Monday, January 30, 2017

Don't Call It Writer's Block: What To Do When You're Stuck


I don't say I have writer's block. I say I'm stuck in my story. It means the same thing but writer's block, at least for me, feels like this wall I can't get over. "I'm stuck" feels more like a hill. What do you do when you're stuck?

Don't Beat Yourself Up
It's frustrating when you want to write but you can't figure out what happens next. Worse, you force yourself to write and it all feels like crap. Calm down. Almost every author goes through this. You aren't terrible. You aren't alone.

Skip it
I'm writing the first draft of The Sciell's Legacy. Characters are at point A. They need to get to point B but I don't know how. I skipped that part, adding a comment as a reminder that something's missing. I started writing from point B. Eventually, I'll figure out the journey. For pansters, the first draft is usually terrible and full of plot holes. That's fine, you can fill them in along the way.

Plan Your Characters
This is for the pansters out there. We generally don't do character outlines. We just start writing. I was never a character planner in the past but recently, I'm finding it useful. Probably because it's an app and I'm a sucker for some cool tech. When I get stuck, I open Character Planner and start working.


Do Something Fun
I'll often get stuck when I think about my books not selling. I start wondering what's the point of even writing another story. No one is going to buy it. Or I get a bad review and think my books suck. That's when I take a break to watch something fun on YouTube, read manga or take a walk.

Do Some World Building
I couldn't see my way through The Sciell's Legacy so I stopped writing and started world building. There are a lot of aspects that need fleshing out like how the government works. If you're a fantasy or sci-fi author, take a step back and do some world building. It helps, at least for me, to handwrite the notes.

I view writing as not simply the act of sitting in front of a computer and cranking out words. I see it as world building, research, people watching, list making, journaling, day dreaming...reading. Relax and just write.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Week in Links 1/27/17: Black Panther, The New York Times, Passing Strange



Welcome to the weekly roundup of links for fellow writers and nerds.

Book Marketing and Branding

Writing, Publishing and Bookishness
The New York Times gave up on graphic novels
7 Rookie Writing Mistakes (and 7 Ways to Improve)
Boost Your Design Skills With This Advice from The Pros

Want to see your post in the next The Week in Links? Email me at audendjohnson@gmal.com. The post needs to be published between today, 1/27 and next Friday, 2/3.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Finding Time to Write, Publish & Market Your Books

Authors have to write and market their books, both of which are full-time jobs. Indie and small press authors often do all of that along with formatting their books, designing covers, researching keywords, updating their books.....on top of having a full-time job because most writers can't make a living off of their books.

Being an author, in general, is a huge time suck.

Here's my life:

I usually release three books a year. I update this blog three times a week while being active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, Flickr and DeviantArt. I design premade book covers among other images. I'm selling photographs which means taking a lot of pictures, sorting them, editing them and attaching keywords because searching 18,000 images is a pain.

I release a newsletter the last Monday of every month. I'm also submitting stories and photographs to contests. Somehow, I have to fit exercise and sleep in there. I got a Masters while I wrote and published several books, which meant writing, designing covers, formatting books, researching trends, applying edits...

How can you manage your time so you won't go insane?

Side note: there might be some moments when you do go insane. I had to write, blog and social media while working on my thesis project. One day, I started crying for no reason. My parents said I was overwhelmed and encouraged to me take a break for the rest of night. I couldn't since I had to blog but I did take a small break to recharge.

Surround Yourself with Supporters
The only way I made it through my thesis project was because I had people around me who supported me. When you need help, tell your peeps- even your non-writer ones. If you don't have support, try going to writing Meetups. The library is another good way to meet people. One of my libraries often has free classes on things like social media marketing.

Social Media Schedulers
Interestingly enough, I don't spend a lot of time on social media. I schedule all my content through Hootsuite and Tailwind. I'm paying for both. All my accounts are on Hootsuite.


Since I have notifications set up on my tablet and phone, I don't need to be on the networks unless I get some engagement. I can schedule Instagram but it is something I'm on every day. Instagram requires you to be on the app. I don't mind. It's easy and fun. I'm already taking a ton of pictures.

I don't need to be on LinkedIn, DeviantArt and Flickr every day or even every week. For LinkedIn, I can monitor groups on Hootsuite and engagement on my phone.

Weekly Schedule
Most of the things I mentioned above, I don't do every day.

  • Sunday- Schedule Blogs/start The Week in Links
  • Monday- Design
  • Tuesday- Search for contests and magazines to submit my stories and photos
  • Wednesday- Photography
  • Thursday- Photography
  • Friday-Design
Writing and social media aren't included because they're everyday things, most times. If I have a deadline or I'm hit with some inspiration, I might work on Saturdays. For instance, a couple of Saturdays ago, I was working on book covers. So yeah, authors don't get days off.

Design and photography also includes updating my online portfolios-- Flickr, DeviantArt and Behance. When I post something on those sites, I also schedule them to go on a Pinterest board.

Side note: This schedule isn't set in stone. Right now, I'm not editing or formatting a book. If I was, one of those design or photography days would be for working on the book. 

Create a Publishing Schedule
Noticing a pattern? Schedule everything. 


This is an Excel template that comes with the program. It's impossible for me to remember all the things I need to do. I have to write down everything. I use this mostly for my blog. In this spreadsheet is a list of potential topics. It's been awhile since I've sat in front of this blog and not known what to write. 

Mobile
Most of you probably have a tablet or smartphone. Sign in to your social media and email accounts on those devices. I save so much time now that I don't have to check my email several times a day. It does mean I get a lot of notifications on my devices, especially from Facebook groups. It's better than logging on to gmail and Facebook when I don't need to. 

Go Easy on Yourself
Most authors say write every day. If that works for you, great. I don't think you need to write every day. I don't. When I can write, I don't often crank out thousands of words. Sometimes, it's just 300 which could take like thirty minutes. It could be terrible but at least I wrote something. 

Journaling is Writing
I took a step back from one of my stories because I couldn't see my way through it. I still working on it, I'm just not writing scenes. You can journal anywhere. 

Repurpose Content
If you've been a blogger for awhile, you have a good backlog of posts. You don't always have to write something new. I took a popular post and turned it into an infographic.
I've also started republishing content on LinkedIn. Using their blog is a good way to increase profile views but I don't have time to run two blogs. Instead, I take a post I wrote here and publish it over there. I usually change the title and header image since it's a different demographic. I also say in the post that it was first published on my blog. 


If you're running a blog, try to include evergreen content in the mix. I save time by sharing posts I wrote months or years ago. They're still relevant. 

Motivate Yourself
I have quotes posted around my workspace for when I get heavy and I just don't feel like doing anything.

The way I schedule my work, most times, I can take a break at the end of the day and watch mindless shows to recharge. 

Write Even if You Don't Know What You'll Do with the Story
I was able to publish so many stories because I wrote most of them years ago. Only recently did I needed to write something from scratch. Most times, I was taking an old story and fixing it.

More Resources
How to find time to write: 9 tips to get words down
Tips for Writing and Working Full-Time

Monday, January 23, 2017

Looking for Guest Bloggers


I'm looking for fantasy and horror writers to guest on my blog. I'd especially like posts about social media marketing, the writer's life and world building. Nerdy topics are cool too. If you're a writer wanting to talk about your video game/anime inspiration, I'd love to hear from you. If you want to talk about horror books that most influenced you, contact me. Think topics that will inspire, entertain and educate lovers of fantasy and horror.

Interested? Email your topics to audendjohnson@gmail.com.

Here's an example of a guest post. They're published every Wednesday. Buy/Social Media links can be included at the end of the post.

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Week in Links 1/20/17: Logan, Power Rangers, Apps for Authors



Welcome to the weekly roundup of links for fellow writers and nerds.

Book Marketing and Branding
Promoting Your Personality, A.K.A. Marketing For Authors In 2017
20 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books with a Message of Social Justice
M. Night Shyamalan explains the 'dark humour' of 'Split'
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s GOOD OMENS Gets a Miniseries From Amazon
Latest Power Rangers trailer gives us a first glimpse at Zordon and the Megazord
‘CONTEMPORARY AND AS GRIMDARK AS IT COMES’: New Books from Adrian Selby
Super Mario Run Comes to Android in March
10 Unconventional Tips for Photographing After Dark
The Healing Power of Photography

Want to see your post in the next The Week in Links? Email me at audendjohnson@gmal.com. The post needs to be published between today, 1/20 and next Friday, 1/27.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

School Hauntings: Ohio University, Athens

Since I'm writing a story about a haunted dorm/island, it seemed appropriate to look up haunted schools. This is good inspiration. I heard about some haunted schools in passing but it was never something I researched.


Ohio University’s Athens main campus is said to be one of the most haunted schools in the world. It's most known for Wilson Hall’s room 428.

The building is allegedly located in the middle of an immense pentagram consisting of five cemeteries situated in the region. It is believed this dorm sits on a graveyard. 

In the 1970s, a female occupant started behaving oddly. The student began talking in a strange tongue but before her friends could help her, the girl plummeted to her death from a window. At the time, she was reportedly practicing the occult. After her death, students reported strange phenomena surrounding this room-- footsteps, unexplained voices and flying objects. Some people claim to have seen this female's ghost. The room has been sealed shut. The university deemed it uninhabitable. 

Elsewhere on campus is what’s left of The Ridges, a development that was formerly a local psychiatric hospital called Athens Lunatic Asylum. The Ridges housed nearly 2,000 patients, over three times its capacity. Patients were restrained for days at a time, crowded in rooms meant for one and beaten by the hospital staff.

University students would talk of figures standing in the empty wings of the former hospital, disembodied screams echoing through the halls or intense feelings of dread. Hidden on the top floor is a human-shaped stain where an escaped patient lay dead for over a month. In 1979, a patient, Margaret Schilling, went missing. Her body wasn't discovered until 42 days later. She was found naked with her clothing folded next to her body. Margaret had decayed so much that an imprint of her body had seeped into the concrete. The stain couldn't be scrubbed out no matter how hard they tried.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Behind the Book Cover Redesign


You've probably had this happen. You get an idea but you ignore it because it's a pain. The idea leaves you alone but it never really goes away. After awhile, you try it just to see how it would turn out.

For months, a voice has been telling me to redesign the covers for The Sciell and Chains of the Sciell. The voice was strong when I was working on the cover for Book 3, The Lost Sciell. I ignored it because I didn't want to do all that work.

But we gotta do what's best for the book.


Why the redesign? The covers aren't terrible. They get attention at conferences.
  1. They don't give any kind of hint to what readers should expect they when check them out. The title is ambiguous so I need a good cover image to tell the story.
  2. I really like the cover for Book 3 but, as I thought more about it, I realized it doesn't match these two.
  3. These books aren't selling. I've changed the prices, keywords, descriptions and marketing plans. The only things I haven't touched are the covers and the titles.
  4. The title font/design for Chains of the Sciell needs some work.
Before I started designing, I needed to figure out why the cover drew people's attention. If parts of your cover worked, keep them. For my books, it was this:


I could put that mark on any merchandise and people would devour them. (Thank you to those who helped me decide on this symbol. You guys rock.) So, the new cover needs to have this symbol as the main subject. 

Then, I studied dark fantasy covers for inspiration.

Collect book covers and examine them to see if you notice any patternsI have Pinterest boards for book covers by genre--focusing on fantasy, dark fantasy and horror.  I noticed there aren't any patterns when it comes to dark fantasy covers. I should've been prepared for that. That subgenre needs its own subgenres.


I did notice that dark fantasy artwork, not covers, tends to be black and green.

I have a color scheme.


I plan to keep this throughout the series.

You probably know this but when you're creating covers for a series, there needs to be some similarities in the designs.

The Harry Potter books have different scenes on the cover but they're all illustrated, feature Harry Potter and have the same font.

It doesn't matter how you make the book covers match as long they look like they belong together. 

I took the Harry Potter approach- same subject, font and style.

I had to work backward. The new covers need to match Book 3.

I needed an image to pair with butterfly symbol. That was the hardest part. Because I do cover design, I have a lot of stock photos on my computer. So, I searched through my collection and tried things out. It took awhile. I visited images I saved on Shutterstock for inspiration.

Here's what I did for Book 1:

To ensure the font style is the same, I saved the file under a new name (Book 2) and changed the artwork. Here's Book 2:

I let the designs sit for a day while I worked on something else. Every now and then, I came back to them to see if there was something I wanted to change. Then, I put the covers side-by-side to compare them. When I felt they were done, I sent them off to my publisher who liked them.

On to the next step.

The jacket was a pain to create. It took so long my hands started to hurt. And I made one major mistake with Book 2. Chains of the Sciell is a lot longer than The Sciell so the spine is wider. However, I designed Book 2's cover on Book 1's template. I ran out of steam so I haven't fixed it yet.

Side note: If you're working in Photoshop, make sure you change the color scheme from RGB to CMYK. RGB is for web while CMYK is for printing.


It'll be awhile before the covers are changed online. I also took this opportunity to tweak the descriptions and keywords. Found out some places have old descriptions. I was too lazy to change them. I could've sworn I changed Chains of the Sciell's description. This is a good opportunity to do some maintenance.

Keep an eye out for these new covers! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Week in Links 1/13/16: Nintendo Switch, Adobe, Cover Design



Welcome to the weekly roundup of links for fellow writers and nerds.

Book Marketing and Branding
5 Ways to Repurpose Your Popular Social Media Posts

Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi
Marvel Reveals Plans for a ROGUE ONE Comic Book Adaptation
Marlon James to Write Fantasy Trilogy Inspired by Lord of the Rings and African Mythology

Writing, Publishing and Bookishness
The Nintendo Switch: Why a Portable System Still Matters in 2017
How to design book covers for any genre


Want to see your post in the next The Week in Links? Email me at audendjohnson@gmal.com. The post needs to be published between today, 1/13 and next Friday, 1/20.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winterskin: A Dark Fantasy by C.M. Estopare




Title: Winterskin
Author: C.M. Estopare
Genre: Dark / Epic Fantasy

The Path.

Perilous. Brutal. Deadly.

It is said that if a man journeys in alone, he’ll never return and there will be no corpse to bury.

Thousands of lives hang in the balance. Braving the Path is the key to saving them, but their survival is not guaranteed. For the Path is brimming with flesh ravenous monsters and the threat of a sinister presence known only as “the Lady”, an eerie entity dwelling deep within the confines of the black forest.

Escorted by a chosen few, the Chaperon is prepared to move forward to preserve the lives of a mountain town planted deep within the forest. But even in the dead of winter, the dark creatures prowling the surrounding forest remain unsettled and are bent on decimating any who encroach upon their territory.

Katell Maeva, one of those assigned to escort the Chaperon, will have to prove herself on this journey if she wants to be deemed a full-fledged shieldmaiden. But even her unique abilities may not be strong enough to withstand the brutal attacks they’ll face. Can this young woman, desperate to save her own family, complete her mission to escort the Chaperon and lead the convoy to safety?

For her, this journey is more than just a challenge; it’s the key to her future.

A world frozen within the cusp of winter, teetering upon an age that promises the evolution of mortals into gods, WINTERSKIN weaves the consequences of brutal ambition into the personal tale of shieldmaiden Katell Maeva’s growth into a woman bound in a darkening world gone feral.


WINTERSKIN is book one in the exciting dark fantasy series KINDRED SOULS. A fast-paced read, filled with jaw-dropping action, and savage femme fatales, WINTERSKIN is a riveting page turner that is impossible to put down.





C.M. Estopare is a full-time author, avid yoga enthusiast, and veteran of the United States military. She is the author of HEARTFELT SOUNDS, a young adult coming of age fantasy about the enthralling power of one young woman's voice.

KINDRED SOULS is a five part epic and dark fantasy series hitting Amazon and Kindle Unlimited beginning in February 2017. Look out for the first book, WINTERSKIN, debuting February 9th, 2017.

When not writing, C.M. Estopare enjoys reading about the fantastical worlds in the minds of others. She also enjoys playing around with her puppy, Duke, and adventuring with her husband.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Creating Dark Fantasy Animals


Darkness has taken. Its power torments people. Animals and plants slowly evolve to thrive in this dangerous world. In Book 1 of my Merging World series, you learned about glowing plants. You discovered mutated animals in Book 3. By Book 4, new species of plants and animals appear all the time.

I talked about plants in the post Creating Fantasy Plants. Now, let talk about creating fantasy animals.

Real Life Animals
I don't plan on reinventing the wheel. I'm mostly taking animals that exist in our world and tweaking them. For instance, I'll take a wolf and turn it blue.

"The wolf pulled its large ears back and snarled. Silver liquid dripped from its fangs. Its fur turned into black and ice blue flowing silk." 
I'll need to do more research because I have a tendency to default to dog and cat-like animals.

Mythical Creatures
If you've spent time on this blog, you'll know I sometimes do mythical creature posts. ---Mythical Creature: The Color of Dragons--- I enjoy researching so looking up folklore is fun. It also gives me inspiration for my own worlds. In my series, I created belials. They're demons that disguise themselves as lost children and prey on adults who take pity on them. They were inspired by my research into mythical creatures. Mythology has some truly creative and fascinating animals.

Image Search
There's no shortage of fantasy artwork. Just Google fantasy animals and you'll find some interesting creations.

I have boards on Pinterest for Mythical Creatures.


Cross Species
If you get stuck, cross a lion with a snake or a bat with a spider. I'm reading this manga, Gyo, that starts with a killer fish on four spider-like legs.


Location Based
You can't find all animals everywhere. Some animals in your story should be location based. Two of my characters are world travels and researchers so they often talk like this:
“It has the antlers of a Tsyian mountain goat and the broad body of a gold tiger found deep in the Pallos forest.”
Location can also help with characteristics and powers. A bear found in a snowy region could have ice powers. The region as well as the surrounding culture can tell you what these animals are used for and how they're viewed.

Uses
My characters treat animals like companions instead of pets. They generally don't use the animals for anything. However, in Book 4, my characters need to travel to another island but they can't find a boat. They search out winged creatures who fly them across the ocean.

Which animals exist to balance life in your world and which ones are primarily used by humans. Do people eat these animals?

By Book 4, animals are smarter than most humans. Hunting them is nearly impossible. What animals are used for can affect your character's way of life?

Video Games
I play Pokemon which is a great source of inspiration. I would love to talk to the people who create those little creatures. The level of creativity is insane. Researching Pokemon can help you with animal attributes if you want to make your creatures magical.
Fantasy Generators
Like name generators, there are certain tools that'll give you charactersitcs of animals.
Seventh Sanctum
Fantasy Name Generator


How do you create animals for your stories? 

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Week in Links 1/6/17: 2016 Year in Review, Attack on Titian 2, Writing Podcasts



Welcome to the weekly roundup of links for fellow writers and nerds.

Book Marketing and Branding
Six Social Media Marketing Tips For First-Time Authors
How to Use Google UTMs to Analyze Your Social Traffic
Live Video and Marketing: Where the Industry Is Heading

Fantasy/Horror/Sci-Fi
Favorite Books of 2016 & Year in Review
‘We need diverse books,’ they said. And now a group’s dream is coming to fruition
Are Your Characters Talking?
3DS Online Maintenance Coming Up, Here's Exactly When and for How Long
Nintendo Releases New Zelda: Breath of the Wild Art
Game Release Dates in January 2017
Hallmark Says They Did Not Copy Yuri On Ice, Had No Idea What It Is
Alien: Isolation Never Got a VR Version, But Alien: Covenant Will

Photography and Design

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What Makes a Good Book Cover


Like a story, everything on the book cover needs to be there for a reason. Covers for self-published books have gotten a lot better. However, I still come across some cringe-worthy designs. Even if you're hiring a designer, you should know the elements of a good cover so you can better judge the finished product. This post will also help you when you're creating teasers.

Simple 
Often, I see book covers with too much on it-- as if the author wanted all the themes displayed. Don't do that. The cover will come off as cluttered. Readers won't know where to look. If you've noticed, book covers tend to have only one main subject. Romance books are the exception. They generally have two people on the cover.

This cover is on the edge of being too cluttered. There isn't a lot of negative space. I might have to take off the framing element and simplify the title's font. Although the cover has a lot of parts, the main focus is the house with the winged female being secondary. If the female and the house were the same size, the cover would be too busy.

Symbolic
You have this awesome scene in your story and you totally think it would look great on the cover. It won't. This tip goes along with having a simple design but it needs to be separate. My book, Chains of the Sciell, is about powerful characters with connections who are trapped in a house that's alive. Instead of trying to put all that on the cover, I just did this:


Then there's this cover. I saw it in the bookstore. It got me to pick up the book and check out the description.
Totally symbolic.

Don't be too literal with your covers.

Balance
Don't put every design element on your cover. If you want a bold font, it might be best to go with a simple background and vice versa. The below image is so dynamic that putting too much on it would make the cover scream and not in a good way.

The image is loud but the typography is simple. I'll need to change the title design because the word isn't as clear as I like it to be.

The placement of different elements can also help or hurt the balance. In the above cover, there's an invisible line down the middle and everything sits on that line. If the title or author name was too far to the left or right, the balance would be thrown off. As it happens, the author's name might be a bit too far to the right.

Typography
I love, love fonts. I love playing with them. I have to hold myself back. I'd put four or five different fonts in my designs. Don't do that, unless the text is the cover design. Depending on the image, I usually pick two fonts, one bold and one quiet.


The font depends on the image and genre. The above combination wouldn't work with this cover.

Color
I'm still learning about this. Colors have emotions and weight. Certain genres have color schemes. I've noticed, for instance, that paranormal fantasy covers tend to be black and blue. The right colors can get people to take action. The right combinations can enhance a design. If I have an image, I'll sample the dominating color and plug it into Adobe Color CC, which is free, to find the right scheme.


Check out Psychology Of Color (Infographics)

Seamless
This might be the designer in me but there are certain covers I look at and can tell which elements were added. The cover doesn't look like one image, it looks likes a collage. The author/designer didn't blend the images well.

For the below image, I liked the basic design but wanted a different face. I add a new face to the design. Hopefully, you can't tell. The cover should look like one image. I spend a lot of time playing with blendings in Photoshop.


Blending the female's nose nearly drove me insane.


Design for small screens
I come across this problem on Instagram often. An author will post a teaser or an image quote. The background is nice but the text is too small to read on my phone. Or, they'll put too much text on the image. Be simple also means be moderate with the amount of text you add. Sometimes, you can't help it. Books with subtitles often have this problem.

I'm not sure about this image. The different font colors and sizes might make it easier to see on a small screen. I think it's too much.


Bonus Tip: If you want to share the cover for the digital only book on Instagram, try to do it this way.


Instagram doesn't do well with rectangle images. 

Do you have any design questions? Comment below.

More Resources:
Book Cover Design
Designing Book Covers that sell – the 7 Must-Haves: Derek Murphy (Video)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Marketing: Some Tips from Bookstagram


Time to set some writerly goals and fine-tune my publishing schedule. Time to review what worked and what didn't work last year.

As an author, you never stop researching. There's always a new way to get to know your readers. Things are always changing.

According to Google Analytics, traffic from Twitter and Facebook is in the negative while Pinterest has increased. I haven't done anything different on Twitter and Facebook. Don't know what's going on. Anyway, I'll probably put more focus on Instagram and Pinterest since I get more engagement from those sites. Facebook groups are pretty good when you find one that's not just about promoting books.

I am having a bit of trouble with Pinterest. For awhile, my analytics were all in the positive. Now, most are in the negative. I have no idea what happened. I'm not using the site any more or less than I used to. Engagement is still going up, though


I need to take Pinterst and Instagram to the next level. I've seen some good engagement with my book photography on Instagram.

What is Bookstagram?
"It’s the bookish community on Instagram, much like booktube on YouTube and booklr on Tumblr. On Instagram we share anything book-related from our current reads to book hauls to bookish events. The focus is on sharing photos, though captions and comments propel the conversations forward." (Word Revel: Bookstagram 101: Introduction)



I share photos of books, my workspace, architectures and landscapes. Some of those do pretty well.



As authors, we read often. Why not take pictures of those books and share them? You can also share photos of your own books, even teasers, as long as that's not the focus of your account.

I'm not really starting a bookstagram because I post different kinds of photos but the tips on the below sites would help us take better book pics.

Bookstagram Tips & Tricks
How to Fabulously get Started on #Bookstagram
How I Bookstagram + How YOU Can Too!
A Brief Guide to Bookstagram

How do I come up with ideas for shots?

I'm already studying photography so I have a good idea about composition. Also, photography makes you more observant. You know how has a writer, you see stories in almost everything? As a photographer, I look at almost every scene and think how can I come at that to make it into an interesting shot. Take a lot of photos, study other pictures and you'll get better at it.

Seasonal
For fall, I thought it would be pretty to take pictures of books among the leaves.


For Christmas, I decorated my shelf and took pictures of books among the ornaments.


Mostly, I check out #bookstagram often to get inspiration.

I walk around my apartment or neighbor and see which spots would be best for a book photo shoot. Then I take many, many pictures and chose the ones I like best.

It's still difficult to tell which photos will get high engagement. For instance, the above picture was pretty popular. I hadn't expected that.

I keep hitting a wall, though. I buy more ebooks than paperbacks. I've done some shots of my kindle but those don't do as good as the print books. This is why I share other types of photos. I'm still working on a theme to tie them all together.

Find me on Instagram!

Do you follow any bookstagrammers? Comment your favorite account.