer files.
  4. Rearrange the text and photos until you are satisfied with the book.
  5. Edit, edit, edit… run the spell check and review the text and photos one more time. It’s best to actually print out the pages and review it that way. Somehow one sees the errors more clearly in a printed copy.
  6. Once you have it perfect, upload the book to Blurb.
  7. Now you have 15 days to order the book or they will remove it from their site. Don’t worry, it’s still saved on your own computer.
  8. Start promoting the book. Potential buyers go to Blurb’s online bookstore to preview a part of the book and to order copies.

You can preview the various books I’ve published using Blurb. My sample books are featured in my online bookstore. Click on a book cover to read more about it and to PREVIEW a portion of the book.

Advertisements
 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 26, 2016 in Books, Self-publishing

 

Tags: , ,

Taking Spider Web Photos

Taking Spider Web Photos
Orange spider blends in with the dry grasses.

Orange spider blends in with the dry grasses. (Photo by Virginia Allain)

Nature buffs and camera enthusiasts find spiders and their intricate webs fascinating. Photographing them is challenging. Here are some tips to improve your digital photos of spider webs.

 Things You’ll Need:
  • digital camera with close-up mode
  • outdoor area to find spiders
Spider webs with dew on them are more visible in photographs than a plain web. This means getting out early with the digital camera before the sun dries everything out.
spider web

Spider web after a light rain shower. (photo by Virginia Allain)

 

Use the macro setting (close-up) on your digital camera. Often this setting is represented by a flower icon.

 

canon camera powershot

Canon SX 20 IS Powershot that I use

Keep your hands very steady or use a tripod for macros. Avoid windy days when slight movements of the web will blur your picture.
spiderweb

Be cautious if the spider is on the web.

Look for plain, uncluttered background to show off the web better. Dirt, mulch, or sky work well as a background. The close-up setting on the digital camera helps by putting the background out of focus.
IMG_1285_edited
Take multiple shots from different angles. Try getting the whole web, a section of the web, different sides of the web. Then see what turned out the best.
IMG_7517

This photo could benefit from cropping. The grass background is not the best.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fog or a sprinkler or a light shower sometimes creates ideal conditions for photographing webs and can mimic morning dew.
  • Black construction paper held behind a web might work when the background is too cluttered.
  • Avoid disturbing the web when taking your photo.

(Previously published on eHow in 2008 by Virginia Allain)

 

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 11, 2016 in eHow, Photography, photos, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Will Bernie Sanders’ Voters Go Libertarian?

Will Bernie Sanders’ Voters Go Libertarian?

The short answer is a resounding “NO.” Here’s the longer answer straight from the mouths of dozens of Berners on Facebook on July 24, 2016. The question is “would you vote Libertarian?”

Karen W. – Libertarians are just republicans with a twist.

Carol V. – They are Twizzler Republicans. They are the worst of republicans. Richer guy beats the lesser rich guy! Hey, if you aren’t wealthy, with them in power, then change isn’t coming your way. Well, I guess you could get poorer!

libertarian platform

Chart comparing Bernie Sanders’ progressive stands and Gary Johnson’s libertarian stands (meme from the Bernie Believers group on Facebook)

Tom R. – They are Republicans that don’t want to be associated with all of the baggage. I’m going to vote for Bernie if he’s on the ballot but if he isn’t I’m voting Green. Not because I think they’ll win and not because I agree with them on most issues, I’m voting Green to send a message to the Democrats and to try to break the two-party tyranny.

 Raven H. –  Libertarians are literally Republicans… They’re against everything Bernie stands for. Why would you even ask that?
 Alice A. –  “If we boil down the libertarian ideology to its fundamentals, they essentially believe that we should have as minimal government as possible. Government protections of civil rights? Zip. Government regulations of large, unsustainable financial institutions that have already wreaked havoc on our economy? Nope. Government policies that preserve the environment and protect our natural resources? Zilch.”
 Ellen L. – They also eliminate environmental laws
Dakota R.Libertarians don’t believe in taxation… Which is cool and all, but that’s public roads, bridges and highways, law enforcement, public schools, national parks, the post office, hospitals and healthcare, the fire department, congress, the CIA, FBI, the president, etc…

And we kinda need some of those things. 

Eva W. – Oh, HAIL no! They are Republicans on steroids.

Lorrene B. – No way, I’m going Green, I saw Johnson in a town hall meeting, didn’t like his ideas at all

 Laura R. – No Gary Johnson is not a progressive, and doesn’t concern himself with infrastructure or SS or Medicare
Pamela C. – Not even closely related to progressives. Yechhh!

Ruth A. – While many Libertarian “values” may seem appealing, the Libertarian Party of the U.S. is a corporatist party in disguise. Please do more research. They defend Citizens United. They are for the TPP. The Libertarian party is very dangerous. They would burn the world to the ground in defense of the “liberty” to go after profit.
Shelley L. – Not me. He’s for the TPP. Bernie wouldn’t approve and neither do I.
Tom R. – God, Not me! Gary Johnson is worse than Trump!
Theresa Ann A. – NO! It’s nothing like Bernie ideology!
Christine L. – Libertarians don’t believe in taxation but neither does the top one-tenth of the 1% and look where that got us
Paul Michael B. – The Libertarian party is a neoliberal party just like the D’s and the R’s, and thus represent the very root of our problems. Libertarians salivate over the idea of corporations suing governments.
This is my favorite answer out of the batch:
Stephanie F. – Hell no! How could any real Progressive even consider that. They’re Republicans, possibly worse. Libertarians have no foreign policy. It’s basically, “Sucks to be you, not our problem.” Johnson wants to get rid of Medicaid. He could give a crap about environmental issues or infrastructure, so no money would go to those places. Also, Libertarians don’t believe in taxation so there wouldn’t be any money to go anywhere. They’re all for private corporations building wealth, and getting rid of all government oversight of them. Capitalism unchecked isn’t worth crap! I would vote Green Party before I’d ever vote for a Republican or Libertarian. Jill Stein is an intelligent, progressive, environmentally conscious free-thinker, who isn’t owned by lobbyists. She’ll probably get my vote if Bernie’s not on the ballot.
Lee O. – Why? Deregulate and privatize everything. Why the hell would anyone contemplate supporting that?
Erik O. – Are you high, the libertarian USA are nothing more than parasites
Melissa C. – Nope, no libertarians for me. I care about workers.
Joy H.  Gary Johnson is mostly for everything Bernie is against.
He wants to deregulate everything (food safety standards, environmental protections, social security), abolishment of the tax system. It’s a really, really bad idea; more extreme than the mainstream Republican platform.
Justin L. – Why libertarian? It’s the Koch Brothers’ brain child and while Johnson holds to some liberal social issues, his economic policy is Republican; that is to say, outrageously horrible and broken.

Shane K. – If you’re a libertarian you never understood Bernie’s message. We are progressives.

Zarra H. – Libertarian is about 100% opposite most of Bernie’s philosophy and also mine.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2016 in Politics

 

Tags: