Arsenal of Words

The Writing of Arthur Klepchukov

Category: Marketing

Maryland Writing Events, Spring 2018

Baltimore harbor at night. Photo by Bob Burkhard on Unsplash.

The following are ways I’m staying engaged with my local literary community this Spring. Events range from casual and free to more professional and paid. But you never know where inspiration will strike. I’m happy to meet local creative folks at any of the following events:

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The Best of the 2017 San Francisco Writers Conference (#SFWC17)


After my second year at the San Francisco Writers Conference, I have lots of ideas and insights for where to take both of my novels, how to revise my pitch, and which agents to query next. But in the mean time, here are my conference highlights condensed to a few tweets. Happy to elaborate and start a conversation in the comments!

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Worldcon 2015 Highlights

Last week, I took a pair of trains from San Francisco, CA to Spokane, WA, for Worldcon / Sasquan, my first big writing con. Two local writing friends spearheaded the trip and I jumped on an opportunity to have another scenic journey and soak up what I could!

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Blinks of Awe Beyond the iPad

So far only poetry lovers with iPads have been able to read blinks of awe, my new poetry book. People without an iPad can now get a better peek at the poetry in the book, which you can see, touch, and hear. I also want to learn where else people want to experience this kind of work. So please check out the samples below and voice your opinion!

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My Experience with a PRWeb Press Release

By this point, my press release for blinks of awe boils down to:

  • 30,011 impressions – how many times my press release appeared somewhere PRWeb can track
    (10,000 is average)
  • 4,965 media deliveries – media outlets that received my press release
  • 2,790 Google results for my headline:
    “New Life Given to Old Art Form With Blinks of Awe for iPad”
  • 506 reads – on
    (a few hundred is average)
  • 30 interactions – downloads, link clicks, etc. on
  • 4 online pickups – sites that syndicated my press release
    (4-10 is average)

I had a lengthy call with a person from PRWeb that walked me through the results. That’s how I got most of the information about averages and a clearer explanation of what each number meant. They also called to offer help with writing my first release but I had already submitted it by that point. I was happy about their high-touch approach for a beginner like me.

Frankly, I don’t feel great about the results. According to PRWeb, my high number of impressions and big names appearing in the media deliveries list1 mean I had something newsworthy and reasonably well-written. Apparently not every press release gets forwarded to places like the New York Times. But the bottom line is the press release got limited pick up (the biggest being Yahoo! News) and those 30,000 impressions ultimately had very little effect on book sales. I’m happy to hear your feedback and entertain ideas for why that may be in the comments.

Naturally, PRWeb tried to upsell me to a plan that will let me continue pushing out press releases but I’m not sure that’s the best use of my time or resources given these initial results. I’m glad I tried the PR route but I’ll be looking for other ways to spread the word and make a bigger impression.

1New York Times, Bloomberg, Time, The Washington Post, Yahoo!, Wired, and TechCrunch, among others.

Writing a Press Release for Your Self-Published Book

I just created a press kit to promote blinks of awe. What’s a press kit? How’s that different from a press release? What do you mean I have to do marketing?

After you’ve emailed everybody in your address book, posted the billionth tweet, and flooded your Facebook news feed, it’s time to let the rest of the world know about your work. Regardless of how many friends you have and how much they love you, that doesn’t mean you have an audience. That’s what I’m trying to build. Read on for the start of my journey.

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I’m Now a (Self-)Published Poet

blinks of awe cover

I’m so thrilled to type these words: blinks of awe, my first poetry book, has just been published in 32 countries!

Blinks of awe is an interactive book of poetry, or as I prefer to call it, a poetry experience. It’s only available on the iPad but when you first open it, you’ll see why. There’s no boring, black, left-aligned, serif text on a tidy white page here. Traditional poetry isn’t boring; it just doesn’t leverage what’s possible today. I’ve pushed the technology further than I’ve ever seen in a poetry book so that the medium truly complements the content. In the future, I plan to write more about iBooks Author, the main tool that made this book (and the textbook I designed earlier this year) possible. But in the mean time, I need your help!

This project began as a “wouldn’t-that-be-neat” idea on a late January weekend. What I thought I’d throw together in two days and nights ended up taking two months. In the process, I learned a lot about self-publishing ebooks, from formats to ISBNs to imprints to copyrights to pricing to working with Apple. I learned the joy and exquisite pain of trying to record your own voice, from replicating the way it sounds in your head to how it sounds on various kinds of speakers. I pushed my vocal limits and made voice recording part of my editing process. I went through numerous design iterations of every single poem. I leveraged my best personal photos, my pencil and digital artwork, and royalty free photography to put together designs that I’m damn proud of. To keep myself motivated, I started a Seinfeld calendar with six friends and worked on blinks of awe every single day for 55 straight days. And now seeing it published just made it all worth it.

I have little experience in marketing. But I know that if I don’t try everything I can to share this book, all this hard work and wonderful, late-night inspiration will be for naught. So take a chance on something new. I think you’ll be surprised.

Buy blinks of awe in the iBookstore.