Creative Publicity with Blue Star Coloring

adult-coloring-book-stress-relieving-animal-designs-1941325114-600x450Q&A with Jessica about publicity for Mindbuck Media client Blue Star Coloring.

Q: Blue Star Coloring brought you on to do publicity for their line of coloring books for grown ups. What’s different about doing book publicity for coloring books versus a work of fiction?

We are gearing up to do our first full release with Blue Star Coloring and our pitch list is certainly different than it is with novels and memoir!

Q: Are there any interesting challenges getting the word out about adult coloring books?

Since industry reviews for coloring books have never been a thing, we are in new territory with this one. We are following enthusiastic reviewers with great interest as we explore this robust publishing trend.

Q: What has been the most fun aspect of working with Blue Star Coloring?

12728546_1657570981172120_730098069_nThe most interesting and fun part of working with Blue Star Coloring is the company culture. Blue Star Coloring is comprised of interesting, hard-working people who are up for trying new things. It’s always a blast to work with people who will take creative risks and these guys have that in spades.

Q: Any advice for artists looking to publish similar art books?

If artists have illustrations ready it wouldn’t be the worst thing to submit a query to Blue Star Coloring. It’s difficult to break into the market at this point without working from within the industry.

Q: What kind of publicity hits has Blue Star Coloring had so far?

As the leader in Adult Coloring book, Blue Star Coloring has been featured everywhere including USA Today, Good Morning America, Time, Washington Post, and many more.

BlueStarColoringv2

Poets & Writers Feature

We are so pleased and excited to be featured in the Nov/Dec 2015 edition of Poets & Writers in “A Publicist’s Prospective.”

So impressed with Poets & Writers setting up the ‪#‎pwlive‬ event to go along with the article. Thanks!

Editor Jessica Page Morrell and publicist Jessica Glenn weigh in and give advice to burgeoning self-publishers. Available only in print. We highly recommend a subscription to Poets & Writers as a valuable resource for all writers (and poets!).

 

PWFeature10-15

ArtclecticPDX Interview with Art Edwards

Jessica’s back with TypeCast on ArtclecticPDX on KZME 107.1 FM

BadgeJessica’s interview is with author Art Edwards.  They talk at length about his latest book, Badge, but go into topics like “Calypso,” the Refreshments, self-publishing and wondering if kids today look back fondly at the music of Art’s generation and the way he looks  back at the sixties generation’s.

Listen to the show here.  The interview starts about 30 mins in.

 

Secrets, Inspiration and Indulgence with the Sexy Grammarian

I had a virtual sit down with San Francisco based teacher and writer Kristy Lin Billuni also known as The Sexy Grammarian.  What follows is our conversation from grammar to robots for your enjoyment.

Official.SexyG.Headshot_Pola_Name

Jessica G: Off the top, what’s so sexy about grammar? Hmmmm?

Sexy Grammarian:  One the most important sex education lessons I know is that sexy is different for everybody. Grammar is sexy for me for a lot of reasons. I like strong, clear communication. I like juicy, meaningful self-expression. That stuff turns me on. And I can geek out on the grammatical structure of a sentence too. For a lot of people, even writers, grammar is the least sexy thing in the world, which makes it hard to learn. I cut my educator teeth on sex education, so I use a lot of the same principles when I teach grammar and writing. I’m nonjudgmental about what turns you on as a writer. I emphasize the drive of active verbs and the beauty of a well-placed comma. And I use naughty language in my example sentences.

JG: What advice do you have for someone who has just finished their first book length manuscript?

SG: Readers! Before you pay for a professional line edit or start looking for a publisher, get a few trusted friends to give you their opinion. Because editors charge by the word, you will save money by cutting unnecessary sections. Or you might realize that your ending doesn’t work. And you will definitely gain more devoted supporters and future readers by getting the people you love to invest time and love into your project.

JG: Do you recommend people edit as they write or that they wait until the story is a full draft?

SG: I absolutely believe in separating your composition time from your critique time. I know a lot of writers do it, but I think it’s tough to expect yourself to be expansive and creative while also being self-critical and detail oriented. I like to write with abandon, focus on quantity, then let the manuscript rest before I return to it for editing and polishing for quality.

JG: Robots or dinosaurs?

SG: I rely on robots for everything from boiling water to running my social media, so I have to be loyal to them.

JG: How long have you had your Sexy Grammarian website?

SG:  In 2013 I celebrated 10 years in business, but I haven’t always called myself The Sexy Grammarian. I launched the Sexy Grammar blog in 2008 to experiment with social media. People loved it, so I embraced it. Now, it’s my service mission: Arouse the writer.

JG: Would you consider a pit match with Grammar Girl?
(For the record, JG is an ardent Grammar Girl fan, too and has considered tattooing a QR code for the Affect V. Effect post on the back of her hand. But who would say no to Grammar Celebrity Pit Matches?)

SG:  Well, I don’t know what a pit match is, but I wouldn’t want to go up against Mignon Fogarty in any kind of contest. I love what she does and go to her website to review grammar guidelines all the time.

JG: Do you have any current projects you are particularly excited about?

SG: I’m about to start editing a graphic novel for the first time, and I’m excited about entering a new genre. I’m helping a psychic brand her services, which is a totally fascinating process. And I’ve got four of my own dirty stories coming out in collections from Cleis Press this year. I’m really proud of that.

JG:  Tell us about your workshops. Are these available online to those outside of SF?

SexyGPostSG: I think that writing requires attention in three major areas: You have to learn some of the secrets of writing, the rules and guidelines. You have to embrace whatever inspires you. And you have to indulge in a writer’s life, whatever that means for you. So writers in the Sexy Grammar Workshop explore secrets, inspiration, and indulgence, and we have a lot of fun moving our projects forward. I like to mix genres in my workshops so that poets are helping real estate agents write marketing content, and academics are giving novelists feedback on their plots. This works because no matter what you’re writing, the process matters. We focus on finding the process that works for each writer. You can bring the Sexy Grammar Workshop to your organization or writing group right now, and we’re launching the online version at the end of 2014.


You are encouraged to find out more about The Sexy Grammarian on her website SexyG.co and to flirt with her on Twitter  @SexyGrammar

Pubslush Explains Literary Crowdfunding

We @MindbuckMedia are psyched to present this guest post by Justine Schofield from PubSlush.com

One thing many authors fail to plan for is the marketing and promotion of their book. Hiring a publicist for your work is one of the crucial steps to publishing successfully. If you think about all the time, dedication, and grueling hard work every author puts into writing a book, don’t they owe it to themselves to use the proper marketing and promotion tools to get their book out into the world?

Yes. Yes, they do. But as with many aspects of publishing, publicists can be expensive and many self-publishing authors are more focused on producing their book than effectively marketing it. However, with the power of crowdfunding, authors can raise funds to pay for services, such as hiring a publicist, that they may not have been able to afford out-of-pocket.

Pubslush2Crowdfunding is a means to raise funds for any business or creative project by collecting small monetary pledges from a large group of people. Crowdfunding has seen great success in the fields of publishing, technology, film, and more. Prior to the rise of the Internet and the online marketplace, entrepreneurs were solely dependent on the conglomerates of their industry to fund the creation and marketing of their products. Of course, we know the conglomerates of the publishing industry are the publishing houses. Now, though, authors have access to publishing technology and with crowdfunding they also have the opportunity to raise funds pre-publication.

Crowdfunding allows authors to utilize their pre-established network in order to mitigate the financial risk of publishing, gauge the initial market viability of their book, and ultimately, make their book the absolute best it can be.

So, you may be wondering how exactly this whole crowdfunding thing works.

In order to create a campaign an author must:

  • Submit an excerpt of their book, usually about 10 pages in length.
  • Provide a summary of their book to give the reader an overview of the plot.
  • Create a personalized video, explaining their book, why they wrote it, and why people should support their campaign.
  • Create reward levels at varying monetary amounts to create incentive for people to support their campaign.
  • Add additional information, such as pictures, Q&A, and website and social media links.

Creating a campaign is the first step, but authors should be aware that just like writing a book, crowdfunding requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • A lot of planning is required before the launch of a campaign. Campaigns are time sensitive, lasting 30-60 days, so it’s important to have an extensive marketing plan and create a buzz around your campaign before it goes live.
  • Have creative rewards. Developing fun and unique rewards will entice people to support your campaign at various levels. Also, it shows people you’ve taken the time to really think about your audience, which they will appreciate.
  • Provide a support level for everyone. Offering a reward tier as low as $1 ensures you aren’t excluding anyone from being able to pledge to your campaign. After all, every dollar counts!
  • Have a loyal pre-existing network, both personal and professional.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people in your network and ask for their support. Asking is the key to success. Many people feel uncomfortable asking others for financial pledges, but every supporter receives a reward, most often the final product, in exchange for their pledge.
  • One of the most important things about conducting a crowdfunding campaign is to keep the momentum going. You will have to be as excited (if not more!) and dedicated to your campaign on the final day as you were on day one. Your crowdfunding campaign will be your job for its 30-60 day duration. But, on the bright side, at the end you may be able to hire a publicist for your book and not have to continue the intense marketing and promotion aspect by yourself.

Crowdfunding can be an incredibly powerful tool when people are informed and dedicated. Learn more about crowdfunding for books and see if you could be the next publishing success story.

Justine Schofield is the communications coordinator of Pubslush, a global crowdfunding platform for books. Authors can raise funds, understand their audience, and self-publish or traditionally publish their work. Justine graduated from Emerson College in Boston, MA with a degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and is currently enrolled at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, earning her MFA in Creative Writing. She specializes in social media and public relations, has held various freelance editing and writing jobs, and her work has been published in many online and print publications.

Pubslush_Type

Tuck and Roll with Camille Cole

Camille_Cole_quoteIf you’ve published a book, you’re part of the secret society who know the truth—the grim facts. It’s not glamorous or lucrative and it’s not over when you think it’s over—as in: your manuscript is on its way to that glorious world of publication. The munchkins and book faeries will take over now and you can lay back, sip something pink out of a sugar-coated glass (don’t poke your eye out with the paper umbrella) and dream of the next genius project.

Remember that screeching sound in Wiley Coyote cartoons? This is the part where the road runner dashes up to your deck chair and says, “You did line up the book reviews months ago, right? You at least checked with the publisher?”

“Huh? Wha?”

“Book reviews, you idiot!”

Listen, I don’t know about you, but when I’m ironing out the third or fourth version of a manuscript, I’m writing!! Right? The faery princess is taking care of those mundane details for me, the arteest, right?

Well apparently not, or apparently this is not a god-given outcome. Apparently, if you want the book-launch to line up with sales and media attention and all that, you better clone yourself and hustle, huck, and jive your way into the hearts of book reviewers, get your galleys in front of the eyes of journalists—and anyone who writes about anything related to the topic of this thing to which you’ve dedicated a good (or bad) portion of your life. Or hire someone to do it for you—someone who knows what they are doing and whose reputation rides on yours. The marketing department at your publisher’s place is busy, and they don’t really understand the kernel of your book—only you do. Oh, and they’re on salary and get paid no matter.

What marketing department, you say. Exactly. It was all a dream about an imaginary world, like Mad Men.

So here’s what I learned: by not knowing these simple facts it’s going to take longer and will be harder for me to help sell my book. I didn’t say impossible because if you’ve ever completed a book project, you don’t believe in the power or implication of that word. (For my first two books, I just figured that books for teachers don’t get reviews and sell slowly by nature, that my publisher was taking care of it all.)

The-Brass-Bell-promoCover-221x323My latest book, The Brass Bell, really matters to me. It’s personal. As my father used to say, “Why do you have to learn everything the hard way?” I hope the answer is because I learn it better that way. If you’ve ever tucked and rolled out of a moving vehicle, and I have, you know it’s possible to avoid permanent damage when things go wrong.

Camille-FirstL-Color-266x365Camille Cole

http://cherryroadschool.blogspot.com/

www.camillecole.com

Interview with Mark Russell on 107.1 KZME

god_is_disappointed_in_you_cover_lgHere’s the podcast for my show, Type Cast, with Mark Russell on KZME. Mark has a fascinating new book out called, God is Disappointed in You. With the release of GIDIY, Mark has created a new version of the bible for straight shooters with an ironic bent and a love for all things short and sweet (or brutish and nasty). Check it out.

Link to Podcast

Link to Amazon

Ashland Creek Press Interview

ashlandcreek_logo_200Q&A with Jessica Glenn, MindBuck Media and Ashland Creek Press

 

What type of books does Ashland Creek Press publish?

Our niche is environmental literature—our goal is to publish fiction with themes relating to the environment, ecology, animal protection, and wildlife.

Has the focus changed or evolved over time, or have you always had a distinct niche?

We founded Ashland Creek Press to publish “books with a world view,” and this includes travel literature and multicultural works, as well as books with environmental themes. We are leaning more toward strictly environmental and animal-protection themed works, but are still open to books that are beautifully written and highlight the ways in which we all connect.

Do you have a regional focus, national or international? Will this change in the future?

Our focus is worldwide. Our authors come from all over the world—from both coasts of the U.S. to Europe to Australia to Japan. There are distribution challenges for authors living abroad, but with digital printing and e-books, this is becoming less of an issue. We’re especially excited about one of our summer 2014 books, which is an English translation of a French novel, The Green and the Red.

If writers feel that Ashland Creek might be a good fit for a finished manuscript, how do you prefer to be contacted?

We prefer to receive submissions via our submissions manager (Submittable), and literary agents are welcome to query via email. We often receive manuscripts that are totally unrelated to what we do, and so we appreciate it when authors take the time to see if their work is a good fit. Our guidelines are available on our submissions page , and we also encourage authors to check out some of our books—each of our titles has a free excerpt available via our website.

What are three books readers could get from Ashland Creek that would impart a broader understanding of your brand?

Mindy Mejia’s The Dragon Keeper is a wonderful book about endangered species and the issues surrounding animals in captivity.

JoeAnn Hart’s novel Float is a wise, witty novel that addresses the issues of plastics in the oceans.

Our forthcoming fiction anthology, Among Animals, due out in February 2014, comprises short stories that portray the human-animal relationship, and this is a great example of the type of fiction we love to publish.

touristtrail_250And, finally, I have to mention John Yunker’s The Tourist Trail because Ashland Creek Press was founded in large part due to this book. After John’s  agent was unable to sell it, in part because there was no market for eco-literature, he self-published it and eventually brought it under the ACP imprint. It’s a great example what we’re all about—we’re passionate about the subjects of environmental awareness and animal protection, and we also hope to provide a home for books like this that have fewer prospects because eco-fiction is still an emerging genre.

What sorts of publicity does Ashland Creek do for new releases?

We send out review copies to all the industry trades as well as local, regional, and national media. We look into awards, events, and other opportunities for our authors, and we’re active on social media as well. As a small press, we depend on the authors to be very active partners in book promotion so we work closely with authors on developing a comprehensive marketing plan for each book.

In what ways are authors expected to help with publicity?

We encourage authors to play a very large role in publicity—after all, they are the very best sales force for their own books. We expect authors to have a strong online presence, from websites to social media activity, and we encourage them to do as many events as possible, whether it’s an in-person book tour or meeting with book clubs via Skype. There are myriad ways to reach readers, and so it’s all about finding authors’ comfort levels and doing what fits best with their schedules and their books. Authors need to be prepared to do a great deal of promotion in order to reach their audience.

General advice for writers?

Write what you love, and trust there will be a home for it. And if there isn’t one, create it!

Also, once you’re published, remember that no one’s going to talk about your book if you’re not talking about your book. We find so many authors are shy or reluctant to tackle the marketing aspect of promotion, but this is essential in reaching new readers. Writing the book and publishing it is only the very beginning!