Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

The Imposter

Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Imposter (Gnome Road Publishing, March 2024) by Laura Bower and illustrated by Kerisa Greene is a darling picture books that is relatable.

When Olive’s favorite stuffed animal is missing, she searches everywhere. Then an imposter turns up!

This character is funny and real–kids know!

Read about Laura here and check out her other forthcoming book here.

Kerisa is both an illustrator and an author. Read about her here and see her forthcoming picture book here.

Posted in Business Side of Writing, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

Tips for Individual Blog Posts

  • Create posts in Word and let them sit at least a day or two, then proofread and edit before posting. I like having a number in progress.
  • When an idea pops to mind, make a note of it. I often type a few lines to remind myself of what prompted “that will make a good post” thought.
  • Posts lengths. They can vary. I have very short ones for quotes as it’s only the quote and the attribution. My book recommendation ones are longer. My writing advice is usually longer yet.
  • Add images. Appropriate images help garner attention to your posts.
  • Add links in the text of your post.This helps with search engine optimization (SEO).Options include:
    • Other websites, such as author, illustrator, or organizations.Online articles. Readers often like having the possibility of more information.Links to books.Links to other bloggers.
    • Usually you can set up links to Open in a New Page or Tab, so your website is still open.
  • Categorize each post. Most blogging platforms have this option. It helps readers find more post in that vein. And it’s okay to have subcategories.
    • For example, the “Young Adult” subcategory under my category “So Many Good Books,” is where you’ll find all the young adult books I’m recommending.
  • Add tags. This also helps with SEO and it helps me when I use the search function on my own website for specific types of books on my blog because I’ve added tags such as: diverse, historical, mystery. It may help hour readers too.
  • Schedule the post. Usually the default is to publish “Immediately,” but you can also create a post today and choose next Monday at 8 am for it appear.
  • Before posting use the preview option to make sure your blog post entry looks how you want it. I find it’s a good last chance to find a typo. Or change an image. Or even to make a sentence tighter.

Tips for Images for Blog Posts

  • Image Permissions. Make sure you either took the photo/created the image yourself, or are using ones that are permissible to use. (Don’t steal artwork.) For example, Pixabay is a good site for free images.
  • Crop your images. They’ll look better.
  • Size appropriately. Website images don’t need to be huge. Keep under a meg for sure, but I often do much smaller, like under 300k.
    • You can download smaller images from Pixabay.You can use an editor to change the size of an image. See recommendations above.If after you upload an image it’s too big, resize and reupload.
    • Book cover images from Amazon or usually small enough.
  • Name your images something obvious. Never stick with the numbers and letters from your digital camera. Or the length numbers from Amazon when using a book cover image. Save it as “Susan Uhlig headshot” or “lion roaring” or book title. Again, this is useful for search engines.
  • Add alt text to images. When you upload an image to your blogging platform, most offer the opportunity for alt text. For the two examples above I’d use “photo of Susan Uhlig” or “illustration of a lion roaring” or “cover of Book Title.” Why? To make your blog user friendly to those with sight impairment. They often increase the size of the text or have it read aloud, but an image without alt text can’t be read.
  • Extras. If you want text on an image, to combine two images, or add a background, the Canva website is very helpful.

If you have tips, I’d love to see them in the comments.

Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

You Make Me Sneeze!

Perfect Picture Book Friday

You Make Me Sneeze! (Astra Young Readers, 2024) by Sharon G. Flake and illustrated by Anna Raff is absolutely hilarious. And especially relatable to anyone with allergies. It’s also a companion book for You Are NOT a Cat.

Duck and Cat are best friends on a camping trip, but there’s a problem. Duck is allergic to Cat. He makes Duck’s beak itch and twitch, and “Achoo!”

With hilarious attempts to fix the problem, the book ends with a twist.

Read about the author here and check out Sharon’s other books here.

Look at a sampling of Anna’s illustrations here, read about her here, and see all her books here.

I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen — whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book — it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place.
Jeffrey Deaver

I’ve often said