11 things authors must know about book publicity to create a best-seller

 Publishing at Sea cruise logo

 

Two days ago, I shared 11 book publishing tips I learned from book shepherd Judith Briles, book distribution expert Amy Collins and social media expert Georgia McCabe, who presented with me on the recent Publishing at Sea cruise to the western Caribbean.

Today, I’m sharing 11 things I taught during my own presentations. Here they are, in no particular order:

 

1. Create a profile and participate on book review and book recommendation sites such as Goodreads.

Millions of readers are on these sites, searching for books to read and looking for their friends’ recommendations. You no longer have to rely only on book reviews from traditional media. Many book review sections in major newspapers and magazines are shrinking, or they have disappeared.

The Goodreads Author Program offers several tools and tips for promoting yourself and your book.  

 

2. Research journalists and bloggers before you pitch.

This will help you find juicy details about each person you’re pitching, and you can work those details into your pitch. You must send the message, “I know who you are, I know what you need and I’m here to help you.”

In yesterday’s ezine, The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week, I wrote a sample book review pitch. See Item #1, “How to Fix a Lousy Pitch.”
  

3.  If you want publicity, think beyond traditional media.

Don’t just pitch reporters, editors, freelancers, photographers and broadcasters. Pitch podcasters, ezine editors, bloggers, and experts who host Google Hangouts.

 

4. Use Google Search, the best replacement for expensive media directories.

Looking for the top mommy bloggers? Search Google for “top 20 mommy bloggers.” Or look for niche blogger directories. (See Item #1).

I also taught authors how to find the name of a blogger’s dog, cat or kid in 60 seconds. 

 

5. Check out PressPass.me, a live directory of journalists organized by beat, outlet and region.

This site lets you ask them if you can connected. You can also follow them, share a tip, pitch, and send a tweet!

 

6. Save time blogging by writing about frequently-asked-questions you see in your email.  

When you find yourself answering someone’s question, do a quick cut and paste and use the answer as the basis for a blog post.

You don’t always need to start from scratch. Be aware of all the opportunities to repurpose your content. 

 

7. Before you pitch anyone, look for clues about them on their social media streams.

Do they tweet? If so, scan their tweets for clues about topics they think are important. Do they welcome pitches on their Facebook page? Many don’t, but some do.  

Do they blog? If so, you’ve struck gold! Leave a comment or two at their blog a few days before you pitch. Here’s an excellent example of how personal details in your pitch is your ticket to publicity.    

 

8. Submit your book to be reviewed in the Library Journal.

The Library Journal publishes about 8,000 reviews a year of books, ebooks, audiobooks, and videos/DVDs. No textbooks, kids’ books or technical books.

Send your book three to four months before the publication date. See how to submit titles to the LJ Book Review.

Because of the economy and other reasons, libraries are seeing a surge in patrons. Finding your book in a library might be how a reader learns about you.

 

9. Pitch freelancers who review books.

Freelancers are excellent contacts for you because they write for multiple publications and websites. I love the Society of Professional Journalists Freelancer Directory. It lets you search by city, state or specialty and includes contact information for most of the freelancers.  

A freelancer who reviews your book might use you as a source for the next article an editor buys. 

 

10.  Guest blog for other high-traffic blogs that reach your target market.

This is a fabulous way to let people outside your circle of fans learn about you. 

Here are 10 famous blogs for guest posting. Pitch these only if your topic is a good fit. You can also offer yourself as a guest blogger, or find guest bloggers, via BloggerLinkup, a free service.

 

11. It’s OK to be overwhelmed, but don’t let it paralyze you.

Authors on our six-day cruise said we overwhelmed them with fabulous content. We weren’t surprised to hear that because we’re overwhelmed, too, when we attend these kinds of training sessions as audience members.

My advice when you’re overwhelmed: Choose only three things and put them on your to-do list.

Mark them off one by one as you complete them, and choose three more. That’s what I’m doing. The to-do list I brought home with me has more than 50 items on it, most of them things I learned from the other three presenters!

OK, authors and publishers, it’s your turn. Let’s hear about your best book publicity or promotion tip in the Comments section. And don’t forget to share this post with your friends, followers and fans.

Dog Tweets of the Week–How to Convert a Hangout on Air to a Podcast

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How much is an email address from Facebook really worth?

Facebook Like button on cash

  

Here’s a startling statistic that will force you to really think about how much money you’re probably leaving on the table on Facebook.

Studies show that the average Facebook “Like” is worth about $10 a year. Some of those people will buy from you when they see you promoting things, but most won’t.

If that same person who “Likes” you, however, also gives you their name and email address, that fan is worth a whopping $120 a year!

In other words, convince them to opt in on Facebook and they are now worth 11 times more than if they had simply “Liked” you.

 

Why a Facebook Opt-in Is Worth That Much

 

Once they opt in, you can email them valuable content like tips and advice on how to solve a business problem and really promote your expertise.

If they’ve been with you for awhile and love your content, chances are far greater that they’ll buy from you if you send them an email promotion instead of asking for the order on Facebook where most people hate blatant promotions.

That’s why selling on Facebook is usually ineffective. You need to get your fans onto an email list. Right now!

 

Learn How to Gather Email Addresses, Step by Step

 

Internet marketer Don CrowtherMy friend Don Crowther will give you step-by-step directions on how to do that, for free, when he’s my guest on a webinar from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12. He’ll also teach you how to use Pinterest and your own blog to build a valuable email list of people who will let you market to them over and over again.

Register for the free webinar “Turn Your Social Media Into a List-building Machine.” 

You can access the free step-by-step directions after the webinar.

 

Do the Math. How Much Money are You Leaving on the Table? 

 

If an email address you’ve harvested from Facebook is worth $120, multiply that by the number of fans you have. Now do you see why you’re leaving money on the table?

Register for my webinar with Don right now.

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How to Prepare for Author Interviews 
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Control the Interview? Dream on!
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How to Pitch the Top 50 ‘New Product Review’ Bloggers

four out of five stars review

Whether you’re launching a book or introducing a new app,  plan to spend time researching and pitching bloggers who do product reviews.

Cision has published its list of the Top 50 New Product Review Bloggers, a great starting point. Authors and publishers, add to this list three more bloggers who review books::

But don’t just click on the name of a blog and start pitching. Take the time to research the blogger.

Free Publicity Tip 33--Pitch New product review bloggersHere are 7 important tips.

1. Study the blog.

Read several posts to determine if the blog is a good fit with your product.  You should be able to determine the blogger’s target market fairly quickly. Look for an “About” or “How to Pitch Me” or “Contact” page.

If you can’t find this, do a Google search. For example, I  Googled “how to pitch the mommyhood chronicles which is Number 2 on Cision’s list. I found a very detailed page that explains her Product & Review Policy and her policy for offering giveaways. Skipping this step can cost you a review.

If the blog isn’t a good fit, move on.

2. As you’re reading the blog post, look for personal tidbits about the blogger.

Does she talk about her kids? Does she tell you the name of her dog? Does she mention where she went on vacation? Those are all valuable nuggets that you might be able to work into your pitch.  

See my step-by-step instructions on How to find the name of a blogger’s dog, cat or kid in 60 seconds

3. Write a short, succinct pitch that’s no longer than one screen of type.

Explain the product and the problem it solves. Don’t give all the details, only enough to see if the blogger is interested.

See an example and how Personal details in your pitch is your ticket to publicity.

4. If they’re interested, ship the product.

Don’t send ANYTHING unless you know they want it or you’ll be wasting time and money.

Email them to let them know when you have shipped the sample and ask them to let you know when they receive it.

Keep a detailed list of which bloggers you have pitched, and which ones you’ve shipped to.  

5. If you don’t hear anything, follow up to see if they received the sample.

Things fall through the cracks on this end. That’s why I appreciate it when people follow up. But don’t follow up more than once.

6. Create a Google Alert for the name of your product.

Some bloggers who write reviews won’t necessarily take the time to send you the link. A Google alert will let you know who’s writing about you.

7. Thank the reviewer and share the link.

After the review is  published, send a handwritten thank you note to the reviewer, even if it wasn’t a five-start review.

Also share the link to the review on the social media sites.

What tips can you add to this list? Has your product received decent reviews? If so, share the link here. 

Like this tip? Share this tip with your followers. 

Dog Tweets of the Week–How to make a blog banner–free, fast and easy

twitter birdHere are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

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Hate writing headlines? Steal one. Lots of copywriters do

Headlines cut from a newspaper and piled atop one another

When you have to write a headline for an article or blog post, and your mind goes blank, don’t always start from scratch.

Do what I and thousands of other writers do. Steal someone else’s headline, remove a word here, add a word there, and make it your own.

One of the best places to find great headlines is on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. You don’t even have to buy the magazine. Just scan all these images of Cosmo covers. If the headlines are too risque for your topic, choose your favorite consumer magazine. 

Example of  a Cosmo headline:

Weird Things Guys Do When You’re Not Around

An expert in home security might steal that headline and change it to:

Sneaky Things Housekeepers Do When You’re Not Around

A consumer advocate might write:

Scary Things Your Supermarket Does When You’re Not Around

You get the idea.

That Cosmo headline is one of several hundred “formula headlines” that many editors and copywriters use. The pros even steal headlines from each other’s publications. You can too, as long as you change a word or two in the one you found and you’re not violating copyright. If in doubt about copyright law, don’t steal it. 

That little trick is one of many I’ll be sharing when I host the webinar “Headline Tips, Tricks, Tools and Templates That Make Readers Click” at noon Eastern Time on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. If the time is bad for you, register anyway because I’m recording it and you’ll get the video replay and all the bonuses.

Register here.

I’ve discovered  some amazing tools that will make your job so easy, they’ll practically write the headlines for you. Wait! One tool I discovered does, indeed, write your headline for you. Not only one headline, but several so you can choose from the best one. This is a lifesaver when you’re up against a deadline or you need to send an email promotion and you need a compelling subject line that will make people open your message .

See you Saturday. And remember, the best blog post, article or email is useless if no one reads it. What makes them read it? The headline.

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twitter bird

Here are my Top 10 tweets from this past week, great for retweeting! If you missed these, follow The Publicity Hound on Twitter.

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Write punchy headlines using this free, easy tool

Free Publicity Tip 30--Write punchy headlines with this free headline writing toolYou’re reading this right now because the headline at the top did exactly what I wanted you to do, thanks to a free tool I discovered that helps me write punchier headlines.

It’s the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer and it tells me, within seconds, how well my headline or email subject line appeals to your emotions.

It also assigns a percentage grade to the headline. The one I used above got a grade of 62.5 percent which falls into the “Gifted Copywriter” category.  :-P

You can use this tool for blog posts, articles, your website, sales pages, pitches to reporters, White Papers, and even the outside of envelopes on direct mail pieces.

Authors, use it when creating book titles. Speakers, use it when creating titles for your presentations.

 

results of free headline analysis tool for the hadline "Write punchy headlines using this free, easy tool"

But I have to be honest with you. I had to rewrite it about eight times before I finally scored that high!

How I Rewrote My Headlines 

Here are earlier versions I wrote, and the lower scores:

Write more powerful headlines with this free tool (25 percent)

Write powerful headlines with this free tool: (28.57 percent)

Use this free tool to write powerful headlines (50 percent)

Use this free tool to write punchier headlines (50 percent)

Write punchy headlines with this free, easy tool (50 percent)

Write punchy headlines using this free, easy tool (62.5 percent. It loves the word free! So do readers just like you) 

This is one of 61 free or dirt-cheap tools I’ll be telling you about during tomorrow’s webinar on “61 Publicity Tools in 61 Minutes” from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

If the time is inconvenient, register anyway because I’ll send you the video replay and all the bonuses within 72 hours.

How Does Your Headline Writing Score?

Play with the headline analyzer and let me know what you think. Then join me tomorrow and learn about 60 other tools that can save you hours of time, tools that can spare you from weeks of frustration trying to figure out how to solve a problem, and tools that can save you thousands of dollars.

Register for the publicity ideas training here. 

Let’s see how well you did. In the Comments below, give us the “before” and “after” versions of your headline, and the scores. Do you like the tool? How will you use it?