Monday, December 3, 2007
One of our WildFire Marketing clients, Mary DeMuth, has the answer! Mary is an award-winning author who has created a book proposal tutorial that helps you get your non-fiction book published. It's called, "Nonfiction Book Proposals that Grab an Editor or Agent by the Throat (in a good way!)." Her 50-page guide walks you through two proposals that Mary wrote and empowers you to write one that sells.
Need proof? Terry Glaspey, Director of Acquisitions and Development for Harvest House Publishers, says this about Mary’s proposals: “Mary knows how to write a proposal that gets an editor’s attention. She's well-organized, persuasive, and provides the information that I need to make a decision.”
Check out this great guide at Mary's website: http://www.marydemuth.com/ She's offering a discounted price of $10 to friends of WildFire Marketing. So visit today!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Author, Speaker, Counselor
Working with Rob Eagar has been well-worth the investment! In the first three months of his Marketing Mentor Program, we’ve already:
● Produced a polished newsletter, which helped me get the 2008 Relationship Expert Columnist position in Today’s Christian Woman magazine!
● Improved my image with a striking new website (see before / after picture below).
● Developed methods to get over 100 additional newsletter signups per month.
● Created a professional speaking demo that displays my presentation skills.
● Launched a new brand that people remember:
Enriching the Relationships that Matter Most
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Author & Speaker
2007 Christy Award finalist
2007 Retailer’s Choice Award finalist
“I hit a point in my career where I needed some expert help. Connecting with Rob Eagar was a blessing! His Marketing Mentor Program caused a personal revival, something I never thought possible. How could hiring a marketing consultant create such a spiritual result? Rob asked hard questions. I learned difficult things. But, I also found the grace of God in his teaching. Here’s just a few of the results I’ve experienced with Rob:
● Defined unique brands for my non-fiction, Pioneer Parenting, and fiction Turning Trials to Triumph.
● Revamped my image with a stunning new website
(see before / after picture below).
● Practiced media training to turn interviews into more website hits and product sales.
● Learned better speaking skills to help expand my message.
● Generated giveaway tools that attract new customers.
I am absolutely thrilled with the way Rob Eagar has helped me! I recommend WildFire Marketing to any writer and speaker.”
Monday, November 19, 2007
Best-selling Canadian author
“I worked with Rob Eagar and his Marketing Mentor Program, and in just a few months, we:
● Developed focused statements that reveal the benefits of all my books and speaking topics.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Click here for a sample of how to structure a solid marketing plan.
Post a comment to share your tips for writing a winning plan.
Poor Authors think they only need a Good Book.
Rich Authors know they need a Good Marketing Plan.
Poor authors hope if they write a great book, then it will automatically sell itself. However, this notion is unrealistic when you’re competing with over 100,000 other “great” books published each year. Good writing alone can’t always cut through the noise. Plus, poor authors assume their publisher will do all of the marketing. Yet, cash-strapped publishers usually restrict most of their marketing budgets to the big names.
Rich authors don’t just write good books. They build a good marketing plan around their book to help generate sales. Publishers love authors who clearly define their audience, differentiate their book from the competition, and develop creative ways to promote their message. Click here for a free example of a solid marketing plan.
Poor Authors expect Income only from their Book.
Rich Authors expect Income mostly from Spin-off Products.
Poor authors try to pay their bills by writing as many books as possible. They live off of advances and dream of royalty checks. Yet, few writers can make it on a $1.00 royalty. Sadly, this one-dimensional mindset blinds them to other streams of income. Some authors even think the best way to sell a book is to quickly write another book.
Rich authors realize their book is a pathway to more lucrative opportunities called spin-off products. For example, I used content from my $10 book to create a $150 video study. Remember that people like to learn in varied ways. So, if you limit your message to just a book, then you will limit your income and influence. But, if you focus on meeting the needs of your audience, then the offshoot potential is endless. You could offer speaking seminars, videos, downloads, e-books, audio, coaching sessions, paid newsletters, etc. Ask yourself right now, what new spin-off products could you create from your book?
Poor Authors rely only on Publicity.
Rich Authors rely on Exposure they can Control.
Poor authors rely on publicity to promote their books, such as media interviews, book reviews, and book-signings. Yet, publicity is something you cannot control, because you can’t force someone interview you, review your book, or attend a signing. Worse, competition is fierce for bookstore shelf space and available media slots. In these situations, you’re just one among thousands.
Rich authors still use publicity, but they find ways to market their book as the only choice in front of the buyer. They get exposure that they can control. For instance, when someone reads your newsletter, you’re the only buying option at that time. Good exposure keeps customers focused on your book. You could submit articles to magazines, create an audience-focused website, setup tele-seminars, generate speaking engagements, do your own radio show, create a print or e-newsletter, etc.
Don’t let your book sit in the poor house. Think like a “rich” author and make it work for you.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
So, you’ve just come off stage to a standing ovation, and you’re feeling pretty good about your speech. Later, as you stand by your resource table shaking hands, several people mention how they think you’re a great speaker. But, are their comments an accurate indicator of your skill level?
The fact is that every speaker gets told they’re the best speaker ever. And, most audience members aren’t going to share negative feedback. So, do audience compliments really tell you if you’re any good? Let’s look at three ways to know if your speech is great:
1. The leader who booked you invites you back.
Most leaders are looking for effective, results-based speakers they can trust. If your speech is good, then leaders know they can count on you. This belief increases the desire to invite you back, because they know good things happen when you’re there. Giving a great presentation causes leaders to want you back. Sure, some leaders may want to skip a year to keep things fresh, but good speakers stay in a leaders mind on a consistent basis – which helps create consistent bookings.
2. The leader who booked you refers you to another leader.
You have a great speech if the person who booked you tells their influential friends how good you are. Leaders talk to their peers and swap stories about speakers. This referral process alone can fill up half of a great speaker’s calendar. Word starts to spread and the phone starts to ring with requests. Is your phone ringing?
3. Another leader in the audience approaches you.
You have a great speech if a different leader in the audience comes up and says, “Here’s my card, I’d like to book you for another event.” It’s one thing for someone to compliment your talk, but it’s different when someone offers to give you money to present your same talk to another group. When you can motivate someone to immediately want you, then you’ve got a great speech.
Great speakers never rest on their laurels. Instead, they invest the time and money to improve their presentations. A dud message can’t spread like wildfire. Ask yourself, what can I do to generate more repeat and referral business? If you feel stuck, give us a call at 1-800-267-2045 or email: Rob@StartaWildFire.com We love helping make good speakers great!
Monday, October 29, 2007
However, we are saddened by the recent tragedy of real wildfires that destroyed lives and property in Southern California. Please join with us in prayer and financial assistance to help the victims recover and begin life anew. To make a donation, go to:
Help us spread the message of hope!
Friday, October 5, 2007
More than half of the books released every year in CBA have zero marketing efforts planned for them. Look, the dirty little secret of CBA marketing is that there's really only ONE marketing plan. It's true -- they just keep changing the cover page and passing the document around between publishers and authors.
Here's their plan: "We're going to send a half-dozen copies to those Christian magazines you don't read. Then, we're going to send the other half-dozen to the Christian TV shows you don't watch -- the ones where the people all have big hair and cry a lot. Next, we're going to set you up to do talk shows during the early morning drive time slot in every city of less than 30,000 people. We may send out copies of entire chapters to magazines, so they've got something to fill up their recycling bins. And, then we'll create a cool press kit that has an actual color image of your book cover, as well as generic author questions any moron can parrot so that he doesn't have to actually read your book. Oh -- and we'll talk to you about the internet, though we're not sure it really exists, since we don't use it for much of anything. Then, we'll claim it cost us tens of thousands of dollars to market your book."
Therefore, what sort of marketing would I suggest to an author? First, I'd suggest taking control of marketing their own book. Put aside that old-fashioned notion that the publisher is going to market your book for you, and start learning what you can do to help get the word out. Second, I'd suggest some field research -- who is the audience for your book? What's the best way to reach them? Third, I'd start checking out the creative ideas people are using on the web. It's the place to buy books.
Another area is one that authors could work harder at: Articles. There are newspapers, magazines, and e-zines all over the world, and they're all looking for content. Yet, I don't see authors taking their work and reshaping it a dozen times, for a dozen different e-zines, in order to get the word out about their book. It's probably the most under-utilized marketing method out there. Why won't most authors do this? Because it means actual work, and let's face it...most writers are basically lazy.
Wow - great insights from the Uber-Agent! As I've mentioned before, the burden of book marketing falls on the author’s shoulders. That’s why WildFire Marketing exists – to help you spread your message in the best ways possible!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Whenever you offer any kind of resource from your website, ALWAYS INCLUDE YOUR FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. And, if my shouting all-cap font isn't enough to convince you, then here's three reasons why:
1. Leaving off your contact information makes you look like a forgetful amateur. All the pros cover their marketing bases, which means they make sure anyone can always find them. You should, too.
2. If someone downloads a resource from your website to read later, but you didn't list your contact info - then they may forget where they got the information from - which means you just lost a potential sale.
3. Most important: Many people may download resources from your website to give to a friend (this is called "Word-of-Mouth" - the holy grail of marketing). But, if you don't include your contact information, then the new person can't find you - which means you just lost another potential sale.
Contact information, people! Put it on everything, and don't be stingy...include your website address, phone number (preferably a toll-free number), email address, and mailing address (or P.O. Box). Don't play hide-and-seek with your customers. People can't buy your stuff if they can't find you.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
"Master Story-teller"; "Changing the World"
Nothing kills your marketing materials faster than using a bunch of cliches. Yet, most speakers and authors litter their promotional items with these types of nebulus phrases. Why? Because it's easier to use cliches to fill up space, rather than spend serious time thinking about your audience and their specific needs.
Clichés sound bad because they're statements with a lack of motivation attached to them...that's why they come across as vague or trite. Sometimes, we write vague marketing text because we don’t really believe in our own message. So, if we avoid offering tangible benefits or a guarantee, then we think it lets us off the hook. All it really does, however, is diminish our credibility.
Avoid cliches by answering these questions on behalf of your audience: "What is the benefit for them?" or "What specific life change do I want to make happen for them?" Employ marketing text that gives your audience the motivation to listen to your speeches and read your books.
Cliches = bad; Specific benefits = good!!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
When was the last time you reviewed your bio, back book cover, or description of your keynote speeches? What did it say? If you’re like the average Christian speaker or writer, your marketing text may be working against you.
After reviewing the websites for over 100 Christian communicators, I’ve noticed a strange pattern. Most marketing text focuses on self-praise of the speaker or a self-centered look into the writer’s life. Granted, many of these people are just copying what they see others do. However, if you make this same mistake, you could turn off website visitors, influential leaders, and potential customers.
Here’s the point: Your audience doesn’t care about how great you are. They care about what great things you can do for them. If someone visits your website and never grasps the results you can provide, they might never visit again (or spread crucial word-of-mouth).
Telling people that you’re a certified speaker or an award-winning author can lend to your credibility. However, accolades by themselves are empty descriptions that make your audience say, “So what? Who cares?” Worse, filling your bio with words, such as “authentic, hilarious, and sought-after” is so cliché that it makes you look like an amateur.
All human beings are self-centered, but Christians should be more “others-focused” than secular communicators. If we’re indwelt by Jesus Christ (the most selfless individual ever), then our marketing should make it apparent that we think about our neighbor’s needs.
How do you transform your marketing from selfish to selfless? Explain up-front how your message benefits other people. Why? If someone pays money to buy your book or hear you speak, then you’re obligated to give something beneficial in return. The benefit could be new wisdom, new motivation, an emotional release, or specific answers to a problem.
Yet, most speakers come across as if the audience should feel privileged to sit in their midst. Don’t make this marketing blunder. Instead, describe the tangible benefits you offer people, and build that information into your bio, website, and media brochure.
To determine the benefits you offer people, consider why you started writing or speaking in the first place. Then, ask yourself these questions:
1. Has God truly given me something unique to say? What is it?
2. Have I experienced the benefit of my own message? Would a skeptic believe me?
3. Who stands to gain the most from what I have to say? Why?
4. If someone applies the message of my book, how will their life be different?
5. What result do I want people to experience after they hear me speak?
Don’t be a selfish Christian speaker or writer. Make yourself sought-after and award-winning by marketing yourself as someone who meets the needs of your audience.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Authors: Is your book in libraries?
www.WorldCat.org offers a free search tool that lets you find all of the libraries where your book is available. This site won't help you grow your personal sales. But, it's a good way to see what kind of marketing exposure you're getting through libraries.
Speakers: Find cheap flights faster!
www.SideStep.com searches all of the travel websites for the best deals, then lets you book directly with the carrier. This website saves me time over Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity. I like how SideStep gives you up-front pricing, then lets you narrow your search by departure times...very helpful!
Monday, July 30, 2007
In other words, consider ways that you can use your written message to help people who don’t like to read. Try turning your book into audio or video products, speaking seminars, movie rights, study tools for groups, etc.
For example, my books for Christian singles have sold over 30,000 copies…decent numbers, but not enough to live off of for 5 years. So, I took my message, got serious about marketing, and created speaking engagements, audio products, and a video curriculum for small groups. So far, I’ve made over $400,000 from one message! That’s because I learned to see the book as a means to an end, instead of the end itself.
Are you with me? Authors who just try to write a lot of books usually windup pumping out a bunch of mediocre literature, pray earnestly for strong sales, and barely make it financially. And, they wonder why being a writer seems so hard. Instead, learn how to write the best book you can, but make it generate multiple streams for revenue for you.
You don’t have to become a traveling speaker or a slave to the media. If you prefer to stay at home, you could turn your message into an audio book, group curriculum, a movie or theatrical production, teleseminars, individual coaching, downloadable files for an IPod, short articles for targeted audiences, etc. The options are endless.
Here's the bottom line: You are the only limit to your message. If you’re a good writer who is struggling to pay your bills, then stop obsessing about writing your next book. Instead, push the next book deadline back a while, and focus on making your current book work for you now.
- Do you have an example of "thinking outside the book"? Click on the comments link below and share it.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Instead, I encourage you to consider selling books from your website and doing the fulfillment yourself. Now, I know you’re immediately thinking, “But that’s time-consuming and expensive! I'll have to pay big bucks for a fancy website store and waste all my writing time shipping book orders.” Not anymore.
Today, you can use PayPal to handle e-commerce and all credit card sales directly from your website. Plus, you can setup a free online account with the U.S. Postal Service to buy postage, print professional mailing labels, order free shipping supplies, and ship packages – without ever leaving your house. Once you setup your system, most book orders can be completed in less than five minutes. It’s one of the best deals in the history of bookwriting!
With PayPal and the USPS.com, you don’t have to setup a separate merchant account or stand in long lines at the Post Office. Plus, you get credit card fraud protection and a virtual terminal from PayPal and free delivery confirmation from the USPS. And, all transactions are completed online.
Stop sending your website visitors to buy your books at Amazon.com. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on important profits, customer contact information, and marketing effectiveness. You don’t need Amazon to make it as an author – you can do it yourself.
Note: If you’re a fiction author, you’re probably reading this and crying out, “But my publisher will be mad, because if I sell books from my website or at events, then it won’t count towards my sales numbers!” Relax…if you’re helping to sell more books and grow your platform, your publisher won't care about selling books from your website. They’ll be happy, because they know that you’re growing your platform, which means higher sales potential for your next book.
Some of you need to stop worrying about your publisher’s concerns and start worrying about making your writing career last longer. Remember, to publishers, it doesn’t matter where the book sales come from, as long as there are sales. And, a happy growing author makes a happy growing publisher. Without successful authors, publishers can’t exist.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Here's a great way to make sure your webmaster did the job correctly. Click on the link below, type-in your website into the top field box, and hit "enter":
Under the "Header Data" box that appears, you should be able to scroll-down and see a list called "X-Meta-Keywords." If you don't have a list, you need to contact your webmaster immediately and ask for the appropriate keywords to be added to your website's coding. Good keywords include your name (don't forget mis-spellings), your book's titles, and any words that match the subject matter you address. For example, some of my keywords include: marketing, writing, speaking, authors, speakers, etc. Think of words that someone would use to search and find you.
You can also use this web feature to modify keywords over time to find combinations that help draw more traffic. Don't obsess over your keywords, but make sure you have the basics covered. Thanks to Penny Sansevieri at ameblog for this quick tip!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
1. Amazon steals your contacts
Amazon loves it when you send book-buying customers to them, because they get the most important piece of business data possible – contact information! That’s right. Amazon is more concerned about getting your customer’s email and mailing address than selling your book. Why does it matter? Because, the best way to grow a business (and your writing career) is to develop a database of highly-interested customers.
People who visit your website to buy books are like marketing gold. Customers who buy one book are likely to buy another book or know someone who will. Therefore, you want to stay in touch with these people through your newsletters and promotional activities. Odds are in your favor that they’ll buy again. However, if you send customers to Amazon, then you lose the chance to build a relationship with these important people. Meanwhile, Amazon laughs all the way to the bank. How do you think they grew so fast?
If you’re still not convinced, consider this. Publishers love authors who build a personal database with thousands of targeted contacts, because it means easier marketing for your next book. Show your publisher a large, legitimate database, and they’re more likely to show you large advances and bigger marketing budgets. Are you with me?
2. Amazon steals your profits
If you send a customer from your website to buy your $12 book at Amazon, you’ll be lucky if you make $1.50 in profit – regardless of whether you use Amazon’s Advantage or Affiliate programs. However, if you sell a $12 book from your own website, you can usually make at least $6.00 in profit. That’s a big difference!
Look at this way…for every 100 books you sell yourself, you make $600 in profit (not just revenue). That’s enough money to buy a new computer, new clothes, or go on a relaxing weekend vacation.
Now, don’t give me that nonsense about, “I don’t care about money…I just write as a ministry unto the Lord.” If you really write as a ministry, then you should be the best possible steward of your God-given talents. So, ask yourself, “Would God prefer me to mindlessly give away money to a secular corporate giant (Amazon), or use that money to help feed my family or feed orphans in Africa?
3. Amazon steals your marketing effectiveness
Let’s assume your new book is about to launch. You’re doing a big marketing campaign with email newsletters, blog tours, and media interviews. Let’s also assume that your marketing is awesome. People read your e-newsletters, surf the blogs, and watch you on TV. Enamored by you, they come running to your website. But, when they're ready to buy your book, you redirect them to Amazon.
A month later, you start wondering if your marketing campaign was effective. Guess what? You’ll never know, because Amazon is holding all of your data. Sure, you can check your website hits and your faulty Amazon ranking, but all that really matters is the actual sales data. Yet, you don’t have that important information, because you gave it away to Amazon. They know who bought your book, but you don’t - isn't that weird?
So, what’s the marketing moral of the story? Stop sending customers to Amazon, and start selling books from your website. How do you do that, you ask? Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Are you avoiding these mistakes? What other mistakes have you experienced or seen authors and speakers make?
Feel free to post your comments.
Frankly, this doesn’t make sense. Because if you’re staying local, then the host organization doesn’t have to pay extra expenses associated with your travel. So, you’ve already saved them a lot of money. Why give away the farm by lowering your speaking fee? Instead, charge the same amount to speak, regardless of whether you’re leaving town or staying local. It also prevents crticism from organizations who talk to each other and find out that you charge varying rates for the same service.
This is good advice to consider. What are you doing to improve your skills as a speaker and writer? Are you sitting around pouting about small engagements or low book sales? Or, are you honing your craft by reading instructional books, meeting with critique groups, or attending a speakers or writers workshop?
There are two aspects to getting a bigger platform: effective marketing (that’s where I come in) and creating a better message. Believe me, it’s hard to get good word-of-mouth if you're a lousy communicator. In contrast, the better your message gets, the easier it is for others to tell their friends about you. Check out the list below for resources to help you get better.
Writer’s Conferences and Critique Groups:
Speaking Conferences and Workshops:
Now, get out there and get better!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
AWSA Golden Scroll Banquet - Sunday, July 8th, 1 - 3pm
For more information, visit: www.ScrollAwards.com
Harvest House Author Dinner - Sunday evening (private function)
CLASS Marketing Workshop - Tuesday, July 10th, 2 - 3:30pm, Room B406
Open to CLASS grads. I'll be giving tips and insight to help you generate more speaking engagements.
I'm available for individual appointments before and after these events. If you'd like to get together, contact me at 1-800-267-2045 or email: Rob@StartaWildFire.com
C = Beginner: This is a speaker with little experience who mainly addresses audiences in their local area (and has not spoken outside of their state). Fees received range from $0 to $750 for a single presentation to a weekend retreat. Beginning speakers are either not published yet or self-published.
B = Intermediate: Speakers at this level usually have at least one published book and have built a regional (multi-state) following beyond their local area. Fees received range from $750 to $2,500 for a single presentation to a weekend conference.
A = Advanced: Speakers at this level usually have several published books and a solid national following. Their name alone can draw an audience, and their speaking calendar is usually booked over a year in advance. Advanced speakers also generate a lot of repeat bookings. Fees received start at $2,500 for a single presentation and can reach five-figure amounts. (If you speak in the secular or corporate world, fees in the $5,000 - 10,000 range are considered normal!)
Use the explanation above to see if you’ve appropriately set your speaking fees. And, ignore conventional wisdom that says to raise your fees only when your event calendar fills up. By then, it’s usually too late. Instead, raise your fees when you bring more benefits to the table.
Do you feel like your fees are too low? Do you struggle to add benefits or negotiate proper fees for yourself? Give me a call at 1-800-267-2045 or email: Rob@StartaWildFire.com I’d be glad to help.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Regular Newsletters – Junk email floods the average Inbox, so print newsletters tend to be more effective. Use both print and email to extend your reach. Keep articles brief and make the content 75% audience-focused and 25% sales-focused. Quote other sources if you need new ideas. Send your newsletters at least once a quarter, if not monthly.
Personal Contact – Trust is best built through relationships. Take time to reach key contacts and prospects with a phone call, email, or hand-signed letter. Get out of the office and invite people to meet you for lunch or coffee. Monitor their ministry sphere and become a source of information. Don’t focus on selling people, concentrate on understanding their life and needs. They’ll be more inclined to book you if they feel like you care.
Send Items of Value – People respond when you give them something of value. For example, offer coupons on a regular basis. Send a thank-you gift after an event to meeting planners. Mail an interesting book or article to prospects. Organize a contest and encourage your audience to participate. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just recurring.
Trade Show Meetings – If you know where your audience congregates, meet them there. Host a get-together, sponsor an event, teach a workshop, or network with the attendees. Face-to-face time is the best way to stay connected with customers.
Ask for Help – Solicit genuine support from your audience by asking for their opinion on your message. Create surveys, polls, or request reviews of your products. Ask a select group to give input into an article or book you’re writing. Create ways to make it comfortable for your audience to exchange information. Doing so builds a stronger bond.
You risk little to over-communicate, but you risk a lot if you under-communicate. If you’re an author or speaker, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Stay in contact with your audience, and you’ll stay on their mind – especially when they’re ready to book you or buy your products.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Thanks to http://www.plannedtelevisionarts.com/ for the tip.
Friday, May 18, 2007
How do you determine your value? Start with these two questions:
1. How do you improve the lives of your listeners?
2. What tangible results do you make happen for your audience?
If you're unclear about your value, then people will be unclear about why they should listen to you. Phrases such as, "I improve marriages...I help women know God better...or I increase product sales," sound so vague that listeners feel confused. Instead, make your benefits clear, such as "I help married couples learn to work like a team...I help remove a woman's fear that God is mad with her...I help companies achieve 10% sales growth over last year."
Give vague answers about your message, and people will look at you with glazed eyes. But, give them clear benefits, and your audience will help you spread your message.
For more information, call 1-800-267-2045 or visit: www.StartaWildFire.com