Tag Archives: KEPT by Jim Arnold

KEPT wins Reader Views Literary Award


Hey blog readers and book readers! I’m thrilled to announce that my novel KEPT has won First Place in the 2016 Reader Views Literary Awards, for the Gay/Lesbian/Erotica category.

Here’s a link to the list. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up. It’s quite the chore to be the one-stop shop for all in the world of self-publishing, and I have great respect for all who entered into the award contest, too. OK, now back to writing the sequel to Benediction.

KEPT, by Jim Arnold

KEPT: The story of the cover art


When you self-publish a book, one of the crucial decisions you make is approving the cover art and design. For most writers, this is counterintuitive, as our strengths generally (at least we hope) lie in the realms of words and storytelling, not so much in imagery.

Which makes this process even more nerve wracking.

Because – there’s this thing out there called the Internet now. Where everybody goes for books. And usually they’re bombarded with a screenful of pixellated book covers, all of them vying for the opportunity to catch the browser’s eye. Decisions are made on the basis of interest in the cover. There’s no table full of books to flip through. There’s no physical shelf showing all the new books in the genre. It’s a much bigger and confusing landscape and of course, it’s all virtual.

And what is it that catches the browser’s eye? Color, for one thing. Red is more eye-catchy, than say, brown or yellow. Hello stop signs! Also strong graphics, I think, especially considering small screens.

And of course, naked men, for this genre, which is a gay mystery/suspense/thriller. The one action the cover is designed to elicit is a click further – basically that’s it, stop and find out some more.

So I did have an image in mind, which I gave to the cover designer at that point — it’s this:

2365800428_0cc260e6a8 I found it on the internet, on Flickr. I didn’t take the photo and I don’t know who the subject is. But I do know it’s an image of the desert near Palm Springs, and also has a hot looking half-naked guy who looks vaguely Latin as the subject.

One of the main characters in KEPT, if not the main character, is a guy named Jorge who anglicizes his name to George. This would be my cover image.

The cover designer at CreateSpace (the company Eureka Street Press uses for actual book and ebook publication) came up with this image based on the idea of a man in the desert:



So, a different desert (it looks more like Joshua Tree to me, and well, it’s close enough) and a different man, obviously, someone from their bank of usable images. Yeah, he’s got better abs, too, that never hurts, right?

Simple typography for a very simple title, and my name as the author. I think it sticks out on a page full of busier titles (though I was unable to get much red in this image). What do you think?

KEPT Blog Tour, March 21 – 25, Day 5



Day 5, and last day, of the Blog Tour! Today’s stops include:

Man2ManTastic (blog)

Shey’s Book Cave (blog)

Angee’s After Thoughts (blog)

perhaps more today. Will post as I see them!

The desert, looking toward San Gorgonio Pass

The desert, looking toward San Gorgonio Pass

I’m not saying bodies don’t get buried out here in the desert in KEPT, but then I’m not going to deny it, either.

KEPT Blog Tour, March 21 – 25, Day 3



More blogs featuring KEPT! On Wednesday, March 23, blog stops include:

Steamy Book Momma (facebook page) and Steamy Book Momma (blog) 

Bloggers From Down Under (facebook page) and Bloggers From Down Under (blog)

Booklover Sue (blog) and Booklover Sue (facebook page)

Possibly more later today, I’ll update.

Top of the Tram observation area

Top of the Tram observation area

The Palm Springs Tram gets some top billing in KEPT – check it out!





KEPT Blog Tour, March 21 – 25



KEPT launched yesterday, and today (March 21, 2016) the one-week blog tour (arranged via BookEnthusiastPromotions.com) begins.

Today’s stops are:

Maari Loves Her Indies (facebook page)

Here Is What I Read Blog

Diana’s Book Reviews

There’s book excerpts and other information about the book (and many other books) at these sites. Take a look! Back tomorrow for the next stops on the tour.

Kept: Self-Publishing Update #7


In the weeds, I am – but the big date is getting closer all the time. Kept still launches March 20, with e-book sales already listed on Amazon to begin that day. I’ll pull the plug, so to speak, on all the parameters I still need to decide on for the regular paperback version and do my best to make it available the very same day.

KEPTcover1 But here’s some new information, especially for those going the self-publishing route and following this marketing saga. I’ll just update you with the tactics listed in Self-Publishing Update #6 from a few weeks ago:

Advance Review Copies: The formula I’m using said to target 3x the number of opening-day reviews you’d like to see on Amazon. I thought 20 would be a good number, so I requested 60 friends/readers to help with this effort. I actually got 35 people to agree to do it. So even if half of those actually post, I’ll be pretty pleased. If all of them do, I’ll be ecstatic.

The Blog Tour, still scheduled for that week, M-F, March 21-25. So far there are 17 blogs participating — where there will be book information, excerpts, a review on some, other ancillary information I’ve provided. It’s a first for me, not sure these blogs are my audience and I’m guessing I’ll find out. The publicity could be really awesome – of course, that’s what I’m hoping and for a continual web presence from it.

The Goodreads GiveawayThe giveaway is complete and I’ve sent all 10 books out. Most went to folks in the U.S., and the rest went to Canadians. The giveaway was available to worldwide goodreads members so that result was a bit unusual, but I’m not complaining because: postage. To mail the book to Canada cost 3x the cost of each book. The hope is that those who receive the free book will rate and post a review on goodreads. Also, there is tremendous visibility for the title as it’s listed on the giveaway page. Everybody likes free stuff!

The Reading Tour: Probably will not do many of these. In fact, I’m only pursuing one local reading in Palm Springs (as that is the location of the story in KEPT) at this point. I’m waiting for more review blurbs to come in which will hopefully be positive and help “sell” the book event/signing. I plan to pitch it at the end of the month, for a date in late April or May.

Targeted Traditional Press: I have a couple of feelers out for this. Realistically, this is a location specific genre book, so I think the best bang for my traditional publicity buck is to again stay local to Palm Springs-area press. We’ll see who bites — if anyone!

Social Media Updates:  I have photos and blog topics enough to last for a year’s worth of posts. I’ll start doing that in earnest on March 21, hopefully one a day to 5x per week, and it will last a year.

Contests: Haven’t really started this yet as it’s for books published in calendar year 2016 and we’re still pretty new to the year. I’ll be doing Foreword’s Book of the Year Awards and the Reader Views awards, where I’ve done well in the past, and will be looking for some new venues to pursue.

What else should I be doing? If you have ideas or comments, I’m more than happy to receive them.