Note: Things have been a little crazy here … but in a good way. I’m just wasn’t expecting so much to do so suddenly. I’m absolutely not complaining, just adjusting. Today I decided I need some sort of schedule, so I’ll be looking into that. For now tho, this is the continuation of the sneak peek of All You Need Is “Like” that I promised. I hope you enjoy~
First, know this: I am not new to virtual worlds. I met my husband online, and together we started House of SilverJinx, a clothes business in Second Life. To this end I had a large collection of tools for designing clothes, as well as a ThincPress book printer. In addition, we had owned a large piece of property at one time where we ran rental units and a club. This means a lot of experience with building, designing and working in virtual worlds. Any of the things I have done can be replicated by anyone with a minimum of cost and effort, or can be done by a virtual marketing company for very reasonable cost. I have references and contacts listed in the appendix.
I began my marketing campaign long before End of Mae was actually published. I kept a list of notable media contacts I ran across as well as copies of any virtual magazines I came across. One invaluable trick for finding contacts is to read everything with the thought of how can I use this to promote my project? When it came time for me to launch my promotion, I had a readymade list of key people to contact.
When End of Mae was published, I knew the real work was about to begin. The first thing I wanted was an interesting base of operations. I decided to create the scenes from the book in a virtual environment. Heylel’s mansion took me three days to put up. It contains key scenes from the book, including the dining room, the staircase Mae falls down, the basement where bad things happen to her and her bedroom. I’ll discuss this in more detail later.
After the virtual Heylel’s house was finished, I asked my daughter to make me a trailer to promote the book. It turned out beautifully; featuring the beginning of the book it gives the viewer the beginning taste of the story. I actually had a response from one individual that claimed they were purchasing the book to find out “what happens to Mae” and asked if that was “really Mae”.
The entrance to Heylel’s house is set to be an information center. There is the virtual edition of the book set out for passerby to page through, free gift items and other pertinent information. There is a mailbox where people can leave notes for the author, as well as framed pictures up announcing that the site was featured in Second Life’s Destination Guide and a link to the machinima trailer.
Visitors can travel through the house and interact with the scenes. They can lay in Mae’s bed, turn the fireplace on and off and sit in the chairs. This serves to raise questions in potential reader’s minds. As they explore, they can wonder why the wine is spilled on the tablecloth and what is the big black room with nothing but a spotlight is for. For readers it solidifies the story in their minds, and makes it easy for them to share the tale with their friends.
After I had my interesting base of operations, it was time to let everyone know. Putting together my press release was a simple affair, and as I said, very low cost. The equipment I used was the ThincBook Press and the Artizan Mailbox system. I created everything myself using templates and my own original artwork. In Second Life you can share things in a document called a notecard, and you can place photos, landmarks (like portable teleport) and objects of clothing in with the text.
I wrote up my notecard press release and added the landmark to Heylel’s house, a photo of the book cover art as well as some promotional shirts for men and women (as well as End of Mae panties for the girls) Along with the notecard a dropped my promotional book. Besides containing the complete first chapter of the story, it has a personal message from the author and prompts the reader to visit endofmae.com to find out more. As I said, I dropped this package to around 500 editors, bloggers and fashion bloggers. The fashion bloggers got a modified version that focussed more on the free clothes items. I released the information myself in a well read fashion blog that I guest post for (Look What the Cat Brought).
This alone has brought in, as I said, 30 to 50 new visitors every day. The counter I use only counts visits from new individuals and only if they stay for a set amount of time. As I come in to check the traffic counts, there are always people in the area now, paging through the book that is set out and visiting the website. I try to stay out of the way, but today I ran into a visitor that stated she was downloading the book on her Kindle to find out “what all this is”.
The rest of this will be available in the next few months in All You Need Is “Like”… and with that I’m back to work ;p