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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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SCOTT LORENZ

There’s No Time Like the Present to Write Your Book

No Time Like the Present to Write Your Book

“In the Midst of Every Crisis, Lies Great Opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Without a doubt, the past two years were some of the strangest in recent history and it is likely the changes brought by the global pandemic may persist well into the future. Our daily rhythms of work, school, and life are altered and contact with others is now masked, distanced, and sanitized. So much is still unknown about the way things will unfold, and it is uncertain when life will return to “normal” and what that will look like.

Three Reasons To Write Your Book

Whatever may be happening in your life, as a book publicist, I’d like to encourage you that in spite of these challenges, NOW may be the perfect time to write your book. Here are three reasons:

1. Historically, many books have been inspired by the uncertainty of a pandemic. John F. Kennedy once said, “When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” Creativity rises to the forefront in times of upheaval or danger. Great works of literature, including Shakespeare’s King Lear, were produced during periods of epidemic and plague. Other “pandemic literature” such as The Plague (Albert Camus), Twilight in Delhi (Ahmed Ali), The Andromeda Strain (Michael Crichton), Survivor (Octavia E. Butler) and Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel), seize moments like ours to tell fascinating stories. The best and worst aspects of humanity are vividly displayed against the literary backdrop of chaos brought by illness and epidemic. Even if your work is not directly inspired by the pandemic, it could one day serve as an example of art produced during a critical period in world history.

2. Writing can provide a pleasurable means of relieving pandemic induced stress. In times of stress, the act of writing can be therapeutic, becoming an outlet for pressure and anxiety brought by unexpected change. It is a way to both reflect on what is happening and try to bring meaning from it. Writing a book and the research and organization involved keep the mind active, so that learning continues no matter what else in your life may have changed.

In an interview with GQ, author Ottessa Moshfegh says,

It’s the mind organizing the details of life into a narrative that logically orients the writer back to her own story. […] In some ways, this quarantine is the ideal creative environment. Writing takes patience and listening, allowing oneself to linger on a word or image or gesture and watch it develop into drama through a language of its own. It also takes a lot of time. […] I’m trying to see this period as a blessing in that way. The light side of the darkness.

3. Book sales are strong. While many industries have been heavily impacted by the pandemic, book sales have increased. After an initial slump during the spring of 2020, the book market made a strong recovery, with Jim Milliot of Publisher’s Weekly reporting an 8.2% rise in the sale of print books. Elizabeth A. Harris of the New York Times reports that 2020 brought increases of 17% for audio book sales and 16% for eBook sales. With many normal activities suspended and screen time at an all time high for both adults and children, books remain a great low-tech option for entertainment.

Author Dave Pelzer once said, “Something good comes out of every crisis.” Writing your book now may not only help you by giving you an outlet and a goal to attain, but may also one day inspire future generations to meet the challenges they face with creativity and bravery.

Bottom Line: Times of change are times of opportunity. Seize the day, write your book, and let it be one of the good things that come out of this crisis.

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. Is there a strategy in naming your book? YES! Check out Scott’s new award winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at http://www.BookTitleGenerator.org

 

How the New York Times Selects Books for Review for 2022

How the New York Times Selects Books for Review

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

by Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the NY Times Website:

During the Covid-19 pandemic, The New York Times Book Review is operating remotely and will accept physical submissions by request only. If you wish to submit a book for review consideration, please email a PDF of the galley at least three months prior to scheduled publication to booksassistant@nytimes.com. Include the publication date and any related press materials, along with links to NetGalley or Edelweiss if applicable. Due to the volume of books we receive, we cannot respond to individual requests about our plans for coverage. Thank you.

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

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

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

20 Inspirational Author Quotes About Writing

20 Inspirational Author Quotes About Writing

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

If you’re an aspiring author in search of the secrets to success, it only makes sense to ask those who have achieved it. After all, they’ve been in your shoes.

While you may not be able to speak to successful authors directly, you can read their quotes.  I’ve done the heavy lifting for you and compiled these 20 quotes about writing, which are sure to inspire and intrigue you.

1. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

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2. “All a writer needs is talent and ink.” – J.K. Rowling

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3. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King

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4. “Nobody buys a book that they don’t pick up.” – James Patterson

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5. “You see a lot of young writers who have interesting ideas and a certain skill with words, but their story is not a story … it’s more of a vignette.” – George R.R. Martin

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6. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost

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7. “If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.” – Malcolm X

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8. “You can make anything by writing.”  – C.S. Lewis

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9. “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” – Larry L. King

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10. “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” – Ray Bradbury

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11. “In order to write about life first you must live it.” – Ernest Hemingway

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12. “Character is plot, plot is character.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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13. “Write what should not be forgotten.” – Isabel Allende

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14. “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” – Beverly Cleary

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15. “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.” – Emily Dickinson

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16. “Write about the emotions you fear the most.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

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17. “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” – Anne Lamott

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18. “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

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19. “Done is better than perfect.” – Sheryl Sandberg

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20. “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” – Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler)

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The Bottom Line: Take these quotes and use them to push you forward. Remember, success as an author doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a great deal of dedication, passion, and hard work.

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

 

5 Books to Help You Become a Better Writer

5 Books to Help You Become a Better Writer

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

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

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

It can be hard to decide what advice is most relevant when so many books have been published on the topic. That said, reading books on the art of writing can sometimes be more helpful than an entire college writing course.

Five Books to Help You Become a Better Writer

The five books that I’ve listed below reveal the nature of writing life and the art of writing well in intimate detail. They offer everything from grammar rules to advice on publishing a book to personal narratives as they teach the ins and outs of writing and what it means to be a writer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

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

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

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

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

As a book publicist, I’ve helped many authors fix a current book, focus on their next book, given inspiration, direction or sometimes just ‘pushed’ a bit to move things along.

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

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

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

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

1. Daily repetition and routine.

In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami mentions that when he is writing a novel he gets up at 4 am every morning and works for five to six hours. He keeps this routine every single day without variation.
If you’re an aspiring writer, you have to dig deep and find the drive to write every single day. Repetition is essential for forming daily habits. It helps to set time aside for writing each day and to stick to it. Writing needs to fit into your life in a way that suits your circumstances. Commitments in your life like school, work, and hobbies will fill up your whole day if you let them, so it’s necessary to commit to a regular time where you just sit down and write. The key is to write consistently – only with repetition will you be able to make it part of your routine.

2. Read something different like Poetry or a Business book.

Reading will help turn on your creative engine and provide a source of motivation for your own writing. How often have you read a good piece of work or come across a beautifully written passage and thought to yourself, I would love to write like that. Good writing by accomplished writers can be deeply inspiring.

3. Remember why you started.

All writers write for a reason, whether it’s to express themselves, create something meaningful, help others, or entertain. The purpose behind the writing drives the writer to produce meaningful pieces of work. Periodically ask yourself why you want to write – this can help remind you of your writing goals and why it’s important to you.

4. Do something exciting.

Take a hot air balloon ride; take surfing lessons, go sailing on a barefoot cruise for a week in the Caribbean where you are part of the crew doing the work. When you’re focused on sailing your subconscious mind will help you get free of things that trap you in the rut.

5. Meet your fears and conquer them.

Can’t stand heights? Learn how to skydive. Don’t like to go underwater? Learn how to scuba dive. Don’t like raw fish? Eat some sushi. Force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. You’ll be better for it.

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

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

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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