- Why did you write the book? The initial impulse was a strong conviction that goodness and love will always triumph over evil and hate. Hitler struck me as a useful embodiment of evil and the Land of Oz as an embodiment of goodness and love. Most people these days know Oz only through the movie, The Wizard of Oz, but the author, L. Frank Baum, wrote a series of 14 Oz books. I've published an essay, "The Utopia of Oz," pulling together the ideas Baum developed in his books, so I was fully knowledgeable about that end of it. Then, when I got into the story, I had to figure out how to end it. So after Hitler lost in his attempt to conquer Oz, which of course he had to, I made Tollydiggle, his jailer, into a Rogerian therapist and started her on the road to turning Hitler into a person. That's the title of Rogers's best book, On Becoming a Person.
2. What do you love most about being a published author? I have strong ideas about things, and what I like best is getting my ideas into a book and into the hands of people so that they can consider my ideas. Of course, I want the book into the hands of as many people as possible.
3. What advice would you give to a struggling author? Keep struggling. I used to teach creative writing, but I've come to the realization that everybody has his own ideas about what makes a good book and therefore that trying to make your writing conform to anybody else's ideas is a mistake. The important thing is to make a product that pleases you and you're proud of. Some people will like it, and some people won't. And read a lot. Pay attention not so much to what other writers do as to how they do it. You'll find some techniques that you like and others that you don't. Use the ones you like.
4. How are you promoting the book? I'm stuck in a part of the country with no television stations, very little radio, and few newspapers. I've worked in public relations, so I send out a lot of press releases. There's only one bookstore within driving distance, and I sign books there; there are half a dozen libraries, and I give talks and sign books there. I do direct e-mailing to friends and relatives. I figure one target market is people who are into Oz, so I've sent a review copy to the Baum Bugle, which is the magazine of the International Wizard of Oz Society, and I've direct e-mailed all the members of Everything Oz. I also sent a review copy to the Humor in America blog, but the reviewer has vanished without a trace. I've been collecting the e-mail addresses of Rogerian therapists, and I've sent out two direct e-mailings to them. In short, I try to figure out who would be most interested and try to target them. I have a website, but it hasn't been very productive. If anybody gives me an opportunity to promote the book, like you, I take it gratefully.
5. What is the future of the book publishing industry? I don't know. People watch television, most of them don't read books. The e-book has had a splash, but I think that may be just a fad. People buy Nooks and Kindles, but I think a lot of them don't use them for reading books. They watch television on them or play Angry Bird. But there are still thousands of book readers. The big publishers have been consolidating for years, and now they're going out of business. Maybe the self-publishers are the wave of the future. Right now there are more of them than the market can accommodate, so there will be a shake-out. The best ones will survive.
6. Do you have anything more to say? Two things. I call my book "a children's book for adults" because the Oz books are children's books, but I get into areas like politics and psychology that are over the heads of most children. And I also call it a comic fantasy satire, because I think it's a funny book, and other people have agreed with me.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Make Your Book Marketing Resolutions Before You Break Them
Resolutions are usually useless by this time of year. You probably already broke most of the ones you declared just over a week or two ago. How’s that diet going? Did you clean your house or balance the checkbook or stop doing the things you vowed to not do?
But it occurred to me one should make book marketing resolutions, if for no other reason, to put pen to paper (or fingers to touch screen) and write out our goals and vow to change how you go about fulfilling them.
Book marketing doesn’t just happen naturally. It takes a plan, resources, commitment and execution. Perhaps you might want to embrace some or all of these 15 resolutions:
1. I will spend more time – daily/weekly – to promote marketing my book.
2. I will hire others to help do what I don’t have time to do, don’t do well, or don’t like to do.
3. I will invest in what I need to be successful, whether it’s clothes, technology, or something else.
4. I will keep learning how to best market and promote my book by taking a course or seminar, hiring a consultant, reading a book, or subscribing to select blogs and publications.
5. I will blog more often and promote my blog posts and not just rely on people finding me.
6. I will use Twitter in a meaningful way, 140 characters at a time.
7. I won’t spend time feeling jealous or angry that less talented idiots are experiencing greater success than I am.
8. I will make decisions faster and not dwell on things that incapacitate me like Hamlet.
9. I will summon the courage to begin an active speaking career, even if it’s to do free talks at a library, just so I can get out there.
10. I will stop buying into the perception that all I need to do to have a best-seller is blog and Tweet. Social media is a part of what’s needed to push a book, but not a singular solution.
11. I will stop expecting my publisher to promote and market my book. It’s up to me to further my own brand.
12. I will diversify as a writer and try my hand at different genres.
13. I will get my Web site created, or updated regularly.
14. I will use an editor to sharpen and enhance my writings before I seek to publish them.
15. I will read BookMarketingBuzzBlog regularly and share it with others. This should be No. 1 on the list!
Good luck in making 2012 a productive, successful and fun year to grow your career and promote and market your books the way they deserve and need to be.
Interview With Author Phil Nothstein
Phil’s newest book is August 7th 1998 A Day in Infamy. The book states that Bill Clinton’s failure to stop Osama Bin Laden in 1998 and 2000 turned out to be the key factor in the down fall of the greatest super power on earth. 9/11 caused the government to lower interest rates which mixed with Clinton’s 1990 subprime market and caused the financial crisis in 2008.
1. Why did you write the book? To tell the story about what really damaged our country. If Al Gore had been elected, both 9/11 and the financial crisis would still have occurred.
2. What do you love most about being a published author? That I am one of the few authors who clearly stated that 9/11 and the financial crisis were the result of the Clinton White House.
3. What advice can you give a struggling writer? Do not write a book. Maybe an ebook if you do it yourself.
4. How are you promoting your book? On the web and media contacts. It is very hard. People are often too busy to deal with your book.
5. What do you make of the future for the book publishing industry? If the government removed the bad people from the publishing industry then things might get much better. However I doubt that will happen, so watch out.
Interview With Author Sam Sackett
His newest book is called: Adolf Hitler in Oz. What the book is about: As the Russians approach the Reichschancellory, Hitler fakes his suicide and attempts to escape in a time machine, which instead transports him to Oogaboo in the Land of Oz. He organizes an army and tries to conquer Oz but is defeated and through the therapy of his jailer is put on the road to mental health.
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 email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.