Tag Archives: OHS for writers

How do you tell people about your story?

Telling your story

Humans have been telling stories for as long as we have been able to communicate. From early cave drawings to oral stories around the fire. Stories are what bind humanity, allowing us to be connected, nurtured, entertained and educated.

Modern technology allows us to share our stories in so many amazing ways – some good, some not so good. Because there is so much out there for us to consume we can actually start to feel disconnected by so much white noise. It can be overwhelming. There is so much information, so many stories, that it becomes hard work to sift through everything.

For the person with a story to tell, there are so many ways to share it that this also becomes overwhelming. Do you write an article, a book, blog, create a video or podcast?

It always comes back to your intention, what you want your story to accomplish. If you want to write a novel, that is obviously a book. If you’ve overcome adversity that could be a book, a documentary, a series of blog posts or all three.

At our last Publish for Profit session, we had Peter Helft, from Jongleur, talk to the group about using video to tell your story or to promote your book. Peter gave us some amazing statistics about social media platforms that really make it a no brainer in terms of sharing information to the wider population. The reach is huge, it’s easy to implement and free or cost effective (paid ads).

When you think about how most people consume media, visual platforms outperform everything because the majority of us are visual communicators. If you want to find out more about the different ways we communicate, or consume material, have a think about whether you are auditory, visual or kinesthetic in your preference. This site may illuminate things a little for you: http://visualteachingalliance.com/ OR you can google it!

So what does that mean for writers? It means that we keep writing but we can use different platforms to make our audience aware that we even exist. We need to do this because we need to cut through all the noise. When you think about the fact that people buy people (no matter what story you have), we need to connect with them. This is where the whole ‘author platform’ comes in. The upshot is that visual communication should be a BIG part of your marketing plan. Share photos and videos, live stream on Facebook and you will be able to reach more people and get your story into their hands.

At the next Publish for Profit, we’ll be learning about how to blog. Go here to find out more.

Blaise the book chick

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Word of mouth sells books

Sell books by word of mouth. Image by Kev Howlett.

What do you think sells books? Would a big full colour advertisement in The Age be worthwhile? It might be but you need to weigh up the return on investment. It’s been so long since I took an ad out of that calibre that I don’t even know what it costs. Possibly a couple of thousand dollars? How many books do you need to sell to break even, let alone make some serious sales?

I like to look at the way I find books in order to work out how to help others sell theirs. The last book I read was Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. It’s not a current book. In fact, it was published in 1953 and the copy I have is a 50th anniversary edition that I bought at an opshop. Now don’t go yelling at me for buying a second hand book. The whole idea is that we get people reading books any way we can (second hand, friend of a friend, library, bookshop). If they love your books enough, they’ll go buy their own copies.

Why did I read Fahrenheit 451? Because I have heard that it’s a good read. A classic. Was it a good read? I’d say it was but not something that I’d gush about, mainly because it’s not the usual type of book that I love. But now I can tick it off my ‘to read’ list. And I don’t feel as though I am missing out because I haven’t read it.

Ever heard the acronym FOMO? Fear. Of. Missing. Out. This is something that we really need to take notice of. Why did Fifty Shades of Grey sell in the millions? Because people talked about the book and people wanted to grab a copy for fear of missing out. Nothing to do with quality of story or excellent writing but word of mouth.

Recently I was on the train. Three teenage girls were sitting behind me talking about a coffee shop. One of the girls hadn’t been there and was told, ‘You haven’t lived until you’ve been there!’ I can bet that the coffee shop isn’t that special but now that girl feels left out and she will make an effort to go there.

This is what we need to do to generate interest in our books. Problem is word of mouth is hard to control. And how do we generate it in the first place? Over the next few blogs, I’m going to explore this problem. I’m not sure if I have the answers but I might come up with a few strategies to create word of mouth.

First step is to make sure that your book is discoverable because once word of mouth starts if the book can’t be found then that momentum is going to stop as soon as it started. This means have it in as many places and on as many platforms as you possibly can so that when someone Googles it, there it is for sale.

Blaise the book chick

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