Monday, September 13, 2021

One Thing That Works For Me with guest Roseanna M. White: Surprise and Delight

 


Good Monday morning, Seekerville! I (Carrie) am here to introduce today's guest for this month's 'One Thing That Works For Me' series. Please join me in welcoming author Roseanna M. White as she shares about 'surprise and delight'!

For the last several years, my husband has been fine-tuning a marketing approach that he learned via Rob Hardy called “Identity Marketing.” It was originally created for filmmakers but was oh-so-easily adapted to the book world that he invested quite a bit of time into writing out those adaptations…and of course, sharing them with me, mwa ha ha ha. The whole system is amazing and works super well with the outlook I’ve always tried to have—that it’s not about selling, it’s about serving. And one of the tenets of this system that I especially latched onto was the principle of “Surprise and Delight.”

What is it? Very simple—whenever you can, come up with something that will surprise (in a good way, of course!) your readers. We all love plot twists in stories, right? Well, one of our goals should be delivering little twists in our marketing too. Things that our readers don’t expect, and which put big smiles on their faces.

Great in theory…but what about in practice? How do we actually come up with these things? I have a whole list of things I’ve done and tried, and many have worked quite well. But today I want to tell you about my absolute favorite.

So around two years ago, when we were just beginning to test this system, I had the idea for an online Tea Party Book Club. Now, this was before the world went virtual thanks to The Pandemic That Shall Not Be Named. The inspiration came in May of 2018; I had a book coming out…I went to a tea with the ladies from my church at a local tea house…and my husband had been running some virtual events via online meeting tech similar to Zoom. All these things swirled together in my mind and made me say, “Hey! Why couldn’t we do a tea party online?? I could put together packages, mail them out, and then get together with readers to chat about the book and have tea and treats together!”

I quickly became OBSESSED with this idea. (This is pretty typical of me, LOL.) I priced bulk tea. I priced pretty vintage teacups. Spoons. Sugar cubes. Individually wrapped treats. Candy. Mints. I weighed and priced postage. I considered how much I pay for this sort of thing at the local tea house. I came up with a package price and built it out on my website. And then… then… I presented it to my readers.

Would they love it too? Hate it? Not want to pay for that sort of thing? I didn’t know—all I knew was that I found the idea delightful, LOL, even though it would be a ton of work on my part.

I didn’t have to wait long to find out how my readers would receive it. Within a few days of announcing the idea, I had people filling the parties, ordering “starter kits” that involve tea pots and vintage cups and spoons, a lady from my church volunteered to make tea cozies for me, and I even had some people so excited that they signed up for all the extras and then realized an hour later that, oops, they were out of town that day or already had a tea set they could use.

But this was my answer—this idea, unheard of at the time, sounded so fun that my reader friends JUMPED to be a part of it. Where else did they get an hour with other fans of the book and the author and receive a hand-selected package of goodies to go along with it?

Now, granted, in the last year and a half everything has gone online, and we’re beginning to see a lot more things like this. But I’m thrilled to be able to say that I’ve been at it for over two years, that kinks have been worked out, processes have been streamlined…and that the seats keep filling up.

Best of all, relationships have been developed. I have regular attendees, and they greet each other like friends when they see a familiar face come back for this month or that month. Readers have become friends. And the conversations have been AMAZING.

Will I do these tea parties forever? Who knows. But I’m having a blast doing them now—especially because my readers are too. It’s just one thing in the many that I do to try to reach out to them, but it’s been a total success. It’s one way to Surprise and Delight them…and seeing how well it’s worked, it’s an inspiration to keep coming up with new ways to do just that in the future.

~*~*~*~*~*~


Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing for WhiteFire Publishing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. 

You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

 

Roseanna is offering a $15 credit in her online store to one commenter!

 

Authors, what questions do you have for Roseanna about her tea parties or her 'surprise and delight' strategy?
Readers, what are some ways other authors have 'surprise and delight'-ed you? 

  

31 comments:

  1. I once received a phone call from an author but I was so nervous that I could hardly talk. 😂

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Roseanna!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Always coming up with new ideas! We'll see which ones stick. ;)

      Delete
    2. Clearly I can't work my phone. That comment was supposed to be below. This one was supposed to say, "thanks for having me! "

      Delete
  3. Wow, what an awesome idea! Not only because I love tea in general, but I especially love tea parties. And I so enjoy surprising people and readers, but something like this never crossed my mind. This is some great food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I adore this amazing idea! Thank you so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's a great way for you to meet more readers you would not meet in person

    ReplyDelete
  6. I went to your website, and I'm impressed! So many wonderful things for your readers!

    Roseanna, you are a marketing genius! The tea parties look like so much fun, and your other merchandise is so cute. :-)

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom with us today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. she really is a marketing genius!

      Delete
    2. LOL. Not sure about genius, but I'm never short on ideas!

      Delete
  7. The tea party idea sounds lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love how your idea for the tea parties developed...and your enthusiasm--so great!! I might have to try one of these tea parties! p.s., I love your books too!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is amazing! Now my brain is going all different directions, (No, it doesn't take much to get me whirling into another creative direction!) This idea is wonderful and I will check out this website. Hopefully, I will be able to spin off some of her inspiration in time for my new series debut, sometime before Christmas! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a whirling creative brain is a powerful thing :-D

      Delete
  10. The tea party idea sounds like fun. Always enjoy Roseanna's books!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Such a great idea. Thinking outside the box, for sure! You've got me wondering how I can reach out to readers in a new way, especially since travel is still at a minimum!

    Right now, I'm on the way to the kitchen to brew a cup of tea! Thanks for being with us today! Thanks, Carrie, for hosting Roseanna! She's a delight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoyed your cup and had some fun brainstorming!

      Delete
  12. Love your books, Roseanna and am sure I would enjoy a tea party!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oooo! As a tea lover, I LOVE your idea! I especially like your thought “it’s not about selling, it’s about serving.” Thanks for a fun-idea post, Roseanna!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love how your tea ☕ parties came about, Roseanna. I have attended one, (so far), of your tea parties and enjoyed it so much. I hope to be able to join another one soon.

    To answer your question, MeezCarrie...the first time an author called me I was a bit shy and didn't say much I was so excited. I also love doing author chats.

    ReplyDelete
  15. sounds like a fun idea
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

If you have trouble leaving a comment, please "clear your internet cache" and try again. You can find this in your browser settings under "clear history."