Monday, July 24, 2006

How to Brand Yourself and Sell Lots of Books

Guest post by Peter “The Humorator” Fogel

Congratulations! You’ve done it! You’ve had your book published. From idea to proposal to final creation it certainly was an arduous journey, wasn’t it? Whether you’re a fiction, or non-fiction writer you must now decide what to do with the marketing of your baby. Yes, having a media blitz with a hired publicist or doing your own grassroots campaign is very important.

But know this: If you have loftier ambitions such as branding yourself as an expert in your chosen field and selling lots of books (Cha-Ching!) one of the quickest and fun ways to do that is through public speaking. Now if you have a fear of public speaking…

Realize 90% of Nervousness Doesn't Even Show

Contrary to what you might thing, public speaking is not essentially stressful. Believe it or not, the audience can not see the butterflies, shaky hands, or sweaty palms. A quick way to combat that is to focus on your audience, the passion you have for your book and how will it change their lives.

I promise you once you get on your feet and put your energies into delivering strong content and see the eager faces in front of you – you will lose your nervousness. And guess what?

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect!

Many of us have observed public speakers and thought to ourselves, "Wow, I could never be that smart, calm, witty, entertaining, polished ... or whatever." Well, I've got news for you: You don't have to be brilliant, witty, or perfect to succeed. You see, in the beginning you can be average. You can make mistakes, get tongue-tied, or forget whole segments of your talk. (on a limited scale of course.) That’s because in the beginning your audience doesn't expect perfection.

If they can walk away feeling better about themselves, their job and lives and ways to improve it through your knowledge—then guess what? You were successful!

Want Better Results? Then Make Eye-Contact With Your Audience!

Yes, nerves create a need to hide. So what do you do? You look down or look away and think, “If I we can’t see them, then they can’t see us, right? Wrong! Listen, you’re not hidden in front of a crowd of people. Since that won’t work, you can use the old “look just over the tops of their heads.” But that breaks the audience connection.

Here’s a technique that’s always worked for me. Focus on making eye-contact with someone in the front row. Once you feel comfortable with that person then move down the row to the next friendly face. It really works!

Remember: the secret to selling more books through public speaking is to find your targeted audience that can immediately benefit from it. Take them on a journey with you. Depending on the length of your talk you should focus on three major key points and use a journalist’s technique: The 4 W’s of who, what, where, and why.

Make no mistake: public speaking will sell a lot more books than just doing a bookstore signing where you’re hoping people pass by your table and buy it. Carp diem. Take action. Contact libraries, associations that love having authors present their work. Infuse humor in your presentations, learn the tricks of the trade of seasoned speakers, and you’re guaranteed to exponentially increase your brand, your business, and your book sales.

-- Peter “The Humorator” Fogel is a reinvention and communications expert as well as the author of the book, If Not Now… Then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves. He’s also the creator of the program, Peter “The Humorator” Fogel’s Guide To Effective Public Speaking.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Website Link Exchanges

I received the following email today:

> I'm the webmaster of http://www.xxx.org.
>
> According to the results of a recent scan, we could NOT
> locate the link to http://www.xxx.org at your site.
> According to our records, the page on your site with a link
> to http://www.xxx.org should be.
>
> If you have removed the link to our site by accident or in
> error, or the link to our site has been moved elsewhere,
> please let us know immediately.
>
> Otherwise, the link to your site at http://www.xxx.org
> will be automatically deleted after 3 days.

My response to this email (actual website URL changed to xxx)? Quite simple. I was offended. Read below:

I am offended by such a rude email. I will not be adding a link to your mall. Get your act together. Links are a service to your website visitors not a cold exchange. If you haven't learned anything about the Internet as a network of relationships, then I don't want to support you.

Don't threaten people with link subtraction. If you are that free and loose with your links, then a link from you is really not important to me. It will generate no visitors to my website.

I don't object to exchanging links with other websites. Indeed, I encourage that. But I don't encourage threats. That's not cool at all. It's stupid. It doesn't help to cultivate relationships. And it's relationships which build a workable and profitable website business.

Why don't people understand that by now?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Merchandise Data Sheet: Catalog Sales

If you need a sample Merchandise Data Sheet for sending books for possible sale to catalogs, check out http://www.bookmarket.com/mds.pdf. You can make a ton of money selling to catalogs if you target them correctly and make the right pitch.

For more information on selling books to catalogs, see Chapter 19 of the new 6th edition of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and/or order the Catalog Sales Data Files at http://www.bookmarket.com/orderform.html.

“John, thanks for providing us with your specialty retailer and catalog databases. We have sold more than 3,000 copies of one of our books to customers from these two lists...none of whom had ever ordered from us before. Well worth the $60 we paid for the two lists!” — Steve Deger, Sales and Marketing Manager, Fairview Press

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bloggers Are Now Earning Money!

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 8% of bloggers earn money from their blogs. 12 million Americans blog. 57 million people read blogs.

How is your blog going?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Book Authors ala Fred Gleeck

Here is a recent article from the Fred Gleeck Insight ezine.

=====

Fred Gleeck:

In the past month or so I've spoken at a lot of events for authors and publishers. They are an interesting group. Most of them have an incredible passion for their subject matter. I applaud that. They are also some of the worst business people (generalization but true) on the planet.

When speaking to these groups recently, I've been using the line: "Are you in the publishing BUSINESS or the publishing HOBBY?"

You act and treat a hobby differently than a business.
Hobbies don't have to make you money. In most cases they end up costing you a bundle. Ask anyone who owns horses. This is the only hobby I've heard that makes you spend more money than you would on developing a workable piece of software.

The SINGLE biggest mistake this group makes is thinking that they can make any real money from a book alone. The answer to that would be a big NO!

To be honest there are FEW exceptions, but that number is VERY small.

The author who wants to make REAL money needs to develop a line of products related to their topic. This is the only way to make book writing profitable.

Fred Gleeck, Fred Gleeck Productions, 209 S Stephanie Street #B-209, Henderson NV 89012; 800-345-3325. Email: fredgleeck@mac.com.

=====

Fred is correct in saying that you rarely can make money on a book alone. You really need to add ancillary products or services: subsidiary rights, tapes, CDs, MP3s, seminars, consulting, speaking, etc.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Half-Baked Amazon.com Book Reviews

The following Amazon.com review of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books really misses the point. While the reviewer notices that my website is informative, he really missed on the reports and my book. As an author, having people review your book and totally mislead potential customers is really frustrating. The following review does that.

Below is my critique of the review. Perhaps I'm giving the review too much publicity by blogging about it, but it is so uninformed that I couldn't let it pass. I'm sure many of you have felt the same about reviews of your books.

Review: "John Kremer's web site is very informative, so I expected more from this book. (I also purchased a CD containing numerous short articles that was extremely disappointing)"

As noted, my website is very informative, but the articles are even more informative. If he was disappointed in my Book Marketing Reports on CD, he didn't read many of the reports. Because the reports are very detailed and cover many areas that I don't cover in the book -- and in more detail. Whoa, how did he miss this?

Review: "The problem with this book is that it tries to tell you so much that it doesn't tell you enough. Kremer seems to want to overwhelm you with ideas, many of which are marginal at best (e.g. skywriting as a marketing tool) and the result is a confusing mishmash of half-baked ideas. Much of the text is regurgitation of very basic marketing principles you can glean from any marketing text."

Skywriting is not a marginal idea. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it has been used effectively by more than one publisher -- as noted and described in the book.

There might be a few half-baked ideas but not many. The individual obviously hasn't spent much time in marketing if he feels that "many" of the ideas are half-baked. Almost every idea I feature in the book is backed by examples of authors and publishers who used the idea effectively. How, then, can the idea be half-baked? More like fully cooked, served, eaten, and enjoyed!

Yes, the book includes many basic marketing ideas. It has to in order to be complete. But it also includes many details that haven't ever been discussed in any other book on marketing books. The chapter on Internet marketing could easily sell as a manual for anyone marketing anything via the Internet. And sell effectively with many happy customers. The chapter on subsidiary rights covers that subject in more detail than entire books that have been written on the subject.

Review: "The book seemed poorly organized and fragmented."

Yikes, what book did he read?!? Not 1001 Ways. It is very well-organized. Intensely so. And thousands of readers and reviewers have praised it for its organization.

I can understand the fragmented critique. Because my book does itemize many things rather than try to integrate everything into a flow of prose. But each item is highly integrated into the topic.

Review: "Kremer apparently sold "ads" in his book disguised as short "informational" articles by people trying to sell various products and services to book publishers."

I didn't "apparently" sell ads. I very obviously sold ads. And make it very clear inside the book. These ads were sponsorships where I invited people I respected to write a useful article and include information about their services. No one could sponsor my book without writing a useful article with some great advice and tips.

Review: "I found these extremely annoying, especially when found in a book that is priced 50% higher than other (better) books on the same subject."

My book is not priced 50% higher than other books on the subject -- more like 40% higher ($27.95 versus $19.95). I hate inaccurate reviews. Plus the book is twice the size of any competitor. It is actually underpriced, as many reviewers and readers have told me.

Better? Not by a chance. Not by a sliver. Not by any measure of "better" when viewed by any objective standard.

I know all the books on marketing books, and none are better. Of course, I am biased, but it really stings my butt when I see such blatant inaccuracy when the rest of the review shows such poor judgment.

Now, I've probably created an unfriend by commenting on this review, especially when the person really liked my website, but I can't sit by when such a poorly informed review hits Amazon.com. At least I can blog about it.

And that I've just done.

Free Teleseminars and Reports

Be sure to check out one of my other blogs which covers free teleseminars and reports of interest to anyone writing or marketing books or other information.

Check it out at: Teleseminars & Free Reports.

The blog allows me to feature many free teleseminars and reports that might interest authors, publishers, and other marketers. Enjoy.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Want to Be on National TV?

Want to Be on National TV?

If so, register for a free telephone seminar next Thursday, July 20th on "The Three Big Secrets for Getting Booked As a Guest on Top National TV Shows" hosted by Steve Harrison of Radio-TV Interview Report (RTIR).

In addition to Steve, you'll hear from a former Oprah guest booker, Fox News Channel producer and some other surprise guests. To register go here now: http://www.FreePublicity.com/tvcall/?10005.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Professional vs. Consumer Magazines: A survey

Since I have been involved in moving my business and personal life from Fairfield, Iowa to Taos, New Mexico, I've had the opportunity to change mailing addresses for the 100+ magazines that I subscribe to each month. What a hassle!

The consumer magazines all have great web sites that make it fast and easy to change mailing addresses. I've been impressed by how easy most of them have been.

But, ouch, the trade magazines make it so difficult. In many cases, they have no online provision for changing addresses. So stupid -- especially when you consider that most of the professional magazines I subscribe to have to do with marketing, meetings, travel, or publishing. Gee, you would think they'd have figured out by now that they should make it easy to change addresses in a mobile society like ours.

But they haven't. In many cases, I've had to email them with the change. So archaic. In a number of cases, I had to email the editor because that was the only contact info they provided on their web site.

Even with the free magazines, I often had to resubscribe to keep getting the magazines I wanted -- but there was no provision to tell them to cancel the old address. Stupid.

Don't be stupid in creating your own online contact forms. Make it easy for people to change their addresses, email addresses, etc. Try to make it easy and automatic. Otherwise, you could lose a lot of customers simply because they have moved.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bad Journalism -- Are You a Victim?

I hate bad journalism. Just saw an example today from the New York Post. For the article, see New York Post Article.

The article, about author Ann Coulter, quotes a so-called expert who blatantly misleads everyone. Below is the letter I wrote to the reporter, Philip Recchia, who clearly did not do his homework. Watch out for such reporters. They do an injustice to the good work that real journalists do.

=====

My response to the article (as an email to the reporter):

How can you make the following statement: "Conservative scribe Ann Coulter cribbed liberally in her latest book, Godless, according to a plagiarism expert" when he cites only three instances covering less than 100 words in a 75,000-word book?

I'm not sure of the word count of the book but a typical book has about 75,000 words. I haven't read her book. But the lead statement to your article is clearly misleading given the evidence cited in the article. My guess is that most books could match the same criteria (3 instances of less than 100 words total). So does every author crib liberally?

Now, it is legitimate to criticize her lack of citations in her column. That's just plain decency to cite your sources. It might not be illegal or such, but it is good authorship to cite sources, especially when using extensive content from such sources.

As for her 344 citations, Barrie gives no example of them being misleading. Is that your fault for not citing his examples, or does he not have any? Making such a statement and then not backing it up is as bad as anything Ann has done. It's red-baiting.

And your lead statement in the article is also as bad as anything Ann has done. Clean up your act. You are not being a journalist when you use terms like "cribbed liberally" and then cite only three examples. That's just bad, bad journalism.

I'm on a campaign to clean up such bad journalism. Sure, it makes great copy, but it just ain't true -- at least not according to the content of your own article (which is all I have to judge from since I haven't read her book or seen Barrie's complete news release or interview).

=====

I don't know anyone who's ever been interviewed by a reporter who hasn't sometimes felt a victim of the reporter cutting and pasting quotes out of context, misleading his or her readers, etc. I wish journalism schools would teach true journalistic standards because despite news media claims to objectivity, there is very little of that in any media, liberal or conservative or impartial. Newspapers, radio, and TV are the worst purveyers of lax standards, but magazines do their fair share of sloppy editing and fact checking.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Mega Book Marketing University

Mega Book Marketing University:
July 14 to 16


What would your life be like right now — how much money and freedom would you have — if one of the most successful authors in the world showed you his secrets for creating bestsellers?

The author I'm talking about is Mark Victor Hansen — he's sold over 100 million copies of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books (with his co-author Jack Canfield), and has many New York Times bestsellers to his name, including The One Minute Millionaire and Cracking the Millionaire Code.

Mark is going to show you all his secrets for selling more books than you ever thought possible. Not only that but he is also going to introduce you to his inside connections in the publishing world: top publishers, literary agents, publicists, and other industry insiders.

Click here for the full story: http://www.MegaBookMarketing.com.
Mega Book Marketing University is Mark Victor Hansen's premiere event for authors (fiction and non-fiction), promoters, literary agents, publicists and publishers (large or small).

Here you can learn how to sell more books, faster, easier, and with less human effort...from the top people in the publishing industry. Major agents and publishers come specifically to find new authors, sign them to fat publishing contracts, and turn them into MEGA bestsellers!

Shouldn't you be there, and get the chance to pitch YOUR book to them face-to-face? Of course you should!

Clear your calendar now!

July 14th, 15th, and 16th, 2006 in Orlando, Florida

You'll hear from experts like:

MARK VICTOR HANSEN: There's no better teacher to learn from when it comes to creating a publishing empire from scratch and building it into a multi-million dollar business.

RICHARD PAUL EVANS: The author of The Christmas Box gives you the inside story one of the bestselling self-published books of all time. You'll learn some ideas on how to duplicate his success.

BARBARA DeANGELIS: Barbara has brought in over $200 million in revenue through her 14 New York Times bestsellers ... and explains how to create your own unique identity.

JEAN HOUSTON: Dr. Houston teaches you not only how to be successful in your publishing career (she's published over 20 books), she also teaches you how to use your publishing career to change the world.

ALEX MANDOSSIAN: With a flash of insight at a book signing with former Vice President Al Gore, Alex invented something he calls a virtual book tour. Using this simple, easy method, you can have 100 times the impact of a regular bookstore signing ... from the comfort of your own home.

JOHN KREMER: A top expert on book publishing and marketing, John teaches you how to create a New York Times bestseller without breaking the bank. Hey, that's me. Don't miss me here.

JILLIAN MANUS: A literary agent with titles like One Minute Millionaire and Gettysburg to her credit, Jillian will teach you step-by-step how to create a million-dollar book proposal.

ARMAND MORIN: Armand is one of the top Internet marketers in the world. He's generated over $25,000,000 in revenue online. Armand will teach you the secrets to selling your books on the Internet.

RICK FRISHMAN: One of the most powerful and energetic publicists in the media industry, he's worked with Stephen King, Bill Moyers, John Grisham, and Jimmy Carter. Rick teaches you how to get free publicity just like the big names.

JOHN CHILDERS: World-famous for teaching people how to make a fortune speaking in public, John works with top experts in almost every field. If you do any public speaking, or if you are an expert of any kind, John can teach you how to make up to six figures for just one speech!

RANDY GILBERT & PEGGY MCCOLL: This dynamic duo will teach you their secret strategy for making your book #1 on Amazon.

SUSAN DRISCOLL: Worried about getting lost in the traditional publishing shuffle? You SHOULD be. Susan Driscoll shows you how to completely bypass the hazards of traditional publishing and sail into bestseller territory.

Get a few free MEGA Book Marketing Lessons now . . .

Maybe you were reading that list of speakers, and thought that you might like to come to MEGA Book Marketing ... but you're just not sure yet. Maybe you'd like to know more about what these people will REALLY teach you.

Mark has persuaded his world-class faculty to share some of their valuable information and methods for free, even before the event. You can listen in on a series of four free preview teleseminars, where you get solid, valuable information from our top speakers.

Get more details about the speaker lineup and reserve your spot on these free calls at: http://www.MegaBookMarketing.com.
Mark is bringing in his personal insider connections in the publishing business. You can learn directly from the experts. You'll have the chance to pitch your book face-to-face to the people who have the power to say yes. But only if you come to MEGA Book Marketing University in Orlando, Florida, July 14th-16th, 2006. I hope to see you there!
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