Saturday, March 27, 2010

You Don't Have to Be an Amazon Bestseller

You don't have to be an Amazon bestseller to make the news, or even sell a lot of copies. You can simply beat Al Gore - or anyone else you want to set your sight on. Check out what David Mathison is doing right now (excerpted from his email promotion for the event):

David Mathison, author of the runaway book, Be The Media, has set his sights on former Vice President Al Gore - and he needs YOUR help!

Gore currently holds the record for book sales at an author event at the popular Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera, CA.

However, on Sunday, March 28, 2010, Mathison will refuse to leave the bookstore until he breaks Gore's record. "If George Bush could beat him, so can I," declared a confident Mathison.

You don't need to be in California to help - you can buy the book from Each book will be personally autographed by David, and bulk orders are certainly welcome!

Contributing donors can also win lunch with the author, take a photo with a life-size Al Gore, or discuss the invention of the Internet.

Diehard Be The Media activists and special guests are planning to rally from noon-4pm outside the bookstore. It is not yet certain if Gore supporters will picket to prevent the record from being broken.

From 4-5pm, Mathison will deliver the same keynotes he gave in December 2009 and January 2010 to the United Nations. Don't miss it!

The event will be streamed live on, with regular updates on FaceBook and Twitter, so supporters from across the globe can cheer Mathison on and support his cause.

He promises to eat, drink, talk, and filibuster until he beats Gore. Mathison doesn't think he'll need to stay in the store forever. "Once Gore sees me closing in on the record," Mathison says, "I'm sure he'll concede."

WHAT: Author refuses to leave bookstore until he breaks Al Gore's record

WHEN: Sunday, March 28, 2010
Noon-4pm: Rally and special guest appearances
4-5pm: United Nations keynote presentation
5pm-End: When Mathison beats Gore

51 Tamal Vista Boulevard, Corte Madera CA 94925
415-927-0960; 800-999-7909; Fax: 415-924-3838

Be sure to get your Al Gore mask for the rally:


John's Comments: You don't have to challenge Al Gore. You could challenge someone else, especially another celebrity - any reason at all to draw attention from the media.

And you don't have to focus on book sales in one bookstore. You could set the record in a bar, quilting shop, library, hair salon, restaurant, or whatever.

You could do such a promotion for a novel, a memoir, a children's book, poetry journal, or a nonfiction book. Just match the venue and the challenge to your book's content and audience.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Posting to Blogs: Effective Linking Campaign for Marketing Your Books

The following is a guest post from V. Michael Santoro, founder of

Blog Tour Palooza

Although back links from blogs are not as valued as other links because of spamming, they are still worth obtaining if they are targeted to your niche. These posts are also indexed by Google. However, many blogs use the "no follow" tag with links. This tag informs the search engine spiders not to count the link as a back link to your site. You want to post to blogs that do not use the "no follow tag."

The following are three ways to find niche-specific blogs that don’t use the "no follow" tag:

1. Go to and conduct a search using: "your keyword phrase" + "do follow" - This will return the blogs that allow your link to count as a back link. If Google returns a page that indicates that no blogs were available, it only means that your keyword phrase was too narrow. Just repeat your search using a higher level phrase. For example, if "weight loss tips for people in Tampa" did not return any results, try "weight loss tips" and then "weight loss."

2. If you use the Firefox browser, you can download a free plug-in that will highlight blogs that use the "no follow" tag in red. It will also indicate the PR (Page Rank) value of the blogs. The higher the PR, the more valuable the back link. Go to:

3. Other “Do Follow” Blog Directory Sites - This site allows you to search for “do follow” blogs. They provide the option to buy comments or you can post them on your own for free. - This “do follow” blog directory also allows you to search by keyword phrase. A list of recent and popular blogs are also provided as well. Additionally, you can add your blog to directory. - This is another site that provides links to 200 “do follow” blogs where you can post comments.

How to Select a Blog for Posting

In addition to the "no follow" tag rule, you need to evaluate the blog to ensure that you only spend time posting to those that will provide the greatest return. Use the following criteria as a guide:

1. Current and up to date - Check the date of the last post and how much time there is in between posts. If it is a older, dated blog, then don't make a post. It can take several months before the search engine spiders visit the blog to index your comments.

2. Active Comments Section - The best blogs for posting are those with an enthusiastic following that provides continuous posting. You can bet that the search engine spiders are visiting these blogs often.

3. Have some page rank (a page rank of "0" provides little value). Unless the blog is very relevant to your niche and seems current, you should seek to begin posting on higher PR blogs first.

Tips for Posting Comments

When you find a blog and are ready to post a comment, you will be asked to add your name and email address. Make sure to add your Website URL as well and since blogs use your name as anchor text with your URL, use a competitive, long tail keyword phrase instead of your name. This will help your Web page rank better for that keyword phrase.

Before you add a comment, read the current post and ensure that you contribute relevant quality content. Also incorporate the long tail keyword phrase if it fits the reply to the post.

Another tip is to include a link back to one of your articles. For example, "I'd also like to share an article that I've written about” (add your keyword phrase as anchor text link to article here) and “I hope that you find it helpful." Now you have two quality links by offering quality content.


Many blogs are moderated and your posts will have to be approved. If you just offer something like, "Yo, nice blog!" for the sake of getting a quick link, it will be viewed as spam and not posted. Quality counts here and you want to be viewed as an expert in your niche. Remember, in addition to a good link back to your site, you can also receive traffic to your website if the blog visitors are impressed with your posts.


V. Michael Santoro is an award winning author and creator of the Author Intern System. You can now use a student intern as your book marketing assistant to unleash your book’s potential without having to do all the work.


John's Note: I haven't reviewed the details of the Author Intern System yet, but I love the idea of training and using interns to do a lot of the nitty-gritty work that most authors hate to do (myself included).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

5 Sure-Fire Public Speaking Humor Techniques You Can Use to Get Optimal Laughs!

The following article is courtesy of Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel, an author, sales writer, seminar leader, and creator of Peter Fogel’s Guide to Effective Public Speaking.

Every author should put public speaking into their marketing arsenal if they want to brand themselves, get more fans, and especially if they want eager buyers lining up to buy their books.

One of the quickest ways to BOND with your speaking audiences is to effectively weave humor through out your presentation. Here are my five commandants to getting the Big Yuks so you can get the Big Bucks when giving a key note speech.

Fogel’s First Commandant: Thou shall know your audience. Are they young or old, or mixed? Remember: Humor is so subjective. A youngster of six might laugh at a good “making potty in your pants” joke because that’s what they do. On the other hand, a senior might not find it amusing, only because he might’ve “just made potty in his pants” himself, and is a tad embarrassed.

Fogel’s Second Commandment: Thou shall test your material. 25 years of speaking and stand-up comedy tells me NEVER, never, ever test a new joke as your opening line. If it bombs, (urggh!) you had better have a good saver. I once performed on a cruise ship where I quickly learned elderly seniors sometimes lose the sarcastic gene once they hit retirement age. (Maybe, it’s the law.) This particular audience took my joke literally (meaning they didn’t get the joke) and thought I was insulting another performer (when I was not).

Fogel’s Third Commandment: Thou shall choose your target appropriately. For humor to work you must realize that there’s a punch line and/or victim in the joke. In observational humor you make fun of the fact that everyone loses a sock in the dryer—and you get laughs at the recognition of it. No harm; no foul. In a corporate setting do not make fun of the CEO that hired you unless it’s cleared with the CEO himself.

Fogel’s Fourth Commandment: Thou shall be self-effacing. Ever notice why fat comedians like Louis Anderson get constant laughs? Because they put themselves down. That self-deprecating type of humor will work in a comedy club. But in a speaking setting, you want respect. To do that you should use self-effacing humor.

Share you frailties with your audience. Years ago Firestone had tires exploding off of SUV’s. Once it hit the newswire -- that night I used that reference as an opening line: “Hope you’re all in a good mood. Two days ago I bought stock in Firestone.” Huge LAUGHS from the audience. Take away: Find some current catastrophe in the newspaper that occurred at a particular company and substitute “Firestone.” Try it; it works!

Fogel's Fifth Commandment: Thou shall take notice of the seating of the room. Humor and delivering strong content works best when there is intimacy in the room. Get early to your engagement and make sure (to the best of your ability) that the seating arrangement is in close proximity to the stage. If it is not, know your humor response will be LESS than you expected.

The above techniques work for me, and I know they will work for you!

-- Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel is an author, sales writer, seminar leader, and creator of Peter Fogel’s Guide to Effective Public Speaking. For more info and to sign up for Peter’s FREE 7 Days to Effective Public Speaking E-course (Value: $65), go to:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Creating an iPhone App for Your Book or Author

I was originally going to include this story in my weekly newsletter, but it became too long to include in a newsletter you want people to read (I have found that if the person can't read the email newsletter quickly, they will file it away for later reading which, in my experience, never happens).

With the coming Apple iPad, having your own iPhone app has become really important. A lot of people already use the iPhone or iPod Touch to access information from the Internet. An app is an easier and snazzier way to access information, make decisions, and have fun.

The top two genres for iPhone apps right now are games and books. There are more than 27,000 iPhone book apps right now. Is one of them yours? It should be.

You can create your own app by hiring a programmer, thinking through the interface, testing and most testing, and then submitting it to Apple with the hopes that they will approve it. That's the complicated way.

Or you can use one of the following services:

My App Creator: -- 1151 Eagle Drive #325, Loveland CO 80537; 970-776-8506; 888-293-0512. Allows you to easily create an app by incorporating a news feed, twitter feed, blog feed, and audios or videos. You can use one of their standard templates or apply your own custom design. Once completed, your new app gets uploaded automatically to the iTunes AppStore. The cost? $297 for set up and $27 per month for hosting. You could have an iPhone app in just a few minutes or hours (depending on what feeds you already have set up). For an extra $97, you can monetize your app with Google ads and track usage via analytics. This service was created by Joel Comm, developer of the bestselling iFart app.

iPhone App Quotes: -- Get three free quotes from iPhone app developers who can create the app for you.

RevMobile: -- This beta program allows you to create an iPhone app in as little as 3 hours while simultaneously developing for the Windows Mobile platform as well. When this software is released later this year, it will sell for $999. An expensive option that may be most useful to those who are already comfortable using programming software.

The AppWizard Custom iPhone Development Suite: -- Claims you can create an iPhone app in less than 30 minutes (probably not a great app, but one suitable for giving away free). Also allows you to create a more custom app. $99.95 plus a monthly hosting fee.

AppMii: -- You can try it out for free and see how you do in creating your own app. $19.95 per month to create and host an app. $499 one-time fee for professional design plus the monthly hosting fee.

App Breeder: -- They have app kits for bands, realtors, businesses, events, legal, teaching, restaurants, etc. You can create an ad-supported free app or paid iPhone apps for $99.95 publishing fee plus a $10 to $40 per month hosting fee.

Check out the various services and decide which one works best for you. You can test drive many of them before paying.

Note: Apple is currently clamping down on cookie cutter apps that are de facto RSS feeds or glorified business cards, so be sure to incorporate more than RSS feeds into your new iPhone app.

Because Apple is so heavy handed in what it allows and doesn't allow and can be very controlling, don't put all your apples into one basket. Some of the above programs, like App Breeder, allow you to develop apps for other mobile phone platforms like Android or Blackberry.

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation noted recently, “If Apple's mobile devices are the future of computing, you can expect that future to be one with more limits on innovation and competition … than the PC era that came before. It's frustrating to see Apple, the original pioneer in generative computing, putting shackles on the market it (for now) leads.”

Because of Apple's tendency to be so controlling, be sure to develop for the other platforms and learn how to market to mobile phones in other ways.

Meanwhile, StomperNet is now offering a new program on how to market via mobile phones using texting and mobile instant messaging. You can watch their first two free videos about the new program here:!v=I3biZeRxyMw and here:!v=48HjxVioizs.

Here are a few of the points people have made based on the first few videos:

* Mobile phone manufacturers have done a good job realizing that a mobile phone is a tangible symbol of lifestyle.

* In the next two years, mobile marketing will explode.

* When consumers are waiting for a train or standing in line somewhere, they look to mobile to fill time.

* Make sure you have campaign-specific landing pages for your mobile-marketing campaigns.

* Just because you have a mobile marketing campaign going doesn't mean anyone will participate. Get proactive.

* Trends: By 2010, an estimated 2.3 Trillion text messages will be sent and delivered globally.

* Monitor what is working and make changes as necessary. Mobile feedback comes fast. React fast.

* If you're sending an ad to a 20-something on a Friday night at 11, recognize they are probably out and about.

* Think it's tough to keep someone's attention on TV? Try getting and keeping their attention when they're on the phone.

* Align what your target market wants with your desired outcome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Writing Is a Business

Are you writing as a hobby, profession, or business? Your answer makes all the difference in the world.

Self gratification comes from a hobby.
Wages come from a profession.
Profit comes from a business.

It's your choice. One must understand the ramifications of the choices. Don't believe for a moment that you can do one and get paid as the other. It really doesn't work that way. No matter what Tooth Ferry you believe in.

Here are insights from publishing industry insiders about the business of writing.

"In today's market, writers can't just be writers. They have to be performers and publicists as well." - novelist Joshua Henkin, "Writer with a Roadshow", New York Times, July 5, 1997

"Publishers lavish promotion on books likely to sell, written by bestseller writers." - Jeff Lippman, Wall Street Journal, September 2, 1997

"Everyone else pretty much has to fend for himself." - Robert Crais, author of the Elvis Cole mystery series, quoted in the Wall Street Journal, September 2, 1997

Many artists are confused about the model they are using and wind up operating their art as a hobby and wondering why they aren't making any money. I made this mistake for many years. You don't need to.

To change your income, first, change your operating basis.

Click here to read the elements of fiction writing, starting with a discussion of the writers product.

-- Richard A McCullough, the Rich Writers Coach, is the creator & editor of, the fiction writer's source for writing better fiction faster and selling more of what you write.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

How to Close More BIG Sales, by Getting More Smaller “Yeses”

The following article is courtesy of Eric Gruber, the article marketing expert.

In just a couple weeks, I am going to be proposing to my girlfriend, Kristina Jaramillo. Now, I am very respectful and old-fashioned, plus I know the fact that she is extremely close with her family — so during the past weekend, I asked her family for their blessings.

First, I asked her sisters — which I got my first yes.

The next easiest target was the grandmother. I got my second yes.

Now, I already went through the process twice. I already got 2 yeses. And, although I was quite nervous (I paced up and down) before I spoke to the parents, it was still 1 million times easier.

Why? Because I already got 2 smaller yeses.

Closing More Sales is a Series of Yeses!

Just like I went through a series of “yeses” to get the “yes” I really wanted — you need to go through a series of “yeses” with your customers in business.

Many article marketers try to promote a high-priced product or service in the bio box. Then they wonder why they’re not getting website traffic or sales.

So, How Do You Get More Prospects to Move Forward and Say That First Yes?

1. Offer prospects a free special report or sneak preview in the bio box.

2. Be sure to include a reason why they should go to your website to get this free incentive.

3. Send prospects to a focused squeeze page — with no outside distractions. This way, it will be easier for prospects to say their first “yes.” For example, check out: This is where I offer you three free instant article writing templates that will help you write articles in 30 minutes or less.

Once you enter your name and email address, you are taken to a page where you can download the free templates. You are also given an offer to get my complete collection of article templates that can be found at:

Let’s say you choose to get my article templates (this means I already got 2 yeses!), I upsell you and offer you supplementary products like my Complete A to Z Article Marketing System that can be found at:

I then have my virtual assistant follow up with my article marketing product buyers to offer them a free strategy session with me. At the end of the session, I invite them to take advantage of my article marketing services or my article marketing coaching program.

Notice, I start off with a free offer — then to a low priced product, to another product at a higher price point. Finally, I get them exactly where I want them — investing in my article services or in my monthly article marketing coaching program that you can become part of at:

See, if you want to close more sales, then you have to go for a series of yeses — and not for the BIG yes right away.

Now, wish me luck as I have one more “Yes” to go — the most important one of them all. I now have to ask Krissy in a couple weeks if she will marry me.


-- Eric Gruber, Your Article Marketing Expert,

Cracking the Article Marketing Code --

Online Article Marketing Course --

Article Submission Site Database --
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