(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Unexpected Contest

The Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm A Supervillain series is being considered for a television show.  Animated, I think.  Odds are still low, but they have become seriously real.  Active discussions are going on.

One thing that makes a big difference is sales.  That the book had a great launch is important, but another surge while discussions are going on would increase my odds considerably.  With that in mind, my publisher has decided on a contrast, and I have agreed to support it.

Here it is:  They want publicity.  Whoever can produce the best publicity event gets a cameo appearance in the last book.  I don't mind putting in a cameo at all, but I'm a lot happier with the second part.  Everyone who my publisher thinks even provides a worthwhile effort gets a copy of a Penny Akk story that will not be released otherwise.  I'll write that one when I finish book five, currently in progress.  That, at least, makes me feel like I'm providing value and not ripping my fans off.

If you do anything, feel free to let me know so that I can pass your actions on to my publisher for judgment.  You can also contact Curiosity Quills directly.  @CuriosityQuills is their Twitter address, and works pretty well.

Good luck, folks!  If the show happens or I hear it's abandoned, I'll let you know.  You proooobably won't hear anything soon, because the more serious things get, the less I'll be allowed to say.


  1. Could you elaborate on the meaning of "produce the best publicity event?" Do they mean something like produce a bunch of flyers or something, printed at one's own expense? Maybe do something at a con, since that's already an event? A book table? If someone cleverly got someone else who is famous to talk about you, would that count as an "event?" Were they hoping for a steampunk flashmob? Or did they mean one might mastermind bringing you to a book signing, convincing a bookstore to bring in lots of copies of your books? That seems both too big (for one fan) and too small (for nationwide sales). What sort of "event" would really make a difference?

    1. I wish I could tell you. This was not my idea, and I don't understand how they think my fans are going to come up with something. Maybe they're counting on my having a few people with a particularly influential reach out there?

    2. You have basically asked all of the questions that confused me. But I'm hoping they know better than I do, and I will provide the prizes if so.

    3. Although, you know... maybe someone here will understand better and have ideas or suggestions?

    4. My thoughts on this. I think they want fan generated publicity, not official publicity. If the publisher does something it's just them promoting the series, where if it's the fans it shows that there is genuine interest in the property. I don't think they would be expecting anyone to invest money into this. Think of anything that will bump the sales of the books, increase awareness of the series, or catch the positive attention of the public.

      Stage a TIM inspired flash mob Super Hero battle at a convention or such place.

      Get your school, youth center, ect. to sponsor a "Please don't tell my parents I'm a write" contest, where kids write their own super hero themed short stories.

      Organize with the public library to host a reading of book one for the the kids. Every week your read a couple chapters.

      You don't have to think big, just do something meaningful that will get the attention of the public. Post video of the Super hero battle. Get the local news outlets to do a piece on the writing contest or book reading.

      In this day and age you just need a small nudge and let the internet do the rest.

  2. I'm assuming they mean design a publicity event. It's a purely idea contest. In essence you come up with a realistic idea for a publicity event or possibly campaign. You put together a statement about or proposal for said event/campaign and submit it.

    I seriously doubt they are looking for something professionally done from the fans. Nor do I expect them to want you to put serious money into it. Should your proposal or presentation in case you use something like a video to showcase it run you a few bucks, that is entirely on your own prerogative. Aim for free on your end of things. They are the ones with the money to make things happen. You just need to keep your ideas within the realm of possibility. Don't expect them to make a 20 ft tall display of The Inscrutable Machine.

    Personally, if I were them, I'd suggest some sort of an animated short. Something showcasing Penny's talent, maybe the whole of T.I.M. and specifically a portion with Bad Penny putting something together in her fugue like state. Maybe the scene at the school where they get the statue and Mech fights the Dragon. Essentially a book trailer, yes. But it would catch the eye, also play into the potential for an animated series. Could do it CG instead of animation for a different style.

  3. Superhero/Villain get-together, with costume contest, maybe a dance-off and a videogame tournament. And of course something about books or whatever too. -a small and snot-nosed child

  4. It wouldn't win anybody any prizes (except a long-shot at getting a cool new TV series to watch), and it's pretty obvious stuff, but it's possible that regular fans with smaller social media presence (twitter following, wide circle of Facebook friends, or whatever) could mention that this possibility existed, and suggest that if people are interested in any Penelope Akk-related purchases, now is a good time.

    When the first book came out, there was a banner ad that was absolutely perfect -- an image of goggles and a line of text. I don't recall what it said, but it was irresistable. If that's still around, and it was available for people to include in a link, it might help.

    If there's a fan forum, then scheduling a purchase day when people who are interested in making purchases all buy at once can drive up Amazon rank for the day and get additional attention.

  5. Good luck to all who throw their hat into this. I'm sure there is a marketing manager salivating at a chance to design their own campaign for something they love. However, this is far from my wheelhouse. I'll be cheering for everyone.

  6. This sounds awesome and I have high hopes for the results, even if I lack the talent to participate. As an aside, has there been any progess on the Audible version of Nemesis? I'm dying here, I need to know what happens!!!

  7. Hey, what happened to Gerta Goat? I only saw her once: I kinda miss her.

  8. Well I don´t think I can throw anything together
    but I asked a friend for a pic

  9. "Now, witness the power of this fully armed and operational friendship!" - Penelope Akk, referring to Gerty Goat

    "Gerty, that box is their patented Party Pooper Device! Only you can save Fun!"

  10. TV SHOW YES!!! I am sharing with everyone!!!

  11. I make a guess that you are local to Los Angeles. If so, I've begun arrangements for a publicity event at a Burbank game-and-tea hangout called "Geeky Teas" (geekyteas.com). We should probably discuss this offline from here - I have no email contact for you that I could find. Suggestions welcome.

  12. If it came to the point where a television series were to become reality, I would hope that you would maintain full creative control of it. That way you can make sure it fits with the style and spirit of the books.