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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

News Travels Fast, So Make Sure Your Name Stays With It

I found this wonderful and very savvy piece by Michelle May. M.D. and asked her if I could reprint it here.

Savvy marketers, take note! (I added the subheads, so don't blame Michelle if you don't like them. I just thought her info was so powerful, that I wanted you--my readers--to take note.)


Like many infopreneurs, I was posting some of my articles in various ezine directories. I have Google Alerts set for several of my keywords so I receive an email when these keywords show up on Web sites or in blogs. I began to see that a lot of my content was being stolen from these directories and published without crediting me as the author.


Therefore, I’ve switched my focus to providing quotes for other authors and supplying articles to more targeted Web sites that value the content and are happy to give me credit and a link back to my Web site.

Last week, I got a Google Alert for my name that led me to an article in US News and World Report that quoted me It soon showed up on numerous other reputable online news sources like


I had forgotten about the interview and probably wouldn’t have even known the article had been published had I not received the Google Alert. Within a couple of days I got more alerts for my name that led me to the same article on many different Web sites and various blogs, sometimes without the author’s name. In one blog, the blogger even made it appear that he wrote the article in response to a question one of his readers posted
Another example. My expertise is in weight management without dieting and I was interviewed by Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD who writes for WebMD. The article, 15 Best Diet Tips Ever was very popular on websites promoting diet drugs, supplements, etc. and appears over 10,000 times in Google. However, Kathleen’s name was not included in many of those posts.


Worse yet, in some instances, the article was stolen by someone who posted it on an ezine directory with HER name as the author, so wherever the article was picked up from there and the byline is left on, she appears as the author. Since my name is in the article, it appears every time that article is published (too bad it didn’t include a link to my website!).


The lesson is that your name is more likely to stay with an article when it is in the article than when it is in the byline.


So what about quoting yourself in an article? Most of us do it for our press releases but would feel uncomfortable doing it in an article with our byline. I asked Mary Westheimer, an expert on marketing with articles, and here is what she said:

I believe that being quoted in the body of the article is the best way to go. Why?
It’s easier to make it like a real news article, which makes it more likely to be printed.
There are more places an article can appear than a column (in which you are the expert-as-writer as opposed to being the quoted expert). That gives you more potential venues.
I think (just a gut feeling) a quoted expert has more credibility with readers.
You can better control the quote (what you would like to be “heard” saying).
Being quoted in the piece means you get the exposure if the byline gets “lost.”


If someone is uncomfortable quoting themselves (being the author and expert), he or she could have a “PR partner” and they could interview each other.

Eat Mindfully, Live Vibrantly!

Michelle May, M.D.
480 704-7811

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

101 Ways to Market Your Books

101 Ways to Market Your Books by Joanna Campbell Slan, author of Paper, Scissors, Death (Available September 13, from Midnight Ink. ISBN: 0738712507 Pre-orders now accepted.)
This article was prompted by a challenge by John Kremer, author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Book.
1. As I write it, I think of the discreet audiences within and build in opportunities.
2. Get the best cover possible.
3. Ask for help refining my back cover matter.
4. Request over-runs of the cover.
5. Print marketing information on the inside of that over-run cover and use it like postcards, especially to market to booksellers who want to see the cover before placing an order.
6. Make interesting bookmarks. (I customized them and added flowers.)
7. Get blurbs from people with recognizable names.
8. Get reviews and permission to use those reviews in anyway I dream up.
9. Run a contest associated with the book. (Mine is The Best of British Scrapbooking administered now by ScrapBook inspirations Magazine in the UK.)
10. Send information about that contest through a variety of channels—online, websites, magazine, the magazine’s blog.
11. Offer a prize for the contest.
12. Put out birth announcements through an online invitation site when my book launches.
13. Have stickers made of the book’s cover.
14. Use cover stickers on name badges when I attend conferences.
15. Attend conferences.16. Ask to be on panels.
17. Ask to host tables at banquets.
18. Create super handouts that are “keepers” for any panel or appearance. Include marketing information.
19. At table (that I host) give away “goody bags” with items related to the book.
20. Invite booksellers or reviews or well-known fans to join me at that table.
21. Carry around a faux subpoena, fill it in to invite people to share my table on the spot.
22. Contact people through the business cards I collected last year and ask them to sit at my table.
23. Contact people from last year and tell them I’m looking forward to seeing them at the conference.
24. Offer my book as a prize for charity auctions. (Go to the social section of the daily paper and find these events.)
25. Give a portion of sales to a charity.
26. Ask to be a party of the charity’s annual event.
27. Ask to have my book publicized in the charity’s program.
28. If the charity has an auction, and if my item fetches a nice price, immediately tell the auctioneer that I will also offer a duplicate item for the runner-up. (This gives the charity twice the money, and me twice the exposure.)
29. Make a “jacket” for my three-legged dog and feature a photo of my book on it.
30. Have a tote bag made with the cover of my book on it. (Use the tote bag.)
31. Distribute bookmarks to the local library.
32. Go to the bookstore at the local airport and offer to help them put together a display of books by local authors.
33. Create shelf-talkers.
34. Send shelf-talkers with media kits to local libraries.
35. Ask friends to call their local library and ask them to order my book.
36. Offer to do a program at my child’s school.
37. Create handouts for the program with links to booksellers and my ISBN.
38. Staple a copy of my book to a cheap package of seeds. Add a card saying, “It’s spring and good books are blooming.” Leave in gardening centers.
39. Offer to do a program for retirement homes.
40. Create a handout for attendees from retirement homes—make it large enough to add the attendee’s photo and suggest they post it in their rooms so that their family can see my book when they visit.
41. Carry my book with me and read it while I’m waiting in public transportation.
42. Leave bookmarks on seats in public transportation.
43. Offer to do a lunchtime program for local companies.
44. Work with other authors to create a speakers’ bureau.
45. Come up with an idea for Chase’s Calendar of Events and and have a holiday that relates to my book.
46. Offer free support materials online for my holiday.
47. Have a website.
48. Have a MySpace page.
49. Have a FaceBook page.
50. Enter myself on as many social authors’ groups as possible.
51. Come up with a list of blogs where it would be ideal for me to blog.
52. Ask them if I can guest blog.
53. Give them a copy of my book to give away.
54. Ask the blogs that allow me to guest blog if they’d suggest a friend who blogs.
55. Get my book into company libraries.
56. Get my book into hospital bookstores—don’t forget the shelf talkers.
57. Contribute to social marketing sites and add my book in my signature line.
58. Add my book in my signature line of all email.
59. Drop a business card into all our outgoing mail.
60. Have an open house in my neighborhood to launch my book.
61. Ask a local real estate agent if she’d like to host a book launch party for me and invite her clients.
62. Make my book available to my son’s school, and ask the librarian to send out a notice in the parent correspondence about my book.
63. Tell my doctor and dentist that I’d be happy to personalize a copy of my book for each of their employees.
64. Hold a book signing in a local grocery store near the holidays.
65. Package several of my books together with a ribbon around them and sell them as a package.
66. Offer to email people a free report or goody to anyone who shares an Amazon order number with me after purchasing my book.
67. Run contests through my blog that reward people for bringing in new readers. (They must identify the name of the new sign up so I know this happened.) Give away an excerpt booklet or a bookmark
.68. Create my own fan club—and have someone else run it.
69. Swap with an author friend: I put up her info on Wikipedia and she does the same for me. We both mention our books.
70. Work with other authors, create a program and offer it to libraries.
71. Offer to speak to book clubs at libraries and in schools.
72. Ask my spouse to keep my business cards with his and to hand out as appropriate.
73. Wear a pin made of my book cover to social events.
74. Made a donation to public radio and have four announcements about my book made in one day.
75. Contact all my local media with a story idea.
76. Apply to write a column for my local media.
77. Write articles for my trade publication.
78. Create a group of interested bloggers who will receive review copies of my book to start the buzz.
79. Attend local Chamber of Commerce activities and offer a program about my book.
80. Post information about my book on bulletin boards where I shop and exercise.
81. Promote my upcoming book signings with a flier for booksellers to drop in their outgoing purchase bags.
82. Put a contest in the back of my book—use it to collect more names/details about readers.
83. Offer character naming rights in a contest.
84. Offer character naming rights to a charity to be auctioned off.
85. Offer character naming rights to anyone who pre-orders my book through a local bookstore.
86. Have book club questions on my blog, and offer to be available by phone or online to clubs.
87. Take classes that are relevant to the topic of my book. Offer bookmarks and business cards to other students.
88. Have a large poster made representing something of interest in my book. (In my case, a harlequin Great Dane) Take it along to book signings to spark conversation.
89. Offer to take other authors (from out of town) around to do signings. This helps me build professional relationships with both the author and booksellers.
90. Find a society or association that would be interested in some aspect of my book (Great Dane Rescue Society), and ask them to run an article about me.
91. Designate a day when a portion of all sales are donated to that society or association.
92. Teach Adult Ed classes that relate to my books.
93. Teach something online that relates to my books (I teach online scrapbook journaling.)
94. Send a mailing to your high school alumni list.
95. Send a mailing to your college alumni list.
96. Send postcards (over-run of your covers) to stores that should stock your books. (In my case that’s scrapbookers.)
97. Offer to sign books in local coffee shops or Starbucks.
98. Check out your state’s arts programs, especially the visiting author programs.99. Offer to be the “author in residence” at a local high school.
100. If your family lives in another area of the country, ask them to help you set up a book signing there.
101. Ask people who read your blog to come up with 101 ideas for promoting their books. Tell them you’ll post them online.Check out John's site for 101 More Ways . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Marketing Resources You Need to Check Out

I casually mentioned on Murder Must Advertise that I thought all of us would benefit by reading how self-published authors promote their work. After all, if you are self-published, you KNOW you have to make it on your own, often with limited resources.

Here's a list of sites and blogs I compiled. There's a lot of great of information here. I suggest you choose one each day and spend a little time going through the articles or posts. (This is great…a wealth of articles on marketing) (The most interesting and useful article I’ve read on marketing fiction…PERIOD. Opens your eyes to new ways of seeing how to promote your books.) (Okay, this isn’t self-publishing, but she’s written about self-publishing) (The guru/granddaddy of self-publishing.) (The godparents of self-publishing.) (Since marketing yourself as a speaker is a great way to sell your book, this is a super resource. You can adapt it for your book.) (These might seem obvious…but how many of us do them?) (Some interesting and new ideas.) (Fascinating article--that all anyone needs is 1,000 True Fans.) (On becoming an octopus or a squid, and why you’d want to.) (I hate all the sales-BSP stuff at the beginning of his newsletters, but I love the info and opportunities.) (Terrific articles.) (Great articles...especially this on finding top blogs.) (A treasure-trove of links.) (Ignore the self-publishing references. It’ll work for traditionally published authors, too.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

How to Pitch a Reporter

I contacted a newspaper I once worked for...and even though my book isn't out yet (but it can be pre-ordered through Amazon), I wrangled a nice interview:

Because book pages are slowly going the way of the dinosaur, it behooves us to "pitch" reporters who may not be book reviewers. I went to the newspaper site, trawled around for articles, and decided Arlene looked like a good match for what I had to offer. Then I called her and made my pitch. We noodled around, and she suggested the slant for the interview.

You know, the media are "herd" animals. They don't want to be left out of a good story. I remember when I worked for newspapers and freelanced for radio--the news director would go through all the day's stories and grill the reporters with, "Why didn't we get this story? Check it out. Do a follow up."

What makes a story newsworthy?

1. A unique angle (see the link above)
2. A local or seasonal tie
3. Number of people affected and how close to home it happened
4. Sex,blood, money, scandal and celebrity
5. Human interest--which includes humor and a look at other people's lives
6. Something new....

The more of those qualities you can pitch, the more likely you are to get coverage. Visualize a slot machine: How many cherries can you get in a row? In fact, if you go through the interview, you'll see she and I touched on all of the above. (The "blood" being I wrote a mystery.)