Monday, June 29, 2015

Marketing Your Book

The book launch is over! My baby got off to a fantastic start thanks to all who were involved:
16 faithful FB friends promoted my new release.

At the weekend I attended a lecture on "Marketing your book." First up I learned that I should have done this long before my book was even finished. In case you stumble and fumble around as I did, I am recommending strongly to do this when you have plenty of time ahead.

Marketing and communications consultant, RaffaellaMarie Fenn offered a seven step approach to sell more books, and she revealed the details in her presentation, “Marketing Matters—Seven Steps to Getting Your Book into Readers Hands.” In Marketing Matters, Marie presented these practical ideas published authors can put to work immediately. Here's the gist:
·      Learn to write an actionable marketing plan that will increase your chances of book sales.
·      Unearth your own unique “brand” and then use it in every aspect of your book marketing    efforts.
·      Discover audience segments that will help light a fire to your book sales.
You may have a wonderful idea for a book, even have written a fantastic manuscript but have you identified your target audience? If you're writing for a niche market, you want to target that in your further marketing and advertising plans. Plan a year ahead where you give talks, readings, signings etc.

Filling in her hand-outs will keep me busy for  awhile. They ask probing questions which I are not entirely clear in my head after the fact of having published several books. If you are like me, you probably stumble along and pick up tips and ideas up along the way.

Here's the opinion of a friend, the inimitable Sam Murphy, author of several self-help books:

As difficult and exhausting as writing can be, nothing compares to the challenges and sheer misery of self publishing. Just the huge numbers of electronic avenues makes this experience quite daunting. (I run into that word quite often). And as many of us have come to realize, it's not just the sheer numbers of Internet sites, it's the TIME you need to spend on them to make yourself credible. That's the REAL killer. I'll spend at minimum, a full day agonizing over THIS composition.
And so we Google: “How do I promote my new book?” Up comes millions of sites with easy sounding names, like “How to Sell a Million Books With One Click of a Button,” or “Make sure you become a member of the following 438 sites you can post on to make you book a bestseller,” and “Here’s a complete list of book bloggers that will review your book and make you wildly successful.”

Of course, The “One Click of a Button” leads you to websites that are impossible to navigate and probably useless, but for the sake of just one sale, for the next day or two, down the rabbit hole you go. The 438 sites? Let’s just politely say that it’s not that they are not interested in your life; they are just interested in theirs a little more. And then there’s the bloggers who will review your books - for only $29.99, but it will take about 3 months, and they have so many restrictions, and they always seem to be yelling at you, but that’s OK because most of them no longer exist or they inform you that they are not accepting new submissions until the Fall of 2015.

So here you are, all excited and duly proud of yourself for having completed something that you devoted weeks, months, even years to and you can't even get your sister to buy one and give it a five star rating on Amazon. You should be having this HUGE celebration with all your friends. Instead, you're fumbling around like a teenager in the back seat of your old man's Chevy, trying to add some kind of Pin to a Board on a site that you REALLY don't care about, and then Googling one inactive “Will review your book for free” site after another.  And it's TWO O'CLOCK IN THE GODDAMN MORNING!

But you've checked your numbers and you're 497,364 in Amazon's Best Seller Rank. So you text and you tweet. You create a fan page. You blog. You Skype. You Pin, and you Tumble. You contact every "friend" you have, and have them contact every “friend” they have, and every “friend” they have, and so on down the line. "Yes," they say, "I'll get me a copy of that new book you just published. I'm gonna read it, review it, and give it a whole passel of stars." Two days later and now you're 798,621. in Amazon's Best Seller Rank.
And so you text and tweet some more looking for support and ideas. But as much advice as you get; you write. I consider myself a writer. Maybe not a very lucid one at the moment, but a writer nonetheless. I have stories inside of me. Having them stay there while I attend to other business only makes them fester and this will ultimately lead to some really bad juju.
By nature I am not a tweeter or a texter, a Pinner, or Tumbler. I don't try to StumbleOnto anything. Don't much care for Skyping, and I secretly hate all of my "friends" on Facebook.
So here I sit, trying to promote my book on one more site, and it's now 3 o'clock in the Goddamn morning. I just keep repeating to myself, "I'm a writer..., this will work..., I'm a writer, this will work..., I'm a writer…"

Siggy Buckley
Sam Murphy
PS. Strangely enough I couldn't find Raffella Marie Fenn on Amazon...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Feng Shui for Writers Blog Tour

Book Details
  • Title: Feng Shui For Writers
  • Series: How To Master Your Life
  • Author: M.C. Simon
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Format: Paperback and Kindle
  • Length: 152 pages
  • Publication Date: June 16, 2015
  • Publisher: IML Publishing
  • Regular Price: $7.99 Kindle

FENG SHUI FOR WRITERS provides all the dots that you have to connect to control the flowing Chi for each writing category. What is harmony for a romantic novel writer is different from what is harmony for a journalist writer, and for sure very different than for the writer writing for the horror domain. To bring the Feng Shui technique into the writer's life, it is not enough to merely explain general principles and ideas; we have to dig deeper because the branches of writing are so numerous.

Find Out HOW TO:
  • Attract productivity, successful publishing and money using Feng Shui
  • Overcome writer's block with Feng Shui help
  • Organize your writing place to achieve your goals
  • Influence your writing life through colors
  • Use crystals for creative writing
  • Use lighting to Feng Shui your writing space
  • Choose the plants that will boost your creativity
  • Influence your "writer's zone" and the creative mind
  • Boost your children's creativity (yes… children are young writers also)
And much more.
Buy Links

To understand what a writer's zone is, you must first experience the previous state called a writer's block. Then and only then will you understand how you can face it and how you can move to the writer's zone. This zone is exactly the opposite of a writer's block; it is the optimal phase in which a writer can find himself. It is the phase in which Chi flows freely on the writer's path, the creativity is boosted and the writing productivity reaches maximum level.
Having knowledge about both states, a writer's block and a writer's zone, you can save the wasted time between these two phases.
There are some elements that influence your entering into this zone.
  • One of these is your location. Depending on where you live, you must find a writing environment that boosts your writing mood. Find a place suitable for you that you feel relaxed in and totally prepared to let the words flow.
  • Take a walk in the park or the woods, go for a drive on a long unpopulated road. Don't forget to take the camera with you and take pictures that will help you relax the next time you need to enter into the writer's zone without having to walk again. A walk in a quiet and relaxing place is a good Feng Shui method to un-clutter your mind of stress.
  • Do some brainstorming for your future book; try to prepare a good plot for your novel. Do some research on the theme that you want to write about.
  • Avoid emails, other online temptations, phones and any other distractions that are blocking the Chi flow of your creativity and productivity.
  • Listen to some music and prepare a playlist with your favorite relaxing songs. Use this list until it becomes a habit that is helping you enter into the writer's zone.
  • Breathe! Yes, breathe. Fill your lungs with fresh air until they expand to the point where they touch, take a small pause then exhale slowly. Learn to breathe again, so the good Chi also enters your body.
  • Burn some incense and use aromatic lamps for fragrance.
  • Find a writing retreat in your area. Make it a part of your writing process. This will always get you into the zone. There are two kinds of retreats: solo retreats (suitable for writers who prefer solitude far away from any distractions including other writers) and group retreats (provides a chance for face to face group brainstorming). The best writing retreats are those that include both solo and group retreats. When you go to a writing retreat, be sure that you are applying the Feng Shui principles in that place also (you can even take a Bagua map with you).
  • If your mind feels unclear in ideas, use a yellow vase where you place orange flowers. This will boost the intensity of your writing and will give you the necessary clarity.
  • Don't forget to always include the water element in your space.
  • Avoid too many electronic devices in the moments when you write because they will drain your energy, and soon you'll have to face another writer's block.
  • Hang a wooden chime near you so its movement will activate any stagnant Chi.
Previously Published Excerpts

About the Author

Writer, translator, engineer, researcher, project manager, blogger, eternal student... these are only a few words to describe MC Simon.
She strongly believes that energy is ours to use freely, and we need only to open our hearts to regain the lost perception of our true powers. She thinks that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. For this reason, M.C. Simon has never hunted the information but rather waited for the right moment when she would be ready for the information to find her. In the same way, she knows that when someone needs her, the Universe will proceed in such a way that the meeting will take place.

Contact The Author

Giving away a copy of "Feng Shui For Writers" E-book to 10 lucky winners. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

How to Do a Book Launch

You finally finished your book, edited and all. I mean really finished: have a stunning cover and, with pride, you hold the copy in your hands. Now what? How to get it out and spread the word?
Writers who have a traditional publisher needn't read further.
For us Indie authors, so called self-pub'd authors, here the real struggle begins.Marketing is the key-word that you should have learned along the way to publication.
FB is a good start, get your book on Goodreads is advisable from day one. With my first book I didn't know that.
Another author wrote the other day she was hosting a launch party in some cafe/pub/maybe bookstore and offered finger-food and a glass of wine. That sounded lovely but doesn't seem to be a viable option for me. FB launch parties were fashionable for a while. If I only had attended one, I would have a clearer picture in my head!
Wondering what else to do I send press releases to the local papers and TV and radio stations who featured me before about my other publications. As luck would have it, one of my FB friends is launching her new book on the same day. I had picked 16 June or Bloomsday because of its Irish affiliation. It's not exactly a holiday in Ireland but great fun for those who know about it and dress up for the occasion to retrace Leopold Bloom's steps in Dublin. (The protagonist of Ulysses by James Joyce. For further info, especially which pubs are involved, see Wikipedia.) Not that I have aspirations even to be mentioned in connection with him; nor did I read the whole book. On my last trip to Dublin, I happened to run into revelers and it was fun.
My FB friend mentions to  send her a mediakit if I want her to get involved.
How did I make it through several books without one? Putting all other chores and obligations aside, I looked for guidelines for a mediakit and got help again from FB fellow writers.
The incredible KS Brooks offers a solution by sending me a link to her fantastic website Indies Unlimited and the answer to my question how to put such a kit together. Check it out if you haven't done so yet: Indies Unlimited.
With this power tool at the ready, I can approach fellow writers and bloggers and ask for help. So together we do a blog tour.
My friend, however, is only starting on the launch date, whereas I decided to create some build-up to the launch date. Also, she offers her book for free on Kindle for a number of days. There is an old German saying: You only make money on the things you don't give away for free. I tried that before and it was not convincing to me. There were 1300+ downloads of my book for free and only 1, yes one!, sale after that for the longest time.
24 hours later, I'm exhausted but I have gotten almost every date between now and the 16th covered thanks to some marvelous people I met on various writers sites, in particular MasterKoda. And among them is yet another lady who launches her book that day! All of that is so exciting! I'm intensely grateful for the help I got all around.
Watch this space and everything that goes on on FB! If you have tips for me, please leave a comment or email them to me.

Siggy Buckley
Available on Amazon: Kindle for $2.99
Paperback $12.80 after Bloomsday-- link to follow!