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Friday, January 27, 2012

Do You Promote Your Book This Way?

So you have a book coming out and you wonder what you should be doing, right?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Rethink the situation.  Maybe you should withdraw your book and instead publish each chapter on your blog for free.  No, just kidding!

  • Hire a publicist to do what you can’t do, don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do, or lack a desire to do.

  • Mobilize those you are connected with.  Your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, former colleagues, ex-classmates, dentist, barber, and those you come in contact with can and should be your first responders. Have them reach out to their pool of connections to highlight your book’s value.  Tell them how they can help.  Share ideas with them.  Offer them something to e-mail to others. Exploit your relationships.

  • Influence those who are the opinion-makers out there.  Find 100 people who are experts in your field or related industry and contact them.  Tell them about your book, praise their work, and offer to guest-blog or invite them to connect with you. Don’t beg them; seek to partner with them.

  • Create a Facebook fan page and tweet on issues related to your book’s subject matter. Authors who don’t tweet make it harder on themselves.

  • Perfect your elevator speech – a 20-second pitch that reflects who you are and what the book’s about. Anything else is too long and not to the point.

  • Write Op-eds for your local paper about a topic related to your book.

  • Watch, listen to and read the media you hope to be covered in.  Understand how they present ideas, observe who they interview, and learn how points are presented. Get a feel for the voice and personality of a show, site, or publication.

  • Decide how far you want to go in what you will say to get attention.  What persona will you project?  How controversial do you plan to be? Once you know who you will be, begin acting and talking that way.

  • Kill somebody.  It’ll get you media coverage.  Even bad publicity is good.  Actually, just get into a dispute with your landlord or car dealer and get on Judge Judy, the most-watched daytime TV show in the nation.

  • Even though $80.2 billion is spent for online advertising, as an author, most of it is not worth doing.  If you do advertise, you might get better pricing from AOL which ranks fifth amongst the top places to advertise. Google has 44% of the market; AOL just 1.5%, so they will be desperate for your business.

Book Review On Getting Published

I just received a copy of Publish Your Book:  Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author by Patricia Fry.

Publish Your Book is a professional guide to publishing success for the new and struggling author.  With insider tips, up-to-date marketing strategies, timelines, and other resources, this book offers a comprehensive tour of the world of book publishing to help authors successfully navigate the industry.

The book includes information on:

  • How to find the very best publisher for your project.
  • How to write the right book for the right audience.
  • How to put together a book proposal.
  • The good, bad, and ugly facts about pay-to-publish company.
  • The self-publishing option.
  • Creative bookselling and ways to market and promote

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, this book will help you write your book for a target audience, build promotion into your book, and most importantly, successfully promote and sell your book. Authors and publishers in any genre and at any stage of the publishing process will benefit from this comprehensive resource.

Author Patricia Fry has almost forty years of experience as a career writer.  She is the author of more than thirty books, most of which relate to writing and publishing, and has contributed hundreds of articles to magazines and newsletters such as Writer’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, and the Artist’s Magazine.  Fry established her own publishing company, Matilija Press, in 1983, and is the executive director of the Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network [SPAWN]. 

For more information, check out: www.allworth.com
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Customer Surveys Need a Survey

Here’s a “do not do this” example in customer service.  Don’t email me a survey that you warn will take up to 25 minutes to fill out.  That’s exactly what pet insurer, VPI, did the other day.

I recently got pet insurance for my two-year-old bulldog.  A month later, I put in a $1300 claim when she got sick.  Hopefully, it’ll get processed smoothly.  The claim must have prompted their survey department to contact me.  The thing is, I haven’t heard how much they’ll pay on the claim so there’s no customer service to give feedback on.  Pay me a lot and I’ll give you glowing remarks; pay me little and I’ll give you a negative rating. You need a survey for that?

But wait, it gets dumber. They think someone will spend 25 minutes taking a survey so we can provide information that they may eventually sell to marketers or possibly use against us?  Who fills out a survey?  Where’s the incentive?

Let’s be real.  If you provide great service, you’ll retain customers and get new ones. If your service sucks, people will complain and/or leave.  No one is waiting around to fill out a survey.  Actions speak louder than words.

I urge anyone who gets a survey to send it back blank with a note asking them to take a survey from you.  First question:  Why did you send me a survey?  Second question: Can you lower your costs by not sending these surveys out?  Third question:  Can you stop sending me surveys?

Maybe I should survey others on this.  But that would be a waste of time, wouldn’t it?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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