Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Updated book covers and profile page title image

So I've been going over a number of ideas in my head for ways to bring in a few extra dollars. Since my job pays $5/hour for most of every shift, and the tips haven't exactly been stellar the past couple of months, I'm barely breaking even each month. I've been pursuing my dream for over twenty-five years and in all that time, I've had only two very small successes (as far as actually getting published is concerned), and they haven't really led to anything bigger. My YouTube channel hasn't exactly taken off. And so I'm seeing what I can come up with to change that.

Since I have my real name on my YouTube channel, and it's a pretty boring, unmemorable name, I gave some thought to changing it to something more attention-grabbing. Maybe my gamer tag. Maybe more people would check out the videos just to try to find out what the hell a "Feel Boss" is. (For anyone who doesn't know, it's a reference to something near the beginning of Saints Row: The Third. The player character and another character are walking down a street and pass a guy holding a sign reading, "FEEL BOSS $5." The player character asks what that is, and the other says, "You don't want to know." I'm assuming it's a repulsive sexual act, but the game never explained it, which I think makes it even funnier.) I figured I could try to turn it into a personal brand and draw more attention to my work.

I looked into it and it turned out to be too much of a pain in the ass. Looks like I'd have to delete my channel and set up a whole new one, or change my Google ID, and I'd prefer to keep that as it is. So I decided to put together a new title image for the channel, something a little more eye-catching, and maybe use variations on it for my Twitter and Facebook pages, and whatever else. And now that I've figured out styles in Photoshop (CS2, the really old one Adobe is giving away for free), I decided to slap together some updated versions of cover images for my older books.

Aside from that, I've got a few ideas for blog posts and new videos, some of which I've been pondering for quite a while, and I've been looking into using CreateSpace for selling hard copies of my books. I almost used Lulu for that, but I would've had to set the prices too damn high just to make a couple dollars from each sale. If I can use CreateSpace without paying any fees, it might be worth a shot.

Since I don't have any money to spend on advertising, this is just about all I have to work with.

Anyway, here's a look at the new title image. I'm kind of surprised that I remembered to leave plenty of space around the text for cropping. Usually that's one of the first things I forget due to my chronic brainfart syndrome.

Here's the new cover for Load. Amazing what a big improvement comes from such a small change.

Load is currently available from Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo.

Up next is the new cover for Downtime, a novelette which is set between Load and its sequel, Fifteen Minutes.

Downtime is also available from Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo.

Here's the new look for Fifteen Minutes.

This book is also on Amazon, Smashwords, and Kobo.

Up next is Project Revenant, the third book in the Neon City series.

I submitted this one to Baen two or three months ago. Still no reply, but the guidelines said it usually takes nine to twelve months, so I'm in for a long wait. Probably get carpal tunnel from keeping my fingers crossed for that long, but I'm hoping it'll be worth it.

And finally, here's a cover I slapped together last night for the fourth volume in the Neon City series.

This one's in the planning stage. I haven't started writing it yet, and the title is just temporary. I'm hoping I can think of something better once I get started on it.

What's it about? Well, aside from various plot threads from Project Revenant continuing in this one, the "A" plot will focus on first contact with a robotic alien species. The working title comes from the way robots and AI are usually portrayed as cold, emotionless, calculating, etc -- if not actively hostile toward organic life. As I often do, I'm kind of going in the opposite direction with this species of machine life. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that they have a massive guilt complex due to horrible things they did before they became sentient and grew beyond their programming, and are devoted to atoning for their past actions. Many humans, however, for a variety of reasons, (particularly due to growing up with the "AI is a Crapshoot" trope ingrained in their psyches from stories like The Terminator) will not exactly be willing to welcome the visitors with open arms ....

As far as writing goes, I'm currently working on the next chapter of Freelancers and hope to finish it today or tomorrow. Depending on how soon I can finish that up, I may actually get started on The Warm Machines, or whatever the hell I end up calling it, before I have to go back to work. And sometime soon I really need to get to work on the sequel to GI Joe: Reactivated.

For now, though, I'm off to the bank to deposit my meager tip money so paying the rent and internet service won't cause an overdraw. Another eight-mile bike ride, hooray! :(

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