Tag Archives: How To

Psychology in Business – Shapes

PPH Logo 2021

A while back I posted about the psychology behind FONTS and COLOURS, then I discovered SHAPES had various meanings as well. Pulling all three together to make a LOGO or ADVERTISING MEDIA when you’re starting your business would be a bit of a nightmare. The more I think about what I missed over the years while education myself as I went is horrifying. This is something I don’t remember covering in any business course I did in 2015/2016 and I did three, the last being a Diploma in Business Enterprise. It goes to show these courses don’t cover everything.


What do you know about SHAPES? Which one’s appeal to you? What draws you in?
Great questions and it makes me wonder what you notice when you watch adverts on TV or see adverts on billboards, in newspapers or social media. What shape do you see most often? Does it appeal to you? If you’re on social media, what makes you stop scrolling? The SHAPE, COLOUR or FONT! Perhaps all three, because someone got the right combination for their business.

How do you choose a SHAPE for a Logo? Good question. My logo is based on Family History of my partners line going back to the 1820s in London two hundred years ago. The Lamp still stands on Woolwich High Street, outside the building which was a pub. The last I heard, the building is now a hairdressing salon. This shows how much thought I put into my business when I first started in 2014. Not much at all. I was learning as I progressed. However, I will keep my logo. I like it as does my husband.

What do you need to do? Research the psychology of SHAPES. Watch Adverts and understand what you’re seeing, what they mean to the business who created it. Make a list of the ones you like along with the colours and hunt down fonts you can use. Bring them together by starting with a black and white design, edit the graphic until you’re happy with what you’ve drawn or had your graphic artist draw. Choose a font which matches your business and then you have millions of colours and shades to play with.

Last week, we travelled to Sanson and visited Viv’s Kitchen for a lovely morning tea of cream horns and iced chocolate drinks. It was sublime. What catches the eye though are the colours. They used various shades of a  gorgeous mint/pale green along with a retro style. It draws customers in and we had time there. Below are a set of photos from their website. The link you can find above.

This is just one example on how to get things right. The café has been busy everything we’ve visited. This lovely café has also been on TV and is famous for their cream horns. A lush pastry horn coated with sugar. In the centre is jam and cream. Most delicious.

Starting a business, then get your thinking caps on and research what you need to make you stand out from everyone else. 

Good Luck.


KDP Hardbacks – Easy or Difficult?

After hearing that KDP had Hardbacks in BETA, I thought I’d take a look at the setup and see how things worked, what was different. 

The first page where you type in your information is the same as for the ebook and paperback, so if you’ve already done them, then page one will automatically be filled in for you. Still, it is best to check for errors or changes you may need. Save as a draft and go to page two. This is where the changes start.

You will need to have a different ISBN number for your hardback book. You can either use the KDP Free ISBN, which can only be used on Amazon, or you can buy your own. Next, you scroll down, picking your book size, page colour, ink colour etc until you get to where you upload your interior. Is it the same as for paperback?


Though the pages are exactly the same sizes, the margins on the most popular size (6 x 9 or 15.24 x 22.86) are bigger, probably due to the extra width needed in the spine for a hardback. You will also need a manuscript of 75 pages or more to make a HARDBACK BOOK, which, of course, doesn’t bode well for young children’s picture books. 

Once you’ve uploaded the correct manuscript, you get to do your HARDBACK COVER and yes, this is different. Unless you know the ins and outs of hardback books, you will need the TEMPLATE or you can use the KDP COVER CREATOR. Personally, we will use the templates until we’ve learnt how to size the covers correctly. Like many of those who may read this, we are learning to.

Click on the DOWNLOAD A TEMPLATE link just above the box where you upload the cover and it will open this page shown below.

In the Image it asks you for your book details. For those who are sight impaired or blind, the list consists of:-
BINDING, INTERIOR TYPE, PAPER TYPE, PAGE-TURN DIRECTION, MEASUREMENT UNITS, INTERIOR TRIM SIZE and PAGE COUNT. Once this is filled in, as shown below, you can Calculate Dimensions. 

This opens a new page! As shown below. 

This image gives you all the information you need and what everything means. Don’t worry about what this image shows too much because now that the dimensions have been calculated, you can DOWNLOAD THE TEMPLATE to your computer and open the ZIP file. Inside, you will find three files. A PDF and PNG version of the TEMPLATE with instructions on what is what in the image. The THIRD file shows you HOW TO USE YOUR TEMPLATE. The instructions are shown below.


1. Open the PDF or PNG file for the Paperback Book Cover Template in your image editing software.
2. Create a new layer in your image editing software. This layer will serve as the design layer.
3. Design your cover in the design layer, using the template PDF or PNG file as the guide layer. The artwork should extend to the outside edge of the template’s pink zone to ensure a white border will not exist within the printed work. Do not move the guide layer, as it is properly aligned for our printing specifications.
4. Ensure text and/or images that are intended to be read do not appear in the pink zones of the template.
5. The barcode area is indicated in yellow on the template. Do not place important images or text intended to be read in the barcode location. We suggest filling in this area with your background color or design. KDP will automatically generate a barcode representing your title’s ISBN when printing copies of your book.
6. Once your design is complete, you will need to turn off the guide layer so that it is not printed on your final product or rejected during the review process. If you are unable to turn off the guide layer, then you will need to format the artwork so that it completely covers the guide layer.
7. Flatten all layers, save the file as a press quality PDF with CMYK color profile, and upload the file via KDP.

Message from my Illustrator

My advice is that when you are creating ANY image for any template, always use the template as a guide, I will make an image for you to use, that includes your cover, and the faded template. You need to keep everything inside the red walls 🙂 and remember to set your DPI @ 300+ when working with printed covers as opposed to digital (e-book) covers. The below image shows you the cover and template and how everything sits.

On the last page for KDP the pricing is done the same way as will paperbacks and ebooks. Choose a price and approve to publish. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to buy some Author Copies to check over. Sadly, with living in New Zealand during Covid, it isn’t possible for me to do so.



The Six Online Bios Every Author Needs by Nate Hoffelder

I cannot stress enough the importance of reading this blog post.

Whether you are a writer just beginning, or an accomplished multibook published author, you want to read this post.

I will be updating my information this weekend. Authors don’t need just one or two online bios, says Nate Hoffelder. We need at least six. Here’s how to write each one.
— Read on annerallen.com/2021/01/6-online-bios-every-author-needs/

WordPress Reblog Glitch?

Image shows a young woman on a fuzzy screen…the screen is glitching…

Photo by Darksouls1 from Pixabay

I’m not sure how many have noticed or become irritated due to the REBLOG button not working. Well thanks to Chris Graham mentioning something to him when I messaged him about having to continually follow his blog, it all sort of fell into place.

Then a client mentioned to me the tonight that she couldn’t reblog. Now this time it is a bit different because Patty uses a Screen Reader and I wasn’t sure if my idea would work… IT DID…YAY

If you wish to share via REBLOG and the REBLOG button is there, but not working…this is what you need to do.


Meanwhile, we all hope that WORDPRESS will sort this irritating glitch out.

How To: Find and Set up Share Tabs on WordPress

Yes I know there are tutorial for WordPress about how to use and improve your websites & blogs (especially for beginners. The tutorials are brilliant and informative. It is a great place to start your journey. Here is a tutorial link to various things you may want to learn


However. I keep getting asked how to do various things on wordpress, or I assist where I can depending on what I know.  Like everyone else I am still learning due to technology changing and updating.

This post is about Share Tabs…How I sorted mine out prior to knowing about wpbeginner.


Everything you do on your wordpress site starts with your HOME PAGE – Whatever name you call it. Mine is PACKAGES. This is also called your LANDING PAGE so it needs to be impressive.

Up on the top left hand side you can see the words MY SITES. Click on this and it will open a panel on the left side as shown below.

This is what you will find. Here you can check your Stats, look over your Site Pages, Customize and so much more. 

Scroll down to the bottom of this bar and you will find WP ADMIN. Click on this and it will take you to another page. Also note on the main page you can see all my share tabs for viewers to use.

This time you will find yourself on your DASHBOARD – Behind the scenes of your website where only you and those you give permission to can visit. Once you get to this page, you can do all the different things you wish to show on your website. Trial and error is part of the learning curve.

Click on SETTINGS  and a new small black box will appear.

This time we want SHARING so we can sort out the tab we wish to make available to our visitors.

The next three slides show you what is available to use and how to move the tabs so they show up where you wish them too.  Drag and drop, choose the style and choose where you wish them to show



Maximize your Book Sales with Amazon

Published on A Marketing Expert showing you all you need to know to maximize your book sales.  They have some great articles. Please check them out when you can.


Amazon Categories to Maximize Book Sales + A Little-Known Secret!

Everyone wants more exposure on Amazon. And understandably. Exposure drives book sales.

But, as we seek more exposure, don’t spend all of your time focusing on great keywords. Why? Because, yes, although keywords are important, critical even, they aren’t everything.

I often tell authors that they should focus on narrow categories to sell more books. This is because categories with fewer books have lower competition for the #1 spot. And, the top ten is a great place to hit, because Amazon’s algorithms kick in as you start to spike within categories.

That means you get more exposure. Which is what you need to sell more books.  And remember, book sales are your ultimate goal.


The Truth About Amazon Categories and the Big Reveal

When speaking to a contact at Amazon recently, I mentioned that authors need more categories.

I told the Amazon person that the more categories a book has, the better visibility a book will get on the site. It’s the same concept of having McDonald’s and Starbucks locations all over the place, only online. The more places your book appears, the better your book sales will be.

When setting up their books, most authors go with two, because that’s what a lot of the advice recommends. If you were grandfathered into the old Amazon system, you might have four.

But what I learned from my Amazon contact is that, in fact, you can get up to ten categories for your book.


This means that your book can now show up in ten places instead of two. That’s great news, right?

And it’s not that hard to do this. Actually, it’s pretty easy. Ready to learn how? Let’s go!


Picking Smart Categories

First off, when I talk about Amazon categories, I’m always referring to eBook categories instead of print categories.

Why? Because there are more eBooks on Amazon than there are print books. Some authors go straight to eBook and don’t even bother with a print book. As a result, the eBook side of Amazon is more weighted down with titles. And, in the end, this is better for your book sales.

Next, picking eBook categories is powerful way to get exposure for your book. If you haven’t dug around on Amazon to find these very creative categories, you should spend a few minutes doing so.

To find the eBook categories, head to the Kindle Store on the Amazon site. You should see this down the left-hand side of the screen:

From there you can click any of these main categories for drop downs. And that’s where the sweet spot is. By applying some strategy to which categories you choose, you’ll see a boost in exposure and ultimately, book sales

You can really find some great smaller niche categories – even for some of the biggest, most cluttered genres.

Let’s have a look at two of these busy markets: business and, separately, health.

Business books

If you look down the left-hand side of the first screen shot, you’ll see that I clicked down from: Business > Management > Communication in Management.

For many of you who write in the business genre, “communication in management” may not seem like a correct category. That is, until you look at some of the books that are in there. They cover topics like communicating, business communication, and team building.

Next, take a look at the number of books in this genre. See the orange box below:

Out of the millions of books on Amazon, 721 is not a big number. This has the potential to be an ideal category for your book.

And yes, you can find categories that are even narrower. In some cases, I’ve found Amazon categories with as few as 41 books.

That’s why it’s so great to have the option of ten categories now. You’ll find some that are completely amazing. And, there will be others with more books than you might like, but that are still a good fit for your book.  And again that added exposure is what will drive book sales.

Health books

Now let’s have a look at the health market, because this is another busy market. As an example, have a look at the Women’s Health category within the Health market.  See how many books are sitting in that particular segment?

That’s a lot of competition! But if you dig deeper and experiment with some other markets, you can really whittle this number down:

Dealing with a thousand books is much easier than trying to wrestle to the top of a list of forty or fifty thousand titles.

But remember, these are two extreme examples to illustrate how to get creative with your searches. In almost every case, there are other elements or aspects of a book that can be highlighted using the categories.

“Difficult” categories

On the flip side, there are those difficult categories where it’s hard to get traction no matter what you do.

There are two things Americans don’t like to discuss: whether they’ve saved enough for retirement (because most people haven’t) and death, for obvious reasons.

So when you have a book with a difficult topic, or something that’s difficult to place or categorize, try to find the obvious benefits.  By this I mean find a place the book at the reader’s pain points.

We once worked with a book on Lyme Disease and the searches for Lyme disease were really bad on Amazon. The books all had terrible sales rank and though there wasn’t a ton of competition, there wasn’t a lot of activity in terms of sales.

Why? Because most people weren’t searching under Lyme disease. Instead they were searching under the symptoms (pain points) and that’s where we put the book. When we did, the performance changed quickly.

Another example of this was a book about teen suicide as it relates to bullying. For obvious reasons, the author had originally categorized the book under “suicide,” but it did really poorly. I asked her to move it under ‘teen health’ and again, it did a lot better!

Categories That Will Help You Hit Bestseller Status

Regardless of your genre, you’ve probably always thought how great it would be to be a bestseller, right?

Here’s a hint: narrow categories can do that for you.


And while you may not become a #1 bestseller across Amazon, you could still “own” your category and dominate it. The goal of this exercise isn’t just to potentially hit bestseller status, but to surge your book within the Amazon machine.

So which categories are best? Well, as I said before, if you can find narrow ones that relate to your topic, are part of the benefit, or are an outcome, grab it!

A Difference for Fiction

Fiction authors often get a chance to expand their categories even further.  They have the option to “refine by” themes, heroes, and settings.

Here’s what it looks like, this screen grab was taken from the Inspirational Romance section of Amazon:

As you can see under “Romantic Heroes” there are a lot of options available. These are additional ways to categorize your fiction book. They don’t appear under all fiction, however. For example, literary fiction doesn’t give you these options.

It’s important to note that these are categories, but you can’t pick them like you would the other categories I showed you. Instead, these are keyword-driven. And, in order to put your book in them you’ll need to add keywords to the back end.

How many should you grab?

Well, I’d start with just two. Because while they’re great to have, you still have the option of adding ten more categories. In other words, these are just bonus categories you can add, via keywords on your Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard.