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How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM, SKYPE and FaceTime For Your Next TV Interview

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Communications

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM Interview

How to Look and Sound Good on ZOOM Interview

Ever notice how some people look great on a Zoom call? What’s their secret? In today’s era of COVID-19, media interviews that were once conducted in a TV studio are now performed on Zoom, Skype, or Facetime. This presents more opportunities for interviews because you don’t have to go to a studio but there are challenges as well. Are you ready for your up-close TV interview on ZOOM?

My personal Zoom experiences and discussions with several experts in this visual field have allowed me to come up with a quick list of tips to help you crush your next Zoom call. Without further ado, here they are:

Dress Appropriately

You don’t have to dress up as much as you usually do. However, your attire should not be down more than one level from what you typically wear in the office. If you normally wear a suit and tie, for example, opt for a nice blouse or button-up shirt.

Jess Todtfeld, former producer and media trainer also recommends you avoid white, black, and red, ensure your clothing is wrinkle-free, remove distracting jewelry, and dress as simply as possible. “TV viewers should focus on your face and what you say, not your clothes,” he says.

You are the face of your company, your school, your brand. If you normally wear makeup to work then you’ll need to wear it on a TV interview too.

Invest in Reliable Internet Connection

Chances are you’ve seen someone freeze on the screen during a Zoom session. To reduce the risk of this happening to you, a reliable internet connection is a must. If you’re in the middle of an interview and your connection freezes, a TV station will stop the interview and go to someone else. A hardline wired connection to your computer vs. WIFI can prevent this issue. In the event you must use WIFI, request that others in your home or office stay off it during your interview.

Be Mindful of Your Background

Your background during a Zoom call is important. Do your best to make it visually appealing. Add fresh flowers, a potted plant, a painting, or your book cover enlarged on an easel. Remember that people will be able to read book titles so there’s a good chance they’ll notice dust, dirty clothes, and other imperfections in the background. Don’t sit in front of horizontal blinds as this confuses the camera and may cause pixelation of the image. (vertical blinds are ok) Refrain from virtual backgrounds that come with ZOOM as they create distortion around your head and body. If you must use one due to a home office in a bedroom or hallway then buy a portable green screen so you can choose a beautiful virtual background that’s free from distortions. You’ll look professional and feel good too.

Do you have a ZOOM Room?

TV and radio studios have acoustically padded walls, ceilings and are carpeted. The sound is absorbed and is not ricocheting around giving that ‘hollow’ effect. If your ZOOM Room is like a racquetball court then you need a new location or to figure out how to deaden the sound bounce with carpet, acoustic tiles, etc. Wearing a lapel microphone helps too. This should be needless say but, keep dogs, kids, and the neighbor’s lawnmower out of sound range.

 Pay Attention to the Lighting

It’s essential that your face is well lit throughout the entire interview. If you’re in a dark room, use a circle light or lamp with a warm glow. Ideally, you’d be in a bright room with minimal windows. Excessive light may cause the camera lens to adjust when you don’t want it to. The cost is $50-100. I love mine and it’s really helpful on dark dreary days, late night or early morning interviews or when your spouse may need the living room light for reading!

Ensure the Camera is at ‘just a smidge below’ Eye Level

The camera should always be ‘just a smidge below’ eye level with you. Try your best to look at the camera instead of the screen at all times. Don’t let your eyes wander as this may cause others to believe you’re disinterested or disengaged in the interview. Put a little post-it note near the camera lens on your camera to remind you to ‘look at the camera’ not the screen.

If you are using the camera on an iPhone or other smartphone, place it on a tripod and be sure to turn off the notifications and the ringer or everyone on the call will hear them.

Use the Skype App

For best results when using SKYPE use the SKYPE App and not your browser. The reality is that the browser accessed version won’t run at optimal speeds and there’s a good chance your screen may freeze. Download the app on your phone or tablet and test it out in advance to make sure it works well.

Opt for Wireless or Wired Earbuds

Speakers on your computer are ok. But, if you want best results, get wireless or wired earbuds. They can enhance your sound quality and help you sound great on camera. If you use wireless earbuds, don’t forget to charge them completely before the interview.

Have a Glass of Water Handy

You can enjoy a number of benefits if you keep a glass of water by your side during your interview. Since talking a lot and being nervous can lead to dry mouth and throat, water can help you keep your vocal cords moist. It can also serve as a prop so if you’re asked a tricky question, you can take a sip of the water and give yourself some extra time to think of a good answer.

Don’t Forget Pen and Paper

With a pen and paper nearby, you’ll be able to jot down the reporter’s name, questions you may have, and anything that you’d like to remember after the interview. If you take notes on your computer, you’ll distract the interviewer so doing so the old-fashioned way is ideal.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Make sure you know how to work ZOOM, SKYPE, and Facetime and are comfortable with all of the options. Practice using all of these with friends and family. Don’t let your big interview on national TV be a flop because of some technical issue you could have avoided.

The Bottom Line: By following these tips, you can nail your virtual Zoom interview and meet your goals from the comfort of your own home or office.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

 

Authors: Use Alliteration for Illumination of Your Book Title

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Alliteration is just one of the topics covered in Book Title Generator, a proven system in naming your book

Alliteration is just one of the topics covered in Book Title Generator, a proven system in naming your book

Alliteration is a very useful literary tool. Alliteration is simply defined as the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words and also the repetition of an initial consonant sound, as in “a peck of pickled peppers.”

Alliteration is one of many tips and techniques covered in my new book designed to help authors title their books called BOOK TITLE GENERATOR.

Incorporating alliteration into your book title can help people remember your work and it will stick out in people’s minds. Here are a few examples of books with alliteration in their titles:

The Teeny Tiny Teacher by Stephanie Calmenson

The Magical, Mystical, Marvelous Coat by Catherine Ann Cullen

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Book Title Generator

Nobody buys a book unless they’re first attracted by the title and cover. If the title doesn’t grab them it’s game over.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Love’s Labor’s Lost by William Shakespeare

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Caesar and Cleopatra by George Bernard Shaw

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Roger Parker of Personal Branding says “Sometimes the most important lessons in personal branding are the simplest ones, like using alliteration, or repeated “hard” sounds, to make the title of your brand-building book stand out and be easy to remember.” You want readers, fans, and your potential audience to enjoy your book’s title. Alliteration can help that title roll off the tongue nicely. If your book’s title is memorable and fun or easy to say, people will talk about it. The alliteration will stand out in conversation or in the review section of a website.

According to Mike Ball, author of ‘Banjos, Boats and Butt Dialing’, alliteration can be a very effective tool for a humorist. Ball explains, “I rarely use it for serious subjects but judiciously used, alliteration is an author’s best friend. Since humor is all about timing, alliteration forces the reader to participate in the timing you are trying to set up. That’s why my book title ‘Banjos, Boats and Butt Dialing’ gets people to laugh before they crack the cover.”

As J.R.R. Tolkien observed, alliteration “depends not on letters but on sounds.” Thus the phrase know-nothing is alliterative, but climate change is not.”

Domey Malasarn from the website “The Literary Lab” feels that alliteration can belong in titles as well as within your book. “I have used it on occasion myself in places where I thought it was helpful. For example, if I had a sentence like ‘Alfred was furious.’ I might revise it to “Alfred was angry.” because to me it pairs the subject of the sentence with his emotion a little more powerfully.”

Puja Lalwani of Buzzle explains, “The importance of alliteration should not be undermined as just another literary device that is beyond comprehension. It is highly useful and most invaluable, whether just to drive a point home, make for a fun read, or as a marketing tool that will leave your product etched in the mind of the consumer.”

On the website, helium.com, Stella McIntyre perfectly outlines the benefits of using alliteration across various mediums. “Although most commonly used in literature, most particularly poetry, alliteration can also be found in non-fiction writing: leaflets, newspaper headlines, advertising and merchandising. Its effect is twofold. Firstly it draws attention to and emphasizes a phrase and secondly, it can create connotations that significantly add to the understanding and enjoyment of a writer’s meaning.”

The Bottom Line: Alliteration in book titles will help people remember your book title because it will help your work stand out and engage your reader.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

33 Radio & Podcast Interview Tips For Authors From Scott Lorenz

33 Radio & Podcast Interview Tips For Authors

Interview Tips from Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

1. Go to a quiet room in your home or office; be sure staff and/or family know you are on a radio interview and cannot be interrupted.

2. Since many interviews are on ZOOM, SKYPE as well as the phone, turn off other phones, cell phones and anything else that could create background noise including air conditioners, the radio… and the kids!

3. Have a glass of water nearby; there’s nothing worse than dry mouth on a radio interview.

4. Be on time. Call the station exactly at the time they tell you, or be at your phone waiting if the station is going to call you.

5. Use a landline phone for best quality. If it is not possible to reach a landline then use a cell phone in a stationary location and not while you are rolling down the road! Do not use Bluetooth over the speaker system in your car.

6. Disable call waiting: dial *70 and then call the studio number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.

7. Do not use a speakerphone! It’s ALL about good sound quality.

8. Be self-assured. Remember, you know your topic inside and out. Be confident in your ability.

9. Smile, smile, smile, whether on radio or TV – SMILE. You’ll feel better, and for TV you’ll look better too.

10. Put some pizzazz and energy into your voice. Try standing while you speak to liven things up a little.

11. Research the show and tailor your message accordingly. Just Google the host’s name and station and check out their web site. Is it a national audience or a small town in Ohio? What is their format? Is it News/Talk, NPR or Classic Rock or something else? You need to know.

12. KNOW exactly how much time you will have on the air as a guest, three minutes or 30 minutes…so you can tailor your answers to the time allotted.

13. Practice your sound bites—out loud before the interview. Communicate your main points succinctly. Practice this out loud.

14. Be informative and entertaining without directly pushing your book, product or service. Make the audience “want more.”

15. A kind word about the host can go a long way. It’s good manners and good business.

16. A person’s name is sweet music to them so commit to memory or jot down the name of the host and use it throughout the interview. When taking calls, use the names of callers too.

17. CALL TO ACTION. Have ONLY ONE such as “Buy my book at BookTitleGenerator.net” That’s it. Don’t mention your Twitter handle, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram people will barely remember your name or book title. Don’t make it impossible.

18. Be careful not to slide into techno-babble, jargon or acronyms that few know about.

19. Never talk down to your audience.

20. Be respectful of the host because everybody starts someplace. Today they’re interviewing you from a college radio station; in a few years they could be a nationally syndicated host.

21. Don’t Oversell. Remember you are on the air to provide useful information to the listening audience. If you are an author or selling something, limit yourself to TWO mentions of the book, product or service. You must make it interesting without the commercialism. It takes finesse but you can do it. Often times the host will do this for you and you won’t need to mention it.

22. Think of a radio interview as an intimate conversation with a friend and not a conversation with thousands.

23. Radio interviews require verbal answers, not head nodding or uh-huhs. Hand gestures don’t count in radio either.

24. Radio will often use interviews live and later cut them up for use throughout the day giving you more airplay. So keep your answer to a 10 to 20 second sound bite. You can say a lot in that amount of time and then you don’t sound like you are babbling on. Don’t go on more than a minute without taking a break.

25. Don’t just answer questions. Tell listeners something you want them to know, something they wouldn’t know unless they were tuned in, with the promise of more of the same when they buy your book.

26. Have three key messages. Short, not sermons. Sometimes the host opens the door, other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. A compelling message will have the host asking for more. Usually, people can get in two key messages; the pros can get three.

27. Lazy hosts open with a lame: “Thanks for being here.” Boom! Give a :15-:20 sec summary message. If the host introduces you with a question, be polite, deliver your summary message, then answer the question. “Thanks, (use name), for the opportunity to talk about….Now, to your question (name)…”

28. Maintain a Positive Attitude. BE GENUINE OR TRANSPARENT. Don’t fake enthusiasm or sincerity. If you’re in a bad mood cancel the interview. Don’t pretend to know stuff you don’t.

29. Re-read the press release or pitch that got the booking since the host is going to be using that as a starting point. Often a book publicist such as myself, will tie into a breaking news event that relates to your expertise. Be aware of that tie-in.

30. After the interview write a thank-you note. Since so few people do this, you’ll really stand out from the crowd. And most importantly, you may get invited back.

31. Whether the interview is live or taped-live, if you stumble, or flub up just keep going. Often what you perceived as a mistake, the listeners won’t even notice.

32. Ask for an MP3 of the recording before the interview. Often if you ask ahead of time the producer will record the interview and then you can use it on your web site. If that’s not available get the link to the station’s recording and Tweet about to your followers and promote it on your Facebook page. Be sure to listen to it later and critique your performance.

33. Listen for the testimonial. Sometimes the host will say something complimentary, “You have a fascinating story Mr. Jones.”  Use it in your marketing.  Or you can actually ask for a testimonial.  Often that MP3 will arrive with a note from the host saying how much they enjoyed the interview, or that “Scott Lorenz was a great interview, he really kept our audience engaged,” or “the phones rang off the hook when Scott Lorenz was being interviewed.” You can use those testimonials in future pitches and on your web site, blog etc.

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

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

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Book Marketing

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

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

Book Title Generator

Book Title Generator

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jess Todtfeld about Book Title Generator

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

Authors- Meet the World’s Best Writers in MasterClass

MasterClass Review: Take your writing skills to the next level with online courses from the authors who have perfected the craft.

 By Scott Lorenz Westwind Communications

One of my favorite things for authors is MasterClass. Imagine having a one-on-one lesson with the best writers of our day. That’s what you get when James Patterson speaks to you directly in his MasterClass. Same with Dan Brown, Malcolm Gladwell and many other bestselling authors.

MasterClass Review- James Patterson, Dan Brown, Malcolm Gladwell

MasterClass is an invaluable resource especially if you’d like to improve your writing skills and succeed as an author.

I’ve gained much insight from these top writers who are eager to share their methods and thought processes. MasterClass is an invaluable resource especially if you’d like to improve your writing skills and succeed as an author. It offers seemingly endless engaging online courses taught by some of the best authors in the world. Don’t worry, there’s no test either, just good helpful info.

These authors know what it takes to write a unique, compelling book that sells. They’re dedicated to their craft and are generous in sharing their knowledge and insight with you. Here’s a closer look at the various courses you can take. Click on the link to watch a customized trailer for each.

Neil Gaiman- The author of Coraline and The Sandman shares his unique approach to storytelling. With his course, you can find your voice, come up with exciting ideas, and give your characters life.

James Patterson- If anyone is in a position to help you start and finish your book, it’s James Patterson. He’s the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times bestsellers and shares a variety of tips in his course. “My first novel was turned down by 31 publishers. It’s rare that somebody comes up with a totally fresh idea out of nowhere. Write the story. Don’t write sentences,” said Patterson.

Malcolm Gladwell- Outliers and The Tipping Point are two of Malcolm Gladwell’s books that have allowed readers to understand complicated ideas such as performance prediction and behavioral economics. Gladwell can teach you how to write powerful stories that help others learn. “The job of the writer is not to supply the ideas. It’s to be patient enough to find the ideas.” he explained.

Dan Brown- Known for The Da Vinci Code and other best-selling thrillers, Dan Brown reveals how he turns ideas into narratives. Find out how he researches, comes up with characters and keeps suspense throughout all of his books. “Write as though nobody’s watching because nobody’s watching,” said Brown.

Margaret Atwood– When it comes to creative writing, Margaret Atwood is the expert. She’s the author of The Handmaid’s Tale and provides a roadmap for developing ideas into novels that attract and inspire all kinds of readers. Atwood is a firm believer of the idea that you become a writer by writing.

David Sedaris- David Sedaris is well-respected for his bestselling books like Calypso and essays in the New Yorker. His course can teach you the art of personal storytelling. Learn how to use humor to write openings that pique interest and endings that satisfy readers.

Joyce Carol Oates- Become a better short story writer with Joyce Carol Oates who’s published 58 novels and thousands of short stories. She’s a creative writing professor at Princeton University and will teach you how to explore your own imagination and write works that people want to read.

R.L. Stine- If you want to write for young audiences, R.L. Stine can steer you in the right direction. For over 20 years, Stine focused on funny stories and jokes. He eventually transitioned to writing horror stories for youngsters and is best known for The Fear Street and Goosebumps series. You can count on him to show you how to develop plots that intrigue young readers.

Billy Collins- With Billy Collins’ poetry course, you can find your voice as a poet and appreciate “the emotional pull of poetry.” Collins is a former U.S. Poet Laureate who will read his poems out loud and explain how he wrote them.

The Bottom Line: If you want to become an outstanding author then master the craft of writing from the most successful authors through MasterClass.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz-  Book publicist

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

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

 

How Authors Can Get Speaking Gigs in a COVID-19 World

Want to become a sought-after speaker? Then get cracking on this list and tell the world what you talk about and line up some speaking gigs. DO IT TODAY.

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Learn how Authors can get Speaking Gigs

Get Speaking Gigs to Promote your book and your business.

In this COVID-19 world, speaking gigs have been canceled by the thousands. But, some speakers are pivoting and getting booked in Virtual Conferences online. Being a book publicist, I am often asked to help authors get speaking gigs. But, it’s a specialty in itself and outside our wheelhouse. Authors can make a lot of money speaking, more so sometimes than selling books, but generally, it’s the book that creates the demand so there is a symbiotic relationship. Some of my clients earn anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 per speech routinely. It’s getting on the circuit that’s difficult.

I’ve compiled a list of people and companies in this business that authors can engage with, who represent potential speakers. For many of these entities, their client is the company or organization looking for a speaker and not you.  They want a good fit and someone who’ll deliver a terrific speech. As hockey great Wayne Gretzky said, “You can’t score unless you shoot!”

Here’s the list:

All American Speakers https://www.allamericanspeakers.com/category/Authors
All American Speakers assists meeting professionals, event producers, corporate groups, universities, nonprofits and

associations in booking speakers and entertainment. The database “houses booking information on everyone on the speaker circuit, regardless of their agency/bureau affiliation.”

Endless Speaker Leads http://www.EndlessSpeakerLeads.com
Jess Todtfeld author of Media Secrets: A Media Training Crash Course, has curated some of the biggest resources for speakers in one place.  Using online videos, Todtfeld explains how to find conferences and the contacts who are the decision-makers. Todtfeld suggests authors and experts add speaking as a profit center to help drive more book sales and drive more business.  Says Todtfeld, “If you can get more leads, you can make more connections and get more offers to have you as a speaker.” Watch an interview Jess conducted with Christa Haberstock of the SeeAgency about getting a speaker’s agent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BO_V5vUpI4Y&feature=youtu.be 

American Program Bureau http://www.apbspeakers.com/literature-speakers
American Program Bureau books renowned literature speakers, including best-selling authors, historians and poets. The website has easy-to-browse categories and sub-topics to easily find speakers for any conference. I used this firm back when I was in college at UNLV to book speakers for the University. A great company with an incredible roster and reach.

Charli Jane Speaker Club   https://charlijanespeakers.lpages.co/cj-members/
Charli Jane actively seeks speaking opportunities and lists them on their members-only website. Charli Jane’s service is different from a speaker bureaus in that YOU reach out to the people looking for a speaker. They charge a nominal monthly fee but they also do the heavy lifting by compiling a list of 200+ speaking opportunities a month. Then you reach out to the best prospects. If it’s a good fit you get booked.

Christian Speakers Services http://www.christianspeakersservices.com/about.html
The organization serves event planners and ministry leaders. Everyone on the speaker’s roster has been vetted. You must complete an application to be represented by the organization.

ExpertClick  http://www.ExpertClick.com  Many speakers and authors turn to Expert Click to send news releases and to expand their online platform. Their proprietary news release distribution service pushes out ten ways including via Google News. Authors can get found based on 30+ key words that meeting planners are searching for. They pull the author’s blog on an RSS feed and syndicate them into the press rooms, thereby getting more exposure, distribution of content and ‘Google Juice. According to CEO Mitch Davis, “We have 150+ speakers and authors who use us including Patricia Fripp, Alan Weiss and Jeffrey Gitomer.  We were featured in Tim Ferris’s book Four Hour Work Week, and PRWeek called us ‘a dating service of PR,’ The New York Times called us ‘dial-an-expert.’ I use it and recommend it. When you join at this discount link you can save $100: www.ExpertClick.com/Discount/Scott_Lorenz

Espeakers   https://www.eSpeakers.com/
The eSpeakers Marketplace brings the world’s greatest speakers together in one place and makes it easy for buyers to filter by topic, price range, and availability. Their platform takes the hassle out of booking and scheduling for both meeting planners and speakers.  They offer a cloud-based, multiuser calendar suite; (they’re sort of like the Airbnb for speakers). They also connect speakers to over 50+ speaker directories saving hours of tedious administrative duties. It’s no wonder they are the preferred choice for many top speakers.

GigSalad https://www.gigsalad.com/
A service that books entertainment and speakers for parties, productions and events of all kinds. This platform books10,000+ performers and presenters across the U.S. and Canada. The website’s search tool allows potential clients to view authors, categorized by genre and location.

HarperCollins Speakers Bureau http://www.harpercollinsspeakersbureau.com/
The HarperCollins Speakers Bureau is only accessible to authors published by HarperCollins, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. It works with corporations, universities, schools, associations, libraries, clubs, hospitals, foundations, and other professional groups and societies in the U.S. and around the world.

Harry Walker Agency http://www.harrywalker.com/
The Harry Walker Agency works with thousands of meeting planners in need of speakers. The agency belongs to the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) and has largest breadth and highest caliber of speakers in the world.

International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) http://www.iasbweb.org/
IASB is the only trade association that exclusively represents speakers bureaus and agencies. Meeting professionals that request assistance in locating a speaker are referred to the Bureau Directory on the IASB website. IASB encourages meeting professionals to seek out member bureaus when searching for speakers.

Lyceum Agency http://www.lyceumagency.com/  
The Lyceum Agency represents authors and academics for speeches, lectures and readings on a variety on subjects. Access to an impressive list of speakers is available on the website.

Nancy Vogl Speakers Bureau http://www.nancyvoglspeakers.com/
A “boutique bureau” that books professional speakers in leadership, diversity and sales, futurists, health and wellness professionals and those sending a message of hope and inspiration. It’s located in Traverse City, Michigan.

National Speakers Association (NSA) http://www.nsaspeaker.org/
NSA has a network of 3,400+ speakers and has the tools, techniques and professional connections to help you share your message effectively. Whether you speak at their annual conference, chapter meetings or other events, NSA is eager to help you grow your business.

National Speakers Bureau http://www.NationalSpeakers.com National Speakers Bureau has achieved over 40 years of success! Clients are primarily corporations and business associations. Speakers are searchable on their website according to topic and fee. **Only a small fraction of received speaker inquiries result in a correct fit.

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) http://www.pcma.org/
Professional Convention Management Association calls itself “the definitive authority in education, business networking and community engagement for leaders in the global meetings, convention and business events industry.” PCMA has more than 6,500 members and 50,000 customers.

redBrick Agency http://redbrickagency.com/applause/
The redBrick Agency works with corporations, conventions, arts and lecture venues, libraries, performing arts centers, schools, colleges and universities. The agency represents authors and all kinds of speakers.

Speakers’ Spotlight http://www.speakers.ca/
Speakers’ Spotlight has arranged more than 20,000 speaking engagements in over 30 countries. The agency finds speakers for leading corporations, associations, government agencies, colleges and universities, school boards, health care organizations and charities.

Steven Barclay Agency http://www.barclayagency.com/
The Steven Barclay Agency serves colleges, universities, schools, performing arts centers, corporations, associations, and for private events.

TED https://www.ted.com/
Collectively, TED speakers have won every major prize awarded for excellence, including the Nobel, Pritzker, Pulitzer, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony and MacArthur “genius” grant. TED also seeks out emerging artists, scientists and thinkers, introducing them to the TED community.

To speak at TED: https://www.ted.com/about/conferences/speaking-at-ted

TEDx https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/tedx-program
A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at TED conferences are shared with the community. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

The GUILD Agency http://www.theguildagency.com/
A full-service international Speakers Bureau, Literary Agency, Social Impact Consultancy, and Smart-Content Media Firm. The organization has assisted with thousands of events and works with many speakers not listed on their website.

The Tuesday Agency http://tuesdayagency.com/about
The Tuesday Agency is a full-service lecture agency representing elite authors, journalists, historians, artists and scholars. Based in Iowa City, “The Tuesday Agency is dedicated to the literary arts and to thoughtful dialogue.”

Thumbtack https://www.thumbtack.com/
This platform’s motto is “From house painting to personal training, we bring you the right pros for every project on your list.” Although presentations are more obscure than other professional services offered, this platform does book motivational speakers. Special attention: Lifestyle coaches and authors sending a positive message.

“If authors want to get speaking gigs they need to figure out where the leads are and have an easy system for following up on them,” says Jess Todtfeld, creator of  EndlessSpeakerLeads.com, a guide to finding and connecting with events and those who book them.

SPEAKERHUB  https://speakerhub.com/
Believes in the power of live presentations and personal connections, which is why they created SpeakerHub. They are not a speaker agency but the fastest-growing community of professional, independent, or amateur public speakers and trainers who’d like to be found by companies, event organizers and schools. They welcome anyone with expertise in any field who is open to speaking at conferences, events or schools as a paid or pro bono presenter.

The Bottom Line:  Want to become a sought-after speaker? Then get cracking on this list and tell the world what you talk about and line up some speaking gigs. DO IT TODAY.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

Resources For Authors

Struggling to come up with a good title for your book? Try these online tools

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

Resources For Authors

Resources For Authors

Coming up with a title for your book is easier said than done. The good news is there are online tools you can use to jump start the creative process. Use them to help create a compelling, attention-grabbing title that speaks to your audience. A good book title is the key to increasing sales, interest, and impact. Here are several worth considering

1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator: Simply enter the subject of your book and this generator will give you some ideas. You can continue to click the arrow until you find a title that piques your interest.

2. Kopy Writing Kourse Book Name Generator: Once you type in your subject, it will give you a long list of hundreds of book titles. Chances are you’ll find one (or a few) that suit your book.

3. Awesome Titles Title Generator: Believe it or not, this generator can open your eyes to 700 catchy titles. Enter a main keyword and you’ll get 3 pages worth of ideas.

4. com Nonfiction Book Title Generator: If you’re in need of a title for your nonfiction book, this generator is invaluable. Enter a word that describes its topic. After you click “Generate,” it’ll deliver some good options.

5. Ruggenberg Title Generator: Get six titles at one time with this generator. All you have to do is click “Give me some titles,” sit back, relax, and allow the tool to work its magic.

6. Adazing Book Title Generator: This book title generator will give you “perfect titles in less than 30 seconds.” It’s a bit more involved than other generators because it asks you to select your genre and type in details like the occupation of the protagonist and main character’s goal.

7. Serendipity Fantasy Novel Title Generator: For a simple generator for your fantasy book, the Serendipity Fantasy Novel Title Generator a solid pick. Continue to click “Another” until you see what you’re looking for.

8. Sumo Kickass Headline Generator: The Sumo Kickass Headline Generator allows you to choose the type of title you want: a numbered list, how-to, controversial, playful, etc. Once you do, it’ll ask you to enter a topic and desired outcome before it spits out an option.

9. Writing Exercises Story Title Generator: With the Writing Exercises Story Title Generator, you can click back and forth between the “Adjective” and “Noun” buttons to create a unique story title.

10. Book Title Generator: Using online book title generators are just one ‘tactic’ you need to consider while titling your book. If you want a thoughtful, insightful and scientific approach check out my award-winning book for authors called: BOOK TITLE GENERATOR at https://www.BookTitleGenerator.org. Using the latest methods of getting a book ranked on search engines and in Amazon, I show you a plan to help you get the right title for your book. Before you title your book I ask you to consider all options in the quest for the perfect book title. From using numbers, alliteration, idioms, and keyword research, Book Title Generator (The Book) covers them all.

The Bottom Line:  Your book title is one of THE most important tasks for authors. Don’t make it an afterthought.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

Here’s How to Get Your Book on BookTV on C-Span

By Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

Westwind Communications

Want to Get on BookTV on C-SPAN? Check out this article by book publicist Scott Lorenz

Want to Get on BookTV on C-SPAN? Check out this article by book publicist Scott Lorenz

Want to get your book in front of millions of book lovers? BookTV can help. BookTV is a program that airs on C-Span every weekend from 8:00 a.m. EST Sat to 8:00 a.m.  Monday. It’s been around since 1998 and dedicates 48-hours to non-fiction books and authors. In addition, it offers live coverage of book events across the nation. Here are a few examples of authors who have been featured on BookTV:

  • Tara Westover: Author of Educated: A Memoir, a memoir about family, loss, and struggle that was honored by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Globe Bestseller.
  • Jodi Picoult: Author of 24 novels, eight of which have earned a #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books include My Sister’s Keeper, Small Great Things, and A Spark of Light.
  • James Comey: Former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth Lies and Leadership, a book about his career in the previous two decades of American government.

BookTV grants readers the opportunity to listen to non-fiction authors speak from the comfort of their own homes. If you’re a non-fiction author, you may be asking yourself, “How do I get my book on BookTV?” After all, this is a great opportunity to promote your book(s) and put yourself in front of the ideal audience.

To start, you can email BookTV at booktv@c-span.org or leave a phone message at 202-737-3220. When you email or call, make sure you state the following:

  • Your name.
  • The non-fiction book(s) you’ve written.
  • Why you believe you’re a good fit for BookTV.
  • Anything that makes you and/or your book(s) unique.

C-SPAN has an editorial board that meets on a daily basis to determine which authors and books to cover. If they have an interest in covering you, they’ll get back to you.

Before you pitch BookTV, it’s a good idea to check out its archive of programs and schedule for upcoming programming. This way, you can get a feel for what piques their interest and what they typically cover.

“My advice for authors and publicists who want to be carried by BookTV:  Know our mission of promoting nonfiction, public policy, history, biography, and science books and authors. And keep pitching us!  Also, join the over 100,000 book lovers who follow us on twitter, @booktv,” says Peter Slen, BookTV’s Executive Producer.

Remember that since BookTV delivers 48 hours of programming every weekend, there’s plenty of room for authors like you. If you don’t get a response right off the bat, keep trying as there is a good chance you’ll hear back eventually.

The Bottom Line: BookTV is an excellent way for non-fiction authors to gain exposure. While getting on BookTV may take some time and persistence, it will certainly pay off.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

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

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

By: Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reasons for using a pen name include

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. http://generator.chucklehound.com

2. https://anadea.info/tools/online-business-name-generator

3. https://www.dotomator.com/

4. http://www.naming.net/

5. https://www.shopify.com/tools/business-name-generator

6. https://namestation.com/

7. https://namesmith.io/

8. https://www.namemesh.com

9. https://businessnamegenerator.com/

10. https://www.netsubstance.com/

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

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

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you want to share profits with the publicist?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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