Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Get Better Testimonials

Don't do what Harper did with the following testimonials, which are simply way too obvious and salesy. These are just too terrible. I almost hate to reprint them. No author would write a real testimonial like the ones below.

The 2007 publishing schedule includes bestselling fiction author Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who says of the new imprint, "It's about time! HarperLuxe is exactly what I've been waiting for, both as a reader and a writer." She continues, "I'm thrilled to know my books will be published in such a stylish and accessible fashion with the HarperLuxe imprint, and I also know I'll be a devoted consumer. Thanks, Harper, for making life just a little easier for all of us."

I bet she's not been sleeping nights because there wasn't an imprint such as HarperLuxe.

New York Times bestseller James Rollins adds, "Innovation has always been a trademark of HarperCollins Publishers: from the multiple stepback covers of my first book, Subterranean, to the holographic lenticular cover for one of my latest books, Sandstorm. So I was thrilled to hear that HarperCollins is again moving forward to anticipate readers' needs by introducing the new HarperLuxe editions for easier reading, proving again that there is still room in publishing for simple yet progressive improvements." Rollins continues, "HarperLuxe will certainly enhance the comfort of the reading experience for the average person, but it also holds the promise to broaden the accessibility of books to those with compromised vision. Such an innovation is long overdue."

Where has this bestselling author been for the past 50 years? What innovation in using larger print? He cites no other innovation in the new HarperLuxe line. What simple progressive improvements?

Who wrote these testimonials? Pity the poor authors who had these words put into their mouths. Alas.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Obvious Adams: The Book on Marketing

In a recent Forbes online column, marketing author Jack Trout wrote about his favorite book, Obvious Adams: The Story of a Successful Businessman by Robert R. Updegraff. As Trout notes, "to give you a taste of what Mr. Updegraff writes, here are his Five Tests of Obviousness:"

* The problem when solved will be simple. The obvious is nearly always simple--so simple that sometimes a whole generation of men and women have looked at it without even seeing it.

* Does it check with human nature? If you feel comfortable in explaining your idea or plan to your mother, wife, relative, neighbors, your barber and anyone else you know, it's obvious. If you don't feel comfortable, it probably is not obvious.

* Put it on paper. Write out your idea, plan or project in words of one or two syllables, as though you were explaining it to a child. If you can't do this in two or three short paragraphs and the explanation becomes long, involved or ingenious--then very likely it is not obvious.

* Does it explode in people's minds? If, when you have presented your plan, project or program, do people say, "Now why didn't we think of that before?" You can feel encouraged. Obvious ideas are very apt to produce this "explosive" mental reaction.

* Is the time ripe? Many ideas and plans are obvious in themselves, but just as obviously out of time. Checking time lines is often just as important as checking the idea or plan itself.

To Trout, "Those five principles are worth a thousand books on marketing, mine included."

I agree.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Quill Book Awards

I just saw the end of this year's ceremony for the Quill Book Awards. Nice production. The show was carried on my local NBC affiliate. It was great seeing a TV ceremony for books.

Dan Poynter on YouTube

Enjoy Dan Poynter on YouTube:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty, Part II

Well, now that OJ's book has been cancelled, it is still available on Users there have already voted. They've been tagging the book title with all sorts of judgments, none good. Here are a few of the tags: pathetic, racist killer, boycott, disgusting, shameful, murderer, guilty, repulsive, scum, shame on Amazon, sick, blood money, boycott regan books, evil, liar, killer.

All I know is that I'd hate to have to sell a book with those kind of reviews.

Obviously, few people think that O.J. was really not guilty.

Thank God for true free speech.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty

Recently there has been a lot of fuss among booksellers on whether or not they should stock and/or sell O.J. Simpson's new book. All the discussion hinges on free speech. Should potential readers have the right to buy the book if they want to read it? Should a bookstore be able to not stock the book because they disagree with the sugject?

Well, first, bookstores censor all sorts of books so I don't know why they are talking about free speech. Bookstores don't stand for free speech. Not at all. They stand for what they see as good books. If they really stood for free speech, they'd be traumatized every day in selecting which of 6 million titles to fit into their stores. I don't know of any bookseller who is so traumatized.

Second, and perhaps more important, a jury trial determined that O.J. Simpson was not guilty. And our country used to pride itself on a person being presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yet, in this discussion no one has questioned the underlying assumption: That O.J. Simpson is guilty despite a jury finding him innocent.

Now, of course, it's hard to think that Simpson was truly not guilty. Most of us think that the jury erred (and that the prosecutors were incredibly inept). But will anyone else stand up for our jury system? Or will we all drape ourselves with flags and the sanctity of free speech and shout Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! If so, we should do the same for every other man or woman found innocent by a jury -- especially if we disagree with the verdict.

I do think that Simpson was guilty. I don't want to believe that, but if I had been on the jury, I would probably have voted guilty. I say probably because I didn't watch the trial closely and I don't know even half the evidence that was presented on either side.

I cried when Simpson was driving around in a white Bronco. I cried for the lost opportunity of a good life, for the sad fact that many marriages end horribly, for the brutality of many men against women, for the fact that Simpson had been one of my heroes. All of that. I wanted him to be innocent. I came to believe that he was not. So sad.

His new book, from what little I've read about it, is junk. As a publisher, I would never have published it. I would have demanded a true telling of his story. I don't think we got that with this book.

So, it should be obvious to many of you that my thoughts on this subject are jumbled. My emotions certainly mixed. But, still, will anyone stand up and say, "Hey, a jury found this man innocent! Are we to become the new judge and jury, and ignore the due process of the legal system?" Oh well.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

PTA Interactive: New Online Marketing Service

Planned Television Arts is now offering a new service to help authors to market their books via the Internet. They guarantee you at least 25 placements on the Internet over the course of a three-month program customized to your book. Here are just a few of the services they offer via PTA Interactive:

* Online Book Tours (using teleseminars combined with Internet tech)
* Viral Email Blasts (sending email to ezines and blogs)
* Podcasts (develop and record a series of podcasts, distribute via online stores like and, and distribute via RSS feeds)
* Viral Videos (produce and promote author-related videos for Internet distribution)
* Author Blogs (create micro-sites for authors and titles)
* Virtual Book Readings (Promote virtual readings via communities such as Second Life)
* Placing information on other people's influential blogs, podcasts, and online media sites)
* Creating original content for your blog, social networking pages, etc.

For more information, check out their website at

Or call Brian Feinblum at 212-583-2718 and tell him I sent you. He'll give you a great deal. You can also email him if you prefer at

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Free Teleseminar: Internet Audio Made Easier

Mike Stewart, founder of, will be giving a free teleseminar on why you should own the right equipment to record your podcasts, create other Internet audio, and put together quality audio and video products that sell for big dollars.

To participate in this teleseminar sponsored by Planned Television Arts, call 620-294-4000 (then press in this code: 222089#) at 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 16th.

If you miss the call, you can dial the replay line at 620-294-2837 after the call.

Or, you can visit the Planned TV Arts website to download past teleseminars.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Best Time to Start

Just in case you didn't already know, I love reading Seth Godin's blog. In today's entry, he wrote about the best time to start. After listing twenty standard best times to start, he concluded with: "Actually, as you've probably guessed, the best time to start was last year. The second best time to start is right now."

Personally, I think the best time to start is right now. Or ten seconds from now. But no more than 24 hours from now. Last year is too late.

Monday, November 13, 2006

BookExpo in Las Vegas: 2010

BookExpo America will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2010 (New York in 2007, Los Angeles in 2008, and New York in 2009). One bookseller from Washington DC strongly disapproved of holding a book convention in the city of sin. Hm, I thought, her comments could easily apply as well to DC, where the expo was held last year. See if you don't agree (I substituted DC for Las Vegas and politics for gambling):

Holding the convention in DC gives "our tacit support to an industry that is corrupt and corrupting. I know that DC is bigger than politics now, but politics is what the hotel and restaurant industry is about and depends on." Having a convention "in a place like DC is inappropriate for an industry that depends on print, books, editorial judgment."

I especially like the part about editorial judgment as it applies to politicians and the comment about an industry that is corrupt and corrupting, which certainly also applies to DC (both Republican and Democrat). I'm a universal disapprover of politics as it is practiced now.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What Is Your Message? Are You Clear?

In the coming days, you're going to hear the Democratic leaders continue to assert that voters have chosen the Democratic agenda and have demanded its implementation. Bosh!

It's the same false conclusion as the one George Bush made in 2004 when he said that voters had given him a mandate. Bosh again!

In this election, the voters chose to vote against George Bush, scandals, and the war in Iraq. They did not vote FOR the Democratic agenda. First, every Democratic campaign ad I saw during this election cycle focused on bashing Bush, the war, and Republican congressional leaders. Not one promoted any Democratic platform points. The people voted against the Republicans not for the Democrats.

Are you also sending the wrong message? Are you surviving because your competitor is simply incompetent? Or are people actually choosing to buy and read your books because they truly are the best? Are you gaining sales because your message is getting through or because your competitor's message sucks?

Be sure to be proactive. Know why people should buy your book. State why people should buy your book. Sell them on why your book is the best. Don't settle for sales by default as the Democrats have done.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Polite Fictions and True Cause-Related Marketing

In his blog today, Seth Godin writes about polite fictions, where everyone agrees to a story so they can go on doing what they are doing.

For instance, many of us like Ben & Jerry's ice cream so we applaud them for all their cleverness and devotion to social causes. But the truth is that ice cream is really bad for us, especially eating too much of it. Eating Ben & Jerry's (or other ice cream) can lead to being overweight, getting diabetes, developing heart disease, etc. But with Ben & Jerry's, as compared to many other ice cream brands, we can feel somewhat good about it because Ben and Jerry are so nice.

Now, if Ben & Jerry really wanted to do some good, they would lead the fight against heart disease (which, if they were honest with themselves, they might actually have a hand in creating more instances).

If they were to embrace true cause-related marketing, they'd get behind and support heart disease research -- AND they would encourage people to eat their ice cream in moderation. They would create an entire campaign encouraging people to watch what they eat. It's hard for them to condemn McDonalds (I don't know if they do) when they are selling high-fat, high-calorie ice cream that can do as much damage as eating at McDonalds.

Of course, with the polite fiction that many of us participate in, we can feel much better about eating Ben & Jerry's than eating at McDonalds. That's why a man can make a movie about McDonalds (Super Size Me) but I doubt anyone would make a similar movie about Ben & Jerry's. They're some of the good guys, while McDonalds is simply a big, evil corporation.

The truth is that both foods are terrible for us in excess, but probably okay in moderation. But try telling that to people who attack McDonalds while happily eating their Ben & Jerry's. Polite fictions, they are a way of life.

What polite fictions are you living with? What have you agreed to ignore?

How does this all relate to book marketing? Well, if you're going to get involved in cause-related marketing, make sure that the causes you support are ones you can live with, ones that lessen the damage you do to your body, your environment, or your society.

For instance, I believe that book publishers and authors should support associations that help to reforest our land or preserve the wild areas that are left. Why? Because books use a lot of paper -- and that, right now, means lots of trees. Until we as a society begin using hemp for paper, book authors and publishers need to support reforestation and nature preservation.

Check out some of the groups I support. I list them all on my website at

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Top 10 Ways to Get a Technorati Top 100 Blogger to Link to Your Blog or Website

If you'd like a list of the Top 10 Ways to Get a Technorati Top 100 Blogger to Link to Your Blog or Website, check out Michael Pollack's blog here: Top 10 Ways.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How to Use Teleseminars to Sell More Books

Four questions for you today....

#1 -- What's even better than having your own radio show?
#2 -- What key marketing tool did one first-time author use to hit the New York Times bestseller List?
#3 -- How can you go on a national book tour for less than $100 without ever leaving your home?
#4 -- What's one of the fastest ways to make more as an author (or expert in your field)?

In each case the answer is: Do Your Own Teleseminars!

If you're not using teleseminars, you're missing out on one of the least expensive and most effective ways to market a book (and many other things).

In addition to promoting your books, doing your own teleseminars is also a great way to make big money as an author because you can repackage the info from your book into a series of teleseminars for which people will gladly pay $295 to $2,500.

Free Teleseminar This Wednesday

Ready to learn how to do your own profitable teleseminars?

You're invited tomorrow Wednesday, November 8th for a free teleseminar on: How You Can Use Teleseminars to Sell Truckloads of Books and Make Hefty Profits

On this 90-minute call, you'll hear Steve Harrison interviewing Alex Mandossian, an author and speaker who sells tons of books and does over $1.2 million a year with teleseminars:

To enroll for Wednesday's teleseminar -- which is offered at your choice of two times: either 2 pm Eastern (11 am Pacific) or 7 pm Eastern (4 pm Pacific) go here now: Alex Call.

Be sure to make the call Wednesday because I'm not planning to make recordings of it available any time soon. This may be your only chance for quite a while to learn Alex's methods such as:

* Eight different models to use teleseminars to sell books/products and make buckeroos.
* Why hosting teleseminars is even better than having your own radio show and can quickly make you a celebrity in your field.
* How anyone with expertise can get started doing profi.table telseminars without leaving home even if you're a total unknown -- all for less than $100.
* How Alex sold 1,782 books in a single teleseminar.
* The time he made $13,000 from the delivery room at Mt. Sinai Hospital when his son was born.
* Why you're lucky to get 10 people at a bookstore signing but Alex has two models for virtual book signings he's used to get almost 1,200 people on the phone and sell tons of books!
* The case history of how Alex used teleseminars to help a first-time author hit the New York Times bestseller List.
* How Alex has used teleseminars to network with and do business with famous authors including Mark Victor Hansen, Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy and Harvey Mackay.
* The small, but important, details most people ignore that can dramatically increase the number of people you get on your calls.

This is a call you don't want to miss. Sign up today to be in on the call: Alex Call.

Monday, November 06, 2006

An Interview with Voice in the Dark Newsletter

Meet John Kremer, editor,
Interview by Anne K. Edwards

Q. What is the history of Is its focus expanding or do you see changes in it in the near future? What url would visitors use?

A. I started in 1995, but have been online since 1994. Its focus has always been to provide lots of useful information and resources for use by self-publishers, authors, and independent publishers in marketing their books. Plus, of course, to help sell my books. I do plan to redesign the website but the content will remain primarily the same. The URL continues to be

Of course, I have other websites of interested to authors as well such as and

Q. What is the most popular sections of your sites? Do visitors often contact for other specific information? What would be the most common questions they ask?

A. I honestly don't know what the most popular sections are. I haven't been tracking them. But many search out the resource sections for publicists, book printers, cover designers, distributors, and POD providers.

Visitors often email me with questions not covered by the site. Generally, I try to answer them unless they are too general. Then I send them to my book. The most common question has to do with distributing books.

Q. Are you an author? If so, would you like to tell us something about your books? Do you have any projects under way at the moment you'd like to tell readers about? Where would your work be available?

A. I am an author. All my books are featured on my website. The book I'm best known for is 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. The 6th edition came out in May of 2006.

All my books, reports, databases, etc. can be ordered via Some are also available on and in many bookstores.

I am now working on the Kremer 100 Program.

Q. What are the most common errors new writers of any genre make? Do you have any advice for them?

A. New writers don't read enough in their own genre. Because of that, they fail to meet the expectations of current readers within their genre. The most successful writers in any genre are fans first, writers second.

Q. How can a new author with a book coming out most effectively market that book? Since most agents prefer established authors and most of the larger publishers do not consider unagented authors, what is the best way to break into getting a book published?

A. The most effective way to market your books today is via the Internet. Even that, though, is a big subject. I devote more than 100 pages to the subject in the new edition of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books.

To get a book published, most authors, especially novelists, need an agent. The best way to get an agent is via referral. The second best way is to target agents who have worked with authors you admire within your genre. For a list of 1400+ literary agents with sample titles they've sold, including more than 300 agents who have sold a first novel in the past two years, see my special report on Literary, Foreign, and Subsidiary Rights Agents at

Q. What do you see as the future of POD books?

A. POD books will only become more plentiful. Indeed, all books may someday be produced that way -- when the economy of POD becomes better established. Meanwhile, POD is currently a wonderful tool for testing the market for a new book and for keeping older titles in print. In addition, POD is great for books that are updated frequently such as John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame, which I continually add to.

Q. What do you see as the future of Internet publishers?

A. The future of Internet publishers is extremely rosy. More and more book sales are being made via the Internet. It is an exploding market, especially for smaller publishers, authors, and self-publishers.

Q. Do you see ebooks becoming more popular?

A. Ebooks will become more and more popular. And sell more and more copies, but printed books won't be disappearing for at least another 20 years.

Q. If you were an author of an ebook that would not be coming into print, what would be the main steps you'd take in marketing it?

A. Totally marketing via the Internet, building relationships with webmasters and editors at the top 30 websites for my keywords. I'd work with them to have my content, sales information, and more featured on their websites in an on-going way. All of them would become my affiliates. Etc.

Q. Do you think book reviews and other online promotions help authors connect with readers?

A. Book reviews can help authors connect with readers. Blog and website interviews can do even more.

Q. Do you have any other websites you'd like to tell readers about?

A. I have about 30 websites, but the main ones I've already talked about. Others outside the book marketing area include,, and

Q. What part in book promotion do you think online radio interview shows have? Will this get better or not in the future?

A. Online radio interview shows so far don't have much of an impact on book sales. That will change as some of these shows begin to build a real audience. Right now, though, there are not enough ways for people to discover these online radio shows.

Q. Is there anything you'd like to tell readers about your work, your site or yourself? I see you are holding a seminar on marketing in New Mexico. Do you have others planned? Do you offer seminars online?

A. I don't offer seminars online at this point, but I will be doing something like that as part of my Kremer 100 Program.

I hold Book Marketing Blast-Off Seminars three or four times a year. I'll be setting up more of these and your readers can find out where I'll be speaking and doing seminars by going to any time.


John Kremer, author, 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. Open Horizons, P O Box 2887, Taos, New Mexico 87571; 575-751-3398. Email: Website:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Book Trailers on the Cheap

Martin Bertram, author of Vanity of Vanities, sent me a link to his trailer. According to Martin, "This was very inexpensive for me and I think it turned out well. I got a grad student in graphics/animation who needed a project for his coursework to do it for $50, plus I paid $150 for the graphics/3D models, $75 for a voice actor to do the 3-minute voice track, and $50 for the royalty-free soundtracks. All in all it cost about $325."

Now I don't think that his book trailer is the best one I've ever seen. And his voice talent was not talented. Indeed, the narration devalued the rest of the trailer. But, for the price, it was a decent trailer. I'll be interested to get a report back from Martin later on how whether or not the trailer helped him to sell any books.
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