Visual content is a great way to grab attention in the fast paced world of social media. Whether you want to use an image in your status update to stand out in the newsfeed or want a professional looking cover banner, there are lots of sites online that can help. One such site is

Review of

I was recently approached by the company to review their site, and in today's post I'll take you through the fab features it has to offer.... oh and did I mention... it's FREE!

It's not just good for social media. You can also use it to make posters and photo cards. Great for book signings or even just sending out thank you notes to reviewers or blog hosts.

There are 320+ delicate templates for collages, posters and photo cards that you can modify depending on your needs, and you can upload photos either directly from your computer or from Facebook.

Let's start by looking at Facebook posts. 

Using the menu on the left, scroll down to "Social Media" and then click on "Facebook Post". You'll now see a selection of different designs to choose from.

I decided to test it out by choosing the top left design showed here as it seemed like a good basic layout that could be used in several ways. I just clicked on the image to select it and them on the orange "choose" button on the bottom right. 

This opened up the template. For this experiment I decided to use a few of the sketches from my Disney Illustration Study (I'm an illustrator as well as an author, in case you didn't already know ;)).

When you click on Add Photo you have two options 1) upload from computer or 2) upload from Facebook. As I already had these sketches uploaded to Facebook I choose that option.

They uploaded straightaway. I then clicked "Auto Fill" and they positioned themselves in the template grid. By clicking on a single image it opens up an "Edit Image" box. 

Here you can do a few things including, zooming in on your image, repositioning it, changing the colour, exposure, etc...

Editing the text is super easy with the edit box. You get to pick from a variety of fonts and can personalise it either more by adding bold, italics, underlining, or putting a line through the text. To edit you just need to click on the text and the "Edit Text" box pops up.

Here I was editing the text. Again you can select from a wide variety of fonts. You also have the option of bold, italic, underlined, or with a line through. You can align to the left, centre, or right, and adjust the size and colour of the text. 

You can save your creation to your computer using the save button at the top of the screen.

You can pick to save as either JPEG or PNG, and also select the quality of the image (Low, Medium, or High).

There is also a share button on the top right. 

By clicking here you can easily share your new creation as a post on Facebook so it shows on your timeline. 

FotoJet has a selection of designs for Facebook page covers too. Just click on Facebook cover from the menu on the left of your screen. As you can see just from this small screenshot, there's a lot of nice styles available.

I decided to try out the bookshelf one to see what it would look like with some of my covers. This is the end result:

It's not bad. In fact, I think it's a nice way to showcase several titles at once. One problem that did come up though was that on the images I uploaded of my covers it didn't show the whole of the cover. For example, on the cover of How to be Twittertastic: Writers and Authors Guide to Social Media Series BOOK 1 it does show my name. The same for Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home. This may be resolved by uploading a smaller image though as you can zoom in and reposition the image uploaded. It just wouldn't let me zoom out any more than what you see here.  

You can also use it to make collages. These are a few of the designs under the Modern category. The text with the image showing through underneath could work well for various projects e.g. showcase a quote by the author, or details about a certain character.

This is a few from the Classic category. I love the nice clean feel of these. Some of these would work well as the front of a promotion flyer. You could use a collage of images related to your book and then, on the back, put information about the book or a selection of your best reviews, FAQs, or your author bio and links.

This is a few from the Art category:

This is a few from the Holiday category. These could work well for special sales, offers, or events during the different holidays. That gift shaped one in the centre for example could work nicely for a special promotion on a book series or for a group promotion.

This is a few from the 3D category:

This is a few of the designs in the "Creative" category. There's some really good ones here. I can see that top left one looking good as a book cover, you?

All of these features are currently free to use. Try them out for yourself at

A great resource, with so many uses!

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Interview with Cindy Cipriano

Interview with Cindy Cipriano
What genre do you write and why?
I write middle grades fantasy and young adult paranormal romance.

Tell us about your latest book.
The Choice is the second book in The Sidhe series. For Calum Ranson, seventh grade brings changes in his relationship with his parents and his friends, and a confrontation with his bully. Calum’s talents have also developed to a level unheard of in the Sidhe world.
When Calum goes against everything he knows is right, he makes a choice that may cost him his friendship with Laurel. An old friend steps in, but her mysterious ways leave Calum questioning her motivation.

In The Choice, Calum, Laurel, and Hagen reunite in their search for Finley. And while many things have changed, Calum remains steadfast in his belief that Finley is still alive and that Calum will bring him home.

What formats is the book available in?
The Circle Book One of The Sidhe and The Choice Book Two of The Sidhe are both available in print and Kindle versions.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Join a critique group and run your manuscript through the group. Pay attention to suggestions and comments then edit as you feel is appropriate. After all, it is your story.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

Twitter: @CindyCipriano

Who is you favourite character in your book and why?
Donnelly Dunbar - no doubt. I love his intensity and devotion to his family. Oh, and the fact that he liberated himself from the darkest faerie clan of all.

Interview with Cindy Cipriano
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
The Sidhe series is one that strikes a chord with adults and young adults. There are 68 reviews posted on Amazon, and all of those were written by adults. Fantasy readers of all ages will enjoy The Circle, The Choice, and the other books in The Sidhe series.

Who designed the cover?
Karri Klawiter.

Where can a reader purchase your book?

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I am currently writing the third book in The Sidhe series. In The Lost, Calum and his friends are in the 8th grade, and the stakes are getting higher. I like to include real places in my stories (Fairy Stone Park, VA in The Circle, the Brown Mountain, NC in The Choice). The Lost has an equally mysterious and factual setting.

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Excerpt: True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Title: True Colors (Landry's True Colors Series: Book One)
Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager

Excerpt: True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Purchasing links: 


Author bio: 

Excerpt: True Colors by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a new YA humor series on fitting in, self-esteem & frenemies. Her work has been ranked #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen and Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and listed as one of Amazon's top rated books in Children's Books on Values. True Colors is an international bestselling book and was featured in USA Today. She has worked as a journalist and humor essayist. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint. Her third YA novel, Next Door to a Star, will be out September 1st.


The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.
I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to 
focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

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When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Stats?

When Was The Last Time You Checked Your Stats?

For those of you that follow me on social media or over on my website you already know that I'm big on monitoring my stats, both for my website, and for social media. 

It's not just to see how much I've grown my following over the month. There's more to it than that. I like to check them so I can see what's working, and what's not. It helps me fine tune my marketing plan.

Some of you may be thinking "but I'm an author, why should I care about my stats?"

Here's why...

Writing is your business. You are your brand.

It's that simple. You are your business, and you need to treat yourself like one.

Click to Tweet:

When you think about your writing, do you see yourself as a business? Do you have a business plan? Are you measuring your marketing efforts?

I personally have a sheet where I record my stats each month. It includes a bit of everything from pageviews to email subscribers to Twitter followers. I also note things like bounce rate, external backlinks, referring domains, and my Klout score, as well as my Google and Alexa page rank. It's pretty detailed.

Another thing I make notes on is what content gets the most likes, comments, and shares. Both on my blog, and on my social media channels.

So how do I measure my stats?

I check all my follower stats. I check my Facebook insights for my author page. I check my profile at I check my blogger stats. I visit and check my domain. I also check it on, and, of course, good old

I check in different places so I can pull the most accurate stats, and get the most complete report.

When was the last time you checked your stats? What stats do you check?

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Interview with Vanessa Matthews

Interview with Vanessa Matthews
Tell us about your latest book.
It’s called The Doctor’s Daughter and tells the tale of 23 year old Marta Rosenblit, a prominent psychiatrists daughter who realises insanity can be found much closer to home when she unlocks secrets from the past that threaten to destroy her future.

It’s primarily set in Vienna in 1927, a time when women have the vote and their morals are slackening, but Marta is not a typical woman of her time. She has spent her life being shaped as her father Arnold’s protégé and as a result she is lost, unsure of who she is and who she wants to be. 
The novel tells Marta’s dark tale of self-discovery as she tries to step out of her father’s shadow and find her identity in a man’s world.

Her father’s friend Dr Leopold Kaposi is keen to help her make her name, but his interest is not purely professional and his motivations pose greater risks that she could possibly know. 
Marta’s chance encounter in a café leads to a new friendship with young medical graduate Elise Saloman, but it soon turns out that Elise has some secrets of her own. 

When Marta’s shock discovery about her family story coincides with her mother’s apparent suicide, Marta can’t take anymore. None of the people she has grown to love and trust are who they seem. Her professional plans unravel, her relationships are in tatters and her sanity is on the line – and one person is behind it all.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book? 
I am pretty active on social media and have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I am trying to get to grips with Tumblr and my Instagram account is at its early stages but I am interested to see if that helps as far as book promotion goes. I try to update my blog regularly too, not only to promote my book but also to share interesting features, grow my body of work and build my fanbase as a writer.

In addition to organising reviews with book bloggers I am targeting a number of vintage bloggers to capitalise on the 1920s theme. I have some competitions and giveaways in the pipeline, but these will revolve around gift items rather than free books. Something that enhances the reader experience, promotes the setting or a character and gets people talking. That said, I am also experimenting with eBook giveaways on my social media channels.

What formats is the book available in?
The book was launched as an eBook in May and a paperback with an exclusive print design will follow in June. I’ve tried to create a paperback edition with a desirable and potentially collectible cover that will appeal to readers who enjoy the look and feel of a physical book.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Just get the words down on paper before you worry about anything else. Spending days perfecting your first paragraph isn’t helping anyone, whereas if you have a completed manuscript, you have something to work from and refine. Also, use beta readers at various stages. The feedback I got from my beta readers was really constructive but most importantly it boosted my confidence. When the majority came back with positive comments I knew I was onto something and it motivated me to keep going.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
My Facebook page ( and Twitter ( are the best sources of information at the moment. Following my blog is also a good idea ( as I use it to update readers on my journey to publication and my experiences as a writer. Having a place to share more in depth features and engage with fellow writers and readers is a real benefit to me.

Interview with Vanessa Matthews
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
There are some pretty shocking plot twists and many of my readers have told me it’s a page turner that builds and builds. It’s not an easy light-hearted read by any means, but I hope that it is fast paced and engaging. It is set in Vienna back in the 1920s, and I have tried to capture that in the best way I can. Scenery, décor, smells, food, drink, fashion and more have all been brought together to evoke that sense of time and place. I love to write flawed characters with interesting psychology, I find them fascinating. None of us are perfect, and many of us have a dark side whether we care to admit it or not. I have a background as a relationship counsellor amongst other things and so I particularly enjoy writing about dysfunctional relationships, be they romantic, familial or platonic. If any of that sounds appealing to you, then you are my kind of reader.

How long did it take you to write your book?
That’s a tricky question! From first words to first draft I would say it took about eight months. However, about half way through that time I was fortunate enough to be awarded a ‘free read’ manuscript assessment from The Literary Consultancy, which added some time. The award is based on merit, so it really spurred me on to know that a professional organisation had read it at a pretty embryonic stage and felt it was good enough to be selected. After that I spent a lot more time incorporating the feedback I received, and then I spent another couple of months working with a number of beta readers to improve it again. By the time I was ready to send it out to agents I must have redrafted it a dozen times! I’ve twiddled with it a few more times since then too, but at some point you have to say enough is enough, close the file and consider it complete.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
The eBook is available on Amazon all over the world (the UK edition is available here). The paperback launches in June and will be also available worldwide on Amazon and also via

How do you research your books?
Research is as important for fiction as it is for non-fiction. The Doctor’s Daughter travels through Vienna, Budapest and London and so to ensure authenticity I spent hours researching the locations and the 1920s era. I had to ensure that any landmarks and street names existed. It wouldn’t do at all to mention a library or a hotel that had been built in the last 10 years! I had to consider the literature of the time, communication methods, transport, clothing, social context, medicines and so much more. It took almost as long to research as it did to write it, but I am so glad I took the time to do it as I think the reader’s experience will be richer for it.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I have two novels in the planning but the one that I am spending most of my time on at the moment is another historical tale, this time about two sisters involved in a street gang in the late 1800s. Writing about women struggling to push through in a male dominated world appeals to me and I think many of the issues affecting women in the past are still relevant today. I hadn’t planned on writing historical fiction but for the time being I am happy exploring modern issues through a historical lens.

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