Events: Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own

Last Friday I put together an event for an acclaimed Portland author named Todd Grimson, and I’ve decided to write about my process as it’s befitting to my strategy for book marketing and book publicity for authors.  

The Challenges:

  • Grimson spent then last 15 years writing under the moniker I. Fontana; ie; his personal “brand” has become diluted since his groundbreaking hits "Brand New Cherry Flavor" and "Stainless" were originally released in the early 90’s 
  • Grimson isn’t necessarily active on social media (despite having Goodreads, Author Central, Twitter & Facebook accounts)
  • Grimson cannot do public speaking appearances due to his struggle with multiple sclerosis

The Questions:

  • How can I introduce his work to newer, younger audiences?
  • How can I maximize exposure for this literary event and for the release of his brilliant new collection of short stories?

The Answer(s):

  • Traditional Media Outreach Campaign (for Portland this includes: The Mercury, Willamette Week, The Oregonian, Portland Book Review, Portland Literary Review and calendar listings throughout the city.  In other words, “the easy part”
  • Social Media Outreach (Bloggers, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc)
  • Partnerships!

Literary Partners.

My goal when putting on events is to work with as many partner groups as possible to build the largest word-of-mouth buzz possible.  My intention for this event was to create mutually beneficial and community building partnerships in an effort to create a win-win for all involved.  

Here are the groups I thought to get involved:

1 - bookstore  (took four tries to find one that was available)

Win-Win:  In exchange for their services, I promoted their name in the media and on our social media pages and website.

1 - established literary venue  (a relatively new concept in this literary town)

Win-Win:  I promoted their venue to the media, and brought new people to their venue.  

2 - meetup group invitations  (I have my own Meetup, as did the venue)

Win-Win:  I created something interesting and different for members of Meetup to enjoy.

3 - bands; performed after our reading was completed  (each has their own ‘fans’)

Win-Win:  I helped build an audience for them to showcase their work to.

4 - readers (actors w/friends that read collections from the short story)

Win-Win:  I gave actors an opportunity to tie their name into a prestigious release event, secured media and social media exposure for them.

Conclusion:

We had a successful event, despite our initial challenges.  We received coverage in The Mercury and The Oregonian and had our event posted to the calendar listing section of various other local television stations and assorted media.  Because of his condition, we did not try for television or radio or even podcasters.  

Our group partnership strategy was successful in that each brought audience members to help fill up the venue, and secured exposure for all involved.

Next time you, as an author, think about putting together a literary event to promote your work, ask yourself these questions:

  • How can I make my book event interesting enough for the media?  (new release, providing a service, teaching a class, involving music, involving actors, etc)
  • Who can I partner with to create a mutually beneficial and community building event?  (bookstores, clubs, actors, musicians, venues, small companies, politicians, media, etc)

And always remember, as the great U2 once said:

Sometimes you can’t make it on your own from Novik Valery on Vimeo.

Reminder: Free Literary Event in Portland This Friday, 11/30

To celebrate the release of Todd Grimson’s “Stabs At Happiness”, we’re having a literary reading featuring up to 6 different performers, all reading short stories from the new collection. This event is at the Jack London Bar this Friday, is free, and doors open at 7:00 p.m. 

Schedule of Events.

7:30 - 9:00 p.m. - Literary Reading Featuring:
* Efra Lopez * Dede Desperade * Jake Ten Pas * Andrea White

9:30 - close. Live Music Featuring:
* DJ Charles Burlitz
* The Tenses
* Grape God
* Razorguts

Client Receives Great Review From Target Audience

I’m pleased to see a review come through this evening from a great website out of Los Angeles called Gothic.net.  Their audience is a perfect target match for an author I’m working with named Todd Grimson.  

They reviewed his book "Brand New Cherry Flavor" released in 2011 by Schaffner Press.  

I met with Todd the other day and he let me in on a little secret.  While pioneering the concept of “cinematic realism”, what he was really trying to do was create such overly graphic and ridiculous horror scenes, that the reader would find them humorous as opposed to scary.  Kinda like campy horror films.  I have to admit, Boro’s magical transition at the end was pretty funny and caught me off guard.  If you read Brand New Cherry Flavor, did you get the humor?  

Here’s the cover of the new release from Todd Grimson titled “Stabs At Happiness: 13 Short Stories.”  We’re releasing the book Nov. 1st, but are sending out galleys right now.  If you’d like to be considered, show me your press credentials and we’ll consider.
About.
From 1988 Oregon Book Award-winning author Todd Grimson, comes our November hardcover release of “Stabs at Happiness.”  Todd Grimson won the 1988 Oregon Book Award for Fiction for “Within Normal Limits” and has written two other acclaimed novels, “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and “Stainless” - both of which have been republished by Schaffner Press within the past year.  
"STABS AT HAPPINESS: 13 Stories" is the first collection of short fiction by Grimson, which spans a career of over thirty years. Many of these pieces were first seen in groundbreaking literary journals of the 80’s and 90’s and more recent stories have been published in online literary journals.
Representing a vast array of characters and settings, and ranging in time from the 1930’s Prohibition years, to the 50’s in pre-Castro Cuba, to the 70’s in downtown bohemian New York, to the downtown streets of Portland’s Chinatown, and 82nd Avenue in Southeast Portland - these stories possess a darkly surreal and unique voice.

Here’s the cover of the new release from Todd Grimson titled “Stabs At Happiness: 13 Short Stories.”  We’re releasing the book Nov. 1st, but are sending out galleys right now.  If you’d like to be considered, show me your press credentials and we’ll consider.

About.

From 1988 Oregon Book Award-winning author Todd Grimson, comes our November hardcover release of “Stabs at Happiness.”  Todd Grimson won the 1988 Oregon Book Award for Fiction for “Within Normal Limits” and has written two other acclaimed novels, “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and “Stainless” - both of which have been republished by Schaffner Press within the past year.  

"STABS AT HAPPINESS: 13 Stories" is the first collection of short fiction by Grimson, which spans a career of over thirty years. Many of these pieces were first seen in groundbreaking literary journals of the 80’s and 90’s and more recent stories have been published in online literary journals.

Representing a vast array of characters and settings, and ranging in time from the 1930’s Prohibition years, to the 50’s in pre-Castro Cuba, to the 70’s in downtown bohemian New York, to the downtown streets of Portland’s Chinatown, and 82nd Avenue in Southeast Portland - these stories possess a darkly surreal and unique voice.

A sweet Dracula pinball game at The Conquistador in SE PDX

A sweet Dracula pinball game at The Conquistador in SE PDX

It’s Valentines Day - that means “Stainless” has been released!

VAMPIRE ALERT

February 14, 2012

SCHAFFNER PRESS RELEASES TODD GRIMSON’S VAMPIRE CLASSIC “STAINLESS” ON VALENTINES DAY 
Portland, Oregon Author Recently Called “The Greatest Horror Writer You’ve Never Read” by UK’s Guardian Newspaper 

Portland, Ore.  If the thought of another cookie cutter Valentines Day filled with cheap candy and superficial greeting cards leaves you utterly bored and wanting more, then perhaps you may find refuge in what Kirkus Reviews calls, “an erotic confetti shower that leaves you thrilled and unclean.” 

“Stainless” is a darkly romantic vampire novel set in a noir landscape of 1990’s Los Angeles and features a strong female protagonist named Justine.  Unlike the vampires that came before her, Justine does not shun crosses, she watches horror movies on television, and she sets upon her prey in an almost apologetic way, never killing her victims but leaving them unconscious instead.  

She soon finds herself entwined in a very human sexual relationship with Keith, a down-on-his-luck rock guitarist whose hands have recently been mangled by a gang of drug dealers.  Justine nurtures Keith out of his depression and addiction as he in turn becomes her lover and accomplice in her nocturnal predations.  The relationship between the undead and the living is realistically and tragically portrayed as Keith acts both as Justine’s enabler and unwitting nemesis and, in this classic role reversal, ends up having to destroy the one he loves in order to save her.

SCHAFFNER PRESS SET TO RE-RELEASE TODD GRIMSON’S VAMPIRE CLASSIC “STAINLESS” ON VALENTINES DAY

LITERARY ALERT

February 8, 2012

 

Portland, Oregon Author Recently Called “The Greatest Horror Writer You’ve Never Read” by UK’s Guardian Newspaper

Portland, Ore.  If the thought of another cookie cutter Valentines Day filled with cheap candy and superficial greeting cards leaves you utterly bored and wanting more, then perhaps you may find refuge in what Kirkus Reviews calls, “an erotic confetti shower that leaves you thrilled and unclean.” 

“Stainless” is a darkly romantic vampire novel set in a noir landscape of 1990’s Los Angeles and features a strong female protagonist named Justine.  Unlike the vampires that came before her, Justine does not shun crosses, she watches horror movies on television, and she sets upon her prey in an almost apologetic way, never killing her victims but leaving them unconscious instead.  

She soon finds herself entwined in a very human sexual relationship with Keith, a down-on-his-luck rock guitarist whose hands have recently been mangled by a gang of drug dealers.  Justine nurtures Keith out of his depression and addiction as he in turn becomes her lover and accomplice in her nocturnal predations.  The relationship between the undead and the living is realistically and tragically portrayed as Keith acts both as Justine’s enabler and unwitting nemesis and, in this classic role reversal, ends up having to destroy the one he loves in order to save her.

Vital Information.

Title: Stainless

Author: Todd Grimson

Publisher: Schaffner Press

Distributor: Independent Publishers Group

Release: February 14, 2012

ISBN: 9781936182237

Trade Paper: 5.5” x 8.5”

Price: $14.95 (CAN $16.95)

Page Count: 240 pp

Website: www.toddgrimson.com

Twitter: @toddgrimson

Facebook: facebook.com/toddgrimson

###

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Michael Phillips

The Neo Com Group

theneocomgroup@gmail.com

360-601-9984

The Neo Com Group’s Holiday Book Buying Guide

I’ve been reading a lot of books this year and I figured I’d take a moment to recommend some for those who’d love to give the gift of literacy this holiday season.

This is how it’ll work.  For each title below, just know that I recommend it.  But if you are looking for more specific qualities that might apply more directly to someone on your list, I’ll give a summary for each, and include a couple of keywords that applies to each book, then I will rank each keyword on a scale of 1-5.  1 being weak, 5 being strong.  

Make sense?

Swell, by Corwin Ericson

Summary: A lazy 20-something gets wrapped into a capitalist competition between two competing factions - both trying to win over a couple of drug-smuggling Koreans for some international trade.  For more, see my review, a few posts below.

This book is for: People who like literary fiction. People looking for an escape. People looking to admire the use of language by a master of said craft.  People who like stories of the sea, and who like to laugh while reading said tales.

Ratings:

Humorous: 5

Creativity: 5

Salty sea dog tales of the sea: 5

Buy Swell at Indiebound

Buy Swell at Amazon

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

Summary: A dying woman’s cancer cells are taken from her body in the 1950’s, and go on to revolutionize the course of world health for the better, unbeknownst to her family.  

This book is for: People who like to feel smart, without having to expend too much energy into being such. People with a strong interest in the human condition. Caring, thoughtful people.  People willing to be sucked in and spit out by the proverbial good book.

Ratings:

Non-fiction: 5

Spent ten years writing it: 5

Feel smart for reading a book with science: 5

Buy Henrietta Lacks at Indiebound

Buy Henrietta Lacks at Amazon

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Brand New Cherry Flavor, by Todd Grimson

Summary: When a Hollywood producer takes advantage of a young wanna-be-starlet, she hires the leader of a zombie biker gang to enact revenge.

This book is for: People who like to have their imagination stretched like silly putty. People who like a strong female heroine whose decisions make you squirm in your chair. People who enjoy a literary tale, but don’t mind a little horror and gore.

Ratings:

Literary: 5

Strong female lead: 5

WTF quotient: 5

Buy Brand New Cherry Flavor at Indiebound

Buy Brand New Cherry Flavor at Amazon

*** FULL DISCLOSURE *** I work to promote this title

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings from the World of Independent Music, edited by Ron Trembath

Summary: A collection of essays written by young musicians who share their experiences of making it, or not making it, in the music industry.

This book is for: The indie musician on your list. The prospective indie musician on your list. The person who’d feel good knowing you contributed funds to fight cystic fibrosis.

Ratings:

Indie: 5

Gritty: 5

Raising $$$ to fight cystic fibrosis in America and in Europe: 5

Buy Children of Mercy at Amazon

*** FULL DISCLOSURE *** I contributed an essay to this project

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Shards, by Ismet Prcic

Summary: A fantastic novel centered around the Bosnian War that weaves excerpts from a supposed personal journal, with letters home, as well as a personally narrated tale of life during and after war.

This book is for: People interested in the Bosnian War. People looking to read something fun, funny, creative and different. People who like to wonder if the author is writing about his own personal experiences under the guise of a fictional tale.  

Ratings:

Favorite book of the year: 5

Ability to inspire future writers: 5

Gift giving appeal: 5

Buy Shards at Indiebound

Buy Shards at Amazon

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Zombie Economics, by Rick Emerson and Lisa Desjardins

Summary: A perfect personal finance guide for high school, college kids or that ‘special’ financially inept friend.  The book combines a fun zombie story with practical financial advice, including worksheets that’ll help the reader to get back on financial track.

This book is for: The financially brain-dead. High school juniors/seniors. College kids. That friend who stays up all night playing World of Warcraft. 

Ratings:

Zombie:5

Basic Financial Advice: 5

Palatable for those not typically willing to accept financial advice: 5

Buy Zombie Economics at Indiebound

Buy Zombie Economics at Amazon

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Fools Rush In, by Bill Carter

Summary: The inspiring story of a grief stricken wanderer who finds himself in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.  Discover what happens when a young man with $200 and an idea decides to contact U2 to try to help end the Bosnian War.

This book is for: People with an interest in history. People with wanderlust. The humanitarian on your list. Anyone who you want to treat to an amazing, inspiring read.

Ratings:

Inspirational: 5

Not a 2011 title: 5

Best book I’ve ever read: 6

Buy Fools Rush In at Indiebound

Buy Fools Rush In at Amazon

*** FULL DISCLOSURE *** I work to promote this title

@ToddGrimson featured by Jeff Baker (@oregonianbooks) in The Oregonian



Check out this infinitely interesting feature by Jeff Baker of The Oregonian.  It comes out in print this Sunday.  

The piece gives the reader the background on Todd Grimson’s life - and his concept of cinematic realism - the idea that fueled his books “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and “Stainless.”

It’s a great insight into one of Portland’s more interesting, and before this point, reclusive writers.  For more information, go to www.schaffnerpress.com or Todd’s website: www.toddgrimson.com.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like more information about Todd Grimson, or the upcoming February 12, 2012 release of “Stainless” - or if you’d like to get in touch with Todd.