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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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5 Books to Help You Become a Better Writer

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

5 Books to Help You Become a Better WriterAs 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. 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

 

How to Get Your Book Into Libraries

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

“The library marketplace is made up of almost 120,000 locations and is divided into many segments. In addition to the more than 16,500 public libraries and their branches, there are medical libraries, hospital libraries, military libraries, niche libraries, and more,” explained Brian Jud,  Executive Director of APSS, formerly SPAN and founder of Bookselling University.

So what does this mean for you? A prime opportunity for you as an author to expand your reach, build your brand, and sell more books. Here are some handy tips on how to get your books into libraries.

How to Get Your Book Into Libraries

1. Do Your Research – Think like a Librarian!

Check out the websites of various public libraries to find out what you need to do to get your book into circulation. You may also call or visit them and speak to the head librarians or the departments that relate to your specific book genre.

2. Explore WorldCat

With WorldCat, you can search your community libraries as well as other local and national libraries to browse their collections. This can give you an idea of what types of books a certain library may want.

3. Be Friendly and Enthusiastic

Whether you consult the libraries in-person, via phone, or email, be polite. Also, show some excitement so that they see your passion for your work and remember you when it comes time to select new books.

4. Design a Sell Sheet

At its core, a sell sheet is a one-page advertisement of your book. Make sure it includes its title, cover, publisher, a brief description, ISBNs, available formats, and pricing. Don’t forget a blurb about why it may appeal to library patrons and mention if your book is already in a library too. Librarians like to see they are in good company.

“Sell what the content in your book does for the readers—what are the benefits to them,” said Jud. He explained that people don’t actually care about your book. Retailers display them to increase profits. Media hosts want a good show. Librarians want to support their patrons. As long as you appeal to the right motive, you’ll sell more books.

5. Organize an Author Reading or Book Signing

If you offer to organize an event like an author reading or book signing, everyone will win. You’ll boost your exposure while the library will get free programming. If you go this route, you’ll need to promote your event to ensure a good turnout.

6. Get Reviews

Great book reviews can speak volumes about your book and you as an author. Before you try to get your book into libraries, ensure you have them. Librarians want to see that others admire your book before they take the plunge and circulate it. A published review in a journal like Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, or Midwest Book Review can help establish credibility as well.

7. Get Involved in the Library Community

The reality is that many libraries like to fill their shelves with books that are popular, even on a local level. That’s why it’s wise to get out in your community and participate in local events and speaking engagements. Join local organizations, volunteer, and take any TV or radio opportunity that comes your way. Also, make sure you have a stellar social media presence.

8. Attend the ALA Annual Conference

The American Library Association hosts an annual library conference. If you’re serious about getting your book into libraries, it may be worthwhile to attend and mingle librarians. The 2021 conference will be held virtually this year on June 21-23. On Twitter follow @ALALibriary to keep up with daily posts and opportunities.

9. Check Out Writer’s Digest Advice

Writer’s Digest asked four Indie authors for their tips on how to get books into libraries. You don’t have to be an Indie author to take advantage of them. Be sure to check out this article before you get started.

10. Buy a Book

Self Publisher’s Toolkit is a helpful book that serves as a two-in-one resource that shows you how to self publish a book and then market it to Libraries. The author says “Libraries are a $30+ billion segment often overlooked by self publishers.”  https://www.eseinc1.com/product-page

11. Use a Service

Don’t be afraid to use a service to help you get your book into libraries. Here are several to consider.

  • LibraryBub: LibraryBub is a service that introduces the top small press and indie books to librarians. You can apply for a featured deal in it’s weekly email and reach over 10,000 librarians every week. ( I use them and its affordable and effective)
  • Baker & Taylor: Baker & Taylor has been around for over 180 years and distributes books to public libraries and schools. Contact Baker & Taylor to find out how they can assist you.
  • Ingram Content Group: An online self-publishing company, Ingram Content Group can allow you to print and distribute your book to libraries. Call or email them for more information.
  • Buy a Library Database: Curated by a fellow author, Eric Simmons compiled a database of Libraries you can contact directly. Over 100 authors and publishing houses are using the Library Contacts Database to get their books into Libraries.  Simmons’ tool, which has enabled him to get his titles into over 130 Libraries worldwide, is the best deal in publishing! Just BUY IT!

The Bottom Line: Once you get into one library, you’ll find it much easier to get into others. When your book is in several libraries, you’ll build trust among readers, increase exposure, and ultimately sell more copies.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine

To Write Is Human, To Edit Is Divine.” – Stephen King

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine

How Editing, Copyediting, and Proofreading Make Your Book Shine

You’ve finally finished your book and are ready to get it into the hands of the reader. You’ve crafted each sentence with great intention, choosing each word to communicate your meaning. This manuscript has spent countless hours with your eyes on it and multiple people have read it for you. You’ve rewritten and revised, incorporated their suggestions and there couldn’t possibly be anything else that needs changing or correcting.

Is it still necessary to hire a professional editor or proofreader? What if the editor has a different vision from you and suggests sweeping changes to your work? What if the editor doesn’t like, or even worse, doesn’t understand your book?

Writing a book is an amazing accomplishment, one that less than 1% of the world’s population will ever manage to do. Given the amount of time, energy, and creativity you’ve invested to bring your ideas to life, your finished manuscript is of high personal value. Your work could even be life changing for some readers, if it can reach them. Capturing an audience is no picnic and whether you are publishing traditionally or self-publishing, the competition is fierce.

At this point, your manuscript is like a raw diamond. A diamond in its natural, raw state is full of potential, both in beauty and in value. Yet without taking it to a gem expert, it can be difficult to know how much more value could be added with precise cutting and polishing. Professional gemcutters spend years honing their craft and know exactly what to do to bring forth the maximum beauty of the diamond and increase its market value.

Like gemcutters, editors and proofreaders are experts with a refined skill set. They can evaluate your book and make recommendations about which editing processes the manuscript should undergo. Their extensive training allows them to view your book differently than a casual reader and identify errors or issues with the flow, organization, or plot of the story.

“All manuscripts need something,” says author Edward Renehan. As a book publicist, I’ve seen time and again where the attention of a professional editor has changed a good book into a brilliant one. Hiring an editor is like hiring a personal trainer; it’s still you, just faster, tighter, and more trim. Whether you’re getting a developmental edit, copyedit, or proofread, a professional editor knows how to identify your vision for your work and suggest changes to accomplish that vision.

Most importantly, they are on your team. The editor’s goal is to increase the value and marketability of your work—to cut, and polish in ways that make it shine even more brightly. In an article for Publisher’s Weekly, editor Leila Sales says, “We are as invested in the success of your book as you are. Furthermore, remember this: if we sign up books that don’t perform well, that reflects poorly on us as editors. The future of our careers depends on the success of the books we edit. We are never trying to sabotage your book, because we are emotionally and financially invested in how well it does.”

Regardless of your publishing path, one of the best ways to promote your book is to get reviews. In my experience, if your book has a number of noticeable errors many reviewers will find it difficult to look past them and give a fair review of the entire work. It makes the reading more difficult and creates a poor impression. Even if the reviewer knows that it’s a galley copy or ARC and hasn’t been final proofed, a manuscript in need of editing or proofreading simply will not get as strong or positive reviews.

As a third party endorsement of your work, reviews are critical for promotion and marketing efforts. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile. Professional editing of your work will take your work to the next level, enabling you to get the best reviews possible from your reviewers. Better reviews increase the likelihood of getting your book the attention and audience it deserves.

Bottom Line: Let your finished work shine! Hire a professional editor or proofreader to polish your book, bring forth its maximum beauty, and increase its market value.

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

 

The Art and Power of Brevity for Authors

“If I Had More Time, I Would Have Written You a Shorter Letter.” – Mark Twain

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Most authors know the famous adage, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” This saying is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and is, ironically, delivered by the exceedingly longwinded character Polonius. Brevity, simply defined, is shortness or conciseness of expression. While brevity is often an essential part of wit or humor, it is also a necessary tool which writers must master. In an age where attention spans are under siege from competing information streams, skillful and brief communication can cut through the noise and capture the attention of the listener.

Mark Twain's Quote on the Power of Brevity for Authors

Mark Twain’s Quote on the Power of Brevity for Authors

Like Shakespeare’s Polonius, many authors recognize the importance of brevity, while struggling to actually be brief. Authors are conditioned early on with the idea that longer, more complex sentences and words are better. As people who enjoy the act of writing and are immersed in a world of words, it is easy for writers to become longwinded.

As a book publicist I bridge the gap between authors, who can be longwinded, and the media who have no time to listen or talk!  So it’s imperative that I condense everything down to the ‘elevator pitch’ answering these questions: Who is the author? What is their topic? Why should we interview them NOW?

William Zinsser, famous American writer, literary critic, and teacher said, “There are four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity.” Words carry power, but length does not equal strength. Some of the most powerful and most memorable works in human history are only a few dozen words:

The Lord’s Prayer: 66 words

The Ten Commandments: 79 words

The Gettysburg Address: 272 words

Declaration of Independence: 1,322 words

Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech: 1,667 words

Thomas Jefferson once said, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” Here are three important practices for writers:

  • Know the purpose of your communication. An elevator pitch or logline will be shorter than a synopsis or an excerpt. Whether writing a pitch or working on your novel, keep in mind the purpose of the writing and consider how brevity can help meet that goal.
  • Remove unnecessary words. Even Jefferson’s famous quote about brevity can be reduced to the following statement, without changing the meaning. “The most valuable talent is never using two words when one will do.”
  • Change the sentence structure. Revising the structure of the sentence may eliminate words and possibly even express the idea more powerfully.

Author Dennis Roth says, “If it takes a lot of words to say what you have in mind, give it more thought.” Thoughtfully implementing these practices will help you eliminate the fluff and maximize the impact of your writing.

One area in which authors typically struggle, but which is an excellent exercise in brevity, is crafting elevator pitches and loglines. Pitches and loglines are a marketing tool to help sell your idea or work, and attract the interest of publishers, editors, or producers. Having a refined a pitch or logline can also help authors maintain focus during the writing process, becoming a tool which keeps the author from getting tangled in the weeds of extraneous details that can detract from the story.

An elevator pitch or logline succinctly answers the question: “What is your book about?” and provides a tease or a taste of the story. Loglines encapsulate the story arc and themes in one to two well-crafted sentences. The pitch should evoke the curiosity of the listener, help them understand what sets your work apart, and compel them to want more. Loglines and elevator pitches should SELL the story, not tell the story.

As a writer, brevity is your friend. Brief, simple, and concise communication shows respect for the listener and their time. Utilize brevity to help your writing get the attention it deserves.

I could blather on in this article but in keeping with the title… I am going to be brief!

Bottom Line: Be brief. Master the art of brevity to make your writing more powerful and effective.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

Authors: 10 Must-Have Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

“Not All Marketing People are Writers, But All Writers Must Learn to be Marketers.” – Joanne Kraft

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

Marketing Tips to Generate Buzz Around Your Book

In the world of book sales and publishing, marketing is an important tool to get your book the attention it deserves. Having a solid and well written book is essential, but promotion and publicity will be necessary to get your book noticed in today’s competitive book market. Just as time is invested in the writing process, you’ll also need to invest some time and effort to promote your work.

Here are 10 tips, from my years of book publicist experience, to help you market your book:

1. Make your title work for you. It is no longer enough to pick a title that you like or that fits your book. The best titles not only sound good but are optimized for the internet age. Utilize my book, Book Title Generator, for a proven system to choose your best title.

2. Refine your elevator pitch and logline. Pitches and loglines help sell your work and attract the interest of publishers, editors, or producers. They encapsulate the story arc and themes in one to two well-crafted sentences. Invest time writing and refining your pitches. Practice delivering them with confidence and fluidity.

3. Establish your online presence. Make sure your audience can find you online even before your book is finished. Make a website and post blogs, articles you’ve written, and updates about your book. Utilize LinkedIn, Goodreads, Facebook, and other social media platforms to expand your audience and keep your work on people’s minds.

4. Take advantage of writer’s conferences to network and get feedback. Attending writers’ conferences gives you a chance to pitch your book, learn about publishing options and meet book editors, agents and book marketing specialists. If your book is not yet finished, these conferences are a valuable chance to get advice that will help in the writing process.

5. Make your book available for pre-order. Utilize the period prior to the launch date to generate buzz around your book. Promotion on social media can build excitement, attract attention, and get readers to pre-order your upcoming release. Some authors hold contests and promotions, or offer exclusive bonus content for pre-orders. Pre-order stats influence many things, from how Amazon and other retailers stock inventory to first week sales statistics.

6. Create an online launch team: Expand your reach by creating a launch team of folks who will back your book and promote it on social media. Send copies to bloggers or podcast hosts who might be interested in its content and willing to promote it. Family, friends, and coworkers may be willing to share content and spread the news about your book. The more the merrier when it comes to launch teams!

7. Enter your book in a book contest. It takes time, effort, and entry fee money to enter book award contests, but awards are invaluable for marketing. Awards create interest in your book, provide added credibility, and increase sales potential. A book award can give you an edge in reaching out to media, booksellers, and agents and sometimes that’s all the difference needed to propel your book into bestseller territory.

8. Activate your local media: In our internet driven world, it’s sometimes easy to forget about marketing opportunities closer to home. Don’t forget to get your local media onboard for your marketing efforts. Contact local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations to see if they’d be interested in interviewing a hometown author.

9. Get to know your local bookstore owners and managers. Local bookstores are the most likely place for readers in your area to encounter your work. The better you know the folks who own or operate those bookstores, the easier it is to ask them about hosting book release parties, readings, signings, author interviews, or book clubs.

10. HIRE A BOOK PUBLICIST. Marketing is a complicated and time consuming process, and a book publicist will utilize their experience and network of contacts to bring attention to your book. Author Adam S. McHugh says, “The work of promoting the book requires just as much work as writing the book, if not more so.” Putting this complex task into the hands of a professional gives you more time to do what you do best – WRITE!

At Westwind Communications, we have decades of marketing experience, partnering with authors of many different genres to get all the book publicity they deserve and more.TM

Bottom Line: Use these book marketing tips to promote your work, but remember that a professional book publicist will go the distance in coordinating and implementing your comprehensive marketing strategy.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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