Friday, February 1, 2008

Promotions and Sites

Yikes! This got away from me again. Well I decided to make a few changes in the information I’m providing. Instead of linking to the actual videos (sorry) I’m instead going to provide a listing of professional places that specialize in websites and book trailer videos as well as a few other tidbits that might be of interest. I’ll get to the actual author sites later.

Services like YouTube, MySpace and FaceBook are a few of the offerings although I’ve heard some people say they stay away from MySpace. A friend of mine finds it too trendy but I look at it this way – trendy or not it’s a way to reach people who may just buy your book. I’ve heard and read others say it’s too much for the younger crowd. Why is that a problem I wonder? And the younger crowd is also quite capable of buying your books so why alienate anyone or any service? Even one book sold is good.

Some of the video offerings are high quality others look like they could use some work. It’s always better to have experience and training. I learned HTML all self-taught but now I’ve gotten kind of lazy and use programs but if you would rather hire a pro you also have some good choices.

What works best for sites or videos? Bear in mind I’m far from being a pro on the subject. That depends I believe on what message you want to convey. I’ve read that the best thing to do is go with a paid service, which of course may be a little impossible for those of us who can’t afford such a thing. I’ve also added a few places that specialize in website creation with many of their clients also being writers. Some of the sites they’ve created are marvelous. If you’re doing it yourself you have to take many things into consideration only a few of which are:

• Content: What are you going to present? Just today I went to an author’s site because I saw their book on Amazon and thought the cover was intriguing. After scrolling down I didn’t see a description so I went to the author’s site and after looking high and low, couldn’t find what the book was about either! Three things, I believe are a must:

*Tell what your book is about.
*Where you can get it.
*When is the next one out?

If it’s in a series, give the order of the series. I don’t know about anyone else but it annoys me when I see a book and find out it’s the fourth in a series with no indication of that fact.

• Internet speeds. Be kind to those on dialup.
• Music or not? I’ve read many times people will pass by sites with music because they play their own music while surfing or the music is too loud, annoying, not their type of thing. I learned this the hard way when I first started making my own sites.
• Color scheme. How many of us have had our eyes burned out of their sockets?
• Fonts: Text size only goes so far.

If you want to go with some pros here are some places I’ve discovered by perusing some author sites I’ve enjoyed. Now I’m just presenting these places as a starting point and am not endorsing any of them in any way. I’m just providing this info because I plan on perhaps looking into them myself in the near future. It’s up to you to research and compare pricing, styles and services which I highly recommend. Go have a look around. You’ll find some really nice pages:

Webcrafters: I’m partial to the dark toned colors.
Xuni.com : Check out the before and after pages.
DreamForge Media : This was one of the first places I found.
Stonecreek Media: Another first. Does sites and trailers.


Looking for some unusual methods of promotion? How about this? Hmm – maybe I should keep this too myself –

Photo Stamps : Yes that’s right, get your book cover on a stamp. Nobody will notice you say? Maybe not – but what about the person that does? Not to mention this will make a good gift at a book signing along with the postcards and bookmarks.

Sites that I will call online book databases are popping up all over the net. They allow you to keep a listing of books you’ve read and their info and some even have reviews.

Book Place: Has books and videos. Also groups, photos and gadgets.
Library Thing: Online book database. Currently beta.
Shelfari: I love the name. Another online book database.

That’s it for now. I’ll keep looking for more and present them later. These should get you started. Please feel free to post your suggestions and ideas in the comments.

See you again soon,

CJ

2 comments:

COS Productions said...

Great blog! Very well done!
I want to mention the #1 book video production company in the US-
Circle of Seven Productions
http://www.cosproductions.com
They have videos that come with online distribution starting at $250.
And, to mention Reader's Entertainment TV, where authors can upload their videos for free if they contact REC TV.
Another great thing to look into are widgets. Those are the fun little things people put on their sites to spice it up. Many video sites such as YouTube or DailyMotion have widgets you can put on your site that are fantastic!
Oh yeah! And don't forget bookmarks! Furl, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc.
Sorry...but your post inspired me to think about promoting books. LOL

Sheila

CJ Black said...

Hello! Welcome to Black Satin and thanks for dropping by! Also thank you very much for the information about Circle of Seven Productions. No need to apologize -- I invite any information concerning book promotion. I'm going to look into your suggestions and add them to my next post. I'll also be adding links to the services I named.

Enjoy your weekend!
CJ