Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Holidays from an Independent Bookstore

Here's a too-long holiday wish from Vroman's Bookstore, a great independent bookstore in Pasadena, California.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Freelance Cover Designs via a Contest

Need something designed? A book cover, a logo, business cards, a website?

99designs ( is a website that connects clients needing design work such as logos, business cards, or websites to a community of 23,668 designers.

Connections between clients and designers is conducted via contests. You select the winning design and give the designer the award.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reader Question: Getting Reviews for a Novel

Reader Question: How can I have my book reviewed by reputable reviewers? I am The 2008 recipient of the Schopenhauer International Literary Award for my novel The Raving Eunuch Monks. The Schopenhauer Studies Program released a press release (attached) announcing my selection, however I want to be more proactive in promoting the novel. I published through Booksurge, but I do not have much faith in their marketing packages.

John's Answer: Well, you are in good company with the award. Unfortunately, most media are not that aware of the Schopenhauer award. Yet, the other recipients of the award could get you attention.

How do you get your book reviewed? It's tough when you are POD published via BookSurge because you won't have much bookstore distribution and, without that, most reviewers won't be interested in reviewing your book.

But, of course, the first step to getting reviews from reputable media is to send them a review copy along with several good reasons why they should pay attention to your novel. The Schopenhauer award is one reason. What's another?

Also, by the way, your cover needs to be a fiction cover. It's not now. It looks nonfiction, academic, and boring.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New York Times Tries YouTube: You Too?

On Tuesday, a full-page ad in the New York Times newspaper announced the debut of its YouTube series of Conversations featuring famous people talking about their favorite sections of the newspaper. Even with a full page ad in the NYT, however, the videos featuring famous people still have only a few hundred to a few thousand views.

For example, the following video with John Leguizamo has so far had 783 views (at least 3 are mine) in three days. In five years since this article was original posted, this video has received a little over 4,000 views. And that's with the power of the New York Times and the celebrity of John Leguizamo!

Why do I bring this up? Because many of you are putting videos up on YouTube and expecting an avalanche of views.

Well, consider this: If the New York Times can only get a few hundred views of some of their videos after a FULL PAGE ad, celebrity spokespeople, and a key feature in the Marketing Vox ezine, how do you expect your video to get views?

I've seen other major companies put videos up on YouTube and declare victory with a few thousand views, but personally (and professionally) I don't think a YouTube video is successful without half a million views.

And if you want that many views, you have to do more than simply put a video up. And do more than pay for a full-page ad in the New York Times. You have to learn how to use the viral power of the Internet.
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