Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bus Stop Adventures: The Whip sketches

Page 1
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I have decided that it is time for me to start posting the sketches for some of the stories I have been creating.  This graphic novel series features a boy who uses his incredible imagination to liven up his daily walk home from the bus stop.

I will be adding more pages all the time so stop back soon to get your next installment!  Soon the first half of this story will be available on my website for purchase.  Those who purchase the first half of the book will be eligible for free updates along the way until the final installment is posted.

Click HERE to see more full color illustrations for "The Whip"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Meta Data - revisited

One of my most read posts (ironically it doesn't have anything to do with writing or illustrating) is starting to sag so I thought I would try and revive it by rewriting and combining it with a few other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) related posts of mine. 

When I first started becoming aware of SEO I was getting 2 to 4 hits a day.  I had one reader, maybe two and I remember how happy I was when I started fooling around with my SEO tools and I went to 10 hits a day.  That seems so long ago now that I am averaging 70 hits a day and I have now topped 10,000 in my all time hits. 

In short SEO works and my blog is proof.  So what are you waiting for?  Visit these blogs, follow their suggestions and start watching your visitor hits rise.

If you are totally new to SEO the start here:

This one is super easy. Just fill in the blanks and it does the work for you.  Next you will copy the code into your blog HTML (easier than it sounds) and you are set. 

There is important information here for Kindle self publishers. The blog stresses the importance of metadata (info like tags and descriptions) on future sales of your titles.
Five Degrees Of Metadata: Small Changes Can Mean Big Sales

Monday, August 29, 2011

Shelf Talker Designs

Just in case you don't know, a shelf talker is a mini-poster of sorts that explains or describes a certain product on a shelf.  In essence it tells you something important you didn't even know you wanted to know.   The most common shelf talkers, for a person like me, are found in a liquor store.  There you will find shelf talkers on the shelf in front of many of the wines, telling you what their Wine Spectator score is.  Well, in the last five years or so more and more beer shelf talkers have been showing up.  The most common shelf talkers are from BeerAdvocate and Rate Beer.  These shelf talkers tell you, among other things, how well that particular beer rated with the sites readers.

I have been developing a shelf talker for my other website/blog HopHeadSaid - in my other writing life I write about beer, commercial or homebrew; food pairings, and beer events not to mention beer reviews. My shelf talker is just a bit different from the other ones because my "ST" isn't rating the beer.  Nope, if my "ST" is on the beer then you know I recommend that beer, my "ST" suggests food pairings for that beer.  No food item or course is off limits.  On any given shelf talker, I may suggest a salad, a cheese or even a desert that will pair well with a given beer.

I worked hard on a design that would incorporate my HopHeadSaid logo and introduce some more elements that I would like to start branding.  I also worked hard to make sure the shelf talker was easy to read and understand.  I thought I had covered all the bases until I took my design into a local beer store.  There I learned of a real world problem with shelf markers.  Many are made to stand up in the portrait position but when they are attached to the shelf they get knocked around and often get pulled off because they extend well past the shelf and get snagged on the bottle that is being pulled off the shelf.

So when I got back home I started redesigning a landscape version of my shelf talker. This new orientation will significantly reduce the overhang of the the shelf talker and reduce the chances of it being knocked to the floor.

Original portrait version.

New landscape version.

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Hotel South Dakota Cover Progress

This will be the last post of the cover design for "The Hotel South Dakota" until it is finished, but I could resist sharing the finished "frame" with you!

When the frame is finished it will include a custom "Oracles" team logo and some fun Delphi Public School announcements.  I am hoping that I will be able to finish  this cover in the next week. 

If you want to know more about "The Hotel South Dakota" visit my mom's  blog, Kathleen Taylor's Dakota Dreams,  and there you will find a book description for "HSD" as well as descriptions for the other five mysteries in this series.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hotel South Dakota Cover Progress

So my mom has started pushing me to get her next cover done.  I have been dragging my feet mostly because I have been so consumed with beer writing that I didn't want to pull myself away from that while that was flowing so easily for me.  But a job is a job and I guess I will see how well I can multi-task for the next week or so.

Building this brick by brick digitally is only less physical but I think I could have built it with real bricks in less time.  When finished the brick frame will look like an old school (pun intended) event marquee.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sex and Salmonella Schwag Giveaway Results

The winners have been picked!

Congratulations to Mary, Beverly and Maxine! Send me an e-mail  and be sure to include your address and I will get your schwag in the mail ASAP. Thanks for participating! Stay tuned 'cause I will be hosting another raffle in a month or so when Hotel South Dakota is released!

One last thing, I am trying to boost my blog and Facebook numbers for a book proposal so if you have a moment I would appreciate a "like" on Facebook (link in the right column), Twitter (link in the right column),  a mention of my blog on your blog or just check back in every once in awhile.

Thanks again for participating!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sex and Salmonella Schwag Giveaway!

It is time for another Tory Bauer schwag give away!  Last week  my Mom received her latest CafePress order complete with a Sex and Salmonella t-shirt, apron, pint glasses, magnets and note cards. A plan was hatched soon afterward to raffle off some author and cover artist signed schwag. Register below for the raffle to win a Sex and Salmonella magnet and note card signed by the author and cover artist.

It is easy to enter:
1. You must post a comment below to enter and tell me where you heard about this raffle. (Facebook, Twitter, another blog, etc.)
2. Three lucky winners will be picked out of a hat and the winners will be announced here on Thursday, August 11, 2011.
3.  One signed magnet and note card (and envelope) will be mailed to the winners.

Good Luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Funeral Food Giveaway Results

The winners have been picked!

Congratulations to Bunny, Mary and Susan!  Send me an e-mail and be sure to include your address and I will get your schwag in the mail ASAP.

Thanks for participating!