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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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Build Your Bloggers

November 15, 2021-I hope you’re enjoying this month’s theme, which is a daily tip a day for authors to promote themselves and their books! Today we’re talking about bloggers and why they matter to your success.

Reaching out to bloggers to recommend your books is an excellent idea for many reasons. Let’s explore:

  1. You cast a wider net. By finding bloggers to read and recommend your book or by guest blogging on their site, you reach a wider audience and perhaps an audience that wouldn’t usually be on your radar.
  2. You cross-promote. Bloggers are often interested in reciprocal marketing; if they have you on their site as a guest, usually they’ll ask to be a guest on your site as well. You can cross-promote yourselves and your products to allow more options for your readers on both sites. For example, if you write mysteries and they write thrillers, you can promote each other and your books. Be sure to research the bloggers you reach out to because you want your book to complement theirs and vice versa. You could even team up and offer your books as a package for your readers.
  3. You get reviews. Reviews are valuable to authors because they allow readers to have a glimpse into what people think of your book and what they like. Bloggers will often give an honest review of your book in exchange for a copy of it. Sometimes they will ask you to return the favour and review their book as well. By getting glowing reviews from well-known bloggers, you can use the reviews in your marketing; post the blogger review on your social media channels and be sure to tag them so that their followers see it and will potentially follow you after that! It helps to build your audience.

Don’t make the mistake that many people do who reach out to yours truly; I get at least an email a day asking to be a guest blogger on our site. I get pitched all kinds of things, like how to clean your house for less than a dollar a day, how to get rid of bees, and how to remove soap scum from the shower. None of these topics fit our blog, so why would I take the person up on their offer and have them guest post? Do your research before reaching out so that you have a better chance of hearing YES.

If you want more information on how to further your writing career, click here for a list of our current courses: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House

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Wish List

November 12, 2021– Yesterday, we paused our posts to remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms. We will never forget and will always be thankful.

We’re talking about a tip a day for authors to help promote themselves and their books. Today we have a really fun yet very effective tip that we hope you’ll enjoy!

Do you have a book wish list? Not books that you want to read or buy, but a list of the celebrities that you wish were seen with your book or gave a shout-out to your book on their platform? We know the age of the influencer is here, and when we think of the original influencers, Oprah Winfrey comes first to mind. Oprah still has a lot of pull even though her show isn’t on the air anymore. Take, for example, Robert Kiyosaki (author of Rich Dad Poor Dad); originally, he self-published (the now international bestseller) and quietly released around 1,000 copies of his book at his private birthday celebration. His book had slowly climbed to the top of the New York Times Best Seller List by word of mouth, and a little while later, Oprah Winfrey came calling and said she wanted him on her show. Being on the show catapulted Robert to success, and his book ended up selling over 22 million copies in over 100 countries and has been translated into more than 50 languages. That is the power of the Oprah Influence.

Remember when Victoria Beckham was seen stepping out of the airport with 50 Shades of Grey tucked under her arm? Or when Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame hid free books around London as gifts for unsuspecting readers? Have you seen Reese Witherspoon’s book club selection at your local bookstore? You get my point.

Today, I’d like you to make a wishlist of celebrities that you would love to see carrying your book out in public. Dream big! And then take action. The best way to contact the celebrities on your list is by emailing the celebrity representative. Celebrities receive so many messages directly on their social media platforms, especially from fans meaning that your message could easily get lost amongst them. You can usually find contact information on their websites, agent websites, and by doing a Google search.

Best of luck! You never know what can happen and the answer will always be no if you don’t ask.

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The Power of Free (Talks)

November 8, 2021– Wait…I know what you’re thinking…we’ve already talked about freebies and giveaways! Don’t worry; we’re not duplicating what we’ve already learned. We’re talking about The Power of Free Talks to build your credibility and following as an author.

So what does this entail? Well, you’ve written a book, and now you’ve done something that a lot of people haven’t done but may be interested in; this knowledge and the process of self-publishing a book or being traditionally published lets you speak about your experience and how you got from point a (unknown writer) to point b (published author). By offering free talks about your journey, you can not only let people know how to do what you did, what inspired you to write, a bit about your book and where to find it, and tips to share, but you can build a solid following of new readers eager to hear you speak again and ready to buy your books.

Here are five best practices when offering free presentations:

  1. Don’t use PowerPoint. I’m not a fan of slides because I think that people pack way too much information into each one, and the message gets lost; I think it’s very impersonal and stuffy at times too. You want to connect with your audience in a more intimate way, and by standing behind a podium clicking through slides, you create barriers to yourself and your message.
  2. Practice until it’s perfect. Don’t use notes if you can help it. Looking at your notes, or worse, reading from your notes verbatim disengages you from your audience. Practice until your presentation is memorized, but allow room for things to be created organically based on the needs and wants of your audience.
  3. Bring stock. Sell your book at the back of the room.  A good rule of thumb is to bring what you think you’ll need plus half. So, that means if you think (or have confirmed) a dozen people will attend, bring eighteen books to sell.
  4. Anticipate questions. Leave some room at the end of your discussion for questions from your attendees. I like to give about 15 minutes and find that anything longer is too long to allocate for questions.
  5. Sign-ups. At the beginning and end of your talk, let your audience know that there is a signup sheet they can add their email to if they’d like to be added to your email list for upcoming events and information about your new book releases and future talks. Let them know the value of signing up, such as behind-the-scenes info, special offers, and more.

Places to do free talks:

  1. Schools-School auditoriums will often let you rent out their space after hours.
  2. Libraries-Check with your local library about putting on a free presentation or book talk. They’ll usually help you advertise it and put up posters for the event to let their patrons know there will be a special presentation.
  3. Churches- Some churches have community rooms that you can use for free or for a small donation. Check your local listings.
  4. Conference rooms-You’re often able to rent out small rooms above arenas and in corporate spaces.

Some of my most loyal readers and best customers have come from giving free talks at the local library! Give it a shot; you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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Marketing Media Mix

November 5, 2021-We’re only five days into November, and we’ve already chatted about press releases It’s November 1st! (You know what that means) – Pandamonium Publishing House, how to approach the media Media Madness – Pandamonium Publishing House, giveaways and promotions Give it Away Now – Pandamonium Publishing House, and customer appreciation Show Them What They Mean – Pandamonium Publishing House with lots more to come. Today we’re talking about mixing up your marketing campaigns to promote yourself and your books!

Focusing on strategic goals allows us to reach them. Where focus goes, energy and results flow. What outcomes do you want your campaign to have? Here are a few that you can expect when you do it correctly!

  • Strengthen brand awareness: If people don’t know you or what you do, how can they buy from you? By having a strong campaign that encompasses the below marketing mix, you have the best chances of strengthening your brand awareness.
  • Increase mindshare: When people see things repeatedly (7 times is the magic number), they start to associate your product with their needs or the needs of others, and you become first in their minds. When you see the golden arches, what do you think about it?
  • Introduction of a new product: By having an excellent mixed marketing strategy, it’s much easier to introduce your new product more quickly.
  • Differentiate yourself from the saturation: What’s different about your book from the books already out there? Focus on this point of differentiation in your strategy.
  • Move inventory and overstock: With your strategy in place, you should be able to move inventory quickly. By selling multiple units (such as a series), you automatically give your customers the best bang for their buck.

How to do this: Use a mix of strategies but ensure that they all convey the same message.

  • Print media:
    Display ads
    -Classified ads
    Door hangers
    -Direct mail cards
    -Coupons
    -Fliers
    -Niche Magazines and publications

    Broadcast media:
    Cable TV
    -Podcast
    -Local television stations
    -Local radio stations

     Internet media:
    YouTube
    -Search engines
    -Google Business Page
    -Instagram
    -Facebook
    -LinkedIn
    -Blogs
    -Amazon author page
    -Online stores
    -Website (banners etc.)

  • Out of home media:
    Billboards
    -Human bodies
    -Bulletin boards
    -Card racks in stores
    -Vehicle signage
    -POP displays
    -Tradeshows
    -Seminars

There are so many ways to promote yourself and your books, but without an organized, targeted plan, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Plan, set goals and target your approach to be successful.

Check out some of the courses we offer by clicking here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House.

 

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Show Them What They Mean

November 4, 2021– I know it’s only been a few days so far, but I hope you’re enjoying our daily tips for authors! Today we’re talking about customer appreciation; our customers are the best, and let’s face it, without them, we’d be out of business.

Show your customers what they mean to you in tangible ways! Whatever you choose to do doesn’t have to cost a fortune and can be memorable and sincere.

  • Thank them: So many businesses today don’t thank their customers. Rarely do you hear a store clerk say, “Thank you for your purchase or Thank you for shopping at (fill in the blank).” It’s a simple gesture that is taken for granted, and this simple, free act is enough to make your customer stop and take notice. Consumers today are so underwhelmed by customer service (and most of us even think that bad service is the new normal) that saying thank you and being sincere and authentic about it will impress them, and they’ll remember you. You’ll make an impression, that’s for sure.
  • Personalization: Address your customer by name whenever possible and show interest in their lives. In our database, we have critical points on our customers such as buying behaviours, but we also have snippets about their family, their job, their interests and hobbies as they’ve given us this info. We’ll ask how the kids are, how the pets are, how work is going, and we’ll address them by name. People like to feel important, understood, and as friends, and these things help us convey that message.
  • Gift: Customer reward programs can take many forms, from coupons to free classes, vouchers, rebates, and more. Let your customers know you care by gifting them something they can use.
  • Touch base: If you haven’t heard from some of your customers for a while, be sure to reach out and see how they’re doing. Send a quick email that says you’re checking in to see how they are and that you hope they’re doing well. This lets your customers know that you genuinely care about them.
  • Greeting card: Every single year, on my birthday, I get a birthday card from the garage where I take my truck in to get an oil change. It was unexpected but such a nice gesture. They took time out of their day to write a handwritten note to say Happy birthday, and they gave me a coupon for 10% off my next oil change. Guess where my truck has gone to for service for the past ten years? If that’s not loyalty, I don’t know what is. Do the same for your customer base.

The point is, you won’t be in business for long if you don’t take care of your customers! Let them know that they matter because they do.

If you require any of our services, check them out here: Services – Pandamonium Publishing House for additional assistance, please email for a custom price quote pandapublishing8@gmail.com