Monday, February 28, 2005

Book Marketing: The Blog Book Tour

Book Angst just had a great item on doing a blog tour. Click on Book Angst above to see the item.

Key link: The Virtual Book Tour sets up blog tours for others.

Does it work? According to Tom Dolby, it does. As he notes, "On February 15, 2005, content about me and my book reached more than 50,000 readers; this made my tour the second most successful he has done to date, trumped only by that of novelist/web guru M.J. Rose... What kind of sales did this effort result in? It's difficult to say exactly, but I do know that my Amazon numbers shot way up, and booksellers that I visited in Manhattan over the following several days appeared to be constantly in the process of restocking their copies, so I know it had a positive impact."

There's also the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit which tours two authors a month on 18 like-minded blogs by female writers. It's an dynamic exchange network that can produce great awareness.

And the Business Blog Tour.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Email Newsletters

Question: I have a question regarding email newsletter distribution, if you're willing to answer it. I have a free, inspirational bimonthly newletter to which people subscribe. I've started having trouble with getting through to my subscribers who have AOL. All emails going through AOL have been returned this time! That's a significant amount. They all say on the return mail "greeting failed." I'm assuming that AOL thinks it's spam.

How do you handle this kind of thing for your newsletter????

John's Answer: There are a number of ways to handle it.

1. Don't send HTML formated email.

2. Ask each AOL member to put your ezine sending address on their white list or safe senders list.

3. Start a blog, and encourage them to get your news there.

4. Post every newsletter at your web site and tell them if they start missing your newsletter to look on your web site.

Those are all things that I've done at one time or another to defeat AOL and other spam blockers (who for whatever reason see my email as spam as well).

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Marketing Information Products: Some Quotes

My friend Fred Gleeck writes some great stuff in his weekly ezine Fred Gleeck's Insights. Below are just a few quotes from his current issue.

"If you don't have the right knowledge or skills, don't coach someone. If you don't have personalities that click, don't coach them."

"Some people never create information products because they feel as if they don't know enough. They think that unless they are one of the most knowledgeable people in the field they have no right to produce the product. Baloney! Two important thoughts on that: If you know more than 90% of the people out their, you have the right to create the product. You may even have the right if you know more than 80% of the people. Maybe even less."

"Stop sitting around contemplating your navel and get going. Produce something. Anything. Get started. The toughest dollars to make are the first dollars."

"Ethics are like pregnancy. You can't be a little bit pregnant. Same thing with honesty. People either are or they aren't. You can't be a little bit honest."

You can find out more about Fred Gleeck at Product Guru

Friday, February 25, 2005

Now You Can Write a Book in Just 14 Days . . .

Have you ever wanted to write a book, fiction or non-fiction, but you just couldn’t get it started, or didn’t have the time, or couldn’t think of a plot, or had writer’s block, or didn’t think you had anything important to say, or didn’t think you had the writing talent, or had something else that was stopping you? Have you ever wanted to get a book out fast?

Well, I’ve just discovered a web site that is specially designed to help you write your book faster than you ever thought possible. In fact, there’s information here that will lead you to write your book in 14 days.

Now, I know that seems hard to believe, but when Mark Victor Hansen (co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books) saw the information, he not only said it was some of the best stuff he’d ever used, he even asked the owner of the website, Steve Manning, to speak at his next seminar! And Mark is using this information to crank out still more books!

This stuff is so powerful that writers and web site owners are using these techniques to write books faster than they ever thought possible. There’s even a free email course that gets you started fast. So if writing a book has always been your goal, your dream, your desire, or simply a back-of-the-mind thought, check out http://www.writeabooknow.com. Do it in the next 36 hours for a special break.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Novels: How to Market the Suckers?

Question: Bowker did a book review of my novel. This review is now recorded in their Books In Print. But, except for libraries, no sales traction. Yet. Where do I go from here? Any thoughts? Your charges?

John's Answer: You need to get reviewed in the legitimate fiction review places such as the New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, as well as in cultural magazines such as Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, People, Time, Newsweek, etc. If your novel is literary, also submit your book for review with the major literary journals. If your novel is genre fiction (romance, SF, mystery), then submit it to the appropriate review media for that genre.

Plus you have to do some touring of bookstores. People need to hear you reading from your work. They have to be able to sample it safely. Your reading to them offers them that chance. And, once they've met you, they are far more likely to buy your novel.

That's my short free answer. For a longer answer, my fee is $500 per hour. Prorated by the minute. It's a lot, but I'm worth far more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

AdSense Makes Money

The following paragraphs are excerpted from my friend Paul Myers's Talk Biz email newsletter:

How do you go from $30 a day to over $18,000 a month... without creating any new content or products? That's a tough trick. A friend of mine showed me recently how he pulled it off. The good news -- he's willing to tell you, too.

The guy's name is Joel Comm. His secret? AdSense.

No, he's not using iffy search engine techniques or automated page creators. He's using the content he had before he joined the AdSense program. He just figured out how to get the maximum clickthroughs out of his traffic. In his case, those clicks will add up to over $200,000 a year.

The great thing about this is that it costs nothing to join the AdSense program. You plug some code into your pages and when people click on the links, you get paid.

A lot of people use it, but very few actually do well with it. Joel's book will show you how to turn that around. Details at: http://www.talkbiz.com/adsense.html.

John's Comments: Now, I haven't seen Comm's book. Nor do I know the details of how he used AdSense to create that kind of income. What I do like, though, is that he was able to do it. I believe many other content creators can do the same. Perhaps, not make $200,000 per year, but certainly anyone should be able to add several thousand extra dollars a year to their income with enough good content and traffic. Why not try it today? -- John Kremer

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Word of Mouth Marketing

Since 80% of all books are sold by word-of-mouth, your primary goal in marketing your books is to create a core group of people who will spark that word-of-mouth. I like to think of these people as the officers for your word-of-mouth army, because what you ultimately want to create is an army of people talking about your book. In that army, you'll have privates, corporals, sergeants, lieutenants, majors, colonels, and generals. The moment someone meets an author, they've self-promoted themselves to at least a corporal. If they get an autograph, count them a sergeant. If they buy ten books for other people, promote them to lieutenant. You get the idea.

In my 1001 Ways to Market Your Books army, I have at least four five-star generals: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Bob Allen, and Dan Poynter. They've earned every star. Indeed, I have many other one-, two-, three- and four-star generals. Plus lots of captains, majors, colonels, and other uppity-ups.

Note: If you don't like the analogy of an army, then think of it as a parade, or a circus, or fan club, or a really great party. Help others to join the fun!

Monday, February 21, 2005

George Washington for President: 2005

I saw the following note in the LBN Alert ezine: "GEORGE BATTLE: If George Washington came back from the grave and tried to recapture the presidency, he'd wallop President Bush by nearly 20 points."

Below is my response to the article:

Well, gosh, this statement is rather ludicrous. Given no campaign, Washington would have beaten most presidents of the last century by 20 points.

But, if he had to campaign, my guess is that he'd lose. His wooden false teeth wouldn't help him in the TV age. And his speech patterns would get him kicked off American Idol in three seconds flat. I don't think he could win a campaign in this media age, no matter how noble his intentions. Plus, once he ran, he'd run into trouble with his background. He'd be caught in too many lies about cutting down cherry trees and tossing coins across the Potomac. Then, of course, there's the problem of him owning slaves. It would all come out in a gory campaign, and he wouldn't know how to defend himself. He'd have trouble making it through the primaries, much less the general campaign.

Alas, and he might have made a good president, but will we ever find out?

Search Engine Marketing and Online Publicity

Click on the above title for a great article on how to write news releases and articles for optimum pick up by search engines and other web sites.

Note that these same ideas do not apply to writing news releases for regular media. They require more stories and intriguing opening statements.

But when you are writing for search engine marketing (SEM), you need to be key word rich.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Book Printing Costs

Question: What are the best options and costs (fixed and variable) to
self-publish a paperback book of non-fiction of 200-400 pages in quantity of 500-2,000? I want to know whether it makes more sense to print all at once, or utilize one of the internet book publishing services. It must include fees for copyrighting, ISBN number, and listed on Amazon for purchase. This is to be used for my business to give to clients and prospects and to sell.

John's Answer: You will get the best value by going to a book printer for 500 to 2000 copies of a book. And then doing the copyright work yourself. It doesn't take much time to get a copyright. POD companies will cost about $7 to $10 per book for a book your size doing them 1 to 25 copies at a time. Book printers will charge about $2.00 per book for 2000 copies, maybe a little more or less, since you didn't give a
specific page count.

You are always better off with a real book printer if you can afford to print a thousand copies or more right away.

For book printers, go to Book Printers.

For POD printers/publishers, go to Print-on-Demand Printers and Publishers. Some of the best PODers include Infinity Publishing, iUniverse, AuthorHouse, and Xlibris.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Be Human!

Below's a post from a good friend of mine, Jeffrey Hedquist, a radio ad man extraordinaire and voice talent par excellence:

People buy from people, not from institutions. Advertisers often forget this, and are more concerned about their perfect image than about relating to their audience as fellow human beings.

It's not a perfect world, and listeners recognize this, so a commercial that tries to portray the advertiser as perfect doesn't ring true.

Let the audience in on your little faults, the chinks in the armor. For example, the car dealer who says, "We have the best deals, the biggest selection, the friendliest salespeople, but...our coffee's not so good,” allows the listener to discover his embarrassing secret. Don't be afraid to joke about your hard-to-find location, the tacky sign you inherited from the former owner, the boss's idiosyncrasies.

A little self-effacing humor can go a long way. Give listeners something to smile about. If a listener can say, "Yeah, that's me. I've done that.” you've established a bond. Now your audience is involved.

Poke fun at yourself and punch up sales.

-- Jeffrey Hedquist has been helping advertisers poke fun at themselves for years. You can poke fun at Jeffrey anytime at Hedquist Productions, P.O. Box 1475, Fairfield IA 52556. Phone 641-472-6708; Fax 641-472-6708. Email: jeffrey@hedquist.com. Web: http://www.hedquist.com.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Visible and the Invisible: The Truth

A note from my friend Fred Gleeck's ezine Insight:

I'm about to start rewriting some of the copy for my (over 175) websites. This was prompted by my recent get together with a friend of mine, Bob Sheinfeld.

Bob is an information marketer who does some really great stuff.
We were talking about copywriting and he brought up the fact that copy has two components, the visible and the invisible.

The visible is what you see on the page or on the site. The invisible is what the TRUTH is behind the copy. He mentioned how you feel when you read something and it just doesn't sit right with you. Something feels strange or a bit "off."

Bob thinks (and I now agree wholeheartedly) that the reason is because of the fact that what you're saying and what is really the truth aren't in alignment. There are the words on the page and then there are the silent words which speak to your heart that sit "behind" them. The truth!

What this is going to make me do is to go back and re-write everything I've done. You can pay fancy copywriters to do an incredible job of hyping your product. In some cases it might even help increase your sales.

Nothing will increase your sales more than copy that is written from the heart that is in INTEGRITY.

This doesn't mean you can't sell like crazy. I've got some REALLY good stuff that I think everyone should I own. I feel that way in my gut and know it to be true. This system doesn't say that you can't or shouldn't sell with all the zeal of a Baptist preacher if you've got something great to offer people.

What the system says is that you better believe, in your heart, that what you're saying is true or people will NOT believe it. They won't be able to tell you why, they just won't buy.

They will feel an inconsistency between the words on the page or web site and what you really feel. The truth. This will make it so that people won't buy. They won't know why, but they just won't!

The lesson? Just write the truth. The truth as you see and feel it. People will then feel more comfortable about the copy you write. They may not be able to put their finger on it, but it will be more believeable and it will increase sales.

Forget the hypey and slightly untruthful copy. Adopt a writing style that makes sure that what you say and what is ACTUALLY true are in complete harmony.

Net result? More sales? Is this common among people out there selling stuff either on or offline? Absolutely NOT. -- Fred Gleeck, The Product Guru

John's Comment: What Bob and Fred hit upon is accurate. Only the truth will really sell. Nothing less has the impact of the truth. Speak the truth. Speak the sweet truth.

Radio and TV Listings

Question: I love your site! I was working for another author sometime back that had a radio data base that I was using to get radio and tv interviews across the country. I am wondering if you can tell me where I can purchase this as I am working for another author. I also want to get your newsletters and want to become a member.

Answer: For a good radio database, contact Alex Carroll at AceCo Publishers, 924 Chapala Street #D, Santa Barbara CA 93101; 805-962-7834; Fax: 805-564-6868. He offers a database of radio stations as well as a course on getting publicity via radio phone interviews. Web Site: Radio Publicity.

For TV shows, Bradley Communications offers a directory of the top 240+ national TV & cable shows that interview authors and other guests. You not only get contact names, addresses and emails but also detailed profiles on each show including what types of guests they want and the best ways to approach them. Web site: Free TV Publicity.

My Book Marketing Update newsletter: $227.00 to $397.00 per year, depending on your status and what you want. You can order at BookMarket.com. $227 gets you the newsletter. $397 gets you the newsletter, free 10-minute consulting calls with me every month, 4 teleconferences, and access to all the back issues. A good value.

Do you currently also get my free email newsletter? You can do that by signing up at http://www.bookmarket.com/tips.html.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Post Card Printers / Back of the Room Sales

Questions: In regards to back of the room sales, if there are 100 people at a lecture, what percent of the people do you figure I should have books ready to buy... and then what do I leave behind for them to order when I run out?

Do you have the name of a company that makes post cards reasonably?

Answers: How many books you will sell depends completely on how good a speaker and promoter you are. There simply aren't any average numbers. Plan on bringing one case. If you run out, promise the other people free shipping if they place the order with you right then. Leave a catalog or sale sheet for those not ready to order then.

For postcard printers, go to Color Printers. -- John Kremer

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Directory of Top TV Producers

Question: I am the author of Not Tonight Honey Wait Til I'm a Size 6, due out in May from Kensington. I was wondering where I might find (buy) a list of top TV producers to which to pitch my new wacky book? P.S. I love your web site!

Answer: The best place is here: http://www.freepublicity.com — Bradley Communications offers a database/directory of the top 241 national TV & cable shows that interview authors and other guests. You not only get contact names, addresses and emails but also detailed profiles on each show including what types of guests they want and the best ways to approach them. — John Kremer

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Creating Audio CDs of Your Books

Question: I'm curious if some of your authors might like to publish their books in an audio format. We have set up a web site for those who want to reach the, blind, traveling and exercising readers. We're at http://www.cdbooks.us. Jim Duxbury, Editor, email: duxbury1234@charter.net.

Answer: I don't know. But I do know that most authors and publishers should be interested in producing audio tapes and CDs or selling the rights to them to audio publishers. See the earlier discussion on selling audio rights.

I don't know anything about cdbooks.us. But you might want to check them out and see what kind of services they offer. -- John Kremer

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hiring Book Sales Representatives

Question: Do you sell information on sales rep groups? We are looking for advice or information on which ones to go with.

Answer: Here's my short answer. If you need some feedback on which sales representatives to go with, start locally by talking to booksellers who could give you feedback on the reps they like best. Contact those reps and show them why they should be interested in your company's books. Once you've got a sales rep for your local area, ask that rep group to recommend rep groups for other areas of the country.

To hire sales reps, you need to have an active publishing program, publishing at least 2 to 3 new titles for the fall and spring bookselling seasons. Sales reps get 10 to 15% of net sales to bookstores and book wholesalers in their territory, whether they actually make the sale or not. There is some small room for negotiation.

Marketing Calendars

Question: Do you have any information about calendar distribution or selling terms? I bought your book, it's great but doesn't cover anything about calendars. Can you connect me with someone who is knowable about calendars if you are not.

Answer: Calendar distribution is a risky situation. It's not for the risk-averse. You must have distribution in place by April or May at the latest since most calendar ordering is generally done by that time. Distribution of calendars begins in August and ends in early December. By the end of January, you get returns. Many book wholesalers and distributors will also distribute calendars to bookstores. For other markets, you might have to find other distributors. Terms are generally 50 to 70% discount, fully returnable.

If you want more information, contact the Calendar Marketing Association, 710 E Ogden Avenue #600, Naperville IL 60563-8603; 630-369-2406; Fax: 630-369-2488. Email: cma@b-online.com. Web: http://www.calendarmarketplace.com.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Licensing Audio Rights

Question: We are about to release our first book, ScreamFree Parenting, Raising Your Kids While Keeping Your Cool, and have an audio 4-cd set that is also for sale. The folks at a web site have expressed interest in selling the cd's, but the royalties they have offered us (they would reproduce and do all of the work and just send us a check) seems incredibly low. They also want the right to sublicense to others, which seems an affront to me. Would you have any thoughts on working with them and/or what would by a typical royalty to receive in this type of setup? Thank you so much for your help.

Answer: The sub-licensing allows them to sell more of your CD set. Since you didn't say the amount of the royalty they offered, I can't comment on whether it was fair or not. The important thing is to offer then a non-exclusive license to reproduce and sell your CD set. That allows you to license others as well -- and to sell rights to another audio publisher at some point. You should probably also set a time limit on the license or some other limit that allows you to take back the license if things don't work out well between the two of you.

Personally, I'd probably sign with with the company if the royalty were reasonable (5 to 15%) and I didn't have a good chance to sell the rights to a more recognized audio publisher. Any sales they make will be the icing on the cake, since I would still be selling the CDs as well on my own and maybe licensing it to others as well. Any sales made by them will only increase the size of my audience for future books, CDs, seminars, newsletters, reports, etc. Plus they would help to create the word of mouth that helps to sell the current book and CD set to other people.

The key to rights sales is to sell to the best buyer, the one who can get you the farthest reach. Until you find that buyer and get them to make a commitment, you could license rights to others on a non-exclusive and perhaps temporary basis. Whenever you grant any rights, be sure to limit those rights as much as possible so you can exploit other rights or license them to others. Some neophyte publishers give away far too many rights in the beginning just because they are happy to sell some rights. That's bad business in the long run. Do your homework. Be sure what rights you want to grant, and then limit them in writing.

I'll be covering this whole subject more thoroughly in Chapter 17 of the new 6th edition of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books. The new information and coverage in that alone will be worth the price of the new edition. Coming this summer to a bookstore or web site near you. -- John Kremer

Monday, February 07, 2005

Becoming an Indexer

Question: I am interested in indexing. I have indexed self-published books of my own, and an ebook or two for friends, but I would like to create back-of-the-book indexes professionally. Can you give me advice on how to get started?

Answer: Join the professional organization for indexers: American Society of Indexers, 10100 West 44th Avenue #304, Wheat Ridge CO 80033; 303-463-2887; Fax: 303-422-8894. Email: info@asindexing.org. Web: http://www.asindexing.org.

Or join the Editorial Freelancers Association, New York NY; 212-929-5400; Fax: 212-929-5439. Email: info@the-efa.org. Founded in 1970, the EFA is a national organization of 1,200 editors, writers, indexers, proofreaders, researchers, translators, and related freelancers. -- John Kremer

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Creating a Blog: Considerations

Comment: That was fun, creating a free web log. Thanks. Now all I have to do is learn how to import, scan, refine, get sophisticated, and the rest of the Luddite curricula. My blog is Anagnorisis, due to frustration at being denied all other titles. -- Mitch MacKay

John's Comments: I hope you have fun with your blog. But don't forget to focus on your book. Blogging should be a hobby, a sideline, a marketing vehicle for your book, or a passion. Try to keep it focussed on one of those four actions.

What do you want to accomplish with your blog? Once you know that, you'll know if it should be a hobby, a sideline, a marketing vehicle for your book, or a passion. It can't be all four. It could encompass two of the actions, but very, very rarely three. Never four.

Blog RSS Subscriptions and Google Adsense

Question: I get your newsletter and have also started a blog about the same time you did. I'm curious about two things.

1. How did you arrange for the subscribe buttons for My Yahoo and MSN? It's quite a convenience for those visitors.

2. Is the Google Ad Sense program worth the effort?

Answer: 1. The subscribe buttons I got by visiting feedburner.com. They have a place there where you can add feeds from all the areas that I have listed on my blog. I also picked up and copied the graphics from there.

2. I don't know if the Google AdSense program is worth the effort yet. It took about an hour to set up, so that wasn't too big a problem. I would guess, though, that the Ad Sense program would be a bigger money maker if I had a blog about cars or automobiles. Then the click-through ads would be worth something.

The Christian Book Market

Question: I continue to notice there is not much information being posted or resources being provided for authors who write Christian literature. It seems to be an isolated area of publishing--sort of in it's own world.

Even in book clubs, there is not much of a genre' for Christian literature and people don't respond to emails and other related subject matter. Seems they overlook these authors and focus on novels, short stories, and fiction more. Doesn't seem fair.

Do you know of any resourceful outlets and/or handy marketing tips or information for authors of Christian books?

Answer: There are several Christian book clubs. You can find a listing of some of them at http://www.bookmarket.com/bookclubs.html.

There is the Christian Booksellers Association out of Denver, Colorado. As you might know if you get my Book Marketing Tip of the Week via email that I often list religious specialty booksellers in my listings of bookstores.

There are many religious magazines. You can find them in any media directory.

And, of course, churches are also a great market for religious titles. Target those churches that your book supports in some way. Most churches have bookstores, even if opened only on Sundays after services.

Some of the biggest bestsellers of the past few years have been Christian titles: The Prayer of Jabez, The Purpose Driven Life, the Left Behind series, and Joel Osteen's new book. The world is wide open for good books for Christians. -- John Kremer

Friday, February 04, 2005

QVC Home Shopping Network

This just in from Trisha Gallagher... More good news...

"I just wanted to add that I advertised in Radio/TV Interview Report from Bradley Communications about my angel project. An unlikely by-product was that a man called who was a representative for QVC Home Shopping Network.

I appeared as a guest host twice and was paid for it. They even gave me a day and half of media training (one full day at the QVC studio, and a mini-session in a local Friendly's restaurant), complete with hair and make-up for the two appearances. Although the product I was demonstrating was not a sell-out, I learned so much. I was not even demonstrating my own product but since my product was about angels, they had me involved twice with their inspirational shows, regarding another person's angel product.

It was less expensive to have me do it since I lived within a day's drive of doing the segment, and it would have cost a lot more to accommmodate the two ladies who invented the angel product. They were from California and Alaska!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bookstore Tourism: An Income Stream

Looking for a Literary Sideline to Supplement Your Writing Income?
Consider Leading Bookstore Tourism Road Trips! -- by Larry Portzline

Making a living as a professional writer often means finding part-time or temporary non-writing jobs to supplement your income. It’s sad but all too true.

So, when the need arises, do you look for a gig that’s related to your chosen profession, such as teaching a writing class or proofreading a local magazine? Or are you forced to take what you can get, like flipping burgers or moving pianos?

Why not lead a Bookstore Tourism road trip? Bookstore Tourism is a hot new travel niche for bibliophiles that started out as a grassroots effort to promote independent bookstores and support literacy efforts. It encourages booklovers to organize day-trips and other literary outings to cities and towns with interesting, fun and unique bookshops that people in their own communities may not get to visit regularly.

In 2003 and 2004, I led six sold-out bookstore adventures to New York City and Washington, DC for two colleges in central Pennsylvania. I made some money as the organizer and tour guide, but I got something else out of the bargain: based on this experience, I wrote a how-to book called -- naturally -- Bookstore Tourism: The Book Addict’s Guide to Planning & Promoting Bookstore Road Trips for Bibliophiles & Other Bookshop Junkies.

The guide tells how to plan bookstore road trips with friends, schools, libraries and other organizations, whether the group numbers 5 or 50. It provides numerous tips and easy, step-by-step suggestions on how to research bookstores, arrange transportation, publicize trips, and create brochures and other promotional material.

If you’re a writer on the lookout for a part-time assignment, here are five easy ways to get on board and start leading Bookstore Tourism road trips:

1. Do a test-run: Plan a reconnaissance trip to the bookstores in another town (no more than two or three hours away, preferably). Find out what bookshops are there, including their specialties and exact locations, and come up with a game plan to hit them all (some web research beforehand will help). Jot down plenty of notes while you’re there because you’ll want to share the information with future groups. It takes a little work, but discovering new literary meccas is well worth the initial effort.

2. Plan a group trip with an organization: Bookstore Tourism is a perfect activity for reading groups, libraries, schools, colleges, non-profits and many other organizations. Talk to these folks about sponsoring a bookstore trip, and offer to organize and lead it for a specified fee. Depending on the size of your gang, you can load everyone into a couple of minivans, or, you can hire a tour bus for the day. You can make it a members-only event or open it up to the community as an outreach activity or fundraiser.

3. Combine your trip with other literary attractions: Many great bookstore towns offer tours of famous authors’ homes. Others are renowned as the settings of well-known books. Be sure to include these literary sites in your travels, either before or after you visit the local bookshops.

4. Partner with bookstores and other local businesses: Ask the booksellers in your town how you can partner with them to create Bookstore Tourism events, and hire yourself out as a consultant. Team up with your local chamber of commerce, tour bus companies and travel agents to attract out-of-town bibliophiles to your community. Consider organizing Bookstore Exchange Trips with booklovers from other cities.

5. Start Bookstore Adventure Clubs: Numerous adventure clubs around the country focus primarily on outdoorsy events and even adventure dining at exotic restaurants. Tweak this idea a little by getting the book-aholics in your community to form Bookstore Adventure Clubs, and make literary road trips a monthly or even bi-weekly activity!

Why not take the lead on this ground-breaking travel trend and establish yourself as the Bookstore Tourism expert in your town? It’s a great sideline for writers, and loads of fun for booklovers just like you!

Larry Portzline, of Harrisburg, PA, is the author of Bookstore Tourism: The Book Addict’s Guide to Planning & Promoting Bookstore Road Trips for Bibliophiles & Other Bookshop Junkies. For more information, visit http://www.bookstoretourism.com.

Bookmarks for Peace

Trisha Gallagher of teamofangelshelpme.com has parlayed the hook of being a Doubleday and Scholastic author into a topic that is timely. The war in Iraq, the troubles in Indonesia and Sudan, and the search for world peace and inner peace has the media interested in talking to her.

As Trisha noted, "I decided I needed a gimmick so I dubbed myself The Frugal Momma since one of my books is titled Raising Happy Kids on a Budget. The media is often intrigued by my new name (Frugal Momma). Attention is growing daily as I turn my inexpensive bookmarks into an opportunity for name recognition and promotion for paid speaking engagements. The simple web page was done by a 14 year old friend of my son's who only charged fifty dollars. So for all of those authors on a shoestring budget, please visit my one page web site. My motto is now KEEP IT SIMPLE."

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Difference Between a Blog and a Discussion Group

Question: What is the difference between a blog and a discussion group?

Answer:A blog features the ramblings, thoughts, tips, etc. of one person with comments contributed by people who come to the blog. A discussion group is essentially a place where any number of people can contribute to a discussion about some specific topic. One person might or might not control the contributions that are accepted in the discussion group, but the group is the contributor. In a blog, the individual is the primary contributor.

That is my short answer on that. -- John Kremer

Florida Publishers Association seminar

Publishing Essentials is a full-day program to be offered by the Florida Publishers Association (a PMA Affiliate group) on Saturday, February 26, at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. PMA Board members, including Jan Nathan, Kent Sturgis, Florrie Binford Kichler, David Cole, Larry Bram, as well as Marianne Bohr (NBN), Elise Cannon (PGW), Sally Neher (B&T), and Mike Vezo (Westcom Associates).
Topics include marketing children's books, Internet and e-marketing, book club and catalog sales, book design and manufacturing, finding financing for book projects, working with distributors and wholesalers, and the popular PMA segment Let's Brainstorm!
Details, registration information and costs, a schedule of events, speaker bios, accommodation information, and St. Petersburg area information can be found in a PDF at http://www.flbookpub.org/FPA2005Mini-College.pdf. PMA members receive the reduced FPA-member rate for registration. Should you have any questions or if you would like to have the information faxed to you, please contact the FPA office at FPAbooks@aol.com; or call 863-647-5951.

Becoming a Book Reviewer

Question: I am looking for information on how I would go about becoming a book reviewer -- any suggestions to steer me in the right direction?
Answer: You become a book reviewer nowadays in two ways:
1. You work for a newspaper, magazine, or other media that wants you to review books.
2. You have an active web site where you review books that interest you and the people who visit your web site. This web site would need to be targeted at a specific group of people so you'd have enough traffic to interest book publishers who would send you review copies. -- John Kremer
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