Our new VP of Marketing, Victoria Andrew is our rock star and goddess of publicity for 3L Publishing’s authors. She joined our team this winter, and I hired her because I have never seen a publicist kick major behind the way this woman does. Not only does she bring an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm to my team, but also she is incredibly passionate about literature and publishing. When you can find someone who is just as passionate as you are about your company then you’ve found the ideal person. So, here is why she makes other publicists’ skills dull in comparison to hers (and if you’re an author what to look for in an ideal publicist):
15 Years in Publishing — Victoria knows more about the publishing and book business than even I do. When we first started talking, she brought up refreshing ideas about how to approach the publicity side of the business from an entirely new vantage point. While I’ve spent the majority of my career working on magazines and custom publications, she’s spent the majority of her career focused exclusively on books. If you’re looking to hire a publicist to support your book, look for someone who really knows this industry. Ask them their specific credentials when it comes to book promotion. How many years experience do they have in this industry? What is their education? Simple experience in, say, marketing or public relations won’t cut it. Your publicist needs to fully understand the ins and outs of book publishing.
True Knowledge of Book Promotion — most PR people will tell you the standard promotion tactics. These include developing a media kit and press release and pitching to the regional and national media. He or she might suggest you do a wire drop and show great enthusiasm over a good pick up on a wire drop. Let me tell you something: in all of my experience with wire drops, they only provide exposure. I’ve never seen a wire drop trigger real sales. Regional and national media pitching is standard to all publicity campaigns. What you want to hear from your book publicist are ideas that you’ve never heard before. I’m not going to give out our trade secrets here on the blog, but Victoria is going to tell our clients WAY more than regional and national pitching and wire drops. A publicist who truly knows book publicity and understands this industry is going to share a whole lot more than ideas about pitches to broadcast, print and radio. And if that is all you’re hearing out of your prospective publicist’s bag of tricks then you’re not going to get what you need.
True Results — Victoria gets results not once a week or every other day. Victoria gets results every day! Yes, you read that correctly. She is so good at what she does, she gets results every single day. Just over a weekend (a weekend), she set up three new radio interviews just for me and California Girl Chronicles. She has focused strategies and goes through her bag of tricks in an incremental, strategic way. While the kinds of results vary, she still gets them. She doesn’t give our clients a bunch of excuses as to why she can’t get them a book review or an interview. She doesn’t have to make excuses. So much of what she does is driven by ardent, passionate enthusiasm and commitment. She doesn’t go through the motions, because she’s getting paid. She communicates with our clients on a consistent basis. She answers questions. She picks up her phone. She doesn’t shrug her shoulders when she hasn’t gotten good pick-up and blame the author or blame the subject matter. She figures out how to succeed and get those results. In a business that can seem like all air and feathers, Victoria makes it more like concrete and sales.
If you would like more information about our PR services, send an email to info@3LPublishing.com. If you would like more information on 3L Publishing, visit our website at www.3LPublishing.com.
Writing well-developed characters is a true talent. When you write well-developed characters, your canvas of imaginary friends and foes comes to life. People “buy” into the idea of them and emotionally invest in them. They talk about them as if they were a friend or neighbor or associate. The first time someone talked about my heroine Brea Harper in California Girl Chronicles like she was a girlfriend, I was somewhat taken aback, but then I realized this reader had made the necessary emotional investment in this character.
So, how do you create well-rounded, interesting characters that readers will invest in? Here are some tips on how to do develop your characters.
Don’t rush anything — many new writers will not only hurry through their story-telling process, but also try and force their characters to life. What does this mean? They will try and develop the character by telling the reader all about the person in a paragraph through description. When you first introduce a character don’t force it. You can briefly describe the person, yes, but don’t falsely believe a paragraph or two and you’ve done the job.
Show it don’t say it — let the characters reveal themselves on the page by showing their behaviors. Put them in their places in the story and then have thembehave. Through their behavior you get to know them. For example, in California Girl Chronicles you have the flighty, mercurial Letty from the bikini shop. She is shallow, gum chewing, self-absorbed and colorful. Through her appearance (different colored hair and piercings), we gather she’s rebellious and then she acts rebellious and shallow at every turn.
Consistency — then make sure you keep your characters consistent. If Letty is shallow in one scene, she is not going to miraculously change her behavior to deep and caring in the next scene. Now if you intend to make her somewhat crazy and erratic then use this tool, but keep it in context and allow the characters around her to notice she is nuts. If you’ve been inconsistent with a character out of mistake or not realizing it then it’s an error and not planned.
Dialogue — what characters say matters as much as what they do. Use the dialogue to develop their attitudes and backgrounds. Remember, most people don’t talk in soliloquies and speeches. Use pedestrian language and keep it real. If a character is educated, use dialogue to show they have a vocabulary. If they’re urban, use the dialogue to show that background. You can also easily define characters by words they don’t use, too. If a character isn’t profane then you should avoid profanity being used by that particular character. If they have a dialect or accent, make sure you “imply” it and never misspell words to sound out the accent.
Just caught the movie 13 on DVD. I saw it and thought, “Cool, my favorite actor is in it.” So it got put in the player and started. The movie was okay and not half bad. A few HBO players were in it. The actor who played the detective who had the child out of wedlock on Boardwalk Empire and Emmanuelle Chriqui from Entourage played a bit part. Unfortunately, Alexander Skarsgard only had a small role and didn’t do much more than play guard to the protagonist, who I didn’t catch the character’s name. The movie is about a young man who desperately needs money to pay for his father’s surgery and unwittingly finds himself in a murderous game of Russian roulette. Mickey Rourke also plays a criminal shoved in the game after being sprung from a Mexican prison to participate. The story is intriguing and tension-filled enough to hold the viewer’s interest. Skarsgard shows up early on and is given only a handful of quick lines. Total waste of his talent. He lurks over and watches our protagonist to ensure he doesn’t escape or drop out of the game. Like all of the thugs, he doesn’t look terribly attractive either and rather sweaty and greasy. Too bad for the movie, he would have made a far more interesting protagonist not that their star didn’t do a good enough job. I would give it two stars ** out of four. And a big zero for wasting Skarsgard’s talents on a throw-away role.
My post on the 3L Publishing blog site about paparazzi resulted in the answer to the question: Why are there no new pictures of Alexander Skarsgard. Answer came from what looked like a photographer from Wet Paint: he’s on Christmas break in Stockholm. All you fans out there clamoring for fresh pictures, there is your answer. See comments at: http://3lpublishing-firstwordblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-favorite-picture-of-alexander.html Thought I would share … Happy New Year!
It’s a holiday and a Monday, so I thought today would be a great day to have a little fun on the blog. I wrote California Girl Chronicles to include humor. What I did not realize is that the humor would be one of the stand-out parts of the book (I thought all that sex would eclipse the humor … just saying). It turns out the humorous parts are being praised by both readers and critics. So, it’s a holiday, and I feel some fun coming on. Here are some humorous moments from book one Brea and the City of Plastic.
She cracked a smile and replied, “Who me? This is orange juice,” she said and winked.