Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 Tips to Effectively Pitch Your Book

So you're pitching your book or you've hired someone (hopefully me) to do it. I recently had a client say, he tried many times to get into Experience Life magazine (for his first book). I said, "Did you follow up after you pitched it?" He said, "No." I replied, "Fortune is in the Follow-Up," which is a great older book by Heidi Sloss we published several years ago. Follow-up is critical. Do you give up after one try? Don't give up if you want success and here's why...
 
How many times have you had an in-box full of email? Do you answer all of them right on the spot? Well, I do but I am the exception to the rule. I follow a strict customer service policy of being available and responsive. The only time I'm not responsive is after hours. Now, I have exceptions depending on the client. I have many casual and friendly relationships with clients where I respond regardless. We have that kind of rapport. Clients that I don't have that rapport, I won't respond to on my personal time.
 
Most people don't have that kind of policy nor do they even realize its value - or they are just overwhelmed and not as organized. Whatever the case non-responsiveness is more the norm than the exception. So, keeping in mind that "Fortune is in the Follow-Up" if you want results, you have to follow up with people. So, you contact them the first time, and then you make it a priority to follow up with them at least a second or even a third time.
 
When I followed up with Experience Life magazine, I got results. The editor acknowledged she had been busy, but yes, she would love to receive a review copy. Had I failed to follow up, I would have gotten the same results as my client - nothing. This approach is particularly important when you know your book/product is an ideal fit for the targeted media and yet they didn't get back to you. Niche pitching is really some of the easiest. You know you're going after a media outlet that publishes material related to your book/product. If you're not getting a response from a targeted pitch then following up becomes mission critical to success.
 
Here are some invaluable tips:
 
Tip 1 - Make sure your pitch is working. If your target media isn't responding but you know your book is something they cover then examine how you're pitching. What is your message? What are they looking for in terms of content? Analyze it. Break it up into some specific keywords that they use to describe what they are communicating to their audience. Then use those keywords in your pitch.
 
Tip 2 - Have you identified the editor who is the RIGHT contact? Most publications have a masthead of editors who cover certain "beats". Did you pitch your book on say orthodontics to the guy who only covers dental implants? What is the likelihood he is going to want to see your book? And you can't rely on his kindness to forward your pitch to the right editor. He might or he might not. It's your job to identify who either assigns articles to the writer who covers your topic or the editor.
 
Tip 3 - Always start with a phone call and a follow-up email pitch. Not all editors want to answer voice pitches and won't accept them. Those editors who still answer the phone are more likely to request your book if you actually make human contact with them. They're going to remember a conversation much easier than an email. So, don't be afraid to make a phone call.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Insider's Guide for the Invisilign Patient

Let's get right to the announcements section. Going on press is the second book in the "Insider's Guide" series titled The Insider's Guide for the Invisilign Patient by Dr. Barry Glaser. Meanwhile his first book The Insider's Guide to Invisilign Treatment continues to steadily sell. He's almost out of all of the print copies from the first print run right as the book is about to go from pre-sale to sale. His success is a fabulous case study in social media marketing tactics. Dr. Glaser has come up with his own methods of attracting interest in his book. I wanted to share some of them so you're inspired to try them out.
 
Social Media professional groups - Dr. Glaser is a member of several orthodontist-related social media professional groups where he regularly participants. Key point: participation.
 
Don't join groups, stay dormant, and then do what I call "hit-and-run" advertising. Social media failure point no. 1: using your social media as a simple means to an end. I actually hate it when people use my Facebook page to advertise their products or services. So, don't use a professional group to simply advertise and walk away. Become an active member. Contribute to discussions. Build real relationships with other members. Then when the time is right, mention your book. Do not gratuitously use the group to promote yourself.
 
Join discussion groups - many online discussion groups exist regarding particular subjects. Join some discussion groups related to your book's theme. Again, the key is to become an active member. You must never think of social marketing endeavors as a straight-up method to advertise. All "social" media should involve "socializing" - that is the exact point of social media itself.
 
Linked-In has many discussion groups related to all kinds of subject matter. Do a search and see what's available. I am a member of several writers' groups and public relations groups. I have to admit I'm not always active. It depends upon time management. Like all social media, don't get too sucked into it. You can also waste a lot of time with very little return on investment.
 
Be brilliant in your techniques - huge compliment to Dr. Glaser who has been clever in what he's doing to generate sales. He came up with a contest that if other members of his group posted reviews of the first book, they would be eligible to win FREE copies of the patient-related version. This tactic immediately generated not only reviews, but also more sales.
 
Use key relationships to spread the words through discussion groups - again Dr. Glaser cleverly identified a colleague whose review would spur sales. This method solved a problem too. He didn't want to aggressively promote his book to this group. By enlisting the help of his colleague, he relied on another person to promote it, which gave it more credibility. This method once more generated sales.
 
It's been fun to watch how this book is selling. Hundreds of pre-sales were made for a book sight-unseen, which was remarkable in and of itself. Then the book orders began being filled, and the receipt of the actual book continued to generate buzz. It's a marketer's dream. Word of mouth buzz generating sales! We call this in marketing the "snowball effect" - and it's the goal of all marketing and public relations. You want your formal promotional efforts and traditional media campaign to roll up into a huge ball of success that keeps building.
 
Books that are a flash in the pan don't last. These kinds of books get one key book review or media placement, but the product isn't good enough to sustain the momentum. Luke warm reviews and general disinterest mean sales wane. But when your book is needed and wanted and well done, the sweet spot of "buzz" and "he/she told two friends," etc. is a marketer's dream come true.
 
Dr. Glaser has nearly sold out his first print run on just the first wave of social media. He's been active, smart and aggressive in his activities. It's paid off. He's an ideal case study of what TO do!
 
Now go market your little hearts out ... OR hire me to help you!