Brian Schwartz, NAIWE’s Self-Publishing Expert

Webinar: Building a Content Promotion Strategy to Promote Your Message and Sell More Books!

We wanted to get to know Brian Schwartz (NAIWE’s Self-Publishing Expert) better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some things he shared.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?

I’ve learned that consistency is key and to stay the course and continuously build relationships. The self-proclaimed gurus make their living on selling this as something that’s easy to do (if you just buy their courses). You might get lucky and your timing plays a large part. There isn’t a single book out there that can teach you everything you need to know, nor enough time to learn it all. It takes a team and you have to take some risks. It’s never too soon to start building your personal brand, and you need to keep turning over rocks.

What I’ve discovered is that things aren’t often what they seem. It’s good to better understand what you are up against.

Can these benefits be broadened to include marketing?

Absolutely. I’ll provide attendees with actionable steps as part of a long-term plan to help them reach more readers, and I’ll explain the benefits of approaching marketing like a marathon, not a sprint. Successful marketers work from a training plan that allows them to consistently and incrementally increase their mileage through increased visibility followed by sales.

Tangible results come from planting many seeds and thinking like a farmer, rather than a hunter. I find that authors who take the long view can do very well if they stick with it and give the seeds time to grow.

I’ll cover specific tools authors can use to manage the content aspect of their marketing plan and how to create a marketing dashboard to stay on track.

What has been your most rewarding marketing avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

I appreciate the opportunity to share what I know with people who have a shared interest. I know of an author who is also an artist who sold her artwork (to the tune of over $30,000) to someone who discovered her through her books. This event also led her to get a deal to have her artwork featured in a Broadway play. I know another author who is being paid to blog for a company. Many authors’ books have led them to paid speaking gigs and workshops. For a non-fiction author, a good book can become their most effective marketing tool.

What do you associate with marketing?

Marketing is the act of generating awareness for your work to your target market (those who can benefit). It’s about leveraging and amplifying word of mouth for your mission, book, or business. It fuels a continued effort to refine and improve your work based on the feedback from your fans (readers, students, and colleagues). Another less common perspective of marketing is to view it as creating an opportunity to gain feedback from your users (readers) to guide you toward how to improve your product and tune your pitch.

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You can join in this conversation on April 25, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a one-hour discussion on creating a marketing toolkit.

Getting your book found is a matter of having the right content in the right place at the right time. The good news is that it’s less about driving traffic to your own site and more about being visible where your target audience already exists. It’s wise to choose a few platforms to master before you spread yourself too thin, but which ones produce the highest return-on-investment? Learn to create content that gets the clicks on high-traffic sites including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Medium, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, Flickr, Huffington Post, and more.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

An Interview with Greg Smith, NAIWE’s Agile Writing Expert

We wanted to get to know Greg Smith better, so last month we sat down with him. Here are some things he shared about novel writing.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it?

More than anything, EDITING MATTERS. My first book Agile Writer: Method was compiled from my seminar notes. I passed it out to friends and family and got a lot of good edits from them. But it wasn’t as good as a professional editor. I begged my readers to put reviews on Amazon.com and they were all really positive. But there were two or three reviews that said, “although the content is excellent, the book could use a good editor.” Considering that my goal was to have a bound book to hand out or sell at my seminars, and I was broke at the time, choosing not to hire an editor was the right choice. However, once someone puts your bad spelling and grammar in a review, there’s little you can do to take it back. I am currently working with an editor to revise my book, which is scheduled for next month.

When you consider that getting reviews that are of high quality is part of your marketing, you want to make sure they’re quality reviews. While editing is not directly a part of marketing, having a product that is clean means you’re more likely to get a good review. Certainly, you won’t have to back pedal and fix your book if you start with a clean copy.

What has been your most rewarding marketing avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

So far Facebook has proven to be the best resource. While it takes a while to understand their systems, the benefits are worth every penny. I am currently waging a marketing campaign to acquire a quality email list. The ideal measure of a campaign is customer acquisition cost (CAC). You want to keep the CAC as low as possible. I’ve been able to keep my CAC down to $1-$2 and sometimes even under a dollar.

What do you associate with marketing?

Marketing is the whole enchilada. Many confuse marketing with advertising. But advertising is just a portion of marketing. You have to create a brand and a following (or platform). So, the parts of marketing include brand (color scheme, logos, photos, headshots), presence (website, blog, Meetup.com, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn), platforms (email, Amazon, B&N, iTunes, iBook, Audible), organic advertising (SEO, Google search, Bing search, Yahoo search, Facebook groups/pages, Twitter), paid advertising (Google AdWords, Google AdSense, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, display ads, YouTube ads, Amazon ads), podcasts (both yours and guest appearances), personal appearances (talk shows, seminar presentations, conference panels, workshops, conference sales tables), and networking (collaborating, socials, workshops).

You can join in this conversation on February 25, at 7 pm eastern, when NAIWE will host a one-hour discussion of novel writing and the agile writing method.

The cost for NAIWE members is only $10! Non-members pay just $30; or you can become a member and get the member price for this webinar! To register, send an email with your name and telephone number.

An Interview with Claudia Suzanne, NAIWE’s Ghostwriting Expert

We wanted to get get to know Claudia Suzanne, NAIWE’s Ghostwriting Expert, better, so last month we sat down with her. Here are some things she shared about her craft of ghostwriting.

What is one thing that you learned about your craft the hard way, and what benefits have you received from it? Can these benefits be broadened to include marketing?

The one thing I learned about my craft the hard way is how little my personal accomplishments matter. Coming to terms with that and letting it go elevated my standing from freelancer to professional, changing both my and potential clients’ perspectives and allowing me to command (not just charge) serious fees for my services. How can that be broadened to include marketing? With that revised stance—which, of course, requires a handful of other mindset transitions and self-perception adjustments—I no longer compete with the vast market of editorial freelancers. I’m in a high-end class of my own.

What has been your most rewarding marketing avenue, and how was it rewarding? Self? Monetary? Clients?

My goal was always to attract clients, not have to seek them, so I developed the Ghostwriting Professional Designation Program theories, psychology, skill sets, knowledge base, and mindset transitions to not only achieve that, but also teach it to other aspiring ghostwriters so they can do the same. As a result, my previous career (I am now retired from active ghostwriting) helping authors fulfill their literary dreams was personally and financially rewarding as well as satisfying for my clients.

What do you associate with marketing?

Everything, from casual emails, LinkedIn responses, myriad web presences, personal and online appearances, and all the myriad things one does every day when one is running their own business. A more succinct answer might be in that comment, in fact: everything changed when I stopped freelancing and started running my own business. It may seem like a subtle change, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, and the ROI can be profound.