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And onto a different design

As you may have noticed, there are some new notebooks listed in the shop. These are mostly covered in pages and sections taken from a UK roadmap. But now, I think it’s time to make some with a different design.

The roadmap notebooks are so much fun to make, and look amazing when finished. But I want to show more variety in my work. So, I’m starting work on some using wallpaper for the cover, and some using fabric. Both are incredibly tactile, and that is part of the joy of a notebook.

Each notebook is made from reclaimed, or upcycled materials. The only thing that is new is the glue!

Because each notebook is made individually, every single one is unique. If you go ahead and buy one, you can be 100% certain that no-one will have the same book, anywhere in the world. As a result, although the idea may be similar, every notebook made will have a different design.

If you have any ideas, please share them, I’d love to hear from you.

different design

And now to try to work out why my products and posts have mysteriously stopped sharing to my Twitter and Facebook. Everything was sharing automatically until the end of December, and now it isn’t. I haven’t changed any settings, I can’t find that anything has been changed by any updates (which sometimes happens). At the moment, not a clue… As always, if you have any thoughts, any clues, please do let me know!

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Would you buy prints?

I am debating possibly expanding. No not my waistline, although that seems to be happening all by itself… But that’s another thing. After a facebook conversation and some thought, I wonder if you might be interested in some of my images as prints. I’m thinking around A4, or similar in size, with a card mount. You could put the print in a frame of your own choice, or not – it’s up to you.

Would you put my pictures on your wall?

Silhouette at sunset - prints

I’m looking into products I can offer for sale that are reasonable to post. There’s no actual shop you can go into and pick one up off a shelf. It’s all online, and there’s only me here. This is a small hobby business at the moment, so there’s no team of people looking after dispatch, orders, customer service, marketing. It’s just me.

Taking into consideration that there’s also not much storage space in my house until the kids leave home – and I’m not kicking them out any time soon! Any product has to be reasonably small, easy to store, and lightweight enough to be posted from my local village post office, which is tiny.

Greetings cards were the obvious first choice. The canvases I’ve had made are fine for local venues, and possibly future craft fair events. But canvases are bulkier and more difficult for me to post. Once I factor in the cost of packaging materials, boxes, and postage, it’s not really something I want to venture into right now.

But a print, in a card mount, in a card backed envelope? I can do that. Those wouldn’t take up too much space, and would be reasonable to post too.

Steel works at sunset - prints

So, I am planning a small range of prints to be available in time for Christmas. Do you have any preferences? Are there any images in the galleries that you love?

Let me know and I can consider either including an image as a commission for you, or put the most popular images in the first selection.

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Book Sale

Book Sale

I’m having a book sale. My novels are going through a sequence of work that includes reformatting and new cover designs.

So, I have a box of the old cover designs and once the work is complete they won’t be current. A sale is in order.

I’ve updated the descriptions, double checked stock quantities and added them to the shop menu. It’s just up there on the second menu bar: Book sale.

There you will find every book I have a paperback copy of. Stock is limited, and once they’re gone then they’re gone. You might want to get in fast if you want one of these last few copies.

Most of the Portal Series is there, and the Earthlink book too. If you would like a short message, or a signed book, please let me know when you order.


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Working on SEO

Today’s task is to improve the overall search-ability for the website. It’s a behind the scenes thing that helps Google, and others to find your website more easily. So, today I will be working on SEO, focusing on the products in the shop.

I use Yoast – SEO plugin for wordpress, the free version. You can upgrade to the premium version for more features, but I find the free one does the job really well. For my purposes, it’s more than sufficient.

As I work on a post, or page, there are 2 areas of the screen to check. I’m going to assume you’ve already got Yoast installed and activated.

On the right menu there is a simple pair of icons which show in red, orange, or green to let you know how you’re doing. You’ll be aiming to get both of these green.

working on seo

Just type, and keep an eye on the 2 icons as you do.

But what do you do if they won’t go green?

Scroll to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find more detailed information and advice. Readability is at the top. Use the arrow to expand or collapse the box. Here it’ll tell you what needs to be improved. It will also tell you what is working well.

Readability – working on SEO

Above that is the snippet editor – you’ll need that too, especially for the SEO score.

When you’re working on SEO for a site, you need to consider how accessible, or readable, your content really is. Are you using too many long and convoluted sentences? Have you got too much jargon in your text? Is it all text and not broken up with some images? Perhaps your text is far too long and might be easier to read with some sub-headings to help guide your readers?

That’s your content. Then you need to consider how Google and other search engines see your page. 7

Working on SEO

working on seo

You need visitors to be able to find your site, and then find it interesting enough to stay. But first they need to be able to find you. Direct links are good, word of mouth and recommendations are even better, but you still want those who might stumble across your site by accident. So, you need Google, Bing, and the rest to be able to find you. This section will help with that.

It’s not an exact science, Yoast will guide but makes no promises for millions of visitors to your site. Play with it, use it to guide you, and see if it works for you.

I have 2 green lights, so I’m going to post this and go and work on some other pages.

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New Greeting Card Designs

Silhouette at sunset

Over this weekend I have been preparing images for some new greeting card designs. I made sure to include some previous designs that were popular, and sold out, too.

It wasn’t easy to choose the images. But they are with the printer and I now wait for the cards to arrive. When they do I’ll check the quality and assuming all is well, the new designs will be added to the shop.

But, you want a peek at what’s coming? There you are, gallery below with all 25 images.

This is a selection of the photos I am most proud of, the images that make me smile. I hope you agree.

Unfortunately, with printing and shipping costs to consider, the price of cards has had to go up to £2.50. I do apologise but this is a necessary increase, and not one I applied lightly. This does mean that I’ve been able to keep the shipping to you free, as long as up to 5 cards are ordered. Six or more will incur a postage fee, and a tracked or signed for service will also have a cost applied. It’s all worked out at the checkout stage in the shop.

I try to get to the post office as often as I can but sometimes there can be a short delay. Please bear in mind it’s only me here, and I have to fit this around family, and my other job.

The new greeting card designs

The new greeting card designs will be available for you to buy very soon, I hope you like them. As always, any feedback, comments, or thoughts, are welcome and I will try to answer every one.

An apology

Now, I do owe some of you an apology. The comments from an earlier post have been deleted by accident. I’m not sure how, but they’re gone. It wasn’t intentional, I think I pressed the wrong button. I am sorry. I appreciate and value every comment made (apart from the ones trying to sell me pharmaceuticals!).

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