So, how many of you have had that walk of shame? Come on… everyone has had a bit too much to drink at the bar and ended up leaving with someone who… well… just doesn’t do it for them once the sun comes up. It’s almost like we are vampires at times with our choices. Solve the need for now and worry about the morning in the morning.
But since we all have been there… yes, I mean you too… there are some lessons that we can learn as writer-marketers from that one-night stand and the walk of shame. So, last night, you were out with your friends, drinking, dancing and putting the moves on the hottest, most interesting members of the opposite sex. Not finding the greatest luck with them, you decided to change your tactics and shoot for a different level, while increasing the amount of drinking and dancing. The drinking helped to lower your standards and by the end of the night, after kissing a bunch of frogs, you found an eligible – that’s a better word for willing, right? – partner and left for the night. You noticed as you were walking out the door, your friends were all trying to get your attention so you didn’t leave with your chosen suitor, but what did they know. You had spent some time talking to them, some time dancing with them and now it was time to go.Continue reading
I was challenged one day by some of my soon to be fraternity brothers to pick up a woman in a bar one night. I was a headstrong, full of confidence nineteen year old that couldn’t lose. I had the charm to be able to smooth my way into any relationship I wanted, but my brothers knew that, so they added one condition.
“Put a bag over your head and find her,” they said to me laughing. Well, that made things a bit harder…
That night, after being liquefied at the fraternity house, we all left for the bar and found our way inside. I was allowed to take one long look around the bar before the bag was placed over my head and pushed into the crowds of drunken students. Over the course of the next few hours, I stumbled into many people, making apologies, trying to explain why I was wearing a bag in a bar, but nothing seemed to guide me towards a woman that I could even talk to much less get a phone number from.
Sadly, this is also how many authors go about marketing their books to potential readers. They are not looking for the audience that would be interested, rather they are looking for anyone who reads a book. Continue reading
There is a reason that marketers get paid the big bucks – we know how to position and market your product for the highest return. There is also a reason that 99% of us hate to compete based on price – because the next guy that comes along at 10 cents cheaper is going to steal our customer. That is capitalism at its finest. It doesn’t matter if the product is better or not, if the price fits, the consumer will buy.
Why do they buy? Because you haven’t given them a reason to stay with your product, in this case your book. And therein lies the rub…Continue reading
Before I continue our journey, I have to do a bit of shameless promotion for my newly released debut novel, Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office. If you enjoy spy, espionage, or political thrillers, you have to read this book. If you enjoy action, adventure and military stories, you have to read this book. If you just want to have a fast-paced, interesting read… you guessed it… you have to read this book. What’s it about? Three words – Terrorism, Taliban and Pakistan. Yes, it’s shameless, but hey, it’s the marketing part of the business, and I am shameless about promoting.
There are things that you have to remember when it comes to promoting your work to potential readers – don’t annoy them to the point where they shut off to your work. What? Remember, we are all operating in the digital world now. The bookstore signings aren’t as regular as they are for the traditional publishers, nor are the chapter readings at the libraries and bookstores. 90% of our marketing is either on websites, Facebook or twitter so we have to be extremely careful about how we promote our work. This is why that pesky author website is so important. So let’s get to that question that I asked in the beginning…Continue reading
In my last post, But I Don’t Feel Like a Brand, I suggested.. maybe nudged the possibility, that in today’s digital world, we are all brands, whether we like it or not. This is great for us all because what used to cost thousands in advertising, we can do for little to no cost with digital mediums, but that also means that we have to have all of our ducks in a row.
Those ducks have to have a place to call home for any marketing/branding effort to succeed. Many of us have been lead to believe that as long as you have a presence on social media channels, you have a home. But that’s not really a home, is it? You are a squatter there, not paying rent, electricity or anything else. And as a result, you don’t have any control over what the landlord (Facebook, twitter, tumblr, etc.) demand. I’ll give you the simple example of Facebook’s recent policy change that requires those of us with brand page to pay so that we can get the same exposure we used to get free. The landlord has spoken and we are all suffering.Continue reading