Friday, July 29, 2011
It's the reputation you build in the publishing community and to your readers of what kind of stories to expect when they see your name on the cover of a book.
Is author branding necessary?
If you want to build readership, yes. If you want to sell more books, yes. Readers who like westerns aren't typically interested in a science fiction book. For this reason, so many authors have had to create pen names for various subgenres. People work hard for their money and they can chose to spend it on a number of things. You don't want them to be disappointed if they take a chance and spend it on your book. If that happens, most likely they won't spend more money on anything else with your name on it, nor will they encourage others to do so.
Author branding is another way of target marketing. If you are promoting your book based on the book's contents, you are going to appeal to those who would like that particular book. Marketing and advertising is expensive. You don't want to waste your time and money trying to appeal to an audience who won't like what you write. You aren't likely to sell many books that way, and it doesn't make sense. So why wouldn't you create an author brand for yourself?
If you're like me, you might be hesitant to build a label around yourself because you don't want to be limited to writing one kind of book. I've already mentioned pen names as one way to get around this. Another way is to write the same subgenre for a decade or two and then rebuild your image. Lots of authors do this, and if you do it well, you won't lose readers, in fact you may gain more.
For instance, a contemporary romance author may chose to brand him/herself as a romantic suspense author. That way you aren't losing readers who like romance and contemporaries, you're just giving them a new element to read along with what they already read. Keep the subgenres similar, but give readers more. This will ultimately lead to more readers, which will lead to more sells.
Do unpublished authors need an author brand?
Yes. Before you can sell books on a store shelf, you first have to sell to a publisher. You need to stand out among the masses of other writers. There isn't enough shelf space for all the wanna-be writers in the world, so you've got to find a way to stay out of the slush piles. There are a lot of good writers who sit in the slush piles year after year. Their works are good enough to be on the shelf of a bookstore. The difference is, their marketing proposals may not be unique enough or stand out and get noticed or they don't go to writer's conferences and network w.
At one time I believed it was true that good writing would get noticed. But with the competition the way it is today, the demand so buoyant, and the hectic schedule of the publishing industry, I no longer believe that's true. You still have to get someone to read your work in order for it to be noticed. That can only happen if you stand out in promoting yourself and your work whether through networking or the submission process, which leads write back to your proposals.
You must make a good impression in your proposal and presentation of your work before an editor or agent actually sits down to read it. If your proposal doesn't stand out, they'll never turn to the first page of your manuscript. Alternatively, if they skip all the other and first flip to the first page of your manuscript, then the next thing they look for is your bio and your marketing and platform potential. Many look for a website or Google your name to see how active you are on the Internet.
Remember, an unpublished writer is selling to an agent or editor. These folks are looking for specific markets where they know they can sell something. While good writing has to go along with it, if an author has written something that's great, but the story isn't right for an open spot, then it still won't sell. Don't waste their time or yours. Sometimes a quick rejection is a good thing. It will give you a chance to get that manuscript where it belongs much faster than wasting time on an editor's desk where it isn't going anywhere. By building an author brand, you will be letting them know upfront what they are getting from you. This will help you appeal to the right agents and editors. Target market to the right publishers and you will sell faster.
Plus, publishers have less in their marketing budgets for new authors and mid-list authors. They reserve most of their budgets for the BIG name authors where they know their investment will pay off. Therefore, a new author will have to do so much more of their own marketing. By showing you are ahead of the game in your promotion and author branding, an editor will feel more comfortable taking a chance on you. This means if it comes down to your good writing as opposed to another author's good writing for one publication spot, you might have the edge since you have self-marketing potential. Editors are looking for authors they can build into careers for a long investment, not one-time book wonders.
Republished from Jennifer Hudson Taylor's Writing blog
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
John Steinbeck reveals the secret in the first paragraph of Travels With Charley, the account of his 1960 drive “in search of America,” with a pick-up camper rig and a standard poodle:
"When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. …"
Steinbeck writes about the urge to get away literally—but it applies just as much to how you can take your readers away. How to take them from their living room to another place, another time, another set of realities.
Did you miss the secret? Look again at what he says evokes that urge:
"Four hoarse blasts of a ship's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement."
That's sensory detail. In this case, specific sounds. Not just a ship's whistle, but “four hoarse blasts.” Not just a horse's hooves, but “shod hooves on pavement.”
And notice the tactile description of the results. An “ancient shudder.” “Dry mouth … hot palms … churn of stomach high up under the rib cage.”
Searching for Specifics
Whenever I open a manuscript or a published book, fiction or nonfiction, I look for that rich sensory detail, those bits of specific description appropriate to the topic and treatment that will place a reader fully in the world the author has created.
Last night I browsed the opening page of False Claims at the Little Stephen Mine, a 1992 western by pastor and writer Stephen Bly.
"A buzzing sound past his right ear and a simultaneous distant explosion tumbled Stuart Brannon from the back of his horse. Sage strained to bolt, but the rope, looped to a yellow pine log, held hard and fast to the horn.
"With .44 drawn, Brannon jerked a '73 Winchester from the scabbard and then fumbled to unhitch his black gelding. At the sound of a second shot, Brannon and Sage dropped to the dirt.
"The horse was dead.
"Rolling on the ground, Brannon dove behind the log, not chancing a look over the top. A heavy, deep blue autumn sky teased of summer. Masses of white clouds rumbled along like prairie wagons trying to make the pass before the first snows.
"Brannon didn't watch. He listened."
For now, don't even consider Bly's other techniques, the way he plunged his readers immediately into the action and how he used vivid, evocative verbs. Look just at the specific details—and how many of them appeal to the reader's senses.
But you say you don't want to write action-packed westerns. You want to write contemporaries, with a hint of romance. Fine. What sensory details do your POV characters, male and female, tend to notice? I recently read a general market story set on the Las Vegas strip, where the lead character is in charge of customer relations for a mega-casino. Here's a paragraph from early in the first chapter, in a short bridge scene after the incident that started the story rolling:
"The casino at the Babylon is much like any other. An intimate labyrinth, subtly decorated, windowless and, tonight, jam-packed with people all paying and praying for whatever it was they hoped to get in Vegas. A thin layer of smoke hovered over the crown, as the slot machines sang their come-on songs, and occasional shouts arose from the tables. Cocktail waitresses wearing painted-on smiles and little else darted in and out delivering free libations and collecting the empties. Young women paraded around in tight-fitting clothes they wouldn't be caught dead in back home. Pierced and tattooed young men, their jeans hanging precariously across their butts, followed the young women. ..."
Later the author has reason to zoom in. Readers get the specifics (including prices) of designer-name shoes, dresses, and jewelry she and the other characters wear. But for now, like a filmmaker providing an establishing shot, she offers layers of more general descriptions and trusts the reader's imagination to fill in the rest. And while her “Bablyon” casino is fictional, she takes advantage of her research and makes frequent reference of actual details to recreate the city for readers, whether or not they've ever been there.
Whatever story you're writing, that's your goal.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I’m not talking about singing ten solos for the church musical; I’m talking about your wonderful, delightful, nobody has the same as you—writing voice.
So, when and how do you lose it?
Your crit partners get first crack at it, well, after mom and any other person who will tell you how absolutely wonderful you are, reads it. Then, hopefully, an agent. And then, joy of all joys, an editor!
You are asked to make changes.
Some you like, some you don’t, but this is an editor talking—about YOUR book. So you make them. A few are really great and your novel soars to what it could have been all along, but then you’re asked to change the essence of your story.
And you know that by changing the essence, the voice will no longer be yours.
What do you do?
There’s a fine line between tweaking and destroying your uniqueness. How do you walk the fine line? When do you say enough?
Friday, July 22, 2011
Each event is different with varying purposes. You may attend some events for the following reasons: 1) sell books, 2) raise awareness about you and your book, 3) to give back to the community 4) as a means to provide a ministry
Here are some recommended tips:
1) Before your book launch, plan your promotional budget for events and determine your top goals.
2) Keep in mind that events where books are not sold will require you to bring your own books and you may be required to rent space, table and chairs. You may have to buy meals if it is an all day event. Also, if it is out of town, there will be travel and lodging costs.
3) Browse local community calendars at the libraries, bookstores, chamber of commerce, church listings, festivals, etc for events that may have a tie-in to any kind of topic in your novel. If you have a nascar book, consider a nascar event. I write historical novels in Scotland, so the highland games are always great selling avenues for me. What topic or themes in your novels can you capitalize on?
4) Google writing conferences and workshops and send an email with your credentials, bio and links to offer your services as a speaker. Often, they will cover the cost of your travel, lodging, and pay you an honorarium, as well as allow you to bring and sell your books.
5) Some book signings are still worth it even if you only sell one or two novels. It you have a local book signing, you don't have to bring your own books, you don't have the cost of travel and rental space, and all it takes is one reader who may spread the word to 4-5 more people and help you pick up more readers. Even if people don't buy your books, they may go home and Google your name, so make sure you have a large sign or banner on or by your table. This is where passing out bookmarks, postcards, magnets and business cards are key.
6) Hold online events. You can host contests, giveaways, workshops, video Q&A, video interviews, podcasts, and digital book signings. New technology is allowing people to be very creative, accessible, and economical. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Any other ideas? Please share!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I open my inbox and there they are, submissions that shouldn't even be there. There's really no excuse for it. Our submission guidelines are very clear on markets that we don't work in at present. Not that we have anything against them, just that we can't spread ourselves that thin and have to make some choices. It says at present we aren't working in sci-fi or fantasy, in markets for children (below middle reader), poetry, short fiction, screenplays, scripts or magazine articles. It says we are probably not the right place for your literary fiction nor for books with extraordinary violence, profanity or gratuitous sexuality. It's all spelled out.
So why do people send them anyway? They wouldn't apply for a job without reading a want ad or something that would tell them what the job is so they would know whether it was worth their time to apply or not. The submission guidelines at our agency as well as other agencies or publishing houses are our 'want ads' as to what we are looking to see.
Maybe it is a genre we would consider but it is simply not ready to submit. Maybe the word count is way too large for any market we work in or perhaps too small. It could be the formatting is just not professional or that it has far too many typos, grammar problems, opens too slow or doesn't have good story flow. Someone sent it before it was ready, and such a submission just can't compete with others that are coming in polished to a fine point needing little work from an overworked editor or agent.
It could also be that it is just not unique enough. It is unfortunate that we often see a large number of people choosing to write very similar books at exactly the same time. Something probably happened in the news that gave each of them a similar idea. It isn't their fault that they have spent a huge amount of time writing a book that a thousand other people were writing as well. No way to know. Not fair. But the reality is that the first books to get to the market get the contracts then the market is saturated. Any time we start opening submissions that are too much like a bunch of others we are receiving, it tells us the market is not going to be there because everybody else is also receiving the same type of submissions.
It's hard for a writer to have someone pass on taking their work, but guess what? It's hard on us too. It's depressing to have to spend the morning turning down submission after submission, knowing that it isn't just a letter but the actual hopes and dreams of the author. Even when it something that should not have been sent in the first place it takes time to work and it takes a toll on us having to do it as well.
I don't understand why people don't check submission guidelines and send what editors and agents want in the manner that they wish to receive them. Failing to do so can't help but make the recipient wonder if the person who doesn't look at, or even worse ignores the guidelines, would be a difficult author to try and work with. I wonder about that when my guidelines say I don't take hard copy submissions and people send them anyway. Why?
I hate proposals pasted into an email. They are hard to read and generally it destroys the formatting. Some people WANT to receive them that way, but that information is readily available in the submission guidelines as to who wants it which way. A proposal is a single, well-formatted document that looks professional, not a dozen files attached or a link to a place online where you can find the information. We can't pitch a project that way so those are useless to us.
I suppose it boils down to the fact that I turn very few projects down. A lot of what is coming in takes itself out of consideration. Some days we get more than others, such as today, which prompted this little epistle. But then there is the submission that is beautifully prepared and formatted, that tells me why the person submitting thinks I am the right choice for it, what it is and the word count. I'm interested. The 2-3 page synopsis tells me it might be a unique story idea. I'm intrigued. The first page pulls me in and and by page ten I am invested in the story. I'm hooked into asking for the full. The flow, the voice and the story do not let me down.
Those are the submissions we are digging through the pile looking for. And that's what the clients I represent used to make me a believer in their work.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
who has been quite ill. She’s Polish through and through, has
always been a tough cookie, and her stature was such that I have
to admit to having been a bit intimidated by her early on
(I’ve since learned she’s not a tough cookie, but a cream puff).
Now, with illness seemingly winning a battle I never thought she’d
have to face, I watch as this formidable woman, just as my mother
did fifteen years ago, has lost weight, lost energy, and lost her drive.
Her mind, still sharp as a tack has allowed our visits to be a lot of fun,
but I watch as she fights a terrible disease, and I know in my heart,
this is one fight she probably won’t win.
I had the drive home to mull over all the change I saw in her this visit,
and I realized that she’s taught me so much over the last 30 years,
but even in illness, continues to teach me.
We can talk all we want about our characters changing from scene to scene,
and even mention how a person might suddenly seem frail, but do you take
your character from being a robust, active individual, to losing all but
their spark? How far do you allow your reader to get to actually know what
the person is going through?
My mom passed away fifteen years ago, and while she was always a svelte
and beautiful woman, scleroderma and the effects of it on her body left
her a mere 81 pounds. The disease changed more than just how it ravaged
her system, it changed how she looked at what was left of her life. She,
like my mother-in-law now, taught me what really mattered: family, faith,
and the dignity that can be had while fighting a losing battle.
Both of these precious women have taught me so much, and I want to be
able to put their life lessons into my characters. I want them to live
on through the eyes of many of the wonderful women who I expect to grace
the pages of my books. They will never live up to Barbara and Irene, but
I’ll do my best.
Study individuals and draw from them. Listen to the elderly concerning
what life is really about. Listen to the young to understand exuberance.
Spend time with newlyweds to remember what budding passion is all about.
Don’t miss an opportunity to discover the realities of life that should
be part of each of your characters.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Guest Post By Dwayne Taylor
So you you want to be an author? Ready for the money, fame and glory?
Well let me give you a reality check.
You won't make tons of money. Fame is probably not going to happen. And glory only lasts for a moment. Once your book is read, readers head for the next great book that just came out, leaving a fading memory of your book now collecting dust on their bookshelf .
Being married to an author (Jennifer Hudson Taylor), I can tell you that there is a tremendous strain that it will put on your family and your life. You will need the complete support of every member in your household (yes, even the dog). Without family support, you will not have the time, energy, or presence of mind to do what an author has to do to be successful.
My wife works a full-time job. She gets up at 5:30 am and leaves for work at 8 am, not returning home sometimes until 7 pm. So, writing time is early morning and late at night. Oh but wait, she has to make time for the family, too. Now the writing time window is even smaller.
Then there is research, networking, promotion, marketing, building a platform for yourself and so on and so on.. So where does an author find the time to be a parent, spouse, or have any kind of social life? Well, they don't, unless they have that family support that I was speaking of.
An author that works full-time needs a supporting family that is going to make the meals, clean the house, do the shopping, mow the lawn, care for the kids, be understanding, make sacrifices and most importantly...be available to the author when the author has time to be available to the family or just needs the love of the family.
When tons of rejections start rolling in and you feel like giving up, you're disappointed, and depressed, only the support of a loving family will be able to build the author's confidence back up to keep them motivated to continue on.
The family must look at publication from the perspective that this is not only the author's dream, but it is a family dream. It isn't always easy and there are many bumps along the way, especially if you have children. Children don't understand deadlines, thought processes, interruptions, or the fact that you're on a roll. When they want mom or dad, they want mom or dad right then and there. As a parent you want to be there for your children. So, this is where the author must learn to have patience, understanding, and the ability to turn on and off their creative thought process.
Fortunately, my wife is a master at this. How she squeezes in so much quality time for our daughter in such little available time, I'll never understand.
My advice for those up and coming authors is to sit down with your family and discuss what it will take to make this dream a reality. Decide if being an author is a career move, a hobby, or just a desire to have your name on a book cover. Then consider the consequences of making it happen. Make your family aware of the sacrifices each of you will have to make along the way. Understand that it will be a life change for the entire family. It takes years before you actually get published as it took my wife over 10 years.
In the end, if you and your family are truly dedicated to making this dream happen, it can. You may be a one book wonder or you may be on your way to a successful career, but there is one thing I can guarantee. The first time you walk into a bookstore and see your book, it will not only be a rewarding experience for the author, but for the whole family, because in some way, they will feel that they had a part in making the dream become a reality.
Friday, July 15, 2011
What is it?
It's when someone hires another blogger or writer to write their blogs for them and they slap their name on it as if they wrote it themselves.
Many people feel this is deceptive and and unethical.
I believe it is expected in the corporate world where many CEO's don't even answer their own email and phone calls and haven't written their own letters for years. It's "understood" that their Secretary or Administrative Assistant is writing their letters, emails, and responses.
The issue with blogging is that it's suppose to be a modern tool for transparency and a way to personally connect with one's readers--whether those readers are clients, patients, customers, students, or fans. Busy people claim they don't have the time to blog like clockwork on a regular schedule. Yet, they feel "obligated" to blog because everyone else is doing it, like their competitors, and it truly is a great promotional tool if utilized effectively.
So what about authors? Is okay for us to Ghost Blog or are we deceiving our readers? Shouldn't we be spending our time writing those great novels that our readers can't wait to read next? Don't we have an obligation to meet the deadlines looming over us like a big fat cloud that is turning darker by every minute we don't get something written? The temptation could be great for some of us--especially if we just need to get past a deadline for a short month or two.
I believe an author should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages--and Christian writers should seriously pray about it. I have made my personal decision not to hire Ghost Bloggers on my personal blog--my main blog, but I do have guest bloggers who use their own name to blog. However, I wouldn't think twice about hiring a Ghost Blogger for my Today in Carolina History Blog, which is no longer active, since all I do is post historical events that took place on that day. I'm not really writing. I'm not giving writing tips, marketing tips, opinions or any insight into my personality or life--only stating facts.
If you do decide to hire a Guest Blogger, I would like to caution that if your readers find out, you may risk them feeling betrayed or deceived. You also risk losing them as readers on both your blog and your books. A certain amount of trust in you as a leader, as well as your knowledge and authority in authorship could be broken.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel about Ghost Blogging?
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I am so pleased to announce that two of my clients, Carrie Turansky and Suzanne Woods Fischer have both been named as finalists for the prestigious Carol Award conferred by the American Christian Fiction Writers.
Carrie is one of three finalists in the novella category with her A Trusting Heart in the Christmas Mail Order Brides collection from Barbour - Rebecca Germany, Editor.
Suzanne is one of three finalists in the long contemporary category with her novel The Choice from Revell - Andrea Doering, editor.
We are very proud of these ladies and proud of the recognition that they bring to themselves and to our agency.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
First along the path comes humility. Each of us has that moment when we come out of the closet with the writing we've slaved so hard over and which, despite many misgivings, we really believe at some level is brilliant. Then someone reads it—someone, that is, who cares more for integrity in the work than for our feelings—and we find out how very far from brilliant it actually is. There may be some spark there, but it's been all but buried in adverbs, clichés, and purple prose. (I never dreamed how many clichés existed in the English language until I began trying to write without them.)
As we work to improve, the humbling comes at higher levels—instead of critique partners, we get agents and editors telling us our stuff stinks. Those who have attained the holy grail of publication have the privilege of being humiliated by critics and Amazon reviewers and bookstore customers who shun their signing table as if it were an IRS auditor's desk. But it's still the same thing: You're never as brilliant as you think you are.
After the early lessons in humility comes the really big lesson: patience. It takes months, often years, to finish a novel. Then you have to wait for people to make time in their own full lives to read it and give you feedback; then you go back and work on it some more. Lather, rinse, repeat until your hair falls out.
Finally, you think the book is ready to see the light, and you start sending it to agents. These days, a month seems to be the minimum response time; two to three months is not uncommon, and many agents never respond at all. Even with a book that is absolutely ready for the big-time, finding an agent can easily take a year or more. Then the agent has to find you a publisher—and if agents are tortoises (no offense intended!), publishers are giant sloths. If and when the book is finally sold, you may have to wait up to two years before it is published. And let's not even talk about how long you wait to get paid.
Somewhere along this journey, you may easily stumble over that big rock in the road called "the market." Maybe your book is the best thing since prepared mustard, but nobody is buying your genre right now. Or your vision seems a little ahead of its time and no one wants to take a risk on it. Sooner or later, someone—probably an agent or editor—is bound to suggest that you write something more salable. This seemingly innocent suggestion can be the Demon of Man-Pleasing in disguise. This is where you have to renew the commitment I hope you started out with: You are going to write to please God, not man. If you're not writing to please God, you may as well chuck it all in right now.
And that leads to the last and biggest lesson I'm going to talk about today: letting go. Humility, patience, and pleasing God are all part of it: Ultimately, you have to let go of the reins of your own writing career and abandon yourself to the will of God. Where you may have started out praying, "Lord, please let this agent like my book," or "Lord, please send me some good news today," or "Lord, please let me meet someone at this conference who will help me get published" (I've been through all of those), eventually you have to come down to something much more humble: some version of "Lord, Your will be done." My personal version at this point is, "Lord, prosper my writing according to Your will." And it wasn't until I began praying that way that He did begin to prosper it.
Lest anyone think I'm speaking from outside the battle, let me hasten to point out that all these lessons are continually being drilled into me, and I don't expect the learning to stop this side of the grave.
What spiritual lessons have you learned through writing?
Stop by and visit Katherine at her blog where she talks about writing, 'God Haunted Fiction'.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Here I am reading a book that’s been recommended by oodles of people and the same word continues to pop up line after line until the author finds another favorite word a few lines or chapters later and beats that dead horse with a rod.
The handsome cowboy walked her to the door. His hand caressed her hand before her hand reached for the door. But his hand got to the door handle first. She stepped back and allowed his hand to open the door. Inside the door, he took her face in his hands and said good night, handing her safely into the comfort of her home. His hand closed the door.
Someone. Let me scream.
And I read similar scenarios all the time. Why isn’t the author catching that in a full read through? Why aren’t her crit partners? Why isn’t the preliminary reader, the editor, the final reader noticing? Does anyone else even care or is my OCD showing? I do care! It is annoying, unprofessional, and just plain ridiculous to think anyone wants to read the same word over and over. No doubt one of the first things, other than really poor grammar (the grammar has to be really poor, because I am definitely NOT the comma police) and punctuation that I notice.Now, I’m not talking about an occasional repeat, but the sentence above isn’t that out of place in a lot of books I’ve read recently. Not chapters in a proposal, not chapters for critique, but published books. And how about extraneous words like—mmmm, this one:
It doesn’t matter if it isn’t the exact right word as long as it means the same thing that it should. It isn’t the word, but how it’s used. It can be used many ways as long as it’s correct. It, it, it, it, it.
And even when the little two-letter darling isn’t needed, it’s used. And before you laugh, yes, I’ve seen it used that many times in one sentence. I’ve no doubt been guilty of the same thing before editing (hopefully not after). But why does an author allow, and yes, I say allow, his or her work to be seen by a professional before the work has had a strong read through? Any author reading her work out loud will catch most of these glitches.
What are your pet peeves when you read a book? You plunk down your hard earned cash and find you can’t really connect because the read is bogged down with small idiosyncrasies that draw you out of the story and make you crazy. Again, speaking for my eccentric self, but I don’t think I’m alone here, right?
There’s one golden opportunity to connect with an agent, editor, and especially with a reader. Make the most of that chance! Anyone care to share?
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Today I'm taking my agent hat (the really nice silver beaver stetson) off and I'm putting on my writing hat ( the battered sweat-stained Stetson). Yes, I'm thinking more as a writer. You see, I collect movies that I think have a particular lesson to teach to writers or that I think contain some good examples for writers. Today I'm going to give you a top ten list in my mind of such movies.