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Back to Basics_ Keeping Tabs Online, Get Published Today AME Blog Post

This spring, let’s go back to basics and focus on Publishing, more specifically, how you can Get Published Today. Earlier this week, Penny talked about how to determine the best time to publish your book and said that marketing “is all about joining the conversation” – to be successful in that conversation, you must keep an eye on the road to know what’s happening. Today, Penny will give us the basics on how to keep tabs on what people are saying about you online!

For years Google alerts has been great for watching what’s being said about you online. But now there are a few other players, so check out these online reputation management tools. They’re a great way to keep track of what’s being said about you, your book and/or product online:

Addict-o-matic: I was really surprised when I first logged on here how much information was out there on me that Google Alerts didn’t pick up. Addict-o-matic is a free service and a great resource. The only complaint I have is there is no RSS feed that I can subscribe to to keep me posted on weekly or even daily additions. But you can personalize your search results, bookmark the page, then keep tabs on your updates. Hopefully that will come soon, for now, here’s the link: http://addictomatic.com/. The best part about this service is that it doesn’t require that I sign in or sign up for anything. I like that. I have way too many subscriptions and passwords I can’t remember as it is.

Trackur.com: this site claims to be Google Alerts on steroids. It’s not a free service (though they offer a free trial) but the service is quite thorough and outstanding. Give it a shot and see what you think.

Reality Check: When Planning Doesn’t Always Work Out

We had an author once who wrote a book about dating. He said to me some months before he released the book: “I’m pretty certain that this is the best time to launch; I’ve checked all the publishers to see what else they are releasing and nothing seems to be coming up. My worst nightmare is if Dr. Phil wrote a dating book but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

Months later, right before release time, it was announced that Dr. Phil had indeed written a dating book and (at the height of his popularity) his publisher decided to crash the title, meaning that they didn’t do the pre-announcement, or give it the normal 12-18 months in their system. They literally launched it within a short window of announcing it which, coincidentally, fell right in the week that our author was also releasing his book. Needless to say, he was discouraged. He even thought about pulling the book and waiting, but we had done so much pre-work that I discouraged him from doing that. So we launched. As it happened, Dr Phil’s book didn’t get the best reviews, but that doesn’t matter when you have a ‘brand” like that behind it. But our author kept plugging along and he never gave up. Now, some 4 years later, he’s still out there, with new editions of this book. In fact, I was at an independent bookstore recently (one of the largest in the country) and his book was on the shelf. Dr Phil’s book was nowhere to be found.

The moral of this story is this: sometimes even the best laid plans go awry. But if you persist and you do so with a quality product, you will eventually see success.

BookScan Numbers Don’t Lie, and Neither Should You

It’s fine when your Uncle Harry comes back from a fishing trip with “fish stories” but don’t try this in publishing. What do I mean by “fish stories”? I mean inflating your sales numbers. Don’t do it. Why? Because Nielsen’s BookScan has your number. Literally. Anyone in the industry (even literary agents) can check these numbers to see if your sales figures add up. So leave the fish tales for the fish, but don’t fiddle with book sales numbers. Because unlike your Uncle Harry’s catch of the day, someone is bound to find out.

Don’t miss earlier posts in the series! Click on the links for Back to Basics 1: Facts about Trade PublishingBack to Basics 2: Defining your Publishing Goals, and Back to Basics 3: How Do You Know Your Book is Ready to be Published?, and Back to Basics 4: Determining the best time to publish!

We’re so excited about BEA coming up on May 27-29 at the Javits Center in New York City!

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