#PD14 Sponsor: Don’t Serve Shrimp at Fantasy Author’s Funeral

#PD14 is proudly sponsored by Sandy Lender Ink, Inc. 

Guest post by Sandy Lender.

#PD14 Sponsor Sandy Lender
I’d like to encourage you in your brand-building and platform marketing to the point that even family and friends can sing your company jingle or chant your slogan on command. When someone receives an email from you, he or she doesn’t need—and honestly isn’t going to read—a 12-line signature paragraph with quotes and live links and a phone number and a variety of book titles and reviewer names. What you want instead is something quick and easy that becomes an earworm.

Emails from Fantasy Author Sandy Lender have, for the past eight years, included the phrase “Some days, you just want the dragon to win” in the signature line. That phrase appears on the home page of my website. When I started blogging, I incorporated it in my main blog’s name/URL.

I’m certainly not advocating that you leave live links out of your signature line, but I want to encourage all authors to remember that our marketing needs to be pleasing. Your audience members will be more likely to take the time to read and remember a simpler, shorter message. You will also be able to market and spread a simpler, shorter message more easily than a block of complex text.

Let me give an example that gets beyond the signature line.

I love sea turtles. From the first weekend in May until the last weekend in October (or until the last nest has hatched), I walk a specific set of zones along a specific beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida on Saturday mornings at dawn cataloging new sea turtle nests from the night prior, checking the area around the nests for problems and reporting hatches, etc. One of the many threats to sea turtles is the shrimping industry and the insane use of trawling nets. Even the Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) for nets go unused or sabotaged far too often in the few marine areas where they’re mandated. For this reason, I won’t eat shrimp. When I sit down at a restaurant with a friend, that friend knows I’m not going to order shrimp and that friend knows why because I’m vocal about my indignation with the commercial shrimping industry. I don’t get up on a high horse about it at the table; I think that would get old fast for my friends. But folks know my “platform.” When I finally kick the bucket, no one’s going to accidentally put shrimp on the buffet line in the church fellowship hall.

I imagine the reception after my funeral will include a DJ spinning tunes from Duran Duran, Barry Manilow and The Newsboys while people compare their costumes of characters from my Choices Meant for Gods fantasy novels and munch on chocolate desserts. At some point, a dragon will crash the party.
Now think about the slogan or catch phrase you use in your marketing. Can your family members and friends recite it from memory? Could one of them introduce you at a conference with not just your name and the name of your latest novel, but also with your marketing catch phrase? It’s the kind of thing that helps catch new audience members so you want everyone saying it. I encourage you to work on your quick and easy slogan and then try using the slogan in your marketing in place of large blocks of complex text.

Also, don’t eat shrimp.


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