Whew! Long time between posts, I know! I’ve been a very busy girl. First of all, Welcome to my new and improved WordPress Website! What’d ya think? Go ahead, take a look around. I’ll hangout right here till you get back!
I’m so excited for you to see my new place! I am still fine tuning things, exploring stuff, and clicking buttons right and left! It’s wonderful to lose the fear of navigating your own website. It’s also damn enlightening to go back to the beginning, updating your ABOUT page and HOME page, seeing just how far you’ve come.
Well…I’m all grown up now, and actually looking like a professional author (2+ years later) thanks to Barb Drozdowich, my All~Things~Computer Guru/Goddess, and Jolene, CEO of JoGraphicDesign.com, my Go~To Goddess of Graphic Designs. Because of my lack of computer knowledge and skill (but I’m learning) I have dealt with several dozen services and service providers in the last two years. I can say without equivocation…These two women are the most honest, ethical, and genuinely professional service providers on the web! Bar none!
A Complete WordPress Overhaul…
If you follow me, you’ll remember my post concerning documents and their properties, specifically PDF documents, and all the heartache and headaches I endured after a botched, revision edit. I learned a very costly, yet valuable lesson about working with documents. *Note to self…when editing your manuscript, you want to make sure that you are using a Word doc. Always remember, when you send your MS to your editor, it must be a Word doc, not a PDF. I was introduced to Barb a few months ago after discovering I couldn’t use my revision edit. I had paid a premium price for a revision edit that was useless to me because I had sent the editor a PDF. When she tried to convert my PDF back to a Word doc for editing, the conversion corrupted the file and all of it’s formatting code.
PDF is the single most secure file that exists…a document strongbox without a key!
YOU CANNOT ALTER A PDF!
So, one of my best friends in this world, Stephanie Neighbour, took pity on me and introduced me to Barb Drozdowich. I have been blessed beyond words! We not only have a lovely, professional relationship, but I also pride myself in being able to say we’ve become good friends.
Barb is the master-mind behind Bakerview Consulting An author herself, Barb is all about Helping One Author at a Time with WordPress design, WordPress and Social Media training, and Building an Author Platform. She has a full menu of services ranging from basic web design, to Deluxe setup, to ‘a little of this and a bit of that’ Ala Carte, all with the intent that by the time she gets through with you, you know how to manage your site from the inside out, and you get the most exposure for your content. As an author/blogger, that’s ultimately what we’re all looking for…exposure for our content. Blogging can be tedious and time-consuming. So, for the time and effort you put into it, you want to do it well, and do it right.
When we started, the goal was working on my website. I told Barb that I didn’t really like to blog because it was like wading in muddy water. I felt like I couldn’t see where I was placing my feet, just stumbling along, hoping I was doing something right. Between our phone~chat lessons and reading her tech hints on her blog, the murky water has cleared somewhat. I’m still no expert I assure you, but I no longer dread the thought of blogging, or fear my keypad. I’m not a once a week blogger…I don’t like to blog unless I have something useful to share. If your inbox is like mine, you don’t want me prattling along about a whole lot of nothing. But, when I do take the time to blog, I want to know I’m doing it correctly.
Barb has given me tools on my site to maximize my SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and my branding. She has taught me how to link my content, look more appealing to Google and other search engines, add things more easily, make effective short cuts, share similar content in my posts, and how to get the most bang out of my posting. If I encounter a problem, she’s just a phone call or a Facebook message, away… #CallBarb!
Later in our sessions, Barb convinced me that I couldn’t just sit back and eat the cost of the botched revision edit, letting my book remain out there as is. She was appalled by what I had been through with my MS, and said as much. So, I relented, and sent her my corrupted file. She worked with it as much as she could, then sent it to several friends: editors and computer magicians, trying to find an affordable and expedited fix. She did! I will never recoup the money I have put into this book, but I’m proud to say that Barb and her magic have given me as perfect a book as I can possibly have.
A few months later, I had a brand new Word doc that she and I could work with. After two rereads on my part (requiring several glasses of wine and a cleansing cry or two) and two~four hour phone conversations, going page by bloody page, I have a fully formatted, workable MS ready for upload to any and every retail site out there.
Ooh…did I mention that she does distribution, too! She set up my dashboards, then uploaded my book to iTunes, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords, Nook, and so on… No, really! Yes, of course I know I can learn to do that myself, but why in the world would I want to? I do Open Heart Surgery! Barb does computers! I’m totally good with that equation. I’m saving my sanity while stimulating the economy! Win win for everybody!
Did I mention, Barb is also an author? Heehee…Well, she is! She’s put all of her valuable and helpful information into several books, with the hope of not only helping the fledgling author, like myself, but also help the seasoned, multi-published author learn the ropes of social media, web branding, and secrets of book blogging. THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO WORKING WITH BOOK BLOGGERS is the first in a series of books in the Building Blocks to Authors Success Series, written by Barb for the express purpose of “demystifying the promotion of your book on a book blog.”
If you can’t do the one-on-one consultation, or you don’t need the detailed help I needed, you can find a plethora of information to help you on your own publishing/blogging journey in the pages of Barb’s books. These are quick and easy reads with step by step instructions and recommendations. Click on any of the book covers to view them on Amazon. They are must-have reference material for any author. I have all of them loaded on my Kindle.
Barb is also a virtual ‘contact list’ for service providers. From editors, computer wizards, to graphic designers, Barb can hook you up. She is the equivalent of a GPS tracking device for all of your online needs. She introduced me to Jolene, my phenomenal graphic designer. Jolene created the beautiful header for my website…did you see the reflection of me in the window? How cool is that?
Jolene doesn’t just dabble in graphics. In her day job, she is a professional Graphic Designer, residing on the west coast. She has an extensive portfolio of graphic art ranging from print, illustrations, to full animation. She is the genius behind JoGraphicDesign.com. She is fast, affordable, and reliable. Her work is beautiful and her turnaround is remarkable. She does so much more than just throw together a website or Facebook header; she gets to know you, your brand or vision, then works with you to achieve the look and feel you want. If her time is booked up…she tells you! She is the quintessential professional! If you’re in need of a header, print material, a 3-D cover graphic, or in my case, the ever-elusive SQUARE BOOK COVER for iTunes and Audible.com, this is the woman you want in your resources file.
I hope all of you will check out these two wonderful women. They are starred and flagged in my contacts folder. I never endorse anyone unless I can give my full assurance that they are who and what they say they are…so take these two ladies to the bank! I would recommend them to anyone, any day of the week, and twice on Sunday!
This journey is almost over. It has totally changed me, the person behind the taboo novel…for the better, I hope. It’s an ending, but also a new beginning. So of course, I need to embrace the new and keep moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of my old site. It was wonderful for a tech~virgin like myself, just starting out. It was also great to show my girls what determination can get you. But it’s time to move forward.
I want to continue to help people just starting out~the ones with no clue what they are doing or where to find information~people just like me. I will continue to share information, sites, and services I feel are essential to making your Indie publishing life easier, but I also want to share so much more! My beautiful new site will allow me to do that! Yes…this book journey is almost completed, just a few things left to tidy up and then “my heart” will go on the virtual shelf. Thank you from my soul, Barb!
Next up, my Anniversary #GiveAway Blog! Details coming, soon! I’m so glad you stopped by and I hope you will come back and visit again.
Write with passion…