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.
month I was a speaker at the Independent Book Publishers Association
conference. I was one of several dozen
speakers over a multi-day conference in Chicago. My
session competed with three others simultaneously. I was given the last time slot of the
day. Not an ideal situation.
it didn’t matter. My talk ended up being
attended by only 16 people – out of 300 attendees. But my goal was achieved. I came there for three reasons – to generate
business for the book publicity firm that I work for, to meet with writers and
support what they do, and to help educate others on what they can do to promote
the conference you have many opportunities to meet people, whether by intention
or fate. Of course, one makes their own
opportunities, as I did with an author while we were on line to order a glass of
$12 house wine.
don’t recall who spoke to whom first, but the woman in front of me began to
tell me what her book was about once she found out I am a book promoter. We hit it off during that brief encounter
that lasted no more than five minutes and exchanged business cards.
followed up with me after the conference by sending me a copy of her book. She’s now a client of mine.
tell you this story for two reasons.
First to encourage you to network and to reach out to others anytime,
anywhere, as you never know who can help you if you only ask. Second, I caution it doesn’t always work out
that way. Many conversations lead
nowhere. But one should keep trying and
putting themselves out there so that good things can unfold.
promote a book you need some strategy, a good story, and lots of gumption. Your strategy revolves around your targeted
readers. Once they are identified by you, please circulate where they can be found.
On the marketing side, determine where they gather so you can attend
events and speak at them. Locate them on
social media so that you can engage them.
Learn which media they consume and seek to be interviewed or reviewed by
them. Advertise on platforms where your
readers tend to be.
it comes to being assertive, aggressive, or in dogged pursuit of those who
could help you buy, promote, or sell your book, there’s not much to
debate. Let yourself be positioned for
success. You don’t have to let yourself
fail. Let yourself succeed. Open your mouth. Send an email. Mail a book reach out to any and all who can
help you. No time to be shy or filled
with doubt. Just put yourself out there
and allow for new doors to open. And
don’t forget to talk to the person waiting behind you on line.
DON”T MISS THESE!!!
How Book Publishers Grow Their Brand & Sales With Their
I will be moderating this panel -- which consists of my colleagues:
The “Why Now is a Good Time to Promote Your Book” panel will present innovative ideas and proven strategies, along with pointing out productive resources applicable at any stage in the process to publicize a book, from, six months prior to launch to six months after publication. Attendees will learn from the experiences of seasoned, senior managers and publicists from NYC-based Media Connect, the nation’s largest independent book publicity firm in the country. Following up on our previous standing-room-only workshop from last year (“Bestseller Book Publicity”), publicists, agents, editors and authors will be provided real tools to help navigate the ever-changing terrain of today's traditional media and digital publicity
1. What inspired you to write this book? I have been working in the field of Autism since the mid 90’s and have seen first hand how the prevalence has increased. I have always wanted to find resources that taught children who did not have Autism about compassion and inclusion. I could
not find a book that I could share in classrooms and homes that I would recommend to educators and parents about teaching what Autism was and how to develop friendships with others who had Autism. Thus, the development of my book.
2. Who should read it — and why? The chances of your child having a child with Autism in their class is high. CDC reports 1 in every 59 children have Autism. Parents, Children, and Educators should read this book and share with others. It is a myth that children with Autism do not want friendship, they just need others to understand how best to interact with them. My goal is to have this book in every classroom and teachers should read this to their students. I have received so many positive responses. This story opens up a discussion that children should have.
3. How is it better or different from others in its genre? I haven't found a children's story book that
shares what it is like to have an friend with Autism from a typical child’s perspective. The story is written from a child's perspective, thus making it reader friendly for a school age child. Also, I could not find a story book with professional tips by an Autism expert at the end.
4. What challenges did you overcome to write your book? I started to write this book in 2013 and stopped because I wanted collect more information and observe what I saw in classrooms and homes when children with AUtism were present. I wanted that book to be realistic. That takes time, and so the book took a longer to develop.
5. What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your book? The biggest take away I would want readers to have is the specific tips on how to make friends with someone who has autism and to teach kindness, compassion, and inclusion. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”
6. What advice do you have for struggling writers? I would advise to be true to yourself as a writer. Write about what inspires you, but write something that would be meaningful to others. A resource or tool they can use.
7. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? The publishing industry is becoming more open to
using children’s stories to address prevalent mental health issues and help
teach children about important topics in a compassionate and inclusive way.
About Unique In America: Raised by
her divorced, self-sufficient mother, Yanique is seen as a privileged kid by
her townsfolk of Cap-Haitian, Haiti. At home, she endures the wrath of her
mother, who sees her daughter as the obstacle to her new life with her
boyfriend, Julio. Still Yanique follows her mother’s main advice—to obtain a
college degree. By marrying Brunel Michel, she materializes her plan of a
conventional family. They immigrate to the United States, and together they
struggle to succeed in their new country. Then Brunel dies of cancer. Left
alone in the harsh, unwelcoming environment reserved for immigrants, Yanique
fights to build a future for her daughters while she faces what she fears the
most: single motherhood. Will Yanique commit the mistakes for which she reproaches
her mother? Or will she catch herself in time to avert those mistakes? What
will she sacrifice to hold on to the promises she made not to abuse her
Yanique leads us on a deeply personal and emotional journey, one where
maturity, loss, guilt, accountability, acceptance, and hope are explored
through her life’s circumstances—and one that will resonate with readers as
they see themselves in Yanique’s story.
1. What inspired you to write this book? The misconception money can make you
happy. I was a privileged kid. People in my hometown assumed I had no
problems and was happy. The struggles I fought during my journey as an
immigrant in America.
2. Who should read it and why? Readers interested in the challenges of
motherhood and those intrigued by the intricacies of the immigrant journey.
3. How is it better or different from others in its genre? In my book you find
SURVIVAL: the constant struggle to create a space where one could grow and find
contentment. There is also WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: when women are giving
opportunities they can perform as well as men. RESILIENCE: the will to try, to
take chances after failing. HONESTY: the choice not to get involve in
profitable, unlawful deals.
4. What challenges did you overcome to write your book? I had to convince
myself that it was worth telling my story. Then after writing the first
manuscript I realized that all I did was taking my revenge by presenting my mom
as a bad person and myself as an angel. So I had to rewrite the book.
5. What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your
book? A message of optimism: to never give up and keep trying. Also we must
learn to forgive and appreciate the efforts parents and relatives made to
create a path for us. Love prevails.
6. What advice do you have for struggling writers? My advice to them is to keep
writing. Only by writing can they better their craft and also produce material
to present and sustain their claim that they are writers. Use any negative
review to their advantage by applying the reviews/critiques to correct their
7. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? Traditional
publishing is a space crowded with books written by politicians and famous
people. So the self-publishing market will continue to grow.
The Hero Factor: How
Great Leaders Transform Organizations and Create Winning Cultures
1. What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote the book because I wanted to highlight all the good things
businesses are doing to create a culture that’s based on a great vision and
mission statements and deeply ingrained values while helping the world be a better
place – all without sacrificing profits.
2. Who should read it — and why?
The book is for everyone in the organization, not just CEOs or
c-suite executives. It’s for anyone currently in leadership looking to elevate
their skills as well as for anyone looking to become a leader in the future.
People should read this book because everyone in the company, regardless of
level, should be cognizant about what values guide the company. Everyone needs
to be on the same page in order to have a cohesive culture that leads everyone
3. How is it better or different from others in its genre?
I feel that, in America, we’re currently at a crossroads, both
economically and with leadership. Corporate America always gets a bad
reputation for a number of things and I wanted to change the negative
perception, or at least offer a different perspective, that many have of
business and bring back the focus to company values rather than just
4. What challenges did you overcome to write your book?
Finding the time to gather my thoughts and put them down was the
most challenging part. I’m always on the move – traveling for keynotes,
meetings, and other events, traveling home to South Dakota. I’m on the road for
the better part of the year, so sitting down & putting it all together was
certainly hard. Out of all my book, this has been the most personal for me and
once I got past the initial roadblocks, the entire process because a whole lot
5. What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming
I hope that anyone who reads the book takes a good, hard look at
themselves and how they’re running their company and honestly assess where they
stand in their hero factor’s intensity chart. There are four quadrants – the 1st
is operational excellence, businesses who increase their profit margins but
offer no value to the community. The 2nd quadrant is about values
and companies who value people over profits. The 3rd quadrant are
the ‘do-gooders’ – businesses with strong hero values but little operational
value. The last quadrant is nothing but the “asshats” who rip people
6. What advice do you have for struggling writers?
Make sure you have something to say first. Putting pen to paper
can be daunting, but putting pen to paper doesn’t have to be a pretty process
either. It can be messy at first. That torrent of information that goes into
the paper will organize itself as you move forward. It’s all about the
“organized chaos.” Also, have a plan in place to promote it and add shelf life
to the content. For example, you
have about 2 weeks to promote the book & after that period, even your
mother is sick of hearing about it. Try to extend it past that 2-week period by
repurposing the content. I decided to make every chapter 140 characters or
less, which gives me about 35 tweets. After that, I got 35 more days of
activation. Then I wrote short blog post of about 250-500 words, which gave me
35 additional activations. I also included a two-dimensional, branded bar code
that I got through a vendor/client friend of mine, where people could text me,
that led me to create a video for every chapter to talk about what they’d see
in every chapter – a total of119 extra days of activation.
7. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading?
are moving away from traditional publishing to independent publishing because
of the speed-to-delivery issues traditional publishers are facing. It could
take about 2 years to publish a book – from soup to nuts. Independent
publishers have created a bottleneck of inventory and competition. It’s a lot
easier to get published these days, but harder to get noticed, so authors need
to get more proactive with the distribution and marketing of their book(s).
Authors need to flip the business model by sometimes having to give books away
in order to open other non-traditional doors and search for alternative
opportunities. The publishing industry is being disrupted very much like other
industries. It’s all moving more online and everyone needs to get more
it!” said the enraged octogenarian writer.
had just ripped up a check after backing out of on agreement to have the
publicity firm I was working for to represent him.What was to be a publicity campaign for an
accomplished author was now an epic failure.I never had a client do that before – nor since.
gentleman was the irascible Warren Adler.The incident
happened almost a decade ago, and it flooded back to me as soon as I read his obituary
in the New York Times.The news saddened me deeply.
became a client, about a year after his outburst in my office.I emailed him out of the blue, and asked if he’d like to go to
lunch.A friendship would develop from
that moment that I’ve cherished ever since.
don’t recall what set him off, but I know Warren took an extreme disliking to a
colleague that would’ve been on the PR team and he simply called off the
campaign just as we were about to celebrate its commencement.But that incident merely delayed what would
be a publicity campaign for one of the most admirable writers I’ve ever worked
Warren, who died at the age of 91, could be rough around the edges.He’d
tell you what he wants and wouldn’t mince words.But he was intelligent, sensitive, and driven
to succeed.He really represented the
every writer, a man who despite 50+ books published, never made a major
best-seller list. Though a number of works were optioned to movie and TV
studios, just a few became movies, but he has one work that will forever be his
1981 he wrote War of the Roses, a
book that didn’t sell well but got the attention of Hollywood.The 1989 movie – released three decades ago –
starred Danny DeVito, Kathleen Turner, and Michael Douglas – and grossed what
would be in today’s dollars $178 million just n the U.S.It was a book about marital warfare and the
ugliest divorce ever.That story was
then turned into a sequel, The Children
of the Roses. The original story
became a play and has been produced in several dozen cities overseas.The Broadway version is slated to debut in
aside from War of the Roses, almost
all of his books are not literary staples.Most people would not even recognize the author’s name, and if they do,
would be hard-pressed to name three other novels of his.
contributed to the growth of writers with his work at NYU and Jackson Hole
Writers Conference and blogged regularly on writing at The Huffington Post. He also had his books sold overseas in 25
languages. By most accounts he was successful as a writer, but something toiled deep within him. He wanted some type of everlasting recognition that few get to receive.
said to me on numerous occasions that he wanted his legacy to survive his
lifetime and for the authorial authority of his works to grow.But he understood the many challenges of the
21st writer – overwhelming book competition, low royalties, and the
growth of so many diversions arising from technology devices.He would lament that writers chase “hopes and
never found the secret formula to branding him as a significant writer.Too many best-selling authors who owned a
genre had cornered the market on fame.Warren was challenged by his unwillingness to just settle into one
genre. He wrote on a number of topics in a variety of genres, though he did
establish one series, a nine-book collection about a homicide detective that
mystery readers embraced.The Fiona
tended to hone in on certain themes and was dubbed the Master of Dysfunction, as
many of his books revolved around fragile family relationships, the complex
nature of love and attraction, the corrupting of power of money, the aging
process and how families cling together when challenged by the outside world.
reminded me that all writers want what he wanted - to be prolific, to be heard,
to be appreciated.Even at age 91 and up
until his dying day he was writing and planning the release of a backlog of
books written but not yet published.Knowing Warren, he may end up breaking through after his death, giving
him the fame and peace of mind he sought all these years.
he didn’t start producing books until he was in his 40’s.He had owned and run a public relations and
advertising agency, helped the 1968 presidential campaign of Richard Nixon,
and helped launch a society magazine called The Washington Dossier. He also owned four radio stations and a TV
station. But once he started writing
books he never found a need or desire to slow down or step away from the pen.
of his earliest jobs was working at The
New York Daily News and later became the editor of an award-winning weekly
newspaper, the Queens Post.The Brooklyn-born son of Jewish immigrants
served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a correspondent for Armed Forces
I know your family, friends, and colleagues will miss you – and hopefully your
works will continue to pick up new readers.I can still feel the presence of your booming voice, your hearty laugh,
and the sincere search you were on.That
journey for “hopes and dreams” did not die with you.Your published words will see to that.
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