The ‘New’ Interactive Novel

Minian_icon1_thumbThose of you that have already plunged into my latest Syfy ebook, Ricket – Star Watch Book 2, you’ve undoubtedly noticed there’s something different going on. Right off the bat, I inform the reader that this book, for those that are reading on a web-enabled e-reader – or have access to a PC …  is interactive and that they’ll be able to refer back to my markwaynemcginnis.com website to get a closer look at several of the featured spacecrafts. Strategically placed all through the book are little reminder, clickable, icons (see pic) that hyperlink the reader in the blink of an eye, to the corresponding spacecraft page… then, here, deck layouts that drill down to individual compartments, such as Medical or the Bridge are accessible. Very cool, if I don’t mind saying myself. Eventually, a join my mailing list pop-up appears requesting the visitor to join my mailing list and, if he/she sees value, they’ll sign up!

Zoo-Parcical

Sure this is a nice ‘extra’ I’m offering to my reader, but it’s far more than that. I want to bolster my mailing list and reach as many new sci-fi readers as possible. There are limited resources available to us indie-authors. Some, such as my fellow indie-author Mark Dawson utilize facebook advertising at an astounding level. His ads drive people to his website to get free ebooks in exchange for their email address which is added to his mailing list. It works for him very well … but at a hefty cost. Facebook advertising at his level is very very very expensive.

As of this morning I’ve put out the gauntlet to Dawson … which of us can drive more people back to their websites and ultimately grow their mailing list. I’m coming in at a major disadvantage since he is an absolute marketing genius, but I think I have him considering a different, if not, parallel path to growing one’s list. The game is on and I’ll keep you all up to date as to website page stats and increase in my Mailchimp mailing list. Since my new book, Ricket, has been available for less than a day, the numbers are still very early …. but I’ve already got around 400 new page views. Since it takes a good week for my books to really start ranking on amazon, it’ll be interesting to see how that number grows and how many unique IP’s are clicking in. Where Dawson is paying for each and every click to his website, mine are pretty much free. All that needs to be factored into our little competition …

The plan is to keep adding new sections to the Explore The Ships section of the site with added spacecrafts. Since I have the sections already there for The Lilly, I’ll be adding the linkable icons into the first Scrapyard Ship book (at a minimum) and maybe all of the books as well. As for adding this type of interactivity to my other series, such as the Lone Star Renegades, or even the Mad Powers (Tapped In) books, we’ll just have to see …  it’s a huge amount of work from a graphics and web-layout stand-point. Ultimately it will be the reader that decides if this is something worth pursuing. But if early indications are any indication, there will be a big demand to expand on what I’m already doing.

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