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Category Archives: Marketing Madness
For the last three months, I have not only been sprinting to finish ASHES IN THE SKY. I’ve also been on book tours to support the release of FIRE IN THE WOODS. I have to admit, with all that I needed to do, I would have gone crazy if it were not for my lovely publicist, Jamie, who kept everything straight for me and made sure my ducks were I a row – because by that time my quacker was sufficiently quacked-out.
As I scrambled to the end of my first draft of ASHES, Jamie contacted me and said “How about a vlog tour for the paperback release of FIRE IN THE WOODS?”
Ummmmmm. [Cringe] “I guess, but I’ve never done a vlog before.”
“Just be yourself.”
And before I knew it, the marketing company had seven stops set up. YIKES!
So, I took a deep breath and figured it out. I had two weeks to do them. No biggie. (All the while keeping up with my daily word counts)
I planned on filming them over two weekends, but the tour started earlier than I expected, so I had to give myself a crash course in making a video. I did two sessions on a Tuesday night and sent them off to Jamie, and the remainder I taped over the weekend before the tour (yeah, nothing like pressure)
Here are my pearls of wisdom:
- Get a tripod. You will thank me for it. Trust me.
- You’ll need a decent background. No one wants to see my messy desk. (Trust me on that, too)
- Don’t overthink it.
- If you mess up, don’t start over. Editing isn’t as hard as you might think (I used the free Microsoft Movie maker program that came with my computer.)
- Don’t be afraid to have fun (Even better, make fun of yourself)
- Know your audience. Is it a teen site? Give it a MUCH different tone then the “Mothers Review books” site. Record something your viewer will relate to/enjoy watching.
- Put on make-up. The camera will make you look like a zombie. Trust me.
- Put on more make-up. The make-up you used just makes you look like a cuter zombie
- Are you done with that make-up? Look like a clown? Are your kids running away from you screaming? Yep, you probably have it right, then. Make-up disappears in front of a camera for some reason. Guys, I think this goes for you, too – unless you don’t care if you look like a vampire. And not a cute sparkly one, either.
- Like Jamie said: Be yourself. Don’t sell your book. Just talk like you’re having lunch with the camera. Have fun.
- Don’t wait until 10:00 PM when the kids are in bed. Your eyes will look red and glassy if you are tired.
- If your dog walks in and burps on camera… just go with it.
Putting it all together after you tape:
I’ve always had an interest in electronic art, so I spent some “fun time” learning about fades and swipes, inserting footage, and adding music. But I had to use the “learn as I go” method, so I didn’t know as much in the first video as I did in the last one. I’m hoping if I do another vlog tour, I will have learned to add effects, because I think that would be AWESOME fun.
All in all, I’d have to say it was a great experience. My interviews are not professional by any means, but you can see my style and expertise (with adding “extras”) improve with each video. (I think the last is my best-probably because I had relaxed more by that time as well)
So, for grins and giggles, now that the tour is over and the content is no longer “exclusive,” I am going to post all these videos here. Even the ones I’m not as happy with, because, hey… if you can’t laugh at yourself, who CAN you laugh at? And I never said I wanted to be a YouTube personality.
I’ll upload one video interview a week to avoid vlog-overload.
Starting with #1 below (Hosted on a teen-based site). Enjoy!
Last Monday I was interviewed on television about editing. The producer was specifically interested in my “Gold Mine Manuscript” series of posts from 2011.
That was three years ago! Isn’t that crazy?
The more I thought about it, everything in those posts is still just as valuable today as it was three years ago. So in honor of my first television interview, I am bringing them back. One per week, just like I did “way back when”.
I know I can use a refresher, and I hope other writers can learn a little, too.
Gold Mine Manuscript returns on Monday!
On Monday, I had my first ever television interview. While I cannot speak to everywhere you might be interviewed, here are a few things that I took away from the experience.
1. Bring a friend with you if you are the nervous type. You might be afraid to enter that scary little door between those two buildings. You might be even more afraid to walk down all those steps into what looks like a pit of doom. But fear not! Big things come in small packages. A green room awaits!
2. A green room is a place where guests wait before they are called by the producer. The room is not always green. In fact, I hear people joke about this all the time, so I don’t think any of them are green.
3. I was told to come make-up ready. Not being much of a girly-girl, I went to a make-up salon and had someone who knows what they are doing make me look like a girl and make sure all of the colors were deep enough for television. When I got to the television studio, I was called into make-up, and was surprised when she seemed ready to do all my make-up. The only thing she did was pile on the blush since I was already painted. I looked like I had a terrible sunburn when I left. She promised me that the lights would flood it out. I hope she’s right.
4. Prepare, prepare, prepare. I had a pre-interview where we discussed the questions that would be asked. I practiced them for a week before the actual interview. It helped. I didn’t have to deal with the “ummmm…” factor.
5. Practice being interviewed facing left or right. For some reason I envisioned facing right, but when I got in there, the hosts were on my left. I did fine, but this might freak you out if you are nervous.
6. No matter how much you prepare, the questions will probably NOT be asked in the way you anticipate, and maybe not even in the anticipated order. Be ready so that doesn’t throw you.
7. The hosts are not subject matter experts. Listen to what they say. They might get something backwards. This I DID NOT anticipate, and I hope I handled it with grace. I think I did okay. I will have to wait for the interview to air to see for myself.
8. Be prepared in case something goes wrong to brush it off mentally and move on. In their introduction, the hosts mentioned my novella THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW instead of FIRE IN THE WOODS. Well, it’s nice that they did their research into my past works. [Slaps hand to forehead] At least “Tomorrow” is still an active title.
9. See number eight: If you are promoting something, and the mention of the book will only be in one spot… double check before the cameras go on. – Even if you discussed the correct book in the pre-interview. No biggie. Like I said, NEW TOMORROW is still an active title.
10. You are in. interviewed, and you are out. When I stepped into the live studio, the make-up lady was touching up the hosts after their previous interview, while the producer put on my microphone. I sat down, spoke randomly in circles while they took levels on my voice, and then the studio cleared out. The hosts said we would not get through all my information, and try to keep it concise. No pressure. As soon as the interview was over, I stood up and the makeup lady attacked the hosts again in preparation for the next interview. Boom! In a flash you are done, and these people are rustling in the next guest. For one day, you are the cog in a well-oiled machine.
All in all it was a great experience. The best advice I can give is to relax. Whatever happens, happens. I can honestly say that I forgot there were three cameras in the room. It was probably good, because that might have made me nervous. I just focused on spitting out the information as quickly as I could in the eight minutes allotted.
When the host asked the last question, I glanced at the clock and it said 7:34. I figured they had a little slack on the time since they weren’t closing the interview, so I spoke quickly, and tried to get all my thoughts out. After the two lovely hosts saying we would not get through it all, I’m happy to say we touched on all ten topics and only went over by 38 seconds. Not too shabby.
I know most of you will not be able to see this interview when it airs in October, but I will be getting a copy and posting it here so everybody can laugh at me learn from all the valuable tidbits of information on editing.
About a month ago, I was contacted by a television producer who had been surfing the web and stumbled across my “Gold Mine Manuscript” series of posts from 2011.
She thought these topics would be a great addition to a television series she’s working on aimed at writers.
And she wanted to know if I’d like to appear on her show. Isn’t that even cooler?????
So today I am practicing my breathing exercises, trying to keep myself calm, and then I’m heading out to the studio to do my first ever television interview.
Isn’t that neat?
We are taping today, but the show will be airing some time in October. That does not take the pressure off, though. The show will filmed like it is live. Any mistakes will be immortalized forever.
This is a brand new experience for me, and it sounds like so much fun!
Wish me luck!
And while you’re here, have you had any “unexpected” opportunities pop up as a result of using social media?
I’m in a very interesting position right now. My novel FIRE IN THE WOODS comes out in about two months, and the early chatter isn’t about my quirky main character. Instead, people are talking about the guy who changes her life forever.
This is part of an “introduce your character” game that posted a list of questions for the character to answer, but I couldn’t see David just sitting there and spilling his guts, so I’d rather give you a little character study that will do pretty much the same thing. And for grins and giggles, I’m going to do it in 80 words or less.
Let me introduce you to the current literary love of my life, David.
It was a simple mission. Fly over the planet Earth, and send a signal to our people on the surface.
Earth was supposed to be a primitive world.
That was the first lie.
They shouldn’t have been able to detect me.
They shouldn’t have been able to shoot me down.
Now my life is in jeopardy.
I was never supposed to set foot on Earth.
I was never supposed to interact with natives.
I was never supposed to meet… her.
FIRE IN THE WOODS
Coming September, 2014
From Jennifer M. Eaton and Month9Books
I’m really glad I said yes when Richard Leonard asked me to join in this game, because I LOVE that little introspection from David. I can see my character standing in the woods, with the fire raging behind him, speaking these words before he starts running for his life from the United States military. This really sets the tone for the beginning of the book.
Thanks for the idea Richard!
And thanks everyone else for spending a few minutes with David.
Richard Leonard writes software and documentation for a living, and fiction for pleasure. He writes elements of sci-fi, romance, mystery, psychological thriller, religious conflict, action, but the common theme of his fictional writing is always based on what makes people tick. Living in the picturesque Yarra Valley wine region, east of Melbourne, Australia with his lovely wife, two teenage offspring and mischievous dog. Neither Richard, nor his dog, drink wine.
Oooo! I’m all a tingle. I’m a huge Jocelyn Adams fan, and I’ve been counting the days until book #2 of the Mortal Machine series comes out. Today’s the day!
And here I am, little old me, with a Sneak Peak Excerpt from Book # 2: MIDNIGHT DAWN (Below in the post)
And double score! Book two is on release day blitz for only $.99 on ebook. How cool is that! If you love a lot of action with a splash of romance, your will eat this series up.
Pick up a copy at only $0.99 for a limited time!:
Back of the book:
Her soul remembers his touch, even if she doesn’t.
With only three days until the wraith king turns the earth into an all-you-can-eat buffet, Addison Beckett is forced to enlist brooding sentinel Asher Green’s help to unlock the Mortal Machine. According to the founder, all she has to do is find the sanctuary—the same sanctuary she can’t remember because Asher erased her memories.
Trying to save humanity while navigating Asher’s lies is a royal pain. But the more time she and Asher spend together, the harder her soul tries to remind her what else he’s made her forget—that he loves her, wants her, needs her.
When she’s trapped by the wraith king and forced to pick who will stand by her in the coming battle, Addison is faced with an impossible choice: the sentinel she loves who refuses to love her back, or a powerful stranger who insists they’re meant to be together. Her decision will determine the fate of humanity, and once decided, can’t be undone.
Are yea ready for that excerpt? Strap yourself in. Here we gooooo!
We flew along the freeway at a scary speed, the car floating as if not much of the rubber actually touched the road. If we hit anything, since my hands were still bound behind my back and I wasn’t a wearing seat belt, I’d end up smashing face-first into the security panel.
“We just have to keep ahead of the authorities until this phenomenon passes,” Caine said, “and then we’ll escape into the Shift.”
“Good luck with that,” Asher snapped out. “It’s still locked up tight.”
“Bloody hell.” Caine moved his hands up to ten and two on the wheel. “Hold on to your arses, girls and boys, we’re in for some turbulence.”
I leaned forward, straining to see through the clouded panel, and didn’t have to look too hard out the windshield to locate what he’d seen. In the distance, a line of headlights and police beacons cut a swath across the freeway, and they weren’t moving. How had they set up a roadblock so fast?
Had Baku tipped them off? I struggled in my cuffs, but they were tight, and I only succeeded in scraping my skin.
Asher cursed. “Goddammit, why can’t we catch a break tonight?”
“Um…why aren’t you slowing down, Caine?” I pressed myself against the back of the seat, crushing my own hands.
He grinned at me over his shoulder, and the car lurched forward, the engine growling harder into the early morning.
“Stop the damned car!” Asher raised his knees and thrust his heels against the divider screen with enough force to tip a bus on its ass, but it didn’t give at all.
Hands braced on the dash, Kyle shouted obscenities that soon turned into the Lord’s Prayer.
We bore down on the lights, closer and closer. Jesus, Caine was going to ram them, only the cruisers were parked head-on to us, so it wasn’t like we were going to get through.
“What is he doing?” I asked no one in particular.
“Spike strip!” Kyle yelled. The resulting swerve around the wicked-looking piece of metal with nails waiting to blow our tires threw me hard into Asher and shot my shoulder up with pain.
Cleared of the danger, Caine resumed course toward the barricade. He began counting down. “Five”—we were close enough to see the officers drawing weapons and settling behind car doors—“Four”—pops sounded outside from the cops who were positioned on the shoulder, firing at us, and the ones in our direct line scrambled out of the way—“Three”—the front right tire exploded, throwing me forward, and I might have smashed my face in if Asher hadn’t thrown his body across me—“Two”—I buried my face against his throat and told him I was sorry over and over again—“One.”
Heading. Over. To buy. NOW!
Coolness! THIS WEEKEND ONLY (August 1-3) MuseItUp Publishing is offering my young adult contemporary paranormal story THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW for only $.99
If you like a fun easy speculative fiction read, or you have a teenager who likes a little explosion mixed up in their paranormal, give THE FIRST DAY OF THE NEW TOMORROW a try!
Maya dreams of perfect skin, beautiful hair, good grades, and Eric Brighton—the boy she’s been crushing on since middle school. No matter how hard she tries, all these things elude her, but when a creepy college recruiter arrives with news that Maya has omnipotent powers, things change quickly.
Having everything she wants is a lot harder than Maya expects, though. Will she give it all up for the chance to be normal again, even if it means losing Eric?