Anime North prep

I am a panel guest at Anime North, so I didn’t expect any big announcements. But wow, there was a big Anime North blast on Twitter and on the website announcing me as a writer guest, so I feel super honoured.

Anime North is Canada’s largest Japanese animation convention and it is a not-for-profit with funds going to Sick Kids Hospital. I’ll be there with my Viking husband on May 24-25, Sat & Sun to do lots of panels on Japan, Asian vampires, writing and publishing. As well, in the dealers room I’ll have a table so I’ll be giving out limited edition art cards and selling my book. I had hoped to have more books finished, but alas, marketing activities has been taking up much of my time.

Here is the announcement pic and the art cards I’ll be giving out. See you soon!

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Promoting Your Free Book

Recently, a question came up on the Goodreads forum about why people hired on Fiverr usually do promos for free books?

I speculated that a lot of them will only promote “FREE” books because there are lots of lists available online that this Fiverr person can fill in forms for free promotion on your behalf.

If the book isn’t free, it is much more difficult for them to do promotions. They would actually need to take more time to contact people and convince them to do book promos.

Generally, promoting a free book by filling in forms only takes a few minutes and they don’t have to negotiate.

If you are running a promotion for your book and giving it away for free for a few days or forever, you can post the links online to various sites yourself to spread the word. Or you can hire someone to do it for $5 as well.

Here is a list of 72 sites for promoting free ebooks to get you started along with Facebook, Twitter advice::

http://www.sarkemedia.com/free-kindle…

Another one at Indies Limited:

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/book-p…

If you google “list kindle free promotion” you will find several more sites. Of course, some of the sites listed may be the same over and over again.

Good luck on your freebie campaign!

Apocalypse 4 Book Launch

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Apocalypse 4 book launch at the Best Western Primrose hotel in downtown Toronto. Hugh Rookwood, a classically trained Illustrator/Animator is the main artist of this 12 book series and Corrado Rizza is the author.

We were gathering to celebrate the launch of Apocalypse4: Chapter 1 “Exile” which is available as an ebook on Amazon and print version available only at conventions. Eventually, after the 12 books are released, a special edition graphic novel will be released with sketches and behind the scene secrets.

The story of Apocalypse 4 as featured on their Facebook page:

“In our present time of technological advancements the world is in aweof the potential future mankind will be able to achieve. Thanks to such discoveries as the Higgs boson particle and advancements in stem cell research, humans will be living longer, less diseased, and have limitless excess energy; but what if not all is as it seems and these achievements will only cause our demise when ancient forces decide that we have gone to far.

Apolcalypse4 is a fantastic tale that takes place in all 3 known realms, heaven, earth, and hell; and will tell an alternate story of human origins, our deities, and the purpose of our lives and what they mean to the universe as a whole.”

Usually my preference for comic books is DC’s Vertigo comic lines, especially the stories which deal with mythology and supernatural stuff. This story line reminds me of Mike Carey’s Lucifer about fallen angels and stuff.

At the book launch there was a beautiful trailer for the book (I quite remember the logo spinning around in flames!) and a Q & A with Hugh and Corrado. It was a great party with good food, interesting Indie people and I look forward to reading my autographed copy of the comic!

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Upgrading website!

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Now that National Novel Writing Month and my Kickstarter are both done, I wanted to work a on new goal – to revamp my website!  I had looked around for a few weeks while procrastinating during my writing sessions and found a few awesome sites which offer free WordPress themes.  Well, there are actually hundreds of sites which offer free themes, but most of them look the same, quite frankly.  The premium stuff (fully set up site, video tutorials, tech support) is not free, it’s about $50 USD (depends on theme) which isn’t too bad.

WordPress has revolutionized the way websites are built as it’s really website building for dummies who don’t know code (aka – me!).  You install templates and you keep adding “widgets” to customize the site.  Widgets are all those things on the side of websites and at the bottom which display social media icons, posts, calenders, etc.

After a few months of building a basic WordPress website, I felt ready to set up a more complicated site. Of course, my Viking husband laments that I’m not coding much and things could be more beautiful, but I can live with using a standard theme.

These are the two sites I found which offered great free themes with nice designs and lots of widget options:

http://yithemes.com/
http://smthemes.com/

This website uses “Alium” from SM Themes.  My first choice was Memento from YI Themes, but the preview wasn’t working properly and the free one looked too limited. Second choice was Diablo (yes, like the game name), but the words on the demo site were too dark.

It was exciting to learn how to use sliders (the moving thing at the top of the site) as I always wondered how people did that!  The only thing I haven’t learned how to do is build a nice portfolio gallery with pop up words.  I found a few widgets for displaying pictures, but the problem with me is that I have too many words describing the artwork.  Oh well, I’ll figure out how to display things more nicely over time.

Let me know what you think of this new site!