Tag Archives: marketing

2019: Best Blog Year Yet.

This year exceeded the prior record by about twelve percent.

Are you game for yet another yearly recap? I hope so, because it’s all about YOU.

Blog views for 2019 broke 4,000 several days ago, leaving the 2014 record of 3,553 in the dust. Proportionally viewed on the bar graph, it may not look like much, but those roughly 500 additional views came from subscribers (I don’t like the social media term “followers”) who loyally checked Irish Firebrands blog at an average rate of about a dozen a day.

Not a high-performance blog, by any means; others who started blogging after I did regularly garner thousands of views per month, per week, and even per day. If those are all genuine readers, I’m happy for them. But unlike many other bloggers, I don’t do paid advertising at social media sites, which means that at least I know that those who visit Irish Firebrands blog are genuine readership, and not just click-farm produce.

The map shows the history of global readership over the whole seven years of the blog’s existence. Not a bad showing, for a blog that doesn’t offer flashy, trendy or sensationalist content. The top ten countries for that period (2012-2019) are mostly Anglophone, which can be regarded as predictable: I write in English, and I’m based in the USA, which has racked up the highest number of visitors. But every one of those viewers from all the countries on the map feel like valued friends, to me. I subscribe to roughly a hundred of their blog sites, and enjoy their content as much as I hope they enjoy mine.

What’s more, some of those blog-readership relationships have translated into material support for me as an Indie Author-Publisher, because Irish Firebrands blog is the only significant marketing outlet for my books. They are by no means bestsellers, but they are purchased at a steady rate of one or two per month, and do include some international sales.

All titles except the Bookplate Books are available at a discount from Lulu Press (www.lulu.com). Title availability is limited at Amazon, where all are at full retail price. Please shop at Lulu to enjoy the savings as a reward for your loyalty!




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Cake Stories.

Shopping for and reading books just got even better! 😉

Chicago Review of Books

Fifteen years ago, at an event promoting her new young adult novel, Hillary Frank smiled for the camera and leaned closer to the other star of the night – a giant cake modeled after the book. The blue-and-black cake looked like a larger-than-life-sized copy of her book, I Can’t Tell You. To a packed house at The Book Cellar, then a fledgling shop in Chicago’s Lincoln Square, Frank talked about her book and then the crowd ate it up.

The author “was floored” when she first saw it. Thus began a decades-long Book Cellar tradition, in which the store’s owner, Suzy Takacs, commissions large, hyper-realistic book cakes to serve during author events one-to-four times a month for over a decade.

“We had cake and wine and it felt like a real book party,” Frank wrote in an email. “Like, I conquered this book so hard that I am literally…

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Filthy Fingerprints.

Do your books have QR Codes?

QR codes are those square-shaped blotches that look like smudged thumbprints. They show up now on thousands of different products, including the bills we receive. I’ve noticed them on the back covers of the new books I’ve bought recently.

Using a QR code generator, you can program one of a number of different kinds of data into the patterned block. QR codes can be an easy way to link readers with your complete backlist, rather than by incorporating endless lists of titles or URLs into your book’s back cover, front matter or back matter. Readers who have a QR code scanner can jump to your catalog or directly to your retail pages, where they can fill their shopping carts with your books and then sign in to complete their purchases.

Free QR code generators are available for download; however, not all generators are created equal: some generate images of lower resolution than others, which affects the code image’s readability.

My mobile phone is not one of the “smart” variety that can read QR codes (although it does have the ability to go online, albeit at an exorbitant rate per minute), and frankly, my vision is too poor to be able to surf the web (for shopping or any other purpose) on such a small screen. But code scanners can be downloaded to regular computers, too.

I’m designing a catalog that will carry the QR codes for the retail pages of all my books, and my future plans are to include a code for a backlist link on my book cover revisions.

Click on the images to link to two sources for QR code generators:


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