Apr 18, 2014

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First prototype done!

I've just completed the FIRST prototype of my book. Now, I've mentioned to people that I am trying to discover a way to do hard cover books at paperback prices. And I may have finally figured it out. Yay! right? Big time. Not just for the people who want to purchase my book, but for me as well. On many levels. One, YOU get a custom book. And I mean custom. Two, I get to do something that I love. Three, I get the sale.

The one major drawback to doing books via POD (Print-On-Demand), as anyone who uses that method can tell you, is the price. The sites I use (Lulu and CreateSpace) won't allow the people who sell the books to price them lower than whatever is the minimum. The one way we can, is by allowing third-party sellers to sell the book. As in small bookstores and the like. You've seen them. They're the ones you can buy from when you're on Amazon, for a much lower price. That's them. I enjoy that you can get the book for lower though.

Well, the pictures below showcase my first prototype for my books! In this case, I used Dark Illusions: The Beginning. Remember how I have been researching printing and binding methods for blank journals? And how much I enjoyed doing so? (Note for those unawares, I am so in love with crafting and working with my hands.)

That's right! I printed and bound this book all on my own. I found out the industry standards, then how to combine that with a more traditional handcrafted and homemade method for parts of the book using recycled bits while making sure the book will last a while so it's still as high a quality as something you'd find in the bookstore. Though mine isn't mass printed so I could use better paper.

Check it out. :)



Julian's face looks pink from my weird phone camera, haha.



Psst, Julian, you is pink! hehe

Had to tilt that last picture downward because the protective cover was mirroring everything around me, lol. I mirrored the window instead of my face. :D The one drawback, as you can see by the above, is the cover doesn't extend all the way up and down. That's because my home printer is limited to 8.5" width paper. I like it though. Call meh crazy, but when I do something homemade I prefer it to look SOMEWHAT homemade. In these books, there is that. I like it. Only because it's a black cover is it so noticeable.

I love it! What about you?

Why make you buy from stores when I can print and bind my own book for you?

I think I am gonna make 5 each to keep in inventory. They may cost under $15 + shipping, but I have to figure out what it costs for ME to do each.

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Apr 17, 2014

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Book Review - Louis L'Amour - Flint

Should really get to my books I have waiting to review. I've read them, and now I need to review so I can get them off my desk. :p

This book doesn't have a book jacket. It's a hard bound with a bare cover with leather-like material. I had this book from a long time ago because my dad was a huge fan of Louis L'Amour. I know there are more of Louis L'Amour's books around here somewhere, at least one or two paperbacks, but I haven't been able to find them.

As for Flint, I didn't really know what to expect. I think I was of the belief that it would be a bit boring. It's shorter than most books written nowadays, and being so old, I doubted it would keep my interest. I was pleasantly surprised by it.

The writing is simple, the descriptions are as well. But somehow that lends an easily lost in style. I enjoyed this book. If you don't like westerns and the more basic style writing, you may not like it, but for me, it was an enjoyable read. When I say basic writing, I mean, "he walked through the door." Says what it describes, with no extra words. It's like that throughout the book. I liked it. As a writer, it tells me that whether you write a lot of description or not, someone will enjoy it.
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Apr 15, 2014

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Few positions left, get in on it!

As you can tell, the new design has been implemented into my site. I am absolutely in love with it. The only problem that I have found (I will try to see if I can fix it) is that on MY mobile phone (Samsung Epic 4G Original S) when I'm surfing via wifi, if I click on the menu, I have to pinch-zoom the page out a bit more before it opens, then to close it, I have to pinch-zoom in. I'm not entirely sure where that issue lies, but I'm going to research it later today.


Some baby Cheyenne for cuteness factor.

Points to note:

  1. You will find on the pages, the layout is completely open. I've removed the footer, the sidebar, and more little bits that you don't notice, so that you reach an actual page, not a blog post with all sorts of things on the side and top. 
  2. To that note, when you are on the blog post, I've made sure it's still as clean as before, but I've left the small subscribe by email up so that if you love the content, you can subscribe and have the blogs delivered to your email when they're shared!
  3. On the email note. If you've missed the announcements (they'll continue for a few week/months more) I finally was able to get my email changed to ariana@arianabrowning.com so if you have any others, go ahead and delete those. I have one for my family, and the above. The above is a change over from the older one that has been on everything so if you DO happen to email, at least for the next year, your email will still reach me, and then you'll see the change when I reply. It'll help you save into contacts. But I would suggest you change over now to make sure you don't end up in SPAM or something. 
  4. I am working on simplifying and condensing everything not needed in my life, and that includes my sites, and emails, so if you see something disappear from the site, that you enjoyed having, let me know. Or if there is something I haven't included, that you would really enjoy, let me know. Door is always open.
  5. I'm in the process of removing the extra step to get to my store. I will do one page on my site where you can shop for whatever my eBooks you'd like. Later I'll add more options, but for now, eBooks and other digital files only.
Now, I am still looking for a few people to sign up to guest post. Note that when I say guest post, it only means that it's another poster. It doesn't mean you won't see them frequently. I am trying to find people who can post every month. Period. Not some sporadic. Some people may appear that way, but as a whole, I am trying to schedule on Tuesday and Thursday, for every month. I have signed up someone for Sunday (inSpireShine) posting because he may share every single week, or once a month. He has some fascinating Lego work he does so I've let him know he can share images of that as blogs as well.

Another one I've signed up does vlogs of random interests, but I really enjoyed the topics she's done them on. Tracie Dee also has my permission to share her mini stories she writes because I really enjoyed them, and I gave her special permission to share those freely. I love the variety of her work.

If you are interested in finding a place that you can blog (or vlog) through once a month (again, a Tuesday or Thursday), please contact me at ariana@arianabrowning.com and let me know. I will accept anything that is of a positive nature. No negativity, hate, bashing, or pimping of your books. I'm not looking for people to sell stuff. I am looking for people to inspire, to teach, to share love, to share inspiration. 

Topics and things you can post about (a small list): love, humor, inspiration, cooking, creativity, crafts, spirituality, your religion (as long as it's not preaching and expecting people to accept your religion as their own), fantasy, tutorials, photography, vlogs, exercising, home-schooling, children, history, computers, games, movies, music, fashion, makeup, home decorating, gardening, and whatever else may fit along those lines!
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Apr 8, 2014

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The Blogging Lounge Prompt #7 - April 8, 2014

http://www.arianabrowning.com/search/label/thebloggingloungeprompt 

Basic Instructions:
Your mission should you choose to accept it. Blog, vlog, sing or dance about the prompt. Interpret it how you wish. Post it in a blog and share. Include “The Blogging Lounge” and “Ariana Browning” in the post. Or just use the image provided. All links posted within Facebook Group are shared on Twitter profile for the group. Join the Twitter group, use the hashtag, and I will RT all. (Includes anything except promotions.) I try to share all prompts on my sites.

Read below for full information and links.

When you've posted, you're welcome to come back here and share those links in the comments below. I will participate the same way and link my post (if I do one for the prompt) in the comments below.

Feel free to save and share the image above. It's a square, which makes sharing on Instagram much easier. 

Want to join, and don't have a place to blog? www.arianabrowning.proboards.com I do frequent the forum, even if I'm not posting. If you use the forum, I'll share the links through the Twitter profile below.

Join the Twitter group!  www.twitter.com/blogginglounge and read the perks of following and joining us there - http://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/03/the-blogging-lounge-to-take-over-twitter.html

What is The Blogging Loungehttp://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/01/spring-cleaning-except-its-not-and.html

Facebook pinned post - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283066665194427&set=gm.1416869091905091&type=1&theater


I can't wait to see how this inspires you!

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Apr 4, 2014

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3-4 positions left

Once I get my new site design set up and implemented, are there any people who'd like to write a guest post once in a while? Not book reviews, not author interviews. Articles outside writing.


(Zeva is doing a cute whistle right now so I'll let her say hi to you as well.)


Anything goes, as long as it isn’t about writing, books, hate, or selling.

If you don't have a blog, yet would like to occasionally guest post, you're more than welcome to ask. I'm slowly trying to expand what I post on my website, and would love interesting articles to share. Want to tutor people on something? Want to share inspiring words? Recipes? Monthly exercise regimes? Some humor? Entertainment? How-To blogs? Vlogs?

I’m looking for humor, love, family, spirituality, hope, personal security, pets, crafts, everyday life, recipes, exercise regimes, home-schooling, gardening, positive messages, improving your life, and the like.

Contact: ariana@arianabrowning.com

Also note the email change. If you want to message me, please update your records to ariana@arianabrowning.com

I've been trying to update my email since I changed my name and I finally was able to get that fixed.

So far, I have 6 people who've signed up. All wonderful people. I plan to put them on a schedule for once a month, and they will either be Tuesday or Thursday posters. That means I have a total of 9-10 people I can have guest blogging through my site. This way you get more wonderful content, and the people I've signed up are funny and inspirational individuals.

If you'd like to, let me know.

Updates for me: 


  • I have updated all my eBooks with the new email, as well as my updated information in general (formatting I wanted to fix).
  • I am in the process of finishing all the paperbacks. As well as the hard bound.
  • I am currently looking into the possiblity of offering hard bound books of mine, at paperback prices. And even with special formatting just for those books. Formatting referring mostly to special font. Most people won't notice the difference, but the paper and the font will be different. They will be custom books.
  • I am perhaps halfway through the new site design so I'm getting there.
  • My editor is about halfway finished with Dark Illusions: The Final Chapter.
  • I think Kat has more to say about this series, so I'm trying to take time to chat with her. She keeps knocking on my door and giving me more and more information. No telling what that girl is up to, but I will see.
  • And finally, I have been working on some more home bound books (fun to work on them when I have the time) so I may have a new (blank) 6x9 or so journal to sell soon if anyone is interested. :) I honestly have no clue about price, so as long as it's over $10, you can make whatever offer you want. I'm making some tiny ones for a friend to use on her bracelet, which will be about an inch. We'll see how those turn out, haha.



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Mar 26, 2014

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Homemade Books - Book Binding - Lots of pictures

I've been playing around with learning how to bind my own books. It started with wanting to make a gratitude journal, rather than spending a lot of money on a new one. I found an old book cover, then looked up ways to bind a book, read up on the coptic stitch, and then found out some of my own books are bound using that method.

Finished it today (only took about an hour of my time) and then began thinking about making by hand, some hard copies of my books in general. That one is percolating. Here is my gratitude journal. I just have to decorate it. I plan to make more (because it's fun!) and will list them for sale. The size will depend on what old covers I've found. As well as the paper.

I'm also making little ones and will give those away. If you want a little one, just comment below. If I don't have an email, leave it so I can contact you. :)


The book this cover came from, lol. I was going to use this dust jacket, but then went meh. 


The pretty fabric that I used to cover the binding.



How it looks open. You'll see the edge of the fabric isn't perfect. I stared at it a while and went, nah. I like the rustic and non-perfect aspects of things like that. When I do homemade, I want it to resemble a homemade item. Rustic is what I go for. Hence my Old World Charm - Modern Living brand name.




Testing my papers to decide how much I wanted to crease them, and how many I needed. In this case I went a bit less than the width of the base book. That's so that if I insert anything that thickens the page, it won't be as big of deal.






 Finished! Now, as you can see, I didn't waste time to trim the edges flat. I like it like that. So rustic and nice. Who wants perfect? I found the book that I have that matches this. Below. Anne Rice's Merrick.

My inside cover. I went with just another piece of the paper I used inside, which meant it's not thick enough to hide the fabric over the binding, but again, meh.

I used a dark purple thread for the contrast and not only does it go with the grey cover, but I love the color.




Now below I have shots of some of my professionally done books for comparison.


Louis L'Amour's  Flint


Cool leather book, huh? 


They used a ivory-ish toned thread to hide amongst the pages.



  






Here's the Anne Rice Merrick book. Edges like I did.


And the binding for it.

Below is the small ones I've been working on as well. Little pocket books with recycled material. The pink is a magazine advertisement! lol.


 Cute!


I did the inside cover for this one so it'd look wrapped. The inside is made from a free notepad from Boys Club of America that my mom got for free for her donation I believe. If anyone wants that one, just ask and give me your email.

And then here is the link to my personal one that I made. http://instagram.com/p/l5R_JqqiA6/

I think I'm having too much fun. I do these while I watch TV.




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Mar 22, 2014

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Blogging Lounge - Prompt #6 - March 22, 2014







Basic Instructions:
Your mission should you choose to accept it. Blog, vlog, sing or dance about the prompt. Interpret it how you wish. Post it in a blog and share. Include “The Blogging Lounge” and “Ariana Browning” in the post. Or just use the image provided. All links posted within Facebook Group are shared on Twitter profile for the group. Join the Twitter group, use the hashtag, and I will RT all. (Includes anything except promotions.) I try to share all prompts on my sites.

Read below for full information and links.

When you've posted, you're welcome to come back here and share those links in the comments below. I will participate the same way and link my post (if I do one for the prompt) in the comments below.

Feel free to save and share the image above. It's a square, which makes sharing on Instagram much easier. 

Want to join, and don't have a place to blog? www.arianabrowning.proboards.com I do frequent the forum, even if I'm not posting. If you use the forum, I'll share the links through the Twitter profile below.

Join the Twitter group!  www.twitter.com/blogginglounge and read the perks of following and joining us there - http://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/03/the-blogging-lounge-to-take-over-twitter.html

What is The Blogging Loungehttp://www.arianabrowning.com/2014/01/spring-cleaning-except-its-not-and.html

Facebook pinned post - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=283066665194427&set=gm.1416869091905091&type=1&theater


I can't wait to see how this inspires you!

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Mar 21, 2014

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What do you want more of?

I'm open to suggestions of things you would like to see more of on my site. I'm busy redesigning a new theme and site design, so I would like to know what you want to see.

No suggestions are bad. I'll take in everything told and try to accommodate what you want to see more of!

Some of the things I know you love are the quotes and recipes, or bits about the gremlin gang. What else?

I also plan to make a new tutorial on working with the CS templates since that one was such a huge hit for you. That includes a part for Lulu since I now use that for my hard covers. :)
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Mar 20, 2014

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Special offer - buy one get one - 4 left

Dark Illusions: The Next Chapter

The paperback is officially available! See link: https://www.createspace.com/4583957?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026

I have a special offer, just for you. This is for Dark Illusions: The Next Chapter only. Please read carefully, and if you have questions, feel free to ask.



Buy One, Get One:
If you purchase a copy of the paperback book through me personally, the first FOUR (one offer has been claimed so it's down to four) people who do, will receive a signed paperback copy. And you can also receive one signed paperback for free. Which means two books for one price.

Choose to either get two free signed copies for yourself to give away, or you can receive one for you, and I will send another directly to a friend of your choosing. Again, this is reserved for the first FOUR people who take advantage of this offer. As soon as I've reached five, I will send out a notice and let you know in a special note.

How to redeem.

Either reply to this (if you receive it in email), or send me a separate email to ariana@arianabrowning.com, subject: buy one get one.

If you want both books for yourself (both signed for free), I only need your mailing address and your email so I can send you a PayPal invoice. Your privacy is my main concern and I will only use your address for that purpose. The paperbacks will be purchased and when I receive them, I will sign them, then send out. That could take up to a month because of the weather. I will email you once I've put them in the mail.

If you want one book for you (both signed for free), and one for a friend, then I need your mailing address and your email to send a PayPal invoice to you, and then the mailing address of your friend, if you want the book sent directly from me to them. Otherwise if you plan to send/give the book to your friend, just send me your address and the email alone. The paperbacks will be purchased and when I receive them, I will sign them, then send out. That could take up to a month because of the weather. I will email you once I've put them in the mail.


Special Note: With all my print books

If you purchase the print book, you're entitled to the digital eBook on Amazon for free. It's a Kindle MatchBook program. I could have chosen any price, but since my physical copies are already priced high (I price as low as I can), I thought I'd stick with the eBook being free. So at any time, you're welcome to purchase the print copy (I believe you have to purchase it through Amazon strictly to receive the offer), and receive the digital eBook (again, only with Amazon) for free.

If you use a different digital reader, feel free to contact me if you purchase the paperback, and I'll honor the same deal and email you the eBook for free.

The price is $13.99 for the book and $4.99 for the shipping. So the total is $18.98 and you get the second book absolutely free, which includes the shipping, and the autographs on both!
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Mar 17, 2014

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A Personal Note to All of You

I shared this on Facebook the other day, but thought to myself, I really need to share it again for those that missed it. And all over. So here you go.

I consider myself a very fortunate human being. Getting to know such an exceptional group of people, fans, and individuals, has been an amazing experience in the past year, and longer. Every day you deserve to be told how great you are and how much I adore you all. I am impressed by, and absolutely love the creativity everyone shows, especially those who are a part of The Blogging Lounge. I enjoy reading the incredible things they come up with in general, but especially for the prompts. That is why you have seen me sharing their links on my profiles when they share the prompts in the group. I am so proud of them. It takes great courage to write and share your thoughts. Let's never forget that. To do so in any form online is a brave feat. I don't think we realize sometimes that we are so much stronger than we may believe. We all do mini acts of courage every day without realizing it, or receiving credit for it.

I come online every day to read stories, and get to know everyone, and we are all fighting battles, but I see so many people who hold their heads high and never allow that to bring them down for long. It is incredible. It's beautiful. You are beautiful. There are always people out there who may be silent, but they are privately rooting for you every step of the way, and hoping all those dreams and wishes of yours come true. You can count me as one of them. I eagerly look forward to continuing to get to know you, and seeing all the accomplishments you achieve. Everyone possesses their own wonderful gifts and talents that they bring to the posts that it's fun to learn things from you that I may have never known before. So many people complain about Facebook, I understand that, but at the end of the day it's a great place to meet and talk with some fascinating individuals.

I also understand that when you may see me share where you can find me online, that it's just another person sharing their sites and it's about numbers, but to me, it's about connection. I truly love to chat with you between everything I do. Even if I had millions of followers, I can guarantee you would each continue to have a face, a name, and a story to me, not just a number. And despite my weird brain who forgets, I remember the small details you share whether you know it or not. Between all the things I have to do every day, it can get lonely during certain periods. So even on days where it may not seem like I am fully engaged, I AM paying attention and hearing you. You are always, always heard by me and accepted. No matter who you are. I enjoy talking to everyone, even on the days I am exhausted and it may not seem so. If nothing else, know how much I appreciate having such amazing people to talk to. How much I appreciate getting to know everyone around me, and how damn amazing you are. ♥
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