Monday, 20 February 2017

Tips on printing your photographs as cards

I had an enquiry today about the best way to get your photos printed on cards, to give away or sell for a local church or organisation. Here's my reply:

"Thank you for your inquiry about the way to get best results when printing photos of church windows.

  • You can use any program that will allow you to design the outer spread of a card - and the inner, if you are including a greeting. 
    • Inkscape is a free software that allows you to design things with pictures, shapes and text.
  • Work in Adobe RGB colour space as this is the most commonly shared.
  • Make sure that your documents are prepared at a resolution of 300dpi (for an A6 picture on a card, that is about 1600px tall by 1300px wide.
  • If you want the picture to go right to the top, right and bottom edge of the card after folding, then make the image 2 to 3mm larger on those sides to allow for trimming
  • Save your prepared outer and inner card designs as one PDF or two separate PDFs.
  • Consider whether you want a silk or glossy outer finish to the cards.
    • Also be aware that the inner should be a surface that can be written on in pencil/pen etc.
  • Then either:
    • Check out your local printers to see if they can print cards of a suitable thickness from your PDFs.
      • If you can visit them and ask for a test print, even if it costs you a couple of pounds for one example - you want to make sure the colour reproduction is good and punchy enough.
    • Or search online for card printers. 
      • For example, Moo is good for postcards. 
      • Again, see if you can get a sample printed to check you like the reproduction.
  • Once you know how many cards you want printed and the cost, make sure that you price the cards to cover your costs and possibly earn a little to repay your time and effort.

Do send me a card when you are successful :-)

Good Luck,


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Schwarzenegger Effect

This intriguing little graph comes from the stats page of my BrexiTrumpDiary blog. The large peak in visitors to the site corresponds to the day after I posted by diary entry for the 2nd February. The entry was titled "Strand-Beests and Schwarzenegger Trumps".

Now, doing a Google search on Strandbeest crudely gives 335,000 hits. Schwarzenegger gets 43,000,000 hits and Trump gets a whopping 1,110,000,000 hits. Since many of my BrexiTrumpDiary  blog titles include 'Trump' without eliciting this strong response, it must be an Arnie effect. No doubt it was helped by the highly amusing war of words they had with Schwarzenegger's quip about swapping jobs so that we could all sleep safely again. This brought his name into the spotlight briefly.

My BrexiTrumpDiary articles are ticking along at about 50 to 60 visits per day*. The "Strand-Beests and Schwarzenegger Trumps" article only did 30% better with about 80 visits. However, all earlier posts also received a boost, which gave an accumulated peak.

The chart also seems to suggest that the interest came in several peaks following the publishing of the article. You can see the initial daily spike like a heartbeat for other posts. The "Strandbeests and Schwarzenegger Trumps" article has several peaks. Perhaps these correspond to news broadcasts in the UK and the US at key times that talk about the Schwarzenegger-Trump spat and are followed by online searches for "Schwarzenegger".

There is however another word that can have a longer lasting effect and has resulted in the most visited post to date on the blog, "Tweets and hot chocolate", with 104 hits.  I wonder what it is?

You can find my BrexiTrumpDiary here at  and work backwards. Alternatively, the January posts are collated in the Kindle version of "BrexiTrumpDiary Jan 2017" at, a snip at 99p!

*The Miltoncontact blog has been going for a number of years now and scores higher in visits to posts overall, with a couple of hundred to 1500+ reads. It may still not seem a lot, but people who check me out before or after meetings generally find them and do comment at later meetings.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Can two authors in partnership write under one pseudonym?

Today, I had an interesting book question about using a pseudonym as an author, where there are two individuals involved. Let's take a hypothetical name A. B. Cartwryte, and that this is the pseudonym for two of you, Allyson and Bernard Cartwryte.

Let's say it right from the start, many authors do write under pseudonyms.

From a publishing perspective, there is no problem with the author being A. B. Cartwryte.

Where your pseudonym will become an issue for you personally, is with:

  1. Your copyright – A. B. Cartwryte will have it. You need to make clear somewhere that this is either 
    1. both you as Allyson Cartwryte and Bernard Cartwryte jointly 
    2. OR that you, Allyson Cartwryte are writing as A. B. Cartwryte and are the sole copyright holder. 
    3. The decision is yours.
  2. Correspondence – for simplicity’s sake and to avoid confusion of the recipient, you need to use your pseudonym with readers writing to you. Make sure therefore that you have email addresses for you as Allyson Cartwryte, and possibly also Bernard Cartwryte, if you both take responsibility for the book. 
  3. Payment – people will automatically send payments to A. B. Cartwryte or want receipts/invoices in that name. you might want to let your bank know in advance that either you, Allyson or you and Bernard may receive payments in that name, so payment’s don’t bounce. If your place of residence allows, you might set up a separate account for the book. This also makes it easier for later tax purposes.

There are two great articles on the issues arising from using pseudonyms here:

Please don’t just take my word for it but check out the implications for yourself and your situation, if you are thinking of writing under a pseudonym.