7 things your 2015 Publicity Plan must include –free training Oct. 15

7 Things Your 2015 Publicity Plan Must Include Free Training Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014If someone has a problem and they’re searching online for a way to solve it, but they don’t know you, have you made it easy for them to find you?

Too often, people who want publicity spend the majority of their time on outreach—hunting for journalists, bloggers and others who they can pitch. They seldom spend enough time making it easy for the same people they’re pursuing to find THEM.

Making it easy for people to find you, and contact you, is one of the seven most important things your 2015 Publicity Plan must include if you want major publicity. It isn’t enough anymore to look for and pitch others.

I’ll review the other six critical elements of a killer Publicity Plan when I host the free webinar “7 Things Your 2015 Publicity Plan Must Include.” It’s from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Oct. 15.

This free training is perfect for publicity newbies as well as for do-it-yourself Publicity Hounds who have been promoting themselves for awhile. Publicists, even though you think you know all the tricks, you’ll pick up something new from this training. Register here.   

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll learn:

The Truth About Press Releases

Press releases shouldn’t be the bedrock of your publicity plan. They’re important so you can get your information on the record, to be found by people who are searching. But they usually won’t get you the major publicity you’re seeking.

Journalists who know that you’re spoon-feeding them all the same news won’t be enthusiastic about sharing it with their audiences. But if you send a customized pitch that ties into something their audience cares about, you’re increasing your chances for coverage.      

Stop Looking for the Magic Bullet

Too many people refuse to accept the fact that self-promotion must be ongoing and consistent.

They want that one big appearance on The Oprah Network. Or they want to be featured by a top blogger. Or they want a big story in The New York Times. I know people who have appeared on Oprah and received other top-tier media covered, but little resulted from it.

Publishing a Book Can Waste Time and Money

Everyone can be a publisher these days. It’s easy, with the wide variety of tools and templates at your fingertips. The problem is that too many people who want exposure are wasting time and money on books without first understanding the confusing world of publishing.

They write books before identifying their target market. They know nothing about book distribution. They don’t realize that even if they can attract the attention of a major publisher who offers them a contract, the publisher will only be responsible for a portion of the publicity.   

I’ve seen authors spend three years writing a book, and $20,000 or more on vendors who prey on authors and turn out to be wolves in sheep’s clothing.     

Win Free Consulting with Me

At the end of the call, I’ll choose one attendee at random who will receive a half hour of free consulting with me. If you’re the lucky one, you can use the time to brainstorm story ideas with me, or help me identify your best targeted media, or give you instructions on how to pitch.

Seats are limited. Register here

6 ways cause marketing can rocket your publicity to new heights

Young businessmanan flying in sky on drawn rocket

By Linda Rastelli

If you’re a small to mid-sized business or nonprofit with very limited resources, how can you get better publicity and the approval of your customers or donors?

Build a relationship that has mutual value.

Today cause marketing isn’t just sponsorship. It can truly be a partnership.

Beyond Expectations, a Trenton, N.J.-based nonprofit, struggles with a small budget and is not well known. Yet it has had some big wins collaborating with larger partners including AMC Theatres, The College of New Jersey, Comcast and NBC Universal.

“We aren’t a widely recognized brand,” says Executive Director Leontyne Anglin.

Beyond Expectations serves New Jersey teens, particularly those in foster care. For one program, students produce video resumes, conduct online research to prepare for job interviews, and learn to communicate succinctly.

”Let’s face it,” she says. “No one wants to listen to people lecture. Video production is just the carrot that we dangle to get young people in the door. We could be teaching underwater basket weaving. The most important thing is to get them here and engage them immediately.”

Since it began in 1999, Beyond Expectation’s challenge has been getting noticed. “We’re not one of the big three [youth charities],” adds Anglin, a former corporate executive. “But since we’ve forged several strategic collaborations, many organizations and even entrepreneurs reach out to us for advice.

6 Tips and Possible Pitfalls

Here are a half dozen tips on how your company or nonprofit can build successful relationships for cause marketing.

  1. Be creative.
    In these tough times, says attorney Michael West of the New York Council Of Nonprofits, nonprofits are considering everything from entrepreneurial ventures, to shared services to corporate affiliations and restructurings. Collaboration can range from sharing information and resources to actually sharing a structure. With increased trust comes closer affiliations.
  2. Get social.
    Social media opens new avenues for collaboration. One person at the forefront is Gabriel Reynoso, the founding director of SocialMedia4Good in New York City, which helps nonprofits, foundations and philanthropies succeed on the Internet through capacity building and digital literacy.

    “Social media is a loudspeaker will amplify your message,” he says. “Collaborations will occur naturally because like-minded individuals will hear about it and say, ‘This is in our area, let’s talk to them.’ Most important is that your organization has its own online real estate, your own domain that you can control. You build an email list, with not just social media, but by creating your sales funnel and getting people to become your ambassadors.The point is to produce results. I’m a social media strategist on paper but I’m also on the phone with developers.”

  3. Build the relationship slowly.
    With the cable giant Comcast, Anglin says,“It took two years to identify the right fit. It took follow up, persistence, keeping contacts in the loop and finally getting to decision makers.” BE participated in 2014 Comcast Cares Day, the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort. Here’s a video that explains more about the event.

    2014 Comcast Cares Day from Beyond Expectations on Vimeo.

  4. Do your homework.
    If you just call, says Anglin, “You’re one of 1,000. Think it through strategically.” She knew she wanted to focus on life skills for teens aging out of foster care. “I narrowed it down by asking, ‘Which skills do they need most, and which companies support youth leadership that can get to us? We came up with a specific ask—not just ‘hire our kids.’ We asked AMC Theatres to please come talk about why they like working there, share opportunities, and provide interviewing tips. Later we took it to the next level to ask if they’d consider interviewing any of our kids,” which they agreed to do. “Even if they don’t get hired, their self-confidence has given them an edge.
  5. Set realistic expectations.
    Be very clear about what you can and can’t do. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. You don’t “partner just for the sake of partnering,” Anglin stresses, or you risk going off mission. “We’ve walked away because others didn’t seem to have the right motivation or take it seriously enough. They don’t really do film or understand what it is. We learned to say no.”
  6. Speak the other’s language.
    For-profits can misstep by talking the hard-nosed language of business, which can be a turnoff to nonprofits. Anglin has experienced an “unintentionally condescending attitude of ‘You don’t understand business. We’ve got money and you’re lucky to work with us.’ But on the other hand, I’ve seen nonprofits come to the table unprepared and make the costly mistake of not following up at all.” The common ground should be both the audience you’re targeting and a shared commitment to community.

Benefits and Rewards

Other than the great public relations aspect of helping a cause or gaining awareness, it makes financial sense to collaborate, says attorney West. It leads to greater economies of scale, increased capacity and long-term sustainability when financial pressures are removed.

It starts with a simple phone call or quick meeting.

A Beyond Expectations client was overjoyed to be invited on journalist Katie Couric’s show to tell his story about growing up in the foster care system. He had completed the nonprofit’s TV production class, with training in body language, dress, eye contact and resume-writing.

 “He handled himself like the true young professional that we first saw inside,” says Anglin. “Organizations simply have more impact when we take the time to identify the right opportunities and collaborate.”

*     *     *

Linda RastelliNew Jersey-based Linda G. Rastelli is an award-winning journalist, video scriptwriter, publicist, ghostwriter, editor and co-author of Marketing: Essential techniques and strategies geared toward results (John Wiley & Sons, 2007). Connect with her on Google + and LinkedIn.

How to use Media Kit Templates for Indie Authors…Sale ends Tuesday

Cover for Quick & Easy Media Kit Templates for Indie AuthorsIf you’re at all confused about what goes inside your Author Media Kit, stop worrying.

You can take advantage of one hour of training right now by watching the video replay (below) of a webinar I hosted for several hundred authors and publishers on Thursday with book publishing expert Joel Friedlander.

It’s “The Indie Authors’s Guide to Creating a Killer Media Kit.” By the end, you’ll know exactly what goes into the kit. You’ll also understand how to use it to help journalists, bloggers, retail book buyers and readers promote your book.

Joel and I have spared you from a lot of aggravation and stress you’d feel if you had to build the kit yourself. Our package of 15 easy-to-use, preformatted templates includes everything you need to create a wow media kit that will impress whoever uses it.

We’ve also included samples to accompany each template so you know if you’re on the right track. The samples were suggested by our beta testers.

If you go directly to the order page, you can watch a short video in which Joel demonstrates how he created his own author bios in just a few minutes using the templates. You can also see other videos from happy authors who used the package of templates to get publicity and speaking engagements. 

We sell the templates for $97. But during this special offer, you pay only $67. The discount goes away at midnight on Tuesday, Sept. 30. So act now or kick yourself later.

Watch the replay below. And if we’ve convinced you, go grab the templates. We’ve added a few new ones since we first launched this product in May.

You can also read this list of frequently asked questions which helps you understand exactly how to present the media kit at your website.

Author Media Kit free training today at capacity, but you can still attend

All seats have been claimed for today’s free webinar on “The Indie Author’s Guide to Creating a Killer Media Kit” from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

If you want to attend the free training but haven’t registered, I can pretty much still guarantee a seat for you. But only if you follow these instructions:

Register right now here.

At least least 10 minutes before the call starts, click on the link in the email you received when you registered. You’ll be one of the first ones “in the waiting room” and guaranteed a seat because it’s first come, first served, regardless of when you registered.

—Show up for the call 10 minutes late and you might be closed out.

—We’ll open the line and greet you 5 to 10 minutes before the top of the hour. So if you get a seat but don’t hear us immediately, sit tight.

—Prepare to take lots of notes.

At the end of the call, we’ll choose three lucky people at random who will receive a half hour of free consulting with me. I can review your Author Media Kit and make suggestions. Or we can brainstorm story ideas you can pitch during your book publicity campaign. Or I’ll show you how to pitch.

Only those who are on the call are eligible for the free consulting. See you on the call (but only if you arrive early!). Register right now here.

This training is also perfect for you if you already have a publisher. I will be discussing marketing materials in your Author Media Kit that your publisher will NOT create for you. Register right now here.

Why your author media kit needs four bios–free training Sept. 25

Why Your Author Media Kit Needs 4 BiosYou send an email pitch to a freelance writer who writes about the same topic as your new book. He tells you he’s interested and asks you to send the PDF version along with your digital Media Kit.

You’re elated and can hardly wait to read the article.

But he’s working from home, where his two toddlers are out of control and chasing the dog around the living room. He needs a very short bio of you, looks inside your Media Kit and sees one bio that’s 400 words. He starts cutting and pasting phrases into his Word document but stops when one of the kids knocks a vase off the coffee table.

On deadline with the article, he abandons the idea of including your bio and files the story with his editor. He mentions your book but offers no additional information about you or your area of expertise.

You’ve just blown an opportunity to let thousands of readers know that you’re not only an author, but a speaker and consultant. 

Don’t Let This Happen to You

Make it easy for journalists, bloggers and others to promote your book—even on deadline. Include four bios of different sizes inside your Author Media Kit:

  • 2-line bio (140 characters)
    This short bio can be used at the end of articles. It concentrates on your expertise.
  • Short Bio (50 words)
    This is ideal for longer author resource boxes. Explain your expertise, your major accomplishment and your publishing background. Include the title of your book, your website address and an optional email address.
  • Medium Bio (100 words)
    Include everything in the short bio plus some personal details about you—such as family, hobbies, pets, travel—to help people connect with you emotionally. This bio can also include your target market and explain in more detail your accomplishments and major projects that are under way. Include awards, your website address and an optional email address.
  • Long Bio (400 to 600 words)
    This should give people a good overview of your life, both personal and professional. Include everything in the medium bio. Explain how you work with clients. List media coverage you have received. If you’re a speaker, what are the most significant organizations that have hired you to speak? List awards you have received that are related to your publishing and your career. You can also use this long bio to tell a story, starting with your childhood, listing major life events, and ending with the one thing you still want to accomplish in this life. You can weave in humor, quotes and anything that will help people learn more about you as a person, not just an author. You can even mention your favorite guilty pleasure, whether it’s reading the National Enquirer, or making ice cream sundaes with all the toppings at 2 a.m.    

Free Training Thursday, Sept. 25

The bio section of your Author Media Kit should include two more elements that will make it very easy for others to promote you and your book. I’ll be explaining both of them in detail when I host a free webinar from 4 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time tomorrow—Thursday, Sept. 25-–with book publishing expert Joel Friedlander. It’s called The Indie Author’s Guide to Creating a Killer Media Kit, and we expect all 1,000 seats on the line to be filled by tomorrow morning.

Register here now, before you’re closed out.    

As a former journalist who has been blogging for almost nine years, I know exactly what your Author Media Kit needs to attract the attention of editors, reporters. reviewers and even meeting planners who might want to hire you to speak. I’ll be teaching what goes inside the media kit, how to use it, and how to shave days off the tedious chore of creating each element in the Media Kit.

If you’re in an authors group on LinkedIn. Facebook or Google+, share the link to this post, and feel free to use the graphic I created at the top of this post.

Hope to see you tomorrow. You’ll thank me. I promise.

How to build a raving fan base that buys lots of stuff. Free training Sept. 10

How to Build a Raving Fan Base Online That Buys Lots of Stuff, Free Training Wed Sept. 10Setting up a business online is the easy part.

Attracting thousand of fans and giving them time to  know, like and trust you takes patience and perseverance.

I know. I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years.

And there’s always a temptation to sell, sell, sell right out of the gate. That’s why I watch people like Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing.

Danny has build a very successful business online in only a few years, and he’s done it by laser-focusing on his target audience, and giving away high-value content—lots of it—at his website and in the dozens of killer guest posts he has written for popular, high-traffic blogs.

Tomorrow, he’s going to share more of it during a training session on how to build a raving fan base that buys more than $250,000 of your stuff…per year. It’s called “Passionate, Purposeful and Prosperous” and it’s at 1 p.m. Eastern Time (10 a.m. Pacific) tomorrow, on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Register for the free online workshop here.

Danny says you can realistically replace a full-time income with your Internet business (even if you want to quit your day job).

And he’s going to explain how to do it.

After you register, check your email. Danny will send you a bunch of cool stuff, including a follow-along workbook  you can use during the workshop to get the most out of the training. It’s an audience building technology list and map so you know exactly what tools to use.

 What You Will Learn

In tomorrow’s session, you will learn:

  • The step-by-step blueprint that Danny used to grow his income from $237,000 in 2012 to $680,000 in 2013. You can apply this to your business.
  • Why it’s often more profitable to do the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing, especially in the world of online marketing.
  • The biggest risk that you must avoid because it’s just too dangerous.
  • How you can realistically replace a full-time income with an online business but only if you are ready to seize the opportunity. It’s scary, I know.

Danny has presented several free training sessions for my Publicity Hounds, and after every one of them, I have received emails from happy Hounds who say they love him.

You will too.

Join us tomorrow. Claim your seat here.

What TV production taught me about creating a message that teases viewers

Open book with the words "Tell Them Your Story" aboveBy Roshanda E. Pratt

In a world saturated with content, it can be overwhelming standing out in the crowd.

How do you position yourself as an authority? How do you passionately communicate your product or service? Why does this even matter?

It matters greatly. Believe it or not, people still want to connect to people with a story.

You have one. Your business has one too. We are wired to connect to the human experience or stories.

My years working in the news allowed me the opportunity to tell stories daily. These stories in one way or another impacted, inspired or challenged the status quo. You have the opportunity to do the same. 

How to Write a Good Tease

Years ago, while producing news in Charlotte, N.C., a co-worker producer attended a boot camp and shared with us a tip about writing great teases. Teases are what the news stations use as a way to highlight an upcoming story in an interesting way to get you to stick around.

The formula consisted of one of four words we were to think about each time we wrote a tease. These four words have shaped how I communicate my value, create presentations, speak to potential clients and stay true to my brand.

Here they are: Love, Hate, Fear and Hope.

What do people love? What do people hate? What do people fear? And what do they hope for?

If you can craft your message clearly around one of these words, you can add great value to your ideal client’s life. Here is how I use the love-hate-fear-hope formula:

  • I love working with messengers—people with a story, a message to communicate, but not certain how.
  • I hate that more people don’t know these rock star individuals. More often, these individuals are paralyzed by their own fear of moving forward and showing the world their greatness.
  • As a media messenger and marketing strategists, I give hope to those I work with to be understood and heard.

3 More Examples of Pitches That Tease

Here are three more examples of pitches you might deliver if you were tying into the furor in schools over First Lady Michelle Obama’s nutrition guidelines that are resulting in skimpy lunches that a lot of children don’t want to eat.

Pitch 1 (Fear):

Parents, do you feel like your child’s school is policing your child’s lunch? Tips to make sure their lunch meets the new health standards. 

Pitch 2 (Hope):

Parents, don’t go overboard packing your child’s school lunch. One nutritionist discusses the new health guidelines and assures parents to start with baby steps. 

Pitch 3 (Hate):

Has packing your child’s lunch become a nightmare? With new government guidelines, one nutritionists discusses how to trim the fat and still give your kids what they love. 

These are all written in a “tease” form. However, you can craft your entire pitch from this standpoint.

See how it works?

Attract the Right Audience

Let’s be clear: A vague message can attract the wrong audience or target market. It also confuses people. When we communicate with people at their deepest needs, they in turn look to you as a solution.

Start thinking like a producer and watch people tune in each time you deliver.

Renaming your business? Why it must pass the ‘telephone test’

Can your company's name pass the telephone test?

By Marcia Yudkin

In 1994, a young investment banker named Jeff Bezos incorporated a company called Cadabra (after “Abracadabra”) to sell books online.

He had second thoughts about the name, however, after talking to his lawyer on the phone one day.

“Cadaver?” repeated the lawyer in astonishment.

Bezos changed the name of his ecommerce company to Amazon, as you have undoubtedly figured out. It’s fun to speculate how ecommerce might have developed differently with a trailblazer that bore a name that sounded like a dead body.

More important, though, is a lesson that’s still being belatedly learned all over the world by entrepreneurs who send their products and companies out into the world with names that flunk what I call the “telephone test”: Can people understand the name when it’s pronounced all by itself on the telephone?

After all, when you publicize your product or company, or even just carry on routine business, you’ll have to say its name to others over the phone – and on the radio, where people may get interviewed by phone. If people misunderstand and either laugh or cringe, or can’t understand the sounds you uttered, you have a big strike against you. And if folks who hear it tend to repeat it wrongly, that likewise puts an obstacle in the way of your success.

Why People Become Confused

Sounds come through less clearly on the telephone, according to Rebecca Shafir, a speech/language pathologist and brain fitness expert who is the author of The Zen of Listening.

“Telephones make speech sound artificial because they filter out sound frequencies under 250 hz,” Shafir says. “Phones also filter out frequencies above 3000 hz, leading listeners to confuse ‘s’ with ‘f’ and ‘b’ with ‘d, ‘t’ and ‘v.’ Accents, room acoustics and background noise may complicate the signal further.”

Factors that can get in the way of a name making sense to the ear include unfamiliar or foreign sequences of sounds. Zion National Park in Utah was originally called Mukuntuweap – its Paiute Indian name. In 1918, the director of the newly established U.S. National Park Service changed its official name to Zion on the grounds that people feel more comfortable visiting a place when they can pronounce its name.

Comprehension suffers when syllables don’t follow English-language patterns – as with Internet startup names like GlibJix, Kazalup and Blaxnort (which I made up, but without exaggerating).

Just how easily our minds jumble up what’s coming into the ear can be seen in the many comic versions of song lyrics, where people hear the Beatles line, “The girl with kaleidoscope eyes,” for example, as “The girl with colitis goes by” or “Gladly the cross I’d bear” from a church hymn as “Gladly, the cross-eyed bear.”

Likewise, someone who’s not from California can mishear PG&E, that state’s big utility company, as “Peach Eating.”

How to Test Your New Name

Putting a name to the telephone test is simple. Actually use a phone and tell someone who knows nothing about your business the name you’ve chosen or are considering. Repeat this several times with different people.

If you have to spell the name or explain it to have them understand it, or if they react like Jeff Bezos’s attorney, go back and brainstorm more.

Where to Find Help

Renaming BannerThrough September 10, get $20 off Marcia’s new “Renaming Your Business” online course with this coupon.  This course is perfect for companies and nonprofits that are considering changing their own name or the name of a product, service or event.

Make your pet a celebrity to help promote your small business

Happy Birthday Whoopi

Just as Joan Stewart is The Publicity Hound, I’m tied to my famous cat, Simon Teakettle.

Dubbed “the cat who owns the company” in an article in Business Week and on MSNBC.com, his persona has gone through three actual feline incarnations, but the company name, Simon Teakettle Ink, and the website remain constant.

Naming your company and website after a pet can be helpful if you want to avoid the common trap of selecting a name that turns out to be popular with others. Names containing the words dream, communications, writer or any variations of these turn up a vast number of companies and websites in search engines.

Using your own name can be tricky, too. If you Google Barbara Graham, you’ll discover the infamous killer, and only if you use my full name, Barbara Florio Graham, will the sites connected to me show up. But I decided not to use my name for my company or my website for several reasons.

Smart Reasons to Use a Pet’s Name

First, Florio is too easily misspelled. Even when I provide my name to an organization in advance, my badge often turns up with either Floria or Florida.

That brings me to this tip.

Bobbi badgeWhen you’re representing someone else, as the publicity point person, create a badge with your name in large, sans serif type, and the company name below and take it with you everywhere you go. You can often use a company business card that includes their name and logo in a larger badge holder, and place a card behind that with your name, so it shows above the company card.

The second reason why I didn’t want to use my own name for my company was the possibility that I might marry. My partner would want to be considered an equal, not part of Barbara Florio Graham and Associates.

Having a company name also lends credibility, especially to a sole proprietor who may be seen as a lightweight. You want to be taken seriously by the audiences you address, whether in person at an event where you’re handling publicity or serving as the spokesperson. That goes for emails, press releases and other communications too.

Don’t Dilute Your Brand

We’ve all heard about the importance of branding. I see too many entrepreneurs who have adopted different names and websites for different products, books and enterprises, diluting their impact. It’s important to be consistent across your entire platform.

Naming my company Simon Teakettle Ink was the result of my cat being featured on CBC radio so frequently, and on so many network programs that I worried that someone would steal his unique name. Registering it as a company name offered protection, but also allowed me to remain anonymous and let the cat communicate without revealing the name of The Lady Who Shares His Office.

I learned quickly that the radio audience remembered Simon Teakettle more than anyone else who contributed to the programs. One host I hadn’t contacted before even remarked how pleased she was to finally receive a letter from Simon Teakettle.

Human fans are often ignored, but pets are a different story.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My…

Any pet can help you widen the reach of your communications. It could be a cat, dog, parrot, ferret or horse. There’s an obvious advantage to using a pet you own now, or a previous pet if you have a large variety of photos. Pet pics can be used in social media posts, but also in other ways you may not have considered.

Simon Teakettle, for example, sends greeting cards to the media. Media personalities can be turned off by cards sent by humans, but when it’s a pet that’s the spokesperson for a company, it’s not only acceptable but memorable.

That’s one way Simon became so well known. We knew we were reaching our target when Simon  received a signed photo from Whoopi Goldberg after sending her the homemade birthday card you see above.

I’ve taken promotion related to Simon Teakettle even further. He has a blog and a fan club, both of which have allowed me to provide links to colleagues, as well as to organizations I support, such as the Great Canadian Theatre Company, where  he even has a seat in the theater, and NEXUS percussion.

Simon Teakettle Ink has his name on the theater wall listing patrons, and sends a new poster each month to the box office to post on their bulletin board. That means theater patrons as well as staff are exposed to Simon’s name and image.

He became so popular with subscribers that the theater company asked him to pose for their 2013 Christmas card. The back of the card credited me with the photo, and gave the website address. It was sent to all of the theater’s contacts, including its board of directors, program advertisers, subscribers and local politicians.

We’re also a patron of the Orpheus Musical Society, where the company name appears in all the programs.  

Tips for Promoting  Your Pet

marketing materialsIf you want to do this, set up link exchanges with those who can cross-promote, and find a common topic you share which will allow you to comment on their Facebook posts or blogs.

Your pet can have its own Facebook page. A Pinterest account is a great way to post photos, each captioned with something you want to promote.

Simon Teakettle has had a calendar since 2011. These are sold, but can also be used as promotional tools. We have laminated bookmarks for Mewsings/Musings, which list the website. Many people will keep a sturdy  bookmark featuring a pet but might discard a flimsy one promoting some other type of book.  

I continue to extend his reach beyond North America.

A friend who writes for several German magazines asked me for an article about Simon’s MEWSical Society and Fan Club to translate and send to a German pet magazine. I was also able to place my award-winning article, Training Your Cat Like a Dog, with the largest pet magazine in India, Creature-Companions.com.

His virtual MEWSical Society has members from nine countries, and the exploding fan club has photos of more than 200 cats, 100 dogs, and 18 other species, from 21 countries on five continents. All this drives traffic to the website because we provide reciprocal links.

Promoting other pet sites, including breeders, rescue groups, veterinarians and authors of pet titles, is a win/win.

The Pet’s Point of View…

PowerPoint Slid showing Free Publicity Tip 40--Make  your pet a celebrity that you feature prominently in  your marketing and publicityBut it’s important to make sure the pet has a consistent point of view. From the beginning, Simon Teakettle has promoted responsible pet ownership, including spaying and neutering. We were also careful not to tell harsh anti-dog jokes, or anecdotes describing bad behavior.

The pet can be a bit naughty, but never mean or nasty. You aren’t creating a comedy routine, but rather a personality people can relate to and trust.

Terzo, aka Simon Teakettle III, writes about birds as sources of delight that he watches from inside, instead of pursuing and tormenting them. Mice, however, are fair game!

If you feature a dog in your blog, don’t let it talk about chasing cats or running after cars! Never sacrifice integrity to humor.

That trust factor is key.

It has allowed me to build a compelling and popular website, only a small portion of which is cat-related. Whatever I’m currently promoting is on the home page, along with links to Simon’s blog and fan club.

What about you? Do you incorporate  your pet into your business? How? Feel free to share links.

How to find the perfect target market for your book–Free training tonight

Find a book target marektOne of the big mistakes authors make dooms their books to failure even before they’re finished writing.

They have no clear picture of the target market.

They spend months writing, more time editing, rewriting and proofing, and they call me when they’re ready to launch their a publicity campaign.

The first question I ask is, “Who’s the target market for your book?”

Often, I hear silence.

If you don’t know who you are writing for, you can’t possibly know where to find those readers online and offline.

Why You Book Isn’t for “Everybody”

Sometimes, authors tell me their book is written for “everybody.” Those authors are delusional.

If it’s written for everyone, that means it’s written for blue collar, white collar and unemployed workers. You’re trying to attract men and women, gay and straight, young and old, Democrat and Republican, church-goers and atheists, single and married.  

It’s impossible to create a marketing message that tells all those people, “This book is perfect for you.”

Tricks and Tools for Finding Your Target Market

If you don’t have a good idea of your target market, take advantage of free training tonight. Georgia McCabe, a book marketing expert, will be the guest presenter on a webinar we’re hosting on “Ninja Tricks for Finding Your Perfect Target Market for  Your Book.” It’s from 6 to 7:30 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 20. Register here.

If you attend, you can ask questions. If the time is inconvenient, we’re recording it. I’ll post the video here.

This is the fourth of four free webinars for authors to give you a taste of what we will be teaching on our Publishing at Sea cruise to the eastern Caribbean Jan. 18-15. Book shepherd Judith Briles and book distributor Amy Collins will join Georgia and me to teach authors about the business of publishing a book. We’ll cover everything from how to raise money to pay for your book to what to do if sales stall six months after you’ve launched it. 

More Free Training for You

You can watch replays of the other three webinars on my Publishing at Sea 2015 playlist on YouTube. The titles are:

How to Create Story Ideas for Book Publicity

Book Publishing Costs and Timelines for Authors

How to Get Book Blurbs, Endorsements & Reviews