Heyyyyyy – why wasn’t my art featured? And get a website, will ya?

In recent weeks, I have had two queries asking me how I decide which art to feature at Ink & Alchemy.

Mostly, I wing it.

I try to be fair. I have a method of keeping track of all the creative people I feature (including writers) and I do pay attention in a handwaving, don’t-really-care-all-that-much way. I started doing this several years ago because I was seeking inspiration for myself and even though it has morphed into something bigger, that is still one of the underlying goals. I don’t want to take the fun out of it by imposing strict guidelines upon myself because I’m just compulsive enough to feel pressured by it.

I feature what I like. I post things that catch my eye on a given day. It’s not a whole lot more complicated than that.

I like color. I try to stretch my boundaries because I don’t like to get stuck in small places. I like shiny, glittery bits and I live almost wholly in the moment. This means that sometimes I start out with a certain artist or medium in mind, but when I sit down at the computer, something fabulous pops up in my feed or email that I just can’t ignore. I’m kind of fickle like that when it comes to art. There are many places in my life in which I must, by necessity, operate according to rules and regulations but I stubbornly refuse to operate from a place of  rigidity with regard to creative things. They are my refuge and I refuse to codify them too much.

And if I’m being completely honest, those who interact on the page regularly probably end up featured more often. It’s not a conscious decision, but I’m a busy person and when I see your name pop up, it may prompt me to click over to your page or website and see what wonderful thing you have created lately.

Some things that cause certain names to be passed over time and time again:

  • no new art
  • poor photography
  • lack of color 

And a huge pet peeve of mine: if you are using a personal FB profile instead of a page, I am unlikely to post your work. Why? Because unless they are friends with you on FB, my followers cannot see most of your content and it’s not the most effective way to do it. One of my goals at Ink & Alchemy is to help others learn how to connect online and I often lead by (good) example.

There are two under-utilized ways to get featured.

1.) Drop me a line with a good image attached and ask. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s worth a shot.

2.) Post your own work at More InkThis page is intended for just that purpose. While I typically curate Ink & Alchemy (with the exception of link sharing days like today), More Ink is always available for you to showcase your work and practice your networking skills. I’d love to see what you’ve been up to!

I try to notice when someone needs a helping hand and put new artists out there. I appreciate reciprocity and repay favors when I can. I encourage you to do that same.

I’ve got some new ideas stewing over here. In addition to daily features, I’ve been running month-long promotions for artists and writers on my website. If you’re on either of my featured lists (here & here), it’s just a matter of time until the spotlight is on you. 🙂

I’m in the beginning phase of a new effort to assist those without a website to get up and running. Why?

Because it’s important.

If you’re trying to manage a platform and create an online presence, you need to have a website. It’s your home base. I hear from many people in all types of creative disciplines that they either don’t want to spend the time creating a website or they don’t have the skills to do so.

I also hear that they don’t have the funds to pay for a designer. Understandable, but that doesn’t negate the need to have one.

I’m trying an experiment and will take a few initial clients at a ridiculously low price. I’m doing this because I need to work out the kinks in the process and see how it goes. If you’re thinking guinea pig, you’re on the right track. But don’t worry, you’re in good hands. You can find the details on my website, but here’s what I’ll do in a nutshell: I’ll create a free website for you and give you a tutorial so that you can manage it yourself going forward. I’ll also provide some recommendations about how to get connected online and build a platform.

These sites won’t have all the latest bells and whistles, but they will have functionality and provide a static place for you to send your customers. My website is an example of what might result from an effort like this. Do me a favor and take a look and then drop me a line if you’d be willing to partner with me in this new endeavor. Of course, you will need to provide certain pieces of information (your bio, images with titles, etc.).

Personally, I think the service I’m offering is much more valuable than paying someone to design and manage your site for you. If you learn how to do it yourself, you’ll have much more flexibility and retain the ability to make changes without paying exorbitant fees to do it. Take my word for it – it’s easier than you think!

All of the art in this post was created by the super fabulous Treasure Frey. Visit her website to see more of her creations.
I’m wishing you a wonderful week filled with many opportunities to create something beautiful!

 

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Stone Patrick on Smashwords

The following guest post was written by Stone Patrick, author of The Fallen Body
 
 
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I just came across Smashwords.com, which is a great website for publishing your books, novels, poetry, short stories, etc. It only took a moment for me to convert my .doc file to the site, and they converted it to other ebook formats for me! It was so easy.
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 The site includes ebooks of every kind of category, and there are a number of them that are free or included at discount prices. The nice thing about Smashwords is that it is free for all authors to make their ebooks available.They also make your ebook available to their distribution network as long as it passes a 2-3 day review period.Smashwords mission statement is as follows: “Our mission is simple: we want to create the world’s single best ebook publishing and distribution platform for our indie authors, publishers, literary agents and retailers.” – Mark Coker, CEO and Founder of Smashwords. There are a three ebooks written by Mark Coker that are offered for free on the site. These books have helped me tremendously. The first one is Smashwords Style Guide.

Smashwords Style Guide

This book provides a step-by-step guide on how to style your manuscript so that it is readable on the different ebook platforms, i.e. MOBI (Kindle), EPUB, PDF, RTF, LRF, PDB, and TXT. It is required reading if you want to submit your books to the major ebook retailers. The second book is Smashwords Book Marketing Guide.

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide

 This is an ebook marketing primer that gives easy-to-implement advice on how to market books at Smashwords and other ebook retailers. It starts with an overview of how Smashwords helps promote your ebook, and then provides 41 simple DIY marketing tips that will help you promote your ebook. You get to choose to which ebook retailers you want to upload your novel.  The third book is Smashwords Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success.

Smashwords Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

 This book is a must-read for new or veteran authors who want to take their marketing to the next level.

Finally, Mark Coker produces relevant and interesting industry content on the Smashword.com blog, which can be found here. His most recent posting about the Indie Author Manifesto is brilliant writing. It is loaded with talking points and culminates in 10 self-evident truths. For an example of what I have done, you can find me on Smashwords here:

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 Try it for yourself and see the power behind this website!