Issue #841 Aug. 9, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Pretty Portable Potties
- When to Pay for Book Reviews
- Tips for Your Photo Shoot
- Hound Video of the Week
This Weekend in the Hound House:
Thanks to Publicity Hound Tracey Corrine for explaining why the four seedless watermelons taste so horrible. “When they bred out the seeds they bred out the flavor right along with them. Try finding yourself a good old-fashioned watermelon WITH the seeds. The Amish generally still grow them, and you will find the sweet, delicious and juicy watermelon of your childhood.” I love the lessons my Hounds teach me!
1. Pretty Portable Potties
By the end of the day, those walk-in portable potties at outdoor events are so disgusting–especially during the summer–that I wouldn’t dare describe them.
That’s why the pretty potties at the Women’s Golf Association tournament in Wisconsin several years ago rank as one of my favorite publicity ideas. The hosts equipped every potty on the course with special amenities you’d expect to see in the ladies room of a five-star hotel. Visitors found fancy toilet paper, scented candles, decorative soaps, cloth hand towels and fresh flowers.
My friend Deb Schmidt attended the outing and said other women golfers were so impressed that the potty surprise was the hot topic at dinner that evening and long afterward.
When you do something so unexpected or outrageous, people will create free publicity for you, even months after the event. And that means a bigger crowd the next year.
If you’re sponsoring an event this year, brainstorm things you can do to create the buzz. They don’t have to be expensive.
Then take advantage of very opportunity to promote your creative ideas. My webinar replay “60+ Places Offline to Promote Your Product, Service, Cause, Issue or Event to Build the Buzz & Encourage Others to Promote,” has dozens of ideas I’ll bet you hadn’t considered. It’s half price until Monday, but only if you use the coupon code POTTY at check-out and click “Apply.”
2. When to Pay for Book Reviews
This question surfaces almost every time I host a training session for authors.
Should you pay several hundred dollars to get a book review?
Book shepherd Judith Briles says that ideally, one or more of the Big Four reviewers would review and rate your book for free: Kirkus, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and Foreword. If you can’t encourage them to write a free review, consider paying for it. Foreword is the most expensive at $499. Understand that you’re taking a chance and aren’t guaranteed a good review.
That advice was one of the many tips she shared during Thursday’s training on “Book Publishing Costs and Critical Timelines: What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Judith explained detailed timelines of which tasks you must tackle starting 12 months before it’s published. She also listed the approximate costs you can expect for things like book cover design, editing, and working with a publicist. These are must-have lists for anyone thinking of publishing a print or ebook.
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the replay on YouTube on the Publishing at Sea 2015 Playlist. We’re no longer making you register to watch the replay, so feel free to share the videos with authors who need help.
Next week, I’ll present “How to Generate Story Ideas for Your Book Publicity Campaign” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Register for free.
Authors, I’d love to feature your idea that generated great publicity for your book. Email it to me along with your book title to JStewart@PublicityHound.com and I might include it in the webinar.
3. Tips for Your Photo Shoot
The next time you make an appointment with a professional photographer to update your head shot, consider this.
Ask the photographer to place you in front of a solid white backdrop. Stand in front of the camera and look up while pointing up and smiling. Now, look to the right and point right. Do it again, but this time, look and point to the left.
Now, look down and point down.
All the while, your photographer is clicking like mad.
Can you guess why I’m suggesting this?
These are great photos for landing pages at your website because they can show you pointing to an opt-in box where visitors can give you their names and email addresses. Here’s an example from Eric Graham’s website.
I’m kicking myself for not remembering to do this when I had my business photos taken a few years ago.
But I did remember to take Bogie, my gorgeous German Short-haired Pointer. We ended up with several cute photos like this one on the header on my Publicity Hound Facebook Page. Find a photographer who will let you take your pet to the studio.
I’ve included lots of other tips for taking and using your professional business photos. They’re in my ebook “How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound,” your one-stop-shop for learning about all aspects of how to get publicity. Read more about what my most popular ebook will teach you.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Enjoy almost 2 minutes of snippets from funny/cute/hysterical Hound videos you might have seen here before.