Thursday, April 10, 2008

Publicity, Writing, and Words

Publicity, writing, and words

Rick and Vicki, I am impressed with your book-store energy. I’m learning from you. Thanks! In the spirit of contribution, I’ll share a bit of what I learned on a “Webinar” yesterday. Charles was at the conference (and I use the term loosely), so chime in, Charles.

This educational seminar ((I don’t know what to call it) was arranged by our publisher and was something like a conference call, but we were also connected to the internet so that the presenter could give us her Power Point presentation along with her talk. Penny Sansevieri, of Literary Publicists, was the speaker. This was all about internet marketing.

I gleaned a few tidbits from it, but the intermittent electronic blats over the phone line and the speed with which Sansevieri spoke made me feel like a remedial student in a college physics class. I don’t think I was the only one—another author moaned, “I’m overwhelmed.” I could hear the despair in her voice. The only reason I wasn’t in the same boat of misery was because of a few things: 1.) I’ve been at it a little longer and recognized some of the “lingo” 2.) This blog has helped! AND 3.) I didn’t agree with some of the stuff she was spewing at us. Maybe that was in utter ignorance, but it kept me from moaning out loud.

One of her recommendations was to add “key words” to your blog and website, but when a few of us asked what she meant by key words in this context, the answer was more confusing than the original concept. She recommended plugging in potential key words to, but I checked it out and they charge $59.00.

Here’s what I think she said: We want to use “key words” that are common, but not too common. If you get a hit for 100,000 (say, plugging in ‘writing’), the word is too general. If you get about 5,000 hits, the word is specific enough. I wonder if we can just Google—I am not confident enough in her method to cough up yet another fee for dubious publicity.

Here’s what I did get out of her spiel: a.) To draw people to your website, get yourself invited to be interviewed on other people’s blogs. b.) always include a link to your website and blog site (which should have the same host—she lost me here) c.) go to famous and well-read websites and post your opinions or blog on an article. She recommended, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. ALWAYS include the link to your website. This sounds worth trying. d.) Contribute to and, and you guessed it—include the link to your website.

When you make sense out of all this, please let me in on the secrets.

To close, I’ll return to Patricia O’Connor, who clarifies things for me. I love these no-no’s:

Alright—it’s not all right. It’s two words.

unprecedented—O’Connor says very few things are unprecedented. Don’t use this word if you want to say unusual, uncommon, unexpected, rare, exceptional, curious.

complected—not a word. Someone who spends a lot of time in the sun is dark-complexioned.

Dived is preferred to dove. Greg Louganis hit his head when he dived at the Olympics.

Ahold—writers, get hold of yourselves. It’s either two words—He had a hold on the dog’s tail, or one.

Til—wrong. Till is all right, and so is until, but til isn’t a word. And by the way, don’t use up or since with either till or until.

A hui hou aku! (i.e., until next time)


Charles benoit said...

I was on the same webinar and as the nice lady was describing all the things I should be doing I remember thinking, 'oh goody, a second full time job!' I took some stuff away from it, but probably not as much as the facilitator took away from it. The most important thing I learned? I need to host webinars.

Penny said...

Thanks for the seminar feedback - sorry it went too fast! Next time I'll slow down. Note that the keyword article is available on request as I mentioned. It's a loooong conversation to get into on a webinar! There's also a link for a freebie wordtracker-type program. Just fyi, Wordtracker is free for the first few searches (I believe).

Thanks for attending! I'm happy to address any additional questions so ask away..

PS since it wasn't recorded the class is being held again - next week I think!

Kim Smith said...

Just found your blog but will bookmark it, great info and a lot of fun stuff here!