Not a lot of people know who she is but they are familiar with what she does and her thoughts on everything from publishing to marketing. In an interview about why ZLS does what they do, CEO Lishone’ Genovese talks candidly about why we provide tips and gives advice to authors and entrepreneurs.
Dear ZLS Publishing:
I have heard that in order to be successful in our book marketing endeavors, we need a book marketing plan. I have tried researching and the information is all over the place as to the benefits of such a plan and what goes inside of one. Can you please help?
A marketing plan is your individual process as to what YOU intend on doing to market your book. Marketing your book means getting your book out to individuals outside of your inner circle. Writing a marketing plan creates the difference between best seller and no sales at all. Regardless of your publishing journey the process of introducing the book to the right audience is truly the difference between failure and success. Without a marketing plan, you can pretty much plan on failure. Book sales just don’t happen—You must make them happen. Your book, your responsibility. A marketing plan must identify the revenue streams you expect to reach. People buy books in one of two ways:
1. They are BROWSING a bookstore (or surfing online), happen to see a book cover that appeals to them, pick it up, like what they see in thirty seconds or less, and then make a decision to purchase.
2. Or, they “hear” about a book from someone and they SEEK it out for purchase.
Here are some questions to help you create an appropriate book marketing plan.
1) Who will buy your book?
Make a list! Which groups would be interested in your book? Why? Who is next? Why should they need or want your book? (remember this – someone is more likely to buy something they NEED before something they WANT)
2) What makes your book unique from what is already on the bookshelves?
Find a unique angle about your book – and don’t try and be everything to everyone, because you can’t – instead target 100% of a specific part!
3) What is your definition of success for your book? What is your GOAL?
You MUST decide what your real definition of success happens to be. We don’t want to pursue a goal that may not be what you actually feel is important.
4) What are you going to do weekly, monthly, yearly, etc to ensure you book sells and continues to sell. Please note, that in order for your book to be successful you must stick to this weekly, monthly, yearly, plan?
Objectives- these are the steps you take to achieve your GOAL.
Plans – your PLANS outline the needed steps to get your OBJECTIVES moving, and they begin to suggest “to do lists” and measurable actions.
Actions- these are the details of each PLAN. You must have a coherent and workable set of “actions” to achieve each plan, that then lead to each objective that will eventually help you reach your goal. Think: A) understandable, B) achievable and C) measurable.
Marketing is a long-term, consistent and concerted effort. It never ever happens overnight,
5) Create a reasonable timeline and budget
Here are some expenses you may expect to incur in your marketing plan:
Sample Books – do you plan on sending them out or dropping them off?
Marketing materials – posters, flyers, postcards, etc.
Press release writing and distribution
Advertising – sponsored search, links, banners, flyers
Web site design and shopping cart creation
Direct mail opportunities
6) What does your BRAND look like?
In many cases you, not your book, are really the “brand”. Your book is your calling card, and ultimately the way you will profit from your expertise, but many times it’s YOU, that is the selling point! Your brand is what people recognize when they hear your name. What does that look like? What will you known for? What uniqueness will you have that people will always recognize that you stand for. For example: Steven King-Horror, Apple-Quality Electronics, etc.
7) How are you going to get people to buy into your brand?
Think about speaking engagements, online interactions, your own website, etc. Think about why the media should ever contact you in the event they want to contact you about your book. How are you going to position yourself to be seen as an expert or go-to person in your genre.
8) What back-end profit opportunities are you going to use to get your books bought and your brand known?
This section should describe profits you will earn above and beyond royalties from sales of your book. It should describe in detail your market, the products and services you will offer it, and the steps you will take to earn this income.
Don’t be mad at the customer, be glad they told you the truth.
Improve the ability to copy from the board this summer
You may have a child or know of someone who has a hard time copying – from the board or even from a book onto a piece of paper. You may wonder what is different about this child’s brain? Why did this happen? Most importantly, what can I do about it?
Brain development, including the ability to process visually, starts in utero. Some of the stages of development that we see normally in infancy began before the baby was born. We see the physical changes, but while those are happening, the brain also changes. When a baby is just a few weeks old, he can only focus as far as Mom’s face. By the time he is 6 months old, he can focus a few feet away, and this distance grows throughout the first year until by the time he is a year old, he can see across the room. With normal development, he can focus near to far and far to near at this point.
Not all babies go through all stages of development, however. Some don’t like being on their stomach, so they do not develop all the muscles needed to creep and crawl. They skip a few stages and go directly to walking. What did they miss?
Among other things, they missed the vision development from the skipped stages. Three very important stages of development for vision that work the muscles of the neck, shoulders and back are Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex, Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, and Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex. You can learn more about these reflexes by watching the videos on www.youtube.com/pyramidofpotential.
So what can be done over the summer?
Recognize the problem and educate yourself about the primitive reflexes. One resource is http://www.pyramidofpotential.com/neurodevelopment
Have the child integrate those retained reflexes. One way is to purchase the Pyramid of Potential DVD/Workbook Series and work through the appropriate modules. http://www.pyramidofpotential.com/store/products/380
Play games looking near to far to near. Start with looking at something age appropriate and fun (action figures, a fun book, toys, games) 6” away for 10 seconds, then 2 feet away for 10 seconds and back. Can the child describe something he sees during the 10 second time? This will help him focus on the object and not be too impulsive about looking back. Do this DAILY for the first week. Then extend the distance to 4 feet away for the next week. Continue this game while extending the distance throughout the summer until he can refocus from 15” (normal reading distance) to 20 feet away.
Have fun! Don’t expect perfection when you start; be patient – this may be very hard when you begin. Start where the child is. When the child complains that his eyes hurt – STOP! See how long it took to get to this point. Write it down. Each day see if he can extend the time of therapy for a few seconds and keep track. Reward improvements! Ignore those days when there is none, or you see a backslide. It happens, but it will get better.
Why do the reflexes work? If the child does the refocusing games without integrating the reflexes, he may be able to copy all right for several months, but the reflexes are still present, and the brain will settle back into its normal place – where copying off the board is hard. Both activities are necessary for long-term changes in the visual system and brain.
Permanent change is the goal – working toward success and independence!
Kathy Johnson earned her BS at Clarkson University in Management and Marketing, and received her MS Ed from State University of New York at Albany in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology. She created a video training series on a software program, Enable, in the 1980s; has taught in business environments as well as public and private schools. Currently, Kathy, as an educational consultant, works with her clients one-on-one through individualized plans, until success is achieved.
You can learn more about Kathy and her work by visiting: http://www.pyramindofpotential.com.
Her book from Learning Disabilities to success is available for purchase at http://www.zlspublishing.com as well as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.
Customer service as defined by Wikipedia: “Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. According to Turban et al. (2002), “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”
As many of you may know, the writing and selling of your book is a business. Authors that are serious about bringing their book to the public, look at all facets of business before, during, and after the writing and publishing process. These facets encompass more than just a couple posts on your Facebook wall or a Tweet here or there. Engaging your audience is key to your success as an author and with that comes top quality customer service.
So, let me pose some questions to you. How is your customer service? Do you follow up on your sales? Do you engage your readers and ask them to leave feedback? When feedback does land on your in your lap, how long does it take you to respond? Is reader satisfaction a part of your business plan. Take a moment to think about your answers because within them lies the success of your book, your next book and so on.
As you know, I recommend that you get your feet wet with “the Big 3” of Social Media and all that they can do to grow your brand. What I didn’t touch on was the importance of customer service and its impact on the growth of your brand. Email is a big key to customer service success! After your book comes out , it’s highly likely that your email will be broadcast all over and your readers will begin to reach out to you. Not only with fan mail and story questions, but quite possibly with complaints and sales issues too. Being approachable and welcoming in this department will go a very long way. Likewise, responding to your readers via email or on Facebook, Twitter or any other Social media platform will ensure happy customers. A good rule of thumb here is to always respond within a 24 hour period.
Word of mouth is another component to your publishing success. If you give good customer service, your readers will be all to happy to share. Likewise, if you are on the bad end of the spectrum. Think about it, how many times have you written an email only to get no response? How often have you joined a Facebook group only to see people at each others throats? Discontent will stick with customers and will shape their view of you in the future. So maybe what it really comes down to, are the manners your Mom taught you. If you are nice to people, they will be nice to you. At ZLS, we know that it’s not a perfect world and that’s not always the case. Sometimes there is no pleasing someone. But trying is a success key. Try to always give your best and you can become a customer service superstar!