Archive for August, 2010

Writing a book? What’s the title?

Books in the Douglasville, Georgia Borders store.Image via Wikipedia

When you walk through a book shop or visit an online book store, what attracts your eye?  I bet it's a catchy title!

A good example is Tim Ferriss' book,"The 4-Hour Work Week." That title flew off the book shelves, shot to the top of the best seller list and made Ferriss famous. (His ideas were controversial and the term became a pop culture catch phrase. How cool is that?) 

As you
know, I'm a big proponent of having
your own book and being a published author.  A book can do wonders for your credibility as an expert and put you on the media's radar for free publicity.

No question, a key element of your book's success is its title. Titles sell books. But, getting the title of your book "just right" can be tricky.

Tim Ferriss tested title
after title until he found the one he felt confident
would SELL.

The story is that Tim tested his possible titles to his
target market via Google Adwords and chose

the one that received the most clicks, knowing it
would be a winner on the shelves.

Although it's a great idea and seems to have worked for him, it can be an expensive approach
for the rest of us!

So how do you decide if YOUR title is a good one?

"Guessing" a title that sounds good to you and a few friends isn't a
good strategy. In fact, it could be downright
embarrassing, if your title flops.

There is a way you can test your
book title out on a group of your peers,
plus a book writing and publishing pro,
to see if it has potential.

Here's a quick reminder about a free call my friend and colleague, Donna Kozik, is
this Wednesday, September 1, to help you create a great book title. 

Donna is calling the free call "Title Idol" and
you can find out all the details, plus get access

to Donna's "How to Determine a Winning
Book Title" article here:

Title Idol Free Call

It's my affiliate link but the call is absolutely FREE.

If you've ever dreamed of adding "author" to your name, don't miss this call.  It promises to be both fun and informative!

Six Figures from YouTube?

A lot of people may  dream of becoming Do-It-Yourself Video Stars, but can you make real money making videos?

TubeMogul analyzed their viewership date and found 10 people in the world who are pulling in six figures or more from the YouTube partnership program.  How do they do it?

Here’s a link to the article to find out who they are and what kind of videos spell PROFIT for them.

Earning 100K from YouTube

Interview with an Expert – You!

LesCorsetsLeFuretParis18cutAImage via Wikipedia

When a journalist is looking for an expert source to interview, being an "author" adds instant authority and could put you at the top of their list. 

Do you dream of writing a book?   Do you have a title for it? 

If you want to write and publish a book someday,
then I have a great resource for you.

My friend and colleague, Donna Kozik, is hosting
a free call on September First, centered on the important topic of book
titles. (A winning title can mean everything to a
book's success.)

Donna is also making this call fun with a "studio
audience" voting on whether different book
titles are "hot…or not."

Donna has named the free call "Title Idol" and you
can find out all the details, plus get access to

Donna's "How to Determine a Winning Book Title" article here:

Title Idol

That's my affiliate link but as I said, the call is FREE. 

I encourage you to join in – it's going to be a lot of
fun, and you'll learn what makes a book title

a winner!

Coming up with a juicy title can be a big motivator to get your
book done.  There's nothing quite like holding a book in your hand with
your own name printed on the front cover, right beneath the jazzy
title.  It's a great feeling.  Don't miss this call. 

Sign up here: Title Idol

How Do I Look? Is Your Website iPad-ready?

iPad with on display keyboardImage via Wikipedia

Last week as I was writing about the future of mobile marketing, Duct Tape Marketing Founder John Jantsch was thinking about the wide screen implications for people viewing your content on the iPad tablet. 

He posted a resource-rich article for making the look and layout of your blog or website iPad-friendy.

Here's the link:

Is Your Blog iPad Worthy

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Be Media-Smart with an Online Press Kit

You've heard this before – journalists generally work on tight deadlines.  If a reporter is interested in doing your story, they want all the background information they could possibly get right now.  If you're actively pitching to build your business with free publicity, give them what they want, when they want it.  Snail mail is a deal breaker.

That's the beauty of an online press kit. It puts your bio, your photo, past credits, testimonials, book excerpts,etc. at their fingertips, saving them precious time.  Even if a reporter is just checking out a source before they call them, it's a smart move to show you're media-savvy with a strong online presence.  Having a media kit available shows you're a serious expert and instantly boosts your credibility.  In today's Internet-centered world, making it an online media kit just makes sense. 

My friends at PitchRate have just launched a three-week long free teleseminar series on the value and importance of online press kits.

You can get the free training here – Pitchrate Expert Sign Up.

Plus they're offering a special deal on their PressKit 24/7 service.

Get yours today through my affiliate link  – PressKit 24/7 

The Future is…MOBILE!

Person with PDA handheld device.Image via Wikipedia

In the 1967 film, The Graduate, an older family friend, Mr. McGuire, takes Benjamin aside at a party to whisper words of wisdom, implying he's got the secret to the new grad's future success.  He says he has only one word for Benjamin – PLASTICS.

My thought is the one word today might be MOBILE and just as in that 60's movie, the word and the trend can be interpreted many ways.  An increasing number of people reach for a smartphone for just about everything.  More and more companies are buying smartphones for their employees and the world of apps keeps growing beyond imagination.

Naturally people still make phone calls on mobile devices, but more and more of them also surf the net, download music, read books, answer email, send texts and tweets, check facebook, take photos, watch and shoot videos, call up maps and follow GPS directions, check restaurant reviews and menus, watch stock prices, get the weather forecast, comparison shop while they stroll the aisles of retail stores, and a lot more. 

Mobile certainly looks like it's becoming an essential tool in a modern life. Technology is currently in the works to allow smartphones to act like
credit cards. Probably before you know it, you'll wave your phone in
front of a scanner instead of swiping that bit of plastic, for faster
check-outs. And this month, eMarketer said mobile video will double its reach in the US by 2013, spelling opportunity for video content producers like me. 

My point is now is the time to become aware of the growing mobile marketing trend and find out what it can do for you and your business. Providing useful content will always be the key, but keeping up with the delivery systems is important.  A friend recently said a local TV station's website was nearly
impossible to read on her Blackberry which means she'll probably start
checking a competing station's site and may even start watching that
other station as well.

As a publicity-seeker, if a reporter is on the go and can't find your phone number, bio or address on your website or blog using their iphone, they will likely just move on to the next source, possibly your mobile-savvy competitor. 

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Break into the Media with Breaking News

Start your publicity-seeking week right with a great guest post from Publicity Expert Drew Gerber.  This one highlights a tried and true strategy..tying your "news" to what's happening now.   Thank you, Drew!

Using Breaking News to Break Into the Media

By L. Drew Gerber


news is news in the truest sense of the word — from “hard” news about national
and world events, politics or major scientific breakthroughs, to entertainment
news about celebrities or sports stars. Breaking news is what drives the media;
and tying your pitches to breaking news is a great way to grab the media’s
attention for you or your client.


great about breaking news is that it answers the “Why now?” question for the
media and increases your chances to share your or your client’s insights,
commentary or expert opinion. Breaking news also answers the “Why should I
care?” question for media. In news meetings, editors and producers constantly
ask their reporters to answer one question from the point of view of the
reader, viewer or listener: “Why should I care?” As an expert or publicist,
you’re there to serve the media and help them media answer that question. After
you pitch, be prepared to jump when the media calls. The earlier you can get
involved with the story, the greater your impact in the conversation and the
greater your chance to be part of the follow-up.


are some key things to remember when preparing:


Give the media your cell phone or other numbers where they can contact you
24/7. When they call, pick up. If you can’t pick up, call back ASAP!


For TV interviews, you or your client often must be available to fly or travel
on short notice. The travel may be local or you may have to fly across the
country. Be prepared for spur-of-the-moment schedule changes and be ready to
make travel arrangements before you pitch.


Print and radio interviews can often be done by phone. Make sure the most
reliable landline is used and that all sound bites are practiced and prepared
in advance.


Provide a link to your or your client’s online press kit so the interviewer can
prepare and familiarize themselves with your expertise. Online press kits are one
of the most convenient and useful resources for print, broadcast and online


Expect to be thrown a curve. You can ask the media for a list of questions they
plan to ask, but be prepared for spontaneous questions too. This is where media
training ahead of time can be very valuable, because there is little time to train
once you get the call.


Think like a journalist. The more you watch, listen to and read the news, the
more you can anticipate and prepare to comment when news breaks.


lot of this may seem like common sense. But when it comes to PR, it’s usually the
smallest things that determine whether or not you land that placement. So being
prepared and making sure you’re on top of all the details will do nothing but
increase your chances of shining when news breaks.




L. Drew Gerber is CEO of
and creator of, a free media connection
service for journalists, experts, and publicists.  Sign up now for free
publicity advice including a free online marketing course. Gerber's business
practices and staffing innovations have been revered by PR Week, Good Morning
America and the Christian Science Monitor. His companies handle international
PR campaigns and his staff develops online press kits for authors, speakers and
companies with Online PressKit 24/7, a technology he developed (
Contact L. Drew Gerber at: or call him at 828-749-3548.


More Media Literacy Thoughts

On Monday, I talked about how the Shirley Sherrod story pointed up why "context"  is important in evaluating the media information we all are constantly exposed to.

Every day on non-news and "reality-style"
entertainment TV shows, I see all kinds of "creative" editing that
distorts the material and blurs our perception of the "context"of what the heck is going on.  Video and sound bites are moved around to promote the show, 
to tease a segment, to present a provocative or curiosity-provoking tidbit to get people to watch and to keep viewers watching through the

When the actual full
segment airs, you realize the person wasn't reacting to what the promo showed
at all, or didn't really mean what you thought they said just a few minutes

Next time you're shocked, amused, or outraged by a bit of
video or a sound bite, think about what the the real "context" might

  • What
    or who is the source of this clip?
  • What
    is their agenda?
  • What
    was said or done before or after this clip?

Staying aware that all editing takes something "out of
context" will help you exercise some healthy skepticism about what you
see and hear and probably keep you from jumping to conclusions.

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Media Literacy – Consider the Context

The Shirley Sherrod story has a lot of angles to it. People at all levels over-reacted without having the full facts and there's plenty of blame to go around. It struck me that the concept of "context" is too easily overlooked in our 24-7 media-saturated culture.

Some background – Sherrod gave a speech and one of her comments was taken out of context by a blogger to make a partisan point. Once people listened to the rest of what she said, they realized the edited sound bite was not representative of her message and the tide of public opinion turned.

A speech is different from giving a media interview, but as media consumers, it's always a good idea to question the context of what you read, listen to and watch. Truth is, all sound bites are taken out of context. In an interview, a reporter may talk to you for 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days and they're not going to put the whole unedited tape on the air. Instead they'll choose a few sound bites, paraphrase other things you said, add facts and figures and gather information from other sources to craft their story.

You can't control what they'll choose, but during the interview, you can control what you say. Be sure you stick to positive message points about yourself, your company, your product or cause and never use the reporter's negatively worded question as part of your response. An example from history is Richard Nixon infamous response, "I am not a crook" to David Frost's question. Nothing Nixon said before or after mattered.

An ethical journalist is taught to pay attention to the context and fairly represent the person's position through judicious audio or video editing. But for various reasons, mistakes do happen.
  Plus, with the growth of new media, anyone with a laptop, a flip camera or a smart phone can become a publisher or "citizen journalist," putting material in front of a global audience. It's more important than ever that media consumers think about the source and the context of the information that's bombarding them from all quarters.

In the traditional media world, if you want to increase the odds that what you intend to say will actually show up in a story, you need to develop a system for getting your message points out. Then, practice, practice,practice so you can do it smoothly and effortlessly, without seeming to ignore the reporter's questions or sounding like a robot. (And there you have my agenda for this post – a pitch for the value of media training and media literacy.)

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