Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Bold New Approach to Personal Advertising

Below is an interesting advertising technique featured in the Levine Breaking News e-newsletter today:

I'm just curious how many potential clients/dates/customers would be bold enough to attempt to tear her number off her skirt. I'd be willing to try. I am willing to make any sacrifice in researching markets and new advertising techniques.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Books as Decoration

Blog Tour Palooza

Looking for another use for books besides reading them? On their website, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel offered a number of ways to display and decorate with books. As they noted, flea markets and garage sales are repositories of old books and encyclopedia sets that can be used to decorate.

Books as wallpaper -- Invest in a large number of leather-bound books in the same shade to create a wall of color. Note: Movie set decorators do this all the time. They often rent books from used bookstores like Strand in New York City.

A spot of color -- Have a monotone room? Pick out a few books in a striking color to add dimension. Several retail stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters sell books but also use them to highlight color schemes for the clothing they sell (and to set a certain ambiance).

Books as furniture -- Use a book or a stack of books to create end tables, coffee tables, and pedestals. When I began self-publishing 25 years ago, I used cases of books to support a bed. Also see the book bar in the photo above.

Leni Leth, owner of Book Decor, a California company that specializes in refurbishing and selling leather-bound books, suggests forgetting the shelves, and instead using books as risers for candles and lamps, on coffee tables, and even in bathrooms.

Augment with books -- Try hanging books over the rungs of a ladder or lining the edges of a room with books.

Books as art -- When books were more rare, they were displayed face out. Take some favorite books and display them on bookstands. Many people use coffee-table books as decorative items on -- of all things -- coffee tables (actually, that's why full-color beautiful books are often called coffee-table books.

Note: The Associated Press ( pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080614/LIVING02/806140307/1007/ LIVING) also has a great article on using books as decor.

Finally, here's a great bookshelf blog (all about bookshelves!):

Saturday, June 14, 2008

John Kremer's 7 Keys to a Great Book Title

The following is taken from The Copywriting Maven blog by Roberta Rosenberg. I found some misleading statements in the article. As she notes in the comment below, those misleading statements came from the writer of the article and not from her. Nonetheless, they must be corrected. My response is highlighted in dark blue.

In the April issue of Steve Harrison’s Book Marketing Update, there’s an article based on author John Kremer’s (1001 Ways to Market Your Book) thoughts on book titling. With so many of us involved in self-publishing POD and ebooks, I thought I’d synopsize the recommendations.

1. Make your title memorable, since 80% of books are sold by word-of-mouth.

This really is the top consideration when creating a title for any book. I agree with this statement.

2. Short titles are best, most successful titles are around 5 words. Add a subtitle to expand and/or illuminate the information about your book.

While a short title, in most cases is best, I've seen many successful long titles. So the true rule here is this: The title should be the right length to describe what's in the book and yet provide the reader with the right motivation to buy the book.

3. Numbers in titles can be very effective for non-fiction, just as they are when writing headline copy.

Numbers can be effective, but 95% of titles, including the most successful, do not include numbers. Of course, my book does.

4. Include keywords for non-fiction titles. You want to put the main search terms for your subject in your title or subtitle, but don’t use terms that are too generic.

A good title is more important than stuffing keywords, unless you are selling your book primarily online. Then keywords can be important.

5. Try inventing or coining a word for your title, but strive for conceptual clarity rather than showing off how clever you are. (I coined ‘macromize” for a promotion I did for a book about um, Wordstar macros years ago. I still like it. :)

Coining words for a title is an absolute no-no, unless the coined word is a brand or can be made into a brand. Even then, coining words is generally, almost always, not a good idea.

6. Try to think brandable - the Chicken Soup, Idiots and Dummies series represent genius-level book branding at its finest.

When critiquing titles, I always work to see if the title can be made into a brand. 99% of titles cannot be made into brands, but the few that can be are often very successful.

7. Don’t try to do too much with your title. Think brand, then add the specific audience you’re going after.

Don't try to do too much with your title. The purpose of a title, firstmost, is simple: Attract attention. Get the attention of the people who really need or would want the book.

John Kremer's Book Title Critiques

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Using Cartoons to Get Attention

Have you seen the latest issue of the Journal?
It's all John Kremer this, John Kremer that, and nothing about us.

Cartoonist Stu Heinecke is credited with inventing the personalized cartoon genre of direct mail. Here is one of his wonderful cartoons, personalized for me.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Breaking through Distractions While Writing

Here's the scenario: you have a project and a deadline. Then wham! You find out your live-in lover of two years is seeing someone else. The wedding bells are now ringing like a death knoll. And your project? It gets dumped just like you did.

Is that fair? Maybe not. But it happens. People come and go in our lives, for a myriad of reasons. Yet as writers, we have to continue on our creative journey. And more importantly, the deadline is nearing. The emotional distraction didn't give a flip about you but your writing does.

But how do you get over the drama and still keep pressing on when your mind is being torn apart like a game of tug of war?

Here are four quick and fool-proof ways to work through any emotional distraction when writing is your mission but life has other ideas:

1) Write about your feelings thoughts and emotions in the 3rd person. Like you're talking about another couple. Many revealing discoveries may surface.

2) Write a journal entry, but from your best friend's or family's point of view.

3) Write from your pet's point of view. If it's a cat or a dog (I have two cats), you've got a veritable gold mine, but don't discount your goldfish's observations, either.

4) Then go back and finish that project.

My mother once told me (and of course, this is a no-no cliché, but I still like it), that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. We don't always get to choose which. But we can choose what we do with the experience.

The answer is as transparent as Gladwrap: we write about it. I always say experience and the changes in our lives, if nothing else, make for good fiction.

Nancy Padron is a freelance editor, writing & life coach. Her work has been published in numerous national magazines. She is one of the most sought-after freelance editors in the nation. For more information on how to break through writing blocks and finishing that project, contact The first 50 authors to respond will receive a free workshop lesson. A $50 value.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Kathleen Gage, John Kremer, and Bob Baker

Internet marketing expert Kathleen Gage, indie music marketing expert Bob Baker, and book marketing expert John Kremer caught at the Midpoint party during BookExpo America in Los Angeles, California.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

John Kremer: Whack, Whack, Whack

Here is a YouTube video of me having some fun with Matthew Peterson and Shel Horowitz on the last day of BookExpo America in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

What would you do to make the news? Whack someone? Sing and dance? More? Check out this BookExpo America short short.

Friday, June 06, 2008

John Kremer at BookExpo America

Below are a few photos of me at BookExpo America in Los Angeles (from last weekend).

The first is a photo of me with the Pope
(he was a little stiff that day :)).

Above is another photo from the last day of BookExpo America with me in the middle, Matthew Peterson, author of Paraworld Zero on the left, and Shel Horowitz, author of Grassroots Marketing on the right.

Note how Matthew is holding his book and Shel has a badge with his book -- and me, the book marketer, with nothing. Alas.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

International Day of Peace

At BookExpo America, I was told a wonderful story by Melvin Weiner, director of the Peace Day Calendar Program. Last fall, he discovered the U.N.'s International Day of Peace, which occurs annually on September 21st.

As the sales manager for a large calendar publisher, Melvin did something only a few people in the world could have done. He enlisted the help of other major calendar publishers to add the U.N. International Day of Peace to their calendars. As a result of his work, most major U.S. calendar publishers will be listing the U.N. International Day of Peace in their 2009 calendars.

Last year on the International Day of Peace there were over 3,000 events in all countries involving hundreds of millions of people; these included vigils, workshops, exhibits, school activities and more - and that was before any calendars listed it. Now with the date on the calendar, they'll be even more!

I love it when someone who can make a difference takes the time to do just that.

For more information, check out:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Nautilus Book Award Winners: 2008

The motto of the Nautilus Book Award is: Changing the World One Book at a Time

Here are the award winners who were announced at BookExpo America last week:

Small Press Award: Getting a Grip by Frances Moore Lappe’ - Small Planet Media

Animals / Nature: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Mark Bekoff - New World Library

Art / Specialty / Gift: Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Khadromas and the Way of the Pilgrim by Simhananda - Orange Palm Publications

Children's Illustrated: The Day the Stones Walked by T.A. Barron - Philomel Books/Penguin Young Readers Group

Children's / Young Adult Non-Fiction: The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon - Scholastic / Orchard Books

Conscious Business / Leadership: The Economics of Happiness by Mark Anielski - New Society Publishers

Conscious Media / Journalism: Thirst: Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water by Alan Snitow & Deborah Kaufman with Michael Fox - Jossey-Bass

Cosmology / New Science: The Mystery of 2012 by Sounds True

Ecology / Environment / Sustainability: The Blue Death by Dr. Robert D. Morris - Harper Collins

Fiction / Visionary Fiction - Adult: Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra - HarperSanFrancisco

Fiction / Fantasy - Young Adult: Gaia Girls Way of Water by Lee Welles - Chelsea Green

Food / Cooking / Nutrition: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver - HarperCollins

Grieving / Death & Dying: The Lonely Planet by Michael Stein - HarperCollins

Health / Healing / Energy Medicine: The Energy Healing Experiments by Gary E. Schwartz with William L. Simon - Atria Books

Home & Garden / Natural Living: China's Sacred Sites by Nan Shunxun and Beverly Foit-Albert - Himalayan Institute Press

Indigenous / Multicultural: Wild by Jay Griffiths – Tarcher/Penguin

Memoir / Personal Journey: Bones That Float by Kari Grady Grossman – Wild Heaven Press

Parenting / Family: Raising Baby Green by Alan Greene - Jossey-Bass

Personal Growth / Psychology: Living Deeply by Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten, Tina Amorok - Noetics Books /New Harbinger Publications

Social Chanage / Activism / Peaceful Solutions: Loyal to the Sky by Marisa Handler – Barrett/Koehler

Religion: Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer by Gregg Braden – Hay House

Spirituality: The Life of Meaning by Bob Abernethy and William Bole - Seven Stories Press

Yoga / Massage / Body Movement: Yoga Calm for Children by Lynea Gillen and Jim Gillen - Three Pebble Press

World Changing Audio Books: Living the Field by Lynne McTaggart – Sounds True

For more information about the awards, check out

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Widget Example

Here's a neat little widget from

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