Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time to Promote?

Let's be honest. There are very few of us that actually like promoting ourselves. It feels awkward, forced, uncomfortable. And those are the "understatement" words. I can't tell you how many times we've talked to a artist, and the first words out of their mouths are, "I just don't want to do any marketing. I'll do just about anything else. Just not that."

And yet, if we want to get our stuff out there, promoting ourselves is exactly what we need to do. Interesting conundrum, yes?

The truth is, no one will ever care about our projects as much as we do. If we can't be advocates for our own creativity, how can we ever expect anyone else to?

About now, I imagine there is a lot of screaming happening in a lot of heads. I have a pretty good idea of what they might be saying. "I don't know how!" "I shouldn't have to!" "This is someone else's job!" and my personal fav: "How could anyone expect ME to know how to do that?"

I know those responses because I've had them. After optioning several scripts and producing and directing several more, I realized that we would have to promote them. Yikes! Ouch!

The good news is that there are those out there who can help. If we don't have the know-how ourselves and don't have the time to learn, there are people out there who are willing and able to promote. We're some of them.

What you need depends on your project. But making the first step and inquiring about what you can do should be your first step. We create cover art, press kits, and trailers. We've created trailers for novels, scripts, TV pilots and films. Take a look at our website to get an idea of what we can do for your project. At the very least, it will give you an idea of what can be done to help get your creativity out where the world can see it. You don't have to use our service, but please do take the steps necessary to let your works shine!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You CAN Judge a Book by Its Cover!

I know the old cliche′, but let's be honest... you can get a pretty clear idea of what lurks within the novel (or script, or film, or blah, blah, blah) by taking a gander at the... wait for it... cover art (or poster art for all you baseball-cap- and long-shorts-wearing indie filmmakers. Yeah, I know. They're sooo comfortable, right?).

Here's the deal--what is it that attracts us to a book in the first place? The title? Possibly. The author? Could be. But what makes us stop in the aisles at the nearest mega bookstore Noble Borders or whatever? The VISUALS! What we SEE!

Of course, you say. But that's what the publishing house does for me once I'm published.


I've also got this awesome bridge I wanna sell you.

Yes, of course there will be cover art created for a newly published novel. But getting to that point as a new author is a difficult process. Showing the publishing houses right off the bat that you understand basic marketing can do nothing but improve your chances. The cover art goes up on your website, your blog, your Twitter account, Facebook, you name it. You build yourself a following of potential readers eager to see your soon-to-be-published work.

The publishing houses are doing less and less these days, especially for new (read, untested) talent. If you are lucky enough to get published (and yes, it IS lucky, even if you're the next Faulkner...actually, especially if you're the next Faulkner), you're gonna have to hawk your own wares, my verbose friend. All of these kinds of viral marketing techniques need to be in your arsenal.

And we can help. Take a look at our work and see for yourself. www.zerotosoldtrailerscom. And yes, this is a pitch, but it's not just a pitch for our (we believe superior) products. It's a plea to make sure that you get cover art from somewhere... and use it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Art = Money

You’re a Writer? Screenwriter? Indie Film Producer? Then congrats because you are the CEO of your company! Yeah, we can hear the wailing denial from here. Here are some tips to make it less painful.

#1 – Accept the fact you are in business.
No, you cry? I’m an ARTIST (and yes, usually all in caps). Money corrupts art.
Umm… It also pays the rent, keeps the lights on and buys you a new laptop.
If you want to make your living from your art, you need to market your company, your brand, yourself.
But wait you say. I’ve got friends. I’ve got contacts, they’re going to help me… which brings us to…

#2 - Accept the fact that no one will ever care about our projects as much as you do.
Period. End of Statement. It’s your project. If you don’t love and believe in it more than anyone else in the world, then who should? You gave birth to this creative child.

#3 – Accept the fact your project is not an actual child though!
Because you are going to shuck this baby like a two-bit whore. Okay, maybe not that bad, but you have got to move past the Gaussian honeymoon, rose-colored glass stage of love. It’s a project you want to make money off of so you can make do another project (and buy the new iPad as long as there is extra cash laying around).

#4 – Accept the fact that you are also the head of Marketing of your own PR firm.
Whatever you think of the singer Beyonce as an artist, in a recent interview she talked about how she acts as the CEO of her own brand. She controls every aspect of it with an intensity and eye for details that surpasses any PR firm. Why? Because she believes in her art (and she wanted to attract a guy like Jay-Z, but that’s a whole other story)

#5 – Accept the fact you need cover art, press kits, and trailers.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, now you roll your eyes and go ‘this is where the pitch begins.’
The only problem with that theory is we don’t care where you get your cover art, press kit and trailers. We only care that you invest in great promotional materials.
What PR firm doesn’t have visuals? How can you build buzz and excitement about your project without something to SHOW people when they finally do come to your website?

#6 – Accept the fact that Zero to Sold is the best company to provide those for you.
Okay, you really don’t have to accept this one, but why don’t you hop on over to our website: and have a look around. At the least it will give you an idea of what you might want while you bargain shop around ☺

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blowing a Producer's Mind

Or the best moment in a writer's life!

We are so lucky to have a client experience just such an epiphany.

Producer was looking for a certain type of script. Our writer had pitched a story idea which they kind of sort of were okay with, but, you know, it wasn't written yet. Given it was only a $1,000,000 dollar budget they didn't want to pay to have it written then not be happy with it. Plus, maybe they would look around some more...

Next meeting (regarding another project), our writer says, hey, I've got a script trailer for that other idea, want to take a look?

A fast 60 seconds later the producer was so jazzed, they began negotiations to commission the script right then and there.

Ah, the power of good marketing tool!

Obviously, we can't share that trailer, but here's another one working its magic around the industry.

So even if you don't go with us, get yourself a book or script trailer!

Now. We mean it. Stop reading and go get one :-)