Just Your Type Desktop Publishing Expert Book Design and Book Typesetting

September 16, 2016

Just got back from TIFF (Tornonto International Film Festival)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 5:50 pm

I went to TIFF last week and am back with loads of pics and talk-about-the-town about movies that will be released in the coming months.

I’ll be back soon to write more; just wanted to get my blog up and running again. :)

Sue
www.JustYourType.biz

May 17, 2016

Elance.com closes its doors, moves us to Upwork.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 3:33 pm

I’m sad to say that after 11 years as a Book Designer and Book Typesetter, Elance has closed their doors and shifted us over to Upwork.com.

I’m not happy about this change for a couple of reasons:
1. Elance was a fine online hiring platform with access to good clients.
2. Elance took an 8.75% fee from our earnings, Upwork TAKES 20%!
3. There are many “clients” on the Upwork platform looking for free and almost-free work.

I prefer to now do my business directly with my clients through my site at www.JustYourType.biz and via email at sue@justyourtype.biz but — if you prefer to use an online hiring site, please hire me through my Upwork profile at Upwork.com

I look forward to working with you on many wonderful books in the coming years!
Sue Balcer
Book designer and book typesetter, www.JustYourType.biz

January 20, 2012

Favorite Films of 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 5:28 pm

I like movies. I can remember watching the “old” black and whites on our 13-inch TV on Sunday afternoons. Betty Davis, Joan Crawford, Audrey Hepburn, and Humphrey Bogart were no strangers on our little television set. I don’t just like watching movies, I like watching movies in the theater on the “big screen.” There’s something very inviting and familiar to me when I walk into a movie theater. A dream of mine would be to have my own home theater… I know, DREAM ON!!!

This past year, 2011, I think I went to more movies in a theater within one year than I ever have in my life.

While 2010 had the best line up of movies that I can remember: Blue Valentine, King’s Speech, The Kids Are Alright, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, Inception, Black Swan, The Fighter, Biutiful, True Grit, and so many, many more, 2011 offered me the opportunity to stroll up to our local theater a few blocks away or drive down to the 16-screen multiplex theater less than 5 miles away. I could catch a movie for $5.00 most weekdays; $6.50 tops.

I can’t really say these were the “best” films of 2011 but they are the ten that stand out the most in my mind as I went through some of my ticket stubs (pictured above). I’m also posting the imdb.com link that goes with each movie so you can check out a real synopsis, the trailer, cast, etc…

They are in no particular order other than the #1 spot: “Drive.” I think it will be a long time before a movie comes along that will be able to bump that out of my all-time top 10 films of a lifetime.

Feel free to comment on these movies or your own pick of 10. I’m always open to new films and should be able to round up five bucks in the couch cushions. :)

1. DRIVE.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780504/

I could EASILY sum it up by saying, “I LOVE this movie” but that wouldn’t be quite enough, I know, I know.
This film is expertly directed, cast, acted, and filmed. The lighting, music, and character development are excellent.

I went to this movie not knowing the scope of its plot and thinking it was a basic “action film” which would have been fine that night. I was totally mesmerized by this movie, and completely surprised by the level of depth and emotion brought to the screen.

The dialogue, or lack thereof, drew me into the movie and was a welcome relief from so many “in-your-face movies.” This is an intelligent movie that gives the viewer credit for knowing what the characters are thinking and feeling without having to spell it out for us. Ryan Gosling is totally amazing and real and every one else in the movie was perfectly cast. Carey Mulligan is perfect as the girl next door-UNhollywood style, and Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, and Ron Perlman are perfect.

The only thing I didn’t like was the very brutal and graphic violence – it was shocking and not my “cup of tea” but I was able to “handle it” due to the incredible impact this film had on me in that it was a movie that did not overstate anything or put in anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Plus, I was quick to turn away at the exact right times and miss the actual gory details.

2. Midnight in Paris.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605783/

Classic Woody Allen from the 80s with fresh new material. A delightful film, expertly cast with Owen Wilson. I usually can’t get into films that are “extraordinary” or “supernatural” in any way, shape, or form, but this movie draws you into the plot so quickly and thoroughly, you are swept away.

3. Young Adult.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1625346/

I went to this film thinking it was a typical comedy, chick-flick type of movie, and boy was I wrong. It’s a dark comedy about a woman who can’t let of go her high school “true love” no matter how much hers and his lives have changed and moved on. I felt it was really raw and honest, which was a turnoff to some viewers, but for me that made the movie. Charlize Theron is top notch in this portrayal of a 30-something young adult novel ghost writer who just can’t get it right.

4. Martha Marcy May Marlene.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441326/

I include this movie because it’s about the strangle-hold a cult takes on a person and it was pretty well done. I was a teen in the 1970s when cults were all over the place and I knew people who got drawn into them. I felt the movie could have done a better job by “educating” the viewer about the complexity and brainwashing involved in cults, but that it didn’t tells me it was aimed at those of us already familiar, and that’s okay by me.

5. Melancholia.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1527186/

This movie is strange. And I liked it. Like a lot of Indie films, it’s not heavy on dialogue and that’s a big draw point for me these days. I can’t stand overkill with dialogue especially when an actor starts narrating everything for the viewer. This movie was “slow” in that it’s not action filled, but there is a lot of tension in it, and it keeps you watching to the end. Some of the visuals are quite awesome as well.

6. Like Crazy.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758692/

Another surprise film for me. I went to this movie thinking it was a typical love story gone wrong. It’s well cast and the characterization is so well done that I cared about the people in the movie. And when I care about the people in a film, I care what happens to them. Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are very believable and have good on-screen chemistry.

7. Sarah’s Key.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1668200/

Some people feel they’ve seen enough Holocaust movies. I don’t. My “favorite wars” to read about and watch films about are The Civil War and WWII. Glory is my favorite Civil War movie. Sarah’s Key is about the complexity of marriage, children, the German war camps, and most of all, human compassion. This movie was well-made and held my interest throughout, which makes historical learning much easier.

8. 50/50.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1306980/

I generally don’t like movies about people being sick. I went because Joseph Gordon Levitt is a good actor and I like Seth Rogen, as well as Anna Kendricks (Up in the Air). The movie is about a young man who gets cancer and how he deals with it. I liked the characters, so yes, I cared about what happened to them. Worth seeing.

9. Moneyball.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1210166/

Another type of film I don’t normally go to is sports films: basketball, baseball, football, you name it. I went to this movie because I do follow Brad Pitt’s career to some extent and because I really like Jonah Hill. The movie was surprisingly good. It tells the story of the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and his attempt to put together a baseball club by using computer-generated analysis to draft his players. I was shocked to see how expendable and traded ball players are.

10. Win Win.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1606392/

Good acting, worth seeing. Giamatti stars as a downtrodden attorney and part-time wrestling coach who schemes to keep his practice from going under by acting as the legal caretaker of an elderly client. His plan runs into trouble when his client’s grandson comes to stay with he and his family and he has to think quick to get himself out of hot water. It’s a great movie about human relationships of all kinds. VERY MUCH worth seeing.

I hate to do this, but I think I need to add a 10a or an 11. Again, these movies were not all “the best of the best” but they’re worth seeing.

10a. War Horse.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568911/

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this film other than it deserves to be on my top 10 of 2011 list of movies. The storyline is great, heart wrenching, and a real tear jerker. But — Spielberg goes way too far over the top with the music and backdrops. We did not need those to feel what we were supposed to feel and they were very annoying to me.

That’s it for now. If I have a change of heart, I will update the list, or and/take away from it.

Here’s hoping 2012 is the best year ever for movie making (and going!)

Sue
www.JustYourType.biz

January 17, 2012

Featured Book of the Month – Debt Dangers from the Marvels of Money series

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 2:07 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to a new year of HAPPY READING!!!

The featured book for this month is one in a series of children’s books I worked on and is called Debt Dangers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF MARVELS OF MONEY:

Paul Nourigat views financial literacy as one of the greatest opportunities in America. For over 25 years, he has advised families and business leaders on financial strategies. Through these experiences, he learned of a strong recurring theme from adults …… Says the author …”Generally, most people wish they had learned more about personal finance earlier in life. Equally common is their deep desire to strengthen their kids or grandkids with such knowledge. But they struggle doing so because the topic is dynamic and intimidating.”

In late 2011, Paul released the five book series “Marvels of Money … for kids”, which are fully illustrated stories which instruct kids about distinct financial topics (earning, spending, savings, debt, giving, and technology) along the way. While using illustrations to engage the reader, each book is over 2,000 words, with age-appropriate depth on the financial topics and offering examples of the math which is used. At the back of each book are tips for parents in reinforcing the lessons learned by the kids in the books. The books can be found on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com and through links found on www.MarvelsOfMoney.com

Happy Writing and Reading!
Sue Balcer, JustYourType.biz

September 13, 2011

Featured Book of the Month: Heroes of the Stage: Country Serving Country

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 4:27 pm

I had the honor of designing and typesetting this book that features country music stars such as George Jones, Stephan Cochran, Kris Kristofferson and many others and has a special “Taps” section honoring those who have passed.

The book has many photos and interesting stories, some of which you will already know and others that will surprise you.

Some Editorial Reviews:

“A great book about the great country artists who served in the military.”
—Teddy Gentry from the country music super group Alabama.

“What a great read for anyone who wants to better understand the bond between our Service-members and Country Music Artists-they are often one in the same. As a recently retired Army Combat Veteran, trust me when I say that music truly does bring a little taste of home when you’re deployed to the badlands!
—Rick Brown U.S. Army 1st SG (Retired)

“You’ll be encouraged, inspired, and impressed by the touching stories, bios and interviews in Heroes of the Stage. Get this book!”
—Larry Broughton, U.S. Army Green Beret Veteran, Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker LarryBroughton.net

For more information and to purchase this book,
CLICK HERE.

Happy Writing and Reading!
Sue Balcer, JustYourType.biz

July 2, 2011

FEATURED BOOK OF THE MONTH: 7 Weeks to a Better American Accent for Native Mandarin Speakers- Volume 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 10:06 am

I had the pleasure of designing and typesetting this book that helps native Chinese professionals and students improve their English pronunciation. Below are some pages from the manual, and a review of the book by David Yontz, that includes a website where you can get more information.

Review for 7 Weeks to a Better American Accent for Native Mandarin Speakers- Volume 1
by David Yontz
7 Weeks to a Better American Accent for Native Mandarin Speakers- volume 1, published by Sovereign Language Press, is a fantastic resource for native Chinese professionals and students hoping to improve his or her English pronunciation. The series is divided into 16 tracks specifically targeted towards rectifying common struggles that Chinese speakers face when learning how to effectively speak English. The audio delivers helpful speaking exercises designed to improve aptitude and confidence.
Professionals will enjoy the series as they polish their business English skills, while students will be able to use the series to improve their daily interactions with Americans. This 16 track audio follows along with the 70 page workbook that is available from the publisher or Amazon.com. As author Tracey Ingram, M.A., M.S., states in the introductory track, this audio book promises to “…increase your understanding of the American accent, but encourage you to do the talking.”

7 Weeks to a Better American accent breaks down the basics of American stress patterns, vowels, consonants, and idiomatic expressions in a step-by-step model that allows the user to work at his or her own pace in developing a competent command of American English. Upon successful completion of the seven week program outlined in this audio publication, Native Chinese speakers will have internalized a foundation of basic tools to help them improve business relations, personal interactions, and day-to-day understanding of American English.

Greater presentation skills and a stronger command of business English will open the door to native Mandarin speakers searching for increased job opportunities, and, more importantly, provide a renewed since of confidence. In short, 7 Weeks to a Better American Accent for Native Mandarin Speakers is an accessible and comprehensive audio guide along with the 70 page workbook to speaking American English with confidence. This affordable series is worth exploring by any Mandarin speaker wishing to improve their American accent. For more information, visit www.7weeksbetteramericanaccent.com

Happy Writing and Reading!
Sue Balcer, JustYourType.biz

May 16, 2011

Featured book of the month: “Read To Me Bo”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 12:41 pm

Recently I had the pleasure of working with Wee Bee books on their delightful book, “read to me bo” about a little boy who loves books.
Here’s a brief description of the book:

“Bo loves books and stories, but sometimes everyone is so busy they do not have time to read to Bo.
What can he do? How can Bo hear the stories he loves so much when everybody is so busy?
Find out how Bo solves this problem!”

Visit the Wee Bee books website
http://weebeebooks.com/aboutus.html
to find out more about “read to me bo” and other wonderful books.

Sue,
JustYourType.biz

January 24, 2011

CRY FOR JUSTICE – wins “TOP 10 READER’S CHOICE AWARD for 2010″ for True Crime Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 4:58 pm

I am so very proud to announce that the book I designed and typeset, and my collegue and friend Sandra Martins-Toner wrote,
“Cry for Justice”, has won the True Crime Books “TOP 10 of 2010″ Reader’s Choice Award. Sandra poured her heart and soul
into writing this book and this award is well-deserved.

You can read more about Sandra’s books and her valiant efforts to help better the Canadian Justice system at her site:
http://thelastsixminutes.com/cry-for-justice

Congratulations, Sandie!
Sue, www.JustYourType.biz

December 12, 2010

Kim Cantrell, True Crime Book Reviewer on “The Last Six Minutes”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 9:52 pm

http://truecrimebookreviews.com/2010/12/the-last-six-minutes-sandra-martins-toner-matthew-martins/

Go to this link to read Ms. Cantrell’s review of Sandra Martins-Toner book, “The Last Six Minutes” about her son’s brutal burder in Canada in 2005.

The sequel to the book, “Cry For Justice” is also review by Ms. Cantrell.

Cover and Interior book designs by Sue Balcer
www.JustYourType.biz

November 29, 2010

I made it as a 2010 NaNoWriMo Winner!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 9:59 pm

I did it! And I am so excited!
My life’s work is dedicated to helping authors through the stages of getting their book, their “babies”, “masterpieces” aka manuscripts from finished manuscript as a raw Word Document through the design, layout, typesetting, and finally, to print-ready files, and this month I took a leap of faith to the other side of the fence.
I wrote my first book.
And as the Annual NaNoWriMo challenge requires, I had to write my book in 30 days and it had to be at least 50,000 words.
I finished today at approximately 4:30 pm, ET and have officially been declared a “WINNER” and I am basking in that honor as I type this.

My book is titled, “Apparently Sarah” and is in the Young Adult fiction readers category but would be great for ages 11 to 99+.

I read a lot and lately much of it has been Young Adult Fiction – the books are easy reading, much of it we can all relate to in some fashion, and they’re often filled with life lessons that are not preachy.

I am writing this post also to tip my hat to every author with whom I have had the pleasure of working with over the years — writing is a daunting process, particularly in the wee hours of the morning when you’re looking at a deadline and your brain or fingers just won’t co-operate! I have a great respect for you all!

The next step will be to have my book thoroughly edited and then for me to decide if I want to publish it publicly to the open market or for now, just have it be my personal “winning story” for the 2010 NaNoWriMo challenge.

Happy Reading and Writing!
Sue, book design and typesetting
ww.JustYourType.biz

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