What Authors can Learn from The Promotion of ‘Anchorman II’ Starring Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy

Ron Burgundy Book

“I don’t know how to put this

but I am kind of a big deal.” 

“Anchorman II: The Legend Continues” is the highly anticipated, long overdue sequel to 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”. The first film quickly became a cult classic with its quippy one-liners and hilarious cast. The sequel premiered December 18. Leading up to the movie’s release, the “Anchorman” team took promoting the film to another level.

Ron Burgundy Book

‘Ron Burgundy’ put his own blurb right on the cover: “I Wrote a Hell of a Book!”

Ron Burgundy was EVERYWHERE. In the year and a half following the announcement of the sequel, there was a museum exhibit, a book, a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, a new brand of Scotch, TV commercials for the Dodge Durango, an iPhone app, TV cameos, viral videos, a website chock-full of GIFs and a college was even renamed after Mr. Burgundy.

So in the marketing and promotional spirit of Ron Burgundy here are some tips authors can use in the promotion of their own books.

  1. Don’t hesitate doing a small town, small market local news show as it might have national implications. ‘Ron Burgundy’ made a guest appearance on a local news program in Bismark, North Dakota. The clip was so funny it was shown on news casts on every network all over the USA.  How does this work for authors? I’ve seen my author interviews on local news picked up on by the national affiliates of FOX, CBS, NBC and ABC-TV and shown across their syndicated network. In fact many stories are put up ‘on the satellite’ so other affiliates can grab them and run the story. Sometimes those stories are localized by adding a local twist. Furthermore, the national news desks have people in the news room whose job it is to push and promote those stories to their affiliates. Contact your local news outlet for an interview and don’t hesitate to travel to a small market for an interview. Here’s the infamous North Dakota TV clip in its entirety. http://youtu.be/2b5IhzGuMPg


  1. Write your own testimonial. In his book Let Me Off at The Top ‘Ron Burgundy’ put his own blurb right on the cover:  “I Wrote a Hell of a Book!”  Most authors agree their book is “One Hell of a Book” but it’s rather self-serving you won’t be able to get away with it. But who can say that for you? Find that person and get that testimonial. I’ll often ask an author if you could get anybody to blurb your book who would it be? Make a list of the top ten. Then if it’s in the realm of possibilities go out and get it. Check out the Let Me Off at The Top book trailer here:
    ‘Ron Burgundy’ made a guest appearance on a local news program somewhere in a small town in North Dakota.

    ‘Ron Burgundy’ made a guest appearance on a local news program somewhere in a small town in North Dakota.


  1. Be willing to travel all over the country. ‘Ron Burgundy’ went from North Dakota to Connecticut, to Los Angeles and New York.  Obviously travel costs money but, so does obscurity. If nobody knows about your book what was the point in writing it? Your book is a ‘start-up’ spend time and money to promote it. Get your name and your work out there and as far out there as possible. Don’t settle for “hometown press” with the headline “local man/woman publishes book” story. Take your work and promote yourself across the country. Look to special events like book festivals across the nation that you can tie to your book. Check out my list of book festivals and plan to attend a few.

    3.Be willing to travel all over the country. ‘Ron Burgundy’ went from North Dakota to Connecticut, to Los Angeles and New York. Obviously travel costs money but, so does obscurity.

    3. Be willing to travel all over the country. ‘Ron Burgundy’ went from North Dakota to Connecticut, to Los Angeles and New York. Obviously travel costs money but, so does obscurity.

  1. Target internationally. “Comedy is very subject to local and cultural sensibilities,” Andrew Runyon, Paramount’s Vice President of interactive marketing points out. “It requires a little bit more customization.” In order to be equally relevant and funny in America as well as abroad, Will Ferrell created some videos for markets in the U.K., Ireland, and Australia. How can an author do this? Delve deep into the messages, themes, and characters of your book. Think about different cultures and how they might perceive your work. Make your book appeal to different nationalities. Show them why your book is as relevant in America as it is in Italy or England. YouTube goes worldwide, so does your Pinterest page and so do most press releases. I get phone calls and inquiries from all over the world requesting my authors conduct interviews. If you are not trying to get attention worldwide it won’t happen by itself. Check out this clip from Australian TV. http://youtu.be/K0olH1FmP1Q
  1. Ron Burgundy clips are shown on local newscasts. Context is key. “Part of the reason these clips work so well is that it’s placing Ron Burgundy in a modern context, something that adds a fish-out-of-water element to his already goofy charm,” says Drew Taylor of indiewire.com. Ron Burgundy found his niche in broadcast journalism. Think about where your book fits in best.  A restaurant chef protagonist might sell well in Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma. A murder mystery book might gain press at a murder mystery themed weekend getaway. A lifestyle book may be picked up in a hotel bookstore that’s renowned for team-building activities or company retreats.
  1. Stir up a little competition with your readers. AdWeek.com’s Christopher Heine explains,” Working with Zemoga, Paramount is employing a social media-styled casting call. The talent show-like initiative, ‘Join Ron’s News Crew,’ asks people from around the world to audition for the positions of anchor (#TeamRon), meteorologist (#TeamBrick), sportscaster (#TeamChamp) and live reporter (#TeamBrian).” The people auditioning will post their videos online and hashtag which team they’re on. Start your own social media competition. Encourage fans to submit videos, GIFs, artwork, or stories to win a competition of your choosing. Your fans could create the cover art or choose an alternate ending. They could win a day in the life of your lead character or be chosen to have a private lunch with you, the author.
  1. Think big, but also think small. The Anchorman II promotional team was especially proud of their collaboration with Tumblr. Nine animated GIFs were pieced together in order to create a socially embeddable poster for the film. Cliff Marks, president of National CineMedia feels it is possible for GIF mashups to be the future of movie posters in this digital age. “These small, chewable formats are a cool way to present your content,” he says. “And the studios are starting to make that content a focus.”

The Bottom Line: Think like Ron Burgundy and consider some non-traditional marketing methods to get your book on the radar. If you ever want to become a top selling author get some swagger, step over the line and steal a line from Ron Burgundy, “I don’t know how to put this but I am kind of a big deal.”


About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relationsand 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

Authors: Turn to Kickstarter to Launch Your Book


In Renaissance times and during other eras it was common for artists, sculptors and other creative people to recruit patrons and sponsors to fund their works so they could create masterpieces

Today it also is important for creative people, such as writers, to recruit sponsors and patrons – not to help make a living but to promote their latest book in need of a boost to climb up the best-selling lists.without worrying about such trivial matters as making a living.

To take the greatest advantage of the technology of the 21st Century a tool some authors are turning to is Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com). Kickstarter is a virtual place where authors, musicians, app developers, inventors and others go to recruit people to support their creative project.

Based in New York City’s Lower East Side, Kickstarter is a for-profit company that exists to support creative projects (for a 5% fee against the funds collected) because they believe creative projects make for a better world. Since starting in 2009, five million people have pledged $826 million to fund 50,000 creative projects.

Project creators joining Kickstarter set a funding goal and deadline and if people like your project, they donate money to support it.  An author can use the money for publishing or distribution costs, to upgrade a better distributor, or to pay for the costs of the book promoter hired to give your book the push it needs.

One great thing an author can do is to give a free digital copy of his/her book to anyone making a contribution. This is a great way to promote your book by getting it into the hands of committed readers interested in your writings.

Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing policy that states you must reach your goal before receiving any money. But don’t let that be a concern because even if you don’t receive a penny you have the opportunity of placing your book into the hands of a few dozen or few hundred more readers and that’s a good thing.

While many authors have benefited from Kickstarter, a lot of the campaigns flat out failed, especially when the creative person tried to run their own campaign without first researching what works or without professional assistance.

As a book publicist I have been involved on both sides of a Kickstarter campaign and have seen firsthand how authors have used the platform to attain the funds needed to publish and promote a book. In one case one of my author clients funded a campaign to launch his book into outer space on a balloon. I kid you not! I have not had a single author share with me that the efforts put into Kickstarter were not worth their time. In fact, all of them gained from enrolling in Kickstarter in some form or another.

Author Andrew Peterson of Nashville, TN, used Kickstarter to recruit almost 1,300 supporters who pledged some $72,000 to support his book The Warden and the Wolf King, the fourth and final volume of the award winning Wingfeather Saga. The minimum bid for each supporter was $1.

When Peterson filed his project with Kickstarter his goal was to raise $14,000 to issue his latest book as a high-quality paperback and to deliver an early pre-release digital copy in time for Christmas sales. The author also promised supporters if he exceeded the goal of $14,000 he would add more illustrations to the book, if he exceeded $25,000 the book would be published in hardback, and if he exceeded $35,000 an audiobook version would be made available. All goals were met and exceeded.

In a video presentation Peterson explained where he was at in writing his book and what his hopes were before introducing the illustrator who would be used if $14,000-plus were raised. Peterson told listeners he always wanted to publish hardback but could not afford to and added that he would personally narrate an audio-version.

Author Harry Connolly of Seattle recruited almost 760 sponsors who have pledged more than $35,000 in the campaign for his book The Great Way, an epic fantasy trilogy about a supernatural invasion which  destroys an empire.

Connolly offered free sample chapters from the beginning of his book to anyone who makes a pledge and then offers a free copy of his trilogy to anyone pledging $30 or more if the 850 backer level is reached. He also promises free cover art for all three books to anyone pledging $12 or more if the 925 baker level is reached. And if the 1,000 backers or more level is reached anyone pledging $12 or more will receive an e-book copy, an upcoming short story collection Connolly will be releasing.

Supporters are told that the money raised in the campaign will be used to pay for the cover art, book illustrations, copy editing and typesetting costs, etc. “That will make the difference between a book created by a guy whose only real skill is telling stories and a book that has clearly been prepared by a team of professionals,” explains Connolly.

In his video on Kickstarter, Connolly tells readers that the first draft of the entire trilogy is written and that after he does a revision he will turn his writings over to an editor and designer. He explains his goal is to connect to a larger audience with The Great Way. He presents a plot summary of each book in the trilogy, explains that the trilogy started as a homeschool project with his son, what readers his book is intended for, and shares his writing standards. After explaining what the money raised will be used for, Connolly then explains what the reward levels are for different pledges.

“The real challenge here is the timing because 350,000 words is a lot to revise and it’s not something that can be rushed,” says Connolly. “I’ve selected a generous delivery date with the expectation that I will deliver early, but this work takes time.”

Liza F. Carter of Concord, MA, author of a photo book on Mongolia entitled Moving with the
Seasons: Portrait of a Mongolian Family
, (www.MovingwiththeSeasons.com ) relied on both creativity and practicality in conducting a successful campaign on Kickstarter.

Because you can only collect money if you reach your goal, Carter began with a modest goal of $7,000 which she reached in just two days. She then added a “stretch goal” of $12,000 and raised $14,739 before adding a second stretch goal of $18,000, explaining that the extra funds raised would allow her to conduct a travelling photo exhibit.

Before posting her Kickstarter project, Carter studied the projects of others and learned from them. Every Kickstarter campaign that’s ever been done is still up on the website so there’s ample opportunity to learn from the good and the bad, from the mistakes and successes of others. In addition to the promotional video, her project page contained an informative map of Mongolia and stunning photographs of the people of Mongolia.

Part of that initial research involved viewing the promotional videos of others so she could create an effective, promotional video. Carter found that many were merely talking heads and were very boring because they were too long and lacked promotional elements. She designed her video to be only three minutes long and to include scenes from Mongolia rather than shots of herself.  Of the 2,237 people who clicked on her video, 17.2 per cent viewed it to the end.  Carter stressed that it is important to place your pitch in the first 10 seconds of the video to be successful.

Carter learned from Kickstarter that the average contribution is $20-$25 so one offer she made for pledges of $25 or more was a postcard from Mongolia with stamps from different parts of that country and 35 people accepted that offer. For larger pledges she offered 8×10 limited edition signed prints from her book as well as signed copies of her book.

Liza began her campaign by creating a Facebook page on the campaign with a link to Kickstarter, and then shared that page with friends. Facebook turned out to be an important part of her campaign as 37 percent of the money raised was from Facebook. Another 16 percent of the pledges were generated by Kickstarter from people she did not know, mainly because her project was a “staff pick” the entire time she was on Kickstarter.

“I sent a personal email right away thanking people for the donation,” says Carter. “It makes the people feel good and connected to the project. I am sure it helped maintain the momentum and spread to others who knew those people.” Some 15 percent of donors gave money without expecting anything in return and those donors she thanked personally on Facebook as well as by email.

Peterson, Connolly and Carter conducted successful Kickstarter campaigns because they:

  • Explained the reasons they were seeking the money
  • Came up with fun, unique and compelling offers to the funders for the cash they pledged
  • Understood the importance of a good video pitch
  • Promoted the program outside of Kickstarter with a solid public relations campaign

A very imaginative approach was taken by Celeste Headlee of Washington, D.C., who started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $92,000 to launch a National Public Radio show called Middle Ground. Celeste said that she turned to Kickstarter for support in her efforts to “launch a brand new public radio show focused on the states in between California and the eastern seaboard, ignoring the coasts. We hope to tell the stories that are largely ignored by the major networks while they focus on New York City, DC and LA.”

For various pledge levels, Headlee offers a CD of the pilot programs, a Middle Ground t-shirt, an outgoing voice mail greeting recorded by Celeste, webinars on how to conduct interviews, producer credits on the show’s website, on air mentions, a basket of foods from middle America, dinner with Celeste, or a personal visit by Celeste to your school, business or organization for a pledge of $10,000 or more.

Authors besides Headlee who have used very creative approaches in their Kickstarter campaigns include Gary W. Allison of Clarkston, MI, author of Bone Cay: Crime Thriller Book Project, who promised anyone who pledges $500 or more that he would name a character in his book after the donor. What a great way to raise $500 without any monetary costs to the author!

Author David Bergantino of Los Angeles promised anyone who pledged $400 or more that he would name a character in his book after the donor plus place a photograph of the donor on the cover of his book Afraid to Love.

Seth Godin of New York City, author of The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art, offered to interview anyone who pledges $1,150 or more and write a paragraph about them in all editions of his book.

Other ideas to attract pledges are for authors to offer:

  • Digital copies of your entire works if you have written three or more books
  • Autographed, limited edition copies
  • Free editing and critique of a donor’s draft writing
  • A free review of a donor’s published book
  • Your illustrator to draw an image of the donor to place in your book
  • An in-person meeting with the author for a formal English tea
  • Mention of the donor’s business with a testimonial given by a character in the book
  • A gourmet meal prepared by the author of a cookbook at the donor’s home
  • A free hot air balloon ride for two with this article’s author, Scott Lorenz to any Michigan resident donating $1,500 or more one to one of his clients

This is meant as a sampling of creative ideas authors can use to entice pledges from supporters. When one of my clients agrees to a Kickstarter campaign we will look at what offers should be made for a successful campaign, what pitches should be used, how to come up with an appealing video, and how to promote the campaign outside of Kickstarter.

Bottom Line: If you are an author who wants to be on the edge of the latest promotional tools then check out how Kickstarter can launch your book and its promotion.

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


Apple Genius Manual: What Authors Can Learn

Apple Genius ManualApple is a category killer in computers, mobile phones, tablets and is playing an increasingly important role in publishing and selling ebooks on iTunes for the iPhone and iPad. We can all learn a lot from Apple so when their ‘Genius Manual’ was revealed recently, I found ways the info contained was applicable to authors.
The Genius Bar is the name of Apple’s in-store tech support station, which is located in Apple retail stores. The Genius Bar is the one-stop-shop for Apple users who have questions about or are having trouble with their Apple hardware or software. Can’t get your iPad to connect to WiFI? Apple’s one-on-one tech support session with a trained Apple Genius can help you fix the problem on the spot or simply better understand a product. Tech support from The Genius Bar is free of charge, but repairs and more in-depth support usually has a fee, unless your Apple product is still under warranty.

Until now, it has been a well-kept secret how Apple employees are trained and what is expected of them. Gizmodo published a portion of Apple’s “Genius Training Student Workbook,” which sheds light on how to walk, talk, and behave like the perfect Apple Genius.

Authors can take notes from Apple’s Genius Training Manual and put them into practice when promoting their work.

According to the Gizmodo article “How To Be a Genius: This Is Apple’s Secret Employee Training Manual” by Sam Biddle, “Selling is a science, summed up with five cute letters: (A)pproach, (P)robe, (P)resent, (L)isten, (E)nd.” Simply put, you should allow fans and readers alike to open up to you about their literary wants and needs, offer them choices, open lines of communication, and seal the deal with the book of your choice. Keep abreast of what people are posting on your website, social media outlets, and forums that are in keeping with your writing style or genre. You’ll be more in tune with what people want to read and you can start a dialogue with them. Reply to their comment or mention them on Twitter. This open dialogue will draw more people to your website and earn you more publicity. Once you suggest your latest book for them to read, you will have opened the door for a new fan and a new string of publicity for yourself.

Apple Geniuses “strive to inspire” so you should be doing the same. Inspire people with your work! Especially if you are an author of the self-help or lifestyle genres, you should be inspiring people with the words you write and publish. Publicize how your book has inspired people. Put quotes or stories from readers on your website, blog, and Facebook page. This will help people see that your work stands out and makes an impact on people and their lives.

As an author, you’re no stranger to critique or criticism. So there is bound to be, or more likely has already been, a time when a disgruntled reader expresses their feelings on your work. Not everyone is going to love your work, but you knew that going into writing. So, when someone sends you a negative Tweet, comment, or letter in the mail, have empathy. Do not apologize for anything you’ve written. Instead, express regret that the person is experiencing a particular emotion.

Something along the lines of, “I’m sorry you did not enjoy My Book as much as you were hoping to” or “I’m sorry you felt frustrated with the relationship between Him and Her in My Book” should suffice. You could also encourage the dissatisfied reader to give your work a second shot and suggest another book of yours that you feel is completely different from the piece they did not enjoy. However, tread lightly and be respectful of his or her opinion.

In a Forbes article titled “The Psychological Tricks Behind Apple’s Service Secrets,” author Sebastian Bailey wrote, “Give fearless feedback. Geniuses are told to engage in ‘open dialogue every day’ with ‘positive intent.’ They’re encouraged to listen to their colleagues’ interactions and give them a friendly piece of advice if they spot something going wrong.” As an author, listen to your colleagues when they give advice or constructive criticism about your writing. Also, follow Apple’s suggestion and give advice in a polite and friendly manner.

The Apple Genius Training Manual has a section titled “Emotion Portrayed through Nonverbal Gestures” which could come in handy at book signings or speaking engagements. This section of the training manual is broken down into “positive” and “negative” columns, respectively. The manual goes on to explain nonverbal gestures and their meanings. For example, a blank stare is a sign of boredom and a smile indicates openness. So, if you’re at a book signing, reading, or other speaking engagement and you notice people staring blankly or crossing their arms, change-up your speech. It’s important to keep your audience (and fans!) interested in you and your work. Keep an eye out for nonverbal gestures and keep your audience engaged. If you notice a sea of smiling faces and people nodding, you’re on the right track.

According to a CIO Magazine article titled “How Genius Is Your IT?” the Apple Genius Bar is successful because it is organized, personal, and focused. The article explains, “When you show up to a Genius Bar appointment, there is a staff member waiting for you. For the duration of your time there, that staff member is focused only on your problem. They may not be able to fix it, but you see firsthand that they’re working on the problem. Also, they generally attempt to educate you on common solutions so you’ll be better prepared if you have the issue again in the future.” Keep your website, blog, and social media outlets organized. Make sure to have links to your work as well as areas for reviews or comments. Engage with your readers and fans because it will give them a more personal experience. If you’re focused on your work and your readers, they will feel a closer connection to both you as an author and your work.

According to Biddle’s article, “Negativity is the mortal sin of the Genius.” So whatever it is, a bad review, a tough critic, or an argument with your editor, stay positive. As frustrated and wronged as you may feel, fight the urge to take a trip to Negative Town. Take everything in stride and keep your work at the center of it all. Remember that all the criticism and speed bumps are there to help make your book the best it can possibly be.

The Bottom Line: Apple has the world’s largest market cap for a reason; they know what they’re doing! So, take a few notes from their Apple Genius Training Manual and use them to your advantage when promoting your work and interacting with your readers, you’ll be glad you did.

Book Marketing Strategy of the Future

Peter CollinsworthWith technology being as advanced as it is, it is surprising that book marketing strategies are continuously falling short of their potential. These limitations of book marketing are even more evident when compared against a variety of other industries. No one is more aware of this concept than publishing entrepreneur, Peter Collingridge. Collingridge delivered a speech to the If Book Then conference in Milan that got the minds of marketers everywhere second guessing their current strategies.

Collingridge criticizes current marketing techniques for being outdated and too reliant on, “PR and big-budget poster campaigns.” Little advancement has been made throughout the years on book marketing, causing people to rely on these obsolete tactics. However, little is known about the true impacts of these marketing strategies, and their success rates among audiences. With so much money being invested in these strategies, it seems ironic that we are unaware of their results.

One way Collingridge proposes to change this industry is to become more reliant on data and empirical information, rather than gut feelings. However, until recently, this type of data has not been available. To bridge this gap, Collingridge has proposed a new type of program called Bookseer.

Bookseer is a digital marketing intelligence service for publishers that will simplify and progress marketing strategies. This program collects data on the success of a book based on its rankings on a multitude on websites. Bookseer then translates this data into a current up-to-date evaluation. One of the benefits of Bookseer is that it is constantly being updated and relies on present statistics, which allows publishers to track the success of the book throughout the various marketing stages.

These predictions have held up through various case studies and have proven to be a truly remarkable modernization. This program will allow publishers to see what tactics work best, and which ones do not, so that they can refine future strategies to maximize profit.

However, this is only the beginning. Collingridge said, “The new market calls for investment in new skills and tools.” It is possible that once more data becomes available, and people acquire these skills, algorithms can be created to predict the success of books that have yet to even be published.

This new technology and advancement in the industry will forever change the way publishers approach marketing. By allowing them to critically view their current strategies and to tailor them to increase sales, marketing strategies will be more successful now than ever before. For more information on Bookseer and Peter Collingridge follow him on Twitter at @gunzalis #bookseer or contact me. at scottlorenz@westwindcos.com

Source: Book marketing analytics and a new marketing approach for publishers | Enhanced Editions. (2012, February 2). Enhanced Editions. Retrieved March 18, 2012, from http://www.enhanced-editions.com/blog/2012/02/book-promotion-analytics-and- a-new-marketing-approach-for-publishers/

Top Book Awards Authors Should Pursue

Do book awards matter? Absolutely YES! In fact, just recently one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which then led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. Deals are in the offing. This author, needless to say, is happy he decided to enter.

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. Awards create interest in your book, Book Fairs Logo Collagewhich 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 22 book awards worthy of your consideration.

Enter to win The 2011 Independent Book Publisher Awards between January 1 and March 15 at secure.independentpublisher.com.

Entering the Book of the Year Awards should definitely be on your end-of-the-year to-do list. Check it out at bookoftheyearawards.com.

Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards and enter by December 1 at bookcritics.org.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world’s most important literary award. Enter to win by July 1 themanbookerprize.com.

The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31 at ala.org.

Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book at ala.org.

IACP Cookbook Awards deadline is October 29. Check out how to enter at iacp.com.

Hugo Award deadline is March 26, check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details at thehugoawards.org

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 your alma mater!) nobelprize.org

The Edgar Allan Poe Award for books submission deadline is August 15. See how to submit your book at mysterywriters.org.

FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year submission deadline is June 30 at eiseverywhere.com.

Enter to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction before February 2 at pulitzer.org

The National Book Award deadline is June 15. Learn how to submit your book at nationalbook.org

Submit your work by October 31 to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details at ala.org.

The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for fiction is June 30. Check it out at autumnhouse.org.

Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award deadline is December 17. Click here for more details.

The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction deadline is October 31. Check out how to enter at pw.org.

Get your book nominated for a Quill Award at thequills.org.

Voting for the Indies Choice Book Awards ends March 31 Enter at bookweb.org.

Get your cook recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award at barnesandnobleinc.com.

The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire. The deadline is February 25 at nautilusbookawards.com.

Enter your ebook to win Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards by June 30 at awardsforebooks.com.

With book trailers being an important part of all book marketing strategies be sure to enter your book trailer in the Moby Awards. They are looking for the best…and worst book trailers. Deadline in April. Enter at mobyawards.com.

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. Just do it. diyconvention.com.

The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. April deadline. indieexcellence.com.

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. They have a year-end deadline axiomawards.com.

ForeWord Reviews sponsors the Book of the Year Awards. It’s open to all independently- and self-published books released that year. There are sixty categories, and in each category a gold, silver, and bronze winner. The deadline to enter is January. Check out: forewordreviews.com.

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 let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.

Doctors Should Write A Book to Get Speaking Gigs

As a doctor, it is important to gain speaking engagements to promote yourself and your practice to both your peers and to gain new patients. Here are the top ten things you can do to get more speaking dates.

1. You need a terrific website that is informative and grabs the viewer’s attention as soon as they click to your page. A website is one of the first things someone who is interested in you will check out. If they like it they’ll contact you, if not they won’t. Your website is the perfect place to post a video of you at a speaking engagement or feature an article you’ve written. One way to insure your website is as good or better than others is to benchmark it against websites of your competitors or practitioners in your same field. It is also important for your website to look professional. In order to achieve a clean, professional look hire a web designer who is familiar with medical marketing to design your website. The days of doing it yourself are over.

2. Patient testimonials are a useful marketing tool and can be easily added to your website. Testimonials can be acquired by asking your patients. Simply ask them questions and videotape their responses. Once you have a few testimonials, edit and compile the videos and upload them to your website and YouTube.

3. Doctors who publish articles get asked to speak. My clients are invited to speak on a regular basis because their articles are discovered online. How? A conference organizer who is looking for a speaker on a particular topic will search the Internet for someone demonstrating that expertise. If you have an article on that topic they can find you. It’s that simple. When writing articles, it is important to understand that you have two main audiences. First, you have patients. Second, you have your peers. Your patients are not going to understand the serious medical lingo that your peers might. One solution to this issue is to develop two different websites; one for patients and one for your fellow doctors. With a peer-friendly website, you can add the more technical articles and information. On your patient-friendly website, you can put things in layman’s terms which patients will understand and appreciate.

4. Position yourself as an expert in your particular medical field. One option is to add the word “expert” after the topic you are expert in. For example, one of my doctor clients is a “propofol expert.” If someone were to search a topic of interest online and add the word “expert” to their search, the experts in that area would show up in the search results. Go ahead try – it. Search on “propofol expert.” You’ll find Dr. Barry Friedberg. By finding your specific expertise and promoting it via articles and press releases, when people need an expert in your field, you will be sure to pop up in their Internet search. You can also get yourself listed as an expert by visiting expertclick.com or authorsandexperts.com.

5. Writing a book is an excellent way to publicly demonstrate your expertise. The most common approach is to write a book proposal and then find an agent who will present your proposal to a publisher who will publish your work. A different approach is to compile past articles you’ve written and then self-publish your book. Visit www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com for ideas on publishing and promoting your book. Whichever route you choose, your book will show the media that you are serious about the work you do.

6. Now that you have your book written and published, what do you do with it? The answer? Promote it! You can either promote the book yourself or hire a PR firm to get the word out and promote the book for you. The PR firm will create a press kit, which includes a press release, a bio of the author, sample media questions, as well as a fact sheet that covers some of the issues in your book along with excerpts and direct quotes from your book. You can also sell your book at the end of a speech or require the people who schedule your speech to buy “X” number of books to give to the participants. For more strategies on book promotion check out www.WestwindCos.com

7. While searching for speaking engagements, be sure to visit these useful websites. First is www.ProfNet.PRnewsWire.com, which sends out media and speaking leads to PR executives and communications representatives at hospitals, associations and universities. A second website to utilize is The National Speakers Association (www.NSASpeaker.org). Another website, www.DoctorsReview.com, has two thousand scheduled meetings readily available on their site. On the DoctorsReview.com page, you can narrow your results by searching for a specialty or travel destination. A final suggestion is to visit www.projectspropublica.org/docdollars to gain an idea of who is paying doctors to speak.

8. In order to be a successful speaker, I recommend presentation and media training. A good friend of mine, Jess Todtfeld, was Bill O’Reilly’s producer at Fox for many years, and also worked at NBC, ABC, and CBS. Jess’s website www.successinmedia.com offers media training in both New York and Los Angeles. On his site, you can also find advice on how to pitch to the media and how to create an effective speaking presentation. Media training will help you improve your speaking skills as you will learn to speak succinctly.

9. Another way to gain speaking arrangements is to reach out to the media directly. The Harrison Guide to Top National Media and Interview Shows is an effective way to gain access to the media. For example, each of the top shows from Good Morning America to Dateline list the dozens of producers’ contact information. Another resource is called Media Atlas; they offer an online database you can access. It is easy to go online through these options and hone in on a specific audience and get in touch with the media associated with them. Once you’ve identified a member of the media that covers your topic, send them a pitch letter and a press release.

10. Finally, there are free online services you can utilize to publicize yourself and your book. CraigsList www.craigslist.org is a great place to post a number of press releases and it does, in fact, work to your advantage. Depending upon your topic, people do search for all types of things on CraigsList. Two other websites are www.PRAvenue.com and www.PR-Inside.com where you can also post releases along with photos and video at no charge. All three of these free websites are fine options for your press release to gain circulation online.

One more thing. Keep your Curriculum Vitae (CV) up to date with education, affiliations and articles as you may be asked to email it to a prospective customer on the spot. Furthermore have new headshots taken so your photos look like you and not your high school yearbook.

If you follow these steps you’ll be well on your way to obtaining more speaking engagements. For a more detailed strategy with tips and articles on these subjects visit WestWindCos.com.

Authors: Rename Your Book For a Second Life

Throughout the ages books have been renamed, given a new copyright date as a result, and found new life and success.

There are several reasons to rename a book such as adding a subtitle to be friendlier to search engines. Another important reason is to get a new copyright Stack of Booksdate because many book critics will not review an old book and reviewers often define an “old” book as one with a copyright of more than a year old.

Margaret Mitchell first gave the title “Pansy,” the original name for Scarlett O’Hara, to her epic novel. That title was dropped as soon as MacMillan convinced Mitchell to rename her main character. She then considered the titles of “Tote the Weary Load” and “Tomorrow is Another Day,” the latter being taken from the last line in her novel. When MacMillan objected to these two titles, Mitchell reconsidered and suggested “Gone With The Wind.”

Sometimes just a minor tweak in the title will pay off big, such as “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone” being renamed “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” “Philosopher’s Stone” was the first novel in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling when it was first published in London in 1997. The next year it was republished in America with the “Sorcerer’s Stone” change made in the title and it reached the New York Time’s best-selling fiction list in August 1999.

Other examples of books that were re-titled include:
• “The Last Man in Europe” to “1984”
• “The Dead Un-Dead” to “Dracula”
• “Catch 18” and “Catch 11” to “Catch 22”
• “Atticus” to “To Kill a Mockingbird”
• “First Impressions” to “Pride and Prejudice”
• “Fiesta” to “The Sun Also Rises”
• “Strike” to “Atlas Shrugged”
• “Mistress Mary” to “The Secret Garden”

I think you get the point. Tanya Hall of Greenleaf Book Group (www.greenleafbookgroup.com) tells of the renaming of a book that made a big difference for Greenleaf: “Gregg Crawford approached us seeking distribution services for his book, ‘Execute or Be Executed’, originally published in 2006,” says Tanya. “We saw potential in the book but it definitely needed to be repackaged and re-titled to stand out in the crowded business genre. Gregg agreed to our suggestions, and the end result was ‘The Last Link: Closing the Gap That is Sabotaging Your Business’ which was published in March, 2007 by Greenleaf Book Group Press and became our first New York Times bestseller.”

Many of the authors with whom I work do not subtitle their book which is a big mistake. A subtitle allows for a book title to contain more searchable terms which, in this day of search engine optimization, is a major consideration. Remember that people use Google, Bing and Yahoo! to search for information they need immediately – help that fills their needs, wants and desires. You want to be their Answer.

Authors should always be open to suggestions made by editors and publishers. You may love your title but the publishing company that makes millions of dollars each year selling books knows a lot more about titles that sell than you do.

So be ready to rename your book if that new title will attract more readers and sell more books. If in doubt, ask Margaret Mitchell, or J.K. Rowling, or Ernest Hemingway, or George Orwell or ….. Want to rename your book? Bounce an idea off me at: scottlorenz@westwindcos.com.

Jess Todtfeld, former FOX News producer and President of Success in Media Interviews Yours Truly, Scott Lorenz

Jess Todtfeld, former FOX News producer and President of Success in Media (www.SuccessInMedia.com) interviewed Scott Lorenz, President of Westwind Communications Public Relations about his thoughts on PR and the ever changing landscape of promoting a book, product or service. The in-depth interview is one of 15 such interviews with leading experts that Todtfeld is making available in the new The Ultimate Insider’s Toolkit for PITCHING THE MEDIA. The “toolkit” offers insider’s tips and techniques for getting your story publicized and is available at his web site. www.PRmarketingInsider.com

Jess Todtfeld: All right. PR in the 21st century media is the topic today here on the Speaking Channel. My special guest is Scott Lorenz. He runs Westwind Communications, a PR and marketing firm in Plymouth, Michigan. Scott helps doctors and authors and lawyers, entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity that they deserve and more.

Jess Todtfeld: Today we’re talking about the ‘and more” which is the 21st century media, meaning the old school ways are okay, but there’s so many more choices that PR professionals are not necessarily leveraging, in my opinion – which is why I invited Scott to be on here today. So Scott, welcome. Let’s jump right in. You are not only sending the old style press release out to radio and TV and print locations, you are doing more is that true?

Scott Lorenz: That’s correct. I honestly can’t remember the last time I mailed some press releases out, although we do that on occasion. When we ship a new book out, we’ll put press releases in with the book.

Jess Todtfeld: It’s funny that you say that – and I’m a former TV producer and boy, I would get stacks and stacks of mail. And I hate to say, because it’s very wasteful – most of it would get thrown out because it was confusing.

Scott Lorenz: Let’s talk about direct mail for a minute – you’ve got to be able to compel people receiving the mail to rip it open because there’s something fantastic inside. And you’ve got to convey that in the message on the outside of the envelope, for starters.

Jess Todtfeld: Right.

Scott Lorenz: The problem is that that old school is kinda going by the wayside. However, what is interesting, though, now I think, is because so many people use electronic media and they’ve gone away from faxes and direct mail, that you can actually get a little bit more attention with direct mail with the right piece because publicists are not using it as much anymore – funny as that sounds.

Jess Todtfeld: That’s interesting, and I know you said there’s a number of different directions. You don’t just see your firm as a PR firm but as a PR and marketing firm.

Scott Lorenz: Right.

Jess Todtfeld: You employ marketing methods?

Scott Lorenz: Yes. PR is really a sales job. You are actually selling something. We are selling a client to a member of the media, and we’re selling it on the phone, we’re selling it by e mail, whatever methodology we use, face to face, but it’s a sales job. So I come from that marketing and sales side of things, and that’s probably why I’m so effective in the PR field, because of that background. I’m not a journalist, okay, and often times I find that journalists who enter this field exit it quickly because of the fact they’re really not salespeople, they are journalists and they have a different skill set and mindset.

Jess Todtfeld: I’m glad to hear you say that, because as a media trainer when I work with clients I’ll always sit there and say, “What’s the reason why you’re doing these interviews and talking to the media?” They’ll usually say, “You know, to get my face out.” “Why?” “You know, so I should be out there.” “Why?” “You know, to build my brand.” “Why?” And I keep going until they realize, “Oh, yeah – sales; oh, yeah – because I want my business to do better.” It’s “Oh, yeah,” because they get lost along the way sometimes.

Scott Lorenz: Right, exactly. What’s really great is if somebody has a book that we’re promoting and besides the book they’re selling speaking engagements or they have a consulting business. Now, that book becomes a calling card and a platform. You’ve got to sell a lot of books to make a few thousand dollars. But you can make several thousand with just one speaking engagement or considerably more if your book lands you a $25,000 consulting gig. Any PR we obtain helps with the overall building of credibility for the author and their brand and ultimately leads to new business.

Jess Todtfeld: So a book has really got to be part of a bigger strategy, right?

Scott Lorenz: Right. I like very much to work with people who have those other ancillary services that they could sell besides just trying to make money from book sales, there’s more upside potential for the author.

Jess Todtfeld: Let’s talk about Facebook – everybody’s all excited about Facebook, and this I’m sure has got to be one of the 21st century new media places to be for any of your clients. Is it?

Scott Lorenz: Well, I think it certainly has potential and some people have done quite well with it promoting their brand and business. One of the things that I like about it right now is from an advertiser’s perspective. I can go in and select people who’ll see the ad by several variables. For example I can say I’d like an ad to be seen by females, between the age of 21-35 who work at IBM who like yoga and biking who live in New York.

This selection by demographics and interests electronically has not been available until now. So it’s pretty exciting. I’ll give you an example. I have an artist in California who paints on glass using a special Persian technique. She’s one of the only artists in the US who does this. Golnaz Shobeiri is her name. I created a Facebook ad with a picture of one of her art pieces with 160 characters of ad copy. It targeted people in the USA and in certain counties in the Middle East and further targeted Americans who have Middle East interests, Persian interests, Iraq/Iranian interest, art culture interest and so forth. This allowed me to zero right in on the most likely buyers of her art.

I have another project that I’m working on that I can’t disclose but it has to do with advertising to people that are in the auto industry, So I discovered that in a certain geographic area there are 1,700 in Michigan working at General Motors that are on Facebook, and about 1,500 Ford employees. Then there’s another 1,200 Chrysler employees and a few hundred more with Penske and other auto-related companies. I can target an ad that will only show up on their Facebook home page or their Facebook when they sign on. This is important because I am not wasting money trying to reach people who would not be interested in the product being advertised.

And I can further target it to people that are college-educated, not college-educated, whatever. This is pretty good targeting as marketing goes. As a marketing guy, I’m very impressed with this. I like that kind of targeting; it has potential for authors as well. You just have to think about who it is that’s going to read your book, who is your target market, and zero in on them directly.

Jess Todtfeld: Right. And so anybody listening right now who’s still fuzzy on Facebook, it’s a place where not just young people hang out. In some ways, some circles, they’re saying it’s replacing e-mail as the place to go to communicate with other people. And Scott, you’ve taken a step further because you’re talking about now instead of just becoming a friend of somebody – that’s kind of the way that Facebook works where you go on there, you have your own page, your own area, and you try to become friends with people that’s there. You’re skipping over some of that because you’re figuring out how to use the advertisings and to target certain groups and to show up right on their page.

Jess Todtfeld: And I think for anybody that says, “Wait a second – this is not PR. Now, I’m buying advertisements.” The more what I keep thinking is what’s the end goal? If somebody says, “Wait, Scott, I just want you to get me in the newspaper article or get me on CNN tomorrow.” But what’s the goal? The goal is to be on there so people will be interested in you and buy whatever it is that you have to sell, whether it’s a service or a book or whatever. But meanwhile if you pop up in a place where they hang out and they click and they go and they buy what it is that you have to sell, you achieve the same goal. Am I right?

Scott Lorenz: Yes. People always ask me what is the most important thing we can do? Then let’s just do that. I could tell you time and time again it all works in concert just like a three-legged stool. Which leg does all the work? Well, you take away one leg you’ll find out – they all work together. If we can digress a second, I have clients, a doctor who performs a certain procedure that – and that procedure was kind of controversial. I’ll just tell you so you can get an idea what it is; it’s vagina tightening, okay?

Jess Todtfeld: Okay.

Scott Lorenz: Anyway, the point was that we published articles online about this topic. Then we placed Google ads as well. Then members of the media contacted us after discovering the ad and then the article and the doctor’s web site. One reporter in particular was researching this topic for a story. What do most people and reporters do when they research a topic? Of course they go to Google or Yahoo or Bing and search. This reporter researched it and came across my ads and all my material out there that we were using to promote this doctor. And she ended up contacting me as a result – it was a major national publication and a very nice article resulted from that. I even had HBO call me on the same subject because they discovered our ad which led to the web site. So I know it works.

So the point is that you can get press by having the right things online, with articles, releases that are electronically published along with a paid Google ad or Yahoo ad campaign and Facebook, for that matter, so it all works together.

Jess Todtfeld: I like that – I want to take another jump to another area that I know that you’ve been working in. You don’t have to give away any trade secrets here, but you’re doing something with Internet articles. What is that exactly?

Scott Lorenz: Articles – let’s say when people want to research something, they used to pick up an encyclopedia or they used to go to the library. If people wanted a product or service they would pick up the Yellow Pages but not so much anymore.

Certain people, certain demographics mostly those over 60 years old will still use the Yellow Pages. But the advertising is very regional, very localized because they divide the area codes up into 20 different slices and markets. That’s a big deterrent to using the Yellow Pages as well. In order to be really successful in their market area you’d have a book that’s two feet thick.

That’s what’s good about the Internet, because you can go online, search for any product or service you want. You’re not limited to who’s in your back yard. The whole world is an open book for you, and as a result the internet and Google is where people go to find what it is that they’re looking for whether it’s a product or service or information about their special interest.

I use it to make sure we have material out there about our clients online that people can search for keywords and then get directed to those articles, and then those articles lead to a website, which leads to the client.

Jess Todtfeld: Right. I see. And you have your secret sauce, your special way of getting them out there so that Google and other big search engines find it. I know even being the former TV producer I used to go to Google and I would type in some keywords and see where it took me.

Scott Lorenz: Of course.

Jess Todtfeld: If I’d see any important names, and before that we used to use Lexus Nexus, a very expensive service that lawyers and big universities use and pay a lot of money so that you could search old articles to get names of experts. But you don’t really need it any more, or we would rarely use it after that because you go to Google, a bunch of things come up, and there you go, there’s some important names, so –

Scott Lorenz: It’s only going to get more important, because here’s what’s happening. Kids of all ages whether in grade school, high school or college are used to using all of this technology. It’s all second nature to them. I was contacted by a 25 year old member of the media who was a producer for a radio show. He wanted one of my clients for an interview. I always try to track the origin of their interest in my client and ask “how did you hear about Dr. So and So. ?” He said he went online and searched it. He went inside Wikipedia. That was his starting point. Not Google. Not Yahoo! He started with Wikipedia.

Jess Todtfeld: It’s the online encyclopedia that regular people contribute to and creating a knowledge base.

Scott Lorenz: Right. So he just typed in the search of the topic area, okay, that he was looking for combined with the word expert or consultant, whatever, and he ended up with my client. Because my client had a Wikipedia page he was there to be found. I thought that was pretty cool, and for that young producer this is what was normal for him. It’s only going to become more important that people have a presence in all of these online locations, whether it’s Wikipedia, Facebook, online article sites, and so forth.

Jess Todtfeld: That’s terrific. And then you brought up Facebook ads, you brought up Google. I have to ask you of course about Google ads. Do you use them? Have they helped you?

Scott Lorenz: Of course. Absolutely. I represent people who are experts in their field. One of the things that members of the media will do if they’re looking for an expert is to add the word expert or consultant to the end of it. Just type in “Book Marketing Expert” and you’ll find yours truly! You’ve got to be there with Google ads or with your online material ranked high enough so that people can find you. So that’s critical. So again, I used them in tandem when my clients can afford it. Not everybody can afford it, and some of these ads for some of my clients can run $3 to $20 and up per click. But for the vast majority of people the price range is $.50 to $3.00 per click.

If you’re trying to sell a book for $20, you sure as heck can’t be paying $12 a click. So you’ve got to be very judicious and clever in how you attract people to your ads. However, there are plenty of places you can advertise. Use Yahoo too – don’t forget Yahoo because Yahoo still gets 20% of the search engine traffic. Google gets 50-60-70 percent depending upon who you believe. Just don’t forget Yahoo! and Bing. I buy ads on those sites as well and they are usually less expensive.

Jess Todtfeld: It really depends on the type of business you have to determine what the right price to bid might be. If you’re talking about top legal experts I’m sure that’s expensive, but if it’s some of the key words included with the expertise of that doctor you mentioned, that would be much lower because it’s specialty area.

Scott Lorenz: That was very interesting, coming up with the search terms for that, and what actually produced the results versus, you know, what produced some other non-important result. But it’s a project. It’s a project and it takes somebody who can really think about it and you know go through all the possibilities and then work with the client and come up with the terms that make the most sense.

Jess Todtfeld: Right, right. Wow. Okay, that’s some good stuff.

Scott Lorenz: Now, let’s go back to that for a second because that’s an important element. Through Google ads you’ll see the search terms that drive traffic to your site and that actually produce business because you can track the conversions for people that search a term and then click on your ad then fill out a form on your web site. This is called “conversion” So you can actually see the words that are most important, but those words you need to integrate into your articles prominently and also work them into the headline for press releases etc.

That’s part of the research of the whole thing. So it’s great to have an integrated campaign like this for PR and the pay per-click and all this stuff is working together.

Jess Todtfeld: And somebody that doesn’t really know what they’re doing with these Google ads could –

Scott Lorenz: Easily get killed by paying too much, bidding on the wrong words and not thinking like a customer thinks.

Jess Todtfeld: They could lose their behind, so to speak.

Scott Lorenz: You could get a large charge on your Visa bill, unless of course you limit your daily budget and place other parameters on the account. If you don’t watch Facebook ads you can get killed too. Frankly you can get killed on all this stuff if you’re not careful, okay.

Jess Todtfeld: How do you protect yourself?

Scott Lorenz: You set limits on the daily spend. You set limits on the clicks, the total daily spend, your monthly budget, and so forth. But hey, Google is out there trying to make as much money as possible.

Jess Todtfeld: Exactly. They want to make lots of money.

Scott Lorenz: They keep coming up with new ways to maximize your spend with them.

Jess Todtfeld: I want to ask you also about a Google-owned company but another way that PR professionals who really know how to tap into the new media, the 21st century using YouTube.

Scott Lorenz: Right.

Jess Todtfeld: Have you used YouTube ever to promote and help clients?

Scott Lorenz: Yes. There’s actually we’ve used a couple different methods. One client was a – used an item called TeacherTube. It’s just for schoolteachers and students.

Jess Todtfeld: Awesome. The other video sites – meaning they’re not the only game in town.

Scott Lorenz: Right. We – promoted my clients video using press releases which talked about how teachers could use music to help kids learn math, science, history, and so forth. The video was all set to hip hop rap music. And the actual singer is a school teacher. We marketed we used press releases and our phone calls and pitching to the media, and got placements and drove traffic to that site. That particular video became the most-watched video ever on TeacherTube with over 1.5 million views.

Jess Todtfeld: Really!

Scott Lorenz: Yes, and so – but just putting it up there alone it would’ve taken a lot longer to get to that kind of prominence. We pushed it along with the media exposure, and once it – then that’s actually taken off virally, which means people send it on to their friends, their neighbors, their, you know, mother, brother, sister, their schoolteacher, their superintendent, and, you know, next thing you know 50 teachers are watching it and then 500 teachers are watching it. So you see what I’m saying? So that’s what PR helps start the whole viral campaign for that. Now, on another case for a client who is in the recruiting business, he created some terrific videos directly targeting Merrill Lynch brokers who were in the process of being absorbed by Bank of America.

And so he targeted this very creative, very, very creative video, set to music, but it was very poignant and it basically said to the Merrill Lynch brokers, “Hey, before you sign up for Bank of America here and be part of their, you know, machine, think about leaving, you know, leaving Merrill Lynch and going to another firm.” So we put that out and sent it to our contacts – you know, the financial media contacts and so forth – and pitched it and, you know, it was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and it pretty much went all over the country. That video’s gotten some thousands and thousands of views. And then that also took off virally because when one Merrill Lynch broker sees it he’ll shoot if off to his buddy, because he’s at Merrill Lynch.

He’s deciding what he’s gonna do with his career, or she, and so that took off virally. But you gotta get the ball rolling, though, and PR is the way to do that, okay.

Jess Todtfeld: But it all sounds like you like set up a backdoor way into getting into the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. Instead of just knocking on their door and they say, “Yes,” you and the last 50,000 people that knocked on their door –

Scott Lorenz: They knock on the door with the same old dried up stupid poorly crafted press release, okay, and you know – this is creative stuff. Now, it’s my clients and I working together, okay? I didn’t create the video for the Mr. Duey or for the R.J. McKay. They created it, but then I leveraged it, okay, and that’s –

Jess Todtfeld: Right. That’s not bad! I just went to TeacherTube – Mr. Duey popped up as still one of the top videos on there.

Scott Lorenz: Another very successful application for YouTube videos is through video book trailers as part of a book marketing campaign. In an effort to obtain book publicity for my author clients we’ll create a book trailer about the book. A book trailer is like a movie trailer in that it allows someone to preview a book both visually and via audio. A video book trailer brings the book to life and gives the potential reader a sneak peak at the contents. We’ll then post that book trailer on YouTube and… here’s the best part… we add it to more than 41 additional video sites online for even greater exposure.

One of the big benefits of a book trailer is how it improves search engine ranking for an author’s main web site, providing you carefully select traffic driving key words and titles. Check out examples of book trailers we’ve created at Westwind Communications YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/thebookpublicist

Jess Todtfeld: Are other PR people – not that I’m trying to knock any other people in your profession – but are they spinning their wheels in just the old ways of doing things and saying, “You know, I’m calling CNN every day. Don’t worry, I’m trying!” instead of trying some of these new methods? It’s almost like there’s other media out there that they’re just ignoring.

Scott Lorenz: That’s true. No question about it, no question about it. You’ve really got to keep on top of what’s going on, and technology is moving so rapidly that everything is changing. The methods that work today won’t work tomorrow. A technique mentioned in a book is 6-18 months old and may not work. You need to be on top of that dynamic and that’s what we attempt to do, and it’s a challenge. Google keeps changing how they rank their searches and you need to react accordingly. I’m a student of this stuff and it’s a project keeping up with it. Thankfully I’ve got some 20-year-old kids who are really sharp and who keep me on top of what’s happening.

Look how the Obama campaign utilized all these online methods to stay in touch with their constituency: Texting, YouTube, Twitter, Pay Pal and all these things that were not in the mix during the previous campaigns.

Texting – what politician’s ever used text on a national level – nobody. Obama was the first one to text. And imagine you’re sitting there in line or you’re at the grocery store and you get a text from Obama saying, “Hey,” you know, blah, blah, blah. How cool is that?

Jess Todtfeld: It’s very cool, and it was – they seemed to use every new type of media opportunity to reach out and get the voters.

Scott Lorenz: They did. It was terrific. That was their secret sauce and it’s also one of the reasons they connected with the younger voter. Older voters went to McCain, younger voters went to Obama because he talked to them, okay. Now, can somebody do that again next time around? You bet. Will the Republicans have their act together next time? I would think so, but I don’t know; at least electronically, they might.

Jess Todtfeld: I think they just realized it’s a whole other arm for their campaign, right?

Scott Lorenz: They got killed; they got killed. The Republicans got killed on the online stuff totally, and Obama’s people employed the new technology to near perfection. So I can’t wait for the book that describes the Obama campaign and what they did to come out, because I’m going to be the first guy to buy it. And in the meantime, there’ll be some magazine articles – I’ve already read a fair amount of stuff about it and I’ve seen them on CSPAN, some of their talking – guys that have been talking about what they’re doing. But they’re going divulge some secret sauce, and that’ll be great – I want to see that. And that’s what you gotta do. You gotta stay on top of what’s happening. They are the ones that executed on this beautifully. They put it together.

It was the best marketing campaign of any kind probably in U.S. history, not just politics – anything.

Jess Todtfeld: Right. And you’re trying to employ some of those methods? The book is being written as we speak and we’re gonna find out all the ins and outs. And before we go I want to ask you one last thing, which I think Obama was definitely using, was Twitter, and a lot of the folks who are listening right now keep hearing about Twitter. It’s confusing. Some people don’t know what it is. Should they even be a part of it? One, do you know what the heck it is, and have you, you know, been doing anything –

Scott Lorenz: We’ve used it. In short it’s a way to stay in touch with your constituency with short messages, 140 characters. It has a role, okay; where exactly it’s gonna be in the marketing side of things is still yet to be determined. I don’t wanna be twittered by like Coca Cola saying, “Hey, buy a Coke.” I don’t mind staying in touch with my friends but I don’t want hear about everything that they’re doing either, okay. So I’m looking for a happy medium in that department. Certain people I think it might be cool to get a Twitter from – you know, Obama, or from some of those folks like that, or maybe some, celebrities might be Twittering people and get some bang out of that.

Jess Todtfeld: Right.

Scott Lorenz: And certain family members – I’d certainly like to stay in touch with certain family members and what they’re doing and what have you.

Jess Todtfeld: But its on your radar, it’s developing. It’s a location that’s developing; it could turn into something, it could be part of another service. I think Facebook has a feature just like that, so who knows, Twitter might go away.

Scott Lorenz: It’ll be interesting to see what happens. It’s one of these things like, “Okay.” It’s like when cameras were put on phones. When it first came out we said “What were we going to do with that?” But now, it’s like, gee, my wife’s in a dress shop buying dresses for my daughter. She takes a picture of it, she sends it to her over the phone. My daughter says, “Oh, I love it!” or “Ay, keep shopping!” or whatever. So there’s ways that you can use these technologies that you hadn’t thought about. Go back to this – way back – the steam engine. When the first steam engine came out they said, “This’ll be a great thing to pump water out of mines with.” Then some genius said let’s put it on wheels and created the locomotive and that changed the world.

It wasn’t until they applied it in different ways that it really blossomed and that’s where we’re at with a lot of this technology. Where is it going to? Who knows?

Jess Todtfeld: Right. Wow, that’s pretty good. But it’s way on your radar. I know of on there but I don’t really spend a whole lot of time on there, but just so that as it really hits and becomes the next big place, and some people say it already is, at least I’m already there, and at least I already have an idea of how it works and how it functions.

Scott Lorenz: Right. And it’s important to do that because things develop and you see opportunities. For example, I’ll give you everybody has heard of TiVo, of course. Now, there’s the cable companies, ATT and everybody and their brother has DVRs so you can record any show and so forth. But when that first came out that was kind of astonishing, frankly, and it was pretty cool that you could record anything any time anywhere and forget about the VCR. But one of the neatest things, though, from a mining standpoint is now, you can order Domino’s Pizza on TiVo right from your screen.

Jess Todtfeld: Yeah?

Scott Lorenz: Yes. And now, and this came about because Dave Brandon, former CEO of Domino’s, said he wasn’t sure what the thing was all about because he’s noticed that people – he got less reaction from commercials because people were TiVoing past them, okay. And so he just dove into it and figured out, “Hey, this is a marketing opportunity.” Now, people can buy pizza online from – not online, but through their TiVo with Domino’s because he just stayed on it and tried to figure out how to make this thing work, he and his people, okay. And that’s how you gotta be with all this new technology – how can you use it for yourself?

Jess Todtfeld: I love that he said it’s a marketing opportunity, and I love that that’s been your approach with everything that you do where you say, “Boy, it’s not just PR, it’s a marketing opportunity, it’s an opportunity for sales.” That’s really what this is all about and you need to employ all the new methods to be able to really do the right job.

Scott Lorenz: Exactly.

Jess Todtfeld: So, Scott, great, great information, and I encourage people to find out about you. What’s your website, by the way?

Scott Lorenz: My website is WestWindCOS.com. WestWindCOS.com.

Jess Todtfeld: Very nice.

Scott Lorenz: And I’d love to talk to people about it some more. I mean I could talk about this stuff all day, but you’ve probably gotta wrap it up.

About Jess Todtfeld

President of Success In Media , is one of the leading speaking and media training authorities in the U.S. With more than 15 years of experience, Todtfeld helps CEOs, business executives, spokespeople, public relations representatives, experts, and authors to not just become better speakers, but become expert speakers. Todtfeld has trained clients from the United Nations, IBM, AIG Insurance, AARP, USA Today, The World Children’s Wellness Foundation, Land Rover, Edelman Public Relations, The American College of Emergency Room Physicians, The Fine Living Television Network, North Face apparel, and the ASPCA.

Todtfeld was a Television Producer on the National Level for networks including NBC, ABC, and FOX. During that time he booked and produced over 4,000 segments. 10 of those years were spent at Cable TV’s #1 news channel, FOX NEWS CHANNEL . Todtfeld spent 2 years with cable’s #1 prime time show, “The O’Reilly Factor”with Bill O’Reilly, and 7 years with cable’s #1 morning show “FOX & Friends.” For more information visit www.SuccessInMedia.com or call (800) 369-3421

How Cookbook Authors Can Do a Great Cooking Segment on TV

Authors of cook books have an advantage over traditional authors because they can employ a TV appearance to increase book sales. One of the best ways for cookbook authors to get this extra exposure is to demonstrate their capabilities by showcasing recipes and talent on an in-studio cooking segment on television.

A lot of things can go wrong on a live in-studio cooking demo. Here are some tips to insure that your cooking segment is great.
Most importantly find out how much time you have to work with. There’s a big difference between a 2 ½ minute segment and 3 ½ minutes. My advice is to plan on a 2 ½ minute segment. Ask yourself what can you do in that time period and plan accordingly. Anticipate and have strategies to deal with interruptions. Practice by setting up a camera in your kitchen so you can film and time your process.

Don’t do a lot of talking during the segment. You are there to demonstrate how to prepare a certain dish and that’s what your audience and host expects of you. So keep the words down.

Remember that there are three groups that you need to satisfy – the producer, the audience, and yourself. The producers are looking for interesting/compelling television; your job is to make them look great. The audience wants to learn something. What’s their takeaway? What will you do to make their lives better? Among your goals is to point people to your website. A great way is to offer a free item like a recipe or appetizer in your restaurant. Once they sign up for the free item, use their email address for future marketing.

It’s very important to find out in advance about the capabilities of the studio kitchen. Some studio kitchens look good on TV but the stove may not even be hooked up! Come with a prepared cooked version of your dish that can be displayed ahead of time and have another ready for the demonstration. It’s always a good idea to bring some extra samples for the crew. I’ve never see them turn down food! Outdoor segments, such as barbequing, really go well in the summer because that’s what audience members do in the summer. For the fall, a Tailgate segment is great.
Here are some practical tips for that great cooking segment:
• The camera loves food that sizzles, bubbles, and flames. Keep that in mind when selecting the dish you will prepare. Can your dish be prepared and plated in the allotted time? Pre-cook the dish halfway if necessary to meet the time limit.
• If there are promotional screen graphics provide the producer with the information several days before the shoot.
• Make a packing list of all the gear you need to cook off premise. Double-check your list and pack efficiently. Arrive at the studio 45 minutes before air time. Bring a cart to transport your gear and ingredients from the car to the studio quickly and efficiently.
• Digital TV cameras can be unforgiving so bring some make-up to apply in the studio.
• The camera loves color so bring some colorful ingredients as well as a seasonal table decoration.
• Upon first arriving at the cooking set, check all burners to make sure they work.
• Be set up 15 minutes before air time. Walk in front of the cooking table and scan what the camera will record. Is the tablecloth on straight? Are all ingredient labels faced outward? Are the ingredients balanced in uniform fashion?
• Provide the host with a list of suggested questions. This will help the host stay focused and on track and will help prevent any ringers from being thrown your way.
• Always refer to the host by name. Make direct eye contact and smile.
• Go with the flow. Some hosts will ask distracting, non-relevant questions so have a plan to deal with that possibility.
For many of my clients, I suggest they use a professional media trainer to better prepare them for the television or radio appearance. One trainer I frequently recommend is Jess Todtfeld, former FOX News producer and President of Success in Media (www.SuccessInMedia.com) Among the suggestions Todtfeld gives to help deliver a great cooking segment are:
• Don’t expect the studio to have a stylist for you. You must take the necessary steps beforehand so you look as beautiful as you are and so your segment is great from beginning to end.
• Bring all the ingredients, tools for preparing, and a finished version of your dish. Don’t expect to really cook it during the segment.
• Bring extra finished food for the crew. The quickest way to their hearts is through their stomachs. It will be worth every penny in materials when they decide to book you again.
• Have your entire segment planned out from A to Z to make the producer’s life easy. That, in turn, will make him love you and book you again.
• It’s not all about the food. Be fun. Show your personality.
• Give a copy of the recipe and let them know they can place it on the station’s website.
• Days before the segment ask if they can prepare a “for more information” graphic for the lower third of the screen that will display your website address so people can find you after the show. It’s a pretty standard practice but if you don’t ask they might forget.
• Have something free on your website to plug, such as five of your most requested low-cal recipes or a chapter of your book. Be able to monetize the value of your free gift.

Make sure all the vegetables and cuts of meat are fresh and will appear appetizing. Place them in clear glass dishes along with pre-measured spices. There’s only so much you can prep ahead of time; some things need to be done in the studio.

With HD cameras viewers can see everything from water spots on your glass ware to fingernails in need of a manicure and a five o’clock shadow. What may be acceptable in your kitchen may not play well on TV so be keenly aware of your appearance.

A great cooking segment will produce hundreds if not thousands of new diners, book sales and recipe downloads. It’s all possible with planning, preparation and effort. Your success will be assured if you engage the services of a professional media trainer and marketing professional and practice your demo again and again.

Just for fun, if you’d like to see how a lack of preparation can lead to disaster then you’ll want to see these videos I’ve uncovered. The first disaster occurs because the chef did not anticipate that the two co-hosts, Kathie Lee and Hoda, would do a lot of distractive talking while he was trying to prepare food and he had no strategy to deal with the distraction. Take a look at:

In the second video things go totally awry because Paula Dean does not take charge and gives a free hand to Al Roker and creates a massive time crunch for herself. Get ready to laugh at:

One great example of a cooking segment was when Randy Lorenz, my own brother was asked to appear on FOX-TV. Their Michigan wedding venue, The Meeting House Grand Ballroom had won The Knot’s wedding reception banquet facility of the year award. They have one of the most beautiful non-denominational ceremony locations in Michigan for a wedding reception. As you’ll see by this clip on YouTube they did a terrific job of demonstrating their cooking expertise… after following my advice of course! http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/21765481/2013/03/22/the-meeting-house-ballroom

The bottom line: Great food and a great cooking segment on TV is no accident; it’s all in the preparation. Good luck!