1stNews from 1stBooks, January 8, 2003
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Table Of Contents
* Editor's Message
* Article: "How I Got Over $1,000,000 In Free PR--And How
You Can Too!" (Part 1 of 2)
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Marvin L. Brown Opens Non-
traditional Markets and Gets Media
* Article: "Pulsing"
* News from the Writing World--For Writers in the Midwest
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information
Happy and Successful New Year from all of us at 1stBooks! As
we mentioned in the last issue, we're sending this issue on
the second Wednesday of the month so as not to publish on
New Year's Day. This means there's only a week before the
next issue, then again on the first Wednesday in February.
Lots to tell you, this time.
A New Publicity Opportunity: Case Studies Wanted
We are planning to launch a new feature: case studies of
authors who decided to publish with 1stBooks. Perhaps you
have succeeded in the traditional publishing world but chose
to publish this time with 1stBooks because of your rotten
experience (yes, it does happen--and more often than you'd
think!). Or perhaps you'd been rejected a zillion times and
1stBooks was the affordable solution you found. If
interested, please use this link:
We will send you a questionnaire for you to send back. And
if we choose you, you could be featured here. Please include
your four- or five-digit Book ID with your response.
More on Selling Rights
We've received a few queries about the concept of selling
rights. Here's a quick explanation: When you write a book,
you own the copyright from the moment of creation. In order
to use the intellectual property that you've created, anyone
else has to negotiate an agreement with you. So if a
publisher wants to bring out an edition of your book in
another language, or a studio wants to make a movie out of
it, or a magazine wants to reprint a chapter, you need to
transfer those specific rights.
This transfer can be a gift or a sale, it can be for a
limited time or geographical area, or a broad grant.
Understanding this concept is key to creating multiple
income streams from your publishing project. If you are not
familiar and want more info, please get some of the classic
books on self-publishing, such as Dan Poynter's "Self-
Publishing Manual." There are a thousand tidbits in that
book and others that will make you a much better publisher.
How to Contact the Editor
If you need to contact me about any content issues regarding
this newsletter, the address to use is
mailto:shorowitz&1stbooks.com. It is NOT
newsletter&1stbooks.com, which is the subscription
management address and does not come to me. There were many
posts that were sent to the wrong address in the past few
months, and because of a glitch, they were not forwarded to
me until late December. A number of them concerned a timely
submission to the Seasonal and topical column, and
unfortunately, those folks will have to wait a year before I
can feature their book.
In the marketing article, Patrick Gilligan shows how he uses
his book as one cog in a multimedia publicity machine
(you'll see just how extensive in the second installment,
This issue's writing craft article is intended more to
inspire than to instruct. It's kind of a meditation on
writer's block and writing technology. Something different,
just to get in the mood for a new year of staring at the
screen and getting the words from your brain out through
And this issue's Success Profile offers three important
lessons: It reinforces Mr. Gilligan's article, it shows that
you can get publicity on your own. But you can also take
advantage of 1stBooks' own promotional services--Mr. Brown
did both. And finally, he shows that other retailers may be
open to carrying your book, and if you're in certain genres,
that could be better for you than selling through
How I Got Over $1,000,000 In Free PR--And How You Can Too!
(Part 1 of 2)
By Patrick Gilligan, mailto:PGilliganJr&aol.com
A good PR firm can cost you as much as $5,000 a month. But
you can easily do your own PR!
What's the difference between PR (Public Relations) and
Advertising? Advertising is something you pay for: ads on
television, radio, newspapers, etc. PR is free! Although
there is a nominal cost for phone calls, faxes, press
materials, etc.--PR is certainly less expensive than
advertising and in many cases, more effective.
As I describe how I was able to get my PR, I'll explain how
you can do the same.
Host your own television show
I started out by hosting a local cable TV show called
"Entrepreneur Spotlight" on Public Access Cable. I
interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs and made some good
business contacts. Most communities have Public Access. You
can take classes on TV production and host your own show.
Contact your local cable company for information.
Host your own radio program
After hosting an award-winning cable TV show for two years,
I approached some local radio stations about putting my show
on radio. A lot of them thought it was a good idea, but none
had room for it. So I contacted a local station that would
allow me to buy airtime and put on my show. With no
advertising experience, I called on local companies and
asked them to sponsor my show. It took some time, but I
brought on board enough sponsors to not only pay for the
show, but make a tidy profit. Contact your local radio
stations and pitch your show. If they don't bite, find a
brokered station and create your own show. In a brokered
station, you pay for the airtime. Your company could write
it off as a marketing expense.
During the five-year run of my radio show, I interviewed
local entrepreneurs as well as some of the most successful
people in the country: Larry King, Tony Robbins, Jack
LaLanne, Art Linkletter, Paul Harvey, John McEnroe, and Ed
McMahon. By the way, I was able to convert some of the local
guests into clients of my insurance business. How did I
attract big name guests on my little radio show in Michigan?
Through great PR of course!
Dealing with the media
I received a lot of newspaper coverage for my television and
radio programs. In fact, all of the major and most of the
smaller papers in my area ran feature stories on me. Having
been featured in all those articles enhanced my credibility
and helped me land celebrities for my show. One of those
articles helped me get on national television. Essentially,
PR is selling. You're either selling yourself or your book.
By the way, you always sell yourself first.
I called up the local media (typically reporters in the
local papers and magazines) and explained who I was and what
my shows were about. You always want to be able to tell the
media what is special or unique about you or your cause. My
radio program is unique because it was the only show of its
kind on the air, and that I was interviewing the most
successful people in the world, and my guests told my
listeners how they became successful. The best way to deal
with the media--pick up the phone and call them. They won't
bite your head off. Be friendly and persistent. Believe me--
persistence pays off.
Patrick Gilligan is a talk show host, success coach, and
author of "Patrick Gilligan Says Be Your Own Boss!"
available from 1stBooks at
Rate this article! Click on the link below.
1stBooks Success Profile: Marvin L. Brown Opens
Non-Traditional Markets and Gets Media
"I'd like to thank 1stBooks for all the help in publishing
and promoting my first book, 'Empty Holster.' Since the book
was released I've had two interviews on KJAK radio in
Lubbock, TX. Then came a book signing at Hastings in Lubbock
and another at Hastings in Hobbs, NM.
"Promotion is the key! 1stBooks sent out press releases and
so have I.
"The Hobbs News-Sun called for an interview and has printed
a review of 'Empty Holster.' A lot of books are sold in
places other than bookstores. A local Western wear store now
stocks my book. In the next few days I hope to place 'Empty
Holster' in the gift stores around this area. I just
received word that an online reviewer will review the book
within the next two months.
"Promotion, promotion, promotion, it's well worth the time
and money. Thank you, 1stBooks."
Marvin L. Brown
Author of "Empty Holster"
By Iris Forrest, mailto:irishope&comcast.net
"Out, out damned cursor."
You feel like Lady MacBeth. The cursor, a constant reminder,
waits for input. You long for a power failure to end its
life. But it keeps pulsing, pulsing, pulsing--like Poe's
Tennis players scream, "Yours". Not an option for you.
The cursor is still pulsing, silently: "It's up to you. The
next move is yours."
Mind blank. Meditators struggle for years trying to reach
emptiness. You achieve it just sitting in front of your
You're hypnotized by the fan's quiet hum, drowsy at 8:00
Typing directly into the computer, without a previous
longhand copy, doesn't seem to be working. In a few seconds
you'll be asleep.
"Don't look to me for help," the cursor seems to say, "I'm
just here to remind you that you have a job to do. I remind.
O.K. You shake yourself awake. The pool starts to fill. You
help yourself to words floating around like hungry fish
eager for the right bait.
Which bait shall you use today? You have so many choices:
money, power, success, recognition, personal satisfaction...
The bait will pull the words to the surface of your mind
where the fishing pole can catch them; drop them onto the
And the beat, pulsing, goes on; never a letup.
"Slow down, please. I have to think, concentrate. I'll catch
What if it's too small, undersized? Throw it back. Try to
hook a bigger, more significant, more brilliant, more tasty,
more moving one. (Your stomach growls that it's chow time.
You don't dare stop, can't stop, now. On the brink of
Something is taking the bait, slowly, emerging. You're
probing your unconscious, exploring your soul. You watch,
with great excitement, as ideas are caught, examined,
arranged, re-arranged, then sent forth. Your avid public (as
avid as the cursor) waits impatiently to admire, or reject,
your offerings. If they, like Oliver Twist, ask for more,
you can fish again, in the same pool.
Lonely? Yes, lonely as hell, but not as hot. The computer's
fan is a comforting companion, as comforting as your
father's snores when you crept home from a date, long after
your official curfew. It keeps itself cool, ready to work
for you, reminding.
But--what if it stopped? Where would you be? Would you know
how to write by hand, anymore? Let's find out!
You haul out the most beautiful, imaginative ideas that
you've ever strung together, put fingers to keyboard and
nothing appears on the screen-. The cursor continues
Frantically you press every key. Nothing. The machine has
taken control of your life, showing you who's the boss. If
it weren't so high on the desk you'd give it your best
karate kick. Panicsville!
But, just wait a minute. What did writers do before
computers, only yesterday? Don't let an insensitive fiend
rule you. The pool is still there. Retrieve your old fishing
You release the cursor from its monotonous, one-step dance,
mercifully kill it. Two clicks and the execution is
complete. You're back in control. You pick up your pencil,
begin to write.
But you're as hooked as a fish. The machine will be
repaired. The pulsing cursor will be reborn, to challenge
you again. The love/hate relationship will be reestablished.
You can hardly wait.
Iris Forrest is the editor of Ageless Press.
Rate this article! Click on the link below.
News from the Writing World--For Writers in the Midwest
Award Opportunities for Minnesota Authors with 2002
Enter the Minnesota Book Awards, deadline January 31. And,
if you win an award or honorable mention, please let us
know. If you're a 1stBooks author, we'll put you in the
Attention Chicago-Area Writers/Self-Publishers
Two 1stBooks authors, Jim Durkin and Sheila Peters, have
started a Writers' Marketing Group for authors--including
those who use 1stBooks--to meet quarterly. The first
meeting, attended by nearly 30 people, was held in November.
Excellent marketing ideas were shared among the
participants. Everyone felt the meeting was a positive and
valuable experience and thinks the formation of the group
will help everyone sell more books.
The second meeting will be held at the Barnes and Noble
store, located on the corner of Washington and Chicago
Streets in Downtown Naperville, IL, on Thursday, January
23rd at 7:30 pm. (Free parking is available in the city-
owned garage next door.) For more info, call the store at
(630) 579-0200 or email Jim at
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1stNews from 1stBooks is designed to provide useful
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