Learn HTML Part 1

Today, your blogging programs can be just as fancy as any basic Text Editing software on the market. Yet, the blogging platforms are translating your input into HTML so there will always be quirky behavior or translation problems. It is a “best blogging practice” to understand the roots of HTML and at least know how to recognize and edit the common tags. It is easier than you think and it will give you that extra “pizazz” that might set your blog apart from the rest.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, it is the predominant language of the web. It is how we talk to the web browsers. I would simply type in <h2>Love You!</h2> and web browser knows to make Love You! a heading 2.

Tags

A tag is a keyword used in HTML that is surrounded by angle brackets. A keyword is an action that the browser is aware of. Some browsers, depending on age and complexity are not aware of some actions, which leads to your web site looking different from one browser to another. This rarely happens when using basic HTML these days, but will happen when using more advanced web languages like CSS3. (There are many different web languages that are used in web design/development, some are very advanced, others are quite simple, they usually all work hand in hand. HTML is the basic foundation, the under garments so-to-speak of web languages).

A tag looks like this:

<HTML>

Tags normal come in pairs, there is an opener and a closer.

<HTML> = The Start Tag
</HTML> = The End Tag

The HTML tag is telling your browser to expect HTML coding. You will not see this in your blogging post, but you will see it if you take a look at the formatting inside your template.

Formatting
To make matters complicated, there are some double tags when it comes to formatting. I’ll list both and one is no better than the other. There are some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) experts that say using one tag is better than the other, but there is really no definitive proof of this.

Bold = <b> YOUR TEXT </b>
or
<strong> YOUR TEXT </strong>

Italics = <i> YOUR TEXT </i>
or
<em> YOUR TEXT </em>

Underline = <u> YOUR TEXT </u>

Strike Through = <strike> YOUR TEXT </strike>
or <del> YOUR TEXT </del>

Center = <center> YOUR TEXT </center>

Left = <left> YOUR TEXT </left>

Right = <right> YOUR TEXT </right>

Blockquote = <blockquote> YOUR TEXT </blockquote>

This one might not work depending on how your CSS is styled in your template. It will indent the paragraph though.

Typewriter Text = <tt> YOUR TEXT </tt>

Subscript = <sub> YOUR TEXT </sub>

Superscript = <sup> YOUR TEXT </sup>

BIG Text = <big> YOUR TEXT </big>

Computer Output = <code> YOUR TEXT </code>

I think that is enough for today. If you are like me, before you really “get” coding it just makes your head hurt. But, the key is the simplicity of the basic truth behind the code. Once you understand the basics it is so easy to Google how to do this, how to do that…and coding will unfold before you. The internet is a wealth of knowledge. It is how I taught myself CSS, PHP…and I’m slowly working on javascript. You got this…


Feeling Good. Move on to Part II

Reader Question of the Week:

“What do you think of sites like ARCylcing (not sure if I spelled that right) or YA Book Exchange? I’m still not sure what the etiquette for sharing ARC’s is yet…” – Blogger

Thank you to the lovely Lizzy from @ReadAholicZ , I think we have discovered the blog you refer to:

http://arcycling.blogspot.com

Look, what these girls are doing is innocent. And I believe that it would be up to the publishers to decide whether they are “right” or “wrong”. The program encourages reviews from the ARCs that are traded. Which supposedly balances out the fact that bloggers that wouldn’t necessarily be getting these ARCs are getting them through non-commissioned means.

If you follow guidelines implemented by some publishers, what they are doing, is wrong. You are not supposed to pass on your ARCs. In fact I have been asked by some of my distributors to DESTROY my ARCs. Paperback ARCs. I guess I would have to burn them when I want to pull them from my shelves. I haven’t worked up the nerve for this yet. They sit on my shelf, even though I could easily host a giveaway of a Box Full of ARCs. I don’t though. The only ARCs I giveaway are those sponsored by the publisher. Which is sooo rare, I think it was like six months ago.

Is this crazy? Over the top? No, ARCs are marketing promotional material. The publishers use them as perks and sometimes are very restrictive on how they are distributed. The ARCs can sometimes be unfinished. Libraries can not accept ARCs to put on their shelves, because technically they are not officially books.  (They can distribute them to their patrons though from what I hear. The point of librarians getting ARCs is so they read it and then order the finished copy to put on their shelves, yet a lot of libraries are low on funding so they’ll distribute the ARC “under the table” to voracious teen readers etc) The publishers aren’t offering these to Bloggers, Librarians and Book sellers just because they are cool and want to be full of awesome. They offer these ARCs  to SELL THEIR BOOK. That is the main goal. Period. Nothing more.

Some publishers are okay with passing on the books, they want you to host ARC tours, they want them to be distributed. One ARC = 5 reviews. Heck yeah!  But, some publishers are not. They don’t want that ARC distributed, they want it to go to the person they chose to send it to and that is it.

There is not a definitive, right or wrong is this situation. My suggestion would be to the bloggers donating their ARCs, if you get these ARCs from a contact, ask them first if it is okay to pass them on. Most of the time all my ARCs come from certain contacts within the publishing houses. Send that contact an email asking how to handle the ARCs. I bet you they have an answer and it might surprise you. This is who these girls need to be asking…


Book Blogging News:

The New Year is upon us and I’ve been away from my reader channels. Besides that metaphorical Fiscal Cliff…which we seem to have avoided, that is about all I’ve digested besides an atrocious amount of champagne.

Hot news for me…well a few of my cover designs were named in Best Covers of 2012, which I’m thankful for…and overjoyed because they went up against some amazing Big House generated designs. Go me, right?

Fun things. The chicks at the Cuddlebuggery did this crazy petition where they demanded seconds to books they loved. It cracked me up. Check it out.

Word on the street is that THE VAMPIRE ACADEMY series is making it to the big screen.  ……PAUSE…… Freak out.  Yes! One of my favorite Young Adult Vampire Awesome Series is going to be put on a big freaking screen with the guy that did HEATHERS (yeah think way back…waaaay back…Christian Slater, the chick that was caught shoplifting and tried to sue Primus…) is writing the script. They just picked up their director and are that much closer to casting. The guy playing Dmitri has a LOT to live up to. I can’t see how the movie can even touch the books…but we’ll see right?

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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