Writing Tips from Plural Authors

Have you ever thought of writing a book in your field? We know that writing a book is no small undertaking, so as part of our 10 year anniversary celebration we enlisted the help of our knowledgeable authors Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin, PhD, Lynn Adams, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Lise Menn, PhD, to share advice on writing a best-selling book! Here you will gain some insight into the inspiration, motivation and hard work that goes into a best-selling Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology textbook and professional book.

1. What insight or tips would you offer to a first-time author who is writing a professional development book or textbook in the Speech-Language Pathology and/or Audiology field?

CRM: It is very important to make sure that your contribution is original—something that meets a need in the field. I never write a book that competes exactly with something currently in print. I always make sure that my book is unique, original, and has a perspective that no other book has. The questions I also ask are: who would want to buy my book? Why would they spend money on it? What value does it bring to them? What problems does my book help them solve?
It is so important to think about meeting the needs of your audience. As authors, we have our passions and enthusiasms. Who shares them?

LA: JUST START WRITING…..that is the hardest part!!

LM: Have a colleague in a related but different field read through your book to make sure it’s understandable to someone who doesn’t already know the subject matter.

Go back to the original published sources – amazing amounts of old material are easy to get on-line, and you’ll find that you get fresh insights from reading the classic papers instead of relying on the usual summaries. What you take away from a paper that you read for yourself might be quite different from what everyone else has said about it.

Create or find new examples instead of re-using the standard ones that everyone else uses. You might discover something in the process, too. Continue reading

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.