Free High Res photos

When I find a cool thing, I like to share it. As indies, we have to finance every little bit of our projects.

Costs add up — quick!

Thank goodness for awesome people who don’t mind sharing their talents and products for FREE! Such as in the case of Unsplash.

This year is actually their 3 year birthday. Check out their story by going to Unsplash.com. While you’re there, go ahead and subscribe and you will receive a collection of photos every week. Their tag line says you can do whatever you want with these photos.

Since I’ve subscribed, I’ve gotten a set of at least 5 pics a week. They are beautiful. I haven’t used the images yet, other than to admire them, but that’s enough for me. Some pics have certainly stirred the creative juices in my head for possible future stories. That’s always a plus, right?

Here’s a couple of the pics, I’ve received direct in my email. The ones I’ve received have had some really cool architectural images and nature images. Some are very geometric, there’s been a good variety.

Like I said, I haven’t used any of the images for creative endeavors as in including the images in my blogs (well except for right now), or covers, or promotionals. If you are thinking about using Unsplash images for that, I would encourage you to really read up on what they allow and don’t allow.

Remember you are responsible for your creative business including checking out usage rights for pics, vectors, quotes, and all that other fun stuff. Don’t steal, that’s the golden rule 🙂

To see more images like these go to UNSPLASH.COM 

 

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I love Canva!

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How many of you have tried Photoshop or Gimp or some other photo editing software? I’ve tried Gimp and frankly I gave up pretty quickly. I don’t like complicated applications. I’m the type of user that want things to be simple, yet powerful.

I should be able to drag and drop, and move things around just by dragging the mouse. Right? Right! I thought so too. Unfortunately, and even though GIMP is free to use, it takes too much time to learn. I didn’t want to spend hours learning something I could pay someone else to do. I have very little time to build books, and attend to my book pursuits. I value my time, and I’d rather spend it on writing and reading. But, always having to pay for stuff is not always feasible either. It can get expensive, and when you need things in a hurry… well rush jobs cost more money.

And then it was like the Universe heard me and ta-da! CANVA came to me!! It is my new best friend. Since I came across it, I have been playing around at the site. It is FUN!

Basically, Canva has all the templates you would need to create anything from postcards to Facebook ads. The dimensions are correct, and all you gotta do is drag and drop images into the template. Even better is that Canva supplies both free and paid images. You can layer pictures just by dragging the mouse. You can also pick out some really great fonts to personalize whatever it is you’re creating.

I am not affiliated with Canva at all, but I do get very excited when I find products that make my life simpler and Canva is one of those products. It’s like when I find a great new bakery. I just have to tell all my friends 🙂 Same thing here! I think Canva is as delish as cupcakes.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, go to https://www.canva.com/

You have to create an account, but it’s free. Once you confirm your sign up, the world of easy design is at your finger tips.

Have fun creating!

 

Create a book trailer for free

12_Angels_Publishing_1One of the best things that I’ve learned how to do since becoming an author is to make my own book trailers.

Granted, my book trailers are not fancy like what  professional productions can create, but my trailers are decent. And best of all, I have a lot of fun creating them!

So, I’ve made about four of them for 12 Angels Publishing. The first trailer I made for Spirit 101, I did spend some money for pictures, but that was before I learned to scour the net for FREE stuff!

With a little patience and some imagination, you can create a book trailer too for very little to zero money.  For those of us creatives that have not yet figured out how to make money from our trade, free is always good!

I’ve listed the resources and tools I use below.  If you’d like to see what 12 Angels Publishing book trailers look like, please go visit my channel on You Tube.  I used my blue logo for this post, since that’s the same pic I’m using for the You Tube channel.

Click here for my channel 🙂

I have a PC with a Windows based operating system.  My PC came with Windows Movie Maker and this is what I use to put together the trailers. It’s super easy to use.  If I can figure it out, anyone can.  It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but there’s enough effects included to give you variety from project to project.

If you don’t have Windows Movie Maker, here’s a link you can check out. Windows Movie Maker.  Remember read the descriptions first and make sure it’s something that your PC can handle and pay attention to your PC’s security and firewalls before you download. I can’t guarantee safety of any of these downloads, I simply want to show you where you might find them for free.

For free stock pictures:

For free stock video:

For free royalty free music:

This list is not all inclusive and there are more free sites out there. Make sure you read the licensing rights and understand what kind of credits need to be given.  For me, I like to go ahead and include the artist names and/or website names of the sites I used to get my material.  I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due.

Again, I cannot guarantee any of these sites and I have no affiliation with any of them. I just happen to have found them and thankful that there are generous folks out there willing to share their work for free.

Here are the steps I take to create book trailer.  You might develop a different process and that’s ok too! Do what’s fun for you 🙂

  • I pick which book to create a trailer for. I know, obvious right?
  • Decide what kind of feel you want for the trailer — serious, dark, happy, whimsical.
  • Choose your pictures, images, and videos according to the feel you want to convey. Pick relevant images. I know, obvious — again 🙂
  • Choose your music according to the feel you want to convey
  • Arrange the order of your images. There’s lots of flexibility with this — you can always move them around in Windows Movie Maker.
  • Draft some text or caption that you want to include in the trailer.
  • Decide where you want those captions to show in the trailer
  • If you’re really savvy, choose SEO rich words to use. I don’t worry so much about this (at least not right now). I just want to have fun creating 🙂
  • Layer all your content together in Windows Movie Maker and then decide on the transitions and special effects that might smooth out your presentation and give it some “ooh-ahh” moments.
  • Have fun!