Website Work Occupies, Distracts from COVID-19

Morning Rose T-Shirt product image for website

Summer arrives and so does NaNoWriMo!

Time to work on my website. Meanwhile, I’m still figuring out this ShopHERE stuff. Lesson one: I’m really not a business person. It takes a hell of a lot of stamina and as much tolerance for rejection as a writer. Well, not rejection, being ignored. I think I prefer that then, “Sorry, no thanks, not for us.”

Toronto offered ad credits for the ShopHERE program. After a couple of aborted attempts, my Solutions Leader and I got Google and Facebook ads up.

Facebook ad for ShopHERE Shopify site: 9,933 reach, 682 post engagements, 673 link clicks, and not a single sale. Google ad for face mask: 485,869 impressions, 86 clicks, no sale. Google for poster: 33,850 impressions, 1,070 clicks, no sale. My FB post: one sale.

My jeejeebhoy.ca and ShopHERE website logo

New Logo, New Home Page

So that people could find my shop when they visited my website, I had to add it to my home page. It was the impetus I needed to redesign it. I liked some aspects of it, but it was just so . . . busy! I wanted to streamline it. Being approved for ShopHERE meant I had access to Shopify’s logo design generator. I got that done in May and immediately added it to my website branding. Felt good to finally have a little graphic at the top left of every page and in the browser tab.

A small but significant change.

But the hard part was figuring out what the home page should look like. I sketched it. I fixed the Library page. And suddenly, it all came together. Nice.

My photograph of the beach on a grey T-shirt worn by a bearded man, created for my ShopHERE

Product photography is automatic and difficult

As a photographer and someone who plays with images, I thought it wasn’t that big a deal to take product photos for a website. Uh, well. I learnt that Shopify had noted its shop owners took five to six tries, hours, to shoot and upload an image. That’s a hell of a lot of time and effort. Luckily, the companies that manufacture the clothing, posters, and such on my ShopHERE site, create images automatically, like this handsome dude in a T-shirt with my beach photo on it — and there’s a matching face mask, too!

One problem: you got to add your branding on them. My logo is supposed to be on this image somewhere. It probably faded into the background so much, I thought to self: oh, stuff it. I’m too tired to futz with it!

Brain isolation print on wall with chairs in front, product image for website

Posters are not that hot a seller!

I started this whole thing as a way to sell the print of my painting-collage that was in the Brain Injury Society of Toronto’s Virtual Expressive Art Show. They’d asked me if people could buy it. I didn’t want to sell the original. I was encouraged to put a poster print up for sale. And then a limited edition! People like limited editions! The exclusivity, the signed certificate!

Yeah, well, maybe by famous artists they do.

I’d resisted calls to sell my art cuz it’s hard, not an area I’m knowledgeable in. Plus I didn’t feel like dealing with the same kind of racism I’ve had to put up with in the publishing world. And no sales, too. Oh well.

Concussed PTSD Acrylic Print product image for website

What the heck, why not sell my first submission to BIST’s Expressive Art Show

Concussion PTSD is a digital collage I created from my photographs of the models for the Vimy Ridge Memorial at the Canadian War Museum.

The big problem I had with the prints I created was the size. Digital art is hampered by resolution when it comes to how big you can blow an image up. As I pondered, I thought an acrylic print would pop out those reflections. Or better yet, a metallic poster print.

Or both acrylic and metallic!

Front Cover Concussion Is Brain Injury: Treating the Neurons and Me

Time for Camp NaNoWriMo!

All this shop set up, product creation, advertising work, is taking me from what I need to do and want to do: I need to update the web pages attached to Concussion Is Brain Injury: Treating the Neurons and Me. And I want to write a TV script for a ten-episode series.

I committed to my readers that I’d update Concussion Is Brain Injury via password-protected web pages that (hopefully) only readers of the book can access. BTW new bookstore alert: Fanship! I discovered last year that July’s Camp NaNoWriMo is a good time to do it. Camp is easier going than November’s NaNoWriMo, and life is usually quieter. Of course, in the time of COVID-19 and people fed up with racism, life isn’t that quiet. So Camp is serving a second function for me: escape from the news as I’m forced to stay home by people who refuse to physically distance and wear a mask.

This year there isn’t much to update beyond adding principles of diagnosis and treatment, adding thoughts about diagnosing and treating multiple mental illnesses with multiple medications, and improving my intros to references and further readings.

I’m hoping to finish the updates this week — I started Camp kind of late and only my neurodoc organizing me, got me out the gate. And then I can begin my script.

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