Becca Tarnas ~ Dissertation Defense of “The Back of Beyond: The Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien”

Laura Bruno's Blog

This video was yesterday afternoon’s treat following a busy several weeks of sessions, study and synchronicity. I have followed Becca’s graduate work for years, as her interests in the Imaginal Realm, Faerie, Jung, Tolkien, symbols, Story and astrology dovetail with my own. Had my 1998 TBI not rerouted me away from a PhD in English Literature, these kinds of studies would have been right up my alley. Actually, they still are; I just do them in a different way, with different ends.

In any case, this is a fascinating and brilliant dissertation defense. I love how all the academics recognize Becca for “bringing the Soul back to academia.” If you have an hour and 45 minutes, this talk delves into the world I live in, especially these past few weeks. Highly recommended!

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What Happened to WordPress​ “Press This”?

If you are a long-time blogger like me, chances are that you have discovered a handy little tool called Press This.

If you are a new blogger/website owner, you may want to learn how to install and use Press ThisPress This provides a lightning-fast way to publish a link to a page or post from any website to your blog without ever visiting It’s as easy as clicking the Press This bookmarklet while you’re viewing the page or post you want to share.

This morning, I went to use Press This and I got a “this tool is depreciated” message. Huh?

Sick WordPress blog or website? The WordPress Doc is ready to help!

I searched to see what happened and couldn’t find any documentation except via (not .com). A longer search returned this page. Apparently, Automattic changed the tool without telling us. It isn’t even here in this documentation.

If your Press This applet is no longer working for your WordPress blog, I recommend that you follow these instructions.

  1. remove the old Press This bookmarklet
  2. select Settings from the blue interface
  3. select Writing from the menu at the top
  4. drag the Press This link to the bookmarks or favorites area of your web browser

A little trick: I tried this first in my blog’s “black interface” (accessible from “Admin”) but it didn’t work until I tried to access it in the “blue interface”* Not exactly the same as before, but I can at least breathe a sigh of relief…

Need help with your WordPress blog or website?

via Press This — Support —

12 Facts About Famous Logos You Didn’t Know

How to Publish Your Kindle eBook ~ a Cheat Sheet for Designers / Authors


I am a professional designer and published author. Here is my publishing process in a nutshell:

  1. Research a good title.
  2. Design a cover.*
  3. Write the document in Word.**
  4. Check it for formatting, spelling, and grammatical errors.
  5. Convert the document to an epub file.
  6. Write a description for the book in a TextEdit document (Notepad on the PC)
  7. Log in to Kindle; create the title and fill in the info they require.
  8. Upload the book interior (the epub) and cover.
  9. Check that the book looks OK in the Preview on KDP. Submit for review.
  10. Approve it or go back to correct errors (step 4), redo steps 5-9.

* I design my cover for the print edition, save it for the later CreateSpace print edition, and then reduce it for the ebook/Kindle edition.

** I format the Word doc before I start writing to streamline it for eventual ebook/Kindle production.

A lot of skills are involved in publishing a book; it can be overwhelming for the first-time publisher.

I have written a book that makes publishing on Kindle a snap, taking you through the process step-by-step; it can help you streamline the process and remove a lot of confusion.


I recommend hiring a professional designer, who has a proven track record in book cover design. Hire one who designs for your genre; for instance, I specialize in designing book covers for certain genres. Ask the designer to design your cover for a print book (includes enough image for a back cover and spine), and then output a version for your ebooks and Kindle editions.


Kindle offers a great service that allows you to determine how to price your book. It is still in BETA at the time of this writing. Currently, a book at 70% royalty option maxes out at $9.99, and can be set at a minimum of $2.99. You can set it higher or lower if you take a 30% royalty instead.


Establish an account on Kindle here: You will have to give them your tax information, address, and other account information. They will then let you establish an account, and you can upload your book contents and cover when you are ready to publish. (Don’t forget to save your password and user name!)


Your manuscript is automatically protected under US copyright laws, but you might want to record your copyright here: This gives you more legal leverage should you encounter any problems. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a 13-digit number that uniquely identifies books and book-like products published internationally. In a nutshell, whoever owns the ISBN number is the publisher to your book and owns the rights to publish that edition. ISBN numbers cannot be transferred, so if you are using any POD publisher’s number, they are the publisher, not you. Each version of a book must have its own ISBN number, meaning the digital version and the print version each must have an unique identifier.

Don’t worry! An ISBN number will be assigned to you on KDP and on CreateSpace should you publish a print edition using their service. Or you can buy your ISBN numbers from here:


Anyone can create an author’s page, go to Once you have an account, then you can submit a bio, claim your books, and track your sales.


“ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. Almost every product on our site has its own ASIN, a unique code we use to identify it. For books, the ASIN is the same as the ISBN number, but for all other products a new ASIN is created when the item is uploaded to our catalogue.” ~ Amazon


KDP support for Kindle books:

Author Central support:


If you’re using CreateSpace for Print-On-Demand (POD) publishing services, contact support here:

Self-publishing: What You Need to Know About the ISBN

cropped-fresh-aslum-logo-blask51.pngCreateSpace has free ISBNs to offer authors. The ISBN is the unique identifier used in all traditional systems for identifying books. Amazon has a unique number of its own called an ASIN. The person or company that holds the ISBN has the publishing rights to your book, at least in that edition. This was usually the publishing house. In effect, when you buy your own ISBN (, you are now the publisher of your book.

ISBNs cannot be transferred or resold. So any vanity publisher like LULU or CS is not giving you an ISBN and they actually hold the publishing rights to your work, in that edition that is identified by the ISBN.

I originally started in 2007 with Lightning Source. I bought a package of 10 ISBNs and published a few books under my own ISBN numbers. However, when CreateSpace came along, I realized that my publishing process needed a way to submit changes without incurring additional charges. And then, a couple years ago, I decided to redesign and retitle all my books. Some of them I had to retitle several times, since I would get them out on Amazon after a week or more of work, and I already had a competitor with almost the same title.

ISBNs are linked with the title, subtitle, the physical size of the book, and the number of pages. Every time you make a change to one or more of these elements, you have to publish under a new ISBN. So, these changes would have cost me not only time, but money and my precious ISBNs!

This is why I publish under CreateSpace now.

The advantage in using your own ISBN numbers is that you “own” the publishing rights in that edition. However, if you make a lot of changes to your book after you have approved it for publication, you might want to use free numbers.

Seth Godin’s Head: Baldness as a Brand

As a designer, marketer and all-around cultural observer, I must say that I love Seth Godin. But it is not his trim physique that attracts my attention, it is his head. Particularly the top of his head.

There it is in every photograph, in every video, like a shining beacon of intelligence and humor. I wonder if he has ever had hair, or perhaps he has a full, luxuriant growth that he has to secretly mow everyday.

Seth Godin made a brand out of baldness.
For this image to work as an icon he has to be totally, unabashedly, and completely bald. Not a glimmer or hint of living follicles can grace the top of his cranium, not one hair can survive the razor’s edge of his intellect and drive to be remarkable. He has to be proud of being bald, no hiding it or combing it over.

His head resembles a light-bulb.
When a man is truly bald, he cannot help being noticed. As an idea-man, I am sure that he knew that the best way to show that he is a genius was to have his head look like that icon of idea-generation: a light-bulb. Why not use baldness as a way to take over the (marketing) world?

Baldness as a brand is not new, in fact, it may be the Idea-Virus that Seth caught as he tussled with how to make himself a Purple Cow in the eyes of the public and peers. Seth had an historical precedent: movie star Yul Brenner struggled to become famous, and couldn’t make any headway until he allowed his razor full access to the top of his cranium. A shiny skull made Yul an icon in the movie world, making him somehow irresistible to female fans, but it didn’t convey the idea that he was the Mensa of Marketing.

godin-2How did Seth ever hit on the brilliant idea of turning what most men might think of as a liability into a memorable brand? I like to imagine a thought bubble emanating from his celebrated cerebellum:

“Now, what can I do to make my image remarkable?” “How can I convey the idea that I am a marketing genius just by using my head?”

The solution is now history.

Copyright Aliyah Marr


How Do You Like Those Upside Down Apples?

I, like a lot of designers, own a MacBook. Every single time I take my computer out of its case, I have to remember to place the laptop with its logo upside-down, so I can open the lid.

Of course, as a graphic designer and marketer, I like to reflect on why Apple placed their logo upside down for me, a loyal customer, and dedicated user.

Apple has always been an example of great branding and marketing. Of course, the Apple logo has to read right-side up for the potential buyers of the brand, not for the already-convinced users. The rule of repetition in marketing is operative here; the more often a potential customer sees the logo, the more the idea of owning an Apple is implanted in his subconscious mind. So, the logo needs to be upright for him, not me. So, my owning a computer with an apple on the cover makes me into a quiet evangelist for the brand. I don’t mind evangelizing a brand that I like so well.

For more ideas on how to “market without marketing” please read my book, Squawk! Social Media for the Solitary Bird.

And I am not alone. Convinced Apple users are more than just computer users who bought a certain kind of computer; many are evangelists for the brand. Why? Because Apple is the computer that fulfills the original promise of the personal computer: it makes your life easier. But more than that, it is a computer with style. The higher price point reinforces that point, rather than detracting from it: only those who appreciate the beauty, style, and design of a utilitarian object will ultimately buy Apple. Apple fans WANT Apple products to be more expensive so that they can join an elite market that shares the same refined design values. The higher price point keeps the riffraff of the dull utilitarian user who doesn’t appreciate art and culture out of the store.

I call this phenomenon “Elite Marketing,” a term that defines a type of market share of users who see themselves as belonging to a smaller group of individuals who share common values, in this case, they value beautifully-designed utilitarian objects. The same difference separates the buyers of Chrysler Sebring’s and Jaguars: both cars share the same purpose and will get you where you want to go, but one of them does it in style.

One of the major reasons that people buy Apple products is that Apple leads in computer style and design. But, if they didn’t know it when they bought the product, they soon find out that they bought better-designed hardware and software; a computer that won’t get many—if any—viruses, and one that almost never breaks down. Good design again.

Now, like any style leader, Apple has had its imitators. But, without exception, these copycats see only the exterior of the brand. They try to compete with the outward style, but they lose the main point: Apple products are designed well inside and out. Every detail is thought out from every design standpoint. Apple employs design leaders in every field: marketing, hardware, product design, UI/UX design, web design, graphic design, GUI, etc.

I won’t deny that sometimes they miss the mark, like the weird-just-incrementally-smaller-than-normal keyboard that shipped with the G4 towers. I had to buy a new keyboard because it made me miss all the keys when I typed. My personal favorite faux-pas was the Cube, one the most beautiful, classic computer designs that I had ever seen in my life. I actually lusted after this computer — I think a lot of my fellow designers did too — until I realized that the design was severely limited: it was impossible to add any hardware to the CPU. So it became, instead of a cherished classic, a paperweight or doorstop.

A well-designed, recognizable logo is the best kind of advertising. Every time I go to a cafe or to the local library, it is hard not to notice a field of illuminated Apples at the tables; it’s a testament to the growing market-share of my favorite platform. As a branding technique, the simplicity of the softly-glowing iconic logo cannot be denied.

I have owned Macs for my entire career as a graphic designer, and, I have to admit that one of the draws to buying this computer is that Apple — as opposed to every other brand of computer hardware manufacturer — pays attention to those kinds of design and branding details that make the computer and the brand appeal to people like me.

From the time I opened the lid of my first Mac, I have been impressed by the genius of this brand. Even the packaging is not overlooked; ease of use is emphasized, the brand carries the idea that Apple makes your life both easy and beautiful. A Mac computer, like any well-designed object, is a thing of beauty and a future classic collectible.

I have been a Mac enthusiast since the days when I taught software packages through online videos; I had to show how to use the same software on both Macs and PCs and used to grit my teeth whenever I had to get on the PCs to do my work. Everything about the PC was clunky, insulting, primitive, childish, or just plain wrong. I found this essential difference impossible to describe to an avowed PC advocate. Since they belong to another group of evangelists who don’t share my design values they simply couldn’t see what I was talking about.

Years later, I had the chance to work for Apple in the educational division. I would have been employed in teaching users how to use the interface without having to crack a manual. Since the early days of interactive design, expert usability designers have known that the best design is the one that “teaches” the user how to use it without the user realizing that he is being taught. The user doesn’t even notice the design or realize that he has had a question, it is answered so fast by the presence of the “transparent” platform. Again, another, case of good design. Apple is the king of transparent design.

To a large degree, I buy Apple because the design of the computer puts me in a smaller elite class of computer users, those who appreciate the good design, both outside and inside, that the brand “Apple” has come to represent. There are many other reasons, of course, and they mostly have to do with the fact that the design itself makes the computer easy for me to use.

Design today is so much more than visual design: it now stands for several kinds of design at once:

  • visual communication
  • branding
  • usability
  • transparency

The question I have to ask myself is: if tomorrow another company started making computers as good as or better than Apple, would I switch?

And my answer? Only if Apple dropped the ball and I could no longer believe in their collective genius. For now, I have nostalgia to add to my evangelism; after all, I have seen my career develop on their platform, in fact, I would go so far to say that I would not have become a graphic designer if I had had to do it on a common PC.

Copyright Aliyah Marr

Aliyah Marr is the author of The Avatars of Eden and Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity: The (missing) manual for your right brain


#CreativeDirector #Branding #CareerDevelopment #HuffingtonPost #FastCompany


The 5-Step Guide to Perfect Small Business SEO

Wanna know the secret to a ridiculously successful small business?

Hint: it isn’t print marketing, billboards, branding, or social media marketing. It’s SEO.

The best companies on the web are making millions (no exaggeration here) from top search rankings, and you can too.

Not sure where to start? In this 5-minute small business SEO guide, you’ll learn everything you need to start dominating Google. Let’s get going!

The Basic Truth About Small Business SEO

Most experts will try to tell you that SEO is a ridiculously complex process, but in reality, it’s not too difficult to understand. Google only really cares about two things:

1. The text and images on your website. If you’re trying to rank #1 for “custom t-shirts” and your site has the words “custom t-shirts” included somewhere on the page, Google will rank you more highly.

2. The number of other websites that are linking back to yours (these are called “backlinks”). An example of a backlink: Visit

Google uses links to tell which sites are reputable, and which aren’t. The more links you have, the higher Google will rank your site.

So how do you boost your search rankings?

It’s pretty simple: have better site text, and more websites linking to your site.

Step 1: Find out where you stand.

First things first, we need to find out well your site is currently performing. Lucky for us, there’s a great, free tool to help us measure how many backlinks a website has: the MozBar.

Click here to download the MozBar for Chrome or here to download it for Firefox. Installation should just take a few seconds after you click the button to add the extension. Once you’ve installed the toolbar and restarted your browser, click the blue-backed M icon at the top right-hand corner of your browser window.

Moz Start Instructions

Now you should see a toolbar at the top of all pages you visit (note: you can disable this toolbar when you aren’t using it). Let’s try it out!

First, visit (a site offering a game that helps you learn guitar online). Take a look at the top of the screen, and you should see two scores – PA and DA. These scores measure how many backlinks a website has, from 0-100. The higher the score, the more links the page has.

GuitarBots Screen


The page authority (PA) of this particular page (based on the number of backlinks it has) is 42/100, and the domain authority (DA) of the entire site as a whole is 33/100.


If you have higher scores than your competitors, you will probably rank above them. In general, scores above 60 are typically top ranking sites on the first page, between 30-59 are at the bottom end of the first page, and sites below 30 generally rank on the 2nd-4th pages of Google results (this varies widely from industry to industry).


The MOZ Toolbar can also help us to see SEO scores right in the middle of search results. That means we can easily see how competitive different keywords are. Here’s what I mean: If I Google “learn guitar online”, the first two results have Domain Authority scores of 56 and 40 (pictured below). If we can get a similar score on our site, and include the proper keywords, we should expect to rank in a similar way.

Learn Guitar Online SERPs Screen

2. Find Perfect Keywords.

Finding the right keywords is the difference between a goldmine and a total flop, but how do you find great keywords? It’s simple: ask Google! Google offers a “Keyword Tool” that allows us to see what keywords are most highly trafficked, and how difficult it will be to rank for them.


To get to the Google Keyword Tool, we need to sign up for Google Adwords – Google’s ad system. Click here to sign up now.  Note: Google will ask us for billing information, but we can avoid it!

Enter your email address and website into the form:

AdWords Screen 1

If you don’t have a Google account yet, you’ll make one at this point.
Next you can fill in nonsense as I have below, or perhaps real
information if you plan on using AdWords for advertising.

Adwords Screen 3

AdWords Screen 2


Once you get to billing, you do have to provide a credit card, but you can cancel immediately and completely avoid any charges.

Adwords Screen 4


Okay, we’re finally almost there. On the final page, just accept the terms of service and click the button to Create Campaign. Now click Explore AdWords.

Adwords Screen 7

Important: Click the Green light next to your campaign name, and “Pause” your campaign and avoid all Google charges!

Now, skip past the step-by-step pop-up that wants you to click Campaigns. Instead go to Tools → Keyword Planner.  Once inside the keyword planner, you have several tools at your disposal. We can find new keyword suggestions, see search volumes for terms and more.


adwords keyword

Click Search for new keyword and ad group ideas, and enter some keywords that you think people are searching for. Press the Get Ideas button when you’re done:

keyword search

keyword search 2



Most valuable keywords are extremely competitive, and tough to rank for. What we’re looking for are terms with reasonable amounts of traffic, but still give us a chance to get into the top 10 results. As a rule of thumb, the best keywords have:

  • At least 500 searches per month
  • At least one website in the top 10 results that has a PA of under 25 (aka, a site that we could possibly overtake)

Once you’ve found some solid keywords, it’s time to…

3. Incorporate the keywords into your site.

Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to tell Google that your website is perfectly equipped to rank for them. The best way to do that? Putting keywords in your website’s text.

Your keywords should be included in:

  1. Your site’s title (the one displayed on the title bar of your browser)
  2. The biggest headline on your page (for you web nerds, this is called the <H1> tag)
  3. Your page’s text (preferably at least 2 or 3 times throughout the page)

Remember: we don’t want to stuff your page with keywords. Not only is it tacky to the reader, but Google hates keyword stuffing and will penalize your site for it.

4. Build Backlinks

Remember those backlinks we talked about earlier? Now it’s time to put them to good use.

The more backlinks we get, the higher Google will rank our pages. So how do we build backlinks?

There are hundreds of great techniques, but here are some of the most effective:


If you can find a way to write an interesting and enlightening article about something, you typically will be able to get people to link back to it.

“How-To” articles are notoriously good for driving backlinks because they’re so sharable, but just about any informative piece of writing will do.


If you come across semi-important blogs in your industry, it may be worth your while to offer them a favor in exchange for a backlink or mention somewhere on their site. Note: exchanging links is typically frowned upon by Google, and so is the act of buying links, so tread carefully here.


Google owns Youtube, and they tend to rank Youtube videos considerably higher than most webpages.


If you know other website owners, try to convince them to include a link on their site.

And that’s it.

If you keep building backlinks and improving the content on your site, you can rank for literally any keyword. Remember: if another site ranks higher than you do, they must have either better content on their page, or better backlinks.

[Editor’s note: a reblogged article from my new affiliated web design company:  Plato Web Design]

Looking for more than just SEO tips?

Contact us now for help with boosting your website’s search capabilities. We offer some pretty inexpensive monthly plans, and we’d love to work with your business!


Casey Ark is the CEO of Plato Web Design, a custom web design and marketing agency. His writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Newsday, The Tampa Bay Times, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Kindle Publishing Do It Yourself

Publish Your Book on Kindle in 7 Easy Steps

Kindle version | Print version

This book  is a “cheat-sheet” for those who wish to learn how to publish on Kindle.

Even an ebook can be beautiful, if you know how. Book designer and bestselling author Aliyah Marr reveals some super-simple techniques that she has developed to streamline the publishing process for herself and for her clients. This is a step-by-step guide that will enable you to easily and quickly produce the kind of ebook that will look great on Kindle. You worked hard writing your book; you shouldn’t have to work hard to publish it. 

Are you ready to be a published author?

Announcing MozBar 3.0: the Free, Completely Redesigned SEO Toolbar 

Today we are thrilled to announce version 3 of the MozBar browser extension. The SEO toolbar is now available for Chrome users. Expect the Firefox version to be available in a few weeks.

What is the MozBar?

The MozBar is a free browser extension that provides on-page access to Moz’s link metrics and site analysis tools. Over the years it has gained a very popular following and saved a ton of time for SEO’s and Inbound marketers alike. Whilst there are certain features that are only available to Pro subscribers, we try to keep as much as possible free. We think this is the TAGFEE thing to do, plus it really helps people as possible to get acquainted with our brand and our tools.

The MozBar, since its inception in 2008, solves three main problems for its users:

  1. SERP analysis
  2. Site/competitor research
  3. Link profile analysis

Source: Announcing MozBar 3.0: the Free, Completely Redesigned SEO Toolbar – Moz

9 Killer SEO Tips Worth 1K or More

The world’s best online businesses do two things really well:

First, they put huge amounts of time and effort into dominating search engine results.

Second, they offer unique, convincing sales pitches to their new visitors.

But you’re probably thinking:

“How do I dominate search engine results?”

If you’re a small fish in a big pond, it can seem impossible – but don’t despair.

I’m going to share with you the 9 SEO tips and tricks our experts use every day to rank small businesses at the top of their industries. And I’m also going to include the estimated lifetime value of these tweaks.
Continue reading “9 Killer SEO Tips Worth 1K or More”

PSA: OneLogin Breached. Here’s What You Need to Do.

This is a public service announcement from Wordfence. We are sending this notice to the WordPress community due to the widespread nature and potential severity of this security issue. It has a high likelihood of impacting some of our readers and requires immediate action on their part.Single sign-on provider OneLogin has experienced a breach. If you or your company uses OneLogin to sign in to applications, or if you use any of their other services, you need to be aware of this and may need to take several actions immediately…

Source: PSA: OneLogin Breached. Here’s What You Need to Do.

Security Breach in Popular Plugin “User Role Editor” – User Can Become Admin

There is a major vulnerability in a popular plugin with over 300,000 active installs: User Role Editor 4.24 and older.

The vulnerability allows any registered user to gain administrator access. For sites that have open registration, this is a serious security hole.

If you are running User Role Editor, upgrade to the newest version which is 4.25 immediately.

Looking at a diff of the newest plugin release, the author was checking if users have access to edit another user using the ‘current_user_can’ function and checking for the ‘edit_user’ (without an ‘s’ on the end) capability on a specific user ID. The green code below was added.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.58.02 AM

A user can edit themselves, and so sending data to the plugin that supplies the current user’s ID to this access check would bypass the check.

The fix released in version 4.25 (new code shown in green above) checks if the current user has the ‘edit_users’ capability which is a general access check that would fix this vulnerability.

The edit_user check that was being used is undocumented on the Roles wiki page, but it isused by WordPress core (in a secure way). So if you are using this check in your plugins, it is important to realize that it can be bypassed if used as a general access level check.

As always, please make sure that the rest of your plugins are at the newest version because we have seen several, less impactful vulnerabilities emerge during the past month.


The Wordfence Team.

via Vulnerability in User Role Editor – Users Can Become Admins – Wordfence

Publishing a Book? CreateSpace vs. Lightning Source

Years ago I published my first book, Parallel Mind, The Art of Creativity through Lightning Source, then the premier POD (print on demand) printer for books. All the big publishers used Lightning Source. I encouraged my consulting clients to use Lightning Source as recently as 3 years ago.

Then I found CreateSpace. I haven’t looked back: last year, I celebrated my 7th year of book design when I published my 11th book, The Avatars of Eden. All of my books are now printed by CreateSpace and available on Amazon: Aliyah Marr.


Here is the record of a chat I just held with LightningSource.

–begin chat–

Aliyah Marr
I published 3 books through you, but I have republished all those books (some of them several times) through CreateSpace. Now I have 11 books on Amazon, the print versions throughCreateSpace.

First understand that I am a professional graphic designer who is a published author. I design all my books and design my client’s books. In fact, I sent some of my clients to you and they have become book publishers in their own right. Now, however, most of them are on CreateSpace.

May I state why I decided to switch my business to CreateSpace?

You may.

Aliyah Marr

1. CreateSpace doesn’t charge any setup fees.
This is important when you find that you have a small or large error in your book and you have to correct it.

2. CreateSpace has an astounding user interface.
This allows a professional such as myself a seamless way to upload my files.

3. CreateSpace is Amazon.
Enough said.

4. CreateSpace has distribution world-wide.
They have deals with printers in various countries.

5. CreateSpace connects the reviews of my ebooks (Kindle) with the printed versions on their site.

6. And most important: CreateSpace has better print quality.
I once tried to talk to the tech department at LS about the lack of print consistency from page to page. They were able to tell me that this is due to different toners on the heads, but they were not able to correct the problem.

Another time I tried to talk to a printing professional at LS about how to up the quality in the books from my end. They had no idea what the various printing terms meant. They are not printing professionals, they can only run the book making machines, IMHO.

7. CreateSpace has great turn around too.

8. Lastly, I was never able to really talk to anyone down at LightningSource.
It seemed that my account manager was never in the office, and never returned my calls. Have any of these items changed? I mean, I haven’t really dealt with LS for years.

We do have support available 7 days a week.

Aliyah Marr
Have any of the other items on my list changed?

CreateSpace and LSI are very different platforms for differing types of publishers who have different needs.CreateSpace does use Ingram Distribution and printing. They are a customer of ours. Some publishers feel that the services that come along withCreateSpace better suit their needs as self-publishers.

Aliyah Marr
Yes, I know that CreateSpace is a customer of yours. I assume that I cannot control the quality of a book outside the US, but those that I see from CreateSpace are excellent in quality inside and out. Whereas the ones from LS were not consistent at all.

I’m sorry, but chat serves as a way for publishers to ask quick questions concerning their LSI accounts. If you are interested in discussing CreateSpaces’s services compared to our own, you are welcome to give us a call for a more thorough and satisfying exchange. Do you have any questions concerning your account?

Aliyah Marr
Will you please submit my list of observations to whomever may care to receive feedback?

Yes. I will.

—end of chat—

I assume that my feedback won’t have any effect. But I hope that this helps others who want to publish their books.

via The New and Improved Ingram’s Lightning Source

Imminent: Non-HTTPS Sites Labeled “Not Secure” by Chrome

On approximately January 31st of this month, version 56 of the Chrome web browser will be released. There is a significant change in the way it displays websites that are not using HTTPS, also known as SSL. This change may confuse your site visitors or surprise you if you are not expecting it.
Continue reading “Imminent: Non-HTTPS Sites Labeled “Not Secure” by Chrome”

Design and Publishing Services


I am a bestselling author and book (and web) designer. I know what it takes to write, design, and publish a book. A book can go a long way to establishing your credentials in any field. I specialize in designing self-help books and historical fiction. I have written, designed and published 11 books of my own, and have helped several authors publish their books. Two of my clients became book publishers after I helped them publish their first books. Here is my online portfolio of work.…

The publishing industry has changed enormously in the last few years: eBooks and print-on-demand books are a large part of the equation now. I have even written a book on how to publish on Kindle:…

There are a lot of online publishing companies out there who would love to take your money and a lot of people with well-intentioned advice, but you can streamline your process by getting solid advice and practical advice from someone who knows the whole industry.

There are several stages to writing a book. If you are in the beginning, you may simply need a writing coach. If you have written your manuscript, you will need help in producing it as an ebook and print book. If you have already produced your book — actually, you should do this before you finish your book— you will need to promote your book with a website/blog, videos, and an email campaign.

I know how to do ALL of the above. I am a creative coach, a multimedia/online specialist, and graphic designer. Give me a holler if you need help with your book or online publishing needs. Here is a list of my skills:

Apple computers
Audio editing
Book publishing
Content Manager
Creative Consultant for Social Entrepreneurs
Creative Coach
Graphic Design
Social Media manager
Tutor: Graphic Design, Webmedia, WordPress
Website design
Web master
Website maintenance
Wordpress installation (self-hosted)
Wordpress maintenance
Wordpress template modification
Various office skills
Video editing/production

Contact me

unplug 365  The-visionary

How to Create Your Own Affiliate Program with WordPress | Elegant Themes Blog

For years now WordPress has been perhaps the best platform in the world for creating affiliate blogs and websites. Affiliate marketing is one of the key ways many professional bloggers generate revenue. But there are two sides to the affiliate marketing coin–the side of the affiliates themselves who sell others’ products to turn a profit and that of the product creators.

via How to Create Your Own Affiliate Program with WordPress | Elegant Themes Blog

Template Tags « WordPress Codex

Template tags are used within your blog’s Templates to display information dynamically or otherwise customize your blog, providing the tools to make it as individual and interesting as you are. Below is a list of the general user tags available in WordPress, sorted by function-specific category.

For further information on template tags and templates in general, see the following:

Stepping Into Template Tags – an introduction to Template Tags.
Anatomy of a Template Tag – details of how to put Tags into Template files.
How to Pass Tag Parameters – details of how to use Parameters with Tags.
Include Tags – additional tags related to including one Template file within another.
Conditional Tags – additional tags, not shown here, related to making your Templates more flexible with options.
Function Reference – additional tags related to core WordPress functionality.
Deprecated Functions – additional tags that are Deprecated.
Templates – a comprehensive list of Template, Theme, and Tag resources.
Stepping Into Templates – introduction to Template files.

via Template Tags « WordPress Codex

WordPress Developer Super Cheat Sheet – WPMU DEV

There sure is a lot you need to remember when working with WordPress theme files.

From the names of basic template files to functions and how the WordPress Loop works, it’s next to impossible to remember every PHP tag or even how to define a new theme.

via WordPress Developer Super Cheat Sheet – WPMU DEV

7 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)

Creating regular WordPress backups is the best thing you can do for your website. Backups give you a peace of mind and can save you in catastrophic situations when your site gets hacked or you accidentally lock yourself out. There are several free and paid backup plugins for WordPress, and most of them are fairly easy to use. In this article, we will show you the 7 best backup plugins for WordPress.

via 7 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)

Top 25 Free WordPress Plugins and Why They’re So Damn Popular – WPMU DEV

Ever wondered what the most popular free WordPress plugins are and why they’re so freaking popular? Knowing the answer could help you understand which ones are a must to install on your site (or even what kinds of plugins you should be building).

via Top 25 Free WordPress Plugins and Why They’re So Damn Popular – WPMU DEV

15 Seriously Simple Hacks for Customizing WordPress for Clients – WPMU DEV

WordPress has become synonymous with ease of use and flexibility. With an intuitive interface, plugins, themes, and other tools to help users build websites, WordPress has quickly become the content management system of choice.

via 15 Seriously Simple Hacks for Customizing WordPress for Clients – WPMU DEV

How to Manually Delete or Reset WordPress and Multisite – WPMU DEV

Don’t have access to your WordPress admin? Or can’t access the settings for a plugins? Don’t sweat it – you can still reset or delete and uninstall WordPress or your plugin manually.

via How to Manually Delete or Reset WordPress and Multisite – WPMU DEV

30 Creative and Neglected Ways to Increase Traffic to Your WordPress Site – WPMU DEV

Are you like me and always have one eye on your website’s traffic stats? Whether your site is personal or for business, more traffic leads to more exposure. And that means more revenue. So it’s understandable why I’m obsessed with my site’s stats, right?

via 30 Creative and Neglected Ways to Increase Traffic to Your WordPress Site – WPMU DEV

The 12 Best Facebook Marketing Tools Available in 2016 | Elegant Themes Blog

Facebook needs no introduction. Today it boasts over 1.6 billion monthly active users, and if you haven’t extended your marketing efforts onto the platform yet, it begs the question – what on earth are you waiting for?

Well, the good news is that getting started with marketing on Facebook is honestly not that hard – anyone can create a page and start accumulating a following right away. Doing it right, however, will require you to get acquainted with a multitude of tools in order to maximize the efficacy of your efforts. You’ll need to engage with your followers, track your analytics, manage your ad campaigns, and know exactly which content to publish and when…

via The 12 Best Facebook Marketing Tools Available in 2016 | Elegant Themes Blog

20 Indispensable Gmail Calendar Hacks for 2015 – CPC Strategy

I spend If you’re anything like me, you’ll quickly find your Gmail calendar full to the brim with appointments, meetings, conference calls and anything and everything in between. And as those build up, sorting through them and staying on track can get pretty difficult.
Gmail calendar has some pretty useful built-in tools. Tools most of its users aren’t using. They can help you keep organized and on-track with multiple connections, meetings and priorities.

See the 20 Gmail Calendar Hacks via 20 Indispensable Gmail Calendar Hacks for 2015 – CPC Strategy

Table Coding for users | wordpress tips

Just what I have been looking for: handy hints for coding tables in WordPress!


via Table coding for users | wordpress tips

Adding Custom Fonts to WordPress with @Font-Face and CSS3 – WPMU DEV

Whether you’re creating a new WordPress theme or simply customizing one, custom fonts can help freshen your theme’s style.

While browsers have built-in default fonts, which you can call in your style.css file, using the same fonts everyone else uses can seem a bit dull.

Luckily, adding your own choice of fonts is relatively easy using the CSS3 @font-face rule. All that’s required is uploading a font to your server, then adding it to your theme with a few small snippets of CSS.

Let’s look at how to do it.

via Adding Custom Fonts to WordPress with @Font-Face and CSS3 – WPMU DEV

How to Add Google Forms to Your WordPress Website | Elegant Themes Blog


If you aren’t yet familiar with Google Forms, now is a good time to get acquainted with this free yet powerful service.

Perhaps not as popular as their other apps, such as Docs and Sheets, Google Forms is a quick and easy way to collect information from your users via online forms. As well as being shared via email or published on their own web page, Google Forms can also be added to your WordPress website in just a few clicks

via How to Add Google Forms to Your WordPress Website | Elegant Themes Blog

Let the Money Roll in with an Appointment Calendar Plugin

File this under “WordPress Hacks”

What if your clients could schedule their appointments themselves? An appointment calendar can improve your bottom line and make your life easier.

I found the perfect plugin that does just that. It took me weeks of research before I found the best plugin that doesn’t require off-site registration or monthly fees.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 1.29.30 PM

It sends email confirmations to the client and to you, allows you to run any kind of business, and schedule anything from hotel rooms to hair salon appointments. It gives you access to Paypal and other gateways (the Pro version only), lets you schedule discounts, coupons, and extras. From the admin, you can manually book appointments or cancel them. You can set the calendar to instantly accept appointments or set it up in a two-step approval process.

This appointment plugin is very robust and quite beautiful. The only caveat is that it was designed by a non-native English language company, and the documentation is useless. There is no tutorial either, so I had to stumble my way through it until I understood how to set it up and use it.

Configuring this plugin is not for the faint of heart, so I recommend that you work with a professional. If you want me to install and configure this plugin for you on your WordPress site, let me know!

You can see the calendar in action when you book a session with me.