A writer friend posted two links in her blog the other day related to marketing and reviews. Now that I have had a chance to read them, I’m intrigued and thought it would be good to forward the information.
The first is an article on author branding. I can freely admit right now that my main interest is in writing stories, not promoting myself, which is why I have only sold a handful of books. However, someone out there might really benefit from this information, and this might be the year they go out and make a career based on their talents. Good luck in your endeavors!
The second article involves reviews. When you read a good book, do you tell a friend about it? Probably. Do you ever think to let the author know you enjoyed it? Probably not, per the article. After reading that bit of information, I vowed to be more thoughtful of others and give positive feedback where I could this year. After all, many people (not just authors) work hard to do a good job. Why not recognize their efforts?
Resolutions are great for some people, but I prefer specific attainable challenges over vague promises to do better. Knowing this, a friend of mine challenged me to render a piece of artwork, specifically to redo the cover for Sudarium this year.
You see, the cover for Stories from the Hut was done in one of my favorite graphic programs, and I actually designed it years ago in case I ever worked up the courage to promote my work in some manner. The covers for Maker and Sudarium, on the other hand, were created on the fly in a program never designed to do graphic work and it is a miracle I managed to coax anything resembling art work out of it. My friend thinks both covers give the impression the stories they represent are simple and somewhat childish, which isn’t the case.
So I am putting pencil to paper (mainly because I drew long before I could write or use a computer) and am having fun with the old school techniques. It’s actually been interesting to take these characters out of my mind and put them down for everyone to see. It has definitely been a challenge. After all, sharing my words with you gives you leave to see everything as you wish. Showing you what they really look like takes far more effort.
If the Sudarium cover comes out the way I want it to and represents the characters in the best light possible, I might do the same for the sequel due out later this spring. And finishing that sequel will be another challenge worth doing well. Wish me luck!