Thursday, May 20, 2010

How Can We Widen Our Audience?

Well, like Kit Sloan commented, Mike's posts are really interesting and fun to read. She wonders how we can get them before a larger audience than just our blog. I wonder that, too, which started me thinking. Perhaps we can create a youtube video to promote our Oak Tree books and get more followers for our blog that way? Or maybe create a series of videos ...

Please take a look at this youtube video, Signing in the Waldenbooks by Parnell Hall which is hilarious.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoJ5OKmEJY

This author must be developing quite a following just because of his video productions. You folks who do slick video work, what do you think?

How can we widen our audience here?

Monti
www.marymontaguesikes.com

9 comments:

Mike Orenduff said...

I know nothing about producing videos, but I think Monti has a great idea. If videos about Oak Tree and its authors (and owner who is a lot more interesting than most publishers) can get more people reading the blog, we should put our heads together and figure out how to do this.

Kit Sloane said...

I like Monti's idea, but Parnell Hall is also quite famous and popular as an author in mystery circles. That's what attracts the viewers. My webgal does videos, but I don't know what we could use to attract the masses. If we knew, we'd be doing that. Hmmm. Any ideas???

BillieJohn said...

Here's a little interesting aside to this topic...we DO have OTP videos! I have created a couple dozen of them and loaded them up on You Tube and other places. I have videos that about one specific genre, or one specific title, about the company as a whole and about all the titles. I have them as slide shows, the hyperactive frames you can do on Animoto, and twirling spinning styles. Also, at last year's PSWA, we had Sherman Lee do a lot of video...some was OTP authors only, and some was the conference as a whole and some featured various key people from the conference.

All of these are on You-Tube, plus various other places on the web. And I do love to do these things...they are great fun. But as a vehicle toward author recognition and sales, I am not convinced...so far. Maybe we need to think "what else can we do with this vids?"

I'm open!

Kit Sloane said...

As Billie says, I'm not convinced either. Unless the video gets advertised a lot on the web, it's pretty much lost on YouTube unless someone stumbles over it. Case in point, my webgal did one for each of my last books. The first one I really liked (for Location Location) and I promoted it and it's had nearly 600 hits. The second one I think missed the mark (for Fat Lady)--partly because i wasn't overseeing it, being out of the country at the time. I haven't promoted it at all and it's only garnered 30 hits and they must be accidental hits. Do these videos help sales? I have absolutely NO idea, though I've gotten nice comments on them. They're on my website if you're curious. (and she only charged me a minimal am't because, well, just because we've known each other forever and she enjoys the process!) see at www.kitsloane.net under "trailers."

Monti said...

How do we get it advertised a lot on the Web? That's the essential question. I found out about the Parnell Hall video because Robin Lee Hatcher sent it out to the FHL writers' loop. Maybe that's the answer--have a great video and get someone who is well-known interested!

Do we have a hook? California Publisher Creates a Niche in Small Town Middle America! Sounds like a human interest story for TV morning news. Everything doesn't have to be murder and mayhem. Maybe a feel-good story will do the trick! Ideas, folks?!!!

Kit Sloane said...

I just don't think Parnell Hall's youtube success is very relevant to all of us. He's been writing since the 80's, has dozens of books out and is a "known" quantity. He puts out news like the utube goody on every site he's on, and on Dorothy L that means 3000 members.

So how to attract people to more "unknown" quantities is the key, especially for people (like me) who don't follow most blogs. Monti's idea might have a chance, but what would be on the video???

ideas???

BillieJohn said...

To be sure, I am open to almost anything that will raise the visibility of OTP titles. However, I think that one of the biggest challenges is that promoting the publishing company has a pretty limited value. I have been an avid reader all my life, but I have never once said, "Hmmm, I think I'll go to the bookstore and see what's new from Random House..." The series or the author is the BRAND. Movies, to some extent, have the same challenge...you want to check out the latest from that actor or this director...and see if the story appeals to you. If yes, you're on your way to the movies. But how often have you really said..."Let's go see the latest from Paramount!"?

That said, I think the biggest thing is to be consistent. I keep looking for things I can do consistently, considering both precious resources: time and money. I have long felt that the authors who do a monthly (or some other interval) newsletter are making connections with their fan base that are priceless. Marilyn Meredith's newsletter is great...full of newsy chat about her travels, her visits with friends and family, setting up at book fairs, and what is coming up for her. The reader feels like he is "in the know" and part of a close, warm group. And Sunny's Murder Circle...it's like Page Six for mystery authors...great idea, great exposure, and always gets a lot of buzz.

A couple of years ago, I subscribed to an Email Marketing service, the same one used to send the Colophon to or authors. Most months, I send 2-3, and maybe more, pieces to bookstores, libraries, media outlets, talk radio, public TV stations and the like. For some time, I have been toying with devising a mailer that would be targeted to readers, rather than retailers or media.

One of things that I am happy to see these days is the number of new spots for book reviews...I think this one avenue that we can beef up. Know any places to send some books for review? Let me know and i will send them out! And, I am looking at taking some ads on FACEBOOK...for the contests and wouldn't mind doing some individual titles, just to see if we can get a pop in interest.

However, we have to keep in mind that so much of the WEB performs like a relational data base, so you have to connect somehow to something that is attracting audience...otherwise you are just "a billboard in the desert" ...a great ad that no one is going to see.

Currently, I am beefing up the pages at Mystery Lovers Corner, and getting ready to do a couple banners and featured author spots there. The site maven of MLC offers a great bargain for advertising and has quite a roster of titles and authors.

Maybe we should write a group book...how to write better or how to market or something...a non-fiction structure to slyly work in the particulars of our fiction??? Sometimes radio and TV hosts are more interested in non fiction...Maybe I could use this to get on Charlie Rose...my dream of dreams!!

Sunny Frazier said...

Oh, you all know I'm going to weigh in on this one!

Sherman's video, which we did on-the-spot at last year's PSWA conference--I send it out to authors querying OTP for submission. It gives them a visual and ties faces to names.

How to get more people reading the blog? Well, it starts with you. How many people on your list did you send to the blog? When one of you does a blog, especially on craft of writing, I notify my "possee" to check it out and leave a comment. Some of you are in the possee and you know how this works.

It's all out there, the tools are handed to us. As I say: Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he gets off your back."

Kit Sloane said...

Well, we really weren't talking about getting more people to read the OTP blog, but more ambitiously about other venues, like video trailers, etc, and how to get peoples' eyes fixated on them on youTube and the like.

The only blog i read is this one. Living on a working ranch means computer time is short and has to be managed! But I will watch a good video!

So what's the answer to get people like me to pop into other's blogs??? And I know how Sunny does it, but that model doesn't work for me.

hmm.