Tag Archives: Niche Marketing

The Business of Being an Author

Most authors at some point approach the sales of their book as if there is either some magic involved or as if it is something that some nebulous “other” is supposed to do for them. But book sales are neither wizardry nor a spectator sport. It’s a simple business that works like any other business. To have a successful business, you need capital, a market, inventory, and workers to fulfill the needed roles. Unlike most publishers who leave all these things to the author to figure out, Tate Publishing has a plan for each of them.

Capital – The lifeblood of your business
Without money, no business can succeed. You need it for all the other aspects. You need money to develop your market, to buy inventory, and to pay your workers. Very few people have a cash reserve ready to launch a thriving business from a dead stop, just like very few people can send a rocket into space. If you have that, use it. Start big and fast. If you don’t, start with walking or riding a bike. Buy a few books, sell them, and use the money to buy more. I’m convinced that most authors spend the money they make on books instead of investing in their book’s business, and they die on the vine. The good news is that you can start fresh anytime. If you do this right, you should only have to use your own money once, and then your book sales will support future book purchases and on and on. To do this effectively, you should establish a separate account for your books as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to check with a tax professional to see what tax benefits you can get from doing this. When your book account has more money than your book needs, THEN you can pay yourself out of it.

Market – Who is buying your book?
Expecting someone else to bring the market to you is a fantasy. It only happens that way in the movies. We can help you build an audience, but we can’t do it for you. If you are a Tate Publishing author and haven’t read the niche marketing section of the marketing guide in awhile, it might be time to revisit it. My job as your marketing consultant is to help you buy and sell your books in your niche market. If you don’t know how or where to find people where they gather, how to connect with them, or how to turn those connections into book sales, I am here to help. If you have done these things and stopped, why did you stop? Let’s get started again. When you do this right, working in your market builds capital, which you can use to help you reach more of your market. (If you’re not a Tate Publishing author, you should be. Click the link in our name to get started.)

Inventory – Books on hand
Successful authors have a minimum number of books on hand at all times. Authors who can only schedule one or two events a month may be fine to have 25 books on hand. Authors working events every week should have 50 or 100. Authors who are active nearly every day should reorder when they get down to 200. Managing your inventory is the key to being able to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Determine how active you can be and work up to your minimum inventory as quickly as possible.

Workers – Whose hands?
Most authors I talk to these days understand their role as the face of the book. Every now and then, I still run across an author who thinks that this is my job or a bookstore’s job or the system’s job to produce book sales. Even among authors who understand their role, I often talk to authors who believe at some point they can put this thing on autopilot and expect sales to roll in. Let me make this clear: you are the CEO of your business. Not me, not Tate Publishing, not Barnes and Noble, and not a distributor. You are the CEO. You have retained our services to help you with marketing advice and publicity contacts to bookstores, non-bookstore venues, and the media, and we’re always willing to help in those ways. However, you don’t want to sit in the back seat of the car until your business is big enough to hire a driver. Don’t give up too early. Building a business of any kind takes time, and building an audience for your book is no exception.

If you keep these things in mind and set your expectations accordingly, you set yourself up for a long and successful career as a writer. As your publishing and marketing partner, we want nothing less for you!

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Filed under Audience building, Growing your platform, Niche Marketing, Reputation building, Uncategorized

Growing Beyond Your Local Area

Last week, I was talking to Sheldon Larmore, author of Be Quiet and Listen. It is the story of his family’s journey through the pain and loss that came through their son David and his will to live as long as possible with spina bifida. After he passed away, they set up a memorial fund to help children with disabilities, and they fund it with the proceeds from their book sales. Sheldon told me they have had great success and feedback locally, but they haven’t been able to get much going beyond that. He and his wife still speak at churches and civic groups at least once a month, which is still quite active. This is a common thing I hear from authors. How do you take that activity to the next level?

Moving your book beyond your local area involves personal appearances, which means the pace will need to be adjusted according to your availability, interest, and desire for doing them. The cost of travel will need to be taken into account as well. This works best when you have established a solid footing locally, so if you haven’t yet, do that first. With all those things in mind, here is the idea:

Whenever you go to a group to speak, ask them who they know in the next town that might benefit from having you come. Then contact those people and set up speaking engagements there, and so on. You can expand out as far as you want to travel. Work towards the major metropolitan areas because you can get in front of more people in less time that way.

The reasoning behind this is that the best way to spread a message is still by word of mouth. Technology has increased the reach for all of us, but it is still word of mouth that causes your audience to grow beyond your reach. So the question becomes, how do you increase word of mouth?

It starts by asking for it. Every time you speak, add a simple sentence to the end: “Tell everyone you know about this.” The fact is that most people won’t do that, but it’s just as much a fact that some will. And those who do will tell a lot of people. And some of those people have reach well beyond just their local area. See Readers, Fans, and Evangelists for more details on getting others to help you grow your audience.

It helps if you give them something to spread. This is where social media fits in. If you speak, start a YouTube channel. Get someone with an iPhone to record a video of you sharing 30-second to 1-minute bites of some of your best stuff. Post them as often as you can (weekly, monthly, etc.) Take the audio and turn it into a podcast. I’m no expert on any of those, but do a Google search of those terms and start educating yourself. If speaking is not your thing, you probably haven’t even read this far, but get better at it or get very good at blogging. You can learn how to do that here.

If you’re reading this thinking, “Man, this sounds like a lot of work!” Congratulations. You’re right! It was a lot of work for the Apostle Paul trying to spread the gospel of Jesus, too. Thankfully, we don’t have to put our feet to the ground (or our boats to the sea) as much as he did, but the attitude and work ethic are the same.

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Filed under Growing your platform, Internet ideas, Niche Marketing, Reputation building, speaking engagements, Uncategorized

Want 10,000 followers? Do 10,000 things!

I had a conversation with my 12-year-old one morning (3rd of 3 sons, 4th of 5 kids) that was a step further than the same conversation we have every morning. He has maybe 3 things he has to do to get out of the house every morning, and I have at least 10. Most mornings, he is standing at the door grousing about being late while I’m going around the house turning off lights.

The difference today was the suggestion I gave him: Instead of complaining about what I’m doing while you’re waiting, look for things you can do to help us get out the door. It wasn’t spoken in anger. I didn’t talk down to him. I gave it to him straight, like the revelation it was for me. I continued as we got in the car, telling him that this is a good lesson for life in general. You rarely control what others do. You always control what you do.

As an author, what do you control?

You DON’T control retailers, distributors, your publisher, your marketing consultant, your publicist, your agent, the media, or the whims of a fickle public.

You DO control the things you do to reach people. So how much do you need to do? If you want to build an audience of 10,000 people, you should plan to do 10,000 things. That means you only need to average one new follower for each thing you do. Some of those things are going to result in a lot more than one new follower. Some will result in none. All are valuable, even if the only thing you learn from any one of them is what not to do!

What counts as a thing?

Small things:
A conversation about your book, a blog post, a tweet, a post on facebook, a bookmark/business card/push card given to someone, making a new connection on LinkedIn.

Big things:
A speaking engagement, a networking event, an email newsletter to a couple hundred people who have signed up to receive it, a booth at a fair or festival, a visit to a book club.

Long shots:
Contacting someone in the national media, presentations to organizations that could potentially buy your book in bulk.

IMPORTANT: What doesn’t count as a thing?
Googling yourself, looking at your sales ranks on Amazon, consulting with the people listed above that you can’t control, reading and re-reading your book for errors, wondering about your book’s sales.

EQUALLY IMPORTANT: None of these non-things are bad, but none of them will help you to build an audience, and that’s what we’re talking about today.

Do 10,000 things strategically, and you’re likely to get the 10,000 followers you need, if not more. The strategy to follow is to do the small things more often than the big things and the big things more often than the long shots. Keep track of everything you do in a notebook, on your computer, somewhere. Measure the results (by doing the non-things) the best you can, but not too often. You don’t want measuring to become the focus, or you’ll spend a lot of time measuring nothing. Make adjustments in what you do according to what the results tell you.

If you focus on 10,000, you won’t be discouraged after doing 100 things and seeing little results. You’ll realize that that is normal, and as you go and learn, you’ll find that each one builds on the things before, and effectiveness multiplies. You may get zero followers after 100 things or even 1,000. Keep going until you get to 10,000. Commit to yourself that you won’t quit until you get there, and you’ll be amazed at your results.

What are some of the things you’ve done that count as one of your 10,000? Comment below!

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Filed under Blogging, Growing your platform, Niche Marketing, Reputation building, speaking engagements, Uncategorized

Top 3 Marketing Questions Most Authors Have

Most of the authors I work with are brand new to the worlds of publishing and book selling (and make no mistake: those are two different worlds). Even though these questions are addressed in a lot of websites and blogs, they remain prevalent in the minds of authors who are trying to wrap those minds around an industry that doesn’t work at all like it seems in the movies. So I thought some pointed and concise answers to these 3 questions would be helpful.

1) Who sells books to bookstores?
The quickest answer is no one. That’s because bookstores don’t need to buy books this way anymore. They used to have to try to guess which books were going to succeed the way a mutual fund manager picks stocks. They employed buyers who showed an ability to be right more often than they were wrong, and their profits from when they were right would more than make up for when they are wrong. Now, all a bookstore has to do is look to see what is selling on their website. So they laid off all those buyers. They can carry an infinite number of books on their site and a finite number of books on their shelves. The ones that sell best on their sites make it to their shelves. Your publisher fills orders that bookstores place, but they are not out there trying to convince bookstores to guess when they have no good reason to do so. Buyers for stores now watch trends on their sites and in their stores to determine what to order.

2) Why should I buy copies of my own book?
Simple: To sell them. You don’t have to become a slick salesperson or open your own bookstore to do so. You do need to learn how to connect to the natural audience for your book. Unless you have an audience clamoring for everything you write, you will sell more books this way than any other way, you will make money per book, and you will get it faster. And if you do it right, it is the easiest way to sell books. (Ask any of the millions of authors who have tried to push their way into bookstores.) It’s also a lot of fun because you’re spending your time among like-minded people. The more time you spend among them and the more people read your book, the more you’re seen as a leader. That increases your opportunities and the cycle continues upward to greater and greater success.

3) What should a marketing consultant do for me?
There are three things a good marketing consultant does that you can’t do for yourself:
1) Get your book in distribution – Really, this is what a publisher is for. If your consultant doesn’t work with a publisher, they may still have contacts to help you. This is what makes your book available to bookstores. In all likelihood, your book will start on their website before it is physically in a store, but it can’t rise up the list if it isn’t on their site. Tate Publishing, who I work for, does all that for our authors with every major retailer and distributor.
2) Teach you how to grow your audience – You can do this yourself, but book marketing consultants have the benefit of not only our own experience, but the experience of every author that we’ve worked with. We know the most common potholes and pitfalls to avoid. We know the things that are most likely to produce positive results. Most importantly, we know how to communicate this to you.
3) Publicize your events, your release, and your achievements – Again, you can contact the media yourself, but do you know when are the appropriate times and who are the appropriate contacts to reach? We do. We also have the tools for doing so. Contacting the media and getting interest back are two different things, but you can’t get the latter without the former. If you aren’t getting media coverage, it’s not because our team is bad. It is because you, your book, your message, and your activity are not yet noteworthy enough. That’s a sign that you need to do more or give yourself more time to grow your audience.

Most authors would rather skip all this and just be a household name selling books without much effort. I wish there was a spell or an enchantment I could utter to make that happen, but I’m not a wizard or a genie. The real world doesn’t work that way.

There will be some who will interpret things I’m saying here as blaming the author or trying to escape my responsibility or some other nonsense. It is nonsense, but it is understandable, and I don’t blame you if you feel that way. However, this isn’t a judgment on the quality of your book, your message, or you as a person. It is a reality check to let you know where you stand on the track where you’re trying to run. If you haven’t seen the book sales you want to see — and getting no reports from your publisher means you’ve had no sales — then you are closer to the starting line than the finish line, and it is time to run.

If you are an author not signed to Tate Publishing, contact us and one of our acquisitions editors will be happy to talk to you.

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Filed under bookstores, Niche Marketing, Reputation building, retail marketing

How will my book get on store shelves?

This is one of the most common questions I receive from authors. Before I answer, I want to bring up another common question: Why should I buy copies of my book?  The reality is that these two questions are closely related.

With the “why” question, the implication–and sometimes the outright statement I get–is that authors think someone else should be trying to sell their books to bookstores (the publisher, publicist, marketing rep, or some other person). But bookstores don’t buy books the way Walmart buys Mac & Cheese or notebooks or bed sheets or TVs. When Walmart buys these things, they pay the vendor and they have them until they sell them. When bookstores buy books, they can send them back whenever they want and get full credit from the publisher. If we sold books to them and there was no one to buy them, we would be left holding a lot of books. Authors don’t get paid for books that aren’t paid for, and publishers can’t make money printing books just to put them in storage. Ultimately this is a question of demand, not supply on shelves. Demand always precedes supply in the book industry.

These days bookstores do not take any chances. They don’t need to. Bookstores carry at most 20,000 titles of the more than 20 million currently in print. On their websites, they carry closer to half of those titles. If you are a Tate Publishing author, thanks to our efforts and relationships, your book is among those they carry online, and most bookstores decide which titles to put on their shelves based on what is selling online.

So how does your book become one of those? When enough people go and buy your book online to put your book in the top 20,000 titles (roughly speaking), stores notice. They go to the distributors we work with and start ordering. How many is “enough people”? There is no way to tell, but it will need to be at least hundreds and possibly tens of thousands.

This is why you need to buy books and resell them. When you do that, you are creating a market for your book. That’s what “marketing” is, in the end: Creating a market for your book. We can do that with you, but we can’t do it for you. This is true of every product in every industry, but given the way books are sold in the 21st century, it’s even more important to grasp.

Bookstores also respond to demand generated in niche markets with target audiences, which is why it is so important to establish a platform away from bookstores. This is the lifeblood of most books, as the demand must build, word of mouth must spread, and you need to get your book in front of people that need to most. As sales in niche markets grow, the online sales can increase, and stores begin to take notice.

This is why we so strongly encourage our authors to take advantage of buying books at your deep author discount to resell them. First, that step makes your book profitable quickly, and second, when you do this, you are creating a market for your book.

Publishers that are interested in helping their authors build an audience make offers of deep discounts and free items to you to help you get this start and make your book successful in multiple markets, starting in the niche market and including bookstores as well. If you are a Tate author, we can always help you explore a variety of markets and make contacts for you in areas outside bookstores to allow you the opportunity to have events in a variety of venues to see what works best for you and your book.

If you’re not a Tate Publishing author, visit TatePublishing.com to see how to become one.

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Blog + Twitter + Facebook = growing audience

For professional authors, writing is your job, and there is a lot of work involved in it. The hardest work is in building an audience for your writing. Nearly every other article I’ve written is about what to do to reach people near you, but people often ask how they can reach people beyond their physical ability to be there. Or maybe you can be there, but your niche is difficult to find. The internet has 3 tools you can use together to grow your audience.

It all starts with blogging. If you are an author with Tate Publishing, you may already have a website with a blog. You can ask your Marketing Consultant how to get one if you don’t already have one. Or you can start one on your own by going to WordPress.com, blogspot.com, or any other blog hosting service. Most have free options and paid options. The blog you’re reading is one I pay nothing for. So how do you start?

1) Decide your frequency

Before you post a single thing on your blog, you should decide how often you will blog and STICK TO IT! Daily is great unless you blog for three days and never blog again. Monthly is too infrequent, but it’s a good start if you aren’t sure you can stick it out. Ideally, twice a week or once a week on specific days is what you should shoot for.

What do you write? One of my favorite teachers in the world of sales and marketing is Jeffrey Gitomer, whose newsletter I try to read every week. Jeffrey’s article on writing to relax demonstrates that something you need to do for work can actually flow naturally from something you want to do to relax. Here is a the link to his article: http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3P8c%2BzzDDgyNQ%3D%3D. (I’ve pasted it below if you don’t like to click links.)

2) Build your inventory

The surest way to fail at blogging is to have to come up with something new every time you sit down. This is like going grocery shopping every single day. I have five kids, and as I write this, 60% of them are teenagers. We already have trouble keeping food in the house when we shop every week. If we tried to shop for that day’s meals (and snacks), we’d do nothing but drive back and forth to the store. We don’t want to do that, and you don’t want to get yourself into a similar trap. The exercises in Jeffrey Gitomer’s article will help you build this inventory. Do what he says and come up with 10 or 15 or even 20 blog posts before you post a single one. That way you are feeding your audience from a full cupboard. When you have good writing days, add those to your inventory. When you have bad writing days, pull from your inventory and post away.

The best way to do this is to write in a document (Word, Pages, Works, whatever) and save it in a specific folder on your computer. Then you can copy and paste from your doc to your blog. There will be days when you have a time- or season-specific post that you write and post immediately. Good! That’s another day your inventory goes untouched!

If you are an author, you already have an inventory. It’s called your book. Have you ever heard of The Pioneer Woman? How about the book and movie Marley and Me? Both started as blogs. Many books start out as a blog, and often the book contains little more than the blog posts strung together! As an author who already has a book, you can reverse engineer that. Put your whole book out on your blog one snippet at a time. Don’t worry about giving too much away unless your book is fiction. People often ask bloggers to compile their blogs into a book. You’ll gain both online and in book sales.

If you’re a fiction author, use your blog posts as your Blu-Ray extras. Tell the back stories of your characters, the connections to real life, how you came up with the idea, where the characters go after the end, anything that gives your readers more. There will be people who find your blog first and buy your book because they already know your characters.

3) Keep it brief

I’m not following my own advice here, but I’m not trying to build an audience with this. To get people’s attention, it is best to give them short treats more often than long ones infrequently. 150-500 words should be your guide. Use the word count tool in your document until you gain a natural feel for this length. If you have a post that just needs to be longer than that, break it into 2 or 3 pieces and post on 2 or 3 different days.

4) Post and spread

I’m going to apologize for this analogy up front, because I’m going to compare our writing to manure. If you collect manure in one place, it won’t do anything but stink. If you spread it on a field, it helps bring life. You can see where I’m going: Don’t collect your writing on your blog and expect it to bring life. Now, the analogy breaks down because our writing doesn’t stink, but if even something that does can bring life, how much more can good writing?

The way to spread it is to make good use of facebook and twitter. If you vowed never to get on either, it’s time for a new vow. There are a lot of people on facebook and twitter, and there are some easy things you can do on both that will give you real benefits. It is now officially stupid not to be on them. If that offends you, be offended, but do something about it.

Fortunately, it is easy to learn. I originally wrote this as an email to the authors I serve. When I finished sending it, I copied and pasted it to my blog, just as you’ll do with blogs from your inventory. A warning before I continue: This next part will sound like gibberish to the uninitiated. I’ll initiate you later.

I have my Twitter account connected to Facebook, so anything I tweet becomes my status update on Facebook. I copy the address of my blog post and go to bitly.com. I paste it in and shorten it. (This is important because Twitter forces brevity by only giving you 140 characters.) My tweets have 3 or 4 components: The title of the blog post, a very brief explanation or shout-out to another Tweeter if needed, the shortened link, and 1 or 2 hashtags. For the original version of this post that focused more on the concept of writing to relax, my tweet said:

#Authors, writing to… relax??? Jeffrey @gitomer does it, and you can turn it into #bookmarketing: http://bit.ly/13KIjnq.

This is 122 characters, and it uses 2 hashtags and a shout-out, all in context. (HINT: Using them in context reads a little funny, but it does save characters.)

TRANSLATION FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT:
I’m going to work backwards here, so I’ll start with hashtags. What the heck are they? It’s Twitter’s way of dealing with key words that help people find tweets they are interested in, and other social media sites have begun using them as well. You’ve seen it on the screen of almost every TV show, and they look like this: #hashtag. The # symbol tells twitter it’s a keyword, and the letters after it comprise the key word. There are no spaces in hashtags, so if your key word is “adult fiction”, you’ll use #adultfiction. It’s read like this: “hashtag adult fiction”.

If you use good hashtags, people WILL find you. I know this from experience. I don’t care if there’s not a single soul following me on Twitter; I do this to help the authors who have contracted with my company. But I tried using #bookmarketing and #author on my tweets, and people started following me. (Some of you reading this found me that way.) Given how infrequently I blog, I’ve been stunned by these results. To date, I have over 300 followers on Twitter without trying much to get a single one.

Pick a hashtag that isn’t too general nor too specific. If you really do write adult fiction, use #adultfiction, but make sure you use something more specific, like #drama, #scifi, #romance, or #action. Twitter tracks these, and it learns over time what I’m interested in. So my twitter page will feed me with tweets from others who tweet about these topics. In other words, it leads you right to people in your audience. More importantly, it leads them to you.

Shout-outs are ways to hitch your wagon to another successful person who is also on Twitter. When I type “@gitomer” in my tweet, Twitter automatically turns that into a link to Jeffrey’s Twitter page.

Now do you see why you need to be on Twitter? Facebook provides similar opportunities but it also offers the opportunity to connect a little more deeply.

If you are not on either one, sign up for facebook first. Write down your username and password. Then go sign up for Twitter. During sign up, it will ask if you want to connect your Twitter to your facebook. Say yes. You’ll need your username and password, and you’ll need to give Twitter permission to access facebook. I believe it is because of this connection that hashtags became a standard on facebook within months after I posted the first version of this blog predicting that very thing. I’ve even seen people use them in texts, even though they don’t actually “do” anything there. It’s becoming a shorthand way to say, “This is the key word here.”

Accept almost every follower on Twitter and every friend request on facebook. That way what you do will show up on their pages, giving their followers and friends the opportunity to find you. I say almost because there are people who use facebook and Twitter to try to scam people or lead them to seedy sites. If it smells fishy, play it safe and decline them.

Those are the instructions for the 3 best tools on the internet. Others like Instagram and Pinterest that are more photo-based are good if you or your book are more photo-inclined. Get these three down first and then go make friends with someone who is 14-24 years old to see what new networks are out there!

Here’s the article from Jeffrey Gitomer:
Think the “Write” Way. Do the “Write” Thing. And All Will Be Well.

RELAX!

You’ve heard that word since the first time you got angry or upset. Or maybe it’s a word in your head that beacons reality. Pent up frustration, worry, or concern about the present or the future – or both – and nervousness about what’s about to happen in the world, at work, at home, or in your personal life.

RELAX! is easy to say, hard to do.

Here are my secrets for maintaining inner peace and fulfillment in a world filled with distractions, diversions, and distortions:

1. Write down all the crap clogging your brain. Get rid of your mental clutter. As soon as you write the details, you no longer have to dwell on them, or remember them – and your mind is free to think. Try it. It’s amazing and mentally relaxing (almost a relief). The bonus of an uncluttered mind is that ideas and resolutions to your issues and challenges will begin to manifest themselves daily.

2. Write down your present situation. What’s going on in your life right now? What’s the status of all things work, family, friends, life, and self? More amazing than unclogging, writing your present situation actually creates answers to situations that have been bugging you. Oh, and it also helps relax you.

3. Write down your dreams and thoughts. Everyone has thoughts of “one day I’ll…,” or “someday I’ll…,” but those words are usually just spoken. REALITY: Those thoughts are just pipe dreams until they’re written down, formalized, and crystalized. Writing your dreams will help you see a more clear and focused picture of them.

4. Find a quiet park or a garden where you can sit and think, read, or write for an hour. Invest quality time with yourself DAILY. This is the most relaxing of all outlets IF you have done the first three things I’ve recommended.

5. Read something positive, and write down the most inspiring quotes. Create a mailing list of important people to share them with. Make sure you acknowledge the author.

6. Mentally go to all the positive places where you’ve been before. Those thoughts will lead you to stories and lessons – write them down right away. Then blog them.

6.5 Blog your thoughts, ideas, and experiences. Blogging not only creates a public avenue for you to publish and express yourself, it also positions you and your views to the world. Your ideas may matter to some people in the world, and the feeling of accomplishment will give you a feeling of personal pride and fulfillment. I have decided that 2013 will be my “year of the blog,” consisting of an intensive, daily effort for me to talk about and video about sales, business, and life. You can see my blog history at http://www.salesblog.com. Got blog? Air your thoughts to the world!

There are other things you can DO beyond writing to relax…

Play with a kid. It’s an amazing elixir for relaxing and having fun.
Go shopping for yourself. It makes you feel good to do things for YOU.
Make a list of ten people from high school or college you want to reconnect with. Call them, don’t just Facebook them. These are people you knew in your responsibility-free days.
Take a walk someplace you’ve never been before. Look around as you walk. Marvel at things. Take a few pictures. Write a few notes. Sit down and soak it in.
Book a weekend trip. Make a list of the places you’ll go and the things you’ll do. Often just the action of writing and planning the getaway will change your mood and your thinking, and that can calm you.

GOTTA GET AWAY? Need a vacation? That’s because you’re not relaxing every day. When the “need to get away” is a dominant thought, it’s a symptom, not a problem or a goal. The reality is you’re not relaxing on a daily basis.

RELAXATION REALITY It’s likely you’ll need to make some personal changes if true relaxation is to permeate your life. Avoid negative events, negative things, negative news, and especially negative people.

“Jeffrey I can’t eliminate these things!” you exclaim.

Relax dude, just relax.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. His forthcoming book, 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, will be available September 3rd, and will feature a national public seminar tour. Get the details at http://www.gitomer.com. It will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com.
– See more at: http://www.gitomer.com/articles/ViewPublicArticle.html?key=ajcdMibak3P8c%2BzzDDgyNQ%3D%3D#sthash.FXUhwPXA.dpuf

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Top 5 Reasons Niche Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

If you’re satisfied with your book’s progress up to this point in its life, then you might not need to read any further. If you’ve been frustrated with your book sales, it might be because you’ve never seen the importance of niche marketing. I hear from authors all the time who believe that their book will sell if only X number of bookstores carried it.

The news I got today alone shows why that’s not a good plan, and it is number 5 on my list:

Top 5 Reasons Niche Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

5) RETAIL STORES ARE STRUGGLING – Borders just announced a freeze on ordering new books. They are struggling financially, and that has forced them to make a move that makes them less competitive, which almost guarantees they will struggle even more. Barnes & Noble has been looking for a buyer off and on for the past year. The leaders at both stores have flirted with each other about a merger, which would mean more stores closing. These are the two largest bookstore chains in America!

4) MORE BOOKS ARE SOLD ON AMAZON.COM THAN ANYWHERE ELSE – Think about why you buy a book on Amazon: because you heard about it somewhere else. Without a known name and reputation and without word-of-mouth, few people will buy your book on Amazon. Niche marketing is the only way to build your name and reputation and begin the ripples of word-of-mouth.

3) THE MORE EVENTS YOU HAVE, THE MORE AMMO YOU GIVE ME – My influence is limited. Publishers have the greatest pull with bookstores, and with them scaling back and closing, all publishers are scrambling to figure out how to reach the masses. Not Tate. We started preaching the message of niche marketing long ago. Why? Because we know people today aren’t attracted to books like they used to be. The media isn’t as interested in books as they used to be. When you have an event for me to promote, people are more likely to care. When that event is more about helping people than promoting your book, people are even more likely to care, and they are more likely to promote your book. And you get more sales. As a publisher, we believe in your message and in the work we’ve both done to package it. But people don’t listen to publishers. They listen to other people who they perceive as able to help them.

2) NICHE MARKETING IS FUN! – Your book may have a wide appeal, but there is always a narrower niche that is looking for your book even if they don’t realize it yet. These are the people who are just like you. They love your stories, they laugh at your jokes, and once they get to know you, they will become your fans and evangelists. It is indeed hard to break the ice, but once you do, you will have a blast being around the people in your niche.

1) NICHE MARKETING IS THE ONLY THING YOU AS AN AUTHOR CAN CONTROL – You can’t control bookstores. You can’t control what people you’ve never met will buy. You can, however, control your efforts. The more you do, the more you expose people to your book and message. This is not about you; it’s about your message. Your book is the only thing in the world that contains your message, and you are the one to whom your message was given!

I’m here to help you get started. I’m here to help generate new ideas when the ones you’ve tried aren’t working. I’m here to promote everything you do. The one thing I can’t do is sell books for you. I can make them available. I can iron out supply problems when they arise. I can teach you how to build your name and connect with your audience. Every other publisher leaves it up to the authors themselves to figure these things out. Take advantage of the help we offer! Make 2011 the best year for your book!

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