Experiment in Publishing—Campaign Craft

tool theme for publishingpioneer

Recently running a promotional campaign for business, as a creative communicator, I always feel like a kid in a candy shop: there are so many choices, I stand in the middle of the store, dazzled by colors and options. Commitment is hard! With limited money and time, choices get harder. My obsession of making order from chaos has kicked in: I need to quantify and make choices graphic, simple, and logical. So I designed a Chart of Communication Choices and created an e-book that is a planning tool.

For a limited time, I offer this e-book, Campaign Crafting, as a free gift—especially for nonprofit prospects and blog readers. Written for decision-makers of communication strategy, it blends the marketing, sales, and publication options that have grown with technological capability.

Each organization’s strategy is as unique as its projects—so the fabric must be tailored to fit. Although confusing, there can be a method to what can feel like madness. In writing this e-book, I learn more about the publishing evolution:

 tools of the trade by Liane SebastianE-books are the future. Though I’ve believed this for over twenty years, the more I gain experience in paper and press publishing, the more devoted I become to electronic delivery. When I published my first e-book in 2005, Ways of Wisdom for Women, the audience wasn’t ready. I still don’t think it is ready. Sadly, this progress will come into its renaissance in the generations after me. This is currently a medium with a small and niche-based readership.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian
 It is harder to be distinguished and stand out. With print and press publishing, the publisher adds the value of quality (and hopefully distribution). But with e-publishing (as with self-publishing), anyone can do it and so they do. Sifting through the amount of reading material available is a full-time job in itself! We are moving into the Era of the Editor.

 tools of the trade by Liane SebastianAn e-mail campaign has to be sharply pointed. I am amazed at all the promotional e-mail I receive that is designed for mass-viewing and is more self-serving than helpful. I’ve never found such an approach worthwhile because my market must be addressed individually. I spend a lot of time qualifying prospects.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian
 Clicks are better than downloads for e-book delivery.
I recently tested two approaches: the PDF e-book and an html “tip sheet” format. The tip sheets had four times the readers of the download! I offer the comparison to you:
Campaign Crafting—pdf download
• Communication Challenge: Crafting Character tip sheet
It is true of my own behavior: I think twice before adding a document to my hard drive. A click is easy—a scan of material fast—and I am satisfied with more than enough to read.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian Comments take management.
I love when these posts inspire response—unfortunately I get more e-mails than comments. However, there is such a thing as too many comments! Some of the blogs I follow, I don’t comment if more than twenty have responded. It’s too much to read. And most bloggers do a bad job of editing their comment section.

tools of the trade by Liane SebastianComments are more useful than just for reader response.
My posts introduce topics that evolve. I’ve started making comments that add developments—like footnotes. Getting comments from readers is one of the biggest challenges. Most people only comment when they disagree but rarely when they agree.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian
 Templates dictate content. This, as a designer/writer, is annoying because I have to work hard to scale my ideas to fit. WordPress templates are very restrictive. But I’ve taken it as a creative challenge to make them work and set up a simple visual format. The design of this blog has me coming up with creative ideas that take advantage of the structure versus fight with it.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian Parameters can be tools. Bringing the experience of writing, production, and promoting into Campaign Crafting, the e-book expresses a context of experimentation. With more colors on the artist’s palette, the more the combinations can be innovative.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian Judge readership. Using Google Analytics, though a bit addictive, is the best measurement of audience response. Unlike a performer on stage in front of strangers, web visitors can be better known—where they come from, what they look at, and how long they spend. A percentage of readers go further to buy books. This process is far more measurable than traditional methods.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian Ease of sales is the opposite online. Though it is more affordable to e-publish, it is easier to sell a printed book. This is because a print book is still preferred; many people read online, but it is usually articles. People also read differently online versus in print.

tools of the trade by Liane Sebastian
 A “book” online is best as a series, presented in short segments.
This column, Idea Incubator, is actually a book (that I am revising) and will release as a workbook with additional features.

Producing the e-book, Campaign Crafting, takes advantage of technological opportunity. It has become my planning tool—to help prioritize and focus. The plan can be molded for each project or initiative. With an instant overview from adapting my chart design, I can then zero in on what will work best. If it works for me, I hope it will work for you.

See the developing series of Idea Incubators.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


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