Writing books is, for me, great pleasure at every stage of the process; conventional marketing, on the other hand is a horrid chore at every stage. After a full morning on the computer, there is no way I’m willing to spend even one more minute in front of that screen! I’m a flop on Facebook and I barely know what a list-serve is. Except for Red Room and the dear man named Huntington Sharp who posts my blogs, I would probably have never written even one.
And yet I believe deeply in what the stories in all 12 of my books have to say about the courage to love and live fully, and I want people to know about them. But life is short, and I make it a priority to enjoy whatever I do, so the challenge has been to dream up fun ways of announcing my work to a large public. As I consider the Permaculture principle of Stacked Functions an informing structure for my life – this means that everything we do should address several issues at once – I asked myself this: how can I market my work at the same time as I’m helping out my friends, creating something unique and beautiful in itself, and having a good time in the process?
Enter Melodic Vision!
Rebecca Strauss and Susan Wilson, co-creators of Melodic Vision, a musician and photographer (www.melodicvision.com) found themselves squeezed by the shrinking art scene in Boston and were dreaming up new ways of presenting their work which, they told me, they hoped would both be of service to the world and support them financially.
We settled on a production price and joined forces to combine our three artforms, making short promotional “slide shows” for posting on YouTube, Facebook and our websites. Ideally, we would be promoting my books and their work at the same time. Together we designed one for my recent book
It was a blast! We found a megalithic chamber in Vermont and on a cold winter day took those pictures, and later did the interviews and soundscape. The result had just the quality of intrigue and mystery I wanted to convey, and while the number of people interested in megalithic stones may be limited, I believe that just about every one of them around the world has by now read my book! (See my blog about Essi Tolling, who wrote me from Ireland after reading it, and suggested we do some work together!)
For IN THE BEGINNING: Creation Myths from Around the World, we did two more YouTubes, one of the Japanese Myth and one the Egyptian Myth. IN THE BEGINNING was a touring art exhibit before it was made into a book, so Rebecca and Susan went to the artist’s home and photographed her artwork for each myth. (Adrienne Robinson) Then they went home, after being served lunch and laughing a lot, and created the gorgeous slideshows you see. Edie Hartshorne on koto and Eliahu Sills provided the ethnic music and Amy Walker is the reader. (Plug where you can!)
It’s all about people teaming up and helping each other, and having a great time in the process. You never know what will come of it marketing-wise – although I believe over time the right people find their way to those little “videos” – and you can have an amazing time doing it.
I’ve taken the idea of adding music to my words into live promotional readings, as well. Music enhances the emotional impact of my words, so whenever I give a reading I do it with musician friends. I’ve read from my books with a Balkan band, (Teslim); an improvisational pianist, (Nicole Milner); a player of medieval instruments, (Wendy Redlinger); troubadors of 15th century French songs, (Asteria). They have websites, Facebook pages and CDs, and they are all wonderful! (Plug where and when you can!)
These concert/readings always work: people are softened and go deep into themselves and then, when it is all over, they buy books!
I consider this blog, by the way, to be an opportunity to peddle my books, too. They are all for sale right here on Red Room, the newest one being called SERIOUS FUN, which all of this is! Check it out!
Causes Carolyn North Supports
Daily Bread Project, which I founded in 1982 - see...