Archive | February 2010

Notes on the Happiest Place on Earth

We’ve just returned from two _______ days at Disneyland!

You fill in the blank:

A. Fun Filled

B. Terrifying

C. Delightful

D. All of the above…

If you answered D, you’re correct!

Fun filled: Disneyland is magical. From the word “go!” — point of fact – we drove up to the in process renovation of the Disneyland Resort Hotel. My dear hubby got the bags out of the car while I sashayed up to check in, girls in tow. With my winning smile firmly in place, I asked the desk clerk if a room upgrade was possible. He frowned at me, glanced at the girls, then suggested that maybe his newest employees could get us a room in the new wing.

Newest employees? That would be great! I grinned. He leaned over the counter and called my daughters back, dressed them in employee vests, and allowed a 6 year old and a four year old to hunt and peck letters of our reservation into the computer. Darned if we didn’t get a brand new room in the renovated Dreams tower, complete with carved wall mural, “A Dream is a Wish” music box, and LED fireworks light show behind the Sleeping Beauty Castle as a night light.

Each girl received a balloon, an autographed picture of the 1950s Disney cast, and entry into the kingdom!

Terrifying? Not for my oldest. Rachel is up for everything, though she has to be reminded to ride the little kid rides, as she calls them. LOVES them while she’s on them, but would rather ride an endless stream of Splash Mountain, Grizzly Rapids, and of course – Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road. Her four year old sister? Chickened out of Splash Mountain at the last possible moment. Again. Perry and I discovered the wonderful world of Parent Passes, which enables one parent to pass of the kid that won’t go, while the other rides, and vice versa.

Ellie wailed on her way out, begging for another go around on the psychadellic trip that is Winnie the Pooh’s Heffalump adventure. She opted for the toddler track, riding Mr. Toad’s wild ride, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Small World, Buzz Light Year, and at CA Adventure – King Triton’s Merry Go Round, and the new Toy Story Midway Game. The girls played together at the “Smoke Jumper’s Camp” at Grizzly Bear Country, running up and down rope bridges, swinging on tire swings, and laughing themselves silly.

All was fine and good, until she watched us all “Trading her Off” with increasingly long face. She tried the Soarin’ California and discovered that flying was cool! More fun when we were all together… and “Not dat scawy.”

I convinced her that getting her grandmother onto the Grizzly Rapids ride was her bounden duty. She went to great lengths to encase her grandmother in waterproof capes, and drag her onto the river raft ride. Ellie was the wettest kid on the boat. We laughed until our sides hurt, at how waves crested her head at every drop. She loved it. Loved the attention. The drama! and ultimately decided, at the very end of day two, to brave Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road.

The end result? In her golden haired brilliance, she grins, “Mommy! I weally wike wollah coastahs!”

Ah, if only she’d have decided that before the end of day two!

It’s a delight to see your kids relish new found things. Her boundaries are expanding. Her universe is bigger for having been brave. More than one set of parents and grandparents warned us to not rush this part… soon, they’ll be tromping all over the park calling “Single!” and jumping to the front of the line, staying out until park close, as long as they phone in at regular intervals.

For now, we’re riding roller coasters as a family…and our Disney trips for the next years to come will be all the more full because of it!

Tips on Marketing – via Follow The Reader

Today, I defer to the wisdom of Kat Meyer, and her three most recent blog posts from “Follow the Reader.”
This collection of researched articles by an industry leader is just the thing for publishing professionals and authors alike to review and consider the following questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What tools do you have at your disposal to reach them?
  • How can you quantify your time online with actual sales?

Oftentimes with small presses, authors are only given a tiny push toward personal marketing and “what to do next.” By researching the following articles, you can find your footing to further stabilize your online platform, and make your way into identifying your audience, your readers, and ultimately increasing your revenue.

Thanks again to @ Kat Meyer for her ongoing quest to aid authors and publishers in this uncharted territory. (follow her on Twitter if you don’t already. You’ll be amazed what you can learn.)

Part One:

What do marketers think about when they think about marketing? I asked some really talented book marketing type people, each of whom approaches the marketing of books from a slightly different perspective: Jeff VanderMeer, novelist and author of BookLife: Strategies and Survival Tips for 21st Century Writers; Denise Berthiaume and Tom Thompson of Verso Digital Advertising; and Ashleigh Gardner, Manager of Digital Development at The Dundurn Group. … Read On…

Part Two:

In this second of three posts all about book marketing, publicity and advertising, Denise Berthiaume and Tom Thompson of Verso Digital Advertising were kind enough to offer some really great advice to authors and publishing professionals alike on how to make the most of the many advertising and marketing options available — and yes, they even have advice for authors with no budget!

[Verso recently published an incredibly insightful survey of book-buying behavior which is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the book industry. Check it out here. And for more info about Verso, check out Charlotte Abbott’s interview with Tom and Denise from late last year.]

Read On…

Part 3:

Ashleigh Gardner of The Dundurn Group

These days it’s a given that authors will be expected to take part in the marketing of their books. But, navigating the world of book marketing is no easy task for an author, and there are no hard and fast rules for them to follow.

Which is why it was such a pleasure to hear how one particular publisher’s marketing team has taken the lead in helping authors help them. In part three  (the last part) of our behind the scenes look into the world of book marketing, publicity and advertising,  I asked Ashleigh Gardner, Manager of Digital Development at The Dundurn Group, all about Dundurn’s innovative author marketing program, dubbed “The Author Countdown.”

Read On:

To create a book trailer?

Today, Rachelle Gardner is discussing the pros and cons of the book trailer world. That got me thinking about my previous life, where I worked side by side with Avid editors at a small company in Hollywood.

I watched some of the most brilliant minds in the movie trailer industry as they put together 15, 30 second, and full preview spots for films such as: The Full Monty, Sliding Doors, Jakob the Liar, and so on for Fox Searchlight, Miramax, and other studios…

This was the age when everything had to be copied to video, FedExed across the country, and only at the end of my run there were videos being digitized and sent over the wire. WOW. How the world has changed.  How has modern communication improved the movie trailer biz? I’ve reconnected on FaceBook and LinkedIn, so here’s to hoping I’ll get some valuable insight on that.

For the moment, I have to agree with a fellow author on Book Trailers. I love the music. Music and images invoke feelings of love, loss, triumph, tragedy, fear, hope, desire… Words? Leave ’em for the printed page.

Yesterday I was introduced to the “Un-Book Trailer” – where an author scoured YouTube for a movie montage set to romance…I’m so borrowing this from Kathleen Bittner Roth… who knows I was summarily moved by this piece… so, without further ado, tell me YOUR thoughts on the un-Trailer. Would you read her book based upon this montage of a completely different story?


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