The proofs for Guardian Generations have been returned from the publisher. I now have to go through them and check for any errors or changes I don’t agree with then sign them off. Good job it is a wet weekend!
The back cover blurb has also been returned for approval. What do you think?
RAF fighter pilot James Taylor is abducted by an alien craft as he flies his Typhoon over Scotland. He’s unaware that his uncle, Tristan who disappeared without trace many years ago, had been targeted by aliens and is now one of the ‘Guardians’ of space, a specially selected and highly trained race with telepathic powers.
As Tristan’s daughter hurtles towards Earth to find more people capable of becoming Guardians, on another planet and evil scheme to ‘cleanse the galaxy’ of all synthetic life forms is gathering pace. James unwittingly becomes part of the plan, and is tasked with countering the threat of Guardian Artificial Intelligences.
Stardrive technology is in overdrive, space pirates are amassing, and a secret passed down through generations is revealed. But a time-bomb is ticking – is there still time to bring peace to the galaxy?
I have not touched book three for ages. I will soon have to get on with it now Generations is nearing its publication!
Now that I was getting a higher click through rate I returned again to the bounce rate. (The number of people who arrive at the website then bounce away without going to another page on the site) I had used Google’s website optimiser for the front page and experimented with the content until it was the best I could get it. Unfortunately the bounce rate refused to go lower than 50%
After thinking long and hard I wondered if some of the trouble was the boring navigation. I was using a standard template design with text navigation tabs across the top of the website just like 75% of sites on the net.
I decided to redesign the site using a template that allowed icon navigation. After two days of hard work I had a new site ready to go live. I uploaded the site to my host server and waited for the analytics data to build up.
You can view the new site here www.guardianscifi.com
The bounce rate immediately reduced to around 35%. Result!
So if your not getting the bounce rate you expect from your website then perhaps try improving the navigation. Make your visitor want to look at other pages on your site.
No update on Guardian Generations yet. The publisher has the cover artwork and the manuscript. I am waiting for the first edited version to come through from them. For the latest news please visit www.guardianscifi.com
My Guardianscifi website is listed on several banner exchange sites. I have been getting some visitors from them but compared to the number of exposures of my banner the clicks were disappointingly few, usually two or three a day.
The banner I was using had been copied from my book cover. I thought it looked good but obviously most people did not and so would not click on it.
One of the banner exchange webmasters happened to say to me “Why don’t you make up a banner from some of your pictures?” I though about it and decided to have a go. While I was looking round for ideas I read that animated banners work better than static ones. As luck would have it the article included a link to free GIF animation software, GIFfun. You drag in static Jpeg pictures then adjust the time they are displayed on the screen. If each picture is in sequence and slightly different you get an animated effect. The resultant file is in GIF format so it can be displayed by most web browsers.
I chose the picture I was going to use, one that had dark areas on either side for good contrast for light text. I chose “Don’t Mess With Me” I cut it down to banner size (480 x 60) Then added the first text using photoshop.
I then produced the next one in the sequence and saved each one in turn.
I then dragged the pictures into GIFfun and adjusted the timing until it looked right.
The resulting banner is displayed below. The click rate has increased to double figures!