Sunday, November 1, 2009

Business is Picking Up - A Little

We have gotten the printing and binding process down to a more manageable routine now. The Brother HL-4070CDW duplex color laser printer has been great overall in terms of print quality, including the quality of the 102 color photographs in the book. The printer still has some quirks I haven't fully figured out, though. The one that is most maddening is when the back sides of the pages print upside-down. I thought I had figured out a way to prevent that from happening, but it happened again at least once yesterday. My latest way to combat the printer's tendency to do this is to print multiple copies in one print job, on the theory that all of the copies will print in the same direction on the pages. This seems to be a sound strategy. Right now I have four copies churning out of the printer. This means I will have to re-load paper at least once, but that's easy enough to do.

The curling or waviness of the pages still is an issue; I will start trying to figure out which paper is the most likely to flatten out and stay flat.

As far as promotion is concerned, Google AdWords is working quite well; yesterday I had some thousands of impressions of my ad (times when someone had the ad appear off to the right of their search results) and about 18 clicks on the ad. I ended up with 3 book sales, yesterday, a new record. I've had one book sale so far today and one inquiry from a gentleman in Canada asking where he can find the book in Canada. I replied that it is available only online right now, but that I will be glad to ship it to Canada. I've done a good deal of selling used books, videos, and other items on eBay and Amazon, and I've always made my auctions and sales available worldwide. It can sometimes be a nuisance to ship things overseas, but it makes great sense to me, especially when the weak dollar means more people in Europe and elsewhere can find bargains in the U.S.

There's one aspect of my Google AdWords campaign that I just noticed but haven't yet figured out -- I just did a search for D-Lux 4 on, and my Google AdWords ad showed up on the Amazon search results page! I don't know how or why that happened, but it seems like an excellent added source of potential customers. I'll have to try to figure out what the connection is between AdWords and "sponsored links" on Amazon.

Last night I started looking for photography magazines that might review my book. I sent a message to asking if they will review it, and I've packaged up a copy of the book to ship to Shutterbug magazine to see if they will review it.

On the Kindle front, I was amazed to see this morning that the .pdf file I uploaded to Amazon's conversion site yesterday had actually converted quite well. Evidently it took several hours to convert, but it did convert, with the photographs quite visible and looking pretty good. There are some very obvious formatting issues, such as problems with my drop caps at the beginnings of chapters and some areas where the carriage returns are missing, but I think I can get a cleaned-up version ready by tweaking the HTML. Actually, I've sent the HTML code to my son to see if he can fix it up, because he's a pretty good programmer, and I barely know any HTML.

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