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Getting More Publicity with Trash-Proof News Releases – Free Ebook

Getting Real Publicity - Trash-Proof News Releases - Free Ebook

Short link for this post: goo.gl/FTvDzq

Someone asked “does any one use news releases any more?”

I laughed. It may come as a surprise to people, but I still do write news releases and send them out to custom targeted media lists.

And guess what. They still work. I even wrote a book about them.

But there’s a catch. There are no guarantees. The psychology o dealing with media has not changed. There are however, a lot more media – people who publish in one form or another.

The technology has and continues to evolve and there are more types of media technology and platforms.

But to be featured or interviewed has not evolved significantly. The news release is still a viable and in fact essential tool that you need in your marcom (marketing communications) toolbox.

What is a news release?

My definition has not changed:

A written proposal:

– containing a request for media coverage (feature stories, interviews or product reviews).

– 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, in person, etc.); or

– placed where they can find it and use it (as when it is posted to web site either your own or 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 seeks to persuade 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.

And even when you send out a news release, some media will view you as a target for money since after all, that is how they make a living and they do run publishing businesses. So do not be surprised when media send you sponsored post requests, or email that pushes you to participate in their business (and pay for the privilege).

Trash Proof News Releases

But if objective publicity in media is what you want, you write a news release. You mus earn the right to be featured. This is a gauntlet since you need to provide exquisite quality that meets the media needs – readership and editorial elements, and more.

The first version of the book Trash Proof News Releases captured the lessons learned for getting publicity at the peak of the fax era, and covered the techniques I had developed running Imediafax – The Internet to media Fax Service. It was published in the year 2000.

Faxes died as a technology at the turn of the 21st Century. Email took its place. So we stopped sending out faxes and switched to email html with graphics and links.

Trash-Proof News Releases was revised and published again to focus on and illustrate the techniques that work best using email to reach media and get coverage. It was published in 2015.

The one major change that has occured since then is the continuing changes and evolving changes to search engine algorithms starting with the Google Panda and the Hummingbird updates. It is no longer effective to use free news release distribution services and expect them to have your news release posted all over the Internet and in news search engines. The search engines now routinely penalize duplicate content and require sites to place a no follow command when a news release is posted so that they are not indexed and then found by the search engines.

So quality content was elevated over spam. And now, if you use a news release, your purpose and goal is to persuade the media to do their job using you and your creative work as the centerpiece of their coverage.

You need to learn and recognize that they will require you to help them create unique content so that what gets published or produced meet’s their needs and maybe if you are lucky, some of your own.

The other major change is that you can now find media and pitch journalists and producers on social media.

These were major motivators behind the decision to first create Search Word Pro which evolved into the new creation Presari www.Presari.com

Presari helps you create the keyword strategies and the best content you need to use to find and reach out to media of all types using search engines and social media platforms. You can now search for whatever you want and find all sorts of influencers anytime. Yes, the search engines can set you free.

Free Trash Proof ebook downloads

The link below goes to a PDF file copy of the 2015 Edition of Trash Proof News Releases.

The free download also includes in a one hour Powerpoint Presentation I developed and gave to audiences all over the country. The original title of the presentation was How to Make the Media Fall in Love with You. This version is titled Trash Proof News Releases (and other Marcom) That Really Work.

Enjoy

Trash Proof News Releases ebook download (PDF):
http://test.directcontactpr.com/s/K6808840019040

Here’ a clean link to just the presentation:

Trash Proof PPT Presentation (PDF): http://test.directcontactpr.com/s/L7810140021762

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Self Publishing Companies – The Best and the Worst

Search Word Pro - One Page Click Sheet- Self-Publishing Companies Pros and Cons

Search Word Pro – One Page Click Sheet- Self-Publishing Companies Pros and Cons

My new Search Word Pro ebooks are specially designed to help you get the best information marketing available at Google, Bing, SlideShare, YouTube and Pinterest and more. The sole purpose is to help help you discover tactical and actionable guidance to improve your knowledge, capabilities, to make your business grow.

Find the search words you want answers to. Click on an icon link and the desired search results open up. Start reviewing the results.

Search Word Pro – One Page Click Sheet- Self-Publishing Companies Pros and Cons

or sniplink http://goo.gl/G4zoYK

Read what people are saying carefully. Look before you leap. Study what other people are doing and saying. Identify actions you can take to improve what you are doing in your own marketing effort! Tiny changes can have a significant impact on your income.

Comments?

Great Update on the State of the Art of Self-Publishing

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!

Article to Jason Boog’s post at Galley Cat on Free Sites to promote Your EBook

Article to Jason Boog's post on Free Sites to promote Your EBook

This unverified list posted on the Galley Cat web site (part of media Bistro) by Jason Book titled
Free Sites to Promote Your EBook
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/free-ebook-promotion_b52130

Publicity success story – Self-published author makes the Wall Street Journal

Self-published author makes the Wall Street Journal

Mini brag and congratulations to client Glen R. Sontag, author of Anything Other Than Naked, for being featured in a half page article on Wall Street Journal on Thursday July 14, 2011.

Read the article here: http://snipurl.com/13e54f

He made p. 2 in the Personal Journal section in the On Style column. The print version of the article takes up ½ page and includes 5 books on fashion which are reviewed. His book is the most prominently displayed in the full color photo.

ANYTHING OTHER THAN NAKED
is a small, illustrated 86-page book with separate chapters on how to evaluate, select, and wear each item of clothing—from suits, shirts, ties, and trousers to sweaters, belts, shoes, and outerwear.

The best quote from the article highlights why other men should trust his advice:

“Gentlemen might ask: Why take style advice from Glen R. Sondag, a former financial adviser and U.S. Air Force captain? Well, for one thing, because his mother sewed and he helped her, so he knows his way around wool, cotton and silk. More to the point, Mr. Sondag has been working outside the fashion world for 35 years. His slim volume, “Anything Other Than Naked,” is full of practical, direct advice.”

I love it. He helped his mother sew.

I worked on the project with Jim and Lynda O’Connor. We created a two page problem solving tips article for his outreach effort and made some phone calls. We sent out the news release twice a two week period in March 2011. So the time between news release transmittal and media publication was four months. The custom media list we developed targeted fashion, clothes, men’s interest, and work/life. The WSJ was one of over 80 media requests or review copies acquired as a result of the outreach effort. The WSJ has an audited circulation of 2,117,796.

🙂 Glen’s author website http://anythingotherthannaked.com is worthy of inspection as a masterpiece of simplicity and beautiful design that matches his style and elegance. It is a great example of letting people see and know exactly who you are.

Kudos to Glen.

Self publishing and book publicity helps save a life

Book reviewer shares story about how her review of a book helped save her daughters life

This is so unusual I want to share.

I was asked to write and transmit a news release in early December 2010 for the authors of the self-published book Asthma, Allergies Children: A Parents Guide.

We received review copy requests from a few dozen media and about of them were from bloggers. The author obliged every request without question.

Here’s a copy of the email string that I received today from one of the bloggers who received one of the review copies. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

———

From: Henry Ehrlich [mailto:henryde@earthlink.net]
Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:28 PM
To: Paul Krupin
Subject: Fwd: Many thanks

Today, I received the following email from one of the authors:

Thought this would interest you. First of its kind. You deserve credit.

Henry

Begin forwarded message:

From: Simply Stacie
Date: January 13, 2011 8:10:10 PM EST
Cc: Henry Ehrlich
Subject: Re: Many thanks

Hello Dr. Ehrlich,

Several weeks ago…you sent a thank you email to me for my comments about your book. In turn, I am sending you and your co-authors my most sincere thank you for helping me save my daughter’s life. Our daughter is 4 years old and has respiratory problems since birth (born with pneumonia). Anytime she had a cold/virus she would have severe asthma symptoms and though numerous tests showed that even when she “appeared” well she still had inflammation we thought that we were experiencing the worst of it. Last week, we were taking a family bike ride to the park when she began to cough and couldn’t stop. We asked her what was wrong and she was only talking in a whisper and continued to cough horribly. From information that I had read in your book, we knew something wasn’t right so we immediately went home to get her started on a nebulizer treatment….as we did the next coughing fit she turned blue and couldn’t speak to us. We called 911 and emergency treatment was given as she was having a “severe asthma attack.” To be honest, I am not sure that I would have realized what was happening and acted so quickly if I had not read your book. I never dreamed that asthma could “change” so suddenly and happen when she was sick with a virus. I hope that you don’t mind my sharing this with you but it seemed appropriate that you should know how grateful my family is for this book.

Your review is scheduled to go live soon on our blog and I will send you the direct link.

————
As of today, the review has not yet been posted to her blog, but I was given permission to share the story.

Everything we do matters. Amazing world we live in. The Butterfly Effect is real.

Book publicity and selling more books

Book publicity and selling more books

Question Posted on Independent Authors at Yahoo Groups.

>> Do book reviews sell book? Yes, and the review sites can prove it, because they get paid a percentage of the “buy-through” from Amazon. They don’t sell that many, and more nonfiction than fiction, but they do sell. And why not try to get our books reviewed? There are only so many options open to us. We can try to place an article in a magazine or newspaper, we can try to get book reviews, we can enter contests and hope for the best, we can do book club talks, and we can visit our local book stores and try to get signings. Why not try them all? I’d stand in front of Costco with a banjo and balloon hat if I thought it would help. I write books that I hope people will read. How they find my book is immaterial to me. I write books that I hope people will read. How they find my book is immaterial to me. < < I just don't believe that it's smart to rely on the "proof that reviews work" for others and make the assumption that the same process will work for you. I also believe that if you are writing to create a real business, then how people find your book is crucial to your survival and success. There are many choices an author/publisher can make when deciding how to profit off one's intellectual property. Hope is not a strategy. Systematic carefully targeted communication to specific groups of high probability markets of people with money, with dedicated monitoring and continuous improvement is a strategy. The Naked Cowboy stands in Times Square in his underwear playing his guitar. That's how he communicates with HIS PEOPLE. He's built a successful nationally recognized brand doing this. He entertains and stimulates sufficient numbers of people who buy his music. There's a teenage kid with hair down to his knees who plays a screaming guitar a la Jimi Hendrix each day in Santa Monica who also is doing pretty well. So maybe standing in front of Costco with a banjo and a balloon isn't such a bad idea. If it works for you, do it! YOU have to determine how you can reach and communicate with the people who matter to you. If what matters is sales, then that means you HAVE to know how you are communicating so that the action you produce is sales. Look at this model: Write a book. Self-Publish in ten ebook formats and POD. Have the book available at Amazon and Google and dozens or even thousands of other e-stores. Send the eBook to book reviewers by email. Get reviews. Sell books. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? What if YOUR PEOPLE, don't read the reviews. What if THE REVIEWERS, won't even accept the ebook. System failure. Yet this is what lots of people are doing. They write the book and pitch to a limited number of book reviewers. Then fail and stop. I see this all the time. Sometimes the problem is the book. Some books simply aren't that good. This is one serious problem. Sometimes the book is fine, but the author and the publisher don't take the actions needed to reach THEIR PEOPLE. And they don't have the stamina to go the distance. They stop before they learn how to turn THEIR PEOPLE on. To me and my clients, this question is one that turns on return on investment. If the goal of writing and publishing is to produce sales, and there is only so much time and money to be invested in marketing, promoting and publicizing, then the determining factor is how many books can you sell? People do write to try and make some money. You have to care about how people find out about you and your writing if sales are important to you. If you don't care, then there is very little chance that enough people will ever learn about you and buy what you have to offer. My point is that YOU have to decide how to spend your time and what you receive from your efforts. Book reviews are one option. Feature stories are another. You can embark on a program of speaking and or doing entertainment. People are successful in producing income and attracting attention that triggers action (e.g., sales). Which tactic works the best for you? Do you know? The LA Times article BOOK PUBLISHERS SEE THEIR ROLE AS GATEKEEPERS SHRINK (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-gatekeepers-20101226,0,7119214.story) is pointing out that it is possible to create writings and develop audiences using the new technologies that are available. The article only hints at what JA Konrath and the other authors are doing to gain attention for their writings so that they do indeed sell books. The article says “In addition to Konrath, bestselling author Seth Godin, science fiction writer Greg Bear and action novelist David Morrell recently have used Internet tools to put their works online themselves.”

Right.

Internet tools.

This article fills people with hopeful and vague ideas that the future is here and that this type of success is going to become more commonplace.

And it may indeed for some.

BTW. Look at this article! It points out exactly what I am saying. It’s not a book review. It’s a human interest feature story. It is even a shining example of one of my favorite rules — the DPAA + H rule. It’s dramatic, personal, and tells stories of achievement in the face of adversity + humor.

So it does attract reader attention. It is emotionally engaging and even galvanizes people with visions of hope that they too can be a wildly successful author without being raked over the coals by classical mainstream publishers. It highlights the apparent simplicity of the new publishing economic model.

It also identifies the authors by name. It brands each one so that anyone who looks them up can now be exposed and potentially buy everything they have available.

Great article. This is an example of the very best type of media coverage authors can get.

Is it entertaining? Yes. Is it really helpful? Let’s look for the practical value.

Seth Godin and Stephen King can write just about anything they want and it will sell. They not only have created a huge national following, but they’ve each created consistent, high performing diverse platforms of communication that allow them to reach and sell directly to THEIR PEOPLE. They have created astoundingly successful communications systems that persuade people to take action.

Most people do not have these “Internet tools” in place. In fact, many authors write and publish without even thinking about how to reach out and touch someone, anyone. They don’t think about how to do so consistently, so that can run a writing and publishing business profitably and consistently.

The article doesn’t help most of us very much at all. In fact, the end of the article highlights what is identified as the biggest challenge to successful publishing:

“Indeed, the challenge in a world where anyone can publish a book is getting people to pay attention…. In a blog post titled “Moving on,” about his decision to self-publish, Godin wrote that “my mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works.”

Seth Godin is talking my language. This is the field I work in. Targeted PR.

So back to reality.

You get to choose what you want to do.

And if you want to make money with your publishing, here’s my suggestion.

Follow the money.

The country is huge – in the US alone you have 330 million people. The potential is phenomenal. If you can develop a process for reaching people you can do very well. I believe you can even learn how to do this starting one on one in your back yard, anywhere.

I even came up with a cute little acronym which describes how to do this.

CREATE.

ASK.

CREATE AGAIN.

ASK AGAIN.

= CACA

Think about what you do that turns people on. Test it. Get a sale.

Ask people who reacted the way you wanted them to. Ask them, “What did I do that turned you on?”

Capture it. Record it. Document it. Then prove it.

If it works, do it again. Test it again. Improve it by asking again.

CACA.

Then repeat this process till you can stand in a room or present to 25 people and get half the people in the audience to hand you money.

Then use the many technologies you have at your disposal to present, broadcast and target YOUR PEOPLE with this proven message.

Decide what marketing actions to take and then document the sales and profits you receive.

Compare it to other actions you can take. Be systematic. Identify a pathway to profits. Determine if you have developed a process of steps that can be duplicated.

If it works, then do it some more. If it doesn’t, then stop and do something else.

More CACA.

Bring it on.

Overcoming the Self-Publishing Stigma

Overcoming the Self-Publishing Stigma

Who publishes the book rarely matters. If a media person or a book reviewer wants to give you an excuse to reject a book presented they will say one of three things:

1. I don’t review self published books
2. I need a local news angle
3. Or simply, it’s not right for my audience.

The “review self-published books” excuse is usually a knee jerk response they use to eliminate the need to even look at books of poor quality.

But even the snootiest media make exceptions for quality material.

What they first and foremost are looking for is 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.

Of course, the next hurdle is that 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. But 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.

Paying for Book Reviews – Is it worth it?

Paying for book reviews - costs compared to normal book publicity

Discussion of the new program to charge $149 for book reviews at Publishers Weekly. One person asked “Is it worth it?”

I write lots of news releases and send them out to lots of media and one of the primary goals for each and every one of my book author clients is to get their book reviewed.

I personally think that paying for reviews is just one way to achieve the goal of reaching and persuading people in a given target audience. I am seeing more and more media now say that they are charging for reviews. This is happening in many categories of media we deal with regularly. There are real reasons why this is happening and there are important tactics that those of us who promote books must pay close attention to.

To me the media are best viewed as publishers who make their living from writing, or using other people’s writing, to create something people will pay for. They only have two income streams for the most part, subscribers and advertising. To date, the core content that people who pay require of them, is usually a cost to the publisher. They have either employees, or they use freelance writers, and must pay for articles, or reviews. They create publications that they sell to buying audiences. That’s how they make their money.

Hence certain requirements exist when you want to be featured in a publication. The first is that you make sure you create something that matches or exceeds the quality or needs of the target audience, and the defined character of the media you wish to be in; and 2. That you then persuade that media that the audience in fact will be interested in what you created and 3. That you make it easy for the publisher to do their job, which is write something favorable that triggers sales.

Now for people who wish to get book reviews in library and publishing industry journals, the book review is helpful to getting the book before librarians and booksellers. So a book review in certain media has value.

More and more of these media are charging because they see the time and effort needed as a significant issue. It takes people, time, and physical space to manage a book review program that receives hundreds of books a week from authors and publishers all over the world. So the costs and manpower to do this is considerable. It is no wonder that media have decided to place a price on the process, to cover and defer these costs, and yet make no promises whatsoever on whether the review conducted will be helpful to an author or a publisher at all. I mean if you want to truly control the message that gets placed before a target audience, these media have a clearly identified process for doing that. It’s called advertising.

On the other hand, if what you seek instead is a bona fide objective review then you are forced to use methods of persuasion like sending news releases, books for review and media kits that contain the information needed to make a really favorable impression on media professionals, demonstrate to them that lots of people will be interested in the book, why, and what value it will have, and that even writing their review or story is easy with the extra materials you can make available to them to do their job (and defray their publishing time, effort, and costs).

This is what you need to really think about these days when presenting a review proposal to media.

To me, $149 for a review is a little high. Not only that, if all you do is send a book and wait for a review, then you are missing the opportunity to influence and control the outcome. That’s what you do when you work with a publicist.

If an author or a publisher invests $500 in an outreach effort, it is not unusual for me to see them get 20 to 60 requests (or more) for review copies as a result of their effort. One average, one can expect 50 percent of the requests to actually result in a review. So that means that the cost per review averages from $10 to $50 per review achieved. Follow up will improve the media response and performance.

Other publicists will cost more than this to achieve the same thing. You pay for the time, effort, technology and expertise and this is the business of strategic communication and persuasion.

However, book reviews may not be the only outcome or consequence from pitching to media.

The same PR outreach effort and $500 cost also triggers interviews and feature stories and even requests for speaking engagements. The actual outcome depends on the author, the topic, what we give to the media to share with the audience, the prior media coverage of the same topic or genre, the specific media targeted, and in many cases most importantly, the bottom line quality of the book. The value of this coverage is very hard to place a real value on. A single placement on FOX News, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, or MSNBC may result in hundreds or thousands of book sales and it may not. A single well conducted interview on NPR may launch a best seller. It also may not. Then again, a single well written and galvanizing story in the middle of nowhere but to a captive dedicated audience may also sell a great number of books. But then again, it may not.

The quality of the book and how it fits in the scheme of things is very important. But sometimes that doesn’t matter to the media. The content of the message is what matters the most. Timely content with high value to the audience gets the best coverage regardless of whether the book is fresh and new or old and musty. I’ve gotten many an author great publicity opportunities that failed to ripen into coverage because the book quality, content, and timeliness falls short of delivering the quality needed to validate the needs of the media for their audience. That is the challenge with many a self-published author and publisher.

Book marketing – face to face up close and personal

Book marketing case study of book marketing success by a self published author

NYT Randy Kearse story
I love this. Here’s a story that illustrates one of my primary rules for getting publicity.

Take a look at The NY Times July 9, 2010 feature story about self published author Randy Kearse selling over 14,000 books by himself on the subways of New York City

This story illustrates The DPAA+H Rule. The story captures the five essential elements of a great human interest feature story:

It’s DRAMATIC and PERSONAL

It tells a story about a real person who seeks ACHIEVEMENT IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY

Finally it adds in an element of HUMOR.

It’s all here and this story shows how it can be done.

This story illustrates another of my key concepts – The Miracle of the Microcosm.

Randy has developed an experience based communication script that captures his magic words that turn people on and get sufficient numbers of people to take action. They buy his books.

He has a specific goal and knows that he must present to enough people to hit his goal each day.

He has developed and documented a systematic repeatable process for achieving a known level of financial success each day.

The article talks about Randy in ways that make him very likeable and very approachable. Several of his books are also mentioned along the way and he is positioned as being a very helpful dedicated and innovative individual who seeks to achieve financial success while he does his best helping others.

This is a beautiful example of the best publicity one can get.

Congratulations to Randy Kearse.