Before I start laying out my business plan, I must provide you with a caveat. That caveat is that taking business advice from me is kind of like taking tax tips from Wesley Snipes. What I mean is that if these ideas don’t actually land you in jail, they will result in your complete financial ruin and make you into joke material for snarky writers’ blogs.
Wesley had the choice between Blade 4 and prison. He chose wisely.
Anyway, that warning out of the way, let’s get on to the “meat” of this blog entry. (Again, this “meat” is edible only in that you can ingest it.) And that is my new and perfect business cards designed by my own got-damn self, but with a major assist from my attorney, Sean “Esquire” Conner, Esq., former partner of the law firm Dewey, Cheatem, and Goode.
That joke in 42 A.D.’s MI Jokes for Any Occasion.
The Counselor liked my design for the front of the cards and asked if I wanted to use a QR code on its back as I did with the stunning and hopefully effective bookmarks I created. Then he gave me the link to QArt Coder, which is AMAZING. You take an image and it embeds it into the two-dimensional QR box. I decided that since The King In Yellow is not only a touchstone for Weird writers but also sports a damn fine sigil for driving people mad, I would color the back of my business card canary yellow and insert my custom QR code along with the text. Check it:
A couple of things to note about this “Most awesome of business cards like EVAR” (Vanity Fair):
- If you are at all familiar with Lovecraftian tropes, then you are no doubt familiar with “the Yellow Sign,” which publisher Chaosium created from hints in Robert Chambers’s The King In Yellow.
- That’s the Yellow Sign EMBEDDED IN MY GODDAMN QR CODE.
The original. I know, not as good as mine.
- Yes, I realize that the yellow sign in this is black and not yellow. but the rest of the card is yellow and having it in black makes the QR code work. Don’t believe me? Scan that mother right now and see what happens.
- I’ll wait.
- Ah, you’re back. So? Okay, right? It takes you to my webpage, SeanHoade.com, where you are able to take advantage of my BUSINESS PLAN IDEA THING that I alluded to earlier in this very blog entry!
- That idea is “Let interested folks read the first half of any of my books!”
- FOR FREE!
Yes, it is an idea deep-fried in genius, powdered in marketing perfection, and then clogging the arteries with its greasy, sweet awesomeness. As you see there on the card, much like the hucksters and carnival barkers of yesteryear, I invite the public to come have a taste of my writing before they buy! And this is no two-headed calf fetus or a statue that weeps Cap’n-Crunch-flavored milk—no, indeed! This is actual fiction writing by a “rising star” (Astronomy Magazine) in the literary world!
The idea, of course, is that people will read the first half of these books and find that they are very much to their liking, and then purchase them using one of the 4,200 “Buy Now!” buttons interrupting the narrative every now and then like a fart cracked during a funeral. I really do think this will work well for my particular books, because they’re all kind of “out there” in their own way. Letting potential readers have the first bit free soothes them and makes them unable to resist buying more.
It’s a proven, ethical marketing strategy.
It’s a leeeeeeettle bit of a fib to say that fully half of all of the books are there. It’s true for a couple of the shorter ones, but for Ain’t That America, which weighs in at 100,000 words, only about the first act is needed to whet the reader’s appetite for more. For my short story collection, Inappropriate Behavior, only the first story is offered, which should be plenty to scare off the timid and the tasteful.
Still, it’s a major section of the novels given for free to the interested reader, a hell of a lot more than that tease “sample” given by Amazon for its Kindle books. (A tease that has proved incredibly effective, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason I don’t feel I have precisely the same marketing reach as Amazon.com.)
So what makes me do this? Desperation? No, quite the opposite! It’s confidence in my product—my books—that makes me believe that the more of my stuff people consume, the more they’re gonna want of it.
It’s a proven, ethical marketing strategy.
What I’m trying to say is that you should immediately scan that QR code up there or just go to SeanHoade.com and get reading. (Then, of course, you should tell all of your friends and family and maybe some random people who look like they have money about the great FREE samples of awesome fiction available there.) I worked hard to streamline the design so everything on my site can be easily read on any device. I really hope you’ll stop by and take a look. You can even copy and paste the samples into a Word or .rtf document and send it to your Kindle or Nook!
Or your Kobo, if you’re not into technology.
NEXT TIME: THE FINAL CHAPTER OF PUBLICITY: THE AMUSICAL! READ ABOUT MY UPCOMING CTHULHUCON APPEARANCE AND RADIO INTERVIEWS!