A lot of writer and SP blogs have been crowing about a “book blog tour.” I am familiar with “satellite media tours” which are the ways that anyone can get their message out to the big TV & Radio stations on a station-by-station basis. This herculean effort spreads the news as far and as wide as that morning’s news director in every station, in every one of the 225 (or so) television/media markets in the U.S., thinks is worthy of their station’s efforts. But it also meant that any car crash, political gaff or "baby falls down the well" story could suddenly preempt this effort and hundreds of thousands of dollars and the sweat of no less than 100 people gets discarded without so much as a “hey sorry ‘bout that,” shrug.
In other words, “traditional” PR.
But this is 2015, and the internet is a giant high school hallway with all its cliques and anti-cliques talking about what matters most to each one. So how do we as writers even get noticed by the captain of the football team or the D&D geeks… in this virtual “campus quad?” (Which is what it was called ay my alma mater Rim of the World HS.) Never mind that not only is itdifficult to compete to get your book judged by it’s cover, forget that your baby has a great personality, you might still get noticed faster than.. okay I’m jumping from the metaphor train, too cumbersome…
BUT – all that’s to say, I’m with the blogs (at least I just joined the team on a trial basis) and signed up with Kenya Cooper-Moore at The Book Nymph PR. For both the aforementioned book blog tour and a Facebook Launch Party.
And so far so good. Kenya is very responsive to a newbie like me (despite having a three month old Jensen competing with me for mommy’s attention. She’s the perfect match for my 800 pound (okay, 300 - but I’ve been exercising everyday and no carbs) pound Guerilla ways… I am used to promotion where giant satellite trucks and people in suits talk to other people in suits about things that were made by people in flipflops for people eating Cheetos. (I had done the first 5 Xbox launches when all they were launching was an idea that a thing called an Xbox was going to one day challenge the PlayStation.) So, I’m used to screaming and yelling, a hurricane of emails about logistics and cancelled logistics, and last-minute changes to logistics that were cancelled – where a total of (and You can add it up) over 50 -100 million dollars in man hours, equipment and resources is devoted to the launching of something.
But I’m not used to being an army of one. Kenya is what my friends in the military call a force multiplier – and her team will lead me into the murky waters of the cyber-sea…
So far, she’s been lining up 20 (that’s the package I bought) bloggers who will either review my book, interview me as author (about the process of writing) and/or spread the word in an intelligent and engaging way to their audiences. She’s also started to promote the FaceBook launch party and inviting guests – we’ve discussed prizes for incentive contests during the party and she coached me how to invite my “peeps” to the party. All of this has one goal – drive everyone to buy my book (or at least tell someone about it).
She’s been forwarding to me the interview questions from the various blogs interested in talking to little ol’ me. And we even have a YouTube interview! All of these details will be made available on the homepage of this site when locked down.
So… will it work, you ask. (You knew sooner or later, I’d get back to you, yes?) Time will tell.
What interests me are these points:
This last point is probably the most attractive of them all for girls like us – we can stick our book under our pillow when we go to sleep at night, and, while we’re sleeping, the book faerie will come. When we wake the next morning and stick our hand under our pillow, we’ll find that we’ve got… sales! (Thanks for your faith, you knew I’d stick the landing, yes?)
Please revisit this after we go through it, and I promise to analyze the experience. But for now… shootI I have to make that phone call!
Until next time!
Okay... here’s where ambition meets discipline… a blog you say, cuz you have nothing else to do. And I think this a key thing to discuss writer to writer – self disciple with an emphasis on the self part…
I’m talking about the tendency to want to do everything and the “fall off the cliff” feeling at the end of the day when you wonder if anything got done. Cuz… writers are writers and we write, right? But no one ever said that would be letters, emails, proposals and promo copy… I used to think that if ANYTHING took me away from the furthering of a plot or character arc, it wasn’t worth my time and this included birthday cards to my loved ones, forms for the DMV and anything else that I looked at as an obstacle to “creative writing.
BUT it’s different when it’s for your baby…
Which is how I’m seeing things now. So, let’s check in on the subject at hand… today’s subject:
Parallel Universes –
And here I’m speaking about one foot on the platform and the other on a train (thank you Lowell George!) The platform is the physical alchemy of your “manuscript” into an OMG, I can’t believe it’s a book, book. And the jacking set wave (surfer-ese for the wall of power coming at you as sure as an on-coming train) of the release date – which shall be promoted!
As your head swirls with logistics, the book has to stay on it’s unbroken path toward physically running through the printing process. And if you’re not careful, like I just was you can cost yourself days that you might not have…
I slammed headlong into the wall with CreateSpace (amazon’s publishing engine)and guess what – it’s just that – a machine that for all it’s great real person customer support threw up t’s hands, with the old “I’m sorry, and I know Ms. Madden how frustrating you must be, BUT WE CAANNOT HELP YOU.” What happened was I, okay tried to fool the system – tons of blogs about self publishing all trumpet the idea that “presales are the key!” But CreateSpace doesn’t allow for that directly. You have to play fast & lose with the website. And after a few cups of coffee and some brainstormin’ my friend Valerie and I concocted a mad scheme…
Upload a version of the book that was a “preview/review copy” that we would “publish” and use to send to reviewers – the key here is that you want to make sure you do two important things.
This did two things –
This last point is where the wheels fell off. I printed 10 copies of the advance review copy, while my house was in one last push for proofing – I was soooo done hearing about commas before parenthesis, and my beloved honey, I’m sure telling me about them. She even took a vacation day and we hunkered down for the entire three days taking breaks only to change positions and for popcorn. And we did it!
I then went o upload the new and totally clean – this one will stick and I can get on with the zillion things to do to launch when I got LOCKED OUT FOR 24 HOURS WHILE MY FILE PASSES FINAL REVIEW.
But I don’t wanna have that version reviewed I wanna upload this CORRECTED, PROOFED, AND REAL VERSION!
The website was locked in the review mode on the old file and no calls to CreateSpace’s (first impatient, then very sympathetic, though’ still not helpful) service techs would stop the machine from reviewing a file that was:
But it was still going to be reviewed and they were still going to tell me of the flaws that I had corrected in the new final version that I was locked out from uploading.
Was this the federal crime, the earth shattering catastrophe that I accused them of creating?
No. I was able to breathe and switch gears and try to concentrate on other things knowing that in 24 hours I would have to get back to uploading my final version for release.
But it could be. Remember this fellow CreateSpacers – when you make a change, you have to correct it on your file, (takes how ever long – my table of contents took hours) then:
This all comes when were doing the most critical tasks simultaneously. The trick is breath, stay disciplined with my own game plan, and realize that this is a fact of life here in self publishing ville… would we have it any other way…?
Are we nuts?
Blog Byline: Scottie Madden
Scottie currently lives with her love in a treehouse in the shadow of LA’s infamous “dirt Mullholland,” with their black dog Aria. When she’s not pretending that developing, writing and running television shows is anything other than a dream come true, (if they find out it isn’t hard at all, they’ll make us work!) she is cooking up some wild adventure in food for her friends and family.