Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pintrest from a photojournalist’s view

There are concerns about the legalities and copyright issues of being pinned. My question, is it that different from sharing these links on other social media sites? The same type of sharing information and interests is involved. Only Pintrest simplifies it by using photographs to catch the eye not just a snappy title.

Pintrest is the latest ‘in place’ on the web, it is a website which totes itself as an electronic pin board. A user creates boards on which they show off their interests in collections of photos.

Most of the time, a click to that photo leads back to its origin. Allowing users to share recipes, blogs, articles, websites, and interesting photos, quips of wisdom and even favorite items or products for purchase by ‘repinning’ the photo to their own board.

Many websites are have added Pin It buttons to their pages and posts, and even have boards of their own. So pinners know it’s safe to dive into the content and pin away. There is a Pin It button on the toolbar at the bottom of this blog as well as buttons for other social media.

I'm still fairly new to Pintrest and learning how to use it effectively for marketing but I must say the results I've encountered so far have been encouraging. I don't think it takes away from my copyright for someone pin my work.

It’s the same as if they were to tweet, book, +1, stumble or digg a post or photo. Pintrest can be a great tool. I would encourage fellow pinners to make sure their pins do link back to the original site or post, a link or credit to the person or place their pin came from for all their pins.  

I’m going to continue to use Pintrest as part of my marketing toolbox to help build my platform. Not to mention the fun of collecting pins for my own boards.  Go head Pin me :) 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Learning Your Story

I have a book that has driven me crazy for a while now. I realize it’s just like my new skill, I recently learned to crochet.

Okay one is made of fuzzy yarn and the other is made up of characters and an evolving plot. But they start out the same way, as a thought or idea. The loop of yarn becomes a chain, words become sentences, then several rows or a paragraph. Wha'la you've got a hat... er story or both. 

Learning a new craft like crochet doesn’t mean your first project is going to be perfect or even pretty. Look at the picture below for instance.
yarn thingy

Know what it is? Me either, but it was supposed to be a potholder. Yup, really. That’s how most books start out. Pages of words that you know are something but not quite shaped right.  

In the case of my book, it was so bent out of shape I was frustrated and stuffed it in a file out of sight. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good or that it didn’t have potential. Just like… my yarn thing up there.

It makes a great coaster thing as is, but with a little tug the stitches will unravel and it can be reshaped into something closer to what it was supposed to be. A writer does the same thing with a story. My frustration subsided and I pulled up the file. I made some serious tweaks and changes. I even changed the title.

The tale was off and running again…. For a while. There were some plot issues and something missing. There just didn’t seem to be that hook and grab to the first few pages. Still it was better, like my second go at a potholder pictured below.
Almost square! 
I learned how to keep my rows from doing that pyramid thingy. I also learned what my story really needed to make it work.

After a good read through of what I had written, I did a bit more research and reconstructed the plot. Painfully, I ganked the first chapter. Saying toodle loo to over five thousand words is a hard thing to do. However, the death of chapter one gave strength to the rest of the story. Which is now becoming a good book not just a yarn thingy.

What is the moral to this yarn? (Yup, I went there.) Every story is a learning experience. It starts out as an idea that improves with every writing session. Each time a writer sits down they learn something new about the story. Before long, there is a beginning, middle, and end that’s as close to perfect as one can get it.

Did my crochet improve as well as the story? It has, with every project I get a little better there too. Check this out… yes, I really made that. I’m shocked too.
I might be getting the hang of this! 

Don’t give up on a story that you think can’t be fixed because it looks like a yarn thingy. Give it a read through, or have someone else give it a look. The answers are in there, you just have to take a deep breath give it another go. 

You’ll soon fall in love with the plot and characters again. Then you'll have the awesome hat... er... story you started out to create. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Read an E-Book Week 2012

March 4th thru 10th we are celebrating the great invention of E-Books. The publishing world shook a bit at the thought of paperless books but the idea has caught on and caught fire to the imaginations of writers and readers everywhere.

The book began to evolve into its electronic form in 1971 when a copy of the Declaration of Independence was stored on a Xerox Sigma V mainframe computer by Michael Hart.

Hart believed computers could be used for more than just… well computing. They could be used to store, retrieve, and catalog information such as documents and books. From this simple idea began a new revolution for readers he called, Project  Gutenberg. Where over 30,000 books are available for free downloads. 

Books evolved from paper to discs that could hold one book to handheld devices that hold hundreds of books. Are e-books going to take out bound tomes like VHS kicked Beta’s ass?
a Xerox Sigma V mainframe computer

No, I don’t believe so. Paper books and documents have been around for millennia. Though e-books have become a part of our everyday life, bound books are still just as involved. There is nothing like holding a new book in your hands and turning the page in anticipation of what will happen next. It’s like comfort food for your brain.

I do believe that E-books will provide a new frontier of opportunities in publishing for the writer and reader alike. E-publishing is opening doors for many writers to get their feet wet in the publishing pool and build a readership.

 Books being available instantly, almost anywhere in the world there is internet can provide vast new opportunities for established writers to reach new readers and expand their platforms.  

E-books are not a fad, they are here to stay. In the forty years they’ve been around electronic books have made an impact on the publishing industry. It’s going to be interesting to see what the next forty years brings to this broadening frontier.

This week choose a book for your favorite e-reader and support a new era in the book. Check out my e-books in the Literary Emporium or just click the book store tab at the top of this blog. Get 20% off your order with the coupon code SPACIOUS, now through March 7th.