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Groundhog’s Day book marketing messages from Punxsutawney Phil and Phil Connors

Marcie - Groundhog Day

When you hear the words “Groundhog Day,” who are you more likely to think of? Punxsutawney Phil, THE groundhog for whom the day is named, or Bill Murray, star of the ubiquitous movie of the same name?

There are book marketing lessons to be drawn from both.

First, all is not as it might seem. The way Punxsutawney Phil is said to determine if winter is on its way out and spring is around the corner is by whether or not he sees his shadow. To me, it’s always seemed counterintuitive that Phil’s not seeing his shadow (cloudy day) means winter’s at its end, while seeing his shadow (sunny day) means 6 more weeks of winter.

So where might all not be as it seems when it comes to your book marketing? One place is in your results with things like blogging or social media. When you’re just ramping up and you’re not seeing many results (it feels like no one’s reading your blog and you’re not attracting many friends or followers on Facebook or Twitter), it may seem as though the effort is futile. On the contrary, my dear SBMs!* Push through the “it’s not working!” thoughts and keep on keeping on. Far too many bloggers quit, just as they were about to turn the corner on the traction they were seeking. Keep blogging. Keep Facebooking and Tweeting. Do your research, and get better at it, to be sure. But don’t quit.

Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s character in the movie), on the other hand, offers a seemingly opposite lesson. In realizing the futility of his effort to break the cycle of the recurring day (he wakes up every morning and it’s 6 a.m. on Groundhog’s Day AGAIN), he turns caddish behavior into an art form, seducing women, stealing money, driving recklessly, and eventually getting thrown in jail. Yet nothing changes.

You’ve more than likely heard the “definition of insanity”: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result. I’ve always thought it’s much less the definition of insanity than human nature; in clinging to what we know, we remain in our comfort zones. There’s only one problem with remaining in our comfort zones: It’s pretty much impossible to grow there.

So the second lesson is to selectively stop doing what you’ve been doing. Yes – I said keep blogging and keep posting your tweets and Facebook updates. But stop looking for reasons people won’t buy your book. Stop telling yourself there are lots of other books out there like yours, so why should people buy the one you wrote? Stop hiding behind the safety of exclusively promoting your book online and get out there to meet real, live people! STOP the thinking and behaviors that are sabotaging your success.

It’s not necessarily the best books – or products in general – that rise to the top, although a high-quality book sure helps. It’s consistency of message. Consistency of marketing. Consistency of posting. Consistency of touching your mailing list. Being there, being there, being there. Stay the course. Tap all the resources you have – and if you don’t have any resources yet, go out and get some.

Happy Groundhog’s Day to you – whether or not spring comes soon to your little corner of the World of Books.

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer
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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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A skincare company’s Times Square lesson for book marketers

If pressed, I guess I’d have to admit my husband and I are more homebodies than going-out-bodies. We thought about going to Niveafind some live music on New Year’s Eve but decided we’d enjoy our own company (and that of our dogs and cat) more than screaming to be heard at a club or toasting with happy drunks at a bar. So we joined many around the world doing what I never did in person all the time I lived in the NYC area: we watched the Times Square ball drop.

If you watched the same scene (this year or last year),  you likely noticed a sea of blue, in the form of balloons and felt hats provided to New Year’s Eve revelers by the skincare company Nivea. With this kind of creative marketing (OK, so they biffed on the Rihanna idea, but even that was definitely a clever plan — and you can’t succeed if you’re not willing to take some risks), it’s no doubt why this company has a significant global presence and market share.

They even have a great YouTube video explaining the process involved in prepping and disseminating the New Year’s goodies.

squeeze balls from PrimoPromos.biz

What’s the takeaway for you, a self-published author? OK — so you don’t have a multimillion dollar marketing budget to get yourself in front of an audience of billions. But how can you replicate this idea on a smaller scale? What kind of giveaway might you distribute to a sizable crowd at an event with media coverage? What would get the Tweeters in your audience buzzing? Whether it’s giving T-shirts with your book cover and LINK to a group of volunteer trash collectors  along a busy roadway (an investment of less than $100) or putting your book cover and LINK on a faux baseball that you hand out after an MLB game in your city (an investment of less than $500), you can garner more visibility than you may think.

It’s the start of a brand new year, the perfect time to put on your SBM* hat and get busy coming up with some creative ways to market YOUR book. Watch this space … I feel a contest coming!

Happy marketing …

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer
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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Ready to make your dream of writing a book a reality? The Empowering Women Writers program will walk you through all the steps, at your pace and on your schedule! Launching January 15, 2013!

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Book Marketing Goals Pyramid – Breaking the process down into bite-sized bits

So after yesterday’s Writing Goals Pyramid, you pretty much had to know we’d be applying the same principal to book marketing, right? And voila book marketing goal pyramid… here it is. The fact is that book marketing is an ongoing process. It should properly begin as soon as you decide to write your book, and continue until you decide you don’t want to do it anymore (or forever – whichever comes first). I know a gal who wrote a book almost 10 years ago, and she’s still booking seminars and classes all over the country based on that one book. How is that possible? Because she never stopped marketing it.

The first step is setting an overall goal. Yours could be a number of books sold, or it could be hitting #1 on Amazon. Whatever it is is probably achievable if you’re willing to do the work to get there.

Next we move to monthly goals. Again, adjust this pyramid for your schedule and your needs. This chart gives you an overview of many of the steps you can (and should) use to market your book, but there are certainly other approaches that are not listed here.

My favorite step on the Weekly section is “Offer a giveaway.” With eBooks, that’s easier than it’s ever been before, but if you’re printing hard copies, be generous in giving those away, too. It will come back to you – I promise! You might want to investigate a service like Rafflecopter.com to help you manager your giveaway processes.

Lastly, we have daily goals. You’ll notice these are less about the marketing, per se, and more about creating a success mindset. That’s because ALL of your success stems from your belief that it is possible. So on a daily basis, take steps to foster the most positive environment in which to grow your success thought garden.

By the way, we’re participating in BlogHer’s January National Blog Posting Month Challenge … to write and post 1 original blog post per day. You can read posts from other participating blogs by clicking here.

Here’s to a brilliant and successful 2013!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Ready to make your dream of writing a book a reality? The Empowering Women Writers program will walk you through all the steps, at your pace and on your schedule! Launching January 15, 2013!

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Writing Goals Pyramid – A great way to chunk down your writing goals into manageable bits

There’s no time like New Year’s Day to make goals for the year. Personally, I much prefer setting goals to making resolutions. Here’s a new idea forwriting goal pyramid planning the goals to write your book, the goal pyramid. Goal pyramids are about chunking big projects down into manageable pieces. Here’s how you can apply the concept to writing and publishing your book.

First you explore your overall goal.

Generally speaking, the next step is identifying monthly goals. However, in the case of writing a book, your outline and research will likely come before you start approaching your monthly goals. Next you’ll identify your monthly goals. Then you’ll break the monthly goals down into weekly goals, and the weekly goals into daily goals.

Keep in mind, this is not a hard and fast plan; yours could (and should) differ, depending on your timeline and process. The important thing is to set goals and make a plan to stick to it.

For more writing goals inspiration, check my Pinterest board: Writing Goals … Get Some!

By the way, we’re participating in BlogHer’s January National Blog Posting Month Challenge … to write and post 1 original blog post per day. You can read posts from other participating blogs by clicking here.

Here’s to a peaceful, prosperous 2013!

Laura2013

 

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Ready to make your dream of writing a book a reality? The Empowering Women Writers program will walk you through all the steps, at your pace and on your schedule! Launching January 15, 2013!

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December Issue – CREATIVE QUILL Newsletter

Well, it’s a busy season … and just plain busy! Haven’t been doing nearly the blogging I intended to this month. The good news is that the topics are piling up!

  • How to get your book into libraries
  • The benefits of cause-related marketing
  • Mischief marketing at its best
  • Teaching people how to recommend/refer you
  • Setting your 2013 goals

LOGO - Christmas

Right now, I want to share a link to my December newsletter. The featured article is “Marketing Your Book Should Begin as Soon as You Decide to Write It.”

It was the second Tuesday in October when I received a phone call from Jenn Laurent, a new author. She was referred by my longtime networking associate, Gilat Ben-Dor. Jenn asked if I could help her market her book, Excerpts from the Heart of  Mom, a book about conscious parenting. I told her I was pretty sure I could help and asked when her book was due to be published.

“It’s going up for sale on my website tomorrow,” Jenn told me.

Wow! “Is there any strategic reason you’re starting to sell it TOMORROW?” I asked.

“Well, it’s arriving from the printer,” was Jenn’s response. READ THE REST HERE

Now I know this is probably old news for the SBMs* who’ve been with  me for a while, but there are other reasons to read the newsletter! The format of a newsletter just allows you to do different things than you can do on a blog or via other social media channels. We’ve got regular features, including:

Clients we’re supporting…

Blogs we’re following…

Sites we’re using…

Resources we’re recommending…

Conferences upcoming…

Contests for submitting…

Books we’re reading…

Movies we’re watching…

Freebies we’re offering…

Places Laura’s speaking…

THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL…

And the literary quote of the month…

See all of the above references and links here, and if you like what you see, SUBSCRIBE!

Of course, there’s a mention of my upcoming self-paced program: EMPOWERING WOMEN WRITERS.

Look for at least one more post before Christmas!

Until then … stay warm, safe, and happy.

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Speaking of holiday specials, we’re offering a special design package for the holidays: Bookmark, Postcard, Business Card, and One Sheet branded with your title and/or logo, all for just $499 (or 2 payments of $275). If you’ve been meaning to update your marketing materials or have a new title coming out for the first of the year, this opportunity is tailor-made for you! Offer expires 1/31/13. Visit Holiday Marketing Package for more details.

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12 holiday book marketing ideas for THIS season – and 6 for NEXT year

OK – it is admittedly late to BEGIN thinking about holiday book marketing for the current season, but there’s still time to do some. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Please use them as a jumping-off point only; use your own SBM* creativity to do things that will work for your book in your market.

1. Offer a 12 Days of Christmas special. Surely you can come up with 12 freebies or specials to help promote your book. Offering one a day – Cover treevia a drip e-mail campaign and/or your social media platforms – can help drum up interest in even a dated title, perhaps breathing new life into your book marketing. Free chapters are obvious. Character back stories, a map of your fictional location, a link to a song that captures the time/feel/message of your book, a video message, a recipe, and a quiz are just a few of the types of things you might offer.

2. Host a Holiday Giveaway of your book. Make it easy by using Rafflecopter so that you can embed the offer almost anywhere and easily track your participants and results.

3. Give away someone else’s book! Build rapport with other authors by giving away a book or two that you know your readers will enjoy. Or offer a holiday-themed book. Let the authors know what you’re doing so they can help you advertise the giveaway. Promote the giveaway, the winner, and the authors of the giveaway books with news releases to all parties’ local media outlets.

4. Partner with another author or two to offer a holiday package. Book buyers love deals, so help them out by offering 3 or 4 books in a package deal. The great thing about this is that you will all promote the special on your websites/blogs. Just make sure you partner with people you trust. Then set a price you can all agree on and figure out how you’ll do the money split.

5. Host a holiday contest related to your book, inviting your readers to incorporate their favorite holiday image, song, or concept into an essay, graphic, or video. Offer a bookstore gift card as the prize.

6. Create a holiday recipe book. Don’t do the work yourself, though. Ask your readers to share their favorite holiday recipes, and then compile them into an eBook. Do a week-long promotion and give away the eBook to anyone who buys your book. Remember to thank your contributors by giving them a free copy of the recipe eBook.

7. Donate a portion of your proceeds to charity. If you don’t already do this on a regular basis, the holidays are a great time for giving back. Offer a percentage of your proceeds for the holiday season to your favorite local charity. Be sure to issue a media release and alert the charity, as they’ll likely want to help you spread the word!

8. Write or share a holiday story. This will be easier if your book is fiction, but even if it’s nonfiction, craft a short holiday story around your characters or the theme of your book. Use it as your holiday greeting to your fans and readers.

9. Create a holiday tip sheet. This one will work best for nonfiction authors. Create a tip sheet tailoring it to your book’s theme and the holidays.

  • 9 holiday lawn decorating ideas.
  • 10 ways to keep your kids safe for the holidays.
  • 3 tips to alleviate stress when the in-laws are visiting.

Use it as a blog post, social media blast, or news release.

10. Offer to gift wrap books for people who buy from your site. Choose (or create, if you’re really crafty) holiday wrapping paper that that corresponds to the theme of your book, along with an appropriate gift tag.

11. Make a “Christmas tree” from your book cover and use the image for your holiday cards.

12. Get festive with your email signature. Put a holiday greeting at the bottom of each email. Maybe plop a Santa hat atop your logo or include a line from your favorite Christmas carol. Remember to include a mention of the holiday special you’re offering.

IDEAS FOR NEXT YEAR

1. Partner with local retailers. While I see the value and purpose of Amazon, I am a HUGE proponent of shopping local. Local bookstores, bakeries, hardware stores, restaurants – where I can, I keep my business at home. Small local shops love to partner with local product providers. So get off the couch and get creative to find non-book stores in your area that would be a good fit for your book. Hit them up in the summer, when they’re starting to think about holiday displays, but haven’t committed to anyone else yet. Better still, suggest a signing or reading that will bring in more people to their venue – and then make sure you promote the event!

2. Be a front-of-store vendor. Many local bookstores allow vendors in front of their stores, particularly at the holiday season. Approach your favorite well in advance of the holiday season and secure your spot. Do a signing and other promotional giveaways to attract people to your display.

3. Host a holiday book signing at a local restaurant. Choose your favorite ethnic restaurant and ask them to serve your favorite holiday dish. Or serve eggnog or other holiday treats while you do a signing and reading for your local fans.

4. Remember that holiday story from above? Repurpose it by sending it to your (on- or offline) local community paper, your alumni magazine, and/or special interest publication about the topic or theme of your book.

5. Host a children’s book drive at your local library. You don’t have to be a children’s/YA author to give back to the kids in your community. Challenge your friends, neighbors, colleagues, readers, clients, and customers to donate new books for your holiday book drive. Then rent a room at your favorite library or bookstore and invite the kids from a local shelter or nonprofit group to come choose a book for the holidays. If you can get someone to don a Santa outfit for you, all the better! This is the type of event that’s worthy of a media coverage – so remember to write and send your news releases!

6. Offer your book to local bakeries or coffeehouses for inclusion in their holiday gift baskets. Put on your thinking cap around this one – it doesn’t need to be a food establishment. If there’s a business better suited to give away your book, why not approach them with the gift basket idea? It may be something they’d never considered – so you’ll generate even more goodwill by helping them market their business for the holidays.

While pre-planning is definitely your friend when it comes to book marketing, once you learn to think like a marketer, you’ll realize there are ALWAYS things you can do to keep your book in front of your audience. Wishing you a festive, happy, productive December and holiday season!

Laura

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Speaking of holiday specials, we’re offering a special design package for the holidays: Bookmark, Postcard, Business Card, and One Sheet branded with your title and/or logo, all for just $499 (or 2 payments of $275). If you’ve been meaning to update your marketing materials or have a new title coming out for the first of the year, this opportunity is tailor-made for you! Offer expires 1/31/13. Visit Holiday Marketing Package for more details.

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Q & A with Jenn Laurent, author of “Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom”

Yesterday, I had the privilege of introducing Jenn Laurent’s new book about conscious parenting, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. I also mentioned that we would be doing a Q & A on Jenn’s Facebook page about the concepts she discusses in her book, and also the book itself. This was a fun exercise where a few of us pelted Jenn with questions about conscious parenting, and she responded like a pro!

Below is the transcript of the Q & A session:

LAURA ORSINI:  Hi, Jenn. Congrats on your book launch! You must be very excited. You’ll be doing a Q&A now, won’t you?

JENN LAURENT:  Hi. Thank you. Yes, I will 🙂

CASSIDY GARD:  So exciting that Launch Day is here!

LAURA ORSINI:  If anyone has a question for Jenn about her book or conscious parenting, please feel free to jump in!!  My first question is this: What IS conscious parenting?

JENN LAURENT:  Conscious parenting is parenting with awareness. It is about taking the necessary steps in your own life to allow you to be present with your children. It means that we make choices, rather than parenting out of habit.

CASSIDY GARD:  How do you make conscious choices when your patience is being tested and you’re dealing with tantrums in small children?

LAURA ORSINI:  That seems both like common sense, and something that could be useful to have someone guide you toward. How did you arrive at this idea of conscious parenting in your own life, Jenn?

JENN LAURENT:  Great question, Cassidy, and one that I think involves a bit of a detailed answer. But in short, we need to find ways to stay centered and focused, as parents. By taking steps in our own lives and finding ways to care for ourselves, we are better able to deal with stress and anxiety in the moment-to-moment activities involved in parenting.

LAURA ORSINI:  Where does a busy parent begin in their efforts to be more conscious?

JENN LAURENT:  Laura, I am a person who enjoys self-reflection, so I have gathered my own life experiences, the work I have done in the field of social work, and my own self growth. I wanted to parent in a way that felt good in my heart, and I have chosen to share that with others through my book.

CASSIDY GARD:  I’m sure your book goes into greater detail about specific approaches, but what is the number one universal tip or mantra you tell yourself in the moment to stay focused? I’m sure that many obstacles come up, day to day, but do you have one thing you always tell yourself to reinforce #ConsciousParenting?

JENN LAURENT:  I think a good starting point for parents is to form an intention about the type of parent they want to be. By knowing your purpose and what parenting means to you, you are able to build from a strong foundation and more easily navigate through the day-to-day parenting experiences you encounter.

LAURA ORSINI:  Do you think it’s ever too late to begin trying to implement practices like being in the moment and not trying to shape our kids into who we think they should be?

JENN LAURENT:  Cassidy, I think everyone needs to find their own unique way and discover what works for them. The key is to find it. I make a point of acknowledging the intention I have about for the mother I choose to be daily, and I also remember that a huge piece of parenting is the fun it entails.

CASSIDY GARD:  Do you remember when you first discovered you would be a mom and imagined raising a son? How did your expectations differ from the actual experience?

LAURA ORSINI:  I LOVE the reminder that parenting is supposed to be fun, too!

JENN LAURENT:  Laura, it’s never too late. There is a quote that it is never too late to be what you might have been. I love this and believe it applies to all areas of our lives, including parenting. If we are facing struggles as parents, feeling a lack of fulfillment, or simply know in our hearts that there is room for change, we can implement practices to make our parenting experience exactly what we choose for it to be.

DANYELL FIMA:  How does the mother or father of pre-teen and teenagers begin to parent more consciously?

JENN LAURENT:  When I found out I was having my son, I don’t necessarily think I set expectations; rather, I set intentions and focused on images of the way I wanted things to be. I saw clearly the type of experience I was setting out to have. And so, in all honesty, it has not differed much from what I “expected.” Yes, things may look different in my life, but the experience is what I intended it to be.

JENN LAURENT:  Danyell, when our kids are older, parents need to find a way to really see who our children are and accept them for that. Again, it all starts within. As parents, we need to be clear about our intentions so that our children receive that message as well.

LAURA ORSINI:  Want to move to the book a bit. Did you learn anything new about parenting as you were putting these rather profound concepts into words?

CASSIDY GARD:  Do you think that parents and society place a lot of judgment on children when we use phrases like “Terrible Two’s” or automatically assuming a child will be difficult as a toddler, pre-teen, or teenager? How do you use conscious parenting to avoid that and embrace positivity?

JENN LAURENT:  Laura, I learn something new every single day. Just when I think I have something all figured out, I realize that another layer is presented and there is more to learn.

JENN LAURENT:  Cassidy, great question. Yes, I think labels and statements like these set us, our children, and our families up for failure. If we expect something to happen, then most likely that is what we will look for to happen. If we can set up our children for success by expecting positivity and goodness, we are that much ahead of the game.

LAURA ORSINI: How much does Jaden understand about his role in Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom?

JENN LAURENT:  I value my son’s feelings, opinions, and input tremendously and have made him aware of this project from the moment I began. He thinks it is pretty darn cool that there is a book out there that has been inspired by him. 🙂

LAURA ORSINI:  Do you have a favorite chapter or lesson?

CASSIDY GARD:  As the child gets older, is there a good way to include them in the conversation so that they understand these “conscious parenting” techniques and how they can make conscious choices independently so that they are in harmony with their parents?

LAURA ORSINI:  If there were a double-like button, Cassidy, I’d press it for that last question!

JENN LAURENT:  My favorite chapter or concept is “All You Need Is Love,” which is dedicated to parents being committed to loving even though. It is so important for us to show our children that they are loved, no matter what. Even when they make mistakes, drive us crazy, or disappoint us, they need our love. You see, it is easy to love when things are easy, when things are going our way. It is much more difficult to love in the face of conflict or darkness. We have the opportunity to teach our children how to love others when it is difficult by loving them when it is difficult.

JENN LAURENT:  Cassidy, I believe our children are able to understand well before we think they can. I share some of these concepts with my son and we have conversations about them. I have always provided him with the reasons I do things the way I do, so he has learned on a daily basis about mush of this. I think our children benefit greatly from be included in the reasons why, in understanding the way they are being parented … after all, it is their life! 🙂

LAURA ORSINI:  I love that concept, Jenn — it’s true for all of us, even grown-ups. I heard it said a long time ago that it’s when we’re most unlovable that we need most to be loved.

JENN LAURENT:  To continue that answer, Cassidy, children learn by example. If they are parented in a conscious way, they learn to live in a conscious way.

LAURA ORSINI:  Jenn  will you tell people where they can buy the book?

JENN LAURENT:  The book is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or my website http://livethroughtheheart.com/my-book. If readers buy today, they will receive special free bonus offers. And always, a percentage of proceeds will go to Olive Crest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families and children.

CASSIDY GARD:  Thanks Laura! Wow, that makes so much sense, Jenn. I think parents will be amazed by these techniques and approaches. It’s unlike a lot of what is already out there. So refreshing to see an approach that is simple yet full of wisdom and meaning behind it.

JENN LAURENT:  Thank you, Cassidy.

LAURA ORSINI:  So we thank you all for coming — and for asking questions, Cassidy and Danyell! Please be sure to visit Jenn’s site (http://livethroughtheheart.com/my-book/) to see the bonuses and buy the book today! Or if you prefer, it’s also on sale at Amazon (http://amzn.to/10PlCPW) and Barnes & Noble (http://bit.ly/115LNkM).

CASSIDY GARD:  Thanks Jenn! I think these will be amazing gifts for all of my friends and family. It’s a beautiful read, but also highly informative. Great timing for the holidays!

JENN LAURENT:  Thank you everyone!! Happy Tuesday and Happy Holidays!

The good news is that we’ve extended the bonuses for another day! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the bonuses or buy the book yet, you can still take advantage of the offer today. This is a tremendous book and would make a wonderful holiday gift for the mom in your life.

Happy parenting —

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like to schedule a Facebook Q&A to discuss YOUR book as part of your social media strategy, please complete the form on this page or call us at 602.518.5376. Booking now for 2013!

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Notes on a book launch: “Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom”

I am excited to tell you all about TODAY’s launch of my client’s new book, Excerpts from the Heart of a Mom. Jenn Laurent is the thoughtful mother of a lovely 5-year-old boy named Jaden. Her original goal was to create a series of essays she would later present to her son as a gift, but she quickly saw the value the writings might have for parents looking for a new way to connect with their children.

Jenn defines conscious parenting as parenting with awareness. It is about taking the necessary steps in your own life to allow yourself to be present with your children, and opening your heart and mind to truly understand the reasons you parent the way you do. It involves making choices instead of parenting out of habit – or simply not knowing any better. Her 25 conscious parenting concepts are designed to help parents foster their children’s innate and profound wisdom and keep the children connected to their authentic selves. Her goal is to inspire parents to open their minds and hearts and be willing to explore a different way to parent that can bring fulfillment, joy, and peace.

I believe this book about conscious parenting truly has the power to make a difference in many parents’ lives … as well as in the lives of their children.

Jenn came to me just a few short weeks ago, via a referral from my friend Gilat Ben-Dor, a coach who specializes in working with Multi-Passionate Professionals™. Jenn knew she needed help to market her book, and thus a book launch was born. This involved many players and moving pieces:

  • Nikki Pesusich, PR pro from Coterie Media
  • Cassidy Gard, versatile and multi-talented virtual assistant
  • Joe Stevens, webmaster extraordinaire from Ball Media
  • Yours truly, book launch coordinator
  • Jenn, the author and juggler of many balls

None of this would have come together without Jenn’s vision for success and the knowledge that she needed a strong team of professionals to help her through the pieces she couldn’t do herself. She deserves HUGE congratulations for her willingness to jump in and learn as much as she could on a very tight deadline. Nikki is just a superstar with the media aspect, and I’ve never met anyone who interprets my written instructions as well as Joe. While I haven’t had much personal interaction with Cassidy, I know she’s been a social media diva, bumping Jenn’s Facebook friends by nearly 1,000 in no more than a month.

We’ve put together some nice bonuses for people who buy the book today! Please be sure to check out Jenn’s website for more details about the book and to view the bonuses (including a sampler of questions from my own book, 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women). You can buy right there via PayPal or purchase through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Also – join us TODAY at noon PST for a Q&A with Jenn on her Facebook page: Facebook.com/LiveThroughTheHeart.

These are the kinds of success stories that keep me smiling and loving my work. Many congratulations, Jenn. You deserve it!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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Want to change your life? Keep a GRATITUDE JOURNAL

I mentioned the other day that gratitude will open up the world to you. In my humble opinion, gratitude is the most Hawkins heirarchy of emotionspowerful of all the emotions – even greater than love. Gratitude is so immensely powerful because it has the ability to change our state, pulling us out of darkness, grouchiness, lack, illness, self-doubt, and all the other lower emotions that David R. Hawkins describes in his compelling book, Power vs. Force. It can be challenging to find love when you’re in those places, but it’s almost impossible to look around the world and not find something for which to be grateful.

Of course, I remember a time I tried to encourage a coworker who was in a funk. This was a very pretty girl who was in a relationship with a wealthy man who catered to her every need. She only worked to have something to fill her days; it was not a necessity in the least, as it was for most of the rest of us. This is not to say that well-off people don’t get down, but this case seemed extreme to me. I don’t recall what specifically was wrong, just that she was “depressed.” I suggested that she list just FIVE things for which she was grateful, and she told me, after a halfhearted attempt, “I can’t think of anything.”

The fact that we live in the United States? Beautiful weather? Good friends? Your storage unit filled floor to ceiling with shoes you never wear? “Oh, yeah, I guess I do have a few things to be grateful for.” It seemed a challenging and painful exercise for her, but eventually she was able to write down seven or eight things and ultimately pulled out of her down mood.

The thing that truly empowers gratitude is the emotion behind it. Don’t slump over and whisper, “I’m so grateful.” Stand up and shout it from the highest rooftop. And if you’re not grateful yet, act as if you are.

In offering gratitude for what you already have, you open the door for so much more to come in. And as my coach has reminded me often lately, give thanks for the things that you are still working on manifesting as if they already exist. I find this particularly helpful when my gremlin is grumbling … about long lines at the supermarket, worry about when my husband will go back to work, or the human fear that strikes when I find I’m not the only editor at a networking event. Instead of giving in to the frustration or fear, I look for the thing to be grateful for. Thank you that I have money to buy nutritious food to nourish my body. Thank you for John’s completing his apprenticeship, so that when he goes back to work, it will be at the higher journeyman rate. Thank you that there are enough writers in the world to keep all of us editors very busy.

A gratitude journal is a fantastic way to stay connected to gratitude on a daily basis. You can purchase something like Elizabeth Hartigan’s What Are You Grateful for Today? workbook or you can just use a leftover spiral notebook from one of your kids. I will say, however, that writing in a book you love can certainly add to the joy and emotion that power the practice of gratitude journaling. My personal habit is to write every (or almost every) night just before bed. I date and number my entries, and I go till I can’t think of the next one. My longest list is about 40 items; the shortest ran to just a dozen.

There’s no right or wrong way to express or journal your gratitude — the most important thing is simply that you do it.

If you want to learn more about the powerful role gratitude plays in manifesting the outcomes you seek, watch this short video and read almost anything John Dimartini has written on the subject of gratitude. Whether it’s completing your book, more sales, speaking opportunities, or any other success, giving gratitude for what you already have and for positive outcomes as yet unrealized is almost guaranteed to get you there faster.

Wishing you a blessed, bountiful harvest fest!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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A few gifts to say “Thanks for reading!”

OK, gifts may be a bit strong. But here are a few miscellaneous things I thought you might find interesting and/or useful, and I truly am grateful to all of my readers, both old and new.

Reviews

I recently came across a goldmine in the form of this blog post by the folks at Step-by-Step Self Publishing: an index of book review bloggers. The best thing about it? They’re constantly adding new reviewers to the list. They also offer tips about getting your self-published book reviewed (many bloggers won’t accept self-published books for review) and how to approach independent bookstores.

Movies

Would you describe yourself as happy? If you’d like to be happier, you’ll want to make a point to see this film. A few amazing things I learned from it: our happiness is mostly genetic. Fifty percent is attributable to genetics; 10 percent is circumstantial (what’s going on in your life at the time); and 40 percent is up to us, meaning we can do things to increase our happiness, like exercise, hobbies, volunteering, etc. Also, there’s a HUGE happiness differential between people in households earning $5,000 a year and those earning $50,000 a year. But there’s virtually no difference at all in levels of happiness between those earning $50,000 a year and those earning $50 MILLION a year. The movie is subtitled in part and is available via Netflix. See it if you have the chance!

Fonts

For the font junkies in the house, Fonts 101 offers a free font of the day! Sign up to get it emailed directly to your inbox. Granted, I personally don’t have much use for a battleship font and some of the others are best described as odd. But we’ve all got different tastes and needs, and occasionally there’s a gem among their offerings.

Editing

I’m giving a presentation today about eBook Basics and was prepping some CDs for giveaway. Included in the mix is an eBook I modeled after a poorly done tri-fold brochure titled “How to Hire an Air Duct Cleaner.” I kid you not! The obviously much-photocopied brochure was referenced in the workbook from a marketing course I took as a great way to self-promote. I was inspired to improve on the idea by creating a 33-page eBook titled, The First-Time Author’s Guide to Hiring the Right Editor for YOU! As many of my readers are authors, I think there’s a lot of useful information in this book, but beyond that, you might also learn something from the concept. If you’ve got a business in which you can demonstrate expertise and you want to set yourself apart from the others, an instructional book like this is a great way to do so. Download your copy here.

Music

A year and a half-ago, I was blessed to marry a wonderful man who embodied a characteristic I’d always desired in a partner: he’s a talented musician. He got laid off from his job as a commercial plumber a few weeks ago, and has been taking the extra time to hone his guitar skills. Here’s a short Bach piece he’s been working on for the past few days. I hope you enjoy it.

Wishing you all the best!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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Some T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G thoughts about marketing your book

  Tell people about your book. This may seem like an obvious way to begin – but a surprising number of authors are reluctant to talk about their books. Get over yourself and embrace your inner marketer! Of course, you don’t want to talk about your book to the exclusion of all else – or behave like THIS boorish guy. But be forthright. When people ask what you do, or what you’ve been up to lately, proudly tell them, “I just published a book about …”
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  Have a plan. Marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it doesn’t happen by accident. It takes planning and strategy and time and a certain amount of  money (but it doesn’t have to be a lot). The last thing you want to do is write your book and then try to find readers. Create your marketing plan before or as you’re writing, and you’ll be a lot further ahead when the book rolls off the presses (or appears on your cyberstore).
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  Answer queries promptly. Here’s the deal: we’re all busy. I’ve never seen numbers on this, but I’m willing to bet most businesspeople waste at least 50 percent of their leads because they never follow up. Don’t let that be you! Create a system for answering phone calls, responding to emails, and connecting with new people you meet so that you don’t let precious opportunities slip through your fingers.
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  NOW is the right time to begin marketing. Your book marketing campaign should begin the second the idea for your book occurs to you – before you type your first word. If you want to sell books, it’s essential that you begin thinking like a marketer. Who is your audience? How/where do they buy books? How/where will you connect with them? Know these answers and start circulating in those places before your book is written so that you can have an audience waiting for it when it is done.
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  Know your audience. Hmmm…I’m sensing a theme here. You can’t sell books if you don’t know your intended audience. Be as specific as you can. Parents of college students is a good start, but parents of college freshmen is probably a different audience from parents of college seniors preparing for graduation. How specific an you be in determining your audience – and then meeting and connecting with them?
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  Social media is a tool – not a strategy. There’s immense hype about social media these days, and with good reason. A marketing campaign that doesn’t incorporate social media is incomplete. But social media is a tool – like email or text messaging. Email, on its own, is not a strategy. An autoresponder drip campaign is a strategy that utilizes the email tool. When you’re devising your marketing plan, figure out how you will use the tool of social media to accomplish your goals.
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  Great books deserve great marketing. You probably saw the old Mac vs. PC ads a few years back. Did you know that when the two computer platforms were first built, Apple was the FAR superior platform to IBM? But all the marketing and attention fell on the PC, so for a time, it became the ubiquitous computer of choice around the world. Thanks to Steve Jobs’ stellar vision, Apple came roaring back in the 2000s. Take a lesson there. The best books aren’t necessarily the ones that sell (ahem, take Fifty Shades of Gray, for example). The best-marketed books are the ones that sell. If you’ve got a great book, make sure you create a great marketing plan for it!
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  Invest in professional editing. The meat and potatoes of ANY book is its contents. If it’s sloppily written, rife with spelling errors, incorrect tenses, and awkward constructions, all the marketing in the world isn’t likely to help it. So invest what you can in professional editing to be sure you’ve made the best book you can.
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  Vary your marketing techniques. Relying on a single marketing method is like exercising just one part of your body. You may see results, but they will be limited and eventually you will hit a plateau. Integrate both on- and offline marketing strategies into your overall marketing plan, and use a variety of different approaches for the best results.
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  Influence is an ancillary benefit. What was your reason for writing your book? To share a message? To build your business? To attain some validation for your point of view? Whatever your main motivation, an ancillary benefit to becoming a published author is that you have increased credibility as an expert. The result of this is, generally, increased influence in your field. There are ton of financial “gurus” out there who are hawking a lot of hype and perhaps questionable advice, yet they have immense credibility because they’ve authored a line of books. I’m not suggesting you should offer questionable material – just that having a book can unlock that door to recognition as an influencer.
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  Next year is right around the corner – plan accordingly! Do you know what you’ll be writing, publishing, marketing in 2013? Do you have a written plan – with goal dates? If you haven’t yet written your marketing (and other) goals f or next year, I suggest that as soon as you finish reading this post, you make some time to do so. Only 5 percent of the population has goals toward which they are striving, and only 3 percent of those write them down. If success is truly your aim, you will write your goals now – even if you’ve never done so before.
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  Gratitude will open up the world to you. In my humble opinion, gratitude is the most powerful of all the emotions – even greater than love. We’re pretty much unable to move forward or express other positive emotions without first coming from a place of thankfulness. When you express gratitude, be grateful for what you have, and also for the positive outcomes you seek. This will amplify your energy toward them and increase your likelihood of manifesting them. It’s Thanksgiving week – the perfect time to empower the magic of gratitude in your life.

Wishing those of you in the U.S. a happy, healthy Thanksgiving week!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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Tapping into compassion — the secret ingredient to marketing success

I attended a presentation the other night by Layne Gneiting titled Creating Your Story: Lessons from a Traveling Teller. In his talk, Gneiting, whose business is inspiring people to take epic journeys, shared stories of his adventures during a 2-month bicycle trek through eight European countries that included Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal. He concluded his presentation with 10 tips for better storytelling.

Ten Tips for Storytelling

  1. There must be a portal of entry for your audience. Take your listener into a new world.
  2. Every great tale involves a risky journey.
  3. Every good story has a crisis.
  4. Your story must have imagery: taste, smells, sounds.
  5. A good tale has lively characters, interesting people.
  6. There has to be a guide, something or someone that whispers a direction which the hero takes – or doesn’t.
  7. You must have suspense, where you reveal … and conceal.
  8. There must be a portal of exit, where you take your audience back out of the story – with a lesson.
  9. There must be transformation – the main character must change.
  10. Leave a pearl in the audience’s lap – a nugget of wisdom.

It’s a great list that is useful for a couple of reasons: First, as authors, we’re all storytellers on some level, even if we write nonfiction. Secondly, when we pitch or talk with others about our book, the best way to engage them is with the story of the book, as opposed to trying to get them to “buy” it.

However, my takeaway from that evening was not related to Gneiting’s presentation. Rather, I was moved by another story I heard. A member of the group who is a teacher related details about an incident that occurred in her classroom earlier this year. The school had arranged for a few members of the Kansas City Royals to come and visit, and all the kids were understandably excited. One “problem” student, however, was not allowed to attend because he’d been acting up that day, getting agitated to the point that he threw his desk. Her message was that she’d been criticized by another teacher for not letting the kid attend, although the other teacher “didn’t have all the facts” before making her criticism/observation. My teacher friend felt she’d been unfairly judged, and she was encouraging us to take a more tolerant view of others, even in situations where we may have serious disagreements.

Now, I’m not a lifelong teacher, but I did work as a sub in a number of charter schools the first year I moved to Phoenix. Invariably, when I walked in the door on the first morning, one or more of the faculty or staff would come up to me and point out this kid or that kid, telling me I needed to be aware that he or she was T-R-O-U-B-L-E! Also invariably, that “problem” student wound up being my favorite. They were usually just smart and bored, but sometimes had a learning challenge, too. In my limited experience, I found with each of these kids that they really just wanted someone to acknowledge them for who they were – especially when they didn’t fit into the cookie cutter mold of what a “well-behaved” child looks like.

So as I listened to this story the other night, my empathy immediately went to the student, the boy who’d been so angry he threw his desk. I know I wasn’t there, but my instincts tell me that that boy – this angry, troubled kid – was the one student who most needed to go meet those ball players. He needs someone to look up to, and someone to believe in him.

This wasn’t the first time I’d found myself interpreting a story or situation differently than the storyteller or the rest of the room seemed to. Maybe it’s just in my nature to root for the underdog. More likely, though, I think I was blessed with an instinctive sense of compassion that allows me to see the whole picture when others often only see a limited portion from their personal perspective.

A few years ago, I read a book called Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends, by Tim Sanders. In it, Sanders offers the three actions that, when implemented fully, will make any business owner truly successful:

  1. Be a resource.
  2. Be a connector.
  3. Be compassionate.

Though they’re all powerful points, it was the third one that stood out for me.

What does all of this have to do with marketing? Well, marketing is about relationships, and relationships are the cornerstone of human life. When we act from compassion (aka, love), we are better able to understand the feelings and motivations of the other – which means we are better able to relate to them.

What an amazing world it would be if we’d embrace compassion like we’ve taken to social media – but even as we grow more enlightened as a people, the business world is still largely wary of authenticity and emotion, let alone emotions as sappy as love and compassion. Nevertheless, putting people first will always get you further than putting the bottom line first, so I challenge you to go out there and unabashedly demonstrate love!

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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