2019 Marketing Goals: 3rd-Quarter Check-In

We have entered the final quarter of the year, and since I actually have a few meaningful updates to share, I wanted to check in on my marketing goals for 2019 as we hit the final stretch.

A few months ago, in my mid-year check-in, I revised my book marketing goals based on the (lack of) progress I had made to that point. Continue reading “2019 Marketing Goals: 3rd-Quarter Check-In”

Plagiarism and Copyright: The Dark Side of Publishing in the Digital Age

Those dreaded words. Plagiarism. Copyright. Infringement. Fraud.

Plagiarism of online work and exploitation of a person’s online profile and platforms are very real fears. As someone who can be very easily searched and found on Google in various results, I know this all too well. Continue reading “Plagiarism and Copyright: The Dark Side of Publishing in the Digital Age”

Poorly Written Headlines #4

This one was a sub-headline, but I still have issues with it.

Want to learn how to write good headlines? Check this out. Perhaps it’s time to write a post about creating good sub-headlines…

What this sub-headline does right:

  • Tells us the author’s purpose for writing the book… I guess?

What this sub-headline does wrong:

  • Takes a cliche expression and makes it blander.
  • Doesn’t actually tell us anything about the book.

History repeats itself, if we ignore history we are doomed to repeat it, etc. This sub-headline is essentially those cliche phrases except worded more poorly.

We can glean from this snippet (and the headline if you saw it), that this is for a historical novel. What type of history? That’s a mystery! (Not even the headline made that clear.) Maybe this book is really a detective caper where we have to guess which historical event it’s actually talking about, giving us clues along the way, but then there’s a big twist at the end!

The sub-headline of a press release is supposed to provide those little extra details that are just too wordy for a short snappy headline.

Here’s the how Google populates the press release I sent announcing that WoEM had been published. See that smaller text beneath the main headline? That’s officially called the meta description, but for a press release, that’s where the sub-headline would populate.

My sub-headline isn’t perfect, but it provides at least a little extra information. Notice how Google truncates it after about 150 characters? That makes it even more important that you front-load that summary with information that potential readers can act on.

What could be done differently:

Just rewrite the whole thing. Replace it with a description of the book, perhaps an actual piece of advice that could be taken from this mysterious history lesson. Or maybe tell us When and Where the book could be purchased.

As it currently reads, this sub-headline is effectively wasted space.

Steve D

Midway Check-In: 2019 Book Marketing Goals

We’re a little over halfway through the year, so I thought I would provide an update to the marketing goals I set earlier in the year for my book and this website.

To be fair, I haven’t given much thought to my book marketing goals since Awesome Con in April. Granted, I was much more focused on finding a job most of that time, but this will be a good refresher for us all. Continue reading “Midway Check-In: 2019 Book Marketing Goals”

Poorly Written Headlines #2

This has been a bit of a slow week, so I thought I’d do another edition of Poorly Written headlines. It’s been a while since I did the first of these, so here’s a refresher on strategies to writing good press release headlines and sub-headlines.

What this headline does right:
  • Tells us the author’s name and book title (both redacted)
  • Tells us the genre: action thriller
  • It’s at least 63 characters long (depending on the real author and title length), but the phrase parallel universe would likely be cut off in listing pages, so all we’re really left with is the Who  and the What
What this headline does wrong:
  • Describes the book as taking place in a parallel universe

This headline is more of a statement than a news announcement. It reads as if it was pulled from a descriptive paragraph and slapped into the headline.

Why does it matter that this book takes place in a parallel universe? The vast majority of speculative fiction takes place in some form of alternate reality, whether it’s our universe with some weird shit happening, or a completely unique fantasy world.

Try searching for “parallel universe” on Google and you’ll get 500 million results. Add “books” to that search, and the top bar will show works by authors ranging from Pratchett, to Asimov, to Pullman. The book named in this headline is not competing with those names.

What could be done differently:

Basically, the back half of this headline is fluff; it has no real meaning, and it’s not doing the press release or the book it’s promoting any favors by being so generic.

Instead, the author could hint at why this parallel universe is interesting, or maybe provide a news announcement, such as the release date. Here’s an example without completely butchering the format:

[Author’s] exciting action thriller, [Book’s Title], will be Released this Summer!

It’s not perfect, but it provides some valuable information to the reader–they should check out this book and add it to their summer reading list.

What do you think? How would you make this headline pop more?

Steve D

Quarterly Sales Report: Awesome Con was Awesome

Awesome Con was fantastic. I talked to a ton of cool people, connected with a couple authors, and sold some freaking books.

I wish I had the budget right now to do more conventions, but I’ll just have to be patient. At the very least, I can plan to be at Awesome Con again next year. For now, let’s have a look at how well my first novel actually sold at my first convention. Continue reading “Quarterly Sales Report: Awesome Con was Awesome”

Awesome Con is Here!

The day of reckoning has finally arrived. In just a few minutes, I’ll be heading down to DC for Awesome Con!

I have parking spots reserved for each of the next three days, and I got my books on time! These are the boxes I have to haul down there.

And here’s my actual merch, my newly printed matte-finish books and bookmarks!

I think the matte finish came out really well, even though it’s not as dark as the bookmarks–that was sort of the idea.

I have 35 books with me, which is probably way too many, but I wanted to have some extra anyway for whatever my next chance to meet readers will be.

I forewent buying flyers for “The Grand Mythos” or a banner, due to budget and time constraints (a.k.a., I’m unemployed, and I did not give myself enough time to prepare), so I printed some promo text on the back of these bookmarks.

I included a blurb for Aston and Jaed, a promo for “The Grand Mythos”, and some info on where people can find me. It’s not fancy, but it was easy to do and it gets the point across.

I’ll be posting pictures from the convention on my Imgur account: WardeOfEverfeld.

And I’m sure I’ll have tons to recap after the event. Today is an 8+ hour day, so I might be a wee bit tired. We’ll see.

Okay, no more delaying! I’m nervous and excited as hell. To Awesome Con!

Steve D

Awesome Con 2019 Prep!

Well, this week came up a lot faster than I had anticipated. We were off on our first road trip with Nugget for the last 10 days, visiting family in Michigan and Milwaukee. We had a great time, but now we’re back in the swing of normal life

Awesome Con begins on Friday, and I still have some logistics to work out. The countdown begins! Continue reading “Awesome Con 2019 Prep!”