Category: Visitors

 
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Your Need Publicity For Your Book – Where Do You Start And What Do You Look For?

It’s an absolute must. If you want to sell your book to the masses, you have to get out there and publicize it. You need to be on the radio, in magazines and newspapers and on TV. The more the public hears about you and your book, the more likely your book will stand out from the hundreds of thousands published every year.

As many bestselling authors will tell you, talk radio is one of the best and most cost-efficient vehicles to get your message heard by consumers. But, with different publicity firms out there competing for your business, how do you choose the right one? What factors should you look for and which are the most important?

– Experience. How important is experience? Very. You need to employ a company who has had years of experience promoting books on talk radio. A skilled firm knows how to develop an angle from your book that will get you the broadest national exposure. They will know how to write an effective press release that stands out from all the rest. And most importantly, they know how to get a positive reaction from producers that results in a booking. This is the kind of experience that will ensure you get quality media placements.

-”’ Quality Markets. In what markets will you be heard? If you’re paying a firm to obtain media interviews, you don’t want to be booked in markets smaller than top 100. There’s no question that stations in smaller markets have value, but you don’t need to pay top dollar for someone to arrange it for you.”’

– Quality Stations. What caliber of stations will your interviews take place on? The criteria we use for booking interviews is nothing less than 5,000 watts or above on the AM dial. In every market you’ll find high-powered and low-powered stations. Obviously, the more power a station has, the morepeople will be listening in. So, if you’re paying for media interviews, your best return on investment will be appearing as a guest on larger stations. ‘

– Guarantee. What sort of guarantee is in place? In the book promotion business, you’ll find some PR firms whose fees are based on performance and others who charge a monthly retainer with no guarantee. Given a choice, your best bet is to work with a performance-based firm as your media placements will be guaranteed.

Hopefully these four factors will help in your search for the right publicity firm.

Having been in the book publicity business for almost two decades, we know a thing or two about generating media attention for books. If you want to hear more about EMSI’s affordable talk radio campaigns, call me or my husband Steve at 727-443-7115, ext. 208. Nothing beats a real-life conversation!

Call today we’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Warmest Regards,

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Writing The Knockout Query Letter: How To Catch A Book Editor’s Attention

You’ve done it. You’ve achieved a lifelong dream and penned a book certain to be lauded through the ages as a literary masterpiece. Yet one last obstacle stands between you and publishing success ñ attracting the attention of someone who can get your book into print.

In reality, catching an editor’s attention is not difficult. All you have to do is follow the rules by sending what industry insiders refer to as a “query letter”. A query letter is one or two pages written in the format of a formal business letter. It should be brief, and it should pique the interest of any publishing executive who reads it. After all, if you can’t sell a single individual on the merits of your book, why should a publishing house believe you can sell to an audience of thousands or millions? If you want some inside secrets to crafting a perfect, attention-grabbing query letter, then you’ve come to the right place. Cover each of the following points, and I guarantee you’ll have an editor calling within one week of sending your query letter.

Point #1: Approach The Right Publisher: This seems obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the number of writers who make this mistake. Be certain that the publisher you choose to contact is in the business of publishing your genre. If you write fantasy novels, then don’t send a query letter to the editor of a computer manual publisher. It will be thrown in the trash without a second look. The best way to find the right publisher is to find books similar to your own and open them. Who is the publisher of each book? Does one particular publisher’s name keep turning up? If so, that’s the one you want to contact.

Point #2: Selling To The Right Person: Never mail a query letter addressed to “Editor” or “To Whom It May Concern”. Such a letter is destined for the “slush pile,” and eventually, the trashcan. Once you’ve identified your ideal publisher, consult a book such as the latest edition of Jeff Herman’s Writer’s Guide to Book Editors, Publishers, and Literary Agents (most libraries or large bookstores will have it). The book will provide a page or two of information on the publisher in question, including the name and contact information of the person to whom all queries should be directed. Usually, this is an executive or managing editor. Address the query letter to that specific person and make sure to use the correct gender and spelling when using their name.

Point #3: Your Opening (Especially the First Sentence): The first paragraph of your query letter should get right to the point. Tell the editor why you are contacting him/her. Did someone they know refer you? Has someone famous praised your work? Either one will capture instant attention. But the most important thing you can do in your opening is to define the audience and market for your book and state why your book is unique or has sales potential in the marketplace. Be specific. Don’t say “all women will want to read my book”. Say “five million women between the ages of 40 and 55 who watch The Oprah Winfrey Show will want to read my book”. The editor will determine within the first sentence or two whether or not to continue reading the rest of your query, so it’s extremely important to spend time crafting the best opening possible. If you have any media contacts or a way to position your book so that it will be irresistible for the media to cover, then say so in the first sentence. Media attention sells books, and that’s what publishers are in business to do.

Point #4: Describe Your Product: In the second paragraph, provide a brief overview of your book. Give the editor a brief summary just as it might appear on the book’s jacket. If possible, reference bestselling books within the same genre and point out why your book is different. Present facts about your work, not opinions. “The potential market is 5.8 million single women” is a fact. “This is the greatest book ever written” is an opinion. Tell the editor why your book will fill an unmet need in the marketplace. Keep it brief, and don’t ramble. This is a case where less is more.

Point #5: About The Author: In the third paragraph, talk about yourself. Why are you writing this book? What are your credentials? Are you an expert in the field? Have you ever been published before? Do you have media experience or media contacts? If so, then let the editor know. If you have limited experience, say so. Be honest and straightforward. Experience helps, but lack of experience will not immediately disqualify you. Adding “fluff” to your resume will. Under no circumstances should you include information about your personal life unless such information is pertinent to selling the book.

Point #6: Leave Them Wanting More: Conclude your query letter by thanking the editor for his/her time and by offering to send your full book proposal (for non-fiction) or the first few chapters of your book (for fiction), and donít forget to provide your contact information. If your query letter sparks the interest of the editor, he/she will contact you and ask for more information. So don’t send a book proposal or sample chapters without being asked. Also, if you’re sending a query to more than one editor, let them know that you have sent simultaneous queries. Likewise, if you’re offering the editor a two week period of exclusivity (the method I recommend), then say so. Finally, don’t include a SASE with your query. A SASE is most often used to send a form rejection letter back to the author. Don’t leave the impression that you expect rejection. If interested, an editor will contact you immediately by phone or email. They wonít use snail mail.

Point #7: Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: A query letter is the first sample of a prospective author’s writing that an editor will see. It should be perfect. If you can’t produce a one-page letter professionally and free of error, why should anyone believe you can produce an entire book? Don’t rely on spell check programs to find your mistakes, and remember that solid writing is produced by rewriting, rewriting, and rewriting. Rework each individual sentence until it’s the best it can be. You’ve spent countless hours perfecting your manuscript. You can certainly spend a few hours perfecting your query letter.

Point #8: Presentation: You’ve spent the necessary time to create a knockout query letter. Now you have to present it to the editor in the correct fashion or else risk being dismissed as an amateur. It’s important to print your query letter in black ink on 8 1/2 x 11, high quality, plain white paper using a LaserJet printer (no dot-matrix). If you have a letterhead, use it. But don’t get too fancy. Don’t use border patterns. Anything that detracts from the substance of your letter could trigger a rejection. When it comes time to mail your letter, use FedEx. This serves two purposes. First, because of the expense involved, it signals that you are a professional who obviously isn’t sending mass queries to publishers all over the globe. Second, and most importantly, it gets opened. A FedEx envelope simply doesn’t get thrown into the “slush pile”. Other than concise, professional writing, using FedEx is the #1 way to differentiate yourself from the thousands of authors who query a publisher in any given year. Finally, don’t use “gimmicks” or send gifts along with your query letter. Bribery and clever stunts can not replace great writing or a unique product idea. If you compose your letter correctly, you should be confident it will merit the response it deserves.

Utilize each of the 8 points above while drafting your query letter, and I guarantee it will be better than 99.5% of the queries a publisher receives in any given year. In addition, if a market exists for your book, a query letter crafted to the specifications of this outline will almost always generate a request for a book proposal or sample chapters within one week. At that point, you’ve got an editor interested in your book, and you’re already halfway toward seeing it in print. So start working on your knockout query letter today!

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Writing The Blockbuster Book Proposal: How To Sell Your Non-Fiction Book

You did it. You crafted the perfect query letter for your non-fiction book, and as a result, an editor at a large publishing house has requested a full book proposal. At this point, you have a 50/50 chance of seeing your work on a bookstore shelf. The difference maker will be a strong book proposal that exhibits knowledge of your audience, what that audience needs and wants, and how that audience can be reached on a cost-effective basis.

When an editor makes a request to see your book proposal, he/she will most likely send along a brief overview of the publisher’s book proposal guidelines. You might want to make some subtle adjustments to your proposal in order to meet those guidelines. But under no circumstances should you wait for a book proposal to be requested before actually writing one. A well-written, professional book proposal takes several days, oftentimes several weeks, to compose. It should be the first thing you write ñ before both the query letter and the manuscript itself. Despite the guidelines, each proposal is unique, and the quality of yours will be THE difference maker in determining whether or not the publisher takes a financial risk with your book. So put your best effort into crafting a blockbuster book proposal. Below, you’ll find a list of the basic elements of a book proposal that, if mastered, will all but guarantee the offer of a book contract.

Element #1: The Title Page/Table of Contents: The first page of a book proposal is the title page. The title page states the working title for the book you are proposing along with your contact information (and that of your agent if you have one). Make sure to center the text. Generally, it isn’t wise to use fancy borders or cutesy graphics. You’re writing a business proposal. Make sure it looks like one. On the second page of your proposal, provide a short table of contents for the book proposal itself. List each of the following sections along with their corresponding page numbers: Summary, About The Author, Audience, Competition, Publicity & Promotional Opportunities, Outline, and Sample Chapters. Some will say the Outline and Sample Chapter sections are optional, but remember, youíre trying to sell a book. Providing the publisher with a sample of your writing, especially if you’re a first-time author, might well mean the difference between acceptance and rejection.

Element #2: Summary: In the Summary section of your proposal, provide a brief overview of the proposed book. Try to envision the blurb that will appear on the back cover of your final product. Make that blurb the opening paragraph. Show the editor you can hook him/her on your proposal from the very first sentence, and you’ll convince them of your ability to hook a potential reader as well. Elaborate on the contents of your query letter by addressing the following subjects: the content, the audience, and the author. What is the premise of your book? What does it promise its reader? Who is the market for the book? How large is that market? And, finally, why are you the best person to write this book at this time?

Element #3: About The Author: In the About The Author section of your proposal, go into greater detail about yourself. In general, it’s best to use third person. But it’s okay to use first person if you feel more comfortable doing so. Why are you the best qualified person to write this book? What are your credentials? Are you an expert in the field? Has your previous work been published (not just in books, but newspapers, magazines, ezines, etc.)? Are you a prolific public speaker? If so, how many speeches do you give each year? To what types of audiences do you speak? Do you have media experience or media contacts? If so, let the editor know. If you have limited experience in any or all of these fields, say so. Be honest and direct. Experience helps, but lack of experience itself will not lead to rejection. Misrepresenting yourself will. Never include information about your personal life unless it is essential to your ability to sell the book.

Element #4: Audience: In the Audience section of your proposal, clearly define the market for your book. First, identify the demographic segment you hope to target. Examples of demographic characteristics are gender, age, political ideology, religion, nationality, education level, economic status, etc. Be specific. Research the size of the audience and back up your claims with real numbers. Avoid broad claims such as “everyone will love this book,” and instead use such statements as “4.5 million college-educated Christian men between the ages of 21 and 29 will be drawn to this book because of its unique…” At this point, define the psychographics of your audience. What is the motivation of this demographic to buy your book? What unmet needs and wants do they harbor that your book is sure to satisfy? In short, make certain your Audience section clearly indicates 1) who will buy your book, and 2) why they will buy it.

Element #5: Competition: In the Competition section of your proposal, provide examples of well-known published books similar to yours (or, if your book covers a new niche in a popular subject, list those books that target a similar audience). Itís always best to cite bestsellers. If you can track down the sales figures for these books, provide the number of copies each title sold. The larger the sales figures, the more you strengthen your case that a large market exists for your subject matter. Once you’ve established that a large market exists, explain why your book will be different. In what way will you position your book in order to differentiate it from its peers? Do any demographic trends aid your case for continued demand in this market? State explicitly why your book is unique and why the market is ripe for its release. However, be wary of a bold statement such as “nothing like my book has ever been written before”. You may have uncovered a unique angle for your subject, but in all likelihood, you havenít invented a new genre or field of study.

Element #6: Publicity and Promotional Opportunities: In this section of your proposal, outline the promotional avenues open to your book. If you’ve already established that a market exists, this section will be the make it or break it section of your proposal. The publisher must know how you intend to reach the audience you’ve identified. Do specific groups exist with a high likelihood of being receptive to your book? Good examples are the audience members of a specific radio or television show, readers of specific magazines or newsletters, book clubs, non-profit organizations, or trade groups. Identify the groups relevant to your book and point out the vehicles a publisher can use to reach those groups in a cost-effective manner. Do you have media connections or experience? Potential exposure on nationally syndicated radio and television shows is the best way to capture a publisherís attention. Booking the author on such shows is free, and the resulting sales can be astronomical. So publishers are always looking for authors with a media platform. Do you have one? What angle or hook can you provide a producer or editor that will land you a coveted interview or feature story? If you develop a strong enough hook, you might land a book contract based on this aspect of your proposal alone.

Element #7: Outline: For this section of your proposal, provide a list of the proposed chapter titles, along with a brief overview of the contents therein.

Element #8: Sample Chapters: In this section of your proposal, simply attach the first two or three chapters of your proposed manuscript. Providing sample chapters is essential for a first-time author. If your chapters are of high quality, they give the publisher confidence you can produce a publishable manuscript in a timely manner.

Element #9: Presentation: The presentation of your book proposal is as instrumental to its success as the content. Make sure to proofread zealously. If you think you’ve finished, proofread it again. Read, correct, and rewrite your proposal at least twenty times so as to be confident that it’s the best it can possibly be. When it comes time to print the final draft, the body of the proposal should be double-spaced and printed in black ink on clean white paper using a LaserJet printer. Finally, just as with any business document, send your book proposal via FedEx. This will create the immediate impression you are a professional who will be businesslike in his day-to-day dealings with the publisher.

Once you’ve incorporated these nine elements into your book proposal, you will be left with a finished product worthy of commanding the respect of any editor. But in order to create a true blockbuster book proposal, make sure toÖ Define the bookís concept. Identify the bookís audience. And outline exactly how to reach that audience. Do these three things well, and youíre certain to obtain a book contract. So don’t waste any time. Get to work on your blockbuster book proposal today!

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What If ?

What if, What if, What if. This question comes at us every day. What if I said this, What if I did that or what if I didnít. It comes down to decisions. We all have decisions to make every day of our lives. We all make good and bad decisions. Thatís life. When you look back on your life you can think of some really great decisions that you made, decisions that have altered the course of your life. You can also remember some really bad ones that have affected you in a negative way.

Life is never static, itís always changing and opportunities come and go. Doors open and we have to decide whether to step through and seize the opportunity or not. When you are standing in front of that open door of opportunity the question arises What if? do I or don’t I. We need to make a decision. How do we make decisions? This depends on our background, education, life experiences and sometimes advice from others.

We donít know each other, but I would like to give you some advice. Suppose I said that I knew something that could change your life forever for the better. Would you be interested? Suppose I said I knew someone that was showing other people how to acquire something like real estate for free. Suppose you could also learn how to build on your land something like a five star hotel. You would also learn how to market your hotel and collect rent from guests that pay to stay. Would you be interested?

What am I talking about? Itís called virtual real estate. Your own space on the World Wide Web or Internet if you prefer. If you own a space there it can turn out to be very valuable property.

The most expensive house in the world is a 12 bedroom mansion in London England for which an Indian steel tycoon paid $128 million.

The most valuable web page in history, to date, will probably be the six million dollar page by Alejandro Saavedra and Robert Kanaat. Now hereís the difference. The tycoon paid $128 million for the house. How much did these two guys pay for the page. Next to nothing. Maybe a couple hundred bucks at the most depending on how they went about it.

I am going to open a door for you that could literally change your life. The only cost is your time and effort. Now you must decide! Ask yourself the following question:-

What if I click on this link: The Complete Speaking Business Assessment

It could make all the difference.

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Why Publish an EZine and Churning out Ezine Content

On the Internet, it is very possible to make money without selling any product. One way of doing so is through starting your own eZine, also known as an electronic newsletter.

In a nutshell, you send out your eZine issues on a periodical basis to your subscribers. The good part is that you have a flexible choice in automating the process of sending out your eZine issues for you or manually sending them on a periodical basis.

As an eZine publisher, not only can you easily achieve the benefits a conventional newsletter publisher enjoys without having to chop down several trees in the process, you can easily and conveniently spread your marketing influence and expertise to your base of subscribers from the shoes of an ordinary individual.

In other words, you do not have to invest in expensive printing equipment, brick and mortar business, and hiring staff just to run your own newsletter publication, resulting in a lot of time, money and effort saved.

Basically, all you need to start your own eZine are an auto responder and broadcast feature to go with, enabling you to reach out to your massive subscribers whom you can regard as your prospects, too.

All in all, if you do not have the commitments of creating your own product for sale, then publishing your own online newsletter can be one of the wisest decisions you will ever make, given the benefits of impressive marketing power and influence it can offer to you.

Churning out eZine Content.Creating your own content can be a challenge if you publish your own online newsletter or eZine.

However, regardless of any topic you are publishing on, types of contents can be generally divided into four categories, namely factual content, short tips, mini stories and case studies.

Other than writing your own content, you can get your own unique content the quick and easy way by organizing an interview with an expert or leader in the topic.

Very often, this can be done for free and since the interviewee is writing out most of the content, there is nothing else for you to do other than giving the interviewee something valuable in exchange (maybe a meal!).

Another little known and underused method in getting your own content is via public domains. If you are not familiar with the term “public domain”, “public domain” simply means anything that is NOT protected under US copyright law.

This includes ALL works published before 1923 and, under certain conditions, works published up to 1978. And in this case, we are referring ìworksî to written materials such as reports, articles and books.

Republishing and repackaging public domain information can help you save time and effort from creating new ideas and content as they are readily available. On top of that, you do not have to pay royalties or copyright fees on that work.

If you fancy the idea of publishing content without any writing on your part, this method is for you.

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Submitting Your Manuscript: Getting Started

I am often asked “Do you know of a publisher who would be interested in my book?” There’s no easy way to answer this question. You see, according to the PMA Newsletter, there are over 86,000 publishers in existence (http://parapub.com/statistics). It would be impossible to know what each one is looking for at any given time. However you do know that you’re not going to submit your manuscript or book proposal to 86,000 publishers. It would be a waste of your time and money. To improve your chances in the submission process, you have to do your homework. Here are a few tips so your research will be most effective:

Publishing Houses: Get the Facts

Can you submit your manuscript to more than one place at a time? Depends on where you’re sending it. Unfortunately, each publishing house has its own set of rules for reviewing a manuscript that will have multiple submissions. You have to find out what those rules are. You can check out the 2006 Writer’s Market, published by Writer’s Digest. It’s an excellent source for publisher’s guidelines. So is the website, Literary Marketplace.

While reviewing these resources you should also note what kind of material the company publishes and what kinds of manuscripts and proposals they would like to see. Another way to get more specific information on this topic is to go to your local bookstore and look at books similar to yours. Note the publisher as well as the agent and editor who handled the book (they’re usually mentioned in the acknowledgments). Granted, a publisher might turn your manuscript down if they feel they’ve “been there, done that”, but on the other hand if the company has had success with the subject matter they may be scouring the landscape to find more of the same!

Looking for an Agent

Your research may tell you that the publishers who seem right for you don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. That means you’ll need an agent so you’ll have to start your submission process with literary agencies. If that’s the case, the 2006 Guide to Literary Agents is a great place to begin your search. Writer’s Digest publishes this hefty tome listing more than 600 non-fee charging agents.

All of the agents listed in the guide adhere to the ethical guides established by the Association of Author’s Representatives (AAR). Members of AAR are forbidden from charging fees. So in one book you get the security of knowing the agent you’re dealing with is on the level, plus you get a full understanding of what material the agent represents. That means you won’t be sending your manuscript out on a fruitless–and costly mission.

Manuscript Mechanics

Don’t get too caught up in the specifics of what your manuscript should look like. Your research will tell you if the agent or publisher wants your manuscript a certain way, but for the most part as long as it’s double-spaced and printed with a clear, easy-to-read 12-point font such as Courier or Arial you should be fine. Put your name, book title and page numbers on each page and–this is key–don’t staple anything. Leaving the pages loose make it easy for the recipient to make copies. This is necessary because usually more than one person will be reading your work.

One note: These days more and more agencies and publishing houses are accepting electronic submissions. Find out if this is the case for your targets. You can save yourself some money and a trip to the post office!

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Banish all fear. I know that’s easier said than done, but look at it this way. If writing is something you really want to do, then manuscript submissions will become a regular part of your life. You don’t want to go through your days and nights in a constant state of submission angst! It makes me feel tired just to think of what that would be like!

Instead put yourself in the mindset of being a writer and a businessperson. Your writing is your product. You will put out the best product possible. Know that the bulk of your rejections will have nothing to do with the quality of your product so don’t take it personally. You move on to the next prospect with the same positive attitude that the next one may be the right one. Know that writing is part of your work. Being afraid isn’t.

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