March 2016 is a fantastically busy and fun month for me. Hard to believe it is March already. Still, some time was needed to get everything lined up. So far this month:
The new lartra.com website launched – if you haven’t seen the new look, do drop by. It’s gorgeous.
I get to go to Norwescon #39 from March 24 to March 27 in SeaTac Washington, a fantasy/science-fiction conference, and participate in the writers’ row – it’s happening practically in my backyard.
At long last, Endless Horizons Sagas is launching – this has been harder, and yet funner, than I ever expected.
How does all of this help me decide on a bet? Glad you asked.
For Norwescon and the launch of Endless Horizons Sagas, I wrote a special giveaway prologue for the series. At first it was only a few thousand words. By the time I was finished editing it, it had blown out to a full episode. That made me feel guilty about the DIY cover I made for it compared to the rest of the series.
I went back to my graphics guy and asked for a quick new cover. Then, as long as I was talking to him, I said it’d be nice to have a new stand-up banner for Norwescon. Well, he had some ideas and showed them to me. I flipped and had to have it. But, then I thought, “Dang. That’d make an awesome bookmark.” Mind you, I already designed and had some business card hand-outs with a subscription link ready to roll.
I took it and designed a new bookmark. Now I had to rush because I needed to order them with enough lead time so I’d have them for Norwescon! I floated my design by some marketing friends and therein comes the “debate.” My artsy author friends wanted the story on the back of the bookmark. The more experienced advertising people said that it would work better with a punchier (read, shorter) headline and series data (aka no story details).
That wasn’t the end of it. Nope, we had a ripe roaring chat about color details (darker or lighter background, sharper or blurry backgrounds, etc.) Again, lines were drawn, and oddly enough, they were basically the same camps as the “what words to use” groups.
Being the computing guy I am, I had a puzzle to solve. But, this is a puzzle that needs – well — data. So I devised a way to do one of those cool marketing tricks called an A/B test campaign (except in this case there are four choices so it is really an A/B/C/D test.) This is where you put forth both possibilities and see which one works better.
This is where you come in. Endless Horizons Sagas is steampunk with fantasy. The Golden Threads Trilogy is fantasy with science-fiction. I know 100% for sure that not everyone who likes fantasy will be interested in steampunk. Hence, I’m creating separate update lists for each of my series. This means you can be subscribed to one or more of my newsletter lists independently based on what you prefer to read.
Endless Horizons Sagas is entirely new – as of the writing of this article, the list has a grand total of three people on it (myself, and two tester buddies). If you want to be notified of updates about my new steampunk series, you will need to opt-in by clicking on one of the bookmark back images or business cards bellow. All four will subscribe you to the same email list. Which one you choose is the one that you liked the most and compelled you to want to join. And that is where my A/B/C/D data will come from. I’ll be handing these out at Norwescon and everywhere else I go until I run out. The data collected by people choosing one over the other will help determine who is right (and who buys who a tasty beverage.)
If you don’t like steampunk or serial pulp adventures, please don’t click on an image. If any ONE (1) (there can be only one! — sorry had to get that in) of these seems compelling go ahead and click it to get in on the free book giveaway.
NOTE: Only the bookmark rear panels and business card handouts have a link backing them.
If one of them excites you to want to join the list just click and let the good times roll.
Choose wisely. I’m thirsty and pretty sure I’m winning this one.