Monday, 29 March 2021

That all important Font


Whether designing a book or just the book cover, the choice of font is important. Think of it as a design element that will help attract the audience you want. 

Of course, if you find a font you love, you may then find that graphic artists come out of the internet woodwork and say it is overused and passé. To them it probably is, but I doubt it will be to the general reader. But it might be wise to get a feel for how used it is before you decide. Some of the overused fonts might be Times New Roman, Arial, Papyrus, or Algerian, for example. 

There are many fonts out there. I tried Google fonts recently and grew dizzy checking them all but I was glad I looked. Sometimes I found it hard to differentiate between one font and another - they looked so alike to my untrained eye. There are lots of other sites, too. Type  Free fonts in your search box and check them all to get an overall impression of what you could use. 

Some will be suited to a particular genre and to misuse a Sci-fi font on a Romance book would be a disaster. If you are new to this game, then the only way to get a feel for the genre type fonts is to study the market and since we might soon be allowed out into bookshops again, that is a delightful way of working. Until that happy day, online is the way to go. Good hunting! You might find me there, searching for that elusive, just-right font!

PS The moody seascape has nothing to do with fonts!

Sunday, 21 March 2021

The all-important Blurb


"Better to perfect the blurb before you publish." 

I wish I had read that sentence years ago! 

But I’m finally learning something of the trade, so I have been browsing top-selling books in genres similar to mine. I used to think the blurb should tell what the book is about, but now I know it is to reveal the genre/subject without confusing or contradicting the title or the cover. And, of course, it should make the reader want to read the book.

Bookshop browsers have, for many reasons, a short attention span and the bottom line is that the blurb needs to be concise. Don’t add anything that is unnecessary. Arouse the curiosity of the potential reader and make them look inside the book. Do it by creating questions.

If the reader cannot guess the genre, then the blurb has failed. Check that it is punchy, flows well and check for errors. Match language to target audience, do your homework and your research. Make sure your best point is in the first line, because Amazon will truncate much of the blurb. If your book isn’t selling as much as you’d like, then take a long look at your cover, the title, the blurb and the story idea.

The blurb is the easiest thing to change, so start with that.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Gardens & the promise of Summer

 Two days of wonderful sunshine and gardening has been done. The hands and knees kind, trowel in hand and weeds ripped out of the damp ground. I spent £38 on plants and have positioned and planted the less tender plants already. Bill thinks I've done it too early. "We aren't out of the woods yet. One sharp frost and they'll die and you'll have to buy more."

This is the first time in ages the garden is getting any real attention. With us spending five or six weeks in France during June and July, the garden usually runs wild very quickly. But last year we didn't get out of the country due to Covid, and this year it looks much the same. If we do go, it will probably be autumn rathe than summer.

 At least we are prepared. I have renewed my passport in the last week, and Tim is up to date with his inoculations. When we do go, he'll need a 9 page document from the vet which will cost me another £120 or thereabouts, all to prove that he is healthy and rabies free. Those mad Brexiteers didn't know what they were doing. 

Of course it isn't only this country's restrictions and lockdowns to consider. France may close her borders and we have no answer to that. Just today I saw a report that claimed one third of the councils in this country recorded a rise in new Covid illnesses this week. That is after they've been going down for two or three weeks. I can see the restrictions going on for ever.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Spring Clean

 Currently doing a spring clean on my computer. I may lose a few URLs but its worth it because things change so rapidly in the electronic world. I have blog addresses from 2012  and some of the bloggers have set up newer blogs elsewhere since then. 

I'm writing - or should I say re-writing?  part 2 of my Scots Queen trilogy. I've learned such a lot and it gives me pleasure to get rid of clunky sentences and add in what I now feel are important bits of characterisation. There's a new cover, too. As for paperbacks I think they are a waste of time for me. They take so much more effort, particularly for the cover, and the number I have sold is minimal. Sometimes they don't look as expected no matter how carefully checked they were. The first excitement of having my very own paperback in my hands was wonderful, but I'm over that now, so I think it will be e-books only in the future.

Most attention is on Amazon Ads which I began January 12th. I began with ads in the US. Recently I have put a few ads to show in the UK which operates a little differently to the US system. So far I have no great insights to share, but then I'm still learning the ropes and I was told right at the beginning that it would take perhaps 3 months for real results to show. I am keeping careful track of what I'm doing and what results I get. 

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Dabbling in Amazon ADs.

 Dabbling in Amazon ADs. 

Discovered that campaigning in the US is relatively easy, but doing the same thing in the UK is difficult.

I have sent one AD off to be verified, and I shall let it run for a few days while keeping a close eye on it. So far my experience is with the US, where I got almost 40k impressions (ie, when the AD is presented somewhere) and under 40 clicks (which is when someone clicks on the Ad) and a great big resounding 0 on sales. Not that it cost a great deal. I don't think I got to $4. Now, if I had the courage of my convictions I might have entered a great many more ADs and had more success. I'll never know, will I?

Lost dog!

Sunday 8 th May Slow start to a sunny day with a promise of high temperatures. Bill took Perla out at 7.30 as he has done all this month ...