Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Promotional Angst

I've never written a promotional plan before. Not coming from the world of big business, (unless you call diapers, homeschooling and sippy cups big business)I had never really given promotions much thought. Now, of course, I am. There are several schools of thought out there concerning promotions for writers.

1. Do everything you can. The publishing houses are no longer doing it for you, so you have to be out there on your own, pitching your book, if you want to make a difference in your sales, and as we all know, big sales, is what you're after.

2.You can't make that huge of a difference so just write your next book and make it the best you can. This school of thought stems from not knowing for sure if any of your efforts are making a difference at all, so you should control what you can and make the next book great.

3. Do everything you can and write the next book. I think this is the one I am subscribing to.

I had a chance to talk to Jane Porter and Serena Robar at the Emerald City Conference. Jane is a promotional dynamo. She is personable, well-spoken, and smart. She's also lovely, which I think helps. Serena asked her if she thought book tours help. Jane is in the middle of a grueling book tour and said, yes, she believes it does. But it isn't the signings that make the difference, though Jane is all about making face to face contact with her readers. It's signing stock and making contact with booksellers. She makes sure her media escort(and yes, Jane now rates a media escort)takes her to four or five book stores in every city and she always remembers to send a thank you note after she's home. She also says that signings are much more successful if you can get a media appearance beforehand.

After Jane had to leave, Serena and I talked about the differences in promoting YA as opposed to adult books. It's hard to get young adults to attend an event. (Unless you are JK or Stephanie Meyer)So how can you reach them? Serena told me about the theory of hubs. There are people who know everyone, who have their very competent finger in every pie and still write fabulous books. If you don't have the temperament to be a hub, you want to know hubs. They will help you promote your book. You pay them back by promoting and buying theirs. Who are some hubs in the book world? Jane Porter--hub. Alesia Holiday also comes to mind. Jennifer Cruisie is another one. Though not published as yet(she will be!)Kristen Painter is another one. People who make things happen, know everyone and are genuinely giving of their time and knowledge.

So do you know any writing hubs? And who are the hubs who are specifically YA?

Monday, October 29, 2007

What I Learned at the Emerald City Writer's Conference

1. It is possible to ride the elevator up and down to your room on the tenth floor a dozen times in one hour.

2.Forgetting your promotional material is a very, very, very stupid thing to do.

3.If you find yourself (by chance) sharing gab and coffee with Julia Quinn, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Stella Cameron,(all at the same time) you quietly wipe your workshop schedule clean and DO NOT MOVE.

4. If you want to liven up a workshop presentation, take your husband. Elizabeth Boyle brought hers to help on project management and it wasn't only funny, it was fabulous. Especially when he asked a crowd of writers the same questions he'd asked his wife, "How many pages do you write an hour? How many do you write a day? How long does it take you to write a book?" You should have seen the freaked out, horrified, or just plain baffled looks on the faces around me. We no know!

5. It is possible to drink four cosmos and a glass of wine and still remain completely unfazed. Right?

6. Okay, this one is a little obscure because I can't name names or the blunder...but just be warned-- If you're sitting there at breakfast and a chapter mate (you know who you are) makes what seems like a perfectly reasonable little suggestion/challenge... walk away from the table. Have some more coffee. Take a deep breath and thank your lucky stars you escaped. I'm just saying.

7. Kerry Blaisdell makes the best roommate evah!

8. The Greater Seattle Chapter Rocks!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This and That

Here's the bio I actually sent:

Teri Brown turned to writing in a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds. Fortunately, she's been successful, and her book, Read My Lips (Simon Pulse), stars a deaf girl who uses her amazing lip-reading ability to infiltrate the popular crowd, take down a secret sorority and tame the school rebel. Teri lives with her husband and children in a dilapidated 1969 ranch style house in Portland, Oregon

Still me but not quite as offensive:)

Am leaving tomorrow for Emerald City! YAY! My friend Kerensa and I are heading up and sharing a room. Am too excited. I plan on staying up too late, meeting up with friends, drinking too much and maybe even pitching an editor or two.

My friend, Kerensa, is also responsible for getting me tickets to see The Portland Opera's rendition of Cinderella! WOOHOO! I am taking my best friend as she has the girly girls and needs a break.

Writing wise... am having trouble with sources and that means I am not getting my articles doen on time. Fiction is going well and am developing a new concept for another romance. I know. I already have tons of ideas I need to work on, but the ideas keep coming!

What do you do with all your ideas?

Monday, October 22, 2007

My bio

I have to write a bio for my Class of 2k8 group. The bio is to try to lure conference coordinators and teachers to ask us to come talk. I read some of the other authors short bios(85 words or less) and was intimidated by all the degrees from fancy colleges. So here is my bio. What do you think? ;-)

Teri Brown is an uneducated mother of two with no real job skills. In a desperate attempt to keep from having to get a paying job at her local McDonalds, she turned to writing. Fortunately, she was successful, and her book, Read My Lips, starring a deaf girl, will be out in 2008 from Simon Pulse. Brown lives, writes and drinks major quantities of alcohol in Portland, Oregon.

So? Send it?


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sweat with Sven

So I decided to do the 70 day challenge with several hundred other writers. 750 to 1500 words a day. I can do that, right? I will be finishing up The Sister Spell to show my optimism that it's going to sell and sell soon. I reread the first three chapters and worked on four and five a bit and it's a good story. Funny, engaging and a bit different.

Of course, I'm taking on a lot more nonfiction articles right now, too. We really want new windows and a new kitchen. We've been here for ten years and it is time to invest a little money into the house. We decided on new windows for several reasons. One, it adds value to the home. Two, it will save us a ton of money in heat and three, we get a tax credit and we can use all the tax help we can get. We need to redo the kitchen because it's awful.

Now I just have to stop spending money.

I'm going out to dinner on Thursday with Jane Porter. She is awesome. Honest, funny and a grand author. She's in the middle of her book tour for Odd Mom Out and wants to relax with some fellow writers.

Then the weekend after I am going to Seattle for the Emerald City conference with one of my best friends. I am so looking forward to the break.

I'll stop spending money after that, okay?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

1200 miles

That's what the tripometer said by the tim e I had made it back home. I did all the driving. My Mom said she'd spell me, but at this point... um no.

So I came home exhausted, but happy because I have my next series romance all plotted out. Not sure when I will get started on it, but at least it's in my head.

I also got a bug on that 1200 miles because I was so sick yesterday I wanted to die. Mind-bending headache and upset stomach. I slept and slept and slept. This morning I'm going to cautiously say that I feel better. A little sore, but after all that time in the car and then lying down yesterday, that's to be expected.

Must work on tween book.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A long weekend

I'm taking off tomorrow with my mother and daughter to Spokane. It's about a six hour drive. Will be back on Sunday. Sigh. I'm sure I'll have fun, it's just... I have so much to do.

But the copy edits are finished and are winging their way across the country right now. And the book doesn't suck after all. That's nice to know, because in about eight months people will be reading it. Actually sooner, because the arcs will go out in January.

I'm enjoying the new fall season of TV. I know, I'm showing my PWT roots here, but I don't care. As far as new shows, I am LOVING Dirty, Sexy, Money. It looked so stupid and crass when I saw the previews, but it is incredibly well done. (Still crass but fun!) The Darling family: Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh, William Baldwin, and others, are all incredibly talented actors. They're basically nutcases who rely on Nick George, their family lawyer, to bail them out of all sorts of wacky and strange situations. The guy who plays the lawer, Peter Krause, is perfect. He has this inner sense of fun that peeks through, as in, "Isn't this whole concept absurd?" that absolutely makes the show. I love it and hope enough other people do too, so it doesn't crash and burn.

Okay, am off. I have two articles I want to finish today. Am trying to stay ahead so I can enjoy Emerald City in a couple weeks without having to worry about missing deadlines.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Copy Edits!

I got my copy edits. Wow, I had heard people talk about them and was so excited to see mine arrive. That is until I realized I wasn't sure how my editor wanted me to do them... make all the changes in the file and send it to her email and ship the original manuscript back, or mark the changes on the hard copy... so I wrote my editor and asked only to find that she had left for the weekend.


I sent a panicked email out to a couple of my lists and the answers ran the gamut. But one woman, also with Pulse, told me she did it all on the manuscript and so that is what I did all weekend. COnsidering that they are due on Friday and I am leaving on Friday, I was really hoping that was right. Got an email from my editor and YES! That was the right thing to do. So, hopefully, I will have them done by tomorrow and will be able to send them back.

And has anyone gone through copy edits and realized that their book sucked?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

All is well

Email is back. I don't know how I existed without email.

I really have no writing news of note. Am meeting a fellow YA writer tomorrow for lunch. She is flying across the US for a job thing so I am going to rescue her from a particularly boring meeting.

Everything else is pretty boring. What kind of writer am I if I can't even add life to a blog?

A tired one who was woke up in the middle of the night by cat fights.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mahem! Madness!

I cannot get my EMAIL!


Did everything I could think of then called Verizon. Walked me through a gazillion things, tried to computer share, but that didn't work and then finally told me that they are updating the website with some new windows updates and to try tomorrow. TOMORROW!

I feel so alone. Oddly enough, a friend of mine from three miles away can get it and I can get it at my mom's house.


Everyone knows you can't really write without checking your email every few minutes! What am I gonna do????

Monday, October 01, 2007

A bit about me

Instead of my useless to do list, I thought I would write up an equally useless list of things about me! HA!

1:What I was doing 10 years ago:
Homeschooling my kids, moving into our first house.

2: What I was doing 5 years ago:
Fighting a brain tumor, dealing with the deaths of four loved ones and writing for real money. Had my first nonfiction book published.

3: One year ago:
Waiting for a call on my teen book, Read My Lips.

4: Yesterday: What did I do yesterday? LOL Went to Octoberfest with a friend. Cleaned out the linen closet.

5: Five snacks I enjoy:
M&M's, beer and peanuts, apples and peanut butter, Kettle Chips (honey mustard. The things should be banned!)

6: 5 Things I would do if I suddenly had $100 million:

Put together the splashiest marketing plan ever seen for Read my Lips. Send both my kids to college, remodel my house, write my next book over-looking the ocean in the South of France. Write the next book over-looking the canals of Venice.

7: 5 locations I would like to run away to:
France, Venice, The Sandlake Country Inn outside of Oceanside Oregon.

8: 5 bad Habits I have:

Capitalizing random words in a sentence, procrastinating, spending money I don't have, staying up too late then having to take a nap, not letting my teens finish a sentence before I get mad.

9: 5 Things I like Doing:
Writing, Reading, hanging out with my teens, playing pool with the dh, playing with my dog

10: 5 TV shows I like:
Desperate Housewives, Gray's Anatomy, House, The Biggest Loser, House Hunters

11: 5 Things I hate doing:
Missing a deadline, Dealing with PR people, Saying goodbye, Getting my picture taken

12: 5 Biggest joys of the moment
My husband, My kids, Selling a manuscript, Writing a book, Having coffee with Ann or Kerensa