Friday, July 31, 2009

Laid-Off Worker Lands a Book Deal and Parties Across America

Using his severance pay to fund the research, Michael Guerriero landed a book deal, hit the road, and penned Party Across America!--the first travel guide to the nation's 101 greatest annual celebrations, festivals and sporting events. Not only does the book pinpoint the best bashes across the country, but it provides every detail necessary for others to enjoy them. It's out nationwide and is selling like hotcakes, due to an economy that is suited to domestic long-weekend travel.

CNN has dubbed Michael Guerriero "the nation's leading authority on good times." How did this former buttoned-up corporate stiff transform himself into the USA's foremost celebratory expert? After getting the axe from the pharmaceutical industry, Guerriero jumped into his Subaru Outback, drove 12,000 miles, and crossed the country 8 times while attending the 101 greatest annual celebrations in America. The result--Party Across America! "Nobody had ever tackled a project like this. And it took loosing my job before I finally had the guts to do it. The idea was sitting inside my head for years," he says.

If there was ever a time that we needed to blow off some steam, this is it. Party Across America! is the first book of its kind - 300 pages that reveal the ins, outs, and secrets to attending the nation's best shindigs on a budget. The book has received glowing reviews from USA Today, The L.A. Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Sun Times, and countless other publications. In fact, a TV production company has recently developed Party Across America! into a weekly show with Michael as the fun-loving host (see attached 2 minute video).

Types of celebrations range from the expected (Kentucky Derby, New Orleans Jazz Fest, Halloween in NYC) to the unexpected (Tour De Fat, Mermaid Parade, Oakie Noodling Tournament), and details from lodging to tickets to transportation to what-to-pack are included. 47 states are represented, and no rock is left unturned in Michael's quest to weave the social fabric of the United States.

With international travel at an all-time low, most Americans will rely on long-weekend trips to recharge their batteries (according to Travel Industry Statistics, 55%). Each event occurs over the course of a long-weekend, and is suitable for fun-loving retirees as well as 20 and 30 something's. This is truly the time to Party Across America - from sea to shining sea.


Americans buy more than three billion books each year

A revolution in book publishing started on this date 74 years ago.

On that date, the Penguin Publishing House brought out the first modern paperback book, a biography of the poet Shelley. The idea behind these editions came from Allen Lane, in reaction to the tough economic situation of the Depression.

Publishing paperbacks allowed him to lower his costs, sell more books and save his printing business. The lower cost and convenience of the softcover format caught on and has remained popular.

Today, in spite of competition from television and computers, Americans buy more than three billion books each year -- about half of them softcover. To pursue their reading, they spend close to $60 billion annually.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Antellus Considering Dropping Amazon Kindle Ebooks From Its Product Catalog

Antellus, an independent publisher and seller of science fantasy adventure and nonfiction books on related subjects, has a tough choice to make concerning Kindle products in its catalog.

"A conflict of interest has arisen between Data Text Platform, Amazon's ereader publishing engine, and Antellus," author and CEO Theresa M. Moore said. "Books which had been published as ebook editions for the Kindle format, and retired to make room for new and updated editions with new ASINs, are being sold even after they were marked retired and taken off line. DTP has not explained why it also has chosen to park the new images on the old catalog listings and in other ways made the new editions unsellable. Emails to their feedback address has not produced any real results. The practical effect is that Antellus will not lose anything by switching to other ereaders to continue its product offerings in other formats."

A further consideration is the slow transition on the part of Kindle to a color format, while other ereader platforms have already exceeded that expectation. Ms. Moore is also entertaining the notion of calling for a boycott of Amazon by other publishers not satisfied with Amazon's seller agreement, which allows Amazon to modify and/or sell books from its suppliers in whatever format it chooses at its own discretion. This spells a dangerous situation for authors and publishers wanting to take advantage of the Amazon marketplace. Its vastness allows for mistakes and fundamental errors in accounting for sales and other issues; both for the consumer and for the seller.

Antellus offers its books only from its own web site and affiliate partners, including Lulu, Bards and Sages, Amazon Kindle, Scribd and Smashwords. Antellus also offers a 30 day money back guarantee on books returned for defects and damages as long as they are returned to the publisher, not the printer. There are no refunds for ebooks.

For more information about Antellus and the author, visit our web site:

The New York Times Book Review Selection Process Revealed by Scott Lorenz

At a Harvard University speech, New York Times Book Review Editor Barry Gewen revealed unknown details about The New York Times Book Review's "inner workings" Authors wanting to get the scoop on the process will find insight into the minds of the reviewers at "The Gray Lady" These inside secrets from that speech and gleaned from other sources may give authors a better idea if their book ever has a chance at making the cut.

As a book publicist, I talk to authors and clients every day and most have two ultimate goals: Get on Oprah and get reviewed by The New York Times Book Review. As one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry, a write-up in the New York Times usually results in a strong sales surge and other media outlets writing about the book as well.

In the New York Times article, "Secret Workings of 'Times' Book Review Exposed!," Gewen discussed who takes part in the review, how books are ultimately chosen, and how unglamorous the job really is in the Times building.

Gewen says The Book Review does not print the names of its editors except when they write articles. Furthermore, he stated that there are only about 17 people on the Review roster including support staff.

First named is Editor Sam Tanenhaus who came to the Times with intentions of creating "fireworks," but found that with all of the "disgruntled authors, agents, editors and publishers who call to complain about coverage," reality can be wearing. "There is no bitchier industry than publishing," Gewen said.

In addition, preview editors – Alida Becker, Rachel Donadio, Dwight Garner, Barry Gewen, Jennifer Schuessler, and one other editor - are responsible for "choosing books, finding reviewers, and editing"

There is also Deputy Editor Robert Harris and Senior Editor Dwight Garner, as well as copy-editors, an art director, a children's editor and a clerk on the team.

The process of deciding what gets reviewed and what doesn't is quite demanding work. "It begins with the clerk who goes through the pile of 750 to 1000 advance manuscripts that the office receives each week," says Gewen. However, don't expect your self-help book, reference guide or travel manual to get any attention in the initial review by the clerk. Those books are "tossed"

Then, the rest of the manuscripts are taken to Tanenhaus's office where the senior editor and deputy editor divide them up and get rid of more.

This leaves the six preview editors with about 25 books to look through. Keep in mind this winnowing process has just cut upwards of 750 or more books! Gewen said he spends at least a half hour on each book and chooses four or five, then rejects the others. Reasons most often cited for exclusion, "too narrow for us" or "workmanlike"

In an interview with Tanenhaus by Michael Orbach of "Knight News, "If a writer is not bringing something new to the conversation or is not very well-established with a following, long-awaited book, or has really superb narrative or analytical skills, there's a good chance the book won't get reviewed"

In another article that tries to depict the workings of The New York Times Book Review, "The Book Review: Who Critiques Whom- and Why?" by Times Editor Byron Calame, Tanenhaus continued to say that books often get rejected because they "lack originality" or are "packaged assemblages of smaller pieces"

And for those of you authors who want your first novels to be reviewed, Tanenhaus said, "It has to be strikingly good"

Competition amongst similar books plays a role too. Often authors and even publishers are unaware of another book on the same topic being published at the same time. So the New York Times may decide which one is plowing new ground and is the better of the bunch. It may only review that one book and ignore the others.

Of his job Gewen said, "One has to have a hard heart at the Book Review"

Finally, after the preview editors choose their book selections, they meet again to discuss possible reviewers, all of whom have their own ideas of who to consider. Once they've made their picks from lists compiled from "scanning magazines and other publications" and talking to editors and friends, editors go to their own offices and start trying to reach people.

Overall, Calame said in his article, "Much of the judgment about the books falls into the realm of opinion - and beyond the public editor's mandate" As for the process, he believes that the Times editors "genuinely care about general readers and the literary world, and want their choices to have credibility"

Though choosing books to be featured in the Book Review is a time-consuming, important task, according to Gewen, the Review is isolated from the rest of the building and its influences.

Gewen said "The Sunday Magazine lives in an office down the hall" and "pays the salary of all the rest of us" Furthermore, he said, "There is a real class division here" The Review editors are not in the luxurious offices as the rest of the magazine staff, but they pride themselves in believing they are "smarter" than the rest.

The New York Times Sunday newspaper circulation is 1.5 million. A 1/5 page size ad in the Book Review (1 Column X 10.87 inches) will cost a whopping $8,830 for small presses. If you're a major publisher it'll cost even more! Check out the rate sheet.

The Bottom Line: If you're an author with expectations of having your book reviewed by the New York Times Book Review there is hope. Just don't send them a self-help book, a travel manual or self published book. And if you're a first time novelist, save the postage and send a resume instead since it might first help to get a job at the Times. It's proven that Times staffers have a nice edge in the review process… not that I could blame them.

Or take the advice of Garner: When asked in another "Knight News" interview by Orbach, "What's the way to get your book reviewed?" Garner said, "Write a good one. Really"

One More Thing: Book reviews in newspapers are dying. The Los Angeles Times published its last standalone Book Review July 27, 2008. Newspapers around the US are cutting in-house book reviewers and running syndicated reviews. Why? First they can save money and as for the pressure to save money, it's all about a shrinking news-hole caused by advertisers shifting dollars to the internet and TV. Furthermore, conglomerates who own media outlets try to squeak the last dollar out of everything. And, finally it's the same thing plaguing the book industry in general, sadly, a decline in the number of readers.

About Scott Lorenz

Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm with a special knack for working with individuals and entrepreneurs to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz has handled public relations and marketing for numerous authors, doctors, lawyers, inventors and entrepreneurs. As a book marketing expert Lorenz is called upon by top execs and bestselling authors to promote their books. Learn more about Westwind Communications' book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Arbor Books Memoir Writers Help Tell Your Story

Memoirs are still the hottest genre in the publishing industry, according to experts, so if you're asking, "How do I tell my story?" then you're in luck.

Larry Leichman, cofounder of Arbor Books (, a top ghostwriting firm, says that despite recent controversies, memoirs still dominate The New York Times' best sellers lists and consistently rank as top sellers at, a situation Mr. Leichman says is related to our fascination with the lives of others.

The sales figures for the memoir genre support that opinion, jumping from $170 million in 1999 to nearly $300 million today, according to the Bowker Industry Report.

And, in recent years, many of the top memoirs have come from outside of the top publishers, often with the help of ghostwriters.

Mr. Leichman's company, Arbor Books has added more memoirists to its roster of ghostwriters in an effort to support the genre--one that Mr. Leichman's cofounder, Joel Hochman, says is alive and well through the help of self-publishers.

"Self-publishing a memoir used to be looked down upon," says Mr. Hochman, the other cofounder of Arbor Books. "It was once called 'vanity press,' but today that term no longer applies. The big publishers aren't keeping up with people's desires to tell their stories and ghostwriting firms are supporting people who have amazing life stories but who want them professionally written and marketed."

Recent years have seen the rise of the memoir. Barack Obama's "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance" and "The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks" by Robin Romm are just two examples.

"These stories are very personal, and we want to offer our clients the chance to tell their own stories with help from professional writers who know how," says Mr. Leichman.

Ghosting a memoir is a common practice for public figures, including:

* Athletes
* Politicians
* Actors
* Business leaders
* Celebrities

Elements of most memoirs include the following:

* blistering honesty
* raw, unvarnished story-telling
* a clear theme
* lots of "movie" scenes (don't tell -- show)
* interesting characters

Whether it's the commitment of time or the inability to articulate their feelings, hundreds of authors have used ghostwriters to help tell their stories. Arbor Books believes there are great stories yet to be told--ones the traditional publishers have turned away.

Arbor Books provides an array of publishing services to their clients such as ghostwriting, editing, typesetting, design, printing, marketing and distribution.

Arbor Books is the only publishing firm catering to independent authors that is 100-percent insured against defamation and plagiarism, and it is associated with one of the most prestigious publishing law firms in the United States.

Arbor Books authors have appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News and FOXNews and have become columnists for major newspapers and magazines including USA Today.

Cofounders Joel Hochman and Larry Leichman are publishing-industry veterans and are listed in Literary Market Place. Their staff is capable of handling any genre and any size book.

Scribd Signs Deal With Simon & Schuster to Showcase and Sell Thousands of eBooks and Printed Titles

Scribd, the world's largest social publishing company, and Simon & Schuster, a leading global publisher, announced an agreement to sell Simon & Schuster eBooks in the Scribd Store, an e-commerce destination and publishing marketplace launched last month to complement

Scribd's already-popular platform for users' sharing their written works. At launch, nearly 5,000 Simon & Schuster eBook titles will be available on Scribd for purchase and download, making them readable on, computer desktops and various mobile devices.

The Simon & Schuster storefront on Scribd ( will include bestselling books from authors such as Stephen King, Dan Brown, Mary Higgins Clark, Chelsea Handler and Steve Martin. In addition, Simon & Schuster will also make thousands of printed titles available for preview with links to purchase from the Simon & Schuster website and other retailers.

All works in the Scribd Store are added to Scribd's Copyright Management System, an industry-leading technology that helps prevent the upload of unauthorized written works. Publishers like Simon & Schuster have the ability to determine how works are read, including settings for "read only on," "download" and "download with DRM." In addition, Scribd provides publishers with the flexibility to experiment with pricing, which can be changed easily and at any time.

Online Readers’ and Writers’ Community Popular

New changes to an already popular website for readers and writers are proving to be a big hit. was created by Kiwi entrepreneur Aaron Cook, to give writers the chance to gain free feedback on their manuscripts from the general public. Book lovers can preview and vote for what they would like to see published and available for sale on bookshelves, and leave comments to help authors improve their writing.

One of the most recent upgrades to the website was the message centre, which allows members to communicate with each other directly to share tips and ideas. This compliments the already popular comments section, where members post comments about a writers work for the public to view.

The website has also been made more transparent, so when a reader rates a book their rating is displayed beside the comment they have left for that book.

Cook says the new upgrades have proved to be very popular amongst members, and has definitely brought a more community feel to the website.

The overall concept originated from China around a decade ago. Since the establishment, it has helped numerous authors become recognized by the public and achieve dramatic success. It was mentioned at the most recent Frankfurt Bookfair that the world's eyes are on the growth of China's publishing industry, which has been driven by the internet.

Last year twenty percent of China's bestsellers originating from the internet, many of them have been previously unheard of authors discovered on similar types of websites to in China.

Just one of the many examples of a Chinese author becoming a huge success through the internet is Tian Xia Ba Chang, who wrote a book called “Candles Blown by a Ghost" which is a thriller/adventure novel. Over time this book reached over 3.6 million hits online and once finally published sold 500,000 copies in one year.

The highest rated manuscript currently on is Daniel Williamson's popular fantasy trilogy Magician, Man and Beast.

With most publishers cutting back on new titles due to the recession, authors must seek more ingenious ways to sell their manuscripts. New Zealand is famous for cultivating a 'can do' attitude towards opposition, often creating industry leaders. I feel the website serves to fill an important niche in the publishing process. Williamson says he often felt frustrated with the shortage of options available for emerging authors. It was surprising to me that although New Zealand has an international reputation for creating hit fantasy film franchises like 'The Lord of the Rings,' and 'The Chronicles of Narnia,'we don't publish any working fantasy titles of our own.

Since its inception, Williamson's book has attracted international exposure, providing honest 'real-time' critique. This is creative democracy at its best, giving the power of choice back to the people, and allowing authors invaluable feedback from potential readers.

Staying true to New Zealand's pioneering spirit Williamson has created a press-ready novel, complete with interior illustrations and cover. The distinctive, full-colour cover which he personally illustrated brings the time-honored elements of craftsmanship to his literary work. The cover can be viewed below, whereas several sample chapters can be viewed online for free at . Become directly involved in the publishing process and read tomorrow's bestsellers. The future of publishing is in your hands.

Monday, July 13, 2009

2.25 Million eBooks at World eBook Fair

The Fourth World eBook Fair will provide over 3 million digital items from July 4 - August 4, 2009. This includes approximately 2.25 million eBooks, with a further 1,000 new items being added per business day during the month long celebration of the birthday of eBooks. EBooks were first realized by Project Gutenberg on July 4, 1971 at the University of Illinois.

The first day of the Fair saw over 1 million downloads, including popular titles such as Jane Austen's "Emma," Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," and Joseph Conrad's "Nostromo."

New high speed Internet connections and Web servers are in place to handle the vast reponse expected from the public, seeking free access to much of the world's great literature. This year, many readers will use their iPhones, Sony Readers, Kindles, MP3 players and a host of other devices, in addition to desktop and notebook computers.

New software and converstion programs have been in place for months of testing to encourage reading a book any time, any place, day and night, wherever people might want to read, research, or otherwise enjoy their library of eBooks at

"This is a fantastic use of the new $80 terabyte disk drives, as each terabyte will hold about 2.25 million compressed eBooks," says eBook inventor Michael S. Hart, co-founder of The World eBook Fair. "Never before has the common person had the ability to create their own `personal library,' just as a few decades ago common persons never had the capability of owning their own computer."

These sentiments are shared by John Guagliardo, of The World Public Library, who co-founded the Fair and supplies much of the infrastructure, websites, and support for The World eBook Fair. Guagliardo also hosts a .pdf eLibrary of Project Gutenberg content, online at and http://www.worldpublic.library/

Brewster Kahle, of The Internet Archive, has donateed an eLibrary of about 1.5 million eBooks to the effort and these can be found year round at . All told, over 2.25 million eBooks, and another half-million other items such as movies and audio recordings, will be available.

Another contributor to the World eBook Fair is EBooksAboutEverything, which has provided over 130,000 titles. When combined with content from other contributors, 2.25 million eBooks in myriad languages and formats will be available. These are readable on computers, cell phone, Kindles, and virtually every other device for displaying digital content.

The World eBook Fair is a celebration of freely available literature, accessible worldwide. These eBooks and other content will enrich, educate, and empower their readers.

Websites: http://

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Publisher Reinvents Industry, Inspires 60 Million With Viral Movies

A small, young company in Naperville, Illinois is quietly reinventing the traditional book publishing model in three innovative ways: by publishing gift books for the corporate market, translating viral marketing into a profitable business model and delivering directly to customers who order online. The company,, is Mac Anderson's brainchild. A long time presence in inspirational and motivational circles, Mr. Anderson is the founder of Successories, the leader in motivational and recognition products. After selling Successories, Mr. Anderson started Simple Truths in the fall of 2005. Today, the company emails Mac Anderson's Simple Truths newsletter, with inspiring stories and short inspirational videos, to over 900,000 people. Anyone that is in need of a shot of inspiration may subscribe to Simple Truths' free newsletter.

Publishing Corporate Gift Books by Best-Selling Authors

Simple Truths' books weave photography, words and art work together into compact gift books that can be read in about 30 minutes. Featuring more than 40 gift books with over 600 stories on a variety of topics including leadership, customer service, ethics and goal-setting, Simple Truths' author list reads like a "best of" business list: Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, General Hal Moore and Andy Andrews. Best-sellers include: 212: the Extra Degree and The Dash: Making a Difference with Your Life and The Simple Truths of Service: Inspired by Johnny the Bagger.

Translating Viral Marketing into a Profitable Business Model

In 2006 Simple Truths produced a short movie based upon their best-selling inspiration gift book, The Dash [ ], as a test. If people liked reading the book would they want to watch a free movie about it online? With over 30 million views worldwide, The Dash is one of the Internet's most-watched movies. Every day, 55,000 people tune into to watch the company's collection of over 30 inspirational movies (the movies have generated over 60 million views to date).

Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited

Francine Silverman, publisher of Book Promotion Newsletter, a bi-weekly ezine for authors, has just debuted a new book designed to help authors land radio interviews. Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited (McFarland & Co. 2009, ISBN 978-0-7864-4033-7).

The book includes what most radio websites fail to do - provide the theme of each show and guest criteria. It also provides the host's opinion of the best and worst guest, the preferred method of contact, what potential guests should do if there is no response and how they determine who gets invited back.

Both Internet and terrestrial shows are featured in 40 categories, along with contact information for more than 80 top radio shows not included in the categories. The list is based upon Talkers Magazine's Heavy Hundred and from its top 101-250 -- everyone from #2 Sean Hannity to Mike Malloy. (Rush Limbaugh, #1, is not included because he does not have guests). The Appendix contains three articles, "33 Radio Interview Tips" by book marketing expert and book publicist Scott Lorenz of Westwind Communications; "Top 10 Telephone Tips" by Joe Sabah; and "Getting Invited Back" by Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski.

An Authors Access reviewer says: "Imagine being able to sit down with a coffee and discuss with hundreds of radio hosts what kind of guests they'd like to book. You can do just that with Francine Silverman's new book Talk Radio Wants You: An Intimate Guide to 700 Shows and How to Get Invited. I have paid $300 or more for talk radio show databases that had far less information than Francine presents in her highly-competitively priced book"

A discount is available by ordering directly from the author.