Sunday, January 30, 2005

Electronic Submissions to Book Publishers

Question: Is there any source available for book publishers who accept electronic submissions? -- John Clark

Answer: Most publishers will accept a query letter by email, but I don't know of any serious book editor at a publisher who would take unsolicited submissions of manuscripts. That would be very unwise of them since it would suck up all of their email bandwidth and make it impossible to get meaningful communications with authors. Any editor or publisher who says they accept unsoliticed electronic submissions is a vanity publisher or print-on-demand publisher. Either might be fine for your manuscript but if you want a major bookstore publisher to accept your manuscript, start by sending an email query only.

Email and snaill mail addresses for hundreds of publishers of children's books, cookbook, health books, business books, first novels, and sports books are on my web site. Send queries only. No more than two pages in the email text itself. No attachments. -- John Kremer

Friday, January 28, 2005

Why You Leave a Message

The following tip is from Bryan Farrish of Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion. I thought it was a gret explanation for why we make phone calls and more phone calls when attempting to break through to the media. Enjoy the read...


When authors or public speakers (i.e., clients) hire a PR firm or promotion company for the first time, they are often taken aback by the large number of "messages" that the firm leaves with radio stations. The clients view the situation as, "Hey, why are you just leaving messages, and not promoting me to them?!"

Well, there are several answers here. The first is: Messages ARE promotion. What has happened is that the client assumed that (1) the firm is not including the client's info in the messages, and (2) that messages are of absolutely, positively, no use at all.
And let's not forget the "receptionist" factor (also known as the "assistant" or "producer") factor: Anyone who thinks that leaving messages with these folks (and thus warming them up to the idea of having the client as a guest) is a waste of time has obviously never had to work their way through business situations in the past.

Suppose you loaned your next door neighbor $500. You did not know him that well, and now you hear that he might be moving out soon. You want your money back, so you knock on his door, and you call, but no answer. So what do you do? You leave a message. But wait.. why would you leave a message if messages are so useless? Then, you hear he might be moving out as soon as tomorrow, so you try again but can't reach him.
So you leave ANOTHER message. The chances of you getting your money back are based on how many times he hears your messages, of course.

But some clients still just don't like messages. Some PR firms skirt this issue by changing the words "Left Message" to "Pitched" (giving the impression that a phone conversation about the client occurred,) or, by not putting the messaged-stations on the report in the first place (waiting instead until there is human-human contact), or, by not giving reports at all, and just letting the client see the end results. The advantage to this is that a client won't complain of all the messages, since the messages are invisible. But the disadvantage is that the client does not know what is going on with these stations either, or, that the firm is doing any work at all.

Also hidden in some reports is the fact that many people (especially at talk stations) are involved in the possible booking of a single client. Matter of fact, if the client is a general-topic client, there are some talk stations that have over THIRTY separate hosts and producers (not to mention the assistants and
receptionists) that need to be pitched individually, by phone. But on the report, it may only appear as "Left Message" for that single station. This type of report is easy to read, but it does make it look like there is less going on than there really is.

One client made our point for us; he said "I've booked myself before, and I had a 70% success rate AFTER I GOT THEM ON THE PHONE." Yes, of course... and how do you think he got them on the phone?.... Messages! And that's how we do it.

Messages are especially important with the only non-visual
medium: Radio. Radio people work best with sound, and they are just not going to react as well to visual press releases.

Depending on how much you are paying your firm, they might try to reach each station once, or they might try twice (this would cost twice as much,) or they might not try at all, as is the case with some lower cost campaigns. With these, they just send a press release.

Point is, the more attempts and messages that are left, the more responses are obtained, and the more people are spoken to (as a result of the messages.) And thus, there are more results.

Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio interview promotion company. Call 310-998-8305 x95.
. Web:

Friday, January 21, 2005

Making Friends: The Essence of Marketing

John Kremer speaking in Singapore

All of marketing ultimately comes down to one thing: creating relationships. If you don't understand this basic principle, you will ultimately fail as a book marketer. Indeed, you will fail in life as well.

Think of it: What is publicity? It is simply creating relationships with people in the media who, if they like your product, idea, or service, will pass on that information to their audience in the form of reviews, interviews, stories, or notices.

Think of it: What is distribution? It is simply creating relationships with bookstores, wholesalers, and sales representatives who will make your books available to retail customers.

Think of it: What are rights sales? They, too, are based on creating relationships with key companies and people who can exploit those rights better than you can.

Think of it: What is editorial? It is simply creating relationships with authors, literary agents, and other people who can bring you good material to polish, design, and promote.

All of book publishing ultimately comes down to creating relationships. Indeed, all of business operates the same way.

Wherever you look in business, relationships are what make things happen: networking, the old boy network, the new girl network, customer lists, sales reps visiting their customers, publicists talking with the media, luncheon meetings, conventions, trade shows, chat groups, newsletters, blogs, social networks, and more. They all have one thing in common: Their primary purpose is to enhance communication and further relationships.

To help you create better relationships and market your books more effectively, here are a few basic principles you should follow.

1. Create your Kremer 100 list. Don't try to be friends with thousands or millions of people. You can't do it. Focus on 100 key media and marketing contacts (if you don't have time to focus on 100, make the database 25 or 50 people). Develop this Kremer 100 database or list yourself. Find out what their addresses are. Also their phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, and URLs. Plus their cell phone numbers, perhaps even their home phone numbers. Your goal is to get to know their likes and dislikes, what moves them, and what they look for in a good story (if they are media) or a good product (if they are a buyer). You also want to get to know how they like to get info. Do they prefer email, fax, phone, or mail?

2. Be persistent. Once you've developed a database of key contacts, you must be in touch with them on a regular basis -- at least once a month. Tell them something new with each contact. If you ever get an opportunity to meet them in person, jump at the chance. But the key is continual follow-up. It makes all the difference in whether or not you establish a real relationship.

3. Create a word-of-mouth army. Since 80% of all books are sold by word-of-mouth, your primary goal in marketing your books is to create a core group of people who will spark that word-of-mouth. I like to think of these people as the officers for your word-of-mouth army, because what you ultimately want to create is an army of people talking about your book. In that army, you'll have privates, corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, majors, colonels, and generals. The moment someone meets one of your authors, they've self-promoted themselves to at least a corporal. If they get an autograph, count them a sergeant. If they buy ten books for other people, promote them to lieutenant. You get the idea. In my 1001 Ways army, I have at least two five-star generals: Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They've earned every star. [Note: If you don't like the analogy of an army, then think of it as a parade, or fan club, or party.]

4. Become a people person. At home in Taos, New Mexico, I'm a quiet shy fellow. Here, few people know who I am or what I do. But when I go out to speak or to attend trade shows, I become a new person -- a people person. Fortunately I enjoy that interaction with the public. If you are going to become a successful book promoter, you, too, will have to cultivate that fun feeling when you go out into the public. If you genuinely care about people, you will have no problem facing the public. Just open your heart and let it out.

When speaking to the Women Writers of the West conference several years ago, I realized that when I talked about creating relationships, I was really talking about making friends. Because that is what every good marketer really does: They make friends. When you begin to think of marketing in this way, everything about marketing books becomes more fun. Suddenly there is no foreignness, no fear, no feelings of inadequacy. We can all make friends. It's a talent we've had since we were little children. Use it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Opening Statement

This is a new blog for me. I called it Open Horizons after my publishing company, which I named Open Horizons because it allows me to publish anything. This blog will be the same. While I am known primarily as a book marketing expert, I will use this blog to write about anything I want to write about -- from book marketing to social issues to personal ramblings to whatever. I hope you will come back to read this as I add more postings.
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