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A Very Different Episode of Writing Is A Bad Habit: Cashing In Some Chips a.k.a. An Open Request For Insights On Community And Promotion

For the few of you who have followed this blog over the years, you have seen the reviews I have written (almost a hundred now!) and the piles of writing articles and authorial musings I have put to electronic paper.  I hope by now I have established my desire to help out my fellow authors and writers, to try to provide services to help them improve and thrive, and be an over-all stand-up guy.  As this is a Wednesday, I would normally be adding to that pile of work with some fresh insights on writing.  Today, though, as the title indicates, is a very different Writing Is A Bad Habit, because I feel the need to turn the normal purpose of this series on its head.

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Monday Musings: The Quest For Sandwiches! a.k.a. Ethical Guerilla Advertising

The proper construction of a walking advertising prop is serious business.  It has to be lightweight yet sturdy, comfortable yet stable, and all of that.  The thing that I’m having to consider the most, though, is the exact nature of the message.

You see, I am a strong proponent of certain ethical boundaries.  My reviews are always scrupulously honest, I always try to keep my word, and all that sappy stuff.  So I find myself wondering just how far I should push my guerilla advertising.

Other authors and vendors have had to pay a fair bit more for the privilege of hawking their goods at the convention.  While you can argue that my pass cost isn’t that much less than an author’s alley spot with far less amenities, that pass was purchased with the implication of being a consumer, not a vendor.  So where should I draw the line?

I’m sure I’ll find an acceptable balance, as I did last year, but if you have any thoughts, feel free to let me know.  I welcome your comments and suggestions!

Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

Weekend Update: Sandwich Making a.k.a. Guerilla Marketing and You!

Just a quick update from Starving Author LLC headquarters, here in sunny (if cold) Pensacola:

  • I have a client and half (it makes sense to me!) book in the Starving Editor offices, but that leaves plenty more room for your fellow starving authors out there to engage my services!
  • There is a wealth of resources on the Internet for the making of wearable sandwich boards.  Gods bless the information superhighway!
  • Maybe this year I’ll be able to spring like a jaguar and actually GET A TABLE FOR PENSACON! … Seriously, I tried this year, but they sold out in, like, a month, well before I had the cash on hand.
  • If you’re an author in the same position (going to a con but unable to wrangle a table), you can still advance yourself.  Other authors and publishers are usually more than willing to talk shop.  If you make yourself identifiable in some way, you can still meet and engage with readers.  Or you can do what I do: all of the above, plus be a walking advert.  Your mileage may vary!
  • The Songstress Murders is still coming!  Editing is taking a bit of time to wrangle and the cover artist had a surgery to endure.  She’s okay and work is back on track, but it delayed the whole mess.  Still, I think it may be my best book yet, so it should be worth the wait.
  • You’re awesome!  If no one has told you that today, I’m your guy.

I think that about covers it.  Time to get back to the books I intend to review next Friday.  Until next time, good reading, good writing, and good luck!

General News: How to Identify a Starving Author at 20 Paces

It’s not much good to be in a crowd and not be recognized so I decided to utilize advanced pre-20th century technology to produce this incredible sandwich board device!

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If you’re at Pensacon today, look for this and you’ll find me!  Though starving, the smell of the delicious snack food in your hand won’t drive me to attack and I would love to chat.

Looking for Input: ‘My Books’ Page Design

For those of you with more experience with layouts and design (or if you just have an opinion!) …

I think I want to make the ‘My Books’ page here nicer.  I mean, right now, it’s just links to my profiles on Amazon and Smashwords and such.  Minimal functionality and, more importantly, no real flash for advertising my books.

Do you think a page with all the cover art, each with links to the book’s specific page on, say, Smashwords, would make for a better look?  Would it be too much graphically or just right?  If that sounds like a bad idea, what might be a better way to organize things to add to the flash but keep everything understandable?