By k | April 23, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A best selling writer
had a large street team
(a team of volunteer readers marketing for her).
Managing this street team
took effort
and she was successful
so she asked herself
why she should make this effort.

She reduced the size of her street team,
eliminating all but the most influential members.
She ‘fired’ volunteers
who had supported her from day one.

A year later,
she released the first book
in a new series.
The sales of this first book were terrible.
Each subsequent release was worse.
Her influential street team members
switched to supporting other writers.

This writer is now struggling to rebuild.
Readers,
knowing how she fired her street team members,
aren’t rushing to help her.

When you become successful,
remember who helped you
and continue to treat those people well.
You might need their help in the future.

By k | April 22, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My readers live all over the world
and
practice many different religions.
Religion has nothing to do
with my stories
so I never mention it.
Ever.

On Easter Sunday,
I didn’t post Happy Easter
messages.
Instead,
I posted a photo of a car
decorated like a giant bunny.

I love bunnies.
My readers love bunnies.
My Christian readers were happy,
interpreting it as a nod to them,
and the rest of my readers
simply enjoyed a cute photo.

Romance writers do this all the time.
I’ll mention a character or place or event
in one of my stories,
subtly referring to another story or series.
Regular readers are thrilled,
picking up on this reference,
inferring more into the scene.
Newer readers simply read a solid scene.

Being subtle isn’t often mentioned
in marketing
but it CAN be VERY effective.

By k | April 21, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You know you made a mistake.
You feel it in your gut.
You tell a buddy about your mistake.
Her response?
“It wasn’t a mistake.”
“Everything will work out.”
“It was the other person’s fault.”
You feel happier about yourself.
You decide you didn’t make a mistake.

So you make the SAME mistake
days, weeks, months, years later.
You don’t improve.
You don’t change.
You don’t become successful.

A great mentor,
in contrast,
will agree with you
when you say you messed up.
She’ll ask you
what you would done differently.
She wouldn’t allow you
to dodge responsibility for your mistake.

Because change is hard
and no one changes unless there’s a reason,
normally pain-filled reason
why we have to change.

Mistakes SHOULD hurt.
The pain stops us
from making the same mistakes
over and over again.

By k | April 20, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Part of every romance writer’s
marketing campaign
is cause marketing,
an alignment with certain charities.

It is expected by our readers
that we participate in charity anthologies
and charity blog hops.

My stories usually already mention
the causes that are near and dear
to my heart
(cancer research, wounded warriors, etc)
so readers aren’t surprised
that I’m aligned with them.

They know I care about the cause
and that’s the number one rule
with cause marketing.

As James O’Brien
shares

“You must care about the cause.
The first challenges
most business owners will face
is how to find a cause to work with
if they’re not partnered with one already.
It has to be the right cause.
It has to strike both
consumers and charitable givers
as the right relationship
to promote that cause.”

Care about the cause you’re supporting.

By k | April 19, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my most shared posts
on Facebook
involve buttons,
specifically
a “What is your werewolf name?”
type of button.

I ask how many letters
are in their last names
and then list their werewolf names
beside the number.
My website is stated on the bottom.

This is an easy-to-make jpg file
(all text).
It takes mere minutes to design
and almost every business
can tweak it for their own industry.

Sell cars?
Switch the question to
‘What is your ideal car?’
and list the different kinds of cars
beside the number.

You run a bar?
The question could be
‘What is your ideal drink?’
with the different drinks listed
(the crazier the names,
the better).

Yes, it truly is THAT easy.

By k | April 18, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Facebook is still the number one way
to reach my target market
(female readers
between the ages
of 20 and 50 years old)
but I don’t have the budget to boost
every post I make on my page.

What I have noticed
is when I don’t have a link in my actual post,
more people see my posts.
So I make my post linkless
and place the buy links in the comments.

I also use buttons much more.
The buttons (pictures)
have my website on them
and people love to share them.

Timing is important also.

Carla Turchetti
shares

“The Social Times research found
that unlike Pinterest,
Saturdays and Sundays
are the worst days of the week
to post on Facebook and Twitter.
What were the best days for exposure?
In this particular study,
Wednesday was the strongest day
for posting on Facebook,
while the reach of Twitter
is maximized on Mondays, Tuesdays,
Wednesdays and Thursdays.”

Facebook is still a great way
to market to certain target markets.

By k | April 17, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Those of us
who do are rare.
This means
a single opportunity will often lead
to many more opportunities.
This is good and bad.
We have access to more avenues
to success
BUT
these avenues might not lead
to the success WE want.

This is why goals and plans
are important.
However, goals and plans only work
if we refer to them.

As Mark Burnett advises,
in an interview with Carmine Gallo,

“Keep checking in.
Ask yourself, am I on the right path?
Is this what I was called to do?
Most people who hear a call
fail to take action
or
fail to keep checking their map.
They get further and further away
from their goal, their destination,
and soon they are off course.
Always check in.”

By k | April 16, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m three months into a six month writing project
(this is the creative part of the project
- the entire project is twenty months).
I have six stories in the serial written
and another six stories to write.

The possible money no longer excites me.
The possible brand awareness
no longer gives me a thrill.
The only thing driving me forward
is passion for this project,
the belief that this story HAS to be told.

Ekaterina Walter
shares

“You will never hear innovators say
“I hate my job!”
or
“I don’t care!”
If you don’t have this key ingredient
– passion coupled with vision
– you will never be able to
overcome challenges and take risks
to push the envelope,
innovate, and grow your business.”

Passion isn’t everything.
No one becomes successful
based on passion alone.
But when times get tough
(and they WILL get tough),
passion is often what pushes us through.

If you don’t have passion for your business,
consider finding a new business.

By k | April 15, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My next release
with the large New York publisher
is a contemporary romance.
Contemporary romance is a huge category
with many readers
but also many, MANY books published.
There’s a lot of fierce competition
and I haven’t yet broken out,
finding my own large readership.

My publisher gave me a generic cover
with a generic title,
telling me it would appeal to everyone.

That might (emphasis on MIGHT)
be fine in a small market
but in a large market,
trying to appeal to everyone
means appealing to no one.

I pushed back,
asking for a cover and title
targeting one specific subgroup
(military, biker, or billionaire hero loving readers).

The best way to sell in a crowded market
is to make that large market smaller.
Target more niche customers,
capture these customers
and they will help you conquer the rest.

By k | April 14, 2014 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was asked to turn around
a writing project quickly.
I agreed,
assuming that the people
requesting the fast turn around
would assist me
in meeting this very tight deadline.

They didn’t.
They didn’t answer emails.
They sat on their components
of the project.
They asked for changes
AFTER sitting on the project,
expecting me
to complete the changes instantly.

The next time
I’m asked to turn around
something for them quickly,
I’ll say no.

If you want someone
to focus her energies on your project,
turning it around quickly,
ensure that
a) You truly do need that fast turn around
b) You give her the inputs
to accomplish this
c) You respond to her queries quickly
d) You outline the project thoroughly,
eliminating the need for rework
and
e) You have the same sense of urgency.

Asking someone,
even a vendor,
to drop everything and work on your project
is asking her to do a favor for you.
Treat that favor with respect.