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Countdown to Literacy, The Extreme, Supreme Dogwalker, Darlene!

December 2, 2021– It’s day two of our countdown to literacy! We hope you’re enjoying our books and the videos. To check out our full listing of books and where you can buy this one, click here: Book Listings – Pandamonium Publishing House. Today, I’m reading my book, The Extreme, Supreme, Dogwalker, Darlene! Plus, I’ll chat about where my inspiration came from for this book. https://youtu.be/3YIA6tt2zgQ

 

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Strategic Marketing Plan

November 30, 2021– I hope you’ve enjoyed the content this month which was tips for authors to promote themselves and their books. Be sure to visit tomorrow for a brand new theme of the month! Today, we’re talking all about strategic marketing plans:

Your strategic marketing plan shows how to market your book for success and serves as a roadmap of priorities and decision-making. Here are the questions that you need to answer for your plan. If you can’t answer these questions with a clear and concise vision, then you’re not ready to launch.

1) Does your plan align with the mission of why you do what you do? For example, let’s say you want to inspire young girls to grow up and be empowered to make good choices. Does your plan align with that message? These used to be called mission statements.
2) Does your plan assess the current environment and fit well within it? Are people reading more e-books? Are they reading paperbacks? What is the average price? What are they reading right now? Etc.
3) Does your plan identify a gap in the market? This is your point of differentiation. Publishing Made Simple came about because we got 15 phone calls in a week asking to answer questions about publishing.
4) Does your plan clarify strategic goals? What do you want your book to accomplish? How long will it take? How much will it cost?
5) Does your plan provide a logical pathway to reach the above goals? This is the ‘how’ you’ll do it.
6) Does your plan provide deadlines, objectives, and troubleshooting? What if the book doesn’t sell 5,000 copies in the first month? Etc.
7) Does your plan include a method for measuring and evaluating the success of the said plan? E.g., you set out to do a school visit four times a month, were you successful?

If you need help with your marketing plan as an author or publisher, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our offerings here: Virtual Courses, Classes, and Workshops – Pandamonium Publishing House or email us for a custom quote based on your needs pandapublishing8@gmail.com.

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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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Advertising (is what you pay for), Publicity (is what you pray for)

November 25, 2021-Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American friends, neighbours, clients, and readers! Enjoy your day and save some stuffing for us!

There’s a well-known saying in marketing that Advertising is what you pay for, Publicity is what you pay for. Today, as we continue to dish out author tips for self and book promotion all this month, we’re going to examine the differences and how you can use Publicity to your advantage.

Advertising: Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea, according to Wikipedia. I define it with much more simplicity-when you pay money to tell the public about your product or service.

Publicity: It is not a paid form of mass communication that involves getting favourable responses from buyers by placing commercially significant news in mass media. Publicity is not paid for by the organization. Publicity comes from reporters, columnists, and journalists, radio hosts, bloggers, and the public. It can be considered as a part of public relations. My definition, simply put, is when people are talking about your product and recommending it without you paying them to.

Why is Publicity so much more effective than advertising? 

  1. WOM. Word of Mouth. How do you find out about new books that you should add to your reading list? Maybe a friend recommended it, or perhaps it was part of a book club that you belong to; whatever the case, word of mouth is the most effective form of Publicity because the recommendations come from people we trust. Our friends and colleagues know us, and they wouldn’t steer us wrong or recommend something they know we wouldn’t like!
  2. Credibility. Anytime you or your organization control the message, people are skeptical. Look at political ads, for example; Paid for by the Blank Party of Canada. They control the message, and that means that they can spin it any way they want to. When the organization, publisher, or brand doesn’t control the message being provided to the public, that is where the truth is. Of course, authors will say that their new novel is the latest and greatest and akin to Stephen King, but the public may feel differently! Publicity is where the truth is. Think of it this way; advertising builds exposure, where Publicity builds trust.
  3. Cost. Publicity is free. Advertising costs tens of thousands of dollars a year and sometimes even more than that! Publicity is a journalist (who is not invested in your book by means of monetary gain) who writes an article for their column on your newest novel; it is reviews and recommendations of your book by readers on Amazon or online, it’s a Facebook or social media post that shows the cover of your book and someone enjoying it while they lay on a beach.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why in the world anyone would ever pay for advertising? While there are a number of answers to that, we’ll discuss that in a different post later on. For now, Publicity is critical.

If you’re interested in helping your book gain more traction, check out my courses 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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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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Author Interviews

November 17, 2021– We’re talking about daily, actionable tips for authors to help promote themselves and their books all through November. Today, we’re focusing on author interviews! What exactly are author interviews, you ask? Well, I’m not going to tell you; I’m going to show you. There are endless benefits to doing author interviews like connecting with your audience, answering reader questions, and cross-promotion with other businesses, as you’ll see here with our very own Tonya Cartmell discussing her book The 12 Days of Rescue. Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/ONAFfUs4jLI

Be to join us tonight, November 17th, at 7 pm EST on Facebook Live (Pandamonium Publishing House) as we talk to author Lynn Baillie about her new book Breaking Out of the Darkness. Stay tuned for more author interviews!

Check out our entire book listing here: Book Listings – Pandamonium Publishing House including Tonya’s!

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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

 

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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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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