I’m going to start my conference blog a little unusually. I’m going to begin with John Green and his newest YA novel THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I’d decided that I wanted to read this on audiobook and I’m so glad that I did. The voices–they brought one of the most beautiful stories to life that I have ever read. Now I bet your asking what this book has to do with the conference. Well, I was five chapters from the end when I boarded the train to head to the city for the Marketing Intensives. I knew it was foolish to try to finish this book in such a public place but I couldn’t stop myself.
Yes, I cried on the train–no–that’s a lie. I sobbed on the train. I frightened the conductor. I tried to pass it off as the side effects of the cold that I had, but when the train stopped and I stood up to gather my things, I saw a writer friend sitting a few rows over. Seeing that one friendly face was my undoing. I put up a finger and and tried to explain, with tears running down my cheeks, how I was forever changed because I had read a book.
Yes, the regular commuters exited the train briskly, mouths gaping–glad I only ride the morning train once in a blue moon. But I’m not ashamed. It was that kind of book and I don’t think that there is a better way to kick off a conference than to walk into it with you heart open and your soul bared. I can’t really write a review of this book, because the truth is I’m not that good of a writer. It will take me a lifetime and many rereads to this story to be able to adequately express what it means to me. So, for now, I shall simply say…thank you John Green.
No longer slobbering, friend in tow, I was happy to easily navigate my arrival tasks of checking in, registering and eating a bagel slathered in cream cheese. I also got a chance to hook up with a few old friends and meet a new one before kicking off the Marketing Intensives. I’m going to share some of best nuggets of the day with you…
9:00-10:100 USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO YOUR BEST ADVANTAGE
(SD) Sarah Dickman, Senior Account Executive, Odyl.net
(SR) Susan Raab, President, Raab Associates, Inc
(DS) Deb Shapiro, Founder, Deb Shapiro & Co.
*Once you have a clear sense of what you bring to the table, the better able the publisher is at working with you in marketing. (DS)
*If you have to choose between a website and Facebook, pick FB because you already have 850 million users at your disposal. (SD)
*Think in terms of stages and move forward from where YOU are. (SR)
*How do you quantify the money you spend on marketing? You have to look at it long term, but even then, it’s hard to say. (DS)
*Kids will notice if you are disingenuous with them. Don’t try to fake who you are. (DS)
*Have on page as an author–You are your brand! (SR)
*It’s important to communicate with your publisher so you don’t duplicate efforts. (DS)
10:00-10:30 CREATING BOOK TRAILERS AND OTHER RANDOM ACT OF PROMOTION
Darcy Pattison, Author/Teacher
*Book trailers are a decade old.
*There are three types of trailer-the power point aesthetic, the movie trailer aesthetic and the YouYube Aesthetic
*The idea matters more than anything.
*An autograph allows a reader to take away a little piece of you–a trailer is like this too.
If you’d like to check out some of Darcy Pattison’s trailers–a really fun one is THE BISON vs WOMAN ICE SKATING COMPETITION.
10:30-11:30 PROMOTE YOURSELF VIA CURRICULUM AND SCHOOL VISITS
(NG) Nick Glass, Founder, Teachingbooks.net
(DHT) Deborah Hochman Turvey, Founder, Visitingauthors.com
*Getting your school visit information up on a website is imperative because librarians do not have the time to be on the phone with you for too long. (DHT)
*Suggestion: Do five visits free and then start charging (DHT)
*On pricing: Not getting enough visits–charge less. Getting lots of visits–charge more. (DHT)
*Prepare yourself for schools and classes!!!! (DHT)
*DON’T GO IN THERE AND READ YOUR BOOK. They want to hear about your process, your childhood, your experiences. Bring Pictures. (DHT)
*I read books that are “not my kind of books” because the author won me over with their passion and personality. (NG)
*Creating lesson plans: It’s about using the test. (NG)
*You can apply to speak at conferences. (NG)
*Many schools do not let students play You Tube videos, so embed your trailer on your website.
*Never underestimate what a librarian will do if they like you. (NG)
*Teachingbooks- “A Google for reading.”
11:30-12:15 DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE WEBSITES
Maddee James, Owner, Xuni.com
*Why do you need a website?
-Homebase on the internet.
-Readers and Publishers expect you to have one.
-You’re responsible for creating your own online presence.
-Readers want to find out more about you.
-You’ll be amazed at how many visitors you get.
-Collect fan names-newsletter.
-Can even help you find an agent/publisher
*MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS UP TO DATE!
*Your name is your brand.
1:15-2:15 WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH PUBLISHERS: WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AND WHAT SHOULD THEY DO?
****Side note–Cindi Tamasi Hamilton just so happens to be an old friend that I hadn’t seen in ages. It took us a minute to figure it out LOL!!! But so nice to see her again and now we can keep track of each other in the cyber world!!!****
Cindy Tamasi Hamilton, Director of Publicity,HarperCollins
Tracy van Straaten, Vice Presiden of Publicity, Scholastic, Inc.
*What should I be doing before I get a Publicist?
-Create a list of any personal media contacts, booksellers or librarians
-Provide your editor with information regarding inspiration for your book, back story, things that might be interesting and helpful in pitching your book.
-Build your social media presence on FB/Twitter etc…
*If there is a trend-group marketing might be very beneficial. (ex-Paranormals)
*Sometimes seasonal or topical books from different houses can be beneficial because they will get lumped together.
*Your book being in the catalogue is one of the single most important things for your book!
2:15-3:00 TWEET PROMOTE AND BRAND YOUR WAY TO MARKETING SUCCESS:” STRATEGIES AND REAL WORLD SCENARIOS
(TB) Tracy Barrett, Author
(RM) Roxie Munro, Author/Illustrator
(LO) Lin Oliver, Author/SCBWI Co-Founder
(SR) Susan Raab, President, Raab Associates, Inc
*A mid-list author needs a specific brand-your style and your choices mold you. (RM)
*Throw yourself a launch party. (LO)
*Invite your author friends to the party and highlight their books too–what is good for one is good for all! (LO)
*Make a trailer-it can be done for little or no money. (LO)
*Spend money on a website and put your website on the cover of your ARC and book. (LO)
*When you FB/Twitter–DON’T JUST TALK ABOUT YOURSELF. (LO)
3:15-4:00 NEW DIRECTIONS IN PUBLICITY: EMERGING TRENDS
Jason Kintzler, Founder, PitchEngine
*This social media thing is just a baby-no one has the answers no matter what the size of the brand.
*My initial info comes from FB/Twitter–I only go to websites when I need to go deeper. It’s not about the website.
*It’s becoming less about reviews and more about what your friends are reading as marketing goes mobile.
*You shouldn’t worry about devices when branding–worry about content.
*Try to find ways to make yourself more relevant.
*Grow your brand by hi-jacking the conversation. Look outside the box.
4:00-5:00 WHERE NEXT? MULTIMEDIA, MOBILE, ELECTRONIC AND GAME PLATFORM
(MK) Michel Kripalani, President, Oceanhouse Media
(JF) Jon Fine, Director, Author & Publisher Relations, Amazon.com, Inc
(PR) Peter Reynolds, Founder, Fablevision
Moderator: (LO) Lin Oliver
*On Publishing: The means of production have been democratized. (JF)
*Discoverability is how you can push your book to the top of that tidal wave. Lots of different ways to tell and sell a story. (JF)
*Apps have only been around for 3 and a half years. (MK)
*On the future of publishing and marketing: There is going to be a lot of money spent and a lot of money wasted. Consider this the Wild, Wild West. (PR)
*The container for the story keeps changing, but in the end, it still needs to hold a wonderful story. (PR)
*On paper books: They are going to try to digitalize a teddy bear, but in the end, you’re always going to want to snuggle up with the real thing. (PR)
*It used to be the cover that mattered, but now it’s the meta data. (JF)
Phew…that was a lot! The rest of the intensives wound up with a lightning round of questions and then it was off to dinner and Kidlit Drink night. Where I got to meet up with some of the Apocalypsies and some of the members of the Class of 2k12.
Kim and Sarvenaz Tash (Class of 2k12)
If you find any of this information in this blog post useful or intriguing, I highly suggest that you follow up with the links to find out more about these amazing speakers. They were a wealth of knowledge. So, are there any that you think are really interesting? I know I’ve already explored a few. Plus, if you have any other marketing tips–feel free to share them! Coming up on Friday!! Saturday of the NY12SCBWI Conference.