International Womens Day 2018

To All Amazing Women:

Happy Women's Day 2018

“Each woman carries within herself

the promise, the passion and the power

to create, to nurture and to transcend!”

~ by Bianca  Gubalke ~

Happy Women’s Day 2018!

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A new Consciousness for Readers

‘Born with Wings’ – New Book Review

With an exotic setting against the backdrop of the breathtaking landscapes of South Africa, Born with Wings: The Immortal Life of Piu Piu by Bianca Gubalke takes the reader on a spiritual journey that explores the mystery of life and the triumph over fear. Right off the bat, the reader is introduced to Anata who seeks wisdom relating to her next incarnation from an Elder. It is interesting to notice that she’d forget who she is and be left alone with the freedom to choose what her next life could be like.
With fear stalking her every step, can she still remember “home” and her real purpose?
 
5 Stars for Born With Wings

When she enters her next life, she is a gosling that falls at the feet of Pippa, an African girl who adopts her. Now, an interesting adventure begins, a journey that will bring Piu Piu to the heart of grave dangers, making her face an enemy that would do anything to destroy her, a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

This novel is a great success on many levels.

Bianca Gubalke tells a story that will awaken a new consciousness in readers, a story that unveils the face of life and allows readers to ask questions about where they come from and what destiny holds for them.
 
The writing is crisp, somewhat evocative, laced with powerful images and symbolism. The author challenges readers to look past appearances, to learn to pay attention to the life surging within and around them, and to get a glimpse of a world beyond the physical.
 
I enjoyed the unpredictability in plot development, the pacing, the wonderful character development and the vivid setting. Born with Wings: The Immortal Life of Piu Piu is an inspiring story that will test the way we see life, ourselves, and the world around us.

This novel is a great success on many levels.

 

~ By Divine Zape on Barnes & Noble – November 2017 BORN WITH WINGS - The Immortal Life of Piu Piu - A Novel

 

Web Design for Writers

Does a Writer need a website?

Whether or not an author, writer – or storyteller in my case – needs a website and/or a blog is not the question; any writer who wants to build a readership around a forthcoming book, a community that operates independently from social networks, and who definitely intends to be in control of his or her own online presence, does. Why? Because – whether you have a publishing contract with a major publisher in your pocket, or you courageously take it all into your own hands by self-publishing your book – all authors have to promote and sell their books. Continuously so. If they want to sell and keep selling, that is. And for that there is simply no better nor bigger marketing platform than the Internet! Think Amazon… so yes, website design for authors – established and new – is a must.

Author Website designed by Bianca Gubalke

 

How to start an Author Blog

Now that we have established that every author should have a blog to start building his/her name, brand and reputation on the worldwide web, the question is: what’s really needed and what does it cost?

Here’s how to get started with a simple author blog at minimum cost:

1. If you haven’t done so yet, buy your domain name. Brand your name as an author – rather than the title of your book. Unless it’s a whole series – then I’d buy both names as a matter of protecting my brand. Your first choice is yourname.com. If the .com is already taken, try .net or .org. The cost for brand-new domains ranges between U$ 10 and U$ 15 a year. Make sure that the WHOIS information is in your name.

2. Get good web hosting. This can start with a few dollars per month to typically U$30,00 p/m on a shared server, and from a minimum of U$100 per month and well beyond on a dedicated server. Imagine what social networks spend!

Know this: the performance of your website will be as good as your hosting – so do take this seriously. Yes, you can start out with a free WordPress Blog, but you are limited to witing your posts. This may be just what you want, however, once you want to get serious with it, you’ll see: everything has a price. Normal.

3. Now the website! As I said above, you can start with a free WordPress Blog, however, if you want your own website, there will be design and development costs depending on your needs, ideas, and budget. Costs do vary as it all depends on the complexity and scope of the work required. The clearer your vision and preparation, the better and faster your website designer can translate this into a clear propsoal. Once you’re happy with it and all questions are cleared, the process will be delightful, transparent and exciting for you to see!

Costwise, and based on custom themes, be prepared to be paying anything from U$600 to U$3,000 in a normal case. Yes, you could go much further… but let’s stay on the ground.

Please note that keywords, titles, category names, text and media are typically the author’s or client’s part of the deal. If the web designer has to provide photos (perhaps from professional sources, eg. Photostock), graphics, videos etc – all this has a price and will have to be included in the calculation. Hence the importance of a clearly defined proposal that both sides discuss and sign.

The web designer normally starts his work once 50% of the total has been paid because he has software and license agreements to pay, meaning he has to cover expenses. The balance is due on completion of the website and indexing on Google.

Please note that a website is not forever. As both technology and trends change, you want it to adapt, too. Consider the normal lifetime to be 3 to 4 years – it’s your personal platform to write, to post regular good content, and connect with your growing readership. This is what keeps your website alive and dynamic. And it brings you flowers from Google.

Now that we have a basic idea of what it needs, the real big question is: who are you as an author?

What do I mean?

Are you a non-fiction author?

If you write non-fiction books, you already have the perfect mental map for the setup of a blog: your chapters become categories. You have keyword efficient titles, headlines and sub-titles – everything is already at your fingertips! Well, it should be! In fact, you could first write your blog and then turn that into a book or ebook… it’s that clear.
Now, you may be a successful author with an established platform… or you are a beginner and you wonder whether you should or shouldn’t get a website and blog? Well, don’t wonder, don’t procrastinate – just get it! There’s no better way to market yourself and your book – you’ll find that out soon enough!

Author Website designed by Bianca Gubalke

 

Are you a fiction author?

Are you? Here the ball game changes; the real big difference is whether you’re already an established published fiction author with hordes of raving fans spreading the word and waiting for your next book… in other words: a celebrity – or you’re Mr. Nobody making your debut.

Think about it: If your name is JK Rowling you can create any website you want – it will be found, read, shared and followed by sheer magnetism. Books will be bought through all sorts of outlets – online and offline. So the mission of the website is rather to promote the brand, to entertain, to excite and to inform, eg. of new book releases, movies, talks etc. In this case, would the website still be needed? Oh yes! Absolutely so (remember, the Internet is the biggest meeting and marketing place in the world…) – but its mission and purpose have a different penchant.

So what do you do as an unknown first-time author… a debut novellist?

From my research I’ve noted that many debut novelists write about what they do – the process of writing. Ask yourself: who does this attract? Let me explain.

Author Website designed by Bianca Gubalke

 

A website for a debut novel

Life of Piu Piu. I’ve just written my first magical realism novel where the enigma of life and death are explored, set in 2000 – 2011 in Noordhoek, South Africa.

Who would my desired audience logically be? Other writers (who would be attracted to articles about my writing process…) or would it be magical realism afficinados, readers who are fascinated by South Africa, people who have to come to terms with their own mortality, or people who love that time period? Do you get the idea?

If you have no celebrity status, let your story come to life on the pages of your author website and blog. Create a mood, a feeling, an emotion. Bring your characters alive. Write about your topic… After all, you wrote a minimum of 80,000 words about it – and this is probably the condensed form and you surely spent days, months, if not years on reserch. Or you just remember it all because you lived through it yourself. I think there’s enough to write about in your articles… creating suspense without giving the secrets away! Believe in your story and write. . . that’s what you love doing. Write about what you know so well… what you love… what you’re passionate about. That’s what people connect with – that’s how you sell without selling. One by one, your readers will come and join your Newsletter or Mailing list. They’ll want to be informed as to when your book is published and available… They may want to read an extract. They’ll become part of your story, your journey, your laughter and tears… You want to give them a bit of yourself; they’ll want to take it all, one day, when they buy your book.

Bianca Gubalke Design

Need an Author blog?

I’m currently designing my own author blog as you see on the screenshots – links will follow in due course…

If you like this approach and you need an Author Website yourself, I can help you – and I’d love to do so. Please connect with me HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas 2015

Time of Giving and Reflection

It’s been a great and productive year for us at Web Design South Africa which now slowly draws to a close with a quiet time of giving and reflection. Thank you, my dear friends and loyal readers, for having been a part of it. Here’s wishing you a happy Christmas from Noordhoek, South Africa, with a focus on joy, peace and inner fulfillment, and may blessings rain and reign over you in the new year, 2015!

Bianca Gubalke Wishs Happy Christmas 2015

 

Until we speak again. . .