Measuring Book Marketing ROI

By Denise Turney

Staff at book marketing companies aren’t shy about telling self-published authors that they have the skills and experience to help increase, perhaps significantly, a book’s sales. In fact, if you’re a self-published author who has been publishing your own books for five years or more, you’ve probably crossed paths with book marketing staff members who tried to sell you on the idea that, by working with them, you could sell enough books to afford to write full-time.

Measuring Book Marketing Companies Work

If you believe the hype, you could end up plunking down several hundred or several thousand dollars for press releases, newsletters, brochures, websites and social media book marketing campaigns that don’t yield results. This is just one of the reasons why it’s good to do your homework (before you contract with book marketing companies) as a self-published author, to get references and check page rankings for websites and press releases book marketing companies have worked on.

To avoid throwing money away on book marketing campaigns, you can also start measuring book marketing return on investment (ROI). In fact, it’s a good practice to measure ROI on all marketing steps you take. Some tools you can use to measure book marketing ROI include:

  • Customer Surveys (be willing to accept feedback you receive from customers)
  • Statistics (i.e. website stats, email marketing stats)
  • Google Analytics (track where visitors coming into your website from, how long they are staying at your website, your website pages visitors click over to most, etc.)
  • Number of interviews you land following the publication of press releases, etc.
  • Google Feed Burner (use to monitor the impact of your blog and website feeds)

Tools to Measure Book Marketing Efforts With

Perhaps most importantly, you can measure changes in your book sales. For example, you could check your BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com book sales rankings. If you have an account with Ingram Books (a major book distributor), you could also check your monthly sales processed through Ingram.

In addition, if staff at book marketing companies run social media marketing campaigns for you, consider checking the increases in followers and social media comments and questions you receive. Dragon Search offers a free tool to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns. The tool measures factors like the cost per employee, social media marketing training employees have received and the amount of time employees spend on social media marketing.

Not only could measuring book marketing ROI save you money, it could also help you to spot opportunities for improvement and growth. It could alert you to areas of your book marketing campaigns that you should tweak, stop or focus on more. Measuring book marketing ROI could also keep you from deceiving yourself into believing that, just because you are working hard, you’re yielding good results.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Sources:

http://smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com/marketing-sales/2012/07/09/7-tools-for-measuring-your-marketing-roi/ (Fox Business: 7 Tools for Measuring Your Marketing ROI)

http://www.smbceo.com/2010/12/16/social-media-marketing-roi/ (SMBCEO: 7 Tools for Measuring Social Media Marketing ROI)

It’s Time You Became Great, The Real You

By Denise Turney
Have you ever been told that you look just like another person? Not only does hearing this raise your curiosity, it may also cause you to question how unique you really are. After all, why is someone else walking around looking just like you if you’re genuinely unique?

Well. There’s another way to look at the fact that you might not be the only person who looks like you. This fact could introduce you to the thought that it’s your thoughts that help to make you unique. It’s not your eyes, nose, hands, etc., but what you think about all day that makes you unique, and this you have complete control over.

You started forming thoughts when you were a child. Some thoughts you formed came as you listened to and observed what your parents, caretakers and teachers said and did. It’s these people you more than likely tried to satisfy, gain approval from and impress. You needed these people to show you that they loved you, that you were worthy of being loved, that it was safe to give and receive love.

Because large numbers of us grew up in a dysfunctional home, there’s a good chance that all your thoughts, formed from childhood onward, about love and safety aren’t serving you well. Add to that, thoughts you have around success, receiving massive amounts of money (feel any guilt, as if receiving massive wealth is wrong or non-spiritual as soon as you read those words; no hiding from the truth – admit how you really felt the first time you read the words to yourself. It could give you clues as to why you don’t have the money you want right now). These and other thoughts are shaping your life. It’s why, if you want lasting change, you have to do it from the inside.

In addition to forming early thoughts and beliefs (a belief is a thought you’ve been thinking over and over and over and . . . until it seems true) based on experiences you had with your parents or caretakers and teachers, you also formed/form thoughts and beliefs based on what you hear on television, read in newspapers, ads you see, conversations you overhear while walking down a street, what friends tell you about men/women, their relationships, etc. These thoughts, many which may have gone into your subconscious mind, are driving your behavior, feelings, willingness to take risks, meet new people, try new things, receive wealth, etc.

Which is why it’s important to focus on YOU and start removing beliefs that are keeping you from receiving the good you want. And, you should receive the good you want. As John 16:24 records, you should, “Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

In other words, if you don’t receive (only you can do the receiving) the good you want, your joy will not be full. And you’ll probably start to believe that you’re small, limited, not great, even while the truth remains unchanged – YOU ARE GREAT!!!!

Brain games, brain sync tapes, audio and video tapes (http://www.recreateyourlife.com), books that focus on removing limiting beliefs, meditation, etc. are tools you can use to remove negative beliefs so you can start receiving the good you want. Doing the work to receive the good you want (it’s exactly what Abraham and Sarah did in the Bible) is necessary.

You don’t want to feel stuck or small. That’s not who you are. YOU ARE GREAT!!!!  Do the work to start stepping into your greatness. Love Pour Over Me‘s Raymond Clarke made this choice after he experienced a life changing injury. Although his was a troubled childhood, he knew he was great. Life supported Raymond’s belief, leading him to wonderful, rewarding relationships, even as he struggled with inner conflicts, until he got completely free. I encourage you to do the same.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

This Father’s Day Mom Is a Man: Men Who are Raising Their Children Alone

By Denise Turney
The United States Census Bureau’s April 21, 2009 Facts for Features press release reports that there are 64.3 million fathers in the United States.  Nearly two million of these men are single parents.

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.  The holiday was founded by a woman named Sonora Dodd.  The idea to create a national day to acknowledge fathers came after Dodd listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in church in her hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Dodd’s mother was deceased; it was her father, a farmer and a Civil War veteran, who exercised courage and filled the duo role of mother and father in her life as well as in the lives of her five siblings.  Initially, Sonora Dodd – after years of watching her father complete chores once deemed “women’s work” in order to care for his children – started the holiday as a way to honor her father, William Smart.  In time, the holiday spread from Spokane throughout the entire country.

Father’s Day Becomes a National Holiday

Father’s Day was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 10, 1910.  President Lyndon Johnson signed the first presidential proclamation acknowledging the holiday in 1966.  The day was signed into law as a national holiday by President Richard Nixon in 1972.

While millions of men across the United States take a less than active role in the lives of their children, some disappearing from their children’s lives altogether, millions of other men do the work of both mother and father.  These men’s voices often go unheard.  They work hard on the job whether they are self-employed or work for another business; they work harder at home and this often absent support or understanding from a larger society.

Single Parenthood on the Rise

The April 21, 2009 United States Census Bureau press release also reports that the number of children growing up in a single parent home has consistently increased over the last three decades.   Of the 1.8 million single parent fathers, eight percent are raising children under the age of 18, the difficult teen and pre-teen years when children typically require the most emotional, psychological and financial support.

Over half of the single parent fathers are divorced while a quarter of them have never been married.  Widowers, the type of single parent Sorona Dodd’s father was, make up the smallest number of single men who are custodial parents.  In fact, widowers make up only five percent of the total number of single parent fathers.

Unique Challenges Single Parent Fathers Face

The National Center for Fathering reports that seeking support from other single parent custodial fathers is a leading challenge facing these men.  There is a strong likelihood that many single parent fathers, including men who are successful entrepreneurs or self-employed workers, add undue stress and anxiety to their lives because they avoid discussing and sharing fears and concerns they may have regarding disciplining, nurturing and openly communicating with their children with other single parents.

Single fathers must play a key role in the life of their sons.  By example and through taking the time to connect with and guide their sons, fathers without partners have tremendous influence when it comes to raising their sons to be responsible young men who treat themselves, their friends and the women in their lives with respect.

More Challenges Single Fathers Face

Other challenges that single parent fathers face include the art of actively listening to and nurturing their children while they provide a spirit of protection and bravery in their home.  If these men are self-employed they must also manage employees and do what it takes to increase their small business customer sales. At home, in addition to guiding their sons, single parent fathers must also help their daughters establish healthy self-esteem.

Unlike mothers who raise their children alone, single parent fathers may not know another man in the neighborhood or community who is filling the same role that they are.  This can cause single parent fathers to feel isolated.  To offset these challenges, organizations like American Coalition for Father’s and Children, The Fatherhood Coalition, Fathers and Families, National Center for Fathering and Father’s Network sponsor programs to help fathers meet the challenges of raising their children alone.

These men are heroes to their children just as William Smart was to his daughter, Sonora Dodd.  On Father’s Day and beyond, single parent fathers will have a lasting positive impact on their children, especially if they allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to afford their children the chance to truly get to know them.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond (a man who is raised by a single father), Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Sources:

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/013535.html (US Census Bureau Press Release)

http://www.fathers.com (National Center for Fathering)

The Magic You’ve Been Waiting for Has Always Been Yours

By Denise Turney

Book writers aren’t the only people who eagerly wait for the muse to arrive before they sit down and start creating. Musicians, songwriters, painters and . . . dare I say it . . . entrepreneurs also wait for the muse to strike before they make a decision or take action.

Waiting for the muse to strike, for magic to happen, might increase the likelihood that you’ll be successful at something. When the muse hits, your confidence might soar, causing you to feel as if you can’t fail.

However, waiting for magic to happen, could also put you behind the eight ball. In fact, it could paralyze you, leave you stuck between the best choice and the worst choice.

The good news is that the magic you might have been waiting for has always been yours. The muse you’ve been waiting to strike has always come from within you.

The challenge, at times, is figuring out how to tap into this muse. Some ways you can access the magic that’s inside of you are:

  • Trust the source of all life
  • Meditate (quiet your ego, so you can finally start hearing from your core, your authentic self)
  • Enjoy being outdoors for at least one uninterrupted hour a day (i.e. a walk, swimming, bike riding)
  • Soak in a bubble bath
  • Sit in a comfortable sauna
  • Brainstorm (sit down and start writing about things you want to appear in your life now, paying attention to what surfaces)
  • Engage in a relaxing conversation with family or friends (relaxation does wonders)
  • Keep a dream journal (dreams reveal a lot about what’s going on in our subconscious minds)
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Pay bills before you sit down to create, so your mind will be clear (the less you have on your mind, the better)

Get ready to do some exploring! Test various choices and actions, seeing how your subconscious responds to the stimuli. Be open to change. Be willing to continue trying new things until your core starts breaking through all the junk the ego has been shouting for days, perhaps years. The better you get at breaking through, the more magical your life may feel, not to mention the improvements you’ll see in your creative work.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Exposing the truth about writer rejection

By Denise Turney
Enter the world of a writer. Fuzzy, cloudy thoughts about an impending success that’s most certain to come, millions of book readers finally seeing what great talent the writer has always possessed. A willingness to forego parties, movie nights and long weekend getaways just to have time to finish another novel chapter – it’s a writer’s inner world, a choice a writer makes over and over.

Some writers pour hundreds, even thousands, of dollars into book marketing, steadfastly hoping to get their book in front of larger numbers of people. Add to that the fact that, for a writer, work never ends, ideas, plots, characters and twists surfacing in his or her bright, creative mind at all hours of the day or night.

Is it any wonder that a writer takes it personally, as if an editor or publisher just punched her in the stomach, each time she receives a rejection letter? As if that wasn’t enough, far too many rejection letters that writers receive are ‘canned’.

If a writer looks deeply enough, he could walk away with this glimmer of hope. He could recognize that, perhaps, an incredibly busy editor or publisher didn’t even take the time to read his manuscript. In that case, it’s so what about the rejection letter. Or the writer could come to the conclusion that the rejection letter does no more than group them with the other 99% of writers who submitted a manuscript to the same editor or publisher.

Get enough rejection letters and it’s not surprising for a writer to start doubting that she chose the right profession, perhaps even forcing the writer to conclude that, for her, novel writing will never be more than a hobby, despite fantasies and daydreams that declare just the opposite. After all, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 26% of novelists and non-fiction writers only write on a part-time basis.

Of note, 68% of writers are also self-employed. Additionally, the lion’s share of the writers reported on by the Statistics Bureau are non-fiction writers. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, corporations, marketing agencies and public relations firms are types of organizations many of these writers create content for.

Although non-fiction writers don’t generally have to read through a rejection letter the way a novelist does, non-fiction writers (especially those who are self-employed) do deal with job proposal rejection. It’s these points that make it absolutely necessary for a writer to have a tough interior if he plans to stick around long, possibly writing his way into the top 10% of writers, creative artists who earned, on average, more than $109,000 annually as of 2010.

Of course, the highest paid novelists, people like J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, James Patterson, Stephanie Meyer, Danielle Steel and Ken Follett, pull in tens of millions of dollars a year. And, perhaps, it’s these novelists’ tremendous success that lends an air of hope, a belief in their own potential (yet unrealized) success that keeps many lesser known writers churning out one novel after another, laughing at the words printed a on crisp rejection letter.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Are you waiting for a Mind Shift

By Denise Turney
It only takes a few seconds to verbalize a dream. However, it can take years, decades, to manifest a dream, in part because it may take years for your mind/thoughts to shift so you can receive the good things you’ve been asking for. Believe it or not, it took me years to get this.

Just saying you want something is not enough, especially if there are thoughts “hiding” in your subconscious or super-subconscious that speak the exact opposite of what you want 24/7. Can you imagine the inner conflict you’d be putting yourself through each time you uttered what you really want, your conscious mind asking for one thing/your subconscious demanding the opposite?

No outside force pulling you back, all of the conflict and resistance self-imposed, just hidden from your conscious mind. No one to blame, but action to start taking. As it is with parents, friends and other people who care for us, who want to see us do well, our minds try to protect us. It’s in this protection that we constantly avow that there’s something to fear, something that could hurt us. Each time we feel fear, our subconscious protective thoughts start playing, trying to keep us safe.

In effort to keep us safe, these subconscious thoughts also keep us from the good things we want. Like a catch-22, we find ourselves stuck, unable to move forward. One of two things may  happen. We’ll get tired of trying to break through our own subconscious barriers and quit, perhaps going on to live a life of despondency (not recommended) or we’ll keep pushing (resting as needed) until our subconscious thoughts start to shift.

Yes! We can receive miracles. Yes! Our love based dreams can come true, should come true. But, it might take longer than we expect. We might have to take risks to prove to our subconscious that we no longer need it to replay protective tapes in effort to keep us safe, to hold us back. We might have to try new things to prove to our subconscious mind that change is not a thing to fear, to prove that achieving our dreams will bring good, not something to dread or fear. Raymond Clarke learns this in Love Pour Over Me. You can learn to progress to receive want you truly want too!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Writers influence how people see life

By Denise Turney
Unless you’re a speed reader, I’m guessing it takes you two to three days to read a 250 page novel. Characters’ names, personalities, preference, challenges, strengths, scene locations and character  motivations jump out at you, becoming a part of your personal memories.

If you’re reading a book that’s replete with uplifting scenes and plots, it’s not a stretch to think that you’re feeling pretty good about life in general while you turn the novel’s pages. Read a novel that deals with murder, lies and mayhem and you might start wondering if the world is one big mistake. That, or you might start to believe you can’t trust nearly anyone (if anyone at all) fully, completely.

Writers have this kind of power. They can influence how you feel about life as a whole while you’re reading their books. Even more, writers can influence how you perceive yourself and those closest to you. This leads to the question of why you feel drawn to read certain types of books.

For example, do you absolutely love reading romance novels, murder mysteries, sci-fi, inspirational novels or chick lit? Could the love you have for these novels signal your desire to validate the way you perceive the world? Do we look for experiences, entertainment, news stories, etc. that help prove that the way we see life is right?

If so, could it be true that not one of our views or perceptions is right, just the way we want to see things? What do you think?

Get your copy of “Love Pour Over Me” Now at –

http://www.ebookit.com/books/0000001582/Love-Pour-Over-Me.html

Impact of Growing Up Poor on Children and Adults

By Denise Turney

It’s not only in America where incomes are widening, moving more of the world’s wealth into the hands of those who are already enjoying prosperity. It’s almost as if those who have are getting more, while those who don’t have are having the little they once owned taken from them. As Global Issues reports in its 2005 Poverty Facts and Stats report, “The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.”

Children Growing Up Poor

As with other national and global issues, it’s often children who suffer most from these and other disparities. For example, the report also states that as many as 22,000 children around the world die each day due to poverty. In the United States, the numbers of children living in poverty is increasing, in part due to the 2008 recession, some of their parents getting laid off or having their hours cut back.

Children who grow up poor in communities where some families have money, although perhaps not wealth, might feel different, as if something is peculiar about them, their siblings and parents. Over time, if economic conditions for some of these children do not change, the thought that it’s their lot in life to be poor could start to infiltrate their minds. If this happens, a cycle of poverty could work itself out in these children’s lives.

After all, most of us mimic one or more behaviors that our parents exhibited in front of us. If we hear how hard it is to land quality jobs, earning enough money to keep persistent bill collectors away from the door, everyday at home, in time, we might come to believe what we’re hearing is true. Add in the anger of one or more frustrated parents, and the weight of growing up becomes more clear.
If growing up poor isn’t too burdensome, too hard, as it manages not to be for Raymond Clarke, childhood friendships can help children who are growing up poor to incur a sense of hope, a belief that things will improve. It’s these friendships that can work to take some of the sting out of growing up poor. However, to break the cycle of growing up poor, children need to see, read about, hear about, etc. stories of everyday people who improved their financial situation after they became adults.

Without these occurrences, these positive rags-to-more than surviving stories, the weight of growing up poor could start to feel too heavy. After all, we all need positive experiences along-the-way to keep us encouraged to continue our journey in this world. It’s a reason the success of people who grew up poor empowers so many. It takes courage, persistence, vision, passion and commitment to change one’s life by great degrees. It also takes the support of one or more other people. As is made clear in Love Pour Over Me, we need each other.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

Sources:

http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats (Global Issues: Poverty Facts and Stats)

Mind tricks about love that could hold you back

By Denise Turney
Love is the most wonderful thing in the universe. It can’t be fully described. Words simply can’t give it definition, limiting it with vocabulary and human perception. Yet, we try.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love there is life.” Lao Tzu shared, “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Invisible to the naked eye, love defies the logic that asserts that physical size and strength translate into courage and insurmountable resolve. Perhaps Barbara de Angelis stated it best when she asserted, “Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.”

Is it any wonder that we all yearn for it our entire lives, can’t get enough of it?

Yet, there is a flip side to love’s equation, a regrettable side, and it is this. Love is the very thing we often feel we’re lacking. More regrettably, it’s also the thing we feel we can’t trust.

Don’t think so? Listen to your favorite songs, one refrain after another about how love comes at a high price. As if to reinforce our fears about love, we fill our sweetest poems and novels with warnings, alerting others about the risks of loving, how it sets us up for heartache. Is it any wonder we turn away from the very thing we yearn for, can’t live without?

To feel safe, tucked away from love, we might start playing mind tricks. For example, we might practice self-deception, trick ourselves into thinking that if we sacrifice what we really want, our one true love will magically appear. (This person is generally someone we believe would never, under any conditions, cause us to feel hurt.)

That, or we might spend hours daydreaming instead of being present. We might avoid using vision to create the life we truly want.

Another mind trick we might practice in order to feel as if we’re receiving love (while we’re actually running from love . . . trying to feel safe) is telling ourselves we’re comfortable about a job, relationship, etc. when we really aren’t. Does this sound familiar?

But, the number one queen size mind trick we play is waiting for something outside of us to move, to give us what we want. We keep waiting for magic to happen rather than taking responsibility for our own lives. It might feel good, safe, but it won’t help us move forward.

This was a hard lesson for Brenda to learn.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.

All writers should be wealthy

What a notion!  All writers are wealthy, absolutely loving life!

Talk about a wonderful world!  No writer gets her work rejected. Not only that, each writer receives no less than a five-figure payout for every single novel he writes. Oh, if it were only like that.

Have fun dreaming (or cashing those big checks, in case your a wealthy writer who has it like that!!) And if you’re just at the dreaming stage, here’s to hoping you soon make the leap to writing awesome, page-turning novels you genuinely love writing, novels that help you rake in the dough!

“Hang on, Snoopy!  Hang on!” Remember that song line?

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com, or any other online or offline bookseller and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Consider Love.