Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Does Your Book Marketing Need A Bra?
I recently befriended a woman who is intelligent, interesting, and very nice. My wife and our kids get along with her husband and their kids. But she lacks one thing – a bra.
It is difficult for any guy to say women should wear bras, but in this case, it is true. She chooses the improper settings to go braless and calls the wrong attention to herself.
There she is at a temple function – sans a bra. Having our family over to her backyard – minus a key garment. Oh, and how about dinner at a restaurant – again, absent chest underwear.
If you want to go to a club and look sexy, fine, leave the bra home. Panties too, if you like. But in family-friendly settings in the light of day, please cover up. Topless beach, good; at a school function, not so good.
It occurs to me that one’s book marketing, like this woman, needs a bra. Your method of promoting your book may need some firm support or a new look. Bras, after all, can cover up a beautiful asset but it can also present it in a better light. You might just need a marketing bra – something to better position you.
Here is how to tell if your marketing needs a bra:
1. Your book’s promotions need a lift due to sagging sales.
2. Your book’s Web site is getting the wrong kind of attention.
3. Your press release is no longer perky and firm.
4. Your marketing materials don’t fit perfectly around your book’s message.
5. Your book would gain greater interest if only people could pay attention to the bigger picture of your offer, rather than concentrate disproportionately on one area.
Bras today can transform a woman’s look, her body shape, confidence, and sense of self. It is never too late to do a marketing makeover and give your book marketing a new bra.
Is book publishing like printing lottery tickets? Read this recent post: http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/publishing-your-lottery-ticket.html
Interview With C. Hope Clark, Author, & Editor of FundsforWriters
1. You are the editor for FundsforWriters. What is that? FundsforWriters consists of a website, various social networking venues, and four newsletters. The original FundsforWriters provides advice and calls for submissions for contests, grants, freelance markets, jobs and publishers. All of these opportunities pay. I don’t post calls that do not pay in cash, because writers depend on me to point them to ways to earn a living. The second newsletter is FFW Small Markets, again with paid calls but paying less than FundsforWriters. WritingKid offers markets for children who are trying to find ways to publish their work. TOTAL FundsforWriters is the paid subscription - $15 per year for 26 biweekly issues of 75+ contests, grants, markets, jobs and publishers, just like the original newsletter. Just much bigger. The website receives around 750,000 or more hits per month. The venues are vetted. I visit each one and discard many to cull what’s worth keeping. I’m reachable to answer questions. The voice of the newsletters and website as well as the blog (www.chopeclark.com/blog and www.chopeclark.blogspot.com ) tend to draw people. We’ve been around for 13 years. That still stuns me.
2. Writer’s Digest said you had one of the best Web sites for writers. Why do you think they love it? First, the material is fresh and checked before being posted. The readers love the motivational voice of the site and the editorials. Writer's Digest considers FundsforWriters each year because readers are recommending it highly. The site and newsletters also cover grants, which is unique as well. The mission is to help writers earn a living, therefore, I do not post markets or opportunities that do not pay. Writers need to be compensated for their efforts. Frankly, it still amazes me that so many people love FundsforWriters. I just post what I find, or what markets ask me to post, or what editors ask me to mention (assuming I agree with what they offer), but I believe in being ethical and moral, so no scams, no cheap deals, no flim-flam sites in my newsletters. Honesty might be another good reason FFW has lasted for 13 years.
3. You are also the author of a just-published book. What is it about? Lowcountry Bribe, the first in the Carolina Slade Mystery Series, is set in rural South Carolina and introduces readers to a new protagonist, Carolina Slade, who is a bureaucrat turned sleuth. The reviews emphasize the characterization and the beautiful setting descriptions, which tickles me greatly. Take a look at its blurb: “Threats, a missing boss, a very dead co-worker, a high-level investigation and a sinister hog farmer.” Lowcountry Ag Department manager Carolina Slade is a bean-counting civil servant in hot water. Carolina Slade is a by-the-book county manager for the Department of Agriculture a civil servant who coordinates federal loans for farmers in the coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina. When one of her clients, a hog farmer named Jessie Rawlings, offers her a bribe, Slade reports Jessie to her superiors. She’s besieged by Resident Agent-In-Charge Wayne Largo from the Feds IG Office in Atlanta. He and his partner arrive to investigate Slade’s accusations, and, if possible, catch Jessie in the act of handing over money. However, the IG isn't telling Slade everything. The agents are also investigating the disappearance of Slade's boss the year before in connection to possible land fraud. And when the sting on Jessie goes bad, the case is put on hold and Wayne is called back to Atlanta, leaving Slade to fear not only for her life and job, but for her children’s safety.
4. What inspired you to write it? I was offered a bribe once upon a time when I was also a Federal employee. While my story wasn't nearly as intriguing as this one, the threat and fear were genuine. After writing a semi-memoir about the event, I was advised by an agent and another author that the story wasn't compelling enough. So I tossed it, retained the concept of the bribe, and created a new story, full of twists and turns. It's taken me 14 years to write it since I wanted my writing to shine. During those years I not only stayed busy with FundsforWriters, but I also strove to improve the quality of my writing, to include throwing the novel away twice and editing it at least a dozen times via critiquers and editors. I'm happy with the results.
5. What do you love most about writing? I adore reading back what I’ve struggled with and realizing it makes sense or spins a neat scene. Then when someone else reads it and gets just as excited as I do, I feel like I’ve tapped my soul and shared it with the world, leaving a piece of me for remembrance. Writing is one of the few careers you can teach yourself to do and be fully responsible for the outcome. I love stretching my parameters, and writing lets me do that.
6. What advice do you have for new writers? Don't try to publish so fast. You'll regret it, because your first novel/book/manuscript/project is never good. Never. Most writers say they can't throw their work away or can't fathom not trying to publish it, but they shouldn't. Those hours are fully invested even if the work isn't published. Remember that once published, it's there forever, and ten years from now when you're a much better writer, you'll cringe at the fact that premature piece was released too soon.
7. Where do you see publishing heading? Where it's always headed - into the hands of readers. Just because electronic books have come into their own means nothing to the future of publishing. Frankly, we shouldn't worry about the medium we read or write in. Instead, we should focus on telling stories and presenting them in whatever venue we can so that the public can enjoy them. People worry too much about how to publish instead of how to write, and it's evident in many, many books that do not sell. Publishing is fine. It's just going through growing pains.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.