Issue #755 Oct. 1, 2013
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Press Release Links Can Sink You
- Free Webinar for Authors Tonight
- October Story Ideas
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
he high winds on Saturday night delayed the launch of hundreds of sky lanterns at the opening of Coal Dock Park in beautiful Port Washington, Wis., where I live. The event was moved to Sunday night but I couldn’t attend. Others did, and I found a video on YouTube. Now isn’t this a lot better than a boring ribbon-cutting?
1. Press Release Links Can Sink You
The lowly press releases seem innocent enough. You write it carefully, remembering to include all the essential elements, and post it to your own website or through one of the press release distribution services. But oh, those links! If you’re linking like we did back in the old days, and including up to five links, some of which are used with anchor text so you can get “Google juice” for linked keywords, that juice can turn into Google venom.
Then, it was called “link building.” Now, it’s called “gaming the system.” And Google can penalize you severely for it. Does that mean links are forbidden? Of course not. But you have to use them correctly. I have nine examples of press releases written according to the new rules, and I’ll share them with you as a bonus when you register for Thursday’s webinar on “Google’s New Rules for Press Release Links.” The rules also apply to articles, but I used press releases in the title because that’s the way most Publicity Hounds are accustomed to using links for publicity. Register here.
2. Free Webinar for Authors Tonight
If you’re writing a book, and you have only $5,000 to spend publishing and marketing it, how should you spend it? With that paltry amount, certainly not on a publicist because it won’t buy much. Besides, if you follow my many book marketing and publicity tips in this newsletter and via my training, you don’t need a publicist. Who, then, gets your money? A book designer is at the top of the list.
That’s because covers sell books. Yet too many self-published authors enlist the help of friends of relative “who can draw.” The result? Cheap, tacky covers that scream “self-published!” Judith says “scrimping on a cover” is a major error and can doom a book even before it sees print. Join Judith, me and three other book experts for a free webinar tonight–from 7 to 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and learn “The 7 Deadly Sins Authors Commit in Book Publishing Today.”
Judith and I are among the five “Chicks at Sea” who will be hosting a cruise Jan. 18-23 on the Royal Caribbean ship “Brilliance of the Seas.” Our working vacation will teach you about book publishing, marketing, distribution and sales. Book marketing expert Penny Sansevieri, book distribution expert Amy Collins and branding expert Georgia McCabe are the other three chicks. We’ll whet your appetite for the cruise at the end of Tuesday’s webinar. All the details of the cruise are at PublishingatSea.com.
Call Judith at 303-885-2207 if you have questions. If you can’t cruise with us in January, please join us tonight save yourself thousands of dollars and months of misery when you write your next book. If you’re considering the cruise, register early because the five “Chicks at Sea” will be promoting it to our fans, and it will sell out fast. Grab your webinar seat.
3. October Story Ideas
Ideas perfect for pitching in October, assuming you aren’t trying to get into media with long lead times:
—Make a Difference Day, on the fourth Saturday in October, is a perfect time for your school, company, service club or neighborhood group to get some publicity for a do-good project. It’s sponsored by USA Weekend.
–Sponsor a contest in which your customers, employees or others carve the call letters of your local TV station into a pumpkin. Invite a hot-shot anchor to judge the contest. If you can pull it off, guess who will be on the station’s news program?
–What are some fun alternatives to Halloween candy? What do kids find more enticing than candy bars and licorice? –It isn’t too early to be thinking of a great pitch that ties into the end of Daylight Savings Time on Sunday, Nov. 3. Nonprofits, how about suggesting what people can do with that extra hour? Instead of sleeping, suggest they volunteer. I listed 78 more ideas perfect for pitching from January through December during last week’s webinar on “The Secrets of Getting Free Publicity 12 Months a Year.” Register to watch the replay at your choice of times and dates.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Here’s the correct link for the video of Butch, the Husky enjoying himself frolicking in piles of leaves.