I'm always writing, writing fiction, writing non-fiction, all the things I write, all the curriculum, and all of that. I really love that. That's what really came to mind when I thought of what I'm excellent at, what I love that crosses over from the creative stuff right into marketing.”
In “Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, Part 2,” host Beth Barany, creativity coach, and science fiction and fantasy novelist, chats with Susie as they continue the conversation into her Buoyant Liberation Quadrants system and walks Beth through her quadrant in action.
About Susie deVille
Susie deVille is a speaker, 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 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.” More at https://bethbarany.com/.
c. 2023 BETH BARANY
Contact Beth: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/podcast/#tve-jump-185b4422580
EDITED WITH DESCRIPT: https://www.descript.com?lmref=_w1WCA
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Episode 36 - Change Your Book Marketing Mindset, Interview with Susie deVille, part 2
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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. Enjoy.
Part 2 - Buoyant Liberation Quandrant in Action
In this part two 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. Be sure to listen to part one where Susie explains all the parts of her quadrant.
Let’s dive in.
While you were talking, I filled out my "Love it- excitement- Excellent it" quadrant
And a little bit of notes on the others. I'm, I'm very familiar with being good at something and liking it, fair enough, but just not being in love with it and realizing I'm putting a wave of too much time on something when I'd much rather be doing these other things that I love.
And I've definitely experienced being in the burnout zone and the danger zone. Do we, do you wanna walk me through guiding me through this?
I would love to hear, um, I'm gonna take some notes, um, while you are talking, but yeah, like take me through what is High and to the Right for you.
Well, when I think about marketing in general, there's this intense crossover. So, for example, interviewing, I'm interviewing you. I have more interviews lined up. I've done a bunch of interviews. I've actually been interviewing people for a really long time. I was a journalist for a time long before I ever started fiction writing seriously. and people told me that I asked good questions. And I think it's also part of being a good coach. I ask good questions. I'm curious, so that's one thing. I would definitely say networking is something that I love when it comes to marketing, meeting people, hanging out, hearing people's stories, all the things that go around with networking.
And then writing. I'm always writing, writing fiction, writing non-fiction, all the things I write, all the curriculum, and all of that. I really love that. That's what really came to mind when I thought of what, what I'm excellent at, what I love that kind of crosses over from the creative stuff right into marketing.
I have so many ideas already. Let's put a percentage to each one of your quadrants. How much time right now are you High and to the Right?
I would say about it feels anywhere from 20 to 40% of my day.
Which feels pretty good.
And some days not. There's a part of doing a podcast where I re-listened to what I've created, whether I've shared a piece of knowledge or my thoughts or an interview, and where I'm putting it all together, and that, that's editing.
And I actually really enjoy that. I enjoy the tech aspect, but I also enjoy piecing together something, out of a larger thing, the way, you know, the way we edit. Editing is part of writing for me. So I would put it all together. So that, I think there might be some more in there.
That's what comes to mind right now.
Oh, that's perfect. Okay. Now walk me through your sort of zone of competency. You're Good At It, Like It Zone?
Yeah. I'm good at systems and processes and, you know, first do this, then do that. And part of that is designing curriculum, which I actually really love, which to me is more on the writing side. So maybe designing processes would be a little bit on the high Love It side, but where I get stalled out is I'll come up with a great process, but then I just don't wanna implement it, or I don't wanna implement every piece.
So I, right now what's in my mind is editing blog posts that other people have written for my blog. Like, I'm really good with networking. Hey, would you like to write an article for my blog? And, and I'm really good at honing the topic down with them. And, you know, they follow through, they send me something and then I'm like, Ugh. Now I have to go through this and make sure it fits the style of our blog and everything. And I've come up with processes around all that. We have a system. I have a someone who helps me put the blog post up, but I'm right now a little bit stalled out around like I don't even think I'm really good at training the person I have editing the blog posts, that also bogs me down. I'm like, oh, do I have to? I'm like, okay, well maybe she's not the right person because she's actually not as detail-oriented as I as I need, which is fine. That's not her strength. And I just listening to you today, I'm like, oh, I really, really need a very detailed oriented person cause that's not my strength.
So I'm not good at proofreading. I'm horrible at it. People will know. People tell me they catch my typos so that I find super tedious and yet I can spot it on other people's stuff, right? But my own, I just can't see it. So, and then anything having to, that kind of relates to, well, now we're getting into things I'm not very good at, but, what else am I competent at?
Let's take a second. And I'm gonna let you finish your Competency Zone, I wanna stop with what's above the fold and go into that before we go into what's below the fold. But go ahead and finish, what else is in your competency quadrant?
Well, I have been good at doing events. I used to do events and I've actually stopped doing events. But, I'm good at like, all right, let's do this. Let's pull these people together. Here's the process, here's what we need. Here's all the resources. And be kind of like the orchestrator and make it happen.
I worked at event planning. I'm like, there's a lot of, I actually, created a little mini-conference when I was a college student cuz I needed it. I wanted it, I wanted the theme, I wanted the people together, the networking. I wanted the networking.
But I spearheaded the whole thing and I got everyone organized. And it was this weekend thing and it, it was really wonderful. I'm good at doing that, but I'm not excited about doing that. And I've done some writer's conferences and I used to launch my own classes all the way up until recently, like about a year plus ago.
So I feel I have a lot of competency around that. Also a lot of competency around writing material for my blog. I've already moved to getting people to write for my blog, but now I don't feel like I have to be the only one who delivers content. In fact, that's what drew me into bringing more people in to talk about topics on my podcast.
I don't have to be the only one who says these things. I love talking to people. I also know how to produce a book, for example, soup to Nuts. And I used to do a ton of book production for other people, and now I just do a little bit for other people. Occasionally I'll have clients in that.
But I'd much rather just wrangle that for myself than, than for other people. I don't know. My mind is blank right now. I can't think of other things.
That's quite a lot.
Well, I'd like to start with your high and to the right, because I think it's going to be very powerful as an illustration for not only you but for everybody else who's either watching or listening to this. Because I want everyone to be thinking about this in terms of the framework of how I could potentially leverage what's High and to the Right for me as a total win for my marketing.
So, Beth has writing, doing interviews, and she's got this juicy journalist background. She also loves networking and meeting people. So, and also great at editing, and she made a beautiful distinction between the process of doing that and not necessarily implementing certain parts of that.
And I think it's important for us to understand that sometimes there's this hidden kernel inside a task that we think we love that maybe is a big fat drag. So proofreading, for example, came up in your other quadrant and you have things about doing the newsletter that you enjoy, but then there's this editing piece and so forth.
All of a sudden that's no fun for Nemo. So I would like for everyone to be thinking about. Not only just the tasks that are in each individual quadrant, but can you slice and dice the ones that are in each individual quadrant to give you more intel, to give you more insight into what maybe you want to delegate now with confidence and don't believe because part of it you like, but the other part you don't like.
But what we'll do is suffer through and keep doing the thing that's sucking the life out of us because we just have a limiting belief that we should be doing it, or no one else can do it like I can do it. Or it's not so bad after all, so-
And the big one too is I can't afford it. I can't afford for anyone to do those parts for me, like, I mean I enjoy networking, but I know a lot of writers don't. They'd much rather just be writing and that's it. One of the things I love is designing, making Canva images, but I'm not excellent at it, so I actually hired someone for my business to create a bunch of templates for me because I knew what I liked, but I couldn't tell my blog assistant how to make better images. So I hired someone to make us a bunch of templates.
That's a great example, right? You enjoy it, you have a competency at it, but somebody else is insanely great. It's high into the right for somebody else. Your VA, and that's who should be doing that work for you. But let's talk about money for a second because this is a limiting belief that shows up on everybody's brain, right?
So when we get to the part of the conversation, when we're talking about, okay, we need to download and delegate these below the fold things to other people, and some select items in your competency zone should be in that category two, the very first place our brain is gonna go is, "I don't have any money for that. I can't afford to hire anybody for that."
So let me tell you a little story. That is my story.
So I explained my nuclear winter period, so I have nothing but debt, $250,000 of debt to be specific. It is the middle of the great recession. I was a real estate agent, and I was very good at it.
So when everything fell apart, I thought, I thought, okay, well, I'm just gonna start my own real estate company, and I literally had no money. I had negative money, and I was not in a great environment in the economy to have all kinds of confidence that I was gonna be successful right outta the bat.
So, but I knew I was going to need help. So I came up with all kinds of creative ways to bring people into the enterprise where I didn't have to pay people on the front end and I could reward them when I closed deals. So I got very creative initially. Then when I got to a place when I could actually hire somebody part-time, then I was able to pay for that person's time within just a few weeks of actually having hired them because I was high into the right 80% of my day, which happened to be all of the revenue generating activities for the business. So I was no longer in the weeds below the fold. I was spending the vast majority of my time negotiating deals and finding new listings and getting buyer clients signed up and making sure we got through due diligence and closed the deal.
All of those things completely changed the trajectory of my business, and I went from working seven days a week. I was completely burned out on fried to four, and within six months I quadrupled my income. So I not only paid for my person, I had all this other income that I could invest in the business, but most of all, I had this incredible sense of peace and this sense that I was an agent in command. I was completely proactive in my business, and it felt amazing.
After feeling like I was being drug behind the boat in the wake for so long now, I was just behind the helm and I was driving this boat exactly where I wanted it to go. I was very clear and I was very determined that I was gonna take what I knew and just rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.
We can do the very same thing with a focus just on marketing now and taking what is Beth's strengths and interests, interviewing, and networking.
She loves and is great at writing. So she can take all of those skills and she can get creative now and think about, okay, so I'm doing this podcast.
That's certainly one way to blend all of those things, but what else could I possibly do that may be another iteration of this that's a compliment to the podcast that puts my brain into a different space that maybe helps me reach audience members that I'm not reaching quite yet?
So do you have any thoughts about that yet?
Well... Because I'm a novelist and I really wanna be helping novelists and I'm a science fiction fantasy writer, when you said that, I immediately thought, well, how can I tie my interests in the stories that I'm working on with my podcast? And I immediately thought about some of these innovative space companies.
This one company in particular, they're designing - think a big air ship made out of a big hot air balloon. Well, they have plans to bring this high up out of Earth's atmosphere so people get that buoyant microgravity experience and they have designed the travel area, like this lounge and with the bar.
And you can actually hire it and have it customized for you. It's a great environment. And I set four books on a hotel casino space station and I'm like, oh my gosh, I have to talk to these people. I have to meet these people. I have to hear about them. I actually spent an hour listening to this woman do a pitch marketing thing on Zoom.
And I'm like, I wanna send her my books. I wanna reach out to her. I am so inspired by her. She was one of the bioneers back in the eighties who lived inside of a dome as an experiment. And she got me so excited to actually reach out to her. So that combines my networking. She'd be a great person to interview for the podcast, and we could talk about these future possibilities of air travel for that are more in the realm of ordinary people instead of a million dollars to try and get up to low earth orbit and to the space station cost a lot of money to be a citizen astronaut.
Her ticket prices are way down to feasible level, like I think in the several thousands, maybe like five to $10,000. Well, that's a cost of a very expensive wedding, for example, or a normal cost of a wedding. I don't know, I forget. My wedding was quite some time ago. So it brings space travel down to the ordinary person.
It's not a Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic, or the Jeff Bezos for Blue Origin thing. It is within reach. And I got really excited by her vision cuz that is part of her vision, which is space travel for all. And there's some other companies out there. So I could go and interview these folks.
I could do what I was inspired to do. Send them my first four books and my novel series just really be come from the heart because that's also part of the creative place I love to be in. It's an emotional space. It's a giving space. It's a generous space. It's a curious space, and that's how I can maybe combine using my podcast as, Hey, let's vision together the future of space travel and let's get specific, because what I do all day long is I also, what I love and I didn't put in here is I'm eating up science information.
I'm watching science explainer videos. I'm thinking about the fundamentals of physics and my husband happens to also be a high school physics teacher. So we can have those conversations. And he's also a novelist and I'm always trying to understand these fundamentals so that I can take them and spin them off into what science will be like in a hundred years.
And so I'm reading also all the cutting edge stuff that's happening in laboratories. I'm just inhaling this information all day long. It's like I'm a junkie for information. And then I'm also diving into new discoveries from our historical past and our pre historical past and earth's past and how did the universe come to be?
And I'm constantly curious about how is it that we even exist. And I listen to philosophers and mystics and people who have really fascinating ideas and then, you know what's going on in science right now, what's coming out of the laboratories that won't seek market application for 10, 15, 20, 30 years.
We don't know. Like fusion, like nuclear fusion. If we could do nuclear fusion, build, the materials for the fuel, and build the rockets on the moon, we could get out to Jupiter and Saturn so much easier. And people are working on these things right now. Governments are working on these things.
So this is what feeds me as a storyteller, as a science fiction writer.
And I wanna point out, if it's not already very obvious to everyone who's either watching or listening to this, we can feel Beth's energy piercing through the universe as she speaks about all of these things that she absolutely adores. These are the things that bring her alive. These are also the things that will bring her marketing alive.
She already has a great idea to somehow get her books into the hands of these folks who were doing affordable space travel. But here's what's interesting.
So we have an idea, perhaps of maybe who these people are. We have some demographics in mind, we have some psychographics in mind of who would want to take these kinds of journeys.
Well, you can think about some ideas like having a conversation with the owner of the enterprise: what would be a most service and support for you?
And this is important when we're thinking about our marketing now, not to come at it from "what's in it for me" first." We gotta come at it from what's in it for the person we are seeking the collaboration with.
What would be a giant win for that individual or that enterprise? And how can you then deliver it in a way that helps bring some visibility to your work?
So let's say the person says, I would love to have gift bags or some really high-end swag bags for the people who take these flights as a thank you.
Well, wouldn't it be nice to put a little bundle of four books into each one of those swag bags? That the person who is the owner of the company perhaps would agree to buy some things in bulk. You're getting your book purchases, which is wonderful, but perhaps more importantly, you're getting into the hands of some very special kinds of readers who are not only going to love the content of the books themselves but are creating now a new kind of relationship with you as someone who is also interested in the same kinds of things that they are.
So, there's all of these really interesting kind of interlocking potential synchronicities.
So, I would like to encourage everyone to think about, okay, these things that bring me alive, that I'm absolutely passionate about, that I'm also insanely great at doing. I would do these things all day for free, actually. I love them so much.
What is it that I can mine from that data and what I now know about myself in a much more clear way? And how can I make some creative ideas pop to the surface that I can use in some really interesting book marketing?
Notice how we're not talking about Facebook ads.
Notice how we're not talking about dancing on TikTok.
Now, that may be High and to the Right for you. It may be that TikTok is your jam or book Twitter or what. Whatever those things are, by all means, lean into that if that is true for you. But what what Beth and I have just uncovered together is something that is really interesting and different, and it has this sticky quality to it because she loves it so much and she is already halfway down the field to figuring it out.
I have discussed this briefly with some other folks and they're like, find a specific person inside the company. So they're not doing these flights yet on these balloons and who knows when they're going to, but I would imagine that this particular space balloon company is really excited and the people who work for them are very excited and people are readers.
Through my networking ability, I could, in doing a little bit of research, I can find out a specific person to send my books to and just send them as a gift and a thank you for the work you're doing. I have a history of shipping books around the world to book reviewers.
I'll ship my books to India if someone raises their hand and shows me they're a book reviewer, I will send them my book. So I am excited by that gifting process and, I have about five or six companies that I have been connected to through my research of my first four novels that I could also find specific people and ship my books to them, as a thank you.
I got to correspond with the guy who was the president of the International Space Elevator Association, cause I have a space elevator in my story. So I corresponded and I brainstormed a little. I had a correspondence with someone in Colorado who runs a nonprofit around space who helped me out.
A thank you really, cuz they helped me out. They answer my questions. So that feels like a, something I could do easily, very, very easily. I'm having bookmarks made. They'll be ready soon. Put those in there, I hand sign them. People love that little personal touch. Yeah. And I've done that and I really, really love it.
And it creates that kinesthetic connection. I can imagine people holding my book. I know what it's like to be a reader who's excited to get a signed book from an author, who understands and loves what they love. So I love what you were saying too about like, really think about what's in it for them.
It may not be a now thing to do a gift bag for these space balloon passengers. That's a future thing. But maybe I can feature a space balloon in my novel and what she wants is publicity. She wants people to know about her company. I'm sure. How can I, in addition to interviewing her on my podcast, how can I bring that even into my storytelling, which is totally possible? Not to do necessarily a product placement.
But what we're doing is we're opening up imagination. We're getting more people to think about the possibility of this kind of travel. And that's what fiction is for. Fiction opens us up, right? Our hearts, our minds, our spirits. So, that might be a longer term thing. But, something I'm also very curious about is how can I collaborate with some of these companies on storytelling?
Do they have storytelling needs that I could support them on?
That's separate a little bit from the fiction writer. That now gets into my consulting side. And how can I bring my fiction writing skills to support what they're trying to do?
So I see there's some crossover there that I haven't quite explored, cause I haven't had those conversations yet.
Coming back to the fiction, there's something in there. The simple thing right now is sending books and sending bookmarks and as thank yous for how they have inspired me.
Well, I would take a big piece of paper and do a mind map of your High and to the Right quadrant and look at all of the associations and interlinking bubbles.
As you map things out, you will get more and more ideas. We are just scratching the surface right now of what's possible and your subconscious mind is going to continue to work this puzzle for you and going to continue to deliver you really interesting nuggets.
And you can notice too, how it feels to be in this quadrant. It's wide open. It's possibility. It's the absolute energetic state of what you love so much about being a futurist. It is this new frontier rather than, oh God, I've gotta market like that. It couldn't be more different, right?
And when you're in that zone of all of this juice, that's when the opportunities and the people and the chance encounters and the offers of support and these just incredible speaking and networking opportunities come to the fore.
So for folks who are working on your High and to the Right quadrants, after you have them written down, move everything into its own mind map so you can really drill down and get some even more interesting and deeper intuitive hits out of the process.
You're Awesome - Thank you!
Thank you so much, everyone, for listening to my podcast.
Stay tuned for part three of my discussion with Susie concluding next week.
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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