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name: Kathy Lindgren
email address: nanakathy@chipvalley .com
topic: Publicity

I have a friend who just finished his first book. It is now on Amazon.com and he has sold over 60 books and all reviews (13 so far) are very, very positive. My question is: how else can he promote his book to the public at large. The book is too good to get buried in a pile somewhere. Please let me know what else he can do to promote his book on a higher level.
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name: Bull Garlington
email address: bullgarlington@gmail.com
topic: CRM

Tom;

Would you recommend using a CRM service to boost sales to libraries in the US and Canada for a new release available through B&T etc?
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name: harriet marie youngblood
email address: marie4400@;mocospace.com
topic: communications help

what help can you find to be the best communications help when writing for publicity and for the release of information to the public and private sector/industry for to notify fans and others to call upon you if they want to hire you or invite you to an upcoming event or just to help others to know what your business is truly all about for the increase of revenue for your lifestyle to communicate the excellence of that goodness that overflows past the evil times of our generational curses that stems from a line of miscommunications and twisted upsets of historical heritage hogwashed lines of firehousing particles of ones mindset for a laced work of art that forms nothing more than a lingering slot of helpers who need your inner being to flourish the soul and the spirit of true love that only can come through the lined way of our past, present and future intelligence that our nation has come to love by the witness of much additionally added to the answering of ones mind over matter for the understanding to be left not alone but to be spread abroad as it has always been intended to be considered for the keeping of truth and the whole truth to what is loved moreso than less than nothing at all senses felt on the heart of everyones material evidence of the oath of office and officially sworn to the test of times we know you can accomplish much with such evil but moreso with much goodness from the common good of communications that are best kept and never truly left alone behind the lines of green grassroots for a token of somebody to lose or win out but over and into the heart of when we once were together in the wifi worlds and wired not on the teeth or an ass or hound dog lifeline or styled of the black beauty and its crowd or birds whiter than the treasured crow to a crawfish engaging in revered colors of the lights fashioned to be as publicly known forwardly for our likeness to be in the newsmaking as well as in the greatest of the golden egg potted for a better state or status questioning not the country on fire to lines downtown or upstate but unto oneself for the flashing off of the last graphic bulb in plain truth and colored for the end times to a said identitical placement stoned or nothing at all electricfied for the coverage as a presiding lead to onward soldiers list of the skinny fabric of our wonderlands meaning truth be told as well as heard and seen of when we have the pure constant level of success in everything pleasing the dream of one truth in our historical pages and this is to be there for the heritage making a first once again over the heads of another fame or two in commanding the heads of state to witness those who remain truthful to the core life of writing novels of romance and real life even by way of the waves in the radio, television or of any other media outlet forced to reveal even the identity of central americans who don't tell lies about what the parents of truth told for the writing of the names of our sons and daughters in american history who are really right in what they too say and do as so believe is possible as it is changeable for the impossibility of being a world ruin to the commonwealth companies if we don't respect the publicity of our national identity to who is our maker and keeper of knowing and being in the paper of powerful cuts and bloody meats of even what is truly loved in our own flesh as it is of the animals that we consume for the living long unto an everlasting fulness of the human nature we have been so blessed to experience and live in the sport and spot light of the greastest love of all times and seasons that gives and gives the time to think of the importance to faith in what is faith in our image as one knows it is for the use of the usage too being what is trusted enough to love and still leave in a special place of historical evidence whenever it is not being used for everything else unto the pleasing of the fleshly bones and eyewitnesses of another religious nutty buddy or whatever is of the titled image seekers nam used for the publicity.
December 27, 2012


name: harriet marie youngblood
email address: marie4400@;mocospace.com
topic: communications help

what help can you find to be the best communications help when writing for publicity and for the release of information to the public and private sector/industry for to notify fans and others to call upon you if they want to hire you or invite you to an upcoming event or just to help others to know what your business is truly all about for the increase of revenue for your lifestyle to communicate the excellence of that goodness that overflows past the evil times of our generational curses that stems from a line of miscommunications and twisted upsets of historical heritage hogwashed lines of firehousing particles of ones mindset for a laced work of art that forms nothing more than a lingering slot of helpers who need your inner being to flourish the soul and the spirit of true love that only can come through the lined way of our past, present and future intelligence that our nation has come to love by the witness of much additionally added to the answering of ones mind over matter for the understanding to be left not alone but to be spread abroad as it has always been intended to be considered for the keeping of truth and the whole truth to what is loved moreso than less than nothing at all senses felt on the heart of everyones material evidence of the oath of office and officially sworn to the test of times we know you can accomplish much with such evil but moreso with much goodness from the common good of communications that are best kept and never truly left alone behind the lines of green grassroots for a token of somebody to lose or win out but over and into the heart of when we once were together in the wifi worlds and wired not on the teeth or an ass or hound dog lifeline or styled of the black beauty and its crowd or birds whiter than the treasured crow to a crawfish engaging in revered colors of the lights fashioned to be as publicly known forwardly for our likeness to be in the newsmaking as well as in the greatest of the golden egg potted for a better state or status questioning not the country on fire to lines downtown or upstate but unto oneself for the flashing off of the last graphic bulb in plain truth and colored for the end times to a said identitical placement stoned or nothing at all electricfied for the coverage as a presiding lead to onward soldiers list of the skinny fabric of our wonderlands meaning truth be told as well as heard and seen of when we have the pure constant level of success in everything pleasing the dream of one truth in our historical pages and this is to be there for the heritage making a first once again over the heads of another fame or two in commanding the heads of state to witness those who remain truthful to the core life of writing novels of romance and real life even by way of the waves in the radio, television or of any other media outlet forced to reveal even the identity of central americans who don't tell lies about what the parents of truth told for the writing of the names of our sons and daughters in american history who are really right in what they too say and do as so believe is possible as it is changeable for the impossibility of being a world ruin to the commonwealth companies if we don't respect the publicity of our national identity to who is our maker and keeper of knowing and being in the paper of powerful cuts and bloody meats of even what is truly loved in our own flesh as it is of the animals that we consume for the living long unto an everlasting fulness of the human nature we have been so blessed to experience and live in the sport and spot light of the greastest love of all times and seasons that gives and gives the time to think of the importance to faith in what is faith in our image as one knows it is for the use of the usage too being what is trusted enough to love and still leave in a special place of historical evidence whenever it is not being used for everything else unto the pleasing of the fleshly bones and eyewitnesses of another religious nutty buddy or whatever is of the titled image seekers nam used for the publicity.
December 27, 2012


name: Rob Miller
email address: cmy-Miller1092@escapedemail.com
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July 14, 2011


name: emmanuel
email address: immanjau2010@yahoo.com
topic: public relations

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June 20, 2011


name: Syed Afzal Haider
email address: sahaider@sbcglobal.net
topic: Is there any way to draw some notice and attention to small press publication?

Dear Thomas Ciesielka:

It is kind of you to field question from unknown writers. As way to introduce myself Im providing the following information:

Im a writer and the founding editor of Chicago Quarterly Review for more than thirteen years. My short stories and essays have appeared in a variety of literary magazine including Saint Ann's Review, AmerAsia, The Journal of Pakistani Literature, Marco Polo, Indian Voices, and The Taylor Trust, also in anthologies published by Oxford University Press, Milkweed Editions, Penguin Books, and Longman Literature, my first novel, To Be With Her, was published by Weaver Press, San Francisco (a very small press) in November 2010.

So far the only review the book managed to get was by Rick Kleffel of NPR, he also did an hour long, Podcast interview with yours truly, in late December. Following that it has been quiet on every front, no reviews from local papers (Chicago Tribune, Sun Times or Reader) or New York Times.

My question: Is there any way to draw some notice and attention to this small press publication?
If it will help my cause, and benefit from your know how and advise, Ill gladly mail a copy of, To Be With Her, for you to see and read.

I thank you in advance for your time and energy and courtesy of responding to my question.

Sincerely,
Syed Afzal Haider

Rick Kleffel's Home page: http://bookotron.com/agony/index.html
Review: http://bookotron.com/agony/reviews/2010/haider-to_be_with_her.html
Podcast: http://bookotron.com/agony/news/2010/12-13-10-podcast.htm#podcast121310

There is no easy way to get the attention of some of the Chicago area media outlets.

Novels from first time fiction writers are difficult to promote. There are just too many books and not enough opportunities in traditional media outlets. That said, it takes a lot of creativity and persistence to find way to get into some of these places. For example, if you novel was about a couple finding love in Middle East, you might be able to tie into world events.

If I were you, I would reach out to the people who are familiar with your other writings and tell them about your new novel. Now with social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, there are ways to find people who might be interested in your novel.

Bottom-line, you have a lot of work ahead of you. However, do some research, get a book on book promotion, and promote your "baby" as only you can.

Best regards,
Tom C


March 17, 2011


name: Chuck Spinner
email address: spinlake@yahoo.com
topic: Securing an agent for a book

Hi Tom, After four years of research, I have just finished my book on the Naperville train wreck of 1946. I have self published a previous book (check out abookofprayers.com) and want to avoid that method of publication if at all possible on my second book. Any ideas on an agent who would represent me in my efforts. Thanks, Chuck Spinner
January 02, 2011



name: margie
email address: margiebrns@gmail.com
topic: Published books and schools.

Hi Tom, I have two Published books from a self publishing company on the internet. I find it is the most fun for me doing book signings, and especially with groups of other Authors. However, I recently moved to the Midland area, and I am looking for such groups? Can you help? Also, any groups that get to-gether and just discuss their books, etc? Thankyou, MaggieMay
February 03, 2009

name: margie
topic: Published books...

Hi Tom again, I forgot to mention that I recently found out my first book is in some School Libaries, and at book fairs for sale, do you know how I might get them into more schools? Thankyou MaggieMay
February 03, 2009

Dear Margie,

Thanks for your question at the Society of Midland Authors website. I believe the SMA criteria for speakers would not fit with your book. However, rather than just researching Chicago area writers groups (Google research should help you dig some up, or looking at listings in places like The Chicago Reader), I'd focus on people who belong to organizations that would appreciate the topics of your books and offer to speak at one of their programs.

Hope this helps.

Tom Ciesielka

February 03, 2009



name: Mary Elizabeth Anderson
email address: marelizand@neb.rr.com
topic: booksigning in Chicago area

My new middle reader novel, "Gracie Gannon: Middle School Zero," was recently released. I will be in the Chicago area sometime within the next three months. I would like to arrange a booksigning at a friendly bookstore. Would you please give me ideas of who I might contact? Thank you so much.

There are many bookstores in the Chicago area that might be a fit. I cannot say which one would be the most "friendly" toward your book. You might check with your publisher to see what that person has experienced with other authors that did book signings in the Chicago area. Ideally, they have a marketing or public relations person who handles this type of author requests.

Best regards,
Tom Ciesielka


June 02, 2008


email address: s-briseno@sbcglobal.net
topic: The Poet, Author ^ Writer

Dear Tom I have been recently going to Barnes and Nobles book store I am waiting for my poetry book to come soon but am having troubles with my publisher. They have been under investiagation, and I am put on hold. I am an online Business Student and have just recently moveed to Midland allthough I have lived in the area all my life. I am still calm and cool I just think some of the authors are thinking they have lots of money or just get a lawyer. I started out with a small script abot 20 pages that I wrote in hgh school called dealing with life published with Dorrance Publishing. I think that when it comes to a good book you just have to get it out there. I have just completed my third manuscript, I enjoy writing from my own set of ideas, and thoughts. I am now working on my fourth script that I have been writing since 2001. I wonder if readers like for an author to be established with good reading and writing techniques, or do they like different genera.......signed poetry, religion and philosophy....Stephen A. Briseno

April 14, 2008

Hi Stephen,

It all depends. However, as a general rule, authors get known for a certain style of writing, within a specific genre, or on a certain topic (e.g. historical fiction). It helps them to market future books and build an audience. For example, Stephen King is known for writing horror novels. If he started writing children's books, I'd be concerned.

About a year ago, Anne Rice received much publicity because she wrote a book related to Jesus. Since many consider vampires demonic in nature, that was a weird twist. However, I doubt that the Pope will be meeting with her during his current visit. Although he might ask for an autographed copy of one of her bloodsucking dramas.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka



name: Marian
email address: marflo2u@sbcglobal.net
topic: Book Promotion

Hi Tom,
I self-published wrote, and illustrated a children's book through an online book publisher, who has my book on amazon.com, and other online book whoesalers. I also bought a marketing package with this company,who will send out press releases, in addition to magazines, and newspapers of my choice. My problem is that aside from my local papers, I have no idea who would be effective.Do you have any ideas?
Marian
November 16, 2006

Dear Marian,

Thanks for your question at the Society of Midland Authors website.

Your question is a big one :) Here are some suggestions:

1. Find out where similar books get media attention and pitch those places.

2. Get a good book on publicity for books (e.g. The Complete Guide to Book Publicity by Jodee Blanco) and see what techniques would work for your book and use them.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka



name: Steve Rom
email address: stephenrom@bellsouth.net
topic: literary publicity

Hi. I've been talking to Planned TV Arts about promoting my soon-to-be-released book, "Centered by a Miracle." I was wondering if you had any info on them good or bad. They seem to be the best.

I've also spoken to Newman Communications in the Boston area. They and PTA have worked with Mitch Albom. His book, "Tuesdays with Morrie," is what many are comparing my book to.

I wrote about my experiences overcoming leukemia three years ago with the help of a former Super Bowl champion. I'm a sportswriter, so our friendship along with odd enough, let alone how we used it to overcome this deadly disease.

All the best and continued success!

Steve Rom

July 15, 2006

Dear Steve,

I can't say that I know first hand about Planned TV Arts. However, they do seem to get their name out there with handling book promotions. As far as Newman is concerned, I am not that familiar with them. My suggestion for whoever you hire includes three simple steps:

1. Look at their track record, do they know how to get publicity for a book that is well written and has an audience that may not have the type of "star value" that attracts the media's attention?. It's one thing to promote a book about the secrets of Madonna's sex life, versus a well crafted biography of a common person with an extraordinary story to tell (meaning media worthy but a harder sell).

2. Ask for a proposal and find out who will do the actual work. While I don't want to get into pricing, a solid public relations campaign will cost thousands of dollars. You want to know what work will be done and whether it be assigned to someone with the right experience and expertise.

3. Read a book on...book publicity. If you read almost any book on book publicity, you'll learn what various elements can go into a campaign to promote a title. Then, when you get the bids to hire an agency, you'll better understand what services they are pitching you.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka



name: Rosina
topic: how to let the members of the SMA know about new publications

Dear Tom,
My question might seem trivial. But since I am a new member there are many things that I do not know. I am wondering how can I let the members of the SMA know about my forthcoming and past publications?
Thank you.
Rosina
April 09, 2006

Dear Rosina, I'd suggest that your submit a biography page to SMA's webmaster, Mary Claire Hersh. The details on how to do so are listed under "member resources" at the bottom of the home page on this web site.

Also, consider coming to as many member meetings as possible. The SMA is a great place to network with professional writers and people involved in the publishing industry. I'd be happy to learn more about your work. I won't be at the next meeting. However, I will be at the annual awards dinner in May.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka



name: Sara Paretsky
email address: viwarshawski@mindspring.com
topic: web advertising

Dear Tom,

I will have a book coming out on June 28, another in my V I WArshawski series. The pubisher is doing a kind of lick-and-promise promotion, and I wanted to explore web advertising. I don't know if it's a good idea, and I don't know how one identifies the best sites if it is a good idea. Is this something you've worked on'/with?

Thanks,

Sara
April 04, 2005
Dear Sara,

Thanks for your question about web advertising. My primary area of expertise is media relations, so advertising is something I am not as familiar with. However, allow me to give you some suggestions.

In general, before you go for paid advertising, it's important to generate buzz about your book (there's even an ebook someone told me about called Buzz Your Book at www.buzzyour.com). If you book is newsworthy to a particular audience, then you should be able to get some publicity first at their website in the form of a review or story about your and the book. There might even be a blog that you can join in (Of course, you cannot make your messages overly commercial). Then after you get that exposure you can find out how to advertise at those websites.

Also, advertising is something your publisher should know a great deal about. While they may never do as much advertising and media relations as you like, you should at least ask them about what's available. Then ask them the cost. If there are good opportunities, then you might want to partner with them by offer to pay half of the web advertising costs.

Best regards,
Tom Ciesielka



name: Chad Boutin
email address: flashfiction@hotmail.com
topic: new journal

Hi Tom,

We are launching a literary journal dedicated to very short fiction, with a twist--issues will be available for download via Web-enabled wireless devices such as PDAs or cell phones. Such an unusual format will naturally raise some eyebrows, but it could be an ideal medium for the very short form.

How do you think we might go about letting writers know about the launch? Though we are trying to be decorous, we would like to avoid getting lost in the shuffle.

Any related thoughts you might offer are both welcome and solicited.

Best regards,
Chad Boutin
editor, flashfiction
http://winksite.com/flashfiction/ff


March 17, 2005

Hi Chad,

Thanks for your question. I have to admit, I do not have a "prepackaged" answer for it. However, let me give it a try.

First, I would look for literary publications that cover short fiction and see if they have a news & notes type section. That would be a place to mention your new offering and maybe provide some artwork with a cell phone where you can read on the screen, "the next great novel" or something like that.

Second, you need to see who assembles content and markets it to cell phone and PDA providers. Most of those offering now are games, video clips and information, and news services. Perhaps your service can be made available through those places.

Finally, you need to get proof that this works before any writers at major media outlets will pay attention. Any respected writer gets hundreds of good pitches. However, you'll need to find a way to break through the clutter to reach the tech and literary type writers.

Well, maybe I have one other suggestion. Research how something like your service made it into the marketplace. My guess is that is was a mix of old fashioned persistence until some bought the idea along with a creative marketing approach that got people's attention.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka



name: David
email address: davegeiger820@hotmail.com
topic: contacting authors

My wife, an educator, frequently needs a speaker for an event. It' often an author (particularly children's books) that she' after. She knows lots of author names, but many times does not know how to contact them. I just came across this Soc of Midland Authors' website & it looks promising; however, it's missing a piece of information that would be very helpful to her in the early elimination process- that would be the city in which they live. Her budget is always very limited & she likes to find someone nearby (Dayton, OH is our location. Today, it's one of your members that we're are first looking at; in her case we do know that she lives in Cincinnati & so we'll contact her by her email address that you very helpfully provide. However, if she turns out to be unavailable or pricey, it would be helpful if the site listed at least their hometown. Even those with websites or bios don't often have this information and it's time consuming to rummage thru these. Any insights for me? Thanks.

December 04, 2004


name: Willis Earl Wilson
email address: crayshay@aol.com
topic: True Crime Corruption and Murder in Schaumburg


Hi Tom,

Just over 20 yrs. ago I was framed by over zealous Schaumburg Police officers,
in connection to a series of sexual assaults and murders in the suburbs from the 1960,s. I did hard time in the Cook County Jail. I exonerated my self
with a Free lawyer [P.D.] 2 mos. later
by chance encounter I solved my own case by meeting the real serial killer in a Howard Johnson,s rest. in LaGrange Park. I was stunned. Since then I,d wager he raped and Murdered a little Glen Ellyn girl. I,ve long since cleared
and eliminated myself in her death with forensics [D N A ] I am looking for someone to help me write a book [I,ve no exp. in this type of thing] The Schaumburg Police and many other people want to cover this story up. These Murders are still unsolved. This story is ongoing.

Please assist me if possible

[904] 778-4343 Sincerely, Willis Earl Wilson former U S M C


November 26, 2004

Dear Willis,

Thanks for sending your message. My experience with getting books published is limited. My area of expertise focuses on promoting the books after publication. What I can offer are a few general tips:

1. There are a number of books that list publishers and have indexes for finding a publisher that would specialize in your type of story and have greater potential in considering in publishing your book.

2. As far as finding a writer, you would need conduct research for a professional writer. If you do an Internet search for professional writer organizations, you'll find a few to help in that area.

3. Look for books that are similar in nature to your story, then research that publisher. For example, "When Corruption Was King: How I Helped the Mob Rule Chicago, Then Brought the Outfit Down" is a book that could lead you to a possible publisher and maybe writer.

4. At the very least, buy a book about becoming an author to learn about the submission process and writing a book proposal.

You seem to have a compelling story. However, now you'll have do the same kind of searching that helped create your story.

Best regards,
Tom Ciesielka



name: fran magri
email address: franniemae21@yahoo.com
topic: Who ferries authors to book-signings while on tour?

Hi Tom!

A while back, I read about a lady who drove authors on tour. She said that she was a combination of driver, companion, shrink, ...you get the picture.

This intrigued me. I am a former teacher,(4 years) a former taxi driver (3 years) and have done almost everthing else under the sun. Of course, at mid-life, I am now looking again to reinvent myself.

I have done a bit of writing myself, and would love having an author's company while getting paid for it!

Where would I start in launching such a service? Should I dream up a logo and start contacting publishers? Should I go talk to the folks at my local Barnes and Nobles? Or, would I market myself to publicists?

If you have the time or strength to answer, I'd appreciate it, and I'll give you a free ride if you ever get to New Orleans!

Thanks,

Fran Magri
(504) 834-1978
November 24, 2004

Dear Fran,

Yes, many times publishers hire escorts for their writers when they travel from city to city on a media tour. I think you almost answered your question in how to get that type of work. However, here are my suggestions on some ways I would approach it:

1. Contact the biggest publishers (translation - they have the money for added services) and find someone in their public relations department to explain how they hire local escorts. You could also look for local public relations firms that do book publicity.

2. You could contact the events people at major book chains and ask for the names of author escorts they have worked with. Then contact those escorts and see if you can help them with their work.

3. Of course, you'll need some experience. So research some local authors and offer to help them with a local book tour. Then you'll have some good first hand experience and references to give to the publishers.

Thanks for the offer of the free ride if I get to New Orleans. I'll take it under one condition, that it comes with an order of fried frog legs.

Tom Ciesielka



name: Billy Lombardo
email address: blombardo@latinschool.org
topic: press release

I would like to see an actual press release, if you wouldn't mind.
November 01, 2004

Dear Billy,

Click here for an example of a press release for a business book on how to deal with change.

Hope it helps.
Tom C.



name: Jenelle Brosius
email address: jb_lestat_2@yahoo.com
topic: getting published

I have recently finished my first novel and am working on my second. How can I find a honest literary agent who may be able to help me get published? I keep running across "scam" agents who just want my money (and I don't have any!) Please help! Thank you - Jenelle
October 29, 2004

Tom's reply: Dear Jenelle,

As a disclaimer, I am not very familiar in this area. However, I believe I can help a little.

First, the better literary agents usually work on a percentage of money they bring in to an author. Meaning you should not have to pay up front.

Second, I would suggest that you get a book like "Be Your Own Literary Agent" by Martin P. Levin. Probably any book on the subject would be good to have because it will give an idea of how the process works. Then when you do find a good agent, you can ask better questions.

Finally, networking with other authors is a great way to go. Come to Society of Midland Author events and ask published authors whom they might recommend.

Hope this gives you some direction.
Tom Ciesielka



name: Vincent Debrah
email address: vogoro20002000@yahoo.com
topic: PRO

I WANT SOME GOOD COURSE BOOKS ON PUBLIC RELATIONS [TITLES AND AUTHORS]. KINDLY HELP ME.
September 28, 2004

Tom's reply: Dear Vincent,

There are three books on book publicity that I would suggest:

- "The Complete Guide to Book Publicity" by Jodee Blanco
- "Publicize Your Book" by Jacqueline Deval
- "Guerrilla Publicity" by Jay Levinson (This book covers the topic in a general way. However, it's a great starting place to learn about the process).

I realize these may not be the type of "course books" you asked about. However, if you are local, you might want to check with Columbia College which used to have a good public relations program. Perhaps there is a course there you might want to take.

Thanks for asking,
Tom Ciesielka



name: Franklin James
email address: franklin_james@att.net
topic: Book synopsis

Hi Tom,

I'm doing a book signing and the organizers have asked for a one page synopsis. Are there publicists or writers who would perform this service for a fee?

Thank you,
Franklin
September 13, 2004


email address: CharlesCohon@aol.com
topic: University of Chicago Presentation

Hi Tom.

I recognize that it's a bit late to be asking this question, but here it is anyway. The University of Chicago has invited me to speak on my new book, "The Sales Force" on August 11. The URL for the presentation is http://gsb.uchicago.edu/dynamic.asp?nNodeID=26&intContentTypeID=7&intContentID=3065

The meeting is open to the public. Any hints on how I could publicize this outside the academic community?

Best regards,
Charley Cohon
August 02, 2004

Tom's reply: Dear Charles,

Thank you for your question. First, I tried to go to the link for the program and I got an error message.

Assuming your book is about a business topic, I would suggested sending an email and/or fax ASAP to all the business editors and book editors at Chicago media outlets (e.g. Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business).

In the message point out three to five points in your book that are unique for the topic. Also mention that you are a local author. Be sure to include a link to the program (after you check that it is properly working). In the future, you need at least four weeks to start letting people know about this type of program. Of course, the key to success will be to answer the questions, "What is special and unique about this book" and "Who will benefit from the information."

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka



name: Jack W Ardell
email address: JuanitaL14@aol.com
topic: Marketing My Book

Please advise on how I can Market my Book
July 10, 2004

Tom's reply: Dear Jack,

Thank you for asking about how to market your book. However, that's a very broad question, so please allow me to suggest a couple general ideas.

First, find out if the publisher is planning on promoting your book. If yes, ask them to share their marketing plan with you. Second, make it clear to the publisher that you are willing to help promote your book. That could range from setting up a book signing at a bookstore where you live to contacting your local newspaper and suggesting a story. Third, buy a book related to promoting books. One that comes to mind is "The Complete Guide to Book Publicity" by Jodee Blanco. There are others like it you can find at amazon.com.

The key is to make a plan that works best for reaching the audience that will be most interested in reading your book.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka

name: Mary Elizabeth Anderson
email address: marelizand@aol.com
topic: publicity

Hi Tom:

My last book came out in June. The publishing house has a freelance publicist whom I've met, and like very much. I "think" she has done quite a bit to promote my book, but I can not see where much has happened. How can I approach this delicate subject whithout offending her?

Thanks so much for your reply.
Mary Elizabeth Anderson
February 09, 2004

Tom's reply: Dear Mary Elizabeth,

I would suggest asking the publisher or publicist for an accounting of what has been done to date. A simple list like the name of the media outlet, when they were contacted, and the status of their interest. If a media outlet said they are not interested, then there should a note briefly saying why.

You might also ask the publisher to give you some idea of what work this freelance publicist was assigned. It can range from simply sending out press releases to an aggressive campaign with careful follow up.

Some publishers ask the writers for a marketing plan to help promote their book. If you have created one, then find out if there are some obvious media outlets which have not been approached. For example, if your book was about model trains, did the publicist contact the magazines for model train collectors?

Please remember, successful authors must also be their book's #1 salesperson. If this is something you do not normally do, then I suggest getting a book on book marketing and draft a plan to share with your publisher.

Thanks for asking,
Tom Ciesielka

name: Arnie Bernstein
email address: arnie@arniebernstein.com
topic: Speaker's Fee

We all want to get paid for speaking gigs, yet sometimes it's hard to figure out a price for presentations. Inevitably, I believe we all underrate our services as speakers or fear not getting a gig and thus charge fees that aren't as high as they should be. What would you suggest as good rules of thumb for speaking fees and when is it a good idea to go pro bono?

Arnie Bernstein
www.arniebernstein.com

November 30, 2003
Tom's Reply: Hi Arnie,

Speaking fees are one of the mysteries of the universe. The criteria for conference or meeting planners vary widely. It can be based on a budget, a need to have a big name or a news topic to draw attendance, or simply a warm body to fill a program slot.

If you want to know what professional speakers are asking, go to speaker bureau website (e.g. www.leadingauthorities.com). Then seek what the asking price is for something like what you offer. However, if you are approached to speak, feel free to simply ask what is the budget for the speaker and whether it's negotiable.

As far pro bono gigs, you need to decide what your time and effort are worth and if speaking for free have a potential return greater that your time and effort. CAUTION: This requires long-term thinking. Speaking today will not increase your profile or sales tomorrow. Think of it as seed "planting" and deciding if the "ground" is fertile enough to provide some "fruit" down the road.

Thanks for asking,
Tom Ciesielka


Rich Lindberg
rclwriter@aol.com

I think its important to find out up front if there is going to be a fee paid, but by the same token some groups (like Midland Authors,for example) do not have the financial resources to pay an honorarium. It is therefore incumbent on the organization's event planner to extend the courtesy of informing the speaker as to whether or not they pay an honorarium when they ask you to commit to an engagement.

Doesn't always happen of course; Hugo's Companions, a local Sherlockian Group I spoke to this past year didn't mention it and I, unfortunately, did not bother to ask. So when I had finished packing up my brochures, slides and books and looked up, the room was completely deserted. I used to give my talks in the spirit of good will, and never asked public libraries and the community historical societies for a fee - but as the volume of invitations increased exponentially in the last two years, I realized that I was spending a big chunk of my time customizing my talks and revising my slide presentation to suit the interests and tastes of the group I was addressing. Very often this involved an expenditure on my part for new slides and images to compliment the presentation.

Event planners will often tell the author that while they can't pay a fee, they will allow them to sell books at the meeting. Sometimes that works out nicely for the author, but more often than not the majority of people who attend library talks and neighborhood historical society meetings (my audience for the most part) are well over 65 years of age, and this group simply does not have the disposable income or inclination to buy books.

These days I must always ask, and make a value decision. In general, for the types of groups I mentioned - and many of us who write non-fiction know them very well - should be willing to pay the author $100 to $150 per appearance. That seems to be the going rate for regional authors in the Chicago market. Nevertheless, I enjoy public speaking ! and I list my appearances on my website, www.richardlindberg.net, and this brings many new opportunities.


name: Ellen Jackson
email address: ellenj@west.net
topic: Website Promotion

Hi Tom,

I'm an author of more than 50 books for children. Over the last few months I've been developing a webpage at www.ellenjackson.net

I'm wondering if you have any suggestions for webpage promotion. I have a brand new book out (IT'S BACK TO SCHOOL WE GO!) and would like to attract potential customers to my site. Here's what I've done so far: linked to other sites, announced my book on relevant message boards, and sponsored a few contests. In every case, there's an initial spike in hits, but then the hits taper off. Any ideas? Thanks, Tom.

September 9, 2003
Tom's Reply: Hi Ellen,

First of all, you have a wonderful website with great information.

I would suggest getting your books covered by media outlets that will include your website address. While I am not familar with the people who write about children's books, some media research might turn up good contacts for you. Pariculary if the writers are syndicated or in nation media outlets.

I would also ask your publisher for a list of media contacts. Tell them that you'll do the work to pitch them your book.

I did let Dr. Toy (www.drtoy.com) know about your wonderful books. I suggested to her that you two connect and swap website links.

Hope this helps.
Tom Ciesielka


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