Jenny Kane: Coffee, cupcakes, chocolate and contemporary fiction / Jennifer Ash: Medieval crime with hints of Ellis Peters and Robin Hood

Tag: marketing

Why all writers need to learn how to sell: Blog Tour with Niraj Kapur

Today I have something a little different for you. A blog from Niraj Kapur’s blog tour for his book, ‘Everybody Works in Sales.’ How true for anyone who makes their living writing!

Many thanks for dropping by today, Niraj. Over to you…

Why all writers need to learn how to sell

I’ve had several screenplays optioned, written 17 TV pilot episodes, been a writer-for-hire for shows on CBBC and Channel 5’s Milkshake. My first movie came out in 2012, I spent 3 years pitching in Hollywood and now my first non-fiction book, Everybody Works in Sales – How What you Need to Know to Achieve Success in Your Career was released on March 20th.

Many people, especially young writers, think all this writing work is due to me having exceptional talent. If you told my friends that, they would burst out laughing. Even the agents who have represented me over the year or the producers I’ve worked with will tell you I’m not brilliant. Sure, I’m have some talent, that’s important, however, the reasons I’ve had so many commissions is that I know how to sell and more writers need to learn this skill if they want to achieve more success.

Everybody Works in Sales.

Everybody.

If you work for somebody, you earn a living by selling their product or service.

If you are self-employed, you earn a living by selling your product or service.

When you buy from Amazon, they always recommended other products similar to the ones you are purchasing or have already purchased – that’s selling.

When you download a song, movie or TV show from iTunes, they always recommend more similar products. That’s selling.

When you register for most websites, they sell their products or services to you through a regular email.

When you attend an exhibition at the NEC, London ExCel, Olympia, Manchester or even a local market, everyone is trying to sell you their product.

Other examples of selling include:

  • When you’re having a job interview.
  • A child begging their parents for a present.
  • Persuading your friends which restaurant or bar to go to.
  • An advertising agency pitching for a client’s business.
  • A fitness trainer at the gym recommending how you work out.
  • An internet entrepreneur promoting their course.
  • A musician searching for that next gig.
  • A parent setting up a business to work around the school run.
  • A manager asking his staff to work on a project.
  • An employee asking their boss for a pay rise.
  • A broadband company trying to sell their packages.
  • A politician persuading you to vote.

We all have to sell. Most people don’t know how to sell or don’t want to sell because they associate selling with sleazy car salesmen or call centres who annoy you by calling you at home or your mobile. Everybody Works in Sales is designed to help you learn the skills you need.

Many writers believe if they write a good book or an interesting blog, they will find work. I wish it were that easy. No seriously, I really do, it would make my life easier as well.

Since many writers I’ve met are shy or introvert, it makes selling more challenging, but not impossible.

Here’s a bad salesperson – they’re not concerned with anyone around them, they knock down people in their way, only care about themselves and are ready to take on the enemy/the customer.

Photo by Luiz Hanfilaque on Unsplash

Here’s a bad salesperson – they’re not concerned with anyone around them, they knock down people in their way, only care about themselves and are ready to take on the enemy/the customer.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Is it really that simple?

After 3 years travelling to LA pitching events and meeting producers, manager and agents, here’s how writers find work.

  You have a strong writing voice

  You’re not a psycho

  You’re not needy

  You keep your promises (selling)

  You’re likable (selling)

  You research the person you meet (selling)

You are able to adapt your work to your audience (selling)

You ask great questions (selling)

These rules are the in the UK. Yes, you also need luck and having contacts does help.

The business world is more complex than this. The world is writing is simpler when it comes to selling.

I wish you good luck on your journey ahead.

Everybody Works in Sales is designed to help you do better in your career because we all work in sales. Available now on Kindle and paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everybody-Works-Sales-Achieve-Success-ebook/dp/B079T6HFQS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519641721&sr=8-1&keywords=niraj+kapur+everybody+works+in+sales

Everybody Works in Sales

We all work in sales. If you work for somebody, you earn a living by selling their product or service.

If you are self-employed, you earn a living by selling your product or service.

When you buy from Amazon, they always recommended other products similar to the ones you are purchasing or have already purchased – that’s selling.

When you download a song, movie or TV show from iTunes, they always recommend more similar products. That’s selling.

When you register for most websites, they sell their products or services to you through a regular email.

When you attend an exhibition at the NEC, London ExCel, Olympia, Manchester or even a local market, everyone is trying to sell you their product.

We all work in sales, yet few people know how to sell. Until now.

Containing 27 valuable lessons, plus 17 interviews with experts, Everybody Works in Sales combines unique storytelling and personal development to ensure you have the tools you need to do better in your career.

Purchase from Amazonhttp://amzn.to/2ET89nn

About Niraj Kapur

Award-winning executive, Niraj Kapur, has worked in corporate London for 23 years.

From small businesses to a national newspaper to FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, he’s experienced it all and shares his insight, knowledge, big wins and horrible failures.

Containing 27 valuable lessons, plus 17 interviews with experts, Everybody Works in Sales combines unique storytelling and personal development to ensure you have the tools you need to do better in your career.

Niraj has also had several screenplays optioned, sitcoms commissioned, kids’ shows on Channel 5’s Milkshake and CBBC. His movie, Naachle London, was released in select cinemas across the UK.

He’s working on his next book while advising companies and coaching individuals on how to improve their sales.
@Nirajwriter

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/nkapur

***

Many thanks Niraji,

Jenny xx

Did you know that books are invisible?

One of the most popular blogs to feature on my website in 2016 was one I did about the importance of marketing…

Did you know that books were invisible?”

That was the opening line I gave a slightly bemused group of friends when they kindly offered to let me give a ‘pretend’ talk about what to do after you’ve written a book.

invisible

OK- I’d better back track a little bit.

For a little while now I’ve been considering holding a few writing classes, and possibly taking on mentoring. There is one issue however-there are hundreds and hundreds of creative writing classes out there. I want to provide something a little bit different.

After chatting to fellow authors it transpired that what wasn’t so available was advice on what to do after you’d created your story. I have spent some time thinking about this.

There are so many authors in the world putting their life’s blood into their words. They pour themselves into their work, then perhaps they are lucky enough to find a publisher, or they decide to self publish their book, and then…nothing.

Big Fat Zero 2

This brings me to my original point. Unless you are with one of the top six publishers who have contracts to get books into the mainstream bookshops and supermarkets, books are invisible. They only exist if people know about them- and when I say people, I don’t mean your family, friends, work colleagues, and the people they happen to know.

Marketing- that’s what writers have to do. Writing is fairly important as well of course- but if you write something in the hope of earning an income, and then don’t market it, then what’s the point?

I can’t say I enjoy the marketing side of my job- and I’m lucky enough to have a publisher that does a little marketing for me- but if you don’t have a Facebook page for your books, and a Twitter account from which to shout about your literary wares, then there is a real danger of disappearing into the ether of the eBook world. You need a blog, you need constant presence, and you need to – every now and then- share just a little of the real you to engage your audience.

Sadly, there is no magic wand when it comes to selling books. People won’t know you’ve written a book unless you make them sit up and take notice of the fact.

 

OK- lecture over!

I’ll pop off now, because I need to think up exactly what my ‘after-writing’ course will contain…any ideas (polite ones only!) will be very welcome!

Thank you!!

Happy reading, writing and marketing,

Jenny x

Twitter- https://twitter.com/JennyKaneAuthor 

PS- I will shout as soon as the writing courses are up and running x

 

Tackling the Marketing Resentment Loop

Tackling the Marketing Resentment Loop

One of the major hurdles in modern day publishing- particularly in relation to the rise of self published books- is marketing.

Often it isn’t the marketing itself that’s the problem, but finding the time or inclination to do it in the first place.

Most writers, whether they tackle short stories, novels, scripts or poems, are not natural marketers. Let’s face it, marketing means sticking your head above the parapet and shouting ‘Hey, look at me! Look what I’ve done!’ And while not all authors are shy and retiring, many have confidence issues and live far more comfortably in the world of make believe than in the ‘real’ world of commerce.

Okay, so I’m generalising, but the point is, most writers want to write. They (we!) resent the time required to market their existing books when they’d far rather creating a new one.

12_hrs

In a world where the majority of authors squeeze writing time in between working, looking after families, and doing all the other things that everyone has to do, it is hard not to resent the time spent writing blogs, or on social media, thinking up new ways to advertise our wares.

Once you start marketing it is so easy to get to go to extremes. Paranoia is only a footstep away- as you reach the point where you are afraid to stop marketing!

We all know that books are invisible if you don’t market them- but how much PR is the right amount? If you go an hour without tweeting about your latest epic will all your hard work become suddenly pointless?

arrowed circle

This is how the marketing resentment loop begins-

You write a book-

You discover it doesn’t sell by magic-

You want to write another book but the first needs marketing….but you only have 2 hours a day to wrote- so you market and don’t write-

You start to resent the marketing-

You start to lose the joy of writing-

You throw your hands in the air, and give up-

Six weeks later you are desperate to write-

You write a book-

You discover it doesn’t sell by magic…AND ROUND YOU GO AGAIN.

break-the-cycle

So how do you break the loop?

  1. Set aside a small fraction of your writing time each day to market. Don’t go over that time period.
  2. Cheat. Use systems like HootSuite on Twitter to automatically put out tweets for you through the day without you having to do very much work at all.
  3. Take you mobile phone to the bathroom! Yes- I know- but you’re just sat there- tweet/post on Facebook while you’re unable to do anything else anyway! Basically use any dead time in your day to your advantage, from being sat on the loo, to waiting for the kettle to boil.
  4. Immediately after you have finished your novel/script bite the bullet and use your precious writing time to create a series of guest blogs. Once you have them done you can simply adapt and rewrite them as required, saving you time in the long run. Blog tours are an excellent marketing tool, and if you don’t know enough bloggers to ask to host you, then a large number of services exist to provide this service, such as http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/
  5. If you find marketing is killing the joy of creation for you, then don’t do it. Remember, writing is supposed to be fun. If you’re only in it for the money, then I strongly advise you to try your hand at something new instead!

marketing

If you’d like more advice about all elements of writing work- including marketing ideas- why not check out www.DevonWriters.com

Happy marketing,

Jenny x

Did you know that books are invisible?

“Did you know that books were invisible?”

That was the opening line I gave a slightly bemused group of friends when they kindly offered to let me give a ‘pretend’ talk about what to do after you’ve written a book.

invisible

OK- I’d better back track a little bit.

For a little while now I’ve been considering holding a few writing classes, and possibly taking on mentoring. There is one issue however-there are hundreds and hundreds of creative writing classes out there. I want to provide something a little bit different.

After chatting to fellow authors at the Tiverton Literary Festival in June, it transpired that what wasn’t so available was advice on what to do after you’d created your story. I have spent some time thinking about this.

There are so many authors in the world putting their life’s blood into their words. They pour themselves into their work, then perhaps they are lucky enough to find a publisher, or they decide to self publish their book, and then…nothing.

Big Fat Zero 2

This brings me to my original point. Unless you are with one of the top six publishers who have contracts to get books into the mainstream bookshops and supermarkets, books are invisible. They only exist if people know about them- and when I say people, I don’t mean your family, friends, work colleagues, and the people they happen to know.

Marketing- that’s what writers have to do. Writing is fairly important as well of course- but if you write something in the hope of earning an income, and then don’t market it, then what’s the point?

I can’t say I enjoy the marketing side of my job- and I’m lucky enough to have a publisher that does some marketing for me- but if you don’t have a Facebook page for your books, and a Twitter account from which to shout about your literary wares, then there is a real danger of disappearing into the ether of the eBook world. You need a blog, you need constant presence, and you need to – every now and then- share just a little of the real you to engage your audience.

Sadly, there is no magic wand when it comes to selling books. People won’t know you’ve written a book unless you make them sit up and take notice of the fact.

OK- lecture over!

I’ll pop off now, because I need to think up exactly what my ‘after-writing’ course will contain…any ideas (polite ones only!) will be very welcome!

Thank you!!

Happy reading, writing and marketing,

Jenny x

Twitter- https://twitter.com/JennyKaneAuthor 

 

 

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