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Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences


This week, I have the pleasure of being featured over at Digital Book World on an article I wrote called, Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences. Below is a sneak peek: For decades, the gatekeepers to reach large audiences of book consumers have been retailers, publishers, libraries and national media outlets. These organizations hold the keys to reaching millions of readers. But access to their audiences is limited unless one purchases paid advertising, hires a publicity firm or undertakes an expensive, time-consuming tour of the country. For the most part, authors who want to reach the masses have been at the mercy of these options. Until now. Today, many authors are building audiences so large that they have actually … [Read more...]

The Dictator of Digital Marketing Success


I live in Atlanta, GA, which is also home to the rapidly-growing fast-food chain, Chick-Fil-A. One of the secrets to their success is how the restaurants are generous with their free samples. I can remember on several occasions walking past their storefronts at a mall food court. There was always an employee standing out front holding up a piping hot platter of fried chicken nuggets. The aroma was so intoxicating that it was impossible to resist walking by without taking a sample. My problem was that once I ate the free sample, I immediately wanted to go buy a large pack of nuggets or one of their tasty chicken sandwiches. The enticing free sample led me to make a purchase. This same dynamic of offering enticing free samples is critical … [Read more...]

The Fastest Way to Write Faster


One of the misjudged keys to effective marketing is the need for speed. It’s hard to create important promotional tools if it takes forever to complete tasks. For instance, many authors, non-profit directors, and business executives struggle at marketing because they wrestle to write quickly and lack the ability to produce content on a frequent basis. I’ve had numerous clients complain about the time it takes them to write important marketing pieces, such as articles, blog posts, freebies, press releases, and newsletters. The task of writing turns into a loathsome chore, which leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy because they start to hate writing altogether. Thus, essential marketing activities never get completed, or the process … [Read more...]

Sneaky Changes to the New York Times Bestseller Lists


I’m privileged to be one of the few consultants who has helped clients create three different types of New York Times bestsellers, including frontlist fiction, frontlist non-fiction, and backlist non-fiction. Believe me, I know how difficult it is to make these lists. Typically, a book needs to sell at least 5,000 – 10,000 copies in one week just to qualify. Only a lucky few are able to achieve such a rare feat. However, many people don’t know that the New York Times just made it much harder to make the bestseller lists – and they’re not telling anyone why. Back on August 21st, they decided to tweak their children’s bestseller lists, separating the hardcover middle grade and young adult titles from the paperback and e-book … [Read more...]

“No” Usually Means “Not Now”


In my family, my beautiful wife is known as "Ashley the Wonderful." I'll be the first to admit that I'm a lucky man who totally out-kicked his coverage. However, most people don't know that the first time I asked Ashley for a date, she said "no." After that initial rejection, I remember seeing her in the parking lot of our local church and walking the other direction out of spite. Little did I know that she had declined my date due to a minor miscommunication that got blown out of proportion. Two years later, we bumped into each other again, hit it off, and the rest is history. That's when I first learned the principle that "no" usually doesn't mean "no." Instead, it means "not now." When I launched WildFire Marketing in 2007, business … [Read more...]