IN THIS ISSUE....
Link Building/ Specialty Distributors/
Author Spotlight/ Movie Reviews and MORE
For many, the idea of optimizing a website
for top search engine placement means
entering some META tags, maybe titling the
page appropriately, and then you're done. A
long time ago, in an SEO galaxy far FAR
away, this tactic worked. Unfortunately for
those optimizing their websites, and
fortunately for those using search engines
to find information, this is no longer the
There are now some 80+ factors of your
website that are taken into consideration
when determining the ranking of your
website. Everything from titles and META's
to content and ALT tags are weighed and
analyzed when your placement on the
search engines is determined. In a recent
article by Ross Dunn, CEO of StepForth
Search Engine Placement, he addressed
the fundamentals of optimizing
your web pages. The article he wrote
was entitled A Ten Minute Search Engine
Optimization and can be found on the
This article addresses many of the internal
factors taken into account in determining
your ranking. Another factor which has
to be taken very seriously is the external
links to your website. Links to your site
are not the most important factor in
determining your ranking and you will
have to have a well-optimized site to
rank well, however, when all else is
equal (i.e. when your competitors also
have well-optimized sites) this can be
the determining factor between being
found and being buried in the search
Links That Work
The first consideration you have to make in
your link-building efforts is who should be
linking to you and whom you should link to.
These are two separate considerations and
despite the fact that you will be working on
both at the same time, they must be
Who Should Link To You? (Incoming Links)
When you are looking for sites to link to you
there are five questions that you must ask
1) Do they compete with you? While you
can try to request a link from a site that
provides the same or similar products and
services that you do, this is generally a
waste of time that could be spent finding
legitimate links from sites that would like
to promote your product or service.
2) Does their site relate to your content?
If you have a site promoting carpet cleaning
products, a link from a hair salon will not be
of much benefit. Google and the other major
search engines look for content relationship
when determining the value of a link. If the
content of the two sites is totally unrelated
the link is given very little weight if any.
Focus only on attaining links from sites
relevant to your own.
3) How does Google rate the site? Google has
come out with a fantastic tool called the
Google Toolbar. The advanced version of the
toolbar includes the PageRank of the site you
are currently visiting. Without getting into a
long description of PageRank (see Google's
definition), the higher the number the better
(it is a ranking out of 10 where traditionally
anything above 4 is good and anything above
6 is excellent. If Google rates the site well
then the link will be more valued than from a
site that Google rates poorly. When looking
for links give more time and attention to
those with PageRanks of 4 or higher. The
Google Toolbar is a fr'ee download available
from Google at.
4) Will they require a reciprocal link? Whether
the site will require a reciprocal link or not is
a serious consideration. The more links to your
site that you have that are not reciprocated
the better. These links are given added weight.
This area will be addressed further below.
5) How many links on the page? How many
links are on the page that will link to you,
and where your link will be placed is another
serious consideration. If your link from their
site will be on a page with 100 other links
then the value of the link itself is greatly
reduced. Also, whether your link will be on
the top of the page or the bottom will also
determine the value of the link itself.
This may be a lot to consider, however it
can save you enormous amounts of time
and frustration. People will often work for
hours to attain a link from a site they like
when in reality the site has a low PageRank
and the link won't even carry much weight
as far as search engine placement is
It is only responsible to note that as a
general rule any relevant inbound link
will help somewhat. If, in your travels,
you find a related site with a PageRank
of 2 that is very simple to get a link from,
it's well worth your time to do so given
that that time taken is only about 5
minutes. Not all link building is this simple
and it's in the more advanced efforts
(email communications with the
webmaster for example) that you will
want to apply the above noted "rules".
Who Should You Link To? (Outgoing Links)
The question, "who should you link to?"
is a very serious one and can have
significant repercussions on your search
If you are linking to sites, this is your
way of saying, "This site is highly relevant
to mine and that my visitors will enjoy
the content on it." For this reason there
are a number of considerations that
have to be made when determining
whether reciprocal links are in your best
interest. Factors of the website
that should be considered when
determining whether to link to that
1) Is the site's content related to yours?
Like incoming links (sites linking to you),
the relevancy of the content on both sites
should be high. If you have a number of
links from your site to websites that are
completely unrelated to you, the value of
these links is negligible and further, will
reduce the perceived value of your site.
2) Does the site compete with you? In
this case it is your interests, not those of
the other webmaster, which must be
taken into account. Do you want to link
to a site that provides the same or
similar products/services as you? Unless
the site is willing to reciprocate the link
and they have a very high PageRank it
is probably not wise to give your visitors
the opportunity to go to the site
of a competitor.
3) What is their PageRank? Many people
falsely believe that any outbound link
will hurt your placement. This is simply
not the case. Poor link-building is the
cause of this misconception, not the link
itself. When you are determining whether
to link to another site, take a look at the
PageRank it has been assigned by Google.
Like the boost this gives to your site in
the incoming links, so too can this have
a positive effect on your outbound
links. If all of your outbound links are to
highly regarded sites (by the search
engines) and their content is relevant
to yours then these links will help, and
not hinder your rankings.
Title of Book: Overtime
Author: Brian Hill & Dee Power
ISBN #: 1-59286-023-0
Publication Date: September 2003
Book Length: 269 pages
Overtime Scores A Touchdown
Greed, love, power, revenge. Tales as old as time.
And yet, in the wonderfully-written Overtime, these
themes come across as fresh and new. In the very
capable hands of Brian Hill and Dee Power, all threads
are seamlessly woven into the fabric of a story that
both intrigues and entertains.
The story focuses on the relationships of four friends
over the years. Dan Wilson was the golden child of his
high school football team. Now, he must save the
company built by his grandfather from a hostile
corporate takeover by one of the meanest, most fun-
to-hate villains in recent memory.
The many strands to this tale effortlessly come
together as the story propels the reader along. The
characters were extremely well-developed, the
descriptions were bountiful and original and the dialogue
Whether you are a football fan or not, there is
something for everyone in this book. Football becomes
a metaphor for life; winning and losing are part of the
game, but the power of belief is paramount to
success. Goodness and honesty are rewarded, while
love finds those who seek it. And in the end we are
shown that life should be lived to the fullest each day
while we discover there are still miracles in this world.
Reviewed by Nancy Machlis Rechtman
(For complete review and interview visit our site.)
I don't know why we post commercial
web links on our sights for free while
companies pay for TV and radio time,
but since it has become expected I am
posting a list and continuation from a past
newsletter SPECIALTY DISTRIBUTORS
where you can sumbit your books to.
When submitting enclose a letter stating why they
should carry your book, and of course a copy of the
Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc.
They provide access to products,
services and information for health
sciences, scientific and technical
publishing. Partnering with more than
350 health publishers Rittenhouse
began as a medical bookstore in
Philadelphia in 1946. Today we work
with you to provide the latest technology,
print and electronic products, collection
development tools, inventory solutions and
Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc.
511 Feheley Drive, King of Prussia, PA
19406 Phone: 800-345-6425
Koen Book Distributors, Inc.
For over 30 years, Koen Book Distributors
has grown to be one of the nation's most
comprehensive book wholesalers. Click
this link to find out more about the
evolution of Koen.
From small local bookstore to national
chain, from specialized independent
press to large publishing firm, Koen Book
Distributors is the best choice in
book wholesaling and distribution.
Koen Book Distributors, Inc.
10 Twosome Drive, Box 600 Moorestown,
LEA Book Distributors
WE EXPORT ANY PUBLICATION IN ENGLISH
TO ANY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. WE
IMPORT SPANISH MATERIALS for shipments
170-23 83rd Avenue, Jamaica Hills, New York
Tel: 1(718) 291-9891 · Fax: 1(718) 291-9830
SBD Spanish Book Distributor, Inc
We are proud to have introduced many new
titles of books in Spanish language into our
catalog. Currently, we can offer you a
frontlist of more than 2,000 titles and our
extensive backlist. These books come from
more than 40 publishing houses from the
U.S. Spain, Mexico and South America. We
are also constantly adding new publishing
houses and new categories of books that
we think may be of our customers' interest.
We carry books in all of the most popular
formats. All of these titles are presented to
you with a wide amount of information
about the book.
SBD Spanish Book Distributor, Inc.
6706 Sawmill Rd.
Dallas, Texas 75252-5816
Toll Free / Gratis: 1-800-609-2113
Fax (Toll Free / Gratis): 1-888-254-6709
Associated Publishers Group, Cary Johnson,
Vice President of Sales, 1501 County Hospital
Road, Nashville TN 37218; 615-254-2450
(direct line: 615-254-2433); 800-635-0204;
Fax: 615-254-2405. Email:
http://www.bookbase.com. Van Hill,
President. Cary is the person to contact if
you want to be distributed by APG. Discount:
approximately 65% of retail, plus storage,
returns, and catalog fees. Distribute about
2,500 titles. A division of Hambleton-Hill
Publishing, this book distributor absorbed
many publishers, personnel, and operations
of Atrium Publishing Group.Comments:
There have been some grumblings among
client publishers about this distributor. Stay
alert. Rumors: They may be going out of
# Midpoint Trade Books, Gail Kump, 27
West 20th Street #1102, New York NY
212-727-0190; Fax: 212-727-0195.
Eric Kampmann, President. Or contact
Ronald Freund, Chairman, Executive Committee,
Midpoint Trade Books, 1263
Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City KS 66103;
913-362-7400; Fax: 913-362-7401. Email:
A partner with Midpoint National, a fulfillment
house, this book distributor focuses on sales
to the top 30 book wholesalers and chain
stores (thus covering about 90% of the
trade marketplace). For any other sales, you
can handle them anyway you want. They
currently distribute about 150 publishers
with $8 million in sales. Comments: Because
they don't have a group of sales reps
approaching independent stores, you'll have
to make sure you keep the independents
informed of your new books. The advantage
to this approach is that they can take on
new titles any time of year since they
don't have to worry about catalogs and
National Book Network,
4501 Forbes Boulevard #200, Lanham MD
(301-731-9538); Fax: 301-429-5746.
Jed Lyons, President. Miriam Bass, Vice
President of New Business Development;
Jen Linck, Director of Marketing Programs;
For more information on hooking up with
NBN, go to their web site at:
Publisher/Index.s html. Distributes for 85
publishers. They send a biweekly letter of
breaking book news to key accounts and
other contacts. Their contracts vary by
publisher, but usually involve a discount
close to 25 to 27% of net sales with
additional fees for returns, catalogs, and
storage. Currently distribute about 3,000
titles. $54 million in sales in 2000; $64 million
in 2001. They have just started up a division
to distribute Christian religious titles. In
addition, NBN operates its own Docutech
print-on-demand facility in its Blue Ridge
Summit, Pennsylvania distribution center.
NBN publishers will be able to print their
books on a demand basis in small quantities
with minimums of 20 copies. Comments:
NBN is #2 among independent book distributors.
There are many more out there, all you have to
do is look!
A WRITER'S BEST FRIEND - Publishing Your Articles
There are plenty of web sites that accept articles on a
variety of subjects. You can usually have your article
published with a small resource box linking to your own
For example, www.ideamarketers.com will let you
publish your articles right after you set up your free
account. You have the option to "pre-license" your
articles, which is basically letting anyone use your
articles as long as they use your resource box.
Publishers can search through the Ideamarketer article
database, which they often do, looking for quality
content to publish.
Where Do I Start?
You need to start by writing an informative article that
relates to your web site's subject. You'll have better
success if you take your time to create an original and
Web Site Content
If you already write articles as content for your web
site or newsletter, you probably already have a bunch
of great articles that could be put to use by publishing
If you haven't written any content for your web site,
you can always start now. All your articles can be
archived on you web site thereby creating a valuable
resource for your site visitors.
Where Do I Submit Articles?
Next you need to find web site's that accept articles on
your topic. This shouldn't be hard if you have a popular
Internet subject like marketing or business, however,
you might need to search around a little for specialty
Ideamarketers.com accepts most any subject, so they
are a great beginning, but it is a great idea to also find
as many on-topic publishers as you can.
Here are a couple more web sites that accept articles:
You can find more by searching your favorite search
engine for "submit articles," "add article," "publish
article," or any other relevant phrase you can think of.
Many web sites accept articles so they can publish
them in their electronic newsletter, or e-zine.
E-zines are publications sent directly to their
subscribers email box.
If you can get your articles published in an e-zine, do
it. They offer great exposure.
IN THE NEWS:
GSN Sets Ritter Game Show Memorial
Game Show Network Friday announced plans
to air a special series of vintage game shows
featuring appearances of actor John Ritter,
who died of a sudden heart attack. The
special, which will air during the network's
morning "Family Feud" block, includes
episodes from "Family Feud," "Hollywood
Squares" and "The Dating Game."
EDGE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY
Tesseract and Edge: Publishers on the same
(Calgary, Alberta) EDGE Science Fiction
and Fantasy Publishing, winner of both the
Alberta Emerging Publisher of the Year Award
and the Independent Publisher Book Award
for first book, "The Black Chalice" by Marie
Jakober, has announced its acquisition of
Tesseract Books Ltd, Canada's premiere
publisher of speculative fiction. The
Tesseract imprint has been in use since1985,
and now has more than 50 editions in print.
The announcement was made at the 61st
World Science Fiction Convention in Toronto
to Science Fiction and Fantasy aficionados
from around the world.
Brian Hades, president of EDGE Science
Fiction and Fantasy Publishing in Calgary,
Alberta said, "It's the complete opposite of
the typical story. So often you hear of bigger
companies acquiring a smaller one - it is
quite the reverse in this case."
Since 1985, the Tesseract imprint has focused
on the best work Canadian speculative fiction
authors have to offer. The imprint publishes
short story anthologies, novels and translations
of French Canadian works.
"The commitment to maintaining and expanding
the Tesseract imprint as the premiere voice of
Canadian speculative fiction remains unchanged,"
says Hades. "The purchase of Tesseract Books
Ltd. enables us to continue the production of
quality speculative fiction with a 'Canadian
Our EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publishing imprint will focus on the
introduction of full length works by North
American and international authors such
as Australia's K. A. Bedford(Orbital Burn).
It's the best of all worlds for authors
and readers alike."
"I knew from the beginning that both
Tesseract and EDGE share an absolute
commitment to publishing excellence. We
are on the same page. That's one of the
reasons why this acquisition definitely works,"
Award winning authors Candace Jane Dorsey
and Timothy J. Anderson will continue to be
involved with the Tesseract imprint as authors
and editors. They join EDGE's energetic
management team of professionals who are
dedicated to "encouraging, publishing, and
promoting thought provoking science fiction
and fantasy literature".
Be sure to check our site and read the candid
interview with Brian Hades.
Deep Focus, an entertainment marketing
and promotions company, was named
Interactive Agency of Record by Miramax
Films to market the Quentin Tarantino film
KILL BILL, which will be released as two
separate films. The company will be
responsible for marketing, promotions and
media outreach for both films.
Our site is expanding everday... reaching avid
readers across the US and over the border!
(Mexico that is)
We'd like to thank those readers for subscribing,
and hopefully you'll find a notable book here to
read this weekend!
Here's a listing of some wonderful books taken
from our site... with more to come soon:
Title: Under the Melting Pot
Author: Tyrone Banks
A must read for poetry lovers everywhere...
well worth the price!
Title: THREE OF A KIND
Author: David Lake
Sensual characters, and a fascinating plot
sure to transport you to the Caribbean!
Title: One-Armed Bandit
Author: Dennis N. Griffin
For all you CSI fans, this book contains colorful
characters and a surprise ending!
If you haven't yet left the couch, here's our
thoughts on the following flicks for 2003:
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan,
Ryan Malgarini, Mark Harmon, Harold Gould,
Haley Hudson, Christina Vidal
Aimed squarely at the "tween" audience, and
they will universally enjoy this movie, as will
mothers who end up accompanying their
offspring to theaters. Not being an 11-year old
girl, I'm not in Disney's target audience, but I
must admit having experienced a guilty pleasure
while sitting through Freaky Friday. I certainly
didn't hate the film, and, at times, I enjoyed
its corny humor and low-key melodrama.
Jeepers Creepers 2
Cast: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Travis Schiffner,
Eric Nenninger, Garikayi Mutambirwa,
Nicki Lynn Aycox, Lena Cardwell,
Thom Gossom Jr.
A different approach from its predecessor. The
first movie was a horror flick; this one is a
mindless action adventure. It's Jaws with a
winged demon standing in for the shark, The
Terminator without the clever time paradoxes,
or Predator without Arnold. It's gory, repetitive,
and not terribly interesting.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the
Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom,
Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Jonathan Pryce
Good, but not great. Swashbuckling adventures
are few and far between these days, so it's a
pleasant surprise to see one that is competently
made. To add to the enjoyment, the movie
never takes itself too seriously. If there wasn't
so much action, it would be tempting to classify
the production as a comedy. Special effects are
definitely not bad in this movie.
Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle
Rodriguez, LL Cool J, Brian Van Holt, Josh Charles,
Olivier Martinez, Jeremy Renner
It bears less of a resemblance to the 1975
TV series from which it derives its title (and
the name of its principal characters) than it
does to every other 2003 action film. With
its rapid cuts (sometimes around one-hundred
per minute) and emphasis upon stylized action
over intelligent storytelling, S.W.A.T. fits in nicely
with every other teen-oriented summer blockbuster
packing in the crowds at the local multiplex.
Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Gerard Butler, Ciaran Hinds,
Christopher Barrie, Noah Taylor, Djimon Hounsou,
Til Schweiger, Simon Yam
It arrives stillborn, the misbegotten offspring of
filmmakers who are so greedy that they probably
wouldn't hesitate to plunder a grave or two. I
would be tempted to recommend this movie as
being entertainment of the "so bad you won't
believe your eyes" variety if it wasn't so deadly
boring. As impressive as Angelina Jolie's many
physical feats may be, it takes even more
stamina and fortitude to stay awake during the
movie's seemingly endless two-hour running length.
Cast: Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, Joey Kern, Cerina
Vincent, James DeBello
The culprit is a horrifically contagious disease that
ravages its victims' skin and makes them vomit blood.
Definitely one of the cheesiest low budget films I've
seen this year!
One unforgettable scene:Vincent in the bathtub
shaving her legs as the virus munches away.
Only one thing to say about this one: "save your
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Query these folks first before submitting any materials
We hope that this issue will not only whet your
appetite for knowledge but have you hopping
with fruitful ideas of your own to no end! ^_^
Betsie's Literary Page would like to welcome aboard our
newest reviewers: Margaret, Nancy, Susan, and
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We thank you for reading and hope you are utilizing all
this wonderful information to thrust yourself forward
and launch into the spotlight... now SELL -SELL -SELL!!!
15 THINGS THE MEDIA HATES and LOVES
AVOID engaging in behaviors that have a high likelihood
of alienating the very people you need to help you
publicize your book!
1. NOT TAKING "NO" FOR AN ANSWER
Persistence is an admirable trait, but there comes a a
point when you must accept defeat. Media
professionals won't build relationships with pig-headed
pushers who call 500 times after they're told, "no."
Don't ask "why?" Walk away before you ruin a
potentially valuable relationship.
2. LONG NEWS RELEASES
One killer page is all you need. If the media want more,
they'll ask for it.
3. LYING, HYPE, AND MISREPRESENTATION
Be honest and reasonable. Your media contacts won't
forget who got them burned; nor will they give you a
chance to do it again.
4. LACK OF PREPARATION
Know exactly what you want. Don't approach media
for advice on how to proceed. Study your targets
before pitching them. Identify areas of interest, the
approach they use, and give them what they want.
5. SMALL TALK
Get to the point! Be clear and brief. Don't confuse
chitchat with courtesy. With the media, making small
talk isn't polite, it borders on rudeness.
Media kits that weigh as much as your German Sheperd
turn off the media. When in doubt levae it out!
7. COLD CALLS
Unsolicited phone calls are intrusions. They interrupt
busy people while they're working, which may explain
why you sometimes encounter a foul mood at the other
end of the line!
Avoid offering free tickets and other bribes. Many
media outlets prohibit gifts altogether.
9. NAME DROPPING
Nobody likes name droppers! Name dropping often
indicates that the story is weak. Unless that person is
directly involved, it will seldomly change the story's
10. LACK OF FOCUS
Stories that focus on the source, instead of the needs
of the audience, generally do not appeal to the media.
11. CONFIRMATION CALLS
Opinions on making unrequested calls to your media
contact to check to see whether the faxes & packages
you sent have arrived draw mixed responses. (some see
it as helpful, while others as pestering.)
If you use a gimmick,it better be sensational! Why?
Because the vast majority of gimmicks fail to gain the
intended impact. (the reason for its use MUST be clear.)
13. NOT FOLLOWING UP REQUESTS
Media professionals depend on others to supply them
with the information they need to do their jobs. If you
send press releases, call or fax, and then don't follow
up when additional information is requested, you make
it difficult for them to meet their deadlines.
14. SAME IDEAS
Don't repeatedly send the same idea, no matter how
cleverly you repackage it. Writers and producers
recognize andresent old dogs dolled up in new duds.
15. GETTING UPSET
GROW UP!! This isn't Granny Martha's Daycare. The
media expects to deal with adults and won't tolerate
your hissy fits! Be professional. If you can't keep your
cool, find another profession and go see a shrink!
FIFTEEN THINGS THE MEDIA LOVES
Above everything media people want newsworthy
items. The first thing they ask is, "Will our audience
care about this product or service?" News affects
people's lives and what they discuss at the dinner table
and around the water cooler.
Save everyone time and effort by sending short,
concise messages, preferably by e-mail. Cut to the
chase; be direct and avoid subterfuge.
3. KNOWING TARGETS
Every story isn't for every media outlet. Research the
audience you wish to reach and identify which outlets
best target that audience.
Media people like to deal with people who build
releationships rather than merely try to sell a story.
Although individual stories are important, people in the
media know that careers are built by forging strong
Do your homework! Have your act together and be
ready to deliver what the media needs. Know your
subject inside out and have written materials completed
and on hand to send upon request.
6. BROAD APPEAL
The media wants stories that reach a wide variety of
individuals and features that make audiences say, "I
know someone who's going throught that." They look
for stories that make people think, feel, and identify.
Stories that complement larger news events. For
example: During the Columbine High School crisis, they
ran stories on raising boys, handling grief, treating
trauma, gun control, and violence and the media's
treatment of such stories.
Reporters and editors like to see how other media
outlets have covered your story, so send them articles
that others have written about you. Producers want to
know how you came off on camera or radio so give
them a list of shows you've appeared on and offer to
supply tapes for review.
The media loves stories that they can picture. In your
written materials use visual terms to create graphic
images, and tell stories that illustrate and give life to
your main points.
Explain to your media contacts how the book or
product you're promoting is connected to well-known
personalities. The public craves information about
celebrities, and products linked to them get plenty of
ink and air time!
11. PROMPT RESPONSE
Since the media work under tight deadlines, time is
always of the essence. Respond promptly to requests.
Send requested material by the fastest route, either
hand deliver or overnight express.
Be polite and respectful to media staff people,
especially those who answer the phone. before
speaking with media contacts, learn the proper
pronunciation of their names. Butchering a media
contacts name will get you off to a rocky start.
13. VISUAL AIDS
A picture is worth 10,000 words. Send photgraphs,
illustrations, and other graphic aids that reporters can
stick under editors' noses to show why your story
14.NO ROAD BLOCKS
When working with the media, smooth the way and
remove all obstacles that could derail or weaken your
story. Anticipate problems and help keep your story on
track through the whole process, even after it runs.
15. A PLEASANT ATTITUDE
Be patient, enthusiastic, and professional. See yourself
as a valuable resource for journalists and producers.
Be natural, positive, and make a connection. Don't
whine, complain, gush, or be phony. Become a person
that media professionals enjoy asociating with.
Truths that you ignore --only at your own risk: & Etiquettes that can help you effectively work with journalists in generating bushels of free press.....
1. Reporters don't care about helping you.
2. Reporters are hassled all day by PR people and
they're pretty much sick of it.
3. Reporters don't care about your website, your book,
your products or your life story, unless......
.....you are providing something that helps make their
job easier -- that is, a really good story.
In that case:
1. Reporters love you.
2. Reporters are happy to take your call.
3. Reporters are fascinated by your website,
your book, your products and maybe even your life
So what's the bottom line here?
When you design your public relations campaign,
develop your angles, develop your media materials and
begin contacting the press, always think:
"What can I do at this step that will make this more
useful to a journalist?"
· developing story angles from a reporter's perspective,
not a business owner's
· conducting yourself in a manner free of hype, cliches
· Using proper etiquette when contacting a reporter or
Developing an Angle
What does it mean to "develop a story angle from a
Have you ever met someone who has gotten way too
absorbed by his hobby? He can go on for hours about
his model trains or his coin collection. He can't possibly
imagine why you, or anyone else, wouldn't be riveted
by his in-depth discussion of Peruvian 19th century
He's far too close to his hobby to be objective. As it
turns out, most business owners are the same way
about their company. If you spend all day absorbed in
the world of vitamins -- or golf clubs, or health
insurance, or any other field -- you can lose sight of
the realization that most of the rest of the world
doesn't really care.
Etiquettes that can help you effectively work with
journalists in generating bushels of free press.....
1. Don't call to "see if they got your release."
Journalists hate this. Folks send out mass mailings and
then call to see if the release made it there. If you
really want to get a story in the Post, call first to pitch
your story and then follow up with your release,
2. Plan your call around their deadlines. Most papers
are morning editions. Thus, journalists' deadlines range
from 2 p.m. local time and on. Don't call during this
time! The best time to reach a newspaper journalist: 10
a.m. to noon local time.
3. Don't start pitching right away! If you get Joan
Smith on the phone, don't just dive into your pitch.
This is rude, as Joan may be on the other line, working
on a story, entertaining guests or who knows what
else. Start by saying something like, "Hi Ms. Smith, my
name's Bill Jones and I have a story suggestion you
might find interesting. Is this a good time for you?" Joan
will reply "yes"--which is a green light to start your
pitch, or "no"-- to which you reply, "When would be a
good time to call you back?" Your courtesy will be
greatly appreciated by the journalist...which can only
help your chances.
4. Pitch to the voice mail. It's fine to pitch your story
to the reporter's voice mail. Keep it very short and end
the message with your phone number. If you don't hear
back, try again until you get the actual reporter or
editor on the phone.
5. Don't read from a script! The bane of many
journalists' existences are 22-year-olds sitting in
cubicles in big PR firms reading pitches off a sheet of
paper. If you've ever been called by a telemarketer
doing the same thing, you know how annoying it can
be. Practice your pitch so that it seems natural and
6. Give them a story, not an advertisement.
Newspapers do not exist to give you publicity. They
exist to provide readers with interesting stories. Your
job is to give the journalist what he or she wants, while
getting the free exposure. Make your pitch newsy,
exciting and relevant. How about: "Ms. Smith, as you
probably know, obesity among children is growing at an
alarming rate. Because of the ridicule they face from
other children, millions of overweight young people are
being marked with lifetime scars that can seriously
damage their self-esteem. I host a unique website,
were overweight kids can anonymously express their
feelings and discuss this issue. I think I've learned some
important things about a very serious subject." That's a
whole lot more interesting to an editor than: "Ms.
Smith, I have a website where overweight kids post
messages. Would you like to do a story about me?"
7. Follow up immediately. If she's interested, Joan
Smith will ask for more information. Be sure you have a
press kit (including news release and photo) ready to
send . Send it out via priority mail, and
write "Requested Information" below the address.
8. Call again. Now it's appropriate to call to see if
Joan's received your stuff...after all, unlike a mass-
mailed release, she asked for it! Ask if she's had a
chance to look through it, and what she thinks. If she
likes what she sees, you're about to get some very
valuable free publicity!
Working with Bookstores, Publicists and Twelve Personality Traits of a winning Publicist
WORKING WITH BOOKSTORES
Bookstores respond to individual authors very
favorably. "I have found that bookstores are more likely
to respond if authors are willing to give of their time -
for example, volunteering to give a lecture or workshop
on a topic related to your book or to writing/publishing.
Even then, they still may not be willing to STOCK your
book, but they usually let you sell copies in conjunction
with your event. Bookstores also respond to CUSTOMER
requests. If readers order your book from a bookstore,
the store is more likely to take notice of your title."
1. Have postcards printed with the cover of your book
that indicate the ISBN info, cost, publisher, etc. "I kept
space to write that I am either a) in the area, or b) will
be in the area on certain dates."
2. Follow up. "I call within 10 days of sending the
postcard. If they don't have the book in stock, I ask if
they are interested in having the book sent to them.
(My publisher will do this for me.)"
3. If the bookstore expresses interest during a call but
does not book you, send a detailed press kit with press
clippings, book reviews, etc. ("to whet their interest"),
and then call them ten days later. So far, I have been
booked every time.
WORKING WITH PUBLICISTS
Just because a publicist is expensive does not
necessarily mean they are good.
Creativity and work are important, but having access to
media, contacts, and relationships are key for publicists.
Some tips on finding a good publicist:
- Deciding what you want to accomplish by hiring a
publicist will help you figure out what kind of publicist
you want. Do you just want someone who can get the
attention of booksellers? Do you want coverage by
traditional media (print and broadcast)? Are you already
a bestseller and you want to find someone who can
help you maintain this status?
- Ask for a list of the books that he or she has
- Ask for a list of industry contacts with whom the
publicist has ongoing relationships.
- Will the publicist provide a performance log (list of
which media outlets were contacted and the outcome)?
- Ask other authors for recommendations of good
TWELVE PERSONALITY TRAITS OF A WINNING
Tenacious and inspired by rejection Publicists hear "no"
more than salespeople and two-year-olds combined.
Each rejection is ammunition to search for the next
Response to tension Publicists are often at their best
under fire. Rather than solving problems by abstract
analysis, they quickly reach practical solutions by direct
Individual initiative Your PR Representative should not
wait for instructions, but take the initiative to solve
problems and anticipate and adjust to change.
Curiosity for learning With naturally inquiring minds,
publicists want to learn everything possible about the
products and services they promote.
Energy, drive and ambition Publicists should work rapidly
and not be afraid to take calculated risks. They work
the hours it takes to reach their goals.
Resourceful Armed with a sense of timing, they know
what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and how to
find right the person to say it to.
Flexible attitude A good PR Representative is able to
see things from many different viewpoints, whether it
be from executive management, a publication editor, or
a hostile critic.
Service to others To them, pleasure is in the success
of others. They have a natural desire to help people.
Friendliness Likeable, friendly and genuinely inquisitive,
they easily attract a wide range of contacts and
Versatility Often able to perform in a variety of areas
because of their adventuresome spirit. The desire to
learn and the ability to focus helps adjust rapidly to
new tasks and multiple client needs.
Lack of self-consciousness They function as catalysts.
The glory is seen in others fortune.
Connectors Publicists have a knack at hooking people,
events and situations, and turning them into mutually
Looking to Submit your book for Review? Here's some leads!
PLease make sure to follow any guidelines, this way
later you're not wondering... why haven't they
American Way Magazine
* At American Way the award-winning magazine of
American Airlines and American Eagle Airlines, Sherri
Burns who had been associate editor, has taken over
as editor of the publication. Amy Robinson is managing
editor and Jill Becker, is senior editor, along with Tracy
Staton and Richelle Thomson. Elaine Gruy Srnka is in
charge of the "Celebrated Weekend" section. The
publication, which reached over 107 million American
Airlines passengers. Some of their upcoming features in
upcoming issues are: 3 day Trips from Boston, classic
summer autos, business education packages, holiday
gift guides, celebrated weekend issue. American Way is
at 4255 Amon Carter Blvd., MD 4255, Fort Worth, TX
76155; E-mail: email@example.com
* At MSNBC.com two new editors have been added to
its health news and information team. Robin Eisner joins
as senior health editor. Molly Masland joins MSNBC as
health editor in the company's Redmond office. Robin
Eisner is reached at MSNBC.com One MSNBC Plaza,
Secaucus, NJ 007094, (201) 583-5000. Masland is
at One Microsoft Way, 25N/2105, Redmond, WA 98052-
* Rush Limbaugh, the right-winger, whose radio show is
heard between 12 noon and 3, Eastern time has as the
executive producer, Kit Karson. He is called Chief of
Staff and is at the how, 1270 Avenue of the Americas,
New York, NY 10020, (212) 494-0362; Fax: (212) 563-
DAYSIDE Talk Show
DaySide with Linda Vester is the FOX News Channel's
new daytime talk show, which will take the viewer
beyond the headlines for a closer look at the stories
that newsmakers and the public is talking about. Linda
Vester had served as anchor of FOXNews Live, the
Channel's daytime hard news programming. DaySide
which premiered last Monday, airs at 1PM ET is an
interactive news program, broadcast from the New York
area, which gives the viewer a voice, bringing people
into the studio and giving them an opportunity to voice
their opinions. The E-mail address for Vester is:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions for the show
go to George Davilas, who is the senior producer for the
show, at Fox News, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New
York, NY 10036, (212) 301-3000.
Women's is a nonprofit independent news service,
which covers the issues that are of particular interest
to women. The editor, Rita Henley Jensen, and her staff
deliver full and balanced reporting of women's issues.
The service has been around since January 2002 as an
independent news agency. Reporters and
commentators are selected based on their professional
experience as news reporters and their connection to
women's communities in the US and the world. New to
the service is Mona Eltahawy, who is becoming
managing editor of the Arabic site, which is aimed at
Arab and Muslim women in the Middle East and the US.
In addition to Jensen, Corinna Barnard is senior editor;
Alexandra Poolos is the assistant managing editor.
Reach them at the publication, 135 W. 29 St., Ste.
1005, (212) 244-1720; Fax: (212) 244-2320. E-mail
email@example.com; press releases:
At ESPN there are lots of changes afoot. Rome Is
Burning is a new weekly Tuesday sports hour which will
feature commentary from the combative sports talk
show host. This will be Rome's first TV work since he
stopped The Last Word with Jim Rome on the Fox
Sports Net late in 2002, after spending 5 years there.
In addition to his TV work, he also hosts a nationally
syndicated radio show. Rome's duties on ESPN will
include a column on ESPN.com, and a weekly one-
minute editorial on Sports Center. The new program,
which is still in development stages, will be more than
just a sports talk show says Mark Shapiro, the ESPN
executive VP in charge of programming and production.
It will be a sharp, intelligent, analytical entertainment
program, combining the talents of Rome, with a no
holds barred line setting Rome apart from other
commentators. Each episode will include: Rome is
Burning, a monologue featuring five topics Rome is fired
up and wants to get off his chest; The
Forum, 'politically incorrect' style debate and discussion
with guest sports writers and other personalities; FAN-
ning and Flames, where Rome takes on the hot-button
news issues of the week; Meltdown/Smackdown where
Rome comments on a variety of topics, including a
classic meltdown by an athlete or team, an outrageous
athlete sound-bite, or an outstanding performance by a
player of team; Rise and Fall, a who's hot, and who's
not list with commentary. Suggestions for The Jim Rome
Radio Show ,which is heard Monday to Friday from 9 to
12PM, goes to Travis Rogers at the Jim Rome Show at
Premier Radio Network, (818) 461-5426.
Barry Nolan is hosting a nightly show on CN8, The
Comcast Network. Nolan is a veteran of Extra and Hard
Copy, and his new show will be a 60-minute issues
oriented show, relevant to the New England area, with
topics ranging from politics to entertainment to the
day's top news stories. The show, which will be seen
by 2,200,000 Comcast cable viewers, will be shot in the
studio with call-ins, and shooters on the street. Called,
CN8 Nitebeat, it has just premiered and airs week
nights, live, from 7 to 8 PM ET. Contact for the show is
Tom Cole who is the senior producer, at (617) 876-
5005, ext. 2204; Fax: (617) 876-8613;
Tom_Cole@cable.comcast.com. Rebecca Connell is
another producer of the show. They are at CN8, The
Comcast Network, 179 Amory St., Brookline, MA 02446.
Florida Horizons Magazine
Florida Horizons Magazine has appointed Kathryn
Howard executive editor and Muriel Sommers is now
managing director. The announcements were made by
Len Dugow, the editor-in-chief and president of Florida
Horizons Publishing, the state's largest luxury residential
real estate and lifestyle magazine. As executive editor,
Howard is responsible for the editorial content of the
magazine. Sommers is focused on sales management,
and generating increased opportunities for the
magazine. Both had worked together previously at
Florida Home & Garden. With a circulation exceeding
one million, Florida Horizons is distributed to the world's
wealth clientele in Florida, the Northeast, and Latin
America, and features profiles of exclusive residences in
the Florida area. The publication combines lifestyle
trends, interior design, arts, and culture, combined with
real estate resources. Contact Howard at the
magazine, 1777 Michigan Avenue, Ste. 203, Miami
Beach, FL 33139, (305) 672-2010; Fax: (305) 672-
0578. Len Dugow is reached by E-mail:
The Society for African American Historical Research
and Preservation (AAAHRP), a nonprofit historical
organization is accepting books pertaining to black
history, genealogy and culture for reviews. With more
than 60,000 books published in the US yearly, many
worthwhile titles slip through the cracks, therefore,
even if the book has already been published, they will
consider reviewing it if it appears to advance the
understanding of black history and the black experience
in the US. Any that to be reviewed should be sent, with
a brief bio of the author(s) to:
AAAHRP, PO Box 17596, Seattle, WA 98107-1269. (206)
547-5394. You can also contact them with
by E-mail: AAAHRP@attbi.com.
Syndicated Talk Show
Sarah Ferguson, known as Fergie who was the Duchess
of York will be starting a syndicated talk show to be
called Fergie, to debut this fall in either a weekday
morning or afternoon slot. The show will be syndicated
by Universal, and the executive producer of the show
will be Amy Rosenblum, who is also the producer of the
Maury show, with Maury Povich the host. Reach her at
Universal, 15 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001, (212)
The Believer is a new monthly literary magazine which
has been generating a lot of attention recently. The
publication, which is in print and on the Internet at
www.believermag.com was created by novelist Heidi
Julavits, Ed Park, a senior editor at The Village Voice,
and Vendela Vidas, who is also a novelist. The fourth
associate is Dave Eggers, married to Vida, who has
worked out a publishing deal with The Believer to
piggyback it on his successful independent publication,
McSweeney. The publication, which is essentially a
book review magazine, with a twist, contains book
reviews which are at times, often very long, with
interviews with authors they deem interesting. The
publication contains no ads, is printed in four color on
heavy-stock, and contains essays, reviews, and
interviews, at least one philosopher a month, and timely
features that profile the latest in power tools,
mammals, motels, lights, and children. They have
writers, both venerated and/or destitute answer the
questions...."what are you working on?", and compile
lists of books that are fast and easy to read. Books for
Review can be sent to them at:
The Believer Book Review
PO Box 327
Brooklin, ME 04616.
The publication is in bookstores.
Tracks is a new music magazine that is being planned
for fall from Good Music Media. Being developed by ex-
Spin and Vibe executives John Rollins, Alan Light, and
Dana Sacher, the publication will appeal to the over-30
music fan. Also involved in the new magazine will be
World Publication, which publishes such magazines as
Saveur and Sailing World. They will have a minority
stake in the new publication. Although it is a long time
from publishing their first issue, the editor-in-chief will
be Alan Light, with John Rollins, their CEO. Also in place
is Ellen Fanning art director, and Perry van der Meer,
formerly of Talk and The New Yorker, as the managing
editor. World Publications is at 304 Park Avenue So.,
New York, NY 10010, (212) 219-7400; Fax: (212) 219-
Winner of the 2000 Alternative Press Award for Best
Arts and Literature Coverage, the quarterly Rain Taxi
Review of Books provides a place for the spirited
exchange of ideas about books, particularly those
overlooked by mainstream review media. While Rain Taxi
focuses on current releases, it also devotes space to
the discussion of older works that continue to
resonate. Interviews, essays, and "Widely Unavailable"
(reviews of out-of-print books) are also regular
features of the magazine.
Rain Taxi considers books in the categories of poetry,
fiction, and literary non-fiction (such as biography,
philosophy, or cultural studies). We also regularly
review graphic novels and audio publications (CDs). We
do not review books in other areas (e.g., gardening,
cooking, business, self-help) unless there is a
significant literary connection. We only occasionally
review children's books or chapbooks.
Please note that we do not accept electronic files of
any kind, only printed books (finished books or bound
galleys) are accepted for consideration, unless the
is new media/hypertext of literary interest, in which
case a CDrom with explanatory press release may be
Publishers (or authors) who would like to have a new
release considered for review are welcome to submit
review copies and any relevant press information to our
PO Box 3840
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Please understand that we cannot review everything
we receive, though all books are considered fairly-as an
alternative book review, we appreciate the opportunity
to see work from a variety of publishers. We are a
quarterly publication, so we often take several months
to consider a book; please do not send follow-up
queries unless absolutely necessary. We will notify you
if your book is selected for review, and we always send
tearsheets or links upon publication.