Direct Contact PR, Internet media faxgrowth


Turn Your People On! Copywriting that Produces Action

Writing marketing and publicity copy that produces interest and action (sales)

Here’s my best advice for authors and publishers wanting publicity that helps sell books: Turn your people on.

The message has to make people pay attention and want more of what you have to offer. If you don’t succeed at this, even an article in USA Today won’t
help you sell books. Identify the hot buttons that get your audience jazzed.

Ask them, “why do you like this?”

Pay attention to what you said that produced howls of delight. Study your testimonials and reviewer comments, ask your mother or kids. Just figure
this out and focus on it. What you focus on tends to get bigger.

Identify what you do that turns people on, and then do more and more of it. Then prepare a variety of presentations that hit those hot buttons again and again in varying lengths from 30 seconds to ten minutes in length. Every word you say has to make people crave more.

If you bore them even momentarily, you will likely lose them.

This is the key to PR success and marketing success as well.

You can’t say “buy this amazing provocative book!” You must be amazing and provocative. You must do what you are best at in your own unique way. You
must entertain, educate and stimulate. You must give people chills and thrills. And you must practice this and perfect this messaging until you can
do it again and again with adequate action producing results (=sales).

Once you develop, refine, and prove YOUR MESSAGING, based on the actions people take in response to what you say and do (= proven sales), then the
rest is easy. Then can you use technology as a force multiplier to extend and share and repeat the message (using technologies and media of all types) and thus get the results you dream of achieving.

Book reviews VS. Feature Stories – Which Sells More?

Book Reviews VS. Feature Stories - Which Sells More?

I personally don’t believe that book reviews sell as many books as do feature stories. Yes, they have a role to play, but it’s actually a very limited role. The real gains are to be made with galvanizing feature stories.

The key to understanding this is that book reviews tend to simply show and tell the book and what’s inside the book while good feature stories are designed to galvanize and get people emotionally involved. If what people see gives them an experience, then they are far more inclined to take the action desired, which is to step closer to the book and the author. Articles about the author also tend to produce a professional branding effect. this means that if people read and like what they see, then they will be inclined to buy everything the author has for sale.

This means that if you put down the book, stop selling the product for a second and focus on doing what you do best – entertaining your audience and giving them your best, then this is when you stand your best chance of saying and doing something that will really turn people on.

Give people an experience. Make them laugh, cringe, make them hungry, solve a painful problem, make them feel good, feel bad, feel sexy, or feel awed and inspired.

Do that and they’ll remember you.

That’s what really causes people to pay attention and buy what you are selling.

Knowing When You’ve Created Your Purple Cow

Knowing When You've Created Your Purple Cow

A question was presented to me today:

>> If CNN does decide to interview me, or if I’m scheduled for an interview on
>> any of the other cable news networks I’ve approached, I’m going to want the whole world to watch and learn about my concept.

>> I need to hire someone who knows how to use the Internet to make that happen.

Actually, I don’t think you need to hire anyone. I can’t imagine lots of people being motivated by a message that says ‘watch me on CNN!’ Think about it. You might send out an email to friends, colleagues and your mother, but most media won’t tell their audience to go watch you on another channel or network.

What I think you really need to do is refine your idea until it flies by itself when you present it to anyone and to everyone.

You’ll know you’ve got what it takes when it happens repeatedly and reliably and a level that produces a sustainable yield.

I call this the miracle of the microcosm. If you create something good and can communicate it so that people want it in your little neck of the woods, then when you go on CNN and say the same thing, it will have the same effect on millions of people.

But if what you created isn’t all that great, and what you said to people to get them interested wasn’t all that persuasive or galvanizing, then it won’t matter at all what you say even if you are on CNN.

You can develop your ‘mar-com’, script, or that magic sequence of communications yourself right in your back yard. You create the interview script that goes A-B-C-D-E and produces action XYZ.

This works because we are a nation of people who have been raised to respond to media communications the same way. We laugh at the same jokes and cry at the same sad stories, we cringe at the same pictures of tragedy and disaster and squeal with delight and water at the mouth when promised something sweet to eat.

Here is an article which describes a method for developing your own galvanizing communications sequence and testing it till you know it works.

The Magic of Business

Here’s a link to another article I wrote with tips and ideas on:

How to Be Galvanizing- 22 ways to be galvanizing and interesting to media, prospects and customers

To me and based on my experience with my own books, databases, inventions and clients, perhaps the most powerful thing you can do is make your presentation in the form of a helpful problem solving article or interview. Being helpful is the most important thing you can do to get people interested in what you have to offer. What you offer has to be truly remarkable and useful.

So here’s one more set of ideas for you all about:

Publicizing and Promoting by helping the People You can help the Most

If you do create a script that produces reliable action when you present it to people, of course, then it’s time to incorporate it into news releases and other business proposals and send it out to media and companies and organizations everywhere, so you can use the power of the media as a force multiplier.

I’ll be happy to see that ‘mar-com’ once you’ve created and feel like it’s ready to be pitched.


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:

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

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.

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 in sales

Search Inside the Book ? Good or Bad for Book Sales?

Evaluates the "Search Inside the Book" technology and how it can affect book sales

An author on the Yahoo Self Publishing list asked:

>>I am planning on using this feature for my book, The Guru Next Door, A
>>Teacher’s Legacy but wanted to check with ya’ll first. Is there any
>> reason NOT to do this?

I was actually interviewed at the Book Expo America on this issue back in late May 2005. I was standing in the Google Booth having a fun discussion (argument maybe) with some Google reps not knowing that IDG News Service industry reporter Stacy Cowley was madly taking notes right next to me and then wrote it all up for PC World magazine. Here’s a link to the article which is still available online.

Google Woos Book Publishers

What you have to realize is that the search inside the book feature gives people the ability to make a better buying decision based on a snippet of a search on a key word that you don’t know.

The effect on your book sales will be determined by what happens when people see inside your book. Will that help you sell books?


It’s a lot like what happens if someone goes to the bookstore and finds your book on the shelf. If someone picks it up and turns the pages, what happens?

That’s about the size of it only now they are browsing online.

The question as far as book sales go is this:

Will a buying decision be favored if the reader sees what’s inside?

If the answer is yes, then theoretically, sales are improved compared to buying decisions based on cover, reviews, and testimonials only.

If the answer is no, then it likely doesn’t help you sell books.

The answer is in some ways dependent on the content and style of writing, organization, presentation, font size, and other characteristics of the content inside of the book.

The answer is also dependent on what the Amazon searcher enters, and how they feel about your book after reading the snippet they receive.

You have control over of the features of the content and presentation of your book. You don’t have control over what the searcher sees.

You also don’t have control over what Amazon or Google let’s the reader see.

You can experience this effect on your own buying purchases if you actively use this feature and make these types of observations when shopping.

What happens when people pick up your book? You need to find out in person first. Then you can estimate what happens online.

You might want to test the book without the search inside the book for a month or two before you add in the feature and then compare what if anything happens.

To me this is a fairly crucial bit of decisionmaking. You may be a person who has placed a lot of effort and money into creating a book that people will find attractive enough to buy. You may have spent a lot on cover design and marketing. You may have used a professional copy editor and book designer when you created your book. If the quality and writing is high in person then the chances are a similar response will occur when someone uses the search inside the book feature.

But if you haven’t done these things, then a person who sees inside the book will be able to see the quality shortcomings up close and personal and these factors will have a serious impact on the buying decision.

So if the reaction of a person who actually gets their hands on your book is not a buy decision, then maybe the search inside the book will not be helpful to you.

Since search Inside the Book and Google Print were introduced, my early observations about the technology have been pretty well born out.

Quality sells. First impressions make a whole lot of difference. The snippet can make you or break you.

You’ll need to evaluate whether the feature helps you based on how people in your target audience make decisions when looking at books like yours.

Harvey Eker and Brian Tracy in a marketing strategy session

Harvey Eker and Brian Tracy in a remarkable marketing strategy session.

Harvey Eker and Brian Tracy in a marketing strategy session.

You may have to turn up your volume to catch all the little golden nuggets in this one but it’s worth it to pay close attention to how these guys do their marketing.

This is an amazing little video.

Seth Godin explains his theory on flipping the sales funnel

Seth Godin explains his theory on flipping the sales funnel

Seth Godin explains his theory on flipping the funnel. This is a very important strategic choice you make. Seth says you need to make sure your product customers act as a megaphone and tell the people they meet all about you and the story experience they had with you. He encourages you to do all sorts of things to make it really easy for your clients to do this.

This is very helpful and useful guidance.

Jeff Slutsky demonstrates the value of asking questions

Jeff Slutsky, author of Street Smart Marketing, describes how to improve sales success by asking questions

Jeff Slutsky, author of Street Smart Marketing, is not only educational, but he is hilarious. His stand up and go for it tactics are based on years of experience in retail.

What a hoot! He’s a great salesman and a great teacher.

In this wonderful short video, he explains and drives home one of the most valuable things a sales person can do. Look at how you can improve sales success and the dollar value of a sale by focusing intensely on serving the clients needs, wants and desires.

Now in the world of targeted PR that I operate in, there are several really basic questions that I ask my clients which I use to help identify the right market, the right media and then the right message. For example, think about who your customers are. Then ask yourself “what do they read, watch or listen to, especially when they are in the mood to buy what you are selling?” This is how we target the right markets and the right media. The next key questions is “how can you help the people you can help the most?”

Then you can develop the best topic and the key talking points for an interview or a problem solving tips article.

If you want more helpful guidance, go to the free articles section of the Direct Contact PR web site.

Brian Tracy on Achieving Goals and Making a Difference

Brian Tracy on Achieving Goals and Making a Difference

I have a lot of books on my shelf by Brian Tracy. He is a fascinating and awe inspiring teacher and his ideas on personal and professional development are very readily implemented with great benefit.

It’s not very often that you can find something so short and sweet that you can take it home in your pocket and bank the benefits immediately. But these two little videos do just that. They will help you make a significant difference in what happens to you not just today, but for the rest of your life.

This first one describes how to identify and select the most important goal in your life.

This second one describes the single most important word you’ll ever need when achieving goals.