Our family grows
Meet Selina Kyle, the newest addition to our family.
Of all the things I might have expected to happen over the Thanksgiving weekend, adopting a dog wasn't one of them. But my husband knows I'm a softie and partial to Great Danes. My husband's coworker knows that, too. Really, I never stood a chance.
This is either good marketing or extortion: know your target so well that he or she has no option but to accept. If you'd like to see how I relate the example of getting a new dog to a facet of effective marketing--knowing your audience--take a gander at this week's LinkedIn post.
And, yes, she's named after Catwoman. That's ironic, because our cats intimidate her. Especially Brutus, who has clearly expressed his displeasure. Guido and Alice aren't happy either. Sparky and Sally don't care.
So, let's face it, I've been occupied with the dog. Nothing much else is getting done--at least not today.
I do, however, have a cover for the short story that will be released in December as a Christmas gift for my readers. For those who don't recall (or didn't read) last week's blog, I will be releasing "Skeins of Gold," a retelling of the fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin. What makes this different from the usual run of fairy tales retold is that it's written from the perspective of the miller's daughter, who's trapped by her father's lie, the king's greed, and an imp's curse. The promised "happily ever after" of wedding a king doesn't appeal to her. Loyalty to her foolish father prevents her from denouncing him. The imp--the traditional villain of the story--takes on a heroic aspect. Oh, the story's suitable for most audiences: no explicit content.
What more could you want?
Be careful what you wish for #MFRWHooks
Willow: Branch 3 of the Tree of Life
By Holly Bargo
Free with Kindle Unlimited
Be care what you wish for, because you just might get it.
Willow should have taken heed of that familiar warning, because she wanted Dane’s attention and then got it. She wasn’t ready.
On assignment protecting a paranoid client at a convention, Dane Karl has finally found his mate, a very young sidhe ill-equipped to deal with a legendary mercenary warrior, fierce weretiger, and powerful sidhe all wrapped up in one big, badass package.
His plan for a slow courtship ruined by the catastrophe that destroys the conference hotel, he claims Willow as his mate to keep her safe from the demons hunting sidhe flesh and sidhe magic. Willow must find her strength to stand up to her legendary husband’s overbearing ways, deal with the shade of his long dead, sidhe wife, and survive the demons after them.
Can an ancient warrior learn to love? Can a young, untried sidhe find her strength?
This is the third and final book of the Tree of Life trilogy.
Back to school
Because I find myself spending far too much time chasing down gigs, I enrolled in a marketing course to help me target the "right" clients. The beginning exercise requires that I define what I do and whom I serve, as well as provide a realistic description of the ideal client.
Wow, that's more difficult than I thought it would be. First of all, the broad term that describes what I do is "write and edit." That makes me, generally, a "writer and editor." But, wait, there's more! I'm also a "freelance writer," "freelance editor," "content provider," "blogger," and half a dozen or more other things as well that all basically point to the same concept. Writer. Editor. For hire.
Try performing a Google search on "freelance writer." You'll have to go several pages in before an individual's name comes up. Most of the search results focus on the how to become a freelance writer, how to make a living as a freelance writer, how to find work as a freelance writer. Many others are platforms where people can hire freelance writers. If I ran a Google Adwords campaign on "freelance writer" alone, I'd have to pay thousands a month just to show up in the first five pages of results. Not first five results, but five pages of results.
Then my homework entailed describing my ideal client. That, of course, sent my mind veering off to current and past clients with whom I truly enjoy working. What that comes down to is I look forward to producing content for them and feel fairly rewarded by their business. Unfortunately for me and this assignment, there's little commonality among those clients. They have no commonality in business type, business focus, industry, or market. What they do have in common is a positive client-vendor relationship. I'm happy to work for them; they seem happy to have me work for them. I find those traits difficult to quantify or list.
As with many things, I'm probably overthinking it. The crux of the problem, however, remains in the broad application of what I do. Does a company need content produced for it? A newsletter? Blog? Annual report? Website copy? Brochure? Proposal? If so, then that's probably right up my alley. Does a company produce content that needs improvements? Brochures? Proposals? Newsletters or magazines? Business plans? Annual reports? Again, I have trouble quantifying or listing target "products" within target industries.
I can exclude a few when it comes to producing content. Technical writing isn't my bag. Neither is medical writing. A lot of scientific writing doesn't suit me, either: I simply haven't the background or knowledge to be of much use as a writer for such projects. But I can edit the work in any field to ensure correct grammar, focus on active voice, and so forth.
There's a reason I suck at marketing and I'm beginning to learn how to quantify those reasons in order to improve. But business success requires marketing. Since I don't have an unlimited budget, effective marketing is necessary. I have no budget to waste.
I don't believe that marketing is solely based on a "Hey, hire me!" outreach. It also includes a softer approach, such as a demonstration of value. To that end and to show you that I'm really not the greedy shrew this article suggests, I will have a Christmas gift for everyone. Coming soon, I will publish a short story based on the centuries-old fairy tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Told from the perspective of the miller's daughter caught between the proverbial rock and hard place--a father's lie, a king's greed, and an imp's ulterior motives--the story contains no explicit romance. Remember, though, fairy tales were originally written for adult entertainment, so the adult themes remain.
Look for "Skeins of Gold" to be posted as a free download by December 25.