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Mar 17, 2011, 15:11 CDT
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 4:12 PM
Book festivals and fairs are held year round all over the world. As a book marketing specialist, I am the first to impress on authors the new and powerful marketing avenues open to all authors on the Internet – from websites and book trailers to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While these are excellent tools when used properly, authors should never overlook opportunities to meet the reading public face-to-face.
If you are a Jewish author or specialize in writing about Jewish issues, you should consider visiting some of these book fairs in the Jewish community.
1. Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor. November 4 – 18, 2012. Contact Karen Freedland, Cultural Arts and Education Director, at 734-971-0990. You can also visit www.jccannarbor.org/cultural-arts-educat...
2. Jewish Book Council’s Jewish Book Month will be held November 7 - December 7, 2012. Jewish Book Month is an annual event on the American Jewish calendar dedicated to the celebration of Jewish books. It is observed during the month proceeding Hanukkah, thus the exact date changes from year to year. www.jewishbookcouncil.org/about/jewish-b...
3. Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, AZ will be hosting the Arizona Authors Speaker Series monthly from October to April. The event will take place on the 3rd Monday of each month from 1:30pm. Arizona contributes much to the literary world with authors and as a story setting. The Valley of the Sun JCC will be treated to appearances by authors who are either from, reside, or use Arizona as a locale for their books. The authors will speak about their life and writings. You need to be a Brandies member to join this group. Guests and JCC Members are welcome for a $5 fee. RSVP’s are required to Merrill Kalman: firstname.lastname@example.org or 480.296.3355
4. Valley of the Sun JCC in Scottsdale, AZ will also be hosting “Exceptional” Characters in Books & Film, which is co-sponsored by CJSN. The event will take place the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 1:00-2:30pm and will be featuring books with protagonists with disabling conditions; our discussions will focus on the way the disability impacts the characters and the plot. www.vosjcc.org/SpecialEvents/CulturalArt...
5. JCC of Metro Detroit’s 61st Annual Jewish Book Fair will be held November 7 – 18, 2012. At this event, fabulous authors from all over the world will present their books. For further information, contact Dalia Keen at 248.432.5467 or email email@example.com or visit jccdet.org
6. Shalom Austin’s Austin Jewish Book Fair will be October 28 - November 4, 2012. The schedule features lectures and discussions with acclaimed writers, the annual Book Lover’s Luncheon, and an onsite bookstore in partnership with Barnes & Noble. The total cost for the Book Fair Package is: $25 JCC Member /$30 Non-member. Each individual event is: $10 JCC Member /$15 Non-member. Check out shalomaustin.org/bookfair for further information.
7. St. Louis JCC’s 34th Annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival presented by Maryville University - St. Louis will be November 4-15, 2012. All author events take place at the Staenberg Family Complex unless otherwise noted. For more information, please call the
St. Louis Jewish Book Festival Hotline: 314.442.3299 or visit www.jccstl.com/programs/arts-culture/st-...
8. Marcus JCC Atlanta’s 21st Edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA will be November 1-18, 2012. For 20 successful years, the Book Festival of the MJCCA has provided our community with a literary extravaganza featuring an exciting lineup of the year’s most exceptional authors, speakers, and celebrities. Please join thousands of your fellow book lovers to listen, meet, and interact with your favorite authors in a variety of forums, including author meet-and-greets, book signings, a community read, and panel discussions. Check out www.atlantajcc.org/specialevents/book-fe... for more details.
9. Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford will host the 20th Annual Mandell JCC Jewish Book Festival - Celebrating Israel, Debuts, Dads & Dudes with events taking place November 18, 2012, January 23, 2013, March 16, 2013, and May 9, 2013. Please visit www.mandelljcc.org/index.php?src=gendocs... for complete details.
10. Columbus JCC is finalizing the fantastic 2012 line up for JCC Bookfair 2012! For more information about sponsorship contact Bookfair Director Debbie Vinocur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614.559.6214. Check columbusjcc.org/programs/cultural-arts/j... for updates as they become available.
11. Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center in Houston, TX will be holding their 40th Annual Jewish Book & Arts Fair from Oct 28 - Nov 11, 2012. For a calendar of events and complete brochure, visit
12. JCC of Greater Washington will host the 43rd Annual Book Festival from November 1-11, 2012. The festival will present an exciting line-up of best-selling authors as well as up and coming writers new to the literary scene. The nine-day Festival will be packed with engaging author events, children's programs, book signings, and a bookstore brimming with Jewish must-reads. For details, to request a Book Festival brochure, or to join the Book Festival Committee, contact the Book Festival Director Lynn Gittleson at 301.348.3840 or email@example.com or visit www.jccgw.org/template.php?section=BF.
13. San Diego Center for Jewish Culture will host the San Diego Jewish Book Fair 2012 from November 3 - November 11, 2012. The San Diego Jewish Book Fair is the largest and most respected Jewish Book Fair in the nation and the largest literature-related event in San Diego County. For tickets and further information, visit tickets.lfjcc.org/eventperformances.asp?....
14. Mandel JCC in Beachwood, Ohio will be celebrating the 13th Annual Festival of Jewish Books & Authors from November 4-18, 2012. Stay tuned for details and a full listing of authors, which will be announced this month! For information please contact Julie Frayman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.831.0700 ext. 1316.
Please check back at www.mandeljcc.org/book-festival/festival... for announcements.
15. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee in Florida will host the Jewish Book Festival Wednesday, November 14, 2012 with a lecture and Q&A with author Lloyd Constantine. For questions, contact Len Steinberg at 941.371.4546 ext. 106 or visit www.jfedsrq.org/events.aspx
16. JCC Dallas will host the J Book Fair October 11, 2012 - March 3, 2013.
For more information, please contact Rachelle Weiss Crane at email@example.com or 214.239.7128 or visit
Book fairs typically seek out guest speakers. By volunteering to speak at a Jewish book fair, you will pique the interest of new readers and potentially gain a few new fans. Additionally, you can add the speaking appearance to your resume. Be sure to plan ahead because book fairs, speaking engagements and readings are all planned months in advance. For a complete list of book fairs and festivals visit www.book-marketing-expert.com
The bottom line: Reach out to the Jewish community and attend a book fair! You will be happy you did.
About Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist
Thursday, August 30, 2012, 1:58 PM
How Book Shepherds Can Help Authors
By Scott Lorenz
I recommend authors look into hiring a book shepherd for a current or upcoming writing and publishing project. A book shepherd is someone whose expertise in books and publishing will help you throughout the entire book process. From cover art, editing, dealing with Amazon to locating a printer, a book shepherd will assist you from start to finish.
I am a proponent of using a book shepherd because there are so many things to know about in the book publishing process and so much is swiftly changing its extremely difficult to keep up with it all. It takes a person with experience to guide you along the way and that’s what a book shepherd does. Hiring a guide is a concept that’s been working for humankind for thousands of years. If you were going to a foreign land and wanted to see and do as much as you could would you read a guide book or hire someone to show you? Consider yourself fortunate if you can afford a book shepherd as it is well worth the money spent.
Dan Poynter recently compiled a comprehensive list of book shepherds. At the top of his list is Shel Horowitz who explains his role: “Basically, I walk unpublished writers through the process of becoming well-published authors. I start by helping them determine if they should publish traditionally, self-publish, or subsidy publish--and then help them complete all the steps for their choice, then work with them on the marketing as the book nears completion.” www.frugalmarketing.com/author-services....
Tanya Hall is a unique book shepherd in that she works for a national publisher/distributor. “So instead of working in a vacuum without any up-to-the-minute feedback on trends, pitches, etc like most book shepherds operate, I have the luxury of a sales force and team of experts behind me to guide the direction I give to my clients. Most of our clients “in development” go through an editorial project development phase, followed by any number of services ranging from design to printing to (if accepted for publication/distribution by our review committee) distribution and marketing.” For more information, visit her website www.greenleafbookgroup.com.
Bobbie Christmas explains that her book shepherding style is rooted in an editing background. “After twenty years of editing magazines, newspapers, and corporate communications, I opened Zebra Communications in 1992 and specialized in editing books. As self-publishing grew and became an excellent way for consultants and other entrepreneurs to promote themselves and their businesses, I heard horror stories about otherwise intelligent people who made terrible decisions that cost them money and time and in the end often embarrassed them, rather than helping them get their books out to the public. I realized my clients needed more than editorial services, so I added book shepherding to my offerings.” Bobbie’s website is www.zebraeditor.com.
Mike Ball, award winning syndicated columnist and author of three books, offers unique assistance to new authors from his position on the front lines of the publishing wars. “Hey, it can be complicated, time consuming and downright confusing,” says Ball. “I just helped out an elderly author who got completely flummoxed by the forms Amazon threw at him. I understand it can be a daunting task for anyone. That’ why I am happy to assist for a reasonable hourly fee.” Find Mike at writeittight.com or call him at 313-405-7664.
Simon Warwick-Smith of www.warwickassociates.net says, “We are a one-stop shop, from cover and interior design to physical printing, and eBooks, to sales, marketing and publicity. Been in business for 20 years with a long list of satisfied clients”
Rita Mills says, “I don’t much care for the term ‘book shepherd’ as I feel what I do is more like herding cats than docile sheep. People come to me with either an idea or a manuscript and I project manage the process and assign a freelancer for an ala carte service as needed. Some just come to me with a manuscript that needs editing so they can take it to a traditional publisher, and some want me to take on the whole project from manuscript to marketing. I work with 30+ freelancers (some of whom I have worked with over 20 years) who do all kinds of editing, design, PR, marketing, indexing, ghostwriting, grant writing, etc. I know my people’s skill set and can assign the individual with the specific genre/skills needed. For instance, someone who might be good at editing a nonfiction title might not be good with a fiction title or a children’s book. I also specialize in children’s picture books and I have portfolios on upwards of 300 illustrators. I have packaged roughly 450 titles since my years as the managing editor of an academic press at the University of Houston. I left there in 1997 to start my company, The Book Connection. My projects have ranged from back-of-the-room sales to high-end coffee table books. I am also a print broker, and print worldwide depending upon the need and goals involved in a project” For further information on Rita and her services, please visit her website www.bookconnectiononline.com.
“One of the biggest challenges in writing, publishing and marketing a book is to know what to do when, and how to do each step,” says Beth Barany, a book shepherd, creative business consultant for authors and publishers, and an award-winning novelist. Beth says that authors come to her because they need customized support for wherever they may be in the process, whether it's brainstorming sessions to overcome writers block for writing a novel, figuring out how to publish their helpful nonfiction book, or getting support and gaining ease with social media marketing for their mystery novel. A big advocate for self-publishing, she works with her authors to help them write, publish and market the book through the channels that makes the most sense for their overall goals, timing and budget, including traditional publishing. Beth believes that authors have more choices than ever to create a tailored book for their audiences and that it's an exciting time to be an author entrepreneur. To find more about Beth Barany, and to sign up for a complimentary 30-minute session, go to http://www.bethbarany.com.
Linda F. Radke of Five Star Publications explains, “At Five Star Publications we have specialized in producing and marketing books since 1985. Our talented staff of editors, writers, illustrators, graphic designers, and publicity specialists is available to help with every aspect of publishing and promoting your book. Utilizing a network of experts in every aspect of publishing and publicity, Five Star Publications works closely with you every step of the way. Call us as soon as you start writing your book or at any point during the process of producing and promoting your book. We provide all the services, guidance, and ongoing support you need to successfully master every aspect of the publishing process. Once you contact us, we'll be pleased to provide a proposal tailored to your specific project. Since every project is different in scope and needs, your time frames and costs will be handled on an individual basis.”
The Bottom Line: If you can afford to spend a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a book shepherd, I highly suggest you do so as it will help save your sanity! There are so many exciting changes in the book publishing business it’s practically impossible to keep up with them all. The book shepherd will help you through the entire process or just a piece of the process where you need it.
Check out this audio interview about book shepherds I did with Clark Covington at this link:
Be sure to check out Dan Poynter’s list of book shepherds below and get in touch with the book shepherd of your choice.
Zip Code/Country, Name, Email, Website
01035 Shel Horowitz shel@PrincipledProfit.com; www.frugalmarketing.com
06001 Brian Jud email@example.com; www.bookmarketingworks.com
07930 Barbara Kimmel firstname.lastname@example.org; www.nextdecade.com
20191 Sam Horn Sam@SamHorn.com; www.SamHorn.com
22314 Mike Vezo email@example.com; www.HelpUPublish.com
30188 Bobbie Christmas firstname.lastname@example.org; www.zebraeditor.com
45701 Janice Phelps email@example.com; www.janicephelps.com
68137 Lisa Pelto firstname.lastname@example.org; www.conciergemarketing.com
77041 Rita Mills email@example.com; www.bookconnectiononline.com
78704 Tanya Hall firstname.lastname@example.org; www.greenleafbookgroup.com
80015 Judith Briles, PhD email@example.com; www.TheBookShepherd.com
85226 Linda Radke info@FiveStarPublications.com; www.FiveStarPublications.com
87505 Ellen Kleiner firstname.lastname@example.org; www.blessingway.com
89509 Jacqueline Simonds email@example.com; www.beaglebay.com
90212 Ellen Reid firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bookshep.com
90245 Jan King email@example.com; www.janbking.com
91304 Alan Gadney firstname.lastname@example.org; www.onebookpro.com
92111 Lindee Rochelle Lindee@LRochelle.com www.penchantforpenning.com
92653 Sharon Goldinger email@example.com; www.detailsplease.com/peoplespeak
93103 Gail Kearns Gail@topressandbeyond.com; www.topressandbeyond.com
94304 John Eggen John@MissionMarketingMentors.com; www.missionmarketingmentors.com
94801 Peter Beren firstname.lastname@example.org; www.peterberen.com
95437 Cynthia Frank email@example.com; www.cypresshouse.com
95476 Simon Warwick-Smith Bunyip@vom.com; www.warwickassociates.net
Canada Barbara Florio Graham BFG@SimonTeakettle.com; www.SimonTeakettle.com
Canada Serena Williamson Andrew Ph.D firstname.lastname@example.org; www.bookcoachpress.com
Malaysia Shum F.P. email@example.com; www.infopreneur-books-publishing.com
New Zealand/Australia Maria Carlton firstname.lastname@example.org; www.marukibooks.com
Singapore Patrick Ang email@example.com; www.bookmanna.com
South Africa Val Waldeck firstname.lastname@example.org; www.pilgrimpublications.biz
UK Mindy Gibbins-Klein email@example.com; www.bookmidwife.com
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter www.twitter.com/aBookPublicist
Friday, June 1, 2012, 3:06 PM
Overview: Book fairs and festivals offer authors an excellent place to interact with fellow authors and publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need, such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace. Here is a list of 20 book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance.
by Scott Lorenz
Authors who want to sell books need to do what anyone else with a product needs to do – find the place in the marketplace where your buyers can be found. And, in the case of authors, readers will be found in largest numbers at book fairs, festivals and conferences.
Book fairs and festivals are held every season around the world so it’s a fairly easy task to locate one to promote your book. As an internet book marketing specialist, I am the first to impress on authors the new and powerful marketing avenues open to all authors on the Internet – from book websites to book trailers to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While these are fantastic tools when used properly, authors should never overlook opportunities to meet the reading public face-to-face.
Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, the author not only gains great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. But plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are arranged months in advance.
Book fairs are excellent places to interact with fellow authors, publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace. For more information about book marketing visit www.book-marketing-expert.com and for upcoming book events on C-SPAN2 visit: www.BookTV.org. Here’s a list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2012.
BookExpo America, June 4-7, 2012, Javits Center, NYC, the ‘Big Daddy’ of all book events. It worth a trip just to see what the book business is all about. There are plenty of great seminars to attend, book signings and events. I highly recommend all authors attend. www.bookexpoamerica.com
Printers Row Lit Fest, June 9-10, 2012 Chicago, Illinois on and around the area of Dearborn Street, from Congress to Polk. A large book fair attended by more than 125,000 book lovers. www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/boo...
Millbrook Literary Festival, June 16, 2012, Millbrook Free Library on Franklin Street presents dozens of thought provoking authors. www.millbrookbookfestival.org/
American Library Association Annual Conference June 21-26, 2012, Anaheim, CA some 25,000 experts in the market who will help you advance your career. www.alaannual.org/
International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) July 15-18, 2012, Orlando, FL www.christianretailshow.com/ Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme, author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. www.marketingchristianbooks.com
Harlem Book Festival, July 22, 2012, Harlem, NYC www.qbr.com
Belfast Bound Book Festival, July 27-29, 2012, in Maine will offer 25,000 books and will celebrate reading, writing and publishing. www.belfastboundbookfestival.com/
Decatur Book Festival, Aug. 31- Sep. 2, 2012, Decatur, GA, largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 900 authors and 260,000 attendees have attended this event in downtown Decatur. www.decaturbookfestival.com/Community/in...
Brooklyn Book Festival, September 20-23, 2012 Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, NY is the largest free literary event in New York City. www.brooklynbookfestival.org/BBF/Home
Sonoma County Book Festival, September 22, 2012, Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA. attended by thousands of book lovers. www.socobookfest.org
Fall For the Book Festival, Sept. 26-30, 2012, George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, Fairfax, VA., sponsored by George Mason University, Fairfax County Public Library and Barnes & Noble. Attended by more than 150 authors. www.fallforthebook.org
Baltimore Book Festival, Sept. 28-30, 2012, located at Mt. Vernon Place, The event attracts more than 100 authors. www.baltimorebookfestival.com/
South Dakota Festival of Books, September 28-30, 2012, Sioux Falls, attracts over 40 nationally well-known authors. www.sdbookfestival.com/
West Hollywood Book Fair, September 30, 2012, at West Hollywood Park, more than 130 exhibitors expected! www.westhollywoodbookfair.org
West Virginia Book Festival, October 13-14, 2012 is destination for over 7,000 people whom go to network and hear from various authors in West Virginia. wvbookfestival.org/
Frankfurt Book Fair, October 10-14, 2012 in Frankfort, Germany. Considered the biggest book show in the world. www.book-fair.com
Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word October 14-16, 2012, Tennessee Legislative Plaza, Nashville, TN, attracts more than 200 authors from throughout the U.S. www.humanitiestennessee.org/festival/cur...
Texas Book Fair, October 27-28, 2012, State Capitol Building, Austin, TX, established in 1995 by First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian, more than 45,000 attend. www.texasbookfestival.org/
Kentucky Book Fair, Saturday, November 9-10, 2012, Frankfurt, Kentucky, attended by up to 5,000 people including 150 authors. kybookfair.org/
Miami Book Fair International, November 11-18, 2012, hosts over 350 authors to discuss their work and 250 publishers. www.miamibookfair.com/
The bottom line: Make it a priority to visit a book fair in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!
About Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090.
Saturday, December 10, 2011, 2:01 PM
Amanda Hocking, as I’m sure you know, is a best-selling e-author on Amazon.com. Since uploading her first e-book in the spring of 2010, she has grossed about $2 million. She’s got 10 novels under her belt, all of which fall into the paranormal-romance category. The prominent entertainment company, Media Rights Capital, optioned her four-book vampire series “Trylle”.
Clearly, she’s had great success self-publishing her e-books. So, it was a surprise when Hocking decided to sign with St. Martin’s Press, which is a very established publishing house.
Hocking has openly explained that she suffered from depression for the vast majority of her life and turned to writing as a sort of escape. She finished her first novel at 17, titled “Dreams I Can’t Remember” and was turned down by each of the 50 agents to whom she’d sent her work. Not long thereafter, she caught a clip on YouTube of the band Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus encouraging American youth to make their dreams come true. Hocking admits having a sort of “aha” moment and realized that she could not wait for her dreams to come true. She had to put forth the effort and make them come true.
In 2009, Hocking began to treat writing as a job rather than something she did for entertainment. She wrote a few more novels, sent them off to agents, and still received only rejections. In April 2010, Hocking uploaded her novel “My Blood Approves” to Amazon, then later to Smashwords, then directly on Barnes & Noble’s site. Hocking started selling books, first a few a day, then as she uploaded more of her work, she managed to sell 26 books in one day in May. These days, the author is selling 9,000 books a day.
Just how did she do it? Well, the stories she writes are an obvious piece of her success. Her novels combine action and romance with a dash of quirk and topped off by Hocking’s creative style of writing. Additionally, by selling e-books, Hocking was able to sell the books for far less money compared to a traditional bookstore book. Therefore, people were more inclined to spend the 99 cents or $3.00 to read her work instead of dropping upwards of $15.00 for a book off the shelf of a trendy bookstore. Hocking has a very blasé attitude in regard to her success and rapid writing. When asked just how she manages to complete her work so quickly, Hocking responds on her blog, “I don’t know. I just write a lot and drink a lot of Red Bull.”
Hocking also suggests that writing paired with reading more than she writes, was instrumental in her success. She made sure to edit her novels a great deal in order to get them just right. Learning to take criticism was useful to Hocking’s success because she was able to understand that although her books weren’t for everyone, they did have an audience.
Taking a look at her blog, Hocking describes herself as an, “Obsessive tweeter. John Hughes mourner. Batman devotee. Muppet activist. Unicorn enthusiast. Fraggin Aardvarks guitarist. Author of the USA Today Bestselling Trylle Trilogy & the upcoming Watersong series.” She actively updates her blog, so her fans always have something new to read. This past October was Hocking’s second annual “Zombiepalooza!” on her blog, which ran for the entire month of October. Hocking explains that while she especially enjoys zombies, Zombiepalooza is really a celebration of all things horror and Halloween. Throughout the month, there were guest posts, giveaways, and other fun goodies, such as the “ultimate Halloween Playlist.”
John Kremer recently mentioned Amanda Hocking in a seminar about blog tours. Amanda Hocking inspired him to name a particular type of blog tour a Blogpalooza. John got the name from Hocking, after her first Zombiepalooza in October 2010. In his seminar, John also explained a few of Amanda’s stats, which were affected dramatically by Zombiepalooza. Before Zombiepalooza, Amanda had been selling about 3,000-5,000 copies of Kindle eBooks each month. She sold about 20,000 total before October 2010. In December 2010, after Zombiepalooza, she sold 100,000 copies in the month of December alone. In January, she sold 450,000 copies of her Kindle eBook novels.
In February of 2011, she made the USA Today best-seller list. By the end of February, she had sold 900,000 copies of self-published Kindle eBooks. In March 2011, her book sales totaled over 1 million copies, and she subsequently sold the rights to four of her books to St. Martin’s Press for $2 million. Some were surprised by her decision to sell her book rights, but Hocking has explained that in order to be a billion-dollar author, she needs people to buy her books at Wal-Mart. In order to get her books onto shelves, she had to partner with St. Martin’s Press.
Says Hocking, “I'm a writer. I want to be a writer. I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling emails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full time corporation. I am spending so much time on things that are not writing.”
“I like writing. I even like marketing, especially when it comes to interacting with readers. And I don't mind editing. I just don't want to run my corporation, because that takes away from writing and everything else that I actually enjoy doing,” concludes Hocking.
After gaining so much success, Amanda has been able to seize unique opportunities. For example, she was a featured speaker at Comic Con in San Diego. Additionally, she was able to buy a life-size Han Solo figure from Star Wars, which was encased in carbonite. The life-size figure is rare and was something Hocking had her eye on for quite some time. The unique purchase was due in great part to the success of her Zombiepalooza.
The way Hocking executed Zombiepalooza is what earned her such success. She invited people to guest-post on her website, offer free copies of their books, and contribute stories to her blog. Simply put, she asked people to come to her blog and blog. Those guest bloggers, in turn, brought their fan clubs to Amanda’s website, earning Amanda’s work more exposure and causing her to gain even more fans. Zombiepalooza was an event blog tour that really got people talking and excited about the event, making it extremely effective.
In addition to her own blog, Hocking has separate blogs for her book Virtue, My Blood Approves, The Hollows series, as well as a blog dedicated to soundtracks for her various books. Hocking follows dozens of blogs herself. Having been blogging since April 2009, Hocking has had nearly 2 million page views. Check out Amanda’s blog to learn more about her, her work, and to see release dates of her upcoming books at www.AmandaHocking.blogspot.com or her facebook fan page. www.facebook.com/amandahockingfans
The bottom line: Amanda Hocking is an incredibly talented author. She has achieved great success in her career, largely due to marketing her novels so effectively. Amanda began writing e-books and now has a multimillion dollar book deal. Her talent for both writing and knowing how to market her books has enabled her to become a wildly successful author. Amanda Hocking has helped pave the way for authors to follow in her footsteps without the traditional ‘gatekeepers’ of publishing being involved.
About Book Publicist Scott Lorenz
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at scottlorenz AT westwindcos.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist
Friday, October 21, 2011, 10:36 AM
Many books now have apps that work on iPhones or iPads and on the Android platform. Consumers can now buy the printed book, the app alone or both. Authors can capitalize on this trend by creating apps for their books or pushing their publisher to create one for them. Some apps have incredible features such as 3D effects, interactive story telling, and more. Creating an app for your book may give you a competitive advantage as well. I’ve found some book apps for both kids and adults that you’ll want to check out. Here’s my top ten:
- Weird But True is an app developed by the creators of National Geographic that will keep you entertained for hours. Packed with interesting facts that will allow you to impress your friends and colleagues with newly acquired knowledge of the natural world.
- Green Eggs and Ham provides children with picture/word association and other features designed to promote early literacy. Winner of the 2011 Parents’ Choice Award, its an interactive approach to learning hidden beneath a Dr. Seuss Classic.
- 3D Classic Literature Collection lets readers enjoy their favorite American classic stories in a 3-dimensional context. Complete with high quality animation and audio, this interactive app is sure to bring your favorite stories to life to let you experience them in a way you never imagined.
- Fahre nheit 451 brings Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi story off the page and into reality with narration, puzzles, auto-bookmarking, and book references to help you find your next favorite read. Enjoy this timeless classic all over again like never before.
- Pocket Cocktails serves as a complete archive of all your favorite drink recipes. Entertain your friends, or just make yourself the ideal martini on your night off. Complete with how-to photos and festive holiday drink recipes, you’ll be the life of any party this season.
- Jack and the Beanstalk is the perfect app to keep your kids entertained whenever y ou need a minute to yourself. Filled with interactive games, activities, artwork, and read-along text, it’s the ideal children’s app with an educational twist. Unlike other book apps, every page has a different surprise that will keep kids engaged and involved, all at a price that won’t break the bank.
- Wizard of Oz 3D, The Experience puts a new spin on the timeless classic of Dorothy’s adventure. Enjoy L. Frank Baum’s novel in an engaging 3D interactive experience. With pop-up animation, rediscover the story and share i t with friends, family, and children. Bring an old classic to life and enjoy it all over again.
- Comics is a free app that lets comic fans keep up with their favorite strips from Marvel, DC, The Walking Dead, and many more. Kill some free time in between errands or make an evening out of it while watching your favorite superhe ro movies.
- Nancy Drew: Shadow Ranch Lite lets users follow their favorite teen detective on her latest investigation. Choose your own path through the story and solve puzzles to help Nancy crack her latest crime. Track your progress and backtrack when you receive new clues to get on the right path!
- Our Choice is an interactive app that covers the pressing issue of global warming. As viewed by Al Gore, Our Choice takes you through various charts, articles, diagrams, and other forms of media to help users grasp the seri ousness of the en vironmental issue. Stay informed with everything going on and find ways to lessen your environmental impact. Check out the tour by Al Gore here: vimeo.com/22872218
Books have made a comeback in the world of entertainment with revelations such as audio versions, 3D supplements, and smartphone apps. Let me know your thoughts on these apps and others you find. Ever thought about developing an app for your book? It won’t be long until it’ll be common place. If you jump on the bandwagon now you’ll still early in the game.
About the Author
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. For iPhone app marketing check out: www.iphoneapppublicity.com
Saturday, September 3, 2011, 5:55 AM
Does Your Book Need an iPhone App?
iPhone users are always looking for new apps to download; from amusing games to useful apps worthy of showing friends and colleagues. Having an app that corresponds to your book can give readers something to keep busy as well as draw in new readers.
The number of iPhone apps that are linked to books is growing at an
increasingly rapid rate. The number of books available on the iTunes App Store has far exceeded the number of games available. So what better way to market
your book than to hop on the bandwagon and create an app for it!
There are many ways you can transform your book into an app. Your app can contain anything from an excerpt of your book to a game that corresponds with the characters in your story. Sharing an excerpt can provide readers with a preview of your story and draw them into either purchasing an audio, kindle or paperback version. On the other hand, games can give readers the opportunity to interact with the characters they’ve grown to know and love from your original story.
Create a game that mimics your story line in an interactive fashion or a quiz that allows readers to identify quotes from the story and assign them to the appropriate characters. Games can be especially useful for children’s storybooks seeing as how children love interactive scenarios, especially with their favorite characters.
A great example of a book being transformed into an app is one created from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Currently a top seller, the Harry Potter: Spells application allows users to learn the spells that they’ve seen in action throughout the magical series and use them to battle with other iPhone users. Apps such as this help bring the story to life in a new way for readers and will keep your story alive in their minds long after they’ve finished reading.
If your book is non-fiction, there are other ways to translate it into an app. You might be interested in creating an app that emphasizes tips, key points or interesting facts from your book. For example, a popular app, Military Cadences,
provides users with the words associated with the various songs and chants used
in military settings. Providing this can help readers better understand the concept of your book and provide them with new information on the subject that they find interesting.
The current top selling iPhone App for a book is Dora’s Ballet Adventures. Available for $2.99, users can partake in an interactive storytelling adventure and help Nickelodeon’s Dora prepare for her ballet recital. The app gets 5 star rating reviews from parents and has definitely brought publicity to it. As mentioned before, children’s books can be easily transformed into iPhone apps and are a great way for parents to keep children entertained on errands or in the car.
Another thing to consider when deciding whether or not to create an iPhone app is that an app can be a great way to bring in a little extra revenue. You can charge a small fee for your app or offer it for free. By charging a small fee, you bring a little more money with each purchase/download. If you decide to offer your app for free, more people will download it and will be aware of your story. Regardless of which path you choose, you can expect to see an increase in sales, which is always a good thing.
iPhone apps are a great way to bring your story to life for readers as well as draw in new readers. There are many prestigious and affordable companies that can be of service if you are looking to create an app. Contact me for details if you are interested.
About the Author
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book. He's handled publicity for books by CEOs, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC Nightly News, The New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Family Circle, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ bookmarketing approach at www.book-marketing-expert.com or contact Lorenz at email@example.com or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz
on Twitter @aBookPublicist. For iPhone app marketing check out: www.iphoneapppublicity.com