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 TEMPLATEon 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



43 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2018

Book Awards for Authors

Book Awards for Authors

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2018!


By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

As a book publicist, I can assure you they absolutely do matter! One client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction novel.  Another one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

You win awards you sell more products.  Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon

Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference

Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference (Photo news.techniblogic.com


Recently a business book client won a major award which caused CNN to reach out to request the book.

I could go on and on with examples of how pursuing and winning book awards will give you opportunities to reach out to the media, booksellers, and agents. As a book publicist, I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award-winning’ book.


Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities.  A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a bookstore.  A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award-winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course, it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.


Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.


Here’s a list of my Top 43 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

  1. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards http://bookcritics.org/awards/award_submissions/


  1. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. https://publishers.forewordreviews.com/awards/


  1. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Entry Forms are due in March and Finished Books are due in June. http://themanbookerprize.com/fiction


  1. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details http://www.thehugoawards.org/about/


  1. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!) http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/nomination/


  1. See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.” http://www.mysterywriters.org/?q=Edgars-Info


  1. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. http://www.ft.com/intl/management/business-book-award


  1. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction site will reopen for new entries in May. http://www.pulitzer.org/how_to_enter


  1. The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here http://www.nationalbook.org/nbaentry.html


  1. Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award


  1. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important ebook only award. http://globalebookawards.com/


  1. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is late June. Check it out here http://www.autumnhouse.org/contest-submissions/


  1. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details http://www.pen-ne.org/hemingway-foundationpen-award/


  1. Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at: http://www.pw.org/grants


  1. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award http://www.bookweb.org/indiebound/nextlist/view


  1. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/for_publishers/discover_program/discover_program.html


  1. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. http://www.nautilusbookawards.com/


  1. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year. Just do it. http://bookfestivals.com/


  1. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. Deadline is April. http://www.indieexcellence.com


  1. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories. http://www.axiomawards.com/


  1. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association’s Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their third decade of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback–unique in the industry. For more information, visit http://ibpabenjaminfranklinawards.com/


  1. USA Best Book Awards has a ten-year plus track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book News which covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published. http://www.usabooknews.com/


  1. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers. http://readerviews.com/literaryawards/


  1. Amazon Kindle Scout. Submit your new, never-before-published, English-language book of 50,000 words or more to Kindle Scout and be considered for a publishing contract with Kindle Press in 45 days or less.  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/help?topicId=AP72QR5GUKEQS


  1. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. Early Bird deadline in April 1. http://www.writersdigest.com/competitions/selfpublished


  1. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors. https://readersfavorite.com/book-reviews.htm


  1. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=525


  1. Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the “Eppies” http://www.epicorg.com


  1. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent. http://www.ruberybookaward.com/


  1. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author. http://www.hofferaward.com/HAbooks.html


  1. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation. http://www.indiebookawards.com/awards.php


  1. The International Book Awards (IBA) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more. http://www.internationalbookawards.com/


  1. The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults. http://www.clcawards.org


  1. The Scotiabank Giller Prize. A $100,000 grand prize and $10K (CDN) to each of the finalists. To be eligible, a book must be a first-edition, full-length novel or short story collection, written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The publisher must enter. Sorry, no self-published books. http://www.scotiabankgillerprize.ca/


  1. The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences. http://digitalbookworldconference.com


  1. The Feathered Quill Book Awards accept submissions from all size publishers and work very hard to honor and publicize the winners (there’s a link to a testimonial page on the awards page – read what past winners have to say). http://www.featheredquill.com/awardprogram.shtml


  1. Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition honors more than 100 indie/self-published books. In addition to $1,500 in cash prizes, they’ll feature the winner, five finalists, and more than 100 “notable” books in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound. Any independently published book in any genre in any publication year is eligible for entry. Entry fee is $50 per book. The competition also includes the Pete Delohery Award for Best Sports Book, open to fiction and non-fiction sports-related books. http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/competition.html


  1. Chanticleer International Book Awards — Grand prize winner receives $1,000 cash plus other awards. More than $30,000 cash and prizes awarded each year. 15 genres including the CYGNUS for SciFiction, M&M for Mystery & Mayhem, Somerset for Literary, etc.  http://www.ChanticleerReviews.com  Several of our winners have received major publishing deals (6 figures) and two have had their works optioned for film.


  1. The Royal Dragonfly (all genres) and Purple Dragonfly (children’s books) Book Awards are prestigious national book contests recognizing exceptional authors for excellence in writing and a Story Monsters Approved! (children’s books) book must inspire, inform, teach or entertain, and adhere to rigorous standards of excellence. https://www.dragonflybookawards.com


  1.  The Kirkus Prize is one of the richest literary awards in the world, with a prize of $50,000 bestowed annually to authors of fiction, nonfiction and young readers’ literature. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/prize


40.  The Independent Author Network IAN Book of the Year Awards, an international contest open to all authors with 35 fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners are eligible to receive a share of cash prizes exceeding $6,000 USD. An Outstanding Book (category winner) will be awarded in each category with recognition of Finalists. Six outstanding titles will be named the Books of the Year. Winning books will be shared at the IAN Facebook page with over 120,000 fans and 575,000 followers at twitter. http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/book-of-the-year.html

41. The Chautauqua Prize for authors is $7,500 plus travel and expense for a short summer residency. Full-length books of fiction and narrative/literary nonfiction are eligible. Self-published books are not eligible. In general, cookbooks, self-help books (including inspirational literature), reference books, picture books, graphic novels, or children’s books are not eligible. http://chq.org/general-information

42. Mom’s Choice Awards® is recognized in over 55 countries around the world for setting the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. If you have a children’s book or family friendly book then this is a terrific award to pursue. https://www.momschoiceawards.com

43. Book Excellence Awards – With over $30,000 in grand prizes in media and marketing services, the Book Excellence Awards has helped honorees increase their book sales, garner attention from film producers, receive distribution in book stores and increased their visibility and media attention. https://www.bookexcellenceawards.com

Author Kelly K. Lavender read this very article about the value of book awards and said this. “I followed Scott’s advice. It worked! To my complete surprise, Beautiful Evil Winter earned a bouquet of book awards, including a highly coveted Eric Hoffer Award and a Readers’ Favorite award. For those that don’t know, the high-profile Readers’ Favorite competition attracts celebrities and New York Times Best-Selling authors. Thanks, Scott for penning that piece! What a game-changer!”

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award-winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”  Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.


About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at http://www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at http://www.The-Book-Publicist.com



Book Marketing Video Westwind





Writers’ Conferences Put Authors on the Road to Success


By Scott Lorenz, Westwind Communications

Writers Confab, Road to Success

Writers’ Conferences are part of overall book marketing strategy.


Have you ever attended a writers’ conference? Here’s why you may want to consider adding one to your calendar.

A writers’ conference is a think tank for authors to build on each other’s ideas and inspire new achievements in their own work. For the cost of lodging and registration, the payoff for attending a writers’ conference could be tremendous.

Attending a writers’ conference gives you a chance to pitch your book, learn about the various publishing options and meet book editors, agents, and book marketing specialists. If your book is six months or a year from being finished, you can talk to people with valuable input on shaping your book. At a writers’ conference, you’ll get all sorts of advice to help you wrap up your project when you return home.

Of course, you will want to prepare for any writers’ conference you attend by having a plan of what you want to find out and what you will do while there. I suggest you develop an ‘elevator pitch’ about your book that you can deliver in 30 seconds. Have a one-pager available with your book cover, author headshot, short 50-word synopsis, short bio, website URL, Twitter handle and your contact information. You never know who you’ll meet so be prepared for that moment!

Here are some upcoming writers’ conferences for your consideration: http://bit.ly/Writer_Conferences 

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

Book Fairs & Festivals for Authors Summer/Fall 2016

Authors- Now is the Time to GO!!

Put Down That Pen… Check out Some Book Fairs & Festivals!!

Top Book Fairs & Festivals

Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2016




After writing diligently for weeks and months on end it’s time to get invigorated! Nothing does the job like meeting people who love books and write books. Check out this list of book festivals and fairs authors can attend for 2016. These events are an excellent way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.


Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, authors not only gain great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. One of my author clients was a member of a panel of authors at a Southern Book Festival. I issued a press release about it and added it to her accomplishments on her bio. Not only is she a respected author but she’s now an author admired by her peers. It’s these little things that all add up in the minds of reviewers and the media when they decide who they will write about. If you want to land a panel gig or speaking slot you must plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are usually arranged months in advance.

For more upcoming book events check out C-SPAN2 at: http://www.BookTV.org and click on the Book Fairs tab.   For more information about book events and book marketing visit   http://www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2016 as of the date of this publishing:

  1. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin August 5, 2016 and finish August 6, 2016 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2016/rmbpf_2016_GeneralInfo.html
  2. Writers at Woody Point, August 16-21, 2016 in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Travel to Canada and see what creativity and talent lies across the border. http://www.writersatwoodypoint.com
  3. Decatur Book Festival, September 2-4, 2016, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. http://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  4. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 8-10, 2016. http://visitwinstonsalem.com/special-events/view/bookmarks-festival-of-books-and-authors
  5. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 12, 2016 and run through September 18, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org
  6. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be held September 22-25, 2016. http://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/
  7. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 23, 2016 and end September 25, 2016. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com
  8. Chicago Writers Conference, September 23-25, 2016 in Chicago. Topics include writing unlikeable characters, how to pitch, etc. http://www.chicagowritersconference.org
  9. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 4, 2016 and end October 9, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org
  10. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 8-9, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com
  11. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 14, 2016 through October 16, 2016. http://humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  12. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will take place on October 15, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://www.vegasvalleybookfestival.org
  13. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (40th Annual) will be held October 28, 2016 through October 30, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://bostonbookfair.com
  14. The Texas Book Festival will begin November 5, 2016 and end November 6, 2016 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org

The Bottom Line: Authors, put down your pen and go explore the many book fairs and festivals around the country. You won’t be sorry!

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

How Authors can Use ProfNet to Promote their Books

By Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications



As a book publicist I am always on the lookout for effective ways to reach book buyers and the media. One way is to utilize a service called ProfNet. As one of its first users I’ve seen ProfNet become one of the most important ways of reaching the media in a non-intrusive way.

Here’s how it works. A reporter, freelance writer or television producer is assigned a story. Unless they know someone who is an expert on that topic they’ll need to find someone to interview. So the reporter will place a query on ProfNet requesting an expert with certain qualifications and who could speak to a certain issue they are writing about. They’ll include a deadline, contact information and their media outlet.

These queries are compiled by ProfNet and are emailed out to thousands of publicists, experts, authors and other subscribers multiple times a day. I personally read just about every set of queries as they could contain a big media opportunity for my clients. On any given day there could be queries from the NY Times, Good Morning America, Women’s World Magazine, NPR and just about anybody you could think of.

I’ve landed clients in all the above mentioned outlets and hundreds of others as well. One reason it works so well is that the media is looking for the expert rather than you or me (the publicist) pushing my client on them. In this case they actually have a story they’re working on and NEED an expert.

Who in the media uses ProfNet? Meet freelance writer Lisa Iannucci. Lisa has written many articles for consumer and trade publications including Weight Watchers, Muscle & Fitness, Parenting, Shape, ePregnancy, SkyGuide Go (American Express), American Health, USA Weekend,  Parenting, New York Magazine and more. She has also written for New England Condominium, The Cooperator, Business Travel News, DDIFO (a Dunkin’ Donuts trade journal), Sports Travel and more. She is constantly on the lookout for interesting experts and authors to interview for her various freelance assignments.

To continue  reading visit >>>> http://bit.ly/ProfNet4Authors 

Want to Sell Your Book to Hollywood? Create a LOGLINE

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing


If you want to sell your book to Hollywood it’ll help to think like Hollywood producers Hollywood Logline, Sell Your Book to Hollywoodand directors. Since everybody is so busy these days you’ll have to boil down your book to a quick pitch that answers the question: What is your book about?

Think about it, do you have a one-sentence summation of your book to tell others? Do you have the main elements of the story composed together? If not, you need a logline.

A logline is a one or two sentence description that boils down the essential dramatic narrative in as succinct a manner as possible, says James Burbidge on Raindance.org

According to John Robert Marlow, author of Make Your Story a Movie: Adapting Your Book or Idea for Hollywood, “If you want to turn your book into a movie then understand that the people who represent and purchase books and screenplays are incredibly busy. They need a way to decide which stories are worth a closer look, and which are not—without actually taking the time to read those stories. This is where the logline comes into play.”

Here’s an example of a good logline for a book from the author resource website WildSound.ca

“The Last Thing She Did” is a romantic comedy in which a ditsy writer struggles to overcome her reliance on a dead friend’s advice in order to meet a deadline.

According to Michelle Mclean, Romance and Nonfiction author, the elements of your logline should consist of Characters, Conflict, Distinction, Setting, and Action.

“A logline is a brief description of the plot of your story, which involves an emotional hook and a twist of irony. A logline organizes a story in the briefest form possible while retaining the strongest emotional effect,” said Jen Grisanti, author of Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story.

“A good use for the logline is the pitch. This handy, dandy quick summary of your story is very useful in persuading agents, editors, and even your dentist that you’ve hit on a ‘wow’ premise that simply MUST be written. Better yet, if it’s already written, then it MUST be read,” said David Macinnis Gill, author and teacher.

“The logline is just as important as a creative tool as it is as a vehicle to spark an interest of others,” said Noam Kroll of Indiewire, an award  winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and founder of the boutique production company Creative Rebellion.

“You do not need to condense your entire book into one sentence but you do need to give enough information that the agent/editor/ curious acquaintance you are addressing gets the gist of your book, and is interested enough to want more,” said Michelle Mclean.

One author’s logline gained the interest of several producers and production companies as well as a major agent. “Sometimes the logline comes to me in the middle of writing a book and other times it’s the last thing I do. Whenever inspiration strikes, I capture the words immediately,” says Tricia Stewart Shiu author of the Moa Series, a Young Adult Science Fiction Fantasy.  “Writing a logline is, essentially, communicating with gut instincts the core essence of a story. When you’re done, it should ring like a bell,” adds Shiu.

“Another use for a logline is you. A novel is a big thing. It’s difficult to hold the whole story in your mind, especially when you’ve finished a first draft and are still giddy from the flow of creative juices. Writing a logline helps you define—for yourself—the essential elements of the plot. It will also let you know immediately if major components of the plot are missing. This prevents episodic plots that are a string of (interesting and exciting) events that lack a complete story spine,” added David Macinnis Gill.

While writing your logline make sure it is brief. According to Wildsound.ca, brevity is an absolute necessity of creating a good logline, as well as choosing your focus carefully. It is important to choose the focus of your logline because it is the selling point of your book. You need to draw the readers in with action, the plot twists and turns, anything that will grab their attention and interest for more.

Your logline can also be brought to life by an actor through Wildsound.ca who’ll post it to their YouTube Channel, which draws thousands of viewers daily. They claim that agents and producers check the site for new content. It’s worth a look. http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

The Bottom Line:  Creating a logline is an integral part of being able to convey to others what your book is about in a quick concise manner. Master this whether your book is going to Hollywood or not.

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

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. SELF-PUBLISHED



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

38 Book Cover Designers to Create Your Bestselling Cover

A Good Book Cover Can Help Sell a Book- A Bad Cover Can Kill a Book


By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

List of Book Cover Designers from Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

List of Book Cover Designers from Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Being a book publicist and book marketing guy I often weigh in on book cover designs. Sometimes it’s in the nick of time sometimes it’s too late to make a change. Here’s the situation, authors, please – do not underestimate the importance of a book cover’s design.  Not only do potential book buyers judge a book by its cover but so do members of the media. Many reporters receive dozens of books every day! Do you really think they read the book flap and your pitch? Ha!

Here are some important items to consider when making decisions on book cover design:

Use a subhead to create more description. If you have a 10-word title, you have not properly named the book in the first place.

Check with Google on the words that are most searched on your topic. To do this, type in the word that best describes your book in the search box and then see what the next most important or popular words are in that list. That ranking is very relevant marketing- wise so try to use those words in your title or subtitle. Consider using the genre in the subtitle too because that’s what people are searching on.

Visit book stores and look at the covers of all types of books. What catches your eye? Look at the book face and look at the spines. Which ones are readable and why?

Will it play on Amazon? Go to Amazon.com, BN.com, Good Reads, Smashwords and search for competitive books in your space. Notice the book covers that catch your eye and the ones that do not. If your cover does not show up well in an Amazon thumbnail then you are going to lose sales.

Contrast. Don’t let your graphic designer get started without keeping contrast in mind. The reason black ink works so well on white paper is because it produces the best contrast possible. Yellow ink on green paper in a small font simply does not work.

How does your book look in black and white? Not every publication will be printing it in color.

Font size. Many designers are young with great eyesight. But your buyer may not be able to read the tiny font some designers insist upon using. Be practical.

The spine. Can you read it from five feet away? If not, neither can browsers in a book store.

Blurbs. Keep them relevant and short. Consider including a mention on the cover of a foreword written by a famous person or author. “Foreword by J.K. Rowling” or “Foreword by Oprah Winfrey” or “Foreword by Best Selling Author  Brian Tracy.”

Do not overlook creating content on the back inside flaps because consumers pick up a book after looking at the spine, front cover and back and then open the book to find the price or more information.

Print your cover out on a laser printer. Don’t just review your cover on a computer screen which will make it look considerably better. Print it out actual size and make a determination using that printed version.

Pictures are worth 1000 words. Use photos and illustrations to describe what would take too long to explain.

When choosing a book design ask yourself how the cover will look on your website home page. Branding is important so you’ll want to use the same design elements on your website that you do on your book cover

Show your cover designs to as many people in your target group of potential readers. Get their reactions and opinions. It costs you nothing and you’ll likely find out something you did not realize before.

Here are 38 book cover designers and services to consider for your next cover:

https://99designs.com/ Having been faced with the task of helping out authors in the cover design process many times, a recent experience led me to one service that really did a terrific job. 99designs.com uses graphic designers from around the world who compete for your business by actually designing the book cover on speculation, ie no charge. I commissioned a cover for an author using 99designs after the author was not happy with the creations from his own designer. I mentioned several design elements such as the title, sub title, what the book was about etc. Figuring more is better, we got 65 different cover designs in 5 days! The most difficult part was narrowing down the selection to 8 then having friends, family, co-workers vote on their favorites from all corners of the world all online. They also added their comments, insight and logic behind liking or disliking a cover design right under the image of that cover. They voted over several days and the comments were able to be read by our team, also scattered all over North America. The cost was under $700 or so and it was only that high because we put a rush on it and paid extra. This was an excellent process that delivered a NY Times bestseller quality cover that I highly recommend.

http://fiverr.com/ gives you many options for just $5. These are fast and obviously cheap but I’ve seen some pretty nice work. Order from 2 or 3 designers at the same time. Hey it’s only $5 bucks!

http://www.jeniferthomasdesign.com/ produces smart visuals that stand out from the ordinary

http://killercovers.com/ offer various packages for your book cover needs including web pages, Facebook pages etc. They are based in Australia and I’ve used them and recommended them several times.

http://www.bookcoverexpress.com/ has a competitive flat rate so you can work with your ideal budget

The designers at http://www.authorsupport.com/ are a great resource

http://www.bookcreatives.com/ offers book cover design and ebook design for authors

The designs from http://www.fostercovers.com/ have appeared on over 1,000 books. Packages for ebooks and interior design start at $495.

Karrie Ross from http://www.bookcoverdesigner.com/ specializes in book cover design for the self-publishing industry

http://damonza.com/ has over 30 years combined experience in the design and advertising industry

http://www.gobookcoverdesign.com/ specializes in providing superior book cover design services utilizing professional equipment and software

http://acdbookcoverdesign.com/ is a boutique design firm for self-publishers and small presses

http://www.bookcovercafe.com/ has been voted the best website for authors, so be sure to check it out

http://www.lulu.com/publish/books/  Along with publishing services Lulu provides design quality at a competitive price.

http://www.brennerbooks.com/coverdesigners.html A list of book cover designers that are recommended by independent publishers.

http://www.davidairey.com/designing-book-covers/ is a creative book cover designer

http://bookcovergenius.com/bcg-2/ Great sales pitch about why you should download their software to design your own book cover. Worth a look.

https://www.createspace.com/Services/UniqueBookCover.jsp allows you to work with thier professional design team to custom-create an affordable, striking cover that broadcasts your book’s key messages with distinct colors, fonts, and one central image. Their price $349 is not bad and several of my clients have use them including one 92 year old author.

http://www.bookbaby.com/services/coverdesign offers a straight-forward approach to finding a budget and designing your book cover. Price ranges from $149 to $279.

http://www.guru.com/Find-Freelancers/Cover-Book-Designers/004-RQ3JSR is a great website to utilize to find freelance book cover designers from around the world. Very cool.

http://1106design.com/ offers editing, proofreading, cover design, Interior page layout, eBook formatting, Printing and more.

With Infinity Publishing you have complete control over the cover design and layout of your book http://www.infinitypublishing.com/book-cover-designs-gallery/book-cover-designs-gallery.html

http://www.abacusgraphics.com/ is an intimate award-winning design studio creating exceptional image building graphic designs for print and the web since 1979.

http://www.dotdesign.net/ offers complete design and production services for children’s books, tabletop books, cookbooks, textbooks, fiction and non-fiction hard covers and paperbacks.

http://bookcoversforall.com/ One designer boasting over 18 years of experience with 1000+ books to his credit.

http://www.theauthorsredroom.com/ This is very interesting in that the book covers are already designed, you just add the title! There are some very high quality covers priced at $25 and up. Definitely check this out.

Cathi Stevenson of http://www.bookcoverexpress.com/ has 30 years of publishing experience and more than 1500 book covers to her credit.

http://www.duckofalltrades.com/ is a full service design studio offering graphic design, illustration, publication layout and more.

Dunn+Associates Design for Authors create the success tools that authors need like best-selling book covers and more http://www.dunn-design.com/

http://www.romancebookcoverart.com/ is one of the foremost romance book cover artists. She has painted covers for over 350 romance books representing more than 150 authors

Carl Graves of http://extendedimagery.com/predesignedcovers.html is a professional book cover designer who has a fire sale on book covers with more than 2,000 book covers on hand. Very high quality covers that just need your title only $200 per cover. These are really amazing must see covers.

http://www.illuminationgraphics.com/ provides affordable and dynamic design for books, both book cover designs and book interior layouts

http://www.authorsupport.com/ They’ll design your cover with no money down and state, “See what we can do with your title before you pay!”  Sounds good to me!

http://lightbourne.com/ has designed over 1200 book covers and strives to provide the most experienced and helpful book production services.

http://www.expertsubjects.com/covers – Expert Subjects has several cover artists and you can choose to create a fully customized book cover depending on your budget constraints. They also provide an array of services including typesetting, editing, critique and undertake publishing & distribution too.

Canva’s book cover maker makes book covers amazingly simple to design – even for non-designers. I’ve used them for memes too. https://www.canva.com/create/book-covers/

Here’s a way to get a high quality book cover for under $100 using premade book cover designs. Authors receive multiple drafts to choose from and a choice of font options. I’ve checked out their covers and they are top notch. http://www.thecovercollection.com/

Hampton Lamoureux http://www.ts95studios.com is a Daily Deviation award-winning artist on DeviantArt.com. He designs e-book and full-jacket covers, crafting elaborate realistic scenes from stock photos for fantasy, horror, mystery, and sci-fi novels.

You can and should spend a few hours going through all of these web sites. You’ll be glad you did. I know I was enlightened myself in creating this list of book cover designers.

Bottom line: Get involved early in the entire book publishing design process and get at least several creative concepts for the front cover, back cover, and spine. Don’t let it be the ‘last thing’ you do.

And finally, the most important rule in book publishing and marketing – Know Your Reader! All books have a target reader and in all genres there are varying degrees of readers. Targeting the reader who is most likely to purchase your book is critical.  Authors who know the demographics of their readers are equipped to assemble the fonts and graphics best able to grab the reader’s eye and instantly convey the message that “this book is for you.”

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com  or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

Everybody Judges a COVER 1-15

Should Authors Repurpose their Book Content into an App?

Authors, How About an App for Your Book?Books inside an iPhone, Repurpose

Books are turned into movies all the time. But what about other money making avenues for repurposing content and expanding the reach of the book? How about creating an iPhone or Android app for your book?
The bestselling book What to Expect When You Are Expecting has an app that is a great example of how a book can expand its reach by creating a useful companion app.

More >>>>>  http://bit.ly/1YDNe8A