Fireworks, Friends, and Fun

Hello all,

I’m so excited about bringing Market or Die back among the living and among friends as well. I’d like to give a huge thanks to the Scribes for inviting me to join them on a permanent basis. I’ll be here every other Wednesday spouting everything from marketing tips, gabbing with guest authors and occasionally throwing in a picture of the very sexy Alexander Skarsgard, just for fun.

Since my last blog about all things marketing for writers, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being honored by the Women and Families Center in Meriden, CT for “Leadership for Women in the Arts,” and to speak at the NECRWA, the Fiction Fest conference, and in a few weeks I’m bringing my marketing woo-ha on the road to RWA’s national conference in Anaheim. I hope I get to see some of you there.

So, for this post, I thought I’d leave it open ended and ask you guys to ask me anything you like, so we can get to know each other better. For those who don’t know me, I am the Creative and Brand Manager for the General Electric Company, and the author of the series, MARKET OR DIE, marketing books for writers. Currently, I am a member of the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and believe brand building is a key to professional success.

In my writing life, I’m a member of RWA’s PRO network and serve as the President of the Connecticut Romance Writers. A writer of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, I’m currently represented by literary agent, Eric Ruben. And, last but not least, I contribute bi-monthly to the Romance Writers of America’s RWR Report. Feel free to check out my website at www.marketordie.net and I certainly look forward to getting to know all of you very soon.

Have a happy 4th of July!!

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24 thoughts on “Fireworks, Friends, and Fun”

  1. Hi Jennifer, and Happy Fourth! I’m a debut author, and, as such, had to quickly develop a website and blog to promote my book. I’ve signed up for a few blog tour spots and managed to garner some local publicity. The blog tours fascinate me and make me cringe at the same time. They are extremely time-consuming, since I feel I should write something different for each one. How much time should be spent on a blog tour versus other social outlets? I know it’s all cumulative and you never know where your next reader will come from, but I need some guidance.

    1. Hi Becky,
      Happy 4th right back at ya!! Congrats on the debut release, you must be very proud. It’s well deserved I’m sure. Regarding the blog tours, in my opinion, they are going to be some of the best PR work you can do for yourself and your release. Why? Most blogs are set up to attract your target audience, unlike press coverage in your local paper that, while it has a wider reach, 100% of the readership won’t be interested in what you have to say. Just think about how many times you’ve skimmed the newspaper, same thing.

      As for your messaging, for each tour alway promote your core message, which should be, your name, your book, it’s title, a brief description of what’s its about, why you’re reader will like it and how they can find out more, which includes links to your website, and places to purchase, like amazon for instance.

      As far as your question about time goes and how much…30 days prior to the book release you should really ramp up your online communications, blogs, facebook, twitter, or whatever social media platforms you choose to use. I hope that helps. Good luck.

    1. Hi Robin,
      I really enjoyed your book and I hope you’ll consider guest blogging on the Scribes sometime. In between releases you should change your messaging, drop the “buy my book” message and look just to connect, entertain and grab new readers and fans. Tap into what’s going on that your readers might care about (like entertainment news) or get a dialogue going about how your fans could help you “create a new story.” Have them hellp you develop a character’s name or plot idea. You might not use it right away, but it’s something to keep them busy and entertained while you’re book is in production. Hope that helps.

  2. Welcome Jennifer! We are so happy you’re part of the Scibes. Can you talk a little about Klout? Why or is it important? And short of spending all day on-line, how can I get my score up in the most efficient way possible? I suspect that Facebook usage seems to weigh more heavily than other media like blogging and Twitter. But maybe I just have Klout score envy!

    1. Ah….Klout…the measurement score of your social relevance…..while I’d love to tell you it’s a bunch of bullsh*t, in the marketing world more emphasis is being placed on Klout than I think should be. I know that in the business world possible employers are checking your “klout score” upon job interviews and if it’s happening there, I can imagine it’s happening in the publishing world as well.

      I think the relevance regarding Klout is that is shows that you are serious about what you do. For example, if on my Klout page, I wasn’t marked as an influencer of something Marketing related, like Advertising, then you may question what I know on the topic of marketing. So, Klout gives you a kind of “online street cred” that’s measured within the social media space.

      One way to increase your Klout score is to make sure all your online accounts are linked to your Klout account so that it can grab all of your online activity. Giving and receiving K+ scores helps, and constantly being active in the social media space also increases your score. I hope that helps, Casey.

      1. I’m hoping our Marketing Goddess will give us a full post on Klout someday soon … hint, hint!

  3. Welcome to the Scribes Sisterhood, Jennifer! My question for you is: What was the last book you read and what are you reading now? OK, so it’s really two questions.

    1. Hi Suze, The last book I read was Changeling Moon by Dani Harper. Dani’s a friend of MOD and Changeling Moon is up for a RITA this year. I hope she wins.

      Currently, I’m reading “The Living Dead”. It’s an anthology published by Nightshade of zombie fiction. BRAINS!!!

  4. I’m so happy you agreed to join us, Jennifer. I know you’ll bring a whole new perspective to the Scribes and since we are all about sharing our writing secrets, you and your brand expertise will be a super addition for our readers. As an indie author, your input into my initial marketing strategy was invaluable. You helped me define who my target market was, what central message I needed to focus my energy on, and how to outline a basic marketing plan. I’ve come a long way since our meeting last year and I have to thank you so much for believing in me and pointing me in the right direction. I wouldn’t have come this far without you.

    Now that I’ve publically displayed my undying affection for you, here’s my question for today (cause you know I’ll have more tomorrow): What is the deal with Google+? Do I need to be active there? I’m on it, have collected a few circles, but have no idea what added benefit it will give me beyond what I have on FB and Twitter. Right now it feels like Linked In–I’m there, but not active. Thoughts?

    1. Hi PJ,
      Thanks for the kind words. I’m certain you would have done just as fabulously withhout me, however. I’m so happy your marketing strategies are working.

      So, Google +, huh? Personally, I think Google Plus for writers is a bit a head of it’s time. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great and I think it’ll be extremely useful for authors once more people have adopted it. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google + has the option to facilitate a video chat. So, thinking ahead, an author could invite her circle to a video chat to celebrate a book release, read excerpts, take Q&A, stuff like that.

      It also has the functionality to create events, just like Facebook. Adoption of Google + for authors and readers is relatively slow. So, to answer your question, it’s good your there and have started to get things going…it may be a while for the rest of us to catch up with you, PJ.

  5. Welcome, Jennifer!!! So excited to be your sister Scribe! We are going to have fun, BUT more importantly, you are going to get our marketing butts into shape! I saw a post by a writer friend today on FB, saying when she grows up she wants to be a writer that sells more than 10 books and makes more then $10 bucks. I thought, wow, this writer needs Jennifer Fusco! 🙂 Glad you are here to show us writers how to do it.

  6. Great to see you here on the Scribes, Jen. I tend to have questions galore, but it’s a holiday and we all have hamburgers/hot dogs/lobster rolls to eat. 🙂 So, see ya here next time. 🙂 Welcome!

  7. Hi Jennifer. Happy 4th of July. I’m a new author and have set up social media accounts in order to promote my book – facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Pinterest, Klout, Google +, 2 blog sites, pages on various review sites, and blog tours. What do you think is the most effective method of marketing?

    1. Hi Janna,
      Congrats on the new book. It looks like you have the area of social media well covered. I think the most effective methods of marketing are endorsements, and networking. I’d recommend you join a group of authors that can help promote you within your own genre. You, in turn, help promote them when their book releases. You can join all the social media outlets online, but still today the #1 seller of books is recommendations from your peers. Try to get those who read your book to review it on amazon and b&n…and when they do, be sure to thank them in the social media space for their efforts. People love being recognized, even for the smallest thing. I hope that helps!

  8. What type of things should I expect marketing wise from my big six publisher? What do they do for writers that smaller presses don’t?

    1. Jamie,
      I don’t have any first hand experience with a big 6 publisher, but I have a lot of friends who do. From what I’ve seen, a big six publisher is advantageous in two areas, distribution and PR. The large publishers have the relationships with the book buyers, retail locaitons and associations to get your book out to the masses in hard and ecopy. My friend Sara Humphreys is quite open about all the PR work her publisher has done for her. And, the PR departements of large publishers have the weight to get you coverage in the USA today and other popular media outlets.
      I’m not saying smaller publishers don’t have good authors or marketing ideas, but like many small businesses they are resource constrained and most of the marketing efforts are going to fall on the author herself. Hope that helps.

  9. Jennifer,
    Congrats on your new venue here! Sounds like you have a lot to offer us authors!

    I’m a multi-pubbed author. I never feel I do enough promo; it feels like running in place at times.

    Do you recommend/have any faves of the big romance blog/review sites? Sort of a ‘Must Appear ON’ list. I love the ones I’m on, but always looking for the broader reach.

    thanks,
    Cathryn
    http://www.cathryncade.com

    1. Hi Cathryn,
      It’s nice to meet you. My favorite blog (and this is totally personally biased) is Sarah Wendell’s Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. It gets tons of hits and followers and hard core readers treat her opinion like the word of God.

      I’ve also heard through a multipublished friend of mine, Laura Moore, that this one: http://bitchcanwriteabook.blogspot.com/, is nothing to sneeze at either. I don’t have a must appear on list, but I’d recommend not ever turning down an opportunity to blog and reach a new audience. Plus, if you haven’t been featured on the Scribes, well, then you must! Let’s set something up!!

      Jennifer

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