The Dead (David Blake Book 3)


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This proves that Amazon ads, which I openly mocked two years ago, can not only rejuvenate, but can sustain a career during lulls. Every year I threaten to slow my production to 5 or so novels. So, does the prediction that books are like opera still ring true? Kind of.

Author Blake Crouch

Books have never had more competition from other forms of entertainment — TV, Netflix, social media, YouTube, blogs, Reddit, etc. Not at all. Will it get harder moving forward? Welcome to all businesses everywhere as they mature. Can new talents find an audience and break big?

They always have, and always will. But the good old days are long gone, and even the new new things like ghost writing pulp to market and churning out content at rates that boggle even my mind are stumbling and seem to have hit their ceiling. The market will continue to evolve and mature, and smart authors will adapt as necessary.

The purpose of an ad is solely to get a prospective reader to the product page. But the blurb is largely the selling copy that urges the reader to give the book a whirl. Given the importance of the blurb, I convinced my friend Dave Falk to allow me to invest in his company, Bestsellerblurb. It becomes pretty obvious when a blurb is evaluated in light of conversions from clicks, to sales. After immersing myself in the ad business and learning enough to be dangerous, it became clear that taking a stake in a blurb writing business would be a naturally synergistic step — between the ad agency and the blurb writing biz, two of the most important aspects of book marketing are covered, the third being cover generation, but there are many competent cover designers, so I see no point in getting involved in that side of the business.

Their approach is to treat the product description as ad copy whose sole purpose is to get the sale, rather than to describe the story, characters, plot, etc. Since many authors are like me, and either hate writing blurbs, or worse, have no idea how to generate a great one versus something middling, I view it as a business with a bright future. Her fee schedule was steep and scaled higher as a spend increased, but if she could perform, I reasoned it would be worth it.

She refused. We told her that if that was the case, she could expect me to write about my experience with her. We never heard anything more. Perhaps the most notable is million selling author and internet marketing guru vs. It leaves little to the imagination.

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Take my word for it, though, there are numerous authors who got snowed in one way or another. You may be asking yourself why anyone in their right mind, who was running a scam, would elect to solicit one of the top selling indies on Amazon, and also put the pork to someone with as much visibility as Mark Dawson. I have two theories. In other words, a scammer. Please note that Russell Blake and Joseph Alexander are friends of SPF, they are both very experienced and successful in the world of self-publishing and we take what both of them say seriously. This is our own experience. Kerry started working for SPF in She signed a standard contract with us that contains clauses that prevent her from competing with us and a duty to respect confidential information.

These are standard terms. She worked with us until earlier this year. We paid her to help moderate our Facebook groups and make sure they continue to be drama-free and safe places. Mark introduced her to Facebook Messenger bots and she became good at them, so much so that we paid her to produce a module for Ads for Authors. As far as we know, she had never used Facebook ads before; we believe that Mark taught her how to implement them. Over the course of the last two and a bit years, Kerry asked for and received a lot of help and support.

Mark helped her as she tried to build a business teaching others how to build bots we had no interest in this ourselves, and so there was no grounds for competition ; we promoted a webinar for her; we introduced her to other industry figures who might be able to help her.

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She used her connection with us to introduce herself to the agency responsible for running the Facebook ads for SPF and, despite feeling a little awkward about it, we vouched for her when they asked for a reference. Basically — we always treated her as a friend. And then we found out that she has her own Facebook ads course. We were alerted to this by some students, who she seems to have been in dispute with, who told us that Kerry had set up a competing course.

Here are some of the issues we have: — Kerry signed a contract that prevented her from competing with SPF. We produce a well known and popular Facebook ads course. We believe that setting up this course puts her in breach of her contract. Their dissatisfaction with what they have received from her has caused us reputational damage.

Some messages have requested that the posters do not mention that she asked them to make those posts because we try very hard to stop self-promotion.


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We left our previous businesses and took a huge risk to help Mark build the company. We are certainly not complaining about that. When you buy one of our courses, you get it for life — with free updates. We have a support team that works and almost days a year because we genuinely care about our students. SPF is how John and I support our families.

We have a newly-appointed full-time contractor and other virtual assistants around the world, all of whom depend on the work that we are able to put their way to pay their bills. We see that as being most definitely worth fighting for. Given that this matter is the subject of an ongoing legal dispute, we will not be making any further statements at this stage and we have, on advice, closed comments on this thread. The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own, and do not necessarily represent those of my publisher or any of my associates.

Because the ad worked and got the reader to consider the book, and the blurb worked and got them to buy. If the reviews are fine, then the only thing left is the Look Inside.

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Job of the second book is to get them to buy the third. And so on. As always, show your support for me by buying my crap, and be nice to each other, or barring that, at least snarky and amusing. A quick blog on how I think of my covers and my product descriptions.


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  7. Hopefully this might change the way you view yours, and help you sell more books. It also needs to be professional. Gone are the days where you could screw around with photoshop and hope for a win. The worse the cover, the fewer conversions from impressions to clicks. That simple. Words that will convince the reader that they need to buy the book.

    The fewer words used to achieve that, the better the copy. Ads can get the reader to your product page, but the blurb intrigues them enough to where they need to buy the book in order to satisfy their curiosity. The purpose of the blurb is to sell the book. Nothing else.

    An awesome blurb will sell more books, and can be measured in ad effectiveness, specifically in cost per click related to conversion into a sale. The better the blurb, the more clicks will convert into a purchase. The worse the blurb, the less they will convert.

    I use Bestsellerblurb. New York: Doubleday, , pp. I want! Both plates describe a desire that overwhelms its subject, and Plate 10 is an image of unbridled desire at its catastrophic conclusion. Compare it with an emblem from Whitney showing a shipwrecked merchant tossed in the waves. A negative comment, to be sure, on the evil effects of uncontrolled desire. Plate 12 of The Gates of Paradise is unusual in that it is the only one of the series to deal with a specific historical event.

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    But even if Blake had come across the story elsewhere, he made use of it in a way that would have been familiar to emblem writers. The portrayal of cruel and historically infamous punishments for the purpose of edification or to provide vivid exempla was a stock-in-trade of emblem literature, as two emblems from Whitney demonstrate. My Son! In either case, the device serves to promote something apart from its own frightful imagery—the second emblem illustrates the virtue of disinterested patriotism; the first, the drawbacks of arranged marriages!

    Here is where Blake differs radically from the emblem tradition. For a traditional emblematist to raise this issue would have been virtually unthinkable; emblems deal not in doubt, but in the reinforcement of orthodox wisdom. In the emblematic tradition, cruelty and pain and suffering are merely aspects of the human condition to be explained, catalogued, and moralized; they are never occasions for the questioning of conventional beliefs.

    And Plate 12 is uncompromising not only in its depiction of evil, but also in its refusal to supply any easy answer to the doubts that such an undistorted vision raises. Plate 13 has no specific emblematic antecedent, although mystical and visionary experiences are sometimes depicted in religious emblems. The plate shows a family gathered around the bedside of a dying man, whose spirit rises up majestically from his mortal remains.

    This engraving comes as the high point of The Gates of Paradise. The disturbing tension and disorder that have been building up in the previous plates give way to a cathartic release of energy, one in which fear and hope reach a pitch of intensity that resolves itself in Vision.

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    Plate 13 may have its source in a painful moment for Blake—the death of his brother Robert in In any case, the engraving is certainly one of the most traditionally emblematic in The Gates of Paradise , as comparison with an emblem from Whitney will show. The most important similarity, however, lies in the practically identical meaning of the two pictures.

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