Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

List of indie book reviewers released

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Christy Pinheiro-Silva of PassKey Publications has created “The Official Indie Book Reviewer List: A Handy Reference Guide for Self-Published Authors and Small Publishers”.
You can buy it at

Here’s part of Christy’s Introduction, explaining this list:

“After two years of hosting the Step-By-Step Self-Publishing for Profit website (, we’ve decided to put an “official” indie book reviewer list together. I’ve contacted all the indie book reviewers on the website and asked them questions about what type of genres they accept, which genres they don’t like, and their pet peeves about blogging in general. This book is designed to be a reference for independent publishers and self-published authors
who need free (or very inexpensive) publicity and promotion for their books. All of the websites and bloggers in this book do not charge a fee for book reviews. A limited number allow advertising or other promotional tools. We hope this will be a valuable resource for the growing number of authors who choose to self-publish and want to know where to find reviewers interested in reading their books.”

“We sent out detailed questionnaires, asking the reviewers to state their genre preferences and give us a detailed description of their blogs. We’ve had a full range of responses, from bloggers who accept all types of raunchy Erotica, to bloggers who only accept Christian lit. We’ve met bloggers who are “PR Friendly” (which usually means they accept advertising) to bloggers who think that accepting any form of payment is unethical. Personally I am ambivalent on this issue. Book reviews are hard work and maintaining a daily blog is not easy. Authors must understand that reviewing books regularly takes a lot of time and anything that helps these blogs stay active is a good thing. Authors and publishers want their
books to make money, so we aren’t going to begrudge anyone else’s attempt to make a few bucks.”

“There are some sites that do book reviews for a fee, namely Kirkus Discoveries and Clarion Reviews. This practice is widely used but frowned upon as expensive and unnecessary. If you can get someone to review your book for free, why pay $500 or more for a service like Kirkus to do it?”

Great work, Christy!

Sample press release designed to get interviews

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Indie authors have been asking for a sample press release [could be called a media release] that would be used to generate interviews by radio, TV and printed media, including appearances on talk radio.

The trick here is to have a catchy headline that promises some benefit for the listeners/viewers/readers. Perhaps it is a question to which the audience needs to know the answer. You also want to have sample interview questions — to make this dead simple for the journalist to conduct the interview. By providing the questions, you are framing the slant of the story, and will be ready with perfect answers. What are perfect answers? They are opportunities for you to present your positioning statement, a.k.a. your USP – unique sales proposition, a.k.a. your elevator pitch.

‘Nuff said. Check out this PDF press release as a template for your publicity work. Click here.

My thanks to Kim Dushinski and Tami DePalma at for showing me their press release format that is very similar to my PDF example.

Nice Plug in Times-Colonist; SFU and returnability

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Great publicity for Book Marketing DeMystified and Agio Publishing House in the Victoria Times-Colonist. See this link:

Thanks to reporter Carla Wilson and photographer Debra Brash. And to editor Darron Kloster.

It was fun presenting to the Masters in Publishing class at Simon Fraser University yesterday. They sure have a moving target to study with the book industry in so much flux. For example, is it even a “book” industry anymore? I challenged them to think about selling “content” which could be sold as a hardcover book, softcover book, audio book, eBook, articles, presentations … and the “sale” might be a rental or a collaboration with an online site, such as Google, where individual pages are shown to visitors with Google and the publisher spitting the ad revenues.

Are audio books even “books” anymore when they are more like radio plays ( What about stories sold and viewed on mobile phones — which is a $90-million-plus business in Japan — are those “book” sales?

The topic of returnable books can up briefly in my presentation and then again in the following presentation by Jim Allen of Raincoast Books. No one seems to particularly LIKE this bizarre practice of “selling” books on a consignment basis, but there is so much inertia within the industry that it may just take a push from some outside forces (such as environmental groups) to tip the balance in favour of change soon. We discussed some ideas for a brighter future after the inevitable change to firm sales, specifically to address the question about how to help new fiction and poetry which is seen by booksellers as quite “risky”. One suggestion was using the Dutch model for having a more attractive (to booksellers) discount rate for a brand new title during its initial release period, and then the standard terms after say two months.

Right now booksellers typically get 40% discount off a new book, on a returnable basis. Perhaps after the industry-wide change to firm-sales-net-60-days basis, the bookstore would get 50% off during the title’s launch period, then 45% off for subsequent purchases. If a bookstore is barely breaking even at 40% discount, the owners should be VERY excited about buying at 50% off, and making a real profit. Or so the thinking goes.

Welcome to Book Marketing DeMystified

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Welcome to BOOK MARKETING DEMYSTIFIED. This is the support site for the book by author Bruce Batchelor.

My intention is to share with readers my comments on book marketing, both as expressed in my book and as a commentary on changes within the publishing world (or lack thereof!). I will occasionally host a commentary by another indie author or publisher.

In this first post, I’ll reprint (with permission) a review of Book Marketing DeMystified by Jim Cox of Midwest Book Review. Midwest is a wonderful resource for authors because Jim and his volunteer reviewers give preference to indie (independent) authors’ titles over those books produced by conventional publishing houses. Here’s the review:

A resource for authors and independent publishers
5 Stars
September 3, 2007, by Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA) -

It often comes as a shock when newly published authors discover that they must bear most of the burden of marketing their books to the general reading public — even if they are fortunate enough to be published by one of the major New York publishing firms like Random House, Simon & Schuster or Penguin-Putnam. For self-published authors that marketing responsibility is completely theirs. Most authors are aware of the many ‘how to’ books that are available to them for the purpose of helping them master the craft of writing. There are also instruction books on turning raw manuscripts into finished books. What is not so obvious is that there are a number of excellent instructional guides for authors on how to market their books after they have been published. One of the best of these marketing manuals is “Book Marketing DeMystified” by Bruce Batchelor, the man who founded Trafford (Canadian based and one of the larger POD companies servicing North America) and is widely acknowledged as the creator of the print-on-demand (POD) publishing process that has shattered the book publishing monopoly of the traditional publishing firms by allowing anyone to easily become their own publisher. This 167-page compendium of practical advice offers an especially ‘user friendly’ introduction to the art and science of book marketing because of its conversational style, it comprehensive coverage of book marketing issues, and Bruce Batchelor’s unique perspective.

Book Marketing DeMystified” is especially useful in terms of its discussion of where to sell books, price/value setting, personal sales, paid advertising, sales promotions, publicity and public relations. Simply stated, every author and every small press publisher needs to have a competent marketing plan — and Bruce Batchelor’s “Book Marketing DeMystified” specifically and effectively addresses that need.

Next post: a guest commentary by author Prof. Arnold Reisman