marketing Archives | Sheryl Steines

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The Marketing Plan and Still Flying by the Seat of My Pants

The Marketing Plan

I had every intention of using my marketing plan this year. I had the plan down to weeks. I had a theme for each month, I had topics determined and I knew what I'd be writing in each blog for the year. Really, I did.

But stuff happens and it's the last day of March and I didn't follow any of it. Nothing. No themes, no blogs, and my advertising went out the window.

And I just filled out my expenses for last year and I'm having a minor heart attack.

What Really Happened

You see, I've never really been good at making a plan and executing it the way I planned. It's actually how I write books. I've mentioned it here several times; I'm a pantser not a plotter, I write by the seat of my pants rather than plot out my books. I tried, really I did, but planning has a way of binding me, I lose creativity, my freedom. And in that it takes me longer to write a book. There are down sides you see.

My marketing seems to work the same way. Things happen, I read something on line and decide I should write about it, or advertise that way, or rewrite my descriptions, change my keywords. You get the idea.

I do worry as I pulled together all of my expenses for 2018 that I really need to keep with a plan or I need to quit this writing thing all together and do something else. Spending way more than I should have makes you rethink a lot of stuff.

And that's the point of the marketing plan.

But it still didn't work.

Changing the Future

What I really learned is this, I personally love my books, the characters I've lived with for a decade. But that doesn't mean the stories are right for the market. I missed an essential piece of this, what would people like to read.

I've also learned to cut back on the things that do me no good. The stuff that makes other people rich on my writing career.

No more buying other people's books. There's plenty of free advice out there if you know where to look.

The Plan

I'm just going to write what I love, and slowly, organically pass it around. I'm going back to comic cons where I know there are fans. I'm starting to connect with people on line, who like the same things I do. Just simple statements, simply retweeting, liking , sharing. Nothing fancy.

It's the problem of the writer's journey. How do we find the audience who will like what we write. I can't quit, it's something that's been a part of me for so long. All I can do, is make a plan and this time stick to it.



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The Art of Publicity

Publicity Isn't About the Books

I've been around for seven years, tirelessly working to bring my books to the public, share the stories I love so much. Find a platform that inspires others and garner a bit of publicity.

As I worked with a publicist to bring my new book to market, she became aware of a new angle to find an audience. I had an opportunity to write an article about one of the most difficult times in my life; the death of my daughter. It is an emotional experience that I'm willing to share with others, because I have a unique insight. It's also a form of publicity, one in which I benefit in unexpected ways.

The article really wrote itself. Words flew from my brain and out my finger tips and on to the screen. I was nervous to open up and put it all out there, but I did it and it reminded me of the struggles, of the love and of the loss.

This is about turning tragedy in light and love. I put it all out there and opened myself up, freeing myself.

I had no idea in my quest to get noticed, would be helped by writing what I knew. Faced with my past and the memories that linger was a welcome pit stop on my quest to write books for a living. I got something so much more.

It was a story that needed to be told. Memories, feelings, scents, so vivid when I retell the story. I needed to finally stand up and speak out and tell the story.

Lessons in Life

There's so much more out there, and not so much time. But on the anniversary of my daughter's death looming closely, I realize that I shouldn't hide what had happened, I should embrace this as part of my life, and yes, even use what I've experienced to help sell books.

It is what shaped me and makes me who I am. All I can do is open up and let it all hang out.

Find me in cyperspace at the following links:

Modern Mom: Of Life, Loss and Finding Joy Of Life, Loss and Finding Joy  Black Market Review


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One Rant and then I’m Done

Okay. I’ll admit, I watched a few minutes of a few episodes of one of the Kardashian’s many mind numbing shows. Not because I was curious but because I wanted to know why. I still want to know why the television audience is bent on a bunch of rich people make asses of themselves? Well actually I think I can figure that one out, besides being totally ridiculous it gives us something to point and laugh at.

I purposely avoid anything to do with any of the reality television stars. I refuse to join their clubs, watch their shows, buy their books, perfume and shoes, because I really don’t want my hard earned cash landing in their talentless pockets. It’s frustrating for me to see how many people are willing to purchase books written by Snookie, Skinny Bitch and Lauren Conrad, when I struggle to get mine noticed.

Frankly at this point I’m simply tired of them baring it all. I really don’t need another naked, pregnant celebrity gracing any magazine covers, or shooting pictures of themselves on vacation, or tweeting about their bling, because I don’t think they’re any better than me except in one major arena. Marketing.

What I think I’ve since discovered is the fact that what they are really good at is marketing themselves. Getting themselves out there, putting it on the line, letting it all hang out.

I try to write a good role, a strong female character who's real and complex in a world that seems to only value roles models who are self absorbed and lead seemingly meaningless lives in comparison to the rest of us. It’s sad because we can only find strong female role models in the form of science fiction/fantasy characters. Is that because we can only accept them as such in a world that’s not quite so real?

Honestly, I really have no problem with the guilty little pleasure. What I have is a problem when the guilty little pleasure has a bigger presence in the world than it should have for as long as it has, more infamous than famous. Only we can stop the onslaught.

Oka, now I’m done. Is your guilty pleasure really cool, really dorky, really original? Share it here.

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