Thursday, March 7, 2013

How do you spell that? What's your name again?

Two new episodes of PULPED! The New Pulp Podcast turned up in my iTunes this morning, and I eagerly dropped them onto my iPod before heading out for the day. I'm a fan of this show, and as much as I enjoy the content, I also pay attention to the promotional breaks because, you know, I don't have enough books in my various To-Read piles.

An ad has been running on PULPED! for a while now promoting a book featuring a World War I veteran named Walter Steel (sp?) who goes to work for his politician brother, and finds himself surrounded by corruption and bodies, all set against the backdrop of 1920s Hollywood.

A pulpy mystery story set against classic Hollywood? Sign me up! But there was a problem. I couldn't find the book. The ad didn't mention a url address, the author's name identified as Stephen/Steven Jerrod/Jerritt/Jerad/Jarrod, and the title? Ten-a-Week Steel? Tin of Weak Steal? It's really hard to tell. The story sounds like a good read, and I like new pulp, and ever since I started hearing this ad run last year, the book's been on my radar.

I just couldn't find a way to give the author or publisher my attention or my money.

At the end of the ad, the name of the publisher is mentioned, and after a few minutes of Google-ing, I found the publisher's site. There was a Search bar, so I tried to run all the possible spellings of what I thought was the author's name . . . with no luck. Elsewhere on the site, I did find a link to the publisher's bookstore which did provide an option to search by Author Name. It was an alphabetical listing (by first name), and I finally found the book.

The author's name is Stephen Jared, and the title of the book in question is Ten a Week Steale (although the cover art shows it as Ten-a-Week Steale), which makes sense; if the lead character gets into private investigating or some other type of job and he charges ten dollars a week, the title works. But it's that name Steale that's been throwing me off for months. I get that this the character's name, and there's (hopefully) a reason for the more unique spelling of what is, essentially, Steel or Steele, but it certainly makes it tough to track down the book if all we have to go from is an ad on an audio podcast.

I really enjoy the PULPED! podcast, and this isn't a dig at that show, and it's not a dig at Stephen Jared's book, either (haven't read it yet, but when I do, I'll talk about it here at Plan D). But it does bring into focus how important it is for someone to be able to find you and your work online. A keyword search needs to turn up the results you want associated with yourself or your work.

Author Joanna Penn is another podcaster whose show - The Creative Penn - finds its way onto my iPod on a regular basis. She's the author of Career Change: Stop hating your job, discover what you really want to do with your life, and start doing it!, but this wasn't the name of the book to begin with. Rather, it used to be called How to Love Your Job or Find A New One, but as she discussed on a recent episode of her podcast as well as on her blog, keyword searches just weren't drawing the traffic to How to Love Your Job or Find a New One. So she changed the title of her book to something that draws more attention and traffic in keyword searches.

I don't know if you could do that with a novel that takes its name from the name of the novel's main character, but maybe when it comes to advertising the book, either in a podcast or on a website, make the spelling of the title clear.

This is all from a guy whose last name is pronounced 'COOK' despite how it's spelled . . . and uses that last name as part of his own url address . . . 


Tony Laplume said...

Here all this time I'd been pronouncing it like the late mayor...Good to know!

Stephen Jared said...

Hello! It's Stephen Jared here. Was googling info on my books and found this. So sorry you had such trouble. What an eye-opener for me. Can't tell you how much I appreciate you expressing such difficulty. Really makes me realize how careful I need to be with promotions. Thanks again! -- and I hope you like the book!