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Do you quit or find a life hack/workaround when you hear “no”?

LIFE HACK

Any trick, shortcut, skill, or novelty method that increases productivity and efficiency, in all walks of life. It is arguably a modern appropriation of a Gordian knot – in other words, anything that solves an everyday problem in an inspired, ingenious manner.*

Have you ever noticed how often you see the Super Bowl referred to as “The Big Game” – in advertisements in particular, but in other places and spaces, leading up to … well, the big game? That’s because the NFL has a trademark on the phrase “Super Bowl,” at one point even attempting to trademark the phrase “big game.” If unsanctioned advertisers (i.e., those that didn’t pony up beaucoup buckaroos) try to use the term, they receive near-instantaneous cease-and-desist letters. The NFL is so rigorous in its pursuit of dollars for use of the words Super Bowl that in 2007, it threatened to sue a church that planned to hold a viewing party as a fundraiser.**

Maybe you caught Stephen Colbert’s madly humorous takeoff on the nutty degree to which the NFL protects its big game catchphrase last year: The Superb Owl.

superb owl

So I’m not sure Colbert’s response qualifies as a life hack, but it got me thinking about workarounds, in general – you know, the things we do to get what we want when we hear responses like, “no,” “not now,” “not yet,” “that’s out of your price range,” and “we’ll see.”

When my son was about 11, he had a favorite online videogame. It had multiple levels, but you could only play the first dozen or so for free; after that, you had so subscribe for $5 a month. According to his adoptive mom, he would pester her and his dad almost every day about getting a subscription to this game. “No,” they said, again and again. “Maybe when you’re older.” “I don’t care if all your friends are doing it.” Typical parent answers, right? Then, one day, perhaps in a weak moment, his mom said “Maybe.” Which my son interpreted as “Yes!”

Kathy described to me how she went out to get the paper the next morning, and there was an onesenvelope, bulging at the seams, waiting for the mailman to pick it up. I chuckle as I try to imagine this ingenious, towheaded kid bundling up the sixty $1 bills he’d extracted from the jar he kept as a bank under his bed. Five bucks a month x 12 months = $60. Voila. What else did he need? She had to explain why it’s a bad idea to send cash through the mail, as well as tax and other boring grown-up stuff. But at this point, how could she say no?

So how often do we let “no,” “not now,” “not yet,” “that’s out of your price range,” and “we’ll see” stop us? Do we quit when faced with an obstacle, or do we find a life hack or workaround, simply moving one letter to change the whole game? Are we like my son who takes “Maybe…” as “Definitely!”?

Just something to keep in mind while we’re still laying out the plans for our 2015 book marketing campaigns. Trust me – I write this as much for myself as for you!

Here’s to your Superb Owl success in 2015!

Laura

Sources:
* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_hacking
** bizjournals.com/ dont-say-super-bowl

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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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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

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Top 10 lessons authors can take from watching the Super Bowl

This post originally ran on my other blog on Friday, February 4, 2011.

Yup, it’s that time of year again — the pinnacle of American sports fandom. I heard the other day that we will spend $1.84 MILLION on potato chips for this year’s Super Bowl parties. Interestingly, many literary types tend not to be sports types. Nevertheless, there are a number of things Savvy Book Marketers can learn from watching the top two NFL teams in action. Here are my Top 10:

  1. It takes guts and conditioning to make it to the top. No elite athlete makes it to the top of their game by accident. They train, practice, and commit themselves to success. How committed are YOU to seeing your book succeed?
  2. The best team doesn’t always win. Sometimes, a lesser team has a good game, and the team you think should win doesn’t win. This is true of books, too. Ever wonder why a bad writer becomes popular? (A) They’re in the right place at the right time. (B) It’s who they know. (C) A little luck goes a long way. (D) All of the above. Leverage everything you can to position yourself to your own best advantage.
  3. Good coaching matters. Almost without exception, winning teams have good coaches. As an author, you can do the same. Surround yourself with a writing coach, editor, designer, and others who will help you elevate your work to become as good as it can be.
  4. Getting on the field and making it to the endzone … two entirely different things. An author understandably heaves a giant sigh of relief on finishing their manuscript, especially if they’ve been working on it for years. However, finishing the writing is just the FIRST step in publishing your book. You will only make it to the end zone of strong sales with a well-crafted plan for editing, design, and — most importantly — marketing!
  5. Sometimes you have to take a risk. On the field, a risk could be a Hail Mary pass or running instead of punting on the one-yard line. As an author, it could mean taking a controversial stand, approaching someone famous for a blurb, or making a substantial investment in a marketing campaign. Be strategic, but remember that sometimes the biggest risk is rewarded with the biggest payoff.
  6. When you fall down, get up quickly. Things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes you hire an unskilled editor, your designer quits before they’ve finished your cover, your blog languishes, or the book itself flops in spite of your best efforts. You have two choices. Are you going to stew, look for someone to blame, and fall into a depression, or are you going to get up and write your next book ASAP?
  7. Rabid fans help enormously. Whether you’re a G-Man or proficient at Gronking, you’re ready to root on your favorite team. A successful author can appreciate the fact that the fans’ energy has an immensely positive effect on the players. If your book is almost done but you don’t have a screaming fan base yet, it’s time to start building it!
  8. Get creative with your advertising. So many people watch the Big Game for the ads that betting parlors have begun taking odds so we can call our favorites. As an author, pay special attention to the Super Bowl ads this year. What about them is captivating? What makes them work? And where might you mimic their success, if even in a small way?
  9. Throw a big party! When you’re ready to launch your book, don’t let it slip quietly into the world — THROW A BIG PARTY and invite everyone you know! Create professionally printed invitations. Send media releases. Print flyers and postcards. Enlist your social media friends and fans to help you get the word out. Hold the event at a venue that will provide (or allow you to cater) food and spread out to sign lots of books.
  10. The whole world is watching you. OK, maybe not the whole world. But significant parts of your world. With a book launch, you’re going public. So be ready to meet the public by speaking fluidly and intelligently about your book, having a good team out there promoting it for you, and being as prepared as possible to make as big a splash as you can.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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