Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Calm in the Hoopla

March 7, 2007

From the moment you walked into the room at Mega Book Marketing University, the conference was unlike any other that I’ve attended. The large ballroom wasn’t set up with simply chairs. It included tables in a classroom like environment. When you registered, everyone was given a large three-ring binder notebook which became a tool throughout the three-day experience. Each keynote speaker had their own section of the notebook. Some speakers included fill-in-the-blank types of notes while others simply included their powerpoint and space for notes. Others had blank pages for notetaking.

Each major session began with loud inspirational music combined with cheering and applause. Each of the speakers had a unique perspective on the book business and different insight about it. Over 650 people registered for this conference. Two key facts emerged to me from the overall conference. The first point is one that I’ve emphasized repeatedly in these entries about the writing life: the book business is just that–a business. Yes, people have inspiration and creativity but they also need to be using the best and latest business techniques to enhance and improve their business. A second key was meeting some extremely successful people in the business. Each of them had a commitment to giving back to the community from their abundance. At the speaker dinner on Thursday night, Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books (over 144 million in print), talked about eradicating world poverty. Now there is a major goal.

Besides the speakers, I met a number of remarkable people one on one. After the hoopla, the key will be the follow-up and results which happen from such a conference. How will I apply the information into my daily living? Will I be one of the small percentage of people who do more than have a great experience? I want to be one of the people who apply the information to my writing life. There are some terrific conferences which are happening in the months ahead. I’ll be attending several of them and participating in various ways. The key from my view will be in the application.

Build New Business

February 12, 2007

The article addressed booksellers but I was instantly interested in the topic: Booksellers: Tips for Building New Business by Janet Switzer in the February 5th issue of Publishers Weekly. I knew Switzer’s name associated with marketing Chicken Soup for the Soul.

While this article is addresses to booksellers, much of the information can easily be applied to writers–at least writers who are working at their craft more like a business than a hobby. Switzer is a skilled marketer who has sold millions of books. Next month she has a new McGraw-Hill book, Instant Income. Notice the planning that went into this article. It’s targeted to a niche audience for Publishers Weekly and it appears immediately following one of the most read sections of the magazine (the various bestseller lists).

The online version of the article includes an active link at the end of the first paragraph along with this sentence: Switzer also has developed an entire book signing promotion kit for bookstores, at http://www.instantincomebooksigning.com/. I clicked the link and when I reached this landing page, I signed up for her Instant Income Book Promotion Kit. It is a fascinating study in a smart campaign with great tools for any retailer to use and promote her book which releases next month. Notice how each item in the package considers her audience (retailers) and is targeted to them with useful tools.

I’ve seen too many book authors not enter the process until too late or with too little energy. Then they are surprised with the lack luster sales results. It will take consistent work on your part–just like you’ve had to work at learning to write a book proposal or other parts of the writing business. I appreciated this post from John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing who asks, “How Long Should It Take For My Marketing To Work?” It’s not a one time event but something you work at for the long haul.

Let’s return to Janet Switzer’s article for the writer and I’m going to ask a few probing questions for you. Are you targeting your book proposal to a specific category and niche of buyer? Are you working to create media events around the launch of your books or your travel plans to other places? In Switzer’s materials, she’s open to scheduling a teleseminar for a “informative virtual booksigning.” I’m sure she qualifies these teleseminars to make sure the audience is going to be substantial.

The other key points of her article can also be developed for writers with a little creative spin. Are you working to open new doors and build new business for your writing? It’s more of a lifestyle mentality than a one time event.