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Tag (You’re It)

January 21, 2021-As we enter the final week of our Best Seller Bootcamp, here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/best-seller-bootcamp-january-4th-31st/  we have a number of things to still cover! As an author with a platform . are you using your social media to connect ideas with readers? Did you know that there is a specific way to do that? With hashtags! Hashtags are still an effective way to get more people to see your posts when using platforms such as Instagram, and using relevant, targeted hashtags is one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences.

Hashtags # work by organizing and categorizing videos and photos. A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 13% more audience engagement than posts without a hashtag. If you add a hashtag to a post on your Instagram account, the post will be visible on the matching hashtag page that acts as a directory of all the photos and videos that were tagged with the same hashtag e.g., #writersofinstagram.  Hashtags are most effectively used on Instagram although we do see them on Facebook sometimes, but not as often because people are less likely to read/care about them. Quick tips:

  1. Use a minimum of 10 hashtags on your post. This will ensure that you cover your bases and include tags that are relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach. Use a mixture of very popular tags and less popular tags to make sure that your post gets traction e.g. #authorsofinstagram (4.7 million posts) and #authorscommunity (156,000 posts). You can use up to 30 hashtags on a regular post and 10 on your Instastory.
  2. Think outside the (hashtag) box. It’s important to use relevant tags, but most people don’t get overly thoughtful when hashtagging. They use the common, most popular tags, but they’re missing out on a potential segment that could see their post by not being creative. Let’s say that you wrote a science fiction novel, some of the less obvious hashtags could include #manvsmachine, #robothero, #riseofthemachines, #machinesvsman, #newrelease, #dystopianuniverse etc.
  3. Hashtag in the comments. Don’t put hashtags directly in your post, put them into the comments section of Instagram and be sure to include your company or book hashtag e.g. #pandamoniumpublishinghouse.

There is so much more to talk about when it comes to hashtags and using them most effectively to promote your work and your posts and to connect with your audience, so check out our Best Seller Bootcamp where we dive deeper into this subject: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/best-seller-bootcamp-january-4th-31st/ and more!

 

 

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Publisher vs. Author Role

January 15, 2021– We are officially half-way through our Best-Seller Bootcamp!  Today we’ll be talking about the Publisher vs. Author role when it comes to marketing a best seller. For my self-published friends, guess what? You’re both! You are the Publisher AND Author, so you especially will get a lot from this post. The publishing industry has changed in the fact the publisher is no longer solely responsible for the marketing of your book. The author and publisher together are responsible for collaborative efforts to get the book to the top of the best-seller list! So let’s break it down to see what the expectations are; that way we find clarity, and there are no miscommunications between either party.

Publishers are responsible for: 

  1. Formatting, publishing, editing, and designing your book. We know what’s saleable and we know what the market is looking for in terms of genre, look, voice, and story. We work with teams of people to bring your book to the marketplace and to put it into the hands of readers.
  2. Marketing materials/digital advertising. Signage, postcards, brochures, business cards, press releases, and displays. We craft the messages and deliver the materials to publicists, the media, book sellers, our social media, and to the public. We create specific, targeted marketing plans for our individual authors and their works and then we execute those plans.
  3. Book signings/ events. The publisher is responsible for booking events and signings on your behalf. We make sure that you’re in the spaces that you need to be such as book stores, community events, digital events, and special events such as Comicon etc. We pay for you to be there to chat with your readers and sell copies of your books.
  4. Getting your book into distribution channels. Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Booksellers, independent and local bookstores, online stores, and different countries around the world are where we send your books! As publishers, we work hard to ensure that your book gets exposure by being available to readers everywhere and in as many places as possible.
  5. Digital copies. We ensure that your work is formatted as an e-book so that readers can enjoy it as a digital download. We don’t want any barriers to getting your book to the masses.
  6. Sales. We are responsible for sales (not solely) and royalty payments to the author. Why in the world would we put in all the work above and behind the scenes if we didn’t care about sales? Publishing is a business!

Author responsibilities: 

  1. Writing and edits. Write a great book, this is just the *beginning*of your job as an author. Once you’ve written the book, the real work begins. The editor will make notes and suggested corrections and you are required to fulfil them.
  2. Social media. You are responsible for your author platform. You need to be engaging with your audience, you need to be consistently posting your work and behind the scenes stuff that your readers care about. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon author page etc. are all places to start if you already haven’t. Your author platform should be built BEFORE your book hits the shelves.
  3. Availability. You need to let your publisher know your schedule so that you can be available for upcoming events including in-person and virtual. Commit to doing your part in making your book as successful as it can be. If you put in the work and do it consistently, your book will be a huge success.
  4. Code of conduct. You represent your publisher and are a DIRECT representative of the company. We do not tolerate racism, hate speech, inequality, or anything else that is a violation of the way that we interact with our readers and the public. We expect you to treat others the way you want to be treated and to treat them with kindness, respect, and authenticity. Don’t be rude, check your attitude at the door, and realize that you have an opportunity that most people never get.
  5. Sales. Yep, you read that right. You’re responsible for part of your sales. You are not the only author that the publisher is responsible for, so you had better get to work. If you want that nice, juicy royalty cheque, then take initiative by helping sell your work. You do this by all of the things listed above and by having the right work ethic and attitude. You can tell by your royalty cheque each month how much effort you’re putting in. Don’t like the numbers? Then put the work in and they’ll start to change.

If you’re leaving it up to your publisher to do the work that you need to be doing, you need to re-evaluate your role and contemplate if you should even be writing at all. If you decide that your work ends when you finish writing the book, you will be sadly disappointed. Your publisher has published your book, completed the behind the scenes things such as metadata, marketing, online events, press releases and more, but now the public wants to meet YOU. Have you ever looked at the inside of the book for the publisher name? Probably not. Why? Because we don’t matter, the author matters and the illustrator/graphic designer. The AUTHOR is who people want to meet.

Don’t disappoint your publisher either by doing a half-assed job on your part. Pull your weight, do the things that you’re responsible for because if you don’t, why should we invest SO much time, energy and MONEY into someone who doesn’t care. Plus, if you let us know that you’re not willing to put the work in and do your part, or if you flake out on commitments, or make excuses for not doing your share,  we probably (me ESPECIALLY) won’t invest another CENT into publishing your work or any future works. If you’re not committed, why should we be? That’s the hard truth and I’m not the only publisher who abides by this code of conduct. You want to be a professional author? Then act like it. If you show me that you don’t care, I’ll double down. Those are the rules if you want to play on my team. And if you think that’s harsh, find another publisher, because I won’t lower my standards. DO. YOUR. JOB. because I always do mine.

We want you to succeed! We want you to be a best-seller, but if you don’t do your part, it won’t happen. It’s a lot of work, but worth it! Check out our Best-Seller Bootcamp here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/best-seller-bootcamp-january-4th-31st/

 

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The Guerilla in the Room

January 13, 2021-As we continue our Best Seller Bootcamp this month, we’ll focus on a number of topics. Today we’ll be chatting about Guerilla Marketing and what it is, how to use it, and why it matters to your best-seller success.

What it is: Guerilla Marketing is defined as innovative, unconventional, and low-cost marketing techniques aimed at obtaining maximum exposure for a product. So, if that’s the definition, how do we use this as authors to promote our books? And to top it off, there is so much noise online right now, how do we cut through it so that our stuff gets noticed?

How to use it: Imagination is more important than budget. The purpose of Guerilla Marketing is to generate buzz-worthy word-of-mouth that is repeatable. You want to get people talking about your book. A word to the wise, ensure that your message is clear because mysterious, muddled messages will get people talking about the wrong thing. Some great examples of Guerilla marketing for authors include things like:

  1. Dress up as a character from your book and hand out samples, press releases, and promotional items that are clearly branded with the cover of your work and where people can find your books!
  2. Think outside the bookstore. Years ago, when Neal Pollack released his first book, “The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature,” he did a reading in the bathroom of a train station; 15 people showed up to the reading, but the story of an author doing a reading in a bathroom went viral and helped sell more books.
  3. Make it fun and interactive. If your book is a mystery or a middle-grade adventure novel, why not create something fun like a treasure hunt in different parts of your city! Get people to send in photos of the treasures you’ve hidden in order to be entered into a draw for a grand prize.

Why it matters: 

  1. It gets people talking. Your biggest problem as an author right now is people not knowing who you are. Guerilla marketing tactics, when deployed correctly, get people talking about you and your books.  And most importantly, they’ll tell others!
  2. It builds your brand. You, and everything you do, are part of your brand. Guerilla marketing allows you to connect with your readers and audience in a meaningful way. ONLY when people like you and trust you, they’ll buy from you. If you create your Guerilla marketing campaign with your readers in mind, you’ll make an unforgettable impression.

Take a chance on Guerilla marketing, you’ll be glad you did! And for more in-depth info on this subject, please click here: Best-Seller Bootcamp January 4th-31st – Pandamonium Publishing House

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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/

 

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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!

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Engaged

October 14, 2020– A lot of businesses are conducting Zoom meetings now because of Covid. I’ve attended a few of these virtual presentations and couldn’t help but notice the attendees’ lack of engagement. Some presenters are painful to listen to and seem to drone on and on while offering no valuable information or insight to their listeners. Others use outdated practices such as PowerPoint presentations that are badly done and statistics that bore the audience to sleep.

During some of the sessions I’ve attended, I’ve seen people play with their pets, text, work on their computers, and do anything else except listen to the speaker. Why is this? Simple. People don’t pay attention when the information is irrelevant, uninteresting, and uninspiring.

So if we know what makes a bad presentation, what makes a good one?

  1. Storytelling. This is so important! People remember stories, so each of your presentations should start with a story to captivate your audience. Think of TedTalks and people who professionally speak for a living; most of their presentations start with a repeatable, memorable story.
  2. Relevant content. If you’re reading your newest picturebook over Zoom to a group of school children, would you include a plug for your adult thriller? No. You would stick to things that are relevant to them and the things that they care about. There’s no quicker way to lose your audiences’ attention than to start talking about stuff they aren’t interested in.
  3. Know your audience. Who are you speaking to? Your presentation should vary based on your audience and what you know about them. For example, if it’s a club/organization/non-profit you’re presenting to, what is their mission? E.g. service before self, giving back to the community, volunteerism etc.
  4. Marketing. We no longer live in a world where people come door to door to convince us to buy vacuum cleaners based solely on their powers of persuasion. It’s now about YOU marketing, not ME marketing. It’s how we serve our customers and readers best and how we present our products in a way that matters to them. Stop saying I, I, I, I, I, in your presentations because it’s not about you; it’s about them. Stop making your presentation about yourself.
  5. Qualifications. Yes, sometimes it’s good to inform your audience of your qualifications to show yourself as an expert in your field, but most of the time, no one cares. Keep it short and sweet and if people want to know what school you went to or the degrees you have, direct them to your website or wherever you keep that information. Never start your presentation with your qualifications, you’ll lose people’s interest almost immediately.
  6. Participation. If sessions are too long, you risk boring your audience. To keep them engaged, get them to actively participate by asking questions, answering questions, and being part of your presentation.

Implement these pointers into your next presentation and you’ll captivate your audience!

 

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Data (No, not the dude from Star Trek)

October 13, 2020– As you know, I’ve been continuing my education with a few new courses that I found really intriguing. I’ve completed Consumer Neuroscience and Neuromarketing at the Copenhagen School of Business. I’m almost done my course at Wharton Business School on Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content. I’ve learned many things, but today I’m going to focus on what I really enjoy, and that’s data.

I can hear a couple of you sighing from behind your screen right now, but trust me, this kind of data tracking, analysis, and integration will help you meet your goals for your business. Companies mine data all the time but what does that mean?

Data mining in the most simplistic forms is gathering data, analyzing it, and using it to know your consumers better. When we know who are consumers are and have a firm grasp on what they do, how they behave, the things they buy, and how they find our products, the better we can serve them and fill their needs. This is also called Customer Analytics.

Let’s do a case study so that you understand what I mean:

We have an email list of 5,000 subscribers. 500 of those subscribers are men, 4,000 are women, and 500 are teens. If we are going to spend our money on a children’s book marketing campaign, we need more information and we need to further break down our list.

500 teens are immediately disqualified because they aren’t in our target market. Yes, there is some variable data that suggests that some teens are already parents, but lack the median income or disposable income needed to purchase books for their children. This is a sweeping statement and used as a general example and is not intened to offend or exclude anyone. That leaves us with the women and men. We know from previous data that most women are the primary purchasers in their homes. Out of the 4,000 subscribers, 3500 of the women are between the ages of 30-39. Women between the ages of 30-39 (based on the data we have from our webstore analysis) are the primary purchasers of children’s titles on our site. If we break that number down further, we see that 500 women are from Oakville, 500 from Toronto, 1,000 from Hamilton, 1,000 from Niagara, and 500 from other places in Southern Ontario. Again, we retrieved this data from analytics on our site. We decide to use data from previous sponsored ads on Instagram and Facebook to see how much of a response we’re getting and from who. We see that out of 500 views, we have 100 clicks on our site. Out of those 100 clicks, we see that 40 of them were for a specific title and were clicked on by women from Hamilton and those women used Instagram to find us (as the program segments it).

What does this mean? Well, the data tells us that they were interested in a specific children’s book, it tells us that they are from Hamilton, and it tells us that they’re active on social media (Instagram specifically). This also let’s us know that they’re on the younger end of the age spectrum from ages 30-35 if they prefer Instagram over Facebook as their main source of social media, plus the data collected confirms it.

How does this help us? It helps us in a number of ways; the data shows that we should be marketing a specific book, to a specific region, to a specific age group, at a certain time. We’re combining knowledge that was filtered from our ad, and what we know about the best times to post on Instagram. Now we can tailor our marketing plans to have the most effective reach and impact for our consumers so that they can find our products with ease and efficiency.

There’s so much more to know about how analytics and data can help your small business and entrepreneurs that I couldn’t possibly fit it all in one post. If you’d like more information about how the experts at Pandamonium Publishing House can help you collect and filter your data, send us an email at pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

 

 

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Weekly Podcast

September 22, 2020-Did you know that we have a weekly podcast? It’s easy to follow us; all you have to do is download the Podbean app on Google Play or iTunes and search Pandamonium Publishing House! Each Tuesday, we’ll talk about a new topic, and some of our episodes include author interviews, special guests, writing tips, small business advice, all things writing, and more. It’s free to subscribe!

If you’re an author and you don’t have a podcast, here are three reasons why you should consider having one:

  1. To reach your readers– Having a podcast will allow you to reach your readers while they’re driving, working, working out, cleaning, running errands, and at other intervals where they are unable to sit down and read a blog post or newsletter.
  2. To expand your network-There are 60 million people in the United States alone that listen to podcasts each day. A lot of these people may not know about you or what you do, so podcasting could be a new and innovative way to reach a new audience and expand your reader base.
  3. To provide expert information to your listeners– Authors and entrepreneurs are experts in their field. They have a lot of knowledge and information to share that can help others with their books and businesses. It’s nice to be able to speak to an audience of like-minded people in a weekly podcast.

Podcasts are easy, fun, informative, conversational, and valuable tools to have in your toolbox to connect with readers around the world. If you’d like to follow our podcast, click here: https://jidwkx.podbean.com/

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Are They Aware?

September 18, 2020-What do you see when I say the word McDonald’s? For some people, this word will conjure up the image of burgers, fries, broken ice cream machines and chicken McNuggets, and some will immediately see the infamous golden arches. It doesn’t matter what came to mind first, the food or the logo, because both things achieved the same goal, to make you aware of their brand and what they sell.

Are people aware of what you sell? Do the covers of your books come to mind when they think of you? Do they see your company logo? Do they know what you offer? If not, here are some good ways to make people aware of you, your brand, and your books:

  1. Business cards-Always carry a stack of business cards with you. It should say who you are, what your occupation is, website, email, phone number, and have your logo/slogan on it. Mine is black with a silver P, on the front with my name and owner of Pandamonium Publishing House.
  2. Brochures-These are great tools to hand out to people to explain your business offering, product samples, book excerpts, reviews, and services. Be sure to include your logo, colours, website, email, business name, how to order, and social media information.
  3. Postcards- I use postcards a lot for many different things. I use them to write notes to clients, to include in our subscription book boxes, to say thank you, and for appreciation notes to anyone who orders off our site.
  4. Banners/signage- These are essential for shows and events that you’re attending. Include your logo, brand colours, slogan, and website/email/social media info. Be sure that everything is large enough to read from a distance.
  5. Letterhead- This should include your company name, email address, website, address, and logo as well as company colours, and phone number.
  6. Email signature- Some days, I’ll send up to 50 emails per day, depending on the circumstance. An email signature is a great way to let prospective clients know what you do, who you are, and how to reach you and your social media handles. Also, if you have a writing business, your email signature is a great way to let everyone know what your hours are or when you’re out of the office/away from your desk.
  7. Social media-Amazon author page, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram- You should have all of these things and more. People need to know where to find you, and you need to be consistent with your posts. Use a social media scheduler like Hootsuite to pre-schedule your posts so you’re not tied to your phone when you could be doing something more valuable with your time. Your social media should all be linked to each other and be informative, educational, and entertaining while adhering to your brand message and aesthetic.
  8. Blog-How your blog looks and what it does are synonymous with your brand awareness and what you do/offer. Your books should be for sale online as well as your services, an about section about you and your company, and your logo, colours, and common theme should run throughout. If you’re a romance writer, for example, you could have topics on your blog that include things such as the elements of writing romance, specific genre information, how to write characters etc.
  9. Logo and colours-Our brand colours are black, white, and purple; this follows through to our cards, brochures, postcards, signage, letterhead, and blog. Our logo is a black box with a white letter P in the middle.

Every time you create content or interact with people, you are representing your brand. Do it well.

Have your coffee the same way that we do!
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Prepared or Not Prepared (that is the question)

September 2,2020-I was at the nail salon the other day getting my manicurist, Brian, to work his magic on my tattered, overused nails. Thanks to my profession, it’s hard to keep my fingernails long and beautiful, thank you keyboard, but I do what I can to make them look nice yet functional.

So, I’m sitting there and Brian and I are chatting when I overhear a conversation at the table next to me; two women strike up a conversation and the one asks the other for a business card. The woman rummages through her purse and comes up empty-no business card to give to a prospective client, how terrible and what a wasted opportunity. She turns back to the woman and says with a flush of embarrassment, “Sorry, I don’t have any with me.”

Don’t let this happen to you! Be prepared to do business!

Here’s what’s in my bag/truck that I never leave the house without and you shouldn’t either as a writer!

1) Business Cards-This is the easiest way to make an impression and the simplest thing to hand out. Invest in a high quality business card made of premium material. There’s no quicker way to squash a potential deal than to have a crappy business card. The worst offenders are the print at home kind because they never look professional. Be sure to include your name, phone number, website and email on your card as well as your company name.

2) Brochures-These are great when you want to show off your available services or product collection. Get a high quality brochure made from a professional printer and stick with a glossy finish for maximum punch. You can showcase your book titles beautifully with this approach.

3) Product Samples-I keep a few books in the truck at all times so that I’m always ready should they opportunity present itself for me to give one away or sell one. Your products are your most effective form of communication! Do not leave the house without your books.

Don’t miss any opportunity to talk about your books or your business! Be prepared because you never know what can happen.