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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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Networking Tips for Authors

November 22, 2021– We’re giving out daily tips for authors all month long! I hope you’re enjoying all the information we’ve chatted about so far; today, we’re giving you some great advice on Networking.

Networking can happen at any time and a lot of times unexpectedly. Whether waiting in line for coffee, at the grocery store, or while getting your haircut, you should always be ready to chat about what you do and why.

  • Always have business cards. If people are interested in what you do, or it comes up in conversation, a good thing to do is give them a business card to check things out for themselves and stay in touch with you. I get their card as well, or at least their email address, so if they don’t contact me (for whatever reason, maybe they lost my card, forgot etc.) I can follow up with them.
  • Take notes. When I ask for their card or email, I quickly write down their name and where we met as a reminder. The more info I have, the better I can tailor my message. For example, if they said they had a three-year-old granddaughter, I would write that down so that I could send them an email about books that would be suitable for that age group.
  • 30 seconds. That’s how much time you have for your’ elevator pitch’ when someone asks what you do. If you can’t define what you do and what your book is about in 30 seconds or less, you will never get your point across no matter how much time you take explaining yourself. Get to the point and leave them with a hook so that they want to find out more. I remember being in a lunch meeting with an author who was interested in signing with Pandamonium. I remember the server asking if we were celebrating an event, and I said it was a working lunch, one thing led to another, and she asked what the author’s book was about. I recall watching her eyes glaze over as the author went into minute detail about every angle of his manuscript. I felt bad for the server and tipped her extra (true story) for having to sit through his torturous explanation. Needless to say, he never got published (by us anyway).
  • Not all about you. Remember to keep the conversation reciprocal; it’s not all about you. Take a genuine interest in the other person and ask questions that will help you get to know them and find out their needs, interests, family situation, etc.
  • Similarities. Finding similar interests between yourself and someone you just met is essential for creating trust and ease in the conversation. People think, ‘Wow, they’re just like me!’ If they feel this way, they are more likely to continue to talk and further build a relationship with you enough so that you can employ the 2+2+2 method.

We’ll talk about the 222 Method tomorrow, stay tuned!

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Three Simple Things

November 16, 2021– Today, I’ve posted a super short video on three simple things you can do to market your self-published book! This video is directly from our YouTube channel that I hope you’ll check out. We’ve got a lot more videos and more information for authors, and in keeping with our theme this month, today, you’re getting three tips to help promote yourself and your books. https://youtu.be/pDnG2sk-NgM