1stNews from 1stBooks, August 21, 2002

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* Editor's Message
* Article: "Marketing a 1stBooks Title with Strategic
Alliances and Co-op Ads"
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Birdsong Overcomes Obstacles to
Receive Recognition
* Article: "Everything I Learned About Writing I Learned In
Kindergarten" (Part 2)
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter



This issue's marketing article is by a 1stBooks author who
has been creative and successful about getting press and
making bookstore contacts. The writing article is Part 2 of
Theresa Lacey's "kindergarten lessons."

In September, we'll return to our normal two issues per
month. We'll aim to get the first issue out on time, but due
to Labor Day, it may be a day or two late.


Marketing a 1stBooks Title with Strategic Alliances
and Co-op Ads
By David E. Feldman

I have found, developed, borrowed and otherwise accrued a
variety of off beat, workable marketing approaches for my
Library, May, 2002).

First of all, I included the book's setting in its title,
thereby catching the attention of regional media. Combined
with networking through my contacts to find a contact there,
I was actually interviewed for the Long Island section of
the New York Times!

To overcome the high pricing of most POD books (my
manuscript was 450 typed, double-spaced pages), I chose
1stBooks Library, which allowed me to choose a small but
readable type size (9 point), thereby keeping the book to
244 pages, and keeping the wholesale price at $10.50. Since
I will be doing much of the selling myself, this price is
important to me. Incidentally, I found my rep at 1st Books,
Jen Shelton, a tremendous help, and a delight to work with.
Thanks, Jen!

Initially, I printed and sent galley proofs to the
appropriate media--and that led to a review in Publisher's
Weekly! Now that the book is out, I am sending review copies
to a wide variety of reviewers (John Kremer's and the Tom
and Marilyn Ross' books have great lists for these), as well
as faxing local newspapers and radio stations. Lycos'
(http://www.lycos.com) Yellow Pages can search outward from
one's location, so I searched both libraries and bookstores
within a 25-mile radius. The search yielded phone numbers

I have also made "strategic alliances" with local
bookstores, which have given me shelf space, invited me to
do receptions/signings (where I've sold up to 30 books at a
time), and with whom I am doing co-op advertising (for which
I pay half). I place these relatively inexpensive ads in
small, but widely-read newspapers featuring my book and my
event, as well as the stores themselves. I also put up
posters in the stores' windows and posted to a regional
website, http://www.longisland.com

Any store that will carry the book and invite me in for a
signing will be offered co-op ads. Because the ads are with
a chain of papers, buying space in various editions is
cheaper than buying individual ads in entirely different

I have created postcards, which I sent to a personal mailing
list made up of "everyone I know," as well as all Long
Island libraries and bookstores (again, reference the book's

Another "strategic alliance" I look forward to is hosting a
book party at one of the local restaurants. I have not
worked out the details, but we will keep it in their
interest (perhaps primarily "for pay" food, with some free
finger foods and, as with the bookstores, co-op

And, of course, I not only post to websites that are
relevant, but also have a website featuring all my books and
links to the online stores: http://www.booksbydfeldman.com
(one of these postings led to an exploratory phone call from
a movie producer!).

David E. Feldman owns E. Face Graphics, a graphic design
studio for print and the web. Previously, he published "Born
Of War: Based On A True Story of American-Chinese
Friendship." Currently, he is working on the second in the
Long Island Mystery series as well as an authorized
biography of a former Hitler Youth and member of the
Luftwaffe, who is today an orthodox Jewish scholar living in

Learn more about David's book at



We are sure there are a number of 1stBooks authors listed in
Marquis Who's Who In America. But, we're betting that James
C. Birdsong, Jr. may be the only one who stutters, was
diagnosed with a speech impediment and motor delays, was
told by doctors he couldn't succeed, and went on to become
not only a published author, but a preacher, gospel artist,
songwriter, businessman and motivational speaker. He is
touring around the country (and soon internationally) with
his Message of Hope Book Tour. We are pleased that Marquis
Who's Who In America recognized his triumph over adversity
and is including him in the next directory, and we offer

Rev. Birdsong's book, One Marriage, Many Tales, and a
Separation-A Message of Hope, can be seen at



We received another request to share a booth with at the
BALTIMORE BOOK FAIR, September 27, 28 & 29. Any genre is
fine. You can email mailto:chaerenee&aol.com for details.
(DO NOT respond to the newsletter staff--we cannot forward
or answer replies to this notice.)


by T. Jensen Lacey, mailto:tcjl&hotmail.com

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Remember your kindergarten teacher
telling you to practice reading, writing, and arithmetic?
Writing every day perfects your craft. Even if you can only
write a paragraph, do it. Get up fifteen minutes earlier to
write; you will become a better writer every day.

LOOK BOTH WAYS. In kindergarten, you learned to look both
ways to protect yourself because something might be coming
the other way. Similarly, when submitting something to one
publication, is there another publication that might pay
more--or is better suited to your article or manuscript?
Save yourself time and money, and take a few minutes to
research the market. Sometimes a smaller publication will
pay better attention to your work than a big house--or vice
versa. Choose houses that accept simultaneous submissions;
make your work as widely available as possible.

DO YOUR BEST. You learned in kindergarten to always give
your best effort. That applies to the art of writing, too.
Before you submit your work, make sure that you are sending
your best effort. One editor for whom I had worked before
was kind enough to send something back to me saying, "This
is not your best. You can do better." I was grateful he
didn't reject my work outright and rewrote it to his
specifications. He was happy with my second effort, and the
piece got published (and he and I are still working together

SHARE. Sharing your work with others--and listening to
theirs--will help you hone your skills as a writer and as a
listener. It's great to get a different perspective on your
work, especially from a colleague (not your great-aunt
Myrtle who thinks everything you do is wonderful). Sharing
your work will also help you feel affirmed and empowered,
even if you're getting rejected by publishers.

NEVER GIVE UP. Remember kindergarten stories such as "The
Little Engine That Could"? The message there was to believe
in yourself and keep trying, and success would eventually
come. For writers, this is important, too. When one of my
book contracts fell through, I was devastated. After a
couple of days, however, I gave myself some positive self-
talk. I knew the manuscript was saleable, and this was only
a temporary setback. I started marketing the manuscript
again right away and later the next year, that book was in
the bookstores.

REMEMBER YOUR ABCs. For a writer, it's not only the alphabet
but also this acronym: Always Be Creative. Don't try to copy
something that's already out there. Develop newer, fresher
approaches. For writers, it's still the ABCs, but now your
job is to put together the alphabet, creating words and
stringing them together in a way no one else ever has

The writing profession is simple, really. You learned it all
in kindergarten.

Freeelance journalist Theresa Lacey has written over 600
articles for newspapers and magazines. She enjoys attending
book signings, speaking engagements, and giving writers'
workshops. GROWING SEASON, published by 1stBooks, is her
fourth book. Her website is http://www.tjensenlacey.com, and
her 1stBooks page is http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/9357



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