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Want more readers/buyers for YOUR book this holiday season?

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It’s what every author wants, isn’t it? More eyeballs on his/her blog. More likes, shares, and comments on his/her social media pages. More visits to their websites. What if there were an EASY way to do all of the above for a very affordable price point?

Enter the VIRTUAL Holiday Author Event.

This 10-day virtual event, running from December 1st through December 10th, is designed to do just that. Give reader participants an incentive to visit your blog, website, social media profiles and purchase your books. It starts Day 1 with a Welcome Party, where each author is introduced via their headshots and images of their book covers. The authors themselves are welcome to stop by this webinar and say hello in person!

On Day 2, we’ll host a One-Day Blog Hop, where we list each author’s featured blog post for this event, and encourage participants to visit and comment for the chance to be entered to win prizes.

Day 3 we’ll encourage participants to check out our authors’ websites through a Virtual Treasure Hunt. Each author will provide a question about his/her website that the participants must answer in order to be entered in that day’s drawings.

We’ll head into a 3-hour Facebook Party on Day 4, during which time participants can ask our authors questions about their books and writing process. Every comment or share on the event page will get the participant an entry into that day’s drawings.

Day 5 is all about video – the fastest growing segment of the Internet – with Videos R US. We’ll post links to our authors’ videos (whether on YouTube, Vine, another video platform, or their own websites) and encourage our participants to make comments on the videos in order to be entered into that day’s drawings.

On Day 6, we’ll offer the option for our authors and participants to join any of three Author Tweet Chats (9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. PST). This is fun of the fast and feverish variety, as participating authors field questions they can answer in 140 characters.

The Day 7 event will require a little creativity on the part of the authors as we feature Infographic Mania. We’ll encourage our participants to comment on and rePin our authors’ infographics on their various Pinterest pages.

For Day 8, we’ll jump into Periscoping, via the new and SUPER-easy Twitter video app. Each author’s cover will be featured and participants will share the love by sending hearts and/or commenting while the video is streaming live.

On Day 9, we’ll focus on the Instagram Word Jumble, where the participants will put on their puzzle-solving hats to answer a word scramble presented through the titles on the authors’ book covers.

Beyond the daily event fun, we’ll also have a Cover Contest and a First Chapter Contest – which the reading public will judge. For voting in the contests, they’ll be entered to win copies of the winning books and T-shirts featuring the winning books’ covers.

Day 10 will then offer a Wrap-Up Party where we announce the Cover Contest and First Chapter Contest winners, give away great prizes, and conclude our amazing 10-day event.

Sound like fun? Whether you participate in just one event or join us for all 10 days, the Virtual Holiday Author Event promises to give you great exposure for yourself and your book(s), starting at just $35 for the first title. It’s just $10 per each additional title and $10 to enter either contest. There is no place on the web where you can beat this exposure right before the holidays! And if you know other authors who might like to join us, be sure to register as a Holiday Author Event affiliate, so you can make a little extra holiday spending cash for every author you refer who signs up.

Come share in the fun. You’ll be glad you did!

Marcie in winter

 

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Is a vendor booth at an event a good idea? Depends on your goals and the event!

So a couple weeks ago, my husband and I happened to be passing through Coolidge, Arizona, a tiny town about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix. By luck or happenstance, the weekend we were there, the town was holding Coolidge Days. After the fact, I looked it up and found this flyer:

Coolidge Days

Since we were there on Sunday, it seems we missed the exciting things … like the pancake breakfast, the horseshoe tournament, and the PARADE! We didn’t see many cars of any sort, let alone of the car show variety, and we were gone well before the volleyball tournament got underway. What we saw was, well, somewhat sad.

We had good frybread – again, more by luck than planning, I think. And there was live music that wasn’t bad – especially if you like (or don’t mind) the “here’s how Jesus saved my life” commentary between each song.

I bought an incense holder, a birdhouse Christmas tree ornament, and a pair of earrings for $5 at one booth, and we were pretty much ready to leave Coolidge Days behind us. Then, a man approached us and asked a simple question: “Are you book readers?”

Um – yes. Yes, we are.

I indicated as much and asked him why. He’s an author, and he had a booth we had completely ignored because it had no signage and nothing to indicate what it was or why we should visit. Now, in this man’s defense, Sunday was a W-I-N-D-Y day. The tarps on every booth were flapping and flailing like crazed Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons. So Dustin – it turns out the man’s name is Dustin Hall – explained that he was a new author and had his book, Waking the Beast, for sale. His partner also informed us that their booth had been well appointed the prior two days of the festival – the wind on Sunday had just made it impossible to keep the banner secured or anything on the table upright on the day we happened by.

Dustin Hall, author

Dustin’s really well done banner includes his website (I might suggest omitting the www), QR code, where to buy his book, and the forms of payment he accepts. The accompanying poster has his head shot and cover image.

So, we bought the book. It still sits on my side table, right where I left it when I walked in the door that evening. I’m reading another local author’s book right now, but may give Dustin’s a crack when I finish that one. No promises, because it’s really not my genre – but it is my husband’s! Here’s the most amazing part, though. I asked Dustin how he’d done, in terms of sales, and he told me he’d sold about 50 copies over the course of the weekend. I don’t know what his printing cost was, but at $15/book, he still did pretty well, especially since the booth rental was only $75 for the entire weekend.

Waking the Beast

So here’s the takeaway. A 10’x10′ booth at the 2016 Tucson Festival of the Books is $710. Yep, there are 100,000+ in attendance, but you’re one author trying to make even a small splash inside a very big pond. From my perspective, an investment in an event like that has to be more about exposure and networking within the industry than about book sales. Will your budget support such a thing?

On the other hand, you can do what Dustin did and be the only author at a small event. And be willing to get out and talk with people. Not only did he sell 50 books, but he met me and I’m blogging about him and his book. And this blog post is going to get shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Will it generate even one more sale? Possibly. Will it help with his exposure? Of course. And it may help his SEO because it will create a link back to his site.

One last thought: The Power of the Group. With whom can you partner to share an event booth and cut costs while you increase your exposure? Good partners might be other authors, musicians, speakers, coaches, or people with products in which your readers would have an interest. And while you’re partnering there, why not keep looking for other ways to leverage your connection? Events, PR, promo products, videos … the opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

Here’s to finding the great opportunities and capitalizing on them!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________SM for authors COVER

If you’re new to social media, my book Social Media for Authors goes into much greater detail about when, how, and where to post for the greatest chances at succeeding with your specific goals. Get your copy today! It’s never too early to begin planning!

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: You can make anything by writing…

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

Here’s today’s inspiration: “You can make anything by writing.”

make anything

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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A DRAFT of my first novel, Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World, is in print! If you have an interest in reading to review, please email me. I’ll send you a hard copy or PDF.

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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Imagination is like a muscle…

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

Here’s today’s inspiration: “Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.”

PJ Farmer

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

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

 

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2 Giveaways for World Book Day!

happy_world_book_day+marta+altes

It’s late in the day – and still perhaps I am the first to wish you a happy WORLD BOOK DAY!

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books, and reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization) as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and is celebrated in more than 100 countries all over the world.

Today marks the 18th celebration World Book Day.

Although many of the ideas for celebrating World Book Day on the official website are geared toward teachers, school libraries, children’s books, and children’s authors, I liked one so much I’m going to offer it here.

In the comments section below, tell us in just a sentence or two about the book that has made the biggest difference or impact on your life. It could be from childhood or it could be a book you read last week – fiction or nonfiction. Then tell me the person to whom you would like to gift a copy of this book. All who participate will be entered into a drawing. I will choose a random winner, and I will send your book to your gift recipient! I will also do a drawing for my own book, Practical Philanthropy, and send a copy to another randomly selected winner.

To qualify for the drawing:

  • You MUST put your answer in the comments section below.
  • You MUST be willing to email me your friend’s mailing address or your mailing address
  • You MUST do all of this by 11:59 p.m. Mountain time on Saturday, March 7Books 5, 2015.

The two books I would give away if I were entering this drawing are From Beginning to End: The Rituals of Our Lives, by Robert Fulghum, and Secrets of Attraction, by Sandra Anne Taylor. I’ve lost count of how many copies of these books I’ve given away. They are each outstanding in their own way, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a boost.

Come play with us and win a book!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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We’re two months into 2015! If you haven’t yet 2015 Goalsmapped out your book marketing efforts for the year, time’s getting away from you! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

 

 

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I would be selling more books, but…

I attended a personal development seminar this past weekend. One of the goals for many affiliated with the seminar organization is to eliminate three words from their vocabulary: can’t, try, and but. Those participating in one particular program are even fined every time they’re caught using these words during group coaching calls. I am not participating in this program; I learned about it from the gal who sponsored me to attend the weekend workshop.

The thinking makes sense. The reasons for eliminating can’t are pretty obvious. If you’re familiar with Yoda, you know why try is equally limiting. And the thought around eliminating but is that it is more often than not the prelude to an excuse. cant but try

What I found very interesting is that, to a person, everyone participating in this change-your-vocabulary/change-your-thinking program is wildly aware of their use of the word but. The thing is, they’ve all replaced it with the word however. They’d be speaking in a normal tone and would come to the place in a sentence where they typically would have used the word but. Instead, they’d catch themselves, and replace the but with a loud and extremely pronounced – exaggerated even – HOWEVER.

I went to the store – HOWEVER, I left my wallet at home, so I couldn’t pay for my groceries.

Every. Single. Time.

In my opinion, this language shift misses the mark. I tried to explore this with a staff member from the seminar company, with little to no success. Replacing one word with another word doesn’t do anything to shift the behavior behind using the word if the excuse still follows the replacement word. Instead of using however, they could use the word purple – or a nonsense word like sprugmulch – and the result would be exactly the same. Unless and until they actually work to rephrase their language and the thoughts behind it, all they are doing is calling attention to the replacement word preceding the excuse. And then they’re STILL making the excuse!

If, instead, they made an effort to actually shift the meaning of the sentence not just replace the but – I could see the purpose of the exercise. It’s quite doable.

I went to the store – and then I realized I’d left my wallet at home, so I had to run home again before I could pay for my groceries.

I went to the store. Once I noticed I’d left my wallet at home, I decided to buy only the groceries I could get for the cash in  my pocket.

What’s the point? Our language does matter. Eliminating excuse-making words is a very good idea. And it will only work if you follow through all the way.

Then yesterday, I heard an ad on the radio for an anti-litter campaign titled Don’t Trash Arizona. Having been trained for years (including during the seminar this past weekend) in the idea that our goal should be to focus on what we want – as opposed to what we don’t want – I was immediately taken aback by the name of this campaign.

The Law of Attraction teaches that what we focus on expands. Want more money? Focus with Focus_Mindgratitude on the five dollar bill in your wallet. Don’t look at it and think to yourself, “I’m so broke. I’ve only got five bucks.”

Why isn’t the campaign called Keep Arizona Clean? I checked, and that domain name is available – so that wasn’t the reason. It was likely just an oversight. And yet I could only think how much more effective a name it would have been. Not to mention that donttrasharizona.com has two adjacent T’s – which is another problem, potentially affecting the site’s SEO.

Have you thought much about your language as it relates to your excuses and your goals? Are you focusing on what you want (finishing your book, finding the perfect cover designer, selling 4,000 copies) or on what you don’t want (I can’t get this last chapter written, My cover is terrible, or No one’s reading my book)? Are you using supportive language or limiting language? Are you even conscious of it?

Here’s to deliberation in our language!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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We’re seven weeks into 2015 — are  you READY? If you haven’t yet 2015 Goalsmapped out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

 

 

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Which song best introduces or accompanies your book?

I am blessed to be married to a guitar player, and a pretty talented one, at that. If you’ve never had live music to accompany the workday in your home office, you don’t know what you’re missing. Recently, Mickey was hired to write a jingle for a sales coach and trainer friend of mine. Just 18 words and a pretty simple sound, it was a lot more work than one might expect.

w capFor Christmas 2013, I wrote a post about the idea of creating a jingle to market your book. Now that I’ve seen the jingle-creation process up close and personal, I might revisit that post to tweak things just a bit.

Nevertheless, Mickey’s jingle gave me an idea for an icebreaker for a networking event I hosted for members of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup. While our Meetups typically have prepared programs with handouts, the networking-only events are just that – the chance to ask questions, share ideas, and get to know each other socially. Since there are always at least a couple new people and the networking group is generally much smaller, I search for engaging ways to have the authors introduce themselves.

Last night, I asked each author to choose a song they feel represents their book. This is kind of an interesting idea, if you think about it. Why not have that song playing at the start – or during – your book signing events? Of course, you’d need licensing permission if you were going to record the event for any sort of distribution. Just reading or signing, though? Music that relates specifically to you book might add something very special.

I broke the group into partners and gave them 10 minutes to come up with the song they’d each use to introduce their books. Here are their choices:

  • Cristina Whitehawk chose the Beatles’ perfectly titled “Ticket to Ride” to introduce her book in progress, A Ticket to Ride, about overcoming cancer by embracing it, rather than fighting it.
  • Tim Kelly selected Three Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” to tell us about his book in progress, Brothers in Blood, which features characters with superhuman powers.
  • Tim Benson chose “It’s Easy,” by JJ Cale and Eric Clapton, to introduce his forthcoming political novel, King of the Trailer Park.
  • Lesley Sudders, who writes under the pen name L.S. Brierfield, gave us Ray Charles’ “You Don’t Know Me” as an intro to her fantasy novel with the working title of Posie, because many of the characters are not who they seem to be.
  • Eduardo Cerviño, whose pseudonym is E.C. Brierfield, chose “In Cuba,” by renowned Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, to introduce his forthcoming book, Alligator Island, based on the last years he lived in Cuba during the Castro revolution.3d cover
  • David Waid chose “Adagio for Strings” to tell us about Conjurers, his forthcoming historical fantasy novel, because he believes it captures the mood and feel of the novel.
  • And I gave the group John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” What better song to introduce the story of a man who leaves life as he knows it to travel the world for two years? Stan Finds Himself on the Other Side of the World is a little bit love story, a little bit travelogue, a little bit social consciousness, and a lot about a guy who’s just trying to figure out what he wants out of life.

So if you had to choose a song to introduce, explain, or accompany your book, what would it be? Tell us in the comments. And feel free to give us a link to the song and/or your blog or website.

Here’s to letting the music flow!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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We’re six weeks into 2015 — are  you READY? If you haven’t yet 2015 Goalsmapped out your book marketing efforts for the New Year, it’s time to get started! Sit down with Laura – in person or via Skype – and review your book marketing plan. We’ll evaluate: what’s working, what isn’t working, and which new strategies you may want to implement for the new year (or your newest book). Regularly $150 for a 45-minute session. Marcie Brock special: $99 for the first five who respond. mktg@WriteMarketDesign.com

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