Thursday, May 1, 2014

Create Your Own Text on Images for Your Blogs and Marketing Your Books


Photo from Morguefile.com. Words added at PicMonkey.com. 
This month we're going to have some creative fun! Oh. Er. Wait a minute. Don't we always have fun here? Well anyway...

I'm sure you've seen those beautiful pictures with the beautiful words on them. I get them all the time on Facebook. But I see them other places too, like on blogs and Pinterest.

Have you ever wished you could make them? Or have you wondered where other people get them or how they make them? (Tweet that!)

I always thought you needed one of those fancy, expensive programs like Photoshop (which I don't own). But nope. You don't need anything like that.

I should have known like so many other things these days there are sites online where you can make these. And many of these sites are... you guessed it. My favorite word... Free!

Some of you right now are just bursting with ideas and can't wait for me to tell you how to make one. Others of you, though, are wondering why you would need such a thing. Or maybe you'd like to have one--or several--pretty pictures with your chosen words on them but you're not sure what you'd do with them if you had some.

Well recently found myself in need of photos. Lots of photos. As a matter of fact, I needed forty photos, and I needed them fast. I knew how to find free photos, but I didn't have a clue how to find forty of them. That would fit what I needed them for. Fast. Just the thought of trying to figure that out made me tired.

Why did I need forty photos all of the sudden? Have you seen my newest blog? I started it on March 2 and you can see it at www.BiblePropheciesFulfilled.blogspot.com. Now here's part of the story behind that blog...

I have thought about starting a blog on Bible prophecy for several years now, but the thought of trying to keep up with another blog kind of makes me crazy. Add to that the fact that I now know every blog post should have a photo so it can be "pinned" to Pinterest and there's another step that needs to be done to keep up with a blog. In early March I was thinking about starting this blog again because if I was going to do it, I wanted to blog for Lent leading up to Easter when many Bible prophecies were fulfilled. So I needed to make a decision: either do it or don't.

I had just decided not to do it. Final decision.

Moments later my husband walked into the room. I told him my decision. He said, "I think you should do it."

Okay... Re-thinking my Final decision I realized that in order to blog for forty days of Lent, I would need forty different photos. Big huge sigh. Where could I come up with forty photos that fit Lent? Fast! It was March 2. Lent started Ash Wednesday, which was March 5. I wanted to post twice before then--an introduction and a pre-Lent post. Yeah. I needed forty photos fast.

Just then I had the brainstorm to do a countdown to Easter. That meant I only actually needed one photo . . . if I could alter it and put the countdown numbers on it.

I remembered hearing on an e-loop I'm on about PicMonkey.com. I checked it out and it looked pretty easy.

Of course I needed a photo. I usually get my free photos to use on my blog from Morguefile.com. Somewhere along the lines I read to use a photo from Morguefile.com on PicMonkey because Morguefile allows you to alter their photos, which some of the other free sites prohibit.

So I went to Morguefile.com and found a photo. It's the same photo of blue sky and clouds I used in the upper left of this post. I downloaded it to my computer, then went over to PicMonkey.com and uploaded the photo there. You don't even have to open an account on PicMonkey. Just click "Edit," upload your photo, and start editing!

I played around with it a little bit, found the T for Text, and was able to put my words and countdown number, starting with 40, on the photo. I saved that to my computer. Then I was able to edit that to put 39 on the same photo, saved it, and continued on my countdown to Easter. Within a couple hours I had all forty of the photos I needed to launch my new blog! How cool is that?

Of course you might want to take a bit more time to find just the perfect photo and chose just the perfect message to put on it. But now you know where to go and one place you can add words to your images or photos. Make sure you have permission to use the photo and alter it. Of course you can use your own photo too.

But there is so much more you can do with this technology! I promised in the title of this post that you can use this idea not only to make images for your blog, like I did, but also to market your books. Honestly I would never have thought of that idea on my own. I'm not that creative. I got that idea from Joel Friedlander on his blog, The Book Designer.

His January 22, 2014, post is titled "11 Ways to Quote and Promote Your Book Using Images." In this article Joel talks about authors using creative graphics with quotes from their books to promote their own books.

What a great idea, right?! I love that idea!

I'm not going to recap all he said here. Instead I'll let you hop over to his blog and read his article. He gives tips for choosing quotes from your book(s) and then gives links to several sites where you can make your own quotes into beautiful images.

In preparation for writing this post I tried a couple of those links and not all of them are working. I didn't find the first place he lists. But I did play around a bit with the second site listed: Quozio.

I made a couple of quotes from my own books just to show you on this blog post, and you can see them below. I took quotes from two books in my "Prophecies Fulfilled" series. I'm very excited that the third book in this series just released: Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus! You can see the cover at the bottom of this post.

I have to admit that these super easy, do-it-all-for-you sites still present challenges for me. On Quozio, I "Joined" and opened an account (not required). Then I read the directions, found a quote, typed it in, clicked "Go," and tried out several of the designs until I picked the one I liked the best. All done, right? Well the instructions say to click "Keep" under the image and it will save to "My Quotes." I clicked "Keep" under both the images that I made, but I don't see anything in "My Quotes." So I don't know how that works. Maybe you can figure it out and leave a comment below and let me know.

I was able to share my quote images to Pinterest. I also right-clicked on the image and saved it to my computer, so I have them there. And from there I was able to upload them to this post. So it all works. But I haven't figured out all the ins and outs yet.

Also, at one point while I was clicking around trying to figure things out, a window opened with a URL to my image! I have no idea how I did that. I haven't been able to do it again. Maybe you can figure that out too.

I did download the Quozio bookmarklet to put on my browser bar so I can turn any quote I see on the internet into a beautiful image, but I haven't tried it out yet. You'll see that option on the sight.

Also, make sure to check your spelling! I had to re-do one of my images since I didn't see the mistake until after I clicked "Go." Apparently you can't go back and edit one after it's created.

Plus there are more sites in Joel's article which you can have fun exploring. I'm going to check them out as I have time.

I think this is probably enough information to get you started. I hope you have fun with it. I'm sure having a blast doing this. I think using quotations out of our books is simply genius. (Tweet that!) Finding a great quote is the hardest part.

If you have something other than a book to promote, you could probably use this for that also. Maybe a great quotation from your blog? Or an article you've written? Or your brand? Or your heart's passion? What  new and creative ideas can you come up with to put this to use? Let us know!


This is a quote from chapter 22, "The Star," in Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus.

This image is smaller than the one below because of the choice I made when I put it on this blog, not because it's smaller coming from Quozio. 



This is a quotation from my newest, just released book, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus. It's the very last sentence in the book (not counting the end matter). I have no idea why this image includes the Quozio.com tag at the bottom. Probably has something to do with the way I saved it. The other image above didn't include that. I'm still trying to figure some things out.

So go have some fun creating your own text on images for your blogs, marketing your books, or however else you can think of to use this lovely software! (Tweet that!) I hope to see you, and your beautiful quotations and images, around the internet.

Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus 
***  


I'm very pleased that my newest book has released. This book talks about many topics, including the seven Feasts of the LORD and how Jesus fulfills them. It also talks about the lunar eclipses that will occur on the first and last Feast of the LORD in both 2014 and 2015 and the spiritual and prophetic importance of these. You may have been aware for the first lunar eclipse which occurred just a few weeks ago on April 15th. Learn more about it in this book.

You can find more information this book on the Prophecies Fulfilled Books page on my new blog. It's available on Amazon and elsewhere. Your favorite bookstore can order it for your.