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Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
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Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
 Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter . GUERRILLA PUBLICITY 
October o3, 2003 
. . . . . . . . .
Greetings Everyone!

Well while publishers have decided to bombard Betsie's Literary Page, I've been working on a new project. Can't exactly say what at this time, but if it works I'll surely pass on the results!

Then again I have planned to write up much on - high impact publicity, the amazon formula in a nutshell, as well as using phrases that sell-- depends on how many readers are interested in these subjects.

Ok so on with the show!

in this issue


    Special events -- such as grand openings, pony rides for children,barbecues and square dances, picnics, and with the holiday's approaching = Halloween parties -- are effective publicity vehicles in two ways:

    1. They help market your book to the public. People attend the event, come to your booth for the free hotdog or icecream, and then browse and buy while they're there.

    2. They're promotable and can get you a lot of press coverage. Many editors like special events and cover them!

    If the event involves free giveaways,many editors announce it it, typically in a schedule of events or a things-to-do-this-week column.

    If the event is based on a clever gimmick or angle, many editors not only put it in the calendar but also may give it broader feature coverage, both as a preview as well as a post-event story.

    This leverages the time and effort spent putting on the event, because you not only promote yourself to those who attend but also, through the publicity, reach thousands of additional prospects who did not.

    When preparing for your special event, and using a gimmick -- send out a media alert.



    Here's the thing... the company: rents mailboxes

    the angle: unusual, prestigious location = Empire State Building

    see how it works?


    How do you approach a TV producer? In much the same way that you approach a magazine or newspaper editor, with just a few differences.

    1. If you're trying to impress a producer with whom you have no prior relationship, a nicely packaged media kit sometimes helps.

    2. If you want to increase your chances of getting coverage on a particular TV show, offer the producer an exclusive on your story -- give the show first crack at running it. If the producer accepts, she gets to run the story first; then you're free to give the story to other shows and stations.


    A media alert is a short, one-page notice that looks like a cross between a standard press release and a wedding invitation. It quickly hits the highlights, using a graphic format that makes it easy to scan, and sticks to the facts without puff or elaboration.

    The most common method of delivery is to fax the media alert to the television station producer.

    Dominoes did a stint in Washington, D.C. to introduce their new deep pan pizza by delivering their press releases to 4 network affilliates using a messenger = the press releases were taped to the pizza boxes.

    The possibilities here are enormous!

    When sending your media alert, remember to announce photo opportunity times. TV crews don't want to waste their time standing around of fighting to get you on camera.

    Set aside a specific time when the camera operators can shoot video of the featured attaction.


    Handling surprise gracefully

    Being a guest on a radio talk show is not always a winning situation. Getting yourself on the show, preapring, and doing the interview take a lot of effort and time. Forsmall-business people, time is money -- you don't do publicity for the fun or glory; you do it for the sole purpose of publicizing your book, generating leads, enhancing your visibility and reputation, and making more sales and profits. (at least that's my motivation)

    So when you go to all this trouble and the media appearance doesn't work out, you tend to get upset. But don't let it show. Instead, handle the situation gracefully. Never yell or complain, and always leave people thinking well of you. This positive behavior increases your chances of getting more and better media opportunities. Negative behavior will have people running away.

    Yes, there are some horror stories, but for the most part most media appearances go well.

    Following Up: The Media Blitz

    You need two ingredients to PR success, and that having media contacts is not one of them.

    The two ingredients of PR success are : creativity and hard work.

    Many send out press releases with no follow-up; others call only one or two to see whether the press release was recieved and will be used.

    You need to call EVERY media outlet that recieved your press release, not once, but several times.


    It's my experience that if you make a thousand phone calls, you can't help but get some media placements.

    So we make a thousand phone calls -- for every press release we mail. And doing so -- pays off!

    The more you follow-up, the more pickups you get!

    Working your ABC Lists

    I use a cold calling technique for the media. It's literally as simple as ABC. If you have... let's say 1000 prospects to call, break them up into three segments.

    A = the prime prospects (most desirable targets)

    B= the smaller publications (you don't view essential to your campaign)

    C= the remaining 900-plus

    First, call the B's to practice your pitch. Use the feedback to refine your script to improve reponse to your next list, the A's. For instance, if the B's won't take the story because it's been done before, can you think of a fresh angle or twist to overcome that objection?

    Next, call the A's. Do everything in your power (short of bribery) to convince at least one of these media outlets to run the story.

    Now, call the C's and let them know about the prestigious new pickups you have from the A list. The C's are influenced by bigger names and are more likely to run your campaign because of the endorsement of the A media.

    Media Links

    The Beltway Boys with Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke is a national half-hour TV show on Saturdays on the Fox News Channel. The show is interested in news about the political events of the day, and the two hosts interview national guests with a news maker tie-in, people who can discuss current events in the news, cultural leaders, analysts, some writers and artists, but they must have a political angle, IE. someone like Bill Maher. The producer of the show is Michelle Remillard, and she is reached at the program, Fox News Channel, 400 N. Capital St., NW, Ste. 550, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 824-6300; Fax: (202) 824-6499; or you can E-mail them at: Check them out at

    Tim Russert hosts The Tim Russert Show each Saturday and Sunday. Also the moderator of Meet The Press and political analyst for NBC's Nightly News with Tom Brokaw and The Today Show. His weekly program on CNBC examines the role of the media in American society in the show he interviews the country's most interesting policy makers, journalists and provides in-depth discussions on politics, the media, and the entertainment industry. The producer of this show is Barbara Fant, reached at (202) 885-4548.

    BKLYN is a new quarterly regional publication which is supported by a partnership of area cultural institutions and mailed free to 85,000 households in central Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, and available at the supporting institutions. The title will cover lifestyle and culture and neighborhood news, food, and events. The editor-in-chief is Joseph Steuer, who previously served at Gotham, Interview, and New York magazine. Their premiere issue covers such information as Walk on the Culinary Wild Side; Inside the Brooklyn Art Scene, and Birds of Prey Near You. Currently they plan the following issues: Winter, 2003; Spring, 2004; Summer, 2004; Fall, 2004; and Winter, 2004. They have seven ongoing departments: BKLYN BEAT, a quick look at new and noteworthy places and people, things to do and see in BKLYN; BKLYN Streets which takes a look at specific neighborhoods; BKLYN Food, restaurant, bar and food reviews by WOR food critic Arthur Schwartz; BKLYN Calendar, a foldout seasonal calendar which highlights events and activities; and they also do celebrity interviews, essays, and literary observations. Contact Steuer at Underline Communications, 12 W. 27 St., 15 fl., New York, NY 10001 (212) 994-4340, Ext. 4334.

    The Advertising Show", which currently airs on Infinity Broadcasting's Business Radio 650 AM in Houston, has been added to the talk-radio network of Syndicated Solutions, giving it national reach through their 600 weekly affiliates. The show is co-hosted by Brad Forsythe and Ray Schilens, strange and unusual marketing news, showcases of effective advertising, and examples of bad advertising. They also include interviews with key industry figures, and features on marketing issues, trends, and strategies. The show is sponsored by Ad Age. The Advertising Show airs live on Saturdays from 1 to 3 PM central time, and is repeated on Sundays from 5 to 7 PM. H. Bruce Abbott is the executive producer, with Stephanie Ceritelli, the associate producer, at The Advertising Show, 6363 Woodway, Ste. 300, Houston, TX 77057, (713) 273-6575; Fax: (713) 783-0868. For more information, check their Web Site:


    It's the price, stupid!

    That's what the majority of music buyer told the researchers at VH1, when the cable network asked them about a range of issues related to retail sales of recorded music. The poll found three out of four music buyers feel recordings are overpriced, a factor that appears to be contributing to piracy and illegal downloads of music tracks. One out of five of the respondents said they've downloaded music, while 11% said they've done so in the past six months. Among those respondents who said they've downloaded music from the I nternet, 58% said retail prices breaks would make them more likely to purchase CDs. Interestingly, only 26% of those polled even know about Universal Music Group's plans to discount its retail prices. That's alarming, but what the Riff really wants to know is if VH1 has shared these results with sister unit Warner Bros.? Meanwhile, new research from nsightExpress suggests the major record labels may be missing the real point of downloading. The study of 500 people found an overwhelming majority of music downloaders (72%) believe peer-to-peer file-sharing sites expand their overall musical horizons and make them more, not less likely to purchase music. More than a third of downloaders claimed file- sharing has led them to purchase more music than they otherwise would have, while 11% said they are purchasing less.

    First the "X-Men," then "Spider-Man," then "The Hulk" and now it looks as if Marvel Enterprises next comic-to-screen bonanza might be one of the comic publisher's most seminal of characters, "Captain America." Okay, so Ben Affleck's version of "Daredevil" didn't do so hot at the box office, but at least it was cool, especially Colin Farrell as manic villain Bullseye, not to mention the sultry Jennifer Garner as DD's love/hate squeeze Electra. But we think the timing couldn't be better for a red-white-and-blue superhero who got his legs fighting Germans in World War II and who just might be reborn as an Al Qaeda fighter. Instead of doing battle with the nazi-mongering Red Skull, we'd love to see Cap' throw his mighty shield in the direction of Osama Bin Laden.


    Just as Rush Limbaugh comes under new fire for a new round of racist remarks, not to mention his ouster from ESPN, a liberal counterforce appears to be mounting against the conservative media. Former presidential candidate and Vice President Al Gore reportedly is close to buying Newworld International, Vivendi Universal's fledgling news channel for $70 million. The idea would be to turn it into a liberal- oriented cable news outlet that would help to counter-balance the conservative rantings of Fox's right-wing team.


    The latest development surrounding Martha Stewart proves just how out of touch her followers really are. No longer content with making holiday place- setting and table-top doilies from pressed wild flower blossoms, these Stewart-ites appear to have too much time on their hands and a displaced sense of social responsibility. These fans have contributed more than $3,000 to mount a billboard in Times Square to support Martha's defense against insider trading charges, and they hope to raise at least $20,000 for, as if the omnimedia diva didn't have enough cash on hand to mount her own high-priced defense. And we can certainly think of a number of other more justifiable charities in need of the cash.

    Upcoming Movie Releases

    "Mystic River"

    directed by Clint Eastwood. Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney.

    Set in Boston, this Clint Eastwood-directed mystery revolves the abduction and murder of Penn's young daughter. The trail of blood leads to an old friend (Robbins) who suspiciously looks like the culprit of the crime. October 8 Limited

    "Intolerable Cruelty"

    directed by Joel Coen. Starring: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Geoffrey Rush.

    In a rare mainstream effort by the Coen Brothers, Clooney and Zeta-Jones star as dueling potential love-mates who continually try to one-up each other in cleverness and, most likely, end up falling in love. October 10

    "Kill Bill: Volume One"

    directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen.

    Quentin Tarantino's ode to the Sonny Chiba/kung-fu classics of the 70's has an assassin (played by Thurman) on the hunt for revenge against the former boss who tried to kill her (Carradine). Volume two is scheduled to come out in early February 20, 2004. October 10

    "Runaway Jury"

    directed by Gary Fleder. Starring: John Cusack, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Beals.

    Based on John Grisham's best-seller, Cusack plays a jury member in a high- profile court case who is willing to sell the case to either a jury tamperer (Hackman) or the plaintiff of the case's laywer (Hoffman). From the director of "Kiss the Girls", the explosive cast should guarantee this one big returns at the box office. October 17

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