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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Writing is running downhill

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.

Rainbow Rowella

Laura

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Ideas for October Book Promotions

October days

As you may be well aware, I’ve been working on a novel for a while now. We’re closing in on the finish – I can see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, in that I’ve hired an editor who has already looked over my manuscript. He’s given me a quote, and I’ve given him a guarantee to have the final version to him by Thanksgiving. That’s progress! #StanTravels

In addition, I’ve hired a coach to help me create and conduct a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for said editing (good editing is expensive, but worth every penny!) and printing/distribution of the book. The crowdfunding campaign will launch in January. To that end, I’ve embarked on a social media blitz to grow my list, as it pertains to people interested in Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World. That means posting every day across multiple platforms, as well as a coordinated video effort which will have me reading the entire story, out loud, on video. I’ll let you know when I’ve that series launches. “Say CHEESE!”

So I’ve been looking around for fun things to post and it occurred to me that there might be some cool holidays that relate to the multiple themes of Stan’s trip around the world. Brownielocks.com did not disappoint! There are many, many days celebrating topics or themes from the novel. Read the post I wrote about those specific holidays here.

If you’re needing fodder for your own blog feed or social media pages, the following are just a sampling of the various “holidays” in October.

October calendar

Just based on this small smattering of holidays, there are many things you can do, regardless of your genre. For Frugal Is Fun Day, come up with a super-cool, super-cheap marketing idea. Invite a handful or your tribe out for beer or wine at your favorite pub/wine bar and do an impromptu reading the week of the 8th. It would no doubt be unorthodox, but have a party at the cemetery on the 29th – especially if your book has a spooky theme! If you have a publicist, create a special thank-you for them on the 30th.

But perhaps none of these resonate with you. As I posted on Stan’s blog the other day, you might want to create your own holiday. First, check to make sure it doesn’t already exist – there are the craziest days you’ve ever heard of on the Brownielocks.com. If “Left-Handed Golfers Who Wear Hats Day” isn’t on the list, but that’s your book’s audience, you might just want to create such a day. Start by doing a search for “how to create your own holiday.” This will yield many a story, tip-sheet, and blog post on the subject.

So which holiday – whether it’s in October or any other time of the year – is the perfect one to acknowledge when it comes to generating buzz for YOUR book?

And, by the way…

“Knock-knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Cows go.”
“Cows go who?”

cows go moo

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Lead Magnet - dog

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: As for literary criticism in general


Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.

knight fighting hot fudge sundae.jpg

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Lead Magnet - dog

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

You’ll Sell More Books if You Don’t Sleep on the Plane

Zach Hall is just a guy – a guy who one day decided NOT to sleep on the plane and, zach hallinstead, talk to the person next to him. From that one instance, he made a shift and began talking to people on every flight. Some wanted to engage – others were, well, sleeping. But the thing is, this process of endeavoring to engage changed his mindset, and it led to a book called … drumroll, please … Don’t Sleep on Planes.

This is his Twitter picture, so you get the feeling he’s a bit of an extrovert, anyway, right? But there’s still a lesson in his method for all of us. One piece of advice I give to every author I meet is to know who their ideal reader is – because it’s really challenging to market anything when you don’t know who the audience is.

But right behind that is a complimentary suggestion: be fearless in talking with everyone you meet about your book. That doesn’t mean clubbing them over the head with it – or walking up to a stranger and saying, “Hi, I’m Laura. Would you like to buy my book?” It means looking for openings – and when people ask you what you do (which the alllllways do), tell them you’ve written (or are writing) a book.

The inevitable next question is, “Oh? What’s it about?” So have a good, engaging answer prepared – but keep it short. If they’re interested, they’ll ask more. If they’re not, don’t chase them down to tell them about what a good book it is, how long you worked on it, how it’s suitable for all ages, and how they really, really need to buy it.

don't sleep on planesNow besides being an extrovert, Zach has another seeming advantage: he works in the marketing department for the Arizona Diamondbacks, an MLB team that made the playoffs this season for the first time since 2011. One thing that changed once Zach wrote his book was that he stopped talking about the Diamondbacks when he was out on his own time. He made business cards to promote his book and a baseball cap that says “Don’t Sleep on Planes,” and when people ask him what he does, his first answer is no longer that he’s in marketing for a baseball team.

Has Zach has leveraged his position with the Diamondbacks to his personal advantage? Of course. But before you start whining that you “don’t have a job like that,” think about the opportunities the work you do outside of writing does offer you. What kinds of people do you meet? How willing are you to talk with them on a one-on-one basis about anything other than work? How willing are you to advocate for or support the things they’re doing in their lives – be it their fitness efforts, their kids’ cookie/giftwrapping/calendar sales, or the fundraiser for their spouse’s pet charity?

An important rule of success is showing up – but it’s not just THAT you show up, it’s HOW you show up. Do you want to be left alone to sleep on the plane, or take a chance and talk to the guy in the seat next to you who happens to own a multi-million dollar business, invites you to speak at a training seminar for his staff, and buys 100 copies of your book? It’s totally up to you.

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Lead Magnet - dog

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: The pages are still blank, but…

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”

Nabokov quote

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Lead Magnet - dog

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

Looking Backward Won’t Take You Forward

Leave the past

Yes – there’s a spelling error. I’m letting perfectionism go and leaving it as it is!

I was looking in the mirror this morning, and I found myself wondering how long it was going to take me to get back to how I looked in my last head shot. This should not have been a lightbulb moment, but the awareness that I’m never going to “get back” to where I was a few years ago was rather like an ice-water shower.

Over the last 16 months, I’ve been working out pretty diligently – both with my trainer and on my own – and in that time I’ve managed to lose about 30 pounds. Not a huge shift, but significant enough to be feeling better and motivated to keep exercising and eating well. That was until I saw a video about this guy who lost 140 pounds in 10 months.

Suddenly my accomplishment didn’t seem quite so accomplished.

Should I have lost more weight in that time? Probably – but that’s a value judgment. Your answer would largely depend on your own lens, perspective, and beliefs. Could I have lost more weight in that time? Now we’re on objective territory, and the answer is, without question, yes.

So what’s my next step? Agonize over the “should-haves” and “could-haves” and dissect the reasons I didn’t? Or is it to stand up tall and then pivot 180 degrees, turning myself to face forward instead of backward? I know that’s what my trainer would recommend.

How often do we get stuck – if not heading in reverse, then staring longingly down that path to yesterday? It’s a mirage, though, that path – because as hard as we might try, we’re never going to find ourselves there again. When it comes to your book marketing, are there things you could have done that would have helped you be further down the road today, a little close to your goal? If you’re like most people, of course there are. Better planning. More consistency. Automation. A stronger follow-up system. Fill in your own blank about what you could have done better.

As we head into Fall and find ourselves just weeks from the holidays (and the end of the year), it’s not too soon to start our planning for the next phase of our book marketing campaigns. But what if, instead of trying to fix everything that went wrong or underperformed or disappointed us this year, we chose to focus on one thing we were going to do well in 2018? What if we learned to embrace that empowering two-letter Get-Out-of-Overwhelm Free word, and started saying NO to anything that took us away from that singular focus? What if we turned off the TV? Got an accountability partner who would ask whether we called that bookstore or emailed that reviewer? What if instead of looking back, we looked forward with anticipation, commitment, and a determination to call perfectionism’s bluff?

You know what you have to do to write more books, sell more books, build your email list. Acknowledge where you are right now – and where you were a year ago. Then make a pledge about where you intend to be a year from now – and start taking the steps that will allow you to accomplish that goal.

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Lead Magnet - dog

Learn the steps that will set you apart from 95% of all new authors.

(Hint: It’s NOT too late, even if you’ve already placed your first printing order for books!)

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR FREE REPORT NOW!

Making Procrastination Work FOR You

Positive procrastination

Be honest: how often do you find yourself with too much to-do list at the end of your day? I think this happens to a lot of us. And, according to Jon Acuff, author of Finish, it’s one of the things that keeps us stuck, prevents us from finishing the important things – large and small – in life. We started, but we didn’t get it done – on time, perfectly, as well as our sister-in-law would do it – so we quit entirely. Throw in the towel. Well, I’ve failed again. Why even keep going?

Just in case you’re wondering – this is a bald-faced lie your ego tells you to keep you safely inside your comfort zone. Because guess what – growing is uncomfortable. Progress is challenging. Finishing stretches muscles we may not have used in a long time. And our ego is right there to reassure us that giving up this time is OK because we really didn’t want to write that book, get that speaking gig, or plant that garden anyway. We can always get overpriced organic food at the store.

In Finish, Acuff recommends making procrastination our friend. If your goal is to finish your novel by the end of the year, you’re probably going to have to give up – or put off – some stuff that you’ve been doing while you’ve been not writing your novel. They could be smallish things – like turning the TV off – or they could be bigger things like stepping back from your leadership role – or membership in – a favorite group or club.

This doesn’t mean you’ll never do these things again, just that you’re not doing them – or as much off them – right now.

Acuff’s term is bombing some things to make way for other things. I think of it as leveraging procrastination as a tool for the good! Here’s an example. Our car was a mess. Almost-rainstorms in Phoenix create a muddy muck on the exterior of any car not garaged when the mist that spits from the sky is followed by a fine dusting of desert sand. Bonus design points when your cat walks all over the car leaving a mad paw-print motif.

catprints on car

I asked my husband to take responsibility for getting the car cleaned and replacing the windshield wipers today. He told me last night that that sounded like a reasonable one-day to-do list. Then he woke up this morning not feeling well. So I offered to go get him some grapefruit juice and chicken noodle soup. It just so happens that the auto parts store and the carwash are on the way to the grocery store. So I stopped, thinking, Since John’s not going to get this done today and I’m right here, I may as well just do it myself. Mind you, the whole reason I asked him to do these chores was to take some of the load off of my plate so I could get other things done.

This is a scenario where employing procrastination would have really worked in my favor. Could I live one more day with a dirty car? Of course! Did the windshield wipers need to be replaced today? As far as I’m aware, we’re not due a torrential monsoon storm tonight – so, no. The wipers weren’t an emergency. Oh – and while I was at the carwash, I decided to vacuum out the back because I was already at the carwash, right?

I think there’s a fine line between overcoming procrastination of the lazy, “I’ll just do it tomorrow” variety – and knowing when the thing you’re taking time to do today is actually a distraction or hindrance to your progress and process and would better be put off till another day or time.

How can/do you use procrastination as a tool for the good in your life? We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

Laura

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