I finally got around to posting some of my newer work on here, and splitting up the stories into "Free" and "Amazon" sections. The rationale going in was that I hoped to make a few sales after people read the free stuff. That didn't work, even a little.
I decided to make it easier to just get to the free stuff. I hate when sites promise free and then it's really not, or you have to do something to get to the free stuff. I should have gone that way from the start. My stuff is completely free. You don't have to sign up for anything. You don't have to buy anything. It's on the "Free Stories", and it's just free. No catches.
There are a few other things in the works, but I'm not ready to announce them just yet. You'll have to stop back in a few weeks to see what they are!
I have had quite a few things going on in the past month or two. The most important thing is that I'm back to writing. Since it takes up a lot of my free time, I have not put in much work on my blogs and this site, and it's showed.
I've done some minor changes on the site, mostly adding some new free stories and removing the Amazon content from the Stories page. I created a nav link to my Amazon stuff instead. Randos has moved under the "Blogs" heading (though I haven't updated it for a few weeks).
There will be a few more changes coming soon, but right now things are a little busy. Stick with me, I am certain they'll be changes for the better!
It's slow going, but I have been making enhancements to the mobile experience for viewing this site.
I can't deny that a fair portion of my traffic comes from phones, and there were just a few things that were not looking right in a mobile screen.
You'll notice the banner graphic is gone. I had no choice, it was causing alignment issues for the mobile navigation menu. I also revamped the story pages which had title cards instead of written titles, because those did not look right either. All of them look better, but I've still got a ways to go before I am happy with everything on the site.
Progress is seldom a straight upward line. Sometimes you take a step or two back to move ahead three.
I've been working on keeping a regular schedule for site updates and content addition here, which isn't always easy. Thank goodness for the ability to schedule things in advance. Now that things are set, we shall see just how long I'm able to stick to it.
I've read one of the biggest things about running a successful site is to keep your content fresh, but it really is challenging to add content three times a week. My numbers are proving that I'm on the right track, so thanks to all of you that stop by regularly and check things out!
I consider my "12 Days of Stories" campaign a success. The numbers never really mattered, it was about convincing total strangers to go to Amazon and get my free stories.
The fact that I had users from Australia and Spain getting (and hopefully reading) my stories is a small step toward building a fan base.
Thanks to all of you who got my free stories!
I did not intentionally try to trick you into buying my older stories. The truth is, the stories "Justice" and "Ballistic" had covers designed with Kindle's Cover Creator tool. They just looked shabby.
I decided to give them a face lift, designing some more simplistic (yet better, I think) covers for them. I am getting better slowly but surely on my design skills, but I still have a long way to go. Still, I couldn't resist making better artwork for these two titles, since the cover is so important to sales.
See the changes here.
As the traffic here continues to grow, I am struggling at times to keep fresh content flowing onto the site.
There are regular blog posts, but I have made a few additions that I'm pretty proud of in the past few weeks.
First, I added a review page called "Picks" to house reviews of short stories from fellow independent authors. The response has been good so far, I can't wait for the point where I have to stop accepting stories to clear my backlog.
Next, I added a new short story, "To Fill a Gas Tank". It's a true story, albeit a little embarrassing. It's tough to come up with extra stories to give away while still working on things for sale, but I'm trying to make sure that I eventually have plenty of each. This story makes four free stories on the site, my goal is to have 20-30 at a minimum. Still a long way to go.
Lastly, I put together a promotion for the stories that I sell on Amazon, called "12 Days of Stories". Each day I'll be giving away one of my stories (and keeping my fingers crossed for some reviews). I've even added a brand new story that will debut soon. Everything I have on Amazon will be free on Christmas Day as well.
A few things to report as I enter the last month of the year:
I recently finished a guest post on Ari Meghlan's site for her Writer's Resource series. You can find the post here.
As much as I resist, it is really impossible to get by without some self-promotion, so there it is. It was a fun article to write about eight years I spent as a newspaper reporter.
Ari is an interesting person and worth following on Twitter, I've run across many other authors who are still finding their way (as I am) through her #TheMerryWriter tag. I am grateful to her for the opportunity to guest blog and for her choosing me to be the first in her series.
So Phase I of building a website is nearly done. There is still a ton of work to do to get it looking great, but it's a start.
I'm still working on a lot of things, but needed to get the site up and running at some point and just set a deadline to get it done before the end of the month. Done in the sense that it is online. I still need to do quite a bit of work to get it looking the way I want it, I still have lots of content to add.
Stick with me, come back soon, I'll have lots more things coming online in the next few weeks!