Sunday, December 27, 2009

Author Marketing Experts - Comprehensive PR for your book!

Today we welcome Penny Sansevieri to Writers in Business. Penny is the CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME), a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns.

Author Marketing Experts, Inc. is described as a full-service marketing and PR firm specializing in customized campaigns and Internet Marketing. Can you tell us some of the tools you utilize to create a book campaign?

Interestingly enough the biggest and most important tool is creativity. In a world where there are 1,000 books published each day in the US, you must be creative to stand apart from the crowd. The other piece is that you must know how your book benefits your readers. Readers don’t buy books they buy benefits.

AME’s clients have been featured on The View, CBS The Early Show, The Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, National Public Radio, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Essence Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, MSNBC and many others.

Your company has some fantastic connections! I understand this exposure is not guaranteed, but what are the chances of a fiction or non-fiction book realizing this form of promotion through AME? What percent of your clients achieve this level of exposure?

You know it really depends, we tend to focus much more on Internet than we do traditional PR anymore – the reason? The Return on Investment (ROI) tends to be better with Internet marketing and in the end, authors want to sell books. The odds though of getting on a show tend to increase with a significant platform, what this means is that the author can’t pop out with a book and say “please feature me on your show” there has so be some “legs” to the book and the campaign before any of these shows will even consider it. As to the percentage – that’s a very tough question. If we have a solid book, meaning a book that’s got a good foothold in its market, and an author who has a great platform then the chances are very good that they’ll get major exposure, sometimes as high as 90%.

Traveling to promote our books can get expensive. Can you tell us about Virtual Author Buzz Tour?

Yes, and thanks for asking. When it comes to marketing there are two types of promotion: push and pull. Push-marketing is where you “push” your message out to the media, so you push it to radio, TV, print, etc. That’s good, but not always effective. Pull-marketing is where you “pull” readers into your site via incoming links to your website. That’s where we shine. Our Virtual Author Buzz Tour is a combination of aggressive online blog pitching, social networking, Twitter – all of the latest and hottest online venues to pull readers to your book and to your website.

AME offers extensive online resources visitors can access through the Internet at A Marketing Expert. These resources include a bi-weekly online newsletter. What topics covered in your newsletter? How can we sign up to receive it?

You can go to the site to get the newsletter and thank you for mentioning it, I love it – we get tons of compliments on it. We also have a ton of free teleclasses that we offer through our AME-University. I believe in free resources. I think authors are looking for help and guidance and frankly, an educated author makes better choices for themselves and their book and in the long run, the more you know the more money you’ll save in promoting your book!

Penny’s career in the publicity, book marketing, and literary field spans over 15 years. During that time she has been an author, freelance writer, publicist, and instructor. Her diverse background enables her to bring a multitude of talents to the table. I encourage you to visit AME A Marketing Expert to learn more about how they can create the buzz you want to get your book flying off from bookstore shelves.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Freelancer & Mommy Writer Dominique Rambert

Freelance writer Dominique Rambert from New York City joins us today at Writers in Business. Dominique writes mostly about parenting and education issues, but also writes book reviews which are posted on web zine, Balancing Act. She is also the founder of Mommy Writers, a non-profit organization built to offer a community to writing mothers.

You are one busy woman! Please tell us about your web sites and blogs.

I am pretty busy. I maintain 4 different sites. The two that take up most of my time are Searching for Freelance Success - my writing blog, and Mommy Writers - the site for for writing moms support group. I also produce a web zine called Balancing Act which I started in hopes of offering opportunities to new writers to earn their first clips and begin to build their portfolio. Then, of course, there's my web page which serves mostly to promote myself as a writer.

On your Searching for Freelance Success web site, you wrote "I started this blog to chronicle my journey in the freelance writing industry, while hopefully offering some lessons from the trenches to other writers who are beginning their careers." Can you share two of these lessons with us?
The most important lesson I've learned to date is to give yourself more time than you think neccessary to complete writing jobs. I made the mistake of promising a prospective client some samples once only to find that I didn't have them. So I had to complete brand new sample newsetters in a couple days. That didn't happen and so as you can imagine I didn't get her business.

Lesson two is along the same lines. When asking for interviews make sure the bulk of your work is already done. Or at the very least be able to give the people you're interviewing a realistic deadline for the piece. I interviewed someone for a piece expecting to be finished with it in a couple weeks. It ended up taking more than double that. It's not easy wrangling interviews.

All- in-all both lessons have to do with deadlines. I've learned that dealines are a way of life for a writer.

I understand you created Mommy Writers with a goal "to foster a sense of community and sisterhood among Mommy Writers". How do writers find you? Where do you meet? What does the organization do to help mothers hone their writing skills?I participate on a lot of social networking sits like BlogHer and Mom Bloggers, so they find me there. Or occassionally I'll post an update in Yahoo Groups where I think people might be interested.

So far I've hosted two Mommy Writers events in NYC, both of which were held in the Brookyn Heights Branch Brooklyn Public Library. I will be hosting more vents in NYC in the future at different locations around NYC, and Mommy Writers members are welcome to host events in their areas.

To help mothers hone their writing skills I offer free online writing workshops. Right now the first is already in session. I use books written by writing professionals, share excerpts with the members registered for the workshop, I give assignments based on the material covered, and then we all give each other feedback on the assignments. It's a good alternative to expensive classes and using reference books with no feedback.

In the future I will be holding workshops in person and speaking engagements for our members as well.

Visit Freelancer For Hire and Mommy Writers to learn more about Dominique and how she can help your writing business.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Writers One Stop Source for Marketing with Jess Graham

J. L. Graham (Jess) is an award winning Creative Media Marketing Specialist, filmographer, graphic designer, freelance writer and author. He lives with his wife and children in Western Kentucky and operates Core Media.

Jess, in reading through your web sites I understand that you build in a “preset amount of time” to complete research for the articles you write. Can you share with us how you do this research? Is it through the Internet or local libraries? Do you have favorite web sites you utilize for research? What two tips can you share with fellow writers about this integral step in the writing process?

Successful article writing, particularly for the larger corporate clients, requires more than just well-worded articles. In my opinion, there are two aspects that one has to consider when taking on the bigger literary clients. These concepts are excellence and details. When I write for a client, I spend a minimum of two hours in research, depending upon the assignment, of course. A larger article or informative writing can take up to two or three days of research. It all depends upon the subject.

As for where I get my research, I’d have to say I have three solid resources. The first two are, as you stated, the internet and my local library. The other is that of knowledgeable individuals. It’s good to have a solid group of contacts that know about the industry that you specialize in, for reference purposes. The internet is my first source, but I take it with a grain of salt. There is a lot of shallow and incorrect information on the web. You have to be very careful. The web is my resource for building up an outline. From there, I go to the more reliable sources that can verify the information that I found online.

Tell us about Core Media. What services do you provide and how can writers benefit from working with you?
Core Media is a new business owner or someone looking to grow their business’ dream. We utilize the most effective outlets and venues to bring traffic to websites, bring customers to local businesses, and basically all-around promote a business or an individual. Core Media brings out the best of all media marketing outlets. We promote businesses onsite and online via film, writing, creative graphic design, and photography. In short, we are a one-stop source for marketing needs. We provide promotional videos, company logos, keyword rich written content, brands, and much more.

As for writers that work with us, they have the world to gain. When we are partnered with or hired by other writers we bring their writing skills to life with the aforementioned outlets. We accent their work and make them invaluable to current and future clients.

You are the author of two books and your writing is part of a few anthologies. Can you share the titles with us and where we might obtain copies?
As books go, I am the author of Wheels of Mercy (fiction novel) and co-author of Modern Day Fishers of Men, a Christian guidebook written by Pastor Michael D. Putnam and myself. Wheels of Mercy and Modern Day Fishers of Men are both available through all major book outlets, Barnes & Noble, for example, as well as If any bookstore doesn’t have it, they can order it for you.

The Anthology that I am most pleased with is that of Dragon’s Composed. This anthology, published by Kerlak Publishing, is a compilation of short works regarding dragons. One might think this to be an odd concept for a marketing writer to grasp, but I have a particular fascination with medieval legends. Author Jonathan Wolf and I co-wrote a story for this publication entitled, “Dragons’ Past.” This can be purchased at Kerlak Publishing (,, and virtually any other online book source.

To learn more about his writing or the services offered through Core Media, please visit Jess at JLGraham.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

He Is Just That Into You by Elisabeth Corcoran

Elisabeth Corcoran is the author of the devotionals, In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart (Xulon, 2005), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul (Kregel, 2001); the monthly column, Moments for Mom; and for two years was the contributing editor of the “Mothering Matters” section of MOPS magazine, MomSense. She lives with her husband, Kevin, and children, Sara, 13, and Jack, 11, in Elburn, Illinois.

Welcome to Writers in Business. We are happy to have you visit us today. First, for some exciting news, I understand your newest book was just released. Can you tell us about it? Where can we get a copy?

I do! I’m excited about this book. It’s called He Is Just That Into You and it’s basically about a regular girl, me, looking for God in her daily life and be blown away by seeing Him show up so intimately and in such love and pursuit of me. It’s a collection of essays about God’s love and faithfulness, good for anyone looking for some encouragement in their own faith walk. You can purchase it through Wine Press Books.

I can easily identify with the title of your first book, Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul . There are many demands on our time. As a mom, writer and public speaker you must be quite busy. What two tips can you share with other writers who are trying to juggle multiple responsibilities while still satisfying their desire to write?

Great question. First of all, I need to say that I’m in a different season of life than when I first started to write. I wrote my first book when my two children were both under two. And frankly, I don’t remember how I did it! I’m assuming naps and bedtime – at least, that’s what I tell people! Now, I’m in a great season of having both kids in school full time (they’re both in middle school) and I do not work outside the home anymore (I was on staff at my church over Adult Ministries for four years) so I can really focus on writing and speaking without feeling too pulled. But for those who are running in a bunch of directions, which I did for years, my best two tips would be this: write when you can…make time for it…it won’t just happen, and two, get filled up by God, as He is the source of all creativity.

Are you doing any freelance writing? If so, where might we find your work?

I pretty much work on my monthly column, Moments for Mom, which is featured on several websites; my own blog; and my next project. I’m tackling fiction at the moment…we’ll see how that goes. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for freelancing at the time being.

I’ve been reading your Moments for Mom column for several years and have been touched by much of what you have written. Where can readers find your monthly column?

You can find it on my website, along with,, and among many others.

Please visit Elisabeth online at She is kicking off her Virtual Book Tour this week and we are her first stop! You can read about the other stops list on her blog
Elisabeth, thank you so much for sharing your exciting news with us!

Nancy Famolari's Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm

Nancy Famolari lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her stories and poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Flash Shot, Fiction Flyer, Lyrica, Alienskin Magazine Clockwise Cat, and Matters of the Heart from the Museitup Press. She received an award from Fiction Flyer for one of her flash fiction stories.

Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm is Nancy's newest book. It is based on Nancy Famolari's fourteen years of experience in the harness racing industry: breeding, training and racing Standardbreds.

What inspired you to write this story?

When we lived in New Jersey, we raised Standardbred racehorses commercially. Both my husband and I worked full time, so it was important to have help. A Swedish couple owned the farm adjoining ours. For a few months each year, they hosted girls and boys from the Scandinavian countries to work on the farm and get to visit the U.S. One year, she had an extra girl, one who was interested in the breeding aspects of the Standardbred business, rather than the racing. She asked us if we would host the girl for a few months. We were delighted, and Malin became part of our family. She was excellent with the horses, and it gave the boys a sister. When I decided to write a young adult book about horse breeding, the interesting aspect of having a foreign visitor living on the farm seemed perfect. For several years, we had hosted exchange students from Europe and Japan in the summer. Meg's reaction to having someone new living in the house is the same reaction some of the boys had the first time we hosted a foreign student. In the end, it worked very well for everyone. The boys learned a great deal about several foreign countries and made friends.

Do you have a favorite character, if so tell us why?

That's a hard question. Both Meg and Katrina are wonderful characters. I can't say either is my favorite. Meg is a typical teenager, and Katrina is such a basically nice person. There is one other character in story that I, and everyone who's read the book, love, Nicky. His character is based on my Morgan gelding, also named Nicky, and in many respects, he's the favorite.

Tell us a little about your writing schedule. What do you find most difficult, easiest?

I try to write 2000 words a day when I'm doing a first draft. When the draft is finished I put it away for months, then send it to my critique group and finally, do revisions. The hardest part for me is after the book is published, trying to promote it.

What are your future writing plans?

I plan to write two more books in this series about Meg and Katrina. In the second book, the girls go to Arizona for two weeks on a dude ranch. In the third book, it's horse show season and Meg hates watching Cindy, her major rival, drive Nicky in the shows.

Nancy, Thank you for joining us today at Writers in Business. You can learn more about Nancy and her writing by visiting Nancy Famolari.