the anthony dobranski blog


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Thanks, Cincinnati! – my successful advance release

My debut selling advance proof copies of The Demon in Business Class at the Cincinnati Comic Expo was a smashing success – I completely sold out!

It was great to be part of the WordFire Press booth and have their amazing support. My posters and banner clearly caught people’s eyes. And of course, thanks to the many brave readers who took a chance on an unknown author!

I am still under-slept, and I have work ahead of me to be ready for reader reviews – and for my next pre-release appearance, October 7-9, at CapClave in Rockville, MD, where I’ll be on several literary panels, and doing my first public reading. Cincinnati gave me a lot of good energy, and I look forward to putting it to use.

Thanks Cincinnati for my warm welcome!

 


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Fun with marketing – book teaser trading cards

The image-driven firehose that is social media challenges the modern writer. I see some managing to do clever things with it, releasing aphorisms and motivational notes, and others just stupefied. Count me more often among the latter.

Not long ago, writer, blogger and ace self-marketer Shannon A Thompson  posted about her book teasers, single-image character bios she puts out well in advance of her book’s release. I can do that, I thought.

But I couldn’t. My efforts seemed both too much and not enough, and in retrospect I think Thompson’s style wasn’t playing to my strengths. I needed a way to put forward not just characters but the breadth of my story, and my own writing style, in bits and snippets – in a spirit of play.

I did have a great cover, thanks to artist Julie Duong, and my banner showed me that I could make an unusual concept work. Early one morning three weeks ago, trying to get back to sleep after waking too early, I suddenly saw these in my head.

Star Wars trading cards 1977

These are my own Star Wars trading cards from 1977 (I have the first three sets of 66, complete). What’s funny about them is that they only make sense if you’ve seen the movie – even in numerical order, they’re more like a trailer blown up into individual frames and fallen all anyhow onto the floor. I imagined what it would be like to read them without having first seen the movie…

The result debuts today on Instagram, and come out one a day between now and my mid-November book launch – 56 in total (7 x 8, a union of Western and Eastern lucky numbers). Here’s a sample:

Three Demon trading cards

I’m no artist, but I can run an image editor enough to add borders and fonts. I took Thompson’s great idea to use stock art for my character images – it helps that they’re mostly business people, and stock art sites are full of those – but I ran them through Prisma, the smartphone app that makes people look painted, which let me image the character’s personality, not just their looks.

For now they’re on my own Instagram account adobranski. Follow it and get a little literary oddness in your daily feed!


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Fun with marketing – my convention banner

I am so pleased to show off my first major marketing tool since the book got its cover – my banner for convention booths and signing tables. Artist Andrea Klores created a fantastic twilit look that complements the book’s edginess and theme. See it below in detail, and the final product at the end of this article – with a 6’4″ human for scale!

Demon banner detail

This is not the usual book marketing banner, and I thought it worth discussing.

My marketing education this summer included a weekend working at my publisher’s booth at Hartford’s Connecticon. Continue reading


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My book has a cover!

I’m so excited to share my novel’s cover! Created by Duong Covers, it captures my old-meets-new theme in spectacular fashion.

Demon-final-cover-go small

Speaking professionally, it’s also fantastic. In case you wondered why titles are getting so BIG on book covers lately, thank online bookstores and their 100ish-pixel-wide icons. Here, not only the title but the central art really stands out at small sizes, a rare achievement. See for yourself –

Demon-final-cover-go small

Just a couple more months before the world sees the cover around its book!

 


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My first interview!

I got to talk about my upcoming novel The Demon in Business Class with the great guys at B&M Baked Podcast. We discuss the story, the background, the editing process, support from other writers, and even the convention-sales business model.

My five-minute interview starts at timecode 30:21 – or listen to the whole thing, to hear from many other great authors too!

http://bandmbakedpodcast.podbean.com/e/ep-376-connecticon-2016/

 


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Giving to, not just dealing with

Sometimes leaving is a process. I’m off to Hartford’s Connecticon this weekend to work my publisher’s table and learn direct sales by doing. Which means I should have spent the week blogging reflections on the industry and marketing and such. Instead I did a lot of weeding and yard work, which was twice as hard and thrice as hot as it would have been a month earlier – but we were busy a month earlier too.
I suppose this is a note about work-life balance, or about how to maintain when one doesn’t see balance coming anytime soon. It’s a simple note where I pass on a friend’s advice – to treat your acts as gifts not chores. 
It helped my stress level, at least. Certainly, thinking about getting things done to spare my family or make things more fun for them in my absence made the pouring sweat and the bent lawnmower shaft and all the cleanup a bit easier! 
As my efforts for my own book take more time, the rest of my life will not stand still. I have to give to it, rather than deal with it.