Monthly Archives: December 2014

Don’t buy it; get it for free!

Goodreads is running a giveaway for a signed copy of my paperback, Finishing Year, from today until Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Enter your name, and you could win a book for free!

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Book sites that frustrate

I might keep updating this one, rather than make new posts all over the place.

Websites are often set up to help authors promote their books online. Promoting a book online doesn’t seem to be easy. Cheap, sure. Fast, sure. Fun, sorta. Easy, ummm. So people look for advice and lists of places they can send their books to. (You know I have said promoting a book offline is a cinch. And you’ll notice a clear lack of web sites dedicated to offline book promotion, because it… is… so… easy.)

So, there are at least two kinds of websites dedicated to helping you promote your book: sites that tell you what to do and list other sites where you can actually do it, and then those other sites where you are supposed to list your book so that readers might be able to find it.

Sometimes sites in both categories don’t offer a very good service. A list of places to promote your book is not so useful when the sites you are sent to no longer exist or don’t work or you can’t figure out how they do.

A site called is in the second category. It is listed as the first site to promote your book on at another site selling book publishing information called TrainingAuthors. Buckbooks in turn looks like it is run by a company that sells services to self-publishers, and it has a page that lists 99 cent books, but please let me know if you think there is a way to get on it. I wrote the company (no answer). I clicked on the appropriate link, buried on a page within one of their blog posts. It leads to this

Nice. It is not important (what is important?), but better lists of these resources, and better functioning places once you get there, would be nice. Both are certainly doable, anyway. And if you are going through the effort, why not make sure the links work or that the service is still even in business?

What’s happening these days?

I am looking for the places authors publicize their books online. It is a strange process. I understand traditional public relations completely, but it seems authors today should promote their books on review sites and book blogs and on their own online platforms.

The problem is, a lot of it doesn’t seem to work. Authors need to find some thread that runs through their books or promotion efforts, in order to even begin to place their book info somewhere on the web. One of those threads can be the book’s content (well, of course). One of them can simply be its price.

Places like this ( promote books of a certain pricing nature, but often seem to contain dead links or present places that authors can pay to have their books reviewed or listed in. What a strange world we have come to inhabit.

Some of the sites that DO function present book information in an awful, convoluted, hidden manner such that you wonder why they try at all. I can only guess that readers don’t want to drill down through pages of content to find out about a book they were not looking for in the first place.

There may well be rewards in publicizing books online, but so are there rewards in promoting in normal media, and those are clear and present.

Every author will experience different results. Slightly on a tangent, I still sell far more paperbacks of my new book than I do electronic copies (I just don’t find them interesting, and I guess I convey that pretty clearly without saying such). You can get Finishing Year in ebook format for 99 cents (for now) at

But the nifty, Moleskin-like paperback edition (which costs more but feels so cool in the hand) outsells it


On another note, I like tracking what is being written that incorporates art history. I saw another book today with a bit of my angle in it: