Marketing Myths Busted

MYTH: Marketing is expensive
Marketing is a plan not a product, plan wisely. Use free tools and low cost ways to execute on a “Marketing Plan.” Marketing does NOT have to be expensive and you can save money by utilizing your networks. 

MYTH: Marketing is time consuming
Yes, marketing can be time consuming IF you spend your time chasing every social media fad, hot blog, or trendy website.  Use your time wisely.  Avoid the ‘shotgun’ method – you might hit something, but you’ll definitely hit a lot of nothing. A small amount of time set aside everyday will prevent you from having to do a marathon of activity. Once you define your audience, you can carve out your niche and market with focused precision to your audience.
Just like any other aspect of your career, you have to budget your energy. Our intent is to help you understand how easy and efficient your marketing can be, so you spend 90% of your time writing books.  Writing is your passion, right?

MYTH: You gotta have a “PLATFORM”
A PLATFORM - according to Webster is: “a raised horizontal surface of wood, stone, or metal.” Platforms can be found beside railroad tracks, over a precipice, or under appliances.
Nonfiction writers benefit from a platform that has a specific message, targeted to their audience, that includes a call-to-action. Our platform is to demystify marketing for our fellow authors. 
Al Gore shared “An Inconvenient Truth” as part of his ecological and environmental responsibility platform.
Dr. Jane Goodall believes that if we learn more about chimps and save them, we will learn more about ourselves.
A novelist is presenting an entertaining experience and the only call-to-action is, “Buy my book.” 
FICTION writers have PERSONAS as the dynamic core of an effective marketing plan.

MYTH: You gotta become a Brand

“Your BRAND is the GENRE of your book.” Jayne Ann Krentz

A BRAND is associated with a culture and lifestyle and often includes a registered trademark. Kleenex® is a brand for facial tissues yet I tend to buy Puffs® plus lotion. Facial tissues replaced cloth handkerchiefs and the lifestyle of embroidering and ironing these cloths. Handkerchiefs are now a cultural fashion accessory.
Ann Landers is a brand for advice even though that was not her name, and she has passed away, but her style of advice continues, has expanded, and still flavors the Self-Help industry.
Harry Potter is now a brand but J.K. Rowling is the persona.
Nora Roberts is now a brand and a persona and J.D. Robb is a separate persona, even though they are the same person. We will avoid additional references to Nora Roberts in relation to marketing because she is a unique entity. Our intent is to help authors who may never achieve her status but are capable of building a dynamic and financially viable career as novelists.
A PERSONA includes an experience.
Your persona adds a back story, style, and voice to the brand (the genre) of your book. Consider all the authors who write historical romance. This GENRE targets a specific culture and lifestyle within its pages.  Historical romance readers want this specific type of entertainment. Each author in a genre, has a unique persona that creates an individual experience for the reader, while remaining true to the genre rules of the time and place of the setting.

Harlequin is a brand for romance novels and each category is a sub-brand. Each author has a specific persona, voice, and style, even when there is a similarity to the story parameters within a category line.

Jayne Ann Krentz’s brand is romantic suspense and her name on the cover of the novel suggests the story will have mystery and psychic elements. Her advice to writers is to “find the genre that fits your voice and learn the rules (of that genre) because that is why it is a brand. I didn’t have the brand of romantic suspense when I started writing and so now (I) appreciate how it helps me connect with readers.” 

Thousands of readers are now loyal to the persona of Jayne Ann Krentz as they trust she will deliver an entertaining romantic suspense experience, with either psychic or historical elements, or both. Jayne really is more of a Brand than a Persona. She's also a really charming and warm person. 

MYTH: Social Media is all you need

Media and Marketing are Two Different Beasts!
Social Media is a form of mass internet communication and a point of connection to an online community. It has changed the face of networking and will now always be part of the public communications landscape.
Social Media is one part of a three-pronged approach that you can use for your marketing efforts. Use it as a means to connect with your readers to create an individual or group experience.

There are a ton of choices so consider those that are best for a connection with your AUDIENCE.

Consider the social media platform of “Goodreads.” It’s all about people who read books and want to chat about them and it’s becoming a lifestyle activity within the reader culture. Goodreads is a library on steroids and many feel it’s ‘the place to be’ for authors.

Well…It is, but it also isn’t.

Imagine this networked community as a stadium where all the seats are full for today’s event: the experience of reading books. Everyone in the stadium is both a player and a fan and the price of admission is free. Within that stadium, there are professional contacts and lots of customers for your book. Part of your AUDIENCE is within this community. It could be a big part, as much as a third, so it is very profitable and important for you to be in that stadium.

However, the event is also being televised and the greater audience for your book is all the viewers who are watching the event. This example is a really unclear metaphor for social media, but it is hard to show electronic bytes in a web cloud as being both important but not a tangible ticket to success. If the camera pans all the attendees in the stadium, why would a viewer notice or pay attention to you? That’s where marketing comes in.

So What Is Marketing??????



Prior to Social Media, the mass marketing tools for author promotions were orchestrated by publicity experts at the publishing house.  These marketing campaigns included radio and TV promos, newspaper ads, flyers, and catalogues to booksellers. Each of these media venues has their own rules and audience. The objective is to promote a product and the plan is to turn a first glance into a sale.

The purpose of promotions is to generate attention and interest for the product. One theory is a potential customer will purchase a product after three separate triggers of interest. Consider the repetition of ads on TV, in newspapers, radio, and in stores.

Take a field trip to the grocery store.  When walking through the store store, pay attention to the colors and images on the cereal boxes. Compare the branded products’ marketing colors, images, and words to the comparable generic product.


A targeted campaign will allow you to work more efficiently on your marketing.
Writing is your first priority. Think of the total amount of time you spend writing. 10% of that time should be spent on your marketing. It is the PERSONA aligned with the PRODUCT through words, colors and graphics that make the customer take another look and be enticed to BUY.

The goal of marketing is to generate sales.

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