Hello from Bonnie in rainy Southern Oregon.

Bonnie's photos July 2007 025 -- 02

 

How often do you feel unfit to fulfill the call of God on your life? Once a month? Once a week? Once a day? More than that?  I don’t keep track, but I know I frequently doubt my abilities as a writer, a teacher, mentor, wife and mother. When I don’t reach my expectations I feel I’ve failed. We’re all uncertain, some of the time, about our skills and our readiness to fulfill obligations. I believe our lack of confidence exists because we rely upon the wrong power source.

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Gail Gaymer Martin Hi from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailmartin.com  Traveling is a passion of mine along with writing fiction. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to so many countries and every state in the union, and I love setting stories in those places. Some of my travel is the result of teaching writing at conferences or speaking at various events around the country, so my writing career offers me opportunities to do two things I love at one time—talk about writing in other places than home.

But. . .

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DSC_0194

Tracy (T.L.) Higley here, posting another marketing lesson I’ve learned from my years in online retail sales. As I’ve mentioned in previous months, I’m currently in the midst of an experimental year, applying principles from my retail business to the marketing of my fiction. If you’ve missed earlier posts, and would like a better explanation of my background and what these posts are about, please see Principles #1-#8 here.

 

So, on to Principle #9… Pay attention to the bigger “customers.”

 

Allow me to share an example from my retail business…

 

In my online craft supply business, most of my customers are women needing craft supplies for their own hobbies, or moms buying products for their kids. But in between all those “ordinary” customers, who purchase occasionally and don’t spend too much money at one time, there are what I call the “big fish.” These are the polymer clay artists who create beautiful beads and sell them as jewelry, or the quilling artists you can commission to create a keepsake for you, or the schools and summer camps buying Perler Beads for their kids. We identify these big fish by the size of their order, or by a business name in their customer data.

 

These folks are important. Just one of them can easily purchase as much as eight or ten “regular” customers, and they are also “influencers.” When they send kids home with their Perler Bead creations, the kids want their parents to buy more. When people see Quilling, they want to give it a try.

How does all this relate to book marketing? Well, give it some thought. Who are the “big fish” for your book? Who are the influencers? I’m not talking simply about influential readers, like active bloggers and book reviewers, though these people are certainly important.

 

I’m talking about going up a level or two. Who influences the bookstores to carry your books? The sales reps. Who influences the customers to buy your books? The bookstore staff.

 

No doubt you’re focusing a good deal of marketing efforts on readers, trying to add them one at a time, through your website, through distributing bookmarks, and all the other things you do. How much time and effort do you put into marketing your book to the sales reps at your publishing house? To bookstores?

 

With these “big fish” efforts, don’t forget all the principles we’ve talked about in previous posts. You want to think creatively of benefits for these people. Make sure you’re not the “squeaky wheel” – always whining for more attention. Instead, earn their attention by the things that you can offer them. Things they need. Reach out and make contact, interact with them and feed them fabulous information that will help them sell your books, offer encouragement along the way and show your appreciation for what they do.

 

I’m going to leave the creativity to you. I’d challenge you to spend a little time thinking about these higher level influencers, and how you can best benefit them.

 

 Coming next month… Grow by expanding your product line.

 

 

 

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Anonymous_Bride_final 2The Anonymous Bride, 

Book 1 in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series

by Vickie McDonough

from Barbour Publishing released April 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-60260-696-8

Three mail-order brides arrive in Lookout, Texas, each expecting to marry the local marshal. But—he didn’t order a bride. When a contest ensues to discover which bride will make him the best wife, there is a surprise fourth entry –an anonymous one. Mayhem occurs as the whole town tries to figure out who the anonymous bride is, and the mayor pressures the marshal to pick a bride or lose his job. Will Marshal Davis tuck tail and run for the hills? Or will he lose his heart and his bachelorhood? 

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Jeanette Hanscome

Jeanette Hanscome

Happy Monday from Jeanette, writing from exciting snowing-one-minute-and-sunny-the-next Reno. I spent most of today, not writing, but talking with my bank’s fraud department. Apparently someone borrowed our account number for some overseas purchases. “That’s it,” I told the bank representative. “Nobody in this family is ever ordering anything online again.” It’s possible that that’s all it took—an innocent purchase put information out there for a sick individual to snatch up for who knows what (make that, I don’t want to know what). It probably took them five minutes to rob us, while it took me hours to undo the damage.

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