Business Musings: How To Expand Your Target Audience 1: Choices (Branding/Discoverability)

Most writers—most businesses, in fact—believe that they must actively grow their audience. And that belief is a mistake.

In your writing business, as in all business, there is no one-size-fits-all model. That goes to everything from building a business to building a brand. Even if you’re in the same field as someone else, your business is different. What you do with that business is based entirely on your goals for that business.

Um, what? you might ask.

Yep, expanding an audience fits into your business goals, not just into branding. Change happens all the time in business, but growth happens only when a business actively pursues that growth….

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Business Musings: How To Build A Brand 2: The Intermediate Stages (Branding/Discoverability)

So when I write these posts, I feel a deep frustration. Because my brand, in almost all of its forms, is extremely messy.

These posts, as I said from the beginning, are for me, writing to myself about all the various things I can do to improve my branding or, in most instances, take control of it.

If I were in the lucky position that most of you indies are in, I could define my Rusch brand from the beginning as something that spans genres, that uses a multitude of styles, that promises quality of a certain type, but never compromises on some things….

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Business Musings: Define Your Target Audience: The Intermediate Stages (Branding/Discoverability)

In the past eight or so years since indie publishing took off, writers found that the commodity they lack the most is time. Time to write. Time to research. Time to read. Time to market. We get inundated daily with shoulds and have-tos. Someone is always so much more successful than we are, and they’re successful at something we’ve wanted for a long time. Then […]

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Business Musings: Brand Image (Branding/Discoverability)

The publishing industry has been shifting since 2009. Indie publishing has become a force since 2011 or so. At first, we writers made our work available, but the things that worked six years ago don’t work now. The problem is that the marketing gurus for writers are just other writers with an okay idea. As I’ve said all along, we writers must accept that we’re […]

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Business Musings: Brand Identity (Branding/Discoverability)

Brand Identity is how you want customers to perceive your brand. Right now, remember, we’re dealing with building the brand. So you get to think about how you want that brand to be perceived. You need to imagine your target as you develop your brand identity. What do you want your target audience to think about your brand?

Let’s start wide with the overall steps to building a brand identity, and then I’ll refine for writers.

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Business Musings: Define Your Target Audience: The Early Stages (Branding/Discoverability)

  I love this blog. I love it because you readers make it so much better with your questions and comments. Last week, I wrote about the early stages of building a brand.  In that post is something that seems pretty straightforward to me—define your target audience. Some of you remarked in the email and the comments that you’ve been struggling with this one thing […]

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Business Musings: Mushroom Publishers And The Tsunami of Crap

So much of the writing advice we get comes from a set of assumptions that are no longer true. I’m not sure if they were ever true. But that’s for another blog post. (Or maybe I’ve written that post already.) Anyway, the assumption is that our culture is monolithic, that we all read the same books, and we’re all influenced by the same writers. Maybe […]

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Business Musings: Bestseller Lists and Other Dreams

In March, Marie Force announced she would no longer chase the bestseller lists when she released her latest book title. She wrote a great, honest, and direct blog about her thinking, and I urge you to read it all. In the blog, she describes a trajectory of obsession and disillusionment that is very familiar to me. I’ve gone through that range of emotions several times […]

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Business Musings: The Indie And The Bestseller

The letter from the indie writer encapsulated a lot of things that are happening in the field right now, and I thought I’d analyze those. I also figured it was timely, considering this indie writer wasn’t the only writer in the past month who had sent me email about recommendations on their prose from other “more successful” writers.

I don’t know what it is about the beginning of the year that brings out these insecurities. Maybe it’s the fact that many of us use the end of the year for reflection and then try to plan the upcoming year.

What struck me about this indie writer, and the reason I’m using her as an example, is that this incident is ramped up from the usual incidents.

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Business Musings: 2016 Disappointments

As I write this in early January, fourth quarter numbers for all big businesses are just starting to trickle in. The whining about 2016 has commenced, some of it justified, some of it not.

The numbers aren’t just in for the major publishers; the numbers are in for indie writers as well. And the writers who crunch numbers are having varied reactions, often depending on years of business expertise.

I have a hunch that when all of the numbers arrive toward the end of this month or so, we’ll find out that 2016 was truly a mixed bag….

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