1stNews from 1stBooks, November 20, 2002
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
* Editor's Message
* Article: "How to Market Your Business with Stories"
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Richard Chilton Scores a
Touchdown with the New York Giants
* Seasonal and Topical
* Article: "Nine Ways to Add Punch to Your Nonfiction"
* Two Major Writing Awards You Can Win--And Yes--1stBooks
Authors DO Win These Prizes!
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information
It gives me great pleasure to bring you this issue's
marketing article from Eric Gelb. He's not a well-known
superstar like Dan Poynter--but he's the guy that I
approached about consulting for my next book project! His
advice is broader than just to writers, but writers will
have a special interest in the subject of his article--it's
what we do all day. Also, since many writers also sell other
products and services, I've left his broader language
For the writing article, we'll give you a break from our
series on feedback and revision (we've got another one
slotted for next issue). Instead, Lisa Smith gives you nine
writing improvement techniques that you can start using not
only in revision, but in your next first draft.
More inspiration: five 1stBooks authors won Honorable
Mention in the latest Writer's Digest Self-Published Book
Awards; you'll find them listed below, along with a notice
about the next contest and another prestigious award.
HOW TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS WITH STORIES
by Eric Gelb, MBA & CPA, mailto:Caradvctr&aol.com
Just last night, my four-year-old son Michael asked me to
read him a story. He skipped over to his bookcase and
immediately selected his all-time favorite, "The Little
Engine That Could." Then we sat on his bed and I read to
him. He was riveted.
We are conditioned from day one to seek the story. This
carries through to elementary school and beyond. Today,
novels, movies and TV shows, especially sitcoms, soap
operas, and serials, are super-popular. Some soap operas
have aired continuously for over 40 years now.
* Use stories to power your marketing programs. Stories get
your customers and prospects involved in your business and
your products. People remember stories. When you create a
story that connects the reader (your customer) to your
product or service, you are much more likely to make a
lasting impression--and this leads to sales.
* Use these techniques to write a great marketing story. A
marketing story promotes your business. But the promotion is
very subtle--the product or service is embedded in the
* Write a story around your product or service. My son
selecting his favorite book illustrates our point, but the
key is to create a story around your product. To promote
your product you won't want to write about "The Little
Engine That Could." Instead, develop a story that shows your
product or service in action.
* Make your writing and the examples clear. I still remember
stories from my managerial accounting class (1981) where the
professor illustrated the concepts with anecdotes.
* Use action words that create a mental picture. 'Skipped'
is a more active and illustrative word than 'walked.'
Skipped creates some excitement.
* Create a character who has a problem that your product or
service can solve.
* Illustrate how your main character uses your product or
service to solve the problem.
* Write in third person: For example, 'Michael skipped over
to his bookcase...'
* Use 'You' rather than 'I' because your readers and
customers are much more interested in themselves than you or
* Make the story personal, interesting and believable. This
will engage the reader.
* Consider quoting an expert or two to make your point and
provide additional evidence.
* Measure your length carefully. An anecdote may be 100
words or so, but you can write longer stories. Write enough
to engage the reader, but not so much that the story
overtakes your sales pitch.
When you create a story that embodies your products and
services and the benefits they offer, you can make a lasting
impression on your target audience. You will increase the
readers' connection with your company and increase the
likelihood they will buy from you. Let me know how it goes.
Eric Gelb, MBA & CPA, is a copywriter, content developer,
and marketing consultant who makes presentations on
promoting with writing and marketing. Eric is the author of
seven books including "Book Promotion Made Easy" and the
audio program, "Promote Yourself and Your Business with
Writing." He edits the Publishing Gold E-zine. Visit
1STBOOKS SUCCESS PROFILE: RICHARD CHILTON SCORES A TOUCHDOWN
WITH THE NEW YORK GIANTS
Richard Chilton shows us two important things in this
1) POD books can penetrate the lucrative corporate special
sales market, especially if they're a natural fit.
2) You can succeed if you follow your passion.
Richard's book can be previewed at
In his own words...
"'Diary of a Giant Fan' is a book describing the history of
the New York Football Giants as seen through the eyes of a
fan of more than 65 years...
"The New York Football Giant organization has requested
permission to use portions of the book in various ways...
'Diary of a Giant Fan.' was mentioned and shown by two
former Giants Super Bowl stars in their Giants pre-game show
just recently and a notification to the Giants fan base is
forthcoming. The Giants Vice-President of Marketing tells me
that they plan on contacting some 90,000 Giants fans
alerting them to the book. They have asked permission to
possibly use excerpts from the book in the GameDay program
sold at the games, and in other promotional ways... The book
may also be made available at the 'Giants Store' a
merchandising venue that sells Giants memorabilia."
SEASONAL AND TOPICAL
INTERNATIONAL AIDS DAY, December 1
"Autumn Farewell" by Elsa Burgess-Flores, a memoir who lost
two sons to AIDS http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/2203, also
available in Spanish as "Despedida en Oton~o"
PEARL HARBOR DAY, December 7
"Summer Storm - Prelude to Pearl Harbor" by Paul Frazee
"Remember Wake" by Teresa Funke
http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/8792 (Wake Island was
attacked the same day)
CORRECTION ON LAST ISSUE'S SEASONAL AND TOPICAL:
Author Bob Blake wrote to say, " 'Bayonets and
Bougainvilleas' is ABOUT a Marine veteran of three wars, but
the author is his SON, a Navy veteran of one war." Sorry,
Bob, and thanks for pointing out the error.
NINE WAYS TO ADD PUNCH TO YOUR NONFICTION
by Lisa A. Smith, mailto:lisa&writing-at-work.com
1. Be specific. Omit vague, meaningless words such as "very"
Vague: She was very excited.
Specific: She was so excited that she couldn't sit still.
Vague: He was really happy.
Specific: His face glowed with happiness.
2. Keep it simple. Short, plain words add power to your
prose. Long, fancy words can make your writing sound stuffy
and stilted. For example, when you mean "use," say "use,"
not "utilize." "Use" and "utilize" are not synonymous.
Consult a good dictionary to learn the difference.
3. Be concise, not wordy. Omit unnecessary words.
Wordy: At this point in time I think we should change the
Concise: I think we should change the rules now.
Wordy: John is a man who can never make up his mind.
Concise: John can never make up his mind.
4. Avoid weak constructions, such as sentences that begin
with "There are" and "It is."
Weak: This is the place where the meeting took place.
Strong: The meeting took place here.
Weak: It is Arnold's intention to run for office.
Strong: Arnold intends to run for office.
5. Don't be redundant.
Redundant: Free gift
Redundant: The meeting starts at 8:00 a.m. in the morning.
Correct: The meeting starts at 8:00 a.m.
Redundant: The reason why it will rain is that a low is
Correct: It will rain because a low is approaching.
Redundant: She is a person who prefers small gatherings.
Correct: She prefers small gatherings.
6. Use active rather than passive voice whenever possible.
Active voice is more dynamic and usually more concise than
Passive: It is believed by the elders that wisdom will
Active: The elders believe that wisdom will prevail.
Passive: It was thought that he was an artist to whom it was
worth paying attention.
Active: Critics thought he was an artist worth paying
7. Avoid the progressive tense when possible; use the
present tense instead.
Progressive: I am wondering what this means.
Present: I wonder what this means.
Progressive: You will be finding that your messages are
Present: You will find that your messages are clearer.
8. Be direct. Use the first person to refer to yourself;
address your readers directly as you.
Indirect: This writer prefers to beat around the bush.
Direct: I am straightforward.
Indirect: Readers may wonder why they find this piece
Direct: You may wonder what makes this an exciting piece.
9. Don't fall for the superstitions of writing. Sentences
can start with "And," "But," "So," and "Because." Sentences
can end with prepositions. Infinitives can be split. A
paragraph can contain just one sentence.
Lisa A. Smith offers editing services to help you turn your
manuscript into a marketable book. An award-winning writer
with years of nonfiction editing experience, Smith has
recently published "Business E-Mail: How to Make It
Professional and Effective." You can contact her through her
TWO MAJOR WRITING AWARDS YOU CAN WIN
ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards
"Honoring excellence in independent publishing," Foreword
Magazine's award program recognizes a wide range of fiction
and non-fiction. Authors' cost to enter is $50 plus two
copies of their book and the deadline is January 15, 2003.
For more information, visit
10th Annual Writer's Digest International Self-Published
Writer's Digest is awarding one $2,500 cash prize, nine $500
cash prizes and honorable mention awards to a variety of
fiction and non-fiction authors published in 2000, 2001 and
2002. The entry fee is $100 plus one copy of the book and
the deadline is December 16, 2002. For more information,
AND YES--1STBOOKS AUTHORS CAN WIN THESE PRIZES!
In the most recent round of the Writer's Digest awards,
1stBooks authors took five honorable mentions--not counting
the ones we announced some months back from the previous
round. Yay, team!
Fiction genre, Honorable Mention: Proximal to Murder, by
Eric B. Olsen http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/4060
Fiction genre, Honorable Mention: Jake and Jasmine, by C.D.
Children's genre, Honorable Mention: The Painting in the
Attic, by M. Rachel Plummer
Children's genre, Honorable Mention: Some Things Never
Change, by Charmaine Ciardi & Juliet Raines
Mainstream Fiction genre, Honorable Mention: Nono Silences,
by Jesse Giacomo http://www.1stbooks.com/bookview/7628
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