Alexis Madrigal explains why it is sometimes hard to get phone calls answered, and why you might not feel like answering your own. As he notes, the sheer number of alternatives to the vanilla phone call have rendered it "a vanishing cultural layer". Having so many communications options (email, text, phone, messenger, snapchat, skype, etc) does create a complex landscape where different people are approachable only via specific avenues, and if you try the wrong one, a reply might be slow in coming or nonexistent.
Abdi Aden, author of Shining and Yes I Can is very canny at promoting his books. Here are a few suggestions from him based on his experiences:
My PR is very basic and low budget.
- Word of mouth anywhere you can, such as my kids' basketball. Take-away shops, public places.
- Schools I visit and speak at.
- Making t-shirts.
- Websites, also other book-sellers websites.
- Calling places saying "I have a book." Like example some writers festivals, Dymocks Camberwell also run a book night every November for self-publishers.
- Social media like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Also learn when new social media come up like snapchat.
- Find small festivals, such as Clunes -- self publishers do well there. People attend from all over the world,
Melbourne has its own series, so if you're interested in designers talking about designy things (there's a different theme every month), then consider going along. At the price of free, how could you miss it? In a section impishly titled "convince your boss", the organisers advance the following argument:
We asked author Roger Mendelson, author of Eliyahu's Mistress, to jot down a few thoughts re. promoting his book in the age of social media:
"The days of publishers promoting novels are over, unless you are a high profile author. If you want to promote your book, you have to do it yourself. I am on this journey and despite my novel, Eliyahu’s Mistress winning the IPPY 2018 Bronze Award for best Australian/NZ fiction, am finding it difficult to gain momentum. There is no magic bullet. If you believe in your novel, you require more persistence with promoting it than writing it.I say this as someone with considerable business experience, so I can only imagine the frustration most authors must feel.
Traditional media is fast dying, so if you have a very low budget, social media is really the only option. For this to be effective, you need to define who your readership is likely to be and target this group. It needs to be very specific. Eg middle-aged country people, single older women, retired couples, young single men. I am not an effective Facebook user but I can see that with a very low budget, this really has to be the major medium to use."
Experienced traffic engineer Rob Morgan has written a scathing critique of the current road safety paradigm, the so-called "Safe System". He sums up his argument with the following excoriation: "the Safe System’s demand to abolish the old order of evidence-based road safety and speed management has been a clarion call to action and — unless we put a stop to it — its continuation will put us on an inexorable path to the creation of an unchecked state.
The cover incorporates surveillance, Victorian roads, an image of Stalin and is set in Proxima Nova.
When a massive company like Google attempts to standardise the look and function of its many user interfaces (UI) with a single design 'language', it is naturally big news in the design world. Many welcomed the move away from drop shadows, fake wood grain and bevels etc, but others argue that the new look lacks personality, fails to advance the Google brand and is too uniform.
The diagram below provides a breakdown of the steps involved in creating, designing, producing and publishing a book independently. There are quite a few steps involved, but with our assistance and those of other professionals, the process is not quite as painful as it might appear...
Born and bred in the bush, nineteen-year-old Daryl Bishop's number came up in the tenth National Service Ballot in 1969, and he shipped out to Vietnam in 1971. Killing Babies is his unvarnished account of his training and war experiences. Fortunately, no babies were harmed in the making of his book, but the stigma and after-effects of serving in that unpopular war is honestly related. Published by Sid Harta, and written in an authentic, engaging and very Australian voice. Our cover features Darryl's own necklace of cartridges, jungle foliage and a helicopter used by both US and Australian forces. The title typeface is Eveleth.
When IBM commissioned a typeface family for their own internal use, they also released it for general use. Clean and practical, Plex also has some style and warmth. With sans, serif and monospaced subfamilies and many weights, one might wish that many businesses relying on dull typefaces such as Arial and Times New Roman might make the switch and use something much better for free.
Another free offering, Overpass is not quite a grand as Plex, but with eight weights and true italics, it is a fine and generous offering. Very smart and highly readable, and more space efficient than Plex.
Most independent authors dread writing blurbs, and devote as little time to it as possible. Yet they are a critical tool for attracting potential readers. Seasoned author and promotional expert Joanna Penn enumerates several solid points to consider when engaged in the dreaded work of blurb construction. While many of the points (introduce key characters, describe the setting, a hint of mystery, etc.) might seem obvious, many authors opt instead for a leaden synopsis that gives away every important plot point.
Hundreds of websites cater to the Internet's limitless appetite for free typefaces. Only a few restrict themselves to high quality fonts. Font Squirrel is one such, and Lost Type allows users to pay what they want for their font of choice. Some of the Font Squirrel offerings have multiple weights, and a few are issued by commercial type designers, such as Plex, a huge font family commissioned by IBM.
Kathryn Gauci writes nuanced and emotionally affecting historical tales, often set in Greece or Turkey. When giving talks or promoting her books in other venues, she hands out bookmarks to potential purchasers. Inexpensive to print, the bookmarks are a useful reminder of her work, and might be viewed later by other readers.