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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Speak With Conviction If You Want Media Coverage For Your Book



Let’s make shit happen -- and not let shit happen." 

--Brian Feinblum

One of the areas authors can improve when pitching the news media is to have a confident and unrelenting frame of mind.  They have to approach the process of contacting the media as one that says:  “I’ve got a good story.  Someone needs to tell it.”

Now, I’m not talking about coming from this with an egocentric mindset.  That won't get you so far.  That comes off as being lazy, self-centered, and narcissistic.  No one wants to hear from someone who thinks they are entitled to coverage.  Media exposure needs to be earned.

But, you have to have confidence, resiliency, and conviction in your voice and in your carefully worded email.  The news media needs to sense you have a genuine purpose and reason for contacting them.  They need to believe in you.  Lead them.

So how does one do this?

First, prioritize in your mind what the truly strongest points are – and lead with them.  Don’t circle around what really tugs at the media.  Play it up.  Lead with one of these:  emotion, passion, news predictions, or something that you know that the journalist personally cares about, or something that particular media outlet likes to cover.

Second, speak with a bit of edge.  You’re not begging them to cover something nor commanding them.  You don’t want to sound weak and desperate and you don’t want to come off as a big jerk.  You want to speak in that sweet spot that blends enthusiasm with purpose.

You are putting on the hat of a lawyer, advocating beyond a shadow of doubt, that what you present to them is important, useful, truthful, and interesting.  If you were advocating before a judge you’d look to make key points clear and to not rely solely on the weight of the facts but the believing and harmonizing sound of your voice.

To persuade anyone of anything, the other person has to appreciate your situation in a way that gets past doubt, ignorance or debate.  They have to like something about you and relate to your plight.  You need to quickly disarm their judging eyes and humanize your story.  Make them feel and care.  Get them into your shoes so that they, too, can experience as you do, and hear what you say clearly.

So just how does one lobby for something?  Ask a provocative question.  Cite an eye-opening stat.  Pile up the facts.  Seek empathy.  Tug at their emotional fragility.  Offer something unique, new, or of value.  Promise a result that you can deliver on.

Lastly, think like the media.  What do they need and want?  How will they perceive you?  What weaknesses or holes come with your story that need to be plugged?  Most importantly, speak with undeniable conviction and you will see results.  


Editorial:  Facebook Fiasco


In seeing Mark Zuckerberg testify for 10 hours before Congress about data privacy and the challenges of social media advertising ethics, it seems obvious to me that, as a society, we’re screwed.  No privacy.  No protection against ill-intended advertisers.  No avoidance of fake news.  No guarantees hackers can be stopped.  All in all, today’s consumer of digital media and social media is being scammed-over and over- not just by Russia or faceless corporations but by those we’ve entrusted our information with – Google, Twitter, FB, Apple, Amazon, etc.  To think otherwise is foolish and idealistic.

“In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public.  Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.”
--Oscar Wilde, in The Saturday Review (1894)


“I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve.”

--Baron de Montesquieu, Pensees diverses (1899)


“You must put books alongside the subject they relate to if you want to attract a wider audience.  If someone is in a supermarket buying food then it makes sense to sell cookery books there too.”

--Terence Conran, in TheTimes (18 Sept. 1985)


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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 © 2018. 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.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Interview with author Edward Stanton




Wide as the Wind

 

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? When I read Jared Diamond’s famous article about the collapse of Easter Island’s habitat, titled “Easter’s End,” in Discover magazine (August 1995), I wondered if anyone had ever written a novel about this tragic event that is a cautionary tale for our times.  I could not find a novel in any language.  After reading everything available on the subject and traveling to Easter Island, I knew I had a potential jewel in my hands.  With a great sense of responsibility, I began writing.

 2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? Wide as the Wind is above all a story of love and adventure, but it also deals with deforestation and the collapse of a natural habitat on a prehistoric Polynesian island.  It could be compared to the Disney film “Moana,” but there the environmental destruction is attributed to a cartoon monster; people, not monsters, were the real cause.  The novel is for all readers above the age of 12.
  
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? My hope would be that readers would be moved by the story, which evokes the Polynesian sea voyages that National Geographic has called the greatest adventure in human prehistory, as bold as modern space voyages.  But I would also devoutly wish for readers to remember the devastation caused by the abuse of our one and only earth.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Only write if you need to, if you cannot imagine a life without it.  If you have faith in your vision and your skin is thick enough to embrace rejection, keep writing.  If not, don’t kill yourself.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing
industry is heading? I see a slight turn away from digital books and a hunger for the real thing
and the smell of its pages.  I don’t have overwhelming evidence for this trend, only some
personal experience and the knowledge that the number of independent bookstores has increased
during the “retail apocalypse.”

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? The challenge of patience.  From inception to publication, more than ten years passed; Wide as the Wind went through at least three major drafts.  There were many rejections by agents and publishers along the way.  Patience, persistence and faith in my writing led me through it.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?  Wide as the Wind is the first novel to dramatize the life of a people whose habitat is being destroyed.  The combination of a good story and a powerful message makes good fiction.  The novel’s story is compelling, and I trust the writing is good.

Edward Stanton was born in Colorado, raised in California and has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Spain.  He is author of eleven books, some of which have been translated and published in Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.  Road of Stars to Santiago, the story of his 500-mile walk on the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela, was called one of the two best books on the subject by The New York Times.  On the dust cover of this work, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Michener said, “Edward Stanton recounts his adventures with stylish conviction.”  His novel Wide as the Wind has won the 2017 Next Generation Award for Young Adult Fiction, the 2017 silver Moonbeam Award for Young Adult Historical Fiction and the 2018 silver Feathered Quill Award for Teen Fiction.  Stanton has also published short fiction, poems and translations in dozens of magazines and journals in the U.S. and abroad.  He has been a Fulbright scholar and has lectured in many countries around the world.  Stanton has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he was named Distinguished Alumni Lecturer at UCLA.  He is now working on his second novel—a thriller set in the aftermath of the Dirty War in Argentina—and a travel memoir titled VIDA: A Life, about Mexico and Spain.  For more info, please see: www.edwardstanton.com

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Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released


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 © 2018. 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.”

Monday, April 16, 2018

Go Beyond Your Book’s Story & Your Credentials To Promote Or Sell Your Book




We all sell our books by selling ourselves.  We rely on our core strength to be front and center, to convince people to buy the book or the media to cover it.  But what’s your second or third best feature?  You’ll need to know in order to go far.

When talking about your book you might sell the contents, telling us what’s in it and why it’s unique, new, comprehensive, etc. When talking about yourself, you may highlight your credentials – pro experience, training, schooling, and personal experiences.  You might reference some good media placements, key testimonials and the timeliness or relevance of your message.  But what if the facts aren’t enough?

You may believe a story is so strong that it sells itself, or that your insights and experiences are so interesting that others should want to talk to you, but there’s something else you need to closely look at and make sure it’s strong.  It’s your appearance, energy level, creativity, and personality.

We already agreed that book content and author credentials count for a lot and they need to be clearly presented, but behind what you write or say are these other intangibles that need to be groomed and perfected. These are what really sell others to take an action step and to literally buy in.

Let’s look closely at the likeability factor. Let’s face it, people judge us all day and night.  Is she pretty?  Is she youthful?  Is that one fat, pretty or dull? Is this one cheap, ignorant, or selfish?  We look at one’s body, image, voice, scent, friendliness, level of enthusiasm, and body language to determine if we want to buy a book from them – or interview them for a story.

Take a look at your appearance.  Do you dress the part?  Is something distracting others from listening to you?  Are you in good health and decent shape?  Are you attractive?  I know this shouldn’t sound like someone going to a dating site, but people do business with those they admire or find are similar to them.  What are you showing others?

Next, and the most easily corrected area, is your energy level.  Get rest, eat right, exercise, and take vitamins, consume caffeine, or do something to give you a shot of enthusiasm and vibrancy.  People feel moved by the energy around them.

Then look at your charisma. Are you a jokester, story teller or the helpful resource? Do you listen with sympathy and empathy?  Are you a charmer?  What type of person are you putting forward?

Lastly, how creative are you in what you say and do?  Think of how you can up your game and do things differently, better.

So, as I asked earlier, do you know what it is that enthuses others to buy from you, interact with you, or cover you in the media?  Whatever your strengths are, you’ll need to play them all up.  Don’t rely on having great content or a fabulous career.  You need to go the extra mile with your looks, passion, energy levels, and personality.  Otherwise, you’re not going to be discovered or embraced the way you’d expect or hope for.

To learn your strengths and identify weaknesses, look in a mirror.  Then ask others around you with a checklist for review, on what they perceive your strengths and weaknesses to be.  Get prepared for a reality check, but don’t cry and fold into a ball.  Do something about it.  Take advantage of the critical feedback and constructive advice and build a better presentation of yourself.

Now, just one point here that needs to be emphasized.  There’s no singular standard that we each must strive for. Nor should we expect to change everything where we fall short of an ideal.  But you should acknowledge room for improvement can be made, and to do your best to be your best.  Some changes will come easily and naturally while others may never come.  That’s okay.  

One has to know their limits but such limits shouldn’t be the excuse to allow you to change nothing.



“Good words are worth much and cost little.”
-- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651)

“How strangely do we diminish a thing as soon as we try to express it in words..”
--Maurice Maeterlinck, ‘Mystic Morality’ The Treasure of the Humble (1896)

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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 © 2018. 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

Sunday, April 15, 2018

What Is Your Lifetime Book PR Campaign Strategy?



Most writers believe their purpose is to write books that will impact others, that their words will shape their legacy and tell the story of their lives based on the treasure trove of works they contribute to society. But what they fail to fully acknowledge is the fact that their books can only travel so far on their own. To complete their journey, they must be promoted exhaustively and effectively. Thus, the goal of today’s writer, if it is to be fully realized, will need to be supported by a blueprint of how to publicize his or her books. 

What is your lifetime PR plan?

Before we explore what can be done with a lifelong publicity plan and why it is necessary, let’s look at what happens when one lacks a coherent PR plan, both for a specific book and a writer’s career.

If you don’t make a conscious effort to craft a publicity campaign for a book, you are likely to get poor or mixed results. It is hard to sell a book when no one knows about it or is given a reason to buy it. The competition level is staggering. Some 3,000 new books flood the marketplace every single day.

Further, a publicity campaign, if executed properly, will not only highlight your book for purchase but will help create a movement that shapes the purpose and societal significance to your book. If your book is to be seen as greater then a product and more of a voice for something, publicity helps to shape perceptions and put a spotlight on you.

A solid promotional campaign not only showcases a book but a brand — you. It establishes you as an expert, a personality, a source for ideas and inspiration.

You may wonder why this can’t happen organically, where people naturally discover a book, read it, share it, and talk it up until a critical mass of followers and supporters exists. It can happen naturally, but it is a rare feat. We live in an era where one must advocate for himself, where writers must be in front of everyone's social media feed.


So what is your plan for the long-term -- to promote your writings and your writing career?

A Lifetime PR Plan Consists of the Following:

Publicity for an upcoming or current book.
Publicity well after a book is published.

Ok, that is simple, but that’s exactly what’s needed – a continuous effort, to promote your writings and brand.  If you’re not hawking a new book, it’s an old book that gets pushed.  Or you promote an upcoming  book.  Or you simply keep your name alive by contributing byline articles and guest posts on things you are an expert on.

Regardless of the media that you can garner you can always produce your own content – blog, podcast and post on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.  Create and share videos on You Tube.  The process is a never-ending one.  You need a lifetime PR plan!

Your blueprint can and should include marketing activities, such as speaking before groups, conducting webinars, and developing connections with those whom may be able to help you when you have a book to sell and publicize.

Do not think publicity is a one-time thing that you do for a few months.  Instead, see how you can craft and enact a lifetime plan to brand, market, and promote yourself as a writer, expert, and visionary

“Life is the reflection of literature.”
--Wallace Stevens, Opus Posthumous (1957)

“A great library contains the diary of the human race.”
--George Dawson, in address on opening of the Birmingham Free Library (26 Oct. 1866)

“No man would set a word down on paper if he had the courage to live out what he believed in.”
--Henry Miller, Sunday after the War (1944)

“Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.”
--Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘An Apology for Idlers’, Virginibus Puerisque (1881)

“I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot.”
--J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)


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Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released

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 © 2018. 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.”

Friday, April 13, 2018

Interview with author Michael Graham



Boss Nova Odyssey

1.  What inspired to write your book?  It started when I would visit the US while I lived in Brazil and finally when I came back to the US full time When I would tell people stories of some of what I had been going through, their reaction what usually two-fold:  complete incredulity followed by gales of laughter and “you must write this down.”  Or on the other side was “I can’t believe any sane person would have done that—we thought you were smarter, Michael.” As I began to list the various incidents/events that happened it morphed into the idea instead of making it just a Brazil centric theme move it across to other times in my life where I had “Boss Nova” moments.  I wanted to write these into short vignettes in a humorous vein so that was the thread that wove its way through all that was written.  I do not take myself not too seriously and wanted to make sure that when possible, that came through in my writing.  British self-deprecating way.

2.  What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted audience? I don’t think this book would be targeted at one specific audience as I hope it will be that it can appeal to many.  Its’ intent is to be a humorous look at recounting some of my life experiences. This memoir will appeal to readers of irreverent travel stories. Also, some who are familiar with the feeling of not wanting to retire will empathize with tales of desperate (not pathetic) attempts to remain young, creative, and in control - perhaps learning some valuable ‘life lessons’ along the way… but only perhaps. 

Mostly, Boss Nova is for readers who are always looking for a story of someone who is a dreamer of sorts, most definitely an adventurer at heart, but with a right brain frequently arguing with its left counterpart…. Never knowing who on any given day might win that epic battle. All this, so they, like me, can hold onto the eternal hope that they still have time to make something meaningful of their lives and on their own terms and maybe have some sheer fun along the way. 
The book traces four Boss Nova---"the new boss” --- experiences in my life:  the restaurant I created and owned at Snowbird, Utah; when I was Chief of Staff to a Governor; my move back East to being CEO of an advertising agency and finally, the ultimate dumb ass idea, opening a restaurant in São Paulo Brazil without speaking one word of Portuguese.  Most of the book’s chapters focus on all that happened to me in Brazil, when I dove into the pool without seeing if it had any water.

  1. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers? I would hope that people would come away with the thought along the lines of what Amazon said in their review, Overall the manuscript offers a highly entertaining read. This memoir is a testament to a life well lived, with experiences and lessons that are sure to inspire its readers. The writing is clear and fluid, just as intended.” I have also found that most people don't know what they are made of until they attempt the impossible and that is always the interesting story.  It is my hope that readers would walk away saying that this was an ode to a dreamer who often took risks to sometimes test the impossible. And that at any age if you just hold on to your dreams anything is possible.


  1. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for writers? I am sure it is the same that any writer would give and that is never give up.  Perseverance is the key to getting anything finished as it is so easy just to get inspired, get enthusiastic support from friends who say do it, start and get a couple of chapters in and then let it languish.  Get an outline done---what should be the overall flow be and an outline will help, and it will help order your thoughts in some logical fashion.  Once that is done you then can write around that.  Ernest Hemingway said about writing, “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next.”  In my case I always stopped when I got bored and began to meander to other thoughts like “I forgot to clean the kitty litter” or something as profound.  But be disciplined and set aside a couple of hours in the morning or whenever you are inspired---but don’t write for too long in a day!

  1. What are the trends in the book world?  I am sure that I am not saying anything new or profound, but several of the things I see from my limited perspective I see:

-people are reading less and less in general and want the information delivered in short bursts and if they have free time look at television or gaming as the distraction and not sitting down reading a novel;

-hard back cover books are the domain of established writers, paper and electronic help the indie writers or those self-publishing;

-with all the associated costs no large publishing house will take the financial risk on an author who is not well known;

-agents will not help most new authors unless they see the book has legs across multiple venues to make money---films, plays, TV etc.

-always think electronic and self-publication if you are an indie writer.

With all those realities and more, I think big time book publishers are in a very difficult financial game where they are having a increasing smaller pool of options to consider for their next publishing opportunity.


  1. What great challenges did you have writing your book? Discipline and memory.  Both slipping quickly from attributes I possess.

  1. If people can only buy one book this month, why yours? Because the financial side of what I have structured would allow me to get that house in the South of France. 

Beyond, that unreality, I would say that given the world we live in at this moment in time with all the issues that are making people more and more anxious and concerned about their lives and what is ahead, few moments of escape are important.   I would hope that a few hours of escape that comes with a variety of laughs and stories about someone who took risks and lived his life boldly, might be a good read.  So many people say, “if only I did that or if only I took a risk, maybe things would be different for me now.”  There are lots of “if only” but I did it, regardless of concerns about the outcomes.  The logical question is “was it worth it?” and my answer would be “absolutely yes” because I would not have been able to write this story.  So I hope this book might inspire some to take the risks they only dream about.  That is why they should buy it.

About Michael:
Greysage, LLC. is a consultancy dedicated to the development of sound business strategies for companies in this new complex world of global competitiveness.

East Restaurant Sao Paulo, Brazil
“East” brought the concept of Pan Asian cuisine to Sao Paulo Brazil in this the third restaurant venture of Greysage.  It was selected by Brazil’s equivalent of the Michelin Guide for three years in a row as one of the best restaurants in Brazil.

CEO Worldwide---Thompson Connect
 J Walter Thompson is one of the world's largest and oldest advertising agencies with office in over 110 countries. Connect was the beginning umbrella for all of J Walter Thompson's direct marketing and digital. Served on Board of Directors of JWT. My division had over 600 employees worldwide.
 Had all P&L responsibilities for this advertising agency specializing in relationship marketing programs for clients executed across a variety of communication channels. Over 125 employees

Various Other
-Executive VP of an Ogilvy Direct Marketing Agency
-Chief of Staff for the Governor of Utah
-Director of Tourism Development for the City of San Francisco
-Owner of restaurant at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah

For more information, please see: www.michaelngraham.com

“There are some books which cannot be adequately reviewed for twenty or thirty years after they come out.”

--John Morley, Recollections (1917)


“In a sense, one can never read the book that the author originally wrote, and one can never read the same book twice.”

--Edmund Wilson, The Triple Thinkers (1938)


“If I have to read a book before, it is, to all intents and purposes, new to me, whether it was printed yesterday or three hundred years ago.”

--William Hazlitt, ‘On Reading New Books’, The Plain Speaker (1852)


“A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the public with his pants down.”

--Edna St. Vincent Millay, Letters (1952)

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Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released

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 © 2018. 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.”