Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sneak preview!

Today it's "welcome to a different kind of book launch."

In fact, this is the sneak preview, for readers of this blog only. The launch itself will be via newsletter tomorrow.

LEGENDS is up, it's ready, and it's open. The first eight or nine thousand words are online, plus a lot of artwork, housed in one of the most amazing templates I've ever seen. You'd hardly believe it was a blog, and you'd never guess it was working under the Blogger engine.

Here's the url to the LEADER page -- remember, being a blog it will always have the latest post up first! But if you book mark this url, you'll always hit the "cover" of the book! Here is is:


Notice that there are tabs across the top of the page (and THAT is a feat of magic in Blogger) which give you access to the Complete Contents, as well as a other stuff. The Complete Contents is just that: the direct link to every segment as it's posted, in order, identified by its title.

You can also navigate by a simple "chapter list" that's building in the left column; and you can page-forward and page-back from the top and bottom of each chapter/post. If you do get lost (and it won't be easy, because the navigation is too obvious!) go home to the Complete Contents from the tab-bar across the top of the page.

Lastly, where it says "Chapter Five is due tomorrow" ... well, this is the sneak preview. Chapter Five will actually be up a day after the site opens "to the public." Regulars on this blog are a special kind of "in group" with due privileges.

The rest of the Mel-o-Sphere is fairly dull: it's all about narrowly avoiding the hospital (not me personally), house cleaning, and being confounded by the prejudice you find in the oddest places --

In putting together the LEGENDS site, obviously it's "monetized" because the novel itself is free. So I've been looking around for an ad-server that would load a banner onto the page and pay whatever fee per thousand page impressions -- you know how it works.

I'm sure there are companies out there who would do this, but long before I found one which will work with me, I checked out the banner ad serving company that comes most highly recommended (seemed like a good place to start) and was both stunned and disgusted.

They have a problem with blogs, for a start: probably because blogs have the ability to be flexible, ephemeral, always changing, and content is uploaded so fast -- they can't hope to monitor (censor, filter, object to, haggle over) what's published. They have a problem with FOREIGN sites ...meaning, anything outside North America. They have a problem with sites that have anything to do with, or are linked to, sites about "different sexual orientation." They also have a problem with sites dealing with religion ... and on, and on.

The prejudice displayed by such a company is beyond comprehension. They come highly recommended by (surprise) American blogging pundits --

But what if you're "foreign," or Hundu, or (good grief!) GLBTI? You're persona non grata. These people refuse to serve ads to anyone who's not PLU -- heterosexual North Americans who either don't mention religion, or toe the (Republican) party line. Dominionists? Fine and dandy. Wiccan or Taoist or Hindu? I imagine they believe we're all going to burn.

Not good enough, people.I clicked out and passed on. At this point, LEGENDS is carrying Google ads, Amazon affiliate stuff, iPower and Serif (which we know inside out, can vouch for and recommend) and that's about it. I'm still hunting for an ad server without the incredible prejudice. Might take a look at Gay Ad Network. And when the traffic on LEGENDS has built up to a healthy torrent, Blog Ads should start to look attractive.

The experiment begins! Look out for a newsletter tomorrow, and I'll keep you posted as to results.

Speaking of results, it's interesting to note that the Amazon affiliate links actually do sell items. It works out to something like 10 items sold through about 2500 page impressions ... in other words, every 250 page loads, someone, somewhere, buys a book, a DVD, a CD, a jump drive, an SD card, whatever.

And of course this is the core of the experiment: can you give the book away and make enough "on the side" for the author to be reimbursed? Let's find out!

Ciao for now,

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