Marketing: Amazon

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Hey Space Cadets, today I want to again look at marketing – trying to see through the weeds.  This will be the last blog I have on this series for a while.  However, I make no promises that I won’t come back to it.  This week we are going to look at Amazon.  While I am no expert – this is where I am selling my books.  So on to today’s adventure. Continue reading

Marketing: Mailing Lists

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Hey Space Cadets, time for another article in my Marketing series.  Today I wanted to tackle Mailing Lists, yet another aspect of marketing. Now, quit your groaning – you might learn something.  Even better, someone may make a comment that will teach me something!  I am always learning new things.  Anyway, I digress, on to today’s subject.  Remember, I’m no expert so this is just what I’m doing and it seems to be working for the moment.  As things change, I’ll adapt which is a major key to success in many of life’s adventures.

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Marketing: Social Media

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J R Handley

Hey Space Cadets, yet another blog about marketing.  I can hear your collective groans and mutters of not more from here, but hear me out.  Let’s jump into the deep end and learn to swim together.  Remember, I’m no expert so this is just what I’m doing and it seems to be working for the moment.  As things change, I’ll adapt which is a major key to success in many of life’s adventures.

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Marketing: Blogs

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J R HandleyHey Space Cadets, another installment of my marketing series.  I know this is the administrative background work we have to do – it is still important, so bear with me.  Take your fingers out of your ears and settle down, it’s not that boring.  Today’s subject is Blogs.  Again, I’m no expert so this is just what I’m doing that seems to be working for the moment.  As things change, I’ll adapt which is a major key to success in many of life’s adventures.

 

JR Handley Blog HeaderMy Blog is one of the main aspects of my marketing strategy.  I won’t bother linking to it, since you are reading it which means you are already there.  I know I hyperlink more than conventional wisdom says is necessary, but when it seems appropriate I link away!  I’m probably a little neurotic on the topic, but hey, they say acceptance is the first step to recovery!  This blog serves as my author platform, right next to my public Facebook account.  In a broadly general sense, this blog is a marketing enterprise.  I won’t continually shout, “buy my book, buy my book,” like some authors are wont to do, but I don’t hide that I’m an author either.  I have a link to my books at the bottom of all my pages.  I try to keep my other links on topic and of interest to my readers.  I try to have useful content on my blogs using hyperlinks as appropriate.  There is a fine line here between hyperlink and hyper-annoying that I try not to cross.  I am not trying to spam my readers; I am trying to sell my books.

Due to my limitations, my process is unique, but every blog I post goes through my team. They look for more than just grammar, also considering the broader concept of ‘branding.’  Basically, branding is who you are to the world. It needs to be consistent, and authentic.  I want to my blog to brand me as a science fiction writer people want to read.  Therefore, I keep this in mind when I plan the posts for my blog.

Hubble Space Picture The theme of your blog is very important.  Both the general theme or look of your blog and the theme of the contact of the blog.  First, let’s look at the general theme of the blog.  When I started my blog, its sole purpose was to simply exist.  I had more generic posts, some of it appealing to the deep well that is the WordPress author community.  I’ll admit I also participated in the ‘I follow you, you follow me’ gimmick because I didn’t know any better.  Ultimately, if you want your blog to serve a purpose, following others so they will follow you serves no purpose.  What will help is themed blog. The theme will be broadly based on the genre in which you write. There are many ways to do this, both visual and content driven. My blog starts with the intro of “Hey, Space Cadets,” which harkens back to the earlier Heinlein book with the same name.  It screams to the world, “I’m a science fiction blog.” I do this intentionally, but didn’t violate my rule of authenticity because I do love science fiction. If I didn’t love it, I couldn’t write it. Following with the theme for my blog, I end everyone with “Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry.”  Again, this was to intentionally call back to America’s earliest military history and Rogers Rangers.  The US Army Rangers claim this as their origin story, but it’s also something I heard throughout my time in the infantry and the military writ large.  It reminds the reader that one of my sub genres is military science fiction. It also reminds them that I have some credibility with that genre because of my affiliation with the US Army.  I was a Sergeant in the US Army.  When you pick your theme, it should reflect who you are and what you write. Part of that old adage, know your audience.

The Legion AwakesThe second type of theme is the theme/subject you’re discussing in a specific blog.  The general theme branded me as a military science fiction author.  While I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it, bear with me awhile longer.  My general theme includes several factors; the visual look, as well as the header and footer.  The content of my blog – information I choose to share – has a theme of its own.  I’ve intentionally avoided politics because it’s an unnecessarily divisive issue – personally I don’t want to unintentionally alienate customers due to my political views.  My purpose here is to sell books and I try to remember this. Let’s face it, you need to be a mercenary when you think about your marketing strategy.  For me, I do this by putting on my reader’s hat, considering what I look for from an author, what information I like versus what turns me off.  I try to keep the subject of my posts related to my writing.  Sometimes those decisions are unconscious, I’ve admittedly been known to follow my massive gut, but strategic nonetheless. I have several series I have started such as, World Building Wednesday; Scyfi Shenanigans; and Warrior Weekend; among others.  I try to keep my topics entertaining – but the purpose of my posts is to generate interest in my world.  This is tricky, since I have the “curse of knowledge.”  I need draw my readers in without spoiling the adventure in my books.  As I finish The Sleeping Legion and start writing new books, my blogs will evolve.  My methodology has been to give the first hit for free to reel the readers in. Sorry, I have watched to many Cop shows – I blame my parents.  Anyway, I hope you get the general idea here and can translate it into what might work for you and your book babies.

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry.

brown_bess

JR

–>As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are videos used by JR Handley for use under fair doctrine.

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Marketing: PRE-EXISTING MARKETING PLATFORM

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Human Legion

Hey Space Cadets, today I wanted to start a series of articles tackling an important, yet hated aspect of writing life.  That’s right, marketing.  I can hear your collective groans from here, but hear me out.  We know that the wall of books out there can hide your diamond amid the fool’s gold.  But even fool’s gold has it’s uses…okay, if it does I’m unaware of it but work with me people!  So, we KNOW we need to market, but we like to plug our ears and sing “la la la” like we’re back on the playground.  Well, those days are done so rip the band aide off and jump into the deep end with me as we learn to swim together.  And remember, I’m no expert so this is just what I’m doing and it seems to be working for the moment.  As things change, I’ll adapt which is a major key to success in many of life’s adventures.

 First, let’s address the 800-pound gorilla in the room. I started my journey by reading and loving the Human Legion Series by Tim C. Taylor.  I loved them so much I corresponded with the author, as a fan worked on his Wiki page.  Then taking it a step further, I suggested some ideas for a new story, from which the Sleeping Legion was born.

Obviously, since I was working in another author’s world I walked into my first novel with a built-in audience.  Having a built-in audience is part of the contractual perks for me as an author – the downside was giving the primary series author, Tim C. Taylor, a share of the profits.  All jokes aside, I’ve no regrets, and I’m deeply indebted to him for giving me my break. 

Will this work for everyone?  Probably not.  However, for me – a disabled Vet with brain damage – this gave me a lot of help finding my voice.  I had many hands molding the wet clay that was my novel – anyone wanting to follow my path would have to accept that molding. This can be hard for us creative types, but you must be willing to accept changes to your story for this to work. 

For me choosing this path was the right choice – the Boss Man had the mailing list in place, followers of his novels and the Human Legion Universe – there was plenty of room for me to plant my flag and claim a slice of the pie for myself.  Dang, now I want pie.  Pie counts as diet food, yeah?  Won’t hurt my dieting for the new year?  Anyway, I digress.  I’ve been up front about all of this on my blog, but it’s important to note that I was a fan of Tim’s castles before I was an author in his sandbox.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse anymore, and ignore my wife and mother snickering in the background at the idea of me being concise, but my initial success was because of his built-in audience.  If you choose this path, know that while the main author and their audience is the key to starting the car, you still must drive.

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry.

brown_bess

JR

–>As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are videos used by JR Handley for use under fair doctrine.

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SCI FI EXPLORATIONS

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SciFi ExplorationsHey Space Cadets, how are you doing this fine day?  Today I wanted to bring you some interesting news. I was recently added to the Author Partners list on SciFi Explorations.  This website is all about bringing to you, the reader, the highest quality science fiction from the best authors on the scene.  They send out a bi-monthly mailing list with recommendations for good books.  Neigh, GREAT books!  These books are vetted by the Big Kahuna over there, author Nathan Hystad.  Seriously, he doesn’t post anything he hasn’t read himself and his recommendations take into consideration the price so you get a deal!

The fine folks at the SciFi Explorations don’t accept payment for these blurbs either, these are chosen based on Nathan’s efforts to recommend good books.  He goes a step further, negotiating sale prices of the books for those who get the mailing list!  Great books at an awesome price!  In return, they simply ask the authors to help spread the word about this group.  Seriously, everybody wins!  So, if you want the hottest new releases and the best discounts for your Science Fiction, subscribe to their high-quality newsletter.  It’s bi-weekly, so you won’t be spammed!  I follow them myself and they contribute to my burgeoning TBR List that drives my wife bonkers!

SciFi Explorations Author Page

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry.

brown_bess

JR

–>As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are videos used by JR Handley for use under fair doctrine.

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SFF Book Bonanza

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Hey Space Cadets, how are you doing this fine day?  I’m doing well, I’m at 55% complete on the 4th book in the Sleeping Legion.  I don’t want to be away from writing long – I’m kinda on a roll.  Just wanted to let you know I have joined in with other authors for the SFF Book Bonanza‘s Science Fiction Fantasy Giveaway scheduled for June 12 – 18, 2017!  I am really excited to be working with this group and hope you will take a look at the free books being offered.

Well I hope you all enjoy this give away – it is back to planning the last battles to finish my book for me.

 

Until next time, stay frosty and don’t forget to keep your powder dry.

brown_bess

JR

–>As usual, all images came from the Google’s “labeled for reuse” section or are videos used by JR Handley for use under fair doctrine.

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