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N E W S L E T T E R

By Ben Cameron, Dec 22 2017 03:09AM

By Laxmi Hariharan


As authors and entrepreneurs we spend so much time driving our own time and businesses that it is easy to overlook the crucial work-life balance. But there is never a better time to step back from your work than during the festive season.


For authors who are far along the growth curve it is tempting to still push on to hit the wordcount every day, to check the performance of your advertising, to continue to check email, and your KDP dashboard and… yeah, I feel it too!


However, after cycles of creative burn out, and a year when I have been plagued by RSI and other work-related injuries I now understand the value of downtime.


So, as the year draws to the end, these are my tips to survive the festive season and to find the space to recharge in a constructive way.


Vision board

December is a great time to revisit the vision board of your life. It’s a pictorial representation of the life you want and a visually stimulating way to get down your blue sky thinking and a roadmap to where you want to go.


It helps put the past year in perspective, and gives you fresh thoughts that you can mull on during the actual down time days, over Christmas and New Year. I credit the vision boarding exercise with feeding my subconscious mind with enough impetus to help achieve my goal, to becoming a fulltime author.


Whatever stage of the writing cycle you are in, I’d recommend this exercise.


To find out how to create your own vision board click here



Unplug

There, I said it.


We spend so much time online - On social media, and with digital marketing tools to drive our business. The only way to feed the creative energy inside is to unplug over the holidays.


Switch off the wifi, put away your devices, focus on people, family, friends, the trees, the scenery of the place you are on holiday. Anything to get away from the desk, the screen and reconnect with yourself.


It’s okay if you get bored. Boredom is what leads to fresh thinking and breakthroughs. If you can’t do this, then perhaps you can simply carve out portions of the day when you must connect back.


Me? I am not going to be writing or digital marketing during my holiday time. But I will cheat and post pictures on Instagram. That’s my compromise.


Tapping into your subconscious mind

If you have a concept or a plot line that you haven’t quite resolved, then this is the time to mull it over. While cooking the Christmas lunch, or spending time with family or taking a walk on the heath...do consciously pull out the projects you are working on, and think it over. You’ll be surprised how often it will end up in your finding a solution or simply giving you fresh thoughts for your project.


For more on how to tap into the power of your subconscious mind click here



Starting the new year

On New Year’s Eve I almost always put down the five things I want to achieve that year. It may sound new-age but somehow putting down my intentions, seems to kick start the road to achieving where I want to go. Do it, you’ll be surprised. More on this in the next post.


Have any other tips on how to use the downtime over the festive season in a more constructive way? Do tweet me @laxmi and let me know


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times bestselling author. Join her newsletter to get her starter library free here


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook



By Ben Cameron, Nov 20 2017 11:27AM

By Laxmi Hariharan


As someone who is about to move from a full-time day job to becoming a full-time author, self-publishing is a definite yes for me. I did have an agent and had a book published through a mainstream publishing company, only to realize quickly that publishing model wasn't for me.


I found that I had better knowledge of my genre, cover look, pricing and readers than my publisher. I also didn't have any control over pricing, technical issues and received very little money from the publisher beyond the small token down-payment. I found that I liked being in control, including the business side of selling my books.


So, I decided to self-publish. But self-publishing isn’t without it's pitfalls and there are three key marketing questions that I think you must answer to be successful in self-publishing:


Are You Willing to Experiment?


In author circles you hear about a lot of things that work for other authors. Fact is, what works for someone else and their book may not work for you and you probably won't know till you try it. This means that you may have to spend money and/or time on a marketing activity to understand if it can be effective for you.


And then, even if you determine that an activity can be effective, you still need to tweak it relentlessly to make it work as well as possible (for example testing Facebook ads or mailing list services). This is fundamental. If you are afraid of experimenting, afraid of investing money to research then self-publishing may not be right for you.


Can You Enjoy the Marketing as Well as the Writing?


I do enjoy the marketing part of the author business. I like trying out new marketing tools as they come up, all the while knowing that it's helping to build my platform, so the money I spend is not being wasted.


If you view marketing as a chore or an afterthought you will always struggle because you will be doing it half-heartedly. You can hire someone to do many of the marketing activities for you, but even then, you still need to be involved in the process to manage it effectively.


The good news is that marketing really is both fascinating and creative. Many authors who never wanted to market their books have stepped into it to find they are quite effective at it – because they jumped into it with the same passion that they brought to writing their books.


Can You Treat Your Author Identity as a Brand and a Business?


This is tough but essential. An ‘author brand’ helps you to step-back from your book and view your work impartially and dispassionately – so that you make better marketing decisions.


One way to help distance yourself from your author persona is to have a pen name. I admit I made a mistake here - if I had published under a pseudonym it would be easier to take criticism and to treat my author output as a business. If I branch out into new genres, I plan to use a pen name. ‘Till then, I try to keep a respectful distance between me and my author self. It helps bring more discipline to my writing too - while the writing is always personal, treating the author self as separate to myself helps me to focus and write faster.


In the past, publishers traditionally took on the marketing chores for authors so that they could concentrate on the writing. The degree to which that is still true varies from publisher to publisher, but authors with publishing contracts with even the largest publishers are finding that they need to do much of the marketing themselves. It may soon be impossible to avoid marketing your books.


If you are thinking of self-publishing and want to ask me any questions, tweet me @laxmi


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times bestselling author. Find her at http://www.laxmihariharan.com


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity





By Ben Cameron, May 26 2017 02:20PM

We are very excited to announce a big new live event coming to London on September 23rd!


The Self-Publishing Masterclass is a special full day event that will guide authors through the entire self-publishing process, from first draft to publication date. Led by highly experienced and well-known self-publishing professionals, the Self-Publishing Masterclass will be an invaluable day for any author interested in publishing their book.


Wherever you are in the publishing process, you are sure to get helpful advice and techniques to improve the quality of your books and to find your audience.


Speakers:


•Roz Morris (Author, Editor and Writing Coach): Editing a Manuscript to a Professional Level


•Jessica Bell (Vine Leaves Press: Publisher, Author and Designer): Creating a Quality Product - Cover, Design, Formatting and Blurbs


•Ben Cameron (Cameron Publicity and Marketing): Reaching Your Audience - Book Marketing and Publicity


•Robin Cutler (IngramSpark): Printing, Distribution, Pricing and Metadata


Special 10% off Discount code for our blog readers! Use code CPM10 at checkout!


To find out more and to book your ticket visit www.selfpublishingmasterclass.org



By Ben Cameron, May 8 2017 04:33PM

By Laxmi Hariharan


This year I completed three books in four months. Great you say? Well the result I was struck by RSI – Repetitive Stress Injury. Not just painful, but chronic not something you can treat with medicine. And worse I couldn’t write.


I had to step away from my keyboard for an entire two weeks and it killed me. Not just because I wasn’t producing but because I wasn’t writing. The ability to express myself has become a part of me to the extent that if I can’t write, it feels I am bottling up emotions inside. No wonder writers are loners. You share so much in your books; you have nothing left to share in the real world. So, this post is about how to prevent RSI from striking. Here’s what you can do-


Treat your body like that of a marathon runner. An athlete. Your arms especially and your eyes are your income earners. You have to take care of them.


1. Download anti-RSI software app that makes you stop and step away from Keyboard at regular times. This is key, prevent RSI now before it hits you, especially if you have a day job and also write. Try this free software: http://www.workrave.org/


2. Ergonomic keyboard and mouse. These work as I found after much research. I also switched to using a left-handed mouse (easier than you’d think)

http://www.posturite.co.uk/ergonomic-mice-keyboards/ergonomic-mice/evoluent-verticalmouse-4.html



3. This book and exercises helped too. Good to use them to stretch your fingers even if you don’t have RSI: http://www.rsipain.com/stretching-exercises.php

As did this: http://www.rsipain.com/psyche.php#painmemory


4. It’s important to have a daily stretching routine to ensure your muscles are limber. These exercise help: yoga, pilates or Aikido or any other routine that gets you to stretch. Something like barre yoga I found is perfect: https://www.timeout.com/london/sport-and-fitness/the-best-barre-fitness-classes-in-london


5. Or you can switch to DRAGON, the best voice to writing software which many prolific writers use: http://www.nuance.co.uk/dragon/index.htm. I haven’t yet tamed the dragon I confess, so more on that soon.


Laxmi Hariharan is a New York TImes bestselling author. Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laxmiwrites


Have you suffered from writers’ RSI? If you did do tweet us @cameronpmtweets and let us know how you dealt with it here on twitter: https://twitter.com/CameronPMtweets. You can also contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity





By Ben Cameron, Mar 1 2017 03:26PM

By Laxmi Hariharan


As an author trying to hit a crazy goal of 6+ releases a year, I spend day and night with words. It’s come to a stage where I’ve begun to ration my ‘output’ quota. So I post very little on social media like Facebook. My preference is to save my words for when I actually write my books.


It’s not a surprise that I gravitate to image based social media. Over the past few years, I’ve begun to use, Instagram in particular to reach authors and readers who I wouldn’t normally reach through my newsletter or other platforms. Here are a few ideas on how you too can build your outreach via Instagram.


Why Instagram?

I love it because it’s silo’d. You can’t link out from Instagram to the web and that comes as a great relief. It means you don’t get side-tracked into spending a lot of wasted time surfing the web.


The power of images

To help my writing process the key for me is to get to the bottom of the motivation of my characters. Often that means identifying a certain emotion or feeling that is the theme for the character. And in this images are hugely helpful.


Sharing a different part of yourself

On Instagram I have developed my own language. It started out as daily writing prompts that helped focus the writer in me. I share these as almost daily diary pages. A powerful way of shining the spotlight on my writing without the intrusive ‘buy my book’ messaging. See one of my most popular posts here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BQ4-5z0FqEG/?taken-by=laxmiwrites


Developing your own ‘image’ via Instagram

This started by accident but quickly became very popular. As a writer I spend a lot of time looking out of my window. I decided to record the view: almost daily pictures of the chestnut tree outside my window, via Instagram. So the same view – yet different every day. A powerful metaphor for staying strong and focussed on my writing even as everything around me changed. I also gave these pictures a distinctive hashtag.


This is so popular that people around the world often message me to ask about the #treeoflaxmi. Find it here: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/treeoflaxmi/


Using hashtags and linking to other social media

Using the right hashtags helped me reach a new segment of readers and fellow authors. #amwriting #authorsofinstagram #readersofinstagram #instagrammer #books #poetsofinstagram - Using these targeted hashtags helps reach new relevant audience on this platform.


My Instagram account is also linked to twitter, FB and tumblr and I share my pictures across these platforms.


All of this is of course just a trigger to help me stay focussed on delivering the word count. There is no substitute to writing and releasing the next book. However once you do that, the right marketing and PR platforms and people can help you increase the discoverability of your books.


Hope this helped. I’d love to hear from you. Do reach me on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/laxmiwrites


Comments or questions? You can contact us at info@cameronpm.co.uk, Twitter: @CameronPMtweets or Facebook: www.facebook.com/CameronPublicity




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