Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Wonderings on Wanderings: Building a Team, Planning a Business

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wonderings on Wanderings: Building a Team, Planning a Business

my social media marketing consultant, the most prominent digital influencer in the Philippines, Janette Toral!
Bill, my go to person
I have not written a book to earn lots of money. But I did not write one to lose money either. They say 10% of the effort is in writing the book, 30% in publishing, and 60% in marketing. Being right in the middle of editing, still researching publishing, and just lining up the marketing steps, there is so much work left for me to do. My go to person for helping me is, of course, Bill, but he has enough on his plate, especially now with his CASA commitment. 2014 will definitely be one busy year without help! I need a team and I need a plan!

my editor, Chit Tribiana
With Chit having completed Round 1 of the book editing, Bill and I made an appointment with an Arizona CPA to get guidance on how to set up the business for ‘The Cruising Lifestyle’ as a brand that will have the book as the first product. He advised us to set up a simple single proprietorship, a DBA (Doing Business As). He also said we can set up a book of accounts using the concept that 50% of some of our expenses can be charged to the business such as the RV, car, computer, and membership at Thousand Trails Resorts, basic things that enable us to maintain our RV cruising lifestyle.

With the book of accounts set up, I made a preliminary business analysis. If I make a small profit per book, then I need to sell 10,000 books; a medium means 5,000 books; and a high means just 3.333. These numbers seem very doable! I am even more excited now! Even if I sell no books, we would have only spent direct expenses of about $3,000 and just a little more than $1250 if I don’t spend a single cent in marketing! Is Bill going to support me in this endeavor?  Of course!

The major part of the business plan, once set up, is marketing. I have been doing this most of my business life, marketing different products and services: training, consulting, software, hardware, etc. There are four Ps in marketing: product, price, place, promotion. The final product is on its way; price will be decided with the publishing house; the same with place or points for distribution. To promote a book, the principles are the same but the state of the art is now different because of the Internet.

Literary agents and publishers say that a strong online platform will be key in promotion. So I have repositioned my blog, my Facebook profile, and twitter account as parts of that platform. My blog has since averaged 13,500 views a month, below the 30,000 strong platforms have. So I have more to do! A FB fan base of around 3,000 is also needed. I have only 1,800 but think I will get there. My new FB business page, The Cruising Lifestyle, is under construction and hopefully will also reach about 3,000 likes. My new website,, also under construction, will put my blog, my book, articles published, and photo galleries in one place. 
But I definitely need help because I still do not use Twitter enough and have not even begun to use LinkedIn or You Tube.  Even Pinterest and Instagram can be exploited. So I need a social media marketing consultant. There are many who are offering their services in the US. But why will I pay top dollars when better value services can be had from the Philippines, second only to Brazil in using social media? So I have sought the opinion of Janette Toral, the most prominent digital influencer of the Philippines, who promptly gave me homework to do. First idea is this: the key is to have engaging conversations with potential clients, enlisting their email addresses, and converting to a sale!

my traditional media marketing consultant, Jingjing
But we probably will also need ads (FB, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) and publicity, the latter probably the more important of the two. I am lucky that one of my BFFs is a well-known publicist in the Philippines, Jingjing Romero. She will probably not say no to help me penetrate the Filipino reader marketplace! But I do not have any idea how to do it in the US. Hopefully, my publishing house will be able to help me reach the American reader marketplace!

So there you have it, I don’t feel so alone now. I have an initial team: Bill, Chit, Janette, Jingjing. Three published authors have also reviewed my book: Linda Herman, Roberta Dolan, and Linda Kennedy. Two bloggers, Tel and Merry Jo, also helped. Family members Suzanne and Claudine pitched in. And friends Liz Kranz and Chit Derkits complete my team of reviewers. Who else would like to be part of my team in this journey? You are so needed!