Upgrading My Blog

When I started this blog eleven years ago, there weren’t any ads at all on the WordPress site, or at least none that I or my readers ever saw. Gradually, as WordPress grew bigger, ads began appearing at the bottom of individual posts. People who had a WP blog and were logged in never saw those ads, nor did I, but I did always see a WP ad about paying to have the ads removed. Ironic, right?

I never thought anything of it. I liked the free aspect of the blog, and since people are used to seeing ads, I didn’t think it made much difference. And anyway, no ads ever appeared on my blog itself (the home page), only the individual articles. Until recently. When I was in Seattle recently, I used my sister’s computer, and before I logged into my blog, I noticed that ads were appearing on the home page.

So I finally gave in and paid for an upgrade to have the ads removed. This also gave me a domain, so if you are the sort who happens to notice such things, you will see that this blog now displays the URL “bertramsblog.com”, though the original URL” ptbertram.wordpress.com” and any links or bookmarks you see or have saved will still get you here.

Will this make any difference to anyone or anything besides my bank account? I don’t know, but I do know I have to start getting more professional (at least to a certain extent) about my writing career. The rights to most of my published works will soon revert to me, and I will have to figure out what to do with those books. I might have to self-publish, though I really hate the idea of giving Amazon so much of my fiscal information. I also not want the expense or the task of re-republishing the books especially since they’ve already been published and republished. On the other hand, I really love being a published author.

But that is a quandary for another day.

For now, this one big step to make Bertram’s Blog more professional is about all I want to deal with.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

My Novels Did Not Make the Earth Move. Or Did They?

This is the first day of my post-book-launch-week life, and I feel just the same. The past couple of days I felt a bit let down when I realized my book release did not make the earth move. Well, there was that earthquake in Italy, though I don’t think I had anything to do with it. But you never know. If a butterfly flapping a wing in the Amazon can cause a typhoon in Malaysia, perhaps the ripple of my books being released into the atmosphere of the literary universe could have become so magnified as to make the earth quake, but I hope not. I would not want all those deaths and injuries on my conscience.

But today I feel . . . well, I feel released. Getting the books published has been a long, hard journey, from the first word to the final product. A journey that took almost a decade. I have to admit, though, that these past few months have been the hardest — months of always being a step away from publication, months of knowing that the books were almost ready but not quite. But all that is past. As Goethe wrote, “There is only the eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the elements of the past.”

So now it’s time to build my future out of those past elements, though as what I don’t know. A published author whose books people love? An author who sinks into the slime of “never heard of her”? A desperate self-promoter screaming “looka me, looka me” to an uncaring cybercrowd? Whatever happens, I hope I will handle it with grace.

I’ve already been baptized into the realm of anonymous ratings. I noticed on a couple of sites that my books have a one-and-a-half star rating, which means that two people had to have rated them, one with a single star, one with two stars, yet as far as I know, no one has read my books. A few people might have received their order by now, but no one has emailed me to say what a fool I am to think I could write. On the other hand, no one has emailed me to say they loved the books. Which means . . . nothing.

I know I have an incredible task ahead of me. Promoting a book in today’s market is like tossing a pebble in a gravel pit. Who can find one book or one pebble among so many? And yet, if the sun shines just so, if a spark catches someone’s eye, perhaps it will be found and treasured.

And maybe, just maybe the book will make the earth move.

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