Session 401:Publishing 101—Book Launchfrom A to Z
In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk DirectingBy Melissa SilversteinIn Her Voice, is the firstbook that takes thewords and experiencesof a diverse group ofcelebrated women filmdirectors and puts theirvoices front and center.This unique volume of interviewspresents over 40 directors fromaround the world.
W&H started as a blog usingblogger, then evolved into aself-hosted Wordpresssite, WomenandHollywood.com, where all interviewspublished in In Her Voicewere posted.Evolution of the Blog
Because the interviewswere publishedonline, Melissa feltpublishers wouldn’t beinterested, so shedecided to publish InHer Voice herself.Evolution of the Blog
Today the Womenand Hollywoodblog is onIndieWire, andhas become asuccess with over5100 likes and aloyal following.Becoming astrong platform tolaunch her book.Evolution of the Blog
This post reallycaught attentionand went viral,currently at 2069tweets.Evolution of the Blog
Question: love your shows but why all the gay and lesbian story lines?Shonda Rhimes: Because I believe everyone should get to see themselves reflectedon TV. EVERYONE. And because I love all my gay and lesbian friends. AND because Ithink same-sex marriage is the civil rights fight of our era and back when being aperson of color was the civil rights fight, people like Norman Lear put black peopleon TV and helped change some minds. So you know, its gotta be paid forward. Aslong as we are willing to sit by while one person is not free, none of us are free.And FINALLY: because as long as someone feels like it is okay to ask the question"why all the gay people on your shows", then there is still a HUGE problem thatneeds to be solved. Its like asking "Why all the black people on your shows".(Which is, in fact, why there are also a lot of people of color on my shows . Causepeople keep asking. Like its unusual. Which means we have a LONG way to go).Okay, done preaching.Evolution of the Blog
Evolution of the Blog to a bookThe whole point of publishing, In HerVoice, was every time Melissa went intoa store she only saw books about maledirectors. It’s about aspirations andinspirations and showing a diversity ofstories and story tellers.
You truly need a platform to publish.Melissa learned very early on thatrunning a blog was not going to payher bills. However, she discovered herblog was a strong networking andpartnership making tool, and that wasthe key to building the platform.Evolution of the Blog to a book
• Publish your passion. Blogging,becoming an author, and publishing yourbook is a lot of work. Make sure youwrite about something you trulyfeel passionate about.• Have a platform and a plan to build it.• Give yourself time to grow your networkand your skills. A strong network andorganization for promotion is key to yourbook’s success.Evolution of the Blog to a book
The first interviews were early in the lifeof the blog. Melissa did the first editingpush on her own, but knew she needededitorial support. Melissa blogged toher community about wanting to get abook out. Would someone help her?Eva Krainitzki, a graduate student fromEngland, stepped up (see cover credit)to help with editing.Evolution of the Blog to a book
Evolution of the Blog to a bookMelissa developed a release for thebook using Volunteer Lawyers for theArts, an NYC non-profit.Her team of help grew and the otherwomen listed on cover helped to gatherpermissions, bios, photos. Melissaforgot the photos in the firstround, which became a productionissue later.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookShannon uses a projectmanagement tool calledBasecamp to organize allcommunicationconcept, review proofs,to press files. This tool isa huge time-saver andhelps keep productionon time and teammember communicationclear and searchable.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookFirst coverproofsuploadedto projectwebsite.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookReview of stock imageoptions on projectsite. We needed animage that wouldshow a powerfulwoman, with goodeye-contact and alsorepresent the diversityof women in film.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookSecond round cover proofsusing final photo choice.Melissa wanted to try usingW&H branding . . .
Evolution of the Blog to a bookThird roundcover proofsusing Women& Hollywoodbrand.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookWith the front coverapproved, we couldmove to the interiorand on to websiteand ebooks.Photos provided bydirectors were notconsistent in quality,or resolution. Newplan for Volume 2,use tool at link: pixel-inch converter.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookMelissa knewearly on shewanted to sellher ebooksdirectly from herown site andPOD for printat events andonline fromAmazon,CreateSpace
Evolution of the Blog to a bookWordpress wasthe choice sinceit had the righttools and Melissawas already usingfor her blog.Started with adigital storefront theme. EasyDigital Downloadswas the plugin forebook sales.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookWordpress wasthe way to go andhad the tools towork with. Startedwith digitalstore fronttheme, andcustomized fromthere. EasyDigital Downloadswas the plugin forebook sales.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookIn Her VoiceAmazon saleson CreateSpace,82 books soldsince launch,with minimalmarketing, profitis $6.18 per bookout of $16.99.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookMelissa had a softlaunch for In Her Voiceat Sundance FilmFestival, Jan.2013, where shehanded out twobusiness cards ascoupons: one freeebook for media anda second $5 discountcode.
Evolution of the Blog to a bookSocial media: worked withan online book marketingspecialist to optimize heronline presence.FB Likes: over 5,100Twitter: over 7850 followersOver 15,000 tweets.It’s a lot of work maintainingsocial media—daily—no, anhourly activity!
Evolution of the Blog to a bookAthena Film Festival, panel of directors from In Her Voice.
In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk DirectingBy Melissa SilversteinIn Her Voice, current events includesalons and panels in Los Angeles, NewYork, London.Upcoming film festival appearancesinclude the Women’s InternationalWomen’s Film Festival held inSeoul, South Korea, May 24-30th.
In Her Voice: Women Directors Talk DirectingBy Melissa SilversteinLong tail plan for the book:outreach to film schools, women’smedia programs, women’s filmorganizations, all types of filmfestivals.“This is just the beginning”
– Thank you –To share visit Shannon_Bodieat www.slideshare.netClick for Handout download.Or email Shannon Bodie for file.