Well, it had been my plan to announce that my Web site has been revised -- which it has been. However, instead of that great new Web site showing up, I'm getting an error message. Sheesh! And there's a disclaimer on my hosting server that says it may take 24 hours for updated material to show up. Soooo... I have to wait until tomorrow to see if the server is being temperamental or if I messed up when I uploaded the files. Hopefully, my revised Web site will be up and running sometime Thursday. In the meantime, if you want to look at the error message, my url is: www.genenevalleau.com :)
Since my big announcement fell a bit flat, I'm riding on the coattails of Alice's blog. I designed my own cover and have drafts of my next two covers done -- as you will be able to see once my revised Web site is up and running. Alice asked how it felt to design your own covers. The control freak part of my personality likes it. One drawback is there's no one else to blame if it turns out ugly or doesn't sell a bazillion books. Kinda like the Web site that doesn't show up. I can't just call the designer and have her fix it. The designer is me! Another drawback is being too close to a project to see it objectively. Critique partners can be very helpful in pointing out places where our story doesn't work for them. Same with covers -- having someone take a "fresh eyes" look at a cover is very helpful for me.
Once my revised Web site shows up, I'd love to have your comments (as well as letting me know if there's something that's not working). If you're so inclined, enter my contest. I'll be doing several contests to celebrate the release of my first book, SONGS OF THE HEART, which will be released April 4, a month earlier than originally scheduled.
The revised Web site and contest are part of the promotion for this book. I'll also be attending more conferences than usual this year, with promotional materials in hand, which I will design. (One of the benefits of also being a Web and graphic designer.) Will this be effective in selling more copies of my book? I'll see when the royalty statements come in!
Once again, to expand on Alice's blog about covers influencing whether or not a reader buys your book -- what promotional efforts influence whether you buy a book? Any at all? Most of the books I buy are written by authors I know and I've liked their previous work. How about a new author or one you haven't read?
Karen said she chooses by referrals or reviews. Paty looks at the cover and back blurb. Yet I think we've all ended up with books that we'd like to throw against the wall. Did the story not live up to the packaging or the promotion? Does it truly boil down to whether or not you like the story?
On the other hand, did you ever wonder if there was a delightful story hidden behind a less-than-attractive cover? Do you take the time to read the first page or skim through the book? Or do you decide in ten seconds or less whether or not to buy a book?
I took one more peek and still no updated Web site showing up. So I guess I'll post this blog, call it a night, and check on the Web site tomorrow. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions on promotional efforts. They will be helpful to me over the next few months -- and I'll bring freebies to offer up at our meetings!
By the way, Alice, I love the cover of your new book. I'll buy the book because you wrote it, not because of the cover. Once I start reading a book, I rarely go back and look at the cover unless someone points out something odd about the cover, as you did that the cover models have the wrong color hair. At least one of them doesn't have three arms as a now infamous cover did!