Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 33 - Help Me Choose the Look for the Site

Alright, so it's getting close to crunch time (or should be). In fact, the Createspace folks called me yesterday wanting to know where my manuscript was. I had to tell them, "Not quite ready yet." But it's going. I'm going to lean on my editor today, but only a little because I really don't want her to rush. I'll take quality over speed, but I'm soooo impatient to get this thing rolling.

Speaking of which: it is officially at, and a few days beyond, the "middle of April," so I would be a total liar if I did not confess to being completely impatient to hear from Cris Ortega. I am jonesing for her to make something gorgeous like you can't believe. I have plans for not just the book cover, but for my website and, get this, even a video to promote my book when it's done.

On create space, they have a few examples of videos people have done to promote their books. It's actually pretty simple stuff, but very cool, stuff that I can make with the help of some friends from work—and not pay $1200. Check out the example I have linked (which is NOT a fantasy one, but gives you the idea of what can be done).

So, in that vein, I can see having the "camera" pan along parts of the cover art while voiceover does a dramatic narrative summary. I can have stills of good quotes from the pages themselves come in from dark backgrounds, then fade and move away. It only has to be like thirty seconds to a minute, so just enough to tease and just enough to heighten interest. I can use it to promote my book on various sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. With a good script, some clever video, and the artwork from Cris Ortega it will be stunning.

That last part gets me back to my website. So as I am learning the art of website making (very slowly), I have found a template site that has a lot of "themes" for websites that make design easy and that will really help me get the most out of the artwork. I've been poking about, and I found three really cool ones that I am kicking around. One is very bookish, but solid marketing, and two are just plain cool. I would love to find out what other people think. So, in the interest of getting your opinion (and in the interest of seeing how different media channels work together, and whether people will bother to participate across them), I'm having a little opinion poll to help me decide which theme I should use.

So, first, below are links to the three themes I like. I've posted a small screen shot and link to the actual demo (full size) for each. I hope you'll go look and click around on them, because they are gorgeous on a full screen, and part of the appeal is how they WORK.  Try to imagine a book (actually try to imagine a trilogy and beyond). Keep in mind, that the cover art for my novel will be sumptuous (see blog Day 16).

So, check these out then go to my Facebook poll and vote for the one you like best. Or if you just refuse to go to Facebook and find the poll, then at least tell me which in a comment at the bottom of this blog entry.  Okay, here they are:

Theme 1 – This one is gorgeous, simple and elegant. But viewers do have to click on something to get to the book since it doesn’t appear instantly beyond the artwork. That can be a marketing minus point.

Theme 2 – This one is also gorgeous and makes the book (and/or a video) easily viewable at least in part via the sliders. (I love how they slide up like that). This is my favorite... I think.


Theme 3 – This one is not "gorgeous" at all, but it puts the book front and center. It's probably the best one for having core marketing principles at work. As a demo, it's boring, but with the MY book cover graphics in there, it would probably look really cool.

Okay, now go to find my poll question and vote for the one you like best. And thanks.


  1. I have to say this second one is my favorite. With Cris's artwork set in there, there is so much potential for just the video itself to be a work of art that you'll HAVE to read the book to see if it lives up to the expectation, you know?

  2. That's what I'm hoping for. Cross your fingers for me. lol.

  3. The first is beautiful, John.

  4. Thanks, Laurel. It seems to be a dead heat between one and two. Wouldn't it be horrible if I had to make up my own mind? (sigh).

  5. I'll vote for two again, does that weight it any more in 2's favor?

  6. It might, since that one is one vote up and like 2 better. :D

  7. Well, then, here's to stuffing the ballot box! I do, after all, live in Chicago, and that's part of our claim to fame here in Cook County! :D Good luck #2!