They Had Sold All The Books When We Get There Best Kept Publicity Secrets of the Big Red Envelope

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Best Kept Publicity Secrets of the Big Red Envelope

Two years ago I interviewed a self-published millionaire who had sold 500,000 copies of his special effects cookbook and found it a great way to get free publicity.

Here’s what he said..

“As a cookbook author, I’m full page in the food section of the newspaper—full color. The whole front page is my face and my story and all my contact information. And if you get a big story, Boston or LA or Chicago or New York, millions of people. They’re going to see. What do you think happens when a full page comes out in a big city like that?”

Let me tell you what happened to him…

When a full story breaks in a big city, you sell a lot of books! And he did!

As a self-published author, publicity becomes your new best friend. And in most cases, it’s not the right time to start a promotional campaign for your self-published book. You do it pretty much throughout the year.

He started sending press releases by mail when email wasn’t as prominent, but even now, email just doesn’t work as well. Doesn’t even fax. Instead, direct mail is the way to go. There are special ways to do direct mail. You put your press release in a big red envelope and you use a magic marker for your return address and you just write on it in big letters so this envelope looks really special. I’m talking a big red envelope, 8 x 10, #10. You can get it at Staples.

Just be offensive. Like the man in the red suit, he walks into the room and you have to meet him.

So you send your press release in a big red envelope and with a black magic marker you write the person’s name in big black letters. Use two stamps and write the address by hand. You only need ten a day.

He sent hundreds a year for his book. You can do a little bit every day so that you get a constant stream of interest from TV, radio or newspapers, the last of which can work best because you can get writing; Usually a full page.

He touts an 800 number in a press release and a computerized system where it’s all automated that can handle 10,000 calls at once. Calls may come directly from the press release to you.

This is how a press release works and looks if you have to follow the format. At the very top of the press release, in the upper left corner, you just type for immediate release. On the other side, just beyond that, you say for further information, contact… and then you have your name and your office phone number. You can leave a number with an answering machine, but I don’t recommend it. You want to handle all media contacts yourself.

The person calling you is usually a journalist and they have an editor. And the whole point of writing a press release in the format I recommend is that you’re not selling anything. You can’t sell anything with a press release. Make them feel good about your story. When they go to their editor and they say “Hey Mr. Editor, I found this great story”…. it makes the editor look good, so you let him write it and let him sell it for you. It works like a charm. It really does.

If you want to see your sales increase, put together an advertising campaign that will get you noticed. Be unique. Let them know that there is no one like you. Consult this big red envelope when using it. It works.

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