Tuesday, March 28, 2006

5 Tips to Turn Rock Star Publicity into Rock Star Income

5 Tips to Turn Rock Star Publicity into Rock Star Income: A Distributor’s Perspective on Publicity by Meg La Borde, Executive Vice President, Greenleaf Book Group

It doesn’t take an industry expert to tell you that an appearance on Oprah or Today can shoot book sales through the roof, but a dirty little secret in the book industry is that media coverage—even a BIG hit—does not always turn into book sales. You owe it to your publisher, your distributor, your hard working publicist and yourself to turn media into money. Here are five tips to help you use fame to get fortune:

1. Leverage your publicity with the supply chain. Update your publisher and distributor! If there is no supply to meet the demand your publicity is creating, you’re wasting money and losing sales. Your distributor can target stores in the geographic markets your media coverage is reaching and use your publicity as leverage with national buyers to get more books in stores.

2. Make time for proper timing. I understand that things move fast in a publicity campaign, but it’s nothing short of tragic when sales—big sales—are lost because of a silly detail like timing. If you think reviews will have a big impact on your book sales, make sure your publicist has galleys in hand at least four months prior to publication. If your publicist is booking radio or television interviews, consistently give your distributor three-four weeks notice so they have time to work books through the supply chain. If you land a national TV interview, communicate with your publisher and distributor immediately to troubleshoot any inventory issues and to give them the opportunity to use the hit to negotiate front-of-store placement with the chains. Whatever you do, don’t let money slip through your fingers because of sloppy timing.

3. Define three sales points to use in all media interviews. NOTE: The hook that lands the interview is not necessarily the hook that sells the book (and vice-versa). Be a good guest, but don’t be shy about using free airtime to sell your book. Know your readers and appeal to their needs in your interviews. If you only appeal to the needs of the media, you may get lots of interviews, but your book sales will flop. HINT: Don’t feel obligated to answer only the questions interviewers ask or to stick to the hook in the press release. For example, if you landed the interview by positioning yourself as an expert on a newsworthy topic, don’t assume people will go to a bookstore to buy your opinion. Instead, offer specific, usable content in the interview and clearly communicate (1) who needs the book and (2) what they will gain from reading it.

4. Say your title at least three times in every interview. Yes, there will be times when this is impossible, and there will be times when this is tacky, but if you make it a rule and stick to it, you will sell more books. Erase the words “my book” from your vocabulary, and always use the full title to refer to your work. This is one easy way to sell books in an interview without sounding like an infomercial.

5. Invest in media coaching. A media coach will help you define your sales points and teach you how to incorporate them into every interview. The fastest way to guarantee big returns is to get your distributor (who, in turn, gets the national buyers) excited about publicity, and then bomb the interview. NOTE: Being a talented speaker, charming personality, or good conversationalist does not make you media savvy.

If you’re investing in publicity, you should minimize your risk and grow your potential ROI by learning the mechanics of an interview and fundamentals like sound bites and message consolidation.

Meg La Borde is the Executive Vice President of Greenleaf Book Group, the nation’s leading distributor and consulting firm for small and independent publishers. To learn more about Greenleaf Book Group, visit www.GreenleafBookGroup.com.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Perils of the Internet

Question: i don't know if you've personally experienced or received much communication regarding the following -- how hard it is to trade on the internet. it is a minefield of scams and rip offs. it proves unequivocally my constant cry to all that ignorance is expensive. my most recent experiences involve my efforts to obtain an honest, proven and reasonable proposal for a radio driven publicity campaign to promote a book and i am yet to retain anyone because by the time i've investigated all the sweet talk and trail of testimonials, i find all kinds of skeletons rattling in the closets and everyone gets all upset when i ask questions upfront or later. i don't reveal my investigation or scammer expose method or sources and people are surprised and angry when i pose challenges from my investigations that they can't defend or explain. congress has to move soon to properly regulate the internet because it is the wild west of today. by the way, i own a copy of your book 1001 ways to market your book and you don't address publicity/marketing of this nature or advise on the kind of issues i state herein. well, i don't suppose anyone can cover everything. thank you.

John's Answer: The Internet, as well as most areas of life, are full of scams, half-truths, promises unfulfilled, and many disappointments. There are a number of ways to avoid most of these pitfalls.

1. As you have been doing, you can check references. Verify anything anyone has told you by checking their references or by talking to other people who have done business with them in the past.

2. You can talk to an expert, such as myself. I'm generally able to save authors and publishers anywhere from $500 to $30,000 simply by telling them the things that will and won't work for their particular books. That's why I can charge $500 per hour for my consulting -- because I will save people at least that much by getting to avoid ideas, services, and plans that simply won't pan out for their books. I do this all the time. The saddest thing for me is to talk to someone AFTER they've spent the money foolishly.

3. You can join one of the discussion groups on the Internet where you can talk to other authors and publishers who can warn you about certain services to avoid. Yahoo groups hosts one such group.

4. You can talk to the members of local writers and publishers group. Every major city has at least one such group where you can mingle with real people and share resources and feedback.

In the new 6th edition of my 1001 Ways to Market Your Books I do address the perils and opportunities in doing PR and marketing via the Internet. The opportunities are incredible if you know what you are doing -- and what to avoid. The new edition will be off the press in early May.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Take a Look at My New Blog

Since I get so many notices of new teleseminars, low-cost seminars, and free reports, I've decided to start a new blog to feature all of them. That way I don't clog up this blog or my Book Marketing Tip of the Week ezine.

To check out my new blog, go to http://www.teleseminars-free-reports.blogspot.com.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

An Interview with John Kremer

Here's an excerpt from a short interview I did the other day:

1. Why individuals should consider marketing to be such a high priority (whether it's to sell more copies or reach more readers and educate them or entertain them)?

John's Answer: Marketing is a high priority for only one reason. That's how you reach potential readers of your books -- and why would you write if you didn't want readers?

2. What types of people might be suited to be self-published authors or to control a great part of their "marketing destiny" even if they are traditionally published?

John's Answer: Entrepreneurial people, plain and simple. Don't self-publish if you don't want to take control of your own destiny in publishing and writing books. You must be willing to spend time doing much of the promotion yourself rather than paying someone else to do it.

3. What is the importance of people, especially everyday ones, writing a book in their lifetime?

John's Answer: There is no importance to anyone writing a book unless they have to write one. Writing one simply because it's fashionable or the thing to do will result in a lousy book. But, if you can't help yourself, if you must write, if you must put what you know and feel into a book, if you are passionate about what you are writing, then it is important to write.

4. What excites you about working in the publishing industry/working with authors?

John's Answer: I love great book ideas, great book execution, great book reading experiences. When an author is passionate about her work, then I'm interested. Then I get excited.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Free Book Marketing Teleseminar

Free 60-minute teleseminar

Thursday, March 23, 2006
2:00 p.m. Eastern or 7:30 p.m. Eastern (two choices of time)

To sign up, go here: http://www.YourQuantumLeap.com/PreviewCallTwo/?10005.

This call is a preview of the Quantum Leap program described below . . .

A message from my friend Steve Harrison . . .

My client Robert Kiyosaki who authored the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, which has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for years, once told me he initially wrote his books into order to promote the "Cash Flow" board games advertised in the back of his books which sell for $95 to $195+. From time-to-time he also offers high-priced seminars on various personal finance topics.

Would you like to do any of the following?

* Sell a whole lot more books ... maybe even become a bestseller.

* Get a book deal with a major publisher.

* Score more publicity in magazines, newspapers and on radio/TV shows.

* Make a name for yourself as the expert in your field.

* Get booked as a guest on top national TV shows.

* Build your own mailing list of people who'll buy from you again-and-again.

* Become a highly-paid public speaker.

* Work less and yet make more (a whole lot more!).

* Create lucrative spin-off income streams based on your book or expertise including teleseminars, your own live seminars, audio/video products, coaching programs and more.

* Get past feeling overwhelmed and get one-on-one help to help you create an achievable step-by-step marketing plan.

* Sell your book and information products on the Internet and build several passive income streams.

If you answered YES to any of the above, there’s a good chance I can help you.

Starting on April 3rd, my brother Bill and I will be accepting applications for 38 new clients we’ll work with over the next year as part of our Quantum Leap Marketing Coaching Program.

If you’re one of the 38 selected, we’ll personally work with you -- both in a group and via one-on-one telephone consulting -- to help catapult you to a whole new level of income and influence.

Again, we won’t be accepting applications until Monday, April 3rd but if you’re interested you can get on our Priority Notification List by going here now:


You may know me best as the publicity guy but that’s not the only area where I can help you.

For instance... want to do your own live seminars or teleseminars? I’ll teach you how I’ve generated over $3.1 million of seminar sales and $1.2 million of teleseminar revenue in just the last three years.

Want to become a highly-paid speaker? Five years ago I was lucky to make $600 for a speech. These days I don’t even accept the gig unless I can make $15,000.00 or more and on five different occasions have brought in over $100,000.00 from a 90-minute presentation.

No matter what your individual marketing goals may be, there’s a good chance Bill and I can help you.

Again, to get on the Priority Notification List for when applications open for the 38 spots, go here now:


I look forward to working with you to make a Quantum Leap over the next year!

Steve Harrison, Book Marketing Update & Radio-TV Interview Report (RTIR)
Bradley Communications, 135 E Plumstead Avenue, Lansdowne PA 19050; 610-259-0707 x264 (customer service). Email: Steve.Harrison@rtir.com.

John's Comments: I think this could be an interesting program. Check it out. Please note that I do make a commission if you sign up for this program through this link. But, again, as you know if you've visited my site more than once, I once recommend things that I feel are actually valuable.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

3 Easy Payments Now Available

Steve Manning, author of How to Write a Book on Anything in 14 Days or Less, has just offered an easy payment plan. You can buy it in three installments. Check out the details at http://www.writeabooknow.com. In the box where it says "comments", just write in "3 easy payments, please." Steve, a real person, will make sure that you get the easy payment plan even though the order will still say the full amount.

If you have been having trouble getting your book written, Steve's book can help.

If you have a higher-priced product, you might try offering a payment plan as well.

Monday, March 06, 2006

John Kremer's Famous Book Marketing Seminar

I am organizing one of my famous three-day book marketing seminars for the second weekend in March (10th to 12th). It will be held in San Diego at the Hilton Hotel at Harbor Island, right next to the airport.

There is still room to register, but I do need all registrations by Wednesday morning, March 8th.

Details on the seminar agenda can be found at John Kremer's Book Marketing Seminar

Friday, March 03, 2006

Oddest Book Titles of the Year

Today Bookseller magazine announced that the Oddest Book Title of the Year award goes to a self-help book titled People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It. Just the book to curl up with during a long winter night.

The runner-up was Rhino Horn Stockpile Management: Minimum Standards and Best Practices from East and Southern Africa. Just what you've been looking for. Fills lots of needs. By the way, did you know that if you search for rhino horn stockpile management on Google, there are 114,000 web sites! That's a lot of horns.

The other four winners were Bullying and Sexual Harassment: A Practical Handbook (which, honestly, I think is a good title for those who suffer from bullying), Ancient Starch Research (I can't wait for Modern Starch Research), Soil Nailing: Best Practice Guidance (quite honestly I've had a heck of a time keeping soil in my garden; never thought of using nails), and Nessus, Snort and Ethereal Powertools (which really does make sense if you're a software programmer).

Previous winners have included Bombproof Your Horse (apparently with a nice steel coat), Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (and why in the world would you want to cancel them?), How To Avoid Huge Ships (another problem I've been having lately), The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition (nothing like sex in a pocket -- talk about hot pockets!), and Method for Calculating the Size of Stone Needed for Closing End-Tipped Rubble Banks in Rivers (now that's something I always wanted to know how to do!).

Thursday, March 02, 2006

John Kremer Rocks ABPA

John Kremer, book marketer extraordinaire, poured out a veritable Vesuvius of information to help attendees at our January meeting reach new heights in their book sales. Smiling, personable and soft-spoken he may be, but when John Kremer speaks, information comes at you like a fire hose. You may be gulping as fast as you can–even setting a modern indoor record–but you absolutely, positively won’t be able to take it all in.

This deluge of information creates a problem for your humble writer: There’s no way any single article, including this one, could capture the breadth and depth of all the information Kremer gave us. Fortunately, thanks to your ABPA board, this problem comes with a solution. April will see the release of the newest edition of the Kremer opus, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, and the board has arranged to offer the book to ABPA members–at a discount no less! Kremer in person plus the book is the ultimate, but if you missed the meeting, at least you haven’t missed everything.

See this article, then, as a mere introduction to the many facets of book marketing, a la John Kremer.

Starting with a burst of reality, Kremer assured us that 90% of our marketing efforts will fail. What to do? Get used to it and keep on keeping on.

He further challenged us by stating the fact that nobody but the author can market a book. Sure, the publishing company should help. Publicists may help. Marketing gurus might be of assistance. Get all the advocacy the budget allows, but realize that only the author brings the passion that results in successful marketing.

Furthermore, successful marketing is based on relationships. People help people they like. People buy from people they like. But the necessary relationships must relate to our target market and their needs and desires, so we heard about how to establish the needed connections in a way that makes everybody a winner.

By use of examples, Kremer then described the how and why of creating a book brand. Since 80% of books are sold by word of mouth, a memorable title that people can easily remember and repeat is essential. Using recognizable variations of the title from book to book will solidify the brand and further assist its word-of-mouth potential.

A good way to create a marketing buzz about a book is to give it away, whether by the piece, as an e-book or in its final form. For instance, Seth Godin gave away 180,000 e-copies of his first book before release–which created such a huge buzz that publication date sales tore the doors off the barn. But, like everything else, giving away books in a way that leads to success has ground rules, and Kremer discussed how to make the giveaway enhance sales and not devalue the book.

Kremer admonished us to get over our idea that a book is only a book. Creating a book also creates a nexus of valuable rights, and he told several stories as examples of rights such as translations, audio, serialization, posters, premium sales, etc. Successful publishers, he said, put 50% of their marketing efforts into exploiting a book’s inherent rights, and that’s where large publishing companies make all their profit.

Finally (and here I skip several major points for reasons of space), Kremer emphasized the need to treat people well. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the successful thing to do. Recognize that what goes around comes around and give more than you receive. Write thank-you notes. Send quick, encouraging e-mails when you happen across information the recipient could use. And especially treat the media well by helping them get the information they need to do their job. For instance, don’t hesitate to recommend others, even your “competition,” if that helps to make an article more complete. Be the available, accessible person they can rely on–and thus will rely on–to your benefit and to theirs.

This isn’t head-in-the-clouds Kumbaya thinking, but long-term reality vision. Once again, people help people they like. People buy from people they like. What goes around comes around–whether it’s good or bad, so throw in good stuff. To do otherwise is volunteering to deal with negative consequences; what kind of a cockamamie plan is that? In business as in life, teleological thinking wins the day.

To sum up then, we ate, we networked, we laughed, we learned, and we came away with ideas to grow our business. Great evening, that.

This article was written by Bette Dowdell for the ABPA newsletter.

Bette Dowdell, former IBM Systems Engineer, small business consultant, software company owner, and the author of How to be a Christian Without Being Annoying, invites you to visit her at http://www.confidentfaith.com.

Address: Arizona Book Publishing Association, 6340 S Rural Road #118-152, Tempe AZ 85283; 602-274-6264. Email: info@azbookpub.com. Web: http://www.azbookpub.com.
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