Brain Games—Are You Unwittingly Killing Your Book Biz?

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons via Cortto

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons via Cortto

The past three weeks have been the weirdest game of telephone ever. In my scandalous post Pay the Writer,knew this would happen but there really was just no getting around it. I knew the second I made any negative commentary about a sacred cow (used bookstore) we’d have problems.

I also knew my post was going to ripple through the web and get redacted down to the juicy and untrue morsel of: Did you hear? Kristen Lamb hates used bookstores.

But this is a really cool lesson in neuroscience and communication and I believe that nothing should ever be wasted. I’m going to use this to show you some cool tricks that will help you reach out to readers, improve your book sales and up the effectiveness of your promotional efforts.

THANK YOU Critics for Proving My Point

So, this all started when I got pissed off at writers (not readers). Writers were sharing an article with a click-bait headline that was bashing Amazon (and by association all on-line retailers) and digital while hailing the great return of the used bookstore. All would have been fine…had the article simply been hailing the return of the used bookstore. I love used bookstores. Need a 12 Step Program for the money I spend there.

But the article wasn’t just hailing the return of the used bookstore. The article was using this as an opportunity to bash the best (and only remaining) ways authors are paid.

Here’s the thing. All that lovely exposure a used bookstore offers does writers no good if you spend an entire article trashing the only remaining places to buy NEW. And not just any article…a Washington Post article.

And yes, I called foul. It was a dirtbag move that was undermining writers and their ability to earn a living. I knew I’d take heat and I would do it again.

Anyway, back to the brain.

If you read my book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World you’re going to find it has a lot of neuroscience in it. The human brain is a really interesting thing and the more you understand it, the more effective your brand and promotions will be.

Did you know that the human brain only begins listening at the first active verb?

So if you say, “Don’t forget your keys.” What your brain hears is, “Forget your keys.”

Seriously, use this with goal-setting and resolutions and I promise it will change your life. I say, instead, “Kristen, remember your keys.

This was why I knew my blog was going to probably come back and bite me. Yes, I knew I needed to construct it better. I had pneumonia when I wrote it and was ticked off, so I really just didn’t care.

For the folks who took time and read the blog post thoughtfully, they were dumbfounded that anyone disagreed with what I said.

I never really attacked used bookstores. I attacked the article.

I repeatedly said buy from used bookstores and that I buy from them. I even said feel free to promote them…but make sure to educate readers that you don’t get paid there so IF they read something of yours they LIKE, please buy something new.

That’s pretty much it.

And it IS okay to disagree with me. But many people who initially believed they disagreed with me, later realized they actually didn’t. We’d run into terrible miscommunication fueled by my NyQuil induced fugue state😛 .

The problem (I feel) came as a side-effect of the digital age and that people tend to do a lot of scanning material. And while it was all kind of a pain in the @$$, I think some great discussion about authors being paid has come out of it and today we are going to use it for a very different but VERY useful lesson.

What Went Sideways?

Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Steve and Shanon Lawson

Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Steve and Shanon Lawson

Because I had to add a caveat to many of my assertions, I knew I was running a huge risk. Any audience member who was not wholly focused? I chanced losing. When I wrote an assertion akin to:

Don’t promote used bookstores, unless you then tell readers at some point they are going to need to buy new. If we don’t educate our reader, they won’t know how to support us…

What do you think most people scanning the article likely saw?

Don’t promote used bookstores.

Every single article later criticizing me completely missed the point of my blog, likely because they scanned it or relied on second hand accounts.

Or worse? The reading comprehension in this country is at an all-time low. This morning I awoke to a blog claiming I was up in arms that writers needed to be paid royalties on used books. WTH? Okay, some people apparently need me to blog in crayon and use way smaller words.

I got this on Facebook last night.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 5.33.26 PM

For the record, all my human sacrifices are on altars constructed of old hardbacks. Paperbacks soak in blood too quickly and then you can’t finish summoning the demon properly…

Moving on.

Another weird trick about the brain is that order dictates emotional weight/importance.

So, if you work for me as my assistant and I tell you, “I need you to get me Tom’s number, an appointment with the dentist and an espresso.”

What will you assume that I probably want the most/first? What are you also most likely to remember?

If the AC guy shows up and your kids start blowing up your phone with texts and you spill coffee in your crotch and you then look at your watch an hour later…which item are you most likely to recall? That I needed Tom’s number.

Thus, when the original article that send me into orbit began with bashing Amazon and digital sales…then later talked about the rise of used bookstores. What do you think was the most lasting impression on the brain, whether readers were conscious of it or not?

If the brain uses order to assign importance, then many Washington Post readers walked away not just feeling good about a used bookstore. They also walked away believing Amazon and digital were bad because the article began with that.

That was part of why I was so angry. It was a blatant manipulation of the audience. See, people like me can spot the man behind the curtain.

***BONUS TIP: When people are emotional, angry or upset, they will reverse the order (emotional distancing). So, if you are in a fight with your wife and she finally tells you what is wrong? And she says, “You forgot the dishwashing soap, left your clothes in the dryer, and we don’t spend time together anymore.” You are wasting your breath arguing about dish soap. She does NOT CARE ABOUT DISH SOAP. Book a B&B. You can thank me later.

Brain Business—ARE YOU KILLING YOUR BOOK BIZ?

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Frankeileon

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Frankeileon

You, dear writer have gone through all this trouble to build a platform of not just writers, but people who might be readers (code for family friends and regular folks who might buy a book). They look to YOU to be their expert and guide.

Since only about 5% of the literate population are the type who inhale multiple books a week, most of these folks may read a handful of books a year if that.

Who cares if it is your book?

Since they are NOT the type of reader who requires an intervention for their habit, this argument about everyone who reads books being so broke they can’t buy new is crap.

Most regular folks? If they want a book, they buy off Amazon or go to a B&N at their local mall. They’re generally not the reader who’s trolling the bargain bins in front of Half Price Books because they just sold some plasma and can afford a couple new Neil Gaiman books.

Ignore Outliers

The BIGGEST mistake too many writers make is they assume they are selling to themselves. That their best market is the avid reader. Yes, we love the avid reader. But she is rare and not our best market.

The left side of the bell curve (the complete non-reader) is not our market at all. But the far-right, the reader who goes through a book a day? That reader would go bankrupt trying to buy everything new. She’s going to buy mostly used or check out stuff from a library and frankly I don’t blame her.

Also, she’s likely going to be a far pickier reader to please, so reviews are going to be much rarer because she’s a tougher to impress than the person who reads two books a year.

So we ignore the non-reader for the most part. Not a bad plan. But then writers ALL chase after the far right part of the Bell Curve (The White Stag).

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons and courtesy of Richard Fisher

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons and courtesy of Richard Fisher

And THEN we ignore the 90% of the population in need of being informed or entertained. I call those Brown Deer Readers (fat part of the bell curve).

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of John Stratford.

Original image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of John Stratford.

Yes, the White Stags loooove the used bookstores, but Brown Deer Readers? Not so much. And there are a heck of a lot more of them and guess what?

Brown Deer Readers are the game-changers.

J.K. Rowling did not become a billionaire by landing only White Stags. She became a billionaire by captivating the fat part of the bell curve of folks who didn’t believe they enjoyed books…until her books.

The fat part of the bell curve would rather be trying out pilates or watching Game of Thrones or head shooting buddies on PS4.

THIS is the reader you want. It is the reader I want. Why? Because when you captivate these readers this is when legends are made.

There are people who will tell you they do not read. They do not consider themselves readers, BUT they bought every single 50 Shades book in hard cover. They bought every Twilight, every Harry Potter book. They are the most avid fans any novelist can have simply because they are NOT avid readers.

Many of these folks still believe they hate reading…but they love YOUR books.

These people become an author’s single greatest asset. They will not only buy your books, they will evangelize them.

THIS is OUR CUSTOMER.

Now. Go back to what I was talking about. Modern communication.

You post articles and blogs bashing digital and Amazon. Regular people in your platform see those scroll by and since they are not avid readers, they don’t read further. They don’t want to buy books. They like you so they want to buy YOUR book (maybe).

Later, your books come out. I can tell you (from my background) what very likely will happen.

Wow! I see Penelope’s book is out. Better not get a digital copy or go to Amazon. She said it was bad. 

Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of coolio-claire

Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of coolio-claire

And THIS is what started it all. Being aware what we are posting because we are supposed to be guiding our consumers, not confusing them. We cannot take for granted that every person buying our books is an avid reader who understands the book business.

Khaled Hosseini tells a funny story of how his mother bought all the copies she found of his book The Kite Runner in Iran not knowing she was buying pirated copies of his work and that he would never make a dime off her beautiful gesture of support.

Use Our Brains Other Places

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Pierre Olivier-Carles

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Pierre Olivier-Carles

How we say things has always mattered. Now that we are in the digital age it is probably more important simply because we are dealing with an overwhelmed and distracted audience. The opportunities for miscommunication are endless.

I don’t regret writing the post, but I could have saved myself a lot of time defending misunderstanding if I’d followed my own teachings.

But phrasing stuff in the negative is so common and it’s a killer. I see writers doing promotions all the time and I cringe because they’re shooting themselves in the foot (I see this with businesses too, btw).

Don’t forget to buy my book!

What did you just tell your audience?

Don’t forget to buy my book!

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter!

Don’t miss this promotion!

Strive to tell people what you do want. It’s far more effective. If you are writing to make a living, you’re going to have to communicate clearly to consumers because it is really easy to confuse them. Yes, I love used bookstores, but I really am fond of being able to pay my light bill even more. So I work hard to promote places I am paid because I appreciate how easy it is to confuse a consumer. Trust me, they can find a used bookstore on their own😉 .

So what are y’all’s thoughts?

Seriously, now does every fight you’ve ever had with your spouse make sense? Do you now understand why your kid keeps forgetting his backpack? Don’t forget your backpack! Have you spent too much time chasing after avid readers and underestimated the regular folks? What are your thoughts? Aside from wondering why I hate used bookstores😛

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of JANUARY, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel.

And yes, I am a complete and total slacker. December’s winner will be announced later because I seriously had three posts go viral. Great problem to have…but tabulating a winner? Gonna take a little time. Love you *air kiss*

Remember to check out the new classes listed at W.A.N.A International.  

Branding for Authors (THIS SATURDAY). This is your best way to get PAID in the digital age. We have to cultivate that 1000 die hard fans. FIND YOUR BROWN DEER!

Also, I have one craft class listed. Your Story in a Sentence—Crafting Your Log-Line. Our stories should be simple enough to tell someone what the book is about in ONE sentence. If we can’t do this, often there is a plot problem. This class is great for teaching you how to be master plotters and the first TEN SIGNUPS get their log-line shredded for free, so you will be agent ready for the coming year.

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook

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  1. #1 by Eric Klingenberg on January 19, 2016 - 11:27 am

    A very interesting article. In my full job, working in special needs, we are told the same don’t use negatives (see what I did there😉 ). Don’t throw that chair becomes throw that chair, that can make a big difference to your day!

  2. #2 by Angel Payne on January 19, 2016 - 11:31 am

    You are, as usual. amazing. *Bows down* . I am so happy and grateful to have your blog in my life. SUCH good sh**, woman.

  3. #3 by weissblut on January 19, 2016 - 11:32 am

    While I can’t comment on the first part as I didn’t follow the incriminated post, I’d like to tackle the second part, the one where you’re actually saying that people should write for the masses. This is actually the marketing strategy that people adopt when they don’t know where else to go to.

    You want to sell to the early adopters. Because early adopters are passionate. Because they’re the people that will defend their choice, make it personal, and spread the word. The whole Christianity based its success not on the millions of people who were already believers in something (“I’ll never buy Kristen new book, she’s so much trying to copy Twilight”) but on just 12 early adopters. Look at ’em now going.

    Early adopters are the key to success. They will spread the word for you. They will take risks, and suggest your art to other people. The mass will follow. The mass won’t spread your book anywhere. 50 Shades is a wrong example, firstly because it was copied off other people’s work, second because it talks about sex and in our society apparently sex sells.

    There is a great TED Talk by Simon Sinek which in marketing is over-exposed, Start With Why. It explains why you should 1) start your enterprise, be it creating the new Tinder or writing a book, with the Why you are doing this and 2) why you should sell to the early adopters.

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 11:42 am

      I disagree. I don’t think there is anything wrong with going after Early Adopters, but what happens is writer all focus on marketing to the same people. They get on Goodreads. They go to book clubs. They all dog pile the avid reader. The avid reader is already overloaded and isn’t going to be as passionate about a good story as the average person who reads a handful of books a year and finds something they love.

      I never said write for the masses. I said, engage with regular people because they are your readers.

      • #5 by weissblut on January 19, 2016 - 2:17 pm

        I don’t think many early adopters are on GoodReads, and I agree that the avid reader won’t probably give space to new authors – I’m an avid reader and I’ve a book list that will take longer than my life to finish. No space for many new authors unfortunately. Maybe I read it wrong, but if you meant only to engage with regular people as they’ll be the ones reading your books – then I agree. But if you need to build an audience, then your best shot is with early adopters. They will promote you, and will probably have the authority, in their circles, to be trusted as well. It’s branding vs. Marketing. At least that’s how I see it!

  4. #6 by Solveig on January 19, 2016 - 11:34 am

    I just learnt to much. Now I will definitely use remember this etc a lot more.🙂

  5. #7 by newfsull on January 19, 2016 - 11:40 am

    Damn! Love that word as much as I love your blogs. It is so easy for me to think that because I eat books as part of my daily diet, that other folks are the same. I just this morning gave away six hard cover books to a young lady that likes Fantasy. No they were not books I had written. Sometimes I am a one man usedbook store, as I cannot resist the urge to give away a book I have read; they merely sit, waiting in my library for its next reader. Nope, I don’t ask for them back; pass then on, with the hope that the reader will go any buy other books and do the same.

    But the idea that I need to capture the attention of a reader who does not read on a continuous basis; wow, thanks for the focus – who would have tunk (ya, ya, not a word)?

  6. #8 by Jason Gallagher on January 19, 2016 - 11:43 am

    I read every word of this article, but I can tell you there was a misunderstanding. I thought this article was somehow connected to actual games that train the brain, “Brain Games,” like Lumosity. I kid you not. I appreciated the article, and some great tip on how the brain works, but go figure that I was wondering when Lumosity was going to be mentioned the entire time I was reading. There’s a brain game for you – association.

  7. #9 by foguth on January 19, 2016 - 11:44 am

    Excellent article! I will reread what I’ve written with a focus on clarity in the message my verbs convey!
    Hope you have recovered your health and have a wonderful week.

  8. #10 by 1authorcygnetbrown on January 19, 2016 - 11:48 am

    Years ago my Dad always told me that same thing about “never say don’t” because what you tell someone not to do, they will do exactly that.

    I like what you said about the 90%. It is very similar to the 80/20 rule of marketing.

  9. #11 by prudencemacleod on January 19, 2016 - 11:52 am

    For lo these many long years (many many years) I have preached the gospel of using language powerfully to manifest the life you want. It is good to be validated by one’s mentor. (Kristen Lamb)

    Kristen, this one deserves another post. We in North America have a terrible penchant for expressing ourselves in the negative. This must stop. We must learn the power of language and how to use it powerfully.

    Thanks for another great post.

  10. #12 by Rii the Wordsmith on January 19, 2016 - 11:54 am

    Well, in all fairness, “Don’t forget” is a little more polite than just saying, “Buy my book”.
    ‘Course, “Please check out X” is probably politer still, so…

    I appreciate the point about the stags and deer, since yeah, that was my assumption. Although in all fairness, I was and am surrounded by other stags so I assumed they were more common than they might be.

    • #13 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 12:09 pm

      You can also use, “When you get a chance, remember to buy my book.” And yes, we writers tend to surround ourselves with other writers. That is a big reason I felt many writers were so flippant about posting that article. WE know how writers get paid, so WE know to buy new. We make the assumption everyone knows what we know. That’s risky.

  11. #14 by renogalsays on January 19, 2016 - 11:55 am

    Spot on as always Kristen.

  12. #15 by donnajeanmcdunn on January 19, 2016 - 11:56 am

    Loved this article as well as the one you took so much flack for. It annoys me when people take things out of context. Like I tell my husband when we disagree on something we’ve read. ‘read the whole thing, not just a word now and then and you’ll see I’m right.’

  13. #16 by Lelia Rose Foreman (@LeliaForeman) on January 19, 2016 - 12:06 pm

    I truly LOLed several times while reading this. It’s nice to find things to laugh at in January. I don’t remember where you live, but here in the Pacific Northwest, January is bleak. Anyway, thanks for a great article. Now I’m going to look at how I phrase things.

  14. #17 by philosophermouseofthehedge on January 19, 2016 - 12:07 pm

    Good points and well said. The world now is full of shallow information skimming and knee jerk reactions without a thought connected.
    People talking to people is one of the best sales promotions. (And if it makes anyone feel better, Rowling, too had to fight unauthorized book publishings – in multiple (badly done) translations.)

  15. #18 by rxena77 on January 19, 2016 - 12:37 pm

    The flack attracted people to your blog. That was a good thing. It is good for your books and your blog if you are attacked. People flock to see what the fuss is all about. Just in terminology and the bell curve, the average person could be construed as the masses. We want only affirmation, but we learn more from the criticism. Have only high sales. As always an interesting post.

    • #19 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 12:50 pm

      You can call it the masses. I would just caution regarding what a commenter said about writing FOR the masses. We just write. Tell a damn good story. Don’t ever write for a market or a sale. That’s a whole other blog.

      “The Kite Runner” “Tuesday’s With Morrie” “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” “The Road” were not written “for” the masses, but they sure were embraced by them.

      And sure the flack attracted people here and that’s all good. I’m okay with that. I only make opinions I am willing to own😀 .And agree 1000%. We sure do learn from the critics.

  16. #20 by jrosebooks on January 19, 2016 - 12:50 pm

    Great post! Thanks for the laughs and insight this morning! Although Amazon is a behemoth, I sure hope we’re not turning readers away from there. For one, those are where the main rankings for Indies are…

    • #21 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 1:03 pm

      Well and the thing is, regular people also don’t understand that most used bookstores won’t carry indie authors so they won’t ever have a copy of OUR books. I can picture my mother patiently waiting for them to get a copy of my book though because e-books are bad, LOL.

  17. #22 by Southpaw, HR Sinclair on January 19, 2016 - 1:04 pm

    Silly ol’ brains. I sometimes skim articles, but if I read something that didn’t set right (or I loved), I read more closely for the very reason you expressed.

  18. #23 by Suzanne Lucero on January 19, 2016 - 1:08 pm

    So simple, what you just said. Full of (un)common sense. I read all of your posts because they are intelligent, funny, interesting, funny, and teach me things I didn’t know. (Did I mention they were funny?) So I didn’t understand that SOME people were going to see only the highlights, or to reword that, I was blind to the fact that other people would misunderstand what you wrote. (See what I did, there? You’re an awesome teacher, Kristin)

    Also, I have the back-cover copy to my novel worked out but still can’t come up with a short and sweet logline. I’ll try to make it to your class, but no guarantees. 😀

    Happy teaching!

  19. #24 by Lanette Kauten on January 19, 2016 - 1:17 pm

    OMG! Kristen Lamb engages in human sacrifice! I just read it on her blog.

  20. #25 by Diana Staresinic-Deane on January 19, 2016 - 1:20 pm

    I always find your posts interesting and educational, but this post completely blew my mind. I definitely need a copy of your book. And thank you for coming out of your pneumonia-induced stupor to communicate with us!

  21. #26 by melissabanczak on January 19, 2016 - 1:54 pm

    You’re right about losing the negative word. My husband and I shared a thumb drive back in the caveman days and I told him, don’t delete that file. Which he promptly did. Thankfully I had a printed copy of that manuscript.

  22. #27 by K.B. Owen on January 19, 2016 - 2:19 pm

    Cool perspective on target readership! I never quite thought of it that way.

    I know exactly what you mean about the brain filtering communication. Our youngest son (15) has long struggled with accurately processing what he hears in school and what we say at home. He would fill in what he thought he heard, and sometimes the results were pretty crazy. One time I was running for the phone after coming home from the grocery store and asked him to “put the two gallons of milk away.” He wanders in a few minutes later, looking very confused and asks: “What did you say about tuna?” *head desk*

    We finally had him evaluated and it’s a neuro-processing issue. Now we are extra careful about how we phrase things to him, and we give him extra time to take it in.

  23. #28 by kdrose1 on January 19, 2016 - 3:14 pm

    Fantastic post.

  24. #29 by kdrose1 on January 19, 2016 - 3:16 pm

    Reblogged this on authorkdrose and commented:
    Another Fantastic Post by Kristen Lamb, (still fending off vampires from another post a week ago.)

  25. #30 by Penelope Baldwin on January 19, 2016 - 4:17 pm

    I’m actually happy that you wrote your book in a drug induced pneumonia haze, because it ended up making an excellent point. And all of us new writers need all the help we can get! Unfortunately social media seems to be one giant game of telephone, and it’s the main way people communicate. I hope this sheds some light on the fact that we need to be diligent in understanding the things we are spreading to everyone else. Thanks!

  26. #31 by Penelope Baldwin on January 19, 2016 - 4:17 pm

    …blog not book

  27. #32 by Matt Bowes on January 19, 2016 - 4:18 pm

    I see Lanette (about comment #24) got to the point of the post: Human sacrifice amidst hardback books. This is considered to be an abomination for two reasons:
    1. Those were _books_! They’re like friends. No, they ARE friends.
    2. And they were HARDBACKS! (Sob! Gnash!) You monster! I’ll bet you used first editions. Signed.

    The next scandalous post:
    That hypocrite Kristin secretly buys hardbacks from used bookstores for human sacrifice while bashing used bookstores!

    The copy writes itself. Yes, yes, I know, you’re not secretive about your bookbuying at all, but imagine the new twitter tag: #savethehardbacks which will almost certainly confuse people who will think it’s some sort of racist pro-migrant thing while others will decide it has something to do with gay cowboy movies.

    You can’t save them all.

    (Which most of you read as “Save them all.”)
    (And why can’t I do bold? I need bold. That headline wants bolding. It’s so sad in plaintext.)

  28. #34 by Katie Doyle on January 19, 2016 - 4:40 pm

    I’ve never thought of this before! This is going to put a whole new spin on how I market my books from now on! I will definitely NOT use “Don’t forget…” or “Don’t miss…” again!

  29. #35 by Laura on January 19, 2016 - 4:46 pm

    I learned the “don’t use negatives”🙂 thing years ago from lectures and an online class by Bill Harris of Centerpointe. I have way too many NLP CDs… they’re pretty amazing, though. I’m afraid it took until this post to think of putting that info to use in blog posts by phrasing things in positive ways. I’ll have to watch myself from now on (and get back to blogging).

    Now if only people could do that on Twitter, I might spend more time there… lol.

  30. #36 by Deborah Makarios on January 19, 2016 - 5:48 pm

    Ah yes… my old friend the White Hermaphroditic Fairy Beast (don’t ask) – not to be confused with the Beast Glatisant (or Questing Beast).
    I take your point about the brown deer – but how exactly does one write for brown deer when one is an oddity oneself?

    • #37 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 6:25 pm

      You are already writing for them. All stories are for the brown deer. Our job is to help them discover that it is😀 .

  31. #39 by tracikenworth on January 19, 2016 - 7:15 pm

    Great post, Kristen!! Always to the point!!

  32. #40 by Ernesto San Giacomo on January 19, 2016 - 7:53 pm

    I read your “Pat The Writer” post. I didn’t see anything to infer a bashing of used bookstores.
    However, I can see how that can happen after reading the part about “Brain tricks” within this post.
    Don’t forget to respond Kristen!🙂
    (Sometimes I just can’t resist)

  33. #41 by Ernesto San Giacomo on January 19, 2016 - 7:54 pm

    I read your “Pay The Writer” post… grrrrr

  34. #42 by vicki on January 19, 2016 - 7:55 pm

    You make me smile! Especially at all the flack you got. HYSTERICAL!!!! People are so funny sometimes. Great job!!

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 8:42 pm

      I never mind a disagreement. Ranting Monkey (Frank) bordered on being out of line but I approved him anyway, we duked it out, we made up, we cried and hugged and became friends. That is the difference between someone who disagrees versus a troll. A troll is never interested in there being any repair. A troll is not interested in the discussion. Frank and I disagreed on some things. I changed my mind on some items he changed his on others. But blogs are supposed to generate discussion, not bullying.

      • #44 by vicki on January 20, 2016 - 9:30 am

        I love that about your discussions!!

  35. #45 by The Ranting Monkey on January 19, 2016 - 8:14 pm

    In my defense, my issue with the original article wasn’t about the overall theme but very specific parts of what was written. I absolutely believe writers should be paid. I think a lot of writers would benefit from some basic economics and marketing courses, paying special attention to learning how to value their own work, but that’s not what this is about.

    Human psychology is a fascinating subject. Our own interaction on that post is a pretty good study. I was more combative than needed and you were a bit more defensive than warranted due to what you’d dealt with by the time I came along. Human nature, go figure.

    While I do sympathize with what you went through, I gotta say, I’m glad you did go through it because I don’t think this post would exist without the other and this one is really useful if people pay attention to what you’re telling them.

    The best marketing fully exploits the human brain’s tendencies. Anyone in sales, which includes writers, would benefit from a little knowledge on the subject.

    • #46 by Author Kristen Lamb on January 19, 2016 - 8:43 pm

      But now we are FRIENDS!😀

      • #47 by The Ranting Monkey on January 19, 2016 - 9:10 pm

        Indeed. 😀

        And at risk of sounding like a suck up, I really am glad I found your blog. Lot of good info around here and your archives have passed a lot of otherwise unfocused hours.

  36. #48 by Lanette Kauten on January 19, 2016 - 11:47 pm

    Check out the new avatar, Kristen.

  37. #49 by nancysegovia on January 20, 2016 - 12:26 am

    Great post, Kristen, I never thought of it that way. I guess it’s all about reinforcing the positive instead of the negative, i. e. . don’t forget = negative and remember = positive

  38. #50 by Nicci on January 20, 2016 - 1:45 am

    Super cool. Thanks, Kristen. I’m a subscriber to your philosophy and love seeing other dimensions of it applied. Love the brown deer idea. You help motivate me to keep focusing on my tribe.🙂

  39. #51 by tambra nicole on January 20, 2016 - 8:42 am

    Thank you for another fascinating blog post! I appreciate you, Kristen.

  40. #52 by Cher Gatto on January 20, 2016 - 10:52 am

    I really appreciate you!!! Thanks for speaking out AND in🙂. Hugs from a brown sheep!!!😉

  41. #53 by Cher Gatto on January 20, 2016 - 10:53 am

    Oh… a Brown Deer!!! I really did read every word :)… Just thinking of the flock🙂

  42. #54 by storytellergirlgrace on January 20, 2016 - 12:54 pm

    Thank you, Kristen, for not only writing about something that needed to be said, but for backing up your points with actual human psychology and brain facts (though some of your nay-sayers will likely glaze right over that bit, too). I’m working my way through your “Rise of the Machines” book and I must say, it’s just gold.🙂

  43. #55 by Chelly Pike on January 20, 2016 - 1:06 pm

    Love this. Thanks for sharing.

  44. #56 by Ruth Ann Nordin on January 20, 2016 - 1:57 pm

    That’s a neat tip on using positives instead of negatives. I can see how “sign up for my email list” would be more effective than “Don’t forget to sign up for my email list.”

    I love all your posts. You’re very informative, and I learn a lot from you.

  45. #57 by Rachel Thompson on January 21, 2016 - 10:22 am

    You hit on social dynamics and authoritarian psychology and how it interacts with herd mentality Good stuff. The white stag is the rare independent thinker who can float in and out of herd politics unabated and unaffected.. The brown deer, the masses, are basically stupid and can be led to stamped with ease. he authoritarian big five need herd’s to feed themselves.

  46. #58 by Erika Beebe on January 21, 2016 - 5:40 pm

    What a great post. You always introduce points I need to know and have never thought about. Personally I wouldn’t discount any avenue to get a book into a reader’s hand. Doesn’t matter to me who they are. I hope you feel better soon!

  47. #59 by Barbara Renner on January 21, 2016 - 7:38 pm

    I get it! I read your previous articles very carefully, and I got them! I was in a used bookstore today and noticed all the tattered and torn pages of the cookie cutter books, i.e. John Grisham, Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, etc. All that is happening here is a literary recycling process. There was a woman in there shopping, and what I noticed was that she turned in the books that she had just read for the ones she wants to read. I surmised that this woman does not have a life. I envisioned her sitting in her Lazy-boy recliner reading a paperback book all day, every day. The books I was looking for are on a book club list that a friend gave to me. I didn’t find any of them. So, I will purchase them on Barnes & Noble, and the author will gain her/his just reward. I’m glad, really, after reading your posts. After reading your first 2 blog posts, I did a little research. I looked up bookstores in Arizona and found that the majority of bookstores are used bookstores – very sad. I found 3 bookstores that didn’t market themselves as a used bookstore in the Phoenix area (the 6th largest city in the U.S.), and one of those is Barnes & Noble. I enjoy your blogs very much. I hope you are feeling better:-)

  48. #60 by Icy Sedgwick on January 22, 2016 - 7:54 am

    Love everything about this post. Will you be my mum?!

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