Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why Publicity Builds Legitimacy

by Shel Horowitz

Why is it important to get news coverage? Of course, you hope that people who see the article or hear/watch the interview will buy your book. But the real payoffs continue long after the paper is recycled, the interview is forgotten.

People need ways of sorting the good stuff from the junk--especially in our oversaturated age, with over 100,000 new books published each month just in the U.S., and tens of thousands more flooding in from other markets. Since even a really avid reader can only manage about three books a week, tops (or 150 or so in a year) and most people will read only a handful in a year, your audience wants a way to know which books are good.

When that reader gets to your website and sees that you've been covered in famous publications...interviewed on dozens of shows...gotten endorsements from prominent achievers in your field (and from ordinary readers like them)...all these things work to build that all-important credibility with the reader. With all those reasons to take a chance on you their unfamiliarity with you as an author becomes much less of a barrier.

Also, in most cases, these kinds of credentials establish your credibility *with the media.* Reporters and editors will know, first of all, that you are worth talking to because all these other publications and stations and websites found you worth covering--and also that you're reasonably comfortable being interviewed and won't freeze up over the air. So they're more likely to call you as a source; and publicity builds more publicity. (The exception: some of the largest TV shows won't want you if you've been aired by their direct competitors--but that's pretty much only an issue for shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Shel Horowitz walks you down the path from unpublished writer to well-published and well-marketed author. A publishing consultant and book marketing writer, he’s helped several writers publish award-winning books. Several of his own 10 books have won awards and or been resold to foreign publishers, including Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, which was a category bestseller on Amazon at least 34 separate months.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Book

Now is the time to develop a marketing and publicity plan for your book

By Rachel M. Anderson, Publicist, RMA Publicity

For many authors, marketing is more of an afterthought than something they think about as they are writing their books. But if you want the manuscript you have poured your heart and soul into to sell, you need to put some thought into how you are going to reach readers. 
A good starting point is to determine your target audience, and no, not everyone who can read will be a good target! You need to step back and determine the characteristics of the person most likely to want to read your book. For example, a reader in his or her 20s is unlikely to take interest in a memoir about an Alzheimer's Journey. But people in their 40s and 50s with older parents may. By the same token, a senior citizen probably won't care for a novel set on a college campus. The ideal audience for that type of book would be older teens and those in their 20s.
Once you have determined whom you are writing for, it is time to give some serious thought to how you can best reach that ideal reader. I recommend you consider both publicity and marketing to promote your books. Contrary to popular belief, they are not one in the same. A good way to differentiate the two is to think of marketing as the paid side of things and publicity as the unpaid side. 
Marketing involves such things as book distribution, advertising and securing signings and tables at events. Publicity involves reaching out to the media to secure stories on TV, in the newspaper, on radio and online, as well as acquiring reviews.

Here are ten tips that will help get you started on a solid marketing and publicity plan:
1. Create a Website for your book. If you don’t have one, it will be hard for potential readers to find you and the media to promote you.
2. Launch a social media campaign. This is something you can and should do well before your book is in print to create a following/fan-base. An easy way to do this is to create a Facebook Fan Page for your book and contribute entries to it regularly. Fan pages are totally free to set up and offer a viral method of making contact with potential customers. The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. (Make sure you mention that you have a Facebook Fan Page on your Website.) 
3. Develop a list of places where your potential readers spend time and make plans to visit with them on their “home turf” throughout the year. If, for example, your book is about dieting or recovering from drug addiction, you should be attending regular support group meetings and telling people about your book. If you have a business book, join the local Chamber of Commerce and regularly attend meetings. 
4. Seek out non-profits and other organizations that would be most interested in your book and/or expertise and let them know about your title. If your book is about organ donation, for example, Life Source, the American Organ Transplant Association and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), are good organizations to get to know.
5. If you haven’t done it yet, ask your friends and people you know who have purchased your book to write a review and post it on The more reviews and activity you have, the higher you move in the searchable listings. 
6. A lot of authors who started out by publishing just a traditional printed book have found that having their title available as an eBook as well significantly impacts the number of sales they get. According to a recent survey released by the American Association of Publishers (AAP) the market share of eBooks grew more than 1,200 percent from 2008 to 2010. 
7. Start a blog and contribute to it regularly, making reference to your book as often as you can. If people like what you have to say, they are likely to purchase your book. 
8. Pay attention to stories making their way through the news cycle. They may offer you opportunities to get on the news. 
9. Prepare regular press releases and distribute them to the media, or hire a publicist to handle this task for you. When you see a story in the news that you would like to comment on, don’t just think about it, do it! Those authors who send out regular press releases are more likely to become sources for reporters than those who don’t. The release of your book should mark the first time you reach out to the media, not the last. 
10. Spend some time researching the editorial calendar used by reporters to determine where your story would fit best. 

Need help executing your plan? RMA Publicity would be happy to help. We develop marketing and publicity plans for authors, offer writing and pitching services, and can also help with setting up book launch parties, book signings and other author events. Contact us for more information.

About the Author 
Rachel M. Anderson has more than 25 years of communications experience across a wide range of disciplines. She currently works as a marketing & PR consultant and publicist for RMA Publicity, a company she founded in 2009 to help small publishers and those who have self published promote their books to local, national and international audiences.  Rachel also has experience as a marketing and direct response copywriter, television newscast producer and assignment editor, television newscast reporter and newspaper reporter. She is currently an at-large board member with the Midwest Independent Publishing Association (MIPA) and writes the monthly marketing article for the Association newsletter.  

Rachel lives in the Twin Cities, but works with authors and publishers across the country. 

Rachel M. Anderson

Marketing & PR Consultant/Publicist
RMA Publicity 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Many authors, either self-published or published by major publishing houses, find getting the word out about their newly-released book to be a challenge. There are just so many reviews appearing in the major newspapers and they primarily focus on already established authors. How can an unknown writer raise his or her profile and get reviews to bolster book sales?

Publicity is key!

In order to maximize visibility for you, your brand, and your book, it’s best to use the following guidelines:

  1. Send review copies to the major media outlets that will review the book, including Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and other publications that will do an honest critique of the book.
  2. Build up your own network of supporters of your book, including friends and family. You want them to write reviews on websites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and other book-specific blogs, ezines and sites.
  3. When you reach a specific milestone --like signing a book deal, the actual printed books arriving, etc., organize a party at your home to celebrate. At the party, read excerpts from the book and answer any questions from your guests. Request that they write reviews and post them after they’ve had a chance to read your book.
  4. If you don’t have any interest or talent in actually promoting the book and if your publisher is not investing any money in publicizing it, consider hiring a book publicist.  Getting publicity and speaking opportunities for an author – especially a new author – is a time-consuming endeavor. It’s best left to the professionals who have media contacts and have done book publicity for years. Reach out to websites that focus on book marketing to see which public relations agencies they recommend. With technology, it is no longer necessary for your publicist to be in your geographic area….they can work from anywhere to help you get the word out about your new book. Publicists can work within an author's budget and can be very cost-effective. If an article in a newspaper focuses on you and your book, it could translate to thousands of dollars of comparable advertising of your book in that same publication.  Hiring a Public Relations firm or consultant is much more economical than advertising, and has three times the credibility of an ad because the story is written by a third party. Publicists can help you with every step of getting you and your book out there to the local area and the world! For a comprehensive listing of book publicists, go to John Kremer’s Book Marketing Best Sellers website listing:  You’ll find yours truly under “T” (Tomic Communications)
  5. If you have no budget at all for public relations, you may wish to try to do it yourself. Start by writing a one-page summary of the book. Get a great head shot taken by a good amateur or professional. Include a color photograph of the book cover. Next, write a short biography of yourself and a pitch letter to the reporter you are trying to reach. Be sure to include a link where the book may be purchased (the Amazon page, for example) in your signature line.
  6. Creating a website for the book is another selling tool. Include sample chapters, a blog about the book, the media kit, a schedule of your upcoming speaking engagements (if you have any) and contact information.
  7. Six months or so before the book is published, ask for reviews or blurbs from influential individuals – including book reviewers at major newspapers. If your publisher doesn’t let you send the entire book, you can send the first couple of chapters, a table of contents (if it’s a non-fiction book) and your bio.
  8. Try to get speaking engagements in your local community. Ask your local bookstores, libraries, schools, colleges, if they are looking for speakers.  Make sure to send out a calendar listing of the event in advance to help draw a larger audience. Bring a box of books and designate an area following the Q & A for a book-signing. Expect to talk about a thirty minutes with 15 minutes or so of Q & A.
  9. Create videos and post them on YouTube to help create an online following. This is particularly useful for non-fiction authors who want to be seen as experts in their field.
  10. Be persistent! 99% of success requires hard work and persistence! Believe in yourself, your writing, and your book and your enthusiasm will draw people to you. They, in turn, will recommend your book to their friends and family. In some cases, that’s how a viral marketing campaign succeeds – through word of mouth.  
  11. Hire a publicist who really knows how to guide you in getting interviews and speaking engagements. Many offer much-reduced fees for independent authors.
  12. Good luck!

Charlotte Tomic, President
Tomic Communications, Inc. 917-882-5243,

Tomic Communications is a boutique public relations company that serves clients around the world. We assist in shining the spotlight on companies, authors, nonprofits and professionals to burnish their brand via strategic communications and planning. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

What Makes A Great Publicist?

A great publicist is hard to come by these days. There are so many publicity firms out there which claim to guarantee the success of their clients and charge a hefty dollar for it, only to leave the client feeling neglected, disappointed and financially depleted. So how do we distinguish between a mediocre publicist and one who is first-rate?
Your publicist should typically begin by assessing your content in order to design a customized publicity campaign which suits your needs and public. This includes assessing the size of the campaign and publicity channels needed to reach the targeted audience, creating a press release to send out via email, compiling a list of press contacts to which they will pitch the material, and finally, evaluating the cost of the entire endeavor. The publicist needs to be transparent with you. By that I mean, they must let you know on a day to day basis exactly what is being done.
Choose someone who you see is genuinely passionate about your project. If they’re not they won’t have the drive to promote your material, especially when they may not see immediate results from your campaign. Take the example of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” which got rejected 33 consecutive times from publishing houses. Health Communications took a chance on the now multi-million dollar series because they believed in their project. The rest, as you know, is history. A publicist who is passionate about your work will ensure they exhaust all possible avenues to promote your book.  And, make sure the publicist wants to read through your book so they know exactly what it is they are talking about.
In all aspects of life, you always want to work with someone honest. Honesty doesn’t mean being brutal and stepping on a client’s toes --it means being honest in business dealings and having the courage to tell the client that they can only go so far with the project. An honest publicist will want to ensure you will benefit from their service to the maximum ability.
It’s advisable to choose a publicist who has a past track record of successful publicity campaigns and a well-developed network of contacts.
Finally, an exceptional publicist will offer you financial flexibility in terms of repaying the service fee you owe them. Publicity costs money because it’s a big, time consuming job, so if it’s too financially burdensome for you then try to find someone who can arrange a feasible payment plan. The expense will pay off in the long haul by hiring a publicist who knows what they are doing.
Sherri Rosen's first client's book was on The New York Times Bestseller's List for 63 weeks. She has had her own business in NYC for 17 years giving a powerful voice to authors who are doing good things in the world. She just published her third Amazon-award winning book, "Publicity From The Trenches: For Published And Self Published Authors".

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top 38 Book Awards Authors Should Pursue for 2015

Enter Book Award Contests and Become an Award Winning Author in 2015!

As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”

by Scott Lorenz  Westwind Communications

“Do book awards matter?” YES!!

As a book publicist I am here to inform you that yes, they absolutely do matter! In fact, one of my clients won the prestigious Los Angeles Book Festival award. That then led to a flurry of media interest, which subsequently led to a major New York agent deciding to represent the book and pitch it to all the major publishing houses. This author, needless to say, was happy he decided to enter.

Another client won several awards and was contacted by two movie producers about her Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy Fiction book.

Pursuing and winning book awards will give you another opportunity to reach out to the media, booksellers and agents. As a book publicist I see the media perk up when an author client has received an award. It’s the added credibility that gives them the assurance that the book is worthwhile. It takes the risk out of the equation for the producer or reporter if it’s an ‘award winning’ book.

Awards also create interest in your book, which can lead to more sales and other opportunities. A book award may cause someone to stop in their tracks and consider picking up your book in a book store. A book award can give you an edge and sometimes that’s all the difference you need to propel your book into bestseller territory. If you win you can say you are an “award winning author.” Doesn’t that sound better? Of course it does, and you get a little magic that comes from a third party endorsement because an authority says your work is worthy, and that’s priceless.

Most awards charge a fee to enter. Not all awards have a category for your genre and not all of these will work for every book.

Here’s a list of my Top 38 book awards worthy of your consideration. Keep in mind that links change all the time and contests come and go. Some links are for the previous year because that’s all that was available at the time of this writing.

1. Enter to win The 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The contest is for independent, university, small press, self-publishers and independent authors throughout North America and overseas publishers who publish books intended for the American market.

2. Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Formerly ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards Check it out here

3. Check out the National Book Critics Circle Awards

4. The Man Booker Prize for Fiction boasts that the prize is the world's most important literary award. Entry Forms are due March 6 and Finished Books are due June 19.

5. The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award. Enter before December 31

6. Enter to win the Caldecott Medal before December 31 for your Children’s picture book

7. Find out how your book can earn a Hugo Award and check out science fiction’s most prestigious award details

8. Strive to be nominated and win the Nobel Prize in literature. Who can nominate? Professors of literature and of linguistics at universities and university colleges to name a few. (Another reason it pays to keep the ties to your alma mater!)

9. See how to submit your book for The Edgar Allan Poe Award, “The Edgar.”

10. FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year.

11. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction site will reopen for new entries in May 2015.

12. The National Book Award by the National Book Foundation. Learn how to submit your book here

13. Enter the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards by March 10, 2015. The “IPPY” Awards were conceived as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry, and are open to authors and publishers worldwide who produce books written in English and intended for the North American market.

14. Learn more about how to enter to win the Stonewall Book Award. Click for details

15. Enter Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards. Don’t miss this important ebook only award.

16. The Deadline for the Autumn House Press award for poetry, fiction and non-fiction is June 30. Check it out here

17. Enter to win the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Click for more details

18. Poets & Writers has nice list of writing contest, grants and awards. Check it out at:

19. Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award

20. Get your book recommended for The Discover Great New Writers award

21. The Nautilus Book Award seeks books that make a difference and inspire.

22. Here’s a service where you can enter several book festivals at the same time for about $50 per festival. This is absolutely the best idea. I’ve used this several times. One entry form, one payment, two books, ten plus book awards spread out over a year. Just do it.

23. The National Indie Excellence Book Awards competition selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors. Deadline is March 31, 2015

24. Have you written a business book? The Axiom Business Book Awards celebrate excellence in business book writing and publishing by presenting gold, silver and bronze medals in 20 business categories.

25. The non-profit Independent Book Publishers Association's Benjamin Franklin Awards are now in their 27th year of awarding excellence in book publishing in 55 categories. All entrants receive direct judge feedback--unique in the industry. For more information, visit

26. USA Best Book Awards has a ten year track record of honoring and promoting books to the national and international community. The contest is sponsored by USA Book News which covers books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, & self-published.

27. Reader Views Annual Literary Awards were established to honor writers who self-publish or who were published by small presses or independent publishers.

28. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The Grand Prize winner will receive a publishing contract and a $50,000 advance. All you need is a CreateSpace account. Check out this year’s winners and learn how to enter:

29. Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the only self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each. Early Bird deadline April 1, 2015.

30. Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors.

31. Romance Writer of America promotes the interests of career-focused romance writers by sponsoring awards that acknowledge excellence in the romance genre. RWA sponsors: “The RITA” for published romance fiction novels and “The Golden Heart” for unpublished romance fiction manuscripts.

32. Epic eBook Awards by The Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition (EPIC) annually recognizes the best ebooks in many categories. (Books may also have been be released in print editions.) The awards were previously known as the "Eppies"

33. Rubery Book Award is the longest established book award based in the UK for independent and self-published books. “The key to our success is having a keen eye for quality from distinguished and reputable judges.” First prize is $1,500 and the winning book will be read by a top literary agent.

34. The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author.

35. Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a list in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation.

36. The International Book Awards (IBA 2015) are specifically designed to be a promotional vehicle for authors and publishers to launch their careers, open global markets and compete with talented authors and publishers throughout the world. Winners get an extensive public relations campaign, social media promotion and more.

37. The Literary Classics Book Awards and Reviews were created to help authors gain recognition for their work and to help parents find the best in literature for children and young adults.

38. The Digital Book Awards celebrate quality and innovation in digital content. Each year, award winners and finalists in fifteen categories illustrate the cutting edge of digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences.

Need another reason to enter? Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review says, "The fact is award stickers help to convince buyers to purchase. I've seen this happen with librarians -- when faced with two competing titles and a limited acquisition budget the librarians will take the one that won an award, any award, over the title that doesn't have an award to its credit. I'm confident that this same phenomena works for bookstore patrons browsing the shelves as well."

The Bottom Line: Book awards do matter. Enter a few and become an “award winning author.” As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “YOU Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!” Get to it and let me know how it goes. If you know of another book award I should check out, please send me the details.

About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist Check his blog at:

Book Marketing Video Westwind

Monday, July 20, 2015

BOOK PUBLICITY & MARKETING 101 - By Charlie Barrett

During the almost 25 years since our firms ( and ) were first formed with the best-seller book PR project in the 1990s from Oscar winner movie producer Marty Jurow and his autobiography “See In’ Stars: A Show Biz Odyssey” from SMU Press, we at The Barrett Company and Hollywood Book Publicity have been contacted via email or phone by hundreds and hundreds of US and foreign authors needing help, assistance, guidance with bringing their books to world-wide readers. We have also successfully helped with introducing some select authors and their works to the Hollywood creative community for the big and small screens too.

One of the very first questions I ask an author is if they have done at least some basic homework beyond Amazon to get some knowledge of the publishing marketplace and where their published work may fit into it. I’m never surprised to still find that many trade publisher and self-published writers really have no grasp of how the whole process works in getting a book to the competitive marketplace. Many of these very talented non-fiction and fiction authors have been too immersed in getting their book published, quite knowingly a very intensive and very detail-oriented process – – with little time for anything else. Fair enough.

If an author can plan and execute their own PR plan for a book, which to be successful includes, but not limited to – – how to “sell” their book to the book media, write and distribute their own press releases to the print, electronic and growing digital medias, research and determine who it would be best to send their book to for review, if he or she is able to “self-train” themselves for medias interviews, arrange their own suitable book signing venues, determine how to enhance their book’s web site to make it more media friendly, is able to research and determine how to conduct their virtual book tour on the Net and also able to develop the ability to reach out and set-up their own interviews with the producers of meaningful radio and TV shows (“Charlie Rose”) and editor / writers at key national US magazines from “Men’s Health” to “Cosmopolitan” and others…then they do NOT need the services of a professional book publicist.

For any real and successful DIY media campaign for a self-published book author, it comes down to the media contacts he or she may have, be it for national TV shows such as Today or The View or in radio for shows like Coast To Coast AM with George Nouri for a science fiction / fantasy book author or maybe Good Day USA for a book on the U.S. political landscape these days.
Authors’ own PR campaigns also depends on how they can put together ways of capitalizing on the social network portals like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, scribd, Net Galley and others coming to their best advantage - -  to spread the word on their books. Obviously, this is going to take a great deal of time during business hours and oftentimes after business hours too.

First off, I would advise any author new to the world of book publicity to reflect upon what their publicity goals are and to ask themselves: are these realistic goals? One of the most common first questions book PR people can be asked is, “Can you get me on Oprah’s OWN network (I personally handled PR for Ms. Winfrey’s 2007 ABC series “Oprah’s Big Give”)?” Well, of course we can, since we have relationships with the show’s producers. But an author must truly realize it is the producers who ultimately decide to book the writer to fit perhaps any theme the show may be exploring such as child abuse, cheating spouses and maybe adoptees looking for their natural parents and so on and so on.

Now, if an author is being published by Simon & Schuster or Globe Pequot Press, the publisher’s publicist (my firm is a consultant to some big box publishers) will service the reviewers at such key outlets as Publishers Weekly, Book List and the others, but it can often stop at that point since they have other book releases that particular month to work on to expend their monetary and time budgets. So, what happens often is that good books get “lost in the shuffle” through no fault of their own.

If an author has a publisher with a PR department he or she should keep in constant contact with the publicist handling their book. Book reviewers and long lead magazine editors often plan 5 to 6 months ahead of publication month and TV shows too. Many, many big box publisher authors have engaged us to work with their respective publisher publicists to make sure all the bases are covered when their book comes into the marketplace. There is a lot of planning to be done and it’s never too early to start.

As a book publicist I welcome most calls I get from prospective new clients. I have listened to some of the most hilarious to the most sad stories all wrapped up in a book that is coming be it non-fiction or fiction covering – – biographies, politics, health, advice on getting remarried to maybe a thriller / new detective series.

If an author is interested in engaging the services of a professional book publicist he or she should make sure they get a free consultation with the publicist in-person or on the phone. Also, from there, a written plan or proposal should be provided to the author from the PR professional spelling out in detail what they feel they can do to help the author reach his or her goals in getting themselves known…to expand the awareness of their work.

About the author
Charlie began his Book PR career in New York many years ago working with Bantam Books and Simon & Schuster publishers. He also has reviewed books for the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and The Brentwood News in LA.
He formed The Barrett Company after serving in top PR and media relations positions with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) for more than ten years, where he was in charge of media relations for The Tonight Show and Johnny Carson and also, Today, among other well-known NBC shows such as Unsolved Mysteries, Fame and numerous highly-rated NBC specials, including The American Film Institute Awards and The American Movie Awards. As a film publicist in Hollywood, Charlie has worked with Dennis Hopper, Robert Stack, Tatum O’Neal, Steve McQueen, and Candice Bergen.

Charlie began his media career as a reporter with The Associated Press in New Haven, CT and later served on the editorial staffs of both The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles and Billboard in New York. He has also authored numerous articles for magazines and newspapers on the performing arts and travel as well as appearing as a regular contributor on major US radio talk shows discussing celebrities, films, television and books. Charlie was voted the Book Publicist of the Year award by the Southern California Book Publicists Society. TBC is a member of The Publishers Association of Los Angeles, The Academy of TV Arts and Sciences (ATAS gives the Emmy Award) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (the Oscar).

The Barrett Company is well known and regarded among the world’s media outlets for its credibility and creativity. Through years of client assignments TBC has developed remarkable and successful PR campaigns for a wide range of authors/publishers, Hollywood creatives, companies and celebrities, which have paved the way for the firm to produce media, consumer and trade events of all descriptions both in the US and overseas, from Book Expo to NATPE (the renowned annual television program executive conference) to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, The Frankfurt Book Fair and The Cannes International Film Festival. For more information on us see our web sites at and

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Promotion for the Dog Days of Summer

Authors know book promotion is 24/7 year round activity.  Yet when many ask themselves how they can promote their book during the slow summer time, they become discouraged.  They shouldn’t.  The summer is a great time for book promotion and to get the momentum going for the critical fall months.

First authors need to remember in the 24/7 news cycle and social media driven world, there is no slow time.  Newspapers, radio shows, television news, and magazines are all looking for story ideas.  And with the summer a slower period of time, the media is more likely to give a look to a story that they might not in the fall and also give it more coverage than in a busy news time.  Tie your book into a news story to help brand yourself as an expert.  This is an ideal time to do so and can allow you to be branded for even bigger opportunities in the fall.

Regardless of genre a book can be tapped for summer stories of new interests. For example, if you have a cookbook, some ways to position it might be healthy recipes for the summer or tips on how to eat healthy during the summer. If your novel is a mystery, promote your book by offering tips on why mysteries are popular during the summer.  Or if you are a romance writer, tie your book into summer romance tips.

If your book is at all related to family or children activities, the summer offers an abundance of media opportunities. Many novels have a theme of family.  An angle for this is tips on creating family traditions.  Or another angle would be tips on the perfect family reunion (always newsworthy during the summer as many family reunions are held during the summer).  If it is a children’s book with activities, you can incorporate it to summer activities for parents and children.  Tips on foods, style, activities, and travel are always popular angles throughout the summer.

If your novel is set in an exotic location, a travel article or tips on traveling to this location is a good way to get your name and book some coverage with an article or op-ed. The media loves travel tips.  Even a tv segment can be made into this concept.

Parents are always looking for educational ideas for their children during the summer months and this is the ideal time to promote a children’s book.  If you have a book on teaching children Chinese, this can be made into an activity for the summer.

Every author wants to be on the Ellen Show or Rachael Ray.  August is a great time to reach out to producers at nationally syndicated programs as they begin forming their fall schedule and booking guests.

Finally, for the very reason that summer is considered a slow time – vacations, your book can be branded the perfect summertime read on vacation. Suggest it as preferred reading for the summer vacation.

Authors – summer is not a slow time for book promotion.  It is the ideal time to be creative and get a head start before the fall.  Summer book promotion can be the best of times if done well.

David E. Johnson is the CEO of Strategic Vision LLC, a public relations agency that has a division specifically for book public relations and author branding.  Additional information on Strategic Vision LLC may be obtained at  The agency offers a free white paper entitled Book PR 101: What You Need For Successful Book Promotion.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Youth Book Awards

There are countless children's and young adult book awards out there.  But when it comes to deciding which book awards are best, that part can be challenging.  When authors are looking to earn recognition for their books through book awards, it's important to make sure the programs are credible and well respected. While we do not endorse any of these, the following book awards are ones which may be more credible, established, and offer more bang for your entry buck.

Categories include children’s and adult literature
Prizes include Award Seals and Marketing Materials

Literary Classics Top Honors Awards
Categories include children’s and young adult literature
Prizes include Award Seals, Conference Scholarships
Exhibit Opportunities at Book Fairs and Trade Shows,
Marketing Materials and Author Spotlights

Categories include children’s literature
Prizes include Award Seals, Award Certificate,
Dedicated Winner's Page with Links

Nautilus Book Award
Categories include children’s and young adult literature
Cash Prize and Award Seals
Exhibit Opportunities at Book Fairs and Trade Shows

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Spark Award
Categories include children’s and young adult literature
Prizes include Award Seals, Plaque and Marketing Materials​

Writer's Digest Self Published Book Awards
Categories include children’s and adult literature
Prizes include Cash Prizes, Award Seals and Marketing Materials

Book Award Programs that will accept self published books

As an author of a self published book, it can be difficult to find ways to gain exposure.  Book awards are an excellent way to let people know the merits of your book.  But if you're self published, you're going to have to work a little harder to find award programs that will consider your book.

To follow is a list of some of the more established book award programs today which accept self published book entries.  Author.Pub does not endorse any of the following awards. Please be advised, authors should take the time to research any book awards before entering.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Axiom Business Book Awards

eLit Book Awards

ForeWord Reviews – IndieFab Awards

Harry Bowling Prize

Historical Novel Society International Award

IACP Cookbook Awards

Benjamin Franklin Awards

IndieReader Discovery Awards

International Book Awards

International Rubery Book Award

IPPY Awards

Literary Classics International Book Awards

Mom’s Choice Awards

National Indie Excellence Book Awards

National Literacy Trust Children’s Author Prize

Nautilus Book Awards

Next Big Author Opening Chapter

Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Shelf Unbound Writing Competition for Best Self-Published Book

Top Honors Awards

Writer’s Digest Self Published Book Awards

I got a great review of my book . . . Now What?

So your book just got an excellent review . . . Congratulations! Good reviews are like gold. If you're fortunate enough to get one, you'll want to make sure you do everything possible to put that endorsement to work for you to help sell more books. So where do you start?  Here are a few tips for ways to help spread the word about recommendations for your book . . .

Press Releases
Submit your book review as a press release to all your local media (newspapers, magazines, radio, television news, etc.)   If your book appeals to a specific niche, make sure you submit your press release to any publications online, or otherwise, which cater to the demographic of your readership.  Don't forget to use online free press release services to help spread the word. 
Back Cover
If you've received a positive review from a reputable review agency, make sure you put it out there where potential buyers can see it. Use a quote, or an excerpt of a quote for any future print runs of your book.  Don't forget to credit the source of the reviewer; if you've received a great review from the New York Times, then you want to make sure everyone knows about it!
Banners & Signage
If you're attending book-signings at festivals or other venues, you'll want to create professional looking signage.  Banners and signs are a great place to promote positive reviews of your book.  Take the time to do this well.  Professional looking banners with sturdy banner-stands are eye-catching and can do wonders to create a professional image for you and your book.  If a banner is impractical, or out of the budget, you can also print professional looking signs to place inside plexiglass frames.  
Social Media
Do you have a blog?  Great!  Post your review there.  Don't forget to share your review on your Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn pages. Make sure to use #hashtags to increase your post's visibility.  Go ahead, be shameless, and ask your friends and family to like and share your posts.  
Amazon's Editorial Reviews
The Editorial Review Section on your Amazon Author Central profile was created to help you bring attention to your professional reviews and literary achievements. This is a great place for sharing your success as an author!
GoodReads Profile
Post your reviews in your GoodReads profile (go to your dashboard to do this).  Also, don't forget to blog the review in GoodRead's blog section.
Your Barnes and Noble Profile
Post your review in the section entitled: More About This Book.  Take the time to get this right the first time though, because Barnes and Noble does not make it easy to edit your posts here.  
Your Website
Post all, or a portion of your all your positive reviews on your website.  Don't forget to include images and logos (with permission) to help bring attention to those reviews which have been provided from reputable and well-recognized agencies. If you have a media page include a PDF of your review which can be downloaded directly from your site.  
Your Sell-Sheet
Your sell-sheet is the perfect place to include reviews of your book. A sell-sheet should include pertinent information for bookstores, libraries and buyers to tell them why and how to purchase your book.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Marketing 101

When you set out to write your first book you had grand illusions of international book tours and invitations to red carpet events.  Didn't you?  Well, maybe that was just us.  Regardless, when putting pen to paper most writers never envision the incredible amount of work it will someday take to spread the word about their masterpiece.  Once upon a time in a land far, far away publishers took care of all that for authors.  All authors had to do was kick out some really powerful prose in a timely manner, and the rest would more or less take care of itself (thanks to the publisher).

But the publishing industry, it is a-changing, and fast!  Even the most well established traditional publishers are looking to authors to pick up their game.  So whether you're self publishing, or you've chosen to take on the whole shebang by going the self publishing route, chances are you've got your work cut out for you.

This blog has been created to help authors share their experience with marketing their books.  What works? What doesn't work?  How to market without breaking the bank.

Be watching for posts, share your comments.  And if you have a story to tell, we'd love to hear from you