Friday, March 30, 2007

News Release: How to Create a New York Times Bestseller

I tested out a news release service today, one that offers free online PR releases. You can read my press release here: How to Create a New York Times Bestseller.

You can create and promote your own free online press release at as well.

I also joined and posted a news release there, but I'm not sure if it will be posted. Apparently someone there reviews news releases before they get posted, so it's not automatic. Check out Book Catcher.

For a list of other free online PR services, see

Thursday, March 29, 2007 Social Networking News

If you are interested in new social networking sites and changes to existing sites such as MySpace, YouTube, etc., you should check out It's probably the best blog about social networking and what's happening in Web 2.0. Great resource.

Today, in their MashTracker section, they featured Zaadz, a social network of people who want to change the world, which just received a major investment from John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods.

If you are into social change, check out Zaadz as well. It could be a great resource if you publish new thought, self-help, or spiritual books. Note: It's a slow site to load. You will need a fast Internet connection.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Book Marketing Blast-Off Seminar: April 20 to 22 in Los Angeles

Due to popular demand, I've set up another of my 3-day Book Marketing Blast-Off Seminars. Here are the details:

Dates: April 20 to 22, 2007, Friday through Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location: Marina del Rey Hotel, 13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey, California

If you want to know what you will get out of attending this seminar, see

To sign up, visit the home page of

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Virtual Blog Tours: How to Do One

Here's a comment I made on The Book Marketing Network when someone asked a question about virtual blog tours.

A virtual blog tour is essentially a set of blog interviews or reviews. To set one up, you contact blogs related to your book as well as book blogs that review books and/or interview authors. Ask them if they'd like a review copy of your book and/or would like to interview your book. Tell them why your book or author would interest their audience.

Many blog interviews are done via email where you answer a set of questions and email them back to the blog owner who posts the interview on his or her blog.

By giving this procedure a fancy name, it seems more complicated than it really is. Now, some blog tours feature the same interview on more than one blog, and that is certainly a great thing because it means less work for you. There are a number of blogs that are happy to feature duplicate content since their visitors don't overlap a lot.

Of course, for a blog tour to work, you really need to locate blogs that are actually read. To locate blogs, use Google blog search or Technorati search.

Blog Tour Palooza

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Founders at Work: How to Read a Book

In a recent blog post (, Guy Kawasaki wrote a great review of Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. I like the way he reads books. See his copy of the book in the illustration below. The yellow stickies on top are ideas for his next book. The yellow stickies out the side are ideas for his blog.

In his review, he tells 15 stories from the book. Here's one:

James Currier (Tickle). “When we started the company, we wanted to change the world, and we had all these tests on the site to help people with their lives. We had the anxiety test, the parenting, relationship, and communications tests. And no one came. … ’Let’s do a test for what kind of breed of dog you are.’ … We put it online and 8 days later we had a million people trying to enter our site.”

The lesson to learn from his story is simple: Make your news releases or promotions interesting and unusual. We have all seen dozens of tests on parenting and relationships, but few of us have ever taken a test on what breed of dog we are. No wonder millions flocked to the site.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Are You Twittering?

I just discovered an interesting website with lots of activity. It's called, and it is designed to keep friends and other interested parties informed about what you are doing -- especially via cell phone text messages (which you can access either via the website, IM, or your cell phone.

I'm going to use it to let people who become my followers or friends (two categories in Twitter) -- to let them know whenever I update a page on my website. As I Twitter, the RSS feed will also be sent to my website at (at the bottom of the page).

But the thing that I think is going to be revolutionary is the ability to let people know where you are at any time during a convention like BookExpo America. I've set up a page on Twitter to update people for BookExpo. This way people will be able to find me wherever I am on the floor of the convention or later during the day. Not just find me, but also track anyone else who joins the BookExpo page as a friend. I'm hoping to set up a private timeline just for the event.

If you want to see how this works, you can go to my twitter page at (I decided
to use a nickname so I sound cooler :))

If you want to see what a private timeline might look like, see the one they set up for SXSW (a music festival currently going on in Austin, Texas, where a lot of cool music, movie, and technology people are this weekend). Go to

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Do You Walk Your Talk?

When the LBN E-Lert ran the news story about Al Gore's home in Tennessee using 20 times the average household energy use (and actually increasing its energy use in the past few years), its readers complained at a ratio of 10 to 1 that the ezine shouldn't be attacking a hero. But all it did was repeat a news story reported elsewhere.

Personally, I think Al Gore should walk his talk. How can he go around lecturing other people about decreasing their energy use when he hasn't even done it in his own home? That really is the most important thing he could be doing for the environment.

I think that anyone who campaigns for the environment should be doing something in his or her own life to reflect that. I've been cutting my already limited energy use for the past five years by keeping my thermostat at 55 at night during the winter, not using air conditioning in the summer, and using the new low-wattage light bulbs in all my fixtures. Plus I buy as much of my food locally as I can and reuse or recycle everything I can.

It always offends me to see Hollywood celebrities talk about environmental issues and then watch them still driving around in Hummers, flying all over the place for multiple vacations, buying or building huge houses, and doing other conspicuous consumption activities. I believe people should walk their talk.

And I don't think you can be environmentally responsible by buying energy credits. That's a false ecological economy. If we are going to be serious about global warming, we must begin with our own individual actions and not just participate in grand but essentially meaningless gestures.

Even in my business I'm cutting down on energy costs by providing more and more of my products as downloadable content rather than paper-based products. That saves a lot of energy in paper production, recycling, transportation, packaging, etc.

What are you doing to walk your talk?

If you are going to write a book about a subject, no matter what the subject, make sure you live what you write. You can't hold other people to a standard you don't even live by yourself.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Book Marketing Network

If you'd like to join a new social network for book authors, self-publishers, and book publishers, check out Powered by, this network provides blogs, downloadable book trailers, photos, and -- most important of all -- forums for discussing and sharing tips, resources, success stories, and questions and answers.

I set this network up for all of us to use to share what we do with other book authors, publishers, and related people. Please join in and share your photos, blogging tips, success stories, book trailers, questions and answers.

Quotes in Newsweek Magazine

This week Newsweek magazine is asking readers to submit a newsworthy quote you like (along with its source). They'll print their favorites and credit the reader who sent it in.

If you have a newsworthy quote (and a reliable source for the quote), go to to find out how to submit the quote to Newsweek.

It's one way to get noticed by people who read Newsweek.
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