Tampa Bay Book Fair, a new Book Cover and Bookmarks too!

In two weeks I will be at the Tampa Bay Book Fair with my fellow Ink Slingers Guild members. We will be displaying our books, handing out bookmarks, doing drawings for those who contribute the first line of a story for Stories My Friends Started and, of course, having a great time!

If you’re local, come out and see us!

On another note, the book cover for my first novel, The Guardians, has had an overhaul and I am pleased with the results:

TheGuardians_BookCover_FinalNew_sm

My book and many others will be available at the book fair (as well as on Amazon)!

And lastly, I have a new bookmark to go with my new cover and I just love it!

Guardians_Bookmark_2x6_side1a

Guardians_Bookmark_2x6_side2a

 

 

Hope to see you at the Book Fair!

🙂

My thoughts on Social Media

I like to keep an eye on the chats (discussions) in Goodreads on all kinds of topics and one that struck me recently was a chat I saw about social media. The author wrote up his experience with Facebook promotions. He explained how he promoted, spending quite a bit I might add, and got himself heaps of new ‘likes’ but without a single book sale. He researched it and found that the majority of the ‘likes’ came from “click farms” which are based in other countries, in his case, India. He was very unhappy with his experience and titled his write-up “Beware the Lure of Social Media”. Having that experience would have pissed me off too so I understand his viewpoint. I would strongly suggest to anyone who is going to shell out some jing for promotion that they do their due diligence using Google and any other source that is not the person or entity selling you the promotion. Then hopefully you will have a better experience.

My thoughts? Here’s what I added to the discussion.

 I LOVE to read and I am a HUGE fan of many amazing authors. As an author, I took a look at social media from my viewpoint as a reader/fan.

Do I want the authors I love and adore to be constantly pinging me (whether it be on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram etc.) on their book? No. I have already started following them for some reason – I already know about or have read their book. I want to know where their next signing is. What they’re working on now. What inspires them? What makes them tick? What makes them mad? What things interest them? And, when a new book is coming out, they had better let me know too!

I am actually more interested in THE PERSON. I think a lot of readers are. So my thought is: use the social media to BE social. Readers will go to your website or amazon or Goodreads to find out more about your book(s). But to find out more about you? What better way than to share on social media. 🙂

 

How to “Point” your Domain to your WordPress site

In an earlier blog, I wrote up how to buy your domain name with GoDaddy. Now, here are the steps to “point” that domain to your blog. What that means is that when someone goes to your domain (www.supercoolperson.com or whatever you chose)  it then brings them to your blog. Or the home page of your blog site or to whatever you want.

So first, get over to GoDaddy.com and log in. This is what you will see once you are logged in.

Do you see the + to the left of where it says DOMAINS? Click that.

1-DomainDirect

 

You should now see a “drop down” with your domain in it (or if you purchased more than one, you will see them all listed).

2-DomainDirect

 

To the right of the domain you wish to direct, there is a ‘launch’ button. Click that.

Now you should be on your ‘Domain Details’ page.  In about the middle of the page you should see ‘Domain Settings’ and four rows below that is “Forwarding”.

3-DomainDirect

 

Just to the right of that it says “Domain: Off” and beneath that is a button that reads ‘manage’. Click that. Here’s what you should see:4-DomainDirect

 

Click on “Add one now.”

Now you should see another pop up like this:

5-DomainDirect

 

See where it says “Forward to” and there is a box on the left with http:// in it and then an empty box to the right? Leave the box on the left alone. You only want to fill in the box on the right. Open another tab in your browser and actually go to the blog or home page on your blog or where ever it is that you want your domain to be pointed at. Copy the link displayed. I am forwarding a domain for my writers group while I write this up. For example, the link for my writers group is: http://inkslingersguild.wordpress.com

If I wanted my domain to point to that, I would copy it leaving out the http:// since that is already saved in the pop up. Once I have inserted the link, this is what the pop up will now look like:

6-DomainDirect

 

Now you’ll notice that there is a “Forward settings” selection. It is probably already set to “Forward Only” and I would leave it there. That means the domain forwards to the link you provided and then is done. So if someone is now on your blog and click on a link to another page of it, the link at the top of the browser changes to the new page title. For example. Someone goes to InkSlingersGuild.org and ends up on our blog, the actual link being: http://inkslingersguild.wordpress.com/

Once there, the person visiting decides to click on ‘Books’. Now they will be on the page: http://inkslingersguild.wordpress.com/books/ and that is what will show in the browser. Like this:

7-DomainDirect

 

That is forwarding. If you were to choose the alternative which is “Forward with Masking” then no matter where the visitor to your site goes, it will only ever show the domain name that you put in. In the example I give, using InkSlingersGuild.org,  that is what will ALWAYS be in the browser name. The thing I don’t like about this, is that if you do that and someone wants to copy the link to your books page and share it with a friend or link to it from their own website or blog, it only gives the domain name and not that exact page title so that cannot provide a direct link. You don’t want that, you want people to share, share, share! I hope that makes sense.

If not, stick with forwarding. 🙂

All right, don’t mess with anything else, go ahead and click on “Add”. Then click on “Save”. Everything you just did will take a few minutes to be saved and go into effect.

I recommend running off and preparing a sandwich or grabbing a beer with your significant other (or your dog or cat or bearded dragon or unicorn, whichever is applicable and if none of those works, go sit on the damn couch) and then go back to your computer and plug in your domain name and see where it lands.

If it’s not ready yet, you’re going to see “This webpage is not available”. Check back periodically and soon enough – you’ll be able to do the happy dance. 😉

How to Buy a Domain Name (website name) with GoDaddy.com

Hi, all!

First off – a domain name is the “address” or website name that you use to go directly to a website.

For example: Amazon.com. That is a domain name.

Since I had the pleasure of working in the website design and hosting industry for a few years (though I would be considered “old school” now), I have been helping some of the peeps in my writers group with setting up their wordpress account as a website. Part of that process is buying your domain name aka website name and “pointing” it to your wordpress account. So instead of having to put in https://authorlisabarry.wordpress.com/ to get to my site, you can put in lisa-barry.com and BAM! You’re there.

It is not expensive ($10-25 per year) and easy to do.

I have used GoDaddy.com for so many years that it is my ‘go to’ for domain names. Below you will find detailed instructions on how to buy a domain using GoDaddy. The next post will be on how to “direct” your domain name to go to your wordpress (or any other) site.

How to Buy a Domain Name (Website Name) from GoDaddy.com

1) Go www.GoDaddy.com

2) This is what you will see:

1-DOmainName

The first thing you need to do is find out if the domain you want is even available. Type it in to the field and hit enter (or click ‘search domain’.

3) At the point you will see one of two things:

3a) If your domain is NOT available, you will see something like this:

2-DOmainName

3b) If your domain IS available, you will see something like this:

3-DOmainName

4) My name is simple and abundant so LisaBarry.com was long since taken by a talented photographer. I had to get creative and ended up with Lisa-Barry.com which isn’t exactly what I would have liked but works. Keep on putting in domain name options until you find one you are happy with that is available. Then click on “Continue to Cart”.

5) The next page is GoDaddy showing you all the bells and whistles that you can purchase along with your domain name. For our purposes, we are only interested in buying the domain so we can direct it to your wordpress site. This is what will be the first thing they show you:

4-DOmainName

 

I personally always get domain protection. This hides my name, address and other personal information that I just don’t want out there and easily found by just anyone. I want to choose who knows my friggin address. If you are a bonafide business with a business address (that is not your house) than there is not really a need to get the protection unless of course you are doing something clandestine. hee hee. So now hit the teeny tiny arrow to the right of the “No Thanks”  and you get a drop down like this:

4-DOmainName_privacy

 

7) They give you two choices. I get the Privacy Protection (not the business) but read the difference to see which works best for you. choose one and then you scroll down to the next offer which is:

5-DOmainName_scrollB

 

Options for a do-it-yourself website and the hosting you would need for that. Since I am explaining how to get a domain and point it to your free wordpress account, I am not going to get into this. Just ignore it and…

8) Scroll down to the next offer which is:

6-DOmainName_scrollC

 

Again, I am not here to explain how to get email set up with your new domain name so we’re ignoring that just now. Know that you can log in at any time and add in additional services. Now click on ‘Continue to Cart’.

9) Do not panic when you see this next page. GoDaddy will automatically assume that you want to buy your domain for 5 years of use. In case you were not aware, though you are buying the rights to use the domain and for all practical purposes it is yours it is only for lengths of time. One year at a time. You can go ahead and roll with the five years worth or if you’re on a budget, just get it for one year.


7-DOmainName

 

Click on the little arrow next to the # of years and choose the year you want. The below pic shows you one year. Pretty good size price difference. When you’re happy with your choice, click on ‘Proceed to Checkout’.

8-DOmainName

 

11) Now you will need to set up your account or log in. If you are a New Customer, please make sure you note down your login info somewhere safe. GoDaddy uses both your email and your Customer Number and it is sooo much easier later on to have that info and your password to hand.

9-DOmainName

 

Well that’s my two cents on buying a domain. If you have any questions or there is some missing information, please feel free to post in the comments and I will help as much as I can.  😉

How to Create an Amazon Author Page (or add a book)

Here’s the quick skinny on how to set up an Author Page for yourself on Amazon:

For those that do not have an Amazon Author Page:

  1. Go here: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/landing?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
  2. Click on “Join Now”
  3. Sign in (or create new login).
  4. Follow instructions!

For those that already have an Amazon Author Page:

1)     Go to Amazon.com and sign in.

2)     Go to your author page.

3)     Scroll down about halfway and you will see a blue box with “Feedback” as the heading.

4)     Find where it says “Are you are author? Visit Author Central”. Click on “Visit Author Central”.

5)     Log in.

6) Find where it says “Update your Author Page”. Below that is a line that says “View and edit our list of your books:. Click that link.

7) Find the yellow button that says “Add more books” and click on it.

8) A search box will pop up. Type in the name of your book and your author name. Click Go. You should see your book pop up or be able to scroll though books to find yours. Once you find it, click on the “Add book” beneath the image of your book.

9) It will tell you that the book will show up on your author page within 5 days, Hang tight and it will be there soon!