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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

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Media Madness

November 2, 2021– We’re finding our way around the theme this month, which is an idea a day to promote yourself and your work! This includes best practices and tips to help you navigate the waters of book promotion, advertising, marketing and publicity.

Today’s post is pretty straightforward when it comes to approaching the media. Do what the media likes and stay away from what they don’t like. Here are the likes:

  • News: Above all else, the media wants something newsworthy. News is what people talk about around the dinner table and with friends, family, and colleagues. The main goal of the media is FIRST to entertain, then to educate/sell.
  • Top 3: Money, sex, and health are what the media thinks the public is obsessed with. If you can link your books to any of these topics, they’ll be more likely to pick it up and publicize it because it increases the media appeal.
  • Conciseness: Why use eight words when four will do? Get to the point, make your press releases/info/emails short and sweet and never longer than a page.
  • Targeting: Just like writing, if your book is for everyone, it’s for no one. The same goes for the media. Research the audience you want to reach and target, target, target your approach for the best media outlet to pick up your story.
  • Relationships: Everything is about building relationships! Folks in the media build relationships, and they prefer to work with those around for the long term rather than one-hit wonders. Once you’ve made a connection, foster it with a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

Here are the dislikes:

  • Too long press releases: Get to the point and make sure you have a hook in your first sentence that piques the editor’s interest. Again, no more than one page! They don’t have the time or the inclination to read anything longer.
  • Links that don’t work: Let’s face it; everyone gets annoyed when they click on something, and the link doesn’t work, is broken, leads nowhere, or takes too long to load. What’s more, is that this looks highly unprofessional and is seen as a waste of time.
  • Misrepresentation: Don’t lie, exaggerate, or make things up just to fit your publicity narrative. Your article, idea, or release has to be relevant. Don’t fudge numbers or anything else (bestseller list, sales figures, who endorsed you etc.).
  • Name dropping: It’s not who you know, but who knows you! No, but seriously, don’t name-drop. It makes you look desperate and ridiculous. It’s fine to mention someone who previously wrote an article on your book if you’ve kept up the relationship; if not, don’t bother mentioning them.
  • No follow-up: The fortune is in the follow-up! So many people don’t get what they want because they don’t follow up and find out where their request is or if there have been any developments or progress on your ask.

Follow the tips above while reaching out to the people in the media to chat about your book! Here’s a list of our courses that you may be interested in: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Daily Challenge for Authors

October 27, 2021– Is there such thing as a perfect day? Or does perfection not exist? I think that many days in my life have been perfect so far and that there’s a common theme that makes them this way; I get to spend the day doing what I want with who I want. It’s as simple as that for me!

Sleeping in, writing, great coffee, cuddling the cats, hiking with Mike and Luna, exploring new places, watching old movies, reading, and playing board games, are some things that my perfect day includes. What are yours?

For today’s writing challenge, I want you to write a 1000-word short story about your perfect day or your idea of an ideal day and what that consists of. I like this challenge because it’s so personal and lets us see how much we have to be thankful for and that it’s the little things that matter. Notice how none of the items on my list cost money? They say the best things in life are free-I agree.

Have fun with this! If you’d like to check out some of our classes, click here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Celebrate!

October 21, 2021-I love all of the photo prompts we’ve selected this month, but this particular prompts speak to me for some reason! I love the colour and style. You can almost hear the chatter going on around the table; whether it’s family or friends, it’s a gathering of individual personalities connected by common threads- food, wine, and conversation.

For today’s assignment, here are the instructions:

Write a 2500 word short story about a dinner party among friends. Write it in the third person narrative and choose an exotic location.  Let your imagination run wild, whether it’s a winery in the south of  France, a garden terrace in Italy, or a stunning backdrop in the Alps! If you’ve never been to the location you’re writing about, do some research to see what it would be like to visit.

Happy writing! As always, if you’d like to join any of our classes, workshops, or courses, they’re available here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

 

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How Does This Inspire You?

October 19, 2021– Writing prompts are a great way to get a glimpse into who you are as a writer, what genre and style you like to write in, and what your challenges are. Photo writing prompts are especially fun because they let your imagination run wild! Humans are naturally visual creatures, and we can remember up to 2000 pictures with 90% accuracy according to recognition tests performed in studies.

For today’s author challenge, I’d like you to reflect on the photo above and write a 1500 word personal essay about what you feel when you look at the picture. What thoughts go through your mind? What are you inspired to write about? Happy writing!

For more information about our classes, workshops, and courses, click here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

And for our list of books by theme/genre, click here: Book Listings – Pandamonium Publishing House

Be sure to visit frequently as we update these pages often!

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Writing Prompt October Challenge for Authors

October 18, 2021– October will be over in just under two weeks; can you believe it? We’ve figured out Luna’s Halloween costume, the cats’ costumes, and our own, so we are officially ready to celebrate Halloween over Zoom with our families!

We hope you’re enjoying the author challenge this month, which is photo writing prompts, and I hope you’re discovering things about yourself as an author and about your work. Let’s dig into today’s assignment.

Instructions: Write a 2,000-word short story using the photo prompt above. Use first-person narrative in the mystery genre. A lot of people make the mistake of using too much internal dialogue when writing in the first person, but a quick tip to help you correct this is to think of your manuscript as if it were being made into a movie. If your book made it to the big screen, would your audience know what’s going on based on what you’ve written?

First-person narrative: First-person narrative sits the reader right beside the main character during the story. The reader experiences everything the main character does and has a front-row seat to the action!  Use the pronouns “I,” “me,” “we,” and “us” to tell a story from the main character’s perspective.

Mystery genre: The mystery genre contains stories with narration in which one or more elements remain unknown until the end; the stories are like puzzles, where the reader is given one piece at a time to figure out the big picture. It starts backward (like with a dead body) and then finds out who the killer is. A thriller is when the story works forwards.

Happy writing! As always, feel free to send us your work for consideration to pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

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New Page! Courses, classes and workshops

October 17, 2021-We’ve added a brand new page to our site where you can see the educational resources age opportunities that we’re offering! Whether you’re just starting your education with us, or continuing your quest for knowledge, we have something for everyone. Check out our brand new page here https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/virtual-courses-classes-and-workshops/, and visit again soon as we have new classes added frequently.

Happy learning!

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It’s Our Birthday!

🎉HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!!!🎉Pandamonium Publishing House 50% off all of our courses one day only (October 1st) to celebrate our 6 years in business! Email 🖤🐼pandapublishing8@gmail.com for your 50% off coupon code! Can be used anytime and makes a great gift!

Check out our courses here: http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop

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Invest in Yourself

September 27, 2021– Continuing education for authors is essential to stay on the cutting edge of industry news, trends, topics, and writing/composition. Continuing ed is especially important if you’re thinking of writing a novel and today, that’s what we’re going to focus on! We offer our Novel Writing Course here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/novel-writing-course/

In this course, you’ll learn what it takes to write a great fiction novel that will keep your readers on the edge of their seats. We’ll personalize this plan to your specific genre and help you every step of the way, from outlining to wrapping everything up with a bow and everything in between. This intensive, interactive course will teach you everything you need to know about writing a novel that people want to read.

This course includes:

  • Outlining methods (four different types)
  • Character development and the most important thing you can do for your readers when developing characters
  • Plot structures and formulas (genre-specific)
  • Good beginnings
  • Bad beginnings
  • Climax, rising, and falling action
  • Tying up loose ends

Plus, you’ll have exclusive access to Lacey as a mentor; she’ll offer constructive feedback and helpful guidance every step of the way. This is a virtual course that includes 5 modules, downloadable worksheets, writing exercises, and videos. Work at a pace that is suitable to your schedule and availability.

Here is a testimonial from one of our students who took the course a few weeks ago:

I just finished taking the one on one Novel Writing Course. Having that one-on-one time with Lacey and a course that is custom tailored to my specific needs was fantastic. Everything we discussed pertaining to my current writing situation. Being able to pick Lacey’s brain and get good and honest feedback was awesome. New ideas would constantly emerge as we progressed in the course, and I found it a real muse for my writing. As a first-time writer I didn’t know where to begin or who to turn to. Thankfully, my friend directed me to Lacey! She has been so kind and helpful every step of the way. Her purpose to help writers really shows and really encouraged me to continue in my writing (which I love). That love could have died if I didn’t have someone like Lacey to guide me through these “waters”. I would strongly recommend this course. Especially if you are a first-time writer and trying to wade through the waters of authorship. Writer’s block….there is no such thing! 😉 -Miona Joseph

You’re worth the investment in your writing and in your future! Check out all of our courses here: http://www.pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop

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5 Free Ways to Continue Your Author Education

September 23, 2021– We’re almost done with our theme this month: continuing education for authors! We’ve covered topics such as how to launch your book, travel writing sub-genres, how to stand out from the crowd, and everything in between. Be sure to subscribe to our blog (on the right-hand side of your screen) so that you never miss a post!

Today we’re talking about 5 free things you can do to continue your education as an author:

  1. Read books. There are so many books out there on a number of topics! You can find subjects on marketing, social media, how to write for your specific genre, and more. There is an endless array of things that you can study to improve your craft and your business acumen. By using your public library or participating in a book swap/little free library, you can get loads of fabulously free information.
  2. Library classes. The library is another great resource for classes, workshops, and free seminars! I’ve done free talks on self-publishing, traditional publishing, and marketing for authors over the years and have also attended some classes at the library as a student. Check your local listings to see what’s up and coming, and most libraries offer a course catalogue online. Use the resources available to you and take classes in what you’re interested in!
  3. Free online seminars. I can’t even begin to tell you how many free online seminars I’ve taken over the years, and some of them have been absolutely vital to my growth as a publisher. Use Google to search free seminars for whatever topic you want to learn about. You’ll be surprised at what you find. Keep in mind that free online seminars are usually tidbits of info presented so that you’ll enroll in their course, but some of that free info is invaluable!
  4. Blogs.  As you know, this blog is free! There are many great blogs that are also free of charge and contain tons of valuable information, tips, tricks, best practices, and insight. Blogs are great because usually they’re written in a conversational, easy-to-understand tone for even the most difficult fields of study.
  5. Podcasts. Podcasts offer a well of free information that is uniquely portable. You can learn about pretty much anything you want from a podcast, and I especially love them because I pop in my Airpods and go about my day. You can listen to podcasts on the road, while cleaning, while working out, and past episodes are easy to access if you can’t write something down that you want to remember later. Our podcast is available here, and we constantly give away free, valuable information for authors: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-hfi92-10dfda6

Lack of funds is a weak excuse for not continuing your education; there are free resources available to you; you just have to find them and, most importantly, put them into practice! Happy Learning!