How Much Is A Facebook “Like” Worth?

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Although you can find articles on the Internet which place the value of a single Facebook Like at between $8-12, others say each like is worth an average of $174.

Things like your budget, resources, and objectives determine just how much a “LIKE” is worth to you.

You may also want to consider that just because someone “Liked” your page doesn’t mean they will automatically like all of your posts or purchase your books.

Experts say that a page “Like” should be viewed as a potential client. In fact, some say that until a visitor to your page purchases a book, they should be considered to have a worth of “zero.”

I think, however, it is more useful (and realistic) for us to consider just how valuable the Facebook Community is to a writer as a whole.

Now, I happen to believe that someone is valuable if they engage in my posts, share content, and interact with me on one of my websites or subscribe to my emails.

Therefore, I want to make them happy. I want them to feel appreciated. I target my marketing to appeal to them.

I furnish them with information, share their opinions, offer them free and/or discounted deals, and of course, I visit their Facebook pages and “Like” them!

Even though we may never meet in person, Facebook Friendships are reciprocal relationships and we need to view them as such.

The value of a friendship?

Priceless.

Researching Genre Romance

 

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Shopping for the perfect valentine for my husband was an almost impossible task. No one card could have possibly included everything I wanted to say.

I thought about writing my own valentine, like we often did when we were kids.

That got me thinking about writing romance novels.

I was curious. Just what is genre ROMANCE?

Here’s the breakdown:

Historical Romance– story takes place in the past.

Contemporary Romance– story takes place in the present. (Humorous Romance and Romantic Suspense are often listed as sub-genres.)

Regency Romance- This is shorter than Historical Romance, set in the Regency period and emphasizes society and dialog.

Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal- These stories take place on other planets or in imaginary lands, or involve creatures such as pixies, ghosts, werewolves, or genies.

Time Travel Romance– Romances involving time travel.

Gothic Romance– In the past, this was a separate sub-genre, but currently most of these are being published as Romantic Suspense.

Romantic Suspense- Stories with plots involving drug dealers, serial killers, smugglers, etc.

REMEMBER: If you write in another genre, you will probably find that your story is much more interesting when you infuse your books with a little romance here and there…

Can Pigs Fly?

 

30799328490_7a5353645dHave you ever met with friends you haven’t seen in a long time and as you talked, you felt out of step—out of sync?

Like so much time has passed since your paths crossed that you feel like your reality and theirs doesn’t quite coincide?

Maybe your perspectives are different…your interests have changed…

It might be a little unnerving at first, but later, as you contemplate your conversation, you find their ideas are thought-provoking—even refreshing.

Could a change of perspective be good for a writer?

Could it be just the shot-in-the-arm that sparks creativity?

Try this: write a paragraph in your genre. (Say, mystery).

Then, write it again, in fantasy.

Write it as romance or romantic suspense.

It’s the same paragraph. But it’s oh-so-different from teach of these different perspectives, isn’t it?

Now, go back to the genre you usually write in. Use the creative differences from the writing exercises you just completed to re-write your original paragraph.

I have found that when I feel stuck for a fresh way of expression doing this gets those creative juices flowing again.

Want to share what’s worked for you?

 

In Defense of Doodling

 

My husband is a doodler.        32010585111_840dc8b024

I guess it simply gives his hands something to do while he watches a football game on television or waits for his order at a restaurant.

But, I asked myself, “Could doodling actually have some kind of value?”

I recall teaching my elementary students to map and use webs to organize information. Could using simple visual language help people think and solve problems, focus, and retain information?

Turns out that good old doodling activates one’s mind’s eye to access creativity with the subconscious mind.

I put it to the test.

I recently made use of doodling to solve a difficult plot problem in the book I am writing.

So, don’t get stuck on plot, character description, or action scenes. If you need to “see” what you are writing for descriptive purposes or keeping track of details, why not try doodling?

You just might find it to be more than mindless scribbling.

Fiction Writers, Do Your Research

 

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I struck up a conversation with a gentleman in a hospital waiting room last week. I shared a little about my writing and he responded with a comment that made me think.

He made an observation that, to him, writing fiction was quicker and easier than writing non-fiction because it did not require research.

At first thought, I agreed with him. But, later that evening, I put pen to paper and contemplated whether or not that was actually as true as it appeared on the surface.

Here is a list of just some of the research necessary for every fiction writer to complete in order to write an authentic book:

a) Learn about the setting of your book, such as the state/country, the type of weather, the topography, terrain, type of government, and so on.

b)  What type of people live there? Is their speech distinctive?  In what type of industries might they be employed?

c)  In what year/time period does your story take place? What is going on in the world at that time? What hair and dress styles are prevalent? What music is popular?

d) Do any of your characters experience an illness or disability?  If so, you will need to know how it affects his life, treatments he might experience, etc. How will he interact with others?

e) Do your characters meet with a disaster? You may have to learn about floods, earthquakes, fires, and so on.

f) How old are your characters? What kind of music, games, activities are appropriate?

A good editor will catch some of these things, such as when mine caught it when I wrote  about something that would not have even been invented yet!!

But, don’t count on someone else to do it. You’ve got to do your homework and make your book as authentic as possible.

Some say a book is successful when it is so real that the reader actually feels he/she is experiencing the action right along with the characters.

Part of making this happen is doing the hard work ahead of time.

It’s called: research.

Brand+ Platform = Successful Marketing

27227677773_5a084bf604Two things (besides great writing) make an author appealing to agents, editors, publishers, and readers: Brand and Platform.

Differentiating one author from another, they make them visible on all of their communication channels.

(My last blog dealt with branding. If you didn’t happen to read it, you can find it archived on www.brendapoulos.org).

The author platform is how an author is currently reaching an audience of readers, or their plan for doing so.

An author must be VISIBLE and INVOLVED on the social networks to stand out among the masses.

So, a platform (the plan for visibility as a speaker, business owner, blogger, website owner, podcaster—as well as a presence on Twitter, Facebook, etc.–is what an author uses to prove that their books will sell.

Both Indie authors, as well as traditionally published authors, must show a willingness to put in time and effort into marketing themselves online.

So, when should an author establish their platform?

“Yesterday” is a great answer.

That’s right.

Since building a platform takes time, experts tell us authors need begin even before they have a book ready to publish.

Most people are on Facebook, so that may be a logical place to start.

Experts tell us that having one’s own website is ESSENTIAL—and there are quite a few that are free, including WordPress and Weebly.

After that, the sky is the limit.

Put in the time.

Reap the rewards.

Remember:  Branding + Platform = Successful Marketing

 

Branding: An Emotional Bond

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If I say “Western Movie Stars,” perhaps John Wayne, Paladin, or Matt Dillon come to mind.

Movie stars that were typecast because they most often played a “villain?” Boris Karloff or Peter Lorre are the first ones I think about.

When you hear the names of James Patterson, Lee Child, John Grisham, or Stephen King do you automatically think of mystery/thriller/suspense?

You do this as a result of BRANDING.

Here are a few definitions of branding from my research:

”…marketing messages that create emotional bonds with the consumer…” ~ Heidi Cohen

“…the name, the logo, the design, or a combination of those that people use to identify and differentiate…” (a person or business) ~ Gini Dietrich

“…the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships…that account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” ~ Seth Godin

So, if I am reading this right, branding is building an emotional tie between yourself and your readers. And, this branding makes the author instantly recognizable in their eyes/minds.

So, how is this done and when?

I believe it is the perception of the author by the consumer that creates the branding.

Here is how it happens: an author writes a book, the author writes more books in the same or similar genres. Over time, readers get to know the writer as a suspense writer (Mary Higgins Clark) or a romance writer (Nicholas Sparks), etc.

The author’s work becomes predictable to their audience.

New authors may try their hand at writing in several different genres, but pretty soon they find their way and settle into one that is comfortable for them. Once they do, readers begin to take notice.

They become followers.

Because the author meets their expectations…gives them what they want.

The reward?

They buy books.

A symbiotic relationship is formed.

An emotional bond.