By k | January 29, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The hot promotion
in the romance writing world
is writers banding together
to offer a huge prize
in return for newsletter sign ups.

The issue is…
when writers send out
that first newsletter,
they face the possibility
of these new readers

The best way
to reduce these unsubscribes
is to craft a first newsletter
that specifically targets them.
If the contest targets vampire hero readers,
for example,
the first newsletter should feature
a story with a vampire hero.

It sounds like a no-brainer
but many businesses don’t do this.
They give away a chair in a contest
and then send a first newsletter
featuring ALL of their products.

This will change.

John Rizzo,
co-founder of Vaetas,
that in 2017

“businesses will transition
from just generating an email list
and sending standard email blasts
to building an audience
segmented by interest.”

(at the very least)
that first newsletter.

By k | January 24, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing, New Business Development

Dave Charest
is betting that
email marketing will be big
in 2017.


One of the reasons
is Fake News.

“The proliferation of fake news sites
—those that intentionally publish
propaganda and disinformation
to boost social sharing
and drive website traffic
—has made some consumers
think twice
about the source of the content
they’re consuming.

Since email marketing
is permission-based,
the customer usually already knows
and trusts the source of the message.”

Email Newsletters are
the number one method
of promotion
for writers.

I put quite a bit of time
into each monthly newsletter
because I know it will result in sales.

Consider investing
in email marketing.

By k | January 21, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I posted yesterday
about the benefits of
placing our products
in categories.

Which category
should we choose?

My buddy is publishing
a story about vampires in space.
Should it be placed in
the Science Fiction category
the vampire category?

Ideally, it should be placed in both.
But if we have to choose one,
choose the one
our target market
will associate with it.

When our customers recommend
this product,
will they refer to it as
“The Science Fiction Book”
“The Vampire Book”?

Put your product
where your ideal target market
will look for it.

By k | January 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

“This product is unlike
any product
you’ve ever seen!”

No. No. No. No.
I see this claim
at least once a day
in the Romance Novel world
and it rarely results
in sales.


Because we, humans,
like to put things
into boxes.
If that box isn’t apparent,
we put that thing
into the useless-to-us

This is why we hear claims
such as
“Like X, but different”
“A game changer in the Y industry”
“It will change the way
you view Z forever.”
This gives people a box,
an anchor,
a category.

Seth Godin

“We begin by
putting this new thing
into a category,
so we know
what to do with it,
how to store the concept.”

Place your innovation
in an existing category.

By k | January 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’ve been reading
report after report
about how books,
unique works of art,
will become commodities.
One will be replaceable
with another.

If books can become commodities,
any product can.

One solution?
Make the product an experience.

Disney is the master
of making movie releases

*Dave Hollis,
Disney’s Distribution Chief,

“We are creating
almost this fear
of missing out.

You can’t create that feeling
unless you make something
that has spectacle and action
…something where
[audiences] can’t settle for
just having the experience
on a tablet.”

Can you make your product
an experience?

*January 3, 2017

By k | January 18, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

We often have a plan
for our branding.
I know I did
when I first started
one of my pen names (brands).

Sometimes the target market
has a different branding
for us.

I fought the pen name’s different branding
for almost a year.
I didn’t win.
I finally accepted the market’s branding
and worked with it.
Now, I own it.

Carrie Fisher
had a similar branding issue.
It didn’t matter
what else she did.
She was always seen as Princess Leia.

Carrie Fisher

“I’ve been Princess Leia
all these years,
not just when
they remade the movie.
You know,
there’s no getting away from it,
so you’d better make peace with it.

And I was never at war with it.
I choose to see it as a positive
and I do see it as a positive now.”

Work with the branding
the market has given you.

By k | January 3, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

You can’t be all things
to all people.

Huge businesses can’t do this.
Walmart couldn’t be the low price leader
known for top notch quality.
They chose one.

Seth Godin

“”Anyone can be our customer
and we will get you what you want…”
is almost impossible to pull off.
So is,
“we are the cheapest
and the most convenient
and the best.”

It didn’t work for Sears,
or for Chevrolet
or for Radio Shack.
It definitely doesn’t work
for the local freelancer,
eager to do whatever is asked.”

Choose your niche.
Dominate that niche.
Expand that niche.

Don’t try to be everything.

By k | December 26, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

My readers (customers)
spend money
on my books (products)
for one sole purpose
- to feel.

They want to laugh
or cry
or get that awww… feeling
or become angry.

Every page, every word
in my books
is designed
to provide the emotion
my readers are paying for.

Seth Godin

“We’re rarely reasonable.
Most of the time,
we’re afraid,

Sometimes, we can address
those emotions
by seeing that reason
can help our problem,
but mostly,
we start and end
with the emotion.

Recognize it.

Pause to allow it
be seen and heard.”

Don’t underestimate
the power of emotion.

By k | December 18, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was shopping around
for a specific item
as a gift for a loved one.

The vendor with the lowest cost
offered free shipping
for orders over $50.

The item was $13.
I did all of my shopping
for this particular person,
an order totaling over $150,
at this one vendor
simply to get that free shipping.

I would have happily paid
$1 more per extra item
simply to get that free shipping.
Yep, it doesn’t make financial sense
but I’m not the only person
who thinks this way.

Consider offering
free shipping
(within a certain range).

By k | December 17, 2016 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In 2017,
I’m launching a spin off brand
(a new series)
of an already popular brand
(an established series).

A brand extension
usually stands
for the same thing
as the original brand.
A spin off
stands for something different
while still appealing
to the original brand’s core customers.

It is important
that prospects know
it is different
but not too different.

Rogue One is a spin off
of the successful Star Wars franchise.
How did they ensure
movie goers knew it was a spin off?

Ricky Strauss,
President of Marketing
for The Walt Disney Studios,

“By calling it a Star Wars “story”
as opposed to an “episode.”

The movie builds on
the Star Wars legacy
and mythology
but has a different feel
and complexion.

In the marketing materials,
there are no lightsabers,
there are no droids
and there is a brand-new group
of actors.

When you look at
the outdoor campaign,
the only thing you can see
that is similar are Stormtroopers
— but like you’ve never seen them before,
standing on a beach.

It’s very clear that
Rogue One isn’t one of
the episodic Star Wars films.”

If the brand is a spin off,
signal that clearly.