Happy Thanksgiving to readers of Small Press Blog. I hope that you enjoy your day!
I have been having working done on my database. It will allow me to export in ways that I could not do so before. Why is this important?
Take a look at the data you will be using for your book. For me, this is easy because it includes hundreds of school listings. Are all of these schools exactly the same? Of course not and that is why I want to be able to export in a myriad of ways. My thought is that you create a database, so that you can write/create multiple books in as easy a way as is possible.
I now have the ability to export into my preferred format information that could produce eight different books (at least), but means that I do not need to keyboard in that information. This takes a book that could take months and turns it into a one-month project (once the database is done).
It also means that, should I keep up with the database, new editions are so very much easier. I would like to get to the point where I have new editions every year. This will make that goal easier.
I have been out of town for the last several days, so didn't have much of an opportunity to work on the database. I did, however, make some decisions that will fundamentally change what my books and websites will look like. As I have said before, I consider my books and websites as one because I produce content for both and I try not to give precedence to one over the other.
So, that being said, I have decided that the best way to approach my work is to make as strong a connection as is possible. I am not quite ready to put it all out there yet (partly because there is a website owner out there who has decided his business model is to copy my work), but, as soon as some of the pieces are in place, I will announce it here first.
I think one you have seen it, you will realize that it all makes perfect sense. Or so is my hope.
by Dan Poynter
Savvy nonfiction author-publishers take each chapter of their nearly complete manuscript and send it off to at least four experts on that particular chapter's subject. This step in book writing is called "peer review."
Some experts might get two or three chapters but most will get only one. Do not overwhelm them. If you send the whole manuscript, most experts will put it on their desk with the best of intentions and never get back to it.
An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.
--Niels Bohr (1885-1962), Danish physicist and Nobel Laureate
Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One-Minute Manager Library, says "I don't write my books, my friends write them for me." He explains that he josts down soe good ideas and sends them off to friends for comment. They send back lots of good ideas that he puts into his manuscript. Ken is being very generous, of course, and what he is describing is "peer review."
What you get back from your peer reviewers is extremely valuable: They may add two more items to your list; they sometimes delete whole paragraphs where the practice has changed; they occasionally cross out that comment you thought was cute but was potentially embarrassingly stupid, and they sometimes even correct punctuation, grammar and style.
Also send copies of the complete manuscript off to friends, family, literate objective readers, potential buyers and even a Devil's Advocate or two. The more feedback you get the better.
When your book comes out, you will receive far less adverse-reader reaction because the book will be bulletproof. After all, it has be reviewed and accepted by the best.
And, there is another valuable reason for peer review: You have more than two-dozen opinion molders telling everyone about your book -- and how they helped you with it.
Dan Poynter, the Voice of Self-Publishing, has written more than 100 books since 1969 including Writing Nonfiction and the The Self-Publishing Manual. Dan is a past vice-president of the Publishers Marketing Association. For more help on book publishing and promoting, see http://ParaPub.com. (C) 2003
And in a burst of energy this week, I got significant work done on the database. That's always a good thing. Feeling much better about getting the database done on time.
I have begun to think about book titles. Originally, I had thought that this would just be Complete Guide to Online High Schools, 2nd Ed. However, then I began to consider the idea of branding the book as in Best Online High Schools: The Companion Guide to the BestOnlineHighSchools.com website. Well probably not that sub-title because it would be horribly long, but you get the idea.
There is a lot to be said for having the book mesh with the website. Quite a bit of recognition of the connection between the two. Also, it is a simpler title and perhaps works better within a Google search.
So will I make this change? Hard to know. Certainly something to consider. What do you think?
How do you get journalists to write articles about you? In the past year, I’ve been featured in over 100 magazines and newspapers worldwide (including many of the biggies, from The New York Times to Fortune Magazine). How do you get that kind of attention for your book or business? Here are my top techniques. (See my special report, www.PublishingGame.com/mediareport.htm for an even deeper look at how to maximize your media attention.)
Be media worthy
This should be obvious, but even experienced publicists seem to overlook it. Journalists are looking for news, for trends, for cutting-edge story ideas. They’re not looking for “I published a new book” or “I hired a new employee” or “I have a great new business idea!” Even though those sentences have the word ‘new’ in them, that’s not sufficient for most journalists, whose first reaction is, “Who cares?” If you can satisfactorily answer the “Who cares?” then you’re well on your way to nailing down a story.
Learn to coin juicy soundbites
Besides having a newsy story to tell, it’s also helpful if you can present it in a juicy, clever way. Most of the stories that are covered by today’s media profile people who can tell a good story in an interesting way. Get some consulting or take a class with someone whose expertise is coining soundbites in order to maximize your ability to be quoted. (I offer this consulting, as do others.) What do I mean by a soundbite? Take, for example, the time I was featured in a major wire service syndicated news story, in a story on the bankruptcy of WonderBread. My quote—which appeared first in an article that also quoted the CEOs of Krispy Kreme and Bruegger’s Bagels—was “America’s donut days are dead.” (If you don’t understand why that was a desirable quote, quickly run out and get some training!)
Send out publicity releases regularly
On a consistent basis, send out press releases on whatever you’re doing. Depending on your business objectives, you might want to send out releases monthly or weekly, but try to develop a regular pattern that reporters can rely on. Barbara Corcoran, whose company became famous as New York City’s biggest residential real estate group, attributes much of her tremendous media success to the regular publicity release of “The Corcoran Report,” where she quantified the average condo and co-op sale in the city. Use one of the low-cost or free press release services for your frequent communications, and a more upscale press release service infrequently for your particularly important communications.
But do targeted publicity too
Don’t just send generic press releases to publications randomly; do targeted publicity as well. When you speak to most publicists, their idea of targeted releases is sending to 500 publications instead of 10,000. When I say targeted publicity, I mean zeroing in on one publication, and one editor or journalist at that publication, to whom to address your story. A few years ago, when I wanted some major international publicity for Expertizing, I sat down with all the business magazines and decided which one was most appropriate; then I read back stories by everyone on the masthead until I’d zeroed in on the journalist who was most likely to appreciate my story. I sent him a press release—just one press release, just to him. Two days later he phoned, and a few weeks later he attended my all-day Expertizing Workshop in Boston. The result? A full page story in Fortune Magazine. (More on how to target publications most effectively in the Expertizing Publicity Forum— www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm)
Sign up for the Expertizing Publicity Forum
If you’re promoting a nonfiction book or general –interest business, consider my new Expertizing Publicity Forum, where each week you can tell top journalists about your business—and hear their personalized tips on how you can best promote it, and whether they’re interested in writing an article about it for their publication. Participants have gotten placement in everything from The New York Times to USA Today, and two participants got literary agents and big publishing deals! For more information, check out www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm.
Fern Reiss is CEO of PublishingGame.com (www.PublishingGame.com) and Expertizing.com (www.Expertizing.com) and the author of the books, The Publishing Game: Find an Agent in 30 Days, The Publishing Game: Bestseller in 30 Days, and The Publishing Game: Publish a Book in 30 Days as well as several other award-winning books. She is also the Director of the International Association of Writers (http://www.AssociationofWriters.com) providing publicity vehicles to writers worldwide. She also runs The Expertizing® Publicity Forum where you can pitch your book or business directly to journalists; more information at www.Expertizing.com/forum.htm. Sign up for her complimentary newsletter at www.PublishingGame.com/signup.htm. And definitely sign up for her Facebook Writing and Publishing group at harvard.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6138914001.
Copyright © 2009 Fern Reiss
The work continues onward with the second edition of my book. I have been looking at some formatting issues because, in addition to the print version, there will also be a Kindle version (and perhaps others).
I am continuing to build the new database. The work is not going as well as one would hope. Yes, I push onward, but I also end up stopping to fix things that I find on the website. The usual fix? Links that no longer link. It's amazing how quickly some of the information becomes outdated. And, to be sure, much of the information for the book comes straight from the website.
In total, the work is going a little slow, but I have been distracted. That's a problem with me; I get excited by new projects and end up spending less time where the time should really go. I work better with goals.
So, the goal for this project is that I have the database completely done by the end of December. It could be faster, but I have other ongoing projects that help pay the bills.