Reviewed by Terri S.
“The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color in a New Millennium” by Kathy Russell-Cole, Midge Wilson, and Ronald E. Hall
c.1992, 2013, Anchor
$16.00 / $19.00 Canada
This month, you’ve decided you need a whole new look.
Your hair and wardrobe are out of date, so you’re getting a cut-and-style and a fresh wardrobe, shoes and all. You’ve got an appointment for a mani-pedi, a dermatologist, dentist, and – no more glasses! – you’re getting some of those colored contacts.
But there’s one thing you can’t alter. And in the newly updated book “The Color Complex” by Kathy Russel-Cole, Midge Wilson, and Ronald E. Hall, you’ll see how much it still matters.
The more things change, the more they remain the same…
In the last two decades, America has seen a revolution when it comes to issues of race. The generation that was born and has grown up in that time is “much more racially diverse than any other before it…” Economic powerhouses in India , China and Brazil have emerged, mixed-race relationships barely make us blink, even the government has added multiracial categories on census forms.
There’s been a lot of change, but “colorism” – a word referring to prejudices surrounding skin-color differences, particularly within the African American community – remains. What’s worse, it’s infiltrated popular culture with a subtler, seemingly-nastier effect on its victims.
Though “… skin color has maintained an intimate relationship with class” since “the earliest times,” the issue of colorism has its American roots in the early 1500s when “mulatto” offspring of White men and Black women gained power through education and social bridging between Black and White populations. Later, preference was shown for lighter-skinned individuals as “house slaves,” who largely disparaged darker-skinned field workers.
Today, several decades after discrimination based on color was made illegal, colorism still exists. Some blame it on music videos and Black songwriters. Others accuse fashion and movies. The authors also point at politics and world policy, yet they say that there are things you can do to “lessen colorism’s pernicious effects.”
Contact television networks if you notice a lack of Black journalists or actors. Let editors know that you won’t purchase their magazines until they stop Photoshopping pictures of models of color. Use the power of social media to further your cause, state your opinions, and gather support.
These days, it seems that we like to pretend we live in an enlightened world that’s on its way to being “color-blind.” We have a Black president, after all, and today’s youth are more accepting of racial differences. Some think we’ve gotten past skin color, but reading “The Color Complex” shows otherwise.
With great dismay and a surprising amount of quietly cynical humor, authors Kathy Russell-Cole, Midge Wilson, and Ronald E. Hall re-examine the divisiveness of colorism today, in contrast to what it was two decades ago. New, eye-opening research and fresh information show readers that though there are gains in some areas, colorism is far from a dead issue; in fact, with the rise of globalism, it’s actually spread.
This is a fascinating, albeit quite uncomfortable book that I recommend for audiences both Black and White. Newly updated, “The Color Complex” deserves a whole new look.
Reviewed by Terri S.
“Decadence” by Eric Jerome Dickey
$25.95 / $28.50 Canada
You’ll try anything once.
You’re daring when it comes to a new restaurant, new clubs, new fashion, pretty much anything. Something different for your plate? Bring it on. An activity you’ve never done before? You head the line. New technology? They call you First-Adopter.
Being open to new adventures keeps life fresh and exciting. And, as you’ll see in the new novel “Decadence” by Eric Jerome Dickey, embracing new experiences can also fulfill fantasies.
Nia Simone Bijou was feeling restless.
It had been six weeks since she last saw her lover, Prada, and though their weekend together left her sated, it wasn’t for long. She had hoped that her friendship with the soldier, Bret, would turn into a repeat of their one-night stand, but friendship was all he seemed interested in. And so, filled with desire, Nia Simone applied for membership to Decadence, a very exclusive and private swinger’s club four hours away from her Smyrna townhouse.
Decadence fees were astonishing, the medical process was thorough, and the interview was long and deeply personal, but Nia Simone had nothing to hide. She was used to being naked in front of others and she wasn’t afraid to describe her fantasies. She wanted new experiences, club rules were simple, and very little was off-limits.
On her first visit, she turned from Watcher to Doer. Decadence was a lover’s playground and she wished she could bring Prada with her, though she knew he’d never share her. And since monogamy was boring, sharing was what Nia Simone really desired.
But while Decadence was everything she needed it to be, it wasn’t as anonymous as she’d hoped.
Years before, when Nia Simone was in college, her heart was broken by her first love, a man who cheated on her with her pupil. It was still a fist to her gut when she thought about him – so seeing him in the club, watching him please that woman, brought white-hot anger to Nia Simone, and a need for sexual revenge.
Looking for a different Shade of Gray? You might find it here, so bring your oven mitts.
Yes, indeed, “Decadence” is hot with a capital “H.” It fairly blisters with explicitness – but it’s also relentless. Author Eric Jerome Dickey starts the action literally on the fourth word of this novel and he barely lets up until the end of the book. Alas, that relentlessness sometimes made me lose interest, which is when I started noticing a handful of words that are overused to the point of silliness, and a main character that speaks in tedious, faux-poetic metaphors.
To the good, though, there’s a thin plot in this book – which is better than some I’ve read in Dickey’s erotica collection. But really, let’s be honest: the plot isn’t why you’d want this book in the first place.
In case you didn’t catch on, this book is for adults only and shouldn’t even be kept in the same room with kids. If you’ve got that covered, then go ahead and give “Decadence” a try.
How to Toss Pitches That Hit the Target
By Marsha J Friedman
I’ve been saying it for 22 years: Getting mentioned in news stories and being interviewed on radio and TV is the best, most cost-effective marketing strategy.
By positioning yourself as an expert on topics relevant to your product or book, you also gain credibility. This is what I call “Celebritize Yourself.” It’s the boost you need to rise above the competition.
But, how do you get journalists interested in what you have to say? You might offer to write an article or blog post, or provide interesting TV or radio commentary on a topic in the news. Come up with a fresh angle that will add to a news story everyone’s talking about. For example, last year a client wrote a memoir about his years in the Secret Service. Imagine the placements he could get now with all the attention on the carousing agents in Colombia. He even got a placement on my radio show!
Now that you’ve identified a news story or trend that dovetails nicely with your message and an angle no one else has thought of, all you have to do is get someone in the media to pay attention. That first step can be the hardest – if you don’t know what you’re doing.
A few weeks ago, I asked three professionals fresh from jobs in traditional media what made them pay attention – or not! – to telephone and email pitches. They came up with so many good suggestions, I shared half last week, and promised more this week.
Never one to break a promise, I now give you – as the late great journalist Paul Harvey would say – the rest of the story:
- Print journalists tend to like print, so send an email. Everyone’s different, of course, but journalists who choose print over broadcast tend to do so because they’re more comfortable with that medium. Some prefer time to think over a proposal rather than respond immediately to a cold call. Having a written pitch in an email folder may be handier than searching for handwritten notes scrawled during a phone call.
- Keep it short – the more you write, the less they read. No one, journalist or otherwise, wants to read through two pages of text to figure out what you’re asking or offering. Boil down your pitch to a succinct length, three or four paragraphs is good, with the basics. Even better – use bullets to make your points. That’s an easy-to-read format that’s much more visually inviting than blocks of dense text.
- Don’t make them work for it. Providing a link to your website, and little more, is a sure way to get deleted. I know you think you’re saving yourself time, but you’re doing it at the expense of the journalist’s time. It’s the quickest way to lose their attention. Your website may tell your story beautifully, but unless you provide a compelling reason to click through to it, no one will bother. Your pitch should include a brief reference to the issue or trend you’re plugging into; the content you can provide to give the journalist a great story or show; and a phone number where you can easily be reached. Then add that website link.
- Make sure you have an easy-to-remember website address. You should always provide a link to the site in your email, but that’s not necessarily how journalists will always access it. If they want to browse it when they have more time in the morning, or show it to a colleague, they shouldn’t have to go back to your mail for the URL. If they’re interested enough to want to check out the site, they’ll remember key words that should pop it up in a search. Having a site with an easy-to-remember name will help, as will regularly adding fresh content, which pushes it higher in the search results.
Between last week’s tips and this week’s, you should be all set to connect with the media.
But, I won’t lie; it can be frustrating. If you’re a DIY’er, remember persistence pays. However, if you prefer the help of professionals who know how to craft a pitch and have media contacts coast to coast, keep us in mind. What can be discouraging to you is a lot of fun for us.
Keepin’ it succinct,
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to www.emsincorporated.com to signup to receive her free weekly PR Tips today! More resources for authors can also be found at www.publicitythatworks.com. Or call at 727-443-7115, ext. 202, or email at email@example.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marsha_J_Friedman
When pitching story ideas to your local paper, you want to make sure your pitch lands into the right hands. The last thing you want to do is the send your idea to the wrong person, who may “round file” it, instead of passing it along to the appropriate colleague. If you have a story that’s time-sensitive in nature, you especially want to see that the right person gets it ASAP.
Here’s the low-down on the more common writing and reporting roles at a daily newspaper:
Journalists/reporters: These individuals are the news writers. They do the research, conduct the interviews and write the stories that you read. A reporter’s job is to provide the facts and represent both sides of a story without any bias. They write from the third person perspective, so you will rarely see the words you, me, I or us in a story written by a journalist.
In larger cities, reporters often have “beats” or are given regular assignments to cover. This means, they’re cover local stories by topic, like city hall/government, neighborhood or crime watch, business, schools, sports, arts, lifestyle, etc.
At mid-to-large-sized dailies, the newsroom could be divided into departments. Think of the sections that come with your newspaper – national news, local news, sports, business, lifestyle, travel, among others. Again, you will have reporters who specialize in many of these topics and have people who manage these roles within these departments.
Columnists: This type of journalist writes on a recurring basis on a specific topic, often providing special commentary or their own opinions. So you will see the use first (I, me) and second (You) person in their columns, or the plural use of we and us. You can usually spot a columnist in a newspaper, as their work is accompanied by their photo and “by line” (who the column is written by).
Topics covered by a columnist run the gamut. You can have a columnist who specializes in advice, careers, business, technology, politics, weather, sports, among others. Columnists can be local, national or syndicated.
Local columnists write about local topics and their respective columns appear only in that one publication.
National columnists are employed by large daily papers – such as USA Today, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, et al. – and write columns that can be sold to and republished in other papers across the country.
Syndicated columnists appear in multiple newspapers, but these writers sell their work syndication services which, in turn, distribute the column throughout the newspaper world.
Bloggers: You can also read your local paper online, so blogs are a regular feature on the paper’s website. The blogging platform gives newspaper industry immediacy, which is something all news outlets (both broadcast and print) strive to provide when reporting the news. The goal is to provide the newest, freshest, most unique angle to any story at any given time. Since newspapers do not have the luxury of interrupting our favorite television programs or songs playing on the radio with breaking news or running multiple newscasts in one day, the blog, as well as its website, allow these news publications to report up-to-the-minute coverage.
The blog can be written by reporters or columnists or by someone hired specifically to write blog posts. Blogs allow reporters or columnists to share a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse at how their story came together. Since newspapers have limited space, news stories are written to fit. So the blog platform allows the story to be expanded, so the writer can provide further analysis on the topic.
Finally, many people who do not buy a printed copy of the paper may opt for an on-line subscription. The blog offers on-line subscribers additional content, while extending the social outreach of the publication.
Photographers/photo journalists: The use of photography in newspapers is also a journalistic role. Photo journalists cover all types of news: accidents, special events, breaking news, weather, sports, etc.
Photograph can be used as a self-contained story – with a cut line appearing beneath it. They also can accompany an article to provide a visual representation of the story being told and helping to draw a connection between the reader and the report.
Just like reporting the news, the images should be timely to work in cadence with the article it accompanies. And the image should be impartial, providing the reader with a fair and accurate account of the event.
In Part 2 of Pitching Story Ideas to the Media, we’ll look at newsroom management at a local newspaper.
© 2013 Stephanie Faiella, http://www.avantimarcom.com
Stephanie Faiella is a virtual marketing consultant and founder of Avanti Marketing+Communications. Stephanie offers a free audio report on “15 Marketing Campaign Strategies Designed to Build and Grow Your Business” – along with two free bonuses – wh
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7529089
Maximizing Media Leads
Thanks to HARO (www.helpareporterout.com) and similar media leads services, there are media leads out there for everyone, all the time. Media, media, everywhere! The key, however, is to maximize these leads. Often, we think that as long as we respond to them, and give them our information, the hard part is done. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact it’s really just the beginning. How can you get better exposure for your pitches? Here is a quick guide to pitching these media leads services that will provide you with insight and guidance for better placement and better stickiness to the stories you pitch.
Pitching the right lead: First and foremost, you need to define the right lead to pitch. But really, it’s more than that. Keep in mind that for a variety of topics such as finance, dieting and parenting you might find a lot of leads but not all of them are appropriate to your topic. Some people think that you shouldn’t pitch anything that isn’t 100% spot on. If I followed this way of thinking, I wouldn’t have gotten myself into a variety of publications, including Entrepreneur Magazine (issue forthcoming).
So what’s the goal? The goal is to go after as many leads as you can within the appropriate market. For example, if you have a diet book that is focused on a soy based program and you see a lead about getting ready for summer, you might think it seems off, but the idea here might be to pitch them your topic, to help people get ready for summer. The same is true for an article on the high divorce rate and you have a book on making divorce a smoother transition. This could be a great opportunity for you to pitch a sidebar idea on creating a gentler transition for families of divorce.
The idea really is that, to the degree it’s appropriate, pitch yourself to as many on-point topics as you can. When I do this, however, I will always address the issue of the topic they pitched and then ask if they are interested in perhaps taking a sidebar angle to the piece or offering an extended insight into their topic. You’d be amazed at how often this gets a response.
Response time: Basically, as fast as you can. You should never, ever, ever sit on a lead unless you need to gather additional data before responding. Don’t wait. Period. Remember that you aren’t the only person seeing that lead, many of these reporters and journalists get hundreds of responses per lead they send and generally, the first who respond get the most attention. Ignore the deadline and send it right away, if you wait until minutes before the deadline you might get buried in the hundreds of other leads that have flooded the recipient’s inbox.
Responding: Short, sweet, and to the point. While I suggested in the above tip that you take some liberty with some of your leads and responses, I still recommend keeping it on point and short. In fact I’ll often highlight some key points, send the response off and indicate that I’m aware they might be sitting with a flooded inbox and if my response has piqued their interest, I am happy send as much additional data as they need. Also, if appropriate, cite or link to any current articles that you’ve been featured in online so the media person can see the breadth of your knowledge. Oh and one final note, please, please, please spell check your emails. You’d never send a resume to a potential employer with typos in it, right? So it baffles me that anyone would send an email that wasn’t spell checked.
The media are your customers: Remember to always treat media like your customer and like a consumer, they probably have a lot of choices. Serve them as you would a new client. Give them what they need in a timely fashion and don’t under deliver. Ever. Don’t embellish, don’t alter the facts and be ready to prove every single point you are making in your pitch.
Managing the responses: As you get responses you should be ready to act immediately. In fact if you are pitching yourself to *any* media you should be checking your email regularly – several times a day in fact. Depending on the story you are pushing for, you should really be on top of your email, all the time so you can be prepared to respond immediately.
Follow up: Unless you’ve been tapped by the media person to be in the article don’t follow up on a lead you sent, ever. Why? Because if they need you they’ll let you know; if they don’t, a follow-up email is just annoying. Keep in mind that even if the media person doesn’t respond, you might still see some activity from them down the road. This happened to me with an INC online piece. They didn’t need me for the original story I had responded to but kept my information on file and used it later. Had I followed up a few times this might not have happened if I had gotten labeled as a “pest” – be careful the impression you make in email!
You’ve got placement! Great! Congratulations! So, what now? Well now it’s time to promote, promote, promote the lead you were just featured in. Post it to Twitter, list it on your blog and Facebook Fan Page and oh, don’t forget to thank the media person too!
How to find great leads: There are a number of great resources out there for finding leads. Here are just a few of them!
Media leads are a great way to get yourself in front of media who need your expertise. I have found media lead responding to be a fantastic way to gain media attention for our authors. Get on the media leads bandwagon and start responding. You never know where you could land a story!
10 Mistakes Authors Make that Can Cost them a Fortune (and how to avoid them)
When it comes to books, promotion, and book production I know that it can sometimes feel like a minefield of choices. And while I can’t address each of these in minutia, there are a number of areas that are keenly tied to a books success (or lack thereof). Here are ten for you to consider:
1. Not understanding the importance of a book cover
I always find it interesting that an author will sometimes spend years writing their book and then leave the cover design to someone who either isn’t a designer, doesn’t have a working knowledge of book design or the publishing industry. Or, worse, they create a design without having done the proper market research. Consider these facts for a minute: shoppers in a bookstore spend on average of 8 seconds looking at the front cover of a book and 15 seconds looking at the back before deciding whether to buy it. Further, a survey of booksellers showed that 75% of them found the book cover to be the most important element of the book. Also, sales teams at book distribution often only take the book cover with them when they shop titles into stores. And finally please don’t attempt do design your own book cover. Much like cutting your own hair this is never a good idea.
2. Trusting someone who has limited or no track record
When you hire a team, make sure you ask the service provider for their track record. Often I see an author who successfully marketed their single title now feel they have all the marketing knowledge they need to help you market yours. Unless you are in similar markets I would avoid this at all costs. You want people who have worked in the industry and know the needs of the market beyond just one title. You also want someone who has some history. Ask for referrals, and success stories. I give references all the time to potential new clients but when I am the one interviewing a new service provider I will ask for them but never call them. I mean who’s going to give you a bad referral? I want to see that they have some names they can give me then I’ll go online and Google them to gain some insight into their history and online reputation.
3. Listening to people who aren’t experts
When you ask someone’s opinion about your book, direction, or topic, make sure they are either working in your industry or know your consumer. If, for example, you have written a young adult (YA) book, don’t give it to your co-workers to read and get feedback (yes, I know some YA books have adult market crossover appeal but this is different). If you’ve written a book for teens, then give it to teens to read. Same is true for self-help, diet, romance. Align yourself with your market. You want the book to be right for the reader, in the end that’s all that matters.
4. Trusting Oprah to solve all your problems
Getting on Oprah is an article in and of itself but let me say this: the quickest way to turn off a publicist is to use the “O” word. Why? Because anyone worth their salt knows how tough a road the Oprah pitch can be. Not just that, but sometimes authors will become so myopic and obsessed about this show that they lose sight of other, maybe better opportunities. And trust me on another point: someone (friend, co-worker, family, spouse), somewhere will tell you “You should go on Oprah” and while you might be 100% perfect Oprah material, the only people who can determine if you should be on her show are her producers. Shoot for the stars, dream big, but keep a realism about your campaign otherwise you’ll spend a lot of time and a lot of money chasing a potentially elusive target.
5. Planning for the short term only:
There’s a real fallacy that exists in publishing and it’s this: “instant bestseller.” Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the industry knows there is no such thing as “instant” and certainly the words “overnight success” are generally not reserved for books. Book promotion should be viewed as a long runway. Meaning that you should plan for the long term. Don’t spend all your marketing dollars in the first few months of a campaign. We find this especially true for self-published titles that need a little more TLC than their traditionally published counterparts. We offer campaigns that last 90-days but that’s not because we think 90 days is all it will take to make your book a success, it’s because we find it’s a reasonable time to get started, get a foot hold and start your progress down the runway of success.
6. Not understanding timing
Timing is a funny issue. First, there’s the timing that books follow to get reviewed, so lead times as it were. Then there’s production timing, and if you’re lucky enough to get a distributor there’s the time it will take for a distributor to get your book into the proper channels. A book launch should be planned carefully and then leave wiggle room for slipped dates and late deliveries (which will happen). I recommend that you sit down with someone who can help you strategize timing so you can plan appropriately for your book launch. A missed date is akin to a missed opportunity.
7. Hiring people who aren’t in the book industry
Let’s face it, even to those of us who have been in this industry for a while it still doesn’t always make sense. So hiring someone who has no book or publishing experience isn’t just a mistake, but it could be a costly one. With some vendors like web designers you can get away with that. But someone who has only designed business cards can’t, for example, design a book cover. Make sure you hire the right specialist for the right project. Also, you’ve likely spent years putting together this project, make sure you make choices based on what’s right and not what’s cheapest. If you shop right you can often find vendors who are perfect for your project and who fit your budget. There’s an old saying that goes: You can find a good lawyer and you can find a cheap lawyer but it’s hard or near impossible to find a good, cheap lawyer. The same applies in the book world.
8. Designing your own website
You should never cut your own hair or design your own site. Period. End of story. But ok, let me elaborate. Let’s say you designed your own site which saved you a few thousand dollars paying a web designer. Now you’re off promoting your book and suddenly you’re getting a gazillion hits to your site. The problem is the site is not converting these visitors into a sale. How much money did you lose by punting the web designer and doing it yourself? Hard to know. Scary, isn’t it?
9. Becoming a media diva
Let’s face it you need the media more than they need you. I know. Ouch. But it’s the unfortunate
truth. So here’s the thing: be grateful. Thank the interviewer, send a follow up thank you note after the interview. Don’t expect the interviewer to read your book and don’t get upset if they get some facts wrong. Just gently, but professionally correct them in such a way that they don’t look bad or stupid. Never ask for an interview to be done over. Most media people don’t have the time. I mention this because it actually happened to a producer friend of mine who did an interview with a guy and he decided he didn’t like it and wanted a second shot. Not gonna happen. The thing is, until you get a dressing room with specially designed purple M&M’s, don’t even think about becoming a diva. The best thing you can do is create relationships. Show up on time, show up prepared, and always, always, always be grateful.
10 . Hiring the best and then not trusting their advice.
So, here’s the thing that’s always confused me. You hire me then don’t listen to my advice. And it’s not just me, I hear this all the time from other industry professionals. Look, it’s not an ego thing, it really isn’t. It’s just this: if you’re paying good money to your vendors, asking them for advice and then not taking it you might have a disconnect. Perhaps a breakdown in communication, maybe you don’t trust the person you hired. If you don’t trust them then you should part ways and find someone you have some chemistry with. Otherwise what’s the point? Build your team with people you enjoy working with and respect. Then when they try and guide you or save you some money, take the time to listen.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. To learn more about Penny’s book Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of ts or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com.
Copyright © 2009 Penny C. Sansevieri
The Death of SEO? How to Build an Online Presence Google will Love!
With all the changes to Google many Internet gurus have predicted the end of SEO. Well, it’s not the end per se, but rather a change from the way we used to market online. The reason Google is making these changes (also known as Penguin and Panda) is to help with authentic search. For years, many of us struggled to battle the black hat Internet marketing people who always seemed to find a way to push their project up in the ranking by using tricks to game the system in their favor. Now this time has passed. It doesn’t mean that these marketing people aren’t still up to their dirty tricks, but it does mean that the playing field has been leveled and it’s becoming harder and harder to “rig” Google in your favor.
Why does this matter to you? Because you want to know how to prevent your site from getting hit by a Google update. If it does it could mean that you rarely, if ever, come up high in search results. Or, you could be banished to page 54 on a Google search and I can almost guarantee you, few people will ever dig through search results past page 3. If you’re that far back you’ll never get noticed or, for that matter, get traffic.
Keywords Still Matter
The things that haven’t changed with Google are keywords and backlinks. Both of these are still important though Google is becoming more intuitive, so if you’re searching for keywords you may also want to search on a variety of terms for one keyword. As an example, the term “mobile phone” is also cell phone, iPhone, Droid, etc. Google is using a much more human touch to searches and they know that users don’t always pop the exact keywords into a Google search. They’ll pop in the keywords they are accustomed to using. When you’re creating your keyword list, it’s not a bad idea to expand the list to include this user terminology.
Content, Content, Content
The next piece of this new SEO world is content. You hear it all the time, in fact some may think that this piece of website optimization has been a bit belabored. We know that we need to create helpful, unique, insightful content but more often than not, we just don’t know how. Or we create a few posts and think, “This is great!” then the idea well runs dry.
Let’s face it, when you have to generate content it’s often not an easy process. Additionally, we all have other things to do like run a business, write the next book, or just have a life. The payoff, however, is huge. Consider this: you wouldn’t want to share anything that wasn’t helpful, right? Why would you expect your readers to be any different? So incentivize your readers by offering them content they can’t wait to share. This will really help to beef up the backlinks to your website. Here are a few ideas to help you generate content:
* Ubersuggest.org: This site is great. Just plug in your keyword and it’ll come up with all sorts of topics you can write about. When I plugged in book and marketing, I got about fifty new ideas for article titles, blog topics, or tweets. Often we just need the idea to spark us and this site will really help you do that. Additionally, the whole concept behind Ubersuggest is to give you insight into searches so if you’re writing blog posts that key into things that are getting high searches, you’ll end up increasing your traffic dramatically. When you see the topic suggestion on Ubersuggest, you don’t have to copy it verbatim but you should have the keywords in the title of your blog post and use them (sparingly) throughout the post, too.
* Google Alerts: Perhaps an oldie but goodie. Keep track of trends in your market and write about them. For example when Google Alerts popped up an alert about Penny Marshall’s book only selling 7,000 copies (she was paid an advance of $800,000), I decided to write about it.
* Twitter: Here’s a great tool I have used to generate content ideas. Go to Twitter’s search bar and type in How + your keyword, or question and keyword, or why and your keyword. Any of these terms will generate a list of tweets that may help spark some ideas.
* FAQ’s: If you get any kind of reader or client feedback, listen to what they are asking. This is a great way to generate ideas that will matter to your end-user. Client feedback, questions asked at the end of a presentation, or emails you get from buyers or potential buyers offer great insights into what their needs are and what you should consider writing about.
Social Media as a Defense Against Google Updates
Another great way to prevent your site from getting hit with a Google update is by pushing your content on social networks. This is a great place to build natural backlinks to your website and “social search” is getting to be a big topic these days. Google tracks links shared on Facebook, Twitter and others. So, in order to gain the benefits from these links be sure and push your marketing to the two top social media sites, meaning Twitter and Facebook. Next, you’ll want to be sure and tie your blog into these accounts so that each time you update your blog, you’ll be sharing this via social media.
The next piece is the elephant in the room, namely Google+. Though it’s seen most of its users from the technology sector, I’ve seen numerous articles that cite that a solid presence on Google+ helps with search so keep that page updated. Generally I’ll get on there once a day on my personal page; our company page is updated more frequently. Also adding a +1 to your website is getting to be a pretty big deal. Having someone +1 your post or blog entry can help increase its visibility in search.
Ideally the traffic to your site should come from both Google searches and social media, though a good balance would be an equal 50/50 split between the two. While getting search traffic is great, you don’t want that to be your sole traffic generator. In an age of Google updates (a la Penguin and Panda) you want to reduce your dependence on search-only traffic. Don’t believe me? When Google did their Panda update some sites, like quotes and song lyrics sites, lost 94% of their traffic because they were solely dependent on search traffic for their exposure.
SEO Tips for your Website
Finally, there are a few things you can do to your site to help beef up the searchability.
1) Title tags are always a great bet and often overlooked. Considering they carry some key SEO value, it’s amazing how often title tags are forgotten. Title tags tell search engines what your site is about. I recommend using keywords here or relevant phrases. Not sure where your title tags are? If you’re looking at a website, it’s the top line, above the search bar. That’s where title tags come in. Most websites say “home” or something which isn’t helpful at all when it comes to search. Also, each page on your site should have a different title tag that represents that page. Title tags should be kept to 66 characters or less. To separate out multiple keyword phrases, use a – dash.
2) Though I always encourage people to use keywords on their site, keep in mind that Google is now really cracking down on things like keyword-stuffing (where a keyword or phrase is used over and over again to rig ranking). So write for your user, not for Google.
3) Duplicate content: It’s always been frowned upon, but now it can kill your search ranking, too. What this means is that you’ll want to avoid duplicating content on your website, meaning using an About You page in different places, or replicating blog posts on other pages of your site, reusing content from a press release that’s elsewhere on your website, etc.
4) Anchor text: When linking to other internal pages on your website, use anchor text (keywords) instead of just “Click here” or something like that, it’ll help you get more keyword buzz.
5) When linking into your site, try to not always link to the home page. It’s helpful to link to internal pages on your website. For example, when you’re linking to blog posts, or items in your media room, etc. you should use internal pages. When you link to these internal pages, try hyperlinking using keywords, again this is called anchor text because you’re essentially anchoring your URL via keywords and sending folks back to your website.
6) Images on your blog: These days we rarely put up a blog post without images. Just be sure that you name the image using keywords.
7) Images on your website: Each of the images on your website should be named. This is called Alt text. Using terms like 00006YT.jpg which is often how images are named by your computer (just a string of random numbers) will not help you in search. If you’re not sure if the images on your site have Alt text call it up in Firefox or Chrome. Right click over the image and go to “Inspect Element” generally if there’s ALT text it will say ALT= and this indicates ALT text. If you don’t have it, make sure to take note of all images on your website and ask your web designer to add these.
It’s a new age of SEO and what Google is doing is a really good thing. We all want to be able to find the things we need in search. The rules have changed, and knowing how to play by them will get you a site that’s not only ranking, but is Panda and Penguin-proof.
Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com
Media Exposure Is Marketing Gold – If You Know How to Use It
By Marsha J Friedman
At a glance:
- Implicit media endorsements make you stand out from the competition.
- It’s not advertising; it’s building credibility.
- Maximize your exposure by posting it on your Web site and sharing it via social media.
A colleague of mine, who’s a former newspaper reporter, tells a story about a savvy attorney she knew. He’d tip her off whenever he had a particularly juicy case if she promised to include his name alongside that of his client in her story. Whether he won the case or lost it, people remembered his name and associated him with high-profile cases. He’d figured out that having his name in the paper bought him something no amount of advertising could: credibility.
For anyone trying to build a business, sell a product or get their book into the hands of more consumers, the implicit endorsement that comes from being interviewed by the media is what I call “marketing gold.”
Let me explain. Thanks to the Internet, you and every competitor you have, big or small, have the same chance to reach your potential consumers. So, what makes one business, one product or book more appealing than another? It’s endorsements from the media that make you stand out. Let’s face it – if USA Today has chosen to review your book, or refer to it in an article, it gives reason to believe there’s something special about it. If a doctor is quoted in the news about solutions to a particular health issue you’re dealing with – your instinct will be to check out him and his product first, because the media must consider him an authority to have quoted him.
When the media recognizes that you have something important to say, you gain credibility. This is the marketing gold I’m referring to: the endorsements from TV and radio show hosts, the editorial coverage in newspapers and magazines – and now, bloggers, news Web sites and followers on social media too. All these forms of recognition give others confidence you’re as good as you say you are. But, it’s upon you to use this “gold” as a critical part of your marketing to let people know these endorsements exist.
The return on investment usually isn’t immediate, which can be frustrating to people who expect a surge in business or a spike in sales with every media interview. That used to happen more often in the old days – I’m talking way back in the ’90s – when a radio talk show host might chat with you for 30 or 60 minutes and newspapers had twice as many pages to fill. It became apparent that when a client’s message clearly addressed an urgent public problem, along with their expertise and solution-oriented content, they could hit the jackpot.
From January to April, an IRS expert who spoke of resolutions to IRS problems or gave on-air tips on how to prevent IRS abuses would always see a huge jump in book sales. Or, the health expert, who got on the air during flu season and explained why his health program would make them feel better faster would sell a ton of product.
But the old days are gone and here we are in 2012. Today’s talk radio interviews are brief – 7 to 10 minutes in the larger markets – and newspapers have no space for full feature stories on interesting entrepreneurs and writers. There are far fewer opportunities to grab an audience for a significant length of time.
So how do you grow your investment in PR? Marketing your media exposure is a strategy that pays big dividends over time – but requires an effort from you.
- Your Web site should prominently display your endorsements: “As seen on CBS,” “featured in the Louisville Gazette,” “heard on WFLA radio.”
- Don’t forget to mention the media coverage to your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, too. The third-party endorsement will help you build more contacts, because people like knowing who the experts are and following them.
- Use the media you’ve obtained to help you gain more TV, radio and print exposure. It serves as credibility for journalists as well and they will be more likely to want to interview you if you’ve already been vetted by other media professionals.
- Let your personality shine online and respond to journalists and followers alike with interesting commentary and insights – not pleas to buy your book or product.
Yes, it takes work, a strong theme and a message that resonates. But if you invest wisely, you’ll grow rich in marketing gold.
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to www.emsincorporated.com to signup to receive her free weekly PR Tips today! More resources for authors can also be found at www.publicitythatworks.com. Or call at 727-443-7115, ext. 202, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marsha_J_Friedman
Amazon Announces Sixth Annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
One Grand Prize winner will be chosen by Amazon customers and receive a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing, with a $50,000 advance
Finalists will be chosen in five categories—general fiction, mystery/thriller, romance, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and young adult fiction—and receive publishing contracts with Amazon Publishing
SEATTLE—December 4, 2012—Amazon.com today begins an exciting new chapter in the annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), the contest in search of the next great voices in popular fiction. Starting January 14, authors can enter the contest in one of five categories—general fiction, mystery/thriller, romance, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and young adult fiction—for the chance to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing. A finalist will be chosen in each category, and a Grand Prize winner will then be selected by Amazon customers and receive a $50,000 advance. The remaining finalists will also receive a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing, with a $15,000 advance.
This year’s ABNA contest is open to unpublished and self-published English-language novels, which can be submitted from January 14, 2013 through January 27, 2013. The five finalists will be announced on May 21, and the Grand Prize winner will be announced during a special ceremony at Amazon headquarters in Seattle in June.
“Over the past five years, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award has helped thousands of authors realize their dream of writing a novel, while connecting them with their peers as well as readers and giving them the opportunity to be discovered,” said Nader Kabbani, Vice President of CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing. “We’re excited to evolve the contest this year to recognize talented aspiring authors in even more genres, with bigger advances, more winners, and quickly bring the winning novels to readers around the world.”
Up to 10,000 eligible entries will be accepted for the ABNA contest this year. The top 400 entries from each category will advance to the second round. Amazon reviewers will then read excerpts of the entries and narrow the pool to 100 titles in each category. In the subsequent round, reviewers from Publishers Weekly will read, review and rate the full manuscripts to find the top five semi-finalists for each category. Amazon Publishing editors will then choose a finalist in each of the five categories. In the final stage of the contest, Amazon.com customers will vote for a Grand Prize winner.
“At Amazon Publishing we love introducing readers to outstanding books,” said Daphne Durham, Editor-in-Chief, Amazon Publishing. “We’re thrilled to be a part of ABNA this year, and look forward to the chance to build these books into best sellers.”
CreateSpace, an Amazon company, will again this year host the contest entry platform, which includes a community for authors that will keep them up-to-date on the contest and help them prepare their entries.
Amazon Publishing is the publishing arm of Amazon.com. Amazon Publishing’s West Coast Group includes imprints AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer and 47North. Amazon Publishing’s East Coast Group publishes adult trade, children’s and young adult titles. For more information about all imprints of Amazon Publishing, visit www.amazon.com/amazonpublishing. Amazon Publishing is a brand used by Amazon Content Services, LLC.
For the complete Official Rules for the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and more information about the contest, please visit www.amazon.com/abna.