Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
A stitch in time gathers no moss.
The key to any successful PR campaign revolves
around creating interest - both with your customers
and with the media.
Know your target audience. Who are your most
important customers, clients or prospects, and why?
Keep in mind... the BLP newsletter is 'Helpware.'
The opinions, comments and suggestions expressed
here are purely those of the editor. BLP sends out
contact information needed to stir up news about
your book/ product. The rest is up to you!
Have a question or suggestion? Email me and it just
might be published in the next Newsletter. Be sure to
include an URL to your web site if you want a free
JAY-Z AND R KELLY FEUD DURING TOUR -
Rap star JAY-Z is allegedly refusing to talk to R KELLY
during their current American tour - because he's
disgusted by the IGNITION singer's child pornography
charges. Jay-Z turned down the opportunity to
perform with Kelly when their first CD collaboration,
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, came out in 2002 - after
the star was accused of filming sex with underage
girls. But Jay-Z finally agreed to support the second
part of the collaboration, a CD and tour, both called
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS: UNFINISHED BUSINESS,
provided he isn't made to socialize with Kelly
offstage, reports the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS'
website. An insider says, ''Offstage, they're not even
speaking. It's become a huge problem.'' Another
source adds that ''Jay-Z destroyed R Kelly onstage''
on the first night of the tour, after Kelly horrified the
Chicago audience by mocking his felony charges and
dressing as an inmate to simulate sex with two
women in a cage onstage. Prosecutors in the child
pornography case may use the video of the gig. But
Kelly's spokesman, ALAN MAYER, contends, ''A tour
like this goes through constant adjustment. Things
get added and dropped all the time. Jay and Rob
have known each other for years and have
tremendous respect for each other.''
SLIMMING SPICES ELLIOTT'S SEX LIFE -
Losing 32 kilograms (five stone) has changed hip-hop
star MISSY ELLIOTT's life - and revolutionized her sex
life. The rapper was told by doctors she could die if
she didn't trim her size 22 frame, and she's thrilled
with the effect it has had on her libido. She says, ''I
guess you're more open when you lose weight and I
don't have to worry about turning off the lights any
more. ''I ain't ready to do it in public just yet, though.
Give me another few months in the gym and who
knows where you'll find me. ''But I'd better steer clear
of making home videos considering what happened to
TOMMY LEE DECLINES TO PARTY AT COLLEGE
- Hell raising rocker TOMMY LEE has refused to party
with his newfound college pals after enrolling at
Lincoln's University of Nebraska. The former MOTLEY
CRUE drummer, 42, has been enjoying college
activities like trying out for the marching band and
learning about plant identification and chemistry, for
NBC's upcoming six-episode reality TV show. Lee's
horticulture classmate BURT KILGORE
complains, ''Everyone wants to party with him,'' but
adds the rocker has declined invitations. The show's
executive producer EDDIE OCTOBER explains, ''That's
Tommy's former or original rock star life. ''The
concept of the show is very much that Tommy is a
fish out of water and Tommy is making the effort to
fit into this collegiate experience.'' Band veteran BEN
COLEMAN admits he was shocked when Lee turned up
on campus at 7am till 9am every day for practice in
Nebraska's chilly autumn mornings. Coleman
says, ''When he showed up I didn't know what to
think. He really had the greatest attitude about work,
trying to make it happen. ''He's actually got really
good time and a really good feel for what's going on.''
The untitled show will be broadcast in July 2005.
FERDINAND THRILL CHILDREN AT UNDERAGE
SHOW - Scottish rockers FRANZ FERDINAND
were thrilled with the success of their concert
exclusively for underage fans - because it gave kids
the chance to see them live. The band performed a
matinee show for under eighteen-year-olds at
Glasgow Barrowlands on Saturday (16OCT04) and
were blown away by the response of the packed
crowd of children, many as young as nine. Frontman
ALEX KAPRANOS says, ''I thought, if we could do
something like that it must make a big impact on
someone's life. Kids don't really get to go to shows.
You keep hearing that people are into the band but
are only like eight years old.''
BUSH JEOPARDIZES AFRICAN-AMERICAN
VOTE - US President GEORGE W BUSH has
infuriated African-American voters by refusing to
appear on BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION (BET),
unlike his Democrat rival JOHN KERRY. Bush may have
lost the support of black voters to Presidential
hopeful Kerry, who appeared on the cable network
earlier this month (07OCT04), by snubbing a grilling
by host ED GORDON, which would have reached more
than 10 million black households. BET founder BOB
JOHNSON complains, ''I'm disappointed, obviously. We
invited both of them to speak with us before the
election. John Kerry was quick to say, 'Absolutely,
yes.' The White House thus far has said, 'No, we
won't talk to you.' ''The Republicans are saying
they're trying to reach out to African-American
voters around the country. So why wouldn't he take
advantage of that? ''If the President sat down with
us for 30 minutes, he could make sure African-
Americans know about his NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
program, his views on same-sex marriage, his
commitment to jobs and talk about all the other
issues he pays lip service to.'' Johnson is appealing to
the President's prominent black appointees, Secretary
of State COLIN POWELL, National Security Adviser
CONDOLEEZZA RICE and Secretary of Education ROD
PAIGE to persuade Bush to reverse the decision.
ROBERTS PLANS BREAK AFTER CHILDBIRTH
- JULIA ROBERTS will take a five-year break from
acting after giving birth to twins next year (05),
according to her personal trainer. The actress finally
conceived her ''miracle children'' with husband DANNY
MODER after repeated attempts at IVF treatment -
and she's determined to make the most of the twins'
early years, rather than worry about regaining her
shape. Her longtime friend and personal trainer KATHY
KAEHLER reveals, ''Julia couldn't care less about
getting her movie-star body back once those babes
are born - she says she's taking at least five years
off from movie-making to raise her twins. ''Julia says
her body will return to where it was naturally over in
time, instead of rushing it with crazy diets. She
thinks it sends the wrong message and says, if her
career is kaput because she took time off to raise her
kids, then it's a lousy indictment of the industry. ''She
waited so long to be a mother and fought so hard to
be one that she wants to devote all her time to her
Screenwriters & Novelists
Although it is certainly true that many excellent and
commercially successful films have been made that
had protagonists that were not likeable and were
merely fascinating to watch... SCARFACE,
GODFATHER, etc., in general the more common
formula is to have a protagonist who is somebody
that viewers can relate to and cheer on.
Creating protagonists like this will give your
screenplay something easily recognized as a
Having recently read some screenplays that were
based on really strong ideas with great plotlines,
unfortunately, the protagonist that was created was
given repugnant traits or behaved in ways that were
not consistent with how the character was initially
If your protagonist is a cool action hero, don't make a
scene where he breaks into tears when he fears the
loss of his romantic interest. "The writer," I assume -
felt that this would really add some dramatic punch.
And he would be correct, if this was a heartfelt
drama. But, this was a wild action film, and your
hero cracks jokes while in life threatening situations
as he battles overwhelming odds to save the girl and
win the day. So, making him start crying when he
thinks he's going to lose the girl is not consistent
with his character and will turn off viewers, or more
importantly to you at this stage of the game,
readers. Whatever genre you're writing make sure
your character remains true to that format.
Secondly, don't give your character repulsive traits
because it makes him seem human. A strong willed
protagonist shouldn't have a bowel control problem or
be really weird in some other way. MONK on USA is
a great television show and the protagonist is quite
flawed, but that is the hook of the show... a very
disturbed genius that solves crimes who's also really
a great guy. If you have a feature with this kind
of hook that can maybe work. But, don't throw
these kinds of traits onto a character who is not
supposed to be a disturbed weirdo.
If you are a new writer (novelist or screenwriter -one
without a major theatrical release credit to his/her
name) then, it's my opinion that you're better off
playing the odds and writing films that are based on
Noted novelist and short story writer Joseph Foti is
currently featured in ISSUE FOUR /AUTUMN 2004 of
Fusing Horizons magazine for his short story
Fusing Horizons is a London based literary magazine
of dark fiction for imaginative
readers, which was recently nominated for the
BRITISH FANTASY AWARD - BEST SMALL-PRESS!)
Foti's writing deals with contemporary issues and runs
the gamut genre-wise from literary to romance,
horror to fantasy. (Often invoking elements of all
four). His critically acclaimed novel, The Carrot
and the Mule (published by PublishAmerica) has
also received rave reviews from NYC to India.
Isis -Action, Adventure, Family
A young girl finds the bracelet of the ancient god Isis
and inherits her powers; she also awakens a dark
Production Company: Grammnet Productions, Energy
Producers: Kelsey Grammer, Joanne Asquith Weiss,
Writer: Ali Russell, Darren Davis
Agency: Energy, Alter Ego Entertainment
Representatives: Brooklyn Weaver, Daniel Alter
Price: Low- against mid-six figures
Comments: 21-year-old Ali Russell sold this pitch
based upon the comic book by Darren Davis. She
recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue
screenwriting and was scouted by Brooklyn Weaver
out of the UCLA writing program.
A heckler gets an NBA superstar suspended, then
finds his own life in chaos when the roles are
reversed and the heckler becomes the heckled.
Studio: New Line
Executives: Mark Kaufman, Matt Moore, Luke
Production Company: Karz Entertainment
Producers: Mike Karz, Russell Hollander
Writer: Jeremy Haft, Ed Gonzalez
Agency: Summit Agency, Nine Yards
Representatives: Sandy Weinberg, Matt Luber
Comments: Vince Vaughn could star. Debut
IDT LAUNCHES NEW ARC FOR GENRE
FLICKS. - IDT Ent. announced the launch of
New Arc Ent., a film production company producing
live- action feature films and animated movies in the
supernatural/thriller/action genre. New Arc is
committed to producing multiple live-action features,
several animated films and one animated series within
its first 15 months of operation. John W. Hyde, coo of
IDT Ent., will manage the new company.
Principal photography on THE FALLEN ONES, New
Arc's first feature, was completed in September 2004.
The film, starring Casper Van Dien, Robert Wagner,
Tom Bosley and Kristin Miller, and directed by Kevin
Van Hook, is a supernatural thriller. New Arc's next
film, ALL SOULS DAY: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS, starring
Laura Elena Harring and Danny Trejo and directed by
Jeremy Kasten, (THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS), began
principal photography in October 2004. The film was
produced by Mindfire Ent. through their CFQ Films
division and was written by Mark Altman and
produced by Mark Gottwald and Altman, also
publishers of CFQ (formerly CINEFANTASTIQUE) and
FEMME FATALES magazines. Additional New Arc
projects in pre-production include several feature
films with producer Stephen
J. Cannell (SILK STALKINGS, 21 JUMP STREET).
Club the Bugs and
Scare the Critters by Dr. Myles H. Bader
Illustrated by: Jason Herbert
Publisher: Dr. Myles H. Bader
Genre: How to
Paperback; 345 pp
Rating: Highly Recommended
How-To get rid of (just about) Everything
October 16, 2004
Bombs and house sprays pose a threat to the human
inhabitants. When used properly they are considered
safe and effective, but these products are toxic and
should be used only as a last resort. To help Mother
Nature naturally, without toxic poisons, use organic
Are bugs - Man's new Best Friend? Well many a bug
lover would argue this point. And yes, there are limits
to everything - having a spider problem myself
(Brown Recluse). I cornered one; it reminded
me of that movie Arachnophobia. I moved one
way, it moved the other... it was a cat n' mouse
game. This thing actually seemed to have a brain!
Dr. Bader helps you identify the problem in your home
or garden then provides a number of solutions that
can easily be put to use against beetles, Mites, Rove
beetles, Earwigs, Wheel bugs, Spiders, etc. It
practically covers every bug imaginable! Not only
does the book point out what attract these pesky
bugs, but also natural repellants.
Using humorous illustrations Club the Bugs and
Scare the Critters focuses on pesticides and the
hazards to human and animal life, as well as the
environment is life threatening.
Overall, this book is well worth the investment. Try
one or a number of these simple organic recipes to rid
your turf of nasty pests. Hopefully, you will have
good results and not to mention a healthy, safe, and
successful home or garden.
Reviewed by Betsie
David M. Dibble
Publisher: Asgard Pub Co; (November 2004)
Hardcover: 313 pages
Love inspired by unnatural means
October 17, 2004
A young struggling actor by the name of David
Graham is offered an unbelievable part in a play for
television being in Italy. Graham is a stage actor
tormented by severe stage fright in addition to
having a problem committing to a relationship.
Graham views this film offer as not only an escape
from dealing with live audiences, but as an
opportunity to end his current romance.
The film sponsor, Count Cagliostro, pays for Graham's
expenses for travel to location. The Count has the
namesake of a 17th century con man who was
infamous for dabbling in the occult, as well as
swindling large sums from unsuspecting victims.
Upon arrival to the set, not only does Graham find his
leading lady irresistible, but Deidre Carson is also
more than capable of matching Graham in battle of
the sexes. Throughout the filming of the play, a
number of strange occurrences cause Graham to do
some investigative inquiry about the films' sponsor.
Meanwhile, Count Cagliostro is performing his magical
tricks and mind-manipulating tactics for his own
purpose, which appear to be something other than
the production of the play. The Count's practices put
Graham and Deidre in a life or death situation in which
the outcome is totally dependant on Grahams choice
David M. Dibble's fictional romance details a love
story within a love story. The play itself is nicely
written. However, I found the character of Count
Cagliostro contradictory in actions as to the
legendary description of a charlatan. What did the
Count gain from all of this? Why did he bother? If this
story's intent is to baffle the mind, mission
accomplished. I found myself, as puzzled as it's main
Having read the author's last work 'Typhoon
Rising' which was an exceptional read, I felt let
down. Enchanter could have used a bit more
developing in the two main characters.
Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds
The Prophesied End-
time by Ronald Weinland
Publisher: The-End.Com, Inc (September 2004)
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Hardcover: 288 pages
Rating: Highly Recommended.
An eye opening interpretation of the Bible.
October 20, 2004
As I began the process of reading this book, I opened
the cover slowly knowing that it was not a work of
fiction. I've read Revelations several times, however
only focusing on the parts that I thought I would
understand and fearful of the other parts. Ronald
Weinland described this section of the bible in great
detail and explained how current events move us
towards the Apocalypse on a daily basis. I became
more and more aware of how mankind has defied God
with the senseless murders and other acts of
violence that have jumped off of the movie screen
and onto the evening news or various websites.
I don't want to believe that our time on earth will
come to an end soon. Oftentimes I try to keep those
thought out of my head - unsuccessfully. This book
gave meaning to those thoughts but now I await the
signs of the "end time." Weinland has stated that we
were given 6,000 years of self-rule and God's kingdom
will replace the "kingdom of man." He also stated
that to date, only one being has entered heaven, and
that being is Christ. Weinland also mentioned that
there will be an imminent power shift from the nation
that is perceived as the most powerful. Now, keep in
mind, these items were developed within the first few
pages and then developed - in laymen's terms -
throughout the book.
Many people will be skeptical and refuse to believe
that these events will occur. Weinland has prefaced
his words with the basis for his findings (the bible)
and the religious standpoint that he views these
events from. In the end, the decision is yours and
you must try to do what must be done to prepare for
these events that have been prophesied, Weinland is
offering advice and a course to follow.
I respect the author's religious views and applaud him
for placing his name and reputation on the line to
bring these difficult facts to our attention. If we can
unify as a planet and try to get within the good
grace of God, by whatever name he takes in our
hearts, maybe there's a chance. I'd like to believe
this but in the meantime we will have to watch and
hope. As I look at the world today and the course
that it's taking, I pray that there is a resolution and a
brotherhood of all humanity. If you say the Lord's
Prayer, say the words slowly and digest each and
every word, especially the following:
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as
it is in heaven...
"The Prophesied End-time" has opened a hidden door
in my soul and as I step inside, I am beginning to
grasp at what will become of the world if we continue
this course. As every book should, it will mean
something different for each and every reader - this
review is merely what I've taken from this book. You,
on the other hand, may gain so much more by
reading these pages as well.
Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks
Murder At The B-
School by Jeffrey Cruikshank
Publisher: Mysterious Press (October 2004)
When Murder Hits School!
October 20, 2004
The background for this murderous tale is Harvard
Business School, aka The 'B-School'. Boston
Police descend upon the school when the school's
golden boy, Eric MacInnes, the son of a wealthy
dynasty is found dead in a Jacuzzi after hours in a
A descendant of the 17th century Dutch painter, Wim
Vermeer, is a teacher on The 'B-School'
faculty who not only fears his career is on the line,
but is stunned when this "freak" accident appears to
look like an ingenious murder. He soon finds himself
suspect in the case.
Dean Bishop assigns Vermeer the task of liaison
between Harvard and the MacInnes who are
demanding answers. The lead investigator in the case
is Captain Barbara Brouillard, nicknamed by the
department as 'Ms. Biz', also known for making up her
own rules. She takes a liking to Vermeer, but isn't
sure if he's an asset or an impediment to her
Desperate to clear himself and discover the truth,
Wim begins his own investigation into the case.
Corpses begin to pile up, when Libby, the MacInnes'
daughter, is found murdered. Both rumors, as well as
computer evidence begin to point towards Wim
Vermeer. It doesn't take long for Vermeer to realize
he's been setup for a devious cover-up. With secrets
unraveling, and higher members of the faculty being
held responsible, the atmosphere in the halls of the
Harvard Business School quickly tense.
Jeffrey Cruikshank's descriptive settings of Boston,
Cambridge and the Harvard Campus, New York and
Puerto Rico help create an interesting debut novel,
although the story is somewhat slow to start.
However, there are enough twists and turns to keep
Reviewed by Betsie
A Woman's Search For Her Birth Family by Sherry
Publisher: KiwE Publishing,Ltd. (April 2004)
October 21, 2004
11 year old Cheryl is in a world virtually alone.Taken
away from her loving family after they fell on hard
times was shuffled through the foster care system to
abusive adults who were suppose to protect and
nurture her. This caused Cheryl to grow up feeling
broken, misunderstood, and distrustful of adults.
In later years of Cheryl life she is driven to chemical
dependency and depression and attempted suicide.
It is with the help of FINALLY being with positive
foster parents Sarah and Don,she begins to see her
own self worth and what she can do to turn her life
Going through counseling and meeting others like
herself,she understands she must relive those painful
memories and put the pieces of the bad dream (her-
She begins to search for her birth family and to
search for her self as well. She finds strength and
courage she didn't know she possessed.
This story makes you want to collect all the broken
children in the world and provide a save heaven.
The author Sherry Cochran grew up through the
foster system with abusive and neglectful parents
and faced these same feelings of lovelessness and
loneliness with a hidden and unknown hearing
Sherry allows you to step into the shoes of a young
and trustful child and experience the heartache,
disappointments,and abuse. It is only when you
return to your safe everyday existence you become
horrified and shocked of what some people are
capable of doing to a child, some may even be your
next door neighbor, teacher, or even a family member.
Sherry Has provided a list of agencies in this book to
help children report abuse and neglect, runaways,
and search organizations to help with finding their
I hope all the foster care parents read this book so
they can understand and pickup the messages these
lost and lonely souls are sending out. They must
intercede and help them get on the right track.
Reviewed by Demetria Harris
SCREEN & SITCOM WRITERS
Emerald Films - I am looking for completed
dramas that are low budget (under 500K), small cast,
limited locations, no special effects, ala 'Monster', 'In
The Bedroom', 'Monster's Ball'.
If it's set in S.E. Asia, that would be a plus, but if it's
specifically set in the Philippines that would be a
HUGE plus, given my current location.
We are only interested in reading projects without
attachments (no director, producers or talent
Emerald Films has produced award-winning shorts and
documentaries, including 'Tears of a Lotus'
and 'Yesterday Upon the Stair'. In the last year,
John produced 6 shorts and is in pre-production on a
3 hours ESL video that begins shooting in November.
This is the ONLY thing I am looking for. Please do
NOT submit if your script doesn't meet the above.
Please email a logline followed by a synopsis and, if
you have a resume, please put that at the bottom of
the email (NO email attachments please. Emails
attachments will be deleted before being read) to
John Milton Branton: email@example.com
WHERE TO GET PUBLISHED FOR FREE ONLINE
Accepting cutting edge short fiction, political satire, and reviews.
Article Announce - An egroup writer and
publisher exchange created to give writers a chance
to get published and help publishers locate content
on the WEB - Site devoted to quality original
short stories and poems invites writers to submit any
short stories or drabbles for publication online
(submissions of poetry will not be accepted).
illing The Buddha - Accepts reportage, essays,
fiction, and criticism submissions.
eak - Speak accepts unsolicited manuscripts,
fiction and nonfiction. Please include writing samples
with any pitches.
Stories on the Web - This new site encourages
you to submit short stories, plays and poems for
y Bleeds - Publishes stories and articles. It's
best to keep stories under 2500 words. Stories up to
5000 words are sometimes published though. No
Whether your looking for an autograph, celebrity
endorsement or just interested in communicating with
a star... here's the latest addresses.
Remember: Celebrity endorsements are a good
way to boost book sales or any product for that
matter, so don't be shy about sending out those
Calvin Trillin (best-selling author
of "Remembering Denny")
c/o New York Magazine
Ed. Dept. 4 Time Square
New York, NY. 10036
Dick van Dyke
23215 Mariposa DeOro
Malibu, CA 90265
The Dukes of Hazzard (Action/Comedy)
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522
Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Jessica
Never Let Go (Adventure/Drama)
32 Reilly Road
La Grangeville, NY 12540-6121
Cast: Francis Dumaurier, Jacque Esteves, Oksana
Orlenko, Karen Nazarov, Marina Freeman, Ernest
Trosman, Nina Ester, Nikita Ester, Nick Ruscha.
The Son (Drama)
2-4 Noel Street
Cast: Brooke Mason, Claude Laniado, Malinda Bennit,
Isle Burns, Trea Magnusson, Vernon Lombard,
Date School (Romantic comedy)
DreamWorks Pictures/Red Hour Films/Firm
100 Universal Plaza, Building 477
Universal City, CA 91608
Cast: Owen Wilson
Producers: Ben Stiller, Stuart Cornfeld, Beau Flynn,
Remember pitching your story idea to any one of
these magazines will bring your book or product to
the attention of thousands!
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romantic fiction with reviews, author profiles, how-to
books, and information about writers' conventions.
Landing a feature in any one of these magazines
could also add up in sales - so don't procrastinate -
get cracking and call, write, or morse code your news
Smaller papers are more apt to getting the news out
about your book or product in front of readers, so
don't leave them out!
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Kiel Tri-County Record
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With thousands of listeners (to & from work or even
at work) it's hard to leave out radio stations and their
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LOOKING TO SET UP A BOOKSIGNING OR AUTHOR EVENT?
Popular Pennsylvania Independent Bookstores
What many authors may not realize is that you
can call these bookstores, pitch your book, and
ultimately have the owner stock it on the shelf!
Then make sure you post this information on your
website under "available at the following locatiions."
Moravian Book Shop
428 Main St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Friar Tuck Bookshop
225 Columbia Mall Dr
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
Tel (570) 387-8884
Fax (570) 387-6860
129 West High St
Carlisle, PA 17013-2925
Tudor Book Shop and Café
100 Old Lackawanna Trail
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Lebanon Valley College Bookstore
Route 934 and Sheridan Avenue
Annville, PA 17003
Book N' Card Mall
209 Southgate Mall
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Hanover, PA 17331
Layser's Family Bookstore
Hershey, PA 17033
Salt Shaker Book & Gift Shoppe
1043 Main Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
28 West Main Street
Hummelstown, PA 17036
Windsor Park Book & News
Windsor Park Shopping Center
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
That Bookstore in Danville
316 Mill St
Danville, PA 17821-2058
Phone: (570) 275-6888
Chester County Book Co.
975 Paoli Pike
West Goshen Center
West Chester, PA 19380
16 S. Main St
Doylestown, PA 18901
Erie Book Store
137 E. 13th St
Erie, PA 16503
50 Bedford Sq
Everett, PA 15537
Haverford College Bookstore
370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford, PA 19041
Jerry Stigliano's BookSource
2880 E. State St
Hermitage, PA 16148
44 S. Main St
New Hope, PA 18938
345 S. 12th St
Gay & Lesbian Books
Yoder's Gospel Bookstore
10 Whitehall St
Belleville, PA 17004
Family Christian Book Store
120 Byron Ave
Altoona, PA 16602
Crossroads Gospel Bookstore
100 E Allegheny St
Martinsburg, PA 16662
27 Salem Avenue
Carbondale, PA 18407
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PROMOTIONS & MARKETING
Why Some People Get All the Buzz
Have you ever wondered why the same
people/companies seem to attract all of the media
coverage? No matter where you turn - newspapers,
trade magazines, even lifestyle publications - it
seems that some businesses are just natural media
darlings. Do they know some secret that the rest of
The answer is not all that mysterious. "Those that
get all the buzz usually have a good marriage of solid
or innovative product or service with good
Buzz needs an igniter--a circumstance, a surprise, a
shortage, an inside scoop, a juicy tidbit, the right
timing, a giveaway, even some ambiguity.
The first place to start creating your Buzz is through
the massive power of the media. A simple news
release picked up by a larger media show can inform
a sizable audience--second to none.
If your buzz is truly buzz, you can bet other media
organizations will jump on your buzz. Have you ever
watched EXTRA, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, E!, or one of
the other "industry gossip shows". Chances are if
you've watched one, you'll see the same stories
covered over and over again. Why? These media
organizations are quick to jump on the latest and
greatest stories of the hour.
Where do they get their gossip, and why is the same
story seen on so many different shows? Press
Releases commonly known as News Releases!
That's right! The buzz starts to flow when just one
media organization runs your story. You can be sure
each of these media outlets is certainly watching
over the other. If one picks up your story, chances
are others will follow. It's this repetitive story telling
through a number of media outlets that will initially
create your Buzz.
Other Buzz factors
When celebrities appear in a company's product
advertisements, it can create a very loud buzz. Art
Siegel, publisher of Florida-based SalesDoctors
magazine, says this happens for two reasons: "We
are unconsciously drawn to the familiar. So, right off
the bat, the presence of a celebrity gives many
customers an extra reason to stop and pay attention
to the ad. Second is the widespread belief that a
celebrity appearance in an ad represents a true
endorsement - that the celebrity uses the product
and believes it to be better than its competitors."
Siegel adds that celebrity endorsements can carry
the same weight for customers as a recommendation
from a friend.
There's another commonsense principle at work here.
If you give stuff away as fast as you can, you whip
up interest, which is the down payment buzz
requires. It always surprises me how businesspeople
devote so much time to building barriers to entry
when they'd be so much smarter to let it rip!
When a Pittsburgh woman was crowned Miss
Pennsylvania this year, Little Earth a small recycling
company sent her a fleet of their "Cyclone" purses,
shoulder bags made from old license plates. Miss
Pennsylvania kept the one made from Pennsylvania
plates, and she gave those made from other states'
plates to her sister contestants in the Miss USA
pageant. Little Earth was betting on those Cyclones
to see plenty of shutter action in the media frenzy
that preceded the March pageant.
Ty (makers of the infamous Beanie Baby toys) has an
ingenious custom of "retiring" a number of its plushy
critters every year. As any collector will tell you, the
rarer something is, the more valuable it becomes.
Super-hard-to-find retirees can fetch more than
$1,000 each; few things can get Beanie devotees off
their butts faster than, say, the breaking news that
Bumble the Bee is about to buzz off (and it did, in
1996). The company keeps such a snug lid on which
special Beanie is about to be yanked that grown-up
fanciers have built their own complexly structured
networks aimed at tapping into early Beanie Baby
buzz. Ty's own Web site averages more than 20,000
hits every day. That's smart marketing--is it ever!--
but it's also basic psychology. People go nutso for
what they cannot have: Brownies. Butter. Beanie
Certain controversial situations are a kiln for buzz:
agitated debates (abortion, flag burning, medical
marijuana); touchy subjects (adultery, ethics). The
collision of strongly held points of view is talk radio's
stock in trade.
The main thing to understand is that buzz is
always going somewhere. If you try to stop it, buzz
grows stronger. You can launch it from nothing, by
giving stuff away and by using a spokesperson to
seed conversational clouds. If your ear is good
enough, you can pick up on the prevailing buzz and
build on it. When it moves on--and it will--something
new takes its place: a hot movie, a favorite food, a
new buzzword. Sometimes big-time buzz even comes
roaring back again, after a couple of dormant
decades: miniskirts, fondue, that hideous lime-green
color that just screams '70s, Saturday Night Live
(when it was funny), minimalism.
One thing I can say with total confidence is that
buzz is way, way more fun than any other act of
communication. It's rebellious and contagious. AND
you're in for a heck of a ride.
So What Actually
Sells On The Internet?
There are many specific answers when it comes to
this question but probably the best answer is...
people buy products online that they don't need to
smell, touch or examine.
They want products that they are fairly familiar with
or products that don't carry an element of surprise
upon receiving them. In other words, they have a
pretty good idea of what it is they are getting.
For example: Amazon.com does very well because
there's no more mystery to buying a book online than
if they were in the bookstore purchasing the book.
You can't feel or touch a book online but the Internet
might even be better because it offers reviews and
ratings that you may not get in a bookstore. Also,
shipping is generally fast and easy. This concept also
holds true for music, videos and CD's. They all sell
very well online.
Whatever your website offers, it's a given that it
needs not only to attract visitors but also to convert
those visitors to customers. In most cases, the more
professional your website looks, the better it will
perform for you. (Use the theme of your book to
dress up the web!)
Anyone can experience healthy sales for any product
sold online by following some of the guidelines that
make sales a success.
Ease of shopping.
- You have to make it easy for the online
- Your site has to be set up so that the shopping
experience and checkout aren't frustrating.
- If you've ever bought anything over the Internet
think about what it is you liked or didn't like about
Certainly don't offer what you didn't like and make
what you did like even better.
Clear information and quality pictures or
- Always provide as much information about your
products as possible and always post a clear picture
- If the photo isn't of good quality then your viewer
won't consider you a quality site.
- Offer excerpts
The object is to get them as close to touching,
feeling or even smelling the product as much as
Fast or Free delivery.
- Provide shipping information to your viewers
somewhere on your site.
- Don't force them to place the order to find out
how much shipping is.
- Be upfront about the costs.
- If you offer free shipping, post that as an
advantage on your front page.
Recent reports show that free delivery is the third
most important factor in attracting repeat customers.
The first two were online security and price.
Always include an 'About' page.
- Your about page should have your business name,
address and a phone number.
- What sometimes tips the scales in your favor is
the ability for people to find out who you are and
where you are.
- They need to feel they are dealing with someone
honest and genuine.
- They want to know that they can contact you if
Provide security shopping.
- Use secure servers for ordering and post your
security measures plainly.
If possible... Offer competitive pricing.
Good examples of this are:
- Do your research and offer pricing that will appeal
to your buyers.
- If your price is higher than your competitors,
explain why and what features or quality measures
justify your price.
- P.O.D. publishing
Sometimes books sold at a cheaper price are used as
a bait to attract buyers who might also buy
more expensive books. Personally, I have no problem
with this, as long as it makes the book affordable to
more people. Although I would post this information
on my own site... listing the links as: buy new,
or discounted price.
What it boils down to is total honesty! Give
your potential and future followers the options if
available... hey a sale is a sale is a sale!!!
PR by the Book
Marika Flatt spent seven years with Phenix & Phenix
Literary Publicists as the lead publicist. She has
launched her own firm called PR by the Book. PR by
the Book offers: full scale media campaign, ala carte
publicity services such as media training, specific city
promotion, press material development, and other
training/ consultant services. Of most value to new
writers, Flatt develops a complete marketing plan
which writers can use in their promotion to agents
** PR by the Book is offering "Betsie's Literary Page"
readers a 15% discount until 11/18/04.
WriterOnLine - is an e-publication dedicated
to writers and lovers of writing. Fiction, poetry,
business and technical writing, how-tos, articles,
reviews, freelance markets, jobs for writers and much
more, published bi-weekly.
Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, Inc. -
Since its inception in 1994, Phenix & Phenix has built
a reputation that ranks it among the industry's most
highly respected publicity firms, and the publicist of
choice for authors and publishers throughout the
United States and 17 foreign countries.
Phenix & Phenix also offers a no charge
comprehensive media analysis of your book, to
evaluate its potential reach and scope in the media.
Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, Inc
2525 West Anderson Lane, Ste. 540
Austin, Texas 78757
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