Friday, December 29, 2006

Toward a Better Bestseller List

Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, just wrote a great post on creating a better bestseller list, especially one that counts Christian books. Read more about his post here: Toward a Better Bestseller List.

Earlier he wrote a post on why bestseller lists are inaccurate. You can read that here: Why Bestseller Lists Are Inaccurate.

Here's another great discussion of the flaws inherent in many of the major bestseller lists: Bestseller Lists.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Some Great Book Trailers

Hey, check out the great book trailers for a few teen novels. Each of the trailers made me want to read the book -- and I'm not the audience (the book's are for young teen girls).

Check them out at: Teen Book Videos.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Good-Bye, Good Friend

I just heard via email that a really good person died over the holidays. My good friend, Celia Rocks of Rocks-DeHart PR, died on Christmas Day. I will miss her greatly. She was one of the good people, besides being a great publicist. I wish her family the best during this trying time.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sample Kremer 100 PR Newsletter Listing

Newspapers: Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe New Mexican, 202 E Marcy Street (87501), P O Box 2048, Santa Fe NM 87504-2048; Main switchboard: 505-983-3303. News: 505-986-3030; Fax: 505-986-9147. Email: Web:

News and Opinion
  • City desk: 505-986-3035.
  • Howard Houghton, City Editor; 505-986-3015. Email:
  • Mike Cosgrove, Editor, Nation & World; 505-986-3024. Email:
  • William Waters, Editorial Page Editor.
  • Camille Flores, Opinions Editor; 505-995-3850. Email: For op-ed columns.
  • Letters: 505-986-3053; Fax: 505-986-3040. Email:
  • Trail Dust, Marc Simmons, Columnist. Weekly Saturday column on New Mexico history. Simmons is the author of numerous books about New Mexico.
Business News: 505-986-3011
Sunday Magazine
  • Kristie Jones, Editor; 505-986-3032. Email: Email her with calendar events.
  • Jon Lechel, Assistant Editor; 505-995-3847. Email: He also writes Reality Bytes, a column of video game reviews.
  • Terry England, Books Editor; 505-995-3878. Email: Reviewed Marjane Satrapi's novel Chicken with Plums and Marisa Marchetto's Cancer Vixen: A True Story.
    Tom Clagett reviewed The Hart Brand western by Johnny D. Boggs and Jim Levy reviewed Maria Finn's anthology: Mexico in Mind. Robert Mayer reviewed Angelo Jaramillo's short story collection, The Darker.
  • Panelhead, Brandon Garcia, Columnist; 505-995-3826. Email: Reviewed a number of books from Canadian publisher Drawn & Quarterly.
  • Pat Reed, Travel Editor; 505-986-3054. Email:
  • La Fashionaria, Phaedra Haywood, Columnist; 505-986-3004. Email: Fashion column.
Real Estate
Sports: 505-995-3885; Fax: 505-986-3067.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Down with Anonymity

Why is it that so many book promotion companies that I get emails from or who post news releases on the Internet -- why is it that they never say who they are? If I'm going to spend $1,500 or more on their services, I want to know who they are. I want names, addresses, phone numbers -- not just an anonymous email and a website that doesn't tell me who they are.

Just got another such email from Mayfair Book Promotions. I do know where they're from -- London, England. But no names, no numbers, no real people email addresses. Why, oh why? It's just plain stupid not to let people know who you are and what you can do.

When you go to, you will see me all over the website. By the beginning of the new year when I have my redesigned website up and running, you'll be able to find me even more readily.

Don't be anonymous. Let people know who you are and what you can offer them -- no matter what sort of website you have or what sort of book you wrote.

The Write and Wrong Way to Promote Your Book

In the last issue of her Book Marketing Expert newsletter, Penny Sansevieri wrote a great commentary that she has given me permission to share with you. Here it is:

The Write and Wrong Way to Promote Your Book

Did you know that if you're marketing your book to sell books, you may be marketing for all the wrong reasons? Why? Well frankly, marketing a book to make sales will rarely ring the cash register; in fact, most of the time it amounts to what I call the anti-sale, the sale that always seems to elude you. If you're looking at your last 12 months of marketing and wondering what went wrong, ask yourself one question: "What was the driving force behind my book marketing choices?"

In a recent coaching session an author told me: "I spent $30,000 on advertising and I don't know why I haven't sold a single book." Why did the author advertise? Because she thought it would sell books. Now you might think that $30k is extreme, and perhaps it is, but she isn't the only one. Most of the topics of conversation during coaching calls, consultations or classes I teach are: "I've spent all this money and done all this work, what am I doing wrong?" What you're doing wrong is selling the book and not the message or the benefits. In other words, you're marketing your books for all the wrong reasons. It's not that dissimilar from scheduling a slew of book signings because you think you have to or because you're hoping to sell scads of books. If you hate doing them, and they're not working, why bother?

Let's take a look at the example of our $30k author more closely. She had a book about child rearing, she was a noted speaker, a child psychologist and was quoted extensively in the media. The odd thing was, when you walked into her office her book was no where to be found. "I don't want to be boastful about my book." She said, "I think selling my book to my patients is unethical." Well, perhaps she's right, but still, she was missing the point. The point was that she had her buyers in front of her all the time and yet she overlooked them in search of the almighty book sale. In fact, I found out later that she wasn't even selling her book at her speaking sessions. Why? Because she thought the ad space she bought would be enough to carry the momentum of the book. When we finally broke down her marketing campaign and her options, she realized that she could sell thousands of copies of her book and it wouldn't cost her a dime. She had at her disposal hungry buyers she wasn't even tapping into.

So are you missing your buyers? What piece of your campaign have you overlooked in an attempt to sell your book? To distill this even further, let's go through an exercise together to help unearth some marketing opportunities you might be overlooking. When you do this exercise I want you to remove the notion of book sales from your vernacular, what I mean is I want you to start looking at your efforts through a different lens:

On a separate sheet of paper, list all the marketing that you've done for your book. This may take a while, but seeing it all on paper will be helpful. List everything, even the minutiae.

Now that you have your list, let's take a hard look at it. First off, I want you to cross off the marketing you've done that has just been a total waste of your time. Next, go through and star everything that worked really well. Remember, by "really well," I don't mean book sales, although that could have been a result of your efforts; I mean star the items you really enjoyed doing that seemed to get you great feedback.

What you have left will be a list of mediocre things, marketing ideas you tried that did reasonably well (at least enough so you didn't feel you needed to cross them off with the first batch). Take a hard look at the starred items, what do you see? Quite possibly you see a list of things that a) you loved doing, and b) that sold you some books despite the fact that you didn't think it would.

Now let's expand on that starred list. For example, if you have book events on this list, how can you expand this?

Next, I want you to make a list of the items you're missing. If you are brainstorming an expansion of your star list these missing pieces might be self-evident or they may require some additional brainstorming.

The idea behind this exercise is to become very clear on what's working and what isn't and to focus on the stuff you love doing. Generally the stuff you love is dialed directly into your audience. And if you love it, you'll probably do more of it, and hopefully this will lead you to book sales.

In author coaching I've found that we often set aside the stuff we love because we think book marketing should be hard. Let me tell you, it doesn't have to be. And if you're doing stuff that's hard, you're probably marketing for all the wrong reasons, anyway.

In a recent interview, media darling Rachael Ray cited that for years she did only local media. She would do cooking show after cooking show, often losing money on each one (when you factored in her time, gas, supplies, etc.). So why did she keep doing it? Because she loved it and because it's what she wanted to do. Now, of course, she's on everything from your local cross-town bus to any and all kitchen supplies. I'm not saying that her way of marketing is a recipe for success. Certainly, it worked for her, but the bigger message is that when you do what you love, you'll keep at it, and that’s the key. Whatever you do, you must love it, and you must do a lot of it.

This coming year can be a revelation for your campaign if you take the time to figure out what worked, what didn't, and what you'd love to do more of. Do it because you love it, and the sales will follow. You can bank on it!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What Is a Pay-Per-Click Worth?

Ian Lurie of Conversation Marketing has created a handy tool to calculate what you can afford to pay in pay-per-click advertising deals such as Google AdWords. One thing you discover very quickly is that you need one or more of the following to make the calculation pay off for you:

1. a high-priced product (over $40.00)
2. a high click-through rate (not likely, but testable)
3. a small click-through price (10 cents or under)

Try out the following easy-to-use calculator to see what you can afford to pay for a click:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Million Dollar Author Crash Course

Here's a message from my friend, Steve Harrison:

Time is running out if you're interested in being one of just 50 new clients to attend my upcoming Million Dollar Author Crash Course & Publicity Program, January 11-13th in Philadelphia. The price goes up $1,000.00 after tomorrow (Thursday, December 14th) so if you'd like to attend go here now:

If you're feeling skeptical or don't feel like traveling to Philadelphia that's perfectly natural. But remember on my recent teleseminar I said the top 3% of authors who sell tons of books, get massive amounts of publicity, and touch so many people's lives do so because they've taken the time to consistently develop and sharpen their marketing skills. What I didn't say is they don't always feel like doing it. How about you? There are a lot of reasons for not feeling like attending my Million Dollar Author Crash Course & Publicity Program but most of them aren't worth listening to if you're serious about your success.

Remember, over 175,000 books are published every year. The average book doesn't sell more than 500 copies!!! Do you REALLY think you're saving time and money by staying home? If you're on the fence about attending, do yourself a favor and go right now to:

At that site, you'll hear from ten former skeptics who initially all had their own reasons for not coming to a training I recently conducted which covered the material you'll learn in my crash course, BUT THEY CAME ANYWAY! And they're so glad they did!

Remember, listening to the skeptic inside you will cost you dearly in the long run. That's why so few authors succeed. It's also why I offer a complete 100% money-back guarantee on my program if you're not thrilled by 5 pm on the first day. What reason is there to let doubt and skepticism rule your future?

And here are a couple of other things to say to your inner skeptic:

#1: If you don't have the money to easily afford this (and most people don't), that's why you should attend. It's an investment that will repay itself for many years and save you from many countless costly errors. It also may be a last-minute 2006 tax deduction for you.

#2: If you're feeling overwhelmed with all your options and all the things you have to do, your top priority should be applying for at seat at my upcoming Million Dollar Author Crash Course & Publicity Program. You'll get clarity and and discover how to create a focused plan you can execute.

#3: If you're waiting until you get your book done before attending my training, you'll regret that big time! When people come to me and tell me their book is done, I'm able to help them. But I often find that it would be a lot easier to help them if they had come to me during the writing process. The reason is I could have showed them how to write their book in a way that makes it easier to get publicity. I'd also have helped them engineer it to create more word-of-mouth and drive the next sale!

#4: If you're turned off by my sales copy or persistent emails I'm sorry. It pains me to think you'd turn down an opportunity to learn proven ways to become a bestselling author, become a highly-paid speaker, and get tons of national publicity for such a silly reason but that's your choice. I don't apologize though for trying to wake you up and get you on the road to succeeding as an author. As an all-too-often couch potato myself, I've been fortunate to have some good coaches and mentors wake me up to achieving more than I initially thought was possible.

#5: Maybe you're already an established author who's achieved a lot and you're wondering what I can possibly teach you. Be particularly sure to read Tim Dobbins's and Joe Rosenthal's stories. Once you've heard what these ten former skeptics have to say, I know you'll want to join us in Philadelphia next month.

You can apply for one of the spots at:

I look forward to helping you make 2007 your best year ever!

Best, Steve Harrison
Bradley Communications, 135 E Plumstead Avenue, Lansdowne PA 19050
610-259-0707 x264 (Customer Service voice mail)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Don't Get Over-Sold on Self-Publishing

Q: I have already been accepted by an agent, but have not yet signed the contract as I feel self-publishing and owning my own rights is to my best advantage. Rather then make 10 to 12 percent of retail price from book; obviously I would like to see a higher profit margin.

A: Most authors make as much money selling to larger publishers who love their books and get behind it as they do by self-publishing. If the publisher is simply throwing the book out there and seeing what happens, then you are better off self-publishing or finding a publisher who does love the book.

If you are self-publishing to make more money, you are self-publishing for the wrong reason. Most self-publishers lose money. I don't know if anyone has done a study on this but I would guess -- from my experience of talking with thousands of self-publishers -- that 50% of self-publishers break even or lose money. Probably 90% make less than $10,000 via self-publishing.

Don't get sold on self-publishing to get rich or make more money as an author. Choose self-publishing because 1) you want more control, 2) the book needs to get out now, 3) you are a great businessperson, 4) you love to talk to strangers on the phone (and sell your book or yourself), and/or 5) you have an exit strategy or sales plan that is reasonable.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Get Between the Covers

Notice from a consulting client who has written a book you might be interested in:

Dec. 28th Launch Date for Get Between the Covers: Leave a Legacy by Writing a Book by Neil Shulman, M.D. and Eric Spencer

Mark your calendars! On Thursday, December 28, 2006, Get Between the Covers will have its official launch on with one goal in mind ... to get to #1 on the Bestseller List.

We’ve put over 5 years of work into this book, which will hopefully lead tens of thousands, if not millions, to write a book in their lifetime and thus be able to share their knowledge, creativity, and experience with this generation as well as future ones. It’s been endorsed by nearly all of the top people in the publishing industry—many of whom contributed material because of the influence they believe it will have. When people think about writing books, reading, or publishing, we want them to think Get Between the Covers!

Why should you purchase Get Between the Covers! on the 28th?

As part of purchasing this book on December 28th, you will be supporting several endeavors, including: a literary grant/scholarship program for both high school and college students that we are establishing which will encourage and enable them to write and publish books and a program that donates books to children who are less fortunate, so that they might develop a love for reading.

That’s right, we will give ALL of the income received from book sales on the 28th to support these efforts! So, in addition to getting a copy of a book that you will enjoy if you have ideas for books and want to translate them to paper, or know a friend, family member, or co-worker who does, you will also be helping us to give back.

It’s as simple as:

Going to our website on December 28th. Clicking the link to purchase Get Between the Covers on the homepage. Completing your purchase on after it clicks through.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Why Do You Write?

In his speech accepting the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, Turkish novelist Orham Pamuk asked that question, "Why do you write?"

Here below is his answer. What is yours? You are invited to add your answer to the comments below.

"Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write! I write because I can't do normal work like other people. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at all of you, angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can only partake in real life by changing it. I write because I want others, all of us, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at all of you, so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page, I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all of life's beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story, but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go but—just as in a dream—I can't quite get there. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy."

Why do I write? Because I can't help myself. I'm impelled to write. Sometimes I wish I could just be a simple baker or salesman or burger flipper but, alas, I am impelled to write.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Half-Price Consulting: December Only

Two weeks ago I broke my clavicle. I was hanging from monkey bars and slipped. Bam, right on my shoulder. Broke the clavicle. And, so, I've been a one-fingered typist the last two weeks. I'm still not fully recovered. So, since I can't spend full-time typing like I normally do, I'm offering half price on consulting with me during December.

In half-hour blocks (normally costing $250), you can consult with me on any of your book marketing and publishing questions and concerns. All for only $125 per half hour. What a bargain.

Call me at 505-751-3398 to set up a time. Or email me for a time at: Thanks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Marketing Poetry: One Poet's Experience

I loved the Marketing Poetry piece in your Book Marketing Tip of the Week from several issues ago. I can certainly relate. I am a published and self-published poet.
  • A small publisher published my first two books of poetry.

  • I self-published three poetry chapbooks.

  • I self-published my third poetry book.

  • I self-published two poetry anthologies: Reflections (for the poetry writers group I founded in 2003) and In Katrina's Wake (which was the first book inspired by the disaster of Hurricane Katrina, all profits of which are donated to the American Red Cross.

  • I founded an online poetry magazine which I published until this summer, when I had to let it go due to website costs (True Poet Magazine).

  • I perform book reviews.

  • I offer book-editing services to other authors.

  • I published audio editions of my poetry books.

  • I read my work at poetry reading open mikes.

  • I participate in multi-author panel discussions, literary festivals and similar events.

  • I developed, organize and host an annual event at my local library called WriterFest, where Chicago-area published authors answer questions posed by aspiring authors on writing, finding agents, publishing, self-publishing and book promotion.

  • I was asked in late 2005 to present poetry publishing workshops for the Inside Writing & Publishing series sponsored by the North Suburban Library System in early 2006.

  • Based on the huge turnouts for the workshops (18 to 40 attendees), I decided to present poetry-writing, memoir-writing, poetry-publishing and book-publishing workshops at Chicago area park districts, libraries, writing centers and writers groups. I presented a number this fall and have 30 scheduled in the first half of 2007.

  • I hosted an internet radio talk show podcast called Practical Poetry,
    where I interviewed published poets and others in the literary world and provided writing, publishing and promotional advice specific to poets.

  • I started a newsletter for Writers early this year called Write-On!

  • I mentor high school students interested in a writing career.

  • I will be leading a monthly life/memoir-writing group/workshop at my local library starting in March 2007.

  • I'm looking for an agent and publisher for my first nonfiction book: The Poet's Manual: How to Become the Poet Laureate of Your Home Town.

  • The small press, poetry journals, literary newsletters and literary websites
    have published my articles, tips and poems.

  • I am a member of the Steering Committee (and the Marketing sub-committee) of the Chicago Writer's Association (

  • I've been interviewed by my local weekly newspaper several times, twice by a
    local radio show on the arts, and by several internet radio talk shows.

All poets know it's an uphill battle to get known, to get people to even read poetry, and to have any substantial sales of poetry. My books mostly sell at the workshops I present, readings I perform, the author events I host or attend, and other personal appearances. I also offer a discount of 21% if people buy all 3 of my poetry books. In addition, word of mouth provides many sales.

While I'm only known locally as a poet, it's quite a thrill! I'm hoping to have more success as an author once my nonfiction book comes out and have a memoir in the works that I will start writing sometime in 2007, to be followed by my 4th poetry book. I also have a sea monster/horror movie in mind. I've literally watched the whole movie in my head and now I have to get it all down on paper, either as book or screenplay.

My passion for poetry, which started up in 2003 (after over 20+ years of not writing any) has led me in many different directions. I have found many useful tips in your book, and have constantly recommended it to other published authors.

— Michelle True, poet. Web:
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