Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin’

Use a naming workshop to find the title of your next book

Are you having trouble coming up with the perfect title for your next book? Maybe it’s time to leverage the Power of the Group!

group smart

I just began a blog series for a group blog written by authors from the Phoenix Publishing & Book Promotion Meetup. The goal of the blog is to give exposure to members of our group by encouraging regular blogs at monthly intervals. No one has to write more than one post per month, yet we all share in the marketing and resulting attention to the blog and our books. I decided that rather than write on random topics for my monthly contributions, I would work around a singular topic: The Power of the Group.

Our Meetup is proof that the group works, and I invite you to read that blog and the posts to come on this topic.

I came across an excellent post this morning from MarketingProfs, one of the best online marketing resources I know of. The post is titled “10 Steps to a Successful Naming Workshop,” and my immediate first thought was how useful this might be when it came to helping authors find great book titles.

I highly encourage you to read the whole post, but here are the 10 steps, without any explanation:

1. Get Everyone Together in a Room

2. Start With a Brain  Dump

3. The Free-Association Exercise

4. The Scrabble Exercise

5. The Blockbuster Exercise

6. The Thesaurus Exercise

7. The Role-Play Exercise

8. Taste It, Touch It, Smell It

9. Quick Pick-Me-Up

10. Put a Shortlist Together

Why would it be advantageous to get a group together to help you name your book? Here are several reasons I can think of, off the top of my head:
  • It will take the pressure off you.
  • The group dynamic brings out more ideas than you could come up with on your own.
  • It’s the opportunity to bring together diverse thinkers – not just your typical readers or people from your industry.
  • It’s a great way to help build buzz. Who wouldn’t want to spread the word about a book they had a hand in titling?
  • You can offer participation as a perk for your crowdfunding campaign.
There is vast power inside a well-formed group. As Seth Godin puts it:
A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.
― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

Please let us know in the comments section if you’ve seen the group dynamic work to help you achieve success with your book!

Here’s to a the power of the group!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


PHOENIX-AREA BOOK LOVERS: Come out to meet me and 50+ other local authors for this one-of-a-kind book Logo w backgroundlovers’ event. Several first-time authors, award-winning authors, and authors of a wide variety of genres will be on hand to sell and sign books. Genres of all sorts – from fiction to spirituality to leadership to personal finance. The first 200 attendees to register will receive goody bags! Giveaways on the half-hour. Learn more and get your complimentary ticket at HolidayAuthorEvent.com.





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january tip of day

January 15 Book Marketing Tip: Get over your fear of giving away free copies of your book!

More than a dozen years ago, I heard (or read) Seth Godin say that an author needed to give away at least ideavirus5,000 copies of his or her book in order for the book to get enough traction to really take off. At the time, that sounded cavalier and unrealistic. Why would any author who intended to sell books give away so many of them? We weren’t nearly as conditioned to the idea as we are today, and yet many authors still resist the idea of giving books away.

But then Godin went on to prove his thesis by giving away more than 3 million copies of his third book, Unleashing the Ideavirus. According to Wikipedia (I know – take the info there with a grain of salt), Unleashing the Ideaviris may be the most downloaded book in the history of downloadable books. Since its original publication in 2000 as a free eBook, it has been published in both hard cover and paperback form, has been translated into at least 10 languages, and still retains a healthy Amazon ranking of #448,407 out of the millions of titles they carry.

Of vastly more importance than his Amazon ranking, though, is the fact that Unleashing the Ideavirus put Godin on the map as a marketer, garnering him speaking gigs and international acclaim. I’m not suggesting that giving your book away will do the same for you – but it can be a big boost in terms of growing your platform, which may ultimately translate into more sales and bigger renown for you as an author.

My original thought was to write a post about the value of giving away copies of your book – but I realized the topic’s already been well covered. So here is an aggregate of posts on the topic. Each has a slightly different take – so I’ve highlighted what I consider the best point of each post.

Why Giving Away Thousands of Free Books Is a Good Thing

The following is the introduction to a guest post by Tony James Slater on David Gaughran’s blog, Let’s Get Visible.

This post is a testament to the power of determination, and proof that even the most niche of books can be a self-publishing success story, a book that every agent in the UK said there was no market for.


Tony was willing to try a bit of everything, including dressing his poor mother up in a bear suit, his sister in a giant pair of cardboard underpants, and forcing them both to hand out fliers in front of Waterstones to promote his e-book, That Bear Ate My Pants.

book giveaway

Giving Away Free Copies of Your Book as a Promotional Tool

Author Jody Hedlund details the ways giving away free copies of her book helped her sell more books. She offers specific advice about how many books to give away, whom to give them to, and when to do these giveaways.

Initially, I didn’t want to give away free copies, especially to my closest friends and family because they were among the few I knew would actually go out and purchase my book without arm-twisting.

But over the past year, I’ve realized I was wrong. My sales didn’t go down through the distribution of free books. In fact, they went up. The people who received my book for free helped promote it through Amazon reviews, blog write-ups, interviews, and numerous other ways. Their promotion helped carry the news and excitement about my book beyond the scope of my personal reach.

Why You Should Give Away Free Copies of Your Ebook

These tips will perhaps benefit nonfiction authors more than fiction authors. Ways to give use free copies to build buzz and get readers talking about your book:

  • Get people to sign up for your mailing list
  • Impress business prospects
  • Send to bloggers
  • Send to media professionals
  • Conduct a contest and give copies away to winners
  • Offer as a bonus with purchase of another product or service
  • Offer as a bonus that others can give away with their products and services
  • Distribute to the audience at speaking engagements

If you’re thinking that this strategy is going to cut into your revenues, then consider this: the real money in publishing isn’t in the book sales. The real money is in the business you generate as a result of your book.

book giveaway

Why Successful Authors Are Giving Their Books Away for Free

Great information about how Hugh Howey (bestselling author), John Dumas (top-ranking podcaster), and Danny Iny (profitable entrepreneur) have a habit of giving their books away for free.

Why do some authors offer free books? First, because they can. This option, which would have not been practical two decades ago, has become feasible thanks to self publishing and the rise of digital books. Self-published authors typically earn higher royalties, plus incur no costs when an ebook is sold.

Second, authors’ generosity is often reciprocated by a myriad of benefits. In addition to enjoying more readers (and thus more word-of-mouth marketing), authors who give their books away for free or at low costs frequently enjoy deeper customer relationships, more reviews, more sales of print books and increased sales of related books, products and services.

How Booktrope Turned a Free Ebook Into a Bestseller

Tess Thompson has sold 90,000 copies of Riversong, which is remarkable. What’s more remarkable is that she’s also given away 250,000 free downloads.

Some people may look at those quarter-million free downloads and think Thompson and Booktrope are letting revenue slip through their fingers. To that response, Katherine Sears, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Booktrope asks, “Did we lose 250,000 sales or gain 250,000 fans?” Booktrope equates those give-aways to 250,000 advertising impressions.

“As a new author in a sea of books it’s almost impossible get noticed by readers,” said Thompson, “Making Riversong free was a way for us to entice readers to give my work a chance hoping that once they read the first in the series they would come back for more.” Riversong rose to the number one free book on Amazon the day it was made free. That high download rate, said Thompson, “translated to sales the very next week.”


The Book Marketing Strategy Every Author Must Implement

Here are the steps you need to take in order to make [your giveaway] the best it can be:

1. Personalize every book. Sure, it’s a little time consuming, but this really shows you took some time and consideration to the person on the receiving end. It is always a WOWing experience to receive a surprise package containing a free personalized book.

2. Include a letter in every package. Write a simple letter expressing gratitude to the recipient. Be sure to sign it by hand. You can send the same letter to everyone, but be sure to write the actual name of each person in the salutation.

3. Ask each recipient to take a specific action. Do NOT be afraid of this one! Most people are happy to take a couple minutes and do any of the following examples:

  • Ask them to leave an Amazon or any other kind of online review, good or bad.
  • Ask them to tweet a picture of the book (or post it to Facebook).
  • Tell them where and how they can get additional copies for friends.

Just be sure not to go overboard and ask to do TOO much. It is best to stick with one action.

4. Get creative. Always ask yourself what one more thing you could do to make this an incredible experience for the person on the receiving end.

Giving It Away: Why Fiction Authors Should Offer Free Ebooks 

Earning money isn’t your biggest problem. If you’re connected with enough people who enjoy your work, then it’s almost impossible to not make a living.


When you’re just starting out, you’ll have no idea if your fiction resonates with anyone. Consider sharing your first story for free to find out.

Strategic Ways to Give Away Books

Another post by Jody Hedlund, this one talks about the distinction between review copies and ARCs, as well as offering great info about giving books away as prizes.

Another way to generate enthusiasm for a book, especially around release time, is to offer copies of the book as prizes. I’ve done giveaways on my own blog by having readers answer trivia questions about easy historical issues that relate to my release. Other times, I’ve given away books as part of reader appreciation posts. Most of the time, I do giveaways on other blogs that host me for an interview, review, or guest post.  

What are your experiences or opinions about free giveaways? Please share them in a private message or in the comment section below!

Here’s to freebies!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


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For rapidly changing topics, a blog might be more useful than a book

Here’s the thing I’ve noticed about my blogging: I’m better at it (more consistent) when I have a theme and something of a schedule. This sporadic, find-a-suitable-topic stuff doesn’t really work for me, especially when I’m super-busy with client work or preoccupied with getting my website updated or building a new offering or promotion. That said, I’m working up a series of topics around the idea of integrating your social media. I’ll post the topics here as soon as I’ve got them in something of a final form.

In the meantime, a friend of mine asked a great question today about which social media book I recommend. He’d recently come across a less-than-flattering review I wrote of the 2010 “updated” version of The Social Media Bible.

These authors have a lot of nerve putting a 2010 publication date on this book and then, on p. 27, writing:

“MySpace is currently the biggest and most popular social network on the Internet and has more than 185 million members.”

By certain figures, Facebook hit 500 million users in Sept. 2010.

Yes, there’s good info in here … but I’m wary of ANY of the statistics.

As I was looking through the reviews today, I discovered that my comments were mild in comparison to those of several other disappointed readers who complained of irrelevance, too much self-serving promotion, “tools” that didn’t include any how-to information, and the offering for “free” gifts that was just a sales page designed to get you to buy a $200 program.

I think part of the danger lies in setting oneself up to write a “bible” (or Dummy’s book or Idiot’s Guide) on any subject that’s constantly changing, like social media. New information, platforms, and ways to use social media are emerging DAILY  so virtually any book on the subject is obsolete by the time it’s printed or even hits distribution as an eBook.  Likewise with almost any aspect of technology and many medical topics.

What’s the lesson for you, our dear SBMs? Make sure you double and triple-check your facts, links, and resources. If you’ve got a data-filled book with lots of changeable information, this probably means hiring a team of proofreaders and fact-checkers.

As I suggested to my friend, when it comes to social media, rather than looking for a “social media bible,” you might be better off following some of the smart, content-rich blogs:






Here’s to accuracy in reporting!


* Savvy Book Marketer


We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


Visit our website to view/download our Timeline of a Book, where you’ll note that marketing your book should start as soon as you begin writing it. If you’d like help setting up YOUR book marketing strategy, call us today for your complimentary 30-minute consultation! 602.518.5376

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Please  A book marketing haiku

As you may recall, I’m not much of a poet. I hated poetry in college but now wish I’d listened to my advisor and taken more of it. In response to a reader comment, I did a post with several ideas for how to market your poetry. Then I came across this quote by Seth Godin, which is a nice reminder that most poets and bloggers are in it for the love of their craft:

“Just as we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about how
all those poets out there are going to monetize their poetry,
the same is true for most bloggers.”
— Seth Godin

I am tackling poetry again in today’s blog as a part of the 2012 Word Count Blogathon. Today’s is Day 21 in the 31-day blog challenge. The theme for today is haiku, which means … you guessed it. I’ve written one.

For those unfamiliar with this style of poetry, a haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry that typically possesses three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is cutting, which often is represented by the nearby positioning of two images or ideas with a “cutting” word between them that serves as a sort of verbal punctuation mark signaling the break separating them.
  • A haiku consists of 17 syllables or sounds: 5, 7 and 5 respectively.
  • Haiku traditionally contain a seasonal reference.

According to WikiHow, “a haiku is meant to be a meditation of sorts that conveys an image or a feeling.” In reading many haiku (there is no plural word for haiku), you will notice they either present one idea for the first two lines and then switch quickly to something else, or they reference one thought with the first and last line, and another thought with the middle line. “Haiku has been called an “unfinished” poem because each one requires the reader to finish it in his or her heart,” the WikiHow article continues.

Like any writing or forms of art, haiku takes practice. I am not practiced at it. One of Marcie’s subscribers, however, is quite practiced: read Five Reflections’ daily haiku here.

OK – without any further delay, the unveiling…

To sell books I work

Branding and marketing them

Won’t you buy one, please?

Though there is no seasonal reference, I do think it hits the idea of conveying a feeling, a somewhat plaintive pleading to make all my efforts worthwhile. See, I can even tie in book marketing to a poetry challenge – and I’ll bet you can, too!

The idea is to learn to think like a marketer. Not that the first words out of your mouth when you meet someone new are: “Hi. I wrote a book. Do you want to buy a copy?” But that you keep marketing at a low simmer on the back burner, so that when an opportunity or idea you can leverage into an opportunity does show up, you will recognize it and be ready and able to act on it.

If you’d like to take a break from your own book marketing and try your hand at haiku, definitely read the WikiHow piece on writing a haiku.

Happy haiku!






We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!



Monday, May 7 Blog tour tips from A to Z

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7 Mardi Gras lessons for Savvy Book Marketers

Mardi Gras is more than just a giant party in New Orleans. It’s also another great opportunity to review some basic book marketing ideas. Here are seven concepts related to this annual Carnival experience.

1. According to historians, Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. When Christianity took hold in Rome, its leaders decided to it would be easier to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith than attempt to abolish them. Eventually, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season, which begins with the Epiphany or Twelfth Night, became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance, fasting, and abstinence from fruit, eggs, meat and dairy between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

MARKETING LESSON: Be willing to adapt. Don’t try to force an idea. If one thing isn’t working, don’t remain stubbornly committed to it. Reevaluate your situation and find another more effortless path.


2. The traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold are so intricately connected with this annual celebration that when you see them outside of a costume shop in early February, they still bring Mardi Gras to mind. And each color has a very specific meaning. Purple represents justice; green represents faith; and gold represents power – all good goals for an author.

MARKETING LESSON: Brand yourself for instant recognition. Wouldn’t you love for your colors, logo, or brand to be as instantly recognizable as strings of purple, green, and gold beads? They can be, eventually, but you have to start somewhere. Think of the instantly recognizable yellow cover of The Help or the white background and red lettering on The Joy of Cooking. Find colors, fonts, and a logo concept that work for you and your book, and then use them everywhere: your website, postcards, email signature, social media sites, ect.


3. The Epiphany marks the coming of the wise men (kings) who were believed to have brought gifts to the Christ child. A popular custom that began with the Epiphany but has morphed into more of a Mardi Gras tradition is the making of “King Cakes.” A plastic baby is baked inside the King Cake, and according to tradition, whoever finds the baby in their piece of cake must buy the next King Cake or throw the next party. A King Cake is made from cinnamon-filled dough shaped into a hollow circle. The cake is topped with a delicious glazed topping and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold sugar.

MARKETING LESSON: Put a prize inside your book. Remember Cracker Jack, the carmel corn treat that came with a free prize inside? You already liked the treat, but once you saw the free prize inside – something small yet precious – it became irresistible. You can do the same with your book. For more on this concept, check out Seth Godin’s book, Free Prize Inside.


4. Though Mardi Gras was originally introduced to New Orleans by French settlers in 1699 and eventually popularized by students who’d visited Paris in 1827, contemporary celebrations occur all over the world. Another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities that culminate on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is Carnival. It is believed to be derived from the Latin word carnelevarium, which means “farewell to meat.” Beyond New Orleans, elaborate Carnival crowds also gather in Alabama and Mississippi in the U.S., as well as in Rio and the rest of Brazil, Quebec City, Venice, Germany, and Denmark.

MARKETING LESSON: Go global. It may take some time to catch on (in the instance of Mardi Gras, it took more than 125 years), but with the right planning and commitment, there is no reason you cannot take your book marketing campaign global.


5. Krewe is the word for an organization that creates the balls and parades during Mardi Gras. Each Krewe, comprised of a captain and several members, has its own style. Throughout the year, the Krewes build floats and hold secret meetings. On Mardi Gras day, the Krewe members don masks and ride on their floats. Every Krewe holds its own parade leading up to Mardi Gras.

MARKETING LESSON: Get yourself a krewe! We’ve talked about this before – you don’t have to go it alone. So don’t. Get a creative, visionary, enthusiastic team behind you, and you will accomplish so much more than you ever could on your own.


6. You may have seen (or heard tell of) the naked torso of a woman or two in the midst of the Mardi Gras mania. “Why would they do that?” is a logical question. Members of the parade krewes throw beads and coconuts and trinkets to the revelers, and some women will do almost anything to get the bauble thrower’s attention. For many, it’s less about receiving the gift than it is about receiving the attention.

MARKETING LESSON: You’ve got to be willing to bare it all. No, not literally. But writing a book means exposing yourself to the world. It means putting your thoughts out there where people can read them and – gasp – comment on them. Make the best book you can, and steel yourself to the critics. But don’t leave anything on the table.


7. Masks create an air of mystery and have fascinated people for centuries; the mask tradition remains a vital part of Mardi Gras. Whether the party is in New Orleans, the Caribbean, South America, or Europe, this pre-Lenten festival includes original masks worn by revelers at masked balls, krewe members in parades, tourists, and partygoers. The masks are thought to allow the individual hidden behind the mask to play out the final moments of fun and to bid “farewell to the flesh” before the austere Lenten season begins.

MARKETING LESSON: Play a role if you’re shy. A marketing challenge many authors face is that they prefer to write. They’d much rather sit quietly (almost anonymously) behind their keyboards and create new works. While ABW (always be writing) is an admirable goal, it’s not going to sell many books. If you want to sell books, you MUST create a visible presence. If this is difficult for you, create a persona that, while not too distant from the real you, is separate from you. What would you like to do but are too shy, hesitant, or reluctant to do when it comes to marketing your book? Great. Let your persona do that for you. Christine Comaford-Lynch’s Rules for Renegades has a lot of great advice about how to do this.

So get out there and employ one or two or all of these ideas and watch your marketing come alive!










We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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How are you incorporating SOCIAL MEDIA into your book marketing strategy?

This image has perhaps been reposted several thousand times since at least as far back as February 2011, so I feel a bit late to the party in just having come across it now. It’s hard to know where it originated; the furthest back I could trace it was here. But it’s a GREAT illustration (albeit a more scatological example  than I might have used, had I been clever enough to dream it up) of the distinctions between the more popular social media outlets.

I recently came across a blog post by MaryPat Kavanagh in which she explains quite well that social media is not a marketing strategy unto itself as much as it is a tool you can (and SHOULD) apply to your marketing efforts. That said, how are you applying your involvement in the different social networks to your book marketing campaign?

  • Are you posting excerpts from your book? Some authors get antsy about this idea, fearing they might give too much away. Dump that thinking in a hurry! And go read Seth Godin’s blog, where he frequently notes how essential it is to give away free information before you can cultivate buyers who will turn into long-term fans.
  • Are you creating events and inviting your friends/followers/contacts to your book signings and readings? If you’re not inviting your social media peeps to these events, one might wonder what you’re doing on these sites at all.
  • Are you holding contests? Mike Michalowicz, author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, has held contests that included being the first respondent to tell him the last word on a given page in his book and having readers post pictures of themselves holding copies of his book in various locations.
  • Have you made a book trailer or video series related to your book?
  • Have you joined groups and begun interacting with others in industries that might have a use for your book?
  • Are you making connections to begin forging joint ventures, finding outlets for bulk sales, or soliciting speaking opportunities? Social media is a great avenue for thinking bigger than individual readers and really leveraging your contacts to grow your brand as an author.

Marketing your book is not rocket science. But it does require willingness to learn, an investment of time, and consistent effort. You can do it – you just have to get started.

Happy social networking!



We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.


Visit the Write | Market | Design Facebook page to meet other authors and aspiring authors who have a sincere interest in writing, publishing, and selling the best books they can. And if you need a self-publishing consultant in your corner for anything from advice on structure to developing a marketing strategy, drop us a note at MarcieBrock@WriteMarketDesign.com or give us a call at 602.518.5376!

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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!


*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.



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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Understanding the important distinction between publicity and PR

We made a point in the last post suggesting your marketing efforts mimic Lady Gaga’s hit song streak that she is a PR machine. Later, it occurred to me that some might think I misspoke, and should have said that Lady Gaga is a publicity machine rather than a PR machine, so I thought it might be helpful to explain the distinction between the two.

According to master marketer Seth Godin, the two are different, and PR is the much more important focus:

Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego.

But it’s not PR.

PR is the strategic crafting of your story. It’s the focused examination of your interactions and tactics and products and pricing that, when combined, determine what and how people talk about you.

And then there are the folks over at CopyBlogger, who make the following very clear distinctions between public relations and publicity:

Public relations implies that you have a public to relate with, and that’s who you are speaking to.

Publicity is something that helps you connect with people who don’t know about you yet, or those who may have heard about you, but are still on the fence.

Given these two expert explanations, it’s clear that Lady Gaga long ago surpassed the need for publicity; she truly has become a PR master.

Here’s a challenge for you

  • How will you craft YOUR story … as an author, as an expert, about the process of writing your book?
  • How do you want people to think and talk about and interact with you? 
  • What are you doing NOW to begin infusing that story into your public’s psyche?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, it’s high time you start working on them!

Share your story … or the beginnings of your story … in the comments section below. We’ll do all we can to move it forward.



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