Tag Archives: marketing

Building Relationships with Bloggers

by Kelly Rynard, Literary Publicist

WARNING:  The referred link via Unmarketing contains harsh language that may be offensive to some.  We used this link as a literal example of what not to do when reaching out to fellow bloggers.

Scott Stratten of Unmarketing recently tweeted, “There are comment train wrecks, and then there is this bit.ly/hwK8Qa.” And “this” is an excellent example what NOT to do when commenting on a blog. Basically, this particular author was upset with a critics review and took matters into her own hands.

As a social media specialist, I train author’s everyday on how to use social media sites to their fullest potential. One of the most popular questions I get asked is, “how do I reach out to bloggers?” and “what am I suppose to say in a comment?”

As we work to build relationships with fellow bloggers, there are few simple rules we like to follow:

Be Selfless. If you want bloggers to promote you, you must first promote them. Think about building a relationship based on their perspective, what can I gain from this.

Comment on Comments. One of the greatest things about blogging is receiving comments. It makes you feel appreciated and respected. In return, your reader feels the same way when you take the time to respond to their comments and it keeps them coming back to read more.

Comment on your Reader’s Blogs. Leaving thoughtful comments on your reader’s blogs is all about giving back. You will begin to see your relationship grow when you take the time to engage and promote other bloggers.

Create Valuable Content. Create posts that have a subject matter that is of value to your readers. Find out what they want and then give it to them. Write to the people that actually read your blog.

I heard Stratten give a talk about month ago on social media and he gave some interesting tips. He calls people on the internet that have nothing better to do than say mean things, trolls. “Don’t feed into the troll,” he says.

So on that note, if someone posts a comment you don’t like, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and “feed the troll” just to make a point.  Stay positive, engage fellow bloggers that have common interests, be selfless and be patient.  It takes commitment and rock solid content to build a strong blog following.

To get started with our own blog, let AuthorHive help get you started.  Check out the following book for a comprehensive look to starting, maintaining and expanding your blog site:

Publicity: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

by Hashim Hathaway, Literary Publicist

The KISS Principle, first coined by Lockheed Skunk Works lead engineer Kelly Johnson, was a semi-humorous way to remind his fellow aircraft engineers that the simplest way was always the best as it pertained to design.

This same principle has been applied to various other aspects of life, and for the purposes of this blog, we’ll be applying it to publicity.

When entering the publicity process, it’s easy to come with a head full of ideas and little in the way of an organized plan of execution. It can be daunting to spill out all your ideas out at one time, because while you may understand everything your book is trying to say, the point of all of it is to make sure that potential readers also understand, because these are the people who you want to read your book.

Whether your book is about astrophysics, or how to cook the best-tasting duck breast, the goal of any good publicity campaign is that the simplest person can grasp the concept and determine for themselves whether or not they are interested in finding out more. This is the KISS Principle in a nutshell.

So how do you get there?

One of the first things you have to do is take a look at your work, and from it, distill the most basic of ideas, ideas that would resonate with anyone at just about any level, because that is what determines a successful campaign. It doesn’t matter what you think about your book, because chances are, no one will love the book as much as you will, which is fine, however, if you have designs on being the next great author, your goals are much greater than you…and much simpler.

Keep your message clear and driven towards a singular point. Make the author want to know more without giving too much away in the process. That is how you set the tone for a successful publicity campaign. Anything more than that will be attributed to “white noise” and often times ends up drowning itself out altogether.

Clients We’re Lucky to Have

by Sandy Dunwoody, Literary Publicist

As a publicist and social media specialist at AuthorHive, I work with a wide variety of clients (and with just about every genre and topic you can imagine). I’ve worked with scientists, engineers, CEOs and psychics, and pitched romance novels, cookbooks, business books, and more.  But my absolute favorite projects to work on are campaigns with a great cause.

We must be having the “luck of the Irish” lately, because I’ve been working with a great group of authors. Being that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to highlight a few of the awesome and inspiring clients I consider myself lucky to be working with:

ANNA M. WARNER, My Lipstick Journey through Cancer:  A Journey of Faith and Finding the Right Shade: Diagnosed with a rare form of aggressive thyroid cancer and told she’d never again be able to continue her passion of signing, Anna Warner turned to what she knew best: lipstick. In this humorous, inspirational and intimate memoir, Anna shares her battle with cancer, beating the odds, and regaining her voice—all while making frequent visits to the cosmetic counter.

Anna, a self-proclaimed “lipstick junkie,” collected over 50 tubes of lipstick and lip gloss over her three-year battle with thyroid cancer—a different one for every mood she had. After being laid off after radiation, she chose YSL’s “Golden Gloss #14.” After having to quit her next job due to side effects of her cancer, Warner chose Laura Mercier’s “Brown Plum.”

“It’s about staying positive and finding humor during a difficult time, being thankful for every day, and letting even the smallest thing—like choosing the right lipstick shade—bring a little joy to a situation,” Anna says (she also shares her story here at Voice Day 2010). Throughout all the trying struggles Anna has been through, she’s maintained an incredibly positive outlook on life. I’m no lipstick wearer, but Anna is already inspiring me to consider wearing some in her honor!

LYNN ROSEN, Tomorrow’s Vision:   Tomorrow’s Vision shares an inspirational story of a third-grade class that learned about world hunger, brainstormed ways to combat it, and made a difference in their community by donating their time and personal belongings to a cause.   Written by a former New York City teacher and hunger activist, Lynn Rosen, the book is a glimpse of the promise of tomorrow’s generations, starting with the children of today.

Lynn is passionate about ending poverty and world hunger, and as a human rights activist is working on several projects in order to spread awareness of these issues.  She donates her time to the Hunger Action Network of New York, United for Action, New York Cares, and the International Educational Research Network.

It makes you think: If a third grade class can make such a difference, what can we do?

DR. EVERETT WINSLOW LOVRIEN, Doctor Guilt?:  In the 1980s and early ‘90s, hundreds of people experienced what insiders call the “Hemophilia Holocaust.” New medical breakthroughs allowed doctors to relieve suffering from hemophilia, and prolong life. However, the new “magic” medicine unknowingly harbored lethal viruses: Hepatitis and HIV.

Who was at blame for the deaths of the hundreds of patients who died from these viruses? The doctors who administered the drug? The pharmaceutical companies who manufactured the drugs? Or the scientists that were supposed to test the blood? Dr. Everett Lovrien, once a doctor at a hemophilia clinic, was one of the doctors who unknowingly infected patients he deeply cared about. In Doctor Guilt? he explores why this event happened, and shares the stories of the brave patients—some just children—who lost their lives due to these mistakes.

Now he is also on a quest to educate others about hemophilia, and to bring the same hemophilia treatment options that American’s other countries through making hemophilia medicine available and affordable.

All of these authors have inspired me, and I consider myself lucky to be promoting such great causes. What do you feel lucky to have this St. Patrick’s Day?

What Inspires You?

by Shelley Rogers Landes, Marketing Manger

in·spire  verb \in-ˈspī(-ə)r\:  to influence, move, motivate or guide

At the beginning of my professional career at Macmillan Publishing, I remember being the youngest person on our sales team and I was proud of that fact.  I always felt lucky to be in the right place at the right time and to work for managers that valued my opinion and encouraged my development as an  account manager and sales professional.

I look around our offices today and realize I have suddenly become one of the oldest people on our team and often wonder to myself, “….how did that happen?”  Some of my colleagues are honestly old enough to be one of my kids and a year ago, that really bothered me.

Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, WordPress, Flickr, Yahoo IM, You Tube. I had a vague knowledge of social media and could talk my way through a meeting but the reality was, I was being left behind.  As a marketing manager, I was diminishing my value proposition to my employer as an effective part of our marketing team because I was feeling uninspired to know and use the tools that are essential to our industry today.

Once I got past the fact that I had aged much quicker than I had realized, I will tell you that much of my inspiration, energy, education and enthusiasm in 2010 came from the wide eyed, untarnished and courageous ideas of this young creative team I work with on a daily basis. 

While I have taken the position of the “industry veteran” on our team, my young colleagues have taught me a whole new way of communication through social media.  I have been inspired to keep up, stay fresh and educate myself about trends and technology that are essential to the success of my job.

So what inspires you as an author?  What inspires you to write every day?  What drives you to want to create your next masterpiece?

When Push Comes to Shove, Shove Back

by Shik Love, Senior Writer, AuthorHive


“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”  – B.C. Forbes



It’s not easy. And it’s not always fun. Passionately pursuing your dream is tough work. At every turn there is something (a looming mortgage, your eye-rolling friend, that critical voice in your head) telling you that you should be doing something else, something more practical, something more responsible. Don’t let the stories of so-called overnight success fool you, this is hard stuff. To keep going, you will have to dive into reservoirs of faith and determination that you never knew existed.

But here’s the thing—the reservoirs exists. So in the moment when you want to throw in the towel, look back at how much ground you’ve already covered. Go grab your self-published book and hold it in your hands and know that the distance to the finish line is much shorter than the distance to go back to where you started.

Take too this encouragement—you’re not alone.

Here are just a few of the warriors who, like you, took their destiny into their own hands:

Anaïs Nin – After being turned down by traditional publishers, Anaïs decided to publish herself. Starting her own press (Gemor Press), Anaïs published her own writings. She became famous for her published diaries, which spanned more than 60 years. Her writings continue to be celebrated.

William Strunk, Jr. – Professor William Strunk, Jr., self-published The Elements of Style in 1919, distributing the “little book” to his students. The Elements of Style has now become an authority in English writing guidelines. Millions of copies have been sold and there are over six editions in print.

Robert T. Kiyosaki – Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the bestseller that remained on the New York Times bestsellers list for over six years. The book caught the attention of a major publisher and was later republished, along with Robert’s many spin-off titles. He has been featured on Larry King Live, Oprah and CNN.

Can you think of other self-publishing success stories? Comment and share.

Principal Entertainment Aligns with Self-Publisher

Click the images below for more information about this newly announced partnership:






3 Key Benefits to Working with Non-Profit Organizations

by Rebecca Roberts, Customer Support Supervisor

New authors face a common dilemma in building their brand: how to get noticed.  Media and retailers are the obvious targets to try and get an author’s name out to the local and regional community, but the “chicken and egg” scenario of needing a brand name to build a brand can make any author frustrated and weary. Working with non-profits is a mutually beneficial proposition and an often over looked entry into the local consciousness.

Here are a few key benefits from an author / non-profit relationship:

1) Non-profits are looking for volunteers and partners to support their message. As with any sales or marketing plan, the most important step is showing up.  A literacy group will need hours of relevant programming for a fundraiser, and who better than a local author to spend the time and effort to put together a community presentation on the role of creative writing in schools or volunteer to run a writing workshop at a prison? Always keep in mind the types of non-profits that are a good fit for you and your work. Partnering with a non-profit is most effective when the author has something to bring to the table, so being selective in whom you approach by finding causes that match with your skills, background, or subject matter is important if you want your brand to be consistent.

2) An author with a professional networking attitude might just gain access to a non-profit’s often substantial network. Non-profits function by building crucial relationships with the media,  retailers, schools, and other non-profits for space, community postings, and group gatherings.  Helpful authors with a volunteer mindset will often get a chance to meet other partners in a non-profit’s networking base. Being prepared in these situations is key, so make sure to have your press release, business cards, and a one sentence explanation of you and your book ready for those impromptu conversations.

3) Promote your brand by promoting a cause you believe in. Building relationships with non-profits is not just about getting to relationships that would be more difficult to gain on one’s own, but an opportunity to really help with causes near and dear to an author’s heart: literacy, the arts, education, and science, whatever your forte may be.  This isn’t just good marketing, it is also good citizenry, and who – author or book buyer – doesn’t like that?

Eat That Frog!

by Shelley Rogers, Marketing Manager

While visiting with my sister and brother-in-law over the holiday, I tripped on a book called, Eat That Frog!  21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done In Less Time by Brian Tracy.  I hate to admit it but some of my favorite and most memorable marketing and self help book finds have been discovered in their “library” located in the downstairs guest bathroom.  Eat That Frog! is one of those fun bathroom reads that have inspired me to get organized and stay focused in 2011.

So what does, Eat That Frog!, mean and how does it relate to what you want to accomplish?  Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.  Your “frog” is the biggest and most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t plan for and tackle first.

For me personally, I am a list maker and I get a thrill out marking items off my list that I’ve completed in a day.  But I am a huge offender of taking out the easy tasks first and often find that at the end of day, the hardest, most time consuming and important tasks are left to roll over until the next day which means I am facing those same “frogs” the next morning.

According to Eat That Frog!, the key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop a habit of tackling your major task at the start of your day.  You must develop a routine of “eating your frog” at the start of each day or face the reality of never getting those high level tasks moved over to your “complete” column. Here are a handful of suggestions when tackling your “frog:”

  1. Torn between two frogs?  If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest frog first
  2. Take action immediately.  If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it very long
  3. Think on paper.  Only three percent of adults have clear, written goals.  These people accomplish five to ten times as much as people of equal or better education that have no written goals
  4. Learn to say, “no.”  Say “no” to anything that is not a high-value use of your time
  5. Technological time sinks.  Technology can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  As a society, we feel compelled to communicate incessantly via email (work/personal), text, blogs, Twitter and the mother-of-all time sinks, Facebook.  Technology should act as your “servant,” not your “master.”

So if your “frog” is getting that all important marketing plan together for your book, let’s get started!  Here is your checklist for eating THAT “frog” today:

  1. Organize.  Order Eat That Frog! to get yourself inspired
  2. Educate.  Check out authorhive.com to start putting together a general marketing plan
  3. Plan.  Call 1.866.697.5289 to talk with an AuthorHive Marketing Consultant to get specific advice and start strategic planning for 2011  

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 (http://www.suite101.com/content/using-traditional-and-social-media-for-integrated-marketing-a311102) 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.