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How are reviews, publicity and cross-promotion different?

Obtaining reviews (or really any type of publicity - newspaper articles, radio interviews, online chats or blog carnivals, etc.) is not the same as cross promotion. They are done for somewhat different reasons. Yes, they both are done to increase sales, but the audience and approach for each are different.

I think cross-promotion also goes beyond listings on other websites (link exchanges) and commenting on each others blogs about your products.

I define cross promotion much more broadly. I’ll take my own book as an example (www.roadtripdream.com). When the book first came out, I tried to come up with a list of COMPLIMENTARY businesses to mine - businesses who did different things than I did, but who might have a common interest with me in "cross promoting" each others businesses. Some of the companies that I came up with included AAA (mentioned often in the book), RVIA (the GoRVing people), MyTripJournal.com, PleasureWay (the maker of the RV we used on our trip), Good Sam Club and a couple of others. Shoot big, right?

These are what I consider to be long term sales. In other words, you can’t just call up one of these companies with an idea and walk away with a sale. RVIA I worked on for three years before we became national spokespeople for them and toured the country on their behalf doing media interviews, talking to people at the national AARP Life@50+ convention and, yes, mentioning and selling our book as our credential of authority.

With PleasureWay and subsequently RoadTrek, I never was able to implement my idea with them - giving talks in their retail dealers locations with the book as a gift for coming to hear the talk about RVing in a PleasureWay. A great way, I thought for them to build a list of potential buyers.But not everything works out along the way.

We traveled for AAA-Oregon for two years doing talks and promoting our book and AAA. For The Good Sam Club, I co-wrote a technology column with Dan Parlow of MyTripJournal for two years. He and I also did cross promotion on both our websites - I was the featured travel story for over a year - and he and I did joint RV shows where we both spoke separately on our areas of expertise and shared a booth - I sold my book and he showed how the MyTripJournal website recorded that trip. My map, his website and my book - great cross promotion. We both sold a lot at those events.

So, you see, cross promotion can go way beyond just simple links - it can lead to all kinds of opportunities if you are just a little creative and very patient. Almost every book has opportunities like these lurking inside the author’s imagination - if only you thought about it in a way that would help both businesses - not just you, but them also. The old WIIFM theory reigns true - What’s In It For ME!

Each of these opportunities eventually led to other interviews, articles, web links, sales to other points of distribution (ie Camping World, Traviler Life, etc.) and all kinds of fun things along the way.

So what businesses are complimentary to your book and how could you pitch a cross promotion with them? I’m sure if you think about it, you can come up with some great ideas.

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Book Awards Season Complete


I have the privilege of working with many clients during the course of the year, and one of the greatest joys is seeing those clients win book awards. My congratulations to the following marketing clients and their books which have received one or more 2011 awards.

Dreamtime Dream Interpretation - Terri Ulstrup - Finalist - Spirituality - 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Minder - Kate Kaynak - Reader’s Choice Awards Top 5 pick for Best YA Series of 2010, Best YA book

Mary’s Son - Darryl Nyznak - three gold Mom’s Choice Award:  Most Inspirational/motivational book in the older juveniles (aged 9-12) and in the Young Adults (aged 13+), and  for Adult Fiction/Literature.  Finalist, Benjamin Franklin award for best fiction cover design.

Wanted: Gentleman Bank Robber - Dane Batty - Finalist, True Crime Book of the Year; Finalist Reader Views Book of the Year - Societal Issues; Finalist, Next Generation Indie Book Awards - biography

Conversations with Jerry and Other People I thought were Dead - Irene Kendig - Winner, (Health: Death & Dying), International Book Awards; Finalist,  (Death & Dying), National Indie Excellence Awards

The Medical Bill Survival Guide - Nick Newsad - 2nd Place - Health & How To categories - Reader View Awards 

Congratulations also to the following colleagues on their awards: Kate Bandos, KSB Promotions - Life Buzz award in five categories and Christie Gorsline for her book Empty Nest to Life Vest - Gold Traveler’s Tale Solas Award.



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When should you give away a book - and why?

There are really three types of giveaways in my mind - and each has a different purpose:  

* Thank you give-aways to people who helped you with your book - there are usually less than a dozen of these, often people who you mention in your acknowledgements - but it is a great way to appreciate those who have helped in some way. They become good cheerleaders for you and we all know that personal referral does sell books.

* Review copy give-aways to people who you are asking to do reviews, provide interviews, or write articles about you, your expertise or your book. When these are well-placed and followed up on, they are "gold" to your book sales.

* Contests and other promotional give-aways - these are often in conjunction with an appearance, a radio interview, for raffles to your key audiences, for charity events where your likely readers could be in attendance and so forth. These have mixed results depending upon the other promotion around them and how targeted the audience is for your genre.

I tell my clients to plan about 5% of your total anticipated first years sales to various types of give-aways.

 

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How to Write and Publish the Perfect Book

When it comes to publishing, there is a certain recipe for success. And while nothing is guaranteed, there are significant activities which must happen in order for your book to have a chance at success. I often speak of promotion, websites, and gathering a social media footprint. Today we’re taking a look at the equally important back-end issues. Now, I can’t guarantee if you follow this that you’ll come out leading the charge with the most perfect book, but you’ll certainly be close. Writers never intentionally write a bad book, or a book that’s not marketable. We do our best, and we often hope for the best. But in a world full of clutter, you have to do more than that. You have to step out to succeed, and you have to learn the ropes of your market and the publishing industry. Here are 11 points for you to consider:

1) How big is the market for your book? Before you launch headlong into a campaign or even write your book, be sure you know the market for it really well. Often, I find that authors don’t take the time to study their market. This is important because you need to know first and foremost if there is a market for your book. I know this might sound odd, but hear me out. Some years back I worked as a literary agent and was being pitched by this super-talented author. He’d written a book on why good men fall for bad or mean women. He was proud of this book, saying there was no other book like it on the market and further, that he’d written it for men. There are two problems with this:

First, that there is no other book like it on the market. If there isn’t a book like it on the market, there might be a reason why. It’s not that there are no new ideas, but most of the models that work consist of books that fit a certain, existing market. Second problem: a self-help book written for men. No offense guys, but women buy 97% of all self-help out there. If you’re writing a good book with a great topic but for the wrong audience, that’s a problem. Know the market.

Go to bookstores and talk to booksellers, they can be the best source of information for you. Ask them if they have a book on your topic and then have them point you in the direction of where those books are shelved so you can see for yourself what the competitive space looks like. If there isn’t a book on your topic, see if you can find out why. Ask a professional you trust. This could be your bookseller, or it could be a marketing professional. You’ll save yourself thousands of dollars by doing this. Regarding my talented author with a book written for the wrong market, once we repositioned him it was fine. It took little effort but saved him countless hours, dollars, and frustration.

2) What will you call it? When we worked with author Marci Shimoff, she told us that she spent two long weeks agonizing over the title of her book: Happy for No Reason. Marci was featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Secret, and had done extensive speaking events worldwide. Why would she agonize over the title of a book? Because the title (and the cover) are the most important elements of your book. People will judge a book by its cover and title, you can be certain of that. If you’re debating on a title, or even if you’ve settled on one, do not take chances. Find a professional who can give you important feedback. If a title is unappealing, too confusing, or too tied to branding that isn’t clear or benefit-driven, you could lose sales. Remember: the title of your book isn’t for you; it’s for your reader. Make it matter to them.

3) Don’t fall in love with your own ideas. This is a big one. It’s great to love your work; in fact, you should love it. You should be passionate about it. But don’t love it so much that you aren’t open to feedback. Feedback is critical to any successful book launch campaign. Further, if you aren’t open to feedback, you might miss some advice that could save your book and you from spending thousands of dollars pushing something that isn’t quite ready for the mainstream - or worse, a book that’s missed its mark only slightly. Be open to feedback and then seek that feedback from professionals you trust and respect.

4) Do you know how to compete with major publishers? If you’re self-publishing your book, or even trying to find a major NY publisher for your book, why would this matter? Because, as much as some folks like to say that NY publishers are doing it wrong, they are still the driving force behind the industry. Knowing when they typically release a majority of their titles and what their strengths and weaknesses are is important. Why? Because you need to understand what the competitive landscape looks like. It’s important to note, for example, that major publishers don’t generally publish to the niches. Why is that? Because they are focused (and must focus) on bigger areas: celebrity titles, trends, etc. Even the things (like the Snooki book) that might turn our stomachs. In an upcoming piece, I will spend some time discussing how NY Publishers work, as well as how you might compete with some of these giants.

5) What’s the "look" of your work? I’m speaking specifically about branding and book cover design. I would never trust my book cover to anyone less than a professional designer. Why? Because there are certain things you don’t want to leave to chance. This is another reason why you don’t want to get too close to your work. You might love a book cover that’s totally wrong for your book. Now, don’t misunderstand me. You should love your final cover, absolutely. But don’t love something that many professionals advise against. This could mean trouble. Further, you should do your research. Look at other covers; see what appeals to you and what does not. Make sure the cover is simple and powerful in design. If you have a brand aligned with your business, make sure there’s a synergy between them. Also, your cover shouldn’t be too complicated. If you have to explain the cover (or book title) you need to keep searching for a simpler message. Remember: you aren’t going to be able to be everywhere and speak to every consumer interested in your book about what the cover or title means. It should pique their interest without confusing them.

6) What other titles are competing with you? Knowing your competitive space is not only important, it’s mandatory. As I mentioned in #1, you want to identify your market and know that there’s an audience for your book. Once you do, however, you’ll want to get to know that market even better. You should read most (if not all) of the top books in your category (to the degree that time allows, of course). You should know the authors who write them and if possible, network with them via email, their blogs or (if you’re lucky) in person. Why is this crucial? Two reasons: The first is that you want to know what other titles are out there because your book needs to somehow align with the market. Also, what happens if you do research and find that there’s another book exactly like yours? Glad you found out now, aren’t you? Now you can change your book slightly to support a similar, but unique, message. Second, networking with other like-minded authors is always a win-win. It’s great if you can get to know them, share information, helpful tips, maybe even some upcoming networking events. Knowing your "neighbors" in publishing is never a wasted effort.

7) Who is your target audience and how will you reach them? Who are you writing for? Who is your audience? If you aren’t sure, now is the time to find out. Specifically, you want to make sure there’s an audience for your book and you want to know how to reach them. By reaching them I mean selling to them. If you’re unsure, a professional can help you identify this. The reason you want to do this early on is so that if needed, you can incorporate elements into your book that matter to your reader and make it more appealing to your audience. Identifying your target market and how you will access them is important because this could help you align with them before your book comes out. Let’s say that your audience is heavily into associations. This could be a great outlet for you to market to and even, if you’re so inclined, to position yourself as a speaker. If you’ve written fiction, this is important as well. Key associations in your market can be very helpful to your success both through promotion and networking. Authors have a tendency to isolate themselves. Yes, I know this is a stereotypical way of describing an author, but let’s face it, between writing, research, and promotion we’re clocking a lot of computer hours at our desk. It’s important to allocate some time to step out of your comfort zone and get to know the audience you are writing for.

8) How will someone buy your book? You might say: Duh - in bookstores and on Amazon. Well, maybe and maybe not. As I mentioned in #4, bookstore shelf space is often occupied by books published through major houses, therefore getting space on these shelves can be difficult. Your local store or stores may stock you, but that’s never certain until the book comes out. I recommend that you offer your book on your website and if you aren’t interested in shipping and fulfillment then link to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or whatever online e-tailer you feel most comfortable with.

9) What’s the best time to launch? Timing is everything, especially in publishing. Fall is always a big time for book releases. Publishers tend to publish their biggest titles in the Fall, making this sometimes a rough time to launch. Rough, but not impossible. If you’re launching in the Fall you will need to start your efforts early. And speaking of that - when will you start marketing your book? As soon as you have the title and branding complete. Start early, often I recommend six to eight months prior to the book launch.

10) What’s the unique message?How will you differentiate yourself from the competition? Your book is not the field of dreams; readers won’t beat a path to your door just because you wrote it. Remember that you must be different. You must be unique. It’s critical to identify your unique marketing message and, as well, identify your elevator pitch. What’s your elevator pitch? It’s a short, concise message that will help sell your book. It’s short, benefit-driven, intriguing, and all about the reader.

11) It’s not about you. The biggest and most important message in all of this is that despite the hours that you’ve toiled writing your book, at the end of the day it’s not about you. It’s about your reader, and moreover, it’s about what your book can do for the reader. If you keep this in mind as you move through the process of writing and publishing your book, you will have a title that will attract readership and help your writing career gain momentum.

Now that I’ve given you several ways to succeed, how do you align yourself with professionals you trust? First, do your homework. Read their websites, blogs and newsletters if they have one. If they purport to be social media experts, make sure you take a look at their social media footprint. I’ve had companies pitch me who say they are experts at social media yet they have no Facebook Page or Twitter account. That doesn’t seem very "expert" to me. References are always good to have as well. In fact, the more you can ask others who have been successful for the names of people they trust the quicker it will be for you to find people who have a good track record.

If you hire someone, make sure they can work hourly for you. You just want an opinion, perhaps some brainstorming time. You likely don’t need a package, just an hour, maybe two. You don’t need to spend your marketing budget on this process, but whatever you do spend can potentially save you a lot once the book hits the market.

Succeeding isn’t always about getting to the starting line on time. Often, it’s about all the work you do to get to the starting line and then, hopefully, to a successful finish. Our books are often an extension of ourselves, our businesses, and our personalities. But success requires more than just a good book. It requires a lot of sweat equity up front, and while it may seem like a hefty price for a book that hasn’t even launched, I can guarantee you this: The more you do now, the more you’ll save and succeed in the end. Good luck!

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Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

 

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Is a Subsidy Publisher right for your project?

This is a guest post from fellow consultant Shel Horowitz. He originally did this as a post on LinkedIn and I liked it so much, I asked him if I could post it here. Thanks, Shel.

 

It doesn’t sound like it would be a big deal, but the organization that assigns the ISBN to the book is the publisher. When your publisher is a subsidy house (such as Trafford, AuthorHouse, XLibris, iUniverse—all owned by the same company, incidentally—or Outskirts, Infinity and their hundreds of competitors), anyone in the industry can tell by the ISBN that you went with a publisher that does no vetting, that will take anyone who can pay the fee (other than hate speech or smut), that doesn’t give a flying f about whether the book has been proofread, let alone edited—and that in most cases will have a very generic cover and interior design. The industry, having seen vast quantities of junk coming out of these presses, assumes that anything with one of those labels is junk.

And the unfortunate reality is that 90 percent of the books coming out of these presses should never have been published. There’s certainly a lot of junk coming out of true self-publishing, too—but the percentage of good stuff is much, much higher.

Now there are a few reasons why in some cases it makes sense to go this route, as long as you know what you’re getting into and have good reasons. For example:

  • A client of mine whose book was good enough to publish traditionally told me he was in his late 80s and didn’t want to wait two years to find a publisher and have the book come out, and likewise he didn’t want the hassle of being his own publisher. He went with iUniverse, and probably sold a lot fewer books, but got it done very quickly at relatively low expense.
  • Infinity (my favorite of this ilk) got wind of my Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers and begged me to let them publish it. I let them do their own edition for the book trade. If a bookstore wants to order, I let them order Infinity’s edition. If an individual orders, I fill the order from the books I printed under my own ISBN (which cost me half as much per copy as Infinity’s). What I got out of it was outsourcing all the hassles of dealing with bookstores, as well as “street cred” with subsidy-published authors who might hire me for book consulting or marketing consulting/copywriting.
  • Professional speakers often use these companies because they don’t want the hassles, and because they have a built-in market that doesn’t care that their books are ugly and overpriced. In that market, they can pay the $9 per book to get them printed, because they sell them direct for maybe $25. In a bookstore, where comparable books might be $18 and the bookstore takes 40 percent, the numbers don’t work.
  • Finally, when I get a client with a crappy book that has a sharply limited life expectancy, I recommend these companies. If you’re going to sell 100 or fewer books during the life of a title, there’s no point setting up a publishing company, choosing printing and design vendors, etc., or paying someone to do it for you.

In true self-publishing, you buy your ISBN block and you choose your vendors for all the services you need (such as editing, design, indexing). And you set the price of the book. Some subsidy houses will allow you to supply your own cover and interior. Some will even let you set your own price. And some subsidy houses also offer on-demand printing services where they don’t assign an ISBN; in this case, you are buying short-run printing from a company that happens to also offer subsidy publishing services, but you are not subsidy publishing. Many people use companies like Lulu and the printing arm associated with Infinity to do Advance Reader Copies (ARCs). I used Lulu to do a relative’s vanity project in  run of 6 copies. I didn’t ask for ISBN and I didn’t use one of mine. I was simply using them as a printer.

But ultimately, there’s only one test that makes the determination whether a book is self- or subsidy published: who obtained the ISBN from the official ISBN agency (Bowker, in the US).

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Book shepherd and publishing/book marketing consultant Shel Horowitz’s two most recent books are Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers (self-published) and Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green (Wiley), both of which have won multiple awards. Visit him at www.FrugalMarketing.com

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What is the difference between marketing and promotion??

My degree is in Marketing, so I’ll give you the classical definitions, which I still use today when approaching a client’s project.


Marketing involves the "4 P’s" - Product, Price, Place and Promotion. A marketing plan looks at everything from the appropriateness of the Product for its market (target markets, competition, quality of the product, production values, etc.), how it is Priced in the market (low cost leader, price leader, value play, etc.), where it will be sold (Place) which for books is mostly about what types of distribution and outlets will be used, and finally Promotion - which people usually think of as "marketing" but you can now see, it is only one piece of marketing.


In big companies the marketing department sets the strategies and direction for the product or product line, then other parts of the company implement those strategies - sales, PR, communications, etc. As small presses, we do it all, but that doesn’t make it any less important to think about how all of these pieces function together.


There is nothing more disappointing to get a client who says "I’ve done all this ‘marketing’ for my book and spent all this money on advertising (part of promotion) and my book isn’t selling - what’s wrong?" Then I find out that the only place it can be purchased is on iUniverse’s (or some other POD publisher) website or just as bad, their just launched website. They have totally gotten the cart before the horse. You must have distribution before spending money or time on promotion. I’ve had similar horror stories with pricing problems and product problems. It ALL has to work together - product, price, place and promotion.


Back to promotion for a moment - promotion is made up of two major components in the book industry (well, any industry actually) - push and pull marketing - and again, you need to do both. Push marketing is "trade" marketing - getting your potential distribution partners interested in carrying your book - this can be trade reviews, ads in PW, attending BEA, etc. - these are book trade outlets. Pull marketing is what you do once you have your distribution set up - this is internet, broadcast, print and live presentations - things that are targeted towards your potential audience - getting them to go purchase your book. Remember - 7 impressions to make a sale - this is where pull marketing comes in (you pull the sales through the channels). In my opinion, you shouldn’t just focus on internet marketing - it is necessary to be wherever your potential readers are - and getting the word out via print media (newspapers and magazines), broadcast media (TV and radio) and doing live appearances are all valuable pieces of your plan and need to all be pulled into a coordinated effort.


A third type of marketing is what Seth Godin calls building your tribe - this is really the old institutional or branding marketing - building a name for yourself and your products. That should start well before the book is out - even up to a year isn’t too soon.


To drill down a little further on promotions, you have paid promotion which is called advertising - you get to tell your story however you want - you paid for it. The other type of promotion is publicity (whether via print, broadcast, or internet) and this is what most of us focus on (most small publishers can’t really afford much advertising). With publicity, you don’t get to advertise your product - the publicity outlet is telling a story of some type (news or entertainment) and you hope to be a part of it - these stories are much more powerful than advertising when you get featured as an expert or as an example in the story.

Hopefully that explains the difference between marketing and promotion.

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Marketing Gurus and Publicists - Who does what?

In my opinion, there is only one huge  reason to hire a PR firm - who they know. Just sending out an email "blast" - you can do that for yourself.

What a true PR professional (I’m not one!) brings to the table is a virtual "rolodex" of media names in your industry (very important) who will listen when this professional sends a story lead to them. They trust this person and know that if he/she sends the lead - they should consider it. It is the rifle approach vs the shotgun. I don’t think shotguns work very well (<:

A marketing professional (I am one) brings a different set of skills to the table. They look at your project from a holistic view. They consider all parts of the project and how to best market it. They work with such things as:

* Who is the target market? How large is it? How easy is it to reach?

* Is the product produced appropriately for the market? Is the language the right level? Are the graphics appropriate, Is it well-edited?

* What is the competition? How does this book stack up against the competition?

* What is the unique "hook" that this project brings? How does it fit in with the competition?

* Is the book priced correctly for the market? Can it be distributed at that price and make money?

* How should the product be distributed to meet the authors/publishers goals? What has to be done to get it distributed to the correct channels?

* How do each of the appropriate channels fit into the overall sales mix? Does that mix create profits?

* And lastly, how should this product be promoted? What mix of publicity and/or advertising will be needed to meet the sales goals?

* Does the author have the funds to meet those goals? If not, what can be done to modify the sales goals and/or increase exposure within the budget?

* Which methods is the publisher/author willing to employ to sell the book? Live presentations? Internet? Print? Broadcast? Everyone has their own time, financial and personal constraints that expand or limit what they are willing and can do.

You’ve got to hire the right person for the job you want done. Some publicists also do some marketing work as I described, but many do not. I work with (and refer to) a lot of PR professionals - and they often bring me into jobs that aren’t yet ready for publicity to help get them ready. There is nothing more disheartening than to see someone pay for a publicity campaign when the underlying marketing work has not yet been done. A good example is a book that wants nationwide publicity, yet is only available on the author’s website and at a price that doesn’t fit the market they are going after. Sigh…

The other advantage a marketing professional brings to the table is that they can help you develop a marketing and media plan that you can implement yourself. I prepare media kits, media plans with timelines and resources, as well as do marketing and website evaluations, pricing plans, get appropriate distribution for people, and yes, refer to a publicist when the author/publisher has that as part of their overall marketing plan.

Sometimes it is a "tough love" business, but a good marketing professional will always guide your decision making in the right direction. They don’t say things to be mean - they just want you to be successful. But, one of the beauties of being an author and/or a publisher, is that you get the final say on all phases of your project, including your marketing.

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How Can You Make Your Book Successful?

Doing a commercially viable book involves many facets - all of which have to present and firing on all cylinders to create a successful project.

* Product - your book has to be well designed and produced and have a definable target audience of sufficient size to sell a "reasonable" number of books. One way to determine this is to go to Amazon and put in the key words for your book. See how many other books there are in your genre, what are their sales ranks? how long are they? how long have they been out? who published them? — all kinds of excellent competitive information available to help you.

* Pricing - Once you know that you have a well-produced book with a reasonably sized market that you can reach, then you have to make sure it is priced right for the market. You can’t base your retail price on anything except the price the market expects for your type of book. You can get a lot of this information from the research I suggest above.

* Place - Once you have your product and pricing right, then you have to understand the places where you will sell it. This includes everything from your trunk, to book stores, to non-traditional locations (gift shops, boat stores, RV stores - whatever suits your genre), to the internet, and more. You have to consider ALL the possible places that a potential buyer will look for your book and try to be there. Every distribution channel has a different cost and it is the combination of all your channel choices together that will make up your profitability picture. You can’t look at any one of them in isolation.

* Promotion - Most people think this is the only part of marketing that is important, but as you can see it is the very last piece of the puzzle to consider. Once you have everything else in place, THEN and only then, can you think about promoting your book. The saddest thing I see is people who spend time and money on promotion when they haven’t adequately addressed all the other pieces of the puzzle. Promotion comes in many flavors and some are costly, but many are not. I am not a big fan of paid advertising for independent publishers as it is just too costly to make a pay off. The four areas to consider are internet, broadcast, print and live presentations. A combination of those well executed, will provide success.

There is no quick fix or magic bullet - it is many things done consistently and well, over time.

I have been in the marketplace with my book since 2004. My strategy has shifted over that time as success has come, as the industry has changed, and as the books sales have changed. I’ve done two editions over many printings; have used wholesalers, a national distributor (Midpoint) and now use LSI. I’ve had sales into every part of the travel business and have had publicity in everything from the AP (3 times) to Money Magazine, to AAA to AARP and hundreds more - all from my own efforts with a small infusion of a publicist’s help early on. You can see some of it here: http://www.roadtripdream.com/media2.html

There is nothing special about what I did - I had never written professionally, knew nothing about the publishing business, and had no special help that isn’t available to each of you. It is about having a little money to invest in your own success, persistence and dedication to being successful, getting involved in (and understanding) the publishing business, understanding your own genre, and never giving up.

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Market Your Book on a Budget: A 12-step Check List

Today, join me in welcoming fellow coach, Judy Cullins with a guest post on evaluating your marketing plans Thank you Judy for your work on this.

 

Answer each question with a “yes” or “no” and see how prepared you are for success.


1. You have hired a book coach or Sherpa that is inside books, seminars, and 1 to 1 sessions to make sure each of your chapters will engage their readers to finish and recommend your book.


2. You have created chapter titles that brand you and your business. That’s how the big selling authors of non-fiction do it.


3. You have about $2000-2500 to make sure your book sells–in its writing and its marketing. (low cost coaching is an investment that pays at least 3X your fees).


4. You know the book and business trends and can write your book accordingly.


5. You have a website, blog site or plan on writing sales copy that will sell you and your books.


6. You’ve published articles for ezine directories and blogs, so you have a built in “audience” for your book.


7. You did some market research with a great marketing coach to find out if your book will sell a few, a middle amount or a lot of books.


8. You take all the good teleseminars and group coaching teleseminars to update your skills in writing and marketing.


9. You have a written marketing plan and know how you’re going to promote and sell your book– before you’ve written it.


10. You are part of a writer’s discussion group online, blog regularly and interact in the social media groups such as Linkedin.


11. You invest at least 10 hours a week to promote your book.


12. You carefully brainstormed your best book title for your particular audience to brand yourself.


If you answered "NO" to three or more of these questions, you will want to investigate resources that will make your journey easier and profitable.

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Book coach, Judy Cullins helps you transform your book idea into a helpful, entertaining and engaging book. She also helps you get far more visibility and credibility for your business, mostly through social media. Judy is the author of 13 business books including "How to Write Your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!," and "LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales." Find her at www.bookcoaching.com

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Twenty-First Century Media Kits

Publicist Paul Krupin provided me his insight to current questions about Media Kits. The following is our interview. 

Q. Is there a place for a full-blown, old fashioned media kit any more, if so, when? 

I don’t believe there is a place for a standard one size fit all media kit at all. Each and every media one deals with, from the smallest blog online, newsletter to the largest magazine, newspaper or TV show is best viewed as a publisher who makes their income by publishing or producing content that people are willing to pay for. The media kit is one of the key methods for delivering the content that is needed to help that media do their job.

It should be a simple package with the minimum information needed to give the media what they need to do the job you want done.  So tailor what you give them to achieve your goals and address their specific stated or published needs and style.

 * handwritten short note

 * copy of the news release they received printed in laser color

 * book, product review, and/or promotion copies

 * cd/dvd with product photos, people photos & ms word files of text materials

 * pictures (4 by 6 size) of product and people photos for features

 * q & a’s - audience focused educational and entertaining information that allow shows to be created or feature story articles to be written

 * testimonials and reviewer comments that offer insights, but watch out that you only include comments from people but not media that compete with the one you are send to.

 You give the media what they need to do their job so that you get the best possible feature story coverage you can get. 

Q. Have online media rooms totally taken over the need for media “kits”? 

Not really, but it does make it easier and faster to make the content and information available to the media who are technologically savvy enough to utilize the materials you make available. Some media will happily go to an online media center. Some won’t. You need to determine the preferences of the particular media person you are working with and what they want or need to do their job.   

The robust online media center will get utilized. An effective online media kit can be one of the most valuable media and marketing tools you can create on your web site. It will help persuade even the most doubtful media that you are newsworthy and have what it takes to make their day.  When you send out a news release to your media, many of them will click on your link and come to your site. They are on a mission. They are searching for the information they need to write a feature story of some sort or an interview. You job is to make their visit fruitful and productive.  You must not only validate any claims you’ve made regarding your book, services or products, but you must also make it easy for the media editor or producer to find facts sufficient for them to quickly satisfy their needs.

When it comes to the Internet, the operative word to key in on is this one: “quick”. You must make it quick as a click to get what the editor needs. This may be facts, bio, pictures or interview questions. It can also be 200, 400, 600, 800, 1,000, 2,000 or 5,000 word articles.  Everything must be ready to go. Click it: they get it.

The goal is to make it attractive, easy to use, and ready to go for immediate media utilization. You create what you need to make the experience successful and enjoyable.

Q. What are the latest trends you are seeing? 

  1. Length does not matter. Content matters. With emailed news releases you can pitch the proposal for media, and then provide the media the camera ready problem solving tips articles, feature stories, and interview questions and answers with photos or video or audio very quickly and effectively.  Many media will know the quality as soon as they see it and use it right away. We see 1,000 to 3,000 to 6,000 word articles used this way. The days of the short one page faxed news release are gone.  You get to put your best foot forward.  
  2. Micro marketing communications tactics are important and need to be carefully developed and applied to headline, email subject lines, and to the leads of news releases. These are the door openers to getting media interested you your proposal for media coverage. Some news releases are received on cell phones (e.g., iPhones and Blackberries), portable notebooks, and laptops. The media will only see the subject line and maybe a snippet. Extra special care must be taken to make the headline identifies who will be interested and what the value is to the audience.  This is a quest for galvanizing nuggets of crystalline clarity that convey value and importance so well that the media responds with a “yes, send me more” and the door opens for a follow up that closes the deal.  
  3. The media is getting numb and there is a lot of mediocrity being produced.  Quality, credibility and persuasion are more important than ever.  To be successful you must learn how to turn people on and be effective with your communications.  This is the key question.  What can you say in three to five minutes that will absolutely convince half the people in front of you to hand you money for whatever it is you have to offer.  That’s what you need to figure out.  Once you create and prove this little script and once you really get it down and prove to yourself that it’s repeatable. That’s the miracle of the microcosm in America.  We’ve got a country of 330 million media indoctrinated people, and once you learn how to galvanize them even in your back yard, you can use technology to repeat the message and reproduce the response again and again. You must simply decide to be the very best you can be and give enthusiastically from the heart. Be sincere, be authentic, and go ahead and help the people you can help the most.  Do that and you will shine.

 

Thanks Paul for your insightful answers.

 

Paul J. Krupin, Direct Contact PR

Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message

http://www.DirectContactPR.com  Paul@DirectContactPR.com  Blog.DirectContactPR.com

800-457-8746 (Toll Free US); 509-531-8390  (Cell);  509-582-5174 (Direct)

Free eBook download http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/TrashProof2010.pdf

 

 

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"And I thought after 40 years of writing, I could write a sales letter... WRONG! Carol White's letter went beyond my imagination and into the sales stratosphere. Thanks, Carol! " -- AD Walker