Thursday, July 30, 2009
Purple Snowflake Marketing- How To Make Your Book Stand Out in a Crowd
YVONNE: Tell me something about yourself and your writing background.
LILLIAN: Well, I have been writing professionally since 1999, and as a hobby prior to that. I started out as a poet, moved into writing how-to articles – freelancing for magazines, and then in 2004 produced the first book in collaboration with my husband, Dave. Currently, my husband and I have three published books available to the public, and one that we produced as a family memoir cookbook.
YVONNE: What is the title of your newest book? Give us the basic story line so we’ll know what it’s about.
LILLIAN: Purple Snowflake Marketing - How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd, is a guide for writers to develop an effective, frugal marketing plan for every piece they produce. Whether it is utilized by order of chapters or randomly at the reader's discretion the e-book is a marketing plan in itself.. This practical advice is rounded off with tips for dealing with non-supportive family and friends, reassurance along every step of the way, along with ample advice for avoiding pit-falls and setting a pace for marketing endeavors. The first edition was originally released in June 2007 and since then has made the recommended reading lists of more than a dozen writing courses. We just released the 2nd edition of this book through Booklocker.com in June, 2009.
YVONNE: What inspired you to write this book?
LILLIAN: The book itself is our personal marketing plan. We use it to develop marketing strategies for each piece we write. As such it is a work in progress; we are constantly improving the marketing plan and adding new valuable resources, contacts and marketing opportunities. The reason why we decided this book needs to be released to the public is that I was being inundated with emails, messages and posts on forums with questions about how we did everything. In 2007 we released the first edition which did very well, the second edition is surpassing our expectations and is reaching a much larger audience.
YVONNE: Is this the first book you have written?
LILLIAN: No, I've written/co-written three other books prior to this e-book. The first two books (Trash Talk and Towards Understanding) are available in paperback and hardcover formats. We are in the process of taking these two books in e-book formats in the very near future, but plan to release them as revised editions. Towards Understanding's revised e-book edition for instance has some updated sections (i.e. bio and introduction) and there are five additional poems, creating a conclusion that I am more comfortable with and that flows better with the title and focus of the book – coming towards understanding on the value and purpose of one's life. This will be released in August 2009, if all goes well. I mentioned earlier the family cookbook memoir is not yet available to the public, and there is another book—a gardening book—that has been in the works for years but has not yet been judged worthy of pursuing a publishing contract. This book and a few others are still in the manuscript stage.
YVONNE: How long did it take to write this book? Any interesting tidbits about your writing method or how the book developed?
LILLIAN: Dave and I have taken several business management courses, business marketing plan experience and have also run businesses in the past so the process of developing marketing and business plans is certainly not new territory for us. Because Purple Snowflake Marketing is our marketing plan too, its early development began prior to Trash Talk's release in 2004. Our marketing plan began with heavy research on and off line as well as conversations with others in our field and through researching every book on the career of writing that was available to us. Utilizing the research, the tools we had learned from courses and experience from running businesses—the plan was off to a good start right away. However, the world of writing is like going to university full time, and you never ever graduate! So as we learn new tools, new technology, new resources... these are added to the original plan, enriching it day by day.
YVONNE: How did you publish your book? Tell me about your publishing experience and what you learned from it.
LILLIAN: For the first edition, we knew we wanted it to be an e-book already so I began studying e-book publishers and researching writer's sites to get advice or to learn warnings about various publishers. After narrowing it down to a few that I wanted to try, I began querying for the book. It was picked up right away by a publisher that seemed really great at the time. It wasn't until later that we realized we were not getting a number of the particulars that we were promised in the contract, and royalties were consistently three to six months behind the schedule promised by the publisher. So that was really hard to work with since we could not see the results of our marketing efforts until it was too late to do anything about it. After much deliberation, despite this publishers support and excitement for the future of this e-book, we decided to cancel our contract and go with another publisher. This allowed us the opportunity to produce a second edition with tons of new information and resources.
YVONNE: Where is your book available? Do you have a Web site or blog where we can learn more about you or your book?
LILLIAN: I decided on our current publisher for this e-book (Booklocker.com) through having worked with the owner in other ways over the years. The owner and her staff had always been incredibly helpful to other writers; the group is very generous with their tips and support. As soon as I looked into the publisher's policies and contract I knew this was the right one for us. The one bonus of this publisher is that the author receives a secure webpage where they can monitor their sales instantly – which is very helpful for evaluating whether a particular marketing effort was effective or not. Another unusual bonus is that this publisher pays royalties every month – and this can be helpful too, in dealing with the costs involved in a new release. At some point we do plan on exploring larger e-book distribution opportunities such as Clickbank but for now, we are happy working exclusively with Booklocker.com on this project.
YVONNE: Tell me some ways you have promoted your book. Give examples and links to any sites you feel might help other authors.
LILLIAN: Wow! There are so many! Where do I begin?... Well, let me start with how I've been marketing the 2nd edition since its release in June 2009. Before I do, let me clarify that because this is the 2nd edition, I am not currently focusing on building a level of name recognition, developing contacts or getting reviews, as much as getting the release announcements out there. The first thing I did was to email all the professionals that are quoted in the book to let them know it is now available. This was helpful in getting enthusiastic support with others starting to spread the word. Then I let every organization listed in the 26 appendices know the book has been released. Now all of these people knew they were in the upcoming e-book, but sending them releases was helpful in encouraging them to spread the word through their circles. My next step has included utilizing social networking sites, updating our websites and blogs, arranging for blog and radio interviews... all the usual stuff. Dave has been kept busy with all the graphics and images, banner ads and radio promo blurbs, website updates and the like. The next step is now in place and this is to create edu-mercial articles for newsletters, like yours—followed by a strategic advertising campaign. This is only the initial release so there is a lot of work ahead of us. In fact, few people realize this but the promotional work is not done until the life of the contract for that particular book has ended... so this might mean seven years of marketing one book, or longer!
YVONNE: Any other comment you would like to share?
LILLIAN: Yes, I'd like to thank you, Yvonne. You've been a wonderful support for writers in so many ways. I know, I was one of the writers that have been greatly influenced by the work you do. Your newsletters, your radio show... all of it! Fantastic stuff! I encourage everyone reading this to check out Yvonne's radio show in particular. In fact, Yvonne, you appeared on my radio show too... and this is mentioned in the e-book as a recommended resource because you offered so many great tips during that discussion!
Let me also say to all the fellow writers, whatever their special interest or genre they prefer to delve into, is to be patient, develop a comfortable pace... and know that having a lot to do is a good thing!
YVONNE: I appreciate the mention of me and Writers in the Sky in your book. It is fun to network with you.