Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Chance to Register for June "Build Book Buzz" Course

The June session of "Book Publicity 101: How to Build Book Buzz" begins Monday, June 1, and runs through Friday, June 26. Learn how to promote your book using traditional, online, and social media. I teach the class in a forum format, with lessons and homework assignments posted online in an easy-to-use password-protected forum. The highly-interactive courses – one for traditionally published authors and one for self-published authors – cover how to (among other things):

  • Use social networking tools to promote your book (new)
  • Create a book publicity blueprint that makes the most of your available resources
  • Craft the most compelling media materials needed to generate results
  • Conduct a virtual book tour with bloggers who can help you build buzz quickly
  • Employ the media relations tools that will take you the farthest fastest
  • Generate high-impact radio interviews
  • Generate an author Web site that supports book sales and other goals
  • Use public speaking to generate sales
  • Position yourself as the content expert that you are

Students receive instructional materials and resources and complete weekly assignments that help them discover how easy it is to create book buzz. I provide valuable one-on-one guidance and feedback that takes authors’ work to the next level while student interaction on the forum offers fresh perspectives and new ideas for all participants. A free-for-all Q&A corner lets students get answers to questions not covered in the course materials, making this a highly-personalized learning experience for nonfiction and fiction authors.

It's incredibly affordable. Register now and join us next week!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thank You for Sharing . . . .

I recently used HARO and ProfNet to find sources for an article and was a wee bit surprised by a response from a West Coast "publicist." (Those are air quotes.) While telling me via e-mail why I should interview his client, he wrote:

--One humorous anecdote: One pitch I sent out re a tragic event, I received this response from a press person: "Just one word: Vulture."--

Yes, this is "humorous," but my reasons for laughing aren't the same as his. I'm laughing because he's sharing something that makes him look like a knucklehead. Or a chucklehead. Why would he share this? What was the point? We had not had any contact before this little gem arrived in my inbox, so it's not like he had any sense that we were kindred spirits. In any case, it did not endear me to him or to his client.

Please use this example as yet another warning from me to either stop being a goofball with your pitches to reporters or, if you're on the client side, to monitor what your publicist is doing on your behalf. This guy is a good fit for clients who share his value system (his point in a subsequent sentence was, essentially, "I'll do anything to get my clients in the press."), but not a good fit for others, I'm sure.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's Recognize the Publicists Who Do It Right

I'm quick to complain about dumba$$ publicists who don't know how to do their jobs so I'd like to be just as quick to call attention to those who do. I recently completed a very large writing assignment -- 20,000 words -- and needed a few last minute sources while close to my deadline. A couple of smart and responsive publicists helped me out. Let's create an award for. . .

  • Kate Van Vlack at Ketchum PR in Chicago. Kate used her resources to find two good sources for anecdotes and she did it quickly. Somebody give her a raise!
  • Janelle Davis at the American Academy of Family Physicians. I needed a couple of family physicians with specific expertise and she found them for me quickly. Let's promote her immediately.
  • Richelle Shaw at Henderson OB/GYN. Richelle's job title isn't "publicist" but it could be. She was responsive and thorough with her responses to my questions and because of that, she was a joy to work with. She should get a private office for that.
What made them stand out? They responded quickly and with intelligence. In addition, I never had to follow-up with any of them. They did what they said they would and they did it well. We'd like to think that's a given, but we've all been in the workplace enough to know it isn't.

Thank you Kate, Janelle, and Richelle. I truly appreciate your help.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Free Book Publicity Teleseminar on May 14

I'll be doing a free book publicity teleseminar on Thursday, May 14, at 11 am Pacific/2 pm Eastern as part of the Self-Publishers Online Conference. My session is on "How to Build Buzz for Your Self-Published Book." To register or learn more visit the conference Web site. I look forward to answering your questions during the call!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why I Have to Stop Watching TV News

A local high school student committed suicide with a gun in the school bathroom this morning and how is it being handled by one local TV station? The focus is not on the tragedy and the family's loss. The focus is on parental outrage that (a) a student got a gun into school and (b) their children, in lockdown at the school, weren't allowed to use their cell phones to call parents.


As a parent, I'm horrified that the news value here is not in the fact that a 17-year-old was so unhappy that he took his own life, or that the principal had to make that horrible call to the young man's parents telling them their son was gone. No. The news angle is that other parents are pissed off by the situation.

My heart goes out to this young man's family. I hope they are getting the hugs and support they need from those who are close to them because the general population sure doesn't seem too moved by the tragedy.