Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Time's Up

My good friend, Tony Eldridge (unfortunately, it is a one-sided relationship ... I don't think Tony knows me from a pile of rocks) released a post the other day about the importance of setting your own blog posts to the time of day that best suits your blog readers (What Is The Best Time Of Day To Publish Your Blog Post?) Egad!

This is the same Tony Eldridge who provided info about how to gather stats for your blog (Seven Stats You Should Know About Your Blog or Website), which I tried and the task left me winded and limp for days. Now, I know Tony is only trying to help ... authors should treat their craft like a business, and I really do appreciate all the little tips I pick up from his blog ... and I suspect that one of the reasons he is an infinitely more successful author than moi is that he actually does these things ... but I'm still going to have to pass on this one.

Even if I could figure out the best time of day to release a post, meeting that time would be the show stopper. One of the main reasons I suffered so in the corporate realm were the mega-evil deadlines ... which I swear robbed more years from my lifespan than all the smoking and substance abuse ever did ... so, why would I willingly impose any kind of a writing deadline on myself ... blog post or otherwise? I suppose it's that kind of thinking that may ultimately doom me to being a bottom-feeder in the publishing world ... but a guy's gotta maintain his principles, right?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Check 'YES' if You Want to be My Friend

Browsing my morning emails and I come across one from Kindle Direct Publishing ... a newsletter of sorts ... and the first thing I see is: "John Locke Becomes the First Independently Published Author to Join the Kindle Million Club." Mr. Lock has sold 1,010,370 Kindle books ... well, that's as of this morning, could be up to 1,011,370 by now.  Over one million books ... holy shnikees!

Here's a quote from Mr. Lock: "Kindle Direct Publishing has provided an opportunity for independent authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the book selling industry ... Not only did KDP give me a chance, they helped at every turn. Quite simply, KDP is the greatest friend an author can have."

Hey, wait a minute ... I'm a Kindle author ... but, honestly, I don't think KDP knows I'm alive. So, my question is, how does one get to sit at the lunch table with the ultra-cool KDP gang?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Therein Lies the Rub

Oh, how sweet it was ... Santiago hit a double to drive in Martinez in the bottom of the 10th to squeak out a 2-1 win over Tampa Bay last night, which leads me to the topic of today's post ... well, no it doesn't, but I just had to get that in. What I was really meaning to talk about was a post by Edwin Crozier, that appeared on on Tony Eldridge's blog, Marketing Tips for Writers. Mr. Crozier outlined four principles about how to be the best writer you can be:

Break the molds

Disregard the prophecies of others

Write from your strengths

Write what you enjoy

I won't elaborate on these ... suffice it to say that, while not breaking any new ground, Mr. Crozier was on the beam ... but I did have a reaction to a statement from that last principle:

"Write about something you enjoy so much you'd write about it for free. Then write such good stuff that people will pay you for it."

I pretty much follow the first part of that statement ... if I'm not having fun with it, I just ain't gonna do it ... and I think my record pretty much demonstrates that I'll do it for free ... but what about that second part? According to Amazon, people have to pay BEFORE they know if it is any good ... and it has also been shown that they are just darned reluctant to do that ... and rightfully so, I might add.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, You'll Never Forget ...

I heard these two book reviewers on the radio discussing their must-read list for the summer book season ... that time of year when readers look forward to beach books with as much anticipation as movie buffs do the big cinema blockbusters. I know I do ... there's nothing like getting lost in a good read while sitting in a beach chair with waves gently lapping at your feet.

Well, if there is something as good, it'd be having your latest tome on those lists of warm-weather escapes, but I listened intently and lo, my latest little bon mot was not mentioned. How could they have overlooked such a gripping read?

All right, maybe it doesn't have a catchy title (read Diary of a Narcissistic Bloodsucker below) ... and I suppose the cover is not as imaginative as possible ... okay, there isn't a brand name author on that cover ... but is does have a cast of thousands and it is the funniest, saddest, most intriguing thrill-fest ever written.

Maybe next year ...

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Walk on the Wild Side

Following the blog link trail, I stumbled onto Alex Je. Cavanaugh's site and discovered that he is running this thing called 'It's All Fun and Games Blogfest' ... being the brilliant internet marketer that I am, my reaction was, 'huh'? So Alex done 'splained it to me ... it's an activity that bloggers participate in by doing whatever 'challenge' the sponsoring blog-meitster lays down ... in this case it's name your three favorite games. Evidently, the point of this is to help generate traffic to your website, so, okay, I'll play.

Most of the games I saw mentioned were computer oriented games, but I didn't see any parameters for TYPES of games, and, since I think the last computer game I played was Pong, I'm going to have to go off-line for this activity ... I hope that's okay with Alex. Anyway, my three favorite games are:

Golf - what can I say, it's what I do. Why? Probably has something to do with low self-esteem.

Baseball - I'm not sure this qualifies, because, it's not something I actually play (I was in Little League, but that was one or two years ago), but God help me, I love it so.

Pinochle - I haven't really played in while, but when I was into it ... I was into it. Primary reason I flunked out of my first semester in college.

Well, there you have it. I'm not sure I've done this properly, but aren't you proud of my effort?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Some Assembly Required

Feeling good ... feeling strong ... sun shining, finally hit on the correct ratio of beans to water for my new coffee maker, and still basking in the glow of the Tigers win over the Twins to take a 3 game sweep (how sweet it was) ... so I'm thinking I can handle a technological challenge that Tony Eldridge threw down on his blog yesterday ... tracking stats on my site ... things like page views, bounce rates, unique visitors ... you know, that stuff you were just dying to know about. So, following his advice I hustle over to Google Analytics and dig in. Here's what GA told me I should do:

Find the asynchronous snippet for your profile The tracking code is profile-specific, so you can only access it from the Profile Settings screen for that profile. Go to Analytics Settings and click "Edit" next to the profile used for your site. In the Profile Settings page, click the "Check Status" link. You'll see something similar to the code snippet below, where XXXXX-YY indicates the profile ID for your Analytics account.

That sound you hear is the air wafting out of my sails. Are you kidding me? Find the asynchronous snippet? Good thing that I really didn't care about those stats anyway.

PS. Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones drummer (par excellent), turns 70 today ... egad!