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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Interview With Lifestyle Expert McKenzie Amaral



 


1. McKenzie, what inspired you, a college student, to write a book?
I was fortunate to be raised in house that was always filled with healthy, fresh food. As I embarked on my college journey I became so frustrated with the lack of an experience and nutrition that surrounds college meals. I could not access the delicious staples I had back home in California’s wine country. The more I went to the dining hall the more I saw a need for a healthy cookbook for college students with simple, affordable recipes. In an effort to make that happen, I started cooking in my room and developing recipes that I would test on everyone on my hall.  After much trial and error, I chose the best of the best. The ones that made the cut are the gourmet-California inspired recipes featured in Dormet!

2. How do you hope Dormet: Gourmet Recipes For A Dorm Lifestyle will do for its readers?
My goal is for Dormet to redefine college eating. The book exists for what so that DormetGourmets can easily access healthy, nutritious food within the confines of a dorm room. No longer does Top Ramen have to be the “go to” meal but rather it can be pesto pasta with chicken apple sausage. Instead students are able to live healthier lifestyles, savor their meals and still do it on a college budget.  

3. How did you come up with the recipes in your book that you taut as being healthy, tasty, and easy to make?
I must confess that deciding what should be included in the book wasn’t too difficult--the recipes are all of my personal favorite healthy and delicious go-tos!  That said, the process of refining those recipes was filled with trial and error and a lot of feedback from friend’s and hallmates. One of my favorite “test dorm days” as I called them, was when I had 10 of my hall-mates over, blind-folded them and gave them 10 different types of eggs, 5 cooked on a stove top and then 5 cooked the “Dormet” way in the microwave. I am happy to say that the Dormet eggs passed the test and I could develop Eggs 101 from there. 

4. Why should college kids bother to cook a meal or prepare a snack?
College is not just about going to class and pulling all-nighters at the library.  It’s also about the sharing of ideas, socializing, deciding who we want to be as adults and creating a good foundation to build on.  The best foundation I’ve learned is through your health. By being able to cook a meal in one’s dorm you can accomplish all of the above; whether it’s creating a quick, nutritious breakfast before running to class or having a DormetGourmet dinner party. By cooking and preparing your own food you’re able to ensure that what you’re eating stays in its most natural and nutritious form. Plus, eating out three times a day isn’t exactly healthy and can get really expensive!

5. How did your recovery from an eating disorder play a role in your creation of the book?
I always wanted to do something to inspire others that may have battled with an eating disorder themselves or just wanted a more holistic view to health. In college, many people struggle with eating disorders. The seemingly endless food in dining halls and negative self-image talk that is intertwined in the college experience does not help. 

In recovering from my eating disorder I have learned a lot about myself and about the food we eat. So now I want to share the joy that food can bring with others. Cooking shouldn’t be a burden but rather an enjoyable process. One simply cannot function without food and while I learned this the hard way I hope to spread the joy food can bring!

6. Just how bad is dorm food? 
While the dining hall experience and options vary at each university, I believe there are some common themes. The food sits out for hours at a time. You do not know what it is in the food you are consuming. You do not know who has touched that food. You don’t know when it was picked, harvested, or slaughtered which makes it difficult to trace.  So really you don’t know your food like you could if you make it yourself; how’s that for food for thought?!

7. What other lifestyle tips can you share with young adults, particularly women?
In today’s world we are surrounded by so much noise. Don’t eat gluten. Wear sunscreen. Make sure you drink 2 liters of water a day. Don’t watch TV before you go to bed. Well I have a secret. Live intuitively. While these tips, tricks, and ‘life hacks’ may be helpful there is only one person in the world who knows how these things affect you-you! Sometimes silence is where the most noise can come from. Silence the outside voices and live to the rhythm of your own life. I eat kale because I love kale but I also love eating chocolate chip cookies. With this silence, there is a certain balance that arises and I can assure you if you live intuitively and listen to your self, your needs will rise and with that your best self. 

8. What challenges did you overcome to write your book?
The editing and publishing process was not an easy one, between my publishers, editors and designers I had a lot of feedback and a lot of criteria to be met. I love creating, however struggle with refining. After what seemed like the thousandth time of reading the book I felt uninspired. However, as I continued cooking, talked with students about their struggles and need for recipes and released the book I was reinspired, reinvigorated and try to carry this momentum with me every Dormet day!

9. Do you have any advice for young, aspiring writers?
Just write. I find that the biggest challenge for authors and entrepreneurs alike is that they fail to do. Ideas are easy. Action is hard. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or inspiration just start writing. Never erase only cross out because one day you may come back to the story line and it may be your bestseller.

To learn more about Dormet, please see:dormetcookbook.com.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 
http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.



23 Random Online Book Marketing Resources

1.                 Check up on your competing web sites and find out about their traffic totals and demographics via www.quantcast.com.

2.                 To find out about affiliate programs, consult aggregators such as www.clickbank.com or www.cj.com. If you want to be an expert on an industry specific topic or product or service, type it into Google with the words “affiliate programs.”

3.                 To become an affiliate (where you sell other people’s stuff), register with the person or company that you plan to sell on behalf of.  You’ll receive a string of numbers and letters in a link that, when others click on it, shall yield you a sales commission.  You can also register a domain name to forward to your unique link – it’s a lot easier to tell someone go to GreatBaseballBook.com than to go to www.yz1789006q28.com

4.                 Google Ad Sense makes it easier to earn ad dollars. Open an account at www.google.com/adsense.  They will help suggest which ads to display on your site.  Every time someone clicks on an ad, you earn a small royalty or commission.  If you have someone post an ad directly on your site (banner ad) you’ll want to track how many times someone clicked on it.  With ads, you can charge based on pay-per-click, pay-per-purchase, or based on how much traffic your site or page receives (similar to how mags and newspapers charge based on their circulation).

5.                 To sell online, you need a merchant account.  You can start with PayPal but some people may not want to use them. Consider using www.authorize.net or other payment gateways that help tie your transaction page with a merchant account.  One solution for the marketer-in-training is 1shoppingcart.com.  Eventually you may graduate to netsuite.com, infusionsoft.com or others.  No doubt, consumers will want to know, when it comes to doing an online transaction with you, the following:  How do I get what I ordered?  How much is shipping and handling?  How long will it take to arrive?  Is my info secure or being sold?  Whom do I contact if there’s a problem?  What guarantee do you offer?  What’s your refund policy?

6.                 Some approaches to selling could include:
a.       A special one-day sale
b.      Exclusive availability of a product or service
c.       Snail-mailing and calling the same people you emailed to highlight a deal
d.      Upsell a book with other offerings, such as an e-book, industry report, resource list, seminar, webinar, CD training, DVD presentation, consulting or coaching, bootcamp, subscription, membership, etc.

7.                 Create a new logo for cheap by posting your request on elance.com or craigslist. Or ask a college student for help.  Or trade ad space with someone who can help you.

8.                 Up to 1 in 12 are colorblind, so keep that in mind when creating your web site colors.  Also take into consideration how people may interpret or react to specific colors.  Blue may suggest honesty, loyalty, calming and trustworthiness, as blue is often connected to the sky, water, police, and beautiful eyes.  But other colors may have their detractors.  Silver, for instance, may be associated with finishing second rather than first, though it is a precious metal.  It seems cold and scientific.  Brown can seem genuine and natural, but it also conjures up thoughts of dirt, poop, and blandness.  Even red, though it conjures up feelings of passion, energy, and excitement, it also makes us think of scandal, death, warnings and limitations.  If you really want to understand color patterns and combinations along the spectrum, consult the Pantone Matching System.  Check out:  www.visibone.com/color.  You can also look at the free color calculator provided by Sessions Online by School of Design at www.sessions.edu/career_center/design_tools/color_calculator/index.asp.

9.                 Wondering how people view your site?  Check out a free “heat map” at www.feng-gui.com.  It’ll tell you how people might be looking at your site or page for the first time. Do they view top right corner initially and scan to the middle and then down the page – or do they follow some other pattern? If you want to see other web site designs that might be more favorable, check out the templates available at www.templatemaster.com or www.websitetemplates.com. Take note of sites that you frequent or surf and imitate their layout style as you see fit.

10.             Whenever you want to make a sale, motivate the buyer with a sense of urgency to respond. Don’t panic them or create a false emergency but do seek to move the process along. Perhaps inspire them by adding value to your offer, provided they act in a timely manner.

11.             Add a button on your blog, web site or newsletter that highlights a tell-a-friend feature. Make it easy for others to share your content.

12.             If you need to find the best keywords to use for search engine optimization, consider using www.wordtracker.comwww.wordze.comwww.keyworddiscovery.com, and other resources for a small fee. To discover search volumes on keywords, check out:
http://adwords.google.com/select/keywordtoolexternal. You can see if search frequency is rising  or declining in volume by going to www.google.com/trends. Another good tool to test keyword usability is to look at demographic data. To heck your assumptions or curiosity about keywords relevance, and to see how they fit your industry, go to:  www.google.com/insights/search and type in your keyword in the text box.

13.             By searching for keywords on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, LiveSearch and other major search engines, you’ll become clearer on which keywords to use. To exploit your competitors, go to Yahoo! Site Explorer and see exactly what links their sites are connected to. SEOQuake tells you how many links a competitor has, lets you know their keyword density, and informs you of how many pages they have in the search engine indexes. Interestingly, Yellow Pipe Lynx Viewer tells you if a site is showing one thing to contact search engines but something different than what they reveal to the public.

14.             Including certain images in a search result can generate a lot of traffic. To optimize an image, use an original, high-quality image. Use JPG, not GIF. Optimize the content surrounding the image by using certain keywords for the photo caption. Give the image a keyword-rich name.

15.             Writing online copy means that you not only write for your customer, you write for the search engines. Think about what your customer asks, wants to know, always needs, or consistently talks about. Then address these things. Think of ridiculous claims made by or about your industry and debunk them. Find news relating to your topic and comment on it. Look at your topic and see how it can be broken into subgroups and smaller categories. Then go back and clean up your writing with SEO and keywords in mind. Write in an active, not passive, voice. Be clear, easy-to-understand and of course, interesting. Use bullets and write scannable copy, where it is simple to discuss quickly.

16.             Always write something of quality. People want to see good content. Avoid a hard-core sales pitch approach. Include images, good keywords and a punchy headline. Conclude with a clear action step.

17.             If you have an online business (selling your book from your site would qualify), you should submit  your site to local web sites such as www.yelp.comwww.yellowpages.comwww.citysearch.comwww.superpages.com
www.patch.com, and others that localize searches for things. Have your friends and family post positive reviews for your business on Google, Yahoo!, Live Local, and other popular sites. Provide a simple way for them to bookmark your location on the mapping services like Google Maps. The more people who bookmark your location, the better your SEO. To make sure your site is optimized for local searches, include your physical street address on every page of your site, put your metro area or city in a few title tags on your site, and include directions on your contact page. Get links from other local sites, such as a neighborhood association, library, Chamber of Commerce, etc.

18.             Get more links from sites sending traffic to you. But don’t buy or sell links. Link exchanges with another site won’t help your SEO, but you may get more referrals to your site. Link networks are not useful and can hurt you, so don’t join one when someone sends you link text and a URL. In the end, you get more links because you create great content and tell others. You make people laugh, angry, challenged, proud, curious, smarter – do that and people will come back to you. If you want to see a competitor’s links, use www.linkdiagnosis.com. Also use Yahoo! Site Explorer to generate a list of their links. If you want to see who wrote about someone else’s book so you can approach them, Google the author’s name and his/her book title.

19.             To examine how you are getting non-paid traffic to your site, utilize Google Analytics. Go to traffic sources and search engines and then click on the “non-paid” link to show what led people to your site. You can also see which keywords got them to you. Go to Google Analytics, then traffic sources, then keywords. Click on the non-paid link. To see incoming links on Yahoo!, use Yahoo! Site Explorer; Live Search use Live Webmaster Tools and then Backlinks. On Google you can use Google Webmaster Tools, then links, and then pages with external links.

20.             To see if something you wrote has been published elsewhere, whether with your blessing or without your permission, to the following: go to www.copyscape.com, paste in the address on one of your web site pages, and run a report. Or you can take a unique paragraph or phrase from your site or blog and paste it into a search engine like Google and surround the text with quote marks. Search to see what pops up.

21.             You can examine your web site metrics to death but it does help to monitor the basics – if traffic is rising, and if so, when and why? If you did an ad campaign or executed a PR initiative, you should monitor the results. Seeing which pages they went to, time spent on the site, and keyword searches that led them to the site will help you tweak your approach. Google Analytics should tell you what you need.

22.             When sending email, honor the spirit of the SPAM Act and be sure to include the option to 
unsubscribe. Post a privacy statement, include your physical address on the email and send the email from a verified address. If you need the assistance of a professional email service provider, consider going to see the sites: www.office.microsoft.comwww.constantcontact.comwww.1shoppingcart.comwww.verticalresponse.com or those can provide templates and assistance when it comes to designing or sending newsletters, announcements, event invitations, greeting cards, etc.

23.             According to Call to Action:  Secret Formulas to Improve Online Results, “Some color 

pairings  can create headaches, perceived vibrations, phantom shadows and other optical illusion-type situations for your visitors.  Avoid pairing color chart opposites (e.g. blue and red) and high chroma colors (e.g. blue and yellow).”

Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What Shape Is The Book Industry In?



Book Stats, according to: www.ibpa-online.org:
·         In 2009, more books were published via print-on-demand than traditionally.
·         Only 40% of all book sales in 2008 occurred through bookstores. Another 40% of sales to customers occurred outside traditional trade locations.
·         E-book sales accounted for 3% of all book sales in 2009, up from 1% in 2008.
·         In 2009, 20% of print, audio and e-book sales took place online.

The book industry has changed since then.

PublishingPerspectives.com reports that, for the first time, in 2017, trade book publisher sales to physical and online channels were the same -- $7.6 billion each.

The $26 billion US book market consists of trade publishing $16 billion), Higher Education ($4 billion), Pre-K – 12 ($3.62 billion), Professional ($2.35 billion), University Presses ($290 million).

Audiobook sales grew 146% from 2013 – 2017.

2.7 billion units of books were sold in 2017, led by over a billion paperbacks sold (represents 36.9% of the market).

Downloaded audiobook slaes rose 36.1% last year, while physical audiobooks declined by 11.4%.

AAP says e-book sales dropped 3.8% last year, but Forbes said traditional publishers sold 10% fewer e-book units in 2017 vs. the prior year.

A Few Thoughts
“If you don’t want to be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing about.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Everything I sell, sells everything I sell.”
Mark Victor Hansen

“When you write about what you love and love what you write, working is something you look forward to. When your avocation and vocation are the same, your research is fun. When your passion center becomes your profit center, you are making a living doing what you want to do.”
Dan Poynter

“Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison, American inventor

“To get what we have never had, we must do what we have never done.”
– Unknown


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Do authors have the right attitude to succeed at book marketing?

While popularity of social media grows, traditional media still leads the conversation

How to model success of authors for your own book publicity

How to be persistent when marketing books effectively

How authors can sell more books

Celebrate National Thesaurus Day

Have You Set Your Book Marketing Goals?

The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE
https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2018/11/all-new-2019-book-publicity-marketing.html

Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Monday, February 11, 2019

When Authors Go from Their Breaking Point To A Breakthrough



What is the breakthrough point for authors?  ‘What’s their breaking point?’ is also a good question.

Certainly every author has to confront a moment where they admit failure, where they believe their book won’t go any further than it has gone.  Some authors throw in the towel immediately upon publication, while others take months or even years before they give up on any dreams of the book selling a lot of copies, being turned into a movie, or getting major awards or an avalanche of media praise.

Each author will need to make that choice, the one where they determine it no longer pays to promote, market, or advertise a book – not in money and resources, not in time, and not in mindshare.  They simply walk away from the book they enjoyed writing and believed in so much.

Sometimes a book dies slowly – and the author is even slower to realize that its death has occurred.  The post-mortem review may help them make the next book become more successful – or it may just frustrate the author who thinks the world is against him unfairly.

But what about the breakthrough point – what is it and how does one get there?  How many books must be sold over what time period – and how many awards, positive reviews, or social media views constitute a real success?

One might say you’ll know when you’ve broken through -- you’ll know it when you see it – or would you?  Exactly how many books do you need to sell to feel you “made it”?  How many positive book reviews or clicks on your website will necessitate you to believe you have crossed a threshold of success?  Is there a metric to hit – or is it just a gut feeling that one gets to indicate success?

Some things will be obvious.

·         If you hit a best-seller list, you broke through.
·         If you got a positive review in several major publications, you broke through.
·         If you sold 10,000 copies in the first six months of publication, you broke through.
·         If your website traffic is getting tens of thousands of hits each month, you broke through.

Now, there is breaking through the clutter – and then there’s really “making it.”

You’ve made it when people say your book impacted them, when strangers contact you looking to have you speak before their company or group, when major media outlets seek you out for interviews, when you sell 50,000 + copies in a year, when people start to recognize you, when your book is published in foreign languages, when the right to your story gets sold to Hollywood, and when publishers bid on your next book.

The spectrum from breaking point to a breakthrough is seemingly broad and wide, but sometimes it comes down to a little extra hard work, a little more creativity, a little more persuasion, and a few lucky breaks -- and one goes from being an also-ran, maybe even a bust, to a winner.

There’s no formula for any of this.  Some things that authors do or fail to do seem to almost assure them of failure or success, but the truth is that so many different things have to happen for a book’s direction to be clear.

It starts with the writer’s attitude and energy to relentlessly market.  It has to do with the savvy and connected people a writer hires or collaborates with.  It has to do with the quality of a book, its price, distribution, competition, and timeliness.  It has to do with stuff that makes no sense, is contradictory to all that we know or believe, and just surprises us.  You control what you can, for as long as you can, and the rest is up to fate.

Lean on your assets.  Is it time?  Money?  Creativity?  Energy? Your power to persuade?  Connections who owe you favors?  Your ability to borrow or trade?  

To have a breakthrough you must assert yourself and go beyond your means to live your dream.  Most people discover their breaking point, but fewer find out how to break through.  Where will you end up?


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Is This The Future Of Books & Technology?



1.      Large print books will disappear. Kindle and other e-readers allow for the altering of font styles, size, and background colors. Grandpa deserves to see and e-readers seem logical for them.

2.      Literacy will fall, as more people read only Web sites, emails, Tweets, and blog posts – all of which lack depth, proper grammar, or strong editing.  More people watch more videos and download podcasts and audiobooks and consume information without reading.

3.      Sadly, book sales may decline because so much information is online for free.

4.      Audiobook sales, though soaring this past decade, may fall and give way to multimedia books, those that combine some audio with video.

5.      Translation programs and devices will allow American readers to now read books from countries that previously did not translate their works. This will further increase competition in the US for readers.

6.      The publishing industry will begin to lose its gatekeepers. As it is, book reviewers are being axed by print publications and their space in the newspaper is reduced. Traditional publishers, along with literary agents, will fight for relevance. Bookstores will continue to sell other items – some already sell music, movies, toys, coffee, video games, etc.

7.      The integrity and accuracy of information will become more questionable. As it is, the sources cited by authors in their books are already corrupted by the Internet. As more information is published, society may actually become dumber. Who can keep up with all of the information and who has the time or ability to verify what they read?

8.      More books will continue to be published, but each one will average fewer sales than books do today or what they did five and 10 years ago.

9.      Some new system or gadget will come out that will further shakeup the landscape and the pundits will again look to figure out how to monetize the new gizmo.

10.  Google, Facebook and Amazon will be challenged by others. Everyone loves having established leaders but no one wants a monopoly. Just look at Microsoft. Competition breeds innovation, price controls, and makes for a fairer marketplace.

So how does any of this help you market your book now or in the near future? It doesn’t. You can only sell in the market that exists but you should have an eye on the future so that you can prepare for it and capitalize on it once the opportunity appears.

One thing is certain, once something comes to market it can make a huge, game-changing splash. Look at ipads, smart phones, Kindle, and Facebook. But at the same time, even when something looks dominant, it can eventually go away almost completely – look at beepers, fax machines, electric typewriters and transistor radios. 

The question is: How big will something  become and how long it will be a factor? No one can bank on anything if some tech geek in a garage somewhere is about  to launch the next big thing. Still, sell in the current environment with what you do know and with what is available to you. Tomorrow will settle itself soon enough.



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How to model success of authors for your own book publicity

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No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE



Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.