Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Release Party How To and Not to

So a little over a week ago I had a book release party for my long awaited (at least by me) ebook: The Mission (out now on Amazon and wherever ebooks are sold, print on demand). Let me say doing marketing for a book is a job in itself. I'm sure I'll need a publicist. But the kick start was planning the a party which was nerve-wracking.
If you ever have to plan a publicity party here are some tips:
  1. Do an RSVP but don't expect people to stick to it. More or less may come, people will invite others at the last minute
  2. Pick a venue that matches the crowd your book caters to. You can get interest from people who are already patronizing the place to see what your little shindig is all about.
  3. If you can do a book reading, please do! I picked a place with a live band so that was a no go for me but I would have liked to.
  4. Have food. People don't know you as an author yet so enticing folks with treats helps to get attendance.
  5. Have giveaways.Make those giveaways related to the book. In my book the girls go out to eat a lot, so we had a gift card to a restaurant. I also had giftcards to amazon so they can buy the book (or whatever) and of course giveaways of the book.
  6. Expect people to want a signed copy. In fact no one is buying a book without a signature so have lots o pens!
  7. Have business cards. This is also a great networking event. You never know who will attend
    who you can work with in the future to help you with marketing and you help them by being a speaker to their class or group etc.
  8. Decorate, have a poster of your book. It not only lets guests know where the function is, it may entice other patrons.
  9. Have a photographer. You want to remember this event. And the pictures are good advertisements on your site.
  10. Have a person help you with getting payments and storing the money properly. You don't want to be focusing on the money situation, you want to be networking, talking and such.
Things I would have done but didn't
  1. Advertised to more people. I kept it to family and friends. I could have extended the invite to more people and sent something out via twitter and facebook and my meetup groups etc.
  2. Have knick knacks. Having more items with my book title on it is more advertising (like pens and bookmarks).
  3. Do a joint party with other authors, preferably writing in a similar genre as you. More people. Even better if that other person already has a following who could be interested in your book. You get interest from their guest and visa versa and you split all the costs for the party.
  4. Have your party at a place that will also hype your event. I did not and I can't help but think that it would have helped if that was offered.
Well for the first time, I can't complain. It was a learning lesson and a lot of fun. Hope this helps!

Monday, March 24, 2014

News Alert: TV isn't real

Yes, I know everyone knows that (she says in her Gieco commercial voice) but I wanted to focus on something that I see in TV and movies that's been bugging the heck out of me. It is the mundane but it's the mundane that just doesn't happen in my world. Let me explain.

In TV it's light out when the characters wake up. Birds are chirping. Sun is brightly shining. Unless I wake up at 8am or its spring/summer, it's usually dark. In my world, especially now, its like night out when I get up. No birds are a chirpin. Now unless we are to believe that all TV is set in the spring and summer, I get annoyed when I see these allegedly busy characters wake up late enough the sun is out. And even with the light out when I wake up, I still have blinds to keep the light at bay (and pervs), do people in movies not sleep with blinds? Exhibitionist...

Which leads me to my second point. These busy people in TV shows have time to workout and visit with friends all before they get to work (and its light out). Now I know many people who workout before work but again, its not light out right now. And most folk don't have time to visit with friends for coffee or chit chat (unless they are blue toothing it in the car) before getting to work between the hours of 8-9. The average start times for work. Who are these people? How are you a lawyer or doctor or news reporter (hint hint Being Mary Jane) and have children and also have time to visit your friend down the street before going to work. With it being light outside? Where they do that at?

Perfect hair. I love me some Olivia Pope, but with her job schedule how does she have time to have hair like that? I've seen other shows too, especially with the loose curls. Seriously, Dr. So and So, you have time to get up in the morning and wave your hair before going into the ER? Get outta here.

I know some of this is for the sake of the show/movie but er, uh, what's the deal with coming over unannounced and talking about things that can be discussed over the phone? In my life, I don't visit with my friends all the time. Specifically not on a random Monday night. This is also because my friends don't live super close. I mean an occasional Game of Thrones or Scandal watch party might happen but it's not the usual. And my friends have lives, they are too busy to always stop by unannounced and that would bug me anyway unless its an emergency (a gal likes to put a face mask and some hair curlers on from time to time). This ain't Friends or Seinfeld.

Lunch dates/meetups. Unless I work in the same office as my friends or within walking distance, I'm not meeting my gal pals for lunch during the work week. By the time we get to each other and back lunch is over. We'd have to flex out of work and make up the extra time. So not worth it. I'll catch ya'll at happy hour. Same goes to dudes who ask to meet for lunch. I rarely even take a lunch break, c'mon. Let's do dinner, sir.

Just my soapbox statement for the day.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Frequent Flyers

Not a surprise that a blogger is a big blog follower. And instagram and Pinterest follower. Not only that, but I am a huge magazine reader and fancy myself a stylish kind of girl. As such, I am always looking for new sites to get tips on everything from makeup, clothes, hair, books, exercise and food. Here are my top sites (be they blogs, youtube videos or magazines) put in categories.

Great Hair sites natural hair expert with the best curls I've eva seen. Hair crush for sure and she is very knowledgeable about curly hair she's the staple for anyone who is natural great information about natural hair and you can purchase hair products through them with reviews great site to purchase wigs, weaves, instaweaves etc at all price points another great site to find wigs and such
Youtube- naptural85- she is also on instagram. She is another one of my curl crushes for natural hair.

Fashion/Makeup - I love this magazine. You find great style ideas at all price points. I also follow them on instagram best site ever to find everything. I buy clothes, books, electronics, hair (yes I do) and the delivery is quick and simple
Destiny Godley- you tube- great make up tips
Motives Cosmetics- instagram- another great make up site this curvy girl rocks some serious fashion. you don't have to be plus sized to follow her. She really just shows a great array of styles for any size girl with curves.
MooreBeautyLove- instagram- great hair and makeup styles

Food when I do feel like cooking, this is a site I frequent for ideas
Pinterest- great site to find recipes

To do/Travel I literally use this site as a go to for travels all over the world to find places to eat, shop and party This is my basic go to for making any trip arrangements. great site to find the cool things to do in major cities

If you know of any good sites in these categories please share with a gal!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hollywood and interracial dating

Soo I recently read a post about Lupita Nyong'o possibly dating Jared Leto. I get nervous when I see articles that could incite ignorance in the comment section but to my pleasant surprise most people seemed really excited about this idea.  I mean who doesn't love Lupita and Jared (Jordan Catolano, sigh) (side note: can you believe he is 42?!).

So anyway, I'm reading the comments and everything is cool except for one dude who rants about how Hollywood women of color. He states that as soon as they make it big, they get paired up with white men. This led to an online conversation that I did not get into but it made me think. I don't think this is true of all famous black women but I can see why he believed that . However, can't the same be said of famous black men (I mean how many can you name, under the age of 45 who are with black women?).  So, to play devil's advocate with myself, I wondered, does Hollywood push people of color to date white if they make it big (assuming the celebrity is single of course)? And how does this alleged push happen?

Personally, I don't think its Hollywood trying to "white wash" or assimilate these actors. I think its a very limited community and if you are a person of color who gets famous before you get married its not as simple to encounter other people of color who are at/near/ or can appreciate your level/art. We have those who met after fame (B and Jay, Courtney B. Vance and Angela Basset , Will and Jada) but it gets harder after that. I try to hold judgment and not assume that all of the famous black people I see with white partners are doing it because they've "made it big". It's way too many to assume that it's a preference or part of a Hollywood package. I think we date our environment. It speaks more to the lack of diversity in Hollywood than anything. For the sake of my sanity, it's better to believe that interracial dating in Hollywood or anywhere, is more about happenstance and less about seeking a trophy in the form of white skin.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Scandal v. BMJ: Why do I root for one and not another?

Okay I am a big Scandal and Being Mary Jane fan but I have to admit, I pull more for Olivia over Mary Jane. Why? Yes, they are both smart, successful, independent women who are...side chicks. So technically I should dislike them both. But I never hated Olivia like I tend to hate Mary Jane. Admittedly, Mary Jane redeemed herself by the end of the first season but honestly before that I gave her several side eyes and eye rolls. I tell my friends this and they don't understand why the double standard so I had to think on it and here is my reasoning:
  • Scandal gives me side plots that help me take the focus off the foolishness of the affair.

  • Scandal has a Jake. Yes, I am team Jake. I just don't care for Fitz, just as I didn't care for Mary Jane's married Boo. These men are not sympathetic. So if there is a good guy who can stir the side chick right then I'm for it. I thought Mary Jane had one but turns out he got himself a new girl so maybe next season.

  • The wife. So regardless of her personality, I still respect the wife on Scandal because that is what she is: the wife. She may be unlikeable but she was done dirty. However, Scandal still makes Olivia sympathetic because it really showcases the back story for both women and their understanding of the situation. In Being Mary Jane, I just didn't hate the wife. She seemed okay and was wronged for no reason. She didn't seem evil or conniving which made Mary Jane more of a home wreaker.

  • Mary Jane didn't seem really sorry for her actions. In Scandal, Olivia often pushed Fitz away and encouraged his marriage to his wife. Mary Jane tried to humiliate the wife. Not cool.

  • Olivia just seems so much more caring. She stands behind her "gladiators" and will help them no matter what (I mean she is still trying to look out for the backstabbing Quinn). Mary Jane helps others but she fuses all the way. Either help your family or leave them alone. And how she accused her friend of telling her secret without any proof- not cool.
All in all, the side chick foolishness is not cool but if I have to pull for someone, I must get some redeemable characteristics that make me want to pull for the person. I'm still iffy on Ms. Mary Jane. But that's just me, I like some kindness in my side chicks!