Archive for March, 2016
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Monday, March 14th, 2016
No Business Monday Today…I’m barely managing to be an adult right now I just about hit my limit at 11:00PM Saturday night. First we had three long days of guys in the house with jack hammers, sanders and tile saws, spreading dirt and chaos everywhere. Saturday somewhere between 4:30 and 5:00 we hurried the tile guys out the door, scrounged up clean clothes and drove an hour and a half to a birthday dinner for our son’s girlfriend. She’s totally worth the effort and we had fun. Got home around 11:00pm and Wizard crashed. He was out in four-point-two seconds. I was doing a few random things like setting up coffee, changing clocks (so it was actually midnight!) and realized I still had my necklace on. I took it off, walked into my bedroom to put it away and smashed my toe — on a toilet sitting in the middle of my freaking bedroom. There I am hopping around, swearing under my breath, wishing Toilet Karma on the guys who left a toilet, A TOILET! in my bedroom.
That is just so WRONG!
And Wizard never woke up. He slept right through my Toe vs. Toilet Hopping Mad Showdown.
Okay, now that my foot is not throbbing (my toe is barely sore today), I will concede that the toilet had been carefully moved and placed mostly out of the way, and I had seen it there earlier. I just forgot.
Then this morning, I told Wizard the story and he laughed. Hysterically. There may have even been tears. And the every time I said, “It’s not funny!” He laughed harder.
So you see, there is no way I could tell THAT story and have any credibility to do a Business Monday post
Otherwise, I am in love with our new tile. The kitchen is grouted now and so pretty. Today the guys (who are awesome and I’ve decided to forgive for the Toilet Incident) will clean the tile one more time, then put the oven and fridge back in. Hopefully all the tile work will be done by the end of Tuesday. Wednesday morning we pick up Bailey Dog, then the following Monday we start part two of the house reno — The Carpet Project.
I’ve discovered it’s hard to write in a construction zone (yeah, who here is surprised???). But I can edit and revise! So I’m working on getting book one of Savaged Vows ready to go to my editor. I’m actually enjoying tuning out the chaos to focus on that.
Now it’s your turn–how was your weekend?
Friday, March 11th, 2016
So my house looks like this:
By last night, they had almost all the old tile (except one bathroom) demolished out and the bare cement cleaned, and today they start laying new tile. So far, it’s going well and we’re happy, but so tired. All this will be worth it! And let me tell you, the guys yesterday worked HARD. I was happy to escape into my little corner of a bedroom and write. It might be mentally stressful, but it’s nowhere near as physically demanding.
This weekend, they guys will be here Saturday working, then Saturday night we have a dinner we don’t want to miss. What are you doing this weekend?
Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
Ah yes, the joys of home improvement projects. I look around my house .and see nothing happening. Sigh. Over the weekend, Wizard and I cleaned out my bookshelves in the office, the upstairs and downstairs closets. We have boxes stacked in the garage (after a 100 trips carrying stuff down the stairs…okay maybe 20 but it felt like a 100!) and now we wait and wait for this elusive tile to come into the warehouse here in So Cal. To be fair, we knew ahead of time this delay could happen, but still…I hate waiting and Wizard hates it even more. We should get an update today.
In the meantime I’m figuring out some things in my Savaged Vows three book series. I’ll be turning the first book into my editor April first–that book is fully drafted, just needs a quick rewrite and then a clean edit. And I have the second about half way drafted. As usually, I have all kinds of plot threads I’m trying to weave together. But that’s what makes it so fun and challenging. Of course we all know I stress like a mad woman, but that’s just my personal brand of crazy.
In the meantime, hearing about my frustration with the flooring, some of our previous Wednesday Worthy candidates stepped up and offered to do the job. I’m not sure they are actually qualified, but I figured we’d take a look and see. So if you had to pick between these guys, who would you choose?
#1 looks very construction like, but not sure he needs a hard hat to do tile and carpet. And what’s the traffic cone and rock for?
#2 is obviously good at moving heavy stuff. That’s a bonus, although we don’t have any tires inside the house. Nor do I want any tires inside the house!
#3 looks intelligent enough to solve problems, which is great for the floors and even better if he helps me plot and write!
So who is your pick?
Monday, March 7th, 2016
It’s Business Monday and today I have a very special guest: New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose is the author of sixteen novels, the founder of the first marketing firm for authors – Authorbuzz.com, and co-founder with Liz Berry of 1001 Dark Nights . Here, she shared her tips on marketing and publicity in the ever-changing publishing world.
No one can buy a book they’ve never heard of.
So, how do readers hear about books? Everyone likes to say it’s word of mouth, but it’s not possible to tell a friend about a book until you’ve heard of it yourself.
That’s where publicity and marketing come in. What’s the difference between the two? Marketing is paid placement on blogs, radio, TV, newspapers, etc. These show up as ads, advertorials, promotions, blog tours, and more. With marketing, if you pay for it, it shows up. You hire a marketing company and they buy the space. The attention is guaranteed to be there.
Publicity is the opposite. You pay a publicist to pitch your book to newspapers, magazines, blogs, TV, radio interviews, and reviews. You are paying for the publicist’s effort to get you some attention. A publicist’s rate of success is determined by the quality and quantity of her connections.
7 Marketing & Publicity Points
1. 85% of all books get less than $2,000 in marketing from the publisher. And more than 85% of all books sell less than 1,000 copies.
2. 95% of all branded bestsellers get more than $25,000 in marketing and PR, and often it’s upwards of $50,000. There are never more than two or three books a year that break out on a fluke with no marketing and PR.
When people say, “If advertising and PR worked every book would be a bestseller,” they are approaching it from the wrong direction. The real question is, “How many books have succeeded without any PR or marketing?” and the answer is: very few.
Advertising and PR can’t make every book a bestseller because not every book is good enough or appealing enough. It is much easier to write an exciting ad than to write a whole book. Not even the most brilliant PR and marketing can sell a book people don’t want to read.
3. Marketing and PR are both valuable, so I advise that if you have a big enough budget you should hire a publicist. Then for every dollar you spend with a publicist, spend two dollars with a marketing company. That way, even if the publicist can’t get reviews and publicity, you’ll still get exposure.
4. Exposure does work. If you take 100 books and look at the ones that had PR and marketing dollars spent on them and the ones that had none, you will absolutely see that the books that had PR/marketing outsold the others more than ten to one. The problem comes when you look at one book at a time.
For instance, I’ve done AuthorBuzz and blog ad campaigns where I have proof that over 10,000 people clicked through and looked deeper at the book, but ultimately the sales were less than stellar. What happened? We got attention for the book, but when potential readers looked more closely, they didn’t buy. I’ve also done campaigns where we did minimal marketing efforts and the book went back to press, which the publisher never expected, or the book ranked higher on a bestseller list than they expected or it simply sold through at a better rate than other books in the season/genre. What happened? It was a terrific book. It resonated with readers. PR and marketing can’t sell books. It’s worth repeating. PR and marketing can’t sell books.
PR and marketing can expose books to potential readers. The book—the words and the premise, the first few pages, the flap copy, the book cover—must entice, enchant, seduce. The book sells the book.
In advertising there is a saying: nothing kills a bad product better than great advertising. It’s true for books too.
5. What to spend? The advice I give everyone, and follow myself, is to keep your day job or a freelance job and spend as much as you can on selling your book. I’ve worked with authors who spend $985 and others who, between my services and other efforts, spend $250,000. One way to decide: if you are going to look back and regret spending the money, don’t do it. But if you are going to look back and say, “If only I had tried maybe the book would have succeeded,” then do it. Nora Roberts said you should spend 10% of your advance. For years, James Patterson spent all of his on advertising and kept his job.
6. If you are going to hire a publicist or marketing firm, don’t believe anyone who promises you specific sales numbers. No one knows how many copies of your book they can move and if they start out by lying, you’re going to get screwed. Make sure you look at their testimonials and recognize some of the authors/publishers.
Lastly, if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not true. People will try to get you to pay money to attend teleseminars on how to become an Amazon No. 1 bestseller for ten minutes. All that achievement actually requires is that you manipulate the system and get 100 friends to buy the book within an hour. Don’t pay anyone anything for advice like that.
New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.
Rose is the Co-President and a founding member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz. She also runs the blog, Museum of Mysteries.
With Liz Berry she co-founded and co-operates 1,001 Dark Nights and Evil Eye Concepts, Inc.
In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house, as well as published in more than 15 countries including France (where she is published as Melisse J. Rose).
Rose has been profiled in L’Officiel, Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times,Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek, and New York Magazine. She has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USA Today, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.
Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Liz Berry has two passions. She is the executive director of International Thriller Writers (ITW), a trade group of over 3,000 thriller writers from around the world. Previously, she was the long-time director of Thrillerfest, the annual gathering of ITW, which happens in New York City every July.
With M.J. Rose, Liz co-founded and co-operates 1,001 Dark Nights and Evil Eye Concepts, Inc — an Internet marketing company that works to brand authors and expand readership within the romance genre.
Liz has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia and also studied at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. Both areas of study have allowed her to gain twenty-plus years of experience in the ever-changing marketing field.
She proudly serves on the Education Committee for the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board, and, with her husband, novelist Steve Berry, operates History Matters, a non-profit foundation dedicated to historic preservation. For more information, visitThrillerWriters.org, 1001DarkNights.com, and History-Matters.org.
Friday, March 4th, 2016
Yep, my book has won the battle. I made the decision (subject to change at the editing stage as my editor is made of awesome sauce) to give into the book and let it be a three book series. This was so not the plan…
Wizard is LAUGHING HIS ASS OFF. And when he catches his breath enough to talk, all he can get out is, “I told you so,” before he starts laughing again. You see I came to him a few
days, weeks, months ago and said, “I think this needs to be a three book series. But I want it to be one book, because there will be a whole Savaged Illusions Rock Band series, so it’ll be confusing if one character has three books.”
Wizard asked, “So this story needs to be three books to make it good?”
“Well it’s big but if I write it tightly enough I can get it in one book. Maybe.”
Wizard responded, “Do what’s right for the book.”
“But…” and finally I stopped to talking to him because frankly, his logical ass was getting on my nerves. Just saying…
But I digress. So yesterday, a full day after I made the decision, which is a long time for me because I generally tell Wizard everything, I confessed the book had to be a three book series. Then I had to listen to him laughing and flinging out “I told you so’s.” But then he went to the store and bought me chocolate and jelly beans…so maybe I’ll keep him.
Okay so why am I doing this? Because in the end, no matter that this will triple my production and marketing costs, and push back my release dates, what matters the most to me in the end is that I give readers the best story I can. The story needs the time and extra pages to develop to its fullest potential. But I will wait until all the books are done then release them close together so readers aren’t left hanging.
And that my friends is how the book won
Work on our floors will start next week, but we won’t know for sure what date until the tile gets here from Texas. If it arrives today or tomorrow, then demo will start Monday. Either way, this weekend, I’ll be writing and packing/moving things out of the way. What are you doing?
Just a quick programming reminder that on Monday New York Times bestseller, M.J. Rose, the founder of Authorbuzz.com, and co-founder with Liz Berry of 1001 Dark Nights will be sharing sharing 7 Marketing and Publicity Points. Be sure to check it out!
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
Okay who invited March in??? Because I’m telling you, March brought his two crazy cousins to my house: House Renovations and Late Deadline. Now one of these nutjob cousins I could handle. But both in the same month?
On the renovation: We had the materials ordered and the schedule set to begin March 7th and all done in that week. THEN Wizard and I changed our minds and decided we wanted to redo the downstairs tile in addition to everything else in our two-story house. So our guy had to come back out, remeasure and order a lot more tile. Of course, the second batch of tile is delayed in Texas. Plus all the additional demo of old tile and relaying new, and doing a fireplace surround to match, has added significant time to our construction zone. This is going to be a long job. About a week and a half if all goes well. We have to wait to see if the tile comes in this week (fingers crossed!) to get started.
And I pushed back my deadline on Savaged Vows to April 1st. I’m not even close to done. In fact, I’m trying to ram three books into one book, and it’s…well…Wizard is starting to pour wine again at night. He doesn’t even ask, he just suddenly appears at my desk and sets down a glass of wine, then slowly backs away. Part of me knows this will have to be a three book series, but I’m fighting to the last breath to make it one book. We will see!
Oh and we’ll have Bailey for a week around the 14th. So now we’re going to try to get the tile done before Bailey gets here. The tile will be the most disruptive so I don’t want Bailey to deal with that. We can work around the carpet with Bailey, or schedule it after he leaves. But obviously, Bailey Dog comes before house renovations
So March…good times here in the Lyon’s Lair. I’ll take pictures.
Now for Wednesday Worthy. I didn’t get any new pics so you so let’s choose between:
Or Back View:
Which do you think is more worthy?
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