Thursday, August 09, 2007

Internet Buzzing
Over Culwell's
Car Wash

So what’s the key to self-publishing success? Really, it’s pretty simple. Just have your book featured in places like the Washington Post and The New York Daily News… and all over the blogsphere and the internet in general.
Like I said, simple.
OK, maybe simple is overstating it a bit, but “not impossible” probably hits it about right. Lori Culwell’s novel Hollywood Car Wash proves that, riding its celebrity insider premise to become one of the most buzzed about books of the summer.
Culwell and the book have been the subject of an interview for Liz Kelly’s Celebritology column on the Washington Post’s website, the book has been called a “sizzling, summer read” by The New York Daily News and has been mentioned on hot websites like Gawker and TMZ.
So how did Culwell pull it all off? A clever plot that involves a young Hollywood starlet and some strong initial word of mouth helped break the book.
“I know a lot of people in the industry, and I gave out a bunch of copies when it first came out. Then those people gave it to other people, and well... you know the rest of the story,” she said. “I'm not surprised at the buzz it's generated, because I think it's a good, funny book, and it's got a lot of Hollywood insider-y stuff, so people love it!”
The book, published through iUniverse’s ASJA (American Society of Journalists and Authors) Press, has garnered 37 reviews on in addition to the mainstream press coverage and internet buzz.
Culwell did seek out an agent and attempted to go the traditional publishing route before landing with iUniverse.
“I first went out with this book to about 10 publishers through an agent more than a year ago, and felt that she gave up too easily after initial rejections,” Culwell said. “I had to push her to take it to the smaller publishers. I wanted to go out with it to show it did have an audience, and I ended up being right! I got a lot of good feedback on my work and a few near misses. The weirdest rejection I got was ‘no one wants to read an "insider Hollywood" novel.’ Crazy!”
The book started buzzing shortly after release in March 2007. Culwell is a bit of an internet marketing expert having penned Improve Your Website, Improve Your Business before putting out Car Wash.
The buzz for the book is due in no small part to the rumor that it is based on the real life experiences of actress Katie Holmes.
“It's fiction, plain and simple,” Culwell said. “But, I do have a lawyer.”
Culwell comes by her knowledge of the entertainment industry as both an actress and an author. She played a nurse on the daytime soap All My Children and also appeared in The New Lassie and the Animal Planet show Dog Days.
“I did wipe blood off of Susan Lucci after she bludgeoned one of her TV husbands with a candlestick,” Culwell said.
Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including San Francisco Bay Guardian, LA Weekly, LA Splash magazine, and New York Metroland among and others.
Culwell is now hard at work on several projects.
“I'm working on another novel at the moment (not the next in the Hollywood Car Wash series, but also tv-related), and a non-fiction book. I also do my blog, Funny Strange, which people really like, and am talking to some people about getting that syndicated in some papers,” she said. “Also, Hollywood Car Wash has been optioned for TV, so I'm working on pitching the pilot for that. All exciting stuff!”
For more on Lori Culwell and Hollywood Car Wash check out her MySpace page.


Post a Comment

<< Home