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Countdown to Literacy, The Extreme, Supreme Dogwalker, Darlene!

December 2, 2021– It’s day two of our countdown to literacy! We hope you’re enjoying our books and the videos. To check out our full listing of books and where you can buy this one, click here: Book Listings – Pandamonium Publishing House. Today, I’m reading my book, The Extreme, Supreme, Dogwalker, Darlene! Plus, I’ll chat about where my inspiration came from for this book. https://youtu.be/3YIA6tt2zgQ

 

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Video Countdown to Literacy! Mount Fuji Has Free Wifi!

December 1, 2021– Surprise! It’s December the first and you know what that means! A brand new theme for the month. December is all about giving and receiving gifts, spending time with family and friends, and celebrating; what better way to celebrate than to give the gift of literacy? So, in keeping with our theme, here is our gift to you; we’ll read one of our books each day of December! We hope you’ll join us. Check out our YouTube channel by clicking on the link: https://youtu.be/byfZeIRV5O0

 

 

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Strategic Marketing Plan

November 30, 2021– I hope you’ve enjoyed the content this month which was tips for authors to promote themselves and their books. Be sure to visit tomorrow for a brand new theme of the month! Today, we’re talking all about strategic marketing plans:

Your strategic marketing plan shows how to market your book for success and serves as a roadmap of priorities and decision-making. Here are the questions that you need to answer for your plan. If you can’t answer these questions with a clear and concise vision, then you’re not ready to launch.

1) Does your plan align with the mission of why you do what you do? For example, let’s say you want to inspire young girls to grow up and be empowered to make good choices. Does your plan align with that message? These used to be called mission statements.
2) Does your plan assess the current environment and fit well within it? Are people reading more e-books? Are they reading paperbacks? What is the average price? What are they reading right now? Etc.
3) Does your plan identify a gap in the market? This is your point of differentiation. Publishing Made Simple came about because we got 15 phone calls in a week asking to answer questions about publishing.
4) Does your plan clarify strategic goals? What do you want your book to accomplish? How long will it take? How much will it cost?
5) Does your plan provide a logical pathway to reach the above goals? This is the ‘how’ you’ll do it.
6) Does your plan provide deadlines, objectives, and troubleshooting? What if the book doesn’t sell 5,000 copies in the first month? Etc.
7) Does your plan include a method for measuring and evaluating the success of the said plan? E.g., you set out to do a school visit four times a month, were you successful?

If you need help with your marketing plan as an author or publisher, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our offerings here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House or email us for a custom quote based on your needs pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

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Communication Essentials

November 29, 2021– Can you believe that we are finishing up our theme for the month tomorrow? We talked about daily tips for authors to promote themselves and their books, and I hope that you’ve learned something and, most importantly, that you’ll put what you learned into action! Today we’re talking about communication essentials:

We need absolute clarity when we communicate our brand! People may not know what you do or why you do it, or where to buy it, but the following tips can help them find you.

  • Be concise. Why use eight words when four will do? Be clear and concise because readers have short attention spans when it comes to advertising. If you’re writing a press release, stick to the basics, keep it one page, add a great review, and send it out. Same with brochures; bullet points, short, uncomplicated language, and lots of visuals.
  • Needs. What readers see is based entirely within the context of what they need or want. If they don’t have a need that aligns with what your brand does/is, then your message is irrelevant to them, and they will not be a customer. Help communicate your brand effectively by targeting your market and niching it down. Who is your book for? Use your demographic data to your advantage.
  • Sensory connections. Use words like listen, see, read, touch, and feel whenever possible in your branding. Metaphors are also a great way to stimulate the senses. For example, “Have your cake and eat it too” (immediately you visualized someone eating cake) but make it relevant and sensory connected to your message.
  • Integrity. Honesty is your brand. Communicate to your readers with genuine care and authenticity. Deliver on your promises! You can spend a lifetime building a reputation, but it only takes five minutes to destroy it.
  • Identify Benefits, Solutions, and Outcomes. A graph is a great way to lay this out so that you can get a visual.
Customer’s Needs: Your Solution: Benefit to Customer: Impact on Customer Life:
Their child doesn’t like to read Your book has interactive activities that make reading fun! They read the book with their child, and they love the book and decide to read more! Their child develops a lifelong love of literacy.
  • Differentiate your brand. What makes you different? This should be your tagline for your entire business. Ours is Publishing Made Simple. That message conveys that we take the complex parts out of publishing so that anyone can do it! (With our guidance, of course, 😊) Don’t say Canadian Made, Women-Led, or We’re the Best because that’s not a point of differentiation, and a ton of other businesses can say that. When I came up with our tagline, my purpose was to convey that publishing is hard, but Pandamonium Publishing House makes it simple with their experts, stable of graphic designers, marketing team, PR team, editors, and formatters. I looked at all the things that we do and realized how complicated and multi-faceted publishing is and differentiated us by making publishing simple. That’s how Publishing Made Simple came about. How ironic would it be if I used a paragraph to get that point across? Other people have ripped off our tagline (which is registered) and have skirted around being sued by using ‘self-publishing made simple.’ I suppose copying is a form of flattery…who knows.
  • The only thing that matters. Put as simply as we can state it, the only thing that matters in your business is meeting your customer’s needs. Everything else you do is extra. There are three ways to meet your customer’s needs as a publisher/author: Educate, Excite, or Entertain them. Which one do you provide with your books? This is the key as to WHY people will buy from you.

Check out our classes, courses, and workshops here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

 

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All for a Cause

November 26, 2021-Yesterday we talked about publicity vs. advertising and the importance of publicity for building your brand. Today, we’re going to expand on that, but in a different way, with causes that are close to our hearts and that we believe in wholly. I’ll talk about our cause-related marketing efforts with things we support, believe in, and align with as a business.

Cause-related marketing (CRM) is a mutually beneficial collaboration between a corporation and a nonprofit designed to promote the former’s sales and the latter’s cause. Through CRM, businesses usually provide their partners with the following things. Here’s how you can get involved with CRM as an author:

  1. Financial support for their programs: You write them a cheque, send the cause a monthly donation to support their literacy initiative, or donate a portion of your book sales to their program. Also, this could be supporting a local sports team or performing arts in your community such as Timbits Hockey, Soccer, or Baseball, Gymnastics, Swimming, or Dance etc.
  2. Sponsorship of special events– Maybe your local library is putting on a reading buddy special event, and you’re the sponsor, or you sponsor a writing contest that they’re putting on. You provide them with the resources they need to make the special event happen.
  3. In-kind donation– This can include tangible or intangible contributions. For example, donating your time to read to kids at Sick Kids hospital, reading to seniors, or participating at your local ESL center to help adults learn English. In-kind donations can also include office equipment, marketing supplies, and your design time, etc. Essentially, in-kind donations help free up the nonprofit’s resources for allocation somewhere else.

They will put your company or name on sports jerseys, marketing materials, banners, website, social media etc. in return for your donation.

The key is that you need to BELIEVE IN and SUPPORT the organization that you’ve chosen in Cause-Related Marketing because if you’re using it as a marketing ploy, not only is that horrible, but dishonest, immoral, and unethical.

Here are some of the organizations that we currently support or have supported in the past: 

  • Triple-A Hamilton Huskies Hockey Team (Hamilton)
  • Trees Canada (at the end of the year, we add up all the print books that we’ve sold, and we plant the same number of trees to offset the resources we use like paper) (Canada)
  • Raising a Reader Massachusets  (Boston, USA)
  • Countless hours reading to kids in classrooms all over the city, virtual visits etc. (Hamilton and surrounding area)
  • Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge (Jarvis)
  • Bear Creek Sanctuary (Barrie)
  • Larch After School Program (Hamilton)
  • Cat Adoption Center (Welland)
  • Canon’s Cause (Caledonia)
  • Toronto Cat Rescue (Toronto)
  • Burlington Humane Society (Burlington)
  • Alligator Wildlife and Discovery Center (Florida, USA)
  • Tampa Bay Library (Florida, USA)
  • New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYC, USA)
  • Binbrook Santa Clause Parade (Binbrook)
  • Power Wheels Derby Sponsor (Caledonia)
  • World Wildlife Fund (Global)
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium (Florida, USA)
  • Hamilton Public Library (Hamilton)
  • Air Cadets Canada
  • Binbrook Fair (Binbrook)

I know I’ve forgotten some organizations we’ve sponsored on the list above, but you get the idea. We love sports, animals, and books! I believe in, and ONE MILLION PERCENT SUPPORT all of the organizations that we partner with.

As an author, you are responsible for promoting literacy in your community, your country, and the world because illiteracy is a global issue with massive implications for us all.

 

 

 

 

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Advertising (is what you pay for), Publicity (is what you pray for)

November 25, 2021-Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends, neighbours, clients, and readers! Enjoy your day and save some stuffing for us!

There’s a well-known saying in marketing that Advertising is what you pay for, Publicity is what you pay for. Today, as we continue to dish out author tips for self and book promotion all this month, we’re going to examine the differences and how you can use Publicity to your advantage.

Advertising: Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea, according to Wikipedia. I define it with much more simplicity-when you pay money to tell the public about your product or service.

Publicity: It is not a paid form of mass communication that involves getting favourable responses from buyers by placing commercially significant news in mass media. Publicity is not paid for by the organization. Publicity comes from reporters, columnists, and journalists, radio hosts, bloggers, and the public. It can be considered as a part of public relations. My definition, simply put, is when people are talking about your product and recommending it without you paying them to.

Why is Publicity so much more effective than advertising? 

  1. WOM. Word of Mouth. How do you find out about new books that you should add to your reading list? Maybe a friend recommended it, or perhaps it was part of a book club that you belong to; whatever the case, word of mouth is the most effective form of Publicity because the recommendations come from people we trust. Our friends and colleagues know us, and they wouldn’t steer us wrong or recommend something they know we wouldn’t like!
  2. Credibility. Anytime you or your organization control the message, people are skeptical. Look at political ads, for example; Paid for by the Blank Party of Canada. They control the message, and that means that they can spin it any way they want to. When the organization, publisher, or brand doesn’t control the message being provided to the public, that is where the truth is. Of course, authors will say that their new novel is the latest and greatest and akin to Stephen King, but the public may feel differently! Publicity is where the truth is. Think of it this way; advertising builds exposure, where Publicity builds trust.
  3. Cost. Publicity is free. Advertising costs tens of thousands of dollars a year and sometimes even more than that! Publicity is a journalist (who is not invested in your book by means of monetary gain) who writes an article for their column on your newest novel; it is reviews and recommendations of your book by readers on Amazon or online, it’s a Facebook or social media post that shows the cover of your book and someone enjoying it while they lay on a beach.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why in the world anyone would ever pay for advertising? While there are a number of answers to that, we’ll discuss that in a different post later on. For now, Publicity is critical.

If you’re interested in helping your book gain more traction, check out my courses here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House.

 

 

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You’re Biased (and I can prove it)

November 24, 2021– I hope that you’re gaining a lot of valuable knowledge and insight this month as we’re giving out daily author tips for self and book promotion. As you probably know, I was fortunate to study Consumer Neuromarketing and Neuroscience at the University of Copenhagen a couple of years ago; today, I’ll talk about cognitive biases and how they can help you promote yourself and your books when implemented correctly.  (I can’t believe I’m giving this info away!) Here we go!

  1. Availability Bias– This bias is essentially a shortcut in our minds that causes us to rely solely on readily available knowledge rather than examining alternatives. We rely on immediate examples based on our most vivid experiences or memories in decision-making. It’s a shortcut for our brains to say, yeah, I know reading is good. You’re basing ‘reading is good’ on the information you have readily available in your brain, such as remembering all the times your parents read to you as a child or recalling the experience you had waiting in line all night for the release of your favourite author’s book and the excitement it created.
  2. False Consensus Bias-This bias is when people assume that others think the way that they do. They overestimate the degree to which their habits, values, beliefs, preferences, and opinions are normal and related to the general population. “I love books so much!” Well, not everyone does. Or “The movie was way better than the book!” Umm..no, it wasn’t. See what I mean? Not everyone thinks the way that you do.
  3. Choice-Supportive Bias-This bias happens after we make a decision. When we choose something (because we chose it and are the smartest, most educated person ever to exist), it can’t possibly be the wrong choice! We tend to feel positive about our choices, even if the choice we make has flaws. Humans also seek out information that (only) supports their choice. The point is, people hate being wrong, and they’ll do whatever it takes to make their decisions seem right. For example, we know that literacy matters, but there are people out there who will argue that kids ‘lose out on life’ if they spend too much time with their noses buried in books. They’ll argue that children who read often lack social skills or that their interpersonal skills aren’t up to snuff. Actually, studies show that the opposite is true; children who read have enhanced empathy, a higher ability to problem solve, are better at conversing due to a vast lexicon to draw upon (see what I mean?),  and improved focus and concentration, which are crucial traits of a good conversationalist. I feel like I should drop a mic here, but that’s my own choice-supportive bias coming into play as I’ve chosen the career of a publisher.
  4. Optimism Bias-This bias correlates directly with the amygdala part of the brain, which controls emotion. Often referred to as Lizard Brain, our old brain tends to make us more optimistic than we should be and hard wire us to follow wishful thinking. It leads us to believe that we are at a lower risk of experiencing a negative outcome than a positive one and that the future will be better. For example, I’m not going to buy the author’s book now, I’ll wait until it goes on sale (the future will be better), or I’ll wait to see if I win it in the draw they’re having (wishful thinking).
  5. Sunk Cost Bias-This bias leads us to stick with opportunities for too long when we have invested a lot of time or money. We irrationally pursue activities or things that don’t meet our expectations because of the aforementioned reasons. People stay in bad relationships (But, I’ve been with them for fifteen years, I can’t leave now! What a waste of time!), occupations they hate (same example as above), and continue to harm themselves through poor choices such as gambling (I can’t quit now, I have to win my money back), or addiction (I have to eat this entire $30 chocolate cake because it was too expensive to throw away even though I’m trying to live a healthier lifestyle).

I’m going to leave out the familiarity bias and the reciprocity bias for now in the interest of having this post not read like a phone book. The point of this post is to educate you into tiny insights into consumer behaviour and why people do the things they do. Keeping these biases in mind, how will you change your book-selling and promoting strategy? Will you look at your consumers through a different lens and try to understand them more effectively?  For more information on Consumer Neuromarketing for Authors, check out my course here: Neuromarketing for Authors Course – Pandamonium Publishing House