How you too can be a successful break out writer!

About a year ago, at the Lexicon Writer’s Conference I ran into a team of new writers. Buck Steinke and Ken Farmer. Immediately I was drawn to their ecclectic personality and antics. Their display table looked awesome. They were gregariously out there mingling and meeting. They were on the ticket to lecture to a packed room. They were on fire.

But how? How did two retired gentlemen who only published their first book a little over a year ago, become so popular so fast? It was something I wanted to find out. I found it was no secret. You’ve heard it before. They established a brand. Their brand and boy was it working.  The Black Eagle Force series.

Ken Farmer and Buck Steinke

Establishing their brand

Buck and Ken write in two genres, military fiction and action adventure. When they are out there, they are events that align with their brand . . gun shows, cowboy days, Indian events, military association gatherings, Western wear stores. Anything and everything that promotes their genre, their brand and thus . . .their books. It isn’t magic, its sound business sense.

Now, sure . . . they are retired and have time to do it. And they do it full time. But don’t go there, as a writer you can do it too.  However, they have another secret too. They have more than one book out there. They took the time to make sure they produced a second book, and then . . . a third, and a fourth. It is this type of succession that keeps their brand out there and keeps people wanting more. Most readers, if they like one book, will purchase a second from the same author.

So, really, it’s more than just successful branding and marketing. It is writing. We’ve all heard of the one hit wonder. As a writer, you do not want to be that. The proof is in the pudding. . . your second book.


There are some great lessons here:
1. Know your reader and your genre
2. Know what events are out there that match your reader and genre
3. Get booked into those events
4. Don’t be afraid to establish yourself as a character, an action hero, a cowboy, a philanthropist, a diva!
5. Get your calendar out and plot out which events will make you shine
6. Develop your marketing plan, start it, and keep the momentum going
7. Promote others that write well and guess what? They might just promote you.
6. Keep your keyboard and computer warm and running . . . keep writing!

Buck Steinke and Ken Farmer have become good friends and colleagues. I continue to be amazed to watch their brand grow successfully. They selected their genre carefully and have kept it narrow. As such, their novels have gotten onto Amazon’s top sales lists. Go take a peek for yourself.

Buck Steinke and Ken Farmer

Buck Steinke and Ken Farmer

The Nations
The Black Eagle Force seriesIf you get the chance, register and attend one of the most amazing, really helpful, networking conferences goign on in DFW – The Lexicon Writer’s Conference. What you will get there is a chance to network with writers who will promote you.  The founder’s philosophy is simply this:   “Would you rather hear someone saying ‘buy my book, buy my book’ or instead hear ten other people telling ten others to get this great book.”

At Lexicon you will hear talks on marketing, branding, social media knowhow.   You’ll meet publishers, agents, and successfull writers.  You’ll get a great bang for your buck and actually get a chance to meet these guys in person! I guarantee you’ll walk away motivated.   Don’t miss your chance to sign up.   Click here.


Unfriending, unfollowing, unsubscribing. . . what gives?

Tortoise with Tweet sign on shell

Slow and steady wins the race!

So you’re in writer’s marketing high gear.   You’ve set up your blog.  Tweeted and twittered.  Facebooked, liked, and followed.   You’ve read the marketing tips, blogs on social media success, tips on tweeting.   Smile on your face, you are surfing the social media maze.   Mail Chimp geared up, you’ve drafted a slick newsletter proclaiming your worthiness and upcoming events.    Poised, polished and ready to hit . . . . send.   Click.

And then BAM, your friend unfriended you.   Your follower unfollowed.  Your co-worker unsubscribed to your email blast.   What gives?   All that work.  All that energy.   How could they?  Why would they?  Why would they hurt your feelings so?

In a recent Forbes article, Eric Limer writes “Most of the time it’s due to offensive comments, or the fact that you were never real friends with people in the first place. But you can also get cut off for updating too frequently or too infrequently. If it makes you feel any better, “physical attractiveness” and “increasing friend count” rank 4 and 5 on the list of reasons to friend people in the first place, so you’re probably better off with fewer friends in that case.”  He goes on to list the following top six reasons that people unfriend, unfollow, and unsubscribe as:

1.  Offensive comments

2.  Don’t know you well

3.  You are trying to sell something

4.  You make depressing comments

5.  You don’t interact much with others

6.  You make political comments

Diana Adams, a social media blogger concurs.  In addition, she confirms that too much self promotion, obvious automation, being offensive, posting too many hashtags, and not driving real conversations are all doomsday for tweets.   Don’t be a used car salesman.   Sure, it takes about three or four points of contact before someone will make the connection and buy your book.   That is why follow-up is important.   Just don’t overdo it.   Pay it foward through promotion of others work as well.   A tweet or blurb about a book is always more powerful when it comes from someone other than you.    It’s more genuine.

So, it is essential that you create a blog, facebook page, and twitter page that present the brand and image that you want to show positively.   Keep your snide and downer comments in your personal diary.  Far, far away from your reading public.    As a writer, promo perky as you try to be; the rejection can be tough.    You put in hours of work and effort to have your neighbor down the street, click UN-     Harsh!

Balance your time with social media.   Don’t let it overwhelm you.    Writing is your gift.  Make sure you are giving it enough time.    Set a time limit for your social media and don’t let it drive you crazy!    Slap some Neosporin on your war wounds and just keep going.  Let the momentum build.   Slowly, but surely.  In the book marketing game, the tortoise wins the race.

Top five social media links you don’t want to miss!

Wagon full of social media logos facebook twitter youtube

Is your bandwagon full?

Just when you think you are hitting the wall, BAM!   A great networking site proves to be gold.   The World Literary Cafe, both their website and especially their group facebook page  are just platinum!    This site is for authors who are genuinely supporting authors.  There are plenty of sites that say they support authors, but come to find out the TLC comes with a  $$ price.    The synergistic networking that takes place immediately on signing up at World Literary Cafe just cannot be beat.

Traffic to my website AgeView Press, blog, twitter and facebook accounts increased exponetially in a week!    Thanks guys!    You really rock.   In surfing to the World Literary Cafe FB you will find discussions happening live with answers to many common issues within Indie Publishing.   There is a force moving!   The Indie world started as a ground swell, but expect it to surge to tsunami status.

Here are the Top Five Social Media links for today that you don’t want to miss!

1.   World Literary Cafe     Super discussions.  Author links.  Book reviews.   Fab networking gold!  Slogan?  #sharethelove4authors

2.  Reviewer Roundup on Facebook       Great place to find a jumping off point for your virtual book tour.

3.  Kobo     Now accepting Indie published ebooks with a 70% royalty!

4.   The    This is an article published just recently.  Evidence of the movement.  AM Heath  now supporting Indie authors!!

And the top link of the day which made the day worthwhile?

5.  The Online Converter         A way to convert your books and other files to epub for FREE!  That’s right.  FREE!

Enjoy and thank you for visiting.   Please share and link this page for your fellow writers and friends.   Don’t forget to follow on Goodreads !