Author Archives: MrsGeek

Traveling the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. We present seminars at RV rallies and computer clubs all over the country and run this website.

October 2020 News: Google Photos Workshops, Self-Publishing, Blog2Print

  October 2020 | Issue 158  | Archives
What’s Up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks?
Her book is done, Chris relaxes. Jim took this photo with his Pixel 4XL. It does such a nice job in portrait mode. Notice the blurred background. Then Google Photos automatically copies the photo from Jim’s library to Chris’ library because of our shared library settings to save photos of each other.

What’s coming up – Our Calendar Oct/Nov 2020

October Workshops for Google Photos
We have scheduled Google Photos workshops for Oct 4, 5, 14, 17, and 24. If you purchased our Book Launch Special with the 2 hour Google Photos workshop, please click here to register for the date you would like to attend.
If you didn’t sign up during the special, but you want to register for a workshop at the regular price of $49, click here.
We’re Presenting LIVE!
October 16-18 Roadtrek Rally in N. Florida. Seminars on Google Photos and Blogger. Attendance is closed.
Live YouTube Shows Sunday at 2pm Eastern time about every other week. Check our Home Page at GeeksOnTour.com where we post a yellow note about our plans for the upcoming Sunday.
If we don’t do a live Button Show, we’ll do a Member Zoom at 2pm Eastern.
Live Zoom meetings for Premium Members after the live shows. Watch your email for announcements of scheduled shows, or check the message on our home page.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Ask the Geeks


Ask the Geeks Q&A forum. Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions:


This video is about updating your apps. Specifically your Google Photos app, but all apps work the same way when it comes to getting the latest update on your phone.


How to self-publish your book

I have now self-published my fourth book, Learn Google Photos. I am no expert on self-publishing but I do know how easy it is and I wanted to tell you about it. We use Kindle Direct Publishing for both the printed paperback as well as the Kindle eBook. There is no charge for the publishing process and all you have to do is provide a Word document or .pdf file of your book.

Our friend, Nick Russell has self-published 42 books, all listed on Amazon.com. Read the article to learn more, then watch the YouTube show to get step-by-step instructions as well as an interview with Nick about how he makes his living with his self-published books.


This video is about how to print a hard-bound book from blog posts you’ve made in a blog. I use Blogger, but this works with WordPress as well. I love having my personal memories in a beautiful coffee table book – it’s easy!


Leave us a Review

Have you learned something from Geeks on Tour?

If so, we’d love to get a review from you. Click on this link

 If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters. If you’ve learned something from us along the way, we’d love a Google Review from you!

200. How to self-publish your book

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above.

Scroll down to see the show notes, these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

First Tip: Images must be 300 dpi – what does that mean?

Main Lesson: How to self-publish using Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing. Interview with Nick Russell, NY Times Best-selling author.

Continue reading →

199. Updates to Google Photos, Zoom and smartphones

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above.

Scroll down to see the show notes, these will be available for Members Only.

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  1. First Tip: New update for Google Photos
  2. Main Lesson: Updates in general and specific to Zoom and Smartphone Systems
Continue reading →

How we self-published the book on Google Photos

I have now self-published my fourth book, Learn Google Photos. I am no expert on self-publishing but I do know how easy it is and I wanted to tell you about it. We use Kindle Direct Publishing for both the printed paperback as well as the Kindle eBook. There is no charge for the publishing process and all you have to do is provide a Word document or .pdf file of your book.

The eBook on Kindle is available for your readers immediately and the printed paperbacks are printed on demand, so there is no up-front charge there either. You set the price for your book and it gets listed on Amazon for people to buy. Amazon subtracts the cost of printing and shipping and splits the rest with the author, paying royalties of usually 60%. In the settings for your account, you include your bank account information and the money shows up in your account once a month.

The last part, for us, is to take the paperback books we get from Amazon and change them to spiral bound. Amazon does not do spiral binding, and we find it so much better for how-to books to be able to lay flat. Here is a little video on how Jim rebinds the books.

Kindle direct publishing thru Amazon is by far the most popular method of self-publishing. It used to be called CreateSpace.

The basic steps to self-publish your book are:

  1. Write
  2. Edit
  3. Design a cover
  4. Publish
  5. Market

When you start writing, you want to be using the right formatting for the end result. I started with the Word template provided by Kindle Direct Publishing. I was able to use the same Word document for submission for the paperback book as well as the Kindle book, but I paid close attention to all the guidelines and tutorials provided by Kindle Direct Publishing. For my book, I used a lot of images and they have special considerations over and above the text formatting. I found this YouTube video that helped a lot because it was so detailed. The same YouTube creator also has a video on formatting chapters with headers and footers as part of her complete playlist of step-by-step tutorials.

A word about editing. You cannot proofread your own book! You simply won’t see the places that you mistakenly wrote their rather than they’re, or or repeated a word. (See?) I had two editor-friends proofread my book for errors. I also hired a professional editor, Beth Anne Carr, to help develop the book as I wrote. For a technical, how-to book like mine I found a developmental editor to be invaluable. I am so close to the material that I sometimes don’t see the forest for the trees. She helped me rearrange my topics and pay more attention to my readers’ perspective.

Your book cover: As my friend Nick Russell says: You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you’ll sure sell a lot more books with a good cover, and he recommended the artist that he uses. She also did the cover of our Google Photos book and I highly recommend her as well: Elizabeth Mackey Graphics.

Marketing: “Writing and publishing your book is the easy part,” says Nick Russell, “then you have to market it. You need to market it not once a month or once a week, you need to market it every day.” As a New York Times Best-Selling author with 42 self-published books on Amazon, Nick knows what he’s talking about. You may know Nick from his years as a full-time RVer and publisher of the Gypsy Journal. He still keeps a daily blog and he markets books every day.

Then again, if you’re not trying to make your living at it and you just want to have your book available, you may be satisfied with just getting it up on Amazon and having a link to send to people. There is no minimum sales required to keep your book on Amazon.

You can do it.

The bottom line is that you can do it. If you want to write a book, do it! The publishing process is free and really quite easy. If you want to learn more, check out our YouTube show Episode 200. It will stream live on Sunday, 9/26/20, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. After that, the same link takes you to the recording. We will discuss our experience with self-publishing as well as interviewing Nick Russell on his experience.

 

How to make group photo albums

Using Google Photos, you can make an album and then invite people to contribute photos and comments to the album. Once they have done so, you will see their name appear in the corner of the photo thumbnail. It’s a great way to collect photos from everyone at an event or on a trip. Then you can even print a photo book of the results. The only requirement is that they use Google Photos. The image below is a sample. A group of us from a dive club took a trip to Bimini and we all put our best photos into one shared album.

Create an album

  1. One person needs to start the album, they will be the owner.
  2. You can just create a regular album by
    -selecting a photo or two,
    -click the + at the upper right and choose Album (you could also choose “Shared Album” and it will prompt you to share at the end)
    -Give the album a name and click the checkmark in upper left to finish

Share the album

  1. Open the album created above and click the Share button
  2. To share with a few people, just choose them from your contact list that displays, or search by entering their email addresses (this must be an email address for a Google account)
  3. You have the option to type a message where it says “Say something” then click the send button
  4. To share with a lot of people, choose Create Link, then copy the link and paste it where your audience can see it, like in an email or a Facebook post.

Now the people you shared with can click the link or find the album in their Google Photos Sharing section. They can open the album, join it, and add their own photos. The key is the album option called “Collaboration.” This is on by default, you can see it by opening the album, clicking the 3-dot menu and then Options.This is all covered in chapters 8 & 9 of the Learn Google Photos 2020 book.

September 2020 News: Learn Google Photos Book Launch

  September 2020 | Issue 157  | Archives
What’s Up with Jim and Chris – the Geeks?
Most of the month was devoted to finishing the Learn Google Photos book.
On August 7, we had a real treat when the Product Lead for Google Photos, David Lieb agreed to meet with our Geeks On Tour members group over Zoom. We heard his story and got to pummel him with questions about the development process of Google Photos. The meeting was recorded – for members only. We included some excerpts of our
conversation with David in our Book Launch Episode 198. Get the printable version (.pdf) of the show notes here: 198. Learn Google Photos 2020 Book Launch
Learn Google Photos 2020 – Episode 198 on YouTube
We launched the book during our 45 minute live YouTube show on August 30. Watch the show and we’ll tell you all about the book, give some specific tips about using the latest version of Google Photos, and let you meet David Lieb, the Product Lead for the Google Photos development team at Google. (spoiler alert – you’ll really like
him)
But Learn Google Photos 2020 isn’t just a book! We also announced:
To buy the book
Geeks on Tour Premium members: the .pdf version of the book is included with membership. Download the book from GeeksOnTour.com/eBooks
What’s coming up – Our Calendar Sep/Oct 2020
Wednesday, September 2 Sarasota Computer Club remote seminar
Members Only
Sunday, Sept 6 2pm ET Backstage Pass Zoom: Topic will be how to use group albums with Google Photos. We’ll make an album with the group!
October 16-18 Roadtrek Rally in N. Florida. Seminars on Google Photos and Blogger
Live YouTube Shows Sunday at 2pm Eastern time. Most weeks. Check our Home Page at GeeksOnTour.com where we post a yellow note about our plans for the upcoming Sunday.
If we don’t do a live Button Show, we’ll do a Member Zoom at 2pm Eastern.
Live Zoom meetings for Premium Members after the live shows. Watch your email for announcements of scheduled shows, or check the message on our home page.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.

Ask the Geeks Q&A forum.

Anyone can read the forum, only members can ask questions. This is a valuable benefit of membership. Join Today! Here are some recent discussions:

  1. Password Managers
  2. Printing on Chromebooks
  3. Ordering the new Learn Google Photos book
  4. Backup photos 
  5. Taking Photos Outside

Google Photos A Quick Tour 643
Video


Google Photos Editing Tools

Chapter 7 in the book is Editing to improve your photos. You will learn how to take the picture at the top and make the one on the bottom. Don’t you like the bottom one better?
The key is to lighten the shadows on the shore without washing out the sunset.
I think editing is my favorite part of Google Photos, it’s so much fun to take a so-so photo and make it beautiful.

Where did everything go?

If you have been using Google Photos for a while, it may be disconcerting to open the new version and not see the same buttons and menus. This grid is part of a longer article that explains the new buttons and menus.
Leave us a Review

Have you learned something from Geeks on Tour?

If so, we’d love to get a review from you. Click on this link

 If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. You can also visit the archives of past newsletters. If you’ve learned something from us along the way, we’d love a Google Review from you!

198. Learn Google Photos Book Launch

Scroll down to see the show notes, these are usually for Members Only, but this Book Launch episode is for everyone. Download a printable version of the notes here: 198.Learn Google Photos 2020 Book Launch

Members get access to the extensive show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Start

Google Photos has been available since 2015. Chris wrote her book the first time in 2016, updated it in 2018 and totally re-wrote it for 2020. It even has a new name: Learn Google Photos. Find it on Amazon here.

If you want to check it out before buying, we are providing a free chapter – the Introduction to the book. When you follow the link, just look for the down arrow to download it. You do not need any kind of account.

Along with the book, we are launching the LearnGooglePhotos.com website. Visit this site to find the Book Launch offer as well as the blog of Google Photos articles. To find the special Launch offer, just scroll down the screen. This is where you can get the book with Spiral Binding. This is only available in the US. For any other country, you’ll need to order the book from Amazon.

The launch special will be available until the end of the month. Order by September 31. In addition to the spiral bound book, the Launch special offers that you can add a workshop for $20. These workshops are normally $49.

You can also order the book from Amazon.

11:57 What’s new in Google Photos 2020? Chris wrote a blog post all about it. Read the whole article here: Google Photos is 5 years old and Brand New. The first thing that will strike you is that the buttons you are accustomed to aren’t there any more. Here is a grid of where features have been moved.

15:07 Check out our new YouTube Channel: YouTube.com/LearnGooglePhotos. And video 649 about the new Photo Map feature of Google Photos. Make sure to Subscribe when you go there. Another video about the Map feature is 640.GP-Google Photos new Photo Map feature

19:15 Meet David Lieb – the Product Lead for Google Photos. If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you can see the whole 75 minute meeting with David Lieb and our members.


Members only meeting with David Lieb from Google. The product lead for Google Photos

24:42 David explains how the new Map feature was developed. It was a highly requested feature since the beginning of Google Photos. They didn’t like what they saw in other photo mapping systems. They kept working on it though, and when the development team came up with the dual pane structure with a map on the top and grid of photos on the bottom, then they decided to make it.

27:05 Chris demonstrates search features listed in the book.

Chris demonstrates searching by dates, date ranges, contents of photo, and text. An interesting example is searching for Hamilto – that finds both a photo that has the name John Hamilton in the description of the photo and a photo that has a promotional sign of the play Hamilton. You can also search by type of photo – collage, favorites. Then you can combine the type with content of photos like Favorites Wine – will show you just your favorite (starred) photos that have wine in the photo.

36:31 Chris asks David Lieb if Google Photos may someday have a de-duping command. Some automatic way of finding and eliminating duplicates. He answers by first explaining that Google Photos does not allow exact duplicates to exist in the system. If you try to upload a photo that is already in your Google Photos library, it will not succeed. However, Google Photos has it’s own way of creating a “fingerprint” of a photo to determine if it is the same as another. That’s completely different from near duplicates – one that has been altered in some way – maybe even unnoticeably –

Filenames are NOT part of the “fingerprint.” Multiple photos can have the exact same filename and still be considered different files. Vice versa one file can be copied and given a different filename and Google Photos will still recognize that it is the same picture.

39:28 Chris asks David what is the most important thing for people to learn about Google Photos. He answers that they should learn all the multiple ways of getting photos in to Google Photos. The goal of Google Photos is to be a home for your lifetime of photos. So, the most important thing is to know how that lifetime of photos can be uploaded to Google Photos. From computers, cameras, prints etc. Chris made sure to cover this in Chapter 3 of her book: Collecting the rest of your life’s photos and videos

Learn Google Photos – the book

You will find our launch special, spiral bound copy, at LearnGooglePhotos.com and just scroll down till you see the red button to purchase Launch special bundle. The special is good for the month of September. You must order by 9/31/20. The spiral bound book offer is only good for the United States. If you need the book shipped to any other country, you can order it (not spiral bound) from Amazon at this link.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Your Google Account
  • Chapter 2: Getting started on mobile devices
  • Chapter 3: Collecting the rest of your life’s photos and videos
  • Chapter 4: Getting around in Google Photos
  • Chapter 5: How to find the memories you’re looking for
  • Chapter 6: Keep your memories safe
  • Chapter 7: Editing to improve your photos
  • Chapter 8: Organizing with Albums and Favorites
  • Chapter 9: Sharing
  • Chapter 10: Surrounding yourself with your photos and creations
  • Chapter 11: Troubleshooting
  • Chapter 12: Apple Photos and iCloud vs Google Photos
  • Chapter 13: My favorite features of Google Photos

197. Live Streaming with guest experts Michael Daniels and Heather Kraafter

Everyone can view any episode for free. Just click on the play button above.

Special guest experts, Michael Daniels and Heather Kraafter tell us about their experience with Live Streaming. See Tinkering with Tech to learn about their community.

Members get access to the show-notes Chris writes up after each show. Read them online and follow links directly to the parts you’re interested in. We recommend you print them out and keep them in a notebook. It’s a great way to learn.

Not a member? Join here.

Continue reading →