Thursday, June 17, 2010

Savas Beatie Books Earn Literary Awards

Savas Beatie is proud to announce that three of our authors and titles have recently been honored with fantastic historical awards:

The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest by J. David Petruzzi, with cartography by Steven Stanley won the The Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award, for Reference, 2009. Also,

Sickles at Gettysburg: The Controversial Civil War General Who Committed Murder, Abandoned Little Round Top, and Declared Himself the Hero of Gettysburg by James A. Hessler won the The Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award, 2009 Given by the Robert E. Lee Civil War Round Table of Central New Jersey.

Please see the press release for more information.

A huge congratulations to everyone involved!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Expo America 2010, Part 4

Here are the remaining photos from our trip to Book Expo America. We had a great time, and I’m sure the next one will be here before we know it!

Veronica gets her first book signed at BEA, for her kids.

Veronica meets with The Rights Agency, Savas Beatie’s foreign rights agency in Canada.

Casemate author John Sparry signs copies of his new book (Mark Alexander) Jump Commander: In Combat with the 505th and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments, 82ndAirborne Division in World War II.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Book Expo America 2010, Part 3

Day Two at Book Expo America – Military Education Benefits for College authors David Renza and Edmund Lizotte took the train in to New York from their jobs at Post University in Connecticut for their first book signing. The authors have created a wonderful website resource for anyone wondering about education benefits. Be sure to check it out here.

Veronica, Sarah, and David Renza at the Casemate Publisher booth, holding copies of Military Education Benefits for College.

Ken Hudnall, author of The Veterans Practical Primer and Blog Talk Radio show host, talks about military benefits with Veronica and David Renza.

David and Ed Lizotte appeared on Ken’s radio show last week to discuss their book.

David signs his first copy of Military Education Benefits for College for a book buyer.

Sarah and David talk with a recent vet about accessing college assistance.

Ed Lizotte and David Renza at their book’s debut event.

The authors signed copies for many people whose son, nephew, neighbor, etc. was in the military.

Many high school and public school librarians asked for autographed books to be made out to their libraries so students and patrons could learn about the benefits available to them.

Victor gets his copy signed.

Veronica, Sarah, Ed, and David at the end of the day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Expo America 2010, Part 2

After a morning at Fox and Friends, Fighting Words author Richard Miller headed over to Book Expo America for a signing at the Casemate booth. Richard’s blog, where he posts “Snap Analysis’” of current news items is fantastic. If you aren’t following it, you are missing out.

Richard signs a copy of Fighting Words for the first people in line.

Richard and Ellen Ratner converse with a book buyer.

The line for a signed copy of Fighting Words grows.

Richard verifies the spelling of a librarian’s name as he personalizes a copy of Fighting Words.

Richard and Ellen Ratner talk to Mark Kuta, author of Think Like a CEO, who was getting a copy of Fighting Words signed for his friend, Alan Jilka, who is running for Congress in Kansas. Richard will be commenting on many political and campaign speeches in the Fall campaign season.

Richard with Mark Kuta, author of Think Like a CEO.

Richard gets his photo taken by press at Book Expo America. The photographer said the bowtie caught her eye, and she came over to snap a few shots!

Veronica holds a copy of Fighting Words at the Casemate booth.

Sarah, Richard, and Ellen Ratner after a successful signing.

Richard and Ellen, posing for two different cameras with a copy of Fighting Words.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Expo America 2010, Part 1

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since Ted and I made our East Coast trip to New York, Book Expo America, and Gettysburg. (See here for a recap of that great trip.) It was that time of year again last week! Veronica and I had a wonderful trip to New York (minus the awful flights and cab drivers!) where we reconnected with a lot of great people, met some new contacts, and enjoyed time with some great Savas Beatie authors. I’ll be posting pictures from the busy two days in a few upcoming posts. First up – our time at Fox News Channel with Fighting Words author Richard Miller . . .

Fighting Words author Richard Miller and Savas Beatie Marketing Assistant Veronica Kane in the Green Room at Fox News Channel on May 26.

Richard Miller gets a sound check before his Fox and Friends appearance.

Richard Miller, with Andrew McCarthy (The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America) and Penny Lee, former Adviser to Sen. Harry Reid, chat with Fox and Friends host, Brian Kilmeade. The panel discusses the current plans for a mosque being constructed at the site of the World Trade Center bombing.

Host Brian Kilmeade asks the panel what they think about President Obama celebrating Memorial Day in Chicago rather than Arlington National Cemetery.

Me on the set of Fox and Friends, picture snapped quickly during a commercial break!

Later that day, Veronica and Richard headed back to Fox for his appearance on Strategy Room. Host Eric Bolling holds up a copy of Fighting Words, released that week.

Richard posing with Eric Bolling after the Strategy Room appearance, where the panel discussed the news of the day. One viewer tweeted in to the show that Richard should definitely be back on again! Over Memorial Day weekend, Richard was invited back to the FOX studios for another interview which can be viewed here.

Win a FREE Book by Voting for your Favorite Savas Beatie Cover

It’s the Battle of the Savas Beatie book covers! Check out the article in the June Savas Beatie Libri Novus newsletter. Which will it be: The Maryland Campaign or Valley Thunder? Cast your vote today!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Maps of Gettysburg book trailer

Our second Spring book trailer, this one for The Maps of Gettysburg in full color, hardcover is out. Enjoy, and please share the link with whoever you know who enjoys quality military history titles. (We received some advanced copies of the book in the office and they look amazing.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Interview with Author Jim Hessler

Our first Spring 2010 book off the press was the paperback edition of Sickles at Gettysburg. The hardcover edition sold very well in Gettysburg and is also a finalist for the Army Historical Foundation's book award. In honor of our first Spring book rolling off the line, we asked author Jim Hessler some questions about Sickles and his book marketing efforts.

Q: I know you live in Gettysburg, PA. How is it helpful to live near the battlefield that you wrote a book about? What opportunities arise that might not otherwise?

A: It is enormously helpful. Terrain drives battles and you can't write these books without understanding: 1) the terrain and 2) what the battle participants could actually see (to the best that we can re-create today). By living near Gettysburg, I can visit the field weekly as opposed to only a few times a year. As a Battlefield Guide, I also get the opportunity to interact with interested members of the public who sometimes provide their own unique perspective on the battle.

Q: What's the best opportunity that has come from the many book signings you have done in bookstores throughout Gettysburg?

A: Meeting people in general has provided numerous opportunities. I've made connections with prominent authors, historians, and retailers that did not exist before I wrote the book. Each one of those relationships leads to more potential word of mouth and referrals down the road. I can't say that one stands out over any others, because they may all lead to something positive, but certainly meeting fellow Savas Beatie authors JD Petruzzi and Steve Stanley, along with the (former) crew of the American History Store (Jim Glessner and Eric Lindblade) clearly paid dividends for me this year. And hopefully these are relationships that will continue into the future.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I am still promoting the Sickles book, both in hardcover and the new paperback edition just released. Officially I am not presently working on anything else; but unofficially I am researching a little bit of this and that. Having tackled many of the problems within the Army of the Potomac, I feel my next book (should there be one) would have to tackle comparable problems within Lee's army.

Q: What's the best marketing tip that you would give a new author?

A: Get out there and meet people. People are not going to buy a Civil War book in large numbers just because we think the topic is endlessly fascinating. You need to meet people to get those incremental sales.

Q: Thanks, Jim. We appreciate your time.

A: You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Making Surveys Work for You

Here’s a great tip from author J.D. Petruzzi. He is using Survey Monkey to ask Civil War enthusiasts which book they would like to see next in the “Complete Guide” series, following his popular book The Complete Gettysburg Guide.

It’s a free service and easy to use. J.D. posted the link widely, on Civil War sites, his social networking accounts, and on The Complete Gettysburg Guide Amazon discussion page. The number of votes and comments have been overwhelming, sometimes surprising, and many people are taking the time to write some thoughtful suggestions for the series that J.D. and cartography Steve Stanley are taking into consideration.

Feedback is very important to us too. We appreciate every email we receive about customer service, every suggestion we get on how we could improve our monthly newsletter, and thoughts on what titles our readers want to see. Stay tuned for our first survey question in an upcoming newsletter.

Authors, what survey question could you ask around your new or upcoming book? And don’t forget to cast your vote on J.D. Petruzzi’s question.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Maps of Chickamauga Book Trailer

This is the newest Savas Beatie book trailer, for the newest book in the Savas Beatie Military Atlas Series. We were very pleased with how it came out, and designer David Van Dusen did a great job. Producing these trailers is a great way to create an "ad" for our books that we can use again and again, for different purposes and in different ways.

We will be working with David to create a trailer for The Maps of Gettysburg (the full color, hardcover edition) next. Stay tuned for trailers for our other Spring 2010 releases in the coming months.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Radio Interview Channel on YouTube

Here’s a good tip for radio hosts, regardless of if you have a show on an AM/FM station or internet radio: Post recorded audio interviews with your guests on your YouTube channel for additional exposure. Recently we started working with KBMW and host Doug Groff does this. They upload interviews to the radio show’s YouTube channel after accompanying the audio with some simple visual elements. As you listen to the interview, you see photos of the author, his or her book cover, additional photos, and links. You can check out their channel here.

Examples from three recent Savas Beatie author interviews:

Confessions of a Military Wife by Mollie Gross

Playing with the Enemy by Gary Moore

The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln by Larry Tagg

It’s a convenient way for the station to get more listener hits, and for the author to be able to share the link with family and friends, post on his or her website, and use as a sample to generate additional radio spots.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting Partners for Your Book

I listened to an interesting teleseminar offered by Steve Harrison yesterday, titled “How to Get Major Companies and Nonprofits to Sponsor the Promotion of Your Book, Product, or Service to Millions of People. . . FREE!!”

Like many of these phone calls, there is a call-to-action to sign up for a pricey seminar to get the whole package and additional info, but there are some good tips and advice that anyone can implement after listening to the free phone call.

I also watched a video featuring Brendon Burchard (who was interviewed on yesterday's call) today listing nine different areas that one can explore for sponsorship and partnership, embedded below. They are:

1. Live events
2. Educational programs
3. Corporate programs
4. Product buys/launches
5. Promotions
6. Websites
7. Services
8. Causes
9. Tours

The video gives good examples or explanations of each, and even mentions a phrase that was unfamiliar to us here until last week: “financial literacy.” Stay tuned for more on that subject, and how we are incorporating it into one of our titles this year soon . . .

Friday, January 29, 2010

Top 10 Book Promotion Strategies for 2010

Interesting press release out this month titled “Top 10 Book Promotion Strategies for 2010 Revealed by Survey.” The results go hand in hand with what I spent a lot of my week working on.

According to Smith’s late 2009 survey, here are the top 10 book promotion methods that authors and publishers plan to use this year:

1. Social networking and social media: 94 percent
2. Blogging: 84 percent
3. Seeking book reviews: 75 percent
4. Seeking testimonials and endorsements: 73 percent
5. Press releases: 68 percent
6. Ezines or email marketing: 62 percent
7. Radio and television talk shows: 62 percent
8. Speaking or teleseminars: 60 percent
9. Article marketing: 57 percent
10. Book signings: 56 percent

You can read the entire press release here.

It’s interesting because when Savas Beatie started in 2004, not every author had a website. Those who did, stood out. MySpace and Facebook existed, but weren’t used for book promotion the way they are now. And who had heard of Twitter yet? No one, because it started in 2006.

Today, we expect a lot more from our authors, and as the findings of this survey confirm, so do other publishers. This month I have been working closely with all of our Spring 2010 authors on creating and maintaining their online presence. All five new authors started (or are in the process of developing) their websites, blogs, and Facebook accounts. Even our Saratoga author who was born in 1922 started his blog today. Now that’s a dedicated author.

Before each author’s book comes out this Spring, they will have an established online presence and social networking skills. They will have followers, commentors, and a “fan base” (for lack of a better term) that looks forward to seeing their online updates and who will be interested in reading their books.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Radio interview tip for the day: Repetition in Message

I talk to our authors a lot about radio interviews. Prepping them on what to say, what not to say, keeping their answers short, making sure they work the title of their book and website url into the conversation, etc.

There’s one thing that I often forget, though, and it’s very important to keep in mind: thousands of people are tuning in and out of your radio interview every minute. They are punching the scan button on their car radios trying to decide what to listen to. They are turning the car off when they pull into work and missing the last half of your interview. They are turning the radio back on after running into the post office.

To overcome these obstacles and constant fluctuation in listenership, make sure to work the title of your book and pertinent information into the interview THROUGHOUT the interview, not just in the last baton pass the host gives you before thanking you and signing off. Get your message about your book out there no matter what part of the interview listeners hear.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Basic Blog How-To

How do I start a blog? What do I write about? Who will read it?

Common questions for an author to have. It is important that an author have his or her online presence established with a blog prior to book release. Here is some simple information on set up, content, and format.

Structure and Basic Content:

- Choose a blog domain name that is short, easily remembered, and directly connected to your book (This can be part of your website or you can set up one with a site such as Blogger, Word Press, etc.)
- Add your picture and short biography
- Add image of book cover and internal pictures
- Include side list of relevant links and related blogs

Ideas for Blogging Content:

- Book Excerpts
- Extrapolate on interesting concepts, events, or details described in book
- Book Reviews (of your own book or your reviews of books on related topics)
- Comment or feature on other related blogs
- Trends in the research and study of your area of expertise
- Comment on recent news events and articles connected to your book’s topic
- Interview people with perspectives relevant to your book
- Something controversial to spark debate and comments

Additional Tips:

- Link Twitter and Facebook widget boxes to your blog page
- Add video clips and other multimedia content to blog posts


It is important to set up your blog and actively post before your book comes out so your blog will have content, followers, and comments. You will be ahead of the curve. We consider this mandatory for our authors, and absolutely critical today.

(Note: This post is based on an email to our Spring 2010 Authors.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January and February are not book signing season months, but in keeping with the “New Year, New Start” tradition, below are some helpful tips on book signing events. They are from Sandra Beckwith’s newsletter Build Book Buzz. Additional tips and programs can be found on her website here.

1. Don't approach a bookstore to discuss a signing unless you've written your book for a wide consumer audience (vs. an industry or other type of niche - lawyers or rock climbers, for example). Many bookstores won't host signings when it's clear that the audience for the book is too narrow. Ask yourself if there's a better place to meet your niche audience face-to-face.

2. Plan an event, not a book signing. The book signing where you sit at a table and try to make eye contact with shoppers is increasingly passé and often a waste of time. You need an event where you can speak to and engage your target audience, whether your book is fiction or nonfiction. My goal buddy Marcia Layton Turner is doing a Barnes & Noble book signing later this month for her newest title, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vision Boards, but she won't be sitting at a table near the entrance. She'll be in the function room teaching people how to create vision boards before they try it themselves with materials Marcia and the bookstore provide. "I'll share the message of the book and show how to apply it," she says.

3. Consider non-bookstore locations. Go where you'll find your audience - it might not be at a bookstore. When Irene Levine introduced her community to Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, Irene's hair stylist hosted a book signing at her salon. They invited lots of friends - who brought friends. Borders was on hand to sell books to about half of the 150 attendees. Be creative - if your book is a vegetarian cookbook, schedule an event at a natural foods market or the produce section of a supermarket. Your new mystery takes place at a museum? Talk to the most popular museum in your area about hosting a presentation and signing.

4. Market to warm. Are you an active member of a supportive group? Jackie Dishner, author of the regional travel book Back Roads and Byways of Arizona, sold more than 60 books at her signing at the weekly meeting of her businesswomen's group. Members knew she was writing the book and welcomed the opportunity to celebrate its publication with her. Do you belong to a similar group that might support you? For whatever reason, people like to say that they know an author. A signed book is proof of that connection.

5. Do your share to get the word out. Don't expect your event host to do all the promotional work - collaborate so you reach as many people as possible. Contact the press, send an e-mail to locals in your address book and ask them to forward it, and use social networking tools such as Facebook events and Twitter to spread the word.

6. Don't just sign your name. When I sign copies of my humor book about men, WHY CAN'T A MAN BE MORE LIKE A WOMAN?, I write the person's first name, add "It's all true!" and sign my name. For Publicity for Nonprofits," I use "I'll see you in the news!" People like that additional touch because it feels more personal.

7. Be prepared to invest time. Planning, promoting, and executing a successful book signing takes time, thought, and effort. It will all be worth it, though, as you watch those cases of books under your table empty and your hand gets tired from writing with your favorite pen.