Saturday, August 22, 2009


Ready to be Red Hot?

Sometimes I feel like some of my questions about book marketing are too stupid to ask. Is Twitter a toy or a marketing tool? What exactly does 2.0 mean? How do I transform my in-person writing class into a telephone seminar? Finally, someone has peeked inside my head gathered all my stupid questions and answered them in a book!

I enjoyed Penny C. Sansevieri’s Red Hot Internet Publicity from the moment I opened it. The table of contents for this 279 page book is five pages long—each chapter is divided into multiple subsections making it easy to find the exact information you want. No more paging through chapters wondering what happened to that nugget of info you want to reread. And the information! Everything from avatars to autoresponders to ATL. Sansevieri manages to cover everything from the basics to complex marketing ideas without boring her reader or making them feel stupid. And because the book is divided into varying short sections: lists, quizzes, paragraphs, interviews, personal anecdotes you just seem to speed through it.

Not only do you get 200+ pages of information but the book is also peppered with web addresses for real-live examples of the subjects she’s talking about. Because isn’t the first rule of writing to show, not tell? She also isn’t selfish about giving lists of books, websites, blogs and online communties she thinks would help her readers. This book isn’t just for passive reading—you’ll be writing notes in the margins, highlighting, making lists.

So often I read books once and then pass them on to friends but not Red Hot Internet Publicity. It’s earned a spot on my permanent shelf right next to Strunk and White. I feel it can be useful to all types of writers: bloggers, wanna-be authors, and even those with several books under their belt. Sansevieri didn’t just answer my questions, she told me things I didn’t even realize I needed to know. It’s a book you’ll refer to again and again. I want all my friends to read it. But they need to get their own copy—I’m keeping mine!

Bio: Penny C. Sansevieri is the CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. and The Virtual Author Tour ( ). She is an expert on book marketing and was featured in 20 Questions column in the August issue of WOW! Women on Writing.

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Friday, April 24, 2009


Friday Speak Out: Message Board Marketing, Guest Post by Rita Milios

Message Board Marketing:

First Make a Good Impression, Then Make a Sale

by Rita Milios

Do you have a book to sell? Are you considering using message boards or news groups to reach potential book buyers? How you present yourself in your early contacts with members of these social networks can make the difference between being seen as an intruder or spammer and a valued member with a valued resource to share (your book).

Before you post that first message, take a moment to stop and think. Is your post likely to establish good rapport? Does it set a friendly tone? Does it help you create a good reputation for yourself–as a respectful and helpful resource person?

Prior to sending your message consider these questions:

• Is this topic something that most members will be interested in?

• What is the stated purpose of this group?

• Is my message “on topic” with the group’s stated purpose?

• Does my message offer an answer to a question or the solution to a problem?

• What benefits can the members derive from reading my post?

If you answer the “what’s in it for the group?” question with each message you create–starting with your very first message–then you will quickly become a valued resource person that members admire. Then, later, should you have an announcement that helps you (a new book to announce, for instance), they will be less likely to consider your announcement as “spam”.

Here are some announcement tips to help you craft a message that will be willingly read:

1) Focus on the benefit for members (what’s in it for them?).

2) Appeal to the emotions. Sales experts say that people respond first emotionally to a sales message and then later re-think it and justify it with logic.

3) Hook ‘em with a great headline. A headline is the first few words of your message. It is the “title” as it were. Your announcement’s headline is the most important part of your message. Members (who are also potential customers for your book) will either continue reading your message or completely ignore the rest of it, depending on how good your headline is.

4) Make sure your headline suggests a benefit or value for the reader. Make your headline interesting and cute if possible, but don’t sacrifice clarity…they have to “get” your message.

5) Most importantly, make sure your headline spurs the reader toward an action. (If the action you want them to take is to click on a link that takes them to your website, don’t be shy about telling them what to do. Be direct. Say something like, “Go to (www.yourwebsitename) to find out how you can access this valuable information!

6) Once they arrive at your website, direct them to the sale. Tell customers exactly what action to take. Click here. Fill out this order form. Provide your credit card information. If you fail to direct your customer to these final actions, you may lose them at the most crucial point. So make sure that your customer knows exactly what they need to do in order to purchase your book.

Rita Milios is author of more than 30 books, including How to Create Quizzes, Surveys and Polls to Power-Promote Your Book or Website! She offers unique book promotion services to fellow writers, including hourly “Borrow a Brain” brainstorming sessions. Find out more at, where you will also find FREE Quizzes and e-Reports.


Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Got A Minute? Get Some Marketing Tips!

By Jill Earl

Among the emails I receive inbox every Wednesday is ‘The Marketing Minute’, from marketing and publicity consultant, author and speaker Marcia Yudkin. After spending some time checking her site, I signed up for the free newsletter.

Why? I like the fact that when I read the information presented, my immediate response isn’t, “Hmm, I might be able to do that---someday.” Her nuggets of tips are easy to incorporate into your life, whether you’ve just stepped into the writing biz or you’re an old hand at it.

And it only takes a minute.

Recently, the ‘Create Entry Points’ email asked whether your material--website, book, or whatever--could be easily read by a first-time visitor or would that visitor have to have some familiarity with your work to understand what’s presented. Ms. Yudkin then offers suggestions on how to make your material accessible to all.

In another email, Ms. Yudkin used one of the newsletter’s subscribers as an example of imaginative marketing. In ‘Inject Fun into Fundraising’, subscriber Carolyn created Perley, a church mouse that keeps his church’s congregation up-to-date on the happenings of ‘their’ church through fundraising letters. As a result, Perley has a cookbook, offers various children’s activities on his webpage, and has another book on the way, co-authored with Carolyn.

There are also articles, publicity tips and other information to help you make the most of your marketing efforts.

See it all for yourself at

Go on, take a minute. Your marketing's worth it.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


What are you doing to promote your book?

I'm sure many of you have seen this before, but it's always good for a chuckle. So grab some popcorn and enjoy the flick! And remember: don't let this happen to you!

Moral of the story: start promoting your book now.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Pushing All the Right Buttons

As women, we already have a corner on the emo market. Actually, if you are anything like me, you can pretty much set a clock (or at least a calendar) by exactly when your mood swings are about to reach E-ticket carnival ride proportions. Something someone says, something you read, something you see, can trigger an emotional response. The key is to find a way to understand and use your emotional hot buttons. Once you recognize what stirs your thoughts, your ire, your passion--then you can begin to craft those emotional hot buttons into your stories and use them to create the same feelings in your readers.

The same technique with a slightly different angle can be used when you apply it to marketing. Analyze the things that make you respond positively and negatively to things like advertisements and book cover copy. Once you figure out what makes YOU want to purchase or read a book, then you'll be able to craft your marketing materials to appeal to other readers in the same way.

Marketing expert, Penny Sansevieri explained it well in a recent article that I will share with you.

Tapping into Emotional Hot Buttons
I talk a lot about "tapping into emotional hot buttons"--so much so that in a recent class I taught an author stood up and said: "Ok, enough already! Everyone talks about emotional hot buttons but what are they?" Good question and I suspect it's one many of us in marketing forget ourselves from time to time. So let's look at some of these emotional triggers. What makes people buy, read, or join whatever it is we're selling.

We want what we don't have. This is pretty basic. We want what we don't have. We want more money, we want to be fitter, healthier, sexier, smarter. Some of us (ok, most of us) want more time. We also desire to be popular (come, admit it, even the most modest of us desire popularity). We want more security but we also want to have more fun. We want to be smarter and with all the data out there, we want to be "in the know."

We want to keep what we have. Once we have whatever it is we desire, we want to keep it. Books on keeping relationships strong, keeping marriages working, staying on your diet, keeping the weight off, keeping your job, whatever it is—these thousands of books are a testament to the fact that once we have what we want, we don't want to lose it.

We want to avoid stuff we don't like. Let's face it, we've all 'copped out' at some point or another. We want it the way we want it and the icky stuff, well, let's avoid that altogether. How can you help someone avoid doing stuff they don't like? Thousands of books have been written on this topic. Everything from reframing, to repositioning a particular topic, even less painful ways to end a relationship.

We want to be liked. It's a pretty standard human emotion. We want to be liked, or at the very least respected. Being 'in the know' makes us liked, doing and saying the right things in social situations makes us likable. While some would argue "I won't sell my soul to be liked," it's still a very strong thread in our culture. From buying the right shoe, to purchasing the right house. We want to be liked or rather, like everyone else.

We want to be unique. On the heels of the above statement this may not make sense, but in a world of sameness we also want to be unique. Not so unique that we're walking down the street with pink hair (with all due respect to my fabulous hairdresser who from time to time dons a pink-do), but we want to be seen as individual, and independent. You'll see a lot of this in car commercials. The next time one of the car manufacturers is trying to sell you a car on TV, watch the ad closely. In not so subtle ways they'll tell you the car is what everyone else wants or has, and yet at the same time it has your own personal thumbprint of uniqueness.

So now that you know what emotional hot buttons are, how to do you tap into them? Well, first off find out what your book does for the reader. Whether fiction or non-fiction it doesn't matter. There's always an emotional trigger that gets someone to buy something. We all buy from emotion, it's that simple. So figure out what the emotion is (and there might be several), and then tap into that emotion. You can tap into an emotion through engaging words on your website, through blog postings, ads, a video trailer of your book, whatever it is, if you're not pressing their buttons you're probably not making the sale either.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.


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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Red Hot Internet Publicity

Book Marketing for Authors

If you’re ready to make your foray into the 'Net, here are some easy ways you can access your success online.

1) Forget about getting a web site: get an online brochure that sells books. I think one of the biggest problems with web sites is that people think they need to be fancy and colorful and most of all: complicated. While color on a site is not a bad thing, don’t let the design of the web site mar its effectiveness. The best web sites are often the most drab. Let’s take a look at two very successful sites: Google and Craig’s List. Now we all know about the Google site, but have you looked at the Craig’s List site recently? It’s quite possibly one of the worst looking sites in history, but you know what? It does the job and it does it very well. That’s the key: a site needs to do the job and do it well, if that means having a chartreuse web page then that’s what it means.

2) Social networking: you may hate real-time networking, but don’t miss the boat with your online efforts. Sites like MySpace, Eons, Gather and Linkedin are all fantastic places to network *and* they’re additional portals to your book, product, or message. You can be on one or all of these sites, it just depends on how aggressive a marketer you want to be.

3) Craig’s List as a promotional tool: have you ever tried driving traffic to your site from Craig’s List? If you haven’t, you should. Craig’s List is a unique promotional tool and while it can have an impact on your promotion, you need to use it with care. Take a peek at the sight and start reading some of the other ads and blurbs that make the cut. Posting to this site requires a certain casual, maybe even campy language approach. And keep this in mind: Craig’s List is very anti-sale so whatever you do, offer help, a solution, or some other freebie, but don’t sell. Using a loss-leader to get people to your site is often a great idea when it comes to Craig’s List promotion.

4) Article syndication: Online article syndication is the way to go to maximize your online exposure. The thing is, a year ago we were telling you to load your articles onto as many syndication sites as you could - one hundred or more was even better. How has that changed? Well, now loading your articles on more than five sites could be the kiss of death and get your articles sent into oblivion instead of getting exposure.

5) Are you social bookmarking? Here’s how it works: Social bookmarking allows you to generate high quality backlinks to your sites and promote your web presence.

Some of the most popular social bookmarking sites are: Technorati,, Flickr. In its simplest form, social bookmarking is the collective act of bookmarking (tagging) and sharing Internet links and resources. By sharing, of course we mean promoting. There are different types of social bookmarking services – you can upload, store, bookmark (tag) and share photos, news stories, links. So how does it work? Let’s say you have a book web site that you like, using one of the social bookmarking services like you can assign that webpage a tag and put it up on your page, which can be accessed by anyone. Your page can be used for promotion or to create a resource page or customers. You can also share your page with other people and have them link to it, or put links to your new web sites on your page to get inbound links.

6) Got a blog? Then try adding your blog to Blogburst. Access to this site could get your blog entries picked up by Reuters, the Associated Press, and USA Today online.

Getting on the 'Net doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does have to be effective. Using tools (most of them free) can really drive some traffic to your site and interest to your book. Remember that when it comes to Internet marketing, more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more. It's easy to get lost in the noise of the 'Net, but the simplest way to bypass the clutter is to stay on message and connect with sites that have good ranking. Why? Because their ranking is your ranking, if you’re getting listed on a high traffic site, guess what? Sooner or later that traffic could find its way to you.


Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

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