Video Book Trailer
After finishing a draft of this post, I decided to put this part first because it’s so much fun!
This past Tuesday evening, I had my first meeting with the fellow who’s going to be developing my video book trailer for me. He’s incredibly talented–not only a computer whiz but also an accomplished musician/singer/songwriter. So, in addition to his skill with assembling the graphics, photos, etc., for the one-minute film, one of his original songs (which is absolutely amazing) will become the soundtrack. And I can’t wait for you to hear it!
That video will, of course, be a huge part of the book’s promotion, and I’ll post the trailer on this blog first (right before YouTube … 🙂 …) As we make progress with the production, I’ll keep you posted.
I think I’m more excited about this part of the plan than anything else except the book itself.
Rising Star Application
Earlier this afternoon, I emailed (finally) the completed Rising Star application that I’ve been working on for the past several weeks. As a refresher regarding what that’s all about: Because Separation of Faith earned the Editor’s Choice designation, I became eligible for the Rising Star program. Reaching that level would be incredibly important since, among other things, a commissioned sales force would then begin presenting my novel to booksellers through privileged publishing avenues that writers (especially unknown writers) can’t get to.
This is the type of support that mainstream authors receive from traditional publishing houses. But such assistance in the self-publishing world is difficult, if not impossible, to find. I’m not sure what other POD (print on demand) organizations offer, but iUniverse has varying levels of marketing assistance available for books that have met their quality criteria (writing as well as editing) and that have been written by authors who are already motivated and organized with a marketing and promotion plan.
Well … the novel did earn Editor’s Choice … and I’m certainly motivated. Also, as I’ve indicated in previous posts, I’ve had plenty of marketing and promotion ideas and directions in mind for a long time. But I hadn’t pulled everything into one place, which is what the Rising Star application forced me to do.
Then, once I was immersed in the process, I started to get a little overwhelmed. The undertaking that will begin in a few weeks when the novel comes out is huge—and as I’ve said to a few friends recently, I must be nuts to be doing this voluntarily. But onward we march.
In an earlier post, I shared a few of the questions in the application, the majority of which required narrative answers. Here are a few more of those:
- While marketing your book, what will be the challenging areas where you might want to seek professonal help?
- What kind of research did you conduct when writing your book?
- Who is your target audience?
- Specifically, how do you plan to market to your target audience?
- What is the one unique thing about your book?
- Who are you planning to approach for endorsement quotes, a foreword, or other testimonials?
Sort of thought-provoking, right? How about this one: What things do you not want to do while marketing your book?
I answered, “Other than dancing with a stripper pole, I’m guessing not much.” 🙂
But here’s where the answers started to become overwhelming when all of things I want to do were pulled into a single place:
Question–What publicity do you have planned?
1. Publish electronic press release, with testimonials and link to video book trailer to all of my social media sites:
- www.SeparationOfFaith.com and www.CheriLaser.com, both of which directly link to my primary Web site, www.eWritersRUs.com
- my blog—www.cherilaser.wordpress.com
- my author page on Amazon’s Author Central
- my sites on Facebook, Twitter, FiledBy, Scribd, LinkedIn, Red Room, and Writer’s Digest Community.
2. Send electronic press release, with testimonials and link to video book trailer to:
- My email list (1000)
- Distribution lists of three of my contacts (another 2500-3000)
- Rotary District Newsletter
- Hackensack Rotary Club
- Felician College “Older Is Better” Group (where I’ve been a speaker)
- Cresskill-Demarest Rotary Club (where I’ve been a speaker)
- New Jersey state and regional newspapers and magazines (where I’ve lived for ten years): The Record, The Chronicle, The County Seat, 201 Magazine—Northern New Jersey, two regional newspapers
- Newspapers in areas germane to Separation of Faith and places where I lived for extended periods of time: Kettle Falls Focus (Kettle Falls, WA), The Statesman-Examiner (Colville, WA), The Seattle Times, Bellevue Reporter (Bellevue, WA where I graduated from high school), San Francisco Chronicle (I lived and worked in the Bay Area for 14 years), San Mateo County Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution (I lived and worked in the Atlanta area for 18 years), Cartersville Daily Tribune (Cartersville, GA), Bartow Neighbor (Cartersville, GA)
- Chambers of Commerce: Kettle Falls, WA, Bellevue, WA, Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, San Mateo, CA, Charlotte, NC—All locations are significant to the novel.
- Libraries: Alpine, NJ (where I live), Bogota, NJ (where I used to live and where there are six copies of my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon), Cresskill, NJ (my local area), Hackensack, NJ (where I used to live and where there are three copies of my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon), Teaneck, NJ (local area). Personal calls will also be made at each library, with particular emphasis on those where I have contacts on their boards of trustees.
3. Upload Video Book Trailer to:
- My Web site (www.eWritersRUs.com. The following domains also link directly into my Web Site: www.CheriLaser.com, www.SeparationOfFaith.com, www.ReinventingYourPossibilities.com, www.MakingYourWordsWork.com, www.ReinventingYourselfAtAnyAge.com. Several of these domains relate to my freelance editing and speaking businesses.)
- My blog (www.cherilaser.wordpress.com)
- My author page on Amazon (www.authorcentral.Amazon.com) where I already have information loaded on my first novel, The Truth About Cinnamon.
- My author page on Red Room (www.redroom.com) where I’m posted on the Hall of Fame board in the site’s self-published section for The Truth About Cinnamon.
- My Facebook site.
- My author site on www.filedby.com.
- My author site on www.scribd.com.
- My author site on www.writersdigestcommunity.com.
- My site on www.linkedin.com.
- My Twitter site via tweets.
And then …
Question–Please include any marketing plans, suggestions, ideas that you would like to use to market/sell your book:
In addition to everything listed in both this document as well as the Title Information Sheet:
a) Every element of the marketing process will be tracked and discussed through my blog: A Real Journey from Publishing Obscurity to Somewhere Else (www.cherilaser.wordpress.com). The mission of the blog, launched in the fall of 2009, is to share the entire process surrounding Separation of Faith (writing, editing, revising, publishing, marketing) with other writers. Also included are postings of information and links to lots of writing/publishing-related issues, so any writers following me can learn along with me. The launch of this novel will be a very big deal on this blog and one that a lot of people will be anticipating.
b) I will enter Separation of Faith in the following contests, all of which are distinctly open to self-published books:
- Readers Favorite Award–June 30, 2010 (Doubt I’ll make this deadline now.)
- ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year–Opens Summer 2010
- 7th Annual National Best Book Awards–September 30, 2010
- The Eric Hoffer Award–January 2011
- DIY Book Festival–January 25, 2011
- The IPPY Awards (Indep. Publ. Book Awards)–March 2011
- 2011 Writers-Editors Int’l Writing Competition–March 15, 2011
- National Indie Excellence Awards–March 31, 2011
- Writer’s Digest Self-Published Competition–May 2011
- 2011 Hollywood Book Festival (just missed 2010)–June 2011
- The Independent Novel Award (by Podler)–Chosen from books reviewed
c) I will seek reviews from the following:
- ForeWord Clarion Book Reviews
- Twitter Reviewers
- The New Podler Review
- Readers Favorite Reviews
- Top Reviewers at Amazon
- Kirkus Discoveries
- Publisher’s Weekly
- Library Journal
d) I will promote Separation of Faith on Kindle, Sony Reader, and the Barnes & Noble Nook.
e) Once my marketing plans develop legs, I will pursue guest posts on strategic blogs, beginning with “There Are No Rules,” the blog of Jane Friedman, strategic director of Writer’s Digest.
f) I’m going to create and distribute a podcast of Separation of Faith. (Will attend a webinar on June 24 to learn the specifics of how best to accomplish this line item.)
g) Using the results from the first six months of marketing and promotional activity, I will approach the following sites for coverage, which are not typically receptive to self-published books unless there’s some sort of buzz:
I also had to list all of the specific events I plan to hold. Of course, since I don’t know yet the precise date when the book will be live on Amazon and all the other online bookseller sites, I couldn’t list the event dates. (Mid-July is looking possible.) But I do have commitments from the different venues–and there will be twelve events in the first 6-8 weeks, the largest of which will be the Book Launch Party, which I’ll be holding at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, where my Rotary club meets every week.
The answers I’ve shared with you in this post represent three of the thirty questions asked in this application. And even though I’ve been grumbling a lot as I put the thing together, the end product has actually given me a very well organized plan to follow. So, even though I’m praying that I’ll be accepted into the Rising Star program, I’ll be very clearly directed if I’m not.
And reminding myself about the mission of this blog (see Blog Launch Posting on November 4, 2009), I should have a shot of getting there on my own with this new, comprehensive map I’ve managed to develop as a result of the application process.
Guess we’ll start finding out soon enough.
Quotes and Testimonials
This is a really important part of credible promotional materials. I’ve approached several people who I admire very much and who are respected in the world of publishing/journalism/entertainment. Four have said they’d be willing to read the book, and three of those are already doing so. Of course, there’s always the chance that one/some/all of those folks won’t like what I’ve written. (Yikes!)
But that’s a chance we have to take, if we want to get some of those great quotes we see on other authors’ books. Right? Right. Scary, though, to be sure!
As soon as I actually have the/any/some quotes/testimonials in hand, I’ll let you know who’s given them to me and what they’ve written. (Did I say yikes yet?)
Authors as Entrepreneurs–Interview
Regardless of whether you’re a writer determined to exclusively pursue the traditional Journey to publishing, or an author who’s looking at the different (and viable) options now available to us, I strongly recommend your taking a look at this seven-part interview: http://www.sramanamitra.com/2008/07/10/opportunity-within-the-long-tail-of-book-authors-iuniverse-ceo-kevin-weiss-part-1/. Kevin Weiss is the CEO of iUniverse, and even though the interview was done two years ago, his comments are still hugely relevant today (a good indication of his insight).
Hopefully, you’ll find something enlightening (or at least somewhat interesting) in what he contributes to the conversation.
Time for a Nap
Don’t I wish. Now that the Rising Star application is finished, I need to focus (again … more … still …) on the reduction edit of The Truth about Cinnamon. Who knew six or seven months ago that all this other stuff was going to take so long. (Of course, my surgery thing got in the way a little. But I’m really doing well now, thank heavens.) At any rate, I need to get that edit finished pronto, because the 2nd Edition of Cinnamon is very important to the Journey in the long run.
Short Stories and Essays/Articles
If you’d like to check out a little free reading, I’m mentioning again that I’ve published several of my short stories and essays/articles on the following Web sites. The free serialization of Cinnamon can also be found at the FiledBy and Scribd links.)
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/32280899/Life-at-Bat (This link will take you to one of the stories that’s been receiving the most traffic. You can get to the other stuff from that page as well. Same situation on the other links–except the Cinnamon serialization is only available at Scribd.com and FiledBy.com.)
Thanks So Much for Stopping By. Please Let Me Hear from You! And I hope Everyone Has an Absolutely Fabulous Weekend as Summer Officially Rolls In!