Issue #872 Nov. 25, 2014
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Embrace 1-Star Reviews
- A Short, Sizzling Bio
- Nov. 30 Deadline for Authors
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, remember this warning that I found in the newsletter from Bogie’s doggie day care center. Don’t feed dogs turkey skin, turkey drippings, gravy, turkey twine, turkey bones, corn on the cob, onions, garlic, mushrooms, raisins, grapes, sage, fat trimmings, fatty foods, bread dough, chocolate or booze. The same warning probably goes for cats too. Let them celebrate with a Milkbone or some catnip.
1. Embrace 1-Star Reviews
Some authors check their Amazon and Goodreads pages dozens of times a day, waiting to see if the next review has five stars.
If they find a 1-star review, they can’t sleep that night. The next day, they’re emailing friends and relatives, pestering them to write good reviews to “push down” the bad one.
Some authors keep returning to reviews that have less than 5 stars, searching for any inaccurate morsel that they can pounce on.
When they find one, they write a terse reply. And before you know it, they’re in the middle of a flame war that can burn them alive.
If this happens to you, step back and take a deep breath.
Book reviews of less than five stars, from professional reviewers or readers, come with the territory. Sometimes they can flag self-published authors to typos, poor quality covers and other problems that can be corrected before the second printing.
In the guest post I wrote for The Future of Ink blog, I explained Why You Should Welcome Anything Less Than 5 Star Reviews. And I introduce you to the author who thrust herself into the spotlight and created a mountain of bad publicity by writing nasty replies to a 2-star review.
Now that you know how to respond, go out and solicit as many reviews as you can. In the video replay of a webinar I hosted, I’ll show you how to pitch reviewers and avoid big mistakes that will send the message that you’re an amateur. When you buy the package, you’ll get five fill-in-the-blanks email pitches you can use when asking for reviews. Learn more about How to Ask for Book and Product Reviews from Bloggers, Journalists and Consumers.
2. A Short, Sizzling Bio
In only three sentences, Milwaukee-based freelance writer Heather Ray has shared more about her expertise and personality than most writers know how to share in a 500-word bio.
Here’s the author resource box at the end of an article she wrote for Edible Milwaukee, a foodie magazine:
“Health Ray is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer currently pursuing a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics from Eastern Michigan University. As the former editor of Healthy Cooking magazine for Reader’s Digest, she claims to eat healthy 80 percent of the time, reserving 20 percent for pie. When she’s not buried in homework, you’re most likely to find her running along the lake or shooting arrows at one of Milwaukee’s outdoor ranges.
Could you write something like that about yourself? What makes you interesting?
If you’re not sure, I can help. My “Special Report #46: Tips for Rewriting Your Boring Bio,” gives you examples galore of bios in a variety of sizes and formats. You’ll even find a poem written by a veterinarian who uses it as an introduction when he’s on the speaking circuit. And you’ll find lots of suggestions on how to pinpoint factoids and fun trivia that make your bio come to life. Only $15.
3. Nov. 30 Deadline for Authors
I’m one of the sponsors of the “Draft to Dream Book Publishing” competition in which three lucky authors will win a $10,000 grand prize that will help make their dream of publishing a book a reality.
If your manuscript is ready or almost there, this competition will help you cross the finish line and see your book in print.
The three grand prizes include copy editing, cover design, interior layout, ebook creation, advance reader copies, free title setup, virtual assistance, a one-on-one sales presentation to 20 buyers and librarians across North America, and lots more.
But you have until Nov. 30 to sneak in under the early-bird deadline and pay the lower entry fee of $90.
Here’s how it works.
You submit your finished manuscript in one of four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult and Children’s. A panel of elite librarians will choose the four grand prize winners and five runner-up finalists. Winners will be announced in May. The competition is sponsored by AuthorU.org, a 501c6 nonprofit membership organization.
4. Hound Video of the Week
Thanks to Publicity Hound BL Ochman of New York City and Pawfun.com for this one that shows the dozens of ways our pets interrupt our yoga. My favorite is the one starting at 2:03. I was laughing so hard, tears were rolling down my cheeks.