33 Radio Interview Tips For Authors 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 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 16on a radio interview and cannot be interrupted.
  2. Turn off other phones, cell phones and anything else that could create background noise including air conditioners and the radio, etc.
  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 land line phone for best quality. Some stations won’t allow a cell phone interview. If it is not possible to reach a land line then use a cell phone in a stationary location and not while you are rolling down the road as the reception could be interrupted mid-interview.
  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 speaker phone or a headset; again, it’s 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. Be prepared for negative comments, from the host or listeners.
  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 the product or come see you!
  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. But even if you get in only one, you get a big return for the time invested.
  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. 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

 

 

The Incredible Story Behind the Movie THE ELEPHANT MAN

Remember- All Movies Start with the

Written Word – All of Them

 

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

 sanger-cover-2-25-17

Movies, like books, sometimes have humble beginnings.

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

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

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

Was it an award winning script? No.

Did experienced screenwriters create this masterpiece? No.

Was it adopted from a book? No.

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

Where did the script come from?

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Jess Todtfeld Launches New Book: Media Secrets

#1 Bestseller on Amazon in 25 Categories & 4 Countries

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Podcast with Business Book Ghost Writer and Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Scott Lorenz Interview wi Biz Book Ghostwriter

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

“The End”?

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

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

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

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

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

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Medium- A New Writing Tool For Authors

MEDIUM- New Tool For Authors

Medium- A New Writing Tool For Authors

 

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

 

Walter 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

What Can Authors Learn From The #ALSIceBucketChallenge

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

 

Participating in good deeds of charity can help promote your image, whether you are famous or not.  If you are an author challenge another author like Stephen King did and keep this thing going!

John Grisham takes the Ice Bucket Challenge after being challenged by his "former friend Stephen King who's now just a mere acquaintance."

John Grisham takes the Ice Bucket Challenge after being challenged by his “former friend Stephen King who’s now just a mere acquaintance.”

The “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” today’s social media explosion, has caused a dramatic change in awareness among many. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, the “icing” videos have taken over everyone’s newsfeeds.

The challenge involves filming a video of yourself while getting drenched by a bucket of ice water, share it on social media, and challenge others to do the same or to donate $100 to an ALS disease research fund of their choice.

What is ALS Lou Gehrig’s disease and how did this whole phenomenon come about? ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord leading to muscle weakness, loss of the use of arms and legs, and difficulty breathing, swallowing, and speaking.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was started on July 15, 2014 by Chris Kennedy, a golfer from Sarasota, FL, who was nominated by a friend to participate in the challenge, which at the time had no ties to ALS. Kennedy selected the ALS fund to donate to because he had a relative suffering from the disease. In turn he nominated his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband, Anthony is suffering from ALS.

Kennedy, in an interview with TIME said, “What started out as a small gesture to put a smile on Anthony’s face and bring some awareness to this terrible disease has turned into a national phenomenon and it is something we never could have dreamed of.”

Beth Kanter, author of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, said in an interview with NPR that, “I think part of the success is that really it appeals to the way that we’re using social media. We’re always taking selfies, we’re sharing details about our lives. Also, we’ve had a summer of downer news, with conflict in Iraq so people are ready for positive news.”

“People want to look good to others, so it’s hard to turn down a prosocial cause,” Jonah Berger, the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. “ALS is a great cause, so when someone asks you directly to do this, it’s hard to turn them down without seeming like a bad person.”

These public displays help people promote themselves whether it is their goal or not. Beth Kanter, said, “One of the key ways these campaigns become successful is the social proofing that’s involved. And what I mean by social proofing is you’re observing other people in your network doing something and you want to participate as well.”

This is enforced when celebrities such as Matt Lauer, anchor on The Today Show, and Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers player show their support by taking the challenge. Stephen King joined the fun and challenged fellow author John Grisham, to do the same. Check out the Stephen King video at this link: http://youtu.be/XO7lFV2e-xA  and John Grisham taking the challenge at:   http://youtu.be/f1HFXtD4F5M

King tweeted afterwards and said, “My shoes are wet and I’m freezing. While I dry off, go to #icebucketchallenge and kick in some dough.”

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been very rewarding to the ALS Association. Record-breaking donations from the viral sensation of icing videos have provided the organization the ability to do extensive research on Lou Gehrig’s disease. As of this writing since July 29, the organization received $41 million from existing and new donors.

The Bottom Line: Participating in good deeds of charity can help promote your image, whether you are famous or not.  If you are an author challenge another author like Stephen King did and keep this thing going!

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 #ALSIceBucketChallenge

Book Marketing Expert and Book Publicist Scott Lorenz Interviewed by Bookpleasures.com Founder Norm Goldman

Today, Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Scott Lorenz, President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and book marketing firm.

One of the services Scott provides is as a book publicist and book marketing expert.

Good day Scott and thank you for agreeing to participate in our interview about book marketing.

Norm:

Scott, could you tell our readers something about yourself, and a brief description of Westwind Communications.
Scott:

Westwind Communications helps clients get all the publicity they deserve and more. We work with a wide variety of small to medium sized businesses, including Doctors, Lawyers, Inventors, Authors and Entrepreneurs. We have extensive media contacts that have produced volumes of clippings and hours of broadcast coverage including: Fox & Friends, Good Morning America, Today Show, Early Show, HBO, CNN, ESPN, NPR, Voice of America, USA Today, Investors Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal.

Norm:

How did you get into the business book marketing?

Scott:

I started my own PR firm after working for several companies handling their PR. People kept asking me to do PR for them and it grew from there. Then authors heard of my successes and they began calling me to market their books. The rest is history.

Norm:

What are the essential ingredients in effectively marketing authors and their books?

Scott:

In the best possible situation, the book must be on an interesting topic appealing to a broad audience that ties into national breaking news. The author must be a good communicator and/or have a good story to tell.

Norm:

What is the difference between PR, advertising and marketing when it comes to books?

Scott:

Marketing is the integration of advertising, PR and sales. It’s the big umbrella under which PR and Advertising sit. Some people confuse a PR firm with a marketing firm, or marketing agency, or even an ad agency. Basically a public relations firm handles media relations and is the interface between an author and the news media. PR is FREE. The media does not charge people to write an article about them or interview them for TV or Radio.

A public relations firm or publicist will “pitch” the media on a story idea about an author. A good pitch about a story that would interest the people who read, watch or listen to a particular media outlet gets coverage. Advertising is when the author or publisher pays for an ad in a media outlet. For the most part you can control when it’s published, what it says and who is going to see it because you are paying for it. With PR you do not have those same controls. Marketing in the book world is when an author or publisher sells to specific markets like the military or catalogue market, bookstores or retail outlets.

Norm:

Today, many authors self-publish their books- do you find it difficult to market self-published books, and is there any difference between marketing the self-published book and the main stream published books?

Scott:
Westwind Communications generates publicity for authors who self publish or use a traditional publisher. I’ve had self published authors in every major media outlet from USA Today to FOX & Friends. Well written self published books can enter the market faster, and they can get a lot of media attention. Enlightened authors who self publish also realize that they need to self promote and possibly hire a publicist. Main stream publishers have in some cases dozens and dozens of books to promote and they cannot focus on any one book for long.

Frankly, the only people who snub their nose at self published work are major book reviewers at major publications who use that criteria to weed out the hundreds of books they receive each week. And in their defence, there are a lot of self published books that are poorly written and poorly distributed. They may also conclude that a self published book is hard to get. They may conclude ‘why write about a book that nobody can find?’ But, many major media outlets simply refuse to recognize self published works – sometimes to their detriment.

Norm:
What challenges or obstacles have you encountered while promoting books? How did you overcome these challenges?

Scott:
We’ve faced a lot of challenges and obstacle in the promotion of our client’s books. , We’ve handled many genres, from poetry and fiction to western romance and sports, and they all offer challenges. For example, a book with regional interest hampers the PR effort because the book is only of interest to those people in the region. Or a book about a disease which is not widespread also means fewer media outlets would want to write about it since there would be only a few members of their audience interested. On the other hand, a book with national scope has much greater chance of getting more exposure since there are more media outlets in which to pitch the book.

Westwind Communications has promoted both types of books and there are pros and cons in dealing with both. When limits are placed on the market where the book would find readership and sales it also limits the likely media exposure. For example a book about the history of a small factory town in Ohio is not likely to get on national TV or play in national magazine unless you find some national tie in. However, if a book were about “Retirement Funding,” that topic covers just about everyone in the USA.

Also, every book has a local angle, focusing on wherever the author is from or currently resides. If you can’t get local PR for an author there’s a big problem. Also, the media is usually very friendly to a local author. Good PR can begin at home, although sometimes it takes national exposure to get the attention of your hometown media.

I am currently working with an author who suffered a stroke and has difficulty speaking. While this poses a significant problem for radio and TV interviews he still has a sharp mind. Just think about astrophysicist Stephen Hawking and how he has overcome his inability to communicate verbally and you’ll understand the challenge we’ll have in the promotion of his books. But, it also gives me an angle to use with the media in that here’s someone who has overcome a huge obstacle to become a published author.

Norm:
Do you have any unique ways marketing your books that are different from how others market their books?

Scott:
If I tell you I’d have to… hire you! Seriously, Norm, getting media coverage is all about creating interesting “angles.” I try to find out everything I can about the author using a questionnaire that even asks about fraternities or sorority membership, roommates in college, and other tidbits about them personally and about the book itself. We then use this information to craft a pitch that entices the media to want to interview the author. To me it’s like going fishing – you use whatever bait you can and keep changing it until you find the one that really works. And, like fishing, the bait that works today may not work tomorrow and that’s where most authors and other publicists will give up. With thousands of media outlets, this is a very time-consuming task. Unless an author has someone skilled in book publicity, their potential best-seller is just one of a million books lost on the shelves of Borders, Barnes and Noble, and in the “ether” of Amazon.com.”

My approach to BOOK MARKETING involves the following:

  • To successfully market a book, you need to determine who will read it. Once we really zero in and determine who the audience is, we can target the media they read directly.
  • We make sure galleys and the finished books are sent to the reviewers at major publications and broadcast outlets. We write and send press releases, pitch letters in an electronic press kit and make follow up phone calls to media outlets encouraging reporters and reviewers to write about our client’s book.
  • Being reviewed by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and USA TODAY are major goals. In fact USA Today has 4.3 million readers every day. Furthermore, it gets more notice from the other media than the other four newspapers combined. That’s a major reason why we will make a concerted effort to get our authors noticed by USA TODAY.
  • We also contact national magazines and others that may be interested in the author’s “personal” story. Sometimes the media is more interested in the author than the book itself and that is just one more angle we’ll use to promote our client’s book.
  • We contact TV and radio outlets. Every day thousands of interviews are conducted on TV and Radio stations across North America and several hundred are with authors. If an author is not trying to get interviewed by the producers of those shows they won’t find him/her because they simply don’t have time to look. We have developed relationships with many producers over the years and those contacts combined with well-thought-out pitches produce results.
  • We go to major media events in New York City where we have face-to-face meetings with journalists, editors, writers and producers from top national magazines, newspapers and radio/TV programs. We have successfully pitched such media outlets as 20/20, Prime Time, CNN, People, Good Morning America, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Dateline NBC, The View, Oprah’s O magazine, Cosmopolitan, Fox News, Good Housekeeping, Newsweek to name a few.
  • If an author does not have a web site for their book they need to create one. We’ll refer media to the site for more information and to download book jackets, author photos etc.

Norm:
What do you think of authors’ tours and how effective are these in the promotion and marketing of a book?

Scott:
As a book publicist I have a strong opinion about book tours. Authors tend to think they are a great idea because they see Bill and Hillary Clinton, Harvey McKay and other big names out on the circuit and think that’s the way to promote a book. Frankly it’s just ONE way to promote a book and is an element in the overall marketing of a book. The reality is that unless you are well known it’ll be you, the flower vase, and your book at the little table waiting for people to approach you. Now don’t get me wrong – book signings can be very useful, and even if you don’t sell books it gives the media a reason to write about your book right now in order to promote the event. Without the signing, your book goes back in the pile with a few hundred other books the reporter can write about. And that’s where I believe book signings and book tours are most useful.

In fact book stores that have turned down a client will happily book them knowing a mention of their store will be in an upcoming article. Westwind Communications has obtained media coverage and then pitched a book store with a guaranteed mention if they book the author. This technique usually works. How can they refuse? The PR for the book signing, which is very difficult and time consuming for them is already done.

Book stores want enough lead time to put an announcement in their newsletter, get a press release out to their contacts and create flyers etc. They hate last minute plans, (who doesn’t) so it’s important to work a few months in advance if possible. But should you get a media interview and you know its going to hit on a certain date then it makes sense to pitch a book signing to the area book stores and then get back to the media outlet to add that appearance in at the end of the story.

Book stores also like to have the book available in “their system” before booking an author signing. This means that the book has to be available on their computer when they look it up so it can be ordered through regular channels, IE their own system, Ingram, Baker and Taylor etc. There are exceptions to everything and sometimes an author can bring books into the store and sell them, giving the store the profit from each book it would normally expect. But, that tends to throw a monkey wrench into the mix, and the big national chains will shy away from this. You may have better luck going to independent book stores where the owner is on site. They tend to be more interested at a chance to book an author for an in-store appearance.

Norm:
How do you use the Internet in the promoting of an author’s book, and do you believe the Internet has an important place in the marketing plan? If so, why?

Scott:
I know Internet promotion works since I use it myself to promote my own PR firm. We distribute press releases and articles about our clients’ book to numerous Internet outlets such as ezines and blogs. These then become searchable by keywords and most likely will drive traffic to the author’s web site. We may never see the posting or even get a notice or a news clip about it, but web site traffic can increase because of these releases and articles. Furthermore, people use news gathering services that search the Internet for stories about their areas of interest. If a topic they have selected comes up in a blog or press release written by us they’ll get a copy of that press release in their email. This demonstrates that not all benefits from publicity need to come through traditional media channels.

Members of the media research everything online too. In one particular case I had placed a release online and then a blogger saw it, wrote about it in her blog. That blog then showed up when a writer for a major top ten city newspaper searched a particular term. That led the reporter to the blog and then my release which resulted in an interview, photo session and a very nice feature story for my client who was introducing a new medical procedure.
Then of course there’s Internet promotion on Amazon and Google. On Amazon its important for authors to utilize every and all opportunities from adding reviews on their own books to commenting on other books while mentioning their own book. On Google, their Book Search program opens up sections of their book so that they are searchable. This should help drive sales. The list of things to do online goes on and I could fill a book itself on the topic.
So, yes, marketing on the internet works and it’s an important part of all my client’s campaigns.

Norm:
How do you use book reviews in the promotion of a book?

Scott:
People will tell their friends and associates about a book review they read in a magazine or newspaper, see on television, or hear on the radio about a book because the media is a third party, disinterested source disseminating the information. That’s why getting book reviews is so important in starting the “word of mouth” every successful author desires. Furthermore, people believe what they see in the media thereby granting a third party endorsement which is far more effective than a paid ad.

Being reviewed by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and USA TODAY are major goals. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, USA Today has 4.3 million readers every day. And, it gets more notice from the other media (radio and TV especially) than the other four newspapers combined. That’s a major reason why Westwind Communications will make a concerted effort to get our client’ book get noticed by USA TODAY. 9 times out of 10, an appearance in USA TODAY will lead to other media notice as well because, “PR begets PR – the more you get the more you get.”

Then there’s an entirely different set of reviewers who can help “prime the pump,” so to speak in that you can use their comments in the early press material which can help set the tone for future media coverage. These early reviews are critical in “spinning” things the way the author wants it to go. Many of these reviewers read hundreds of books per year. They’ve graduated from the finest educational institutions in the US and while talented, there’s only so many jobs reviewing books at the NY Times. These reviewers pen some of the best commentary ever composed, yet are independent reviewers for Amazon or have their own book review web sites.

Norm:
Is there any difference between promoting non-fiction and fiction?

Scott:
Fiction is a tough genre. Some PR firms won’t even touch fiction but Westwind Communications has had success in getting media coverage. How? In one case one of my authors had bi-polar disorder. We tied into “National Bipolar” day in November with a media campaign and raised the profile of the author just with that association. With another book, whose topic was bio-terrorism, we tied into the national debate about whether or not the USA was ready for a bio-terror event. The author was able to comment on the issues in the news manifesting out of the 911 attacks.

As for non fiction, this is clearly more promotable over fiction, as there numerous built-in media opportunities. For one, if the topic is of national interest and the author is a noted expert, then that has a lot more potential getting press than a fiction piece. Radio talk show hosts like non fiction because there’s less risk of losing the audience while trying to explain a plot.

Norm:
Is it very costly to hire a marketing expert to promote one’s book? How are you compensated?

Scott:
I ask authors this: What is the cost of your book not being read? What is the cost if it’s not sold? What is the value of your book two years from now? Will it even have value two years from now? As for hiring a publicist, consider your self lucky if you can afford a publicist because without one you’ll be paying for it one way or another in the form of bad choices for advertising, missed national PR opportunities and “PR tuition” that costs you your time.

As for how Westwind Communications is compensated, we operate on a monthly retainer fee. in a nut shell, the retainer allows the author to have a fixed budget amount for PR and it allows my firm to rely on a steady cash flow. The work goes up and down depending upon the needs of the campaign. Authors will also appreciate the logic of this concept as the billing process is simplified for both of us. For example, a let’s say an author obtains a new book signing in Chicago that was not on the schedule. We’ll put our writers on it and deliver a release to the media and pitch the story. There is no RUSH fee or other up-charges that other PR firms add on. There are also wire service fees that my firm pays for as well as phone and fax fees. There is no way authors want to review that detail every month and frankly it would cost us hundreds 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 but it serves everyone well so long as the expectations and goals are clear.

Norm:
Is there anything else you wish to add?

Scott:
Whew! The only other thing is that nobody in the media is sitting around waiting for a new book to land on their desk. In order for an author to get to the top of the pile they absolutely need to hire a publicist to help them or their book is destined to be lost in the ether of Amazon, Borders or Barnes and Noble. To discuss how Westwind Communications helps its clients get all the publicity they deserve and more call 734-667-2090 or email me at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or visit www.westwindcos.com/book

Norm:
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future book marketing endeavors.