Is misspelling the path to Internet sales success?

A little fun with words on this pic of Tori Spelling, but nevertheless an important point about how mistakes might help us out in our online marketing efforts.

This month, my online marketing efforts have focused on promoting the ebook version of my latest thriller, The Brink, on the Barnes & Noble website. I did this because I’m thinking there are an awful lot of people that got nook eReaders for Christmas and they are looking for eBooks for it. B&N.com is selling it at $7.99, 20% off the cover price.

I’ve used both google and facebook ads in the past, and it’s been my experience that FB ads just don’t work for me. Once people are on FB, they want to stay on FB. They just aren’t willing to leave it to go to a website to buy a book. I have been getting emails on how to use FB ads to direct folks to my FB author page and to increase the interaction, but alas, time has been at a premium lately and I simply haven’t been able to research that topic. 

So, I am staying with Google Adwords. I used their keyword tool to help me figure out which are the best keywords to use for my ad campaign, and a funny thing happened. Misspellings of Barnes & Noble had almost the same number of hits that correct spellings did.

Case in point, here are the top 5 keywords I used and the coresponding performance data:

“Barnes & Noble” –  69 clicks out of 3,706 impressions

“barnes and nobles” – 53 clicks out of 3,800 impressions

“barns and noble” – 52 clicks out of 2,119 impressions – highest click thru rate at 2.45%

“barns and nobles” – 36 clicks out of 1,539 impressions

“barnes and noble” – 10 clicks out of 1,113 impressions

These numbers are based on a $.50 cost per click ceiling and a $20 a day budget. As you can see, not huge spelling errors here, but it pays to keep in mind that people are not the best spellers. Either they type incorrectly or they simply misspelled the word. Either way, it pays to remember to include misspelled keywords in your online campiagns… 🙂

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and author. Bestselling author Sandra Brown recently had this to say about Mark’s latest novel, The Brink: “[The Brink] is a hell of a read. The chemistry between [the main characters] Danny and Sydney is terrific. The action sequences were heart-pounding!” Check out The Brink and Mark’s other books at www.markfadden.com.

The Brink is now available as an eBook for Amazon.com Kindle  and Barnes & Noble nook for only $2.99!

Press Release – Monthly book club for adults begins at WPL

By Melissa Winn

mwinn@star-telegram.com

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‘ & –>The good news, if you’re a writer, is there’s never been an easier time to get published.

The bad news, if you’re a writer, is there’s never been an easier time to get published.

That’s the message author and former Weatherford resident Mark Fadden shared at the Weatherford Public Library last week during the initial meeting of The Edge Bookclub Jan. 18.

WPL Director Dale Fleeger said the club will meet every third Tuesday of the month through May 2011.

Geared toward adults, the theme for this month was “On the Edge of My Seat” and readers were encouraged to check out books on mystery, true crime and the supernatural.

Fadden was invited to speak about his latest novel, The Brink, a Dan Brown-inspired faction (a blend of fact and fiction), and also about the business of being what he terms an “authorpreneur.” He has been a freelance writer for nine years and The Brink is his third novel.

“One of the things you have to ask yourself is, what’s your end purpose?” Fadden said.

Giving examples of other authors who’ve self-published material including James Joyce, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain and John Grisham, Fadden explained the pros and cons of doing it yourself.

He also shared with the audience the best ways to take advantage of social media and what he thought the future of books would be in light of the popularity of e-books and e-Readers like the Kindle and the Nook.

“Only 9 percent of all bookstore sales are attributed to e-books and print book sales were $4 billion last year,” he said. “Last year alone, there were 550,000 books published; that’s about 1,500 a day.”

He added, however, that electronically publishing a book is beneficial to the writer because it gives them “street cred.”

“If you’re a real-estate agent, you could do a book on how to sell a house in five days,” Fadden suggested. “The thing is anybody who has an idea or a way to do something can e-publish. And it can be 20 pages; it doesn’t have to volumes.”

At the end of the evening, Fadden took questions on both publishing and The Brink and signed copies of the novel . He donated a portion of the sales from the night to the Friends of the Weatherford Public Library.

Fleeger said anyone who’s interested in the book club is welcome to attend. The next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Feb.15 and the topic is “Life on the Edge.” Readers should check out books on relationships, biography and social issues.

At the end of the series, a drawing will be held for those who’ve filled out the Reading Log with the Dewey number of the books they’ve read each month. Entries are due by May 31 and the drawing will be June 1.

For more information, call 817-598-4150.

Melissa Winn, 817-594-9902, ext. 104

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/01/24/2792494/monthly-book-club-for-adults-begins.html#article_comments#ixzz1C1QfaSHO

Press Release – Pots n’ plots with a dash of the author thrown in

Lisa Panno, David O'Briant, Kay Adams, Rosemary Kayem, and Mark Fadden cook food featured in Fadden's latest thriller, The Brink, at Colleyville Market Street's Dish culinary school.

Authors are like most entrepreneurs, they are always on the lookout for new ways to promote their books. That’s why Colleyville author Mark Fadden jumped at the chance to appear at the latest Market Street cooking school event. 

“I’ve had many book signings and given several lectures about writing, but I’d never done anything like this,” said Fadden about the recent Pots n’ Plots class where attendees cooked several dishes from his latest suspense thriller, The Brink. “But I figured if it combined reading and eating, two of my favorite things, then that’s the definition of win-win.” 

Judy Waitkus, Culinary Manager at Market Street grocery store in Colleyville, led attendees as they first made fruit salad with honey, crab cake sandwiches and even a dish called, “Eggs Carver” that one of the characters in the book had named after himself. Attendees clustered in small groups as they cooked the various dishes, and then got to eat them while they discussed Fadden’s book with him. “I had an absolute blast,” Fadden remarked of the laid-back evening that included sipping on Shiner Bock beer, which was also featured in the book, as he answered questions from attendees. “It was totally different from sitting behind a table signing books or standing at a podium speaking. To be able to cook a meal with everyone and then sit around and eat while talking books with what I consider a group of new friends, well life doesn’t get too much better than that.” 

The Brink is Fadden’s third suspense thriller. Not only does it feature a lost Constitution article, it uses real-world economic numbers to weave an intricate conspiracy tale that takes up where the recent financial meltdown left off. Published in May 2010, it has already won two awards and has been nominated for a third. Readers can find out more about Fadden, his books and future appearances at www.markfadden.com.

 The Dish culinary schools are located at two of the Dallas-Fort Worth Market Street locations, in Colleyville and McKinney. The Dish culinary school offers classes, like “Making Seafood Easy” and “Bacon, Bacon, Bacon!”, for all level of cooks taught by their own chefs as well as leading experts from around the country. For more information on the Colleyville Market Street Dish Event Center call Judy Waitkus at (817) 577-5047 or visit www.marketstreetunited.com.

10,000 hours to writing success?

I’m reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, the best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point, and I just finished the chapter about how it takes 10,000 hours to become an “expert” at something. He gives the reader many examples of this phenomenon, including the cases of Bill Joy, the founder of Sun Microsystems, and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and how they were able to log 10,000 hours (many more actually) of time writing computer code during the birth of the personal computer revolution and how they used that experience to capitalize on those moments when their skills were needed.

Gladwell points out that not only is it about the 10,000 hours, but it’s also just as much about using that experience when the opportunity strikes. I happen to agree with him. Now, there’s no question that these people have talent, but it was their commitment to practicing their craft, making it better and better and better with time, that made them become the success stories that they are. Agree? Disagree?  

Now, 10,000 hours for a young person like Gates and Joy were at the time, would only take them a few years to log due to the fact they hod alot of discretionary time and would stay at the computer labs for countless hours. Most of us are adults with jobs, children and other responsibilities. So, the question must be asked, how long does it take to get to 10,000 hours in “adult time?” Well, let’s reverse engineer it.

Let’s say you budget 10 hours a week writing. That means 500 a year (52 weeks in a year minus 2 weeks off for vacation 🙂 ) So, at 500 hours a year, it would take you 20 years to become, in Gladwell’s eyes, an expert on writing. Just some food for thought.

And here’s another morsel for the old noggin: what about the opportunity part of it? The publishing industry is at a crossroads. We have a completely new world in the form of epublishing. As writers, we can also now be publishers. We have never had the opportunity to wield so much power over our own destinies. If you have 10,000 hours of writing  experience under your belt, how can you use that to take advantage of this amazing opportunity?

BTW, as long as we’re talking about food (sort of,) I am doing something really exciting tonight. It is called Pots&Plots. Our local grocery store, Market Street, has a cooking school and the director, Judy Waitkus, invited me to attend their class as they are cooking one of the dishes from my latest thriller, The Brink. We’ll be doing crab cake sandwiches and chasing them down with Shiner Bock beer. Doing a cooking school appearance is certainly new for me, and I bet its something that most of us are not used to doing on our book tours. I can’t wait to share how the class went so that maybe you too can get involved with your local schools. At the very least, you’re guaranteed to get a free meal out of it. You only have to make it first.

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Signed copies of The Brink are available 20% off the cover price at www.shop.markfadden.com.

New Ereader? Download the eBook version of The Brink in seconds, for less than $8.

The secret to a successful press release

I’ve released a few press releases lately, so it’s got me thinking: what’s the difference between a press release that’s used and one that’s a waste of time and effort? Most times, just a few words.

Summer Snow Storm? A freak summer snow storm is sweeping through town.

The snowcone shack in Smithville invites you to cover an event in the parking lot on July 5 at 5pm.

Which of these two events would you rather hear about on the news? Well, they’re the same event, just worded differently in two different press releases about the same ficitonal promotional event where a snowcone business dumped a truckload of shaved ice in front of their store and invited all the neighborhood kids out to play in it.Jeff Crilley, a former TV reporter and CEO of a public relations firm in Dallas, Texas outlined this scenario in his Free Publicity book. Ultimately, just like our stories do, our promotions about our books comes down to wording it right. In Free Publicity, Crilley suggests wording the press release, especially the title and first couple of sentences, to grab the frantic assignment editor’s attention as he or she is rifling through PRs as they’re scooped out of the fax machine bin. Reading that first two sentences of the first PR above, the AE is probably picturing their reporter using those exact words over the air. That means less work for their reporters to think up things to say. Less work for the staff on a deadline equals a better chance that your PR will be used.

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Signed copies of The Brink are available 20% off the cover price at www.shop.markfadden.com.

New Ereader? Download the eBook version of The Brink in seconds, for less than $8.

Escape from New York?

A boatload of work prevents me from a full post today. But I did want to share a link to this article from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, my hometown newspaper, entitled, “Authors see e-books as escape from publishers.” Personally, I think the New York houses are still viable and very much needed and I agree wholeheartedly with one quote from the article about publishing houses being the, “venture capitalists for authors.” As an authorpreneur, that is the perfect way to look at them!

Have a great day everyone!

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Mark Fadden is a freelance writer and award-winning author of Five Days in Dallas and The Brink. Signed copies of The Brink are available 20% off the cover price at www.shop.markfadden.com.

New Ereader? Download the eBook version of The Brink in seconds, for less than $8.

It’s the Characters, Stupid

“It’s the economy, stupid.” That one sentence, spoken by then Clinton campaign strategist James Carville during the 1992 presidential campaign, referred to the notion that Clinton was a better man for the job because then President George H.W. Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which was still healing from a recession.

Those four words still have resonance today and will continue to resonate into eternity because in politics you can talk about your plans for a better future, better education, better technology for the masses, better transportation, better energy that’s cleaner and more abundant, but if the economy is in the crapper, all the other grand plans and ideas don’t mean zip.

Writing, I think, is the same way, a notion I was reminded of during my lecture on being an “authorpreneur” last night. I was giving my “Beyond the Book: how being an authorpreneur will help you sell more books and make lifelong fans” at the Weatherford Public Library in Weatherford, Texas. They are starting a new book club and wanted me to come talk about the writing life, how to get published, how to get an agent, and my latest novel, The Brink. During the end of the lecture, I opened it up for questions and we talked about how I do my research, the formula for a successful thriller, and the conspiracy behind the book. Then, out of nowhere, one lady raised her hand and said that, for her, what made her like the book wasn’t all the action and conspiracy and suspense, it was the characters. The main character, Danny Cavanaugh, who also is the main character in my first novel, Five Days in Dallas, is a troubled soul, to say the least. In Five Days in Dallas, he was a Dallas detective that had some issues that had plagued him for most of his life and that he had dealt with by self medicating with the bottle. In The Brink, he is now a fugitive Texas Ranger on the run for killing a dirty FBI agent. In some respects he’s grown, in some he hasn’t. It’s only when he meets the woman in The Brink, Sydney Dumas, who forces him to deal with his issues while they are running for their lives, does he actually begin to take a hard look at himself for the first time in his life. I must admit, I love his character, and her character, too.

Anyway, her comment about it being “all about the characters” touched off a long discussion about characters and we came to find out that for all the people in the room, it is mainly about the characters. Readers see bits and peices of themselves in characters, either who they are or who they would like to be. If they didn’t care about the characters, and fast (meaning a few pages into the book) they would close the cover and be on to the next book.

“It’s the characters, stupid.” No one actually said those words last night, but I will make sure that no matter how fast-paced, suspense-packed or conspiracy-laced I make my next story, I will remember those words. I’ve already put them on a sheet of paper and taped it up next to my computer.

What about you? Do you agree about the importance of characters? Or is there something else that’s more important? To the keyboards!

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The Brink by Mark Fadden has just been nominated for the Star Award from its publisher! Read more about The Brink and Mark’s writing at www.markfadden.com.