Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 3
In “Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 3,” host Beth Barany, creativity coach, and science fiction and fantasy novelist, chats with Susie in this final part of their discussion into her Buoyant Liberation Quadrants system and how to best protect your creative energy.
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.
Susie’s deVille’s Buoyant Liberation Quadrant
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ABOUT THE HOW TO WRITE THE FUTURE PODCAST
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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Episode 37 Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 3
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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.
What is How To Write the Future podcast
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.
Susie is also an award-winning author of her book Buoyant: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to becoming Wildly Successful, Creative, and Free. I highly recommend you check it out.
My passion for writing science fiction and fantasy is about exploring our humanity and how we can be in the world.
I’m passionate about bringing what it takes to be a creative writer into marketing as well as writing.
The series with Susie deVille and more series coming with other book marketing experts is my desire to explore book marketing as something fun and adventurous and uses all our creative muscles, just like writing fiction.
I experienced so much joy being a storyteller. I want to share my books with the world. And I am pretty sure that you do too. So, what if we could use our tools of creativity in our book marketing?
That is why I was so excited to talk with Susie.
So enjoy the last part of our interview. And if you haven’t already, be sure to listen to parts one and two.
Part 3 – Buoyant Liberation Quadrant in Action
Let’s dive in.
For your competency zone, I do want you to go back in after you have it all listed out. Circle the things that need to come off of your plate. Don’t worry so much about what’s in there that maybe you like it and you’re okay at it, and you don’t mind doing it, and it doesn’t suck the life out of you.
Just leave those for now, but circle, certainly circle the things that feel like rocks in your backpack, that are mentally draining you, that are distracting you, that are taking your energy down, and put them actually below the fold. And then everything now that’s below the fold, regardless of what it is, give it a really hard look to try to figure out, okay, how, consider it like a hot potato
Who can I hand this thing off to?
Who should own this task?
And Beth brought up something very interesting because not only did she have someone who was helping her with the certain editing work, but then she felt like there needed to be more training. And then she had the thought, well, maybe they’re not the right person.
Getting the right support is so crucial. We will tolerate mediocre talent because we don’t really have that enthusiasm for going through the hiring process. We may have a limiting belief that we’ll never find anybody or a limiting belief that we can’t afford anybody. I would love to challenge everyone to get very creative, look at what’s below the fold for you and try to figure out who it could be, and if you don’t have that person on board, how you can creatively bring them into the fold.
Yeah, and I can give an example like I’m not good at proofreading and I am good at networking and so I have all these beta readers and early readers that I’ve been nurturing for years cause I’ve been published in fiction now over 10 years.
Some of them will come back to me oh yeah, I like your story, but oh my God, your commas, Beth. You know? And I’m like, Thank you. No, I really appreciate it.
Some people get so irritated by all my typos and I just bless them and I thank them.
And of course, everyone gets a free book and it gets thanked if they want.
So I know there are people out there for whom that the typographical kind of thing is their jam.
1000%. It’s their high and to the right. It’s their place of absolute playpen joy.
And that’s exactly who needs to own that task.
That gave me an idea. I do have a small budget for proofreader, and this is for blog posts for my blog. Maybe I just start there and we just limit the scope or maybe it’s a trade.
Maybe there’s somebody out there who’s like, I want your coaching. I’m excellent at proofreading, and it’s a match made in heaven.
Bartering is 100% an easy way to get started. I will caution you to make sure that you’re getting an even trade. That the person really and truly is a phenomenal High and to the Right person for the very task or tasks that you’re seeking help with, and that you’re not just accepting someone who is not stellar because you’re just eager to be out from underneath that particular hot potato.
So, if you can take some time initially to vet out your folks and then pitch something. I do this still and it’s fun to do because there’s a collaboration there. So going back to that networking piece that you love so much and the gift piece that you love so much, the human connection aspect of that is part of what you’re really after.
And so there’s a way that we can do these collaborations and these bartering agreements that are very fun and productive and matches made in heaven. So do explore that with a playful, creative approach.
Yeah, absolutely. I do have a network and I do have people I can ask and just start having conversations with cause that is my strength is having conversations you could say. Yeah, that’s really great.
And something that I already know I’m not very good at– if we can jump down to below the fold, can we do that?
Is. Is numbers and stats and analyzing numbers and which is why I don’t do ads and why I am like, that’s not my strength. You want me to do what?
When I hear people talking about what they have to do to make ads work, my eyes just glaze over. Kudos to everybody who’s data-centric.
And I know fiction writers who are data-centric. That is their happy place and I’m like go, and maybe they don’t do ads, but they do other things that are very data-driven.
I would like to not feel ashamed because that’s not my strength. I have other strengths and I would like us all not to think that that is the only way to do it.
I have so many authors I’ve heard who are super data-centric, and they think that is the only way to succeed as a writer and as an independently published author or even a trad pub. And I find that very alienating because I am not there.
And yet I’ve been reviewed well. I’ve won prizes. Yes, I am not a bestseller in fiction but I have people who yet who, I have people who love my work. I have people who ask me, when is the next Janie book coming? Is there gonna be another Henrietta story? Like, oh, your story made me cry. Or Oh gosh, I’m really glad when the bill and God has come up and so whatever.
They fall in love with the story. So I want to believe there is another way other than data-centric. And I know I’m here in the San Francisco Bay Area and everyone is like super Data Happy and like great, but that’s not my.
Praise the universe that there are data-centric people who, that’s high to the right for. Those are people you partner with and you bring your creative voice and vision and your special sauce to creating the ad. And then you ask them for what the headline should be, what the copy edit should be to now drill down to getting to the right audiences and the right keyword targeting.
And the this demographic and the that slice of this thing, they will happily, joyfully snack on that all day long. And, their data-driven brains need the holistic spatial interrelationship thinking brain that you have.
So there’s another potential collaboration right there, but it’s important that we take another step back here.
And remember once again, that even though we may be in an environment where certain things are High into the Right, for a great number of people who are around us, if that’s not us, that doesn’t mean anything. Certainly means nothing negative about us. That’s what our brain, our amygdala, will pump out all day long, which is, there’s something wrong with me because I’m not data-driven, or that I have to get good at this.
I have to swallow this castor oil task and just deal with it.
No, as a matter of fact, if, if you have a D in the task, it equals delegate, does not mean roll up my sleeves and endeavor to get better at it.
I love that.
Get rid of it
That’s right. That’s great. I know from experience as a teacher, just being in the world now that when you lean into your strengths, you shine. And then you let someone else pick up the slack.
Somehow in our chore division in our house– my husband doesn’t like getting his hands wet, so he’s not gonna go do the dishes.
I love water. I will do the dishes, but he’s tall and he can put the dishes away.
Thank you. I have to get a chair to put some of that coffee cups away. My hands are small. Thank God he can go and do that. Like there’s a division of labor and then guess what, we’re both happy.
We both are doing what we love. There’s harmony in the house. We have more energy to do our creative work.
Well, I’m glad you brought up personal tasks because the other piece of homework that I would challenge everybody to do is to do one of these that’s just for personal tasks. Because there is another layer of energy to be mined and revealed, and that is: what are the mind-numbing things that we have to do through the course of a day or a week because we’re human and things have to get done, i.e. washing dishes, folding laundry, taking out the trash, tending to chauffeuring, whatever it is, and identifying where those things are for you. Plot them out onto the quadrants and look to see what you can swap out.
Who can be the dishwasher? And then the person who puts the dishes away?
Every to do on our lists should be reviewed and scrutinized with a question in our mind which is, who should really own this task? And I know it’s not a perfect world, and I know that there are times, there are a lot of times we have to do things that we don’t like to do. But I’m suggesting that we get more strategic and thoughtful about it rather than just living on remote control and feeling powerless. Like this is just my fate is to fold endless loads of laundry. Well, maybe not.
Maybe not. I have a nephew who, well I don’t know if he’s so much like this. He’s like eight going on nine, but when he was four he loved putting things away, so you could totally engage him in that process. And it was so fabulous.
And I just wanna say that part of my mission here and How To Write The Future is not just writing stories about better futures cause- that is my mission-, but how can we rewrite our own personal futures and that we have way more agency that we think and we have way more choice than we may realize.
In this modern era where most of us do not have to go and hunt for food or run away from a predator, that we can actually start to let our physiologies learn how to have a good life. And that’s what I’m up to as well.
And I would love to add a concept from my book Buoyant to this because it’s a beautiful way to close, and that is I would like to ask people to think about what I call, Your Creativity Circadian Rhythms.
This is gonna serve you not only in your writing but certainly in any aspect of your business, any aspect of your personal life as well.
So the creativity circadian rhythms is your window of time where your access to your creativity, back channels, your subconscious mind, your imagination, your intuition, your problem-solving mind is at its highest and best. And some of us get a window that comes in the morning and some will get a second wind that comes late at night.
Some, like me, we get one window, and I used to think that my window was between five and about 10:00 AM. And when I was writing my book, by necessity, I had to start getting up earlier and earlier because the developmental editor had deadlines that I was trying to meet. And in order to get it into her system of doing her edits, I had to deliver it by a certain time during the day.
And in order for that to happen well, I had to just get up earlier and earlier.
So what I discovered by accident was that my window is actually, and I don’t wanna freak anybody out because I’m not saying this is what you have to do cuz everybody’s different. But for me it’s 3:00 AM to about 9:00 AM
I discovered that I could write as if I were channeling between three and five. And I learned from somebody relatively recently that the ancestors speak to us during that window of time. And I was like, oh, that’s interesting.
So there is a time where I can write like the wind. That’s a time when I can come up with a zillion great marketing ideas.
If I have a particularly gnarly task like I just finished my taxes, I will do it during that window because it needs more of my brain, it needs more of my energy. And if I’m in my peak flow state, I’m gonna do it during that time.
So I would encourage everyone to experiment. Find your CCR, your Creativity Circadian Rhythm window, or windows.
Then test. Is it really what I think it is?
Track it for about two or three weeks.
Then once you’ve landed on it, I want you to be like a mama bear in front of a cub with that window and protect it as fiercely as possible. This is not the time to get on social media. This is not the time to answer email.
This is not the time to read the news. This is the time to just go like you’re in a isolation chamber with your brain.
I love it. I love it.
And I can tell you it will magnify your effectiveness. What will happen is whenever that part of the day is for you, whenever it happens, it is like getting a 10 x benefit if you do that work, it’s also a great time to, to reserve for a challenging conversation or anything that’s hard for you emotionally.
If you’re trying to still instill new habits or stop old ones to try to start those during your to peak window times.
So armed with your understanding of how to keep your energy up with your Liberation Quadrants and your CCRs, your marketing can take an entirely different shape.
Your creativity can take an entirely different shape. Your agency can take an entirely different shape, and you will get the benefits of that throughout your entire day, and it will have a very powerful, accumulation effect as well.
That’s so wonderful. And I’m right there with you. I coach my writers the same. And I’m an afternoon writer. Not many of us. I have lunch and then I write. And if I could get a nice two to three-hour chunk there, I love it. It gives me that meandering feeling exploration. I get words on the page. Other things fall outta my brain like marketing ideas will probably fall out.
It’s like this in high, high energy. And, and then I have a secondary period earlier in the day. Sometimes I can do meditative writing. I like to do self-reflection and like what I call business development, creative business development. In the morning from about nine to 11, I tend to do my little daily check-in. I’m doing a Q&A with all my executive parts that are all my parts.
So, it’s quieter. It’s more meditative and not about getting it done, it’s really about having a conversation with myself. But the get-it-done energy for fiction is in the afternoon. And then what’s interesting, cuz I do a lot of– I’m coaching, I’m editing for others is around four o’clock to about eight or nine. I’m all about helping others. I’m like really high energy about ooh, their problem and their thing, and Oh yeah. Leaning into that. It so happens I’ve often taught around that time and that’s perfect.
Oh, that’s so interesting.
Put me into a late afternoon, evening classroom and I am ready with everyone and it’s fascinating.
So, I think we have high energies from different aspects of ourself, of our body, of our mind.
And if we can just start to track that, start to watch yourself. I love the way Jim Collins talks about this when he shares a story of when he was trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he studied himself like a bug like a scientist would study a creature. So he would ask questions like, what makes the bug happy?
When the bug is happy, what is he doing? Or what is frustrating for the bug? Or whatever it is. We can start to be an observer of ourselves, get in the balcony, and start to watch ourselves and see what am I insanely great at, when, and when, and what is in flow for me. Where do I feel like I’m swimming against the current of myself?
And just keep some sticky notes handy. It doesn’t have to be some kind of fancy process, but just stop yourself and go, oh, that’s a good thing for me to know about myself. And you can start to assemble this incredible puzzle of what drives your highest and best and what brings your energy way up and sustains you.
You can even do all of the things that you just mentioned. If you are in the flow with how you love to work at 10 o’clock at night, you still have energy because you’ve just been in your playpen the whole day.
Whereas if we’re doing stuff that’s below the fold for us by 10 o’clock, we can feel like we’re ready for a nap, right?
So, protecting your creative energy is our biggest challenge that bears the most beautiful fruit.
Absolutely. A few years back I realized instead of struggling against like my fiction versus my business, I realized, well, what if Beth, the fiction writer was a VIP, how would I treat her? Actually, on my calendar, it says lunch and write from 12 to two. It’s just categorically blocked off.
Even if I wiggle those around, maybe start a little earlier, start a little later. It doesn’t matter, but it’s like I’m the VIP here, and if I’m going to treasure and fall in love with my clients. Well, I am my first and best client. That really shifted my relationship to my fiction writing.
My productivity went up, my pride in my work, I was generating, which for someone like me is part of the happiness. If I’m not writing, I’m a little bit morose.
So a lot of creators are like that. Like sometimes we just need to be in action and a lot of the sadness and depression and anger and whatever. All those crunchy, crunchy feelings, they fall away. Cuz now I’m using all of my energy to this great complicated thing called writing fiction. So I really, really love your advice on that. I love the CC and R to find and test and track and I love what you called them the Liberation Quadrants.
So I thought this is a good segue if you could summarize for us or tell us like what our takeaways are. This, I feel like I was just in a masterclass of how to be in, how to be in flow. It’s just beautiful. Thank you.
Well, thank you. Well, first, just to remind everyone that the marketing that is going to be the most successful is going to be the marketing that reflects the authentic, true self of who you are and what brings you alive.
If you heard absolutely nothing else and you only got that take away, it will dramatically alter your book sales, your traction in the marketplace, your readership, and your ability to attract new opportunities.
So if we take the next rung down and we focus on the Liberation Quadrants, remember that there are certain things that we are absolutely just naturally great at that bring our energy up that we love to do. These are the places that build our businesses and our creative practices and our book sales, and every other type of, revenue and readership through the roof.
This is the place where we want to try to hang out the vast majority of the time with the understanding that we can always work on delegating better, delegating more, being more clear on what it is we need to hand off to someone else, and not make it mean anything negative if it’s something that we’re not good at or something that we just simply do not enjoy doing.
The next thing is find what your Creativity Circadian Rhythm, or Rhythms is or are. Identify those, test them, and protect them fiercely. Knowing that your creative energy is absolutely sacred and not only is key to our joy but is key to our ability to be successful and feel absolutely free.
And the last thing is, is that I would remind folks that the sort of Archimedes-like lever that I refer to a lot with my clients, is alignment with your true self and agency on a fulcrum of inspired creativity and making things.
So being engaged in the art that you love, whether it’s writing or doing collage work or coloring or sketching or cooking or painting, whatever it is. That connects us back to who we are. Art making is our path back to our true selves. If we have gotten off track and our lives are in our businesses, that will bring us right back.
Go to your art. It will teach you what to do next and bring to at the energetic state that you want those who are enjoying your work to feel. That will show up in the marketplace and it will be absolutely irresistible to the very people you want to reach.
Oh my God. That’s great. I love it. Thank you so much, Susie. I think what you’ve offered us is such a beautiful organic roadmap. I think our listeners and our viewers will just really, really love it and run with it. So I just wanna thank you so much, Susie, for coming on How To Write The Future Show, podcast, and video and thank you.
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 institute.com. 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, get you going that doesn’t require a full-blown session.
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 a rocket fuel for me. It was fabulous. Absolutely.
Yeah. Great. Well, thank you so much, Susie.
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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ABOUT BETH BARANY
Beth 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.”
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