Read An Ebook Week: FINAL DAY of Sales!

Good morning, fellow readers and writers and creatives of all types,

If you didn’t know, this past week has named Read An Ebook Week by Smashwords, the largest distributor for indie books! (Desert Palm Press, too.) In celebration, their ebooks are 25-50% off and today is the last day for this sale. Because of that, both my books Finding Hekate and Losing Hold are 50% off, too!

books
Here’s a little bit about Finding Hekate:

Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew from the black. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, but she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Mia’s time is running out.

And here’s a bit about Losing Hold:

Escaping Donavin’s grasp, Mia and her crew crash on a prison planet and must deal with its inhabitants, beast and criminals alike. Mia hears Donavin in her mind again and knows the transformation into one of his drones isn’t far off. Trapped in her own body, lashing against Donavin each chance she gets, and fearful that she’ll lose it all, Mia has to rely on her crew and Cassidy to save her.

Intrigued? Good! Get them both (as well as a lot of other amazing reads) today and blast off on your next great adventure!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Warm regards,
Kellie

 

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#IndieAuthorDay

Today is #IndieAuthorDay. It’s a day where publishing professionals (writers, agents, librarians, etc.) gather together and celebrate independent authors. It’s a day where folks talk about the hardships and successes of being an independent author. It’s a day that shines a light on them and their community, while also celebrating local libraries in North America.

And it’s a day that I didn’t hear about until today.

Granted it’s brand new (today was the inaugural launch) and I’ve admittedly been entrenched in following the political pulse of the nation this past week instead of the writing pulse (which is a fault of my own).

But I’m a bit sad that I didn’t hear about it until today.

I would’ve wanted to join in on this celebration and conversation. And I did, a little bit. While I missed the local event here at the Portland library, I was able to catch the presentations on YouTube and retweet some key messages from others. And there’s always next year! (On that note: Mark Oct. 8th on your writing calendar, guys, because its something we should all celebrate!)

It seems like a great idea, though, and with all the other stuff happening in the world right now (and not just political stuff, but also Hurricane Matthew and various amazing cons that I’m currently not at), I’m happy to have heard about it at all. It appears like the inaugural event was a success, too, which is awesome, and I’m quite glad it was trending on Twitter so I can take part in it, in my own small way. (Social media connectivity, FTW!)

Good luck, indie authors, and keep on writing!
Warm regards,
Kellie

April 8th

Finding Hekate, my science fiction book, will be set into the wild on April 8th. NEXT MONTH! I had a lovely chat with my publisher about the logistics of things on Wednesday night and we went over a bunch of marketing ideas I brainstormed. Since Desert Palm Press is a small publisher, I will be doing 90% of the marketing ideas I thought up. Authors are the Number One Champion of their book, though, so I’m more than happy to do it! Plus, this allows me to utilize the skills I’ve learned in my book publishing classes in the real world. (I admit, it’s different doing these things as an author rather than a publisher, but quite a few things transfer over.)

I’ve included my plan of attack for the next few weeks:
March Week 13th-19th
Content Creation Phase

  • Social Media posts: Continuing the awareness posts, generating more, while also crafting ones to post during the launch phase
  • Media Artifacts: Creating new ones, based on images or quotes from the manuscript, continuing to post the ones I created already
  • Press Release
  • Cool interesting ideas I could guest blog about

Writing Drafts (of Letters and stuff)

  • Pitch letters to influencers: Including Facebook/Twitter posts they could share/repost, tiers of engagement
  • Pitch letters to request interviews/articles
  • Pitch letters to request a spot in newsletters: Accompanying newsletter blurb they can just cut/paste into their own
  • (Do the work for them for influencers and newsletter peeps!)

Finishing Up The Manuscript – One Last Pass

  • My publisher will get the manuscript to me on Monday, I have to go through it and double/triple check the edits
  • Due back Friday at the latest
  • Will try to get through it quickly so the proofreaders have more time with it

Wonder About a Launch

  • Should I do a book launch or gathering? If so, where? If so, how?
  • If yes: Order more paper books.

Print Bookmarks

  • PRINT THESE!

March Week 20th-26th
Social Media Posts

  • Continue posting things on social media relating to or about the manuscript
    • Including media artifacts!

Guest Blog

  • Approach bloggers to see if I can guest blog

Interviews/Articles

  • Approach scifi and LGBT sites to see if they’d like to do an interview or article about me

Refine Drafts

  • all the things written last week (letters and such)

Newsletter

  • Write the draft for my first newsletter
  • Post about it on social media sites (“If you want to know more, sign up!”)

March Week 27th-2nd

Continue:

  • Social Media Posts
  • Guest Blogs (followup, writing them)
  • Interviews/Articles (followup)
  • Newsletters burst (followup)

Refine Newsletter, Gain More People

  • Wanna know more? Check out my newsletter!
  • Or something like that

AWP

  • Go to AWP for Ooligan Press stuff
  • Also promote myself!

April Week 3rd-9th

Continue:

  • Social Media Posts
  • Guest Blogs (any other opportunities)

Send first newsletter

  • Yay!
  • My book!
  • Other cool space things.

Send influencer emails

  • Send pitch letter and tweet/FB post
  • Make sure the posts have a link to buy!
    • will I have the link by then?
    • If not, move this to Week 10th-16th

April 8th 

  • Celebrate!
  • Update website with real date/link to buy!

April Week 10th-16th

Launch? Reading? Gathering?

  • If I am doing this, this is the week I’d probably get it done.

Send influencer emails (for sure)

  • Link to buy!

 

So, yeah, this is my plan of attack for the next few weeks concerning Finding Hekate. I have so much to do, but I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy this process, too. I tend to get single-minded when my ToDo list is in front of me, but this is a huge deal for me – a dream come true! – and I have to sit with it for a bit, process it, and celebrate.

What kinds of things did you do when your book was published? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time!
Warm regards,
Kellie

 

I Did Very Little Today

I meant to do something productive today since my finals are over for the term. I meant to do more Write to Publish 2016 stuff. I meant to do more brainstorming on marketing and cover ideas for Finding Hekate. I meant to work on my stories, my second story for FH, my fanfiction, my other original works. I meant to do things for Ooligan Press.

But did I?

I got caught in a spiral of watching Geek and Sundry‘s Critical Role series instead. (Watch it live or on YouTube.) This D&D show is AMAZING! I’ll do all that other stuff tomorrow…

Please, let me know in the comments if you’ve ever gotten sucked into something so hard that it negated your responsibilities for the day. If so, what was it? If not, how do you resist such a wonderful temptation?

Also, A HUGE THANK YOU to all my followers. I just hit 200, and that’s kind of amazing to me.

Warm regards,
Kellie

Being an Exhibitor at Literary Arts Wordstock

Wordstock. A one-day celebration of books. Panels, workshops, readings, LitCrawl, food trucks, beer garden, and books, books, books galore. Packed with so many activities, this event was just up every publishing professional, bookseller, author, writer, and reader in the Portland area and beyond. It was packed!

Being an exhibitor was a lovely experience. There were swells of people, sometimes super crowded, sometimes less so. From 12-2-ish, the place was literally packed. Like claustrophobic packed. And it was great! Having Ripple Grove Press‘ books in front of the eyes of so many people was marvelous. Plus, a bunch of people came over to talk to us and bought our books!

The signings we had went well – I met two of our authors! – and I even got to check on the Ooligan Press table for a little bit to see how they were doing. Ooligan seemed to have a really great day, too, so that made me happy. (Gotta keep tabs on both of my publishing companies, you know? Now, how’s Desert Palm Press doing? *checks their social media accounts* They’re doing good, too! Happiness all around!)

I found that if you wave and smile at people, they’ll come over. I found that some people only want to read the books and move on and some people really love chatting. I found that some people just want a bookmark, which is cool because the bookmarks were beautiful.

We got asked a bunch of questions about the publishing house: how we run things, if we take submissions, what publishers do in the grand scheme of publishing. It was nice that I could answer most of the questions and, if I couldn’t, I directed them to the real publishers Rob and Amanda. (After all, I’m the intern! <- I used that a little bit when I didn’t know the answer, too.) I had a little speal – because, come on, it’s me – but I didn’t use it as much as I expected.

It was a good day overall. I got some valuable experience in the publishing world, met a bunch of people (including some for Write to Publish 2016!), and got to talk about books all day. I call that a win.

Did anyone in the lovely blogosphere go to Wordstock this weekend?
Warm regards,
Kellie

PublishingHack: Transmedia Marketing

So one of the classes I’m in this fall is Transmedia Marketing for Book Publishers. It’s taught by Kathi Inman Berens, the newest faculty member in PSU’s book publishing program.

The class is pretty cool. While I have to admit I am struggling a little because I’m also taking her Concepts in Digital Publishing and there’s a bit of an overlap, the Transmedia Marketing class is pretty fascinating.

So what the heck is transmedia marketing?

Well, let me tell you. Basically it’s a form of marketing that uses social media and digital publishing to allow multiple entry points for a work and expand the story. It’s a type of worldbuilding across different platforms, where the content is specific to that type of platform. It also cultivates a participatory culture, where fans actively share, create, and play with their content.

A great example of this from class that we’ve read about but haven’t yet talked about is The Hunger Games and how they marketed the movies. We all know the currently released movies were huge, and we have the ability to look back in the past and analyze why that is so. So why was it so successful? Well, of course it’s because THG had a huge fanbase to support it to begin with, but a main reason, perhaps, is because the transmedia marketing for it was strong as hell. For the Catching Fire movie, specifically, it was a great mixture of social media and fan participation, as well as the creativity of the ad agency Ignition Creative.

Note: I got most of this information from the Transmedia Marketing Case Study: The Hunger Games – Catching Fire blogpost, written by Christine Weitbrecht on Thoughts on the T, if you’d like to read it.

So what did IC actually do? They had IRL high-fashion billboards with “Capitol Couture” written on them and if the people googled capitol couture they would be taken to a Tumblr, Twitter, Youtube, and website specifically for the Capitol. (This could also demonstrate additive culture, because the fans would know instantly that it was from THG but new people would just be intrigued by it. Don’t quote me on that, though, as I’m still learning what that term means.)

The various social media accounts reflected different aspects of THG. For example, the Tumblr was fashioned like a magazine—with IRL fashion brands and writers—people from the Capitol would read, with updates on events in the Capitol, what it was like in the Capitol, and updates on the various characters in THG world. They also had IRL fan challenges, where the fans could upload fashion statements of their own.

The website was the Citizen Control Center of Panem (where viewers had to get ID cards and had the ability to unlock new content), the Facebook and Twitter accounts were the Capitol/Panem Government center (where they had ideologic messaging one would find in the Capitol like “Respect Boundaries” as well as Facebook pages for each district), and the YouTube was the Capitol TV (where they uploaded official trailers and fan-made videos).

Aside from the fan-made content, the information isn’t new, it just amps up the original world by reflecting the life of the Capitol and allows the fans to be immersed into THG world, like they’re really there living it with these characters.

Now, the official website has changed to reflect the upcoming movie—Mockingjay, Part 2—but there are still pretty cool features. For example, it looks and sounds like a governmental-issued website, but if you hover over a certain part, it changes and you can join the “Revolution.” Seriously, go do the thing, and you’ll be amazed.

From a fan perspective, it’s just freaking cool.

Under the lens of this transmedia class, it’s quite the interesting idea in the storybuilding aspect of THG world. It was an amazing transmedia marketing campaign ,and something that is aspiring to look at. (Also it’s freaking cool.)

So, what do you think? Is this the future of marketing? Is this what authors and publishers should consider doing?

I certainly think so.

Warm regards,
Kellie

I’M DONE WITH FINALS

*phew*

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, I’d like to talk about publishing.

But, really, I’d like to talk about marketing. (Which is a part of publishing.)

Why?

Because something great happened with Ooligan Press’s last novel Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before. Tegan and Sarah picked up the book and promoted it on their Instagram. Now, apparently, Tegan and Sarah are a popular singing duo, but I’ve admittedly never heard of them before this happened.

But because of them, the book did very well. The simple Instagram post skyrocketed our book into the eyes of all their followers. Their statement of re-reading the book on a beach made others look at the book, take interest of the book, and actually buy the book, too.

Why?

Because they created a buzz around the product. And they have a reach that far surpasses our own humble one. They have 4.9k followers on their Instagram alone, not to mention all the other non-Instagram folks. Plus, they are a supporter of the LGBTQIA movement, too, which helps push the book into that section of the world, the section that Forgive Me rightfully wants to inhabit, since the book is of a LGBTQIA nature.

Granted there were other marketing aspects that Ooilgan Press employed for Forgive Me, but that one marketing push for Tegan and Sarah helped Ooligan Press immensely. The book has done very well. It’s a good story, too, so I’m happy it’s getting popular.

I bring this up because 1) it’s exciting and 2) it shows the power of marketing, the power of creating a buzz and getting people talking about something (in this case a book).

I also bring this up because 3) it shocked me. Not that the book did well, it’s a good read. Or that the marketing plans worked, because we’ve done successful marketing at Ooligan Press before. What shocked me is how effective that one simple Instagram post was, how much it did for the book.

And why?

Because this duo is famous. They have a following, a loyal fan-base who trusts their judgment.

It’s what we call the Oprah affect.

I read about it in my book and we talked about it briefly in our Intro class, but I didn’t expect to see it in-person so soon into the publishing program.

It showed me powerful marketing can be, how important marketing is for a book. Or for any product!

Lets hope we can recreate this kind of buzz for our next book, too.

Now, I’m off to have a glass of wine to celebrate the end of my first term as a grad student.
Warm regards,
Kellie