Tag Archives: marketing

The Future of This Blog and More

Have you noticed how quiet I’ve been? I think I lost my way. But never fear, I am coming back and stronger than ever. There are going to be some changes around here, some streamlining, and a much stronger focus.

I started I Read Encyclopedias for Fun to review books and use as a means to launch my writing career. Somewhere along the way, I started talking about other things, stopped writing, and even stopped reviewing books. The only thing that really kept going was Authors Answer, which I haven’t updated in quite a while.

The last three months have been a trying period. So many things have happened that took priority. Surgery (not me), health issues (not me), employment issues (me!), a new puppy, and a complete reassessment of what I want for myself and my family in terms of business and creative endeavours. I haven’t been very active in the blogosphere, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. That will change.

This blog is very important to me, and important to my future in writing. But this goes back to early 2012, and the whole reason I started this blog. As a platform for me to showcase my writing, talk about the publishing industry, and, this is extremely important, make like-minded friends. I feel I did the friend thing, and I am happy for all the people who have helped out and contributed to this blog in Authors Answer.

But I should get to the point. What’s going to happen?

The Blog

The blog will be given a mild makeover. Actually, the theme will stay the same, I’ll just redo the banner. I want it to focus more on the book and writing aspect of things. The topics I write about will change. Actually, they’ll be more focused on the core of this blog: writing and books. I’m going to take the time and actually write fiction. I will talk about the writing process. I will talk about my writing progress. I will give little insights into what I’m doing in my writing. I will talk about world building once again. This is a very important and interesting topic to me.

Authors Answer is going to go on an indefinite hiatus. It’s become increasingly difficult to think of topics to talk about every month. It may come back in the future. Actually, I want it to come back in the future, as it’s been a staple on this blog for three years. I think it needs new and fresh ideas, though. There are three posts I still have to make, and I’ll be doing them on every Friday for the rest of this month. Unfortunately, due to all of the events that have happened since summer ended, I didn’t take the time to get my traditional “big authors” to contribute to the anniversary question. This time, it’s only focusing on the core contributors of Authors Answer, and to be honest, they deserve the spotlight. I can’t thank the contributors to Authors Answer enough. You don’t know how much I’ve appreciated you all.

Expect to see a bit of an integration between my main YouTube channel and this blog, as well. But it’s nothing new. I plan to post each of my book-related videos to this blog, but I will have a lot of things to say, as well. I won’t just post the videos. They’ll be a part of a blog post, not the purpose of the blog post.

YouTube

That takes me to my other creative outlet, YouTube. I’ve been focusing a lot on my channels, especially in the past couple weeks. I have three channels that I will be uploading to regularly. Only one of those channels will be talked about on this blog regularly, though. In case you don’t know about them, here’s your chance to discover them.

Jay Dee Archer is my self-named channel, and it is my book/writing/scifi/fantasy channel. I do talk a lot about Star Trek and things like that, but that’s my main non-bookish series (except the Japan videos). This is the channel that I will be posting videos of, but only the book-related videos (except Star Trek). That is actually my “official” author’s channel, so it is highly relevant to what I talk about on this blog. The reason I will continue posting my Star Trek videos here is because that series is a huge influence on my science fiction writing. It’s been an important part of my life since I was a kid, and I will not stop talking about it. Anyway, click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to go to my channel and subscribe.

Science: Not Just a Theory is my second channel, and the one that requires the most resources and time to produce videos. As a result, I’ll only be doing one video a week for now. I don’t want to take too much time away from my writing, but this channel requires a lot of research and plenty of editing. The main focus is space, but I will talk about other sciences, as well. It’s also the channel that has the largest potential for growth on YouTube, and as a result, could be a major source of income for me. While the prospect of it becoming an actual business for me is quite possible, I do this channel because I love science and want to promote the importance of it to people, as well as show how it can be very interesting.

Tommy and Dad is my third channel, and this is a more relaxed family vlog featuring my daughter and I. I’ve started vlogging on it just this past week, and hope to maintain regular uploads at a pace of around videos per week. This channel requires the least amount of time to edit and produce videos, so I can do them more frequently. I don’t do anything fancy. Just record, edit the clips together, and post to YouTube. It’s more of a fun thing for my daughter and I, but it also has a lot of potential. If you’re interested in seeing a bit about my life with my daughter, then check it out!

Business

I am taking a business-like approach to a lot of things now, because I want to provide a secure future for my family. But it’s also important to enjoy doing what I do. I don’t write or make YouTube videos for money, but if I can focus and make it into a business, then I will. Over the past year, I’ve been doing a lot of research on SEO (search engine optimization), marketing, and promoting. I need to do a lot more to become good at it, though. The promotion of this blog, my writing, and my YouTube channels is important, and I will do my best to get them out there for people to discover. At least I won’t be spammy about it.

There are other avenues I’m looking at. For my science channel, I’m using Patreon, which I have yet to promote. I’m going into Patreon not as a way for me to ask people for money. No way. Wrong approach, and I definitely don’t like that way. It’s a business platform, as well as a community I want to develop. I’ll be offering value to it. There will be perks for Patrons, and depending on how much a Patron contributes, the perks increase. It will also allow me to improve the videos and devote more time to both making videos and writing. As the channel is educational, I believe it has a lot of value for people. There are exclusive benefits to being a Patron, such as behind-the-scenes videos, input into the production of the videos, private discussions about science, and opportunities for discounted merchandise.

And that brings us to merchandise! I’ll be opening a Cafe Press store to sell science, education, and literary themed merchandise. You might want a mug, or maybe you want a t-shirt. I’ll have those and more. I hope to launch the store in the next couple months.

What do you think?

So, what are your thoughts about this? What kind of merchandise are you interested in? Do you have any video ideas for any of my channels? And what kind of bookish/writingish (I made that up) blog posts would you like to see in 2018? Leave me a comment! All the feedback you have is greatly appreciated.

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Making a YouTube Channel More Attractive

I’ve just started doing the Get Discovered course on YouTube’s Creator Academy. And one thing stood out: it’s incredibly easy to verify your account! Now that I have a verified account, a lot more things are available to me. One of the most important things is custom thumbnails.

You see, I’m trying to make my channel and videos more attractive to people. This includes things like using appropriate tags, making straight-to-the-point video descriptions, attractive titles, and custom thumbnails. There’s one thing I’ve already added, and that’s a watermark. You’ll notice it on the lower right-hand corner of my videos, and if you hover over it, you can go to or subscribe to my channel.

I still have a lot more to go through in the course, but another thing I have planned is to get all of my videos sorted into playlists, and have them available on my channel, so the latest videos in each series are easily found.

Studying about improving my channel and videos has been very interesting. I’m going to do a lot more to maximize the potential of my channel. Of course, I’ll keep making videos. But don’t worry, I’ll be spending more time on writing than on videos. Writing is my number one priority.

If you have a YouTube channel, why not share it in the comments below?

Should You Directly Sell Your Books on Social Media?

When you go on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, do you enjoy reading ads? Probably not. This has been one of my main problems with how I use social media. That’s changing, and I’ve seen the results. While I do publicize my blog posts on social media, I’ve been sharing/retweeting others’ posts, as well as just talking and socialising on social media. On Twitter, that’s resulted in more than doubling the rate at which I gain followers. I don’t use it as an advertising platform anymore. I found this recording of a Google Hangout by Author Hub, and it has some good advice about using social media to sell books.

What do you think? And how do you like Ashley Hewitt’s moustache? Let me know in the comments below.

Improving My Social Media Presence

One of the most important parts of being a self-published author is marketing. And one of the best ways to market is by using social media. But you have to have a pretty good reach and a lot of luck getting people to share your book. At the moment, I’m not published, but I am often marketing my blog posts and videos. I need to improve how I use social media.

Twitter

Today, I’m starting with Twitter. The potential of Twitter is great. Although I have only 3,310 followers, if someone with twice as many followers retweets one of my tweets, my audience grows drastically. It’s a dream for someone who’s marketing their own content for it to go viral. But how do you do that? Well, you need to either have an influencer retweet your tweets or become an influencer on Twitter. These people have a lot of followers who love to share their Tweets. I found a couple resources which seem to be pretty useful. First, there’s a website that provides a list of websites that help you find influencers. The second one is a website that gives you forty steps to become an influencer. I’m going to be trying these out.

What I’ve begun doing is interacting more with my followers. Talking to them, retweeting them, and liking their tweets. If they’re a new follower, I retweet one of their recent tweets. I plan on starting up some lists, as well. And I want to find some influencers who regularly interact with their followers.

YouTube

This is my second focus at the moment. I’m going to be setting up my channel to be more orderly, so there are several sections on my main page that make it more organised and easier to find certain content. I’ll be making videos more regularly, too. I’ll be sharing my videos on social media, and I’ll be commenting on others’ videos.

Facebook

I’m still working out how to increase the popularity of my Facebook page, but I plan on interacting more and providing more interesting content that you don’t find on the blog.

Those are the top three social media sites I use. There are others, of course, and I regularly use them, but I don’t focus as much attention on them as these three. You can only spend so much time using social media, so you have to choose the ones you have the best results from.

Do you have any tips for using social media? What works for you? Let me know in the comments below.

What Defines a Successful Blog?

Blogging can be a hobby, a platform for selling something, or it could be a job. But what makes a blog successful?

My short answer: You enjoy doing it. That’s it. The numbers don’t matter.

But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the numbers. The numbers are fascinating for me. I like to see them go up, but this isn’t because I have an ego to stroke. More views and more followers mean my network grows and my ability to get my books out to more readers improves. It’s an important factor for my future livelihood.

If we look at the numbers, there are several to consider: views, followers, likes, reblogs, and comments. They all show something positive.

  • Views: The more you have, the more popular your blog may be, or you’re just good at marketing your blog.
  • Followers: Another measure of popularity. Or maybe you follow a lot, so they follow back.
  • Likes: If they like the post, then they click on like. Or they click on like merely because they saw it in their newsfeed without even reading it.
  • Reblogs: Someone really likes your post! But I find that these aren’t nearly as common as the other factors.
  • Comments: People want to talk about what you posted. What you said inspired someone to say something. It means your message is getting out to people and they want to engage with you.

Personally, I think the most important measure is comments, especially if many of them are your own. This means you are active, interested in your readers, and attract readers. They want to talk to you. Views are good, especially if you have a lot of return readers. You can easily tell this by your comments section. You want people to return. But I believe comments are the greatest indicator of your blog’s success.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below (see what I did there?).

Using LinkedIn More Effectively

I think it’s time to improve my LinkedIn profile and expand my network. I’m going to start using the social network to promote myself professionally, as well as this blog and my writing. But I’m thinking about how to do that.

First of all, if you’re interested in connecting with me, you can find my profile here and add me as a connection.

Secondly, I need to flesh out my profile. That includes past jobs, responsibilities, write more about my education, and more. But another thing I’m thinking about doing is starting a group related to this blog. But what should I do with it? Should I make it about this blog? Or should it be about Authors Answer? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

One-Sentence Summaries – Part Two

Yesterday, I posted three one-sentence summaries of future books or series I’ll be writing. If you haven’t read it yet, take a look here. This time, I’ll be writing a few more.

The Knight of Ariadne: Book 1

This is actually the original story I had created along with the map of Ariadne long, long ago. It’s one of my most developed stories, but it won’t be the first written. The title of the trilogy has two meanings, which I’m not going to tell you. Sorry, it’ll be revealed in the book.

  • Character: A young man with enormous power
  • Conflict: Infiltration of Earth forces into the Knights
  • What’s at stake: Freedom and a way of life
  • Action: Train to be a Knight and stop the spies
  • Setting: Ariadne

One young man must become a Knight and use his powers to stop the infiltration by Earth forces, who are determined to undermine freedom and a peaceful way of life.

Not sure what to say here. I think it needs some improvement.

The Knight of Ariadne: Book Two

This is, of course, the sequel. It’s a continuation, but is itself a self-contained story.

  • Character: A young Knight (same character as before)
  • Conflict: A cult-like group saps the energy of other people to plunge Ariadne into chaos
  • What’s at stake: Peace and order
  • Action: The Knight takes charge of a company of Knights and discovers the extent of his powers
  • Setting: Ariadne

Many people fall victim to a cult-like group of energy vampires, while a young Knight uses new powers along with his companions to preserve peace and restore order.

I found this one tough to write. What do you think?

The Knight of Ariadne: Book Three

This if the final part and will bring to close this trilogy. However, it marks a big change in the world, and leads to some interesting future stories.

  • Character: A young Knight (same guy as before)
  • Conflict: The Earth-loyal faction returns to release an alien biological weapon and gain control of an unlimited source of energy
  • What’s at stake: Millions of lives
  • Action: The Knight and his partner seek the Earth-loyal agent to prevent him from achieving his goal
  • Setting: Ariadne

Bitter after repeated failures to control Ariadne, the Earth faction sends its best agent to release an ancient biological weapon and gain control of an unlimited source of energy, but a young Knight and his partner must risk everything to stop the deaths of millions.

Although the third one is longer, I feel more satisfied with it. Oddly, I have an impression of James Bond when I think of the actual story.

What do you think of these three one-sentence summaries? Let me know which ones work for you, and which don’t. I’ll have more for my fantasy stories soon in part three. The comments section below is at your disposal.