Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 1

Change Your Book Marketing Mindset with Susie deVille - How to Write the Future podcast

In “Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 1,” host Beth Barany, creativity coach, and science fiction and fantasy novelist, chats with Susie in this new mini-series where they discuss her Buoyant Liberation Quadrants system and share how to apply it to energizing how to market your fiction.

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About Susie deVille

Susie deVille is a speaker, award-winning author, and Founder & CEO of the Innovation & Creativity Institute, a coaching firm that helps small business owners, creators, and authors claim their creativity, vision, and voice and build scalable enterprises aligned with their true selves. She wrote her first book, BUOYANT: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Becoming Wildly Successful, Creative, and Free,  for entrepreneurs and creators who are painfully stuck and riddled with self-doubt and who believe the path to the success and freedom they crave is through more work, productivity, and discipline. She shows a much easier path—by tapping into your innate, inspired creativity.







Download Susie’s deVille’s Buoyant Liberation Quadrant here:

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The How To Write The Future podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers.

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TRANSCRIPT for Episode 35  – Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 1

Are you looking for a way to dig into your world building for your story? Then I recommend that you check out my World Building Workbook for Fiction Writers. Now available. It’s at How To Write The Just head on over there. Click, sign up. Put your name and email, and there you go. That workbook will be delivered to your inbox straight away.

Hey everyone, Beth. Barany here with How To Write The Future podcast.

This is a podcast that offers tips and support for science fiction and fantasy writers, and actually writers of all kinds who want to create positive, optimistic futures.

Because I believe when we vision what is possible and we put that into our fiction, we actually help make it happen in the world because our readers read them, feel it, and it can change their outlook.

And when your outlook changes, you can change how you operate in the world, how you behave, and how you think.

I am a science fiction and fantasy author and writing coach and consultant. I work with individuals and organizations to help bring stories to life.

Welcome to a new mini series, featuring my interviews with entrepreneur coach creativity Energizer and founder of the Innovation and Creativity institute, Susie deVille. We dive into the conversation on book marketing and creativity. Enjoy.

Intro for this podcast

My thinking cap is geared towards book marketing since that’s the theme for the next few months. I’m interviewing lots of different people about book marketing, and I’m always looking for ways to find the passion and interest there, because as a novelist, I think we’re all told, and we all love to focus on the craft because that takes up so much of our time and energy and creativity.

And a lot of people are adverse to marketing.

Yes, people have challenges with confidence around and get stalled out with their writing. And I feel like as a coach, I’ve spent a lot of time there myself.

I know a lot how to help them, but when it comes to marketing, I feel like I have a lot less hangups than a lot of other writers. But I still go into my cave and then I gotta come back outta my cave and then I gotta find my stride again. And it’s the same with the creative work itself, but that, I have a lot more practice going on and off, into the creative work itself.

And then, but how do we transform?

My whole quest, these last 16 plus years, is how do I make business feel like I’m in a creative act.

Susie deVille

This is perfect.

Beth Barany

Yeah. When I was starting my business, I even interviewed people, other creative writers, and I’m like, how do you do this business thing and make it fun?

And half the time people are giving me MBA answers that made me just

Susie deVille


Beth Barany

fall over. And

Susie deVille

Stab yourself in the eyeball.

Beth Barany

I know, yeah. I’m just like, I think I’m gonna take a nap now. That was 16-plus years ago. And, and now more than ever, it’s so important that people find the joy and find the love and find the passion.

For the last few years, I say to myself, life’s too short. We need to do what we love.

That was in 2016, I was guiding myself that way. And then the pandemic, and of course all this extreme weather, although today it’s beautiful here

It’s like, why are we trying to do things the old way when they clearly don’t work?

Capitalism has been so exploitative, and I don’t wanna exploit myself. I wanna be in the place of joy and love and the things that drive me to be a storyteller.

So anyway, that’s some premise thoughts that where I’m coming from.

Susie deVille

Fire all that at me. That’s perfect. That’s all perfect. Let’s go.

Beth Barany

Okay. Thank you for letting me totally do the soapbox thing.

Susie deVille

Oh, it’s so fun.

Beth Barany

Yeah. Great. All right. Hey everyone. Welcome to How To Write the Future Podcast. I’m Beth Barany, your host, a creativity coach, developmental editor, futurist, and also a science fiction and fantasy writer.

Susie deVille

I am so excited today to bring to you a special guest, Susie deVille.

Beth Barany

I’ve been a longtime fan of your newsletter, Susie, and something happened where I reached out to you, I think you were marketing your book Buoyant in such a creative way, and maybe we’ll touch on some of that as we go into this today.

Susie deVille

But I would love to start off today with you telling us a little bit about you, I honestly don’t know a whole lot. I mean, I know you’re awesome. I’ve read your bio, but and I’ve had a lovely coaching session with you a few months ago, which was just beautiful. And I’ve read parts of your book, which just touch me so deeply.

Beth Barany

So tell us a little bit about you and also how did you come to be doing what you do?

Susie deVille

Well, sure. Well, thank you so much for having me here today, Beth. I’m so excited.

My name is Susie deVille, and I’m the founder and CEO of the Innovation and Creativity Institute. And I help entrepreneurs and creators work less and earn more and feel more calm, clear, and confident by tapping into their innate creativity.

I’m also the author of Buoyant, the Entrepreneur’s Guide to Becoming Wildly Successful, Creative, and Free.

And I have written that book for entrepreneurs and creators who are painfully stuck and riddled with self-doubt, who believe that the path to success and freedom is through more work, more discipline, and more productivity.

And I show a much easier path to a joyful and delightful path that’s filled with flow and ease.

Beth Barany

Oh, I love that so, so much. That has been my watchword for the last bunch of years. And so how did you get here?

Were you always a creative person? Were you also maybe really stuck and learned how to be unstuck?

What drew you into this amazing combination of being a creative or being an entrepreneur who helps creatives?

Do you have a creative background?

Susie deVille

Actually, I do have a creative background, but I did not believe I was an artist until relatively recently. So I grew up in a very entrepreneurial, very artful household and was very involved in the family business from a very young age, and caught the entrepreneurial bug from my dad, who was an engineer and an artist, and a very, very successful entrepreneur.

I was always interested in writing, always interested in reading books. I was always interested in art and design, but it wasn’t until I was in a classroom for my Master’s degree in 2005 when I was introduced to a firm by the name of IDEO, which is a design firm out in Palo Alto, California. And we were shown a video of how IDEO works and what their design thinking process is all about.

And literally, I felt like the top of my head was gonna come off. I was so excited. I was looking around the classroom like, oh my God,  is anybody else just like losing their minds. That put me on a completely obsessive passionate path to discover everything that I could about innovation and creativity.

And so I began researching and learning everything that I could. Then I started a sort of a initial consulting firm. Based upon what I was learning in this research, which ultimately became this latest iteration, the Innovation and Creativity Institute. All the while I was learning how to be a great business coach, I was learning all of this research.

I was applying it to my own life, applying it to the lives of clients, and then the bottom of the world dropped out. My world dropped out in 2008 when the markets crashed, and absolutely everything in my life imploded. My marriage, my finances, my businesses, my health. Everything went to zero. And I had to find a way to get out of the messes that I was in.

And I had been this hard-charging, you can sleep when you’re dead. Productivity hacking person. Thinking that, okay, I’m just gonna effort my way out of this mess. And what I discovered was that was only going to dig me further into a hole. And so I made a pledge that if I were to figure out how to get out of this mess, I was going to reach back and help as many entrepreneurs and creators as I possibly could.

And what I learned completely shocked me, and that was: by doing less better, by releasing my obsession with perfectionism and worrying about being under the knives of judgment, by tapping into my inspire creativity, by disbelieving the lie that I wasn’t an artist– all of these things completely shocked me that; these were the roads out of the briar patch and into this incredible, mystical, joyful world that was filled with almost effortless success.

Now, I still had to work hard, but I certainly worked in a very different way, and I began attracting opportunities and resonating with the very people I was so desperate to reach in a much easier.

Beth Barany

Oh, that’s so wonderful. What a journey. I’m sure a lot of listeners can relate. While I work with fiction writers, I too, have experienced this, like, hard-charging. If I just do like this, then I’m gonna be like the bestseller I admire. And of course, it never turns out that way.

And I hit that wall too, so I can totally relate. And I’m sure many listeners can relate to how this really intense head down, you know, ignoring the body that might say rest, ignoring the cues from this magical, amazing universe we live in can and gets us into so much trouble. And we’re seeing it worldwide.

We’re seeing it in capitalism, we’re seeing it in the systems across the board in every part of society. People are noticing we cannot do it the way we’ve always done it. And that’s why I love thinking about the future, and, and we’ve all experienced so much disruption. So, let’s reimagine how we can be as creatives in the world.

So that’s what you’re gonna help us with today. I’m so excited to have you here. You’re gonna share with us your system that you call the Buoyant Liberation Quadrants to help us. I love how you said it, to just really help us, deal with deadly creative blocks or flagging energy and, and I’m really curious how we can apply it to book marketing, cuz that’s one of the biggest sticking points I see.

But of course, it’s gonna help people at every stage of the creative process.

So I am in your hands, Susie, just, you know, guide me. I am your Guinea pig too. I want to be, I want to be learning alongside our listeners and I am always hungry personally to learn new things and to understand new frames of reference that will help me, like you said, get into that place of ease and joy, and I want my book marketing to be in the flow, like when I’m writing.

And of course, when I’m writing, it’s not always in the flow, but I understand how I have to break the tough top layer, like the custard to get into the sweetness when I write fiction and edit and other decision-making, like cover because I’m indie.

But when it comes to marketing, it can feel like I am just flailing in this wide world of: this is how you should do it. And oh, look at that creative way of doing things, and will this work? You know, will this, will this find my readers? Will this action generate sales, bottom line, and garnish me new fans?

Susie deVille

Let’s start with what you just mentioned, which is this tendency we all have, and we’re inundated with it, frankly, with ubiquitous online marketers prompting us to do things a certain way, that if we don’t follow X Y Z path or their system, we’re doomed to being ignored by the very peopl we are so desperate to pick up our work and fall in love with it. 

So, let’s first start with what David Whyte. Let’s invoke the great poet here. He says in his poem, “Start close in.”

Let’s use that as the framework for our conversation today. Because if we start close in, to what it is that we love and what it is that is in alignment with how we are energetically wired to take action, what it is that fills us with a sense of joyful agency, and this ability to let go of this strange belief that we have to effort our way forward in order for it to count, in order for it to get traction in the market. I’m going to show over the next several minutes how to approach this from an energetic perspective.

You are now the Energy Manager In Chief of your body, of your brain, of your soul, and we’re going to learn concepts for how to take marketing and understand it from a position of what brings your energy up and what feels insanely in alignment with you. And also conversely, what zaps your energy and makes you feel like you would rather throw yourself down a flight of stairs than do that particular task?

So, I’m gonna switch over my camera so everybody can see this document, which we’re going to have available for everyone.

Beth Barany

For everybody listening, we will be describing this handout that Susie has on the screen, and it will also be available for you to download. So, great.

Susie deVille

Yes. So let me just first describe it. For the folks who are joining via audio, I would like for you to imagine a circle with a giant plus sign in the middle. So if you have a piece of paper, your journal handy, and a pen or a pencil, go ahead right now and draw a circle with a big plus sign in the middle.

And then on the left-hand side of the circle, draw a little satellite, like a little moon, little, moon that’s in its orbit. and I’m gonna take you through how to label each one of the quadrants in the main circle and explain each one of these. And then for homework, you can fill in. Each one of these for you, I’m gonna take you through this so that you are crystal clear on how this works.

Beth Barany

That sounds great.

Susie deVille

So l let’s start what I call in the high and to the right quadrant. This is the quadrant of tasks that you love to do and you are excellent at doing them. Okay? So this is what I call your Green Go zone and also your Buzzy Energy Zone. These are tasks that people will often say to you, “Gosh, you’re just, you’re just like, it’s like effortless for you to do X, Y, and Z. How in the world do you do that?”

You may not even know how you got to be so incredibly good at these particular tasks, but these are things that you just shine at and you just find a particular sense of flow and joy when you do them, and they very successfully push the needle in your business or in your sales or in the infrastructure of your creative work.

So again, what you love and you’re excellent at.

The next quadrant, which is to the left of that, is the Good At It slash Like it quadrant. And this is what I call the Caution Zone, which I will describe a little bit more in just a second. And these are tasks that you’re competent here and you like them. You can sometimes though, hide out in this quadrant, which is why I call it the Caution zone. You can hide out here because the world of beige, not really super exciting. And because you have a competence here, you can, you can sort of lazily hang out here, whereas the high end to the right quadrant, you’re really, your brain is on fire here, and you have almost endless energy.

Now let’s go below the fold, which is the center line of the circle, and go to the bottom left quadrant. This is the Okay At It- don’t Like It quadrant. You’re sort of competent but you really don’t like to do it, these tasks, and this is a Stop And Ask For Help quadrant, and I also call this the Burnout Zone. And that these are places where you can end up with your wheels stuck in the mud, especially if, let’s say for you, you’re okay at doing some moderate tech things. Let’s say maybe backend stuff on your website or sending out the newsletter.

You’re okay at it, but you really don’t like to do it, frankly. and it’s just hoovers out of you fast resources of focus, happiness, and energy. And you tell yourself, “Well, you know, I should get my VA to do this, or my assistant to help me.” But then you think, “I’ll just be faster if I do it myself.”

This is an area that’s riddled with snake pits and landmines. And anything that’s below the fold is something that you should delegate. So let’s just get in the habit of thinking that right off the bat. And then the last quadrant on the far right, below the fold is the Loathe It Terrible At It.

This is what I call the Danger Zone. This is also a quadrant where you really have to stop and ask for help. Get rid of these tasks as much as you possibly can.

And then onto the little moon that’s to the left of the big circle. This is an area that I put out here at the suggestion of a client of mine, which I loved, which is What I Want To Learn and/or Master.

So be clear that this is not a task that you hate, that you feel, that you quote unquote should get better at it. But this is something rather that maybe it would be high into the right for you if you had some more training or some more information or some skill building in this area. Capture what that would be.

And I call that the growth Zone.

Beth Barany

So I just wanna thank you so much, Susie, for coming on How to write the Future Show, podcast.

Susie deVille

Thank you so much and if anyone would like to have any more information, I would welcome folks to visit my website at Innovation and Creativity You can connect with me on social there. You can see the kind of coaching that I do. You can also learn more about my book Buoyant. And, finally, if you’d like to explore just learning more about these concepts, I do have 20-minute free consultation sessions that sometimes can be just enough time to shift you and get you going that doesn’t require a full-blown session.

Beth Barany

That’s great and I’m so glad. People, do reach out to Susie’s website, socials, take her up on her session. I had one with her. It was just wonderful. It was like rocket fuel for me. It was fabulous. Absolutely.

Susie deVille

Thank you.

Beth Barany

Yeah. Great. Well, thank you so much, Susie.

Stay tuned to the next episode where Susie walks me through the Buoyant Liberation Quadrant and I get to be a guinea pig and demo for you, her quadrant in action.

You’re Awesome – Thank you!

Thank you so much, everyone, for listening to my podcast. Your interest and feedback is so inspiring to me and helps me know that I’m helping you in some small way.

So write long and prosper.

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Image of Beth BaranyBeth Barany teaches science fiction and fantasy novelists how to write, edit, and publish their books as a coach, teacher, consultant, and developmental editor. She’s an award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist and runs the podcast, “How To Write The Future.”

Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites: 

Author siteCoaching site / School of Fiction / Writer’s Fun Zone blog


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