Oh, Go Animoto Yourself

Thanks to a link from Alvina Ling's blog, I visited Animoto and spent an hour or so creating this 30-second video to use on the author visit page of my website:

Making the slide show was free, but was it worth the time away from writing? (I'm trying to finish a revision of Asha Means Hope / The Secret Keeper for Random House.) Like a lot of the publicity/marketing kinds of things we authors are supposed to be doing these days, you never know.

I'm a bit confused about that whole aspect of the vocation -- author Jodi Picoult (who needs no publicity) recommends hiring a publicist in the October issue of Writer's Digest, my agent sent a link that might help me make better use of MySpace, Judith Appelbaum tells me to toot my own horn, and Raab Associates just posted an article about the new marketing model on their extremely helpful site. I found their words illuminating when it comes to juggling writing, speaking, and promoting:
Children’s book marketing and publicity have changed substantially in recent years. With more publishers, authors, illustrators and books as well as stiff competition from other media for consumer spending and education and library budgets there’s an increased need to keep one’s name and books prominent. For those fortunate enough to have had specific books chosen for star treatment in-house or who have built a significant track record that has earned them on-going support from the publisher’s marketing team, the work is in balancing marketing time with the creative time. For many more who are striving to achieve that level, the challenge is to figure out what will help raise and sustain awareness of their books and their “brand” both among publishers and in the marketplace to generate demand.
Whew. And they say it's easy to write children's books.


gail said…
The slide show is fantastic! I kill way more than an hour a day just checking to see if anything's new at cnn.com. At least you have a slide show now while all I have is an enormous wealth of knowledge regarding Britney Spears' problems.

And, yes, the marketing vs. writing balance is a huge issue now. Oddly enough, to date I've never felt any pressure from my publisher to do more marketing. The pressure all comes from reading articles like the ones you mention in your post.
Mitali Perkins said…
Okay, I confess to watching the YouTube video where a fan tried to prove Britney broke a heel during the VMAs.

Don't you think the publishers buzz in-house about what we're doing to market? I think what you do for title no. one makes a difference in whether or not they sign you for titles no. two and three.

I'm looking forward to meeting you at the Massachusetts School Librarian shindig -- are you going to the showing of Prince Caspian?
gail said…
I definitely make a point of telling my editor what I've been doing so that the people there know I've been working for them. She hears about every on-line publication that publishes an essay and posts a bio for me, every blog review, everything.

For Happy Kid! I actually created a marketing plan because I'd read that you should. I sent it to my editor and they were fine with it but there was no, "Oh, thank God you're doing this" response.

I made a big effort (for me) for Happy Kid! but wasn't that happy with the results to effort ratio so I didn't do it for Monster Cat. As it turns out, Monster Cat didn't get as much attention.

My first book was published in '96. That was like a generation ago as far as this marketing interest is concerned.

Prince Caspian?
alvina said…
Nice video! Isn't animoto fun? I think it may have lots of uses for promotion--au websites, commercials, etc. As for promoting and marketing yourself, I'm in the same boat. I wish I knew what to recommend--wouldn't it be nice if authors could just focus on writing the books? And editors on editing?
Mitali Perkins said…
Gail, good advice -- I sometimes forget to tell them what I'm up to, but when I do remember, I can feel like I'm barraging my publishers with emails about my activities.

Alvina, you're great at promoting/talking about your titles without morphing into a publicist. I think you're a role model of the editor of the future with your strong online presence, your connections with authors via the web and personally, and your participation in SCBWI events.