This is too cool. This has me elated on the inside. This is so simple, it's scary.
My "souvenirs" on my Round 3 of a Round of Words in 80 Days is working on my reader website, eawestwriting.com, and man did I just find a bargain!
My goals for my reader website are here. One idea I feel very passionate about is behind-the-scenes information. As a reader myself, I go bananas for the author's notes/insights into what's coming next, etc. But I also wanted to make the information secret to people who haven't read the book. Yet, not require all of my readers to "register" with a site (the server space alone would be difficult to manage if my books do well, which is the ultimate goal here).
Enter password protected posts. This is not a feature available on Blogger, but it is available on Wordpress. Thankfully, my reader site is powered by Wordpress (.org install on my home server). Check this out: http://eawestwriting.com/index.php/news/super-secret-information-about-alex
You can't see it, can you? Put in the password Pumpkin
Ta da! (Funny Freudian note.... Pumpkin is my nickname for my stepson, funny how that was the first password that popped in my head.)
Here is a little author's insight on my character Alexis Rodriguez. I might put in a stock photo or something of how I imagine Alexis to look like. Not sure if that's a good idea.... unless I maybe add the caption "Here was my inspiration for Alexis Rodriguez"
I also added a SPOILER at the bottom, a small detail I know happens in the second book. I tried to make the text the same color as the background, so you have to highlight it to read. This way, people can still read the behind-the-scenes, but choose not to read the spoiler if they don't want to (I don't know anyone who would).
Keeping the Fun Going
Obviously there will probably be someone who tries to ruin the fun by giving out the password. But I'm one step ahead of them. First, I will politely ask that people preserve the fun for others and not spoil the surprise. That usually thwarts the people who will work around the system, if you just roger up that they can and the password is just for fun. Second, I plan to change the password either monthly or quarterly (I'm leaning quarterly).
For my ebook readers, I will have a Note to My Readers where I will profusely thank them for reading and leaving a review if they so choose to do so. Explain the game of getting to the sneak peeks, and put in the password. On a quarterly basis I will update the ebook file with my distributors and also give a way for them to email for the current password/join a mailing list. By updating, I can also update my reader letter to reflect what is currently going on. I.E. first quarter is just "thank you thank you, here's the game....."
second quarter is "thank you thank you, hope you check out my new book (link) and here's the game....."
third quarter is "thank you and thanks to all of you my sales are X,Y,Z beyond anything I could ever imagine. So glad the book is reaching people, here's my other titles. Here's the game..."
And so on.
In the print version, I will use the email listing. They give email, they get password in a quarterly Elizabeth Ann West newsletter.
"CANCELLED" arriving SEPTEMBER 2011. A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.