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Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog “The Book Publicist”

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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

 

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