Posted on 2 Comments

Social Currency

October 27, 2020– You can also find this blog post topic on our Podcast today click here to listen: https://jidwkx.podbean.com/e/social-currency/

What is Social Currency? In the most simplistic terms, it’s information shared by people as they go about their lives talking about brands, products, services, and events. We use social currency to make ourselves seem more educated or knowledgeable, more interesting, more attractive, more fun, and more influential to others that we come in contact with.

Social currency is what people say about our books, brand, and business when we aren’t around; it’s what they talk to their friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and colleagues about. For example, when is the last time you talked to someone about toothpaste, coffee, or an oil change? Those things probably don’t sound that interesting and probably don’t make you seem any more educated, attractive, or fun, but each day 100,000 conversations consist of people talking about such items and brands. Why does this matter for authors? Because social currency is what can make or break your books and business. If people aren’t talking about your books, they certainly aren’t buying them. Tip of tongue=top of mind. You want people to talk about your books, to get excited about your new releases, to say good things about you to their friends and family, and to spread the word about your business. So, how do we get people to do this?

  1. Give them something to talk about. Let’s say that you are looking for readers to review your newest thriller; you send them out one copy of your book, but also send an extra one for them to pass on to a friend who might be interested in the same genre. Why? Becasue the story of getting 2 of the same book in the mail (when you were expecting 1) and giving it to a friend is a repeatable, talk-worthy story.  It also gives the book reviewer social currency by making them feel important and telling people that they are trusted to provide an honest review of your work. It makes them seem like an expert or that they’re privy to inside information.
  2. Guerrilla marketing. Do something big. Something totally unexpected. Like the time McDonalds painted a gigantic box of french fries on the street at pedestrian crossing; imagine you’re walking across that intersection with your kids and they see a massive box of fries…guess where you’re going? To the nearest McDonald’s to get a Happy Meal. For an example of what I did for my own Guerilla marketing campaign, listen to the latest episode of my podcast here: https://jidwkx.podbean.com/e/social-currency/
  3. Out of the box thinking. Remember Snapple? The juice drink that came in a glass bottle with a metal lid? Under the lid hid fun facts such as Kangaroos can’t walk backward and a glass ball will bounce higher than a rubber ball. These facts (all true) are fun, repeatable, sharable, and interesting. The same kind of thing needs to be done for your books; could you include a few fun facts at the end of your story? Could you create a contest online that gets people talking and sharing? What if you had an online treasure hunt with a massive prize where the clues could only be found within your books?

People love to talk, but only 7% of word of mouth marketing happens online. The real publicity of your brand/books/business happens in person. Remember that advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for and social currency is what customers “Hurray” for.

Posted on Leave a comment

An Exclusive Offer for Self-Published Authors

October 26, 2020– Today I’d like to speak specifically to the self-published authors out there. Self-publishing your work can be a monumental task, but congratulations if you’ve succeeded. I hope your book sales are going well and that you’re able to make a good income from your work. If you have a book that’s been self-published, but things aren’t going as planned in terms of sales, marketing, discoverability, or reviews, I’m here to help! I’m offering a very special course for a limited time only. The course is titled, Get Your Book Noticed and Increase Your Sales  and here’s what it covers:

  1. Why your book isn’t selling and ten things you can do about it.
  2. Sprinkler or Waterfall? The best approach to marketing your book.
  3. Amazon Best Seller List. What you need to know and the dos and don’ts of hitting the top.
  4. Why your display matters even though you think it doesn’t.
  5. Data Analysis and Implementation. What numbers you should be looking at daily. Metadata matters!
  6. Reviews and word of mouth. How to get both.
  7. How to capture leads and convert them into sales.
  8. Newsletters, what works and what doesn’t.
  9. Navigating Goodreads to get the best publicity possible and the cardinal rule that you should NEVER break.
  10. Facebook, Instagram ads, what works and what doesn’t. The importance of writing great copy that sells.

I’ve taken the most relevant pieces of information that I’ve learned through my courses at Wharton and Copenhagen business school to combine ideas from Consumer Neuromarketing and Neuroscience and Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content. Each section has modules and printable downloads to help you craft an effective campaign for your book. For more information send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com or click on the link below to purchase:  https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/course-get-your-book-noticed-and-increase-your-sales/

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Kids in Poverty

October 23, 2020– Why should a good education be exclusive to rich kids? Schools in low-income neighbourhoods across the US, specifically in communities of colour, lack resources that are standard at wealthier schools — things like musical instruments, new books, healthy school lunches and soccer fields — and this has a real impact on the potential of students. Kandice Sumner sees the disparity every day in her classroom in Boston. In this inspiring talk, she asks us to face facts — and change them.

Posted on Leave a comment

The Making of a Murderer

October 23, 2020-A lot of people who visit our blog are thriller/crime/mystery writers working on novels. These genres usually have more than one thing in common, but let’s talk about the most obvious, murder.

It’s important to get it right when writing murder scenes, and it’s even more important to get the character right. When I was writing Obsessed with Her, I was fortunate enough to have the head of Toronto Homicide consult me on my book; I wanted to make sure the scene was set correctly because I didn’t want to destroy any ounce of my credibility as a writer. I didn’t want cops, law enforcement officers, or savvy readers to pick up my book and say, “That’s not how it works,” while reading the crime scene events, so that’s why I brought in the experts. Research and accuracy are the keys to any great book.

When writing about murder, let’s explore some common traits of serial killers:

  1. Deceitful/Manipulative-What is your character hiding? Who are they lying to? How are they making other characters believe their lies?
  2. Lack of Empathy/Remorse-Has your character shown empathy or remorse when they’ve caused a bad situation or have hurt the feelings of another person? Do they put themselves in another’s shoes, or can they not relate?
  3. Compulsive-Is your character a loose cannon? Do they give in to their wants and desires no matter the cost?
  4. Lack of Self-Control– Does your character do what they want when they want to? Are they unable to help themselves and find themselves getting into trouble because of bad choices?
  5. Antisocial Behaviour-Does your character keep to themself? Do they avoid others, especially when confronted with things they’ve done wrong? Do they go out of their way to be alone?

These behaviours and characteristics need to be woven throughout your book, like a trail of breadcrumbs. Would it help your credibility as an author to create a character that is like Mary Poppins and have them go on a killing spree? Probably not. But if you showed the reader a glimpse of the above traits throughout your book, Mary Poppins could indeed be transformed into a serial killer…now there’s an idea for a book!

If you’d like to join one of our upcoming workshops, Creating Believable Characters, send us an email pandapublishing8@gmail.com, and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information and pricing. Happy Writing, X LLB

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Marketing Calendar

October 22, 2020-Are you a self-published author? If you are, I hope that you have a marketing calendar. If you don’t have a marketing calendar or aren’t marketing your book, I’m willing to bet that your customers and potential customers don’t know where to find you and that your sales are less than stellar.

A marketing calendar allows you to be organized in communicating with your audience. Let’s explore Pandamonium Publishing House’s Marketing Calendar:

Daily-Post on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and respond to comments accordingly.
Weekly-4 to 5 times weekly, we do a blog post on our site. We also send a link to our latest post to the list of our subscribers. We do a weekly podcast each Tuesday. Friday, we check in with our Pandamonium Publishing House International Book Club members and discuss the book we’re reading. We mail out 100 direct mail pieces such as brochures and postcards to a mailing list of clients we keep in touch with.
Monthly-We send out a monthly newsletter to all of our subscribers.
Quarterly-We post content on YouTube *We need to increase the frequency of these posts. We send out an email to customers who we haven’t heard from in a while to let them know we are thinking of them and to see how they’re doing.
Annually-We mail out holiday cards to everyone we’ve been in contact with during the past year; customers, vendors, teachers, authors, and businesses.

It’s essential to keep in contact with your readers regularly. You want to serve them in the best way possible but won’t be able to do that if they forget who you are and what you do.

Get your marketing calendar together, execute your plan, and watch your book sales grow!

Posted on Leave a comment

Personal Development

October 21, 2020-What’s the number one thing you can do to increase your book sales, make more money, and live the writing life you’ve always dreamed of? Personal Development. What does that mean? According to Wikipedia, Personal development is defined as activities that improve: awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and the realization of dreams and aspirations. Personal development can take place over the course of a person’s entire life.

Here are some things you can do to help with your own personal development:

  1. Read in your field. Studies show that reading one hour per day in your chosen field of work will put you in the top 10 percent of your industry within one year.
  2. Audiobooks and podcasts. People spend around 240 hours per year (approx. 30 days) driving to work. Did you know that if you listen to podcasts and audiobooks during that time, it would add up to the same time it takes to complete a university class? Use your time wisely and build your knowledge.
  3. Seminars/Continuing education. There are tons of free classes, seminars, and workshops that you can take to improve your skills. Check out your local library or college/university to see what they offer.
  4. Find a mentor. Mentors can prove to be invaluable. They can give you advice, help you troubleshoot issues, and introduce you to new people, ideas, and help you brainstorm.
  5. Study the greats. So, you want to write like Stephen King? Have you read his books? Have you read On Writing? What does he do to be a best seller? How many bestsellers does he have? How does he market himself? What does his social media look like? Do you follow him? You get the point.

The bottom line is success leaves clues. We live in a world where we can access whatever information we choose within fractions of seconds. The good news is, whatever you want to do has probably already been done before! That means that if you want to be a best-selling author, for example, you can find out what other best-selling authors did to get there. If we continually improve ourselves and expand our knowledge base, there’s nothing we can’t do!

Posted on Leave a comment

Know Your Numbers

October 20, 2020– If you’re an author or publisher, knowing your numbers can mean the difference between life and death (of your book and business). At Pandamonium Publishing House, we LOVE data, analytics, and statistics because they help us find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing. It’s important to track every campaign because you want to know exactly where your marketing budget/dollars are going and if they are effective.

Here are a few of the things we track DAILY on our website and social media:

  1. New users
  2. Unique users
  3. Total revenue
  4. Purchase conversion
  5. Day 1 retention
  6. Top 10% purchase value
  7. Day 1 average lifetime value
  8. Median session length
  9. User activity time
  10. Users by time of day
  11. Traffic source
  12. Country
  13. Engagement Metrics
  14. Purchases by device type
  15. Age of user
  16. Bounce rates

I know that this looks overwhelming, and it looks like a lot to keep track of, but all of these things are imperative to our books and the business’s success. We use Google Analytics, Facebook/Instagram Analytics on our ads, WordPress analytics for our website, and WooCommerce analytics for our web store.

As a small business owner or author, do you know your numbers? If not, why? You’re wasting your time and money if you’re not paying attention to the stats. How can you spend your money wisely if you don’t know what works and what doesn’t? Short answer-you can’t.

Sometimes I watch the shows Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, and some of the entrepreneurs come into the den/tank grossly unprepared. They have no idea how much their company is worth, their valuation is off, they don’t know how to forecast, and they don’t know their numbers. Guess what happens? Even if you’ve never watched either of these shows, you’d be able to guess that either their company died, their product died or didn’t reach its full potential, or that they didn’t get the money they were asking for and desperately needed to continue their company.

Don’t let this happen to you! Know what’s going on with your book sales, know what’s happening in your company and where your hard-earned money is going before you waste it on another fruitless campaign. Contact the experts at Pandamonium Publishing House to see how we can help; email us at pandapublishing8@gmail.com for more info.

Posted on Leave a comment

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

October 19, 2020– “To have something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.” I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before, but are you putting those words into practice? If you’re like most people, probably not. What does the quote above mean? It means that to get what you really want, you have to do things differently than you’re doing them now. Old ways won’t open new doors. So take a good look at your writing life and see if you’re where you want to be; if not, then things need to change.

A new, self-published author sent me an email with this question: “I’ve recently self-published my book, but it’s not getting any traction. Do you have any tips on how to increase sales?”

So, I went on to ask them what they were doing so far…their response? “I wrote the book and published it.”
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We live in a world where the rewards come AFTER the work, and the price of success needs to be paid in FULL before we see any results. I consulted the author on how to put forth an effort to reach his sales targets and his response was, “That seems like a lot of work.” That’s when I knew that his book was doomed to remain in obscurity. It’s not what you wish for, it’s what you work for.

It drives me absolutely crazy when people say, I want, I want, I want, I want…but won’t say, I will, I will, I will, I will.
I have some homework for you:

  1. Make a list of the MAIN goal you want to reach this year with your writing life e.g. best sellers list, sell x number of copies, have it read by a celebrity, be interviewed on television about your book etc.
  2. Brainstorm ways to make your goal happen e.g. I will send press releases of my book to all major media outlets, I will go to schools and set up author visits, I will visit bookstores to see if they will carry my book etc.
  3. Take action. This is the single most effective thing that you can do to be successful. If you merely write a list and then forget about it, what’s the point of bothering to write the list in the first place?

Put the work in and you’ll reap the rewards. Plain and simple.