Tag Archives: Career Advice

How I Marketed My New Book – Ask Alice Saturday

Question: How did you go about promoting your new book?

Answer: I developed a Modulated Marketing Plan. I’ll share it with you?

Shout Out imageFirst I established a couple of basic principles. I discovered they are basic with me anyway. Maybe they’ll feel basic for you too.

Do what you’re most comfortable with at the beginning when you’re searching for your rhythm and your groove. Accelerate at your own pace after that. Don’t ever panic. This is three principles rather than a couple – the trio I kept in my consciousness all the way through.

What was most comfortable for me was to write blog pieces. I learned the art of the brief blog entry when I was down-for-the-count for a while with cancer and drugs had shortened my attention span. An editor friend taught me to write short and my blogging career was born.

More recently a well-organized friend got me on a three-posts-a-week schedule. This is Ask Alice Saturday of that schedule. I’m comfortable here so I created Riverton Road Monday too – named after my series – and the first phase of my marketing plan fell easily into place.

Meanwhile the initial step of accelerating at my own pace was to look at what I was already doing that had a marketing angle. For example – what was I doing on social media?

My granddaughter put me on Facebook in the same bedridden period I mention above. I wanted to keep in touch – especially with other writers. Facebook was a comfort zone that turned into a visibility place for me and my books. Though I learned early not to direct market much.

Twitter was another thing entirely. All those postoids streaming past bewildered me until a writer friend turned my on to TweetDeck. Suddenly the incomprehensible stream sorted itelf into manageable lists. I love Twitter now. Though I keep direct marketing at a minimum there too.

Let me speak about indirect marketing. What you’re selling/branding on these media is you. I try to be my best authentic self. My most positive me. If people are attracted to that person – maybe they’ll also want to read my books. Which I do market more directly for a bit at launch time.

Next I got a new website. My old one was about me in a former incarnation. This one is about me in my new incarnation – as a full-time writer. I hired good help and found a visual image I felt represented who I am now. You can check out the results at www.aliceorrbooks.com.

A newsletter is the latest step in my modulated plan. Research told me I like the Debbie Macomber model. Personable. Low-keyed. Not very sexual. The first issue comes out next week. Go to my website address above and sign up if you’d like to see my newsletter too. You could win a replica of my favorite coffee mug in my first-ever giveaway. “Have a Cuppa with Alice.”

This plus some Guest Blogging is most of my marketing so far. A media savvy friend says YouTube is next. That makes me shiver in my summer sandals. But the third principle of my modulated plan is never to panic. Let’s just say I need to work on that one.

RR

 A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book 2 – officially launches THIS COMING MONDAY – JUNE 22nd! At http://www.amazon.com /dp/B00ZBOTH5O and lots of other places. This is my 13th novel and I thank heaven for my Modulated Marketing Plan. Feel free to make it your plan too – adapted to the comfort level and pace that’s right for you. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

 

 

Your Place of Maximum Possibility – Orr What? Wednesday

Sky's the Limit imageMy grandmother used to say “Always put your best foot forward.” She could have been speaking to anyone who hopes to be published today. I’m speaking to that very audience and as Grandma’s good girl I say “Always approach publishing from your place of maximum possibility.”

“Where is that place?” you might ask. Your maximum possibility resides in three venues. Today I address the first and what I consider the foremost of those – your writing work. I’ll get to the other two later.

To be in your place of maximum possibility for finding a traditional publisher or a readership as an independent publisher – you must write the very best work you have in you. The very best novel. The very best memoir. The very best nonfiction book. The very best story or article. That YOU have in YOU.

Anything less than your very best won’t be good enough to get you where you want to go in this extremely competitive media environment. On the traditional side agents and editors have piles of pages and a plenitude of digital submissions to select from when it comes to what they will represent or acquire.

“Choose me. Choose me” every eager writer cries. Your voices and mine are among them.

On the independent side readers have a multitude of eBooks and even indie published print books to choose from. We talk a lot about discoverability in the indie community. Those conversations have lurking beneath them our own cries of “Choose me. Choose me” as well.

Whatever your publishing medium choice may be the central question is the same. How do I emerge as one of the chosen? You write something absolutely bang-on terrific. That’s how.

You do that by getting your writer self into study mode. Study authors who are doing it right already. Study books on writing craft that can help you hone your own. Grab most tightly onto the tomes with lots of hands-on exercises. Do those exercises with your current writing project in mind. Because you must take what you learn and practice – practice – practice.

This also means going back to school. Find a writing course taught by somebody who truly knows how to teach. Listen to the jungle drums of student comment to know who that good teacher is. Then don’t miss a single class or blow off a single assignment. Take criticism with gratitude and run with it straight to the best writing you have in you.

Polish your writing until it’s a brilliant gem that will shine like a beacon to light your way from here. Because as you hold this writing gem in your hand and heart – you’ve reached the first great milestone without which the rest of your author aspirations cannot happen. You and your very best work have entered your own Personal Place of Maximum Possibility. And Grandma is really proud of you as am I.

RR

A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Officially launches with summer on June 22nd but is already available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O. This is my 13th novel and I wrote it from my place of maximum possibility. Alice Orrwww.aliceorrbooks.com.

 

 

 

 

 

How Far You Can Go – A Writer’s Business Plan Step 3 – Orr What Wednesday

Road Runner imageRefresher Course. A Writer’s Business Plan Step 1 – Work Your Butt Off. I told you about a high time I had with a long table full of clients back in my agent days. High in every respect because we were in a revolving restaurant at the top of a fancy hotel. And I got there by working my butt off.

Refresher Continued. A Writer’s Business Plan Step 2 – Do Everything Right. I told you about doing something crucial very wrong – my first lunch with an editor. Thank heaven she was a compassionate soul or I’d have made an even bigger fool of myself than I did. BUT I never let myself play the fool again.

Now we’re at Step 3. Which takes me back to the beginning when I had the wild idea to become a literary agent – my previous profession before becoming a full-time writer. Please forgive me if I digress to tell you where that brainstorm bright light epiphany idea came from.

I’d been enjoying a good run as an in-house book editor. I edited mystery novels – intense and demanding – no loose ends allowed. And Regency Romance novels – fun fun and more fun. So I had a good work balance going. Except for one thing. I was employed as an editor but I had the soul of a writer.

An editor’s job is to serve the interests of the publisher she works for. High – perhaps highest – among those interests is contract negotiation. The editor is supposed to get the writer to sign on the line for the least money and the most punitive terms possible. Sorry if that offends anyone. I don’t edit or write for a publishing house any more so I can be straight-from-the-hip all the way.

My main personal problem as an editor was my gift for contract negotiation. For some reason – probably my genetic gift of gab – I could whittle authors and their agents down down and down some more. But I didn’t like myself for doing it. So I decided to switch teams and use my negotiating skills on behalf of writers instead.

Then somebody told me I needed a Business Plan. “Why do I need a business plan?” I asked. “In case you have to go to the bank for a business loan,” was the answer. I couldn’t imagine wanting to deal with a bank that would trust me with their money at that tenuous point in my agent life. But I worried myself over the plan thing anyway.

I bought books at my favorite indie store – long-since gone. I researched in the library. This was back when we still did that. I checked out the internet too. What I found were basically templates and templates didn’t say much to me about what I wanted to accomplish in my career.

The truth was – at that point – I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to accomplish in my career. That lack of knowledge became the saving and the making of me as a businesswoman. I didn’t lock myself into specifics because I had no idea what they should be.

A single sentence popped into my head. “Let’s see how far I can go.” I wrote it on a sheet of paper and hung it on my office wall. That sentence turned out to be the brainstorm bright light epiphany I needed because it made all of what came afterward an adventure.

Granted I worked my butt off and enjoyed the successes and hotel-top parties that brought me. I also did my best to do everything right and when I fell sort I learned and changed tactics. The same way I changed tactics after my editor lunch debacle. Beyond that I kept the future open and my Velcro grasp at the ready to latch onto every opportunity that came my way.

Plus – I kept on keeping on in the direction of how far I could go at the fastest pace I could manage. Because – like the Road Runner – I know that Wile E. Coyote is back there. And even though he may not be so wily – coyotes have teeth.

I leap into my new adventure as a full-time writer with all of that in mind. If you asked me what you should do I’d advise the same. Let’s all of us simply See How Far We Can Go. My experience tells me we’ll be in for a happy surprise.

RR

My current novel is A WRONG WAY HOME – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #1 – available at amazon.com/author/aliceorr. A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – launches with summer on June 22nd. as my 13th novel.  Let’s see how far it can go. Alice Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com.