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Archive for July, 2011

Author Amara Charles capitalizes on 2 innovative opportunities – and you can, too!

Outside the box. Creative. Innovative. Whichever word you use, when it comes to marketing, if you’re doing something new and different, you’re probably reaching a new segment of your market. The way to do this? Always be on the lookout for new opportunities.

One of the few PG13 pics we could show from Amara's Ignite Phoenix After Hours presentation!

My client, Amara Charles, is the author of the lovely forthcoming book on sacred sexuality, The Sexual Practices of Quodoushka. In advance of the book’s September 27 release, we took advantage of a couple of great opportunities this past week. The first is an event known as Ignite Phoenix After Hours. The format is a group of presenters, each giving a different 5-minute talk accompanied by 20 PPT slides, each slide timed for exactly 15 seconds. The after-hours nature of this 21-and-over show made it the perfect vehicle for Amara to share her content with a new audience, so I submitted her pitch (Sexual Anatomy Types: Are You a Pit Bull Man or Antelope Woman?) with a great description, and she was selected as one of the 14 presenters! It was a hoot!

Then, we thought we should make the most of this opportunity to promote both the Ignite Phoenix After Hours event and Amara’s book … so the day before Ignite Phoenix, we scheduled a Facebook Author Discussion with Amara. In just 2 days’ time, we had more than 30 people indicate an interest, and on the day of the chat, we had about a dozen folks “listening” in, with a handful who were brave enough to submit questions.

Below is a brief excerpt from the Facebook chat:

AMARA:   Okay, the word Quodoushka (kwuh-DOE-shka) means the coming together of two energies, in such a way that the energy created is more than the sum of the two parts.

LAURA:    I think we’ve all heard that before – the sum of the parts is greater than the individual components…

AMARA:   I wrote the book after sharing these amazing teachings for over twenty years around the world. I have seen these amazing teachings transform the intimate lives of so many people around the world.

LAURA:    Amara – what is the biggest gift people receive when they learn these teachings?

AMARA:   Well, one of the biggest gifts is that people get to experience and truly feel that their sexuality is healthy, natural and good. They reconnect with their sexiness on a deep level and realize we can indeed learn through pleasure!

LAURA:    Awesome! So tomorrow night, you’re doing something unusual – giving a slide show presentation as part of Ignite Phoenix After Hours. What will you be sharing with the crowd at Axis Radius?

AMARA:   Yes, I am presenting on Sexual Anatomy Types: Are You a Pit Bull Man or Antelope Woman?

LAURA:    And if anyone’s still interested in tickets – you can try Twitter. Use the hashtag #ipah. I saw several people with extra tickets this morning…

LAURA:    OK, let’s open things up to the audience for their questions.

SHYENA:  How does looking at what created me (my sexuality) help me deal with emotionally turbulent relationships?

AMARA:   In answer to Shyena’s question: When we get back in touch with what created us, our sexual soul force energy, it brings us face to face with the most powerful energy in the world. When we feel that our sexual energy is natural, and we understand how to use it in beauty, then our relationships become more intimate, more tender and way more passionate.

LAURA:    That’s very powerful – very primal. What an amazing concept, that our sexual energy is the most powerful energy in the world! Makes you wonder why we’re so often taught to run from it or hide it or find shame in it.

Now is Ignite Phoenix built as a platform for promoting a book? Of course not! The goal is to create a dynamic presentation on a topic you’re passionate about. Is Amara passionate about the 9 different female and male anatomy types? You bet! Did she give an outrageous presentation that had even the ladies serving the pizza stopping to watch? She did! Did it serve to help get the word out about her new book? Absolutely!

Here’s your takeaway from our experience: be on the lookout for interesting, appropriate new ways to market YOUR book. One of my Facebook author friends recently did a book signing at a hair salon in Phoenix, because her book is a murder mystery set in a hair salon! Where can you go? Whom can you approach? Which venues will allow you to give presentations and signings and workshops?

Put on your book marketing hat and get creative!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Please email Amara if you’d like more information about her book launch or a copy of the full Facebook Author Chat transcription. Also SAVE THE DATE of September 27 for the Virtual Launch Party. Register here.

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If you are interested in booking YOUR OWN Facebook Author Discussion on the Write | Market | Design page, please complete this survey and someone will get back to you to schedule your session.

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Is your book a word-of-mouth worthy PURPLE COW?

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

OK, I’ll admit this one sounds obvious … but every single time I’ve thought something was so obvious it didn’t bear a comment, it turned out there was need of a reminder. Seriously – even if you’re self-publishing an e-book, make the best book you can. This is a little detail known as “being remarkable.” Seth Godin reminds us in Purple Cow how little it takes to be remarkable. That’s what I’m suggesting here sparkle as an SBM* by standing out from the crowd and delivering a truly kick-ass product.

Here’s the caveat: It’s make the best book YOU can … not necessarily the best book in the world. Remember our recent mantra for perfectionists: DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.

Here are the components that go into a quality self-published book:

  • A good topic and strong writing
  • Professional editing
  • Professional graphics and illustrations, when appropriate
  • Professional front and back cover design
  • Professional layout and page design
  • Professional typesetting
  • A logo for your publishing company (that does not in any way reference your name)
  • ISBN and barcode
  • LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number if you intend to sell to libraries)
  • Copyright
  • Publishing date
  • Table of contents
  • Header/footer with page numbers
  • A well-thought-out index, if necessary
  • A glossary of terms, if appropriate
  • A bibliography of referenced sources, if appropriate
  • An appendix of ancillary materials, if appropriate
  • Blurbs for your cover (and inside front pages) from experts and people well-esteemed in your subject matter

If you have anything to add to this list, please do so in the COMMENTS section.

Anyone can write and publish a book, but it takes time, effort, money, and commitment to publish a remarkable book. There are just no two ways around it: the better your book, the easier it will be to market. This is not a guarantee that it will sell, but it will leave you towering above all the other books out there in an ever-more-crowded market.

See you Monday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

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PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, July 25 – Marketing a book is different than marketing a smartphone or a pair of shoes

Thursday, July 21Book marketing is like brushing your teethyou have to do it every day

Monday, July 18 Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much

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“Am I tough enough to succeed in the cut-throat business world?”

I was on a Webinar today where I missed the audio because of a simultaneous client call. One quick line flashed across the screen, though: “Create a competitor wall when trying to close new business.” Hmm … what exactly is a competitor wall?

Now I’m not sure MY presenter had the same thing in mind, but a search on the Google lead me to the concept of a poster you hang on an actual wall with all your competitors on it: their branding, logos, missions, clients … you get the picture. Every detail you can unearth about who your competitors are and how they distinguish themselves from each other and from you.

Here’s an interesting segment from an article titled “Never Stop Looking Over Your Shoulder,” about keeping tabs on your competitors:

When you find something [your competitors are doing that] you can do easily, that’s great. But be really interested when you find something that would be hard to do. It might be hard because of technical or practical difficulties. Or hard to do because it would destroy businesses (or revenue) that you already have. But that’s what makes it attractive as a strategy. It won’t be easy for the competition either. 

The point of this – and all the other talk of competition? To motivate you to stop at nothing to climb over those competitors, conquer them, and land the next client. This idea might really be resonating with some of you. Other than that single passage, the concept didn’t resonate with me … at all. In fact, in not resonating with me, it led me a direction I don’t usually travel … to wonder if I’ve really got what it takes to succeed in business, because I have NEVER resonated with that message of “Conquer your competitors before they conquer you!”

Here’s my problem with belief in competitors: it comes from a place of lack. This whole idea of competition stems from the belief that there is a finite amount of business to be had, and if I don’t CONQUER the others in my industry, they will TAKE something from me. I have always believed that we live in an abundant universe, which means there is more than enough for all of us. The challenge in the business/marketing world is that this puts me at odds with the “never stop looking over your shoulder” mentality.

I’ll admit my way is NOT for everyone. But it’s the only thing that works for ME. And that’s what I encourage you to do – find the way that works for YOU. We can have all the clever names (SBM/Savvy Book Marketer) and cute cartoons in the world … but at the end of the day, the only marketing that will work for you is marketing that works for you.

If I tell you to blog, blog, blog, but you can’t/won’t/don’t blog – for whatever reason – blogging is not going to work for you. Video works great for some people/businesses; others never get it off the ground. Find the marketing strategies that work for your book, and use them to your best advantage. Please note the word strategIES. As we’ve mentioned in the past, a diffuse approach really works best, because certain segments of your market will respond better to certain marketing approaches, while other segments will be more aligned with something else altogether. Underneath it all, though, your marketing plan has to work for you.

So, in answer to my own question, it’s not about being too nice or too tough. It’s about being focused, committed, strategic, action-oriented, and comfortable in your own skin. I may look around regularly to see what others in my industry are doing – both to learn from them and to take note of where I fall in the offerings, but I will never take the anxiety-prone approach of always looking over my shoulder to see who’s gaining on me. I’ve got too many things in front of me that need my attention.

Happy marketing!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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Two things you can do next: (1) Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page and “LIKE” it if you like it. (2) Visit Laura’s other blog.

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Marketing a book is different than marketing a smartphone or a pair of shoes.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Up to this point, we’ve covered lots of marketing basics involved in becoming an SBM*We’ll soon be heading into some more specific techniques and trends in book marketing. Before we go there, though, it’s imperative that you understand this next piece: a successful marketing plan for YOUR book is going to depend on the specific audience for YOUR book.

While every marketing campaign must be directed to its target audience in order to succeed, books need particular care and attention because every book is different. Not only is the audience different from genre to genre (would you market  a romance novel the same way you’d market the latest Social Media Strategy guidebook?), but it can shift from book to book for a single author. Think about where the world was when David Baldacci’s first thriller, Absolute Power, was released in 1996 and where we are today. World relations are different; US leadership is different; the economy is different; the publishing industry is different. Does this impact Baldacci’s audience? You bet it does! And it also impacts the way he must market to his audience.

This goes back to our discussion a few months ago about knowing your audience, and knowing how to find and connect with them. Many readers are online, so social media strategies will work well for them. However, there are still a LOT of folks out there who would rather do it the old-fashioned way: see you at a bookstore; hear you on a radio interview, have a friend recommend your book; come across your postcard at their favorite coffeehouse. It’s essential that you know which strategy/strategies are the ones that will reach your readers.

Then, you know what to do. Get started, and stay active every day!

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, July 21 – Book marketing is like brushing your teeth; you have to do it EVERY day!https://marciebrockbookmarketingmaven.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/book-marketing-is-like-brushing-your-teeth-%E2%80%93-you-have-to-do-it-every-day

Monday, July 18 Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much

Thursday, July 15 – New mantra for procrastinators and perfectionists: DONE Is Better Than Perfect!

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10 Ways Marketing Is Like Bowling

OK – before any professional or semiprofessional bowlers get indignant, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. This is written by a very occasional, casual, recreational bowler who has been known to break 100 about once every 10 games. Take it for what it is … a fun new way to look at marketing.

Thanks to my friend, Rebecca Joy, for getting together a group of gal pals for an interesting afternoon/evening of bowling yesterday at the new Lucky Strike Lanes at CityScape, in Phoenix. I got to meet and hang out with 3 other authors and one marketing master – overall, a pretty amazing and accomplished group of women. As it turns out, the one thing none of us happens to be is a skilled bowler. But we soon found out it wasn’t about the score. Rebecca conjured several other kinds of contests: who could throw the ball the hardest (she won, at 15 MPH); who scored best throwing Granny Shots (I think Gina DeLong took that category); and who broke the most fingernails (Stephanie Quilao topped out at 3). June Cline rounded out our team of five.

As we were playing, it occurred to me that there are marketing lessons to be drawn from the bowling alley. Here are my Top 10:

  1. You need the right equipment.

    Marcie, the sexy bowler

  2. Success lies in your approach.
  3. Aim for the target (aka pocket, in bowling parlance).
  4. Mind the fault line.
  5. Sometimes you need to reset.
  6. It’s better when you have support.
  7. Make friends with your neighbors.
  8. Beer can greatly improve the experience.
  9. Don’t overdo it.
  10. Have fun!

You need the right equipment. Whether it’s determining the right blog platform, e-mail client, or postcards and mailers, marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Just as you need appropriate socks, shoes, and the right size ball for bowling, when it comes to marketing, you need to determine which tools are appropriate for which phase of your marketing campaign and utilize them to their fullest potential.

Success lies in your approach. Watch professional bowling for a while, and you’ll notice the one thing virtually every bowler has in common: an elegant approach. They may differ on starting location, speed, and finesse, but they each make it look easy and effortless. Your success as a marketer also begins in your approach. How well do you know your prospect or target client, and have you tailored your approach to their needs, wants, and potential responses?

Aim for the target (aka pocket, in bowling parlance). This one might seem obvious, but you’d be amazed how many businesses view the whole world as their market, or try multiple, unfocused, scattershot approaches, hoping that just one will be successful. Who IS your target audience? Where do they hang out? How do they want to be approached? Until you know the answers to these questions, your marketing strategy will likely languish.

Mind the fault line. The fault line in bowling is the line separating the approach from the lane. If your toe crosses it, your throw doesn’t count and you don’t get credit for any pins you knocked down. Essentially, the marketing comparison is to take care not to breach the unwritten rules. If you borrow a concept, give credit where credit is due. Know your audience so that you avoid inadvertent language faux pas. You might have heard about the guy with the caskets in Jakarta. I happen to think the people in this incident seriously overreacted, but his stunt backfired nonetheless; it might not have, had he been minding the fault line.

Sometimes you need to reset. Occasionally, in 10-pin bowling, the pins get stuck and you must ask for help to reset them. Should your marketing campaign flounder, don’t be afraid to reset. Don’t quit – just reevaluate, refocus, and relaunch.

It’s better when you have support. Did I mention that we are casual bowlers? I think our record for broken nails (6.75 for the four of us) surpassed our record for strikes. But we still had fun. Even when one of us hit NO pins in our two attempts, we cheered each other on. You need to do the same. Get yourself some support for your marketing campaign, rather than trying to do it all alone.

Make friends with your neighbors. Usually when you bowl (unless you’re in a giant group, league, or at a party), you and your co-bowlers will occupy one lane, meaning there’s a group of strangers sharing the ball return and located somewhat in “your space.” Things go much more smoothly if you get to know them and are friendly, than if you take a hostile attitude. Same goes with others in your business or industry. Get over viewing them as competitors, and start to see them as colleagues. Who knows – perhaps you could pool resources to launch a shared campaign?!

Beer can greatly improve the experience. It doesn’t have to be beer, per se, or even alcohol. But is there a way you can make your marketing campaign social and inclusive, like a girls’ night out at the bowling alley? What are you doing to help your target market get to know you on a personal level so that they want to do business with you – and readily refer you to others because they so enjoyed the experience?

Don’t overdo it. A bowling ball can be heavy, and repeatedly hurling it down the lanes can take its toll. Be smart and know your limits. What can you reasonably accomplish with your marketing without overpromising and underdelivering?

Have fun! I think this is probably the most important of all ten tips, because if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it will be transparent to your prospective clients and they’ll likely move on to someone who really has a passion for the work. OK, so the funeral or insurance business isn’t usually what we’d generally think of as fun, but even in a challenging industry, are you enjoying the work and deriving pleasure from helping people? The minute it seems like you’d rather be doing something else, you probably should find something else to do.

Feel free to give me your feedback on this list!

If you do like this post, please feel free to check out my other blog: Write | Market | Design.

Until next time … from the nail salon!

Laura

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Originally published by Laura Orsini on the Write|Market|Design Facebook page. Drop by for a visit – and if you like the page, “Like” it. You’ll have access to a great ebook, “The First-Time Author’s Guide to Hiring the Right Editor for YOU!”

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Book marketing is like brushing your teeth you have to do it every day.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

If you take nothing else away from these last few posts, please let it be the idea that your marketing efforts must be consistent. Are you old enough to have heard the expression “sounds like a broken record”? Records – shiny vinyl disks from which music flowed, once upon a time. No not CDs – bigger. Before cassettes. Before 8-tracks. Records. Look it up on Wikipedia. Anyway, they were played using a needle (yes, kind of like a sewing needle … oh, wait, never mind), and the needle sometimes skipped, causing the record to get stuck and the words to repeat.

My mom used to love to tell my sister and me we sounded like broken records when we’d whine about the things kids whine about. It used to bug me, but right now, I embrace the comparison because I really, really, really want you to understand the importance of consistency in your book marketing campaign. Honestly, if you’re not going to be consistent, you’d probably better not start at all. Every SBM* is willing to make a committed, consistent effort, no matter what else is vying for their attention.

What is the most consistent action you can take? Doing something every day. Not necessarily the same thing, so that you get bored, but commit to taking at least ONE step in your marketing campaign daily. Remember, your goal is to build a platform of people who are clamoring to buy your book as soon as it’s available. If your platform right now is on the teeny-tiny side, you’ve got no time to lose to start meeting people and telling them about your book. We’ve already talked about finding time vs. making time, and where/how to squeeze it all in. Just get committed and get started.

And then once you get started and have some momentum behind you, keep up the good work!

See you Monday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

__________________

Visit Write | Market | Design to download your Marketing Skills Evaluation. This will help you determine how close you are to SBM status, and where you may need a little extra boost.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Monday, July 18 Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much

Thursday, July 15 – New mantra for procrastinators and perfectionists: DONE Is Better Than Perfect!

Monday, July 11 – Your book marketing efforts need to be as consistent as Lady Gaga’s hit songs

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Erratic marketing is just like once-in-a-while exercise. Results? Not so much.

(Please click on image to enlarge.)

Lately we’ve been emphasizing the importance of consistency in your marketing efforts. Compare it to other things you need to do regularly in order to sustain any gains or progress: brush your teeth, clean the house, exercise. Exercise? As a matter of fact, there are many natural comparisons between a strategic book marketing campaign and an exercise plan.

#1. Be AccountableA profound yet almost universal self-sabotaging aspect of human nature (even for aspiring SBM’s*) is that we’re more likely to be accountable to someone else than to ourselves. If this is you, don’t beat yourself up; recognize the problem, and set up an accountability system. At the gym, you can hire a trainer or find a workout partner to make sure you exercise, even when you don’t feel like it. Consider finding someone to help you with strategy and accountability for your book marketing campaign.

#2. Follow a Regular ScheduleExercise only works if you do it. Exactly the same thing is true when it comes to marketing your book. Send your e-mail/newsletters at regular intervals, post to your blog X times per week, calendar your social marketing time, etc.

#3. Exercise ALL Your Muscle GroupsA good workout regimen works all of the muscle groups on a a regular rotation. While you want to start with one book marketing strategy, eventually you want to integrate several techniques simultaneously. With the explosion of social media, lots of people seem to be forgetting all about offline tactics. The best plan is the one that integrates both on- and offline strategies.

#4. Don’t Overdo ItAn essential rule of the gym is knowing when enough is enough. The same is true of your book marketing plan. First, you must HAVE a plan. Then you must be sure you can realistically stick to it. Don’t shoot for the moon only to have your rocket fuel run dry because you overextended yourself.

#5. Maintenance Is Essential – What would happen if you began an exercise plan and then quit as soon as you started seeing results? You’d blink, and the results would evaporate. The same will happen with your book marketing campaign if you begin to neglect it as soon as it starts proving effective. The best time to market a business is when one is B-U-S-Y. Once you get going, keep going! Maintain your marketing progress for best results.

There are no two ways around it – marketing, like an exercise plan, requires time and effort. Lots of dedicated effort. But you don’t have to go it alone, and once you get going, it will get easier. Focus on just one step at a time, and add subsequent ones as you are ready.

Let’s keep each other accountable – share your success with us so we can cheer you on!

See you Thursday!

MARCIE

*Savvy Book Marketer

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Originally published by Marcie Brock author, Laura Orsini, at the Write|Market|Design blog as An Exercise Plan/A Marketing Plan: Lots of Similarities on August 3, 2010.

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We’d love it if you’d take a few minutes to give us some feedback via SurveyMonkey about an upcoming Author Sales Training Webinar series we’ve got in the works. Anyone who completes the survey and provides a viable e-mail address will be eligible to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Thursday, July 15 – New mantra for procrastinators and perfectionists: DONE Is Better Than Perfect!

Monday, July 11 – Your book marketing efforts need to be as consistent as Lady Gaga’s hit songs

Thursday, July 7 What gets MEASURED gets done, when it comes to book marketing

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