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

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33 Radio & Podcast Interview Tips For Authors From Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Interview Tips from Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

You’ve landed the radio interview and it’s time to get ready to actually do it. Now what? As a book marketing expert and book publicist, I have booked my clients on thousands of radio and podcast interviews. Here’s a list of tips I give to my clients prior to their interviews. Keep this helpful list of interview tips nearby and you’ll be glad you did!

  1. Go to a quiet room in your home or office; be sure staff and/or family know you are on a radio interview and cannot be interrupted.
  2. Since many interviews are on ZOOM, SKYPE as well as the phone, turn off other phones, cell phones and anything else that could create background noise including air conditioners, the radio… and the kids!
  3. Have a glass of water nearby; there’s nothing worse than dry mouth on a radio interview.
  4. Be on time. Call the station exactly at the time they tell you, or be at your phone waiting if the station is going to call you.
  5. Use a landline phone for best quality. If it is not possible to reach a landline then use a cell phone in a stationary location and not while you are rolling down the road! Do not use Bluetooth over the speaker system in your car.
  6. Disable call waiting: dial *70 and then call the studio number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.
  7. Do not use a speakerphone! It’s ALL about good sound quality.
  8. Be self-assured. Remember, you know your topic inside and out. Be confident in your ability.
  9. Smile, smile, smile, whether on radio or TV – SMILE. You’ll feel better, and for TV you’ll look better too.
  10. Put some pizzazz and energy into your voice. Try standing while you speak to liven things up a little.
  11. Research the show and tailor your message accordingly. Just Google the host’s name and station and check out their web site. Is it a national audience or a small town in Ohio? What is their format? Is it News/Talk, NPR or Classic Rock or something else? You need to know.
  12. KNOW exactly how much time you will have on the air as a guest, three minutes or 30 minutes…so you can tailor your answers to the time allotted.
  13. Practice your sound bites—out loud before the interview. Communicate your main points succinctly. Practice this out loud.
  14. Be informative and entertaining without directly pushing your book, product or service. Make the audience “want more.”
  15. A kind word about the host can go a long way. It’s good manners and good business.
  16. A person’s name is sweet music to them so commit to memory or jot down the name of the host and use it throughout the interview. When taking calls, use the names of callers too.
  17. CALL TO ACTION. Have ONLY ONE such as “Buy my book at BookTitleGenerator.net” That’s it. Don’t mention your Twitter handle, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram people will barely remember your name or book title. Don’t make it impossible.
  18. Be careful not to slide into techno-babble, jargon or acronyms that few know about.
  19. Never talk down to your audience.
  20. Be respectful of the host because everybody starts someplace. Today they’re interviewing you from a college radio station; in a few years they could be a nationally syndicated host.
  21. Don’t Oversell. Remember you are on the air to provide useful information to the listening audience. If you are an author or selling something, limit yourself to TWO mentions of the book, product or service. You must make it interesting without the commercialism. It takes finesse but you can do it. Often times the host will do this for you and you won’t need to mention it.
  22. Think of a radio interview as an intimate conversation with a friend and not a conversation with thousands.
  23. Radio interviews require verbal answers, not head nodding or uh-huhs. Hand gestures don’t count in radio either.
  24. Radio will often use interviews live and later cut them up for use throughout the day giving you more airplay. So keep your answer to a 10 to 20 second sound bite. You can say a lot in that amount of time and then you don’t sound like you are babbling on. Don’t go on more than a minute without taking a break.
  25. Don’t just answer questions. Tell listeners something you want them to know, something they wouldn’t know unless they were tuned in, with the promise of more of the same when they buy your book.

  26. Have three key messages. Short, not sermons. Sometimes the host opens the door, other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. A compelling message will have the host asking for more. Usually, people can get in two key messages; the pros can get three.
  27. Lazy hosts open with a lame: “Thanks for being here.” Boom! Give a :15-:20 sec summary message. If the host introduces you with a question, be polite, deliver your summary message, then answer the question. “Thanks, (use name), for the opportunity to talk about….Now, to your question (name)…”
  28. Maintain a Positive Attitude. BE GENUINE OR TRANSPARENT. Don’t fake enthusiasm or sincerity. If you’re in a bad mood cancel the interview. Don’t pretend to know stuff you don’t.
  29. Re-read the press release or pitch that got the booking since the host is going to be using that as a starting point. Often a book publicist such as myself, will tie into a breaking news event that relates to your expertise. Be aware of that tie-in.
  30. After the interview write a thank-you note. Since so few people do this, you’ll really stand out from the crowd. And most importantly, you may get invited back.
  31. Whether the interview is live or taped-live, if you stumble, or flub up just keep going. Often what you perceived as a mistake, the listeners won’t even notice.
  32. Ask for an MP3 of the recording before the interview. Often if you ask ahead of time the producer will record the interview and then you can use it on your web site. If that’s not available get the link to the station’s recording and Tweet about to your followers and promote it on your Facebook page. Be sure to listen to it later and critique your performance.
  33. Listen for the testimonial. Sometimes the host will say something complimentary, “You have a fascinating story Mr. Jones.”  Use it in your marketing.  Or you can actually ask for a testimonial.  Often that MP3 will arrive with a note from the host saying how much they enjoyed the interview, or that “Scott Lorenz was a great interview, he really kept our audience engaged,” or “the phones rang off the hook when Scott Lorenz was being interviewed.” You can use those testimonials in future pitches and on your web site, blog etc.

As a book marketing firm, we’ll prepare our clients with media coaching or if need be training with a media trainer. We’ll also submit questions to the radio host ahead of time and include those in our press kits emailed to the stations. Often the radio host will read those questions right in order. Other times they refer to our questions and include some of them. We do this to help the host in case they’ve not had a chance to read the book, and to help direct the questioning.

Make sure you know your own material inside and out and are comfortable with everything in it. You are the author of the book, or the press release and they’ll ask you, “What did you mean about this or that?” You need to have the answer. You don’t want any surprises.
The Bottom Line:  RELAX, you’ll do fine. The butterflies you’re feeling are what will drive you to do your best! Just follow these helpful tips and you’ll be a radio interview star!

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. He is the author of the award-winning ‘BOOK TITLE GENERATOR’ a must-read book designed to help authors title their books.

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 Title Generator Reveals My Proven System for Creating the Best Book Titles

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Book Marketing

Book Title Generator is the one book every author should read before publishing their book.

There’s an old saying that fisherman use—“You have to hook ‘em before you can cook ‘em.” The same holds true for book titles! Picture yourself walking through a bookstore where book spines resemble wallpaper or scrolling through endless titles on Amazon or other bookselling websites. All too often those few words in a book title are the difference between further interest, and a sale, or getting left out in the cold.

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That’s why I wrote a book laying out a proven strategy for crafting a buyer grabbing title. Book Title Generator makes sure the painstaking work writing a book will get that all-important final touch, a winning title worthy of publication.   I created a multi-prong strategy by urging the use of high-tech tools, researching bestsellers by genre and choosing the vital “title keywords” which get a book ranked on search engines and Amazon. Having seen and experienced the pitfalls of book marketing, I wanted Book Title Generator to usher one through the reality maze of numbers, alliterations, idioms, keywords and everything else I know must be considered in your quest for the perfect book title.   I chronicled how a number of famous books began with poor titles and how, with a new title, they rose to prominence. As a student and lover of book titles with three decades of book marketing experience, I wanted to impress on the reader the vital aspects of shepherding your book towards bestseller status. I designed Book Title Generator for authors and publishers as a surefire method to uncover that coveted, memorable, and winning book title!

http://www.BookTitleGenerator.net  Watch the book trailer here: https://bit.ly/BookTitleGeneratorTrailer

“Book Title Generator is an indispensable, first-rate adjunct to the art of writing—and selling—your book.” —Dr. Grady Harp, Amazon Top 50 Hall of Fame Reviewer, 5 Stars

“I get HUNDREDS of books a year from hopeful authors. The title has to catch my attention or I pass. If I were an author I’d read Book Title Generator.” —Chris Cordani, Executive Producer, Money Matters on WABC-AM, New York, 5 Stars

“Authors owe it to themselves to ‘turn-every-stone’ to make sure they have the best possible book title. It’s critical to the success of any book… unless you are already famous… then it doesn’t matter.” —Mike Ball,  Erma Bombeck Award-Winning Author, 5 Stars

The Bottom Line: Do not name your book before studying Book Title Generator.” Take advantage of my hard-won knowledge by knowing all the rules in what is now a high-tech game. Get one over on the competition by starting out ahead.

JessTodtfeld

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 or fill out the form below.  Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Authors- Want to Create a Pen Name? Here’s How to Do It

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

A rich tradition has existed for hundreds of years for fiction writers to use pen names. You may be surprised to learn that some authors have more than 10 pen names. Here’s why pen names have been and continue to be widely used: Many authors believe that their name can affect how their audience sees them and even affect their book sales.

One of the most famous pen names, of course, was Samuel Clemens who wrote under the name Mark Twain. Another well-known one is Lewis Carroll, which was used by Alice in Wonderland’s author, Charles Dodgdon. He gained a considerable reputation as a mathematician and didn’t want to create confusion by writing fiction under his real name.

Nora Roberts, is a pen name used by Eleanor Marie Roberts. Nora Roberts’ name has regularly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List since 1999. Since her first best seller in 1991, Nora’s books have spent 1,045 weeks on the Best Seller List. Believe it or not, that’s equivalent to 20 consecutive years of weekly bestsellers.

In 1992, Putnam Publishers asked Nora Roberts to come up with a second pen name because they could not keep up with the prolific writer’s romance novels let alone the new genre of romance suspense novels she wanted to write. So she took the initials J.D. from sons Jason and Dan and shortened Roberts to Robb. She also has written under the pen names Jill March and Sara Hardesty.

Whether you call it a pen name, pseudonym, non de plume, alias or AKA, you are creating a new persona that’ll need care and feeding!  Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

One of my book marketing clients served as a Navy Seal in the Iraq War and then returned to write a book about his war experiences.  To protect his personal safety and maintain security for his family, my client wrote under the pen name Chuck Bravedy.  The author was concerned that extremists living in America would be offended and angered by his controversial book and come after him or his family.

The fact that Bravedy’s name was “not in the phone book” raised some attention from the Pentagon who called me to inquire about Chuck Bravedy because they did not have his name in their files. The Pentagon was concerned because they want to keep phonies from impersonating military officials.

Since the publishers of JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, were unsure if the preteen boys that she was targeting would accept wizard stories that were written by a woman, they encouraged her to use her initials instead of her real name, which is Joanne Rowling. The “K’ in JK came from her grandmother’s name Kathleen and she’s been known as JK Rowling ever since.

Known as one of the most famous comic book writers in the world, Stan Lee’s real name is Stanley Martin Lieber. He initially decided to publish under Stan Lee because he thought he would eventually transition to more serious work and wanted to use his real name when and if that time came. Once he realized that he was destined to stay a comic book writer, he legally changed his name to Stan Lee.

If you’ve ever read the popular children’s series, A Series of Unfortunate Events and All the Wrong Questions, you probably know that the author is Lemony Snicket. Believe it or not, his real name is Daniel Handler. He decided to go with Lemony Snicket because he wanted to anonymously contact right-wing organizations. Handler first came up with the Lemony Snicket pen name while doing research for his first novel, The Basic Eight. He needed to contact right-wing organizations for the book, but he didn’t want to give them his real name. So he called himself “Lemony Snicket,” and the moniker stuck.

One client I represented, who asked my advice about using a pen name, was a former CIA operative. He was concerned about the impact a pen name would have on promoting his book. He wondered whether radio and TV interviewers would be willing to use the pen name during an interview or would insist on using his birth name.

Some CIA friends of my client also had published books and used their real names without problems. To cover his bases while he decided, the former CIA officer went ahead and registered web domains under his real name and under his pen name. After talking with him about the options, my client decided to use his real name.

I also have represented authors who used a pen name because they had a past they were not proud of and wanted to protect their family members and loved ones from public embarrassment.

From a marketing standpoint if your real-life identify is associated with a business and you want the book to promote your business or vice versa, then a pen name should not be used. But if you have success, and don’t want that success threatened by pursuing an avocation of writing, then a pen name would be in order. Pen names may create marketing challenges, most of which can be overcome, and so the marketing implications need to be examined before publishing.

Reasons for using a pen name include

  • To avoid embarrassment
  • For personal safety or security
  • If you write under more than one genre
  • If your name is hard to pronounce or spell
  • If your name is not marketable
  • If your name conflicts with the name of another author
  • To hide gender (a male writing in the predominantly female genre)
  • To avoid confusing readers if you are well known in another field

If you want to hide from the public and from people you work with or worked with, etc., then a pen name is fine. But, if it’s not important, why bother? So, my vote is to use your own name. Here are just a few points to ponder.

  • Use real name if you are not trying to hide from anyone.
  • Use a real name to brand your name for speaking gigs or consulting assignments
  • Use real name if you are planning to write a series of books
  • Use real name so acquaintances can better locate your published works
  • A real name builds trust and confidence amongst readers
  • It’s far easier to brand a real name than a pen name
  • Expertise is validated by an individual’s real-life experience
  • Long-term loyalty with readers is easier to build with a real name

Here’s some interesting information I’ve obtained from librarians and employees at book stores. Is there a popular author whose work is similar to yours?  Why not select a pen name beginning with the same letter as that author’s name? Since most books are filed by genre and then the author’s last name, selecting a pen name with the same letter puts you in close proximity to their books.

Someone searching for that author could ‘stumble’ upon your book and decide to take a look. Radio stations have done it for years by selecting their location on the ‘dial’ nearby other highly rated stations so they could benefit from the proximity of that popular station. Crafty? Perhaps but do you want to sell books or not?

Having a difficult time selecting a pen name? Try these random name generators. You may get some inspiration from some of these and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

  1. http://generator.chucklehound.com
  2. https://anadea.info/tools/online-business-name-generator
  3. https://www.dotomator.com/
  4. http://www.naming.net/
  5. https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator
  6. https://namestation.com/
  7. https://namesmith.io/
  8. https://www.namemesh.com
  9. https://businessnamegenerator.com/
  10. https://www.netsubstance.com/

The Bottom Line: If you want to brand your name for speaking gigs or for consulting engagements then use your own name. If you plan to write in multiple genres or are concerned about safety and privacy then get a pen name.

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

Should Authors ‘Pay For PR Placement’ or Pay a Monthly Retainer?

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

Authors will on occasion request an alternative payment arrangement other than the typical retainer fee arrangement most PR firms including Westwind Communications require.

 

I could discuss all day the various payment options offered for PR services such as ‘pay for placement,’ ‘hourly fee’ or ‘retainer fee’. In a nutshell, the retainer fee allows the client to have a fixed budget amount for PR each month and it allows my firm to rely on a steady cash flow. The work goes up and down depending upon opportunities and implementation of the marketing plan. Clients will also appreciate the logic of this concept as the billing process is simplified for both parties.

 

For example, let’s say we get a placement or review in the Chicago Tribune – what’s that worth? What about a photo? You would think that should demand more money right? How much more? What about a one-line quote in the Wall Street Journal? What’s that worth? What happens if a newspaper in Singapore or Australia runs that quote right out of the journal? What’s that worth?  What happens if a meeting planner sees it and calls the client for a speaking gig? Does the PR firm get a piece of that speaking fee? Why not?

What’s the value of a TV interview in the hometown of a self-published author on WBZ in Boston that includes her book cover, photo and link to her web site and the book trailer on YouTube? What happens if that leads to a movie deal? Would my firm be entitled to a piece of that? Or, does the fee for pay-for-placement relate to the ad rate for the airtime and space for the web site?  For example, an ad a little larger than a business card is $10,000 in the NY Times Sunday Book Review!

 

Do you want to share profits with the publicist?

I’ve promoted new medical techniques which resulted in hundreds of procedures at $5,000 apiece. In that case the worth or value of the TV story is dramatically higher. I wish I would have had a piece of that!

 

Several of my legal related PR placements resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements for my lawyer clients and plaintiffs when the opposing party saw the story on the local TV news. Once they knew we were prepared to continue to do battle in ‘the court of public opinion’ they settled.  Should I have gotten a piece of the lawsuit settlement? Why not? Do you see the dilemma?

 

What happens if we hit our stride and all the big shows want the author? Can you afford the $3-6,000 fee per show? I personally have met authors who’ve turned down major national morning shows because they could not afford the ‘pay for placement’ fee. That would never happen on a fixed fee retainer basis because you’d get all the shows for one flat fee.

Do you like reviewing complicated bills? How about fighting over ‘value’ of a PR hit?

The way I see it, ‘pay-for-placement’ is a bad deal for authors. Furthermore, there is no way authors would want to review that detail every month and frankly it would cost us hundreds or thousands of dollars per month to prepare a bill with such a breakdown. The very thought of doing it that way is rather terrifying!

 

There are other reasons we believe it’s in our mutual interest to use retainer fees over other billing methods. Usually people who want such a deal have had a bad experience with a PR firm that did nothing or they don’t have enough money in the first place and they’re trying to generate sales from the PR to pay for the PR. Finding out the reason for asking for a non-retainer deal is essential to formulating an equitable arrangement.

 

The real issue is the futile attempt to place a ‘value’ on PR placement on a monthly basis. Nobody knows the value with certainty because the benefit may come down the road in the form of new business, speaking gigs, consulting deals, TV shows, book deals or even more publicity. Trying to measure its value every month is like trying to place a future value on a baby in a bassinet… it cannot be done.

 

Another issue is about trust. Can the PR firm deliver the PR that is proposed? Can they be trusted to deliver media placements? I believe that past results are a predictor of future results, especially when it comes to PR. There need be no leap of faith if a PR firm has a track record of success with placements.

Will your book publicity result in book sales, a speaking gig or will it change somebody’s life?

Furthermore, with some PR projects there is just no way to assess how the media and public is going to respond. We could go through a lot of expense to create a PR strategy, press materials and pitch it to an audience that is just not interested. I once had a reporter at Bloomberg News say “Scott your guy’s book on INDIA looks great, but it’s the 7th book on India I’ve had this month so sorry we can’t run another one!”  Or, there’s a problem with the credentials of the author, founder, CEO etc. that were not disclosed to the PR firm in advance. These revelations could tank a PR effort and cost the PR firm money instead of making money.

 

Sometimes even with PR, people may not buy the book. In fact there have been authors on CNBC and Good Morning America who have not sold any books!

Are you available willing and able to do almost any interview almost anytime?

Finally, another reason the pay for placement deal won’t work is if the author doesn’t hold up his or her end of the bargain, such as being available for interviews, preparing for interviews, book signings, traveling, etc. Little things like these will result in little or no book sales and the publicist gets stuck with little or no compensation. Sorry, that’s a deal killer.

 

The Bottom Line: We’ll stick to a retainer fee basis, and my clients get to keep profits from their sales, movie deals and speaking gigs. Fair enough?

 

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 fill out the form below or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Check out our new book trailer at https://bit.ly/BookPublicistScottLorenz Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist 

Authors Want Hollywood to Call You? Use These Matchmakers & Turn Your Book Into a MOVIE!

Turn Your Book into a Hollywood Movie

Matchmaker Services Puts Your Book or Script in Front of Producers

Innovative Services Place Your Script in Front of Hollywood Producers

 

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

 

As a book publicist, I am asked on a regular basis, “Can you get my book turned into a movie?”  With all the streaming outlets like NETFLIX, AMAZON and others who desperately need new content, the demand for creative work has never been higher. Now there are services who can place your book or screenplay in front of Hollywood producers who can, in fact, turn it into a movie.  If you want to turn your book into a movie then check out these ‘matchmakers’ I’ve discovered below.

Greenlight My Movie

If you have a short film, book, screenplay, or true story, you can pitch it to Greenlight My Movie. Once you do, you’ll receive a guaranteed response from Hollywood buyers and representatives. To get started, create a profile, add your synopsis, find companies that may be interested, and submit your project. Warner Brothers states that Greenlight My Movie has a great process and has provided them with some great ideas. 

Pros of Greenlight My Movie

  • Optional Video: If you don’t have video, no worries. It’s optional so you can simply submit your synopsis and logline.
  • Guaranteed Response: A Hollywood buyer or rep will get back to you via a written email response. Their response will likely come with detailed feedback that will steer you in the right direction.

Cons of Greenlight My Movie

  • Submission Charge: You’ll have to pay $29.95 to submit your pitch. 
  • Will Have to Wait for a Response: While most people receive a response in about 3 to 4 weeks, you may have to wait longer to hear back. 

Hollywood Pitch Festival

Attend the 23rd annual Hollywood Pitch Festival and pitch A-list buyers and representatives. This year, the event will be held August 1st through 2nd in the Los Angeles area. It’s the only pitch festival that offers one-on-one pitch meetings in two days with over 200 of Hollywood’s top personnel under one roof. One-on-one pitch coaching via Skype is also available two weeks before the festival.

Pros of Hollywood Pitch Festival

  • No Limits: While you’re at the festival, you can pitch as many companies as you’d like because there are no limits.
  • Pitching Resources: Hollywood Pitch Festival wants you to succeed so they will send you pitching tips and how-to videos right before the event.

Cons of Hollywood Pitch Festival

  • Travel Involved: Since this is a physical event, you’ll have to travel to participate. This can be an issue if you’re limited on time and money. Fortunately, you can buy a virtual pass and submit your pitch online if you prefer.
  • Limited Attendance: The Hollywood Pitch Festival limits attendance to 200 people. So if you don’t sign up early enough, you may not make the cut. 

TaleFlick

Since its debut in 2018, TaleFlick has provided a searchable library of fiction, novels, and short stories. It strives to connect authors with film or TV producers. You can create your own page and match with vetted scriptwriters who can offer tips on how to improve your story. TaleFlick can also help you get discovered by producers looking for new material.

“TaleFlick is an effective, efficient way for your work to be presented directly to those people who may want to make a film out of it. I don’t know why it didn’t exist before but I’m glad it does now,” says Michael Bowker, author of Gods of Our Time.

Pros of TaleFlick

  • Great Exposure: With TaleFlick, you can submit your story online and get in front of the top studios, producers, and production companies.
  • Commitment to Giving Back: TaleFlick has a “1 Million Books 1 Million Children” initiative where they give one million books to one million children all around the world.

Cons of TaleFlick

  • Must Pay to Submit Stories: TaleFlick is not free for authors as you’ll have to pay $88 to submit your story.
  • Not All Stories Accepted: TaleFlick accepts scripts, screenplays, fiction and nonfiction books, manuscripts and children’s stories. The site doesn’t currently support short stories, comic books, and plays.

InkTip

InkTip began in 2000 to make it easy for producers, directors, agents, managers, and name actors to access quality screenplays and professional authors. Believe it or not, more than 375 feature films have been made from scripts and writers discovered through InkTip. One example of an InkTip success story is Fireball, which was produced by Harvey Kahn with Front Street Pictures and  aired on the Sci-Fi channel.

Pros of InkTip

  • Variety of Services: InkTip offers three main services to get your scripts noticed. These include its script listings and script renewals service, InkTip Magazine service, and Preferred Newsletter service.
  • Thousands of Industry Professionals: Over 2,700 producers, agents, managers and other industry professionals use InkTip.
  • Privacy of Scripts: You can’t look at the scripts of other writers as they are reserved for qualified industry professionals.

Cons of InkTip

  • Fees Involved: While you can register an account with InkTip for free, you have to pay for its specific services. Fees range from $30 to $60.

Spec Scout

Spec Scout’s goal is to be the best place to discover and promote the highest-quality screenplays, on and off the market. It hopes to give aspiring writers a way to break into the business. “Spec Scout is my secret weapon. Having the whole spec market in one place, with scores, loglines, and coverage is such a huge advantage. I can’t imagine not having access to this library,” says Stephanie Marin, producer at El Camino Entertainment.

Pros of Spec Scout

  • In-Depth Feedback: Once you submit your script, three readers will provide ratings and a comprehensive analysis of your script. You’ll get 8 to 10 pages of detailed comments that outline its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Script Score: Your “Script Score” will indicate the quality of your script. If you score 75 or above on the 100 point scale, you’ll be listed as a “Scouted” writer for free, forever.

Cons of Spec Scout

  • Pricey: To submit your script, you’ll have to pay $297. Rush service is available for an extra $100.
  • Feedback Takes Time: It’ll take about one month to receive feedback on your script. If you can’t wait that long, the $100 rush service can get it to you in one week.

 

The Bottom Line: Just like online dating doesn’t guarantee you’ll meet your special someone, there are no guarantees that these services will turn your work into a movie. Just look at them as another opportunity to gain exposure for your book.

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 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist