1stNews from 1stBooks, January 15, 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 2 of 2)
* 1stBooks Success Profile: Rhonda Empson Sells 59 Books at
Her First Signing
* Article: "Writing in Parallels"
* News from the Writing World - Contribute to a New Book on
* About 1stBooks Library
* About This Newsletter
* Copyright and Reprint Information
Weren't we just in your mailbox last week? Yup. Because we
skipped New Year's Day, we're running the second and third
weeks this month, so here we are again.
New Feature--You Can Give Us Instant Feedback
Continuing our quest to make this newsletter responsive to
you, each article now has a link to Survey Monkey, where it
takes just 30 seconds to let us know whether and in what way
the article was valuable.
We started this last issue, but not a lot of people noticed,
so let me take a moment to explain. The click will take you
to a form with three questions: a drop-down menu with
choices about how useful the article was, and then two
fields for your comments. Then just click on "Done," and
you'll exit to 1stNews archive page on the 1stBooks site.
So if an article "sings" to you and you'd like to see more
similar articles, take a few seconds to do the survey.
Patrick Gilligan continues his remarkable story, showing how
the electric combination of publicity savvy and knowing when
an opportunity is in front of you can lead to amazing
John Culleton is back, to talk about making your point with
parallelism. It may sound dull from my description, but
actually, you'll find it's a powerful way to express and
And in this issue's Success Profile, a 1stBooks author shows
sales performance at her first book signing that many big
name authors would envy.
News From 1stBooks
2002 was a true milestone year for 1stBooks. Our millionth
book rolled off the press in late December--waaaaay up from
the 350,000 we printed from our founding in 1997 through the
end of 2001. We now offer 13,000 different titles, 5,000 of
which were released last year alone.
All we can say is...T H A N K Y O U !
How I Got Over $1,000,000 In Free PR - And How You Can Too!
(Part 2 of 2)
By Patrick Gilligan, mailto:PGilliganJr&aol.com
How did I get over $1,000,000 in free PR?
One day during an interview, the reporter asked, "Are any of
the courses that are sold on late night TV for real?" I
said, "I don't know, let's find out." So I requested review
copies from companies that sell courses on TV infomercials.
If they checked out, I would invite their top guy to come on
I had the idea of reviewing these TV courses long before the
reporter asked me that fateful question--but I needed a
hook. The reporter's question was the hook I was looking
for. I was particularly impressed by the 'No Money Down Real
Estate' course by Carleton Sheets. His company flew in a
camera crew to Michigan where I did my show. They filmed me
interviewing Carleton and one of his millionaire students
from Michigan and developed a 40-second commercial about me
that aired nationally every day for over two years. It would
have cost me at least $1,000,000 to produce and air it
I've actually generated a lot more PR than that. The Detroit
Free Press ran a big feature with the headline, "Patrick
Gilligan Says Be Your Own Boss!" That article not only
helped convince Carleton's people to put me in their
infomercial, but his producers actually showed the article
on camera to establish my credibility. About a year later,
the producers called and asked me to host their infomercial.
I did. Again, what would I have had to pay to produce, host,
and air a nationally televised program?
Write a Book
Writing and promoting a book is a fantastic PR opportunity;
you become an instant "expert." I've interviewed hundreds of
entrepreneurs and reviewed countless entrepreneur books. So
I wrote "Patrick Gilligan Says Be Your Own Boss!" (Remember
that Detroit Free Press article?) Not only did I promote my
book on my own show, but I was a guest on over 100 radio
shows across the country. I've also appeared in newspapers
and magazines around America. That amounts to hours of
airtime and pages of newspaper space that I didn't pay for.
How did I get on all those shows and in all those
newspapers? I obtained lists and called them up.
I also had a good press release. A good press release
answers the following questions: who, what, where, when and
why. Above all, you need to have a unique, attention-
grabbing headline. My headline is 'Being Downsized Can Be
The Best Thing That Ever Happened To You!' It's timely and
it addresses a problem facing millions of Americans.
Articles, Columns and Newsletters
Write articles to generate exposure and sell your book; my
book order information is in my blurb. It's a good trade;
the publication gets valuable information and you get
exposure and credibility. Or write a column for your local
newspaper. They may not pay you, but they may offer you free
ad space. Consider creating and distributing your own
printed or e-mail newsletter. A newsletter can also be a
profit center for you. Post your articles on websites.
Sometimes they have a life of their own. I gave an interview
to a syndicated columnist on the value of working from home.
Entrepreneur Magazine and other websites picked it up.
You don't need slick, glossy press kits. I've generated all
of my PR with a phone, fax, snail mail and email!
Anyone can generate publicity with a little time, common
sense, creativity and persistence. Determine what is special
about you and your book, and pick up the phone or the pen!
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: Rhonda Empson Sells 59 Books at
Her First Signing
"I just wanted to let you know that I sold 59 copies of my
book at my first signing. It was a great success! Thank you
all. The signing was held in my home town of Coudersport,
PA. I've sold more copies since then and I've had a lot of
very good reviews. I've been doing a lot of promoting."
"Only In My Dreams"
Writing in Parallels
By John Culleton, mailto:john&wexfordpress.com
I once knew a high school footballer who also was a premier
wrestler. When he tackled someone, the other guy went down
for sure. His wrestling experience gave him techniques of
leverage and weight shifting that made him more effective in
a very different sport. Similarly, writers can use the
methods of one form of writing to improve their work in a
Parallelism is one such technique and it is borrowed from
poetry. Don't let the fancy name turn you off. It is really
a very simple technique. Chances are you already use it
without realizing it.
The Judeo-Christian bible (the Torah or Old Testament) is
full of poetry, and that poetry is full of parallelism. A
statement is repeated in different words, or explained
further in the following line. The epic poets of the Anglo-
Saxons actually made parallelism their art form. Every line
had two parts with a distinct pause in the middle.
Politicians will use repetition and parallelism in speeches,
building to a climax.
But how can we use this technique in the modern novel? Try
this version of an old nursery rhyme for starters:
"Jill had always loved Jack. From their first meeting she
had given her heart to him. But Jack did not return her
affection. He only cared about his bucket and the water it
would contain. Thus when they went up the hill together
their fate was sealed. Jack's obsession was to cause their
Well it's not deathless prose. But it does illustrate
parallelism. There are six sentences in three parallel
pairs. Each pair deals with the same thought in two
There is parallelism even in the above paragraph. Can you
spot the parallel pairs? Once you start writing in parallel
sentences or phrases it becomes addictive. It is hard to
stop writing in parallels.
Sometimes you can have parallels within parallels:
"He was tall and blond, tanned and fit, handsome and
And, of course, it is possible to parallel three sentences
or phrases instead of two. There are some threesomes in this
article. Parallelism can involve restating the same thought,
or just putting one phrase or sentence after the other in a
rhythmic pattern. There is rhythm in prose writing just as
there is in poetry or music. Try to sense the rhythm. One
way to pick up the rhythm is to read aloud. (Explain what
you are doing to family members so that they won't be
calling for men in white coats!)
Parallelism need not be forced or artificial. After some
practice it becomes almost second nature. So take some of
your own writing and look for unconscious paralleling of
phrases, sentences or thoughts. If they don't exist try
inserting some. Develop your own rhythm of parallels. It is
an easy, painless way to add variety and color to your
John Culleton runs Able Indexers and Typesetters, Wexford
Press, and Rowse Reviews. Visit him on the web at
Rate this article! Click on the link below.
News from the Writing World - Contribute to a New Book on
Author Michelle "Chi" Ruschman is seeking material for a new
how-to book on writing, "The Informed Writer." She writes,
"My goal for this book is to give writers, in all stages of
publication, a frank but informative tool from folks that
can help them get there and who have already been there."
If you'd like to submit something to the book, please visit
http://theinformedwriter.tripod.com or contact her at
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1stNews from 1stBooks is designed to provide useful
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