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Posts Tagged ‘Forbes’

Promoting Your New Book: What It Really Takes

In blogging, books, business, journalism, Media, work on April 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

My second non-fiction book, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” (Portfolio) was published April 14. Yay!

But as every author knows — and every would-be author must learn — I’ve been working on promoting it long before the manuscript was finished and accepted for publication, in September 2010.

Today, (for which I’m grateful), it’s two radio interviews — Phoenix and D.C. — and a New York Times interview. Yesterday it was the Brian Lehrer Show and Tuesday was an hour of live radio with the legendary Diane Rehm, who has two million listeners.

(All of these are archived on their websites.)

Sleep? Sleep?

Here are some of the many things I’ve been doing to help get the word out, from local attention and events in my little town of 10,000 north of New York City to reviews and blog posts about it in Australia, Ireland, Canada and Holland:

Registered the domain name malledthebook.com and hired my longtime web designer to create a website for the book. He updates its press and media page almost daily with new audio, reviews and clips.

Created a Facebook page. Please visit and like it!

Signed up at HARO, a three-times-daily website heavily used by 5,000 reporters worldwide seeking sources/experts to interview and quote. (This works only for non-fiction writers, but well worth it. I snagged a Wall Street Journal blogger this way.)

Began blogging in July 2009 for True/Slant, a website (later bought by Forbes,) with a final monthly audience of 10,000 visitors and 239 subscribers

Began blogging at opensalon.com in September 2010

Began blogging here at wordpress in August 2010

Reached out to every single person I interviewed for the book to let them know the book’s publication date, asking them to tweet, blog and mention it on all their social networks and tell their family, friends and colleagues

I visit LinkedIn once a week to answer as many questions as possible, using my book title as my professional signature

I tweet about retail, the subject of my book

I started targeting colleges, universities and community colleges, locally and elsewhere, that teach retailing to see if I might give a guest lecture and sell books; three have said yes, so far

I reached out to the Canadian consulate in New York, (I’m Canadian), and asked them to mention the book in their newsletter and on their website and to create an event for me

I did the same with the University of Toronto, my alma mater; I’m speaking there May 28 at 10:00 a.m. Come visit!

I contacted local businesses and asked some of of them to keep a stack of my book’s postcard on their desks and counters

A local coffee shop — which has more than 2,000 Facebook friends — is letting me do a reading there

A local reading non-profit group where I volunteered is holding an event for me in their space and inviting their friends and fellow volunteers

I contacted a local indie film center to see if we could schedule a film night linked to my book’s themes of shopping, low-wage labor or working retail

I attended the two-day 15,000 person National Retail Federation annual conference in Manhattan and took two people to help me walk the entire floor for two days to hand out postcards and gather potential contacts for speaking, consulting, writing and book sales

I did a brief video for NRF while there extolling retail as a possible career

I collected contact information at the conference from several professors of retailing who might use the book as a text or have me guest lecture or speak

I contacted a Canadian retail blogger attending NRF who did a long video interview with me which will go up on YouTube and who blogged about me twice

I met another high-profile retail blogger for coffee, (while in her Canadian city on family business)

I asked my publisher to give me 5,000 postcards with the book’s cover on one side, a great blurb on the other, and a description of the book and my contact information on the back; I use them instead of a business card now, have used them for book party invitations and hand them to anyone who might find it useful

I’ve written — without pay — several guest blog posts at sites with far more readers than I have, like the Guide to Literary Agents (they approached me) and the Harvard Business Review blog (ditto)

I read dozens of blogs every single day to find sites and posts where I can leave a useful comment

I called a local language school teaching foreign students — who all shop like crazy in Manhattan! — and asked if I could come and talk; they said yes

I called a local independent bookstore and asked if I could do an event there; yes

I reached out to an editor I know at a regional magazine and they did a Q & A with me

I wrote, for pay, an essay for my alumni magazine about working retail

I contacted a local freelancer who profiled me for a local monthly newspaper

I contacted a local radio talk show host who is giving me an hour of air-time

And that’s not even the half of it…

So far, I’ve lined up more than 14 speaking events, several well-paid, like the closing keynote for the retailcustomerexperience conference this summer. I’m always looking for more!

What sorts of things have you done to successfully promote your book(s)?

Any great blogs or websites we should know about?

I’ll give a copy of my book to the person who offers the best suggestion!


My One-Year Anniverary — One Month Left To Go…

In business, Media on July 1, 2010 at 12:05 am
English Bay, Vancouver, Canada.

English Bay, Vancouver....where I will soon be...Image via Wikipedia

Happy Canada Day!

I wrote my first post here a year ago today, terrified no one would read it. I’ve since written 850.

True/Slant, as you may have noticed, is rapidly shedding contributors as we head toward the end of the world as we know it when Forbes takes over August 1.

That’s a little weird; it means more visitors and pageviews for me and others since heavy hitters who drew the bulk of them — Taibbi and Kilkenny to name two — left a while ago. The rest of us are still awaiting word whether or not we’ll be doing work with Forbes. I plan to migrate Broadside and its archives elsewhere when necessary.

This is just an update. I’m heading to Canada next week for some R & R and family time, and another True/Slant blind date, this time with Colin Horgan, who lives in Vancouver. One of the pleasures of writing here has been making some new friends and colleagues, through fellow contributors and commenters. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how fun and civil the discourse has remained.

One of my commenters even turned out to be a perfect interview subject for my book, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail”, which is now awaiting feedback from my editor, agent and first readers.

Hope you are all enjoying a great summer!

The Next Step — For T/S And Me

In Media on May 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm
Forbes building in NYC

Forbes building. Image via Wikipedia

Is not yet clear.

True/Slant will change for good after the end of June when Forbes takes over. We had two conference calls this week with Lewis Dvorkin, T/S founder who made the sale and is now going to run the next iteration of this site.

I want to keep writing as I have been here since July 1, 2009 — with a growing audience, terrifically smart and fun followers and the freedom to say whatever I think needs to be said.

We own our own content so if I move this site — and I will give you plenty of notice when and where to find me — archives are also accessible.

Frankly, it’s been a week of a blizzard of calls and emails: between me and fellow writers here; colleagues elsewhere concerned for my future; scrambling, now, to replace the steady income I earned here by accumulating 10,000+ unique visitors every month since January.

My focus right now is: 1) write for the next month, here, as always; 2) finish my retail memoir, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” (whose potential cover design I saw this week and loved!) 3) figure out what place, if any, my interests and skills may have with Forbes’ version of this site.

I have never been happier as I have writing here. Mostly, right now, I’m — as the British satirical magazine Private Eye loves to say — a little “tired and emotional.” (That’s their euphemism for drunk.) Nope.

Just….trying to make sense of what’s just happened. We (the T/S writers) simply don’t have a lot of information right now with which to make any sudden or definitive moves.

I hope you’ll stick around for a bit, and, if I do wander off, that we’ll continue the party elsewhere. It’s been an amazing experience.

Why You Should Read This, And Everything, More Slowly

In Media on December 30, 2009 at 8:26 am
A visitor takes a book off a shelf at the The ...

Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

How much do you read every day? How quickly?

One writer makes an interesting, and I think, cogent argument for reading less, slowly. He links it to the slow food movement, the notion being that less is more, a life that is consumed with thoughtful, selective pleasure rather than enormous gulping bites and swallows, is one worth living.

I agree.

The only blogs are a a few I read here. I read three papers every day and about 20+ magazines a month. But if I am not also reading a book, or several, (let alone looking at art, listening to music, watching a performance), my brain is going dead. I see a large and crucial difference between being informed (news) and entertained/instructed/forced into reflection.

It does me, and many others, little good to just know a lot of stuff. When was the last time, regardless of medium, you read something that left you sitting there in awe at its power and beauty? What was it you read?

Here’s the interesting argument in Forbes, by writer Trevor Butterworth:

If the moral of this story is that media commentary is like navigating in fog, the crisis of journalism is, at this point, sufficiently real to be seen as part of a wider conceptual crisis brought about by new-media technology: a crisis that is located, primarily, in the cognitive effects of acceleration and its cultural backwash. In short, a relentless, endless free diet of fast media is bad for your brain. Generation Google ( GOOG news people )–those who have never known a world without the Internet–it turns out, not only cannot use Google effectively, they don’t even know enough about how to search for information to know they can’t use Google effectively. The idea that the kids are whizzes at multimedia tasking is a platitude confected by middle-aged techno gurus to peddle their expertise as explainers of generational difference. In fact, relentless multitasking erodes executive function. And while the brain may not be overloaded by 34 gigabytes of brute information a day, it appears that too many of these mental quanta are the equivalent of empty calories. PlayStation and texting need to be balanced out by reading novels, handwriting (for old-fashioned digital dexterity) and playing with other live people if you want your child to develop to be an effective, skill-acquiring, empathetic adult….

The idea of consuming less, but better, media–of a “slow word” or “slow media” movement–is a strategy journalism should adopt. It will be painful, as it involves thinking about media as something sustainable, local and (hardest of all for hard-bitten hacks) pleasurable. But as the historian Michael Schudson has argued, it’s simply unrealistic to expect the public to read newspapers as a daily personal moral commitment to democracy. Instead, look to what Dave Eggers has brilliantly shown with the San Francisco Panorama, namely that the physical quality of a newspaper and the aesthetic pleasure of reading can make people so excited about journalism that they’ll buy it–not just conceptually, but in terms of parting with cash.

Eggers could well be the Alice Waters (queen of American slow foodies) of the news media, McSweeny’s its Chez Panisse. But even more explicit in advocating principles of slow media is Monocle, a luxuriously bound and produced monthly by Tyler Brule, a journalist turned creative guru and, crossing Jane Jacobs with John Ruskin, an apostle of a 21st-century, globally aware aestheticism in everything from a cup of espresso to urban planning and airline uniforms.

At Least No One Can Fire Me

In business, Media on October 29, 2009 at 8:53 am
Forbes Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City

A little emptier than last week/ via Wikipedia

The media massacres continue.

The latest bloodbath is at Forbes, where 100 people are said to be let go.

Earlier this month, Conde Nast shuttered Gourmet and three others; in April, they closed down Portfolio.

Freelancers, some of whom lost staff jobs years ago, watch this parade of pink slips with mixed emotions. For some of us, it’s lost income writing for those magazines. Staffers might be personal friends or former colleagues we care about. And, selfishly, many of them will now be competing for freelance work with us as well. One editor snapped at a colleague of mine recently seeking freelance assignments: “I know many editors who are now out of work!” The line for paid assignments lengthens as the list of available gigs shortens.

The only good news, from the living-room-based desk of this self-employed writer — it’s still mine.

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