Tag Archives: marketing

IndieReCon Rocks

Moonday Mania

A Free Con for all!

Like almost every author I know I’m always thinking about self publishing. Should I or shouldn’t I. What are the benefits? What are the costs? This year I’ve decided to explore it in depth and figure out not only am I interested, but create some serious plans to evaluate how interested I am. So I’m up for almost anything that will help me make this decision, not just for this week, or next month, but moving forward into the rest of my career.

Last week I attended the first ever IndieReCon, an absolutely free online conference all about the ins and outs of indie publishing. There were blogs and chats from Joanna Penn and Bob Mayer and CJ Lyons, just to name a few and all for free! I had a great time darting in and out of posts and trying to keep up with the flying fingers of all the chatters. Okay, I pretty much lurked, but it was good quality lurking.

There was advice on marketing, what’s worked and what hasn’t and where do they think it will go from here. Articles on mistakes newbies make and articles on everything from YA to NA. What’s meta-tagging and why should you care? Mailing lists and reaching readers. Branding, audio books and international sales. If you want to know about something there were posts on everything.

In fact, there were so many posts that I didn’t check out all the information I wanted to. And that would be really sad, except they are leaving them up! Yes, you too can go hop from post to post and discover all you ever wanted to know about indie publishing and more. So hop on by and check it out! Although you did miss out on the drawings for prizes, those are over and I didn’t win anything! Too bad for me, but good for all the prize winner attendees out there. 🙂

If you visited the site which were your favorite posts? I have to say I really enjoyed the interview that Joanna Penn did with CJ Lyons. The video was entertaining and I learned a lot. Do you indie publish? Do you have questions about indie publishing? What would be the one question you would want information on if you could ask any of the presenters?

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Filed under Moonday mania, self publishing, writing craft, writing organization

Think You Know What Your Book is About? Think Again.

Moonday Madness

a blog for writers by a writer

What is your genre? What sells to your readers? How do you know?

One of the issues facing authors today is that we have the burden of much of the marketing of our product. Since many of us are not marketing majors, this can be a huge handicap. We need to find out who is reading our book and what they think our book is about before marketing it.

Little Red Riding Wolf by Jessica Aspen

Little Red Riding Wolf

For instance, my books are… well… hot. Spicy hot.

If you open Little Red Riding Wolf (on sale at Passion in Print for $3.99), or Snow and the Seventh Wolf you need to be prepared for sex. But does that mean I shouldn’t market it under paranormal? Can I enter it in the paranormal category of the romance contests, or do I need to stick to the erotic? Is it fair to say that the heat level is the most important part of the book?

Well the truth is, it’s not up to me. It’s up to the readers. They are the ones looking for books like mine and if they are looking in erotic and I market it only under paranormal, it’s going to get missed. And vice versa. What if the readers think it’s something else, like chick lit? Are they right?

Or is it that I’ve done a poor job of marketing?This is why you’ll see a big change in my covers. I was able to request a spicer cover for the second book in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series Not that they didn’t offer spicy for the last one, but that’s another story.

Snow and the Seventh Wolf by Jessica Aspen

Take a look at the cover for Little Red Riding Wolf. Does it say erotic? Nope, I don’t think so. Does it say romance. No, not really. Does it say fairy tale and werewolves. Yes, I think we got that.

Now let’s look at Snow and the Seventh Wolf. Does it say erotic? Yes. Does it say romance? Yes.
Does it say fairytale and werewolves. No, not so much. It’s tough to get it all right.

Luckily my titles help. Little Red Riding Wolf says twisted fairy tale, and I hope Snow and the Seventh Wolf does too.

But how about your books? Do you know what genre they fall into?

This question came up this week as I was communicating with another author. She sees the word paranormal as meaning ghosts. A lot of people do. When I hear paranormal, I think of all kinds of things including psychics, ghosts, and supernatural creatures. But what  do readers think? When someone walks into a bookstore (or into the e-store) how do they know what to search for and how can they find your book. If you’ve tagged it as paranormal, but it’s really horror, will that help your readers find your book?

The key is to first know what others think your book is. Have people read it and let you know. Oh yeah, it’s paranormal romance. or Oh yeah, this is so hot, you’d better market it under erotic. or No, you are better off under the horror label, or women’s fiction, or YA. 

Others see our work much more clearly than we do. They are not bound by our preconceptions of what we intended when we wrote the book. They are more in touch with what readers will see.

Another good way to figure out how to label your book is to find other authors who have similar books. Is your book more like Stephen King? Or more like Sherrilyn Kenyon? Is it romance like Thea Harrison? or is it urban fantasy like Jeanne Stein? Find three authors who are similar to you in the same category and that is likely to be your category. Having trouble with this? Ask your friends who read the book. Use a survey and poll them. They’ll be sure to tell you, friends always do.

Why is any of this important?

You’ve written the book, and it’s either out there on sale, or you are trying to market it to agents and editors. Either way you are selling a product. You need to know who will be interested in that product so you can target your sales efforts. There is no reason or reward in marketing a horror novel to an agent or reader who is only interested in romance. Make sure you have the right audience for your book and the right book for your audience.

And then sell the hell out of it! I expect to see all of you rising stars on the NYT bestseller list any day now. I’m looking for you!

Do you know where your book fits? Does it matter to you? How do you sell it to others if you don’t understand it’s place in the world? What do you do to figure out where it fits?

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Filed under Little Red Riding Wolf, Moonday mania, Snow and the Seventh Wolf, writing organization

Don’t Should on Yourself

Moonday Mania

A blog on writing

Today, I’m excited to have Keri K. Silk as my guest. Keri’s new book on social media, Virtual Freedom: Stop Wasting Time on the Web – Get and Retain Customers Effortlessly will be available for purchase soon. For now there are advanced chapters available and a special bonus for Jessica Aspen Writes readers, check out the bottom of this post to participate!

Authors who have engaged in or been trained in Life Coaching will recognize the title phrase.  It means that every time you say the words “I should…” you are doing yourself a disfavor.  In creating a social networking/internet strategy that is unique to you and your writing –beware! Watch out for those times you are saying should.

I should social network is a huge one! Like the original .com boom and bust, everyone is leaping to social media as the latest and greatest.  It can be. But it can also be an enormous stress and time sucker.  It was originally meant to be fun. A way to find and keep up with old friends. A way to share photos, short updates, etc.

For a brief moment it was – just fun. Then the should stepped in.  It became a frenzy of activity for marketers. Authors were told they should have a social media platform.  But no one clearly explained what that meant.  Do you know why you have a platform? Do you know if it’s working? Do you know how to take the should out and make it fun again?

The first thing I do with clients (and the beginning of the book) is go back to the beginning.  There are several points to consider but the main two are: What are you trying to accomplish and Where is your best venue?

First the What — Are you trying to make a name for yourself before submitting works? Are you self published and trying to get the word out? Are you traditionally published and want to build on their media campaign?  Each what starts a different thread.

Instead of “the scattergun approach” coined by UY Creative Communications Managing Partner Maureen UY.  Take a moment to focus on thewhat you are trying to do.  Choose one that makes the most sense to your bottom line.

Now the Who — (Journalists is this sounding familiar?) who are you trying to reach? Now that you know the reason you are blogging, posting, tweeting…. Who are you doing it for?

The list for writers can be long: publishers, media, buyers, readers, other authors, yourself?  Just like the time you take to craft your writing, you want to take the time to craft your internet writings so that they directly affect the ones you want effected.

For example:  A Facebook page – opens with books that you have written. And you send out a LIKE MY PAGE post to subscribers.  Chances are they already have if they were going to.  And do you know what the purpose is of multiple LIKES? Is this bringing them closer to buying? Are they already buyers?

Perhaps this is followed with: Great News my Book is on Amazon at a new price.  If they have already bought the book – is this wasted effort?  Enough sales to those who have already purchased could turn them off and stop them from paying attention.  When the next book comes out – they would have been ready buyers but now they are off to other things.

Too much to think about? Not really.

Not when you create a simple strategy for identifying and cultivating the right social networks.  A simple strategy is quick to put into place and targets your posting, schedules some using pre-schedulers, allows easy access responding and creates the stream of interested followers that you need to achieve your goals.  Start with these to focal points – the What and the Who.

These will drive which social networks you choose.  Knowing these two things will allow you to free up time with targeted posting. It will also save you money if you are paying a web designer, printer or social media developer.  These two simple starting points are the beginning to creating you successful web based author’s platform or campaign. It can also help you decide if you even need one (yet).

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Keri K. Silk is the author of multiple articles and e-books. She is currently finishing Virtual Freedom: Stop Wasting Time on the Web – Get and Retain Customers Effortlessly.  Mention reading about it in this blog when you purchase the advanced e-copy chapters and you will receive a free 15 minute Strategy Session.  Go to www.virtualfreedomthebook.com and click the Buy Now button.

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