The Author Wheel Podcast

Mastering Author Branding and Marketing with Melanie Herschorn

June 03, 2024 Melanie Herschorn Season 5 Episode 22
Mastering Author Branding and Marketing with Melanie Herschorn
The Author Wheel Podcast
More Info
The Author Wheel Podcast
Mastering Author Branding and Marketing with Melanie Herschorn
Jun 03, 2024 Season 5 Episode 22
Melanie Herschorn

Do you have an intentional author brand?

If not, today's guest is bound to help. In fact, in this interview, she did an on-the-spot workshop with Megan, helping her rethink her own social media content strategy! If you want practical tips and real-world examples, you have to listen in on this one.

Melanie Herschorn wants to help you step into your spotlight as an authority. As a book marketing and publishing strategist for business owners, consultants, and speakers worldwide, she’s on a mission to support and empower her clients to share their message with the world. Her new book, Make a Big Impact with Your Book, is available now.

Follow Us!

Melanie Herschorn
Website:  vipbookmarketing.com
Book: Make a Big Impact with Your Book
Facebook: @vipbookgroup
Instagram: @vipbookgroup

The Author Wheel:
Website: www.AuthorWheel.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWheel

Greta Boris:
Website: www.GretaBoris.com
Facebook: @GretaBorisAuthor
Instagram: @GretaBoris

Megan Haskell:
Website: www.MeganHaskell.com
Facebook & Instagram: @MeganHaskellAuthor
TikTok: @AuthorMeganHaskell

Support the Show.

FREE Mini Email Course

Have you ever struggled to explain to others exactly what you write? Or wondered which of the many fiction ideas running through your brain you should tackle? If so, The Author Wheel’s new mini-course might be your solution.

7 Days to Clarity: Uncover Your Author Purpose will help you uncover your core writing motivations, avoid shiny-thing syndrome, and create clear marketing language.

Each daily email will lead you step by step in defining your author brand, crafting a mission statement, and distilling that statement into a pithy tagline. And, best of all, it’s free.

Click here to learn more!



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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Do you have an intentional author brand?

If not, today's guest is bound to help. In fact, in this interview, she did an on-the-spot workshop with Megan, helping her rethink her own social media content strategy! If you want practical tips and real-world examples, you have to listen in on this one.

Melanie Herschorn wants to help you step into your spotlight as an authority. As a book marketing and publishing strategist for business owners, consultants, and speakers worldwide, she’s on a mission to support and empower her clients to share their message with the world. Her new book, Make a Big Impact with Your Book, is available now.

Follow Us!

Melanie Herschorn
Website:  vipbookmarketing.com
Book: Make a Big Impact with Your Book
Facebook: @vipbookgroup
Instagram: @vipbookgroup

The Author Wheel:
Website: www.AuthorWheel.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWheel

Greta Boris:
Website: www.GretaBoris.com
Facebook: @GretaBorisAuthor
Instagram: @GretaBoris

Megan Haskell:
Website: www.MeganHaskell.com
Facebook & Instagram: @MeganHaskellAuthor
TikTok: @AuthorMeganHaskell

Support the Show.

FREE Mini Email Course

Have you ever struggled to explain to others exactly what you write? Or wondered which of the many fiction ideas running through your brain you should tackle? If so, The Author Wheel’s new mini-course might be your solution.

7 Days to Clarity: Uncover Your Author Purpose will help you uncover your core writing motivations, avoid shiny-thing syndrome, and create clear marketing language.

Each daily email will lead you step by step in defining your author brand, crafting a mission statement, and distilling that statement into a pithy tagline. And, best of all, it’s free.

Click here to learn more!



Speaker 1:

Hi everyone and welcome to the Author Wheel podcast. I'm Greta Boris, usa Today bestselling mystery thriller author.

Speaker 2:

And I'm Megan Haskell, award-winning fantasy adventure author, and together we are the Author Wheel Today's episode. It was so much fun. It kind of turned into a little bit of a workshop of sorts with author branding coach Melanie Hirshhorn. We tackled how to build a marketing plan that moves beyond the book and how to create a social media strategy for your books, even if you have more than one series, and what to think about how to draw readers into your world. It was a really, really fun conversation and a bit of a surprise, because we don't normally get that hands-on in the interviews, but it was. It was fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we really dove into um Megan and Megan's books and her series and she. She got free um coaching, yeah, yeah, so it was kind of cool. So you get to hear how how Melanie would work with somebody, and it was kind of fun. It was like an example of what she does rather than just talking about what she does Exactly. Yeah, it was good.

Speaker 2:

But before we get into that interview, how was your week, Greta?

Speaker 1:

Good, so tomorrow the audio for To Die For goes live. I'm really excited. As I think I said last week, I'm not expecting a huge influx of cash immediately, but it's really great to have an audiobook to offer because there is a large community of readers who don't actually read anymore.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, and I actually got an email not too long ago from a reader listener Cause I have a couple audio books out but I haven't finished the series and he was explaining that he has glaucoma so he can't actually read but he loves story and so he was asking if my neck when my next one was going to come out and I had to be like oh no, but you know it was. There's a lot of that and I think that's great to have that accessibility for people.

Speaker 1:

Well, and it's become me. I mean, I'll read nonfiction, but for fiction, I'm now at the point where I consume it almost exclusively in audio, because our jobs are so sedentary you know writing, and I'm staring at a computer screen so much of the day that the idea of relaxing by sitting and staring at a computer screen, or even at a page it, doesn't work for me anymore. So I like to be up on my feet and listening to stories, and so I feel and you know so if there's books that I want to read but they're not in audio, I don't most of the time rarely. So I feel like that's a whole new potential audience for my series. You know people who either can't or won't like me read anymore and just want to hear the audio. My job is just to figure out how to find them, which is always an issue, but I'm sure Tantor Media has avenues and ways that I don't. So yeah, yeah, yeah. So what's going on with you?

Speaker 2:

Well, this is it. As this airs, it's the last week of school for the girls. They're so excited to be done. It's amazing. Definitely buddy for summer, and quite honestly so am I. I need a little bit of a break. So that actually brings me to another note. Today will be our last interview episode of season five. We are going to be taking a break for the summer to rest, recuperate, recharge and reorganize for the fall. I was so proud of myself for that alliteration.

Speaker 1:

That's great. You should. You should be a church pastor. They always do that stuff.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, maybe not Maybe not, I think.

Speaker 2:

I don't think that would be quite the best job for me, but I do like alliteration Anyway. But yeah, so we are taking the summer off. We will be back in the fall, but we do want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our listeners, but especially to the subscribers who have supported the show in season five. We truly appreciate it. Since we are going to be pausing new episodes and not airing anything new for the summer, we are also going to turn off the subscriber payments. So you know, when we come back we will turn that back on and we would certainly welcome your support again, but we don't want to charge anybody for old content.

Speaker 1:

Basically, but during the summer. By the way, while we're not producing new content if you haven't already, we just realized that we have over 100 episodes. So, hey, you can go back and catch up if you've missed some of our old episodes, because there's some good ones in seasons one and two.

Speaker 2:

It's all timely stuff too. I mean there's very little that isn't evergreen, as they say. You know, it's very little that isn't current anymore, because we do our best to try to interview people about craft or tools or services that are going to be around for the long haul. So, yeah, definitely. I mean there's a pretty big archive these days. So go back and take a listen. So during the summer, we do encourage you to keep on writing, keep on listening and we will see you in the fall. But now, before that, let's get into the interview with Melanie Hirshhorn.

Speaker 2:

Today we are excited to have Melanie Hirshhorn on the show Shorn. Today we are excited to have Melanie Hirshhorn on the show. She wants to help you step into your spotlight as an authority, as a book marketing and publishing strategist for business owners, consultants and speakers worldwide. She's on a mission to support and empower her clients to share their message with the world. Her new book, make a Big Impact with your Book, is available now. So welcome, melanie. We're excited to have you on the show. Thank you so much. I'm excited to be here.

Speaker 1:

Hi, melanie, just thought I'd throw that in, so everybody knows there's an extra voice here.

Speaker 2:

So why don't you tell us a little bit about your history? I know we were talking a little bit beforehand, but it's a little bit different path from some of our typical fiction author guests, which is exciting to have a new perspective on the show.

Speaker 3:

So I just have to say how in awe I am of fiction authors, because I'm able to write about what I know and what I do every day. But fiction authors create a world and use their imagination to bring things to life. So I just wanted to give a shout out to all you fiction authors out there. Well, thank you.

Speaker 2:

I know I couldn't do that.

Speaker 3:

But what I can do is help with that branding piece of it. So how I got here was super nonlinear. I started out as a publicist in Hollywood and then I got my master's in journalism and I worked in broadcast journalism. I worked on the radio, I was a radio news anchor and reporter and then, when I was pregnant with my first child, I got laid off and had to kind of rework my whole life. What am I now? I'm unemployed and unemployable and just so happened we were moving a little bit while later across the country and I thought, well, I can either, you know, pay a babysitter or a daycare more money than I'll make as a journalist, or I could do this thing that's sort of tapping on my heart which was to design and manufacture breastfeeding clothing. Oh, that's interesting.

Speaker 2:

That's very, very different and cool.

Speaker 3:

Thanks. I like being different and cool. I appreciate it. So I didn't know what I was doing, but Google was my friend and I learned all the things I needed to know and I sold my clothes on Nordstromcom and on Amazon and in boutiques and you know, it was really. It was a great place to be. It was. It was, I would say, better than any business school I could have gone to, because I learned things like on the job.

Speaker 3:

Unfortunately, what happened is I hired somebody to help me with my marketing and even though she was a consultant and I paid her a lot of money, she belittled me and it was a very toxic relationship and after about a year I was basically a shadow of my former self and I could no longer even open my home office door. Oh my gosh. And I said, all right, that's it. I got to. I got to shut this business and do something else, and so when I took some time to regroup but not a lot of time, because no grass grows under my feet I looked at sort of my, the trajectory of my career, the through line, and I realized that amplifying people's voices had always been a very important piece for me. You know, when I was on the radio, I would find these people who would not normally have radio stories and I would get them on the air. And same thing with, you know, new moms. They don't feel good about themselves. So what could I do to make their lives better? So what could I do to make their lives better?

Speaker 3:

So when I decided that marketing would be something that I could help entrepreneurs with because I am a very supportive person and I would always make them feel like they could do it too and when I sort of hung out, my proverbial shingle authors started calling and children's book authors, nonfiction authors, fiction authors and I went oh, there's something to this. I can really help people once they get past that publishing stage and once they get past the launch stage and they realize that there isn't a plan for how to make this book something huge. So now I also am fortunate to be able to publish some nonfiction books as well. So now I have a whole soup to nuts like write the book all the way through, marketing the book. But when we're talking about fiction authors specifically, it's really about well, actually all authors. It's really about having a wonderful, recognizable, memorable brand.

Speaker 1:

Well, you're kind of preaching to the choir, because we actually have a little course, a free course Seven Days to Clarity. Uncover your Author Purpose, which is basically figuring out what you're writing, why you're writing it and coming up with a tagline, and so we're very much about that. A lot of writers don't think those things through. They just get inspired and they get an idea and they write their book, which is amazing and fabulous, and a lot of people never get that far but then get disappointed. You're right, when the upload happens and you know, thousands of people aren't flocking to Amazon or wherever to buy their book. You know.

Speaker 2:

I had an interesting conversation not too long ago with a friend who's a creative professional, not a writer Well, I guess he's a screenwriter, but not a fiction author not published and we were talking about how creative professionals in particular seem to have a difficult time because they can often create the product, they can write the book, they can do whatever art form it is paint the picture, whatever it is, they can create the thing, but then they often don't have the skill set necessary to market that thing, to get on social media, to be that sort of front and center personality to you know, ultimately sell and achieve their goals on a financial level. So how do you help develop those skills in the you know creative professionals that you work with?

Speaker 3:

You cannot see the label when you're inside the bottle, it is very difficult to do your own marketing. You're just too close to it. I have a coach that helps me with my marketing because I am too close to it and sometimes I say, well, I don't even know how to say this, how can I even say this? I just don't know. And yet when I'm working with an author, it's so clear to me as day. It's as though I'm looking at it written all over their face on the Zoom call. So how I help is by, first of all, helping them clarify what their message really is, and sometimes people don't know. They say, well, I wrote this book because I had to write it. Or I wrote this book because I want to help people. And while that's noble, it's super vague. And so we want to be really clear about what the mission is, and then from there we work on how to share that mission with the world. And then, once you sort of have your sometimes it's called an author platform, but that to me, is just super vague also. So, basically, looking at your marketing foundation, when somebody finds you online, are they going to know what you do? Are they going to know that you even wrote a book, because if it's not on your Facebook, they're not going to know. People aren't mind readers. So making sure that everything that you put out in the world, or at least in the on the internet is, is uniform and clear.

Speaker 3:

And then, going from there, it's like how do you leverage other people's audiences? So I'm going to be super meta for a second. I keep saying super today. I don't know why I'm going to be meta for a second. So I get to leverage your audience because here we are on a wonderful podcast and you were gracious enough to have me on as a guest and you have these incredible listeners who are the people I want to talk to. You've already grown your audience. Your audience is filled with authors and those are the people that I want to reach.

Speaker 3:

So that's so leveraging other people's audiences to get the word out about your book. It could be a podcast, it could be speaking, it could be media opportunities. So it's all of that fun stuff. And then you know, creating other avenues of investment, getting a return on your investment. So maybe, like you said, you have a course. So right now I'm working with one of my authors. She's a children's book author and we're creating a course on how to find an illustrator for your book. So there are other ways, you know. You just have to kind of think outside the box. How can I make money based on the fact that I am an author, in addition to selling the book?

Speaker 1:

So what would you say is the biggest roadblock to success that you see in the people that you work with?

Speaker 3:

The biggest roadblock is ourselves. We get in our own way every day. I do it, I'm guilty of it and I see it. All the time. We think, well, okay, I got myself this far. There's always something you know outside noise, Somebody said something, a bad review I was mentioning to you before we got on here. I got a scathing book review a couple of weeks ago. Not only did the person who reviewed my book say that my book was not worth reading, this person also insulted me as a person and I well, first I read it, got very angry, and then I sat in my car and sobbed, just sobbed, and then I got up and I kept going and I said, all right, well, this person clearly got triggered. So there's so many things we have to deal with as authors and I think that once you're very clear on your mission and you keep reminding yourself of that, that's how you keep going forward. So step out of your own way, Remember that your mission is outside of you and keep going.

Speaker 2:

That's really.

Speaker 2:

First of all, I'm sorry that you got that review.

Speaker 2:

I think we all have some kind of story like that, because we do again, when you're creating something, you put yourself into it, you put it out there and then it's up to the other people on the other side of the screen or the book or whatever, to actually interpret that. It doesn't always go well. Like you said, you triggered, you triggered something, but you can't control that. So I love the idea of sort of reminding yourself of your purpose, of your mission, and going back to that mission statement, if you have one, or your your tagline, if you have one, and like reminding yourself of what it is that you're you're trying to do, um, because mindset is so important in probably any job, I guess, but I feel like, especially for creatives, where we, you know, have so much emotionally invested into the product that we're creating, um, so do you do coaching around mindset? Is that part of kind of this marketing process for you? Or how much do you actually? Or how do you help authors get out of their own way?

Speaker 3:

Oh, you know, I wouldn't say, you know, I'm not an accredited coach, but I certainly do it every single day. It's just I want to say I'm more of like a supportive friend who will show you that you can do this. So how do I help authors get out of their own way is by showing them what is right in front of them that they can't see. I had a sales call the other day with an author and she said you know, I know all these things, but I just can't seem to get them moving forward. And I said to her well, why now? You know, if you can't get yourself out of this sort of cycle, then why would you do it? Why would you do something now? Why are you meeting with me now of cycle, then why would you do it? Why would you do something now? Why are you meeting with me now? And she said because I really believe in this book.

Speaker 3:

So sometimes you just have to get them to get out of their own head and see what, see what the facts really are. You know, when we tell ourselves all these stories, we get caught up in the stories. I heard something a couple weeks ago and it was so profound. It was like, when you start running through something through your head, you're like I have to do something and you run through how the process is going to work by the time you get to it. You've done it several times already. So our minds are so amazing and also they sometimes sabotage us. Amazing and also they sometimes sabotage us. So really being a supportive person and also being honest, I very much about here's why this may not work, but here is something that could work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Well, that is true, and I do think that getting out of our own heads is difficult and it does help to have somebody to talk you out of it or show you a different perspective. And you know we do.

Speaker 1:

You work with a lot of nonfiction authors and I know, often nonfiction authors are writing books to support their business versus somebody who just is trying to create an author career writing fiction or nonfiction or whatever. They already have a career and the book is there to support that. Do you find that that's sort of a different? We weren't gonna use the word platform, so I'm running out of words here, but do you find that you kind of coach them in a different way, that they have to create a different kind of a marketing foundation? There you go that's the word you used. A different kind of a marketing foundation. There you go that's the word you used A different kind of marketing foundation than, say, a children's book author. And in what ways is it different? How would you coach them differently?

Speaker 3:

These are really great questions. You see, normally I just sort of go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but no, I okay. So in my brain it's every single author, no matter what they've written, is unique, and so I approach each author's marketing marketing in a never the same as somebody else. So the way it's different, obviously, is that the fiction author is looking to sell the book. That's the goal, right. Yeah, nonfiction author while they may want to sell the book, they know that they can leverage that book to get new clients or to get on stages. And the children's book author, it's kind of a hybrid of both, because they want to sell books, but they also want to maybe speak or go to schools and do presentations and talks and stuff like that. So, no matter what kind of an author you are, you want to be clear with your marketing foundation. So whether you are a fiction author who's created this world on Mars, let people know that. That's what you're all about. Or you're an attorney who works with families, then let people know about that. So I think that the similarity is that the messaging needs to be clear, whatever that message is, so that people know why they're here and what you can do for them and I'm going to give you a couple of examples. I'll give you an example of how it works and an example of how it doesn't work. So I had a client and he wrote a book about olive oil and very interesting, and we created his marketing foundation. Then he worked with a publicist and he was on the Kelly Clarkson show and that show has an audience of 2 million people every episode that's their average and so overnight his Instagram followers doubled more than doubled, because the people watching TV we all do this we watch TV with our phones, we're doing something on our phones while watching. So they saw him on television and they went to Instagram to check him out to verify that he was the real deal. And he was. He is On the other side of that.

Speaker 3:

I once met with an author who had hired a publicist and she'd been on many different platforms and I know we use the word platform, but media outlets is what I really meant and including a national daytime talk show, morning show and when I met with her I said how many books have you sold? And she said 100. And that was over the course of an entire year working with a reputable PR firm. And so I went oh okay, well, let's figure out. You know, put on my doctor uniform and I'm like I'm going to diagnose this Sure enough. Get to her website no idea what she does or who she is. Get to her Facebook no idea, she even has a book.

Speaker 3:

So the kind of book you have doesn't negate the fact that you want to have a marketing foundation so that people can find you online, because we don't just see you in one place and then that's it. You know, it takes something like 20 touch points for people to even make a purchase. So the more people can get to know you and what you're all about and I'm not saying you have to, you know, air your dirty laundry on Instagram. I'm just saying they need to know what you're all about, what your books are all about Then they can say oh, I saw this, this looks so interesting. Where did I see it again? Oh, it was over there. And the more it gets into our brains, the more likely we are to actually go and buy the thing.

Speaker 2:

So I have a kind of interesting question then, I guess, because one of the pieces of advice that I mean this is probably a little bit old I'm probably dating myself a little bit, but the old piece of pieces of advice for social media was that you're supposed to post, for every one book post that you made, you were supposed to, you know, make you know eight or something, some, some number, some number, I don't know some number of random number of like personal life posts or share yourself for, like you know, other content that's not related to your book, Right?

Speaker 2:

Because you don't want to be like buy my book, buy my book, buy my book, right? Um, so your advice here is I'm interpreting it kind of the opposite that you want to have that message around, like you know, obviously not buy my book, buy my book, buy my book. But that you want to have that message around, like you know, obviously not buy my book, my book, buy my book. But that you want to have the through line of yes, I have a book, this is my topic, this is the thing that I do, this is what it is, and to have that through line on your I mean, let's use Instagram as the example. So on your profile, when somebody is scanning through your things, so are you suggesting that you have maybe less life? That's not related to that book, sort of information or like to what extent do you recommend a fiction author in particular, since that tends to be more of our audience, but recommend that they sort of curate that feed specifically toward their book? Does that make sense? Like?

Speaker 3:

it makes perfect sense. So the 80-20 rule what do they call it? The Pareto principle or something? Okay, so, yeah. So the 80-20 rule says 80% value, 20% sales. So sure, on 20% of your feed you can say like hey, did you see my book? Here it is, grab a copy, awesome. But the other 80% you still wanna show people why they should want to buy your book, even if you're not outright saying it. But pictures of you riding horses, if your book is not about horses isn't going to make any sense or help you create a following. So can you give me an example of a fiction book and then we can, kind of you know, figure out what a feed might look like.

Speaker 2:

We can use mine. Sure, all right, give me the high level what?

Speaker 2:

your book's about. Okay, so my current series that I'm working on right now is the Rise of Lilith series. It's portal fantasy and the basic pitch is that she's a Laguna Beach bartender who can see the demon on your shoulder and she knows exactly what you desire. So she's going to serve it to you in a cocktail. But she also has the ability to see, interact with and travel to the realm of the gods. So through the course of the series she has to rescue various people from the ancient gods of various different mythological pantheons.

Speaker 1:

Who are almost all dastardly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they're almost all dastardly, or at least they're messing with people. You know, sometimes it's you know, they kind of see people as dispensable or energy sources.

Speaker 3:

Okay, yeah. So here's what I would do. You talked about a bartender, so go to bars. Take pictures of you at bars. Go to the beach, take pictures of you on the beach. Other pictures, your book on the beach. Get people into the feeling of what the series is about, and you don't have to say this book is about this. You know everything you just said. You can say you know the sunset is just captivating on the beach today. I wonder what. What's her? Is her name Lilith Lil? Yeah, lil Lil. I wonder what Lil would be thinking right now. What's your favorite beach to lay out?

Speaker 3:

On Drinks, you could talk about specific drinks. I don't know if there are certain drinks that bring out more demons. You can do a recipe about drinks. You could talk about beaches and talk about going to a black rock beach in Greece, something like that. And so you're creating this world on your Instagram, but you're not saying buy the book. You're creating a feeling, something that people are going to want to join. And then you talked about the mythological creatures. Are they based in any like? Did you make them up or did they?

Speaker 2:

Oh, no, they're they're all based like. The first book is mostly Norse with a little bit of Greek. The second one is Greek with with Egyptian this. The third one I'm working on right now is actually Aztec mythology, so I try to incorporate all the different pantheons, but they're all based in to some extent in actual myths that if you go Google them you'll find them.

Speaker 3:

All right. So what if you did a whole series on your Instagram, like once a week? You talk about what this myth is. That's interesting and it all leads back to the series. But what we've done is we've made it more than the book. We've created this whole sort of world that people can join into and then, if they really want to get the book We've created this whole sort of world that people can join into and then, if they really want to get the book, they'll be like oh well, I already know Megan, because she's on this beach and she's, you know, got this drink and look at that cool mythological creature story. I'm going to get her book Love it, yeah, love it.

Speaker 1:

All right, I'm taking notes.

Speaker 2:

Love it, yeah, love it, all right.

Speaker 1:

I'm taking notes. No, I really think that that's what you just said too. It's like you're creating an environment, a world for people to enter into, and when they're in that world, the book then becomes a part of a bigger world, which is a world within a world, because fiction books we're creating worlds. So I mean this is a world within a world because fiction books were creating worlds. So I mean this is just blowing my mind. I've got to go spend time on Instagram, which I don't I terribly ignore Instagram. It's awful, yeah, I agree with that, and that is all.

Speaker 1:

Even newsletters, like you know, one thing that most authors are encouraged to do is start a mailing list and get your newsletter out there, and then, especially fiction authors, kind of scratch their heads and go but what do I write about in my newsletter? You know, if I don't have a deal, if I don't have a book on sale, if I don't have something like that, what do I even write about it? If I don't have something like that, what do I even write about it? But people aren't signing up. They're signing up for your newsletter because, yeah, they want to know when your books or new books are coming out or there's a sale, but they also want to know more about the mind that created this world that they love, you know. And so that was one thing that I noted that when I put in I always do, after I release a new book, I always do a newsletter.

Speaker 1:

That's sort of like a fact check what things were true and what things I completely made up and you know, and so it's basically I'm giving them some of my source material. Well, I did this research, this thing is true, and then I what if'd it and created this over here. And this is not true. My readers really like that. So those kinds of things where they can see what's what was in your mind, what, where did that book originate? You know where'd it come from? So that's really good and I'm sure it's true. For so I think it's a little bit easier for nonfiction. Like so, say, you were a nutritionist and you wrote a book on nutrition Fancy that you know just showing recipes and you know giving expert tips or where to buy a different food and what's the nutritional value of, you know, steel cut oats versus rolled oats or all those kind of things that people are feeling like they're getting more value. Yes, but Okay.

Speaker 3:

See how you rolled that, like it just came off out of your brain really fast. You're like we'll just do this and this and this and this, so then what they're up against is sameness. How do they differentiate themselves from other nutritionists who wrote a book on nutrition and steel cut oats and all that stuff, whereas I was gonna say, if you're a fiction author, you've created a world that does not exist anywhere. Nobody else is doing it. So you know how we kind of drew in elements from reality. That helps you stand out, because I don't think other fiction authors are going to do that. But in that sense, yes, in theory it's easier, it's more straightforward. It takes a little less outside the box thinking to come up with a marketing for nonfiction.

Speaker 1:

But I can see your point in that. It is you know, how do you differentiate yourself from the thousand other people who are talking about nutrition Like what's the Billion? Yeah, what's your?

Speaker 3:

hook Right, and that's you know, and it's millions, right, like millions of books are published.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, well, so I guess you know. So you have the on the one side, you have the, the struggle with sameness or or standing out from the crowd. A fiction author also has potentially a problem of. You know, maybe they write like me, like I have. You know, I write fantasy, but my two series that I have are very different. Actually, like, even though there are elements that are similar, I still bring in some methodological creatures so that could still pull through, but it's mostly secondary world. It has elves instead of gods. You know, like the other series, they're two very different series. So, again, like, thinking through your broad messaging, how do you like, what do you look for to tie those pieces together?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, why are you writing those books about elves and gods?

Speaker 2:

Because I like fantasy, I mean it's, it's no. So my tagline, if you want to, if you want to get into it, my tagline is escape into myth, magic and mayhem. So again, this goes back to the, our little seven day course that we, that we teach, but it's creating we. You know, we've gone through that mission statement creation process and that's my tagline. That is the end result. So it's the myth escape to into myth, magic and mayhem.

Speaker 3:

Well then, your three pillars of that are myth, magic, mayhem. So where does each post fit in?

Speaker 2:

So curating your posts then, so that you're always hitting those pieces? So, always going back to your mission statement, Absolutely so.

Speaker 1:

Mine is murders that hit home. So you have to murder people on my Facebook page, I guess?

Speaker 3:

Don't do that, don't do that, that. I'm sure there are other creative ways to show murder.

Speaker 1:

Yeah oh no, and I try to do. Yes, I. I had one about gardening the other day and then I talked about something about dead bodies being the best fertilizers to me. Like it was funny, but I have kind of dark humor posts that I put up.

Speaker 3:

That's great. That's on brand, though. That's fantastic.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then home. All my books are set in Southern California, so I try to put up a lot of things about where I live, the area I live in Southern California, and I'm sure I could be a lot more creative than I am. But it's also a time thing, for you know, all this stuff takes time, which is another reason that people sometimes want to talk to someone like a Melanie or someone who can help them, right, because it is a time consuming thing. But I do love that like thinking, thinking about your tagline or your mission statement and keep going back to that, and I'm sure that that really works with, say, back to the nutritionist. Like I knew a woman.

Speaker 1:

I my first book was called Wine and Chocolate Workout and it was about a little bit about nutrition and a lot about exercise and it was like obvious. I mean, I just had wine and chocolate on everything, like it just was constant wine and chocolate and that kind of began. I still have people today, even though I took that book off the market. It was a long time ago. I've written many fiction books since that still call me the wine and chocolate lady, so it did stick. So it is that and that was kind of unique, right, because I was talking about weight loss and exercise, but I was also talking about wine and chocolate.

Speaker 1:

So finding that place of surprise or something that doesn't quite seem to work but it really does work, or those kinds of things I think make for good hooks. I'm trying to lose that wine and chocolate you know thing and I think I'm pretty close, but I still have a couple of people who like, no, I'm not the wine and chocolate workout anymore. I still get texts for people who want to know if I do group personal training or only one-on-one. I'm like no, I don't do that anymore. So I mean now, back then I felt like I was failing and now they keep coming after me. It's like where were you 15 years ago or 10 years ago? One strong takeaway regarding really finding that hook, finding that brand, what would it be? I know there's so many things and I could see the wheels turning because I can see her audience. You can't. The wheels are turning, but if you're just going to leave them with one small tip or big tip, whatever medium sized tip, whatever size tip you want, what would you say?

Speaker 3:

So, when you are accessing that part of your brain that gets, that's your imagination, that part of your brain that's your imagination, go back there and trust that you have amazing ideas within you, because you created this from nothing. It did not exist before your mind came up with it. So I know that when you sit and quietly and you really take some time for introspection and ask what will really resonate the most with the people that I wrote this book for and I think they'll get your answer- Well, that is good.

Speaker 2:

I love that, though the trust yourself. So I think that's one of the struggles that a lot of creative people regardless, again, of medium, but creative people have is that we start to doubt our work. We start to doubt whether it's the quality or the ideas or the originality we get. We develop this imposter syndrome, for lack of a better term. I mean, it's not quite that same that, like, experts get when you know, but, but it's kind of the same thing. It's like you just forget to trust yourself. So do you have any like I don't know, like tips or mantras? Like how do you encourage that, that self trust when you?

Speaker 3:

look back at what you've already accomplished in your life. You have proof that you can do this too. Sometimes I look at J-Lo, because J-Lo was 36 or 37, I think, or she was in her early 30s before she made it big, and so age shouldn't determine it. It should really just be like knowing who you are. I think if you know who you are and I think authors especially spend a lot of time in their own heads, so you know what's going on up there you know there's a lot going on up there and that you are probably smarter and more capable than the average bear, simply because you were able to create this profound work. So just trust yourself, because you've done it before you got to where you are and it wasn't an accident. You know on a very small scale. Again, I'm sorry that the audience can't see this, but my daughter, who's 12, made this.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, it's beautiful, beautiful so for everybody who can't see the beautiful picture, it's a raccoon looks like on a on a tree. But is it? Is it foil metallic or is it?

Speaker 3:

yeah, so it's the scratch so it's a book. And then she scratched it so that the raccoon is is silver, oh my gosh. So she came home with this two days ago and she said and she's an ultra creative, my kiddo. She said other people complimented my friends on theirs and I think mine is bad. And I said this is the most beautiful raccoon I've ever seen and I don't like raccoons because they eat garbage. And she said but how do I know it's good? What if I'm just bad? And she went into that whole spiral right and creative people. We do that because one bad review, one negative comment or one noniment is enough to send us over the edge in the wrong direction. So the reason I bring this up is to say that nobody's immune. But if you surround yourself with people who will build you up, that can really help.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and sometimes you have to vote people off your island too. Amen to that. You know, when you have naysayers and people who are discouraging, yeah, I, it is it. But I do love what you said about looking back, because you know I always have. I tend to have a mid book, usually somewhere between a one-third point to the two-thirds point, or twice. At the one-third or the two-third, I decide that this is the stupidest book in the world and nobody's ever going to read it. And I've done that now for I don't know 14 books. But because I've done it so many times, I now the thoughts come, the emotions come and I say, yeah, this is the way I felt. The last book and that book, you know, has got 600 and something five-star review or four and five-star reviews. So people are liking that book.

Speaker 1:

So just settle down like, talk to yourself, settle down, girl, and sit back and breathe and figure out. You go through this every time. It's just something isn't working. Figure out what isn't working, you will figure it out and then you can move on. But you're right if you don't stop and you just give in to the negativity and the panic. But it gets easier, is my point, like you said, looking back, because I've done that so many times now I can look back and say, yep, I did it and I pushed through and I wrote the book and published it. I did it and I wrote the book and published it. I did it, I wrote the book. And each time it proves to me that, yes, there is a path forward. So, and that is, you know, it's good to look ahead, but sometimes it's really helpful to look back to and see how far you come. So I love that. And, on that encouraging note, why don't you tell everybody where they can find out more about you and all the things that you offer?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely so. My website is VIPbookmarketingcom and I have a fun little ultimate book marketing checklist there that you can grab for free. It'll really kind of give you the steps of how to market your book Like, so you know what is ahead of you.

Speaker 1:

That is great. And a checklist everybody loves a checklist. So we will have that link in the show notes and for all you listeners out there. If you enjoyed this episode, we would really appreciate it if you consider sponsoring the show for as little as three dollars a month, it will help us keep the lights on and keep things moving forward. Also, if you do sponsor the show, we will be very happy to tell the world about your book or your book services or whatever you have out there for authors, and give you a shout out on the podcast, and that link is also in the show notes. So thank you in advance for your support and consider sending a link to your favorite episode to an author friend. Until next time, keep your stories rolling.

Author Marketing and Branding Workshop
Marketing Strategies for Authors
Marketing Strategies for Fiction Authors
Building Self-Trust as a Creative
Support and Sponsorship for Authors