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Richard Verry

Sex Sells

Sex Sells

Today, I thought I would write about how sex sells. In some ways, I wish that weren’t the case. In other ways, I’m pleased that it does.

Is that a paradox? A conflict? A contradiction?

Sex Sells samplesMaybe, but sex sells. Even when I was an adolescent, advertisements depicting a sexy girl, or even just her lingerie, appealed to me. Now, remember, this was in the age before personal computers, and nudie magazines were just getting underway. Yep, I’m dating myself. What I had available to me was the NY Times advertisements for ladies undergarments, National Geographic of back world communities, and Learn how to draw the female figure books.

 

Since those days, I’ve realized that everything, from selling cars, tobacco, alcohol, or even children’s toys, sex is somehow used to draw in the buyer. For me, and I presume most people across the planet, I tend to skip over ads of just the product, but put a sexy face, hand, body, or whatever, and I pause. This goes for men and women. Remember the Marlboro man? He didn’t interest me, but it did appeal to many of my female friends of the day. Just look at the photo, would any one of these ads cause you to stop for a moment. Of course they would. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.

So?

Sex Sells animation

So, what is it about the phrase sex sells. I know that marketers are determined to get their audience to give their product the once over. Once someone pauses to check out the product, they know that there is an excellent chance to sell that product to the viewer. It’s mass marketing on a grand scale. If they can get a hundred among a thousand to stop and look at the pretty face in the advertisement, and of those one hundred, one buys the product, they win. Why? Because they advertised to millions.

Do the math. Volume counts and the products sell. You just have to know your audience and your intended target.

The Trafficking ConsortiumNow, how do I apply that to marketing my books, on a shoestring budget? I wish I knew. I am advertising, for sure. Instinctively, I also knew I needed a sexy girl or image on my book covers. Most have the girl; all have the sex. Among the millions of books out there, how do I capture the interest of the person casually perusing shelf after shelf of books? It’s on the cover. It is my primary advertising.

They say, ‘a picture is equal to a thousand words.’ That is so true for me. Is it for you?

Categories
Books Indie-publishing Publishing Richard Verry Writing

Marketing and Self-Publishing

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to writing and marketing my books. I’ll tell you; I much prefer writing over marketing. As an independent publisher, I have to split my valuable time between the two. It seems that at most times, the split is not even. Rather, the nod goes to marketing rather than writing.

Everything is possible, nothing is impossible, it's all in the attitude
Changing the word impossible to possible.

Which is a curse in its own way. The best marketing tool is good inventory, though the definition of good, in this case, is broad. Spending much of my valuable time in marketing is, in some ways, an evil. A necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless.

For the average reader and customer of books, I know you don’t necessarily care about this topic, but believe me, it is the bane of most writers, even those that have made it in this competitive world. Regardless of how we market, we all do. Whether we do book signings at the behest of our publishers or spend a few minutes a day following up with our social media drills and the like, it takes time away from our real passions, writing the next great novel.

So, if there are any publishing house out there interested in exclusive rights, let’s talk. I’m open to ideas.

In the meantime, I’m going to drink another cup of coffee and muddle on. I have some ideas for my next novel. Have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Rich

Categories
Books creativity Fantasy fiction growth

Essay on self marketing.

Instead of writing, I have been studying. My research includes a plethora of books, websites I’ve found, webinars, and social media threads. What am I studying?

By now, you know that I am an author, independently publishing my books on Amazon and all of various eBook outlets and distributors. I also have some of my books available as paperbacks. I created a website to promote my creative works. Yes, I am also an artist. I paint and draw for fun. I don’t actively sell my art.

I focus my attentions on my writings. I write creative fiction. My stories revolve around mystery and suspense stories of an erotic nature. Some tell me that one series of my books are akin to science fiction. Frankly, I was surprised by that comment. I never thought of them that way. They are set thousands of years in our future but does that make them sci-fi?My other series of books tend to focus on criminal acts of assault, torment, and murder. These books are not science fiction.

What I am not, is a marketer. In all of my education, I have never studied marketing. I don’t know how to market myself, my products nor even my career. I have a master’s degree in Information Technology. I never took even a single course on how to market myself. How is that even possible?

Today, I am studying marketing. More specifically, I am studying how to market myself and my books. Frankly, it’s a daunting task. I’ve encountered setbacks, mistakes, and minor successes. I’ve spent thousands of dollars hiring marketing people, test adverts, rebuilding my websites, and learning.

I’ll be the first to admit. I don’t know what I’m doing. I make mistakes, lots of mistakes. I am slowly learning. It’s frustrating. I listen to experts. I work hard to implement the lessons I’ve learned. I am intelligent. I know my mission. I found good people. I found people who don’t get me or my vision.

Taste of Honey book cover 3D
The Taste of Honey

I found people who tried to tell me to sell to a target audience that I instinctively knew was wrong. In one such lesson, I was advised to target the LGBT community because they were simply a smaller target group but big enough to make progress in new sales. Was this wrong?

No, I don’t think so. The problem? Since my stories include women kissing and having sex together, made the stories perfect in targeting the LGBT community.

The trouble was, these characters are heterosexual. In the universe I created, they simply don’t have any stigmas against same-sex intercourse. They don’t share today’s morality related to sex and relationships. This person didn’t get it. Fine. Move on. Lesson learned.

Today, I am studying. I am researching. I am learning. In short, I’m trying. I am determined. I’m opening a new chapter in my training. Come what may, it will work or not. I’ll keep on trying, working, and figuring it out. Wish me luck.

Categories
Authors Books chaos creativity LeahHart opportunity

Teaching me to Fish

For the last couple of days, someone who many of you know, alright, my friend Leah Hart, has been teaching me to write story blurbs. At first, I didn’t understand the term ‘blurb’ in the context of my books. Even that, she had to drill into me.

boy fishingIt’s been a hard road for me and fraught with stress and frustration. I woke up this morning feeling like I was back in grammar school and earning a failing grade on my assignments. Crap! I even went into work this morning telling the story and describing my feelings. Normally, a ‘B+’ or ‘A’ student, I felt I had earned nothing more that a ‘D’. It was agonizing.

Chasing almighty dollarPart of me kept saying to myself, “Just write the damn thing for me. I’ll then use it as a model for the future.” And yet, she held back, probably shaking her head in her own frustration over my lack of progress.

I believe I’m good at writing stories and plot concepts. I also know that I suck at marketing, selling and that talent one has in getting someone to buy. I’ve met a lot of people over the years who could sell snow to a polar bear. Me? I’ve never had that talent. Which is why I hire people to help me.

Yet, I am aware enough that until I can get a major publisher to pick up my contract or get a movie producer to buy the movie rights to my stories, I have to do much of it myself. As much as I struggle in learning this talent, I know I need to do it.

28062560_sI need to fish rather than have the fish handed to me. I can’t help wishing it could be different but for now, that is not to be.

So, I’m back to school and studying the techniques Leah and others have been trying to pound into my head.

OUCH! That hurts. I jest as I rub the back of my head. It does hurt and I’m not too shy to say it. It does and I appreciate those that help me fish. Thank you Leah. Thank you to all of my mentors, whether I know you personally or whether you’re one of the hundreds of articles I have read on the topic.

This is Richard Verry, reporting to you live from the single room school house all alone and with lots of homework to do.

Categories
Artwork Books

Marketing on Social Media

So, I’ve been on social media for a while now, and the more I learn about it, the more I realize that it is an important part of marketing my books and artwork. The folks who I now following have lots of great ideas and thoughts that make a whole lot of sense to me. I hope that my posts do the same for you.

What bothers me is that it seems that I have to pay attention to the feeds throughout the day, everyday. Don’t get me wrong, it can be fun but it can be tedious as well.

I struggle with the idea that I have to post multiple times a day. I don’t believe that I would do justice to my followers. The ones I’ve been in direct contact with, tell me that my thoughts and insights are interesting. They want to read them. Makes me smile. Thanks to all who get this far in my essay.

So, back to struggling with this whole new venture involving social media. I find that I seem to be spending more time marketing than writing or painting. I also have a real full-time job. I don’t want that to be jeopardized by what I do here.

So, how do I balance everything? I presume that in the years to come, I’ll figure it out and it won’t be so intrusive on my time. Yet, I have a driving need to promote my creative works. It’s not so much selling my books or my fine art. It’s more that I love the idea of people appreciating my work enough that they want their very own copy of it, or the original for that matter when it comes to my art.

I’m not saying that I am a world class author or artist. Time will tell in that front. But, I believe I’m good and I’ll only get better by doing what I love to do.

Writing and painting. Right now, writing has the nod. But how do I do that while promoting, marketing and supporting myself on a shoestring budget.

Your thoughts and ideas are most welcome. Please send me your thoughts. I really want to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and have a cup of coffee or tea; a glass of wine or the taste of a good woman or man. Till next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, which isn’t much.