So… I set out to write this blog to chronicle my adventure as an independent author self-publishing her first book. Some might say a cautionary tale of a wide-eyed optimist taking her shot at flying where angels fear to tread…Or some other dramatic hook that will get YOU, dear reader the info you are no doubt feverishly searching for as your book uploads to your self-publishing site of choice, or when you should be searching for that obscure note in history that you want to reference in your book but suddenly are having second thoughts, “Did I make that up? Or did my big brother tell me that just to screw with my head?”In either case, you want quick answers to help you decide which of the many forks in the road are worth your time, and which are just a glorified time waster that is akin to bubblegum. Almost satisfying in the moment – but really, zero nutritional value that is rotting your teeth.So. I hope I answered some of your questions regarding the choices I made to get my book out.
I have a few more promised updates to make good on, before I go – so here they are:
I will still try:Selling my book to “entities”: My book is memoir, and getting good reviews for the ways I articulated a tricky and mostly misunderstood facet of contemporary life. And there are many “entities” (Health Care groups and organizations) schools, and human resource departments.) who will buy books like mine in bulk. I’m researching those as we speak.Marketing my book through professional periodicals and websites. Many of these are connected to the above entities, and may make someone else’s job easier (social workers, HR case managers, etc.) and therefore more valuable.I will continue to use my social media channels – I had to let go of the paid service, which meant taking on the daily posts which is harder than I thought – not a choice I made willingly but one of necessity.
I will and am pushing my book and myself with my spouse in as many ways as we can think of. The thinking being, my book is the calling card and you’d be surprised how huge a deal this really is. We, as authors get so close to our work that we can forget that the writing of books is still deemed a gift and a skill that many don’t have or don’t wish to cultivate – so it is an accomplishment, worthy of someone else’s time and energy – People do want to hear us speak about our book and the subject therein. Marcy and I have spoken to Google, Cal State Northridge and San Diego City College in the last months alone.This month we’ve been invited (because of my book) to Seattle and we’ll be interviewed by the NBC affiliate KING5 TV’s “New Day Northwest”, NPR affiliate KUOW’s “The Record” two podcasts and we’ll be guests of the Mayor at a reception celebrating Pride. The next night, we’ll be speaking at the largest Public Speaking venue in Washington “Town Hall Seattle” and signing books and the next night we’ll be among the main stage presenters at TransPride.All - because of the book and for the book. We’ll give away books at the New Day Northwest taping, and have as many old school signings as we can squeeze in while we’re there. In other words – we’ve got both feet on the gas.
But we’re not stopping there. We recorded the audiobook and are editing it as we speak – with luck and few more sleepless nights, we’ll be able to announce that it’s ready for sale by our Seattle trip – it won’t be easy but it’s a deadline worth shooting for. My thinking is, the two versions sell each other in an odd alchemical reaction – many fans of each format enjoy the other – maybe it’s familiarity? Whatever the reason, we’re going for it. I’ve got a guy (my brother Ronny) and when we can get him through family thingies (he’s a dad and husband and life can get in the way of “Free Studio time and effort”) but… we work well together and the end product will be something we are proud of. Marcy is the director, my brother-in-law Doug the recording engineer and Ronny the Producer and master/mix engineer – it’s a family affair.
The website is still our best engine for promotion and the synergy between it and the social media channels yields a 5 star review about once every two weeks – that and the constant reminder to “share with all your friends” does get results even tho’ you have to exercise that sales muscle that gets you past that feeling that somehow selling your valuable, worthwhile, and (don’t take your own word for it – you have 5 star reviews) good property is somehow not worth someone else’s money or time.This is your baby darn it – and baby will walk one day, and then she’ll run and then, she’ll eventually fly. Give her that chance.
So, with those last words, what I’ gearing up to do is say goodbye to this blog. Writer to writer – first time author to author, I’ve taken some bumps that maybe you won’t have to – but you’ll have your own, and that’s why we did this right? To do it our way, as my writing partner Val says, to write what we want, without asking anyone’s permission to tell our stories"
I have, and will continue to chronicle our efforts on this website and you’ll be able to continue to study our journey and learn from our success without my commentary mucking up your observations – but I’m always available by email – I love interacting with fellow writers and fans. It’s a perk that I never saw coming.
I will be instead launching a new blog on the Zuzubean website and its own corner of the web. I need to get back to generating content (what? She means writing. But isn’t this writing? It’s more like reporting what’s going on in her head. Isn’t that what she always does? GIRLS! Can you take it outside; I’m trying to finish this blog here!)
Sorry sometimes they can get so distracted… Where was I? Oh yeah, I’m launching a new blog that will pick-up where my book left off. It will be directed toward a wider audience and take on the issues out there in the world today. I’m calling it, Raised By Wolves.
I hope to see you there.
PS – thank you for hanging in there with me, I’m deeply grateful for your attention, and support.
And one more thing.
Writers write, right?
I mean, write!
I wrote about “the madhya” in my “tournal” (okay that was a typo but i like it and am going with it) my tour-journal – “the madhya” is a sanskrit term that directly translated means “the middle” but spelled with a capital m (do those even exist in sanskrit? – i need to call saraswati on this one), “the madhya” is more significant, and i promise relevant here in this post.because it’s the space between breaths – the place between moments, the sacred pause right after the incoming breath and right before the outgoing breath… it’s a place where time pauses and you can see the world of possibility right before…… the winds of inspiration, exhale to fill your sails and your prow starts to cut the waters, and momentum builds as you into a new… anything, a new everything and a real something!
I’ve written that I love the time between Christmas & new years – this madhya is where i annually reflect on the year that was – but this year was different. I spent this year’s Madhya catching my breath from a blazing signing and book launch tour that went right up until our Christmas week (snow!). Then there was Christmas cooking and family and eating to do, and then Mylove and i ran back south, making it home just in time to have our own romantic married couple Christmas (on new year’s eve) and then new year’s day.
And so, my pause and reflect (before turning my spyglass toward the new year that has just crept over the horizon) has had to wait until now… two weeks after January 1.
And it’s different somehow, more relaxed than years past and soooo much is clearer this go-round. So. What did i learn, you ask?
Yes, do tell us o- romantic warrior-ess...
Well, for those of you just now joining this blog, I apologize for thinking in an old-skool linear fashion, but it’s how I is… I’m compelled to reiterate my mission (and the mission of this blog, come to think of it) was: as a first time author and self-publisher,
I knew that time was in my favor – several writer’s blog encouraged us to make use of the “Christmas Buying Season” – citing that 41% of a books annual sales come in the 45 days right before Christmas Eve. So that was it – take advantage of this time and going for it.I was in luck – in fact, I almost jumped the gun – having started my book last May, I wrote it in two months (averaging five 14 hour days per week) then took another month for a proofing pass working with a divine woman named Eileen who worked as proof reader, cheerleader and sounding board. Since my subject matter was of a deeply personal and topical journey, she would be a good litmus test to whether my book was relevant and making sense of a serious matter.
After that pass, we would have another three more proofing passes including a three-day binge after we saw the first printed proof.At October this got me poised for a November release – just what the blogs suggested. So I waited – which gave me time to set-up a press release, hire a social media PR agency, print book marks and business cards and build a website. I realized that my goal – since this was my life I was writing about, was about to get very public, would be better served with a very personal PR approach.
Now, for those of you have no idea of what I’m talking about – there’s plenty of descriptions of this on other sections of this website, (I’m trying to keep the focus of this blog to be writer to writer) but suffice to say, my publishing of this book was about to change... well, everything in and about our life. So we had to buckle-up, and by we, I mean Mylove and me. I would be taking this leap of faith with her… and as media professionals we knew we needed to make as much noise as we could to get our lil’ baby on the radar of the book buying public. And that the only arrow we had in our quiver was honesty. So, you go with what you got, right?
So that became the updated version of our goal; Make some noise and hope that noise would be heard. We had the time, we knew the right people, we weren’t exactly sure what the best approach would or should be (to make said noise), so we tried everything we could. And as I take that promised breath, I can say with all confidence and satisfaction, that we did our best. And now it’s in God’s hands:Seven book signing events in four weeks – LA to SD to SJ, back to SD, then back to SJ, then back to LA then finishing in Berkeley… On a map it looks like someone failed geography )or math) and for a girl who made her mark as a showrunner in the adventure survival world… well let’s just say that John Hudson would be so disappointed in my orienteering strategy. I
n my defense, I was booking these locations when they were available (as opposed to where) since my window of opportunity required a bull’s-eye with every shot. We rolled with the where whenever its when would work… all that’s to say that if you are going to really make me say that I should’ve grouped the events by location, I couldn’t agree with you more. BUT:
1. In each location, the date or time is not always the best for the attendees in that area, having two events at vastly different times/days gave the local attendees a choice.
2. Many times we’re (at least I was) working a deal – who has a budget for marketing?
We’re independent publishers, not independently wealthy. We’re already at the mercy of the owner of a venue, so if you cut your chances by narrowing the times you’re asking for, then you could miss out on a good location altogether. My strategy was to get a yes from a venue and then let the schedule come together organically… which did nothing for my carbon footprint, but it did get us 7 very solid locations.You of course might be saying, but Scottie, what about bookstores and other traditional places for BOOK SIGNINGS? Oh, you are so precious, (they're so cute when they’re young, aren’t they – so full of ideals and good thoughts)
No. Book store signings are the bookstore’s way of looking good and relevant to ITS customers – they don’t care that you’re earnest and fresh and probably /might, eventually sell a lot of books. They are booking their space months in advance (so starting in October wasn’t going to cut it. And AFTER you sell a buncha books. THEN they’ll wanna talk to you… Besides… as indies, we have to ask ourselves – do bookstore signing really work? Well the big kids (Established Publishers) think so, or they wouldn’t do them. The Bookstores think so, or they wouldn’t treat their booking opportunities as the holy grail. But will they sell OUR books… well, for this round, I confess, I wasn’t in a position to rule out anything. So, our plan was to try EVERYTHING feasible – who knows what the right answer is? (to sell books) – iI we did, we could explain mood rings, pet rocks and “Jersey Shore,” before the armchair quarterbacks weigh-in.
So, in this case everything meant:
Going tried and true with a Library Book signing – (our lowest number of attendees but our best for marketing – my name was on the main street marquee for a month prior – try to buy a billboard in a major city for, oh, let’s see… FREE). This event gave me street cred (pun intended) in the author world.
We tried a formal presentation at one of the largest corporations and arguably one of the most influential arbiters of everyday life & culture and forward thinking in history, Google. I wish I could say this was my idea (I would be a genius) but I think it’s best that this was an invitation to participate in their on-going author’s series; talk about street cred! What a glorious gift! This event was so 2016, in that the presentation was streamed via Google’s in house network (100 watched it live from their Google workspaces) but even cooler than that, was this: the recording is an archive available to the more than 50 thousand (Fifty with three zeroes) Google employees and their huge “Gaygler” (LGBTQ Googler’s) workforce.
We did a charity event at a winery in the Saratoga wine country (also sponsored by the generous support of Google). We donated the silent auction proceedings and raffle earnings of donated food & wine baskets to the local LGBTQ YouthSpace organization. and they, in turn, used their San Jose County mailing list to spread the word about my book.
We held events in restaurants & bars (to lure attendees into a yummy environment and we even had a neighborhood Christmas cookie party.
All of this came to a rousing conclusion at an art gallery in the epicenter of forward thought and mindfulness – Berkeley! Even the credo of this art “collective” was about support – and they mean it: 50 attendees braved a torrential downpour for the public “Sneak preview” of the original painting I used to create the cover of the book and…… each time we announced an upcoming event we heard that our east coast fans “wished they could be there.” So to stay in the “try everything” mission – we live streamed this last event.
Okay so where am I at now? As the new year’s inhale is just beginning to move the bangs of my hair? Well, from a business standpoint were we successful? Which is one of the reasons, why you dear reader are reading this blog, yes?
Okay, first we need to define “success.” Sales is the first thing that comes to mind – how’d we do? At last count (December 28th to be exact) – we had sold 250 physical books, and about 75 in the kindle version. Not bad. I’m not even gonna qualify this because we’re used to talking or reading about a book’s sales in the “tens of thousands,” otherwise the media wouldn’t be telling us all about it. Right? Still – we have a lot of this house’s resources tied up in this venture – and at Amazon’s royalty structure, we ain’t getting rich.
But that wasn’t the mission – so, getting back to the question – were we successful?And the answer is… We seriously don’t know – AND we’re learning that this answer is almost irrelevant. A book does not have a shelf life. How many we sold during the last month and half is interesting, (elating, sometimes disappointing) BUT NOT A METRIC OF A BOOK’S SUCCESS, and therefore, not a measure of the mission’s success.
A book gets discovered again, and again, and again… Promotion and marketing are ever happening, ever changing things – never ending endeavors.We were successful with:
1. Spreading the word (almost everyone we know, knows we wrote a book).
2. We are being taken seriously – We have been booked for two speaking engagements in the spring already, and we have been asked for permission to use the book in a college writing course.
3. We have been asked to create a foundation to continue the work and dialogue started at our signing event Q&A sessions.
4. Mylove is starting her book.
5. We are inspired to go further with the book and all it has taught me personally as artist, author, and businesswoman
6. A books success is gauged by “how” it moves people, not by how many.
This isn’t a box score, a horse race or even a corporate bottom line – a book is a intense conversation between author and reader. A willing allowance by the reader to lease their own brain space on an author’s story.So… yes. We were successful.We didn’t get here without a village of loving and supportive souls who gave us everything to get launched. I have listed them in many instances on this site (tournal) as well as Facebook. But they cannot be thanked enough.It’s time for me to wrap this up as the breath of the inhale has finished filling its cosmic lungs and is poised to fill our sails… what had looked like a finite release, marketing and promotional chapter of the book’s life has, it turns out, been merely it’s introduction… so it’s time to turn the page…Tighten the foresail and make fast the mizzen! Happy 2016!
Yes, I promised. I would return after the blog tour concluded to discuss the results. And with the tour almost two weeks done at this point, I have to ask… too soon?
Maybe. But here’s what can report. I don’t know.
I have been selling books two ways at this point in the journey. On amazon.com (and on CreateSpace’s store) in both print and Kindle. And onsite at my book signing tour. (I do mean tour – that’s for next week’s blog) Anyway.
I’ve been averaging about 10 books a week. I’ve been selling about 30-50 at each of two signings to date (with five more before Christmas). So, between FB announcements about the book, these blogs, twitter announcements and the blog tour, I’m hitting it with everything I got.
So you do the math. At this point I can’t subtract the blog tour out of the equation but I can say that of the 10 blogs I was featured on, most were a nice ego stroke, but the blogger looked more interested in taking the day off and dumping my press kit (example available – just ask!) onto their site for the day and calling it done.
But there were 3 that took it seriously – one sent the interview questions ahead to me for filling it out exclusively – the other two took the interview responses from my PR gal’s boiler plate (which I took very seriously – and tried to balance my irreverent witty sense of humor with good punctuation… to appear erudite… LOL) Of the two who went with my on-file interview, both added a personal note/and endorsement to their readers, so it really did feel being “featured.” I will say that after the first couple of “dumps” I did complain to my PR agent. I did suggest (after I figured out what was going on – a day off for the blogger in trade for being featured on their site) that they at least add a paragraph in their own words to grab their reader’s attention. Which did happen on the two other rockstars. But what made the the other tow rockstars shine was that they tweeted the heck out of lil ol’ me AND their followers retweeted me. And retweeted me, and… well, my inbox virtually blew up one day when H.K Carlton @AuthorHKCarlton added the hashtag #mustread and hit the little blue bird… @Rachelle Ayala at BooksPromotion had the same effect.
And guess what? All of the best at promote were writers themselves. They knew what were’ all trying to accomplish. And they did their part. So I need to step up. But has it resulted in sales? I will confess as a member of the broadcast TV tribe for the last 30 years, I have always known of the unholy shotgun wedding of storytellers to our red-headed stepchildren the advertisers and PR peeps was what made the entire engine run. I don’t completely trust that it’s any one thing that is responsible for overall sales. It is truly alchemy or voodoo that can’t be completely reduced to a single thing or formula (tho’ that holy grail has been sought by everyone who ever had an overhead… overhead!)
But now that my hair is red, I have to ask myself (tho’ also as a turncoat, I will never admit it outloud) what the one thing is or will be that will open the flood gates.
I’m glad I did it – and the cost wasn’t crazy. I know a few ways to do it better next time… and that’s the ultimate question right? Would I do it again next time?
Well, since I am the gal with the lucky charm on keychain, who never steps on cracks, probably… but much better next time.
I will insist on screening the potential blog sites before we go up (my book has a niche audience) and make sure they’re compatible. I will insist that a personal intro go in front of my press kit AND a call to action from the blogger to end the article in whatever way is appropriate to that blogger’s site and audience. It can be as simple as “write your comments/questions below for the author” or anything that takes it out of being a throw away blog for that day.I do think there’s more to this subject than I know – so I’d love, love, love your thoughts and comments – so please post them below!Until next week! Every great blogger has a signature sign-of line. (Okay I stole that from talking into microphones)
Okay, now that the tryptophan has worn off, we’re back in the saddle. But I did have time to think during the albeit forced “pause.” My mission with this blog has been to document my learning curve so that the next girl receives less “lessons” along the way. And I realize in the warp drive we’re flying at, that some of my observations may seem that they would’ve been obvious to anyone who stopped for even half a second to think before leaping… but then… that’s not me. And in that simple understanding, I hope you’ll see the brilliance.
Because I know myself. My brain needs a “Scooby snack” to gnaw on while it waits for… results. Because, as artistic as we all ARE. We also, having stepped off onto this path, also become businesspeople. We’re self-publishers. You notice there’s never a mention of self-writers… write? I mean, right?
Because, no self-respecting writer WANTS to be a self-publisher. It’s a necessity that we may over time become addicted to… as the glorious heroin of power fills our veins with the power to say YES! Yes, it will be there, when I say! Yes, I can do that! Yes, this the color I want…
Now whether those decisions stick or make sense, are correct or successful are not the point. They just are. So make, ‘em and live with ‘em.
God did give me two halves to make my brain – one is the creative teenager, who never wants to clean her room, eat her broccoli or miss the prom. The other side is the sober statistician/mentat – or the adult in the room. She is wicked quick, whipsmart and sharp. She knows how long it takes to get from point a to b, with all of the factors in and has the track record to back-up her very opinionated view.
These girls are a great team – one always cover for the other and each never lets the other down. BUT, they are very jealous of the other’s spotlight, so it’s important to keep the girls separated.
That’s the brilliance of this self-publishing thingy. The teenager in me is so impatient with those, what are they called? Oh, yeah, details. (whatever) that the adult can get her to chill out by turning her lose on something like designing the next web page or creating an email letterhead, or the like, while they both wait for so and so to return a call, or an email response to come in, or any of the various “delays” in the process that are the daily life of a… well, a one of us.
So… what’s my ultimate point? Why thanks for asking! It’s to be grateful for the details, as they say, you-know-who is there smiling and watching as your little baby starts to stand on its on and… gosh, actually sell!
Okay… true confessions? I’m only 53. Not 83. But kids today… So as I’ve posted before, I hired The Book Nymph PR to handle my Book Blog Tour (which is currently in progress – I’ll file my “report” when it concludes next week – the jury’s still out) but as we were talking, Kenya described a “Facebook Launch Party,” and it sounded like a good idea. So I said yes.
Now here’s where I didn’t know it, but an age gap rumbled down on plates… and tiny fissure crept along the crust of the top soil…
Kenya is of the age of “video gaming” – I’m of the age of television producers who scoffed when our nieces and nephews begged for a Gameboy… (stop snickering – if you even know what one is!) the graphics were hideous – “virtual reality” was a crappy animation with no story whatsoever. (Never mind that the gaming industry is triple what Hollywood did last year and it’s the new 800 lb. Gorilla). But back then, (when I was forming this misguided notion) I produced the first five media tours (I told you I did these) for the Xbox at E3 announcing the launch – yes it took that long to get it right before the actual release… they didn’t mind hitting reverse – love to have that kind of money to set fire to) But I digress… all that’s to say, gaming was something my friends’ little brothers and sisters did. And, being a woman, I never felt that I had to “hang onto my childhood” as a middle age adult (especially now that I could afford one) and join the youngsters on the couch with joystick in hand – for many middle aged men – this is how you say that you “still got it”.
In other words – if you didn’t grow up with joystick in hand, you don’t think that way… in fact you have no idea what you don’t know. And its also true vice reverse. Kenya had no idea, that I had no idea. So she could never answer my question,
“So how will this FB launch party thingy work?”
“Oh, you’ll be a natural at it. You just sit back and answer the comments that come in. You’ll be great!”
Right… and the fissure became a chasm…
Neither of us knew what the other was asking or saying. I follow directions to the letter and when things don’t perform as expected… it’s broken. Call tech support or throw it away.
When Kenya approaches a keyboard, she doesn’t have to read directions, she knows to interact with it and let it teach her how it performs, when it doesn’t respond as expected, she simply types something else, double pumps with a mouse click or right clicks-then-left-click-twice-then-right-clicks again… in other words, she instinctively hunts for what video game designers refer to as “Easter eggs” … and the kicker is she doesn’t even know she does it.
Which is why the chasm suddenly became the Grand Canyon… and right as the clock ticked 3:00 pm PST… and our FB launch party began… I got a pop-up window to the right of the FB page Kenya created for the event. It welcomed me (in her typing) and asked a question about my writing… and that’s almost all I remember cuz suddenly I’m seeing windows pop up AND THEN DISAPPEAR as soon as I see the question. When I am fast enough to click on it, it does take me to that posting on FB, but… since I now have 10, wait, 15, wait 20? Comments below it, the bottom of the window is hidden by the bottom of my screen… and the next question I click on, takes me to a whole new window – but I didn’t finish the comment I was writing – MAY DAY MAY DAY!
I’m starting to sweat – thesis like a game of Whack-a-mole... created by JIGSAW! My wife is riding shotgun on her computer and calling out the person and the question – but I’m still writing the one I’m on… who? Granny?
My Unofficial Grandma is even more lost than I am, and her comment is… I’m here, how does this work?
Not very well at this point. If I’m going to survive the next three hours, I better get good and fast! Okay hang on I don’t only direct live television with 20 or more cameras, I’m really good at it…
So I buckle down. My email in box is blowing up with the notifications from every comment – A HA! – A running real-time queue of everyone in order of their asking – perfect! I open up that window and use that to navigate to the various locations on the page where that question/comment was posted – but NO GOOD – FB opens a new tab each time WTF???? Okay – email good – but linking bad, got it.
I can still stay on track, and I resort to scanning the whole page like an air traffic controller at LAX on Thanksgiving day… in other words… I go “HOT.”
Suddenly I’m in the zone, “How long to write the book, writes MissyPolk43” easy to answer: 2 months to write 2 months to edit 1 month to publish “What’s my favorite genre? posts Writer2U”- easy, again: fiction to read, fiction to write, this is my first memoir… My wife gets into the swing to (despite her absolute aversion to live TV) and is able to answer some posts for me – she knows my answers better than I do, and she’s far more eloquent!
But then I get stopped in my tracks, when she says… “ConcernedMom posts, Any advice for a parent of trans child?”
As I pause and breathe – I can’t mess this one up, this is a serious questions and deserves a thoughtful answer… I get a text from my writing partner… My sister is in the party form NJ, she went to your website and your name is for sale… and the price goes up as your Amazon ranking climbs…
Amazon ranking? Gosh – that’s right – we’re doing this to sell books! And apparently we’re selling enough to rank, and… my domain name is on the block?
But what do I do with ConcernedMom? She’ll have to wait while dig into my domain issue – I got to my host as emails notifications start piling up with the balls I’ve taken my eyes off of, and sure enough – my website domain name is for sale… when I click on it – the one I registered is fine but some slick snaky bastard had been watching (or his algorhythm does it matter in this world – I still feel… I dunno, violated) but there it is – I buy the obvious variations that could confuse my readers and get back in the game…
Now where was I? Oh yeah, ConcernedMom! I take a breath and drop back “into the zone” (my heart – it’s best to never leave here but that’s what yoga’s for, right?) anyway… I realize what’s suddenly at stake here… despite the technology and the intensity and fever pitch of my mind… a mother’s heart. And her child. Just like me… and suddenly the canyon closes up at my feet. The chasm is instantly gone. Kenya and I are side by side…
I answer “ConcernedMom” that no two are alike – every child is different but the parents who are better at answering this question than I have one thing in common… they listen to their children.
We all could learn from that, yes?
At the end of the three hours, I felt like I just “cut to black” on the end of a live satellite feed. And as the adrenaline started to fade, I got an email from Kenya… congratulations, you’re at number 14 on the bestseller list…so tho' overtime I chopped off one of the hydra's heads two more grew in it's place... in my case both heads were better than one!
So… it worked… and it worked me. In more ways than one.
Something none of us probably ever thought when we set finger to kepbaord to write our books… the Joy of self-publishing means the joy of self-promotion.
Like a lot of my life lately, if I’d thought about what it would mean to self-publish, I probably would have been too scared to start… but here we are. As I’ve said in previous posts, I am an Executive Producer of television series’ (plural) and I worked hard to get here. But I was NEVER alone. One large part of my skill set is the ability to either remember how we got through the asteroid field last time, which was done because I had hired the skilled navigator(s), pilots and crew in the first place, in other words…
I know how to delegate.
But in this case, when I turn to direct my vast promotional empire, there’s just lil ‘ol me to answer my call… Okay, not so accurate, Mylove has been there every step of the way – but she’s got her own job to do and think about, so I try not to burden her. Still, I try to be self-managing – she’s the one with the steady job!
And now, I’m done digressing… We are in this world “armies of one’s.” I needed a plan. So, I bit the bullet and hired my PR firm for an additional 20 bucks a week to help with my social media. That alone will be a huge relief! They feed my the facebook page for this website (Zuzubean Press) which I then slingshot with my personal FB page and then point two twitter accounts at to chase tweeters to go check out my website.
A quick note about this technique… facebook is on to us. And they will “throttle” (such an ugly term) but it amounts to “limiting” the amount of people who will see the post which significantly lower than the people you expect to see this – NOTE: they don not tell you this happening, and they make no apology for it. Yes, the world will see lil Susie’s princess costume for Halloween (and trust me – I do care, it’s pink afterall!) BUT the news about my book (which is the center of the universe and WILL cure all of society’s ills if bought immediately by everyone,) gets sent to a mere shadow of my former “friends list,” where’s the justice in that?
Beware, I had no idea that this was happening! For days! All I knew, was that my usually effusive friends (and well, okay they were family) seemed to be suddenly so bored with my postings that they couldn’t be bothered to even “like” me.
Turns out it’s the sinister disease described above – confirmed by Kenya at Book Nymph – and we got to work on work around. Around. (sorry couldn’t resist) which amounts to this. I pay the one dollar (yes, one green blooded American dollarino) to reach 1000 people. I’ve authorized Kenya to do this (heck it’s only a dollar right?) on my behalf (comes when I hired her to work my facebook page) and so far she’s rockin’ it – so here my delegation thingy is working, just like my daddy said it would.
So with that taken care of, it only requires me to monitor what pops up on my Zuzubean Press Page (which duplicates on the facebook launch party page for double impact) and then I post what she posts on my personal page. So far here’s the results.
In the days before BN (Book Nymph) I had two page likes.
In the two weeks since she’s taken over: 149 likes, 1094, reached, and 1964 post engagements, Not too shabby.
As for other aspects of my delegation, it’s also working. I have dear angel in each of the locations where I will be making appearances to help with brainstorming, logistics and (full disclosure) the couch I will sleep on when I travel to their hood. This is a modle straight from my years of producing television – a location manager. The person who knows the locale better than I (even armed with Google) could ever match. These appearances start next week – I’ve got 2 engagements, book signings/launch parties in each of 4 regions in California. These local angels are also accessing their social networks in their areas to maximize attendance at each event.
Get me being all PR speakie… but it does sound a little cold – cuz the overall point I’m trying to make here is that, we as authors are used to going at it alone just us and our own work, pouring our hearts onto the page. But then, it becomes a team sport, an editor, and proofreader (or in my case an army, both in house and remotely) goes to town. And this is where our work gets fulfilling right before it gets to fruition. Because remember why we started on this journey in the first place? Way back when you said, “Okay, time to start.” You were starting a dialogue with a reader and that’s almost going to happen at this stage of our book’s life…
As soon as we can get that calendar to fill up in just the right combination to fulfil your marketing scheme.
As my sainted father would say, “The three arrows in a leader’s quiver are organize, supervise, and deputize.” (Okay, He never did much care for grammar), And here, in this self-publishing world of “An Army of one” we might only get three shots…
Presale – ah yes, every blog is crowing that “presale” is the key to real marketing success for girls like us. So, I’m all consumed right now with… well, that.
Some context, as you strap in for this leg of the journey: Art in all of its myriad forms and definitions has been as important to me as breathing. And as such, when I’m on a “piece,” be it a film, tv show, dinner for Mylove, surprise for Mylove, or just a note on the refrigerator, I go after it with every cell of me being. So a book, particularly this book, which is about a deeply personal journey is taking even more of all of me than previously thought possible. But I have learned over the years to “sleep on the plane,” that is, go full throttle til it’s done, which is a finite chunk of time, ‘cuz on the other side of done, there’s gonna be time to recover.
But, when you enter the stormy seas of self-publishing, there’s wave after wave of the “next thing.” From the website that you “better have” (really? But I wrote a book?) to the business cards you “better have” (really? But seriously, I wrote a book) to the social media channels that you “better have” (no, seriously, I wrote a book, doesn’t someone else do that for me?) to the Createspace account, bookbaby account, or any of the other self-publishing allies that help us get our words out, that require their lists of “next things,” (damn it Jim, I’m a writer not a printer!) the only way thru these hurdles is to keeping going. And how do we do that you ask?
…go back to the “self” part.
And like PInocchia who made that wish upon a star, it’s time to stand-up by yourself, girl! No strings! You wanted this, so enjoy it!
Yup, you’re an army of one, and like pregnancy, I’d venture to say, that we will all forget this part of the journey when it’s time to write another “baby.” But in the meantime, I have discovered another fact that my mother-in-law told Mylove when she asked about having children… “it’s different when it’s yours.”
Yes it is..
Way different. Maybe it’s the rush of seeing your baby take her first steps; maybe it’s that you’re so punch-drunk from the writing process; maybe it’s that you actually start to feel the wind under your wings; but whatever it is, it’s a new found enthusiasm that feels like the good morning giddiness of Christmas morning. You are the one stuffing envelopes, printing thank-you notes and… MAILING YOUR BOOK TO SOMEONE THAT ACTUALLY BOUGHT IT! And neither rain, nor sleet, nor the next good idea, will keep you from braving the pre-holiday lines at the post office to march right up to the counter and declare – Book Rate Please! (Which will get you promptly corrected, “Actually ma’am, we call it a media rate these days.”)
Let’s back-up. (Picture cool “flash back” graphics here.) Some details are in order if you’re trying to follow my lead (that is my mission after all).
Amazon, as we discussed in earlier posts does not have a way to “pre sell” your baby. Once you turn on the valve to the sales channels you’re live. However, as we also discussed earlier, you can buy & print books until you turn the channels on and sell them yourself.
Which is what I’m doing. For those out there taking notes, it looks like this:
Step 1: Write book.
Step 2. Make website – include a “store” function on said site.
Step 2b. Connect a sales engine/credit card app. I use weebly as a host for this site, and it has a free widget thingy (am I an IT girl or what?) called “stripe,” which functions a lot like “square,” if you’re familiar with the gizmo that pops into your cellphone or iPad and turns you into a walking retailer. This will connect to your bank account. The stripe app’s dashboard becomes your new favorite TV show, cuz it shows the sales In real time. And, tho’ it sends you an email for every sale as it comes in, it has all kinds of pretty graphs that shows your sales metrics—just like a real business.
A WORD OF CAUTION! I am using a ‘free” stripe app which does NOT allow for the collecting of tax or shipping. I could’ve made the asking price higher to include these things BUT – I wanted to reward the early supporters of my work. So I charged three dollars more than the price I set on Amazon, BUT I’m offering a signed edition. The truth is, I’m eating into the profit margin (which is higher than the royalty that Amazon will pay when we go live, but they do all the work). Again, I’m using this as a way to spread the word about my book to drive sales later.
Step 3. Start the promo engines (whatever you’re doing – point both barrels at your website...)
Step 4. Print out thank you notes and arm yourself with shipping supplies.
Step 5. Sign your heart out for those Charter Patrons – they were the first to put their money where their support is, gosh darn it. And as I looked at the first foot high stack of signed, sealed and ready to be delivered books that I FREAKIN” WROTE(!), all I could think of was how lucky can one girl be?
I took my box of “firsties” to the local Woodland Hills PO (dodging raindrops) and we now return you to our scene of me being corrected that you are to ask for a “media rate” for bulk mailing. And after you swear that you’re not shipping anything more dangerous than truth, they’ll award you rate HALF of the going rate for first class Such a deal. keep your eye on that girl, she’s got financial a geniuswritten all over her!
However, my evil plan to take over the world one pre-sale at a time hit a snag… there is no international book or media rate… and the cost to ship to England (my fourth sale) and Australia (my fourteenth) was going to be… wait for it… three dollars more than I charged for the whole book. Financial wizardess, that Scottie is… keep your eye on that one. She’s a genius! Oops! suddenly that genius hat pops into a dunce cap! (Hey! When did my life start looking like a cartoon?)
Well, as I said before, I’m doing this to honor the belief in me that my charter patrons are showing in me. So, I happily paid the fare. (But I did change my note on the sale page on my website – asking that any more international friends wait until Amazon takes over the sales on my release date of Nov. 10th.)
Now…some closing thoughts:
This is a strategy I admit, that while I’m committed to it, I’m not sure if I am doing the right thing. Cuz, what I really want to accomplish is to drive people to buy my book on Amazon. Sales there create rankings and that’s how we will build escape velocity to leave this orbit of “just a nice effort” to head for “respectable sales” which is a magic number of confirmed purchases that will make our baby show up on the radar of those who have the capacity and the reach to sell more of our books. (In a nutshell, this strategy is based on the philosophy that we can only sell what the audience KNOWS is available. In a nutshell, we can only sell what the audience KNOWS is available. And tho’ we’re doing everything we can think of to generate buzz, our reach as authors is only as big as our FB & Twitter followers. We need something bigger than we to tell the rest if the world out there that we exist
And, that next orbit is the “book selling” world of book stores, magazines, and “these so-called real” publishers – if we sell enough on our own the conventional wisdom goes, we will attract the attention of the world’s book stores, magazines and anyone else who smells “potential” (as in, potential for them to make money with us) but spends their money to promote us. A match made in heaven. So, that’s why I’m going after this tooth & nail. Makie sensie?
But this strategy has a part two: did I mention that Amazon doesn’t start to tally books sold (no matter how many you buy to sign at your public launch parties and readings) until their sales channels have been turned on (from your release date forward) I’m not getting any “credit” with Amazon for having sold these “pre-sale” books,
So the last steps in this process are; I will turn over the baton to a real store with a real packing and shipping department on my release date AND I will link my store page directly to Amazon and get out of the middle, like a real author.
As fun as it is to play “store,” this Pinocchia has got other things to do with her time…
Like promote! But that’s a subject for next time.
A lot of writer and SP blogs have been crowing about a “book blog tour.” I am familiar with “satellite media tours” which are the ways that anyone can get their message out to the big TV & Radio stations on a station-by-station basis. This herculean effort spreads the news as far and as wide as that morning’s news director in every station, in every one of the 225 (or so) television/media markets in the U.S., thinks is worthy of their station’s efforts. But it also meant that any car crash, political gaff or "baby falls down the well" story could suddenly preempt this effort and hundreds of thousands of dollars and the sweat of no less than 100 people gets discarded without so much as a “hey sorry ‘bout that,” shrug.
In other words, “traditional” PR.
But this is 2015, and the internet is a giant high school hallway with all its cliques and anti-cliques talking about what matters most to each one. So how do we as writers even get noticed by the captain of the football team or the D&D geeks… in this virtual “campus quad?” (Which is what it was called ay my alma mater Rim of the World HS.) Never mind that not only is itdifficult to compete to get your book judged by it’s cover, forget that your baby has a great personality, you might still get noticed faster than.. okay I’m jumping from the metaphor train, too cumbersome…
BUT – all that’s to say, I’m with the blogs (at least I just joined the team on a trial basis) and signed up with Kenya Cooper-Moore at The Book Nymph PR. For both the aforementioned book blog tour and a Facebook Launch Party.
And so far so good. Kenya is very responsive to a newbie like me (despite having a three month old Jensen competing with me for mommy’s attention. She’s the perfect match for my 800 pound (okay, 300 - but I’ve been exercising everyday and no carbs) pound Guerilla ways… I am used to promotion where giant satellite trucks and people in suits talk to other people in suits about things that were made by people in flipflops for people eating Cheetos. (I had done the first 5 Xbox launches when all they were launching was an idea that a thing called an Xbox was going to one day challenge the PlayStation.) So, I’m used to screaming and yelling, a hurricane of emails about logistics and cancelled logistics, and last-minute changes to logistics that were cancelled – where a total of (and You can add it up) over 50 -100 million dollars in man hours, equipment and resources is devoted to the launching of something.
But I’m not used to being an army of one. Kenya is what my friends in the military call a force multiplier – and her team will lead me into the murky waters of the cyber-sea…
So far, she’s been lining up 20 (that’s the package I bought) bloggers who will either review my book, interview me as author (about the process of writing) and/or spread the word in an intelligent and engaging way to their audiences. She’s also started to promote the FaceBook launch party and inviting guests – we’ve discussed prizes for incentive contests during the party and she coached me how to invite my “peeps” to the party. All of this has one goal – drive everyone to buy my book (or at least tell someone about it).
She’s been forwarding to me the interview questions from the various blogs interested in talking to little ol’ me. And we even have a YouTube interview! All of these details will be made available on the homepage of this site when locked down.
So… will it work, you ask. (You knew sooner or later, I’d get back to you, yes?) Time will tell.
What interests me are these points:
This last point is probably the most attractive of them all for girls like us – we can stick our book under our pillow when we go to sleep at night, and, while we’re sleeping, the book faerie will come. When we wake the next morning and stick our hand under our pillow, we’ll find that we’ve got… sales! (Thanks for your faith, you knew I’d stick the landing, yes?)
Please revisit this after we go through it, and I promise to analyze the experience. But for now… shootI I have to make that phone call!
Until next time!
Okay... here’s where ambition meets discipline… a blog you say, cuz you have nothing else to do. And I think this a key thing to discuss writer to writer – self disciple with an emphasis on the self part…
I’m talking about the tendency to want to do everything and the “fall off the cliff” feeling at the end of the day when you wonder if anything got done. Cuz… writers are writers and we write, right? But no one ever said that would be letters, emails, proposals and promo copy… I used to think that if ANYTHING took me away from the furthering of a plot or character arc, it wasn’t worth my time and this included birthday cards to my loved ones, forms for the DMV and anything else that I looked at as an obstacle to “creative writing.
BUT it’s different when it’s for your baby…
Which is how I’m seeing things now. So, let’s check in on the subject at hand… today’s subject:
Parallel Universes –
And here I’m speaking about one foot on the platform and the other on a train (thank you Lowell George!) The platform is the physical alchemy of your “manuscript” into an OMG, I can’t believe it’s a book, book. And the jacking set wave (surfer-ese for the wall of power coming at you as sure as an on-coming train) of the release date – which shall be promoted!
As your head swirls with logistics, the book has to stay on it’s unbroken path toward physically running through the printing process. And if you’re not careful, like I just was you can cost yourself days that you might not have…
I slammed headlong into the wall with CreateSpace (amazon’s publishing engine)and guess what – it’s just that – a machine that for all it’s great real person customer support threw up t’s hands, with the old “I’m sorry, and I know Ms. Madden how frustrating you must be, BUT WE CAANNOT HELP YOU.” What happened was I, okay tried to fool the system – tons of blogs about self publishing all trumpet the idea that “presales are the key!” But CreateSpace doesn’t allow for that directly. You have to play fast & lose with the website. And after a few cups of coffee and some brainstormin’ my friend Valerie and I concocted a mad scheme…
Upload a version of the book that was a “preview/review copy” that we would “publish” and use to send to reviewers – the key here is that you want to make sure you do two important things.
This did two things –
This last point is where the wheels fell off. I printed 10 copies of the advance review copy, while my house was in one last push for proofing – I was soooo done hearing about commas before parenthesis, and my beloved honey, I’m sure telling me about them. She even took a vacation day and we hunkered down for the entire three days taking breaks only to change positions and for popcorn. And we did it!
I then went o upload the new and totally clean – this one will stick and I can get on with the zillion things to do to launch when I got LOCKED OUT FOR 24 HOURS WHILE MY FILE PASSES FINAL REVIEW.
But I don’t wanna have that version reviewed I wanna upload this CORRECTED, PROOFED, AND REAL VERSION!
The website was locked in the review mode on the old file and no calls to CreateSpace’s (first impatient, then very sympathetic, though’ still not helpful) service techs would stop the machine from reviewing a file that was:
But it was still going to be reviewed and they were still going to tell me of the flaws that I had corrected in the new final version that I was locked out from uploading.
Was this the federal crime, the earth shattering catastrophe that I accused them of creating?
No. I was able to breathe and switch gears and try to concentrate on other things knowing that in 24 hours I would have to get back to uploading my final version for release.
But it could be. Remember this fellow CreateSpacers – when you make a change, you have to correct it on your file, (takes how ever long – my table of contents took hours) then:
This all comes when were doing the most critical tasks simultaneously. The trick is breath, stay disciplined with my own game plan, and realize that this is a fact of life here in self publishing ville… would we have it any other way…?
Are we nuts?
Welcome to my blog. Now full disclosure, I am a professional television producer, and I've been producing, creating, writing and directing television for over thirty years, as my bios read almost all genres (my favs were children’s TV, drama and sports – my “un-favs, game shows, bad reality TV and bad commercials) -- my point is going to be... I usually "have people that promote my shows" – now, I'm an army of one. So that’s the point of this blog. This is writer to writer. As the founding author and publisher, I will be a living experiment for you dear reader – a work-in-progress “accounter” of the fine art of spreading the word – in other words - the words… and their journey from our heads to the reader’s heart.
I'll try to document my bumps and scrapes along the way here - maybe I can leave some bread crumbs on the path into the forest and make it a little easier for the next girl. From the sites I've been reading as fast as I can, I'm finding that few (if any) remember the steps "in between" the big points, and the rest have forgotten the dialect of "newbie." Maybe we can fix that.
That said... here it is, this is also my very first blog, and the learning curve for all of the above is about as steep as a shuttle launch... the challenge is to keep my voice while I'm learning to use the various places where it will get heard, er, or read, (I'm bailing on the metaphor now If you don't mind. It's a bit cumbersome - cuz we're talking about books!
So, books - yes - the loyal companions that have been there more than almost anyone in our lives; they been there, longer than the blankies of our childhood; there, like our favorite dog, loyal, always ready to play, never judging us when we set them down to read another...
I guess I always thought I'd right a zillion books (I do in my head, anyway) and yet I'm surprised to be staring at my very first one, at a age fifty-something... hot of the preview press (and gawd, so much more to do) BUT... it's a book!
Now, the real work begins. Promotion. But first... (there's always a "but first").
Right now, I’m the pain in butt for this household as everyone “turns to" with red pen in hand, has their way with the pages I already spilled blood on, (breathe girl, just breathe) as the last corrections are made, and made, and made… as my mentor Gerhard would say, if it wasn’t for the 11th hour, nothing would get done. I’d like to add to that, “And done, and done, and then done again… and trust, it will get done again. But, even as we’re dotting i’s and crossing t’s (or swapping them out or exchanging them for u’s and whatever that letter was suppose to be - probably a y or an r, if I had to guess) I’m also trying to create and implement a marketing plan… why the rush? Where’s the fire? Thanks for asking (get in line) It’s holiday book buying season – 41% of ALL books bought this year will be bought in the next 75 days…
So, the plan from here is this: I’m printing books in two “phases” (oooh, sounds like we know what we’re doing right?)
The first phase will be the “ADVANCE PREVIEW/REVIEW COPY – NOT FOR RESALE version. I have added the official words and banners to the book both inside and out (not an easy task for one who is a trained graphic artist – not a programmer) BUT, one who fearlessly treads where angels dare.) the final content gets sent to the printer...
I will print 25 copies for this phase – that’s the number of targets I’ve identified that will work for me and my budget. Wish me luck on that.
I will send these books to two groups – Group one is “the endorsers.” Group two is "the reviewers." The endorsers are those who are movers and shakers in the various worlds my book dances through, a blurb or nice shout-out from them will get the attention of the…
Reeee –view- er-er-er-ers…. And their word is gold for new buyers.
But to get their attention, I need another key piece of “promo” the Press Release.
I got turned onto PR Web. Not because I did any research, but because my friend and guide in this writing thingy uses them for her publishing company – and I gotta keep this ball rolling somehow (maybe I should do an upcoming segment on time management… hmmm…).
On to the press release – PR Web walks you through the various steps AND they have examples of releases in case you get stuck – but, we’re all writer’s ain’t we? I have confidence you’ll know what to say… and we’re in luck – if you start it early enough (before the day you want to send it out – I’m going out a week before my release to give the media time to do a good story… as I think this out loud, I may bump that up a notch of two, but my release date is the sweet spot between election day (talk about a packed news cycle) and Black Friday (which we’ll discuss later) SO – the point is, if you start early enough (like I already have) you’ll be able to revise it even after you save it, which I have about 10 times by now (as long as you put the post date into the future, you are with me on that, right?). I also use this press release in my “press kit.”
Okay – so without further ado, here's what I've come up with so far...
Move over Caitlyn, adventure filmmaker went from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years.
Zuzubean Press is excited to announce the Nov. 10th, 2015 release of "Getting Back to Me” from girl to boy to woman in just fifty years. The real-time account of the coming out and transition of an alpha-dog.
In the wake of the Caitlyn Jenner’s privileged transition in the public eye comes the real world transition of a down-to-earth trans woman in real-time. Scottie Madden uses her journal entries to shed fresh light on the trans experience as she leaves behind fear and “white male privilege” to embrace truth, grace and womanhood. Her gut-wrenching journey of love, acceptance and honesty becomes the ultimate survival show.
Scottie didn’t make it easy on herself. Like many late-stage trans women, Scottie had made one helluva guy; succeeding as husband of 28 years, the only son, the big brother to three sisters and the legendary adventurer uncle to their children. Everything in her life screamed “alpha male,” but no one could guess that Scottie, a top survival showrunner for Discovery Channel and the History Channel, known for leading übermale productions into the world’s most dangerous and remote locations was losing a lifelong battle for her soul. It takes true love from her wife of 26 years for Scottie to shake off fifty years of expectations from her family, society and herself. But first she had to face the denial that she had embraced to shield herself from the heartache of a life that would go on unlived.
Scottie shines her laser sharp instincts for the truth (finally) on herself, and reveals the inner workings of the human soul as it strives to reconcile fear, love happiness and the truth of who we all are. Her ability to articulate the deepest murmurs of the heart translates to anyone who has ever tried to deal with the insidious malady that goes by the name of denial. Formidable, fearless, lively, and, above all, charmingly fun, Scottie brings you along with her to the outer edges of the showdown with dangerous private truths... “Getting Back to Me” shows that love does conquer all, Scotties unshakable faith in love and her family, friends and community to be the best that they can be pays off in inspiring ways. ~ Sally Park Rubin, author of The Overfunctioning Woman's Handbook: Uncommon Sense to Deal With Impossible Jobs and Impossible People, says, “Riveting Tragic hero turns triumphant heroine. If you believe love conquers all, this book will inspire you to go for more of THAT. Formidable, fearless, lively, and, above all, charmingly fun, Scottie, a Hollywood "survival show" show runner, brings you safely along with her to the outer edges of anyone's ability to confront dangerous private truths...takes you on a wild ride overlooking the breathtaking canyons of the soul of a woman."
Read an excerpt at http://www.zuzubean.com/excerpts.html
Scottie Madden is a showrunner of adventure reality TV with recent shows on Discovery Channel (“Land Rush,” “Dude, You’re Screwed”) and The History Channel (“The Ark”). She has written for children’s television, (Pug and Zero’s Field Trip) games shows (“Duel,” “Do you trust me?” “Last to Survive”) and feature film (“the kiss”). She lives in Woodland Hills with her wife, her dog Aria and her beloved oak trees in the shadow of “dirt Mulholland”. Zuzubean Press http://www.zuzubean.com - is an independent publisher of fiction, material that engages, entertains, illumines and inspires, based in Los Angeles. Contact: Marcy Madden 818.489.7330 email@example.com
If you’re on my blog, you’re on my website and you can see that I lifted the copy I had written for the back cover to create the press release. The rest is academic…
But this works because I've identified my market - The general audience that wants to satisfy it's curiosity (for real) about a one of the most talked about subjects in the past year (thank you, Cait) . So I referenced the subject in playful, intriguing way. I was able to restate the subject of my book (my subtitle) in the headline to start to create it's "brand."
I have included all the info that the reader of a press release (the press - who may lift all of parts as the date they may choose to report in their media) needs. And, Include the details that will help differentiate this book in the marketplace.
So... will it be effective? I let you know.
Next steps:: I will send out another press release on Black Friday to draw attention to a special one-day only sale. And one more during Christmas week. Stay tuned...
Okay – that’s blog one, whew! Now back to writing…
Blog Byline: Scottie Madden
Scottie currently lives with her love in a treehouse in the shadow of LA’s infamous “dirt Mullholland,” with their black dog Aria. When she’s not pretending that developing, writing and running television shows is anything other than a dream come true, (if they find out it isn’t hard at all, they’ll make us work!) she is cooking up some wild adventure in food for her friends and family.