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Right Writing News, January 28, 2009, Issue #38
January 28, 2009
Welcome to the 38th issue to subscribers of Right Writing News. If you are reading this issue forwarded from someone, be sure and use the link below to get your own free subscription.
If you like what you see here, please forward this copy and use this link to subscribe.
Table of Contents1)Ask Sally Stuart Your Questions
By W. Terry Whalin
2)Presidential Marketing Initiatives
We Can Apply to Our Own Business
By Nancy Michaels
3)How To Write Your Book & Get It Published
4)Marketing Strategies for Business Books
By Rick Frishman
5) Lighten Up Your Content with Cartoons
By W. Terry Whalin
6) Secrets of Thinking Like a Kid
By Laura Backes
Ask Sally Stuart Your Questions
By W. Terry WhalinYou've heard of Sally E. Stuart, haven't you?
To refresh your memory, Stuart has been writing for the last 40+ years, and has been putting out the annual "Christian Writers' Market Guide" for the last 24 years. As marketing columnist for the Christian Communicator, the Advanced Christian Writer and the Oregon Christian Writers, she is considered the leading authority on the Christian market. Stuart is much in demand as a conference speaker nationwide. In the last few weeks, the latest edition of the 2009 Christian Writer's Market Guide by Sally E. Stuart is available.
Why am I telling you this,?
I'm telling you this because I've convinced Sally Stuart to allow me to grill her during a LIVE 70-minute telewebcast on Wednesday, January 28th!
* * * Here's My Small Request * * *
Rather than have the "content" come out of my head (or Sally's head) for the January 28, 2009 telewebcast at 4 p.m. PDT / 7:00 p.m. EDT, I decided to let you ask her a question.
So, if you could ask Sally Stuart ANY question you wanted about marketing for the Christian writer, what would your question be?
Here's your chance to ask Sally Stuart directly and get registered for our call on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 (starts promptly according to www.Time.gov).
Click the link below:
* * * Get FREE On Writing for Periodicals chapter from Stuart's book "Getting Published" * * *
You will receive a full chapter from "Getting Published." It's FREE if you ask a question and register for this telewebcast.
Click the link below:
After your question gets submitted, you'll find out how to get phone access and webcast access to Sally Stuart and me for our LIVE telewebcast, January 28, 2009.
If you can't make the time of the call, please go ahead and sign up anyway. The entire teleseminar will be recorded and EVERYONE who signs up will receive an email with the replay link. Also if you sign up, you will be able to download the FREE writing for periodicals chapter right away.
Misty Taggart at Trailer to the Stars! Productions. She did a fantastic job of listening to my needs then creating this less than two-minute book trailer:
Presidential Marketing Initiatives
We Can Apply to Our Own Business
By Nancy MichaelsThink back to 2003. Who would have thought back then that today the newly elected President of the United States of America would be someone who has yet to even serve a full term in the Senate?
He has never been a mayor, governor or corporate executive. He's never served in the military. He's never led a large organization. Prior to now, he'd never run a national campaign. We can look at our new President and learn a few new tricks in marketing ourselves.
He quite literally went from a no name outside of Illinois to the most recognized man in the world by flawless execution of his marketing and speaking skills. Below are few ideas out of the pages of Barack Obama along with some things you may not have known about him.
#1: Just because you may lack some qualifications, don’t let it stop you. Some people think that it is all about the job qualifications. Don’t hold yourself back just because you’re not the world’s leading authority. You need to be competent in what you are aiming to do, but life experience it just as useful in today’s market. It is all about how you market yourself. Confidence in your abilities to perform, to learn quickly and do the job right can go a long way.
#2: Do your homework and become a master storyteller at telling your life story. People want to hear about how you got where you are, the pain and the triumph. Make the most of your personal before and after story. Connect with your key audience, reach out to them and help them identify with their pain and incite them to need your solution. Try to tell your story in a memorable and compelling way so that they remember you.
#3: Build up your contact list. It is always important to build your list whenever possible. Get out there and collect business cards and keep in touch with those contacts. Like every marketing person will tell you the more people you send your information to, the more chances you are going to have to build clientele and make money. Go to special events in your area that are sponsored by the clientele that you wish to cultivate.
Our newest elected official President Obama built up his list in a very brilliant but simple way. When he was to announce his running mate Joe Biden he didn’t do a big press release, instead he sent it via text to his contact list.Talk about incentive not only to be on his list but also to create one of the most awaited texts in the USA that day. People went from just interested to fully fledged supporters, and surged his popularity to the top. How large do you think his list is now?
#4: Get out there and meet the media face- to-face. I have written to you several times and often outline these principals in my marketing material. In 1995 Barack Obama was an unknown author. He tried to get an appointment with a publisher to review his book. He failed to get a particular publisher to review his book but never stopped trying. He never made a pest of himself, but instead was friendly and kept trying to pitch his book from different angles according to what was pertinent in the news.
I have always given the advice that you need to establish a media contact and to not be afraid to send them a copy of an article you’ve written for their convenience in case they need a reliable source of reference sometime in the future. Offer to meet them for lunch, and get them to talk about what is of interest in today's market and what they are writing about.
Get their email address and send your article to them. Then ADD them to your list and let them know you are open to helping them anytime they are in need, and give them free access to your website and the information they can find there. The point is to grow your list.
#5 Be determined and pleasantly persistent. Failure only happens when you give up. You can find interesting and useful ways to stay in touch with your media contacts. Be friendly and above all try to show the benefits to your knowledge. Is there an angle you could think of right now that would allow you to reach out once? By the way that editor, who turned him down, was the first to run President Obama on her magazines front cover.
#6: Got feedback? Listen to your clients and to what you hear them saying about the services you offer. Listen closely to the feedback they offer and ask what their needs are and then rise to meet them.
#7: Don’t be afraid to identify a marketing ‘role model’ someone who is really out there, instead locate one, then watch and learn! Whether you are trying to publish a book or gain new media contact or increase your clientele, the name of the game is marketing! Whatever the next four years brings this country you can be sure change will be a prevalent theme.
© 2009 GrowYourBusinessNetwork.com
Business Development entrepreneur Nancy Michaels publishes the ‘GrowYourBusiness’ weekly e-zine with 33,000+ subscribers. If you're ready to start working with Fortune 500 companies, beef up your marketing, make more money, and have more fun and free time in your small business, go to www.growyourbusinessnetwork.com
How To Write Your Book & Get It Published
Are you one of the 86% of Americans who dream of writing their own book? I have great news for you, even if you’ve never written anything close to the size of a book, regardless of your writing ability. If you have only a few minutes a day to make it happen, if you know the right steps to take, you can write a book…in no time!
Marketing Strategies for Business Books
By Rick FrishmanWhile you don't need to have every detail of your marketing strategies mapped out when you begin writing your book, the earlier you get started on crafting this part of your platform, the better.
When you appear at events, you can spread the gospel about your book. If you're physically in contact with audiences, you can sell copies of your book. When people see and meet you, they frequently buy your book. If you give speeches, you're almost guaranteed to sell your books because at most events, your books will be available for sale. However, when you try to publicize your book through the media, selling books is iffier.
Learn to become an accomplished speaker because speaking is a major platform for selling books. Plan ahead, early in the book-writing process. Begin speaking at least six months to a year before your book is published, to drum up interest in it and to build your speaking ability and reputation.
If you're not an established speaker, take public-speaking classes or media training. Join speakers' organizations. Then speak for free for local organizations where you can polish your craft. Start small and work your way up; build a following and a reputation for being a dynamic, entertaining, and enlightening speaker. Chamber of commerce events routinely feature business authors. Arrange with bookstore owners who are chamber members to sell your books at the events.
Also speak to local branches of industry or professional groups. If you've written a sales or networking book, you could speak at meetings of Sales and Marketing Executives International or the American Marketing Association. Try to build your base where you live and work because members of the community where you started will become your staunchest supporters.
When you become an accomplished speaker, assemble videotapes of your presentations, testimonials, a speech description, and your biography in a professional manner. Then, sign up with as many speaker bureaus as possible to get bookings. The top bureaus include the International Speakers Bureau, Leading Authorities, Inc., the Leigh Bureau, and Washington Speaker Bureau.
Author 101 Advice
A powerful strategy for launching your book is to reduce your fee on the condition that the host organization make up the difference by purchasing copies of your book. For example, if you normally command $5,000 for a keynote speech, cut your fee in half and take $2,500 if the host organization agrees to spend the other half buying $2,500 worth of your book.
The benefits you receive are that you're guaranteed $2,500 worth of book sales that won't be returned and more of your books get into circulation. Having books circulate builds word-of-mouth publicity, which should be your main objective because every book in a reader's hands is an ambassador and a publicist for you and your book. If you are an established speaker, you can afford to take less cash in order to move more copies of your book. When you employ this strategy over a number of personal appearances, it can provide substantial book sales and excellent publicity.
Hook up with 800-CEO-READ, an online business-book retailer that sells books to the corporate market. It will feature your book in its newsletter and on its website and will solicit bulk orders for your book from corporations. 800-CEO-READ will arrange for copies of your books to be available at your public appearances, events, and speaking engagements. All sales made by 800-CEO-READ are reported to many of the leading bestseller lists. Either go through or clear it with your publisher.
E-mail blasts are campaigns intended to make books bestsellers with online booksellers. E-mail blasts work well with certain business books, especially motivational books. Incentives that can be a part of the package include free or discounted audiotapes, videos, books or chapters of books, resource lists, courses, newsletter subscriptions, or seminars.
A variation of the e-mail blast that works well for business books is what we call an awareness blast. This blast is intended to provide information and awareness, not free gifts. For example, if your marketing book is targeted to C-level executives (chief executive officers, chief information officers, and chief financial officers), you probably don't want to conduct giveaways, because they're too gimmicky for your audience. So, instead, you buy a list of C-level executives from Business Week and then send a general sales e-mail or letter to inform them about your new book. You can include high-level endorsements, favorable reviews, and even excerpts. The cost of buying sharply targeted lists can be expensive, but it can enable you to reach a precise audience.
As we mentioned in our discussion of authors' Web sites, capturing names and e-mail addresses is a major objective of such sites. If you acquire enough names and addresses, you can hold your own e-mail blast and send other promotions to people who you know have some interest in you and your book.
Some business books lend themselves to creative campaigns. One that was highly successful was the Best Boss/Worst Boss contest that Planned Television Arts developed to promote The Corporate Coach: How to Build a Team of Loyal Customers and Happy Employees by James B. Miller, the CEO of Miller Business Systems (HarperBusiness, 1994).
The contest, which was promoted during Miller's twenty-city tour, invited employees to submit essays describing their best and worst bosses. The grand-prize winner in each category received a trip to Hawaii. The contest generated many additional interviews for Miller during his tour as well as national placements, including three with the Associated Press. Both the Today Show and The Osgood File featured the contest winners and Miller's book. Interestingly, the worst boss winner appeared in disguise.
Miller's contest was so popular that he ran similar contests for another two years. He also used material obtained from the contests to write another book, Best Boss, Worst Boss: Lessons and Laughs from the International "Best Boss/Worst Boss" Contests (Summit Publishing Group, 1997).
Any entrepreneurial author should strongly consider running a contest. With the Internet, it's not difficult.
Top BestSeller Lists
New York Times (monthly)
Business Week (monthly)
Wall Street Journal Business
To make weekly bestseller lists, you usually need to sell at least 3,000 copies a week, and for monthly lists, 10,000 copies a month.
Making the business bestseller list is a matter of velocity; it's a matter of how many books you sell in a particular week or month, not your cumulative sales. It's a sprint, not a marathon. So, create your book campaign strategy to sell as many books in the smallest period of time possible in order to generate the maximum number of reported sales during that time. To create the most impact, orchestrate all your publicity efforts to come together during that window of time: your speaking engagements, op-ed piece, your e-mail blast, and your corporate orders. If your promotional efforts and your book sales are spread over a period of months, you will be less likely to make the bestseller lists.
The only sales figures used for bestseller lists are those that come from retail chains, online booksellers, and independent bookstores. So, if you make a bulk sale to a corporation or sell tons of books from the back of the room when you speak, those won't be counted unless they're made by one of the groups mentioned above.
Business news is always breaking. In areas such as parenting, lifestyles, entertainment, food, and even sports, the news can be slow. However, the business news never stops; it rarely slows down. So, business authors must position themselves to seize upon developments as soon as they occur in their areas of expertise.
Bill George's book, Authentic Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2004), featured his expertise on good corporate governance and CEO pay. His publicity campaign focused on his high ethical standards and visionary ideas. When former New York Stock Exchange chief Richard Grasso came under fire, the media turned to George as an expert on ethical CEO behavior. George gave interviews that spawned more interviews, and he received great publicity, which boosted the sales of his book.
Business authors must also anticipate future news in order to time their books and publicity efforts around upcoming cycles that the media will cover. If you have a book on job searching or career advice, make sure that your book is released during April or May to tie it into the annual graduation cycle that follows. Every year, prior to graduation, the media churns out stories on finding jobs and establishing careers. By anticipating the media's patterns, authors of books on these subjects can make themselves available to the media as experts. They can get great publicity for themselves and their books by giving the media explanations, insights, and quotations on careers. The assistance they provide to the media can pay off at other times of the year when the media needs experts to help it with news items on jobs and careers.
All authors should capitalize on the special attention that they can get from the media in their hometowns. For business authors, that means developing strong ties to the business editors and reporters for their local newspapers and business journals. It pays for authors to build strong hometown bases because locals take pride in the success of other locals and help promote them.
When it comes to hometown coverage, business authors have the advantage of having more outlets where they can speak than other authors. They can speak at chambers of Commerce; at service clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, and Elks Clubs; and to local business groups. Business authors should take advantage of these opportunities to build a strong local speaking base and solid grassroots support.
Write biographies and promotional materials that build your credibility. In bios, stress the accomplishments that relate most to your book. Readers and the media want to know that you have outstanding credentials. It will make the information and advice in your book more authoritative.
The press materials for Bill George's Authentic Leadership noted that George was a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). However, it stressed that he had been named the Corporate Director of the Year by NACD. The media picked up on this point and frequently referred to George as the former NACD Corporate Director of the year.
Tweak bios to emphasize the author's expertise in areas in which individual media contacts are most interested. Conform news releases and other promotional materials so they also highlight authors' expertise in the same areas.
Business authors should also utilize their media contacts. Over the years, most business authors, especially those who are business leaders, make extensive media contacts. To promote their books, they should contact their media contacts. When members of the media cover stories, they have the power to determine the direction and tenor of the piece. So using your personal connections can get you favorable coverage.
It's a good idea to cultivate media contacts well before your book comes out. As we've suggested, become a media resource: feed the media stories, information, and sources; write byline articles; and volunteer your expertise. Then, when you need the help of those contacts, your relationship will have been established and you won't have to start from scratch.
Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Author 101 Newsletter" Subscribe at http://www.author101.com and receive Rick's "Million Dollar Rolodex"
Lighten Up Your Content with Cartoons
By W. Terry WhalinWhen I have been writing a book, the information becomes dense and the storytelling could become a little thin. How do you lighten up the content for your reader? While you will have to make sure it is the right situation, in many cases you can use cartoons inside the book to meet this need.
Where do you find cartoons? When I attended Mega Book Marketing University several years ago, Mark Victor Hansen used a number of cartoons in his presentation and recommended that writers use the New Yorker Cartoon Bank. This resource has remarkable cartoons but I would encourage you to look into the cost of these cartoons in a book. The last time I checked it was around $300 each--which was beyond my budget for Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams.
If you are in this situation, where do you turn? I used a well-worn resource: Google and a bit of patience and persistence. I discovered this May 1, 2002 newsletter from Dan Poynter. It listed four additional sources:
"C. CARTOON SOURCES. Freelance bureaus such as APCA (http://www.apcatoon.com) Cartoon Resource (http://www.cartoonresource.com) Creative Moonlighter (http://www.creativemoonlighter.com) Elance (http://www.elance.com)."
As I evaluated these various resources, one of them stood out for my situation and budget: Cartoon Resource. This place has thousands of cartoons from different artists and the cost was $10 each cartoon or affordable. My Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams book has 20 chapters so I used a cartoon related to the contents in every other chapter or 10 different cartoons. If you would like to see one of my cartoons, then follow this link to the book page number 22 (page 20 in the PDF) or click the book image below:
As you check this sample, make sure you notice two new additions to page 5 and page 22. I've added clickable buttons to take you right to the page to get your own copy of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. This book will give your own writing life the boost it needs for this coming year.
Does Your Published Book Need
More Exposure?Do you have a published book that needs more marketing force behind the book and greater distribution? You can reach over 30 million emails with a one-time fee. Just check out: www.terrylinks.com/BB for more information.
Secrets of Thinking Like a Kid
By Laura BackesOne of the toughest tasks for writers is to get inside the brain of a child. Sure, we all have our own childhood memories, but those can be spotty at best. And even accurate recollections reflect a different time and a different mindset.
The standard advice is to observe and interact with children. Being around kids can give a window into the language and interpersonal dynamics of today's kids. But even this is far from foolproof. Youngsters are thoroughly aware of an adult's presence and may simply be trying hard to be on their best behavior. There is another way, however, that is remarkably efficient and is a surefire way to get an accurate picture of the likes, dislikes and passions of kids: read some magazines.
As the periodical market has become more niche-oriented, editors and publishers have become--by necessity--geniuses in understanding their slice of the audience. The people who put out Boys' Life, for example, spend a great deal of time and money working to master the mindset of the grade school boys in whose life Scouting and outdoor adventure play a vital part. Page after page of the magazine reflects this understanding. The vocabulary, pacing, subject matter, article length and design are all tailored specifically to suit this audience. If you hope to write for this niche, becoming familiar with Boy's Life is as valuable as attending a dozen Scout Pack meetings--and probably a lot more peaceful.
So here's the plan--for whatever age, gender or special interest group you hope to write for, find their magazines and read them, cover to cover. When you do, consider these points:
* Note how the magazines target a narrow age group and sometimes just one gender. Compare a magazine for early elementary readers to one for ages 9-12, and see how the tone, humor and attitude of the writing changes.
* Some magazines have an educational focus, and others are for entertainment. Notice how the educational publications still capture readers' interest by using jokes or making the topics relevant to kids' lives. On the other hand, the entertainment magazines also strive to profile people who are good role models, to showcase activities that are worthwhile, and to work within age-appropriate boundaries of good taste.
* Notice how the slant of magazines for girls is different from that for boys. Girls' publications often feature more fiction and poetry; boy's magazines might contain jokes or comic strips. As an exercise, read some "boy" magazines and "girl" magazines for the same age group, and pinpoint their differences. This will help you in creating boy and girl characters for your fiction.
* Peruse some of the actual articles in recent issues. Many magazines have excerpts on their web sites, so you can easily get a sense of what kids are reading (look in the magazine market section of Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market published by Writer's Digest books for lists of magazines and their web sites), though there's no substitute for thumbing through a hard copy of each publication. This will help you understand not only what kids care about, but what they're learning at school. Educational magazines in particular want articles that can be applied to what children are reading in class. And if you're writing fiction that centers around a character's school experience, you want to get the teacher's lesson plans right.
As a fiction writer, reading children's magazines can help you zero in on what your characters care about, what's going on in their world, and even what they find funny. If you're writing nonfiction, magazines will show you the breadth of interests enjoyed by your target audience, and perhaps point you toward a niche you can fill. So visit your local newsstand and start your research. You may get some funny looks when you're reading Jack and Jill at Starbucks, but the publishing contracts will be worth it.
About the Author: Laura Backes is the publisher of Children's Book Insider, the Newsletter for Children's Writers. For more information about writing children's books, including free articles, market tips, insider secrets and much more, visit Children's Book Insider's home on the web at http://write4kids.com
Reprinted with permission.
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