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Authors: Don’t Let a Rejection Letter Get You Down!

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Authors: Don’t Let a Rejection Letter Get You DownGetting a rejection letter hurts. I know because I deal with authors all the time, and I have seen first-hand how it can take its toll on the confidence and motivation of an author.

The harsh truth is most writers will face some form of rejection throughout their writing career, and even some of the greatest writers of our time had to deal with rejection letters.

I have put together a list of well-known authors who were rejected by publishers but went on to become immensely successful. Some of the names on this list may really surprise you.

1. J. K. Rowling: A few years ago, J.K. Rowling posted rejection letters on Twitter that she received for her first novel, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’, a book written under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. “I wasn’t going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen,” says Rowling. The book was eventually published and the author then went on to write ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, which was also initially rejected, this time by 12 publishers. When the book was finally published, however, it sold more than 120 million copies. The famous Harry Potter series has now sold more than 500 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling series of all time!

2. Stephen King: Stephen King was told: “We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.” for his book debut novel ‘Carrie’, which was rejected by 30 publishers. Later in his career, these rejections would inspire him to write some of his best-selling works. In his book ‘On Writing’, Stephen King says he pinned every single rejection letter he had received to his wall with a nail, “By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” Today, the best-selling author has published 63 books and sold more than 350 million copies.

3. Vladimir Nabokov: Over a five-year period, forty editors declined the offer to publish ‘Lolita’. In his bookThe Making of a Bestseller’, Arthur T Vanderbilt mentions that one publisher said to Vladimir: “I recommend that it be buried under a stone for a thousand years.” Yet when the book was eventually published it became a literary sensation.

4. Jack Canfield: Canfield’s book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” got rejected by 144 publishers! The book went on to become a bestseller. As of date, the series has sold more than 500 million books. Canfield said: “If we had given up after 100 publishers, I likely would not be where I am now. I encourage you to reject rejection. If someone says no, just say NEXT!”.

5. Dr Seuss: For his first story, ‘And to think I saw it on Mulberry street’, Dr Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers. “Too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling”, one letter said. Luckily, the author did not give up and continued to write. Today, his books have made over 300 million sales, and the author is considered one of the best-selling fiction authors of all time.

It is easy for writers to wallow in self-doubt and pity after receiving rejection letters from publishers or agents. That fear can be powerful, and it can deter writers from doing what they love. Sometimes, it can even be the reason they give up on their writing dreams altogether. I hope this list can help inspire you to keep writing and not give up.

It’s also easy to forget that writing a book is an incredible accomplishment, and the undertaking itself deserves great commendation. Receiving rejection letters doesn’t mean your book has failed or that it won’t succeed. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the chances of your book becoming successful. If you have finished writing your book, make sure it’s properly edited and proofread before sending it out to publishers. Editing, copyediting, and proofreading can truly make your book shine.

Once your book has finished the editing stage, the next step is to market it appropriately. This stage can prove pivotal for success. Check out my article on how you can generate buzz around your book to help your book get the attention it deserves. Another important element of book marketing that is overlooked at times is the author website. I have previously compiled a list of top author websites which you can use as inspiration to design your own.

The Bottom Line: Receiving a rejection letter shouldn’t be the reason you give up on your writing dreams. Be inspired by the successful authors above who used rejection as fuel to keep going.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com, or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award-winning book: www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

How to Get Your Book Adapted into a Screenplay

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

How to Get Your Book Adapted into a ScreenplayMost authors hope that one day their book will be adapted into a movie or a series on Netflix or HBO. I’ve never met an author who could not envision their book on the big screen. As a book publicist, I’ve worked with authors whose book was optioned by Hollywood after we obtained a higher profile with publicity or when they won an award. The question is how does an author go about intentionally getting that movie deal?

There are numerous paths authors can take to get their book adapted into a movie. I recently spoke with two screenplay writers, Oliver Tuthill and Tara Walker, and they offered terrific advice for authors interested in pursuing this path.

Scott Lorenz: Can you give me examples of books that were adapted into screenplays and made it onto the movie screen?

Oliver Tuthill and Tara Walker: Robert Bloch wrote a novel in 1960 called Psycho, and Alfred Hitchcock had it adapted into a screenplay. It became the most famous movie of Hitchcock’s career. Louisa May Alcott’s novel, Little Women, has been made into feature films on three different occasions. Most recently, in 2019, Greta Gerwig adapted it into a screenplay, and the popular film created a resurgence of interest in the story.

Another well-known adaptation of a novel was Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code written for the screen by Akiva Goldsman which did 760 million at the box office worldwide. George R.R. Martin’s novels, Game of Thrones, became one of the biggest television series hits ever, when adapted for television. One of the most popular novelists alive is Stephen King, and screenplay writer Frank Darabont adapted King’s novella into the Shawshank Redemption, which was a monumental success. These are just some of the examples of writers who have been very successful, and this is a difficult endeavor.

Scott Lorenz: What kind of strategy can a book author use to have a book adapted into a screenplay?

Oliver Tuthill and Tara Walker: There is a method that every writer can follow that can allow for the opportunity for your book to be turned into a screenplay, then a film.

First, you do need to have a finished book, and assuming you do, your next step would be to find a professional screenplay writer with whom you could work to adapt your novel into script form. Professional screenplay writers are highly skilled professionals, who have spent many years, if not decades, honing their craft. Once you find a screenplay writer to work with you, the author must realize that a screenplay is going to be approximately 90 to 100 minutes in length, so it is impossible to cover every dramatic event in your book. The screenplay writer will work with you to include the highlights of your book to make it accessible as a cinematic experience, to be viewed within an hour and a half to two hours.

Scott Lorenz: Let’s just say that you have hired a screenplay writer to adapt your book into a screenplay. Now what?

Oliver Tuthill and Tara Walker: If you’re lucky, you might have hired a screenplay writer who also works within the industry as a film producer. In this case, the producer can represent your screenplay and try to find a production company who would be interested in producing it. Most successful screenplay writers are represented by a literary agent in Hollywood, with whom they can submit the screenplay. Then, their agent will submit the screenplays to production companies who are constantly looking for new screenplays to produce into feature films.

Most producers looking for new screenplays are much more likely to produce scripts that have been adapted from a book. Another option furthering your screenplay toward being produced, would be to enter it into film festival competitions. A producer could see it in this venue and might like it enough to option the screenplay from the author. An example of this was when writer Evan Daugherty submitted his script, Snow White & the Huntsman, to the Script Pipeline script competition. His script won the competition, and as a result, he sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3.25 million.

It was one of the biggest studio spec sales of all time, and its success turned Evan into one of the most sought-after writers in Hollywood. The film was also very successful and has grossed $450 million worldwide.

Scott Lorenz: Can my book authors expect to get paid over 3 million dollars when selling their screenplays to movie studios?

Oliver Tuthill and Tara Walker: It is possible, but you would need a very good sales agent to help you close the deal. Also, a bidding war between film companies would be an ideal situation for the writer to make more money. As an example, Joe Eszterhas, who wrote Basic Instinct, sold his spec script for 3 million to Carolco Pictures. A spec script is a screenplay that an author writes without receiving payment upfront. Bill Marsilii and Terry Rossio were paid 5 million for their script, Deja Vu, which was also a spec script.

Scott Lorenz: This sounds exciting! How can people get in touch with you if they want help adapting their books into screenplays?

Oliver Tuthill and Tara Walker: We can be contacted through our website at: https://bit.ly/BestScriptDoctor

For authors, investing in book marketing and book publicity can be a great way to help generate interest in your book and turn it into a film. I’ve also previously written on producers offering author tips for film adaptation and how you can get a Hollywood producer interested in your book.

I hope the interview and articles on my blog can inspire you to pursue film adaptation. Who knows, maybe your book can be the next big hit!

Bottom Line: If you believe your book has the potential to be made into a movie then take action!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com, or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new book: www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

5 Books to Help You Become a Better Writer

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

5 Books to Help You Become a Better WriterAs a book publicist, I’m frequently asked to give advice on writing a book. The truth is, there are so many elements that can make a book successful—but one of the most important is that it be written well.

Writing well is the goal of every writer—regardless of where they are in their writing journey. It is also a skill that requires continuous practice. Even published authors continuously work to perfect their craft.

It can be hard to decide what advice is most relevant when so many books have been published on the topic. That said, reading books on the art of writing can sometimes be more helpful than an entire college writing course. The five books that I’ve listed below reveal the nature of writing life and the art of writing well in intimate detail. They offer everything from grammar rules to advice on publishing a book to personal narratives as they teach the ins and outs of writing and what it means to be a writer.

1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. This memoir is a brilliant graphic tale of King’s life, and like all his stories, it does not lack imagination. The book is an invitation behind the scenes to his writing and career. It features moments that shaped King as an author and the various lessons he acquired from decades of practice and publication. It is a masterclass for aspiring writers.

2. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. The Elements of Style is considered the gold standard on writing. Strunk and White outline basic linguistic and stylistic rules and instructions on how to write clearly and concisely. They also cover common mistakes that writers make and how to avoid them. This book is a classic for a reason.

3. On Writing by Ernest Hemingway. While Hemingway never wrote a treatise on the art of writing, he left behind passages in letters, articles, and books with opinions and advice on writing. In 1984, Larry W. Phillips compiled these into a book. On Writing is a collection of writing advice from one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. Hemingway gives us a glimpse into the psyche and mental preparation of a writer and a clear definition of the difference between good and bad writing. The book is essential reading for any aspiring writer.

4. Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg. In this book, Verlyn Klinkenborg challenges writers to forget everything they have ever been taught about writing. The author uses a poetic prose style to make the point that the sentence itself is the most essential element of writing, and each sentence should do its share of the work.

5. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. In this delightfully witty and humorous piece on writing and family life, Lamott addresses the difficulties of writing and getting published. Bird by Bird is an anecdotal work full of wry observations about life and writing. Anne’s lessons are those she has shared in workshops over the years as she covers what she’s learned through trial and error. Bird by Bird is a must-read, for aspiring fiction writers especially.

Today, many books and courses are available to assist writers on their writing journey. Authors have abundant writing resources at their disposal to help them hone their writing skills. I’ve previously written on how editing and proofreading can make your writing shine—and on the power and art of brevity for authors.  If you don’t want to read a book, you can watch the Masterclass courses on writing and receive author advice from some of the best writers of our day. There is a great masterclass by James Patterson on how to write a bestselling book.

The Bottom Line: Regardless of how long you’ve been writing, you can glean tips and techniques from authors who have succeeded in their field. Learn from them.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com, or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning book: www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

Authors, Are You in a Writing Rut? Here’s 5 Ways to Get Your Mojo Back!

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Most authors I work with are highly motivated and driven. Yet, every now and then even the most prolific authors run into a wall.

Authors, Are You in a Writing Rut? Here’s 5 Ways to Get Your Mojo Back!As a book publicist, I’ve helped many authors fix a current book, focus on their next book, given inspiration, direction or sometimes just ‘pushed’ a bit to move things along.

“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”  E.B. White

Most writers have goals they hope to achieve, but sometimes a lack of motivation can impede their progress. I understand that writing is hard. It’s something almost every writer struggles with – even some of the greats often did.

If you’re waiting for motivation to start writing, you might be waiting a long time because the motivation to write is fickle. You need to change the way you think about writing.

I’ve put together these five remedies that can help you stay motivated:

  1. Daily repetition and routine. In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami mentions that when he is writing a novel he gets up at 4 am every morning and works for five to six hours. He keeps this routine every single day without variation.
    If you’re an aspiring writer, you have to dig deep and find the drive to write every single day. Repetition is essential for forming daily habits. It helps to set time aside for writing each day and to stick to it. Writing needs to fit into your life in a way that suits your circumstances. Commitments in your life like school, work, and hobbies will fill up your whole day if you let them, so it’s necessary to commit to a regular time where you just sit down and write. The key is to write consistently – only with repetition will you be able to make it part of your routine.
  2. Read something different like Poetry or a Business book. Reading will help turn on your creative engine and provide a source of motivation for your own writing. How often have you read a good piece of work or come across a beautifully written passage and thought to yourself, I would love to write like that. Good writing by accomplished writers can be deeply inspiring.
  3. Remember why you started. All writers write for a reason, whether it’s to express themselves, create something meaningful, help others, or entertain. The purpose behind the writing drives the writer to produce meaningful pieces of work. Periodically ask yourself why you want to write – this can help remind you of your writing goals and why it’s important to you.
  4. Do something exciting. Take a hot air balloon ride; take surfing lessons, go sailing on a barefoot cruise for a week in the Caribbean where you are part of the crew doing the work. When you’re focused on sailing your subconscious mind will help you get free of things that trap you in the rut.
  5. Meet your fears and conquer them. Can’t stand heights? Learn how to skydive. Don’t like to go underwater? Learn how to scuba dive. Don’t like raw fish? Eat some sushi. Force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. You’ll be better for it.

I recently came across a great article by Robert Lee Brewer on the New York Times bestselling author Christina Baker Kline, where she shares insights into the writing process of her novel: The Exiles. Christina shares some valuable advice to other authors on persevering when things get difficult: “Forge ahead through the hard parts. With every novel I’ve written, I come to a moment when I want to give up…The only thing to do is inch ahead little by little. There’s a quote I love by Honor Moore: “If you don’t put it in, you can’t take it out.” If you don’t get something on the page, you won’t have anything to work with. That advice has saved many a writing day—and many a novel.”

The truth is that no writer is always motivated to write, but it helps to make writing part of your daily routine and to regularly read books that inspire you. When you feel unmotivated and stuck, remember why you started in the first place.

I’ve written a few related articles for authors and provided writing advice for aspiring writers. If you feel like you’re stuck in a writing rut, check out this article on great author resources available online to help you generate ideas. I also wrote this one on attending writers’ conferences, and another helpful article on how book fairs or festivals can be a way to meet people who can give you valuable advice on your writing.

The Bottom Line: Waiting for inspiration to strike won’t help you achieve your writing goals. Take action and motivation will follow.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com, or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new book: www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

How to Get Your Book Into Libraries

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“The library marketplace is made up of almost 120,000 locations and is divided into many segments. In addition to the more than 16,500 public libraries and their branches, there are medical libraries, hospital libraries, military libraries, niche libraries, and more,” explained Brian Jud,  Executive Director of APSS, formerly SPAN and founder of Bookselling University.

So what does this mean for you? A prime opportunity for you as an author to expand your reach, build your brand, and sell more books. Here are some handy tips on how to get your books into libraries.

How to Get Your Book Into Libraries

1. Do Your Research – Think like a Librarian!

Check out the websites of various public libraries to find out what you need to do to get your book into circulation. You may also call or visit them and speak to the head librarians or the departments that relate to your specific book genre.

2. Explore WorldCat

With WorldCat, you can search your community libraries as well as other local and national libraries to browse their collections. This can give you an idea of what types of books a certain library may want.

3. Be Friendly and Enthusiastic

Whether you consult the libraries in-person, via phone, or email, be polite. Also, show some excitement so that they see your passion for your work and remember you when it comes time to select new books.

4. Design a Sell Sheet

At its core, a sell sheet is a one-page advertisement of your book. Make sure it includes its title, cover, publisher, a brief description, ISBNs, available formats, and pricing. Don’t forget a blurb about why it may appeal to library patrons and mention if your book is already in a library too. Librarians like to see they are in good company.

“Sell what the content in your book does for the readers—what are the benefits to them,” said Jud. He explained that people don’t actually care about your book. Retailers display them to increase profits. Media hosts want a good show. Librarians want to support their patrons. As long as you appeal to the right motive, you’ll sell more books.

5. Organize an Author Reading or Book Signing

If you offer to organize an event like an author reading or book signing, everyone will win. You’ll boost your exposure while the library will get free programming. If you go this route, you’ll need to promote your event to ensure a good turnout.

6. Get Reviews

Great book reviews can speak volumes about your book and you as an author. Before you try to get your book into libraries, ensure you have them. Librarians want to see that others admire your book before they take the plunge and circulate it. A published review in a journal like Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, or Midwest Book Review can help establish credibility as well.

7. Get Involved in the Library Community

The reality is that many libraries like to fill their shelves with books that are popular, even on a local level. That’s why it’s wise to get out in your community and participate in local events and speaking engagements. Join local organizations, volunteer, and take any TV or radio opportunity that comes your way. Also, make sure you have a stellar social media presence.

8. Attend the ALA Annual Conference

The American Library Association hosts an annual library conference. If you’re serious about getting your book into libraries, it may be worthwhile to attend and mingle librarians. The 2021 conference will be held virtually this year on June 21-23. On Twitter follow @ALALibriary to keep up with daily posts and opportunities.

9. Check Out Writer’s Digest Advice

Writer’s Digest asked four Indie authors for their tips on how to get books into libraries. You don’t have to be an Indie author to take advantage of them. Be sure to check out this article before you get started.

10. Buy a Book

Self Publisher’s Toolkit is a helpful book that serves as a two-in-one resource that shows you how to self publish a book and then market it to Libraries. The author says “Libraries are a $30+ billion segment often overlooked by self publishers.”  https://www.eseinc1.com/product-page

11. Use a Service

Don’t be afraid to use a service to help you get your book into libraries. Here are several to consider.

  • LibraryBub: LibraryBub is a service that introduces the top small press and indie books to librarians. You can apply for a featured deal in it’s weekly email and reach over 10,000 librarians every week. ( I use them and its affordable and effective)
  • Baker & Taylor: Baker & Taylor has been around for over 180 years and distributes books to public libraries and schools. Contact Baker & Taylor to find out how they can assist you.
  • Ingram Content Group: An online self-publishing company, Ingram Content Group can allow you to print and distribute your book to libraries. Call or email them for more information.
  • Buy a Library Database: Curated by a fellow author, Eric Simmons compiled a database of Libraries you can contact directly. Over 100 authors and publishing houses are using the Library Contacts Database to get their books into Libraries.  Simmons’ tool, which has enabled him to get his titles into over 130 Libraries worldwide, is the best deal in publishing! Just BUY IT!

The Bottom Line: Once you get into one library, you’ll find it much easier to get into others. When your book is in several libraries, you’ll build trust among readers, increase exposure, and ultimately sell more copies.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

Top 27 Author Websites in 2021 Compiled by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Top 27 Author Websites in 2021 by Book Publicist Scott LorenzYour author website is a critical element for the promotion of your books. It’s where people turn to learn more about who you are and what you have to offer. Therefore, it’s important your website provides visitors what they are looking for… information about YOU, YOUR book and how to buy it. Don’t make people click on ten links to get to the buy button!

Key elements of an effective author website include:

  1. Book Cover
  2. Author Headshot
  3. Blurbs from Reviewers
  4. Book Trailer
  5. Buy Buttons to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.
  6. Excerpts or Quotes from the book
  7. Media Clips & Logos
  8. Book Awards
  9. Your Backlist of Books
  10. Option to sign up for your mailing list

If you’d like to create an attractive website that builds your brand and promotes your books, it’s a good idea to explore current author sites and ‘benchmark’ against them. Why reinvent the wheel right?  They can give you some inspiration and help you take the right steps toward the ideal online presence. Here’s a list I’ve compiled of the ‘Top 25’ author sites for your review. Let me know what you think. If you know of an author website to add to the list tell me in the comments section below.

1. James Patterson

James Patterson

James Patterson can afford to pay just about anything for his web design so what exactly is he doing? Take a look and find out for yourself. Fortunately, he has a mailing list you’re welcome to join. You can also tweet out all his books and check out his latest trailers.

2. Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz

When it comes to color, Anthony Horowitz nailed it. He was strategic about the colors he used. As you can see, the rustic orange highlights his top-selling books. Horowitz also displayed his Twitter handle prominently so you can follow him easily.

3. Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble

You can’t go wrong with a website layout like the one on Colleen Coble’s site. It boasts a clean look with features like a newsletter signup as well as designated pages for her current lineup of books, latest releases, and media coverage.

4. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins’ website is catchy and compelling thanks to the emphasis on his tagline. From the moment you visit it, you want to “Ignite. Achieve. Excel.” His website makes it clear that his coaching services have the potential to change your life.

5. Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty’s website promotes his offerings which include his podcast and courses. It also highlights his impressive media coverage. Once you visit his website, you’ll know right away that he was featured on The Today Show, Red Table Talk, World Mental Health Day, and many others.

6. Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell has a clean website that draws attention to one of his top books, “The Bomber Mafia.” The “Learn More” tab directs site visitors to take the next step and buy the book on places like Amazon and Apple Books.

7. Stephen King

Stephen King

In addition to the attractive design, Stephen King’s website features an informative frequently asked questions page (FAQ). Visitors can go there to find out why he became a writer, where he gets his ideas, and more.

8. Emma Davies

Emma Davies

When you go to Emma Davies’ website, you’re sure to notice the turquoise color scheme as it really stands out. There’s also a great picture of her as well as a welcome message that directs visitors to her social media outlets and contact page.

9. Daniel Gibbs

Daniel Gibbs

Daniel Gibbs knew what he was doing when he requested an interactive website. Visitors can enjoy a variety of unique pages like the map page, ship schematics page, timeline page, and robust universe encyclopedia.

10. Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields

There’s no denying that the close up of Jonathan Fields’ face catches your attention. His website also features a one-of-a-kind email signup that you’ll be directed to join if you state that you “totally agree” and love discovering stories and ideas that inspire you.

11. Henry Neff

Henry Neff

Henry Neff’s social media profiles stand out and draw visitors to become a follower or fan. Additionally, his website boasts a robust “About Henry” section with his biography, events, press and interviews, and school visits.

12. Kelly Minter

Kelly Minter

Kelly Minter’s website has a lovely picture of her and clearly conveys who she is: an author, speaker, and musician. We love the easy access to her bible study and email signup that lures visitors in with a free download.

13. Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller’s website is focused on one of his famous quotes and directs visitors to his bio. The top navigation is simple and only features four links: bio, books, sermons, and blog. His black, white, and red color scheme is also easy on the eyes.

14. Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury’s website is designed to get visitors to buy her New York Times bestselling book, A Distant Shore. Once you visit it, it becomes quite clear that she wants you to order it as soon as possible.

15. Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer’s website has dedicated pages on each of her books, which revolve around the experience of Jewish characters during World War II and current times. Each page includes a description of the book, reviews, and links that direct visitors to make a purchase.

16. Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss

Nicole Krauss’ website is unique in that the navigation is on the left rather than top of the home page. It also features pages that focus on each of her books about Jewish history, themes of identity, and family connections.

17. Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich

My wife loves Janet Evanovich and has read all of her books. On Janet’s website, her book “Game On” steals the show. The dark background really allows it to stand out. We also love the social media icons on the top left and subscribe button on the top right.

18. Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly’s website features a compelling about section that does a great job highlighting his key accomplishments. There’s also a space that gets visitors excited for his upcoming releases and dedicated pages for events he’ll be attending and podcasts he’s participated in.

19. Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts’ website has a rotating banner that draws attention to the various books she’s written. The books section is quite robust as it includes a release schedule, details on every book she’s written, and a printable full book list.

20. Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult’s website is simple yet compelling. The white background makes the teal social media icons and lovely picture of her stand out. Her site also includes unique pages for all her books, each featuring a synopsis and video.

21. Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson’s website focuses on his latest book and gives visitors a status update on his projects. In addition, there’s a regularly updated blog and online library with sample chapters, free fiction, and annotations.

22. James Clear

James Clear

James Clear’s website is all about his top book, Atomic Habits. It allows visitors to download the first chapter for free in the hopes of luring them in to purchase a copy and keep reading. Visitors can also subscribe to his weekly newsletter.

23. JK Rowling

JK Rowling

JK Rowling’s website revolves around her new children’s book, The Christmas Pig, visitors will find her signature at the very top as well as a great picture of her. There’s also an ‘Answers’ page where JK Rowling answers common questions about herself.

24. Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk’s website is a simple black and white color scheme. The large text about his book, Crushing It really stands out. His website also includes a link to learn more about VeeFriends, his collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

25. Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’ website was definitely created with a lot of thought and strategy. He owns the phrase ‘FOUR HOUR’ as he is the author of The Four Hour Workweek, The Four Hour Chef and others with Four Hour in the title. There’s a great picture of him outside and an embedded recording of the latest episode of his show. The search box and teal callouts that showcase his greatness are other great additions. But, content is king and there’s plenty of it on his website/blog.

26. Savi Sharma

Savi Sharma

Savi Sharma’s website features a bright background and an attractive picture of her. We love the media mentions at the bottom as well as the story of how she became a writer. Her website also encourages visitors to follow her on Instagram thanks to the icon on the upper right hand corner.

27. Michael Grumley

Michael Grumley

Michael Grumley’s website has a “Next Book Meter” to show visitors how far he is into his next book. It also treats them with a free ebook and shares information about how they can support St. Jude’s Research Hospital by buying his books.

The Bottom Line: When you design your author website, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at other author websites to get an idea of what you like and what type of layout and features would work best for your particular goals.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

Top Book Fairs and Festivals for Authors 2021

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

Top Book Fairs and Festivals for Authors 2021

Top Book Fairs and Festivals for Authors 2021

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the country, it may be time to check out some Book Fairs and Festivals. After writing diligently for weeks and months on end it’s time to get invigorated! Nothing does the job like meeting people who love books and write books. Check out this list of book festivals and fairs that authors can attend for 2021. Some are VIRTUAL and some are in-person events and some are a little of both. Many are still deciding what they are doing as things change in the coming months.

In any case, these events are an excellent way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, authors not only gain great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel slot or speaking gig you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For more upcoming book events check out C-SPAN2 at: https://www.BookTV.org  and click on the Book Fairs tab.  For more information about book events and book marketing visit   https://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com.

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2021 as of the date of this publishing:

1. The RBMS Booksellers’ Showcase, June 8-10, 2021, Virtual. The RBMS Booksellers’ Showcase features a variety of exhibitors and products like original art and illustration and manuscripts. https://rbms2021.us2.pathable.com/showcase

2. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-29 2021, Virtual. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. https://2021.alaannual.org/

3. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 25-June 28, 2021, Atlanta, GA. CBA’s International Christian Retail Show Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. https://www.Marketingchristianbooks.com

4. Harlem Book Festival, July 2021 Harlem. This festival is visited by over 30,000 readers the third week of every July and viewed by millions on C-Span https://www.harlembookfair.com

5. Printers Row Lit Fest, September 11-12, 2021, Chicago. A large book fair attended by more than 150,000 book lovers. https://printersrowlitfest.org

6. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors, September 25, 2021, Virtual and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Bookmarks connects people and books through its annual festival, which has been around for over 17 years. https://www.bookmarksnc.org/festival

7. The South Dakota Festival of Books, September 30-October 3, 2021 in Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It brings together about 4,000 attendees and more than 50 noteworthy authors, scholars, and publishers.  https://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/

8. The Brooklyn Book Festival, September 26- October 4, 2021, Brooklyn, NY. This festival’s mission is to “celebrate published literature and nurture a literary cultural community.” https://www.brooklynbookfestival.org

9. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair, October 9-10, 2021, Seattle, WA. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair boasts exhibitors from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. https://www.seattlebookfair.com

10. The Southern Festival of Books, October 2021, Nashville, Tennessee. This festival connects readers and writers from Tennessee and beyond. https://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/thingstodo/southernfestivalofbooks

11. The Texas Book Festival, late October or early November 2021, Virtual or Austin, TX. This festival was founded in 1955 and features over 250 authors as well as over 100 exhibitors. https://www.texasbookfestival.org

12. The Baltimore Book Festival, dates TBD, Baltimore, MD. The Baltimore Book Festival offers storytellers, poetry readings, panel discussions, cooking demos, live music, and more.  https://www.baltimorebookfestival.com

13. Writers at Woody Point, 2021 dates TBD, Woody Point, Newfoundland. Travel to Canada and see what creativity and talent lies across the border. https://www.writersatwoodypoint.com

14. Decatur Book Festival, 2021 dates TBD, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. https://www.decaturbookfestival.com

The Bottom Line: Authors, put down your pen and go explore the many book fairs and festivals around the country. You won’t be sorry!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com, or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book. Buy it at: www.booktitlegenerator.net/

How Authors Use Instagram to Sell Books

Find out how Instagram is helping authors increase visibility and earn more money.

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

How Authors Use Instagram to Sell Books

How Authors Use Instagram to Sell Books

Instagram has over 1 billion users. So it’s no surprise that many authors are using the platform to sell their books. With an established Instagram account, they’re able to build strong relationships, drive interest, and boost sales.

If you’re an author who would like to use Instagram to your advantage, check out the Instagram accounts listed below. Follow them and engage as you like. They can give you a good idea of how authors are using the one of fastest growing social media platforms.

1. James Patterson (@jamespattersonbooks)

The New York Times bestselling author of The Kennedy Curse and The 20th Victim loves to repost pictures of children enjoying his books. His account is also full of giveaways, announcements about upcoming releases, and inspirational quotes he lives by.

2. Dan Brown (@authordanbrown)

Dan Brown posts about his virtual storytimes as well as photos of his life in New England and yellow lab, Winston. He also features occasional quotes from some of his top books like The Lost Symbol and The Da Vinci Code.

3. Janet Evonovich (@janetevanovich)

From the moment you look at Janet Evonovich’s Instagram, you’ll notice plenty of color. She fills her profile with bright and cheery photos of Hot Six, Twisted Twenty-Six and other recent books she wrote. There’s also a lot of details about book signings and new releases.

4. Malcolm Gladwell (@malcolmgladwell)

Malcolm Gladwell’s latest posts are all about his book Talking to Strangers. His Instagram is also packed with photos of him on Jimmy Kimmel Live, NPR Radio, Book Tube, and other places he’s been interviewed.

5. Jon Krakauer (@krakauernotwriting)

While Jon Krakauer’s posts of his political views, travels, and adventures are interesting, his catchy description is particularly noteworthy: “I write books for a living. Been toiling in the writing factory for more than 35 years. Not writing is way more fun.” Some of his most popular books include Embrace the Misery, Gates of the Arctic, and Living Under the Volcano.

6. Mitch Albom (@mitchalbom)

Mitch Albom, author of Finding Chika and The Next Person You Meet in Heaven is an avid user of the Instagram story feature. He posts short stories to promote his interviews, podcasts, and Say Detroit, a non-profit organization he started to support underprivileged people in Detroit.

7. Tony Robbins (@tonyrobbins)

Tony Robbins’ Instagram is nothing short of inspirational. It’s filled with powerful quotes by him and information about non-profits he believes in. He also scatters several funny memes throughout. Robbins wrote The New Money Masters and The Path.

8. Jay Shetty (@jayshetty)

On Jay Shetty’s Instagram, you’ll find sayings from his current and upcoming books like Think Like a Monk. Here’s one that really stands out: T.I.M.E Daily Routine: Thankfulness, Insight, Meditation, Exercise.

9. Joanna Gaines (@joannagaines)

Joanna Gaines, author of Magnolia Table and We are the Gardners uses her Instagram account to share lifestyle photos of her and her family. She keeps it pretty personal and makes it easy for followers to get a feel for the everyday happenings in her life.

10. Dashama Konah Gordon (@dashama)

Since Dashama is a “happiness expert” in addition to author of Journey to Joyful, her profile features positive quotes, pictures of her practicing yoga and meditating, and a story Q&A session where she answers her follower’s questions. She posts frequently new videos of various activities in the most incredible settings.

The Bottom Line: Use Instagram to grow and expand your audience.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine

To Write Is Human, To Edit Is Divine.” – Stephen King

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine

How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine

You’ve finally finished your book and are ready to get it into the hands of the reader. You’ve crafted each sentence with great intention, choosing each word to communicate your meaning. This manuscript has spent countless hours with your eyes on it and multiple people have read it for you. You’ve rewritten and revised, incorporated their suggestions and there couldn’t possibly be anything else that needs changing or correcting.

Is it still necessary to hire a professional editor or proofreader? What if the editor has a different vision from you and suggests sweeping changes to your work? What if the editor doesn’t like, or even worse, doesn’t understand your book?

Writing a book is an amazing accomplishment, one that less than 1% of the world’s population will ever manage to do. Given the amount of time, energy, and creativity you’ve invested to bring your ideas to life, your finished manuscript is of high personal value. Your work could even be life changing for some readers, if it can reach them. Capturing an audience is no picnic and whether you are publishing traditionally or self-publishing, the competition is fierce.

At this point, your manuscript is like a raw diamond. A diamond in its natural, raw state is full of potential, both in beauty and in value. Yet without taking it to a gem expert, it can be difficult to know how much more value could be added with precise cutting and polishing. Professional gemcutters spend years honing their craft and know exactly what to do to bring forth the maximum beauty of the diamond and increase its market value.

Like gemcutters, editors and proofreaders are experts with a refined skill set. They can evaluate your book and make recommendations about which editing processes the manuscript should undergo. Their extensive training allows them to view your book differently than a casual reader and identify errors or issues with the flow, organization, or plot of the story.

“All manuscripts need something,” says author Edward Renehan. As a book publicist, I’ve seen time and again where the attention of a professional editor has changed a good book into a brilliant one. Hiring an editor is like hiring a personal trainer; it’s still you, just faster, tighter, and more trim. Whether you’re getting a developmental edit, copyedit, or proofread, a professional editor knows how to identify your vision for your work and suggest changes to accomplish that vision.

Most importantly, they are on your team. The editor’s goal is to increase the value and marketability of your work—to cut, and polish in ways that make it shine even more brightly. In an article for Publisher’s Weekly, editor Leila Sales says, “We are as invested in the success of your book as you are. Furthermore, remember this: if we sign up books that don’t perform well, that reflects poorly on us as editors. The future of our careers depends on the success of the books we edit. We are never trying to sabotage your book, because we are emotionally and financially invested in how well it does.”

Regardless of your publishing path, one of the best ways to promote your book is to get reviews. In my experience, if your book has a number of noticeable errors many reviewers will find it difficult to look past them and give a fair review of the entire work. It makes the reading more difficult and creates a poor impression. Even if the reviewer knows that it’s a galley copy or ARC and hasn’t been final proofed, a manuscript in need of editing or proofreading simply will not get as strong or positive reviews.

As a third party endorsement of your work, reviews are critical for promotion and marketing efforts. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile. Professional editing of your work will take your work to the next level, enabling you to get the best reviews possible from your reviewers. Better reviews increase the likelihood of getting your book the attention and audience it deserves.

Bottom Line: Let your finished work shine! Hire a professional editor or proofreader to polish your book, bring forth its maximum beauty, and increase its market value.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

The Art and Power of Brevity for Authors

“If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written You a Shorter Letter.” – Mark Twain

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Most authors know the famous adage, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” This saying is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and is, ironically, delivered by the exceedingly longwinded character Polonius. Brevity, simply defined, is shortness or conciseness of expression. While brevity is often an essential part of wit or humor, it is also a necessary tool which writers must master. In an age where attention spans are under siege from competing information streams, skillful and brief communication can cut through the noise and capture the attention of the listener.

Mark Twain's Quote on the Power of Brevity for Authors

Mark Twain’s Quote on the Power of Brevity for Authors

Like Shakespeare’s Polonius, many authors recognize the importance of brevity, while struggling to actually be brief. Authors are conditioned early on with the idea that longer, more complex sentences and words are better. As people who enjoy the act of writing and are immersed in a world of words, it is easy for writers to become longwinded.

As a book publicist I bridge the gap between authors, who can be longwinded, and the media who have no time to listen or talk!  So it’s imperative that I condense everything down to the ‘elevator pitch’ answering these questions: Who is the author? What is their topic? Why should we interview them NOW?

William Zinsser, famous American writer, literary critic, and teacher said, “There are four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity.” Words carry power, but length does not equal strength. Some of the most powerful and most memorable works in human history are only a few dozen words:

The Lord’s Prayer: 66 words

The Ten Commandments: 79 words

The Gettysburg Address: 272 words

Declaration of Independence: 1,322 words

Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech: 1,667 words

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” Here are three important practices for writers:

  • Know the purpose of your communication. An elevator pitch or logline will be shorter than a synopsis or an excerpt. Whether writing a pitch or working on your novel, keep in mind the purpose of the writing and consider how brevity can help meet that goal.
  • Remove unnecessary words. Even Jefferson’s famous quote about brevity can be reduced to the following statement, without changing the meaning. “The most valuable talent is never using two words when one will do.”
  • Change the sentence structure. Revising the structure of the sentence may eliminate words and possibly even express the idea more powerfully.

Author Dennis Roth says, “If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.” Thoughtfully implementing these practices will help you eliminate the fluff and maximize the impact of your writing.

One area in which authors typically struggle, but which is an excellent exercise in brevity, is crafting elevator pitches and loglines. Pitches and loglines are a marketing tool to help sell your idea or work, and attract the interest of publishers, editors, or producers. Having a refined a pitch or logline can also help authors maintain focus during the writing process, becoming a tool which keeps the author from getting tangled in the weeds of extraneous details that can detract from the story.

An elevator pitch or logline succinctly answers the question: “What is your book about?” and provides a tease or a taste of the story. Loglines encapsulate the story arc and themes in one to two well-crafted sentences. The pitch should evoke the curiosity of the listener, help them understand what sets your work apart, and compel them to want more. Loglines and elevator pitches should SELL the story, not tell the story.

As a writer, brevity is your friend. Brief, simple, and concise communication shows respect for the listener and their time. Utilize brevity to help your writing get the attention it deserves.

I could blather on in this article but in keeping with the title… I am going to be brief!

Bottom Line: Be brief. Master the art of brevity to make your writing more powerful and effective.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

Authors: 10 Must-Have Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

“Not All Marketing People are Writers, But All Writers Must Learn to be Marketers.” – Joanne Kraft

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

In the world of book sales and publishing, marketing is an important tool to get your book the attention it deserves. Having a solid and well written book is essential, but promotion and publicity will be necessary to get your book noticed in today’s competitive book market. Just as time is invested in the writing process, you’ll also need to invest some time and effort to promote your work.

Here are 10 tips, from my years of book publicist experience, to help you market your book:

1. Make your title work for you. It is no longer enough to pick a title that you like or that fits your book. The best titles not only sound good but are optimized for the internet age. Utilize my book, Book Title Generator, for a proven system to choose your best title.

2. Refine your elevator pitch and logline. Pitches and loglines help sell your work and attract the interest of publishers, editors, or producers. They encapsulate the story arc and themes in one to two well-crafted sentences. Invest time writing and refining your pitches. Practice delivering them with confidence and fluidity.

3. Establish your online presence. Make sure your audience can find you online even before your book is finished. Make a website and post blogs, articles you’ve written, and updates about your book. Utilize LinkedIn, Goodreads, Facebook, and other social media platforms to expand your audience and keep your work on people’s minds.

4. Take advantage of writer’s conferences to network and get feedback. Attending writers’ conferences gives you a chance to pitch your book, learn about publishing options and meet book editors, agents and book marketing specialists. If your book is not yet finished, these conferences are a valuable chance to get advice that will help in the writing process.

5. Make your book available for pre-order. Utilize the period prior to the launch date to generate buzz around your book. Promotion on social media can build excitement, attract attention, and get readers to pre-order your upcoming release. Some authors hold contests and promotions, or offer exclusive bonus content for pre-orders. Pre-order stats influence many things, from how Amazon and other retailers stock inventory to first week sales statistics.

6. Create an online launch team: Expand your reach by creating a launch team of folks who will back your book and promote it on social media. Send copies to bloggers or podcast hosts who might be interested in its content and willing to promote it. Family, friends, and coworkers may be willing to share content and spread the news about your book. The more the merrier when it comes to launch teams!

7. Enter your book in a book contest. It takes time, effort, and entry fee money to enter book award contests, but awards are invaluable for marketing. Awards create interest in your book, provide added credibility, and increase sales potential. A book award can give you an edge in reaching out to media, booksellers, and agents and sometimes that’s all the difference needed to propel your book into bestseller territory.

8. Activate your local media: In our internet driven world, it’s sometimes easy to forget about marketing opportunities closer to home. Don’t forget to get your local media onboard for your marketing efforts. Contact local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations to see if they’d be interested in interviewing a hometown author.

9. Get to know your local bookstore owners and managers. Local bookstores are the most likely place for readers in your area to encounter your work. The better you know the folks who own or operate those bookstores, the easier it is to ask them about hosting book release parties, readings, signings, author interviews, or book clubs.

10. HIRE A BOOK PUBLICIST. Marketing is a complicated and time consuming process, and a book publicist will utilize their experience and network of contacts to bring attention to your book. Author Adam S. McHugh says, “The work of promoting the book requires just as much work as writing the book, if not more so.” Putting this complex task into the hands of a professional gives you more time to do what you do best – WRITE!

At Westwind Communications, we have decades of marketing experience, partnering with authors of many different genres to get all the book publicity they deserve and more.TM

Bottom Line: Use these book marketing tips to promote your work, but remember that a professional book publicist will go the distance in coordinating and implementing your comprehensive marketing strategy.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

29 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2021

List of Book Awards by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book Publicist Scott Lorenz has compiled a list of Top Book Awards authors can enter.

ENTER BOOK AWARD CONTESTS AND BECOME AN AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR in 2021!

I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award. 

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

As a book publicist, I can assure you they absolutely do matter! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel.  Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book. I could go on and on with examples of how pursuing and winning book awards will give you opportunities to reach out to the media, booksellers, and agents. As a book publicist, I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award-winning’ book.

Awards also helped take my book Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book to the next level. It’s earned nine awards including the Independent Author Network, Pencraft Book Awards, Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Literary Titan Book Award, just to name a few. My book also landed a spot in the Must-Read category for authors of all experiences and publishers of all sizes. I used a new service called Book Award Pro to take the drudgery out of keeping tabs of all the award entries. Check them out at:   https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro

There’s no denying that awards create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities.  A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a bookstore.  A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award-winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course, it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third-party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.

Here’s a list of my top book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

1. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/

2. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details. http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/

3. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important e-book only award. http://globalebookawards.com

4. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is late June. Check it out here https://www.autumnhouse.org/submissions/

5. Poets & Writers has a nice list of writing contests, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants

6. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award http://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view

7. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/

8. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. Deadline is March 31, 2021. http://www.indieexcellence.com

9. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. http://www.axiomawards.com/66/how-to-enter

10. USA Best Book Awards has a ten-year plus track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by American Book Fest, which focuses on mainstream, independent, and self-published books. http://www.americanbookfest.com/2021bestbookawards.html

11. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/

12. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. Early Bird deadline is April 1, 2021. https://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/self-published-book-awards

13. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors. https://readersfavorite.com/book-reviews.htm

14. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts. https://www.rwa.org/Online/Awards/Online/Awards/Awards.aspx?hkey=36720e5f-ac35-40e6-8311-22d3816567ad

15. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent. http://www.ruberybookaward.com/

16. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,500 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author. http://www.hofferaward.com/

17. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation. http://www.indiebookawards.com/awards.php

18. The International Book Awards (IBA) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/

19. The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults. http://www.clcawards.org

20. The Scotiabank Giller Prize. A $100,000 grand prize and $10K (CDN) to each of the finalists. To be eligible, a book must be a first-edition, full-length novel or short story collection, written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The publisher must enter. Sorry, no self-published books. http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/

21. The Feathered Quill Book Awards accept submissions from all size publishers and work very hard to honor and publicize the winners (there’s a link to a testimonial page on the awards page – read what past winners have to say). https://featheredquill.com/feathered-quill-book-awards/

22. Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition honors more than 100 indie/self-published books. In addition to $1,500 in cash prizes, they’ll feature the winner, five finalists, and more than 100 “notable” books in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound. Any independently published book in any genre in any publication year is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $100 per book. The competition also includes the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and non-fiction sports-related books. http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html

23. Chanticleer International Book Awards — Grand prize winner receives $1,000 cash plus other awards. More than $30,000 cash and prizes awarded each year. 15 genres including the CYGNUS for SciFiction, M&M for Mystery & Mayhem, Somerset for Literary, etc.  http://www.ChanticleerReviews.com  Several of their winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.

24. The Royal Dragonfly (all genres) and Purple Dragonfly (children’s books) Book Awards are prestigious national book contests recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and a Story Monsters Approved! (children’s books) must inspire, inform, teach or entertain, and adhere to rigorous standards of excellence. https://www.dragonflybookawards.com

25. The Independent Author Network IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 35 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes exceeding $6,000 USD. An Outstanding Book (category winner) will be awarded in each category with recognition of Finalists. Six outstanding titles will be named the Books of the Year. Winning books will be shared at the IAN Facebook page with over 120,000 fans and 575,000 followers at twitter. http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/book-of-the-year.html

26. The Chautauqua Prize for authors is $7,500 plus travel and expense for a short summer residency. Full-length books of fiction and narrative/literary nonfiction are eligible. Self-published books are not eligible. In general, cookbooks, self-help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books, graphic novels, or children’s books are not eligible. http://chq.org/general-information

27. Mom’s Choice Awards® is recognized in over 55 countries around the world for setting the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. If you have a children’s book or family friendly book then this is a terrific award to pursue. https://www.momschoiceawards.com

28. Book Excellence Awards – With over $30,000 in grand prizes in media and marketing services, the Book Excellence Awards has helped honorees increase their book sales, garner attention from film producers, receive distribution in book stores and increase their visibility and media attention. https://www.bookexcellenceawards.com

29. The Page Turner Awards – Their prizes promise the winning authors career-changing opportunities. Fiction authors could win a publishing deal or win an audiobook production, non-fiction authors could win a writing mentorship with a business mentoring expert or get their non-fiction manuscript seen by publishers who are actively looking for work to publish. https://pageturnerawards.com/

If You Don’t Have Time to Do All This... A great option for authors to maximize their success in the world of book awards is an automation service called Book Award Pro https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro Their smart matching technology pinpoints the best award opportunities for your book and delivers actionable results. This service automates it all for you: researching thousands of awards, continuously targeting your perfect matches, and professionally submitting your book for awards. Book Award Pro creates a windfall of fresh promotional opportunities for your book – every single month. Check them out at https://bit.ly/BookAwardPro 

Author Kelly K. Lavender read this very article about the value of book awards and said this. “I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award. For those that don’t know, the high-profile Readers’ Favorite competition attracts celebrities and New York Times Best-Selling authors. Thanks, Scott for penning that piece! What a game-changer!”

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award-winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!” Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

The Top Writers’ Conferences for 2021 by Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

If you are a serious writer with high aspirations, then you’ll want to go to a writers’ conference. Want to meet authors and exchange ideas, tips and techniques? Then sign up for a writer’s conference today.

A writers’ conference is a think tank for authors to build on each other’s ideas and inspire new achievements in their own work. For the cost of lodging and registration, the payoff for attending a writers’ conference could be tremendous.

Writers Conferences and Confabs are great place to learn about publishing and writing

Writers Conferences and Confabs are a great place to learn about publishing and writing from agents, publishers, authors and publicists.

Attending a writers’ conference gives you a chance to pitch your book, learn about the various publishing options and meet book editors, agents and book marketing specialists. If your book is six months or a year from being finished, you can talk to people with valuable input on shaping your book. At a writers’ conference, you’ll get all sorts of advice to help you wrap up your project when you return home.

Of course, you will want to prepare for any writers’ conference you attend by having a plan of what you want to find out and what you will do while there. I suggest you develop an ‘elevator pitch’ about your book that you can deliver in 30 seconds. Have a one-pager available with your book cover, author headshot, short 50-word synopsis, short bio, website URL, Twitter handle and your contact information. You never know who you’ll meet so be prepared for that moment!

Here are some upcoming writers’ conferences in 2021:

February 26-28, 2021 Asheville Christian Writers Conference (Asheville, NC) The Asheville Christian Writers Conference will offer one-on-one mentoring, writing workshops, and discussion groups. https://ashevillechristianwritersconference.com/

March 13, 2021: Atlanta Writing Workshop (Atlanta, GA) The title of the Atlanta Writing Workshop is “How to Get Published.” It focuses on classes and advice intended to help you get your works published. https://atlantawritingworkshop.com/

April 8-10 2021 Las Vegas Writers Conference (Las Vegas, NV) At the Las Vegas Writers Conference, writers can meet and learn from some of the greatest agents, authors, and professionals in publishing. https://lasvegaswritersconference.com/

April 9-10 2021: Michigan Writers Conference (Detroit, MI) At this writers conference, participants will enjoy a day of intense instruction on how to get their works published. https://michiganwritingworkshop.com/

April 21-25 2021: The Muse & the Marketplace Writers Conference (Boston, MA) Here you’ll find over 130 interactive sessions led by authors as well as a happy hour session where you can network with agents, publishers, and authors. https://museandthemarketplace.com/

April 23-25 2021: Pikes Peak Writers Conference (Virtual) Pikes Peak Writers Conference will be held virtually this year. Writers can participate in workshops taught by subject matter experts and listen to keynote speakers. https://pikespeakwriters.com

April 24-May 1, 2021: Northern Colorado Writers Conference (Fort Collins, CO) The Northern Colorado Writers Conference will hold workshops, sessions, and four-hour master classes to inspire authors. https://northerncoloradowriters.com/Conference

May 7-9, 2021: Atlanta Writers Conference (Atlanta, GA) The Atlanta Writers Conference offers one-on-one manuscript sample critiques, pitch sessions, and workshops. https://atlantawritersconference.com

May 13-15, 2021: Storymakers Conference (Provo, UT) The Storymakers Conference will consist of various classes that cover various topics such as cover design, marketing, creating a writing business, and the nuts and bolts of screenwriting. http://ldstorymakersconference.com/

June 21-26, 2021: Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference (Bemidji, MN) This writing conference is full of workshops, Q&A sessions, panel talks. https://www.northwoodswriters.org/

July 18-25, 2021: Port Townsend Writers Conference (Port Townsend, WA) The Port Townsend Writers Conference will feature guided free writes as well as readings and lectures by contemporary writers in the heart of the Pacific Northwest. https://centrum.org/the-port-townsend-writers-conference/

August 1-6, 2021: Napa Valley Writers Conference (St. Helena, CA) At the Napa Valley Writers Conference, writers can participate in small workshops related to poetry, fiction, or translation that meet for two hours daily over a five day period. http://www.napawritersconference.org

August 5-7, 2021: Mendocino Coast Writers Conference (Mendocino, CA) At this conference, writers can participate in morning workshops that are related to various genres. http://mcwc.org/

August 19-22, 2021: Killer Nashville Writers Conference (Franklin, TN) Writers who attend the Killer Nashville Writers Conference can expect writing workshops, pitch sessions, panel discussions, author signings, and a book fair. https://www.newpages.com/writing-conferences/killer-nashville

October 15-17, 2021: Emerald City Writers Conference (Bellevue, WA) The Emerald City Writers Conference will offer workshops, pitch appointments, agent and editor panels, and happy hour socialization opportunities. https://gsrwa.org/home/emerald-city-writers-conference/

October 22-24, 2021: La Jolla Writers Conference (San Diego, CA) At the La Jolla Writers Conference, writers can attend two types of classes: 50-minute lecture sessions or  110-minute workshops. https://lajollawritersconference.com

November 8-11, 2021: Kauai Writers Conference (Kauai, HI) At the Kauai Writers Conference, writers can enjoy four days of master classes, small group discussions, and individual sessions with literary agents. https://kauaiwritersconference.com/

Select a writers’ conference of interest to you and be prepared to enjoy the benefits of meeting other writers. You may acquire knowledge you can use immediately, find a new market for your book, elevate your professional effectiveness, meet editors, agents and publishers, become inspired and return home energized.

The Bottom Line: Take a little working vacation and hit some writers’ conferences. Make it a priority to sign up for one in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

How the New York Times Selects Books for Review for 2021

New Behind-the-Scenes Story by FOX-5 NY Sheds Light on the Meticulous Process

by Scott Lorenz Westwind Communications

How the New York Times Selects Books for Review

How the New York Times Selects Books for Review

As a book publicist, I talk to authors and clients on a daily basis. Many have one goal in common: To become a New York Times bestselling author. One way to do it is to get reviewed by the New York Times Book Review. This is no surprise as the New York Times Book Review is one of the most prominent book review publications out there. It’s a weekly paper magazine that comes with the Sunday New York Times, which has a circulation of 1.5 million. A one-fifth page ad in the Book Review will cost a whopping $8,830 for small presses. You can expect to dish out even more if you’re a major publisher. Check out the 2020 rate sheet here.

If your book gets reviewed by the New York Times Book Review, you’re almost guaranteed an increase in sales and publicity. So, how does the New York Times Book Review select books to review? Good question! Pamela Paul, who’s been the New York Times Book Review editor since 2013 sat down with FOX 5 NY to shed some light on this very common question. Check out the terrific story here.

“We love the publishing industry and we support what they do, but really we are here for readers.” Pamela Paul, Editor, NY Times Book Review

She explained that the New York Times receives hundreds of books that would like to get reviewed each day. Believe it or not, all the books, except for self-published books, receive some kind of look by a staff of critics and freelance reviewers. The type of look each book gets, however, varies. While one book’s look lasts a few seconds, another book gets read cover to cover.

“Only 1% of all the books we receive make the cut. We’re always on the lookout for new and interesting voices. Since we view books as a form of art, we strive to recognize innovation and diversity,” Paul explains.

Paul was asked whether critics ever get tired of looking at books. “The kind of people that work at the Book Review are always excited to check out a book. They really love books and are doing exactly what they want to be doing,” she says.

All NY Times book reviews are fact-checked for accuracy. Paul states that fact-checking is very important for them because while you can disagree with a book review, you shouldn’t distrust it. Once the reviews are fact-checked, copy editors write headlines, credits, and more before the review goes to press.

You can see that the New York Times Book Review is run by people who love books and why they take extra care to make sure what they recommend is worthy of their audience’s time. That’s why a mention in the NY Times Book Review is so powerful. Keep up with their latest reviews by following Pamela Paul on Twitter at: @PamelaPaulNYT

If you would like to have your book considered for review, please send it to:
Editor
The New York Times Book Review
229 W. 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036
If you are sending a children’s book, please send it to the attention of the Children’s Book Editor.

The Bottom Line: While earning a spot on the New York Times Book Review is no easy feat, it’s not impossible. As long as your book has a unique twist, is well crafted, has an important message, or a new voice that must be heard, it stands a chance and is certainly worth sending in.

Final Recommendation: Watch the FOX-5 NY piece a few more times so you can really understand what the NY Times wants. https://www.fox5ny.com/news/a-day-in-the-life-inside-the-ny-times-book-review-process

You can also watch an hour-long interview with C-SPAN’s Book TV and  New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul from 2015. https://www.c-span.org/video/?326362-1/tour-new-york-times-book-review

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net

 

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM, SKYPE and FaceTime For Your Next TV Interview

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Communications

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM Interview

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM Interview

Ever notice how some people look great on a Zoom call? What’s their secret? In today’s era of COVID-19, media interviews that were once conducted in a TV studio are now performed on Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. This presents more opportunities for interviews because you don’t have to go to a studio but there are challenges as well. Are you ready for your up-close TV interview on ZOOM?

My personal Zoom experiences and discussions with several experts in this visual field have allowed me to come up with a quick list of tips to help you crush your next Zoom call. Without further ado, here they are:

Dress Appropriately

You don’t have to dress up as much as you usually do. However, your attire should not be down more than one level from what you typically wear in the office. If you normally wear a suit and tie, for example, opt for a nice blouse or button-up shirt.

Jess Todtfeld, former producer and media trainer also recommends you avoid white, black, and red, ensure your clothing is wrinkle-free, remove distracting jewelry, and dress as simply as possible. “TV viewers should focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes,” he says.

You are the face of your company, your school, your brand. If you normally wear makeup to work then you’ll need to wear it on a TV interview too.

Invest in Reliable Internet Connection

Chances are you’ve seen someone freeze on the screen during a Zoom session. To reduce the risk of this happening to you, a reliable internet connection is a must. If you’re in the middle of an interview and your connection freezes, a TV station will stop the interview and go to someone else. A hardline wired connection to your computer vs. WIFI can prevent this issue. In the event you must use WIFI, request that others in your home or office stay off it during your interview.

Be Mindful of Your Background

Your background during a Zoom call is important. Do your best to make it visually appealing. Add fresh flowers, a potted plant, a painting, or your book cover enlarged on an easel. Remember that people will be able to read book titles so there’s a good chance they’ll notice dust, dirty clothes, and other imperfections in the background. Don’t sit in front of horizontal blinds as this confuses the camera and may cause pixelation of the image. (vertical blinds are ok) Refrain from virtual backgrounds that come with ZOOM as they create distortion around your head and body. If you must use one due to a home office in a bedroom or hallway then buy a portable green screen so you can choose a beautiful virtual background that’s free from distortions. You’ll look professional and feel good too.

Do you have a ZOOM Room?

TV and radio studios have acoustically padded walls, ceilings and are carpeted. The sound is absorbed and is not ricocheting around giving that ‘hollow’ effect. If your ZOOM Room is like a racquetball court then you need a new location or to figure out how to deaden the sound bounce with carpet, acoustic tiles, etc. Wearing a lapel microphone helps too. This should be needless say but, keep dogs, kids, and the neighbor’s lawnmower out of sound range.

 Pay Attention to the Lighting

It’s essential that your face is well lit throughout the entire interview. If you’re in a dark room, use a circle light or lamp with a warm glow. Ideally, you’d be in a bright room with minimal windows. Excessive light may cause the camera lens to adjust when you don’t want it to. The cost is $50-100. I love mine and it’s really helpful on dark dreary days, late night or early morning interviews or when your spouse may need the living room light for reading!

Ensure the Camera is at ‘just a smidge below’ Eye Level

The camera should always be ‘just a smidge below’ eye level with you. Try your best to look at the camera instead of the screen at all times. Don’t let your eyes wander as this may cause others to believe you’re disinterested or disengaged in the interview. Put a little post-it note near the camera lens on your camera to remind you to ‘look at the camera’ not the screen.

If you are using the camera on an iPhone or other smartphone, place it on a tripod and be sure to turn off the notifications and the ringer or everyone on the call will hear them.

Use the Skype App

For best results when using SKYPE use the SKYPE App and not your browser. The reality is that the browser accessed version won’t run at optimal speeds and there’s a good chance your screen may freeze. Download the app on your phone or tablet and test it out in advance to make sure it works well.

Opt for Wireless or Wired Earbuds

Speakers on your computer are ok. But, if you want best results, get wireless or wired earbuds. They can enhance your sound quality and help you sound great on camera. If you use wireless earbuds, don’t forget to charge them completely before the interview.

Have a Glass of Water Handy

You can enjoy a number of benefits if you keep a glass of water by your side during your interview. Since talking a lot and being nervous can lead to dry mouth and throat, water can help you keep your vocal cords moist. It can also serve as a prop so if you’re asked a tricky question, you can take a sip of the water and give yourself some extra time to think of a good answer.

Don’t Forget Pen and Paper

With a pen and paper nearby, you’ll be able to jot down the reporter’s name, questions you may have, and anything that you’d like to remember after the interview. If you take notes on your computer, you’ll distract the interviewer so doing so the old-fashioned way is ideal.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Make sure you know how to work ZOOM, SKYPE, and Facetime and are comfortable with all of the options. Practice using all of these with friends and family. Don’t let your big interview on national TV be a flop because of some technical issue you could have avoided.

The Bottom Line: By following these tips, you can nail your virtual Zoom interview and meet your goals from the comfort of your own home or office.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.book-marketing-expert.com/ or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net