Sunday, August 10, 2008

Self Publishing Successfully and promoting your book

OK this is a little long, but I hope it is worth it:

How to Pitch Your Book When You’re Broke

Well, I for one have no shame in admitting that living off the dollar-menu doesn’t taste so bad. I also know that feeling of weaving a wobbly suitcase, that holds your life inside, down Broadway, and I will admit that I chose to write my book during a very unstable and turbulent moment in my life. I was walking on a broken heel basically the whole time.

Yup, I was broke.

Yet I still managed to get global buzz on myself, my book and today I am right where I hoped it would all be. Not happily-ever-all-yet, but almost. Next April my book will be available by an imprint of Harper Collins, the Friday Project. This coming after I first gained my own buzz on my book and first self published. Here are some tips on how to pitch your book to the press, agents and publishers, even when you’re really broke.

Use the free tools of Web 2.0: You might think blogging is boring, but it can actually make you a topic of discussion. Here’s how: If you don’t already have a blog that is sort of about your book, or based on some topics found in your book, then you need to start one. Inside my book you will find topics of not just modeling but also technology, beauty, fashion, small business, the entertainment business, and I use these topics that are found inside my book as my bases for what I write about at my blog. Whether your book is about pregnancy, porn, or plastic surgery mistakes, the writing you do does not end with just your book and your Word document. To get buzz on yourself you have to promote you and your opinion, and blogging can be a good way to do this. I use, it’s free, no excuses. Remember that at the same time you will also promoting your book in a discreet but clear way.

Writing my book has lead me to blog modeling advice on three blogs daily, and I have been asked to also write articles for other’s people’s blogs and networks as well. I also use my beauty, skincare, and modeling experience and advice to create video blogs and I now create video blogs for AOL’s, along with producing my own video blogs on By doing so gives me credibility, creates a buzz, helps my own Google ratings, and gives me an audience, which of course leads to interest in my book.

The web has made pod casting popular and I also have my own pod cast called Model Talk, which receives over 4,000 downloads a week. I am one of the top favorite entertainment shows on, which recently initiated $4.6 million of financing led by The Kraft Group. To start pod casting all you need is a computer and a phone to start your own show.

On Model Talk, I talk about experiences I have been through, mention some topics that can be found in my book as well, I give insight on how to be a model and conduct interviews as well. I also have been interviewed on other pod casts about being a model and writing my book, so there might be a pod cast out there that would love to hear from someone who has experience on the topic you just wrote a book about. Why not research some pod casts that deal with your book topic? Send the host a note/email/comment about your upcoming book, your insight and see about getting an appearance on their pod cast. Getting exposure on other blogs is nice as well. You could contact a blogger that writes about topics found in your book, even if isn’t even out yet, you can still bring some insight to them and try to get quoted.

You can still get buzz on yourself by approaching the business of promoting your book, with the free tools of web to help you. Your efforts will also look great to the agent and publisher you are pitching or you just might be discovered as well by your web 2.0 efforts. Publishers want to see that the book can be marketed; sometimes for a new author this can mean creating your own buzz to get their attention, and it can start on the web and cost nothing. It costs nothing to be savvy with web 2.0, just make research time. When you do, then when you promote yourself to agents and publishers you can now say, “I have written a book, and I also blog about this topic, and I have been interviewed on this topic, featured on this blog, quoted here, etc.”

Because now you are a package, not just another writer.

Read the news to be in the news: I read the news to find reporters who write about topics that are similar to my book topic and me. By looking for media opportunities to be quoted in news stories or to get your opinion out there, you will be making yourself credible to book agents and publishers. This happened for me with the NYTIMES and NYPOST, when I wanted to get exposure in those newspapers I approached the reporters by email and told them about me, my book, and my self and to keep me in mind for future stories. I ended up getting just about a whole page in the Post and included in a story in the NYTimes. When it comes to pitching a reporter, remember that emails should be short, quick and to the point of what you could bring to their column and future articles. Mention your book, blog, and your expertise. You know I have even sent pitches to reporters through their Myspace account and got results? Seriously! It might sound kind of lame, but when you are broke and maybe can’t afford that stamp or the overnight postal rate, it is a good idea to read the news on the web and to use your email account and social networks to your advantage. Of course try to be quick with your messages and don’t clog their mailboxes with big files. No matter if you are in a small city or NYC, there are reporters right now writing about topics that involve topics found in your book.

Write your own press release: If you don’t know how to write about yourself and what you book is about, then you should practice and analyze it and yourself. Creating your own headlines and article topics that are based on you, your book, and your experience, and the topics found in your book. Knowing how you and you book can relate to a certain topic is important for pitching the press and getting buzz. When I first self published and I wrote my own press releases about my book, and wrote a few paragraphs about topics I could speak about, which I could pitch to the press.

Self Publishing isn’t the end-all: If you decide to self publish your book, self promotion is possible, but also your self promotion can lead to bigger things and more opportunity. Maybe your writing a book now, maybe you already did, maybe you self published, well if you can get some buzz on your book, create some interest on your self and book and what you know, then remember that your publishing journey isn’t over. Take your media package of your self earned press articles and buzz and submit it to an agent again, or bigger publisher or a niche publisher and try to get their interest. You will be more likely to be picked up by a publisher or agent, even after you self publish, if you can show that your book is marketable.

Isobella Jade’s modeling memoir Almost 5’4”, is currently with The Friday Project, an imprint of Harper Collins and is due in early 2009, which she first self published.

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