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Media Relations

Tom McMahon Gets To Two Commas

February 21, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Tom McMahonTom McMahon scored his 1,000,000th visit. And 1,500,000 page views.

Anytime a blogger has two commas in his stats has, indeed, something to brag about.

But not Tom. He posted some puny post about this mile post.

Goodness, had Your Business Blogger generated such numbers, I would celebrate. With exuberance. Charmaine would have had to raid my tip jar to get bail money.

But nothing from Tom. Not even a Press Release.

I would have taken to the streets! I think Tom took a nap.

So.

Inspired by Tom’s 4 Block World, I submit the blogosphere’s Humility Continuum:

Tom McMahon…………………..Normal……………………..Jack Yoest

Humble__________________________________________Insufferable

And the high traffic volume would be on the left, on Tom’s side of the scale; the much more modest traffic on the right side. That would be me.

Go visit Tom and congratulate him. Better still, bookmark his site. And see how humility and outstanding content attracted a loyal readership.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Tom is fearless and transparent. See his unmasked sitemeter.

Basil’s Blog has a picnic. Celebration.

04 Feb

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8 Comments

10 Action Steps To Sell Your Book

February 4, 2006 | By | 8 Comments

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Mother in the Middle

HarperCollinsPublish and Peddle . . .or Perish: A Sales Guide to Selling your Book. A few years ago Your Business Blogger advised a number of academic authors on the marketing of books. I compared the professors with peddlers:

The copier sales guy drives onto your campus and glides into the reserved vendor parking zone.

He’s got 2/3rds of your IQ points, but makes three times the money, and he’s the one with the assigned parking space.

The university professor published a book. And is really smarter than the copier guy, maybe.

But the guy in a tie has got an expense account and company car.

So what’s the difference?

He sells.

It is not enough these days to produce and publish, it also needs to be purchased. With your book your CV will be expanded, scholarship advanced, your work cited or your tenure ticket punched.

But to change the world, filthy lucre must change hands.

So how many books have to be sold? A university press will need 800 book sales to barely break even. A civilian publisher, absent the university subsidy, would need higher sales to cover your book advance and their higher cost of capital as well as PR costs.

Work to sell 800 and you will be a hero. A marketing mind set of simple daily behaviors will get you past that 800 and on to 8,000. Pick up a pen . . .get ready to pick up the phone — following are ten action items:

1. Feature your book on your web site and blog.

2. Issue a press release.

3. Include on your syllabus.

4. Write your own copy.

5. Submit your work to your network.

6. To sell 800 books, write 800 words.

7. Rap with the Reps.

8. Schedule a book signing.

9. Memorize your 8 second sound cites.

10. Book hook for bookers and lookers.

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credit: Policy Review1. Feature your book on your web site and blog. Marketing consists of reach, frequency and awareness. Your web site can have the greatest reach of your marketing plan. Include the image of your cover, an introduction, perhaps a first chapter and blurbs. Google yourself — now — and register if your site doesn’t appear. Also place and link your book on others’ web sites. Ask your publisher or publicist to load and link with Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

2. Issue a press release. A good press release will tell people how FAB your book is — the features, advantages and benefits. Remember, your book is a commodity; a bar of soap, or a piece of real estate to be packaged, promoted, positioned, priced, and peddled.

Features — what it is, a description

Advantages — what it does

Benefits — answers the “So what?” question. Faster; Better; Cheaper.

The press release will include a description of the intended audience, a short bio of the author, and previous books. Your release should be one page and be newsworthy.

Don’t bury your lead, follow a hierarchy with the most important point first, progressing to least important — when cutting for space, newspaper editors edit from the bottom up.

Be sure to use the quotes of experts commenting on your work that you worked hard to get.

Have your institution send out the press release and get an electronic copy posted to your web site. Then email an alert to your Christmas card list.

A typical Congressman will have 1500 names on his holiday list, you don’t need quite these numbers to compete in a different kind of popularity contest. A good outlook on your Outlook will improve your outreach.

3. Include on your institution’s syllabus. You’ve already done this, of course. But with your book on your syllabus, and all your courses posted on your web site — will help you turn up on search engines. Remember to remind your faculty friends, and enemies, to include your book on the reading lists for other courses.

This is the easiest method of getting to 800 sales without setting up a book table in the grad lounge (although this might be a good idea).

4. Write your own copy. You wrote the book, now write the Cliff Notes. This can be the most challenging item, like writing your own obituary. If you want a good book review, a good blurb, a good softball question, write it yourself and give it away. To whoever owns the ink or the mike.

You do the work, they get the credit. Just like a typical committee meeting. This is the only way your book will be done right.

Your next introduction to the Kiwanis Club will have the Master of Ceremonies holding up your book and reading a glowing two minute introduction of your brilliant accomplishments. . . that you wrote and handed to him under the table.

The MC looks smooth; you sell books. History was very good to Winston Churchill because he wrote it himself.

5. Submit your work to your network. Press or media kits should be assembled and sent with a handwritten cover note to the radio, network and cable outlets. Your kit should include the press release, bio, articles about you, your blurbs and any reviews, publicity photo and the book itself if appropriate.

Use excerpts of your book if your supply is limited. Solicit and include testimonials; what readers are saying about your book. Include frequently asked questions and answers as show prep for interviewers, fact sheet about the book, ISBN, and number of pages.

Also include clip art of your book cover and your web address. All of this info should be on your web site with a high resolution photo. Have a short video clip ready.

After spilling your own barrel of ink, go meet some people. It’s not what you know . . .it’s not who you know . . .it’s who knows you.

It’s not whose business cards you have, but who has yours. Go insert your card into some one else’s rolodex.

1. Make yourself able, available and willing as a speaker to any church group.

2. Give talks to specialized associations and civic organizations.

3. If your book is really controversial, hold a press conference.

4. Alert your professional associations and alumni organizations.

5. Lecture at the “.org’s,” on-line education entities and for profit companies.

6. To sell 800 books, write 800 words. No one has time to write a short letter. But a short opinion editorial with your byline as author with your book title is a good leveraged hit. A guideline in advertising tells us that a buyer needs seven exposures to a product before making a purchase decision.

There is help in getting this marketing frequency. Start with the people who will make money off you. . .the sales reps.

7. Rap with the Reps. While you’re schmoozing with the big dogs reviewing strategy and marketing, be sure to remember tactics and sales. Meet the publisher’s sales manager and her sales reps.

These are the guys with the feet on the street who do the wholesale selling to the bookstores and major accounts. “Your” sales team will recommend your title(s) if they know that you are working as hard as they do.

And they will know you are working because you will tell them about the events you are scheduling.

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8. Schedule a book signing. The fastest and best endorsement is the personal recommendation through word of mouth. Call your favorite bookstore and offer to speak. About your book.

We live in an information age, run on a service economy where books are bought on line.

But for something really important like, say, graduation ceremonies, real people show up.

There is a greater chance that books will be sold In Real Life in a face-to-face close.

And sign every book possible. These count as sales; they might be sold, they might end up in the remainder bin, but such “altered” books are not sent back to the publisher.

Work with your bookstore host; attention to detail will sell. For example, smart bookstores would arrange for child care when attending a book-signing about motherhood. Collaborate with the book store on alerting the local media and the .edu’s and student newspapers in town.

This is leg work that your publicist might do — a big outfit like Planned Television Arts, a division of Ruder Fin, would need $15K to get started, and some $3K/city to haul you around. More likely, it will have to be you.

Well, even with their help, it still has to be you. As good a job as they do, your publisher will expect you to do most of the PR yourself. Much like your dean.

The real value of booking signings is that this shows your publisher that you are serious about selling. The publisher will push books into the stores; you will pull them out — or sign them out.

Your signature can telegraph an added value in addition to being a coveted autograph. In this new age of electronic mail messages the handwritten note and envelope is nearly unknown.

Be sure to thank the bookstore. With stye. Your untyped thank you note, fountain pen on fine paper, will be rare, appreciated and suitable for framing, an artifact from a more civilized era: an author who does the little things.

And can say things little — in 8 seconds . . .

9. Memorize your 8 second sound cites. Big books should be broken down into sound bites made simple and memorable for citations. The broader the audience, the simpler the message.

When FLOTUS Nancy Reagan was speaking to 8 million potheads, she used three words: “Just say no.”

When speaking to the 800,000 elite readers of the Wall Street Journal use 800 words.

When talking to the four million viewers of Politically Incorrect, use 8 seconds.

And when speaking to a large, large audience — just like a survey class — cartoons illustrate your theme. 800 pound gorillas write in 800 word articles and speak in 8 second sound bites.

10. Book hook for bookers and lookers. Every show producer has a box to fill for a segment.

When a print reporter contacts you about a story he’s working on, he’s got a box to fill.

You’ve got a (simple) hook to grab them. You fit in the box. They already have the story written. You fit in the box. Your byline on the printed page or the small screen: “author of…”

Remember: your audience has an eighth-grade education. It’s got to be fast. And easy.

Your visual hook will be your book cover. It should be designed to be seen at a distance by browsers in bookstores. A cover gets eight seconds before a customer will pick up the book or pass. A well-designed cover is easily seen on a TV monitor. Make sure your publisher has run your book jacket by the sales team. People really do judge a book by its cover.

Numbers count. This is your report card. Every day pick one of the action behavior items listed and pick up the phone; pick up a pen and get started. Do this and your work will make a difference, even if you don’t get a reserved parking space.

Persistence every day will pay.

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Was this helpful? Do comment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

See media calendar selling Charmaine’s book on extended entry.

Planned Television Arts, PTA, a division of Ruder Finn, one of the top publicity firms in the world, is where Tom Peters and Charmaine go for PR.

Not all good books come out of the academy. See Brian Gongol’s 10 Big Answers You Won’t Get From Politicians.

Don Surber has best Saturday posts.

Basil’s Blog has a Saturday picnic.

Robin Good has more for on-line publishing.

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01 Feb

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Keeping the Little Woman out of Nordstroms.

February 1, 2006 | By | 4 Comments

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Charmaine at the

GodBlogConference

in LA

credit: Mike’s NoiseLast April Charmaine launches her blog Reasoned Audacity. To write about Politics in Real Life. Because she didn’t have enough to do.

Then, Family Research Council, decided to become even more assertive with technology. Expanding education and advocacy.

To reach and teach the people who care about defending Family, Faith and Freedom. Protecting human life from conception to natural death. A Judicary that believes in Natural Law; original intent. The traditional family.

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So they brought Charmaine on-board to set up the non-profit’s corporate FRCBlog.

To change the world while changing diapers.

And blog.

Blog marketer Seth Godin reminds us that weblogs work best when based on:

1. Candor;

2. Urgency;

3. Timeliness;

4. Pithiness; and

5. Controversy

(maybe utility if you want six).

And Controversy Charmaine got.

The innovation in advancing agendas in the blogosphere belongs not to the liberal world-view, but to traditional truth seekers.

And print outlets noticed that conservative bloggers were winning readers and influencing the debate. The Village Voice, The Washington Post, United Press International and The Nation.

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Protesters See

Mood Shift Against ‘Roe’Alert Readers will remember that 50 conservative bloggers traveled from across the country to blog at the March for Life. The Washington Post wrote in their dead tree and on-line editions:

Charmaine Yoest, a vice president at the Family Research Council, told a morning gathering of 40 antiabortion bloggers that the demise of Roe would mean a battle within each state over whether abortion should be legal — a more localized, grass-roots fight.

“Consensus is building that we are moving into a post- Roe future, and we need to be ready,” she said.

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For Pro-Life Bloggers,

a New HubrisLike their blog brothers The (Liberal) Nation is worried:

…What Karen Hughes is to Bush’s “war on terror,” Charmaine Yoest is to the prolife movement. She was recently hired by the Family Research Council to develop a new web and e-mail strategy and to create an FRC blog….

Yoest even went so far as to claim that it is “prochoicers [who] try to make us believe that overturning Roe will be the end of abortion”…

“What we’ve been explaining to the media and others for a while is, all it would do is just throw it back to the states.”

…Yoest told the crowd, “We’re on a campaign to win hearts and minds.”

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Make Love, Not Gore

Sure of a post-Roe America,

anti-abortion marchers

go cuddlyThe Village Voice writes:

Charmaine Yoest spoke of the dawn of a new era in the abortion debate. “The legal change may take awhile,” she said, “but I really do see us moving into a post-Roe America.”

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Anti-abortion bloggers

convene in Washington UPI reports:

Networking among anti-abortion bloggers through technology will counter the portrayal of the anti-abortion movement in mainstream media, according to Charmaine Yoest, vice president for external relations at the Family Research Council and managing editor of the daily blog www.FRCBlog.com.

Yoest compared the anti-abortion blogging movement to a line of high-tech 21st-century water buckets putting out a large fire burning since the Roe vs. Wade decision was passed down in 1973.

“We form an association, that’s the American way,” said Yoest, one of three hosts for the event.

Emphasizing the impact of technology in actively promoting the anti-abortion stance, she said more women on both sides of the debate were becoming more conscious of the healthy fetus via technology including sonograms.

“We are headed into a whole new era of abortion public policy,” Yoest said.

The liberal left couldn’t get an audience on talk radio. And now has lost the blogosphere to conservatives — the real progressives.

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Was this helpful? Do comment.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to bookmark The FRCBlog.

Yahoo News has The Nation article with links. Added value. For Free.

The main stream media is pro-abortion, anti-tradition — as well as the Bush-hating blog innovators Seth Godin and Brad Feld, Tbogg and the readership of Fast Company.

Basil’s Blog has a picnic.

Don Surber has best posts for Wednesday.

Alas has open thread.

Live Blogging The State of the Union

January 31, 2006 | By | No Comments

Charmaine’s coverage of the State of the Union. Cross Post from Reasoned Audacity

Coming up! Stay with us!

Me, I’m just waiting for the moment when newly-sworn-in Justice Alito arrives and takes his place among the Supreme Court Justices. . .

9:06 And the moment did not disappoint! I’m watching at the Family Research Council’s State of the Union party, and the crowd here is spilling out into the hall. . . Justice Alito just walked into the House chamber — to the chorus of wild applause here at 801 G Street just a few blocks away.

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The statistics on the increase in the number of democracies is impressive. I think it is smart to lay the marker down early in defining who the enemy is and what the fight is we are engaged in.

“There is no peace in retreat. No honor in retreat. . . We will never surrender to evil.” I like that he is resolute in defining, and opposing, evil.

{The crowd shot of Senator Specter and Senator Dole was too hilarious. The crowd here went nuts.}

The road to victory is the road to bring our troops home — wow, that is really poignant. When he says that those decisions will be made by our military commanders, big applause here.

“Second-guessing is not a strategy. . .” Yeah.

“Liberty is the right and hope of all humanity” — Yes. He takes a lot of criticism for his strong articulation of, and belief in, the spread of democracy, but isn’t this exactly “the vision thing?”

Speaking directly to the Iranian people — very interesting strategy. In a world of 21st century communication (the blog world!), could be effective.

9:36 “If there are people inside our country who are talkin’ to Al Quaida, we want to know about it, because we won’t sit back and wait to be hit again. . .” You know, this is why you need a cowboy for a President.

Pas the line-item veto — hmmm. . . a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

Yeah, a little stand-up, sit-down, fight, fight, political fight here over Social Security!

Nanotechnology. Umhum. This is the grocery list part of the speech where things always start to drift.

And why do social issues have to be buried at the end. . . they are coming aren’t they?

Okay, here we go. . . abstinence, abortion. . .and wait, marriage protection even —

woah, catching up here: Justice Thomas and Justice Breyer standing and clapping at his mention of Alito’s confirmation! Wow! That is unprecedented.

10:02 Now as he’s winding up we’re back to Mike Gerson’s beautiful language. . . (Nice, nice job Mike.)

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Your Business Blogger Interviewed On Basil's Blog

January 12, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Basil’s BlogBasil’s Blog will be running interviews with the Yoest’s this weekend. Saturday for me; Sunday for Charmaine.

Be sure to visit. Should be fun.

Certainly funnier than Charmaine’s last link from Tbogg.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Basil’s Blog was a Finalist in the Weblog Awards as Best New Blog for 2005.