Monday, January 28, 2013

Get on TV: Public Access across the USA.

Let's say you produced a video such as a short film, a comedy act, an improv session and you want to send it to someplace besides You Tube, I have a list for you. These are public access TV stations across the USA. Here is the link: http://www.videouniversity.com/directories/public-access-stations/

I've taken the liberty of checking out some of these TV stations and this is what I found. Davis, California's DCTV features Democracy Now! Free Speech TV, Yolo County Government 101, and Better Day Films. The last program I mentioned has a link for Better World Films, which you can see on You Tube. Here is the link: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118022677558414330610/posts

Then, I moved on to my home state, Michigan and looked up Ann Arbor's Community Television Network (CTN). They have more than one network under their umbrella: 16 GovTV, 17A2TV (A Squared TV), 18 EduTV and 19 CitiTV.

On A2TV, they offer:
  • Access Soapbox
  • Access Ann Arbor
  • A2TV Specials 
     
  • Public Access programs produced by residents & non-profits 
     
  • Programs uploaded by independent producers

CitiTV offers:
  • Conversations
  • Ward Talk
  • Senior Moments
  • For Your Information (FYI)
  • Ann Arbor High School and Community Sports
  • Cultural and Community Events
  • Election programming

I looked into GovTV and got footage of what looked like a City Council Meeting. They have programs on all things local government including historical shows.

What about EduTV?

The EDUCATION CHANNEL, CTN Cable Channel 18, offers educational and informational programming. Watch plays and concerts featuring Ann Arbor school children. Learn a foreign language through Annenberg Media and connect with the U.S. Department of Education through its monthly "Education News Parents Can Use" Satellite Town Meetings. Other regular programs include AADL Presents and The Drexel InterView. Programming also includes live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Board of Education Meetings.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just to show some contrast, I thought I'd go up North to the Upper Peninsula and see how their public access stations are different from the ones "downstate". Well, I got close; I found a public access station in Traverse City, Michigan, which is in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula. This town is home to UpNorth Media Center and their website is: http://www.upnorthmedia.org/

Hyperlinks included, UpNorth TV has such shows as:
In addition to UpNorth TV, they have a several TV programs under the Government TV heading. I noticed that Traverse City has at least three Christian shows. No Christian or church-oriented shows jumped out at me in the Ann Arbor (nor at the Davis, California) stations.

So, how do you start your own show? Here's how in Travis City.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blog Talk Radio defined and more.

Want your own talk radio station? Come and get it! You can get started today, if you want to. Just what is Blog Talk Radio? It is the free internet radio network that allows users to create free, live call-in talk shows with unlimited participants. By clicking here, you can launch a demo, see popular Blog Talk shows and upgrade to premium services: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/

I tried to see what the premium services are and how much they cost, but you have to sign up in order to see them. Featured shows are: Current events (including trucking safety), Underground Wellness, Freedomizer Radio, MyND Talk under the Psychology heading, and Marketing Technology.

I couldn't resist looking at the Paranormal category. Psi (as in psychic) Fi Radio, Tough Reality, Life After Death, Haunted (you name the location) are titles that caught my eye. Another category I had to look at was the broad spectrum of politics. The main categories are only divided into two groups: progressive and conservative. If you're middle of the road, I don't know what to tell you. I don't think the politically moderate are drawn to talk radio, but I could be wrong.

Then, I saw the category of "Fun". This is what I found: Ms January Jones whose featured topic is adding in a new Commandment: Thou Shalt not Whine; identified as a family show, one lady is Flying by the Seat of her Pants; and Twanna Ray Live has WTRL News (LOL Today).

Blog Talk Radio has a big networking group on Facebook. For those who do Twitter, I just followed @blogtalkradio

So, do you have something to say and want to get your message out? Do you want to make people laugh? Maybe your serious message might end up making people laugh. At least you'd get their attention! Maybe you want to be listed as "fun", but really just want to educate the public about preventive healthcare. Go for it!

Love is in the air and so is this Valentine's Day anthology!

How romantic is this? The characters of eight writers are collaborating on a Valentine's Day performance of a lifetime. Write More Publications is releasing a special edition Valentine's Day anthology titled "Novel Hearts," featuring characters from the books of these fantastic authors: Rebecca Boucher, Molly Bryant, Stephanie Greenhalgh, Theresa Oliver, Jennifer Paquette, Amber White, Elaine White and J.S. Wilsoncroft! Here's the front cover!

Photo: Guess What? Write More Publications is releasing a special edition Valentine's Day anthology titled "Novel Hearts," featuring characters from the books of these eight fabulous authors: Rebecca Boucher, Molly Bryant, Stephanie Greenhalgh, Theresa Oliver, Jennifer Paquette, Amber White, Elaine White and J.S. Wilsoncroft! Here's the front cover! More to come!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vampires and werewolves and wisps, oh my!

 
Things were fine with teenaged Savina O'Hayden and her single mother, Gillian. They lived in Austin, Texas and Savina was happy there. Out of the blue, Uncle Hank passed away. Savina had to move out to the middle of nowhere AND change schools! Now, this was no ordinary school and Savina had no ordinary heritage. What's more, a lot of danger was waiting for her in her new life. Romance didn't come without worrisome, heart breaking consequences. What's a Destined Oracle to do?

Destined Oracle is the first book in the Oracle Saga series. J.G. Martinez started early; she completed her first novel at the age of ten! She hopes to bring her imagination into the lives of those who read her stories. Well, she's off to a good start.

For more information on Destined Oracle, visit: http://www.writemorepublications.com/J-G--Martinez.html

By the way, the big release for Runaway Girl will be Saturday, January 26th at 10:00a.m. Eastern Standard Time. For details, visit:


Friday, January 18, 2013

Indie Improv, Theater and Comedy Channels on You Tube

I knew that You Tube had a lot of channels run by indie producers. I decided to go You Tube surfing to see what they had to offer. I looked at the 10 most subscribed to You Tube channels. If you're into trendy music or shows for twentysomethings, it's there. I like fresh, original material geared towards slightly older people. So, I did a search and this is what I came up with.

In this one, people take off their pants on a subway ride:

Here's a live show out of Fullerton, California:

Drew Carey fans will love his Improv-A-Ganza:

In the mood for a new live comedy show every day? Check out My Damn Channel:

I also came across a channel that shows stage plays!
This is Citizens Theatre out of Scotland:

Another stage-oriented channel from Scotland, Five Minute Theatre:

Want to start your own You Tube Channel?
See a video to help get started:

Happy viewing!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On Book Trailers AND Audio Books: Don Beasley, Janet's husband's guest posting.

Don Beasley of Multi-Tech Productions, Inc.

 
Book trailers are an amazing tool to get your novels noticed. They’re a great way to get your audience revved up and ready to read your creations.

And here’s a tidbit – they’re not that hard to make. Yes, there are elaborate book trailers out there complete with moving graphics, stunning music beds, and vivid graphics. But you really don’t have to have all that to create your own to gain attention for your novel.

If you have a basic photo editing program, you most likely have a basic movie option available. If not, check online for a basic version of a movie editing program. Some are free, some are not. It’s up to you.

Text , photos, and movie bits are good. But the same words and pictures over and over are not. By simply changing out your photos, video clips, and wording you’re already on your way to creating a decent book trailer.

Looking for video clips instead of just photos? Not a problem. Your digital camera can be your best friend. Get out and begin shooting some stock footage of things that depict your book. It’s best if you can use a tripod, or something solid to set your camera on while shooting the footage. There’s nothing more nauseating than a creek that’s bobbin up and down and tilting sideways.

Need some stock photos you can use for free? Check out JLB Creatives Flickr page for a wide variety of photos you are free to download and use on your book trailers, websites, blogs, and more. Here’s where you’ll find them: JLB Creatives on Flickr All of the photos were taken by me and/or my wife Author Janet Beasley. We’ve separated the photos into categories for easy searching.

If your photo editing software includes some different fades from scene to scene use them tastefully. Don’t get carried away trying to use numerous fade styles. Unlike repeating words and pictures, fades (or wipes) can become annoying if you over use an abundance of styles.

Does your software allow you to add sound? If so, add some great music. You don’t have to pay huge royalty fees to get good background music. Search the web for free downloads and explore possibilities you might not even have known were at your fingertips.

If you are going to “star” in your book trailer than be sure you are well lit, the audio is intelligible, and any background noises (dogs, cats, kids, etc.) are nil.

And if you are simply overwhelmed at the thought of creating your own book trailer, good news…you can hire it done. There are a multitude of companies available who create book trailers for authors. Again, use the web as your tool to search and discover the one that best suits your needs.

A book trailer is cool because it’s kind of backwards from many people’s thinking; Watch the movie THEN read the book.

Don’t be afraid to start promoting your book trailer before your book comes out. Book trailers are awesome tools to build excitement and generate interest in your upcoming release.

If you’d like to see what we have created, here’s a link to YouTube to one of our very own book trailers we produced and edited: http://youtu.be/LiWZo7ep6lA

To add more excitement regarding your novel, move out of the visual and into the audio realm. That’s right – bring your books to life by creating audio versions. OK, so you don’t have a publisher who specializes in creating audio books, or you have no idea where to begin. Never fear…where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Check out BlogTalkRadio.com or Spreaker.com These are prime online radio sites that allow you to upload audio recordings, be it music or reading. Though they do offer the option of doing a live online radio broadcast, you don’t have to. You can record and set up scheduled programs. The best part? It’s free (with limitations). But, if you’re willing to put your book in audio form chapter by chapter, these sites or other like them may just be for you. They do offer paid subscriptions with tons of great features, so be sure and do your research to find what’s best for you.

You’ll want to make certain you have a good microphone. Yes, the ones on your laptops, iPads, and other devices are microphones, but an external microphone – corded – will be your best bet. An external microphone will produce a rich, thick, intelligible sound.

Other things to consider? Eliminate background noise, read slow, speak every word clearly, read with enthusiasm when it’s going good and scary when it’s going not so good, and give each character a different voice (not drastic, but enough to hear a separation).

The possibilities are limitless. Use your creativity and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Technology can be overwhelming and intimidating if you let it…so don’t let it.

Liz, it was great to be here. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share on your blog.


Multi-Tech Productions, Inc. is an audio visual company dedicated to serving churches, schools, restaurants, and theaters with their sound, light, and multi-media needs. For more information on Don and MTP visit http://www.LiveEventsAndProdcutions.blogspot.com JLB Creatives is a division of Mutli-Tech Productions, Inc. and serves within the literary portions of the business. You’ll find JLB Creatives at http://www.JLBCreatives.Blogspot.com


Indie Author Tools and Tips, a guest posting by Janet Beasley.

 
Author Janet Beasley: Hidden Earth Series and  JLB Creatives – founder

So you’ve decided to go Indie – good for you!

Contrary to popular belief indie publishing is becoming more and more widely accepted, and for some good reasons.

Talented authors are bringing their creative genius to the pages. They’re entertaining, educating, and even inspiring with their self-published books. Fiction or non-fiction, it makes no difference. Everything is getting out there.

New genres are being birthed constantly. No more boundaries of having to make a book fit into a certain mold just to be sellable. Now days you’ve got a good chance at finding inventive categories such as paranormal romance suspense, murder mystery magic, religious fantasy, crime romance comedy, and anything else you want to throw together.

Target audiences are still prevalent however series like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars have brought delight to fans of all ages. This has brought about a drastic change in marketing some novel series. You’ll hear upcoming authors asking, do I market kids or adults? Do I market to boys or girls, or men or women? It’s a tough choice to make, but you need to start somewhere with one dedicated target audience. The great news is, as a self-published author, if your category of choice is not working well for you, you have the liberty to move on to the next in a heart beat.

If you’re going to self-publish, do it right. The most effective tools and services for indie authors are simple and easy to obtain.

The most basic tools can be valuable. You’ll need the program Word and be able to put your books into PDF format. Whether you are going ebooks or paperbacks you’ll find, across the gamut of self-publishing sites, you’ll most likely need both.

If you are not comfortable formatting and uploading your own book(s) by all means find someone to help you – hired or not. Books that hold incorrect formatting are annoying to every reader, and books that won’t upload for a number of reasons can become the defeating end to an author who just may have well been the next big thing.

Be sure your cover design catches the eye. Again – if you’re a wiz with graphics, get to it and make the coolest cover EVER! If not, not to worry there are book cover design services out there that do outstanding work for a fee.

Hire a professional editor – I cannot stress this point enough. If you put a book out there that has not been professionally edited, you’re not going to build much of a fan base. Sadly, even if your ebook is FREE or you offered it for 99 cents, readers will be put off by bad grammar, lousy punctuation, poor sentence structure, and continual spelling mistakes.

Book trailers are not a must, but they sure help. This is a digital, “I want to see it now” kind of world. If you can get your fans excited through a media presentation you’ll most likely begin to see more fans downloading your ebooks or buying your paperbacks.

Marketing is probably the “worst” of the entire process for many indie authors. Even if you love marketing you will soon find that it is taking up much of your time. If you’re not disciplined you will fail at bringing about more books, miserably. Create a schedule of how much time you are going to spend on marketing and stick to it. And if you’re writing more than one book be sure to leave ample time to do what you love best…be an author.

A platform is a must. Social media has taken the lead on helping indie authors get the word out. It’s great to meet and network with authors around the world through Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and more. But keep in mind you need to be marketing to readers and not just authors.

Make certain if your books are on Amazon you have an Author Bio Page. Here’s a handy link to keep for when the time comes: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ It will take you to Amazon’s Author Central. There is a wealth of information there.

Your platform should also include a website and a blog. Yup, more tasks to add to the list, but well worth the effort. Websites don’t have to be fancy and elaborate. Often times less is more. As far as your blog goes, make certain to entertain, inform, and educate with your posts instead of down-talking others, complaining, or involving defamation of character to get back at perhaps someone who’s given you a bad review or a publisher who rejected your work. Stay upbeat to stay professional.

Overall, indie authors are becoming accepted more and more. It’s a rewarding experience, but it is also a lot of work that takes dedication, passion, and determination.
To be a success you can’t be afraid of hard work or getting your feelings hurt, and you have to have a professional presentation when it comes to your final product.

My advice to you? If you’ve got a story to tell then tell it; someone out there is ready and waiting to read it. Do it up right, keep at it, and you’ll most likely see your fan base begin to grow.

Thanks for having me Liz. It was a pleasure to be a guest on your blog.


JLB Creatives is a company created by authors for authors. We excel in promotional guidance, social media, facilitating, and literary events. To discover more I’d like to personally invite you to visit http://www.JLBCreatives.Blogspot.com

                                                           

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Runaway Girl coming your way!

A vampire princess is missing, her soul fractured and divided among five human girls. Just that alone would be an amazing feat to behold. Loyal Vampire soldier, Damian bears a grudge, but can he set his feelings aside and follow orders? Will Princess Amelia's soul be reunited in time for the meeting of the three Clans? Will her brother, Matthew, fight for the right to rule. If so, who will prevail?

It makes you wonder how the five human girls can extract Amelia's soul fragments from themselves in order to put her back together again. Talk about solving a puzzle! Elaine White's first book in The Secrets of Avelina Chronicles is not your typical vampire story.

Besides Tweeting and Facebook sharing, the first way of promoting this novel would be for Elaine to submit this title to Vampire News before January 15th! I am reprinting part of Bertena Varney, the Vampire Professor's guest posting for instructions on how to get listed.

Here is a link to look at Vampire News 2011-- http://bitemereallyhard.com/?page_id=3153

Well, it’s that time again. We are beginning to work on Vampire News 2012. We are requesting submissions for vampire news of 2012. Once we received these submissions then we will contact you with a permission to use form.

VN 2012 is looking for the following submissions:
- book titles, covers and releases of any vampire books, comics, webisodes
- news articles, interviews, and reviews of anything vampire related
- personal art, photography, etc
- information about vampire events, conventions and parties
- promotions for your books or articles/blogs about anything about vampires or vampire related
- anything vampire related- just email and ask us

Please send any ideas or submissions to vampirenews2012@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Writer's Boost is now expanding to playrights, stand-up comics and journalists!

Do you have a comedy act or improv show you want everybody to know about? Do you have a stage play (or series of short plays) uploaded on You Tube that needs more attention? Do you have a radio show in which you interview indie authors? Are you a journalist who want to interview indie authors for your online newspaper, newsletter, column or blog?  Over here! Drop me a line, send me a video link. The best way to reach me is to Tweet to: @WritersBoost or click here: https://twitter.com/WritersBoost

 And self-published novelists, my virtual door is always open to you, too. Translated from Spanish: Prosperous New Year!