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Newsletter Dated: 4/30/2005 10:19:59 PM
Subject: Soup*s On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, professional friend of Andrea*s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input. This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
In this issue:
* From the Author*s Desk
* Free PR Tips
* Book Marketing from A-Z
* For the Wordsmiths
* Marcia Yudkin and The Marketing Minute
* Book Connector.com
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
Teaching online again. Publish That Book: Writing A Killer Nonfiction Book Proposal is a regular, pre-designated time devoted to lecture, writing techniques, and "insider secrets" and made available each week by e-course. Fellow students and I exchange ideas and questions, in addition to chat once a week. By the end of class, students can expect to have a marketable, nonfiction book proposal package ready to send out to agents, including a query letter. Look for continued classes at the Mediabistro web site www.mediabistro.com
Well, I went to the forensic science spring training conference for the International Association for Identification in Eureka Springs as an Arkansas Board Member, and I came back as the new editor for Identification News, the state’s newsletter. My mystery writer friends and forensic science specialist colleagues can expect to see some upcoming cases and interesting tidbits in Soup’s On as well.
A new book is in the works and I am the featured author at Women in Print. More about this adventure later, but in the meantime, check out:
*** Free PR Tips ***
FREE PR TIPS from the firm that wrote the book on PR!
by Brian Feinblum
For over 40 years Planned Television Arts has promoted thousands of authors from every genre to the news media, from best-selling authors out of major publishing houses, to self-published, unknown, novices. With each successful PR campaign, we have found many common denominators on what an author should consider when looking to get his or her book promoted.
Here are ten tips:
1. You must get your message to the news media via a PR campaign. Advertising is cost-prohibitive and not as effective. A well-written book on a timely topic or interesting subject deserves media attention.
2. Timing is key - get the word out early and often. Tell everyone you meet or know about your book.
3. Set a budget aside to invest in PR - it will pay off with book sales, prestige and positioning for future book deals. You are always branding!
4. Start with radio - it’s the least expensive, but a very effective means to promote yourself.
5. Don’t expect national TV until you do some local media or gather press clippings.
6. Book reviews are not always the best way to go - broad coverage off the book page is better. Book reviews are simply much harder to come by – and are less effective.
7. Be prepared to summarize the highlights of your book in 15 seconds. That’s how long you have to convince someone your book is worth looking at.
8. Bring in a professional to promote you, just as doctors don’t treat themselves and lawyers would never represent themselves.
9. Look at getting PR for your book as a way to build up your name recognition. People like to read or buy from someone they have heard of.
10. Do book signings, tour colleges, create book clubs and take a grass roots approach.
Make It Personal
We know that creating your book is a labor of love -- and time and money. But the biggest step you have to take comes once the book is printed and ready to be sold. You need to have an aggressive publicity and marketing plan -- or else your book gets lost in the tsunami of 175,000 new books published annually. And when you're promoting your book, particularly to the news media, you need to make it stand out.
The best way to show off your book's uniqueness is to make it personal. To differentiate your book from others on a similar topic is not to highlight the contents, but to spotlight your very own story. No one, no matter the subject they write on, can have your story. You are one of a kind -- at least until cloning takes over!
Every day I receive calls from authors and potential clients. They have a diet book, a first-time novel, a tome on how to make money, a book on how to improve one's relationship, literature on how to cook up 500 tasty recipes, or a book on how God spoke to them. In one week I may have spoken to several people in each genre. Multiply that a hundred fold and you get an idea on what you're up against. My advice is to link your work to who you are -- your experiences, your credentials, your personality. We must be able to hear a unique voice from the author even when the books begin to look alike.
So the next time you discuss your book, discuss yourself.
Your 80,000-Word Book Needs To Be A 30-Second Sound Bite
Writing a 250-page book is not as hard as reducing all of that to a 30-second sound bite, but that’s exactly what you need to do when promoting and marketing your book. When you meet a stranger or even when you want to explain to a friend what your book is about, you need to do it in a concise and interesting way so that by the end of your description they will want to buy it or ask more questions. A good PR campaign doesn’t tell people what’s in the book: it makes people want to know more!
You’re not here to educate people while doing your radio interviews or television appearances. No, you’re here to be a tease. When you want someone to date you, you don’t just stand in the street naked. You instead put on the outfit that reveals just enough and covers up just enough to make people want more. Works the same way with the news media.
To get someone interested in you just give away a few pieces of information. Once you schedule a media interview, you can reveal a little more, but not much more. Convince people with your energy and enthusiasm and perhaps a catchy phrase that what you have is unique, new, different and better than what’s out there. Convince them with your inviting voice and a look of confidence that you will address their needs. And remember: the less you say, the more likely people will want to buy your book.
Style Over Substance
Why do we publish books? Some of you will respond: to make money. Most will respond: to get my message out. You wrote a book because you either want to enlighten, educate and inform others or, in the case of a novel, entertain people. It's a noble cause. But a book is still a product, a commodity in the marketplace. So what's the best way to sell something? You have to promote it. and to do that it means you need to make your story sound newsworthy, sexy, valuable, interesting. Where as your book might resemble substance, a PR campaign is all about style.
So how do you put some flash and pop into your story? Well, for starters, be succinct and direct when telling people about your book. If it takes more than a few sentences to summarize what it's about, you're screwed. People will lose interest and the only suspense that awaits them is: When will you stop talking?
When you tell someone about your book, the goal really isn't to become the Monarch or Cliff Notes for them. You don't want them to know about everything in the book, only something. you want to tease them, whet the appetite and make them drool for more. So less is more here.
The second rule is you need to look at the vocabulary selection you use to describe things. Move from the functional to the descriptive. Load up your verbal diet with adjectives and use verbs that have some sound effects. Don't merely say your book is about how to invest money in the stock market -- it's about how to use the proven strategies and loopholes that rich people use to turn hard-earned money into bigger pots of gold. With this book, you’ll retire early! See the difference?
If you have a diet book, it's not simply how to lose weight in 6 weeks -- it's about a revolutionary but proven technique that allows you to drop ugly fat and unwanted pounds so that you can get into your favorite outfit and feel youthful again.
Lastly, always give an analogy or metaphor -- something people can instantly relate to -- perhaps something funny, something timely, something eye-opening. So, use your words wisely and always remember it's style over substance when it comes to PR.
What Do You Need To Do To Make The News?
One look at the headlines making the news and you would see the best way to make the news is to, unfortunately, commit a crime. So how do you compete with that --as well as all the ink given to celebrities, the weather, sports, terrorism, and the latest movie?
The first way to get media coverage is to tie your book’s message to the things that are making news. Can you comment on the latest court case, like Michael Jackson? Well if you’re an expert on parenting, celebrities, law, social services, or child abuse, you can get media coverage talking about some aspect of Jacko’s case -- even if your book never discusses the case.
The second way is to anticipate the news. Check your calendar and look to see what holidays are coming up. Memorial Day means war, security, international relations, death, history, etc. Father’s Day means dads, grandfathers, parenting, family, etc. Can you speak on those topics? How about the seasons? Summer means stories about travel, camp, droughts, picnics, West Nile, baseball, etc. Think of how your message ties into a holiday, a season, or an honorary day, week or month (i.e.: February is Black History Month, March is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, April is National Autism Month).
The third way is to actually make news with the results of your research, surveys, interviews with important people in your book, or the uncovering of hidden facts. Even if your book lacks original earth-shattering news, perhaps you can create a poll of say 500 people on your subject and then report those results.
The fourth way is to give out news we can use. If you can shed light on the newest treatments for a disease or effective parenting strategies or tell us the three smartest ways to save for retirement, people will listen.
Lastly, raise an issue or ask a question. For instance, declare something interesting or controversial. Should pets be allowed to sue for health care? Should we eliminate the presidency and instead have three co-presidents? Should there be a legal limit on how much someone can weigh? Should people who have cosmetic surgery be forced to disclose this to the people they date?
So, there are many legitimate ways to make the news for honest people like you. -- or, just simply commit a crime and I guarantee that you’ll be on the evening news. And then you might go to jail. And then you can write a book – and promote it.
Brian Feinblum is the Chief Marketing Officer of Planned Television Arts, one of the nation’s leading book publicity firms. Consult http://www.plannedtvarts.com and contact: mailto:email@example.com
*** Book Marketing from A-Z ***
Book Marketing from A-Z was published in March 2005 by Infinity Publishing. A compilation of the best promotional strategies of 300+ authors of all genres, it is an alphabetical format for ease of use, Book Marketing from A-Z is packed with unique ideas from Advertising (Pros and Cons) to Zero Promotion (when the book sells itself). Whether the author of one or 100 titles, self-published or traditionally published, these contributors are brutally honest about their pleasures and pitfalls. Readers will learn by their mistakes and adapt ideas in promoting their own books.
“This book contains everything a new (or even experienced) author needs to begin marketing,” writes book reviewer Jeremy Hoover. http://hooverreviews.blogspot.com “Authors might be surprised to learn that there are many free things they can do to market their books!”
The 400-page paperback is available at http://www.buybooksontheweb.com
Francine Silverman, is author of Book Marketing from A-Z and Editor/Publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, a bi-weekly ezine for authors of all genres
*** For the Wordsmiths ***
Once again, The Washington Post has published its annual word-definition contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. And the winners are. .
1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.), the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
14. Pokemon (n), A Jamaican proctologist.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
*** Bookink.com ***
Book Ink Editing
Our service is simple. We want to make your manuscript the best that it can be so that you can present your work to literary agents and/or publishers. It's that simple. Contact Book Ink for a quote today!
*** Marcia Yudkin and The Marketing Minute ***
** The Marketing Minute ** brought to you every Wednesday by Marcia Yudkin
Marketing Consultant, Author, Speaker http://www.yudkin.com/marketing.htm
Are your marketing efforts meeting resistance, confusion, forgetfulness or indifference?
Then it's time to summon the metaphor brigade, says Anne Miller, author of the new book "Metaphorically Selling." With emergency lights and sirens or silent speed through the dark, a metaphor travels outside of the usual lanes of logic to gain attention, anchor memory, cause hearts to beat again and douse doubts.
A metaphor (an implicit, vivid comparison) works particularly well to overcome a blind spot in someone's thinking, says Miller. Using an unexpected and well-chosen idea, a metaphor "can transport someone from the place where he has dug in his heels to a whole new place, where he cannot bring his emotional baggage."
For instance, an insurance broker who couldn't get a particular client to sign the contract sensed that the client thought the idea was wise, but didn't feel any urgency to act. The broker learned that the client had a passion for growing apples, visited him in his orchard and asked why he was spraying the trees that day.
The client understood now, and signed.
*** BookConnector.com ***
BookConnector Offers a “Smart” Service To Help Small Press Authors Reach Online Book Review Sites
BookConnector.com is a new internet site that helps authors get reviewed by online book review sites. The site was launched by novelist Paul Petrucci, whose own experiences taught him that getting an online review was not as easy as it sounds. Though there are thousands of book review sites, too much effort is needed to find them and filter them appropriately. Reviewers often
Don’t Respond (because they're overwhelmed with requests),
Aren’t Appropriate (because they don't specialize in the submitted genre),
Aren’t Effective because of limited readership).
BookConnector offers a new approach: it intelligently matches a book’s characteristics to a review site’s submission guidelines. For example, some reviewers refuse all but pre-release copies of books. Others accept e-books (a boon to authors on a low marketing budget), while electronic books are anathema to others. And, of course, reviewers have their own preferences regarding genres.
By matching book to guidelines, the BookConnector process results in a customized directory of reviewers who offer you a better “bang for the book.”
The current BookConnector service is no charge to authors, publicists and publishers. Future versions will go a step further: in addition to returning a list of appropriate book review sites, it will mark the ones that allow you to post book details and upcoming book signings and readings. And it will even send out review requests on your behalf.
For authors and publicists of small or medium publishers interested in tapping into the plethora of free publicity on the internet, using BookConnector’s smart matching service appears to be a smart move. BookConnector is on the net at http://www.bookconnector.com.
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2005 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.