Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Literary Agents Will Be Around for a Long, Long Time

Jeff Rivera of asked me the following question yesterday: With the publishing industry undergoing the digital revolution, will there be literary agents in the next 5-10 years? And if so, how will their role be affected or changed in the near future because of devices such as the Kindle and the Nook?

Here is my answer:

I think there will always be a place for agents and mainstream publishers.

Even with Kindle and Nook, books still need to be promoted to sell. That means there will still be room for good book publishers. And good book publishers need agents to help them find the best authors.

I expect the best agents to continue to prosper for many, many years to come. As with any technological change, the less capable fall by the wayside while the best continue to do well.

For those of you looking for a good agent, you can order my Literary, Foreign Rights, and Subsidiary Rights Agents directory for only $6.00 at When you order, you can immediately download this directory as a Word document.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Online Book Promotion for Novels: It Works!

The following story was posted in the Book Marketing Success Stories forum at the Book Marketing Network: I wanted to give Stacy-Deanne's story a wider circulation here on this blog. Thanks for sharing.

I gotta say ONLINE PROMOTION rules, baby!

For my last release, Melody, I worked (and continue to work) the social networks and online groups. It must have worked because I made back my advance in a few months! That's how I knew social networking was the way to go. I never did it much with my other books and my sells weren't as good as my third book. But, because I am out there more in the virtual world, my other books are selling more now too. I'm with a big pub, Simon and Schuster, but we all know that even with big pubs authors gotta work their butts off themselves.

The key to marketing and promoting online is that you have to take it seriously. You gotta put the time in everyday. I tell people all the time that they shouldn't just join online groups but that they need to participate on forums and become a true member. They can't just add folks and spam then expect to sell books. All promotion takes hard work. Some authors act like they shouldn't put in the time with online promotion but they should. You gotta be dedicated. The benefits I see from online networking is not just in selling copies either. I see this too:

1. Getting the chance to talk with and meet authors online I never would be able to meet. This way I can exchange promotional ideas and learn from them.

2. Writing articles that result in popularity as well as book sales.

3. Online marketing helps you build a steady fanbase much faster than the traditional methods.

4. When you do interviews or get your books reviewed on blogs/sites, they pop up on millions of other sites instantly bringing your work exposure as well as traffic to your own site.

5. Being able to talk with reviewers, book clubs, readers one-on-one.

All of this is promotion and promotion sells books. It may not happen very fast but if you keep it on going, you'll sell in the long run. Sometimes actual sales isn't the only thing to look at. Exposure and publicity can help build a career.

I have seen a bigger difference with online marketing than I ever did when I did book signings. I already plan to do multiple virtual book tours whenever my next release comes out. Online is also great promotion when watching your money and who isn't these days?

For more about Stacy Deanne's novels, see

Blog Tour Palooza

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Is It All About Business Exchange?

The following article is excerpted from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media But Were Afraid to Ask by Hillary J.M. Topper

BusinessWeek Exchange is one of the most inventive, creative ideas to come along in a long time. It takes the idea of user in user-generated content and does something really interesting with it. It brings companies into the fold as users – presenting a unique and potentially controversial way of looking at contributed content. I believe we won’t see the full impact of what BusinessWeek Exchange - and others to come - will have for at least the next year and probably the next 2 to 3 years. I factor blog networks from Fast Company, Wired and the like into this, too.

They’re allowing CEOs (and other, usually C-level company people) to contribute to the dialogue as though they’re reporters under the guise of a blog. Again, authority and influence changes with the title of the person writing. That is, when and if the user - meaning reader - realizes it, which they inevitably will.

-- Jennifer Lindsay,
Director of Digital Services and Social Media Evangelist

BusinessWeek magazine has the right approach. Since they know the value of social networking, they created Business Exchange where business people can connect with one another. Interestingly, when logging into Business Exchange, visitors can also view the top news stories on BusinessWeek, the magazine. You can save news stories to your home page along with interesting relevant news articles. This makes the site quite useful and helps BusinessWeek build a loyal following.

Business Exchange is arranged by topics. Topics are sorted by functional areas such as Business Law, Small Business Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. There are also more specific or timely areas such as the fall of Lehman Brothers, the Federal Reserve bailout of Bear Stearns and even the latest business strategies of Starbucks.

Business Exchange lets you bookmark business news, blog articles, tools and additional online resources to share with others. You can bookmark just about any format of online content including videos, tools and white papers. Readers can also comment on news items submitted.

Upon registering Business Exchange you set up a profile. Those who belong to the social networking site, LinkedIn, can import their LinkedIn profile sparing duplicate efforts of filling out yet another profile.

My 2 Cents via the author

I like that this site suggests people that I may want to include in my network. Through this feature, I actually met a business owner in India, with whom I regularly correspond. My connections are networked to people who post interesting articles attached to their sites.

Business Exchange also has links to Twitter, which is very helpful, especially when I seek to connect with reporters or business development people to grow my business.

I like that the site offers news feeds to interesting articles and blog sites that prompt lively conversations. You can also post an article or a blog entry as well. There are only business people on this site and it is relatively easy to network with people who you may not otherwise meet.

The only problem I see with the site is that it doesn’t have many active participants. It would benefit the site to promote to business owners on Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn and Twitter.

John's Comments:

Business Exchange is a great place to connect with other business leaders. My guess is that this site will become more active as business people discover it AND BusinessWeek promotes it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Make Your Own Outdoor Display Sign

Here's a neat website where you can create your own church sign messages (or any other messages on signs). Check out the one I created below:

To create your own church signs, go to

With a little adaptation, you could create other signs besides church signs. Perhaps something to advertise an upcoming seminar, teleseminar, or other event.

Here's an example I created:

And here's another sign I created to advertise my publishing company's address:

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