Showing posts with label Jim Cox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jim Cox. Show all posts

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Are Interviews What They Are Cracked Up to Be?

  

Are You Writing Interviews for Bloggers?

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Writing free content related somehow to your genre or title can be a fun way to add to value to your marketing campaign. I recommend bartering your writing skills for free content, especially for new writers. They get to do what they love; they get to write.

They also get bios, bylines, links to their books and even mini pitches for their books. That ups the backlinks to their websites and other online pages and, in turn, that ups their online presence. Not bad for doing what we love.

But caution. In my The Frugal Book Promoter I tell authors: “For a promotion to be successful, you have to promote the promotion.” I’m talking primarily social networking in this case, of course, but if you want more on how to do that, check out the book. That is not what this article is about.  This article is about the readability of interviews.

Today I read an amazing interview in Jim Cox’s newsletter. You probably know that he is Editor-in-Chief of the Midwest Book Review. In an interview from poet Carol Smallwood, he tells the story of how he started this project that helped propel the acceptance of self-publishing in the oh-so-staid publishing world, most of which thought nothing of practicing the most horrendous #bookbogotry possible. It is storytelling and it was fascinating. Suffice it to say, it broke all the interviewing rules from those we see in the AARP Magazine to Time Magazine to most blogs on any topic you might find on Wordpress or Blogger.  And certainly different from the “how-to-write-great-interview articles” you see in how-to magazines.



Everything we read about interviews tell us they should be short. They should be pithy. They do better if they are funny. People are in a hurry. People are used to reading “short and pithy.” It’s the Internet age, after all.

So, when are they successful?  Review the keywords in the first sentence, “related somehow to your genre or title.”  Now add “frequent.” You, the interviewer (or prospective interviewer) should be prepared to write a lot of them Then we mentioned promoting the promotion. If you don’t help drive traffic to the interview you write, they will garner very little attention. That’s true even if you access to some star-studded names. Relatively speaking, without a great presence on search engine, your work of art will be seen by few. 

I am in the mood to burst some bubbles here. I love to be interviewed. But I don’t write them for my blogs. And I rarely accept them as guestposts for my blogs! If you’ve read so far, you can see why. My favorite series of interview are in Time Magazine and, I admit, that I like them best when they are snarky but I don’t pay deep attention to them even then. They are good examples for learning more about interviews, though. You’ll find them on the back page of the magazine. What percentage of them would you say are controversial? Current?

Luckily, we--as the interviewers--are also the editors or at least one of the editors. That means we get to edit (shorten) rambling answers.  Interviews that are laid out in visuals that show the question and answers are going to be more easily read. We as the interviewers can make sure that happens, or at least encourage it to happen by submitting to our publisher (blogger, magazine editor, etc.)  in a form that cries out to be left as it is.

As the interviewer, you can ask your publisher for a hands-off policy  if you wish but they may still want to edit your piece to fit their style book. Associated Press, as an example, has a Style Book that tells them exactly what choices must be made and so they won't be eager to give over the editing or formatting job to you!

Note: If you are using interviews written by others—freelance or barter--tactfully let the interviewee know you might need to edit it for purposes of style or length. That way, they aren't surprised when they see copy (the questions or the answers)  that aren't exactly what they submitted. (-: 

Another thing. This comes straight from my  journalism experience. When we're wearing a journalism hat, we aren't required to let an interviewee (or informant) review, check, or otherwise monitor what we have written. We have a free press in the USA. So, unless you want help clarifying or editing or whatever, you aren't obligated to run what you have written by your interviewee.  Having said that, one of the biggest benefits of writing interviews--or reviews--is the opportunity it affords for building relationships. I think that networking is the best reason for writing interviews or giving interviews. Asking for input on your reviews can help you build relationships that can turn into bigger and better exposure for you, maybe in the form of being interviewed.
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, is the author of how to books for writers including the award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher; now in its third edition. Don’t miss the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Editor; and Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers. The booklet, The Great First Impression Book Proposal is now in its second edition.  How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically helps you take full advantage of magical book reviews to keep your writing career move faster than you have imagined. Carolyn also offers free review services at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. Explore the opportunities for your book in the tabs at the top of the home page. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor

Monday, May 22, 2017

Get Your Book Reviewed


By W. Terry Whalin

Often I see books launch into the market with zero reviews or only a few reviews. With over 4500 new books entering the marketplace every day, it is a challenge for any author to find readers—and to find readers who will write a few sentences of honest review and post it on Amazon and Goodreads and other sites.

In this article, I want to encourage authors to take an active role at getting book reviews and give you some resources and insights.

First, take your own responsibility for getting book reviews. Whether your book is brand new or has been out for a while, continually work at getting reviews. When you get a review—especially a positive one—promote or tout that review on your social media connections (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). Go to this article from Tim Grahl about Amazon reviews, scroll down to the bottom and get his free download because of the tools you will get to help you gather reviews.
Second, study this article from Jim Cox, editor-in-chief at Midwest Book Review. Notice the article is 16 pages of information and I encourage you to print it and study it. I am on Jim's email list and found this interview with Shelby Londyn-Heath was filled with insights. Jim has been in his position for 40 years and provides an amazing free service to help people discover books. I want to make several points from this article:

* They receive an average of 2,000 titles a month to review and select 600 to 700 a month to actually review.

* Books are rejected for possible review for several reasons including not following their submission guidelines, poor covers and serious production problems.

*Midwest Book Review emphasizes self-published books and books from small presses. Cox explains his reasons in this article. He also encourages authors to produce excellent books—edited and designed well. These foundational elements are missing in many books and some of the reasons for books not to be reviewed (rejected in this process).


Third, learn about how to get book reviews. I interviewed Dana Lynn Smith on this topic and have a free teleseminar teaching authors about how to get book reviews.

With the sheer volume of books entering the marketplace every day, it is a challenge for authors to get book reviews. Write a great book. Produce a great book (design and production is important) then finally take action to get your book reviewed. I've seen a number of books that have well-done production, great endorsements and zero or few reviews. The details are important and I encourage you to take an active role on this process of getting book reviews.

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W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and the author of more than 60 books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Book Proposals That Sell. He has over 200,000 followers on Twitter and lives in Colorado.

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Without the author's effort, it is often a challenge to get book reviews. Use these insights and resources.  (ClickToTweet)
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Midwest Review's Selected Titles for Writers


Midwest Review’s Top Books for Writers
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In a recent article in his newsletter, Jim Cox, founding guru of the Midwest Review, includes his suggested titles for writers and I'm flattered (and glad to be one of them). I thought the readers of this Writers On The Move blog might want to select one or two for the betterment of their careers in 2014.
Jim said, "There are a lot of excellent how to instruction manuals and guides available to the novice publisher and the newly self-published author on what has been termed 'guerilla marketing' strategies offering a wealth of tips, tricks, techniques, and strategies for those of limited financial means. You will find them reviewed and listed at:

"There you will find such informative and "every author/publisher should read this" titles like:

"1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer
52 Ways To Sell More Books! by Penny C. Sansevieri
The Author's Guide To Publishing And Marketing by Tim Ward & John Hunt
Book Marketing De-Mystified by Bruce Batchelor
Book Promotion Made Easy by Eric Gelb
Brilliant PR by Cathy Bussey
The Complete Guide To Book Publicity by Jodee Blanco
The Economical Guide To Self-Publishing by Linda F. Radke
The Frugal Book Promoter: 2nd Edition, by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Grass Roots Book Marketing by Rusty Fischer
Grassroots Marketing For Authors And Publishers by Shel Horowitz
Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World by Shel Horowitz
Grumpy's Guide To Global Marketing For Books by Carolyn Mordecai
Maverick Marketing by Lisa Messenger & Mel Carswell
Maximum Exposure Marketing System by Tami DePalma & Kim Dushinski
Mosquito Marketing for Authors by Michelle Dunn
Musings Of An Online Bookseller by John Landahl
Online Book Marketing by Lorraine Phillips
Publicize Your Book! by Jacqueline Deval
Publishing For Profit by Thomas Woll
Red Hot Internet Publicity by Penny C. Sansevieri
Sell More Books! by J. Steve Miller & Cherie K. Miller
Sell Your Book Like Wildfire by Rob Eager
Selling Books as Premiums & Incentives by Marilyn & Tom Ross
The Selling Of An Author by Bruce E. Mowday
Simple Guide to Marketing Your Book, by Mark Ortman
The Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit! by C. Pinherio & Nick Russell
Why, When, Where, & How To Write, Publish, Market, & Sell Your Book by Bill Thurwanger
Write, Publish & Market Your Book by Patrika Vaughn
You Can Market Your Book by Carmen Leal

"There are a lot more titles where these came from. I take a justifiable pride in the Midwest Book Review web site as having the largest writing/publishing bibliography data bases in all the world!"

Naturally, I thought I'd pass his suggestions on to you. I always say, "One book on the writing and marketing of books is never enough."

Subscribe to Jim's newsletter at http://www.midwestbookreview.com.
You'll also find my personal list of helpful books for writers in the Appendix of The Frugal Editor, 2nd Edition, (presently only as an e-book).
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Blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson. She has a large section of Resources for writers on her Web site at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.

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