Stock Photos and Covers by Victoria Miller

victoriaI have long been a fan of award winning cover designer Victoria Miller and I was thrilled when she agreed to let me republish her recent post about stock photos.

This is definitely worth a read regardless of whether you are self-published, published through a small Indie Publisher or through one of the “Big” publishing houses.

You can find her online here.

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PSA about Stock Photos.

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around that traditional publishers don’t use these for bestselling authors. This isn’t true. Many stock images are used on big pub books. A lot of the times they are edited to the point that they aren’t recognizable, but they start from stock. Likewise, indie authors can and have used custom photoshoots for their books—it costs more, which is why most stick to stock. However, what does this mean in the long run?

Indie authors may (and will) use stock traditional publishers have used on books. Sometimes they will have used it prior to NY pubs getting their hands on it. The difference is one has a farther reach in marketing so it will become more known as the NY pub’s work than the indie’s.

That doesn’t mean one is ripping off the other. In fact, there is a good chance they might not know the other book exists until after they have paid for their art and/or the book has gone out into the world. Cover Artists do look at a lot of art to see trends and what not, but there are so many books out there that they won’t know what every cover looks like, even in genres they prefer.

As an artist, I have accidentally created a cover using the same font for a book with the same title as another in the same genre. I’d never seen the cover before and had no idea. (Great minds though. You know the saying!) I have purchased stock that I’ve had to back burner for a year or more because a bestselling author released a book using the stock. I’ve made a cover using stock and then a bestselling author releases a book using the stock. I’ve used an image for a cover and another author later used the image as promotional material in paid promo that has out-marketed the cover that it was used on. It happens all the time.

Stock images can be used by any author or artist that pays to use them in the way the licensing dictates it can be used. Multiple authors can use it. There’s no rule against it. However, a good artist will try to change images as much as possible so that when the stock is used again it won’t be exactly the same. Of course, some authors prefer the original image and they have to pick their battles. What does this mean?

Don’t assume another author is ripping another off based on stock images. Because of popular genre tropes, images will be used by authors for similar stories. If you think there is plagiarism going on, you will need to read the book triggering this suspicion BEFORE making any accusation, no matter how innocent. Social media witch hunts are started for lesser things, and even if it is addressed privately it always starts the same way.

1. Addressing similarities without reading the content itself

2. Name calling the other author based on suspicion.

3. Passive Aggressive online behavior. Messaging the author to mention the other book. Some will do this publicly. Some privately. It spirals out of control from there.

4. It starts to get noticed because someone has mentioned it to the author. Other people discuss it.

5. People share it in groups, messages, pages, and other social media outlets. The torches are being lit.

6. Based on an assumption, the author is then under attack either publicly or privately on social media by people who have never read her work. Fan bases for both authors clash. Then it turns ugly. The both fan bases take it out on the authors. Negative reviews for no reason. Bad word of mouth. Etc.

The moral of the story: don’t assume. Yes, there is a chance an author might use an image because another author made it popular, but there is as much of a chance they didn’t. Don’t assume. If you read the book and there is a call for alarm, contact the appropriate sources.

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We Host – Travel and Learn by Anna Othitis

#Travel&Learn with Author Anna Othitis
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The Series
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Are you ready to take to the skies? Welcome Aboard Children! Come join the adventures of Captain Frankie and his flying angel as they travel across the world to some of the most popular, entertaining, and educational places in the world. Captain Frankie is waiting for you to book your ticket, safely stow your bags, and open your eyes to the beautiful places created for all of us to visit in My First
Travel Book series.
The Cookbook:

travel, learn, anna, othitis, books, kids, Books On FireHave Fun and Enjoy These Greek Recipes “LET’S GET GREEK COOKING NOW”

Natural Traditional Healthy Cooking with flavors from natural herbs.
Nutritional home cooked Greek food has been proved by researchers to lessen health problems. The answer is to cook and eat a wide variety of minimal processed foods to cover all the nutritional bases.
The beauty of genuine Greek cooking and eating is using a good amount of extra virgin olive oil rich in oleic acid. Legumes are rich in vitamins, vegetables high in vitamins and fibres, the probiotics in yogurt, cheeses, antioxidants in red wine, whole wheat breads, cold-pressed vegetable oils along with good exercise such as walking all increase “good” cholesterol and a healthy heart.
Eat moderate portions and now and again spoil yourself with a Greek desert, baked with nuts and semolina.

As served aboard “Angelic Airlines”

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Anna Othitis lived and was raised in the beautiful land and country of Zimbabwe, Africa (home will always be home. She left all of her life long memories, endless charity work and good people behind vowing that she will continue supporting the needy children in her land Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond.

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Her husband George, sons Johnny, Elia and Frankie encouraged her to write her first children’s book titled “My First Travel Book”, inspired by Frankie (Captain Frankie), who is graduating from his Masters degree in Aeronautical Science and beginning his career as a professional pilot. Anna’s favourite saying is “Be Bold Be Brave”.She was inspired to write her children’s books with a vision to link up the children of the world with magical flights to so many beautiful places of interest and popularity on our wonderful planet Earth with all its beautiful some natural and some man made creations and resources. One of the beautiful natural wonders featured in her books is in her birth land of Zimbabwe “The Mighty Victoria Falls” All of her books educate our children and widen their scope of interest in the amazing surroundings, creations and nature to appreciate and look after our environment for many generations still to come.

So come along and fly these magical flights with Captain Frankie and Anna!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Why did you decide to write a book? (Why do you write?)
I decided to write because I love teaching young children and giving them my knowledge. Children have to be taught to read from a young age and they love books, they have curious little minds.
How long have you been writing? (Did you write at school? Did you start recently?)
I started writing at a young age, but I only published a few years ago when I came to the USA children were curious and had questions of the world beyond them, they did not realise and know that there was a world bigger than theirs.
How do you think you’ve evolved as a writer since you’ve started? (what have you learnt?)
I have learnt to be patient when it comes to selling and learnt that a lot of tweeting and push is needed to get my work and books known. We did not have this technology in Africa, so this was all new to me. Self publishing is also something I learnt to do.
Do you do a lot of research when writing a book? (if so, explain how or what you did)
Yes I do as I like and have to get my facts right as I am writing for children that are absorbing interesting information in my books.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? (what drives you creatively)
I draw my inspiration from our son Captain Frankie who is the main character in our children’s travel books and from my family in general as well as my autistic student children that I love to teach and read to.
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The Real Captain Frankie!
Can you relate to any of your own stories? (Give a personal explanation if you can!)
Yes when I travelled to Greece at a young age I was curious and fascinated that one could see other parts of the world and fly in the sky with an aeroplane. I loved discovering and being adventurous, curious about other cultures around the world.
What draws you to this genre? (why do you prefer to write the stories you do?)
I love to teach the children of the world and especially the unfortunate children of Africa who are unable to travel to the rest of the world due to poverty. They love to learn and hear about the world and beyond them. They love to watch aeroplanes flying above and wonder where they fly to and their purpose of being in the deep blue skies.
How many books have you written?
I have written 4 children’s books and two Greek recipe books.
What is your favourite quote from a book?
Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t who don’t believe in magic will never find it. – The Minpins by Roald Dahl”

Any tips for aspiring authors?
Be proud of your work and never let anyone bring you down you have a unique talent and work on it. “Be bold and be Brave” my favourite quote in life.
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 WEBSITE     GOODREADS     FACEBOOK     TWITTER     PINTEREST     LINKEDIN     GOOGLE+

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Author's Top 10 Places To Travel To

Zimbabwe
Greece
Montreal
Toronto
Paris
New York
South Africa
England
Mexico
Mauritius
Review by The Book Mistress
Any time you can teach a child something new without them realising that they are learning, then you are onto a winner and this story manages this really nicely!! This sweet little book is a great book to read with your young children. It will entertain toddlers and is also simple enough for early readers to be able to enjoy alone.  Filled with interesting facts and adorable illustrations it’s a fun way to share trivia and information about other countries with your child.  I would definitely recommend it!

Review by Books On Fire Tours

I thought I knew everything and so did my son. That is until we read this book! Filled with interesting places and educational facts, we got to learn more about places we had visited. We also learnt about places we had never been to before. Now we want to visit those places desperately! What made this book even more special was the poems, quizzes and the beautiful illustrations. Together with the facts, poems, quizzes and the friendly pilot, this is a highly educational and entertaining read!
This is the perfect children’s book for bedtime with a kid that LOVES to procrastinate going to sleep. It took us less than 5 minutes to read and it was mentally stimulating enough to make him sleepy.
But more than that! This little book inspires our little dreamers to one day travel the world. If enough kids read, and open their minds and hearts to new cultures and experiences, perhaps they will have a better chance of making this world a peaceful and better place. Maybe they will look after our beautiful world better than we ever could. Perhaps our future generations will succeed where we have failed.

Review by Nick Vee
Excellent book for younger children!! I was able to show my kids some of the different wonders of the world without leaving the comfort of my living room! It was entertaining and educational and I would recommend it to all parents trying to immerse their kids in educational and fun reading. I am really looking forward to the next book.

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Review by Robin Leigh Morgan

After reading/reviewing a slew of adult books I felt the need to start reading/reviewing books intended for the inner child in me; books which would allow my inner child’s imagination to blossom and flourish, while at the same time educate my mind with interesting new places and facts.

After perusing Amazon for children’s books I found three books written by Anna Othitis which would satisfy my desire to be a child again, reading a book intended for me.Being a child of the 1950’s when I wanted to play with my friends; besides playing all the regular games we loved to play, we would ultimately wind up playing pretend or make believe sometimes for hours.

In “My First Travel Book” not only did I get, or any reader will get, is to pretend we’re on a plane with Captain Frankie who will take us to several places around the world so we can learn about them.

The book begins with showing the flags of the various places its readers will be taken to. Arriving at each of the planned destinations readers will be given a poetic description of the place/site, followed by information about is being seen. And to make sure everyone reading the book understands what they’ve been taught, Captain Frankie then asks questions about it.
I, as I’ve already said, found this book to have a twofold purpose; to turn on a child’s imagination while at the same teaching them something in an enjoyablemanner so their minds will remember it. For having done this so imaginatively, I’m giving Ms. Othitis 5 STARS

Review by Jessica Cassidy;
Little traveller best book buddy to carry anywhere in a trip.
My summer babe who’s 8 loves to read this book. I let her read the book and tell me the story. We were happy that our famous tourist spot Niagara Falls is mention in the book. We lived about 45 minutes drive from the famous waterfalls in the world. She also learnt different countries and continents aside from USA. This book is amazingly beautiful. The illustrations are so beautiful. I know that all kids will LOVE reading this book.
My First Travel Book by Ms.Anna Othitis is now part of her book collections in her room. It is now part of her bedtime story to read. I highly recommend this book to all the kids who only not loves to travel but would love to explore the world by reading each pages. There are many beautiful places to learn and explore about this travel book.Frankie the pilot is very friendly. All the kids will have a fun ride and travel with him. You will also love the name of the airlines. It is one of the sweetest airlines my summer babe reads.
Kids before you travel and maybe your first time in an aeroplane, do not forget to tell your parents to grab this book. It will help you to enjoy your plane ride and explore places you never imagine.
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ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY & GET YOUR KIDS THEIR PASSPORT TO ENTERTAINMENT AND EDUCATION!


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Tweet #Travel&Learn @aothitis @BooksOnFireTour and tell us your favorite place to travel to
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2 x Kids I-pad Air 2 TO BE WON!

 


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Blog Tour – The Pact by Brantwijn Serrah

100_1651When she isn’t visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills  her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends.

She can’t handle coffee unless there’s enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you.

She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours on end sketching characters and scenes in her secret notebooks.

Facebook     Goodreads     Amazon     Google+     YouTube Channel     Foreplay and Fangs     Blog     Twitter 

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cover-the-pactFleshlings and darklings… Rune-weavers and demons… When you walk in the land of the Reaper, who will survive?

Serenity Walker has cast runes for as long as she can remember. Her teachers call her a prodigy, and her secret studies hold the key to unlimited potential. Once an orphan left on an old woman’s doorstep, Serenity finally belongs. But when her mentor is murdered right in front of her, her hopes of a home die with him.

Her quest for vengeance leads her into a dangerous deal with a demon. Armed with its dark power and her own talent with the runes, she blazes a trail across the lands where ranchers and railroad men are kings, where the prevailing law is the law of the gun. To find the man who reshaped her past, Serenity offers up her future. She’ll face a world where weavers are hunted down to be hanged, whipped, or burned alive…but she won’t face it alone.

As Serenity’s mission takes her farther than most weavers are willing to go, she’ll have to decide who her true enemy is: the wicked men of the world, or the powerful demon inside her.

Buy your copy now!     Amazon     Champagne Books

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The monk stood in wait for her, halfway up the aisle. He’d appeared out of nowhere again, quick and quiet as a scavenging rat, and glared at her with eyes full of mean shock and disgust.

“Witch,” he spat. “I knew it as soon as I saw you. Devil! Bride of—”

Serenity threw the sigh of fehu at him, the sign of the cattle’s horns, and it caught him high in the chest to send him stumbling backward. The power issued forth a bit weaker than usual. Her demon felt suffocated in the holy place, sapped by the wards against their kind and hollowed out by the ravaging spells she’d twisted back in the tavern. But it cast the insufferable priest to the stone, striking him down with a callous resentment, and she stalked across the aisle at him.

“How dare you come into this place of worship!” he sputtered, crawling backward on his behind as she came closer. “How dare you—”

“How dare I?” she snarled.

“Murderer!”

“All I wanted was a place to rest for the night,” she muttered. “A room and a bed, and to be left alone. I didn’t come here to harm anyone. But somehow I get you, chastising me in the street, thinking to tell me what I can and can’t wear even while you sit there ogling, and I get your servants breaking into my room and burning years and years’ worth of study, and then I get a mob of your people screaming for my blood, planning on hanging me in the middle of the night. And you, padre, you have the gall to call me a murderer?”

“The Lord will repay you in kind!” the priest shrieked. “When you come here, doing the devil’s work! Wearing his symbol upon your breast! Whore! Devil’s whore!”

She leaned down and grabbed him by the front of his robes, pulling him up to meet her eyes.

“You’re right,” she hissed. “I do the devil’s work. I wear his mark. I traffic with demons and I command their power. So it might have been wise of you and your people not to piss me off.”

Don’t Miss – Shifters Hallows Eve

12 Brand New 5 STAR Shifter Romance Stories! #ShiftersHallowsEve

“Brilliant mix of love stories!” – Wicked Babes Blog

“A box set full of women with grit and the sexy, alpha men who love them.” – A One-Click Book Addict

“Each one was different and completely unique. They were all very captivating..” – Marie’s Tempting Reads

“Not only did I enjoy the twelve stories that this boxset includes, but I found twelve new authors!” Once Upon An Alpha

she-5

Tricks and Treats…

Chills and thrills…

Become Enchanted, Haunted, and Hunted this Halloween.

12 NYT, USA Today, and International Best Selling Authors, bring you brand-new, paranormal shifter romances that are sure to make this a Shifters Hallows Eve you’ll never forget!

Featuring:

JOKER’S TRICK OR TREAT by: Audra Hart

THE WOLF’S GHOST by: Bethany Shaw

THE HAUNTED MATE by: Bryce Evans

HALLOWED DESTINY by: Candace Blevins

DARK LOVERS by: Elle Boon

TEARS FOR HER DRAGON by: Julia Mills

ONCE UPON A HALLOW’S EVE by KD Jones

HAUNTED BY LOVE by Lori King

THE VALLEY OF SHADOWS by: Melissa Bell

HUNTER’S MARK by: Melissa Snark

THE TIGER’S BRIDE by: R.E. Butler

MATE HUNT by Sydney Lea

http://shiftershallowseve.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LB9SHJ4

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01LB9SHJ4

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01LB9SHJ4

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01LB9SHJ4

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1124508529

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/shifters-hallows-eve

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shifters-hallows-eve/id1135197210

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