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The book publicity client who wouldn’t play with me

describes a problem client situation over the writing of a news release

A prospective client sent me four copies of his book and asked me to help him get publicity. It sounded like a good project with a professional author having written on a subject that would help lots of people in their relationships with others on the playground of life.

I agreed to work with him and I sent him my normal guidance and request for more information so we could create a core content script for a galvanizing interview and feature story.

I reviewed his book looking for good advice that we could use in a problem solving tips article. It had a nice cover but the helpful advice and content wasn’t there. The book was theoretical and professorial. It was filled with concepts and lacked helpful advice.

So I asked him to give me his ten best talking points.

He sent me a ten point sales rap that among other things said:

“No one knows but me…”

“Every moron “expert” is just spewing crap and since no one really knows …[]… they get away with it.”

“I’ve explained this all perfectly in my book …”

“It’s unique!”

“No one else has come up with anything remotely close in the whole of human knowledge.”

“It’s all there in the first fifty pages! It’s all you need!”

“It’s all there, simple, in English, no bs, no hyperbole.” and so on.

I wrote him back saying that this was not what we needed. These points would not turn people on, give them the help they needed on the problem and impress them in a favorable way. In fact to write these statement in a news release would be fatal.

I went back to the first 50 pages. I still drew a blank.

I wrote him another email. I said, pretend you have a group of people in front of you and you have three minutes to knock their socks off and help them so much that they love you and want to buy your book instantly because it has so much value. What will you say?

No response.

So I tried to make it even simpler. Next email I asked him for five do’s and five don’ts. I even write them out 1. Do this 2. Do this, 3. Do this, 4. Do this, 5. Do this, then 6. Don’t do that 7.Don’t do that, 8. Don’t do that, 9. Don’t do that, 10. Don’t do that.

Still no meaningful reply.

I finally wrote back that I couldn’t use his book or the input that he had developed.

He wrote back and said he’d found another publicist who would write him a news release.

So I wrote “So instead of working with me and trying you are giving up? Surely you can give this a try. This is your book. It is your intellectual property. You are the content and subject matter expert here. You wrote it and have to be able to talk with people persuasively about it.”

Then he sent me an email and said that he had his other press release person look over my comments which among other things included the following statements:

“I have written many Press Releases – and have never written one from the point of view your associate, Mr. Krupin, using any of the blurbs or triggers he has requested. A Press Release is to inform media contacts of the imminent debut of a book or product with the copy written in the third person – i.e., “XXXXXXX Publishers announce the arrival of a significant self-help book by one of the country’s outstanding clinical psychologists, . The book is an exciting innovative teaching tool, for individuals researching their own interests or counselors eager to give their clients cutting-edge perceptions.”

“All of us depend upon relationships to function healthily; none of us are deliberate loners. There are helpful viewpoints in book applicable to heads of state negotiating cultural differences as well as to adult relatives struggling with teenagers and, of course, the one-on-one love relationship all of us seek to keep fresh and new. . . .”

. . .Along those lines – then after a couple more blurbs regarding the contents but not revealing them in detail, there has to be the date and time of the book’s release and contact information for your agent or yourself so the media source can contact you for copies, etc. And name and location of book store where the publication could be purchased (and price) is also included.

All this for $299.

At this point I realized that the client didn’t have what he needed to get the professional branding publicity that he sought, and someone else was willing to take his money and screw him with a smile.

I will return his four books to him.

I’m sad I lost a client, but some people just have to learn the hard way.

Posted on Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 5:00 pm In