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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Don’t Have A Marketing Identity Crisis



If you’ve watched Seinfeld as often as I have (by the way, can you believe this May marks the 15th anniversary of its last episode?), you’ll recall a show in which Jerry, always the bachelor – for a reason – can’t remember the name of the woman he’s dating.  He’s given a hint that it rhymes with a female body part.  When his guesses lead her to dump him, he finally – and correctly – shouts out “Dolores!”

It looks like I had my own Seinfeld moment when I emailed several hundred of my LinkedIn contacts – and got their names wrong! That’s a faux pas no one wants to commit.

Even though mass e-mailings attempt to personalize letters by using the recipient’s first name, we all know it’s not personal.  “Dear fill-in-the blank” is what is should really say.  No one has time to truly personalize all the emails they send out.  In fact, if you did, I would suggest that you’re not using your time wisely.

It’s not that personalization is wrong.  It actually is encouraged – in certain cases.  But the investment of time needed to personalize anything more than a handful of emails outweigh the benefits in most cases.  Would you rather personalize 30 emails over 90+ minutes – or blast out 900 emails in five minutes?

But the mass email must play the name-game and have content that sounds like it’s thoughtfully directed to its recipients.  So when my eblast to about 400 connections – which is less than 5% of my following – went haywire, I had to deal with the fallout.  I was so annoyed that somehow the names didn’t match up with the emails that I deleted the list.

The vast majority did not respond, as with any emailing.  Of those that responded, almost half commented on the wrong name, but didn’t seem angry.  They just mentioned it matter-of-factly and then continued sharing with me.  About five people seemed angry, telling me to remove them from any further contact.  Two made it sound like we were lovers and I had cheated on them.

In a world that moves further into mass communications and sharing intimately with strangers, our names still mean something to us. We fool ourselves into thinking that those who know our name somehow know and care about us.  It’s a lie we want to believe so badly.

I felt bad that I got people’s names wrong and I understand that people should feel annoyed at the miscue.  But let’s all agree that most communications are exchanged in a bit of a void, that we really don’t know who is on the receiving end of our messages. 

We all want to know a few more people a little better, but it just can’t happen by the thousands. 


Interview With Author Kyra Dune
1.      What type of books do you write? I write fantasy novels of all kinds for both adults and YA.

2.      What is your newest book about? My latest release is The Silver Catacombs, which is book #2 in the Elfblood Trilogy. It's about a fourteen year old boy searching for a lost magic in order to prevent a world war.

3.      What inspired you to write it? The first book in the trilogy was inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe story, though my writing is nothing like Poe's. It started out as a short story, but somehow ended up spawning two trilogies, the Elfblood Trilogy and the Firebrand Trilogy.

4.      What is the writing process like for you? I'm a pantser, so no outline for me. I just write whatever comes into my head. I admit this makes for a messy first draft but it's what works for me. I do three complete versions of each book, so I actually write each book three times, then I pass it back and forth between myself and my beta reader a few times before sending it to my editor.

5.      What did you do before you became an author? I used to work for my parents. We travelled all over the lower part of the United States selling wares at fairs, festivals, rodeos, etc.

6.      How does it feel to be a published author? Amazing. It's a dream come true.

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? The best advice I can offer is to never give up. It's better to try and fail then to give up and have to spend the rest of your life wondering what if.

8.      Where do you see book publishing heading? I'm sad to say it, but I think eventually paper books will go the way of VHS and cassette tapes. I also see more and more people going the self publishing route. It's lost a lot of the stigma it once had and it's so much better for the author. Who wouldn't want more control over their books plus more of the profit?

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013 

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