We hope you're enjoying your summer! Here is our latest Power Publicity Tips newsletter. In this issue:
- Article: How to Write an Effective Bylined Article
- Article: 6 Tips to Promote a Children’s Book
- Author Resources
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How to Write an Effective By-Lined Article
by Dan Smith
If your goal is to sell books or attract new business, then bylined articles are a great way to reach your target audiences with a controlled message.
First, what is a bylined article? It is an article, written by you that is placed in a magazine or Internet outlet. Full credit is given to you as the author, along with a nice blurb about you, your book and your website. Placement of your article gives you credibility, continues to establish you as a leader and expert in your field, and differentiates you from your competitors.
Once you have written the article, you (or your publicist) pitches it to targeted media for placement. Often your photo or even book cover may accompany the article.
Here are some tips for writing a bylined article to increase the chance for placement and attracting readers:
1. Picking a topic. The article cannot be about how great you are or how wonderful your book is. Although that might be the case, you need to select a topic related to your book and expertise that will inform, educate, or inspire readers. The goal is to give readers insight to your thoughts, ideas, advice and to entice them to learn more about you, your company (if applicable), and to buy your book.
Here are examples:
● Business relationship author wrote an article on tips to remember people’s names, target was general business audiences,
● Author with a specialized target audience wrote an article on the Tax Benefits of Oil Investments
● Fiction author with a plot of a serial killer wrote an article on the psychology of serial killers
4. Choosing the right article headline. Again, look through your favorite magazine or online sites for article headlines that grab your attention. Use active, not passive words. Highlight benefits, not features. Examples of weak and strong headlines:
Fabulous Diet Tip that Makes a Difference!
or better ....
5 Ways to Reduce Body Fat in 30 Days
Use Back Up Storage Drive With 500GB of Memory
or better ...
Never Lose Another Computer File Again
Investing Your Money For the Future
or better ...
10 Tips to Save for Your Toddler’s College
5. Know the length of an article. A good rule of thumb for the length of an article is between 700 and 1200 words. Again, if you have a specific outlet in mind, check specific submission guidelines for the outlet.
Once published, showcase your articles as part of your resume, in your brochures and sales presentations, on your website, etc. It gives you credibility. Plus, online articles never go away and will turn up when people search for you online. Although bylined articles take time, the benefits of showcasing your book and expertise are priceless.
6 Tips to Promote a Children’s Book
We receive many calls from children’s authors looking for ways to get the word out about their book. Here are some tips authors can employ to get started.
1. Start locally. To promote the book on your own, the best plan is to start locally. Contact your local bookstores, both chain and independent ones. See if they have a Local Author section and ask to be included. Offer autographed copies of your book as they are more valuable to the buyer. Stores often put stickers on the front to make this known.
2. Local events. If there is a theme related to your book, offer to host an event (which is different than a passive signing). For example, if your book has a character of a bee, host an educational presentation on the importance of bees followed by honey tasting or other hands on children’s activity. Be creative. An interactive event like this would draw people and perhaps media to the event. Of course, you would be selling books too!
3. Local libraries. Donate copies of your book to your local libraries. Offer to do a reading at your library. Most libraries have set activities for children. Hosting an interactive event will work here as well. If the library will not let you sell books on site (most will not), be sure to hand out bookmarks or business cards directing people where they can buy your book.
4. Local schools and pre-schools. Schools are always looking for guest speakers and authors. In most cases, you can arrange to donate books to the school while parents receive order forms for autographed books—which are great for them to give as gifts! A fee may even be paid to you. Authors sell thousands of books this way. Be prepared with an interesting presentation about a theme in your book or your background. Remember you are an expert on you and your book. A presentation will make for a better connection with the children and teachers.
5. Don’t forget the grandparents. According to the Grandparent Economy study by Peter Francese (http://www.grandparents.com/binary-data/The-Grandparent-Economy-April-2009.pdf ) “In 2009…grandparents will spend $2 trillion. Of this, approximately $52 billion will go toward goods and services for their grandchildren.”
Offer to talk to local senior groups and senior centers, exhibit your book at local festivals, craft fairs, religious events and other places drawing families and grandparents.
6. Don’t forget your camera and ask for testimonials. Everywhere you go, bring your camera, document children reading your book, you speaking, etc. and don’t be shy about asking for testimonials. Testimonials from teachers and librarians are especially valuable, as they lend credibility to your book. Make sure to include photos, testimonials, appearance and events on your website.
People buy books from authors they've met. The more you can speak about your book, the better! Once you have the local area covered and nicely documented on your website, it will give you the base (and experience) to expand your efforts which may include reaching out to writers and editors at educational, parenting, grandparenting or children’s outlets, books bloggers, and other media outlets, who can recommend or feature you and your book in some way.
Let them know Smith Publicity sent you and they should take good care of you!IndieReader
IndieReader is a sales and platform specifically for self-published (aka Indie) books. IndieReader will be promoted to consumers looking for the best indie reads; all books featured on IndieReader will be reviewed prior to acceptance. IndieReader is not exclusive; authors can sell their work elsewhere. IndieReader will email orders to authors which they, in turn, ship to the buyers (who pay the shipping costs). IndieReader sends authors 75% of every retail sale.
Empty Garage Books
Empty Garage Books builds powerful, easy-to-use websites that make marketing your book fun, rewarding and effective. With innovative features like our Website Toolbox, Chapter Preview, Newsletter Tracker and Event Promoter, their websites put you in control of marketing your book online.
Brian helps you sell your book to specialty sales and other non-bookstore outlets, commission only.
About Smith Publicity, Inc.
Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the nation's leading promotional firms. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 600 individuals and companies–from authors and entrepreneurs to publicly-held companies and business representing a wide range of industries.
The Smith Publicity reach is international; we’ve effectively worked with clients throughout the United States and Canada, and countries from the U.K. and Australia to Israel and Malta. We have offices in New Jersey, New York City, Los Angeles and London.
While our expansion from boutique publicity agency to a multi-faceted public relations and creative communications firm has greatly expanded the breadth of our services, the fundamental driving force behind everything we do is superior presentation, promotion, and positioning of our clients. Our refrain, “make good things happen for clients,” has propelled Smith Publicity from just another agency to a premier promotional firm offering outstanding, cost-effective service with unparalleled customer attention.
If you are interested in receiving a proposal for your project, please contact Sandy Diaz, Sandy@smithpublicity.com, www.smithpublicity.com or 856-489-8654 x301.
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