Descriptions for heat levels in book list

------holding hands, perhaps a gentle kiss
♥♥ ---- more kisses but no tongue-- no foreplay
♥♥♥ ---kissing, tongue, caressing, foreplay & pillow talk
♥♥♥♥ --all of above, full sexual experience including climax
♥♥♥♥♥ -all of above including coarser language and sex more frequent

Sunday, May 26, 2013

marketing with a video

 So as an indie writer, you need word of mouth. How do you get it? One way is to have you, the writer and the books, seen as many places as possible-- hence those contests and reviews. Another is to have the work discussed in places a reader might come across not specifically looking for a book but find one. That's where YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter might come in.

What the experts in promotion say is you have to create a brand. Your brand as an indie artist/writer will not be the publisher/gallery behind your work. It will be you and the work. The work might get attention many ways by being the right work at the right time but how about you?

One possibility is creating a video where you talk about the work or your philosophy behind it. For me, this presents a problem-- I have always hated to see myself talking in any video. I don't like my voice in any recording. Still I believe in my books and in romance writing. I am open to doing what I can to promote that; so...

To get some ideas on how to approach this, I watched videos by authors and other creative people. My favorite is where Mary Alice Monroe fly fishes and discusses her book based on a river being about healing and teaching. I liked how she became part of the environment she was discussing. Although her video was doubtless done by a professional, I think amateurs can learn from seeing perfection-- gotta have a goal, right?

Incidentally I like her book, Time is a River, and had read it before I came across the video.

Finally if I hoped to do this, I had to start somewhere, get my own feet into the stream. The easiest place to instantly see the mistakes was with the webcam. This would be my first time to use it to create a video. Lots of things went wrong like I'd screw up what I was saying as I had no script, wanted this to be like a conversation not a lecture. The phone would ring. I'd hear a sheep needing something. The cat would bang the screen.

The first thing I learned I already knew-- it's not that easy. I had to quit stopping if I made an error-- it is a conversation, right, which means I can make some mistakes in how I phrase something. Maybe not in a more professional looking one.

After I'd done it for awhile one day, I realized none looked like I was having fun. It has to look like fun, like something I care about because if I don't, why should anyone else? I gave it up for the day.

Here's what I think so far regarding promotional videos. Keep it under four minutes unless an expert in the field. Look for general principles and then talk about them rather than writing out a text that will look boring when read. I talk a lot with my hands which I probably have to watch in the video as that could be distracting.

For me, working with the webcam was best because it allowed for instant feedback. It worked or it didn't. I consider all of this practice for doing a more sophisticated one which I plan to do back along the creek when the weather warms up (rain rain rain which the pastures love but no good for video making outdoors).

To begin I hoped to use music in the background but a webcam mic isn't sophisticated enough to get the voice and the music and it ruined both. The music could be added later or I might see if we have microphones around here that could plug into the webcam or computer and do a better job. For now I am more concerned with learning how to do my end of it and will worry about the techie end later-- if forced.

I like the idea of doing a video along our creek because nature is an important part of my life and books. When I begin to discuss the first historical, I can't use the backdrop from where it's set since it's Arizona and I don't plan to be there again for maybe a year. However, nature is a factor in me; so my home here in Oregon should also work.

As I worked on this, I thought probably I should do one of these for each of my books to discuss why I wrote them and why I think they have value. For now I'll settle for learning how to discuss the philosophy behind them all. I thought it might be interesting though to discuss say sexuality in fiction or why historical or how to create an original story-- although not sure original stories are that popular-- so forewarned on that one.

My husband/publisher got interested in the technical end of this and bought some software that would enable something fancier. I hope he has interest in doing that because I do not. It's enough for me to learn how to talk about both the books and my motivations, possibly various aspects of writing. I do not want to make videos that get more complicated. However, I'd love it if he did.

One thing I do believe-- every place an indie can put mention of their writing, where someone might then go looking for their books, that's a place to put a footprint. Will any of it sell a book, who knows! For now I will settle for just getting comfortable with making videos. I am not there yet.


Tabor said...

I do like how you are approaching this in a very thorough and detailed way. You are good at seeing all the pitfalls and being a perfectionist...up to a point. I think your video will be good, and the primary problem will be how to get many others to view it. I would think the hardest part is getting to the market that is appropriate rather than a shotgun approach.

Tabor said...

OK...going to stick my neck out a little on giving advice for your video, AND I AM NO EXPERT. You are correct in that a soft music (country/western?) in the background would help and perhaps cover the hollow sound that is picked up by the microphone. I would put your hair in a pony tail and bring it around one shoulder where it shows your earrings and face shape or soften your hair just a little more. (Superficial stuff I know.) The color tone of this video has a green tint on my laptop. You need a warmer light and warmer lipstick. Your facial expressions are good and warm and I do feel that you are talking to me. You need to talk about one of your specific books, I think, and tie it in to your writing style discussion.

Rain Trueax said...

Thanks Tabor. that's all helpful to see how others see it. I plan to use a camera that does movies and outside when we get further along with this project. At first, when I was in doing it, I thought, this had a lot of potential for discussing so many things, not just the books. Then the next day, out of it, I thought-- boy I hate doing that ;)

I though will keep my hair as I am wearing it that day which varies from curlier to straighter. Brighter lipstick does not look good on me at all because my features are too strong for it-- i.e. witchy look. And I don't do ponytails except when hiking. I think part of this is being who we are and that might be not everyone's idea of stylish-- my hair though never has been ;).

Interesting on the color cast as I'd say bluish here because it is a webcam and they tend to do that. Background that is so orange (paint on my wall red) may not help with the color balance but outdoors will have its own set of problems.

And I worked on talking about one for the western that will come out eventually but have been thinking I might for the other books. On this blog, I'd love to have others offer up their efforts for things they have loved or created.

The main thing is keeping them short as I suspect that most people don't like to stick with it more than a few minutes. Creating one though is an art form all of its own and I am a long way from getting it right. With my mic, when you have music in the background, it causes the voice to break up-- so you don't really hear the music and then you often see the voice lose fidelity also. Maybe a more expensive webcam would do better. The people who do this professionally obviously have more advanced equipment.

Thanks for you take on it. I know as a photographer, you do have an eye for it :)

Rain Trueax said...

And the unfortunate part on marketing is I don't think there is a readymade market for what I am writing. romance readers appear to want the same plots regurgitated up with new characters and backgrounds but same basic plots over and over. Mine don't fit that but they aren't going to satisfy the artsy readers either. They are plain stories with love at their core. Currently I'd have no idea what the market for that is. I have read a lot out there about this thing of marketing and share a lot of it here with the hope it will help others who might get into the water if they thought about it. With that in mind, I am open to discussing this subject with people in other places where it's not about a blog but about questions and considerations. I enjoy seeing some of that at MOA but it so often devolves into just promoting the books each writer has-- which I haven't felt helps mine since again-- they don't fit a niche. It was the issue with publishing houses and why I won't put money into this. I'd be very depressed if I had invested a lot in it and seen it still sell very few books. As it is, I get the joy of writing and with the hope that someday, what I thought when I got into this, the right readers will come along and then word of mouth will help as they discuss a book they liked elsewhere and it's really how it happens more than paying google, facebook or some other group for advertising where it might, as you said, not hit the right market anyway :) It's quite an adventure is all I can say with new things coming up all the time. While i love the writing end, I hate the marketing and would love to find someone who liked to do it but most agencies that promise promotion don't do enough to really help.

People like you have been my biggest encouragement :) Whether they buy my books, they are supportive of the endeavor. It means a lot as it's a lonely 'racket.' :)

Rain Trueax said...

And I created a blog that will be aimed at not only my own discussions on books, my own trailers but hopefully will have others join in. I think it could be a good place to even talk about the environment or a beloved hobby. I think Diane will add to it with her art process videos which she is into learning to create right now-- when she's not traveling.

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