Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Ten Books and People That Changed My Life in 2008

Success does not come by accident - you have to be deliberate, persistent, consistent and relentless. One of my favorite quotes from one of my mentors, Mike Murdock, is: “You will only succeed when you develop an obsession for your dream.”

You must also have the right resources and relationships. 2008 was indeed a year of change for me personally and professionally and many others! Change was hailed as the popular winning campaign slogan for our President Obama. For me, I fixed what wasn’t working in my personal life and professionally, I changed my business model.

How did I make these changes? Reading. Information does change the seasons of your life – and you can tell where a person is going by the books they AND read the people they hang around. Well, I read some terrific books in 2008 and connected with some great folks.

I’d like to share with you the books that made a real difference in my life this year and some people that had an impact on my business perspective.

Top 10 Books that made a difference in my life

1. Inspired to Succeed: Wit & Wisdom for Your Unlimited Success by Dr. Stacia Pierce
2. The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude: How to Find, Build and Keep A YES! Attitude for a Lifetime of Success by Jeffrey Gitomer
3. Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Strategies for Savvy, Sassy and Swamped by Eli Davidson
4. 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want: The Anatomy of Successful Life by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar
5. Utmost Living: Creating and Savoring Your Best Life Now by Tim Storey
6. Caught Between a Dream and a Job: How to Leave the 9-to-5 Behind and Step into the Life You’ve Always Wanted by Delatorro McNeal
7. Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You From Success by Dr. Farrah Gray
8. Connect: Building Success Through People, Purpose and Performance by Keith Harrell and Hattie Hill
9. Relationship Networking: The Art of Turning Contacts into Connections by Sandra Yancy
10. From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, Ebooks and Information Products by Stephanie Chandler

Now of course I read gads of ebooks & magazines, went to conferences, took tons of teleseminars but I also have had some great “coaches” who pushed me and stretched me – and I am better because I listened and followed their advices or watched their cues.

People that made an impact on my life in 2008

1. Andrew Morrison (
2. Sherese Duncan (
3. Connie Ragan Green (
4. Judy Cullins (
5. Fabience Fredickson (
6. Alex Mandossian (
7. Crystal and Anthony Obey (
8. Karen Taylor-Bass (
9. Andria Hall (
10. Dr. Teresa Hairston (

There are new influences in my life now – those relationships have come from my social networking sites such as linkedin, youtube, twitter, facebook and Chocolate Pages Network. Plus my favorite NINGS!

So, Where did all this lead to?:

1. My first book – “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry” written by me and Crystal/Anthony Obey (that’s real synergy!) (and a new talk show!)
2. My PR Boot Camp Teleclasses & coaching program – thanks to the vision spurred by Karen Taylor-Bass & the PR Distinction
3. The creation of new information products from the responses to the survey of Christian authors earlier this year (debuting CDs/MP3, Special Reports, Home Study Kits, Membership Programs, Teleclasses, Webinars, Videos and Ebooks in 2009) – I also want to make my coaches proud! ere
4. Exciting trips, speaking at fabulous conferences – some even out the country!
5. Awards! I got more awards this year than I have ever gotten my entire life – I got so many my husband was like, “We need another room for all your plaques.” 

I expect 2009 to be simply divine as well. Yeah, we know there is some major issues going on with the economy – but hey, if you keep the right perspective and expect the best – you’ll attract the best!

If you’d like a list of my 2009 books that are going to set the trail ablaze for YOU – shoot me an email to (I have 10 great ones that you MUST read!)

Pam Perry is a ministry marketing pioneer and expert in the African American Christian market. Her public relations career spans over two decades. She spent the first ten years working in ad agencies, media and has dedicated the past ten to ministry marketing and PR coaching authors. Her company, Ministry Marketing Solutions, Inc. has a roster of the most well-known publishers and Christian authors in the industry. She’s the creator of the, a social network for Christian authors. She is also the co-author of “Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry.”

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Also join me at! Thanks Dante Lee (you've been making an impact on me since I met you in 2005!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Not Easily Broken" Interview with Morris Chestnut - host Pam Perry, Chocolate Pages

NOT EASILY BROKEN, a novel by bestselling author Bishop T.D. Jakes tells a powerful story of disappointment, temptation, pain and restoration. The book becomes a movie....starring Morris Chestnut!

The problems have been there for a long time. Dave and Clarice Johnson's marriage is slowly being wedged apart by misplaced independence and separate dreams. Dave has noticed Clarice pulling away emotionally and physically, but he doesn't know if it's because she feels that he hasn't been supportive enough of her career in real estate, or because she obviously disapproves of his choice to own and run a janitorial business.

Clarice's fierce independence threatens to drive them completely apart as she endures a hard recovery from a leg injury suffered in a car accident. Rather than let Dave support and take care of her, Clarice finds that she is more frustrated than ever with Dave, and with herself.

As Dave faces temptations from an unexpected source during Clarice’s darkest days, the couple eventually learns the importance of promises made and kept, and they find that God speaks to them in the most unlikely places.

The film based on NOT EASILY BROKEN is currently set for theatrical release in January 9, 2009.

Director Bill Duke steps behind the camera for this adaptation of the T.D. Jakes novel concerning a newly married couple that finds their union threatened by pressures involving faith, family, and finances. As the couple exchanges their vows, the minister lays a cord around them while uttering the blessing, "a threefold cord is not easily broken." Later, during their darkest hour, the minister's advice to always keep God at the center of their marriage could be the only thing that keeps this troubled pair together.

Jakes' writing is both challenging and encouraging, and reminds us that with God integrated into our lives—even a relationship on the rocks is not easily broken.

What You Should Know about Branding Relative to Marketing by Bob Ivory

“You know why Madison Avenue advertising has never done well in Harlem? We're the only ones who know what it means to be Brand X.” -Dick Gregory

To understand branding you must first understand what marketing is. It may seem like a simplistic answer but it is true nonetheless; simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers. Anything that you can imagine from packaging to pricing is a part of the marketing process.

So what is a brand? Let’s first take the word and its literal meaning. For centuries iron symbols were crafted with the initials or emblem of the owner of property – often cattle and other livestock. The iron symbols were heated until red-hot then pressed against the hide of the beast. This was, and is, called branding which was done to identify ownership.

There is a lot of talk about what branding is. Some say your brand is what other people say about your product or service. I prefer to think of that as brand reinforcement. No one creates a product and says I’ll let the public tell me what I have created. They may give it a nickname, but the identity of a thing comes from its creator. The word brand has come to mean “The Big Idea.”

Some people confuse a logo with the brand. This is understandable since originally, for all intents and purposes the branding I spoke of earlier was done with a symbol, initials or letters. These are often the components that make up a logo.

However, brand, as we know it today is not a logo. A logo is the tangible identity of a company in the market. Logos can be emblems, signs or symbols designed to portray the image of a company. So you see a logo (which is essentially a piece of art) is not a brand. However, it is integral to the brand.

One of the best definitions I have heard that describes a brand was given at a seminar I was a part of a few years ago given by a colleague, Tina Polite. She said that a brand is a promise. I like it for its simplicity and its profundity. The image that represents the brand sends a message to you. The promise in the case of McDonald’s is this: no matter where you go, under these golden arches you will find the burgers – and all that comes with them will always have the same consistent quality. It is an assurance of integrity.

A brand is about trust. It’s about what people expect to experience when they come into contact with your brand. It’s a perceived notion. It’s what they count on when they buy into your program.

Instead of putting resources into a logo, how about creatively finding ways to communicate the message, mission and qualities of your business? Think fewer objects and graphics, and more conversations and experiences. Focus not so much on image – and more about reality.

Remember this: Excellence is unmistakable. The world of business is hugely competitive and is comprised of thousands of logos. Out of those thousands, only a few survive to become famous. There are certain factors that make a logo successful.

Here are some tips on developing a logo:
· It must be legible.
· The color combination should be suitable for the company.
· It must be unique.
· It should project the image of the company.
· The logo should not be complicated or cluttered.
· It Must be cost effective and as simple as possible.
· The logo should be effective regardless of size.
· It should not contain any complicated images or photography.

Branding is another word for integrated marketing and the logo is part of that overall marketing campaign that builds a brand.

Branding is all about saying the same thing and communicating the same key message, over and over again – until it’s “branded” in someone’s brain.

The key thing about a logo – it doesn’t change. It can be repositioned or “updated” – but never changed. That would kill the equity you built in marketing the logo as part of your brand. When you create a new logo (or new tag line) you are starting over again.

It takes a long time build up substantial “brand equity” – don’t destroy it because you have a new idea. Stick with your logo, tagline and other elements you have set in place. You want to get to the point with your brand so that it is embedded into the subconscious minds of your audience.

When it is in the psyche of consumers, they will automatically connect a phrase or photo with you. When you hear a name – you get a mental picture or think of a quality. If I say, TD Jakes or Oprah – you have an idea of what to expect from those “brand names.” They are famous, true, but they are also a brand. And a brand translates in business into dollars. That’s the bottom line.

A good example is Nike’s “Just do it” campaign. That phrase and “swoosh” logo are their brand. Whether their shoes are better than others – well, that’s how you see it. But regardless, you’ll pay a premium price for their shoes because they’ve branded themselves that way.

Branding in business is about building an empire. What does your brand say about you? You can gage by checking sales figures. That is a good indication of how well your brand is doing.

I hope I have inspired you to step up your brand. In addition to gaining fame, recognition, stature and money – a good brand can make an impact and change lives. By having a good brand (or reputation), you can be a great influence in society. So take your brand seriously – it’s part of your purpose. It is your God-given assignment to get it right.

Bob Ivory is a brand strategist, graphic designer, conference speaker and media consultant. He is a strategic partner of Ministry Marketing Solutions and Pam Perry. For more information visit or contact Bob at

From the upcoming book--- Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry by Pam Perry, Crystal & Anthony Obey (2009)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Q&A with PR Pro Sandy Diaz - Author Expectations & Publicity Today!

Publicity Questions - answers from another industry professional! Authors ask me a lot of questions, and I wanted to provide them with some answers from another colleague. So, just don't take my word for it. :) These are some GREAT answers and authors need to take these to heart. Learn as much as you can so your book will be a success. Thanks Sandy!

Here's the interview:
• Publicists don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams but in your opinion what does the “newbie” author really not understand about the book biz?

New authors are wonderful to work with because they often have the most excitement and passion about their project.
New authors need patience. It takes time to build awareness about a new author and book, especially when reaching magazines. Editors are often working on articles that will be printed two to six months in the future.

Here is a real example from one of my Smith Publicity clients: I pitched the client to an editor in April. She contacted me in May. I sent her the client’s press kit. I followed up and she interviewed the client in June. The story ended up on the cover of Parade Magazine at the end of October.

Any sales from coverage are then reported weeks or months after the article is published. So, an action we begin may not result in coverage, and then book sales, for up to six to eight months. Fortunately, radio, newspaper, television and Internet media often work faster!

Another point about patience: smaller media opportunities are important. We recommend authors say yes to every media opportunity they can. While we work on the “home run” opportunities, baseball games are won by singles and doubles. An article in a local newspaper or an interview on small market radio show often opens the door for larger opportunities. We’ve seen strategy work many times!

• How many books will a typical new author (with no platform) realistically sell in a year?

This is a great question—and the answer is as different as is each author and book. The formula depends largely on the book's target market, quality of the book, credentials of the author, timing with current events, distribution (where the book is available for sale) and coverage in the media about the author and title.

Here is an example, we worked on a book this year with a self-published author and even though he only had his book available for sale through Amazon, he was able to sell thousands and thousands of books during his first months with Smith Publicity. This was because his book was topical (a highly controversial political book), the timing was right with the elections leading the news, he was a PhD in his area of expertise, and we were able to tap into his core audience (conservatives) mainly through radio and national television interviews. This was a “perfect storm” scenario.

Not every author is this fortunate. Book sales are impossible to predict, but selling several hundred or even two to three thousand is considered a success by many, especially for a first time author. I just read a statistic that only 10% of traditionally published (not self-published) books sell more than 1,000 copies. These numbers may help the new author put their statistics in perspective.

• How much would you say an author thinks they should spend on marketing & promoting their book in a year? What is realistic?

If an author does not have support from their publisher for publicity and marketing, authors can spend between $1,000 to $100,000 on promotion activities. Most of our clients spend between $3,000 and $12,000. The reality is: If an author doesn’t invest in promotion – either by doing it themselves or hiring a pro – one thing is certain … no one will know the book exists.
Realistically, a budget from $5,000 to $12,000 should be sufficient. A website about the book and the author is a must.

• Do you see more authors coming to market with unrealistic expectations because they watch Oprah and say, “I can do that”? How easy is it to get on major talk show like that?

We often joke that Oprah has made the job of publicists much harder … and it’s true. The odds of getting on Oprah are long; literally thousands of authors or publicists pitch her producers every week. However, the only way to get on the show is to try.

• How often does an author say, “Wow, this is harder than I thought?” or “Wow, this is easy! I’m going to be rich and famous!” What is said more often and when do they say comments like this in the process?

We most often hear “this is harder than I thought.” For authors who say this, it’s usually a few months in, when they realize that book publicity really is more marathon than sprint.

• How can industry pros temper their ideals with reality without busting their bubble or being the "Grinch" that stole their Christmas?

At Smith Publicity, we are honest and straightforward, without being negative. Just because the reality is that thousands of books are released each month doesn’t mean your book can’t be successful. We also encourage our clients to enjoy the ride, and savor the wonderful things that can happen in a campaign – from the thrill of a TV interview to a glowing book review.

• What should an author do to prepare for a realistic book launch? How far in advance?

This depends on how the book is published, but generally, authors should prepare for a book release one to two months in advance; making sure everything – i.e. website, publicity, distribution, details and book’s cover on Amazon, etc. -- is in place for launch time.

An author should prepare an “elevator” pitch about their book. If they only had 20 to 30 seconds to tell someone about their book, what would they say? What do they want people to remember? Polishing this will be a good exercise, especially if the author is planning on interviews.

Sandy Diaz is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Smith Publicity.
Since 1997, Smith Publicity has worked with hundreds of authors, publishers, businesses, and personalities from around the world create awareness for their projects. Smith Publicity has offices in New Jersey, New York City and London.
Sandy welcomes authors to contact her about their projects and will happily discuss publicity options.

Synergy Energy! Use it!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

101 Ideas for Internet Marketing - How to do It Effectively! A Great PR Tool

If you want to know how to really leverage the internet to market your book, brand your ministry or grow your business, read this slideshow:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't Wait Until Black History Month to Shop the Black book Section

Blacks folks have a lot of passion. We love tons of things. We love what we can touch, feel, smell, hear and taste. We’re an exciting group of people with a lot of soul. But what’s inside our hearts? What’s really driving us?

READ A BOOK BY AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND FIND OUT! :) (Not a classic or a book by Barack Obama - but a contemporary Christian Author like Stacy Hawkins Adams, Bill Winston, Ken Brown, Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook or Andre Butler)

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My first Online Writer's conference. I was Spotlighted as One of "Best" Literary Pros

It's great to be recognized by your peers and it's good to be in good company with people who know and understand you. People you respect and love! The Sistaz!

But I couldn't actually "hear" anyone...but in real time (if they were present at their computer or PDA) we could converse. If not, we could read each other's posts! How cool is that? I just love the internet. Such energy and focus - and wow, I meet some really cool folks! Literary people love to exchange ideas!

In addition to industry professionals panels, they are also spotlighting some of the best literary professionals on the net. Join me in welcoming: Marlive Harris (MsGRITS) of Literary Services, Pam Perry of Ministry Marketing Solutions, Ella Curry of EDC Creations, Sylvia Hubbard of Motown Writers Network, LaShaunda Hoffman of SORMAG, 3 Chicks on Lit (Nakea, Tiffany & TuShonda).

This was all organized by Tee C. Royal ( She rocks!

Sharing Literary Resources

by Tee C. Royal,

I will be sharing literary resources, but don’t feel slighted if you’re not listed. Instead, share your information (or any other links) you recommend in the comments section.


Guide To Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents, 2006: Who they are! What they want! How to win them over! by Jeff Herman

Kirsch’s Guide to the Book Contract : For Authors, Publishers, Editors and Agents by Jonathan Kirsch

Negotiating a Book Contract: A Guide for Authors, Agents and Lawyers by Mark L. Levine

On Writing by Stephen King

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print by Renni Browne

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile by Noah Lukeman

The Shortest Distance Between You and a Finished Book by Susan Page

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Connor

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed by Donald Maass

Writing the Fiction Synopsis - A Step by Step Approach by Pam McCutcheon



A Book Lover’s Diary by Shelagh Wallace

A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Lore, and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz

Booknotes: The Booklover’s Organizer by Marilyn McDonald

How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler

Only in Books: Writers, Readers & Bibliophiles on Their Passion by J. Kevin Graffagnino

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson


American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW)
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Black Caucus of the American Library Association
Divine Literary Tour
International Black Writers Association (IBWA)
Romance in Color
Romance Writers of America (RWA)
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
Self-Employed Writers and Artists Network (SWAN)
Urban-Reviews (Urban/Street Fiction)
Women Who Write
Motown Writers


C & B Book Distribution
Mosaic Books
Pages in Black
RAWSISTAZ Literary Group
The Black Book Network
The Black Library
The Nubian Chronicles


Black Issues Book Review
Romantic Times BOOK Reviews
Quarterly Black Review (QBR)
Poets & Writers
Publishers Weekly
Writers Digest
Written Magazine
PhotobucketSomebody tell Oprah what's going on here!
We got the best, brightest and beautiful authors on RawSistaz! She'd better recognize!

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Self-Publishing Tales from the Front Lines

"Do You Have a Book Burning Inside You?"

This is from my colleague's blog: Diane Eble. She can help you get published! Her site: will help you! She is a great BOOK coach! So, we're like a team. She will give you information about how to write - and I'll give you info on how to promote it and sell. If you're a Christian writer, you need this information. Yes, you hear from God - now do your homework so you will be prepared to be a success!

On her blog, She writes:

Publishing is so confusing these days! So many options … and new publishers are springing up all the time, with various kinds of new programs.

There’s a discussion on Book Marketng Ning that I started, asking people for their experiences with self-publishing. Most recently, Joanna Penn shared her experience:

“I am a huge fan of self-publishing because I love speed and control! I wrote my book and wanted it out there so I self-published on so the book is for sale worldwide. It is print-on-demand in the US and I am in Australia so the costs would be prohibitive any other way. I market it and it sells from there or from my website here in Australia

“The fantastic thing is that I had control and did it all myself for very little cost and people can still reach it in the same forum as traditionally published books. I had it on Amazon a month after finishing the manuscript. Traditional publishers currently cannot move that fast. So my experience is overwhelmingly positive so far, and I intend to self-publish my next book too.”

I’m glad Joanna had such a good experience. I think self-publishing can be very good for authors who want/need control, need their book out quickly, and will take responsibility for promoting and marketing their book. (Which is of course the mindset all successful authors adopt.)

I would add here that Lulu’s had mixed reviews from what others tell me. One issue I have with Lulu (and many POD publishers) is that the price structure is problematic. Joanna’s book is between $21 and $25, depending on the format. True, she has a guarantee, but she’s also competing against best-selling books (say on amazon) that are much less. POD-published authors can’t get the bookstore distribution (for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones being no returns, which bookstores insist upon). But for those who don’t care about those things, Lulu and other POD programs work well.

Again I would refer you to the Virtual Book Tour I did with Mark Levine on The Fine Print of Self-Publishing. We covered a lot of aspects to think about before self-publishing, and Mark’s book is a terrific resource.

Publishing is changing very fast! I’m seeing the traditional publishers floundering, while those with a different business model, such as Morgan James Publishing, are prospering. I suspect traditional publishers will move more toward a self-publishing model eventually. They almost have to. It will be interesting to see what happens with the retail in that case.
Diane Eble
Your Book Publishing Coach

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Friday, December 05, 2008

African-American Market Comes of Age says Publishers Weekly

Patricia W. blog's talks about the recent Publishers Weekly article on Christian fiction. The question she brings up is "how edgy do you want YOUR Christian fiction" to be? I like Christian fiction - nonfiction Christian books too for that matter - because of the message.

I want to hear the spiritual elements of story and how GOD showed up in the character's lives. Now, if the Christian fiction is like an episode of "Desperate House Wives" and at the end they receive Jesus - that's not Christian fiction.

That's baiscally some smut and the last page they clean it up. NOT! I don't want my mind flooded with foolishness - like I always say, "garbage in, garbage out."

Christian fiction is to edify and uplift - not suggest the vulgar side of life. Don't we have enough of that already! And you can see the mess the world is in - it's wacked out and confused about basic beliefs and morals. What exactly is Christian fiction? Is it a novel written by a Christian or does it have to just be "clean" literature that includes God? What do you think?

Here's what Patricia W. wrote in her blog called Readin N Writin (in part):
African-American Market Comes of Age (by the way yours truly was quoted in the article)
So says Publisher's Weekly, about the African-American Christian publishing market, in an article here.

Not so fast, I say, and I believe some of the quoted subjects would agree with me.

The African-American Christian market hasn't come of age. It's always been there and has been eager, even dying, for good content. By that I mean, stories in its language, from its perspective, by its authors, with its flavor.

"What most people don't know is that we're dealing with a 200-year-old tradition, with the writing and publishing of religious materials within the African-American church,” says (Tony) Rose. “Frederick Douglass and other writers used the church as a vehicle to sell their books and pamphlets, and they self-published through their churches. African-Americans always wrote, always read—we had to write about our plight, whether it was slavery or Jim Crow or some demeaning situation. What we're seeing now is an extraordinary re-emergence of this self-publishing movement, whether it's urban literature, Christian literature, fiction—and religion is leading the pack."

What has come of age is the industry's acknowledgement and recognition of this market.

Authors like Kendra Norman-Bellamy, Tia McCollors, Angela Benson, and Felicia Mason along with more recent faces, like Dwan Abrams, Sherri Lewis, Mikasenoja, Shauna Burton and Sheila Lipsey, have brought fresh voices to the market.

And, I may add: KIM BROOKS!

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Five Things Christian Writers Should Know

Five Things Christian Writers Should Know by Pam Perry

“Just because you have a computer, doesn’t make you a writer,” said a publishing executive at a recent Book Expo of America.

Fact is 81% of all Americans think they should write a book (according to Write & Publish magazine) and only two percent of that crowd ever actually complete a manuscript – and get it published.

True computers have made writing a book easier and print-on-demand (POD) has made publishing a snap.

Problem is there are about 150,000 new books a year and they’re not all selling!

So here are some simple things to do to move you from book idea, manuscript to real sales!

1. Learn about writing. Taking writing courses. Go to and get info on their American School of Christian Writing, The Writer’s Institute and/or Writer’s Mini Course. Also subscribe to their newsletter (The Christian Communicator or The Advanced Christian Writer). Take time to go to various writers’ conferences where you’ll meet editors, publishers and other authors. You may even find a mentor at some of these events.

Getting a writing mentor is so critical to your success – if you listen and heed their advice! There are tons of book coaches.

Here’s a few I’d recommend: Minister Mary Edwards ( and Judy Cullins ( and Sophronia Scott ( They will help you get the book out of your head and on the page!

Finally, read! Best-selling Christian fiction author, Victoria Christopher Murray, said on a recent Chocolate Pages Show, “In order to be a good writer, you have to read good writing.” I am so surprised when I talk to many Christian writers and I ask if they have read any of the “best-sellers” - as least the Christian or spiritual books. They answer, “NO.”

Some have never even read “The Purpose Driven Life” (the best selling book of all time), The Shack (a Christian publishing phenomenon in the book world) or The Secret (at least take cues how they have marketed the mega-star of a book). Most Christian authors don’t even take note of any of the top ten New York Times or CBA best-sellers.

Ughh! You have to know what the market is buying and read it to see why the book is highly acclaimed. By doing a little homework, you can improve your writing. You have to move it from a hobby to a craft if you want a viable book.

Books Every Writer Needs at Their Fingertips!

A. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Knowlton Zinsser (Paperback - April 1998)

Best book I've read on what, specifically, makes up a great piece of writing.

B. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr., E. B. White, Charles Osgood (Afterword), Roger Angell--

Do you ever wonder where those punctuation marks go? Well, I do, too! And when I get confused, I reach for my little Elements of Style. It's short and sweet and handy as a pocket on a shirt.

C. Also subscribe to Writer’s Digest. Invaluable information every month! Also see all these links:

2. Learn about self-publishing and how the book industry works. I have had writers come to me and tell me their “publishing nightmare” stories. They talk about how printers or subsidy publishers took advantage of them.

Yes, there are companies who will swindle you. But, if you are well-informed, it will lessen the chances of someone ripping you off. Don’t rely on one source for all your information. Use Google and do some research! You must do your due diligence.

Take this test and see how if you are a good candidate to self-publish. (

Know where to get an ISBN, how to get national distribution, where to find a cover designer, typesetter, printer, etc. Ask other self-published authors what they’ve done and how it has worked for them. Follow the leaders. Do what they did to achieve success.

Study what Kendra Norman Bellamy, Stephanie Perry Moore, Marilynn Griffith or Kim Brooks have done. Most authors have their “publishing testimonial” on their website or offer publishing tips to new authors. Read their advice – you can learn from mistakes or from mentors. Mentors are cheaper.

3. Learn about marketing and publicity. Build a platform. No book will sell without telling others about it – over and over again. Not just once. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. Creating “buzz” requires a strategy and a strong platform. (Click to hear this Podcast show where I talk about how to promote your book)

Once the book is published a lot of authors believe it will sell by itself. Many Christians sway the other way and are too humble to tell anyone about their book. They believe if they put it up on Amazon or tell a few of their “yes buddies” it will take off. NOT! Just like any product that is sold for cold cash, it must be marketed and promoted in order to sell. It takes money to make money.

4. Learn about agents. Agents are not your “literary fairy God-mothers.” They are in business to make money. And they make money by selling “marketable” writers to publishing houses. Besides having a great book, decent platform, an audience – you must also have a good book proposal. The proposal is what sells your book. Part of that proposal is the marketing plan. Again, it’s about the bottom line.

It took former Heart and Soul editor Stephanie Stokes Oliver 25 years to have her first book published. And she had a platform and was a professional writer. She had to find the right publishing house. She says she went through 10 agents and eventually got the divine connection and got three book deals.

5. Learn about Web 2.0, podcasting, blogging, social networking.
Did you know you can blog on if you’re an author? You can even put up video reviews. How cool is that? You must embrace technology and keep up with what is moving books. Obviously the best way to move books is to get people talking – and the more they hear your passion and get curious about all the “buzz” they keep hearing from you online – the more you will attract customers.

So, “get out” by joining Facebook, Linkedin, Myspace and Twitter. Do a Blogtalk Radio Show and get a Youtube channel. Post up your blogs in RSS feeds and even do some daring stuff like join a lot of “nings” or start one! Join the Chocolate Pages Network (a new social network for Christian Authors). There is so many ways for an author to get exposure online – hey, it may even up on Oprah as part of her “Book Club.” Cha-Ching!

See too!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You have an idea for a book. Now What?

Let's explore what it takes to write a book. Keep in mind that there are many different ways to begin writing a book and there have been many books written on the subject. So if my article hits home in even a little way... research what's out there for more information and start today... following your dream!

Here are a few beginning tips to writing your book:

1. What are your strengths, creating, developing, writing, editing, or sales and marketing. Take your best strength and begin there and figure out how to get the rest done through other vendor services.

2. Pick the type of book you'll write:
--Non-fiction: how to books, self improvement, hobbies, psychology, coaching, tips
--Fiction: mystery, who-done-it, fantasy, science fiction, romance

3. Pick a subject that is interesting to you, something that others will be interested in learning more about and make it tightly focused for best results. Maybe you have a business service you want to promote or a new profession you are learning about and want to share the knowledge you are learning.

4. Create an outline of frequently asked or interesting questions. This becomes your table of contents that you'll write into.

5. Start collecting all types of information that relates to your outlined points. One of the best ways I've used is to create a three ring binder with divider pages that have pockets or use plastic sleeves and start organizing your clippings or notes you take as thoughts come to you.

6. Now determine if you are going to be the one to do the actual writing or are you going to hire an assistant. This is the first step for creating your final manuscript. Whether you are the one who will do the writing, or someone else, start that process once you have gathered enough research to fill a chapter. Don't worry yet about writing in sequence unless this is important to you, the flow paragraphs can come at a later version.

These are just a few beginning tips to get you started. While you are in this creation mode, be sure to keep an eye out for possible titles and subtitle opportunities as well as design elements you like that other authors have taken advantage of... these are all input you can relate to your book cover designer when the time comes to design your book.

AND if you want to discuss your project with a professional Book Designer concerning how to's about self publishing, book design, title development, interiors or general consulting on PR and promotion....

I invite you to visit my website AND download your copy of The Book Design Free Quick Tips Booklet, when you sign up for my Tips and Newsletter

Keep doing something every day towards your book and promotion!

See too!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Online PR 101 and get free MP3 from Pam Perry on "What Every Author Should Know"

I get calls and emails all the time from Christian authors who "want to get out there."

Though I appreciate their zeal, I want to really get them in gear for what "real PR" looks like. It's not automatic that 10 million people will be knowing your name and Oprah is calling you. You have to know a few things about PR, branding, social networking and book marketing - that's why I'm doing this blog.

So, watch this video and go to and get the free tip sheet on "How to Become a Best Seller" in the Christian market and also request the free MP3 on "What Every Author Should Know"that I did with the help of Bob Ivory of Ivory Coast Media.

I'm just trying to help those who are the carriers of God's Word - the scribes who want to market the message to the masses. It's my mission and my passion. And read the blogs of my friends on my blogroll too!

Let's do it with excellence, OK? Study to show yourself approved.

Hope this helps. God bless!

Make sure you see and join the new social network for Christan Authors at too!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Build An Audience For Your Book With A Blog - Even Obama had one and a Twitter, Facebook & Myspace!

Shhhhh. I've got a secret to share with you that you may not even know about.

In fact, if you have ever written a book or thought about writing a book, I'm gonna let you in on something that won't cost you a dime of money, but could produce an incredible opportunity to effectively market your work.

What is this dream plan for building an audience of enthusiastic buyers for your book? Simply put, it's a blog. What's that?!

A blog, short for weblog, is a web site journal where you can post just about anything you want about whatever subject matter interests you the most. For me, after losing 180 pounds on a low-carb plan in 2004, I knew I had found a topic that I was very passionate about sharing with others and that there would be an audience who would be willing to listen.

In April 2005, I started my "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" blog located on the Internet at When I first started my blog, I had just begun work writing on my book, also called "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb."

The early days of a blog are kinda like being on a 100-watt radio station out in the middle of nowhere. You talk and talk and feel like nobody's listening. And if you expect to find instant success with your blog, then just don't bother.

But if you write freely about what is in your heart, share openly and honestly about what's on your mind, and provide relevant content that people will want to read, then you will begin to build an audience who will follow you and want to come back for more.

To let others know about my blog, I went to other similar kinds of blogs and web sites to introduce myself and to let them know about what I was doing. I probably posted my URL on about 50 different low-carb message boards to get the word out about it. In my first month online, I had about 5,000 pageviews.

By the third month I was online, the pageviews at my blog grew to 10,000 that month. In the meantime, I continued to post articles on a daily basis to keep the web site looking fresh and new all the time and I bought the domain name for my book, I had the domain forward all of the traffic to my blog. This is an excellent way to build those repeat readers by making it easy for them to find you, and the faithful will come back to you often.

Whatever you do, don't just suddenly stop posting to your blog. Nothing frustrates a reader more than to come to your blog for three or four days in a row with zero updates. Some people may wonder if you've gone away forever and may never come back. Don't leave 'em hanging. If you can't post for a few days, then let your readers know it.
When my book debuted six months after I began my blog, I was getting about 15,000 pageviews per month. This built-in audience for my book gave me an instant marketing strategy to provide them with an additional resource for information about low-carb, something that I had already been providing them at my blog.

Since they knew my writing style and felt confident in my ability to write, I noticed that many of my blog readers began buying my book. While that was not my sole purpose in creating the blog, it certainly didn't hurt to build an audience that would be receptive to my book when it was released.

In the three months since my book has been released, the pageviews at my blog have simply skyrocketed. November and December each had 20,000 pageviews and the month of January is expected to easily surpass the 30,000 pageview mark. WOW! I would have never thought something free would ever bring about this kind of success.

But it has and you should learn to capitalize on it, too. Don't be afraid to stir up a little controversy in what you write. Readers like to root someone on who is willing to fight for a cause they believe in. No matter what the subject content of your book may be about, there is always an audience looking for a leader. Be that leader!

Don't be afraid to change the format of your blog often so the web site looks like you are working hard on it -- and you are! Also, don't be afraid to market your book front and center at your blog. You are providing your readers a service by imparting information to them. Many of them will reward your consistency at your blog by getting your book and telling others about it, too.

One of the things that helped me grow my blog was when other blogs posted links to articles I had written. This brings in many new readers who would have otherwise never come to your web site. Feel free to do the same for anything you see on someone else's blog. You can even post a permanent link to their blog which many will reciprocate with a link to yours.

Building this community of readers can and will help you market and sell your book.
I have had the fortune of having three fully-paid speaking engagements/book signings in Huntington Beach, CA, Milwaukee, WI, and Brooklyn, NY in the past two months because key people discovered me and my book thanks to the work I invested at my blog. Never underestimate the power of this invaluable tool for building a growing audience for your book.

Author: Jimmy Moore is a customer service specialist and freelance writer from Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is married to Christine and enjoys working out and writing on his Livin' La Vida Low-Carb blog. A former 410-pounder, Jimmy is now a healthy man thanks to the low-carb lifestyle. You can visit his website (and blog) at


The Election is Over - Let Change Begin ASAP

Using Obama's Online Marketing Strategy to Get Results

By: Alyse Speyer and Janette Speyer

"But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you." -Barak Obama

Online social marketing media made this victory possible. In his acceptance speech, Obama thanked us all for helping him win the election. This includes the people on the viral web and his social web marketing campaign. On blogs everywhere, surfers throughout the Internet have been posting updates and information about the election. Some have taken it to the next level by using Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube and other forms of social media. These online tools all worked in sync to spread a message of change and inspired us all to vote on November 4th. Moving into the future with a new President who calls for change, isn't it time you did the same with your online business?

Socializing the Obama Campaign
It is no surprise that Twitter users were among the first to know who won the election. Even Obama has a Twitter. Throughout his campaign he acquired close to 120,000 followers, keeping them updated on campaign trails and rallies. Many of his tweets included links to YouTube videos of all his appearances. This video, as well as many others, was shared, posted and promoted on many blogs, social profiles and websites.

On Facebook, Obama and his team created fan pages and widgets for supporters to donate to the cause. Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, a website and a blog, talk about a candidate who uses all alleyways and avenues to get his voice heard. With these tools, the buzz spread on its own and prompted visitors to "take action."

Building a Successful Business Online
The social web was a huge factor in making the Obama campaign go viral. Social web marketing probably saved the campaign millions of dollars in additional advertising. What does this tell us? You can make your online marketing campaign go viral as well. With patience and a well-planned marketing strategy, you can use social media to your web success.
Online marketing is the present and future of advertising. As we enter a new era, expecting monumental changes within our government, economy and American lifestyles, businesses need to focus their marketing strategies and step into the web.

TeamWork Builds Web Success

The Web Success Team specializes in SEO and SEM to build and market direct response websites that take full advantage of the latest developments on the Internet. The Team has an arsenal of effective web strategies, online tools and proven techniques to promote your products and services. And we'll show you ways to increase the amount of qualified traffic to your site through the expanding "social web" and how to convert visitors into buyers at a high rate of return.

Your website can become an effective marketing hub for your business. To learn more about the power of Direct Response Web Marketing, log on to

Contact the Team today for a complimentary consultation

See too!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Produce a Powerful Press Release & Social Media News Release

One of the most effective methods for promotion is media exposure- exposure that starts from a simple press release. Newspapers, magazines and television news shows rely on press releases to locate news and human interest stories. Anyone can send a press release, but in order to get the attention of reporters, it must be professional, news worthy and appealing to a broad audience.

A press release should be brief- one or two pages- yet include enough details that a reporter could write a short article based solely on the information provided. The release should not be an announcement that a business or product simply exists, but should have an enticing “hook”. Good hooks include special events and sales, product announcements, contests, survey results or awards given or received. The trick is to make the hook interesting enough to capture the interest of the reader.

Be careful with your wording to avoid sounding like a sales brochure- this is sure to discourage the media from pursuing the story. Follow these rules to write a press release that gets the attention you want:

¨ Read several sample press releases before writing yours so you understand the proper format. and are good sources for locating professional releases.

¨ Start with a proper heading that includes your contact information. When listing phone numbers, indicate a day and evening number (reporters may call at odd hours) or simply list your cell phone number.

¨ Give the release an enticing title that captures the reader’s interest and print it in BOLD type.

¨ Double space the body of your release for easy reading.

¨ The first paragraph should include the basics of who, what, where, when and why. You want to lay the foundation and include your hook immediately. Remember that you want to engage your audience and prompt a response from the media.

¨ Determine the purpose of your press release. Is it to announce a grand opening, special event, introduce a new product or share valuable information with the public? Include the key points that make your story interesting.

¨ Use quotes from business partners, clients or other professionals to give the story more color and credibility. As awkward as it may be, you may want to quote yourself- especially if you are the subject of the release.

¨ Close with a brief summary of the business or the person you are promoting.

¨ Do not allow grammar or spelling mistakes to sneak into a press release. Make sure you edit your writing thoroughly and have a friend- or better yet two friends- review it for errors and content.

If you want to send your press release out locally, start compiling a list of media contacts. Check the websites of your local newspapers, news programs and magazines for contact names and address information. Media outlets accept press releases by mail, fax or email and typically indicate their preferences on the website or publication masthead. If you can’t locate press release instructions, it is best to mail it directly to the appropriate editor for your topic.

There are numerous services that you can pay to distribute your release to hundreds or thousands of markets. A few to investigate are,, and

Before you send your release, be sure you are prepared to answer interview questions. You may receive calls from reporters immediately and will want to have thoughtful responses ready. Consider writing a list of points you want to make and keep it handy.

Most people find that a press release can be worth its weight in gold since a news story usually generates more buzz than any form of paid advertising. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t receive the attention you want, simply try again until you find the formula and pitch that works.


About the Author, my friend:

Stephanie Chandler is a small business expert and the author of FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE MONEY WITH BOOKS, E-BOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS. She is the founder of, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs and, a custom writing business specializing in electronic newsletters, information marketing, and sales copy for websites and brochures.

See too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Unselfish Guide to Self Promotion - The most powerful Marketing Strategy in the World: Motivational Keynote Speaker Jorge Olson

You know my friend and author Hajj Flemings did a funny blog post today...basically it summed up that people will ignore you it's not about them. (see side bar for his post on this blog). Social Networking aint social?

So....then I found this:
Book Experiment (see video

The Book Experiment is a story, a story of how a new writer fairs in the “Book World”. You will travel with me and hopefully be a willing participant in the experiment, providing your feedback, tips, opinions, and stories.

I will follow your advice without question and then report back on my blog with all the juicy details.Let’s embark on a case study, an experiment, an adventure. The adventure is the wonderful world of writing, and publishing and social networking and communication.

After all, this is as much a social experiment as it is a book experiment.

You see, by opening the destiny of the book to you and others you can control what the book does, making it a social experiment. The book talks about trust, teamwork, and social marketing.

Participate in the experiment; tell me what you think I should do next by posting your comments on this blog. The book website is at

About the Book
The book has a lot to do with the experiment. After all, it is about “Unselfish Self Promotion”. It is 1/3 self promotion, 1/3 motivational, and 1/3 how to save the world book!

The book itself asks you to open your life, your mind, and your experiences to others, to collaborate and communicate and work as a big, social team.

The book explains that we’re all in the same team in the same boat, in the same frequency.

This is why the book experiment goes hand in hand with this particular book. You are my team and I am yours.

Be inspired by the new generation of self realization. Learn to be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy using Self-Promotion in a new way, a way that will catapult your confidence, sharpen your senses and make you view life with eyes of a child.

Find the book, videos and more information at

I love it!
"Team work makes the DREAM work."

It takes a village to survive and thrive!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Get Self Publishing Help To Stop Wasting Money on Expensive Training and Programs

Get Self Publishing Help To Stop Wasting Money on Expensive Training and Programs
by Judy Cullins

Your personal belief system may have coaxed you to sign up for a big expensive training from a big guru on how to be a best selling fiction author, or best selling nonfiction author. Maybe you dreamed of being a #1 Amazon author, or maybe you dreamed of making it big on radio interviews. These trainings have super convincing sales letters that make big promises and claims.

These plans usually make only the presenters rich and most of you won't get near the success a few participants had.

The sad reality is that authors are reluctant marketers, are introverts or feel incapable. Hope springs eternal and convinces them to follow the best ad copy and sign up. What's a few thousand dollars, when they "might" make it big.

Think about using a mentor like a bookcoach or book shepherd.*

Without a mentor, who has no expensive program, but will guide you over time to manifest your book dream, you may make expensive mistakes in buying what you don't need to get your book out to your audience.

Remember most books do not make the Amazon best seller list. Many of you won't even sell large numbers of book, even if you are a guest on Oprah. You have to be a famous guest and be the only featured author on to make big sales like Echhart Tolle. One client who was one of many on the show called me to lament he needed to put up a sales page and it would stand only a week to gain sales. He didn't think it was worth it to change his pitfall copy, so he got almost no sales. In fact, less than 2% of published authors win at these games.

You already know that New York publishers don't promote you much. It's all up to you, and it's scary. Maybe you don't know that most Print on Demand (POD) authors do not make money on their books, being one of thousands on their Web site with only a 100 word write up..

Stop Throwing Away Your Book Promotion Money!

1. When you print books, unless you will speak to big audiences 6-8 times a month, print only a few hundred, an amount you can sell in a few months. Those bargain prices for 1500 to 2500 books will cost you thousands of dollars, not allowing you cash flow to spend on the promotional messages you need to get out, or your books will languish and sit in storage, losing value each month.

2. When you budget for book promotion, keep in mind there is no magic bullet in book promotion. It takes author commitment and a little learning curve that is doable when you get small business article marketing coaching. Don't go for hugely priced publicists who can get you noticed somewhat, but not enough for small businesss big profits.

Be cautious how you spend your money for your book project. Maybe like me, you can do it all for little time and money, and make a fabulous life time income too.

*Visit book coach Judy at
and visit PR Coach Pam at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Internet Ministry - Videos to Inspire!

Are you Marketing the Message? So get online and twitter souls to Christ! Blog, text or facebook them to know Jesus! Step it up. The message has not changed...just the method. Over 1 billion use the internet today - so the question is how do you reach them? Give them the best message that will change their life!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Book Marketing Budgeting

"Book Publicity is like baking a cake. You need to know how to mix all the right ingredients." Pam Perry,

Budgeting for Your Book Marketing

How Much to Invest in Your Book and What It Means to Your Workload

When you think of your budget for your book, start to think in terms of both time and money. You will be spending both on your book. There is no right or wrong budget as long as it works with your pocketbook, your daily calendar and your expectations.

The Blunt Bottom Line:

How much money you are ABLE to invest will tell youhow much time you will HAVE to invest. How much of each you DO invest will control how many books you sell.
We will assume that you want to effectively market your book over the course of ONE YEAR.

In that time you will accomplish all of the marketing for the initial launch of your book.

After the first year you can then decide whether to continue marketing this book or to move on to your next one. In the scenarios listed below you can adjust the time spent per week IF you also adjust how long it will take to finish your marketing.

If you have less than $1,000 to invest in marketing, you will be using only the low or no-cost marketing tools. Your time is your greatest asset, plan on investing it liberally. All aspects of strategy and implementation will fall into your hands. You should allocate at least 40 hours per week to handle all of the strategy and implementation.

If 40 hours per week is not possible to do, then adjust the length of time you will take to market your book. If you can put in 20 hours per week, then plan on taking TWO YEARS to finish your marketing.

If you have between $1,000 and $5,000 to invest in marketing, you will need to plan to do most of the marketing yourself. You’re going to be able to use some of the low-cost tools we’ve shown you but will not be able to hire on professionals to implement your campaign. Again, plan to allocate a significant portion of time towards strategizing and implementing your marketing.
In this case, allocate at least 30 hours per week.

If you have between $5,000 and $10,000 to invest in marketing, you can probably hire out one key component of your marketing implementation and reduce the amount of time you are required to put into the marketing efforts. You will still need to invest plenty of time strategizing and implementing your marketing. At this level of monetary investment you can expect to spend at least 20 hours per week with strategy and implementation.

If you have between $10,000 and $20,000 to invest in marketing, you can hire out a few more aspects of your marketing implementation. On the higher end of that budget you can get most implementation covered. You will still be investing time in the strategic coordination of your campaign. With this budget you can allocate 10 hours per week for strategic coordination of your marketing efforts.

If you have between $20,000 and $50,000 to invest in marketing, you can hire out almost all aspects of your marketing implementation. You should still plan on handling the strategic coordination of your campaign. Allocate at least 5 hours per week for strategy.

If you have more than $50,000 to invest in marketing, you can hire out everything, including the strategic coordination. Any amount less than $50,000 will not afford you to hire out the strategy as well as the implementation. With this investment you can hire professionals to do their job and go back to writing knowing you have everything covered.

Since the strategic coordination is obviously the last thing you can hire out, then it stands to reason it is the first thing you should learn, regardless of your budget. Whether or not you plan on handling the implementation of your book marketing you need to know what needs to be done and who can help you do it.

Ways to Fund Your Book Marketing
Ideally, you have money already set aside to fund your book marketing. It is allocated specifically for this function, sitting in an account ready to be put into action. However, if that is not the case you may be wondering how to fund your marketing. Here are some of the common ways that other authors and publishers do it.

Credit Card / Line of Credit The most common way we see authors funding their campaigns is with a credit card. It is probably the simplest way to do it. As always with credit cards, be aware of the interest rate you are being charged.
Home Equity LoanWhile it may be more paperwork upfront, it will certainly save on the interest rate. It is also likely to be a tax deduction personally. (But of course check with your accountant on that.)

Investors Finding someone else to fund the marketing is also something we see quite often. These investors can be family, friends or actual venture capitalists. Be aware that these folks will want to see a business plan including a full marketing plan and financial estimates. See our Book Marketing Profit System for a template book marketing plan. (WWW.MARKETABILILTY.COM)

Tapping into 401K / IRA / College FundFrankly, this source of funding is the one that makes us cringe. Not only are you betting your retirement or your kid’s college funding on the success of your book, you are also paying taxes on the money you take out, thereby substantially increasing the amount of money you are actually investing. Please consider very carefully before utilizing this option.

Using Book Sales to Pay for Marketing Sounds good in theory, but it simply will not work. You must invest something to get started. You can then re-invest your book sales revenue into more marketing, but the first sale will not happen without marketing. This is a classic which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg scenario.

A Word of Caution (or When NOT to Fund Your Marketing)
Over the years we have seen many books fail due to lack of funding. That is quite sad. We have also seen many books fail DESPITE having adequate funding. That is just plain horrible. We have met authors who are $20,000, $30,000, even $50,000 or more in debt from producing and trying to sell their book.

If you are in a situation where recouping an investment is critical to your financial security or not selling books will place you in serious financial hardship PLEASE do not invest more than you can afford to spend in your book.

We strongly suggest that you set a limit on your budget that is something you can live with, even if you do not sell a single book. If that amount is low or very low, don’t despair. As you’ve seen, there are plenty of low cost ways you can market your book.

Now, don’t think we are trying to talk you out of marketing your book ­ nothing could be further from the truth ­ we just want to make sure you are proceeding carefully. We do believe you can sell your book and we’ll do whatever we can to help you!

Allocation of Funds ­ How to Prioritize Your Investment
With any investment you want to invest wisely. (Especially for your book.) The last thing you would want to do is waste all the time you spent writing it. So how do you know what is the best use of your valuable time and your hard-earned money?

First of all prioritize your actions based on YOUR goals. You know what is most important to you about your book. Find the tools we’ve suggested that help you reach that goal and do those action items first.

If selling books is your primary goal then be sure to allocate equally in the areas of Awareness and Availability.

Awareness is anything that helps your customers find out your book is out there, such as:publicity, pay per click advertising, search engine, E-zines, reviews, testimonials, etc.

Availability is anything that makes your book available to purchase, such as:bookstores, your website, Amazon, libraries, book clubs, etc.

Don’t expect to pull demand with awareness only. You cannot simply tell people your book exists and expect sales to fall out of the sky. The book has got to be available to purchase - in a store, on a website, at AmazonÅ 

Nor can you expect the product to sell itself with availability only. A book sitting on the bookstore shelf when no one knows it is there IS A BOOK ABOUT TO BE RETURNED. A website with no traffic is a site that is not selling any books.

Choose your actions based on creating awareness and facilitating availability. Do both.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Marketing Tip | Publicity 101: How to Work with Print Media

Publicity 101: How to Work with Print Media
By Pam Perry, author of Quick & Easy Ministry Marketing Solutions: 115 PR Tips to Brand Your Ministry

1. Get newsworthy info into the hands of the media. Make a habit of sending out releases on a regular basis about your events, special speakers, or anything impacting the community at large. Use a media directory or "Google" on the web to find names and contact information.

2. Get to know the religion reporters of the daily and weekly newspapers. Position yourself with them as an accessible and reliable source and a key authority to be featured in future stories.

3. Read the dailies. Respond to articles where you can take a stand on an issue while branding your ministry by writing a "Letter to Editor" or an "Op Ed" - Opinion Editorial.

4. Send out media releases for really intriguing or fascinating human interest stories by using news wire services. Wire services get wider distribution and can be picked up by national media via the web.

5. Place ads in local newspapers and monthly magazines. Have the ads consistent with your other ministry marketing materials.

6. Become a regular advertiser in at least one publication. You build brand equity with that audience by advertising in one publication. They learn to trust you. Purchase ads in souvenir program books like the NAACP or SCLC to show your commitment to the community.

7. Feature bold graphics and a lot of white space
in your newspaper and magazine ads. Keep copy to a minimum. Steer people to your web site. Color commands attention and adds impact. It also gets better ad placement in newspapers.

8. Supply media with well-written and professionally developed press kits. Include press releases (the who, what, when, where, how and why), fact sheets, bios, photo, brochure, annual reports and news clips. Suggest a story idea in the cover letter (A QUERY LETTER). Use the industry format for releases to improve your chances of gaining publicity.

9. Expect very little communication back from editors. They are very busy every day with tons of lead for stories. Assign an intern or team member to follow up by phone, email, or both.

10. Read any and all publications you can. Note stories that deal with issues important to your ministry. Add that reporter to your media contact list to send them future releases. The best media lists are the ones you personally create and are familiar with the reporter’s work and style.

11. Send out thank you notes to reporters who feature you in stories. They will remember your personal touch and will keep you in mind as a good source in the future.

12. Assign a photographer to take photos at ALL events where you are participating. Releasing the photos to the media after an event is called Post-Publicity. Send the photo with a brief description of the event. Identify the people in the photo with a label on the back. This is called a “cutline.”

13. Realize that newspapers always need good photos. Most black newspapers love to chronicle events in the community.


Pam Perry is a ministry marketing pioneer and expert in the African American Christian market. Her public relations and advertising career spans over two decades.

She spent the first ten years working in ad agencies and secular media. She has dedicated the past ten to ministry marketing. Her company has a roster of some of the most well known Christian publishers and African American Christian authors in the industry.
Visit her at for PR coaching

Friday, October 17, 2008

Chocolate Pages Pick: Michelle (biography by Liza Mundy)

She can be funny and sharp-tongued, warm and blunt, empathic and demanding. Who is the woman Barack Obama calls "the boss"?

In Michelle, Washington Post writer Liza Mundy paints a revealing and intimate portrait, taking us inside the marriage of the most dynamic couple in politics today.

She shows how well they complement each other: Michelle, the highly organized, sometimes intimidating, list-making pragmatist; Barack, the introspective political charmer who won't pick up his socks but shoots for the stars.

Their relationship, like those of many couples with two careers and two children, has been so strained at times that he has had to persuade her to support his climb up the political ladder. And you can't blame her for occasionally regretting it: In this campaign, it is Michelle who has absorbed much of the skepticism from voters about Obama. One conservative magazine put her on the cover under the headline "Mrs. Grievance."

Michelle's story carries with it all the extraordinary achievements and lingering pain of America in the post-civil rights era.

She grew up on the south side of Chicago, the daughter of a city worker and a stay-at-home mom in a neighborhood rocked by white flight.

She was admitted to Princeton amid an angry debate about affirmative action and went on to Harvard Law School, where she was more comfortable doing pro-bono work for the poor than gunning for awards with the rest of her peers.

She became a corporate lawyer, then left to train community leaders. She is modern in her tastes but likes to watch reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Brady Bunch.

In this carefully reported biography, drawing upon interviews with morethan one hundred people, including one with Michelle herself, Mundy captures the complexity of this remarkable woman and the remarkable life she has lived.

The Washington Post - Amy Wilentz
Liza Mundy's sane and realistic biography of Michelle Obama implicitly acknowledges the new, more serious status of a presidential spouse. Although the book includes stories about who picks up his dirty socks (he does) and who has the paramount role in raising their daughters (she does), the book also takes seriously Michelle Obama's political opinions and the attempts (by her and her husband's campaign) to tweak her personality for public consumption.

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