Issue #1324 Sept. 3, 2019
Publisher: Joan Stewart
“Tips, Tricks and Tools for Free Publicity”
In This Issue
- Worst Sins of Amazon Sales Pages
- Need an Editor Fast? Use This Instead
- The 35-Second Publicity Pitch
- Hound Video of the Week
This Week in the Hound House:
I’m sick of lousy customer service. A friend’s housekeeper dumps his filled trash bags outside his back door instead of taking an extra 60 seconds to walk them to the dumpster. The manager at my municipal parks department acted like she couldn’t be bothered when I called to tell her about the Facebook video someone posted. A jerk was encouraging his hunting dogs to chase the deer in one of our parks. All I wanted was a sign asking people not to harass the deer. My local post office is the worst. The line must snake out the door before they open a second window. (Phew! Thanks. I feel better now.)
1. Worst Sins of Amazon Sales Pages
You go through all that trouble to generate publicity, talk in sound bites, and work like crazy to be a social media star.
Then you send people to your Amazon page where they spend about 5 seconds before leaving.
During the last several Rent My Brain sessions with clients, I’ve noticed a frustrating trend in Amazon copy:
–Skimpy product descriptions. This is a sales page for crying out loud! Use every single character Amazon allows. I found one thorough description as long as 408 words. But most are as puny as 100 words.
–No keywords in the description. Amazon isn’t just a place to buy stuff. It’s a gargantuan search engine where people are typing topics, problems and questions into the search box, looking for solutions TO BUY.
–On book pages, no description of the emotion readers should expect from a fiction novel.
–For non-fiction, no “You will learn” lead-in to a list of benefits the book will deliver. And no mention of the target audience for the book.
Are you reading your competitors’ sales pages? Do you know what keywords they’re using? And how many reviews they have?
To do: See the entire list of Amazon product detail page rules. I’ll be talking about this in Denver this Saturday, Sept. 7. I’m presenting two half-day sessions with authors. In the morning, we’ll discuss “The News Rules of Press Releases That Get Publicity and Sell More Books.” In the afternoon, I’m teaching “Book Hooks: 19 Fun, Timely, Compelling Angles for Publicizing Your Book.” This is my last in-person speaking engagement before I retire. Register here. If you can’t make it, consider a Rent My Brain session.
2. Need an Editor Fast? Use This Instead
I’ve told you about his before. But it’s been so long since I’ve used it that I want to remind you again so you don’t forget like I did.
When you’re in a bind, and you need an editor fast, but you don’t have the time or money to hire one, use the Hemingway App. It color-codes weak or wordy phrases and sentences and explains how to improve them. It also gives you a readability score (Grade 2, Grade 3, etc.). It’s the closest I’ve found to a human editor.
I’ve been using the desktop version for a few years and can still access it for free. I go to HemingwayApp.com, highlight all the type on the screen, delete it, and paste my copy. Or after deleting the copy, I can write in the blank space. Click “Edit” and I can see the colors appear.
Depending on what else you need to do with it, the Desktop Version 3 is only $19.99, a steal.
To do: The difference between the free and paid versions is confusing. Experiment with the Hemingway App and try to use it for free before you buy it. Let me know how you like it.
3. The 35-Second Publicity Pitch
The most challenging obstacle to pitching?
Creating a pitch that isn’t too short and ends up being confusing, or too long because it tries to tell the whole story.
Your pitch needs to land somewhere in the middle, with enough compelling information to catch journalists’ attention and prompt them to say, “Tell me more.”
Steve Harrison has a 6-part formula for the perfect pitch that has landed his author clients on Good Morning America, Today, The View, CNN and in O The Oprah Magazine.
He’ll walk you through it, step by step, during the free webinar this Thursday, Sept. 5, at either 2 or 7 p.m. Eastern Time. You will learn:
–The seven most common types of stories/segments that the media love, and how you can make what you’re doing fit any or all of them.
–The trick to developing a compelling “hook” that grabs the media’s interest.
–Secrets for writing emails and PR copy that convince the media to say yes. You’ll be able to apply his 35-second formula whether you’re communicating by email, phone, or in person.
–How to write promotional copy about yourself that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable or like you’re bragging. This will set you apart from many other authors and experts who are pitching.
Once you learn his recipe, including a magic phrase that gets the media’s attention, you’ll be able to craft enticing publicity pitches in as little as 35 seconds.
To do: Register for “The 35-Second Publicity Pitch Formula That Gets You National Media Exposure” using this affiliate link.
4. Hound Video of the Week
I don’t know if all those dog commercials sell more cars for Subaru, but they sure get top billing in this section. This one titled “Scram” might be the funniest yet.