By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
This week on the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show, Beth Kallman Werner, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Kirkus Media, will talk with radio personality and host Jennifer S. Wilkov about what a book review is, why it’s a great resource to have in an author’s marketing kit and when to submit for one. She’ll also reveal how self-published authors can get a review as well as how they and traditionally published authors can use a review to revive a title’s sales and interest. Ms. Werner will also discuss how to turn a potentially negative review into a positive asset for a book and its author as well as why the source of the review makes a big difference.
Bestselling author Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, who is internationally acclaimed, named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists, joins radio personality and host Jennifer S. Wilkov to share her updated edition of Make Up Don’t Break Up in a candid interview that reveals Dr. Bonnie’s own experience with growing up with adultery in her childhood home and how that has provided so many insights for her to help couples everywhere to survive adultery.
Dr. Bonnie, a 5-time Oprah! guest, will talk about why social media could be killing the romance in your relationship, why women should make the first move and why couples should break up to test their relationship’s staying power. She will also discuss why she updated this book and how she is using it as her hook.
By Guest Blogger, Beth Kallman Werner,
Director of Sales and Marketing, Kirkus Media
Click Here to listen to Beth’s interview any time after 9:00 am EST Tuesday June 29th, 2010 on the WomensRadio Network.
Why get a book review?
Book reviews can help to:
• boost exposure and credibility for an up-and-coming author
• promote a new title from an established author
• revive a previously published title
• attract attention from agents
• generate attention from TV/film media execs
• pinpoint areas the author may want to revisit and work on
• support marketing efforts in advertising, press kits, online promotions, interviews, trailers
Reviews are a key element in any successful author marketing strategy.
What are the three best ways to use a book review?
1) Keep in mind: only blurbs are needed to give a favorable impression. Use strong points and the best quotes from as many credible sources as possible. Target specific audience layers including sellers, readers, book clubs, special interest associations and others. Book reviews can mean endorsements that get people to buy your book.
2) Print book review quotes on jacket covers. Quote reviews in book interviews and during the opening and closing of book trailers.
3) Add book reviews to your press kit, on your website and to the intro package that you send to agents, entertainment media and/or publishers. Quote book reviews on your Twitter and Facebook pages.
Use the best portions of your book reviews to shine favorable light on your book wherever and whenever possible.
When is it recommended to have a book reviewed?
The time to start thinking about marketing your book is when you start writing the book (if not before). Unless your book is a deeply personal exercise with no plan or dream of commercial success, the path toward that success needs to take the writing journey with you.
The ideal time to have a book reviewed is when the book is completely finished, edited and proofed, but not yet published. That way when review comments are considered, the author still has the option to agree and act on them, before it’s too late. Edits after final editing can be a powerful way to use book reviews.
If the book has already been published, even if it was published years ago, a review can help to revive it and bring new attention to older titles.
Once you start putting together a marketing plan for your book, be sure to remember that reviews are an essential piece of any integrated book selling program.
How can an author submit for review?
Kirkus Discoveries, a division of Kirkus Media, LLC, was launched in 2004 to serve indie and past-published authors who wouldn’t otherwise get reviewed in Kirkus Reviews. A good review by either Kirkus brand (when achieved) can be a key link between remaining unknown and being discovered for success.
Cheers and best wishes to everyone for a Healthy and Happy Summer.
Beth Kallman Werner
Director of Sales & Marketing, Kirkus Media
570-686-1214 or email@example.com
By Guest Blogger, Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil
In light of the Sex and the City movie that recently came out May 27th, I wanted to take a look at an idea that goes a bit deeper than “just” sex: how to get beyond a first date and, eventually, how to find the person you’re SURE you want to marry.
I receive questions on a regular basis from people wondering why he (or she) was “just not that into” them. If we’ve been in the dating pool, we’re familiar with the scenario of a typical good first date: you have a good time, you have a lot in common, you handle your emotion or attraction in a mature way (i.e., you don’t hop into bed with each other!), you think that this could be the relationship that really goes somewhere! But then you spend the next few days waiting for a phone call, wondering if you should call first, checking your text messages every hour. Then if you don’t hear anything, you start analyzing your behavior, analyzing THEIR behavior, wondering what you did wrong … and so forth. Do this a few times and it’s enough to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm for the dating world.
So – all you Carries and Mirandas et al out there, and anyone else who’s wondering what it’s going to take to find a successful relationship, listen up. I discuss a number of non-traditional ideas for making a relationship work in my book, Make Up Don’t Break Up. So here are a few tips on how to get past the first date – and they’re not your run-of-the-mill insights.
First up, if he or she doesn’t call you right away – chances are they ARE that into you, they just don’t want to come across as needy or clingy. I suggest women should make the first move in connecting for a first date and getting past that possible lull of uncertainty. If you like him, tell him! (But, PS, texting and emailing during the day can actually deflate the spark of in-person romance!)
Secondly, talk about money on a first date. That’s right, I said bring up the elephant in the room. It will help alleviate the awkward “who’s paying” moment, but it will also help start you out on the same page. I don’t mean that you have to talk about your exact salary or how much you put into savings each month. Starting off by discussing your family patterns as related to money – what I call your Financial Imago – can be a good place to begin.
Third, utilize what I call Smart Heart Skills. I discuss this further in Make Up Don’t Break Up and usually I encourage couples who have been together for a while use it as a way of getting through rough patches and creating a place where it’s safe to speak their mind. But it can work for early dating relationships as well.
Of course, you might know right off the bat if a certain person is worth a second date or not, but if you need more time to figure out what type of commitment you could make to someone, you’ll want to get beyond that first date!
By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about multiple methods of marketing.
Book reviews are one of many ways that you can market your book.
Whether you want your books to grow into major motion pictures like books by James Patterson, John Grisham or Nicholas Sparks, or if you’d prefer to market your books on the small screen or from a speaker’s platform, the world is your oyster. You can truly market a book in any way you choose.
Most authors don’t realize that marketing a book requires a foundational strategy and plan in order to succeed, whether you want to market it in a big way or not. Getting clear about what the top outlets are for your project will support you with making decisions amidst the plethora of opportunities that confront the eligible author.
The road to being a bestseller begins with a strong strategic plan and clarity about what is congruent with your marketing strategy – and what’s not.
This clarity also helps you to make more informed choices about where you will spend your resources, namely your time, energy and money.
When you can present your plan and marketing platform to a publisher, literary agent or publicist, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the other authors who submit their projects without this essential information. No publishing industry professional wants to take on a project these days that is not accompanied by a solid strategic plan to market it.
The investment of their time, energy and effort must also be considered carefully. They cannot afford to invest in your project if it doesn’t have a clear substantial marketing plan associated with it.
When you have a well-thought out approach and can easily explain it to someone else, you’ll find the road to being a bestseller is much smoother and a joyful one indeed.
Not sure where to begin with your marketing platform? Join me at the end of July for the Market It Now Training to create your marketing plan and execute your platform. This training is limited to 24 authors so each participant receives quality attention during each session.
By Jennifer S. Wilkov, host of the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show on WomensRadio
This week on the “Your Book Is Your Hook!” Show, find out more about the National Writers Association, a 73 year-old writer’s service organization. Sandy Whelchel, the Executive Director of the association, will talk about some universal problems that keep writers from getting published and why some never make it. She’ll also provide information about the contests offered to writers throughout the year.
You’ll also enjoy a candid discussion with author Bertha M. Davis who was rejected nearly 100 times for her book, Growing Up In Mississippi. Ms. Davis will talk about what was happening in her head as she continued to get rejection after rejection from agents, publishers and editors. Her positive approach will inspire you to stick with your project and get it published. She did get published and went on to become a bestseller for her publisher, win awards and even got invited as a guest on C-SPAN’s Book TV.
Ms. Davis will also comment on how important it is to share your personal story with others through a memoir and what has happened for her locally in her community as well as nationwide. Her book and story take place during the time of the Civil Rights Movement and she is a living legacy who touches the lives of everyone who reads her book.
By Guest Blogger Sandy Whelchel, Executive Director of The National Writers Association
Are you wondering why that piece you wrote just came back from another publisher? Maybe you’re making the same mistakes over and over. Those mistakes can act as a barrier to success. See if perhaps you’re making some of these fatal errors:
1. Is your manuscript double-spaced on one side of clean paper? Is the paper wrinkle and smudge free? No editor wants to feel like they are receiving a shopworn submission.
2. Is your manuscript free of typos, grammatical errors, and misspellings?
3. Is the submission well edited?
4. Did you research the publication to make certain it publishes the type of work you are sending? Surprise! Popular Mechanics doesn’t take recipes.
5. Is your query letter, if you’ve included one, addressed to the correct person? Editors move around; you need make sure you are addressing your query to the right editor.
6. Is your query letter one page or less?
7. Did you make sure the publication hasn’t recently printed a piece similar to yours? Check the library and research at least six back issues.
8. Does your piece have an outstanding hook or lead? Editors receive hundreds of submissions per week. You need to hook them and keep them reading. They are the toughest readers you will encounter.
9. Is the piece presented in a logical sequence? Or if it is a fiction piece, does it have a beginning, middle, and an end?
10. Did you include your contact information so the publisher can contact you if they have questions?
All writers make mistakes, but presenting your work to the publisher as error free as possible means it will have a greater chance for publication.
By Guest Blogger Bertha M. Davis, Author and full-time Writer
Growing Up In Mississippi is a vivid and descriptive biography that grips at the very core of every human emotion as memories of growing up in somewhat painfully poor social conditions in Mississippi do not deter the family, but bond them together with the unified strength and triumph most prevalent in top movies like Soul Food, or even to overcome travesties as in The Color Purple. You will be intrigued by the strong development of characters like the wayward Uncle Wigley, a cursed character among many black families who resorts to inflicting abuse on family members. The relationship between Jay and Tish is a classic example of how women in the past wound up with larger unplanned families because love conquered all back then and even poverty.
The reader feels as if they are in the story and watching without speaking. It is evidenced that life was slower paced, but more fulfilling even with the absence of television. This is a modern day tale with a happy ending and heralds the rise of our families of the past through political and social upheavals as prevalent as The Civil Rights Movement.
This book is also about an African-American girl growing up with a single struggling mom of four who had to anchor the storms in her life to survive and take care of four children alone. Searching for food when there was none, working in the Mississippi hot sun from sun-up to sun-down, and haunted by racism are just a few obstacles one had to overcome. This book is certainly a book of history and you can listen to a sample of Growing Up In Mississippi Audio Book at: www.berthabooks.com on Bertha’s home page.
Additional comments from Bertha M. Davis about writing this book:
YBIYH: What was like to write the book and reveal your personal experiences with others in your life?
B: It was like revealing history to our future youth. In the beginning, my idea of writing “Growing up in Mississippi” (my personal experiences) was for my children and grandchildren so they could read about the struggles my life encountered as a child. I didn’t want them to have any excuse for fulfilling any dream life offered them. I certainly didn’t want them to get hung up on the crippling words, “I can’t.” Since my life had so many disadvantages, I felt compelled to tell them about my struggles and see my life as an example of how you can succeed in spite of obstacles. After only a portion of my book was read by family members, friends and book reviewers, I was encouraged to take it a step further so all readers could read my story.
YBIYH: Were you nervous about writing about other people whose actions and behavior would be exposed in your book?
B: No not really! People’s actions and behavior were already exposed in the towns and over the television during the Civil Rights Movements and before desegregation. If it wasn’t by personal contact, research was conducted before finalizing my book.
YBIYH: Also, what is it like for you now when you speak to others about your story? How does it feel for you? What do you see in them … in their faces? Do they say anything to you?
B: Sharing my life’s story with others is a challenge; history is reborn. I don’t live in the past. I live in the present but I never want to forget the days of defeat that God has allowed me to conquer. I feel honored to tell my life story, especially to the school children……I see in them a desire to learn more about the past….Their faces light up in amazement…..The students always say, “Thank you for coming and sharing your story with us.” The adults react differently; some of them will purchase a book because they want to know what is said, or they simply just like to read a memoir. There have been those who had sadness in their faces and most of them will say, “You are a strong woman,” or “You’ve been through a lot.” Some of my readers will send me a note to say how much they enjoyed reading the book.
YBIYH: What has been the most meaningful part of your experience with sharing a story that’s so personal and yet is benefiting so many?
B: One of the most meaningful parts of my experience while sharing my personal story and benefiting so many was when I went to Key Learning Junior High School here in Indianapolis to speak with fifth and sixth graders. It blew my mind. After my presentation, the students thanked me for coming, but a young frustrated girl came up to me and said, “I have been so ungrateful to my mom for the things she does for me and I sometimes talk back to her. But after hearing about your life and struggles, it gave me more of a sense of appreciation,” she said. About a week later, the young girl’s mom brought her by my house to buy her a book. It was so overwhelming just to get one child’s attention. She even emailed me several times to say hi and let me know that she really enjoyed reading Growing up in Mississippi.
Another meaningful experience was when Growing up in Mississippi was taught to fifteen students at Southwest Education Center in Phoenix, Arizona in 2006 during Black History Month. (15 books were ordered) The children who attend this private day school range between the ages of thirteen and eighteen and they absolutely enjoyed the book. The majority of the students came from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and had difficulty with reading but Growing up in Mississippi was comfortable enough for them to read without causing them any major frustration. “Growing Up In Mississippi has truly given some of my students the will and motivation to try to achieve a more prosperous destiny.” These words came from the Lead Teacher/High School Facilitator there.
As authors and writers, we’re always learning about resources and industry tools that we can use to improve our book project performance and the enjoyment of our writing and marketing experiences. Today let’s talk about getting rejected.
As authors, we open our hearts and pens to share stories. Some we dream up and craft into clever and courageous novels. In others, we talk of real life experiences in either a memoir or a how-to book so we can share the knowledge we’ve gained with others.
Sometimes, we choose to share a piece of our nostalgia with children everywhere by taking a song, poem or story that delights our own children and giving this gift to the world by sharing it through a beautifully illustrated book.
On occasion, we’ll include something out of the ordinary with a book like an audio recording, tickets to an event, or opportunities to subscribe to more of an author’s knowledge or upcoming projects.
Not every person who wants to be an author makes it. Many get rejected. Some get rejected over and over and over again.
As a result, some quit and lose their tenacity to stay in the game and keep pitching their project.
Others continue to take criticism and guidance, re-craft their project and then trot it out again to see if they got it right the next time.
And there are those won’t listen to the advice sometimes offered in a rejection and continue to take the same package to another person, hoping they’ll see the merit in their project and want to take it on.
It is a privilege to be a published author. Although there are hundreds of thousands of books published every year, there are hundreds of thousands more that have been denied and authors that have been disappointed and perhaps discouraged.
As an author, getting rejected may be a part of your publishing path. It’s not uncommon. Rejection is often a part of the process for many of us. Heck, even Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the co-authors and co-creators of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® books and who were acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records for selling millions and millions of books, started by getting over 130 rejections before connecting with the publisher that would pick them and their book up.
The guest author on today’s show, Bertha M. Davis, got rejected nearly 100 times before taking on a publisher that wasn’t necessarily so well-known, but nonetheless would publish her. Who knew that Bertha’s book would go on to become a bestseller for her publisher? So many before Infinity, a print-on-demand publisher, had said no. Who could predict that Bertha and her book would be featured years later on C-SPAN’s Book TV? Not the agents, publishers or editors who told her “this is not for me” and “I can’t take this on.”
Ask yourself: Do you really want to work with someone who wants to reject you and who doesn’t feel good about your project? Not really. It’s not good to have to work with anyone who isn’t as crazy and gung ho about your project as you are. Although the truth is no one will ever be as dedicated to it as you are, you want someone who is passionate about your project and wants to see it published.
Take rejections for what they are:
1) An indication that perhaps something in your project is not ready to be published. If advice is offered, consider it because it is what is keeping that publisher or agent from taking it on. Weigh it properly and don’t let your ego get bruised by it. Heed the advice you feel is helpful.
2) A sign that you may not have the right format or you may need assistance with crafting your pitch. If you’re not sure why you got rejected and didn’t receive an explanation, consider having your package reviewed by an experienced consultant or editor.
3) Encouragement to test your fortitude, commitment and courage to stay the course with your project.
Authors are a wonderful mix of emotional strength, creative force and incredible transparency. They give us permission to see inside their hearts, minds and imaginations. Few are rewarded for revealing themselves.
Look at the rejection you received today as a stepping stone that will lead you to the rewards you seek tomorrow.