Sunday, December 31, 2017

What Makes Images Successful on the Internet?

Photo Diego Hernandez

In our recently-published book:
111 Tips to Make Money With Writing: The Art of Making a Living Full-time Writing

we included lots of tips how to sell images to photo sites on the internet as an additional income stream, and how to copyright these images.  Dozens of links to online sales portals and other useful sites have been added to this book chapter.  Here is explained how to choose the subject of your stock photos:

Take Attractive Stock Photos
Amateur photographers tend to photograph only what draws their attention, and they do it the way they like it. Advanced amateurs make a step forward by applying common artistic composition techniques to their photography. Stock photographers take photos consciously. Taking better stock photos means paying special attention to various sell factors.

Most important: your photo need to have a good subject. Stock photos should show some concept. A stock photo of an orange doesn't show "an orange". It shows "diet", "healthy eating" and such things. A stock photo of an oil refinery doesn't show "an oil refinery". It shows "industry", or “environmental pollution", etc.

When you have a perfect subject you need to take care of various technical factors. Rich vivid colors and good contrast; sufficient free space for advertising text; good lighting and color balance; clean uncluttered background are all important elements that need to be taken into account.

When photographing people, optimistic pictures sell better than neutral or pessimistic - so take pictures of happy smiling people. Light pictures sell better than dark.  No distracting elements such as too colorful clothes or bright objects which are not relevant to the subject.
What Sells Best?
What subjects sell well and make sellable photos. Evaluate market bestsellers. Keep checking top selling microstock photos, for example at Dreamstime, Shutterstock,   iStockphoto, Fotolia etc. 
If your main subject is too different from these examples, find best selling photos of your subject and analyze what makes them bestsellers. For instance, if flowers are your favorite subject, search on stocks for word "flower" and sort the result by the number of downloads.  Then compare these best selling pictures of flowers with your own ones.

Find your most successful pictures, understand what makes them successful, and continue working in that direction. 


Friday, December 22, 2017

Our Christmas Gift to Authors

From December 22 to December 28

Purchasing one of my ebooks on Amazon, and sending the receipt by email, 
will give you TWO more FREE ebooks.
Choose from these books:

111 Tips to Make Money With Writing: The Art of Making a Living Full-time Writing

111 Tips on How to Market Your Book for Free: Detailed Plans and Smart Strategies for Your Book’s Success
Universal Link:
111 Tips to Get FREE Book Reviews: Best Strategies for Getting Lots of Great Reviews
Universal Link:
111 Tips to Create Your Book Trailer
Universal Link:
Book Marketing on a Shoestring: How Authors Can Promote their Books Without Spending a Lot of Money
Universal Link:

Just take a pic of your sales receipt, and add it to your email,
sending it latest on December 31, 2017, to 111Publishing a t gmail d o t com
You will receive two more books of your choice for FREE.
Which means 3 eBooks for the price of only one!
Don’t forget to state in your email which two of the books you would like.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you all and the very best for 2018


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas Markets & Events in Canada

Not many days are left to enjoy these Christmas-spirited events in Canada's provinces. Here is a short selection:


St. John's, Newfoundland
Merry & Bright Holiday Light Festival
306 Mt Scio Rd., Memorial University of Newfoundland,
Botanical Garden,
Times: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: $10 per person

Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Halifax Lights Festival
Find it: Hollis St., Cornwallis Park,
November 17 to January 14, 2018
Times: All week, 4 p.m. to midnight (noon to midnight on December 25)
Prices: Free

Montreal, Quebec
CP Holiday Train
AMT Station Montreal-Ouest, Chemin Broughton,
The train cars will double as a stage for Canadian musicians Colin James, Jonathan Roy and Emma-Lee to perform, and the proceeds from the trip will go towards food banks across Canada.
When: December 26, 2017
Times: Train arrives at 6:30 p.m., Performance is from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Prices: Free, but make sure to bring healthy non-perishable food for the food banks

Nöel Dans Le Parc
Christmas village 1500 Berri St., Place Émilie-Gamelin, 1W5, 4365-4375 Rue Cartier, Parc des Compagnons De St-Laurent, Between Boul St-Laurent and Rue Saint-Dominique, Parc Lahaie,
When: December 1 to 25, 2017
Times: Vary depending on the day, see the full schedule here
Prices: Free admission
Le Grand Marché de Nöel
Montreal’s largest outdoor Christmas market
175 Saint-Catherine St., Place des Arts,
December 1 to 24, 2017
Prices: Free admission

Ottawa, Ontario

Ice Skating on Parliament Hill
Find it: Wellington St.,
The low-down: Is there anything more iconically Canadian than a giant hockey rink on the lawn of Parliament Hill? Spoiler alert: heck yes—if you grab a BeaverTail after. This ice skating rink just opened last week as part of the final celebrations for Canada’s big 150th year. Skating passes are selling out fast, so grab one before the Christmas season ends. It might give the Rideau Canal some maj competition.
When: December 7, 2017 to February 25, 2018
Times: Vary depending on the availability, see the full schedule here
Prices: Free, but you must get a pass up to two days in advance before skating

Christmas Lights Across Canada
Wellington St., Parliament Hill,
The low-down: After finishing skating around the Canada 150 Rink, stay until sundown to take in the mesmerizing light show (think, winter scenes and plenty of Xmas colours) projected onto Centre Block and the Peace Tower When: December 7, 2017 to January 7, 2018
Times: All week from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Prices: Free admission

Ottawa Farmers’ Christmas Market
450 Queen Elizabeth Dr., Aberdeen Pavilion, Lansdowne Park and 4899 Uplands Dr.
120 vendors ranging from festive knick knacks to farm fresh, locally-grown ingredients for your next holiday dinner party and prepared treats for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
December 2 to 23, 2017
Times: Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Prices: Free admission

Alight at Night
13740 County Rd 2, Morrisburg, Upper Canada Village,
Although this charming historical village is about an hour drive from downtown Ottawa, it is well worth the trek. The heritage park is transformed into a literal winter wonderland with one million colourful lights covering the old-fashioned buildings and tree
December 1, 2017 to January 6, 2018
Times: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: $15.95 per person

Toronto, Ontario

Evergreen’s Winter Village
Find it: 550 Bayview Ave., Evergreen Brickworks,
The low-down: This winter village has something for everybody,  and for the outdoor enthusiasts, take a walk in the snow-topped trails of the Don Valley.
When: December 2 to December 23, 2017 - and December 26 to 29)
Times: Every weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Prices: Free admission

Toronto Christmas Market
55 Mill St.,
Arguably one of the most quintessential Christmas experiences in the Toronto Christmas Market located in the historic Distillery District
When: November 16 to December 23, 2017
Times: Sunday and Tuesday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Prices: $6 per person on weekends starting on Friday at 5 p.m., free admission during the week!

Holiday Fair in the Square
100 Queen St W, Nathan Phillips Square,
This Christmas market-meets-winter carnival, smack dab in the centre of downtown TO, is jam-packed with festive activities for everything on your holiday bucket list.
December 1 to 23, 2017
Times: Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. (6 p.m. on December 23)
Prices: Free admission


Winnipeg, Manitoba

All That Glows: Then & Now
680 Harrow St., Manitoba Electrical Museum & Education Centre,
The Electrical Museum & Education Centre will take you through this transformation from the 1880s to today for a festival display that is also educational.
November 14 to December 30, 2017
Times: Monday to Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (8 p.m. on December 6, 13 and 20), Every Saturday in December
Prices: Free admission

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Enchanted Forest
1903 Forestry Farm Park Dr., Forestry Farm Park,
The drive-through light display is truly a magical experience with festive shapes, signs and trees illuminated with Xmas bulbs.
November 16, 2017 to January 6, 2018
Times: All week, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Prices: $10 per person


Edmonton, Alberta

Christmas Reflections
7000 143 St., Fort Edmonton Park,
This heritage park, which is home to architecture from 1885, 1905 and 1920, is hosting an array of holiday activities leading up to Christmas. From horse-drawn wagon rides, charming gift shops, carolers and delectable treats.
December 16 to 23, 2017
Times: Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (6 p.m. on December 23), Wednesday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Prices: $15 per person

Calgary, Alberta

Once Upon A Christmas
1900 Heritage Dr. SW, Heritage Park Historical Village,
The low-down: If you’re looking for an old-fashioned Xmas experience, step back in time at Heritage Park, a historical village that captures what life was like from the 1860s to the 1950s. The quaint village is decked out with wagon rides, carollers, festive bakeries and charming gift shops that resemble a simpler way of life sans cell phones.
November 25 to December 23, 2017
Times: Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Prices: $10.95 per person

Christmas Lights at Spruce Meadows
18011 Spruce Meadows Way SW,
There are two things we love about this drive-through light display in particular. For one, the lush trees, glass lake and charming buildings at this equestrian facility are illuminated with thousands of mesmerizing lights.
December 9, 2017 to January 6, 2018 (closed Christmas Day)
Times: All week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Prices: Free

Lions’ Festival of Lights
905 30 Ave. NW, Confederation Park,
Another drive-through Christmas light display for the win! But this one takes creativity to a whole new level with luminous shapes of gingerbread men, Santa and his sleigh and so much more. Plus, it’s energy efficient and sustainable, using up to 450,000 LED light bulbs.
December 2, 2017 to January 8, 2018
Times: All week from 6 p.m. to midnight
Prices: Free

Vancouver, British Columbia

Festival of Lights
 5151 Oak St., VanDusen Botanical Garden,
The low-down: With over one million lights, this lush botanical garden is transformed into a luminous oasis during the holiday season. You will be transfixed by all of the trees, plants and other foliage topped with colorful displays of sparkling lights as you venture through the festive garden.
December 1, 2017 to January 7, 2018
Times: All week from 4:30 to 9 p.m. (December 1 to 14 and December 26 to January 7), 4:30 to 10 p.m. (December 15 to 24)
Prices: $18.50 to $19 per person

Vancouver Christmas Market
1055 Canada Pl., Jack Poole Plaza,
From gorgeous handcrafted jewelry to nordic winter gear and mouthwatering food from around the world  this Christmas market is home to a diverse array of international vendors
November 22 to December 24, 2017
Times: All week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (6 p.m. on Christmas Eve)
Prices: Free

Christmas at Canada Place
999 Canada Pl.,
With the Port of Vancouver at your back (stunning waterfront views), the Christmas festivities at Canada Place are perfect if you’re looking for a casual nighttime stroll that will put you in the holiday spirit immediately. Check out the nostalgia-inducing Woodward’s Windows (window displays from the 1960s that have been a Vancouver holiday tradition for decades) or hit up the Avenue of Christmas Trees for all of the festive photo ops.
November 23 to December 31, 2017
Times: All week from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m (6 p.m. on December 31)
Prices: Free admission

Get the whole and detailed listing of joyful events in Canada here:


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Finding Time to Write During the Holidays

Visiting family and friends, decorating, shopping for gifts, wrapping the gifts, baking and preparing dinner invitations … you wish the day would have 48 hours.  While Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations seem to find their happiness overdrive this time of year and your schedule is packed – how can you free up time to write? Here are some tips how writing can be included without compromising on holiday joy.

Select The Type of Writing – Or Just Blog
Most likely you will not have a whole day – or even half a day of uninterrupted writing time. So plan rather:

  • smaller writing tasks
  • writing outlines
  • research work for your books settings
  • or edit single chapters

How about writing a couple of blogs ahead for January? This way you don’t need to worry about content for your web presence and you can even prepare posts and tweets for your Social Media presence with content snippets from your blogs.  Once this is out of your way you can concentrate in January on your current book.
Plan Your Days / Week Ahead
If there are deadlines looming just after the holidays, make a plan which ones of your regular chores can be postponed or delegated? Think who has more time than you: Your spouse? Your teenage kids? Your parents or parents in law? Maybe they will be happy to bake the cookies, wrap the gifts for you or pick up the younger children from hockey training or school.
Or ask other parents to pool the children’s pickups.  Maybe you can even get a day off from your day job to be alone at home to sit on your computer and be productive until everyone comes home.

Your Best Hours to Write?
Are you a Morning Bird? Skip your TV time in order to go to bed early and just get up an hour earlier.  While the house is still quiet, have your favored coffee and type away… Vice versa, as a night owl, stop all your tasks an hour or two earlier in the afternoon or evening and find a serene spot to work on your next novel.  Don’t be afraid to cancel cable — here’s how to get all the programs you love to watch – after the holidays. 

Carry Always Your iPad or a Paper NotePad with You
While waiting for your kids or at a doctors office, or waiting at the airport and even during your lunch hour, you can take notes that you later hammer into your laptop.  I once almost missed my airplane because I was so engrossed in writing an article on my notepad – but in the end, it was one of my best articles.  Should you have to drive long-distance to visit family, bring a dictation program (dictaphone) with headsets or an app for your cell phone so you can continue your book “hands-free”.  “Downtime” adds up too, use it to work on your writing!

Why not "escape" once in a while on very early mornings (many open at 5am or 6am already) to a coffee shop, put on your earplugs or headset and write?  Keep your writing more or less on track amidst all the turkey gobbling, Christmas cookie noshing and mulled wine drinking, and you won’t feel guilty after the holidays.  Just be a bit more flexible, creative and adaptable. Let’s the holidays begin!