I have been assessing what I create and how I can focus my energy to better help writers reach their readers. Looking back on this year, I have shared more than 40 essays on marketing, author platform, and book launches, as well as 35+ interviews with writers and creators. All of it aligns to what I refer to as Human-Centered Marketing — sharing your writing in a way that feels meaningful and fulfilling.
This was also my 10-year anniversary of working full-time with writers every single day. As I reviewed what I have created this year, here are some highlights:
An Introduction to Human-Centered Marketing
- What Is Human-Centered Marketing?
- My Creative Success Pyramid
- The Real Secret to Marketing Your Writing
- The Psychology Behind Effective Marketing
Book Marketing Case Studies
- Book Launch Case Study with Leigh Stein
- A Book Marketing Case Study, with Amanda Montell
- An Author Platform Case Study, with Judith Fetterley
- When Your Book Keeps Reaching New Readers, with Beth Ricanati
- The Reality Behind a Book Launch, with Teru Clavel
- Social Media Case Study: Author Rachel Hollis
Author Platform Advice:
- Why Podcasts Connect with Readers
- Two Ways to Create an Effective Author Website
- Social Media Doesn’t Sell Books, But…
- How to Use Email to Connect with Your Ideal Audience
- Surround Yourself with Writers and Readers
I have also had the absolute pleasure to interview dozens of writers and creators this year as well:
You can access all of the interviews here, or just search for “The Creative Shift with Dan Blank” on your favorite podcast player.
My most recent episode features Gigi Pandian. She is the author of 10 books, and shared the the reality of her creative shift to becoming an author. Some highlights:
- She left her PhD program to enroll in art classes and begin writing her first novel. She concluded: “Because I was finally following my passion, everything fell into place.”
- She used NaNoWriMo to finish the draft, and it won a competition from Malice Domestic, a mystery book convention. She hoped the book would sell to a publisher quickly, but after a few years, that hadn’t happened.
- She decided to self-publish the book and it sold well. When I asked why, she said: “It was the community. After I got that initial grant to attend that first mystery convention, I realized how important the community of readers was. I didn’t want to be an author with my head down writing, I wanted to be out there talking to readers. Several years before I was published, I started to attend more mystery conventions. I got to know how that whole world works. I got to know independent booksellers, I got to know avid mystery readers. I was able to get my advanced reader copies into the hands of people who could write reviews.”
- When she got book deals for two separate series, she took a sabbatical from her job to meet the deadlines. Having the entire day to write, she learned something interesting about her creative process: “It taught me that without any structure of a day job, it is very hard to get things done right away. I wasn’t actually much more productive than I was when working a full time job. I learned that if I have to start work at 12:30 in the afternoon, I will get more writing done that morning leading up to 12:30 than I would if I had the whole day free. I learned the tricks of how I work best. “
Midway through 2020 I wrote how I was in transition, and I concluded:
I am in transition. We are always in transition. And with that comes responsibility and opportunity. To wake up each day and create.
That transition continues.
In reviewing what I have been creating, I am also creating a roadmap for the habits I want to develop, the experiences I want to have, and what I want to create moving forward.
If you have any feedback on how I can best help you, and what you would like to see from me, please let me know!