Author Archives: Kim Staflund

About Kim Staflund

As a book publisher, Kim Staflund works with businesses and individuals around the world to produce superior quality ebooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers. As the founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG), she has extensive experience with the traditional (trade), vanity, and supported self-publishing business models as both a service provider and an author. Kim built her company from the perspective of the author—taking the best practices from each business model to create a company that puts its authors first, while ensuring a professional, saleable result. Think of PPG as a skilled project manager for self-publishing authors. Using the supported self-publishing business model, the company assists authors in producing truly professional books by guiding them through the entire process from conception to publication. PPG helps both individuals and businesses to publish quality books and provides them with online distribution opportunities throughout the world. In addition to her writing and book publishing background, Kim has a substantial sales and sales management history that includes new business development, both inside and outside account management of all types and sizes of companies, and personnel management and leadership experience within unionized and non-unionized environments. Add her firsthand knowledge of records management, process management, and project management into the mix and you have everything that is required in a professional book publisher to help authors everywhere succeed. Kim’s number one priority in each of these roles has always been, and will always be, to earn (and keep) the trust of each of her clients by providing honest, ethical, and thoughtful customer service that meets or exceeds their expectations.

How to Stick to a Schedule When You Write From Home

When you tell someone you’re a writer who works from home, one of the first comments you might hear is, “Wow, so you can write whenever you want?” Well, yes and no. Despite your best intentions, you may find that it’s difficult to stay on track with your writing. If that’s the case, you may end up working seven days per week or pounding away on your laptop from morning to night, dreaming about the day when you can finally take it easy. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are four tips to try if you feel like you’re writing (or trying to write) 24/7 and getting nothing done.

Set Specific Working Hours

One of the perks of self-employment is that you can work whenever you want. That’s also one of the drawbacks. When you have the freedom to meet a deadline at your convenience, it’s easy to spend the entire day writing. Regain control of your work life by setting specific hours for yourself.

Be practical when you set your hours. If you’re a night owl, don’t schedule yourself a day shift. If you have small children at home, consider working late at night or before the sun rises. You may also find it easier to schedule a split shift, such as four hours for work, four hours for errands and a lunch break, and four more hours of writing. Do what works best for you and your lifestyle, because it will be easier to stick with a schedule that meets your needs.




Take Breaks

When you punch in a time clock outside of your home, you probably never miss a lunch break or 15-minute rest break. That’s not the case for many who write from home. It’s easy to skip breaks because you think you don’t need them or feel like you’re being lazy if you stop writing for a few minutes, but this can take a huge toll on you.

Failing to take a break can cause you to feel burned out. You may start to hate what you’re doing if you never take a moment to do something else. Set an alarm to remind yourself to take regular breaks, and make sure that you actually escape your home office for a bit. Walk around the block, drive down the street to grab a bite to eat, or meet up with friends. Your brain and body will thank you.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions come in different forms from fun Facebook games to uninvited neighbors who never seem to go home. If the Internet is a major distraction for you, try an app like Focus Booster. You can use the app to block social networking sites, YouTube, or even your personal email account when you’re busy with a writing project.

It’s slightly harder to eliminate other distractions, such as chatty family members or neighbours; but it can be done. In fact, if you follow the two steps listed above this one, you may find that it’s easier to prevent these types of distractions. Uninvited guests may be less likely to stop by if they know you have set writing hours and regular break times, and people may stop asking you for rides to the post office or grocery store if they know you’re busy writing your next book.




Reward Productivity

No matter how much you love your career, there will be days when you just don’t feel like being productive. You’ve probably outgrown star stickers and pencil toppers, but you can improve motivation by rewarding yourself in other ways.

Start by setting small, easy-to-achieve goals, such as, “I will write for 30 minutes and then spend five minutes watching motivational YouTube videos.” (Or whatever works for you, of course!) As your focus increases, you can change your hourly goals to daily goals, like, “I can order pizza tonight if I finish writing these two pages by 4 PM.” You can even set weekly goals, like, “I will buy a new pair of jogging shoes if I meet all of my deadlines on time this week.”

Working from home can be rewarding for writers, but it can also be difficult. Eliminate distractions and stick to a regular schedule by trying the four tips above. Good luck with your book!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

More Writing Hours Versus More Productivity

We all know those people who spend every waking moment at the office. We admire them and their efforts, and we imagine they must be getting so much more done than everyone else. Sure, sometimes this is true; but other times it’s just a matter of poor time management. More writing hours don’t necessarily equal more productivity or progress. Compact, focused work is just as (if not more) effective in the long run.

I try to get my writing done in small, but controlled bursts. Instead of spending my entire day sitting at a desk or sitting at a coffee shop, I schedule my work time and break time, then stick to it. I set and meet my own deadlines.




When I’m writing, I’m focused on writing. When I’m on a break, I don’t think about writing; I just relax and enjoy the break. Not only does this help me to get more done, but it helps prevent the feeling of overwhelm that comes from trying to do too much at once, and it also helps to prevent exhaustion.

Exhausting yourself can give you an immediate gain; but, over the long-term, it’s also bound to lead to unhealthy fatigue and resentment. That’s not what you want. What you’re after is an achievable routine that is customized to your life and your schedule so you can easily stick to it. Do this, and you’ll have that book written—and published!—before you know it!

More tips on how to stick to a schedule when you work from home and how to meet a writing deadline will follow this week. Stay tuned.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

The Difference Between Advertising, Marketing, and Sales

Here’s an excerpt from Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors to help you sell more books…

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned over the years was the difference between advertising, marketing, and sales, and how they all work in conjunction with each other. Here are their definitions as per The Free Dictionary (2015a):

• ad·ver·tis·ing (ăd′v r-tī′zĭng)
n.
1. The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business,
as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
2. The business of designing and writing advertisements.

• mar·ket·ing (mär′kĭ-tĭng)
n.
1. The act or process of buying and selling in a market.
2. The strategic functions involved in identifying and appealing to
particular groups of consumers, often including activities such as
advertising, branding, pricing, and sales.

• sell (sĕl)
v. sold (sōld), sell·ing, sells
v.tr.
1. To exchange or deliver for money or its equivalent: We sold our old
car for a modest sum.
2. To offer or have available for sale: The store sells health foods.
4. To be purchased in (a certain quantity); achieve sales of: a book
that sold a million copies.




To clarify, advertising is the vehicle you use to reach your target market of customers. Marketing is the language in which you choose to speak to them to pique their interest in your offering. And selling is the act of convincing them to buy from you—of coming right out and asking for the sale. The most successful salespeople harmonize all three of these components together in a well thought-out sales campaign, which I intend to teach you how to do in this book.

Since leaving that literary press and learning these new skills, I have achieved my goal and become a bestselling author. To date, my books have been publicly listed as bestsellers on Amazon’s Canadian, American, and United Kingdom ecommerce sites as well as in a traditional market—a prominent daily newspaper in one of Canada’s major cities.

I’ve published six books in total (you are reading the sixth one right now), including my two most recent titles that compile all my knowledge of the book publishing industry, as a whole, into two compact and easy-to-read volumes: How to Publish a Book in Canada … and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! (Staflund, 2013) and How to Publish a Bestselling Book … and Sell It WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price! (Staflund, 2014). I highly recommend picking up a copy of either of these books to complement the lessons you will learn in this one because they contain answers to basically every question you’ve ever had about how to write, publish, copyright, market, sell (online and traditional methods), price, print, and distribute a book anywhere in the world, no matter what book format you’re working with: ebooks, paperbacks, hardcovers, even audiobooks.

In this book, we’re going to focus on online advertising, sales, and marketing, alone. And, my introverted friends, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you in this regard:

  • Let’s start with the bad news
    If you want your book to sell well, you have to be an active participant in the selling process. There is no way around this, no matter which book publishing business model you’ve published your book through: the traditional trade publishers, the vanity publishers, or the hybrid publishers. Authors are entrepreneurs. Your book is your business.
  • And now for the good news
    It is possible to sell your book all around the world using nothing more than a comfortable chair in your quiet writing room, a laptop, an Internet connection, and your own God-given talent for writing.

Need more convincing when I say that you have to be an active participant in the selling of your book for it to be truly successful? Okay.




Let’s talk about a well-known, bestselling book series you’ve no doubt heard of: Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield. In The Secret (Byrne, 2006), Jack discussed what it took for him to make his trade-published Chicken Soup book a success. Around the time he was first published, he said he was earning only eight thousand dollars per year. Then he went on to share with Byrne,

. . . so I said, “I want to make a hundred thousand dollars in a
year.” Now, I had no idea how I could do that. I saw no strategy, no
possibility, but I just said, “I’m going to declare that, I’m going to
believe it, I’m going to act as if it’s true, and release it.” So I did that.

About four weeks into it, I had a hundred-thousand-dollar idea. It
just came right into my head. I had a book I had written, and I said,
“If I can sell four hundred thousand copies of my book at a quarter
each, that’d be a hundred thousand dollars.” Now, the book was there,
but I never had this thought. (One of the secrets is that when you
have an inspired thought, you have to trust it and act on it.) I didn’t
know how I was going to sell four hundred thousand copies.

Then I saw the National Enquirer at the supermarket. I had seen that
millions of times and it was just background. And all of a sudden it
jumped out at me as foreground. I thought, “If readers knew about my
book, certainly four hundred thousand people would go out and buy
it.” About six weeks later I gave a talk at Hunter College in New York
to six hundred teachers, and afterward a woman approached me and
said, “That was a great talk. I want to interview you. Let me give you my
card.” As it turns out, she was a freelance writer who sold her stories to
the National Enquirer. The theme from “The Twilight Zone” went off
in my head, like, whoah, this stuff’s really working. That article came
out and our book sales started to take off. (pp. 96–97)

There are a couple of reasons for sharing this story with you that have nothing to do with spirituality or the lessons taught in The Secret. First and foremost, it clearly illustrates the realities of the traditional book publishing industry and just how small a royalty unknown trade-published authors can expect to earn from their books. (Only 25¢ per copy? Ouch! He would have to sell four hundred thousand copies of his book in order to earn his goal of $100,000? Yikes!) Second, this story also proves what I’ve been telling authors all along—that it’s up to you to sell your own book, no matter which type of publisher you’re working with: traditional trade publishers, vanity publishers, or supportive self-publishing houses.

Jack Canfield is the main reason why Jack Canfield became a bestselling author—not Jack Canfield’s publisher. Repeat that to yourself again. And again. And again. Until it sticks.




Once he got the ball rolling, Jack’s book sold millions of copies. And now? Years later, just his name can sell his books without that much effort on his part, no matter whom he publishes through. But he was the one who got that ball rolling in the beginning—much more so than his publisher. His publisher simply produced a professional, saleable version of his book for him and then supplied the distribution networks where Jack could direct people to buy it. Period. The same can be said for Fifty Shades of Grey, a vanity-published book by E. L. James that went viral via social media marketing and was later picked up by a subdivision of Random House, a trade publisher that wanted a cut of those sales (Wikipedia, 2015d). And the same can be said for what will need to happen to get the ball rolling for your book.

Even if you decide to hire a publicist as yet another vehicle to increase the exposure of your book through the mainstream media (which we will discuss as an option later on), you still have to be able to explain the many virtues of your book’s topic matter to the publicist’s company so they can explain those virtues to the media on your behalf. You have to first sell it to your publicity firm before it can convince the media to pick up the story.

Once you can reconcile yourself to this fact and commit yourself to actively selling your own book, you’ve already won half the battle right there. You’ve put yourself in the driver’s seat and are well on your way to success as an author as a direct result. Now let’s dig in a little deeper to learn exactly how you’re going to do this in an introvert-friendly way.

Copywriters and Ghostwriters: What They Have in Common

© hobvias sudoneighm

This content first appeared on Digital Point Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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Some people have asked me, “What is the difference between a copywriter and a ghostwriter What are their similarities?”

Well, I’ll start with the primary difference. It’s a simple difference. A copywriter is mainly concerned with producing sales and marketing copy for a client whereas a ghostwriter is someone who writes a book for someone else (whether it be non-fiction or fiction). The term “ghostwriter” simply means that, although they’ve written the book, they remain anonymous (a “ghost”) to that book’s readers because they aren’t listed as the author. The person/organization the book was written for is listed as the author … which is very similar to copywriting, isn’t it? The freelance copywriter rarely, if ever, receives public credit for the content they’ve written for someone else.




Which brings me to even more similarities between these two terms. The list of similarities–what they have in common–comprises much more. Here’s a short list:

1. Both ghostwriters and copywriters produce content for their clients. 
2. As stated above, neither ghostwriters nor copywriters receive public credit for the content they produce for their clients.
3. Both ghostwriting and copywriting are collaborative processes in that these writers need to gain a clear understanding of what their clients want ahead of time before they begin a project, and they may need to edit/correct it along with way once it has been proofread by the client.

There are three points to get that list started. How about if someone else jumps in here and picks up where I left off? What else do these two roles have in common?

Great Way to Market a Non-Fiction E-book … Find a Sponsor

This content first appeared on Warrior Forum and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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If an athlete can land funding from a sponsor, why can’t an e-book author? The key is, there has to be a mutual benefit to doing the project together. You have to pitch it as so much more than just gaining funding to help cover your writing costs for “the next best book on whatever” that you’re sure “will sell thousands, possibly millions of copies” to readers who will see the sponsor’s logo on your copyright page. Big deal … that’s all your prospective sponsor is going to be thinking as he or she yawns.




It has to be much more appealing than that, and with data to back up the big promises. That’s where email marketers can really benefit from this concept, particularly those with 20,000+ strong subscriber lists. Offering a sponsor exposure to a whole new audience through three or four of your upcoming email blasts plus their logo listed in your book’s front matter, in exchange for them paying you upfront to write your next e-book, is a much more enticing offer. And it will work even better if the content of your new e-book matches one of their products or services really well.

Here’s a perfect example: Google “Al Pitampalli” and “Citrix Systems” for more details. In a nutshell, Al got Citrix to sponsor his book titled Read This Before Our Next Meeting which is a perfect fit considering Citrix invented GoToMeeting videoconferencing. They were able to cross market to each other’s followers and both benefited greatly from the partnership.

I can see this working well for non-fiction books. Not sure about fictional books, though. Your thoughts?

Choose One FREE Book for a Chance to WIN $100,000 in Calgary!

Another little teaser. Full contest details will appear here soon: polishedpublishinggroup.eventbrite.ca

 

An Excerpt from How to Build a Loyal Readership So Your Self-Published Books Get Picked Up by Literary Agents and Trade Publishers

Now available through AMAZON, KOBO, and E-SENTRAL!

In the first section of this ebook, I highlighted a few different authors who are seeing significant success in terms of the volumes of books they’re selling online every single year. These three, in particular, have earned six- or seven-figure annual incomes from their ebook sales and have openly shared their stories in prominent online publications:

  • Amanda Hocking was one of the first reported Amazon millionaires who utilized “rapid release” publishing (releasing a new book online at least every six weeks, if not oftener) to self-publish her fictional books after multiple rejections by the traditional trade publishers. Of her success, Ed Pilkington wrote in The Guardian:
    “When historians come to write about the digital transformation currently engulfing the book-publishing world, they will almost certainly refer to Amanda Hocking, writer of paranormal fiction who in the past 18 months has emerged from obscurity to bestselling status entirely under her own self-published steam. (Pilkington, 2012)”
  • Mark Dawson, by contrast, was first trade published. But when he saw how few copies his publisher sold of his fictional novel, he switched to self-publishing and learned how to become an entrepreneurial author instead. Of his six-figure success, Jay McGregor wrote in Forbes:
    “Dawson’s recent success isn’t representative of his time in publishing, however. He actually had a book published by Pan Books called ‘The Art of Falling Apart’ in 2000, which completely bombed. Not because it was bad – ironically it’s now available on Kindle and has 32 five-star reviews out of 39 – but because few people read it or are aware of it. Mark puts the book’s failure down to the publishers inability to promote his work and generate any sort of interest.” (McGregor, 2015)”
  • Steve Scott is a notable non-fiction success story, proving this “rapid release” technique can work for all kinds of books—not only fictional novels. Of his success, Joanna Penn wrote on The Creative Penn blog:
    “If you want a six figure income from your books, it’s a good idea to model people who are already making this kind of money. Steve Scott seemed to burst onto the indie non-fiction scene in early 2014, but in fact, he has 42 books and has had an internet business since 2006. (Penn, 2014)”





These three success stories confirm what I’ve been writing about and teaching to aspiring and established authors alike for several years now: the most successful authors are the ones who treat book writing, publishing, sales, and marketing as their own businesses. They don’t only write; they sell their books. This is true of all self-publishers and most trade-published authors, and it’s always been that way—contrary to popular belief—which is why people like Mark Dawson are switching over to self-publishing (or supported self-publishing) to produce their books. Why hand the majority of your book’s copyright ownership and creative control over to a trade publisher if you’re the one who’s going to have to sell it, anyway? (If my question has raised your eyebrow and you’re feeling any sort of resistance to it, then I invite you to click on this blog post and read a few quotes from the trade publishers themselves regarding how much time they actually spend selling their authors’ books. It’s an enlightening read.)

To read more, you can pick up a copy of this book at AMAZON, KOBO, or E-SENTRAL!

[You Could Win!] Contests for Writers and Authors

For several years, Polished Publishing Group (PPG) has run annual contests to offer free book publishing deals, conversion services, marketing packages, and publicity campaigns for aspiring and established authors around the world. Our goal has been to help you enjoy more success with your ebook, audiobook, paperback, and hardcover book projects.

In 2018, Polished Publishing Group (PPG) will focus on rewarding our local authors!

Calgary and area authors, you are invited to visit our Eventbrite page to check out a new contest for 2018 very soon. Just for entering this contest, you’ll be given one of these two books for free along with a chance to win $100,000!

More details will follow on our EventBrite page very soon! Be sure to visit us there!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing

This content first appeared on Practical Ecommerce and has been republished here with permission from the author.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Wilson first published this article in 2000. He then updated it in 2005. We updated it a third time, in 2012.

I admit it. The term “viral marketing” is offensive. Call yourself a viral marketer and people will take two steps back. I would. “Do they have a vaccine for that yet?” you wonder. A sinister thing, the simple virus is fraught with doom, not quite dead yet not fully alive, it exists in that nether genre somewhere between disaster movies and horror flicks.

But you have to admire the virus. It has a way of living in secrecy until it is so numerous that it wins by sheer weight of numbers. It piggybacks on other hosts and uses their resources to increase its tribe. And in the right environment, it grows exponentially. A virus doesn’t even have to mate. It just replicates, again and again with geometrically increasing power, doubling with each iteration.

1
11
1111
11111111
1111111111111111
11111111111111111111111111111111
1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

In a few short generations, a virus population can explode.

Viral Marketing Defined

What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.

Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as “word-of-mouth,” “creating a buzz,” “leveraging the media,” “network marketing.” But on the Internet, for better or worse, it’s called “viral marketing.” While others smarter than I have attempted to rename it, to somehow domesticate and tame it, I won’t try. The term “viral marketing” has stuck.



The Classic Hotmail Example

The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first free web-based email services. The strategy is simple:

  1. Give away free email addresses and services;
  2. Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com”;
  3. Then stand back while people email to their own network of friends and associates;
  4. Who see the message;
  5. Sign up for their own free email service; and then
  6. Propel the message still wider to their own ever-increasing circles of friends and associates.

Like tiny waves spreading ever farther from a single pebble dropped into a pond, a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward extremely rapidly.

Elements of a Viral Marketing Strategy

Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others. Few work as well as the simple Hotmail.com strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:

  1. Gives away products or services;
  2. Provides for effortless transfer to others;
  3. Scales easily from small to very large;
  4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors;
  5. Utilizes existing communication networks;
  6. Takes advantage of others’ resources.

Let’s examine at each of these elements briefly.

1. Gives Away Valuable Products or Services

“Free” is the most powerful word in a marketer’s vocabulary. Most viral marketing programs give away valuable products or services to attract attention. Free email services, free information, free “cool” buttons, free software programs that perform powerful functions but not as much as you get in the “pro” version. Wilson’s Second Law of Web Marketing is “The Law of Giving and Selling”. “Cheap” or “inexpensive” may generate a wave of interest, but “free” will usually do it much faster. Viral marketers practice delayed gratification. They may not profit today, or tomorrow, but if they can generate a groundswell of interest from something free, they know they will profit “soon and for the rest of their lives” (with apologies to “Casablanca”). Patience, my friends. Free attracts eyeballs. Eyeballs then see other desirable things that you are selling, and, presto! you earn money. Eyeballs bring valuable email addresses, advertising revenue, and ecommerce sales opportunities. Give away something, sell something.



2. Provides for Effortless Transfer to Others

Public health nurses offer sage advice at flu season: Stay away from people who cough, wash your hands often, and don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Viruses only spread when they’re easy to transmit. The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: email, website, graphic, software download. Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication is easy and inexpensive. The digital format makes copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.” The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free email message.

3. Scales Easily from Small to Very Large

To spread like wildfire, the transmission method must be rapidly scalable from small to very large. The weakness of the Hotmail model is that a free email service requires its own mail servers to transmit the message. If the strategy is wildly successful, mail servers must be added very quickly or the rapid growth will bog down and die. If the virus multiplies only to kill the host before spreading, nothing is accomplished. So long as you have planned ahead of time how you can add mail servers rapidly you’re okay. You must build in scalability to your viral model.

4. Exploits Common Motivations and Behaviors

Clever viral marketing plans take advantage of common human motivations. What proliferated “Netscape Now” buttons in the early days of the web? The desire to be cool. Greed drives people. So does the hunger to be popular, loved, and understood. The resulting urge to communicate produces millions of websites and billions of email messages. Design a marketing strategy that builds on common motivations and behaviors for its transmission, and you have a winner.



5. Utilizes Existing Communication Networks

Most people are social. Nerdy, basement-dwelling computer science graduate students are the exception. Social scientists tell us that each person has a network of 8 to 12 people in his or her network of friends, family, and associates. A person’s broader network may consist of scores, hundreds, or thousands of people, depending upon his or her position in society. A waitress, for example, may communicate regularly with hundreds of customers in a given week. Network marketers have long understood the power of these human networks, both the strong, close networks as well as the weaker networked relationships. People on the Internet develop networks of relationships, too. They collect email addresses and favorite website URLs. Affiliate programs exploit such networks, as do permission email lists. Learn to place your message into existing communications between people, and you rapidly multiply its dispersion.

6. Takes Advantage of Others’ Resources

The most creative viral marketing plans use others’ resources to get the word out. Affiliate programs, for example, place text or graphic links on others’ websites. Authors who give away free articles, seek to position their articles on others’ webpages. A news release can be picked up by hundreds of periodicals and form the basis of articles seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Now someone else’s newsprint or webpage is relaying your marketing message. Someone else’s resources are depleted rather than your own.

Put Into Practice

I grant permission for every reader to reproduce on your website the article you are now reading — “The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing” — see http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/viral-principles/ for an HTML version you can copy. But copy this article only, without any alteration whatsoever. Include the copyright statement, too, please. If you have a marketing or small business website, it’ll provide great content and help your visitors learn important strategies. (NOTE: I am giving permission to host on your website this article AND NO OTHERS. Reprinting or hosting my articles without express written permission is illegal, immoral, and a violation of my copyright.)




When I first offered this to my readers in February 2000, many took me up on it. Six months later a received a phone call.

“I want to speak to the King of Viral Marketing.”

“Well, I’m not the King,” I demurred. “I wrote an article about viral marketing a few months ago, but that’s all.”

“I’ve searched all over the Internet about viral marketing,” he said, “and your name keeps showing up. You must be the King!.”

It worked. Even five years later this webpage is ranked #1 for “viral marketing.”

3 Great Tips on Facebook Marketing for Authors

An ideal way to build your book business is by using one of the most popular social media websites available today. Facebook can allow you to increase the number of visitors to your book’s e-commerce page, and it may even help you turn that traffic into profits. But there are some dos and don’ts to this process that you need to be aware of.

Here’s an online advertising expert who can teach you some best practices where Facebook ads are concerned. And here are a couple other tips regarding Facebook marketing in general.

Avoid Being Too “Salesy” in Your Primary Marketing

Of course, you want to get others to buy your book(s). That’s the ultimate goal here. But overtly asking for the sale day in and day out is the wrong approach on Facebook. Remember, most users who log onto this platform are looking to connect with others in a meaningful way. They’re looking for useful information; so, you need to provide that first and foremost. Once you’ve won their trust by sharing valuable content on a consistent basis, then they may just click on that e-commerce link to purchase your book.

Research Your Audience

Trust takes time. There are so many tools on Facebook that will enable you to find out why people are on there in the first place. What are they looking for? What do they want? Knowing this will enable you to determine if these individuals want something you have to offer them. More importantly, you’ll be able to find all the people who are interested in the keywords related to your book’s topic matter and speak to them in their buying language. (For more information on the different buying languages you might use, I recommend this marketing book.)




Image is Everything in Advertising!

If you want to catch someone’s attention with a Facebook advertisement, it’s best to include an eye-catching image in your ad. I like the phrase our expert, Jeff Usner, uses in his YouTube video; he refers to Facebook advertising as “interrupt marketing” which is the opposite of what blogging is. In a past blog post titled “Blogging for SEO: A Cost Effective, Unintrusive Form of Advertising,” I discuss the greatest benefit of blogging. Where traditional advertising methods such as newspaper, television, radio, and billboards try their best to “interrupt” customers into noticing them, blogging appeals to the audience that is already in the market for your products/services. No need to try to interrupt anyone to gain their interest; if they are typing in those key words to try to find you, it’s because they are already interested in what you have to offer. 

Facebook advertising is more like traditional advertising. When people are on Facebook, they aren’t searching for you or your book in particular. They’re posting pictures, writing posts, and viewing the pictures of posts of their connections. So, in order to get them to notice you, you must interrupt them with a compelling ad. The best way to do it is with an attractive image. 

You know what? Jeff Usner explains this one best. Check out his YouTube video.

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