More on Marketing, Networking, and Nerves

a little chaotic today mentally:( I managed to sort-of focus on work some – did a little more work on the blog/page. I know I want to eventually have actual cover pics for all the stories (and ebook(s) that are/will be up at Amazon).  My goal is to have that. Started on it yesterday, as you can see.  Unfortunately WordPress Terms of Service doesn’t want people to put those nice Amazon buttons – not even writers can do it:( – next best thing they’ve suggested is to put the cover pic as a widget with a link to Amazon under it. Finally we got one working like that.  It isn’t as pretty as the other style would have been, but I like it well enough.

I wonder if I might or might not have to draw more, just to get a cover I want.  There’s more stories than books there now, and many of the stories are from this or that world (mostly Kritter).  So  I was in between thinking of maybe making them as a series, all the ones for one world being of the same cover type, or my husband suggested doing parts of the same cover for stories from one world.  What do you think? Both ideas sound interesting.  I’m mentally off-course at the moment, but I do have it in mind.

Search Engine Optimization is also something that needs to be worked on.  It’s a little vague of a concept, I know now, from the little bit of research I did on it earlier in the week.  Should wait on that one till the covers are done, and that area is settled.  (and, since I want people going to good stuff, I’ve been reminded that the stories/ebook(s) need to be reformatted, cleaned up a bit so that everyone sees those on any device in good form).

Yesterday I also looked at marketing:  as my husband pointed out, I need to stop thinking I’m not a programmer just because my first game isn’t finished.  And well, as he also pointed out, I’m a rare commodity:  a writer who programs.  There’s writers who know how to do webpages, and game design companies hire people to help them with worldbuilding, but no actual writers that I know of who do what I do.  I mean, LOTRO, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars (both Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 I mean) all have to have people to tell the story behind the scenes of all that code.  So does Everquest, and Elder Scrolls (yes, even Elder Scrolls online…), and so on…  and then even games that don’t have “stories” have to have people to write in descriptions of stuff.  Terraria, Starbound… all of those have to do that.  Heck, this concept should have been stuck in my head back when I was a teenager, because my father, a translator, had one assignment where he helped to translate the game Albion for BlueByte.  I remember clearly not only gametesting in there for him (so that he’d get a good visual of what this or that thing actually was and did in the game context) but also taking dictation from him of the zillion and one descriptions of things, snippets of dialogue and story, and descriptions of areas in the game.  Yeah I might have been sixteen at the time, but it should still have stuck what was going on – yet it didn’t.  Now, I can look back and go “OHHHH… I GET it now!”  …because I’m – partly – the guy who would have originally written that stuff for Dad to translate.  It’s just that I’m also the guy who connects that stuff to the game itself, by putting it into the code and connecting the modules.

So yeah, marketing, specifically networking with programmers.  I think the exact words were “TALK. TO. PEOPLE.”  Sigh.  I have confidence as a writer, can go and kind of schmooze at places like WANATribe or Absolute Write Watercooler, and once or twice I’ve even hung out with a writer when gaming – I remember there was one guy I ran into when I was playing World of Warcraft and we were talking in the middle of Duskwood about werewolves and how they’re written.  But, if I try to think about going somewhere and saying, “hi I’m a programmer…” Yeah I get all nervous.  I don’t entirely feel like I’m a programmer, I feel kind of bizarre, like I’m in some nowhere-land in between career paths.  Doing both at once?  That’s just crazy talk.  No matter how many times I might scream at this or that game when I come upon bad writing – and believe me, I do – and no matter how many times I hear from my husband, “dammit, do you know how many gamers are DYING to have good writing in their games??” I still get nervous at the thought of talking to programmers.  

Ok, OTHER programmers.

So, I’ve inserted 3 blog days per week back into my schedule planner, as well as days I purposefully will go to programmer forums.  I found 2 that seem good, and relevant just now:  GameDev.net and Games for Change.  The second I especially love, because it has to do with making games about causes, concerns.  I’ve seen games there about concepts such as poverty, homelessness, sweatshops and gender issues.  I’d like someday to make one or two (or many) games that have disabled characters, and I know I want to have strong females, so this site resonates to me.  Ok so I’ve lurked there…

This week seems to be devoted to marketing stuff, just setting it up,  I remember doing something like it two years ago or so, maybe a year and a half, but I did see on another site that updating the look and activity of your blog is a very good thing to do.  So, fairly sizable to-do list.  Hopefully it won’t take much longer than a week, but if it ends out the month that won’t be too bad either, and then I can start April with a shiny, updated blog and marketing scheme.

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