Know your competition. Go to bookstores and libraries and browse through the stacks. Find and examine comparable or competitive books. Take them off the shelves and leaf through them and read selected portions. Get an understanding of the books’ perspectives, how they’re organized, and the type of information they contain. Make notes on each book you examine. List their strong points, weak points, what you like about them, and what you dislike. Determine how you think your book will differ and how it will be better. Try to be honest and objective.
While you’re in the stacks, look a bit further. At the least, note the titles of all the books on the self and those above and below them. Although those titles may not be directly on your subject, they can help you understand how authors have approached the general and closely related topic.
“Look at all the books you can read in your area. Organize your industry, know what’s there, what they say,” Stedman Graham recommends. “Know the top books that state how the process works, how to improve your writing and how to make your book better, more relevant and better written. Don’t be tied to one book; organize the information around what you do and need as much as possible.”
--ON BUILDING MEDIA LISTS-- Media lists are databases that contain the names of media contacts that can promote your book and information about them. Build large, comprehensive lists in terms of both the number of contacts you include and the information you record about them. Add entries for anyone who could conceivably help promote your book because the least likely contact might be the one who latches onto your book and does the most to publicize it.
At a minimum, your media list should include each contact's:
Name Employer or business Work address E-mail address Telephone numbers Job title Specialty areas or interests Credits
In a media list, the more information you collect, the better. Additional information can help you break the ice with contacts, warm them up, or help you to become a more valuable resource. This information includes:
How you got their names How and where you met Common friends, associates, experiences, hobbies, and interests
On the entry for each contact, note the projects you pitched him or her, the dates, when you last spoke, and the specific outcome. Also list anything you sent the contact and how you sent it so you don't duplicate the effort.
Study the media to discover who's covering your field and related areas. Check out writers, reporters, editors, radio and TV producers, publicists, and interesting individuals such as experts or authorities in similar or allied fields. Research these individuals by reading their stories and watching or listening to their programs; then add their names and information to your media list.
Contact local newspapers and magazines, radio and TV stations, and online publications to get the names of those who cover areas that could help promote your book. Collect business cards from everyone you meet, and add entries to your list for those in the media.
Subscribe to Internet services that provide names and information on media contacts. Books that list media contacts quickly fall out of date because so many people in the media are on the move. Although Internet services, which are updated frequently, may be more reliable, verify all information that they provide before making contact.
Internet services that furnish media contact information include:
Since the turnover is so great, update your entire media list regularly--at least every three months. As soon as you hear about a change, update your list. Keeping your media list current is essential in order to reach contacts when you need them. Otherwise, you may end up wasting time and energy trying to connect with people who are no longer at their old jobs.
An easy way to check whether information on your list is current is to send a postcard to each contact. Make sure to include a return address, and when cards are returned undelivered, delete those entries from your list.
To more sharply focus aspects of your campaign, prioritize the entries in your list. Create three separate categories.
In this group, list only the top sources that can give your book the most or best publicity. Usually, this category includes national media or national trade/industry media, outlets that have the most power and reach. Think of biggies like Oprah, the Today show, and the New York Times, to name just a few.
The B-list consists of other, less powerful, national media and the top media in large metropolitan areas. These outlets may be great for focused local campaigns. Repeated coverage by B-list media can be equivalent to A-list coverage.
Local or regional media. For local promotions, this group can be ideal, and it may be more willing to give you coverage. In some campaigns, concentrating on local coverage can provide better value.
Don't discount the value of building a strong media base in your hometown. A supportive local base can be extremely loyal and helpful in expanding your contacts. Usually, locals will take special pride in your success and go to great length to boost your career.
Learning Annex NETWORKING CLASS on Sept 11 ( in New York )
Everyone’s heard of using a circle of network contacts to try and get a job or increase sales at a business. But how about using the networking process to find the best doctor, house of worship, stock broker, travel agent, shoe repair store, lumber, or restaurant? Just ask publicity gurus Rick Frishman and Liz Lynch. They’ll tell you while networking is generally linked with the business world and job search, it actually extends to virtually every facet of life - even dating — and can have an enormous positive impact!
In this class, Rick and Liz will teach you how to effectively and efficiently use networking as a tool for reaching not only professional but personal goals as well.
You’ll learn how to: Develop a team to support your efforts to reach your goals Forge bonds, share information and connect with people with common objectives and interests.
Rick and Liz will help anyone get on the inside track to the most lucrative jobs, the top experts, the highest-quality services, and the least expensive products and unlock any door!
Bonus: Rick and Liz will reveal how getting published can catapult your networking potential!
Get Published! Full Day Workshop with A Panel of Experts ( including yours truly)
SEPTEMBER 8th in NEW YORK CITY (all day seminar)
I will be speaking with Larry Kirshbaum, Lloyd Jassin, Alex Carroll, David Hancock, Ethan Friedman and Tom Antion
Learn From Industry Superstars How to Get Your Book Published
Are you writing a book? Trying to get an agent or publisher? Do you want to sell more of your books?
Whether you’re a consultant, trainer, educator, industry expert, coach, author, entrepreneur, self-published author, publicist, professional speaker or already a published author… if you want to earn tens-of-thousands of dollars a month extra income… Then this is a ‘must-attend’ event for you!
Join our publishing superstars for an all day workshop as they share proven tactics to help you: Negotiate your first or next book contract Instantly stand out from the crowd Discover secrets of publishing faster, easier, and less expensively than ever before Learn to use the Internet to publish for fun and profit Understand the “big picture strategy” to succeed as a best-selling author Write powerful book proposals that publishers can’t refuse
Whether you want to land publishing deals, start a successful company, quadruple your speaking engagements, launch a newsletter/blog, teach a seminar, or appear on hundreds of national television and radio shows - a book is your calling card. Publish one and you’ll STOP dreaming & start DOING!
Our panel includes Powerful Publishers, Literary Agents, Publicity Experts and Publishing Insiders:
Always use a Literary Agent and/or a Literary Attorney
Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 09:48 AM
On Agents and Attorneys
A scenario that many top authors have successfully employed is hiring both an agent and a lawyer who is a literary and publishing specialist. The agents sell the authors' books, serve as their literary advisors and manage their writing careers, and the lawyers handle their publishing contracts. Here is some advice on working with a publishing attorney or specialist:
Publishing attorneys, like literary agents, are specialists. Don't use a friend or a relative to negotiate your book contract; find a specialist, because otherwise, the negotiation could go badly. Some other guidelines to follow:
§ If you hire an entertainment or copyright attorney, make sure that he or she has experience in representing authors and books. Ask what percentage of his or her practice is devoted to books and authors. § Chose someone with an intimate knowledge of publishing. Publishing contracts are traps for unwary lawyers as well as unsuspecting authors.
Publishing attorneys tend to be clustered in major cities and their services can be expensive. Attorneys generally charge on an hourly basis, not on a percentage of what you make. Rates typically range from $250 to $450 or more. If you don't have an agent but have been offered a book contract, it makes sense to have an attorney negotiate the sale of rights on an hourly basis or for a percentage that is less than 15 percent.
Although attorneys' hourly rates can be steep, they will usually cost you far less than what you would pay an agent over the life of your book. Here's the math: 15 percent of $15,000 (a typical advance for a midlist book) is $2,250, about twice what many attorneys will charge for a full contract review and a comment letter.
When authors who have businesses write books, they are often extensions of their business. They should think about being represented by an attorney because legal issues can arise that go beyond the territory agents usually cover.
For example, if the title of the book is tied to the author's branding strategy, the author needs to be able to approve the book's ultimate title. Unless you negotiate for title approval, the publisher, not the author, has the sole right to select or change the title. "In these situations, you're talking about brand extension," attorney Jassin advises. "Sometimes it's not about the book, it's about the author's nine-to-five career. So, you may be negotiating something more than just a book contract."
Before signing a book contract, your attorney should explain the:
§ Grant of rights clause; § Option and right of first refusal; § Publisher's duty to publish; § Reversion of rights clause; § Noncompetition provision; § and, Postcontract liability.
Some agents are both agents and attorneys. So with agent/attorneys, you can have the best of both worlds.
In most dealings with traditional publishers, an agent is usually preferable to an attorney who does not specialize in literary and publishing law. If you decide to hire an attorney, hire one who has experience in literary and publishing law and performing the precise type of work you want him or her to handle.
Would you like to get written-up in top national publications like Newsweek, People magazine, Health, Time magazine or the New York Times?
Want to be interviewed on top TV shows like Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, ABC's The View, Montel and Fox News?
I'm writing today about a unique chance to get more publicity in America's biggest media outlets.
My friend Steve Harrison is sponsoring the National Publicity Summit, October 24-27th in New York City, a unique conference where you get to personally meet over 100 top journalists and producers and pitch your story to them face-to-face.
If you want more major publicity, I strongly encourage to at least get the info by going here now:
At Steve's Summit, you'll have face-to-face meetings with journalists and producers from top national TV shows like ABC's The View, CBS' 48 Hours, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, Montel, Fox & Friends and Live with Regis & Kelly.
You'll also personally meet writers who do stories for big-time print media like People magazine, Woman's Day, Alternative Medicine, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, Parents, Family Circle, INC., Time magazine and many other top publications.