February 22nd, 2013 by Paul Krupin
Review of Guy Kawasaki's book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book (Kindle Edition)
APE is a very helpful, straight from the trenches report which covers the gamut of steps, decisions, and actions needed to successfully self-publish a book. There are numerous lessons learned and resources that will enable a rapid application of theory to any publishing venture. The only issue I found is that Guy write from a position of already having a tremendous following and platform vehicles that other people simply do not have. That said, what one learns from his expert deployment of platform vehicles offers insights based on solid track record of pure performance. Highly recommended for anyone who even thinks about self-publishing. I give this book five stars!
October 10th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Timing and lead time on sending out a news release about a book available for review
My rule of thumb is that you can send out a news release offering books for review as long as:
1. you have books for the media to review and can ship them within a week or so of getting the request
2. the book is available for purchase on Amazon and your web site at a minimum (and maybe other places as well).
Timing is roughly based on when you want the publicity to hit taking into account the normal lead time the media needs to do what they do even if they decide to do a feature story, an interview or a book review the day your book arrives in their hands. Your web site and Amazon need to be in place and operational so you derive the financial benefit of your promotion.
Now from experience (and I do send out lots of news releases for authors and publishing companies), 95 percent of the media response to a news release transmitted by email occurs within 24 to 48 hours of delivery. Then you have to stuff a package (with a book and a copy of your news release at a minimum), send it by street mail (I recommend First Class or Priority and never media mail), then wait for delivery (five to seven days), then wait for the media to review the book or take action (review time on the book and work time to take action on your proposal for media coverage).
The minimum lead time for media is usually two to three publishing cycles. So for online media you can estimate that even once they get the book and if they read it right away, it’s one to two weeks. For daily newspapers it is two to three weeks. Same for radio. TV varies on the urgency and perceived interest but the normal lead time is three to four weeks. For magazines, the lead time if four to six months.
I recommend you transmit your news release on timed for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday delivery. The media tend to operate on a five day work week. Saturday and Sunday they are gone. Friday tends to be a bad day because they are wrapping things up and trying to get their desk cleared before the weekend. Monday is a bad day because they are catching up from Friday and also have staff meeting and priority assignment from on high. By Tuesday, you can get the maximum attention to read and respond to your proposal and it gives the media the rest of the week to identify, allocate and deploy the resources needed to give you the type of publicity you seek.
You may think that sending an eBook will expedite reviews. Don’t make that assumption. Media seek to validate when they get a review copy. They want to make sure they recommend something good that has real value. The ebook or pdf file is too readily deleted, discarded or ignored for you to trust a media to do a quality review. The best way I know to maximize your success with media is to make a quality presentation and give them what they need to do the best job you want done. Send them a quality book, a quality pitch, photographs of the cover and the author, plus feature story quality content and value.
June 18th, 2012 by Paul Krupin
Magic in a Message! Creating the IrresistIble Pitch
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY AND DEVELOP THE IRRESISTIBLE PITCH?
I write a lot of blog posts on this. I call this the miracle of the microcosm.
You need to learn how to turn people on so that they come to you for more of what you are offering.
Perhaps the simplest and most powerful suggestion I can you suggest to you is that you use The 3 I Technique
a. Identify a Success Story
b. Imitate the Success Story
c. Innovate with Your Own Information
This is a technique I recommend you experiment with. You can do this with any type of marketing communications. It basically focuses you on identifying a model of success and mimicking it as you create your own message. The idea is simple – follow in the footsteps of someone who is doing things that are successful.
You can use Google news for example on the word “troubleshooting tips” which I did for you here: http://goo.gl/gMO74
There are over 1,000 articles for you to study. Some are news releases, some are articles in newspapers and others are article in magazines and trade publications. Now your goal is to pick ONE! Find one about someone else, that is really interesting and motivates you the way you want to motivate others. This is your model success story.
Then open up your word processing program and start writing. Look at their headline, and then write your own. Then do their first sentence, then write your own. Then do their first paragraph, and write your own. You walk your way all the way through the article to the last sentence.
You may find this to be very mechanical, but guess what, it works. If for example, you use a story in USA Today as your model, and you use this technique, then you create an article that matches readership interest and editorial style on the first try. It looks like it belongs there.
And when you send it to USA Today, you maximize your chances of being successful with them because they tend to recognize when you’ve done your homework. And if it’s good enough for USA Today, then other media will respond to it as well.
Identify the successes of your competition or the authors in your genre. Study what they use to be successful and follow in their footsteps. If you are a story teller, tell stories. If you are a horror writer, scare and horrify people. If you write sci-fi, then talk about the future. Give people and experience. Engage them and let them experience something that is truly emotionally engaging. Don’t be boring. Be stimulating. Choose what you say carefully. Plan it out, test it, select and rehearse, like an actor or an actress on stage.
What you do is you talk about the ideas and concepts in your book and how it affects others. People are really only interested in things that have value to their own lives or others that they care about. That is what you must offer. I have a little poetic like formula which I wrote which describes what you need to do which goes like this:
Tell me a story
give me a local news angle (my audience!)
touch my heart (make me laugh or cry)
teach me something new
astound or amaze me,
make my stomach churn with horror or fear,
hit me in my pocketbook
or turn me on.
And you do this as many times as you can in two to three minutes.
If you study your target media and employ the 3-I technique, you will see that news coverage is largely predictable. Consumers and editors are drawn to types of stories that have worked well in the past. If you want to receive coverage, it’s important that you get familiar with these content patterns and do your best to replicate them.
The reason is simple: media publish what sells. To be in media you have to give them what they publish. Therefore to maximize your chances, you give it to them their way.
Now I’ve been doing this with clients for years and I’ve characterized the many patterns and ways media publish. The following list of most commonly featured content is derived from analyzing successful media coverage of my clients in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV:
1. A dramatic personal story that describes achievement in the face of adversity plus a little humor.
2. A problem-solving-tips article on a timely topic that shows how you can help the people that you can help the most.
3. An innovative product or service that people want because of the remarkable benefits offered.
4. A dramatic and interesting photograph that tells a 1,000-word story at a glance.
5. A new development or situation that affects lots of people in a unique way.
6. A personal battle between the forces of good and evil, or David and Goliath.
7. A truly heartwarming tale with a happy or remarkable ending.
8. New effective techniques or tactics to improving a problem or situation that is commonly faced.
9. New form of creativity that makes people feel good or experience heightened emotions.
10. A story that makes people cringe in fear, howl with delight, or experience intense desire or want.
11. An explanation of a mystery that confounds a lot of people.
12. News, analysis, and commentary on a controversial issue or topic.
13. Localized stories and media access to the local people involved.
14. Innovative and new ways to have fun, save money, help people, increase their enjoyment, protect the environment, and help them get more out of life.
15. Unusual, hot, and wacky ideas, products, activities, and situations.
16. Mouthwatering recipes, food, culinary delights, or opportunities.
17. Educational, unusual, hard-to-believe, never-before-revealed, or fascinating news, data, information, or stories.
18. Record-breaking achievements, competitions, paradoxes, dilemmas, anything that confounds the human spirit.
19. Knowledge, ideas, or information that astounds, enlightens, and inspires people to experience new feelings.
20. Remarkable little things people may not know about, that will make their dreams come true.
This is the way to make use of the miracle of the microcosm. These are weapons of mass persuasion, in part because readers and viewers know the arc of these pieces by heart. This familiarity soothes them and allows them to concentrate on the particulars of your story.
This is how you first develop and prove what you can say that turns people on and gets them to take the action you want, and then use technology as a force multiplier to repeat the message and reproduce the action you want in quantity.
If you follow my advice, please send me what you create. I’d love to see it.
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.
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.
January 8th, 2011 by Paul Krupin
Strategies and tactics for getting beyond the book review pages
One of my clients expressed her frustration in getting her local paper to give her coverage for a children’s book. Her local paper was The New Orleans Time’s Picayune.
I offer up some of the techniques I use to help identify how to increase your chances of being successful with them and other newspapers and media who cover children’s books.
Use the 3 I Technique and the newspapers’ own search engine.
The 3 I Technique consists of 3 steps:
1. Identify a Success Story (and use this for a model for your own pitch).
2. Imitate It (line by line).
3. Innovate It (with your own information).
Now go to the target media that you want to be in.
I went to Nola.com since this is where you want to be, but you could use Google News, USAToday.com, the NY Times, or any media that you want to target.
Now search on your key words: children’s book
I used the singular (book) to capture both articles that use ‘children’s book’ and ‘children’s books’
Here’s the search:
The first set of results included several years’ worth of articles so I used the advanced search engine option to narrow the results to the past 18 months only.
Now start studying the articles. Look to see what the editors write and publish, who the journalists are, what the articles contain in the way of information about the books, the authors, and their stories.
Make a list of the key content you see and realize that this list reveals both the editorial style and readership interests of the media you are studying.
Now use the 3 I Technique and start writing headlines, leads, sentences, paragraphs, and ends that mimic the articles you see.
If you use this process carefully, when you get through you have created a draft article that will very likely have all the characteristics of a feature story that looks like it came right out of the media you are using. You’ve done this on the first try without much pain at all.
Now polish it up and turn it into a news release. Send it to your target media.
You can also now use this same news release and send it to a custom targeted media list of other media.
There are about 2200 media that you can pitch that will consider stories about children’s books and authors in the US and Canada.
This is one of the best ways I know to be successful when you try for reviews and stories.
If all you do is seek a book review, you are narrowing your chances of getting media coverage. Book reviews occupy a very small portion of the overall publication. You have far greater opportunity for media coverage if you expand your horizons and look at other sections of the publications you seek to be in.
To avoid the risk and stigma of being classified as a self-publisher and experiencing the negative response associated with such a determination, you must first make sure that your book has the quality and content of a professionally produced product. This is a given.
Assuming it passes muster, then you must then bring into your pitch for media coverage, news angles and story content that goes well beyond what is covered on the book review pages. You must be totally aware of the type of news, educational information, entertainment information, and human interest data that is used in the other parts of the media publication (or tv or radio show) that you want to be in. Then you must consciously and strategically array and incorporate this type of data and information into your news release.
If you look over the stories in the NOLA search you will see that they do appear to be quite discriminating in what they choose to publish. But there are media coverage opportunities you can aim at. The big area of opportunity appears to be in local book events with a strong community involvement element.
To maximize your chances, you must identify the topics and the content of the articles that you see and then propose and present comparable content.
Now there is a diversity of content demonstrated in the articles. Learn from them. Identify from these articles the characteristics and information that is deemed newsworthy and do your best to present comparable information about yourself.
Just realize that no matter what you do, the media you are pitching to may still have a standard for “celebrity” that may be very difficult indeed to achieve. In the case of NOLA, if you look over the articles they publish on children’s book authors, you will see that the “celebrity” standard is indeed quite high indeed. In the past year, it does not appear that they have even written on article about a local author unless he or she was indeed a best seller or had “national celebrity” status.
You may think that you deserve to be there, but these media may simply still decide that you do not have what they are looking for to justify the coverage to their audience. Accept it and move on. Don’t get in a slump over the media you can’t please. They are making editorial decisions that keep them thriving economically as publishers. Realize that they are very sensitive to the character of their articles and editorial coverage. There are economic reasons that force them to maintain rather strict policies on what they can publish, so as to avoid any loss of revenue. The “self-publishing stigma” is one of those areas. Imagine the consequences of giving media coverage to low quality books. Understand what happens to subscriptions and advertising revenue if the audience decides, that was a pretty poorly done book you wrote about. The quality of the paper goes down if the quality of the content fails to stay at the levels that the paying audience expects and demands. So realize and understand the plight of your fellow publishers. They too are trying to stay alive publishing.
My advice is to try your best, allow yourself to fail, and move on. Stay focused on working with the media that will allow you to reach the people that matter the most to you. Like my client Andy Andrews says “what you focus on get bigger”.
So focus on getting beyond the book pages. Use the 3 I technique to bring your proposal up to the caliber and style of the media you want to be in.
Then present it to that media and all sorts of other similar media who will be interested in this sort of content. You will find that when you use these techniques to create a quality media proposal that contains the type of information, you will see other media respond to that quality content as well.
You can use this combination of tactics any time to maximize your media coverage and success.
Go for it!
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?
June 7th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
Book Publicity Manifesto - Updated version of Trash Proof news releases free pdf file download
I’ve just uploaded a new updated ebook version of my book Trash Proof News Releases to my web site.
It’s a free pdf file download that captures many years worth of lessons learned doing publicity for creative people. It’s also got numerous examples of successful news releases and interviews with over a hundred media people on what it takes to be successful.
Please feel free to share this link with anyone who can use the education.
March 26th, 2010 by Paul Krupin
One of the members of the POD Publishing discussion group asked the following question:
When do you recommend going out with the press release (i.e. on the release date, a month before, etc.).
Timing news releases depends what you are trying to accomplish and where you are at in your publishing or product release schedule. You must first recognize the key event date and then take media lead times into account. If this is associated with the publication of a book or a new product, this is usually associated with the official publication date or release date.
I do not generally advise sending out a news release till you can satisfy media requests for review copies or product test samples and interviews with the right person or people. If you can’t satisfy the media then you hurt yourself since you get a request which opens the door of opportunity but then you can’t satisfy the media’s request immediately. So you reduce the chances of getting the coverage you seek. So it depends when your books are available to you and that usually is a month or so before an official publication date, but this varies and is often a flexible date.
Second, the public has to be able to buy the product when the media publishes the news. So that means it has to be available at Amazon and/or BN.com plus any number of other web sites, and possibly be available in bookstores and or through bookstores so you can financially benefit (that is sell product) from the national or targeted demand your publicity seeks to create. This means you should not launch a news release or publicity campaign until the business system is totally operational. If you need to book to be in the bookstores or retail shops first, then you have to wait until your distributor tells you it is time to hit the switch. You have to be prepared to do what’s necessary to publicize and promote so that the window of opportunity doesn’t slip by and the lack of demand results in returns. Timing so that publicity hits when the product is in the stores is pretty crucial. If you are selling totally online, then this is not as crucial a factor.
You have to factor media lead time into account. This means you look two to three publications cycles ahead of the media you seek to get coverage in or on and then also take into account things like media response time to your pitch, mailing and delivery time, assignment time, the time it takes to read, write, review and then actually publish an approved article. For daily newspapers, this means a week to two weeks minimum and many times usually requires a month; for weekly newspapers, this is four to six weeks or more; for magazines this is four to six months. For radio and TV, it’s seven to ten days minimum, and preferably two to four weeks. Online media can of course react very quickly but many of the response and review times do factor into how soon these media can respond effectively. That’s all assuming you want media to do something with your book.
This means that you really have to stagger your news releases and target your media carefully if you are to take advantage of the medias needs. magazines require four to six months, so you hit them first. You do the short term media two to four weeks before your official public availability date. If you wait till the one month before launch date, then magazine publicity will come last and in some cases you lose the opportunity to time the coverage that you need at the time of product release. Still magazine publicirty at the back end can be a very helpful thing to have indeed since it will sustain your sales once the impacts of the short term efforts and coverage start to diminish.
Let’s say though that you are publicizing an event like a book signing, or a conference, or a work shop or a speaking event. If it is deemed to be newsworthy event or a hard news happening or something you propose media to witness of go to that involves people and photographers and interviews, then the minimum media times apply. We’ve seen newspaper, radio and TV camera crews get sent out and show up within 30 minutes of transmittal holding their Blackberries and iPods in their hand reading the news release and say “where do we set up?”
Finally there’s the day to day timing question. Which day of the week is it best to send out a news release to the media? The prime media tends to work on a five day work week schedule and that means they work Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday they have off and fewer people really are working in the office. Monday is a bad news day because the media show up to work and have staff meetings and have to recover from the weekend. Friday is also a bad day since they are wrapping things up and are trying to leave for the weekend. So unless it is really hard news, transmitting a news release on or near weekends is not going to get the best media response. But it really depends again what you are asking media to do. If all you want them to do is say yes to you sending in a book for review, Friday morning may be OK.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays give you the best opportunity to catch media when they have the least amount of competition for their attention and the maximum opportunity to devote resources to your project. So that is when I prefer to news releases to be delivered.
Finally, after the book is published, the publicity you seek may be far more issue and content focused and related to current events or some other angle. Regardless, you seek to get coverage for the best ideas, education or entertainment you can offer. This you can do whenever you want to do, but it really helps to get out in front to media and look four to six months out. So for example, today is March 25 so Mother’s Day is six weeks away, Father’s Day is two and a half months away, Earth Day is a month away, Independence day is three months away, Labor Day is four months away and so on.
I’ve created a free publicity calendar to help identify opportunities for people which is a free pdf file download. It contains a lot of unusual holidays so that you can really get creative and think up ways to tie-in to calendar events well in advance of the day they occur. Here’s the link:
Publicity Planning Calendar for 2010
The lesson learned is to be prepared, plan things out carefully, andthink through what you are asking media to do when you send out a news release.
If you’ve done your homework and you know you are offering something that interests a lot of people, has real value to the audience, and you also offer the media what they need to do their job easily and quickly, then when you send out a news release and get it to the right media people for action, then you will often times get what you wish for (which is media coverage).