Stream of Consciousness

When you have writer’s block or are particularly not motivated to work on your book, try Stream of Consciousness writing. The term was introduced by William James in 1890 and Dorothy Richardson was the first to apply the concept to a writing style with her book Pointed Roofs in 1915. It is a method of writing wherein you write without a filter. You don’t have to be concerned with spelling, grammar, punctuation, or whether you make sense. This type of writing can help free your mind of clutter and identify themes, ideas, thoughts and feelings that may have been lurking in your subconscious and just needed to be brought forth. Sometimes the best way to identify ideas is to not think so hard.

Stream of Consciousness is designed to directly mirror your flow of thought. We do not think in sentences or add punctuation. Our minds operate on one continuous “stream”.

Stream of Consciousness writing frees your mind from structure, stress,    and allows everything to flow from your mind onto paper.

Sometimes rules can hold us back from rising up to our true potential. Applying this method allows you to break the rules and operate outside of the “box” and hopefully tap into some truly awesome stories and ideas.

I would love to hear if any of you have tried Stream of Consciousness writing and the outcome you experienced. Please share below! Happy writing everyone and remember there is always a way around writer’s block.

Local Leverage

“Use the power of your community—and the people you know—to gain momentum…It’s often easier to gain traction that way, and encourage word of mouth to ripple further out as a stepping-stone to the more difficult PR wins.”-Jane Friedman

Trying to go too big too soon will only burn you out and burn through your cash. If you focus on successfully marketing yourself within the local community, it is likely that the outside community will eventually take notice and big attention will follow. Start with what you know and who you know and your marketing will be more successful. Here are some questions that Jane Friedman advises you ask before starting your promotions:

● Who will be the easiest group to convince to read or buy this book?

● What events, organizations, or businesses exist (regionally or nationally) that focus on my target demographic?

● What local or regional media outlets regularly cover authors? What does that coverage look like or what is it sparked by?

● What local or regional venues (aside from bookstores) regularly feature authors or books?

I feel that libraries are a great answer and option for this last question. One way you can begin marketing yourself locally is to link up with your county libraries. Libraries are attempting to change the way they are perceived and it is working. They are no longer just a place to check out free books. They are a place of reading events, author signings, exercise classes, study hall, movie nights, concerts, family activities and more.

Marketing doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. Think small and think easy. This concept may seem counter intuitive, but in the author world it’s definitely not.

 

Mindset of the Marketer

Written by Guest Blogger-Rachael Storey

“Selfish marketing doesn’t last.” -Seth Godin

This article is one of the most inspiring I’ve read in regard to marketing and made me think of marketing in a whole new light. Too often the mindset of the marketer is “How is this going to help me succeed, make money, get noticed?” If you are constantly only thinking of yourself and not how your marketing is going to benefit your target audience, then your target audience isn’t going to care. They will unfollow you, unfriend you, and stop buying your product. “How can I help others and what do I want to accomplish?”, should be the mindset of every marketer and every business person. With this mindset your products and the marketing used to promote those products, will be more successful and more enriching.

Seth Godin states, “Sometimes there’s an overlap between your selfish needs and hers [the consumer], but you can save everyone a lot of time and hassle if you begin and end with a focus on being of service.”

The only way your marketing will last long term is if you adopt this new way of thinking. So before every post, every video, every ad, every new book, think “how is this going to help others?”

Page, Profile, or Group?

Written by guest blogger-Rachael Storey

Where Facebook is concerned you have 3 different options you can utilize for marketing. You can use your personal profile page, create a business page and/or create groups. There are pros and cons of each, which have been outlined below. Some of this list and advice comes from a blog article written by Jane Friedman. 

Using Your Facebook Profile to Market Yourself as an Author

Pros:

  1. Managing One Account: If you already have a personal Facebook profile that means you already have friends and followers, all you have to do is convert them into clients. Change your Facebook profile to reflect your career as an author and start throwing in more author/business related posts onto your timeline. This way you don’t have to manage multiple pages and accounts.
  2. You can easily tag your friends and followers when you have a personal page. On your business page you can only tag individuals who have liked your page.

Cons:

  1. You have to be more conscious of personal posts. You need to make sure that your personal posts reflect how you want to be perceived as an author and that they project professionalism. You also have to find a balance between your posts about writing and selling your book and posts just about your personal life.
  2. The statistics and tracking provided for an official page are not available for personal profiles. There are also alot of other features available to official business pages that aren’t available with a personal profile. Here is an excerpt from Jane Friedman’s blog about this particular issue, “no information about how many people your posts reach, no access to the advertising tools…. You also can’t add new tabs to the page, and you can’t add a fancy call-to-action button (Buy Now, Sign Up, Subscribe, etc).”

Creating a Separate Facebook Business Page

Pros:

  1. You will have access to all of the tools Facebook provides to an official business page. Advertising tools, data statistics, and tracking.
  2. You don’t have to worry that you are posting too many things related to your author business, writing, publishing, editing, book sales, etc. People who have liked your page want to see those types of posts.

Cons:

  1. Your posts may not be as visible. Unless you are posting multiple times a day or paying to boost your posts, it is less likely that your followers are going to see your posts and engage with you. “With all the changes to Facebook’s algorithm, it can be hard to get your content seen, unless you’re willing to pay to boost your posts.”-Vanessa Cabrera

Creating a Group

Pros:

  1. Unless someone has their notifications settings turned off, every time you create a post on the group page, your members will be notified, thus increasing your visibility and the likelihood they will be engaged and participate.
  2. With a closed group or private group, you control who is apart of your group and what is posted by members of your group.
  3. There is data at the bottom of each post that tells you how many people saw your post and by whom. The people that are looking at your posts regularly are the ones you need to target.

Cons

  1. You don’t have the ability to advertise
  2. You have to establish rules for your members and what they can post and how they can behave in your group and you are responsible for monitoring that.

Don’t feel like you have to choose one over the other, you could have a personal page, a business page, and a group if you so choose. But hopefully this Pro/Con list will help you identify what benefits you can retrieve from each and pick the ones that will suit you the best.

 

Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch

Written by guest blogger-Rachael Storey

You should be able to describe your book in 15 seconds or less. This ensures that you retain the attention of your audience whether they be publisher, fellow author, friend, movie director, or journalist. The elevator pitch of your book should provide a concise summary without giving too much away, but also be interesting enough that your audience wants to explore more. If your book is too complicated to explain within the 15 second time frame, it is likely going to be confusing and difficult to read as well. Many people today have a short attention span and demand instant gratification. Keep this concept in mind when writing the book description that will go on your cover.

In the Cornell University Press Blog, Martyn Beeny says, “If you can’t tell people what the book is about in under 250 words, something isn’t right. It’s your elevator pitch for the book; don’t bore people to death before you sell them the book.”

Martyn says that the typical consumer will look at a book cover first and if they are interested, they will then pick it up to look at the back followed by the inside flap. This observation can help you decide what to put where. While layout and placement are important, so is the ability for your potential customer to quickly digest the key information about your book. Martyn mentions that a book cover shouldn’t be overloaded with text. “Don’t crowd the cover. Allow the words you write to breathe and have space to shine……If we’ve staked out our key piece of land and covered it top to bottom with a jumbled mass of words, we’ve just lost the ability to deliver our message in a convenient, easy-to-digest manner.”

I like to think of the old adage, “it’s not quantity that counts, its quality.” For example, you shouldn’t put every single positive quote or review about your book on the cover. Its not about how many quotes you have. Its about the best ones…the right ones. The ones that will showcase your book in the best light possible.

Your cover is a prime and powerful piece of real estate as Mr. Beeny would say. Use it wisely and display it beautifully.