Marketing

Blog Content: Using “Outtakes” From Your Novel

  Currently, I’m editing two of my manuscripts. Or, I should say, “pre-editing” these works-in-progress to prepare them for the hand-off to my dear editor. At this stage in my writing process, when I have 80,000+ words written per manuscript, I end up sending entire chapters to the cutting room floor. Watching them fall, knowing how much time, energy, and thought I’ve put into each and every line on those pages, makes it painful to think those scenes will never find their way into the hands of my (future) readers. Is this normal? Do you experience this angst, too? When constructing a novel, my writing style is to first map out the plot and then develop a series of (almost) standalone mini-stories that I organize as chapters. If you’ve read my work, you know this to be true. When I cut...

Amazon’s Data Mining of Novels

I find data-mining as interesting as the next person. On any given day, you’ll find me clicking into the results of surveys about consumer habits, in any number of categories. I do this for reasons that are as unnecessary as they are ambiguous. Being from Washington, DC, and having cut my political teeth at an early age, I know how much wiggle room – and wishful thinking – is spun into the cloth of marketing data and rankings. So much of it is subjective: how the questions are asked, who is contacted, the size of the group, etc. Increasingly, companies are finding new ways to harvest and apply information extracted through data mining their customers. Amazon, for example, uses the amount of ebook pages read by a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, and the pace of that reading, in order to determi...

Spanx Me, NaNoWriMo!

Forget “March Madness.” Instead, make it “March Marketing Madness.” As part of all this basketball craziness, I recently filled out my bracket for the family pool. I’m not doing well; I think even my sister-in-law’s grandmother is ahead of me. Still, there is value in participating in creative activities outside of one’s normal comfort zone, and staring at all those match-ups got me thinking about business. In “March Marketing Madness,” the sports teams are replaced by companies. The purpose of the competition is to pair them up with other businesses or organizations to develop a brand new marketing initiative that combines each one’s products and/or services. The only requirement is that the new marketing initiative both involves and benefits self-published and indie-published writers.  I...

The New Romance Aisle: Lover’s Lane at Lowe’s

Who says a trip to the hardware store can’t be romantic? Not me! Not any of my friends, either, as it turns out. Over the summer, couple after couple pointed out to me (in unrelated conversations) that once they had settled down, they spent far more time together going out to hardware stores than going out to restaurants. To a one, my friends joked that “date night” had evolved from stolen kisses and candle-lit dinners into Friday night trips to the hardware store, where they would spend hours with sales associates talking about plumbing questions, painting solutions, fencing, and other home-based projects in need of a joint decision in order to move forward. This new style “date night” got me thinking about ways in which a hardware store could increase the in-store romance factor for cust...

Writing: The Importance of Word Choice in Translation

For those of you who are fans of Star Trek (or, like me, grew up with a brother who loved all things science fiction), have you ever fantasized about having communication tools like the ones Captain Kirk and his crew had? I have, and I find myself doing it all the more lately. Why? Social media. Daily, the Internet provides readers and writers with the opportunity to connect with new people involved in the book world, and to interact with speakers of many different languages. While I firmly believe that diversity of people, in every possible way, is one of the two greatest strengths the human race collectively possesses (the other is love), I do find diversity challenging when it comes to language. This is not because I can’t learn to speak another language; I can and do. The reason is bec...

Supernatural Author Micheal Rivers Interview

Last time IndieBookWeek.com checked in with you, Micheal, you were working on Verliege plus six other new manuscripts. Six! Which of those books have been published? Have you ventured into any new writing territory since then? First, let me congratulate you on your new site! Verliege and Appalachia Mountain Folklore were released. Thanks to the readers, I am proud to say Verliege was voted 2012 Supernatural Book of the Year by Turning the Pages. The other books are still in the works and coming along nicely. I have one that is out of my genre and is based on an actual person. Needless to say names and places have been substituted to protect him and any others involved in his ventures. I think the readers will find it very interesting. How have your social media habits evolved or changed ov...

Blogging and Twitter: The Guide

Are you thinking about starting a blog, but you’re not sure where to begin? Do you have a blog, but its not getting many hits? Is Twitter a mystery to you? Perhaps, you’ve written a novel or opened a small business, and you want to find ways to use a blog to connect with a broader audience of potential readers and customers. Zero to One Million Blog Hits in One Year explains the basics of developing blog content and marketing that content on Twitter. This guide, written for beginners, emphasizes the importance of creating a marketing plan, networking in the online community, and focusing on developing a unique brand based on your novels or products.     Excerpts from Zero to One Million Blog Hits in One Year: INTRODUCTION “When you’re ready to start a blog, set a course for fun, ...

Book Marketing: The Genuine Article

I buy books all the time, both paid and free, both paper and electronic. It generally takes me months and months to start a novel once it has found a home on my Kindle or my bookshelf. Part of the reason it takes so long is the sheer volume of writers I’ve come to know through social media. The other part is my determination to read every one of their books while keeping up with my favorite traditionally published authors, too. Twitter is my darling. My Twitter community has 22,000 members. Six months ago it was half that number, and I anticipate it will be approaching 50,000 by mid-summer. Every day, I get to meet new writers – or, at least, writers who are new to me – and, nearly every day, I download a handful of their novels and short stories. My Facebook community has 983 members – th...

Are M.B.A.’s A Thing Of The Past?

Probably not. But there is a new category on the business education horizon. It’s something I like to call a M.S.P.B.A. or, a Master’s of Self-Publishing Businessperson Author. Want one? No problem. It is offered exclusively by the figurative School of Life, a physically non-existent place that is open to all entrepreneurial-minded people willing to walk hand-in-hand with risk, exhilaration, and patience, on the road less traveled. Do you need an education to self-publish? Yes. Must it be a formal education? No. But let’s not fool ourselves. Everything has a cost. Payment at the figurative School of Life is accepted only in the form of “sweat equity.” Unless you have a large budget, or amazing connections, there are certain skills you will need to learn if you want to swim, and not sink, i...

Marketing: Quotes About Life

In honor of today being the thirteenth—a lucky number in our family—I thought I’d send out the next installment of TwitterQuest a little early. The only thing more exciting than watching the number of Twitter followers rise is reading what they have to say. Below, I have listed some of my favorite tweets from people I follow.  Each day, I find it fascinating to read the ideas, advice, humor, and the just plain bizarre from the Twitterverse. @HarmonyAnnEvans Harmony Evans “Alpha men with a tender side rock my world.” @sararomoli Sara Romoli “No matter what the statistics say, there’s always a way.” @MeredithMBell Meredith Bell “‘What a leader does now sets up what he does later. And there’s always a later.’ – Mike Krzyzewski” @infpwriter David Alan Johnson “Some people gaz...

The Twitterverse

When I joined Twitter nine days ago, my motivations did not include an unyielding desire to rule the Twitterverse with poignant one-liners while inundating my followers with links to the most influential blogs, articles, and ideas in the self-publishing stratosphere. >I’ve since changed. Three days ago I experienced my first conversation on Twitter.  (With eHarmony.  Go figure.)  Anyway, it went a little something like this: Me:  Imagine for a moment that #eHarmony or #JDate or #Match let singles post reviews after going on dates with members. eH:  @dcPriya – …and they were automatically tweeted or posted on the person’s Facebook page… #eharmony Me:  @eHarmony If so, the Internet would grind to a halt with all the goosenecking going over at #facebook and #twitter...