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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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2+2+2 Method

November 23, 2021– I hope you’re enjoying the content this month and learning a lot of valuable author tips to help promote yourself and your book. Today I’ll teach you about the 2+2+2 method; let’s dig in!

When sending out emails, direct mail, and letters, it’s normal to be worried about coming across as pushy if you haven’t heard back from the person you’ve tried to contact. That’s where the 2+2+2 method comes into play. As you’ve heard me say before, the fortune is in the follow-up.

Often, authors don’t know when to follow up, how to follow up, or what to say when they follow up. They don’t want to be seen as a pest either; let’s take the guesswork out of it all.

The 2+2+2 method helps increase your sales by ensuring that you stay in contact with the people you’ve reached out to at predetermined intervals. Some studies show that this method increases sales by a whopping 50%!

2+2+2 stands for two days, two weeks, two months.

The first email you send to your contact should be two days after you initially meet them or two days after the first point of introduction, whether online, in person, or over the phone.

The purpose of this email is to thank the contact for chatting with you and say some nice things to remind them of how you met. For example, I was visiting a wildlife preserver recently and was stopped by the Game Warden. He said, “I haven’t seen anyone this far out unless they were hunting something…what are you hunting?” I told him I wasn’t hunting anything, only that I enjoyed hiking off the beaten path. We chatted for over an hour about various wildlife in the park, and he gave me his contact info in case I had any other questions. I emailed him two days later to say it was nice meeting him and to say thanks for the chat, and I attached a link to an article that I thought he might enjoy about a wild hog on a golf course (it’s a long story). He’s become one of my best customers and buys almost a hundred books a year, all from a simple email that I sent to keep the ‘relationship’ alive. Plus, now he’s my resident expert when I have any questions for research on my book that has to do with plants, wildlife, ow.

You want to send a thank you email in two days because focus groups show that things stay exciting (or top of mind) for about three days. After that, the interest and memory fade.

The second email should be sent two weeks after the first to pitch them your book. Using the above example of my Game Warden friend, I sent him an email two weeks after the first one (he thanked me for sending the article in-between time) telling him that I had some great recommendations for books for his two-year-old son that had a heavy focus on nature, animals, and preserving their habitats (all things that we had initially talked about and that I knew he enjoyed and was invested in). He ordered our entire collection and recommended them to other family members. A couple of days later, we had sold over $1,000 in inventory. Not bad for a simple email that took a few seconds to reach out.

The third email should be sent two months later. I checked in with the Warden to see how his son liked the books and asked how things were going. He told me his son loved the books and that he especially appreciated that I had personalized and signed them for his collection. We’ve been in contact frequently ever since, and we’ve developed a friendship all from one conversation and a couple of follow-up emails. You get the point. Use the 2+2+2 method every time you reach out!

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Let’s Talk About Little Free Libraries!

November 10, 2021-As we offer daily author tips for promoting yourself and your books, we can’t leave out Little Free Libraries!

What are little free libraries? You can often find these cute book boxes in your community, sometimes at the end of people’s driveways, on lawns, and in public places like parks and playgrounds; they’re chock full of books that have been donated. There’s usually a mix of new and previously loved books with genres to suit a wide range of readers. 

So, how do you use this fantastic resource to promote your books and yourself as an author? 

  1. Leave signed copies of your book-Usually 1-3 copies is the perfect amount to leave so that multiple people can enjoy your work. Sometimes, people keep the books rather than borrow them, so offering more than one copy is wise. Don’t overdo it, and be sure to leave room for other titles.
  2. Take photos-Take a picture of your book/yourself depositing your book into the little free library and share the photo on social media. Let people know where they can find copies of your books around the neighbourhood/community/city. Be sure to use proper hashtags. 
  3. Check back often-Just like a bank, be sure to check on your deposits regularly! Make sure your books are readily available and see if there are additional resources you can share from the rest of your collection, mix it up if you have more than one title to share! Your book should include your social media handles, and how readers can get in touch with you where you can offer bonus items such as free downloads, discussion questions, and more. 

Here’s a great video about little free libraries: https://youtu.be/KIwh6TzYc70