Research and now modern technology says there really is a difference between how men and women think. Co-authors Holly Buchanan and Michele Miller spent three years reviewing research on marketing to women and compiling their findings in a book, The Soccer Mom Myth Today’s Female Consumer: Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys (Wizard Academy Press).
Titles are often a tough decision and ultimately one of the most important. How did you determine the title of your book?
Holly: Michele and I went back forth over the title trying to find a title that would break through the stereotypes of women. We were brainstorming over lunch one day and came up with the soccer mom title and thought it just fit.
Did you talk with any soccer moms when researching the book?
Holly: We did talk to moms through our client work. We went out to the community through blogs and discussion forums which allowed us to be a fly on the wall and really listen to moms.
How did you find the experience of researching and writing the book?
Holly: When I first decided to write the book I was a nonbeliever that there were that many differences between men and women. And after three years of researching and writing the book, I learned so much about those differences. That was one of the nicest results of the project.
It was really fun for me to do. I’m kind of a geek and I love to follow all the neurology research, the communications books, and books about the human brain. The research we looked at was fairly new from the 1990s and 2000s.
The most surprising research we found was the differences in communications styles between men and women. I’m doing a lot of training right now on understanding male-female communications styles.
Can you share a little bit about your writing process?
Holly: The writing process itself took a lot of time. There were many sacrificed dinners and golf games and many late nights spent writing. My spark tends to come later in the day so I like to write late afternoon and early evening.
I write very fast. I like to do brain dumps and then go back later and pretty it up. For the book, Michele and I divided up the chapters according to what each of us felt passionate about. Usually I found so much to say that the hardest part of the writing process was narrowing the writing down.
Did you find the process different than writing a blog or writing for radio copy?
Holly: Not really. Blog posts are supposed to be the equivalent of a 60-second radio spot.
We kept the chapters in the book short and used subheadings in each chapter which fits the style of blog posts – keep it short, get in and get out.
How did you get your start in writing?
Holly: I was originally a music major in college and wanted to work in radio as a DJ. The first radio station I worked at thought I had a nasal tone to my voice so instead of putting me on the radio they sent me to work with the creative and sales teams.
I started writing 60-second radio spots then moved into marketing, then marketing director and from there I started working with Internet marketing.
Can you share a few tips for aspiring writers?
Holly: The first tip is to absolutely do it! If you feel passionate about something, write about it. Second, work with really good editors. And, third if you’re writing a book, prepare a platform to promote your book yourself. Regardless of who you sign with, no one is going to promote your book but you.
Do you have tips for writers on getting a book published?
Holly: First decide what you want the book to do for you. Do you want to be a bestselling author or do you want to write books to use as a promotional tool, like a really expensive business card?
There are two ways to publish and deciding what you want to do with the book will help you select the best way to publish.
You can get an agent and work with a traditional publisher or you can self-publish and have greater control and a faster turnaround.
Any other books in the works?
Holly: I am working on a few other ideas. The next book will probably focus on how to market to women online and how to take advantage of social media.