The Serious Downgrading of the Phoenix Springtime Author Event

I assure you it will be NOTHING like thisI gave myself until September 1 to make a firm decision about a possible author event here in Phoenix in the spring of 2017.

Right now I can’t commit to a full-scale convention with speakers and workshops. What I can commit to is something much, much smaller: a simple meet and greet.

Coffee? Tea? Marketing?

We’re going to choose a venue (or two: one daytime coffee shop, one evening brew pub) and a date in March, and Sue and I will spend the day and evening waiting for y’all to show up.

… more … “The Serious Downgrading of the Phoenix Springtime Author Event”

Blog and Newsletter Hiatus

In order to focus on my mystery writing I’m letting myself off the hook round these parts.

While I will pop in now and again with a post or a newsletter, I don’t plan to stick to a schedule as I’ve done for a number of years.

If you need help selfpublishing your book, Someday Box will still be right here ready to provide the support you need. Just give us a shout.

Adding a MailChimp Newsletter Signup Form to Your WordPress Theme

blow-your-own-hornLast week I wrote a geeky article I hope makes it easier to choose a WordPress theme (short version: it’s about look and feel, not how it works.)

Since the origin of this series of posts was a conversation about your newsletter being the most important marketing tool you have, this week, we’ll go over the basics of adding a MailChimp newsletter signup form to your WordPress site. (There are other newsletter tools. I think MailChimp has the right balance of power and simplicity. The concepts here apply adding any code to your WordPress site to varying degrees, so you can mentally stretch them to include other newsletter tools if that’s your preference.)

Overview: … more … “Adding a MailChimp Newsletter Signup Form to Your WordPress Theme”

Sharing a Secret at Elizabeth’s Place

Elizabeth Spann CraigGuest posted this week at Elizabeth Spann Craig’s blog.

It’s called The Secret to Sales without Selling: Your Author Newsletter.

Fresh take on a familiar topic. Go show Elizabeth how much my readers love me, eh?

Faster Horses II

holy-grail-of-author-marketing(Faster Horses was the title of this month’s newsletter. This is more on the same subject.)

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said ‘Faster horses.'” — Henry Ford (attributed)

When I asked authors what they wanted, the universal response was “Someone to do my marketing for me.”

I’ve been racking my brains pondering a technology automation tool I could create to give struggling authors an effective marketing service they could afford.

Because, y’know, that’s what authors said they wanted.

… more … “Faster Horses II”

Newsletter Q&A With Mrs. A

Mrs AEvery person who signs up for any of my newsletters gets a personal welcome note. Sometimes they turn into great conversations, like this one with Carrie Aulenbacher about making the most of a newsletter.

Hulloo, Carrie!

As I anxiously await the printed proof of what will likely be my only children’s book (back to the mysteries!) I think about how easy it is to get distracted from the One True Path (I know; ain’t no such thing; work with me here.)

What could I do to help you stay focused or to keep moving? I’d like to write about that.

Welcome aboard.

Interesting you mention the One True Path because the feedback I’ve been getting lately points to my being pulled in a bunch of different directions and not sticking to ONE path.

So, you’ve just met a romance author who is trying to improve her own newsletter, is passionate about marketing, loves being creative, is excited about writing business articles for Fridge Magazine, was just in the Wall Street Journal last month on a non-author related article -and- who is up to her elbows in a day job with a newsletter and marketing of its own!

With a lot of irons in the fire, I want to glean expert knowledge on how to follow so many passions while not making my author newsletter unattractive.

Do I eliminate one of the passions so as to not dilute myself?

Or add another fork in the road? Another lane to my highway?

… more … “Newsletter Q&A With Mrs. A”

Structure: A Visual Approach

David Villalva's Story BlueprintI love it when someone signs up for my newsletter, I send them the official handwritten welcome note, and then I discover that they’re someone I can learn from as much as they can learn from me.

… more … “Structure: A Visual Approach”

The Magic Formula for Marketing Your Books

The most popular posts here at Someday Box are my deep dive into story structure called Your Story in 12 Sentences.

We love lists. We love step-by-step instructions. We love knowing exactly the right moment to do precisely the right thing so it all comes out right.

formulas2 + 2 = 4, every single time.

Mix the right amounts of flour, sugar, egg, milk, and whatnot and put it in the oven at this temperature for that long, and it’s a cake, every single time. (Okay, maybe not every single time, but almost.)

Authors are people, and as people, we want checklists and step-by-step instructions, too.

Especially for marketing.

… more … “The Magic Formula for Marketing Your Books”

New Schedules for Newsletter and Blog

A Long, Hard Look - a Chandleresque cozy(and hopefully, thereby, my books)

In order to concentrate on my writing, I’ll be spending less time teaching for a while.

Late last year Best Beloved and I started an experiment: could I make a living writing fiction? Or at least, could my fiction contribute enough to our income to be a business rather than a hobby?

Original plan was to release 4 books this year and see what happened. It’s a race between my children’s book Ginger, the Ship Captain’s Cat, and my first Jake Calcutta mystery anodyne to see which will be my third book this year. (If yer the betting type put your coin on Ginger.)

Three isn’t four, but it’s more than some other numbers I could name. But one year isn’t long enough to see the impact of those books. Marketing for A Long, Hard Look is just picking up speed, and that for Into the Fog is barely begun.

Five months ago we agreed that this needs another year, so I’ll still be focusing on fiction through 2015. A year from now, we’ll talk again. Maybe sooner.

The New Schedule

Beginning now, the newsletter will go out the first of each month, unless I have reason for a special edition.

There will be a new blog post every Friday. There will be links to the past handful of posts in each newsletter. A month is a long time. Consider dropping by the blog once a week just to read up, eh?

We will only be working with one Someday Box self-publishing client at a time.

Chief Virtual Officer’s Social Media Marketing for Authors program has a good support team, so they’ll be able to take on up to 6 more clients. Email Sue for more information.

I’ll be far less active on Facebook and LinkedIn.

But I’m always available by email (joel@somedaybox.com) if you have questions or just want to chat.

Oh, and you can buy my books anytime.

The Story (Cartel) Continues

Story CartelUpdate on my Story Cartel launch. My goal is to share every detail I can so you can see what would work for you.

Last Monday we sent out a special edition of the newsletter, and posted the same content here at the blog. We had launched the download at Story Cartel on Friday so we’d have the page’s URL for the post and newsletter.

By Monday morning, 9 Story Cartel members had already downloaded the book. This was before the newsletter and post went live.

The day of our launch, 9 more people downloaded the book; 6 of them newsletter subscribers. (One of the earlier downloaders is also a fan who follows everything I do closely, but I’m still pleased they discovered my launch on their own.)

According to Story Cartel’s data for average downloads per review, the 18 downloads shouldn’t result in any reviews. … more … “The Story (Cartel) Continues”