Sunday, May 29, 2005

Radio Publicity: Another Perspective

This following is an email I received from a very good publicist in response to a teleconference interview I did on getting radio publicity:

As you probably noticed, I was present at the teleconference on booking radio. As you offered it to your newsletter subscribers for free, and I have such great respect for you, and there was so much good information in that talk, (and as this is such a big can of worms), I'm reticent to bring up any feedback, but here I go.

It's always a conundrum when someone who is good at what he does has his underpinnings in something rather off-centered, so it's tricky. However, I cannot help but notice the following about your guest:

First, he's not completely honest. Examples include the fact that many big stations in big cities carry big wattages. So to tell your participants that stations the FCC reserves big wattages for little bitty towns that would otherwise not be heard and that if stations in big cities carried big wattages they would "bleed" into each other is simply not true and is very misleading. KGO in San Francisco is a 50,000 watt station and isn't bleedin' on anybody and reaches a whole lot of people up and down the coast. Hello?

[John's comment: High wattage stations can bleed into other nearby stations (on the radio dial, not in physical location). That's why some high wattage stations can only turn on their highest wattage at night when other nearby stations are off air. The other way this can be controlled, of course, is to have no nearby stations on the radio dial, at least within near reach of the 50,000 watts.]

Also, *big* hole in telling people what their options are in getting on radio. He doesn't even mention book publicists!! He mentions public relations firms and then quotes staggering monthly prices. Mon Dieu! For the written record for all of you listening last night (or reading John's blog): book publicists are the work horses of the book marketing world and we do NOT (repeat, NOT) get (or charge) "five to ten thousand dollars a month." Baloney. I WISH! We are more likely to get two at BEST. And while it's all fine to tell people it's "easy" and "you don't need publicists to book radio" (John...), you might. I think your guest suffers from what I myself sometimes suffer from and I know other publicists who suffer from the same thing. We don't GET how what is "easy" for US is "hard" for someone else. We simply do not
get it. And that's why WE are the marketing people. I myself specialize in print media (I'm looking for serious readers), but the publicists who excel at booking radio such as Planned Television Arts, Newman Communications, Kathlene Carney & Associates and Peg Booth are not going to be charging such exaggerated fees, I assure you. They'd be out of business.

[John's Comments: Ah, but many PR firms do charge $5,000 or more a month. I know because I've talked to many of them. And they get it. Phenix & Phenix, for example.]

And this brings up a bigger can of worms for me, which pains me to say, which is the entire movement that tells the masses that it's easy to publish your own book, market your own book, distribute your own book, make those calls. It is not. It might be easy for those few of you who possess the qualities that your guest has, or I have, or John has. But it is NOT easy for the masses. And that's why they are now clamouring for teleconferences like last night because they were duped into thinking they could publish their own book and become, and be good at, oh, let's say TWELVE different professional jobs, and they are now sitting there wondering how in the heck they got into this and NOW WHAT DO THEY DO?

[John's Comments: Personally, I usually discourage people from self-publishing, if they ask me. The first questions I ask most of my clients is: Why are you self-publishing instead of selling the rights to a larger publisher? I think most authors are not cut out for self-publishing. As you say, it's a business, a time-consuming business.]

And you guys are now telling them they "don't need publicists", either?? Shame on you. :)

[John's Comments: I do believe that any author who is self-publishing can do most of the publicity work themselves if they sit down to learn the business and they create their Kremer 100 list and focus on it. They need to build relationships. I tell them that if they don't want to do that, they should hire a publicist who already has those relationships built up.]

No, instead your guest is telling them to leave ONE message to a producer, and then on the next call to simply hit zero and page the poor producer and then (oh, yes) "be succinct". Boy, now I know why 25 years ago I could get producers on the phone and why now I can't. Because some marketing bunny is profiting (bigtime) by telling people who are NOT professionals who have not been trained to call producers in the middle of their work day and have at it. Lordie.

[John's Comments: To be fair, in his course, he does teach people how to be succinct.]

OK, here's my last big big bugaboo with last night, where I'm referring to what people are hinged to, what their real agenda is. Because I'm thinking of all these poor working folks who are driving home in their cars after putting in what, ten hours including commute? And here's Our Expert telling book authors to "create controversy" because that's what radio wants, and that's what sells books. FORGET the effect this has on the commuter. Forget what he might really be needing at that moment, like an intelligent, thought-provoking conversation. No, go for the juglar. Because I profit. And the heck with the effect it's having out there on the roadways where we now have road rage to deal with and erratic and rude behaviours. Just feed the beast. That's the name of the game.

[John's Comments: Oh, my gosh, I never thought that creating controversy meant to upset commuters. I thought it mean to make things interesting. Most amateurs who go on radio are so boring simply because they are afraid to take a stand. I thought he was telling them to take a stand. Be interesting.]

I am a socially responsible publicist. I have maintained for (now moving toward) three decades that that title is NOT an oxymoron. I remain committed to *improving* what I call The Conversation. I promote thoughtful books aimed at raising consciousness, of reawakening people to their own true spiritual roots, to making a difference. And I deplore some of what was taught last night, because it is not good for people's hearts or souls. And as Chris Rock would say, "That ain't right."

[John's Comments: I believe very much in improving people and trying to create a better world. I do know that Alex sometimes pushes the point, but remember that he is often speaking to people who are afraid to stand up for their own point of view. He has to push their buttons sometimes. Most listeners get probably 25% of what he says. Most act on about 10%. As a speaker, I know this to be true for most audiences. They really get only a portion of what you have to offer. If you want them to get more, you often have to be outlandish, push buttons, be dramatic, overstate the case, etc., just so they do something.]

End of email message.

I think book publicists fill a great need. Secondly, few books will benefit from an all-radio publicity campaign. You really need to work print publications as well -- and, in many cases, more so. Personally, my favorite media vehicles are magazines and national newspapers such as USA Today and Wall Street Journal.

With any publicity or other promotions you do, the most important thing is to have fun doing it. If you're not having fun, hire someone who does enjoy it. Because only someone who truly enjoys what they are doing can be effective.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Children's Illustrators Design Competition

The ABC's Children's Picture Book Competition is on the hunt for illustrators for their 2nd round of competition. The 10 finalists for the competition have been selected and we are looking for an illustrator to pair-up with each story. You can check out the finalist's titles at http://www.abcbookcompetition.orgl.

Illustrators will submit a piece of art for a specific title, and all the finalists will be posted on the Internet for an online vote to pick the winner. The winning team will get their book published.

If you are an illustrator or know someone who might be interested in participating, pass this information along. To get the details, email with Illustrator Call in the subject line of your email. Do not send samples of your work yet.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Feature Your Photos from BEA During BEA!

Publishers Marketplace has joined withe the web photo-sharing service Flickr to feature digital photos taken at BEA. They are inviting anyone to send them photos. It can be great PR for your book, your authors, and your booth -- during and after BEA. Be sure to bring your camera cellphone or a digital camera to take photos of your booth, your books, and your authors. Make sure to make the photos interesting. Have some action in them or some fun with them.

It's simple to submit photos. Email them to The photo will be posted automatically to their blog at

To give a title to your photo, put your caption in the Subject line of the email you send.

This could be a great PR coup for you. Some photos might end up being publicized during BEA itself.

While you're at it, you might want to drop your photos off at the Publishers Weekly room. It'll be somewhere in the convention center, but not on the booth floors. You can also drop off story ideas there.

In addition, you might want to spread some of your photos around the Press Room. I check the room the first two days of the convention.

Be sure to take at least one photo of you setting up your booth. Make it Laurel and Hardy funny.

See you at BEA. -- John Kremer

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Books That Can Talk, Walk, and Smell!

If you think that books are going to be challenged by e-books, audio CDs and MP3s, and other media, you haven't even begun to touch the challenges. Within 5 years, according to experts at the NanoBusiness Conference, "tiny wireless transmitters, cameras and even sensors that can register odors could be strung together and connected to wider networks to allow people conversing virtually to hear, feel and smell all the same things, despite being physically separated."

Nanotechnology will challenge all current media, not just books. Newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and the Internet will all be changed by nanotechnology -- and could easily do it within five years or sooner. The pieces are already in place. Bell Labs, among others, has the technology today to begin building these new technologies.

Read more about the possibilities outlined by Jeffrey Jaffe, president of Bell Labs, at, click here. They have a cell phone transmitter now that can fit inside a cell. Incredible!

Blast Those Cookies

A few weeks ago I read a news item over at the web site. The author was trying to stir up businesses to take a stand on how to overcome the problem of Internet users deleting the cookies web sites place on users' computers. Now, I understand that some of these cookies are really important if you want to get customized home pages from Google or Yahoo, or want to shop again at where they would still know what you've bought in the past. And for web sites where I really want what they offer, I reluctantly accept their cookies.

But, here's the problem. No one tells us what those cookies do. Why the heck must Yahoo store 8 cookies on my computer in order to update my Yahoo home page? Why can't they do it with one? What is wrong with the cookie system?

Anyway, here is what I wrote to the columnist at in response to his article:

I'm one of those people who deletes most cookies except for myYahoo and a couple of other sites that I want to keep functioning like I want them to. The reason I delete all other cookies (and I do this several times a day) is because I don't know what the cookies are doing. There should be some way for cookies to tell users what they are for. The current cookie technology doesn't do that now.

I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm happy to have people I trust track my behavior to customize things for me better, but I want to know what each cookie is doing. When a web site adds five or six cookies after just one visit, there is some kind of overkill going on. Now I'm speaking as an ignorant consumer. I don't know what each cookie means. If I did know, I'd probably keep most of them on my computer.

Why can't cookies include a short note about what they are doing? That, to me, would solve the problem. Now the cookies are in some sort of Greek code that tells me nothing. It shouldn't be that difficult to include a note what the cookie is meant to do. Or am I crazy? Is it really too complicated for cookie creators to accomplish that little thing? If I knew how they worked, I could probably institute this new procedure in about five minutes, probably less. Why don't cookie spreading web sites do this now?

End of letter.

It seems to me a simple customer service issue. It should have been resolved many years ago. Just like email spam should have been resolved years ago. All they have to do is institute system where your home address is available whenever you sent out an email. I know there might be a few complications in instituting this, but not many. And what person would spam if his home address was included. I certainly wouldn't. I wouldn't want all the angry people calling me at all hours of the night. I might be naive, but some solution like this should be able to cut spam by 90%. That would be an incredible relief for all of us.

With so many incredible minds working in the software and Internet industries, you'd think a few of them would have sat around a boardroom table and instituted new standards for email that would lock out spam and viruses. If there are people in a position to make changes for these standards, I'd be happy to volunteer my time to help them set up a system that works. Just call me: 641-472-6130. The best time to reach me is in the afternoons, Central time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Humor Attracts, Humor Sells

Joan Stewart, editor and publisher of the Publicity Hound newsletter, has created an interesting little off-shoot from her main business as a publicity maven. Because her logo is a dog, she often tells dog jokes or quotes in her newsletter. Well, she compiled them into a book. Here's her little ad for the book:

DOG JOKES & QUOTES EBOOK: 170+ G-rated dog jokes and quotes, perfect for a dog-lover, your favorite vet, or just for a few good laughs.

BONUS: Buy the ebook and you also get a compilation of the 50 best websites for dog humor.

I was the first person today to buy a copy. For $4.97, no less. There are a lot of people on the internet who love jokes and quotes. This book gives her easy access to dog-loving sites as well as the 50 best websites for dog humor as well as other humor and/or quotations sites.

Trust me, if she does a viral marketing campaign to these people about her dog joke book, she'll reach many people who also need to learn more about publicity. Once at her site, they'll discover that she has a lot more to offer them.

Funny about that, don't you think? She's a smart writer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

News Releases -- Opening Leads

I hate so many news release leads. How about this one?

"Revolutionary parenting book is released to worldwide audience via online outlets such as,, and at retail bookstores nationwide, including Borders, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble."

Well, gosh, that makes me want to read the rest of the news release. Where's the news? Where are the benefits? Why would I as a reader want to read more? Why would I as an editor want to read more? There are new revolutionary parenting books published every day. That's not news.

"xxx teaches us a radically new approach to parenting, unlike the many parenting techniques in the marketplace, this is the first one that shifts the focus back to the parents, and away from the kids. The result is a more peaceful and calm household, and a way to launch your kids out into the world as the great adults that you want them to be."

How does shifting the focus from child to parent create a more peaceful and calm household? No logic to this paragraph. How is this radically new? Gosh, I'm sold.

Now the third paragraph is interesting? It says something:

"The key to good parenting depends on you, because you are the one you can ultimately control," says parenting expert and family therapist, xxx. "If you make sure you behave - even when your kids misbehave - then you have a greater chance of positively impacting the situation, any situation. Let's face it: parenting is the hardest thing you will ever do - but it can also be the most rewarding."

From then on, there are some great details, but the news release is way too long and disjointed. No central message.

The mistake most news release writers make is to try to say everything in a news release. The result? They say nothing.

What is the key to a good news release? Simple. Tell a story. Take it down to one person, a real person. Key on that person's needs -- the same needs as 90% of your target audience. How can you change that one person's life? That's the story. Always was, always will be.

Stories are never about abstract ideas, never about abstract audiences. Stories are always about people. Real people. People with hearts that break, toast that burns, and lives that always seem somehow incomplete.

Your goal? To complete.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Indexing Your Book

Question: I have a question and I believe you may have the answer (or may know of someone who would know!). Is there such a thing as indexing software? A writer I am working with would like to know as he will have quite an extensive index in his next book. If this does not exist, are you aware of any other modes of learning how to do this properly?

John's Answer: Some publishing software programs like Ventura Publisher and Adobe InDesign have indexing modules as part of their programs. I'm not aware of an independent indexing program at this time.

Personally, I like doing indexing by hand. That way I review my book one more time to make sure everything is okay and I can customize the index in ways no indexing program can. But if your author chooses to index on their own, they need to study the indexing section of The Chicago Manual of Style. It provides the gold standard for book publishing indexes.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Publicity, Publicity, Publicity

Question: I am working on a story about different organizations and their observance months. In the story, I would like to discuss why some organizations are more well known than others. March, for example, is American Red Cross Month and National Kidney Month. But March is also known as National Eye Donor Month and is the month when Brain Awareness Week is observed. I myself never heard of Brain Awareness Week. Could it be that we, as a society, put more emphasis on some public health issues and ignore others?

John's Answer: Which months we pay attention to have more to do with publicity and advertising rather than merit. National Dairy Month in June is better known than National Blueberry Month, National Seafood Month, National Chicken Month, etc. because it has been promoted for so many years.

The rest of the answer is now featured here:

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Approaching Newspaper Book Reviewers

The following three paragraphs of advice are from a newspaper book reviewer. You should heed her advice if you are approaching newspaper book reviewers.

The best way for unknown writers to get their work reviewed is to look at the papers and reviewers they would like to see cover their books and then write to these people as if they actually had an interest in the paper or reviewer.

The sort of bitter, demanding letters I have been getting (the legitimate letters) are off-putting as hell. The idea seems to be that just because someone has written a novel--and had it published by some POD outfit--he has the God-given right to have it reviewed.

BUT, if the writer had spent a little time (about 1/100th of the amount he is asking the reviewer to spend) looking into the reviewer's work and bothering to, shall we say, CURRY the reviewer's favor in some way, there is an outside chance someone might give the book a shot. You probably know this--but you are in a miniscule minority.

This advice is crucial. Get to know the people and groups that you want to work with. Don't ask them to work with you without first getting to know them. This should be so obvious but it is amazing how many book authors ignore this simple advice.

For every minute you spend getting to know someone, you will earn — and I do mean earn — 10 minutes of real attention. It's that real attention that gets you real notice, real approval, and real friends and followers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Incredible Blogs Lead to Paid Speaking Engagements!

Tip from a reader . . . Tell your authors (audience) to blog!

1. It's the best free publicity I have ever gotten.

2. Blogs are hot.

3. It's an extension of books.

4. If speaking engagements are important, it's a great way to obtain for fee speeches. In the four months that I've been blogging, I have received 11 for fee engagements. The profits are much greater than publishing a new book -- 300 Incredible Blogs on the Internet!

-- Ken Leebow, blogger and author. Web:

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Marketing with Fran: Are All Libraries Created Equal?

Marketing with Fran is a new column for this web blog written by Francine Silverman, editor of the Book Promotion Newsletter.

Cindy Vallar was living near Kansas City when her debut novel was published and a branch of the county library co-sponsored a nationally recognized Meet the Authors event with a retirement community.

Gloria Teague Shirley is an Oklahoma novelist and non-fiction author who mails press kits and inquiries about having a book signing to libraries in Oklahoma and surrounding states. If they agree, the library buys a copy and the personnel or Friends of the Library promotes the event by sending an advance notice to the local paper and arranging for the newspaper to send a photographer.

Marianne Berkes is a children’s book author and Florida resident whose promotional agenda involves visiting libraries in various states. When the library already has her books in its collection, it will often allow her to autograph them after a library presentation.

Hope Marston held a party/book signing at her local library on a Saturday morning to celebrate publication of her 25th book. She brought in a made-to-order cake and more than 100 people attended. The author lives in Black River, New York, population 1230.

Okay, but would these library promotions fly in The Big Apple with a population 8 million? As a born and bred New Yorker, I am naturally skeptical. In the Bronx, where I live, there are 34 branches out of a total of 87 under the umbrella of the New York Public Library (encompassing the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island).

Here’s what I learned talking with head librarians at the two libraries here in the Riverdale section:

* Book signings are far less common than programs and workshops since libraries are not in the business of selling books.

* Small towns without a bookstore play a different role than their big city counterparts.

* My branch libraries occasionally have talks/readings, especially by poets, young adult and children’s authors, and are not averse to having them sign their books after a presentation.

* Libraries in Manhattan are more apt to stage readings and talks by authors as indicated by the event calendar at

* The branch libraries do promote their events in the local press and in their monthly calendar.

* Authors are welcome to donate their books to the branch library. If approved, the book is placed on the shelves.

* Authors do not have to live in the neighborhood of the branch.

The libraries’ main focus has been on young adult and children’s books, although the emphasis is shifting away from specialization among library personnel. This year, The New York Public Library’s “Books for the Teen Age” published its 76th edition. The catalogue features about 1,000 titles and not all are library books. The list is displayed year-round at the Donnell Library Center, 20 West 53rd Street in Manhattan.

In this instance, book marketing has no effect. Two of my subscribers have been on the list more than once: Jane Kurtz and Lara Zeises. Both said they had nothing to do with the selections and have no idea how the honor has impacted on sales.

During the summer, there are author chats with celebrated young adult authors at (scroll down to “Live Author Chats”).

The final word for any adult program rests with Cecil Hixon, public program librarian, Adult and Community Outreach Services. An author’s book must be in the library collection to be considered for a program. While Mr. Hixon does not rule out authors of print-on-demand books, in order for the book to be in the library it must be reviewed (pre-publication) in Publisher’s Weekly (which reviews self-published books under certain circumstances), Library Journal (yes), or Kirkus Reviews (no).

Authors wishing to present a program may reach Cecil Hixon at 212-340-0913 or email him at Include the title of your program, brief description of the proposed discussion, and why you are qualified to give the talk. Although an author may propose a particular branch library for the program, there is no guarantee.

If you live elsewhere, your chances of conquering your local library are much greater and it's an avenue worth pursuing. Subscriber Carolyn Howard-Johnson is an award-winning author, college instructor, columnist and book reviewer. In her book, The Frugal Book Promoter (Star Publish 2004), Carolyn touts libraries as a major promotional market. “For the purpose of marketing, getting your book into libraries helps generate the buzz an author seeks,” she writes. “Find out what your publisher does to alert library acquisitions departments and supplement those efforts. You can do a better job than your publisher at promoting your book at libraries located near your home.”

-- Francine Silverman is editor/publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, a bi-weekly ezine for authors of all genres, and author of Book Marketing from A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005), a compilation of the best marketing strategies of 325 authors from all over the English-speaking world. Web:

Monday, May 16, 2005

Reading Is Magic Wristbands

Borders and Waldenbooks are partnering with CARE to offer purple wristbands with the words Reading Is Magic. The wristbands sell for only $2.00, out of which $1.60 supports CARE.

The purpose of the program is to improve educational opportunities in poor communities around the world, and to give them the resources they need to thrive. It's an opportunity to spread knowledge and fight poverty. To support this cause yourself, go buy a bunch and hand some out to your kids or friends.

For more information, visit the CARE website.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

MiniSite Profits

MiniSite Profits — As an author or book publisher, you probably already have a niche. Why not make your niche book or site pay for itself many times over. You can do that by creating additional mini-sites or by using the site your already have. It's really very simple and doesn't have to take a lot of time to set up. This ebook tells you how to set up mini-sites that will make money for you on the side. It's written by an Australian who works at home atop a mountain near the Great Barrier Reef. Great view. Lazy man. Makes money.

Read more by clicking here.

For a free ezine from Aussie Phil Wiley, click here.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

How to Think Like a Marketer

The one frustration I've had over the years is getting authors and self-publishers to begin thinking like marketers not like hide-out-in-the-garret writers. The How to Think Like a Marketer seminar offers you the possibility of getting out of your hide-out and into the world in a way that you will be comfortable and yet highly successful. For more about this seminar, click here.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Discover Yourself on the Internet

I've just been playing around with the Technorati Search service that I've included with this blog. See it at the bottom of the right column.

By searching on "John Kremer" in all web blogs, I found a lot of listings about myself that I hadn't known existed.

You can use the same search box to check for any blogs featuring "your name" or any key words you want to search. For example, perhaps you want to find blogs that have written about "quilt books" -- well, search Technorati. Do the same for any keywords you want to choose. Get to know which blogs are featuring content you are interested in. Then you have a chance to create a relationship with them that will make sense to them as well as to you.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Promoting Your Book Via

John, my new book has been a top pre-seller at Two months before its release date, and that's because I follow your tips and new ones like this:

Late at night after my publisher and publicity firm are closed. I go to and look for groups that fit my niche (flight attendants, or writers, or booklovers) and then join the groups. I have a signature that includes my web site. With thousands of people hitting this site daily, I've watched the stats on my web site register hits from and result in more sales.

Tell your readers to be sure and fill out the profile form where they can mention their book. is free, easy and, best of all, has thousands of viewers. -- Marsha Marks of Flying by the Seat of My Pants.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Photography Publishers/Distributors

Question: I just went through your list of distributors online. Do you have any info on the top distributors for photography books? I am a photographer working on a book on Afghan women and have been approached by a publisher whose distributor is Ten Speed Press and I don't know anything about them. I wouldn't mind comparing to see what else is out there as well. For instance, who distributes Phaidon books or Powerhouse books?

John's Answer: Ten Speed is a good company with great distribution so the company they distribute would also have good distribution.

Both publishers you list distribute their own titles as well as titles from some other publishers. This information as well as other publishers who distribute art and photography books is in greater detail in my special $5.00 distribution report. You can order it at Choosing a distributor. We can email the report to you.

powerHouse Books, Daniel Power, Publisher, 68 Charlton Street, Ground Floor, New York NY 10014-4601; 212-604-9074; 877-742-6363; Fax: 212-366-5247. Web: This publisher of quality illustrated art and photography books handles distribution for Juno Books and Umbrage Editions.

Phaidon Press, Ken Woidill, 7195 Grayson Road, Harrisburg PA 17111. Charlotte Renshaw, Phaidon Press Limited, Regent's Wharf, All Saints Street, London N1 9PA, United Kingdom. Web: Offers sales and distribution worldwide, with 23 exclusive sales reps and warehouses in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Australia. Interested in distributing publishers with annual sales between $1 million and $10 million.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Jokes for Word of Mouse Propagation

One of the best ways to get your message passed on is to include a joke. While your entire message may not get passed on, the joke will be. For example, here's a joke I just received from Ken Darby, who sends out thePEBBLE Article for Print ezine, which always includes a joke, a saying, and an article that are all available for reprint at any time. He requires that if you reprint the article, you include his credits. See his credits at the end of this joke.

You may not know that many non-living things have a gender. For example:

1) Ziploc Bags -- They are Male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

2) Copiers -- They are Female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm them up again. It's an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can wreak havoc if the wrong buttons are pushed.

3) Tire -- Male, because it goes bald and it's often over-inflated.

4) Hot Air Balloon -- Male, because, to get it to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under it and, of course, there's the hot air component.

5) Sponges -- Female, because they're soft, squeezable and retain water.

6) Web Page -- Female, because it's always getting hit on.

7) Subway -- Male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

8) Hourglass -- Female, because over time, the weight can shift to the bottom.

9) Hammer -- Male, because it hasn't changed much over the last 5,000 years, but it's handy to have around.

10) Remote Control -- Female. Ha! You thought it'd be Male. But consider this -- it gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.

Ken Darby authors many articles found in newspapers and magazines throughout North America. He is the author of The Saga Of Pinehill, The Adventure, ISBN 1-4137-4723-X, now available through your favorite bookstore. Web: Email:

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Author Platforms

Question: I have just heard the phrase AUTHOR PLATFORM for the first time. I have recently published Osteo-Yoga: 30 Days to a Healthier You, a book I market at lectures and yoga classes which I present at the YMCA. Please advise what is generally meant in publishing, by AUTHOR PLATFORM.

John's Answer: An author platform is something the author already has done that's created an audience for her book. Examples are hosting a radio show, writing a syndicated column, giving speeches, publishing a newsletter, webmaster of a popular web site on her topic, contributing reporter on another popular web site, well-known blogger, and magazine columnist. Your teaching at a local YMCA would be a small platform. Your teaching at many YMCAs and being paid big bucks for it would be a larger platform.

Another way to develop a platform is guilt by association :)). For example, if you were the yoga guru for Hollywood stars. Or, think big, the yoga guru for Oprah Winfrey.

John Kremer,

Magnetic Advertising: Promotion Goes for a Ride

Here are two tips from my friend Fred Gleeck's recent newsletter, Fred Gleeck Insights...

Fred Gleeck's Marketing and Promoting Your Own Seminars and Workshops"Since January 1st, I've been driving around with a magnetic sign on the right side, left side and a small sign on the back bumper of my vehicle. I use black type on a bright yellow background. Heck, if it's good enough for the yellow pages, it's good enough for me. To date, this year I've done over $5,400 worth of business specifically attributable to this method of marketing."

John's Comments: Now Fred didn't reveal what he put on his signs, and that seemed to be important in generating the results he got. Also, he lives in Las Vegas, so a lot of people see his car as he drives around. I'd probably have less results here in Taos, New Mexico.

If you attend seminars, you have to know where to sit at any event. Isn't every chair the same as the other? Absolutely not. There are only 4 places to sit at a seminar. Front row all the way to the left, front row all the way to the right, last row all the way left and right. Why? Because when you ask a question you can be seen by the entire rest of the group. These are the only 4 spots with maximum exposure to the rest of the group. I tend to sit in the back at the corner which is closest to the door for a quick and easy exit if necessary. But any of these three locations makes it easy for you to be seen when you stand up to deliver your pearls of wisdom, subtly promoting your products and services."

John's Comments: I'm like Fred. In fact, I think we've had to fight it out a few times to get the seat we wanted. He usually wins since I'm such a nice guy. :))

If you'd like to get a few free books, real ebooks of substance, from Fred Gleeck, check out this part of his web site:

Monday, May 02, 2005

Promoting Your Books: $10 Million in Sales

“Someone once asked me how much I made for my first Guerilla Marketing book. The answer I gave was $10 million. The book itself only paid me about $35,000 in royalties, but the speaking engagements, spinoff books, newsletters, columns, bootcamps, consulting, and wide open doors resulted in the remaining $9,965.000” — Jay Conrad Levinson, author, Guerilla Marketing series
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