Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to help others “StumbleUpon” your work

Have you ever written a book, thought it was the greatest thing in the world, published it, and then sat back and waited for the world to beat down your door to get their copy? If you've ever written a book, then the answer is most likely ‘yes’, and you are still waiting for the masses and wondering if they lost your address.

So how do you get the masses to buy your book and turn you into a bestselling author? Basically, write a great book millions want to read, then market it to them at a price and in a format they can’t say no to. Easy, right?

Ok, if it were really that easy, everyone would do it. With the Internet and the so-called “social media revolution” there are numerous tools you can use. (Yes, even you!) One of them is called StumbleUpon. Over at I posted some helpful explanations and tips about using StumbleUpon to increase traffic to your work.

Read the full post at

Friday, May 20, 2011


I don't know when it started, but I've been writing poetry for a while. I create a Christmas card each year and write an original poem to go with it. I also make cards for Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and birthdays and usually have an original poem in them. The last few years my brother and I have been making books with family photos as gifts for our parents, and I wrote a lot of original lines for it. And when I first posted a website, I wanted a unique way to display my art, so I wrote poems to go with my illustrations as if it were a virtual storybook on the web. I really enjoy writing, especially poetry. In fact I have a secret project planned for after my second novel is published that will ... but that would be telling.

There are several things I like about poetry. First is the rhythm and the way it sounds; good poetry is so melodic even if it doesn't rhyme. Second is the ability to paint with words, because you don't have the usual restrictions of prose that requires you basically to "tell" everything in a certain way. With poetry you can place the words visually to get added meaning. Third, I like how much can be said in a minimal amount of words. So many of the greatest poems are short in word count but long in content and message. The best art and the best writing takes just a little and makes so much of it.

The other day I suddenly had the idea to publish my poems. I was originally going to publish all of the illustration poetry, Christmas Card poetry, and other greeting card poetry, but realized it would make more sense to publish them as three anthologies. So I just posted the illustration poetry, but it is some of my favorite. It's available in most eBook formats from and Smashwords, but will soon go on sale at Barnes & Noble Nook store, Apple iBookstore, Sony eReader store, Kobo, and Diesel. I love the cover art! If you've been following this blog, you may recognize the characters. The title comes from one of my favorite poems. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to format a graphic novel or comic book for digital distribution thru popular eBook stores

Have you ever created a comic book or graphic novel and wanted to publish and sell it but weren't sure how or didn't want to go bankrupt doing it thru comic book stores?

Well turn that dream into reality! Over at, I've outlined a few helpful steps and tips to make your work meet the formatting guidelines and pass thru Meatgrinder intact and qualify for the premium catalog. I cover what file format to use, what size your images should be, how to place them in a Word document without being shrunk to thumbnails, as well as tips on allowing previews and avoiding error messages.

Read the full post here:

If you'd like to check out a few of my comics, visit my Author page at Smashwords. Some of my comics are even available for free:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thoughts on Writing: Show and Tell

In one of my high school English classes, the teacher would start class by writing a sentence telling an action on the board, and we had five or ten minutes to fill up half a page showing the action. For example, the teacher would write “The room was messy” and we would write a paragraph or three describing the messy room without ever actually saying the room was messy. It’s a technique calls “Show Not Tell” and English wasn’t the only subject to make use of it; my college art classes were fond of it as well. It’s frequently quoted as a way to make your writing “better” and more “professionalism”, but is showing really better than telling?

On an interesting note, anytime you write, you are telling your audience what is happening. To show you need to include pictures, so anytime you create visual art, you are showing and not telling. But semantics and technicalities aren’t my goal for this essay.

Showing and telling are both tools a writer or artist can use to convey a message or story. One is not necessarily better than the other. They both have their strengths and their weaknesses, and they both have their uses--things they do better than the other.
Telling appeals to the intellect. It is much quicker and much clearer. If you tell someone the room is messy, you can convey that in four words and there is no question whether or not the room is messy. If you were to describe a room and the clothes on the floor, the week old pizza under the bed, the overflowing trashcan, you need several sentences, and at the end, some people may think the room is normal, not messy.

Showing appeals more to the emotions. It creates richer, more vivid images in one’s mind. It also requires more of the reader to figure out what you are trying to say, and therefore can be more satisfying when the reader succeeds.

Telling is good if you want to make a point quickly and clearly. Telling the reader certain facts allows you to move thru a story quickly without breaking the rhythm. Showing allows you to bring your reader into the situation, to create an experience and play on their emotions so they feel something for the story as if it happened to them.

Determining which to use in a given situation depends on the situation, what your goal and purpose is, who the audience is, how much time they have to digest the information, and how capable they are of digesting the information. One should not automatically dismiss telling as bad writing and accept showing as good writing. One must take into account the situation, purpose, and desired result to judge the quality of writing.

A wise writer or artist will use the most effective tool for the job.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Card

I like to make cards for special occasions by hand. I create an original illustration and an original poem for each. I've built up quite a collection.

This year for Mothers Day I created an original for my Mom, but I decided to share it with you too. Enjoy!

Mothers rarely get what they deserve
For the many sacrifices they make,
The time they give up,
And the worry they endure.

They may hear an occasional thank you
Or some other quick acknowledgement,
But like so many other important things
Their labor of love goes unrecognized.

But today, this mother will get what she deserves
As we not only tell her, but also show her
How much we love and appreciate her.

Happy Mothers Day!