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 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.
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.
I created a new ad for displaying on Facebook today. Of course, I used the cover of A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror. I wanted to emphasize that it is out there waiting to be purchased, so in the biggest letters and in the most contrast to the background and to show the format that is most widespread based on my research, I put “Paperback Available Now”. I did not put it in all caps as some people might see that as (metaphorically) shouting at them and make them uncomfortable (ironic when you consider the subject matter of the book).
I then mentioned “print on demand” to suggest they probably won’t find it on shelves but can order it. I then listed the biggest chains where someone can find it.
Finally, I put “also available on Amazon Kindle at the end, because I am not emphasizing that as much as the print version or where it can be found.
To keep the text from seeming jumbled and to keep it varied, I put the most important points of my message in white, which has the highest contrast to a black background. Then I chose yellow, which will be a bit more subdued but still quite prominent for the rest. I chose black for the background because that seems to be the color most associated with death, evil, and all the other things a horror novel might encompass. Also, in my opinion, it makes the other colors pop out and it blends with some of the colors in the cover shot.
Of course I can use this in a lot of places besides Facebook.
Tonight I found out that on November 11, YouTube channel Typical Books mentioned A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror among its new releases in November. Check out the clip. My section is probably less than thirty seconds, but it is nice to be mentioned somewhere.
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.
I added three more headers to my rolling headers on the homepage of this website. Two feature well-known authors and one is advertising for my poetry collection, Nocturne.
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.
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.
I am beginning to see sales via IngramSpark that are better than I saw at Amazon. I will be moving more books to IngramSpark soon.
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 soldin 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.
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.
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.
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.
I am proud to announce that today three of my works of horror microfiction (“Shadow Men”, “The River of Lost Souls”, and “Walking through Downtown”) were published in The Sirens Call E-Zine.
I am proud to announce that today three of my works of horror microfiction (“Shadow Men”, “The River of Lost Souls”, and “Walking through Downtown”) were published in The Sirens Call E-Zine. Please feel free to take a moment to visit their wonderful online magazine. You will find my stories on pages 19, 53, and 54. You will also find an ad publicizing A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror on page 170, but it is the same one as I have on the homepage of my website.
I was going through my electronic files tonight and came across a couple of alternate covers for a couple of my works. I thought I would post them up just to show them off. I don’t think I have posted them before, but I might have. Let me know what you think of them.
Of course, once they are posted here, I will post them on Pinterest, thus generating a smidgen more publicity for the works shown.
Also, I have been working steadily on Shadows and Stars over the weekend. I am making some good progress. I am editing it page by page trying to get a reasonably complete draft. I think I will make it, but I don’t know when I will have it done. Right now, I am on page 71 of about 300. I really like what I have accomplished over the last week or so. I am trying to refine it down to a gnat’s ass with supporting details, clues as to what will happen (but not foreshadowing per se). Tonight I have been working on describing an alien carnival. I have to use my imagination to show things that set the stage for future events while saying something about the nature of the alien society. It’s quite an interesting journey. I get to visit a fiesta on another world–at least in my mind.
Take care and hasta luego. Wear your mask.
Let me know what you think of the covers. I might use them some day.
Contrary to what are probably well established principles of writing, I will start this article off with a side note, which I foresee as setting the tone for this morning. It’s 11:46 and while I wait for the oven to heat up so that I can bake my croissants (small ones from Pillsbury with black tea–my favorite breakfast of late), I am watching Better Than Food.
If you are not familiar with it, Better Than Food is a book review channel on YouTube that is hosted by Clifford Lee Sergeant. He reviews books from all periods of history. I enjoy his reviews a lot because he is passionate about them and can discuss the book’s structure, plot, characters, everything a writer would need to know to select the best books to read. Today, Clifford is reviewing The Sound and the Fury, which he says is one of his favorite books.
I started reading The Sound and the Fury a few years back, but, even though I was enjoying it, became distracted and wandered off onto others. Based on the little I read, which was probably ten pages at most, it is beautifully written. I have wanted to go back to it since, but haven’t sat down long enough to focus on it as it deserves. I have a print copy and have been into audiobooks for some time, which I can listen to in my car. Right now, I have Gogol’s Dead Souls, in my car, which I am not far from finishing, but the second book is not as entertaining as the first, so it is difficult to focus on it.
So much for the side note/tangent.
Back to the tangent. I took a break from writing this to have breakfast.
The last time I made croissants, I added about half a teaspoon of ricotta cheese to a couple of them before I rolled them up. I did it today with most of the croissants. The cheese becomes hot but does not melt (350 degrees at nine minutes). I eat the croissants with butter and just a little grape jelly. Combined with black tea this is a nice way to start a Sunday morning.
Why am I mentioning all this? Answer: marketing.
I am finally coming to realize that the Internet is a vast library where one searches not for books but for words. If I write a book that is stocked by a library, people come in and search for a topic the book covers. But with the Internet, they may search for a word (or phrase) and be led to a lot of books, which may not be what they were looking for, but which they might find interesting anyway.
Ergo, an avid reader of science fiction, let’s say, may be searching for a new filling for her croissants. Then she comes across this page and finds out about an upcoming sci-fi novel called Shadows and Stars. She decides to follow me and keep up with the updates on Shadows and Stars. She also finds out that I have written other stories, including sci-fi ones, and buys one or two to check out my writing style. If all goes well, I have a new fan that will pre-order Shadows and Stars when it comes out.
What are your thoughts on this strategy?
But, finally, on to the brief note about Shadows and Stars that I originally set out to write.
By the way, this is how I get onto tangents and why I haven’t finished reading The Sound and the Fury yet.
I am at 148,517 words for Shadows and Stars at this moment. I finished filling out a chapter yesterday that has been bugging me for a while. There are some other plot holes I hope to fill in today.
I want to finish this up asap without making it read as if I finished this up asap. So, from here on, I am going to focus on removing as much as I can to bring the final draft down to about 100,000-125,000 words if possible. If I can’t bring it down that far, Shadows and Stars will be concise and tightly written with an intricate plot and good character development if nothing else. Filling out the plot holes will probably add at least 1,000-2,000 words, so I will have a lot of cutting to do. Let’s see if I can pull this off.