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 Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter . GUERILLA MARKETING 
September 3, 2003 
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Greetings!

Ok within this newsletter I hope you will find many useful tactics that have served me well in launching not 1, but 3 books out into the public at once.

To be honest when my first two books were published through Publish America, the first being in 2000, I didn't promote either one. It was terror more than anything that hindered me.

Although by sheer luck, if you will, both books have been slowly selling on their own. Amazing, but true, and without any asistance on my part. Still it is every author's desire to see their work noted by more than just friends & family.

Three years later, after much observation, note taking, trial & error... this author has managed to launch herself into places she never dreamed of!

So I've decided to share some of what I've learned.

If you know anyone who is in need of this information, please feel free to forward this newletter or simply direct them to our website for subscription.

Again, if you feel you have no need for this type of information, scroll down & click on the unsubscribe button.

in this issue
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  • Reality Check.....
  • The Power of Word of Mouth: Independent Credibility
  • Above All, You NEED a "Story"
  • Six Things YOU Should Be Doing to Benefit from Word of Mouth on the Internet
  • Media Kits - GUERILLA Style

  • The Power of Word of Mouth: Independent Credibility
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    It is this "independence" that gives it much, but by no means all, of its power.

    If you ask most people why word of mouth is so powerful, they will tell you that it's because of its objective, independent, and "no ax to grind" and "no vested interest" nature.

    Why is that so important?

    Because a decision maker is more likely to get the "whole, undistorted truth" from an independent third party than from someone who has vested interest in promoting the "product" point of view.

    It is this unique "credibility" that gives word of mouth much of its power!

    Keep in mind that word of mouth can be a powerful positive force because of its credibility, but it can also be destructive because of its negativity.

    People are 3 -10 times more likely to tell others about a negative experience than a positive one.

    How do you get the word of mouth to people?

    Expert to expert

    Expert to peer

    Peer to peer

    Experts are the most important and leveraged sources of word of mouth. When you have the experts behind you and can get them talking about your product, they will often start a stampede toward your product that is unstoppable.

    (At the end of this newsletter is an expalnation to show that this really works.)

    Above All, You NEED a "Story"
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    Getting across the right message to the right people in the correct adoption cycle, from the right sources, and in the right sequence, can be an impossibly complicated task.

    Left to their own devices, most word of mouth chain reactions never reach the critical mass they need to get started. They just fizzle.

    There is a device, however, that allows you to take everything and tie it up into a neat package. That device is called a "story."

    The story has to have certain characteristics. It has to be:

    Short and simple, in order to survive transmission from one person to another without distortion.

    Interesting, exciting, new, different, unique, or otherwise worth talking about. If you want people talking about your book, you want to give them something to talk about.

    In story form. This is not absolutely necessary, but stories transmit better person-to-person than anything else. People like telling stories, and people like listening to stories.

    However in marketing, ultimately, the story "must be true." There is no place for fiction in word of mouth marketing. The truth will out.

    Do not only spread ideas through word of mouth, but also build into the idea reasons for people to convince others of the value of not only accepting the idea but also passing it along and convincing others.

    This process, in one word, is called "evangelism."

    It doesn't apply only to religions. If yu don't turn people into evangelists and motivate them to proselytize, your book has almost no hope, unless your competitors do worse.

    Six Things YOU Should Be Doing to Benefit from Word of Mouth on the Internet
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    1. Assign someone to mintor every forum, listgroup, and other Internet discussion medium that could possibly influence your sales. Some will be restricted to customers only, so that you can't get in. In that case try to get one of your customers to at least report you or send copies of relevant information.

    2. Build in various word-of-mouth attributes into your website. Doing this will not only make your website more valuable, it will give it extra credibility.

    3. Sprinkle testimonials and endorsements all over your website. However, approach it systemically. Make sure that the messages fit the stage of the decision cycle and the adoption category of the target audience you are trying to convince.

    4. If you don't know how to do it already, drop everything and learn how to setup distribution lists in your e-mail program.

    5. Use your website to get across and demonstrate all of the extraordinary things that you are doing that will get people talking. Remeber, people only go out of their way to talk about the UNusual, EXTRAordinary, and OUTrageous.

    6. Plug into experts and services that recommend books to their constituencies. Learn about infomediaries and plug into them.


    NON- INternet Marketing:

    How about the Palm Pilot?

    The Pocket PC?


    Media Kits - GUERILLA Style
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    LESS IS OFTEN MORE, and that's especially true with media kits. Traditionally, publicists blanketed the meida with bulging, elaborate media kits (press kits) in the hope that a few members of the press might bite.

    Well, things have changed drastically.

    Today, the media is savvy; they've seen it all. They no longer want to be showered with reams of promotional materials, no matter how beautifully they're written, designed, or packaged.

    A media kit needs a terrific, one sheet press release as its centerpiece; everything else is gravy. Without a great press release, your paxkage will usually be ignored.

    As the diva in your opera, the press release deserves prominence. It should be the first item seen when your package is opened. If you use a two-pocket folder or envelope, place the press release as the first item in the left hand pocket.

    GUERRILLA TACTICS:

    Send ONLY a killer press release and no more than two or three of the items listed below in the Media Kit Toolbox.

    When a media contact requests more information, send everything you've got.

    When additional information is requested, you can't overdo it!

    TOOLBOX:

    Personal Biography

    List of suggested questions

    List of articles and appearances

    Brochurs

    Copies of newspaper articles

    Your photograph

    Your business card

    Endorsements and testimonials

    An expansive article

    Quiz, trivia, anecdotes

    Giveaways


    Ok my explanation as to "does this really work?"

    The answer is yes!

    Word of mouth in "story" format has swept me into a sea never before known... The cheapest form of advertisement known to man!

    It has caused others to spread the word. Not only about ME, but about my book.

    Illustrators have presented themselves with sketches, asking to design my next cover.

    The bookstore alone has order more books than they are allowed for a "POD."

    It caused a company in California to "offer" free giveaway's for MY booksigning.

    That same person told a publicist in Boston about my book.

    That publicist called me four times today! Offering advice... for free!

    This publicist after listening to my "story" contacted an agent in LA to see if he would take on a new client.

    The book itself was published in mid June. It hit all bookstore 3 weeks later. Within 1 month everything has escalated into a frenzy.

    So much that I have no clue as to whether I'm coming or going anymore. My goal has been trying to get ready for this signing, I have 3 1/2 days left to do it.


    Please drop us a line and tell us what you think of our newletter.

    Next Issue: 15 things Media Hate/Like

    Happy writing!

    Reality Check.....


    Most authors publish with the hopes of having a best seller and are crushed when only a few orders for their book trickle in.

    The cold hard fact is that everyone who says they are going to buy your book, doesn't.

    The author is then left with an unfilled expectation of book orders.

    Writing a book happens within a fixed time frame of months and years. However, marketing a book is a never-ending process.

    It is true that some books don't sell because the author fails to capture the attention of the reader.

    However, the vast majority of missed selling oportunities are the result of a lack of marketing and publicity effort and direction.


    PR: Placements, Events, and Promotions

    If you don't have an aggressive PR program in place, put it in place. Remember that PR is not just about getting your name in publications. Hold word-of-mouth generating events and promotions.

    Publicity is the art of stirring up interest to promote your book. It's convincing others to sing your praises, to blare from the rooftops:

    Builds your identity

    Increases your visibility

    Creates name recognition

    Gets your message across

    Compels people to buy, invest, and do business with you!


    The Power of Follow-Up:

    The most critical element of every publicity campaign and the next step after word of mouth is the follow-up.

    In a word of mouth campaign, consumers learn a lot, but there is no follow-up to their learning. They have no way to reinforce their learning, to put their experiences in context, to correct mistakes, and to explore.

    A follow-up will increase word of mouth, tenfold!

    Initially, many people find it hard to follow up. Some are shy or feel that they're being a nuisance or groveling. Others simply don't know how to go about it.

    In the beginning following up may feel awkward, uncomfortable, and unpleasant, but you'll adjust to it. It won't take long, but it will take some planning and practice.

    Most people don't appraoch it systemically. They follow up only when they can steal time from other tasks that they consider more important or as a last resort to try to breathe new life into efforts that seem likely to fail.

    Follow-up MUST be an integral part of your operation! It's essential if you hope to succeed. Make it part of your daily routine, schedule it like an appointment, allot a set amount of time, and don't worry about making a pest of yourself.

    Media are ALWAYS busy, but understand that follow up is a part of the business.

    Keep a log!

    Date/Time Contact Subject Type Outcome


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    . Quick Links...

    ALLBOOKS REVIEWS

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