Getting Publicity – Errors Authors Make

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

No book sells by itself. It doesn’t matter how good the book is, authors need help to sell it. This is where the promotional efforts of a variety of folks including book reviewers, publicists, radio and television hosts, conference planners, bookstore owners, bloggers, and many more that can help to get the book noticed. But getting the attention and help of these people requires the author’s professionalism and etiquette. Here are some of the mistakes authors make when looking for help from the media and/or publicists to promote their books.

1. Cold Calls: We have to put ourselves in the place of the one receiving the phone call to remember that the phone is an interrupter. So before you call someone, learn all you can about them – visit their website and read all the guidelines. If you can’t get an answer to a question, send an email. Most people will reply to your email in a timely manner, and if a phone call is needed, you can ask in an email when is the best time to call.

2. Being a Bad Guest: TV and radio hosts need guests and they like experts. They especially rely on authors of non-fiction books who can inform their audience. Authors need to remember that it’s not about them or their book; it’s about the topic they were invited to discuss. So don’t try to plug your book during the show; the host will mention the guest’s book during the introduction and again when the program ends. Be a good guest by following protocol and fulfilling the host’s need to give his audience what it wants and you might even be invited back.

3. Being Impatient: Don’t expect an immediate response. Give them a reasonable amount of time. After contacting someone in the media about your book the author needs to wait a couple of weeks and then follow up, or ask upfront what is the timeframe is for when the book review or the news story might appear, if accepted. Being impatient will only irritate people, and even if they do run the news story to eliminate the nuisance, they might not be willing to do so the next time around. Closing doors is worse than doors that open slowly.

4. Self-Praise: “My book is the best one ever written on this topic,” and “This wonderful novel was written with touching scenes, engaging characters, etc.” is a turn-off. It’s fine if you have testimonials from others saying those things. Just don’t say them yourself. The same is true with the book’s cover. Tell people what your book is about, but save the praise for your endorsers.

5. Expecting Something for Nothing: It costs money to operate a website and pay people to maintain it. Even if a service is free, such as a journalist writing a newspaper article about your book, appreciate the value of that person’s time and send a thank you note after the story appears. Always give book promoters a free copy of your book. And do not complain about prices for any publicity service. If you can’t afford the service, find one you can afford, but don’t argue over the fees. Remember that the publishing world is a small place—you don’t want word to get around that you are expecting services for nothing.

For more information about how we help authors go to ReaderViews.Com

And the Winners of the Reader Views 2017-2018 Literary Awards Are…

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

It’s that time of the year again! Can’t believe how fast time went by! Maybe it is because of all the awesome books we’ve been busy reading…

Winners, congratulations! It was a hard decision in many cases; in all honesty, the competition was fierce. I was humbled and amazed with the quality of books, as I saw the stigma of the Independent Authors vanish almost in its entirety this year. I am truly honored to have been a part of reading and judging your work…to me all participants are winners. Yet only few could be selected and thus, without further ado, the winners are here!  Click here for the full list of 2017-2018 Literary Award Winners!!

Award Winners, this is the time to take your book for a ride online! Make sure you shout about your winnings everywhere. You can order stickers by clicking here. Be sure to check out all our promotional services - See a complete list of our publicity options here!

Congratulations and thank you to all who participated in our 2017-2018 Literary Awards.  It has been our honor to work with you and help promote your books!

2017-2018 Reader Views Literary Awards Announcement – And the finalists are…

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

It has been by far the largest awards contest in our history. But what it is truly awesome was the great quality of the majority of the participating books. Unfortunately, judges must select only a few, and this year it’s proving to be a very difficult task! So we wish all the finalists good luck, knowing that in our hearts and minds you all are winners, as this year’s competition was truly fierce. For those participants that didn’t make the finals, know that most of you didn’t make it by a very small margin. So be proud of your book (as we are of you!), and keep reading our newsletter for tips on how to get your book out there. Check out the list of finalists here.

What now? You'll have to wait (patiently) for the next list, which we hope to have within the next week. This is also when the winners in the regional/global and specialized categories will also be announced.

Finalists, as you wait for the winners' announcement, there are few things you can do to get ready and make the most of your winning status!

·         Once the finalists’ placements are announced, we will be producing certificates, to be emailed along with a digital copy of the sticker seal. This is the time to begin to contact your publishers to find out what you need to do to add the seal to your digital front covers everywhere online.

·         Plan your strategy for spreading the news about your accomplishment and take advantage of a winning discount of 20% for Press Release writing and Social Media Blitz offer only to winners! Announcements to the media can be made through press releases and their launch can be coordinated with a social media campaign. Check out our PR Writing, PR Distribution, and Social Media Blitz services here!

·         Literary Awards give credibility to your title, which means the author did things right! Make the most of your writing expert status and give book interviews, publish articles, and share your knowledge with upcoming new authors. Giving back is the best way to promote your work!

We will be placing a bulk order for stickers, which will be available for purchase next week. We will also be giving you a high-resolution image of the sticker to post on your website as well and to place on the book cover during the next printing.  

Being an award winner is what all authors shoot for, but for those who did not make the finalists list know this; competition is fierce, and this year was really close. Be proud of being a participant as you did something the majority of people do not. You not only wrote and published a book; you also had three lines of judges examine it! Use quotes of your review and share the knowledge you acquired during the process to make the most of the experience and keep writing! For more on how we can help authors please visit

It’s Time for March Literary Madness!

 Sheri Hoyte Editor

Sheri Hoyte

With so many bookish things happening around the globe, March is a great time to promote literary love!  Whether a hard-core reading fanatic, book reviewer, blogger, author, or all of the above – there is something for everyone during March Literary Madness.  Here are a few national events in March for all bibliophiles to celebrate – as if you needed a reason.

March 2nd – Read Across America. The National Education Association kicks off the Read Across America program every year on March 2nd honoring the birthday of Dr. Seuss.  The annual program motivates communities to come together and celebrate reading.  Along with providing motivation and awareness on the importance of developing young readers, the program also presents reading resources year-round for parents, teachers and children.

March 2-8 – Read an eBook Week. Because eBooks need love, too!  This event was created by Rita Toews in 2004 and has grown considerably with the rise in popularity of e-books. I can’t even imagine life without my favorite e-reader!

March 4th – National Grammar Day.  Observed across the US every year on March 4, National Grammar Day was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.  Is grammar your forte or does it squash your creative genius?

March 4-10 – Return The Borrowed Books Week.  According to the American Library Association, the celebration was created by the late created by the late Al Kaelin of the Inter-Global Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Cartoonists in 1953.  This is it – the official grace period to return all those books you’ve borrowed from friends – no questions asked!

All Month – March is also National Read Aloud Month.  This initiative, started by Read Aloud 15 Minutes, promotes reading aloud every day with your child for 15 minutes or more from birth!  Reading aloud to a child is touted as the single most important thing an adult can do to ready children for learning and success.

And, don’t forget local community activities.  From book festivals to poetry slams, there is always something literary going on at bookstores, libraries and coffee shops. There might even be a mobile library in your area – check out the endless opportunities and celebrate March Literary Madness!

For more information on how Book by Book Publicity supports authors and readers, visit us at

Promoting a Revised Edition Title

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Many authors decide not to pursue a revised edition on their less than perfect title thinking that the opportunity has passed them by. This, in my opinion, is a mistake. The truth of the matter is that the lessons learned with the first edition can actually build a more successful promotion for the revised edition, especially if a couple of years has gone by between the original publication and the second release. Here are some points to think about when considering promoting a revised edition.

·         Don’t hide the fact that it is a ‘revised’ edition - Actually, promote the fact that it is a better version of the original title.

·         Don’t be shy about reaching out to reviewers of the first edition – Make sure the contacts you made during the promotion of the earlier version of your book are aware you are releasing a second edition; especially the ones who spotted flaws, to let them know of the corrected version. Offer copies to these reviewers in exchange for a new review.

·         Share lessons learned – The best way to get doors opened is to give back. Write articles about what you have learned and send them out to online blogs and magazines.

·         Own the fact you are an expert even if it’s about what not to do! – Speak to new writers about what you did wrong with the first edition and if you have copies of your first edition, offer them for free with the purchase of the new one, so they can continue learning by comparing (this could also become a paid class with the requirement of purchasing the second book).

The publishing industry is a work-in-progress and being flexible and creative is the new name of the game, so don’t give up and keep writing! For more information on how we can help authors, visit us at

Want to Improve your Writing? Read!

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

I have always loved books and enjoy reading any genre, as long as it hooks me from the beginning. But I really did not know the meaning of being a book worm until I began reviewing books. I am not sure whether it is the quantity or variety, but I can feel how my brain has evolved for the better, not just in vocabulary or any other reading comprehension aspect.  Reading has improved my memory, speech, social skills, self-confidence, and yes my writing. Yet, I feel my writing has improved not only from the obvious benefits reading the works of others can give to a writer, but that reading as a reviewer specifically has stepped my writing up a few levels.  Below are few ways being a book reviewer has made a difference for me.

·         As a reviewer I have learned to read with intention.  Learning to read with intention is not something that happens automatically, it takes time and many books, but once it happens it’s magical. Now when I read, not only am I able to enjoy what I am reading, I am also able to focus on the necessary aspects to produce an honest and professional book review. I am able to actually multi-task my focus and compare in my mind what I am reading with my own writing style, thus enriching my craft through critical thinking, while also realizing what I enjoy as a reader.

·         Reading is not the only way being a reviewer has enriched my writing. Writing reviews has actually served as a critical writing exercise, which has kept me writing outside the box of my own projects. When you have written as many reviews as I have, it is impossible not to see the benefits with each review as it relates to writing and creativity, when trying to come up with fresh ways to communicate your opinion. Book reviewing has been the best tool when it comes to keeping my writing fresh and agile.

·         Finally, being a reviewer has kept me current about the industry, and what people are reading.  I find myself not only looking at what I am writing and promoting, I am also up to date on what others are writing and selling around the world.  I must say that I find this very helpful when wondering about my next project as well as when promoting other authors!

In the end, anyone who enjoys reading and writing wants to keep at it and evolve.  For me reviewing books has been an awesome gift as I get to do what I love while having the honor of helping others take their craft to the next level. For information on how to become a reviewer, visit



What Does 'Give Readers What They Want' Really Even Mean?

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

I don’t know about all other writers out there but when I get inspired and am in one of my writing spells the last thing on my mind is: ‘am I giving readers what they want?’ I do sometimes wonder what that phrase even means. Do they want a specific genre? Do I need to create a specific type of character? How can I give readers what they want and stay true to myself as a writer? How can I be genuine if I only write what the market dictates and is willing to buy?

When I decided to try to publish my writings (whether articles or stories), by selling them to different publications or submitting them to anthologies for non-paid publication, my job was to produce a piece about a topic or event that inspired me. I never had to think about the audience because that was the publication’s editors’ job. I only had to sell myself and my work to them. It wasn’t until I started promoting my self-published book in 2009 that I had to think about what readers want.  I found that understanding that question was actually more difficult than I could have ever imagine.  But it finally clicked when I remembered that I am not only a writer, I am actually a reader first! What my audience wants is not different from what I want as a reader.  So in reality giving readers what they want has nothing to do with what I write; it has everything to do with what and when I publish. I am a reader, so I asked myself what I want.  This is what I came up with:

·         Genuine Message: Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, the message, point of the book, and topic or moral of the story needs to feel as though it comes from the author’s truth.  If I am reading a sci-fi novel which is all made up, it still needs to make me care about the plot, characters…etc., in order to pull me in. A genuine message from the author intertwined in the story is the only thing that can do that for me. Why did the author write this? I always will look for that.  A book without a message, no matter what genre or publishing quality will always be a disappointment to me. So, note to my writer self – my reason to write and publish a book must be other than I want to be a successful author!

·         Story or Author Credibility: Again, I have to believe in what I am reading to keep me interested. Even if there is a message that calls my attention, I need to believe the story is possible (if fiction), or the author is credible (if non-fiction). This is where research to create believable settings, characters, and plots in fiction will make a difference between an awesome book and a great story, poorly developed. In the same way, for non-fiction, a credible author (whether through credentials or experience) who publishes a book about what they know firsthand is more likely to be followed than an author who doesn’t have enough background on the book’s topic to be perceived as knowledgeable.

·         High Quality Product: Although the story’s message and credibility are very important, what prompts the reader’s first reaction, and thus the one that the reader shares with others immediately after finishing the book, is the overall experience. Was it entertaining, emotional, thrilling, thought provoking…etc. It doesn’t matter what the book is about, how the reader feels about it has everything to do with the quality of the book. Was it professionally edited, was the font too small, was the narration dull, were the characters relatable, was there too much repetition, was the formatting confusing, and so on. These might seem like small details to many new Indie writers who have no background knowledge of writing for publication, and are inexperienced in the publishing process, but is one of the major reasons for bad reviews on amazing stories and life changing messages. Readers are tough, and reviewers are blunt. I know, because I am both, as well as a writer; and when I wear the reader/reviewer hat I expect quality as a return for investing my time and money on the books I purchase.

In the end I discovered that although knowing your audience is critical for sure, when deciding what to publish in order to have a chance to sell books, what readers want doesn’t really have to do with the topic or genre, as there are really many different target markets per writing topic. It has to do with customer satisfaction over the quality of the product they have purchased! For more information on how we can help authors visit us at

Local Book Event Tips for Authors

 Susan Violante Managing Editor

Susan Violante
Managing Editor

Many authors are writers first and marketers second, and although it takes writing the book to have something to market, without a marketing plan in place, the book won’t get to readers! It is a vicious cycle, but somewhere in it all, the author can find the perfect timing and come up with a balanced formula that will work for them. Here are some tips:

·         Although online stores are an awesome way to get books out there, the author should also think local to get a jump-start on sales through book events planning.

·         The best time to plan local events is 3-6 months before the book is out. The author should come up with a list of possible bookstores that might be interested in hosting a book launch, signing, or speaking event.

·         Visiting the store and establishing a positive relationship with the sales staff and management before approaching them with a book pitch is not only wise, it is necessary. So, the author needs to allocate that time to build up these relationships before the book is in production. Mentioning their upcoming book is OK, as long as it sounds like sharing a comment and not like a pitch.

·          When the time comes, and there are galleys available, the author should then present the pitch by following their regular process and not expecting special treatment.

·         The author should always remember that he or she is not the only one trying to get their book into the store and that in the end, by creating a positive impression, having a good rapport with and being known by the staff, along with being nice and professional can go a long way.

In the end, we are all human, and given the choice, a bookstore will always go with the product that they think will sell. But they will also prefer to work with the author they already know to be nice, easy to work with, and that can have their back by being available to fill in gaps on their events calendar. For more information on how we can help authors visit us at