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A massive shift in the publishing business is empowering today’s writers and creative entrepreneurs in ways that were simply not possible in years past. Reaching readers directly has never been easier, and the writers who know how to take advantage of the new strategies and tools are charting new paths to success.

As the publishing industry churns and struggles to find a new equilibrium, writers have gained more power than ever before. Writers who used to feel constrained by the old system are now are liberated to build their writing careers on their own terms.

Musicians, visual artists, designers, film makers – indeed all creative entrepreneurs can learn a lot by looking at what is happening in the book publishing world. Read more from Michael Boezi at Create.biz.

How Publishing Has Changed

In the past, getting picked by a publisher was the only option. If you couldn’t convince an editor to validate your work, you had little hope of being a “real” author. The Shift to Digital has opened up a ton of new opportunities for writers to become authors. There are two monumental changes that directly impact you as a writer in today’s world:

  1. You don’t need to wait to get picked by a Gatekeeper.
  2. You can reach your audience directly.

Publishing used to be a services industry. If you got past the Gatekeeper, you were promised precious access to the key channels: proper catalog listings, placement in bookstores, book reviews in reputable outlets, and author events. Unfortunately, most authors were quickly relegated to the mid-list, as publishers spent their limited resources on their “tentpole” authors. The channels listed above used to be scarce, so writers and creative entrepreneurs had no other option but to accept their fate.

But digital eschews scarcity, and the Web created infinite shelf space and virtually limitless outlets. It also created a lot more noise. The old methods of marketing don’t work anymore – they amount to shouting. “Getting the message out” used to be about buying space in controlled and well-protected channels. Once everyone rushed into these channels, you couldn’t shout loud enough to get heard anymore. So, new methods emerged.

That’s where word-of-mouth marketing comes in. It’s something that’s always been there, but now it’s of primary importance in running your marketing campaigns. Word-of-mouth marketing is your own readers recommending your book to other readers. Sounds simple, and it can even happen by itself. But it won’t start that way.

You have to roll up your sleeves and do the work of connecting. No more shouting – it won’t work anyway. You have to have real conversations with real readers. The channels to connect are numerous. You have to get to know your readers in order to ask for their support. It will be worth it, though. All it takes is to convert a few readers into advocates, and they will become your best marketers. They will bring you more readers, and some of them, in turn, will become advocates too.

This is a lot of “new” responsibility for writers and creative entrepreneurs, and I still see a lot of resistance to the concept. But it’s absolutely required now. The secret is that it’s not as hard as you think, though. Readers want to connect with you – they crave proximity to people who create valuable work. In the digital world, you’re going to be connecting around content, and – good news! – you’re a writer. You can do this.

Here’s a grossly over-simplified summary of what you need to do to make word-of-mouth marketing work for you: read more

Content Marketing for Creative Entrepreneurs

This week, we are holding live training on content marketing and how to build and connect with an audience around your creative work.

What Exactly is Content Marketing?

I want you to think of content marketing as pulling your fans and audience in with interesting and engaging content (instead of pushing your work in their face). In other words it’s a lot more authentic and engaging than the typical “buy my art” posts you see out there all the time on social media. AND it’s a much more creative and fun practice for you.

In the webinars, we’re going to be breaking down exactly what content marketing is and how you can easily incorporate it into the way you communicate with your fans. So you can BUILD and CONNECT with an audience around your creative work and do it AUTHENTICALLY.

Trust us, adjusting your approach to focus more on content marketing will help you ramp up your promotions and get your music the attention it deserves.

Join us in a LIVE MASTER CLASS and build your confidence and understanding of how content marketing works.

>> Sign up here – We go LIVE Friday and Sunday

MASTER CLASS: >> Content Marketing for Creative Entrepreneurs

  • What is content marketing?
  • Get your content marketing engine setup
  • Build and connect with an audience around your creative work
  • How CreateBiz can help you reach your goals

>> Sign up here – We go LIVE Friday and Sunday

OR Sign up for the live event or get the recording and watch the replay, all for free.

PLUS we’ll be taking your questions and walking you step-by-step through our system of content marketing for creative entrepreneurs.

We will be giving away a free online CREATEBIZ course to one lucky person during each live event. Will it be you?

>> Sign up here

LEARN MORE ABOUT CREATEBIZ HERE: CreateBiz.com

Here is an interview with the great Phil Ramone, recorded at his home in Connecticut. Phil discusses making hits, songwriting, music production, the music industry, the listening experience, working with artists, the studio, spare parts, preparation, working style and gives his advice for artists and writers. A true master, he gives us a glimpse into his thought process and how he works to get the most out of the creative process. Notice how his mind easily shifts from the artistic to the technical and back without missing a beat. We will miss you Phil.

Phil Ramone is one of the most respected and prolific music producers of all time in the recording industry. Ramone’s musical acumen, creativity and use of audio technology are unmatched among his peers. Phil played a huge role in shaping the careers and songs of both Billy Joel and Paul Simon and is going to be missed so much. Such a gentle and graceful man who filled the world with optimism and carved such a wide swath across the music business.

He won 14 Grammy Awards, including producer of the year, nonclassical, in 1981, and three for album of the year, for Mr. Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” in 1976, Mr. Joel’s “52nd Street” in 1980, and Mr. Charles’s duets album, “Genius Loves Company,” in 2005. He also produced music for television and film, winning an Emmy Award as the sound mixer for a 1973 special on CBS, “Duke Ellington … We Love You Madly.”

Mr. Ramone was born in South Africa and grew up in Brooklyn. His father died when he was young, and his mother worked in a department store. A classical violin prodigy, he studied at the Juilliard School but soon drifted toward jazz and pop, and apprenticed at a recording studio, J.A.C. Recording.

In 1958, he co-founded A & R Recording, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan, and built a reputation as a versatile engineer, working on pop fare like Lesley Gore as well as jazz by John Coltrane and Quincy Jones. He ran the sound when Marilyn Monroe cooed “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962, and three years later won his first Grammy as the engineer on Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark album “Getz/Gilberto.”

As a producer, he had a particularly close association with Billy Joel and Paul Simon; the back cover of Joel’s 1977 album “The Stranger” features a photograph of Mr. Ramone posing with Mr. Joel and his band at a New York restaurant.

“I always thought of Phil Ramone as the most talented guy in my band,” Mr. Joel said in a statement on Saturday. “He was the guy that no one ever, ever saw onstage. He was with me as long as any of the musicians I ever played with — longer than most. So much of my music was shaped by him and brought to fruition by him.”

Acknowledged as one of the top creative music producers, Ramone has also played an integral role in pioneering many of the technological developments in the music industry over the years. He ardently supported the use of the compact disc, digital video disc, hi-definition recording and surround sound.

Ramone’s impeccable list of credits includes collaborations with artists such as: Burt Bacharach, Bono, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Quincy Jones, BB King, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Liza Minnelli, Sinead O’Connor, Pavarotti, Peter/Paul and Mary, Andre Previn, Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra, Phoebe Snow, Rod Stewart, and Stevie Wonder.