Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Upcoming Author Appearances

Hey there, Cruisers! Sarah here again!

School is out for the summer, and this class project is officially finished! However, The Motion of the Ocean is not yet out, and Janna is still working to promote her book!

Here is a list of dates for some appearances that Janna will be making in the Pacific Northwest to promote her book. Save the dates, and come join Janna!

Sat, June 6th, 6:30 pm - Reading
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park near Seattle

Mon, June 22nd, 6:30 pm - Reading
Seattle Public Library, Ballard Branch

Thurs, July 2nd, 7 pm - Reading
Village Books
, Bellingham

Mon, July 20th, 7:30 pm - Reading
Powell's Books, Portland

Thurs, July 23rd, 7 pm - BOOK PARTY w/ Midge Raymond,
Richard Hugo House, Seattle

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Janna Gives Some Feedback on the Flyer

The Motion of the Ocean will be available in bookstores on June 2nd, 2009! You can preorder your book right now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Borders. Or you can wait until June 2nd and go to your local bookseller to pick up a copy of the book!

Hello Cruisers, Sarah here!

Tomorrow is the final class for Publishing Procedures, and Lindsay, Alice, and I are frantically working to complete our project! The three of us have written an awesome (and well-collaborated) paper about our marketing plan, Alice and Lindsay have finished two versions of the book trailer, and here I bring you some updates regarding that flyer!

Have you noticed how nothing is ever quite finished, even when we say it is? How something can always use more work--a few tweaks here and there? There is always room for improvement.

This is certainly the case with our flyer! Janna had given some feedback on our most recent versions of the flyer, and so I went in and made some edits according to Janna's comments.

Here is what Janna had to say about the last flyer that we came up with:

A couple thoughts:
- How about a feisty new travel memoir (instead of exciting)
- Lots of blue and white here; some of the writing fades into the background. What about adding a third color? Maybe picking up the brick red of the sail or something?
- Could you please change the quote (more prestigious than Cap'n Fatty, bless his heart):
"You'll be wildly entertained and glad to be on solid ground.” - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY summer pick
I really like the swervy way you wrote the title with the subtitle above and below. Very cool! Also, I prefer the 2nd flyer visually like you do, but not sure why (I definitely don't need my face on the poster).

So with this in mind, I created this version:

This one, however, still had a few errors in it (including a typo). Janna sent some more comments to us, and I created one more flyer . . . which we all are quite happy with!

- typo: memoir is misspelled
- I agree with Alice that red is difficult to read against dark blue, whereas the white pops so nicely
- can you put the thin outline around the subtitle so it can be better seen against the white clouds?

I love the layout here! Nice how you've lined up waterline on book to match waterline on poster--clever! Also love the curves you have here. You've done a beautiful job. Perfect balance.

My only concern is no info is really given about the book to spark a general female reader's interest. That's why I'd like to include the paint chip quote ("Choosing a mate is like picking house paint from one of those tiny color squares: You never know how it will look across a large expanse, or how it will change in different light"). I understand that adding another block of text will mess with the layout, but here are some ideas on how to do it:
- Move PW quote to where feisty memoir is currently, put in white; I like the imagery of this quote at the bottom; fits with solid ground idea
- One option is to put paint chip quote to upper right block in red, then shrink the subtitle text slightly and move entire subtitle to one line below title and put "an adventure love story by janna cawrse esarey" (instead of feisty new travel memoir--b/c I may use this several months from now) to top line--I might do all lowercase for both upper and lower lines of text to create a streamlined, contemporary look; just an idea.

With these comments in mind, I created the above two versions of the flyer. There are very subtle differences between these two images, and we like them both. Which do you prefer?

This is it for the flyer! It has been through a lot, with many revisions. It has certainly improved, however, and now Janna has a whole selection of flyers to work with while promoting her book. It's been a lot of work, but very fun.

That's all for the flyer and all for now, but we will be back in the near future to update you on our final class tomorrow morning!

Signing off,

Monday, May 18, 2009

Preorder Your Copy Now, and a Call For Readers' Submissions!

Ahoy-hoy, Cruisers!

Sarah here, and as my overuse of exclamation points indicates, I bring you exciting news!

First things first: a very important bit of information that this blog does not yet feature! The release of Janna's book!

That's right, folks! The Motion of the Ocean will be available in bookstores on June 2nd, 2009! You can preorder your book right now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Borders. Or you can wait until June 2nd and go to your local bookseller to pick up a copy of the book!

In other important news:
We would like to feature readers' opinions and reviews of The Motion of the Ocean on this blog! If you are somebody fortunate enough to have read The Motion of the Ocean already and would like to have a bit of fame here on the blog, please send an email to us at motionoceanblog@gmail.com!

We only ask that you do not spoil the book in your review. Feel free to discuss topics, themes, how this book made you think--anything! This is your chance to have a say right here on the blog!

That's all for now! Stay tuned for some final updates on the book trailer and flyer, as well as for fan reviews of The Motion of the Ocean!

Signing off and sailing away (conveniently to the melody of a Styx song),

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Quiet Week in Lake Wobegon

Ahoy, Cruisers! Alice here.

Well, as you can tell from the subject, not much has been going on. At least, not much in the blog category of our lives. That's right: it's coming on to finals week, and the three of us have suddenly remembered that we actually do have other classes to worry about and thus have all been total gestresst--so stressed, in fact, that I can't even speak English properly anymore. Mensch.

I do, however, have a new and improved version of the book trailer to show you. This isn't the final cut, but it's pretty darn close. We've fiddled with a few things in this version--changed the font, changed the pacing, changed some pictures--and all in all we're happy with how it turned out. Just a few more things need tweaking before we're done! Total done! We shall keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Appearance at Book Club Inspires Conversation!

Hi, all! Lindsay here.

Janna's visit to Garfield Book Company's book club was a huge success! Here is a clip that we got from it:

Stay tuned for more info!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Update on the Web Flyer

Sarah here!

Last week, we completed our e-newsletter masthead. What, you may ask, is that? That's the first thing you see when an e-newsletter is emailed to you: something consistent and visually appealing to start the newsletter.

This was yet another component of our class assignment, so we put one together to go along with everything else we have completed. As you can see, the header there is very similar to our blog header here. We wanted to keep these the same, so viewers could easily connect the newsletter and blog and know they are part of the same marketing scheme. We chose to keep the layout of this very simple so as to not overwhelm viewers. The design aspect was simple and very easy for us to put together, but nothing is ever easy, now is it?

When it came to putting the header in an email, we had all sorts of problems. Technological troubles seems to be a common theme with our project. Our first issue was finding an email provider that would allow us to send HTML-based emails. We have a Gmail account for this blog, and wanted to use that, but Gmail, unfortunately, does not allow sending HTML-based emails. We then tried using a Hotmail account, which will send HTML-based emails. When we attempted that, however, the formatting was incorrect. So after several attempts at tweaking the HTML coding, we gave up on Hotmail and decided to switch to a non-web-based email provider. This time we tried Thunderbird, Firefox's email client. This allows us to send HTML-based emails disguised as our Gmail account. Problem solved!

Luckily, now that we're beyond the technical issues, we are pretty much finished with the web flyer. Now our focus is on fine-tuning and tweaking the various components of our project, focusing primarily on the book trailer.

That's all for now; we'll keep you updated as we finish this project in time for finals week next week!

Signing off,

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Reactions to Janna's Book Club

Ahoy! Alice here.

Time for a bit more footage from Janna's book club! After Sarah, Katie, and I had finished filming Janna and her friends discussing the book, Janna turned the camera on us to see what we had to add to the conversation. Here's just a bit of what was said by Sarah,

by Katie,

and by me.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Technological Difficulties

Alice here. I hope you all enjoyed reading Lindsay's idyllic recounting of our video trailer experience because the followup tale is slightly more harrowing. Are you ready?

About two hours after class ended--so after about four hours of working on the trailer total--we were just about done: we just needed to fiddle with a couple of photos and export the trailer! Sarah and Lindsay headed out and left me in charge of the finishing touches. Little did they know what would ensue. . . .

First, half of our photos disappeared. I'm not quite sure why. They were displaying perfectly, and the next time I ran through the trailer they had been replaced by greenscreen. This was a source of great confusion to me, but, as a veteran Windows user, I simply deleted and reinserted them, and all seemed to be well.

Next I had to render the video. For those of you who aren't video editing whizzes, this just means--well, I'm not quite sure what the technical definition is. Sarah could probably tell you. Basically, before you've rendered anything, the video runs really choppily and skips and is generally unpleasant to watch; rendering fixes all that and makes the video ready for production. So it's something that really must be done. When I told Premiere Pro to render the video, though, it got about 5 percent in and stopped.

OK. I told it to render again. Three percent this time.

I moved the cursor right to the part that needed to be rendered, then asked the program to render again. It got through about ten seconds before stopping. So I proceeded to render the video in five- to ten-second chunks, all the way through.

With that finally finished, I told Premiere to export the file. This normally takes a bit of time--far longer than the actual length of the video--so when the progress bar disappeared after about thirty seconds, I was suspicious. Sure enough, when I opened the exported file, our video ran until just about "Girl dumps Boy" before cutting out. Not a very auspicious ending.

I'll spare you the details. Let's just say it was about 1:45 then, and by 2:30 I had at least six partial versions of the video exported. The computer lab assistant had no ideas, and nor did I, so I left to get some much-needed sustenance, intending to relocate my efforts to a computer in another lab.

Unfortunately, after I got to said other lab, I realized that I didn't have all the files that the video needed. I would, essentially, have to remake the entire trailer. No thanks.

The computer we had been working on, which had all the files we needed in the order we needed them, proved more than a little difficult to reclaim. During my time spent waiting, I came up with a list of possible problems and solutions to fix the trailer and make sure that exporting ran lickety-split. Thus armed, I loaded the file, hit "export," and prepared to do battle.

It ran through it all on the first shot. No problems. I will never understand Windows.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Book Trailer Round Two!

Hi! Lindsay here:

After a long, hard day of work on Thursday, we have what we think is a very close version to a final book trailer. Hooray! We started working on it in class on Thursday, but when class time was up we weren't ready to abandon what we had got going, so Alice and I stayed behind because we didn't have classes for a while. Sarah skipped her class class to stay and work--sshhhhh! She is dedicated! Plus it was fun.

As I mentioned in my very first blog entry, I have no experience with filming or editing. This project is definitely a learning experience for me. On Thursday Sarah was in the driver's seat for a while and then she asked if I want to try. Doing my best to contribute, I said YES! Our work was the repetitive stuff of plugging in Janna's stick figure drawings (see earlier blog post for a glimpse of these in their early stage) and adding the titles and pictures that we mapped out in our book trailer outline a few weeks ago.

My favorite drawings were Janna's stick picture of pink tasks, boy dumps girl (tears), and boy comes crawling back. Don't they all!

We had to resize each picture and center it in the movie Premiere Pro software. Then we added the title to each picture. This part is actually very easy if shown the proper way--and, of course, with two experts beside me.

One of my favorite add-ins to this book trailer was putting in actual pictures from Janna and Graeme's trip to match what idea we were conveying. For example, Janna demonstrates her taking on "pink" tasks with pictures of her sewing, cooking, and doing dishes. My most favorite are the pictures of the animal life and locals on the islands she visited.

After all the pieces were put in order, we edited how long each clip gets shown on the screen and cut it down after we read it out loud. Sarah felt goofy reading the text out loud in slow-mo to make sure viewers will have time to read it before another thing comes on the screen.

As the background music, we have Janna's song called "The Rock Song" that she wrote the lyrics to and a friend sang at her wedding. It was the perfect background music and the perfect sentimental touch to display her and Graeme's love story. I even learned how to fade a song out instead of having it stop abruptly. More pleasing to the ears. :)

All in all we think it is a good second draft and pretty close to ready. We got the video under two minutes which is perfect time for a book trailer to be.

Stay tuned for more updates on the book trailer. :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feedback from a Teenage Boy on Last Night's Book Group

Hey, Cruisers! Sarah here.

Last night, due to extenuating circumstances, I was unable to stick around for the filming of the Garfield Book Company book club discussion of Janna's book! Instead, I asked my seventeen-year-old brother Andrew to come in and help film the book club for me. He wasn't wild about it, but he agreed and was the cameraman of the evening (as Alice was the camerawoman).

Andrew told me afterword that he got a lot out of the discussion. He told me a lot, which I passed on to Janna and now am sharing with you here!

So here is some insight from an unlikely source.

My first impression of the group of ladies was that they're all powerful females who definitely believe that they should have as much say in a relationship as a man, but after a short time in the discussion, it seemed as if they had a view of men almost as if they were Ken-dolls, and that they should be molded by women in the relationship. After listening to this discussion on a deeper relationship level, I realized how this initial prejudice was warped and wrong, and I developed my own ideas for a strong relationship.

It really struck home to me when the author related to a boat race, describing how she realized that even though her husband seemed to be ignoring her, he was still holding her in high regard. She talked about how she didn't see the point in inviting her on a boat ride if he was just going to stand there and think about the race, but when she talked to him about it after the race, he said that he thought she would want to sit back and watch the scenery. The author used this scenario to describe how quickly feelings can change in a relationship as she continued to tell how her mood lightened up when they won first place. To me, this story instead shows how a man tries to relate to his partner. I'm not entirely sure how many women in the group realized this--it may have been all of them--but this man was extending his outlet to his wife and sharing one of his deepest joys with his mate. Many times in pop culture husbands are depicted spending 'man time' with their buddies at a bar or a bowling alley, completely shunning their spouses. This boat race scenario struck me as one heck of a reaching out moment for a man--inviting his wife to go with him in a boat race. As a male myself, I know how many women do not appreciate sports as most men do, and honestly it can annoy us to a great extent how they ask us questions that are so elementary to us. For a man to invite his wife on a boat race is a major step for him, and even though he seems to be shunning you, just the act of having you with him shows how much he cares for you.

The group did a nice job discussing how a relationship must be on an equal footing between each partner, and I strongly agree, with some additions from the male perspective. I am only seventeen years old, but I know from observing my parents that there are really no areas that are truly male or female oriented. To women: ask your husband about a remodel that you are planning and take his opinion seriously. He may not have much experience with interior decorating, but he may have some input that you will find very useful. Also, accept that he will not always talk about his issues with you. I know perfectly well that my family is there for me when I am so upset that I can't control my emotions, but most males and I just need some time alone to reflect on things. And to men: don't seclude yourself from your partner with sports or drinking with your buddies, but spend some time explaining the finer points of the game to your partner, and enjoy the game with her instead of with your buddies. Save that for the Super Bowl. Talk to her about your day when you get home and release some pressure that may build up after the daily grind. And most importantly, at least to me, do your best (both men and women) to totally and completely forget about gender stereotyping. I hate hearing from other teen boys how girls want to be controlled and I hate hearing from girls how all men are sadistic womanizers. We are all people, and the human race is one and the same.

So to summarize what I took from listening to this discussion, we all need to think about our partners as people and not as a men or a women that we will spend the rest of our lives with. If we were to do this, then I believe that we can move on from annoyance at our partners because of small issues to appreciating the fact that we all have someone special to share our experiences with.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Book Club a Success!

Hi, all! Alice here.

Janna's appearance as Garfield Book Company has just wrapped up, and everything went swimmingly! Well, I say swimmingly; I mean survivably. Well, I say survivably--perhaps I should clarify. Everything went swimmingly once we finally got things rolling. Filming turned out to be a bit more tricksy than we anticipated. What with timing issues, lighting problems, getting cameras, getting tapes for cameras, getting tripods, and scrounging up this little doohickey . . .
. . . which is essential for attaching the camera to the tripod and yet, it seems, doesn't come with the tripods. . . . Anyway, once we finally got started, things went great. Lindsay's book club was really excited to have Janna there, and Janna was excited to be there, and a great conversation ensued. And it's all on tape! (Unfortunately, still on actual tape right now--hopefully we'll get that converted to digital format soon to share it with you!)

While I'm on the topic of filming, though, I should talk a bit more about filming Janna's book club a couple of weeks ago. That was actually the first project we did, but then we got so caught up in the rest of this that we never had time to blog about it! Sarah, Katie, and I were all filming (Lindsay couldn't make it, unfortunately), so hopefully we can get their reactions to it in here soon. The main thing that struck me about these two different book clubs' discussions wasn't their reactions to the book--everybody loved it--but what they chose to focus on. Janna's friends focused a lot on all the relationship questions the book brings up and almost not at all on the actual sailing aspect. Lindsay's group, though, talked a whole lot about the sailing--they all loved the romantic adventure! It was really interesting to hear the different takes on it.

With that, I'll leave you with a little sample of our filming from Janna's book club--we got a bit silly behind the scenes with cookies and pizza!

Janna Prepares for Tonight's Appearance!

Janna here.

Giddy because tonight I get to talk with a book club about my book, or hear a book club talk about my book--I don't really know which it will be or what to expect. I hope they like it! Oh, but that's just my ego talking. My true hope is that, like it or hate it, my book provides fodder for a good discussion about the things that matter in women's lives: love, relationships, balance, dreams, and lots of other juicy topics. This will be the first time a book club that's not my friends discusses the book. Biting my nails. . . .

I also want to say thanks to the Garfield Book Club, the store; to Michelle, a manager there, for agreeing to host me; and especially to Lindsay for setting this whole thing up. Lindsay, you rock! And, of course, Sarah, Alice, and our helper elf, Katie, rock too! You can see from this blog that a lot of work goes into launching a book, and these young women are bending over backwards. They are fabulous. I am lucky.

See you at tonight's book club!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Flyer and an Early Sample of the Book Trailer!

Sarah here, with a quick update:

We have redone our flyer (yet again), and have two new versions to show you. We're now up to three various flyers. Which one do you like best? Let us know--send us an email or leave us a comment!

I have also put together a very rough, very simple example of part of our book trailer. A lot more work will go in to our book trailer, and it will be amazing when it is finished! But here is our work so far!

That's it for now! Don't forget, Janna is coming to the Garfield Book Company tomorrow at 6:30! See the previous blog entry for further details.