Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Conference Debrief

Dear Readers:

Before we return to our regular schedule of Monday Myths & Tips; Wednesday Workshops & Field Trips, and Friday Finer Points & Guest Posts, we want to share that we are renewed and encouraged that our Author Marketing 101 message is beneficial and appreciated.

We've also been assured it is even more needed than we realized.

Some murky issues were already coming to our attention before the conference - primarily that when an author notices dips in sales they start messing with their marketing, and website, or career plans, instead of focusing on their next book and improving their writing craft. As we've said before - but not in these words:

Social Media is NOT the Magic Candy you can pour into a bowl at a book signing event to transform you into the next bestseller.  It is merely one component of a coordinated marketing plan.

There are tons of exciting ways to become a published author, but the basics haven't changed. To reach an audience - A good book needs a great story that is well written; a dedicated editor, an engaging cover & blurb, distribution channels, marketing, and promotions. When you are new to the publishing industry, you could blink past the basics or put your faith in the latest fad. We've seen it. We can't help with the great story, but we can help with the marketing aspects of your new career.

Everything we have here at this blog - we did (and do) to help our writing and small business friends, it's fun for us, and it makes us feel good to help others! If thousands of other writers and entrepreneurs around the world benefit - great!

This journey began because we got ticked off that our fellow authors were being fed - and paying for - amateur, outdated, and fear inspiring myths. Those myths are still alive and well, so we will kick things up a notch or two here. In addition, we will give you more information about our workshops and get busy on finalizing our workbook.

We are still novelists first - aspiring, at the moment - but with our decades of professional marketing experience it won't interfere with our dreams to have a tandem focus on the business side of our author careers.

So - we're back and ready to come out kicking with tons of new ideas and posts.

On Monday we'll begin with a great marketing blooper.

Have a great weekend!

Therese & Morgan

Monday, October 15, 2012

We are on Author-Only Hiatus until November

Emerald City Writers' Conference
Bellevue, WA  October 26-28, 2012
Morgan and I will be presenting a workshop called, "Push-Pull-POP Seamless Self Promotion" in two weeks. This years ECWC conference chair, Shelly Shellabarger, came to The Rose City Romance Writers' Intensive in 2011 and attended our first two-hour workshop on Author Marketing.  Shelly's enthusiasm and encouragement to continue our 101 message, and present at this upcoming conference, is the spark that began this delightful journey.

All attendees at our first workshop were enthusiastic enough for us to create this blog site as an easy way for them to have access to, and share, the PERSONA exercises, myths, and everything else, through to the Marketing Plan. We were called the Marketing Myth-Busters and decided to create a workbook when we were requested to present at the Clackamas Community College Writer Conference in May.

In March, we had the first draft of our workbook completed and knew it wasn't ready for distribution, yet, but a literary agent advised us to build our platform and - maybe someday we'll be saying the rest is history - the stats counter shows over 5,400 page-views to this blog in just five months of posting three times a week. We like those numbers because our intent is to help AUTHORS to have fun with their marketing and no longer be overwhelmed with the myths, bad terminology, and the social media panic. (We've also been requested to create a similar Marketing 101 presentation for Small Businesses.) 

However, regardless of how much fun Morgan and I have chatting about marketing, we are NOVELISTS first. The ECWC is all about writing and selling NOVELS and we've got to take our own advice that our primary career is all about writing/publishing our BOOKS and connecting with READERS. So that's what we're going to do - only wear our Author Hats for the rest of the month.

We not only have a workshop to present but have our manuscripts to polish and prepare to pitch. But our pages HERE were designed to present our 101 message and it's still here - with so much more awesome stuff! So, if you're a newbie to our site, please consider yourself welcome to browse through every corner and page. Take what you learn for a test run and let us know if we helped you lose your fear of marketing and now are having fun.

We both have our Author Personas online so feel free to check out Morgan's Mix Tape and Terri Patrick's Blog if you get lonely for us.

We will return....

Friday, October 12, 2012

Writing Tips with a Marketing Perspective

Another repost from Chanticleer Book Reviews and Media. We've added notes to each writing tool to add a marketing perspective 

Nine more Take-away Gems from Donald Maass’  PNWA presentation (Follow that link for the original post)

1) Think writing tools, not rules.

Therese says: One writing tool is to use what you know so that you can use that same information in your marketing. If you set your story in a real location then you have the opportunity to chat about that location and why it mattered enough for you to use it in your story.

Morgan says: In writing, as well as in life, take all the lessons you've learned and apply them to your reality to find your own groove.  The same applies to your marketing efforts.  Get creative, add your own spin, and have some fun!

2) Emotions are what connect us to the characters of a novel. What engages your heart will engage your reader.

Therese says: Think about who you were as a reader when a story inspired you. That's the audience you want to reach, the reader you were before you became an author. To be a successful author means being connected to who you were as a reader.

Morgan says
: And it is that emotional connection that keeps readers coming back for more.

3) Create interiority. Create an emotional landscape that the characters travel through–your story’s interiority.

Therese says: I think he means that an author should make sure there's more than one character arc and transformation that relates to the goal, motivation, and conflict, embedded in the plot. It's easier to market a book that has strong character arcs. This matters to readers because when they connect with a character, they also connect to the internal journey and it becomes personal for the reader.

Morgan says: Add depth to create multi-dimensional characters and stories.  Then use these details in your marketing.

4) Reveal yourself through your fiction by writing from a personal place, a place of passion, a place of experience, a place that matters. Give these emotions and motivations to your characters.

Therese says: THIS is how you remain Genuine as an author - you are using what you know. You can research settings, and details. You can research all those things that make a story easy to market. But it is the emotional journey that matters to the reader and that connection only happens when the author can get that passion on the page.

Morgan says:  Here, here, Therese!  And it is that genuine quality of your PERSONA that will attract more readers.

5) Genre categories have become a palette from which writers may draw from to create unique hybrids. Great fiction will not be bound by conventions.

Therese says: Genres are a brand and readers have certain expectations about that brand. Consider writing good fiction within the boundaries of the brand before creating a hybrid. It's easier to market your brand if you know what it is. It's also easier to blend those genres when you know what you're bending.

Morgan says: The popularity of 'mash-up' fiction illustrates Mr. Maass' point perfectly.  (Think Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.)

6) Surprise your readers. Don’t just write about the emotions that they expect. Think about the strongest emotions that you have experienced and then think about the underlying ones, the subtle ones. Write about those emotions instead of what the reader would expect from the scene/plot. Again, surprise your readers.

Therese says: Here's where COLOR is a big deal in your marketing and your writing. Color creates a certain mood and flavor the reader wants from the story. You want to surprise your reader, not bore them.. There are reader expectations when they come to a story that is presented with certain colors. To surprise a reader, you first have to give them what they expect. It's what they want. A reader has to TRUST an author can deliver a good story they want to read before the reader will let the author surprise them. The reader WANTS to be Surprised, but first they have to trust the author to appreciate the surprise.

7) Write your stories like they matter, and they will matter. Powerful fiction comes from a very personal place.

Therese says: Duh. Also - present your AUTHOR PERSONA as someone who matters! Powerful fiction is written by a PERSON.

8) Readers read to make sense of the world.Your reader wants some kind of insight into the antagonist. Who looks up to your antagonist? What does he have to gain? To lose? Why must he reach his goals? How much will he lose to meet his goal? What will he gain? Help your reader view life through the villain’s motivations and perspective. Make your antagonist multi-dimensional.

Therese says: Make your AUTHOR PERSONA multi-dimensional. Who looks up to your Author Persona? Why does a reader go one step farther to learn about the author? One reason is the reader wants to connect with the creator of the story because the story mattered to the reader.

Morgan says:   These added multi-dimensional elements also make your characters relevant to your reader.  And it is this relevance that will have your readers chatting about your books creating word-of-mouth buzz.

9) Beautiful Writing + Commercial Writing (page turners) = High Impact Writing.

Therese says: Yes. Until you get there, and have an awesome book to promote to readers, don't worry about your marketing. Keep writing.

For more writing tips and suggestions by Donald Maass, we suggest you read his guide, Writing the Breakout Novel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Field Report: Ride the Wave - PULL Marketing

In May, we published two Finer Points Friday 're-posts' on Intentional Marketing (see our Notable Posts tab for direct links):
  1. Rooted Marketing: Building Marketing Tools into Your Story by Dineen Miller - Friday, May 11, 2012
  2. Tips on Intentional Marketing (Dineen Miller's post with our comments) - Friday, May 18, 2012
Morgan says: In my many travels across the country and around the world, I am always on the look out for examples of marketing at work....yes, I'm a marketing geek, I know.  Last Wednesday I featured pictures from a bookstore at IAH airport in Houston, TX.  In that same bookstore, I found an excellent example of intentional marketing at work. 

Notice in the picture below how Sylvia Day's Bared to You is shelved next to E. L. James 50 Shades Series.  Ms. Day's book was originally self-published with a different cover,  however when the Penguin Group acquired and reissued Bared to You, they changed the cover art.  Since Bared to You's story line is similar to the 50 Shades Series, why not 'ride the wave' and produce a similar cover?   This tactic is one form of 'suggestive selling.'  Pictured below is the in-store version of the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" section on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any number of other websites.

In this instance, it is the store's merchandising team grouping similar products together in the hopes of boosting overall sales.   Having a similar cover subliminally validates (correctly or incorrectly) at first glance that the reader is purchasing more of what they already like, but from a different author.  The 'different author' part is expressed through the use of a warm color palette choice (dove gray + gold & black accents), instead of the cool colors (steel gray + midnight blue & white accents) used by the 50 Shades Series covers.

E.L. James next to Sylvia Day on the bookstore shelf.

With regards to "Rooted Marketing", E. L. James mentions several classical music pieces throughout the 50 Shades books.  Of course, it makes sense to 'ride the wave' of such a popular series and produce a CD compilation of all the classical music mentioned in the book.

50 Shades classical music CD on display at Barnes & Noble

Both of the pictures above are examples of a PULL marketing strategy executed at a Point-of-Purchase (POP).  Interest in one product, pulls a consumer to purchase a similar or related product.

Thoughts & Observations:
  • A word of caution with regards to similar covers (especially for my self-published folks who have more control over their cover designs), make sure  you are indeed delivering a similar story.  Otherwise you risk turning off (or worse - cheesing off) your target audience.
  • There are loads of examples of authors creating merchandise around a popular series.  More often than not, the author is actually licensing the use of elements of their work to a third party company.  (I promise you, J. K. Rawling isn't spending her spare time knitting Hogwart's house scarves, but she approved a licensing agreement for a scarf manufacturer.)
  • 50 Shades is the ultimate example of "riding the wave" (PULL) marketing - especially given the fact that the original manuscript was Twilight fan fiction.
  • How can you emulate this strategy?  Perhaps you can self-publish your world building notes to create a guide book for one of your worlds.

What are your thoughts?

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Can my Author Persona help me sell to publishers?

The whole point of creating your Author Persona at your professional website address is to engage readers and make a sale. Agents and editors are readers and a query to them about your book is a marketing process. So the answer is - yes, having a professional Author Persona and an engaging website will help make a sale if the book you want published is one they feel they can sell with enthusiasm.

Let's consider the query letter.
Dear Ms./Mr. LastName, (formal)
First paragraph is all about the book and includes a great hook, an engaging premise and characters, and a high concept theme.
Second paragraph includes the title, word count, genre, AND enhances the plot, conflicts, character arcs, and the tone and voice of the story, including the fabulous ending.
Final paragraph is a brief bio of your Author Persona and credentials.
Real Name w/a Author Persona
The only reason an editor/agent would check your website at this time is to see who you are online, and to verify you aren't already selling this book referenced in the query. If everything is positive, professional, and all the stars have aligned in your favor - editor/agent will request a synopsis with a partial or complete.

With all these interactions taking place via email, the trend is moving more toward the complete since they will know in the first few pages if the writing/story is strong enough. If so, the editor/agent will want to read to The End. The digital complete request streamlines time and effort for the editor/agent as well.

Let's consider the cover letter included with your completed manuscript to editor/agent.
Dear FirstName Last Name, (friendly-formal)
Thank you for requesting the complete of: title, word count, genre, and first paragraph from the query.
Second paragraph is a brief bio of your Author Persona and credentials.
Third paragraph is a brief review of the executive summary of your marketing plan.
Real Name w/a Author Persona
If the editor/agent likes your book, they will certainly research who you are online before they open discussions for publication. Having them begin that search at your website - where you have created an engaging Author Persona - is a bonus for you. That First Glance impression is within your control and could trigger First Contact for publication.

For the aspiring author, the only thing missing from your website is the Retail Page and Reviews. The News/Schedule Page isn't needed unless you have enough previous publications, and contest awards, to merit their own page instead of cluttering up your About Me page.

For the previously published, your retail page should have all books currently available for purchase with direct links to all point-of-purchase location. Then you can have a "Currently Out of Print" for books that are not available. Even better is name these a "To Be Re-released at a Future Date" section.

Your website and marketing plan will be required as a published author so get ready. And don't worry, the Author Persona can remain a work-in-process until you're ready for the next level - promotions.

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

Friday, October 5, 2012

To Network Well is to ENJOY the Interaction with Writers and Readers

Today's RePost is from Author Gary Ponzo's Blog 

Strong Scenes


So you've passed all the hurdles that seem to block your path to publication and you're finally a published author.  Congrats.  Now the publisher asks you the question they will ask every author when they offer a contract.  "What will you do to promote your book?"
Well, of course, you'll immediately tell them how many followers you'll accumulate on Facebook and Twitter.  And how active you'll be online to promote your work.  But is that really effective?

I've assembled a group of three prominent authors who use social networking sites to do a variety of things, including as a promotional tool.  Claude Bouchard is an Indie author who publishes thrillers.  He has almost 300,000 Twitter followers.  Luke Romyn publishes a darker type of thriller and he has over 225,000 Twitter followers.  Our third guest is Bob Mayer, who is a NY Times bestselling author who's sold over 4 million books worldwide.  He has over 10,000 Twitter followers himself.

None of these writers go online strictly to sell books.  As a matter of fact I can say with complete certainty they enjoy their time being socially active with writers and readers alike.  I asked them five questions which might help understand how effective social networking really is anymore.

Claude Bouchard
Here they are:                                                                 

 1- How many books do you suspect you sell each month as a direct result of Facebook or Twitter, or any other online site?

Claude Bouchard:   I’m pleased to see you’re starting with an easy question, Gary. The honest and correct answer is, “I don’t have a clue.” I do have people occasionally telling me they just bought one of my books but most don’t. Twitter and Facebook are communication mediums which have definitely served me well in getting my name out there as an author. I have no doubt this has resulted in some direct book sales but it has also led to network development with writers, bloggers and other creative types. Social media has opened doors to interviews, such as this one, book reviews, hell, I even found an agent along the way for a time, though that’s a subject best not discussed on a public forum. All of the above contribute to generating sales and all stem from social media. If you insist on a specific number of monthly sales directly attributable to Twitter and Facebook, I’ll go with the Doug Adams theory of 42.

Luke Romyn
Luke Romyn:  Such a question is near-impossible to answer without direct confirmation from each individual buyer. Quite often people will claim to have bought books when they haven’t – for whatever reasons, I’m never sure why – whereas many remain anonymous, and I have no idea if sales are from my networking, other means of marketing, or mere happenstance.
I’d love to think thousands of sales are a direct result of my salesman skills on Twitter, but reality dictates this is probably not the case. What my time online does create is an online presence which radiates out like a great spider web, hopefully building momentum along the way and gathering notice from those who matter: my readers.

Bob Mayer:  Very few. Overall, I feel few books get sold that way, but when there is a special promo or FREE, social media can help get the word out there. Social media can be useful for other purposes such as promoting a workshop or conference.

Bob Mayer

2- Do you notice a significant drop-off in sales when you’re away from these sites?
CB: A year or so ago, I would have answered yes to that question without hesitation. Since, thanks to continually growing exposure, successful promotions and so on, my monthly sales have increased by as much as 2000% and a certain level of sustainability seems to have made its way into the equation. I should probably send the Amazon algorithm a thank you note.
 LR:  I would like to think so. I spend significant time on these sites promoting my books along with networking and it would be extremely demoralizing to think I was just wasting my time. However, that said, on a recent trip to Vietnam where it was impossible to log in every day, I didn’t notice any great drop-off in sales. However, I had some wonderful friends on Twitter and Facebook (whom I’d met through networking) who promoted my books while I was away. So rather than sales as a direct result of posting about my books, perhaps the sales are more of a cumulative effect of long hours of getting to know people and they in turn recommend your writing.

BM:  No. In July I was on deadline and had to do a lot of writing so I spent very little time on social media and I saw no difference in sales.

3- How much time do you spend on social networks each day?

CB:  Hmm? Hard to say. PC is on from around 6:00am until 5:00pm and I open tabs for Twitter, Facebook, email, website, etc. They are up all day but I’m not active on them at all times. I do a fair bit of tweeting, chatting with people, promoting my work to a lesser extent and that of others to a greater one. I’ve sent an average of 146 tweets per day since joining in August 2009 so a cumulative two to three hours daily is a fair guess.
LR:  Far too much. After a while it becomes a near-addiction, and even though I might not be Tweeting or Facebooking I might still be lurking in the shadows of the networks, seeing what’s going on in my absence. Now that I say it like that it sounds kind of creepy. Hmm....
A better answer, however, would be that I have my sites open whenever I’m on a computer, so that while I’m writing or editing I often check up on things, and if something piques my interest I’m likely to chime in. The trick with this, however, is to avoid getting dragged away from your writing into the magnetic abyss that is social networking, and before you know it hours have passed and not a word of worth has been writ.

 BM:  After attending the Discoverability Conference in NY, I am now focusing time on Facebook and Goodreads. I'd say around an hour a day.

4- For you, what is the most significant benefit to being socially active online?

 CB:  As discussed above, I don’t believe the bulk my book sales are the direct result of Twitter and Facebook activities. However, my presence on these platforms, particularly Twitter, where I now have close to 300,000 followers, has certainly helped getting myself known. Let’s be realistic. If I had published my seven novels as I did but had never linked up to social media and simply let the books try to sell themselves, I doubt I’d be selling even half a dozen units per month. Being present, being visible on Twitter, Facebook, interview blogsites and the like are all elements which have played a role in my growing success as an author. What I believe is key is actually being ‘socially’ active versus continually shouting ‘BUY MY BOOKS’.

 LR: I have met so many people in the writing industry who have selflessly helped me along the way. Not just other writers, but editors, publishers, marketers, and readers, many of whom have assisted me in ways I could never have imagined. Doors have been opened and contacts made through the simple tapping on a keyboard to a stranger on the other side of the planet. Not all of these contacts are of benefit right now, but who’s to say where things may lead in the future.

During a recent contract negotiation, for example, I was presented with a proposal for foreign translation and rights. Everything seemed fine to me, but I passed it on to a networking friend who worked for a very large foreign publisher, asking if she could look it over for me. She in turn passed it on to one of their main contract specialists who went through it with a fine-toothed comb, finding that while it was completely legitimate in its claims, some of the clauses were open to a great deal of interpretation in the eyes of the law. I pointed these out to the publisher and he was able to amend the contract in a way that suited us both. If I’d never met my friend through Twitter she would have never been there to help me and I might have signed a contract I later regretted. Now I’m happy and confident with the decision I made, and all because I met someone through being socially active online.

 BM:  Not selling books but building platform. Making connections. However, a danger I see is the incestuous relationship where writers are only talking to other writers. I think we have to expand our networks.

5- Would you still choose to be as socially active if you were forced to use a pseudonym where no one would know your real name or which books you'd written?
CBUnder such circumstances, I would definitely be less socially active as any book or writing related discussions would be eliminated from my social media activities. To be clear, I wouldn’t be less social, simply less socially active.  
LR:  That’s an interesting question. I have a lot of friends in my life outside writing who use Facebook (not so many on Twitter, strangely enough) and I see the way they use social networking to chat and interact with people they see every day. This makes absolutely no sense to me, but seems to be the norm these days. The voyeuristic obsessions I see seem quite odd at times, and it’s probably why I prefer Twitter. I want to talk to people, to interact with them, rather than creeping around and sneaking a peek at their private lives wherever possible – but perhaps I’m just weird.

To answer your question though, while I don’t think I would be as active, I would definitely be on there in some way, shape, or form. As I’ve said previously, social networking is a wonderful way to meet people from all over the globe; there’s no other way that I’ve heard of that you can do that. I can get online and ask someone in Alaska what the condition of a certain road is like during winter and then incorporate such details into a novel. I can chat with a person in Russia about how life was during the fall of communism, and how dramatically their life changed. These are things I can’t discover unless I personally call someone on the phone or happen upon the exact phrase or setting I’m searching for on Google.

And it’s all for free.

BM:  I wrote under four pen names over the years. I've now consolidated them all under my own name, so this isn't an issue for me. If I had to write under a pen name, I think it would be almost fruitless to try to cover it and my own name. I have enough trouble with the fact I write in so many genres. On Goodreads I have to split my time between Thrillers and Science Fiction

Overall, I believe social media doesn't really sell books, but it does build platform. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but the vast majority of writers would be better served by writing more content, rather than more social media.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Field Report: Bookstore Display at Houston (IAH) Airport

Hey y'all!  It's Morgan reporting from super rainy and humid Nashville, TN.  If you follow my personal blog (Morgan's Mix Tape), then you know that my marketing day job requires a significant amount of business travel.  Yesterday, while traveling from Portland, OR (PDX) to Nashville, TN (BNA), I connected through Houston, TX (IAH).

Of course the bookstore on my landing terminal caught my eye.  Yup - I'm a sucker for a bookstore!  Show me a writer who doesn't love bookstores and I'll show you a freak of nature.  Ha!

Airport bookstores are strange beasts.  Their core audience is the male, business traveler.  Their secondary audience is the female, business traveler.  A third audience is the traveling family.  For this reason, they tend to have a large nonfiction section focused on business best practices and self help.  Their fiction selections lean towards best sellers with a focus on thrillers, literary fiction, romance, and some adventure / science fiction.  There are also loads of books with military themes and a small kids section.

So, imagine my surprise to see so much of the in-store marketing real estate dedicated to the 50 Shades series.  Note: This display was one of only two large table layouts in the store.  More 50 Shades books were on the shelves.

HUGE 50 Shades display.

Depending on how you entered the store, either the 50 Shades table or the display below greeted you.

Second large table display.

  • Airport bookstores are high traffic, high volume outlets.....they sell a ton of books!  Though we authors have little control over in-store displays, it is always worth while to see which books are stocked and how they are displayed.
  • There were quite a few people in this small store, so I had to wait patiently to get a clear picture of the displays.  In short, yes - I see loads of e-readers on planes and throughout airports...but I also see a ton of people reading printed books, too.  As one friend put it, "I don't have to power down my paperback for take off and landing."  (So, now I travel with BOTH my e-reader and a printed book.)
  • If your book has a travel theme, it might be interesting to investigate doing a book signing at the airport.  In fact, it might be interesting to do ANY genre book signing at a would be guaranteed some instant word of mouth buzz among travelers.
  • The large 50 Shades display makes me wonder if there is any crossover appeal from its primary female audience to the bookstore's primary male audience.  Or is it just a testament to professional female buying power - we are starting to take over venues traditionally focused at men.  This same phenomenon has already occurred in the automotive and electronics industry.

What are your thoughts??

Any marketing questions can be posed in the comments on any post. If you have a question, others will too, so we can address our answers to all. Our posts are myths and tips we want to share but we love to target our answers to questions.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Your Website is Your Business Office and Bookstore

Dear Vonnie, Thanks for asking us to elaborate on:
Your website is your personal bookstore and primary business office.
An author website has basic pages and you need to consider each page as a separate room in your office-store.

The HOME PAGE is where the Author Persona shines at first glance and engages the reader. Think of this as the Reception Area of your office-store and the first impression a customer or client has when they walk in the door. How they are greeted will flavor whether they want to step farther into your realm. If you write horror stories your readers want daggers and darkness when they arrive. Don't expect them to be happy with plush ivory couches for a cozy reading experience.

Your Retail Room is your BOOKS PAGE where your amazing covers, with a stellar blurb, are front and center. In this room you personally place your fabulous book into readers trembling hands, and you will accept a variety of payment options. It's best to plan this page so the only way readers can leave is by making an actual purchase. Make sure you have LINKS TO BUY to every Point-Of-Purchase - like the little signs on the doors and by the checkout of your favorite store, or restaurant, listing all the credit cards accepted.

The next room is your ABOUT ME PAGE, however you title it. Access to this page is only through the reception area where the reader, or agent or editor, has entered and you've shaken hands, and toured your Bookstore. Now you take them into your Personal Office. This is your professional BIO expanded into an engaging persona that can interact with both readers and financial backers
This is the office of your dreams. It's neat and tidy but also reflects the same flavor as your reception area. But it's a flavor here because you are a professional Author Persona. Your novels may be paranormal-historical-alien-thrillers but you write your books on equipment available in the 21st century on Mother Earth. You can have a family portrait behind your desk, and a few framed diplomas on your walls. REMEMBER: This is your virtual office that reflects your Author Persona and Books - not the coffee shop or closet where you really work
CONTACT PAGE or Schedule or Media or whatever you want to call it is the Conference/News Room and should be updated and reviewed at least once a month. Think of this page as your Most Professional Author Persona. Your Business card and Media Kit is displayed on the table in this room. Publicists, reviewers, editors, and estranged family members, can have an easy to download packet of the most fabulous you. ALSO make sure you have an Email or Contact form that works (send yourself tests through random computers once a month). 
Even if you have a full sidebar of every social media graphic, Direct Contact Email is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. Professionals at every level are busy and prefer to dash off a quick email if interested in you. Your Media Kit shows you understand the business as a professional. Your Media Kit is a single file that is a brief and complete presentation of your Author Photo, your Bio, your credentials, AND your Books with blurbs and reviews. 
Those that enter your Conference/News Room are the people who lease the office-stores around you. You're all part of the same business complex. They are invested in their own office-store and hope your business will bring customers to them as well. 
Enhance your website with a Game room or Playhouse that is interactive, like a blog, where you present something engaging on a consistent basis that welcomes audience participation. An avid reader will love interacting with you so here's where your Author Persona shines. Be gracious when you respond to a reader who gushes about how your book helped them survive the hours of agony while their spouse passed a kidney stone. 

Your website is your most valuable address so make it work for you by treating it as if you've signed a lease that exceeds your mortgage. If you do good business at your website address you may be able to pay your mortgage by writing novels.

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