Book Marketing, Author Publicity, Branding

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guest post: Making Your Radio Interviews Count

Making Your Radio Interviews Count

Making Your Radio Interviews Count

By Mari Selby

One of the quickest and easiest ways for your book to be noticed is to be a guest on a radio show. People still listen to the radio at work, while driving their cars, or as background at home. Most radio interviews happen on the phone, so you can sell books while in your robe and slippers. In 1999, prior to today's health craze, we secured 100 radio shows for author, Dr. Lindsey Berkson and her book, Healthy Digestion. With only these radio shows to promote her book, sales went to over 17,000 in a few months. Another client landed a regular TV gig because the producer heard him on a radio interview. Yet another author's architectural practice multiplied because new clients heard her speak on the radio. One of our quantum physics authors received an invitation to speak at a prestigious conference because he used a CD of his radio interviews to promote himself and his book.

Each one of these authors did not waste air on the radio. They offered tips, were storytellers, and captured the audience's interest. For most people it's easy to talk or teach in an interview, however to capture someone's attention long enough to have them buy your book takes skill and practice.
10 tips to being a successful radio show guest:

1. Make sure listeners know who you are. Give the host an introduction that is exactly how you want to be introduced. What is the most advantageous way of describing you and your book?

2. Never say "the answer is in my book". Both hosts and the audience hate that. Instead you could respond with "we address that issue through what we call problem solving tools. Active listening is one of the techniques we use. Active listening involves..."
And then you can add "there are a number of other tools we offer in the book."

3. Practice answering a list of questions in front of the mirror, with family, while driving in your car. Practice until you are easily answering the questions you include in your media kit. Then have your family ask questions not on the list and be spontaneous with your answers. (Or you can hire a radio show coach to guide you through the ropes.)

4. Clearly state how people can purchase your book, and inspire them to action. During the interview talk about your website. What else will people learn by going to your website? Make sure the host knows the name of your website so they can mention it also. Mention how your book might be a good gift for Aunt Susan who likes books on wildlife, or how Dad always wants to know more about cooking. Give them a reason to buy the book for someone else besides themselves.

5. Make a personable connection with the host, and the audience. Say the hosts name when you answer a question. Demonstrate how you want to help the audience. Be engaging. The goal of every interview is to be invited back.

6. Listen to the some of the host's archived shows to learn how she runs her program, so you won't be surprised, and can give "good air time". One of the biggest mistakes authors make is to approach a radio show about new electronic devices with a suggestion for a show about how to keep your marriage alive.

7. The host asks you what you think is a stupid question. What do you do? You don't say- "Well that is a stupid question!" You say- So many people have asked me that question and... then you bridge to where YOU want to go. You say what YOU want to say. It is called a bridge- and the people who do this best are politicians. Stay focused, don't get defensive, be polite and then answer it the way you want to.

8. Either hire a publicist to get you on the radio shows, or plan your approach. Do you want to research regional shows that will support regional activities? Or do you want to research radio shows that connect with your topic nationally? Plan on approaching these shows at least a month before the event. Ask the engineer for a copy of the interview either as a MP3 to use on your website, or a CD to send out for speaking engagements.

9. Cover your bloopers if you can with a cough, or a vocalization like hmmm, or a "that's an interesting question", or a laugh with "you caught me on that one". Or you can repeat the question. Dead air scares everyone, and audiences leave.

10. Last but not least, have fun!

Mari's writing can be read on Mari is the director of Selby Ink, a publicity and marketing firm. Selby ink promotes authors who make a difference, and helps those authors to develop name recognition through assessment of their work, and developing virtual and real life" events. Selby ink specializes in the following genres: body, mind, spirit, relationships, environmental issues, and social justice. You can also find Mari on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Guest Post: How to Optimize Your Amazon Profile to Market Your Book

How to Optimize Your Amazon Profile to Market Your Book

How to Optimize Your Amazon Profile to Market Your Book

By Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Having your book on Amazon is a very exciting prospect. You can tell all your friends "you can buy my book on Amazon." But what about all the people who don't know you and who are on Amazon looking for books to buy?

Published and self-published authors can optimize their exposure on Amazon thanks to many author-friendly features. And if you don't know about these opportunities, you're missing out on free book marketing resources.

In this article we'll be looking at optimizing your profile on Amazon. (One word of caution: It is very difficult to connect with a real person on Amazon concerning author activities, so you may encounter problems that you are unable to resolve.)

Step 1: Have your own account on Amazon. Sounds basic but it is necessary. All this requires is buying one product on Amazon with a credit card in your name. (If you share an account with your spouse or family, set up a separate account.)

Step 2: Sign-in to your account. You'll see at the top left-hand corner of your computer screen the words "Hello, Your Name." Right below that click on "Your Name's" Then slide your eyes over to the right and look under the shopping cart icon and to the left and you'll see "Your Profile." (Make sure you're wearing your glasses because the wording is small.) Click on this.

Step 3: Now you're at your profile, which every person with an account on Amazon has. But this is definitely an author-opportunity page. And, yes, there are privacy controls here too (as on Facebook) so you can choose which information is seen by whom. Click on the button in the top right-hand corner that sees "Edit Profile." (You will again be asked to sign-in as extra protection that other people aren't editing your Amazon profile.)

Step 4: Start filling out the bio information. For an author, the most important line may be the "Name" because that is the name that will appear on any reviews and other activities you do on Amazon. Make sure that this is the same name as used for your book. For example, your credit card (used to set up your Amazon account) may only have a first and last name. But if you use three names for your author identification, put all three names here. (And be sure to upload a photo - people want to know what the author looks like. If you're on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it's a good idea to use the same photo across all platforms to increase your recognition factor.)

Step 5: Do share personal information with which you are comfortable on this profile. Readers like to know about an author - sharing information gives a more three-dimensional feeling to who you are. And include the URL of your book's website if you have one.

Step 6: Go through the process of having your own books approved for your Amazon bibliography. This requires an outside representative to confirm to Amazon that you are indeed you.

Step 7: If you have a blog, have your blog posts automatically feed into your profile. (Carefully read the "Add RSS Feeds" information.)

Step 8: Recommend tags for your book. And write brief reasons for each tag as to why that tag is appropriate for this book. These tags must then be approved by Amazon.

Step 9: Check the privacy settings you have used on each of the elements of your profile. You may choose to have different settings on different types of information.

BONUS STEP: Make sure that you or your publisher have requested the "Look Inside" the book feature. This feature is NOT automatic. You want potential book buyers to be able to look inside the book as they could at a bookstore.

For the free report 7 TIPS FOR CREATING A CALL-TO-ACTION WEBSITE by Phyllis Zimbler Miller and for other free book marketing information, visit
Follow book author Phyllis Zimbler Miller at and connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn as Phyllis Zimbler Miller.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest Post: As Easy as 1,3...wait...

Today's guest post comes courtesy of Mark Mingle, who has more than a decade of experience working in the publishing industry. - Terry

Working with authors,  it is not uncommon to hear someone new to the industry exclaim that his or her book will instantly "sell millions" and "take the industry by storm."

While I will never fault an author for believing in their work and being enthusiastic, it seems that blind enthusiasm can often prohibit an author from making good choices in taking the necessary steps to success.

If the steps look like this, something is generally wrong:

Step 1: Write and publish a book
Step 3. Sell millions

What's missing?

Clearly, something is off here.

The biggest step often skipped is this - Step 2: Building your name, reputation, and platform as a professional author. And of course, this is the most important step, and it takes much time and effort.

When you think about famous authors, the list is fairly short of those known for simply being a writer - John Grisham, Stephen King, James Patterson, and Stephanie Meyer come to mind - but many of the bestselling authors in today's market are known for something else they have done or because of the platform they had before writing books - Joel Osteen, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, and Michael J. Fox, for example.

The biggest and most often-skipped step authors want to make is leaping past the building of a name, reputation, and platform to just sell books as though they already had become a household name. The focal point for these authors becomes supplying bookstores with copies that "will sell themselves." But the reality is that books don't sell themselves, unless the public has an awareness of you or your book and the demand has been generated outside the retail market (as the celebrity authors above have done).

Having said this, I recognize that most authors will never pastor a mega-church with 20,000 members and have a weekly national TV ministry. The majority of authors will not run for Vice President of the United States. But the reality remains that you must gain an audience by building your name and expanding the sphere of influence you now have.

Here are three things you can do to expand your sphere of influence in a short amount of time.
  • Use your book as a fund-raiser. In other words, find a worthy cause - cancer research, a church or missions group, a local school, etc. - and connect with local leaders of that organization (and beyond that, regional or national leaders) to donate portions of your book sales to their organization. This serves both you and the cause you are assisting and can get your book in front of a large mass of potential readers.
  • Launch a Facebook fan page for your book. This enables you to spread the word further than your own hometown by engaging a social network that knows no bounds. As friends (and friends of friends) discover and "like" your book, the word will travel fast. This can introduce you to a whole new world of contacts, which can lead to the following...
  • Pursue speaking engagements. If you are an author and are not engaging people personally with your message and thereby the news of your book, you will likely be disappointed in the sales of your book. Show me an author that is not afraid to speak anywhere and everywhere at any time about their book, and I'll show you an author that is selling books consistently.
I wish it were as easy as Step 1 and Step 3 above. If it were that simple, we'd all be on an yacht somewhere together. But if you skip Step 2 and do not build your name, reputation, and platform, you will likely not reach the next level as a professional author.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guest Post: How to Know What to Charge for Public Speaking

How to Know What to Charge for Public Speaking

How to Know What to Charge for Public Speaking

By Meredith Liepelt

So you're a business owner who is interested in spreading your message through public speaking. Good for you! Public speaking is arguably one of the best ways to promote your business. The problem is that you don't know if you should or should not charge for your speaking engagements. And if you do charge, how do you set your fee?

Here's the answer - you just decide.

This sounds very simplistic, but this is the reality. You just decide what is right for you at this point in time. There is no "speaking fee system" that you have to fit into, thank goodness! That would severely limit what you as business owners want to do in your business.

In fact, that concept reminds me of my former work in corporate human resources, where I had a hand in creating compensation systems for three different organizations. For example, it was determined that if you are in job A, then you are in pay scale 1 and the salary range is $X to $Y. (I don't miss that work.)

There is no system like this for speakers, thank goodness. You just make it up.

That being said, there are many things that you need to weigh for yourself to find out what is right for you. Here are a few considerations to ponder.

1. Do you get clients when you speak?
One of my clients was going through this struggle. She regularly enrolled clients after speaking, to the tune of a minimum of $20,000 each over the course of their relationship. So, I asked her this, "If you can enroll a few clients at this level each time you speak for free, is a $3,000-$5,000 speaking fee worth limiting your speaking opportunities to only paid engagements?" Bottom line here, don't let your ego get in the way.

2. When someone asks about your fee, go into "journalist" mode by asking them questions first.
There are many things that go into a speaking engagement. For example, are they expecting original material or can you tweak your signature speech? Do they want power point slides, how many people will attend, who are they, what information are they expecting and/or wanting, can you sell from the stage or sell products at the back of the room, is there travel and an overnight stay involved, and so forth. Gather as much information as you can so you can assess if it's even an opportunity you want to pursue. If a relevant audience will not be there, just pass on the opportunity.

3. Ask who else is speaking and who spoke last year.
While this won't tell you exactly what the venue is accustomed to in terms of speaking fees, it is a clue as to what caliber of speaker they expect and what they may have budgeted for a speaker, if anything. And who you may be able to meet.

4. Find out all the "soft" benefits.
If they tell you upfront that they don't pay for speakers, find out if there are any "soft" benefits instead. For example, will they record your speech and send you a copy? Will they add a small amount to the ticket price to cover the cost of giving your book or a DVD to each attendee? Will you receive a list of attendees with their contact information so you can follow up with them once? Note - don't just add the attendees to your email list. This is called SPAM; it is not ethical and will not do you any favors.

5. Can you chalk this up to good PR and high-level networking?
Many times at large events, one of the benefits of speaking is that you get to meet and network with the other speakers. This can be worth way more than a $2,000 speaking fee. Or, you receive positive PR for your business, and being a speaker at the event builds your credibility. Again, that could be worth a lot more than a speaking fee.

6. Raise your fees
If speaking is your main source of revenue, keep raising your fees. In fact, increase it by at least 30% for the next inquiry you receive. One of my clients doubled her speaking fee and to her surprise, she keeps getting it! Now, she's raising her fees again. If nobody is saying "no," you're not charging enough.
So there are arguments for charging a fee and not for charging a fee. What's your business model? Are you working toward being a professional speaker or are the relationships that you can make worth more than the speaking fee? The beauty of being an entrepreneur is this: you decide what's right for you. And your answer can change over time.

Copyright 2011 Meredith Liepelt, Rich Life Marketing
Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called "101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile," which can be downloaded immediately at

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