As I’m sure many readers of this blog are aware, writers have to do a lot of their own marketing and promoting. The good old days — well, I’m not sure what people did in the good old days before the digital onslaught and social media. Something, I’m sure.
Social media is the greatest free marketing tool ever. To a point. While social media gives, it also takes away. Too much of even a good thing is too much for a lot of people on the receiving end.
That occurred to me a week or so ago when I realized the release of the audio version of BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST is imminent, and I really ought to do something about it. Something other than simply announce it was out and hope people bought it.
One nice thing about an audio book is that there’s audio. I also take a lot of photos — I almost always have the “real camera” with me. I take photos mostly because I think Maine is pretty and offers great photo ops. But I also take them to help my writing. Since my books are set in Maine, I want to get the feel right. I try to take photos of the area where the books are set at the time of year they’re set in to help me remember, for instance, when I’m sitting in a cold living room at 5 p.m. on a dark December night, what a June evening is like.
So, thinking about the marketing, I got one of those ideas that made me feel like a genius for about 15 seconds What if I paired a minute or so of the BAD NEWS FAST audio with photos I’d taken of where the book opens?
After about three hours of fiddling around with iMovie (not the greatest app. #sorrynotsorry, Apple!) I had a neat little movie.
Check it out on YouTube by clicking here. YouTube was an afterthought (it has NOT gone viral, in case you were wondering). I posted it on Facebook and Twitter and have a vague intention of tackling Instagram with it.
If nothing else, at least it was fun and I got to use my photos.
And that got me thinking, too. I had the great privilege and pleasure to speak at Dick Cass’s continuing education class on Maine mystery writers a few months ago. One of the students asked me something like, “You sure do a lot of describing of leaves and things like that.”
Okay, not really a question.
But yeah, I do. Me and Thoreau. It made me a little nervous that maybe I pay too much attention to setting. Memo to self: Fewer leaves in the next book. Fortunately, it takes place in December.
On the other hand, I recently wrote on this blog about someone who had something nice to say about a description in my book, so strike that leaves memo! Bring them on.
Back to the topic. What if, I thought, I make a little video, pairing photos with excerpts from my book? It just might work.
I haven’t done it yet, but I’ll let you know how it comes out when I do.
It makes me glad, as always, that I live in the great state of Maine, where you can’t walk out the door without seeing something pretty to take a photo of. Or describe in a book.