Saturday, January 29, 2011

Don't Talk CNBC on The Today Show

In reading a recent issue of Financial Planning, James Grubman of wrote about watching The Today Show one day. While watching an interview with a well-known commentator from CNBC, he realized that she was doing an exceptionally good job explaining an esoteric market issue in plain language. As he noted, then:

"I suddenly was struck by the revelation: She knows she's not on CNBC. She's on The Today Show. You don't talk "CNBC" on The Today Show. The CNBC guest knew how to adapt her message for a mainstream, nonprofessional audience.... It was not about her. It was about helping the audience members understand a troubling issue so that they could make some decisions."

I've noticed in reading many news releases that there are quite a few book authors who talk CNBC when they are on The Today Show. They get so caught up in their specialized knowledge that they fail to communicate to an audience that doesn't know as much as they do. It not only happens in news releases. It also happens in books, on TV shows, on radio shows, in speeches, on websites, etc.

When writing your news releases, don't talk CNBC. Talk The Today Show. Even when you are aiming at a professional audience. Keep it simple. Keep it clear. You'll reach a much larger audience that way.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Book Marketing Success: Article Marketing and Blogging

Gail Tern, author of Cure Arthritis: The Ultimate 7-Day Natural Remedy for Arthritis, Gout, and Rheumatism, sent me an email recently where she talked about how she came to write her book and the actions she's has taken so far to promote her book. I thought you'd find her story interesting:

I suffered from a form of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Due to the failure of conventional medicine to remedy my condition, I sought out other treatments. Over the course of my research I not only found a solution for my own ailment, but reams of information and alternative treatments that have worked for sufferers around the world. I captured some of the best documented solutions in my book.

So far, the main thing I have been doing to market my ebook is article marketing. I became a platinum writer over at Ezinearticles the first week I decided to submit there. The only real benefit of being a platinum writer is that your articles get published quicker. I manually submit articles, although I have purchased several automated article distribution solutions. None of them seem to work as well as just manually submitting to a few of the top article directories.

Article marketing has driven some traffic but not an avalanche of visitors. I have noticed however, that since I started a blog a few weeks ago that traffic has also increased. And I have not really promoted the blog at all. But I will soon start offering syndication via RSS feeds. Hopefully this will help. I have also created a video for the website and will be submitting it to the major video sites soon. The thing I want to concentrate on is contacting other bloggers and website owners to offer the book directly to compatible venues.

The book is titled, Cure Arthritis: The Ultimate 7-Day Natural Remedy for Arthritis, Gout, and Rheumatism.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Novel Promotions: 3 Author Success Stories

Here are a few author success stories I shared a few years ago in my Book Marketing Tip of the Week newsletter. They're still relevant today, especially for novelists.

Blog Tour Palooza

The following story came from book publicist Denise Cassino of

I recently got one of my young adult fantasy fiction authors a gig at a local grade school. She sent flyers a week in advance with purchase information. We set it for the last day before Thanksgiving break. There were 56 students and their parents there for a feast. Afterward, she did a book reading at which she offered a writing contest to the kids. Each student writes a story using her book's main characters. The teacher chooses the top 5 and sends them to the author who picks the best one. That winning student's name will be used for a character in her next book and will get to appear on the author's radio show! Way to keep the kids interested!


The following story was sent to me by a reader, Jessica James, author of Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia:

Every author trying to market a book has probably heard these words of advice: Tie your book to a current news event. If you write fiction, that is sometimes hard to do, but by no means impossible.

Historical fiction author Jessica James found a way to connect her Civil War novel with the hoopla surrounding the recent presidential election by conducting a poll on her website asking readers to choose the literary character they thought had the qualities to make a great president.

One of the characters from
Shades of Gray ended up coming in third, but that was just icing on the cake. What mattered was that many newspapers ran portions of the press release and online sites linked back to Jessica's website for the full story. A few days after the election her historical fiction novel was in the top 10 on Amazon in the Romance/Historical category.

Atticus Finch from
To Kill a Mockingbird won her presidential poll by a wide margin. The full results of the poll are still listed at her website:, and a full story can be found on her Civil War blog at


The following story was sent to me by a reader, Doreen Orion:

I saw your newsletter note about the author in Hawaii. What I did on my book tour was contact hotels near my signing (as well as the one I was staying in, of course) and speak to the concierge. They are always being asked by their guests what there is to do in town. I told them about the signing and asked for their fax number. Then, I faxed them a flyer.

My book,
Queen of the Road, went into 6th printing after only 3 months out. When I thanked my editor at Doubleday, she said, “I think you only have yourself to thank.”

John's comment: An active author is the greatest blessing a publisher can have. Active authors sell books.

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