Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 things you can do today to get amazing book blurbs tomorrow

What’s worse than not making the effort to get glowing blurbs for your book before it’s published?

Not planning ahead to make sure that you get them from the most impressive and influential people possible.

While you can completely “cold call” the rock stars of your genre or industry and get cover blurbs that will make your mother proud, you’ll have a greater success rate – and work half as hard at it – if you take a few steps in advance.

Why? Because you’re more likely to get a positive response from someone who knows your name than from someone who has never heard of you.

When it’s time to ask people to write blurbs – those endorsements and testimonials you place on your book’s cover and inside front pages or on your retail sales page – you will be talking to people who “know” you instead of people who think, “Who is this person?”

Maybe you’ve been in this situation yourself before: Two people ask you for a favor. One is someone you’ve heard of and the other is a stranger. If you’re like most, you’re probably quicker to respond favorably to the person you know of than the person you don’t. That’s just human nature.

Take action now

Fortunately, you can take specific actions now so that you’re no stranger to the people you want to endorse your book in a few months. And the good news is that it’s not hard or painful.

Here are three things you can do today that will pay off when you’re ready to make that important request later.

1. Socialize online.

Connect on social media, but make sure that you’re using the right social media networks. 

Going after high-profile foodies or chefs? Look on Pinterest. Are the people who will blurb your book in the business world? Check out LinkedIn. Looking to connect with Millennials? Try Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.

Follow them. Retweet or share what they share. Comment on their status updates and blog posts. Use your best judgment about how much of this is enough and how much is “too much.” You don’t want the person to feel like they’re being stalked, but you do want them to learn your name. 

2. Socialize in person.

Is your dream blurber making a presentation near where you live? Attend and introduce yourself before or after. 

Compliment the speaker and presentation in a follow-up e-mail, mentioning something specific that resonated with you.

When author Minda Zetlin attended a conference featuring Tom Peters as a speaker, she was smart enough to introduce herself on site and ask if he’d write a blurb for her book. To her delight, he agreed to do it. 

“It wouldn’t have occurred to me to ask him if I hadn’t seen him speak,” she said.

Attend networking events where you might meet someone who will be an ideal endorser. Register for key conferences, seminars, and trade shows where you will meet the right people while you learn even more about your topic and audience.

3. Ask for introductions.

Do you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody? Ask for an in-person or virtual introduction. (This is a particularly good approach when you want blurbs from celebrities and other famous people.)

Don’t even think of leveraging the introduction to request a favor immediately, though. Help that person get a sense of who you are and what you do, first. Be generous with your time and information before ever expecting anything in return. You might send that person links to articles you think he might be interested in, or compliment her when you see she’s been quoted by the press. Notice what others do to keep you engaged with them – in a good way – and emulate that.

Add structure now that will pay off later

Do more than connect with these people you think will help you sell more books when they provide an endorsement.

Catalog or document your contacts, too, in an Excel file or a Word grid. Record their name, contact information, why they will be good “blurbers,” and how and when you’re staying in touch with them. You’ll then be able to use that documentation to your advantage later, when you ask them to write an endorsement for your book that will influence the people you know will benefit from your knowledge or story.

What’s holding you back from going after your dream endorsement?

About the author
Sandra Beckwith is an award-winning former publicist who now teaches authors how to publicize, promote, and market their books through her training programs and free “Build Book Buzz” newsletter. Sandra’s new multi-media program, “Blurbs, Endorsements, and Testimonials: How to Get Experts, Authorities, Celebrities, and Others to Endorse Your Book,” takes the guesswork, uncertainty, and mystery out of this important process and shows you how to get the blurbs of your dreams. Use coupon code BLURB before June 27 to save 33% off the already low purchase price.

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Friday, June 06, 2014

I'm Moving Back to Colorado (Again)

“Don't you live in Arizona?” a friend asked me recently. 

“No, I've been living in Southern California for the last two years,” I explained. We moved here to be near our youngest daughter. It turned out Kim had twin boys last October and added to her two year old. We've been able to help out over the last two years during a critical time in life.

I often spend my days on the phone and email speaking with different authors because of my responsibilities as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James. I was telling another author about how we were going to be moving again. She asked if I was going to have time to get together with her for breakfast or coffee. I said yes and I was speaking with this author on her Los Angeles cell number—but she was in Arizona. So we didn't get together. The two conversations showed me many people are confused about where I live.

I understand the confusion because I work for a New York publisher, I have a New York phone number and extension on my business card. Yet I have been living in Southern California. Two years ago we sold our home in Arizona and have been renting—which makes moving a bit easier. We are in the process of moving again for the third time in three years. Whew. 

Moving does strengthen your organization skills. It's fruitless to keep moving things that you don't use on a regular basis.

Our family takes a number of magazines—several of them weekly magazines. I've learned the majority of my addresses can be easily changed online. I did a google search for “Name of the magazine” + “customer service” and almost immediately I went to the right location. Entering my account number and zipcode my current address came up, then I could change it to our new address. If you are moving, I recommend you change the addresses online since it will be immediate and quicker than other methods.

We are moving to Highlands Ranch, Colorado where we have two children and five grandchildren. Other children are nearby and we will see them more often in Colorado. We've lived in Colorado Springs two other times so going back to Colorado seems familiar. Instead of Colorado Springs, we will be living in the Denver area.

Our movers will arrive tomorrow but already I've taken some public steps to change my address. First, I've changed the contact details in my LinkedIn profile. Also I've changed my location on twitter. Finally I've changed the contact page on my terrywhalin.com website.

I do not have all of my addresses changed but I have changed several of the critical ones. For example, I have a regular newsletter which reaches many people. I will not be changing that address until I reach Colorado early next week.

In the last ten years, many activities have shifted to the Internet. With the move, my work with Morgan James Publishing will continue without interruption. Thanks to email and cell phones, I'm fairly easy to reach. Here's the key: I'm reachable when I want to be reached. I can ignore a call and let the call go to voice mail then call the person back when it fits my schedule.

All too often people feel like technology drives and controls their world. In reality, technology can help you control your environment if you use the tools that you have been given. Lots of transition is in the works here. It's been ten years since we've lived in Colorado where there are distinct seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter). It is going to be exciting—and a bit disruptive for a few days but then everything will settle down.

How do you handle the transitions or moves of life? I hope you handle the changes with grace and high expectation.

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