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 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 peddle 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,, 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.