For Joel Friedlander’s Ebook Cover Design Awards (since I guess I have to pick one), I’m nominating the Season II, Episode 5 cover below:
In this, the 82nd episode, a rant about the why of the downfall of US democracy (well, one why), a taste of what The Little Book of Braingasms is like and a reading from the Hunger Games chapter of the crime novel, Higher Than Jesus. Brace yourself for glamazon ideation and deep reflections on addiction. Chill’s been stabbed and Jesus Diaz has to somehow track down Willow Clemont before the Fat Man and Lurch kill her. This could prove difficult. They’re somewhere in Chicago, but that’s all our luckless Cuban assassin knows. Lesson: Don’t get involved with arms deals with crazies.
This podcast is sponsored by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. Go check out his work. If you need a web banner or a book cover, he’s the Scottish man of your dreams.
Sorry this episode is late. Had to get a day job. Long story. Please donate to support the podcast or buy the books in the sidebar at AllThatChazz.com. And, by the way, Season One of This Plague of Days is now available in paperback! (Working on the same for Season 2.) To learn more about This Plague of Days, check out www.ThisPlagueOfDays.com.
Thanks for listening!
What else can you do to find readers for your books and give them the best chance in the Marketplace of Awesomeness? And what sucks? Here’s my take:
1. Are blog tours really doing it for you? Are blog readers converting to book readers? They should…but I don’t think they do nearly as much as we hope. If they did, I’d have certainly sold more books by now. Blog tours can work, but it takes a lot of work to provide unique content to each blog. Do that if you’re going to tour and hit the largest blogs first. (Also, once it’s posted to one blog, don’t repost it on your blog. Bad SEO.)
2. We complain readers focus too much on Free and reap the benefits without commitment. Oddly, we’re hoping to win over the world without paying a dime. We don’t have advertising budgets. It’s time to get real and set a budget and pay for help selling your books. Yes, we all want it to happen organically without extra work or money. We all just want to write. That’s not the way to bet. Grow up, stop wishing and spend money to make money.
3. Don’t do another author interview on yet another small blog unless you’re going to make it different and/or funny. Go for funny because those interviews all sound the same and yes, I know, we all drink coffee. I win for most caffeinated. What else you got? I’d rather hear about your choice of lingerie than endure another answer to the question: “How did you start writing and where do you get your ideas?”
4. Don’t do another blog post about how “content is king.” It’s either self-evident or it doesn’t really mean anything. I need more meat than that to click the buy button on your next marketing book.
5. Don’t ask me to read another interview with one of your characters. I might be interested in that, but only after I’ve already read your book, not before. I’d love to know what happens to the main character in Fight Club after the book hits “The End”. However, before I knew what that book was, he’s just be another guy struggling with macho bullshit issues and a sleep disorder.
6. Will you please just take my advice and get Kit Foster to help you with your book cover? Get a graphic designer to help you. Do not do this yourself. Don’t even do it yourself if you’re a graphic designer. Please! Sweet baby Jesus, I’m begging you! Help me help Kit help you! Great book covers do not suck. Bad book covers hurt you. We all judge books by their covers.
7. Revamp your website. Get a custom banner. (Kit does those, too. Look at the top of this page.) Also: White field, black type, no exceptions. Your pretty pastels and all those flowery serifs are repelling me from your site and making me squint so, perhaps unfairly, your book doesn’t get a shot.
8. Be bolder with your next book. Come up with a new angle. There are no truly original stories, but you have to find something fresh to sell us. Have you read a single description of a romance book that doesn’t sound like hundreds of other romance books? Do something different and experimental. Whatever you do: Stand up and stand out! Start thinking audiobooks, for instance. (But it’s still way too early to bother with setting up an app for your book. People aren’t using the medium that way in any numbers.)
9. Work harder with your editorial team. Expand your beta reader bunch. Make it cleaner. Don’t wait for perfection, but excellence will do nicely.
10. We write to be read. Shyness is not helping you. Do something to promote your books every day. Do not whine that this is necessary. If you aren’t going to promote, you may as well write for your desk drawer. That’s okay, if that’s what you want. (I sincerely doubt that’s what you want.) And stop tweeting book links without imagination.
11. Use video more. We are visual creatures, so use YouTube more on your website or try Vine. If they’re quick, video blogs are interesting. (WordPress allows you to do audio blogs pretty easily, too.) Reach people in new ways. Buy Six Seconds, The Unauthorized Guide to How to Build Your Business with the Vine App by Robert Chazz Chute. (I told you it didn’t pay to be shy.) The Vine app is an example of a new way to reach new readers. It’s video Twitter and the time to jump in early is slipping away. Join now.
In Part 3, Me: Full Throttle, I’ll show you how I’m reaching out to new readers in new ways. You could do this yourself or even be part of my strategy, if you’re cool enough. Are you cool enough? Click here.
It’s podcast #70! However, confidence shaken, join me as I go down the rabbit hole of angst and get past the ennui. Top secrets are teased; new podcasts, books and podcasts are launched; I talk about the glory of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men; writing contests, fear and gratitude. We round out the podcast with some What’s Cool News about a new app called Vine and I read one of my favorite chapters from Higher Than Jesus, my crime novel with a funny, luckless hit man.
Very astute readers might notice that, except for the final two chapters, every chapter title is a movie, usually something noirish.
Yes, it’s time for a reading by the author and Chapter 6 is called “Mean Streets”. So far in the story, Jesus has killed a man on Christmas Day in Chicago. The promised payment for the murderous deed doesn’t come through so he heads over to the God Eats Diner to see the client face-to-face and to get paid. Then our favorite funny hit man falls in love with the blonde glamazon Willow Clemont, the client’s daughter. Just as he’s about to ask her out, two guys with guns burst in demanding to speak to Willow’s father, Samuel Clemont, the wheelchair-bound former Marine. Jesus defends Willow, along with Chill Gillie, a very skilled bodyguard. We haven’t seen the last of the two thugs from the local gang, but in the meantime, Jesus walks Willow home and Cupid’s got them both in the cross hairs.
In “Mean Streets”, we finally find out a little more about Jesus Diaz’s childhood after he escaped that basement of terrors and enslavement in Miami. (For more on Jesus’s origins, get Bigger Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute.) Today’s instalment details how Jesus and Denny De Molina survived in Havana on the Hudson…and how Jesus got a taste for killing to survive.
Our sponsor is Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com. Consult him for all your graphics needs. Special thanks to Dave Jackson of The School of Podcasting for his help this week. If you need a new website or a new podcast, I highly recommend you get Dave’s help.
Music for today’s podcast was “Truth of the Legend” by Kevin McLeod of Incompetech.com. Awesome royalty-free music there. Check it out.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please review it on iTunes, buy my books. If you care to donate, I sure won’t stop you. Thanks for listening, in any case.
Blame the media over two outrages you probably won’t believe. Annoying grammar police shoot three and The Undercover Man, Chapter 4 of Higher Than Jesus pours you some hot coffee.
My mistake: The link to the Moment of Clarity podcast is actually leecamp.net (not the link I gave in the podcast. Here’s the link to Lee Camp’s video with more about the true perpetrators of the assassination of MLK. To donate a tweet to Lee Camp, go here.
Check out our sponsor, Kit Foster at KitFosterDesigncom. Excellent graphic artist!
Check out the Fitbit by clicking the affiliate link in the right sidebar. Click donate to help with bandwidth and best of all, buy the books by Robert Chazz Chute from the “Shop” menu.
Thank you and thanks for listening!
Video by Kit Foster of Kit Foster Design.com
True Story: I ran into a guy in the grocery store today I used to serve in my old job, the one before I started whisking people away to strange worlds. The last time I saw him, as he walked out the door, he said, “By the way, I won’t be buying your books.”
“But Self-help for Stoners is humor and suspense!” I protested. Now I’ve written a lot more books and they’re still not for the humor-impaired or the prissy!
(Sorry, E, but you hurt my feelings…well…you hurt my feeling.)
The paperback is out and yes, it’s BIGGER THAN JESUS! Note the endorsement from bestselling author Claude Bouchard! See the back cover, all designed by the great Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com!
The paperback is very much like the ebook…with a few changes to the text. If the ebook was everything you desired, but you prefer to have a book you can lick, then you too can own this book made of paper instead of pixels! (Strange, I know.) All for only $9.99! Order now and enjoy! And thus concludes this ad. Much celebration in the bunker this evening… Hey, kid. Pass the sacramental wine.
I saw a preliminary draft of the cover to Higher Than Jesus today. Wow. It’s going to be great. My graphic designer, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com, is a genius who read my mind on a couple of points about the cover. Playing art director is fun and Kit manages to cover up any trace of annoyance so maybe he really is that enthusiastic! He really is on a quest to make it perfect.
A couple of my notes from my email were:
The model is a “hooker hot” 7 and we need an “innocent-hot” 10, with peroxide blonde hair and bright red lipstick to catch the red in the title text. And is there such a thing as metallic red? I’m thinking of the kind of red that rich morons who buy really fast cars favor at midlife. Can we do that color?
There were many more demands about sexing up the cover. Oh, I’m terrible. Look for Higher Than Jesus in September. Get Bigger Than Jesus by clicking the cover below. The paperback is coming soon.