Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Writing Articles as a Key Marketing Tool

I just read a great article on how to write articles to sell your services. But the idea works as well for books as services. Sell your expertise; sell your book. To read the article, go here:

Enjoy. Happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pitching from a Publicist's Perspective

Have you ever wondered what publicists do to market books? How they approach the media?

Pam Lontos is head of PR/PR,, a public relations firm with a staff of six that represents authors and speakers. Pam is a professional speaker with an extensive background in the radio and TV industry, where she rose to Vice President of Sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting.

I asked Pam to share her expertise as a publicist.

PR/PR via Pam Lontos

First and foremost is the importance of pitching a story – not the book. “The story idea is what they want,” she stresses. This is a mistake that authors and even publicists make. When her firm tried to pitch a book on teaching children the value of money, it fell on deaf ears. So before the holidays, the company pitched a story on spoiling children at Christmas and it was carried on CNN, and the book held up for viewers to see. “If they like the story, then they will read your credentials and then your book,” she says. “Their concern is how to get higher ratings, or readers, or subscribers. They don’t care about your book. They care about what advice you can give to their audience or readers. Think about what’s in it for them, not you.”

PR/PR works mainly with non-fiction authors and speakers. However, fiction is accepted if the author writes on a related topic – which they place in numerous publications - and is willing to be interviewed. When the American Bar Association published its first novel in 120 years – which involved drug trafficking - it was accepted because the author was a lawyer who was able to write articles and be interviewed on drugs in the workplace.

About 40% of their clients are self-published authors. Turned away are authors with books that may not interest the media. “That’s why you call for a free consultation,” she says. “I don’t want to take on clients I don’t feel I can help.”

One cookbook author who wrote about traditional American cooking is among its greatest successes. “Everytime we send something out on her, the phones start ringing,” says Pam, who admits to initial misgivings. “A lot of people with cookbooks don’t pitch them,” she surmises, or “they probably pitch the cookbook and not the story.” One story was “what foods to eat on Valentine’s Day.”

According to Pam, one reason her firm is successful is that it “gives the media what they want. We have reporters tell us that not only do we have good clients, but we never send stuff that doesn’t match.”

New clients are asked to send books and tapes and fill in 20 topics in which they are expert. “Once we have all that information, we start pitching the media,” says Pam. Sometimes a client signs up just in time. This occurred when Entrepreneur Magazine called the firm asking for a financial planner to interview and one called up. A match was made. “He had been a client for one minute,” says Pam.

In another case of successful matchmaking, when Pam read that the phone lines were jammed at American Idol causing some viewers to view the voting unfair, she called a client who installs phone systems at businesses to ask if he could speak on phone lines jamming. “That’s how we got him into USA Today.”

Asked what sets PR/PR apart from other firms, Pam says: “We are proactive. We really enjoy getting people into national magazines.” That’s one reason it doesn’t do author tours. Who needs the hassle of traveling, when one can do radio interviews from the comfort of home, she figures. “If we can get one article in 20 magazines and newspapers like Cosmo, The New York Times and Entrepreneur, they don’t have to go anywhere.”

-- by Francine Silverman

Friday, December 09, 2005

My Personal Invitation: National Publicity Summit

Want to be interviewed on top TV shows like 48 Hours, The View, Montel, Fox News, and Good Morning America?

Would you like to get written-up in major national publications like Newsweek, Health, Redbook, Time, Family Circle, O Magazine, Alternative Medicine, INC., Parents, or New York Times?

Today I'm writing today about a unique chance to get more publicity in America's biggest media outlets by attending Steve Harrison's National Publicity Summit, January 25th to 28th in New York City, a unique conference where you'll get to personally meet top journalists and producers and pitch your story to them, one-on-one and face-to-face.

For a complete info packet on attending, go here now: National Publicity Summit.

All the above media were represented at the last Summit and most will return, along with journalists and producers from other top national TV shows and big-time print media.

Having a face-to-face meeting with an editor or producer dramatically increases the chances they'll write about you -- or put you on their show.

When you grab your info packet, you'll see some of the results previous Summit attendees have gotten including how:

* Steve Shapiro was the subject of a big story in the November issue of O Magazine -- all thanks to meeting the writer at the Summit last year!

* Lauri Loewenberg appeared on both ABC's The View and Good Morning America!

* Jim Vonmier got on CBS Evening News and Early Show as a result of the training and contacts he got at the Summit.

* Barry Spilchuk was interviewed on Fox News Channel within just five hours of meeting the producer at the Summit!

* Sandy Clemmons got written-up in Health Magazine, Money Magazine, and TV Guide -- all from meeting journalists face-to-face at the Summit. Even better, since attending the Summit, her royalty checks have gone up over 700%!

In order to ensure everyone gets enough one-on-one time with each producer or journalist, only 100 people are allowed to attend this one-of-a-kind event.

As of today there are only 39 spots still open, so if you want to attend, go here now: National Publicity Summit.

I look forward to seeing you in New York and helping you get the major national publicity you deserve.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cha-Ching Marketing

In a recent article, I saw the phrase Cha-ching! Marketing, and I thought what a great phrase. It's the perfect term to use when talking about marketing to SELL rather than marketing for image or whatever else.

If you want to make money selling your books, you have to get involved with Cha-ching Marketing. If you published your book for any other reason, you can go ahead and do image marketing or so-so marketing or plain boring marketing. But, if you need to make money, you have to do Cha-ching Marketing.

So many of you send out whimpy news releases and pay for other people to market your book in a dozen different little ways — when what you should be doing is targeting your potential readers and partners with an all-out effort. Cha-ching!

Don't waste your time on the little stuff. Focus on the stuff that will actually result in sales, real sales, big sales, something worth your time and effort. That's Cha-ching Marketing.

Get off your rear ends. Sing your own praises. Make friends. Create enduring relationships. And sell your books.

Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Guadalajara Book Fair

The world's largest Hispanic literary event is happening now: The Guadalajara Book Fair in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Last year, US publishers realized an estimated $350 million in Spanish langage book sales, driven in part by the growing Hispanic population in the US.

What is more important nowadays, however, is the potential for book sales in the Latin American market -- a $17 trillion market.

For more information, see the web site at
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