The Book Marketing Expert Newsletter August 20, 2009

by | Sep 16, 2009 | Book Marketing Basics

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A newsletter all about SUCCESSFUL publishing and POWERFUL promotion.

August 20, 2009 Issue #202


in this issue

— Note From The Editor

— Red Hot Internet News Flash

— Featured Article – 10 Mistakes Authors Make That Can Cost Them a Fortune (and How to Avoid Them)

— Reporter’s Source

— AME-University: Book Marketing, Publishing, and Internet Marketing classes

— How Does Google Rank Your Site?

— Book Bits and Bites

— Becoming a Syndication Sensation

— The Times They Are a Changing

— Got Search Engine?

— ‘Starting Over’ Section Seeks Writer Submissions

— Tune in to The Publishing Insiders

— Red Hot on LibraryThing!

— Promote Your Book Now

— Penny to Speak at Self-Publishing Expo

— Reach Publishing Success With Our Products

— Twitter Tip: Breaking Tweets

— Twitter Tip: ReTweet Radar

— Reader Tip!


— ————————————————————

Penny C. Sansevieri, Editor


You are receiving this newsletter compliments of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. To opt out, please scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter.

Note From The Editor


Welcome to another issue of the Book Marketing Expert Newsletter!

Dear Author,

Greetings from fabulous New York City, where among other things, I picked up my badge to teach self-publishing classes at New York University next spring. I am thrilled to be a part of NYU and look forward to this exciting opportunity!

As usual, we’ve packed this week’s newsletter with information that we hope you will find useful and timely. We look at the mistakes authors often make – the expensive kind that should be avoided – such as designing your own website (a big no-no), failing to grasp the importance of your book’s cover and not recognizing the need to develop a long-haul book promotion strategy.

We also reveal how Google ranks websites and examine whether pay-for-play coverage is worth your money (short answer: it could be, so be sure to see what our expert has to say).

Wishing you continued publishing success,

Penny, Paula, Susan, Alex, Nancy and everyone at Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

Follow me on Twitter:

PS – If you’re a reviewer reading this, and you’d like to review Red Hot Internet Publicity, send me an email and a link to your blog and we’ll get you a copy!

P.P.S. Check out our blog!

We offer great tips and insights, such as: ‘7 Things to do Before, During and Right After a Networking Event:’

Red Hot Internet News Flash


New York University Publishing Center has invited Penny to teach their brand new Self-Publishing course in April. We would like you to celebrate with us.

Penny has joined their faculty as an adjunct instructor.

Penny will send you the link when NYU posts the syllabus on their website and she hopes you will join her 6-week class so you can work together one-on-one.

Topics include:

* Self-publishing choices

* Building your platform

* Starting your own publishing company

* Creating a marketing plan that sells your book

* Understanding book distribution

* And much more!

While we have finalized the course, we want to expand our array of self-publishing and book marketing ideas and examples.

That’s exactly why we are inviting you to benefit from our coaching program right now. And achieve even greater success with your book.

In exchange, you can save 15% on our Self-Publishing and Book Marketing Coaching Packages.

The limited time investment is now $191 per hour. That’s a 15% savings – $34 or more extra in your pocket. The regular coaching fee is $225 per hour.

This savings is yours when you sign up within the next 7 days.

To get started, email Penny at Be sure to write: NYU Coaching Bonus in the subject line.

Featured Article – 10 Mistakes Authors Make That Can Cost Them a Fortune (and How to Avoid Them)


When it comes to books, promotion, and book production I know that it can sometimes feel like a minefield of choices. And while I can’t address each of these in minutia, there are a number of areas that are keenly tied to a book’s success (or lack thereof). Here are ten for you to consider:

1) Not understanding the importance of a book cover

I always find it interesting that an author will sometimes spend years writing their book and then leave the cover design to someone who either isn’t a designer, or doesn’t have a working knowledge of book design or the publishing industry. Or, worse, they create a design without having done the proper market research. Consider these facts for a minute: shoppers in a bookstore spend an average of 8 seconds looking at the front cover of a book and 15 seconds looking at the back before deciding whether to buy it. Further, a survey of booksellers showed that 75% of them found the book cover to be the most important element of the book. Also, sales teams at book distribution often only take the book cover with them when they shop titles to stores. And finally, please don’t attempt to design your own book cover. Much like cutting your own hair, this is never a good idea.

2) Trusting someone who has limited or no track record

When you hire a team, make sure you ask the service provider for their track record. Often I see an author who successfully marketed their single title now feel they have all the marketing knowledge they need to help you market yours. Unless you are in similar markets, I would avoid this at all costs. You want people who have worked in the industry and know the needs of the market beyond just one title. You also want someone who has some history. Ask for referrals, and success stories. I give references all the time to potential new clients, but when I am the one interviewing a new service provider I will ask for them but never call them. I mean who’s going to give you a bad referral? I want to see that they have some names they can give me, then I’ll go online and Google them to gain some insight into their history and online reputation.

3) Listening to people who aren’t experts

When you ask someone’s opinion about your book, direction, or topic, make sure they are either working in your industry or know your consumer. If, for example, you have written a young adult (YA) book, don’t give it to your co-workers to read and get feedback (yes, I know some YA books have adult market crossover appeal, but this is different). If you’ve written a book for teens, then give it to teens to read. Same is true for self-help, diet, romance. Align yourself with your market. You want the book to be right for the reader, in the end that’s all that matters.

4) Trusting Oprah to solve all your problems

Getting on Oprah is an article in and of itself, but let me say this: the quickest way to turn off a publicist is to use the “O” word. Why? Because anyone worth their salt knows how tough a road the Oprah pitch can be. Not just that, but sometimes authors will become so myopic and obsessed about this show that they lose sight of other, maybe better opportunities. And trust me on another point: someone (friend, co-worker, family, spouse), somewhere will tell you, “You should go on Oprah,” and while you might be 100% perfect Oprah material the only people who can determine if you should be on her show are her producers. Shoot for the stars, dream big, but be realistic about your campaign, otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time and a lot of money chasing a potentially elusive target.

5) Planning for the short-term only

There’s a real fallacy that exists in publishing and it’s this: “instant bestseller.” Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the industry knows there is no such thing as “instant,” and certainly the words “overnight success” are generally not reserved for books. Book promotion should be viewed as a long runway. Meaning that you should plan for the long term. Don’t spend all your marketing dollars in the first few months of a campaign. We find this especially true for self-published titles that need a little more TLC than their traditionally published counterparts. We offer campaigns that last 90-days, but that’s not because we think 90 days is all it will take to make your book a success, it’s because we find it’s a reasonable time to get started, get a foothold and start your progress down the runway of success.

6) Not understanding timing

Timing is a funny issue. First, there’s the timing that books follow to get reviewed, lead times as it were. Then there’s production timing, and if you’re lucky enough to get a distributor there’s the time it will take for a distributor to get your book into the proper channels. A book launch should be planned carefully and then leave wiggle room for slipped dates and late deliveries (which will happen). I recommend that you sit down with someone who can help you strategize timing so you can plan appropriately for your book launch. A missed date is akin to a missed opportunity.

7) Hiring people who aren’t in the book industry

Let’s face it, even to those of us who have been in this industry for a while it still doesn’t always make sense. So hiring someone who has no book or publishing experience isn’t just a mistake, it could be a costly one. With some vendors like web designers you can get away with that. But someone who has only designed business cards can’t, for example, design a book cover. Make sure you hire the right specialist for the right project. Also, you’ve likely spent years putting together this project, make sure you make choices based on what’s right and not what’s cheapest. If you shop right you can often find vendors who are perfect for your project and who fit your budget. There’s an old saying that goes: You can find a good lawyer, and you can find a cheap lawyer, but it’s hard or near impossible to find a good, cheap lawyer. The same applies in the book world.

8) Designing your own website

You should never cut your own hair or design your own site. Period. End of story. But ok, let me elaborate. Let’s say you designed your own site and saved a few thousand dollars instead of paying a web designer. Now you’re off promoting your book and suddenly you’re getting a gazillion hits to your site. The problem is the site is not converting these visitors into sales. How much money did you lose by punting the web designer and doing it yourself? Hard to know. Scary, isn’t it?

9) Becoming a media diva

Let’s face it, you need the media more than they need you. I know. Ouch. But it’s the unfortunate truth. So here’s the thing: be grateful. Thank the interviewer, send a follow-up thank you note after the interview. Don’t expect the interviewer to read your book and don’t get upset if they get some facts wrong. Just gently, but professionally correct them in such a way that they don’t look bad or stupid. Never ask for an interview to be done over. Most media people don’t have the time. I mention this because it actually happened to a producer friend of mine who did an interview with a guy and he decided he didn’t like it and wanted a second shot. Not gonna happen. The thing is, until you get a dressing room with specially designed purple M&M’s, don’t even think about becoming a diva. The best thing you can do is create relationships. Show up on time, show up prepared, and always, always, always be grateful.

10) Hiring the best and then not trusting their advice.

Here’s the thing that’s always confused me. You hire me, then don’t listen to my advice. And it’s not just me, I hear this all the time from other industry professionals. Look, it’s not an ego thing, it really isn’t. It’s just this: if you’re paying good money to your vendors, asking them for advice and then not taking it, you might have a disconnect. Perhaps a breakdown in communication, maybe you don’t trust the person you hired. If you don’t trust them, then you should part ways and find someone you have some chemistry with. Otherwise what’s the point? Build your team with people you enjoy working with and respect. Then when they try and guide you or save you some money, take the time to listen.

Reporter’s Source


A free service, Reporter’s Source connects journalists and other members of the media with businesses and individuals for stories, shows, and more.

About the site: Reporter’s Source is a family run business of industry professionals who have combined their talents to provide a quick and easy service for reporters facing a deadline, casting agents looking for new talent, and businesses or individuals trying to expand their market impact.

The creators have 17 years in television news producing and more than 10 years running a multi-million dollar manufacturing company. They are committed to helping professionals in the news and entertainment industry gain fresh sources from companies and individuals.

How it works for sources: If you are interested in potentially becoming a source for a journalist, simply subscribe to the newsletter (which you can do on the homepage). You’ll receive a daily email containing inquiries from members of the media, and if you have information pertaining to their inquiry, you can send over a brief synopsis of information that Reporter’s Source will forward to the journalist.

How it works for journalists and other members of the media: They simply fill out the “Find A Source” form found on the Reporter’s Source homepage.

The site also includes a message board where members can post story ideas for reporters, as well as a separate section listing ongoing writer requests.

Reporter’s Source



AME-University: Book Marketing, Publishing, and Internet Marketing classes


These free teleclasses from AME-University may be just the thing to get your book marketing savvy ramped up! A new class list is coming soon so be sure to check it out!

Red Hot Web 2.0 Tricks to Sell More Books!

When: Thursday, September 10, 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Description: You’ve heard the term “Web 2.0” but can it really help you sell more books? You bet it can, and this class will show you how. Packed with tons of information and super simple things anyone can to do get themselves into the Web 2.0 marketing world, you’ll walk away with fun ideas, simple tricks, and tons of helpful advice.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

· Creating “feeder” sites that feed traffic into your web site!

· Using book videos to sell more books

· Using Wikipedia to market yourself

· Why linking to other web sites is a bad idea

· How to get more web site traffic right away!

· Got blog? The one thing you should NEVER do with your blog!

All your Internet questions answered:

· What the heck is RSS and why you should use it

· Blog, blog, blog – the best and fastest way to get a blog

· Podcasting simplified: if you think audio is no big deal think again, podcasting is inexpensive and a fast way to build an audience

Come with ALL of your Internet questions, this class will get them answered!

Getting Book Reviews! w/ Penny Sansevieri

When: Thursday, October 22, 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Description: If you’re having a hard time getting your book reviewed, you won’t want to miss this class! We’ll teach you simple but effective ways to get your book into the hands of reviewers who will actually review it (as opposed to just saying they will). We’ll look at what a book review package should look like, what you must include and what no good kit should ever be without!

How to join in:

To sign up or learn more about these classes send an email to

The AME website has a complete class listing for handy reference:

Missed a class? Here’s an easy way to catch up on past classes, just visit the AME-University All Access Pass.

How Does Google Rank Your Site?



What is a Backlink? Clickable words or images that take a user from one web page to another. The more backlinks pointing to a site, the higher the receiving site tends to rank in all search engines.

Why Backlinks? Think of it as a ‘Vote of Confidence’

The more votes a site has, the higher your search engine ranking.

Not any backlink will do, though.

Google Webmaster Guidelines provides these basics for linking:

* Link should originate from a relevant site/topic

* Link is text based

* Anchor text of link is relevant (Anchor text are the words that when clicked on are linked to the site that is receiving the backlink.)

Social bookmarking, blog commenting, social media sites and article submissions are all great ways for achieving these backlinks.

Tip offered by Susan Gilbert, AME’s Search Engine Marketing Expert and Web 2.0 company owner,, which provides Social Networking websites and services.

Book Bits and Bites


‘Flush’ With Success: Netroots Nation attendees were the targets of a unique book marketing method – copies of 50 Ways You Can Help Obama Change America were propped up in restroom stalls along with a message inviting them to peruse the book. See for yourself!

An ‘A’ for Imagination: So you have a lot of books. You probably have a lot of shelves, too, but have you ever considered livening up your decor with inverted – or invisible – bookshelves? Check it out and learn how you can do it yourself.

Why Free E-Books Work: Authors are turning to e-books for building buzz and awareness, often with positive results. Neil Gaiman and Cory Doctorow discussed their own experiences at a recent conference, with Gaiman observing that giving away one of his books for free provided a boost to all of his titles. Read the coverage.

And About that Healthcare Bill: We offer this thought – 5 reasons why visiting a bookstore can be good for your health, by historical fiction author Jessica James. That’s one proposal we can all endorse.

Becoming a Syndication Sensation


For most of us, when we think of online syndication we think of articles, right? Well, there are a lot of other places to syndicate yourself online. Here are just a few to consider: is a great place to get started with their program. You can feed your blog through there, which will help to populate your book page.

Head on over to and input your various social networking sites, blogs and any other feeds you have to create a “lifestream,” which will help get your readers linked to all of your content.

Turn on the Feedburner and turn your blog into an e-newsletter. lets you run not only a feed, but when you activate the e-mail subscriptions your readers can then subscribe to your feeds via email and get your blog posts dropped into their inbox whenever you update. The best part? Unlike newsletter services that don’t always make it through spam filters, Feedburner does, given that the subscriber approves the feed before it launches, thereby bypassing the chance of your posts getting relegated to spam.

The Times They Are a Changing


If anyone would have told me I would suggest an author pay to be on a talk, interview or entertainment program I would have said, “Have you lost your mind!” Well – never say never. Television and radio have really changed in the last few years, with business owners, event planners, doctors, lawyers and yes, authors paying for their media time. Media has become a pay-for-play option for guests. What I would suggest is you really research the different shows, audience, time periods, demographics, etc. of a particular station or market and find something that works for you, whether it’s commercials or interviews. If you only care about ratings, only contact those shows with high numbers. If your interest is to a particular group or age bracket, then it’s important to know the demographics of that particular show. If there is a host that has a real loyal fan base, then that may be your best bet. Don’t just assume you will never pay, because if that is the case, you may not see much air time.

Segment cost ranges from $200 for 4 minutes to $1500 depending on the show, market size and time of day. As yet you don’t pay to be on a news program, but who knows what the future may bring to that area. Be smart, research your options and be “open” to change. As a producer, I’ve had to be flexible and change with the times; as authors you need to think outside the box and do the same.

So remember: be open to all marketing possibilities such as Facebook, Twitter, Internet and paying for segments. Life is all about change – are you?

For more information or to schedule a coaching session go to or call (602) 509-6468.

~Tip offered by Media Veteran Laura Holka, who is the producer of the Pat McMahon Show & a Media Consultant. She can be reached at

Got Search Engine?


Tired of Google and looking for a new search engine? Here are a few interesting search engines to consider:

* – find anything on anyone that’s public. Pictures, blog entries, social networks. It’s all on here.

* powered by Google, this search engine takes up less energy because of the black screen. If you’re going to search, why not save some energy in the process?

* is a people search engine that lets you find any and all docs, sites, photos and email addresses on folks.

‘Starting Over’ Section Seeks Writer Submissions


Web publication seeks creative non-fiction, personal essay, journalistic essay, fictional essay, first or third person accounts.

Submit query or complete ms as an MSWord file with bio by email. Byline or pseudonym accepted. Up to 1,000 words. Format single or double-spaced. Bio, up to 50 words, and you can include links to your website or relevant webpages; include any notices.


USE: Submissions will be posted on in the “Starting Over” section for one to two week intervals.

DEADLINE: Rolling submissions. Next deadline, September 1.

Tune in to The Publishing Insiders


Be in the know and hear what the publishing insiders: Penny Sansevieri, CEO of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. – and her guests – have to offer in terms of tips and insights into the industry! Listen here.

Listen to the latest edition of The Publishing Insiders, the Young Authors show, with guests Selene Cardenas, author of Sea Clearwater, and Dawson Vosberg, author of Double Life,

Publishing Insiders is also available on iTunes, so you can keep up with the show wherever you go!

Red Hot on LibraryThing!


The all new, updated edition of Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny Sansevieri is now listed on LibraryThing. Be sure to stop by!

Promote Your Book Now


Looking for inexpensive ways to promote your book? We’ve just developed and launched an exciting series of budget-friendly programs that still pack a powerful punch! Think you can’t market your book in a tough economy? Think again – we’ve got the answer! Email us for more details:

Penny to Speak at Self-Publishing Expo


Penny will be speaking at the Self-Publishing Book Expo on Saturday, November 7.

The first annual Self-Publishing Book Expo, at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, will bring national focus and attention to the fastest-growing segment of today’s publishing industry. Unlike any other book exhibit, the Self-Publishing Book Expo will be the only event of its kind to highlight the books of self-publishing companies and their authors, and give them the prominence and prestige they deserve.

For more information, visit the website:, or contact conference organizers at: or (212) 353-3478.

Reach Publishing Success With Our Products


We’ve designed our products with your success in mind! Regardless of where you are in your publishing journey, we’ve got a product that will suit your needs. Check out our books, special reports, and our audio programs, all designed to help you reach publishing success!

Twitter Tip: Breaking Tweets


Breaking Tweets: World news twitter-style. This is a great place to track world news as it happens (and often much quicker than CNN).

Twitter Tip: ReTweet Radar


ReTweet Radar: So what’s being retweeted? Retweet Radar can show you. It’s a fast and easy way to see what’s being talked about on Twitter.

Reader Tip!


If you’ve got a Reader Tip you’d like to share, please send it to with the subject line “reader tip.” Submissions should be 75 words or less.



Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. We serve authors at all stages of marketing and promotion. We offer a full range of packages and services to choose from.

To see a price list or schedule a free consultation, send your e-mail to with the subject line “Author Services Info.” You can also visit our Web site at

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————————————————— ——— Copyright 2009 Author Marketing Experts, Inc. ————————————————— ———

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