Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome Marly Mathews

Hello Everyone!

My name is Marly Mathews, and I am happy to be here!

Today I have the opportunity to say something I’ve never said before—I’m officially an honorary Prairie Chick. I’m also a Canadian Romance Author but I was raised in South Western Ontario, quite a ways from Saskatchewan.

In this blog post, I am going to talk about my newest release from New Concepts Publishing, Dark Phoenix, and I’m also going to touch on author promotion, and how an author can overcome their publicity shyness and dive into the deep end so to speak.

But first, let me share the cover of Dark Phoenix with you all.
I’m so delighted with this cover, as it captures the true essence of Dark Phoenix’s story. Dark Phoenix is a futuristic fantasy romance with all sorts of magical creatures in it. I won’t drone on about it, instead I’m going to now share the blurb with you. I will also include the link to Dark Phoenix’s page at New Concepts Publishing for you to read an excerpt of Dark Phoenix.

In shackles and destined for the intergalactic slave market, Alora Bishop is rescued by Immortal Garrett Firestorm, a Crimson Phoenix. An unbreakable bond—a psychic chain—if forged between them, but Alora has secrets that could mean their destruction.

Born with the magical soul of a Crimson Phoenix, Garrett Firestorm is a beacon of light in a dark universe. As an Immortal from the Hidden Realms of Magic, he and his star ship fleet of freedom fighters, roam the known galaxies fighting evil.

When he finds Alora Bishop in shackles and destined for the intergalactic slave trade market, he rescues her and brings her into his confidence, knowing that an unbreakable bond—a psychic chain for his kind, has been forged between the two of them, he sets out to win her heart. But Alora is a woman with a mysterious past, and the secrets hidden just might be their saving grace, or their total destruction…

Now, let’s move onto the promotion side of this blog post.

I’m not going to say I’m an expert on it, because I’m sure there are some authors that know more than I do, but I will share with you some tips on how to get your feet wet.

First off, get yourself a website. I think that’s the best tool an author can have. A good website will represent your books and you as an author. Think of how you want the public to see your little home on the web. My little home on the web was designed and is maintained by the ultra talented Rae Monet, and you can visit it by clicking on this link, http://www.marlymathews.com/

Now, let’s move onto the blog, if you are reading this post, you know what a blog is, and how it functions. It’s also free and relatively user friendly. Both Blogger and Word Press offer free templates that you can choose from once you sign up. Again, my blog matches my website so it’s a custom template made by Rae Monet.

Next, we move onto MySpace and Facebook, which are both excellent networking outlets. Facebook doesn’t require much time to set up, whereas with MySpace you do have to decorate your space with a template of your choosing. There are many different sites where you can find free templates, and you can also have custom ones made as well.

Goodreads, Shelfari, and Twitter are also good spots to promote yourself as a writer.
If you’re published, find out what review sites your publisher sends out to, and send out to the ones they don’t have on auto send.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about book videos. A book video gives the reader a glimpse into your book that the blurb and an excerpt can’t do. Many of us are visual thinkers, so many people benefit from seeing a book video and I believe it’s a highly beneficial marketing tool for your books.

You can make your own book video or hire someone to make it for you. Remember, if you are making your own book video you have to get your images from royalty free stock photo sites like Dreamstime http://www.dreamstime.com/or 123RF-RF standing for Royalty free. http://www.123rf.com/. You must also do the same for your music. Some good royalty free music sites are www.shockwave-sound.com and Kevin MacLeod’s music site, http://www.incompetech.com/.

If you’re on a Windows computer you will use Windows Movie Maker and if you’re on a Mac computer you’ll use iMovie to make your book videos. You can view my book videos by watching them on my You Tube page, http://www.youtube.com/user/MarlyMathews

I have had a lovely time blogging here today. I hope my blog post was both interesting and informative.

If you leave a comment for me here, you will automatically be entered into a contest for a download of Dark Phoenix.

Best,
~Marly



28 comments:

Helena said...

Welcome to the Prairie, Marly.

You have provided, in a very clear fashion, great information about promotion. Some readers of this blog will grab this and run with it. Others, like myself, are not ready for this stage, but are keen to know what resources are available. Thank you for the tips.

What a gorgeous cover! Thank you, also, for the opportunity to win a download of "Dark Phoenix."

Helena said...

In case anyone is wondering, the deletions were all made by me. My comment was posted in triplicate, and the fourth was a cry for help.

Then I noticed the little icon for deletions!

Sorry, mea culpa.

(See, Marly. I'm not quite ready for the technology.)

ban said...

helena ... that is too funny ! thanks for the post marly - guess i never really thought of myspace, facebook and blog sites as a form of self-promotion esp. since i'm no where near done with any of my stories but it can't hurt to get your name out there, right ? maybe, when/if i ever finish i'll be lucky enough to have a small following ! thanks for the site links too.

Marly Mathews said...

Hi Helena!

When I first came here I thought I had a lot of comments to read and answer! LOL
Glad you figured out how to fix the triplicate post thing. I absolutely hate that when it happens to me.
Thank you so much for commenting and leaving me a lovely compliment on the cover for Dark Phoenix. The artist that created the cover was Alex DeShanks.
And, you are so welcome for the tips!!!

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

Ban,

In my opinion it can't hurt to get your name out there while you're finishing up on works in progress. Signing up for a Facebook account, Goodreads, MySpace and Shelfari are all excellent ways to get yourself out there so to speak before you are a published author!

Good luck!

Best,
~Marly

Karen said...

Good morning, Marly, and welcome to the Chicks.

I enjoyed my visit to your website and the excerpt for Dark Phoenix. I hope I win!

Thanks for the ideas on promoting. I have a MySpace page but as an unpubbed author I'm not sure how to get the most use out of it?

Janet C. said...

Morning, Marly - and welcome to The Prairies.

For all our readers, I recommend heading over to Marly's site and checking our her new video for Dark Phoenix. I watched it last night and it's fabulous. Great job, Marly!

I noticed on your blog (and through the discussion boards over at RWA Online) that you have created videos for other authors. Do you offer that service? Have you considered going into business if you are not already? You do an amazing job - I don't think I could even fathom making a book video (you should see how many times it took me to get this post looking right - and we already know the problems I had with the attachments :)

Hope you enjoy your day with us Chicks.

Marly Mathews said...

Good morning, Karen!
Thank you for visiting my website and reading the excerpt for Dark Phoenix!
I think you can get the most out of it by becoming friends with other authors and readers that enjoy the same books as you do. Many RWA chapters also have Myspace pages and you can friend them as well.
It is a way of networking and getting your name seen before you are published.

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

Hi Janet!
Thanks so much for the warm welcome here yesterday and today. I really appreciate it.
Thanks for watching and enjoying the book video for Dark Phoenix.
I do make book videos for other authors and if you are an author and you like how I create my book videos and the book videos for Maggi Andersen and Holli Winters you can email me at marly AT marlymathews DOT com without the spaces of course, and we can take it from there.
Like you said, Janet some authors can't fathom making a book video but if you want one and you want an affordable one, feel free to contact me.
Yes, the attachments were proving to be a pain! Glad it got sorted and you didn't pull out your hair, Janet! LOL :)

Best,
~Marly

Anita Mae Draper said...

Good morning, Marly and welcome to our site. Your book cover just draws the eye.

The 'book videos' that you're all speaking of are actually book trailers if a person wanted to google more info on them. I haven't had a chance to see any of yours yet, Marly but I've watched others and I have to say, I remember a book more readily when I've seen a trailer for it.

And although I know what a book trailer is, I don't know how to go about making one so thank you very much for the info.

I belong to all the groups you mentioned except Goodreads and Twitter although, I might be joining Twitter in the near future.

Thanks for joining us today, Marly and good luck with your book(s). :)

Marly Mathews said...

Anita,

Actually, I say book videos and use book trailer loosely because another production copy has trademarked book trailer.
They are both the same thing, if you talk to other authors.
Thanks for leaving me a comment!

Best,
~Marly

Deborah Macgillivray said...

Marly is very accurate in NOT calling them "book trailers". The term is trademarked by COS Productions - common knowledge for over two years.

You can call them book videos, book video-trailers, book peaks, book previews -- anything but "book trailers", or you open yourself to legal action from COS Productions.

Marly was very accurate in using book video, as encouraging people to call them "book trailers" could open them to all sorts of legal action they might not want to face.

Marly does a wonderful job with them, showing the author what they can do themselves with a little application.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Well now, Deborah, I'm really glad I spoke up because I've learned something new. I assumed the term trailers was a generic term because it's used so widely for books and movies. Thank you for clearing that up. I'm very glad I found out before I created one and added it to my blog but used the improper term. *cringe*

Marly - my apologies.

Janet C. said...

Glad you could stop by, Deborah, and school all us newbies. I, too, had called them book tr(*&&^%s, but used book video in my comments after re-reading Marly's post (and have now discovered I used the TM in my introduction - ACK).

It's like snowmobiles - I work at a dealership which sells Polaris. I lived in the Arctic for years where everyone called a sled a Ski-doo, no matter what brand it was. After two years at the dealership, I know not to call our merchandise a you-know. It's a sled!

And Marly creates beautiful videos. No published work for me, yet, but when Lady Bells is release date ready, I'm going to Marly :)

Janet

Marly Mathews said...

Thank you so much, Deborah for dropping by and leaving me a comment.

Initially, most authors don't realize that the term Book Trailers is trademarked. I know when I started making them, I didn't realize the term was trademarked. I also knew they could be called Book Videos, Book Video Trailers, Book Peeks or Book Previews, and that they were not limited to just being called Book Trailer.


Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

Well, Anita, I was here to give everyone an enlightening blog post. I'm so happy that you learned something from it.

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

Good luck with Lady Bells, Janet!

Best,
~Marly

Helena said...

I'm back, and I hope I won't cause any further damage on the site! Thank you, Marly, for your good-natured response. I see someone else has done some extra clean-up. We do have elves at work.(At one point, I had thought of adding in a disclaimer that I was not trying to inflate the number of comments nor was I attempting to get the edge in the draw with multiple entries. Oh, well.

A further example or two on the trademark/copyright/patent issue: tissue (not Kleenex), photocopy (not Xerox), and my favourite -- since my son manufactures hot tubs (not Jacuzzis).

I'm so glad there are talented and knowledgeable people like you out there for those of us who need your services and resources. Today seems to be my luddite day over and over -- having trouble with cutting, pasting, and importing.

I hope you are enjoying your day with us, Marly!

nm8r67 said...

Marly
i haven't had an opportunity to view your Book Videos but i hope to soon. As a graphic artist, i'm always curious how different people create the book videos. Do you know if anyone ever uses Adobe Flash? Do you know what file size seems to function best so everyone can enjoy the view?
Just curious... apologies for the late note. I was at a fund raiser for Cancer at the local dive shop for most of the day. I was itching to get to this post though.

thanks for all the great information!

DebH

Janet C. said...

I've been mulling over book videos most of the day and have a question, Marly. Other than posting them on YouTube and having them available through your website, where else do you display them? I heard someone, somewhere, suggest that you can upload them on Amazon to promote the book. And, one more question, do you think they aid in the selling of your book?

Curious minds...

Janet C. said...

A very big thanks to Marly for joining us on the Prairies today. I know I've learned a lot about book videos and promotion tactics to use even as a unpublished author.

I hope everyone gets a chance to check out Marly's videos, they really are works of art unto themselves.

Thanks again, Marly :)

Marly Mathews said...

Thank you so much, Helena! My apologies for popping back on so late... or early depending on how you view it. LOL

I have enjoyed my day here today.

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

Deb,

You had a very worthy cause calling you away from the blog.
I think some people do use Adobe flash to enhance the images, though I don't.
As for size, I can resize the images in iPhoto so I don't think size makes a difference.
If you're talking about the size of the book video, once you upload it to You Tube they have their own size, though you can watch it in full screen view.
On iMovie you can always open the movie up to watch it in full screen. I prefer watching mine in full screen, but I do watch it in the smaller viewer as well.

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

Janet,

Aside from the obvious You Tube, and your website, you can also upload your book videos to several groups like Book Place, Good Reads, the video hosting sites Veoh and Vimeo, and Blazing Trailers.
Networking sites like MySpace and Facebook also allow you to share your videos. So, the possibilities are endless.
I do think they help an authors sales, though I would expect their would be variables in that impact on sales from author to author.
Bottom line, they are fun and interesting to watch, and if they can get your name out there as an author, it certainly can't hurt to have them.

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

I'm off to consult my crystal ball to see who the winner will be... I will be back in a while...

Best,
~Marly

Marly Mathews said...

And the winner of Dark Phoenix is KAREN! Karen, please email me at marly AT marlymathews DOT com for your copy.

Best,
~Marly

Janet C. said...

Congratulations, Karen :)

And thanks again, Marly :)

Karen said...

I can no longer say I never win anything! Can't wait to read it.