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Friday, January 19, 2018

Can Book Publishing Employ A Timeshare Approach To Sales?



“We’re not going to force you to make a decision today,” said a man that goes by the name of Q. “You’re going to make a choice.”

See the difference?

No?

This is because there’s no difference between the two.  My decision, er, choice, would be obvious.

Welcome to the world of high-pressure sales tactics in the world of time shares.

In fact, this presentation said it wasn’t a “time share”, but a "travel ownership.”

They were big on euphemisms and semantics, but that kind of word dodgeball is what makes you suspicious of their offer, no matter how tempting.

I took my family skiing in Vermont to a place called Smuggler’s Notch.  A lovely, snow-filled resort perfect for those who love to risk body parts in the freezing cold after withstanding an 8-hour drive (includes one gas and two bathroom breaks) through winding roads with poor weather conditions and low visibility.

Notice I said I took my family.  I participated in eating, sleeping, driving, and non-ski activities – but I stayed off the mountain.  I only skiied once in my life – about three years ago – and that was enough.  It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

To defray $400 off of our resort bill, we agreed to submit to a two-hour presentation on time shares.  For my wife and I, it was fine.  My kids were on their own, skiing.

We knew going into the sales pitch that we wouldn’t buy in no matter what they said but it was very interesting to see how they try to get people to spend as much as $100,000 on the spot.

That’s right, they ask you to buy right then and there, so fearful that once you’re out of their hypnotic clutches you won’t want to pay up.

Have you ever bought something that expensive without researching it, talking to others, or sleeping on it?  You can buy a pair of shoes spontaneously.  You can go to see a show on a whim.  You can suddenly upgrade your smartphone.  But who spends the equivalent of a year’s worth -- or more – of salary after hearing a slick pitch from a pro trained in the art of separating you from your money?

Now, let me just say that Wyndham’s offer seemed tempting and I can see how it may work out for others, maybe even myself.  But I felt rushed, pressured, and in a positon where I was making a decision -- or a choice – without doing due diligence.

For instance, they tell you they have 80 properties or whatever the number is, but I didn’t get to learn about any of them.  Would I necessarily travel to those locations – and what about areas where they lack coverage? I had other questions, including:

  • What if Wyndham goes bankrupt and doesn’t honor its commitment?
  • What if they lower their prices to sell more memberships and then there are too many members, too few properties?
  • Will I be able to go where I want, when I want --or will there be booking conflicts?
  • They say I can sell or transfer it but how would I do that and what stipulations would there be?
In addition to shelling out a lot of money up front, there’s a monthly maintenance fee being charged, one without fixed costs that rise over time.

Wyndham doesn’t own any properties – they act as a management company.  What happens when these properties go under or their quality wanes?

The package they pushed heavily was one that gets you 200,000 points/year for $48,000.  It gets confusing with the points but they try to show you that you get value on what you book.

That $48,000, if borrowed, depending on the interest rate and duration of the loan, could easily cost you 60, 70, or $80,000.  That money in theory, could also be used for other things, such as investing in the stock market, netting you more money.  Should I prepay a lifetime of vacations now – is it worth it?

Of course I thought about how I could split the costs with a friend, but that can get tricky.  Then I thought of how I could sell vacations to people, but that also seemed like more work than it’s worth.

Ok, so why am I like Hamlet on this?  Because there do seem to be appealing advantages of this plan, but it gnaws at me that they demand you do it on the spot, and I wonder if there are shortfalls that I don’t know about or can’t fully anticipate.

The experience did leave me wondering about how things get sold.  The time share people waived a carrot worth a few hundred dollars to lure me in to spend tens of thousands.  You see how easy it is to fall victim to a scam or to let your guard down.

I’m not saying this is a scam, but it could prove to be a poor investment.  It also might be a great one.  I don’t know.  I can’t process this over a cup of tea.  And then empty out my bank account.  But someone likes these tactics.  They obviously work often enough or they wouldn’t be in business.

What if authors did this with readers and offered to sell them lifetime readership memberships?  Each year you’ll get access to one new book – and always to the author's backlist.  You just need to prepay $175 plus shipping fees.  Would you do it?

Maybe bookstores – or publishers – can sign up lifetime patrons – or have a ten-year, thirty-year, or fifty-year membership for buying books.

I’d sooner buy into that than a travel deal – less money, great product, and with a brand I can trust.  Maybe Wyndham can partner with authors or publishers so that books get thrown into the travel deal.  Ready to sign up?

The interrogation process applied to sales by Wyndham was interesting.  They would first have you meet one -on-one, then a group, then one-on-one.  Then, when the first salesman failed to close, a second, more seasoned one was called in, making a different offer.

It didn’t work.

Unless I heard “free” or “please think about it and call us next week,” I wasn’t signing anything.

If the timeshare is amazing, which it might be, there’s no reason to do a rush job to desperately squeeze someone.  Even car dealerships have concluded they can’t always get a sale just because you went for a test-drive.

The harder they pushed, and the more they tried to dance around certain words and terms, the more reluctant I became.

Still, I was envious of their approach.  I wish that it can be taken to sell books and to grow the book industry.  If people feel invested in books, publishing will prosper.  But when we depend on single-book purchases we risk having to prove value on every purchase.  We need to get people to make a single decision that ties them up for a lifetime.

I lust for the very process I just condemned.  But for books, I’d do anything!

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

To What Floor Does Your Elevator Speech Take You To?



Authors need an elevator speech.  They will use it to summarize an upcoming book, a current one, and their writing brand.  So just what needs to be done to get it right?

At the very least, the elevator speech is factual – it’s an abbreviated summary of your writing career and books.  It’s a way to encapsulate your core message.  It must be brief – say it in 20 seconds.

Your elevator speech should reveal key benefits of your solution to an issue.  Highlight what you bring to the table.  You essentially must answer the unstated question:  Why am I interesting, important or entertaining?

Your elevator speech showcases who you are and why one should read your book.  It seeks to differentiate your voice, your story, your history.  But it doesn’t merely delineate accomplishments or sound like a resume.  It’s your advertisement, your chance to give shape and depth to you as a writer.

Imagine being a voice in someone’s ear while in a bookstore.  What would you whisper that would make one feel like they want to take your book off of the shelf.  What would lure them in?  What would get them to be curious to want to know more?

The process of crafting an elevator speech will:
·         Force you to achieve a true clarity of yourself.
·         Help you understand the value that you offer.
·         See why you are better/different from other authors.
·         Tend to shape your marketing efforts.

The best elevator speech says something memorable with an economy of words.  It sells without sounding like a commercial.  It describes in a way that colors and shapes things.  It helps you transform not only how others see you but how you see yourself.

6 Great Blogs for Indie Authors


Source:  www.BookWorks.com


The printer is the friend of intelligence, of thought; he is the friend of liberty, of freedom, of law; indeed, the printer is the friend of every man who is the friend of order – the friend of every man who can read.  Of all the inventions, of all the discoveries in science or art, of all the great results in the wonderful progress of mechanical energy and skill, the printer is the only product of civilization necessary to the existence of free man.
--Charles Dickens

“The introduction of printing into England is undoubtedly to be ascribed to William Caxton a modest, worthy, and industrious man, who went to Germany entirely to learn the art, and having practiced it himself at Cologne, in 1471, brought it to England two years afterwards.  He was not only a printer, but an author; and the book which he translated, called the Game and Player of the Chesse, and which appeared in 1474, is considered as the first production of the English press.”
--William Keddie, Anecdotes Literary and Scientific

“William Makepeace Thackeray wrote his great novel Vanity Fair, for Colburn’s Magazine, it was refused by the publishers, who deemed it a work without interest.  He tried to place it with several of the leading London firms who all declined it.  He finally published it himself in monthly parts. The first volume of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales was declined by every publisher in Copenhagen.  The book was brought out at the author’s own cost.”
--William Andrews, Literary Byways

“There are many of the forces of Nature which tend to injure Books; but among them all not one has been half so destructive as Fire.  It would be tedious to write out a bare list only of the numerous libraries and bibliographical treasures which, in one way or another, have been seized by the Fire-king as his own. Chance conflagrations, fanatic incendiarism, Judicial bonfires, and even household stoves have, time after time, thinned the treasures as well as the rubbish of past ages, until, probably, not one thousandth part of the books that have been are still extant.  This destruction cannot, however, be reckoned as all loss; for had not the “cleansing fires” removed mountains of rubbish from our midst, strong destructive measures would become a necessity from sheer want of space in which to store so many volumes.

“The Invention of Printing made the entire destruction of any author’s works much more difficult, so quickly and so extensively did books spread through all lands.  On the other hand, as books multiplied, so did destruction go hand in hand with production, and soon were printed books doomed to suffer in the same penal fires, that up to then had been fed on manuscripts only.”
--William Blades, The Enemies of Books

“Of all forms of theft,” says Voltaire, “plagiarism is the least dangerous to society.”  Not only that, it is often beneficial.  In mechanics all inventions are plagiarisms.  If inventors had not borrowed ideas from their predecessors, progress would come to a standstill.  Shall I refuse to own a timepiece because my watchmaker is not original?”

--William S. Walsh, A Handy-Book of Literary Curiosities

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogsand recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs.

The Secret To Writing & Book Marketing Success



“What gets measured gets improved.”

Peter Drucker said those words.

He was a famous management consultant who lived to be almost 96, and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  He wrote dozens of books over a 65-year period.  Think about the words this accomplished soul uttered and heed his guidance.

As an author or book marketer, rule one to your success is to measure what you are doing – and to make strides to increase those numbers.  Diets, budgets, and most other things work this way, so why not your writing or book publicity?

So, as an author, what can be measured?

·         Number of hours devoted to writing, or editing, or researching.
·         The total number of literary agents solicited or researched.
·         How many writers’s conferences or workshops attended over a period of time.

When it comes to book marketing, you can measure:

·         Results, like sales, or effort, such as the number of people called, emailed, or reached through other methods.
·         Number of awards applied for.
·         How many social media platforms you’re on – and the number of connections.
·         How often you post your blog.
·         How much news media coverage you generated for your book.
·         The number of public appearances or speeches made.

The more you measure, quantify, qualify, and adequately define, the likelier you are to achieve success, improve over time, and push yourself beyond your wildest expectations.  In fact, the key to turning a dream into a fact falls squarely on your ability to state goals, measure progress, and make the extra effort to be disciplined and focused.  Keep your eye on the prize!

All of this may sound simple, obvious and straight forward, but it can become very burdensome, challenging, and quite elusive.  You need to know what to measure, then to really measure it and to analyze/motivate as to what can be changed, improved, or swapped out in order to show gains and substantive growth.

When you approximate things or keep everything floating in your head without a specific game plan that gets measured and reviewed regularly you will not always hit your mark.  We can’t be vague about the things we must do in order to accomplish more.

The secret to writing excellence and book marketing success is to measure the things you’ll need to excel at in order to improve and prosper.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs

Monday, January 15, 2018

Will Companies Bulk-Buy Your Book?



The bigger the company, the bigger the buy, but also the bigger the bureaucracy.  They will want to vet you and your book.  If they find one thing that contradicts their image, company philosophy, or goals, they won’t buy the book.  If they find other books more useful and appropriate, they won’t buy yours.

Corporations may also buy your book or use you as a corporate spokesperson if they can utilize you to help with their image in public.  For instance, if your book discusses how to balance family and business life a company may want to show what a great corporate environment it fosters by having its employees get a copy of the book and also let the media know that they are adopting your suggestions.  The media may then interview you about the book and your work with this company.

The key to selling to corporations is certainly timing, luck, persistence, and selling a useful book to the right individual at that company.  But it also comes down to your approach.  Just how will you present your book to the company?  Make sure you lead with your credentials, to show you know of what you write, so they buy in that you are THE EXPERT. 

Then begin to explain how you understand their needs, challenges, or goals.  If you don’t come off as sympathetic to and dedicated onto their needs they will feel disconnected from you.  Lastly, talk about the book in a way that explains you provide solutions, ideas, and inspiration.  If all you do is blab on about how great the book is, you’ll lose them.  Remember the company is not desperately waiting around to be pitched on yet another thing it is to spend money on.  It wants to hear how you can provide a pay-off and provide ROI. 

They want to know that you will provide a great value and that nothing you say or do in any way challenges or compromises the company’s culture or agenda.  Your background needs to be super clean nothing embarrassing or controversial about you should show up on a Google search.

Show value, avoid problems.

“People write the books they can’t find on library shelves.”
--George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm

“Man builds no structure which outlives a book.”
--Eugene Fitch Ware, Poet


Brief History In Printing
Paper is invented in China around the year 100.
Woodblock printing becomes common in China in the 600’s.
1309 Papers first used in Europe.
1455 The Gutenberg Bible is completed.
1605 The first newspaper is published in Germany.
1886 The linotype machine makes printing faster
1938 Xerox machines make dry copies.
1969 Message sent from computer in different locations.
1983 ARPANET adopts the standard TCP/IP protocol.
1990 Computer Scientist Tim Berners-Lee established the World Wide Web

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs


Saturday, January 13, 2018

How To Experience Greater Things In 2018




Think bigger!

Could that be your mantra for 2018?

To get off to a fantastic start this year, as a writer, consider doing the following:

1.      Imagine the possibilities.

2.      Extend yourself into new areas.

3.      Write down your dream -- and all of the goals needed to achieve it.

4.      Feel connected to what you seek to accomplish.

5.      Determine what you can do to affect the outcome you desire.

7.      Review your goals daily and keep taking steps towards them.

8.      Don’t settle for less than great.  Take a stand for greatness and believe in yourself.

9.      Be stubborn about what you want.

10.  Be aware of what’s at stake – for yourself and others.  Have a sense of urgency to achieve.

11.  Look to create books that you would personally use.

12.  Create a book that solves problems in unexpected ways.

13.  Seek to produce a book that would exceed a customer’s expectations.

14.  Ask readers what they want or need – and fulfill it.

15.  Consider your brand or author persona.  Who do you want to project?

16.  Consult the bestseller lists and fill a void.

Will you make this year better than the last one, better than ever?  Will you make the necessary sacrifices and take steps to live your convictions?  Will you do things differently than before?  Will you put in the time needed to break through?

You know what needs to be done.  Go do it!

Here’s some other well-intentioned advice to help you experience a great year in 2018:

·         Rally around your best opportunities.
·         Get help from others.
·         Don’t take on everything at once -- prioritize.
·         Think things through -- then take action and execute!
·         Do things properly the first time around.
·         Get out of your mental jail.
·         Free up your mind.
·         Change things.
·         Stop being afraid – resolve nagging issues.
·         Think your way through an issue or obstacle.
·         Move forward, always.
·         Focus on the next thing – one at a time.
·         Imagine things into existence.
·         Build your dream one day at a time.
·         The longer something has been around, the less likely it will be.
·         See the cycles and tipping points in everything.
·         Anticipate for scenarios you can assume will happen – and prepare.
·         Be ethical – do what’s right – and no buts.
·         Encourage others to be ethical.
·         Travel and experience new things.
·         Create a flow-chart of ideas with a timeline of action steps.
·         Visualize; then fill in the details.
·         Be prepared for change.
·         Stay vigilant and persistent to reach a goal.
·         Have flexibility built into your day or plan.
·         Get others to work for you.
·         Review things constantly – nothing is ever settled.
·         Be fair, savvy, hard-working -- and balance with rest, fun and reward.
·         Connect people and things:  Be a resource.
·         Seek out what’s needed, underserviced, wasted, and underutilized – and turn it into gold.
·         Reduce your risks but expand your rewards.
·         Always set goals and reach higher.
·         Learn more -- always.
·         Enjoy the process of life.
·         Contribute to the success of others.
·         Stay in touch and nurture your relationships.
·         Live for today like you’ll die tomorrow.
·         Live your values, know your truth, be what you write about.
·         Less worry, more thinking.  Less thinking, more talking and asking.  Get helpful information.  Less talking, more doing, ACT!   
·         Hedge against all -- have multiple scenarios, based on the odds, guesses, information, and anticipation of what is to come.
·         See a truth and explore or confront it and follow to its logical conclusion, without baggage or fear.
·         Ask questions and query.  You make a final but informed decision.
·         Invest each day to learn something or meet someone new.
·         Figure out what’s important to each of us and identify what holds us back individually.
·         How do we agree on what to work towards together, both for us and to help the other achieve or enjoy?
·         Take time out to balance life and enjoy things, but also to change how you do things and invest in laser focus and research on things like planning a trip.  Delve in and partner with others.

DON”T MISS THESE!!!
The Fast Book Marketing Start To 2018

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http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2018/01/which-pros-not-prose-will-you-need-to.html

How can all authors blog with impact?

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Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released

Here are best author-publisher-publishing pro interviews of 2017

How do authors get on TV?

Study this exclusive author media training video from T J Walker



Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs