Categories
readers writers

Free Book Friday: May 14

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called Karma.

My new page will showcase the promotions that I am involved in, and will be updated every Friday. I hope that you will find something new.

Featured Freebie:

Last week’s offers:

Do you have an eye for details? I compiled all my NapoWriMo poems into one volume, but it needs a once over to check for errors. Send me a message below. I’ll send a word doc. for editing.

Use contact form below

Try your hand at reviewing!

Those are just the new ones! Click the link below for currently running promotions!

Discover New Authors and Free Books

Question: Is the italic font annoying? I’m up in the air about it…

Another question: Do you have a free book you would like featured?


Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!
Categories
thoughts Uncategorized writers

Thursday Thoughts: Blogging Questions?

I’m relatively new to blogging, only doing it since 2019, and I’d like to get your thoughts on a few things.

Do you blog more than you read others, or are you primarily a reader? I suspect most people on WP write more, but maybe there are more that just enjoy the various offerings.

How often do you update your web pages? I have been working on streamlining my landing page, trying to keep it uncluttered and easy for visitors to find what they need while showcasing my work.

How much storage space do you use. Oh, I still have plenty, but there are a lot of photos and such. If I delete them, then the posts that use them will have the little “image not available” on them.

Do you find the block editor “yell at the screen worthy”?

And now he dirty word: Monetizing

I use my blog to: exercise my writing skills, entertain, inform, and to let people know that I am here. Through my blog, readers can visit my website if what I write is interesting to them. While there, they can: purchase any of my books or merchandise, receive free samples of my books when they sign up for my newsletter, listen to some of the music that I have written, and look for free offerings from other authors I promote. 

I notice that some posts are partial, which if you wish to read the rest, a link is provided that will take you to the writer’s website. Obviously, this will boost the traffic there, but do you tend to pass those over in favor of staying within the WP feeds? I could probably put my posts onto my Medium.com page and get more reads there, but that feels like I’m trying to control where the reader goes.

Do you use your blog primarily for revenue, or is it for the love of writing?

There you go. Discuss.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
cartoons Just plain weird Weird Wednesday

Weird Wednesday: May 12. Cartoons

If you are new to Weird Wednesdays, it is my day to share some of my odd writings, or more often, my cartoons: “The Miniscules” and “The Untitled”.

Sometimes it’s hard to make yourself laugh. I have to admit, this one did.
I might have just watched the season finale of “The Curse of Oak Island”.

That’s all the weirdness for today.


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
humor Uncategorized

Open Book Blog Hop: May 11

Twenty-six letters and many possibilities (to go off-topic)

We know a lot of words. I think I read that children can learn upwards of 500 words or more a month when they are in elementary school. This is based on the the fact that by age twelve, the average child should be able to understand about 50,000 words.

That’s a lot of words.

Words change and evolve, appear and disappear, fall out of favor, or become that word that everybody uses until we are all tired of it.

When we listen to someone talk to us, do we hear spaces between the words, just like we see the spaces in a printed line of text? If you pay attention to a speaker, you will realize that there are very few breaks between words. When does one word end and the other begin? That’s for our brain to interpret. Was that a compound word or two separate ones? Listen to a different language being spoken and see if you can hear any breaks.

I decided to dictate what I had just written. I tied to speak fairly quickly. Here is what I got:

we all know a lot of words I think I read that children can learn upwards of 500 words or more a month when they’re in elementary school this is based on the fact that by the age of 12 the average child should be able to understand about five 50,000 words that’s a lot of words words change and evolve appear and disappear fall out of favor or become that word that everyone uses until we’re tired of it when we listen to somebody talk to us do we hear the spaces between the words just like we see the spaces on a printed line of text you pay attention to a speaker you realize that there are very few breaks between the words when does one word end and the other begins As for our brain to interpret was at a compound word or two separate ones listen to a different language mean spoken and see if you can hear any breaks

Other than punctuation, I have to admit it is accurate. Then I noticed that there is a language filter, so being a funny guy, I thought it would be humorous to see what would happen if the computer thought I was speaking a different language. Each time, it gave up after a few sentences (I probably won’t get back on topic…).

French : Oui no – Yeah, that’s all it did.

German: Vino Worms – Wine worms?

Italian: Vino allora words – Wine, then words.  Now that makes sense.

Spanish: Quemar aumentar School eso es bastante factor de abertzales Biblia – Burning increase School that’s pretty bible shed factor. That’s bizzare but it hung in there longer.

Chinese: Wind Word accessories The Children – Sounds like a proverb.

Finnish: Schengenin grande superfood ferber terve new century – OK, now it’s just tossing in whatever, although I heard that Finnish was difficult (the language, not the people. They’re lovely.)

Back to the the topic. Whatever it was…

-Leon

Want to play along? Do add a comment if you like, or you can even link your own blog to this one by clicking the blue button below.

Rules:

  1. Link your blog to this hop.
  2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
  3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants’ blogs.
  4. Tweet/or share each person’s blog post. Use #OpenBook when tweeting.
  5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.
  6. https://fresh.inlinkz.com/p/d2fe7b5a64dd45ee99c2b6e275b9de74

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
writers

Tuesday Tune-up: Writing Tools / Programs

I thought I would share my experience with the tools and programs that I use for writing.

Grammarly

I sprung for Grammarly last year. I didn’t always agree with the Word editor, so it was good to get a second opinion. It does make me aware of some of the common mistakes that I make, and I definitely have improved with my punctuation and clauses.

I do get emails like this that make me scratch my head:

OK. 99%? Is nobody else writing?

Money well spent, I suppose, or I paid attention in English class.

Me do good.

When I write, I’ll usually do a page, then go back and turn it on to check, otherwise I’m constantly looking to the right.

Shaxpir

I was looking for a way to organize my drafts and ideas, and Shaxpir seemed to fit the bill. You can create folders, chapters, idea pages, character and setting sheets, and the basic level was free after the 8 week trial of the full program.

Once you put work into it, it saves it on their cloud. I was wary of this but I continued to use it…until…it stopped working.

I tried the community forum but found it a ghost town, and took way to long to figure out how to contact with a CS agent, Finally, someone got back to me saying there was a problem and they’re working on it.

Still waiting.

Luckily, I did not have much new work on it, but enough that I’m not pleased. My NaPoWriMo poems were all written on it; those were all reposted on my blog.

I had moved some older work to it, which thankfully I did not delete any originals.

You know how they say good news travels, but bad news travels faster?

Run!, Run away!

Kindle Create

Pretty easy to make a Kindle ready book for free. But don’t think you can use it for anything else. What you make can only be opened on your Kindle readers (no MOBI here), or uploaded to KDP.

Calibri

Free eBook converter. Upload your word doc. and create EPUB, MOBI, of PDF. Then open what you made and realize that Word docs are not “what you see, is what you get”. It takes some experimenting and googling to get the right formatting (hint: page breaks are your friend – sometimes), but overall it is pretty easy to use.

Just remember, readers can set their font and spacing on the reader to what they want, not what you necessarily had envisioned.

Publisher Rocket

I figured that I was going to write more books, so rather than spend countless hours on keywords, just spend money. It’s just money, right? (I dislike spending money, BTW)

It’s a one shot cost, so I’m set. I used it to update my keywords and to maximize my Amazon ads.

Inkitt

Yeah. Not a program, but worth a mention. I had tried Wattpad last year, but got frustrated with the lack of being able to even mention a piece of your own work. I know it’s to limited shameless promotion, but it got a bit too restrictive.

So I turned to Inkitt to see if I can reach new readers. Not much better.

I tried to weigh the positives and negatives.

Cons:

  • Wouldn’t let me single space my poems
  • Formatting is one size and only has bold and italic options
  • You can import your word doc. but even with page breaks, you still have to manually separate chapters and because of the previous point, no other formatting is transferred
  • Reaching readers. After posting on some of the community boards (which there are very few), I’m still unclear why the book that I published doesn’t show up on the recently published list.

Pros:

  • Hmmm. Haven’t found one yet.

Other tools worth mentioning:

My Brain

Not recommended. Too scattered and full of glitches. Very steep learning curve (Think years. Many.) Some good ideas if you search through the weird stuff.

My Fingers

Visually dependent and index dominated, despite repeated training. Tend to miss “a” in favor of the “CAPS LOCK”. Visually dependent.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
Uncategorized

Music Monday: Nobody’s Perfect

I finally changed the strings on my guitar. Wow. What a difference.

Will that give me motivation to play more? I still enjoy playing, but sometimes it feels too much like a chore.

It takes me a long time to learn a new piece of music (or re-learn something). If I step away for a while or start a new piece of music, the hard work dissipates and I feel I have to start over again. When I finally get to the point where it’s not going to improve anymore, it’s still not to my liking, not because it’s perfect, but because it’s not perfect. I know that my skill set is not set up for perfection.

Nothing is ever perfect though, is it? I wrote a quote that read:

“Perfection leaves you nowhere to go.”

Where do my imperfections lie? I can play a certain part correctly several times, but then make a mistake where I never before. I misplace a finger on a string. I forget a part or section that I thought was memorized. When I go to record one of my pieces, just the pressure of pressing the record button is enough to make it seem that I didn’t practice it at all, so it takes many takes to get a complete piece.

I have been trying to practice and record one of the first pieces that I wrote, “Riviera Galliarde”, and hopefully, by putting my goal in writing, I’ll be able to share it with you very soon.

Stay tuned.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Remember when your mother told you not to put anything in your ear or nose? Did you listen to her? Probably. I don’t know how she knew it but she’s right.

Where am I going with this you ask? Well, Mother’s Day for one, and Covid tests for the other.

I decided to go get tested, out of caution, since I had been working around more people than I had normally done for quite a while, and even though I took all practical precautions, and had my first vaccination shot 3 weeks ago, I had a few symptoms—runny nose, sore throat, slight cough. Could be a cold or reactions to all the spring dust/pollen, but the case counts and test positivity rates have been rapidly rising over the last few weeks,  and most cases were variants.

So, I drove up to the testing site and proceeded to have a swab shoved up my nose and jiggled around “For only ten seconds,” she said, although I distinctly remember her starting the count several seconds after the aforementioned insertion. Now I feel worse than when I came in…

So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and of course my own. I will never doubt you again, or stick an knife in the toaster. Love you.

-Leon


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
humor

Second Chance Sunday: May 9

How do I choose the second chancers? Small number of views, mostly. Posts that may have been lost in the feed that I think are worthy. Sometimes, I’ll read a post and revise it slightly or fix broken links.

This is one of my earlier posts when I was developing my writing voice. I still am, I don’t think we ever stop, do we? You’re right, we shouldn’t.

Reading: Paper or eBook – On my other blog it was easier to insert poll questions, so I tried it here.

Dredged Up from the Past

Some of my posts from my old blog didn’t make the trip over. Until now: From May 2020, two months in:

Things that I regret watching:

  1. The Dead Don’t Die: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop. What could go wrong? It’s a parody of Zombie films that unfortunately misses the head shot. There are a few chuckles scattered throughout, but not enough to give it any stars. Watch Zombieland instead and give this one a double-tap ( Ha! Get it? 😊 )
  • Avenue 5: Compared to such space comedies such as: Red Dwarf and The Orville, well you can’t compare it. It falls flat right from the start. I couldn’t even watch the whole first episode, but I went back and forced myself to give it a chance. Now 4 episodes in, I’m committed, or I should be committed. Why am I still watching? For the good of everyone else so that they shouldn’t have to.
  • The Masked Singer: One show in and I discovered something, just PVR it, zap through the first 55 minutes and then the 3 minutes of the “Take it off” chant, and you know who it is. Ta-Dah!
  • Sports Bloopers: I’m officially bloopered out. And great plays out.
  • When will they start airing old games? Oh, there they are…
  • Goldmining shows: I keep watching these and keep getting angry. The things that go wrong shouldn’t go wrong if they knew what they were doing. I can see things they shouldn’t have done. How can you let your water supply go dry/muddy when it’s the lifeblood of your plant…? (I know, if nothing went awry no one would watch)

And finally:

  • Infomercials: No I haven’t got to this point yet, but a Flow-bee would come in handy.

If I missed anything let me know. Happy viewing!

Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
poetry

Weekend Wrap-up: May 8

What was I up to this week? Well, I finished putting all my NaPoWrMo poems into an Ebook, got back to writing my novel, and writing non-poetry related posts.

Free Book Friday: May 7 – A few offerings of sample books and review copies.

The Purge: Redux – My way of dealing with my mailing list

Weird Wednesday: Cartoons – Just cartoons this week – I think.

Decisions, decisions – Shampoo shopping

Monday Musings: To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme – OK, I lied. there was a poetry post. My analysis of my poetry style.

I didn’t read many posts this week but here are a few you should visit:


Addressing 9 Myths and Facts About Sleep For Better Insight

A Blog Milestone – I had a guest post there last week, so I’m going to take some of the credit.

Two bloggers sharing their platforms:


Friday Click & Run – 7/5/21 – Stevie Turner

Promote Your Blog! – Phoebe Chi

Hey look! A book ‘o poetry!

Want a copy to hone your editing skills?


Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Categories
readers writers

Free Book Friday: May 7

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?

Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called Karma.

My new page will showcase the promotions that I am involved in, and will be updated every Friday. I hope that you will find something new.

This week’s new offers:

Try your hand at reviewing!

Do you have an eye for details? I compiled all my NapoWriMo poems into one volume, but it needs a once over to check for errors. Send me a message below. I’ll send a word doc. for editing.

Those are just the new ones! Click the link below for currently running promotions!

Discover New Authors and Free Books

Question: Is the italic font annoying? I’m up in the air about it…

Another question: Do you have a free book you would like featured?


Sign up for my newsletter and receive a free eBook of your choice.

Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!