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For a long time, I have been thinking about starting my own publishing company. I have been thinking about it since I finished writing my first book and while I was in college. I want the business to be author-centric. In other words, I want it to be a company where authors are the owners rather than just a commodity of the publishing business.
Since 2010, I have been learning how to self-publish. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them, and I know I can help others avoid many of the mistakes that I made.

Over a year ago, I started writing a business plan. I decided that it would be best if the business was a corporation and I decided that it would be best if this corporation was an S corporation.
I also thought of a name for the business I decided to call it Jerjoboch Publications.
Then I got stuck. I got stuck because I was too busy writing books to find enough time to learn what I needed to learn about building a business.
I also needed money. You can’t establish a corporation without spending some money. However, I didn’t have the money to invest, nor did I feel that I had enough followers or connections with fellow authors to make this dream come true.
Because I needed to know more about marketing, since the end of NaNoWriMo last November, I have been researching that subject.

I have learned that one of the first things that I need to know is who my customers are. My customers are self-published authors who want to take charge of their own books and earn accordingly.

 

Starting last month, I have been reaching out to fellow self-published authors whose goal is to be in control of their own publishing fate. I am looking for authors who would like to form a corporation where we can work together to build an online self-published author nurturing center, a self-publishing author publishing company, an author PR firm and an author promotions company. In other words a corporation dedicated to helping authors control their own destiny.

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

Do you have the dream of self-publishing a book, but you don’t know where to start or what to do next? Contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com and we’ll see what we can do to help you. You can also check out the book I wrote about the writing process directed toward business owners who are considering self-publishing as well. Check it out at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


June 12, 2017

Tierney James- The author of action/adventure novels is a former world geography teacher and Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

Over the weekend I attended the Got Marketing Workshop put out by Tierney James, http://www.tierneyjames.com/ It was fun to get out and go to a workshop and I learned so much from this one. I have a lot of take away information that I know I am able to use to increase my marketing prowess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned At the Workshop

I have been going over my notes and here are a number of things that I have taken away from the workshop.

  1. First one of course was to write this blog about it and to let Tierney know that I have mentioned her in my blog post. Thank you so much Tierney for all of your insights into book marketing!
  2. Contact other authors that I met at the workshop. I made certain that at the workshop I took plenty of cards to share with the other authors that I knew I would meet there. I handed out twelve and got seven in return. I have already connected with Tierney, now just six more to go!
  3. Start a Marketing Notebook-All of my work has been in online documents scattered throughout my files. Today I went to the store and picked up the few things that I needed so that I could get started on this project.
  4. Every 90 days offer each of my books in this way on Amazon: 2 day free promotion, one day 99 cent promotion, two day $1.99 promotion and during the two free days, hit the free book websites. I can find these free book promotion sites by googling “free book promotions.
  5. Get a Street Team- Find people who are willing to help me promote my books on social media and do it in a structured way.
  6. Make memes that promote my books (without sounding salesy) and post them on social media. Have various themes so they don’t become “invisible”.
  7. Probably, the most exciting way that she showed me how to market is by using Pinterest. I plan to create these boards:
  • A board for all the books by Cygnet Brown
  • A board for the actors who I think should play my book characters when my book becomes a movie
  • A board telling the story (without spoilers) for each book in the Locket Saga
  • Boards about Specific historical events in the Locket Saga.
  • Simply Vegetable Gardening Tips Board
  • Help from Kelp Tips Board
  • Diatomaceous Earth Tips Board

Followup, More Important than Learning

Although it is true that I learned a lot from this workshop, what’s more important than the learning is the fact that I need to implement what I have learned and have chosen to do with what I learned.

Well, now that I have written this blog post, I can cross that first one off the list! Of course, there are a lot more tips that she offered, but the items on this list, along with what I am already doing, should keep me busy at least for the next ninety days.

So what do you think? Which of these tips sounds most interesting you?

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Last time we looked at having the right product, the audience, and advertising. We looked at the fact that the product has to be something that a person needs, but having a great product or service and advertising isn’t enough.  A connection with integrity from you is also important.

A Lesson in Integrity

I will never forget my Navy Recruiter’s integrity and how it affected his ability to sign up recruits. When I went into the Navy Recruiter’s office, the US Navy recruiter’s name was Petty Officer Angel. He was not one of those recruiters that you hear about who will tell you anything you want to hear just to get you to sign on the dotted line. PO Angel told me exactly what I could expect. He told me that nothing was guaranteed unless it was in writing. He told me about what I could expect from boot camp. He told me that if I wanted a guaranteed school, I would have to wait for a few months to get that school. I chose instead to go into the Seaman Apprenticeship program which gave no guarantees of schools. It just guaranteed that I would be able to get into the Navy more quickly.

PO Angel treated all of the people that he recruited the same way. He treated each individual with integrity. He told them exactly what to expect and how to avoid pitfalls along the way. He was honest. He had a certain quota that he had to bring in every month. Do you think that being honest kept him from meeting his quota? If anything it was the opposite. While other recruiters had difficulty meeting their quotas, PO Angel not only met his quota for that month but had met his quotas for several months in advance. He benefitted by giving accurate facts because the recruits that he brought in told their friends and they went to him rather than to other Navy recruiters or other military services.

Petty Officer Angel knew the first rule of customer service. You’re not dealing with numbers, you’re meeting with people. You’re not just selling, if you’re smart, you are developing a relationship.

Integrity and Appreciation in Social Media

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”  Francois-Marie de Voltaire 1694-1773

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This is one of the reasons that social media is a powerful tool in book marketing. When I say using social media for a tool for marketing, I don’t mean that I blast my friends on Facebook with the fact that I am promoting a book every hour. What it does mean is that I get to know each person individually. I learn about their children and pets, kind of like a politician shaking hands and kissing babies. However, unlike politicians, the interactions have to be genuine. This is, after all, a post about integrity. I treat people with respect. I don’t rant. I post things that reflect who I am as a person.

I friend people I know and get to know their friends.  I let people get to know me as a person and that I am more than just a historical fiction writer.  I share memes that are humorous or inspiring.  I let them know I am an author who knows a lot about gardening, canning and writing. I have three adult children. I love raising chickens and goats (even though I currently don’t have any, I thinking about getting more). I share free online articles. I have an interest in environmental issues.  I have a free digital book that I give to people who want to limit toxic chemicals in their homes. I am a pastor and encourage spiritual growth.

I care about their lives as well. If my friend has a birthday, I don’t just say “Happy Birthday”. I give them a birthday blessing. If someone is getting married or has an anniversary, I send my congratulations. I love their baby and pet pictures. I am enthusiastic about their special events.  If someone is sick, I tell them I am praying for them and then do. I do my best to care about people and to let them know that I do.

I avoid online drama. If an issue comes up online, but it should remain private, I make it private by taking it to PM on Facebook, sending an email, or phoning them. Because I am a pastor, it is my job to do religion. My online message, however, is the message of love.  I avoid politics altogether.

I give credit where credit is due. I treat people with respect. I avoid arguments especially where others are looking for a fight.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has  published a nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga. The next book Book IV of the Locket Saga: Sailing Under the Black Flag will be out in the near future.

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her books, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

 


The beginning of a wonderful friendship

The beginning of a wonderful relationship

Most of us have heard of the six degrees of separation. This is the theory that all of us are just six degrees from anyone in the world. We can thank the internet, according to a Facebook algorithm, that we are actually closer than that. The algorithm has found that most of us are actually closer to only 3.67 degrees of separation. Mark Zuckerberg has a score of 3.17, but mine is actually closer than his at 3.12. In other words, my personal connections are slightly more varied than Zuckerberg’s.
It is often said that it’s not what you know that counts, but who you know. This is good news because this information from Facebook lets us know that finding the right people to help us with our marketing is closer than we think. We just have to do our networking to find those people who can help or who can help connect us to our target market.

The Fiction Market VS Nonfiction Market

Lately I have been re-reading a book by Kristen Lamb called The Rise of the Machine.(here’s one of her latest posts https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/making-money-in-a-world-addicted-to-free-what-do-writers-do/#comment-233193 )  In this book, one of the important messages that she gives is that book of fiction cannot be marketed in the same way that nonfiction and other marketing is done. In nonfiction or other types of marketing, the idea is do develop a niche and write for that specific group of people. With a novel. however, according to Lamb, the goal is to get as many people who are not avid readers to read the book as possible. To put it simply, the way we do that is to find and nurture fans who in turn talk about your book on social media making the book go viral.

I personally have seen the difference between how I gain readers for my nonfiction books and how I gain readers for my novels. My gardening book-Simply Vegetable Gardening— for example is easy to sell using traditional marketing strategies. I go to where the gardeners are. I write an online article and connect it to my Amazon account with the book on it and I can sell. I can take my books to privately owned garden centers and animal feed stores, and health food stores and sell wholesale. I go to prepper and sustainability as well as local festivals and sell my gardening books. fiction books are different. The traditional methods do not work as well. The connections with fiction run deeper than with nonfiction books. Word of mouth sells novels in ways that traditional marketing cannot. Developing personal connections on social media leads to more fiction book sales than all the marketing in the world.

Writers are not my market for my fiction because writers don’t have time to read a lot of fiction books (aspiring writers, maybe, writers, not so much). Avid readers are people who will buy my book, but they are limited in number. The people that I need to reach are the people who want to read my book because they love the story and they love me as a writer. That’s one of the reasons that I started the newsletter was so that I could further connect with my friends on Facebook and Twitter and position myself as an author who cares about the people who read my work. The people who sign up for my newsletter are the people that love my work the most and don’t want to miss out on my next book. These are the ones I give special offers to first because they are my friends. They are also the first ones with access to my latest book and they are the ones who find out first where my next event will be so that they can get an autographed copy of a novel of someone that they know. (Just because someone read an e-book copy does not mean that this same person wouldn’t want an autographed copy of the same book.)

The process is simple, really. It is the same as in the real world. I interact with people on the internet and they become my friends. Because they know that I am a writer and I share some content with them, these people become my friends. My friends from Facebook and twitter who are reading my novel series are likely to be the ones who tell their friends who tell there friends until one day, because (thanks to the internet)  the degrees of separation have diminished and my book series goes viral.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


As I was evaluating my failures and successes of last year, I saw that I did very well at being a productive writer. I seriously edited my first book (hopefully for the last time), I wrote and published my 46ths books (the last two I published the last day of the year, but it still counts) also I completed the second drafts of two books, and completed the first draft of yet another, plus wrote numerous online articles and wrote this blog all year. However, I also learned that although I had a small amount of success in marketing my books, my book sales were nowhere near what I wanted or needed as a full time writer. Therefore, I needed to find out what I was doing wrong and what I needed to add to my daily tasks to become more successful at selling my books.

Organizing My Writing Day to Include Marketing

Probably the most important thing that I noticed about how I was marketing my books was that marketing was an afterthought. rather than a key component to my writing business thus far. Sure I had done a few things  I wrote a couple of press releases, had been on the radio, had included it in my business plan, but I really have not made a plan to incorporate marketing into my daily routine. Since I know that I want to continue being nearly as productive as I have been, but I also know that just producing good writing is not going to sell books. I also know that I do my best writing/content writing in the morning. Therefore, I have determined that I will write in the morning and then in the afternoon focus on developing, maintaining, and utilizing my marketing plan.

Getting the Big Picture

In order to get the big picture, I have had to start researching what others are doing to promote their books. First, I had to realize that one format doesn’t fit all. I can put a book not just into a paperback format, but e-book formats as well. In these e-book formats there are numerous formats, not just Kindle. There is Nook, Kobo, and even pdf formats. In addition, I can format my books as an audio book. With some of my nonfiction books I could also make them into Power Point presentations that that I could sell as movies, presentations, or at least as trailers for the books.. Each of these formats can be marketed separately building on the overall  platform that my books represent.

Marketing should not only include marketing my books, but marketing myself as well. I have a lot of good qualities that would make a good speaker on the subjects that I want to address. Not only am I a writer, but I am also a speaker and someone who can teach others how to do many of the things that I do. Building trust is an important aspect of book marketing. By demonstrating to my online and real life audience that I know what I am talking about and that i am interested in helping them, they learn to trust me and will buy what I have to offer. Part of this trust is built through this blog, but also through other online contributions such as online articles or YouTube videos.  In person, this can be accomplished when I meet people at festivals, at book signings, and at conferences.

Two New Booklets to Market in Print

In addition to learning more about online book marketing, I now also have two new books to market in print both online and in real life. I also intend to make these books available as e-books as well. These booklets are Help from Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth in the Home and Garden. More about them next Tuesday on my Productive Writer post. Check them out now along with my other books on by Lulu.com Author Spotlight Page http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown 

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


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Here we are in a new year! Can you believe that 2015 is history and 2016 is now here! What are your plans for the coming year? Though I am not big on New Year’s Resolutions, i am big on taking a little time at the beginning of the year to decide where I want to go now. Here is what I have planned for this blog this year.

This post not only marks my first blog post of the year but it also is my 201st post on How My Spirit Sings! 2015 has definitely been a busy year for me and i expect 2016 to be even busier, except in a somewhat different way. The day before yesterday I went over the final edits of two the two booklets that I have written. One is Help from Kelp and the other is Using Diatomaceous Earth in the House and Garden.  Within the month these two books should be ready for general distribution. I do however did get a few of each published yesterday. I had them published so that I could have some ready for the Ozarks Sustainable Living University.. The University will be held the first day January 23rd at Faith in God Church where I am pastor and the second day will be at the Next Step church on the other side of town.

To promote these two books, I have started a Facebook page called Naturally Improving our lives. Click here to Check it out and Like!

Every Journey Begins with a single step.

Every Journey Begins with a single step.

 

Changing Days of my Blog Postings

I am changing the days of the week that I post this blog. Beginning next week, I won’t be doing Monday and Friday posts. Instead I will be writing blogs on Tuesday and Thursday, but will continue writing my Wednesday Christian based blog post. This way I will put up three new posts a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and not have any on the other four days.

Tuesdays-The Productive Writer

On Tuesdays, I will be writing about how to be a productive writer. I am a very productive writer. Last year I finished the final edits on three full length novels, wrote the second draft of three novels, wrote a complete first draft of another. I also wrote two nonfiction booklets about diatomaceous earth and another about kelp. I also started two more nonfiction books about how I have always avoided writer’s block. Add to that, the fact that I have written three blog posts almost every week since the beginning of last year and you should be able to see that I practice what I preach.

Wednesdays-A Year of God’s Gifts

A couple of days ago I told that God has numerous gifts that he wants to give us, but for what ever reason, we either don’t know about or feel that we don’t deserve these gifts. This year, every week I am going to share one of these many gifts that he has for us. If we are willing to accept them, that is.

Thursdays-The Marketing Focus

Last year my main focus was on being a productive writer and preparing to market my books. Though I do intend to publish several books, this year, since I have a number of books out, my primary focus is switching from writing my books to marketing those books. Like last year, I will be dividing my year into three sections. The first four months I will be focusing on marketing myself. The middle four months will be focusing on marketing my books, and the last four months will be related to marketing my writing business.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Capture business plan history timeline

My Last Planned Marketing Event

The last planned marketing event that I am participating in occurred last Saturday from 11am-2pm. I went to a local book store and did a book signing. Now that that is finished, I can determine how many books I have sold throughout the year. Granted, there will be number (I hope) that will sell online and at bookstores before the holiday., but as for me selling books in person, I am done for this year.

Writing Like a Mad Woman

I don’t know how I did it. I was trying so hard to keep my focus on single projects at a time, but during the past couple of months I went from working on one project to six book projects at a time. Plus I am finishing up this blog for the year. I have totally dropped Bubblews and Hubpages for now so that I can make progress and finish up some of the books I am creating.

First, There’s the novel that I plan to send to my first beta reader by the end of the year (read that the end of this month!) This book is called Sailing Under the Black Flag. This book will be book four of the Locket Saga. .I have been working on that every day and have been making progress. I should have it ready to send to her by New Year’s Day.  Then there is the novel that I started in NaNoWriMo. I have that almost up to 60K This book is called The Anvil. . In addition, I have two books about overcoming writer’s block called Breaking Writer’s Block for Fiction Writers and Breaking Writer’s Block for Nonfiction Writers. I started these two books in October and have made a lot of progress there as well.

The last two books are my latest projects, but I need to have these two books done by the end of the year. These are not actually books but booklets. One is about the usefulness of kelp and the other the usefulness of diatomaceous earth. Some of the information I already had, but some I still need to research. To save time, I am going to be sending these two books to my second beta reader at the end of the month for her to be reading while my first beta reader is reading the novel. This second reader asked me to send her the booklets via the internet.

The reason I need these two booklets right away is because the church that I pastor is hosting the first day of the Ozark Sustainable Living University on January 23. (The second day, January 24, will be at Next Step in West Plains). The Oregon County Writer’s Group, to which I am the President is going to be selling books that are related to sustainable living. I will have my gardening book available, but I really want these two booklets done too. I know that there will definitely be a market for them.

Things I Didn’t Do This Year

One of the things that I was going to do these last couple months but haven’t is that I was going to get to know other writer’s better. I don’t see me doing this much this month, but perhaps later in the month I will actually be able to make this more of a priority. If I get Sailing Under the Black Flag and the two booklets done though, I’ll have freed up a lot of time. I can see where my biggest weaknesses are this year and that is in the aspect of social media and online book marketing. Fortunately, my writer’s group plans on focusing on that next year and that’s also my own personal focus for 2016.

 

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church in Brandsville, Missouri.  As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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