Category Archives: Web Site

Facebook Locks Down Personal Profiles

mark-zuckerberg-evil-facebook-founderThe latest bit of money-grubbing nonsense from Facebook is that we can now no longer syndicate our posts to personal profiles. You know, those personal profiles that indie authors like me have spent years building into lists of thousands of people. Now we have to create pages and get fans to like our pages instead. In other words, we have to go down our exhaustive lists of people and spam them with invites to like our pages if they want to keep seeing syndicated updates from our blogging and promotional sites.

So I’m going to apologize in advance for spamming you all. I’m not a fan of doing that, but Facebook is now giving me no choice in the matter. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of my updates, like my Scott Michael Stenwick author page and everything posted here will keep syndicating to you. Make sure you leave notifications on if you want to keep reading my posts – which, I expect, is the main reason you would want to follow my page since I don’t post much of anything personal on my Facebook account anyway.

Frankly this whole thing sucks, and as I see it, it provides no real value to Facebook users. It’s little more than another attempt to push people like authors into paying money for Facebook promotion – which, by the way, is not worth it, does not generate any sales, and is little more than a big cash funnel for Mark Zuckerberg, who already has plenty of money. Facebook really wants to be the social network that everyone uses, and it has largely succeeded at that. But it also wants to make sure that any avenue for making real money by promoting products and the like is cut off for users.

I’ve long been convinced that online advertising is a gigantic house of cards that will eventually fall. Personally, I never have ordered anything off an online ad, and not only that, I don’t know anyone else who has either. So the only money to actually be made in online advertising is made by Facebook, Google, and other companies that sell the ads. Maybe there’s some critical mass where it has some value for big companies. But I’ve tried doing online ads for my books, and so has Pendraig, and they never managed to get anywhere close to recouping their investment. The only people who made money were – you guessed it, Google and Facebook.

I also have tried running ads over on my other blog, Augoeides. I had banner ads that ran over there for two years, trying to build up enough revenue to cross the $10 threshold for Google to pay me anything. I was at something like $9.50 after those two years, and then Google changed their program so that all of a sudden everything rebooted and they never paid me anything. That’s why you don’t see ads over there and you never will – I’m not going to let one of those big companies sucker me again. I also am now officially boycotting Facebook advertising over their continual screwing around with our ability to promote things – but seeing as I know better than to spend any money on Facebook ads, they aren’t going to notice anything.

I’ll still be posting my links over on Facebook because hate it or not, it’s where everyone is. Now I just have to do it manually. Oh, and I tried connecting up my author page, which they’re supposed to allow, and guess what – it doesn’t work and returns an error message that provides no information indicating why it failed. I’ll figure it out eventually, but it’s just one more piece of annoyance that they aren’t even letting me do this thing that’s supposed to work. So I’m stuck with posting everything manually until I have the time to troubleshoot it and come up with a fix that makes it start working again.

I am going to look into other possible areas for online promotion, and I’ll be announcing those as they come up. Blog posts from here already go to Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Twitter in addition to Facebook – which I now have to mess around with in order to keep up and running. For those of you who go ahead and like my author page, I thank you all very much in advance. I appreciate your support and interest in my work – which, pretty obviously, Facebook doesn’t share.

Author Site Updates

website_updateAlong with my recent stepped-up promotional efforts, I’ve made a few changes to this web site.

First off, I removed the blogroll page as it was getting out of date and according to my stats nobody was viewing it anyway. I maintain a list of blogs as feed content that runs down the right sidebar of my magick blog Augoeides, and it makes more sense to me to keep that information in one place rather than trying to update multiple lists and keep them synchronized – especially when the one at this site was essentially being ignored.

Secondly, I’ve rearranged some of the main page elements and added an “Urban Fantasy News” feed. This seems to be working reasonably well, much better than back when I was trying to maintain a “Magick” news feed. Incidentally, since nobody pays any attention to how they spell the word “magick” returns all sorts of junk from Google News, often albums where the musicians are changing the spelling because they think it looks clever. But there’s a purpose to the trailing K, or at least there should be. In the time of keyword searching, I can’t imagine a better time to alter the spelling of the word in order to differentiate “the science of the Magi from its counterfeits.”

Finally, I’ve added new Facebook page links for The Guild Series and the Mastering Enochian Magick Series, as my publisher is currently working on putting together sequels to my two published books. There’s no word yet on when they will be available, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as soon as I know. I’ve also added links for Arcana and Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy on Google+, for those who would rather use that platform. If you’re a fan of my fiction, non-fiction, or both, I invite you to “like” the relevant Facebook and/or Google+ pages for the series that you are interested in reading so that I can target my updates more effectively. The page for The Guild Series can be found here and the one for the Mastering Enochian Magick Series can be found here. The Google+ page for Arcana can be found here and the one for Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy can be found here.

New Website Theme

As you can see I’ve changed the look and feel of this website.

While I liked the Regulus theme that I was using, it was very popular and very recognizable. After running into it on several other sites, particularly anything related to astrology, I decided that I wanted something else. Also, I’ve been wanting to set the site up with three columns rather than two and Regulus just doesn’t do that. The new theme is Coraline, which is still popular but more customizable. It also allows for a three-column display so that I can show more information when readers first arrive at the site.

I slightly prefer Coraline’s sidebar-content-sidebar layout over the content-sidebar-sidebar that I currently have set, but in testing with the former layout I found that the page with my posts seemed to have some sort of problem displaying correctly on Internet Explorer 6 which a lot of people are still using. Look for that change at some point in the future, either once IE6 has been mostly upgraded or when the Coraline folks come up with a fix.

Recent Site Updates

While I haven’t added any new posts here in the last month I’ve still been busy working on the site and promoting Arcana.

I’ve completed the first draft of the Places of Arcana and now have descriptions and pictures for all of the various locations that show up in each chapter, along with some brief plot notes and tidbits here and there about various cards of the Tarot. Looking it over I think that at some point in the future I will be expanding the entries that I have, but for now I plan on leaving them as they are for awhile.

I’ve also added a few other links to the Social Networking box and set up profiles on a couple of other sites, Goodreads and BookTour.com. In addition, I now have a link to the profile for Arcana on Witchvox Books, where my novel is currently up to #8 on their list of most-viewed books.

Over the last two weeks I also put together trial ads for Google and Facebook and ran them for a couple days each. I was able to add 9 more fans to my Facebook page and got about 50 hits on the Arcana page here. I also seemed to have sold at least a few copies on Amazon while those ads were running, so I think I’ve established that they do work to generate traffic. However, I will need to work out how many sales I made to figure out how cost-effective this sort of online marketing really is.

Site Reorganization

You’ve probably noticed that there are now fewer tabs along the top of the home page. I’m still getting the hang of organizing pages on WordPress, but I think the new arrangement will work better than the previous one and I like how it turned out.

Arcana now has its own tab and all of the pages associated with the novel are grouped under it. The main reason for doing this is that I’m planning on writing more books and I want to be able to expand beyond promoting the novel easily. The plan now is to add a new tab when I publish a new book and then group all the pages for that particular book there.

Under the Arcana tab you will now find the text from the old My Books tab with subpages of Cover Art, Places, and Sample Reading. I plan on including another subpage there for reviews and comments once I have some – so far there’s no feedback on Amazon and as far as I can tell there are no reviews of the book in any other publications.

So yes, I plan on publishing more books and organizing the website like this will help me be prepared for when that finally happens. I have several manuscripts in process at the moment and I’ll be sure to announce any new titles here.