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Archive for August, 2015

Recycle your clothes and your ideas – it’s National Thrift Shop Day!

No one would ever accuse me of being a fashionista. I have lots of clothes – but I honestly cannot remember the last item (other than delicates) that I bought new, because I predominantly shop thrift stores and resale shops. It’s not about affording new clothes and other items – although I’ve never been a brand-name shopper – as much as it is the recycling, giving still-usable goods new life, and the thrill of finding something completely unexpected.

thrifting

After we recently moved house, some of the things I came across during my thrift shopping included:

  • Tea kettle – $4
  • 6-bottle wine rack – $5
  • 6 curtains – $12
  • Like-new air popcorn popper – $4
  • Coffee grinder – $5
  • Pair of shorts for my husband & 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle – 54 CENTS!

As it happens, today is National Thrift Shop Day. I don’t know about your community, but thrift stores are popping up everywhere in the Phoenix area.

NARTS, the Association of Resale Professionals, reports that the resale industry in the U.S. has buffalo exchangeannual revenues of about $16 billion, including antique stores. In that same article, NARTS references Buffalo Exchange, a resale clothing store that began in Tucson, Arizona (home of my alma mater, the University of Arizona). The company got its start with a 450-square-foot shop in 1974, and has grown to 45 stores, plus three franchises, in 17 states. It employs more than 700 people and had annual revenues of $81.6 million in 2012. Amazing! I used to live around the corner from the store that was its second home, on Helen Street, near the UA campus.

The thing about Buffalo Exchange is that it really is a place for people who know fashion. If that’s your world, you’ll probably be thrilled to talk shop with the knowledgeable staff and offer your trendy or vintage clothes for consignment. I am not such a person, so trying to sell clothes there has always caused me a bit of trepidation. I did have a great victory back in college, though, when the (snooty?) Buffalo Exchange buyer paid me $6 for a top I had made from a Simplicity pattern on the little Singer I kept in my dorm room.

Founded by an entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team, Kerstin and Spencer Block, Buffalo Exchange was a trendsetter. After Spencer passed away, his wife and daughter compiled some of his writing into an ebook called The Way of the Buffalo, in which they share “the funny, poignant, and always down-to-earth insights of a truly alternative entrepreneur whose values keep Buffalo Exchange the vibrant and ever-changing company it is today.”

Here are just the tip of the iceberg, 10 Basic Beliefs and Values of Buffalo Exchange:

way of buffalo

This is not a perfect book, by any means. But it’s a thoughtful book and a labor of love that preserves the best of the concepts that enabled the tiny acorn of a dream to grow and flourish into a multimillion-dollar business.

It’s certainly not the first time a brand has used a book to further its mission and message:

  • In October 2014, Renaissance Hotels released a coffee table book, The Art of Discovery, in partnership with the Creative Coalition, a social and political advocacy organization for the entertainment industry. The volume features 100 celebrities sharing their personal stories of discovery. The hotel chain’s goal with the book is bring to life its tagline, urging travelers to “Live life to discover.”
  • In April 2011, Pam Gaber published Gabriel’s Angels: The Story of the Dog Who Inspired a Revolution, about the work she and her Weimaraner did to launch the pet therapy field for abused, neglected, and abandoned children.
  • Back in 2009, I met Gary Kadi, the entrepreneurial dentist and author of Million Dollar Dentistry, a book that coaches dentists to transform and grow their practices.

For a business owner or entrepreneur with a success story to share, a book may be one of the very best ways to do that. And it doesn’t have to be long to be effective. It doesn’t even have to be printed to reach the masses, although printing is easier and less expensive than it’s ever been – so it’s probably a good idea to do both an ebook and a printed book.

If you’re ready to explore how easy it really is to write and publish your book, talk to us! We can walk you through the outlining and writing process, editing, cover design, and formatting your book for both print and ebook. And when it comes to marketing, we’ve got the knowhow to get your books into readers’ hands.

Why not recycle the ideas that brought you so much joy, satisfaction, and success – and put some extra money in your pocket in the process?

Laura

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SOURCES:
http://www.buffaloexchange.com/about-us

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/13/business/media/renaissance-hotels-lives-up-to-its-brand-name-by-sponsoring-a-book.html?_r=2

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Ideas are like rabbits…

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: “Ideas are like rabbits… You get a couple of them and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”

rabbit-021114-ykwv1

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

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From Waldo to George to Stan … Mapping the Path of My Book

Do you remember the year that skinny, beanie-clad, glasses-wearing character burst onto the scene? It was 1987 when British illustrator Martin Handford created a series of children’s books that captured the attention of people around the world, spawning a comic strip, TV series, video games, and many a Halloween costume. Though known as Waldo in the US and Canada, the character’s name was Wally in his homeland and other names in different parts of the world.

whereswaldo

WheresGeorge.com

Perhaps playing on the Where’s Whatshisname concept, in December 1998, Hank Eskin created a website called WheresGeorge.com – wherein for no charge, people could register the serial number on a dollar bill, write or stamp WheresGeorge.com on it, and invite others to track the path of that dollar bill as it makes its way around the country – and perhaps the world.

wheres-george-map

 

BookCrossing.com

Enter BookCrossing.com. It’s the WheresGeorge.com for books! And just as I BookCrossing label2entered my book a few days ago, you can enter YOUR book on BookCrossing.com, release it into the world, and see where it goes.

Visit the website and register your book for a BCID (BookCrossing ID). Print one of their book plates or make your own, as I did. Place it prominently in the front of your book. I added a note:

BC note

I’m actually very excited right now, because a friend of mine is leaving soon for New York City and has offered to take my book and leave it somewhere in the City. Since the story is about a man who travels the world via many modes of transit, my friend decided a great place to leave the book will be the Staten Island Ferry – as these boats are often filled with tourists, artists, and fellow writers.

If you or someone you know will be traveling soon, why not give your book a BCID so you can release it – YES, for free – to see where it goes and what happens to it?

Here’s to tracking your book’s path!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

__________________

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Increase your exposure: Buy your own book on Amazon!

My longest-term client publishes a holistic health newspaper, known online as Natural Healing News. One of the most significant features of the paper, known in print as AZ Networking News, has been its bimonthly publication of book and movie reviews. The books my client receives from authors all over the world run the gamut from very badly self-published editions to gorgeous hardback books from larger players in the traditional publishing world – and everything in between. It was a natural fit for her to create an online bookstore through which to offer links to the books’ Amazon pages.

As we were uploading the articles for the August/September 2015 issue of the newspaper to the website earlier this week – and creating Amazon links for the books and music – I was reminded of a very simple, yet potentially effective marketing idea I learned from my friend and promoter extraordinaire, Raleigh Pinsky.

Q What happens whenever you look at a book – or purchase a book – on Amazon?secrets - new

AYou are shown a string of other titles under the heading: “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.”

Just for demonstration purposes, I searched for one of the best books I’ve ever read, Secrets of Attraction, by Sandra Anne Taylor. As soon as I clicked the title link, I scrolled down a little to reveal the following:

also bought

You’ll likely notice something about the books: they’re all very similar in theme to the book in my original search.

Assuming your book is on Amazon – and I COMPLETELY understand if it is not – next time you purchase a book (or other product) on Amazon, buy a copy of your own book, too. That way, the next time someone even looks at the book you bought, they’ll see your book come up under: Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought. This has the potential to expose your book to people who might not be seeking it, but might have an interest. And depending on your contract with Amazon, if they buy your book you’ll probably get something back on the deal.

Here’s to getting more eyeballs on your book!

Laura

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ANSWERS to Tuesday’s Trivia Questions

In Tuesday’s post, Word Trivia: Which Author Coined Which Word?, I promised to post the answers to the trivia question today. Without further ado, I give you…

1.      William Shakespeare is said to have first written bedazzled in The Taming of trivia answersthe Shrew.

2.      Ernest Hemingway is credited with the first English use of cajones.

3.      John Milton gave us pandemonium, the capital of Hell in Paradise Lost.

4.      Sir Walter Scott first used freelance in Ivanhoe.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

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Word Trivia: Which Author Coined Which Word?

Some girlfriends and I got together the other night, united in one goal: be the evening’s Masters of Trivia! Out of nine teams competing in Team Trivia at CHARR American Burger Bar, we came in 3rd place. Not bad for a ragtag group of gals. One of our team knew that the father of Krusty the Clown (of Simpsons fame) was a rabbi. Another knew that Ole Evinrude was the inventor of the outboard motor. Through a team effort, we determined that retired U.S. women’s soccer star Mia Hamm is married to retired MLB pitcher, Nomar Garciaparra.

Marcie team trivia

The one that stumped us was the final trivia question. We were tied for 3rd place and were able to wager up to 15 points. As in Final Jeopardy, however, if we wagered and were incorrect, we’d lose all the points we’d bet.

Time, now, for you to test your own knowledge of etymology. I will post our final trivia question, as it was asked. Feel free to make your own stab at the answer in the OneSmartCookieComments section below. Of course, I’m hoping the honor system is still alive and well. One condition of Team Trivia is that Google, phoning a friend, and cell phones in general are disallowed because – duh! – it’s unsportsmanlike. I’ll have no way of knowing whether or not you cheated – but I hope Marcie’s readers are an honorable bunch. No prizes for the right answers – just the satisfaction of knowing you’re one smart cookie. I will post the answers at the end of Thursday’s blog post (8/13/15).

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Which of the authors listed below [all men, I noted] created the adjacent words. Please note, there are 5 authors and 4 words – meaning you won’t use one of the authors for your answer. In order for your answer to be “correct,” you must accurately identify the creators of all 4 words.

1. Charles Dickens a. freelance
2. Ernest Hemingway b. pandemonium
3. William Shakespeare c. cojones
4. Sir Walter Scott d. bedazzled
5. John Milton

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In case you’re wondering, we got one author/word pairing correct – meaning we lost 3rd placethe 2 points we’d wagered. We wound up taking 3rd place, which we considered a victory!

Outside the competitive nature of Team Trivia, those with a trivia fascination might want to check out TriviaCafe.com, where you can sign up to receive a daily trivia question via email. Additionally, my friend Kebba Buckley Button recently introduced me to WordSpy.com, which claims to be “The Word Lover’s Guide to New Words.” And if you ever want to know what the kids are thinking or what that crazy term you heard on the subway means, check out Urban Dictionary. Beware, however; certain entries in UD are not for the faint of heart.

Here’s to continued learning!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

__________________

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: The purpose of a writer…

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 purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”

digital compisition of the earth

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

__________________

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Modeling Aerosmith’s Magic – or Dusting Off an Old Release

Inspired by the recent concert he took me to for my birthday, my musician husband has been working for the last week or so to master dream onAerosmith’s “Dream On.” He mentioned the other day that the song was initially released in 1973 on the band’s eponymous first album, which sold a dismal 30,000 copies. According to AerosmithTemple.com, “For the next year, the band built a fan base by touring America, supporting groups as diverse as the Kinks, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Sha Na Na and Mott the Hoople.”

It was Aerosmith’s third album, Toys in the Attic, that finally saw commercial and artistic success, putting them on the map as a rock band to be reckoned with. And they are still amazing in concert! The iconic first single from Toys in the Attic, Sweet Emotion,” hit the Top 40 in the summer of 1975, and the album reached number 11 shortly thereafter. This success prompted Columbia Records and the band to re-release “Dream On,” which rocketed into the Top Ten in early 1976. After that, it was only a matter of time before their first and second albums (Aerosmith and Get Your Wings, respectively) made their way back up the charts.

Steven Tyler - Phoenix

So what does a rock band have to do with you? Maybe everything – especially if you published a book a while ago that didn’t do so well on its initial release. What have you done since then? Have you written more books? Built a bigger platform? Begun speaking around the country? Started a podcast? Been blogging weekly for the past three years?

Maybe it’s time to consider re-releasing your book – or at least reenergizing your marketing campaign for it. Perhaps the first time out, you were new to marketing and wrote crappy news releases. Maybe you didn’t write news releases at all. Maybe you were just stepping your big toe into social media, and now you have a fairly significant following. How many great reviews did your book garner? A dozen? One? None? Time to get some!

Did you receive feedback that your book could have used some editing? Guess what – there are plenty of qualified freelance editors out there looking for work. Certainly one of them can help you out.

The great news is that as long as your book is about an evergreen topic cobweb book(i.e., it’s not so time sensitive that it’s no longer relevant), your marketing and sales options remain wide open. First, you need to identify your audience and figure out where and how to connect with them. Then, it’s time to dust off your marketing plan. If you’ve never made a book marketing plan, it’s not too late to write one. After that, all that remains is to put it into action – tweaking it as you go.

There’s no silver bullet for publishing and book marketing success. One thing is true, though: you won’t sell one more copy of that book that’s been sitting on your shelf if you don’t follow Aerosmith’s lead by dusting it off and putting it back in circulation.

Here’s to your re-release success!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

__________________

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