(Business) Blogging for Business

Oblogf all the marketing tools available to the fiction writer, blogging is one of the most effective. But to maximize your blog’s effectiveness for building sales, you need to keep some important points in mind:

1) Know what you are talking about.  Blog readers expect expertise. Give your readers cutting-edge information on your topic. Take the time to keep abreast of industry news and industry practices. As the old saying goes, “content is king” when it comes to blogging. 

2) Cultivate trust and credibility. One of the best ways to do this is by following Tip #1 above. When you consistently give readers information that helps them succeed, they will keep coming back to your blog.

3) Develop a community of readers that interacts with one another.  Seth Godin calls this community of readers your tribe. Your tribe will be an outgrowth of tips #1 and #2. When you inspire the trust of those who read your blog because you provide great content, those readers will turn into your followers. They will follow not only your blog, but also your Facebook page, your Twitter account, and other social media venues.  Eventually, many of these followers will become your customers.

Blogging offers many other advantages to the fiction writer. Start by focusing on these three. They will take you far on your journey toward building your fiction-writing business.

Copyright 2014 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.
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(Business) Indie Publishing

Many writers are becoming frustrated with the long waits and low pay of traditional publishing and are turning to Indie publishing.

What is Indie publishing? Indie is short for “independent” and denotes writers who publish their work themselves. As more and more authors reap significant financial benefits from publishing their own books, the Big Five publishers have stopped looking down their noses at self-publishers. What once carried a huge stigma now carries respect.

So, is indie publishing for everyone? The answer is no. The real question to ask, however, is “Is indie publishing for me?”  Before you answer that question for yourself, however, ask yourself the preliminary questions below:

1)  Is indie publishing in my best interests? In other words, will publishing your own work reap you the rewards you want to reap from your writing efforts? These rewards are not only financial; they are also psychological, emotional, and relational. Some writers want to keep their professional fate in their own hands and not depend on market trends to determine their success.  Other authors get discouraged at the long waits that traditional publishing, by its very nature, imposes.  So consider each of these aspects when considering your “best interests”.

2) Am I prepared to tackle the many challenges associated with indie publishing? Challenges like hiring an outstanding editor to review your work, finding the best venue for digital conversion of your book, handling all the marketing on your own? As an indie publisher, you will be not only chief writer, but you will also be chief cook and bottle washer.  If you are prepared to handle all aspects of the publishing process–and I mean “all”– then indie publishing may be for you.

3) Will indie publishing help me fulfill the long-term goals I have set for my writing career? Will I reach the audience I want to reach? Will I be happy reaching only a niche market? Will I reach my financial goals for my writing?

These are only a few of the important questions you will need to ask yourself before choosing to become an indie publisher. Talk to others who have gone before you. Find out all you can before taking the plunge.  Once you are satisfied with the answers to your questions, then jump in and don’t look back.

You may then ask yourself why you waited so long.

Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

(Business) A New Direction for 2014?

As the end of 2013 fast approaches, I’ve been reconsidering the focus of this blog.  For a good while now, I’ve been blogging on the ABCs of fiction writing:  Attitude, Business, and Craft. On Mondays, I have been blogging about the attitude a fiction writer needs to succeed. On Wednesdays, I’ve been discussing the business aspect of fiction writing, and on Fridays, I’ve been posting on the craft of writing fiction.

I am considering streamlining my focus to only the craft of writing fiction. Before I do this, however, I would like to ask you, my faithful readers, if you think you would glean more from a craft focus or if you would like to see me continue the ABC approach.

Please let me hear from you. I write this blog to serve you and the Christian fiction writing community. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD. All Rights Reserved.

(Business) What Is Content Marketing?

Knowing your audience is a huge part of marketing. But equally important is serving your audience. How do you do that?  By giving them good content.

All of us are super-busy today, too busy.  If you’re like me, you are always looking for ways to streamline your life.  Long blog posts intimidate you.  Little white space suffocates you. But short and sweet grabs you almost every time.

 Your readers are looking for short and sweet.  And, I might add, meaty, too. Sweet doesn’t have to mean lacking in nutritional value. Sweet isn’t fluff.  Sweet is nutrition easily digested.

 To keep your content short and sweet, try these tips:

  • Focus on only one topic per post.
  • Present an aspect of that topic that is fresh and original. No room for rehashing in content marketing.
  • Write your post in an entertaining way, even funny if you’re good at humor.

Following these tips shows respect for your reader. And respect for your reader flows out of a desire to serve him.
Copyright 2013 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday Wisdom (Business): Promoting Your Book

A_Christmas_Home_5095a4580bd85 - 25.jpgAs I write this, I am in the throes of promoting my Christmas novella entitled A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING. It is an exciting time but a very busy one as well. In this post, I’d like to share with you some tips that will help make your own book launch easier, less stressful, and more effective.

  • Develop a marketing plan well in advance of the official release of your book.  In that plan, include an advertising budget.  Also include those target venues that will offer you the best possibilities for sales.
  • If possible, hire a reputable publicity firm to assist you.  I was blessed to hire the LitFuse Publicity Group which has been doing a fantastic job in getting my book out here.  LitFuse is boosting my book’s presence on the major media venues, such as Facebook and Twitter, and is providing an extensive blog tour.
  • Build a mailing list of family, friends, and everyone with whom you have done business in the past.  
  • Create a book trailer for your book.  Book trailers have been shown to be very effective in inducing sales. Here is mine.
  • Send postcards of your book.  Leave them in public places, with permission, of course.  Many local businesses will be happy to allow you to leave postcards or bookmarks, especially those business that you yourself support.

These are only a few thoughts to help get you started.  In a future post, I will share more ideas to help you get your book in front of the people who need to read it.

Now it’s your turn. What techniques do you use to promote your books?
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