A little burned out, but hopeful

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster. I watched action on the internet trickle off for a couple of weeks, knowing I had a book to release. Trepidation and nerves, but it wasn't about to stop me.

It isn't just me, I've talked with other bloggers and they've noticed it too. Traditionally, when I announce a new title, it makes it into my top ten list. It may not stay forever, because different posts bump up. That didn't happen this time, and it wasn't even close.

Today, my number one post was a guest I hosted back in September. I have no idea why, but I suspect PH Solomon got some good press somewhere and it linked to my article. I'm thrilled for him, and hope he's doing well. It's just a really old post to spike that way. I kind of expected Lisa's posters to be the top spot. Are you out there PH? Maybe you'd like to get a character on Lisa Burton Radio?

Does this indicate a larger shift in the importance of blogging? I really don't think so, but I'd like to find that next wave before it leaves me behind.

I spent all day today bouncing between various social media. This includes hunting down all the cover reveal posts and catching up with the comments. Everything has been complimentary and positive. It's just less than with previous books. I don't mean less positive, it's less volume I'm talking about.

Between bouts of social media mania, I prepared several posts for various people. I really appreciate these, because creative people asked me to be creative. Some of these ideas never occurred to me, and they were challenging. I'm really excited for them to come out in the next week or two.

I also assembled the next Lisa Burton Radio post and scheduled it for Thursday. It's a fun one, and all authors ought to check it out. Yes, I'm going to make you wait for Thursday for more information. I also exchanged the final version for the week following.

There are several questionnaires out for future radio interviews. These can get on the schedule, first come first served. I'm still looking for more authors who want their character to participate. I'm toying with putting one of my own characters on the show, but I'm not certain.

I custom wrote a couple of Lisa visits where she can hand out posters and talk about my new book. She still has some mileage in her for this release, so drop me a line if you'd like her to stop by. There are a couple of other bloggers who have teased they have interesting ideas, and I'll address those as they come in.

I have some pre-written posts that don't involve Lisa. I'm offering them to those who said they'd host a promotional post. I've been sending inquiries a couple at a time, because they are easier to keep track of. I also don't want to promise the same thing to more than one blogger. These posts are about inspiration, my style methods, and one interview with Lorelei, the Muse.

I got The Playground all fixed up on Goodreads. I'd really appreciate anyone who added it to a TBR list. This really helps, because it throws it into multiple timelines and brings awareness. Here is the link if you're so inclined https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29556732-the-playground

I also got it added to the Rave Reviews Book Club catalog. These guys can really help with promotion, and I'm looking forward to that.

This is supposed to be an exciting time, but it wasn't all fun and games. Aside from my concern about the slowdown, there were some personal issues this weekend too.

Friday night I knew we had a problem. The old pitbull didn't have that twinkle in his eyes, and really wasn't too interested in anything. He couldn't get comfortable, and moved between me and my wife all evening.

Saturday morning he wouldn't get up. He didn't need outside, and wasn't interested in his breakfast. We wound up putting him down. He's been on a downward spiral, and he's had a growing cancer for months. It hurts even writing about it. I haven't been without a dog since 1979. The place feels kind of empty now. Sometimes I had two, and at one point even had three dogs. None-at-all is a new experience for me.

We skipped date night this weekend because neither one of us felt like it. I bashed through all my promotional activities and failed to deal with it. It feels kind of like letting my old friend down, but it has to be done. The release was planned, and there are no do-overs.

I'm not seeking any sympathy here. It's just a fact of life, and those of us who love animals have all been through it. There will come a time to re-dog, but not right now.

For now, I'll console myself with the fictional dog in The Playground. I think you guys are going to get a kick out of him.

I think the Amazon giveaway was a failure. I expect an email at any time saying so. The rules are that I can do it again, since I already purchased the books. When I do, I'm going to lower the odds of winning dramatically. We will give away all the copies, I swear. Project for a different day.

For now here are the takeaways:

  • Please add The Playground on Goodreads.
  • Lisa is willing to make more visits. Let me know if you're interested.
  • I have a few prewritten, non-Lisa posts available.
  • Apologies for the Amazon giveaway. I'll probably revamp it and try again.
  • Lisa Burton Radio is a real deal. Contact me if you'd like to participate. This is your chance to promote here.
  • I'm also willing to custom write something if you have a specific idea that let's me promote my new book.
  • As we get to my guest posts expect some re-blogging around here.
  • Please consider using the social media sharing buttons for my promotional stuff.

My creativity has been a little off, but other folks have been challenging me and that's great. I haven't added a word to a short story, or The Yak Guy project for a long time. I can't honestly say I wasn't writing though. All these posts involved quite a word count if you add them all up.


I'll end with a promotional question for all of you. I believe in trying different things. I will tweet with the best of them, and hire a professional blog tour from time to time. I also want something to stand apart from the crowd. That's why I put so much effort into Lisa Burton. A mascot, or spokesmodel, has worked for Mad Magazine and Disney, why not me? It is working, and there will be more to come.


When I started off, I wanted something to brand myself. A common point that everyone could recognize. I chose Mom's old inkwell. It's cool. It's turning purple, and it's writing related. It just doesn't have the instant recognition of Lisa. Lisa has done so much more than the old inkwell ever could.


So here's the question. Should I find an image of Lisa for my Gravitar, and rework the banner at the top of my blog? The only thing holding me back is that Lisa is my character, but she isn't me. I have the image of Lisa with my bust that I used on Facebook, and it might make a good Gravitar. Then again, Mickey Mouse wasn't Walt Disney either, and that worked out okay.


Let me hear it in the comments. I'm a little tired, a little excited, a little bit more sad. It's been a long weekend, and the paycheck job is calling tomorrow.


Filed under Writing

45 responses to “A little burned out, but hopeful

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your dog! I think if you make Lisa your gravatar you are likely to end up with more pictures of necklaces on male body parts….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Being a dog lover I can’t not say I’m sorry about your loss. There’s a reason they’re called man’s best friend. Hugs.

    I think you are doing a fine job with Entertaining Stories and yourself. YOU are the brand. Having Lisa as a mascot/spokes-model is fantastic and very creative. She showcases your talents. However, I would hesitate to turn over the platform to her. You’re selling your authored works, not Lisa merchandise. With Lisa worked into the header, as a character of one work, she may overshadow some of your other work which is just as fantastic, or better. That’s just my take on it, for what it’s worth. People really like learning about the author on a personal level. Don’t let her steal your show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate the thoughts. I know you’re in a similar position with your dog. Those are the same thoughts I’ve had about total commitment to my Lisa promotions. Maybe I’ll change the banner to something more like my Easter Island image, where it’s me but still crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The old Captain isn’t in any life-threatening predicament right now. He keeps getting opportunistic infections that I know make him miserably uncomfortable and has some nodules that I fear are painful. Quite honestly, I think he’s too stupid to know he’s sick.

        I do like the one of your bust with Lisa, but it’s hard to look at that and see you as the author represented without knowing that up front. You are quite clever. I’m certain you’ll come up with something that works perfectly. I do like the ink well, books, time piece, and quill in your banner but I’m partial to real people faces in gravatars. Just a me thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good to know. That kind of input helps.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about your dog. As for Lisa as a Gravitar, I think it’s a good idea and one that you can always reverse if it doesn’t work. The only problem that I can see happening is that people will mistake you for a woman. Not sure how big a problem that is though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So sorry about the old pitbull.
    I put The Playground in my Goodreads TBR πŸ™‚
    I hope you don’t change your stuff to Lisa. She’s fine enough, but then would she narrate all your posts?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry about your dog. I’ve only had one dog at a time, and three have died during my lifetime. I was too sad to want another dog after each loss, but my family encouraged me, and I’ve been so glad to have each of them.

    I don’t know if the Lisa image would work in the smallest gravitar form, the one I usually see, which is the tiny picture used for “likes” at the bottom of posts. I think the important thing is for it to be distinctive, which yours is. The first couple of times I saw it in tiny form, I thought it was a sultan wearing a turban and holding an ostrich feather or maybe a scimitar.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with Victo – if you do go with Lisa (no pun intended – she’s an asset no doubt about it), then just leave her cleavage out if it! πŸ˜‰
    What about ‘glamming’ up the inkwell as it’s so personal? Get a few Photoshop atristic or sketch filters going on it and make it look steam-punky or all Impressionistic? Or how about Lisa using your inkwell…? πŸ˜‰
    Very sorry to hear about your pooch – my eldest is 15 and I know he’s on borrowed time, but he’s still quite perky so I’m enjoying every day as it comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an idea I hadn’t thought of. I want to keep part of this as me and only me. As a writer of stand alone books, I am the brand and cannot use a series for branding. That may work for others. It’s also been suggested that I should get my face in there somewhere. (Such as it is.) The Lisa idea is low hanging fruit. A but more thought might bring something much better. My old dog was somewhere around 13, and that’s ancient for a dog of that size.


  7. I got my pre-order in for The Playground, and tagged it on Goodreads. Now to wait for the book!

    You have put a lot of work into building Lisa as your spokesmodel, and it does seem logical to continue that. If there’s only been the one harrassing incident, perhaps crop one of her images to show just her face, and see if that puts a stop to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ali Isaac

    Oh Craig, I’m so sorry about your dog! It will take time to get over your loss. You can’t rush it. I’m not sure about giving Lisa your Avatar. You could try it and see. Thats the great thing about blogs. You can experiment as much as you want, nothing’s set in stone. You can always change it back. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sorry about your dog. We have been hit with the same thing, and it will take time to move past that day and remember the good times.
    I think you ought to take that Facebook statue without Lisa and make it your gravatar. It would be a classic image of you that won’t need changing.
    On Thursday your post will be backed up by hourly tweets beginning at 4:00 am CDT and ending at 11:59 pm CDT. Let’s see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So sorry about the pitbull. I get attached too. I’ve been cat-less since losing my last feline in 2012, but I think this summer or fall may be the time to “re-cat.” Like you’ve I was never without a pet before.

    Sounds like you’ve already decided not to make the switch with Lisa, and I think that’s a good one. Branding should be about you and ALL of your work. But I do think she does an awesome job as spokesmodel and your “side” page with her radio show is fun.

    I happy to host a post. I know I didn’t suggest a topic (been kind of brain dead on edits), but let me know when you’d like a post in April and I’ll put something up. Other than the beginning of the first week and the last week, the month is pretty much open.

    Oh, and I added The Playground on GR.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You know how I feel about dogs. *hugs* As far as using Lisa as your gravitar, I’d advise against it. You, the author, is the brand. Lisa is the spokesmodel for that brand. Especially since you’re different sexes, I think it might confuse people who don’t visit your blog. Everything I’ve read on the subject says to use the author’s photo. If a change is what you want, that’s what I do. Love the ink pen, though. I guess I’m not helping, am I?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. PHS

    First, sorry to hear about your dog. It’s hard losing a faithful friend like that. I don’t know of anything that could have bounced your views from that old post but I’ll wander around the internet some and see what I can find. I do think I’d like to have a character pay a visit. I’m also certainly interested in hosting a post for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so sorry to hear about your dog – I’ve been down that path as well and it’s a tough thing to go through.
    And I hope things pick up with The Playground – I’ve noticed some weird stats and comments stuff going on as well, not sure what’s happening. Let me know if you’d like to make another visit to my blog πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have another small wave of blog visits I might put out there. I need to space them out more. This week they all landed at once. Remarks are all positive.

      The dog still breaks me up. I haven’t been without one for so long that I’m kind of lost.

      Liked by 1 person

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