Building Momentum By Delivering Product

A book is a big deal.  I’ve said it.  You know it.

But most of us need to build ourselves up to writing a book.  And, you know what?  Many readers prefer to build themselves up to reading one!

Small and medium-sized projects allow us to present our work to readers and introduce our style, content, and topics to readers.  This is a great way to build our skills while building our audience, and it also can produce revenue to help us develop the financial means to promote our book—or at the very least, it’ll help us support ourselves while we write it.

A writer needs to be marketable, and the general assumption is if you can write a book, then you should be able to write an article (which I find to be very true) or if you can write a novel, then you should be able to write a short story (which I find to be slightly less true).

There’re lots of opportunities, including indie opportunities, so don’t pass this side of the business over.  Remember, marketing is about building relationships with readers, so the more of your work that is available, the more likely it is that you’ll capture a reader’s interest, and the more of your work a reader reads, the stronger your relationship with that reader becomes.

This spans from tweet to blog posts, from short stories to novels, from articles to books, and also includes non-written communications like podcasts, interviews, and workshop presentations.  So, look at the big picture and take the time to do some of the little work that’ll build your relationships!

About Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie created and produces in answer to a call from God to use her experiences and gifts to help others. Stephanie is also the author of and two books that can be found on that site. Stephanie strives to share her love, faith, and talents in an inclusive manner to help others who know spiritual pain and who know the bitter taste of the dregs of despair.
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4 Responses to Building Momentum By Delivering Product

  1. acflory says:

    For me, blogging, short story writing and working on a novel are three very different types of writing but, I’m starting to see that learning how to write blog posts helped me to write short stories and those two methodologies helped me edit the novel better. Even Tweets are helping me become a better, more focused writer. And the icing on my cake is that they all further the building of those relationships. Full on marketing is still a skill I’m struggling with but all these new things I’ve been learning act like a massive feedback loop that helps my marketing as well.

    Another thoughtful post Stephanie!

    • You’re right, of course. They are very different types of writing. Just like nonfiction and fiction are different types. And the list goes on…

      But the skills you learn blogging (like capturing an audience and developing your writing style) are things you can carry over into other forms of writing. The skills you learn writing a novel (creating a captivating scene or carrying details over the length of a work) are applied to other forms of writing as well.

      One thing to keep in mind is that I’m trying to reach a wide variety of writers with this blog. For you, considering what you’re trying to accomplish, blogging, Facebook, Twitter and (eventually) a website are going to be your PRIMARY means of marketing. That and what you have to say about your book (which you’re already doing on your blog). All you will really need to do is expand on the skills you’re already doing. You’re not quite there yet, but your book isn’t published yet so you don’t have to be. You are doing GREAT!!!

      • acflory says:

        Thanks Stephanie! When I first started reading all I could about this horrible ‘marketing’ thing, I read an article that talked about establishing relationships and letting the sales happen from that, rather than aggressively marketing a ‘product’.

        I knew I just didn’t have it in me to be an effective sales person but /people/ I like, so the idea of building relationships made sense to me. I still can’t blog about some of the more sensational, personal things that a lot of popular bloggers talk about but that’s ok too. I can’t change who I am and I don’t want to try.

        The other social media outlets still need a lot of work. They just don’t make as much ‘sense’ to me as blogging, maybe because I’m not much of a ranter and I hate hurting people. But I am working on Twitter and FB so by the time I have something to sell I may be a bit better at it. 😀

        Just have to say how much your posts have taught me about marketing – especially when it comes to trailers! So thanks. Seriously.

  2. Okay, I wrote a really long response on the little window in my back-end, and then I moved the cursor a little too much and it disappeared. So, this comment isn’t direct, but it’s for you Acflory.

    First, you’re very welcome! 🙂

    Second, one thing to keep in mind is that “selling” is under the umbrella of “marketing,” not the other way around.

    1) A marketer (or a marketing team) starts by developing a good product that meets consumer needs. In your case, that’s your book: an epic, science fiction novel that is quirky, fun, but also has a deeper meaning woven into the story.

    2) Next, the marketer communicates with the public about the product to prepare the public for the coming product. For you, that’s your current web presence, primarily your blog posts.

    3) Then, the marketer packages the product for sale in a way that is consistent with the communications. This is the cover and the back-of-the-book pitch.

    4) Then, the marketer places the product for sale at an appropriate venue. For you, that’s probably going to be Amazon and other online stores, including your own website when you have one. But it could also be bookstores, gift shops, conventions, ect.

    5) All the while the marketer continues communications–we still haven’t seen a single advertisement nor have you “sold” your book even once, though you do have people who are eager to buy it. (I’ll use myself as an example for that one. 😉 )

    6) Then, comes the advertising. These are your book trailers, your blog tours, your book reviewers, and the like.

    7) Next, comes the selling opportunities. Facebook campaigns, signings, speaking engagements with back-tables for selling your books, ect.

    8) Then, the good marketer continues to build and deepen relationships, which the good marketer was doing all along, which are once again the communications. Blog posts, social media presence, chats online and offline.

    If marketing is done right, selling is a very small part of the process. Hard selling is ONLY necessary when the marketing isn’t done right, and usually then it’s when the product isn’t up to snuff, but not necessarily.

    I worked briefly for a company that sold vacuum cleaners. These were VERY good vacuum cleaners, though a bit heavy, and worked also to take allergens out of the air and the carpet and wherever else you vacuumed. It was a GOOD product, but a BAD marketing model. The marketing model minimized communications (I’d never heard of the thing) and relied on paying hard sellers very well (and selling the product at a very high premium to pay those hard sellers) to get the vacuums into people’s hands. They could sell maybe 50 a week in any given area with this model. People made a lot of money, but it didn’t MOVE the product. Had they engaged in communications, lowered, the price, and let the quality of the vacuum sell itself, then they would have moved hundreds of vaccuums.

    I learned from that experience. I learned the importance of communications and the importance of understanding what a particular selling model is designed to accomplish. So, yeah, you could hard sell your book, but you don’t have to. And why would you want to?

    Right now you are at stage 2, moving into stage 3. By the time you reach stage 7, where you’ll do some selling (soft selling, not hard selling), you’ll be ready for it. You’ll also be so enthusiastic about your book that you “sell” it without trying to, because it’s important to you and you want to talk about it, and that’s all you’ll have to do.

    You are doing GREAT!!! And I’m glad I could help in some small way. That’s why I’m doing this! 😀

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