Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shouting From The Rooftops

I've never been what you'd call quiet. As a matter of fact, I believe the terminology used by my best friend in high school was "world's biggest ham." So, obviously, I couldn't keep my writing for publication quiet.

Now with the whole American Title thing happening, it's part of the process. I'd love to go on and on about all my ideas for promotion, what's working for me, etc., but the contest is still going on and while I'm rooting for all of us finalists, I want to win that contract. So, no shameless self-promotion ideas being announced here.

That being said, yes, I do tell pretty much everyone I meet that I'm writing and in this contest. Before ATIII, I would tell people if it came up in conversation. "Oh, what do you do?" "I write." "Write? What? Shopping lists?" (As a stay-at-home mom, I've found some of the ideas of what we do all day a bit less than flattering.) "No, I write romance novels." Then you'd get the big eye roll. Oh, those.

Maggie was right about the reaction the uninitiated into this business give you. Romance novel = bodice ripper. Just goes to show you how often they look at the covers these days. Or realize that Meg Cabot does fall into our genre.

Once I got involved in the business aspect of this career and learned the facts and figures of the romance industry, I'm now able to deflate the bodice ripper image (though do I really want to "deflate" something in romance heh, heh) and turn the tone to the business of writing. Does Stephen King get that kind of snark? Nope. Dean Koontz? Doubtful. Dan Brown? Well, okay, he gets flack for a whole other reason... And don't even get me started on Nora - she's so famous she only needs one name. Like Cher. Madonna. Okay, maybe not good comparisons.

I want to be that some day. Of course the chances are pretty slim. Still, someone did that. It could be me. "Judi" and everyone would immediately know, "Ah, yes. Beauty and The Best was the first. But the rest? Sheer perfection."

Okay, I'll wake up now.

And get back to my emailing about the contest. And let me take this opportunity to say, please vote for Beauty and The Best in the American Title III contest by sending an email to webmaster@RomanticTimes.com and writing Beauty and The Best in the subject line.

Thank you! Have a great Tuesday!



J L said...

How many people outside of the romance industry know about American Title and how important it is to you? How much educating do you have to do?

See, that's the question I was asking -- how best to educate folks on what I'm doing. I'm just trying to figure out the right approach. I didn't want to promote myself before I had a product. I don't want overkill on name recognition -- I want folks to see the name and KNOW there's a book out there to buy that's associated with that name.

But I'm not sure how best to convey to folks what the process is. My main audience is going to be non-writers and those not in the industry -- co-workers, family, and friends. I'm working on a brief newsletter idea, to be sent out once a month, on the whole process, and I'll use my blog, too, to describe what's happening (I've got a VERY slick idea for that).

I'm happy with my publisher(s) and my contract(s) (well, almost -- still negotiating one of them, but I hope it'll turn out okay). And I'm not at all worried about the New York angle. I really believe e-pub is the place to be.

I'm just trying to figure out how best to include my 'audience' in the process. I'll let you know what my friends say -- they'll have excellent ideas, I'm sure. And my niece works in the movie industry, so I'm sure she'll have some cool thoughts on the whole thing.


Judi Fennell said...

Regarding people outside the romance industry and American Title. It's definitely new to them, but the fact that it A)rhymes with American Idol, B)is run similarly to the contest and C) is done by email make it very user friendly. A click of the mouse and you can reach hundreds of people. My friends are excited about me being in this contest, especially since I've made it through the first round. It picks up momentum as it goes along. I have been able to parlay the "my manuscript has been chosen as one of 8 remaining finalists from over 250 submissions from all over North America" into some unique promo opportunities that simply having a book (did I just say "simply"????) wouldn't get me. According to those not in the know, there are hundreds of books published every year, why is it any big deal that mine was?

But, throw in the American Idol/Title correlation and you've got instant news. I don't want to go into specifics now, but will gladly share when I'm out of the contest. But, definitely, having such a pop culture hook for my writing has helped. It's unique, it's catchy, it's something they know and it's a reason for me to be okay with emailing large numbers of people. I have quite the database for that day when (notice the positivity!) I get published to promote the book.

As for what you could do, you're right, it is tough. But, honestly, this ATIII thing has snowballed. I would tell your family/friends about what you're doing, "come out" to them, but for promotion to the general masses, I would wait until you have a link to purchase the books. Otherwise I can see it would be almost a tease to say, "here it is, almost here, start thinking about buying..." You'll have better luck with the link and "buy now" attitude. Plus, then you don't run the risk of annoying them with too many emails.

That's why I have my email list, but also a newsletter list. I send out 2 newsletters while voting is going on and none when it's not, b/c let's face it, no one else is as interested as I am in my being in this contest. But those folks on the newsletter list have voluntarily signed up to receive updates.

my thoughts. -Judi