Saturday, May 30, 2009

Author Persistence Pays Off Big

Here is a story of author persistence I was sent by Claudine Wolk, author of It Gets Easier ... and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers . . .

While trying to get my book published through traditional routes, I developed a relationship with an agent. She liked the book but she wasn’t willing to take me on as a client. I asked why. She told me that my platform wasn’t big enough.

(I was pretty psyched that she was returning my emails at this point because her correspondence was more that I had received from any of the others in the publishing industry outside of form rejection letters)

I asked what an author platform was.

“Become an expert,” she said, “Get published in newspapers and magazines, create a blog following, and do some speaking engagements.”

After her response, I pushed my luck with one last question and asked, “If I do all of these things, would you consider me as a client?”

“You bet,” was her answer.

I took this little bit of encouragement and decided that I could wait no longer for my message to get out there. I decided to create a publishing company and self-publish the book. Throughout the process, however, I took the agent’s advice. I wrote. I connected on the Internet. I booked speaking gigs. I became an expert. As my book came into being, I did one more thing, I stayed in touch with the agent.

When my book cover was done, I sent her an email with the cover attached, “What do you think?” I asked.

When my title was decided upon, I sent another email, “How do you like the title?”

When my book was completed, I sent her a copy of the book.

Finally, after I sent her an email showing my Amazon sales ranking, she finally said the words I had longed to hear, “Are you looking for representation to have this booked picked up by a publisher?”

The rest is history. I’ve been with Verna Dreisbach with Dreisbach Literary Management ever since. Six months into our relationship and Ms. Dreisbach and I were signing a bona fide publishing contract with AMACOM books!

My book, It Gets Easier! and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, will be released by AMACOM in June 2009.

After I had signed with her agency, I asked Verna why she had finally decided to take me on as a client.

“You did everything I asked you to do,” she said. “You would be surprised how rarely that happens with authors.”

This sounds like something I’ve read before by a famous book marketing guru. What’s that guy’s name?

-- Besides being the author of It Gets Easier ... and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, Claudine Wolk is also the website owner of and a blogger at

Make Money Doing What You Love: CNN Interviews Gary Vaynerchuk

CNN interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk about his upcoming book as well as the ten-book deal he got from HarperCollins:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friending Libraries: Why Libraries Could Become Nodes on People's Social Networks

Here's an interesting slide show on why libraries could play an increasing role in social networks. Wish the slide show had sound. So quiet. But interesting stuff here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

7 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Your Book

The following article was provided to me by Hobie Hobart, Partner, Dunn+Associates Design for Authors, Speakers and Experts (more details at the end of this article).

As an author or self-publisher, you already know what a book can do for you:

• Position you as the leading industry expert
• Establish your credibility
• Effortlessly attract your target audience
• Set you apart with an instantly recognizable brand
• Win the attention of publishers and distributors
• Consistently win more—and higher-paying—speaking and consulting gigs
• Create multiple streams of income with profit-building products ...

but none of that matters if you are missing the one most important marketing tool: a stellar book cover.


— Bookstore browsers spend an average of 8 seconds looking at the front cover and 15 seconds studying the back cover before deciding whether to buy your book? If your book cover doesn’t instantly hook their interest and eyeballs, and then convey the right message about you, your chance to make a sale is gone.

— And you don’t just lose the sale. You lose a potentially long-term, highly profitable customer. Most authors, speakers and consultants use their books as the introductory product in a funnel of increasingly expensive products and services. When prospects don’t buy your book, you lose the $19.95 sale—and the thousands of dollars they could have spent on your audio programs, seminars, and coaching/consulting services.

— Bookstore distributors carry book covers only—not books. How shocking is that?

— A whopping 75% of booksellers say that the cover is the most important element of the book.

— John Willig, president and literary agent of Literary Services Inc., told me about his agency’s “3-Second Rule” which they use in evaluating any book submission. If the cover doesn’t grab them in 3 seconds, they pass on it. Only 3 seconds!

Do you want a front cover and book spine which will practically demand that readers pick up your book for a peek inside, with back cover that captures their imagination and piques their interest, so your book goes straight to the cash register, not back on the shelf?

Avoiding these 7 COSTLY MISTAKES will result in a totally unique look and feel for your book which instantly appeals to the readers, clients, and gives you the results you’re after.

Costly Mistake #1

You consult with someone who’s had success with his or her own book. And you follow exactly what she did to a T. But what worked for her lone book won’t work with yours. Because every audience is different, and…what appeals to one group of people could easily turn off the next.

Costly Mistake #2

You may have heard some experts say that your book design, specifically the cover, doesn’t matter because customers care about the content, not how it’s packaged. Although content is important, books are different than other products. Most book buyers experience the book before they buy. And if everything about your book — from the graphics and colors used on the cover to the font and format used inside — doesn’t combine into a siren song which that mesmerizes book browsers, they won’t buy. True, you can easily put together a campaign to hit #1 on any online bookstore within a 24-hour period. But that’s fleeting, and artificial success. If you want to be a true bestseller, your book must be able to sell over the long haul.

Costly Mistake #3

You try to figure everything out on your own and end up making horrendous mistakes simply because you don’t know any better. For example, you seek input from people you know, like your spouse, friends and co-workers. They care for you and want what’s best for you, so it’s safe to trust their advice, right? Wrong! In reality, their opinions are useless. They aren’t your target audience so what they think, well, it simply doesn’t matter. If you develop your book to make your friends and family happy, you end up with a book which won’t appeal to your buying audience in the slightest.

Costly Mistake #4

Your hard work and study gives you an accurate understanding of the steps involved in the book publishing process but you don’t fully understand the timing involved. And because you don’t know how long things will take, you end up missing prime bookselling opportunities. For example, a shocking number of authors think they can go to press in November to bring out a book in time for Christmas sales.

Costly Mistake #5

You want control over your book, so you hire lots of individual vendors to be involved in your book’s creation and marketing. But with so many unrelated, inexperienced people adding their creative inspirations to your project, you end up with separate marketing pieces which don’t tie together in look or feel much like having a closet crammed with shirts, pants and jackets, but no complete outfits to wear.

Costly Mistake #6

You want your book designed and published good, fast and cheap. The problem is you can have only two of these three. The fast-and-cheap combo is very popular right now but it produces substandard quality and cookie-cutter looks — not a winning combination if you want to sell a sizeable number of books or if you care how the book influences your brand. You get a limited number of templates to choose from for your book cover. And if the company you select is successful at selling their services to other price-sensitive authors, there will be even MORE books which look like yours! Plus, these book production factories have no time in the schedule or room in the budget to slow down and pay attention to quality or your brand image. The bottom line is when you pay dime store publishing prices, you need to expect dime store quality books.

Costly Mistake #7

You don’t have the time or interest to handle the publishing details, so you enlist a friend, relative or a local designer to help. But that person doesn’t have experience in the book industry. You end up sinking several hundred dollars (at least) in a book design only to realize too late that distributors won’t take your book because the design doesn’t meet industry standards. Then you have to start over, pay double, and still end up with a garage full of dusty, unsold books. Here the bottom line is that you wrote a book and published it without knowing the industry’s guidelines—and you have spent time and money with no positive results.

About the Author: Dunn+Associates helps bestselling authors and first-time authors. Their mission is to help you avoid these 7 Costly Mistakes. Call Hobie now at 715-634-4857 or email him at to schedule a free 30-minute consultation as a gift to friends of John Kremer. Hurry because this $350 value gift is yours FREE for a limited time.

For more details about their services, see

Copyright (c) 2009 by Dunn+Associates Design and Creative Services for Advertising

iPhone Apps: Big Deal - Are You In?

In March Sourcebooks unveiled their first iPhone app, Most Baby Names, based on the #1 bestselling baby names book, The Complete Book of Baby Names.

In early May Sourcebooks got approval from Apple for two more iPhone apps:

* Gruber’s Shortest SAT (, from our Gruber’s Complete SAT Guide, consisting of 18 questions in Verbal, Math, and Writing; and

* The Essential Law Dictionary iPhone app (

"The most important thing to remember is that you’re not actually in the book publishing business. You’re in the business of building authors’ careers and connecting those authors to readers. Be amazing! Books change lives." — Dominique Raccah, publisher, Sourcebooks

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't Wait to Be Perfect

Perfect is the enemy of good enough. When your product or service is good enough, get it out, because cash flows when you start shipping. You’ll also learn what your customers truly want you to fix. It’s a trade-off: your reputation versus cash flow, so you can’t ship pure crap. But you can’t wait for perfection either. — Guy Kawasaki, entrepreneur and blogger

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customer

Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski, authors of The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back, made a neat little video (not a viral video, just a neat little video) to draw attention to their book.

It's short (about a minute). Enjoy. They have a good message: Love your customers.

TrafficCafe's Guide to Getting Votes Like American Idol

Here's another great video from Jonathan Gunson. It's titled: Twitter TV Special: 100 million telephone votes proves the extraordinary traffic attraction power of American Idol . . .

Jonathan links

Jonathan's traffic blueprint sold over 347,000 copies of his book. His free download reveals how to bring a flood of traffic to your website. Go to to download his free report.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two Great Music Videos from Around the World

Stand by Me is one of my favorite songs ever, and this video version is tops. Incredible footage. Very moving. Take the time to watch it. You'll be glad you did.

Playing For Change: "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

And here's another by the Playing For Change people, called One Love. Neat. Also worth a viewing.

Playing For Change: "One Love" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Also check out Chanda Mama: and A Change Is Going to Come: and War/No More Trouble:

I liked all of the above performances, but Stand by Me is still my favorite. Thanks Playing for Change!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ten Million Eyeballs: Red-Hot Special Offer: Extended Until Wednesday noon

After paying taxes in April, I've run into a cash-flow problem and need some quick cash, so I'm offering my Ten Million Eyeballs online marketing course in a RED-HOT SPECIAL. For the next few days (until Wednesday, May 20th, at noon), you can sign up for the Ten Million Eyeballs basic course for only $197. But you have to act now.

Read all about the program here:

To sign up for the Red-Hot Ten Million Eyeballs Special, click here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The 30-Day Twitter Challenge

Recommend this blog post in a tweet, by clicking here
Note: You can edit the tweet before you send it out.'s website Alexa rank was 169,425 in late January. On May 22nd,'s Alexa rank was 81,087! That 88,000 improvement was due to my Twitter activity.

As a bonus, according to, 24.7% of the visitors to now come directly from Twitter.

If you have not yet joined Twitter, do it today. And be sure to follow me there via

Here are a few of the things that I've been doing on Twitter:

1. I actively sought to follow interesting people, especially authors, publishers, publicists, and Internet marketers. Many of them, in turn, followed me. I now have over 9,500 followers.

2. I welcome every follower with a link to my Twitter tools pages:

3. I post at least 10 tweets per day. I always try to include some useful tips. Here are 126 Ways to Tweet:

4. I include three or four great quotations each day. These get retweeted more than anything else. People like to retweet quotes.

5. I retweet other people. That's one of the ways to build relationships via Twitter.

6. I actually read the tweets of other people. I don't spend a lot of time doing that, but whenever I scan the tweets of the people I'm following, I always discover interesting websites and blogs to visit.

7. I visit those websites and blog posts. I've written about 20 or 30 comments in the past month.

8. I answer people's DM and @johnkremer questions and concerns. Participating in such conversations is essential to good relationships.

9. About one in ten posts might point to a blog post or web page update at

That's the essence of my Twitter activity. It takes about 30 minutes per day to manage my Twitter profiles. The key benefit of this activity has been the incredible jump in the Alexa rank for an 85,000 jump in less than four months.

Now, if you don't regularly check Alexa rankings, you might not know how incredible that jump is. A 85,000 jump when your site ranks in the millions is nothing, but such a jump in the top 200,000 is unusual.

Alexa ranks reflect how many people are visiting a website. A jump like has seen is incredibly dramatic. It means many more people are visiting Prior to my renewed Twitter activity in late January, was hovering in the 160,000s for many months. No significant movement despite my other online marketing activities. The 85,000 jump has occurred over the past four months with the only change in online activity being the points noted above regarding my Twitter activity.

This is why I've been encouraging people to join Twitter and get involved. I don't know if you'll get the same results, but I provide you with all the tools at and linked pages.

Why not take a 30-day Twitter challenge? Join, spend a little time each day on Twitter, follow interesting people, make some new friends, grow your business (or reputation as an author).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Six Ways Authors Can Promote on Facebook

This guest article from Dana Lynn Smith is part of the virtual book tour for her new book, The Savvy Book Marketer's Guide to Successful Social Marketing:

Many Facebook users never venture beyond their profile, but there are several other ways to gain visibility on Facebook. Here are some suggestions for getting the most from this powerful networking tool:

1. Be sure to take full advantage of the promotional opportunities on your profile page. Just below your photo is a small box where you can enter a concise description of what you do, including the title of your book.

The About Me box (under Personal Information) is a good place to describe your book and your business. In the Contact Information section you can enter multiple website addresses.

Post your book cover in your photo album or other application and display it in the left column of your profile.

Your Facebook profile must be registered in your real name. If you create a profile for your book or other non-human entity, you risk having your account canceled.

2. Facebook Pages are similar to personal profiles, but they are created for business use. You can create a page for your book, your business, or even one of the characters in your novel. People join a page by becoming a fan. More info:

You may want to offer an incentive to join (or at least visit) your page, such as a free download, a coupon for one of your products, or a contest. Another way to attract fans is to set your page up as an information hub, offering links and resources.

3. Groups are a great place to meet people who share your interests and find new friends. Search for groups by entering keywords in the Search box at the top of the page and then clicking on the Groups tab. You can gain visibility on a group page by introducing yourself on the wall, participating in discussions, and posting your book cover, photos or videos.

Forming your own group can also be beneficial. Be sure to encourage discussions and offer valuable information such as free downloads and links to resources. You can direct message the entire group.

4. Joining relevant events is a good way to get visibility because you can write on the event wall and post photos. You can also promote your own live or virtual events by hosting an event. Info:

5. Facebook displays pay-per-click ads on most pages on the site, and ads can be targeted by age, gender, location, education level, relationship status, or keywords in people's profiles. Info:

6. In the Facebook Marketplace you can post a listing to sell your book. There's no charge for this service, so it's worth an experiment. Info:

-- Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketer Guides. Website:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Incredible Video

The following is one of those wonderful videos that really knock your socks off, making you wonder: How did they do this? It's a little over 4 minutes, but you'll be glad you watched it. Fascinating to say the least.

Notebook from Evelien Lohbeck on Vimeo

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Learn How to Manifest Your Desires in 16 Minutes Per Day

How would it feel to know that there was a simple 16 minute a day process that could bring you in alignment with your desired outcome -- in such a way that whatever you really want actually starts showing up?

Are the things you're looking to attract important enough for you to be able to squeeze in a simple exercise that completely energizes you and actually leaves you feeling so connected with your desired outcome that you can practically taste it?

Dov Baron has spent the past 25 years teaching people from all walks of life how to apply a simple formula called The Equation For Manifestation™. Whether you've heard of Dov or not, he is probably the best kept secret in the personal development field. His ability to clarify the science of the mind, show you exactly how to bypass your ego mind and tap into your own conscious manifesting ability is amazing.

Over the next 7 days, Dov's going to give you a video course on the X-Factor which is one of the missing ingredients in most people's manifestation process. And it won't cost you a single penny.

If you haven't been getting the kind of results that blow your hair back, that's all about to change for you. Right here, right now.

When you finally see Dov's video mini-course, you'll be excited at how easy it is to use and how powerfully effective it is. Apart from the fact that Dov is an amazing teacher, he really cares about you getting results!

Go watch his first free lesson by clicking here:

The T-Mobile Dance: Another Fun Time

Here's another fun video with 11.5 million views in less than four months. Neat. Enjoy.

Thanks to @GarethHopkins for the recommendation.

Something to Brighten Your Day - Enjoy

Discovered this video via Tellman Knudsen . . .

I hope you enjoy it.

Sound of Music: Over 3 million views.
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