The Hippy-dippy Commune Business Model

First posted on the Xchyler Publishing blog, Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I can just hear the moans: “It’s Marketing Wednesday, and here comes Scott again! “ Yeah, yeah! Pipe down, the lotta yuz!

This week has been an interesting one in Marketing. First, we interviewed and extended an invitation (read: baited the trap) for a new Marketing associate; second, we took baby steps toward our first presence in brick-and-mortar stores; and third—and perhaps of more interest to the authors—we (I) began begging and pleading for authors to support one another’s marketing efforts. I haven’t gotten to threatening and cajoling yet, mostly because I’m better at begging and pleading, but I have a feeling it will come to that, and let me relate a conversation that illustrates why:

We all know the power of social media (SM)—or we should, anyway—and we’re working with various bloggers on one-hand-washes-the-other kinds of arrangements, where we provide them with blog contents, and they provide us with the opportunity to mention our work in front of their readers. In casting about for a quick and dirty way to explain to a non-business person how it is we differ from the competition, I hit on the phrase, “It’s kind of a hippy-dippy writing commune, without the sex, drugs, or rock-and-roll.” And it fit. We’re all in this quixotic quest together, so if a title succeeds, we all succeed, and if a title fails, we all fail. All of us.

Even if you’re not the author of a particular title, how your book is promoted and marketed is effected by the success of the other titles in the catalog: we set aside a portion of our royalties for marketing expenses. There’s got to be money in the kitty before we can spend it. We’re not the Federal government.

The other—and way more important—consideration is the weight of numbers. Just ask anyone who has self-published how hard it is to get people to spend time reading and reviewing their book, and they’ll tell you: it’s easy to get Mom to read it, write a “sock puppet” review on Amazon, and put up five stars on Kobo. It might even be easy to get two or three family members and friends to do the same. Trouble is, the people who run the search engines are very smart, and they know that too. For your book to show well in the searches it needs to have lots of reviews, and they need to be varied.

So what’s the best way to get informed, perceptive readers to look at your stuff, review it, and post an honest opinion? Right here in The X family! The readers are pre-screened (everybody here can write, or s/he wouldn’t be here), intelligent, literate, entrepreneurial. More importantly, they all have a stake in your success. And you in theirs.

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One Response to The Hippy-dippy Commune Business Model

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