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Getting Books Reviewed (Favorably) and Getting Media Coverage That Sells Books

Book Publicity Strategies for Getting More Media Coverage That Sells Books

I’ll talk the point of view from someone who gets books reviewed day in day out as a book publicist. I do this for a living, so I’ll share with you how I do it and what it takes to do it well.

I’m not a fan of book reviews, I believe that they have their place and a certain amount of limited utility. But to date, my experience and that of my clients continues to show that feature stories sell more books. They have a broader deeper reach, have greater shelf life, and are people focused, rather than product focused. They brand the author and with the trust and interested they generate, they result in people being far more likely to buy everything the author may have available for sale.

For that reason, I’ll hope you can bear with me and I’ll work you through this process of selecting what to say to media if you are an author trying to maximize your return on investment and the time you put into being a person who hopes to profit from creative writing and publishing. I’ll cover both book reviews and feature stories. I will do my best to encourage you to only use book announcements and try to get only to get started, and to switch to pitching feature stories if you really want to maximize your sales. The reason is simple. People respond to media best when it affects them emotionally. People can be persuaded to buy things using media yes. But to do so means that you have to turn them on and get them emotionally engaged. If you want to use media to reach people, that’s what you have to do.

Think about it. When was the last time you read a book review in a newspaper and then grabbed your credit card? Now when was the last time you read a recommendation in a trade publication, a blog post or a technical forum discussion (like this one), and then bought something or hired someone? What sort of writing got YOU to take the action.

Basically an author/publisher really wants publicity that gets people to buy books, so when you contact a media person, the goal is to get coverage that makes a galvanizing impression on the reader of the publication, or the person who’s listening to the radio, or watching TV, or reading a blog, or a mailing list or discussion post.

So the message you want the person to receive has to be so good that it provokes them to ACTION. So not only do you first need to WRITE A GOOD BOOK, but then you need to know what to say about it that really turns people on.

That’s the content you need to place in front of your reviewer, whether you want to just get a book review or a galvanizing feature story.

To be maximally effective with media, you have to understand what makes them tick. You need to realize that media are publishers (or producers of shows) they make their living, they survive and thrive from two primary sources of income: subscriptions and advertising. Yes, they are publishers who sell their writing just like you are trying to do.

That’s what you offer media. You package it in something that they are accustomed to using as a decision document. It’s called a news release.

My definition of a news release is a little different than that used by many. I define a news release like this:

– A written proposal
– containing a request for media coverage
– and/or an offer to provide media the content needed to achieve that end.

You sent a news release directly to the right media decision makers or you place it where they can find it and use it. I’ll spend more time on this later at the end of this post.

The goal of a news release is to get media action that results in media coverage. There really are only two possible favorable things that happen when you send a news release.

1. They write about you or interview you.
2. They request more information (like a copy of your book and a media kit)

If you don’t succeed at this step, you simply fail. So it’s crucial that you get the door open and either get them to say yes to something once they read your news release.

Being successful at this is like going through a gauntlet. Media will not give you free advertising. They only publish news, education, or entertainment that their audience will pay for and that their advertisers won’t object to.

So you have to be very selective on what you present. You have to present copy that is strategically designed to:

– Interest and even expand the media outlet’s target audience.
– Provide news, educational or entertainment value.
– Be easy to verify, trust, and work with.

So what information do you give to media? You give media information that increases the number of people who will buy what they publish. You do this by studying what they publish. Day in day out, what you need to produce to be successful is right before your eyes every day. You simply need to mimic what you see and use what is being published as a guide to deciding what you need to create and offer. You can use my 3 I technique any time you want. It works very well. You can decide you want to use a magazine, or USA Today, or the NY Times Book Review Section. It doesn’t matter, you just pick a target that looks just like what you want, and create something that looks like it belongs there.

That’s why when 3 I technique news releases are submitted, so much of the content is readily used. It’s not that you get lazy journalists, it’s that you’ve done your homework so good that the editor sees that it looks like it belongs there and decides to use your copy with little or no extra expenditure of corporate resources. I can show you a news release for client Susan Casey for a book titled Women Invents, which was published in 1997. A year ago, we wrote a news release all about women inventors. The news release was turned into an article for the March 31 2009 issue of Fast Company Magazine with Susan Casey getting the byline for the article. Cut and paste verbatim for a book that was published over ten years ago.

The lesson learned is that the book doesn’t really matter to media. What you offer to their public matters to media.

Media basically look at everything that comes to them and ask three questions:

1. How many people in my audience will be interested in this?
2. What’s in it for my audience?

These are pass fail questions. The answers have to be 1. Lots of people will be interested and 2. There’s great news, education or entertainment value.

If and only if you get a pass on these two questions, then you get to the next question.

3. How much time, effort, and money will this project require?

The answer has to be VERY LITTLE. In other words, the editor has to spend little money, time, resources, people, etc. to do their job.

Content is the ultimate determining factor to getting media attention. And to get media attention and interest you use a special communication called a news release.

Six essential parts of a Trash Proof News Release

1. The Call to Action
2. A Real Story That Relates to Real People
3. A presentation of The Value to the Audience
4. The Crucial Information
5. The Highlights of Qualifications
6. Access to Key People

You may think that you need to do more and when you send a book to the media you can add other information, but really and truly, all I recommend people send to media at the very least is a copy of the news release and a copy of the book. The book data, (cost, publisher, isbn, length, size, etc) is given in the Crucial Information. We tend to be pretty successful when we do this. You do not need to throw the kitchen sink at media when you send a media kit. You do have to be selective and send them what they need to do the job you want done.

Once you write a 3 I technique news release, then you target your media. I use Cision for my client projects, it’s perhaps the largest online real time reasonably maintained media database, and it now include newspapers, magazine, radio, tv and all sorts of online media and even associations. When I target, I focus on the message and ask who are the right media to receive this message? I also ask:

1. Who are your customers?
2. What do they read, watch or listen to?
>> Particularly when they are receptive to learning and are open to taking action.

This last little tweak to this question is crucial. There’s a big financial ROI difference one gets by getting a review or an article in a newspaper of general circulation compared to getting the exact same article in front of a topical newsletter with far fewer readers, but they are dedicated professionals with money and a desire to improve their lives and livelihood. The latter tends to outsell the former.

You have to communicate meaningfully with media decision makers. These days I use email to custom targeted media lists. You can also use fax, phone calls, street mail and in-person communication to present a pitch and a proposal. These are what I call direct contact methods.

There are lots of other less effective methods and places you can place your messages. Some are more direct than others. I mean there are web sites, blogs, media sites, libraries, wiki’s forums, ezines, discussion groups, and audio, video, podcasts, and now there’s social media and specialized search engines for all the above. To meaningfully communicate means you news release becomes a landing page and you use email, headlines, snippets, slices, blinks and tweets to get people to go to that landing page. Being persuasive now is a complicated process. The technology requires you to format the message to match the medium. If you don’t meet the media’s needs, then you won’t get coverage.

The online news release posting services (free and fee) are not as direct as email and other direct contact methods. They often times are just web based storage, with searchable links, based not on content but on headlines. Real decision making journalists will not receive these communications unless they find them first. I’m not impressed with the media coverage that my clients and I have experienced using the more passive methods.

The lesson learned here is that the more attenuated the technology, the greater the number of steps, the less likely it is that the right media person will receive a meaningful communication, and you are thus less likely to succeed.

You can read my book Trash Proof News Releases if you want to learn more about this style of doing news releases. It’s a free download at Smashwords. Book page to download Trash Proof News Releases Smashwords edition:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5921

Google’s First Press Release

Google's First Press Release June 7, 1999

Google’s First Press Release

I was reading blogs this morning, skimming across media websites after enjoying the morning off.

Look what I found by way of PRNewser at Media Bistro!

It’s Google’s first press release! Dated June 7, 1999.

http://www.google.com/press/pressrel/pressrelease1.html

Getting more book reviews for self-published books

Getting more book reviews for self-published books

Self-published authors often complain about how hard it is to get book reviews. Many of my clients are self published authors.

I don’t think that media distinguish books by whether they are from self-publishers or quality publshers that much any more. Some do, but it’s because they make an assumpition of quality. That is what they really seek to do anyway so as not to waste their time. They separate books that are quality books from books that are not.

Self published books get reviews day in day out. I will heartily affirm the advice from Jacqueline Simmons of Beagle Bay and Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review that a quality book is the first essential requirement.

But there is a second essential requirement you need to get down pat especially if you want to achieve financial success with your book.

That is this: You have to talk to your target audience and persuade them to take action to get your quality product. That means that the messages you create have to communicate meaningfully and incite and even galvanize these people to action.

There are many ways that authors can do that. The best way is to simply decide that you want to truly impress and interest the right people. So start with this question:

Who is going to be most interested in what I can talk about? This can’t be “everyone”. It has to be people in a pool or group that has similar interests. Then you have to think up how you are going to reach them and communicate with them. You have to identify the communications technology and pathway you will use.

Finally you ask yourself to identify what are you going to say in three minutes that will get them to come right up and hand you money.

You may think this is a crazy way to sell books or to get book reviews, but I do this for authors for a living. Authors are actually the best person to identify “the magic words” because when they start talking sincerely and openly and get spontaneous and excited about their writing, that’s when they say the things that interest people the most.

AND THE BEST PART ABOUT THIS IS THAT YOU CAN DO THIS ANYWHERE.

But you may need help with this. You may need to work with someone who watches your audience when you talk and notices what happens when you say certain things. What you are looking for is the sentences and speech that gets people to drill you with rapt attention.

You need to identify and capture what you say that really turns people on.

This is the exact language and information that you need to use in your news releases that get you book reviews. This is what you need to use so that you also get feature stories and interviews. You need to learn what you can say that really turns people on. It may or may not be inside the book you wrote. Don’t think that it has to be out of the book. It can be about you, your topic, your dog or your Aunt Tilly. It just has to be so good that people get so interested in you that they are persuaded to take a look at your creation.

From my experience with authors and experts of all types, what it really comes down to is a three to five minute piece that galvanizes people with you doing what you absolutely do the best. There is a method that I use to help people develop what they need. Here it is:

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 them your five to ten best tips, problem solving actions, ideas, stories, jokes, or lessons learned. WHATEVER! Just focus your energy on your target audience and give them your very best. 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). That’s your goal. Do you realize that even if you only get one in ten to buy, that’s a ten percent response, and that’s still remarkable. Most business operate their marketing profitably at a much lower response rate. Less than 1 percent.

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 si what you offer to reviewers to get them interested in your book. Don’t think that all you need to do is describe your book. That’s not going to cut it. You need to prove that people will be interested. You need to communicate and demonstrate the value to the audience.

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 or educate or entertain the most.

Focus less on ideas than on actions that people can take to deliver immediate or tangible real time or near term benefits, impacts, or predictable consequences. These show stoppers should be “Do This Today” types of actions.

This forms the core content to the news release/show proposal pitch.

These will also be publishable as an article with some caveats we can add to the beginning and ending of the core content to turn it into a proper news release offering. It will also become the core script for a Q & A style interview, so they serve many purposes. These ideas will also persuade media editors to ask for and review your book.

You can do whatever you can do. You just have to be your wittiest and most galvanizing self. You can be humorous and/or serious, just be good and make them memorable. Keep them G Rated.

This method works. I use it all the time to get my clients to stop selling and really create, develop and offer the media the news, education and entertainment they need to decide to give people media coverage. I used this technique with authors of all types.

Want proof? Create a Google News Alert on the words ‘book review’ so you can receive clips and see who’s getting covered to your heart’s content like this:

http://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=book+review+

Study the results each day and see how the media is writing about book authors these days. Evaluate existing coverage and use my 3 I technique.

So here’s the bottom line. I hope you take may advice. Self published authors do get reviews.

First WRITE A GOOD BOOK.

Second LEARN HOW TO TURN PEOPLE ON WHEN YOU SPEAK ABOUT YOUR BOOK.

Help the people you can help the most and offer the very best most educational and entertaining three to five minutes of talk you possibly can.

BY the way, if you do follow this advice, send me your best tips or talking points in an email message. I’ll be happy to comment and give you recommendations on what you’ve created and show you how to go the distance to create a news release that will produce the maximum results.

This is how you’ll get the most media response, the best book reviews and the most effective publicity you’ve ever experienced. You’ll also sell more books.

I guarantee that once you create and prove this little script of yours and once you really get it down and prove to yourself that it’s repeatable, you can use it again and again everywhere you go. That’s the miracle of the microcosm in America. We’ve got a country of 330 million media indoctrinated people, and once you learn how to galvanize them in your back yard, you can use technology to repeat the message and reproduce the response again and again.

What is a News Release? Really!

What is a News Release? Really!

So much confusion over this simple question. Here’s my definition of a news release:

A written proposal:

– containing a request for media coverage

– and/or an offer to provide media the content needed to achieve that end.

A news release is either sent directly to media decision makers directly (e.g., by fax, email, street mail, etc.) or placed where they can find it and use it (as when it is posted to a news search engine using a news release distribution service).

A news release is not an advertisement. You do not pay for coverage and do not control what the media says. It is a document that persuades media to give you media coverage. Your degree of success is often based on how much of what you give them to do their job is actually used.

You must provide media with information that matches what they are accustomed to publishing (or producing). Usually this means the content must be news, education or entertainment, or opinion or commentary.

If you have a different objective, then perhaps you should not be thinking what you are writing or need to write is a news release at all.

It’s OK to have a different objective. There are other types of marcom (marketing communications) you can choose to achieve a goal. It also means your target audience is not likely to be media people. You will need a different targeted list of people to match your objective.

But if publicity in media is what you want, you write a news release.

The Rest of the Book Publicity PR Success Story – Women Inventors Who Changed the World

The Rest of the Book Publicity PR Success Story - Women Inventors Who Changed the World

Yesterday’s post about Susan Casey and her 1997 book Women Invent! being featured in a Fast Company magazine story triggered an email from the author, who sent me the following email describing more of the media experiences she had as a result of the news release sent out on February 24, 2009.

Paul-

Here’s a few other links to articles/slide shows.

Wow!

Check out the Slide Show – 9 Women Inventors Who Changed the World on a new
website for women
created by Whoopi Goldberg, Candace Bergin, Lesley Stahl, Joni Evans and Liz Smith.

http://www.wowowow.com/entertainment/women-inventors-who-changed-the-world-229371

Success for Women magazine ran an article on, of all things, me! Success
for Women

http://www.sfwmag.com/index.php?s=susan+casey

TV Coverage:

I was on KTLA, Channel 5 Morning News with host Gayle Anderson and with
two women inventors
. I’m in all four segments and the inventors are each in two. You can watch them at:

http://www.ktla.com/gayleanderson

When you go to the page you’ll see a large video window/screen and three smaller windows to the right of it. Under the 3 windows, there are small letters on a bar–previous to the left and next to the right. Click on next and go on to about page 20 and you’ll see the words Women Inventors. Look for the 4 segments.

I was also on a local LA Filippino TV show:

Kabayan LA 18
http://www.la18.tv/video.aspx?vid=3bc0fd86-a252-4be5-b6e0-4a89ccd3f3b7

I was also on Time warner cable in Palmdale. I’ll send a clip when I get a link.

Websites/Newspapers/Magazines:

Education News – THIS CONTAINS THE FULL PRESS RELEASE THAT I SENT OUT
http://ednews.org/articles/34318/1/Some-of-the-Greatest-Inventors-in-History-are-Women/Page1.html

Story by the Education Columnist in the News Times, Danbury, Connecticut
http://www.newstimes.com/ci_11804274?IADID=Search-www.newstimes.com-www.newstimes.com

NO LONGER ON LINE BUT I CAN SEND YOU A COPY.

Scroll down the page for the piece on Chick History in The Florida Times Union
http://jacksonville.com/lifestyles/2009-03-03/story/amstir

Thanks for all the help, Paul. I was also on four radio shows in Chicago, NY and Memphis. I’ll send the detail .

The majority of the TV and radio shows want to have me back to feature kid inventors. How about that!

Susan

Thanks Susan, for sharing! These are definitely “Words People Love to Hear”.

A Book Publicity Success Story for a book published over ten years ago

A Book Publicity PR Success Story - about a book published over ten years ago

I just had to share this one hot off the press.

About a month ago I wrote a news release for client Susan Casey, author of the book Women Invent! The book was first published in 1997.

I decided to create a feature story and I worked with the author to develop quality detailed content with an offer of photos highlighting the accomplishments and achievements of famous women inventors from the past 100 plus years. We sent out the news release email html in early February to a custom list of science, education, and women’s media nationwide.

Here’s the link to the article published yesterday March 31, 2009 in Fast Company Magazine:

http://www.fastcompany.com/article/some-greatest-inventors-were-women

Lesson learned – the age of the book doesn’t matter. Galvanizing content and timeliness matters.

March is Women’s History Month.

Good to the last drop!

If anyone wants to see the news release pdf file please send me an email.

Paul J. Krupin – Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
http://www.DirectContactPR.com Paul@DirectContactPR.com
800-457-8746 509-545-2707
http://blog.directcontactpr.com/

Smart, Intelligent, and Broke… and What to do about it

Tactics for creating a writing or services business that makes money and helps the people you can help the most

I’m a copywriter and a publicist and an author so I guess I do make a living writing. I’m happy to share with you what I’ve done and what I’ve learned.

I wrote my first news release in 1977. I went online with my first website in 1993. I’ve built up my copy writing and publicity services company at home and online over the past 15 years.

You can read the story about how I created my business in the book “Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul” published by Health Communications in November 2006. It’s titled `Ripples’. Fun story.
If you want to see it click here Ripples

The marketing I do is pretty nominal but it is consistent, and I take baby steps to keep it going nearly every day.

I’m of the belief that if people and companies have employees doing work that you can do and have more work that you can do than they have employees available to do that work, then getting paid is easy.

Can you do it?

Yes you can!

You just need to present them with a very desirable alternative turnkey to hiring you as an employee. Make it attractive and make it easy and it’s a done deal.

I’ve found that if they have employees doing something, then outsourcing to you is often a very attractive option. You can normally charge four to six times the hourly rate of pay that they pay full time employees to do exactly the same work, but without them having to carry the overhead that they have to carry for an employee. So if top technical or professional employees are making $50 an hour, then you can charge $200 an hour. Most companies will not bat an eye at these rates these days. You can run the numbers and see, at these rates, it’s not hard to bill over $100,000 a year and do it part-time from home. The Internet and email can be a wonderful place.

So no matter what the employees or you do, you can create a short menu of options and fees that break both the services you will provides (just like an employee performs, or the deliverables they create), and format this into a short list of the fee based time or product deliverables that you can perform or deliver on demand or by schedule.

So instead of a resume, create a one page brochure that says “menu of options”. Then itemize options so people can hire you in bite size chunks of payable time or for products or services by known typical units of performance (by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the page, by the document, or whatever).

This menu allows you and the client to select what you do and price it in advance, and build this into a one page contract or an email or even a phone call.

I’ve found that the best marketing tactics that work in this business are ones that allow you to leverage professional branding with your target audience. You should not waste time, effort and money unless it brings a professional branding message in front of someone who will potentially be amenable to doing business with you.

So I recommend you experiment, test and most importantly and track and analyze what you do, to identify how you are getting clients and where the biggest income streams come from. Then apply the basic rules of systematic continuous improvement to what you are doing. Simply put, if it works, do more of it, and if it doesn’t stop and do something else.

You can use my business as an example. To this day, I get most of my new business by:

* meeting people at conferences at which I exhibit, and giving short but personal consults on the fly, and once I hear what they are all about giving them recommendations that help them a little and indicate what they can get by involving me more.

* writing and publishing articles (problem solving tips articles) in magazines, to demonstrate skills, expertise, ability, knowledge and wisdom, and create desire once they realize they want more of what I can offer.

* posting articles and responding to posted questions in newsgroups and on discussion lists, to do the same.

* adding more free articles and free downloads to an extensive highly educational and focused website, to educate and motivate people to do more themselves, or hire me if they can’t do it themselves.

* adding more success stories and testimonials to my portfolio, to again demonstrate and affirm.

* sending really value added email introductions to prospects, to supply them with a plan of action that leads them to hire me.

* doing 30 minute consultations by phone, learning what clients need and delivering strategic advice and one page action plan proposals by email.

* answering prospect questions as though I was already working for them.

* carefully cultivating word of mouth off prior exceptional performance.

* speaking engagements, giving workshops and training sessions for free and for fee, but only to the right targeted company or audience.

* meeting people for lunch and listening to their project needs or dreams.

* sending them one page email proposals.

* building off referrals, and speaking engagements, and seeking to leverage host beneficiary relationships.

This last one is perhaps the most crucial. As you satisfy clients, of course, you can get repeat business. If you do work for a headquarters or a home office of a company with lots of offices all over the country, your host contact can lead you directly to many other prospects. You then get to pitch them all or better still, the headquarters contact shares you and everyone in that business network then contacts you. This situation can be phenomenally beneficial. Lucrative in fact. Same thing can happen with speaking engagements at associations. The local speech or workshop travels up to the headquarters.

Once every few years I create an innovative post card and do a mailing. My most recent mailer was a one pager back-to-back. If you want to see my most recent one, send me an email message request and I’ll send you the pdf file. I was using US Mail for mailings until two years ago. Now we participate in coop mailings and use email.

Nowadays I also use a show off business card. It has a picture of me fishing. It’s a memorable experience to look at and to hold. It brands me as a distinctive writer.

I use email, short letters and one page business proposals extensively to close deals by email and phone. In fact, I have a rule which basically says that you never have a conversation with a prospect without making a customized personal proposal. It works very well.

I actually don’t need or use formal contracts at all. I just take credit cards and bill them at the time of performance. I take very few checks and only in advance if the client insists upon paying that way. Client satisfaction with this arrangement is nearly 100 percent for many years now.

I spend NO money on advertising at all and do not care about search engine placement or ad words. Clients who call me have either heard about me or find me online through research or referral. They basically have decided to hire me before they call me so I actually do very little selling.

I’ve actually found that in my business, the people who search using search engines aren’t the clients I seek to work with. Most of them don’t have the products or businesses that I enjoy and can be successful with. The people who find my site online rarely are quality clients. So search engine ranking and placement mean very little to me. I can be found very quickly if people search for me nonetheless. In fact, search on my name and you’ll see thousands of links going back 15 years.

I’ve also found that the decision to hire is based on people having convinced themselves that you offer needed value that can be acquired no where else at the costs that you present. What you need to do is just learn how to make the product or service you give remarkable and personal, unique, and phenomenally effective. You also need to learn how to communicate this to them quickly.

Do that and your business will grow consistently with everything you do. The key to enjoying yourself along the way is to simply focus on helping the people you can help the most. You also need to know when to say no to a project that is problematic and where you know won’t be able to satisfy yourself or the client. The rule should be `no unhappy clients’.

I learned this business model by studying a variety of other consultants and copywriters. This model is actually very easy to operate and fairly low cost. I incorporated a few years ago as a full C Corp to take advantage of the tax structure since the business bills over six figures a year. I pay myself a salary. I also just use QuickBooks Pro to do the day to day bookkeeping myself but do hire a professional accountant to do the taxes each year. I use the merchant credit card services offered with Quicken and it does the bookkeeping entries as it processes the credit card authorizations.

The skills I acquired to conduct my business the way I do is mostly out of books. I am a voracious reader. This is in addition to reading or skimming all the client books that come to me (Fed Ex and UPS stop here nearly every day Monday through Friday). I read at the health club, I read during the day and at night, and in front of the TV. I basically am reading (or searching and surfing the Internet) if I am not writing or on the phone.

My house is totally wireless and there are two computers on plus two laptops available for use by me and the rest of the family at all times.

I can even take my cell phone and my wireless laptop in my boat and take client calls and work while fishing along the Columbia River because of the many hot spots and homes with unsecured wireless routers along the river. It’s amazing! The technology really is wonderful these days. That makes for some very pleasant days working (yes really working) while catching salmon, steelhead and walleye! If you’ve ever called me during the day you may hear me tell you that if I get a fish on I’ll have to get off really quick, but I’ll call you back! OK, enough bragging.

I just looked over my library and I highly recommend you basically commit to reading most every business, sales and marketing book published and get whatever you can out of each and every one of them. I still probably spend $100 to $200 a month on books in this area and have for years. My wife says it takes more to keep me well read than it does to keep me well fed. I have a 25 year collection and I still refer back to them constantly.

My favorite book authors and the books I can point you to for the best answers to this question the most are:

* Harry Beckwith (everything he writes is golden including: Selling the Invisible, What Clients Love, The Invisible Touch, and his new one, You, Inc.)

* Bob Bly (again, anything he writes is worth owning. The Copywriter’s Handbook, Secrets of a Freelance Writer, How to Promote Your Own Business, and Write More, Sell More, which is still one of the best books ever written on running a writing business).

* Ralph G. Riley (The One Page Business Proposal is perhaps one of the most important books you’ll ever find. It has made me tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars).

* Dan Kennedy (The Ultimate and No B.S. series)

* Seth Godin (Purple Cow, Free Prize Inside, and Unleashing the Idea Virus)

* Mark Stephens (Your Marketing Sucks)

* Jay Abraham (Getting Everything You Can Out of All You Got)

* Dr. Jeffrey Lant (this dates me! No More Cold Calls, Cash Copy, The Unabashed Self-Promoter’s Guide, and Money Making Marketing. Good luck finding these but if you do, consider yourself lucky)

* Jeffrey Fox (How to Become a Rainmaker and How to Become a Marketing Superstar).

If you need attitude adjustment to get into the right frame of mind for running a business, then I highly recommend:

* Jack Canfield (The Success Principles)

* Napoleon Hill (Law of Success)

* Steven Scott (Mentored by a Millionaire)

* Brian Tracy (Maximum Achievement and many others)

* Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Bud Gardner)

The real trick to reading is that you have to create a written plan with the ideas that come to you.

Reading and not writing simply isn’t productive. Writing a plan of action turns the idea into something tangible. You must add in the tasks and place dates and performance measures so that you know that you have completed the task.

Knowledge is valuable but to turn a fantasy into reality you must take action and try, try, try till you actually succeed.

You need to create two independent processes:

The first is the process for creating quality work (writing) that you can get paid for.

The second is the sales process that you use to get customers and get money.

Once you create these success processes for yourself then you apply technology to get more of each done in less time, with less effort and expense.

In fact, if you do both of these enough, it all becomes second nature, much like riding a bicycle or a car.

At some point, it can even get boring. To avoid losing faith and being unhappy, you have to find your happiness in delivering whatever happiness and help you can to others.

And that is my belief in what life is all about. .It’s my definition of success:

You achieve happiness and success when you help the people you can help the most and get rich at the same time.

The bottom line is that I believe that the opportunities to be a well paid writer right now are simply phenomenal. You can specialize and focus on any one or more of hundreds of markets. The country is huge. There are 300 million people in the US. There are 30,000 towns. There are simply millions of companies all of whom can be helped again and again.

Don’t be shy. This isn’t that hard to do and you’ve got the skills. Focus and go for it.

BTW, here’s the link for the pdf file containing the story `Ripples’ from Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, or if you want the latest flyer I used in my mailings, just send me an email request. I’ll send you the pdf files.

Hope this helps. Questions welcome!

Paul J. Krupin – Direct Contact PR
Reach the Right Media in the Right Market with the Right Message
800-457-8746 509-545-2707
Paul@DirectContactPR.com

Publicizing and Promoting By Helping People the People You Can Help the Most

Tactics and strategies for getting the best publicity that creates interest and sales

It’s perhaps the most common question I hear after a client walks in the front door. I wrote a book, now what do i do?

I reviewed many years of doing PR and marketing for thousands of clients and from experience, it appears that it all comes down to …

HELPING THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP THE MOST

What is the most effective communication that you can put in front of people that will get them interested in what you have to offer? What type of message will attract more of the right type of people to you and will create the best and lasting impression? How can you maximize your sales with the lowest possible budget?

There are several types of news releases or marketing communications that you can choose to use to get peoples’ attention and interest. Sure, you can create a product announcement, a book review or a personal story about your quest to create a book or a product. But these types of messages tend to produce a relatively low impact on how much coverage you get and how many products or services you sell. That’s because it’s all about you and you fail to really give the media what they want the most.

The best media coverage results when you offer something of value that appeals to lots of people in the audience at a deep personal level.

By far, the highest impact media coverage and sales comes from value-packed problem solving messages placed before needy people in a dramatic way.

What this means is that you if you want publicity and sales you need to craft your messages and couple them with actions so that you help the people you can help the most.

With authors and publishers this usually means that you create and use a problem solving tips article approach which identifies a crucial problem and offers your best advice on how to solve or alleviate that problem.

Then when people read or see this type of message, they experience hope and desire for these benefits, and they contact you and purchase the book, product or service that you offer.

There are three key questions you need to answer to use this technique successfully.

• What can you do to help people?
• Who are the people you can help?
• How can you reach them to let them and others know you can help them?

This technique is very powerful. Helping people in need gets attention. It brands you as a helpful person. It motivates people to find out more about you. Depending on the value of your help, it even creates a sense of obligation that triggers a reciprocal response. Of course, the beneficial impacts this has on your relationships with your prospects and customers dramatically reduces the barriers to sales. It can also be so powerful that people realize that to get as much of you as they really need, they need to hire you or buy what you offer.

With non-fiction books, products and expert professional services this technique the help you offer is based on the topic in which you are most expert. The people you focus on are those who need your expertise the most.

Even if you are a fiction author, you focus those people who are most interested in your type of work and you choose to be helpful, entertaining, inspiring and galvanizing so that they get interested in you and what you have to offer.

What is Help? To help means to give support or assistance that solves a problem or improves a situation in some tangible way. To help means to give a remedy or provide relief to someone or do something for someone else that enables them to achieve something they want, need or desire.

Help can be a noun. You can give people something tangible or intangible that they do not have enough of.

Help can be a verb. You can do something for people that they cannot do by themselves.

To offer help you must identify a problem or issue that people are experiencing. You can identify the barriers or challenges people face. A barrier to progress is an opportunity for problem solving.

Then you must identify what they must do to address or overcome that barrier. You have to look inside yourself and find knowledge and experience that you are particularly qualified to present in a fashion that people will trust with confidence.

You then organize these actions or ideas into a presentation and deliver them to the people you are trying to help so that they can receive the support or the assistance and can act on your advice to receive and experience the benefits you offer.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP PEOPLE?

Step one is to identify what you can do to help people.

There are lots of ways you can people. Think about what you do best. Think about what you created. Think about how you have learned to make a difference to people in their lives. Decide to focus and harness your energies to help people. Think about the biggest problems people in your target group face. Identify what you can do to help them.

Look over this list of possible ways to help people. Then come up with your best ideas.

Physically

Go to them
Go with them
Be with them
Lift them up
Pick them up
Transport them
Shelter them
Protect them
Bring whoever they need to them
Bring whatever they need to them
Bring them wherever they need to go

Mentally

Guide people to better choices
Consult, give advice, provide counsel, listen and console
Teach people how to do something better
Explain how to do something important
Explain how to do something better
Tell people exactly how to build, create, develop, find, or achieve something
Tell people how to avoid disaster, pain, anguish, or negative experiences
Provide interpretation to help people achieve greater understanding
Simplify and explain a complex poorly understood issue, topic or mystery
Tell stories to demonstrate a concept
Provide information to fill in a lack of knowledge

Materially

Give people what they need or want
Give money, food, shelter, materials, water, staple items, essential sundries, tools,
Provide tangible aid, support and resources where too few are available
Provide personal or technical expertise
Volunteer time, expertise, services
Send manpower — people to provide capability
Canvass a neighborhood asking for material supplies for the needy
Collect and store material supplies for the needy.
Deliver supplies to the needy.

Socially

Introducing someone to others who can help them
Giving referrals to others who can help someone
Communicate with others on behalf of someone
Get other involved or engaged in helping someone
Raise awareness of a need or situation
Enlist others to devote energy to needy people
Lead or manage an effort to get an organization to focus their resources and effort on a problem

Financially

Give money – donate funds
Give time to help raise money
Tell people about someone else’s financial needs
Create a fund for someone
Conduct or support a fundraiser for someone
Ask others to give money
Get visible in public raising money
Call people by phone to raise money
Write people by letter and email to raise money
Go see people and ask them for money and support
Get other involved, motivated, and committed to give or raise money.

No doubt there are lots of other ways to help people. Use this list as a checklist to identify the things that you can do.

There are things that fall in the category of ACTIONS.

There are things that fall in the category of IDEAS, ADVICE, OR GUIDANCE.

Most authors will tend to focus on the advice and guidance elements. But some of the best publicity that creative people can get couple advice with real social action and when thy go out into the community to find and help the people who need their help the most. Action attracts people. People in motion doing things gets attention.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU CAN HELP?

Step two is to identify the people who you can help the most.

Look at your customers. Consider that each one is representative of other people with similar interests and problems.

This is the miracle of the microcosm. It is the most powerful tool for creating a targeted marketing plan there is.

When you solve the problems of one, you have a solution that you can now offer and deliver to for many others with the same problem.

So no matter where you are, you can develop a process for helping someone and achieving a sale. Then you can target these people and re-play the messages that resulted in you being able to satisfy your original customer.

So look at your customers carefully. Identify their:

Age
Sex
Personal characteristics
Social characteristics
Employment characteristics
Religious characteristics
Physical characteristics
Education
Professional credentials
Professional affiliations
Hobbies
etc.

Do this for each of your customers. Make a list of these factors. Identify the common characteristics of your customers.

Do this systematically for each type of customer you have.

Now this is very important – now identify how many customers fall into each factor and what they spend or are worth to you.

Now put them into a tentative priority list from most value to the least value.

HOW CAN YOU REACH THEM TO LET THEM AND OTHERS KNOW YOU CAN HELP THEM?

Step three requires you identify how you can effectively reach the people who you can help the most.

So where do you find more of the people you can help the most?

For each one of the demographic characteristics you identified, think of where you will find more people just like your customer. Now you need to identify where you can help them and how you can communicate effectively with them.

You can communicate with people by taking action, by writing, by or by speaking, either in person or from a distance.

Where can YOU do this readily and comfortably? What exactly do you need to propose and get people to agree to?

You can communicate with them using directly in person, by phone or by email and the Internet.

You can also use media to communicate with them. To target media you ask the question: What do my customers read, watch or listen to, particularly when looking for the type of help that I’m offering? The targeted list of newspapers, magazines, radio, tv, news services, syndicates and Internet media that results is a structured set of people that you want to contact to see if they will help you reach your target audience.

You can also identifying the key places where you will find more people of like mind:

Groups
Associations
Clubs
Institutions
Foundations
Support Groups

Search to find ways to reach out and touch more people just like your customer. Use the communication technologies that these people are accustomed to using to communicate with their friends and peers.

You can use the list brokers and also search the Internet and make use of online subject directories and databases.

This can be done nationally, regionally or this can be done locally town by town.

If you use search engines in particular you can target the places where you find similar groups of people with similar interests or needs. Use a plus these plus a to zero in on web sites in specific geographic areas like this:

Then you create and present the right type of pitch to offer your help to them.

If it is direct aid you offer, you say, “Can I come over and help you?”

If it is an speaking event, you say “Can I talk to your group?”

If it is an article, you say, “Will you publish this helpful information?”

If it is an interview, you say “Will you let me share these ideas on the air?”

And so on. You craft your offer to help to match the situation and your capabilities. You also craft your messages to convey the appropriate ideas and actions.

Do it. Get out there and help the people you can help the most.

1. you know how you can help
2. you know who you can help
3. you know where they are located
4. you know how they communicate with each other
5. now take action to help them and communicate with them

Helping people is a natural attraction to media. It is very easy to get media to pay attention to a community involvement event.

If you schedule an event to help people let your local target media know what you are doing.

Write up a problem solving tips article that presents your support or assistance or describes what you do or did to help people. Let the media know when and where the event will happen.

Target similar people with similar problem solving actions and advice.

Create a value-packed problem solving action, package or article. Target the right media and ask them to share your message so that you help people. Target the organizations and support groups that your target audience belongs to and ask them to share your message so that you help people.

Use your value packed problem solving abilities, stories, and content in a variety of ways:

News releases for articles
News releases for interviews
Email
Business proposals
Phone conversations
Street mail
Brochures
Pamphlets
White papers
Audio
Videos
Live, taped, telephone or web presentations, speaking events, workshops or seminars

You can also tailor this same content and use it for

Search engines for key word discovery
Web page content
Blog posts and tours
Ezines and newsletters
Mailing Lists and discussion groups
Forums and Article Posts
Social media

Adapt your problem solving stories and tips articles so that your best most helpful actions and guidance are also incorporated into your marketing communications.

Leverage your core content and make use of the diverse technologies and places where you find the people that you can help the most.

Blog media coverage begets blog media coverage – publicity success story

blog media coverage begets blog media coverage for new autism book

I wrote and transmitted a very special news release for Karen Simmons, author and executive Director of the national organization Autism Today. The news release was transmitted on the morning of Thursday July 3, 2008. The goal is to get art created by people with autism for a new book, the second in a series.

The news release headline said the following: Art by those with Autism Sought for New Book

The creators of the award winning book Artism: Art By Those With Autism!, are seeking new original artwork to include in the next book in this series titled Artism Anew. If you or someone you know with autism has a great piece of artwork and would like to be included in Artism Anew, please send your artwork to (please keep copies as we are unable to return materials). There are no limits to the number of submissions. High quality TIFF or PNG files of artwork must be received no later than August 15, 2008. Artists can send electronic files by email to artism@autismtoday.com

The news release resulted in an article published to the excellent health blog, at the Chicago Tribune, by columist Julie Deardoff on July 5, 2008.

We then received an email from About.com Autism Guide Editor Lisa Jo Rudy who said that she saw the article on the Chicago Tribune blog, and that she also put the article information on the autism guide portion of About.com.

Pretty cool. Media blog coverage begets media blog coverage.