Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Long Wait

After Greg accepted Mahu, nothing happened for a long time. As part of the contract, I had to fill out a marketing questionnaire that was pages and pages long. I had to write about myself and the book, list people who might give it a blurb and list magazines and newspapers that might review it.

But the real part of marketing a book doesn't start until four to six months before the book comes out, so I had a lot of time on my hands. I decided I wanted to do some promotion during that time, so I got my friend Maury to help me design a logo that I could use. He worked with an artist, and we came up with two different designs. You can see the one I picked on my home page, at http://www.mahubooks.com/. It's basically a guy dressed as a detective, in a trenchcoat, carrying a surfboard that reads Mahu.

We decided it was the best because it said both "detective," and "surfer," and my hero, Kimo, is both. The other logo, which I really liked, showed a bunch of surfboards in a rainbow of colors, with the word Mahu across them. It was subtly gay and it showed Kimo as a surfer, but it didn't really say mystery, so I couldn't use it.

I did use the rainbow idea when building a website to show off the book. I built the site using frames, and the left frame consists of a ladder of links in the colors of the rainbow. I had to decide what I could offer on the site that would interest readers, and I came up with a couple of ideas.

When I was first researching agents and editors for Mahu, I put together a list of other mysteries featuring gay detectives. With a little updating, I put that list on my site as a way to draw people in. I began posting on gay and mystery newsgroups: Interested in mysteries with gay detectives? Visit my site. I did this a long time ago and got a lot of traffic; hopefully it will work again this year.

I also had professional quality photos of myself taken, and put them on the site for the press to use. I put together a dictionary of Hawai'ian words used in the book, and their definitions. I put up a guest book, and I started using my website address in my email signature and in postings on websites I visit.

I also started researching gay and lesbian bookstores as well as mystery bookstores, trying to decide where I could go to have readings that might publicize the book. And I considered hiring a publicist who was familiar with gay books to help me get the word out, so I had to search for appropriate people, contact them and discuss what I wanted.

I used the time to write another book in the series, too-- at least in first draft. All this stuff kept my mind off worrying about what would happen when the book finally came out!

6 comments:

jacob jiminhimer said...

Hi, you almost lost me for one second there... but I'm glad I didn't click away. First, I enjoyed your post, and second, maybe you can help. I don't know how much blog spam you get but I get tons on my blog. Most of the time I'm talking about used surf board stuff because I have a used surf board website, and people post all this junk with their links and stuff. As blog owners, I guess we'll always be subject to the unethical and inconsiderate. Well, hopefully it's not driving you to crazy... Good luck partner, enjoy the positives friend.

Bye ~

zack powers said...

Great post Neil Plakcy, without blogs like yours I would be miserable and bored. My recent injury has me cooped up at home, so it's always lucky to find a gem like your blog here to keep me amused. My new surf board website is getting better but it's hard to find information on new surf board stuff, so I like learning from quality blogs like yours because it helps me in my web projects. You do a sweat job my friend. I'll be bookmarking your site in a special place. Will probably tell a friend too.

Nice work ~

jacob jiminhimer said...

Well, is there something a little weird going on here? I don't know about you Neil Plakcy, but my blog gets pretty cluttered with spammy comments from people. My advice to you as one blog owner to another, is to be patient and focus on the great things about having a blog, instead of all the junk that goes on. You do have a quality blog and appears that you enjoy it. My favorite web project so far is a surfboards site, because I have total control and it makes me a couple dollars here and there. It's pretty hard to find new information on surfboards stuff though. Hey, keep up your excellent job Neil Plakcy, and good luck with your projects..

See ya ~

zack powers said...

Great post Neil Plakcy, without blogs like yours I would be miserable and bored. My recent injury has me cooped up at home, so it's always lucky to find a gem like your blog here to keep me amused. My surfboards website is getting better but it's hard to find information on surfboards stuff, so I like learning from quality blogs like yours because it helps me in my web projects. You do a sweat job my friend. I'll be bookmarking your site in a special place. Will probably tell a friend too.

Nice work ~

garett gulash said...

Well Neil Plakcy, quality blogging comes from people who put the energy into their blog like you have. It was a nice change to land on your blog, lots of others are junked up with useless comments and information. I put a lot of energy into my used surfboards site, so it does pretty well with used surfboards stuff. I think I'll re-create my blog because I like what you've done here and want mine to be more like yours. Thanks for the lesson in good bloggin. You get a special bookmark :)

have a fantastic day..

garett gulash said...

Hey Neil Plakcy...
How did you get your blog to be so good? Originally I was out trying to locate surf boards related information, but your post ' The Long Wait ' got my attention and stopped me in my tracks :) Glad I found you because I'm trying to improve my site about surf boards and your blog here gave me some excellent ideas. Thanks Neil Plakcy for the good read and I think I'll mention your blog to my cousin (if that's okay...)

Keep up your effort ~ and good job.