Top five ideas for your blog and self-publishing novels.

Carly, a regular reader of this blog, asked: “Why don’t you add ads to your blog? You create such great content; why don’t you monetize?” This got me thinking. I’ve been blogging for 10+ years, and here are some observations on how I’ve faired.

1. The number of visitors to my blog continues to increase month by month and year by year. Occasionally I have included ads in my blog, and in total I have made about… $13. Why is that? My blog focuses on content that I personally like. This is not mainstream content, it isn’t about gossip, sex, politics, current affairs, or even any one single topic. I’m presuming readers like to read the posts, but find ads distracting. Therefore, monetizing the blog through ads doesn’t add any value, neither for me as a blogger and author, nor for you as a reader, probably.

2. I have invested months in studying and implementing SEO, and I follow most of the rules in the SEO rule book – if that is possible (it is easy to overlook some important setting). The effort is considerable, yet Search Engine Optimization is a very intriguing topic that you will need to consider if you own a blog. In reality, 90% of the referrals to my blog arrive from my “Two_Journeys” Twitter channel, 7% from the “Clemens P. Suter” Facebook Page, and the other 3% from other channels – including search engines! By the way, my follower numbers on Twitter increase day by day, yet the number of followers on Facebook remains the same year over year.

3. Blogs compete for attention, and as more and more people are blogging, the tougher it gets to stick out from the crowd. I try to focus on content and less on the methodology and possibilities to monetize. My main purpose is to make potential readers aware of my books, and for that the blog is useful; a single site to attract people to, and bring them here.

4. Talking about selling books. I write adventure / SciFi stories (again see here) and self-publish. Here’s a very Intriguing Observation: >95% of my books are purchased as eBooks on iTunes. All other eBook formats such as Kindle, Kobo, and for other eBook readers, as well as paperbacks make up the other 5%. I suspect this skewed distribution across these channels has to do with the genre; I have no other explanation – perhaps you have an idea. Interestingly, every second person that I meet tells me that they prefer reading paperbacks: well dude, dudess; it’s not reflected in my sales😜. I am curious to hear your feedback or experience with this.

5. I’ve said it before: nowadays anyone with a laptop can be an author. Writing has been democratized, which is absolutely marvelous. At the same time, digging into to the ever changing landscape of online marketing is very rewarding too. Enthusiasm for the written word – perseverance – the motivation to try out new things – these are the ingredients that will help you be an author for a long time.

Hmm, perhaps I should add some ads to  this blog? What do you think?

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Two men reading one of my eBooks on their smartphone. Hot stuff!

 

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Celebrating the 2010 release of my novel Two Journeys with a limited edition coffee mug.

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This special commemorative coffee mug can be filled with 350ml of hot coffee, even steaming hot: it is fully temperature resistant. All types are supported: latte, cappuccino, koffie verkeerd or macchiato; its smooth surface even protects against the oxidative effects of Devil’s Brew.

FAQ

How does it work? The mug comes with two holes: one hole (at the top) is used to both add and extract the coffee. The hole on the side is used to insert two fingers so that the mug can be lifted. (Confusing the two may lead to damage and/or injury.)

Can the mug be used for tea? Yes.

How about the artwork? Find the cover of Two Journeys on the front, and a mysterious QR code on the back! Where does it lead, you will wonder? Which miraculous domain of the internet?

Learn more here: http://clemenssuter.com/books

 

A deadly legacy should humanity disappear – get ready for the postapocalypse !

Excerpt from my new postapocalyptic novel, the sequel to Two Journeys and Fields of Fire:

She and my son had been looking forward to giving birth, but it was not to have been. I had my suspicions why. The pandemic had not only caused the deaths of billions of people, so that only a few thousand or so had survived. Without humans, there was no maintenance, and so one by one all the machines had come to a standstill. Thus, the storage baths for the nuclear fuel elements weren’t cooled anymore, and the liquid had subsequently evaporated. Once that had happened, the uranium and plutonium rods of hundreds of reactors had overheated and Poof! Evaporated into the atmosphere. I shuddered at the idea, and hardly shared it with anyone; it would have a dramatic effect on humanity, on life on this planet, on each single one of us… I suspected that it may have caused my daughter in law’s miscarriage too.

Learn more about my novels here.

Top Tip. Get Great Adventure eBooks on Your iPhone. Hey, presto!

All over the globe – get my Books on you iPhone or iPad ! Or iPod for that matter. Here’s the direct link to my novels in iTunes.

I have an iPhone myself, and it is a great machine, isn’t it? I like iTunes mostly as a music player. I like its ability to view my music as albums, artists and songs, the searching capabilities are great stuff. The way albums open into color-matched track listings is attractive. And I use the playlist extensively, e.g. I have playlists like “play all music that I love and didn’t skip in the last three years”. These are Smart Playlists, with a breathtaking number of options available for user-created Playlists it is incredibly powerful – and with thousands of songs, it is a fantastic way to listen to music  that you haven’t listened to for a long time.Things like that. I like the UI of Now Playing. It is easy to add entire albums or individual tracks, and reorder them.

But iTunes is undervalued as an eBook store. I do see more and more people  reading eBooks on their iPhone, and the sales of my books on iTunes is booming too, but the functionality of iTunes as a bookstore is meager – when compared to the functionality as a music store. Still the biggest advantage is that if you read eBooks on your iPhone, you need just a single device to enjoy both music and reading – at the same time.

My books on iTunes..

As eBook or Paperback

Read Two Journeys or Field of Fire.

Acclaim for TWO JOURNEYS

 “Move over, Cormac McCarthy, another survivor is traveling the Armageddon road. Clemens P. Suter’s apocalyptic thriller grabs you in the first couple of pages and never lets go. The reader feels real empathy for the main character’s plight as he begins a seemingly impossible 9,000-mile trip to learn his family’s fate. The cause of the calamity is mysterious but clues are uncovered along the way causing tension to build until we reach the shattering climax. Two Journeys is not to be missed.” – G. Dedrick Robinson, author of Blood Scourge

More about my books here: www.clemenssuter.com/books

iToons

Clemens P. Suter books on iTunes, iPhone

 

Top Six Reasons Why you Should Contact me. Any Questions, Comments or Feedback.

Do not hesitate to reach out by using the contact form. Submissions are spam checked – best is not to include any links. Likewise, check your spam-box for my reply.

Why use the contact form?

Now, you may wonder, why and when should you use the contact form? Perhaps you want to tell me about a great book that you have written, and are looking for ways to cross-promote, or learn more about how to publish books. You may have a specific question about my novels or my paintings. You may need a present urgently for a loved one. Perhaps you have a question about one of the places that I traveled to. Or it could be late at night and you are drunk & lonely playing tedious computer games, and now you are looking for some alternate excitement. Perhaps your pet parrot has died, and you need tips on how to cremate its remains. Or you murdered your spouse, and the police is moving in on your house, the whole damn place is surrounded and you are getting a bit worried as they are getting ready to storm your home. Or you are in doubt whether you should continue your job as a pet shop janitor versus having a tattoo on your forehead and moving to Nepal and become a Buddhist monk. And you need advice. Or a shoulder to cry on.

For all other cases, the contact form is here: https://clemenssuter.com/contact/

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Here is a sample from my novel Two Journeys.

Several small containers stood in an orderly row in front of him, all empty. The labels described a variety of chemicals. I recognized the names of several neurotoxins and anesthetics. A tall glass contained a few drops of clear liquid at the bottom. Had he mixed himself a deadly cocktail? Had ended his own life?

It looked as if the poor fellow had committed suicide only hours before my arrival, in the process canceling my chance to meet a living fellow human being.

I went through his notes, multiple pages of cramped and hard-to-read handwriting. Most of it was in English. They seemed to contain a report of his last weeks and final days. I left the lab and checked the other rooms in the tract, shouting and banging on the doors. I extended my search to the other floors and buildings. I didn’t find any humans, dead or alive. I concluded that if he had any companions they had most likely died before him, leaving him behind as the second loneliest person in the world. After that, he had made an orderly and clean ending to his misery. Back in the lab, I found him sitting in the same position. I took his notes and two Geiger counters and left the building. I couldn’t stay here. I needed to find a place where I wasn’t surrounded by death.

The truck shined brightly in the setting sun. We boarded and drove off. That evening we made our camp north of Seoul, close to the border with North Korea. We stopped at a parking lot next to the highway on the top of a hill. It was cloudy, and the night was dark. The dogs had their dinner underneath the truck. I huddled in my sweater and looked at the gloomy landscape from the cab. Seoul was still visible, and I imagined that I could see the flames flickering in its city center. After the dogs had finished eating, we all climbed aboard. It was a cold night, and the dogs didn’t mind when I threw a blanket over them. I switched on the heating. King licked my hand and tried to look more innocent than he really was. By the light of the small overhead lamp, I tried to decipher the words that the Korean had written.