When a writer dies, usually one of three things happens to her writing estate: It goes dormant. This is the most common thing. Most heirs have no idea how to deal with the mass of writing and published materials left over. The heirs might noodle with it for a while, but after that, they’ll accidentally or maybe even purposely forget about it. It gets subsumed […]
I think the moment writers dream of being published, they have the same wish. They want to write the books of their heart. They want those books to reach a vast audience, and they want someone else to worry about doing all the things that turn a book from a rectangular object on a shelf into a vast global empire a la Harry Potter. Most […]
Here’s the surprising post. Many of you who read this blog regularly probably think that I’m opposed to major marketing campaigns. I’m not. I’m opposed to them when they’re done incorrectly. What’s incorrectly? Pretty much everything you see from traditional publishing to most indies. You have to look outside of publishing to see how to do a smart, aggressive growth campaign designed to grow […]
Writers always believe that they can become a bestseller if they only goose their sales properly. I actually had a brand-new writer scream at me once about this very thing. Back in the early days of Amazon’s Kindle, she had “sold” 50,000 copies of her only novel by giving it away for free. “I’ll take my 50,000 sales over your sales any day,” she […]
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….
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….
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 […]
Marketing firms, economics departments in universities, and many high-end retailers spend a lot of time thinking about how to build brand loyalty. As I researched this piece, I found articles that promised 11 ways to build brand loyalty! 15 ways to build brand loyalty! 5 ways to build brand loyalty! And so on. Most of these ways are completely different from each other, and have little to do with each. Most of the people writing about brand loyalty online are doing so to get you to hire them to build your brand. Ignore all that. I’m going to.
Instead, I’m going to focus on a few ways that show up in all of the articles, and then I’ll tailor those ways to writers.
Brand loyalty—name loyalty—is something that we writers desire, but it’s not something that we can simply will into being. And it certainly doesn’t come about by bribing your reader.