Friday, October 30, 2015

Launch party complete - It's been a while

Heeeeeeeey Kiddies. It's been a bit. I'm super sorry. Life has been busy as f***, but now it's better! Sway's Demise is "feature complete", and now we just need to go through the "bug fix" phase. Oh no, my producer self is bleeding into my author self.

OK, back on topic. The launch party!!

So, I put postcard flyers out everywhere, and what did it net me? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Also, the table tents I purchased for the location were thrown out by one of the staff, because they were "unaware". I did confirm with the head staff member about 94 times that the event was taking place, but still... an "unaware" staff member threw out $30 of my launch. Scratch that, $28. We found ONE of the table tents shoved in a corner, so I took it home at the end of the night (Thanks Gunther!)

So, what the F*** did I learn.

Nothing else matters

No one picks up physical things anymore. Not a single person.
People are flakey as hell, and don't read.
If you can't capture your audience in less than 15 words, you lose.
Wow, that was a lot of lessons in one.

Buy them... buy them all

Advertising to get your face in front of people works. If you have disposable income, do it. If not... I hope you have disposable time, because you need to get your face in front of people. Bring yourself, and your work, to the places where you think they'll love you. Then shake every hand (no matter what's on it, that's what Purell is for) and smile at everyone. Tell them how much you love your work, even if (secretly) you really don't. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's not good. I personally dislike my first work (not so secretly anymore) because I know how much better it could have been if I had just... done something else. F***, I don't know what it is but something.

I'm hoping at this point you've recognized that I'm not with all of my senses. No I'm not. I'm celebrating god F***ing damn it. Sway's Demise (my new love) is finished, and I'm celebrating the fact that I'm in love with it. While I write to you about how stuff didn't go as awesome as I'd planned for launch, but found out I have many friends that love me dearly.

TL;DR To summarize this point, if you can't spend copious amounts of facetime with potential readers, spend copious amounts of money acquiring them. If you do neither, you better have 5,000 friends to share your sh*t, or you're f***ed.
Not sure why I'm bleeping my curse words, I forewarn everyone that this is an adult-ish blog.... F*** it.

Eye contact and smiles

It may feel scary, and strange, but when at the booth/event, make eye contact with everyone, and smile kindly. Don't stretch the smile... that's Joker status. Just smile a little bit, look into their soul, and drag them into your hell.
Eye contact is uncomfortable for most, but when you smile genuinely, it's attractive. I, myself, have been drawn into booths by both males and females taking the time to look at me and smile. It means you care. It means you give f**ks about that human, to take the time to look at them. They'll feel like you can see them.

Make all the smalltalk

I know it feels like you don't have time to communicate to every human that came to see you, but you're there for however the F*** long it takes to sell out, right? So you have time. I know you want to make sure that everyone else gets in and out in a timely manner, so identify those people, sign their sh*t, and get them the F*** out. They're not here to talk to you anyway, so GTFO.

Sell yourself

You make your first sales. I mean that like you make your first sales. People aren't going to be interested in your work, they're interested in you. Same reason why when you have a booth (if you're a dude, or not between the ages of 18-25) buy girls between the ages of 18-25 to sell your stuff. I have in good confidence from someone waaaaaaaay more successful than me that if you have young, attractive females run your booth/event, you'll have double or triple sales.
Trust the well respected author who knows way more, and has sold way more books than me.

Bars aren't really the place

The "bar" I selected (a tap house and brewery) was filled with my demographic... and not. I was targeting: Female, 16-28, interested in horror & fantasy. But the other 9/10ths of the bar was either men (3/4ths) or women outside of the demographic (1/6th) WOOO I CAN MATHS! There were a few other reasons that it didn't go fantastic for me.

What did go fantastic for me?

My friends and family love me. Apparently, I'm doing something right, because at least 35 people I knew showed up to support me. <3
I've gotta say, I've never been so honored in my life. Unbelievable feeling to know that people I know, even people who hardly read, were coming and buying my book.
Also, beer is yummy, so I had a pretty good time having drinks bought for me.

Well... That's about all I have to teach kiddies. Did I make any points? I'm not sure now. I could proofread, buuuuut I'm not going to. Yep.... night kiddies! ^_^

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Maintaining good relationships with Reviewers

Hmmm... this one seems as if it's a multi-purposed post. For not just the writing in your life, but other things like your day job, maybe even casual friendships. I'd like to talk about how to maintain a good relationship with people, so when the time comes, there's no question in their mind about helping you out, or vice versa.
I know, that sounds really selfish. But as I dive in, you'll see it's not quite as bad as you think. Let's be honest, first off. Most things that you do in life are to benefit yourself in some way. If you think about it, it's true. Why find a lover/partner? To not be lonely. Why do the dishes for that partner? To make them happy so when you ask something of them, they'll return the favor. Etc, etc, etc.

Anyway, on with the post. Step 1...

Sharing is caring

It may take some time, but through a few casual emails, you can get your reviewer to open up to you by sharing tiny bits of yourself. They'll see that you really are a human on the other side of the text, and start to connect with you.
You have to want this. You have to. If you do not truly want to connect with this human on a personal level, you will stop giving a shit, and you will let the relationship fall by the wayside, and they will recognize that emails coming from you only mean you have a new piece out that you want to thrust at them.

Be diligent

Remember the important details of your reviewers, or the details they feel are important. Where they live, brothers & sisters, a new job they're applying for, what degree they're attempting to obtain in school, a book they're working on, new house, etc. Follow up on these items with them through email to show that you were paying attention, and you do care if they got the job, got the house, finished school, saw their family for the first time in years.
Remembering details of many people can be difficult, so fortunately you have email history to look at, and you're never, or rarely ever, put on the spot to remember it without being able to reference said emails. I do this sort of thing for a living at my job, so it's become second nature to remember a ton of details about what's going on with 20-30 different people at a time... which reminds me, I need to follow up on something when I get in the office tomorrow morning ^_^

Actually care

I know it's a strange thing to say, and it's a hard mentality to develop, but learn to actually care. My boss taught me this. It's not enough that you asked, and remembered, and follow up later, then acted excited for their success, or downtrodden for their failure... You must actually give fucks about them and their life.
You'll notice if they're interested in you, and connecting, they will do the same. If, after many attempts, you notice they're not interested, gauge your desire to have them on your side. Ah, I say on your side... but truly that's what it is. When it comes down to it, and you have a new work that you'd like to share with them, and they have a very busy schedule, they'll be on your side and find the time to make it happen.
Anyway, gauge the importance of this potential relationship. Do they enjoy your work, or was it just so-so to them? Is their review/writing style on par with how you like to communicate to your audience? Do they have a wide reach, or a large audience? After answering yes to all three of those, I would say continue to pursue them, gently... don't be overbearing and email twice a week, or overshare. Perhaps, even come right out and ask them, "Are you interested in maintaining a relationship with me outside of the author/reviewer relationship we have? Because I am." Maybe they'll go, "Hey, shit, I didn't realize that's what you were trying to do... totally, I'd love to!" or... maybe it'll be like, "Yeah I don't have time to email you about personal stuff." and if that's the case, just be like, "Totes cool. In the future, if I have stuff for reading, would you like me to contact you?" And then all that awkward courtship stuff is over and you can move on to fostering the relationships that really matter.

Welp... I better get my chunky butt off the couch and go for a run or something >_> have a good Sunday kiddies!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Writer's block - *sigh*

We all get it from time to time, the dreaded inability to formulate sentences, lead one action into the next. A lot of people say "DRIVE ON!" Just keep writing, force it out, write something terrible, doesn't matter. I find it pretty difficult to do this.
I'm not sure how to help you... I can't even help myself... But here's what I've been trying or thinking of trying.

Read other writings

You've been staring at your own work for days, or longer, with no idea how to keep going. It's time to start looking at other things. Even if it doesn't help get your creativity flowing, at least you read something other than what you've been rereading forever, right?

Try to critique other stuff

Movies, poetry, presidential speeches, whatever, just start critiquing. What's well thought out, what's needing more work, what do you like/hate/want to burning a fire. Figuring out what you like and don't like about something else may help you remember how to write the stuff you like.

Revisit a previous work - or look at a new one

If you're like me, you have three to five writing projects at different stages of development at one time. I'm not saying it's optimal... but it's what I've got. Writing a fresh story, or getting a new take on one you've completed may "unbind" you from the current one. Though I do really dislike task switching unless it's writing for one and editing for another, I've been thinking about doing this.

Maybe you really just need a break...

So take one. How long is up to you, but I advise setting a strict "break" start and stop date so you don't blow way past the writers block end and waste a bunch of time sitting on your butt playing video games.

Maybe you really just need to power through...

The thing I didn't want to think about. Maybe I should just suck it up and write something horrible so I can get back to writing. Ugh. Even this blog post sucks. Maybe this was the horrible thing I needed to get out.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to stay positive. Writer's block isn't forever. Night kiddies ^_^

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Mile High Horror Film Festival - A Critique

Critique... The English language is an enigma man... I would spell that word criteek, but f*ck me, whatever.
You can tell its late, because I'm starting this post out bashing the language I use to tell stories. On with what I came here to talk about.

Even Lambs have Teeth - 7/10
I'll give it points for all the gore and some decent acting, but goodness it was predictable... Down to how every kill was going to happen, I knew it.
The opening scene is a bit disorienting, and confusing. I didn't think it meshed well with the overall story arch. From that opening, one of the main characters behaves completely contrary to how she had behaved, 4 minutes ago. So, write off the opening scene, ignore how predictable it is, or if you can, shut your brain off. It'll make the movie more enjoyable.
I had the pleasure of meeting one of the main characters after the show. She was very cute, and dainty in person, but was able to own the naughty girl thing on camera...

Series of shorts - all over the place
The ones that stick out the most were the best, and worst... Or rather weirdest. Actually, I remember the name of everything except the very first one and it was a music video. Very cool and enjoyable, don't remember what it's called.

Vicious - 8/10
Lots of jumps, told a complete story in under 8 minutes, well acted. I really liked this one.

Invaders - 6/10
It was kinda funny. Acting was meh. Story had little depth.

Zone 2 - 7/10
Fairly decent, well acted on both parts, told a nice complete story in about 7 minutes. No jumps or scares.

Scumbag - 4/10
Story was meh, cheating husband gets what he deserved... Meh acting. Mehmehmeh, you can tell its late now.

Peripheral - 7.5/10
This one's concept was good, but fell short of an 8 because of subpar acting (actress got her line wrong... And they kept it...) and the CGI for the alien/monster/thing was pretty cruddy, or their design was cruddy. It was just not frightening. A darkened sillohett would have been way scarier, and less cheezeballz.

I can't remember the name of the last one but it gets 3/10. Did not like, couldn't tell a story, monster did weird stuff and looked cheesy, acting was OK but very little of it.

He Never Died - 10/10
I'll start by saying Henry Rollins is my fuckin hero, I love that guy. Movie was well paced, very unexpected but welcome comedy, he stayed fully in character so well, all the acting was phenomenal, story was pretty good. I guess it deserves a 9.5/10 because the bad guy motivation reveal was kinda lamesauce, but matching with the story... So back to 10.
Not a horror by far, but couldn't recommend more. So good, going to buy it when it's out.

And now, I pass out. Night kiddies!