Authors Want Reviews? Use NetGalley For Ultimate Book Marketing

by Scott Lorenz

Westwind Book Marketing

 

“Reviews are a third party endorsement of your work. They give the potential buyer assurance the book they may buy is worthwhile.” Scott Lorenz, Book Publicist

“We are still trying to get reviews. It is worse than pulling teeth though. Unfortunately I used up the reviewers I could threaten bodily harm to with my first book!”   Exasperated Author

One of the most difficult things to do is to get people to read and review your book to help get the buzz going. How would you like to get your book into the eager hands of reviewers, bloggers, members of the media, librarians, booksellers, and educators before it was published? Ever wonder how some books have 50 reviews the day of publishing? Want to know the tricks of the trade? One way is through NetGalley and their 450,000 readers.

NetGalley is a service that allows authors and publishers to get reviews of their work NetGalley400x300before and after it is published. Members get galleys before others, read books digitally, share feedback, and become part of a reading community. There are also built-in benefits beyond the review, including advance promotion (more about that on their website: https://www.netgalley.com/

“What an author will get from NetGalley, but may not always welcome, are reviews that are about as truly independent as can be,” said Tom Barry, author of Saving Jay and When the Siren Calls.  If you can’t handle the truth or someone’s version of the truth don’t do it!

“We work with over 400 publishers, indie authors and small publishers who are incorporating NetGalley into their marketing and publicity activities,” says Kristina Radke of NetGalley. We work in all genres, and the formats we support are ePub (converted to Mobi for Kindle devices and apps) or PDF.”

The reach is often beyond the NetGalley platform. “NetGalley does encourage its reviewers to post outside NetGalley, on places such as a personal blog, Amazon or GoodReads. It does not, however, guarantee or require this to happen,” says C.E. Kilgore, a self-published author of Science Fiction, Space Opera, and Contemporary Romance.

Check out The Science Fiction Writers Association who have a special rate with Net Galley. http://www.sfwa.org/member-links/netgalley-application/

“NetGallians are not only strangers but staunch supporters of good fiction, like Templars defending a holy artifact,” says J.S. Leonard, author of Modern Rituals. “They care only to support excellent writing.”  One thing Leonard discovered with NetGalley are his “superfans,” those individuals who read the book, love the book, and tell everyone they know.

“NetGalley is so huge, your books are getting listed next to some pretty big name titles, and that can sometimes do wonders at getting your book noticed.  It’s a great chance to discover new authors and for authors to be discovered by new readers,” said Melissa Pearl, author of The Elements Trilogy.

“NetGalley is about marketing for authors/publishers, in addition to connecting with readers, and we have to keep in mind the game of trying to reach as many readers as possible,” said Keary Taylor, author of The Eden Trilogy, The Fall of Angels Trilogy, and What I Didn’t Say.

Corrin Foster of Greenleaf Book Group says that their publishing firm uses NetGalley for nearly every title that they publish as a way to reach active and influential reviewers. “The NetGalley community is fair and transparent with their reviews, responsive to collaboration, and an invaluable resource for generating early reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, and social media which carry a lot of weight with general consumers. We value our relationship with NetGalley and their members very highly,” says Foster.

Some authors believe NetGalley is costly, but as a book publicist, I can attest to the fact that the cost of soliciting, shipping and following-up is pretty costly in terms of money and time too.  Author C.E. Kilgore is concerned that the site has little reader/reviewer vetting process. NetGalley admits this, but they believe that publishers and authors know best the readers who are most useful for them. When a reviewer requests a book, the author or publisher can accept or decline the request after reviewing their profiles. The price for a listing ranges from $399 to $599 for six months with the higher fee including a marketing boost and newsletter placement.

Want to save money? NetGalley works in partnership with the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association). They have a NetGalley program that makes it very easy for small and self-published authors to participate at a discount. Click here for more information: https://www.ibpa-online.org/page/netgalley?&hhsearchterms=%22net+and+galley%22

The Bottom Line: NetGalley is a great way to obtain pre-publish reviews and is yet another resource available to authors and publishers to reach a community of avid readers.

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

National Publicity Summit – Should You Go?

As a book publicist I get asked by clients and authors about going to the National Publicity Summit in New York. I’ve attended almost every Summit since Steve Harrison started it and go Authors Take Your Book to Next Level, National Publicity Summitonce or twice a year to create new media relationships, maintain old ones and of course, to pitch my clients to the media. Through the Summit, I’ve gotten clients booked on Fox News, PBS, CNBC, MSNBC and a number of national magazines.

I represent a lot of authors. Here’s the problem: authors have to do most of the promotion of their books if they want them to sell. Even if you’ve been picked up by one of the big publishing houses, they only do so much to get you media attention. This is the reality.

So, let’s say you decide to get media attention yourself. You plan your trip to New York City, where most of the big media are headquartered. You roll into Manhattan with your strategy all laid out: “First, I’m going to try to meet with the producer of Good Morning America, and then I’m going to Fox News, and then I’m going to see the guy at Reuters. After lunch, I’m going to try to talk to the Today Show and then I’m going to stop by and see if I can talk to the producer of 60 Minutes.”

Forget about it. It’s not going to happen.

Reason #1 why I recommend the Summit for many people is access, one-on-one, to these media gatekeepers in a very efficient and organized event. But is it for every author? Depending on your situation, it may or may not make sense to go. I’d recommend it if you have a consumer-oriented, non-fiction topic. Does it have broad audience appeal? Can your book help the average person in their day-to-day lives? If so, then it makes sense for you to consider attending.

If you have a highly technical topic such as how computers work, or one about a historical event such as WWII, it probably doesn’t make sense to go to the Publicity Summit, unless you can connect your book to current trends. (In fact, the Summit staff will probably turn down your application if they feel that the media would not be interested in the topic.) Generally, fiction, poetry and books about localized topics will not do well at the Summit. For example, a book about the best bars in Chicago would probably not be of interest to the national media who attend the Summit.

Should you go if you feel you’re not ready to meet the media? Here’s the dirty little secret: no-one feels ready. Don’t worry about that. If you’re an expert with a decent topic with a unique angle, the Summit can work for you. Go there to build relationships, yes, but also go to get feedback from the news industry professionals. I’ve seen people before the Summit starts coming in thinking they’re heading in one direction, then after having interacted with 100 journalists and producers, leaving with all new information or direction…a better book title, the perfect pitch, new business ventures and relationships.

I’m such a fan of Steve Harrison and his National Publicity Summit that I am now an affiliate for the Summit. If you are interested in attending please check out this link: http://j.mp/PR-Summit

37 Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015

Book Award Contests

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2015!

As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

Book Award Contests

Enter Book Award Contest and Become an Award Winning Author!

As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, 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.
Another client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction book.

https://giphy.com/gifs/ElZ4GKHUbOpQA/html5

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity 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 book store.  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 37 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. Enter to win The 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market. https://secure.independentpublisher.com/cart/?process=product_detail&product_id=4
  1. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Formerly ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards Check it out here https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/
  1. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards http://bookcritics.org/awards/award_submissions/
  1. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Entry Forms are due March 6 and Finished Books are due June 19. http://www.themanbookerprize.com/node/20
  1. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31 http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberyapp/newberyapplication
  1. Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottapp/caldecottapplication.cfm
  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 2015. 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. Enter the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards by March 10, 2015. The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market. http://www.independentpublisher.com/ipland/IPAwards.php
  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 June 30. 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 March 31, 2015 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 27th year 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 track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book Newswhich covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published.  http://www.usabooknews.com/2015usabestbookawards.html
  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 Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. All you need is a CreateSpace account. Check out this year’s winners and learn how to enter: http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=332264011
  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 April 1, 2015. 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/annual-book-award-contest.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” https://www.epicorg.com/competitions/epic-s-ebook-competition.html
  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 2015) 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 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. https://app.wizehive.com/apps/DigitalBookAwards15

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, “The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I’ve seen this happen with librarians — when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn’t have an award to its credit. I’m confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well.”

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

http://youtu.be/bTsTCKjLxc8

37 Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015 http://j.mp/Book-Awards-2015

Mark Zuckerberg’s Book Club Really Puts “The Book” in Facebook

By Scott Lorenz

One of the most fascinating stories to kick off 2015 featured Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the powerful social media giant Facebook, announcing his New Year’s Resolution to read a new book every other week, and invited all his Facebook Friends to join him in the effort.

The result is A Year Of Books, is essentially the Mark Zuckerberg Book Club – even though Zuckerberg appears to carefully avoid calling it that.Girl Reading book word Cloud Color

Unlike Oprah Winfrey’s famous book club, the purpose of Mark’s new entry is not to boost book sales; he wants to promote the reading and discussion of books. Because of the unprecedented market reach of Facebook, I can predict without hesitation that the day will come soon when Mark Zuckerberg’scommunity will surpass Oprah’s Book Club. True, Oprah is a strong force among American readers, but Zuckerberg reaches the entire world, delivering a mass audience exceeding 1.35 billion users.

In A Year of Books, Zuckerberg has created a Facebook community page, so readers can read the same book then share their impressions and ideas about it. The first work Zuckerberg chose was The End of Power, by Moises Naim.

“We will read a new book every two weeks and discuss it here,” explains Zuckerberg on his new page. “Our books will emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. Suggestions for new books to read are always welcome. We ask that everyone who participates read the books, and we will moderate the discussions and group membership to keep us on topic.”

Shortly after Zuckerberg suggested The End of Power as the first book to be read, it sold out on amazon.com. So we can expect the his book club to be very influential in the international literary community. The new venture was announced over the first weekend of the New Year, and by Monday morning had more than 135,000 Likes.

I think it is a great idea for Mark Zuckerberg to use the broad reach of Facebook to encourage people everywhere to do more reading. And if the idea catches on, which I am pretty sure it will, than the world will be a better place by far because of the increase in reading by many who otherwise limit their exposure to television, tablets, and smartphones.

Zuckerberg admits as much when commenting on his new venture: “I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.”
For authors, A Year of Books offers a fine opportunity to promote their books by nominating their book to be included amongst Zuckerberg’s every other week choices. But do not waste your time nominating a book of fiction, romance, mystery, adventure, intrigue or a similar genre. Mark has made it clear he is only interested in books dealing with new beliefs, new cultures, histories and technologies. As an example, I nominated an art photography book with a heavy emphasis on the history of Paris – The Glow of Paris – The Bridges of Paris at Night by Gary Zuercher. To post a nomination simply go to the Facebook Community, “A Year of Books,” and go to the post discussion column on the left-side of the page.

The Atlantic magazine predicts that Zukerberg’s New Year’s resolution will have far-reaching effects: “Facebook isn’t just a social publishing platform or an online destination; Facebook wants to be part of everything you do online. It wants to be, as Carr put it, the “fabric of the mobile world,” which means the company’s growth depends on a slew of projects that have little to do with status updates. Facebook wants to build the infrastructure of our online lives, which, in a mobile world, turns out to be the infrastructure of our offline lives, too.”

The New York Times reported: “For publishers, an unanticipated endorsement from a celebrity or chief executive can be both a dream come true and a logistical nightmare. But responding to sudden spikes in demand has become easier with advances in digital publishing. A few years ago, Perseus created a digital platform, Constellation, that allows it to quickly fulfill new orders. While in the past it might have taken two to three weeks to print and ship additional copies, the company can now restock a book almost instantly. “The End of Power” was listed as out of stock for a few hours on Monday, but quickly became available again.”

2015 has just begun, but Mark Zuckerberg’s Resolution shows that we are off to a great and memorable start that will certainly result in new opportunities for authors, readers, and book publishers. When Facebook users join together every two weeks to read the same book, the world will change in ways we cannot now begin to grasp. But change it will.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

What Authors Can Learn From Motown Hits

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

With hard work, perseverance and a little luck, your book could be “Cruisin” with Smokey Robinson to the bestseller list and you will be “Dancin’ in the Streets” with Martha and the Vandellas. 

Motown_The_MusicalWho doesn’t love the music of Motown?  Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, Lionel Richie and The Four Tops – their classic songs have entertained people from all walks of life for over 50 years.

I recently noticed that the titles of some of the biggest Motown hits also suggest some important themes that can help guide authors to improve their careers. Let’s have a look:

“What’s Goin’ On” (Marvin Gaye) advises you to educate yourself on what is going on in the publishing industry. It’s a moving target; what worked last year might not work today. It’s imperative that authors keep abreast of the changing publishing industry by reading books and magazine articles, going to book fairs and festivals and attending writer’s conferences.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye) tells you to use today’s version of the grapevine, social media such as Twitter and Facebook, to promote your literary work. Authors should be sure to stay up to date about what others are saying about them, their work, and what their competitors are publishing as well. Be sure to keep your page updated and have frequent interaction with your followers to retain their interest.

Respect” (Aretha Franklin) reminds you to treat others the way you want to be treated. Share resources and knowledge with fellow authors. Respond to comments and questions on social media. Take on a mentee. Be kind. Network. Respect the time and effort you’ve put into your craft and help others to do the same.

“Shop Around” (The Miracles) advises you to “shop” for the best book publisher, publicist, and others who can help make your book a success. This is not similar to shopping for commodities at the mall or grocery store; you should go with the person who provides the best quality for your needs, rather than the one with the lowest price. An investment in good editing, good book cover design and good marketing will help create a solid foundation in the long run.

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (Stevie Wonder) When signing a publishing deal make sure to look over the fine print, and ask questions about the contract. You, as the author, do not want to be obligated to terms that you were not aware of.  Remember, “Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing” (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell) so make sure you ask a lawyer to look over the contract before you sign.

“It Takes Two” (Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston), and “Rescue Me” (Aretha Franklin). Don’t be afraid to ask for help because publishing and marketing a book can be a nerve-wracking and overwhelming task for a first-time author. Do not wait until you need a rescue before calling in the professionals. As a book marketing expert, I’ve seen many authors make costly decisions that have to be rectified, which include bad titles, bad covers, bad editing, or lack thereof. “Stop in the Name of Love” (The Supremes) for your book.

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell) inspires you to be steadfast and resilient in order to be successful. For example, 100+ publishers rejected Mark Victor Hanson, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, but he had the tenacity to keep searching for someone who would publish him.

The Bottom Line: “You Can’t Hurry Love,” (The Supremes).  Success will not happen overnight and it’s not always easy as “ABC” (Jackson 5).  But it doesn’t have to be a “Ball of Confusion” (Temptations.) With hard work, perseverance and a little luck, your book could be “Cruisin” with Smokey Robinson to the bestseller list and you will be “Dancin’ in the Streets” with Martha and the Vandellas.  J

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm based in a Motown suburb 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.

Says Lorenz, “If you need help, just reach out, “I’ll Be There!” (The Four Tops). 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

Book Marketing and Book Promotion Using Book Signings

As a book publicist I have a strong opinion about book tours. Authors tend to think they are a great idea because they see Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rachael Ray, Howard Stern and other big names out on the circuit and think that’s the way to promote a book.

Frankly it’s just ONE way to promote a book and is an element in the overall marketing of a book. The reality is that unless you are well known it’ll be you, the Stack of Library Booksflower vase along with your book at the little table waiting for people to approach you. Now don’t get me wrong, book signings can be very useful and even if you don’t sell books it gives the media a reason to write about your book right now in order to promote the event. Without that reason to do the story right now, they have plenty of other books to write about since most reviewers are deluged with dozens to hundreds of books every week. And that’s where I believe book signings and book tours are most useful.

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

Book stores want enough lead time to put an announcement in their newsletter, get a press release out to their contacts, create flyers and in-store promotion. They hate last minute plans, and who can blame them? So it’s important to work a few months in advance if possible. But should you get a media interview and you know it’s going to hit on a certain date then it makes sense to pitch a book signing to the area book stores and then get back to the media outlet to add that appearance in at the end of the story.

Book stores also like to have the book available in “their system” before booking an author signing. This means that the book has to be available on their computer when they look it up so it can be ordered through regular channels, IE their own system, Baker and Taylor etc. There are exceptions to everything and sometimes an author can bring books into the store and sell them giving the store the profit from each book as it would expect. But, that tends to throw a monkey wrench into the mix and the big national chains tend to shy away from this for one reason or another. Sometimes I believe it’s the extra paperwork it creates. In the case of a short notice booking you may have better luck going to smaller independent book stores where the owner is on site. It’s there where they may seize the opportunity. They tend to be more open at a chance to book an author for an in-store appearance.

The bottom line: There’s no way to know how you’ll be received in a book store, whether you’ll sell many books or even one book. But, unless you try it you’ll be wondering. So, my recommendation is to try it. See what happens. Frankly, often what happens is something good that goes way beyond simply selling a book. You might meet a local librarian who’ll invite you to speak to a library group, or a member of a book club who’ll do the same. You may find a member of the media who’s looking for a new angle on a story, or just trying to get some feature story ideas. After you’ve done a few book signings you can see if it’s worth your time and effort. You may just be surprised.

Writing Your Book was Only the First Step. Marketing Your Book is the Survival Step.

Marketing your book is too important a task to leave to the good intentions of a publisher.

Marketing your book is too important a task to leave to the good intentions of a publisher. Harsh words? Maybe, but after spending so much time writing your book, don’t assume the publisher will put the same effort into the marketing of your book. I hear this issue every day from authors who contact me to promote their books. Believe me, writing your book was only the first step, making your book known so it can be sold is the survival step.

What you must always remember is that it does absolutely no good to promote your book if it is not readily available to buyers either at bookstores, online or by phone.

After writing your book, do not hurry your book into the market. With 175,000+ new books every year, the world is not waiting for your book to hit the stores. So take all the time you need to market it correctly.

The key to marketing is to really know your book. What is the overwhelming message your book conveys? Whether you self-promote or hire a professional, you must know your message so you can know your market.

If you decide to self-promote, I strongly recommend the purchase of MAXIMUM EXPOSURE Marketing System Book Marketing Training Program for Publishers and Authors by Tami DePalma and Kim Dushinski. This is a very well written publication that teaches authors all about marketing their book. If it’s not in here it’s not important.

I also recommend that authors purchase John Kremer’s 1,001 Ways to Market Your Book. This is a collection of techniques and tactics that have been used by other authors in the promotion of their books. Sometimes it’s better to follow a path created by someone else than to spend time and energy forging a new one.

John Kremer says, “Eighty percent of all books are sold by word of mouth, but it’s publicity that primes the marketing pump. Remember that you cannot do everything, so hire the right persons to do the things you can’t do. If you’re not comfortable doing your own publicity, then hire someone who does it for a living.” You can purchase his newly revised book at: http://www.bookmarket.com

This is the advice I would give to those brave authors willing to self-promote. But, very frankly, I do not recommend self-promotion, for the same reason you don’t cut your own hair. You can do it, but it’s not going to be that good. Book marketing and promotion requires special skills and most authors simply do not know how to market a book nor do they have the time or, more importantly, the patience.

At a recent media conference I attended in New York City, the producers of the Today Show and Good Morning America said they each receive about 75 books every day! With those incredible numbers, unless an author has a PR person trying to get their book on top of the heap for them it’s unlikely their book will ever get on the radar screen.

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

My approach to book promotion involves the following:

To successfully market your book, you need to determine who will read it. Once we really zero in and determine who your audience is, we can target the media they read directly.

We make sure galleys and the finished books are sent to the reviewers at major publications and broadcast outlets. We write and send press releases, pitch letters in an electronic press kit and make follow up phone calls to media outlets encouraging reporters and reviewers to write about our client’s book.

Being reviewed by The New York Times, Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times and USA TODAY are major goals. In fact USA Today has 4.3 million readers every day. Furthermore, it gets more notice from the other media than the other four newspapers combined. That’s a major reason why we will make a concerted effort to get our authors noticed by USA TODAY.

We also contact national magazines and others that may be interested in the author’s “personal” story. Sometimes the media is more interested in the author than the book itself and that is just one more angle we’ll use to promote our client’s book.

We contact TV and radio outlets. Every day thousands of interviews are conducted on TV and Radio stations across North America and several hundred are with authors. If you are not trying to get interviewed by the producers of those shows they won’t find you because they simply don’t have time to look for you. We have developed relationships with many producers over the years and those contacts combined with well-thought-out pitches produce results.

We regularly go to New York where we have face-to-face meetings with journalists, editors, writers and producers from top national magazines, newspapers and radio/TV programs. We have successfully pitched such media outlets as 20/20, Prime Time, CNN, People, Good Morning America, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Dateline NBC, The View, Oprah’s O magazine, Cosmopolitan, Fox News, Good Housekeeping, Newsweek.

If you don’t have a web site for your book, create one. We’ll refer media to your site for more information and to download book jackets, author photos etc.

Remember, writing your book was only the first step. Making your book known is the survival step.

Book Marketing Tips from TV Producer, Radio Talk Show Host and Book Publicist

Book marketing experts know that authors who get excited about landing an interview may lose sight of the goal, which is not to gain media interviews but to sell books. And it’s sad but true that an interview does not automatically generate sales. Effective interviews generate sales; ineffective interviews merely produce idle talk.

The author who can generate sales from a television or radio interview is the author who knows how to relate to the specific audience listening to that show. Newscaster in Television StudioA book is sold when a listener is motivated to take action now.

While many authors are skilled in interviewing other people, they are not skilled in being interviewed themselves. The skills needed to generate sales from interviews are best obtained through media coaching or media training.

Media coaching will give authors the skills to learn how to use the media, not just to convey your message but to compel people to buy your book. As a book publicist I can pitch an author’s story and line up a TV or Radio interview, but most authors won’t be able to amaze listeners and compel them to buy without being trained by a media coach.

A media coach will show authors how to leverage interviews to create book sales, how to feel more comfortable on air and how to relieve the stress and anxiety that can come with interviews. A good media coach also will teach the secrets behind creating effective sound bites conveying the benefits they would get by buying the book.

Specifically, a media coach will reveal tips and let you practice these tried and true techniques, including:

  • How to control the interview
  • How to insure your message will be effective
  • How to employ bridging techniques to get back on track
  • How to deal with pitfalls that come up during an interview
  • How to answer the tough questions
  • How to look your best on camera
  • How to sound your best on radio
  • How to pitch your message to the host and listener
  • How to pitch without sounding like you are
  • How to compel the media to discuss your book
  • How producers and media people think and how to use that knowledge to your advantage
  • How to relate to a specific audience
  • How to leverage an interview into book sales
  • How to get free publicity on TV and Radio
  • How to get the media to hate you (by not returning their phone calls)
  • And, how to get invited back

Media coach Jess Todtfeld, who is a former producer for Bill O’Reilly of FOX-TV’s The O’Reilly Factor, says that every interview is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to connect with an audience, to get your point of view to the masses. Most people don’t realize that it must go beyond that. You must motivate the audience to take an interest in you and “do something.” Whether it’s buying your book, going to your web site, or just finding out about you, you must compel them to take that next step. Todtfeld has seen many people use to media to get what they want, but many authors and amateurs make some of the common mistakes. He should know, he’s booked more that 4,000 TV segments with politicians, celebrities and actors on two networks. http://www.successinmedia.com/

Radio Interviews provide a tremendous opportunity for authors or anyone with a story to tell. Radio interviews are great because they can be done anytime out of your home, office or automobile (if you aren’t driving). But like any successful marketing venture, radio interviews don’t just happen. Here are some very useful suggestions:

  • Be on time. Call the station exactly at the time they tell you, and be at your phone waiting if the station is going to call you.
  • Disable call waiting: dial *70 and then call the number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.
  • Be self-assured. Remember you know your topic inside and out. Be confident in your ability.
  • Smile, smile, smile, whether on radio or TV – SMILE. You’ll feel better, and for TV you’ll look better too.
  • Research the show and tailor your message accordingly. Just Google the host’s name and station. Is it a national audience or a small town in Ohio? You need to know.
  • Practice your sound bites. Communicate your main points succinctly.
  • Be prepared for negative comments, from the host or listeners.
  • Be informative and entertaining without directly pushing your book. Make the audience “want more.”
  • A kind word about the host can go a long way. It’s good manners and good business.
  • A persons name is sweet music to them so commit to memory the name of the host and use it throughout the interview. When taking calls, use the names of callers too.

The last time I talked with Michael Dresser, a well-known media coach http://www.mymediacoach.com/ Michael told me that there are some realities he makes sure all of his clients know about the media. Dresser says “an interview is an acquired skill. It is a process with a strategy working toward a fixed finish line. Bring your message to the audience in a way that is real for them. Do this by using stories and anecdotes that allow your audience to see themselves in your interview message. Interact with your audience on a one to one basis. Think of a radio interview as an intimate conversation with a friend and not a conversation with thousands. If you stay with the process, the influence and effect of your message will match the intent you had going in. It’s important to go into the interview with a positive attitude and energetic manner. You must be entertaining, informative and persuasive, or you will talking to an empty microphone.”

I pay attention to Michael Dresser because he has been a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for 23 years, and has interviewed thousands of guests. He understands what it takes to be a great guest and understands what prevents someone from achieving that level of success in the interview process. Dresser helps people he coaches to keep their answers short, to stay focused, and to develop a message that will produce results. If you invest in a media coach, use someone like Dresser who was in the game and knows how it’s played.

Media coach and speech trainer TJ Walker http://www.speakcast.com/ says that because talking to the media is like no other conversation you will ever have, it requires your full concentration and all the skills you can muster. Because of that demand, Walker puts his students through a live interview that he videotapes for instructional purposes. “The camera doesn’t lie,” stresses Walker. “You will learn how to look your best on TV — if not on the first take, then by the 20th take. There is no way to ‘fake it’ in my one-on-one training course. You will be in the hot seat, the lights will be shining in your eyes, and the microphone will be stuck in your face. Although not always relaxing, the videotaping will turn students into a media pro, ready for any type of media situation.”

Among the types of opportunities an author should be trained to face, says Walker, are live television and radio, ambush interviews, TV and radio talk shows, celebrity appearances, in-studio interviews, newspaper interviews, editorial board meetings, radio talk shows, Internet interviews, edited news programs, training videos, phone interviews, infomercials, press conferences, spokesperson training, and book tours.

Walker’s views are based on 22 years of training CEOs, Prime Ministers and Nobel Peace Prize winners in addition to training managers and staff in client companies such as Microsoft, Bank of America, Unilever, and McDonalds. TJ is the most widely published and produced media trainer in the globe, with more than 50 books, training videos, CDs, and software programs to his credit. I consider TJ Walker’s book, Presentation Training A-Z, to be a must-read.

I’ve heard TJ Walker say many times, and I agree with him that the successful author will carefully analyze what radio or TV shows to book. In book marketing, a book cannot be promoted without first identifying who the readers are in advance of a single sale. Find the reasons why that reader will read that book and then craft a message to be conveyed to information sources that reader relies upon.

Don’t bombard the market with propaganda but send out promotional information to selected streams that reach specific persons. That approach has always worked and always will. Salesmen know that you can’t sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo because he has no need of one, but you’d have a shot at selling him thermal underwear. So follow Walker’s advice — know your niche and then select the TV or Radio Show that your niche audience listens to or watches.

To successfully market a book, determine who will read it and then target that media directly. By way of example, one of my clients has published a book of poetry. Now the average person won’t buy a collection of poetry. However, certain people love poetry, so we aim our book marketing efforts for this client to poetry magazines, poetry web sites and poetry societies.

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

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

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

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

Norm:

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

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

Norm:

How did you get into the business book marketing?

Scott:

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

Norm:

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

Scott:

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

Norm:

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

Scott:

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

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

Norm:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My approach to BOOK MARKETING involves the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Norm:
Is there anything else you wish to add?

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

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