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Power Book Publicity Tips for April 2011

Highlights include:

  • Article “Extend your Book’s Market Outside the US and Into the UK” by Jeremy Thompson
  • Tips for Authors “Back Cover Copy and Book Publicity: The Neglected Detail” by Sandy Diaz

Upcoming Events:

--This weekend, Corinne Liccketto will be participating in the seminar “How to Write, Publish, & Market Your Book” presented by Open Door Publications on April 16, 2011 at the Princeton Marriott at Forrestal in Princeton, NJ.

The seminar will include a keynote address by Karen Hodges Miller, Publisher, Open Door Publications, focusing on book publishing basics, essentials every author should know.

Break-Out Sessions on Book Marketing and Publicity by:

--Noelle Stary, 20 Lemons Marketing: Book Marketing Techniques
--Eileen N. Sinett, Speaking that Connects, Building a Seminar that Sells Your Book
--Corinne Liccketto, Smith Publicity, PR and Marketing: What’s the Difference?
--Robert Murray, Style Matters, Social Marketing for Authors.

The registration fee has been reduced to $99! To register, please visit: http://www.opendoorpublications.com/.

--Dan Smith, Corinne Liccketto, and Marissa Eigenbrood will be exhibiting at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books April 30 – May 1, 2011 (Booth #227) at the University of Southern California. If you’re attending and are interested in scheduling a meeting, please let us know. For more information regarding the book fair, please visit: http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/.

--Smith Publicity is exhibiting at Book Expo America, Monday May 22 – 26, 2011 at the Javis Center in New York City. If you’re attending and are interested in scheduling a meeting, please let us know. Or just feel free to visit us at our booth #3161. For more information regarding BEA, please visit: www.bookexpoamerica.com.

Announcement:

--Interested in having your book displayed at BookExpo America? Don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your book to these audiences. With a simple registration form, your book and important information about you will be on display at the world renowned COMBINED BOOK EXHIBIT! Deadline is fast approaching.

2011 BookExpo America **New Title Showcase**

New York, NY-May 23-May 26, 2011
BookExpo America, the largest domestic gathering of the publishing industry, will be debuting a new format: the show will be one day shorter, it will take place earlier in the month, and be held during the week versus the weekend. The New Title Showcase will remain the prime venue for marketing your titles to a national audience of about 35,000 including media, publishers, agents, distributors, booksellers, librarians and more. The New Title Showcase catalog and physical exhibit are organized alphabetically by publisher/company.

Price per title for BookExpo America: $200, call for multiple book discount.

Registration & Display Copy Deadline for BookExpo America: Monday, April 18, 2011

For a full list of shows, please visit: http://www.smithpublicity.com/book-event-exposure/

To place an order for any event, to ask any questions, send Kathy Weick an e-mail to cbe@smithpublicity.com or call Kathy at 856-489-8653 x306 indicating:

  • the shows at which you’d like your book(s) displayed,
  • the number of titles for each show, and
  • if you have more than ten titles, ask about volume discounts.

Smith Publicity will e-mail you an invoice which can be paid securely online with a credit card, or by check. You will then receive an e-mail with a link to your CBE order page, which has all necessary instructions for submitting information about your book(s).

Happy reading!

Sincerely,

Corinne Liccketto
SMITH PUBLICITY, INC.
o: 856.489.8654 ext 309
f: 856.504.0136
www.smithpublicity.com

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Questions? Contact a representative of the Smith Publicity sales team:

Sandy Diaz, sandy@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x301
Dan Smith, dan@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x101
Marissa Eigenbrood, marissa@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x314
Dina Barsky, dina@smithpublicity.com, 856.489.8654 x319

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Extend your Book’s Market Outside the US and Into the UK
by, Jeremy Thompson, Managing Director, Troubador Publishing Ltd

Many self-publishing authors see their market as being solely within the US, but ignoring the wider market can severely limit your book’s sales. Not only that, but some books are better suited for publication outside the US market, and can benefit from the market penetration that a locally-based publisher can offer. And the good news is that it needn’t cost self-publishers a fortune to extend their market penetration to the UK.

The UK has a very active and vibrant publishing scene, and often books that appeal to a US readership will do well there.  Making your book available in the UK can be as simple as getting your print on demand supplier to list it as being available for that market, but a simple listing will produce few any sales as few people will be aware that the book is available. The marketing of a book is the key to sales, and for that you need to know your market in the first place. Getting to grips with an overseas market can seem like a daunting task at first, but marketing companies like Smith Publicity and self-publishing companies like Matador can offer self-publishers that local market knowledge.

Rather than just listing a POD book for sale in the UK, many overseas authors opt to republish completely for the UK market, chiefly to take advantage of the additional sales opportunities that publishing a market-specific edition can bring. This can range from an entirely new round of marketing effort with retailers and wholesalers, to accessing new media and reviewers. In commercial publishing, books are often rebranded for differing markets, and there’s no reason why now this can’t be done with a self-published book.

Rebranding, which usually involves a new cover design and targeted marketing, positions a book correctly for the target market, and often there are striking differences in what each market will expect. Cover design in particular varies between market-specific editions. Look at the latest Alex Cross thriller from James Patterson, for example. Cross Fire was released in the UK and the US at the same time, but with different covers for each market. It’s the same book inside, but the publisher felt that each market had differing expectations from the cover, so different designs appear for each market. This sort of tailored publishing maximises the market opportunities that exist in different countries very successfully.

Other books, however, are more suited to an overseas market from the start. For example, Memphis-based author Emil Henry is publishing his biography of Victorian adventurer Edward Whymper in the UK because he sees the target market as primarily being in Europe. A former Chairman of the FCC under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, Emil wanted not only to self-publish, but to do so while ensuring maximum market penetration into retailers. Most self-publishing companies offer only print on demand distribution, but Matador offer distribution to bookshops as well through their team of sales reps. He chose to self-publish with Matador to take advantage of this unique market penetration, and the extensive trade marketing and PR that the company offers. While Matador and many other UK-based self-publishing companies do offer POD distribution, it’s the combination of marketing expertise and real distribution that has proven to be attractive. A US edition is planned for release simultaneously to capitalise on the US market, but this is seen as a secondary market in this case.

Geographical distance is now no obstacle to successfully publishing or distributing a book overseas, though some local knowledge is always advisable. Smith Publicity have a dedicated UK office and handle publicity for authors whose books have an appeal in that market; they target their marketing appropriately, and know that what may be great for the US media is not necessarily so for the UK. Similarly, as an author looking to self-publish in the UK, you need to be sure that placing your book with a local supplier won’t turn into a nightmare! The internet is great for finding out about self-publishing companies, and there are numerous bloggers and information sites that offer independent advice and assessment. One of the best is by blogger Mick Rooney, who has assessed UK self-publishing companies based on author feedback (http://mickrooney.blogspot.com/p/pod-index.html). He also published a book To Self-Publish or Not To Self-Publish (2010, Troubador, 9781848764224), which assesses the offerings of UK and Irish self-publishing companies.

The UK books market is still buoyant in a time of recession, so any overseas author looking to extend their book’s market penetration beyond the US would do well to consider the UK.

Jeremy Thompson is Managing Director of Troubador Publishing Ltd, a UK publishing company established in 1999. Troubador run the widely recommended self-publishing imprint Matador. Full details of their titles and services for authors can be found at www.troubador.co.uk; they are currently exhibiting at the London Book Fair (11-14 April) stand K300.

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Back Cover Copy and Book Publicity: The Neglected Detail
by Sandy Diaz, President, Smith Publicity, Inc.

Nothing detracts more from a book’s appeal than a bad back cover.

Whether your reader is a potential buyer, media professional or someone who wants to hire you for your expertise, your book’s back cover has to communicate to your target audience: buy me!

Authors often spend months or even years writing their book, yet give little time to what is on the back cover. Summarizing your book into 200 to 300 words can be a daunting task. Here are some tips for improving this vital area of your book.

30 Second Elevator Pitch: If you only have 30 seconds to tell potential readers about you and your book, what would it include? Your goal is to give readers enough information to intrigue them into buying it. What may help is to ask someone who has read your book to give you his or her 30 second pitch about your book.

Novel: Detailing every character and plot twist is not necessary. Read the back cover copy by your favorite authors in your genre to see examples of how to entice readers without giving away the entire plot. Your goal is to make an emotional connection with the reader so they will want to be transported into your world.

Non-fiction: Tell the readers what they will learn, what problems your book will solve, and why your book is different. The goal of a non-fiction book may be to inform, inspire, educate or entertain. Make sure the reader understands what is inside your book—and why you are qualified to write it. Bullet points work well with non-fiction books.

Author Bio: Less is more. Only include relevant information. For non-fiction, make your credentials clear by listing education, work experience, professional memberships, past books and awards. For fiction writers, consider including where or how you grew up, professional experience, writing awards or training, acclaims, past books or information explaining how you came to write your book.

Website: Include your website so people (especially the media!) can find out more about you and contact you!

Author Photo: If you choose to include one, use a professional, uncluttered, small sized, current headshot. Keep your audience in mind. We worked with a book geared for children/families in which the author’s pose literally looked like an evil character from a B horror movie.

Reviews: Only use reviews from known sources or credentialed people. Professional colleagues in your field are especially helpful for non-fiction books. It can actually hurt you if you include, “Thrilling page turner!” ‘by Amazon reviewer.’ It’s better to leave this out.

Proofread: Last but not least, although it seems obvious, proofread your text. In the rush to complete what is often the final stage of a book, the back cover copy can be neglected. We’ve seen outstanding books marred by typos—and yes, the media notices. Back cover copy needs to be proofread by professional eyes.

If you are working with a publicist early enough in the process, run the copy by him or her for feedback on content. Back cover copy is crucial for transforming the browser into a buyer. Don’t skimp on this essential piece to your project.

About Smith Publicity Beginning in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run from a bedroom office to one of the leading promotional firms in the industry. Fueled by a passion for making good things happen for clients, we’ve worked with over 1,000 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, Canada, the U.K., and from 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 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’re interested in discussing your project, please contact Corinne Liccketto, corinne@smithpublicity.com, www.smithpublicity.com or 856-489-8654 x309.

Contact information:

Corinne@smithpublicity.com
Smith Publicity, Inc.
856.489.8654 ext 309
www.smithpublicity.com
Mailing Address: 1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003

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