Sunday, February 24, 2008

Harlequin Lets Listeners Meet the Editors in New Podcasts

Harlequin Enterprises Limited will begin airing Meet the Editors podcasts -- exclusive one-on-one interviews featuring the acquiring editors of their various series and imprints. The first Meet the Editors podcast features Melissa Jeglinski, senior editor for Silhouette Desire, and Diana Ventimiglia, associate editor for Silhouette Desire and Silhouette Romantic Suspense, and will be released February 20, 2008.

Meet the Editors podcasts are 20-minute episodes that allow listeners to experience the thrill of sitting down with the editors of a major publishing house and discovering the inside scoop on the craft of writing, what editors look for in a manuscript, common missteps to avoid, how to get published and much, much more. Meet the Editors is designed to demystify the concept of the editor as an inaccessible resource for aspiring authors. Meet the Editors brings the personalities of the various Harlequin Enterprises editors to the fore and offers listeners the opportunity to get to know the people that shape the books they love to read.

The first episode features Ms. Jeglinski and Ms. Ventimiglia discussing what makes Silhouette Desire such a unique series. They also describe what they look for in new authors, what makes a successful Silhouette Desire novel, what books they bought last week, writing tips as well as insights into the publishing and, specifically, romance publishing industries.

New episodes will follow every two weeks on podcasters such as, iTunes, and others. All Meet the Editors podcasts are hosted by Randall Toye, Harlequin's editorial director of global series, who introduces and concludes each episode as well as providing an overview.


Book Marketing Books All Authors Must Read by Scott Lorenz

I've read dozens and dozens of books on book marketing and usually have found a morsel or two of useful information in each one. As a book publicist and book marketing guy it's imperative for me to keep up with all of the great books and magazine articles being published on the topic of book marketing.

Here's a list of my favorites. By the way, I've personally met or have spoken to nearly every author and can attest to the veracity of the material they present and their credentials to discuss these topics.

To use a cliché, Plug Your Book! Online Book Marketing for Authors by Steve Weber is a page turner. As a book publicist always looking for new angles to promote my client's books, I could not wait to read the next page because there was so much good information about online book marketing on every single page. It's all presented in a useful format complete with the 'why' and 'how to.'

For instance, Weber discusses the awesome power of Amazon and its various nooks and crannies. He unveils various Amazon features that can help authors sell more books. He states that Amazon 'reader reviews' are more important than ever -- perhaps even rivaling a major newspaper review. The reason? Amazon reviews can be read for years by hundreds of people and a potential buyer is just one click away from purchasing your book. He says "Amazon is 'ground zero' for your online campaign. It provides free worldwide exposure to those readers most likely to buy your book."

Weber also suggests numerous online resources as well as how to create an online blog tour and using social networking sites such as My Space to promote your book.

Every author will want to read "Plug Your Book" again and again to learn how to successfully use all of the online tools available to "Plug Your Book."

PyroMarketing. Book marketing professionals know the secrets of success that drove the sales of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life to a chart-busting best-seller and Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" into a huge cinema phenom. Those of us in the business understand that sales of both blockbusters were driven by techniques outlined in a book called PyroMarketing by Greg Stielstra who gained fame in book publishing circles when he served as the marketing director for The Purpose Driven Life, the best-selling hardcover book in history.

PyroMarketing embraces an idea that really has been in use for some time – niche marketing. That tool is well-known and used every day by book promoters but Stielstra lays out the niche marketing principles with a new, crystal clear message that is so compelling that it is a must-read for anyone who wants to promote an idea, service or product. Read my in-depth review and watch a short entertaining video on the concept at: Buy it at:

The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist

This is an excellent "how to" book on the ins and outs of online book promotion and publicity focusing on the latest technology. Author Patrice-Anne Rutledge is a bestselling author, successful technology journalist, and online book promotion expert who has utilized online marketing techniques extensively to promote her books and writing career. Patricia plows new ground filling the gap in the book promotion marketplace with her highly focused book on bringing technology to the forefront in a book marketing campaign. "Web-Savvy Writer" is a MUST read if you want to utilize the most cost effective and viral methods in promoting your book like blogs, pay per click advertising, online reviews, ezines and more. After reading a few chapters you'll soon realize what you don't know about online marketing could fill volumes. She's truly brilliant. Buy the online version of the book as it has hundreds of clickable links at:

John Kremer's "1001 Ways To Market Your Books"

His 6th Edition published in 2006 describes more than 1000 ideas, tips, and suggestions for marketing books – all illustrated with real-life examples showing how other authors and publishers have marketed their books. John, who is a walking encyclopedia about book marketing says, "Eighty percent of all books are sold by word of mouth, but it's publicity that primes the marketing pump. Remember that you cannot do everything, so hire the right persons to do the things you can't do. If you're not comfortable doing your own publicity, then hire someone who does it for a living." I could not have said it better. Be sure to check out his seminars on book marketing held around the U.S. too. Find out about that and his book at:

Author! Screenwriter! How to Succeed as a Writer in New York and Hollywood

I always enjoy talking with Peter Miller, President, PMA Literary Film and Management, Inc. He's one of the "big" agents in New York City. Known as ‘The Literary Lion,' he has successfully managed over 1,000 books and dozens of motion picture and television properties. From big names like Vincent Bugliosi to the "next big star" he's had eleven New York Times bestsellers and eleven produced films that he has managed or executive produced. He likes to do "three book deals" once he gets a writer he likes. In addition, he has a substantial number of film and television projects currently in active development. He divides his time between New York and Los Angeles, and frequently tours the country to speak at writers' conferences and workshops. His insight into the publishing world and Hollywood is priceless. Buy his book, but if you can see him in person do it and tell him I said hi!

I strongly recommend the purchase of MAXIMUM EXPOSURE Marketing System Book Marketing Training Program for Publishers and Authors by Tami DePalma and Kim Dushinski. This is a very well written resource that teaches authors all about marketing their book. For example they have a complete list of reviewers you can send your book to, sample timelines, lists of distributors and much more. You can stay on top of the changes in the market too as they keep it updated on their web site and blog. Believe me, if it's not in here it's not important. Buy it at:

Since understanding all of the money making opportunities with your book can be a daunting task, I also recommend that you purchase Jim Donovan's How to Write, Publish & Sell Your Book and Turn it Into a Never-ending Money Machine. His system will teach you the inner workings of the book business and how to leverage your books so they generate substantial multiple streams of income long after they've been published. Jim Donovan's books have been published in eighteen countries and are being read by hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world so he knows what he's talking about.

Free Book! That's right, Midpoint Trade Books, a major book distributor has published an excellent handbook which features seven keys that are important for independent publishers to understand and master. If you want a quick read on everything you need to know about publishing, printing, editing, marketing and distributing your book then this is the one. The importance of using a book marketing professional is stressed by author Eric Kampmann, President of Midpoint Trade Books. Says Kampmann, "Of course, there are many reasons why a book might become a success or even a bestseller, but we believe that the single best investment for you is an effective publicist." The 7 Keys To Publishing Success can be downloaded at no charge at: ( BTW, Kampmann published OJ Simpson's book "If I Did It" through his publishing company Beaufort Books.)

Here's a Very Expensive Book… but well worth the price. Its called "The Insider's Guide to Large Quantity Book Sales." Quite literally exactly what the title implies. BTW, we're talking thousands of books at a time! Do I have your attention? You'll be very impressed by the insight provided in the material about selling your book in large numbers. You have useful contact information for book club buyers and more importantly how to pitch and position your book for consideration. It also has sample contracts and agreements which are easily worth hundreds of dollars in saved legal fees alone if you had your attorney draft the documents. Written and published by the Jenkins Group Inc, this book is the result of years of the author, Jerrold Jenkins, publishing and selling massive quantities of books. If you are serious about selling large quantities of books and want the inside tips from a publisher who does it every day, then make the investment and download the book at:

Author 101 Bestselling Book Publicity: The Insider's Guide to Promoting Your Book--and Yourself. One thing about the book marketing and book promotion business is that there are so many nice people in the business. I rank Rick Frishman as one of the top publicists in the U.S. not to mention he's a nice guy too! His book, co-authored by Robyn Freedman Spizman and Mark Steisel, offers advice and insight about every stage of the publishing world. Using testimonials and commentary, this book lets authors, agents, and publishers alike show you the things you should and shouldn't do in promoting your book. Buy it at Amazon

Brian Jud's "Beyond The Bookstore" is a terrific book about selling your book to everyone else other than a bookstore. I met Brian while co-presenting on a panel at a Learning Annex seminar in NYC on the topic of book marketing. I covered the topic of book publicity, he covered selling books. Brian Jud says since more than half of all book sales come from outside bookstores it's important to target these markets. Mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart or Costco, gift shops, airport stores, home-shopping networks, book clubs, libraries, network-marketing companies, catalogs, associations, government agencies, corporations, educational markets, retail stores and military branches all buy and sell books.

Brian walks you through creating a special sales plan, where to find the people you need to contact to make your pitch. If you really want to sell books outside the bookstore market then buy Beyond the Bookstore at:

Book Marketing A-Z by Francine Silverman. More than 300 authors, marketers and publicists, including yours-truly tell about their best promotional strategies with regards to book marketing. You'll undoubtedly find several good ideas to implement. While you're at it, check out Fran's Book Promotion Newsletter which for $7.50 a year is the best value in book marketing in the USA. Buy her book here:

There are many books out there on the topic of book marketing, book publishing and just plain everyday business marketing in general. You can read the ones I've described above but unless you want to spend days and weeks learning about book marketing, you might find it useful to retain an expert on book marketing or hire an experienced book publicist. I am sure that after you read two or three of these you'll seriously question the idea of self promotion.

Why? The reason is that today's book market is extremely competitive. The world is awash in books. Bowker (The keeper of all ISBNs) says that in 2006 more than 291,920 books were published in the United States, plus more than 250,000 published in the UK. How can Borders, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, your local library or anyone else effectively sell or showcase that number let alone the millions of previously printed titles? The answer: They can't.

Furthermore, I do not recommend self-promotion, for the same reason you don't cut your own hair. You can do it, but it's not going to be that good. Book marketing and book promotion requires special skills and most authors simply do not know how to market a book nor do they have the time or, more importantly, the patience. A publicist develops and nurtures relationships with writers, editors and producers so they trust us when we give them a story idea about a book or author.

The bottom line: While I do recommend these books as a basis for understanding the book marketing and book promotion process a wise author would be even wiser to retain a book publicist to market and promote their book. If you come to the same conclusion please by all means give me a call!

To discuss how Westwind Communications helps authors get all the publicity they deserve and more call 734-667-2090 or email

Sunday, February 17, 2008

James Patterson is the UK's Favorite Author

America's #1 storyteller, James Patterson, whose books sold 19 million copies in the United States last year alone and whose worldwide sales are more than 150 million, has become the UK's most popular author. The Daily Telegraph reports, "Judging by last year's public library loans ... the writer that British readers are most desperate to get their hands on is one James Patterson."

According to the Telegraph, "His 1.5 million library loans here last year, which beat old favorites like Catherine Cookson, Patricia Cornwell, and Danielle Steel to the top spot, testify that his appeal lies way beyond US airports." The remarkable figure is in contrast with the overall decline in the number of books borrowed in the UK in 2007.

In keeping with Patterson's US advertising and marketing strategies, his new UK Publisher, Random House, launched an ambitious wide-reaching campaign to reintroduce the Patterson brand to UK readers. The plan, which began with Patterson's 7th Heaven, the seventh installation of his Women's Murder Club series, included a week of TV advertising, a hefty London underground billboard campaign, and the launching of a Women's Murder Club fan Web site (, which offers book previews, exclusive interviews with Patterson, character profiles, and more. The campaign also included significant retail and publicity components. For Patterson, his books' successes come down to their emotionality. "The thing about my books," he says, "is that they're a roller-coaster ride, but at the end you get relief. It all gets sorted out."

Patterson's sales and popularity continue to grow despite an overall downward trend in the book marketplace. In the United States, one in every fifteen hardcover original fiction novels sold in 2007 was a Patterson title. In 2008, Patterson will release seven new hardcover original titles. They are: 7th Heaven, the next in the Women's Murder Club series; The Final Warning and The Dangerous Days of Daniel X, both James Patterson PageTurners for readers of all ages; Sundays at Tiffany's, a love story; Sail, a summer thriller; Against Medical Advice, a harrowing true story; and Cross Country, the next in his beloved Alex Cross series.

James Patterson published his first thriller in 1976. He has won an Edgar Award - the mystery world's highest honor - and his novels Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider were made into feature films starring Morgan Freeman. He has seen more books onto the New York Times bestseller list than any other author, and his charity, the James Patterson PageTurner Awards, has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to individuals and groups that promote the excitement of books and reading. He lives in Florida with his wife and son.

Author's website:

HarperCollins Publishers Promotion to Make Select Books Available Online for Free

HarperCollins Publishers today announced a variety of online promotions to allow consumers exclusive sampling of books on In the "Full Access" Program, a select number of titles can be seen in their entirety for a limited time; in the "Sneak Peek" Program, readers will be able to view 20% of many new titles two weeks before their on sale date; and the remaining titles in the digital warehouse are now available for 20% viewing after the on sale date in the "Browse Inside" Program.

In the "Full Access" Program, HarperCollins is working with individual authors to test how free access affects books sales. For a one month period the following books will be available in their entirety on Paulo Coelho's The Witch of Portobello; I Dream in Blue: Life, Death, and the New York Giants by Roger Director; Mark Halperin's The Undecided Voter's Guide to the Next President: Who the Candidates Are, Where They Come from, and How You Can Choose; Mission: Cook!: My Life, My Recipes, and Making the Impossible Easy by Robert Irvine; and Warriors: Into the Wild, the first volume of the bestselling children's series by Erin Hunter. In addition, a Neil Gaiman title will also be included.* After sampling online, consumers can follow a link to buy the book from any retailer. Additional title promotions will be decided upon on a case-by-case basis moving forward in consultation with our authors.

The "Sneak Peek" program, which allows readers to preview 20% of the book two weeks before its on sale date, is already underway. Last month, Warriors: Power of Three #2, Dark River was made available through "Sneak Peek" and pre-orders doubled over the previous book in the series. Among the other titles being previewed in "Sneak Peek" in February are The Perfect Wife by Victoria Alexander, Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews, and Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Books about Lincoln, Douglass, Lee Win 2008 Lincoln Prize

Two books offering new insights into the lives of three of the Civil War era's most compelling figures will share the 2008 Lincoln Prize, which is endowed by Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman and administered by Gettysburg College.

For their books about Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Robert E. Lee, the winners are James Oakes, a professor at the City University of New York, for "The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics," and diplomat/historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor for "Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters."

Each author will receive $20,000 and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens life-size bust, "Lincoln the Man." An honorable mention and $10,000 prize will go to Chandra Manning, a professor at Georgetown University, for his book "What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War." A formal ceremony will take place April 1 in New York City. The Lincoln Prize is one of the nation's most generous awards in the field of American history.

Fantasy Authors Pen 15 New Stories in Anthology for Teens

Fifteen best-selling and acclaimed fantasy authors conjure up a witches' brew of magical new short stories for teens in Magic in the Mirrorstone, an anthology to be published by Mirrorstone(TM) in February 2008. Dragons, ghosts, unicorns, and a generous helping of evil and mysterious creatures pepper this enthralling book, filled with tasty tales of imagination that readers ages 13-17 will devour like vampires at sundown.

The stories encompass many fantasy genres. Some are set in the contemporary adolescent world of high school cliques and crushes, while others conjure up fantasy worlds replete with goblins, mages, and fairy tale treasure. Wielding their pens like magic wands, the authors explore the many faces of teenage alienation. "Virgin," by Holly Black, author of the New York Times bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles, tells the edgy story of a homeless runaway. In "Blackwater Baby," Tiffany Trent, author of the first two books in Mirrorstone's "Hallowmere(TM)" series, serves up a chilling historical fantasy about a priest who steals the Marsh King's daughter.

Other contributors include former MTV producer and current DC Comics writer Cecil Castellucci, author of the acclaimed young adult novel Boy Proof; Cassandra Clare, author of the New York Times bestseller City of Bones; award- winning fantasy and science fiction author Nina Kiriki Hoffman; and many more.


Submission guidelines:

Borders and Launch Personal Publishing Service

Bringing the dreams of the everyday writer to reality -- Borders and are blazing trails in publishing with the launch of the Borders Personal Publishing program powered by Lulu. The easy-to-use and cost-effective online publishing tools of combine with the wide-reaching audience and customer service associated with Borders stores for this exclusive and unique service -- a match made in publishing heaven!

After field-testing, Borders unveiled the program this week upon the opening of its first concept store in the nation, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Borders Personal Publishing is available in the concept store's Digital Center through interactive kiosks, and will also be accessible via these digital kiosks in 13 additional concept stores Borders plans to open across the nation in 2008. Existing Borders superstores across the country do not have these self-publishing kiosks but will soon offer a Borders Personal Publishing how-to book as well as informational literature on the program. Through this exclusive offering, millions of customers will be able to fulfill their dream of publishing their stories and sharing them with the world.

Over time, Borders and Lulu plan to jointly develop other service offerings designed to empower content creators. As with, publishing through Borders Personal Publishing is free. There is no set-up fee and no requirement to buy copies. When someone buys content created with the Borders Personal Publishing services, handles the transaction as well as creator revenue payments.

To register for the Borders Personal Publishing service, customers can sign up at an in-store Borders digital kiosk within a Borders concept store or online ( There, customers will set up a personal user name and password at the kiosk, as well as take a guided tour of the process. Once registered, the Borders Personal Publishing account can be accessed on the Web from anywhere.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Biblio File Podcast for Book Authors

The Biblio File is a live call-in talk show hosted by Chris Meadows via the TalkShoe podcasting service. The focus of this show is books and the publishing industry. Guests and audience members may call in by ordinary telephone or Voice-Over-IP and participate in the discussion, as well as share comments by text-based chat. The show can be streamed live or downloaded as an mp3 podcast after recording ends.

In prior shows, Meadows has interviewed authors Diane Duane, Sharon Lee, and Steve Miller regarding their use of the "Storyteller's Bowl" publishing model, conducted a lengthy interview with author Peter S. Beagle about his career and works, spoken to Mercedes Lackey and Steve Libbey about their podiobook podcast "The Secret World Chronicle," interviewed P.C. Hodgell about her Kencyr novels, and interviewed Phil and Kaja Foglio about their Girl Genius webcomic.
For more information on The Biblio File, see

Free Report Helps Authors Create the Exposure that Sells Books

Here's a great free resource for you authors looking to generate more excitement for your books.

Beyond the Press Release: 10 Exciting Book Buzz Ideas That Will Take You to the Top offers 10 foolproof - yet practical - ideas you can use to get publicity for your book. The ideas can be used for all types of books, whether they have been available for weeks, months or even years, to generate free media exposure.

To get the free special report, go to

Saturday, February 9, 2008

AuthorHouse Offers a Free Web Site to Authors

AuthorHouse is again offering a free author Web site ( to authors who enter an agreement to publish a book with AuthorHouse in February.

The free author Web site includes tools for providing real-time news and events about the featured book, content control features like active blog posting, and a portal where readers can purchase and review the book. Additionally, AuthorHouse hosts the site for free.

AuthorHouse also is providing authors who choose the Standard Paperback Publishing option 20 free paperback copies of their completed book. Additional special offers are available to authors who want to self-publish ( children's books and poetry books.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

National Small Press Month

Small Press Month is a nationwide promotion highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. From March 1-March 31, a string of independent, literary events will be take place from coast-to-coast, showcasing some of the most diverse, unique, and significant voices being published today. Some of this year’s featured authors include Walter Mosley, Mike Farrell, Eileen Myles, Hatti Gossett, Steve Katz and many more.

The month long celebration kicks off on March 6th at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, and Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, followed by readings at the Rain Taxi Reading Series in Minneapolis, Chicago’s Poetry Center, and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Los Angeles. The month long initiative will be coming to a close with events at New York’s Symphony Space, Portland’s Powell’s City of Books, Virginia’s Festival of the Book and WordTheatre in Los Angeles. Please see below for a more detailed schedule of readings.

Small Press Month, which takes place every year in March, is a grass-roots effort to raise awareness about the pressing need for broader venues of literary expression, as large, international conglomerates are taking fewer risks and publishing for a narrowing perspective. For more information visit,

Debut of The Bookhabit Show on

The Bookhabit Show goes inside the book story on This new podcast show will explore the story behind the story, connecting the world of words. Interviews will feature insights to the creative process, success in the publishing world, how to promote an ebook online and will bring to life the words of the many people behind the story.

Host Clare Tanner interviews authors, gives info on how to self-publish online and brings literary works online for readers. In the debut show, Tanner talks with the family of Eion Bowen, one of the legendary men from New Zealand and follows the following week with a talk with Tom McLeod, script writer, composer, arranger and producer.

Authors fed up with publishers' rejection slips and readers wanting to discover new works will welcome the launch of online publisher enables authors to self-publish works online for free, becoming part of an online library of works available to readers all over the world. The site will include fiction, non-fiction, plays and scripts and has potential for any publishable work.

The ( website aims to foster the shared love of books and support the creative process. For readers, the aim is to offer new and different experiences. For writers, encouragement is supplied for writing and help is given to get the work published and discovered. The goal is to provide a forum for interaction among the dynamic community of readers and writers.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Online Bookseller's Book Ban Stirs Debate, Prompts Attack

A wholesome alternative or blatant censorship?, a family-friendly bookselling website that allows users to block objectionable titles, has been labeled both since the company's decision last week to ban the book "The Golden Compass." The children's fantasy novel drew criticism from some religious groups for its perceived anti-Christian and atheistic themes. The controversy was thrust into the spotlight with the December release of the film adaptation of the book.

Negative reaction to Abunga's strategy of allowing customers to block their accounts' access to books has even included attacks on the website. "We experienced hundreds of hacker attacks ranging from simply blocking content like Bibles to complex scripts that attempted to block hundreds of books at a time," says Chief Technology Office Mike Walker. "It was a vicious response to our community of users exercising its freedom to remove objectionable materials."

One of the more aggressive opposition stances was taken by PZ Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, who blogged that Abunga has "no redeeming values at all" and that its practice of blocking books was an opportunity "to suppress minority views."

"I was amazed at the verbal animosity and hostile actions coming from those that would purport themselves to be liberal-minded," says chairman Dr. H. Lee Martin. "Freedom requires responsibility and the unbounded offerings of the major online bookstores often exploit debauchery for profit." With its user-based, interactive filtering system, intends to provide an alternative to retailers that choose to sell anything to anybody without consideration of its negative affect on society. The website eliminates more than 60,000 titles from its "shelves" to create an online shopping environment customers trust to be safe.

Additionally, allows users to designate charities, churches, and other non-profit organizations to receive five percent of sales revenue with every purchase. "We are dedicated to serving selected charities that make a positive difference in communities across the country," says Martin. "It's time we stand together for the moral foundation of this nation."


Paranormal Romance Blog

Harlequin's Paranormal Romance Blog ( is a new blog dedicated to paranormal romance novels, one of the fastest growing romance fiction categories in the world.

Created and hosted by the editors, authors and other personnel behind Harlequin's various imprints, is the first such site dedicated solely to the genre.

Editors, authors and readers exchange ideas and opinions and engage in friendly, passionate discussions about the paranormal romance genre. Editors and authors explain the allure of the supernatural and the forbidden-such as the eternal magnetism of vampires. Readers are encouraged to weigh in to the discussions with their likes and dislikes about paranormal romance books and- as some of the individuals writing and shaping the stories are hosting the blog-perhaps even help shape the plots and themes of future paranormal romance novels.