Monday, December 29, 2008

Author Interview - Get Your Book Published

Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore was recently interviewed by Marla Tabaka on You can read the interview here.

It contains some great advice for first time authors as they look for a publisher, prepare for their book’s release, and sell their final product. Gary Moore is a wonderful and hardworking author—consider the information and tips in this interview a gift!

Friday, December 19, 2008

I’ll be home for Christmas . . .

. . . but not only in my dreams. Gone next week and back on December 29.

To our authors and the other authors who read this, thank you for all your hard work promoting your books. To others out there who read and comment on my blog, thank you. I appreciate it. Merry Christmas to all.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Importance of a website for your book

I know we stress the importance of this over and over again, but every author should have a website for his or her book. Many of our Spring 2009 authors are hard at work getting theirs up and running before their books come out. Here is one such website, for our book The US Army’s First, Last, and Only All-Black Rangers: The 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne) in the Korea War, 1950-1951 by Edward L. Posey. Website designer Val Laolagi has created websites for many of our books, and knows what the important components are for a website specifically designed for a book. Check it out here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Special Free Book Offer

For those of you who subscribe to our monthly newsletter Libri Novus, you already know about this free book offer. For those who don’t, I thought I would share it here as well. (By the way, check out the recent newsletters here and sign up by entering your email address in the small box on the right hand side of any page on our website.)


We have a free book offer for you--just in time for Christmas.

We recently found about 40 mint new copies of the following title:

Lost for the Cause: The Confederate Army in 1864, by Steve H. Newton
(Savas Publishing, 2000)
$29.95, 398 pages, photos, maps, tables, and Orders of Battle

Newton reevaluates Confederate strength from Gettysburg through the end of the war--and comes up with some very surprising and provocative conclusions. (And he is a great writer.)

While supplies last, order any hardcover book from our website and type in the coupon code "Newton" when placing your order.

If you (or anyone you slip your holiday wish list to) use that code, we will send a copy of this outstanding book to you FREE. And you do not pay a penny more in shipping. You can browse our online catalog here.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tips to make your radio interview pay off

Once a Marine author Nick Popaditch is being interviewed on numerous radio stations weekly. Every host is different and without a doubt, every interview will go a different direction. Authors can prepare, though, by knowing what message they want to get across ahead of time.

We received these helpful tips for authors in a recent email. Please note the writer’s information below.

Top 10 Telephone Tips to Make Your Radio Talk Show Pay Off Handsomely --- a gift from Joe Sabah

More valuable tips and info at go to (now with 1,000 Radio Talk Shows needing guests daily)

1. Have a glass of water handy (room temperature). When your throat is lubricated it's easier to talk. Plus the water serves as a "cough button" if needed.

2. Stand while speaking. Pretend you're presenting a seminar. Your voice will carry further. And you'll sound more animated.

3. Have a copy of their state map on your wall. Refer to cities in the radio station's surrounding area. This helps make you feel like you are "one of them." I once made the mistake of referring to South Bend as "South Bend, Indiana." The host reminded me that I was talking on a radio station in South Bend, Wisconsin. Oops!

4. Listen to their weather and traffic report. This allows you to personalize your presentation. For example: When I was being interviewed on WHIO in Dayton, Ohio I noticed during the breaks they were referring to their metro area as "the Miami Valley." So it became a natural for me to say "I believe we can help some folks in "the Miami Valley" get their perfect job this afternoon." What a difference the right words make.

5. Get your listeners involved. For example, before the last commercial break I ask them to get pencil and paper to write down the three tips I guarantee will turn every job interview into a job offer. Then they have pencil and paper ready when I later give out my 800 number.

6. For those who are driving around without writing tools handy, ask your host if the listeners can call the station for the 800 number. As soon as you're off the air, you call the station's receptionist and give her or him your 800 number plus the title of your book.

7. Give the host some quotes from your book to use as segues. I offer quotes like: "Are You Singing The Song You Came To Sing?" And "If You Do What You've Always Done, You'll Get What You've Always Gotten. Is That Enough?"

8. After the host uses these Inspirational Postcard Quotes on the air, I also offer them to listeners who order my book. Another bonus to increase orders.

9. Always thank both the host and the producer for the good job they are doing. After the show, also send each of them a handwritten note of thanks and an offer "Let's do it again."

10. You may also want to record your show by using a device available at most phone center stores, that will record both sides of the interview. Then listen to your show to see how you can improve the next one. Keep on learning.

Joe Sabah, author of How to Get On Radio Talk Shows All Across America Without Leaving Your Home or Office more valuable tips and info at go to 303-722-7200 * Fax 303-733-2626 * 1-800-945-2488 PO Box 101330 * Denver CO 80250 *

Friday, November 21, 2008

Author website sales through Amazon

Many authors link to Amazon on their website so they get a small percentage cut of any Amazon sales that originated from their website. Our Sports by the Numbers authors recently sent out the following email to all of their family and friends. The Amazon link is part of the Amazon referral program. Perfect timing for the Christmas shopping season! Would this help your website?

Hi everyone-

If any of you are going to do X-Mas shopping through Amazon or shopping on that site at all for anything at anytime, we want you to go through our site to link over to Amazon.

** You will NOT have to buy our books AND will be raising money for some fine charities.

If you go to our website, you will see all our current and upcoming books.

The four titles that are on the market right now are Oklahoma, Yankees, Georgia, and NASCAR.

Here is what we need you to do IF you are going to shop on Amazon anyways. Not just X-Mas, but anytime from here on out.

1. Go to

2. Click on the link under the OU Football book cover.

3. Click on the "Add to Shopping Cart" button.

4. Click on the "Proceed to Checkout" button.

5. Then you will be directed to an Amazon checkout page. Hit the "Continue" button".

6. If you want the book, great, go to "Proceed to Checkout" or just continue shopping. If not, hit the "Delete" button on the left hand side.

7. If you hit "Delete" then you should have a "Continue Shopping" button that pops up on the next page. Go for it!!!! And now you can just shop as usual.

8. Once you check out, because you started your shopping experience from our site, we will get a referral fee from Amazon. it's that simple and of course, like most of our books, a portion will go to one of our many charities!!!!!!

9. Most important thing is that we can not see who ordered what. It's all PRIVATE!!!!

Thanks AND please pass this email on to all your friends and family. This is a great way to raise money for the many charities we support, Mostly for kids, THON, Bob Stoops Champions Foundation, and the Denny Crum Scholarship Foundation to name a few.

Have a great day!!!


Marc CB Maxwell

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trailer for books

On Monday, the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop had James McPherson on Virtual Book Signing to discuss his book Tried by War. The Bookshop now has ads between the segments of their live discussions. Savas Beatie submitted an ad which ran live on the program. For those of you who missed it, the show will be archived on their website shortly here.

Thanks to designer David Van Dusen for creating a great ad. (David also made the Once a Marine book trailer.)

You can check out the ad, and get a sneak peek at our Spring 2009 books, on youtube here. The add will also be posted on our website soon.

We believe that high-quality video advertising, with a musical score and proper Internet distribution, is the key to success going forward. If you have a blog, website, or other access to the internet, we here at Savas Beatie--and all of our authors--would appreciate if you would take the time and trouble to share this video link with others who have similar interests.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Setting up Civil War Round Table Speaking Engagements

This is a guest post written by Savas Beatie author Larry Tagg. We are publishing his book The Unpopular My. Lincoln in May of 2009. The author has been working to set up talks to Civil War Round Tables and has had a lot of success getting bookings so far. Below are Larry Tagg’s tips on how he set up the events.


Early on, I decided to make speaking engagements at Civil War Round Tables an important part of the publicity campaign for my book published by Savas Beatie, The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln (May 2009). I looked for all the Civil War Round Tables within driving distance of my house, which in my case included the Civil War Round Tables in California, plus Las Vegas.

I am more comfortable using email than the phone (are most writers like me?), and looked around for websites that might have the email addresses of the California CWRTs. I found them at two addresses: and

These websites gave me a contact address for the dozen or so of CWRTs I was after (the first has links for CWRTs all over the country). I composed a generic request to each, with the subject line, “May I speak to your CWRT?” The text was the following:

Hi Mr. _____,

My name is Larry Tagg. I had a book out a few years ago, The Generals of Gettysburg. Some of your members might have seen me speak at the West Coast CWRT Conference at Harris Ranch back then.
I have a new book coming out, The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln, which will be published by Savas Beatie next May. I was wondering if we could set up a date next summer for me to talk about the book with the ________ CWRT.
The book tells the story of how reviled Lincoln was, even in the North, during his presidency. Although it is unequivocally pro-Lincoln, it runs against the grain of Lincoln-worship, of which we ought to be getting an earful in the Lincoln bicentennial year.
Savas Beatie has a video of me giving a talk on the book, and if you would like, I’m sure they would be glad to send you a copy. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,
Larry Tagg

I received uniformly affirmative replies from the chairmen of the CWRTs, telling me when their CWRT met—usually a Wednesday evening once a month, but sometimes a Tuesday or Thursday. I kept a careful log of the replies, and made a folder of the CWRTs in my email “Contacts.” I committed to speaking engagements on a first-come-first-serve basis, although I tried to schedule the southern California ones—the ones farthest from my Sacramento home—so that I could do a “swing” and schedule a couple in the same week.

The one problem with this method was that the contact address listed in the online links above was obsolete for some CWRTs. In all cases, the persons I initially contacted emailed me the correct, current contact. If you would like to get a current list of the contacts for California CWRTs, you may email me at and I will email you a current list, for a small percentage of your book sales. Ha ha, just kidding.

Photo sections on your website

Once a Marine webmaster Brian King put together a nice photo section on the book’s website with pictures from Nick Popaditch’s recent speaking engagements and events. You can view it here.

The Playing with the Enemy website also has a fantastic photo section. Gary and Arlene Moore took pictures of everyone who purchased a copy of Gary Moore’s book at bookstore events, library talks, etc. with Gary signing the book during his book tour. Gary’s wife Arlene, the photographer, wrote down names and email addresses after each photo, and told everyone to check out the Playing with the Enemy website in a couple of days to see their photos. This was a great way to get people hopping to the website, looking around, and sharing the link with their friends. “Hey, check out this picture of me at a local book signing. I think you would really enjoy the book . . .” This process set up a great feature of the website, increased website traffic, and led to more book orders.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Author Nick Popaditch Visits

Sorry for my not-so-short “short break.” It’s been busy.

October 1 we released our highly anticipated Fall title, Once a Marine by Nick Popaditch. Last week, Nick and April Popaditch and their son, Nick, were up in the Sacramento area on their book tour. Nick had some great events at Borders in Folsom, two local community colleges, American River College and Folsom Lake College, and the El Dorado Hills and Placerville Rotary Clubs. I’ll be sure to post a link to the photos on the Once a Marine website when they are available.

Here are a couple to tide you over. While he was here, Nick signed copies of his book. Here he is in our office, with me and Veronica Kane. We have been collecting advanced orders for signed copies of Once a Marine for months, ever since we announced the publication of the book at Book Expo America. We have been processing lots of orders for the book and the cases and cases of books that Nick signed are almost gone!

We really enjoyed having Nick and April up here, and are already planning events for their next trip.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Short Break

Just a quick post to let you know I’ll be taking a short break from the blog. We’re going to Disneyworld! Back in the office on September 30 and catching up like crazy, I’m sure.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Once a Marine book trailer!

We’ve been reading a lot lately in publishing and book marketing newsletters, magazines, and blogs about the importance of creating a book trailer. We’ve seen some great ones, and some not so great ones. Wanting to work on one for a long time, we had the perfect opportunity with our book Once a Marine by Nick Popaditch. You can read more about Nick and his book on our website, on the author’s website, and on Ted Savas’ recent blog post. We will be adding the trailer to our website shortly. For now, please check it out on YouTube here and let us know what you think!

Monday, August 25, 2008

How to Turn Media Interviews into Book Sales

We came across a great resource to help authors prepare for media interviews. It’s a free audio recording with tips for authors offered by WildFire Marketing. Their website also has some great information under Free Resources for authors, speakers, and authors who are speakers!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Author websites: Create an interactive community, Part 1

A number of our authors have great websites which they use to inform the public, provide information, and, of course, promote and sell their titles. One such website is the Basic Training website Sergeant Michael Volkin has for his books The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook and The Ultimate Interactive Basic Training Workbook, found here.

Sergeant Volkin has incorporated just about every website feature you could imagine: book sales, e-newsletter, forum, blog, articles, a radio show, and more!

One of the obstacles he faced was how to get his website higher up in search engine page rankings. (Type Basic Training into Google and you get more than 35 million hits.) Who digs through more than a few pages when looking for something? The author has done some great search engine optimization work to get his website higher in search engine results with a good outcome.

Volkin’s website and the additional content he offers are perfect examples of how to create a website community where users go (and come back to) for information.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Upcoming Review of Once a Marine in ForeWord Magazine

For those of you not familiar with it, ForeWord magazine is a great publication that reviews books by independent publishing companies. We were pleased to hear recently that they will be reviewing Once a Marine by Nick Popaditch in their September/October issue. This is our second book to be reviewed in their publication. (They reviewed our upcoming Major League Baseball book in the Sports by the Numbers series for their baseball section in the Spring.)

If you don’t submit your books for review here, you should start. Here are their
submission guidelines.

They also have an award program and ForeWord Connections where you can create a database of your titles, submit books for awards, and more.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Armchair General magazine interviews Ted Savas

We received a nice surprise when we opened the September issue of Armchair General magazine: an interview with Ted Savas in their “10 Questions” section. We knew it was coming, but of course it is always nice to see the final product in print form. =) In the interview, Ted Savas discusses his background and passion for history, how he entered the publishing business, the conception of Savas Beatie, and where the company is headed. You can read the full article here. Thanks to Armchair General for such a nice piece.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Author Events at Borders

I received some potentially good news about setting up author book signing events at Borders today.

In the past when setting up author book signing tours (mainly Gary Moore’s
Playing with the Enemy tour) I have always preferred working with Barnes and Noble over Borders. Most Barnes and Noble stores have a Community Relations Manager (a CRM) who works in the store. I would work with this person directly to set up and publicize an event. Borders operated differently. I would have to first contact a store to find out who their District Area Marketing Manager was. This person would be in charge of events for a region. The region varied in size, anywhere from a county to multiple states. (No joke.) I would then contact this person who would approve the event, then pass the details onto the store where the event would take place. I wouldn’t work with people at the event site until just right before the event, if at all. Although we have had a few great Borders events (Folsom, CA!), many have been lackluster in attendance. I think the different chain of command influenced this.

I haven’t set up a large tour for an author for quite some time. Now I am working on one for
Once a Marine author Nick Popaditch. I reluctantly called my first Borders today because the store was recommended to me. I was pleased to find out that all store events are handled by the sales manager in each particular store. DAMMs still exit, but more in an over-seeing role, according to the Borders sales manager I spoke to. I am sending her a galley of Once a Marine today and she was very interested in setting up an October event. This seems like a much more efficient way to set up an event, and I hope it will pay off in increased event attendance!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Author Interview on Marketing History Books

Savas Beatie author Eric Wittenberg (The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, Plenty of Blame to Go Around, and One Continuous Fight) was recently interviewed on a subject we frequently discuss—marketing history books—from an author’s perspective. Read the interview here. It contains some great information and answers some common questions about what authors can and should do to help promote their books (websites, blogs, talks, etc.).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Use Bookmarks to Increase Amazon Reviews

Casemate recently published a book titled Day of the Panzer: A Story of American Heroism and Sacrifice in Southern France by Jeff Danby.

Along with each copy of the book sent out as a review copy, given away by the author, or signed by the author at a book signing event, they include a business card and a bookmark. The business card includes a thumbnail of the book cover (where you typically see a business logo, on the left hand side), some brief specs on the book, and Casemate’s contact info. The bookmark includes the book cover image and the following message:

“If you enjoy this book, please consider writing a review at the following websites:”

Following are website urls for Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and brief instructions on how to pull up the book’s page on each site and review it.

I know the bookmark idea is a common one, but asking the reader to write a review of the book on the bookmark is something I hadn’t seen before. What a great idea, and a call-to-action way to increase the number of reviews for your book on websites such as Amazon! Authors, think about designing and printing something similar for your book.

Have a great 4th of July.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Author Radio Shows

Two Savas Beatie authors have started their own radio shows this year. Author Mike Volkin (The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook and Workbook) started a show about basic training a few months ago. He got a call from someone in the military’s marketing department right after the first show, and sales of his book have skyrocketed since the show began.

Building the Green Machine author Colt Foutz started a radio show for the drum and bugle corps world with the first show airing this week on Blog Talk Radio. His show is complete with marching band music and he talks with movers and shakers in the drum corps world. The Cavaliers just started their summer tour so the timing couldn’t be better for this new show.

Blog Talk Radio hosts can easily run shows from their own home or office for free. Shows are archived on each show’s webpage so a listener who stumbles across your show in a few months can go back and listen to all the previous shows. Also, people who are listening live can call in to the show to chat live on air. What a great way to interact with people interested in your book’s topic, provide content for listeners, and spread the word about your book all at the same time. Soon we will have a portal on the Savas Beatie website with links for all of our authors who have shows.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Author Radio Interviews Pay Off

Ted Savas had a poll on his blog recently: Have you ever bought a book after hearing the author on a radio interview? 75% of people said yes. Authors, this goes to show you how important a radio interview can be to spreading the word about your book. Whether it is a small town radio station interview on a weekend morning, a popular drive-time show in a mid-size city, or a syndicated talk show, being interviewed about your book pays off. The pay off is both in immediate sales and those that occur down the road, as people who heard you being interviewed spread the word.

Here are a couple of ideas for setting up radio interviews:

1. TIMING: Think about what time of the year would be best for an interview about your book. If it’s a new release, there’s your hook. Times of the year that match a theme in your book also work. Gary Moore is frequently interviewed about his book Playing with the Enemy (about his father’s life and baseball career) on and around every Father’s Day. If your book is about a particular holiday or historic battle, try to set up interviews to coincide with that date. Producers and hosts are always looking for a way to tie a guest into something happening locally or a current event.

2. TRAVEL: Will you be traveling for your job or a book signing event in the near future? See about setting up a radio interview at that city’s local radio station. Find out from a local which show would be the best fit. Or, call the radio station directly and see if they have a suggestion. Some colleges have great radio stations as well. Consider calling the local Chamber or Commerce or an independent bookstore and ask for a suggestion. Usually people who work at these places are more than happy to help. Or, they can point you in the right direction.

What else can you do to help promote your book on the radio? Even better, rather than just be interviewed, have your own radio show and interview others. More on that in the next post . . .

Friday, June 13, 2008

What’s in Your Email Signature?

Your email signature can be a great way to help promote your book. Include some brief info about your book and a hyperlink to your website or your publisher’s (if you don’t have a website, although you really should) for people to check out. Add a signature to your personal email account (and your work one, if you can) which references your book.

Here is the email signature
Ted Savas and I use:

- For inside information on the world of publishing and book marketing, see our new blogs at and


Here are just a few examples of our authors’ signatures from emails that I received today:

Colt Foutz, author
Don Warren and Sixty Years with the World Champion Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps

NEW in stores July 1! Learn more at


J. David Petruzzi

See my books at or
My publisher:
Find both books on


Mark Wilensky,
author of "The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages"
(Savas Beatie LLC,
Available at excellent bookstores everywhere.


Think about the number of emails you send out in a day, the number of people whose messages you reply to, and also who those emails might get forwarded to. You never know. Everyone you know and everyone THEY know might potentially be someone who could be interested in your book.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Review Copy Lead Time

To read a report of our time at Book Expo America, check out Ted Savas’ blog post here.

It’s amazing how fast deadlines come up in the book world. For example, we had to submit a complete list of our Fall 2008 titles to our distributor in April. Yes, April. And we already have a firm lineup for our Spring 2009 season. Another deadline with a lot of lead time? Getting advanced reading copies of books to large reviewers such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Foreword Magazine, etc. They require review copies three months in advance of publication. Maybe you already knew this, maybe you didn’t. I had a talk with an editor at one of these publications a couple years of ago. She no longer works there, but told me at the time that if they don’t receive TWO copies of a book at least three months before publication, they don’t even consider reviewing it.

Our big Fall book Once a Marine will be released September 15. Last week we prepared and mailed packets and galleys to all the major reviewers. If you are gathering a list of publications that review books, keep in mind that they have different requirements. Some require one copy, some need two copies. Some only review advanced unedited copies (bound galleys), others only review from the final book. Find out what to send, when to send it, and who to send it “Attention to:” to have the best chance at getting your book reviewed.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Designating review copies as REVIEW copies, Part 2

I was thinking about review copies over the weekend, and realized there is another similar example of our cautiousness with review copies at Book Expo America, the publishing industry’s largest convention in North America.

While at the book show this coming weekend in LA, we will pass by dozens and dozens of booths where people are handing out review copies of books. Both books that were recently published and advanced copies of books that will be released in the Fall 2008 season. These free copies will be stacked by the hundreds in many booths and handed out to anyone who walks by who holds his or her hand out. (The show is only open to people in the industry.) We’ll have advanced review copies of one of our big Fall releases there too, but we will be taking a more targeted approach to passing the galleys out. We print a very limited number and want to make sure that the copies end up in key peoples’ hands. Librarians. Book reviewers. Media. Can we screen everyone who is interested in picking up a copy at the show? Of course not. But, we only have a small number of copies at the show and want to make sure they don’t go to waste.

This is a good example of the different mentality between a large publishing company and a small one. A large publishing company knows they will print X number of copies that will be designated as review copies. Do they care if someone ends up with a review copy who wasn’t seriously interested in reviewing, or at least considering reviewing, the book? Probably not. We care, though. Printing galleys is expensive and we are working with a smaller budget than they are.

We’re really looking forward to BEA and debuting our new author and big Fall title. Please make sure to stop by Casemate Booth #1211 and say hello.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Designating review copies as REVIEW copies

Another independent publishing company, Angle Valley Press, recently contacted us with a question regarding mailing out review copies: Do we specify on the book somewhere that the copy is a review copy? And, therefore, not meant to be resold. (Unfortunately, this happens more than we would like.)

When we print advanced reading copies, we always denote that the book is strictly meant to be used for reviewing purposes by including the following predominantly on the front and back covers: ADVANCED UNEDITED COPY, NOT FOR SALE.

However, some reviewers only review final copies of books so we send out another round of review copies upon publication. We are going to have a rubber stamp made that says REVIEW COPY, NOT FOR SALE and stamp it in on the first page inside the book before mailing out these review copies.

So when preparing review material, make sure to keep in mind the requirements of the reviewers as well as considering ways to prevent the abuse of the books. Even some reviewers might be unscrupulous . . . we’ve seen review copies listed on eBay auctions in the past! Especially after Book Expo America, but more on that next week.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Author’s Book Event Tips

Our author Mark Wilensky recently had a great, standing-room-only book signing at Tattered Cover in Denver for his new book The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine. Mark put together a list of helpful tips and suggestions which I am including below as a guest post. Thanks Mark!

Guest Post by Author Mark Wilensky:

Here are some suggestions that I found useful when planning and presenting at my recent book signing:

1. I was fortunate to have my signing at a well known and busy store. I felt it was very important to visit the location a couple of weeks before the event, to get acquainted with the space I would be presenting in. I didn’t want to feel surprised or panicked by my environment on the day of the event.

2. Second, I tried to invite as many people as I knew, but I also made sure that I let everyone I invited know that there were no expectations to buy anything. Just having the positive energy of people I knew would help the event tremendously. I also knew they would talk about the book, or me, in constructive ways with others in the crowd (kind of my own PR crew). As it turned out, most everyone bought the book as well.

3. I used an on-line invitation service. (See previous post here.) Not only could I keep track of how many people could and could not come, I was always able to add more invitations with a few clicks. Best part of the service? Those I invited could forward the invitation and invite others as well. I didn’t realize this when I originally sent the invitations, but in the future I will include a couple of sentences asking people to forward the invitation to people they know as well.

4. Next, on the day of the event, I arrived about 45 minutes early. I wanted to talk with people as they arrived. I was able to get to know who was going to be in my audience, and it also gave the people who I knew an opportunity for me to meet their guests as well. It was definitely more powerful for me to speak to people who I had already spent a few moments getting to know and thank for coming.

5. I didn’t try to change who I was on stage. I am a teacher, and I have lots of teacher mannerisms. Part of being a classroom teacher is using props, and I brought several. Additionally, teachers present material to people with different learning styles. With props, I could present auditorally and visually. Moreover, I printed out activities off my book’s website and passed them out. By doing this, you are also teaching kinesthetically (hands on). These different styles used together keep almost an entire audience’s attention.

6. I also took the time to really thank the bookstore for allowing me to present there. I spent some time in advance researching the store so that my gratitude was genuine and specific. I have been to other author book signings that were very uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. So I know that bookstores put a little piece of their reputation on the line with an unknown or new author. I really wanted this to be a win-win event. I’m guessing if the store likes your presentation, the employees might continue to hand sell copies of your book to future customers.

7. During the question and answer period, I made sure I thanked or complimented everyone on their questions. It is not an easy thing for most people to raise their hands and ask questions.

8. With every inscription, I included the date, and the book’s business card. My hopes are that the business card finds its way to new customers.

Visit The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine website here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quick Update

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for being so slow to post lately. It’s been busy around here (as usual!) but we are also in the process of hiring an administrative assistant. The reward of having another person working in the office will be great, but it’s been time consuming the last couple weeks going through resumes (Craig’s List really works!), interviewing potential applicants, making a selection, etc. More soon!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Donating copies of your book

We received a flier from the Camp Pendleton Officers Wives Club in San Diego, CA awhile back. They are having an auction later this month and were requesting donations of prizes they can auction off to raise money for their organization. Our book Surviving Military Separation came out earlier this year and was a perfect fit for their audience so we donated a few copies of the book to the event. They will be incorporating the book into gift baskets they are creating to auction off. They are also displaying fliers about the book on each of the dinner tables. Whenever you receive requests for donations of your book, think about where it will be placed, who will see it, and if it will lead to future book sales down the road.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Evite your friends to your book event!

Quick tip for publicizing your book signing. I usually tell authors to email and mail their whole database of family, friends, and co-workers to promote a hometown book signing appearance. The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine author Mark Wilensky is working hard to publicize his Tattered Cover book signing on April 29. He sent an Evite to his contacts inviting them to the event. Sounds so simple that I’m surprised I never thought of it before. He can keep track of Yes, Nos, and Maybes, people can leave him comments on the Evite webpage for his event, and he can get a sense of how many people will attend. What a fun way to invite everyone to your book signing party!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Keeping in touch with your readers

Below is a mass email sent out by Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore to his email database of personal contacts and also the people who subscribe to his Playing with the Enemy newsletter. It’s a great example of how a successful author stays in touch with his readers and followers:


Title: Happy (day after) Paperback Audio Release Day!
From: Gary W. Moore Author/Speaker

It is out and available! You can find them anywhere fine books are sold and they are available from all the online venues. Playing with the Enemy is out in paperback and audio book and I think you will love the additions. Penguin, my paperback publisher, one of the largest publishers in the world, decided to change the cover and the book subtitle. It is now called “Playing with the Enemy: A Baseball Prodigy, World War II and the Long Journey Home.” I loved the hardback cover but I also love the lighter, brighter look of the paperback/audio book. These new additions have additional information, pictures and a new author afterword. I hope you will check it out!

There's no place like home! Monday night, Barnes & Noble in Bourbonnais hosted the release party for Playing with the Enemy. It was standing room only and the response was both amazing and humbling. Arlene and I are so grateful to all who came to show their support for the launch of the national book tour. Thank you to all.

I am typing this message from Midway Airport as I await my Southwest flight to Cleveland. Please take a look to see where I will be appearing near you. I would love to meet you!

Check out the event schedule!



It doesn’t matter if you have one signing set up or two dozen—keep your contacts in the loop. How are you notifying your contacts about your appearances and spreading the word about your title?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Timing your promotion

There’s never a bad time to promote your book. (Ok, if you send out a press release about your book on Christmas Eve, it might get overlooked.) But, there are some really opportune times when you can make the most of your efforts. Here are a couple quick examples from two of our authors who are using the excitement in their books’ respective community to help spread the word about their new titles:

1. Sports by the Numbers co-author David Horne has entered the blogoshpere to promote the release of two spring baseball titles in the series: Major League Baseball and New York Yankees. He’s using the excitement of baseball fans who are looking forward to the upcoming season (talking about it, making predictions, etc.) and publishing blog posts and commenting on other baseball blogs and forums revolving around the upcoming season. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.

2. Colt Foutz is using a similar timeline for his book Building the Green Machine. He has a great blog on his website where he talks about his new book and the Cavaliers, about whom the book is written. The Cavaliers’ huge summer tour is just around the corner, and anticipation leading up to the Drum and Bugle Corps tour season is mounting. He knows Cavalier fans are excited about the upcoming season and is offering his website blog as a sounding board for people who want to discuss the upcoming season. While visitors are there, they can learn more about his book and check out excerpts.

Both examples are perfect for fans and readers anxious for winter to end and ready for the spring and summer seasons to arrive. How can you time your book marketing efforts to create buzz about your book and receive the best response?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Book Signing Material

There was an author book signing at the Borders in Folsom, CA over the weekend. Author John Poswall was signing copies of his new book The Altar Boys at a small table near the front of the store for walk-in traffic. I might have walked right past it, but the person holding the video camera near the table caught my eye. I followed the direction the camera was pointing to see what he was recording: it was the author chatting with customers and signing copies of his book for them. The author said he will be posting video clips from his signing on his website. What a great way to attract attention to an event in the store and to also continue publicizing it after the fact with some visual website content.

Author Mark Wilensky will be speaking at Tattered Cover bookstore in Colorado on April 29. He wanted to set up his website on a projector to use during the presentation. Unfortunately, the store does events in the lower level of an old stone building which can’t get internet access. Instead, Mr. Wilensky will be printing out copies of the sketch game on his website for children in the audience to complete.

What can you bring to the table to attract attention to your event?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Using Google Alerts to Track Book Coverage

Are you signed up to receive Google Alerts for your book’s title? It’s a great way to stay on top of where your book is mentioned and to see what kind of coverage you are getting on the internet.

For example, Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore came across a mention of his book in Publishers Weekly here. He probably would not have come across this if not for Google Alerts. Moore constantly stays on top of where his book appears on the web so he can then post a “thank you” on the blogs of people who mention his book, find new reviews of his book posted on Amazon and forums, and find book blurbs and articles as well. It also comes in handy when trying to track sales patterns. If you see a spike on Amazon or sales on your book’s website, you might be able to trace it back to an article in a local newspaper or review on a popular book blog.

You can choose how often you want to receive updates (instantly, daily, etc.), change what phrases you include (the book’s main title, or the main title and the subtitle together), and monitor multiple titles.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Book Marketing Newsletters – Blog Tips from Author Marketing Experts, Inc.

I receive a lot of newsletters via email regarding publishing, independent publishing, and book marketing. The one put out by Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is consistently one of the best, with tips that authors and publishers can implement in every single issue. Thanks Penny Sansevieri! Today’s newsletter, titled “Seven Powerful Ways to Find New Readers for Your Blog,” contained some great blogging tips. I am including a portion of the newsletter here:

Seven Powerful Ways to Find New Readers for your Blog

It's one thing to have a blog, it's quite another to get readers. If you have a blog and have been blogging for a while you know what I mean. I was thrilled the first time someone commented on a blog post I made. A la Sally Field I wanted to jump off my chair and yell: "Yes, you like me, you really like me."

It can be a lonely journey to start a blog but once you do, you'll find that blogging can bring great value to whatever you're promoting. Your book, message or product can be greatly enhanced by the platform you create online. Now, it's just a question of finding readers and (of course) keeping them. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1) Write good blog headings: stay away from mysterious, nebulous blog titles. No one will read them and search engines can't spider them effectively. Be specific, tell what your blog is about in the title. Surprises aren't a good thing when it comes to blog titles.

2) Keep blogging - even if you don't think people are reading keep writing, eventually if you blog right readers will beat a path to your door.

3) Give away stuff: yes, it's ok to promote free stuff on your blog. Don't do it all the time but every now and again free stuff is a good thing!

4) Add your blog to your email signature line: this is a pretty simple way to gain exposure. Every time an email goes out you're promoting your blog, what could be easier!

5) Comment on other blogs: a great way to network with other bloggers is to comment on what they're doing/saying on their own blogs. Make cyber-friends, lots of them.

6) Invite people to guest blog or interview them: they'll promote the interview on their blog and this will help you get readers and expand your network. These interviews also make for great content.

7) Don't be afraid to state your opinion: your blog is your opportunity to get center stage with something that's important to you. State your opinion, you may be surprised at how many people agree with you.

There are, of course, dozens more ways to get readers to your blog and keep them there. These seven will get you started and keep the momentum going. Remember that while blogging may seem like a lonely way to promote yourself, blogs get picked up by search engines, and sometimes even media sites (like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) so the benefits to starting and keeping a blog are enormous. If you feel like no one's reading you might be surprised. One day you'll get a notice that someone liked a post enough to comment on it. When that happens, you have my permission to be thrilled. Yes, they really like you.

Reprinted from "The Book Marketing Expert newsletter," a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

I found these simple tips helpful, and have suggested some of them to our authors many times. (I don’t know how many times I’ve repeated the signature info in Number 4!) I know a number of our authors have recently entered the blogosphere and I hope you find these useful. Every author should subscribe to The Book Marketing Expert newsletter for more great tips.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Making Yourself Available to Potential Buyers

Most of our authors have a website, which is great. Those who don’t are missing out on a large market. Most of those authors with websites have “Contact” pages with an email address so viewers (and potential book buyers!) checking out their site can ask questions. (How many lesson plans does the Common Sense book include? If I place an order for your books today, will they arrive before I leave for basic training next week?!, etc.)

In today’s technology-driven world, people are always looking for ways to connect, and quickly. Many websites I visit now have Skype buttons on their website so you can place a phone call over the internet.

Basic Training author Mike Volkin recently put a similar feature on his website here. It’s a Call Me button available from Grand Central Station. A potential customer can leave him a message which is emailed to him in .wav format. It’s a great way to put him in touch with his customer base and, most importantly, help sell more books.

Authors with websites, add this type of feature to your site. Authors without websites, get a website and then add this feature. =)

p.s. I wrote this blog post in a Word file, copied the text, and signed into my Blogger account to post it. When I logged onto the Blogger member homepage, there was a large article about Grand Central and adding the Call Me button to your website and blog. One of those instances where you see or hear about something once and then it starts popping up all over!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Planning Ahead – Battling the Weather

Tomorrow night, Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore will be speaking to the Shreveport Bar Foundation in Shreveport, Louisiana. We’ve been planning this event since the beginning of October. Gary was supposed to fly to the event from Chicago (Tuesday’s forecast in Chicago: snow) tomorrow morning to speak to a few hundred people at the dinner tomorrow evening. A snow storm is hitting the Chicago area tomorrow and we feared that Gary’s flight out of Midway airport could be delayed or even canceled. This would be disastrous for the event coordinators and Gary, who has a whole Louisiana tour planned this week. Gary thought ahead, bumped his flight up to tonight, and will arrive a day early. The Shreveport Bar is more than relieved to have Gary safely in Shreveport, Louisiana (Tuesday’s forecast in Shreveport: sunny) one day prior to the event. Always keep unknowns such as weather and travel conditions in mind when planning an event. These last minute unknowns can ruin months of careful planning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scheduling Events

Civil War News put out a great supplement section to their January 2008 issue titled “Calendar of 2008 Events.” Just as it sounds, it contains information on events throughout the year including date, location, description, contact info, and a website url. We’re using this section to plug our Civil War authors into book signing events and panel discussions at various events throughout the country. Luckily a number of our authors live close enough to these events that they can easily make the drive in a day trip.

Is there a similar type of calendar listing for your book’s genre? There are hundreds of Revolutionary War and Civil War events and reenactments that feature book signing events. Or is there a local author day at your library? Do some research and find out. Whether in print or digital form, find a list of upcoming events in your area that you could attend and contact the event coordinator about your interest. Or, tell your publisher where you will be and when (whether traveling for business or pleasure) and see what events you can latch onto. With spring just around the corner and the summer tourist season right after, it’s a great way to sell copies of your book during the busy season.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Author website photos

Sorry for my extended absence. Refer to Ted’s recent post regarding THE MOVE. (I officially hate AT&T as much as he does.)

We had three books come out last week, The Wars Against Napoleon, Surviving Military Separation, and The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine. Whew!

The illustrator for Surviving Military Separation, Val Laolagi, lives locally in El Dorado Hills. He stopped by the day the books arrived and we took some pictures of him with the book for our website. We currently have pictures of all of our authors in the Authors section, and are working on some sections of book signing events. Playing with the Enemy author Gary Moore has a great page on his website dedicated to past events complete with photos and captions of all who attended.

Do you have a photo of yourself with your book? If so, email it to your publisher and have them post it on their website.

Anyway, I’m back and won’t be absent for such a long stretch of time again. Have a great week!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Submitting Content Opportunities – Beyond the Bookstore Example

One of my favorite industry-related books is Beyond the Bookstore by Brian Jud. It helps publishers and authors who understand and appreciate that “the worst place to sell a book is a bookstore” determine other possible sales outlets.

I heard Mr. Jud speak at Book Expo America last year and also enjoy reading his Special Sales Newsletter. In an e-newsletter last month, the author mentioned that he is working on a second edition of Beyond the Bookstore and asked for Special Sales success stories from readers he could include as examples. We have a good amount of success in this area so I told him about our success working with Civil War Preservation Trust. Here’s a brief run down: Because our general and military history titles appeal to such a niche audience, we are always looking for ways we can sell books outside of the book trade. Over the years we have developed a good relationship with Civil War Preservation Trust, the largest non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of our nation's endangered Civil War battlefields. They frequently focus on obtaining donations for a battlefield that is in particular need of protection by offering a premium to those who make a donation. We stay in constant communication with CWPT so we know what battlefield they will be raising money for next. If we have a book on our backlist or coming down the pipeline that details that particular battle, we let them know they can offer a copy of the book as a premium to whoever makes a donation.

We have done this successfully with a number of our titles such as Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg and Chicago's Battery Boys: The Chicago Mercantile Battery in the Civil War's Western Theater. CWPT tells us how many copies they are interested in buying and we work out a discount based on that number. We have even timed the premium to coincide with the release date of a paperback version of a title. We latch their order onto our print run which brings our printing cost down. We try to provide the organization with something special to entice their members to want to donate and receive a copy of our books. Often we have the author sign bookplates which they include with every book.

I told Brian Jud that this is a great way Savas Beatie can work with an organization we support, help spread the word about our books to our target audience, and sell copies we wouldn't have sold in the book trade.

Mr. Jud wrote back, thanked me for the info, and said he would include it in the next edition of Beyond the Bookstore! That’s definitely a good reason to add the second edition to our bookshelf. =)

I frequently come across opportunities like this. Authors looking for content for their books. Journalists looking for information for an article they are working on. Editors gathering content for their newsletter or journal. Answering requests like this by offering your ideas and examples only takes a few minutes and can pay off in terms of exposure.