Product funnels.

Write. Publish. Repeat. (The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success) (The Smarter Artist Book 1) by [Platt, Sean, Truant, Johnny B., Wright, David, Smarter Artist]

I have been reading a book called Write, Publish, Repeat, which I am just about to review. The authors of the book work as a team and their level of dedication to their craft is inspiring. They talk a lot about their own work, which they are shameless about and this can get a bit repetitive, but they do it for a reason and their formula works well for them.

They talk a lot about product funnels for an author’s work and this book is a prime example of a funnel for their own fiction. A funnel works by reaching out and telling people about your books through other works and products. For example the book, Write, Publish, Repeat, is a funnel as it tells you (a lot!) about their other works. By reading this book, you would hopefully enjoy their style of writing, as I did, and consider picking up one of the numerous works they have out.

Another funnel would be their podcasts, blogs, website and social media feeds. All of these point a funnel towards giving their core books discoverability. This article could also be called a funnel, as I am now telling you about their work, and some of you may buy their books!

It made me think of my own product funnels. The authors of Write, publish, Repeat, write at a crazy speed and produce many books, added to the fact they work individually and as a team, but even writing on my own I have already been working with product funnels and they are a great way to help readers find me in a sea awash with words.

I began with writing my manuscripts, but as a new author, I wanted to connect with my audience, so I also made funnels for my work.

My product funnels:
Books by author Lizzie Chantree

I have this blog, where I share my writing journey and new topics I’ve learnt about with other writers and readers.

I have a growing social media community, where I tweet about writing, design, my latest work and entrepreneurship. Twitter: @Lizzie_Chantree    Facebook: Lizzie_Chantree

I have links in the back of all of my books to my other books with some of the first chapters and reviews. Babe Driven.    Love’s Child.     Finding Gina.

I have begun a mailing list of wonderful readers. This is vitally important to authors and a fantastic way to chat to people who love your stories and want to find out what you are writing next.  Subscribe today! 

I have designed bookmarks and giveaways which will be sent to everyone on my mailing list that left an address to be sent promotional items. This is a great way to introduce readers to new manuscripts and find out what they would like to read next.

I connect with my readers through visiting other blogs and leaving comments. I read all of the blogs I visit and don’t leave random comments and my website address, but this in turn helps others discover my blog by the fact I have visited and joined in a discussion.

I have book trailers for all of my books on YouTube.

Babe Driven.    Love’s Child      Finding Gina 

Creating product funnels can be great fun. The key is to not bombard your readers with  information that is just about your books or creative products. Tell them about your writing life and things that interest you.

Let me know if you have inspired product funnel ideas that will help anyone on their creative journey!

Product photos via Amazon.

Sign up to my newsletter ;) Author tips.

newspaper-Lizzie Chantree

Having a newsletter as an author is a vital connection between writer and reader. I’ve been researching the link and I have been trying to offer a newsletter to my readers for a while. With a WordPress site like mine, you can’t usually add a subscription form, but I have managed to work my way around that.

At first I found writing a newsletter a bit daunting, as it’s conversational between author and reader and I wasn’t sure what format my readers would like best and didn’t want them to feel like they were bombarded with emails. I finally managed to work out how to use MailChimp, but then found that I couldn’t integrate it to my site. Here’s what I have done:

  1. I signed up for a MailChimp free account.
  2. I worked out how to manage the lists there and am still getting used to their customisable themes.
  3.  I added a newsletter sign up tab to my blog.
  4.  I created a contact form.
  5. I used this form for people to send me their subscription details.

newsletter-Lizzie Chantree

This can be a bit time consuming, as you do have to manually add each new subscriber to your MailChimp list, but it works for me. Once my latest readers subscribe, I add them to my list and they receive regular updates about my writing, or musings. Far from being as scary as I thought, I actually love being able to chat to people who enjoy my books and they seem to have fun finding out what I’m writing next. It also gives me the opportunity to ask my readers advice on what merchandise they would like to see, what stories they love best and for me to share more of my writing journey.

I read somewhere that a great subscriber list holds 1,000 true fans who love your work, want to support your author journey and read your new books. I’ve just started my own newsletter, but the people on it are vivacious and friendly and it’s such a compliment that they’ve signed up to find out more about my work. I may not have a 1,000 subscribers yet, but the one’s I do have are just as precious.

You are welcome to subscribe to my newsletter here: Lizzie’s Newsletter subscription link. I would love to see you there! Here is some of the book swag that you might find delivered by joining my newsletter.

Lizzie Chantree bookmark

 

Curated Content for Writers ~ May 12

Some great content for writers here. Literature Maps and more!

Story Empire

Pencil with sharpener, pencil shavings and blank notebookHappy Friday SEers! It’s the beautiful month of May, a great time to start a new writing project or dive into an existing one.  To sharpen up the tools you employ with your author platform, be sure to check out this week’s posts:

Author Media Kit, Part 3—One Sheet and Biography by Staci Troilo and my post on Personality Types and Writers. As usual, the entire SE gang has been scoping out material on the web to bring you the brightest gems of the week. Take a look at what we’ve gathered:


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The view from my desk.

Im trying to beat procrastination and have read a lot about the usefulness of a kitchen timer on your desk to time small bursts of work. I walked with a spring in my step to a local hardware store and bought the brightest one I could find, thinking this would stop me gazing adoringly at my dog, making copious cups of tea and generally putting off getting down to work. This is the view from my desk:

Pepper

I usually find that I spend at least an hour a day checking emails, a couple of hours (or five) on social media, an hour on other things that don’t involve adding to my manuscript. This does not follow the 80/20 rule of using 80% of your time doing the most important tasks. Before I know it, it’s time to do the school run and I haven’t achieved much. After buying my little kitchen timer, all that has changed. One of the articles I read about time management suggested working in 30 minute time slots. I set the timer for 30 minutes, write as much as I can, then stop and walk around or talk to the dog! Ten minutes later, I’m back to start the whole process again.

I haven’t yet managed to completely drop my habit of finding the smallest thing a distraction, but last week I wrote 10,000 words using the timer! It is now my very good friend and I wondered what other writers use to stay focussed, or if it’s just me who becomes entranced by a cute puppy smile and drinks far too much tea?

Clock

Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter if you would like to be the first to hear about my latest books and the weird and wonderful things I discover about the world of writing. You can sign up here: Lizzie’s Newsletter sign up form.

Books by author Lizzie Chantree

 

Author Branding

Branding

I’ve been reading quite a bit about author branding lately and the topic really fascinates me. I have run my own businesses for years, which is why my romance novels are focused around entrepreneurs, but I remember back to my first business logo and how awful it was! I was 17 and my first business was called Juniper Berry. The logo was quite unimaginative with a tree in a brown square box with some text underneath.

When I invented my first product, I was attending The School of Communication Arts in London and had begun to learn about product design and branding. We were set tasks to design new branding and packaging for some big companies as a project and the results were anything from funny shaped boxes to business cards made from a jigsaw! It did make me realise how important the identity is to a product and as authors, our books are our product and we are brand ambassadors.

When someone looks for your book or product, can they easily identify that they are from you? Can they read the label clearly, even from a phone screen or iPad? Does your branding follow through across all of your novels, or does it confuse your readers? This might sound obvious, but when you look at a selection of work from some authors, its not always easy to see which ones belong together.

I often identify my favourite author’s books online by their book covers. I know their style and expect their latest covers, merchandise or social media to be uniform. My books are all romances about various businesses and their quirky owners, but they are still very different. One is a sizzling beach read, one a romantic mystery novel and one is full of magic. Here are my covers:

 

Even though they are different, I always use similar colour palettes and type faces. My author picture and social media branding is the same on all platforms:

I understand that it might seem strange to think of writing books as a business, but we are making a product that we really hope others will love and packaging it in a way that appeals to those people is vitally important.

I’m in the process of designing bookmarks and have asked some of my readers what they would like to see on them. Most would like the cover design work followed through, as they enjoy bookmarks that match the books they are currently reading. Again, this is all branding and a wonderful way to connect with our amazing readers. I’ll let you see the finished design when they are done, but I will be listening to my readers and carrying through my brand design.

Weaving History into Contemporary Fiction—RRBC Tour Stop

An interesting post about doing research and finding inspiration for your writing by talented author Staci Troilo.

RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Party Hi! Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’sSpring Book & Block Party. (For all the stops and oodles of chances to win a myriad of prizes, check out all the RRBC posts throughout the month-long tour.)

This stop? Staci Troilo’s site currently hosted in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA.

Today I’m Giving Prizes to Two Lucky Winners:

First Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: Medici Protectorate SWAG Pack

Medici Protectorate SWAGSWAG Pack Contains: 1 Pen, 1 Magnet, 1 Bookmark, & 1 Sticky Note Pad

Prizes awarded to US commenters only.


Today I want to talk about weaving history into contemporary stories. I like a good historical tale every once in a while, but I tend to read contemporary fiction a lot more often. That doesn’t mean history has to be abandoned, though.

One of my favorite things to do is research. I used to love writing research papers in school. Sure, I…

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A critically acclaimed bestseller by Olivia Mason-Charles. #FREE

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FREE critically acclaimed bestseller exploring autism and parenting. 

Available on #Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Q1IGSH4/

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Book description:

Paper in the Wind is a compassionate and riveting story depicting a single father’s dedication to his daughter. In the midst of the overwhelming struggles that accompanied autism, he continues to persevere. Her father’s love enabled her to overcome insurmountable obstacles, discovered the power of love and embraced the gift of life.

Book reviews:

  • Beautifully written. As a parent of an autistic child I was very encouraged by the courage and dedication of all involved. I learned of therapy available I was unaware of. Thank you. I would recommend this book to all parents, relatives and friends of a child with autism.

 

  •  What an all round delicate story! From Michael’s dedication to her daughter, Alexa, to Jonathan’s love for her, this is a feel good story! I started reading this story with my mind wide open to what I thought would be a sad story about autism, but ended reading a touching love story. Alexa lived with autism, but she did not let it stunt her life.

    Michael McKenzie, Alexa’s father worked tirelessly and relentlessly to see that her daughter enjoyed a good quality of life, even as she struggled with autism. He was tireless in looking for remedies that would help her daughter. As he discovered new remedies, Alexa’s personality and sympathy for others not only grew, but made her a force, and a mentors for others like her.

    Jonathan was her rock! Their love for one another is such that are only read about in fairy tales. It was the strength and power of this love that motivated Alexa to push forward without letting her shortcomings define her life.

 

  • This is a heart touching story of not only dealing with autism, but a lot of other heart wrenching aspects of life. I think the story was well written as the reader gets a glimpse into the life of a father who is trying to do the best he can under a lot of strain as ife hands him one challenge after another. The book will take readers on a journey they won’t soon forget.