Emily Enger Episode Try Again
Mai Moonshine: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome back, Romance Fiction Queens! Buckle up because today's episode is a good one. So good. I am excited to share with you our first ever guest expert session here on the podcast. I had the opportunity to have such a great conversation with Emily Enger of Good Enough Book Marketing. Emily is a book marketing and publicity coach, and she teaches poets, fiction, and creative nonfiction authors how to incorporate minimalist, marketing strategies into their creative process so they can become successful without feeling overwhelmed, which I love.
Mai Moonshine: Emily has worked in the marketing and PR field for over 10 years. Her career boasts titles such as assistant editor for a national trade magazine company and communications director for a Minnesota arts non profit that serves nine rural counties and three [00:01:00] Native American reservations. Visibility and creative networking were an early passion for Emily, which is something we quickly found that we have in common in addition to our background in the visual arts.
Mai Moonshine: And we both also started really young. Emily's first marketing job was at only 16 years old when she convinced a small summer camp to give her a shot at their communications coordinator position. I love that. She holds a BA in English, a minor in music, and a certificate in publishing from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Mai Moonshine: She is also a certified concept marketer and lives in the Northwoods of Minnesota with her husband and two children. You can learn more about her at goodenoughbookmarketing. com. I'll also include her links in the show notes. Emily and I had an extremely fun, informative, and interesting conversation on everything from how to sell your work without feeling like a sellout, [00:02:00] do writers really need social media in their marketing strategy, and even cycle syncing, which if you don't know what that is, I have a feeling you're going to be just as thrilled about this concept as I was.
Mai Moonshine: So, without further ado, let's get into it.
Mai Moonshine: Welcome to The Business of Romance, the podcast that helps you turn your passion for romance novels into profits. I'm your host, Mae, also known as the Romance Fiction Queen, and I'll be joining you here each week to serve up my industry expertise and insights from this lucrative world of writing and self publishing romance novels.
Mai Moonshine: Listen in for practical tips and strategies on writing to market. Mastering self publishing and becoming the ultimate romance fiction queen. Let's get started!
Mai Moonshine: All right. Hi, Emily. Thanks again so much for joining me here today. So, by the time people are listening to this, they've [00:03:00] already heard your official introduction, um, but. Can you just kind of start by, in your own words, giving, uh, telling people what you do?
Emily Enger: Yeah, well, first of all, thank you so much for having me.
Emily Enger: I'm really excited to be on your podcast today and to talk about book marketing and what that can look like for romance writers. Um, so yeah, a little bit about me. My name is Emily Enger. I am the founder of Good Enough Book Marketing, and my passion is helping Helping writers incorporate marketing principles into their creative process so they become successful without feeling overwhelmed.
Emily Enger: Um, I'm a book marketing coach, meaning I teach, I teach authors how to do the marketing side themselves, because that's how I think they are more successful with sales, but also make a better connection with their audience that way, and save some money on hiring a professional. Um, I used to do, though, what's called done for you marketing services, and when I was [00:04:00] working on that side of things, I was very, um, I was disturbed by some of the messaging.
Emily Enger: That I felt was making authors more overwhelmed than they had to be. It was making marketing scary, and it was legitimately taking too much time. Um, and so these writers whose job is supposed to be writing great stories, Um, was suddenly turning into like, wearing their business hat too much. And while I certainly realize that, yes, if you're a writer, you do have a business, Um, you still need your primary hat.
Emily Enger: To be the creative side and the artist that you are. And so I wanted to create something that, that helped writers. Um, find that balance better and and not feel bad for this desire. They had to lock themselves away in a little cabin and write books, right? We can't really only do that, unfortunately, but I think that you can do it.
Emily Enger: Maybe a little bit more. Then the industry is telling you, um, because [00:05:00] you're a writer, that's what you do. And that's what you're good at. And that's what the world needs from you is more of those beautiful words. So hence, good enough book marketing, um, was born cause I'm here to kind of reclaim the phrase good enough from the hustle culture, uh, that appropriated it.
Emily Enger: I think, you know, we think of good enough as people who are lazy and I'm like, no, no, no, no. Good enough is actually good enough. Let's not be lazy, but let's not kind of kill ourselves with perfectionism either.
Mai Moonshine: Yes, I love that. So that's a big thing that I talk about all the time as even with writing craft itself, right?
Mai Moonshine: Because that's the thing that writers do. They get caught up in perfectionism and sometimes it like, keeps them from getting words on the page at all. Um, so I love that you help authors with that. Um, and I'm also really interested in the fact that you kind of switched from that done for you model to, um, like, really empowering authors and like, teaching them like, no, you can actually learn how to do this for yourself.
Mai Moonshine: And that's, [00:06:00] I mean, that's also I used to do something similar to in. I come from a background of more done for you services for bigger scale, self publishing clients and yeah, kind of making that switch of realizing, like. There's a lot of authors out there who could be doing this for themselves, but. They see it as like a big scary thing because they just don't know what they don't know yet, you know, and once you're able to get in there and like break it down and help them to understand like, no, this, you could totally do this for yourself.
Mai Moonshine: It doesn't have to be that big scary thing or like you said, rob you of the thing you actually love to do, which is to write.
Mai Moonshine: Oh, right. And I was, I was, uh, stalking
Emily Enger: you online before we went live here and digging into your website a little bit. And, um, I had read that your background is in the visual arts.
Emily Enger: Um, yeah, and so was mine actually. Um, oh, that's my first, my first marketing and communications job. I was a communications director for a, for an arts [00:07:00] nonprofit for a gallery, and, um, That and that was what I did right before switching to books. Right. And I see writers as artists as I'm sure you do as well.
Emily Enger: And that, that perspective is kind of what I come from and it's a really great perspective, I think, because in when you get into kind of all the advice on the Internet in the book industry, they're so business focused. Um, and when I was doing marketing for. For artists, they have the same issue, of course, that art versus commerce debate, um, but a painter can sell a painting for a couple thousand dollars, or maybe many hundreds of dollars, and your book is probably 29 on the high end, right?
Emily Enger: And so marketing is different because the price point is different, um, but the concept and the mentality, I think, needs to be the same.
Mai Moonshine: Yeah, I agree. 100%. Yeah, a lot of those, um, mindset barriers that they base are the same too, because you're right. [00:08:00] Like, essentially, they're just, they're artists and creatives and we just, we kind of have a different way that we think and we function.
Mai Moonshine: Um, so something that you, I think this is a good segue again, just like building off of, like. artists and what it's like to run a creative business and some ways that that might be different from other businesses. And something that I know you talk a lot about in your work is this concept of sincere, not sellout.
Mai Moonshine: And so how authors can talk about their books in a way that actually feels authentic, which I think is great because if others can get to a place where they feel good about that, I think marketing also isn't as scary anymore because then they just feel like. I'm just trying to share my story with people, you know, um, so can you share with us a little more about that?
Mai Moonshine: And how can authors. market in a way that just feels really sincere and not like the salesy ick factor. [00:09:00]
Emily Enger: Yeah. So that's, I don't know if it's literally the number one question I get, but it's way up there in like, how do I talk about my book? Um, In a way that doesn't, you know, sound like I'm a used car salesman.
Emily Enger: Um, and like, how many times do I have to go on social media and remind people to buy my book? Like, this is embarrassing. I, I'm an introvert and I want to go right. And I'm annoying my audience. Am I annoying my audience? This is ridiculous. But then you go online again and you see all this advice and there's all these prescriptive things about how many times you should post, how many times you should send out your newsletter.
Emily Enger: And of those posts, how many of them should be reminders to buy your book? Um, and, and, and I just, I take all of that and I say, okay, just calm down a little bit. Um, we don't need to get that prescriptive on it. Um, but there is still maybe one thing that you're gonna have to do that's a little bit uncomfortable and you're gonna have to talk about yourself.
Emily Enger: People don't like to talk about [00:10:00] themselves, but that's the way you do it sincerely is instead of talking about your book, you talk about you. Um, so you got to pick which one, you got to pick a lane, which, which uncomfortable lane do you like better? Um, but in particular, with your audience writing romance, and I know I listened to a couple of your episodes, um, and I know you teach, you teach them to write fast so that they have a backlog of lots of books.
Emily Enger: Well, at that point, every book is about something slightly different, right? Not every book is exactly the same. Okay, so what is your marketing strategy look like? What's the through line? Well, the through line is you. The through line is you, the writer, and there has to be, in every good book, there's something about you inside that book.
Emily Enger: So the way you talk about why people should buy your latest book is you talk about what excites you about your own book. Like, what piece... What did you learn when you were writing it, right? A book always teaches us as the writers something too. It's not just us sitting down with the expertise we already have and preaching to the [00:11:00] world.
Emily Enger: We learn something in the journey too. What were you excited to learn? What did you discover about your characters? What happened that was unexpected? Um, talk about your journey with the book. Um, and that excitement is gonna rub off on your audience. And then you're not literally saying the words by my book all of the time.
Emily Enger: You just look excited and it's something you're passionate about and we're attracted to, to passion. And when we see somebody else excited about something, we have FOMO, right? We're like, Oh, I kind of want a piece of this too. Um, and, and that I think is, makes it much more sincere because it's literally sincere.
Emily Enger: You're literally talking about what impacted you. Um, and that's, that's close to the definition of sincere right there.
Mai Moonshine: Yes, I love that so much and I'm really glad that you touched on that through line kind of being them. Um, and yeah, that is an uncomfortable thing. A lot of people struggle with is talking about themselves, but I know in the romance [00:12:00] market, um, you know, we have a lot of authors publishing under pen names.
Mai Moonshine: And I think a lot of people get really hung up on that because they're like, well, but it's my pen name. It's not me. And I always tell authors like you have to approach it like your pen name is just your brand and the same as any other business would have a brand. It's not all of you. You know, you're not taking every single thing about you and putting it out there.
Mai Moonshine: On showcase for the entire world, you're picking a few elements of yourself that you want to represent your brand and stand at the forefront of that. And your name is no different, right? Like, you can pick aspects of yourself. That align with the pending that you're trying to build, and then that makes it really natural and easy to, um, you know, to still be sincere and feel like you're talking about yourself, but it kind of these very clever.
Mai Moonshine: Clever selected, you know, aspects of yourself. I don't know if you have, um, if you've worked with [00:13:00] many authors that work under pen names, is there any kind of specific advice that you typically give them in that regard?
Emily Enger: Yes, I have. Um, I have worked with one only, um, which I would have expected more, but only one, uh, that had a, had to use a pen name.
Emily Enger: Um, and it's funny you mentioned the brand guide because this is like the third podcast in a row where we've been talking and a brand and your author brand comes up. Um, so it sounds like it's like my thing that I talk about all the time, but I really do believe that an author is a personal brand. And if you're getting confused because you have too many pen names, um, there's something called a brand guide.
Emily Enger: I actually teach workshops on this and you can literally just write it down. Write down, my pen name X has these aspects of my personality. My pen name Z has these aspects. Pin them on your bulletin board if you need to so you remember the difference. Um, but it is so helpful to write, to write things down.
Emily Enger: It's like, hand write it, don't just put it on your computer. [00:14:00] Pen and paper, old school. Write it down, that'll help it stick in your mind better too. Um, but creating a brand is almost like, it's, it's, I call it like therapy. Um, it's because it's supposed to be the self reflective process. So if you're like, I don't have enough of me to divide into a couple segments to have pen names.
Emily Enger: Like, I'm sorry, okay, to quote Walt Whitman, you contain multitudes. Um, so you absolutely do have enough, um, to divide different pieces of yourself into different personas, but it's very important that brands, or excuse me, that pen names, Actually be real. And it's not just a persona you create. There's people who have done that, have done that, I'm just going to create a fictitious persona as if the author was a character too.
Emily Enger: I don't recommend that. Um, some of them have had success with it, but if you're worried about being confused, like, how much more are you going to be confused about your voice as an author if it's not even actually you? Um, and you're trying to post on social media all the time and switch back [00:15:00] and forth in your mind.
Emily Enger: And that just that's a recipe for confusion and also betrayal. Sometimes when your audience sees behind the curtain, um, and they get a glimpse behind the curtain and they thought they were, they thought they were getting to know you and turns out they were getting to know, like, a figment you made up. I really don't recommend that.
Emily Enger: I do recommend, um, just creating separate brand guides for different pen names. So you can keep them keep track of them. Um, the 1 author I worked with, the reason she had to create a pen name is because. Um, the genres were a little too different, um, because she started out as YA, and when she wanted to switch to adult, um, in that case, she was not self published.
Emily Enger: She had a publisher, and the publisher was a little nervous about her adult stuff, um, which was content that it was not necessarily inappropriate for kids. It just wasn't appealing to them, and it was going to add confusion, and so she just kind of kept it separate. Um, and that's, those are legitimate questions you have to ask.
Emily Enger: when you're looking at all the stuff you're writing. Um, I don't think [00:16:00] pen names are required by any means. I think you can write different genres under the same name, but if you want to, because you want to kind of keep a purity in the brand, um, it just, you just got to create separate brand guides.
Mai Moonshine: Yeah, and I love that you said, you know, you know, write it down by hand that makes it stick better.
Mai Moonshine: Put it up on a board. Like, it really can be so simple, but I think sometimes we need someone to like, validate that for us, you know, to say the thing that. You know, can seem kind of obvious or right there on the surface, but too often we like discount those things because we're like, no, it can't be that easy.
Mai Moonshine: Like, especially in our world. There is so much information out there on the Internet. So it's easy to look at that and say, well, they wouldn't have this much stuff out there if it wasn't this big complicated thing, but it really can just be. That simple, I think that's 1 of the reasons I was kind of drawn to some of your strategies and the things [00:17:00] that you talk about is it does feel like that.
Mai Moonshine: Um, I know I've heard you use. The phrase minimalist marketing, which I love, you know, it just simple, easy, you know, give yourself a break. Exactly. And for the same reasons that minimalism as like a, an interior design style has become popular. That's, that's why it's also, I think, good business practice, which is, which is mental health, really.
Mai Moonshine: I mean, it's a minimally decorated home is. It's calming. I walk in and I am not overwhelmed. I feel restful and I don't even know I feel restful. Um, you know, I just, I'm, it takes away the overwhelm. Yeah, which is so important for artists because you are continuously making something out of nothing. Like it's all coming from inside of you, your brain.
Mai Moonshine: You have to keep that healthy and in good shape and as such, like, keep your environments that way to, like, literally, like, the physical spaces that you're [00:18:00] working in, but also like your processes. Right? And like, what your strategies are for marketing. I just, I love the, and I love that you brought up the interior design aspect of it too, because when we say things like minimalist marketing, that's what immediately I think of in my head.
Mai Moonshine: Like, oh, what if we can take. Marketing and make it this thing where it's just this. Clean, crisp, like, open, airy room, you know?
Mai Moonshine: Yes, I love that. Um, so, uh, on the note of kind of keeping, like, our headspace, like, clear and healthy, because we need that to be able to fuel our creativity and the work that we do.
Mai Moonshine: Um, with that, I think Tyson that, you know, writing is really a time consuming endeavor, um, and getting into a good flow with that on its own can sometimes it's just its own battle with writers, you know, especially new and aspiring writers like once they. have kind of tackled [00:19:00] that and gotten into a good flow and a good groove with their writing schedule.
Mai Moonshine: I know, especially for self publishers in the romance market today, where that demand is really high. It's like you kind of climb that mountain and you feel like you're in a good place with it. And then you're like, Oh, marketing, like I also have to do all of that. And it gets overwhelming pretty quick. So in terms of.
Mai Moonshine: time management. How can writers set aside effective time for marketing without that cutting into that time that they need to actually write their books? Okay, I am really excited about this question because I have a new answer for you. This is the first time I've given this answer to this question.
Mai Moonshine: Because I am learning something new about myself and I'm really excited to, to share it with your audience and have them go do their own research on it and self reflect on it. Um, but I know most of your audience is women writers. Um, and if you are a menstruating [00:20:00] woman, you need to look into something called cycle syncing.
Mai Moonshine: Which is exactly what it sounds like. It's about how do you align your business with your menstrual cycle? I love this already. Cause I, I recently, I've been digging into like your circadian rhythm and like, how do you use that to kind of pick out like one of your peak writing times each day? So yeah, I'm all about this.
Mai Moonshine: Tell me more. So, um, If you are a man or if you are post menopause women, your hormones, you reset every day, but those of us in this age group, um, who is still menstruate our, our hormones don't set until like, every 28 to, you know, 31 days. Um, because it's all based on our menstrual cycle and you're, uh, you know, we just, we don't get educated very well about our bodies as women, unfortunately, I didn't know a lot of this stuff [00:21:00] until recently.
Mai Moonshine: Um, and there's actually four cycles that you go through throughout the month and you can look up cycle syncing and cycle syncing coaches online and they will break down all of this for you. And you should find a real expert on that because I'm not an expert in that. But, um, But basically, there are people out there that have identified.
Mai Moonshine: The superpowers that you have in each of those four stages and when, during what times of the month are you most creative? During what times of the month are you more analytical? During what times of the month are you wiped out? During what times of the month are you more likely to be stressed? Like, there's actually science behind that.
Mai Moonshine: Um, and so something that I have done is work with a cycle syncing coach and track my cycle and write down like I had a great writing day today and pay attention like on that journal when I wrote I had a great writing day today. Okay, well, what day did that fall out in my cycle and do that for a couple months and you're going to find maybe a more specific answer to your superpowers because you'll find people breaking down like this is when a woman is [00:22:00] most creative.
Mai Moonshine: But you need something that's data that's specific to you and your body and your creative process. Because what I have found is that even the cycle syncing coaches out there, they look, they look at the, they're looking at the world broadly, and they're assuming that your business isn't a creative business because you and I are in a very rare business.
Mai Moonshine: They're assuming that you're like, you know. Punching it at a nine to five, or you are, maybe you are in marketing, which I am technically, but your audience is, is in the writing side. Um, and so they assume that when, when they say that, oh, you are creative in this, at this time of the month, that you're, that you're just doing little things.
Mai Moonshine: For your business, because everyone's creative. But if you're a creative writer, creative business, the whole thing is creative. So you have to be creative, even when you're not feeling creative. And all of that thing, and all of those things. And so it's going to have to be something that you find a little bit more, that you do some specific work in and you actually track.
Mai Moonshine: Um, but what I have [00:23:00] found is depending on the story you're writing, depending on the genre you are writing, you might be more creative at times you don't realize. So, like, my coach had told me, you know, you're not going to feel very creative during X time. And actually, it was one of my best writing days.
Mai Moonshine: But the reason is because the scene I was writing was this very reflective, kind of morose scene. So, it didn't matter that I was kind of moody that day. It was wonderful that I was, actually. Because I just, I realized that the superpower in writing is, is what type of writing you do, your voice, your genre is going to change.
Mai Moonshine: But, all of that said, I realized your question was about marketing. Thank you. Focus on that in terms of being a writer, because you're, you're a writer, that is your number one job. When you figure out, um, a great writing schedule that makes you feel good and matches your cycle, you're gonna see where the holes are, where you can put some marketing effort.
Mai Moonshine: You're gonna be like, you know what, when I'm actually on my [00:24:00] period, when I'm menstruating, I don't feel like doing anything. Um, but maybe an email sending out an email marketing, you know, campaign or, or whatever could be something you do then. Um, or maybe it's a time of day thing. Um, maybe it's like, man, when I am in this cycle, I feel really great in the morning, but I am burnt out by the afternoons.
Mai Moonshine: Okay, throw some marketing in the afternoon there. Um, you're going to be able to, to plot that out, but just like my advice with the brand, write it down. You have to track it. You have to write it down in order to first understand yourself and then go from there. And it's going to take you a couple of months to figure that out.
Mai Moonshine: Uh, but I think that this is like a, a superpower that the world is not talking about enough and that women need to know more about. And I think it, I think it, it's going to radically change your business. Yes, thank you so much for sharing that. I'm definitely, as soon as we're done here today, probably going to [00:25:00] go on like into binge research mode.
Mai Moonshine: I love that, and I can totally see what you're saying about how depending on what genre you write, How that's going to kind of change what times might be, like, peak creative times for you. I know, like, in romance, you know, there have been times, especially back in my ghostwriting days whenever, let's say I was working on a rom com, and there are just times of the month where that is not going to happen.
Mai Moonshine: Nothing feels funny and light hearted, you know, but... Right. On the flip side, if you were, say, like, a dark mafia writer, like, it's going to be the opposite. Those might be the perfect prime writing times for you. Um, so yeah, I'm definitely probably going to spiral off into that for a while. I have become, like, I don't know, this, this, um, evangelist for psychosyncing now, because it's just, it's just transforming my life, especially, like, I have young kids.
Mai Moonshine: Um, I'm a [00:26:00] writer, but I also, I'm here wearing my business hat because I'm also a book marketing coach. And I'm like, there's too many balls that I'm juggling. I can't do all of this. And then I found a cycle seeking coach. And she's like, this is what your month schedule looks like. Don't think about it in terms of what you did today.
Mai Moonshine: Think about it in terms of what you did over the month. Um, and we'll plug the different hats you wear, you know, as a woman, into different pieces of the month. And it's amazing. Um, some other practical tips. For people who don't really want that 1, um, so find, um, having a different space to do the marketing versus the creative side to be helpful.
Mai Moonshine: So, if you have a desk and an office, that's kind of your perfect writing space. Maybe you want to do marketing at your kitchen table. Um, and just not, not kind of sully the, the creative place that you have built with the stuff that gives you a headache or that you don't want to do. Um, I find that to be really helpful.
Mai Moonshine: I even know writers who have two desks and they put them in different sides of the room and one's like the business desk. And that's maybe a more [00:27:00] boring IKEA desk that they got and the other one is some, you know, beautiful desk that they spent a lot of money on for writing their beautiful words. Um, that, that certainly works too.
Mai Moonshine: I love that. That's another great one for sure. Um, okay, so we'll, we'll move on to maybe it's a slightly easier one. I'm not sure. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this. So, though, because, um, we. Earlier briefly mentioned like the questions that we hear the most and I know this is a big one that I get coming through on my end, which is from authors.
Mai Moonshine: Do I have to be on social media today? Like, and I know I have some thoughts on this, but I'm really eager to hear what your take is on that. Yeah, and I'm eager to hear yours too, because everybody has a different opinion on this. And I hope that your audience realizes that they probably do that. There's not a right answer, right?
Mai Moonshine: You can pull 10 experts and they're all going to they're going to say 10 different things. Yeah. And so [00:28:00] it really comes down to authors need to feel empowered to make their own online and digital decisions. And they have to decide what their goals are. And with marketing, we, everything is about goals, right?
Mai Moonshine: And so there might be goals that you don't hit if you're not on social media. But the question is, do you care? Um, maybe you do. I'm not saying you shouldn't. Maybe, I mean, you're trying to eat and put a roof over your head, and so selling books matters to you, um, and selling a lot of copies matters to you, and so I'm not saying that that's a bad goal, but is it your goal is a real question that, that has to be asked.
Mai Moonshine: My personal take. With social media is that it's gotten out of hand and it's really, um, I think authors have been sold a bill of goods a little bit, not because it was never helpful because it was, I'm not, I mean, we've seen what Colleen Hoover, what, um, tick tock did for her career. That's amazing. But every author I [00:29:00] work with, like the number of times.
Mai Moonshine: I think it's every single one. In fact, it's like, should I be on Tick Tock because none of the others I've worked with actually started a Tick Tock. Interestingly enough, um, and they say it like, like, defeatedly like, oh, do I have to be on Tick Tock? Like, think I'm going to tell them that they have to be like, because there's this idea now that you're supposed to be and that they're doing something wrong if they're not.
Mai Moonshine: And my answer is always, of course, you can be on TikTok, but I'm not going to tell you, you have to be on TikTok. I hate TikTok. I mean, I tried it. I've got an account. Technically, I think I have two followers. Don't look me up there because there's like no content. I didn't like it. And my mental health is more important to me than being on TikTok.
Mai Moonshine: And the truth is, like, social media, The times that it has really transformed the careers of writers is if you got on the ground floor and, um, and maybe not day one, but, but still when the trajectory was up, [00:30:00] um, and now even tick tock, uh, we've not seen anything lately, like we saw a year ago with the transformation of, you know, of what tick tock is doing.
Mai Moonshine: That's not to say it's too late. It's just, that's how these algorithms work. I mean, they peak and then they dip and then they peak again and they dip. And I find the inconsistency and the changes that keep happening to be really harmful from a marketing perspective. The thing about marketing is that you want to do things that are reliable and there is nothing reliable about social media right now.
Mai Moonshine: Advertising with meta right now, as of the time we're recording this, is super low in terms of conversion rate. Like the, the cost has gotten much higher than it used to be and ads are not converting. I have one right now that I'm running for my business. Um, through that platform, just as an experiment, I've done a couple of them lately, um, and I'm getting nothing from it.
Mai Moonshine: I've done ads for a long time and I've done ads that are really successful and all of a sudden right now, even though I [00:31:00] use, you know, I know what I'm doing, I've done it before. It's just not working because the algorithm is annoying and, um, and that, that you have to remember that you have to remember that sometimes you're, and then you're gonna spend money and it's not going to get you what you need and, and what you need is readers.
Mai Moonshine: You need buyers, people who buy books, and you need a place to build community. Use social media to build community. Don't use social media to sell books. I don't even really recommend you take advertisements out on social media. I do it, as I just said. Mostly for experiments, though, because I teach marketing.
Mai Moonshine: So I have to, I have to do testing so I know what I'm talking about. But if you're going to take out advertising dollars, those should go to That should be on platforms where people are buying books. Take advertising dollars out on Amazon, because when people see your ad, they're in the place they're gonna buy.
Mai Moonshine: When people see your ad on Instagram, they're in the middle of scrolling past. And so, the chances of getting that into a conversion, [00:32:00] meaning actually getting them to buy your book, is, it's just rare. Not saying it doesn't happen, it's just rare. Your bang for your buck goes so much farther if you're advertising.
Mai Moonshine: On places where readers are reading because they're already on the platform and they're there because they want to buy. Um, so anyway, all this to circle back around to social media. You have to be really careful with it, use it minimally, but no, you don't have to be on it. Newsletters or email marketing is a great alternative.
Mai Moonshine: And it doesn't suck away your writing time, it doesn't make you have to learn a new way to post now, um, and sit and edit videos, and it doesn't take forever, and you don't have to, like, batch your content and schedule it a million times ahead of time. I mean, a little bit you will, because you'll be writing content.
Mai Moonshine: But it's just, it's a lot less invasive into your creative mental space, too. Yeah, I agree 100%. What have you seen on social media? I'm curious to hear your, your thoughts. Yeah, I mean, my big thing [00:33:00] is, uh, you know, if I find an author that I really like and. If I like them so much that I want to go venture off to look at their other things like their social media or, you know, sign up for their newsletter.
Mai Moonshine: So many of them, I would say easily 90% of them did not have a very strong or steady social media presence. And some of these are really big. Authors, you know, that are what most people would consider to be successful and are at a place where I think most people are striving to be. So I always look at that 1st and I'm like, they're doing it.
Mai Moonshine: So you can do it. That just goes to show you you're not like, not being on social media does not automatically mean. That you're not going to have a successful career. Like, 1 does not have to be dependent on the other. Um, I also love what you said about community. And I think that's such a big part of it because, you know, social [00:34:00] media can very quickly turn into like, this toxic thing.
Mai Moonshine: That's like, affecting your mental health, especially when you're using it in your business, because it's so easy to get caught up into. It starts at you're just looking at other people's accounts who do things similar to what you do is inspiration, right? And then very, very quickly that can spiral into that unhealthy comparison thing.
Mai Moonshine: And just if that's if it's easy for you to spin off into that place, and it's going to put you at risk of giving up to me, that's not worth it. Like, if you feel yourself slipping into that place of being like, oh, my gosh, I'm never. Never gonna be able to keep up with this author and they're like not only writing great books But they're putting out these like clever funny reels and look at how many followers they have and I just I can't do it And so I don't even know why I'm bothering like if you feel yourself slipping into that place It's not worth it to do social media because as we've established You can totally like be successful [00:35:00] without that.
Mai Moonshine: But if social media, I think there's one of two ways I like to play it. One is that it's just, it's free. So let's take advantage of it. If it works, great. If it doesn't, it's not where we're putting all of our eggs in that one basket. So in that sense, I actually really like batch creating content and scheduling it ahead of time, because if you can just put it on autopilot and then you go over here and write and you don't have to worry about it, that's great.
Mai Moonshine: However, that's not always super effective in engagement because you're not having that conversation. You're not building community. You're just kind of dumping on people, which I use TikTok, but that's how I use TikTok. I, when I have an idea for something, I throw it on there. I don't scroll tick tock. I don't engage on there.
Mai Moonshine: Like, that's just what works for me. And I think that so you can either kind of go that route where it's like, you're just kind of dumping it and if it works great, if it doesn't fine, or. [00:36:00] It can be this really beautiful thing where that is your community. And then social media doesn't feel like such like a burden or obligation.
Mai Moonshine: It's like a space that you want to spend time in because that's where you're networking with other authors and like hearing fans or your readers like reaching out to you and saying, Oh, my gosh, like, I love this last book that you put out. Like, that's a really beautiful thing. I think if social media can be that for you.
Mai Moonshine: Go all in, like, really lean into that, but if you're having a hard time finding that or figuring out how to make that work for you, I think foregoing it or just doing the dump it and leave it approach, I think that works great too, you know? Yeah, it sounds like we're kind of coming from the same place.
Mai Moonshine: Yeah, I agree with all of that. Like, if you can use it minimally, because I'm the minimalist marketer, Yeah. Then do so, and that can be a really great, that can be a really great tool. But the problem, the problem is, and [00:37:00] then you get sucked in and you're not doing it minimally, then it's just, it's just sucking your soul and it's.
Mai Moonshine: It's affecting your mental health and it's taking all your time and you're not writing and you need to be writing and, and yes, yes, you know, you need more than one, uh, marketing avenue. And so that's the, you know, as you said, it's really great one because it's free, but often it's like the only one people choose.
Mai Moonshine: And so that's my, you know, one thing I always remind authors is like, If you are going to, um, is, is, okay, use social media, but don't let it be your only thing because if it's your only thing, then you're, then you're back down to kind of a solo one channel to get to readers. And that's, that's actually bad marketing.
Mai Moonshine: I mean, marketing since the dawn of time, since people figured out how selling things work. Has said you have to have more than 1 input channel into your whatever product you're selling or whatever your business is. You [00:38:00] can't rely just on social media. And guys, I say this as somebody who, um, I run a different business with my husband completely different than what we're talking about today, but it's a business that exists only because of social media.
Mai Moonshine: Like my. You know, my husband's a woodworker. We just said, Hey, we'll create an Instagram page. See if it takes off and it did. And he, he got, you know, a following and he was able to quit his job and do that whole beautiful story. Right. So I, not against social media, social media really helps, you know, my husband and I become entrepreneurs and, you know, I'm grateful to it for that.
Mai Moonshine: At the same time though, we have hit a place in our business where, you know, I'm doing everything I can to find those other channels because we relied on social media for a little too long. And it starts to slow down eventually, even for people who have kind of our story. Um, so you got to be smart about it and smart means more than 1 thing.
Mai Moonshine: Yeah, 100%. And I meant to kind of touch on something that you mentioned earlier too, which is that, you know, [00:39:00] the. You mentioned that Facebook ads and how the return that we're seeing on that right now, it's just not as good. And really, it's just right now. It feels like everything's in a funk. It's like, like that across the board, like engagement levels on tick tock or down engagement levels on, I think, kind of all social media platforms are dipping right now.
Mai Moonshine: I know with like Amazon self publishing, we're seeing a dip in page reads, like just stuff's changing as it does. It does that frequently. So I do think it will come back, but right now where we are at in the economy, kind of the post COVID economy and also what we call zoom fatigue, but it's also just internet fatigue, social media fatigue.
Mai Moonshine: It's, it's all caught up with us right now. Um, so that's why, yeah, nobody's engaging. Nobody even wants to go to all these nice Zoom workshops that used to be so popular because you could do it from your home. I've stopped offering workshops because nobody shows up. Yeah. A few people, people ask if [00:40:00] they can get the replay and then they'll, but I don't think they watch the replay either.
Mai Moonshine: They just want to have access to it just in case. And then they forget about it, right? Because we're just too overwhelmed and everything's too salesy. So now circling back to kind of my whole mission in, in my business is, you know, Sell your book, not your soul. Um, the reason why people are not on even Instagram much anymore is because it used to be a way to see pictures of my friend's kids.
Mai Moonshine: And now every single post is selling me something. I don't even want to go on the app anymore. And if nobody wants to go on your app, there's no audience for you to talk to. There's no readers to talk to because people are sick of being sold to. And then, which, you know, earlier you were asking about, you know, the sincere not sellout question.
Mai Moonshine: Of course authors feel weird kind of hawking their book on social media because we're on the receiving end of a lot of sales too and we're sick of it. We don't want to do it ourselves. Yeah. Social media is just in a bad spot right now. Everything online is in a bad spot. People aren't buying things.
Mai Moonshine: [00:41:00] People are not logging in. They're freaking out. The economy's down. Gas costs a lot. Groceries cost a lot. Um, and, and everyone's tightening their belts and they're getting offline, often for good reasons because they're burnt out. And there's been so much good talk about mental health. Um, Yeah, so yeah, this isn't this is not a forever strategy.
Mai Moonshine: And so if you thought of it as that, I hope you pivot and find some alternative avenues too. Yeah, it'll be really interesting to see how creative people can get with that, right? Sometimes that's when the best strategies are born is when nothing else is working. And then we come up with brand new things.
Mai Moonshine: I think that can be a really Kind of an exciting light at the end of the channel to think about as we go through. Yeah, these crazy times that we are in. Um, but thank you so much for joining me today. I have absolutely loved this conversation. I think I forgot to mention it earlier, but you're actually our very 1st.
Mai Moonshine: Guest on the [00:42:00] I'm so honored. Yeah, I couldn't have asked for a better 1st guest expert episode. So thank you for that. Um. Really quickly before we go, um, you've said a lot of great things here today. I'm sure lots of people are going to listen to this and think like, yes, this is the kind of mindset that I want behind my marketing.
Mai Moonshine: Um, what is the best way that people can work with you right now? Yeah. So as a coach, what I do is I mostly teach through a newsletter. I don't have membership programs or any kind of fancy stuff like that. Um, for kind of all the reasons we talked about today, I think people are going to carry of that. So the best way to continue to work with me is to, um, sign up for my newsletter.
Mai Moonshine: I have a free download you can get. It's called 7 Book Marketing Activities You Can Stop Doing Today. Um, which has really pop been really popular for me. People love that. Yeah. Follow me on Follow me on Instagram if you decide you are still going to give social [00:43:00] media a shot. Um, I do a lot of teaching and have Q& A boxes that I post and let people ask questions there.
Mai Moonshine: And then I do have some courses that you can look at, um, while you're on my website, which is Good Enough Book Marketing. Um, my course right now is called, um, Prepare the Ultimate Book Marketing Foundation. And it's all about the early work that is important to do if you want to do a minimalist strategy kind of long term.
Mai Moonshine: Um, there are some pretty key stuff that you have to have done ahead of time. Otherwise, it won't be a minimalist strategy anymore. You're going to be running around looking for a bunch of other things. And so there's always this kind of downtime between when you finish writing your book and before you publish it.
Mai Moonshine: With self publishing, you have a lot of control over how long or short that downtime is. Um, but it's always smart to get a little breather. And this is this course is meant to be like, what do you do in that breather time? Okay, wonderful. I know I'm going to go download your lead magnet to you. I'm like, yeah, what's what can we stop doing?
Mai Moonshine: I'd love to know [00:44:00] that. Awesome. Thank you so much again for being here today. Thank you so much for having me. I love this conversation.
Mai Moonshine: Well, that's all she wrote for today's episode of The Business of Romance. I hope you enjoyed this time of adding to your toolkit for how to turn your romance writing into a profitable business. If you want to continue your journey towards becoming a successful romance fiction queen, head on over to fictionqueen.
Mai Moonshine: com where you'll find tons of resources, courses, and freebies to help you build your empire. And if you enjoyed this episode, don't forget to share it on social media and be sure to tag me so I can say thank you. And if you would be so kind, leave us a review on your favorite platform. Your support helps us reach more amazing writers and publishers just like you.
Mai Moonshine: Thanks for tuning in. And until next time, I hope you have beautiful days filled with creativity, inspiration, and lots of money rolling in from you sharing your talents with the world.