Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Last Saturday's shenanigans, an afternoon sangria party at our offices (aka my house), were all about video. Excited by the prospect of video enhancement for our first book, we auditioned actresses. "Let's just place an ad on craigslist," said e., our marketing director, "and see who answers." Well, who knew how many would? Especially given the delicate subject matter. Because here's what they were getting into: The book's a very funny, not even slightly salacious chick-lit mystery, but the heroine, fallen on hard times, is temporarily forced to make a living by giving good phone. If you catch my drift.

Ten answered, that's how many! And they knew in advance they were going to be walking into a shabby building in an edgy neighborhood to simulate phone sex in front of a bunch of strangers. Well, probably they didn't know the neighborhood would be quite so edgy, and probably one or two chickened out at the door. But here's to the plucky girls who didn't.  e. had told them the schlumpier they looked, the better their chances, and some even came in pajamas.

Well, we found the girl. The exact right, perfect girl, a young mother who came with her sister because who knew what kind of maniacs would advertise for dirty-talking schlumps? She was adorable! It was exhilarating!

That is, till we got our first estimate for the video. Good grief, if I had that kind of money, I'd forget about ebooks and be a print publisher. Or better yet, abandon publishing altogether and just have a facelift. Yes, it was THAT expensive, for a three minute video. I'll bet whole movies have been made for less!

No problem, of course, because we're guerrillas. We'll find guerrilla videographers, even if they turn out to be e. and me. Surely there's a crash course somewhere we can bull our way into. Because we're committed to video, controversial as it is. (More about that in a later post.) But why is video controversial? Because some people think books just. don't. need it. What we think is that not only can it enhance a book, it can help sell it.

I'm new at this, but I'm not aware of any other publishers using their videos (except for trailers) as marketing devices. Can't imagine why not, though. Seems like a natural. Does someone know more about this than I do?

Monday, August 2, 2010


We're tough-minded publishing professionals here at our e-publishing start-up, armed and ready for the coming digital revolution.  But we're still from New Orleans. And where we come from, when the going gets tough, the tough get into costume.  Last weekend, five of us had occasion to be together for our version of American Idol--except with acting, not singing. We were auditioning performers for our first embedded video. Naturally, with so many of us in one room, a photo op was declared

 Want to see what an e-guerrilla looks like? That's Janet, left, in the all-camo dress. (Some might call it a fashionable python print, but pythons call it camo.) Nevada was elegant in black lace with her camo pants and hat,  Adrienne went all Rambo with that headband thing and a cigarette, while Elizabeth channelled her inner Tania in a simple olive pashmina worn as a tunic. And me? I'd forgotten how empowered I feel in purple combat boots.

E-Guerrillas On a Break

   Left, E-Guerrillas on a Break from Fomenting Digital Revoution

Guerrilla Dog Ready For Action   

Janet's holding  our camp mascot,  Rambla "Che" Bookdog,  but Rambla's pink camo hat came out looking like some kind of wimpy sunbonnet. So here are a couple of better views:

Rambla--Pretty in Pink