IS YOUR AVATAR YOU?
I frequent many book and author websites. I think many authors should quickly change their photo or avatar.
Sometimes the author photo makes me think that I would not buy or read anything written by that guy. Other times I think I would consider buying anything he (usually she) is selling. Most lie somewhere in between.
I just wonder if a guy using a picture of himself in a torn tee shirt standing outside the door of a restroom at a bus terminal is someone who could write anything I'd enjoy. Maybe he writes great stuff, but I'll never know. I won't click through because of the poor mug shot. The photo does not need to show the person as exteremely handsome or beautiful; simply ordinary, sane, and having the eyes visible will do.
Okay, you saw my ID photo, and wonder who am I to talk. Well, it's a fairly good
likeness of the recent me. That's all it is. It's not an ad for a movie, cosmetics, or a new medication.
All I am saying is that maybe there are other readers like me who pass by the goofy, or generic avatar, only to click on one that looks like someone who could at least sign his/her name. Maybe I'm wrong and more folks will click on the one with the tonsils showing.
Maybe I'll experiment and replace my ordinary head-and-shoulders shot with the picture from that Halloween party in college. The one that friends claim is me.
KINDLE SELECT YES OR NO?
The work and antipation, and finally the big Friday The 13th Kindle Free Promotion is
over. 13 mystery authors got together for this Kindle Select e-book giveaway. A
conservative estimate is nearly, and possibly more than 200,000 of our freebies were
downloaded on Friday and Saturday. As a new and unknown author, my book,
Willowtree had 8,596 downloads in the two days. I was fortunate to tag along with the
group of better known writers with many books and fans. This will be a huge benefit to me in visibility and future sales.
One direct beneficial outcome of giving Willowtree as a freebie was it's appearance on
Amazon's Top 100 Lists. I watched it rise from nowhere on Friday morning to #4 on the Free Contemporary Fiction List by Saturday evening. Also to #8 on the Free Mystery and Thriller List, and #20 in the Free Kindle Store. Of course, I was only on the lists while my book was being offered free. I assume the lists generated a lot of the downloads, since bargain book hunters check these lists often.
Why give away so many books? First, without the free promotion, most of those
thousands of e-book readers would not even know about my book. Second, the exposure from being on the Kindle lists and from all of the articles mentioning our promotion is free advertising. And, I am already seeing e-mails, Tweets, and other posts in groups, blogs, and on Facebook mentioning my book. I expect some reviews will be coming. Also, in this program authors will receive royalties when the books are borrowed from the new owners.
So, I think giving Amazon exclusivity to distribute Willowtree for 90 days and offering it
free for 5 of them will turn out to be quite beneficial for me in terms of exposure, future sales, and confidence. Whether I continue in the program, is to be decided. I have no problem with the program, and Amazon is still my number one means of distribution. There are however, advantages to being with other channels, like Smashwords.
I wish to thank the other dozen writers who pulled me with them in the 13/13/13
experience. It was the bright idea of Stacy Juba, a tireless worker and beautiful person, who happens to have written a bunch of great books in various genres. The others who unselfishly contributed much time and effort are: Debra Lee, Keri Knutson, Maryann Miller, Timothy Hallinon, Bill Shepard, Jean Henry Mead, R J McDonnell, Joanna Slan, Gerrie Ferris Finger, Alina Adams, and Bonnie Hill. All are accomplished authors and their work deserves a look. I hope soon to have links to these fine writers on my "Recommendations" page.
Now to get back to work on my Book Two, Stinger Maguire. I hear the best way to push Book One is to have a Two, then a Three, then...