Thursday, May 28, 2015

Book Marketing Through Radio Interviews


Silvia Villalobos, a native of Romania who lives immersed in the laid-back vibe of Southern California, is a writer of mystery novels and short fiction. Her mystery novel, Stranger or Friend, was released by Solstice Publishing.

Her stories have appeared in The Riding Light Review, Pure Slush, and Red Fez, among other publications.
 
In the following guest post, Silvia shares her experience with book marketing through radio interviews.

Silvia wrote,
"As a published author, you will inevitably look to publicize your book via guest-blog articles, social media, and radio interviews. Assuming we’re talking about a good book, nothing drives sales more than marketing.
 
I was thrown into the deep waters of marketing with my first novel, Stranger or Friend. In the course of two months, I did over 30 blog posts, more social media than I can remember, and three radio interviews -- one in person and two over the phone. With some help from my publisher and other authors, I immersed myself in publicity training.

For the purpose of this post, and at Mona’s invitation, I will focus on one aspect of book publicity: radio interviews – how to secure them and lessons learned.
 
In this day and age of internet radio stations, it really isn’t that difficult to secure an interview. However, as a new author, I was fortunate enough to receive help from my publisher, who, through a fellow author, helped schedule my very first internet radio interview with Power of Perception. For this appearance, I was asked to provide a short bio, book cover and blurb, and to be punctual.
 
Once immersed in the school of marketing, I found that booking radio interviews, while time consuming, is something I can do on my own.
 
Step one: I crafted a query email and sent it to the PR manager for my local radio station as well as to several independent stations. I received two invitations, one from said local station and one from a popular internet radio host. For the local station, I was asked to provide a Press Kit. For the second internet-radio interview, I was asked for a list of talking points and the usual promo materials (cover, bio, and book blurb).
 
Step two: Once the interviews were scheduled, I spent hours going through the archives and listening to previous author interviews. Preparation, after all, is everything. 
 
A few take-aways from this experience: 
  • 1. Each interview process is different. For internet radio, you will be asked to provide a bio, book cover and blurb, and depending on the host, talking points. These interviews are long (45 minutes to one hour) with no breaks, so long answers are standard. 
  • 2. For the in-person 30-minute interview with commercial breaks, keep your answers brief and to the point. 
  • 3. Prepare some possible responses, but don’t write them out verbatim; that would sound automatic. 
  • 4. Listen carefully to the questions. It’s easy for authors to become anxious and interrupt the host. I did it a couple of times; had to catch myself and relax, wait for my turn. 
  • 5. Be energetic. If the guest comes across as distant, the audience will not care. If you are doing a phone-in radio interview, smile. The audience will hear it in your voice.
  • 6. Refer listeners back to your book. This is why you’re doing the interview in the first place. Subtly refer people back to your book every chance you get.
Creating name recognition through marketing is a process; one that might take several books and a focused marketing plan. Writing a great book is half the job. For the rest, we have to step out of our creative comfort zone. While we’re at it, and because marketing is different from writing, it’s important to relax and have some fun."
 
Silvia can be found blogging here. See her Press Kit

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Unexpected Marketing Venue


I'm delighted to share with those of you who publish non-fiction books a way of marketing I hadn't anticipated when I published my Montana trilogy,
Behind These Mountains, Vols. I, II and III on Kindle.

My 'education' derived from happenstance. While researching her genealogy, Karen Drain, a stranger who'd never heard of me discovered members of her family tree are mentioned in Volume I. She contacted me by email.

Tip: Promote your book also in the genealogy genre.

Subsequently, Karen purchased a DVD of the three books in .pdf format which I sell for $50. I include permission to print the books. They're selling faster than the Kindle editions. My cost is minimal: a DVD, a label, and a simple pasteboard mailer [available at Wal Mart for less than $1.] Postage depends on the postal clerk’s judgement call ~ approximately $.99 to $2.50.
 
Karen wrote,
"I received my DVD today and I cannot wait to begin reading [on her large screen computer]! My hope is to print out a chapter at a time and send it to my Great Uncle Jack. We will print them for personal use for Jack. My thought is that he will have something to look forward to every week as I send him one or two chapters at a time. I believe I mentioned that Jack is 91 and he doesn't even have a working television, let alone a computer. His phone is not a fancy one either so hard copy is the only way for him to read your book. I want to send a few chapters at a time so he has something to look forward to and he will check his mail more often than he does! Thank you so much for sharing all of your research with me!"

Later, she shared this,

"Mona, I have been reading your book and have discovered an interesting coincidence. You have written that in 1909, a smallpox outbreak inundated Heron, Montana. Coincidentally, Flora Emma Honberger Dingley died in January of that
year."
Tip: Maximize exposure through blogs and websites. Make it easier for those using the Internet to find your books, and entice them with a vignette about someone’s ancestor in the books.

I'll include Karen’s tidbit in human interest stories I post about this experience on
North Palouse Washington e-newscast , and on my 21st Century Old Folks Home blogspot.

I'll also maximize publicity by publishing the family information Karen shared on my
Bygone Montanans blogspot in an excerpt about her Honeberger and Dingley family members from Volume I.

I expect another surge in book sales, both Kindle and .pdf copies.

Tip: Consider selling .pdf copies of your books.

Include these strategies in your marketing toolkit and increase your profits, too.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Chronicler Pubishing Accepts Ruth Zavitz' Niagara Odyssey


Ruth Zavitz' pioneer novel, Niagara Odyssey, the sequel to Flight to the Frontier , has been accepted for publication by Chronicler Publishing.


Chronicler Publishing is dedicated to publishing Canadian authors and Canadian historical novels.

Ruth Zavit's also authored
High Grass, published by Chestnut Publishing, and was a 2008, 2009 and 2013 finalist in the John Kenneth Galbraith literary Contest.
 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Launch for "The Miracle of Small Things" in NYC


The Miracle of Small Things, Guilie Castillo’s first solo book, is due to be released this summer from Truth Serum Press (sister press to Pure Slush) will launch launch in NYC.
 
When she announced her success Castillo, who lives and writes in Willemstad, Curaçao, said,


“It's a collection of short fiction set in Curaçao -- a novel in stories, if you prefer. There will be a launch party for it in NYC on September 2nd at La Casa Azul bookstore in
Spanish Harlem (or is East Harlem the right term? New York confuses me). The Dutch consulate has also offered to help, and the Curaçao Tourism Board will hopefully be on "board.



If you're in the neighborhood I'd love the opportunity to say "hi" in person -- and, of course, if you have friends in the city that might like to join in, everyone is welcome.”


Guilie Castillo is a member of Internet Writing Workshop and expressed her thanks to the fiction list for their help with these stories.


“It was 2 years in the making, from first draft of the first story to the final 13-story version approved by the publisher, and it wouldn't have happened without the support and encouragement of the IWW.
You're a fantastic group of humans, and I'm proud to be a part of it.” Guilie
Face Book event

Pure Slush site (details of all Pure Slush events including the launch)

Truth Serum Press / The Miracle of Small Things

 View Guilie Castillo’s blogspot

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Libraries, Publishers and Bookshelf Space


A member of Internet Writers Workshop recently commented, "The tension between libraries and publishers seems odd in a market where  physical space for displaying books is quickly disappearing. How did we get  here? And could libraries actually represent a much better opportunity for publishers than they are given credit for?"

Publisher's Weekly recently published, The Case For Libraries. 

Although I didn't get this posted in time for you to register for the discussion event they hosted, the article at Publisher's Weekly is well worth spending the time to read.

Friday, April 3, 2015

The difference between journalism and content Writing


From Journalism to Content Marketing in 7 Simple Steps," published in The International Freelancer, by , a freelance journalist who divides her time between New Delhi and London, gives a detailed look into this lucrative field of writing.

Before you jump into this field, read the following insights and opinions of respected members of Internet Writing Workshop.


Rebeca Schiller said,
"My husband writes content marketing for Newsday's special sections. It's still journalism in many ways: he researches the subject, conducts interviews and like many freelance journalists works with the editor of that section. The difference is that the advertising team is involved because advertisers are the contacts, and these are highly respected organizations. It does pay more. He's currently earning $1.25 per word, but this didn't come overnight. He's been building this relationship with the publication for eight years. Last year is when he started writing more and more for them. Now they consider him their go-to guy, and assign him last minute pieces." Rebeca Schiller.
Rebeca is the online editor and writer for HAND/EYE Magazine. She's currently working on a novl about the Spanish Civil War and historrical memor. When she's not writing, she is teaching other writers how to use Scrivener.
 
John Palcewski said,
"Journalism is defined as the gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The media that journalism uses vary diversely and include content published via newspapers and print magazines, television and radio, and their digital media versions--news websites and applications.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is ADVERTISING cleverly disguised as journalism.  Meant to attract clicks.  Once you leap into that abyss, you can no longer consider yourself a journalist, because you have transformed yourself into a cynical  marketing shill. In other words, a hack,"  John Palcewski.

Jamie Wilson said,
"Content marketing is all advertising if and only if you consider everything broadcast on network television, including your favorite shows, to be advertising. It is designed to be clickbait, drawing readers - but in order to do that properly, it also has to be engaging content in and of itself, not just content that says "click the ads." Just like any newspaper or magazine content, web content needs to a) provide something of value to the reader and b) make money. The key to not being a hack is understanding the balance between the two - and sites that balance these two things properly are the ones that are most successful at both.
Journalism is indeed about information provided to an audience - but more and more, that audience is unwilling to pay directly for that information as they find more ways to acquire it for free. For that reason, journalism has been borrowing more heavily from content marketing techniques as the years go on, just in order to remain viable. Examples would include USA
Today's very large content program and the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate website, which is primarily what you might term content marketing.
I know that's about clear as mud, but so is the demarcation between content marketing and journalism today," Jamie Wilson
 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Elements of Style For Grammar Pendants


Certainly this point of view is worth reading for any writer who depends on William Strunk and E.B. White's Element of Style, which has had, and still does in many cases, a vice-like grip on educated Americans' views about grammar and usage. Yet, Geoffrey K. Pullum, in his The Land of the Free and The Elements of Style, claims almost everything they say on that topic is wrong.

The Chicago Manual of Style, Webster's, and a good thesaurus should always be on a serious writer's bookshelf, too.