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Don’t Focus the Book: Build A Strong Brand

There seems to be a misunderstanding amongst today’s massive sea of Indie and self-publishing authors. They are more apt to ride the coat tails of a single title or series rather than focusing on building themselves as a brand.

Whether we like it or not, we as authors will most likely not be remembered for a single title. It is imperative we learn this if we wish to be recognized in the industry.

One of the leading gurus I know on this subject is Rachel Thompson. She has some very good points on why authors need to focus on building their brand and not their book titles. I would recommend her blog to anyone struggling to build their platforms.

I’m Not a Brand; I’m An Author

Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

And Apple is just an iPhone. Starbucks is just coffee. Pixar is just known for Frozen and Frozen II. Wait, no they aren’t.

How many times have you seen a well-known author walk around calling themselves by the title of their books? Probably never. For example, we don’t walk up to JK Rowling and say, “Oh you’re the author of Harry Potter!” If you meet her (which if you do, please get an autograph for me too!), you probably greet her by Ms. Rowling and have her sign her book. Why? Because she builds her brand, not her books. Going further, did you ever wonder why Ms. Rowling went under the name of Robert Galbraith before her secret was leaked?

It’s because she wanted to see if people were loyal to her as an author rather than being loyal to her only for Harry Potter.

Stephen King doesn’t tweet about his books or identify himself by a single book but rather tweets about what he’s passionate about and brands his name. More on this later.

If that doesn’t prove a point, I don’t know what will.

Titles Come and Go

Yet another reason why an author should avoid promoting a single title: They come and go as do series. I learned this when promoting Blessing of Luna. I focused so much on making banners, bookmarks, cards, social profiles, you name it on a single title. It wound up being a huge waste of time and resources. When FyreSyde — and now with the opening of Greenwood Grove Booksellers — came I had to repurchase everything I spent hundreds to obtain. Truthfully, I should’ve held the release until I had at least two more titles and knew for sure what my business plan was.

Titles come and titles go but you as the author will remain constant in your personality and approachability. Focus on relating to people as your brand name; it is what readers will bond to and potential readers will buy for.

You’re More Than Your Book

An author platform doesn’t only focus on you as an author. Too often “writers” think all we can do is write about writing. This is not the case. For me, I took Rachel’s advice and focused on five keywords I’m passionate about that don’t focus solely on writing. This offers people a bigger picture of me and less of that of a salesman at their door wanting them to buy buy buy.

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Look at the themes of your book. What do you find yourself trying to bring attention to? Are you a mental health advocate? Do you have a deep backstory you want to share or are sympathetic to? Are you trying to bring attention to the effects humanity has on nature? Use those passions to bond with each of those niches. These are all potential readers who will attach to you for being a human being.

To make this personal, I’ve decided to share mine: Gardening, Sustainability, Books, True Crime (yes, I like to study serial killers), and Marketing (there are more but these are the main ones). These keywords take up large amounts of my blog posts and social media posts for those who follow and know me.

You’ve heard this a million times: One of the most powerful tools in building an author platform is to have a blog. It builds credibility and leaves valuable “digital bread crumbs” that can lead people back to your book.

I cannot tell you how many people I’ve coached to start a blog, telling them they will find more people are locating them than if they just blabbed on social media about their books.

Tip: Knowing your passion keywords will alleviate the stress of not knowing what to blog about or to post on social media.

Pro — Tip: Avoid Branding Dilution

Photo by Mikael Seegen on Unsplash

In this article, Rachel Thompson (Rachel Thompson) makes a strong argument as to why focusing on promoting a single title is potentially dangerous. New authors become so excited about their book, they create social media profiles based around it. To paraphrase her:

What happens when book two or book three come around? — Rachel Thompson

You might feel like you have to make different profiles for each title or series. To once again draw from Rachel’s article, this is called “brand dilution.” Meaning, readers who found you for book one (or series one) will either have to follow the other profiles or become so flustered they stop reading altogether. I’m no expert but the latter doesn’t seem too great.

Getting stuck managing multiple profiles for the same series can cause horrendous stress and thus “dead” profiles and abandoned accounts.

If you find you are struggling with branding, I highly recommend any of Rachel’s books. They have been lifesavers on many occasions and her poetry is absolutely beautiful.


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[Failure Series] Part 1: Understanding Failure and Why We Need It

Failure. 

So often we’re terrified of this one little word. It paralyzes us. Keeps us fearful and holds us back from attempting a deeply ingrained dream. It scares us so bad, often we think it’s better not to try than fail altogether. Who knew one little word held so much power?

In this series on failure, our hope is that our readers will learn not to fear failure but embrace it as a step in their journey to success.

What Is Failure?

The best way to start understanding something is to become familiar with what it is.

According to Dictionary.com, failure is defined as:

  1. A lack of success
  2. nonperformance
  3. or an insufficiency

You’ll notice, nowhere in those definitions are the words “impossible”, “Non-attainable” or “unreachable.” The common themes are “a lack” of something. When looked at by entrepreneurs, the art of failing is when one stops (nonperformance) trying to attain their goals (a lack of success). dont-fear-failure-fear-the-absence-of-progress-motivational-gym-quotes

Why Does It Terrify Us?

Good question. What exactly is it about failure that terrifies someone enough to keep them from even trying? Is it a damaging view of others? Maybe we’re afraid to give our last dimes to obtain something only to have it backfire. Perhaps it’s the idea of wasting time over something which seems silly.  Truth is, why failure paralyzes differs from person to person. It often depends on the individual.

History Is Made on Failure

No matter how terrifying, failure is one of the most beautiful things in the history of creation. Every living and non-living thing has experienced a form of failure. The next time you sit down at your laptop, your phone, your game system, the airport, etc, take a solid look. Every inventor of these great technological advances suffered failure! You have your phone because of ridicule and failure! Airplanes are flying on the backs of multiple failures! The books we read were printed on failure. The list goes on! What makes this different is these failures didn’t stop until they made the plane fly. Made the internet work. Made a website where most of the world’s online commerce occurs. History, great and small was built on the backs of failures. 

Why It Is More Valuable Than Success

db12c93a5358756069a09d2cacd08033This is most likely going to sound like the most absurd of ideas but it holds true. Bishop T.D. Jakes states, “we learn more from our failures, than our successes.” Why does he say this? Because once you’ve reached your success, whatever it may be, you are beginning something anew. You reach failure again and again when you work to brand and market that success. Failures are teachers. They beat us down, they hurt, they ache but in the end, we can choose to get up or we can stay down. Failure is the best learning tool. When Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species, he witnessed one the most elaborate examples of failure. Nature. 

Why We Need Failure

We wouldn’t grow without it. Our characters wouldn’t build to become something stronger. Our intellects wouldn’t be pushed to solve the problems caused by failure to become success. Bishop Jakes offers a story about his father, who began a business with only a mop and a bucket in a difficult time in history. However, he persevered and built a truly flourishing enterprise. 

The Truth Is, Your Dream Has to Sound Insane

Going back to Bishop Jakes. In his most recent appearance at the Global Leadership Summit, he states “your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” It has to sound like it’ll hurt or is it worth your failure? For avid viewers of the popular Food Network show, Chopped, one cannot watch an episode without hearing stories of people who gave everything to obtain their culinary dreams. Did they think they’d get as much back as they did? No! Not at all but they took a risk and landed in one of the most viewed shows on television. 

“Your dream has to sound unattainable for it to be worth it.” — T.D Jakes, Founder of the Potter’s House

Ultimately, failure is terrifying. There’s no escaping the fact. The trick is to look it in the eyes and push through to make your dream a reality. Ask yourself, what have I really got to lose? Then ask – What have I honestly got to gain?

Failure-2

Some great resources for when you need some reassurance:

Soar by T.D Jakes, Potter’s House

Creativity, Inc by Ed Catmull, Pixar

Power of Your Potential by John Maxwell, author, pastor

 

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Authorlife: It Can’t Be About Fame or Money

Sales. love-life-money-quote-by-luis-d-ortiz-390364

We all would love to see consistent sales of our products. They can be books, services such as coaching classes, art, games, etc. The list goes on.

As an author, learning to accept that we will suffer times of feast and famine is a part of the art of marketing and writing itself.

There may be periods where our books and/or ebooks are flying of the shelves quicker than we can produce them. Yet there are times when we can fall prey to disappointment. Wanting to give up because things aren’t going the way we planned.

This is something, through hours of research, that we quickly realize especially as Indie or self-published authors.

It takes hours of hard work and persistence to build a brand. That’s what needs to be focused on. Build the brand, not the book.

But most important, a creator needs to remember why they chose to create their product in the first place because let’s face it. History is full of entrepreneurs of all kinds who went through periods of plenty and nothing.

d1dd5e679b0da3d15d96eff945e15583“Make Your Passion Your Paycheck”

Why did you choose to create your product in the first place? What were the goals you set for yourself when you began? Was it for the money? Fame? Etc? Or did you do it because you love doing what you do?

Why did you spend hours of stress, blood, sweat and tears to hold the product in your hands?

The truth friends, you have to do it because you love what you do. Many authors who are starting out usually won’t see much turnaround and often wind up spending more than they earn. This is a common occurrence when building a new business. It’s about taking a huge risk and being open to realizing, you might fail but accepting that failure and continuing anyway.

“True writing is not about money and selling.

It’s about passion. And readers certainly do discover and buy, well-written books by new writers. Authors only need to inform readers intelligently that they are passionate about what they do. Then book sales will look after themselves.”

Via Justpublishingadvice.com

Do what you do because you love to do it. Not for fame or fortune.

Work Smarter Not Harder

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One of the most successful women in the Indie publishing industry I have seen is Kristen Martin. Author of five best-selling books including her new self-help novel, Be Your Own Goals, Kristen offers multiple avenues of inspiration to those just starting out.

A powerful phrase she uses is “Work Smarter, not Harder.”

Now what does this mean? It means do the research and find what has worked for others and be willing to reach out to mentors who have been through what you are hoping to achieve.

It can also mean, utilizing the tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to handle the work of scheduling early. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour to use these tools and it takes a great deal of stress off and avoids the twitter hustle and batch retweets.

Set deadlines, carve out hours to work on your passion and hold those hours sacred.

Be Consistent

“Don’t be upset about the results you didn’t get, from the work you didn’t do.”

Entrepreneurship-is-about-turning-what-excites-you-in-life-into-capital-so-that-you-can-do-more-of-it-and-move-forward-with-it_Richard-Branson-Quote_Mindset2MillionsAny successful entrepreneur will tell you they only got where they were because they put in hours of work.

Authors and creatives of any kind, in any field, must put in the late nights, early mornings and weekends to create and become successful at what they did.

You have to be willing to treat what you do like a business. Do not rely on just social media. It is necessary in forming bonds and networking but does not often result in sales.

 

Don’t Give Up!7da6194cf12177755188f4220f92d19b--writing-quotes-on-writing

Odds Are, you Might Not be The Next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling but that doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer.

It may take a few titles, events and hours of promotion and networking. It may take break-downs, sadness, depression, and questioning your decisions. All of this is normal! We all go through it. Whatever you do, don’t give up!

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[Newsletter] New Projects, Appearances, Oh My!

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” _ Stephen King

I wanted to give everyone who reads the blog a bit of an update and offer some places you can go to learn a bit more about what’s going on and what you can look forward to from FyreSyde.


A Shoutout to My Readers! I love you all!!!!

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It has blown me away just how many people walked up to shake my hand and struck up a conversation, asked questions and inquired about what it meant to finish a book and get it published. It has been a humbling experience! I love my readers so much!!! All of you!!!

 


Some Places of Interest:

To just offer up a few things that have been going on. For the past two months, I have done multiple interviews, a Radio Show appearance and multiple signings all across the greater Denton/Dallas/Fort Worth area.

If you’d like to meet me in person, I welcome you to check out the appearances page! I update it regularly as best I can with where I’m going to be and when! I would love to meet you!

A few interviews have been posted as well if you would like to read them and offer feedback! These include guest posts on other blogs as well that I would recommend you to follow and read!

If you would like to guest post, get an interview of your own, want a book review or are curious about the services offered here, I highly recommend checking out these pages.

I also welcome you to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and my new authorpage.com page for updates and short stories!


Some Things to Look Forward To:

Okay! So here it is, the section letting you know just what to expect in the next year! Follow us here or any of our social media for information regarding these new opportunities!

  1. Compilation Opportunities: As many of you know, FyreSyde’s main focus is not on our own goals, books, etc. We want to be about you: the readers and the authors. Something Blaise has wanted to do and will be doing her best to put into effect is to open up theme-based compilations to authors of all kinds. For now, they will be in the form of posts either here or on a blogspot. At this time, there is no intention of making a printed version. Only an online magazine. If this changes, there will be an announcement. Please keep in mind, as of now, Blaise is the only one who will run it. She will personally be screening each piece submitted. As this is the case, there will most likely be a maximum number of accepted submissions. More info will be provided the closer it gets. If you want to keep up with this project, follow or subscribe via email!
  2. Editing Services: As of now, all that is offered here on FyreSyde as far as paid services is the 60-minute marketing consultation. In 2019, Blaise plans on opening up editing opportunities as well.
  3. Cover Reveals: FyreSyde will officially open cover reveal opportunities for authors or artists who want to get their covers seen for a very low price.
  4. Fundraisers/ Charity events/ Runs: FyreSyde will begin reaching out to its communities as well. This will come in the form of sponsorships, charity events and fundraisers. The first is the Halloween Charity Event happening in October!

So many fun things coming down the pike! For those who want to know, this Dean-is-in-Music-Ministry-nowDecember will mark FyreSyde’s first birthday!! 


New Projects and Bane of Tenebris

You guys have been so amazing with Luna’s release. It really is heartwarming to learn so many of you have received it so well and offered some truly wonderful feedback.

This being said, I have an announcement to make about a new, secret project I’ve put into the works. It will precede Bane of Tenebris as I have been experiencing some burn-out on the second book. As this is a highly anticipated release, I will be taking the utmost of care to make the book as good as it can be.

The secret project is a psychological thriller I hope to have released by the end of this year. If this isn’t doable for any reason, I will be updating you, the readers.

The second installment of the Wolfgods, Bane of Tenebris has been given a tentative release date for June of 2019. Beta readers are encouraged to contact me via facebook to be invited to the beta reading group.


The Return of Marketing101 and Regular Posting Schedules

For those of you keeping up with me on social media, you probably know I’ve been taking it easy this summer in an attempt to rest my brain. This is all true!

I will be returning August 5, 2018 with regular posting and more Marketing101 posts for you all to enjoy and hopefully glean some information from!

Until then, please check out some of the amazing books posted here to support fellow authors! See you all again soon!!! Keep going and stay productive!!!

“There is no royal, flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it. For if I have accomplished anything in life, it is because I have been willing to work hard.” ~ C.J. Walker

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Snail to Sprint: How to Write Your First Draft in 4 Weeks by Michelle Rene

We all want to write as many books as possible in our lives, right?

The problem is, we seem to get ourselves stuck in the lull of every day life. Laziness, sweetlifestyle_10thingsprocrastination, work, kids, etc all seem to play against our desires to write another one of our stories we long to tell.

Well, look no further than this amazing article by Michelle Rene. An award winning author of multiple titles and an advocate of all things creative and a personal friend, Ms. Rene offers some amazing tips on how you can boost your creative production.

Tips Included:

  • Why Write Fast?
  • How do you start?
  • How to manage your time
  • How to handle distraction
  • How to get over waning enthusiasm
  • What to do after you’ve finished!

Give the article a read and offer some feedback on some things that have helped you move from Snail to Sprint.

Source: Snail to Sprint: How to Write Your First Draft in 4 Weeks by Michelle Rene

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How to Navigate Book Marketing 101

I am delighted to share this article I had the privilege to write for The Writer’s Path blog

In this article, I offer some of my own experience in marketing! I hope you enjoy it and feel free to offer some points of your own!!!

Things found in this post are:

  • What Book Marketing Is…
  • What Book Marketing Is Not..
  • Your Target Audience: Who are they?
  • Your Target Audience: Where are they?
  • Is there a secret?

If you have time, feel free to take a read!

**If you would like to guest post for us here at FyreSyde, feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com. Please be sure to include your name, email and a pitch for your subject! If we’re a fit, we’ll be sure to post and let you know when we will be posting your article!

 

via How to Navigate Book Marketing 101

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3 Moves Entrepreneurs Must Make by Gerald Pilcher

There’s a lot of pressure for small-business owners to be masters of every aspect of their business. This is especially true when you’re first starting out and are often a one-person […] With somewhat limited resources and fear of failing, small-business owners will often push challenging tasks to the back burner. This may work out […]

via 3 Hard Moves Entrepreneurs Must Make — Gerald Pilcher

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[Marketing 101] The Importance of Investing in People

Marketing101People4When you hear the names Harley Davidson, Ed Catmull, J.K Rowling, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, what do you think of?

Do you think of motorcycles? How about Pixar? Harry Potter? Amazon or of course, Facebook?

What do all these success stories have in common? Yes, they have overwhelmingly popular brands making thousands of dollars every day. BUT! What is it they all have in common? What gave them the appeal? Did they just wake up and have these massive empires?

The answer is an all over resounding, NO!

These people had something they wanted to share with the world. Something they dreamed of and wanted to see successful. But how were they going to do this? Just post it up and wish or hope people would find their product if they decided to do no marketing whatsoever?

There was no social media when many of these great success stories came to fruition so what did they do to make such monumental impacts?

Simple. They saw the answer in front of them. Something so easily overlooked in a world saturated with desires to be famous and get rich quick goals. It wasn’t about them.

As marketers, we must remember it is about people first, not us! (2)They realized early on… in order to have a successful product, you need to focus on pouring your energy into people. It is people that pass around the news of your product. People who bring awareness. People who spread the word. It’s people that makes a company what it is. And this doesn’t only apply to book marketing!

It’s a universal truth in businesses of all kinds!

For example, in today’s marketing world, there is not a person who would not recognize the name of Amazon. It is a multi-million dollar corporation reaching across a global scale in a variety of products. In the world of eBooks it holds the top slot in self and indie publishing.

Why? Because of people.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” — Jeff Bezos

Jess Bezos recognizes the power of the influence of people. He goes on to say:

“Obsess about customers, not competitors.” Jeff Bezos

Here is a man, a powerhouse in today’s market, humbling himself to the influence of the people his company serves.

Think about it? If no one used Amazon. If they went on with going to Wal-Mart on black Friday or never participated in cyber Monday, would Amazon still hold the place it does in today’s market? No, it wouldn’t. It is the overwhelming power of people that Jeff Bezos utilized to make Amazon what it is. He saw a need; he filled it and now look at what he has?

So often, new marketers and entrepreneurs fall into the trap of “Here’s my product, buy it!.” We flood our social media with constant self-promotion and forget: As marketers and entrepreneurs, we must remember it is about people first, not us!

As marketers, we must remember it is about people first, not us! (1)Here are seven things to think about when you start marketing your product.

  1. People buy from entrepreneurs who have something they want.
  2. Satisfaction leads to word of mouth. Word of mouth spreads awareness.
  3. People like to feel like more than a wallet. Make it about them.
  4. Making it about them leads to repeated visits and customer loyalty
  5. People identify with people who take the time to speak with them
  6. There is no product without the audience
  7. People invest time and effort into something they attach too. You can help create that attachment.

Things to Remember:

  • Having a great product must always be about something you want to bring into fruition first and foremost! If you are serious, the passion has to continue into marketing and reaching people!
  • Do NOT see marketing a product as a get rich quick scheme. Many of the companies listed (Amazon, Harley Davidson, Pixar, Harry Potter and Facebook) took years to gain momentum!
  • Recognize a need/ find your niche/ tribe.
  • Anyone can bust out information told over and over on blogs and websites. Find something you want to ask but no one seems to have addressed yet.
  • Anything worth doing is going to take some serious work!
  • 80/20 Rule >> 80% of your engagement must involve your audience; 20% can be you.

Marketing101People2Making money doing what you love is a dream many of us have. We long to quit our jobs and make our burning passion our daily job BUT we must remember, in the end, we want people to know we exist. If your passion is more than a hobby, start networking with people now! Whatever you do, never give up. Success is a process, not a sprint.


Before you go….

***If you like the content, please hit the follow button. Shares are appreciated!*** 

***Interested in writing for us? Want a book review? Would like to guest post or want to offer your own insight? Feel free to contact us at fyresydepublishing@gmail.com! We are always looking for authors and bloggers who want to share their experiences!

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[Book Blitz] Blessing of Luna by Blaise Ramsay

 

 

New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published:  4/20/2018
Publisher: FyreSyde Publishing
 
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Lonely. That’s how it felt when Damien Pierce returned to Big Timber, Montana. It had been his childhood home until the day he was hit by a speeding car only to learn he wasn’t badly hurt. The experience landed him the label of the town freakshow.
Following the death of his foster mom, Damien soon disconnected from the world around him. That was at least, until he met her. She looked human but something about made her appear otherworldly to him. He knew he shouldn’t but he wanted her. He would do anything to get to know her. To have her.
Jillian Styles was immortal. Cursed by a dark god never to find rest. A shifter capable of taking the form of a beautiful wolf. She had searched for her lover’s reincarnated soul for centuries only to find he was nowhere to be found. When she meets Damien, her world is turned upside down. She falls in love with him instantly and begins to pursue him.
However, Damien soon learns the darker part of Jill’s world. He finds himself on the hit list of the same vampire Lord responsible for killing Jill’s lover and reigniting the flames of an old war. His daughter desires Damien and vows to have him at any cost.
With the help of Alexander Kain, the mysterious wolf shifting soldier, Damien will learn what he thought he knew was only tip of the paranormal iceberg. He soon finds himself in the eyes of a vindictive and rage-filled dark god.
If you like hot lycanthrope guys, overly possessive vampire chicks, vindictive gods, strong female leads and some hot sex scenes, this book is for you.
 
Excerpt
Realization hit Damien as to who he was staring down. The same dark god that had challenged him stood in Lilith’s form. Damien’s heart inside his chest burned as he thought about Kain and all he’d done for him. Jill. Dad…Rob…Gabriel…Holt…Chelsea.
“Looks like it’s just you and me, Damien. You can surrender and die in peace or you can fight and die anyway. Your choice.”
Save him. Luna’s voice inside of Damien’s mind drew his attention. Save him. I beg of you. Please.
Damien’s body became surrounded with a radiant light so bright it forced Lilith step back. Her wing covered her face. He braced himself on his front legs, roaring at the monster in front of him responsible for taking so much.
The light became so intense not even the lycans could stare at it.
When it finally faded, Damien stood in his true lycan form. His white fur blew in the wind like mist at the tip of his stiffened ears to the end of his tail. The dark markings of his wolf form only seen on the tips of his ears, feet and tail. The fur on the back of his neck was thicker, almost resembling a mane.
“By the gods, he looks like…” Lune stood in awe.
“Tenebris.” Gabriel finished, his voice nothing but a whisper.
Stoker used the opportunity to sneak off, nursing the wound on his arm inflicted by Gabriel when he shifted into his full lycan form.
The vampires hissed at the light rising from the east, trying to flee towards the waning night. They had fallen right into Damien’s plan and were intercepted. Howls and snarls joined dying screams as the vampires were overwhelmed.
“What trickery is this?!” Lilith’s fangs spat as she tried to speak.
Damien ignored her, seeing the fear in her eyes as he made his way over to Kain on the ground.
The alpha was so weak he couldn’t retain his shifted form.
“Kain.” Damien’s voice was a comfortable echo. Warm and reassuring. “Alex. Can you hear me?”
Kain opened his eyes, slightly jumping. “Tenebris?”
Damien shook his head. “No. It’s me.”
“Damien. How?”
Damien took Kain’s jacket he was always wearing around his waist and covered his friend with it. “Stay here. Don’t move and don’t die.”
He stood back up and went to face Lilith. The lycans in his way stepped aside, their heads bowed. “This ends here, Lilith. You won’t hurt anyone else.”
About the Author

FyreSyde Publishing owner and founder Blaise Ramsay started out her creative career in the conceptual art and design industry. For fifteen years she spent her time crafting characters and world for others. Recently she shifted her attention to the world of literature where she writes mostly paranormal romance. Her debut title, Blessing of Luna is the first of four books in the Wolfgods series. A portion of the proceeds of her book sales go to help charities. When Blaise isn’t busy working with sexy wolf boys, she can be found reviewing books for fellow authors, working for a few tour companies, holding interviews and offering guest posts. A professional book blogger, mom, wife and full blood Texan, Blaise loves nothing more than helping others, meeting new people and coaching folks in Scrivener. If you would like to get in touch with Blaise, the best way to contact her would be via email at bramsayauthor@gmail.com. She loves to hear from people and get questions from her readers.
Contact Links
 
Purchase Links
RABT Book Tours & PR
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[Book Marketing 101] Know Your Target Audience!

“Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content Marketing is showing the world you are one.” – Robert Rose

Let’s say you just finished writing, editing, and getting beta readers to read your latest, greatest book. You’ve made it the best you can be and are ready to release it to the world.

Wait? Where are the readers you hope to find? How are they going to see your book in a vast world of social media, book promotion and saturated Amazon pages?

If you’re asking these questions, you probably hadn’t taken the time to locate what authors and publishers call the “Target Audience.”

Light it up (1)What is a target audience?

Defined, a target audience is the readership you hope to market your book to. For example, for authors of paranormal romance with a focus on wolf shifters, you’re probably hoping to catch the attention of people who are fans of the shifter sub-genre. Taking it further, what age range are you going for? Are you hoping to catch male or female readers or both?

How can you find them?

  1. Go to your local bookstore. Look around at the different sections of the fantasy, young adult, romance, etc. What are they looking at? When in doubt, talk to them. You don’t have to bash them over the head with the fact you have a book. Just strike up a conversation to find out what books they’ve read recently or recommend. If they seem interested, then, author drop. Offer an Advanced Reader’s Copy. Many love a good free book in exchange for a friendly conversation.
  2. Utilize Amazon’s search bar. Type in some keywords you may think relate (and some that don’t) to your book. What are the shoppers in the kindle and book categories looking at? Take down some lists of some popular titles and utilize the “Customers Also Bought” section. Keep notes of the authors and the book titles.
  3. Use GoodReads. Goodreads has this nice little feature called book lists. Many readers have their TBR (to be read) lists named by genre. For example, for Biker romance lovers, you might find lists titled MC Romance or Biker Romance.
  4. Find your tribe. What this means is google some of the forums, facebook groups, book clubs, etc who have a focus on your genre. Offer ARCs in exchange for reviews and see what they have to say.
  5. Use Demographics. This focuses on where they are located, how old their are, financial standing, etc. Yes this is important. You can use Twitter and Facebook to find such information. Who are your main fans?
  6. Check out Market Trends. This goes along with using Amazon’s search bar. Try to use helpful tools like Google Trends to see what readers are doing. Knowing this can narrow down where you should go and who is looking for your book.
  7. Utilize Google Adwords. Adwords is a powerful tool. It can show you some of the top searched words in Google’s search engine.
  8. Ask a bookseller. While you’re in the bookstore looking for some potential prospects, why not get insight from the store on what is selling? Often they’ll share some of the titles that are flying off the shelves. This can help you greatly because you’re getting an insider’s look at the market.
  9. Offer up some surveys. Get some short answers involving popular subjects and genres. Readers often don’t mind answering these because they get curious as to what it is you’re looking for.
  10. When In Doubt; Consult a Mentor. Talk to other authors who have written your genre and age range. Authors love to help new and upcoming authors get over the plateau because too often, they remember being there. We all started out not knowing a thing. Finding coaches may help alleviate some stress.

Some helpful tools:Light it up

  • KDP Rocket – This is a helpful little tool endorsed by Jeff Goins and the Kindlepreneur. It helps to take away the trouble of hours of keyword typing and research. For a one time price of 97$, this is a powerful tool. Hurry because it looks like it might go to a subscription basis.
  • Kristen Martin’s course, Valiance – Kristen walks you through her own journey as a self-publisher. A five-time Amazon best seller, Kristin clearly has things under control as far as finding and marketing to her target audience. She also offers a neat little pdf on how to write a first draft in two months just for subscribing!
  • Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn has some helpful information that walks you through the self-publishing process and a free eBook to help. She is one of the leading experts on indie and self-publishing. Her writing podcast, The Creative Penn offers different interviews and helpful information as well.
  • Jane Friedman is one of my favorites and another successful self-publisher. Her blog at janefriedman.com is loaded with helpful information.

Remember, you are never alone in this journey! Writing and blogging can be lonely but there are people who are willing to offer their expertise. If you have an experience that you found helped you find your audience, please leave us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

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[Book Marketing 101] Hybrid Marketing

When approaching the world of an indie or self-published author, what is the biggest line of questions you often hear or ask yourself?

  1. How am I going to market this in an ever-growing industry?
  2. How can I make my book stand out against so many others on Amazon?
  3. How can I market on a budget?

These are just a few questions that can be terrifying when one is just starting out.

So often we are tempted to pour what funds we have into online ads on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. How about book promo sites? Surely those will help, right?

The answer is YES, those DO help BUT they should NOT be the primary way of Today Ismarketing. These are all online marketing techniques and can help in building exposure but how many times have you honestly gotten on your social media and clicked on a buy button or link? Probably not often. I know I don’t.

To further explain, how long does it take the average publishing company to get back to their queries? Sometimes rather quickly for smaller press but not for the big dogs like Penguin, right?

This is the same as online. So often we see such high volumes of tweets, photos, Facebook posts, etc covered in book promotion. Sometimes those can get overlooked.

Fear Not! Hybrid marketing is your friend!

Here’s a not-so-secret, secret. Publishers, agents, interviewers, and scouts all attend LIVE book events and conventions!

This where hybrid marketing can come in handy. As previously mentioned in another article, social media is a wonderful tool for staying in touch with your readers and mentors. However, be willing to leave the computer and go out and meet people. Our readers are out there!

In order to utilize this truly powerful tool, one has to understand what it is.

 

Simply put, hybrid marketing is the utilization of both online and offline marketing techniques in order to draw in an audience and build not only your author platform but reach your potential readers!

How it can be used

 

Book SigningWhere_ Half Price BooksWhen_ 51218What time_ 1pmYou can reach out to venues you know will want to help you promote and sell your book.

These can include bookstores, libraries, book festivals, conventions, bloggers, and reviewers. The list goes on! Who is it that is in your target audience? Knowing this can help you better understand how to incorporate this technique into your own marketing planI cannot stress the importance of a solid marketing plan! If you do not have one, it is likely you will fail!

Hybrid Marketing Expands Your Network

You signed a deal with your local bookstore to appear for a signing. They’re happy to have you! You get there and shake the hands of a manager or event coordinator and BAM! A networking bond is formed and it’s all because you left the screen and shook a hand! The beauty of it is, they’ll often ask you to come back! So now you’ve made a bond with an individual who can be a long lasting relationship in your career as an author and who knows, a loyal fan!

Make Your Online Marketing Work for you when You’re on Vacation

This is when social media and online ads should work for you. When you find you’re wearing down and need those couple of months off or you know you’re going to be at a convention all weekend, make your ads work! You can meet your readers and get your book promoted at the same time. For example, say you’re getting a small press table at a major convention. You know you’re going to be gone all weekend. Start up an ad on Amazon! The cost can be as low as 3$ a day at .03 per keyword. You don’t spend a dime unless someone clicks! Run a promo through sites like Whizzbuzz books for a whole year at a low price. Make sense? You’re not beating down Twitter with “Buy My Book” tweets and folks are still seeing your book.

 

Hybrid Marketing Gives Attention to Your Amazon, Goodreads and Websites!

So often, people want to take a free bookmark or a business card with an author’s contact information including their website. Always stress your website as your central hub! Think of your social media, Amazon and Goodreads as webbing. They all should be connected to a central hub or your author website! Appearing in person at book signings, author appearances, readings, etc can give you a chance to bring attention to these pages! It is an offline marketing technique that can really help!

John J. Doe
Always have a business card

Do not overspend! Budget your Ads and never go over 100$ at a Live Event….at First!

Marketing can be an expensive endeavor if the audience isn’t where you are. It may be trial and error at first which can either be beneficial or not. It happens! BUT! Here is where knowing ahead of time can help. For live shows, start small. I recommend to start with what are called Small Press tables. They rarely go over 75$ and often come with two badges for conventions or a table space at festivals. This can help you build yourself a platform while networking with others who may want to talk to you about your book. These have been crucial in my own journey so I promise, I have seen the results!

Hybrid Marketing Shows Professionalism/LongevityToday Is (1)

Say an author appears at a panel and gives you their knowledge. They are building their rapport with their readers because it gives them a chance to meet and greet them to ask questions in person. Showing up to speak at conferences with confidence shows a level of professionalism. Potential agents and publishers often see these traits and will seek out the author to speak with them. The fact that the author has taken the time to research market trends and how to go about marketing their book scores high because they tend to want to know the longevity, especially in indie and self-published authors, to continue their craft and market wisely. Think of it this way, when you go to a job interview, a question you might get is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s a question we often don’t know the answer to and can cost a position. This is no different in the world of literature.

It Gives Power to the Author’s Most Powerful tool: Word of Mouth

When you meet the eye and shake the hand of someone watching as you sign your book and include a free bookmark, that person will go to their friends and let them know they just a good book from a really kind person! This is word of mouth and it is the most powerful tool in an author of any publishing field’s toolbox! Get your readers talking! They’re giving their time to read your book in a sea of books! Hybrid marketing can help your book reach multiple audiences and they will love your signature!!!!

Most Importantly: NEVER GIVE UP!! Marketing is a process!!! Very rarely are you successful right off the bat. That’s okay! Remember you wrote your book baby because you wanted to tell a story!


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10 Rules For Success — Jay Colby

I decided to share this post from Jay Colby because he offers some really good advice on success and how to reach it. I highly recommend giving him a follow because he offers a large amount of useful and uplifting information.

I have always been infatuated with successful people. I constantly read about their processes, habits, philosophies, behaviors, and what influenced their success. Not only do I find it motivating, but by understanding how and why successful people do what they do it helps me to strive for success. As I have researched over the past […]

via 10 Rules For Success — Jay Colby