Monday, June 30, 2008

What to do with video trailers for books

You've created a video trailer for your book. What should you do with it once you've uploaded it onto your site?

The first order of business would be to make it available via YouTube and Google Video. According to a WebProNews article dated June 26, 2008, YouTube and Google Video, combined, account for 80% of all the online video streaming. Most of those video streaming sessions, as you might guess, take place through YouTube.

So if you have just a few minutes to spend on video trailer distribution, by all means, take the time to upload it to YouTube and Google Video. If you want to maximize the book promotion potential of your video trailer, you'll have to carry your efforts into the arena of the lesser-known sites with a lighter viewership (because they'll still provide backlinks to your video trailer); onto social bookmarketing sites; and in the news.

But, if you have just 30 minutes and a video trailer for your book, and you want to do just two simple things that can instantly increase the book promotion potential of your trailer, then log into YouTube and Google Video. Getting your video trailer for your book onto the right sites isn't difficult, but it does take a bit of focus. So turn off your phone for a few minutes, and get to work. Then treat yourself to a cup of hazelnut coffee. It's deserve a second cup.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don Imus

Maybe it's just me, but if I were a national radio talk show host, I don't think I'd ever be moved to ask the question, "What color is he." In fact, I'm not a national talk show host -- I'm a book publicist -- and I can't imagine ever finding a reason, or a context, to ask that question.

Don Imus has done it again. You'd think that an employee who, once fired, would feel grateful to be given a second chance -- and you'd think he'd watch the words that spewed forth from his mouth a bit more carefully than most people. Alas; Don Imus is one employee who doesn't seem to learn. If you haven't heard the story by now, then click here.

Yes, I know that being on Don Imus's radio show represents a better-than-average book promotion opportunity. Yes, I know that an appearance on Don Imus's radio show can help sell books. Similarly, robbing a bank can net a person more money than working for a living. But I don't endorse bank robbery as an acceptable career choice, and I don't condone helping Don Imus stay on the air to insult, outrage, and antagonize his listeners. There are too many venues in this world to sell out to someone like Don Imus, no matter how many books an appearance on his show might sell.

This is one book publicist who won't be pitching the Don Imus Show any longer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Publishing for Children

Why should you be the only author in your family? If you have creative children, they can write and print their own books via a P.O.D. company that was created just for kids: Tikatok. Although the site seems to be in the testing phase now (the site, which launched in March, has "beta" as part of its URL, so I'm assuming it's still in the beta stage), it's already receiving visibility. In fact, the Boston Herald had an article about it this morning that talked about an event, taking place at the Boston Public Library (one of my favorite places on the planet) on July 8, for kids who want to learn how to use Tikatok.

How many of us fantasized about having our own books published when we were kids? And how many of us actually could fulfill that dream back then?

Thanks to Tikatok, kids can put "publishing a book" into the same category as "getting an ipod." In other words, not every young person will find a parent who's willing to invest in the dream.

On the other hand, what a small investment it is, relatively speaking. And how rich the rewards!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Email addresses can offer book promotion opportunities, too.

Free email addresses provide yet another book promotion opportunity. If you can grab another mainstream email address that features your name (or your book title) without a lot of superfluous numbers, wouldn't you do so?

Well, at -- supposedly -- 3:00PM EST today, you'll get that chance.

Yahoo is unveiling two new email domains: Ymail and Rocketmail. So get there early (I'm assuming that "there" means, but I wouldn't swear to it), and sign up for the user name of your choice.

At least, getting one or two new email addresses that feature your name, or your book's name, is another low-pain, potentially high-gain, book promotion opportunity. And at best, you'll be preventing a competitor from "stealing" the name that could benefit you and your book promotion campaign.

So go for it. Check out this article, and then get ready to sign up for a new email account!

Friday, June 13, 2008

A seemingly odd, but nonetheless worthwhile, book promotion idea.

By now, you've discovered Wikipedia. Whatever you think of Wikipedia -- whether you love it or hate it -- you've surely noticed that, regardless of what you're "googling," a Wikipedia entry almost always seems to turn up first in the search results.

We all know that (to be polite about it) Wikipedia's information is only as good as those who have contributed to its entries. That, of course, can be anyone, which is why "Wikipedia" is called a "wiki." It's produced by anyone with something to add, which means that Wikipedia shouldn't be your primary source of information. It's just not as reliable as it would be if, say, it couldn't be updated instantly, by anyone, at any time (although, in fairness, the site's editorial board to try to keep an eye on those updates and have even challenged some of my entries when I've inadvertently "under"-footnoted).

Anyway, what brought Wikipedia to mind is that, unfortunately, Tim Russert has just passed away. I wanted to see Russert's bio, so I googled him and -- predictably -- his Wikipedia entry came up first. What really made my eyes pop was that Russert's entry notes his death. I checked the entry a few minutes ago, and the entry already had been updated to include an unexpected death that had occurred less than three hours before.

People are using Wikipedia, and you should be using it, too, whatever your feelings about a democratic encyclopedia that allows anyone, regardless of credentials, to offer suggestions. It's easy to enter your own bio in Wikipedia and, hopefully, score a backlink to your Web site and your fair share of Google's attention. Yes, it's an offbeat book promotion idea, but it's one that authors and publishers should be using, anyway. Try it, and don't be shy -- it's impossible to "break" Wikipedia or your own entry. I promise. You can always edit your offering once you've uploaded it to Wikipedia to test it out "live."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Book promotion requires...

Book publicists get to do a lot of exciting things, and this book publicist isn't complaining about them. However, book promotion also requires computer and telephone time -- that's butt-in-the-chair time -- and, therefore, book promotion requires a good, comfortable chair.

In all the time that I've been a book promotion specialist, I've been using an armless, nearly backless, drafting chair to sit at my computer desk. Guess what? Those days are about to come to an end. Tomorrow, a high-backed, ergonomically-correct manager's chair should arrive from Staples.

I seldom treat myself to the luxuries of office life (I'd still be using my monochrome CRT monitor, if it were up to me), but just this once, I thought I'd grab what my back and legs needed. Book promotion requires creativity and hard work, and both creativity and hard work require a chair that one can actually sit in without adding chair cushions for height, padding, or better positioning.

My book promotion clients will thank me. I just wish one of them would offer to swing by tomorrow and assemble my chair for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Book Promotion: What's New?

What's new in book promotion? According to a June 10, 2008 Boston Herald article by Lauren Beckham Falcone, everything about book promotion -- for novelists, anyway -- is new. Publishers expect their novelists to spend as much time building their brand as they do writing their novels.

That's fine, but what are publishers expecting their novelists to do by way of book promotion? Appear on the Oprah Show? ? Do an inteview with the New Yorker? Get a guest gig on "Fresh Air"?

Nope, that's too simple. According to Falcone, publishers today expect their novelists to appear in retail stores, on MySpace, and even -- at least in the case of Emily Giffin, the author of a St. Martin's bestseller called Love the One You’re With -- to appear on a televised soap opera!

If you're still thinking that traditional book reviews will appease your publisher and fulfill your book promotion duties, think again. A new age of book promotion is dawning, and book publicists are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on creative ways to help you build your brand. Get ready to meet your readers -- under conditions you never would have dreamt of just a few years ago!