The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Horses to Water and Other Tricks

by Tricia Dower

Writing the book is one thing, persuading other people to read it, another. If your publisher has a big ad budget and can get you a New York Times review, it’s less of a trick. Most of us have to sniff out our own potential readers and entice them to our literary watering holes.

I’ve sent e-mail pleas to Shakespeare festival workers and professors of literature and women’s studies—all theoretically receptive to a collection of short stories inspired by Shakespeare’s female characters. Stories that touch on feminist issues such as sexual slavery, bride kidnapping, domestic violence, and gender politics. Did any of them buy the book? I have no idea.

I’ve run ads in magazines, done eight readings in six cities and recorded myself reading from the title story. Has it helped? Your guess is as good as mine.

When I began my promotional journey, I swore I’d never go on Facebook, but I’ve got 111 friends on there, now, and numerous other connections through Linkedin, Goodreads, YouTube, Zoetrope, and the Chapters/Indigo authors community. I’ve been invited to Twitter, Yedda, Digg, and StumbleUpon, as well, but my tiny brain can’t hold any more passwords.

I haven’t yet dressed up in an inflatable costume and hawked books on the street as an old high school friend did. (He was a dolphin.)

My latest venture is a two-minute video preview, like a movie trailer minus the big stars. Helping me to put it together was Blazing Trailers, a new venture of fellow Zoetroper Kim McDougall. (Now, that connection paid off.) The images form eight mini-tales, each suggesting a story in Silent Girl. Finding photos that matched my mental image of characters and situations was challenging. Choosing the music even more so.

I'm banking on the video appealing to an audience that wants a fun, painless, Coles Notes kind of way to find out about books. I hope it so effectively communicates the essence of Silent Girl that I can go back to doing nothing but eating bon bons and reading dime novels. Please help me out by sharing it with your Shakespeare-loving, feminist, literary friends, okay? They can watch it on You Tube.

You can watch it here.


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

WOW! Makes me want to buy (another!) copy. Kim did a super job. Except now people might think, hey, I'll skip the book and wait for the movies! Who's going to write the screenplays?

Thu Nov 06, 11:20:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Andrew. I guess WE'LL have to write the screenplays. Which ones would you like to do?

Thu Nov 06, 02:49:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Denis Taillefer said...

How exciting, Tricia. It looks great!

Thu Nov 06, 06:42:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Denis! Thanks to stopping by.

Thu Nov 06, 07:44:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Super stuff! My daughter's pretty handy with the old movie maker -- maybe I should employ her to make me a trailer.

I applied for the Chapters Author thingy -- didn't get an answer.

That's POD publishing for ya...

Must aim higher!

Thu Nov 06, 08:33:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Sandra, you should! You can find great stock photos and royalty-free music. Re the Chapters Author thingy, I'll send you a contact name. Maybe there's a way.

Thu Nov 06, 09:49:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said...

This is fabulous! I want one! Oh, yeah. Except I don't have a book... But then, there should be trailers for everyone! Little synopses of folks' lives. Just littling inklings (no need to give everything away. You need *something* to talk about), set to a song that epitimizes your life. It should be done whilst we're alive, not after we're gone. Okay. Now, I'm getting morbid. Maybe I'd better just finish the book and try to get it pubbed...

Fri Nov 07, 06:29:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sat Nov 08, 01:38:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Yeah, Tamara, write the book! (But I also like your idea of each of us having little videos of our life. We could show people at parties to save time -- 'Here's who I am. What about you?')

Sat Nov 08, 01:40:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

I love this. So compelling.

Sat Nov 08, 04:49:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Thanks, Tony!

Sat Nov 08, 06:56:00 pm GMT-5  

Post a Comment

<< Home