November 13th, 2016

priest taking confession

Forgive me father for I have sinned. It’s been two months since my last blog.

Two months! But I haven’t been idle, I’ve been busy with the sequel Star Charmer and turning the knobs on advertising campaigns.

Marketing, that God-awful boring sounding business has actually been a little fun. It’s really like a game with rigid rules but a lot of knobs to turn. I’ve tried two ads on Amazon and one on Goodreads. here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • On Amazon you select an “Interest” to target the ad. “Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy” performed better than “Science fiction” but not by much.
  • On Goodreads you get something similar and choose between a set of authors versus a set of genres. I got 8.6 times more impressions using the genres than the authors. Maybe I chose the wrong set of authors. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Your mileage may vary.
  • Amazon ads got me a lot more clicks-per-impression(when an ad is displayed)
  • Amazon charges when a user clicks but Goodreads charges for the full campaign up front (Min $100)

I wouldn’t call it fun by any stretch of the imagination but it’s interesting at least. As Kristine Kathryn Rusch says in her book Discoverability, “The best way to sell a book is to write another book.”

On that topic, the Star Charmer story is going great. I have 30,000 words and I’m not stuck yet! I just switched the ending and I’m not sure I’ll keep it but so far I like the new one. The story has a completely new set of characters but takes place in the same “Post-A.I.” universe as Brains In Chains where most humans have become lazy hedonists. Wait that sounds pretty good to me. I’d like to be a lazy hedonist. Where do I sign up? But of course there’s impending doom. What would a story be without impending doom? They got up and played games all day and went to bed. The End. I won’t say too much here but you can expect space ships and robots. Oh, and impending doom.

As a completely non-book-related diversion I’ve been doing a Steampunk themed project. I just got a new iMac and rearranged my desk. So, the mess of cables really started to bother me. Here’s a before picture:

before picture of my desk

...and here’s my first idea. It’s just a piece of white PVC:

after picture of my desk phase 1

It’s better I suppose. But I’ve exchanged clutter for a piece of sewer pipe. A lateral move at best.

Here’s the next phase (unpainted):

after picture of my desk phase 2

I think I’ll add some old-tyme switches that don’t do anything and maybe some Victorian era crystal knobs along the top.

picture of an old tyme switchcrystal knob

The paint scheme I’m going for is this:

PVC cable organizer painted in Steampunk style

I’m usually terrible at painting so wish me luck!

Update Nov 27

I found a metallic paint called "Hammered" It's a little tricky to use but it does give a hammered texture.

spray paint with hammered finish
hammered finish look
cable organizer complete