Friday, December 05, 2008

The (Dis)Connection...

Picking up the thread from yesterday's post, I had a meeting late yesterday that further encapsulates the disconnect people have with new media. To set the stage for this little tale, I was meeting with an indie distributor to develop a marketing plan for one of their titles, and they began to talk about their ideas, the costs and what they wanted...

And in mid-sentence I realized that I was talking to "Analog people" who were used to dealing with:

Television ads
Radio ads

and not "New Media " folk.

It's not that these distributors were bad people, or that they were stupid or anything. It was the simple fact that they were old (thinking) and hadn't connected with the new way of operating in this digital age. When I began to speak of email blasts and Twitter feeds and the like they got that glazed look over their eyes that said I'd lost them to the last century.

Now I'm as nostalgic as the next guy. I listen to a lot of 60's and 80's music as well as jazz from the 30's and 40's. I read old pulp and newsprint. I pick up DVD sets from classic television shows and watch a lot of classic stuff online...

But I don't confuse that with how to effectively market a niche movie for a profit. I don't have dreams of putting a niche movie onscreen just to say it had a theatrical premiere, knowing full well that the money could be better spent. I realize that today more and more people are checking their laptop or Blackberry or IPhone than they are reading the morning newspaper. I know that I have 10 seconds for an online ad not 30...

And I know that this is the world we live in right now. Old rules do not apply.

And for those of you asking - Why don't they apply? The answer is simple:

It's more cost effective!

Because the economy is [ expletive deleted ] more and more people are going to stay home and get their entertainment there. They will connect through their PSP or their XBox and a phone line. Take heed. The old forms of entertainment - the television show, the feature movie, the book - are morphing into something else: Web Entertainment. It's something that will draw from those older forms, but it WILL be its own animal and it will need to be fed.

So let's shake off the old mothball smell of the last century and connect with this one.


Mark R. McCallum said...

So how would you reach old school folks who don't use new media?

I've just gotten my novel, a supernatural thriller called Taking Three, released and marketeing it via Twitter, Facebook,, but I'm also looking for newspaper reviews and even handing out business cards at scary movies to visit the website.

Cunningham said...

Mark - glad to see you here at Pulp 2.0 and congratulations on your book's release.

(For those of you who don't know, Mark and I went to Presbyterian College together where Mark was the EiC of the school's newspaper. Hew went from there to "real" journalism. We recently reconnected via Facebook)

I would blanket the country with email press releases - specifically to critics who have reviewed novels similar to yours. Of course, you can always play to the home town crowd too - "local author" story and such.

In addition, there are dozens of thriller book websites, Bulletin boards, writers groups... while this may seem I'm not answering your question, you'd be surprised how new media folk share their discoveries with friends.

The other pitch is to radio - talk radio specifically - who are always looking for guests. Since you've been a journalist, you must remember the pitches you've received from's the time to put that experience to work.

What's the story that makes you and your book unique amongst the other thrillers? Have you sent out review copies / PDF's for quotes?

I would continue to use Twitter and solicit your followers for connections to sources for reviews, articles, profiles, etc...

use the web universe to connect to the analog universe.

Mark R. McCallum said...

Didn't think about the email blast to critics across the country who've reviewed similiar books. Have only been targeting those with whom I have a connection.

Figure it would help to have a few reviews from which I could quote rather than cold call the country.

Also, working on some video trailers/teases like Koontz does for the webpage and YouTube. Along with seeking bookings on local radio and/or local morning TV shows.

It's funny that this is the scary time for an author. I'm sure you know the feeling. As I noted in my blog, you put this work out there and it's like you're telling your girlfriend "I love you" for the first time and not knowing how she'll respond. :-)