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SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: We all start out knowing magic…

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: “We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow path and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.”

123 - creative brainLaura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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2015 is RIGHT around the corner — are  you READY? If you haven’t begun 2015 Goalsmapping 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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You don’t have to be the first to make a creative idea work

Here are three different, but related, definitions of creativity:*

“Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing imaginationdomain into a new one… What counts is whether the novelty he or she produces is accepted for inclusion in the domain.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity – Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention

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“Creativity is generating new ideas and concepts, or making connections between ideas where none previously existed.” – Mitchell Rigie and Keith Harmeyer, SmartStorming

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“Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought.” – Einstein, quoted in Creativity, Design and Business Performance

My favorite part about these definitions is the idea that creativity is the ability to create something new that did not previously exist OR the ability to see something that has existed before in a new way or with a new purpose.

I think this is a very healthy way to approach book marketing. Sometimes it feels like all the good ideas have already been taken, that there really is nothing new. That doesn’t have to be a hindrance. Henry Ford is often – incorrectly – credited for creating the assembly line. In actuality, he didn’t create the assembly line; he repurposed it from a meat packing plant. But it was his use that caught the world’s attention, because it meant fabricating cars at a speed previously unimagined. And the idea soon caught on in all of manufacturing.

Where can you use what you’ve seen another author do to generate an idea for your own book marketing? One of the most creative ideas I’ve ever seen – and yet the most obvious – was by a gal who wrote a murder mystery that took place in a hair salon. She scheduled a series of book signings in hair salons! How perfect is that? First, it complements her theme. Second, what do women sitting for long sessions have time to do? READ!

So I’m willing to bet that your novel doesn’t take place in a hair salon. But it takes place somewhere. And it has characters with careers and hobbies and interests. Where are the natural venues for your book events?

Say you wrote a nonfiction book that doesn’t have characters. What is your book about? My husband is a guitar instructor who’s writing a book about learning the guitar. Natural venues for his book events are music stores and bars/restaurants that feature musical acts. What if he could schedule his book event during the intermission between two acts at a concert venue? Think he’d get any attention? Regardless of your topic, there are more than likely at least several places – or kinds of places – that are perfect for you and your book.

And don’t limit yourself to brick-and-mortar locations. What about the possibility of a non-book online retailer selling your book? If yours is the only book they sell, do you think you’d stand out and get attention? One of my clients has written a novel called The Audacious Ladies of La Gran Sorellanza, about group of mob wives who get together to help stop child trafficking in the sex trades. It’s set in the 1950s, before there were as many safeguards and groups teaching awareness as there are today. Yet this vile crime still persists. So we’re working to reach out to contemporary anti-trafficking and parenting organizations to create partnerships. One option is to encourage them to use the book as a fundraising tool. The author will discount the book so that the groups can make money, but she’ll still make a profit, too. And because the book is self-published, she even has the option to offer each group a personalized page in the book!

Again, you don’t have to be the first author to employ a creative idea. Saturday’s Arizona Republic newspaper featured a story about a group of elite hotels in Vail, Colorado, that hosted its own Housekeeping Olympics to celebrate International Housekeepers Week for their staffs. This annual recognition week is 33 years old, begun in 1981 by the International Executive Housekeeping Association to “focus attention and recognition on the professional housekeepers working in facilities such as hospitals, hotels, state facilities, colleges/schools, and many others who maintain a cleaner, safer, healthier environment for us all each and every day.”*

housekeeping olympics

And the Housekeeping Olympics have been going on for at least 25 years in the U.S. However, reading Saturday’s paper was the first time I ever recall learning about this longstanding tradition. Was the Colorado event an original idea? Not at all. So what made it newsworthy? The fact that a different caliber of hotels created their own private event.

Here’s my challenge – you knew it was coming, didn’t you? Let go of the thought, “There are no new ideas” and replace it with, “How can I revamp or revitalize that old idea?

Here’s to implementing your awesome, creative marketing ideas!

Laura

*RESOURCES:

http://celestra.ca/top-10-creativity-definitions/

http://www.ieha.org/ev_219-International_Housekeepers_Week_2014

http://www.reporterherald.com/news/colorado/ci_26708984/hotel-housekeepers-compete-their-own-olympics?source=rss

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 50+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book Logo w backgroundlovers’ event. Several first-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 200 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at HolidayAuthorEvent.com.

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Sunday Creativity Reboot

No matter what we do for a living, if we have any sort of balance in our lives, we cannot be that person 100 percent of the time, living around the clock in whatever role we’ve adopted. Sure, we probably perform certain roles like wife and mother 24/7, but I’m talking more about professional roles, like banker, personal shopper, chef. This includes the role of Book Marketing Maven.

A large percentage of marketing success hinges on creativity. As I see it, creativity has three components:

  • Creativity is making, inventing, or designing something – or seeing the old in a new way.
  • Creativity requires openness and the ability to tune into your intuition. It requires that you let go of pre-conceived ideas.
  • Creativity must be infused with joy, delight, bliss, happiness – emotions that happen naturally as a result of our well-being, success, or good fortune.

Creativity is about viewing world through a prism of possibilities. Sometimes, though, even the most creative among us just need some down time to rest, relax, and reboot. Or perhaps we’ve never perceived ourselves as particularly creative.

Years ago, I taught a workshop called “If You Have a Brain, You ARE a Creative Person!” One of the biggest challenges with some participants was getting them to move past their own gremlins that told them they weren’t creative. Perhaps you have just such a creature running amok among your gray matter, telling you things like, “Oh, sure, you wrote a book, but you’re not clever enough to think of interesting ways to market it.”

First, thank your gremlin – for the only way to silence the gremlin is to acknowledge it. Then in no uncertain terms, tell it that just for today you’re going to approach things a little differently.

Once you’ve sated the gremlin – however temporarily – take a look at the list of suggestions below for ways to reboot your dormant or fatigued creative neurons. Try any or all of them. Use them as a jumping off point for your own list of ways to rekindle the childlike creativity that was once so readily accessible.

  1. Personalize your work space, making it colorful and fun. Use plants, pictures, your kids’ drawings, vacation souvenirs, etc.
  2. Take a different route home from work tomorrow.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Lie down on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds.
  5. Go browse in a toy store – without the kids.
  6. Visit a museum you’ve never been to before.
  7. Watch TV with the volume off and make up your own dialogue.
  8. Read a book or watch a movie from a genre you usually avoid.
  9. Go shopping for cute socks, new earrings, a bright new tie.
  10. Test drive a car just for the fun/experience of it.
  11. Go to a playground and listen to the sound of children’s laughter.
  12. Plant sunflowers in your front yard.
  13. Get some crayons and color in a coloring book.
  14. Visit a thrift store or yard sale and, spending no more than $2, buy the first object that inspires you.
  15. Hit the bargain rack at a record store and test out a new kind of music.
  16. Take a walk in your neighborhood and observe something you’ve never noticed before.
  17. Sing in the shower.
  18. Rearrange the furniture in one room of your house.
  19. Visit a costume shop and try on something outrageous. Bonus points if you rent it and wear it out.
  20. Journal.
  21. Go to your favorite restaurant and order something you’ve never ordered before.
  22. Write a letter to yourself using your nondominant hand.
  23. Buy a sketch pad and carry it with you wherever you go. Use it – even if you think you can’t draw.
  24. Learn a new language. There are great CDs and programs available at the library.
  25. Buy or build a bird feeder and hang it in your yard. Watch the birds congregate around it.

What do any of these things have to do with marketing your book? Nothing, necessarily. But if they coax a sleepy brain cell or two into stretching enough to consider a new idea, they’ve done their job. Whatever you do, realize that all of life is a choice. You have a brain, so you are a creative person – and an SBM*, if only a fledgling one.

Enjoy your Sunday creativity reboot. And come Monday, get out there and start thinking like a marketer!

Laura

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

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

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