Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Everyday Author's Guide to Establishing a Book Marketing Plan

by Tina Radcliffe, everyday author.



Establishing a book marketing plan indicates that there is planning involved.

What really happens for most of us is that suddenly we realize the book launch is upon us and we frantically look for ways to promote it. The favorite being a mass BUY ME blast on Facebook or Twitter. Or our editor asks if we have a social media presence and we spend a week without sleep, signing up for and trying to understand every single social media platform out there.

Let's go back to that word "plan."


Before we move on to marketing, let's talk about your plan as an author. Your career plan.

What's your plan for the next six months? A year from now? Two years from now? 

What are your goals? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants with your writing goals and plans as well as your  marketing efforts?


Writing is a business. How can you evaluate the success of your business without a plan for that business? A strong business plan will evaluate your SWOT-strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.


 Here are some tools for goal setting and creating a business plan.


Michael Hyatt:Read his blog post:The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting.Then I highly encourage you to subscribe, just so you can download his free e book Creating Your Personal Life Plan.

Brian Tracy: Eat that Frog. I mention this book over and over again. But it’s been a game changer for me. Get the audio.


Read my article in the December RWR Magazine for more resources for your writing business.


Only after you have established your plan as an author are you ready to create a marketing plan.


The Basics of Book Marketing:

1. Content
2. Visibility
3. ROI



1.Content is your product.


 Content marketing is the new marketing, and it's true that content is king.  FICTION is the ultimate content marketing.

"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling." Content Marketing Institute


Content marketing begins by creating a great product. Writing the best book you can and doing it over and over again. Your great product will sell itself.

Building a fan base takes time. But, book by book you build your tribe. That tribe is your second tier of marketing. Your tribe will sell your book. There are authors with rabid fans who will walk over hot coals for that author’s next book. These same fans who will do anything and buy anything from that author.

What’s the best marketing plan for these authors? WRITE THE NEXT BOOK, FAST. These authors also give back to their fans in a big way with exclusive content. And their readers love it.


That's the same strategy you and I, the everyday author, need to embrace.

Bob Mayer, Interview with The Alliance of Independent Authors.

What's your top tip for other indie authors? "Produce content. I see too many people thinking they’ll get lucky or they can promote themselves into success. A handful of people get lucky."  


2. Next Stop: Visibility
Info from Marketing for Dummies 2009 -image Tina Radcliffe

Visibility is how well you are able to narrow the awareness gap.

If you are a traditional author you have much less control over your visibility. There are too many factors out of your control. How many books you sell in a year. What month your book comes out. Your cover design. Whether your publisher supports a media campaign. Even whether your editor likes you. All these factors play into your sales and your visibility. Yet, even without control you should still be targeting marketing opportunities that increase your visibility and provide ROI.

If you are an indie author, I highly recommend you pick up David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible and The Naked Truth About Publishing by The Indie Voice for information on pricing strategies and Amazon algorithms, all targeting visibility and sales. I won't attempt to discuss pricing strategies as these experts already do that so well.


But remember, visibility is a numbers game. Everyone isn't going to hit the algorithms the same way.  

The truth:
  • There are no guarantees or secret formulas.
  • Luck is just that.
  • Sometimes it just takes time and content. 

 "Four years ago, self-publishing became both easy and inexpensive. And three years ago, bloggers made it sound like everyone who hit a “publish” button could make a small fortune as a writer." The Business Rusch: Reality Check


The current debate is whether ebook sales leveling/slowing/flattening out (Publishers Weekly) or not (Digital Reader). I'm more inclined to agree with the Washington Post that ebooks are leveling as the "technology matures."

But the fact is, the e book boom is over.

Visibility is getting more and more difficult. "There were 391,000 self-published books last year, up 60% from the year before." -Annoyed Librarian


What's the single best strategy for visibility ? Lots of product.


3. ROI or Bust.

Ready for some great marketing ideas? Author Media does a thorough job in their post, "89 Book Marketing Ideas That Will Change Your Life."

Will they really change your life?  Probably not. Many of these strategies you probably should be doing anyhow. However, if you spend all your time developing all these ideas you won't be writing. Do what feels right for you.

The single biggest mistake authors make is spending too much time and money on marketing strategies that have little or no ROI or worse yet, they have no idea what the ROI is. That's throwing dollars in the wind, folks.

If you are spending valuable writing time doing blog tours, Rafflecopters, ad campaigns, Tweeting, E-mail blasting, Facebook parties, and monitoring pricing algorithms, you should at least have data to show that there is a direct correlation to the time spent and increased book sales or VISIBILITY.

Indie authors have the advantage with the ability to track sales hourly to see the correlation of pricing strategies and ad campaigns. 

Here are a few strategies for tracking marketing, sales and visibility:

Bitly.com-Create a new bitly for each marketing plan you utilize. For example, create an  individual one for each stop on your blog tour to determine which blogs resulted in the most clicks to your book on Amazon (or bookstore of choice). The same for Twitter, and Facebook. It's also valuable feedback for which content posted on FB is of the most interest to your fans and friends. Do take time to read the stats on Bitly.


Paid Facebook Ads-Use Paid Facebook Ads  to advertise your book and to link to great content, such as blog posts. It's not always about the sale. You are paying for visibility as well. Remember that if you pay for an ad to advertise a sale, the ad will continue until the target reach is hit. This may mean your ad is still up when the sale is over. Plan accordingly. Use Bitly links in addition to the Facebook stats to determine which ads produced not only the biggest reach, but generated the most clicks to your book on Amazon. And check out the Facebook Ad Optimization page to get the most for your money.



Amazon Affiliates-(Not valid in all states.) Unless you spend a lot of time marketing your affiliate status on your blog or webpage, you aren't going to make a lot of money as an affiliate, because you are only making a certain percentage off certain items. But, it is a terrific resource to monitor who is clicking through your web page or blog (where ever you have the affiliate link set up) and buying and what they are buying. This is another tool to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

 For example, I have my affiliate code in this link for my indie release- The Rosetti Curse. (Which by the way, is a sweet romantic comedy, with no adult content, that you will absolutely love!)

I am able to track how many users clicked on the link and how many purchased. In addition to the sale I will make a whopping six percent as an affiliate. Percentages increase according to clicks and purchases.

Conclusion

Everything I have talked about today is doable for the everyday author. Do your homework and create an author plan and a book marketing plan. Now for the unpleasant part of today's post.

WARNING! Avoid time, money and sanity sucks such as: Reading and over analyzing reviews. Over analyzing Amazon ranking. Throwing money into giveaways that don’t give you any return. Doing endless blog tours with original content on blogs that have limited traffic. 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do any of the above, but they should be assigned the proportionate time, energy and dollars they deserve according to what they provide as far as VISIBILITY AND ROI. Because when you are marketing, you aren’t WRITING.

There are very few mass market fiction authors that can build a successful career on one book a year anymore. Successful is subjective and once again we go back to what your career plan is as an author.

The best marketing advice is to write more books.

Weigh in on the topic. Any strategies you'd like to share? Your observations?
~~~~~~

Today, I'll be giving away an e copy of either David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible or The Naked Truth About Publishing by The Indie Voice to one commenter. To a reader, a Tina Radcliffe/Tina Russo  book or choice including my upcoming e Christmas novella, The Christmas Angel.
~~~~~

In totally unrelated news, by popular demand I'm doing a shout out for those who are looking for critique partners. Email me at seekers@seekerville.net with your name and the genre you write and what you have in mind. If I find a cyber partner for you I'll throw in two weeks of mentoring with your group.Mentoring = me critiquing with your group.


 

Tina Radcliffe writes Inspirational romance for Harlequin Love Inspired and romantic comedy as Tina Russo. 

Stop by and check out the launch of My Critique Partner!

109 comments :

  1. This is sensible advise and so very timely for me. But it's still a bit overwhelming. I'd rather be writing the new book as marketing.

    Pumpkin pies are baked. Pineapple upside down cake is baked. Youngest son has arrived. Daughter and son-in-law due in tomorrow.

    I am SO THANKFUL for youngest son's job change with schedule that makes it possible for him to spend Thanksgiving with us for the first time in about 15 years.

    The coffee pot is set.

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  2. I'm in for the book giveaway, but I'm going to bed, sick. i could stare at the screen some more and try to work, or sleep...Fun holiday awaits!

    And hope your new business venture goes well Tina.

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  3. I'll help make your book visible! I post reviews on numerous sites! Always glad to help my friends! Helen...how do you have any time to write when you are always catering to us?
    Sorry you are sick, Melissa...hope you feel better later on
    Thanks, Tina...looking forward to reading all of your novels!

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  4. I think we'd all rather be writing the book, Helen. But there it is. Those days are long gone.

    We were born too late!!!

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  5. MJ. Hope you feel better.

    Thank you, ma'am.

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  6. Thanks, Marianne. You are a ray of sunshine.

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  7. Those are nice practical strategies Tina. The issue seems to be we go around in circles promoting to each other, ie our writer friends all the time. Interesting re using Facebook - might be time to give it a try. (I'm in for the book giveaway!)

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  8. Before I read the comment...

    " "Four years ago, self-publishing became both easy and inexpensive. And three years ago, bloggers made it sound like everyone who hit a “publish” button could make a small fortune as a writer." The Business Rusch: Reality Check


    The current debate is whether ebook sales leveling/slowing/flattening out (Publishers Weekly) or not (Digital Reader). I'm more inclined to agree with the Washington Post that ebooks are leveling as the "technology matures."

    But the fact is, the e book boom is over.

    Visibility is getting more and more difficult. "There were 391,000 self-published books last year, up 60% from the year before." -Annoyed Librarian "

    I think those are two separate issues. yes, many more self-published books. But the ebook boom is far from over. How do I know?

    I look at the top ten genre lists. Who do I see? All the old, traditionally published authors. Why are they there?
    Because their traditional publisher is re-releasing their OLD content.

    It's a fight to get on the list anymore when Bethany and Revell and co. and putting up series books from 2001 on up, all at once, for a super low price.

    I'm not breaking my rule about 'no whining'. I'm making the book that ebooks are STILL booming.

    Self publishing a few ebooks a year and expecting to make a huge profit? Those days are gone. There are so many lists taken over with backlist from the old favorites, it's hard to get a foot in the door.

    Reminds me of... traditional publishing, really.

    People whine about Amazon taking over the world. But I think authors are going to start looking for other platforms that will give them an equal voice. Wattpad is booming. Lulu is back on track. iTunes is finally holding its own.

    I was very fortunate to jump in right at the tail end of the self publishing wave, so there was room on the lists for a brand new author (under several names). Of course, there was massive amounts of scoping out the algorithms and reading articles and watching the stats, trying to tweak how visible I could be.

    And I think it's still doable. But not particularly easy with one book and a novella, or two novellas a year, etc.

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  9. I've done the facebook promos and never saw any kind of jump in sales.

    Has that worked for you, Tina?

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  10. Two things jumped out at me with this awesome post....

    Bob Mayer's directive to write.

    Tina's later directive to write.

    I think the numbers quoted in the article underscore that. If you swim in a pond, it's easier to get noticed. When the beaver dam breaks and the pond becomes a river, you can be swept away. But eventually you'll get to a lake or ocean again, and then it's time to swim... swim.... swim... Which means write, write, write!!!

    To make a splash, make a difference, the best way is to produce content. And I know there are one-book classics out there. Margaret Mitchell, Harper Lee... but the fact that there are so few, and that was a different time, make that a slim, lottery-style shot... So write, write, write... If you love the craft!

    Helen, hooray about your son!!! I'm so happy for you, to have him there! And thank you for the coffee, sweet thing!

    Melissa... get better. Hugging you.

    And Marianne, Happiest day! Tina's right, you are sunshine!

    Virginia, thanks for the info. I think it's in authors' best interests that the schematic of indie publishing isn't written in stone as yet... and we can still write our own rules in measured degree. An interesting time, for sure!

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  11. Thanks for these great marketing tips. I hope one of these days I can use all of these tips!

    Melissa, I hope you feel better soon!

    Tina, I'm thankful for you and the others at Seekerville always helping us out.

    (Please add my name to the giveaway.)

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  12. Wow. So much to absorb.

    Thanks, Tina.

    And I love how you snuck in two little tidbits:

    "Read my article in the December RWR Magazine for more resources for your writing business."

    and

    "including my upcoming e Christmas novella, The Christmas Angel."

    Good news!

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  13. We must always have a plan! Which means starting to think about how to promote your book about six months ahead of the publication date. Gulp! Sad, but true!

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  14. Wow,Tina! You've been busy. Congrats on your upcoming article in RWR and your novella coming out. Yay!

    I'll have to check out all the great resources you sited. They look wonderful. I don't have a marketing plan, basically because I don't have anything to market right now. But setting goals is good. I already subscribe to Michael Hyatt's feed.

    Happy Wednesday, Seekerville!

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  15. Tina, thanks for an informative post. Do you ever sleep? :-)

    I've bookmarked all the links and look forward to pouring over them later this afternoon.

    Happy thanksgiving to everyone!!!

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  16. Good morning, Seekerville! And happy Thanksgiving Eve!

    Great tips and links, TINA. Thank you! And congrats on the grand opening of "My Critique Partner"!!

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  17. Great tips, Miss T - - and may this former kindergarten teacher confess something? ~ I've been trying to figure out "who or what" ROI is (maybe a different spelling of Roy?) so thanks to your post, NOW I KNOW!! *Blushing*

    Melissa J., hope you are well soon!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
    I'm VERY thankful for my Seekerville friends!

    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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  18. TINA my eyes are glazed over. You always amaze me with all of your knowledge. I'm in awe. And paying attention mind you.

    Hey I went over to your critique partner site. LOVE IT. Congrats and I will be hiring you soon. woo hoo. Expert advice.

    Happy holidays everyone.

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  19. hi Tina
    I'll be returning to this post ad infinitum to read the links and absorb the wisdom. Personally, I would like to benefit from the ebook design part of the biz. That "plan" thing is my next step - and I admit that is NOT my gifting... there's a reason for the proverbial "starving artist". We don't do so well on the planning thing - but you've given me a wonderful tutorial here. BLESS YOU!!! (I will covet Seekerville prayers for God to do His thing with me so I can create His plan for using my talents...)

    Seekerville has opened my eyes to so many things that can be done, that I've not dared to dream. Thanks for this most helpful post and this community. You all are a blessing.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to the power of infinity.

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to all as well.

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  20. forgot:
    would like to be in the draw for that book. *hugs*

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  21. So true, Joanne. Preaching to the same choir, aren't we??

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  22. Mercy, I feel like I live on another planet...or I am completely dense....maybe a bit of both. :-) So here are my questions and I apologize if the answers are obvious or somewhere in your post. I'm addle-brained today:

    What does ROI stand for?

    What is RWR magazine...I googled it and got Race Walking Record magazine. Can that be right? Are you a race walker, Tina?

    What on earth is rafflecopter and why am I so confused by it? I just copied one into a review post today and miracles of miracles it worked but I still don't get what it is. LOL

    WHEN IS THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL BEING RELEASED???? (you know we're less than a month away from Christmas right????)

    And congrats on your new business venture, Tina. It looks awesome -- and very reasonably priced. I'm excited!

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  23. E books are not over, Virginia. Making money with ebooks is not over. But the put anything up there explosion is over.

    You happened to be one of the lucky ones. That's good.

    But for the rest of us, reality is the midlist author IS back.

    Now that everyone has a Kindle and Nook is almost out of the race, the market is leveling.

    As more and more traditional publishers go e and e only the market thickens.

    I believe the next leveling will be the price point. What the public expects to pay for an ebook.

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  24. Facebook promos have worked in the visibility arena for me.

    At times, as you know, visibility is as or more important than sales.

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  25. Write. That is the bottom line. Period.

    I'm learning that myself. I am guilty of ignoring that as well..

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  26. You are welcome and you are in, Jackie Layton

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  27. And I have been guilty of not planning too, Rose. LOL

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  28. Thanks, Glynna!!! GK already has snow in her part of Arizona!!

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  29. Thanks, Sandra. NOT expert. Your critique partner. Just that.

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  30. Writers just waaaaanna write, Deb H.

    Sung to the tune of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

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  31. I know I'm not helping with Ebook sales, as I still won't pay for those...but I will pay for a paperback novel. Notice I'm not saying I never will, but so far I have not. Thanks, Tina, for the post and letting me put in my Penny's worth

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  32. ROI-RETURN ON INVESTMENT.See the graphic-it has a definition.

    RWR THE TRADE MAGAZINE OF ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA. www.rwa.org

    Rafflecopter.com A program for running giveaways.

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  33. It's okay, Marianne. Your day will come, dear.

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  34. Tina, I loved this. What great information. And, as one who hasn't kept up on the ebook leveling out, I was FLOORED when I read 391,000 books came out. Oh. My.

    I always learn from you, Tina. Thanks for sharing your wisdom so generously.

    I'm thrilled for you and your new bsn venture!! Keeping you in mind when I get to the place of needing a critique. I've learned much from yours.

    MELISSA J—I hope you feel better son!

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  35. Up something like 52 percent Jeanne T.

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  36. "But the put anything up there explosion is over.

    You happened to be one of the lucky ones. That's good."

    Aw. Did you just say my books are a lot of the 'anything explosion'?

    *sad face*

    Ah, well.

    I guess I'll take my success where I can grab it.

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  37. Ok, I totally missed that last art about YOUR NEW BUSINESS.

    WOW! So, you're offering editorial services now? And great rates!

    I really think those who will make the most from the fluid publishing world are the ones who can adapt, offering services even if that means they spend less time actually writing.

    I bet this will be a great venture for you, Tina!!

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  38. Not editorial services. Critique services.

    FINE LINE THERE.

    I AM NOT AN EDITOR.

    I offer what I wish I could have found when I needed it and need it now. A Beta Reader, or A Critique Partner for a one day stand. LOL.

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  39. LOL. Virginia. Slap your hand. Stop reading in between the lines.

    Is Lilliana Hart sad facing all the way to the bank?

    You are also the product of playing the algorithms and doing it well.

    YOU ARE AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

    You kept monitoring ROI until you hit a ROI that paid off.

    That's what I mean.

    Throwing money and time and energy into things that do not pay off because that's the way everyone does it or everyone else does it is not business savvy.

    Because some journalist says the .99 price point is dead doesn't make it so.

    IT'S ROI BABY!!!

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  40. That said things are constantly changing. And to do what Virginia does is not the solution tomorrow.


    Find your own ROI is!!

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  41. I also think it's foolish to go into this as a get rich scheme.

    Many people do and are devastated when they don't find gold in them thar hills.

    Eventually as Katherine Rusch points out, that will level out too.

    There is money to be paid but writing is still hard work.

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  42. WOW, TINA ... you nailed it, my friend. Especially with this line: The best marketing advice is to write more books.

    AMEN AND AMEN!! I'm a little slow on the uptake ... I am just NOW realizing this. DUH. Even WITH Mary and Ruthy's speed-demon influence. :| But you know what? I just figured out that I've published 10 books in 5 years with another on the way, so I guess that's not too bad, right? Two a year? Of course, it's not Mary's five a year or even Ruthy's four a year, but not bad for a long-winded author, I guess. :)

    You've mentioned at times that some of my posts are like mini-workshops. Well, honey, this is a true mini-workshop for Indies -- THANK YOU!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  43. Yeah, Julie. This is a wake-up call for myself. This is one of those head bangers. I needed this information, so you got a post.

    LOL.

    I'm writing a lot faster this year than I ever have. :)

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  44. Algorithms. That's, like, math or something, isn't it??? The very word gives me icy chills up and down my back!!!

    Seriously, Tina, a super post today with a lot for a serious author to think about. You rocked it, girlfriend!

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  45. Awesome post, Tina! As always your information is thorough, concise and chock full of valuable links. Thanks for the excellent tips on establishing a market plan.

    What a fabulous opportunity you've provided for those looking for a critique partner! And your generous offer to mentor. You rock!!

    I brought pumpkin bread to enjoy with Helen's coffee.

    Janet

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  46. Melissa, sorry you're sick! No fun anytime but especially close to Thanksgiving!

    Janet

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  47. Thanks, Myra.

    Writing faster. Writing faster.

    Hey, all, if you have not stopped by the Seekerville Bookstore of late DO SO. www.seekerville.net.

    Myra's spring release is there. OH MY GOODNESS. Another gorgeous cover!!!

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  48. Janet, my hero. Pumpkin is my favorite. Thank you!

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  49. Tina, this post is chock-full of great advice. I'm going back to read all this again, and bookmark it.

    Eat that Frog is great advice, but my problem is which frog to gobble up first!

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  50. That's where the book is helpful. It holds your hand through that decision making process and gives letter priorities and numbers to all your Frogs.

    It trains you to mentally do that.

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  51. Thanks, Tina, for the reminder to visit the book store......I had not done that lately....love it!!

    Count me in for the reader prize.

    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to all (and get well soon to Melissa)!

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  52. You are welcome and you are IN, Jackie Smith.

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  53. As always, this subject makes me tense.

    I've learned from breeding and selling great danes. Almost 100% percent of my sales come from the internet. I don't post pics of my danes jumping on a dilapidated fence like they're serving a prison term. And I attempt to move the clutter from the camera's view from the background. The pup's face looks odd if taken straight-on so I try for side shots w/them barely turned torwards me. Takes time to shoot a moving target. A pic IS worth a thousand words.

    But most of all, when I decided to breed, I wanted to get beautiful dogs. When people come to my house, I want them to say, "Wow, I LOVE your dogs!" Since I've been breeding, there's only one of my own dogs that embarrassed me when people came by. I imported her from Thailand and paid good money. She just never filled out and had several health issues. She hunkered down when she met people. She was sweet, just wan't attractive. I never breed her.

    No, this ain't a sell's pitch for my dogs. I just hope one of these day if I become published and I get the perfect cover, with the perfect title, and the perfect promotion plan, the reader don't find a sad little dog w/health problems.

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  54. Now, most of my sales come from repeat customers and word of mouth.

    And didn't mean to write a book. Sorry.

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  55. I love that Connie!!!

    We are all striving for a healthy cover and a healthy book.

    Marketing is marketing isn't it.


    A GOOD PRODUCT and WORD OF MOUTH is the best marketing!!

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  56. Ruthy breeds dogs too btw. Love to hear her take on this.

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  57. Tina
    Right now for doable future this girl just wants to do graphics. As in creating ebook covers for peeps (and the occasional book trailer as well). I'm staring at less than a year before I'm possibly unemployed (thank God for the big heads up), so I'm looking at establishing supplemental income for when/if I find myself with reduced income because of employment changes.

    It's a given I'm writing when I can... I just don't have the same confidence in that craft as I do with my "real" job in graphic design.

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  58. Aw, thanks, Tina! I just love what Abingdon does with book covers! They actually did a live model shoot for the spring release. It was so fun getting to select my favorite poses!

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  59. So very much to learn. That is quite possibly the understatement of the year lol. Thanks for all the information and congrats on your new business. I will for sure at some point contact you!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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  60. Thanks Pat W.

    Snowing in Texas yet???

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  61. Wow, you got to pick Myra. Author input. LOVE IT!!!

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  62. DebH, I relate. I've been working on a wing and a prayer this year myself. I am way too much a control freak to be doing this. NEED REGULAR PAYCHECK.

    Living in a loft in Paris is fine. But only if you can afford the pastries.

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  63. Oh my gosh, is it Christmas already?? That's how it feels after reading your post, Tina. All the info, all the links ... all the presents. I swear you're a mind reader because this is exactly what I need ... right now.

    Thank you!!

    Nancy C

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  64. And just ask me if I'm excited about Critique Partner! Just ask. Or ask me if I'm excited about your Christmas novella. Totally enjoyed both The Rosetti Curse and Love in Bloom and have recommended them to others.

    Which leads me to a comment about marketing. As a latecomer to self-publishing, I am learning so much from those who went before and are generous with their information. I'm not saying not to promote, but I find the best promotion is word of mouth ... allowing your readers to promote you :-) (Did I just use the word promote or some variation thereof three times in one sentence?)

    When will the Christmas novella be available?

    Nancy C

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  65. MELISSA - take care and hope you feel better soon.

    Nancy C

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  66. You ask-When will the Christmas novella be available?-

    Ahhh, DEER IN HEADLIGHTS--SOON!!!

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  67. Chalk full of good advice.

    I plan to continue Eat(ing) That Frog! And put the writing first, always.

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  68. eating frogs instead of turkeys, eh?

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  69. This is a great post! I work for a book publicity firm, Smith Publicity and we try to stress some of the very same things to our clients. Having a plan makes the whole process so much easier.

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  70. Thanks for commenting and the affirmation, Brittney. High five!! Knuckle tap!!

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  71. Thanks for all the info, Tina!

    The books sound valuable. Please enter me.

    My CP is great! *waving to Donna with a sheepish smile--you WILL hear from me again!*

    And your new My Critique Partner looks exciting! Hope to use your service in 2014. A Tina critique is always a good idea! :)

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  72. And Tina, congratulations on the RWA article---hope it arrives soon---and the Christmas novella----when does it come out?

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all!

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  73. This was a great post, Tina! How wonderful you give so much back to aspiring writers. That's what I aspire to do as well, when I'm in your high-up position. It's so important.

    A cousin has self-pubbed and I'm not looking forward to the Thanksgiving conversation about why I haven't done what he did. It's as Virginia said, there is so much that has to be done to make sure it is the right move, and both of you have done that work.

    I'm motivated by this post though, to write down my goals over the next six months at least and not carry them in my head--self-pubbing may be on the list. There was yet another interview on-line where editors admit to looking at the best-selling lists for indie books for new authors... I may have to throw myself out there, but I want to do it with purpose and intent. I think your column will be very helpful in that, so thank you!

    Looking forward to your new ventures as well!

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  74. And Ruthy's indie success as well!!! Can't forget her! You guys are giants!

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  75. I sympathize with you, Piper.

    That's when you clear your throat loudly and say, "PASS THE MASHED POTATOES, PLEASE!!"

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  76. I'm late getting here, but I made it. :-) Very thought provoking post, Tina. Thank you for sharing your insights. And I'm excited about your Critique/Beta Reader website. I'm bookmarking it for future reference. :-)

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  77. Piper's comment reminded me of a blog post I read this week.

    14 Ways to Tick off a Writer

    Good luck with that cousin, Piper. If asking for more mashed potatoes doesn't work, maybe you can throw them at him. :-) (insert evil laugh here)

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  78. Clari, in an effort to save keyboards...please add a SPEW WARNING ON ANY LINKS LIKE THAT IN THE FUTURE.

    That was so good and sadly true.

    Ruth and I went to BEA in NYC in 2011. We ran into a children's librarian. (We know and love many children's librarians. On this blog too).

    She gave us a major condescending spiel when she discovered we write.....wait for it...ROMANCE!!!

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  79. (giggling hysterically) Sorry, Tina. :)

    Yep. Romance. We obviously aren't smart enough to write real books.

    The first person I told (outside of my family) about my book being published (she was a writer, too) looked at me excitedly and said, "Who's your publisher?" When I said "Harlequin's Love Inspired line," she looked at me like I'd crawled out from under a pond-slime-covered rock.
    That'll keep a person from getting a big head over that first contract. :-/

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  80. Oh, yeah.

    Cause a NASDQ traded publishing company just isn't good enough.

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  81. These last comments (oh, Clari, we're still reciting that 'hugging around the neck, with your hands' line in my house) just echoes what one of my friends said, something like:

    "Jealousy is very powerful. Never discount how awful people can be when touched by jealousy. And that includes finding ANY WAY to make your success not really a success."
    Your writer friend who didn't like your publisher? She's not jealous of Harlequin, PER SE, but she's finding a way to make it all right that you're published and she's not.

    I don't sit around and pick apart why people are rude, but when my friend said that... A little light bulb went off in my head.

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  82. Alright, I have definitely bookmarked this one.

    I looked for The Christmas Angel but didn't see it.

    Melissa, I hope you're feeling better.

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  83. WRITING

    There.

    My marketing plan.

    Write a book.

    Sure do whatever else of all this stuff you can and/or want to, but if you're not adding words to a work in progress then you are DOING IT WRONG!

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  84. Not that I'm a person who likes to give orders or anything!

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  85. Hahaha, Clari! I'm ready with the proper responses if anything should come up with that cousin! I forsee #11 and #13 as the ones that will be a problem, and I'm ready! Thanks!

    And Virginia, I'm not pubbed yet, but people react this way even with requests to submit, so I can just imagine what it must be like on the other side of that high, high wall....

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  86. Forewarned is forearmed, Piper. :-) LOL. Hope the dinner goes well.

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  87. Late to the game but very useful information!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

    Peace, Julie

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  88. Can't believe I'm so late today. I ran out of time preparing for Thanksgiving and had to do it. I have all the baking done. DH has eaten half the cookies, but that's all they're getting.

    I write because it's my passion not to get rich or famous. I don't even understand why people pursue wealth and fame, two things that have never made anyone happy in the entire history of the world.

    I don't have to worry about my ROI yet, but I do have a plan for a platform and I know what you mean by visibility, already started that and have learned a lot about media this past year, but have a lot more to learn.

    Thank you, Tina, for giving so freely of all your wisdom. You're one of my go-to experts.

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  89. Hey, Julie HS. My Royal Julie friend.

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  90. Well, Elaine Manders. I do believe those are the most words I ever heard you say at one time.

    Thank you. Thank you. I want cookies.

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  91. I baked pies today.
    I added NO WORDS to my work in progress.

    I may be doing it wrong.

    It's 9:25. It's not to late to go write SOMETHING.

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  92. Go write a novella, Connealy. Write one for me while you're at it.

    I bought Marie Callendar pies.

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  93. Always great to hear from you, Tina!

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  94. Fabulous blog, Tina. It really speaks to me and I'm blushing!

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  95. I think you'll find yourself quoted by @towritestory soon, Tina: "Content marketing is the new marketing, and it's true that content is king. Fiction is the ultimate content marketing." ~Tina Radcliffe

    I've been out of whack lately. Not enough writing. Thanks for the reality check.

    Put my name in the hat for "Let's Get Visible" please!

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  96. Thank YOU and happy Thanksgiving Val.

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  97. Somehow I missed Annie Rains post. Duh. Thanks, Annie!!

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  98. Happy Thanksgiving, Tina et al Seekerville gals!
    Love yah all!
    Loved this post and am hungry to learn more. What's for dessert?
    Please enter me for the book give away if it isn't too late.
    maryveewriter@gmail.com

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