Life seems to be conspiring against this blog series lately. After a couple long days of hurry up and wait beginning Thursday night, I find myself still trying to read and comment on the flash stories from Friday.
So in order to fit this post in today I’m going to halt the reading and get busy with this writing. Technically, it’s still Sunday and I’m not too far off schedule with it yet!
Products to Consumers
Last week I mentioned my products. This week I need to talk a little about who the consumers are and how I plan to get the products into the hands of consumer/users.
Since my writing business is firing arrows (ventures) to a target (money, fame, acclaim – lol) from more than one direction, the definition of consumer will be a little varied.
In some cases it is the ‘reader’.
When I get my flash stories compiled into a Kindle and Nook document, the consumer will be the reader because I’ll publish those myself.
When I get my novel, Symbiosis, ready to pitch, the consumer I’m most concerned with will be the agent. If I am wise and choose a good agent, then I won’t have to worry much over the rest of the details with how it gets from there to reader.
The marketing tools will need to be customized to suit the consumer.
I’m still learning as I go with this plan… trial and error seems to be the best way to get valuable knowledge into this stubborn head of mine. But if I could return to college now, I’d tack on a few marketing and business classes to give myself a little guidance.
In the meantime, if you’re following this blog and interested in my plan, you’ll be slamming against a few walls with me from time to time until I get the path figured out.
- the Blog
This blog is one of my main tools. I’ve been at it long enough to have finally made some headway in my Google ranking. If the name I’d chosen (for either myself or the blog) would have been more unique, it would have been an easier path.
Unfortunately there are a lot of apartment complexes and subdivisions in North Carolina that go by the name Madison Woods. And it seems they’ve been at it longer than me.
Today I checked my stats at WordPress and saw that I’d passed my 50,000th page views. My first post here was in 2008 and it was only one or two posts. Then in 2009 I posted a little more frequently. In 2010, around mid-year, I decided to become regular and in 2011 I decided that I AM a writer who needs an internet presence, so I began posting daily (or nearly daily).
But without knowing the page view number, I could be just speaking into the wind.
This blog will be helpful when it comes to choosing an agent, as well as selling my self-published flash stories.
For the agent, it will show them that I have some capacity for sustained effort. They can pass this on to whatever publishers they choose to approach with my manuscript. It may not matter at all, but I like to think that this demonstration will be meaningful. Time will tell.
When I’ve started selling my flash collections, this blog is somewhere interested readers can go for more ‘behind the scenes’ information about me as an author. There are also readers here from time to time, aside from my writerly kin, who might be interested in clicking a download button or two.
When I begin displaying photography in the mixed media combination of art and art (photography and flash fiction) and art (beautiful wood frames by Rob), the Photography tab at the top of this blog is in place and will be ready for perusal by potential consumers. You’d better believe there will be ‘Buy’ buttons on that page for the artwork they might have recently viewed in local shows. Maybe eventually some not-so-local shows.
What we do here at this blog on Fridays is an amazing thing. If any of you Fictioneers are reading this post, I want you to know you’ve been involved in a most interesting experiment that has turned to passion.
You’ve demonstrated the ‘tipping point’ in live action. If you don’t understand what I mean by that statement, here’s a wiki link about what it is. The way it applies to this blog is this. I started a flash friday campaign and found a few participants willing to come back each week to do it with me. Susie Lindau is the charter Fictioneer who actually gave us our name on September 16, 2011.
When we first started, we tweeted, invited others to join us (and I even went to certain people by name to extend invitations). It took a little effort to get people to come back week by week.
Now it grows by itself. In the past few weeks I’ve doubled, then tripled my blog’s pageloads on Fridays to a point where it’s brushing up to 1000 hits on Friday.
The lesson in that is the ‘tipping point’ phenomenon. It took some effort to get momentum, but once the tipping point is reached, the momentum builds on the efforts of others who are as enthusiastic as I am. And it can sometimes carry me when I’m *not* feeling particularly motivated, but I’m very careful to not lean on that aspect often.
This is how word of mouth works, and I want to tap into that when it is time for my book to hit shelves in bookstores. Virtual or real-life.
It’ll be a different campaign with different targets, but the principle of operation will be the same.
The beautiful thing about the Friday Fictioneers is that everyone who participates in it benefits. Some of us rarely got comments on our blogs before we started this. I’ve made new friends and found new writerly kin.
When my products are ready to sell, I’ll need to jump the gap to building a similar bond with readers. I’ll have to find a way to make *their* participation (buying my products) benefit them. It’s the universal marketing question: how does the product benefit the consumer?
I haven’t figured how to express that part yet, but the Fictioneers have shown me that it will take persistence, and that the momentum will build when the tipping point is found. I have faith. Thank you Friday Fictioneers.
If life gives me break enough to figure out the next post in this series, I’ll talk next week about the other marketing tools I have up my sleeve. I’m winging it, ya’ll, so forgive me for being slow to get to the points! Ha.