By k | June 30, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One way to show gratitude
to the people
who have helped you
become successful
is to open your platform to them.

I have the big book release next week
and I’m doing quite a bit of promotion
to help support it,
including a massive blog tour
(it started at 50 stops
and has increased greatly since then).

Knowing this promotion was coming,
I opened my blog
to author interviews
at the beginning of May.

Yes, these authors do direct readers
to their interviews on my blog
but this isn’t why I did this.

I did this to share the love.
The better my book sells,
the more exposure
my author buddies will gain.
If I win, they win.

It isn’t truly lonely at the top.
If you are lonely,
this has been your choice.

By k | June 29, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Seven months ago,
a romance writer in my sub-genre
released her very first story.

She didn’t have a readership
so many more established writers,
myself included,
helped her promote.
I took her on a blog tour with me.

Her story did VERY well.
She got cocky.
She was rude
to some of the writers who helped her,
dissing their stories,
telling readers why her story was superior.

Her second story released
at the beginning of June.
It sold terribly.
She quickly realized
it wasn’t her story that did well.
It was our promotion of her story.

Success is a team sport.
If you’re successful,
be grateful
because someone helped you.
You might not know
who helped you
or how they helped you
but I can guarantee
you didn’t achieve success on your own.

By k | June 28, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

We buy on emotion.
Successful marketing campaigns
appeal to emotions.

One of the most common emotions
marketing appeals to
is fear.

But what is fear?

Fear isn’t danger.
Once danger happens,
it isn’t as scary.
We deal with the danger.

Fear is the THREAT of danger.
This danger must anticipated.
The danger is in the future.
The future can be two seconds from now
but it isn’t now.

There’s also a big difference
between suspense and surprise.
With surprise, there’s no anticipation,
no warning.
Sh*t just happens.

Suspense is the anticipation
that something will happen.
Saying there’s a surprise gift
with every purchase
is suspense.
Purchasers know they’ll get something.
Suspense drives behavior and purchases.
Surprise doesn’t.

Emotions sell.
Know what these emotions truly are.

By k | June 27, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was on an online seminar
held by one of my publishers.

In an aside,
some writers and I
were discussing
whether or not
the program included our sub-genre.

One author said it didn’t.
He pointed to the fact
that no books in our sub-genre
had ever been featured.

I asked the program’s representative.

It turns out…
the representative was actively looking
for a book in our sub-genre.
Because I asked,
my book will be the first.

Don’t assume
some one/company/program
discriminates against you
merely because they haven’t yet included you.
Ask.
You could be exactly
whom they’re looking for.

By k | June 26, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My story with the big publisher
is releasing next week
and I’m full into the promotion.

The interesting thing is…
I’m promoting this release
more than I’ve ever promoted
any other release.

No matter
what happens with this release,
I’ve already seen the sales lift
on my other stories/products.

So why didn’t I promote
the previous story like this?

I don’t know.

I DO know this is human nature.
We work harder
and do more
for the projects/product launches
we perceive as more important.

Tell yourself
THIS is the product launch
that will cause your company
to break out, to be successful.
Promote this product launch
accordingly.

By k | June 25, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

In an exercise
on one of the writer loops,
writers talked about
the silliest criticisms they had ever received.

What I found interesting was
the not-yet-published writers
mocked the crazy criticism.
They would say something like
“Clearly the judge didn’t know the difference
between short category contemporary romance
and long single title contemporary romance.”

The published writers
talked about the crazy criticism
AND mentioned what they learned from it.
They would add
“The judge’s comments
forced me to look
at the differences between
short category contemporary romance
and long single title contemporary romance’
This reaffirmed I was satisfying
the sub-genre’s requirements.”

Criticism is VERY difficult
to hear.
Try to get the most benefit
out of hearing it.
Even if the critic is wrong,
her stance will reaffirm your stance is right.

By k | June 24, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Metaphors are EXTREMELY powerful tools
for communication.

As Bruna Martinuzzi
explains

“The simplest definition of a metaphor is that
it helps us understand one thing
by referring
to another.
A metaphor deepens our understanding
by comparing the unfamiliar with the familiar,
the theoretical with the concrete,
the complex with the simple.”

The challenge with metaphors
is if we use a too common metaphor
like “thinking outside the box”,
listeners might tune us out
but if we use a too obscure metaphor,
listeners might become confused.

What I do
is customize the metaphor
for the audience.
Instead of using
“Think outside the box”
with Science Fiction Romance readers,
I might use
“Think outside your own solar system.”
With Paranormal Romance readers,
I might use
“Think outside your own species.”

The message is the same
but the metaphor is fresher.

Consider using metaphors
in your communications.

By k | June 23, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

When I mentor a new writer,
I usually start the relationship
with a story about a mistake I’ve made
and learned from.

This shows trust.
I’m trusting them
not to talk about my mistakes
with other people.

This also shows
everyone makes mistakes
and mistakes aren’t
anything to be ashamed of.

The learning part is also key.
They should be learning
from their mistakes
and I WILL ask them
what they’ve learned.

As Jennifer Przybylo
& Nina Vasan
share

“Make yourself more relatable
by sharing a big mistake you made,
a regret you have,
or something you’d do differently in hindsight.
Such a confidence makes it easier for us
to admit our own struggles
and helps us see
that failures are natural pit stops
on the road to success.

Step off the pedestal we’ve placed you on,
and remind us that
even the Greek gods could be fallible
like mortals.”

When mentoring,
share your mistakes.

By k | June 22, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I give away a free story or scene,
I ensure it is a complete story or scene.
There aren’t any cliffhangers,
any huge questions left unanswered.

This shows readers
that I won’t leave them hanging
at the end of the stories
they’ve paid for.
This shows
I can tell a complete story
(something not all writers do).

As Mike Figliuolo
shares

“Once we take the stage,
we give our entire methodology away.
We teach the folks in the audience
the ENTIRE framework.
They LEARN something
while they’re with us.
Of course at the end
we make our contact info available
and gently mention we teach classes
and provide coaching on the subjects
we speak on.
And then the magic happens
– clients ask us to come work with them.

Why?

They’ve seen the entire methodology
and can envision how it can apply
to their organization
(rather than having to divine
what the secret 8 steps are
and if they’ll be relevant to their teams).
They’ve seen that we’re confident
in the quality of our content and our instructors.
And most importantly,
they’ve seen we are genuinely interested
in participants walking away from a seminar
with real, practical knowledge they can apply
(which isn’t possible
if they’re missing the 8 secret steps).”

Give your prospects
a complete sample.
This sample will be smaller, of course,
but have the same components
that are important
to the full-priced product.

By k | June 21, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

You have a lot of traffic
coming to your site
yet
you don’t see the corresponding sales.

What is going wrong?

One of the issues might be
that searchers
aren’t finding what they’re looking for
right away.
They click on an ad for your mobile product
and are directed to a home page
filled with all of your products
or worse, a page for an unrelated product.

As Ken Lyons
of the search-engine marketing company
MeasuredSEM
shares

“If visitors click on your ads,
social media posts or blog links
expecting to find one thing
—but instead are led to a seemingly irrelevant page,
they end up confused and frustrated.
You might even lose their trust
in the process.”

Your website has pages for a reason.
Send viewers to the correct page.

(When I have a huge ad campaign,
I also put the book/product I’m promoting
on my home page.)