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Michael Charles Messineo

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Self Promotion
By Michael Charles Messineo
Last edited: Friday, August 26, 2005
Posted: Thursday, December 04, 2003

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Michael Charles Messineo

• Las Vegas Mystery
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Knowing your audience is key to increasing your sales.

You would not advertise your book about Democrat Intelligence on Rush Limbaugh's radio show. Nor would you create PR to sell a book about Pit Bulls to Cat Fancy Magazine. Know your audience. Spend your advertising dollars for the maximum value added. Taking out an ad in a local newspaper encircles a large population but with scattered interests and the newspaper gets thrown out at the end of day. So the question becomes how do you get the maximum exposure to a captured audience that has interest in your work before they even see it. There are magazines for almost any subject that you can think of. There are web sites devoted to every subject you can imagine and especially for subjects you would never imagine. Find your audience... focus on them... and get the biggest bang for your buck.

My book Rigby's Roads involves multiple themes from suicide, to murder, FBI, terrorists, hackers, and mid-life crisis. But I have one common thread that runs through the entire book ... motorcycles.... Harley-Davidson motorcycles to be exact. I could have chosen to run my advertising in many ways but I needed an edge... I needed something unique that would have an impact and would remain with my potential readers for a long time. Riding my Harley in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado is absolutely amazing. But during the winter months there are days when you just do not venture outside. And as most people in Colorado know there are days in every month of winter when the temperature can climb to a riders delight. It can snow on Tuesday and be 57 on Wednesday. I sat down and brainstormed to find a creative way to advertise my book without advertising it. How could I create a public relations ad that would remain with my potential book customer and they would show to others and talk about it. I needed to give them something they never saw before and my book ad would tag along for the ride.

On your local evening weather report they sometimes mention the wind chill factor. The calculation is a combination of temperature and wind speed. I came up with the idea of creating a wind chill factor for riding motorcycles in the winter. I found the NOAA weather site and used their calculator to find the wind chill for temperatures ranging from 50 to 10 degrees and tied that into wind speeds that a motorcycle would be traveling such as 30, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, and 70 mph. I created an easy to read chart that I could fit on one side of a business card and I put the plug for my book on the other side. I mailed them out to 150 Harley-Davidson dealers around the US. Along with my mailing of the cards to the Harley dealers was a sales pitch that included how they could use the cards to give to their customers so it would be a natural conversation to lead them to their winter clothing specials. So I created a plug for my book that was secondary to the main focus that everybody would keep it for and I hand them out at motorcycle rallies. The reaction was fantastic and the card stays with them and is not thrown out.

The plug for my book on the reverse side of the wind chill chart is.....
Rigby's Roads
A story of love, murder, and restoration of life.
What happens when a mild mannered man who is about to end his life, gets mixed up with motorcycle gangs, the FBI, and a chase for terrorist secrets?
Buy Rigby's Roads at,,,

I always hand the card to the bikers (estimated 6 million and climbing) with the wind chill chart in view. They stare at it and read it with interest ... and the best parts is that they KEEP it!!! I have perfected my advertising touch because the dollars are being funneled to my captured audience and I am getting the biggest bang for my buck.


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Reviewed by Marina Swann 2/3/2007
Brilliant idea.......well done!
Reviewed by sarah playle 12/17/2005
Very neat idea. Have any suggestions for my book?*L*
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 10/23/2005
Self-promotion is key to the marketing of an author's literary wares.
This is an EXCELLENT article on keeping an author close by and always within reach of the wallet, you see, pulling out that business card that yet serves a dual purpose and pulling out those dollars that are stored right near that business card. Michael, this is an ingenious marketing gig! I also pull out all the stops of self-promotion, Authors Den here to be the big one! It is key to sell a personality. I am targeting companies who are after the pink dollars, the lesbian and gay community. I am offering my name for endorsements. As you know, I also have a Harley-Davidson project and I am marketing it to the straight community as well as the gay community. It all speaks the same language, the unmistakable sound of the lendendary Milwauke wheel, the Harley-Davidson ... potato ... potato ... potato...KICKSTART self-promotion in gear! Thanks for the inciteful article Michael. I wish you many sales!

Reviewed by Earma Brown 8/25/2005
Well it's a year later from the other comments. But your article is still great! What a creative idea. I can't wait to see how I may implement it in my non-fiction genre. Best wishes. Hope you have sold tons of books.
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain 9/12/2004

A very well written and extremely informative article for any writer!

Reviewed by Debra Conklin 3/18/2004
Informative and well written.
Reviewed by aneeta sundararaj 1/21/2004
i read this article when you first put it up on AD. I am reading it again and I thinks it's wonderful. I am going to read and learn from this. it is well written and obviously has worked for you. thank you for sharing this with us.
Reviewed by Tami Ryan 12/15/2003
Brilliant!! (Hmmm... Me thinks I want You on my marketing team when I'm ready to publish!)

Reviewed by Cynthia Borris 12/5/2003
Smart move!


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