Spring Blossoming

spring 2012 019
Apple Blossom
spring 2012 015
Oregon Grape flower. Produces tiny blue berries, not for humans.

Flowers, trees and bushes are in bloom around my yard, as are the weeds, and pollen in many colors coats everything. Gentle rains have washed the air clearer, though has made the pollen stick like glue, and I’m a bit more alert today. There are plenty in my family who suffer with allergies to trees, grass, and anything airborne and I’m thrilled not to be one who needs meds just to breathe or see, but I was affected with the drowsies, the drippies, and the pollen mouth.

I finally got a burst of energy this week and was able to catch up on all types of tasks, including email, bills, and most of my writer activities. But alas, the strong spring sunshine through the windows and skylights has revealed I am rather lax on my dusting. Fortunately, it is cloudy today so that task can wait.

Cathy Lamb presented a wonderful workshop last Saturday and I hope it’s a sign of great workshops all year as that’s my job as VP of Programs for the RCRW chapter.  I’m over halfway through Cathy’s latest novel, A Different Kind Of Normal” and anticipate it will get a 5 star review from me when I’m done. I was tempted by the title and I was sold with the first sentence, “My mother told me all about the witches in our family.” Hm, I’m wondering about this witch theme that is currently influencing my reading.

Aside from the pollen in my environment, and witches in my pleasure reading, I’ve also noticed a few business articles about “The P’s of Marketing” in the world of books. As I am one of the co-founders of Author Marketing 101, I have an opinion on which “P’s” are the primary ones for published authors to know – Push, Pull, POP, and Persona. Yet others espouse the P’s to know are Publicity, Promotion, Public Relations; or, Product, Platform, Profiles, and Price.

Both are due the first of August!
Both are due during the first week of August!

Now all these “P’s” could generate a lot of spit but I’m keeping a perspective on the process of publishing and book purchases because the primary “P” that brings me pleasure is: PREGNANT.

My daughter is expecting a girl for her first baby, my niece is having her second son. This is a special picture as my niece was in Portland for work, and is now back in San Diego, and won’t be traveling until after the baby is old enough to travel as well.

There is only one buried old photo of me and a sister when we were pregnant at the same stage, but we did not have the same glow as these young mothers as it was my third child and her fifth.

As spring blossoms, so does the next generation. There will be projects, and presentations, and parties in the months to come, but I’m wondering if there will also be more witches.

Parallel Lives Lead to Lasting Friendship

In February 2009 I was new to blogging and used the word “synchronicity” in a post. I got a comment from Rob MacGregor that he didn’t see the synchronicity and he wondered why I used that word. He and his wife had recently started a blog on synchronicity because they were writing a book on the topic. Our online relationship has continued and since I was blogging to develop my Author Persona it was influenced by that first contact with Rob & Trish.

Morgan and I were barely acquainted in 2009 when we both attended a workshop on marketing for authors. We both had such a visceral reaction to the presentation we could read the other’s anger from across the room. So we hooked up and decided we’d put together a marketing presentation that was valid. We started meeting monthly and soon presented a short overview of marketing basics to our writing chapter. Attendees (many published authors) were stunned that this was such new information and requested a more in-depth workshop.

As we continued to develop our Author Marketing 101 message we learned the need was great and we should bring a business focus to our workshop so it could be more easily promoted to lots of other chapters and authors. Morgan and I also came to learn we shared a lot of things!

We are both from Cleveland, Ohio and now live in Portland, Oregon because of our professional focus – in the electronics industry. Our approach to business is rooted in the core value of helping others and giving freely. We share an “open hand” approach to life, but we aren’t afraid to close our hand if we feel abused or misused. Both of us were raised in households filled with faith, but also are willing to question and be open to energies and God’s infinite possibilities. Introspective and energy work are critical components of who we are and how we choose to travel through this plane of existence. Our stars complement each other, almost perfectly – kinda scary.

So in March of 2012, Morgan and I have been amazed at how our AM101-Author Persona message is expanding in only a year and has become so fun for us, and beneficial to our author friends. We were at an intimate writer conference in WA and chatting in a parking lot with a literary agent from NJ. She ruffled through the draft of our workbook and stated, “This looks very professional. You two need to build your platform.”

This is so obvious that Morgan and I are stunned. It’s a combination “Aha!”  “Of Course!” AND “How the (expletive) do we do that?” A platform is a Marketing 101 concept required for any professional service business. Our message is that a platform does not apply to Novelists –  they need an Author Persona. But a Platform does apply to us regarding our AM101 message about the Author Persona being the dynamic core of a novelist’s marketing plan.

Morgan and I had created a free blogspot site where we put our 7 primary AM101 points into static pages to reside forever available in cyber space. But we weren’t doing anything with that blog, it was just an electronic handout for our workshop.

But as I was initiating my Author Persona back in 2009, my connection with the MacGregors was because they were blogging to build their platform and write their book. Hence, in May of this year, Morgan and I started blogging 3x a week and that’s when synchronicities seemed to happen every week as we would be inspired for a new post, or recruit a Guest Post. Our workbook will now have better examples and be a greater benefit to authors. We’ll be working on it again after the new year.

Because Morgan and I pay attention to synchronicities beyond the potential for a good parking space, we appreciate being able to see layers of synchronicities that build on each other. And that – to me – is a HUGE deal because though synchronicity is flavored with magic and mystery, it’s also the foundation for what is practical and good business.

And now, our Author Marketing 101 message is just what Trish and Rob need now they are Indie publishing their extensive back list of novels. And I’m thrilled they came to me for advice on their marketing.