Follow by Email

Thursday, July 2, 2015

So Many Voices – Who Can Hear Yours?



The numbers are mind-boggling when it comes to our media and content.  Consider this:

There are up to 3,000 books published every single day of the year, including Sundays and holidays.  That comes out to 750,000 book pages per day (for 250-page books), or 250 million pages in 2015.

How is all of that getting purchased, read, shared, and talked about, whether through traditional media, social media, book clubs, or author appearances?

Time magazine calculated that 350 scripted series were available on broadcast, cable and stream this past year. It estimated that with 10-episode seasons it came to 3,250 hours of programming.

If one didn’t sleep, eat, or do anything else around the clock for 146 days straight, he or she could consume all of that. But that doesn’t include other TV: news, sports, talk shows, reality shows, game shows, commercials, and other TV fare.

Then think about radio, newspapers, magazines, newsletters, trade publications, podcasts, blogs, videos, movies, videogames, music and web surfing. Add in online chats, emailing, and phone calls. People have a lot of information and content to consume, share, download, and overload!

How do we come to know all of our options and make intelligent decisions on what to consume and when to digest it?

How do we filter what’s out there and obtain summaries of circulating materials?

Time is precious but our choices grow exponentially on what we can do in terms of reading, listening and watching the world. Everything is a click away, 24/7.

Just to read a two-sentence description of each of the things we could enjoy would take us all day to get through. Is this a golden age, to be overwhelmed by content and data to the point we don’t  even know what to take in?

Further, because so much content is created independently and doesn’t legitimately pass through any uniform standard of quality or taste, how do we know if the content is accurate, unbiased, and created properly?

We live in an era of having more information than we can handle, less time and fewer resources to double-check the veracity of the content, and worst of all, we are in a fragmented era where the nation or even the world can’t always be on the same page because everyone is listening to a different voice at a different time. Even when 50 million people watch the same video of a cat doing something funny, we are not on the same page, given there are 7.25 billion people on the planet.

There are still billions of people who lack access to information via technology. Not everyone is on Facebook nor do they have a way to even get onto it. Not everyone has a smartphone or an iTunes account. Amazon, for all of its reach, still doesn’t claim every home as its own.

So when you write, publish and promote your next book don’t feel bad if it sells a few thousand copies. So much content is out there. We are all fighting for attention.  But don’t think that even if your book sells a million copies that the world has taken notice. It has not. You still have over seven billion people to reach and impress.

We are each a drop of water in a vast ocean. Our content mirrors this ratio as well. It’s just the way things are – and it is likely to get more crowded soon.


DON'T MISS THESE POSTS

Start Minting Money – And Books!

Manipulating Ballots, Content & Voting Booth: Celebrating America

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Interview With Debut Indie Author Heidi Dubois


Pens A Provocative Book: Open Wide: The 4 D’s

1.      What is your debut book about? I call it my Post Part Him journey.  It is about my life after my divorce and how I augmented my income as a dental hygienist selling sex toys. The title says it all.  Open Wide the 4 D’s Divorce, Dating, Dentistry, and Dildos. I got divorced in 2003. This is the first book of my trilogy – it covers the first five years after my divorce.

2.      What inspired you to write suck a wacky but true story? Let me start by saying it is an embellishment of the truth (wink). My life has always been kind of wacky, in a good way.  I learned early on to laugh at myself rather than get laughed at.  I am a dental hygienist.  I worked in the same office for many years and many of my patients became my friends. I would regale them with stories as I cleaned their teeth. Alan, one of my favorite friend/patients, an artist and a former writer himself, talked me into it. It was not that difficult, due to the fact I am an avid journaler.  Long story short, Alan’s daughter was in film school at the time, working as a summer intern for the guys that did Wedding Crashers. Her job was to read possible movie scripts. Feeling uninspired by anything she read, she called her father and asked if he could get his hands on his dildo-selling, dental hygienist’s manuscript. It was in its infancy stage, I was insecure of my writing capabilities, yet I took a risk and reluctantly sent it to her in Hollywood. Everything else in my life was proof that crazy things can happen, so why not? Within three days she called me and said let’s write a screen play. We began working on the screenplay and the book became the driving force. The screenplay and TV series are currently being shopped now. (fingers crossed). To sum it up my life made me do it!

3.      You found yourself a single parent and looking to augment your income. How did you come to sell sex toys? They found me. Very close family friends had been in the adult industry for years. They were the largest distributor of novelty products in the Midwest at the time; this was in early 2002 and a few “home party” companies were purchasing limited items from them (keep in mind Internet shopping was just getting started). They decided to launch their own party company. They were able to offer thousands of products without the middle person and they were building many web based product lines. They needed a “front man” to do the parties, and the rest as they say is history.

4.      So as a dental hygienist are you drawn to a nice mouth -- or something else? Some say the eyes are the window to the soul, I say the mouth is the door. LOL

5.      Do guys say they get turned on by your second profession or are they too intimidated to date you?  It certainly weeds them out.  As you can imagine some of the men assumed I was easy and some felt they could or would not measure up. I have been told that I am intimidating, but truthfully I am just very careful with whom I let into both my head and my bed. LOL

6.      How do you deal with family and friends who disapprove of your extra job? My family supported me completely, although this did spark some interesting conversations with my children at early ages. I was 100% honest with them. As far as friends go, this question hits home. I was definitely judged by some.  I lost several. Those that mattered stuck around and are very proud of how things turned out. (they also benefited from some of the fun gifts  I gave them over the years) (wink). I have grown tremendously as a person and have learned to ignore those that judge. My work ethic has been an inspiration to my children, I taught by example. Hard work pays off.  I am proud to say I kept my house, educated my kids and as hard as it was at times, I feel you need to do whatever you can (legally) to make it. Feeling sorry for myself was never an option. Everything happens for a reason. I was lucky that this opportunity came along. I am now a very successful dental implant salesperson and motivational speaker. Both require me to use the skills I developed at Heidi’s Passions. As I told my son, if you are in sales, it does not matter what you sell; you must work hard, gain product knowledge, and be the best person at it.

7.      Do you sample some of the products for yourself? Let’s just say:  See one, do one, teach one.

8.      What do women reveal to you when you start discussing sex toys? Just about anything and everything you can imagine. (And some things I didn’t want to imagine.)
Sex and intimacy are a very important part of a healthy relationship. Good sex makes it even better. Long-term relationships can stagnate; there are lots of ways to keep things new and exciting.

9.      Your story is one of empowerment. What do you hope people will learn from it? If you believe in yourself, you can do anything. My life has completely turned around. I am all about the power of manifesting. Set goals and dreams for yourself, take risks and work towards your vision. Learn to laugh at yourself and allow time each day to be grateful. (I cannot lie, for some days that was a challenge). Life is about choice, and we all have free will to choose the path we walk.  It takes a lot of balls to change your path and go against the norm. I feel that people should not stay married if the relationship is damaging. The reasons people divorce are very personal. I was in an abusive relationship that I stayed in for years thinking that it was better for the children. The day my daughter’s therapist told me that I was not the only emotionally abused woman in the house is the day I left. It was not easy, and I can look back, now 13 years later, and tell you I have no regrets. I chose to let go of the anger and resentment a long time ago. It is a cancer that will eat you alive if you let it fester. I was determined to not have my children suffer from my mistakes and their father’s choices. I would hope that people will learn to do whatever it takes to put their children first and to support them financially, emotionally, and spiritually. They are the future!  

DON'T MISS THESE POSTS

Start Minting Money – And Books!

Manipulating Ballots, Content & Voting Booth: Celebrating America

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015



Interview With Forge Author Alex Gilly


A new author launched this past week. The publisher, Forge books, says this about the author and book:

"The debut thriller DEVIL’S HARBOR by international translator Alex Gilly, a pulse-pounding 
adventure involving drug smuggling and immigration that takes place on the dangerous waters off the Los Angeles coast. With a fascinating, Walter White-esque villain that turns out to be the unexpected hero, this is most definitely NOT your average thriller!"

Here is an interview with the author:

1.      What inspired you to write Devil's Harbor? I love crime stories and I love sea stories, and I wanted to write a novel that brings together the best of both genres. My aim was to blend Patrick O’Brian with Michael Connelly.

2.      What is this thriller about? The protagonist, Nick Finn, is a marine interdiction agent with Customs and Border Protection. He patrols the waters off Southern California, looking to stop smugglers. Early one morning, he and his partner find a body floating off Catalina Island. Then his partner is murdered, Finn is  a suspect, and he gets sucked down by the undertow of a horrific criminal conspiracy.

3.      Why should someone put down their beach read for your book? If you’re sitting on the beach and you want to know what’s really lurking in the water, I recommend you read DEVIL’S HARBOR! 

4.      The story revolves around drug smuggling. Is this something you know firsthand or did you need to research it? I did a fair amount of research. I read innumerable newspaper articles and referred to a few books. I also researched the Mexico-US border and the CBP. 

5.      What does your book say on the themes of power and greed? Greed is the implicit motive for why most of the bad guys in my novel do the bad things they do. As for power, I think in a thriller like DEVIL’S HARBOR, you want to make it look like whoever is holding the gun has the power. Then you want to flip that on its head in fun and unexpected ways. 

6.      What challenges and rewards did you receive in the process of writing it? That’s an interesting question. There were plenty of challenges during the writing, the biggest of which was actually finishing the book. I was a single guy when I started writing DEVIL’S HARBOR, so outside of work I had a lot of spare time, most of which I foolishly wasted. Somewhere in the middle of my third or fourth draft, I got engaged. My fiancĂ©e set a deadline: finish the book before the wedding. It turned out that a deadline was just what I needed. I quit my job, sold my flat, moved in with her and wrote full time for about a year. I sent the finished typescript to agents a couple of weeks before we got married. Getting a positive response from a few agents was a nice reward. So was getting married. 

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? Your writing time is precious! Don’t waste it doing things that aren’t writing! I’m now a father of a small child (with another on the way) and take it from me, your writing time is precious.  

8.      Where do you see the thriller genre heading? As the world keeps getting smaller, I’d like to think we’ll see a greater variety of cultures and geographies in thrillers, and heroes who go on adventures in a more multi-faceted and less Anglo-centric world.

For more information, please see: http://us.macmillan.com/devilsharbor/alexgilly

DON'T MISS THESE POSTS

Start Minting Money – And Books!

Manipulating Ballots, Content & Voting Booth: Celebrating America

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Being Interviewed Online


Over the years, I have media trained over a thousand authors, guiding them on what to say and do – or not – during an interview with a television or radio show, or with a newspaper, or magazine.  All of these interviews were done in person, via studio satellite, Skype, or phone.  In all cases you heard someone’s voice, had a back and forth dialogue, and were able to have a sense of how it was going.  But with digital media, where most interviews take place silently and distantly through email exchanges that don’t even happen in real time, there’s a huge challenge for the interview subject.  How do you deliver a great interview when no one is there to interact with?

The first challenge with online interviews is that they create a perfect record of things.  If you fear being misquoted, that won't happen here, but everything you type can and will be used for the interview, so make sure you don’t reveal something you think is “off the record.”  Someone recently put down their true opinions in parenthesis in an interview she did for my blog, expecting me not to reprint her comments.  I chose to honor her wishes, but I didn’t have to, and others wouldn’t think twice about using such material if they think it’ll make for a better interview.

The next challenge is voice inflection – there is none.  Therefore, people will miss jokes, even sarcasm, and certainly could take something for anger or rudeness when that wasn’t how you meant to sound.  Re-read your answers to remove any doubts as to your “voice” and the impression you want to leave.

Third, often people like to use body language and eye contact to get a point across.  You only have words to do your talking, so use ones that give your comments some character and emotion.  Humanize the process.

Length is a big issue with online interviews.  Some give answers that are way too long, leaving the blogger or media to edit things down, which could get tricky if they edit the good stuff and leave a choppy answer in place.  Writing too little is even more problematic.  Your answers appear to lack substance or depth and sound empty.  I have had to go back to people that I’ve interviewed, including recently the head of a major organization in the book industry, because the answers were missing some meat.

Fifth, online interviews are great opportunities to insert links to things, but don’t overdo it.  You don’t want to look like an infomercial or advertorial.  Some people overpopulate links in their interview.  Save it for the end and just give the most important link – otherwise the interview gets cut short when readers leave to click on your links.

The online world seems like a huge universe, but when it comes to doing interviews through a screen, be aware of the pitfalls and limitations.  Good luck!

Did You See These Posts?

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How To Show Value For Your Book


My 10-year-old son and I were joking around about what we would do if someone offered us a half-million dollars for our soon-to-be six-year-old English Bulldog, Daisy.  I told him no one’s offering ka-ching for our pooch but if they did, I’d giftwrap her and hand-deliver the cute little beast. 

He was surprised by my answer.

I told him I love her and think she’s great – but I’d love the money more!

He then asked would I do it for $250,000?  Yep.  Then he inquired about $100, 000.  Oh, yes!  Then he asked about $10,000.  I told him no.

Then he asked if I’d sell him for $500,000.  I told him of course not.  He then said: “Yeah, but you would’ve sold Daisy, and she’s part of the family” I told him she’s a dog and though she’s a lot of fun, we could replace her with 50 dogs – and still have a pile of money to buy a lot of things.

This whole exercise shows that everyone is willing to part with something for the right price.  As an author, you want to do the opposite: show that your book has enough value so others part with their money to buy it – at the right price.

Authors have it tough, but they can show value in any number of ways including:

·         Comparing how their book matches up to their competition in quality and price
·         Telling what their book will do for the reader
·         Explaining that you are best qualified to write this book
·         Showing how its unique and that nothing is quite like it
·         Measuring how non-book tools or entertainment forms aren’t as good, or interesting, or complete, or as up-to-date as your book
·         Saying how the book will make you feel good, enjoy life more, and reach a level of satisfaction

The way my son keeps asking at what price would I decline to sell our dog, you should ask at what price would people say no to your book. Figure out the highest price one is wiling to pay – and why they’d pay it.  Then, appeal to those reasons and price point in your marketing materials.

The best way to sell a book’s to:

--Highlight the benefits of reading it.
--Give samples of great writing.
--Repeat your credentials if you are uniquely qualified to write this book.
--Mention media coverage, awards, and key testimonials that the book has garnered.

If none of this works, see if they’ll trade a bulldog for your book!

DON'T MISS THESE POSTS

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


Monday, June 29, 2015

Patriots Celebrate Independence Day With Books!


As Americans are about to celebrate Independence Day this July 4th, our nation will turn 239 years old.  It seems like the Bicentennial was a recent moment.  I wonder if people, who are looking to be patriotic, will recognize that they can honor the United States by reading a book, helping others to read books, or by donating books.  

To be patriotic is not about just waving a flag, proclaiming patriotism, complaining about immigrants, or shooting a gun in the air.  No, it’s much more than saying you belong to the Tea Party.

To be patriotic is to support peace, not war.  It is to participate in elections and the governing process.  It is to volunteer, give to charities, and act responsibly.  I think it also means to read books and promote literacy.  In fact, people should read about civic duty, ethics, government, politics, and history.  That would be a very good July 4th!

As a proud American, I see being patriotic to mean someone who loves this country and is willing to nurture it.  Patriotism does not have to be about the military and fighting to the death to protect our country against unknown enemies.  It should be about making this nation better, smarter, and more loving.  The process starts with reading books and using the power of books to develop an intelligent, caring, and successful country.  

Be patriotic this July 4 – read and share books!

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Manipulating Content, Stuffing Ballots, & Faking Lists Are The American Way


There are troubling examples of our failing participatory democracy everywhere, and the process has accelerated in the share-me digital age.  Here are a few examples:

·         A PR firm, Sunshine Sachs, reports The New York Times, was accused of editing Wikipedia pages of its star clients to remove negative references.  This was done through paid editors that didn’t disclose their relationship to the firm, a violation of Wikipedia’s standards.  The crowd-sourced, group-edited site has repeatedly had issues with false information, censored information, and improperly sourced material.

·         The all-star voting for Major League baseball is done by fans.  There have been cases where fans stuffed paper ballots to get their hometown favorites into the All-Star game, often when the player was not performing like a true all-star.  It got worse this year when people were allowed to cast online votes, apparently with no limitation.  As a result, though voting is not yet final, almost all of the players of one team, the KC Royals, could make the starting lineup.  They’re a good team, but they don’t have a deserving all-star at every position.

·         Bestseller lists are based on book sales but the lists can be manipulated and don’t account for certain sales made outside of registered bookstore and online channels. The truly bestselling books probably don’t match up with two-thirds of the ones on official lists.

·         When things are searched for on Google, the list of what comes up and the order it comes up is not always in direct correlation to a meaningful or even fair standard.  Certainly, the algorithm used is not transparent, yet search influences knowledge, news, commerce and politics.

·         Non-felons, who are over age 18 and are legal citizens have the right to vote but on average, only half do in any given election, sometimes at far less numbers for equally important primaries.  How can we have a responsible government when no one accepts the responsibility to vote and to be informed?

Our society depends on there being a legitimate structure.  When we can’t depend on voting systems to be legitimate or information reliable or our awards to be doled out on the merits, we are a compromised nation.  Americans know or suspect that money influences everything.  It’s a factor in in politics and other aspects of our lives.

It’s up to institutions to refrain from such practices and for citizens and consumers to expose such stuff and call bullshit on all of the times powerful forces seek to manipulate the facts of reality.  Lies, cover-ups, pay-offs, or blackmail are what run America.  

The truth is out there – but so is a falsehood – so beware of which one you have stumbled upon.  It’s getting harder to know if what one is being told is truth is in fact a fact lie.  Read, question, research – and share what you find.  We need to crowdsource the truth!

Did You See These Posts?

March In A Parade For Authors: Our True Heroes

When Books Can Talk To Us At Book Expo America

Drink Up At The Book Pub Crawl And Get Drunk On Books

Book Marketing Advice You Fin On A T-Shirt




Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015