July 12, 2005

GCC: 3 Questions with M.J. Rose

Okay...this is just cool and I am excited. We have an EXTREMELY nifty guest today, so YOU PEOPLE! Put on your nice clothes and slick your hair back. Tell that guy in the back to get his finger OUT OF HIS NOSE, and I will do my part by not pouring my drink down my front. Hopefully.

Meet MJ Rose -- the mind behind Buzz, Balls and Hype; a must read blog for those in the industry. She's also a successful novelist, and I don't know anyone smarter or savvier when it comes to getting the word out about your own books. I have THE HALO EFFECT, the first book in the Butterfield Institute series featuring sex therapist, Dr. Morgan Snow, in a stack of books I am taking to the beach next week. It's on top, in fact. It's a thriller about a therapist who goes undercover as a prostitute when one of her clients, a high priced call girl, goes missing. Publisher's Weekly LIKED it. In a KISSING way. I am very much looking forward to it.

ALSO, long about question 2, you will see a link to a VIDLIT, and I want you to go WATCH IT... unless you have dial up. It is SUCH a a neat concept and the execution is SPOT ON in this one and I am wondering from a READER perspective how effective it is....I kinda WANT one.

OH! OH! SHE IS COMING! SIT UP STRAIGHT! *spills drink down front* Dernit.

JJ: I just read your Backstory for Halo Effect. I would be interested to know if your "Dr. M" has read Halo Effect or knows of it and realizes its genesis and what she thinks of it?

MJR: Of course I sent her a book and she was thrilled with it. It's interesting because one of the criticism of the book is that no therapist would compare what she does to what a high class girl does. And that no therapist has as many personal conflicts as Morgan Snow (my heroine) has. It makes me laugh because the book was vetted by four therapists who all not only signed off but said it was a totally realistic representation of a therapist.

JJ: The VIDLIT for HALO EFFECT is Awesome----and I think the female voice is yours? This question is a two-parter---is it odd hearing yourself speaking as your character in what is a very visual medium? It;s as if you are playing her in a short film....and how do you intend to use the Vidlit to help Halo Effect find readers?

MJR: It is me:) And when I see the vidlit I don't hear her as me. I guess because I wrote the book she was talking in my head for so long it makes sense that she's talking on the vid lit.

What I'm doing to promote the vid lit is all here, but basically asking blogs to link to it and for every blog that does $5 will be contributed to Reading is Fundamental - a terrific charity that gets books to kids and encourages them to start reading early - when it matters.

It's the beginning of something I'm going to keep going called Good Books/Good Cause.

JJ: A lot of writers read this blog, and you have a reputation for being a great big smarty-pants about author-involved book promo. In fact you teach a class about it. Can you tell us one simple thing most authors ought to be doing to help get the word out about their books?

MJR: I do teach a class - Buzz your Book
One thing - the first thing - is to have a marketing meeting with your publisher and find out what they are doing for you - six month prior to when the book comes out.

I recommend you say something like this:

I am thrilled you are publishing my book. And I totally understand that you are going to do everything you can for it. But I know that my book is just one book of hundreds you are publishing. So I would love to know what you aren't doing so that I can come up with a plan of what I can do to supplement your efforts and work with you.

Polite, interested, non judgmental, understanding. It works.

This will give you a good sense of what you are going to need to do. I also would recommend reading Jaqueline Deval's Publicize Your Book. We have to be marketing partners with our publishers and do on our end whatever we can. And there's a lot we can do that our publishers can't. It does make a difference to get involved even though none of us got into this to do marketing. (Esp me. I actually left advertising to write fiction.)

Posted by joshilyn at July 12, 2005 8:53 AM

Loved the Vid Lit! I blogged for RIF in the blogathon last time i did it.

Posted by: Heather at July 12, 2005 10:39 AM

I JUST bought this book yesterday! And plan to start reading it later today. (Cue Twilight Zone music). The Vid Lit thing is very cool. I'll link to it as soon as I finish the book, so that I can include a mini-review with the link.

Posted by: DebR at July 12, 2005 11:06 AM