Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Annie Jennings PR Million Dollar Mindset Audio

If you haven't discovered Annie Jennings PR you might want to take a preview of her Million Dollar Mindset audio. I spent three years listening to Annie & Tony and landed some great media spots by following their advice. Check out the Annie Jennings PR Million Dollar Mindset Audio now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Moms Choose Kendra Kandlestar

Well, well, well, my pal author and illustrator Lee Födi has finally scored! I love his work and it is about time he won an award, check out this announcement:

Moms Choose Kendra Kandlestar

New York, NY (October 13, 2007) — How often do moms and their kids like the same thing? Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers by Lee Edward Födi is loved by both and as a result has won the 2007 Mom's Choice Award® for best children's chapter book, aged 8 and up.

The awards were announced October 13, 2007, in New York by an esteemed panel of judges, including Dr. Twila C. Liggett, Ten-time Emmy-winner and founder of Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling author; LeAnn Thieman, coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; Florrie Binford-Kichler, President of PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association; and MCA founder Tara Paterson.

"We're delighted with the outstanding works represented in this very special group of recipients," said Paterson.

Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers is a combination of fairytale, folklore, and fantasy. The tale involves a magic box that has guarded all the secrets in the Land of Een for over a thousand years. When the box is suddenly stolen, young Kendra Kandlestar finds herself swept away on a magical adventure, only to discover that the greatest magic comes when she finds the courage to face herself—and her own precious secret.

The sequel, Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to Unger is scheduled for release in November.

Author, Lee Edward Födi, known as the “Wizard of Words” to hoards of children, lives in Vancouver, Canada. Kids like the illustrator’s live interactive programs—and often get carried away in the details of what an ogre should look like. Warts and boogers seem to be favorites.

Lee Födi has penned three books for children and has illustrated numerous picture books for other authors, including the Canadian national bestseller, The Chocolatier’s Apprentice. Födi is also the co-founder and head mentor for Dream Workshop, a Vancouver-based creative writing program for children, which helps young authors, aged 8-13, publish their own books.

For more information on the Moms’ Choice awards, or Kendra Kandlestar, visit www.momschoiceawards.com or www.kendrakandlestar.com

Get the scoop on where Lee is touring here.

If you want to contact his publicist try: Cindy Birne, Publicity Director, Brown Books
• e: cindybrownbooks.com • T: 972.381.0009

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Is your publisher working with or against you?

One of the most frustrating things in publishing, at least from the author's standpoint, is that when your book is published you are already a has-been in the publishing world. Honest to goodness I cannot figure out just why publishers do what they do...but then I am not a publisher.

I spent a wad to go promote my last book in New York and the publisher didn't even have one of them on display. They were already into the Fall catalog.

Every author has stories. I changed my publisher after my last book based on some of the actions they took that just were not in my best interest. My newest publisher has been better in some ways and worse than others.

As an author, you expect a publisher to assist you with sales and follow-up to media inquiries. If an author is kept in the loop he or she can at least mitigate any oversights--if it is caught. When there is a communciation break down or some other issue and something surfaces--it certain kills the enthusiasm.

Publishers have more books to sell and push than just mine, I am aware of that, but I know that not many authors promote or go after media like I do. I'd like to be confident that they will follow up on those requests in a timely manner--when they don't it makes it hard to move forward.

So, I completely understand why some of my colleagues have bailed on the traditional publishing model and have moved toward subsidized publishing and even self-publishing.

On the one hand, self-publishing and print-on-demand (POD) haved earned bad names due to all the crap that has been produced and then pushed on booksellers. BUT there are some self-published works that went on to be really big sellers for mainstream publishers.

We actually began to require authors to send galleys before allowing them to appear and sign at the Alliance of Writers just because we didn't want any trouble. We had some great self-published works and some real trash.

However, today the pendulum is swinging as far as the mainstream view of self-publishing and POD. Unless some things that may become the only way to get niche books and non-celebrity driven titles.

When looking at the industry, I can't say that I know any other successful industry that allows product to be returned after six months just because it didn't sell or the store wanted to exchange the product for something newer.

Nor do I know businesses who own successful selling products and then stop producing them because they are "old" or too niched.

Since I've recently been getting a lot of media again, I have a small inventory--just for problem situations like the one that came up this week. The author endorsed my book and since he is an artist, he also donated the press kit for my last book. He still did not receive his copy of the book (which was requested back in March of 2007, again in June 2007, and again this week) so I priority shipped one to him to get rid of the pain.

Each book is a learning curve. My next one (*wince*) will also be a perennial, I'll seek another publisher and hope for the best. In the end, I have some of my own projects coming out under my imprint just because they don't fit the same old model. Did I mention a publisher who I shopped it with knocked off a similar series?


I'd like to hear your positive publishing experiences...one of my pals is doing great with her publisher. It is her first book so hopefully it will lead to others.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Authors on the Web: Yes, a website or Blog is critical to your success.

You know I am often amazed at how many "writers" are not on the web or don't use a computer to create their work. This is not very business savvy in my opinion because most of the world conducts business over the internet.

My first publisher and I sent files and edits back and forth and the whole final manuscript was sent in via email. My last editor at another publishing house demanded a hard copy and disk. The whole process was slow and laborious--simply because she was not up to speed on the new technology.

If you read the previous guest post, I would say I would agree with the basic idea that you MUST have a web presence but I don't think you need to create an old fashioned website when a blog will get you up and running, get you better search engine results, and is very simple to manage.

This page is a blog that I attached to the website. More and more I have moved away from adding new content on the static part of any of my sites because I can blog and go live instantly. Granted, this is a pain because I run multiple sites and now feel they should all be blogs to save me the headaches of running a website...which means more work.

The key is that blogs allow your audience and readers to interact with you. It creates a community which is what you ultimately want. It also gets you better search engine traffic and ranking.

Consistency is key. You need a web presence and you need to update it, at the very minimum, once a month. I tend to blog at least once a week and more on a couple of my blogs.

So, I believe you should have a website for each book and for you as an author. Currently I run three just on my work and to promote my work as an author, speaker, and animal specialist. If someone types in the book name, they get my book website, if they type in my name--they get my website designed for the media and event planners.

This strategy has landed some big media spots related to breaking news and quite a few feature interviews on my books. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

So, having said that you won't want to miss the Annie Jennings PR teleseminar reviewing media websites on October 17th.

If you miss it, she also has a wealth of information free to authors and other experts at the Annie Jennings PR website. You can find some of the past Annie Jennings PR teleseminar shows on the site or you can purchase the best Annie Jennings PR programs by clicking here.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Steve Harrison: Limited Time Offer How to Become a Much More Successful Author & Getting A Whole Lot More Publicity...

Some of you might know about Steve Harrison and Radio & Television Interview Report. He sent a special offer and for a limited time, until Friday, October 19th, you can call into listen to the following courses at no charge.

To access the "How to Become a Much More Successful Author By Learning What Rich Authors Know That Poor Authors Don't" call from Thursday, October 4th, dial: 1-620-294-1533.

To access the "Getting A Whole Lot More Publicity And Exposure For Whatever You're Promoting And Making A Name For Yourself As An Expert In Your Field" call from Thursday, October 11th, dial: 1-620-294-1517.

Next Thursday, October 18th he is offering the third and final preview teleseminar for his Quantum Leap Coaching Program on how to make more from your expertise quickly and easily.

He will be previewing more of the material you'll learn in my Quantum Leap program. Be sure to sign up for this one because there will be no replays available. Click here to register

Guest Post by Nick Daws: Why Every Writer Needs a Web Presence

If you're a writer and don't have your own website to advertise yourself, you're missing out on a lot of opportunities. How do I know? Well, I've had my own site for about seven years now, and during that time it's brought me dozens, possibly hundreds, of work opportunities. Here are just a few which came my way as a result of people seeing my site...

* Hamlyn Publishing (UK) wanting me to write a couple of two-page spreads for a proposed book.

* A retired gangster living in Ireland wanting me to help write his memoirs.

* A local video company, wanting my help scripting a training video.

* A US publishing house wanting me to ghost-write an exposé of malpractice in the insurance industry.

* A UK publisher, wanting me to quote for producing a series of city guides for publication on the Internet.

* And, not least, White Cliff Computing Limited, whose interest in my work led to me writing two courses for them, “Write Any Book in 28 Days – Or Less!” and “Quick Cash Writing”.

I didn't actually take up all of the opportunities mentioned above. Sometimes I was too busy with other projects (and I must admit the retired gangster scared me a little…). However, the point is that none of these approaches would have come my way without a website.

There are other benefits as well. If I'm applying for a new writing project or commission, I can simply suggest that the potential client refers to my website if they require any further information. It saves constantly sending out weighty CVs or résumés, and makes me look like a technologically aware, up-to-the-minute sort of guy (this becomes more important when, as in my case, you are no longer in the first flush of youth). The website also helps me keep in touch with readers of my books, and it provides me with an additional (if small) income stream through advertising.

OK, I hear you saying, you've sold me on the benefits of having a website, but I'm a writer, not a tech-head. I don't know how to create my own site, and I don't have the spare cash to hire someone to build one for me.

Let's take the latter point first. Getting a website built for you need not be hugely expensive. Freelance writers really don't need whizzy, cutting-edge designs with Flash animation, online databases, shopping trolleys, and so forth. A basic site which showcases you and your work should be more than sufficient. Try entering "website designer" in your favorite search engine and
you'll get hundreds of potential designers. Approach a few with details of your requirements and see what responses you get. You may well be pleasantly surprised by the quotes you receive. Website design is a very competitive field – and, of course, the designer you use can be based anywhere in the world.

However, if at all possible, I do strongly recommend that you consider building and maintaining your own site. This has all sorts of advantages. For one, you can update it yourself quickly and easily, and you can also create it exactly as you wish. You can add bits, take bits away, try out advertising, start your own newsletter, etc. etc. This is the route I have taken, and although my site is never going to win any awards for its design, it suits my purposes very well.

In my time I've used various programs to create and maintain my website, starting with a program called the CompuServe First Web Page Designer (now, I'm sure, residing in software heaven). If I was starting again today, however, I would definitely invest a few bucks in the Newbie Club First Website Builder. This is a four-volume guide to creating, writing, designing, automating, uploading and promoting your own website, in fully illustrated e-book format. As well as the four beautifully written e-books, you get loads of free software, including the Super Easy Mini Site Wizard, which will build a basic site for you in literally minutes. Check out everything on offer in this product at the Newbie Club. I guarantee it'll blow you away.

Even if you decide to hire a professional designer to create your site for you, the Newbie Club First Website Builder will show you everything you need to know in order to take over the running of your site and maintain and update it yourself.

Incidentally, the Newbie Club, which is aimed at people new to computing rather than IT specialists, also produces a free email newsletter packed with hints and tips for newcomers to computing – you can sign up to it at the Newbie Club main page if you wish. Although I've been using PCs for quite a while now, I still subscribe, and regularly pick up useful hints and tips I hadn't been aware of before.

Nick Daws is a best-selling author living in Staffordshire, England.
Discover his course online at How to Write Any Book in 28 Days -- Or Less!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why Authors Hate Doing Book Store Events

Okay, I have refrained from ranting but back in June I was asked to do an event for a bookstore. I only toured locally for my last book, while my previous book took me out for 60 (yes, _6_0_) in a year.

Author's do book events because they help sell books. It is good to get out with fans--and if they like you they buy.

Booksellers like book events because they view them as part of their customer service support--and that is the fatal flaw.

Book events are for selling books. Authors take time off from writing, travel, pay for hotel, transportation, and meals to help sell books. They don't view them as a customer service activity--they are there to help make money--for the publisher, for the bookseller, and for the often paultry royalty checks that eventually roll in.

So, I showed up for my event--and not only was the bookseller rude to me, they didn't have one book in stock. Not one. The owner demanded to know if I had brought them!

"Uh, no. I don't ever bring them. All the bookstores either order them from their distributors or my publishers--and nobody asked me to do such a thing."

My thoughts were, "You must be kidding me, you asked me to come and now you want me to fund your inventory? This on top of spending two days in travel and prep when I could be writing or creating an income!"

If I was someone else, I would have turned around the car when I called the store in the am and the bookseller didn't have the time to talk to me. However, I stayed and I enjoyed the company of a number of pet owners and pets that came and stayed to visit with me for a solid hour. One dog and owner kept me chatting for another hour before I took off for lunch.

I did take order forms--hopefully they will order from me or the website..

I'll save you all the details but I have to say the bookseller has the distinction of being one of the rudest people I have ever agreed to do an event for. His event guy seemed super but was not there--and one staff member came in for the event. Other than that I won't recommend the place or go back.

If you talk to an author you will find we all have a lot of the same stories...I don't do bookstore events much these days--only for those I know and like AND for those who pay the minimum deposit now required to cover my expenses.

Don't think that this is a unique experience. Here are some of the other things that have happened--be sure to add your own.

  • No books were on hand for a signing at a major book festival when the author showed up.
  • Other authors were also selling books (author was not notified--this can work for you).
  • Booksellers had not set up for the author and the event started late.
  • Book Store did not announce or promote the event prior to the signing.
  • Books were not on display prior to the event nor were any signs posted.
  • The event location was closed upon arrival--only opened a couple of minutes before the event.
  • A signing with the publisher was arranged at a large event. The publisher did not want a poster annoucing the event put near the booth. They also did not advance promote the event AND when the author was signing promoted another author instead of the one in the booth!

Monday, October 8, 2007

New Products for the Web Savvy Writer

I've discovered a good new resource for writers, it is called dealdotcom. If you do any amount of online writing and are looking for deals on internet marketing or related materials be sure to check it out.

Today's special is for a press release package. The deals are usually around 50% off. They change everyday so don't miss out click here to sign up and grab the latest deal at dealdotcom!


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Promoting Your Brand & Other Author Tools: Review of Xiosoft Instant Teleseminar (Telewebcast)

One of the things I've done to promote my work recently is teleseminars and telewebcasts. In case you are not familiar with such online activities, let me explain.

We all know what a seminar is, right? A teleseminar is one that takes place via your phone line.

Since I live in a rural area I find these ideal. All I have to do to attend is sign up and then call the line and enter the passcode on the time and day of the event.

Over the past two years the strategies that I have picked up from such efforts have landed me national media coverage for my book and my brand. I'll get into these in the next few posts as well--because landing spots as an expert on the Today Show and on ABC News and NBC News is something I am sure every author wants to learn!

Recently I discovered a new type of program called Instant Teleseminar-which actually is a teleseminar and telewebcast combined. This program is similar to teleseminars except that you can also attend, or have your readers attend, via the internet. This allows you a wider audience AND lets people hear the course or interview after it is done.

Not too long ago I interviewed author, Karen Mehringer to help her promote her new book and you can listen to the telewebcast of Sail into Your Dreams by clicking here now.

This was my first test of the program that Rick Radditz launched earlier this year. There have been several glitches during a couple of my telesseminar/telewebcasts but you can see how nice the final program looks.

What I like about the Xiosoft Instant Teleseminar program it is that it instantly becomes available online after you are done. I have not yet integrated the program into my websites but that is the next step.

I was disappointed that some of the features I thought were coming are slower to materialize-- but they are being added. One of the perks is that each month I get to attend the inner circle group of people who are using the system and so am part of the crew who get to help shape it.

Alex Mandossian and Rick Radditz are introducing new features almost on a monthly basis to make it worth the monthly fee. I tried the $7 offer for a free trial and stayed with it after the trial was done. If you click on any of the links in this post, you will be able to take advantage of the same offer. But let me finish my review...

Currently I am using an hour class on animal behavior as a bonus to drive people to subscribe to my eNewsletter. One of the reasons you take such steps is to build your list.

If you are not currently building your email list--get that on your "to do" list because that is how you are going to reach a larger audience. It also helps your readers by giving them information not available elsewhere.

Let's not forget that it helps forge a closer relationship with those readers and hopefully they will help you fine-tune the direction you move by actually telling you what they are waiting for or what they want from you.

I am also able to have others send out an email to drive new people over to take advantage of the free class. You can see how I am driving traffic to my animal site from the teleseminar/telewebcast by sending an email to freeclass insert-the-at-symbol-here arkanimals.com.

You should receive an invitation to the free class and the link immediately. I'll talk about using an autoresponder in another post.

Anyway, when I advertise or send out press releases this email address can be included to get readers over to the course for a personal introduction via audio. I can also schedule a course and offer it online almost immediately.

The Xiosoft Instant Teleseminar system can be used in a variety of ways but I have been reluctant to really market it yet because I've had glitches during each of the bigger telewebcasts I have done. This did not make me happy...

However, I have to say that when contacted, Rick Radditz got back to me personally right away. The developer also sent me an email so I could help them troubleshoot the problem--which turned out to be a browser issue in one instance and server issues in two others.

Rick went the extra mile and gave me his private email address AND his cell number. I'd say that is pretty great because I really hate not being able to reach a live human or not getting a response in a timely manner.

So, the support on the other end is a huge plus. I thought the product was ready to go but it is still being fine-tuned and developed further. As part of the early crew I have to say that my experience has been pretty good so far. For now, I am staying on board because I think it is a great shift from the teleseminar model.

If you would like to check it out, please click this link to view the demo video of the InstantTeleseminar.Com

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