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.

Ex-Playboy Bunny’s Book Tops Best Seller List Through Social Media

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

In today’s world, social media is a dominating force that can make or break your career in almost every aspect. In this case, social media can help promote your work to a large and varied audience. To prove this theory, take a look at the rapid growth of popularity of Holly Madison’s book Down The Rabbit Hole, which is at the top of the New York Times Best Seller List.down the rabbit hole cover

Holly Madison, the ex-Playboy bunny, reality show star, mother, wife and ex-girlfriend of Hugh Hefner has made quite an image for herself and her book on social media with 1.38 million Twitter followers. On Twitter her hashtags are #downtherabbithole and #hollymadison. According to ritetag.com the hashtag #hollymadison has 2.42K potential views per hour. The hashtag #downtherabbithole has 3.78K potential views per hour.

So what is the intriguing factor for authors about social media? Social media allows direct communication to thousands or even millions of followers (all at no cost), and is credited in great part for making Down The Rabbit Hole an instant success. Using social media also allows authors to meet a whole new audience of readers and gain new ideas for books from the social community.

In an article by Chuck Sambuchino, of Writer’s Digest, Grammar Girl creator Mignon Fogarty said, “I think you really have to enjoy interacting on social networks or you won’t do it well or stay with it. You can’t force yourself to do it; you have to find the things you like and do those even if they aren’t the most popular. For one person it might be Twitter, for another LinkedIn, for another YouTube, for another podcasting, and another blogging.”

Estelle Maskame, Bestselling author of Did I Mention I Love You, (DIMILY) became an Internet sensation by using social media and gained 123K followers on Twitter @EstelleMaskame. With the help of her friends and Wattpad, Estelle’s book reached four million hits on Wattpad. “Using social media to promote my work means that I’ve got a close connection with my readers, especially now, because they’ve been with me since the early days. In a way, we’re all in this together, and ever since the start, I’ve always loved going on Twitter to interact with them,” said Maskame.

Other authors who have successfully used social media to gain recognition for their work include Paulo Coelho. Coelho used Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch with his readers and promote his work by sharing quotes and photos of his life and trips he has been on. The Alchemist spent 270 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List with the help and use of social media. According to a Wall Street Journal article, while doing research for his new book Adultery, Coelho’s fans shared over 1,000 emails with personal infidelity stories.  Talk about intimate communications!

Margaret Atwood, a Man Booker prizewinner, has made extensive use of digital platforms. Atwood is an avid tweeter with her fans, and has a knack for posting creative insight about her latest work. She also used Wattpad to collaborate with another author to create a serialized zombie novel. For aspiring authors, Atwood ran a contest encouraging them to try fan fiction.

With social media, authors have a chance to succeed. Using social media for your work is important because of the vast attraction of readers you’ll get to engage with. There are quite a few social sites to post your work on and get feedback on your book before and after it is published.

The Bottom Line: Anyone can use social media to promote their work; it’s so easy even a bunny can do it.  

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

 

Top Book Fairs and Festivals for Authors in 2015

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

22 Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2015

22 Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2015

Book festivals and fairs are a great 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 2015:

  1. Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 18 & 19, 2015. The festival attracts more than 150,000 people. http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks  
  1. 2015 Dayton Book Expo, April 25, 2015, David H. Ponitz Conference Center, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio http://www.Daytonbookexpo.com
  1. South Carolina Book Festival takes place May 15-17, 2015. Held in the Colombia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC, more than 6,000 book lovers attend http://www.scbookfestival.org/
  1. BookExpo America, May 27-29, 2015, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It’s worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend. http://www.bookexpoamerica.com
  1. Millbrook Literary Festival, May 30, 2015. Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors.  http://www.millbrookbookfestival.org/
  1. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 6 & 7, 2015, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 125,000 book lovers. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest/
  1. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 25-30, 2015, San Francisco, CA. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. http://www.alaannual.org/
  1. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 28-July1, 2015, Orlando, FL http://www.christianretailshow.com/ 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
  1. Harlem Book Festival, July 18, 2015 Harlem, NYC harlembookfair.com  Attended by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span
  1. Decatur Book Festival, September 4-6, 2015, 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
  1. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin July 31, 2015 and finish August 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2014/rmbpf_2014_GeneralInfo.html
  1. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 14, 2015 and run through September 21, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/
  1. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 12, 2015. http://bookmarksnc.org/events/festival
  1. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, South Dakota will be held September 24-27, 2015. http://www.sdbookfestival.com/
  1. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 25, 2015 and end September 27, 2015. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com/
  1. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 1, 2015 and end October 4, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org/
  1. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 9, 2015 through October 11, 2015. http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  1. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 10-11, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com/
  1. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will run from October 15, 2015 through October 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://vegasvalleybookfestival.org/
  1. The Texas Book Festival will begin October 17, 2015 and end October 18, 2015 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org/
  1. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (39th Annual) will be held November 13, 2015 through November 15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.bostonbookfair.com
  1. The Miami Book Fair International will kick off in Miami, Florida on November 15, 2015 and wrap up November 22, 2015. http://www.miamibookfair.com

The Bottom Line: Take a little working vacation and hit some book festivals. Make it a priority to visit a book festival 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 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

37 Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015

Book Award Contests

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2015!

As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

Book Award Contests

Enter Book Award Contest and Become an Award Winning Author!

As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, 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.
Another client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction book.

https://giphy.com/gifs/ElZ4GKHUbOpQA/html5

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity 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 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 book store.  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 37 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. Enter to win The 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market. https://secure.independentpublisher.com/cart/?process=product_detail&product_id=4
  1. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Formerly ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards Check it out here https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/
  1. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards http://bookcritics.org/awards/award_submissions/
  1. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Entry Forms are due March 6 and Finished Books are due June 19. http://www.themanbookerprize.com/node/20
  1. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31 http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyapp/newberyapplication
  1. Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottapp/caldecottapplication.cfm
  1. 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/
  1. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/nomination/
  1. See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.” http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Edgars-Info
  1. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. http://www.ft.com/intl/management/business-book-award
  1. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction site will reopen for new entries in May 2015. http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter
  1. The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaentry.html
  1. Enter the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards by March 10, 2015. The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php
  1. Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award
  1. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important ebook only award. http://globalebookawards.com/
  1. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is June 30. Check it out here http://www.autumnhouse.org/contest-submissions/
  1. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details

http://www.pen-ne.org/hemingway-foundationpen-award/

  1. Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants
  1. 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
  1. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/discover_program/discover_program.html
  1. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/
  1. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year. Just do it. http://bookfestivals.com/
  1. 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, 2015 http://www.indieexcellence.com
  1. 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/
  1. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their 27th year of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback–unique in the industry. For more information, visit http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/
  1. USA Best Book Awards has a ten year track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book Newswhich covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published.  http://www.usabooknews.com/2015usabestbookawards.html
  1. 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/
  1. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. All you need is a CreateSpace account. Check out this year’s winners and learn how to enter: http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=332264011
  1. 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 April 1, 2015. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished
  1. 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/annual-book-award-contest.htm
  1. 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. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=525
  1. Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the “Eppies” https://www.epicorg.com/competitions/epic-s-ebook-competition.html
  1. 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/
  1. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 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/HAbooks.html
  1. 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
  1. The International Book Awards (IBA 2015) 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/
  1. The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences. https://app.wizehive.com/apps/DigitalBookAwards15

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, “The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I’ve seen this happen with librarians — when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn’t have an award to its credit. I’m confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well.”

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 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

 

 

Book Marketing Video Westwind

http://youtu.be/bTsTCKjLxc8

37 Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015 http://j.mp/Book-Awards-2015

Mark Zuckerberg’s Book Club Really Puts “The Book” in Facebook

By Scott Lorenz

One of the most fascinating stories to kick off 2015 featured Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the powerful social media giant Facebook, announcing his New Year’s Resolution to read a new book every other week, and invited all his Facebook Friends to join him in the effort.

The result is A Year Of Books, is essentially the Mark Zuckerberg Book Club – even though Zuckerberg appears to carefully avoid calling it that.Girl Reading book word Cloud Color

Unlike Oprah Winfrey’s famous book club, the purpose of Mark’s new entry is not to boost book sales; he wants to promote the reading and discussion of books. Because of the unprecedented market reach of Facebook, I can predict without hesitation that the day will come soon when Mark Zuckerberg’scommunity will surpass Oprah’s Book Club. True, Oprah is a strong force among American readers, but Zuckerberg reaches the entire world, delivering a mass audience exceeding 1.35 billion users.

In A Year of Books, Zuckerberg has created a Facebook community page, so readers can read the same book then share their impressions and ideas about it. The first work Zuckerberg chose was The End of Power, by Moises Naim.

“We will read a new book every two weeks and discuss it here,” explains Zuckerberg on his new page. “Our books will emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. Suggestions for new books to read are always welcome. We ask that everyone who participates read the books, and we will moderate the discussions and group membership to keep us on topic.”

Shortly after Zuckerberg suggested The End of Power as the first book to be read, it sold out on amazon.com. So we can expect the his book club to be very influential in the international literary community. The new venture was announced over the first weekend of the New Year, and by Monday morning had more than 135,000 Likes.

I think it is a great idea for Mark Zuckerberg to use the broad reach of Facebook to encourage people everywhere to do more reading. And if the idea catches on, which I am pretty sure it will, than the world will be a better place by far because of the increase in reading by many who otherwise limit their exposure to television, tablets, and smartphones.

Zuckerberg admits as much when commenting on his new venture: “I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.”
For authors, A Year of Books offers a fine opportunity to promote their books by nominating their book to be included amongst Zuckerberg’s every other week choices. But do not waste your time nominating a book of fiction, romance, mystery, adventure, intrigue or a similar genre. Mark has made it clear he is only interested in books dealing with new beliefs, new cultures, histories and technologies. As an example, I nominated an art photography book with a heavy emphasis on the history of Paris – The Glow of Paris – The Bridges of Paris at Night by Gary Zuercher. To post a nomination simply go to the Facebook Community, “A Year of Books,” and go to the post discussion column on the left-side of the page.

The Atlantic magazine predicts that Zukerberg’s New Year’s resolution will have far-reaching effects: “Facebook isn’t just a social publishing platform or an online destination; Facebook wants to be part of everything you do online. It wants to be, as Carr put it, the “fabric of the mobile world,” which means the company’s growth depends on a slew of projects that have little to do with status updates. Facebook wants to build the infrastructure of our online lives, which, in a mobile world, turns out to be the infrastructure of our offline lives, too.”

The New York Times reported: “For publishers, an unanticipated endorsement from a celebrity or chief executive can be both a dream come true and a logistical nightmare. But responding to sudden spikes in demand has become easier with advances in digital publishing. A few years ago, Perseus created a digital platform, Constellation, that allows it to quickly fulfill new orders. While in the past it might have taken two to three weeks to print and ship additional copies, the company can now restock a book almost instantly. “The End of Power” was listed as out of stock for a few hours on Monday, but quickly became available again.”

2015 has just begun, but Mark Zuckerberg’s Resolution shows that we are off to a great and memorable start that will certainly result in new opportunities for authors, readers, and book publishers. When Facebook users join together every two weeks to read the same book, the world will change in ways we cannot now begin to grasp. But change it will.

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

What Authors Can Learn From Motown Hits

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

With hard work, perseverance and a little luck, your book could be “Cruisin” with Smokey Robinson to the bestseller list and you will be “Dancin’ in the Streets” with Martha and the Vandellas. 

Motown_The_MusicalWho doesn’t love the music of Motown?  Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Lionel Richie and The Four Tops – their classic songs have entertained people from all walks of life for over 50 years.

I recently noticed that the titles of some of the biggest Motown hits also suggest some important themes that can help guide authors to improve their careers. Let’s have a look:

“What’s Goin’ On” (Marvin Gaye) advises you to educate yourself on what is going on in the publishing industry. It’s a moving target; what worked last year might not work today. It’s imperative that authors keep abreast of the changing publishing industry by reading books and magazine articles, going to book fairs and festivals and attending writer’s conferences.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye) tells you to use today’s version of the grapevine, social media such as Twitter and Facebook, to promote your literary work. Authors should be sure to stay up to date about what others are saying about them, their work, and what their competitors are publishing as well. Be sure to keep your page updated and have frequent interaction with your followers to retain their interest.

Respect” (Aretha Franklin) reminds you to treat others the way you want to be treated. Share resources and knowledge with fellow authors. Respond to comments and questions on social media. Take on a mentee. Be kind. Network. Respect the time and effort you’ve put into your craft and help others to do the same.

“Shop Around” (The Miracles) advises you to “shop” for the best book publisher, publicist, and others who can help make your book a success. This is not similar to shopping for commodities at the mall or grocery store; you should go with the person who provides the best quality for your needs, rather than the one with the lowest price. An investment in good editing, good book cover design and good marketing will help create a solid foundation in the long run.

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (Stevie Wonder) When signing a publishing deal make sure to look over the fine print, and ask questions about the contract. You, as the author, do not want to be obligated to terms that you were not aware of.  Remember, “Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) so make sure you ask a lawyer to look over the contract before you sign.

“It Takes Two” (Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston), and “Rescue Me” (Aretha Franklin). Don’t be afraid to ask for help because publishing and marketing a book can be a nerve-wracking and overwhelming task for a first-time author. Do not wait until you need a rescue before calling in the professionals. As a book marketing expert, I’ve seen many authors make costly decisions that have to be rectified, which include bad titles, bad covers, bad editing, or lack thereof. “Stop in the Name of Love” (The Supremes) for your book.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell) inspires you to be steadfast and resilient in order to be successful. For example, 100+ publishers rejected Mark Victor Hanson, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, but he had the tenacity to keep searching for someone who would publish him.

The Bottom Line: “You Can’t Hurry Love,” (The Supremes).  Success will not happen overnight and it’s not always easy as “ABC” (Jackson 5).  But it doesn’t have to be a “Ball of Confusion” (Temptations.) With hard work, perseverance and a little luck, your book could be “Cruisin” with Smokey Robinson to the bestseller list and you will be “Dancin’ in the Streets” with Martha and the Vandellas.  J

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm based in a Motown suburb 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.

Says Lorenz, “If you need help, just reach out, “I’ll Be There!” (The Four Tops). 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 Get a Sales Force of 65,000 Reps to Sell Your Book

By Scott Lorenz 

Westwind Communications

Brian Judd 65K Sales Force Article 12-3-14Over the years many authors have complained about the time, energy, harassment, and money required to get bookstores to stock their book. They bemoaned the fact that there was not a better way and dealing with bookstores seemed like a necessary evil to be endured, and endured and endured again.

Well, now there is a better way and authors who don’t want to invest themselves or their money in bookstores have another choice. I will wait until the loud and wild applause subsides before continuing.

A business associate and friend, Brian Jud, has come up with an alternative, revolutionary method to help authors sell their books to non-bookstore buyers on a non-returnable, commission basis.

Instead of dealing with dozens of bookstores, the author can instead tap into thousands of sales persons to sell their books to buyers in schools, corporations, associations, and government agencies.

Writers working with Brian Jud’s Premium Book Company, LCC, will have their books shown in a catalog used by 65,000 commissioned sales people to sell to buyers, on a non-returnable basis, with whom they have a relationship. When an order is taken the seller buys the book from the author at 60 percent off the list price and the seller pays the shipping charges.

Writers who sign up with Premium Book Company will:

  • Have sales representation to non-bookstore buyers for as long as the book is in print.
  • Have their book displayed on the company’s search engine accessible by even more sales people.
  • Pay a one-time set up fee of $250 for the first title, $175 for the second title and $125 for each additional title added to the catalog.
  • Have an option of buying quarter-page, half-page or full-page ads in the catalog.
  • Be able to exhibit books at major premium shows.
  • Have access to video tutorials which show how authors can tap the non-traditional book store market.

In effect, the author hires a national sales force of 65,000 for $250.  “We know who and where the buyers are, and what they want, and so are equipped to do all the selling and negotiating for the writer,” Brian tells me. “The author gets incremental revenue without having to do any of the selling. And once the one-time catalog set-up fee is paid we sell on a commission-only basis.”

The advantage to his approach is that the author can focus on writing and appearing at book signings or seminars and leave the selling to others. So there should be a shorter time between books which allows the author to build his reputation amongst readers even faster. I share the same advice with writers about why they should hire a professional PR firm to market their books.

While a good idea in general, attending book fairs and exhibits also can rob authors of valuable time that could be spent researching and writing their next book. It is necessary, of course, for authors to attend book signings but there is no reason why they should not rely on the Premium Book Company to represent them and display their book(s) at trade shows, conferences, and book fairs.

If you want to know more about this unique sales approach and how it might benefit you personally contact Brian Jud at BrianJud@bookmarketing.com. He’s a busy guy but he had time to talk with me so I’m pretty sure he will take time to talk with you. You can also check out his website at: http://premiumbookcompany.com/

I would not want any writer, however, to misinterpret my comments about traditional book stores with selling books, especially digital books, at online book outlets. Any author seeking to be a best seller needs also to make their book available on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and similar online outlets and hire a professional PR firm to make sure readers know the book is available.

The Bottom Line: Check out the non-book store option because once a book is sold into this channel its stays sold unlike the traditional book store channel where books are ‘sold’ on consignment.

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

Book Publicity Idea: Link Your Book to Holidays and Special Events

list of holidays and events for authors

Learn how to tie your book into a holiday or special event.

One creative way to get publicity for your book is to tie it to a holiday or special event. You’ll be able to reach out to the media who often need a ‘reason’ to showcase your book right now. Furthermore you may be able to reach your audience on a more personal level by promoting your book alongside a national holiday, theme month, or cause. There are thousands of holidays that celebrate various concepts as well as traditional holidays that can be used to market your book; you just have to find them.

There are a couple of terrific websites that are perfect for authors by providing a searchable list of national days of ‘this or that’ for every day of the year. On Days of The Year site I searched ‘book’ and found dozens of relevant days. For example November 1st is National Author’s Day. Who knew? The site provides background about who started an event, when it started and just enough info for you to tie your book in to the holiday. Another site is Holiday Insights. They have listings for each day of the month. There are plenty of examples I could enumerate but check it out and see for yourself. With so many possibilities, finding holidays that can be linked to your book will be no problem.  Check them out at these links: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/  and http://www.holidayinsights.com/

How do you tie your book in to a national month like Breast Cancer Awareness month? I once promoted Jackie Miles, author of Cold Rock River, during Bipolar Disorder Awareness Month because she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I also tied a promotion of a horse rescue group in to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont races because the country is focused and interested in horses during that time of year. I also once got television and newspaper coverage for a dentist when we came up with a sugar-free Easter basket. We offered parents tips on how to give non sugar-filled treats over the holiday and received tremendous exposure by doing so. This would be a perfect technique for a dentist with a book as well.

I also promoted a book about sports clichés tapping into the season of each sport and the author’s commentary and collection of clichés about that sport during its season. For example, we pitched sports writers about football during the time they are covering it and baseball during the summer months. I know it may sound basic but people don’t want to hear about hockey in the summer so you have to tailor your pitch and timing accordingly.

In my experience, subjects such as military books and novels do very well before anniversaries of dates of military and historical events like Memorial Day, July 4th, D-Day, Pearl Harbor Day, 911 etc.  Books on the topic of overcoming breast cancer will see increased sales during October due to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Simply think about the subject matter of your book or any cause that is close to you, personally, and promote your book alongside the specific occasion, cause, or holiday.

Other holidays and cause or theme months to consider include:

  • January
    • New Years
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Chinese New Year
  • February
    • Black History Month
    • Groundhog Day
    • Valentine’s Day
    • President’s Day
    • Ash Wednesday
  • March
    • Women’s History Month
    • Read Across America Day
    • St. Patrick’s Day
    • First Day of Spring
  • April
    • Autism Awareness Month
    • Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
    • April Fools Day
    • Easter (Sunday)
    • Earth Day
  • May
    • National Pet Month
    • Social Media Month
    • May Day
    • Cinco de Mayo
    • Mother’s Day
    • Armed Forces Day
    • Memorial Day
  • June
    • LGBT Pride Month
    • D-Day Anniversary
    • Father’s Day
    • First Day of Summer
  • July
    • Independence Day/ 4th of July
  • August
    • Friendship Day
    • “Back to School”
  • September
    • Labor Day
    • Grandparent’s Day
    • Patriot Day (9/11)
    • International Day of Peace
    • First Day of Fall
  • October
    • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
    • Columbus Day
    • Sweetest Day
    • National Boss Day
    • United Nations Day
    • Halloween
  • November
    • Veteran’s Day
    • Thanksgiving
  • December
    • Pearl Harbor Day
    • First Day of Winter
    • Christmas
    • New Year’s Eve

The Bottom Line: Find a way to tie your book to special events or holidays and you’ll increase your chances of getting media coverage. Members of the press are looking for unique and interesting twists on every holiday. Create the angle that will entice them to interview YOU!

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 cont
act Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com  or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Medium – A New Writing Tool For Authors

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

MEDIUM- New Tool For AuthorsWalter Isaacson uses it. NY Times journalist David Carr uses it. Author Emily Gould, Journalist Ben Smith, and Entrepreneur Elon Musk use it too. What is it?

It’s a new site for authors called MEDIUM.

It was founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone in August 2012. On this exclusive site the authors post to a communal blog, then the site groups the posts together to create broad topics such as “Creative Writing” “On Publishing” and “Online Marketing.” https://medium.com/about/writing-in-medium-df8eac9f4a5e

The thought behind the interworking of Medium according to the founders, was to provide a place where the authors could write a post longer than 140 characters—Medium length content. Medium provides the “what you see is what you get” experience to provide the right amount of formatting. According to the website, you cannot change fonts, font color, font size. You can’t insert tables or use strikethrough or even underline. Here’s what you can do: bold, italics, subheads (two levels), links, lists, and block quotes. Anil Dash, cofounder of @thinkup and @activateinc said, “It’s true: Medium has the best web-based editor I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen them all.”

According to the media experts at Medium, “Notes are one of the best parts of Medium and useful for lots of things: They help improve writing. They add valuable supplementary information. They incorporate new viewpoints. They give meaningful feedback to those who write things. And they let people connect over ideas.” Excerpt examples of a note edit:Clip for MEDIUM article

The collaboration of ideas among others and readers is another main idea of Medium. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Steve Job’s biographer Walter Isaacson said,” My book was formed by being posted and allowing people to make edits.”

“While I was writing The Innovators I posted the chapter about software and received many ideas from people within the technology field. I like that there is a way to collaborate with books online, where the author is the curator and others could contribute their edits. In the end we would split the royalties,” said Isacson.  Isaacson is the bestselling author of the biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein and most recently Steve Jobs.

David Carr, Journalist for the New York Times spoke about his experience while using Medium and said, “The writing tool is intuitive enough to seem psychic. Just when you search for some function, it pops up out of the background. Medium’s most important feature may be all the stuff it leaves out, including endless options for sizing text or positioning pictures.”

Evan Williams, co-founder of Medium said, “Our goal is to make Medium the best platform possible for everyone to share great ideas or stories. This should certainly include those whose profession is doing so.”

The Bottom Line: MEDIUM, a site for serious collaboration and the verification of facts. Tap into the brainpower of MEDIUM, and allow others to comment on your not yet published work. It’s the perfect way to crowd source, fact check, and edit your work all while gaining insight from some of the best minds on any given topic.

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