Unfortunately, the Goodreads Giveaway Widget doesn’t work on WordPress, but anyway …
I am doing a Goodreads Giveaway of the paperback version of Dragon City, five copies to be shipped to winners picked at random by Goodreads, but the epub ebook version is also available for free from Goodreads consisting of all four books in the series: Snapdragon Alley, Freak City, Dragon Town and Happy Slumbers (which are all also available for free from Smashwords and Feedbooks in any case)
I was a bit lazy about getting my cover to work with CreateSpace’s cover designer, so I went with a simpler design using one of their built-in formats. Still pretty nice, I think
Some indie writers are going bonkers trying to keep up with the ever-shifting, ever-obscure, even legendary beast, the Amazon Kindle Ranking Algorithm. Apparently, this secret formula, this special sauce, is continually being whipped up and mixed up and conjured up so that Amazon can maximize the almighty dollar or at least provide some handy CYA for its marketing managers.
A bestseller list used to be based more or less on how many copies a book sold. I say ‘more or less’ because over time that kind of turned into ‘how many copies were bought by bookstores, not by people’, and in turn that changed into ‘how many copies were bought by the only two bookstore chains that mattered, Borders and Barnes and Noble’, and that changed, yet again, into a serpent eating its tail, because the publishers eventually only printed as many copies as those chains would buy, so that a bestseller was already pre-determined before it was even printed and possibly before it was even written.
Strange but true.
Now come these upstart ebooks with their wonky prices of 99 cents or $2.99 or even $0.00 for goodness sakes! So Amazon apparently decided to adjust their rankings on the basis of some combination of price and category and KDP-Select-program-participation (a.k.a. Amazon exclusivity) and witch-hazel and eye-of-newt and so on. Frantically, indie writers are kept scrambling to figure out what are the proper price points and keywords and tags and categories that will garner them the most ‘reach’ and the highest possible rankings in order for THEM to maximize THEIR almighty dollar and coerce a WIN-WIN out of this ungodly situation.
I wish them all the best of luck, and leave you with my ode to maximization, brought to you by that dimwitted darling of dementia, Beauregaard and Scooter.
The Devil Still Has My Lawnmower is a very, very funny book of short stories by Giando Sigurani, available from Smashwords (currently free). If you like science fiction and have any sense of humor at all, you will enjoy this book or else I don’t know what your problem is. The war between the magic eight ball and the ouija board is as hilarious as anything I’ve ever read, and wait! there’s more!
Chrome: following this tutorial, we made our old friend the Kudu Bull into a Chromed Kudu Bull
He’s the same Kudu Bull I used for the current cover of Unwritten Rules, similar to the giant stuffed one in our neighbor’s living room.
Brushes: You can use photoshop brushes (.abr files) – get them from places like qbrushes.net, download and unzip into /Users/you/.gimp/brushes … very cool stuff. example steps:
image size large (e.g. 3000 x 2000)
fill with black
set foreground color to white
use some abstract brushes (they are large!) to paint once or twice each, in white, on the black background
add a new layer
select the gradient tool and use ‘pastel rainbow’ gradient – draw diagonal from bottom left to top right
change the layer mode to ‘color’
Graffiti: following this tutorial and using this font I made a new logo for my current employer