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?
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.
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.
A project officially ended today, but not because it was completed. The client's feedback as to why she decided to discontinue the project brought into focus the limitations of a ghostwriter: I can't read minds.
My ghostwriting process is collaborative. Sure, it takes longer, but it's supposed to satisfy the client's content needs by ensuring that the content delivered is what the client wants. This time the process failed. I may have misunderstood what little feedback I received. Or the client may have failed to deliver the feedback necessary to explain her preferences. That point on that project is moot, but not on other projects.
In the ghostwriting process, the client has the responsibility and obligation to review the content and provide feedback. The ghostwriter can only guess as to what the client really wants. Critical feedback provides necessary direction so the writer can revise accordingly. Feedback that basically goes, "This is good," doesn't help if the client wants something different.
I admit to being disappointed, because I thought I'd been doing a good job. I never received word otherwise or that I'd veered down the wrong track with the story. However, I now have a lesson learned to employ with future ghostwriting contracts. I must emphasize with clients that, no, I cannot read their minds and that, yes, I do need their critical feedback. Oddly enough, one client who has been very critical does just that. Sometimes, I find his feedback frustrating and need more explanation. Sometimes, I disagree with his feedback and explain why I disagree with him. In those cases, he will sometimes come around to my way of thinking; other times, I yield and revise accordingly. It is, after all, not my book. He hired me because I'm the writing expert. I work for him because it's all about his plot and his characters. Just because the client may not have the time or skill to bring the story to life doesn't make the story mine and doesn't mean he has no idea of what the finished product should be like. My name won't go on the manuscript or the book's cover.
Let's repeat that: It's not my story.
Ghostwriting is a weird profession. The writer does his or her level best to produce excellent content to suit the client. Oftentimes, the creativity in the work belongs all or mostly to the writer. Sometimes, the idea, too. But this is work-for-hire. We receive no byline credit or royalties in exchange for payment. The client, who is the author of record on such work, assumes the risk for the work's success.
No two clients are the same. Any consultant or freelancer will tell you that. Some clients are easier to interpret than others. Some are more easygoing than others. Some need to exert more control than others. Unfortunately, I have little way of determining whether a client's going to be one of the "easy" ones before we become enmeshed in the project. Writing may be solitary work; ghostwriting can feel like writing by committee. But the ghostwriter must never forget, even in the throes of creation, that the work is not his (or hers).
So... lesson learned. It's probably one that won't stick and I'll have to learn it again. Many lessons are like that, you know.
And to that client who canceled the project: I hope she finds the time to write her story her way or a ghostwriter who can correctly interpret what she has in mind.
They have nothing in common, except that they’re temporarily next door neighbors on a California beach. Sonia’s a newly minted chef and Mick’s a rock star. Sonia is taking a vacation before starting the inevitable, post-graduation job hunt. Mick is using his summer hiatus to work on his music.
The attraction is instant and powerful. She’s innocent and he’s … not. Their whirlwind romance catapults them into a quick Las Vegas wedding and then the real challenges begin: How can two such different people learn to live together? Can Mick be faithful? Will his career crush her dreams?
#HenHousePublishing #BookHooks #HollyBargo
About Holly Bargo
Holly Bargo is the author’s pseudonym and really did exist as a temperamental appaloosa mare fondly remembered for watching over toddler children and grinding a brand new pager into dust. Holly lives on a hobby farm in southwest Ohio with her husband, a clowder of cats, an elderly llama, and an even more ancient horse that looks and acts half her age. Until recently, Holly and her husband’s two children also lived with them, but kids grow up and leave home.
Holly has published 17 fiction books since 2014—many of them steamy romances—and works full-time as a freelance ghostwriter and editor. All her books can be found on Amazon.com
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
Looking for a place to swap blogs? Holly Bargo at Hen House Publishing is happy to reciprocate Blog Swaps in 2019.
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