This Week in the Blogs, October 10 – 16, 2015, and Big Changes at The Book Designer

by | Oct 18, 2015

November is almost here and that means NANOWRIMO and WNFIN (a.k.a. NaNonFiWriMo). Are you participating? Whether you’re writing a book in November or whenever else you can find the time, the articles below may help you when you publish and promote it.

Debbie Young on ALLi Blog
Production: When’s the Best Time to Design Your Book Cover?
“For self-published authors, which comes first, the cover or the book? In the past, I’ve considered the cover to be like the icing on the cake, rather than the baking tin, and focused on writing the book before thinking about the cover design. However, a recent conversation on the ALLi members’ Facebook forum has made me think again.”

Martin Crosbie on Indies Unlimited
My Kindle Scout Adventure, Part 1
“I needed to do something different. My book sales had stalled and I was searching for ways to connect with readers – new readers. So, at the beginning of September I submitted my latest, unpublished manuscript – The Dead List – to Amazon’s Kindle Scout program.”

Penny Sansevieri on Author Marketing Experts, Inc.
Help! My Amazon Reviews have Disappeared! Now What?
“As we all know, as an author, you work hard to get reviews. You spend hours contacting bloggers, social media followers, friends, even neighbors, asking them to review your book. You also know how frustrating it is to pull up Amazon and see your reviews have been yanked.”

John Kremer on Book Marketing Bestsellers
Ernie Zelinski: Creative Book Marketing Strategies
“Below are a few of self-publisher Ernie Zelinski’s favorite ways to sell his books. Ernie is the author of Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations.”

Angela Ackerman on Jane Friedman
How Authors Can Find Their Ideal Reading Audience
“It can be tempting for an author to rig a marketing freighter with big nets and start trawling for a readership. But your goal is not to seek out any old catch you can. To get the most out of your marketing efforts, you want to attract a specific type of reader suited to your book. This means you need to know who they are and where they hang out.”

Big Changes at The Book Designer!

You may have noticed that things look a bit different around here. Or, you may not.

But we made a huge leap this week, almost a year in the making.

For the last 5 years the blog has run on the Thesis theme, hosted by Bluehost.com. When I first built it, Thesis was the theme that was most recommended by people who knew about such things, and it had great tools to help you advance your search engine optimization (SEO).

There was a whole community of support, and designer Matt Chevy created the original branding and layout of the blog.

But like everything else on the internet, change is nonstop.

Thesis eventually decided to change the underlying structure of their software, meaning that if you wanted to keep up with new versions (highly recommended) you would have to completely rebuild your site.

I’ve often gotten great advice on software from Copyblogger, and they had moved away from Thesis years ago and now owned and operated Studio Press. We’re now running on their Genesis framework, a new type of WordPress software that’s more modern and flexible, and we’re using the News Pro theme.

In the transition, we lost one sidebar but gained a cleaner, more open look. Images are larger, and the layout has been drastically simplified. The old “Start Here” categories have moved and condensed into the secondary menu way up on the right (still a bit “under construction”).

As far as hosting, Bluehost has been good over the years, but I needed a more hands-on, “managed hosting” solution since traffic here has continued to grow steadily over the years. On recommendation, we’re now at wpengine.com, a great group of people. Have you noticed it loaded faster? Nice.

All the work of moving the blog and changing hosts was done by Aaron Podbelski and John McAlester of Portmanteau Design. Patient, knowledgeable, forgiving, it’s a pleasure working with them, and I have more plans for their talents.

I could use your help

You should be able to find what you need here with little fuss, and that’s the best result I can hope for.

But let’s face it, this is a big site with thousands of links, thousands of images, hundreds of pages. If you find anything that doesn’t work, please let me know.

The best way to do that is with my Contact Page. Or you can just let me know what you think of the new “look.”

Thanks!

 
book launch

Photo: bigstockphoto.com

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

10 Comments

  1. Kate Tilton

    I’m a huge fan of Rainmaker Digital (formerly Copyblogger Media)! I run on their Rainmaker Platform so it’s exciting to see you using one of their other solutions. The site is much faster and I’m excited to poke around :).

    Reply
  2. JP McLean

    Sleek, clean – I like it!

    Reply
  3. Jackie Weger

    I love the new design. So much so, I’ve subscribed. I got lost in the older one.

    Best,

    Jackie Weger

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Wow, that’s a great result, thanks Jackie, hope you enjoy it.

      Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks Candace!

      Reply
  4. Melanie Jongsma

    Congratulations on your new look! I have to admit, most of the time I read your blog only in the email I receive, so I don’t actually visit your site much and can’t compare your new look to your old look—but I can say the new look is nice!

    I too have used Thesis for years, and I stuck with them as they re-designed the underlying structure of their theme, believing it would be easier in the long run to make changes to my site. It’s not, and I regret the upgrade. I would love to switch away from Thesis, so I appreciate your recommendations. However, knowing what a huge job it is to make that switch will probably keep me where I am for a while.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Thanks, Melanie. It was a big decision to make when I realized the blog would have to be rebuilt anyway. So far I’m glad I made the jump, but it took a lot of help to get it done.

      Reply
  5. Rob Siders

    I’m just happy it’s more mobile friendly now. Thanks!

    Reply

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