Update on Today’s Giveaway of The Scent and Other Stories

As of 11:15 a.m. CDT, The Scent and Other Stories is #94 on Amazon’s list of free Best Sellers in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Literary Fiction. What impact does the cover design have on sales?

As of 11:15 a.m. CDT, The Scent and Other Stories is #94 on Amazon’s list of free Best Sellers in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Literary Fiction.

Ranking of The Scent... 16 October 2020

I am happy to see that people have an interest in it. I am looking forward to seeing the results of today’s giveaway after the numbers come in, which should be tomorrow morning, taking into account other time zones.

I have to ask myself if the new cover has anything to do with people’s interest in it. Looking at the diagram of today’s 100 best sellers in this category, the new cover makes it stand out from all the others. With a photograph of a young lady looking directly at the viewer on the cover, the book may have a subtle psychological effect on viewers, because the human mind has evolved to be attentive to faces and to remember intricate details in them. Her eyes are also big and open, which is characteristic of people who like or love someone they see. This may have an additional psychological impact, because the viewer finds himself/herself suddenly looking into the face of someone who likes him/her.

When I design covers in the future, I will try to orient them toward a photo of someone attractive who looks directly at the viewer and whose gaze says, “I like you.” I suspect people will tend to naturally remember this cover more versus covers of people looking away or not of a person.

I am considering putting out another edition of The Scent… just to change the title to make it pop up more often in search results. The primary place people search for keywords is in the title of a work. Ergo, critical keywords should be placed in the title. These should be keywords that reflect the intrinsic nature of the work. For The Scent… I am considering modifying the subtitle and swapping it out for the current title resulting in Stories from the Dark Side of Love: The Scent and Other Short Fiction. I will need to work on the subtitle more, but that’s an initial draft at least.

Let me know what you think.

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

Hasta luego.

Update of September 5: “The Interrogation of General Tsak” and the Search for Reviewers Continues

I have spent a long time writing a short story entitled “The Interrogation of General Tsak” and I finished it today. I can take a quick breather before I get back to Shadows and Stars.

Phil Slattery portrait
Phil Slattery
March, 2015

This is the story of a self-centered Air Force colonel who is interrogating a captured,princiled alien general after a failed invasion of Earth at the end of a decade-long war. It is 5,813 words in length.

As I wrote this off and on over the last several months, I kept discovering more and more nuances that I had to answer in order to avoid any plot holes. I really hate to leave any plot holes in a serious story. It makes me appear careless and unprofessional. I have finally worked them all out and the story is now intricately woven together like a weaver finch’s nest. I hope it holds together as well.

I had intended to spend the day working on Shadows and Stars, but over the last few days, I have had an inexplicable drive to finish this story and to cover all the minute details. I have spent the day doing that and running a few errands. I feel this is a story that will fall apart if something is overlooked.

I have submitted the story to The Dark magazine. I should hear from them soon.

One of the errands I ran today was to mail a copy of Nocturne to American Book Review. Hopefully, I will get a good review from them. Wish me well.

I spent a lot of yesterday researching getting my books carried by libraries. In order to be carried by a major library, a book needs good reviews in a respected journal. Unfortunately, I have been trying to find reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads and on various websites. I have also learned that libraries also prefer to purchase books from Ingram Spark or another wholesaler rather than directly from a website such as Amazon.

This is another reason I need to pursue publishing the print versions of my works with Ingram-Spark. I have started the process with A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. So far, I like the process more than I like the Amazon process. I have more control over how my final work will appear among other things. I will probably publish Nocturne with them next.

So now I am trying to find ways to be reviewed in a journal respected by major libraries. I am finding out that there several of these. Of course, each has a different submittal process. I will take it a step at a time as usual.

Photoshopped painting of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci wearing a medical face mask to prevent spreading COVID-19/Coronavirus
Prevent the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Major libraries also like to carry books that are in the Library of Congress. Unfortunately, for a self-published book to be carried in the Library of Congress, it must be submitted unpublished. I will have to give this a shot with my next self-published book, which may be another collection of my horror shorts. It might be another poetry book if I can find more of my poems from the 80’s-90’s.

Let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

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

Hasta luego.