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, January 23, 2009


Getting People to Your Writing Events

Publicizing a writer's event is something that is on my mind these days as I work as the publicity chair for the 94th Annual Missouri Writers' Guild conference, held in Cape Girardeau on April 3, 4, and 5. I am excited to be involved with this project as we are going to have some WONDERUL speakers, including WOW!'s very own editors--Angela Mackintosh and Annette Fix--as well as TV Writer Lee Goldberg, Simon and Schuster editor Kate Angelella, and Pulitizer Prize nominee Harvey Stanbrough.

It's also on my mind because as I become more involved with social networking, blogging, listservs, and email newsletters, I see several events such as book signings, writing classes, workshops, and conferences advertised every day. On Facebook, I am invited to several different events, and I wish I could attend them all but distance, time, and expense play a factor in my being able to attend.

So, how do you make your event stand out above the rest? How do you get more than just your family to your book signing? This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, and so far I've come up with only a couple answers. I'm hoping some of you, Muffin readers, will have some more ideas.

Here's what I think:

1. You must offer something in return to your attendees for their time and money. One of my writing friends, Alice McGinty, who writes for children, often offers a craft and refreshments at her book signings. Her craft goes along with her books and makes people want to bring their children for an hour or two of entertainment by a children's author.

At the Missouri Writers' Guild Conference in Cape Girardeau, we are offering attendees, for the price of admission, at least one face-to-face meeting with an agent or editor. So, not only do conference attendees get a weekend of writing workshops and networking opportunities, they also get a chance to meet with a professional that they might not normally meet. Many authors have gotten published this way.

2. Another way to make your event stand out is for YOU to attend others' events. It's kind of like that old saying, "If I scratch your back, then you'll scratch mine." Be as supportive as you can of others' careers. You obviously can't attend everything that comes your way, but you can email friends about opportunities or include listings on your blog and so on.

3. And finally network, network, network. If people know you and respect you, they are more likely to attend something you are recommending.

Please share any other ideas you have!

Happy publicizing!

Margo Dill
Read These Books and Use Them (blog)

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