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Are you planning for SUCCESS, or planning to FAIL?

It’s been a while, but I’ve written a number of posts in the past about mindset — the reason being that it’s an immeasurably difficult uphill battle to succeed without a positive one.

Here’s a tiny case in point:

I am a member of the Facebook group, “The Writer’s Tools.” Mondays in the group are Marketing Mondays, and members are encouraged to share marketing ideas, links, blogs, and articles. So I shared a great idea I heard recently from a fantastic new business connection:

chairs
If you’re giving a presentation to a smaller group, you’ll increase your sales by as much as 40% if you put a book on every seat BEFORE the talk begins. People have a chance to look at the book. You mention a passage from a particular page during your talk. And then at the end, you say, “If you want to purchase the copy you’re holding, just pay So-and-So at the back of the room. If you don’t want it, just leave it on the chair when you go.” Sure … you may lose one or two that walk out the door – but you’d probably give those away anyway. And you’ll more than make up for it in increased sales. Idea courtesy of Jason Nast.

Here are the two responses so far:

ED: Great idea Laura. I would have to hold myself in check and not go all Oprah… “And YOU get a book, and YOU!” But if I could contain myself this would probably work brilliantly.

**************

DANIEL: Let’s say you paid out of pocket for 100 copies of your book for such an event and everyone left afterwards without buying a copy, what would you do with those books? Give them away for free, donate or something else.

It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it, which of these authors is planning to succeed, and which is planning to fail? Please, please, please don’t let yourself be in the “planning to fail” category. So what if you haven’t sold a book yet and you’ve been at it for a year? Who cares if you’re the only one who seems to believe in your dream so far? Get out of the mindset that is prompting you to self-sabotage and look for reasons to fail!

Instead, try one or more of these ideas:

  • Write affirmations about your success — first person and in present tense. Readers are flocking to buy my book, as opposed to Readers will flock to buy my book.
  • Paste those affirmations all over your house, your car, your computer, your cell phone and repeat them to yourself continuously.
  • Cut out photos that inspire you and create a vision board that denote success to you: a person signing books, books on a shelf at a bookstore, a large number in your checking account, goal destinations for public speaking events.
  • Watch movies, read books, visit social media sites, and drink in images that reinforce SUCCESS thinking.
  • Sign up to receive daily inspirational messages via email.
  • Find a Meetup group of like-minded writers who will be your support network.
  • Rejoice with EVERY success, even a single book sale.

It may take some effort, but you CAN shift your mindset from why you won’t succeed to why you will. If you have other ideas that you’ve implemented to help steer you toward success, please share them in the comments section below.

Here’s to your SUCCESS MINDSET!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Getting ready to launch your book? Be sure to download our complimentary special report, “Anatomy of a Book Launch.” Even if you’re not a novice and have a book launch or two behind you, this report will give you the timeline to help you experience even more success.

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Winter Author Blog Challenge #2: The challenges of being a Facebook early adopter

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

With that, here’s the second prompt:

Do you have a Facebook fan page for yourself/your book? How long ago did you start it? Did you do it yourself or have someone help you? Are you seeing lots of new people liking it? What kinds of things do you post? What have you found to be the most effective way to get fans/have people interact? IF YOU DON’T HAVE a Facebook fan page, tell us about the fan page for an author you know or like. Why do you like them and why did you “like” their page? What do you think they are doing well that you would like to model with your own page? Do you have a goal date for creating your own fan page? Be sure to give us the link.

I have been blessed with the MOST amazing mentors! One of the most influential is my former personal trainer, Scott White. He gave me a foundation for everything I know about social media, Internet marketing, and building my business. In fact, I doubt I’d be sharing this blog with you if not for his patient coaching and early mentoring. He’s the reason I joined Facebook and Twitter. He introduced me to Craigslist. He taught me about GotPrint.com — the best business card and postcard deals on the web!

FB personal

It was way back in early 2007 when I got started on Facebook. This was L-O-N-G before Fan Pages existed … so for a long time, my personal page was all I had, and I have yet to grow the support for the Fan Page for my business to anywhere near the 2,569 friends I have on my personal page. Interestingly, in all my study of Facebook Fan Pages, I know quite a bit about how it all works (wouldn’t it be a blessing if Zuckerberg’s minions would stop “improving things” long enough for us to figure out how the latest changes worked?) but seem to spend quite a bit of my energy building and supporting others’ (clients, husband, organizations I belong to) pages as mine rather limps along.

Although politics interests me and I follow many political topics, pages, and personalities, I tend to try not to post incendiary stuff on my personal page. Of course, what’s innocuous to me may be a lightning rod to someone else, and I did delete/block a few people during the most recent presidential campaign. The reason I mention this is that I’m still juggling the personal and professional on my personal page, perhaps the biggest challenges of pre-Fan Page success.

As client work has increased, I’ve slowed my personal posting down a bit, but the three things that helped me grow my personal page were the daily posts of: (1) an image that contained words of some sort, (2) a writing quote, and (3) a writing prompt. I posted these every day for nearly 2 years. I’m a bit more sporadic with my posts now, but I still put up images with words and the writing quotes, always accompanied by the same image. No one has told me they miss the writing prompts. Perhaps if I heard feedback to that effect, I’d start those up again, too.

fb posts

Though many have complained about the new (a year ago) Timeline feature of both personal and Fan Pages, they’re actually quite useful on the Fan Page side. One important thing you can do is create events or milestones to document things like your book launches or readings and other successes. The feature allows you to include up to 5 images, and used well, these become a great selling tool!

Jenn's signing

Here’s the post we put up to celebrate the success of a client’s first book signing event. Jenn Laurent is in California and we’re in Phoenix, but we celebrated virtually. This post was our opportunity to share Jenn’s success with our fans and by doing so, showcase our skill and expertise.

Laser FG

A similar story is true with this post, celebrating 4 years of working with a valued client, Samuel N. Asare of Laser Financial Group.

Another important thing authors can do with their Fan Pages is add the Author Marketing App. This is a great way to give your Fan Page followers an overview of your published work. The app installs as a tab on your Author Fan Page and then allows you to add details about your books and upcoming events. If you’re selling your books on Amazon, listing them is as easy as entering the ISBN!

There are dozens of little secrets like this that can help you improve your Facebook presence, and as a result, perhaps help you sell Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebookmore books. If it’s just not your strong suit to learn it, know it, and do it, consider hiring a pro to help you maximize your success. If you want a step-by-step guide through the process, please consider purchasing our eBook, Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business. It’s just $12.99 for nearly 200 pages of screen shots and step-by-step instructions.

Facebook pages we own, have built, or manage:

Write | Market | Design

Albert Mensah Student Speaker

CareerPro Résumé & Writing Center

Mickey Clement – Acoustic Guitarist

ABWA – Valley of the Sun Express Network

In the meantime, we’ll see you on Facebook!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Winter Author Blog Challenge #1: The Genesis of Marcie Brock

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

With that, here’s the first prompt:

Tell us about your blog. How long have you been blogging? Do you write on a regular schedule? Do you plan your topics in advance or write as the spirit moves you? What was your favorite post? At which post do you look back and wonder what you were thinking when you wrote it? What has been the best feedback you’ve ever received? Have you ever written anything that was perceived as controversial, though you didn’t intend it that way? What tips would you offer other author bloggers?

Marcie Brock was born on May 2, 2011, so she’s about to turn 2. Marcie is my alter-ego. She’s a savvy communications expert who LO & Marciewill share with you everything she knows about marketing your self-published books. The blog came about as I moved deeper into book marketing as a significant component of my business. After years of working as an editor, helping my clients get their books written and published, I began to notice that most of them had very little skill when it came to marketing these books they’d worked so hard to create. I had marketing expertise, so it was a natural fit to expand my services to first include — and now focus on — marketing their books. I now specialize in teaching self-publishing authors to think like marketers, meaning that they are planning their launches, building their platforms, and crafting their marketing strategies from the moment they begin writing.

As valuable as I KNOW writing on a regular schedule to be, life and business don’t always allow for it. It helps me stay organized to have  themes, and I believe it also helps my readers, as topical series allow me to explore topics much more fully than random single topics would. Of course, being a continuous learner who loves to share what she learns, I also write impromptu posts fairly often.

It’s funny that what I enjoy writing is not necessarily what readers seem to see, like, or comment on. Of course, blog posts that teach (which is most of them) are fun. Blog posts where I tell stories about real-life incidents are also enjoyable. But the post I truly love is the one titled, “The Art of Captivation: What makes us LOVE that book, movie, song…?” U2 is my favorite band on the planet. I was listening to the A side of Joshua Tree for perhaps the 500th time, when the question occurred to me. What makes me LOVE this music so much? And what draws us to particular art or movies or books?

The post that shattered all records was just about a year ago, on March 7, the eve of International Women’s Day. Marcie Brock had been getting some good traction in the search engines because I was posting pretty regularly, and then a strange thing happened. It seems that traffic to the International Women’s Day site itself – which had the #1, #2, and #3 results for that term – overwhelmed the site to the point that people were unable to load the pages they were seeking. Our post contained just basic information about IWD, with links to a few events around the world and a link to the main IWD event calendar. But it must have been enough of what people wanted, because we captured the residual benefits from ranking #4 for the term “international women’s day” with NEARLY 1,000 HITS over March 7 and 8! Our previous high had been 192 hits in a single day.

In July 2011, I wrote a post I thought was very clever, titled 10 Ways Marketing is Like Bowling. It was a fun little post inspired by a girls’ Marcie the bowlernight out with some new friends. Imagine my surprise to receive this EXTREMELY disapproving comment:

Too bad you brought beer into this article. It was quite funny and interesting, but then you mentioned alcohol and you lost my attention. People really should stop advertising alcohol and associating it with fun. Alcohol is the leading cause for accidents, violence, abuse, job loss and heart attacks and strokes. Advertizing it is wrong.

Seriously? I wasn’t glorifying drinking, but obviously this was a trigger issue for the commenter. One thing I’m learning the more I put stuff out there: there’s no pleasing everyone. I choose to allow unfiltered comments on my blog, as I don’t want to put any extra barriers (besides the internal spam filter) between my readers and their ability to comment. And so far, this is the worst feedback I’ve received. When people write snarky comments on your blog, you have the options to comment back, hit the delete button, or let them stand without reply.

For more ideas about blogging, see the many posts I’ve written on the topic.

Happy blogging!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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3 ways to benefit from events: Attend. Speak. Sponsor.

Last Wednesday, I visited a new (to me) women’s business group called eWomen Network. It’s a North American organization, with chapters in four Canada provinces (Alberta, BC, Nova Scotia, and Ontario) and 35 states in the US. Not surprisingly, California, Texas, and Florida have the most chapters.

The Phoenix chapter is under the relatively new management of Johnell McCauley – and she’s doing a fantastic job. You couldn’t precisely call the luncheon I attended a networking event, as it’s much more than just that – but you could definitely call it an experience.

The speaker, Cathy Alessandra, refers to herself as the Chief Innovative Officer for her marketing firm. She crammed a lot of excellent info into a

Cathy Alessandra

Cathy Alessandra

short, powerful presentation. Here are the biggest takeaways:

BE SEEN. This means showing up. But before you do, be sure you do your research, set great intentions, be willing to expand outside your comfort zone, and have a mechanism for following up. I’ve heard twice in two weeks: If you’re going to collect cards at a meeting and then not follow up, you might as well just stay home. Lastly, go with the intention of being of service, rather than selling. This takes the pressure off both you and the people with whom you’ll be connecting.

GET HEARD. As a speaker – even a free speaker at a weekly Rotary Club or chamber meeting – make sure you deliver a content-packed presentation with easily implementable steps. You will do your best if you exude both self-confidence and confidence in your area of expertise. Be sure to connect with your audience. If any of these seem wickedly challenging to you – start by getting yourself to a Toastmasters club, joining, and participating. Every speaker started somewhere – Toastmasters is an excellent place to get your feet wet.

CONNECT. Your end goal is to connect with others in a meaningful way. Do that AND be seen as a leader by speaking, sponsoring, or hosting your own events.

PLAN. As a speaker, you’ll need a one sheet (we’ll talk more about this in an upcoming post). You’ll also need to do your research to learn about live and virtual events seeking speakers with your expert knowledge. Set goals for how many events you will attend, speak at, and sponsor this year – and keep at them until you achieve your goals. Calendar these goals in pencil – and mark them in ink when they’re confirmed. Stand out from the crowd by picking up the phone and calling event planners, rather than relying exclusively on email. And check with prior speakers, vendors, and attendees to see what their experience was before signing up.

The main message here is that it’s easier than you might think to use events – and speaking in particular – to get noticed, sell books, and enhance your business. What are YOUR event and speaking goals this year? Please share them in the comment section below.

To being seen, getting heard, connecting, and planning!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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27 ways to tell your readers you love them

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell your readers you love them. If  your book’s still in progresslove my reader and you don’t have readers yet, perhaps these suggestions will get your creative book marketing juices flowing for ways to connect with you readers once you publish your book or eBook.

As always, we love your feedback, so if you’ve got other ideas or suggestions, please share them in the comments section below!

  1. Share their fan mail on your Facebook page.
  2. Hold a Tweet Chat so you can get to know them better.
  3. Make a video to tell them what you’re working on next.
  4. Write blog posts they’ll love – even if they’re not necessarily things you love writing about.
  5. Find a promo product tie-in and give them away wherever you go.
  6. Use Rafflecopter to give books away.
  7. Do readings at your local bookstore and library – even if it’s a pain in the ass to arrange them.
  8. Share photos of your writing space/process on Pinterest.
  9. Create discounts so they can share your books with their friends.
  10. Reply to every comment on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  11. Find out the causes they value – and get involved.
  12. You know who they are, so go where they are – street fairs, quilt shows, NASCAR, university quads, airports, dog shows…
  13. Ask them their favorite parts of your book – and create a Tumblr account to share them.
  14. Make a video of yourself doing a reading.
  15. Use Rafflecopter to give eBooks away.
  16. Share single chapters of your book on CDs or Minibüks.
  17. Hold a teleconference where your fans can ask you questions.
  18. Write thank you notes to those whose addresses you have.
  19. Use Authorgraph or Autography to sign eBooks.
  20. Do a Q&A with your readers via your Facebook page.
  21. Ask their input on your next book.
  22. Attend book fairs and speak or sign books.
  23. Host a webinar featuring fellow authors or guests on your topic.
  24. Share daily quotes on LinkedIn.
  25. Ask your readers/fans to name themselves (a la Parrotheads, Dittoheads, Cheeseheads, TroubleMakers, Trekkies).
  26. Create a forum for your readers/fans on your website.
  27. Offer to pay the shipping on your books for a week.

To a love of reading  and readers!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Marketing lessons authors can take from the State of the Union address

OK – just so we’re clear: this is not a partisan post. This is about the concept of the State of the Union address, a speech the President of the United States presents to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, typically delivered in January of February of every year. Last night was President Obama’s fifth State of the Union address, so it seems the perfect opportunity to study this annual event.

state of the union

Aside: Do you think Congress will vote to change
the word “he” after the election of our first female president?

In order to grasp the marketing lessons, let’s break down the State of the Union address, one facet at a time.

OUTLINE YOUR AGENDA. The State of the Union address reports on the condition of the nation, as well as allowing the President to outline his legislative agenda (for which he needs Congress’ cooperation) and his national priorities.

When it comes to your marketing, you need to have a plan and to be able to confidently, eloquently, and simply explain it, as necessary. While you may not follow it precisely – as life happens and situations change – a plan will give you an outline about where you’re going so that can avoid trying to blindly navigate the market for your book.

COMMUNICATE IN A WAY PEOPLE WILL RESPOND TO. Though the State of the Union began as a communication between the President and Congress, it has morphed largely into a communication between the President and the people of the United States. With the advent of broadcast media, the speech is now seen live on most TV networks, preempting scheduled programming. Once given during the day, the speech is now made in the evening in order to reach the largest possible television audience, usually after 9 p.m. EST.

How are you communicating with your audience and prospective readers? Do you know where they are, and are you going there to reach them? Are you reaching out to them where they spend time (e.g., blog, website, social media, Meetup), or are you H-O-P-I-N-G they will come to find you?

HONOR SPECIAL GUESTS. The President’s goal in the State of the Union is to outline the administration’s accomplishments over the previous year, along with setting the agenda for the coming year, in upbeat and optimistic terms. Since 1982, it also has become common for the President to honor special guests sitting in the gallery of the U.S. House chamber, such as everyday Americans or visiting dignitaries.

Who are the most important people in your publishing success? Who are your raving fans? Whom do you go out of your way to thank for their support? And most importantly – how do you let them know how much you value them?

LEARN TO HANDLE CRITICISM. Since 1966, the televised State of the Union address has been followed by a response or rebuttal from a member of the opposing political party.

You will never be all things to all people, so how do you handle criticism? Do you view other authors in your genre as competition or colleagues? Do you look for the similarities – and ways to leverage them for increased exposure – or focus on the ways you’re different?

Regardless of your politics – or feelings about the federal government – they do get some things right. I think the State of the Union is one of them. What lessons can you learn, extrapolate, or apply in your marketing efforts?

Laura

Resource: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_Union_address
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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Creative problem solving: Asking more people to do less

In the past week or so, I’ve seen three highly creative approaches to problem-solving that focus on requesting small actions from many people, rather than asking a lot from a few. When I saw the first, I thought, “Wow, what a great idea! I want to get involved.” When I saw the second, I thought, “That’s very cool. I’ll have to blog about it.” Now that the third has come across my email, I’m actually blogging about it!

Here are three strategies that involve reaching out to more people with smaller requests, thereby lowering the barrier to entry for making a difference.

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A fellow member of a Facebook poetry group shared a link to Art4TheHomeless, a Georgia-based nonprofit organization that solicits artists of all types to donate portions of their income to help solve the problem of homelessness in America. From their website:

art4thehomeless

Art4TheHomeless is an Atlanta based nonprofit organization that unites artists of all mediums to promote homeless awareness in the USA. Our goal is to open an art gallery and venue spot where not only artists will be shown and promoted, but also funds will be generated to sponsor other nonprofit homeless relief organizations.

Art4TheHomeless was started as an art blog by a young lady. The dream of a young artist affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was to give back to the kind people at the homeless shelter she stayed in Atlanta, GA. At the time, all she had was her own art. She went to trade school and learned about computers and started the art blog–and used it to promote homeless awareness. That original blog is still up and you can click here to see it today!

The thing that caught my attention was this:

Donate

Our goal is to raise $250, 000 one dollar at a time.
Imagine if 250K people only donated one buck!

Use this link if you’d like information about becoming an Art4TheHomeless partner.

********

Next up, Natalie Pace, a financial educator and personal Facebook connection, invited me to her event: $1 for 1 Day. The gist is:

The ABCs of Money by Natalie Pace

Amazon is hosting a $1 for 1 Day sale of my new Amazon bestselling book, The ABCs of Money, on 3.3.13. Mark your calendar and share with your friends.

Think about various orgs that might benefit as well. You could gift 30 books to a high school math class for just $30 on that day. (I gifted books to the girls in Kenya whom I mentor, and to all of my retreat volunteers, for $80 instead of $1200.) All you need are the email addresses of whomever you wish to gift to. If the org is a 501c3, you could receive a tax write-off on your taxes, in addition to helping others.

If you are not in the U.S., one of your U.S. friends can buy and gift it to you. They just need your email address.

If you’re on Facebook and would like more info, here’s the link: http://goo.gl/mqQqY.

********

Lastly, I received this email via LinkedIn today from Christina Mylonas, a Peace Corps volunteer:

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I do a community needs assessment, and develop projects based on that assessment. The biggest problem for the villages in Kavango Region is a lack of things for kids to do.

I am setting up a library at Diyana Combined School, with space for social events like: story time, girls’ day and games day. The space will also be used for speaker presentations and movies.

Here’s my problem, and where you come in: The library has very few books, and what they have are well worn. The shelves were mounted against the walls, so termites got many of them. I’ve since moved the shelves in hopes of eliminating that problem. I’m asking everyone in my network of friends, clients, and LinkedIn connections to send one children’s book.

Why just one? To do a book drive would result in one person shipping and paying for what could be a lot of books. That can get very expensive and time consuming. Instead, you can grab a book off your kid’s shelf, or used book store, or even your grocery store. Throw it into a brown envelope, walk it to the post office and mail it to: Diyana Combined School kids_booksLibrary, P. O. Box 5061, Divundu, Namibia. The postage is your contribution.

Then you pass this email on to 10 friends. Before long Diyana will have enough books to fill its shelves. It’s a small thing to do that can make a real difference.

Thanks for taking the time to help out. For those of you who helped by donating to Andara Combined School, that library has been a big success. THANK YOU!

Christina Mylonas, PCV, Namibia
christinahelps @ yahoo . com

********

While none of these ideas may apply directly to you, as always I challenge you to find lessons from these concepts that you can apply to your own marketing, networking, and/or problem-solving efforts.

Two of these came to me via Facebook and one reached out through LinkedIn, so one lesson here is harnessing the power of social media. I also noticed that all of these creative thinkers are women. Gentlemen, where are your good ideas? Let’s hear them!

Here’s to innovative thinking in YOUR book marketing!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Why I want to be a TroubleMaker

 

Live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth'd, pelvis-pushing juke music ...

Live-wired, straight-shootin, dirty-mouth’d, pelvis-pushing juke music …

Here’s a portion of the bio of a band called Vintage Trouble, taken from their website Bio page, written by Nick Faigen:

Vintage Trouble formed in 2010 out of the ashes of a few other bands, and not by chance, Ty Taylor (vocal) and Nalle Colt (guitar) teamed up with drummer Richard Danielson and bassist Rick Barrio Dill. They entered The Bomb Shelter Studio, recorded an album’s worth of material in three days, which was intended to be demos and ended up being pressed into CDs. The Bomb Shelter Sessions became Vintage Trouble’s first album. Selling it at their gigs was easy and not surprisingly so were the calls to feature their music in several commercial media.

But they were just getting started. Unified in their decision to stay in Los Angeles to build the band’s musical foundation, the group quickly collected a lot of fans, who became known as “TroubleMakers.” Such underground buzz led legendary manager Doc McGhee to take notice and sign Vintage Trouble after hearing only a single chorus. Doc’s first order of business was to break the band in England, right away. Their first venture overseas resulted in a similar groundswell, with Music Weekly naming them 2011 Breakout Artist of the Year and HMV hailing them as their “Next Big Thing.”

Their accomplishments go on from there:

  • The band appeared on Later… with Jools Holland. This performance was one of the most talked about of the year, blowing up Twitter as the 6th most tweeted topic worldwide just hours after the show. The very next day, their self-released debut, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, entered the charts, becoming the No. 1 “R&B Album” and No. 2 “Rock Album” on Amazon UK—No. 6 on Amazon overall and No. 13 on iTunes, charting in the “UK Top 40” by the time it was officially released in July.
  • Vintage Trouble went on to play 80 shows in 100 days before an estimated 400,000 people throughout the UK and Germany.
  • The next three months brought them the opportunity to open for Bon Jovi in stadiums and arenas on the UK, Ireland, and German legs of the tour, playing to over 200,000 people in just under two weeks.
  • Guitarist Magazine ran a feature about Nalle, and The Bomb Shelter Sessions was named one of the “Top 25 Guitar Albums of the Year” by Total Guitar Magazine.

And last night, they continued their current tour, opening for The Who! at Jobing.com arena in Glendale, Arizona.

So why did this band catch fire as it has? Perhaps it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. But I think it’s more than that. It’s authentic talent. It was the decision not to wait for the results of a demo, but to release their first CD independently because they knew what they had was gold. It’s their retro look and sound. It’s the awesome photography and stage presence they have for a band so newly formed. It’s the catchy name for the fans – who wouldn’t want to be a TroubleMaker? After their set last night and at the end of The Who’s show, the band held meet-and-greets with the fans, willing to mix and mingle with anyone who wanted a chance to chat and/or shake their hands.

What does this have to do with you and marketing your book? Nothing and everything. You could say, “Yeah, but it’s different with music” or you can take inspiration from these four amazing guys. Visit their website and listen to the free track. Study the images and read their whole bio. What are they doing that you could mimic? How can YOU create a tribe of TroubleMakers that will help you sell more books and put you on the map?

Inspiration surrounds us daily. Are you noticing?

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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56 ways to use video to promote your book and/or business

Marcie with video camera

We haven’t paid much attention to video yet – but trust me, we will! Of course we reviewed some of our favorite book trailers, which is one very important way for an author to use video. However, there are many others.

The list below, much of which is borrowed from Media Pro Productions, includes a wide variety of video uses. Some of these may or may not directly apply to you as an author. If your book is an extension of your business, many will apply. However, if you’re the author of a novel, memoir, or other less business-oriented title, you may have to stretch to find applications. The goal isn’t for you to take this list and go out and make each and every video on here. It’s to get you thinking about new ways to use video that may never have occurred to you before.

If you’ve been using video for a while, please share the link for your YouTube channel (or other website feed) below in the comments section. And if you’ve got great ideas that aren’t on this list, please share those, too!

Customer-Oriented Videos 

1.   Video testimonials
2.   Video success stories
3.   Video case studies
4.   Man-in-the-street interviews
5.   Prospecting presentations
6.   Follow-up after meeting a new prospect
7.   Thank you for the opportunity
8.   Putting a name with a face after a phone call

 

Product and Service Promotions

6.   Product presentations
7.   Service demonstrations
8.   Product reviews
9.   Mini documentaries
10. Subject matter expert commentary
11. Product comparisons

 

Corporate Videos

12. Company overview
13. Executive presentations
14. Staff presentations
15. Virtual facilities or equipment tour
16. Board of Directors updates
17. Ongoing corporate communications

 

Training and Support Videos

18. Training videos
19. Instructional videos
20. Sales support “expert” videos
21. “Brown-bag” learning
22. Post-sales support videos
23. Maintenance videos

 

Internal Communications Videos

24. Internal communications
25. Event/conference/trade show communication
26. Employee orientation and “get on board” training
27. Health, safety, and legal issues

Advertising, Marketing, and Promotions 

28. Commercials/infomercials
29. Humorous video
30. eMail video
31. Content marketing
32. Landing pages and micro sites

 

PR Support and Community Relations

33. Video media releases
34. PR support materials
35. Community relations video

36. Public service announcements

37. Cause-related promotions

 

Event Video

38. Event presentation video
39. Roundtable sessions
40. Expert Q&A sessions
41. Highlights or “red carpet” video

 

Author Uses

42. Author bios for signings/events
43. Video blogs
44. Book trailers and promotions

45. Contest and giveaway promotions

46. Partnering with other authors

47. Speaking promotions

48. Tie-ins for holidays or special events

 

Other Uses

49. Recruitment videos
50. In-store videos
51. Company lobby/waiting room videos
52. Mobile videos
53. Market research/focus groups/polls
54. Website FAQ videos
55. Video white papers
56. Video magazines

 Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Why should a salesperson think about publishing an eBook?

Yesterday, I had the privilege of being a guest on the BlogTalk Radio show of my friend, the elite sales coach and trainer, Connie Kadansky. Connie specializes in teaching sales people to “get their ask in gear” and helping them overcome Sales Call Reluctance®. It’s something almost all of us who are in sales (yes you, my dear SBMs*, are in sales!) face at one time or another: the fear of prospecting and/or self-promoting.

Connie interview

The topic of our conversation yesterday was “Build Your Credibility with Prospects by Publishing an eBook!” As many good talk show hosts do, Connie offered me the list of questions she would ask in advance so that I had time to prep my responses. Her questions and my prepared answers are below. However, you should still listen to the interview: (a) to see how closely we stuck to (or varied from) the script, and (b) because she threw in a couple of great examples that were unplanned.

I think that’s the key to a great talk show – preparation that allows for flexibility and impromptu questions and responses. It’s also why when you’re preparing to do live radio or TV, you’ve got to be ready to answer any questions the interviewer might throw your way. I had a client one time who wanted to know how to be “absolutely sure” she would know in advance all of the questions the interview would ask. She was extremely worried that she might receive a question to which she did not have a prepared answer, and she was quite unhappy when I told her there would never be such a guarantee. You always have to be prepared for anything because a cagey interviewer may hit you with something utterly unexpected. (I understand Phoenix’s own Pat McMahon has a reputation for this type of surprise questioning.) Generally, though, the interviewer wants the show to go well, which is much more likely if the interviewee has an idea of what’s coming.

Here are Connie’s pre-planned questions and my planned responses:

1. Laura, the first thing that comes to mind when salespeople think about writing anything is anxiety around not being a good enough writer.  How can you ease the anxiety so people will open up to the opportunity to write an eBook that could put them on the “map” so to speak?

Writing is the technical skill of putting words together so that they make sense and properly convey our ideas. But we do that – put words together and convey ideas – every day when we talk to people. So if you can talk, you can probably put a book together fairly easily. It’s just a matter of getting someone to help you organize the words once they’re on paper. I think that putting the book together is the easy part. I – and lots of others out there – can help you with that. But what I cannot do is give you a meaningful message if you don’t already have one.

2. How important is the “why” behind what they are wanting to accomplish?

Many people will tell you that they’re in business to make money. But money, while important, is ultimately an empty motivator. Being emotionally connected to the “why” gets you energized – you can’t wait to go out and talk to people about what you’re selling, and they will see your genuine enthusiasm and respond. Even if they don’t buy from you, they’re more likely to recommend you to someone else who might need your product or service.

3. You indicate that salespeople must know what their message is. . . how do you help salespeople get clarity on that message?  They just want more customers and to sell more of their product or service.  How do you help them dig deep into understanding what their market wants?

The first thing I do is ask questions. Then I listen to the answers. There are three important ones to focus on first: (1) Who is your audience? (2) What is the ONE thing you want them to know – the thing they’d go home and tell their spouse about, or post on social media? (3) Why are YOU the person to share this message?

4. You indicate that people need to know who their audience is – audience meaning who is going to read their material – what are the different components on knowing who the audience is?

Most authors’ goals are to sell books – to lots of people. Makes sense, right? But the best way to hone in on your audience is to know the ONE person you’re trying to reach with your message. Studying their demographics and psychographics. Demographics are the measureable things like age, education, and marital/parenting status. Psychographics, on the other hand, are the things that make your reader unique, such as their personality traits, values, and attitudes. I encourage my authors to know that they are writing to Jane Kowalski – a 32-year-old teacher, no kids, master’s degree, who lives in a Chicago suburb, attends church occasionally, works at an animal shelter on the weekends, and aspires to climb Mt. Everest.

5. This eBook can be a PR tool – it connects them with the “outside world” so to speak – a credibility tool. How important is it that they be specific on what they want to accomplish going back to “they just want more customers?”

It’s essential. The thing is, we all want more customers. We wouldn’t be in sales – or in business, for that matter – if we didn’t. But we need to get underneath the thing we’re selling to the reasons we’re selling it. What will it do for the customer? How will their life benefit from it? How will their life change? What will they be able to do after buying your product or service that they couldn’t do before? Your eBook will answer those questions – or it will explain why you are the best person to provide them those answers. Hopefully both.

6. How does someone share value without “giving away the store?”  Recently, I heard a marketing coach telling people to stop blogging, because they are solving all the customers problems and people don’t need to buy from them.  What are you thoughts on this comment?

I hear this all the time and I couldn’t disagree more. This is a perspective that comes from lack. “If I share what I know, you won’t hire me because I just gave it to you for free,” rather than “If I share what I know, it demonstrates my expertise so you will know I’m good enough to hire.” Not to mention that a typical blog post can only scratch the surface. If all you know is what you can put into a 500-word blog post, you’re not very good at what you do, are you? Your eBook should demonstrate the problem and offer the answer in broad strokes. The customer will still need to hire you (or buy your product) for implementation of the solution.

7. If someone were to call you today with a vague idea of an eBook, what process would you put them through and how long would it take?

I would arrange a phone interview with them and begin by asking the 3 questions I mentioned above. I would ask them what, besides “Do Business With Me” would they want their prospect to do after reading their book? What information does their reader need to know? In what format do they already have that information? Is it written down somewhere? Could they dictate it? Put it into bullet points? Write it as one long 6-page paragraph? Would a series of recorded interviews be the best approach to getting it down? What call to action would they want to leave with their readers/prospects? Depending on the author, it can be a few weeks or a year. We’ve turned around eBooks – cover design, content, editing, layout – in 3 weeks for the right clients.

8. Do you have an offering for our listeners so that they can connect with you?

Your listeners should check out http://bit.ly/Anatomy_Launch for access to a free special report I’ve written to guide them through the launch of their book. Don’t do what far too many new authors do and wait till you have your book in your hands to begin marketing it! Read this report so you can learn how to start marketing the second you start writing.

Laura

* Savvy Book Marketer
__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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Are you organized for success in 2013?

Marcie juggling

OK, then. It’s the first Monday in February. How are YOUR book marketing plans for 2013 going? I was battling a fierce cold for the first two+ weeks of January. When I finally stopped coughing long enough to be able to hold a reasonable phone conversation, I looked up, and January was g-o-n-e. Now, I find myself back in work mode – and the ideas are swirling fast and furious.

I’ve been reading great stuff, meeting fantastic people, developing new projects, one after the other – all of which is very exciting, but I’m realizing that if I don’t rein it in a bit and organize these thoughts, they could be lost in the whirlwind of energy that carried them to me … and wind up going nowhere.

If you’ve ever heard of the Enneagram personality assessment, I’m a 7 – THE ENTHUSIAST. “Sevens are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous. Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply their many talents, becoming overextended, scattered, and undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and impulsiveness. At their best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.”

Some coaches refer to this as Shiny Gold Object Syndrome. Or using my catlike reflexes to chase a bird, eat food, climb on the dresser, sit in your lap, and bat at dust bunnies … all simultaneously. I think many creative types fall into this category. The goal is to work on that last line, “At their best: they focus their talents on worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.” They say the teacher teaches what the teacher needs to learn … so trust me when I say I’m not necessarily the best-equipped person to tell you how to manage the 1,000 new ideas that may barrage you daily.

The following are a few things that are working for me. Please know, these didn’t come easily and I have yet to master them completely. But since I’ve been incorporating them, I’m definitely more productive, focused, and calm.

  1. WRITE IT DOWN. No matter how good the idea, quote, tagline, website, suggestion, or invitation may be, it’s not going to stay at the forefront of your mind for long. Because if you’re active and interested, another great idea, quote, tagline, website, suggestion, or invitation is going to come along right behind it. And then another. Do you really want to trust your memory to recall all of those opportunities, or do you want to be sure to be able to examine them again, when you have some time to focus on them?
  2. Which leads to the next point. MAKE SOME TIME. I used to have a really bad habit of not reading email as it came in. “Oh, that sounds interesting. I’ll look at it later when I have more time,” is what I told myself. Two hours pass. Another 137 emails poured in on top of the one I was going to “get to,” and before you know it, it was buried, deadline all but forgotten. And it wouldn’t come up again until someone mentioned having attended the event, met the speaker, or in some other way taken advantage of that email that I was going to get to. Now I schedule time to read – and ATTEND to – email every two days.
  3. PRIORITIZE. Try as you might, you cannot do it all. At least not all at once. This means learning to put an order to your goals and ascribing deadlines to them, too. You might think about creating a physical or virtual file for the things that are interesting but don’t practically apply right now. Then calendar some time (once a quarter, once a month, whatever works for you) to look that file over. At that point, you can reassess your current plans and determine whether the things in your Future Folder might have more relevance now.

One thing is true: it’s impossible to be successful if you’re overwhelmed. 2013 can be your best year yet – as long as you stay somewhat organized and VERY focused. Please share your suggestions, ideas, and experiences around what’s worked for you in the comment section below!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

Read Full Post »

A Superbowl Challenge for book marketers

Last year for the Super Bowl, we re-ran a post from 2011:  Top 10 Lessons Authors Can Take from Watching the Super Bowl. Here’s the thing … neither my husband nor I are huge fans. We’ll be watching, but we’re anything but rabid followers. And since Marcie has followers and readers all over the globe, I’m sure there are some of you out there who are even less interested in American football than we are.

Nevertheless, it’s good to be able to go where the crowds are. If you can find a way to tie your book to the Super Bowl (or topic du jour), by all means, get in on it! But you’ve got to do it with some aplomb and grace. If you’re forcing the topic, it might simply be better to make the Big Game the focus.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind: every Facebook post, Tweet, or blog needn’t be about your book! In fact, if all you ever write about is your book, you may bore people. Your interest in the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, or the latest season of American Idol gives you something to write about other than your book, creating the appearance of a well-rounded author – not an author whose every waking utterance is in promotion of your book.

So here’s my challenge:

Keeping in mind the 10 Lessons from last year’s post (BELOW), what clever, creative, or interesting observations about today’s game can you make on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog?

Sure, everyone else may be commenting, too, so what do you see or notice that’s a little different?

And how can you extrapolate this to life at large? How can you bring details from your ski vacation into your marketing efforts? Grandma in the hospital recently? Did you learn something from that experience that could benefit your online audience? Make chocolate chip cookies with your little ones recently? How about sharing your recipe or memories from your own childhood with your readers? The idea is to be relatable. Tell stories that make you, the author, a real person to your readers, friends, and followers.

Here are our 10 Super Bowl Marketing Lessons for Authors:

  1. It takes guts and conditioning to make it to the top.
  2. The best team doesn’t always win.
  3. Good coaching matters.
  4. Getting on the field and making it to the endzone … two entirely different things.
  5. Sometimes you have to take a risk.
  6. When you fall down, get up quickly.
  7. Rabid fans help enormously.
  8. Get creative with your advertising.
  9. Throw a big party!
  10. The whole world is watching you.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! If you accepted the Challenge, come back and share your posts with us in the comment section below!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Microsoft PowerPoint - Create a Fan Page 2013 ebook

Need help creating – or updating – your Facebook Fan Page? At nearly 200 pages, this eBook is chock-full of screen shots and details about how to create or improve your Facebook Fan Page. Includes details about adding a MY BOOKS feature to your page. Grow your Fan Page and grow your list of potential readers! Get Using Facebook Fan Pages to Market Your Book and/or Build Your Business today!

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