Desiging the Virtual Press KitWritten by Howard Hopkins
When I first began trying to publicize my novels online, I encountered a number of obstacles. First, I write print westerns under a pseudonym, Lance Howard, and ebooks under my own name. This, I quickly discovered, created a bit of confusion. I needed a way to separate Lance Howard from Howard Hopkins, while at same time letting folks know they were same author.
I also "paint" ebook covers, design promotional cards, postcards and bookmarks for other writers and needed a way to get this information across without cramming up my signature lines or diluting their impact.
The press kit seemed like a partial answer; that way I could delegate sections for my books, my ebooks and my artwork. Why partial? Well, designing a press kit takes a lot of time and consideration and an author wants to make it look as professional as possible. Yet at same time costs involved can be astronomical. Printing individual elements on quality paper, color, sturdy folders, business cards for inside pocket and postage to send them to various sources add up quick. And while press kits are effective where physical newspapers, magazines, or radio are involved, they don't solve problem of online promotion very well. Since I wanted to focus on my ebooks and e-art, that was a quandary.
Enter Virtual Press Kit. I am not sure why I didn't hit upon idea sooner. I had been publishing an electronic magazine for half a year, all while stowing online promotion idea in back of my mind, or slipping individual pieces of it into my publication. While laying out my last issue, those elements suddenly gelled. Why not desing a publication dedicated to promoting my work exclusively. From there it was a short step to Virtual Press Kit.
What goes in your kit? Well, same elements that go into your printed version: press releases, flyers, a business card, contact information, etc. I will try to take you on a brief tour through one I created to get you started. From there you can tailor it to your own needs and individual tastes.
I created my Virtual Press Kit for Adobe's PDF, because I had software for my electronic magazine and because Adobe Acrobat is cross-platformed for Windows and Mac operating systems. However, Adobe software is a bit pricey so you can do yours in Word if you prefer. I set mine up using Word 97, so I will gear article towards that program.
A DAILY DOSE OF INSPIRATION Written by Arleen M. Kaptur
Inspiration - where does it come from and how do you get it when you want it? This age-old question highlights a problem that plagues those whose life work revolved around ideas, and new concepts, themes, or subject matter.
Take writing for example, if you don’t have ideas, then what do you write about? Of course, life happenings, news articles, and world events supply subjects for a lot that is written. If, however, you do not deal with “news” per se, then where do you stand? Well, ideas are there, all around you, and in everything you do. For example, your family, people you know, or mere brief encounters are food for thought and can produce a myriad of ideas and suggestions for topics. Talking to people, reading a magazine, or a newspaper will light up a little bulb that may produce a time-worthy article, or even your next novel. Even simple act of taking a walk allows you pleasure of opening up a storehouse of possibilities. In essence, everything you do is a possibility - every person you meet, every activity you engage in, and even doing absolutely nothing will inspire, enlighten and give you a storehouse of ideas. So, what is catch to your cornucopia of subject matter. You must be open to them. You must quiet your mind, your worries, your everyday problems, and let ideas flow in. Take time daily and open your mind, heart, and even your soul to vast enlightenments that are a part of each and every day. In reality, there is never a day that is closed to new ideas, insights, or perspectives.