Tuesday, December 30, 2008
It‟s a cold hard fact that most writers don‟t want to market themselves, they want to write. But what if you don‟t market, what then? I can tell you from experience that‟s it not nice. No one knows who you are, and if nobody knows you, why would they buy your stuff? Simple. They wouldn‟t. It took me a long time to realise that fact, and even longer to do something about it. But almost as soon as I did, people began to notice me. Many people don‟t realise this, but February 2003 I was a total unknown. Except for a six year stint as editor of a large staff newsletter for a large corporation, I had only been published in either incidental newsletters or non-paying markets. And very few of those. So what changed for me? I decided to write full-time due to health reasons; to do that, people (read as editors) needed to know who I was, to give them a reason to take a chance on me. This first thing I did was create a website. That was a huge effort for me, since back then I was the biggest Internet Dummy you would ever come across. These days – only a few years down the track – I have created, and maintain six or more websites. It‟s all true, I swear! I began to hang out on forums and in egroups. If an opportunity arose where I would be highlighted, I took it. And I made sure that every chance I had, I stuck my head up and answered a question. Be warned though, never, ever, join a group and blatantly promote yourself. By this I mean don‟t join then continuously advertise your books. Over time I‟ve found that the best promo is the one where it‟s not a blatant promo. For example, instead of placing a promo ad on an egroup, just mention the item in question in passing. Perhaps mix it in with the topic at hand – but only if it‟s relevant.
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Instead of constantly mentioning your book etc in your messages (which is a no-no on most egroups), make sure you have a signature line with your book‟s name, and the website address where further information can be obtained. In the past few years, I have done loads of marketing, but have paid out less than US$100 in advertising. So how did I do it? Here‟s a list of methods I‟ve used to get free or near-free advertising:
Give away something that is relevant to either your book or website.
Offer to be a guest writer (at no charge)
Offer yourself as an interviewee
Give away a copy of your book or product for a contest. Choose carefully though – the aim is to find a new audience, so make sure that audience is part of your targeted market.
And speaking of targeted markets, do you know what that is? Say for instance, you have written a book about gardening; then your targeted audience will be gardeners. If you‟ve written a book of romance fiction, then romance readers are your targeted audience. If your book is about writing, then writers are your target audience. Basically understand your niche, and you will know who your targeted audience will be.
Start a free ezine (electronic magazine or newsletter). Make it applicable to your target audience. Make sure you issue it on a regular basis.
Mention an ezine that is owned by a writing friend; more often than not they‟ll return the favour. (Remember what I said earlier about non-blatant promos? Doing this will work equally well.)
Write articles and ensure your bio points to your product. Offer the articles for free to websites and ezines that will reach your targeted audience.
Give away free gifts to your subscribers now and then. Don‟t give away rubbish – make the gifts worthwhile. There are a lot of good books available with resale rights, but you do need to check you can give them away. Some books come with certain conditions – often these will state no give aways.
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Ad swaps: do any of your friends write about the same things as you? Ask them to do an ad swap. You will both most likely end up with new subscribers, and it costs you nothing.
To gain additional subscribers, offer a relevant or useful freebie on joining - if at all possible. Or run a subscriber-only contest.
For extra exposure for your published book, seek book reviews. The reviews themselves are free (if they want payment – run as quick as possible!), but some review sites are now requesting hard copies of books. This adds to your costs, but ebooks are much more difficult to read while reviewing.
Never send a book for review without querying first. Why? Firstly, it‟s pushy and overbearing. Secondly, many sites don‟t have the woman-power available to review all the books that need reviewing, and thirdly, it‟s downright rude and presumptuous.
If your book is reviewed, the site will often offer to interview you as well. This provides additional exposure.
Even if you‟re not 100% happy with the resulting review, always send a note of thanks to either the website owner, or the person who did the review. I generally do both.
For your published book, put together a pdf of the first chapter, or first few pages. Make sure you include details such as the name of the publisher, and don‟t forget the purchase details! (Always make it easy for potential buyers to purchase your product/s.) Click here to view mine.
Run a free contest. Don‟t give away YOUR book or product as a prize if possible. In my experience, people won‟t buy the product in the hope they‟ll win it instead.
Take out advertising in ezines that will reach your targeted audience. For instance, I advertise my ebooks for writers in other ezines for writers. (This works equally well for websites.)
Update your website regularly. The more often you change your „welcome message‟ the higher the ranking you will get in search engines.
Swap URL‟s with other website owners. Ensure their subject is related to yours – this also helps with search engine rankings. Linking with unrelated sites will do nothing for your rankings.
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Research and use relevant and related „keywords‟ and metatags for your website. All websites – even free ones – have a place to add „keywords‟. Use that function to your best advantage; don‟t waste it.
Make flyers, bookmarks and business cards. I make most of my stationery using Publisher, except for the business cards, which I can buy very cheaply online.
I have a brochure that highlights all my books, another one just for my copywriting services, another for my freelance journalism, and yet another devoted entirely to my novel Saving Emma. The latter also includes snippets from reviews – with links for the full review. Readers are also given the link to my free sample chapter. Make sure you update information in your brochures regularly – if applicable.
Bookmarks – I do these in Microsoft Word using a free template I downloaded from www.microsoft.com. I print the bookmarks on a colour printer, then laminate them. Very effective, very cheap to make. *I have a duplex printer, but you can easily double side your printing with a printer that doesn‟t have this function.
Depending on how many books you have published, you may decide to do one bookmark per book. Or you might feel it‟s better to put them all on one bookmark.
Organise some speaking engagements in your local area. Libraries are a good place to speak, as are schools. Again, think about your target audience and work from there. There are plenty of community groups around, and most of them are constantly looking for guest speakers. Some pay, some don‟t, but most of the time, your book sales will make it all worthwhile anyway. On average, I‟ve sold to at least 50% of the audience with every speaking engagement or workshop presented. (Libraries included)
Enter your books into contests. Winning entries (and entrants) generally get a lot of media attention. This works equally well for ezines and websites.
Join egroups specifically for writers promoting themselves. There are a ton available, and the majority are worthwhile. It may take a few goes before you find one that‟s a good fit, but you‟ll quickly realise it‟s worth the effort.
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o You‟ll find lists of groups and websites at Writer2Writer. In addition to these, I‟ve listed some additional egroups and other marketing resources at my other website www.aussieauthors.com.
Contact your local or community newspaper. Let them know you‟re a local author. Give them an angle if possible – this helps clinch the deal.
Offer yourself for „chats‟. If possible supply a give away as well. Preferably an ebook version; it costs you nothing, but is still worthwhile for the recipient.
Always remember – where ever possible, promote you the author, not a single book or service. A particular book title may be long gone while you will still be well and truly around. It‟s called „name recognition‟ and is extremely important to your writing business.
i get this post from somebody blog, i read it and i like it. i think this writed so funny... maybe you need to read this. please open your mind when u read this. enjoy..
NEWS BULLETIN - Men and women are NOT alike. Sure, you thought you already knew that. But now we have proof! After countless hours of surveys and studies on the following topics, these facts have emerged:
First of all, a man does not call a relationship a relationship - he refers to it as "that time when me and Suzie was doing it on a semi-regular basis". When a relationship ends, a woman will cry and pour her heart out to her girlfriends, and she will write a poem titled "All Men Are Idiots". Then she will get on with her life. A man has a little more trouble letting go. Six months after the break-up, at 3:00 a.m. on a Saturday night, he will call and say, "I just wanted to let you know you ruined my life, and I'll never forgive you, and I hate you, and you're a total floozy. But I want you to know there's always a chance for us". This is known as the "I Hate You/I Love You" drunken phone call, that 99% of all men have made at least once. There are community colleges that offer courses to help men get over this need; alas, these classes rarely prove effective.
Women prefer 30 - 45 minutes of foreplay. Men prefer 30 - 45 seconds of foreplay. Men consider driving back to her place as part of the foreplay.
Women mature much faster than men. Most 17-year-old females can function as adults. Most 17-year-old males are still trading baseball cards and giving each other wedgies after gym class. This is why high school romances rarely work.
Women look good in hats; men look like dinks.
Let's say a small group of men and women are in a room, watching television, and an episode of "The Three Stooges" comes on. Immediately, the men will get very excited; they will laugh uproariously, and even try to imitate the actions of Curly, man's favorite stooge. The women will roll their eyes and groan and wait it out.
To their credit, men do not decorate their penmanship. They just chicken-scratch. Women use scented, colored stationary and they dot their "i's" with circles and hearts. Women use ridiculously large loops in their "p's" and "g's". It is a royal pain to read a note from a woman. Even when she's dumping you, she'll put a smiley face at the end of the note.
A man has at most six items in his bathroom - a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of Dial soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in a typical woman's bathroom is 437. A man would not be able to identify most of these items.
Men's magazines often feature pictures of naked ladies. Women's magazine also feature pictures of naked ladies. This is because the female body is a beautiful work of art, while the male body is hairy and lumpy and should not be seen by the light of day.
A woman makes a list of things she needs and then goes to the store and buys these things. A man waits till the only items left in his fridge are half a lemon and something turning green. Then he goes grocery shopping. He buys everything that looks good. By the time a man reaches the checkout counter, his cart is packed tighter that the Clampett's car on Beverly Hillbillies. Of course, this will not stop him from going to the 10-items-or-less lane.
When a man says he is ready to go out, it means he is ready to go out. When a woman says she is ready to go out, it means she WILL be ready to go out, as soon as she finds her other earring, finishes putting on her makeup...
When preparing for work, a woman will put on a Mondi wool suit, and then slip into Reebok sneakers. She wil carry her dress shoes in a plastic bag from Saks. When a woman gets to work, she will put on her dress shoes. Five minutes later, she will kick them off because her feet are under her desk. A man will wear one pair of shoes for the entire day.
Leg warmers are sexy. A woman, even if she's walking the dog or doing the dishes, is allowed to wear leg warmers. She can wear them any time she wants. A man can only wear leg warmers if he is auditioning for the "Gimme the Ball" number in "A Chorus Line".
Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats.
Men are vain; they will check themselves out in the mirror. Women are ridiculous; they will check out their reflections in any shiny surface--mirrors, spoons, store windows, toasters, Joe Garagiola's head.
Women use garages to park their cars and to store their lawnmowers. Men use garages for many things. They hang license plates in garages, and they watch TV in garages, and they build useless lopsided benches in garages.
For women, their favorite movie scene is when Clark Gable kisses Vivien Leigh for the first time in "Gone With The Wind". For men, it's when Jimmy Cagney shoves a grapefruit in Mae Clark's face in "Public Enemy".
Women look nice when they wear jewelry. A man can get away with wearing one ring, and that's it. Any more than that, and he will look like a lounge singer named Vic.
When a woman reaches menopause, she goes through a variety of complicated emotional, psychological, and biological changes. The nature and degree of the changes varies with the individual. Menopause in a man provokes a uniform reaction--he buys aviator glasses, a snazzy French cap and leather driving gloves, and goes shopping for a Porsche.
Men see the telephone as a communications tool. They use the telephone to send short messages to other people. A woman can visit her girlfriend for two weeks, and upon returning home, she will call the same friend and they will talk for three hours.
Let's say a man and a woman are watching a boxing match on television. One of the fighters is felled by a low blow. The woman says "Oh, gee, that must hurt." The man doubles over and actually feels pain.
If a woman is out driving and she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings, she will stop at a gas station and ask for directions. Men consider this to be a sign of weakness. Men will never stop and ask for directions. Men will drive in a circle for hours, all the while saying things like, "Looks like I've found a new way to get there", and, "I know I'm in the neighborhood. I recognize that White Hen store".
Women will sometimes admit making a mistake. The last man who admitted that he was wrong was Gen. George Custer.
Women like Richard Gere because he is sexy in a dangerous way. Men hate Richard Gere because he reminds them of that slick guy who works at the health club and dates only married women.
Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and soccer games and romances and best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. A man will dress up for: weddings, funerals.
Nudity in Movies:
Every actress in the history of movies has had to do a nude scene. This is because every movie in the history of movies has been produced by a man. The only actor who has ever appeared nude in the movies is Richard Gere. This is another reason why men hate him.
Men think David Letterman is the funniest man on the face of the Earth. Women think he is a mean, semi-dorky guy who always has a bad haircut.
Men take photography very seriously. They'll shell out $4,000 for state-of-the-art equipment, and build darkrooms, and take photography classes. Women purchase Kodak Instamatics. Of course, women always end up taking better pictures.
Men love to talk politics, but often they forget to do political things such as voting. Women are very happy that another generation of Kennedys is growing up and getting into politics, because they will be able to campaign for them and cry on election night.
In the locker room, men talk about three things: money, football, and women. They exaggerate about money, they don't know football nearly as well as they think they do, and they fabricate stories about women. Women talk about one thing in the locker room--sex. And not in abstract terms, either. They are extremely graphic and technical, and THEY NEVER LIE.
Women do laundry every couple of days. A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants that were hip about eight years ago, before he will do the laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweatshirt inside out, rent a U-Haul and take his mountain of clothes to the laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the laundromat. This is a myth.
When reminiscing about weddings, women talk about "the ceremony". Men talk about "the bachelor party".
Female cheerleaders are cute, sexy, fresh, and all-American. Male cheerleaders are scary.
Men wear sensible socks. They wear standard white sweatsocks. Women wear strange socks. They are cut way below the ankles, have pictures of clouds on them, and have a big fuzzy ball on the back.
Little girls love to play with toys. Then, when they reach the age of 11 or 12, they lose interest. Men never grow out of their obsession wih toys. As they older, their toys simply become more expensive and impractical. Examples of men's toys: little miniature TV's, car phones, complicated juicers and blenders, graphic equalizers, small robots that serve cocktails on command, video games, anything that blinks, beeps, and requires at least six "D" batteries to operate.
A woman asks a man to water her plants while she is on vacation. The man waters the plants. The woman comes home five days later, to an apartment full of dead plants. No one knows why this happens.
Some men look good with mustaches. Those men are Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds. There are no women who look good with mustaches.
With the exception of female body-builders, who call each other names like "Ultimate Pecs" and "Big Turk", women eschew the use of nicknames. If Gloria, Suzanne, Deborah and Michelle get together for lunch, they will call each other Gloria, Suzanne, Deborah and Michelle. But if Mike, Dave, Rob and Jack go out for a brewsky, they will affectionately refer to each other as Bullet-Head, Godzilla, Peanut Brain and Useles
by Matt Groening
Saturday, December 27, 2008
sudah lama aku tidak mengupdate blog ini. karena memang lupa passwordnya.
abru baca blogs temen-temen. lumayan menggelitik untuk mengupdate blog. ga mau kalah.
langsung aja kali ye..
“ Aku hanya ingin seorang anak… tak lebih. Apakah aku harus memintanya dari lelaki lain?... aku tak ingin… aku hanya ingin anak darimu, bukan dari lelaki lain…. “ Dewi menjelaskan dengan tersedu dan kepalanya menunduk.
“ Aku tak bisa… aku tak bisa punya anak denganmu… bukan berarti aku tak mau… aku hanya tak bisa…” suara Ipang merendah juga, berusaha untuk menenangkan Dewi. Dilihatnya Dewi yang bersimpuh dihadapannya, dia tak tahu harus bagaimana lagi menjawab keinginan perempuan itu.
“ Aku tak akan menuntutmu untuk menikahiku… aku juga tak akan menuntutmu untuk menghidupi kami nanti. Dia akan jadi anakku… dan hanya anakku tak akan pernah menjadi anakmu…. Ku berikan janjiku…. Setelah itu kau boleh pergi… boleh kembali pada istrimu atau kemana sajalah kau mau. Yang kuinginkan hanya mempunyai anak dari lelaki yang kucintai…. Tak lain dari itu..” Dewi masih saja tertunduk, tangisnya semakin jelas terdengar. Ipang sedikit bertambah panik, di dekatinya Dewi kemudian tangannya meraih wajah Dewi mencoba menengahkannya.
“ Sayang,…. Aku tak bisa…. Sungguh…. Cobalah pahami aku… aku sudah membuat janji dengan istriku. Aku tak akan pernah mempunyai anak dari perempuan lain, meskipun dia tahu bahwa aku selingkuh. Sayang,… lupakan saja soal keinginan punya anak. Kita akan selalu bersama. Aku tak akan pernah meninggalkanmu. Aku berjanji…”
“ Sampai berapa lama? Aku ingin hidup selamanya… apakah kau akan menemaniku selama itu? Bagaimana dengan istrimu? Anakmu? Apakah kau juga mengatakan hal itu pada mereka? Bahwa kau akan menemani mereka selamanya? Bullshit… I won’t buy that!”
“ Lalu kau ingin aku berbuat apa?... aku tak bisa menceraikan dia, aku masih mencintai dia dan aku juga mencintaimu. Aku tak ingin kehilangan dia sama dengan ak tak ingin kehilanganmu. Jangan memberiku pilihan yang begitu susah. Aku bisa meledak nanti…. Ah.. begini saja….ok akan kuberikan kau anak… sekarang bisakah kita tidur? Aku harus bangun pagi besok.” Berlahan Ipang menjalan mendekati tempat tidur. Dibaringkan tubuhnya yang memang sudah terasa sangat lelah. Dewi yang dari tadi bersimpuh di samping tempat tidur mulai bergerak ke ranjang, menata bantal dan selimutnya kemudian berkata, “ selamat tidur sayang….”
ini tulisan sedikit, awalnya sih pengen dijadikan salah satu bab dalam novel. tapi ga selesai novelnya. ga konsen.