Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can You Write The Way Fruit Stripe Gum Tastes?

Every so often I walk a few blocks from my office and enter Dylan’s Candy Bar, the best candy store in New York City. It has several floors of current and retro candy in all sizes, shapes, and colors. One of the items I enjoy buying is Fruit Stripe gum.

With each stick of gum that makes its way into my mouth. I get to relive, even if just for a few precious seconds, a flashback to my childhood. Suddenly, I can taste the 1970s and 80s all over again. I have a fondness for the past, e4specially my own.

Each piece of gum is colorful and filled with vibrant flavor that sets off a mouth orgasm. Unfortunately, each slice only retains its flavor for all of a few minutes. Its burst of awesome taste quickly gets replaced by a feeling akin to chewing wax. To keep the party going one must shove another piece in, and another, and another. I could go through a pack of 17 slices in 30-40 minutes and still feel wanting for more.

Not too many candies can satisfy me the way this gum can. Even at $2.50 a pack, it seemed to be worth every penny. But it made me wonder if books can be out there that are similar to this gum – where every page has something really good to say or reveal – but then at some point loses its flavor. What can make an author addicting to the reader? What will make a reader a fan who comes back for more installments of an author?

Maybe if a book came with a pack of Fruit Stripe gum I would buy it up in a minute.

Interview With Young Adult Author Kimberly Sabatini

TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut young adult novel. It will be available for sale on October 30, 2012 from Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

  1. What inspired you to write it?  My dad passed away about seven years ago and it really motivated me to make sure that I didn't lead a life of regrets. I realized that I had too many un-chased dreams. Being scared of everything wasn't going to improve the quality of my life, but being brave just might. Writing was a dream of mine that I'd always been to afraid to pursue, but it also ended up being a way for me to grow and change by exploring my questions and feelings. The whole process has brought so much to my life and while I miss my dad everyday, I like to think that he'd be very proud of me right now.
  2. What are the rewards/challenges to the writing process?  By far, the most rewarding thing I've experienced is all the amazing people I've gotten to know in the world of writing. I think of my writing and book friends as my tribe and I don't know how I'd lived so long without them in my life. The biggest challenges for me are being a mom of three boys while trying to write. (They always want to be fed and although they don't demand it, they really do need clean underwear. LOL!)  Additionally, I find it's tough to hold steady with my writing process. I've finally learned what works for me as a writer, but it's hard not to compare myself to all the other highly successful authors out there. I have to focus hard on following my true north because I know that's my journey.
  3. Any advice for a struggling writer? Besides following your own "true north," I think it's really important to act professionally and to start building your platform long before you are ready to sell a book. Many people feel uncomfortable with this, but when you build a platform, you are actually inserting yourself into the writing community. The best way to sell your book is to help promote the books of your peers, support book bloggers and be involved with publishing community. If you become someone who gives more than they take, I can assure you that when it is your turn to shout your good news from the rooftops--there will be a very supportive group of people yelling with you.

  1. Where do you see book publishing heading? I believe good stories will never go away and the method of delivery doesn't really matter. 

For more information, consult:  http://www.kimberlysabatini.com

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

How Will Publishers Treat Aurora Mass Murder?

Some things are sadly predictable. The Aurora movie-house massacre is a case in point. It will sadly not be the last of its kind. There will be many, many more such criminal outbursts to come. In fact, I expect worse to happen.

No doubt, one day there will be a mass murder on a wider scale simply because so many violent options exist for the insane, the disgruntled, the angry, the dejected, the failed, the isolated, the depressed and the rejected. Bombs, fires, poisonings and other means to generate a high death toll are easily available to those intended on hurting others.

The sad truth is we cannot prevent a lot of these acts. Are we going to make everyone check in with a psychiatrist once a year? Will we make life better so that no one will ever think to harm another? Will we get rid of all of the guns, bullets, and weapons easily available to us via online, Wal-Mart, or a gun show? I don’t think so.

So how will publishers and writers react to the events that have unfolded? Will we see a book that:

·         Tells the viewpoints of the victims’ families and the survivors?
·         Reveals what the murder was thinking when he did this?
·         Advocates for gun control?
·         Highlights the top mass murders of the past century?
·         Shares how first responders felt when they saw the carnage?

It has all been done before. And if the books have not covered these topics, newspapers, magazines and bloggers have. Why is it when the biggest stories hit there is little for the book world to offer?

Maybe I am jaded or word down by the senseless violence, but I don’t see a fresh story coming from this tragedy, but maybe authors and publishers will surprise me.

Interview With Author David Henry Sterry

1.      What type of books do you write? I write all kinds of books.  I've written two memoirs, one about being a teenager in the sex business called Chicken, and one about being the master of ceremonies at a nightclub called Chippendale's, when it was the hot show in New York City in the 80s.  I've written a piece of middle grade fiction. I've written a book about my childhood hero Satchel Paige.  I've written books about how to have a successful sleepover, how to be an artist and a writer, a personality quiz book, those were for tween girls. I've written a book about one of my big passions, soccer.  I've written a book about how to get a book published. It's called The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book published.  For that book I'm fortunate to have as my partner a publisher who is pound for pound the best publisher in the world in my opinion: Workman. 

2.      What is your latest or upcoming book about? My new book is a piece of hard-boiled noir, which is one of my favorite genres. It's set in the seediest nastiest neighborhood in San Francisco, the Tenderloin.  I loved writing this book.  It's a novella and it's called Confessions of a Sex Maniac.  http://amzn.to/JyBfkU. Although there is lots of stuff from my real life in that book, it is not a memoir.

3.      What inspired you to write it? I've always loved writers like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy.  I dig high-end literary stories about good people doing sick, filthy, unthinkable things because they're crazed by sex, drugs, money, primal passions.  I was approached by the guy who sets up the events at one of my all-time favorite bookstores, City Lights in San Francisco, which was started by another one of my heroes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.  The events coordinator was putting together an anthology called San Francisco Noir.  He asked me if I would write a story about a particular part of San Francisco called Polk Gulch, which is right next to the Tenderloin.  It's one of the most dangerous and exciting neighborhoods in America, and I spent way too much time there.

4.      What did you do before you became an author? I worked as an actor, with everyone from Will Smith to Michael Caine to Zippy the Chimp.  I was also in one of the worst movies in the history of the world, Hellroller, about a serial killer in a wheelchair.  He tears my eyes out in the movie. I was a screenwriter, I wrote for everyone from Disney to Nickelodeon to Fox. I was a bouncer on Broadway at a strip club called The Garden of Eden.  I worked as a marriage counselor.  I worked as a teenage rentboy/manchild ho/industrial sex technician in Hollywood.  There were lots of weird similarities between those last two jobs.  When I was 21 I was offered a professional contract to play soccer.  And so it goes.

5.      How does it feel to be a published author? The first time I got a publishing contract it was almost better than sex.  Almost.  It was ecstatic, transcendent, invigorating, soul-shaking, one of the greatest days of my life.  After I became a professional writer, some of the publishing deals I've gotten haven't seemed that exciting.  I was just a ghostwriter on a book about the teenage brain.  That book will come out next year.  It was great fun to write, the scientists we worked with were really amazing people.  I learned so much, it literally blew my mind into about 1 billion pieces.  Explain so much about my ridiculous life.  But honestly, getting that deal wasn't nearly as exciting as the deals I got for my memoirs, or for my first book.  And after you've been to the circus a few times, you realize how difficult it is to sell books.  So there's also the enormous feeling of burden and obligation, because in the end, you get very very little help from anyone in my experience.  That being said, when I did my first event at a bookstore called Powells in Portland Oregon, it was truly a dream come true.  I went to college in Portland Oregon, and when I was a teenager I was very disturbed and broke, and I used to go to that bookstore and dream about my book being for sale there one day.  After my first memoir came out, I'll never forget walking up to Powells and seeing my name on the marquee, that I would be doing an event there that night.  Then walking into that store and seeing my book there, I guess it was a little like dreaming of becoming a priest when you grow up, and then walking into the Vatican after the Pope has summoned you.

6.      Any advice for struggling writers? There are four basic ingredients I see in most successful authors.  They write.  They write and write and write.  And of course they read.  That doesn't count as one of the four basic ingredients.  That just goes without saying.  They also research.  They know all about books that have come out that it been successful in their category.  They're not afraid to dig in and figuring out who's gonna be the best agent, which publisher is going to be right for them.  Many of them are great networkers.  They go to bookstores, but connect with people online, they attend writers events and book festivals and writers conferences.  They put themselves in the company of writers and readers. and they have massive amounts of perseverance.  The very first book I ever wrote I finished almost 20 years ago.  It's taken me 20 years to find a publisher for that book.  It's a very strange book.  But I love it.  It's my first child.  And it troubled me that I never found a good home for it.  But I never stop trying.  This year, I found a publisher for that book.  It's called Mort Morte, and it's coming out next year with a small independent publisher.  I could not be more excited.  I have a whole new understanding and respect for small independent publishers.  In part because my last book, Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys, which was published by Soft Skull, a small very well respected independent publisher, landed on the front cover of the Sunday New York Times book review when it came out. I'm doing the sequel to that book right now.

7.      Where do you see book publishing heading? I think at some point in the not too distant future we  will have a USB port in the back of our neck and we will be able to jack ourselves into the information superhighway, and download books right into our brain.  I look forward to this immensely.  I for one do not belong to the doomsayers who say that the book is dead.  I believe this is the greatest time in history to be a writer.  There are so many amazing ways to be published.  In the last three years, we've seen a complete revolution that is unprecedented.  It's even bigger than the printing press, and I think about how much that changed the world.  Now, anyone regardless of race creed or color, can upload a file without spending a penny, and their book will be available in electronic and printed form literally all over the known galaxy.  The great news is, anyone can get published.  The bad news is, anyone can get published.  So now you're competing against everyone.  I think the ability to connect with a tribe of people who are passionate about what you are passionate about is where publishing is heading.  It's where everything is heading.  And I think Good Samaritanism is the wave of the future.  In that vein I want to let your readers know about what I'm giving away.  I am a book doctor, my partner and I, Arielle Eckstut, who's been a literary agent for 20 years, have helped dozens and dozens and dozens of talented amateurs become professionally published authors.  We travel all over the country doing an event I put together called Pitchapalooza, it's kind of like American Idol for books.  Writers get 1 min. to pitch their book to a panel of experts in front of the whole crowd.  It's really fun.  America at its very best. We've discovered so many great writers doing this event. In fact, in the month of August, were being brought to Cape Cod, rural Alaska, and Hawaii to do Pitchapalooza.  So, I'm offering anyone who reads this interview and buys a copy of my new book a free 20 min. consultation.  That's a $100 value.  The book only cost $4.99. Thank you for your time.  See you at the bookstore.

For more information, see: http://DavidHenrySterry.com.  

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blueprint Of Book Publicity Landscape

Authors often ask me about what they can do to promote their book. The answer can be a long one, for there are scores of useful ways to promote and market a book. Let’s explore what type of media one can pursue and perhaps this will help you understand the many options out there.


Syndicated columnists, editors, reporters, reviewers, freelance writers

Other print

Talk shows, morning shows, weekend shows, news, magazine format, late-night

Talk shows, call-ins, news, other formats and demos

Blog – guest
Web sites of news media
Internet radio
Review posting

Social Media

What type of coverage can you generate from the media?
1.      Interview
2.      Book review
3.      Feature story on you
4.      News story that quotes you
5.      Op-ed or by-line piece
6.      Book giveaways
7.      Posting guest content on websites/blogs
8.      Having others write about you on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
9.      Publish a book excerpt
10.  Participate in a panel discussion that is broadcast

There are many ways to mention your book without participating in an interview. For instance, David Letterman had Henry Winkler serve as a judge for a quick talent segment and Winkler got to mention the name of his new book. In other cases, authors can write a letter to the editor on a topic of importance and sign their name as the author of such-and-such book.

It’ll take a big outreach to a wide array of media over many months to generate coverage. Your goal is always to get quality coverage in the most targeted or widely consumed media, but you should never turn down any opportunities. PR depends on a formula of quantity and quality. They do not conflict with one another.

So create your blueprint for media exposure by considering the following:
·         The needs or preferences of the editors and producers of the media outlets
·         Lead time to approach the different media outlets
·         What is new and fresh about you and your book – give your presentation to the media a twist
·         The editorial profile and demographic of the media outlets

Lastly, have fun with this. It can be a lot of work for what can seem like a little reward, but when you break through it’s a great feeling. The book publicity landscape has some rough terrain, and even when you feel lost in the desert, realize that an oasis may rest just beyond the next hill.

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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Publishing Trends

People are still reading books but are they buying them?

According to a recent USA Today poll, when book readers were asked how they obtained their most recent book, only 48% said they had purchased it. 24% borrowed it from a family member or friend. Another 14% borrowed it from the library. 13% replied “other,” which might mean they got it as a gift, stole it, found it, got it from a communal resource provider such as a condominium clubhouse, etc. I would also think in that miscellaneous section would be books acquired for at no charge on the Web. There are so many books available for free online, via digital download.  In any case, slightly less than half the people said they bought the book that they are reading, which means a lot of people are not buying the books that they read.

Mini e-Books segregate digital and paper readers

USA Today reported some well-known authors are issuing small e-books in advance of their main release. For instance, Tess Gerritsen issued a mini e-book for a buck ninety-nine in advance of her novel’s release that is due out August 28th.  The idea sounds good: give something to fans who can’t wait for the big book to come out. Or allow it to serve as an introduction to your writing for people not yet hooked into your work. But the problem is it creates a digital divide. Fans of the author who don’t have an e-reader or don’t like to read e-books, lose out. The mini books are not available in print. If this keeps up, more readers may be inclined to accelerate their transition from print to digital ink, which means book publishers make less money on book sales and bookstores are cut out, which takes away from creating a physical book community. Could the mini-ebook trend also signal that authors will serial publish their books, setting the way for readers to buy a subscription to an author’s works?

Vogue still youthful at 120

Vogue, a leader in women’s fashion, celebrates its 120th anniversary with a fat September issue—its annual fashion issue – that will feature 658 ad pages (a 14% increase from a year ago).

Amazon takes in billions, but makes only a few million

Amazon, the world’s largest e-tailer and the biggest online bookstore, is barely making any money – and Wall Street still thinks Amazon is great. Despite a jump in sales it is making a new margin of peanuts. And even with the news that Amazon’s profit decreased by 96% in the second quarter from a year ago, Wall Street bought more of Amazon, as shares rose to $223. Gross revenue is up 29% -- to 12.8 billion dollars this past quarter – but Amazon only made a profit of $7 million. If they had to collect and pay sales tax like everyone else, they likely would be losing money. Think about that.  Amazon is trading at 190 times its earnings – vs Apple, which trades only at 10 times its earnings. One bad gamble and Amazon could lose a ton of money. One reason for the poor profits: Kindle Fire sales are slipping and below expectations.

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Interview With Andrea Chambers, Academic Director, NYU-SCPS Center for Publishing

Interview With Andrea Chambers, Academic Director, NYU-SCPS Center for Publishing

  1. What is The Advanced Publishing Institute? The NYU-SCPS API is a two-day intensive in digital book strategy for mid to senior-level executives interested in learning more about how to incorporate digital into their workflow and to enhance their digital skills. This course is designed to bridge the gap between the plethora of panel-based conferences and the lengthier programs offered by NYU-SCPS and other institutions. For the executive interested in a highly targeted, classroom and laboratory-based program, this is an excellent way to get the most up-to –date information in a concentrated period of time.

  1. Can you tell us more about your upcoming initiative? It will be taught by our experienced Center for Publishing faculty and guest speakers and will focus on strategy, case studies and hands-on lab based learning in topics like social media marketing, web analytics and introduction to EPUB.

  1. What type of digital book strategy does one need to consider as an author? An author needs a strong knowledge of social media marketing, how to create a robust author platform to market his/her book, and an understanding of digital formats either to work with a publishing company or to self-publish a book.

  1. What do you love about being a part of the book industry? Book publishing is a highly creative industry filled with smart and innovative people who love words and ideas. Few other industries have the power to influence opinions and effect change in our society. Currently, publishing is an industry in transition, and those working in it have a unique opportunity to be part of some very exciting changes in the way the reading public discovers and consumes content. As bookstores wane and ebooks grow, there are many new challenges; those who embrace them are the future of the industry. Being part of this is a very rewarding experience.

  1. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? Like most observers, I believe the shift to digital will progress, and that sales and marketing will continue to move online. I believe there is –and always will be—a place for print; I am of the opinion that print will remain strong in some categories for a long time to come.

  1. Any advice for struggling writers? Learn that writing is only a part of the uphill battle. In this age of online marketing and author platforms, finding and reaching an audience is particularly important. Use social media to build an audience and a following so that when your book is ready, you will have a strong marketing tool available to you. Remember, also, that digital publishing means that there are many new formats available to you: flash fiction, digital shorts and singles, build-your-own adventure, crowd-sourced fiction and more open up many new avenues beyond linear fiction and non-fiction.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

Publishing Consolidation Positions Penguin Well

There is no doubt that as profit margins become tighter, and as competition becomes fiercer, there will be consolidation in any industry. In the case of book publishing, I predict there will be plenty of it. One kind of merging taking place is the combination of traditional publishers and self-publishing factories. Self-publishing is the popular craze these days, especially when an author can’t get published by a traditional publisher or even represented by a literary agent, can’t wait 12-18 months to be published, or doesn’t believe a publisher can serve them any better than they can themselves.

Pearson, the London-based owner of Penguin, just bought Author Solutions, which itself reflects the combinations of several companies. Author Solutions is a self-publishing machine, allowing individual authors, for very little upfront money, to publish their books quickly and effectively, via print-on-demand and ebooks. Author Solutions is one of the largest companies to offer self-publishing services to authors, including iUniverse and Author House in its stable.

Penguin’s purchase gains them access to a catalog of over 150,000 titles and it positions them to cover the fast-growing segment of self-publishing.

Will there be more mergers and acquisitions ahead for publishing? Absolutely. The only question is which model will gain market share: traditional publishing or self-publishing? I guess Penguin has both covered, the way many publishers now sell ebooks and print books and audiobooks to cover all formats, selling online and brick and mortar, to cover all sales channels. Diversification is key in the publishing industry and Penguiin has just edged ahead of many of its competitors.

Interview With Horror and Sci-Fi Author Sonia O’Brien

1.      What types of books do you write? I really like to write apocalyptic stories. Big catastrophes that make ordinary people have to deal with extraordinary circumstances. I like to keep the characters realistic and have them not always make the right decisions or say the right things. They can sometimes be their own worst enemies. So I guess, what I really like is exploring characters and their good and bad through the lens of great global turmoil.

2.      What is your latest book about?  I just released Disintegration. A story about a character named Ainslie McCandless who is a government worker who accidentally stumbles upon a program of human torture and murder via the use of a biological weapon. She is deep down a good and compassionate person, and when she finds out, she just can’t let it go. She hopes to gather a bit of information and try and expose what’s happening, but she stumbles upon so much more. And, as all great plans usually do, it goes horribly wrong and the virus is unleashed on the public, and she is left on the run with the evidence she collected. After some twists and turns, she ends up trapped in a bunker with a group of survivors. From there it delves into the characters and how they handle the outbreak and the isolation. And then everything comes to a head in a large apocalyptic ending.

3.      What inspired you to write? As early as I can remember, my Grandmother would sit me on her lap and read to me. Those are some of my best memories. It really left an impression on me. By the time I was 3, I was reading the books to her. But, I’m not too sure I actually understood all the words. I may have just been repeating what I had memorized. But, that put me on the path to a great love of books my whole life. And, over the years, I just kept being pulled more and more to write a novel, and finally I just couldn’t ignore that inner drive. It has turned out to be one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done, and now I’ll never stop writing.

4.      What did you do before you became an author? I worked in the medical field while I was in the Navy, and then I transitioned into executive assisting for too many years to count. Right now, on top of writing, my husband and I are starting our own virtual assisting business.

5.      How does it feel to be a published author? I can hardly describe the happiness I felt when I saw my book and name on Amazon. After so many years of work, for it to have finally happened was just wonderful. But, then the fear set in for just a moment, about sales and marketing and all the business things that come along with being published. But, I am prepared for and welcome all of it, because it’s my dream.

6.      Any advice for struggling writers? Just to keep writing. Get that first book out and immediately start the next one. Don’t get bogged down in putting everything you have into selling that first book while ignoring your continuing career. Once you build up a fan base, they’re going to want more and more of your work, which is what we all hope for. But, you have to take the time to write it and get it out there. So, temper your marketing efforts with time to write.

7.      Where do you see book publishing heading?  I definitely think publishing houses will have to beef up their e-publishing departments and probably cut back some on their print business. I think print books will always remain, but I think there will be a large market for print books with artistic, collectible covers. More and more people are going electronic and I think finally publishing houses are catching on. But, there is still a long way to go with averaging out the price of e-books.  Hopefully we can all find a happy medium where authors are getting paid what their work is worth, but that publishing houses aren’t gouging customers.

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Key To Keywords

Which words should you sprinkle in your online communications, such as Facebook profile, LinkedIn postings, blog entries, tweets, and Web site copy? Choose the ones that will match with the people you want to find, impress, and sell to. It is not rocket science, yet many people don’t pay enough attention to selecting the right keywords and using them often.

To determine the key words that are right for you:

·         Examine what a competitor or leader in your field uses.
·         Highlight words that are commonly used in your industry, field or genre.
·         Use all forms of these words – singular and plural, different tenses, etc.
·         Use words that will get the attention of the people you want to impress.

What are good keywords for writers? If the writer wants to target the attention of consumers, he or she may use one set of words. If he wants to impress peers or win over literary agents, he may use a different set of words – with some overlapping.

Let’s say you self-published a novel about two time travelers from the 1950s who come to the year 2012 to live out a paranormal sex fantasy. Okay, doesn’t sound like a page-turner, but which keywords might you need to:

·         Find a literary agent?
·         Get attention from a publisher?
·         Get media attention/?
·         Sell books?

Try any of these:
Literary agent (s)
Bestseller (s)
Novel (s)
Author (s)
Writer (s)
Historical fiction
Debut author (s)
New book (s)
New author (s)
Publisher (s)
Publishing industry
Book (s)
Ebook (s)
Indie book(s)
Indie author
Indie publishing
Publishing news
Author news
Book news
Book world
Time travel
First-time author (s)

You may also want to consider key keywords that pertain to books like yours, referencing their title or author. You might want to tie something into the news or to a popular person, place or thing.  Consider highlighting any reviews that you got, by mentioning the media outlet by name.

The main thing to remember about key words is this:

·         They are important to writers and publishers
·         The best ones change over time
·         They need to be used daily in all social media communications
·         They can expand into all kinds of categories and areas
·         Don’t overly repeat keywords to the point it is considered to be “keyword stuffing”  (frowned upon by search engines); a specific keywords can make up 4-7% of the text. This is known as having a low keyword density (that’s a good thing)
·         Keywords should appear in the title of blog posts, the first paragraph of a posting, tweets, the head of Web pages, and basically the beginning or top of anything that you circulate online.

So go out there and tweet, blog, and Facebook your way to more clicks and online traffic by using the best keywords every time you go online.

To gain insight on which words to use as your keywords, consult: http://adwords.google.com/select/keywordtoolexternal.

Interview With Karen Grencik, Co-Founder,  Red Fox Literary Agency

1.      You have been a successful literary agent for many years. What is your secret? I treat people really well. I try to treat the unpublished author with the same respect and dignity as I would a well-published author. I tell authors the truth and I keep my word. I answer ALL correspondence timely, no matter who it's from. And with my court reporting background, I have an excellent eye as a copy editor, and I spend a great deal of time on manuscripts before they go to the editors.  I've worked very hard to move my submissions from the bottom of an editor's pile to the top, and it's paid off.

2.      What types of authors do you represent and what do you look for in deciding on who you work with? I represent authors of picture books up through young adult novels. There are many factors that go into my committing to an author, but the first step is that I have to get the shivers when I read their  work. I'm not kidding. I get a body rush when something absolutely thrills me, and then I know I have to have it. But before I commit, I Google the author to see what their online behavior is, talk to them on the phone, and make sure they're the kind of person I want to work with.

3.      How have you managed to weather all of the changes hitting the book industry?  I don't worry about the changes, other than to keep abreast of them. I love what I do, so whatever challenge comes my way, I just adapt to it.

4.      What advice do you have for struggling writers? The words "struggling" and "writer" certainly do go together, don't they? Even well-published, wealthy authors struggle with their craft. It is such a labor of love. The biggest thing, of course, is not to give up. Everyone starts at the same starting line. You can read story after story about authors who've found success, and they all started right where you are now. Attitude is everything.

5.      What do you find to be rewarding about your involvement in book publishing? I don't have children, so for me, my legacy is the books I leave behind. I love people and I admire talent and I enjoy advocating for authors. I love the excitement an editor, an author and I all share as a book comes together, especially the moment the illustrator is chosen. It's the most exciting thing I've ever been a part of.

6.      Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? Everyone has their own crystal ball, but no one really knows for sure. There will always be a need for content, and an ever-growing need for gatekeepers to sift through the content. I'm not worried at all. I'm here for the long run.

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