Conversations: 12/30/2016

THE WRITER-AUTHOR-MARKETING SPECIALIST – Week V

Now that all the Christmas toys have found their way into our children’s room—or the downstairs family/playroom—or tucked away under our beds—it’s time for all writers to pause and catch a breath. Even during the holidays the relentless dancing-maid-characters of our novels-in-progress have been talking to us, demanding our attention, pushing us to write the next chapter. Please hit the PAUSE button! You and your Marketing Specialist/PR professional have done all there is to do this year. Now it’s time to pull in a deep breath and…

  • Settle in to your favorite reading place, close the door, and read (or re-read) a favorite book! I have shelves full of my “keepers” (as I’m sure you, do) and they range in genre from the Adventure/Sci-fi of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Isaac Asimov and H. G. Wells to the mysteries and miracles of faith from authors such as A. J. Cronin, Lew Wallace and Jonathan Cahn. Reading one of your keepers will refresh mind, heart and spirit—allow you to wallow in the excellence and expertise of creative authors—and heighten your own creativity!
  • Congratulate yourself on surviving yet another wild holiday season which has, after all, reminded you of all the love and laughter, joy and hope that can be found in the world—often in spite of the anxiety-driven drama that we hear on the News. When we pause long enough and consider history—both ancient and immediate—writers observe a kaleidoscope of perspectives that can enhance our every writing project. We’ve just added one more personal perspectives piece of history to this collection. Let’s make sure we’ve taken a few notes to remind us.
  • Take time—and make the effort—to reconnect with neighbors and friends who have just reconnected with you through emails and Christmas cards, Facebook posts or quick phone calls. Why repeat the contact so soon? When this was suggested to me I wanted to ask the same question but decided to simply start with one person and see where that took me. Not only did each conversation lift my spirits, I later learned that the other folks felt the same boost of energy, as if the not-so-great circumstances that many were experiencing would find good outcomes—simply because someone listened to them and cared.
    • There was another marvelous benefit that came from these contacts. Without me mentioning my books—or anything about my writing projects—each person asked about either my first book or the one I’d recently released. I will never know how many of them actually purchased one of the books, however, a few wrote nice online reviews.

books poinsettia

As this year of 2016 closes its doors, remember this: YOU ARE A WRITER! Every experience you’ve had this year, every person you’ve met, grown closer to and/or walked away from, every step you’ve taken to build your writing skills (and marketing skills) has moved you toward the New Year.  So enjoy these remaining hours! Rest! Relax! Imagine all your books in the homes of thousands of Readers who have received the gift of your writing skills and inspirations just a few days ago. 2017 will bring you more stories to write and many more FANS! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 12/23/2016

THE WRITER-AUTHOR-MARKETING SPECIALIST – Week IV

Christmas Day is just around the corner! Is there still time to introduce your book(s) to prospective buyers? Yes. YES! The excitement of the season brings out more buyers than shoppers—right now—with statistics rising every year about those “last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers.” PLUS you’ll have media partners assisting you without spending a penny of your marketing budget! What? Did I say media—as in newspapers, radio and TV? Oh…yes! If you’re like me, you’ve been witness to their push since the end of October. I first noticed our TV news-journalists starting their “countdown to Christmas” on the evening news on October 30th.

How do we make the best of this 48-hour Holiday Book Marketing season? Here are a few ideas.

  • As a published author, you’ve heard the term “Tribe.” A good friend of mine calls these folks her “Peeps.” They have been supporting your writing efforts for a long time—so now is the time to send a THANK YOU email to each and every one—with a bottom line request that they mention your book(s) on every social media site they can.
  • Post your book cover on Pinterest making sure the “about this photo” section has the online buying address of Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and your publisher. Several statistics from last year indicate that 48 % of last minute shoppers say Pinterest sent them to stores for their final gift purchases.
  • Consider helping your local bookstore by doing a FREE Author-Reads Hour to “help alleviate the stress of last minute shopping by offering people a moment to sit down, rest, and listen to a good story.” So many of bookstores have a coffee corner which would be a perfect setting. They will love the idea of encouraging people to stay in their store rather than leaving and shopping elsewhere.
  • Don’t forget your neighborhood Coffee and Conversation spots. I know of several within a 10-mile radius of my home who ask their author clientele for Excerpt Reading Not only is this an excellent place to personally sell—and autograph—your book(s), it is also a great opportunity to build your Tribal Community of reading friends. Don’t forget to set out a notebook where they can sign-up—with name and email address—for Breaking News about your new writing projects.

a bell for christmas landria onkkaIF you happen to be an author of a Holiday Season/Christmas book—for any age group or genre—this is an especially wonderful time of year for you. Novels such as A Bell for Christmas in Landria Onkka’s Miracle Series make excellent gifts for Readers who enjoy a good mystery that adds a Christmas Miracle. And, of course, an appreciation for poetry (a bestselling genre at Christmas) definitely increases right now. I’m considering this collection of inspirational poems—Celebrating Christmas by Inez M. Peetz—for my Aunt of 87 years who continues to be a voracious reader of all styles of poetry and loves reading to the children at her church. Each verse is beautifully illustrated and highlights the Christmas story as foretold by God’s prophets and angels.celebrating christmas inez peet

WHY would I consider these purchases today? Because Amazon will deliver them tomorrow!

May your Christmas/Holiday weekend be filled with great happiness, my writing friends. Keep your creative candle burning brightly and absorb the memory moments. They will give you inspiration for stories you’ve not yet written! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 12/16/2016

THE WRITER-AUTHOR-MARKETING SPECIALIST – Week III

How do we go about finding the PR Marketing Specialist who fits? I’ve done a lot of listening to successful authors, writing conference speakers, and the publishing consultants who’ve supported me. Here are criteria I’ve developed.

  • GET REFERRALS from authors you know. Every well-known author I’ve approached at conferences is happy to give me the name and contact information of their marketing assistant. However, if talking with other authors makes you nervous, you can always contact them through their websites.
  • Talk with Literary Agents. These folks have a list of book campaign specialists that they rely on and most of the time they will share a name or two with you.
  • Research! A quick Google search using keywords such as book marketing strategies will lead you to multiple resources. I know that you’re already doing hours of research on the writing project you’re working on—so—pick a day of the month to look up and read one or two of these resources. Then, create your own computer file of the ideas you find most interesting. Yes, these ideas are things you could do on your own, but in reality do you have the time? This file will be a great help when you listen to the ideas of the prospective marketing partners you’ll be talking with.
  • For you and your book(s) it’s all about Personal Connection. As you interview potential assistants, make note of their responses in the following categories:
    • working with authors (ask for references from authors they’ve assisted)
    • the specific genre of your book (what is their familiarity with your genre)
    • the types of market analysis they will build for you
    • their pattern of contact with authors (how often will they update you on what they’re doing and/or what they need you to do)
    • the specific social media elements they use and their success rate within each of those online sites (for other authors)
    • their skill and ability to design promotion pieces—both written and visual (ask for samples)
    • what marketing schedules or plans have been most successful for them (get samples)
  • LISTEN to your own publishing consultants. Whether your book is published through a traditional house or you’ve self-published you’ll work with people whose focus is to present you and your book in “bright lights.” They become successful only when their authors do well so it is in their best interest to match you with an excellent Marketing Specialist.

book marketing coach brent sampson

Remember the guy who asked me about what my campaign strategy was? Well, he also made another statement that I’ve greatly appreciated. “The marketing piece of being an author can be compared to building a football Super Bowl team. They don’t win that title without a whole team of coaches teaching them how to be the best.” So it is that I’m building a library of resource books (such as the Marketing Coach one shown here) and a computer file of ideas—and questions—that I’ll be asking the Marketing Specialist I hire. I hope you will do the same. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 12/9/2016

THE WRITER-AUTHOR-MARKETING SPECIALIST – Week II

“So, what is your campaign strategy?” This question struck me like a gust of cold wind as I spoke with an accomplished author I’d only met moments before. I’d been so excited about the release of my first book—in the same genre as his—that I had handed him a copy and was explaining about the design selection for the cover. So, when he responded to my breathless statements with that question I was left speechless. Immediately, he recognized my deer-in-the-headlights expression and politely suggested we continue our conversation after we’d ordered lunch.

social media

Two other authors joined us that day. One was also a well-known author and workshop speaker at two of the writing conferences I’d attended. The other person had literally just started building a timeline/outline for her project. Below is my synopsis of the highlights of that discussion with specific focus on how the two experienced authors grew their marketing campaigns.

  1. Never waste a holiday opportunity. The marketing specialists who worked with both successful authors gave them a plan for each holiday season of the year that included “email shout-outs,” blog interviews and/or guest blog pieces, and more.
  2. Always encourage Readers AND other writers. This is a “sowing and reaping” quality to marketing that all PR professionals recognize. Without exception, encouraging words within any advertising piece will reap connection rewards which turn into book purchases.
  3. Widen your horizons. Most of the authors I know are introverts and really enjoy working alone in the quiet of their creative workspace. If we stay there, so will our books. The social media world will never know we/our books exist. Here is where the value of a professional PR/marketing person will make our author-dreams come true. They can introduce us and all our books to the world through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and blog-sites around the globe. They do the research—we reap the benefits.
  4. Think Visual. Just a few years ago the concept of “jingle advertising” was a major focus. By that I mean, ad placements that highlight a memorable phrase that sticks in the readers’ memory and nudges them to purchase what you’re selling. Although this is still utilized, “visual aids” is the piece that catches people’s attention these days. Matching your book/genre with the perfect illustration can make a huge difference in sales.

I will mention here, that one of the successful authors did most of this campaigning on his own—a little at a time—with occasional advice from his self-publishing company’s marketing specialist. He was happy with his slow, but steady, success. The second author also employed a marketing specialist from his self-publishing company; however, he kept connected with monthly emails and went full-speed ahead with the majority of ideas presented. He has seen great results!

Will there always be more to learn about marketing our books? Absolutely! As writers—who just want to write our books—must we become marketing specialists, too? Yes and no. There will come a moment when each of us will decide it’s the right time to partner with a professional PR person. The author who asked me that horrible question about “my campaign strategy” stated emphatically that he will never publish another book without the administrative help of his marketing specialist. He encouraged me to seek and find the person who can orchestrate my book marketing campaign(s). I hope you will, too. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 12/2/2016

THE WRITER-AUTHOR-MARKETING SPECIALIST

We have all survived November’s politics with much THANKSGIVING around the holiday table! Now it’s time to focus on the book(s) we’ve written with a fresh perspective toward the 2016 winter holiday marketing season. Are you ready? OR…are your knees knocking? I must confess I a bit stuck somewhere in-between. However, every year I learn little more—become familiar with new marketing techniques—and develop connections with folks who can help me. SO, let me put your mind at ease. No matter where you fit on the sliding scale of preparedness, we can all do something to promote our published books—AND—be inspired to continue writing current projects. My blogs this month will share a sundry of ideas to help you.

character writing fireproof proverbs

You’ll be reading this blog in the 1st week of December, therefore my first encouragement to you is: DON’T PANIC!

If you’ve peeked into the marketing blogs, magazines and how-to books you’ve probably read that authors must start marketing for the Christmas Holiday Season IN OCTOBER! I don’t know about you, but I’m writing my next book (and coaching two other authors in the development of their books), so I totally missed the month of October—and November. Now, it’s December 2nd and I’m recalling a wonderful piece of advice from a very well-known author I met at a Writers Conference. He said: “Continuous one-line conversations will sell your books any time of the year, but most especially during the winter holidays.”

What did he mean by “one-line conversations?” You probably already know—Facebook and Twitter first of all, then creating one-line quotes from your book that can be placed on your blog, Instagram and Pinterest, and everywhere else online that you can reach. For example, here is a quote from my self-published book: FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words.

Most authors I know are also using one of the EMAIL marketing sites to send out weekly hello’s to a collected list of Readers and writers. The emails I find most appealing are the “short and sweet” ones that encourage my own writing efforts. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction this is an excellent marketing tool. However, I’ve discovered that I need help with offering potential buyers something that is of value to them and nudges them in the direction of my book.

If you self-published the team that supported you to get your book in print and online can also help you with marketing through multi-level promotions. Their experts can develop a series of emails that build excitement for your books and/or video clips that will play on YouTube plus many other suggestions that are specific to your needs.

So…this week I hope you will take a deep breath, relax, and begin thinking about the exciting month you will have promoting YOUR book(s). Those of us who are introvert writers CAN do this because of all the things available to us on our computers IN THE COMFORT ZONE of our writing rooms. The professional “assistants,” who have the expertise to help us, also love to communicate via emails. And once you’ve entered into this marketing realm—well—you just might find it a lot of FUN! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 11/25/2016

THANKSGIVING FEEDS
THE WRITER’S IMAGINATION, TOO!

As the month of November reaches into December, most of the world will be celebrating a seasonal time of Thanksgiving. Even though many years have passed, I can still smell the aromas coming from our kitchen as my Mother created the holiday meal. November 1st was her scheduled day to call the poultry shop and order the turkey. By the 15th, all the ingredients were stocked (and stacked) in our kitchen. Then two days before “Turkey-Day” she would wash and drain the turkey, set aside the “innards,” and bring out the electric counter-top oven, slow-cooking that bird for close to 48 hours. Are you hungry yet?

thanksgiving

As one of those “pinch of this and dash of that” cooks, my Mother had a collection of handwritten recipes from family and friends. However, wanting to experience different tastes she began collecting cookbooks. Today our local and online booksellers offer us exciting options on their cookbook shelves, so that we can appreciate the creativeness of chefs and the designers of unique recipes.

By now, you’re asking WHY is this blogger talking about FOOD, and Thanksgiving turkey on this Writer’s Advice site? Answer: Every time I see a table “set” for family celebration, I barely notice the beautiful place settings, the napkins, the water and wine glasses, the candles and flowers or any of the other special touches. I see the characters of my current novel seated at the table. Like my Mother, who added “a pinch of salt and a dash of garlic” to almost everything, my writer’s imagination wants to do the same with (and for) my characters. Maybe the following points will feed your imagination, too, and help you add more meat (detail) to all of your characters—even the supporting “actors”—as you view them around the table. (Draw a rectangle on a blank piece of paper)

  • Place your Protagonist and Antagonist at opposite ends of the table by writing their names at each end of the rectangle.
  • Place the name of one main supporting character of each of those two characters next to them at the edge of the rectangle.
  • Then begin adding the other characters from your story along both sides of the rectangle/table.

At this point, I hope you’re having a little difficulty in deciding which of the supporting characters “fit” as true associates of the main characters. Not every antagonist or protagonist ally will be on their side—which is where writers begin to have a clearer understanding of the complexities of the specific characters. I like this exercise of Character Development because it allows me a different perspective of each person as they look into the eyes of the person seated across the table. It also helps me famerica's favorite recipes uma aggarwaleel the intrusion, comfort or discomfort levels felt when one characters is seated between two others. I do hope you’ll try this technique as I believe it will give you a great amount of material to help you create believable people who will share the story you’re writing.

AND, if you’re still hungry, try one of the meals from the delightful collection of America’s
Favorite Recipes
by Uma Aggarwal. Her focus upon our U.S.A as being a “melting pot” nation that incorporates cuisine from all the different cultures among us, will tickle your taste-buds. Better yet! Start collecting recipes from all the folks at your Thanksgiving table and publish a book of your own! ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 11/11/2016

FEEDING THE HUMAN SPIRIT and IMAGINATION

I had barely completed last week’s blog—which focused on True-Story-Real-Life nonfiction—when I recalled a marvelous novel that has continued to feed my spirit and imagination for years. It comes from the genre of fictionalized history (or True Stories that read like fiction). The title is The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican, first published in 1967 by J. P. Gallagher. Even though it is a true story  this book crosses multiple genres from Biography to Social Issues and The Vatican/Christianity. It also has all the hallmarks of a best-selling fictional thriller: espionage, conspiracy, a struggle against evil powers, and undercover work by dark of night. The author presented the story of it all and because of his passion for the real characters and his research into the facts, this novel has inspired the human spirit and imagination around the globe. When a nonfiction (or fiction) book leaves the Reader with “What if I were in that situation” the author has crafted a great piece of work!

Now back to my original idea for today’s blog. I have another high tails of high adventure karl kronfussfavorite category that nurtures my human spirit and that is stories about our animal companions. Yes, these pull on my heart-strings. But that is an excellent marketing tool that authors should not
underestimate. My most recent discovery in this genre is titled: High Trails of High Adventure by Karl Kronfuss. When I saw a promotion that this book is “Snappy satire that meets swashbuckling bravado…and leave you laughing with a new appreciation of the wondrous creature known as The Pug,” I had to take a look. The cover photo opens the “plot” in ways that I could never have imagined—with several moments that lift the human spirit.

Why am I talking about Pet Stories? Publishers Weekly gave us an interesting statistic in January 2015 presenting the fact that Animal Stories rose in sales by 19% in the 2013-14 publishing year. Example: the New York Times Bestseller, A Street Cat Named Bob. This stray cat story was on England’s bestseller lists for 52 consecutive weeks and sold well in 26 countries around the world. You see, there is something almost miraculous about the power of love between humans and animals. The connection lifts our human spirits and peaks our imagination as we personify the thoughts and actions of the animal companions in our lives. Mac The Pug is seen as a “diplomat, a conqueror of all he sees with towering intelligence, athletic prowess and undaunted courage.” Bob, the stray street cat, was just looking for a warm place to sleep when he met the human named James. Both had been living hand-to-mouth for a long time. Then the healing began—in both their lives.

I’m hoping you’ll catch the vision of these very different genres and their authors. The character traits they built into their humans and animals are an excellent way to pull our writing-selves out of the ruts or blockades we face when creating our books. I’m certain you can recall several such novelized histories and/or pet stories that have impacted your life. Pull them out and read them again. Use them as enjoyable lesson plans for excellent story development. And remember—the things you are passionate about have meaning in the lives of a whole lot of other people who don’t have the gift of writing that you do. They can’t express what they see and feel, and hope and dream. You can! And if you need more plot and character development specifics take another look at previous Friday Conversations blogs. They’ve been written to inspire your Writer’s spirit and imagination. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.