Update: The Chamber Gift Shop and Cover Art

Yesterday, I remodeled, so to speak, the Chamber Gift shop by eliminating all the dozens of individual items and installing six collections, which is a feature Zazzle has, in which merchandise is grouped around a theme. Now instead of having to scroll though scores of individual objects, a reader can choose one of the six collections (The Chamber Magazine Collection, Famous Authors Collection, Quotes from the Darkness Collection, Cyberpunk Collection, Steampunk Collection, and The Dark Collection) and go directly to the page for that them. Alternatively, he/she can just follow the link in read above the collections to the homepage of the The Chamber’s Zazzle page and peruse everything.

I also added a block below the collections to my books (both fiction and blank notebooks/ journals) on Pinterest. Clicking on a book will take you to the Pinterest entry on that book. Click on the Pinterest image and you will be taken to the Amazon page for that book, where it can be purchased. This is just a short, easy way for visitors to see the works available and to go to Amazon while I develop something a little grander and easier to use.

I also took all of The Chamber’s cover art, which is that widget in the upper right of the website, and collected it onto another page. Although I have fun creating these covers, it does take some time and effort and I hate to see each of these viewed by the public for only a week or two and then to disappear forever. So, I put them all in one page, which I will update periodically. I also linked this page to The Chamber, so they can be found there also.

Hopefully, I will be making a few more changes soon.

Minty Comedic Arts and the Scariest Ice Cream Commercial

As you may know, I love YouTube. I watch it instead of regular broadcast TV and even in place of cable/pay TV. Its 10-15 minute programs really appeal to my short attention span that wants to hop constantly from subject to subject.

Just now, I finished watching one of the weirdest yet also one of the best YouTube videos I have seen.

This is on Minty’s Comedic Arts, a YouTube channel based in Australia and which focuses movie reviews, usually along the lines of horror. This is one of my favorite channels. Mark Bishop, the host, does a terrific job of bringing out the fascinating highlights of movies while still being entertaining.

Tonight (I saw it tonight; the video was actually produced two years ago), Minty talked about the scariest/ weirdest commercial he ever saw. Now that I have seen it, I have to say that it is the scariest, weirdest commercial I have ever seen.

I bring it up here, because it is somewhat dark and it was influence by famed horror filmmakers such as David Cronenberg, director of ScannersVideodromeThe Dead Zone, The Fly, A History of Violence, Eastern Promises, et cetera.

This video is so weird yet so brilliant in so many ways. I love the way Mark Bishop presents this in a way that is quite suitable for the bizarre nature of the film.

I will stop here. Watch the video. Let me know your impressions.


New Pinterest Ad for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror

The ad I uploaded recently was too small to work well with Pinterest. Therefore, I created this one. Let me know what you think. I also created a new feature image, which is at the bottom of the page. The feature image will be primarily for use on WordPress. Both are currently linked to Amazon. I designed it for maximum impact with the simplest possible design to evoke an emotional impact while getting across the most essential information. In the Internet age, anyone wanting to know more can Google the title or my name.

Marketing: New Headers for the Website

The other day I was surfing through Pixabay.com searching for header material, when I came across some strikingly beautiful abstract designs. Tonight I created some headers from them. Let me know what you think. I think that by making my website more appealing to the eye, I will attract more visitors and thus more potential buyers of my works.

Where You can Find A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror

Because Ingram Spark has a famously huge distribution network, lately I have been searching book retailers worldwide to find out exactly where A Tale of Hell… is being sold.

This in not just out of curiosity. I have a practical angle. I will use the information I glean in publicizing where to find my works (some of the retailers are apparently on Amazon’s distribution network, because I find my Amazon works there as well).

My theory is that it is one thing to say “My works can be found in many retailers.” It’s another to say , ” My works can be found at Powell’s Books”, because fans of Powell’s will key on to that, because it’s a place they like to go for whatever reason. Whereas a Powell’s customer may not like Barnes and Noble, so saying that it can be found at Barnes and Noble will probably have little to no effect on the Powell’s customer. This is a matter of appealing to customer loyalty.

Cover of A Tale of Hell by Phil Slattery

This is also a matter of customer convenience. A Powell’s may be across the street, while the nearest Barnes and Noble may be across town. As I try to utilize the full power of the Internet, mentioning where my works can be found in other nations works on the same principle.

In any case, for the sake of your convenience and/or curiosity, here is my list as of today, November 22, 2020. I will be adding more to it.

Click on the link to go to that retailer. Most of these will take you to the latest print copy of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. A few retailers will also carry one or more of my other works. I was having problems with the Barnes and Noble link for whatever reason, so it is broken as of this posting, but you can find my works there.

I am keeping a running list of the retailers carrying my works on a separate page on my website now. Follow this link to go to it. Be sure to bookmark it.

Walmart

Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million

Powell’s Books

Joseph Beth’s

Thalia (Germany)

Hugendubel (Germany)

Booktopia (Australia)

Blackwell’s (United Kingdom)

Half Price Books

Amazon

Protect yourself and your family over the holiday season.

New Ad Concept: The Scent

I decided to toy with marketing by creating posters for my short stories. The basic idea is just to quickly create something that will grab people’s attention and get my name in front of them. If they read the story, which can be found online, then maybe they will like my writing style and look up my other stories and buy my books. This particular story can be found in my collection The Scent and Other Stories. Note the link goes directly to where you can purchase a copy.

I can create a poster like this in only a few minutes. So I can create one while on the phone with someone or while killing time while waiting for my wife to finish dressing, etc. Then I put them on this website with the appropriate tags and then on Pinterest where people go to find beautiful posters and art.

The original photo is by Ashley from Pexels.com. I photoshopped it in a few minutes to give it a haunting, dreamlike feel, which is appropriate for the story.

Note also that I used the poster to create a header for another little bit of advertising.

Comments?

Marketing: Three New Headers

I added three more headers to my rolling headers on the homepage of this website. I am becoming a bit more proficient with Pixlr. Instead of simply cropping a public domain photo, I created a background and pasted a photo on it along with text. I will start adding more headers with photos of my favorite authors. This may bring a few more visitors when my site pops up in search results for these authors. Of course, I am including the authors’ names in the metadata for the photo so that it will be searchable.

I also created a header for my poetry collection Nocturne, but with this I again cropped a public domain photo and added some text. I am not real happy with the lower text stating Nocturne‘s availability. The color does not have enough contrast from the background in part of it, but I didn’t want it to distract too much from the title either.

Let me know what you think.

Gogol
Nocturne Love Poems

Marketing: New Headers for My WordPress Website

I am taking full advantage of randomizing the headers on my WordPress website. The headers I have developed so far are designed primarily to be attractive and to identify the website. However, soon I will be developing more headers that will promote my books with one header for each book. If I am feeling creative, I may start developing more than one for each book. Below are the ones I have so far.

Note that posting them here, a button pops up to post each on Pinterest. That is another I am putting them all here. After posting them, I will post each header on Pinterest too for even greater exposure.

I like to kill two marketing birds with one stone.

I am learning a few tricks as I go. The biggest one is to keep the text to the vertical center of the banner, because the header frame may crop the tops and bottoms a little.

All the photos are from the public domain, either pixabay.com or pexels.com.

For my photo editor for cropping and text I use Pixlr.com, which is free.

These are very easy to do and improve the look of the site immensely and keep the site from being boring by repeating one header image endlessly.

Comments?

Slattery Magazine
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Also my new banner for LinkedIn as of August 19, 2020
new twitter banner
Also my new Twitter banner
Slattery's Magazine

Comments?

Update November 6, 2020: Sales of A Tale of Hell…

Just now I checked my IngramSpark account to get the ISBN for A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. I was pleasantly surprised to find that since having published A Tale of Hell… on October 21, I have sold five copies (including one author’s copy I bought at a discount). This is definitely more print copies (and probably more than the number of Kindle versions) than I ever sold in four years on Amazon. I did give away a lot of Kindle versions as promotions. So, maybe the promotional giveaways are working in a weird, ironic way.

I have no indication of where these were sold or who bought them.

I have always thought that Amazon prices its print copies so high that it drives customers to their Kindle versions. Its print copies are not great nor vey professional in their quality. These factors also undoubtedly drive customers to Kindle.

Yeah, branching out to IngramSpark was a good idea.

I will therefore be moving Nocturne: Poems of Love, Distance, and the Night, a callous and disinterested lover to IngramSpark soon. I have already started a draft there. I will start looking at moving the e-versions there as well.

Thank you very much to those of you who have purchased a copy.

For those of you who haven’t yet bought a copy, IngramSpark distributes to over 39,000 book retailers worldwide. Ask for one at your local bookstore. I am researching which stores do sell these. So far I have found that you can get them through Books A Million (though these may be just the Amazon version), Barnes and Noble, and Powell Books. These are print-on-demand, so they probably won’t be on the shelves. You will probably need to order them.

Please retweet or share this article with your friends.

Cover of A Tale of Hell by Phil Slattery

My Works are Available at a Book Retailer near You

Since I published A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror with IngramSpark, I am going to different bookstores online and searching them for my works. Just now, I found that Powell Books can order my print books. I know Barnes and Noble can get them as well. I will keep you updated as I find more. IngramSpark is supposed to make my works available via print on demand to over 39,000 retailers. Ask your local bookstore for them.

Happy Halloween!

Here’s wishing each of you a fun Halloween!

Phil Slattery portrait
Phil Slattery March, 2015

As you no doubt noticed, I have selected another theme style for my website. After having had the last one for several years, I re-evaluated it and decided to improve my marketing and branding by improving the readability of my website. Therefore, I chose a simpler design (not surprisingly called “Hemingway Rewritten”) with higher contrast then enlarged the font and simplified it by going with a non-serif similar to Word’s popular Arial. I also designed a better header in which I used a public domain image available from Pixabay.com. I think these few touches will improve its readability greatly. I will be tweaking the website over the next few weeks. Though it is still way too early to tell, I may be getting a few more visitors than usual this morning, but we will see how it’s going after a week.

Let me know your thoughts on the new design and if you have any recommendations.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and follow.

Hasta luego.

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Prevent the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19 for the sake of yourself, your friends, and your family.