Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays from Jess Lourey

GM Malliet, mystery writer and author of one of the best books of 2008, recommends creating trailers to promote your books. If she recommended wearing blue mascara and tube socks over your pants, probably we should do that, too. Fortunately, she's only gently nudging us toward the digital era, and out of respect to her bona fides, I have created a trailer for August Moon:

I love how writers share marketing tips. It reminds me of the first time my son Xander sparred at a Tae Kwon Do tournament. He's tall for a six-year-old and as kind as the day is long. His dad died before he was born, and I try to fill the role of both parents. In that spirit, I was coaching him on how to best kick ass (you can decide whether that is normally mom's or dad's job).

"All I know about sparring," I said, "is that as soon as the ref drops her hands to start the match, you get in there with a chinning kick. Catch your opponent off guard and they'll be running for the rest of the match."

So I get him all pumped up. "You can do it!" I tell him. I put in his mouth guard and yank on his shin and forearm pads. I walk him over to the waiting pen, where he nods to the three boys he'll soon be fighting. He indicates for them to lean their heads in close, and when they do, he pulls out his mouth guard and says, "OK guys, all I know about sparring is that as soon as the ref drops her hands..."

That's my boy. He likes winning, but not nearly as much as he likes treating people well. And so generous writers like GM and Joanna Campbell Slan and countless others share their marketing secrets, knowing full well that if we're all doing the same thing, their efforts will have less impact. I guess they just like treating people well. Thank you to all the generous writers out there for your gifts of blurbing, a pat on the back, sharing marketing tips, and all the nice stuff you do to make this a writing community! In the spirit of the season, care to share the best writing or marketing advice you've ever received?

p.s. As a gift to myself, I have just completed and sent September Grace to my agent. Here's the first chapter. I'm pretty dang proud of this one. Now, my kids and I are off to be with friends and family. Happy holidays, and stay warm, full, and generous!


Cricket McRae said...

Wow -- your trailer rocks! Nice job. And congrats on completing September Grace!

As for marketing tips, I am so grateful for all the advice everyone (esp. Inkers) so generously passes on. In my Pollyanna way I see it less as sharing pieces of the reader pie and more as building momentum. At least that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. ; - )

Last week I ran across a couple of ideas I plan to look into -- though they may be old news to you marketing geniuses:

* Contact Library Commissions in your state and any surrounding states you want to travel to and see if they have email addresses for all their libraries available or for sale. Apparently sending out "email postcards" to libraries can be quite effective for snagging speaking engagements, with no or next to no cost.

* If you offer to attend book club meetings, you can register at (for $40) and be added to their author phone chat database. (Still thinking about whether that's worth the cost.)

Happy Holidays!

Keith Raffel said...

Wow, that trailer woke me up! Good work. Was that you on the vocals, Jess?

G.M. Malliet said...

I think you're the generous writer, Jess. I hope you have a wonderful and merry Christmas and new year.

p.s. I love the music!

Jess Lourey said...

I'd heard the library tip, Cricket, but not the book club meeting one. I agree that it's right at the cusp of maybe not being financially worth it, but it's definitely worth looking into. Thanks for the tip!

Jess Lourey said...

Ha! Great question, Keith. The truth is, though, that people who know me always put air quotes around the word "singing" when used in the same sentence as my name, as in, "Jessie will be 'singing' at karaoke tonight." Thanks for looking at the trailer!

Jess Lourey said...

We're a pretty nice group in all, Gin, which is a warm thing to find out about writers. And I can't wait to read your books! You've been on my TBR pile for a while, but ever the bandwagonner, I've put you to the top of the pile.