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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jul 20, 2018

Mark chats with Dana Pharant and Barb Stuhlemmer about elements of running their own businesses that also apply to writers. Mark, Dana and Barb are 3 of 5 members of a recent business mastermind that took place where 5 business owners from different industries and areas of expertise all work together to hold one another accountable for business plans, visions, goals and next steps for growth.

Mark shares his perspective on this first business mastermind group he has been a part of and then talks about his own specific takeaways, including the publication of a book he is 20,000 words into called INDIE PUBLISHING INSIDER SECRETS: What Running Kobo Writing Life, a Print-on-Demand Business and 25 Years of Bookselling Taught Me About Success for Authors, Publishers & Self-Publishing Services. He shares how the group is holding him accountable for a proposed publishing and delivery schedule for this book that he has already dropped onto the back burner.

In their chat, Mark, Dana and Barb discuss:

  • Strategies on how to find and define your core audience, with an example that Dana shares about not doing it right the first time and how it lost her about 6 months of traction
    * The challenges of taking money from the people who aren't part of the ideal target audience and the related "Steak and Burger" analogy
  • Barb's experiences of knowing what company needs a service, but the challenge of finding the specific person within that company to speak to and to sell to, which can relate to sub-genres and other more specific niche targeting for authors
  • Targeting the right people, but with the wrong product
  • How Dana and Barb, who have been friends for about eight years, originally met
  • How in relationships, if you are GIVING, in the right aspect and for the right reasons, you get back a huge amount
  • The people and the relationships and the circles that can be cultivated among your peers who are willing to rise
  • How knowing who you can count on (not just for support, but for honesty) in your inner circle can really make a difference
  • Authenticity in engagement with one's audience, mailing list, and core followers or fans
  • How you can't impress people with things that you're not; you can only impress people with what you have
  • The concept of creating the "ideal reader" as a character sketch the same way one might sketch out a character in their book
  • Advice on success in turning passion into profit

After the chat, Mark shares his reflections on the importance of taking insights, wisdom and learning from people and industries outside one's own area of expertise and perspective and how, listening to the business intelligence and strategies of 4 women from different business pursuits helped Mark to grow his own knowledge and strategy in writing and publishing.


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