Why did you publish a #zombie book?

July 27, 2017

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Valerie Lioudis, author of the zombie thriller, Aftershock: A Collection of Survivor Stories, asked me to write about how authors can use social media to market their books.

VL Aftershock.jpg

Valerie specifically wanted me to write for the authors that participate in the Reanimated Writers Zombie Fiction Fan Group on Facebook. I’m flattered by Valerie’s request and I hope I don’t disappoint her and Kevin. Because before I can get into the process and tasks, I have to get into the purpose. If the purpose and grit is lacking, there really isn’t any need to proceed further.

So I must ask you, fearsome author, why did you publish a book?

You published your book for it to be read, enjoyed and praised. By many. More than 100. Maybe, 5000. OR you have published a book for the wrong reasons.

Of course, many often say, just write. Others, write for yourself. In other words, write to understand you and, perhaps, benefit from truthful self-examination. Maybe you can fix you. Heal you. Find the path to a better you. Certainly, writing can help you do these things.

But once you have an ambition to publish your writing, you seek to be known. You seek to be trusted, preferred over others, honored, praised and otherwise rewarded. You want to matter to others. Me too.

Even if you possess talent, technique and style (however challenging they are for you to achieve in your work), these are not sufficient to get known. And, truth be told, a published book is not the accomplishment today that it was 100 years ago. In fact, anyone can publish a book today. And everybody seems to be doing it too!

Who will buy your book?

People need to see it to believe it. They need to believe it is worthy of their attention and time before they will taste it and see for themselves if it is good. Your book needs to be brought to market and it needs to succeed in a fierce competition among other books and, often, among better written books than yours.

It’s great, for example, that the zombie market is huge. Last year, there were over 12 million total viewers of The Walking Dead. But how will your book get to that market of zombie fans?

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 8.53.19 PM.png

Your book is competing for the attention of readers against 500,000+ new Indie books per year – not to mention all the books published by the industry leading publishers with their long experience and proven strategies for selling and marketing books. Today, an accomplishment is selling 5,000 or more copies within five years of publication.

Of course, there is some accomplishment in writing a book fit for publication. But the line between fitness and self-humiliation has been blurred much by the celebration of self-publication. And what self-respecting adult prizes a participation trophy?!

But those with purpose and grit will succeed in the serious accomplishment with a modest financial investment. Under $1200. Do not think, however, that it’s easy to compete against millions of dollars of marketing and ad spend of the top 20 publishers. That would be some really bad maths and poor common sense on your part!

With much, enduring and persistent effort to market your books and build positive and mutually beneficial relationships in social media, you can become known. My friend, business professor and author, Mark Schaefer swears it in his best selling book, Known.

MS Known

Building positive and mutually beneficial relationships may not be why you are on social media. It may not be how you do social media. That’s something we can easily fix if your purpose is to be an accomplished author.

Since I find that most learning is actually happening when there is doing, therefore, I will only continue to write further on this subject if I see 20 retweets and shares of both of the following tweets and posts. Even if there is not enough of you do so easily, encourage your friends to retweet and share. Because that’s how social media savvy is done.

Click the link below and retweet the tweet from your Twitter account.


Click the link and like and share the post from your Facebook account.


Stan Faryna
26 July 2017
Fairfax, Virginia

P.S. The conditions for a second blog post were met. Here’s the link to it:


Have you heard about my novella, Francesco Augustine Bernadone?

“This fast and furious LitRPG, sci-fi book packs a punch like Saitama, the One-Punch Man, while giving us haunting glimpses of the near future and our existential predicament. With subtle hints of Dostoyevsky, Tolkien and The Walking Dead, this story is more delicious than the world’s greatest chimichanga. Sorry, Deadpool.”



FAB ebook cover 200


Programmatic, native and other social media DOHs

February 28, 2014

Programmatic, native and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Pharrel Williams, Happy

Mixed metaphors are not to be trusted.
A word must bear some relation to truth. That’s how trust is won.
Mad money makes liars, thieves and pirates of educated, well-meaning and despicable fools, equally.
But me, I’m happy. Because I don’t have to lie, anymore. Nor do you. It’s simple. Love!
Love and make the first object and beneficiary of your love, Truth.
Stan Faryna
27 February 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

Self-promotion, value and other social media DOHs

August 22, 2013

Self-promotion, value and other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

4MIN News August 22, 2013

Etta James, At Last

Papilio glaucus Eatern Tiger Swallowtail and Buddleia butterfly bush Faryna

Read the rest of this entry »

Does Design Matter? And other social media DOHs

October 25, 2012

Does Design Matter? And other social media DOHs

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Fellow blogger Ralph Dopping asks if design matters when you are buying a toaster. Read it here:

Does Design Matter when you are buying a Toaster?

The higher cost of a well designed product, Ralph suggests, deserves a second chance – even if the price tag stabs you in eye. Because there’s a chance that the functionality of the design may represent benefits (for you) which may or may not be immediately obvious and useful to you.

All of which reminds me of a frequent and recurring conversation that comes up when someone new visits with me in my home office.

The conversation usually begins like this:

Them: I like this chair. It’s [interesting, cool, and makes a statement]. Where did you get it?

Me: It’s made by Poltrona Frau. The company that does the leather upholstery for Ferrari – among other things. It’s called a Hydra armchair.

Them: FERRARI?! It must be expensive. How much was it? $1,000?

Me: $5,000. Each.

At which point, the person recognizes that their curiosity about the price was inappropriate.

Or, if they lack tact, they say that they would never spend that kind of money on a chair, that they could never imagine having the kind of money that would allow them to make such a purchase decision as I have made, OR they ask me if it’s the best fucking chair in the world.

My favorite armchairs for sitting, however, are not the Poltrona Fraus. They are also “design” products – leather upholstered, cubic in form, but they cost about $500 each. They were made by a currently bankrupt, no name company in a bad neighborhood of Bucharest. Those well designed arm chairs are in the living room and they have resisted  heavy wear and tear for ten years. And, I suppose, they shall go another ten years. Or longer – if I rehabilitate them.

I once put a Poltrona Frau Hydra armchair in the living room – it did not take kindly to wear and tear. It was yellow and the color of the leather faded on the arms in two years. In three years, the leather began to wear noticeable in places. And, then, that poor thing suffered from the affections of my then toddler son.

Johnny loved the Poltrona Frau – a testament to the proposition that good design, like art, can appeal to all ages regardless of prejudice.

The Poltrona Fraus in my home office, however, serve different purposes. These armchairs inspire and provoke the imagination, they are fire starters to passionate conversations, and they make an authoritative statement. About design, mostly. But, perhaps, the Poltrona Fraus also tell a compelling and interesting story about me, what I know, what I have done, and what I can do.

Perhaps. Function and value should never be overstated.

The question, however, does design matter?, is an important question – especially to those of us interested in a successful online strategy – online presence, online advertising and marketing, websites, blogging, ecommerce, etcetera.

Good design matters. It goes beyond the first impression. It goes beyond the look and feel. It is an end to end matter. Good design, however, is not perfection.

Regardless of your design insight (or lack thereof), your own resources will determine how and when you can apply design solutions to the various present or impending challenges at hand.

Too often, the lack of resources which we (you or I) bring to the design of whatever we are doing – will, unfortunately, overstate the following:

  1. who we are not
  2. what we have not done, and
  3. what we can not do

That sucks…

What’s your junk saying about you, your business, your product, or your services?

Stan Faryna
25 October 2012
Bucharest, Romania

Other quick meditations of online strategy, social media, design and everything else:

Professional brand (yours) and other social media DOHs

Sustainable Failure

The Future of Blogging is Hot Magenta

Professional brand (yours) and other social media DOHs

October 22, 2012

Professional Brand. And other social media DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

The consideration of personal brand here reminds me of a question that I often revisit.

What makes a professional brand exciting to me?

And admittedly, I often get to the same chicken and egg conundrum.

Where is the priority? Existing relationships or value proposition.

This is not either/or – success and results demand both. Seemingly, equally.

Existing relationships can be a powerful indicator of recognized, proven value.

Value proposition invites and sustains connection, interest, and engagement.

When I consider a potential employee’s or business partner’s online presence, I want to see shares, reach, connection, engagement, and contribution (professional and otherwise). Buzz – not so much.

But I also want to see something that sets them apart and represents their intelligence, curiosity, character, collaborative capacity, and, for lack of a better term, humanity.

The later are the best indicators of the real value and resources they can bring to an organization or project(s).

For example, I would hire or work with Jack Steiner in a heart beat – if the results demanded that collaboration. And not just Jack.

Need a list?

Breakthrough professional insight – is awesome, but breakthrough insights are as rare as Osmium.

Independent thinking – irreverent opinion and skepticism is often mistaken for independent thought; the substance of rain-making, critical, independent thought, however, will never resemble molecular acid.

On the other side of the coin, pink bunnies and strident positivity never proliferate as measurable advantages, added value, or results. In fact, the pink bunnies have an uncanny pattern of trending toward death marches, failure, repeated failure, sustainable failure, and/or a high casualty count.

Creativity – but don’t bring your crayons or the naiveté of the grade school artist to the table. There is no vacant space on my fridge, thanks. If it doesn’t address or solve my (or our) problem, keep it on your fridge and do something better.

Passion – not to be mistaken as a license for licentious self-expression, unending self-defeat, or exhibition of behavioral issues that will get in the way of our collaboration. Be real and, sometimes, be the fool that battles windmills – this will recommend your courage and sincerity. But do not drool.

Vulnerability – as in own up to your mistaken opinions and failures, say your sorry, and give honor to those who deserve your recommendation. As often as you can! But do not paint a self-portrait that suggests you are a ticking time bomb. Or just another zombie.

The later only invites head shots – if you didn’t know. [grin]

Stan Faryna
22 October 2012
Bucharest, Romania

A Leadership Story: Louis Vuitton and Muhammad Ali

August 17, 2012

Are you a leader?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Muhammad Ali

It’s been weeks since I’ve written about the things that travel my heart. Weeks. I just needed a little inspiration. Something beautiful to carry me to words that could float me. Float me like a butterfly and give me a sting. Like a bee.

Muhammad Ali

Louis Vuitton’s online feature of Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) was just the thing. Muhammad Ali (nicknamed The Greatest) is an icon – not was. Three-time Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Ali did not just hit hard in the boxing ring, he hit hard with words. For Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the dignity of the human person.

Oh – Ali threw his Olympic Gold medal into the Ohio river when an American restaurant refused to serve him a meal because he was black.

Muhammad Ali is also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2005). The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor that is bestowed upon a man or woman in the United States of America. This high honor gives recognition to the individual who has made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

It is an honor that you or I, perhaps, shall never receive. In other words, you and I may never compare to The Greatest. Remember that when you think of Ali. And don’t stop trying to be a better you.

Louis Vuitton Ad: Muhammad Ali

See the Louis Vuitton feature on The Greatest here:


Muhammad Ali’s story reminds me that leadership is not just about glory and the epic, fortunes, windfall, and accommodations. It is much more about the service, of what was given, and the sacrifices made to advance a good cause.

I am reminded that leadership demands that we have to stake our resources (personal, financial and otherwise) against the challenges which we face as leaders. And the challenges we must face because someone must do the right thing, set an example, and demonstrate the taller measure of humanity.

Muhammad Ali put his career and honor on the line – when he spoke out against war. He was arrested. He was illegally and unconstitutionally harassed by the United States Federal Government. Yes. That’s right. Any government is capable of doing as much evil as it may do good.

Ali was even on the President’s black list. For all the wrong, ignorant and, yes, prejudicial reasons.

Years later, the United States Supreme Court vindicated Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves

What good cause do you serve, today? What good cause do I serve?!

What kind of future are you building? Is it a future of we. Or just you?

It is a question that I put to the man in the mirror. Often.

Stan Faryna
17 August 2012
Bucharest, Romania

Brands are like Tinkerbell: Stop believing in them and they die.

April 27, 2012

Brands are like Tinkerbell: Stop believing in them and they die.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Never Never Land

Mark Pesce, an Australian entrpreneur, recently tweeted:

Brands are like Tinkerbell: If you stop believing in them, they die.

Pesce’s tweet reminds me of the ancient proverb about the things that we believe:

Seeing is believing.

That’s what comScore and Pretarget are suggesting. That a parlay on online display ads pays handsomely. Because brands get seen online. Clicks, They are also suggesting, are not the last word in conversion: transaction, interaction, conversation, and/or community. In other words, online measurement and metrics are suspect. Say What?

Who’s calling shenanigans on who!?

Saint Germain, Sure Thing

Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond advertising, social, and IBM. And other digital DOHs.

April 17, 2012

Beyond advertising, social, and IBM. And other digital DOHs.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

IBM’s 2009 report, Beyond Advertising, was said to be a feast. Download it here. But if it was a feast, it was a feast of leftovers. Think Thanksgiving – or, more precisely, the three day old leftovers of Thanksgiving. And that was in 2009!

The Beauty of Pollination

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Savvy: Job number one is making @bdorman264 look good.

April 15, 2012

Social Savvy: Job number one is making @bdorman264 look good.

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Jack Steiner has inspired me to write yet another blog post. That’s two for this week. If you do social media or just blog and you don’t have a reach of five million, you’d be crazy not to subscribe to TheJackB’s blog.

Jack’s blog post today is a five minute exercise.

Two other bloggers (and Triberrites) also inspire my thoughts in this five minute blog post:

Anthony Iannarino, President and Chief Sales Officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing.

Bill Dorman, Principal at Lanier Upshaw, a full service, independent insurance agency in Lakeland, Florida.

The Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling

Anthony Iannarino writes about how to think about a sale in his blog post, Companies Don’t Make Decisions. People Make Decisions.

Writes Anthony:

… companies don’t make decisions. People acting as their agents make those decisions. People make decisions.

Anthony makes some excellent points about what those individuals expect from a sales relationship with you. I would like to add another awesome point to Anthony’s list. It is a point made by Bill Dorman – he made this point a few weeks ago in his blog post, Great hair alone won’t make you awesome in social.

Writes Billy:

I have a great team where I work. If you ask anyone on my team what their number one responsibility is, they will reply ‘to make Billy look good’.

Job number one is making your customer (buyer, reader, fan, follower, friend, etc.) look good. That may include making them look smart, deserving of kudos and promotions, sex, whatever.

Steve Jobs understood this.

A MacBookPro, an iPhone, and an iPad makes the fanboys (and girls) look good. In other words, cool, sexy, and socially saavy.

From a technology standpoint, Apple products have always been lackluster. I have every right to make such a criticism because I have spent over $50,000 on Apple products, licences, etc. in the last seven years. [grin]

Who did you make look good today?

Stan Faryna
15 April 2012
Bucharest, Romania


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