Saturday, January 30, 2010

Platforms, They're not just for Politicians anymore!


In the publishing world the first thing an agent or publisher asks a new talent is... what is your platform?

Huh? I mean I wrote a book, I'm not running for office.

These days, it doesn't matter. The publishing world is run by very large corporation who in turn answer to even larger corporations. The world of 'giving a fresh new voice a chance' just to give a fresh new voice a chance is over.

They want to know, how will you make back your advance? How can they cross-promote? Can they spin this off into a franchise?

You need to be able to answer all of those questions.

First off, how will you make back your advance? The best way to prove this is to have a built-in following. That's where social networking comes in. MySpace. Facebook. Twitter. etc.

If you already have tens of thousands of followers, then the bet is at least a chunk of those is going to spend some dollars on you (even better if they already have in the form of an e-book, etc).

You are saying, great, but how in the heck do I develop thousands upon thousands of followers? Isn't that what the publishing house is supposed to do with their marketing campaign for my book?

Oh, you darling, sweet naive writer. Unless you are the next Dan Brown, there will be NO marketing budget for your book. No support. No tour. No ads. And you have to get your own blurbs, so deal with it.

The quicker you accept the fact you are responsible for selling your book, the gentler this will go for you! :-)

Now that we realize it is up to us, how do we get followers?

Okay, once you figure out how to get onto these websites, you are going to need content. You need to be witty, urbane, draw people in. But words alone aren't going to cut it. You need visuals.

Cover art (yeah, yeah, yeah, 'but that's what the publishing house is supposed to do' - and they will, but only AFTER you prove your book can sell) that rocks.

Think about it, why do we have cover art? We didn't used to. Just the title and leather, baby. These days, besides your title the cover art is the most important distinguishing characteristic your book has to sell.

So why not use that philosophy to GET YOUR BOOK SOLD?

And last, but not least a book trailer. Not going to go into deep detail here since the next blog is covering cover art and trailers in much great depth.

Alright, I think we've hit you with enough knowledge. Have a great day and think about how you can be promoting yourself TODAY. Go get a hundred new followers!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why should that agent crack your manuscript/script?


They are busy. Like wicked, 14 hour days, family complaining they never see them, probably addicted to something to keep them going - kind of busy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know your work is worth the time. It's worth a million bucks. But come on, let's get real. The number of honestly good stuff is like 0.0001% of the slush pile. And they know that.

And yes, maybe yours is in the very fine sliver of awesomeness, but why should they trust that?

Even with a referral in, that only gets you into the 2%-might-be-okay tier. They have like 98 other things they should be reading before yours.

Even if they do read it and like it, they are probably going to pass.

GASP! How could that be true? Because they already have a full slate of talent. If you aren't the next Hemingway (which who of us really are?) why should they bother?

You have to PROVE to them not only does your work have what it takes, but YOU have what it takes to sell this work. How will you be on a press tour? How much of a built-in following do you have? Do you know how to leverage your following?

Those are the practical concerns they have.

Next blog will be dedicated to being able to answer all of those questions - YES! :-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why a Script or Book Trailer?

I mean, you've just written the most awesome piece of fiction or non-fiction ever known to mankind. What else would you need to sell it?

Umm... Yeah. Maybe ten or twenty years ago that would have been enough, but now?

Now publishers and producers want to know one thing from you... How can they make their money back. Fast. And with little effort. And little marketing on their part.

So now you not only have to write the most awesome story ever, you have to SHOW everyone from an agent to the book buyers/studio execs that it has commercial appeal, and at the same time prove you have a viable platform, a winning personality, and the ability to go out there and sell your product.

If you can't get hundreds of people out to a Costco book signing or flub a Hollywood Reporter interview, what good are you for marketing?

Is this crass and the of the artistic world as we know it? Yeah, probably.

But if you want to get your work out there, you might want to learn the game and how to stack the odds in your favor.

And yes, you guessed it, we are going to recommend Book or Script trailers. We don't even care if you get them from us. You just need one. Period.

Imagine which you would prefer. You want to go to a movie. Would you rather read a review? Look at the movie poster? Or watch a trailer?

Duh. The same goes for Agents/Publishers/Producers. How much more engaging is a poster than dry text and a trailer over a still image?

Anyway, we will get off our soap box now and just hope you head on over to our website... www.zerotosoldtrailers.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Secrets of the Otter Gang


Just finished some poster art for a new kid/family script
Secrets of the Otter Gang :-)
They are going to use it in their press kit to try and find funding. We will keep you posted to their success!
If you need poster art, trailers, or press kits check out our website...
www.zerotosoldtrailers.com
or email directly at...
info@zerotosoldtrailers.com
And have great day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Star Fury!


Our latest editing job just got accepted to IMDB (after being in the Cinema City International Film Festival).

After checking out the pitch for the micro-pilot below, head on over to IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1458781/) and watch the entire micro-pilot!

Star Fury!
It’s kind of like 30 Rock, only in space. Well, not in space, but about space.

Actually, if you apply a mathematic equation, Star Fury’s heritage is 25% 30 Rock, 25% Star Trek, 25% The Office, 15% South Park, and 15% Extras which totals 105% fun!

The poor cast and crew of the series try so hard to make a relevant science fiction show, but end up with, you know, Star Fury. From their overly-method lead actor to their feminist director who isn’t above trying to sleep her way to the top, Star Fury has a cast who can just as easily play it slap-stick as they can skewer political sacred cows.

Plus to drive ratings, you can trot out science fiction icons as guest stars because, let’s face it, they need the work.

All this hilarity, and on the cheap too. Throw together a single sci-fi set (the beauty is, Star Fury is supposed to be bad science fiction, so you can go ghetto on the set design), a production office, craft services room, and you are good to go. Later, we can take our cast on the road to conventions, out on dates, and maybe a jail scene after a “misunderstanding” with three transvestites. The possibilities are as endless as the galaxies that Star Fury visits.

video

Besides editing the project, we also did the poster art and put together a trailer for the entire series check it out above.

If you need editing, a trailer for your own project, poster art or an actor reel, head on over to www.zerotosoldtrailers.com and check out our portfolio!