Digital Book World Day 1 Recap and 2 FREE eBooks
I flew into New York City this morning, took a cab to the Sheraton on 53rd, then went out and grabbed a slice of pizza at a local joint. I always love how places outside NY advertise “New York” pizza. I grew up in da’ Bronx and know NY pizza. I loved the rant Jon Stewart did on Trump eating pizza with a knife and fork. I even went into a pizza place one time in Seattle while at the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference and asked for a slice. And they told me “We don’t do slices.” I mean WTF kind of pizza joint doesn’t do slices?
Anyway, then I went inside, still eating my slice and sat in on a workshop on SEO. There were a lot of industry people from publishing there since, after all, we’re in New York City, the home of publishing.
I have mixed feelings about conferences. Sometimes they can be mind-numbing. Other times they can be very exciting. But I find in the long run both extremes pull together towards useful. Even when they’re sort of mind-numbing, they stir the brain. As a fiction writer one of my favorite sayings is “take it one step further”. And another is: “What if what appears to be; isn’t.” The latter comes more from my time in the Special Forces. We were a tad paranoid. But you aint paranoid when they are out to get you.
Which brings me to the topic of analytics. The panel was “You can’t grow what you can’t measure.” Hmm. I’m not sure about that. Sometimes we become so enamored with numbers, we forget a key question: what do they really represent? I think of Snakes on a Plane. Tremendous internet buzz. Then when it came out, tanked. In Special Forces (YouTube video from appearance on Discovery ref the Green Berets) we knew there was a big difference between information and intelligence. The latter is usable information.
I was a bit surprised during the sessions I attended on how basic a lot of the information being put out was and how basic many of the questions were.
But here is some of the information (along with a few comments); make what intelligence of it you wish:
There was a lot of focus on click throughs. I get that you’d want people to actually go to your site and look at what you have, but I think (anecdata without even an anec or a data) that just having the cover on the side of a Facebook or Google page a couple hundred thousand times with only 20 clicks, still has reach. That image is in the corner of the eye. It penetrates the subconscious. And most of the time nothing happens. But say that person sees that cover or that author name again, somewhere else? There will be a connection. Presence marketing.
An interesting slide from the SEO session was how important it is to rank in the top three results on a google search of your keywords. Because people click on choice one 36.4% of the time, choice two 12.5% and choice three 9.5%. That’s hmm, 58.4% of people gone before they get to #4.
But Jen Talty covered all this in our upcoming The Shelfless Book: The Complete Digital Author (pre-order you copy NOW!). After I came back from Storyworld, the West Coast cousin to #DBW12 we focused on metadata.
Google also own 80% of the SEO market share. However, Bing has now passed Yahoo as a search engine.
Some other points made: use your keywords over and over in the body of your text also. Bob Mayer. And use links. A lotta links. Bob Mayer. An interesting thing we need to check into is that you can use keywords for images inserted into a WordPress blog (Jen just told me when she loads blogs here she puts in a description for the image). Also, the more time people spent on your page, the higher Google ranks it. So go get a beer, this will still be here when you get back. Even better, just leave this page on your screen when you go to bed? Hmm.
Any of you heard of pinterest? It’s supposed to be the hot new thing. I sent Jen the link. She signed right up, though is still waiting for her “invite”. What do you think if you’re using it?
One thing I realized, again, is that because I wear so many hats: author, publisher, promoter, crossbow firer, consigliore to Riley (my three week old grandson) the future leader of the resistance, servant to hardworking guard dogs Cool Gus and Sassy Becca, I have a big perspective on this whole digital book experience. I still get the feeling that experts are, well experts. Very good at what they do, but not exactly sure at times how their expertise helps the big picture.
I’ve got to go over my notes and then process them with a full day tomorrow and I’ll blog again. I did get some interesting ideas “taking it one step further”. Jen is waiting on the edge of her seat for my ideas. I think I’ll make her wait a little longer.
It’s weird, I keep hearing military terms in the civilian world and it kind of, well, I don’t know what it makes me feel. Don Cheadle in House of Lies used HALO, which stands for High Altitude Low Opening Parachuting. Special Forces runs the military’s HALO school at Ft. Bragg, which is now only 60 miles down the road from my new abode. I also use it in Who Dares Wins by that guy Bob Mayer, and Write It Forward, by that guy, Bob Mayer who works with that girl…what’s her name? Oh yeah, Jen Talty. But to hear people use it who have never done it, is strange. BTW, that’s a wickedly good show. Right up there with The Good Wife and Southland. We all need a touch of reality. And yes, I’m watching Downton Abbey too and it’s damn good. And then there’s Raising Hope, which is on the lighter side and we all need that too.
Oh, yeah, as promised, FREE eBooks. Two of the Black Ops series: The Line and The Gate, will be free on Kindle for the next three days (that’s Toosday, Wendssday and Thoisday in the Bronx). So go snark ‘em up. (You do know you don’t need to own a Kindle to read a Kindle book, right? It’s an app.)
The Line received some really cool reviews and also got me banned from the Association of Graduate’s Magazine book reviews at West Point:
“Mayer has crafted a military thriller in the tradition of John Grisham’s The Firm.” Kirkus
“So convincing, that by the last page, readers may doubt the official version of the last 50 years.” Publishers Weekly
I used to pitch it as an updated Seven Days in May. Until I gave the keynote at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and asked how many people had read or seen Seven Days and not one in 500 people raised their hands. Oops.
The Gate, I based on a book I picked up in the nonfiction section of the library at Ft. Campbell called Japan’s Secret War. The author claims there’s a chance the Japanese detonated an atomic bomb at the end of World War II in Manchuria. His evidence is spotty, but it is true the Germans sent two U-Boats with their uranium to Japan near the end of WWII. So it got me thinking and I took it one step further and asked: What if they did do that, but there were two bombs? And where is the second one? And . . .
Well, you can read the free book to find out the rest.
That’s my name (Bob Mayer) repeated how many times in this post? And how many links? And how many left this page live overnight? Come on, Google. Of course, the machine probably didn’t like me referring to the future leader of the resistance against the Rise of the Machines.
I think I just linked myself into a visit from a guy with sunglasses.
Write It Forward!
Posted on January 24, 2012, in Write It forward and tagged Bob Mayer, Book Writing, business, Digital Book World, ePublishing, Self-Publishing, Technology, Technology and Publishing, The Future of Publishing. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.