How Authors Can Use Book Clubs to Promote Their Books

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind CommunicationsFlying Books Clubs


When promoting a book, many authors think national promotion. And that’s fine, but I also suggest authors consider solid local promotion using book clubs.  While national campaigns can be effective, reaching out to a  nearby audience is certainly cost-effective and, when done right, can help start word-of-mouth promotion every author covets.

The obvious appeal of a book club is that it is a prime niche target. The simple equation is that book clubs consist of people interested in books and people who like books can like your book as well as any other.

The investment is driving 15-20 minutes to where the club meets, speaking for 30 minutes, answering questions for 10-15 minutes, and then greeting members as they depart at a table filled with your books.

If 20 members attend that week’s book club session, and six buy your book, they will return to the following month’s meeting and at least two or three will talk about your book. Others will then go out and, on the recommendation of club members, purchase your book. All will tell friends outside the club, some of whom will buy your book. It doesn’t take long for 100 sales to rack up from a 90-minute investment by the author.

And, by the way, a book club in another state or another country still can have value to an author because it can easily be arranged to “appear” as a speaker to any distant club by using SKYPE, Facebook Live or other technology.  Visiting a book club offers many benefits beyond sales, although generating sales should be number one. Other benefits include:

  • A way to better identify target audiences
  • Getting new thoughts and ideas for future books
  • Increased understanding of what characters or plot lines were of interest to readers in your target audience
  • Having an instant focus group without having to pay for one
  • Meet and relate to reviewers who often are book club members
  • Meet people from all different walks of life, greatly adding food to the writer’s observational brain
  • Learn about new books to read. Remember Stephen King’s advice: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”

To find book clubs nearby do a Google search. Then, (now don’t laugh), actually go to your local library and ask the librarian! Chances are some book clubs may even meet in the library. Others will meet in private homes but the librarian will know. In fact, the librarian will belong to local book clubs and probably would be willing to recommend you as a speaker at a club event or at the library itself. Besides the library, visit local community colleges and universities to get information on book clubs.

Book clubs also can be located by searching on Facebook, Goodreads and other online sites. You can visit local coffee shops, sandwich shops and even bookstores and look for a community bulletin board that book clubs are apt to use for announcements.

Another way to locate nearby book clubs is to go to www.readerscircle.org, www.readinggroupguides.com and www.bookbrowse.com/bookclubs.

There are some things an author should do to make the visit worthwhile to club members so they will be invited back or invited to another club, such as:

  • Provide study questions in advance
  • Have some great stories ready to tell about writing and the creative process
  • Seek their help by asking them to review your book on Amazon, BN, Goodreads, or talk about it on Facebook or Twitter
  • Keep in touch. Take a picture with the group and offer to email it to them. Save the contact information and email them updates
  • Bring something – bookmarks, a bottle of wine, or a batch of homemade cookies. Best of all bring free books to give away.

After you have visited all the book clubs within a 50-mile radius, you will have become an expert at promoting books using book clubs. After all, paid speakers begin by speaking free to local civic clubs and become better speakers by this training method. The same goes for authors and book clubs. These new skills will prepare you to speak at seminars, workshops, book fair conferences, etc.

One more thing. There are several celebrity book clubs promoted by Reese Witherspoon, Jimmy Fallon and Sarah Jessica Parker to name a few.   Getting picked up by these are a long shot at best for most authors. So for best results and mental satisfaction, I’d focus on the plan I’ve outlined above.

The Bottom Line: Authors, pursue book clubs to promote your book and get the local buzz going!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

How Authors Can Use Webinars for Book Marketing Success

by Scott Lorenz, President Westwind Book Marketing

When it comes to book marketing, of the many tactics, authors can employ once the book is written and published are those that are cost-effective and produce results.  Free Webinar This WeekBesides free publicity, if you would like to reach a large targeted audience efficiently then consider conducting a webinar.

What’s a webinar? A webinar is an online interactive meeting where the author is able to educate, demonstrate, entertain, and sell their book to their audience of potential readers. It can be held at any time of the day—live or recorded.

“Doing webinars is a way to reach much larger audiences – often in the thousands – without leaving your home or office and for less than the cost of one night in a hotel,” says Bill Harrison, co-founder of the National Publicity Summit in New York City.  “Many authors do bookstore signings to promote their books but it can be expensive to travel and unless you’re a celebrity, you’ll be lucky to have 15 or 20 people turn out.”

“JJ Virgin used webcasts to hit the New York Times Best Seller List in one of the most competitive markets of all—health and nutrition,” says Mike Koenigs, #1 Bestselling Author, and Serial Entrepreneur. Koenigs encourages authors to “Write Your Book From A Webcast” as it’s perhaps the most cost-effective way to capture one’s knowledge effortlessly.

Author media trainer Jess Todtfeld, President of Success In Media, uses webinars to build a relationship and rapport. “The advantage is that they see and experience who I am and receive something of value at the same time,” says Todtfeld. “I’ve conducted many webinars with authors and they are particularly useful for keeping your network warm and staying on the radar. I’ve then transcribed the recording and created content I can repackage and offer to my audience.”

Put webinars into your book marketing mix. It will reach your most interested market.

Scott Lorenz – Book Publicist

One book marketing pro I know has been conducting at least two webinars per month for more than four years. Brian Jud, Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales, and the author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books, uses webinars for several reasons. “First, it keeps my name in front of a targeted audience on a regular basis. And scheduling speakers for my webinars, many of which are authors, gives me access to people who might not otherwise accept my call. Also, by listening to experts in a wide variety of book-publishing topics I learn something from every webinar. Finally, preparation for webinars in which I am the speaker forces me to update my material and solidify my reputation as a knowledgeable expert in non-bookstore marketing.”

Brian conducted a webinar with me a few months ago about how to name a book and from the transcription of the recording I created two articles and found plenty of new material that came out during the interview process. The best part is that I was able to communicate my expertise to his list of contacts. How’s that? Prior to the webinar,

Brian emailed a note to his list of a few thousand authors and publishers telling them about my upcoming webinar. Some of those people signed up for the webinar and others simply read that email so it served as a form of an advertisement for my book publicity services.

Tapping into someone else’s list of contacts is one of the big benefits of using a webinar. Nobody can know everybody and a webinar offers an endorsement, in effect, from the person conducting the webinar.

“The purpose of your webinar series is not only to promote book sales—although it will do that anyway,” says Gihan Perera, author of There’s an I in Team, and eleven other books. “It’s also to continue positioning yourself as an expert, and to remain in front of your target market’s mind, so that when they’re ready to buy what you’ve got to sell, you’ll be their first choice.”

What’s the next step?

  1. Research who conducts webinars in the genre of your book or someone who covers your topic if it’s a ‘how to’ or ‘business’ subject. Go to both Twitter and Google and search the term ‘webinar + YOUR TOPIC’ to find them.
  2. Sign up for some webinars as a participant and listen in so you can see how they work. For author related webinars check out the Writers Digest website.
  3. Reach out to those hosts you’d like to talk to and ask if they would like to interview you.
  4.  Then once you’re ready to host your own webinar check out webinar providers such as GoToWebinar, GoToMeeting and WebEx.

 

The Bottom Line: Put webinars into your book marketing mix. Using a cost effective webinar is an easy-to-use promotional tactic to reach the most people ‘of like minds’ at the same time. 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. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist

42 Top Book Awards for Authors in 2018

Book Awards for Authors

Book Awards for Authors

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

 

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?”  YES!!

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

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

Jeff Bezos at the 2016 Code Conference

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Here’s a list of my Top 42 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

 

 

Book Marketing Video Westwind

http://youtu.be/bTsTCKjLxc8

 

 

 

Top Book Fairs & Festivals for Authors in 2016

By Scott Lorenz Westwind Communications Book Marketing

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

After writing diligently for weeks and months on end it’s time to get invigorated! Nothing does the job

22 Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2015

Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend 

like meeting people who love books and write books. Check out this list of book festivals and fairs authors can attend for 2016. These events are an excellent way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

 

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

 

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

 

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

  1. Santa Barbara Writers Conference, June 5-10, 2016, in Santa Barbara, California. There will be more than 20 different instructional workshops each day. http://www.sbwriters.com
  2. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 11 & 12 2016, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 150,000 book lovers. http://printersrowlitfest.org
  3. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-28, 2016, Orlando, Florida. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. http://2016.alaannual.org
  4. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 26-June 29, 2016, Cincinnati, OH. CBA’s International Christian Retail Show Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. http://www.marketingchristianbooks.com
  5. Harlem Book Festival, July 16, 2016 Harlem, NYC visited by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span http://www.harlembookfair.com
  6. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin August 5, 2016 and finish August 6, 2016 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2016/rmbpf_2016_GeneralInfo.html
  7. Writers at Woody Point, August 16-21, 2016 in Woody Point, Newfoundland. Travel to Canada and see what creativity and talent lies across the border. http://www.writersatwoodypoint.com
  8. Decatur Book Festival, September 2-4, 2016, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. http://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  9. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 8-10, 2016. http://visitwinstonsalem.com/special-events/view/bookmarks-festival-of-books-and-authors
  10. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 12, 2016 and run through September 18, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org
  11. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Brookings and Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be held September 22-25, 2016. http://sdhumanities.org/festival-of-books/
  12. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 23, 2016 and end September 25, 2016. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com
  13. Chicago Writers Conference, September 23-25, 2016 in Chicago. Topics include writing unlikeable characters, how to pitch, etc. http://www.chicagowritersconference.org
  14. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 4, 2016 and end October 9, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org
  15. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 8-9, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com
  16. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 14, 2016 through October 16, 2016. http://humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  17. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will take place on October 15, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://www.vegasvalleybookfestival.org
  18. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (40th Annual) will be held October 28, 2016 through October 30, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://bostonbookfair.com
  19. The Texas Book Festival will begin November 5, 2016 and end November 6, 2016 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org

 

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

 

 

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

Ex-Playboy Bunny’s Book Tops Best Seller List Through Social Media

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

In today’s world, social media is a dominating force that can make or break your career in almost every aspect. In this case, social media can help promote your work to a large and varied audience. To prove this theory, take a look at the rapid growth of popularity of Holly Madison’s book Down The Rabbit Hole, which is at the top of the New York Times Best Seller List.down the rabbit hole cover

Holly Madison, the ex-Playboy bunny, reality show star, mother, wife and ex-girlfriend of Hugh Hefner has made quite an image for herself and her book on social media with 1.38 million Twitter followers. On Twitter her hashtags are #downtherabbithole and #hollymadison. According to ritetag.com the hashtag #hollymadison has 2.42K potential views per hour. The hashtag #downtherabbithole has 3.78K potential views per hour.

So what is the intriguing factor for authors about social media? Social media allows direct communication to thousands or even millions of followers (all at no cost), and is credited in great part for making Down The Rabbit Hole an instant success. Using social media also allows authors to meet a whole new audience of readers and gain new ideas for books from the social community.

In an article by Chuck Sambuchino, of Writer’s Digest, Grammar Girl creator Mignon Fogarty said, “I think you really have to enjoy interacting on social networks or you won’t do it well or stay with it. You can’t force yourself to do it; you have to find the things you like and do those even if they aren’t the most popular. For one person it might be Twitter, for another LinkedIn, for another YouTube, for another podcasting, and another blogging.”

Estelle Maskame, Bestselling author of Did I Mention I Love You, (DIMILY) became an Internet sensation by using social media and gained 123K followers on Twitter @EstelleMaskame. With the help of her friends and Wattpad, Estelle’s book reached four million hits on Wattpad. “Using social media to promote my work means that I’ve got a close connection with my readers, especially now, because they’ve been with me since the early days. In a way, we’re all in this together, and ever since the start, I’ve always loved going on Twitter to interact with them,” said Maskame.

Other authors who have successfully used social media to gain recognition for their work include Paulo Coelho. Coelho used Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch with his readers and promote his work by sharing quotes and photos of his life and trips he has been on. The Alchemist spent 270 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List with the help and use of social media. According to a Wall Street Journal article, while doing research for his new book Adultery, Coelho’s fans shared over 1,000 emails with personal infidelity stories.  Talk about intimate communications!

Margaret Atwood, a Man Booker prizewinner, has made extensive use of digital platforms. Atwood is an avid tweeter with her fans, and has a knack for posting creative insight about her latest work. She also used Wattpad to collaborate with another author to create a serialized zombie novel. For aspiring authors, Atwood ran a contest encouraging them to try fan fiction.

With social media, authors have a chance to succeed. Using social media for your work is important because of the vast attraction of readers you’ll get to engage with. There are quite a few social sites to post your work on and get feedback on your book before and after it is published.

The Bottom Line: Anyone can use social media to promote their work; it’s so easy even a bunny can do it.  

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

 

Top Book Fairs & Festivals for Authors in 2015

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

22 Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2015

22 Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2015

 

Book festivals and fairs are a great way for authors to meet book buyers and reviewers, interact with fellow authors and publishers, meet your readers and find new ones too. As an author you can network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace.

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

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

Here’s my list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2015:

  1. Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 18 & 19, 2015. The festival attracts more than 150,000 people. http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks  
  1. 2015 Dayton Book Expo, April 25, 2015, David H. Ponitz Conference Center, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio http://www.Daytonbookexpo.com
  1. South Carolina Book Festival takes place May 15-17, 2015. Held in the Colombia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC, more than 6,000 book lovers attend http://www.scbookfestival.org/
  1. BookExpo America, May 27-29, 2015, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It’s worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend. http://www.bookexpoamerica.com
  1. Millbrook Literary Festival, May 30, 2015. Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors.  http://www.millbrookbookfestival.org/
  1. Printers Row Lit Fest, June 6 & 7, 2015, Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 125,000 book lovers. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/books/printersrowlitfest/
  1. American Library Association Annual Conference, June 25-30, 2015, San Francisco, CA. Some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. http://www.alaannual.org/
  1. International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) June 28-July1, 2015, Orlando, FL http://www.christianretailshow.com/ Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace.  http://www.marketingchristianbooks.com
  1. Harlem Book Festival, July 18, 2015 Harlem, NYC harlembookfair.com  Attended by over 30,000 readers and viewed by millions on C-Span
  1. Decatur Book Festival, September 4-6, 2015, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 1000 authors and hundreds of thousands of people have attended this event in downtown Decatur. https://www.decaturbookfestival.com
  1. The Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair will begin July 31, 2015 and finish August 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado http://www.rmaba.org/rmbpf/2014/rmbpf_2014_GeneralInfo.html
  1. The Brooklyn Book Festival will begin September 14, 2015 and run through September 21, 2015 in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/
  1. The Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors will be held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 12, 2015. http://bookmarksnc.org/events/festival
  1. The South Dakota Festival of Books in Deadwood, South Dakota will be held September 24-27, 2015. http://www.sdbookfestival.com/
  1. The Baltimore Book Festival will begin in Baltimore, Maryland on September 25, 2015 and end September 27, 2015. http://www.baltimorebookfestival.com/
  1. The Iowa City Book Festival will begin October 1, 2015 and end October 4, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa. http://www.iowacitybookfestival.org/
  1. The Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee will run from October 9, 2015 through October 11, 2015. http://www.humanitiestennessee.org/programs/southern-festival-books/about-southern-festival-books
  1. The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair will be held October 10-11, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. http://www.seattlebookfair.com/
  1. The Vegas Valley Book Festival will run from October 15, 2015 through October 17, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. http://vegasvalleybookfestival.org/
  1. The Texas Book Festival will begin October 17, 2015 and end October 18, 2015 in Austin, Texas. http://www.texasbookfestival.org/
  1. The Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (39th Annual) will be held November 13, 2015 through November 15, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. http://www.bostonbookfair.com
  1. The Miami Book Fair International will kick off in Miami, Florida on November 15, 2015 and wrap up November 22, 2015. http://www.miamibookfair.com

The Bottom Line: Take a little working vacation and hit some book festivals. Make it a priority to visit a book festival in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

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 LorenMotown_The_Musicalz

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. 

Who 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