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Marketing and Publicizing an e-book online – poetry and more

Conducting a targeted online marketing and promotion campaign

I agree that marketing poetry can be an expensive and endeavor with low return on investment. That said, I see a lot of my poet clients embarking on personal branding campaigns that eventually produce significant fruit.

In fact, as a publicist I see the same problem occurring with all sorts of self published as well as mainstream published books.

I believe that it can be done. It is not hopeless. It is challenging and it does take skill, excellence, and devotion.

So here’s some ideas and a strategy about how to create an online presence that generates interest, and ultimately sales. Many of my clients do this as they work with me on the publicity. In fact, when this online strategy is coupled with targeted publicity, and judicious integrated marketing offline, the best results are always forthcoming.

Here’s my recommendations on what to do online.

You have to be willing to post some of your best poetry (or content no matter what you write or create) so that people see what you write, and enjoy it so much that they get interested in buying everything you have for sale.

This is the formula for professional branding that I also advocate with problem solving tips articles, humor, music and other creative works.

Offer a little of your very, very best work. Shine. Sparkle. Dazzle people. Amaze people. Make them sweat, make them cry, make them laugh.

But whatever you do, do it very quickly. You only have between 10 to 20 seconds to hook them and no more than 3 minutes to convince them totally.

It’s like people get to see the tip of the iceberg and it’s so good and intriguing, they develop a desire for more.

It’s like finding a diamond in the rough, or seeing a glint in the dirt and grabbing it and finding out it’s a gemstone.

The key is to post something so good and timely to the right needy people that you really trigger their interest.

The copy you select is crucial. One warning – don’t sell. Help or entertain or educate the people you can help, entertain or educate the most.

You have to engage them meaningfully and that is the only way this technique will work.

This means you have to select a truly remarkable piece of your writing and then you have to carefully select where you get it placed.

If you haven’t read my article on how to create these magic words, then you might want to read The Magic of Business sometime. Here’s a link to it: http://www.directcontactpr.com/free-articles/article.src?ID=105

Once you have some proven magic words, then you have to be strategic about where you place these little nuggets.

You can do this online using search engine tools. But you can’t just post them anywhere. You have to find the right places and opportunities.

What you need to do is think about targeting. What do people read, watch and listen to when they are in the right mood and are receptive to a suggestion?

I do this with prime media when we target media for news releases. We go through this same process only we target newspapers, magazines and trade press, news services and syndicates, radio and TV stations and shows, freelance writers, and the Internet media counterparts to all the above.

You do the same thing online with the different types of online publishing and search technologies that are available. Of course, you have to find them first.

This requires you to study, strategize and decide what to write and who to target very carefully.

I’ll illustrate with one simple example. Let’s say you write a poem about overcoming the challenges associated with breast cancer.

If you write a poem for breast cancer patients, then in front of breast cancer patients is where you want to be.

So think about your most important key words and select one:

For this example (I’m sending this to my breast cancer author clients of course), I’ll use the key words: breast cancer support.

You have to make use of the specialized search engines. So look for specialized search engines that will bring you to the right web sites and other online technologies and groups. What you are looking to make use of is:

Regular search engines: Web sites where cancer patients and their support networks hang out.

Photo search engines; the best photo sites about breast cancer

Audio search engines: the best audio sites about breast cancer

Video search engines: the best video sites about breast cancer

Blog search engines: Bloggers who write on breast cancer

Forum search engines: Forums that focus on and talk about breast cancer

Newsletter and ezine search engines: Health / cancer news letters and ezines about breast cancer

Association search engines: cancer and health associations about breast cancer

Podcast search engines: podcasts about dealing with breast cancer

Social networking search engines: sites from breast cancer

Yes there are specialized search engines that focus on just these technologies and you can access them and use them if you learn how.

Not every site you discover will meet your needs in terms of quality and visibility, but you can identify the ones that are significant and valuable to you.

For each valuable site you discover, you take a one to one approach, study it carefully, find the contact in-road or access point to the owner or editors, and craft a pitch designed to offer your content for publication or use the way they are accustomed to publishing it.

If you embark on a plan that allows you to hit five per day, then at the end of thirty days you’ll have contacted 150 online media. If even half these take you up on your pitch, then you’ll be on 75 sites.

And if you maintain that for a year, then you’ll be on 900 hand selected relevant sites by the end of the year.

That’s just for one key word: breast cancer support.

Now do some key word rotation switch to breast cancer information, help, guidance, counseling, mentoring, and so on.

When you have a key word NOUN, couple it with keyword VERBS or ACTIONS. I call this the SOAP method, where S = subject words O = Object words A = action words and P = process words

Create powerful keyword combinations by using SOAP.

For each subject word think of the synonyms and related key words.

Now create a key word chart and launch your search for the right web sites.

Then you systematically rotate words one at a time.

You can even do this geographically using the same key words and Google maps.

Go to Google maps and enter the words breast cancer support plus a location like “breast cancer support Atlanta, GA”

The map that results yields businesses, names, addresses, phone numbers and even web sites.

Now rotate to a new location and search again.

Now you may ask where to you find all the specialized search engines.

I have a patent on a search engine tool which I’ve made available for many months now that’s free. It’s still there for you to use:

Search Word Pro
http://www.searchwordpro.com/quick.src?Action=&T=130&04908effad

Search Word Pro operates like a channel changer for search engines.. Enter a search word and then you can send it to over 60 different search engines in all the categories described above and more.

BTW, you can easily use this to design and deploy your own blog tour. There are PR firms out there that will do the same blog tour for you and charge $10,000 for getting you on to 100 top blog sites. No kidding.

So if you want to make use of this and do it yourself, I’ve just shared with you how to do it.

Why News Releases Fail – 23 Publicity Landmines and How to Avoid Them

Why News Releases Fail - 23 Publicity Landmines and How to Avoid Them

One of the biggest challenges I face as a publicist is that I spend a lot of time educating my clients trying to get them to understand what you can’t do in a news release if you want to be successful with media. It doesn’t matter whether you are seeking book publicity, have just published an ebook, are trying to get media to cover your fundraising or entertainment event, your business or professional services, get more publicity for a new invention or one invented a year or two ago.

The rubber meets the road in the news release because this single sheet of paper is the key nexus for all communications with the media. The importance of the copy on a news release cannot be overstated. It has to be free of negative issues or factors that will reduce or eliminate media interest and response. The media basically stops paying attention to you. One fatal error and it’s all over.

This is not what you want to happen.

So identifying the problems and revising the news releases is crucial. I spend a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to avoid sending out news releases with problems still in them.

The issue is that when people send me news releases, it often takes a long, long time to identify and communicate the problems, and then more time again to explain and negotiate all the word changes with the clients, and more time still to finalize the news release and have it ready and approved for transmittal.

Honestly ­ it can be very painful for all involved. I’m quite brutal on my clients, since their success is all that matters. I don’t pull any punches. My comment process can bruise a lot of highly inflated egos of
some otherwise very accomplished people, on the way to a problem free news release that maximizes the chances of success when finally sent. Lots of people think they can write a news release. Very few of them can do it very well.

Fixing the problems I see in the news releases people send me takes forever. It is also very painful. I’ve seen a lot of news release failure over the years, and I now know what the key problems look like and how to fix them.

The issues listed here have all been identified as reasons for the failure of a news release. This is based on over 20 plus years of experience in dealing with the aftermath ­– the actual number and quality of responses generated from the transmittal of a news release.

So here are the most common reasons why news releases fail and a quick instruction on how to avoid hitting the landmine:

1. You wrote an advertisement. It’s not a news release at all. It sells product. It fails to offer solid news of real tangible interest, value-added information, education or entertainment.

2. You wrote for a minority, not for a majority of people in the audience. You simply won’t compete with other news releases that clearly are written for a larger demographic of the media audience.

3. You are the center of attention, not the media audience. You focus on your business and your marketing, instead of things the editor and his or her audience will be interested in.

4. You forgot to put the five W’s up front. (WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED). You didn’t clearly and succinctly tell the media why the audience would be interested in this.

5. You are too wordy and text dense. You focused on details and minutia, instead of the most important ideas, issues, factors, facts, and news angles. You fail to address the real significant impacts your story
has on people.

6. You place too much information on one page ­ the one page news release has a font size so small an editor needs a magnifying glass to read it.

7. You included corporate logos and other non-persuasive low value added graphics that distract the editor from your key message. You may have also used an unusual fancy font or a file format that turns to
gobbledygook when it goes through a fax machine.

8. You wrote a personally biased article for the media to publish, instead of pitching the idea to the media and the objective reasons why the media audience will be interested.

9. You wrote about features and facts, and forgot to explain what it means to real people. Tell a story about real people. Add in real life human interest.

10. You wrote about how your news ties in to someone else’s fame and glory. Forget it. Never stand in the shadow of someone else. Make your own light. Tell your own story.

11. Your news release responds to something that just happened. You’re too late. You’re behind the eight ball. Forget it. Get out in front of the news.

12. You included too much hype, self-laudatory praise, pithy quotes, useless testimonials, jargon or gobbledygook. Get rid of it.

13. You may have also identified prior media coverage, which indicates it’s no longer a new issue. Get rid of it. Let each news release stand on it’s own two feet.

14. You tried to impress and be clever or innovative but you come off naïve, less than expert, biased, flippant, arrogant, or crazy. Tone it down. Get straight.

15. You made vague and unsubstantiated claims, or wild and outrageous claims, or you included a statement that simply rubs the media the wrong way. Get rid of them.

16. You are trying to be different, just for the sake of it, but you come off eccentric. Forget it. Don’t create a false or inflated image. Be yourself.

17. You wrote a rant and rave, worthy of a letter to the editor, instead of a problem solving tips article, worthy of a feature story. Decide what you want, put your best effort into it.

18. You are simply not credible. It could be your ideas are simply not well thought out, or that you’ve offered old well-worn material, or that you are too extreme or controversial, or not qualified. You may not be
expert enough, or sufficiently qualified, to make the statements, compared to others in your field. You need to present information that qualifies you properly and adequately.

19. You provided poor contact information. You need to identify the best single point of contact and the correct phone number so interested media can reach you and get the best possible attention and response from you to meet their needs. One key person, one phone, no fax, one email address, and one URL (with no long string addresses).

20. You did not include a clear media call for action. You didn’t tell the media what you want them to do with your news release. You need to tell them what you are asking for or suggesting or offering. Then you need to offer the media incentives value-added reasons to do so, like free review copies, free test samples, interview questions and answers, media kits with story angles and stats and data, relevant photographs, etc.

21. You did not incorporate and integrate a primary response mechanism. You need to include a value-added reason, which motivates the editor to publish or mention your contact information, which will generate calls, traffic, interviews, or requests for more information. This usually means something unique and of special value to the audience, that the editor feels good about mentioning. Use an offer for a free problem solving report.

22. You sent the release to the wrong media. Target the media that your clients read, watch and listen to when they are in the right mood, that is, receptive to hearing about your news, and willing to take action when they get your message. Work with your publicist to target the right media.

23. You rely on a single fax or an email to produce an avalanche of media calls. You conduct no follow up. Get real. Follow up properly and you can triple or quadruple your media response rate. Better still, you can
ask the editors “what can I give you to support a feature story and meet your needs”.

Finally, the biggest reason for news release failure is one of attitude.

How do you define success or failure? It’s called unrealistic expectations.

Get real. You won’t get rich off one news release. You’re chances of getting famous are just about as slim.

You might be able to break even.

Look at your investment and compare it to what you need to break even on your investment. If you need to sell 100 books to cover the costs of a $500 outreach effort, you need ten articles because each article only produces ten sales. So that’s your breakeven goal. More books per article, means less articles will satisfy your needs.

You may simply have to be realistic and understand that while you are wildly interested in the topic, it may not have the broad general public interest that you have for the subject. If you wrote an article that has
local interest and you expect national media to pay attention, think again.

If you want to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show, then you’d better pray because chances of doing it off one news release are very slim, near zero in fact.

Get real. If she calls, then congratulations are in order. But don’t count on it.

If you wrote an advertisement and wanted a feature story and interviews, don’t be surprised if the only media to call is the advertising manager offering you a package deal. You get what you ask for. What you offer is often times what you will get.

Even if you do get publicity, it may not come out exactly the way you want it. More often than not, the bigger the media, the less likely they are to run contact information.

Often times, the quality may be there while the numbers are not.

One or two quality media responses may be what you want or need. If you get that, it’s a success.

One article in USA Today may out perform ten articles in small dailies and weeklies in the mid-west.

On the other hand, it may not. The small high quality articles may outperform the small mention in the big media.

Similarly, one quality 30-minute interview on a well-liked talk show on a radio station in the middle of nowhere out in the mid-west, will likely outsell a five-minute interview on an Arbitron rated radio station in the
middle of the morning talk show in a major metropolitan area. You can’t tell the listening quality of the audience.

So listen to your publicist. Heed these warnings and reduce the risks of failure. Fail to pay attention to these issues, proceed at your own risk.

So when you write a news release please review it against these criteria to see if you’ve made any of these errors. Then fix each and every one of them yourself, and when you are done, feel free to send me your final draft.

I’ll be happy to take a look at it.

Jim Rohn on how to become more valuable in business

Jim Rohn describes how to become more valuable in business

Jim Rohn is a very bright, very funny, insprational and entertaining person and his ideas and recommendations will make you more valuable and hence you will be able to charge more. This wonderful three video series from Nightingale Conant explains what you have to do to yourself rather than what you have to do at work.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Want more? Visit Jim Rohn . He offers a free weekly newsletter.