The NOVEMBER Buzz...

by: Jay Johnson

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The Aton Project Newsletters at: This newsletter, by author Tony VanSluytman, has been receiving rave revues despite it not being directed to writers.
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*** Moonspinners Writer's Page (, the website of Maureen McMahon, has been voted one of the 101 Best Websites by Writer's Digest 2006 - specifically her Ask The Experts section, created in collaboration with fellow author Fran Silverman (

The Experts Site is composed of 150 subscribers to Fran’s newsletter, Book Promotion Newsletter (, who answer book marketing questions at no charge.

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Screenwriting Advice Article!

You are the Box Office Smash: The Personal Screenplay
by Gordy Hoffman

Right this very second, in the heart of every struggling, undiscovered screenwriter, in the dark, hidden corner deep within, there is a voice, a clear whisper, saying one thing:

You're never gonna figure this out.

And this is not referring to the story with its gaping hole, the finale missing a payoff, the hit and miss humor, the flat title.

I'm talking about freedom. The freedom to work as a screenwriter. Compensation for a home for family and a life. The resources to wake up and ply your craft and pay the freight, without obstacle. The chance to see your writing made into pictures, to work with the industry's best, to fulfill this goal of professional screenwriter. Hollywood success.

Behind this voice is the idea that somehow, some way, you'll find the hero, or the hook, logline or pitch that will punch your golden ticket. If you could only figure out what the studio wants, if you can only get a solid bead to this game, you know you can write and execute. What is the script I should write to get an agent? What is the one that will sell? It's not that I don't know how to write, I know how to write screenplays, I just need to know what they want, even though I think I know what they want, but I don't think I have the idea that they want. Yeah.

I'm not gonna figure this out, whispers the voice.

Why this uneasiness? Does it originate within ourselves? I don't think so. But where does it come from? The daily obsession with box office grosses? The news of the seven figure deals to newbies? The endless procession of boneheadedly conceived franchises-in-waiting arriving in the theatres every Friday? People winning Academy Awards for movies you would not be caught dead writing? Recognizing an idea you came up with years ago on your couch, produced with a $130 million budget drowning in CGI?

All these things are but a few of the possible reasons why this seeds unhealthy doubt and confusion in the modern screenwriter. Tracking these forces outside us and beyond our control in an effort to trudge the path to a successful screenwriting career will prove to most to be unproductive and corrosive. Basically, trying to figure out what Hollywood wants will land us in a resentment that makes "giving up" a sane response to the very challenge which used to inspire us. In short, we cannot chase a perceived trend and remember our dreams.

You cannot look at the marketplace and find your voice. You can find ideas, trends, and inspiration there, perhaps, but you can find these things driving in traffic as well. But listening to your voice is the key to creating original, compelling stories.

Your life is your own story. You have a completely unique thread of experience. By allowing yourself to express these emotional experiences, your screenplay, your story, will be different from any other and powerful, as original as your fingerprint.

Why is it powerful? When we have the courage to be specific about what we know about living, we create an authentic world an audience recognizes as the life they are living on planet Earth. This connects your audience to your story. This connection is the foundation of the phenomena of story.

Why does story mean so much to us? We recognize the triumphs and tragedies of our lives, with all the hilarity and tears. By seeing it, we are validated and it underscores meaning and purpose to living.

If we don't use what we've collected in life in our hearts and spirits, then our story loses its authenticity and the connection the audience should make fails. They do not see themselves, and when they leave the theater, they do not call their friends. When people do not call their friends after seeing a movie, the movie bombs.

When a writer opens their person to their work, when they allow themselves to be vulnerable, to risk exposure of the secrets of their life story, they take a huge step towards creating a screenplay of substantial value, a screenplay with a greater potential of a large number of tickets sold.

This is precisely why art and commerce have remained bedfellows for thousands of years. To look at the relationship between art and commerce as adversarial or incompatible is just plain foolish. Art happens when people invest their spirits in their work without fear, and story is artful when the writing is truthful and the writer is authentic.

And what do we have to be honest about? We can only lie about what we know, and we can only tell the truth about what we know. And that is what has happened to us, our life story. This is what we share.

This is not a pitch to write "what you know." This is not about writing stories about where you work or where you live. This is about writing about what you felt. You can imagine characters and worlds and actions and speech you've never personally experienced, but if you remember to infuse your choices with your emotional and spiritual struggles and victories as a human being, your screenplay will be different in the very best sense of the word.

The question you have to answer is not what does Hollywood want today. The question is how honest of a writer do you want to be. I guarantee you can write a blockbuster, you can write a box office hit. This will happen when you find an audience. And the correct path to this crowd of people is listening to yourself. If you practice, you will develop an inner ear for who you are and what you know and you will become masterful in loading your work with your fingerprints. Writing is personal work. You are the guitar. You are the box of paint. Give of that and your audience will remember why life is good and they will talk of you.

About the Author
Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival for LOVE LIZA, Gordy Hoffman has written and directed three digital shorts for Fox Searchlight. He made his feature directorial debut with his script, A COAT OF SNOW, which world premiered at the 2005 Locarno Intl Film Festival. A COAT OF SNOW made its North American Premiere at the Arclight in Hollywood, going on to screen at the Milan Film Festival and the historic George Eastman House. Recently, the movie won the 2006 Domani Vision Award at VisionFest, held at the Tribeca Cinemas in NY. A professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Gordy is the founder and judge of BlueCat Screenplay Competition. Dedicated to develop and celebrate the undiscovered screenwriter, BlueCat provides written script analysis on every script entered. In addition, Gordy acts as a script consultant for screenwriters, offering personalized feedback on their scripts through his consultation service, For more articles by Gordy on screenwriting, visit

A Radio Show for Writers and more...

A new radio show devoted to book marketing made its debut on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 on Achieve Radio, noon to 1 p.m., MST. Host Francine Silverman will talk with authors, publishers and publicists, providing listeners with a unique perspective on book promotion.

To access Book Marketing with Fran, go to and click “Click to Listen” at top of page. Should you miss the show, click “Shows & Hosts” on the left and scroll down to Fran’s show and click, “More-Click Here” for the archives.

Patricia Fry, president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network) and author of 24 books, will be Fran’s first guest. Patricia’s latest book is The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book (Matilija Press 2006), a comprehensive guide for hopeful and struggling authors.

Fran is author of Book Marketing from A-Z and editor publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter,

Issue 149: Nov. 5, 2008

ISSN 1545-5599
Issue 149: Nov 5, 2008

Issued every other Wednesday since 2003


I would like to hear from anyone who did not receive the last newsletter, and I will be happy to send you a copy. Something screwy is going on with my list manager, MailerMailer, and I am thinking about buying software to send out this newsletter rather than paying $30 a month to them. Does anyone use such software? I would love to hear from you about which one you recommend.

I have signed up to two writing sites where you can earn revenue: Helium (where I've earned 5 cents so far by recommending two more writers who signed up!), and Suite 101, where I have just started submitting articles.

Both sites let you know how much money you've earned to date. You won't get rich, but at least there is a possibility of earning something for your efforts.

At Suite 101, you must sign a contract to provide a certain number of articles within a specified time. Helium has a helper who has been wonderful. She even called me from France! Suite 101 has not been helpful - so far I've written two emails to them and have not received a response. I am sorry I signed a contract. Check them out: and


In This Issue:



Publicize Via Social Networks

by Fern Reiss

'Social networking' has become the latest buzz phrase - but what is social networking exactly, and why would you want to get involved in it?

The answer is that social networks - Facebook, LinkedIn, Ryze, Bebo, MySpace, etc - are fast becoming a phenomenon worth paying attention to, and are potentially poised to usurp many of the publicity and advertising dollars formerly vested in the more traditional media. In today's world, you become known by the talks you give and the articles you write. In tomorrow's world, you'll be known by your online profile. If you're an author, independent publisher, or small business owner, the earlier you jump in and get involved, the more connected you'll be five years from now - and the better your business will be doing.

Here's how to get started:

Decide which social network works for you

Ideally, every small business owner should be working all the social networks, but, of course, most people barely have enough time for even one. So pick the social network that makes the most sense for you and your business. LinkedIn is currently the most 'professional' network, garnering the business of most of the Fortune 500 company executives. If these people are your audience, that's where you should be.

Ryze, while still professional, is a bit more 'chatty' than LinkedIn; it's somewhat easier to make new friends and acquaintances on Ryze, whereas on LinkedIn, you're really cultivating the offline connections you've already made. MySpace is preferable if your market is teens.

Bebo is the social network of choice if you're European. And Facebook, which started as a site for college students, is rapidly becoming a world favorite, because it's the most user-friendly and the most 'sticky' to use. (I'm most active on both Facebook and LinkedIn, but I have profiles set up on most of the social networks.)

Create a profile
Many people are using social network sites just to stay in touch with their friends and relatives and have some fun. But if your ultimate purpose is business, then keep that in mind when you create your profile.

Include only information that you would want clients, vendors, business partners, and potential clients to discover. Don't share details that are too personal or too revealing (and similarly, on the networks that let others post about you - such as Facebook - don't let friends post photos, videos, or other details about you that you wouldn't want made public.) It might be acceptable when college students on the networks tell each other about their latest hangover or sexual exploit; your clients aren't likely to find it as amusing. On some of the networks, such as Facebook, there's a way to distinguish between true friends (who can see all of your details) and acquaintances (who can see just your business profile), but don't take any chances: Don't post anything you don't want the world to view.

Start “making friends”
The more friends you have on the social networks, the more you can do. So start finding your friends. Most of the sites have functionality that searches your online address book to see which of your friends are on the network, which is by far the easiest way to get started. Once you've found a few friends and colleagues, look through their friends and acquaintances to find more familiar names and faces. If you're diligent about checking back to see who your friends have befriended, you can accumulate dozens of friends each day. (Feel free to start off by befriending me on Facebook. If you're not already listed, you'll have to register first.)

Get involved
Once you've made a handful of friends, start getting involved. Each of the networks has 'groups' that you can join to connect with people of similar interests. Dip into a few different groups and see what they're talking about. When you join a conversation, always include your contact details (both on the social network and off-line) so that potential clients and customers can find you if they'd like more information.

Try several different groups to see what's out there. Then, when you've checked around, settle on two or three that seem to best match up with your business interests and become 'regulars' on those groups: Participate in conversations, provide information, make helpful comments. (Try out my Writing and Publishing group at On some of the networks, such as LinkedIn, you can also position yourself as an expert by answering questions in your area of expertise, which is definitely worth doing if you have enough time to do it consistently to build up a reputation.

Start your own group
Once you've got the hang of how groups work, start one of your own. Put up the reason for the group and a few posts before you invite anyone to join. Then invite all your friends. Remember when you create the group to set the group profile to open/global so that other people can join. You can also send a message to everyone in the group at once asking them all to invite friends and colleagues. Once you have a critical mass of people on the group, start mentioning the group in other places: In posts to listserves, in your email signature, on your website, etc.

There are a myriad of other creative things you can do on social networks too, but these tips are a great way to get started. Happy networking!

Fern Reiss is CEO of and ( and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at



"The Unstoppable" Frankie Picasso is author of Midlife Mojo: How to get through Midlife Crisis and Emerge as Your True Self (iUniverse 2008), a life coach and radio host. To promote her book, she picked a day (August 13, 2008) to become Best Seller on and then began to promote that day to her network. She sent out two newsletters and utilized Facebook and other networking groups, asking readers NOT to buy her book until that day.

"As my book was coming out, I mentioned it to numerous folks I had tagged as "MY CHAMPIONS"...these were people I knew loved me and would 'read the advance copies' and then spread the word," she recalls. "I managed to have a very successful 'Amazon Day' in August utilizing this online marketing strategy. My book got to Best Seller status for the day in three different categories."

Ed Weinsberg is a retired rabbi, robotic prostate cancer survivor and first time author. The promotional plan for his book, Conquer Prostate Cancer: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life (Health Success Media 2008), is commendable - except possibly for the money he's spent in the process.

Ten months before publication, he hired a marketing consultant who helped him set up his plan:

(1) After posting two of his articles a month on his blog, he noticed a spike on Google hits. Thus far, he's posted five 600-word articles and plans to hire the Blog Squad for $125 to "automtically have all my blog posts sent to 200 web directories to spread the word and up my SEO ranking," he says.

(2) With his book now on Amazon, Ed has started a blog/book tour and purchasers of his book will receive free bonus reports.

(3) He is contacting executives of five of the largest prostate cancer support and education organizations in the USA and getting them to feature his book cover and description in exchange for their receiving a portion of the book's proceeds. "So far two have followed through and I'm working on three others that expressed initial interest but are moving all too slowly," he says. "This way I'll have a targeted audience of nearly half a million viewers a year at least seeing my book, even if only five percent look at my blog and two percent buy. I think that's a good start."

(4) He contacted the robotic manufacturer of the da Vinci device that was used in his robotic surgery in 2007. "The CEO and his top people have requested my book, and are currently looking at it for patient and doctor education, since after my prostate cancer experiences and research I've now become a prostate healthcare educator," says Ed. "I initiated contact with a second urological company that MIGHT be willing to promote my book in their monthly newsletter to 4,000 urologists, if they feel I'm supportive enough in my book about their product."

(5) He started a media blitz with the help of his contributing author, Dr. Robert Carey, to include newspapers and TV.

(6) He contacted a pr specialist in LA who has worked with the American Cancer Society (one of my book's beneficiaries)," he says. "She has given me her non-profit rate of $125 to help critique my press releases." He has written three so far and was expecting to hear from her shortly.

(7) He contacted a TV personality who promotes new authors "and reportedly has an auidence of 200,000," says Ed. "She expressed her interest in getting my book and media, and has already seen my Media Room at my website."

(8) He bought Alex Carroll's $700 updated list of radio stations. [Editor's note - I wrote him that my forthcoming book, Talk Radio Wants You, is cheap in comparison, at only $75].

(9) He plans to email a large web blog/radio called "For Guys Only," recommended by Steve Harrison, to get on that show.

(10) He subscribes to Steve Harrison's $39 a month newsletter for authors, "although that's a big expense for me and I might have to unsubscribe soon," he says. "This is the first month I've joined, and some of the names in points 6,7, and 8 are mentioned by him, so he's been a good resource."

(11) Ed has gotten a dozen book endorsements from well known authors who are also listed on his blog, including John Gray, Rabbi Harold Kushner, and Dr. Robert Butler and hopes "their names will help sell my book."

(12) He was a guest on The Group Room Cancer Talk Radio, "one of the longest running, largest audience cancer talk shows," he says.

(13) "I have become friendly with John Kremer after attending two of his modestly priced conferences this past year, and follow his newsletter, which is somewhat helpful. His material is overwhelming, but superb."

(14) "I've contacted you in the hopes that you can help me 'land' some gigs with large audiences via articles and radio and TV media.

[Editor's note - Tall order and I don't do TV].


I wrote AARP Magazine for their guidelines, thinking I might send them something (even though I once heard that it's even harder to get in that magazine than Readers Digest. Turns out that what I wanted to send is not included in their categories, but it may help you.

They make a big point that they DO NOT "accept unsolicited manuscripts and any material you submit will not be returned." Also, the magazine "rarely uses unsolicited ideas," and does not print previously published articles." However, "you may submit your idea based on the following guidelines and your material will be reviewed."

Story idea letters for specific features and departments should be one page in length and accompanied by recent writing samples. The letter should explain the idea for the piece, tell how you would approach it as a writer, give some sense of your writing style, and mention the section of the magazine for which the piece is intended. Your samples should not include the actual story that you are proposing. Features and departments cover the following categories:
* Finance: investments, legal matters, and work issues
* Health: tips, trends, studies
* Food: recipes, emphasis on healthy eating
* Travel: domestic and international
* Consumerism: practical information and advice
* General interest: new thinking, research, information on timely
topics, trends

AARP The Magazine does not accept queries by fax so either email to as plain text within the body of your message
(no attachments) or mail it to the following address:
AARP The Magazine
c/o Editorial Submission
601 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20049



Arlene Uslander was asked a question someone asked her that she could not answer, "but it's one that I think all of us writers would like to know the answer to, and hopefully, one of your subscribers will be able to answer it," she says.

"If you have an article published and the editor has tweaked it a bit here and there, condensed it, or whatever, do you, the author, still have the right to have it published elsewhere if you have only offered the publication one-time rights? In other words, does the editing mean that the article no longer belongs solely to you?"

Arlene is co-editor of The Simple Touch of Fate,



These are the spots I found for my clients:

Melissa Zollo will be the guest of Patricia Raskin, host of the Positive Living radio show, on Monday, November 10 at 2PM (ET) on Voice America.

Melissa is author of two audio programs: Discover the Power of Imagination and How to Unleash the Power Within and Attract Money.


Francine Silverman, P.O. Box 1333, Riverdale, New York 10471, is author of:

BOOK MARKETING FROM A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005) written by 325 paid subscribers to Book Promotion Newsletter.

Subscribers are entitled to a 20% discount on the book. Contact Fran at for code. The publisher's toll free number does not work outside the continental US and orders cannot be processed from its website for shipping outside the US.

Subscribers in foreign countries who wish to purchase the books with the discount may email Michelle at or fax an order (610/941-9959). She will provide confirmation that your order has been received and will be processed promptly. When using these options subscribers should put everything to Michelle's attention and reference the Promotional Code (contact Fran for code).

If emailing Michelle, DO NOT put your credit card number in any email correspondence as this is not secure.

Issue 150: Nov. 19, 2008

ISSN 1545-5599
Issue 150: Nov 19, 2008

Issued every other Wednesday since 2003

In This Issue:

(1) Feature Article
(2) Promotional Coups
(3) Light Bulb
(4) Grist for Your Mill
(5) Feedback
(6) Progress Report
(7) Kudos


Seven Book Promotion Mistakes and How to Fix Them

By Patricia Fry

You wrote an amazing book, designed it to perfection and even managed to get it published. But it isn't selling as well as you thought it would. What went wrong?

As the president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and an international speaker, I meet many authors who are disappointed in their book sales. I think it's fair to say that 100 percent of the time, the fault lies with the author. Fortunately, he or she has the power to change the situation. Here are seven common mistakes that authors make and tips for how to repair them:

1: The author writes the wrong book for the wrong audience. Way too many authors write the book they want to write without truly considering their audience. It's no wonder they fail in their attempt to promote the book. They're trying to reach an audience that doesn't want or need the book. Gerald is a case in point. I met this author in St. Louis. He wrote a book featuring scientific proof that there is no God and planned to sell it to a general audience. As it happens, the audience for this book is most likely comprised of people just like him-people with the same belief system.

There are two things this author can do:

· He can start marketing to the right audience.
· Once he sells enough copies of this book, he can go back to the drawing board and create a book that may actually appeal to a larger target audience.

In the meantime, he can write and submit articles on his theory to help establish a platform to use when he finally produces the right book for the right audience.

2: The author doesn't know that he is responsible for promotion. Obviously, this author didn't take the time and initiative to study the publishing industry or he would have known that his job isn't over once the book is published. Hopefully, the author will turn to informative sites, newsletters, forums and books where he'll quickly learn that authorship requires a commitment beyond the proper dotting of i's and the crossing of t's.

It's never too late to promote your book. Start now soliciting book reviews in appropriate magazines and at related Web sites and set up speaking engagements, for example.

3: The author neglects to build promotion into his book while he's writing it. Savvy authors think about their target audience while they are writing and designing their books. If yours would make a good reference book, for example, you'll want to include a complete index. For a novel, choose a setting that is conducive to promotion-a town that others want to read about and that would welcome your promotional appearances.

You could build promotion into your how-to book by involving a lot of experts and/or organizations. These individuals and organization leaders will promote the book to their contacts. For a novel, give a character a popular ailment. If you present it in a positive light, related associations might agree to help with promotion.

If you didn't think to build promotion into your book as you were writing it, dissect it now in search of possible promotional opportunities that are imbedded within. Does your young adult novel feature a girl with a horse? Perhaps horse and riding magazines, newsletters and Web sites would review it, publish excerpts or welcome your targeted article on an aspect of horsemanship. Maybe you could get some press related to your self-help book for women with phobias through health columns in newspapers nationwide, women's magazines or on radio talk shows such as "The Satellite Sisters."

Did you interview a high profile individual for your book? Ask her to promote the book to her audience. Request an interview with her for a major magazine. Do you have some impressive expert testimonials in your book? Play them up in your promotional material.

4: The author neglects to establish a platform. Many new authors don't know what a platform is. It's the author's following, his reach, his way of attracting his audience. Most successful authors today have a platform in place before they produce a book.

My platform for my writing/publishing-related books revolves around my experience in this field: my exposure through previously published and distributed books and articles on these subjects, my affiliation with SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) and my active and far-reaching speaking and workshop schedule, for example.

Your platform for your book on phobias might be the fact that you're a psychologist in this area of study, that you suffered a severe phobia for years, that you work with women with phobias or that you've written on this topic for years.

Even as a novelist, you'll need a following and this can be established through previously published novels, of course, published stories, a popular Web site or the fact that you're a widely-known master storyteller.

How can you play catch-up with regard to your platform? Start now getting exposure and establishing credibility in your field. Participate in online forums on your topic, submit articles to appropriate magazines and newsletters, set up speaking engagements, write letters to the editor of pertinent magazines, make news by starting a volunteer organization, for example, and then tell the press about it.

5: The author has unrealistic expectations. Many first-time authors (we've all been there) expect to sell their books by the truckloads through mega bookstores. They believe that any good book will be eagerly welcomed by bookstore owners and managers. The reality is that few people outside of traditional royalty publishers with track records can get new books into bookstores-no matter how brilliant and beautiful they are.

And here's something to consider-do you really want your books in mega bookstores? Just look at the competition. Space on bookstore shelves does not guarantee sales. In fact, books that are not selling will be returned-sometimes within the first six months.

If you are determined to have your books available through mega bookstores, there is a way. How? Make a big enough splash with your book that readers are swarming to bookstores asking for it by name. This might mean appearing on TV and radio with your book, presenting large seminars all over the U.S. related to your book and getting tons of press by creating news and submitting press releases to newspapers everywhere. Become high profile and get enough exposure for your book and, even if you are self-published, when enough readers start asking for your book by name, it will be accepted by bookstores everywhere.

6: The author gives promotion just a lick and a promise and then wonders why his book didn't "take off." Authors need to understand that book promotion is ongoing. It should start before you write the book and continue for as long as you want to sell books.

Remedy this mistake by establishing a solid promotional plan immediately. Start by compiling a mailing and emailing list. You'll use these lists to announce your book, publicize any specials you're running, inform folks of new additions to your products or services, let them know about upcoming appearances and so forth.

Your list should include everyone you know. Combine your Rolodex, Christmas card list, address books and club rosters. Add business colleagues, former classmates, your children's teachers, neighbors, your hairdresser, Yoga teacher and then continue to collect business cards everywhere you go.

This is just a start. Once you've notified your massive list about your book, research book promotion ideas and create a plan. You might pursue some or all of the following: build a Web site, launch a newsletter, write articles to promote your book, send press releases to newspapers everywhere, give presentations and solicit book reviews. In order to succeed as a published author, you must take promotion seriously. And do yourself a favor-don't stay too cozy inside your comfort zone.

7: The author gives up. I can't tell you how often I hear this from disillusioned authors, "I can't sell my book, so what's the use?" There's one thing for sure; you won't achieve the level of success you desire if you quit. Successful promotion takes time, energy, patience and lots of persistence.

Think, for a moment, about an author you admire-someone who is rather high profile. You see her name everywhere. Every time you visit a site related to this author's genre or topic, there's her book, her byline or her quote. This is no accident. This author spends many hours every week making sure her name is constantly in front of you. This is the sort of commitment you must make if you wish to experience a level of success as an author.

There's a lot to contemplate when entering the huge and competitive business of publishing. And promotion is a major consideration. Whether you land a traditional royalty publisher, self-publish (establish your own publishing company) or go with a fee-based POD publishing service, it is up to you-the author-to promote your book. And the time to start thinking about promotion is before you ever sit down and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Patricia Fry is the president of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) She is a full-time freelance writer and the author of 25 books including "The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book" (300-pages, $19.95). Additional information and order form at Visit Patricia's ongoing, informative blog at



Joyce Mason knows how to market locally. She is among the contributors to Capital Crimes: 15 Tales by Sacramento Area Authors (Umbach Consulting 2008), an anthology of mystery short stories by members of Capital Crimes, the local Sisters in Crime chapter. Her "twisted taco tale, "Digital," provides the comic relief in these homegrown murder and mayhem stories.

"Book stores and libraries in the Sacramento Area have been eager to support us as local authors," she says, adding that the 15 authors did six local signings. "Quite a bit of newspaper coverage, too.

"One point I hadn't thought of in a group work - the more people in it, the more networks and informal promotion. One of our best venues was to sell books in conjunction with Central Library at the downtown farmer's market. There are a lot of government buildings nearby, including the one I used to work at...and it was surprising how many 'strangers off the street' were interested in what we did and bought books. This experience has given me pause to consider that several authors could market their books together. For example, one of the libraries has hosted genre events and several authors at the same time, such as a trio of sci-fi writers. Why not? Each book is unique. Any competitive factor is balanced out by readers hungry for more than one hook in the genre they love."



Frankie Picasso, author of Midlife Mojo (iUniverse 2008), discovered that she gets "a better deal" by purchasing her own books rather than having people buy it from the publisher. "I finally clued in to buy 200 of my books and encourage folks to buy from me. I make more money."



Dolores M. Monahan, ND, Ph.D.; CPT/SN; RN (aka Dolly), has a section on her website for anyone who would like to write a story, poem, or article about anything they want to write about. She says "it was my way of getting content for the web site so I could get more hits on it and sell my books." - Humobile: A Caregiver's Guide to the Human Mechanical Machine (Dolly Press 2001) and I'm My Own Personal Trainer Plus (NY Dolly Press 2006).

Grant Leach, host of Haunted Talk Radio, is looking for someone to write his biography. If you or anyone you know is a biographer, contact Grant at

This portion from Rick Frishman's most recent newsletter is titled "Email Blasts." Admittedly, it is a LOT of work, but I bet if you follow his steps, your book will fly off the shelves. You don't have to follow his suggestions to the letter. You can adapt it to your own needs. For instance, I can't be bothered finding out what my potential market reads or where they shop. But it gave me the idea that when I send a flyer out to my contributors offering them a discount before the book is published, I will suggest that they pass the discount offer on to their email lists and announce it on their radio shows. Thank you, Rick:

Identifying Your Market and Your Partners

The first step in the e-mail blast process is to know your market.

Identify your audience, the people most likely to buy your book, down to the smallest detail. Ask what group or groups is most likely to purchase your title. Will it be men, single men, married men, women, single women, married women, parents, grandparents, sports enthusiasts, music lovers, and so on? The more sharply you define your potential buyers' profiles, characteristics, likes, dislikes, et cetera, the more tightly you can promote your book. Knowing your market will also help you select the best partners for your blast, which can make the difference in how well it succeeds.

To define your potential market, specifically answer the following questions:
* What characteristics do potential buyers of your book have in common?
* What specific behavior do your potential buyers commonly display?
* What are your potential buyers' interests?
* What do your potential buyers read?
* What radio and television programs do your potential buyers listen to and watch?
* What entertainment do your potential buyers like?
* How do your potential buyers spend their money?

Zero in on specific groups. If you wrote a book for parents of young children, research the behavior of the parents who would be most likely to buy your book. What books and magazines do they read? What Web sites do they visit? What words do they use for Internet searches? What newsletters, e-zines, or blogs do they subscribe to? Where do they shop and what do they buy?

Gilbert believes that the best way to learn about people's behavior is by sitting in on online forums. Since forums exist for virtually every subject, Gilbert visits those on his areas of interest. After he gets to know the people in the group, he asks them what their favorite newsletters, e-zines, and blogs are. He asks them where they shop and what they buy.

Do some detective work. Go to search engines such as or to find the sites that your potential buyers browse and visit. If you wrote a science fiction book, enter the phrase fans of science fiction or science fiction readers; check sites for fan clubs devoted to sci-fi movies, TV shows, or books. Visit those sites and look for common interests, advertisements, and links; note what they have in common. If they indicate that science fiction fans like video games, identify video game newsletters, e-zines, and lists that have lots of names. Then contact them to inquire if they might want to become one of your blast partners.


To run e-mail blasts, you don't have to have your own e-mail list, because large list owners will endorse your books and send your offers to people on their lists. Bestselling authors Randy Gilbert and Peggy McColl suggest that you look for partners who will support you by:

* Sending your offer to their contacts, subscribers, and those on their lists
* Providing bonus gifts that will make your offer more attractive to recipients. To enlist partners, you must convince them that partnering with you will benefit them.

Usually, your offer will help your partners by:

* Giving people on their lists high-value bonuses if they buy your book
* Making them a part of high-value or quality packages
* Making them partners with your other partners, which can increase their networks and prestige
* Spreading their names and the bonus items they contribute to new markets, which consist of your people and your other partners' people
* Giving them your and your other partners' endorsements

Identify potential strategic partners by:

1. Making a list of everyone you know personally and those on whom you have collected information. On your list, include their Web site addresses; their contact information; their newsletter, ezine, or blog names and number of subscribers; bonus gifts they can contribute; and their ranking on, which tracks Web sites' traffic. Adding personal information also could come in handy--especially if you encounter any initial resistance.

2. Compiling a list of your colleagues and associates. Include people in your genre, such as other authors on your subject, experts in your field, industry movers and shakers, and power brokers. List all of the information that you included for your potential strategic partners (see item 1).

3. Listing all your customers or clients. Give special emphasis to your larger customers, but include all of your customers or clients. Again, list the same information that you entered for your potential strategic partners (see item 1).

4. Identifying all your vendors and suppliers and those who would be interested in getting some of your business. Visit their Web sites, get their contact information, and include the information that you listed for your potential strategic partners (see item 1).

5. Including your competitors. List all relevant information about them that you can find. Often, you can get great information on your competitors from your vendors and business brokers. Also check out your competitors' Web sites.

6. Networking with everyone on your lists to (a) see if they would qualify as or be interested in being your strategic blast partners, or (b) ask if they know anyone who might be a good strategic partner for you.

7. Running keyword searches by entering words or phrases that identify your audience, the subject matter of your book, your publisher, and all related topics. When you find more Web sites, add them to your list. Keep building, building, and building. In may take you some time, but it will be worth the investment.

Visit the sites and see which ones could be strategic partners. Look for partners that are in related, compatible, or supportive businesses and that could help you on this promotion and those in the future.

When you look for partners, first concentrate on sites that have lots of traffic. Check newsletters, e-zines, and blogs because they tend to have the biggest address lists. Dig deeply into listings to find the best potential partners and don't settle. Don't simply visit the first ten sites you come up with. Take your time, check links, and continue to dig. Take the attitude that you're looking for life-long business partners, not just people to help with this one promotion.

Finding the right partners can take a number of steps. Some people you approach will not want or be able to help you. With each rejection, ask if they can refer you to someone else who could. They may know others who would be ideal partners who could play a major role in making your blast more successful.

Incentives for Partners
Make your partnership more beneficial by designating potential partners as "sponsors" of the bonuses you offer. To be a sponsor, they must donate a gift to everyone who buys your book as a result of the blast. Bonuses have "bounce back" because in return for their contributions, sponsors get
(1) publicity, because new people on your list and on your other partners' lists learn about them, their goods, and their services, and
(2) they build their lists. Their lists expand because in exchange for their contribution, they receive the names and e-mail addresses of people who purchase your book and claim bonuses.

Additional incentives that might attract list owners include:
* Giving them business referrals
* Directing traffic to their Web sites from your site, newsletter, e-zine, or blog
* Giving them your expertise
* Giving their subscribers special discounts
* Offering them affiliate commission on your other products
* Providing them with ad space in your newsletter, e-zine, blog, or Web site

If your campaign directs buyers to, tell your partners about Barnes & Noble's affiliate program. Under this program, your partners can make money when their people buy your book. This information may also help them reap rewards for other books that they recommend in the future, which can increase the benefits they can receive by partnering with you.

This from travel author David Stanley -

The Northwest Writer's Index is an online index of writers living, writing and performing in the Northwestern United States, and Canada. The region includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Western Canada. Each writer listed here has his/her own 'virtual baseball' card, listing e-mail addresses, homepages, biographical information, and bibliographic information.

We hope this database will be used by:

* potential employers looking for writers who possess specific job skills
* writing students looking for instructors
* readers and publishers looking for online writing by Northwest Writers

We ask for a small donation for this service to help us pay for maintaining this website ($25.00). It is a worthwhile small investment, as writers on this index have been contacted by employers and/or students. Email us at for questions.

Sample profile:

Fern Reiss of is about to launch an exciting new membership organization called, "The International Association of Writers," which provides a ton of publicity vehicles to writers: Everything from an International Speakers' Bureau, where you can post your availability to speak at meetings, conferences, and events to meeting planners; a Database of Experts, where you can post a profile so that journalists and editors can call you for quotes when they're doing an article on your topic or area of expertise: a Syndicated Articles Directory, where you can post your short articles and make them available to website editors and email newsletter editors who have publications related to your topics; and much, much more.

In addition to all the publicity opportunities, membership also includes a weekly email newsletter chock-full of articles, audios, and special reports. For $149, this is an amazing amount of resources. So take a look and see if it's appropriate for you and your business, and then tell some friends and colleagues! You can find the International Association of Writers at (and if you sign up in November, you get three additional publicity bonuses included at the same low price!")



Arlene Uslander had asked, "If you have an article published and the editor has tweaked it a bit here and there, condensed it, or whatever, do you, the author, still have the right to have it published elsewhere if you have only offered the publication one-time rights? In other words, does the editing mean that the article no longer belongs solely to you?"
Arlene is co-editor of The Simple Touch of Fate,

Michele Avanti responded: "Arlene can send her article out and have it published anywhere she would like. If she wants to use the edited version that the first magazine did, she needs a release from them to do so. Usually this will be no problem (no cost), unless it has been a major abridgment of a whole book."

Michele is author of GreeHee The Journey of Five (GreeHee Publishing 2006).

Cynthia Brian responded: "If the writer/author of the piece has offered one-time rights only and hopefully has this in a letter of agreement, the writer/author may still publish it elsewhere after the agreed upon time limit. Editing and tweaking does not in any way reverse rights of the original copyright holder. Arlene owns the article and as long as her contract indicates that she can publish elsewhere, she may."

Cynthia's latest books are The Business of Show Business (Starstyle Productions 2002), and Miracle Moments.®,” originally published in 1986 and now in its ninth printing.



Following are the spots I found for my clients:

Melissa Zollo has three invites coming up: She will be the guest of Frankie Picasso, host of Mission Unstoppable on December 9, 2008 at 8 pm (ET),, a guest of Rebbekah White, host of Heal Yourself Talk Radio, on December 17, 2008 at 1 pm (ET), and of Mike Quinsey on Connecting the Light on BBS Radio on January 23, 2009.

Melissa is author of two audio programs: Discover the Power of Imagination and How to Unleash the Power Within and Attract Money.

Tricia Molloy was the guest of Tom Mitchell on TmTalks on November 14, 2008. The show is on the Tan Talk Radio Network, AM 1340, AM 1350 and AM 1400, airing throughout Florida's Tampa Bay area.

Tricia is author of Divine Wisdom at Work (Aha! House 2006)

Michele Avanti was the guest of John Vercelletto, host of The Dream Worker on Blog Talk Radio, on Sunday, November 16, 2008. She will also be the guest of Laurie A. Santos, host of Extreme Dream Radio on Blog Talk Radio, on December 17, 2008 (the time still undecided).

Michele is a dream interpreter and author of the awarding-winning fantasy, GreeHee The Journey of Five - Tales of Tamoor Book One ((GreeHee Publishing 2006).

Anne Fletcher will be the guest of Bonnie Mechelle, host of Healthy Living and Weight Loss Radio on Blog Talk Radio, on December 7, 2008 at 8 pm (ET).

Anne has written three books about adult weight maintainers, the Thin for Life books, and her most recent book is about 104 teens (including her son) who have maintained weight loss - Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lost Weight and Kept It Off-And What They Wish Parents Knew (Hougton Mifflin 2007).

Walter Brasch was a guest on The Dr. Howard Gluss Show, on WS Radio on November 18, 2008. He also made his third appearance in the past six months on Free Range Thought with Adam Roufberg, WKNY-AM, Kingston, NY.

Walter's latest book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (BookSurge Publishing 2007).

Patricia Daly-Lipe will be a guest of Colleen Carr, host of Natural Horse Network, on Blog Talk Radio, on December 8, 2008 at 7 pm (ET).

Patricia lives in Virginia horse country with her husband, Steele, and has rescued six thoroughbreds and thoroughbred mix horses. She is author of Forbidden Loves, Paris Between the Wars, 1st Runner-Up for Fiction JADA Trophy and the Finalist Award; Messages from Nature; Myth, Magic and Metaphor, and La Jolla; A Celebration of Its Past, winner of the San Diego Books Awards in 2002.

Her new book, Messages from Nature, is a compilation of her magazine articles on her experiences with animals, the high seas and the Redwoods of California.

Yours truly will be a guest of Patricia Raskin, host of Positive Living on Voice America, on Monday, December 15 at 2pm ET/ 11am PT.



Lorraine Kember's book. 'Lean on Me' Cancer through a Carer's eyes, an inspirational true account of her late husband's courageous battle with mesothelioma (asbestos related cancer), has been translated into Braille and Audio books for the blind - "quite an achievement for a self published book eh!" says the Australian author.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Francine Silverman, P.O. Box 1333, Riverdale, New York 10471, is author of:

BOOK MARKETING FROM A-Z (Infinity Publishing 2005) written by 325 paid subscribers to Book Promotion Newsletter.

Subscribers are entitled to a 20% discount on the book. Contact Fran at for code. The publisher's toll free number does not work outside the continental US and orders cannot be processed from its website for shipping outside the US.

Subscribers in foreign countries who wish to purchase the books with the discount may email Michelle at or fax an order (610/941-9959). She will provide confirmation that your order has been received and will be processed promptly. When using these options subscribers should put everything to Michelle's attention and reference the Promotional Code (contact Fran for code).

If emailing Michelle, DO NOT put your credit card number in any email correspondence as this is not secure.

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