Another cover!

Today wasn't very writing-friendly, but I had some time, so I decided to take a(nother) poke at the YA fantasy novel cover, incorporating some handy photos I took this summer of a volcanic wasteland. I haven't done text yet.

Getting the dragon to look like it belonged up there was probably the hardest part, and I'm not sure I've nailed it.

The back cover is just going to be another eerie photo, so it looks a bit abrupt in a layout, but as long as I do the spine correctly, it should look OK on an actual book:

I'll probably move the text box down and get rid of the plants in the foreground--they look a bit weedy there. Do YA novels usually bother with jacket copy? I'd definitely be psyched to do without....

The Bing ring

So, the Bing campaign just really isn't going anywhere, in large part, I suspect, because very few people actually use Bing.

That's from my Block B Web site. It's illuminating to have different window onto the Web, isn't it?

Of course Bing's solution to this is for me to not use so many "low volume search terms," but hey, I went down that road once before, and it was really expensive. So, I'm glad I did this, especially since it let me try out search-engine advertising for free, but I'm going to conclude that Bing is not an effective marketing avenue.

But I may look into Google....

Arrrarrrarrrarrrrarrrgh

OK--I thought I would be able to start writing again sooner rather than later, but it turns out that The Bank of Slowness and Non-Communication actually got something done (as a matter of fact, they did it A FUCKING MONTH AGO and didn't see fit to tell us), which means that I've got to focus on settling everything out from that.

I guess I should be happy that they managed to get anything done at all (you might think that your money belongs to you, but The Bank of Slowness and Non-Communication knows otherwise), but yeah--I really would have appreciated a heads-up. A MONTH AGO.

The Bank of Slowness and Non-Communication: We're on our own schedule, because Fuck You.

ETA: I should note that, despite the fact that the bank could have handled things better, I'm really happy with the change that was made--this is one of those things that is going to require a lot of attention from me in the short term but should make things LOADS easier in the long term.

 

This is not impressive

So far I have 11 keywords up on the Bing campaign, and this is the message I get for 10 of them when I check to see if the ads associated with them are being displayed.

Yeah, OK. I've already had to contact support because my account was "suspended" (not actually suspended, it just told you that it was, because that's good design), and at this point I'm feeling like the PIA factor is pretty ridiculous. I know it's been a while, but what I recall of advertising on Facebook was that it was truly "set it and forget it"--you weren't expected to ride herd on it to make sure it did what it had to do in order for the company to make any money....

And, by accident

Hey! I'm actually doing a little promotion, entirely due to chance! I wanted to improve the search-engine optimization for BlockB.com, so I signed on to the Bing Web administrator thingy, and they gave me a coupon for $100 in free advertising on Bing, Yahoo, and some other search engine no one actually uses, I don't remember what it's called.

I never tried search-engine advertising before (I mostly stuck with Facebook), but hey, it's free, so I figured I'd put in a little text ad for Trang. We shall see if it has any impact or is worth doing.

It will also be interesting because when I last did this three years ago, I got the best results by explicitly targeting Kindle users. It will be interesting to see if that helps this time around, or if people are just so used to reading on their phones at this point that it won't matter....

Progress report

Not a lot done today (and even less done yesterday because of other responsibilities), but I did manage to sketch out how the next scene is going to go. I'm pretty happy with it--in this volume some minor characters become a bit more major, so it's fun to flesh out how they're going to sound.

Progress report

A little busy today, but I looked over the earlier chapters (I'm quite a bit further along than I realized!), did some tweaking, and hopefully have set myself up for some good work tomorrow.

And then I'm going to have to get a shot, but fingers crossed that won't be such a huge deal now that it's been a month since my last one.

Go, sis!

My sister has taken the plunge and self-published a novella! It's called The Brother on My Back, and it's a Sherlock Holmes story (he's in the public domain)--but Sherlock is, like, 14, and it's set in the 1990s. Let's say there was considerable debate over whether or not she should just rename the character, but a lot of the storylines are related to the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, so she felt she could not in good conscience.

It's on Amazon, and she will be doing a five-day free giveaway starting Thursday, so give it a whirl, and if you like it, please review it! If you really like it, she's got others--I think three are basically written.

Now I remember why last fall was so unproductive

Yeah, the shots are...difficult. Last week was busy anyway, but this week isn't, and yet I can't focus. It's basically like dealing with a serious, 2-3 day hangover--I can run errands and do piddly crap, but anything that requires brainpower is hard. And then because I've lost so much time, when I do have a thinky day, I have to spend it on the other thinky things that have piled up.

I know I said I wasn't going to do shots twice a week, but there are only four shots left. Doing those twice a week would means just two weeks of living like major stoner, and then I should be back and able to write after that. So I think that will be the plan.

Non-progress report

Obviously things have gotten busier than I expected--we're actually implementing some of the stuff we've been wanting to do, so that's taken some attention (but should make life easier in the long run). That is winding down for now (although it will pop up again--all the players are on their own schedule), but I've also got my allergy shot coming up, so...it will be a few days before I can get back on Trials.

The shots may be more of a issue in the short term, because they got in a new batch of serum, and we're going to try getting me up to the normal maintenance dose. But I am not going back onto the twice-a-week shot schedule--that was just too hard, and because I'm already at a higher dose, there's no real benefit to doing it. So I'll try once-a-week, and maybe even drop back to once-every-two-weeks if once-a-week proves too much of a hassle.