Sunday, 31 July 2011

A user-friendly reading experience

We all put so much effort into our writing. But how many of us consider the reader and readability of our books. Not the content, but the practicalities.
I bought a book from an on-line store some months ago. Content was brilliant - just what I wanted to know. It was written by a specialist in the field. Published by a traditional publisher (one who turned me down three years ago in fact).The book wasn't big, in fact it was a nice handy size. It wasn't too expensive. But do you know what? I hated it. The paper was rough and cheap and even worse was the nasty feel it left on my hands. I had to go and wash.Not a user-friendly reading experience at all.(It also left me feeling glad that the publisher had declined to include Just Us Two in their stable.)
It was then that I realised what 'printed on acid-free paper' meant.
All my books are printed on eco-friendly acid-free paper. It has a lovely smooth feel so that as you curl up you are not put off by nasty deposits on your hands. You can actually caress it - such a soothing action as you smooth your hands over the pages.
Just as important for a positive memorable reading experience is the readability of the font. Yes, the font. Consider the type and the size and  how easy to read it is.
I hate it when the font is so small that you practically need a magnifying glass to read it. Either that or put the book away.
Is that why e-readers are catching on? You can change the font size to suit your eyes.
Food for thought.
Someone flicked through a proof copy of Release Your Potential:Making Sense of Personal and Professional Development and stroking the paper commented:'That's nice. Easy to read.' Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks for the encouraging feedback. The covers of the new Personal Effectiveness Guides (01.09.2011) have had positive feedback from  various sources."Bright" "Modern" to name just a few.
Chasing Rainbows:with Just Us Two has the same nice rounded font with an easy to read layout. Available from Waterstones,WHSmith, Barnes and Noble Amazon etc 
Rosalie xx

Monday, 25 July 2011

Our beautiful, green and lush Great Britain

Although the sun did not shine as promised in the East of England this weekend, it did get its hat out for a wonderful drive home yesterday. After an overcast Peterborough area on Saturday, Sunday dawned with white fluffy clouds scooting across a blue sky.
In the village of Alwalton are entrancing, picturesque thatched cottages which would not be out of place as a chocolate-box picture or jigsaw. Delightful village names like Stibbington greeted us, causing us to reflect once again how beautiful, diverse and ancient is Great Britain; no matter where you go (avoiding towns and cities) are ancient villages which stand timelessly in the sunshine.
Taking a cross country route back to North Wales on Sunday afternoon, we enjoyed a quiet and peaceful drive as we headed on B' roads across the Leicestershire countryside into Staffordshire. The A50 zipped effortlessly around a busy Stoke-on-Tent area  and we made excellent time. I immersed myself in a good book as a cooling  breeze gently played through the air..
Being July, everywhere was lush and green with trees,roadside plants and flowers of all kinds bursting at the seams.We might not be big but we certainly are beautiful. We certainly do live in a 'green and pleasant land'.

Time now to catch up with things. The new Lifelong Learning Guides are due for release on September 1st and are available for pre-order.  Waterstones Amazon US Store   Amazon UK Store   Barnes and Noble .
WHSmith on line worldwide to name a few and from  your local bookseller.

Both titles will be available on Amazon Kindle and Kindle apps and we are looking at other formats for as wide a readership as possible.
I don't for one minute believe that e-book formats will replace print. there is nothing like curling up with a good book and physically turning the pages. However, e-books offer an alternative in that they are easy and usually cheaper to download. This alone can be a factor in encouraging a wider readership. I feel that the e-readers can overcome barriers in those who see a big book with lots of print as daunting.(I can remember as a child, I once felt this way when I saw a book with pages and pages of print that I was expected to plough through.) With an e-reader, you only see one page at a time which is the equivalent to what we call in learning as 'bite-sized chunks' which is less daunting to a nervous and unsure reader. 
Some figures  recently suggested that readers,since getting an e-book, read more . This can only be a good thing as a whole new world opens up.

Rosalie xx

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Good conversation and travel talk at Wrexham Tweet Up

In case you don't know what a tweet-up is it is a social meeting between Twitterers - those who tweet nonsense (and sometimes sense) from behind a faceless computer. A chance to get out of the house and meet REAL people, have a REAL conversation and break the isolation of lone working.
Colette of the Lemon Tree Hotel in Wrexham, North Wales has re-introduced them but this time on a Saturday at lunch-time. What an inspiration. Evenings can be busy after a day's work and during the day takes you away from commitments. 
Lazy camels in Lanzarote. 2011
Well, today the Lemon Tweet-up had the effect of making me stop work when I should not have even started; it being Saturday and time for a day off.
I met some new people and old friends. Arriving early, I spied Alan of @MakoCreative in a corner and conversation flowed as we talked about his fantastic life-like pencil drawings of animals. Conversation moved on to travel, Goldwing Motorbikes and the story behind our journeys and travel adventures before moving on to my other passion of realising potential and the new Lifelong Learning: Personal Effectiveness Guides due out soon.

Andorran Mountains June 2010

I had seen @JackieSynergie at another networking meeting and we quickly shared travel experiences. I was fascinated at her stories of adapting a Land Rover. Talk turned to Andalusia and Nerja; islands such as Sicily, Azores, Madeira, Canaries etc and our forthcoming trip to southern Italy  - a new adventure - with a return to Sicily. Sadly not on the Gold Wing as those days are over but with our tried and tested over 50's travel company who we know will look after us.

The Islands will feature in Island Interludes - the next of the Just Us Two series.
I ended the Tweet -Up with a light meal of Ciabatta topped with tomatoes and basil. The taste took me back to Italy. Well from an Italian Restaurant you would expect that wouldn't you? 
Thank You Colette. 

Rosalie xx

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New Blooms in Rosalie's Rose Garden

Lots of activity in Rosalie's  rose-garden of ideas. Lots blooming with the publishing date of the new Lifelong Learning:Personal Effectiveness Guides drawing ever closer.This prompted me to update the website.
I am pleased to announce that I will be back in Waterstones this summer. Thankfully Waterstones has been saved and we can all continue to enjoy our usual quiet browse among the shelves.
  • Waterstones Wrexham have been able to confirm a book event date of Saturday September 3rd.12-4.
  • Waterstones Llandudno  confirmed a date of Saturday October 1st. 12 Noon onwards and invited me to go along in August as well! We promptly booked Saturday August 20th 12 Noon onwards.
  • These visits to Waterstones will be followed by the 2nd Authors Day and Book Fest at the Quay Hotel and Spa in Deganwy.Saturday October 8th 10:am -4pm. It is a lovely setting the event will be upstairs with fantastic views over the estuary across to Conwy Castle. Author Jean Mead is once again organising this exciting event.
  • So with lots lined up for the summer with Gold Wing activities,meeting friends, and book events there is lots to keep me in my 'rose garden' to make sure that everything blooms at its best!
Hope to see you at any of the events but if you can't make them and would like a signed copy, just contact me through my Discover Rosalie website for details and I will post one out.
                                              Rosalie xx

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Glorious sunshine and scenery and Gold Wing friends.

Well, hello folks. I have been away from the blogspot for a few days -  a couple of weeks in fact - but am back now with more chatter. 
Taking a break from deadlines and updates we escaped to beautiful Llangollen on Friday for a few hours to chill out. We made a beeline for the Ponsonby Arms for a cool drink to enjoy in the garden overlooking the river. Parking is free for customers. This Pub is biker friendly and a warm welcome awaits from Carl and staff. Take a look at the photos on the new website. Afterwards we strolled along the fairly recently made Riverside Walk. I had never seen the river on this side of the bridge before - mainly because there wasn't a path as far as we knew. It is lovely and we came up by the bridge onto the main street. Llangollen last Friday was en fete; all prepared for the International Eisteddfod which starts on Tuesday when the town will be packed with singers and dancers of all nationalities who come to express their joy in music - the food of the soul. The bridge is decked with a profusion of flowers underneath the host of flags of many nations. The ice-cream is good too!
Saturday took us to Shropshire to meet with Gold Wing friends. We took a drive through the enchanting town of Whittington with its ruined castle before grabbing a sandwich at the Queens Head Hotel.
Sunday (today) took us through valleys and up mountains to Betws-y-Coed for another meeting with Gold Wing friends. After a lengthy chin-wag we decided to take the long way home, turning at Pentrefoelas to go over the Denbighshire Moors. From Ruthin we headed over the Llandegla Moors and the fantastic and breathtaking Horseshoe Pass down to Llangollen.
Everywhere we looked we could see for miles (that is unless there was a mountain in the way)!
What a beautiful country we live in. What contrasts in such a small area with mountains, valleys, lakes, cows and sheep grazing lazily in the sunshine. No two views are the same - a different picture at every turn. We must appreciate it and enjoy it while we can. 
Now ready to meet some deadlines in the pre-publication programme for the new series of Lifelong Learning:Personal Effectiveness Guides due out in September but available for pre-order on-line.Also must plan more events for Chasing Rainbows:with Just Us two also available on-line worldwide and from local bookstores e.g. Waterstones,WHSmith. and more. Finished off with  trip to the Golden Lion in Rossett for a meal to round off.
Back to the grindstone tomorrow . . .