Tag Archives: Wordpress themes

Polling the audience

I have a couple of things I've been stewing about lately, and maybe you can help me out. I know some of you have dealt with these issues, and I'm wondering how your decisions worked out.

First lets talk about themes. I've used the wonderful Pilcrow theme since the day I started blogging. It does a couple of things I really like. I change my background monthly. I get a lot of comments about the wallpaper, and want to keep doing this. I like the continuity of my mother's antique inkwell too. Finally, this theme allows for a decent sidebar.

My sidebar data is important, but also causing the problem. I like the top posts and pages, along with the categories. Readers can sample what was popular here, or play in a category that filters the content down to what they enjoy. I like the link to free readers, and the RSS data. This brings me to the linked book covers.

The covers and links are the reason this blog exists in the first place. I get daily action out of them. Today it all works, but I want to put two new titles out by the end of the year. Some of you have another page to promote your wares. I'd like to know how this works for you. I will always have some covers in my sidebar, but I can't have all of them. Should I move some of them over to a different page? Is this like a death sentence for the older works?

I scouted out a new theme that has a slider. It also had all the other options I wanted like changing backgrounds. The slider is like a bar that includes links. My covers could be links to the purchase sites. Just about the time I decided to make the plunge, WordPress stopped using this theme. I don't find themes to be really intuitive to set up. Other themes have a slider, but the instructions to set them up are limited and confusing. This is a WordPress.com site, so I need one of the free themes. Any suggestions? I'm not changing my theme if I wind up using a separate book page. I'm also terrified to lose all the work I've put into my site and would have to rebuild it from scratch if the new one disappointed me.

My next question isn't related to the first ones, but is on my mind. I'm really excited about my upcoming book of short stories and micro fiction. I have a hunch I'd like to do it again, and have a couple really fun ideas.

Last year, I ran a little event that I called Macabre Macaroni during October. I posted a micro fiction every Thursday in October that had a Halloween basis. It was a popular event, and this popularity is what led me to consider a book of shorts. So… Do I waste a few stories to do it again in 2015? This would force me to pick and choose what I hold back and what I post on the blog.

Should I just put myself out there and run Macabre Macaroni again? The risk is I would only feel comfortable adding one of these to the next book of shorts. It would probably be the first one in the book, so it could be served up as the free sample on Amazon.

Maybe I could invite others to send a Macabre Macaroni and run your stories. I could participate, but in a lesser fashion. It's not impossible to collaborate on some stories with other writers too. There is still time. What would you do? I can always continue business as usual, and hopefully I'll be pushing the book of shorts then. It was a fun event, but maybe it has to disappear during these growing pains.

This post is kind of revealing. I plan this stuff out. (Who knew?) October is months away, but it takes time to write these stories. I try hard to present an intriguing site that people enjoy. I still want people to sample my wares, and don't really want them buried on a second page. I'm at the point where I may have to put the newer works on top, and let enthusiastic folks find the older stories.

Growing pains were inevitable at some point. I'm at that point, and I'll bet some of you know an answer or two. I appreciate you guys, and really would like some input.

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Filed under Blogging, Writing

We Pause for Station Identification

I started this blog to promote my novels. I’ve never made any suggestions otherwise. I try not to inundate everyone with constant whining about buying my books. Blogging became something more than an advertising platform, and I’d keep blogging today without a story to market.

Still, every once in a while, I reserve the right to market my novels. And today is that day. I got a really good review for Arson. Arson is the most recent story, and hasn’t gotten a ton of action so far. Today I got a wonderful four star review. Hopefully, it’s the first of many. (Thanks Lorraine.)

Rather than quote from the review, you can read about it here. I’m doing this, because after you read this wonderful review you might want to buy your own copy. Right after the review went up, someone borrowed it. I can’t tell whether it’s from the lending library or the Kindle Unlimited program. This is my cue to remind you that you can read the book for free on these programs.

We now return to your regularly scheduled blog.

My goal for 2014 was to get four of my older novels published. If I can get The Cock of the South published, this goal will be complete. That gets me to thinking about what’s next.

Will ‘O the Wisp will be the first newer story. I really like this one, and it should get some kind of push effort.

I’ve never done much promotion on my novels. As my next group of stories come out, I may have to grow up a little bit as an author. I may have to explore these blog tours I see everyone partaking in. I should probably arrange some advance reviews. I may need to look into some of the paid promotional services too.

I’m also thinking about revamping this blog. I would like to find a theme that allows me to post cover images and links without the huge sidebar. As much as I love the Pilcrow theme, maybe there’s something better available. Maybe I need a separate book page, but I have my doubts whether anyone would look at it.

These are internal thoughts for right now. The first project is to get The Cock of the South live on Amazon. After that I’ll probably experiment with a few things. I reserve the right to ask my regulars for their opinions too, of course anyone can chime in when I’m ready.

I suppose my idea for tonight is that it’s time for a writerly metamorphosis. As one goal is met, it’s time for a new one.

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Filed under Blogging, Writing