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Friday, February 22, 2019

How Authors Must Stick Out To Garner Media Coverage




A recent viewing of an old Twilight Zone episode reminds me that authors need to promote their uniqueness – rather than try to sound like every other author.

The television episode in question was one about beauty and how we all should look beautiful.  Everyone, upon turning 18, can get a face and body lift, choosing from a number of models.  A young lady doesn’t want to look like everyone else, even if it means she remains with average looks.  But society forces her into it and out pops another beautiful woman.  But is she really beautiful if she looks like everyone else?

Authors must make sure they don’t start wearing Michael Jackson’s nose, Jennifer Aniston’s hair, and Kim Kardashian’s ass, meaning they will have to take a personalized, unique, targeted approach for their marketing, publicity, and branding.  One needs to stick out – not blend in – when it comes to books.

One reason the media has trouble deciphering who to interview, review, or feature is that they can’t distinguish between books that look alike and authors that sound alike.  Writers, deep down, are unique and individualistic, and that must be called upon when doing a dance for the media.

When the media focuses on one story angle, you must highlight another aspect, even going contrarian.  You need to voice a new viewpoint or state an old one in a new way.  The media wants substance and personality.  They want what’s new, different, controversial – or that appeals to others – sex, politics, religion, celebrity, money, death, crime, celebration.

Can you say the obvious in a way that it has a twist?  Let’s say your book shows us how to lose weight.  Your first instinct is to say what it is in a straight forward way:  It’s a book about how to lose weight.”

Ok, but tell us more.  Put a number to it:

"It’s a book that shows you how to lose at least 20 pounds in the first month of your new diet.”

Or hype your credentials, if really good:
“It’s a book that shows you how to lose at least 20 pounds in the first 30 days – based on the author’s three decades of successfully treating thousands of overweight people, including several morbidly obese patients who lost hundreds of pounds each.”

You see now how to improve the pitch?  But even this sounds too similar to other books out there.  Find what’s odd or interesting – and throw it in.  Maybe the diet is strange – you can only eat bananas, or pizza.  Or it restricts you from eating nuts or chocolate.  Toss that into the pitch, too.

Can you quantify the diet?

Is it one followed by a leading medical institute?  Was it endorsed by a top health association?  Did a celebrity use the diet? Is it a really inexpensive diet – or one that doesn’t require a lot of exercise or other behavioral changes?  Keep digging for how it differs with others and highlight anything that sounds like a bonus.

Perhaps your pitch ties into something in the news, but again, is not obvious.  For instance, if a new survey or poll is released about obesity, you can chime in and jack the news.  Take ownership of it, but don’t just say you can comment on the report as to why your diet is needed.  Instead, issue some challenge or promise like:  “Send me your obese and coach potato, the one who weighs at least 500 pounds, and says he fails at every diet.  I will trim him down!”

Maybe words can’t speak as well as pictures.  Share some amazing images of weight loss with the media – and then show some funny way of measuring the weight loss.  Let’s say someone dropped 220 pounds.  Photograph what 200 pounds looks like when you stack up 15 shopping carts with various junk food. Or show how, with a pile of cash, one has saved thousands by no longer buying food to eat that’s not needed.

Or, instead of talking about weight, discuss benefits – how one gained six years by shaving off 70 pounds or how one can now run a mile after not being able to get out of bed.

You get the idea.  Be creative, dramatic, and unique. The shy, the neutral, the ordinary, the copycat – they will not win at book marketing.  You don’t want to look like everyone else, no matter how pretty they may appear to be.


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The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

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.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A Book Marketing Census


Did you know that more households (43 million) have pet dogs, which is more than the number of households with children (37 million)?  Did you know, for the first time in our nation’s history, the majority of households do not feature a married couple (only 48% do)?  Did you know only one in five homes features a married couple living with children?

Aside from statistical curiosity, does any of this  mean anything to authors?  It sure does.  Significant changes are taking place with our nation’s population demographics and these shifts are not going unnoticed by the government, businesses, and communities.  Authors and publishers will need to examine how Americans are changing in their attitudes and practices so they can properly write for the biggest or most lucrative markets.

The Great Recession and immigration had caused major shifts in the makeup of the country.  Hispanics are growing, whites are shrinking.  The middle class is under siege and the poor are getting poorer.  Fewer people are getting married.  People are delaying when they have kids and they’re having fewer of them.  People are living longer.  More women attend college than men and the pay equity gap amongst the genders is closing.

So what does it mean to those who write books and market them?  It means you’ll need to study the trends, know  the facts, and understand your marketplace better.  Now, this may have always been true in that the market is always changing, but perhaps the changes going on now seem to portend to significant and long-term shifts for the country.  Is there anyone crazy enough to open a video rental store today?  Or a music store?  The writing is on the wall for a number of industries, due in part to technology, population changes, finances, and attitude shifts.

To learn more about population changes, go to www.census.gov, but you should also research or monitor the various types of people you hope to market to.  Know about them and how they are shaping up.  You may be surprised at how fast things change.  



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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.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Where Do Dead Words Go?



The world has a pretty good record of the written word.  The Library of Congress stores over 150,000,000 items, including tens of millions of books.  But what about the words that are written, but never published?  Or the words that are written and erased or crossed out, created at one time but then no trace of their existence is left behind?

Maybe I shouldn’t obsess over the never-published or written but unsaved.  There are more than enough books available to the public that will go unread, ignored, or untouched.  Besides, the thinking might go, if something is good enough, it’ll remain on paper and it will get published.  But we know the book world and human spirit don’t work that way.

Plenty of great books go unpublished.  For the writer failed to get a literary agent or publisher and decides against self-publishing, what happens to that work? Where do those words, thoughts, ideas and experiences go once released by the writer but not made available to the public, a sort of book purgatory?

Writers often write something and then change their mind about keeping it. With the click of a mouse, they wipe out any evidence of thought, deleting their creation in a split second.  Is there any sense of loss or feeling of regret to go with disappearing one’s creation?

The editing stage is always the hardest for writers.  They are attached to what they wrote and it becomes painstaking to review everything they wrote.  After a few readings, nothing seems good enough or worthy of leaving intact.  Or worse, they fall in love with every word and can’t divorce themselves from any of them.

I often write with little editing or a changing of heart as to what blurted out of me.  I try to think logically, and at times emotionally, driven by my convictions and a desire to share my feelings, insights, and experiences, hoping to help others as I empty out onto a page the way one confesses a crime or absolves themselves of guilt to a therapist.

That which yields no written words seems like a wasted moment for the writer.  Words written, but then deleted on the spot or edited out later pain the writer.  And when words make it all the way through the process of a writer suffering life, thinking poetically, creatively penning the words, courageously letting them live  once composed, and warding off the executioner’s, er, editor’s blade, all that is left is to be published. But how many millions of books, encompassing trillions of words, died in the process?

The graveyard of the unpublished, even the unwritten, resides in the soul of every author and would-be writer.  Some people die a little every day when their words go unpublished.

Should a writer survive all that opposes him from writing and publishing a book, how many writers get to experience their books being widely read, where their words influence another, change a life, and make a difference?  Or where they receive critical acclaim, awards, and wealth from their writings?  And how many do all of these things can escape living a life of angst, depression, or loneliness, for the writer is a special breed, part-artist, part-victim of the world, here to record the trauma and at times, the wonderful victories that the human experience offers us.

I don’t want to ramble here, but I’m afraid it’s too late.  I’ve invested myself in free thinking and pontificating on the life of a writer’s words and I won’t edit s or take any of it back.  I’ve birthed it and the words will need to swim on their own, even against the current.  God, I love writing, and once I write something, I feel like I’ve already left my mark on the world.  My legacy is wrapped up in my words.  No one cares what I do, how I feel, or where I go – except for a few friends and family – but I find whatever is written down takes on greater importance.  The words can live forever, while my life is but a blink of time. I live more than ever when I write.

Thank you for reading this and giving my soul shape, form, and meaning.  I live to write – and I exist only on paper.


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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.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

How Authors Can Exploit Their Network




Who do your connections know?  Will they introduce you to those who can help grow your writing career, sell books, get media coverage, or influence the public with your message?

That’s what book marketing comes down to:  Who you know, who they know, and even who those people know.  It’s your best hope.  It costs nothing.  You risk nothing.  It’s not hard to do.  The potential payoff is immeasurable.

Ok, so how do you break down the necessary steps here?

Let’s start with your database.  Divide it up into different sections, such as these:

·         Family
·         Friends
·         Acquaintances
·         Work Colleagues
·         Community
·         Social Media

Now let’s break this down further:

Family
You have immediate people – spouse, children, grandkids, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, first cousins.  You know who you are close to and who you are not.  Those closest to you should be approached.  Those not so close can best be reached not just by you, but by other family members who are closer to them.  For instance, get your aunt to help reach out to her grandkids or have your mom reach out to her distant cousin.

Friends
It should be obvious who’s your friend, but there are also people whom you lost touch with but didn’t have a falling out, like former classmates, ex-coworkers, former neighbors, or someone who used to belong to your house of worship.  Reach out to who is close – and enlist their help to approach others that you both know.

Acquaintances
It’s a loose term.  The guy you see daily at the bus stop, the friendly baker down the block, the security guard at a child’s school, the secretary of your temple, or your dog walker.  These are people you interact with but never elevated into friends.  You are friendly to them, though.  Chat them up with a purpose, seeking out ways they can help with marketing your book.

Work Colleagues
Anyone in your company can help you, assuming you feel secure in discussing your book with them.  This could include those your company does business with, such as vendors.

Community
Community is your neighborhood, including those who you see at the gym, church, school, Starbucks, and ball fields.  This overlaps with friends and acquaintances, but this has a geographic foundation.

Social Media
This no doubt, is your biggest pool of connection -- likely hundreds, if not thousands.  Problem here?  You don’t know many of them well.  In fact, you probably don’t recognize the names of most of your connections nor could you tell me much about any of them.  And yet, this group is most valuable to you.

For each group, devise a plan to approach each one, one on one, with a purposeful request.  You need to clearly state what you are asking for, provide a sense of urgency, and to give them a reason to act. Guilt, love, a reward -- whatever will work with that person, given your history with them and the circumstance you both find yourselves in, should be tried.

What you ask of each person will vary, not just based on the type of relationship you have with them, but on what any one person can actually do for you.  No one can give you any more than they have the ability to give, no matter how well intentioned they may be.

Avoid making a general request and avoid asking multiple people simultaneously, where each person knows you asked the other. Obviously, you should make a personalized plea with a customized request.  What motivates one to act may not work on another.  Besides, different people are capable of delivering different things.

So what should you ask for?  Well, what can they give you?  What do you need?

You certainly welcome anyone who can:
·         Buy the book for themselves.
·         Help sell multiple copies of the book to a group.
·         Provide a worthwhile testimonial or book review on Amazon.
·         Help get media coverage for you and your book.
·         Share something about your book with their networks, via social media or other means.
·         Arrange for a speaking engagement.
·         Introduce you to people who can help you in some capacity, from a vendor like a website designer to somebody who would be interested in blogging about you, to someone who is famous, powerful, influential, and wealthy.
·         Be an investor or sponsor for your events or marketing campaign.

Like Santa, make a list and check it twice.  But whether they are naughty or nice, solicit their help and give yourself the gift of having a successful book.


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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.

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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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

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.