It’s great to see the kick-off of Dave Crenshaw’s blog tour in support of the The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing it All” Gets Nothing Done. He made a great effort to reach out to like-minded bloggers, folks who write about productivity, time management and organization, and he’s been successful so far.
In the last three days Dave has been covered, reviewed or interviewed in the following blogs:
Virtually Organized
Change Your Thoughts
Cranking Widgets
Genuine Curiosity
Awake at the Wheel
Dave’s great results so far aren’t the result of some high powered PR agency; it’s the result of his own focused preparation and roll-out plan.
Per my recent post, you can’t expect that people are going to hunt down your new book to review it. You have to take the lead in finding the very best possible reviewers with the most focused message and audience.

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  •   Marketing Your Book

Don’t assume that just because you wrote a book someone is going to want to review it.
Too often I find that writers forget about following through once a book is published, but in reality that’s the most important time to plan for a real push to find and solicit reviewers of your book. This goes for Amazon reviews too.
Your publisher should solicit a list of potential reviewers who should be sent the book, but if they don’t, be sure to pipe up and send them a list. You can find reviewers throughout the blogosphere, or in user groups, or for tech books on sites like Slashdot, and if you have a trade title with a great niche (ala Sex in a Tent) then actively read the magazines that cover your topic and try to make connections with reviewers (Glamour, Cosmo, Outside, all fit the bill for SIT).
Very important: try to find reviewers who are definitely interested in your topic. Reviewers, and bloggers, are overwhelmed with review requests, so try to find a like-mind!
I know this sounds sort of basic, but someone just asked me today if I had seen any reviews of their book and I had to ask, have you asked for any reviews?
I promise, your publisher will be more than happy to send copies to prospective reviewers.

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Here’s a shout out to Peter Shankman and his very cool site, Helpareporter, which matches reporters with experts. The queries come from all sorts of outlets, including bloggers, podcasters, trade magazines, book authors and big dailies.
I read his queries every day and pass leads to my clients when I see something that looks like a good fit, but HARO is also definitely worth checking out if you’re a writer and you’re looking for experts to interview yourself.
Peter has a fun blog and cool book, Can We Do That? Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them. Check them out.

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  •   Marketing Your Book

Joe Wikert had an interesting post yesterday, Author Marketing.

Recently Joe noted the obviously effective and concentrated online marketing plan for The AdSense Code, by Joel Comm, which rose from 12,000 at Amazon to the top few spots in the space of a day, a meteoric rise unusual for any tech title (and a tide which seemed to lift other boats as well, including a title I rep, Google Advertising Tools: Cashing in with AdSense, AdWords, and the Google APIs, by Harold Davis, which simultaneously rose to the top ten in the computer and internet category).

Joe talked to Joel and cracked his marketing code (sorry!), which turned out to be a blend of co-marketing and sponsored “add-on” content (e-zines for one). Joe writes —

“For example, let’s say you’re writing a book about Excel. Maybe I’ve got a small business selling Excel add-on’s. If I offer up my mailing list and a free piece of my core product, I could be a sponsor for your book. Gather enough of these sponsors and you suddenly have a completely new value proposition for your book: “Buy my book this week on Amazon and you’ll get over $300 in third-party Excel add-on’s.”

It’s common to license demo-ware, time-expired software, etc. for books but we rarely then ask for an email blast campaign or multi-partner co-marketing plan on top of it. Based on Joel Comm’s success, it might be a good idea to coordinate such a program in any book that features value-add bundles. I know I’m going to try it with a book I’m working on right now. It’s a great idea. The only caution I have is about certain “pay for play” scenarios where good advice might be trumped by better marketing — i.e., I don’t like your product but boy do you have a great email list and maybe I’ll partner with you anyways.

Either way, you have to deal with this sort of third party marketing while you write the book, you have to plan ahead.

Of course this sort of software “add-on” is somewhat unique to the tech publishing industry, but you might be able to bundle coupons, special offers, online memberships, in a variety of books.

In some cases the book is just the come-on to the extra content: look at what Kevin Trudeau did with his book, Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About, offering limited memberships to his web-site as an “add-on.” You don’t spend ten million dollars marketing a book unless the book is just the tip of the iceberg. And although Kevin is somewhat controversial it’s worth noting that other well respected Alternative Health authors also have a robust online presence, from Deepak Chopra to Andrew Weil.

Another point of interest to me, Morgan James seems* to be one of the newer hybrid publishers, a sort of cross between POD and more hands-on self-publishing consultant. Here’s a link to a recent PW article on hybrids, Link, and here’s the “About Morgan James” page, Link.

Morgan James calls their model the “Entrepreneurial Publishing Model” — and they’ve trademarked it :-). I’d be curious to learn what sort of brick and mortar success they’ve had. They say —

“We actively work with our authors to help them not only maximize revenue from their book royalties, but also build new business and increase their revenue substantially through follow-on sales to their readers.”

That sounds cool. And (or but)–

“We’ve also set up a number of imprints, like Knowledge Exchange Press, where authors can republish (and customize as they wish) books that are in the public domain. No other publisher is actively offering turnkey publishing packages like this, to our knowledge.”

That sounds like pretty much standard POD. What other publisher talks about “turnkey publishing packages?”

*I’ve written to them to learn what I can about their business. I’ll report back.


I had a nice long talk with David Hancock at Morgan James, and it does sound to me like this is something of a hybrid model: no advances but reasonably high royalties; they may use offset printing on first runs but will probably replenish the channel with print on demand; they use Ingram Publishing Services for distribution; and they have what they call an author-centered approach: i.e., the author retains the rights to resell the project to another publisher, and retains audio, and other subsidiary rights. He re-iterated that they like to call their model “entrepreneurial publishing,” which, as far as I can tell, boils down to coaching the author to generate as many leads and direct sales opportunities as possible. In all he sounds like he has a reasonable plan, and this sort of publishing may work well for projects where the author has a strong platform and sales channel, or where an author wants to control the rights to his or her book. And that seems to be their focus: business, finance and related self-help. Their author list confirms this, including folks like Jay Conrad Levinson and Tony Alessandro. It’s important to note that these authors have great platforms. They tour and speak constantly, and they have the experience and pedigree to function as a sort of “co-publisher.”

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I never heard this term before, but I must have just missed it because it’s so obvious. One of the publishers I met with at MacWorld this week said he was particularly interested in “roadies.”

Inside, I went “huh?”

And then I realized, he was talking about those speaking pros that jet from conference to conference and speak to thousands of potential readers throughout the year. I said, “oh, you mean the authors who don’t really have time to write but somehow get it done in hotels, on airplanes and in cabs?”


If you have the inclination and talent to become a roadie, by all means do so. You can start small. Start with user groups, special interest groups, your chamber of commerce, Learning Annex, or teach extension courses if need be, but the better salesperson you become, and the more shows you attend, the richer you’ll be.

This is maybe a tough deal for shy authors who may not feel comfortable with public speaking. For those folks, at the very minimum, I encourage you to at least set up online and find communities where you can participate and contribute.


Holtzbrinck (a company that includes such publishers as St. Martin’s, Henry Holt, and F.S.G.) has launched a promotional podcast featuring chapters from top authors. The feeds, for the most part, are excerpted from their own Audio Renaissance titles, but they offer at least one recent live reading from Michael Cunningham.


This will be blogged to death but I’m posting it in case any of my authors miss it.

Seth Godin continues to push the boundaries with his eBooks, giving away his ideas to build his brand and to eventually sell more books, speeches and consulting. You can find his new eBook, Who’s There? Seth Godin’s Incomplete Guide to Blogs and the New Web, which is aimed squarely at all viral bloggers, here.

Check it out if you’re an author looking to blog to promote your books, your services or yourself. It’s a quick read filled with lots of great advice.

My favorite quote, “faking it online is much more difficult than doing it in the real world.” I figure that’s one of the reasons I blog. And my blog is in no way a great advertisement for blogging, I know, but so far, modest as it is, it’s a great tool that lets my clients know what I’m up to, and helps potential clients figure out if they’d like to work with me or not.

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  •   Marketing Your Book

Here’s a nice wrinkle on audio books, self-publishing, and promotion, Podiobooks, covered in today’s Book Standard.

Podiobooks offers free podcasts of novels and narrative non-fiction. Most seem to be self-published and the podcasts are meant as a marketing tool right now, but the founders see some potential for selling advertising or sponsorships, and offer a 50-50 split of any future revenues on a non-exclusive distribution deal. It’s an interesting idea and another sign of what can be done with electronic distribution.

In most cases authors will sign audio rights to their publisher, and publishers won’t likely be jumping on giving away audio books anytime soon, but they might be inclined to distribute chapters as a promotional gimmick.


Dave Taylor has created a great companion site for his Complete Idiot’s Guide to Growing Your Business with Google.

Rather than offer one or two chapter excerpts, he offers snippets from every chapter in the book. This extensive sharing of the book might remind you of the early web mantra that information wants to be free — I’m not sure we can say anymore that it wants just to be free. In regards to bookselling, and marketing and promotion, it’s probably more accurate to say that information wants to be found.

Note that Dave has garnered blurbs galore, and a foreword from marketing notable Guy Kawasaki. It’s a nice model for other authors and books.