Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 355: What Makes Marketing Work?

Nine Inch Nails - The Perfect Drug, snagged from the Internet by Denny S. Bryce.

There are no answers in this blog about the value of marketing. Just questions and a big heap of joy! I'm in NYC for the RWA Annual Conference. I'm not at the host hotel. I took my check book (okay, plastic) down the road to the Hilton New York. A little less hectic and elevators that go up and down, not through the alphabet before going where ever it is that they go. It makes be feel empowered.

Nonetheless, I will figure out the Marriott before tomorrow's sessions begin, but right now, I think I'm suffering from jet lag and just need to rest my feet - but not before I post this blog!

I took a look at the workshop schedule, and as always the RWA does provide an impressive list of options. I have decided to become smarter about marketing in the publishing industry and have added a couple of workshops with that topic in the headline to my personal agenda. I also want to improve my scenes, and feel even more comfortable with what some call the 'shitty' first draft. So with those three goals in mind,  I'm ready to get my conference mojo on, baby...

If you are here in NYC for the RWA National Conference - what's your game plan? How are you going to maximize your investment? (hey, unless you got a free ride and have free room nights - this is a serious investment). If so, what workshops on the schedule make your mouth water? You've got to make it to this workshop or you will bust a gut! I want to know.

So far for me - it's Roxanne St. Claire's "how to mend a broken scene". I took it last year, and thought I had it nailed. Then four months later I faltered yet again.

But there are also many buzz worthy workshops to choose from. But my focus has to stay on the prize - and this time, I want to walk away to some serious insights into marketing, scene creation/development and writing the first draft. Other than that all I can hope for is that all of the workshops I want aren't scheduled in the same time slot...


356 Days and Counting - Okay I Missed a Day - But Only by 25 Minutes

Oddly Dirty Puzzle Pieces? Yep! Snagged by Denny S. Bryce from the Internet

There is no guarantee that I will blog daily for the next 350 odd days. It's just that after yesterday's blog I just had to write something - guilt is a bitch.

I'm in a quandary. I can't get a handle on my tagline...those perfectly crafted short phrases that we authors LOVE to use to hone in on our brand. Who are we, what do we write, how do we write it. The tagline gives the reader a short-cut on what they can expect beween the pages of that author's next (or last) book.

Check out the sites below. These writers offer solid examples of grabbing your 'author' brand and running with it.

Burning Up The Sheets - Robin Covington
Romance with a Bite of Humor - Loni Lynne
Paranormal Queen - Vivi Dumas
Romancing the Palate - Rebecca Lynn

My challenge with all of these sites, however, is that I'm jealous. I can't come up with a thing that makes sense about my writing like these women have. I know marketing. Twenty-five years in the business. Successful by many standards. But does that make me an expert on providing published and pre-published writers with insights they can tailor and use to give them the marketing results they seek?

As I go into day 356 of my journey, but really 355 since it's nearly 1 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, the critical piece of the puzzle revolves around what will work to differentiate you and your writing from the massive number of competitors in the industry (who cares what genre you are writing).

What do I like about the four writers featured above - their tagline not only says - hey this is what I write or where I am carving out my niche - but they are differentiating their brand (their author selves) with a quick snapshot and phrase that tells the prospective shopper -- quickly -- what they will find in their stories - all except for Rebecca Lynn. She is establishing her brand identity by cultivating a following that blends her passions - food and writing -- using a very effective approach.

But for me, even my current phrase - The Science of Romance - misses the boat on delivering that message that rings in the ears.

So what is my tagline? I don't know yet. Maybe I'll find it tomorrow after writing my next blog.

In the meantime, tell me about your tagline? And why does it work for you?

PS: RWA Nationals tomorrow!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In the Groove: 357 Days of Writing...

"In the Groove" Copyrighted image by Salvatore Principe 2006-2010

I've been working a lot lately. Not writing, but doing the JOB (marketing events, products, you name it, the profession I've been in for 25 years). Good news, however, is that the huge JOB project ended (and I might add it was a success), and now I'm thrilled to finally get back to the JOB I love more than any other - writing fiction. The problem is my head is completely caught up in the project that has controlled my brain cells for the past three months.

So what do I do to get back in the writing groove?

Rely on the kindness of other writers. Yes, that's a major part of it. This week for example, I intend to get every inch of inspiration and focus I can at the RWA Nationals. From Tuesday through Saturday, I'm all about being a writer.
But that's just one piece of the puzzle. The challenge with the RWA Nationals or even my RWA chapter's retreat is that combined they take up only eight days of my year - so how do I get better control of those other 357 days.

Of course, it centers on my personal ability to be disciplined. But another key factor is still centered on those writer friends. At the WRWDC retreat in April a group of first-time attendees pooled their efforts to create an intelligent, fun, good read of a blog that offers excellent insights on the challenges facing writers and authors dedicated to their craft. Check out the Waterworld Mermaids. There's also a lot of fun there, too.

Another group called the Preternaturals (formed at Savvy Authors) will launch a group blog this summer, but in the meantime, many of the writers in the group support each other in any number of ways, helping to get the word out about new book releases, current projects and blogs, etc.  Some of authors in the group with current releases include Louise Bacio and Vivi Dumas, and Lani Rhea's blog is very hot, too.

So, that's my Day 1 of 357 days. After writing this blog, I actually feel like I'm getting in the groove.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Give me a little history with that Inspiration, please...

Image snagged from the Internet by Denny S. Bryce

Before settling in to get some sleep, I decided it was time to blog and the topic that is on my mind is history. I don't know what it is about the past, perhaps it's just the energetic young man who was my history teacher in 10th grade. After all these years, his class is still my favorite and most memorable.

History just has so much imagination. Sounds odd, but often when I find myself researching a story I am inspired by an event from the past. Or a historical figure who I usually bend into a character that often ends up the villain.

History is filled with unspeakable horrors, but also fascinating revelations and technological advances. But it is also the mystery and the magic of historical fiction that intrigues me. Years ago, I devoured Leon Uris, E.L. Doctorow, and even read some epic James Michener.

Now, it's my playground for make-believe or answering the 'what if' question.

NOTE: You'd think I'd write about the image I snagged, shown above. It has nothing to do with history unless it was science fiction or fantasy. But isn't it bizarre?



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