The Incredible Story Behind the Movie THE ELEPHANT MAN

Remember- All Movies Start with the Written Word – All of Them

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

Incredible StoryMovies, like books, sometimes have humble beginnings.

Remember the movie The Elephant Man? It was a true story about a nineteenth-century sideshow freak who was saved by a doctor portrayed in the movie by Anthony Hopkins.

THE ELEPHANT MAN, portrayed by the late John Hurt, continues to be a gold standard for artful cinematic creativity today. The movie is from Academy Award-winning film producer Jonathan Sanger.

How did this movie come about? Was it an agent’s pitch? No.

Was it an award winning script? No.

Did experienced screenwriters create this masterpiece? No.

Was it adopted from a book? No.

I recently met up with Jonathan Sanger in Hollywood when my firm Westwind Book Marketing arranged a book signing and special big screen showing of The Elephant Man at the Egyptian Theatre. Mr. Sanger introduced the movie to several hundred people where he retold the incredible story of how this movie came about.

Where did the script come from?

His babysitter handed it to him to read! That’s right, his babysitter. Sanger took the script and said he’d read it and promptly set it aside… for about a year. Then one day he came back from a trip opened his desk drawer and there it was… staring at him like an obligation.

What did he do? He read it – and he loved it!

His book “Making the Elephant Man: A Producer’s Memoir” gives us an insider’s look at the creation of one of the first ever indie films and a box-office smash, as well as a peek into the early careers of movie greats David Lynch, Mel Brooks and Anthony Hopkins.

MAKING THE ELEPHANT MAN – A PRODUCER’S MEMOIR, in Paperback and Kindle is available on Amazon or on the author’s website www.JonathanSangerProductions.com  View the book trailer here: http://bit.ly/MakingTheElephantManTrailer

 

Few members of a film audience appreciate the intricacies of the myriad aspects of making a film. Sanger takes his experience as the producer of THE ELEPHANT MAN and opens a powerful discussion on the evolution of cinema, how he ‘discovered’ a script written by ‘unknowns’ Christopher DeVore and Eric Bergren finding “it was exactly the kind of story I would want to make, a historical biography about a wretched soul who had nonetheless lived an extraordinary life” – the true story of 19th century grossly deformed John Merrick, known as the Elephant Man working in a sideshow in London who was treated by a kind Dr. Treves.

 

“When I wrote this, I was teaching a course in independent film and using my experience with this film to teach,” says Sanger. “I realized that it would be great to get these stories down and put them in a book.” For every movie he makes, Sanger keeps a notebook about the crew, the schedules, what they ordered for lunch, and other details. He was able to tap into notes from 30 years ago that brought the whole process up fresh in his mind, including the strong emotions that gripped him upon first reading the script..

“Human stories have always moved me,” says Sanger. “I like movies about people who are outliers, who are not in the mainstream for one reason or another, even if they are famous. It’s not something I’m actually seeking, it’s just a trend I’ve noticed over the years, about myself as a producer.”

Sanger’s latest two movies, both follow similar themes. In Chapter and Verse, a reformed gang leader returns to Harlem where he gets a job delivering meals.  Marshall is based on a true incident in the life of Thurgood Marshall, when he was a young lawyer, long before his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Written with passion, Sanger’s memoir takes us with elegant prose and many black and white photographs through the presentation to Mel Brooks who helped propel the young Sanger’s project into the hands of neophyte director David Lynch, the details of finding the proper crew, the cast (John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anne Bancroft), the location, the anxieties of meeting deadlines, the technical hurdles of creating a film about such a character – facing struggles at every turn. Even the final showing of the completed film to an audience of professionals, whose silence terrified Jonathan, until he learned the silence was due to the emotional impact of the story – an unspoken Bravo!

Brooklyn-born Jonathan Sanger is a highly respected producer and director of major films, television series, and theatrical productions, having earned twenty Academy Award nominations, and winning three.

 

In 1976, Sanger moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for Lorimar Television on network television series The Blue Knight and Eight Is Enough. In 1978 he was Mel Brooks’ Assistant Director on High Anxiety, which led to a long professional association. For Brooks’ wife, Anne Bancroft’s feature directorial debut film Fatso, Sanger served as Associate Producer. During this period Sanger had acquired the rights to the script of The Elephant Man – his first production which led to a successful career in both producing and directing films – films such as Frances, Without Limits, Vanilla Sky, Flight of the Navigator, The Producers, and Code Name: Emerald.

 

The Bottom Line: A good story well written delivered to the right person can be the ticket to incredible success. Remember- all movies start with the written word. All of them.

Check out this New York Post  article about Making The Elephant Man http://nypost.com/2017/02/19/how-the-inner-pain-of-a-circus-freak-became-a-surprise-hit/

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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Authors: How to Sign a Top Literary Agent

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Time to Get an AgentLanding an agent for many authors is the most sought after goal. Why? It’s been long considered the fastest and most profitable path to publishing success. If that is your goal then you’ll want to check out these tips, techniques and resources to help you land the quality literary agent you are seeking.

Where to begin?

Get up to speed with the latest information with books and resources on the topic. According to Jeff Herman, book agent and author of Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, authors should assess potential agents on the following points before sealing a deal:

  1. The list of books the agent has sold to publishers, including the publishers’ and authors’ names.
  2. The agent’s reputation online.
  3. Why s/he likes your book and how s/he plans to market your book, with reference to a timeline and how much you’ll potentially earn.

Note that real agents do not:

  1. Charge upfront fees
  2. Offer to edit for a fee
  3. Sell adjunct services to their clients
  4. Submit books to vanity or non-advance paying publishers

The critical step in the process is to research agents before you submit to them. Avoid agents who charge fees other than the standard 15 percent commission they receive on everything you get paid (your advance and royalties).

Narrow Your Search

Publishers Marketplace is one of the best places to research literary agents. Buy a subscription for $25 and access a wealth of information about publishing. With hundreds of agents hosting web pages, Publishers Marketplace is arguably the largest and most comprehensive repository to find info on top literary agencies. In fact, Publishers Marketplace claims to have “more e-mail and other contact information on more agents than any other source, updated daily.”

Member authors can create their own Publishers Marketplace web page and indicate they are seeking an agent, which advertises you to agent and publishers.

An added bonus to PublishersMarketplace.com is the deals database, which includes the actual dollar figure of the advances paid to authors for many books. The daily updates provide essential information and searches reveal editors’ buying patterns and more. The site also hosts a contact database that tracks editors on the move. Find out more here: http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/benefits.shtml

Other resources to consider include:

  1. Manuscript Wish List visit: http://mswishlist.com/
  2. AgentQuery.com
  3. QueryTracker.net
  4. WritersMarket.com
  5. Chuck Sambuchino’s Guide to Literary Agents 2017

Social media is also a powerful tool to locate agents. Search social media for associations of agents— there are plenty. Michael Larsen, literary agent, suggests authors check out the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR) http://www.aaronline.org/ as an outlet for finding quality agents. According to Larsen, “The 450 agents in AAR are the best source of experienced, reputable agents. Members are required to follow the AAR’s code of ethics.”

Another resource for finding agents is simply the acknowledgments section in books similar to what you envision your own book to be. Read the acknowledgments and collect the names of those agents mentioned and contact them directly.

Don’t be shy— Have a presence.

Share your personal brand with the world, both online and in person. It’s wise to create professional social media accounts, an online work portfolio or blog. According to Michael Larsen, “Let agents find you- be visible online and off, get published and give talks, publicize your work and yourself. When you’re visible enough, agents will find you.”  This strategy worked for Andy Weir, author of The Martian. After selling 35,000 ebooks for $.99 and topping Amazon’s Sci-Fi Bestseller List, an agent contacted Weir and he was soon represented by Random House for a book deal. On top of that FOX contacted him for the film rights of his novel. The rest is history.

A popular networking strategy is to attend writers’ conferences. Particularly for first-time authors, there’s no better way to get to an agent than at a conference. Agents typically won’t sign authors on the spot, but accept their advice and remember that networking is pivotal to a successful career. According to Chip MacGregor, literary agent and author of Ask the Agent, “I love writers’ conferences. Don’t go thinking you’re going to land an agent; just plan to meet people and learn a lot.”  Where are the best conferences? Here’s a list I’ve compiled of upcoming writer’s conferences. http://bit.ly/Writer_Conferences

Make It Perfect. Practice Proper Etiquette

“Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent because of mistakes.”  Englander served as editorial director at John Wiley Publishing for nearly 17 years and was on the receiving end of thousands of pitches from agents and authors. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals and editing manuscripts.

Also, research an agent before you submit to them and check the agent’s guidelines before packaging and submitting your work. Before you commit to an agent, settle any unfinished business with others still considering your work. Just make it clear that you have an offer that requires an immediate decision.

If you think you’re ready to be placed with an agent, consider the direction your writing career is headed. According to Chuck Sambuchino, author of the Guide to Literary Agents, “Most agents say they’re looking to represent careers, not books.”

Bottom Line: Agents can land you the deal you could never obtain yourself. But the pursuit of an agent can take months and years. If you still want an agent then study up and do it now!

About Scott Lorenz

Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous startups, iPhone app developers, authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Visit: http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

Terrific List of Writers’ Conferences for 2017

Conferences for 2017

If you would like to expand your horizons and explore more options for your writing career then sign up for a writers’ conference.  Here’s why you may want to consider adding one to your calendar.

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.

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 courtesy of Writer’s Digest for your consideration:

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: Make a commitment to attend at least one writers’ conference in the coming months. You’ll be glad you did!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications Book Marketing, 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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

 

Authors: Want Publishing Help? Get a Book Shepherd!

You can keep ‘Paying Tuition’ in the form of mistakes or you can hire a Book Shepherd who’ll save you, time money and even perhaps your sanity!

By Scott LorenzBook Shepherd 3

Westwind Communications

At some point in the writing and publishing process most authors find themselves exasperated with all of the things that need to be done. This is one reason I recommend authors look into hiring a book shepherd. A book shepherd (aka book coach), is someone whose expertise in books and publishing will help you through the entire book-crafting and selling process. Services include help with ghostwriting, editing, cover design, printing, distribution, marketing, seeking an agent, even dealing with Amazon! A book shepherd will assist you with your book from start to finish.

Sadly, I see authors make mistakes that a good book shepherd would have caught and changed. With all there is to know about the book publishing process, the constant flow of changes makes it extremely difficult to keep up with it all.  The guidance of someone experienced would be your greatest insurance policy to ensure your book is a success. It’s like hiring a guide to give you a tour of a foreign land. Would you rather read a guide book and do it yourself or hire a personal guide with special knowledge to show you?

Consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a book shepherd because it is well worth the money spent.

Debra Englander

Debra Englander

“Nothing detracts from good writing like bad editing,” says Debra Englander an experienced non-fiction editor and writer. “Submit your best work. Have it copy edited and proofread by a professional. Don’t ruin a potential relationship with an agent or publisher because of mistakes.” Debra Englander has extensive editorial experience including: reporting for Money, managing the Fortune Book Club and serving as editorial director at John Wiley for nearly 17 years. She currently works with authors on creating winning book proposals, editing manuscripts and content creation for online and print projects. I’ve known Debby for many years and she’s at the top of my list. Email her at: d_englander@yahoo.com and find out more at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/DebraEnglander

Mike Ball, an Erma Bombeck Award-winning author and syndicated columnist offers unique assistance to new authors from his position on the front lines of the publishing wars. “Writing, editing and publishing a book can be complicated, time-consuming and downright confusing,” says Ball. “I just helped out an author who got completely flummoxed by the forms Amazon threw at him. I understand it can be a daunting task for anyone. That’s why I am happy to assist authors in ghostwriting, editing and publishing.” Find Mike at http://writeittight.com

“One of the biggest challenges in writing, publishing and marketing a book is to know what to do, when to do it and how to do each step,” says Beth Barany, a book shepherd, creative business consultant for authors and publishers, and an award-winning novelist. Beth says that authors come to her because they need customized support for wherever they may be in the process. They may need brainstorming sessions to overcome writer’s block when starting a novel, help figuring out how to publish their nonfiction book, general support, or to gain ease while social media-marketing their book. A big advocate for self-publishing, Beth works with her authors to help them write, publish and market their book through the channels that make the most sense for their overall goals, timing and budget. Traditional publishing is included, of course.  To learn more about Beth Barany and to sign up for a complimentary 30-minute session, go to http://www.bethbarany.com 

Book Shepherd Gabriella Gafni, J.D. has composed countless texts for individuals from every walk of life and from every part of the globe. “With each project I undertake I ensure the narrative flows with meaning, vitality and purpose. Authors often remark that I have the ability to ‘get into their minds’ and manifest their messages in their respective voices,” says Gafni. “From first draft through publication, authors enjoy a collaborative experience destined to result in a pristine product, reflective of the author’s intent and purpose.”  For more information about Gabriella Gafni, visit http://www.gmghostwriting.com

Thomas Miller not only helps authors through all of the shepherding steps we’re discussing here, but he’s also an expert audiobook narrator and producer. “Your book should generate multiple revenue streams beside just hardback, paperback and Kindle/Nook sales,” says Miller. “The audiobook market is growing faster than the conventional book market. If you publish, you should also produce an audiobook.” Miller

Thomas Miller Ghostwriter, Podcaster and Book Shepherd

Thomas Miller, Ghostwriter, Podcaster and Book Shepherd

believes that some authors could create a seminar or workshop so that their book leads to online courses and coaching services. Thomas Miller can help advise authors on all of these revenue streams and can either narrate or guide them on an audiobook. He also offers ghostwriting services at an affordable price. I’ve known and worked directly with him several years now and he’s top-shelf in my book. Contact Thomas Miller at http://ghostwriterr.com/

For some authors an Author Assistant may be the way to go.  Maria Connor is the author of Do Less, Write More: The Author’s Guide to Finding, Hiring and Keeping an Excellent Author Assistant. She is the founder/owner of My Author Concierge, which provides administrative, editorial, marketing and technical support services for authors. She has worked with more than 50 authors across multiple genres. For more information, visit www.MyAuthorConcierge.com

“I meet a lot of authors who have books they are not happy with,” says Marie White owner of Zamiz Press. “From covers they don’t like to missing versions of the book, such

Marie White Publisher Book Shepherd

Marie White, Author, Book Shepherd and Publisher

as audio or ebook, to no ‘look inside’ feature online. They are frustrated and alone in the process.” If need be, White helps authors get their book back from a publisher and then republishes the book as they always envisioned it. “Most authors still retain the rights to their book, even after it’s published. I help them understand the publishing process and feel confident.” Reach Maria at:  www.ZamizPress.com

Known as “Book Whisperer” Michael Ray King can help authors get to the finish line. With 10 published books, five Royal Palm Literary Awards for writing, over 20 manuscripts written and helping over 100 new authors get their manuscripts written, Michael can help you with most writing and publishing needs.  https://michaelrayking.com

Rik Feeny Florida Writers Assn Book Coach Magnetic Speak

Rik Feeney – Book Coach

Rik Feeney is a Book Coach and Publishing Consultant. He speaks at writer’s conferences and seminars and is the leader of the Orlando Florida Writer’s Association group. Rik’s passion is helping authors effectively and successfully publish their books. Contact Rik for a free consultation. www.RikFeeney.com

The Bottom Line: Whether you call it a book shepherd or book coach, these book publishing experts will help save you time, money and perhaps even your sanity!

Be sure to check out a list of book shepherds below which was originally created by the late Dan Poynter and now recently updated and expanded upon by Westwind Book Marketing.

Zip Code/Country, Name, Email, Website

06001 Brian Jud brianjud@bookmarketing.com; www.bookmarketingworks.com

68137 Lisa Pelto info@conciergemarketing.com; www.conciergemarketing.com

80015 Judith Briles, PhD judith@thebookshepherd.com; www.TheBookShepherd.com

89509 Jacqueline Simonds jcsimonds@beaglebay.com; www.beaglebay.com

90212 Joseph Coleman info@bookshep.com; www.bookshep.com

92111 Lindee Rochelle LinDee@PenchantForPenning.com www.penchantforpenning.com

92653 Sharon Goldinger pplspeak@att.net; www.detailsplease.com/peoplespeak

94304 John Eggen John@MissionMarketingMentors.com; www.missionmarketingmentors.com

94801 Peter Beren peterberen@aol.com; www.peterberen.com

95437 Cynthia Frank info@cypresshouse.com; www.cypresshouse.com

95476 Simon Warwick-Smith warwick@vom.com; www.warwickassociates.net

22206 Gabriella Gafni — gabriellawrites@gmail.com; www.gmghostwriting.com

81611 Thomas Miller Thomas@ghostwriterr.com; http://ghostwriterr.com/

 

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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

 

Jess Todtfeld Launches New Book: Media Secrets

#1 Bestseller on Amazon in 25 Categories & 4 Countries

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Media trainer and esteemed “media guru” Jess Todtfeld recently launched his new book, mediasecretscoverMedia Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course. The book shows readers how to earn press coverage, ace interviews and personally gain the most from media interviews.

Media Secrets taps into Jess Todtfeld’s former career as a producer for CBS, NBC and FOX to reveal how you can make the most of your time in the media spotlight. Jess was a former producer on FOX & Friends where we met a few years ago. Utilizing his unique grasp on the industry, Jess Todtfeld exposes how the media industry operates and how you can use that to your advantage.

Use Sound Bites. Todtfeld says the best interviews include succinct quotes or “sound bites” that the media can extract and then publish from entire dialogue. Here are some ways to frame your most important points during an interview to increase media pick up:

  • Express Emotion
  • Speak in Absolutes
  • Use Action Words
  • Use Clichés
  • Use Analogies
  • Use Humor
  • Include Facts and Examples
  • Make Predictions
  • Ask Rhetorical Questions

“The media especially likes predictions,” says Todtfeld, “It takes the heat off them and it’s interesting to hear what you think could play out.  In the future, if they figure out whether or not your prediction came true, they may choose to bring you back on.”

“Give some of your best answers early in the interview,” says Todtfeld, “Especially if it’s taped or recorded, because they may only use your answers from that first part of the interview.”

Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course is available in both eBook and hard copy. Visit http://bit.ly/MediaSecrets and watch the video and bonus links with tips to “Get on Good Morning America.”

Bottom Line:  If you are serious about maximizing your media exposure and every media opportunity, then buy this book. You owe it to yourself to learn from a top media pro how to optimize each interview so it converts to sales, web traffic or other opportunities.

 

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications Book Marketing, 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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Podcast with Business Book Ghost Writer and Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Scott Lorenz Interview wi Biz Book Ghostwriter

Be honest… did you think you were done with your job as an author when you typed

“The End”?

Have you heard that you need to market your book, but aren’t sure where to start?

Are you overwhelmed by all the book marketing advice out there?

In this podcast where I was interviewed by a business book ghost writer, I’ll share a little about the easy things you can do to market your book—whether it’s been out for a week or a few years.

Click here to listen to the interview http://bit.ly/A–46

Top Book Fairs and Festivals for Authors in 2016

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

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

22 Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2015, Top Book Fairs

Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend

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 authors can attend for 2016. 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 gig or speaking slot 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: http://www.BookTV.org and click on the Book Fairs tab.   For more information about book events and book marketing visit   http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

 

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2016 as of the date of this publishing:

  1. Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 5-10, 2016, in Santa Barbara, California. There will be more than 20 different instructional workshops each day. http://www.sbwriters.com
  2. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 11 & 12 2016, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 150,000 book lovers. http://printersrowlitfest.org
  3. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-28, 2016, Orlando, Florida. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. http://2016.alaannual.org
  4. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 26-June 29, 2016, Cincinnati, OH. 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. http://www.marketingchristianbooks.com
  5. Harlem Book Festival, July 16, 2016 Harlem, NYC visited by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span http://www.harlembookfair.com
  6. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin August 5, 2016 and finish August 6, 2016 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2016/rmbpf_2016_GeneralInfo.html
  7. Writers at Woody Point, August 16-21, 2016 in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Travel to Canada and see what creativity and talent lies across the border. http://www.writersatwoodypoint.com
  8. Decatur Book Festival, September 2-4, 2016, 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. http://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  9. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 8-10, 2016. http://visitwinstonsalem.com/special-events/view/bookmarks-festival-of-books-and-authors
  10. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 12, 2016 and run through September 18, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org
  11. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be held September 22-25, 2016. http://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/
  12. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 23, 2016 and end September 25, 2016. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com
  13. Chicago Writers Conference, September 23-25, 2016 in Chicago. Topics include writing unlikeable characters, how to pitch, etc. http://www.chicagowritersconference.org
  14. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 4, 2016 and end October 9, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org
  15. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 8-9, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com
  16. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 14, 2016 through October 16, 2016. http://humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  17. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will take place on October 15, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://www.vegasvalleybookfestival.org
  18. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (40th Annual) will be held October 28, 2016 through October 30, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://bostonbookfair.com
  19. The Texas Book Festival will begin November 5, 2016 and end November 6, 2016 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org

 

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 http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at: http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com

How a #SELF-PUBLISHED #Author went from 99¢ ebook to Movie Blockbuster #THEMARTIAN

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

Did you know that Andy Weir author of The Martian first published a series of blog posts, then an ebook? Yes, it’s true. Before The Martian  became a Hollywood legend it had humble beginnings… on a blog. Here’s the backstory of  this self-published author.

SELF-PUBLISHEDAuthor Andy Weir wrote The Martian in 2011 and it’s now one of the most popular movies of the day. It is a story about fearless astronaut Mark Watney, played by actor Matt Damon, who overcomes several challenges after being left behind by his team on Mars.

How did Weir get the inspiration to write a bestselling novel and Sci-Fi blockbuster extravaganza? With rejection of course…

“I was sitting around thinking about how to do a human mission to Mars, not for a story but just for the heck of it. I started thinking about how I would do it and all the things that could go wrong, and I realized it would make a great story. So I made up a protagonist and subjected him to all of it,” said Weir in an interview with SmithsonianMag.com.

“I had tried before to write novels and submitted them to agents but no one was interested,” said Weir.

Weir grew up with parents who were an electronics engineer and a particle physicist and became interested in science, technology, and of course Sci-Fi classics including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Robert Heinlein, and let’s not forget Dr. Who, according to an article by Micah White on Biography.com.

Weir was a computer programmer at AOL, but when they merged with Netscape he was let go and with his severance package went on to fulfill a dream of his to write fiction.

In 2009 Weir began writing The Martian as a hobby and posted chapters on his website for interested readers. He gained a few thousand followers, many of whom were scientists that provided technical accuracy of the story. From there, The Martian was completed and posted on his website as a free e-book.

“If it wasn’t for the Internet, the story wouldn’t have been possible at all because I wouldn’t have had any medium to tell stories. I wasn’t even trying to break into the industry anymore, I was doing it as a labor of love,” said Weir in his SmithsonianMag.com interview.

“Chemists actually pointed out some problems in early drafts,” said Weir in an interview with Businessinsider.com. With that he was able to go back and correct some of the chemistry that was crucial for Watney’s survival.

This self-publishing author followed his true passion without any additional help from an agent or marketing team and continued to write even though he received many rejection letters.

“I was afraid it was going to read like a Wikipedia article if I didn’t make it really interesting,” said Weir during a discussion of The Martian at the recent Human MARS Summit in Washington D.C.

In September 2012, the book became available on Amazon for $0.99, selling 35,000 copies and moving it up to the top of Amazon’s Sci-Fi Bestseller List. After topping the Bestseller List on Amazon, an agent contacted Weir and he was soon represented by Random House for a book deal. On top of that Fox contacted him for the film rights of his novel.

Within days of each other both deals closed and the computer programmer had gone from a self-published author to published author (selling nearly 1 million copies) to the creator of Hollywood’s 2015 blockbuster.

Even NASA loved the publicity from The Martian with the following tweets:

  • NASA astronaut and #TheMartian movie actress hope to inspire the next generation of astronauts on our #journeytomars
  • Watching #TheMartian? See how our Deep Space Habitat compares to one in the film: go.nasa.gov/1iUaBKi

“It was such a sudden launch into the big leagues that I literally had a difficult time believing it,” said Weir in an interview on his site. “I was actually warned it could all be an elaborate scam. So I guess that was my first reaction: ‘Is this really happening?’”

Persistence is key in the self-publishing book business. Almost every writer goes through the struggle, some having an agent, some not. The idea behind The Martian is that similar to Mark Watney, Andy Weir did the best he could with the limited resources that he had; no agent, no marketing team and no publisher. He, like Watney, took the creative spark he harnessed and prevailed in his struggle to find success.

The Bottom Line:  There’s a wealth of brilliant self-published authors striving to succeed. For some authors big success awaits. The difference is often getting just a little exposure. If the New York Times and other publications who routinely dismiss self-published authors would take a look at the fine work created by these talented people The Martian will indeed leave an indelible imprint on the self-publishing landscape. To the NY Times: See what you are missing!

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. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist  http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

National Publicity Summit – Should You Go?

As a book publicist I get asked by clients and authors about going to the National Publicity Summit in New York. I’ve attended almost every Summit since Steve Harrison started it and go Authors Take Your Book to Next Level, National Publicity Summitonce or twice a year to create new media relationships, maintain old ones and of course, to pitch my clients to the media. Through the Summit, I’ve gotten clients booked on Fox News, PBS, CNBC, MSNBC and a number of national magazines.

I represent a lot of authors. Here’s the problem: authors have to do most of the promotion of their books if they want them to sell. Even if you’ve been picked up by one of the big publishing houses, they only do so much to get you media attention. This is the reality.

So, let’s say you decide to get media attention yourself. You plan your trip to New York City, where most of the big media are headquartered. You roll into Manhattan with your strategy all laid out: “First, I’m going to try to meet with the producer of Good Morning America, and then I’m going to Fox News, and then I’m going to see the guy at Reuters. After lunch, I’m going to try to talk to the Today Show and then I’m going to stop by and see if I can talk to the producer of 60 Minutes.”

Forget about it. It’s not going to happen.

Reason #1 why I recommend the Summit for many people is access, one-on-one, to these media gatekeepers in a very efficient and organized event. But is it for every author? Depending on your situation, it may or may not make sense to go. I’d recommend it if you have a consumer-oriented, non-fiction topic. Does it have broad audience appeal? Can your book help the average person in their day-to-day lives? If so, then it makes sense for you to consider attending.

If you have a highly technical topic such as how computers work, or one about a historical event such as WWII, it probably doesn’t make sense to go to the Publicity Summit, unless you can connect your book to current trends. (In fact, the Summit staff will probably turn down your application if they feel that the media would not be interested in the topic.) Generally, fiction, poetry and books about localized topics will not do well at the Summit. For example, a book about the best bars in Chicago would probably not be of interest to the national media who attend the Summit.

Should you go if you feel you’re not ready to meet the media? Here’s the dirty little secret: no-one feels ready. Don’t worry about that. If you’re an expert with a decent topic with a unique angle, the Summit can work for you. Go there to build relationships, yes, but also go to get feedback from the news industry professionals. I’ve seen people before the Summit starts coming in thinking they’re heading in one direction, then after having interacted with 100 journalists and producers, leaving with all new information or direction…a better book title, the perfect pitch, new business ventures and relationships.

I’m such a fan of Steve Harrison and his National Publicity Summit that I am now an affiliate for the Summit. If you are interested in attending please check out this link: http://j.mp/PR-Summit

National Publicity Summit: 9 Tips for Making the Most of It

To sell your book or product, you have to do whatever it takes to create a buzz. As a public headlinerelations professional, the best thing I can do for my clients is stay current with my media connections so that I can pitch their topics. A resource I’ve clued into is the National Publicity Summit in New York City. I attend this event to meet media once or twice a year and have gotten clients booked on Fox News, CNBC, NPR and in a number of national magazines as a result It’s not an inexpensive event, but I have found that it’s an efficient use of my time and money.

Here’s what I’ve learned about how to make the most of attending the National Publicity Summit:

  1. Change your PR mindset right now. Become a news-junky and learn to tie in current events to your own topic. Get magazines like O, The Oprah Magazine or Woman’s Day, watch shows like Good Morning America. Study how they present their stories and guests and think about how you could fit into their format.
  1. Wear fantastically comfortable shoes. You’ll be standing a lot over those three days and you want to be happy when you pitch the media.
  1. Develop one-sheeters to give to the media you meet. These are one page documents, printed in color and represent your pitch, show ideas and contact information. The Summit staff assist you on creating this ahead of time. At the end of your pitch time you hand the media person your business card and I recommend stapling this to your one-sheeter.
  1. Develop more than one pitch or story idea. I have found that when I’m pitching the media, not every idea will fly. When I come to the Summit armed with a variety of show possibilities, this lets me easily get into a positive conversation with the media. If they don’t like my first idea, I try a backup.
  1. Be yourself. Be authentic and have open, frank conversations with the media. The media are looking for real people who will represent their areas of expertise and who their audiences can relate to.
  1. Look your best. The media attend the Summit time and again because not only do the get to not only hear pitches, but they also get an idea about how you might look on TV. I know that a lot of Summit folks get advice from image consultants.
  1. Go lean, but not mean! You spend three days pitching the media and the last thing you want is to be weighed down by too much stuff like bags, briefcases, boxes, etc. Just bring enough books, one-sheets and business cards for the immediate appointments at hand.
  1. Take the pressure off the immediate “hit” and focus on building a relationship with the media. Think strategically and long-term. You probably have more than one book you’re going to promote in the future. Sure, you want to appear on their show or in their magazine, but think about the media as people doing their jobs. How would you build a personal relationship with an important person in your life? Treat the media the same as you would a respected colleague. If you get the media to like you, they will follow your career and continue to work with you as long as you have a good story. As a direct result of the Summit, I can call ABC’s The View and pitch them anytime. That’s priceless.
  1. Come to the Summit open to what may happen with your fellow attendees. I’ve gone to these events thinking that I’d just go for specific goals with the media. But, because I had put myself “out there,” I’d get into conversations with other attendees as we waited in line and from that, I’ve gotten new clients, joint venture partners and other strategic alliances. The attendees going to this event are the superstar authors of tomorrow.

The bottom line: You need the media to get the word out about your book. In the book marketing and public relations business, I know that you have to connect with the media before they will “buy” what you are pitching. The allows that connection to be made.

I’m such a fan of the National Publicity Summit that I am now an affiliate for it. If you are interested in attending please check out this link.