Improving my Chances

I’ve known for quite some time that The Haunted Story: Dead Letter needed a better cover. My amateurish attempt wasn’t catching anyone’s eye.

Dead Letter cover
The cover I designed myself

I needed something professional and eye-catching. An image that would sell the book for me. So far I’ve only sold any when I’ve found people on Facebook that are spooky horror fans and pitched the book to them. I don’t mind talking about my stories, it’s just a little more time consuming than I’d like since I also need to finish writing Hermes925, keep this blog up to date, try to find odd-jobs and freelance work so I can pay my way while I’m doing all this, and keep working on the rest of the Haunted Story series!

The fact that I needed better cover art was so distracting I couldn’t even focus on my book projects, knowing that every book I put out would require similar one-on-one marketing to sell. Then yesterday, driven by who knows what, I posted one of my favourite conversation topics on Facebook:

If you could
Click the pic to see people’s comments and add your own!

As a result I ended up having a very productive conversation with Heather Montgomery, a talented cover designer, merch maker, and author in her own right! She designs most of her own covers. Check out her website to see some of her other work. She came up with these three great designs for me:

It took me a while to pick a favourite because they were each so awesome in their own way, and far better than mine. If the Amazon page has already been updated, then you might already know that I ended up picking this one:

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Isn’t it spectacular?

I love it! I’m going to use Heather’s designs for all of the Haunted Story series, and the sci-fi Hermes925 too! If I get the chance to do a book-signing event of some kind in future I will probably have her design some matching T-shirts for each book too!

I am unbelievably excited about this partnership. Please check out her website and show her some love. She writes under the name Ann Snizek, and her new paranormal/scifi For: Giva de Vine, is for available through a variety of online sources.

Please help us both out and share this article around and, as always, have a great day! 🙂

Monolith

I recently had a hare-brained idea to make an anthology. That’s a short-story collection in case anyone knows. Have you ever had a nagging thought in your head saying, “That doesn’t seem too hard? I bet even I could do that!”? In my case, it rapidly evolved from “Maybe I should try?”, through “Do it do it do it do it do it…”, to suddenly finding myself posting this in the Creative Writers group on Facebook:

Anthology

Soon the group was discussing the idea at length, getting excited and helping me pick out a font for the cover.  Before long the group had a brand new pinned post and I was challenging the group to coming up with a cover image that would be appropriate for both the series title, Monolith, and the theme of book one: New Beginnings.

Here are some of the early mock-ups for the front cover:

It’s early days, and I’m sort of making it up as I go, but I’m willing to learn. If you think you can help I’d appreciate it. You can join in the conversation we’re having on Facebook and have your say in how the book looks, advise me on how go about publishing it, or even discuss your short story submission.

If you are considering submitting a short story for Monolith please don’t submit rough drafts. If you’re having trouble with phrasing or grammar, by all means ask for help while you’re writing it (from me or the group). After it’s submitted, if I have to rewrite the whole thing it’s probably not going into the collection. If your short story is well written, well told and ready to go, you can submit it here or click on the “Monolith” tab above.

I expect it will take us a while to get it ready, but it would be nice to have a book available for sale by June-July. Then we’ll come up with a new theme and start collecting stories for the next book! You’ll get royalties (if you want them) on every book sold that you have a story in. It won’t be a lot to begin with, but it’ll all up, and I intend to use some of the money to promote the book and make us all more money. At least, that’s my current plan.

Interested?

Paypal subscriptions and donations will help to support this venture:

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Have a fantastic day! 🙂

The Search Continues

I dislike looking for a job. So far only one of the positions I’ve applied for has gotten back to me. I have an interview for that job in 3 days, and in the meantime I’m going to keep looking. I have discovered a few opportunities I didn’t know existed on the way. Including some that I knew logically existed, but had no idea you could apply for so easily.

My favourite of which is being a pet-sitter! I found a website called Pawshake that lets you register as a pet-sitter and set your own rates. I already created a profile! Click here to check it out. It would be great to spend a few hours looking after someone’s pet. Dogs would need to be taken for walks and fussed, but cats, birds and lizards don’t need much attention. Once their needs have been taken care of, I could still research articles and write! We’ll see if it gets anywhere, or if I earn enough to get by.

If you expand your search from jobs sites to classified ad sites, you can stumble upon a surprising number of opportunities available in the adult entertainment industry. Sadly, or perhaps luckily, these careers only seem to be available to women. I don’t think I would do well in adult industry, even if there were jobs available for men. I think my on-screen presence would be unimpressive.

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I’ve just applied for a Social Media marketing apprenticeship. I have no idea if I’ll get it, but it may be my best chance of learning more about how to increase traffic to this website, and get paid for while I’m at it. Any job that helps me reach my long-term goals instead of just sucking time away from them is a win-win.

If you happen to need a content writer and you’re willing to pay let me know. I love learning about new products and services, and my experience in sales, customer service and negotiation will be invaluable. Just as my talent for creative storytelling proved very useful in customer service, sales, bar work and debt collection! People love a good story.

I hope I find something soon. I’m down to £75. I’m very lucky that my grandparents don’t charge me rent and like to feed me. Theoretically I could live without a job indefinitely, providing I don’t want to buy anything or go anywhere I can’t reach by walking.

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If I have money though, I can afford to invest in some marketing for the website, save up for self-publishing, and get back into games, movies and books so that I have something to write about besides myself! Not to mention go for a drink with my friends occasionally. The books I’ve read on abundance and the law of attraction suggest visualising money coming into your life, acting as if the money will come. We’ll see.

Do you know what I’d really like to do? Hire some guest writers. Paying artists and musicians for original artwork and music for the site would be good too. It would also be nice to pay friend who’s working on improving the site a little for her effort too. Do you think I should setup a GoFundMe.com page?

In the meantime, if you’d like to help donate to improving the page please go to www.paypal.me/AntonyMCopeland. Right now I still don’t have a bank account (nothing to put in it), so all I’ll be doing with the money is sending it on to contributors or saving it for self-publishing my book when it’s done. Not one penny of it will be spent on chocolate or beer. Currently my Paypal balance still stands at zero.

Before I forget, here’s the latest installment of Hermes925: 11/27 What goes up..

I’d better get back to jobhunting. Have a great day 🙂

 

 

Blog of Definite Purpose?

I used to write for a popular Geeky website. I learned a lot about blogging in the process. It was fun. I could do what I already did, which is trawl through Facebook and the web in general looking for geeky/nerdy things. All I had to do was write one article per day. On a good day this was easy, even with working a 40+ hours per week day job. On a bad day I couldn’t find anything I’d want to write about, or someone had covered it already, or life just got in the way.

I decided to do my own thing, and write about whatever I wanted. This has resulted in a lot of self-indulgent nonsense and has occasionally hurt people’s feelings. I think it’s time to go back to geeky articles. I enjoy it, and I actually have the time to commit to it. I’m no-longer working a full-time job as well as trying to find time for my own writing, and a social life as well.

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These new articles won’t be about my progress as a writer, or about the emotions I’ve been processing, or any self-centred pretentiousness. They’ll be about Books, Games, Art, Science, Technology, Comics, Movies, and anything else that I find interesting. I’m going to try and keep it to new developments, rather than re-hashing articles you’ve already seen show up on your timeline at least a half-dozen times already. However, occasionally I might find something that’s already been discussed, but I have something I’d like to say about it anyway. You may still see posts about my story ideas too, from time to time.

I’ll be making use of categories and tabs to make the articles easier to find, and sharing them to topic specific Facebook Pages I already had set up from forever ago. I may have to add new ones as the need arrises. For example. Today I saw an article about the classic 80’s teenage vampire flick “The Lost Boys” getting it’s own series on the CW. I don’t currently have a page set up that fits this news.

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If I end up writing an article on it, it’ll probably end up on my “Gothic, Morbid & Beautiful” page, though at some point I may also have to make another page for anything TV & Movie related. I had considered slipping the details of the TV version of “The Lost Boys” into the tail end of this article, but I’m thinking it deserves one to itself.

Feel free to send me any suggestions, leads, or geeky topics you’d like me to rant about. I’m still just trying to get myself out there, so I won’t charge you for product reviews like some other blogs do. I’ll take a donation if you’re offering, but the way I see it, you’ll be doing me a favor by giving me something to write about that could draw more traffic to my page and get build an audience. Click the ‘Contact Me’ me tab at the top of the page or this link.

If you’re new to this page, take a look around. If you’re a sci-fi fan you might be interested to know that I’m working on a book called Hermes925. Click the drop down menu above to read what I’ve written so far. Follow me so you don’t miss what happens next.

Have a great day.

 

Wherefore Art Thou

I was going to write this article much earlier, but then found I wasn’t in the mood. However, I am laying in bed too hot, too restless and oddly too tired to sleep,  with ideas for this article still rattling around in my brain.  I’ll write, until I finally feel like sleeping. I might even get the whole thing done. (I didn’t, I added links and images the next morning).

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As you may have noticed, the blog articles have grown a little infrequent lately. If been putting the focus on writing the story instead. The goal after all, is to become a published author of Sci Fi and fantasy, and I’m not going to get there if all I write is my blog. I need to do what I set out to do, and don’t let myself get in my own way.

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If you haven’t been following my progress, please drag your mouse to the Hermes925 tab at top of the page and select each journal entry. As you can see Jaime has had (or will have, since it’s set in the future) his heart broken, his world view turned on it’s head and found a new obsession to take his mind off it all.

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It’s been a little difficult some days being strict enough with myself to write more. It helps that I already have planned out what I want to happen, but I often don’t know exactly what Jaime’s going to say until I start writing. He tends to rush through his thoughts, without disruptive descriptive details.

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I want to see how it works. Let the reader fill in the blanks, and maybe find some awesome art to each entry. For now I’ve been able to pull somewhat applicable images from the Internet, but I would love to receive artwork from readers and fans illustrating the world I created. Perhaps a picture of Mr. Waddle, or your impression of what it would be like to see the world through the N•Viron, an image of the Hermes spacecraft, or a painting of Jaime stepping through the portal doorway.

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Of course if you’d rather draw dragons and mages, perhaps The City of Gate is more your cup of tea. It doesn’t have to be specifically made for my work either. Any art you’d like to show off could be included in a blog post as an image and a link back to your own website or Etsy page. I already do something similar for blog articles I like.

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I’m not making any money yet, so I don’t have any to give, yet. When my book is successful, and I use your illustrations, then we’ll both get some money. In the meantime I’m happy to showcase any artist trying to put themselves out there. I’m even happy to help out musicians and fellow writers spread the word. If we want people to find us, without having to compromise, we need to show tham what we can do, and help each other out.

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I had a thoughts about YouTube too. Would anyone like to see me read each of the Hermes925 entries out loud? I’m sure it would be rather dull just watching me read though, but I could edit the video to include a montage of images, and perhaps background music. I could use this as another way show off some of the artwork and music sent in.

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I’m hoping that the YouTube channel  (once I have some content people like) and affiliate marketing will help keep me afloat while I get Hermes925 finished and published. If you want to help by offering your talents, advice or money please do! Comments are always welcome, as are donations via PayPal. Any art, music or writing you like me to share can be sent to AntonyM.Copeland@gmail.com

I hope you like the art I found online. Have a great day.