The Best of The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013: Yours to regift

Ebook--Best of 2013 coverIf you want to ramp up your PR campaign, generate more publicity and really build the buzz on social media, here’s the gift that keeps on giving. 

It’s “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013,” a compilation of 34 of the very best tips from my popular ezine. The ebook has become an annual tradition, and I encourage you to regift it to your friends, followers and fans.

You can download the ebook, or use the handy app we created, by clicking on the links in red, below. 

When sharing it, use this link which will lead people right over to this blog post: http://PublicityHound.com/bestof2013 (you can’t download the book from this link, which leads right back to this blog post. Look for the download instructions in large type,  below.)

This year’s ebook has a special emphasis on free tools you can use to save time and money in a publicity or social media campaign. Here’s what you’ll find in the 49-page ebook:

—How to create and use the social media 2.0 press release from Shift Communications

—How to Promote Your Business with Your LinkedIn Company Page

—The differences between print, broadcast and online publicity, and the advantages and disadvantages of each

—How to ask for reviews of your products or services on LinkedIn

—Where to find a huge directory of freelance writers, complete with contact information

 

Ebook--Best of 2013 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com  

 

 Free Publicity Tip 35--Best of 2013 ebook—A handy tool that will help you check for plagiarism and duplicate content

—Alternatives to the very popular and now defunct Google Reader

—Five big advantages for marketers who use Facebook calls to action

—Where to find a giant list of local and regional magazines so you know all your pitching opportunities

—36 places to publicize your startup

—Where to find a free 39-page report on how to research and pitch bloggers, step by step

—Where to find inexpensive and very creative marketing help if you need a new slogan or tagline

—Where to find a fabulous list of 50 tips for pitching the media

 

 

Ebook--Best of 2013 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com 

 

—40 forms and links on how to contact Google

100 power words you should be using in your headlines and email subject lines

—A webinar replay of tips on how to shoot video using an iPad and a $5 app

How to make a killing on Pinterest if you have a topic that’s dull, academic or yucky

—How to enlist the help of hundreds of bloggers who can promote your posts

—Why tips lists are more powerful than ever when used in a publicity campaign

—Where to find a free tool that will help you create a cover image for Google+

—3 places journalists are dropping clues about topics they think are important

 

Ebook--Best of 2013 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

 Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com 

 

–How to help readers find your books on amazon

–How to pitch a radio talk show host who reviews books

–Where to find a handy free template for an email pitch that generated tons of free publicity

82 story ideas for publicity, several for all 12 months of the year

–Ideas for action photos to include in your online press room

–Why you should write your blog or article headline before you write the copy

–Where to find a free tool that will let you create a video of your Twitter profile and tweets

 

 

Ebook--Best of 2013 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

 Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com 

 

–The 6 big benefits of using hashtags

–Where to find the top 50 new product review blogs

–5 ways to use a free tool to create fun photos  

–Where to find a free replay of a webinar I ihosted on  the 7 things your 2014 publicity plan MUST include

–Where to find step-by-step directions on how to improve your Google+ Hovercard

–How to add an email opt-in box to your Facebook page

 

Ebook--Best of 2013 coverClick on the book to download the free ebook

 

 

 

 

 

MobileAppPhone

Click on the phone to add the app!

The “Best of” Mobile App

This is “The Best of the Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week of 2013″, delivered to your mobile device. This is an app you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can keep the ebook at your fingertips!

 

Problems accessing the book? Email my assistant, Christine Buffaloe, at Chris@SerenityVA.com  

Let me know if you like the ebook and have used any of the tips. The Comments section awaits….

And if you don’t subscribe to these twice-a-week tips, you can do so in the box on my homepage.  

Dog Tweets of the Week–8 Reasons to Hire a Journalist in your Marketing Department

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

Eight Reasons to Hire a Journalist in Your Marketing Department
Here are examples of a journalist’s CV, listing the various daily duties and (in red) how those skills can benefit your content marketing.

Yahoo list says PR specialists will replace reporters
Public relations jobs are expected to jump 23 percent from 2010-2020, while journalism jobs are expected to fall eight percent. Yahoo contends that PR specialists will replace reporters sometime in the near future.

16 People Who Tweeted Themselves Into Unemployment
Twitter may limit you to 140 characters or less, but that’s actually more than enough room to stick your foot in your mouth. These people know that firsthand.

Wacky Instagram alternative lets you have photos with stickers, captions & more
Instagram makes photos prettier. Molome makes photos funnier.” This is the selling point of Thailand-based mobile photo startup Molome.

Authors: List of 23 gift shops in U.S. focused on state-related gifts and books
Most states have privately owned gift shops that feature products made in that state (or have other connections to that state). The following state gift shops should feature your books.

Reporter-speak: Words and phrases PR pros should know
The nomenclature of a newsroom shouldn’t be a mystery. Mastering a few key terms will help you communicate with journalists, while bolstering your credibility among members of the Fourth Estate.

7 consumer trends to run with in 2014 [Piggyback publicity onto these]
No matter what market or industry you’re in, if you’re obsessed with catering to evolving consumer needs, desires and expectations, you will prosper through even the most insane global upheavals, whatever their flavor.

Why is your Klout score not reflecting real-time social activity?
When it comes to social measurement Klout has been the leader since its beginning in 2008; and, is the first company to create a proprietary measurement algorithm on perceived social influence.

Five Twitter Accounts That Give Great Customer Service
At a time when 53% of all businesses in the United States are using social media as a customer service channel, it’s time to take a look at the companies who are succeeding with Twitter as a primary customer service platform. The best practices and interactions used by the companies below go a long way with regard to extending their brand and showcasing their commitment to providing excellent customer service:

7 Tools That Make it Easy to Organize and Simplify Your Blogging Life
Let’s face it, blogging is a ton of work. You’ve got to keep up with your social media profiles, create and organize tons of content (both in written and video form), and you’ve got to market like crazy just to stay relevant. And this is on top of our other duties. It’s definitely a crazy blogging world we live in, but there’s a way to tone down the craziness just a little bit.

Dog Tweets of the Week–How To Cultivate a Relationship on Google Plus

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

5 ways to use PhotoFunia
The free, fun little tool for inserting a photo of your face, or a short text message, into photos at PhotoFunia.com has a variety of uses for Publicity Hounds. Use these in place of boring stock photos in your blog posts.

How to Prepare for Author Interviews 
You’ve published your book, created publicity buzz, sent out your press release…now what? Are you prepared for what you’ll say when the phone rings and a reporter or editor asks for an interview? As an author, the reality is that whether you contact the media or not, if you’re spending time marketing your work, there’s a good chance someone from the media will call you at some point.

Control the Interview? Dream on!
There are many PR agencies, consultants and media trainers that still advertise that they can teach spokespeople to control an interview. When someone says that to me, I have three words: Have a seat. I’ll be the journalist. You be the spokesperson. At the end of four or five minutes, you tell me how in control you actually felt.

How to Make Your Blog Images Awesome – Even If You Aren’t Picasso
Adding amazing images to your blog is not as difficult as it seems. Even if you are not artistic, you can pimp your blog images with these simple steps.

How To Cultivate a Relationship on Google Plus
Google Plus is a platform above all others. It’s micro-blogging aspects makes the social update stand out to your follower when done in the right way.

Running a Business Online? You Need To Get Back To Basics
For millions of men and women, the Internet has been an unbelievably great way to build a business and generate massive revenues. Additionally, more now than ever before, you can voice your unique perspective and point of view in order to have a greater impact doing your life’s work.

7 Things Your 2014 Publicity Plan Should NOT Include
I’ve identified 7 important things you must do to create a strategy that lets you be seen, heard, found, followed, recommended, studied and hired by people who need what you have.

Oh No They Didn’t! LinkedIn Profile Pictures Gone Wrong
LinkedIn is a professional networking site used for business purposes, right? And unlike Facebook or Google+, you only get ONE picture to sum you up to the outside world, so that one photo becomes a very important part of your professional brand. So what does YOUR profile picture say about you?

5 Lessons We Learned from Bad Mayors
Recently three mayors of large cities, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis, and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, have made grave mistakes leading them to extreme public ridicule. The mistakes were not just women, drugs and racist remarks, but their handling of these issues in the press.

Make a video of your Twitter profile and tweets. Fast, fun, free tool
If you’re on Twitter and you want to give people one more reason to follow you, increase your online visibility and make your online profile look really hip, create a short video of your Twitter feed using Vizify.com. It’s a free service that collects your tweets, photos, Vine videos and other content you’ve shared on Twitter and creates a video of less than a minute, accompanied by music.

How to promote a Hangout, webinar, podcast after you’re the guest

If you’re an expert in your topic, you’ve probably been invited onto at least one program as the guest expert. 

Afterward, you thank the host, send out a few tweets linking to the replay, and then get back to work. That’s what I usually do.

There’s a much better way.

Mike Allton, a social media manager in St. Louis, was a guest yesterday on Denise Wakeman’s Adventures in Visibility Hangout on Air (HOA). He shared advanced techniques on how to get the most of out Hootsuite, a dashboard that lets you manage multiple social media accounts. I watched the show but was easily distracted and wasn’t able to take notes like I should have.

Today, I found a fabulous summary of the show at Mike’s blog under the headline Hootsuite Tips and Tricks with Mike Allton [HOA Video]. I want to follow Mike’s lead and use his blog post as sort of a template for when I appear on someone else’s webinar, podcast, Hangout, or even a radio show.

Here are the seven elements:

1. A short, two-paragraph introduction.

2. A list of questions asked on the show. I love this! It creates interest an summarizes the sub-topics discussed.

3. The YouTube video offering the replay, embedded in the blog.

 

4. A fun photo, perfect for sharing on social media. 

5. A large pop-quote from Mike.

6. A list of resources on HootSuite.

7. A call-to-action paragraph letting the reader know they can hire Mike.

And notice the share buttons above and below the post.

Beautiful! And very smart.

Is this something you’d use after you appear as a guest on a show? 

5 top things to consider before you write and self-publish a book and why publicists should care

1. Why are you writing a book/ebook?

 If you are an expert in a field, are you writing a book to promote that expertise? If so, your reasons for writing may be different than for a person who wants to “make money” from book publishing.

To promote your expertise you will probably want the widest exposure possible, and this may mean giving away as many books as you can. This in turn implies using numerous strategies for getting your free books into the hands of your target audiences (see #2).

If you want to write a fiction book, is it a story that you just have to share? Something that keeps you awake at night thinking what happens next? Or do you dream of becoming famous?

That latter goal, as well as making a great deal of money by writing and self-publishing, may be very hard to obtain. You need to consider how you will feel if you do not reach this goal.

Publicists:  Understanding the reason(s) why people who have written and self-published books that they want you to publicize is very important. Specific goals require specific publicity strategies, and you want to use those strategies that closely align with your clients’ goals for their books.   If your clients are not clear about their goals, this muddies the water for your own efforts.

2. Who are the target audiences for your book?

Trust me, it is not the entire world.  In fact, frequently the narrower the definition the larger the market.  Why?  Because you are speaking to specific people — to their information needs or their entertainment interests.

Say you are a real estate lawyer with a very specific niche. If you write a book with information for that specific niche, that is who your target book audience is. It is not all people who want to buy or sell real estate.

And when we talk about book specifics (see #3), you want those to connect directly with your target audience and not with everyone interested in the general topic of real estate.

What about fiction books?

The more specifically you can define your target audience, the more specifically you can categorize your book. This is important because of the way search engines work — and Amazon is one big search engine.

From my own experiences (this is anecdotal), I have seen that the more specific category a book is in, the easier it is to be found. Thus my novel, MRS. LIEUTENANT, gets good reviews but it is hard to find on Amazon because the novel does not fit into any very relevant sub-categories for the kind of story it is.

On the other hand, my cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE and my romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY are more easily found because both these books fit into relevant sub-categories on Amazon.

Before you start writing a novel, consider how the specific story you want to tell might fit into a popular sub-category of fiction — a sub-category for which people search. And if you cannot satisfactorily answer this question, you may want to tweak the story to better fit into a relevant sub-category.

Publicists:  Clearly these questions of target audiences are very important to the publicity efforts you might undertake for book author clients. If authors do not understand that the entire world is not their target audiences, they may not understand the strategies you are using. If your author clients have not already done so, helping them identify the target audiences for their books should be part of your pre-planning with them

3. Are you willing to spend the necessary money to have your book/ebook professionally edited and formatted as well as having a professionally designed cover?

Now there is a whole range of possible fees for each of these categories. But they are non-negotiable in terms of being done.  Obviously, if you are a professional editor, you can probably do your own copyediting. But if you are not, you need your book proofed, especially for spellcheck errors (such as sight for site).

And while Kindle Direct Publishing, for example, allows you to upload a Word doc for conversion to Kindle’s mobi ebook format, these ebooks often have formatting issues.  For nonfiction it is your professional reputation that could suffer from a poorly formatted book. For fiction, your book just might be abandoned — or get Amazon reviews dinging the poor formatting.

Cover design is a whole other ball of wax, as the saying goes. And because the book cover image is usually rather small online, the elements of good book cover design are more important than ever. Plus there are certain “looks” for different categories of books.

Warning:  Be careful when considering free or inexpensive book covers that are actually the same cover used for different books with only the title and author’s name changed. Also be sure you have the right to use a specific image or photo on your cover.

In addition, you might want professional guidance on your book’s title and subtitle, especially when you are considering what keywords in the title and subtitle will best attract the search engines.

Publicists:  All of these considerations are important for you if you are being hired to promote a book. The better each element is, the better book you will have to promote.

4. Are you willing to stay the course — to not give up after three months and move on?

Perhaps this is the most important consideration. Book marketing is a long-haul strategy – and it is even longer now that books can remain online forever rather than be yanked off bookstore shelves after a few weeks.

First, the publishing landscape is constantly changing these days. This means there may be new opportunities tomorrow for your book that are not available today.

Second, you will learn about other existing opportunities as you start book marketing. And many of these opportunities require staying power.

If you are not going to be willing to put in the passion – the time and the effort and probably the money – to promote your book, perhaps it is better not to write the book.

Publicists:  When prospective clients come to you about promoting their books, it is a good idea to ascertain whether these authors have the commitment to be your partner in promoting their books. If they believe that you will wave your magic wand and immediately sell tons of books for them, perhaps a reality check is in order.

5. Do you have realistic expectations for your book?

Yes, even if you are committed to the long haul, some books will sell and some will not for any number of reasons.

Will you be comfortable with knowing you have done a good job of writing the book and getting all the other elements (editing, formatting, cover, title, etc.) in good shape?  Will you be glad you went through this experience even if you do not sell many copies?

Or perhaps your goal is to spread information about a topic. Will you be satisfied if you give away tons of such a book in order to help your target audience?

The answers to these questions go back to your answers to #1 and are very important to consider before you start down this road.

Publicists:  This may be the toughest part of your job — getting clients to understand that there is no magic wand. So many variables go into a book selling well that it is impossible in most cases to predict how well any one book will do. But if authors understand this situation from day one, they should be better prepared for whatever does happen.

And then there is always tomorrow …

17 gems, jewels about print, ebook publishing

man and woman reviewing a bookIf you want a crash course on book publishing, set aside some time this weekend to watch the replays of four free webinars that will teach you way more than what most authors know about book marketing, distribution, publicity, sales and many other topics related to publishing.

I’m one of the Chicks at Sea, five publishing experts who will be hosting “Create the Ultimate Bestseller at Sea,” a Caribbean cruise Jan. 18-23 for authors and publishers. We offered the free webinars to whet your appetite for the cruise and demonstrate how much we know about our topic.

I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned in only four weeks from the other experts!

Book shepherd Judith Briles, book distributor Amy Collins, and social media and branding expert Georgia McCabe presented along with me. Our tips apply to self-published authors as well as those who have big publishers. We discussed print books and ebooks. We offered options for those who want to do some publishing tasks themselves, or outsource to the pros.

I’ve excerpted several jewels and gems from each webinar below. Click on the title that interests you and register to listen to the entire replay at your choice of times and dates. When you’re done, think about what you can learn by spending five days with us, at sea, on a working vacation.

The 7 Deadly Sins Authors Commit in Book Publishing Today

  • Many authors make a fatal error and embrace the “Rush to Publish” syndrome. They sign up for expensive programs that promise shortcuts. The result is often sloppy books that look amateurish.
  • Your book cover must be done professionally. Too many self-published authors rely on “my cousin who really likes to draw” or “my neighbor who is a professional photographer” for this all-important task. Expect to spend at least $500 on a cover. We also tell you exactly how much you can expect to spend for other publishing services. 
  • Authors whose books aren’t selling six months after they’ve launched sometimes give up and abandon their marketing so they can start writing their second book. You must ALWAYS be marketing, even a year or two after your book has been published. In our four webinars, we suggested many ways to pump new life into an old title.
  • You should know the target market for your book so well that you’d be able to write a page in your ideal reader’s journal. Too many authors write books for the masses or fail to identify exactlywhom they are writing for. 

Authors Beware: What You Must Know to Avoid Being Fleeced by the Publishing Predators 

  • This phrase should set off your B.S. detector: “If you sign with us, a senior editor with our affiliate New York publisher will look at your book.” The scam artists say this. What they don’t tell you is that their “New York publisher” has a post office box in New York but the company is elsewhere.
  • Another B.S. phrase: “We can get you top media coverage.” No they can’t. When I worked as a newspaper editor, I couldn’t even promise my reporters that the stories I assigned them would be printed.  
  • You do not need several thousand copies of your book printed. Any “publisher” who tells you this is lying.
  • Some of the predators call them themselves “publishers” but they’re really companies that will print your book for a hefty fee. We know editors who have been fleeced and whose books were so inferior that they literally fell apart because the spine was weak or the glue was cheap. 

Your Toughest Questions About Book Publishing Answered Here

  • What information do many authors fail to include at their websites? The price of the book! And sometimes even a link to where people can buy it.
  • Is starting a podcast worth an author’s trouble? Absolutely! A podcast can help you reach new audiences that might not otherwise discover you. We give you tips galore on how to get started.
  • How does a self-published author know how to price a print book or an ebook? By doing research  and finding out the prices on your competitors’ books. We give you tips on how to search, and where. 
  • “I heard Amazon is doing a huge sweep through its store and removing self-published ebooks about erotica, and even some about romance. Is this true?” Unfortunately, yes. So are other book sellers. Judith Briles tells you exactly what to do to avoid being part of the sweep.

How to Use 12 Book Publishing Trends to Sell More Books

  • Self-published authors, finally, are on equal footing with authors who have big New York publishers and have gained a new respect within the publishing industry. That’s because they’ve taken the time to learn about publishing. These four webinars will make you very smart, very quickly. 
  • Hashtags are the new search tool. Learn how to use them when sharing information about your book.
  • Create a Google+ profile and get active on that site. Your involvement is part of what Google factors into its algorithm,the formula that determines where you show up in search results.
  • Libraries offer opportunities galore for authors to SELL more books. The number of library patrons is skyrocketing due mostly to the bad economy, and some patrons use libraries to find out about new authors before they invest in their books.
  • You no longer have to grovel at the feet of traditional media to ensure adequate publicity for your book. YOU are the media! I explain many ways you can create your own media outlets and promote your book far and wide.      

If you like those tips, you’ll love all four webinars. 

Cruise at Sea banner with 5 book publishing experts

Important Note: The deadline for signing up for the cruise is fast approaching. If you’re on the fence about whether to come, you can call me at 262-284-7451, or Judith Briles at 303-885-2207. All the details are on the PublishingatSea.com site.  

You can spend 5 days at sea with 5 book book experts, pick our brains, bounce ideas off of us, learn which vendors we recommend, know how much you can expect to spend to publish your book, and return with everything you need to lay the groundwork for a bestseller.   

How to get a corporate sponsor, even in a rotten economy

Brendon-Burchard-corporate-spokesmanWhat author, speaker or expert wouldn’t love to be sponsored by a big-name corporation?

The company promotes you to spread a message about a topic you’re already passionate about in return for mentioning the company onstage, or at a book signing, at your blog, and in videos. They even pay for your airfare, hotel and other travel expenses.

But companies don’t have money to throw around, especially now in this bad economy, right? 

Wrong.

Companies and nonprofits that are cutting back on expensive advertising campaigns are turning, instead, to a much cheaper way of promoting their own names. They’re teaming up with authors, speakers and experts who are already knowledgeable about topics that tie in perfectly to the goals of the company or nonprofit.

It took Brendon Burchard two years to crack the protective shell of some of these giant organizations and land his own corporate sponsorships. So far, he has been sponsored by Wachovia, Coke, Toyota, Sony, the YMCA, Walmart, Kiwanis, US Bank and Junior Achievement.

He says you can land sponsorships, too, if you know exactly who to contact, when to contact them, what to say and—most importantly—what to already have in place.

Brendon will be sharing his tips during a free teleseminar at 2 and 7 p.m. Eastern  Time on Thursday, Oct. 24, with host Steve Harrison. Register here. 

How a Corporate Sponsorship Can Help You

Big corporate sponsors, he says, offer four key benefits to their much smaller partners:

1. They have a budget to promote you.

Even though they might be cutting back on public relations to trim expenses, it’s still much cheaper to pay you and your expenses than to rely solely on a big, expensive PR firm. In other words, they’re paying to promote you and to provide your PR. 

2. They already how how to serve and sell to the same people who are in your audience.

Because many of them have already done sophisticated testing and marketing studies, they know which marketing tactics work best. They know how to manage an effective email campaign. They know if direct-mail works well and, if so, the type of direct mail pieces that get the most response froom their audience.

3. Because they have giant email lists, they can get you in front of thousands of people who don’t know about you.

Brendon says his many corporate sponsorships resulted in about 30,000 people who were added to his own email list. That’s huge!

4. They have access to staff and volunteers.

When you land a corporate sponsor, they have people in place to help you with all the little details. That’s so much easier than hiring your own employees to help, or outsourcing the work to independent contractors you have to oversee.  

Free Publicoity Tip #31--Get a corporate or nonprofit sponsorIn just 18 months, Brendon’s sponsors and promotional partners agreed to buy 50,000 copies of his self-published book, allowed him get over $500,000 in advances for his second book, paid him high fees for 65 speaking engagements, and helped him reach more than 2 million people a month while raising $250,000+ for charity.   

He’ll explain how he did it on Thursday’s free call. 

Full Disclosure: I’m one of Steve Harrison’s affiliates, and if you buy something from him down the road, I’ll get a commission.   

Publishing predators stalk authors: How to spot them

wolf in sheep's clothing with "Authors Beware" warning about the publishing predators

 

If you want to publish a book, there’s a Publishing Predator around the next corner.

They call themselves publishers, but they’re anything but.

They’re better known as the “vanity press” and the fist sign that they’re about to fleece you is when they tell you that YOU have to pay THEM to publish your book.

But that’s just the beginning.

Once they know you’re interested, they’ll keep calling and emailing and pestering you relentlessly. Some authors just give in and say yes to stop the phone calls.

After you sign a contract, they keep trying to upsell you to more expensive things like marketing and publicity—services that a legitimate publishing house should be providing.

They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing. And book experts Judith Briles, Amy Collins, Georgia McCabe, Penny Sansevieri and I usually get phone calls from authors after they’ve already signed contracts and have been taken for thousands of dollars with little to show for it except piles of books that fall apart. 

Judith Briles has written extensively about these publishing rip-offs at her blog, and many authors have added to her complaints in Judith’s Author U group on LinkedIn.  

Learn About the Publishing Predators Oct. 10

I’m hosting a free webinar with the four other women I mentioned above at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, Oct. 10. Register for Authors Beware: What You Must Know to Avoid Being Fleeced by the Publishing Predators.  

We’ll tell you how to spot the companies that have a far greater interest in your checkbook and credit card than in developing you as an author and helping you create a book you can be proud of, market and sell.

You will learn:

  • The key phrases and marketing gimmicks that should set off your B.S. Detector
  • Key questions you should ask any book consultant.
  • Why you must avoid any publicist who promises you coverage in top-tier media.
  • What you can expect to pay for reasonably priced publishing services…and when to know if you’re about to be fleeced. 
  • What to do if you’ve been swindled…lots of unsuspecting authors come to us after it’s too late

Don’t miss this deep dive 60-minute webinar with us.

You Can Win a Free Cruise

We’ll also let you know about the cruise we’re hosting for authors Jan. 18-23 to the Caribbean. It’s a working vacation where you can learn all about book publishing during more than 12 presentations and workshops. One lucky author will get to cruise free.

Note: Come to the webinar with your questions! We’ll answer them all at the end of the program. If you’re listening in by phone only, you need to email questions to Judith@Briles.com or JStewart@PublicityHound.com during the live webinar.

Hope to see you on the call!

 

PR News needs 100 case studies for new book

Here’s another opportunity for anyone who does PR or publicity to promote their expertise.

Write a case study about a successful PR initiative you created and managed for a client. PR News wants 100 case studies for its “Top 100 Case Studies in PR.” Each case study should include these 10 elements:

1. Describe basic initiative that is being discussed in Case Study.

2. Situation analysis (before campaign).

3. Objectives (desired future state).

4. Budget for initiative.

5. Implementation process.

6. Stumbling blocks or unanticipated challenges.

7. Tactics for overcoming challenges to achieve objectives.

8. Outcomes (with as many metrics as possible) on what was actually achieved.

9. Next steps.

10. Key lessons learned.

But don’t write anything yet. Send your article idea in 50 words or less to prnewspress@accessintel.com. Use the subject line “Top 100 Case Studies Guidebook.” Deadline for submitting ideas is Sept. 10.

Last week, I wrote about a similar opportunity to submit ideas for PR News’ Crisis Management Guidebook. Deadline for submitting your 50-word idea for that book is Sept. 6. 

7 Places to Find Freelancers to Write About You

hands of a freelance writer typing on a keyboardWhen you’re planning a publicity campaign, don’t overlook freelance writers, a powerful resource that can help you spread the word about your product, service, cause or issue—sometimes far better than a traditional journalist who works full-time for only one media outlet. 

That’s because freelancers often use the same valuable sources (like you) over and over again, as they write for different newspapers, magazines and online news sites.

This short video explains what freelancers do, how they work, and where to find a fabulous free online database of hundreds of freelancers, with contact information:

 

Now that you know about the Society of Professional Journalists Freelance Directory, here are six more places to find freelance writers:

1. The Editorial Freelancers Association.

The EFA member directory is searchable by everyone for free. Search by editorial skill, subject specialty, hardware or software capability, location, name, keyword, or any combination of these. Members write their own descriptions of their services and bios and provide their own contact information.

2. Help a Reporter (HARO)

This free service will email you dozens of leads, Monday through Friday, from journalists who are looking for specific types of stories. Some of them are freelancers. You respond on your own and the journalist decides whether to write about you.

3. PitchRate.com

This is similar to HARO. They also offer a service in which journalists actually critique your pitches.

4. The National Publicity Summit in New York City.

Steve Harrison’s National Publicity Summit Oct. 16-19 in New York City is a one-of-a-kind conference where you’ll personally meet more than 100 top producers and journalists, many of them freelancers, and pitch your story ot them, one-on-one and face-to-face. The price goes up after 6 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Learn more about the conference here.

NOTE: Steve is hosting a free teleseminar at either 2 or 7 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Sept. 5, where you can learn “How to Become a Guest on Top National  TV Programs.” Register here.  (These are affiliate links.)

5. The American Society of Journalists and Authors.

If you’re a writer, you can join this group and attend their convention and other events—great for meeting freelancers face-to-face.

6. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search to search for freelance writers who write in specific topic areas. You can also find them in LinkedIn Groups.

Watch this video as Wayne Breitbarth demonstrates how to use Advanced Search. The example he uses is for people who are looking for purchasing managers.  Simply substitute “freelance writer” or “freelancer” for “purchasing manager”.

 

Those are my seven resources. How do YOU find freelancers? Any success stories to share about how you generated publicity from a freelancer? Are you a freelance writer? If so, what tips can you offer for building the relationship? What’s the best way for Publicity Hounds to connect with you?