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Archive for October, 2011

Follow UP for unfathomable success!

Time for another parable.

Stacy’s been trying for several years to make inroads to have her novel made into a film. While on vacation in the Adirondacks, she meets the personal assistant to a bigshot Hollywood agent. Stacy is an SBM* and she’s taken Marcie’s advice, rehearsing her pitch till it flows off her tongue effortlessly, so she makes an excellent impression on the assistant. He gives Stacy his card and asks her to be sure to drop him a message when she gets home – he will do what he can to get her idea in front of his boss.

The perfect setup, right? But Stacy never makes it to the end of the rainbow – and not for the reason you might think. It’s not that the agent turned down her script, but rather that she never sent that e-mail.

Sounds crazy, but people in this very situation commit similar self-sabotaging acts every day. Fear of success shows up in all kinds of ways; failure to follow up is one of the most common. It’s also a situation over which you have 100 percent control.

On the face of it, the reasons people fail to follow up are quite understandable:

  • They have no plan, and they don’t know where to begin. Even the simplest tasks usually have multiple moving parts. When we don’t have systems in place or haven’t completely mapped out our strategies, we can become frozen and keep from starting at all.
  • They tend to overthink things, making them much more complicated than they need be. We tend to “what if” ourselves out of good decisions, like picking up the phone or typing those e-mails.
  • Sometimes we get bogged down in the details about how much there is to do and wanting to do it perfectly. Perfectionists are quite often perfect at just one thing … watching the door hit them on the way out, after someone else has gotten there first.
  • Much like having a system, knowing one’s priorities is essential. But anyone who is out of control with their time can let even the most important things slip through the cracks.
  • Sometimes they just get bored. The thrill of the chase excites us; once we’ve “arrived,” we’re quickly ready to move onto the next challenge and, as a result, feel that following up is the routine, unexciting part of pitching or prospecting.
  • While it is only an excuse, stress is very real and often quite debilitating. When we don’t manage our processes, have no sense of time, and/or procrastinate out of perfectionism, it’s no wonder we get stressed out. Stress is a distraction that can cause depression and other paralyzing behaviors that stop us from making what should be effortless progress.

These are all real reasons that smart, would-be successful people fail to follow up. However, when you get down to it, they are just superficial excuses. What it really comes down to is that we are likely afraid of success.

The only way through this fear
is to change your mindset.

Know that you are worthy of succeeding. Know that you have the skills, contacts, experience, support – whatever you need – to watch your book(s) power their way to the top of your markets. And then pick up the phone, send that text, or message your new friend on Facebook. Follow Nike’s advice and just do it™ – and then be ready to embrace the success you deserve.

Things to keep in mind and help improve your follow-up skills:

  • Make notes about the person with whom you are trying to connect. These might include an array of topics: hobbies, interests, family, alma mater, future plans. This will make a conversation easier.
  • Pre-arrange the follow-up. Before you end the initial meeting, establish a day and time for a subsequent conversation. ” Does next Tuesday morning at 9:45 work for you?”
  • Do it right now. While you’re thinking about it. Take action before you have a chance to talk yourself out of it. Just pick up the phone!
  • Keep your emotions in check. Regardless of how well you facilitate your follow up, you will find people who forget about your appointment, get busy, change their minds, or even cut you off. You remember the old deodorant commercial – Never let them see you sweat. Don’t let the other person know you’re overly excited or disappointed. Just make another plan to follow up again, and continue the conversation.
  • Be personal. Address them by name and review the issues you touched on in your initial meeting. In addition, do your homework and offer other useful, relevant information to further the conversation.
  • Be thorough, but be brief. Deliver your pitch so that the other person understands precisely why you are connecting with them, but remember he or she is probably very busy and has a limited attention span. Make sure to contain your conversation to the aspects that pertain to them.
  • Become a resource. While your goal is to get your message across, avoid focusing entirely on yourself, your book, your request. Convey the impression that you are a resource, that knowing you and building a connection with you can be of significant assistance to them in some way.
  • Grab their attention. Be creative with your follow-up. If you’re connecting virtually, consider including multimedia elements such as relevant graphics or video. If you’re meeting them in person, take with you high-quality leave-behind materials. Leave them with a good impression.
  • Provide a clear call to action. Make clear at the end of your conversation or message your expectations for the next steps. Keep it simple, but be specific and tell them exactly what you want them to do next and by when.
  • Never be perceived as a pest! Though you may be bursting with excitement over the possibility of this connection leading to the next phase of your success, do not under any circumstance chase them. This will make you look desperate and pathetic, but it also is amateurish and annoying. Keep in touch regularly, but don’t ever be the person that makes this person think, “Oh, God! Not him again!”

One important thing to keep in mind is that you only know what you know. So don’t fall into the trap of making assumptions. When someone doesn’t immediately return our phone call or e-mail message, we very often assume the worst – they’re just not interested – even if we have no information to back up that assumption. Sure – it could mean that they’re not interested. Or it could mean they had a death in the family and everything work-related has been put on hold for a while. Think about your own lack of follow up – the very topic of this post. Are you not following up because you’re not interested? Sure – once in a while that’s true. But equally often, you’re very interested – nevertheless, you don’t get around to the follow up for some reason. If the other person were to contact you, would you jump all over the chance to resurrect the conversation? If your answer is yes, put yourself in their shoes, and quit making assumptions.

Follow-up is your friend. It is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolbox. Make my friend Helen Goodman, of Primo Promos, your role model. Helen has the most outstanding follow-up skills of anyone I have met in all the years I’ve been in business. She gets back to you the same day, goes out of her way to get you accurate quotes and help you order your products, and she does it all with knowledge and cheerful aplomb.

Happy following up!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM* status, and where you may need a little extra boost.


*Savvy Book Marketer

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An autoresponder campaign will keep your call to action from getting lost

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Last time, we talked about the importance of building an e-mail contact list and explored the holes your list might have in it. Once you build that list, the next step is to connect with the people on it – on a regular basis. An autoresponder campaign is a great way to do that. An autoresponder is a program or script that automatically sends or replies to e-mails via your e-mail service provider. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you probably have received an autoresponder if you’ve ever contacted a company through their website to request service or help with a problem and received an e-mail response letting you know they got your message.

An autoresponder campaign involves more than a single e-mail, but rather a series of e-mails intended to invite and entice the recipient into learning more about you, your book, your company, and/or your other offerings. It plays off that initial free offer on your site for an item of value (e.g., special report, teleclasses, webinars, sample chapters) in exchange for the visitor’s e-mail address.

If your special report, teleclass, webinar, or sample chapter contains a stellar call to action, you might hear your phone ring or see a jump in sales through your site, or…

Say your free giveaway is a sample chapter of your next book. Joe Smith enters his e-mail and – voilà – your sample chapter appears in his inbox within minutes. But what say Joe doesn’t immediately open your sample chapter, because he’s a busy man, and while he wants to read it, he looks at the e-mail, closes it, and intends to get back to it tomorrow. In the meantime, tomorrow comes, and 67 new e-mails pile on top of the very important message containing your sample chapter. He goes back through the e-mail and, yep, he sure means to get to that sample chapter, but after he finishes with a couple client calls. Whoop … 59 more e-mails pile on top of the one with your sample chapter. Soon, your e-mail is way down the list, even though Joe really does want to read your sample chapter, which could help revolutionize his business.

Why leave it to chance? With an autoresponder campaign, you follow up with Joe the next day to remind him that he downloaded your sample chapter, and encourage him to open it and read it right now. And then you also encourage him to do something else with another specific call to action.

A couple days later, you send another follow-up message, assuming Joe has now read the sample chapter, and asking if he’s had the opportunity to try out the tip you offered on page 3. And so on, following a regular schedule, for a specified period of time. Only you don’t have to remember to send these messages, because they are on autopilot, set to begin going out as soon as Joe enters his e-mail address into your capture box.

Our client Amara Charles used an autoresponder campaign to help her reach #1 on Amazon in her niche category, shamanism, for her book launch; another client who promotes a health product went from selling 12 units a week prior to implementing his autoresponder campaign to 700 units a week. Who wouldn’t want that kind of success?

In an article for AllMerchants.com, Ken Hill offers some tips on other ways to use autoresponders, including :

  • Use autoresponders to conduct simple polls.
  • Use autoresponder to deliver an email course that gives a hands-on explanation of the benefits of purchasing your product.
  • Use autoresponders to send out excerpts of your book or info product.
  • Use autoresponders to announce when you’ve written a new article for publication.
  • Use autoresponders to send out weekly tips.

In order to begin your autoresponder campaign, you will need a subscription to an e-mail service that facilitates their delivery. Two good ones are A Weber and Mail Chimp.

Once you’ve begun to build your list, make sure you touch them regularly and cement that call to action with a strong autoresponder campaign.

MARCIE

__________________

Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, Oct. 13 Capturing e-mail addresses from your website visitors is a CRUCIAL aspect of marketing your book

Monday, Oct. 10 Without an investment in SEO, your author website will be largely invisible

Thursday, Oct.6 Does your author site give visitors a reason to COME BACK?

Read Full Post »

Dictionary Day honors patriot and language wrangler, Noah Webster

Dictionary Day is recognized annually on October 16 in honor of Noah Webster, the father of the American dictionary, who was born on this day in 1758. Besides his fame for compiling the dictionary that bears his name, Webster was an educator, textbook pioneer, English spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author. Webster began compiling his dictionary at the age of 43, and it took him 27 years to finish it.

Webster believed that English spelling rules were unnecessarily complex, so in his dictionary he introduced American English spellings of words like color (as opposed to colour), wagon (replacing waggon), and center (instead of centre). He also added uniquely American words, like skunk and squash, which had not appeared in British dictionaries.

The point of setting aside today as Dictionary Day is to emphasize the importance of spelling and dictionary skills, and seeking to improve vocabulary. As important as they are, dictionary drills can be boring. For some entertaining ideas to improve your skills (or your child’s) at finding words, understanding meanings, and learning to spell, pull out that dictionary — an actual book, not dictionary.com — and try these exercises.

A dictionary offers much more than simple definitions, although it can be quite important to discover whether a word you always thought meant one thing really means what you think it means. You can use a dictionary to:

  • Learn the proper spelling of a word
  • Determine a word’s part of speech
  • Learn secondary or multiple meanings of a word
  • Find out how to pronounce a word
  • Find the origin of a word

For a clean, well-organized explanation of the parts of a dictionary, see this SlideShare presentation.

Want to learn a Word of the Day, or add that feature to your website? Check out these sites:

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http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day

TODAY’s WORD: bumbershoot

\BUM-ber-shoot\ noun

DEFINITION: umbrella

EXAMPLES: Noticing that a light rain had just begun to fall, Grandpa turned to Susie and said, “Don’t forget to take your bumbershoot!”

“The Camas Days parade featured vintage cars; rodeo royalty mounted on horses; and the Lacamas Shores Rain or Shine Umbrella Drill Team, which wowed the crowd with their bright orange bumbershoots — not that anyone needed them.” — Kathie Durbin, The Columbian (Vancouver, WA), July 23, 2011

DID YOU KNOW?

Umbrellas have plenty of nicknames. In Britain, “brolly” is a popular alternative to the more staid “umbrella.” Sarah Gamp, a fictional nurse who toted a particularly large umbrella in Charles Dickens’s novel Martin Chuzzlewit, has inspired some English speakers to dub oversize versions “gamps.” “Bumbershoot” is a predominantly American nickname, one that has been recorded as a whimsical, slightly irreverent handle for umbrellas since the late 1890s. As with most slang terms, the origins of “bumbershoot” are a bit foggy, but it appears that the “bumber” is a modification of the “umbr-” in “umbrella” and the “shoot” is an alteration of the “-chute” in “parachute” (since an open parachute looks a little like an umbrella).

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http://wordsmith.org/awad/add.html

TODAY’s WORD: vituperation

PRONUNCIATION: (vy-too-puh-RAY-shuhn, -tyoo-, vi-)

MEANING: (noun) Bitter and abusive language; condemnation.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin vituperare (to blame), from vitium (fault) + parare (to make or prepare). Earliest documented use: 1481.

USAGE: “The judge I knew best was my grandfather. His unflappable nature helped him handle all the vituperation that comes to highly placed judges through the mails.” Amelia Newcomb; “Judges: Not All Black Robes and Gavels;” Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts); Feb 7, 2002.

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http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/list

TODAY’s WORD: lummox

\LUHM-uhks\ noun;

1. A clumsy, stupid person.

QUOTES: “Spence regarded the lummox. He was a good-size boy, give him that – six one, six one and a half maybe – with limp blond hair…” — Howard Frank Mosher, Waiting for Teddy Williams

“Today I told myself that in actual fact anyone who takes an innocuous and random delight in his life is an absolute lummox.” — Robert Walser, Selected Stories

ORIGIN: Lummox is of uncertain origin. It is perhaps from “dumb ox” or influenced by “lumbering.”

It’s Dictionary Day, so pick up your dictionary and look up a word!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Two things you can do next: (1) Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page and “LIKE” it if you like it. (2) Visit Laura’s other blog.

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VICTORY: A modern communications parable

Once upon a time, when an American wanted to communicate with someone other than their immediate family or neighbors, they wrote words … on paper … with quills dipped in pots of ink. Men on horseback carried these letters to their intended recipients, but not further than a few miles.

Then, one day, the threat of the Civil War and the need for faster communication between the East and the West spurred men on horseback to do the unthinkable: riders from each coast left simultaneously to deliver words written on paper with quills dipped in pots of ink to people on the other side of the country. This rudimentary mail service lasted for just 19 months, until a new system was perfected for transmitting messages from a distance along a wire, breaking the connection to create a code.

Unbelievably, voice messages were soon transmitted along wires, eventually at long distances. No longer did one need to hire a horseman to deliver messages; no longer were choppy sentences transmitted via broken electronic signals the norm. One shared this verbal line of communication with between two and twenty other people, and could talk only five minutes or so before someone else would want to use the service. Privacy was a concern, as anyone on the party line could pick up their receiver and listen in on another’s conversation.

Fast-forward some 70 years, and a new technology takes hold. No longer does one need pick up a phone to communicate. Now, they can type letters on their computers and shoot messages across networks of wires to receivers as close as next door and as far as the other side of the world. Just 10 years later, it is impossible to spot a person emerging from an airplane without a new-fangled object, a voice messaging device that bounces signals off of satellites, affixed to their ear.

Of course, everything just keeps speeding up. With the advent of cell phones comes the ubiquitous typing of short text messages into these magical handheld devices, followed shortly by social media. People now list “making calls” as the third most common use for their cell phones.

Today, in late 2011, we are in communications overload. Text users send and receive between 50 and 100 messages a day, while the average active email user now receives about 120 emails a day, and sends 30 of them. It’s no wonder our messages get ignored and deleted without being read.

This is where our story begins.

Our intrepid heroine has accepted the call to wrangle a minimum of 4 nominees for elected officer positions for the regional affiliate of a national organization. The jobs will entail the usual: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer. Being that everyone in the WORLD is juggling about 200 things at one time these days, and getting people to volunteer to chair and run a group that meets quarterly would be ONE MORE THING, this seemingly innocuous task will prove more difficult than our heroine would have imagined.

The campaign begins.

One e-mail goes out to the whole tribe, announcing the election to be held in 2 months’ time and explaining the roles of each officer.

About 2 weeks later, a second e-mail goes out, reminding people that the nominations are open.

Amazingly, 2 individuals respond, throwing their hats in for 2 of the 4 positions! “Yippee – we’re halfway there!” our heroine thinks.

A third e-mail goes out, again reminding people of the positions, and encouraging them to self-nominate or nominate qualified others.

It’s now about a month away from the election, and the presidents are asked to announce the elections at each local affiliate meeting, which – presumably – they do.

Crickets chirp.

The election is 2 weeks away.

Help is enlisted to call the presidents to try to round up some interest and candidates.

Another e-mail goes out.

The election is 2 days away.

Our heroine re-emerges, this time armed with a secret weapon: that newfangled device that allows voice messages to bounce off the satellites. Please remember, this is a reluctant heroine who does not favor phone calls, but prefers the less invasive e-mail and texting as her favorite forms of communication. Nevertheless, she’s facing down the clock, so she bites the end of her pen and presses the buttons for the first number. “No, I’m not interested in running, and I don’t really know anyone else who would be.”

Down the list she goes, leaving messages and cajoling people to phone her if, sometime in the middle of “The X Factor,” they hit upon the perfect, but as yet untapped, candidate.

Then, something magical happens during call #8. “I’m not really ready to take on one of those roles. Maybe next year.”

“You’re not ready? What does that mean? Tell me more,” our heroine prods. Voila – with just a tiny bit of encouragement, Miss “I’m Not Ready” becomes a willing candidate.

Another phone call, this time resulting in the suggestion of another perhaps willing individual.

One more call, and she’s done it. Our heroine has 4 nominees for the 4 spots, all willing to step up and help run this great organization. But it never would have happened if she’d held fast to her phone-phobia and relied solely on e-mails.

You’re an SBM*, so I won’t beat you over the head with the moral to our story. But I will encourage you to pick up that phone if you’re not getting results with e-mail. Whether it’s about scheduling a book signing or inviting people to attend. Get out your contact list, sit down with a glass of water, take a deep breath, and start calling. Your results may amaze you.

Happy phoning!

Laura

* Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

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Imitate – DON’T COPY – others’ successful ideas!

All the good ideas are already taken.

* * *

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Those who know me will tell you that I am anything but cynical. Optimistic to the point of unrealistic sometimes, but rarely if ever cynical. Nevertheless, I do sincerely believe that there are very few new ideas out there. As I mentioned recently in a webinar on eBook Basics, unless you are in the know enough to be writing the latest celebrity biography or on the cutting edge of a brand new scientific discovery, virtually anything you write has been covered by someone before you. That being said, ingenuity and creativity abound – a secondary aspect of creativity is to generate “meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.”*

Copy vs. imitate. The girls are even wearing their rings on the same fingers!

I’m part of a screenwriting project with several other writers. As we were tossing around ideas for a script the other day, one member of the team said, “No – it’s already been done.”

Then, lo and behold, I attended Jeff Schimmel’s screenwriting class, where he told us, “It’s good if [your script] is like something else.” And, regarding TV, he said, “Write a copycat show. The networks appreciate you if you bring them an idea that works.” In other words, people (studio and network executives, in particular) like things with which they are already familiar. In fact, the new term in Hollywood for remake is “reimagining.”

One good way to mine new ideas is to see what other authors or experts in your industry are doing.

  • Hit the Google and do a search for “author websites” if you need inspiration for your site.
  • Pore over the titles in your subject area on Amazon for book cover ideas.
  • Read other blogs in your area of specialization to see what your colleagues are writing about.
  • Check in with the mainstream publications (on- and offline) on a regular basis to see what’s making the news.
  • Visit YouTube to see what kinds of creative videos are being done around your sweetheart topic.
  • Attend classes and workshops, even if you could be the teacher, to see how others are approaching the same subject.
  • Look outside your own industry for ideas. Henry Ford borrowed the assembly line idea from a meatpacking plant, and revolutionized the auto industry!

The goal here is to look for inspiration – ways you could do something similar while making it your own and, one hopes, better. The idea is NOT to copy (or plagiarize) someone else’s work, but to look for ways to take their existing concepts and give them “meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations.” Don’t be Evander Holyfield, to whom it was suggested that he come up with his own product like the “George Foreman Grill” – and literally created the Evander Holyfield Grill. D’oh!

Let your reimagination reign. Your experience, your lens, your world view give you the advantage of seeing things from a new perspective – YOURS. Whether it’s the topic for your book or a strategy for marketing it, examine what has worked for others, and use that as the jumping off point that will catapult you to your own success!

Happy exploring!

Laura

* from Dictionary.com

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

Read Full Post »

Capturing e-mail addresses from your author website visitors is a CRUCIAL aspect of marketing your book

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We’ve been focusing for a few posts on your author’s website. Why you need one. The 3 discrete components of content, design, and SEO. The more detailed aspects of a successful author site.

Arguably the single most important factor in Internet marketing success is THE LIST, that is the mailing/contact list with whom you regularly connect and to whom you regularly reach out and market.

You should want every visitor to your website to sign up for your mailing list. If you’re not, you’ve got a giant hole in your marketing strategy. However, in order to build your list, you’ll need to provide an incentive to get your visitors to fork over their name, and that white gold — a viable e-mail address. Internet marketing expert Alex Mandossian calls this offer an “ethical bribe.” The ubiquitous free newsletter still retains moderate usefulness, but it has generally become passé. In this age of fierce competition for that most precious commodity — time — people are often looking for something more compelling and useful than a newsletter.

Special reports still work. Better still are video clips or MP3s. eBooks, organizing tools like spreadsheets, and self-quizzes also work. What you’re doing is offering your readers a taste of your writing, your book, YOU … with the ultimate goal of getting them to not only buy your book, but to come back again and explore your site even further to learn more about your area of expertise.

One thing to keep in mind when you’re making your offer: be sure it’s something you can easily deliver to a large number of people. If you’re just building your list and your coaching practice, for example, it may be feasible to offer a free 15-minute coaching session … but how long can you realistically do that, particularly if everyone who signs up for your list actually takes advantage of your offer? Not very long — or soon your entire schedule will be filled with free sessions and you won’t have any time for anything else.

Group sessions, however, might be a good happy medium. Teleclasses, webinars, and sample chapters also work. Just make sure you can deliver whatever you promise. One of my clients created a stunning video collage of images to accompany the voice-over of her reading a passage from her book. Be as creative as you can with this part of your marketing strategy.

Position the capture box for your e-mail list in the upper right-hand corner of EVERY page on your site. Request, at minimum, the first name and e-mail address of the visitor. It’s sure helpful to get more information than that, but the more information you request, the less likely people will be to sign up. You’ll need to determine if you’d rather risk losing a few people to gain more complete information.

In exploring the utility of your list and the prospective success you can anticipate from it, you may want to ask yourself a few questions:

  • How big is your list?
  • How accurate is your list? Are the names/addresses current, or do 50 percent of them kick back as unavailable?
  • How niched is your list? Is your list made up of everyone you have ever met, or do you have it categorized so that you can send marketing messages about your book to the people who will actually want to buy it?
  • How many business cards and little pieces of paper with interesting people’s contact info do you have in piles on your desk, in your wallet, strewn throughout your purse? As my financial advisor friend Todd Smith once pointed out, these are little piles of money.
  • How regularly do you update your list? How often do you cull the bad addresses and add new ones?
  • Do you have your list organized into an A-B-C system? A indicates those who have expressed direct interest in your book or subject matter. B are those folks with whom you have a personal connection, but they may not have a direct interest in your book or industry. C are those people who are one step from elimination. You met them, but don’t remember where, and just happen to have their card in your pile.
  • How often do you contact your list?
  • How many different ways do you connect with your list? If you’re relying only on e-mail, you’re missing a significant opportunity to impact your list. But, in order to be able to send snail mail (or contact them by other channels), you will need to collect more than just their e-mail address.

If you’re just beginning to build your list, now is the time to get it right. But if your list needs updating, there’s no time like TODAY to begin cultivating and pruning it. It’s never too late to begin improving your book marketing endeavors. Check back on Monday when we’ll talk about one important action to take with your list: an autoresponder campaign.

MARCIE

__________________

Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, Oct. 10 Without an investment in SEO, your author website will be largely invisible

Thursday, Oct.6 Does your author site give visitors a reason to COME BACK?

Monday, Oct. 3 – I’m on Facebook and have a blog – why do I still need a website?

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If your skills need improvement, INVEST in yourself and take a class!

I recently attended a screenwriting workshop presented by Hollywood veteran, Jeff Schimmel. To say I learned a lot of immensely useful information is the biggest understatement of the year. But as valuable as the literal information I received from the workshop was, the even more important thing I received was encouragement. “Anyone can sell a screenplay,” Schimmel said.

Of course, the caveat is that it’s a great story submitted through the proper channels in the proper format. Piece of cake, as my personal trainer used to say.

This workshop was an investment for me: Money. Sixteen hours of valuable time I could have spent working. My intense energy and undivided attention. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Here are my takeaways for a first-time self-publishing author:

  • YOU can do it! But it probably won’t be easy.
  • You will have to make some investments. You may  have to give up your weekends for a year. You may sleep a little less, or occasionally miss “Modern Family.” If there are things you need to learn, find a qualified teacher, spend the money, put in the time, and get yourself educated.
  • When someone gives you a road map, follow it. In attempt to stand out from the crowd, we can have a tendency to spit on the system in an effort to do it our own way. The thing is, the system is there because it works. If someone advises you to create an outline, write a marketing plan, rehearse your pitch till you can say it in your sleep – accept that advice, because those are the steps a successful author takes. Use your creativity in the right places: to create a great book, for a mischief marketing campaign, to reach the rock star whose blurb will help you sell books.
  • If you’re willing to work your butt off, you will write, publish, and sell your book.

Writing, by its nature, is a solitary occupation. But every once in a while, it pays to step out, find a community, get some support, and enhance your skills.

Happy learning!

Laura

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