Thursday, March 29, 2012

Book Trailers: They Should Have Gone with the Sales Department Dancing the Can-Can

Here's a book trailer for Julie Klam's Love at First Bark that features actor Timothy Hutton and a sort of funny script.



It's had 2,333 views in six months. Why didn't it get more?

I think they should have gone with the sales department dressed in dog costumes dancing the can-can. That probably would have gotten more views.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How to Secure Sponsors for Your Events

Guest Post by Roberta Vigilance

Securing sponsors for events can save event planners, promoters, authors, and other professionals tens of thousands of dollars and more. 90% of securing sponsors is being passionate about the event you are planning. The other 10% is knowing what language to use, how to approach the sponsors, how to write the event sponsorship proposal among other steps that are needed to secure sponsors successfully.

Events take place every day - from seminars, fashion shows, talent shows, contests, award ceremonies, tours, birthday parties to fundraisers for causes such as hunger, breast cancer, education, homeless pets, and more.

Events can cost anywhere from three thousand dollars up to one million dollars and more. Imagine the costs that are associated with planning an event for a celebrity. In any economy people are looking to save money, even celebrities!

People have learned over the years that securing sponsors is a smart and strategic way to implement events they are passionate about simultaneously save money, and with a little guidance you can too. Securing sponsors is a give and take relationship bartering; trading value for value.

The sponsor is giving you money, products, services, or images (celebrities) to either cover or cut your event's cost. In return for taking the sponsor money, products, services or images, you will give the sponsor specific benefits. The main benefit, however, is connecting their brand with your event's audience. By doing so, you are allowing your sponsors to come up close and personal with your event audience either through placing banners at your event, developing an email list of your event audience, or providing other benefits the sponsors may need and desire.

This may sound as though you are allowing your sponsors to advertise in front of your event audience, but really what you are doing, and the sponsors know this, is placing their brand in front of a pure target audience. Because of you, your sponsors are fully aware of who they are placing their brand in front of.

Remember the first thing to securing sponsors is to be passionate your event, this will give you the encouragement to close the deal and to keep moving forward when one door closes.

Some other key aspects of securing sponsors for events is to know your event audience, who are you planning the event for; is it for children? Who will be attending your event; is it their parents? What products or service do you believe they need and can afford?

These are some questions you need to know the answers to before contacting any company for a sponsorship. You also need to know how your event will help the sponsors achieve their goals. What are you offering your sponsors in exchange for what they are giving you; a meet and greet with every individual at your event or introduction to a new market.

Think about your audience needs, what makes them happy, or live longer and healthier. Your answers will help you approach the right sponsors.

Do not make promises to your sponsors you know you cannot keep. Be honest. If something unforeseeable happens contact your sponsors asap. Ever heard of the saying, treat others like you would like to be treated; this goes for sponsors also.

Another very important aspect of securing sponsors for your event is to respect the prospective sponsor time. After you've researched what companies you want to contact for sponsorship, have your speech ready. Briefly introduce yourself and the reason you are calling. Best wishes with planning your sponsored event and securing sponsors!

Roberta Vigilance

About the Author

Roberta Vigilance is a book author and event sponsorship consultant. Her motto: Plan Events. Secure Sponsors. For more information about her services and book (How to Plan Sponsored Events Effectively and Secure Sponsors Successfully), see http://www.eventsandsponsors.com.

Monday, March 26, 2012

7 Ways to Connect with Readers on Goodreads

Guest post by Joan Stewart of The Publicity Hound

Gone are the days when an author could count on a book review in a newspaper or magazine to send books flying off the shelves. Book review sections in newspapers and magazines have practically disappeared.

That's why it's imperative that you know where millions of readers are clustered online, discussing, reviewing and recommending books in their favorite genres. If you can tap into just a few of these many online communities, you can build up excitement and momentum for your book that can result in more sales than you might have seen from a printed review.

The biggest of these sites? Goodreads, the largest site for readers and book recommendations in the world. It boasts more than 7.3 million members, from casual readers to bonafide bookworms.

Goodreads

Goodreads members create virtual bookshelves and have added more than 260 million books they love reading. They recommend, review and compare books. They keep track of what they've read and what they want to read. The reason Goodreads is one of the most valuable tools in your promotion toolbox is because whenever someone views a book, Goodreads always shows them their friends' reviews of that same book.

And your goal, as an author, is to have as many people as possible add your book to their shelves and review it. Goodreads makes it easy for you through its Author Program. After you've signed up for an account, you can connect with readers several ways:

1. Create an author profile.

You're a great writer. So write a terrific bio accompanied by an attractive, good-quality head shot. Explain what makes you tick. Share your list of favorite books. Include the URL for your website, as well as links to your social media profiles, so people know where to find you on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure that all of your own books are listed on Goodreads.  You can also connect your blog to Goodreads and add a widget to your website or blog.

If you're a writer but haven't published a book yet, check out the writing section of your profile where you can post your writing for others to read and review.

John Kremer's author profile: http://www.goodreads.com/johnkremer.

2. Create and promote your events.

Planning a book signing? A speaking engagement? A blog tour? A book launch? Your fans will want to know. Use your author profile to publicize these events.

3. Post videos.

Goodreads is all about the written word, but no one can dispute the attraction to video, especially with so many people watching video on mobile phones. Authors can upload book trailers, interviews, readings and video blogs as long as the videos are embedded and hosted by YouTube or six other video sites.

4. Join groups.

One of the beauties of this site is the ability to connect with readers who are interested in the same things you write about, even on the narrowest of topics, so join a group and add to the conversation. I found these groups: Vampire Academy, Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy, Homeschoolers, Erotic Enchants, and Arabic Books. Groups can be public, moderated, restricted by domain, or secret.

5. Create quizzes.

Readers love a good quiz. If you wrote an historical novel, quiz readers on historical facts of the era. Cookbook authors, how about a quiz on food science?

6. Give away books.

Goodreads' First Reads program that lets you create buzz for an upcoming book by listing however many free copies you wish to give away on the site. Members apply, and Goodreads chooses the winners, who are encouraged but not required to write a review of the books they receive. Many publishers participate in this giveaway to generate reviews.

7. Participate as a reader, too!

People will be forming an opinion about you by looking at your bookshelves, so consider filling them with your Top 10 favorites, accompanied by a mini-review of each. Other authors catalog everything they have ever read. Post quotes. Or share your own writing for others to review. List books on your must-read list.

Remember that this site is all about a love of books, and letting your friends know which titles you recommend. It isn't about free commercials. So tone down the promotion, share other authors' works, talk to your readers, and you'll be just fine.

Goodreads is just one of dozens of online communities where you must have a presence if you're serious about creating buzz for your books.

Confused about which sites are best for you? Join me at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, March 29, when I host the webinar Where to Find Millions of Readers Online to Review, Recommend & Buy Your Books.

You'll learn about the biggest and best online book review sites, online book clubs, and web-based book discussion groups--and which ones are best for poetry. Register by clicking here.

Joan Stewart

About the Author

Publicity expert Joan Stewart, aka The Publicity Hound, shows you how to use traditional and social media to promote any product, service, cause or issue and publishes the popular ezine, The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How to Get the Most from Professional Editing: 3 Tips from a Book Editor

Guest post by Lauren Ruiz

Perhaps you've heard: Nowadays your manuscript has to be near perfect to land you an agent or the interest of a publishing house. If you plan to bypass all that and self-publish, then your manuscript has to be even better. For this reason, hiring a freelance editor beforehand greatly improves your chances of success.

Whether you'll be seeking an editor in the future, or have already found one you trust and like, your goal should be to get the most out of the experience.

Here are three pieces of advice from a professional editor on how to do so:

1. Hand It Over at Its Best.

The better shape your manuscript is in when you hand it over, the better shape it will be returned in. If you've done your homework on the big things—on structure and pacing, for example—your editor will be able to focus on flow, clarity, and punctuation, making your piece more polished, and thus closer to being publication-ready.

If after editing, you have major reworking to do, then your piece will probably require more professional editing. Because professional attention can be expensive, you may not want that. Handing over your best increases the likelihood of only needing one round.
Note: Some editors, like me, offer discounts on resubmissions, which is helpful.
Before you submit your manuscript, read up on the craft of writing, and ideally have fellow writers (at least one) read all or part of your piece. Move, remove, add, and rewrite, based on their feedback and your best judgment.

2. Tell Your Editor Your Concerns.

Whether your editor does or doesn't ask, bring up any concerns you have with your piece.

Some writers don't do this. They assume the editor will catch everything. But while, hopefully, your editor will, there's no reason to take the chance.

When you do explain your concerns, be thorough and specific. If necessary, make a list.

Telling an editor you're worried about your characterization, for example, will alert them to take note of how you paint your characters for readers, but the more specific, the better. For example, "I'm especially worried about Lillian's character because..." will narrow the focus and make it more likely that you'll get an answer or solution. If you only have general concerns, that's okay. Just be sure to speak up.

3. Ask Your Editor to Offer Explanations for the Edits When Possible.

Editors have different styles. Some will explain just about every edit, some plenty of them, and others very few. Though you should have an idea of where your chosen editor falls (ask for a sample edit!), make it clear that you'd like as many comments and explanations as possible. This will allow you to not only make informed decisions on whether to keep the edits, but also to improve your writing.

There's no doubt in my mind that you will be at least a little better as a writer after receiving professional editing (if not exponentially so)—especially if you ask for explanations.

To get the most out of professional editing employ these three tips and keep this in mind: trust your editor, trust yourself, and be glad that you're on the track.

Lauren Ruiz

About the Author

Lauren I. Ruiz is the founder of Pure Text, where she offers professional but affordable proofreading and editing for authors, businesses, and creative writers. She loves helping writers and writing be better.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Book Promotion Soundbites: Jo Ann Kairys Interviews John Kremer on Blog Tours

Bloggers Read Across the Glove
In January, Jo Ann Kairys interviewed me on how to organize and promote blog tours in preparation for her Bloggers Read Across the Globe event which promotes children's reading and literacy.

Listen in as we talk about how to carry out a virtual book tour in the most effective way:



It was an hour-long discussion where we covered a lot of details on how to do blog tours.

About Jo Ann Kairys

Jo Ann Kairys
Jo Ann Kairys is co-author and co-illustrator of the children’s picture book, Sunbelievable, winner of the Mom’s Choice Gold Medal 2012 Award. Widely published in the medical/science field, she recently shifted from highly technical writing to creating stories for young readers.

“I don’t know which is more challenging… writing a research article or producing a book that children will want to read over and over again. I love that wonderful stories can last for generations!”

Jo Ann is also Founder of the 2012 First Annual Bloggers Read Across the Globe (BRAG) Project—Promoting Children’s Reading and Literacy—one enthusiastic blogger at a time.

About Sunbelievable

Sunbelievable
Sunbelievable tells of a hilarious and whacky Sun seen through the emboldened imagination of two young sisters. Does the Sun ride roller coasters? Eat pizza?

This endearing story shows the loving relationship and unbounded curiosity of young children. NASA’s chief technologists adds facts about the real Sun as a jumping off point for questions and discussion. The images combine real photographs with magical, digitally created landscapes.

“You can’t take your eyes off of the illustrations!” (San Francisco and Sacramento Book Review 2012)

=====

Blog Tour Palooza

Friday, March 02, 2012

Planned Television Arts Celebrates 50th Anniversary with a Name Change

The following is excerpted from a press release from Planned Television Arts, now Media Connect, which is celebrating it's 50th anniversary:

Media Connect
What do Jon Stewart, Jodie Foster, Pier 1 Imports, Motel 6, Tom Cruise, Taco Bell, Rosie O’Donnell, The Rolling Stones, and Planned Television Arts have in common? They all turn 50 years old in 2012.

PTA, one of the nation’s premier and largest book publicity firms, today marked its golden anniversary by launching a new name, Media Connect. Its site is now http://www.media-connect.com.

While known for placing authors with broadcast media, the agency has been developing its print connections for the past two decades and increasing its online media offerings in the past five years.

“The media is changing as well as the nature of book publishing,” notes managing director David Hahn, a 26-year company veteran, “And we have certainly evolved with the times. Now our name will more accurately reflect our broader offerings and the essence of who we are and what we do.”

Mike Levine, founder of Planned Television Arts, created the name based on the huge upswing in TV’s popularity at the beginning of the 60’s. TV purchases reached a tipping point in the five years leading up to PTA’s inception and television became the hot, desired medium, much the way the Internet is embraced today.

PTA’s early services included organizing fashion shows for clients to exhibit their designs on the popular daytime show The Mike Douglas Show and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, which also debuted in 1962.

The firm began specializing in book publicity in the mid 70’s, conducting tours for authors Mickey Spillane and Wayne Dyer, two early clients.

Since then Jimmy Carter, Dean Koontz, Harvey Mackay, Jack Canfield, Richard Preston, Sophia Loren, Mark Victor Hansen, Tom Brokaw, Jackie Collins, John Wooden, and Mitch Albom (who actually worked for PTA for six months) are just a handful of the well-known or celebrity authors PTA has promoted over the years.

As Media Connect celebrates its Golden Anniversary, it will pay homage to former clients, changes in the industry, and how the news media has been transformed by the Internet.

“We have always innovated and experimented,” says chief marketing officer Brian Feinblum, “including developing trademarked services such as The Teleprint Conference (scheduling a press conference by phone with 12-18 publications), The Morning Drive Radio Tour (18-20 interviews conducted in one morning by phone), The Satellite TV Campaign (scheduling 15-18 local TV shows from across the country via one studio location), and even launching a speakers bureau.”

1962 may be remembered historically for a number of things. There were no such things as cable TV, the Internet, tablets, or Facebook. 1962 was the era of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, of Bonanza, Lassie, and Perry Mason. A new home cost $12,500 on average, annual salaries were $5,600, a new car cost $3,125 and a gallon of gas was just 28 cents.

It was the era of JFK and the Bay of Pigs. The Civil Rights Movement was raging and the Vietnam War was escalating. Space travel was in its infancy as John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. The nation’s population was less than half of today’s. Walter Cronkite was just named the anchor of CBS News. And the year gave rise to Planned Television Arts now Media Connect.

Media Connect team members

Media Connect currently employs 20 full time team members with headquarters in New York City and an office in Washington, DC.

John Kremer, Book Marketing Consultant

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Book Promotion Soundbites: How to Create a Blog That Matters

If you want to improve your blogging effort and make better use of your blog as part of your book marketing campaign, check out this video. Here are a few of the things you'll learn:
  • The 9 most important elements required to start a blog that matters
  • The stories of 5 bloggers who each make over $1 million a year doing what they love
  • 5 case studies of plain folk who have started extremely popular blogs
  • The answers to all your questions on how to start a blog that matters
  • The stories of some book authors who have benefited from having blogs that create impact
The presenter, Corbett Barr, has started a number of high-traffic blogs including ThinkTraffic.net (Alexa rank: 16,700) and ExpertEnough.com (Alexa rank: 55,443), which was just started in October 2011 and already has tons of traffic.



How to Start a Blog That Matters

If you would like to sign up for Corbett's extended course on How to Start a Blog That Matters, click here: http://askthecoverdesigner.com/Blogging

I wish you the best in your blogging efforts this year.

John Kremer

John Kremer is the author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books as well as an incredible book promotion coach.

John Kremer, Book Marketing Consultant

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