I ran across Chris Martineau on Facebook. He has a lot of interesting posts about current affairs, and has written a number of books, both fiction and non-fiction. His latest is Quit Whining and Grow Up, a book of essays about why people need to grow up, as well as things they can do to grow up. Check it out.
Thought I’d share a link to a very well written sales letter by a Lizard driven Monkey dominant for Byron York’s Outstanding Investments newsletter. I could never write a letter like this because it appeals to both fear and greed as emotions, but has enough information to pique the interest of my Angel brain, even as it scares the you know what out of my Lizard brain. I did subscribe, mainly because my Lizard and Angel brains agreed that the information provided will complement that in all the other financial newsletters to which I subscribe (Monkey rolled her eyes and sighed).
First, an update. About a month ago, I sent an email to Palm Beach Research Group in response to an invitation in the Palm Beach Daily e-letter about how they could help their readers do better at building wealth. I received an email back a few days later from Mark Ford himself (by way of customer service). Today, the January issue of Creating Wealth, one of the Palm Beach Group’s newsletters that are part of my Platinum subscription, came out–with my original email and Mark’s response showing in the Inbox (specially selected letters by subscribers). What all the other subscribers to Creating Wealth will see is the following:
“I’m currently on disability leave from work due to a broken foot. I’ve read many of Mark’s books over the years, and I’m working on his principle of Ready, Fire, Aim to market the 20-some novels I’ve written over the years. All are available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle. Using marketing tips from CreateSpace (Amazon’s self-publishing service), I’ve created a blog, livingthedelphianway.com and linked it to my author page at Amazon. I’m brainstorming other ways to increase my visibility online. I could use some encouragement that I’m headed in the right direction.—Infinity member Theresa H.
Mark’s Response: Theresa, 20 novels! Very impressive. I’m going to order one. Please write to me and let me know which you would recommend. You’re headed in the right direction—in fact, you have a great head start. You should feel proud about your accomplishment. Keep up the momentum.
Just the kind of encouragement I needed! So I sent him an update on what I’ve been doing since in the way of marketing, not just for the novels, but for a couple of other potential sideline businesses I’m looking into.
The reason I bring this up now is that by nature I’m an Angel driven Monkey dominant. I have to deal with Monkey’s utter distaste for selling, and even wealth creation, every time I even think about sharing my creative work with the world. For Angel driven Monkeys dominants selling is distasteful because they hate being ‘forced’ to pay for anything, even knowledge. Even worse, they hate ‘begging’ others to buy their creative works. That’s one reason there are so many ‘starving artists’ in the world. They’d rather share their work with people willing to give them what they need. That’s perhaps one reason why the patronage system arose back during the Medieval and Renaissance days, where the Church, or assorted princes and kings, supported composers like Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven in 18th Century, to say nothing of folks like Leonardo Da Vinci and other well-known artists.
More recently, processes of marketing creative works have included subscriptions, agents to interface between the creator and the publisher or other provider to the potential audiences (e.g. producers of operas, theater owners, book publishers, art galleries, and so on). These have allowed the creators to concentrate on doing what they love to do while allowing others to serve as salesmen for them.
I did have an agent for about a year back around 1990, and she did her best to market my masterpiece (Hunting the Red Wolf, not currently available) to Berkeley Science Fiction. The editor she worked with took a year to come back with an answer, which was, “She writes very well, but I didn’t understand the story…” The agent gave up and went into a different line of business. I tried a different novel (The Hero-Tree), but the editor didn’t like that one either. So I set that dream aside for the time being since it seemed painfully clear that going through a standard publisher was not going to get me where I wanted to be, which was self-published, so I could tell the tales I love to read.
I concentrated over the next ten years or so on other projects related to my long-term dream of the House of Tomorrow Project, “Enabling the Revelation of the Heavenly City.” These included promoting space exploration, development, and settlement (including making the acquaintance of everyone from Buzz Aldrin to Robert Zubrin, founder and president of the Mars Society). I worked with friends on trying to get a spaceport built here in Colorado (no luck on that yet), and met Dr. Bill Gaubatz, Program Director for the Delta Clipper X, the first fully reusable rocket. Inspired by him, I wrote several novels, one of which, Trial By Fire, is now available, and which I dedicated to Dr. Gaubatz, who, sadly, passed away last summer. I also designed the Village of Tomorrow, Starfield Valley, during the mid to late 90s as the latest incarnation of my perfect house. I even showed the plans to Al Feinstein, an architect here in Colorado Springs who had designed the James Irwin Center. He found the designs interesting, but since I couldn’t pay him for helping me turn them into a reality, that contact went nowhere at the time (or since). I learned a lot from that conversation, though, as well as from all of my space-related activities, including attendance at several space conferences over the years.
Probably the most important thing I’ve learned is that I’m a visionary whose ideas are at least fifty years ahead of the times, even now. Another fascinating insight is that making history is much harder than writing about it–and requires a lot of patience, as well as the self-awareness to be able to jump on any opportunity that presents itself. Although I’m hard of hearing, and used to be a bit shy when it comes to meeting people like Buzz Aldrin, I’ve learned that nothing happens if I don’t make the first move, swallow my sense of inadequacy and introduce myself, then ask a question of interest to whichever hero I’m talking with.
Meanwhile, even as I worked on other aspects of the House of Tomorrow Project, I continued to write novels, particularly the Starfield Valley Tales. Finally Amazon developed the Kindle e-book reader and a way for authors like me to self-publish without any upfront costs at all. I started making my tales available online, but didn’t do much in the way of marketing at the time (for a variety of reasons I won’t go into). Finally, at the beginning of this year, CreateSpace became usable for self-publishing in paperback without any upfront fees. After finishing a new novel in The Delphian Chronicles, then finishing Call Me Cassandra, I took a deep breath and buckled down to preparing as many of my completed novels as I could for publication through CreateSpace. All this while working full-time. It’s been quite an experience to learn the details of self-publishing on a shoestring by using all the resources provided by CreateSpace.
But writing and publishing anything is still only the first step. The second is to find ways to let the world know that your work is out there and worth buying and reading. Which, of course, brought me up against the problem of marketing my work essentially on my own.
Once upon a time, I signed up for American Writers and Artists, Inc., a course set up by Mark Ford (though I knew him then by his nom de plume, Michael Masterson). It concerned learning how to write sales letters of various kinds so that one might eventually make a living doing so. I quit about halfway through because I found the whole process quite painful. This is because the course is geared toward Lizard driven Monkey dominants, for whom persuading buyers to exchange money for value comes naturally. It’s all about trading resources for other resources. The most effective sales letters play upon the most basic of emotions–fear, greed, and lust–depending on the item being sold. As an Angel driven Monkey dominant, the whole idea of writing such letters made me feel sick to my stomach.
That made it painfully obvious to me that I needed to find some other way to let people know about my tales. I finally read Make Market Launch IT this fall, went through several of the exercises, and realized (again) that I am my target audience. I write what I want to read because there isn’t enough of what I consider really good science fantasy to satisfy my sometimes insatiable need to visit other lines of reality. That doesn’t mean I’m my only audience, of course. It only means that I need to look for people who like the kinds of stories I tell, which always end well, no matter how frightening the doomsday scenarios I may write about.
So, since I find it impossible to write a sales letter the way AWAI teaches it, and I hate asking for the sale, but I love giving things to people, I decided the logical solution for me in developing a marketing plan was to set up this website/blog so I can share myself with you, my audience. Once I did that, I linked it to my Author page on Amazon. Now I let people know about both sites on Face Book as appropriate while sharing my insights in comments on their posts. And since it was coming up on Christmas that gave me the perfect excuse to send assorted novels as Christmas gifts to those who have inspired me. That has cost me some money, but because I ordered the books through Amazon so I could personalize the gifts (and get free shipping), I will get my royalties back, which reduces the cost significantly.
How well this form of marketing works remains to be seen. I will certainly post the results. The main takeaway is that each personality type will find a different way to deal with the problem of sales and marketing. So one shouldn’t be surprised to run across at least three different methods of sharing the existence of a new product.
Perhaps it was because I’d spent pretty much the whole day surfing on Facebook and was getting tired, but on a post relating to the fall in the price of oil, I made a couple of comments, one intended to be sarcastic, another about how the liberals, conservatives, and libertarians don’t know how to communicate with each other. I had to apologize for not making clear that I was being sarcastic on the first comment (should have included what’s known as the sarc tag), and got the following response on the second with my link to this blog.
Conservative friend: “I’m still looking for the light in that horrifying rendition of animal scientology. Perhaps the ideology of Angels and Monkey’s cohabiting the same body is an indication of light brain matter?”
Ouch! Talk about a complete misunderstanding! That’s not my friend’s fault, but mine for not communicating clearly. At least this friend did read my previous blog entry, and possibly some of my other posts as well. The following is my response.
Me: “As for my Lizard, Monkey, Angel theory (and that’s all it is), I’m sorry it didn’t make sense. To be honest, I have absolutely no use for Scientology and I also have no use for science fiction authors (L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction author before he founded Scientology) who fall into the temptation of creating a religion. I am not interested in creating a religion as Jesus Christ did a far better job of it than I ever could. I am, however, quite intrigued by the strongly negative response to one person’s theory. Did you read all the posts laying it out, or just the most recent on Worldviews and Politics?”
I haven’t received an answer to my question.
So why do I say it’s my fault for not communicating clearly? First, I made the mistake of assuming my conservative friends would understand a post geared to my liberal friends. But I’ve been talking about how liberals and conservatives almost never talk to each other and can’t understand each other when they do. Second, I actually wrote the post from the point of view of a Triune Integrated—or tried to. Problem is, I have no idea how many other people reading anything I write are Triune Integrateds themselves, and there’s no guarantee even they would have any idea what I’m talking about.
I take this as a reminder to be more careful about how I shape my messages if I want to be understood by the people to whom I’m speaking. I may have been writing stories for decades, now, but I’ve written all my stories for me, not for the general public. It remains to be seen whether I will find any market for them, although my manner of writing here differs substantially from the manner in which I’ve told the stories.
Although I’ve been on Facebook for years (though not active till the last couple of months), I’m still getting used to the scrum, as my three sets of friends, liberal, conservative, and libertarian all post their very different points of view, often one right after another. I’m still not entirely clear how Facebook works, so I don’t know if my different friends can see each other’s posts on my news feed or timeline unless I Like or Share, or Comment.
Communicating with my three sets of friends in terms they can understand, even if they don’t agree, is definitely a learning experience.
It’s been fascinating reading the posts from my liberal friends, my conservative friends and my libertarian friends on Facebook recently, as they give powerful insights into the underlying personality types as I defined them in my Lizard, Monkey, Angel theory.
Generally speaking, my liberal friends show themselves to be Angel driven Monkey dominants, with nary a Lizard among them. Some of my liberal friends show themselves to be Monkey driven Angel dominants, again, with no evidence of Lizard. This is particularly noticeable in the ongoing debate about whether torture is ever justifiable, and what is and isn’t torture, as well as the other ongoing debate over whether the current resident of the White House is a success or a failure.
On the other hand, my conservative friends show themselves to be a mix of Lizard driven Monkey dominants and Monkey driven Lizard dominants, often with only a little evidence of Angel. And my libertarian friends show themselves to be mainly Angel driven Lizard dominants with some Lizard driven Angel dominants, usually with no evidence of Monkey. No wonder the three groups don’t understand each other, much less agree on anything.
Typically the Angel driven Monkey dominants appear to be the most socialistic, holding socialism as if it were a religion, and reacting quite defensively if anyone questions anything their heroes (or heroines), such as Bernie Sanders (a senator from Vermont who defines himself as a socialist), Barack and Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and so on. The Lizard driven Monkey dominants and Monkey driven Lizard dominants, of course, have nothing good to say about these people, because they see these people as wanting to force them, as producers and taxpayers, into slavery. My conservative friends are largely Christian (their religion), and react very defensively against what they perceive to be threats, from other religions, such as Islam in particular, to socialism. And the Angel driven Lizard dominants and Lizard driven Angel dominants—my libertarian friends—think both the socialists and conservatives are stupid, corrupt, evil, and essentially useless because they refuse to accept the sovereignty of the individual. Their religion is often atheism, if they even think in those terms. Emotions, after all, are useless (especially to the Lizard driven Angel dominant). They want to be left alone to do whatever they choose, although some will add “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”
As long as we, as a species, remain fractured into three essentially exclusive worldviews, we will go on trying to destroy each other—and we may well succeed. This is because we keep trying to solve problems on the same level as that on which they were initiated. Only when we make the effort to move up to the level of Triune Integrated and listen to all three of our brains do we have any hope of developing solutions.
This is one reason I developed the Village of Tomorrow concept, and wrote the Starfield Valley Tales. We can’t hope to move beyond Earth into the Solar System until we learn to grow up into Triune Integrated people, and we can’t hope to do that until we realize we’re not accepting the reality of what we are—people with three brains and three different worldviews of equal validity that need to be integrated into an inclusive worldview able to deal with whatever life hands us.
So, my liberal, my conservative, and my libertarian friends, would you rather go on yelling at each other like two-year-olds in a towering snit, or would you rather work on learning how to grow up and work with the reality of which all of you are a part?
If the latter, try reading the Starfield Valley Tales in the order I’ve listed them to learn one way (by no means the only way) we can help each other in that difficult but rewarding journey.
I’ve spent a good part of the last couple of weeks getting smacked across the face from all three sides, Lizard, Monkey, and Angel, on Facebook. On the Monkey side, my liberal friends and acquaintances have been posting Bernie Sanders’ 12 point plan to solve all the nation’s problems. On the Lizard side, my conservative friends and acquaintances have been posting reminders that socialism has never worked. On the Angel side, my libertarian acquaintances have been posting how free markets would fix all the problems in this country. All this between funny cat videos, posts about various takes on the space program (past and future), and numerous personal posts—oh, and posts about the Broncos.
One fascinating trend I’ve noticed is that my liberal friends absolutely hate “the rich,” and believe they’re responsible for all the evil in the world, from environmental damage, to enslaving the poor, to ruining our food and water with GMOs and other poisons. A lot of their fury, granted, is directed at big corporations, but they direct a fair amount at the rich CEOs, especially of the banks and Wall Street. I have to wonder if any of them even know any wealthy people personally, or even any business people. Certainly they don’t seem to have any real understanding of economics, much less how free markets are supposed to work, or they wouldn’t be claiming that the minimum wage should be raised no matter what the consequences.
I can kind of understand where they’re coming from since my father is an Angel driven Monkey dominant who spent his working life teaching at the junior high level, then, after getting his PhD, at the college level. Becoming wealthy was never important to him. He wanted to be an architect as a young man, but his parents couldn’t afford to send him anywhere but the local normal school (now University of Northern Colorado) to become a teacher. Even though his family owned a potato-chip factory in Greeley, Colorado, he never showed any interest in business, though he did help with the hard work of making potato chips and shoestring fries. Fortunately, his brothers did bother to learn about sales and marketing from his dad, and helped make the business a success.
On the other hand, since I married my husband, a Lizard driven Angel dominant, and gained access to his extensive library of conservative books, I’ve learned a lot about economics, how markets work (and don’t work), and why socialism sounds great in theory but has never worked in fact (because it ignores the Lizard need to acquire resources, territory, and mates). Over the years, I’ve made the acquaintance of a fair number of business people. One thing I’ve noticed is that very few of them ever make a big deal about their net worth, large or small. Most of them went into business to serve needs. After all, you can’t make money if you don’t provide goods or services that other people are willing to pay for. My husband and I even ran our own business for about 4 years back in the mid-80s, and I know first hand how difficult it is to manage a small business. I would never begrudge the successful in business their profits, since practically everything we take for granted in our everyday lives, from the food on our tables to the I-phones in our hands, or even the laptop I’m writing this on, comes to us courtesy of those willing to take the risk of failure in order to provide us with those goods and services.
Even though I don’t personally have a great need to grow wealthy (at least in part because I have no children to pass that wealth on to), I can understand where people like Mark Ford and other very wealthy people do—and I don’t begrudge their growing their wealth by providing me with knowledge (as Mark does through his Palm Beach Research Group).
Nor do I begrudge him getting paid a lot more for what he does than I get paid for what I do. When I’m working, I can help only a few people a day solve their problems, and I get paid accordingly. Mark, on the other hand, through the books he’s written and the newsletters he writes now, is able to help thousands, even tens of thousands of people a day learn to solve their problems. How is what I do for a living worth more than what he’s doing? I’m just helping people fix their phone and internet issues. He’s helping people learn how to grow wealthy so they don’t have to depend on the government or family members for survival in their retirement. To me, that knowledge is far more valuable than what I provide my customers. Why shouldn’t he be richer than I am?
Besides, it isn’t like he hoards his wealth. He invests in small businesses he thinks have a decent chance of success. This is helping others serve needs by providing goods and services. He is learning (the hard way, it seems) about how best to provide charity to those in need. And, of course, he pays taxes, local, state, and federal.
I think the real problem my liberal friends have with the rich is envy, because they aren’t rich. Why aren’t they rich? Because they never bothered to learn how to become rich—perhaps because they were taught as children that the rich were evil. While some can be, it isn’t a given that every wealthy person by definition must be evil. It’s just that the rich are usually Lizard driven or Lizard dominant. My liberal friends, like my father, are usually Monkey driven or Monkey dominant.
It’s really just a matter of perspective.
For those of you who would like to do more than take a walking tour through the Villages of Tomorrow, I’ve now created a page that will allow you to click on any of the Starfield Valley Tales cover pages to order your copies in paperback or Kindle format at Amazon. Although they can be read in any order, they work best read in the order shown.
If you’ve ever wondered why I don’t seem to have done a business plan for the House of Tomorrow Project (I have tried for various sub-components, but the project as a whole is simply too large for a standard pro forma), consider these tales that business plan. In the meantime, enjoy!