Monthly Archives: December 2010

Make Your List of 2011 Book Marketing Commitments

by Jessica Barrett, Events Manager

Now is the time to get that new 2011 calendar out and commit to:

  1. Promote yourself to Chief Marketing Officer and get to know your craft
  2. Promote your book
  3. Promote yourself

If you can check the first off of the list, the others will be much easier to come by.  Learning more about marketing can be as easy as knowing what book events are happening in 2011 and reading about, attending or signing copies of your book at one or more of them.  Across the U.S. are several amazing book festivals, and if you happen to live near one or are lucky enough to afford the time and cost to travel to one, you should. 

Below are just a handful of book festivals/fairs to consider in 2011:

Tucson Festival of Books Tucson, Arizona; March
Philadelphia Book Festival Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; April  
LA Times Festival of Books Los Angeles, California, April
Brooklyn Heights Book Festival Brooklyn, New York; September
Decatur Book Festival Decatur, Georgia; September  
National Book Festival Washington, D.C. at the National Mall; September
Texas Book Festival Austin, Texas; October
Wisconsin Book Festival Madison, Wisconsin; October
Litquake – San Francisco’s Literary Festival San Francisco, California; October  Miami Book Fair Miami, Florida; November

Be sure to Google your surrounding cities for book festivals, fairs, and events – city, school, church and Parks and Rec sponsored. You might be surprised to find one near you.

Traditional Media vs Social Media

by Hashim Hathaway, Literary Publicist

The past couple of years seem to have represented a long drawn out public funeral for traditional media. Scores of established newspapers and magazines have gone the way of the Dodo. Much of the advice someone seeking publicity gets these days is centered on the concept of social media.

To be sure, more people are getting their information from and conducting their business on the Web than ever before.  If that’s the case, why then is traditional media so important to include within a social media campaign?

The truth is, a sizeable portion of the stories you end up seeing from blogs, tweets and Facebook have an original source in some traditional media outlet in which case social media provides a series of filters, commentary and summarized version of this content, which is certainly valuable. Even though dissemination of information is Web based more than it’s not, the sources of that info still live in a traditional realm.

I think a better way to look at it is to consider who you’re speaking to when launching a social media campaign. Any effort that you launch online is going to follow a grass roots effort. While the ends can be more rewarding, in that you built up a fan base on your own, without the type of exposure you can get from traditional media, you can find yourself on the outside looking in. Employing traditional media in a campaign legitimizes the publicity effort in that if you can get someone in the media interested in your book, then potential readers online are apt to be more responsive to someone they may have never heard of before.

It’s also important to know that traditional and social media are basically two spokes on the same wheel. While they can certainly operate independently of one another, why would they? In a November 19, 2010 article on combining traditional and social media ( writer Brandon Williams notes the symbiotic relationship between the two mediums:

“Mixing traditional media with social media creates an integrated marketing strategy. This utilizes all forms of media to create a synergistic strategy.”

Using buzzwords such as synergy may go over the heads of some who are looking for the best way to market their book, but it is true:  To create total brand awareness for an author and/or their book, it’s important to marry and utilize all forms of media cohesively in order to gain the maximum amount of exposure.

While it’s true that the media landscape that surrounds us is ever evolving, it’s important not to forget the more traditional methods of garnering media attention to maximize success now and into the future.

5 Reasons Why People Join Twitter

by Kelly Rynard, Literary Publicist

Recently a friend of mine joined Twitter, I found it ironic since for so long he dismissed everything I said about the social network site, calling it a “waste of time.”  Then I come to find a month later he joined only to follow members of the Indianapolis Colts, like Antoine Bethea, Robert Mathis, Jerraud Powers, Pierre Garcon and Jim Irsay just to name a few.   He stated, “If big Jim Irsay can Twitter guess I have to too.”  I’m still trying to get him to use ‘tweet’ as the verb for Twitter. 

Following a football team may not be the reason most people join Twitter, but for some it is.  So, for all you cynics, here are some reasons to start tweeting:

  1. Making Connections Twitter is an excellent marketing tool for any industry.  It enables you to build relationships with people you wouldn’t normally be able to reach.
  2. Share Knowledge There are experts on anything and everything.  Knowledge and expertise is spread constantly on Twitter through real life experiences, newspapers and magazine articles, photos and videos.  You can also learn endless information from followers.
  3. Traffic to Your Website Twitter is a brilliant way to promote yourself or your website to thousands of people at one time.  Posting a 140 character tease about your website or business is a terrific way to interest people in clicking through to your site.
  4. Word of Mouth Advertising Twitter is where people are.  There is no better way to reach your niche audience.  When you are actively engaging with your followers in your niche you will see your brand expand exponentially.
  5. Interact with others and get advice Everyone needs advice every once and while.  Twitter is a wonderful place to ask your followers questions about anything at all, whether it be what to do on a Saturday night to what to blog about for the week.  Keep in mind people love free stuff so try offering your readers a free product in return for a review.

I sat through a Twitter workshop with “Twitter Guru” Kyle Lacy yesterday and he suggested sending new Twitter users to YouTube for quick and basic Twitter tutorials.  I searched YouTube this morning and thought I would share a couple links I thought might be helpful as you get started:

For more information about getting started with Twitter, check out the following books:

Need a New Angle? Jane Fonda Can Help!

by Brittani Hensel

I know what you’re thinking.  “What can Jane Fonda teach me about my book?”

The athletic workout queen has just released a new workout DVD and has completed research for her new book, Prime Time: Creating a Great Third Act.  The typical stereotype of older men and women neglecting the former workout routine they once had at a younger age is something Fonda says should change.

In a recent AP article, Fonda discusses that as she got older, she realized she was in a great position to help and teach older men and women the keys to staying active and being healthy.

I know…you’re still confused.  What Jane Fonda has done with this new workout DVD and book is something any author can do when they realize their book is a little out-of-date.  Instead of retiring and living with her millions of dollars made when she was young, and hip, she’s taken what she knows and assured her followers she’s still young and hip. She didn’t just sit back and think, “Well, I’ve had my moments, it’s over now.” She found a way to use what she knew to further her success as a professional workout guru.

Take a country old-time cookbook for example.  Typically country, old-time recipes call for nearly a million tablespoons of butter, and another fifty cups of vegetable oil.  But with health conscious news articles on the rise, and the public well aware that they should start monitoring their cholesterol, this cookbook seems, well…old.

If I’m the author of this cookbook, my first goal is going to be modernizing my cookbook.  A couple of tips for putting a new angle on this cookbook include focusing on that new angle of health consciousness, and explaining how to turn old recipes into healthy ones. Every cook knows there are reasonable and tasty substitutions that can turn a recipe around.  Just like Fonda, authors can take their old ideas and modernize them.

Some suggestions include:
1.  Use social media to talk about your brand
2.  Remind your followers you’re still hip: You’re an expert, and you know all about your book’s topics.
3.  Focus on what you know: If your book is about cooking, talk about the new topics and ideas in the news. If your book is about spelunking or hiking, talk about new inventions that help make these activities safer.

As always, Author Hive is here to help your book meet those timely topics and promote your brand!

Virtual Bookstore: Holiday Picks

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

The Journey: Living Life Without Limits
by MonJurr

Summary:Statistics show that millions of people struggle with depression and feelings of hopelessness. In his new book, The Journey: Living Life without Limits, MonJurr uses his own religious calling to dispense motivational advice for others who desire to live a life free of frustration and turmoil.


Who should read this: Men and women of all ages
Find out more:

by Lou Peel

Summary: Many people struggle with motivation and self-confidence. In her new book, Motivation, author Lou Peel uncovers an introspective look at every woman’s self-esteem and creative abilities. Learn a better outlook on life, become empowered and inspired to do more. It will illustrate how self confidence will lead an optimistic outlook on life and gain personal power.

Who should read this: Women, especially those needing to take control of their lives and seize opportunities

What Now?
by Patty Bialak

Summary:  After three failed marriages, Patty Bialak has learned that you don’t need a ring on your finger to be truly happy. She lives a healthy, active lifestyle in San Juan Capistrano, California. She works as a freelance Certified Public Accountant, teaches yoga and goes hiking daily. In her new book, What Now? A Memoir of Self Realization, Bialak reveals her journey to happiness and why she believes life is all about living authentically.

“Finding your passion means doing all the things you enjoy and never letting an opportunity slip by. When an opportunity presents itself and your first instinct is to say, ‘I could never do that,’ do it anyway,” says Bialak.
A Passion for Prying
by Nancy Mangano

Summary:  High heels are a must for private investigator Natalie North. Her specialty? Busting adulterous partners. And while no one can catch a cheating husband faster, Natalie is ready for a bigger challenge.

When a murder-suicide takes place at a nearby diner, Natalie finally has a chance to prove herself.  But does she have what it takes? A Passion for Prying by criminal justice enthusiast Nancy Mangano, is a spicy read packed with witty humor and a touch of the risqué.

Find out more:

by Greg Messel

Summary:  Earning 4 ½ out of 5 stars, Expiation is “recommended to those of you who like stories about long-lost loves… an easy and wonderful read.” Back before exes could learn everything about each other with one click of the Facebook mouse, the two high school sweet hearts lost touch. Numerous internet searches, disconnected landlines and changed addresses left the couple still wondering “What if?” 30 years later. What happens when the two finally see each other after all these years?

Find out more:

VIDEO: Great vs Average

by Marcus Chait, Director of New Media

In any creative endeavor (and in life, for that matter) there is nothing more disappointing then having someone look at something you’ve poured your heart and soul into only to have them respond,  “…yeah, it’s okay.”   I’d almost rather have an audience respond with passionate loathing than to have them consider something we’ve created as “okay” or “fine”. 

When setting out to create a video to help market your book, what steps can you take to give yourself the best opportunity of delivering something great as opposed to something that’s simply average?

  1. SOLID STORYTELLING:  If your story isn’t told in a clear and compelling way, and your audience walks away from your video confused as to what your book is about, you’re on the fast track to “average”.  Even if you have Spielberg behind the camera, if you’re story isn’t focused, the video will most likely not be successful.  If your story isn’t clear on the page, it’s not going to be clear on the screen.
  2. QUALTIY CINEMATOGRAPHY AND EDITING:  Video is a visual medium, so you obviously want your video to look as captivating as it possibly can.  Even on a limited budget, there are ways to make your video jump off the screen if you have a talented and resourceful creative team behind it.  Do your research and make sure you have an experienced team of professionals working for you.
  3. CLEAR TONE AND MESSAGE:  Know what you want your audience to feel when watching your video and be clear about the message you want to convey.  Is your book a suspense mystery?  Then make sure your video creates the necessary tension and suspense your book deserves.  Have you written a romantic comedy?   Then make sure your video feels more like When Harry Met Sally as opposed to Jaws.  You also need to understand what demographic your book might appeal to and make sure you’re delivering a message that speaks directly to that target.
  4. ORIGINALITY:  Make sure there is something about your video that sets it apart from the crowd.  Aim to create that “wow” moment somewhere in your video where the audience is forced to rewind and watch it again because they’ve never seen anything like it before.  Keep in mind that originality is not synonymous with big budget.  With the right creative team behind your video, you can pull off that “wow” moment without breaking the bank.  Some of the most original and creative movies to come out of Hollywood in recent years have been lower budget indies.  Push your own level of creative thinking and encourage everyone working on your video to do the same.

These are just a few tips as to how you can hopefully accomplish a great video as opposed to an average one that is reminiscent of something we’ve seen a thousand times before.  Of course, in any creative endeavor (as in life) there are no guarantees that you’ll achieve greatness.   But if we’re not at least striving for it, then what’s the point?

Check out the link below to see some great author videos:

Earning Trust with Social Media: How to Use Social Media Beyond “Hawking Wares”

by Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

Anyone who has ever been a social media skeptic—particularly in relation to marketing products and building brand awareness—is now painfully aware of the powerful impact that an online presence can have. Through social media, users are finding jobs, products are finding fans and media members are even finding stories (a national survey conducted earlier this year by Cision found that an “overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories”).

In all of the aforementioned cases, networkers have gained interest, trust and loyalty through social media—which is no easy feat.  A rookie mistake is to just set up social media sites and desperately hope on a wing and a prayer it will take off on its own.  Another mistake is to send into cyberspace repetitive and impersonal posts that boast “Check out Billy Bob’s (insert product here) –It will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!”

Imagine yourself as a consumer:  Would you take an interest in this person or product?  In order to generate interest, you must put effort and work into the relationship-building aspect of social media beyond simply “hawking wares.”

The Enlightened Consumer
In part due to social media and the age of instant communication and information sharing, businesses are quickly adopting an even stronger customer-centric approach in order to be recognized among all the noise and build a fan base. Consumers today have the power to spread support for or veto products instantaneously; therefore, it’s more common now for the consumer’s interests to be represented and feedback listened to.

After all, if every consumer’s opinion is broadcasted to a forum of millions of potential readers, wouldn’t you want comments to be positive rather than negative?

Converting Visitors to Followers
Let’s assume you have a finished product and you’re ready to promote it online. Your Twitter page, Facebook Fan page, official blog, and other sites have been set up, but now what? Before you dive into social media, consider things from the average consumer’s vantage:

 –“And WHY should I care?”  Your focus is on your product, but resist the urge to post about it only. Give visitors a reason to be interested beyond your own product, and you’ll reach a wider audience and earn followers. Keep posts personal and varied—more people will become engaged if they know the sites aren’t maintained by a single-focused robot.

 –“You’ve got to give love to get love.”  As cliché as it may sound, you must give due attention to other products and related services to receive attention in return. If you’re an author, support other authors when possible. When interacting with potential followers, take an interest in and comment on what they are reading, writing or involved with.

 —What Can I Get Out of This?  Providing posts of value to consumers is a must. Make it a priority to dispense valuable tips, previews, photos and thought-provoking questions as often as possible. Research and share interesting statistics, articles or videos related to your genre, and make sure to supply interactive options like email subscriptions and applications.  

By taking the consumer into consideration, you’re more likely to build relationships that yield positive results (a win-win situation). As a consumer, what would you like to see done more often with social media?

Check out the books below to learn more about social media marketing: