Monthly Archives: November 2010

Virtual Bookstore: Non-Fiction Picks

This is a guest post by Hannah Shaner at BohlsenPR.  For more information or to request a review copy of any of the books below, contact Hannah at hshaner@bohlsenpr.com

Beyond the Wall: A Memoir
by Dolores E. Cross

Summary:
For Dr. Dolores Cross, veteran marathon runner and honored college and university president, Jan. 6, 2006, was the last day of her life as she knew it.

After having resigned from her position as president of a fragile historically black college in Atlanta only four years earlier, Cross found herself in a cold courtroom that Tuesday morning, listening in dismay as she was fined, sentenced to a year of house arrest, 500 hours of community service and five years probation. False accusations and press reports spread that she had embezzled millions of dollars in student financial aid in her role as president of Morris Brown College—a crime she did not commit. What did happen and how did she deal with it?

Who should read it: Lovers of memoirs, non-fiction works, heartbreakingly true stories

Find out more: www.doloresdrc.org

—————————————————————————————————

Pants on Fire
by Paul Christopherson

Summary:
Pants on Fire: Cutting Through the Biggest Lies of 21st Century American Plutocracy examines the role played by purposeful lying in both government and society. Analyzing what he refers to as ‘big-money lies,’ Christopherson outlines the seven key lies governing America, maintaining that some of the most successful include the notions that deregulation, free markets and loose money are economically advantageous.

Who should read it: Broad audience – those who have lost their jobs, who are struggling financially, who are more concerned with political agendas than politics in general. 

Find out more: www.christophersonp.com

—————————————————————————————————
Virtual Travel
by Barry Shuler

Summary:
Barry Shuler’s Virtual Travel: Embrace or Expire provides a compelling view of a future where people will be able to travel to any location without physically leaving their hometown. This experience of the future will be so realistic that it will be indistinguishable from traditional physical travel; it will retain the positive aspects while eliminating the downsides we currently experience as well as add more benefits that physical travel could never deliver. Through this book, readers will realize that it is time to take virtual travel seriously and use it as a tool of preparation to begin planning for its arrival.

Who should read it: Businesspeople, people who travel, people in travel, transportation and hospitality industries

Find out more: barryshuler.wordpress.com

—————————————————————————————————

Have We Lost Our Common Sense?
by Bob Terrell

Summary:
Have We Lost Our Common Sense? is a no-holds-barred discussion of the most diverse and controversial issues of today. Author and former Ford Motors executive Bob Terrell reminds Americans of simpler times, when we solved problems with common sense, had more effective solutions to our country’s problems and Grandpa knew best.

Who should read it: The American public

Find out more: www.amazon.com

—————————————————————————————————

Finding My Breath
by Rochelle Lynn Falack

Summary:
Rochelle Lynn Falack tried medication and therapy to deal with her OCD. Then she decided to try yoga – and her life has never been the same. Yet, when this modern Orthodox Jew recently published a first-person account of her harrowing personal story, some in the local Jewish community expressed discomfort and distate over her revelations.

When she was 3, Falack’s teenage babysitter forced her to eat cockroaches with her scrambled eggs and routinely stuck the child’s head in the toilet after she had used it. Too young to understand, Falack coped by retreating inside her head to count.

She reveals all in Finding My Breath, a nonfiction, first-person account of her struggle, including how her husband turned to drugs to cope with his wife’s OCD.

Finally, at age 30, she recognized she needed help. She discovered yoga by chance – and soon realized she was counting less and less. She eventually traveled to Bali to learn how to become a certified teacher.

Now, through Finding My Breath, she hopes to help other OCD sufferers find a way to gain some control over their compulsions.

Who should read it: People who like true, personal stories, yoga lovers

Find out more: www.findingmybreath.com

—————————————————————————————————

My Guardian Angel and Me
by Arlan W. Horman

Summary:
In My Guardian Angel and Me, author Arlan W. Horman takes readers on an intimate journey through a lifetime of military service and a career in civil engineering. Born just as the United States entered World War I, Horman recalls decades of experience and service as a combat engineer in England, Germany and France during World War II. Personal and revealing, Horman recounts the dozens of times he was protected by the presence of his guardian angel.

Who should read it: Veterans, those interested in U.S. history / military history, those interested in engineering, senior citizens, those interested in healing/spirituality/religion.

Advertisements

The Role of an Author in a Successful Book Marketing/PR Campaign

by Brittani Hensel, Project Coordinator

Authors often ask me what the secret is to having a truly successful publicity campaign. I always give the same answer. “It’s as successful as you’d like it to be. But we’re on your side and we’ll give you 110%.”  The reason for my answer is very simple.  The amount of engagement an author is willing to provide often can make or break a campaign.  That means that it might help to wait until after that vacation or family cruise to have your publicist start pitching to the media.  As publicists, we’ll pitch as hard as we can to persuade the media to cover your book, but the author can help too!  Some of the best results have come from authors leveraging their publicist’s deliverables, like press releases and interview opportunity releases, to garner their success.  Even just having a publicist helps!

1)   Start with your local bookstores. By having a local tie-in, those bookstores will often be more likely to cover you immediately. Everyone loves that small town feel, and by getting to know your local bookstore, they can help the indie author network to larger chains.  

2)   Pay attention to festivals and trade shows in your area.  If your book is about Leonardo da Vinci, and there is a Renaissance festival in your home state every year, think about contacting the festival coordinators to participate.  Whether you’re in the expo tent or dressed in period clothing in your own booth, posing as da Vinci and teaching young kids, it’s a perfect opportunity to get your book noticed.  If you’re not sure it works, throw the idea to your publicist. A little creativity can go a long way.

3)   Learn social media.  Participating in social media is one of the best things an author can do for their book.  By actively reading, commenting, posting, blogging and participating online about your book will help garner success and results. If you don’t know anything about social media, find someone who does.  Even if you’re not a professional social media guru, every little bit helps. Post about your book. Blog about your book. Talk about your book.

4)   Communication is vital. Talk to your publicist and ask lots of questions. When your publicist knows the things you’re doing to leverage success, they can use it too!  Pitching strategically often comes from author suggestion about travel plans, social media engagement, bookstore engagement, and author activities—like trade shows.

So when authors ask me that question, you can bet my answer starts with these four tips. Your publicist isn’t just working for you, they are collaborating with you.  Your publicist should be your friend, guiding you along the way, and giving you tips to get your name noticed not only in the media, but the general public as well.  Be the change you wish to see in your publicity campaign!

To learn more about AuthorHive publicity campaigns, check out the video link below:

http://www.authorhive.com/Video/PublicityServices.aspx

5 Ways to Build Your Brand

by Maggie Hames, Social Media Specialist

Recently during a conversation with an author, I was asked an interesting question: Are we focusing on my book or me as an author?

While you do want to promote your book, the larger plan is to build your personal brand. Think of Stephen King or Danielle Steele. Their household names bring to mind a certain genre and automatically you know what type of book to expect. Their fans are drawn to every book they produce, not just one particular title.

This is the type of following every author dreams of.

Here are 5 ways to get started:

  1. Elevator Speech – Develop a short pitch outlining who you are as an author and what you write about. Focus on what makes you different. Be well rehearsed and able to deliver this pitch on the spot. You never know when you’ll have the opportunity to spread the word.
  2. Headshot & Bio – Have a quality headshot and bio. Make this available to your readers and for use in promotional materials. A good headshot gives you instant recognition. And it could make the difference between respect and skepticism.
  3. Online ­– Begin building your network online. Whether you write about medieval times or Caribbean art, there’s a community out there. Get involved. Share relevant information. If you can, host a domain name (your name or your subject matter).
  4. Be Unique ­– Find an angle that makes you different. Don’t just be another cook book author. Why are your recipes special? Why are you special? Focus on that.
  5. Stay Positive – Building your brand can be a long journey. And you may experience rejection along the way. But focus on why you wrote your book in the first place. After all, even J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before Harry Potter made it big.

‘Tis the Season – Sell Your Book to Holiday Shoppers

by Jessica Barrett, Events Manager

I awoke in a panic this morning. With the holidays just around the corner, I need to get cracking on my gift shopping. I like to buy unique, hand-crafted gifts and often attend my local Gift and Hobby Show. And it hit me… what a great place for authors to sign and sell their books.

Think about it – you have an audience whose sole purpose is to buy, buy, buy. And we already know that books make great gifts. Combine the two and you have the makings of some potentially solid holiday sales.

I Googled “holiday expos” and found 604,000 results, “holiday shopping shows” yielded 89 million results. From Columbus, OH to Brisbane, Australia you can find a holiday craft, hobby and shopping expo. To find an event or two in your area, use events sites like www.zvents.com, www.eventbright.com, www.eventful.com, upcoming.yahoo.com or check with your local Chamber of Commerce, houses of worship, schools and fairgrounds. Events usually start mid-November and run strong through mid-December. There are usually fees to obtain booth space so be sure to consider the cost vs. how many books you’ll think you can sell or consider sharing booth space to save money.

If you do decide to participate in a holiday bazaar, be sure to promote yourself by sending out marketing materials, updating your website, Facebook, and adding your information to event sites like the one’s mentioned above.

Don’t forget to bring a tablecloth, signing poster and easel, book stands to prop up your book, copies of book reviews, cash to make change, more books than you’ll think you’ll sell and, most importantly, holiday spirit and a smile.

Virtual Bookstore: Heath and Wellness Picks

Contributions for this post were supplied by Maggie Hames, Social Media Specialist & Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

Chasing the Shark: A Journey from Fear to Freedom
by Rosanne Masone

Baby boomer and life coach Rosanne Masone claims sharks—yes, sharks!—played an important role in her own rescue. In Chasing the Shark: A Journey from Fear to Freedom, Masone describes how she faced her crippling fear of water to become a certified PADI rescue diver and swim with sharks. Now, Roseanne delivers motivational speeches that include her diving experiences, and is on a quest to teach others how to change “no” mentalities to “yes” mantras. Visit her at www.giantstridesllc.com. 

Naked: This is My Story, This is Our Song 
by Leslie Masters, M.D.

Not long after beginning her work in cosmetic medicine, Dr. Leslie Masters noted a recurring theme: Patients seeking her help rarely asked for a smaller waist, a tighter face or a flatter tummy.  They presented their goal as “I just want to feel better.”  Knowing the solution was not to be found in the operating room but deep within, Dr. Masters wrote Naked: This is My Story…This is Our Song. Naked is the true story of Leslie Masters, a 45-year-old physician, single mother of three, soccer mom, cheer and gymnastics coach, cosmetic medicine expert, entrepreneur and small business owner who—on the surface—appeared to have it all.

The cover of her book is bare except for Masters own scarred form. “This soccer mom bared the outside imperfections for the book cover to make a point,” says Dr. Masters. “I’m now ready to expose the inside scars as well to give others strength, experience and hope.” From surviving a horrific car accident in her teens and overcoming an addiction to pain medication to DEA officers in her office, Naked shares the good, the bad and the worst of what she has been through, and how beauty is truly more than skin deep.  Visit Dr. Masters at www.drlesliemasters.com.

Finding My Breath: My Journey from OCD to Yoga
by Rochelle Lynn Falack

If yoga can help Rochelle Falack overcome OCD, imagine the relief it could bring to your life. Falack tried medication and therapy to deal with her OCD. Nothing worked. She finally found relief when she tried yoga. Today, Falack is a Kripalu-certified yoga teacher who has practiced and taught the art for more than 20 years. Finding My Breath is her remarkable story to recovery. Learn how yoga can help you manage stress, fight depression and rise about emotional hardships.  http://www.findingmybreath.com

Cooking with Healthy Girl
by Mandy Potter

If Mandy Potter said you could lose weight and eat healthier without giving up the foods you love, would you believe her? Potter’s full-color cookbook contains such family favorites as Green Bean Casserole, with fewer calories and less sugar, fats, carbs and cholesterol than even the Campbell’sâ Fat-Free or Healthy Requestâ Cream of Mushroom Soup versions. Besides the cookbook, Potter shares tips and videos at www.cookingwithhealthygirl.com.

Securing a Book Signing: Bookstores Really Do Want to Make Money

by Rebecca Roberts, Customer Support Supervisor

The public concept of bookstores used to be fairly straight forward – you would go to a bookstore to buy books.  Now they invite you in with the smell of great coffee, an indie soft rock artist playing in the background, and activities for the kids.  It seems as if this is all to create an improved environment for the good of the customer, but really it increases the time people stay, play, and yes walk out with a handful of books. When it comes to the topic of book signings, the question the manager will be asking themselves, but rarely you, is this:  will you be making the bookstore money?

There is a magical combination of things a bookstore manager is looking to hear when being approached for a book signing by a local author:

1) Your book is available to order, or better yet, has a sales history at their particular store.
Many authors want to jump straight into a book signing with a store that has no history with their book. Before going for the book signing ask if the store will stock a few copies of your book on a trial basis – and when they do – make sure that every copy is sold. The goal of this operation being twofold: to have the store stock your book on a regular basis and to show them that a larger event involving a higher quantity of books will be successful.

2) You have a quality book that their demographic of consumer will be interested in and likely to buy.
When I was a bookstore manager I had a mid- list author approach me about a book signing of her erotica title. I looked the book up (no sales history with our store), but even beyond that I knew that her signing would not do well. Why? Because my store’s top selling categories included spirituality and religion, teen, and children’s.  I am sure that her book was great, but it was not a great fit for our fairly conservative customer base. I suggested she try the bookstore downtown.

3) You will do the heavy lifting.
This is where you as the author can shine. Let the store know that you have posters to put up the day of the event, bookmarks to hand out, and bookplates to sign in case there is a higher demand then there are books.  Don’t expect the store to bring in the crowd, let them know the number of people you are inviting and expect to attend, that you are posting the word about the event around town, either with physical flyers, community postings, a blurb in the community calendar, or via your blog or social media sites

Here is the reality that stores interested in presenting a warm community and literary image aren’t likely to offer up to you:  If you can convince the store that the traffic will significantly increase, that sales will result, and that all you are asking for is a table and space to sign, you may just find yourself behind that table with a pen in your hand.