Becoming Bertha

Jane Carroll Becoming BerthaBecoming Bertha

I have had the distinct pleasure for some months of having a “several times a week” connection to the author of Becoming Bertha – and enjoying not only the unique delivery of life values, but the persona of Bertha and the banter between her and author, Jane Carroll.

A sequel to Bertha-Size Your Life!,  Carroll continues the saga of personal transformation in a lighthearted, entertaining narrative.

Carroll writes of Honey… stepping in as the narrator who adjusts to moving back to her home town and begins a writing career.

Bertha amazingly manages to find the time to spar with the cat, climb on a soapbox without warning, and keep her nemesis, Rita, at bay… all the while, she  stays the path of zany antics and crazy wardrobe fixes. Her hands are full … how could they NOT be, a she founds the Sisterhood of the Sacred Flamingo, designs fantasy shoes, writs” Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Bertha’s Guide to Life and Shoes,” and travels on a national shoe model tour. ..ALL without smudging her manicure!

I don’t want to spoil a good read, but you should know… life is good until Bertha begins the shoe model tour, and leaves Honey to continue her transformation on her own  – or revert to her former self. Will Honey follow Bertha’s advice to get over who she has been and become who she is?

And…exactly who is she?   Find out – get your copy by clicking the book cover above.

About the Author

Jane Carroll, Author of Bertha-Size Your Life!, Becoming Bertha, and Where the Joys Are: Bertha’s Guided Journal, is a Life Coach, Registered Nurse, Reiki Master, Mother, Grandmother, and long-time student of life. She has seen the focus of her over 30 year nursing career change from illness to wellness to wholeness, a philosophy that permeates everything she does.

While she enjoys all aspects of her life, writing is her passion and she is currently working on Bertha’s latest adventures.

When life hands you an ostrich…make a boa! ~ Bertha

Book Marketing Resources: Royalty Free Images

Book marketing suddenly becomes easier and more fun when you add images. There are, however, limitations and restrictions on what and how you can use the imaging efforts of others. You may consider it an honor to use someone’s work; they may consider it an infringement on copyright laws.  The following is a fairly in-depth coverage of all you will want to know before you start adding images to your marketing materials. Rather than risk plagiarism, or spend too much time constructing original content, I am providing links to the sites of first origination – giving them credit and extending my appreciation for providing proper guidance.

Copyright Facts

There is such a lot of confusion about the photos that are on Google; leading many of us to naturally assume it is ok to use them. It is simply not valid that Google and Yahoo images have become public domain and are free of copyright.   If you have your heart set on using a particular image, please follow through the links to determine the possible public domain status, or at the very least – give attribution by posting the full link to where you found the image.  The following articles contain some of the FACTS of which we must be aware :

Protecting Your Own Images

If you are using your own images and have some concern about others taking advantage of your own work, there is a process of watermarking them to prevent the assumption your images are public domain. The following resource shows you how to protect your work and offers a good list of both free and inexpensive programs available.

Getting Written Permission to Use Images

Unfortunately, it is not always safe to rely on verbal permission to use a particular image, or even a collection you have found and liked. Use the following procedure to protect yourself when this is the scenario in which you find yourself.

Find the photo for which you have been given permission. Click on it until it is enlarged on the screen and selecting from the options at the bottom of the photo, choose the download – saving it to your harddrive as you would any other document or image, using the name of the artist or the url of the page where you found it.  When you create your post and need to add the attribution – the file name will serve as a quick copy/paste that includes the artist’s name and website location. Instead of “Photo by” that you might otherwise use, type instead, “Used with Permission, followed by the Artist’s name and website location.


Correct Attribution for Creative Commons Graphics

You will, from time to time, run across sites that offer what are known as creative commons graphics; found in places like Wikipedia and other similar sites. Each requires a different attribution; the following article gives you the heads up on this topic.

Free Use and Royalty Free Images

Ouch! If you don’t follow the correct procedures for attributions, it is possible to be fined up to $25,000. I had a friend who was hit for $6,000 recently.  Just not worth it – so as you are looking a free stock photo sites – follow the rules and procedures. Royalty free is rather a misnomer – it does NOT mean they are free to use – it indicates you have to pay a licensing fee to use them.  It is far easier to pay $30-40 for an image you REALLY want than to risk a potential fine.

What About Quote Images?

Much of your marketing can be enhanced with quotes, which are much more appealing when they are an attractive image all dressed up with an inspiring quote. This particular site is an easy to use, no fear kind of site. All you have to promise is that you will not crop or change them in any manner, and not remove the copyright or website info found at the bottom; no need to credit or post an attribution.


The Big List of Copyright Images -Alpha Sort

It is impossible to determine who needs what kind of image and once you get to searching, you will be amazed at just how many image options there are. Take your time to look through the following BIG List, select a few that really resonate with you and follow the policies and procedures and you will be adding “street legal” images to your marketing with ease.  ( Account set-up required for both free graphics and paid selections.   (Not so sure I would use this one, but others may not mind the requirement that all free to use photographs come with a copyright watermark on them.  As long as you do not remove the watermark/copyright information, you may use the photos for personal and professional purposes.)  (Free for use and do not want to have linkback to image because it takes up their bandwidth!) and it’s accompanying site:   (This is a lovely site for royalty free Christmas and Holiday Season graphics that you can use as long as you link back to the site (using courtesy of Free Christmas Stock Photos with the URL of the graphic), per the instructions.  (This is a site  that is compatible only within a Windows format – sorry Apple and Unix users!)  (You need to sign up for a free account. Then if you click the tab “Free Images,” you are using stock images. The good thing about this site is that if you pick an image that is not free, you will have to pay before you can download it.)  (Yes, an account must be created!  Furthermore, when downloading a free image from Free Digital Photos, according to their terms of use, the creator and the URL for the image website MUST appear with the image.  The terms and conditions state: “It is mandatory to publish an acknowledgement to and the image creator on the page each free image is used on. For example: “Image courtesy of [contributor name] /”. It should be clear which image the acknowledgement relates to.

“Optional: we would appreciate the acknowledgement taking the form of a clickable link, as this can help us attract more visitors, which helps us continue to offer free images. For example: Image courtesy of [image creator name] /

“The name of the image creator is shown on the image details page on the website. When you download the free image, we can also send you an email to confirm your download, which will include the name of the image creator.”  (You must create  an account. FREE images have RED identifiers, Premium/pay for images have green.)  (I found no registration reguirements and at last view, the site housed a statement:  “You don’t have to buy any of the images here; they are all free. However, a few are available at a higher resolution for purchase. If you don’t see a “Buy” link, then just grab the image and don’t worry about paying for it.” It would be a courtesy to indicate the following when you use the images however, “Image courtesy of <a href=”” title=”Public Domain Images”>Public Domain Images</a>”.  (Take a few minutes to create your account and then look around the site for both free and premium/subscription images. You will know immediately which is which –  you can’t download ones for which have a cost if you don’t pay. The free images can be modified and changed in any way you want/need with no restrictions.  When you find images on the Microsoft site, you must use the following statement with any of the images you use from there:   “Used with permission from Microsoft.”  (You need to create an account and sign up for the FREE photos.)   (This site also offers both free and for ree graphics; however they are mostly clipart, wih I seldom use. It does have a nice “sort feature.  An interesting policy notes: “once you download a graphic, it is no longer available to the public. ”    (Although I have not yet tried this site – it appears to ve an EXCELLENT source for graphics.  The owner wants to create a growing PUBLIC DOMAIN collection, free of copyright and licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication.  How generous that all images are free to download for personal, educational and commercial use, without restriction.)  (Another site where no registration is required. The site states, “Public domain images are top quality, high resolution (up to 20 mega pixels). All images are copyright.” The images that you can use are listed in categories on the lefthand side of the [age. Do not click on the links in the middle of the page, as they are advertisements and will take you away from the images you can use and put you into sites where you will have to buy the images to use them.  (Sometimes, it just becomes what you have to do – buy an image that steals your heart! Although this has public domain images, they require you to pay a subscription to get to the images.  (No registration is needed for these royalty free photographs; however, they are only (100 DPI), which is ok for internet use, but not larger print sources.  (Create an account. Pay attention to the offerings. This site will offer you mainly free images, but if you click on a PREMIUM image there will be a fee.) Note:   This has now changed to  and is one of my favorites!  (Wikipedia has a specific use policy – make sure to read the info here, and follow the instructions carefully if you plan to use any from that source. I have never used Wikipedia, but perhaps it is something I should look at – just to expand my options!)  (This is a good resource of several websites that have free images – most of them are listed here, but if they expand their list – you might want to take a look upon occasion).

I appreciate ALL feedback. If a link is not longer active, let me know and I will remove it.  If you have an amazing link you have found and want to share with others, I would love to give you credit for the find/share!

Anna Weber | Literary Strategist

Creating Headlines for Facebook Posts

Continuing with the focus on writing the kind of headlines that pull readers, I want to honor my promise to focus on the work you do on Facebook, or any other social media platform. You will want to read through this if you have suffered the angst of wondering why people do not click on the things you share – when you know in your heart of hearts that the content was stellar!  It is a travesty there is so much wonderful content being developed – and not read because the writer has no idea how to write a “catchy” headline.

I don’t need to remind those of you who have been following this series of what amazing headlines can do for you, but for new readers, let’s have a quick summary on how to ensure results, deliver what you promise, use prime numbers effectively, and engage your readers in specific action steps.

Ensure a Result

Take yourself to a place where some catchy headline just reached out, grabbed you and held you spellbound!  In one of my classes, a student recently shared a news headline, inquiring whether medicines existed in the household cabinet that could kill a family member.  She was so captivated by the message she stayed glued to her seat to hear every word of an advertorial – only to click off the television to hurry to clear out her own medicine stash! It is that kind of action you want to inspire in your readers, but you won’t get it unless you first capture their attention!

One caveat we have discussed in prior posts – make sure your headlines are authentic and relevant! Don’t fall into the trap of using words you know will compel, but then don’t back up the unspoken promise to provide beneficial content. The one sure-fire way to make sure you lose confidence in your readers is to have them feel you are using some “tactic” that is disingenuous or hugely exaggerating just to get their attention.  Smart and savvy… that is what most readers are today; don’t insult their integrity!

Deliver a Promise

In previous posts you were provided several “How to” headline examples. The same can be very powerful on Facebook. The idea is to follow that “How to” with something you KNOW your reader will be interested in – or benefit from… succinctly and clearly.  Alternatively, you can make that “How to” become something you KNOW your reader wants/needs… and extend that with a “by.” Here you would insert something that sparks their curiosity, but does not reveal the rest of the story!   Leave them hanging just enough to WANT to read your post.

EXAMPLE:  How to make your publishing journey easier by first debunking the myths.

Where Prime Numbers Count

Previous posts also discuss in more detail the power of prime numbers!   Let’s look at just one – the number one. You actually have a more captive audience of followers on Facebook. Using the number one in your headline allows you to focus on one singular topic that will cause your readers to resonate with what you are sharing – whether that be positive of negative is not as important as the fact your readers will not be overwhelmed with too many ideas.  ONE (the most important way you feel you can benefit your readers) and (how you suggest modifying it to better benefit them!).

EXAMPLE:  ONE mistake emerging authors make, and how surprisingly simple it is to change it.

Use the Power of Human Emotions

It is simple human nature… people are drawn to read things that stir extreme emotion – whether they are positive or negative.  Newspapers, television and radio hosts have a real knack at being somewhat “sensational” in crafting headlines.  The headline must spark curiosity and emotion.

EXAMPLE: The absolute proof that carpet-bagging tricks exist in today’s publishing industry!

Tell ‘em What to Do!

Now, I’m writing about  Go back and take a couple of them and work in a “re-do” and re-post. Measure the difference you experience in the number of clicks, Likes, or re-tweets you receive. Oh, and just as I have done here… make sure your messages come replete with action steps on “what next to do!” Readers can be led, if you make it appear to be worth their time and effort.

I trust you will do yourself a favor by reading this post, and acting on it to better manage your Facebook and other social media posts.  If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here:

Headlines That Pull Readers

Short Facebook post about crafting compelling, pulling headlines.

Get Your Book Noticed: Three Tips to Writing Attention-Getting Headlines

Anna Weber | Literary Strategist

Anna Weber, a Literary Strategist, has been supporting the endeavors of debut authors for over a decade. She has written more than a dozen books that guide writers through the phases of becoming a successful author: writing, publishing and distribution, and marketing and promotion.  Anna is a prolific writer, a frequent speaker and presenter before entrepreneur and service professional groups and provides breakthrough strategy sessions to clients globally. An ardent student of the rapidly changing publishing industry, Anna spends approximately one third of her time researching and/or attending continuing education programs. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, Robert Stearns.

Remember… this environment is founded by an “Ask me Anything” philosophy. If you are dying to know something related to creating your headlines, feel free to post your question here; I will happily respond .  ~A

Image:  yay-5559120


3 Tips to Selling a Simple PDF Version of Your Book

There is more than one way to market a book!

And, book marketing resources are an integral part of the success you can experience.

One of the things I think I love most about my career as a Literary Strategist is bringing emerging authors to the recognition their creativity in writing can be expanded to the process of book marketing – gaining visibility for their work, impacting the world with their message, and putting a few dollars in the bank in the process.  Get Your Book Noticed! It is my passion, my vocation and my heart-felt belief that, armed with the right information, resources and connections, writers like yourself can participate in bringing your books to the public eye.  Until the end of July, I will be posting twice a week – helping you create list of “how and where” to market your book to ensure you have the tools to become successfully published.

Let’s Talk Deliverables

If you are concerned about becoming overwhelmed at the prospect, thinking, “Oh, my goodness, how can I ever publish, or get my book published?” just take one step back, create a PDF version of  your book, and sell it as an automatic download from your website.  Your best bet for that website is a personal WordPress (not the free one offered by WordPress) platform hosted by my favorite host, Bluehost.( CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM)

Did you know that for just over $100 a year you can register your domain name and have an easy-to-manage site hosted, where you can consistently communicate with the world of readers that benefit from all the work you put into your writing? WordPress is simple and powerful and comes with f*ee widgets and plugins that easily add e-commerce options to your site. There are also plugins that allow you to gather readers’ names, post regular newsletters to them – if you are so inclined, and even use it as a platform for writing the NEXT book as you gather your thoughts in the blog you can also easily include on your site.

If, for some reason, you feel the f*ee plugins and widgets just don’t meet your expectations, there are other paid programs, software and services that would fill your needs.  You can also go outside the WordPress world to resources such as:


I cannot say enough good about PayPal!  I have used the company since it’s inception – even when everyone in my sphere of influence was aghast – thinking it was some type of scam to shy away from.  In 2002 PayPal was doing so well it was purchased by the mega force – eBay, and continues to be the company’s top performer. It has performed in such a stellar fashion I just heard that Amazon is creating its own similar service.  I would wager to say there are very few consumers who currently are not aware of PayPal and its strength, longevity, and myriad small business owner benefits, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Merchant services and business products such as express checkout, mobile payments,  in-store payments, online invoicing, Bill Me Later program, PayPal Debit card, fundraising, mass payments, recurring payments, and the growing support of third-party products and services for your business. I have most utilized the invoicing system and the PayPal Debit card that allows me to have a business presence and keep my business and personal transactions completely separate – a definite plus when it comes tax time!
  • When it is time for a live book signing – PayPal’s Square makes it a piece of cake to swipe credit cards and easily sell your books.
  • If you want to automate the download of a PDF version of your book – PayPal makes it a piece of cake to direct the thank you/welcome letter to your download page; happy are readers who wanted that book right away and it was delivered within a matter of minutes from the purchase transaction.
  • If you have a live or virtual event that has multiple options or price points – PayPal makes it easy to create the buy-now buttons that provide those options.
  • Difficulties with your account – I have heard of nightmares of clients not happy with the “limits” that are put in place to prevent fraud. I recently had the “support” of PayPal when someone used one of those crazy machine inserts at a Walmart store and all of a sudden, major purchases were being made from my PayPal Debit card – all over the US – simultaneously. PayPal called me – stopped the card – managed all the transactions and sent me a new card. Those limits are there for a good reason!
  • Fees – there are transaction fees when you receive money, but they are not any more aggressive than other merchant accounts and far easier to establish an account than something like
  • To make the decision easier… you get cash rebates on all transactions using your debit card and the interface with Quickbooks accounting is fairly easy to master.

According to its site, E-junkie provides the power and automation of shopping cart and buy now buttons to let you sell downloads and tangible goods on your website or blog, eBay, Craigslist, social media such as Facebook, Google Plus, and most other websites.

  • It supports checkouts using PayPal’s various payment methods, and other traditional services such Authorize.NetTrialPayClickBank and 2Checkout.
  • Safety first with E-junkie… the company automates and secures the digital delivery of your book files and codes you may include, protecting your intellectual property.
  • Books are considered tangible goods; e-Junkie offers the automation of shipping calculations and inventory management, and a built in sales tax, VAT, packaging and shipping cost calculator.
  • Since your book can be much more than just a book to sell and a message to share – repurposing it to a workshop, teleclass, artwork, posters, t-shirts, jewelry – if you can “think it!” you can sell it on E-junkie.
  • You will also be happy to find E-junkie has no transaction limit, no bandwidth limit, no setup fee and no transaction fee.


You will hear me frequently give high praises for WordPress and all the widgets and plugins that constantly keep my site(s) on the front side of technology.  Easy Digital Downloads is, to me, a new kid on the block when it comes to e-commerce options. A quick review of the product helps me give it a thumbs-up. I will report back after I have installed it on my sites!  At first glance, however, there appear to be myriad potential benefits that have drawn me to post it as a viable consideration:

  • Simple setup – easy, ready to go in minutes
  • Easy to monitor your sales – earnings tracker
  • Multi-site support
  • With over 190 extensions, Easy Digital Downloads can be tailored to your exact needs. From payment processors to newsletter signup forms, EDD has extensions to fill the needs of almost every user.
  • Accept payments through a huge number of different payment processors, including Stripe and PayPal. Add-on gateways are being constantly developed to make it easy for everyone to get paid.
  • Easy Digital Downloads will never lock your data in. With our simple export options, you can easily send all sales, earnings, and customer data to Excel, Google Docs, or any other reporting system of your choice.
  • Celebrating something? Or maybe you just woke up in a good mood! Whatever it is, we have a complete discount system built in, so when you want to provide an offer, it won’t even take a minute.
  • At Easy Digital Downloads, we closely follow the WordPress Coding Standards and provide a myriad of hooks and filters so that when it comes to making changes to the codebase, it’s really easy.
  • You want to be able to see all of your sales and earnings presented neatly and in a way that is easy to analyze. We have done exactly that with beautiful graphs and simple data tables.
  • Easy Digital Downloads is built to be quick and simple to setup. After installation, you’re ready to go in just a couple of minutes! Simply enter your payment information, add your products and the rest is all a dream…

Note:  Since I have not personally experienced this product – I copied the information direct from the site.

Where do I draw the line between enough information to keep you interested and so much that I throw you into overwhelm?

Perhaps three is the magic number today.  It will give you one product/service a day to review and consider how to market your book should you determine a simple PDF download is all you can manage for now.  I have one friend who publishes ONLY short e-books in PDF format – little books at $6.95 that are written succinctly and completely and keep her readers coming back for more. A new career blossomed by integrating her knowledge, the courage to put her voice in print, and the wisdom to keep things simple.  Need I say, “She is liking her bank account today!”

Come back to visit – or alternatively – register and get future posts and news directly in your email.

Looking forward to seeing YOU in the bookstores!

Anna Weber | Literary Strategist

Anna Weber, a Literary Strategist, has been supporting the endeavors of debut authors for over a decade. She has written more than a dozen books that guide writers through the phases of becoming a successful author: writing, publishing and distribution, and marketing and promotion.  Anna is a prolific writer, a frequent speaker and presenter before entrepreneur and service professional groups and provides breakthrough strategy sessions to clients globally. An ardent student of the rapidly changing publishing industry, Anna spends approximately one third of her time researching and/or attending continuing education programs. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, Robert Stearns.

Remember… this environment is founded by an “Ask me Anything” philosophy. If you are dying to know something related to creating your headlines, feel free to post your question here; I will happily respond .  ~A

Image attribution:  Purchased yay-6974020

I will see YOU in the bookstores!

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