19 February 2009

This Whole Marketing Thing

It’s been about two weeks since the Launch of my book, Murder, Jaz, & Tel Aviv, and its awesome book trailer. Since the time that I sent out the initial email to anyone and everyone I could think of, I have been on a quest to let the rest of the world know that my book is out there and available for the ordering. I have sent press releases to publishers, book clubs, newspapers and, of course, the heads of the Hollywood studios.

The word on the street is that my book reads like a movie and that it would make a great screenplay. I thought that the best way to get noticed would be to go to the top and send out the trailer and a brief note. So last week I set about finding the names and emails of all those important folks. The names were the easy part; the emails another story. I thought I was being really slick as I went about gathering email address. Probably spent 2 or 3 hours doing all this and gave a great sigh of relief when I hit the send button. The ‘blocked email’ notices started coming back immediately, although it was a whole 7 days before all the ‘permanent failure’ notices arrived. Oh well, it was a thought.

However, the good news is that the book trailer is turning up on all sorts of places that I didn’t even send it to, as well as some I did. My biggest thrill is when I happened to check back on Book Screening.
My little book appears RIGHT NEXT TO JOHN GRISHOM’S latest!
I figure this just has to be a sign of good things to come. I am hoping that Mr. Grisham’s good book karma will rub off on mine.

And then there is the whole Google thing; just a few weeks ago you could have goggled Murder, Jaz, & Tel Aviv, and come up with a blank. Now when you do it, you come up with a whole page! It is truly an amazing age when you realize that with just a few taps on the keyboard, anyone, anywhere in the world, can find out about your book. Now I am just hoping that they do that.

I must get back to tracking down those Hollywood types that are brainstorming new film ideas. I know they’d love Jaz.


15 February 2009

TV Addiction

TV has become really good. When did that happen? As a kid, we didn’t have a TV for a lot of my early years. When we did get one for a few years, Saturday morning programming was Captain Kangaroo and Brother Buzz. Not much point in even watching.

For a good part of my adult life, I also never had a TV. At the time it was a matter of money and, besides, there wasn’t a whole lot that I wanted to watch. (this was all pre-cable networks). If I were in the US, I would watch only when visiting friends or staying with family. I never felt that I was missing out.

It was in Israel that I got a TV; a tiny little 10 inch thing that I bought at duty-free on the way out of the country, then picked it up when I returned 3 weeks later. (how one avoided import tax at the time.) I remember jumping up and down when I finally got the cable hooked up; my little TV sitting on the floor since I had no furniture, not even a bed. A friend came by later that day and I turned it on exclaiming, Look, a TV! He turned to me and said in a serious tone, ‘You know, I have seen TV in Israel before.’…Oh.

The most important thing at the time was that I could watch CNN and BBC, 24 hours a day. If something blew up in Israel, it was on CNN before the local news and had the great advantage of being in English. The choice of non-news television was a bit limited. I remember watching lots of re-runs of 10 year old American sit-coms. I didn’t watch them with a passion; more as a brain-numbing escape from daily life. And I do remember watching the Russian variety shows which I loved because of the fashion aspect. Russian women, and men, have the most incredibly distinctive, flashy couture. http://katerambles.blogspot.com/search?q=russian+olympics

The next few places I lived I either didn’t have a TV, or it was limited to local programming. I recall nights in the tiny town of Hurghada, Egypt, watching ‘So You Want to Be a Millionaire’ in Arabic only because I had run out of books to read. I would try to pick out a few words that had a Latin base, or historical significance, and then try to guess which of the 4 answers was correct. I actually got a few. And as for books, I was an insatiable reader which was no easy task in a country with limited access to fiction in English.

By the time I arrived in Vietnam, the world had changed. Apartments rented to foreigners came furnished with a TV and cable programming. Not only could I watch CNN and BBC, but Australian networks and American series that were no more than one year out-of-date. If I didn’t want to wait for a series to be aired, I could buy a pirate copy of the entire season for a few bucks. And of course there was American Idol, which was broadcast on a one-day delay basis only because of the time difference between the US and Vietnam.

I started to notice that there was at least one show a night that I just had to see because I found them so fascinating. It was in Vietnam that I got hooked on Lost, Prison Break, Damages, Heroes, Doc Martin, Outrageous Fortune, and Stingers, to name a few. (the last three are British, New Zealander (is that right?), and Australian.) So when I arrived back in the US, I immediately started to look into when all these shows would be broadcast, and when the new seasons would begin. The only regret is that the superior BBC series are rarely available here and you can forget about TV shows from down under. Oh, and the other disappointment is the cable news American style, which sucks. http://katerambles.blogspot.com/2005/10/cnn-asia.html

But it got even better. Now, if I can’t see a program the night it is broadcast, I can watch it the next day on the internet! This is life changing! No waiting for summer re-runs to watch the episode you missed. And the fact that I am going on about TV shows is, if not worrisome, very strange to me. When did I become such an addict?

All I can think is that the American series that I presently watch have a bit of a twist to them; a taste of paranormal, or a bit of fifth dimension. They all contain action but are not police dramas or hospital traumas, genres I abhor. And new ones keep coming onboard. I could wish for another really good Sci Fi series, since I feel that is lacking in my viewing pleasure, but then again I am close to overload on television input.

Maybe this is a phase; maybe not. Maybe I will get bored with the shows or maybe they will get old, as they usually do. I used to be an American Idol fan, but that is waning. Perhaps I will once again become an avid reader. None of this really matters at all. What is important to me is that I have a choice of wonderful, one-hour escapes that take me to into fascinating worlds, all at the click of a button.

Now, if I could just get to see all those shows from other countries!

08 February 2009

Hot Book Trailer

I spent yesterday making my book trailer with my cousin Michael. http://colemanfilm.com/
Rather, Michael did all the hard stuff and I piped in with opinions. It was an absolutely, fantastically, wonderful experience! If I were 20, I think I would go into the profession. We started by recording the script, then went about adding layers. Michael went from word to word, finding images that fit. We had been working for an hour or so and I figured we must be at least half the way through, then realized we were still on the first sentence.
After we had a bunch of pics, we started on the music. And then he started piecing it together. It looked like a musical score on the computer screen, with lines for voice, pics, music, and then sound effects, all stacked up. He did his magic making sure that everything meshed, faded in or out, and flowed seamlessly. I am so ready to make another! Actually, I want to try making my own, but I know that would not be possible. I may understand some of the concepts, but being able to really do it would take more than a bit of training. And then there is the element of feel for the right thing to add at the correct section that cannot be learned; it is part of a person's DNA. And my cousin has that in great abundance.
With my hot trailer in the can, I then set out to work on the mass marketing of Murder, Jaz, & Tel Aviv. I am hoping that a book trailer to editors of newspapers and other publications is more appealing than a boring press release, although I also have one of those. I am a little stuck on how this whole press release thing works. Apparently, I can pay several hundred dollars for someone else to send out a mass email. Even if I could afford it, I just can't see how it is worth it. As I understand, it is a list of email addresses of people who might delete me without reading the press release whether I send it or I hire someone to send it.

I must let everyone know that if you want to self-publish, http://www.booksurge.com/ is the way to go. It was back in October and I was once again thinking about doing this and somehow ran into their site. I liked that they were affiliated with Amazon, so popped off an email. Less than 24 hours later, Shauna called me in response. I was stunned. I may even have stuttered. I eventually did get back to them and Shauna become the one who guided me through the whole process. I emailed and called and asked lots of questions and kept checking on this and that. And I always received a reply by the next day. I could even call if I wanted. They offer lots of services for people wanting to publish; some for an extra charge, but many for free. They are definitely the best deal in town.

I need to get back to all this self-promo stuff.

05 February 2009

Murder, Jaz, & Tel Aviv

My new book, Murder, Jaz, & Tel Aviv, has just been published and is now available online at http://www.amazon.com/.

The Book Trailer is on this page and on:

I published through http://www.booksurge.com/ , who are THE BEST!!! (again, more info on the process and how good they are in a future blog.)

This is sooooooooo exciting!

Thanks to everyone who has heard about this project and given me advise and support.