Blogging is something we’ve found works wonders in growing an audience. It shows that authors are more than books with a body. It shows we’re human and that we like to share content we don’t charge for.
Here at FyreSyde, we preach to our authors to always and we mean ALWAYS have free, EVERGREEN content. What is evergreen content? It’s content that will always be relevant to someone.
Now, something we get a lot of (and we mean A LOT of) is “I don’t know what to blog about.” As authors, your first reaction is probably to go straight for the jugular right? You write books, why not talk books? The truth is, just because you’re an author, it doesn’t mean you have to talk books and writing. We will have a segment on this in our future posts.
For now, enjoy this excerpt from Shaunta’s post:
Building an audience is one of the hardest parts of being a writer. It’s hard for a lot of reasons. We want to create. We don’t want to be marketers. It feels weird and wrong to sell these stories that we’ve poured our hearts and souls into. We want to just write our books and leave the rest up to fate.
Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. At least not most of the time. For most of us, building an audience and learning how to interact with that audience is an important part of our job.
Readers, we know we are behind but fear not, we will be bringing you the amazing information from NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson) up until the very last day.
How would it feel if you could sell your book in 20 seconds? Does that sense of elation make your spine tingle? Well, look no further than this article by Sharon Goldinger. She offers some amazing ways both fiction and non-fiction authors can pitch their book in very little time.
Excerpt: (of course)
Picture this: You’re in an elevator, your book cupped in your hand, the title clearly visible to the other person in the elevator. While riding from floor 1 to floor 19, she asks, “What is From Fat to Fit about? You respond: “You’ll be inspired by the amazing Community Meltdown, which motivated 1,000 people to have fun while losing 8,000 pounds in 8 weeks, and my personal story as I went from fat to fit and lost 62 pounds.” When the elevator lands at her stop, she says, “Sounds great. I’ve got to get a copy.”
Who knew using sites like bit.ly could help an author brand themselves? Apparently GeniusLink has some really good advice in the latest installment of NaNoProMo (created by Rachel Thomson).
Trust us, you do not want to miss the information in this article. We are definitely going to implement some of these things on our marketing team.
Below is an excerpt of what you can expect from this amazing article:
Do you know what harder working links are and how they can help you with your marketing and even sales? As an author, you hear about a lot of great ways to maximize your income from your published work. Unfortunately, most advice around implementing new, or optimizing existing revenue is somewhat time intensive and often means taking something off your plate to make room for trying something new. Don’t get me wrong, experimenting and continuously trying new things is essential, but we are big fans of mastering the fundamentals first and picking the lowest hanging fruit. One of those things we’d consider a marketing fundamental is the links you use in your marketing. You know, those things that actually take someone interested in your literary work and gives them a way to act on that interest and purchase your book. We are a bit biased of course, but we think the link is the most critical piece of any promotion (though a great call to action, solid copy, and an enticing visual are good contenders). It’s likely you already use links in every marketing and promotional project you work on. But stop for a second and ask, “Is that link working for you as hard as it could be?” Let me quickly introduce you to what we call “intelligent links,” the hardest working links on the internet. These aren’t the links you copy out of your browser window or a shortened bit.ly links, but rather supercharged links that can help you sell more books and unlock a new stream of revenue. And the best part is that you are already doing the hard and time-consuming work, swapping in the use of “intelligent links” doesn’t take much extra time at all.
As always, here is a sample of what you can expect:
Making Time For Book Promotion
As authors today, we’re compelled to juggle more tasks and responsibilities than ever before. Given the colossal effort you’ve invested in writing and publishing your book, you know you’d be crazy not to dedicate some energy to promoting it. But with all that’s going on in your life, how do you make the time for this? Here are four different approaches to carving out some precious minutes or hours for boosting your book. Experiment with these, and you’ll find they’re a big help in making sure you undertake regular promotional activities, without becoming completely overwhelmed by all you have to do.
Ah, publicity. The word every author dreams of when it comes to their title and their name. How good would it feel to be the next JK Rowling, Stephen King, Jim Butcher or Stephanie Meyer? Probably pretty good. Unfortunately, in today’s market, that’s not going to happen. BUT! That doesn’t mean an author can’t get publicity for their brand.
Belinda Griffin from SmartAuthors brings you easy ways to get author publicity for NaNoProMo Day 4 (created by Rachel Thomson of BadRedHeadMedia). As always we have included an excerpt for our readers to check out.
As a self-published author have you ever sighed with envy as you watch another author – most probably trade published – chat about their book on the sofa of a popular TV show? Or maybe you’ve been listening to a podcast or radio show and realized that someone else is getting book publicity you can only dream of? But is it only a dream? Is it, in fact, possible to land yourself some awesome author publicity?
Day 3 of NaNoProMo is all about pitching, written by our own Blaise Ramsay. Pitching can be daunting, especially when you’re not sure what constitutes as a strong pitch. Maybe you’re not sure what an elevator pitch is or how a pitch is different from a query letter.
Let’s talk about your pitch today. The publishing world is a struggle. With agents receiving multiple submissions from multiple authors, it is easy for your manuscript to get lost in the author’s proverbial nightmare: the “slush pile.” As a publishing company and as professional book reviewers who request a pitch, often times we see the author sending us things like reviews or rewards the author’s book has received. This is not what an agent, publisher or book reviewer wants or needs immediately when asking for a pitch.
Recently, FyreSyde Publishing has been working to open up submissions to help authors looking for representation. Though we do not require agents (yet), we do expect an elevator pitch prior to receiving a query letter. For #NaNoProMo 2019, we are delighted to bring authors a better understanding of what a pitch is, how you can properly write an elevator pitch and provide some steps on how you can write an award-winning pitch that can land you an agent.
Blaise Ramsay, author of the paranormal romance Blessing of Luna
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:
A lack of success
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).
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
This 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?
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
How many times has this happened to you? A customer or potential customer walks up to you in something as large as ReaperCon to something as small as the grocery store line, the two of you strike up a conversation and it leads to what it is you do. This could be an author, an artist, maybe an Avon agent, whatever your specialty.
Anyway, they ask you, “Do you have a website I can go to?” You happen to respond with anything from an “I’m working on one” or “I use Facebook” and all of a sudden you find yourself locked in this awkward silent moment.
Believe me dear readers, it does happen. More often than you may expect.
The moral is, you must have a website. Nowadays, a website is a company’s first go to in order to find out just how serious you are about your craft.
Now, this also happens. You may have a website that has the domain name in it and to many this is perfectly fine as far as hubs like WordPress and Weebly but trust me, nothing bothers a potential client more than not have the old .com, .org, etc.
As hard as it is to accept, if you wish to define yourself as a professional, you must invest in your website.
Think of it as your central hub. Your social media can be seen as spider threads. They branch out and reach potential customers and contacts but ultimately lead them back to your website.
Forbes magazine offers three powerful reasons as to why your website is vital to growing your small business.
Your website is important in building first impressions
Your website is your “shopping window”
If your website is “sloppy” or “missing”, then you are losing business
To quote them:
“They’re likely to dismiss you entirely, as well, should they believe your website doesn’t reflect the kind of experience your business – or a business like yours – should offer.” — Forbes Magazine
The truth is, with sites offering low rates on hosting such as godaddy.com, hostgator.com, and bluehost.com, just to name a few, there really isn’t much of an excuse to not have a professional website. Even WordPress has two different venues you may use to construct your professionally designed website.
A question you may ask then is, “what if I don’t know how to set a site up?”
To this, the reply would be to invest the money to have it made the best it can be or to utilize sites with pre-made templates like weebly.com, squarespace.com, tyepad.com or wix.com. You may also use blogger which may be easier for those just beginning to get their feet wet in site design.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to cover all of your options in this blog post but that’s where search engines like google are your best friend. Do some research to find which is best for you. Check their pros and cons, maybe try them since sites like Squarespace and Typead often offer trial periods.
Some closing thoughts…
Whichever you choose and however you choose to go about it, make sure it’s the best you can make it, shows off your brand and highlights the products or services you plan to promote the most.
Remember!People are more likely to purchase from a brand they learn to trust and see as professional. Your website should tell your story, have a product/service page, etc. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at fyresydepublishing.com and subscribe to learn what’s coming down the pike!
If you’ve been on social media, and I know you have, for any amount of time, you have probably come across the 80/20 Rule at some point.
This little rule can change so many things if applied correctly.
Now, I think anyone who sells anything can agree that getting posts bashing a reader over the brain with “Buy my…” can not only result in massive brain hemorrhaging but also send people running as fast as they can to the “unfollow”, “unlike”, etc button.
Why is this?
Because in marketing, people want to be seen as valuable. They want to feel like the services they’re being offered fills a need that they have. Truth is, they may not even know they have it. They want to feel like they’re being invested in and appreciated.
We need to focus not on what people are giving us but what we are giving to them. We need to focus on how they feel when they’ve invested their time and money into a dream they know little about.
“If I know how to make you feel good, then odds are, you will keep coming back.” Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and Founder of Shake Shack
So what is the 80/20 Rule?
Put simply, in terms of posting on social media, it’s focusing 20% of the content on one’s own product, service, etc while focusing 80% on your readers. Whoever they may be.
You can do this by sharing articles about topics close to your heart, adventures in starting up your business, inspirational quotes and retweeting and commenting on their content.
Social media has made it so easy for us to just spam our streams with me, me, me. The truth is it’s not a “me” market, especially as an author, artist, etc. Getting in the mindset of a market of “we” can make a world of difference.
“One of the best ways to let people know about your book is to not talk about it yourself, but to let readers know about it in other ways, and get them talking.”
In her blog, titled How To Develop and Perfect Your Book Marketing, she offers some helpful resources and advice on how to enhance your marketing and turn you “me” view into a “we” view. I would recommend reading her blog for any a
The truth is, in the end we’re all living beings with jobs, struggles and times when funds are tight.
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.
“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.”
Do what you do because you love to do it. Not for fame or fortune.
Work Smarter Not Harder
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.
“Don’t be upset about the results you didn’t get, from the work you didn’t do.”
Any 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!
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!
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!!!!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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 December 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
**If you would like to guest post for us here at FyreSyde, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
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 […]
When 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.
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!
Here are seven things to think about when you start marketing your product.
People buy from entrepreneurs who have something they want.
Satisfaction leads to word of mouth. Word of mouth spreads awareness.
People like to feel like more than a wallet. Make it about them.
Making it about them leads to repeated visits and customer loyalty
People identify with people who take the time to speak with them
There is no product without the audience
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.
Making 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….
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