A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Free speech, literacy, and great books are also discussed. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
are many ways to promote a book to the news media, and one effective approach
is to tie the book’s subject matter or author to something in the news. Another tool is to, look ahead and identify any
holidays, honorary days, anniversaries, or special dates that you can link your
message to. What ties into your book?
things are seasonal – summer beach reads, spring cleaning, holiday gifts, New
Year’s resolutions, June weddings, Memorial Day for military veterans and BBQ’s, etc. So what does the 2016 calendar look like for
– New Year’s Day
– J.R.R. Tolkien Day
– Clean Off Your Desk Day
– Humanitarian Day
– Kid Inventors Day
– MLK Day
– Holocaust Day
– Fun At Work Day
– Ground Hog Day
– World Cancer Day
– 50th Super Bowl
– Chinese New Year
– Valentine’s Day
– President’s Day
– Drink Wine Day
– Leap Year Day
- Dr. Seuss Day/ Read Across America Day
- World Wildlife Day
- World Day of Prayer
– St. Patrick’s Day
– Poetry Day
– National Puppy Day
– April’s Fool Day
– World Autism Day
– End Child Sexual Abuse Day
– Dictionary Day
– Income Tax Day
– Earth Day
– Passover begins
– Take Your Kids to Work Day
– Arbor day
– Cinco de Mayo
– Mother’s Day
– Friday the 13th!
– Same Sex Marriage Day
– National Museum Day
– Endangered Species Day
– Memorial Day
– World Environment Day
– Flag Day
– Father’s Day
– PTSD Awareness Day
– Independence Day
– International Nude Day
– Ice Cream Day
– Coloring Book Day
– Hiroshima Day
– Nagasaki Day
– National Garage Sale Day
– World Humanitarian Day
– Go Topless Day
– National Grief Awareness Day
- Labor Day/ International
- International Literacy Day
- National Day of Service and Remembrance for 9/11
New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell answers the first question by
helping others answer the second in his new book, Intentional Living: Choosing A Life That Matters (Center Street).
has been living his purpose as a speaker and corporate coach, with book sales
totaling 35 million copies. American Management
Association ranked him #1 on its list of business leaders in 2014. Inc. magazine identified him as the most
influential leadership expert. His
company has trained over five million leaders and each year, according to his
book, he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of
the world’s top business leaders.
His new book shows readers how to make their life matter. He says to make a positive impact on the
world doesn’t mean you need to be a certain age, have a lot of money, be
famous, or have a big idea.
good news is that none of those things is necessary for you to achieve
significance or create a lasting legacy,” notes the cover flap. “The key to choosing a life that matters is
being intentional. If you possess the
desire to make a difference, place a high value on people, and are willing to
team up with others, significance is within your reach.”
like Maxwell are successful because they take a basic concept and seek to own
it. He embraces the simple mantra – your
life matters – and shows us why and how. He doesn’t necessarily tell you
anything others haven’t said in other books, but he finds a way to tap into
one’s desires and needs and encourages them to live life in a way that will
benefit society and the individual.
be Signiant, all you have to do is make a difference with others wherever you
are, with whatever you have, day by day,” he writes.
written the classic self-help book in this volume, but it goes beyond the self
part. If people can see the world has a
purpose and that they make it purposeful, then the world would begin to
function on a whole new level. He asks
us to care about others in a way that links their lives to ours.
greatest hope,” writes Maxwell, “is that people everywhere will become
intentional in seizing opportunities to make a difference and to transform their
families, businesses, neighborhoods, communities, cities and countries. I believe
that when we follow the path of wanting to make a difference, by doing
something that makes a difference, with people who make a difference, at a time
that makes a difference, we can change the world and make it a better place.”
are more than 7,100 individual languages spoken somewhere in the world. But more than 40% of the world’s people speak
one of the eight most common languages as their native tongue, and more than
75% speak one of the top 85 languages. Some
3,700 languages have fewer than 10,000 native speakers, and about 700 languages
have fewer than 100.
classifications developed by linguists, about 2,400 languages spoken today are
said to be at least threatened or unsustainably losing speakers. In some cases, people of the childbearing
generation still use the language but do not transmit it to their
children. In others, only those is the
grandparents generation or older use a language, though they may have little
occasion to do so." -- Source Excerpted From The World Almanac
are only nine languages spoken by at least 100 million people as their primary
language. They are:
ranked 21st and French 14th.
you know there’s something called the American Manual Alphabet, which augments
the vocabulary of American Sign Language?
to www.infoplease.com, “Along with sign
language and lip reading, mainly deaf people also communicate with the manual
alphabet, which uses finger positions that correspond to the letters of the
alphabet to spell out words and names.”
actually marks the 200th anniversary of the time French Sign
Language was brought from France to the US by Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the
American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT.
He developed American Sign Language (ASL), a language of gestures and
hand symbols that express words, concepts, and sentences. Sign language for the deaf was initially
systematized by Abbot Charles-Michel I’Epee, in 18th century France.
addition to speaking, hearing, and seeing a language, there’s also Braille, a
touch-based language created in 1824 by Louis Braille, who had lost his
eyesight due to a childhood accident. He
developed his code for the French at age 15.
is a decline in the use of braille amongst the blind or low-vision
population. In Britain, only 20,000
people out of two million blind and low-vision people use Braille. In the US, as of 1999, only 10% of legally
blind children used braille as their primary reading medium. People rely on alternative tech-based means
to consume content, such as audiobooks.
“languages” used for communication include codes like Morse Code, secret codes,
computer programming codes, and humorous systems of communication such as Pig
Latin or fictitious languages such as Klingon (from Star Trek).
languages get mixed together. Spanglish
blends English and Spanish. Yiddish is a
combination of Hebrew and German.
Ebonics is a form of African American English. Even the same language – English – sounds
different when spoken in England, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Canada or Boston. It’s amazing any of us understand each other.
guess is that language is used now more than ever. We are constantly consuming content – online,
in person, and through other media or means.
We are writing emails, talking face-to-face, watching TV and movies,
reading books, and doing something that involves talking, listening, or
reading. I wonder how this impacts us.
less quiet time than ever, what influence does constant chatter have on
us? Do we value words less than ever
before because all we do is move them around in our heads, from what we consume
to what we spew? Or, do we appreciate
words more than ever, forced to shape life’s events through our ability to
talk, listen, read, watch and write words?
never get sick of words, especially the written kind, but I hate seeing words
get abused by bad writers, lousy editors, and uneducated people. I despise how words are manipulated to feed
an advertiser’s desire or a politician’s scheming. Words – and language – in order to mean
something, must be utilized in ways that help the world.
the right words just haven’t been created yet, ones that help people embrace
things like peace, love, and democracy. Right now we seem to only know of words
like terrorism and Jihad and war. We
need to rewrite out world.
1)Ian, how are audiobooks doing compared to the
rest of the book industry?
Relative to our digital publishing counterparts, the
audiobook industry has seen the most growth as of late. In the past couple of
years the annual revenue in the industry has seen growth numbers from 23% and
We’re the most innovative audiobook retailer in the market
today. We’re constantly working on new and creative methods to deliver
audiobooks to our consumers. Our iOS and Android apps, that offer both
streaming and downloading, allow us to put a library of over 65,000 books right
into the consumers’ pocket. Our partnerships with automotive manufacturers like
General Motors, Jaguar & Land Rover, and various other connected car outlets
enable our listeners to enjoy their books right from their vehicle. We’re
aggressively working on reducing the barrier for listeners to enjoy audiobooks.
We want to make simple, instant, and affordable for everyone to enjoy the books
3)Which genres tend to be more popular for
Unabridged fiction is usually the most popular genre. It’s
usually a range of mystery thrillers to romance. Typically the popular titles
for books are consistent across all formats – print, ebook, audiobook.
4)How has the audiobook industry changed in the
last five years?
In the past 5 years there have been a few interesting
changes in the audiobook industry but I would say the growth of digital the
digital format would be at the top of the list. The CD still actually makes up
a sizable portion of the audiobook market but in the past 5 years the shift to
digital has been vital to market growth and one of the most important
evolutions in the audiobook industry.
5)What is the new profile of the audiobook
The profile has changed slightly as the market has evolved.
We still tend to skew slightly more female than male but that is typical in the
book industry. Audiobook listeners are still avid readers and we’re starting to
see trends more towards the 25-34 age range rather than the 35 plus age groups
we saw in the past and we’re attributing that to the advancements in technology
and people looking for more ways to entertain themselves with their personal
6)What are you doing with Android Auto?
Our Android app supports Android Auto just as our iOS app
supports CarPlay. We’re working with our existing automotive partners to offer
exclusive promotions to customers who have vehicles with the respective
platforms and would like to try the Audiobooks.com
service on it so be sure to check if your vehicle has a promotion.
I talk to an author who won a book award, I can hear pride in their voice. Often the awards vary in significance and
many awards are chosen out of applicants who pay to be considered. Some awards have far fewer competing titles
than others and many awards give out not just one or two awards but sometimes
dozens. So what does it mean to be an
likes to throw around three terms:
times these terms are tossed about without a qualifier. For instance, there’s no legal definition for
“best-selling author.” One can make the
claim without giving further details.
There’s a difference between being a New York Times best-selling author
and someone who was on the Amazon best-seller list for an hour under a narrow
category such as Best-Selling Cookbooks About Bagels. That doesn’t mean the term is meaningless. It just means we need details: which list,
how long were you on it, and just how many copies did you sell?
are the same way. Tell me what the award
was for and who issued it.
a big difference between a USA Book Award or a Benjamin Franklin Book Award vs.
National Book Awards, Newberry Medal or a Caldecott Medal. The pecking order goes all the way to a
Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature.
Each of the awards means something, but not equally.
one still has to wonder what it means to be a winner of any award. Isn’t it a subjective process that begins
with who is picked as a judge and what methodology is chosen to evaluate the
nominees? How is one even nominated for
an award? How does any award take into
consideration the many hundreds of thousands of eligible books into
guess with awards it reaches a point that anyone of a dozen or even a thousand
books – out of up to a million published annually – could interchangeably be
chosen for an award. It’s somewhat easy to filter through and dismiss a lot of books
– assuming you have the time to read them - but it gets much more challenging
to determine why one book is better than the rest. I know it’s hard to do when discussing
restaurants, music, and movies, so books are not different. In sports, there are winners and losers. Pints are tallied, runs are scored, goals are
totaled. Very little may separate two
teams in a given game, season, or series, but there is always a final game to
determine, head-on, who is deemed the champ.
Can book awards really do that?
awards have a scoring system that is transparent to the public – or must the
decision-making process remain behind closed doors? What would be the fairest way to determine an
pageants have scores for different areas and competitions, from speaking to
performing, to bathing suits. But each
thing is subjective. So is judging
music, movies, and dog competitions. But
some things are statistically quantifiable, such as hot-dog eating contests,
highest GPA at a high school, a champion golf tournament, and NASCAR racing. But apple pie taste contests, fashion
competitions, and even gymnastics events come down to opinions rather than
fully measurable facts.
find it interesting that you really don’t see much overlap in any of the award
winners. The IPPY or Indie Excellence
Award Winners did not capture a Pulitzer, nor did a Caldecott capture a
Newberry. Each award has its own
qualifying rules, time of application and consideration, judges, and different
standards. Some awards are exclusive by
nature, geared towards a certain format, such as awards for audio books
(Audies), or genre, such as fiction (Man Booker Prize), or some other
demographic such as the National Jewish Book Awards.
someone wins an award it seems like it’s forgotten by everyone but the
winner. I can tell you who won the World
Series in 1985 but I couldn’t name the 2014 winner of a major writing award.
awards, as flawed as they may be, are better than nothing. At least they highlight books and honor decent
writers. It’s just that too much
politics, money, and bias seem to attach to the awards, making you feel a
little suspect as to whether someone else was more deserving of winning.
like an award for my blog but I never even entered it into a contest or for any
honors. Really, the reward or award that
I earn from this is purely self-satisfaction in knowing I helped others and
that others enjoyed reading my ideas and thoughts. I share a piece of me every time
I post something. I know book writers
feel the same way.
I raise a glass to every writer who won an award, to anyone whoever applied to
one, and fell short, and to those who never looked to get a medal or trophy but
who write out of love – or madness.
This beautiful post was submitted by literary agent Michael
Larsen, co-director of the 13th
San Francisco Writers Conference & Open Enrollment Classes: A Celebration
of Craft, Commerce & Community; February 11-15, 2016 / firstname.lastname@example.org
He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
– Lao-Tzu, 6th Century B.C.E.
As a writer, you have gifts
that started with genes and developed with discipline. You:
Know how to combine 26 letters into words that explode
with meaning and pleasure
Understand that writing and sharing your work are
labors of love for your craft and your readers
Can use words to inform or entertain your readers
Can provide the advice, inspiration, understanding, empowerment,
and motivation your readers need
Understand how words can affect people
Can change how your readers think, feel, act, and see
the world and themselves
Can reach readers worldwide with your fingertips
wherever you can connect to the Web
May be able to change your community and the world
Can share your work in more ways and places than ever
in the international language of culture and commerce: books, games, articles, audiobooks,
films, and merchandise
Can read and write whenever, wherever, and however you
Can keep writing for as long as you wish
Will keep improving as a writer
Can create a lifetime community of fans
Can read books for pleasure and knowledge, and to
learn how to write better
Understand that now is the best time ever for readers
Giving What You Can
Here’s how to share your
gifts during the holidays and the rest of the year. You can:
Write your own greetings cards by hand and use stamps
to mail them
Write a letter to share your year
Write letters for those who can’t
Read books to those who can’t
Teach reading and writing
Write a memoir to share your life and create a legacy
Share your knowledge with a blog, interviews, podcasts,
webinars, and talks
Support groups that give books to people in need
Ask libraries, literacy groups, and charities how you
Join a book club
Share your passion for the value of books, reading,
Encourage other writers and writer’s organizations to
Help organize events to support your goals
Give new or used books as gifts
The more you share your gifts, the greater your gift for
sharing becomes. Give the best in you to others, and you will receive more than
About Michael Larsen, Co-Director
The 13th San Francisco Writers Conference & Open Enrollment