July 18th, 2013 by Paul Krupin
Evaluating Your Media Coverage - Online Clipping with Search Engines
Evaluating Your Media Coverage – Online Clipping with Search Engines
There are several ways to search and find media coverage without spending money on clipping service. All you have to do is use the right keywords and search in the right places. You can discover many, if not most, of the media coverage you get from your campaigns within a week of your outreach.
There are several types of search engines you can use – all of these are free. There are more search engines out there and this list will always change over time. These are the ones that I use on a regular basis.
Search by using a persons’ name, their book, product or whatever keyword you want to focus on. To keep your results narrow and focused, place “quotation marks” around your search words.
If you want to evaluate media coverage, focus on the keywords that you are researching and study what is being published, by whom, and what the article or interviews says.
Regular (Web) Search Engines
The New York Times
January 11th, 2013 by Paul Krupin
Publicity planner is a publicity calendar designed to help people identify opportunities for media coverage
Every year I create a forward-looking publicity calendar to help identify opportunities for media coverage in advance which is available in a free pdf file download.
It contains a lot of unusual holidays so that you can get creative, think ahead, and identify ways to tie-in to calendar events well in advance of the day they occur.
Here are the links to the Publicity Planner for 2013:
• Color version (the dazzling beautiful to look at edition)
http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/Publicitycalendar2013.pdf or http://goo.gl/MMz6N
• BW version (low ink eating printable edition)
http://www.directcontactpr.com/files/files/publicitycalendar2013bw.pdf or http://goo.gl/LLScX
Many more useful tips, articles and resources are included in the calendar. The calendar can be printed or used on your computer.
Share freely. Reach out and help the people you can help the most. Enjoy!
Happy New Year! Stay safe wherever you go!
Publicity Planner for 2013
May 14th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Is this all there is? Selling books is a bitch!
I posted this today on the Yahoo Self Publishing group in response to a frustrated author.
” I wonder if it as simple as perhaps we are not asking people to buy our books? You can get the freebie advertising but it is like throwing chum to fish. You might get their attention but unless you hook them by the lip you are not going to catch any. …… Musicians and published authors actually go out and play their music or do book signings. Buddy Holly hated touring (and it killed him) but his record sales needed the public appearances.”
I don’t think asking people to buy your book is simple at all. I don’t think it’s as effective as tantalizing them and persuading them.
Most authors and even most publishers devote very little time and effort into the identification, targeting, messaging, acquisition and activation of buyers for their books. Yet figuring this out is crucial.
Even with the incredible technologies available online, people don’t know how to create the messages and communications that pull people in. Instead, they either do very little (as in, build it and they will come), or they push the product, find out how hard it is, and then give up because so few people buy the book.
You can do a lot with the media and technologies online if you seek to understand how people buy or get engaged with your books, products or services.
1. People discover a need, or want to solve a problem.
2. They begin a search usually online, but it can happen on social media like FB or Twitter or any number of other places (including discussion groups like this one)
3. But they really don’t look very hard. They only pay attention to the first few things they discover or the first few recommendations they get from people they have familiarity with.
4. People also tend to go and hang out where they are invited, accepted, entertained or educated.
Now for every type of book, product or service, there are thus hundreds if not thousands of places to search and become associated with.
But as most people now know, you can’t easily sell product and survive the act of asking. You must provide helpful, non-sales laden information, guidance, education or entertainment with subtle links that lead you back to your site. That’s where the real sales process then begins.
So what do you do?
1. Determine who your audience really is! Identify who your best targeted customers are and then figure out where they hang out. Your goal is to then learn how to be prominent and highly regared wherever they hang out.
2. You need to identify the type of content that will turn them on. Is it action laden excerpts? Is it drama? Is it illustrations, games, videos, or helpful tips?
3. You need to learn how to communicate so that your content works wherever you place it. The post for a blog is not automatically what you place in a tweet. The content and the trail of breadcrumbs has to fit the medium.
4. You need to participate in the communities meaningfully. You answer questions and provide feedback, offer tips, advice, stories, humor, experience and enthusiasm, so that people are inspired and get interested and so that you trigger the action to go to your site to explore your product.
5. You create content that people want to link to, want to share, and want to give to others.
This is what you try to do with media when you do publicity. Only now, EVERYONE is a publisher who is trying to make money off subscriptions and/or advertising.
If you do it reasonably well, you get dozens or articles or posts.
If you do phenomenally well, you go viral.
You don’t just write in a vacuum. You develop, test, deploy, analyze and improve.
My simple acronym for this process is this: CACA
C – Create
A – Ask
C – Create again
A – Ask again
Once you prove the message works in your backyard, only then can and should you use technology to try to repeat the success widely.
Your objective is to keep on placing things before YOUR people so they can decide to participate, play or purchase.
But just realize that this is hard to do. Think about it! When was the last time you read the newspaper, and went and grabbed your credit card.
Yet very often, a single piece of information triggers a desire that brings something to mind that does indeed get you to take action. Then and only then do you search for the contact information, the email, the phone or the order form.
Few authors realize that creating the book is only the beginning. To be successful they have to find satisfaction in connecting with people again and again till they get enough action to pay for their investment in the work they created. It’s not just mechanics and technology.
It’s not just fine art or excellence in creative writing.
There’s persistent, dedicated systematic communication outreach that has to drive people to action.
Success often lives or dies with the close monitoring of the one-to one relationship developed between the author and his or her audience.
That is where the author must determine “what did I do and say that turned you on?”
Learn this and you can use the technologies.
Fail to learn this and nothing happens.
May 10th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Getting Publicity with Book Awards Update 2012
For those of you who do get a book award these next few weeks, I thought I’d give you my thoughts and advice on how to make the best use of your award as far as how to get publicity with it. So many people come to me and say how can I leverage this?
First I’d take a quick breather after getting the award and within a day or two sit down and do some quick research to calibrate what you are really trying to accomplish next.
I’ve written all about pay to play book awards like this before. I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of authors who win or are finalists (which in my book means you were one of several considered) in all sorts of categories by all sorts of organizations. My take it or leave it advice is that they rarely mean anything to anybody from a PR standpoint. They may result in a minor amount of media coverage IF you choose to do an outreach promoting yourself as someone who won an award. They may or may not mean anything as regards actual book sales.
Read all you want: http://blog.directcontactpr.com/category/awards/
Realize that media want quality yes, but they want objective proof and not paid praise. With so many book awards being given out by so many organizations every week and with each author paying to be considered, the “objectivity” is seriously in doubt. Look at what the awarding organization is doing. You’ll likely see they are using it as a promotional vehicle for their own purposes. Their business model is usually very clear to see. $75 per book per category times 60 categories. If they get dozens of books in a category and they can get dozens of volunteers to do reviews, they they can do pretty well.
So media tend to play very carefully since if they publish something and they are wrong, then they get hurt in ways they do not like. The key to being successful with media is to give them quality content anyway, and not a medal that says “I came in second place in a pay to participate commercial contest”.
But as I said, the proof is in the pudding. My rule of thumb is simple. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t, then do something else.
As Colin Powell said, “Don’t let a little bad data get in the way of a good decision.”
My best suggestion on how to use a book award in your copy writing and news releases is to study what is being published by media and see and learn how the book award information is being used and incorporated into stories. You can do this online by using news search engines.
I just did this for the key words:
“Book Awards”: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=book+award&oq=book+award&aq=f&aqi=d2&aql=&gs_l=news-cc.12..43j43i400.22856.26918.0.292126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.924.6j3.9.0…0.0.
There are several interesting things you can learn by studying the results.
1. This is the season! There are lots of little local stories about book award winners.
2. The book award information is in the headline half the time. The book, the author and the importance of the book or the ideas surrounding the book are the lead.
3. Most of the stories being published feature the top award winners. Stories about authors who receive second or third place are much less frequent.
4. The biggest media write articles which feature the books who receive the top national awards in the top national literary contests.
5. The regional and local media writer about the lesser well-know or recognized awards.
You can also do a search on the words “book award nominated”:
book award nominated http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&gl=us&tbm=nws&q=book+award+nominated&oq=book+award+nominated&aq=f&aqi=d2&aql=&gs_l=news-cc.12..43j43i400.1776.6262.0.85184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.488.5j1.6.0…0.0.
Here you’ll pick up a few additional news clips and see that many authors are creating news releases which they submit to several of the online news release distribution services. But most of the articles that you’ll see don’t cover books that are nominated. A few do mention these especially when it is coupled with other newsworthy facts.
One of the more amazing things I learned when I did this search and studied the results is that there are tons of book awards. Just in the top ten pages of these two searches, I was able to make a list of over 50 different individually named book awards in the current window of news coverage (two to three weeks):
Commonwealth Writers Book Award
City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Award
Next Generation Indie Book Award
Hawaii Book of the Year Award
Nautilus Book Award
USA Book Award
IPPY Book Award
Ben Franklin Book Award
National Book Award
California Book Award
Harvard Book Award
UK Christian Book Award
Grampian Children’s Book Award
BC Award for Best Canadian Non-Fiction Book
BC Award for National Business Book
Children’s Choice Book Award
National Business Book Award
Arizona Book Award
LA Times Book Award
New England Book Award
US National Book Award
Reader Views Book Award
Dartmouth Book Award
Vadaphone Crossword Book Award
McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book Award
Governor’s Literary Book Award
Julia Ward Howe Book Award
National Outdoor Book Award
PEN/Beyond Margins Award
Independent Book Award
Catholic Book Award
Corretta Scott King Book Award
Schneider Book Award (ALA)
Flicker Tale Book Award
Human Rights Book Award
Michigan Notable Book Award
Irish Book Award
International Reader’s Association Book Award
Jane Addam’s Children’s Book Award
Great Lakes Book Award
Saskatewan Book Award
AAPOR Book Award
Christianity Today book Award
American Book Award
Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
Northern Minnesota Book Award
Toronto Book Award
Phi Eta Sigma Book Award
Science Fiction Book Award
Hugo Book Award
Newberry book Award
Trillium Book Award
Ohioana book Award
Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award
Pushcart Press Editors Book Award
Now multiply by the number of categories, and then by 3 for gold, silver and bronze for the top three prizes in each category, and you’ll get a picture of how many people are getting awards and potentially competing for news coverage using book awards as a factor this week.
If you are going to create a news release and seek publicity for your award, then here my suggestions on the essential facts you need to include in your copy:
1. headline – Author wins prize/award
2. one sentence killer – knock their socks off description of what the book is about
3. unusual or interesting facts about the situation/the book/the author/the topic/the issues
4. the specifics of the award – what, where when, or how much and why is this award so important and prestigious
5. three to four paragraphs about the book, who it features, what’s amazing about it, why people will like it
6. basic book facts and marketing information so people can find it and buy it
7. author bio and information
8. book cover photo and author photo
9. contact information
10. offer for review copy and interviews if you want to offer these items.
Finally, once you have the news release written, it needs to be distributed to the right media. Proper targeting will maximize your chances of getting the right type of coverage in front of the people you can interest and help the most. So a children’s book needs to go to children’s media and editors, and a travel book needs to go to travel book media and editors and so forth.
You’ve worked hard to get this award. So congratulations. I hope this helps you take a few more steps in a positive direction so you can make the most of it.
If you get an award and want my help finalizing your news release and creating the right custom media list and getting the word out, just call me or send me an email with the facts and the book cover jpeg.
January 19th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Promoting and Marketing on Facebook
> Trying to promote books on Facebook is as pointless as trying to buy
> groceries in a church. It’s just not there. Been there, done that. Don’t
> waste your time. You can’t put “likes” in the bank.
OMG, failure certainly speaks louder than success.
Promoting as in marketing books with the immediate goal of selling books on Facebook is not how it works. This is not a direct marketing method of communication.
That’s simply not the right way to approach the use of these instant publishing technologies.
Think about what results in people taking action and sharing on Facebook.
They read and/or see something short, sweet, and incredibly thought provoking. They may comment on it if it’s worthy of comment. And they may share it if it’s value packed and worthy of sharing with others.
It’s a filtration process. The cream rises to the top.
Notice that only the really good noteworthy and excellent ideas and knowledge are passed on from person to person.
If you are going to intentionally and strategically use these technologies, you simply have to focus on creating messages that are worth sharing.
The Bottom Line: Quality and excellence is what triggers action.
I harp on this all the time. If you learn how to turn people on first, THEN you get to leverage the technologies to repeat the message and trigger the actions you want to happen.
Leave a trail of tasty intellectual candy and people will keep on taking bites and eventually want to buy the whole bag.
You can leverage, maximize and benefit from posting good, positive, enthusiastic, entertaining, and educational information.
You can see your ideas shared if what you post is truly noteworthy ideas, writing, photos, and helpful support every chance you get with every post you make.
You cannot just believe you are good. You must BE REALLY GOOD. In fact, other people must find what you shared to be so good, they are driven to share that incredible goodness with others.
This is real time public relations. You want to learn how to do this with Facebook, and every other media (= prime media, Internet media and yes, now even social media) you try to get published in.
If you write something that is really, really good, people will share it. But you have to learn how to create and make use of micro marcom.
I’ve been studying and developing successful strategies that people utilize for micro-marcom (micro marketing communications) for a while now. The media are masters at this.
The best way to use FB and other technologies is to make use of little tiny galvanizing nuggets of clarity.
You see the tweets in their headlines on Google News, in newspaper headlines, and in chyrons on TV. They hint of stories that will be dramatic, personal, achievement in the face of adversity plus humor. You can see these headlines are designed to be Attention Grabbing Short Phrases, with a link to get you to sit through “the rest of the story”. Study these tweets and you’ll see they basically fall into one of the following seven categories:
Someone in Trouble
Someone Saved or Rescued
Something Bad Happened
Something Good Happened
If you are going to use Facebook and all these media to promote, you will be most successful if you stay as personal as you are talking to your best friends and giving them your very, very best.
And you have to be quick about it. You can provide a link so they can get more goodness, and by golly it had better be as good as you said it is!
This way the image and impression you create is always helpful, educational, fun, entertaining, and worthwhile.
You can choose to create a personal brand that people always want to enjoy, and that results in people sharing what you offer, because it is simply so good.
When they like what you do, they will act to get more of you.
April 2nd, 2011 by Paul Krupin
Analysis of the utilization of social media on the creation of a NY Times best seller
I read Guy Kawasaki’s very interesting article titled on Mashable “Launch Any Product Using Social Media”
Guy’s post describes the social media actions he took to launch a new book titled Enchantment
Here’s the post I placed on Mashable comment in response (Guy’s personal comment is also included at the end):
It would be wonderful to learn how many books sold each channel produced. That might be hard to document. It would be nice knowing how many books sold from the effort in total.
I don’t attribute your success to the social media. I attribute your success to the fact that YOU are known to produce candy. You have for many years now produced books and all sorts of information that is remarkable. It is intellectual candy, so that when people get a small taste of a new recipe, they instantly want the whole bag.
You are one of those individuals who will be able to sell anything you offer. You are one of those individuals whose every published word has been worth reading.
The fact that you used these social media technologies is interesting, but if it were anyone else, it wouldn’t necessarily work. You can make great use of these technologies because you’ve got credibility and the people you want to reach are interested in what you have to say.
To really work well, the technologies (any publishing technologies, not just the social media) need a message that produces the feeling of want and desire instantly. It has to offer tremendous news, education, or educational value. It has to come from a trusted source. It has to taste like candy.
Without that candy, nothing will happen no matter what technology is used. With that candy, every technology you use can be a force multiplier.
The key with everything that you do is that YOU are known to produce candy. And the real lesson to be learned is that if anyone wants to achieve success like you, then they have to produce their own candy first. And it’s not just the product, but it’s also the little and large snippets of communication in all the marcom you offer, that also needs to taste like candy. The messages have to be really good, the content has to be quality and offer tremendous value.
And in your case, the person who is offering it is someone who can be trusted and known to produce worthwhile advice, entertaining insights, and helpful information.
That’s the lesson learned. You do your best and make candy. You help the people you can help the most and you do it with style, energy, and pizzazz. You make it your life’s work.
If all these things happen, then no matter how people learn about it, they will likely conclude it truly worthwhile. They will then feel very much inclined to buy not only the bag of candy you are suggesting we buy, but everything you have for sale.
In a nation with 330 million people trained and indoctrinated in reading and using media and technologies, truly remarkable sales and success are indeed possible. And with 1.3 billion people in China, the world is indeed a remarkable place filled with global opportunities.
You’ve earned it. That’s really what other people have to do, too. Make candy.
You made my evening. Thanks so much. I feel like Willy Wonka. 🙂
I don’t know how many each channel sold. It’s very hard to figure this out because so many things pointed to my Amazon affiliate account.
I hope I can continue to make candy that pleases you!
December 27th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Book publicity and selling more books
Question Posted on Independent Authors at Yahoo Groups.
>> Do book reviews sell book? Yes, and the review sites can prove it, because they get paid a percentage of the “buy-through” from Amazon. They don’t sell that many, and more nonfiction than fiction, but they do sell. And why not try to get our books reviewed? There are only so many options open to us. We can try to place an article in a magazine or newspaper, we can try to get book reviews, we can enter contests and hope for the best, we can do book club talks, and we can visit our local book stores and try to get signings. Why not try them all? I’d stand in front of Costco with a banjo and balloon hat if I thought it would help. I write books that I hope people will read. How they find my book is immaterial to me. I write books that I hope people will read. How they find my book is immaterial to me. < <
I just don't believe that it's smart to rely on the "proof that reviews work" for others and make the assumption that the same process will work for you.
I also believe that if you are writing to create a real business, then how people find your book is crucial to your survival and success.
There are many choices an author/publisher can make when deciding how to profit off one's intellectual property. Hope is not a strategy. Systematic carefully targeted communication to specific groups of high probability markets of people with money, with dedicated monitoring and continuous improvement is a strategy.
The Naked Cowboy stands in Times Square in his underwear playing his guitar.
That's how he communicates with HIS PEOPLE. He's built a successful nationally recognized brand doing this.
He entertains and stimulates sufficient numbers of people who buy his music.
There's a teenage kid with hair down to his knees who plays a screaming guitar a la Jimi Hendrix each day in Santa Monica who also is doing pretty well.
So maybe standing in front of Costco with a banjo and a balloon isn't such a bad idea.
If it works for you, do it!
YOU have to determine how you can reach and communicate with the people who matter to you. If what matters is sales, then that means you HAVE to know how you are communicating so that the action you produce is sales.
Look at this model:
Write a book. Self-Publish in ten ebook formats and POD. Have the book available at Amazon and Google and dozens or even thousands of other e-stores. Send the eBook to book reviewers by email. Get reviews. Sell books.
Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
What if YOUR PEOPLE, don't read the reviews.
What if THE REVIEWERS, won't even accept the ebook.
Yet this is what lots of people are doing. They write the book and pitch to a limited number of book reviewers. Then fail and stop.
I see this all the time. Sometimes the problem is the book. Some books simply aren't that good. This is one serious problem.
Sometimes the book is fine, but the author and the publisher don't take the actions needed to reach THEIR PEOPLE. And they don't have the stamina to go the distance. They stop before they learn how to turn THEIR PEOPLE on.
To me and my clients, this question is one that turns on return on investment. If the goal of writing and publishing is to produce sales, and there is only so much time and money to be invested in marketing, promoting and publicizing, then the determining factor is how many books can you sell?
People do write to try and make some money. You have to care about how people find out about you and your writing if sales are important to you. If you don't care, then there is very little chance that enough people will ever learn about you and buy what you have to offer.
My point is that YOU have to decide how to spend your time and what you receive from your efforts.
Book reviews are one option.
Feature stories are another.
You can embark on a program of speaking and or doing entertainment. People are successful in producing income and attracting attention that triggers action (e.g., sales).
Which tactic works the best for you? Do you know?
The LA Times article BOOK PUBLISHERS SEE THEIR ROLE AS GATEKEEPERS SHRINK (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gatekeepers-20101226,0,7119214.story) is pointing out that it is possible to create writings and develop audiences using the new technologies that are available. The article only hints at what JA Konrath and the other authors are doing to gain attention for their writings so that they do indeed sell books. The article says “In addition to Konrath, bestselling author Seth Godin, science fiction writer Greg Bear and action novelist David Morrell recently have used Internet tools to put their works online themselves.”
This article fills people with hopeful and vague ideas that the future is here and that this type of success is going to become more commonplace.
And it may indeed for some.
BTW. Look at this article! It points out exactly what I am saying. It’s not a book review. It’s a human interest feature story. It is even a shining example of one of my favorite rules — the DPAA + H rule. It’s dramatic, personal, and tells stories of achievement in the face of adversity + humor.
So it does attract reader attention. It is emotionally engaging and even galvanizes people with visions of hope that they too can be a wildly successful author without being raked over the coals by classical mainstream publishers. It highlights the apparent simplicity of the new publishing economic model.
It also identifies the authors by name. It brands each one so that anyone who looks them up can now be exposed and potentially buy everything they have available.
Great article. This is an example of the very best type of media coverage authors can get.
Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it really helpful? Let’s look for the practical value.
Seth Godin and Stephen King can write just about anything they want and it will sell. They not only have created a huge national following, but they’ve each created consistent, high performing diverse platforms of communication that allow them to reach and sell directly to THEIR PEOPLE. They have created astoundingly successful communications systems that persuade people to take action.
Most people do not have these “Internet tools” in place. In fact, many authors write and publish without even thinking about how to reach out and touch someone, anyone. They don’t think about how to do so consistently, so that can run a writing and publishing business profitably and consistently.
The article doesn’t help most of us very much at all. In fact, the end of the article highlights what is identified as the biggest challenge to successful publishing:
“Indeed, the challenge in a world where anyone can publish a book is getting people to pay attention…. In a blog post titled “Moving on,” about his decision to self-publish, Godin wrote that “my mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works.”
Seth Godin is talking my language. This is the field I work in. Targeted PR.
So back to reality.
You get to choose what you want to do.
And if you want to make money with your publishing, here’s my suggestion.
Follow the money.
The country is huge – in the US alone you have 330 million people. The potential is phenomenal. If you can develop a process for reaching people you can do very well. I believe you can even learn how to do this starting one on one in your back yard, anywhere.
I even came up with a cute little acronym which describes how to do this.
Think about what you do that turns people on. Test it. Get a sale.
Ask people who reacted the way you wanted them to. Ask them, “What did I do that turned you on?”
Capture it. Record it. Document it. Then prove it.
If it works, do it again. Test it again. Improve it by asking again.
Then repeat this process till you can stand in a room or present to 25 people and get half the people in the audience to hand you money.
Then use the many technologies you have at your disposal to present, broadcast and target YOUR PEOPLE with this proven message.
Decide what marketing actions to take and then document the sales and profits you receive.
Compare it to other actions you can take. Be systematic. Identify a pathway to profits. Determine if you have developed a process of steps that can be duplicated.
If it works, then do it some more. If it doesn’t, then stop and do something else.
Bring it on.
November 11th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
An analysis of the ways to get more book reviews
How do you get reviewers to look at your book?
Getting reviews is to me just one form of publicity, and it’s not even the best form of publicity for generating sales.
I’ll try to explain how I perceive the process and seek to explain what I believe we are up against.
Book reviewers are people who review books and like many people, many of them are trying to make a living writing and publishing their reviews.
They are media! They are best viewed as fellow publishers who are writing to sell. They make money writing and publishers and make decisions based on how their writing and publishing impacts the number of subscribers and the advertising revenue the number of subscribers allows them to receive as well.
They have limited amount of time in a day they are forced to make decisions as regards what to read and write about. They choose to focus on the areas that interest them the most because they will write best about subjects that they care about the most. They also choose to spend their time on books that they will enjoy reading and that will interest their audience.
Even bloggers ask “what’s in it for me?” because they want to publish articles that at the very least increase the number of eyeballs on their blog and hence drive whatever income they make off their blog.
What they seek then is good books. Books that command attention and allow them to drive traffic.
So when you pitch a book to a reviewer you have to make them see and understand how reviewing your book will impact their income. You have to understand who they are, who they are writing for, and what that audience wants and are willing to pay for.
The pitch you send it very important because that news release is the very proposal that influences what they then do. A news release is not an advertisement. It is not designed to sell a book. It is a proposal for media coverage, and it explains what you have and why it is important and to whom. It also give the media what they need to do their job, or at least contains an offer by you to help them do their job.
So this pitch is very important.
Media look at this pitch even before they look at the product – your book. They ask three key questions:
1. How many people in MY audience are going to be interested in this?
2. What’s in it for MY audience?
The answer to both these questions has to be A LOT!
You have to demonstrate and even prove to the reviewer that lots of people will be interested and the story and content of the article they get to write and publish, or the show they get to produce and air (whether it’s radio or TV of even blog radio or streaming TV), has lots of news, education or entertainment value.
Those are the first two crucial hurdles. If you make it over those hurdles, you reach then next big hurdle.
3. How much time, effort, and money or people will it take for me to do
The answer to this has to be “so little I can make a profit”.
In other words, you hand them a ready to go published article or even a review that can be modified easily.
And that’s just to get them to even be willing to look at your book.
Then you get to send it to them. The book and package you send is the next decision point. This is where the rubber meets the road. What happens next is dependent on what they experience and how they feel with the book and your pitch in their hands.
What they first and foremost are looking for is VALIDATION. They need quality content that offers relevant timely and value laden news, education or entertainment for their particular audience. If it helps them sell subscriptions, you can get in.
That’s what you’ve got to communicate to them. That’s what you’ve got to offer and that’s what you have to deliver.
If you do that, you will succeed in getting them interested no matter what type of publisher you are. The door will open and media will let you present more information and you might get media coverage for you or your author and the book. Getting reviews and getting feature story coverage for an author and a book is a process.
So very simply, when you deliver the book and your detailed media proposal for coverage, the content and the quality have to be sufficient to carry the day.
Whether it is self-published or not doesn’t matter that much. Even if you publish as an ebook, the product format is not that important.
But the publication quality has to be good enough so that the media has the confidence in the credibility of the author and isn’t turned off and scared off.
It’s the essential validation that helps persuade another publisher that it makes good economic and business sense to publish a story and not regret making that decision later.
So what do you need to do?
You need to create a quality product. The cover has to be quality, the layout needs to be professional and the writing and content has to be quality.
Then you need to create a develop, test and re-test and refine your communications so that you have a persuasive pitch.
Now to me this is the miracle of the microcosm because we have 330 million media trained and indoctrinated people in this country and they tend to respond the same way to media communications. We laugh at the same jokes, cry at the same sad stories and get turned on by the same scantily dresses celebrities. We see media messages everywhere that are designed to get us to buy things.
The miracle to is that you can do this anywhere as long as you pay attention to what you say and do and learn what it takes to turn YOUR people on. You get this feedback whenever you speak about your book to people. You figure out whenever you make a sale what you said that resulted in the interest and the sale. You capture that.
Then you use it in your Marcom. You find out what to say that gets people to want more of what you have to offer. You use it to sell product and you use it to get media coverage and reviews.
What’s the very best galvanizing media publicity you can get that will produce the maximum ROI? I don’t think it’s a book review. I think it’s a three to five minute piece that galvanizes people with you doing what you absolutely do the best.
So how do you develop this? Here’s what I recommend you do:
Imagine being in front of 20 to 30 of the very best people you think would be most interested you and what you do. Describe these people so that you have a picture of who they are and what they look like.
Now identify the absolute most interesting topic, challenge, or problem situation you can think of, that will interest the maximum number of people just like them.
NOW give me your eight to ten best tips, problem solving actions, ideas, jokes, or lessons learned for this audience. Can you give these people your ten commandments? Can you knock their socks off so that half of them come flying out of their chairs with their pocketbooks or wallets open? (BTW that’s a 50 percent response).
I want you to pretend you have three to five minutes to give a these people eight to maybe ten absolutely phenomenal show stoppers. That means for ten items, you have less than 20 seconds or less for each one, plus a one minute intro and a one minute ending.
This is what we put into your news release. This is what you pitch to media people for reviews and articles.
The goal is to create a vision for the media that clearly illustrates and allows them to see in their minds — How you can help or entertain or educate the people you can help the most. You have to focus less on passive ideas and more on actions that people can take to deliver immediate or tangible real time or near term benefits, impacts, or predictable
consequences. This forms the core content to the news release/show
That is what you need to do to get more reviews, and better still, get more lengthy and detailed and galvanizing feature stories, which in my experience sell lots more books.
In a POD publishing world, you get to optimize this process inexpensively since your printing costs are so reduced. You also get to maximize the profits if you sell direct.
What you need to remember is that every media publisher has a unique audience and unique set of needs. And you need to address their needs if you are going to gain their cooperation and get what you want.
Case in point: I’ll give you a real life example from today. This is one of the most memorable rejections I’ve received of late and it illustrates exactly how media evaluate a proposal.
I wrote and transmitted a news release for a self-published POD author Eileen Dey, who wrote a book about Reiki. The book teaches about the benefits of Reiki. Veterans day is approaching and we have two live wars in progress so the news release focused on how war veterans and other people affected by post traumatic stress were enlisting Reiki in helping achieve relief. The targeted media list included personal health media, military and veterans, mental health and of course I included the new age media and those interested in paranormal phenomenon.
Media responded with requests for review copies and in many cases their emails indicated how they viewed the subject and the proposal. The medical media with a narrow focus on the evidence based medicine and a pathological basis were close minded since Reiki is not exactly mainstream medicine. Others who are more open to the Eastern alternative health practices and mind, body, spirit were favorable and interested.
The most noteworthy of the media responses of the day was this one.
The email came back from the editor of Witches and Pagans magazine. The editor said and I quote:
“Unless your author is a self-avowed Witch, Pagan, or Heathen, we wouldn’t be interested.”
July 21st, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Explosive Growth of Apple iPads and the Future of Publishing
I’m bringing this up because I think it’s important and it’s dead center on what we are all doing here. I believe that this is something we should pay close attention to.
Here’s a link to an article that shows the incredible sales of Apple iPads which was posted to the Yahoo Publish-L list by author and publisher Brian Vidya
This morning I sent out a news release for Apple application developer Marc Schulman that many of you may find very interesting. Here’s the link so you can read the news release.
Marc believes that believes that the enhanced visual and zooming technologies built into the Apple iPad are adding whole new interactive dimensions to the world of publishing and education. Here’s an excerpt of what we wrote in the news release:
Can we interest you in experiencing The Civil War from a whole new perspective? Apple developer Marc Schulman has created a new product that utilizes the newly endowed technological capabilities of the Apple iPad and points to significant new multimedia developments in electronic publishing and education.
Civil War and Constitution are the latest releases from Multi-Educator’s History on the Go Series. Each is an application containing a diverse, comprehensive multimedia collection of the most important documents in the history of America. More than just an eBook with links, each program gives users an enhanced visual, interactive audio and visual education experience, using the unique capabilities of the Apple iPad technology. They provide instant access to hundreds of original documents, photographs, maps, video, and presentations.
Marc explains that in an eBook, you typically read text sequentially. With simple links you can open up photos and maybe even a video. However, it is still a pretty linear process..
But with the developing Apple iPad technology, the opportunities for exploring new dimensions is multiplied and expanded in many new ways. These capabilities have all been incorporated into the Apple products.
“The ability to expand photos and move sideways has been included in the smaller handheld iPhone and iPod Touch,” Schulman explains. ”It has been clearly optimized on the iPad. You have to experience what it is like to zoom photos, turn directions, watch screaming high-definition color videos with special effects and with high fidelity headphones all on your lap top.”
Schulman believes that this has significant implications to teaching and to education. “It brings education alive in ways people have not imagined. This has phenomenal implications to creative publishers and educators. The total experience is now what really matters.”
My own mini-brag on this is that within hours of transmittal of the news release this morning we received requests from several dozen top national media for the key code, which in addition to the news release and screenshot jpegs, is all we offered the media to review. This includes the Associated Press, Fox News, NBC News, and several national magazines and news services. Last time I sent out a news release for Marc Schulman and his Apple apps, we also made Business Week and Entrepreneur Magazine. I will note that we got more media responses last time that said “I don’t have an iPad” than we did this time, and this time, we received quite a few email’s where media expressed feelings that indicated that they were giving serious thought to getting one soon. One managing editor for a writing magazine we all know about wrote back that this all was sounding quite promising and that he was simply waiting for the iPad 2.0 without the kinks and bugs that exist in the present version.
There is also related news in USA Today’s article by Edward C. Baig, talking about the “enhanced ebook” published for Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. In this article note the way the “enhancements” are actually marketing pitches for the other products available in the branded publishing line.
There are lots of implications here worthy of discussion. This showing demonstrates a small, significant and growing trend for media to be responsive to targeted PR for ebooks, although being at the head of the class is a distinction here that others may have a hard time filling.
The implications to publishing are even more important. The days of “simple ebooks” with text and even photographs may be numbered. The future is going to be knowledge-laden multimedia publications – with highly integrated interactive software that offer users (“readers” although this term may also be dated) the ability to experience knowledge with more senses than just their eyes and imagination.
What do you think about the differences between the Apple app business model, traditional publishing, the new ebook model with print on demand, and the Google business model, based on direct sales and advertising.
Any thoughts anyone?
July 10th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Book marketing case study of book marketing success by a self published author
I love this. Here’s a story that illustrates one of my primary rules for getting publicity.
Take a look at The NY Times July 9, 2010 feature story about self published author Randy Kearse selling over 14,000 books by himself on the subways of New York City
This story illustrates The DPAA+H Rule. The story captures the five essential elements of a great human interest feature story:
It’s DRAMATIC and PERSONAL
It tells a story about a real person who seeks ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY
Finally it adds in an element of HUMOR.
It’s all here and this story shows how it can be done.
This story illustrates another of my key concepts – The Miracle of the Microcosm.
Randy has developed an experience based communication script that captures his magic words that turn people on and get sufficient numbers of people to take action. They buy his books.
He has a specific goal and knows that he must present to enough people to hit his goal each day.
He has developed and documented a systematic repeatable process for achieving a known level of financial success each day.
The article talks about Randy in ways that make him very likeable and very approachable. Several of his books are also mentioned along the way and he is positioned as being a very helpful dedicated and innovative individual who seeks to achieve financial success while he does his best helping others.
This is a beautiful example of the best publicity one can get.
Congratulations to Randy Kearse.