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Book Publicist Scott Lorenz offers Authors Book Marketing Tips and Techniques on his Blog “The Book Publicist”

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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.

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 and Festivals for Authors in 2015

By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

Top Book Fairs & Festivals

Book Fairs and Festivals Authors Should Attend in 2016

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 Lorenz
Westwind Communications

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

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

Book Publicity Idea: Link Your Book to Holidays and Special Events

list of holidays and events for authors

Learn how to tie your book into a holiday or special event.

One creative way to get publicity for your book is to tie it to a holiday or special event. You’ll be able to reach out to the media who often need a ‘reason’ to showcase your book right now. Furthermore you may be able to reach your audience on a more personal level by promoting your book alongside a national holiday, theme month, or cause. There are thousands of holidays that celebrate various concepts as well as traditional holidays that can be used to market your book; you just have to find them.

There are a couple of terrific websites that are perfect for authors by providing a searchable list of national days of ‘this or that’ for every day of the year. On Days of The Year site I searched ‘book’ and found dozens of relevant days. For example November 1st is National Author’s Day. Who knew? The site provides background about who started an event, when it started and just enough info for you to tie your book in to the holiday. Another site is Holiday Insights. They have listings for each day of the month. There are plenty of examples I could enumerate but check it out and see for yourself. With so many possibilities, finding holidays that can be linked to your book will be no problem.  Check them out at these links: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/  and http://www.holidayinsights.com/

How do you tie your book in to a national month like Breast Cancer Awareness month? I once promoted Jackie Miles, author of Cold Rock River, during Bipolar Disorder Awareness Month because she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I also tied a promotion of a horse rescue group in to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont races because the country is focused and interested in horses during that time of year. I also once got television and newspaper coverage for a dentist when we came up with a sugar-free Easter basket. We offered parents tips on how to give non sugar-filled treats over the holiday and received tremendous exposure by doing so. This would be a perfect technique for a dentist with a book as well.

I also promoted a book about sports clichés tapping into the season of each sport and the author’s commentary and collection of clichés about that sport during its season. For example, we pitched sports writers about football during the time they are covering it and baseball during the summer months. I know it may sound basic but people don’t want to hear about hockey in the summer so you have to tailor your pitch and timing accordingly.

In my experience, subjects such as military books and novels do very well before anniversaries of dates of military and historical events like Memorial Day, July 4th, D-Day, Pearl Harbor Day, 911 etc.  Books on the topic of overcoming breast cancer will see increased sales during October due to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Simply think about the subject matter of your book or any cause that is close to you, personally, and promote your book alongside the specific occasion, cause, or holiday.

Other holidays and cause or theme months to consider include:

  • January
    • New Years
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Chinese New Year
  • February
    • Black History Month
    • Groundhog Day
    • Valentine’s Day
    • President’s Day
    • Ash Wednesday
  • March
    • Women’s History Month
    • Read Across America Day
    • St. Patrick’s Day
    • First Day of Spring
  • April
    • Autism Awareness Month
    • Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
    • April Fools Day
    • Easter (Sunday)
    • Earth Day
  • May
    • National Pet Month
    • Social Media Month
    • May Day
    • Cinco de Mayo
    • Mother’s Day
    • Armed Forces Day
    • Memorial Day
  • June
    • LGBT Pride Month
    • D-Day Anniversary
    • Father’s Day
    • First Day of Summer
  • July
    • Independence Day/ 4th of July
  • August
    • Friendship Day
    • “Back to School”
  • September
    • Labor Day
    • Grandparent’s Day
    • Patriot Day (9/11)
    • International Day of Peace
    • First Day of Fall
  • October
    • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
    • Columbus Day
    • Sweetest Day
    • National Boss Day
    • United Nations Day
    • Halloween
  • November
    • Veteran’s Day
    • Thanksgiving
  • December
    • Pearl Harbor Day
    • First Day of Winter
    • Christmas
    • New Year’s Eve

The Bottom Line: Find a way to tie your book to special events or holidays and you’ll increase your chances of getting media coverage. Members of the press are looking for unique and interesting twists on every holiday. Create the angle that will entice them to interview YOU!

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

PR Stunts Can Pay Big Dividends — How WestJet and a Cowboy Author Won Our Hearts — and Our Minds Followed


By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Communications

PR Stunts get a bad rap because they are either ill-conceived or poorly executed. But I like them and have been involved in many.

One recent PR stunt of note paid huge dividends this past holiday season. An airline company called WestJet captured the hearts of many YouTube viewers. WestJet has been dubbed social media’s Christmas miracle.

Their YouTube video titled “WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving” was uploaded by the Canadian Airline’s PR department December 9 and went viral quickly thereafter with more than 35 Million views to date!

I saw it on every national news channel and everybody was talking about it. How’d they do it? In the realm of public relations, it is important to show the emotional side of a product or service to connect with people, especially during the holidays. Often people see airlines as uncooperative, chaotic, and cold when dealing with delays, lost baggage or booking last minute flights for Christmas. WestJet shows that they care about their customers and they’re reliable (and insanely generous).

Greg Plata, Team Leader of the Sponsorship Team for the organization showed just what kind of company WestJet was in a blog post after the famous video swept the nation. “The coverage is exciting and achieving 35 million views is a great milestone, but not nearly as exciting as watching people around the world dig a little deeper,” said Plata.

“More than a few people were quite sympathetic to the guy who offered a simple but valid response to the question ‘what do you need?’ His reply would make his mother proud as he earnestly replied “socks and underwear.”  Now affectionately known as Socks and Underwear Guy, he’s swept the nation, he’s international – we’ve created something bigger than the Christmas Miracle; we’ve created Socks and Underwear Guy. I’m sure he’ll have syndicated his own show by the time this blog post is up! We just hope he remembers us years from now,” jokes Plata.

The WestJet team made sure to acknowledge the praise and attention they received from the emotional video. Instead of merely reaping the benefits of a successful PR campaign, they showed a softer side. They showed that it is more important to them to make people happy and to give others success than to simply succeed as an organization.

How can authors benefit by using this technique? Think about the bigger picture. Don’t just focus on selling books. Think about how you can connect with readers on a personal level. Let your audience know you’re both a person and a writer. By that, I mean let your audience glimpse into your personal life. Share things that are important or interesting to you. You can share details on your website, blog, and social media outlets. Utilize your mentions on Twitter and generate conversations with your followers on a personal level. Respond to comments on your blog or on review pages of your work. By sharing more details about yourself, you’ll provoke commonalities between your fans, ultimately appealing to more people.

If you are a romance writer, share with the audience your love of cooking. If you’re a mystery writer, illustrate your travels abroad and how a visit to a particular city was woven into your book. Connect with your following on whatever level you can.  Your goal should be to reach as many new audience members as possible. To do so, dig deep into your being and ‘open up the kimono’ and show the audience who you really are, pen aside.

 Author Carew Papritz, a working cowboy rode his horse in front of a Barnes and Noble in Tucson, Arizona and digitally signed his book The Legacy Letters on his iPad.

One very creative author I know personally pulled off a PR stunt that even I was impressed to read about. He rode his horse into “publishing history” by becoming the first author to conduct a book signing and an e-book signing on horseback. Author Carew Papritz, a working cowboy rode his horse in front of a Barnes and Noble in Tucson, Arizona and digitally signed his book The Legacy Letters on his iPad. It was all in front of a cheering crowd. He made some press and history at the same time.

Check out this video at:

The Bottom Line:  PR Stunts Work!! Take a page out of Carew Papritz and Westjet’s book and appeal to your audience on an emotional level it’ll get them to connect with you on another level and it may get them talking about you too!

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