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Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
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Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
. September 19, 2003 HERE'S YOUR APPLE PIE!!!
. Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter


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 case.

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 StepForth website.

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 engine rankings.

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 considered independently.

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 yourself:

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 concerned.

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 engine placement.

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 website are:

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

Publisher: PublishAmerica

Genre/Market: Fiction

Publication Date: September 2003

Book Length: 269 pages

Price: $21.95

Edition: Paperback

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 was realistic.

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 book!


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 marketing support.

Rittenhouse Book Distributors, Inc. 511 Feheley Drive, King of Prussia, PA 19406 Phone: 800-345-6425 Fax: 800-223-7488 Email:


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, NJ 08057



170-23 83rd Avenue, Jamaica Hills, New York 11432 Tel: 1(718) 291-9891 Fax: 1(718) 291-9830 E-Mail:


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 U.S.A. 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: Web: 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 business.


# Midpoint Trade Books, Gail Kump, 27 West 20th Street #1102, New York NY 10011-3707; 212-727-0190; Fax: 212-727-0195. Email: Web:

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 sales reps.


National Book Network,

Lynn Humphries, 4501 Forbes Boulevard #200, Lanham MD 20706; 301-459-3366 (301-731-9538); Fax: 301-429-5746. Email: Web:

Jed Lyons, President. Miriam Bass, Vice President of New Business Development; Email: Jen Linck, Director of Marketing Programs; Email:

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 web site.

For example, 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 informative article.

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 them.

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 topics. 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.

Ezine Publication

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.



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."



Tesseract and Edge: Publishers on the same page

(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 twist'.

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," says Hades.

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.


Miramax Films

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
Price: 19.95

A must read for poetry lovers everywhere... well worth the price!


Author: David Lake
Price: 19.95

Sensual characters, and a fascinating plot sure to transport you to the Caribbean!


Title: One-Armed Bandit
Author: Dennis N. Griffin
Price: 19.95

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:

Freaky Friday

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 Black Pearl

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.


Cabin Fever

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 money."


Would you like to submit an article to our newsletter? Contact us with your idea or suggestion.


We thank you for reading and hope you find what you're looking for in every issue.

Happy Writing!

Are you in need of specific services? Here's some Quick Links...

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 Tyrone.

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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!!!


AVOID engaging in behaviors that have a high likelihood of alienating the very people you need to help you publicize your book!

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.


One killer page is all you need. If the media want more, they'll ask for it.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 value.


Stories that focus on the source, instead of the needs of the audience, generally do not appeal to the media.


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.)


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.


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.


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!


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.


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 relationships.


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.


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!


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.


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 merits telling.


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.


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...... 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 story.

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?"

That means:

developing story angles from a reporter's perspective, not a business owner's

conducting yourself in a manner free of hype, cliches and puffery

Using proper etiquette when contacting a reporter or editor.

Developing an Angle

What does it mean to "develop a story angle from a reporter's perspective"?

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 coinage.

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, photos, etc.

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 spontaneous.

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


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.


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 promoted.

- 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 publicists.


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 opportunity.

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 action.

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 networks.

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 beneficial opportunities.

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 responded?

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:

* At 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 One MSNBC Plaza, Secaucus, NJ 007094, (201) 583-5000. Masland is at One Microsoft Way, 25N/2105, Redmond, WA 98052- 6399, (425)703-6397.

Rush Limbaugh

* 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- 9166.


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: 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 contacts:;; 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, 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.

Comcast Network

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; 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:

Review Committee AAAHRP, PO Box 17596, Seattle, WA 98107-1269. (206) 547-5394. You can also contact them with suggestions by E-mail:

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) 547-8400.

Monthly Magazine

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 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.

Monthly Magazine

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- 4696.

Quarterly Magazine

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 work is new media/hypertext of literary interest, in which case a CDrom with explanatory press release may be sent.

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 mailing address:

Rain Taxi 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.

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