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

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications Book Marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz

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

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

 

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

Writers’ Conferences Put Authors on the Road to Success

Writers Love to Help Fellow Writers – What Better Way to Meet Them Than a Writer’s Conference?

Writers' Conferences ListThere are several good reasons why writers should invest the time and effort required to attend writers’ conferences.

Attending a writers’ conference only takes a few hours or days at the most, a few bucks, and a little effort to register and arrange travel and lodging, but the payoff can be big.

If the book you are working on is almost finished, attending a writers’ conference gives you a great chance to network with other authors, pitch your book, learn about the major publishing houses, meet book editors and book marketing specialists. If your book is six months or a year from being finished, you can meet people who will give you ideas on shaping your book and give other advice to help you wrap up when you return home.

Or maybe you have been working on your book for a few months and are feeling unsure about whether you really can be a published author. Attending a conference is a good way to get a reality check from book editors or literary agents who can give you a professional opinion on your plot and characters and help you determine whether you are on the right track.

Most important, attending a writers’ conference provides you with a great opportunity to learn about the publishing business by purposeful interaction with insiders.  Some conferences offer  an opportunity to get honest and helpful professional assessments from book editors that will be more than worth the cost and effort of attending the conference.

Of course, you will want to prepare for any writers’ conference you attend by having a plan of what you want to find out and what you will do while there. You will want to develop an elevator speech pitch of your book that you can deliver in one minute. Have handouts available such as promotional bookmarks or book covers, or a one-page written pitch with website URL, email, and one paragraph book summary.

Now that you are ready, here are some writers’ conferences in the coming weeks and months you should consider attending:

Here are some upcoming writers’ conferences in 2019 for your consideration:

 

Select a writers’ conference of interest to you and be prepared to enjoy the benefits of meeting other writers, acquiring knowledge you can use immediately, learn about different genres, find a new market for your book, elevate your professional effectiveness, meet editors, agents and publishers, become inspired and return home energized.

The Bottom Line: Make a commitment to attend at least one writers’ conference this year. 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

Authors: Jump on the #AmazonCart and Twitter Bandwagon NOW!

Amazon and Twitter Make it Easier to Buy Books via #AmazonCart

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

#AmazonCart Great Way For Authors to Tap into the Power of Amazon and Twitter

#AmazonCart Great Way For Authors to Tap into the Power of Amazon and Twitter

A new way to use the power of Amazon and Twitter together was announced recently that should help authors sell more books. It’s called #AmazonCart  and it combines the best elements of Twitter with the shopping and buying power of Amazon.

The way it works is that whenever anyone sees a tweet containing a product on Amazon and wants to purchase they simply reply and type the hashtag #AmazonCart and the product is automatically and seamlessly added to their shopping cart on their Amazon account. Amazon then responds on Twitter and by email with a confirmation message that the item is resting in the shopping cart.

In order to use this tool, available only to Twitter users in the U.S. and United Kingdom (“#AmazonBasket” in UK), the user must connect their Twitter account to their Amazon account. I fully expect that #AmazonCart will be readily accepted and used by impulse buyers. The purchase can be made instantly without switching to Amazon, entering a user name and password, searching for the item and adding to the cart.

Instead of liking the product and thinking about buying when done on Twitter, the potential book buyer simply adds the item to the shopping cart and continues reading and sending tweets. This makes it even easier to buy books and other goods while online and is expressed well by its marketing slogan, “Add it Now. Buy it Later.”

Twitter is not getting any revenue for adding this feature but is adding the tool as a forerunner of its expected venture into ecommerce in the near future. And the tool does help keep users on the Twitter site longer if they use it for shopping as well.  #AmazonCart will most likely increase revenue for Amazon one would hope. The significance is that authors who already promote on Twitter will now want to make sure to add the Amazon URL to all Tweets. That’ll make it much easier to get closer to actual book buyers who see your Tweets and get inspired to buy. It’s really at the perfect inflection point of inspiration and decision so start doing it today!

It would be good to experiment now with #AmazonCart to become familiar with it as a sales tool because in the near future Amazon very likely will also reach a deal with Facebook and/or Google Plus.  So if you are selling on Amazon now it is a no-brainer that you will benefit from the ease that #AmazonCart offers to impulsive buyers.

Now it is true that some upwards of 70 percent of items placed in shopping carts on retail sites don’t make it to checkout. But it still is important to get your book off the shelf and into the cart by using the Amazon URLs. As they say in hockey, you can score unless you SHOOT!

For anyone wanting to rely on #AmazonCart to sell content attention must be given to ensure that the product description provides all the information the consumer needs to push the order button. Beyond the sale, on-page content in Twitter also can result in product reviews or book reviews.

Mediabistro has already tracked the use of #AmazonCart and found that several authors are signing up by including a line in their Twitter content to simply reply and type in the hashtag.

Goodreads also has taken note of #AmazonCart and suggests it can be very helpful for self-published authors. “Self-published authors can now use the social media network to sell books directly to their fan base,” stresses Michael Kozlowski, editor-in-chief of Good e-Reader. “Often books are for sale via the Kindle Store or physical titles using Amazon Createspace, or even the audiobook edition via Audible. Authors can now tweet product links out to their followers or pay famous people to endorse the link to their book. This is a brand new marketing vertical that all authors should be embracing.”

The Bottom Line: #AmazonCart will help authors sell books. Start including your Amazon URL in your tweets. Do it today! Watch this video for more information. www.Amazon.com/AmazonCart

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

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

By Scott Lorenz

Westwind Communications

ImagePR 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! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk

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: http://youtu.be/aKEsxqmzs9g

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

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.

    http://youtu.be/to2UYdirkpg

  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: Crowd Source Your Next Book Critique – New Service Does the Work

ImageI recently contacted several Amazon and GoodReads reviewers to obtain a blurb for the cover of a new book in a series. Most of the reviews were very complimentary but then I got one back that stopped me in my tracks. In that email the reviewer pointed out some flaws in both the writing and the cover. There was inconsistency in what the writer said and what the cover designer selected. Furthermore the reviewer pointed out that a couple of the characters were ‘formulaic’ and ‘underdeveloped.’ She mentioned a few other things but you get the point. And so did the writer, who thanked me and the reviewer for taking time to point out these flaws and gladly made the changes…before it was published.

The point? Imagine if you could get not one, not five but 50 people to read your book before it was published and give you some feedback? Would you want that? I know that most writers would jump at the opportunity.

Well, there is a new service offered by my friend Clark Covington that offers in effect a ‘crowd sourcing’ critique of your manuscript.

The service called ‘Collective Intel’ doesn’t shield you from the feedback, they encourage you to embrace it, and use it to get better. The service uses a simple equation to create the Collective Intel book score.

Here’s how it works: They’ll have 50 people read your book cover-to-cover. Who are these people? They are avid readers of books. Some are highly qualified editors, English Majors, proofers and even authors. They love to read books and they know a good one when they see one.

Then, they have each person fill out a ten question survey ranking satisfaction of each question. For example, on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the rate the way the author wrote about the setting in the book? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate the relatable nature of the characters in the book, 1 for you couldn’t understand who they were, and 10 for feeling like you’ve known them all your life?

Then they take your total score (out of 500) and divide it by 50 to get your mean book score, or Collective Intel score. You are then given a total score, and a breakdown of your scores by each question so you can see how you are performing in each area pertinent to being a great writer, like setting, plot, tempo, etc. If you have a collective intel overall score of a 9, you probably have a bestseller on your hands. Conversely if you’re a 3, it might be time to get back to the drawing board. This data is awesome for so many reasons, because it helps you break down what you do well, and what you need to work on, which as I’ve illustrated above is often totally out of sight to hardworking writers.

In addition to creating collective and Question-by-Question mean scores for your book, they also provide you with each survey individually, and the notes from each reviewer on what they liked and what they didn’t when it came to your book, and most importantly what they want you to work on.

Think of this service as the ultimate focus group, a way to get honest feedback on your book, learn to be a better writer, and understand your audience better.

Let’s face it, if you have your friends, family and workplace acquaintances read and comment on your book, are you really going to get the feedback you need to create a best-selling well rounded book? I don’t think so. That’s why this service sounds like it could really be a useful tool for all authors.

Learn more and sign up here

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/

My Top 10 Book Apps for Kids and Adults

OneFishTwoFishiPadMany books now have apps that work on iPhones or iPads and on the Android platform. Consumers can now buy the printed book, the app alone or both. Authors can capitalize on this trend by creating apps for their books or pushing their publisher to create one for them. Some apps have incredible features such as 3D effects, interactive story telling, and more. Creating an app for your book may give you a competitive advantage as well. I’ve found some book apps for both kids and adults that you’ll want to check out. Here’s my top ten:

• Weird But True is an app developed by the creators of National Geographic that will keep you entertained for hours. Packed with interesting facts that will allow you to impress your friends and colleagues with newly acquired knowledge of the natural world.

• 3D Classic Literature Collection lets readers enjoy their favorite American classic stories in a 3-dimensional context. Complete with high quality animation and audio, this interactive app is sure to bring your favorite stories to life to let you experience them in a way you never imagined.

• Fahrenheit 451 brings Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi story off the page and into reality with narration, puzzles, auto-bookmarking, and book references to help you find your next favorite read. Enjoy this timeless classic all over again like never before.

• Pocket Cocktails serves as a complete archive of all your favorite drink recipes. Entertain your friends, or just make yourself the ideal martini on your night off. Complete with how-to photos and festive holiday drink recipes, you’ll be the life of any party this season.

• Jack and the Beanstalk is the perfect app to keep your kids entertained whenever you need a minute to yourself. Filled with interactive games, activities, artwork, and read-along text, it’s the ideal children’s app with an educational twist. Unlike other book apps, every page has a different surprise that will keep kids engaged and involved, all at a price that won’t break the bank.

• Wizard of Oz 3D, The Experience puts a new spin on the timeless classic of Dorothy’s adventure. Enjoy L. Frank Baum’s novel in an engaging 3D interactive experience. With pop-up animation, rediscover the story and share it with friends, family, and children. Bring an old classic to life and enjoy it all over again.

• Green Eggs and Ham provides children with picture/word association and other features designed to promote early literacy. Winner of the 2011 Parents’ Choice Award, its an interactive approach to learning hidden beneath a Dr. Seuss Classic.

• Comics is a free app that lets comic fans keep up with their favorite strips from Marvel, DC, The Walking Dead, and many more. Kill some free time in between errands or make an evening out of it while watching your favorite superhero movies.

• Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch Lite lets users follow their favorite teen detective on her latest investigation. Choose your own path through the story and solve puzzles to help Nancy crack her latest crime. Track your progress and backtrack when you receive new clues to get on the right path!

• Our Choice is an interactive app that covers the pressing issue of global warming. As viewed by Al Gore, Our Choice takes you through various charts, articles, diagrams, and other forms of media to help users grasp the seriousness of the environmental issue. Stay informed with everything going on and find ways to lessen your environmental impact. Check out the tour by Al Gore here: http://vimeo.com/22872218

Books have made a comeback in the world of entertainment with revelations such as audio versions, 3D supplements, and smartphone apps. Let me know your thoughts on these apps and others you find. Ever thought about developing an app for your book? It won’t be long until it’ll be common place. If you jump on the bandwagon now you’ll still early in the game.