1. ISBN Barcode Generator
FOLLOW US ON:
We needed an air purification system for our bedroom that was non-intrusive and effective.
Fortunately for us, our son already had this particular model in his room for several years.
Since we knew the product had been tested, we decided to go ahead and get one for our bedroom.
Before purchasing this item, I asked my son about filter replacement.
There are two dogs in his room, so it's safe to say that this filter gets a run for its money.
Although you can't wet this filter, he extends the use by cleaning the external dust off of it with a small portable mini-vacuum.
He doesn't replace the filter very often; he said a few times per year is all. However, he pointed out that his filter gets a good workout because of his dogs. Since the dogs aren't in our bedroom, I expect that replacing the filter will only be once a year for our room - maybe twice.
What I Like About the RENPHO Hepa Air Purifier
Over the past couple of years, I've been sharing my self-publishing journey.
Although I've published 16 activity books to date, built a website to promote them, and created a social media following, I'm not an expert! I wanted to stipulate that upfront.
This article addresses some of the questions I had about ISBN Numbers and Imprints and what I've learned firsthand.
After checking out this article, you should google this topic; there are so many incredibly qualified professionals on this subject.
During my many hours of research, this is one of my favorite articles on the topic of Imprints - worth the read.
Canadians are very lucky; ISBNs are free through the Government of Canada (ISBN Canada, also known as Library and Archives Canada). Sign up here, create an account, get your numbers, follow the instructions, and best of all, the customer service is fantastic!
For those in the United States, you can get them through a company called Bowker. Unfortunately, they're not free, not even close to free. As of this date, one ISBN can cost approximately $125 and ten ISBNs are $295. You can view their pricing page here.
4. Where to Create a Barcode to Upload Onto Your Book When You're Providing Your ISBN?
The Barcode is pretty easy to create. This is the website I use to create my barcodes.
5. Use Amazon's Template Generator to Figure Out Where the Barcode Goes When Creating Covers
Here is a link to Amazon's template generator. It creates a template you can put over the top of your book cover, so you know the margins and where the Barcode goes.
*TIP* If you're using Canva to create book covers, drag the template over the properly measured custom design and increase the transparency so you can see through the template.
6. What is an Imprint? This confused me the most!
Amazon asks for the 'Imprint' information when you're providing your own ISBN.
I will not attempt to give you an in-depth explanation of Imprints because, honestly, I could never do it justice!
Provided below is a summary and a link to an excellent article from Ingram Spark about Imprints:
According this Ingram Spark Article: "The Imprint Page is the page that appears on the back of the Title Page. It contains everything we need to know about who wrote the book, who the publisher is, how we can contact them, where the book was printed, what the ISBN is"
7. Choosing An Imprint Name
There are so many things to consider when choosing your imprint name. Yikes. That's a whole other topic.
Famous publishing companies have multiple Imprint names. For example, Penguin House has nearly 275 independently published imprints.
From what I've read so far, an Imprint doesn't have to be a legally named identifier. However, for goodness sake, don't pick a name that could be a copyright violation against another company!
With ISBN Canada, where I register my ISBN numbers, there are alternate identities (besides my own name) that I can list that relate to my book(s).
Since I built a website called StumpedRiddles.com and feature all my activity books there, I added "Stumped Riddles" to my ISBN Canada profile as an identifier attached to my name. I use Stumped Riddles as my Imprint name.
You can get creative with your Imprint identifier that goes inside your book.
If you're in the USA and using Bowker to get your ISBNs, I'm sorry I can't help you with whether you can list alternate identities for the purpose of Imprints associated with the ISBN.
8. Did You Know You Can Search for Any ISBN Online?
There's a website called ISBN Search that allows you to enter the ISBN for any book to help you find it.
Ok, that's enough for today; self-publishing is a constant learning curve!
Additional Self-Publishing Articles:
Most of you who know me know that I have a goal of publishing 100 activity books.
Although this goal is ingrained in my being, I had no idea how to achieve that milestone.
Since 2019, I've published 14 activity books and 1 poetry book for a total of 15 books. That figure includes the newest book "Easy Sudoku for Adults." I've been stuck, and it is absolutely part of the process.
"The How Breakthrough"
I'm not one to wallow in problems. Without a doubt, finding solutions is part of who I am. In the case of finding a way to publish 100 activity books, I've had to think and think and think!
There are numerous 'how-to' videos on self-publishing; I've watched many of them. The guidance is out there; however, finding what works for you and how to implement suggestions is hard.
Most importantly, many how-to's include an automation process that isn't personal.
Automating is essential, but not at the expense of your product's quality or personalization. Having said that, I've found an efficient way to automate WITH personalization.
So, in summary, work as hard as you can to automate and duplicate, but still, keep your books personal to you. In other words, don't just upload auto-generated activities or content, but do find a way to generate them so you can personalize them!
Never Compromise Quality
Additional Self-Publishing Articles:
|A Review of Newbie TikTok for Business Tips|
In my last post, I talked about how I was just starting out with my plunge into the world of TikTok.
Today's post will expand a bit further on some of the additional things I've learned.
Many who stay away from TikTok for Business do so because they don't want to put themselves on video.
Most of us small businesses can't afford to hire companies to create videos, so we believe TikTok is not a viable business tool.
I was like most everyone: I thought TikTok only worked for video creations. Having said that, uniquely interesting, useful, and even funny video creation is the best way to market for business on TikTok.
However, because I write Riddle Books featuring my own written riddles, I found myself potentially being an exception to that rule.
Using TikTok to feature my riddles is an excellent marketing tool.
I upload my created graphics for each riddle, then enhance their interest with special fun characters and music.
Do you have interesting images you could enhance and promote on TikTok?
You can enhance your photos with:
- Text to Speech
- Voice Over (if you want to use your voice)
- Special Elements (funny icons etc)
- Background Music
Did You Know There Are Places Online to Get Royalty Free Video?
I hadn't really thought about it before ... that I could access royalty-free video just like we access royalty-free photos.
The two places I've used so far for photos and videos are Pixabay.com and Pexels.com. Be sure to check the commercial license use for each image and video.
When you select a video for TikTok, use a vertical video.
Newbie Ways to Use TikTok for Your Small Business - Ask Yourself These Questions:
1. Do you have premade, attractive graphics that people would find interesting to look at?
If the answer is yes, consider TikTok. Enhance that photo with special elements and background music.
2. Do you have text that you've incorporated on your photo?
If the answer is yes or no, consider TikTok. With TikTok, you can add text to your photos, so there's no need to make photos with text if you prefer not to.
Here's one of my riddles on TikTok with a plain photo background, text entered from TikTok, with text-to-read activated, directly on TikTok:
3. Would adding text to a stock video be appealing for your product or brand?
If the answer is yes, consider TikTok. I'm currently experimenting with this by putting riddle text typed onto the background of stock videos. It's working artistically so far.
Here's an example of one of my riddles on TikTok using a stock video.
4. Are you able to make short videos from your cell phone?
If the answer is yes, consider TikTok.
These videos don't have to be fancy.
Just panning my backyard, I was able to put a short background video together.
I uploaded that short backyard video to TikTok, and commenced the creative journey. You can view that riddle here.
Here's an Example of One of My Riddle Graphics Used on TikTok:
I reluctantly took the plunge into the TikTok marketing world.
Out of pure stubbornness, I vowed to avoid that particular social media platform. However, I had a come-to-reality moment, encouraged by my son, that my riddle business would be served well by that platform.
In quite a short time, my son has nearly 27,000 followers and over 263,000 likes, all with approximately 40 personal video uploads. That's not easy to do and quite impressive!
His TikTok handle is @charles.mackenzie if you want to take a peek. Just an added note, in all fairness to us mere humans, my son has a knack for being in front of the camera. However, as I detail below, you don't have to be on camera to benefit from TikTok.
Since I'm a newbie, I can't give you any big secret tips, but I can provide those of you with a business, some of the things I've learned so far as it relates to my own riddle business:
|Feeling Stuck - An Emotion Review|
At the moment, I feel stuck.
However, I know I'm not stuck. Plus, I live by being grateful for life no matter what's going on or what I'm feeling.
What we feel is king, so I suppose if I'm feeling stuck, I'm living that way, whether I know it or not.
Feeling stuck is new for me; it isn't something I've felt very often. In fact, I'm a bit confused by this emotion.
There's a great deal of psychoanalysis online about what triggers this particular emotion.
1. We Aren't Living Our Own Values - For Me, Maybe?
There are certain things in my life that do not fit with my values, nothing major, subtle things. So I'm coping with this by trusting and accepting that I'm doing the right things, living the right way, and accepting that each of us has to find our way and live our truth. I'm falling back on that old quote: "There are two things you can't change, natural law and other people." So maybe this is one reason I feel stuck?
2. We're Losing Hope - For Me, No Chance
Ok, this is a bold-faced, no way! No matter what goes on in my life, I never lose hope. In fact, I live for hope. Every day is another chance; that's how I see life. I can cross this one off the list.
3. We Are Conflicted About Making Big Changes - For Me, This One is a Yes
Some changes are coming our way (I'm not sure when), and I am very conflicted about this. One thing that is saving me is prayer and the belief that when the change is made if it's made, it will be wonderful.
4. We Are Overdoing It, Feeling Burnt Out - For Me, This is a Yes
It isn't that I'm overdoing things physically (although I am sometimes guilty of this). The mental pressure of life's challenges is consuming me. I've been working on the mental strain of this quite a bit by meditating, praying, writing, watching movies, and doing the things that need to be done, so the list doesn't pile up.
5. We're Not Surrounded by Enough Like-Minded People - Yes, This is Big For Me
Obviously, we can't be around 'yes' people all the time. That's not what I'm missing.
I'm feeling alone in my beliefs, values, and tastes. Taking this one ridiculous step further, I miss being around people who like the music, topics, discussions, and general life chit-chat I do. Maybe the isolation of Covid is a significant contributor to this?
Writing has become my way of expressing myself and putting my beliefs and values out there. So I suppose I deal with this primarily via writing.
My friend recently celebrated another birthday, and finding her a special gift is as much fun for me as it is for her to receive!
My friend is a cat lover. Actually, that's putting it mildly; she adores cats to the depth of her soul! Unfortunately, she recently lost her beloved pet and has been grieving for months. Cat lovers, and pet lovers, will completely understand how hard it is to lose an animal, and how choosing a gift is a delicate process.
My friend and her kitty were family for eighteen years (or something like that), so needless to say, kitty's passing was brutal for her. She's still crying over her loss.
I wanted to give my friend a gift that celebrated her kitty, but I also didn't want to give anything that would trigger a negative emotion.
After spending a few hours searching online, I came across what I thought would be the most loving memorial gift, a crystal ball LED rotating music box featuring a cat and a lighted ceiling projection of a lotus flower.
Well, I was right to choose this gift! She absolutely loves it. In fact, the other day, during a power outage, she turned on her LED Cat Crystal Ball and sent me a photo of how beautiful it was!
|Here's the Crystal Ball Kitty|
This photo doesn't really do this product justice. When you visit the product link featured below, you'll get to watch a video and see the music box in better lighting. Be sure to check it out; it's worth it!
|This is the size of the Lotus Light on the ceiling!|
Features of the 3D Cat Music Box:
We should have installed a handrail for our front porch steps decades ago!
When we were younger, we could manage the stairs without an issue, but as we've aged, not so much. Also, the handrail provides additional safety during those long winter months.
We noticed our neighbor installed a handrail; of course, we liked it and thought it would also match nicely with our home. They informed us they acquired it from Amazon and forwarded the purchase link.
|Sound Bar with HDMI Arc Connection|
So, we bought a new smart tv for our bedroom.
We put the old one in our make-shift hippie bedroom in the unfinished basement.
The Smart TV we purchased was not that expensive, and I think we discovered why; the sound wasn't perfect.
We like the TV and the Smart Remote, so we decided to keep it and improve the sound with a Sound Bar.
Let Me Save You Some Time Before You Buy a Sound Bar for a TV
The first Sound Bar we purchased had to be returned.
It didn't have an HDMI(Arc) connection.
You can still hook up the Sound Bar and get it working with an "Optical" connection, or standard audio connectors, but to get your volume control to work on your other remotes, you must connect the Sound Bar using the HDMI(Arc) connection. After googling my brains out, I found that out!
Most TVs have an HDMI(Arc) connection, but double-check that your TV has one!
Our TV's HDMI(Arc) connection is located in the first HDMI port, or as most of us know from our TV screens, HDMI 1.
2. This Sound Bar Did Not Include an HDMI Cable
No matter the Sound Bar you decide to purchase, check to see if it includes an HDMI cable.
Most Sound Bars come with an Optical connection cable, standard audio connectors, and sometimes USB connectors. However, the Sound Bars I purchased did not have a USB cable.
3. Which Connection is Best
Based on what I've read, the best connection for a Sound Bar to a TV is the HDMI(Arc) connection.
The Optical connection is good too, but like I mentioned above, you can't get your other remotes to control the sound from your Sound Bar unless you use the HDMI(Arc).
4. Can You Use a Standard HDMI Cable, Being that it's going into an HDMI(Arc) port?
Yes. Just use a standard HDMI cable. Here is the type of HDMI cable we purchased; it works fine.
5. Do You Have to Change Settings in Your TV Menu to Hook Up a Sound Bar?
Yes, you do.
Our TV is a new current Smart TV, so it was easy to figure out. There's an option to switch the Audio Output in your TV menu to Arc or Optical.
Follow the instructions for your TV.
On our TV, we had to select another option called "PCM" in the output audio section.
Another option in the Settings section on our TV made the Sound Bar sync to our other remotes so that when we power down the tv, the Sound Bar switches off as well.
6. Another Tip to Get Your Sound Bar to Work
At first, I couldn't get the darn thing to work!
Sheesh, I knew I had it hooked up correctly.
I discovered that the Sound Bar remote control has input options; Arc, Opt (for Optical), and Aux for standard audio cables.
I forgot to change the input on the Sound Bar's remote to Arc.
7. Does the Sound Bar Come with a Remote?
Yes, it does.
There are other sound options on the remote; 3D, Surround Sound, Music, etc.
We simply selected one and operated the sound from our other remotes.
But yes, you can use the Sound Bar remote to adjust the volume and the type of sound you want.
The Sound Bar unit has controls on the side should you misplace the remote.
|Mini Sound Bar with HDMI(Arc) Connection|
Here's the Mini Sound Bar with an HDMI(Arc) connection we selected from Amazon.
Recently we had to add another sleeping area to our home. We have five bedrooms already, and hadn't anticipated needing a sixth!
Our basement isn't finished; it's only partitioned and has all the electrical hooked up. I decided to use one of the unfinished basement rooms to create an extra sleeping area.
That's what we call it; the Hippie Bedroom. It's genuinely a hippie room, with comforters nailed to all the walls and extra furniture that gives the space a bedroom feel. We've also added a TV, Fan, and Portable Heater.
It's a funny-looking mish-mash, but it solves a problem and, believe it or not, is actually cozy.
A Warm Comforter with Matching Shams
Since the central air conditioner can make that space quite cool, even cold, I wanted a comforter that looked sleek but had warmth.
I wasn't seeking anything decorative; however, as you can see from the photo below, it's pretty.
|At the foot of the bed is an extra blanket, purchased separately|
I Do Recommend This Soft Micromink Sherpa Comforter Bed Set - It's Good Value for the Money
|Check out this make-shift Hippie Bedroom! The Sherpa blanket adds more warmth|
The blanket at the end of the bed is an extra blanket, purchased separately
|Review of an Integrated LED Outdoor Wall Light|
We needed a new outdoor wall light for our backyard.
Like most people, I did my research.
I researched standard outdoor wall lights that use lightbulbs and tripped on integrated LED wall lights.
|Integrated LED Flush Mount Wall Light|
|The Integrated LED Flush Mount Wall Light Lightens the Entire Patio!|
|Here's a closer look at the one we selected - We love it; it's bright|
The light shines out of the bottom, the top, and the entire front face
The tree stump is located between two driveways; thus, we needed something lightweight yet durable should it ever break loose after we secured it to the stump and gawd-forbid damage our cars!
|The finished look with the Tree Stump Vase filled with flowers|
Even though I don't wear much makeup, I do have specific items for that 'five-minute face.'
For decades, the frugal me would use little storage baskets or small decorative gift boxes with lids to store cosmetics. The problem with putting makeup in a box is digging to find what you need and forgetting about the items buried in the bottom.
After researching various products, I decided to get "A 5 Drawer Stackable, Transparent Makeup Organizer." The one I purchased on Amazon Canada is here. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the exact same one on Amazon USA; however, I did locate an even larger acrylic stackable makeup holder on Amazon USA here.
Be sure to check out the sizes. I have two stackable items that fit low enough against my mirror.
The Organizational Problem I Solved
To do my five-minute face, I use specific items and pulling each one out was taking up surface area on my vanity table.
I've wanted a better organizing system for cosmetics for years but was never willing to treat myself! I'm so glad I finally bought myself this bonus gift!
As you can see in the above photo, each cosmetic drawer is sorted according to what I use. Best of all, when I need something, I simply pull the drawer open, use the item, put it back, and close the drawer. Nothing has to go onto the vanity table, taking up space.
Here's How I Sorted My Own Personal Cosmetics Unit Based on What I Use:
Where to Get This Cosmetics Organizer - A Re-Cap
The makeup organizer above, that I purchased on Amazon Canada is here. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the exact same one on Amazon USA, however, I located an even larger acrylic stackable makeup holder on Amazon USA here. It's just as nice.
Cynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWomanLou16The Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieTreasures by BrendaSam MonacoTracey BoyerBarbRadBev OwensBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsHeather426Coletta TeskeMissMerFaeryMickie_G
Review This is Dedicated to the
Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten