Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing historical novelist Tracy Higley. I met Tracy several years ago at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, when we were both hoping to be published. Tracy has made quite a mark with her novels set in ancient times – from Egypt to Pompeii, from Babylon to Petra – and she has travel videos on her website from her research trips!

Tracy Higley

Tracy Higley

Tracy, how many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

Thirteen books published, including recent titles The Incense Road trilogy (Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Royal Beauty), and Awakening. Read More →

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An end-of October hello from Marti Pieper in beautiful Mount Dora, Florida, where the advent of fall means temperatures have dipped to a chilly fifty-five degrees (yeah, I know). Today, I have the privilege of sharing with you the marketing and publicity expertise of multi-published author Tracy Higley. I know you'll enjoy her insights as much as I have. 

Tracy, how did you get into writing? 
Hemi's tomb 2, Egypt

 I've been writing since I was a little girl–short stories, newspaper articles, poems, plays, and fiction. I got serious about publishing about thirteen years ago and decided to write a novel and try to get it published.

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Garden Of Madness by Tracy Higley

The Untold Story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s Daughter.

For seven years the Babylonian princess Tiamat has waited for the mad king Nebuchadnezzar to return to his family and to his kingdom. Driven from his throne to live as a beast, he prowls his luxurious Hanging Gardens, secreted away from the world.

Since her treaty marriage at a young age, Tia has lived an indulgent palace life. But when her husband dies and a nobleman is found murdered in the palace, Tia must discover who is responsible for the macabre death, even if her own newfound freedom is threatened.

As the queen plans to wed Tia to yet another prince, the powerful mage Shadir plots to expose the family’s secret and set his own man on the throne. Tia enlists the help of a reluctant Jewish captive, her late husband’s brother Pedaiah, who challenges her notions of the gods even as he opens her heart to both truth and love.

In a time when few gave their hearts to Yahweh, one woman must decide if she is willing to risk everything-her possessions, her gods, and her very life-for the Israelite’s one God. Madness, sorcery and sinister plots mingle like an alchemist’s deadly potion, and Tia must dare to risk all – to save the kingdom, and to save herself.

Bio:

Tracy L. Higley started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. After earning a B.A. in English Literature at Rowan University, she spent ten years writing drama presentations for church ministry before beginning to write fiction. A lifelong interest in history and mythology has led Tracy to extensive research into ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, and Persia and shaped her desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past. She has authored nine novels, including Petra: City in Stone and Pompeii: City on Fire. Tracy is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ancient History and has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures. See her travel journals and more at TracyHigley.com

This new release information was uploaded by Cecelia Dowdy! Happy reading!

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Tracy Higley

 

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-#11 here.

So, on to Principle #12… The bottom line is that successful marketing is largely a mystery, and the very best marketing effort is to create a great product. OK, that’s a bit wordy for a principle, I know.  And it might seem to fly in the face of my previous posts.

We’ve spent the past eleven months looking at the principles that I’ve learned over my years in retail marketing. They’re good and valid principles, I’m convinced. But now that our year together is drawing to a close, I must, in good conscience, add a caveat to all that has come before.

 

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Tracy Higley

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-#10 here.

 

So, on to Principle #11… Track your ROI – rigorously.

 

In case you’re not familiar with the term “ROI” – it’s a marketing term for “Return on Investment.” When we put money into any kind of savings or stocks, we expect a certain return on our investment, or the investment was not worthwhile. If next month’s bank statement showed that your savings account had yielded a negative interest rate, actually costing you money, you’d be looking for another bank, right?

Somehow when it comes to the investment of our time and energy we are far more willing to see a negative return. But just like money, time and energy are valuable, limited commodities.

 

If you’ve been following my monthly blog posts or doing any research into book marketing yourself, you’ve probably amassed a list of ideas that seem overwhelming. Where to start? How much should I do? How much can I do? Where is the best place to focus?

 

I want to share a little strategy I use when it comes to evaluating marketing ideas (and it’s a strategy you could apply to other areas of life as well). 

 

Get out your lengthy list of marketing ideas, or “should-dos” that you’re feeling guilty about not having done yet to promote your books. If you’re comfortable with spreadsheets, I’d suggest putting the list in a column of a spreadsheet, because it will make the next step easier. But you can do this on paper, too.

 

Create four columns in front of your list. Label these columns Time, Money, Energy, and Potential. Then go through each idea and give it a score, on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest.  How much time will this idea take to implement? How much money? “Energy” refers to that more subjective factor of how draining this particular idea will be on you and your creativity. Does the thought of radio interviews make you sick to your stomach? If so, it’s a high energy drain. Does sending out postcards seem easy and fun? If so, it’s a low energy drain. While intangible, energy is still something we have in limited supply.  Lastly, score the idea’s potential to affect book sales.  How likely is this idea to cause a significant spike in book sales?

 

When you’ve got your scores all completed, use this simple formula:  Potential / Time+Money+Energy.  In other words, take the Potential number and divide it by the sum of the other three.  Then sort your ideas according to this overall score, from highest to lowest.  A simple truth will surface: the higher the number, the better the idea is for you.  That “energy” score makes this personalized. Someone you know might be doing a great job promoting their book in a certain way, but you can’t even stand thinking about that idea. That means it’s probably not right for you.  You also may find that some of the ideas you might have picked up first will not have the greatest ROI. Your investment of time, money and/or energy is not likely to have a good return.

 

And here is where our Principle comes into play.  Be rigorous with yourself. Do not waste time on ideas that sap your energy, drain your bank account, or suck up your time, with very little to show for it. If the potential is very high, you may be willing to invest more of those three things. But make sure that the investment you make in marketing pays you back. If not, stop doing it!

 

It would take another blog post to get into details of the best ways to track your ROI from each activity. For now, be proactive in choosing your marketing tasks wisely from the beginning, and get creative about the ways in which you can mark their effectiveness.

 

Remember, your time, money and energy are all limited. Spend them wisely.

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