Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

New eBook Demons with Poetry by Mikhail Lermntov

New eBook Demons with Poetry by Mikhail LermntovNew eBook Demons with Poetry by Mikhail Lermntov

 

We make picture books, usually for the kindle, although some of them we will print up from time to time. This year we are kicking off some changes in how we do eBooks based on the feedback we got from customers over on Amazon. There is nothing better than a good review, and even a marginal review can offer some good insight into the book.

 

You can purchase the book Demons here.

 

The biggest issue (3+ reviews) was that we didn’t include any text in our picture books. Rather we just focused in on the art, but that was not quite what people were looking for we started going through some of the older books, finding amazing stuff written around the turn of the century, the 1800’s to be precise and we found this amazing author Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, a Russian poet and play writer. He is a lot like Edgar Allen Poe, and you know if you are into horror Goth hopelessness then Poe is your guy.

 

We had been working on a number of demon pictures, and decided to marry the two together.

 

The book of poetry that was used for this book was written in 1918 with the original poetry written before 1840. The document we used scanned by the Internet Archive. The book in its entirety reads like a play, and in some ways was probably meant to be a production piece. The Publisher of the original book was Douglas and Foulis of Edinburg after being translated by Robert Burness.

 

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov was a fascinating person to read about. Essentially a rebel he was exiled on multiple occasions by Czar Nicholas for being irreverent. He seems like the kind of person that would do well in this day and age.

 

By no means did we use the entire book, we picked and chose what we thought would work best as an accompaniment to the pictures we had produced. There is something elegant about Victorian Poetry that sums up that age of steam, science, and the holding onto fairy tales, demons, faeries, and other assorted phantasmagoria that ran rampant through the common person as the age of science began to take root and take hold of mans thinking. As the Witch Craft delusion began to fade, so did the mystery of the countryside. Along with the loss of demons, we also lost the fae and the magical countryside.

 

You can read the book in its entirety from the Internet Archive at https://archive.org/details/demonthe00lermrich and it is worth working through the archaic language to understand that this was written 170 some odd years ago, and printed 100 years ago. It is worth reviving older books long past copyright so that the art, the words, the emotions and the feelings can be translated into more modern language while retaining the wonder, fear and hope of a long forgotten age.

Studio 5 Graphics 2014 Year in Review

Studio 5 Graphics 2014 Year in Review

 

2014 ended up being a pretty interesting year as far as things go in relationship to exposure, with 34 million picture views, getting caught up in the naughty boudoir hack over on Smugmug, watching my traffic grow, putting out a book, and otherwise trying to get things in place for 2015.

 

By the Numbers

 

Flickr

 

Flickr start number 10,223,640 ending number 30,631,971 (I’m a day early) so traffic doubled to Flickr, with no prints sold. Lots of interest, and I am obviously doing something right to get that kind of attention on Flickr because the site is crowded. You can check out my Flickr right here if you are so inclined.

 

Smugmug

 

What an amazing year over there, with traffic growing from 4.6 million to 13.5 million picture views. Some of that was driven by the boudoir hack and from its hold over (we are still seeing traffic from it, but no idea where it is coming from, we have seen a lot of anonymous services this year like anonymouse). You can check out our Smugmug here. 

 

Deviant Art

 

We didn’t do much with Deviant Art this year, and saw traffic go down to 88,623 views, while 2013 saw 236K picture views. We are not abandoning DA, it is just trying to find a home there. You can check out our DA right here.

 

Sales

 

Nada, zilch, zippo, nothing. Which is interesting, given the number of picture views we should have sold something to someone at some point this year. It is hard to reconcile 34 million picture views with zero in sales figures, but there it is. People want to watch, but they don’t want to pay. I think that photography shares this with porn, it is fun to watch but very few want to pay anything for it.

 

Books

 

Interestingly enough we focused our efforts on books in 2014, and are selling 2 to 3 books a day across 23 titles. The feedback from Amazon (we only do e-books, we might do published books for a special case) has been interesting, they want it cheap (2.99 price point) and they want it great (not just pictures, explain where the pictures came from, and how they were taken). We average 50 dollars a month with some highly critical reviews.

 

For the love of whatever god you believe in, do not believe the free give away will lead to more sales BS. Our SEO for photographers book was given away for free for a week then we set the sales price for 2.99. We gave away 200 copies of the book, and zilch for sales after the free offer expired. We didn’t get any reviews or anything else that would have been of use to us. Set a price and keep it, you will still sell books. A 2.99 price point is ok as long as you are willing to sell copies at that point. EBooks are pretty disposable, and you end up with a good print ready interior as long as you have a reduced copy of the picture for the eBook and a full 300 DPI print ready interior.

 

So not bad for 2014, and this has been a difficult year with a lot of personal stuff happening that distracted from taking pictures. So for not a lot of posting, but a lot of down time to plan out 2015, I can’t argue.

 

Thanks for being part of that.

 

SEO for Photographers

SEO for PhotographersSEO for Photographers

Well the book is out and I hope that you really enjoy it. It is just a couple of days old so through Friday we are offering the book for free so that people get a chance to read it and let me know what they think. I hope that people write reviews for it on Amazon, the book is right here, and if you downloaded it for free this week, please feel free to write a review. I am really interested in hearing back what you think of it.

I know when we think about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) we have a hard time picking out keywords, and trying to describe the picture in 400 characters or less in some cases. This book really pulls out everything I know about getting picture views and following people through a web site to see what they do, where they go, and how long they stay there. What images or movies are the most popular, and how to attempt to sell them to people who are looking at the pictures you are taking.

I generally do not take pictures that people can like in public, and as I work my way through the vintage nude series, something like SEO for Photographers has been important in getting attention. I have already crossed over two million picture views for the year, and if you know anything about e-commerce, it is all about views. The more views, the more chance that someone will actually purchase something, and that is why this book is important, it really dives deep into the things I do to get those amazing picture views. In all this has been a fun book to write, and put together.

There are a ton of pictures, a ton of good ideas, a bunch of different ways of using site keyword clouds to pick out the ones that people are always looking for. The book goes into how to balance Flickr and SmugMug and Tumblr and everyplace else you might post pictures to. We also look at how to balance 500PX, it is a fun site, but has some interesting tweaks that people might not be all that aware of in how 500PX pulse actually works.

The bottom line to all this is to keep on posting, keep on taking pictures, keep on doing the media things you do and have some fun with it. Picture views are not everything, selling pictures is awesomely fun and sometimes happens when you are wondering if anyone is noticing. But the key is using the right keywords to attract the right internal audience. In all, I really hope you like this book, and through January 25th, it is free on Kindle right here.

 

 

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Creating a Picture Book using Amazon Comic Creator

Creating A Picture BookCreating a Picture Book using Amazon Comic Creator

If you try to make a picture book and get it published the more pictures you add the more expensive the book. It is so easy to price yourself out of the market with publishing anywhere that I know a lot of photographers have basically abandoned creating picture books for themselves. Previous versions of the Kindle, and the problems with creating an e-pub also mean that our pictures basically sat on our hard drives or in places like Smugmug or Flickr where we were lucky to sell anything.

The good part is that when Amazon moved into the comic book market allowing independent comic book creators to self publish to Kindle directly, that opened the door to photographers using the same tools to create an awesome picture book along the way.

Some caveats, your pictures need to be 800 X 1260/1280 in size, and have a max size of 126K, so you need to set your DPI at 96 to make sure you can keep your pictures at the right size to work with Amazon Kindle. Over the last couple of days I have gone through my archives of China and some of the cooler photo shoots to create books for Amazon Kindle. The fun part is that one of them sold within the first 24 hours of being posted so I am really hoping to see how sales go with Amazon Kindle.

The book I used for this project is FU We Are: Seattle Punk Rock, a picture book about the Seattle Punk Rock scene I have been trying to get published for the last two years. It took an hour or so to build it for the Amazon Kindle system, without having to argue with publishers who are becoming increasingly gun shy about taking on projects that might not have any economic output. Now given the price of publishing, I can understand that. The Seattle Punk Rock book is somewhere on the order of 130 pages, and there isn’t a popular band in there, but there is a lot about the Seattle Punk Rock scene.

Even if you never sell a copy you are only out about 2 hours of your life, and using Amazon Comic Creator for picture books is about as easy as anything I have encountered in online printing anywhere for any reason. No haggling, no pain, easy to use, there is also a really handy video of about 15 minutes that walks you through the whole process. I did pre-stage everything for this, but honestly, set aside an hour or two to make this happen and you will have your kindle ready picture book uploaded and for sale very quickly.

 

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