Suggestions Solicited

To be honest, I had hoped that my Story of the Week project would bring more attention to my blog and my site, and increase my “fanbase”, as it were. It doesn’t seem to have had that effect, though.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could achieve this goal?

(I do, of course, fully intend to continue with my Story of the Week project, and at the end I may even compile a book of them and self publish it. Who knows?)

0 thoughts on “Suggestions Solicited”

  1. Suggestions:

    White on black is quite painful to the eyes, while White on SKULLS is damn near impossible to read for any period of time. Granted, I see your posts in Google Reader, which is generally dark on white, but you know what I mean.

    What I’m getting at here is that ‘in a blog window’ is not really the best way for this type of writings to be presented. I tend to read blogs in quick snippets when I have time, generally from my phone, and rarely feel like the few minutes of commitmment required to read a — OOH, NEW DIGG CONTENT!.

    So, my suggestion is to go ahead and do the work of laying out the stories in OpenOffice as if you were going to publish them, with full-on margins and page numbers and whatnot, and provide them as downloads in PDF, HTML and .txt format. I can guarantee that I would download them on my iphone and read them in a proper reader app — which is something that pretty much never happens from my computer, or even from my iphone’s web browser. I can’t be the only one that feels this way.

    I suspect that there’s quite a lot of people out there in search of short stores to read in this manner, who would jump at the chance to download them from you.

    It really is all about presentation, and I feel that the current form they’re presented in turn off many an otherwise interested reader. Heck, you could even Creative Commons up some images to make ‘covers’ out of, and promote the heck out of your new “free eBooks.” That’s sure what I would do were I in your shoes.

    I’d also recommend cutting the posts such that when you announce a story of the week, all that’s presented in feed readers is the title and anything you want to say about the story — maybe a cover if you’ve got one — and then links to the HTML, PDF and .txt files. Then you could include the full text of the story in the ‘extended entry’ or whatever your blog software calls it. And most importantly: when you present the story, here on the blog, put it inside a div or something that’s got a white background with a pleasing medium-dark grey text color with a decent-sized font. Also some book-ish margins within the book div would make it a lot easier to read. Maybe make the story div a fixed width that’s roughly what a large-format paperback width would be, with equivalent sizing.

    I really think some or all of these things will achieve the result you’re looking for.

    1. Those are all good notions. I’m not sure how to control my RSS feed to present only excerpts of the stories but complete text on everything else. I’ll figure that out. But I will definitely provide links to .pdf files for each story. Until I get that sorted out, I’ll also mention that each post has a “Print this post” link at the top which provides a printer friendly version of the content. I’m not satisfied with the result, but it’s not bad.

      You did unfortunately catch the site while I was experimenting with a “horror” theme and some software changes that would let me switch themes with the touch of a button (or, rather, with a slight code modification). I do recall reading somewhere that while black on white is good, for some reason green on light yellow seems to be even more readable. So my stories are typically in a separate div which has a plain light yellow background and dark green text, with a 5 pixel margin on all sides.

      Sorry about your eyes!

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