Arsenal of Words

The Writing of Arthur Klepchukov

Category: Technology

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.

What Else Can a Poem Be?

The following snippet of Jack Morgan’s review of blinks of awe brings up some fun questions:

…it’s hard to judge his poetry by itself because it isn’t. Are we going to start judging poetry like we do films and plays, where every job is criticized on its own merit? Should I take the sound production on its own and talk about that? We get a lot of new questions from work like this, which might be why Klepchukov made it in the first place.

Jack is referring to the unique qualities of the poetry in blinks of awe: the book lets you see my visual representation of each poem and lets you hear how I feel each poem should sound. How do you judge poetry by itself when other elements are involved? More importantly, do you even have to?

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

The Medium of First Drafts Doesn’t Matter

I was recently seduced by a typewriter. It happened while I was watching Finding Forrester. The typewriter came on screen and it intrigued me the way a record player or an old computer might. Something inside me said, this is how they did it before for years and years. No sexy, overpriced multitasking machine with tweets, browser tabs, chats, games, and a thousand other lovely modern distractions. Just the keys, the pages, and me. I could almost feel my fingertips resting on the loud and ancient keyboard. I pictured setting up a new writing area in my apartment somewhere in a comfortable corner by a window overlooking the foggy hills. How many more drafts could I finish if I just had this dandy distraction-free machine?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Data Hiding Inside Ebooks

I recently met with one of the founders of a startup pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in ebooks. We discussed what impact more technology and better insight into reader behavior would have on publishing. Could books be more like web sites or apps in that regard? Would that be a better experience for readers, writers, and publishers?

Read the rest of this entry »