Q: I own a micro publishing company that prints books using print-on-demand technology. The books are on Amazon and available as e-books, but it seems to take a one-on-one approach to get them distributed to bookstores because conventional distributors don't deal with print-on-demand. Any suggestions for how to get books distributed more efficiently? Nancy Lynn Jarvis, http://www.goodreadmysteries.com
A: Look for book clubs that specialize in your genre, do virtual book tours, connect with local small bookstores and start your own book club. Have you considered or looked into on-demand publishing sites like www.lulu.com, www.selfpublishing.com/, www.cafepress.com? They eliminate the need to hold inventory and order large quantities.
Q: Press Releases are a big part of our marketing strategy and I have yet to get a consistent straight answer on two questions and I was wondering if you had some insight. Since we basically live in the virtual world, we take advantage of available online newswires. My first question- is there any real advantage in paying for a service versus the huge number of free ones? When I talk to PR professionals they say yes, when I talk to other business owners they say no. My second question; is there an advantage to posting a story on numerous newswires? Is it considered bad etiquette? Jeff Bogensberger, http://www.socogames.com
A: I am by no means a PR expert, however, experience and research tells me that press releases are most effective when they are relevant, prepared with pertinent information and sent to reporters you have cultivated relationships with. Get to know your local reporters. It’s less about paid v. free and more about “where and who” the press release is being distributed to. Connecting to a focused audience is far more effective than a random one.
Also read these articles:
Q: A friend of a friend asked me if I could do him a last minute favor and participate in a webinar conducted by a female Silicon Valley business consultant. I told him that I was in pre-launch mode and not a suitable case study. The recruiter assured me that I was qualified and that the webinar was a low-key event. Putting my desire for knowledge ahead of my personal fears, I stayed up all night reading the "expert's" summaries on "clarifying your business."
The next morning I had 3 minutes to present my business in front of 25 callers. The expert shot me down, humiliated me, and accused me of not reading her teachings. She did the same thing to the other female presenter. This public lashing was recorded, posted on her website and followed up by a scathing written summary of me and my business. The recruiter called me and apologized profusely. I demanded that the summary be removed immediately, citing defamation, as I am a public person.
Her personal attack about me "not doing my homework and ‘spraying and praying’" was removed, but her negative summary of my business and the webinar recording remain live on the web. This is hardly the first impression I want consumers to get if they Google my business. The follow-up emails soliciting her curriculum, magnify the consultant's strategy: Make the entrepreneur feel they need to be cured by purchasing your materials. Is there anything I can do to correct this? Jeanne Chinn, http://www.jclaboutique.com
A: What a horrific experience! Are there any avenues for a “rebuttal?” Is there anywhere on the site where you can submit YOUR point of view on what took place and correct the mis-information? What are the odds your clients will even read or listen to the audio? Do you have a blog? Write about your experience so that your readers get both sides of the story. A quick Google search of your business name did not find any “negative” information about your business. I would try to let it go and focus on continuing to provide your clients with the same wonderful experience you’ve been doing. One small incident can be easily overlooked by the abundance of your “excellent client service” and positive brand presence. I have a feeling the business consultant damaged her own credibility just in publicizing her poor business demeanor. Continue to monitor both your name and your business name. It’s good business practice.
Here is an article for additional insight: Six things you can do to remove bad press from the search results http://t.co/rZW2UjN
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