Plural Authors- How to Make Your Book More Promotable

Hello Plural Authors,

This post is for you! Brian Feinblum, creator and author of BookMarketingBuzzBlog and Chief Marketing Officer for Media Connect, recently invited us to share one of his blog posts, Making Your Book More Promotable. We felt that much of it would be informative for you wherever you may be in the book-creation process and so condensed and edited it with you in mind.

We are always here to help you!

-Plural Team

Making Your Book More Promotable 

Write Your Next Book with The Media in Mind

bookThe world of book publishing has changed immensely over the past decade –and certainly over the past three years, thanks to Amazon, Apple, tablets, e-books, Borders, and social media.

The role of book publicity has not changed though the methods have been altered. PR is needed to give a book a chance at succeeding in an overcrowded marketplace and a noisy media landscape. With more books being published than ever before, and more media outlets, there is a lot of competition.

Technology has no doubt impacted many industries including publishing. As a result, readers and consumers have been changed as well. Writers are changing, too. They have become writers and promoters.

There is no way of getting around it. To embrace PR as an author is to embrace your future.  The good news is there is plenty that you can do to promote your book:

collaboration

  • Think like the media and about their needs
  • Change your attitude about your PR role
  • Brand beyond the book – brand yourself
  • Network
  • Partner with other authors

Lots of authors have hang-ups about publicity. They often feel that they aren’t “mainstream” enough to be promotable or are too shy and uncomfortable to promote their book. You need to take ownership of your book and that means quarterbacking your PR campaign.

Give yourself a “PR audit” to see where you can begin:

  1.  Think of the connections you have and the people you know – do you have connections who could “hook you up” or can you drop names to the media?
  2. What is in your book that the media will find interesting?

Next think seriously about what it is you want to accomplish through publicity. Do you want to build your career, establish a voice, sell your book, influence others, get a job out of it? Knowing what your end goal is from PR will help you decide how to go about getting there. Not knowing why you are doing publicity won’t get you anywhere positive. Always keep an eye towards the future. In deciding what your goal is, consider realistically how much time and energy you will actually have to dedicate towards promoting your book. This will help you determine what publicity goal is attainable and feasible given your busy life.

The most promotable books, of any genre, are:

  • Unique in how they tackle a well-known subject
  • Reveal news or raise great questions
  • Lend personal insight on an industry, person, or organization

What’s Today’s Media Landscape?

In today’s media landscape there are more outlets and opportunities, their value is also more diluted than ever before. You will need a certain quantity of quality media placements

PR is not just about giving away free downloads of chapters and books, or of tweeting and making videos, or of e-blasting a press release. It is about making a sustained, strategic effort to influence the influencers and get media coverage that will help you in the short and long-term.

pen&paperYour writing can help you get media coverage and how you talk about what you wrote matters. Are you an expert in the field? If so, sound like it. Find a way to summarize without the details. Get to the heart of why someone should read your book. You should formulate your 15-second elevator speech about your book before it is written. Express it in a way that serves a need, fulfills a desire or feeds a want.

If this sounds like a lot to take in, it is; but don’t worry. Planning and practice makes perfect. Here are some tricks that can help get media recognition:

  • Socialize or “regionalize” the book
  • Get early reviews & build “buzz”
  • Ask for specific favors from those you know
  • Exploit personal experience/standing
  • Use PR as a means to an end- remember your end goal
  • Coincide your media pitches and efforts with upcoming events, holidays, anniversaries, honorary days, and timely news hooks
  • Create a website at least 5-6 months prior to your book launch date
  • See your launch date as a coronation – not Day 1. From your launch date, you have 30-90 days to make an impression.

Green Apple on BooksRemember to focus on your goal and keep an eye on the future. Plan ahead and begin your PR campaign before the book publishes. The last thing you want is a huge stack of inventory with no one interested. Keep your audience excited by doing daily publicity- even if it is just a simple tweet. Always meet your deadlines so everything comes in on schedule with no unexpected surprises. Test your ideas out on other people to get feedback. If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

There is nothing more rewarding having written a great book than to have a lot of readers and media attention. By actively promoting your work you position yourself to break through the clutter and heard successfully.

Must-see TV – Audiology is a hot topic this week

Authors_in_the_News

Recently a few of our authors have been on television! They are experts in the field of audiology and we are happy to share their wisdom and success.

Ruth Bentler, PhD was on Charlie Rose’s Brain Series speaking about the brain and hearing. Specifically she detailed some of the history of the hearing aid and the future of hearing loss awareness and acceptance. Just want to see Ruth? Skip to the 20 minute mark.

Brian Taylor, AUD was interviewed on hearing health by Morgan Fairchild for the new show Baby Boomers in America on the LifeTime Network. He discusses the importance of early detection and maintained audiologic care.

Because We Are EQUAL to the Task

Plural Publishing Inc. is proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Held each October, NDEAM aims to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. NDEAM is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month“When I was growing up, many people doubted what I could do just because I was blind. But because I had people in my life who instilled in me an expectation of work and showed me opportunities to be successful, I completed college and became known for what I can do,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.”

How are you planning to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)? Learn how you can support NDEAM by visiting the ODEP website: www.dol.gov/odep/.

Plural Author in the News: Blake Wilson Awarded Lasker Prize

Authors_in_the_NewsOn September 9th of this year, Plural author Dr. Blake Wilson was awarded the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medicine Research Award for his pioneering efforts in cochlear implantation, along with Graeme Clark and Ingeborg Hochmair. Dr. Wilson was chosen to receive the award because he, “oversaw a giant leap forward in speech encoding for implants that ingeniously manipulated the timing and place of stimulation so as to minimize distortion and channel interaction.” 1

Blake WilsonHe is the Co-Director for the Duke Hearing Center and an adjunct professor for the university. He also is Chief Strategy Advisor for MED-EL Medical Electronics GmbH of Innsbruck, Austria and a Senior Fellow Emeritus of the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in the Research Triangle Park, NC. He has been involved in the development of the cochlear implant (CI) for the past three decades and is the inventor of many of the signal processing strategies used with the present-day devices. His book Better Hearing with Cochlear Implants: Studies at Research Triangle Institute describes his and Dr. Michael Dorman’s research in more depth.

Current cochlear implants still have limitations in delivering speech signals but are able to distinguish speech in loud noise areas, as well as identify a speaker’s gender. Dr. Wilson and the other awardees contributions to the field have given 300,000 implant recipients the gift of hearing.

1. O’Donoghue, G. Cochlear Implants — Science, Serendipity, and Success. The New England Journal of Medicine, Sept. 9, 2013, doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1310111

 

Feature Article: Toward a More Effective Collaboration

Toward a More Effective Collaboration by Aaron Fletcher, MD

2doctorsAs a discipline Otolaryngology has long recognized the benefits and virtues of a collaborative model of healthcare delivery. In fact, I believe that few other medical specialties collaborate as frequently and as effectively as Otolaryngologists—it is an integral part of our culture. On a daily basis, we are called to collaborate with specialists of diverse expertise (Audiologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Neurosurgeons, Radiologists, Radiation Oncologist, Medical Oncologists and so on). In consulting these experts, we recognize the knowledge of these specialists as complimentary to our own and no less valuable. In fact, we frequently congregate in multi-disciplinary conferences where everyone has a say, and everyone’s opinion counts.

As our specialty embarks upon a changing healthcare landscape, we are constantly challenged to evolve our collaborative process in order to keep pace with the expanding application of technology across healthcare.This collaborative spirit is one of the major reasons that I enjoy this specialty. One of the things I appreciate most about Otolaryngology is the opportunity to learn the subtle nuances of a diagnostic finding, condition or technique that are afforded by colleagues and other members of the treatment team.  Throughout my very young career, I’ve found that better collaboration invariably leads to better care and that to be successful; collaboration requires shared vision, values, risks, resources, and rewards regardless of function, occupation or level of training. This is truly what collaborative care is all about.

communicationThe ubiquity of internet access via mobile devices and smartphones, along with the rise of social media has changed the way in which health care information is distributed and consumed. This factor has allowed patients ample access to information about their health conditions and associated treatment options. A recent Pew Internet research study found that one in three adults have turned to online sources to figure out a medical condition that they or someone else they know might have1. Combining these internet resources with expanded mobile network technology means that patients are increasingly capable of seeking answers to their healthcare questions instantaneously. This means that patients are now empowered to become more active participants in their care, and this is certainly a good thing.

On the other hand, these factors also exert pressure upon caregivers to keep pace with these changes in health related information consumption by increasing technological sophistication and improving their own access to medical knowledge. By doing so, we are better suited to meet the demands of a patient population that is better equipped to make important healthcare

As the application of technology across the healthcare landscape has led to a greater sense of empowerment among patients, advancements in health IT, (including electronic health records, cloud computing and health information exchange platforms), also hold great promise for clinicians. The advent of these tools has empowered clinicians to mobilize and share clinical information with members of the treatment team at any time and from any location with internet access. Given the intrinsic collaborative nature of our field, it makes perfect sense that we leverage these technologies to expand our approach to coordinating collaborative care. HIPPA compliant hosting and file sharing networks are now working to mitigate the risk of exchanging protected health information (PHI) via the web and mobile devices. These networks work to encrypt PHI both in storage and in-transit, thereby providing a layer of protection against breaches in security. While these platforms should be used with caution to ensure compliance with HIPPA regulations, as these tools continue to evolve, they will create new opportunities for collaboration and partnership across traditional institutional and geographic boundaries.

Naturally, I believe that Otolaryngologists should be at the forefront of integrating these tools into clinical practice, as we continue to seek new ways of perfecting collaborative care.  I believe ubiquitous data accessibility and sharing (cloud computing) coupled with HIPPA-compliant hosting platforms have the ability not only to facilitate, but to enhance the way we collaborate. Using these tools we can share best practices and treatment protocols, coordinate video conferences with colleagues outside our geographic area, and obtain outside expertise about challenging cases. These tools also allow us to interface with patients about their care, and to provide them a portal to share relevant updates on their condition from the comfort of their home. All of these efforts are critical to the long-term success of our collaborative efforts as a specialty, and familiarity with the tools by which we accomplish these aims is imperative.

So as we embark upon a continually evolving paradigm of healthcare consumption and delivery, we must continue in the spirit of collaboration, and seek out the new tools of our trade.  By doing so, we can continue to demonstrate that better collaboration leads to better care.

References:

1.            Fox, Susannah, Duggan, Maeve: Health Online 2013. Accessed online via http://  pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Health-online.aspx

 

Dr. Fletcher is the author of the just-published Comprehensive Otolaryngology Review: A Case-Based Approach Fletcher_COR

2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech

October 18, 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA marked the first ever Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech. Sean Freiburger and his mother Sue led over 300 participants and in just two years the Walk for Apraxia has grown to over 80 walks in three countries with over 10,000 walkers and countless donors to fund new programs and research by the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA).

apraxia walk

The 2013 Walk for Children with Apraxia of Speech promises to be even larger with upwards of 70 locations across the nation. Just to name a few:

Want to help but can’t make it to a walk? Don’t worry, there is also a virtual walk that allows anyone interested to register as a walker, receive the official walk t-shirt, and walk where ever and whenever it is convenient.

A Tribute to Plural Author Garyth Nair, MA

A TRIBUTE TO PLURAL AUTHOR GARYTH NAIR, MD

Garyth NairPlural has lost a dear friend and author. Dr. Garyth Nair passed away on August 10th, 2013 following a stroke. He was 69 years old and is survived by his wife Angelika Nair, a mezzo-soprano and his brother Ron Nair.

Dr. Nair began his vocal and conducting studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ where he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the famed Westminster Choir- the first student in the College’s history to be so honored. He later studied at Tanglewood with the late Sir Adrian Boult and completed an MA in Musicology at New York University. He was the former Conductor/Music Director of the Chamber Symphony of New Jersey and former Assistant Conductor of the New Jersey Symphony and the senior division of the Lakeland Youth Symphony.

At the time of his death, he was Professor of Music at Drew University in Madison, NJ where he conducted the Chorale, the Orchestra and was also Director of Vocal Activities. His love of music drove him to teach and research the human singing voice for over 25 years. In addition to his work at Drew University, Dr. Nair was also a well known conductor for one New Jersey’s premiere choruses, the Summit Chorale.

The Craft of Singing

Plural’s CEO and co-founder, Angie Singh says of Garyth Nair: “His manuscript was one
of the first we received at our home even before we decided to start a publishing company in 2004. He believed in us so much.” We were honored to call him part of our Plural family and have him among our roster of authors. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Angelika and brother Ron. He will be missed not only by his family and friends, but also by his colleagues and students.

Dr. Nair’s obituary published yesterday in the New York Times, as well as on The Voice Foundation’s website.  His funeral will be held tomorrow morning in his hometown of Chatman, NJ. Donations in his honor can be contributed to The Voice Foundation here.

Guest Post by Melanie Lewis: Hearing Loss

Foreword:

Our guest post this week, by Melaine Lewis with Hearing Direct, explains the details of hearing loss and recommended courses of action.

-Plural Team

HEARING LOSS

EarHearing loss can occur due to a number of reasons, these can be due to changes that the body undergoes (age-related) or more man-made reasons such as exposure to harmful noise. According to Kochkin’s 2008 survey (*MarkeTrak VIII) 35 million Americans are thought to present  the symptoms of impaired hearing and the number is projected to increase to 40 million by 2025.

The biggest group and the subject of this post are the age-related (Presbycusis) hearing loss suffers whose condition is often misunderstood. Many sufferers chose to ‘accept’ diminished hearing as a given fact, though modern healthcare offers means to mange the condition so its influence on daily lives is minimized.

What Is Age-Related Hearing Loss?

Let’s start by explaining what it isn’t. It isn’t a condition that an individual can control like noise induced hearing loss nor does it normally lead to complete hearing loss.

It is a gradual demise in hearing ability known as sensorineural hearing loss. As the body matures, two processes lead to reduced hearing of certain frequencies. The first is degeneration of a part of the inner ear that contains micropscopic blood vessels, while the second process is the decline in sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea (a snail-shell like structure in the inner ear) that gradually become damaged or die due to increases in free radicals that damage certain cells in the body. The body is unable to regrow these hair cells (these are really nerve endings that detect sound) which leads to the categorization of agerelated hearing loss as a permanent one.

ear mechanisms

What Are The Typical Symptoms Of Age-Related Hearing Loss?

The level of hearing loss will vary between individuals. Some will be able to make simple adjustments in their lifestyle to counteract its affects, while in the case of other individuals the deterioration in hearing ability will require the intervention of modern healthcare.

Symptoms and signs can include:

  • Certain sounds seem too loud
  • Difficulty following a group conversation
  • Difficulty hearing in noisy areas
  • Hard to tell high-pitched sounds (such as “s” or “th”) from one another
  • Increased difficulty in understanding women and children
  • Problems hearing when there is background noise
  • Voices that sound mumbled or slurred

What Is The Recommended Course of Action?

If you suspect that you or someone you care for might be experiencing the telltale signs of hearing loss, it should be investigated by your family doctor, local ENT unit or hearing center. Although the most common causes are linked to aging, other causes should also be investigated to be  ruled out.

These may include:

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Certain infections such as meningitis, mumps, scarlet fever and measles
  • Use of certain medicines
  • Genetic conditions
  • Skull fractures
  • Traumatic noisy events

To eliminate and diagnose the precise cause(s), a hearing test will need to be performed. A basic test can be conducted at your family doctor’s practice, though it is likely that you may also need to book a physical audiometry test at your local ENT or hearing center.

Equipped with the result, your healthcare advisor will be able to recommend the most suitable solution from using ALDs (Assistive Listening Devices such as Hearing Aids) or adapting certain communication techniques. In the case of severe hearing loss, learning sign language and even cochlear implants may form part of the recommended options.

Hearing loss does not have to undermine your quality of life. It can and should be managed.

 

About the Author:

HearingDirectMelanie Lewis is a trained hearing aid audiologist. She works for Hearing Direct, the UK’s biggest supplier of deaf and hard of hearing aids from hearing aid accessories such as batteries to ALDs (Assistive Listening Devices).

 

* The MarkeTrak VIII survey included 80,000 members of the National Family Opinion (NFO) panel. Of these, 14,623 hearing impaired individuals were identified.

Guest Post by Tom Rokins: How To Look After Your Hearing

Foreword:

Hearing loss can occur at any age for any number of reasons. It most typically occurs between the ages of 49 to 55. It may, or may not, surprise you to learn that people often do not realize they have developed a hearing loss, as it can be a subtle and gradual change. Our guest post this week, by Tom Rokins with Boots Hearingcare, details several easy methods of care and prevention.

-Plural Team

 

HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR HEARING

As you know, your ears are pretty important to living a high quality life – they are the things which hear everything going on around you, help you keep balance and help you get around in life.

ear

Think about what things would be like if you suddenly lost your hearing tomorrow; it wouldn’t be a very enjoyable experience.

That’s why you should want to take as much care of those precious aural organs as possible. Thankfully, they’re not too difficult to look after – a bit of TLC and common sense should work wonders to keep your ears working better and for longer.

Keep Loud Music to a Minimum

Everyone’s hearing can be affected negatively by loud music, but some people are more sensitive to this damage than others. Think back to the last gig you went to, or the last time you spent all night clubbing – when you got home, you almost definitely experienced a ringing in your ears, a bit like tinnitus.

That is temporary hearing damage. Sadly, the more you expose yourself to these noisy environments, the more the hearing damage increases. This degeneration is usually slow and subtle – you don’t notice it until it’s too late.

60/60 rule

It’s worth keeping in mind the “60/60” rule – if you listen to an MP3 player at 60% volume, keep it limited to 60 minutes a day or less. Noise-cancelling headphones can be of use; because they eliminate pesky background noise, you can hear better at a lower volume.

If you’re in the club or at a gig, make sure to keep a reasonable distance from the speakers and regularly step outside for a break. If your ears are hurting or ringing, or you have to shout to be heard by someone two meters (~7 ft.) away, the music is too loud.

Drugs That Can Harm Your Hearing

Some drugs can, believe it or not, damage your ears; these are called ototoxic drugs, and they can cause tinnitus and balance problems as well as hearing loss.

Some of these can actually cause permanent deafness, but it is incredibly unlikely that you will be prescribed one of those unless it is completely necessary, a life or death situation. Others will have a temporary effect, and should clear up once the drugs are out of your system.

Some cancer drugs can cause permanent hearing loss, such as Cisplatin. If you’re on a smaller dosage you should be fine, but higher ones could lead to deafness. Aminoglycoside antibiotics, used in treating potentially fatal diseases, can also cause hearing loss, but are becoming less common.

Aspirin and other salicylates can cause tinnitus, loss of hearing and even vertigo when taken in large doses, but these effects are reversible once you stop taking the drug. Quinine, the anti-malarial drug, can have similar results.

Ear Wax and Its Effects on the Ear

Maybe you think of ear wax as a nuisance. You’d be wrong – it protects the inside of your ears, trapping particles of dust, sweat, dirt and the like to prevent infections. It slowly works its way out, taking the rubbish with it.

Too much ear wax can cause itchiness, discomfort, or even slightly diminished hearing. Do not, under any circumstances, start rooting around in there with a cotton bud – this can push the wax further in or even do damage to your ear drum.

Instead, go and get an appointment with your doctor. Once it’s been cleared out, if you are still experiencing problems hearing, you should visit a trained audiologist.

About the author:

Boots HearingcareTom Rokins wrote this article on behalf of Boots Hearingcare, the hearing aid specialists in the UK. If you need any advice on looking after your hearing or even want a free hearing test- get in touch.

Australian Voice Association’s Student Encouragement Awards 2013 Winners

Australian Voice Association

Each year on World Voice Day, April 16th, the AVA presents their Student Encouragement Award to five national recipients. This year Plural sponsored the award by donating one of our books to each of the five winners.

This year’s winners are:

AVA-Clare-Eastwood-2013

Grace Smibert, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts receiving her award from Judy Rough and Daniel Novakovic.

 

 

Grace Smibert and Caitin Cassidy

Caitlin Cassidy, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and Clare Savina Eastwood, University of Sydney, are presented their awards by Ros Barnes and Julia Moody.

 

Eleanor Stankiewicz, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

 

Michaela Brown

Michaela Brown, University of Queensland receiving her award courtesy of Adele Nisbet.

 

 

 

About the AVA Student Encouragement Award- Each year potential students are nominated based upon the following criteria:

  • Exemplary attitude and commitment to their particular program of study
  • Sound academic achievement
  • A genuine interest in learning about voice
  • Leadership in some manner with reference to vocal issues
  • Research achievement in voice
  • Vocal performance worthy of support

The winners receive:

  • Complimentary AVA membership for the year of nomination
  • Complimentary participation in one AVA Professional Development Event
  • A relevant textbook sponsored by Plural Publishing

World Voice Day 2013

About World Voice Day- World Voice Day is every April 16th. It is a worldwide annual event that celebrates the voice. It aims to demonstrate the importance and impact of the voice in daily life; as a tool of communication and as an application of a large number of sciences, such as physics, psychology, phonetics, art and biology.