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1. Think Like a Journalist

writing

One of the best things you can do, when promoting your book, is to think like a journalist. You have a beat to cover and that beat is you and your writing. Look for stories that pertain to the subject matter in your novels, the themes you explore in your work and try to expand on them in a way that would interest everyone. Authors often say to me, “But I write fiction? I make these stories up and there isn’t any earth-shattering revelation in my work. It’s just about women and friendship (or divorce, death, marriage, children).” I always tell my authors that these are the stories that people gravitate towards, these are the personal stories that hold the most interest, these are the stories producers and editors go looking for when covering a topic. If you have written a book about divorce, a novel that explores the ins and outs of one of the most difficult times in a person’s life, then you should explore that in a way that will grab an editor’s (and ultimately a reader or viewer’s interest). Research it. How many divorces take place in year? What is the real percentage of marriages that end in divorce? Are there any headline grabbing names (i.e., Hollywood, Political) who are currently going through a divorce? Tackle your subject and research it daily. Set a google alert to let you know when your topic is mentioned in the news or on blogs. Authors often say, “But I’m not an expert. Who am I to weigh in on divorce/death/marriage?” If you have written a novel exploring a topic, then you are an expert. You have spent enough hours delving into the intricacies of this topic to consider yourself an expert. An expert continues to research and explore a topic and that is exactly what you are doing. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, is considered an expert on happiness because she focuses an entire blog on just that topic. She writes about it daily, thinks about it all the time and explores every angle possible. If you can do that with the themes explored in your novels, then you should share your knowledge…as an expert.

Start every day by scanning newspapers, major online news sites and news programs. Stay alert to what is relevant, what news stories are trending, and where the interest seems to be. If something comes up in any one of these outlets that you feel pertains to your work, your writing or your life, start jotting down ideas. Write about it in your blog or mention it on one of your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). Stay curious and alert at all times because all it takes is one story or “hook” and you could get the exposure that will help increase the visibility of you and your work.

2. Book Tours vs. Blog Tours

Boulder-Book-Store-copy-300x199

Here is the thing about book tours. They can be exhausting for the author and don’t necessarily result in exposure that will move your book up in sales. There are many writers who love hitting the open road, traveling to bookstores across the country, directly interacting with booksellers and readers. However, it can be difficult to have the stamina and the ego to take on a book tour. You will go to bookstore signings where there will only be three people in attendance (and two of them probably work for the bookstore). And unless your publisher is paying for this tour, it can get pretty expensive. All-in-all, a book tour is oftentimes not the best use of your time, energy and finances. However, one author that I recently spoke with, did a book tour, ended up in a bookstore with three people there for the signing (and yes, two were book store employees) but the third person was a freelance writer for a major magazine who ended up connecting with the author, writing about the book on the magazine’s website and creating a lot of buzz for this particular author. Sometimes, it does benefit to just put yourself out there. I always suggest that authors reach out to their local bookstores for signings or if they are already planning on traveling somewhere, reach out to bookstores in those areas, as well.

However, a blog tour is a much more efficient way to spread the word about your book without spreading yourself too thin. Blog tours allow you to interact with readers, use social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter) to increase the attention of the blog tours and generate interest for you and your book. Research say that people need to hear a title or name at least seven times before it generates a reaction, appearing in numerous places online is a great way to bring enough exposure to your name to have people react and pay attention.

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3. Time to Shine!

Admit it. You’ve said it, or something along the lines of it. You’re feeling worn out, burned out or just want to get out.


“I can’t do this anymore.”

“I’m not a marketer, I’m a writer.”

“If I spend so much time selling myself, I’ll have nothing left.”

“My writing will suffer.”

“I’ll start annoying people.”

These are the common worries that people have when promoting their writing. They don’t feel qualified or capable of building “buzz.”

To quote a line from The Kings Speech.

“I deserve to be heard! I have a voice!”

We all have a voice and our passions fuel our thoughts, our voices, and what we say. The book you write is an extension of yourself.

Haven’t you wanted to be a writer all of your life? Wasn’t that the career you aspired to? The writing is the creative side but as with all careers, it can’t all be creative work, it’s also about money. You want to sell more books, earn more money and become desirable to your publishing house. You have to get out there. Let your voice be heard!

Things are changing. Selling and marketing books isn’t the way it used to be. There are many more channels, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, online reviews, and more competition. We can’t rely solely on securing a review in the book section of a major paper. Not only are those sections diminishing and restructuring their focus, but it is increasingly difficult for different voices (particularly new voices) to be heard.

Think back to when you were trying to get published, stomping the pavement to secure that perfect agent, to find the editor who connected with your work, you were persistent and dedicated to an ultimate goal. This is where many writers think the journey ends. This is

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4. Literary Links

Here are some recent book news that should keep your literary fire burning!

The Last Chapter

Love in Bookstores

Author, Sell Thyself

Publishing Guru Bets on Book-Making Machine

JJ Abrams (of Felicity fame) will co-write novel for Little, Brown imprint Mulholland Books

Literary Witchhunt

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5. Hocking & Eisler and the Changing Face of Publishing

Much has been written about, discussed, dissected and scrutinized about self-publishing phenomenon Amanda Hocking and her reported $2 million deal with St. Martins. Before that there was the news that bestselling author Barry Eisler turned down a six-figure deal and opted to self publish. Both authors are receiving significant press and publicity. It’s hard to say if Eisler would be such a household name right now if he hadn’t chosen to self-publish or if Hocking’s books would be downloaded at such an intense rate if she hadn’t just translated her self-publishing success into a multi-book deal.

We have witnessed success in self-publishing from many different angles and seen the success an author can acquire by building their platform through self-publishing and attracting mainstream attention. In some ways, self-publishing can be a great way to get your foot in the door, show publishers what you are capable of, and build a strong and supportive readership. With the multiple outlets for social networking and exposure that we have at our fingertips, it does change the rate at which authors can get the word out about their work and build a strong buzz.

Here’s what I like about Amanda Hocking, she writes! She’s written more than 15 books. She blogs regularly, constantly recording her side of the story, her views on publishing, her life as a writer. She actively and enthusiastically self-promotes.

Self-publishing offers writers the opportunity to jump right into the thick of things, to get their feet wet and get their words published. It is a risky and dangerous jump but it can have great rewards. Amanda Hocking offers her readers good stories at a cheap price and available at the click of mouse. These are all opportunities that were not available to writers a few years ago.

The changes we are witnessing in the publishing industry are complex and constantly shifting but they are showing us one thing, writers are being given more and more opportunities to do what they love, write and have their words read. Self-publishing is not going to harm or take business away from traditional publishers. Most writers, even those who have chosen self-publishing, still have the ultimate goal of being picked up by a traditional publisher. Traditional publishers can offer greater opportunities to authors immediately, the support and reception that comes from being with a recognizable publishing house can give an author a leg up. While self-published authors can steadily build significant careers (see JA Konrath) it can feel more like an uphill battle. There are many book review websites, magazines, and newspapers who will not review a self-published title.

There tends to be a stigma attached to self-published work that it is poorly edited, was rejected by publishers and is an authors “last resort.”  However, with stories like Eisler’s and Hocking, as well as our clients Brunonia Barry and Lisa Genova, self-publishing can prove extremely fruitful and part of an authors journey towards a successful and fulfilling career. For many, self-publishing is a step towards a specific destination, the goal of being traditionally published. For others, it is a way to fulfill a simple dream, to see their words in print. Whether self-publishing is part of your journey or the culmination of a dream, it is up to the author to build their name and get exposure for their work. Traditionally published authors have the same goal, bring their work to the attention of readers.

What I love about Hocking and Eisler and Konrath and Barry and Genova is that they make people talk about publishing, about books about an industry that has been around for hundreds of years and continues to grow and change, thrive and inspire.

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6. Literary Roundup

Here is a round up of what is going on in the world of books.

Perez Hilton to Write Children’s Book

Billy Joel Cancels Memoir

John Mellencamp and Stephen King to Team Up on Musical

Brian Selznick’s Cover for Wonderstruck Unveiled

Stephen King Prepping New Title for Dark Tower Series

Sammy Hagar’s Memoir Released

Popular Blog WTF Is Up With My Love Life Scores Book Deal

NYPL Reveals Finalists for 2011 Young Lions Fiction Award

The Sweet Valley Twins are Back!

David Foster Wallace’s THE PALE KING Released Online Before it Appears in Bookstores

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7. The Beauty of Books

9780143106456_SecretGarden_ClaDlx.indd

One thing that the push towards digital may create is an increase in the art and artistry of printed books.

Fast Company recently profiled Penguin books cover designer Coralie Bickford-Smith and The Atlantic ran a piece on their hand sewn covers that will be releasing soon.

Penguin seems to be the leader in this area, but as word spreads and interest grows in collecting books as works of art, not just to read, the growth may be significant.

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8. Simple Ways to Build Your Platform

Christina Katz has a great article in the March/April issue of Writers Digest on 50 simple ways to build your platform in 5 minutes a day. The constant throughout her piece is this: always be thinking about your book and how you can incorporate it into what is going on in the world. We give our clients this piece of advice frequently. This is one of the reasons we suggest that our authors start blogs. Many of them are apprehensive about venturing into blog territory. They are filled with questions like, “How do I build up traffic to my blog?” and “What do I write about?” Our advice is simple, just write. You will find that you start gravitating towards similar topics, topics that you cover in your writing, topics that you are passionate about. Putting yourself on a writing schedule, motivating yourself to write daily with a nonfiction hook  is a great way to start generating ideas and recognizing angles for your work to be covered. Train your brain to look for hooks everywhere and you will begin to develop angles that you can pitch to publications or websites. Search online for people writing about similar topics and connect with them. Build your online network and share and cultivate ideas.

Katz recommends that writers master the 5-minute release. “Zoom in on the latest happenings, holidays and story hooks and tie your book into it. Write 5-minute mini-press releases and send them out regularly.” Sometimes authors find themselves overwhelmed by all the great ideas they have for promoting their work that they don’t actually take the time to write them down and actively pursue them. Ideas should be written down as they occur, who knows which one is going to be the tipping point for your success.

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9. Book News

Here’s what’s going on this week in the literary landscape.

-Could the Kindle be free by November? It’s possible. However, what is most likely going to happen is that Amazon Prime members will be eligible for a free device, according to Michael Arrington at Tech Crunch.

-Half of this year’s best movies were based on books. Independent.

-Here is some new information on Ebooks for libraries. Library Journal.

-Interesting article on the importance of social media for authors. Guardian.

-Upcoming Books-to-Film releases. NPR.

-Alternative outlets for bookselling. NYTimes.

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10. The Power of Twitter

twitter

With the rapidly changing dynamic of the publishing industry, the online presence of authors and their books is becoming increasingly significant. The immediacy that online sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as blogs and book-related social networking sites like GoodReads and LibraryThing, provide for authors to publicize and sell their work is incredibly efficient. The opportunities these sites provide are growing daily and creative angles are being discovered and utilized much more frequently and with more successful results.

Twitter’s ability to create trends using the hashtag symbol, unite groups with the creation of lists and allow for direct contact between reader and author is an incredibly useful tool for book promotion. The built-in audience that author’s have to promote their work immediately through Twitter is becoming a much used resource in marketing strategies.

Publishers, publicists and authors are running contests on Twitter where people who Retweet certain postings are instantly entered to win giveaways including copies of books, bookmarks, and gift baskets of book-related items. These retweets are a great way of bringing more attention to a company or author’s specific Twitter feed and results in more followers and more exposure for the books they are promoting.

In order for Twitter to be effective as a promotional tool you must have a significant number of followers and the only way to increase your following is to post frequently, follow people and retweet posts you find interesting. Providing interesting links to articles on your Twitter feed is a great way to encourage other Twitter users to retweet your postings and bring new eyes to your profile.

Twitter parties are a relatively new strategy but are proving fruitful in both generating more followers and increasing your book’s exposure on Twitter. For example, young adult author Lisi Harrison is hosting a Twitter party for her newest release, A Tale of Two Pretties. She is cross promoting the Twitter party on her highly trafficked blog as well as through her publishers site.

Twitter is a helpful and useful platform to bring people with similar interests together and Twitter parties are simply a way for these people to interact at a specified time, thus creating a more immediate virtual connection.

Writer Rachel Aydt recently interviewed me for a piece in Publishing Perspectives on Twitter and its power to bring readers and writers together. Her article beautifully examines the changing world of publishing and the growing online community.

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11. Questions…

I want to open this blog up to readers (and writers). What are your questions regarding book publicity? What do you want to know? We are here to answer your questions about an industry that changes DAILY. Do you want to know about social media? Do you want to know about book reviewers? Columnists? How to pitch magazines and newspapers? How to get an editor or a producer interested in your book? How to find an angle or platform that suits you and your work? Self-publishing versus traditional publishing houses?

What are your most pressing questions about book publicity?

Ask away…

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12. Matty in the Morning

kisslogoweb

We had a great time on Matty in the Morning! Here’s a link to the interview. Stay tuned for more posts about AUSTRALIA!

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13. Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure

Jocelyn Kelley, Oprah Winfrey & Gayle King in Sydney, Australia

Jocelyn Kelley, Oprah Winfrey & Gayle King in Sydney, Australia

What an experience we had in Australia as part of Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure. Gloria and I were able to take in the sights of Australia, learn about the culture and be a part of a major media extravaganza. The episodes of Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure will be airing in January, so stay tuned for more updates.

A wonderful thing about Australia is how proud they are of their literary history. There are metal plaques embedded in the ground around Sydney’s Circular Quay called “Writers Walk” where they pay tribute to their writers by giving people a short history along the frequented path of travelers. The writers represented include not only those originally from Australia but also those who lived there or visited often. Authors such as D.H. Lawrence, Mark Twain, and Rudyard Kipling are represented in this extremely popular Australian “spot.”

Sydney's Writers Walk

Sydney's Writers Walk

While traveling through the city, we were able to explore the bookshops that seem to appear on every corner. Australians are readers!  One particular bookstore, Dymocks, was a particular delight because we found our own Lisa Genova’s STILL ALICE prominently displayed on their recommended reads shelf. It was certainly a proud moment for Kelley & Hall!

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Highlights of the trip included the Sydney Bridge Climb with the ENTIRE Ultimate Adventure audience (all 302…the most people on the bridge at one time!), the fireworks over Sydney Harbor and the illumination of an “O” on the Sydney Bridge (which is reportedly the first time they’ve ever done anything commercial on the Sydney Bridge), a regatta with Russell Crowe (we sailed in the replica of the Endeavor, the ship that Captain James Cook sailed when he made the first contact with Australia).The two Oprah shows we attended were full of so much enthusiasm and excitement for Australia it was infectious (except when Hugh Jackman hit the lights while performing a stunt…that was terrifying and definitely provided some very tense minutes).  We also had lunch with Oprah and she greeted us at the airport when we were departing for home,  individually thanking us all for coming on this “Ultimate Australian Adventure.” I was even able to discuss the latest Oprah Book Club pick, Charles Dickens GREAT EXPECTATIONS and A TALE OF TWO CITIES with Oprah herself.  This was certainly a trip we will never forget.

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14. The New York Times Bestseller List

Young Adult author Jackson Pearce explains the inner workings of the New York Times Bestseller List.

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15. Lauren Belfer Tops End of Year Lists

Lauren Belfer

Lauren Belfer

Congratulations to our client, Lauren Belfer, whose book, A FIERCE RADIANCE, has been named on both the Washington Post list of the Best Novels of 2010 and NPR’s list of the Best Mysteries of 2010.

Read more about Lauren’s stellar year here.

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16. Ilie Ruby in The Sacramento Book Review

languageoftrees

An essay by Ilie Ruby, author of The Language of Trees, appeared in The Sacramento Book Review. Check it out here.

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17. CHOSEN and Chandra Hoffman featured on SHEKNOWS

chosenchandra

Chandra Hoffman was interviewed on SheKnows this week and CHOSEN was reviewed. Check it all out on SheKnows.com.

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18. Lit Links

literature

Here are some interesting literary links from around the web. Author news, interviews, opinion pieces and tips for writers, readers and anyone interested in the world of publishing. Enjoy!

Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books – WSJ

On the Road with Jonathan Franzen – PW

Why You Should Blog – Tribal Writer

Danielle Steel Says She’s NOT a Romance Writer – Media Bistro’s Galleycat

Blackberry Unveils Their E-Reader, The Playbook – Blackberry

Ann Patchett Talks About Plot – WSJ

Can You Resubmit A Query? – KT Literary

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19. Detach from the Results

amazon

When it comes to writing, there is a beauty in the unselfconscious mind. We allow our words to flow freely onto the page, we explore worlds and we try to disconnect from the audience. We are fully immersed in the writing process and business is a word we don’t even comprehend…during the writing process. Then we finish our books, our works of art, and have to begin to explore the business side. I have often heard from writers about the terror this stage of the game produces. Fixations on things like book sales, Amazon rankings and media coverage can suck all of the joy and energy out of that which you once dreamed about: being a writer.

I read an interesting piece on a blog the other day, ironically it was on a blog about acting! In the essay he writes that essentially you have to let go of the end result in order to succeed.

We need to have a direction we want to move in. But we must detach from the results. If we don’t detach from the results we will be locked in misery and thought. Also, detaching from the results opens us up to a possibility much grander than what our minds can imagine. We need to plant seeds and let them do their magic under the soil.

We often use the planting seed analogy when talking about publicity. We reach far and wide, send out messages and information to all appropriate outlets and often times the results far exceed our expectations. But these seeds also take time to come to fruition. You can’t send someone a book and have them read it, react the way you want and then cover it in a short period of time. However, often these seeds bloom in ways we never even dreamed. One person reads a book that we have sent them and it registers in an impossibly enlightening way. The right book at the right time. But if you, as the writer, spend your time obsessing over Amazon rankings or trying to beat the competition, you lose sight of that goal. To find readers and have them connect with your work, to open up a world inside the pages of a novel or memoir or non-fiction guide and have people understand and appreciate what you have created. In order to change lives and leave an impact, to honor your work as a writer, you have to detach from the results because it will only leave you self-conscious and stalled when completing future work. As Deepak Chopra (bestselling author and guru) says,

You do not want to dig up the seeds of your desires to see if they are growing, or get rigidly attached to the way in which they will unfold. You simply want to release them.

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20. Some Weekend Reading

books

The debates are heating up as the dog days of summer come to an end and we prepare for the literary fest that fall brings. Here are some interesting tidbits that I have gathered from the literary world…

The Wall Street Journal wants to know if e-books are worth it?

Jennifer Weiner and Jodi Picoult take on Jonathan Franzen and the attention he has been getting for Freedom.

Barnes & Noble announced big losses.

Andrew Wylie got into an e-book battle with Random House, raising some serious questions.

Publishers Weekly announced that they will review self-published titles for a fee which raised a few questions from bloggers and writers.

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21. In Between the Pages: A Look at September Magazines

I am always curious to see how many books are covered in the major magazines. I was actually quite impressed with the number of books that were either reviewed or briefly noted. It is also interesting to see which titles appear in more than one publication.

Redbook

The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass

Ape House by Sara Gruen

Are You My Guru by Wendy Shanker

Presenting Tallulah by Tori Spelling

Elle Magazine

Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell

Juliet by Anne Fortier (front of book and elle.com)

The Wave by Susan Casey

Quiet as They Come by Angie Chau

The Book of the Dead by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson

Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li

Room by Emma Donoghue

Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes

Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez

At the Dark End of the Street by Danielle McGuire (article)

Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Some Sing, Some Cry, Ntozake Shange

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine

Brain Storm by Rebecca Jordan-Young

Vanity Fair

Nicholas Sparks profiled

Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez

Dogfight, a Love Story by Matt Burgess

Vida by Patricia Engel

All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang

The Honor Code by Kwame Anthony Appiah

Big Girls Don’t Cry by Rebecca Traister

Check, Please by AJ Stern

The Daily Show’s Earth by Jon Stewart

The Pleasure Seekers by Tishani Doshi (in brief)

Empire of Dreams by Scott Eyman (in brief)

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay (in brief)

The Odious Ogre by Norton Juster ( in brief)

Time For Dinner by Stang and Rosenstrach (in brief)

Dreaming in Chinese by Deborah Fallows (in brief)

Sarah: The LIfe of Sarah Bernhardt (in brief)

Working Together by Michael Eisner (in brief)

The Temptress by Paul Spicer (in brief)

My Bright Midnight by Josh Russell (in brief)

The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramago (in brief)

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (in brief)

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

O, The Oprah Magazine

Juliet by Anne Fortier

I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Designated Fat Girl by Jennifer Joyner

Hollywood by Larry McMurtry

The Lady Matador’s Hotel by Cristina Garcia

A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell

Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong

Ape House by Sara Gruen

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

Book of Days by Emily Fox Gordon

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan

The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Dreaming in Chinese by Deborah Fallows

Room by Emma Donaghue

The Wave by Susan Casey

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

(Books that Made a Difference to news anchor Brian Williams)

Isaac’s Storm

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

No Ordinary Time

The Promise by Jonathan Alter

The Great Bridge by McCullough

Medal of Honor

Personal History

Taking Charge and Reaching for Glory by Beschloss

GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

Rock What You’ve Got by Katherine Schwarzenegger

(7 Best Literary Heroines of All Time)

Little Women

Jane Eyre

Harry Potter

Sula

Pride and Prejudice

Eva Luna

Lysistrata

Entertainment Weekly

(This is a weekly magazine but still wanted to include the titles featured this week)

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Mentor by Tom Grimes

The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard

Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Chron

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22. Ron Charles Reviews Mona Simpson’s MY HOLLYWOOD

Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World fiction editor and weekly critic takes to YouTube to review Mona Simpson’s latest release, MY HOLLYWOOD. Charles reviewed this title for the paper but experiments with a video rendition of his review. He does so with humor and a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the changing face of book reviews.

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23. Seth Godin to No Longer Publish Traditionally

Seth Godin, entrepreneur, author, public speaker and media expert, has made a decision of great significance and it is geared toward the publishing industry. He has decided that Linchpin, his 12th book, will be the last book he publishes traditionally. Here is an excerpt from his blog where he explains his decision,

Authors need publishers because they need a customer. Readers have been separated from authors by many levels–stores, distributors, media outlets, printers, publishers–there were lots of layers for many generations, and the editor with a checkbook made the process palatable to the writer. For ten years, I had a publisher as a client (with some fun self-published adventuresalong the way). Twelve bestsellers later, I’ve thought hard about what it means to have a traditional publisher.

Traditional book publishers use techniques perfected a hundred years ago to help authors reach unknown readers, using a stable technology (books) and an antique and expensive distribution system.

The thing is–now I know who my readers are. Adding layers or faux scarcity doesn’t help me or you. As the medium changes, publishers are on the defensive…. I honestly can’t think of a single traditional book publisher who has led the development of a successful marketplace/marketing innovation in the last decade. The question asked by the corporate suits always seems to be, “how is this change in the marketplace going to hurt our core business?” To be succinct: I’m not sure that I serve my audience (you) by worrying about how a new approach is going to help or hurt Barnes & Noble.

My audience does things like buy five or ten copies at a time and distribute them to friends and co-workers. They (you) forward blog posts and PDFs. They join online discussion forums. None of these things are supported by the core of the current corporate publishing model.

Since February, I’ve shared my thoughts about the future of publishing in both public forums and in private brainstorming sessions with various friends in top jobs in the publishing industry. Other than one or two insightful mavericks, most of them looked at me like I was nuts for being an optimist. One CEO worked as hard as she could to restrain herself, but failed and almost threw me out of her office by the end. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken at the fear I saw.

All a long way of saying that as the methods for spreading ideas and engaging with people keep changing, I can’t think of a good reason to be on the defensive. It’s been years since I woke up in the morning saying, “I need to write a book, I wonder what it should be about.” Instead, my mission is to figure out who the audience is, and take them where they want and need to go, in whatever format works, even if it’s not a traditionally published book.

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24. Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure

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I make no secret of my love for all things “O” and I have said on many occasions that I started Kelley & Hall because I was inspired by Oprah and her book club. I was enormously impressed by the way she could take a book and express such enthusiasm and delight in the words found within, urging her viewers to pick up a novel and discover new worlds. As her book club progressed, people soon learned that lives could be transformed by the messages and themes explored within the pages of a book and every one of us has a story to tell.

I started reading with Oprah when she announced her very first Oprah Book Club pick, Jacquelyn Mitchard’s THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, and I never stopped.  My life has, quite literally, revolved around the printed word and it just made sense to build a career that allowed me to spend my time reaching out to readers about authors and the work they create.  You can imagine my delight when my enthusiasm for books and all things Oprah resulted in my invitation to one of the most talked about premieres in television history. Yes, I will be traveling with Oprah (along with K&H partner Gloria Kelley) to AUSTRALIA! I am so looking forward to documenting this trip and exploring a whole new world!  I will keep everyone posted on our journey with Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure.

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25. Paperback Originals

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Great article in today’s Wall Street Journal about the perceived stigma of paperback originals. The writer points out that one book, in particular, that could change the way we look at paperback originals is David Nicholls critically acclaimed ONE DAY which was released in the US as a paperback original and has gone on to sell incredibly well. It is also currently being adapted for film and will star Anne Hathaway. Paperbacks are an easier sell, less of a financial commitment, and can help build an author’s brand and recognition. They are also increasingly popular in the growing world of book clubs.

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