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Jim Cox Report: November 2021
Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:
On November 6th I will be 79 years old! And after two surgeries in six weeks I'm happy to report that I'm successfully on the mend and already able to spend an hour or so in the office every morning dealing with MBR emails, snail-mails, sorting newly arriving books for review assignments -- and answering the phone in person all day long! Thank you every one who has been sending me your well wishes and including me in your prayers. I've got another 3 months or so in recovery ahead of me but, thankfully, there have been no problems or complications so far.
Now on to something of practical value to writers, publishers, and publicists:
I am often sent 'how to' articles dealing with the publicity, marketing, and promotion of authors and their books. Here is one that was written by a professional that I thought would be especially helpful to aspiring writers and novice self-published authors:
How Securing Media Coverage Brings Greater Value Than Ever
Think about how you get information these days.
Did you read that newspaper article in print or on your phone? Did you hear that interview on the radio or on a podcast?
It’s no secret, of course, that the media landscape has changed drastically over the years – and the changes keep coming at a pace that sometimes makes us all dizzy! But here’s something I feel confident about: The value of these changes may be greater for you than ever before.
The digital world has given all of us different and often better options for how we get our news, how we share it with others, and for those of you promoting your brands, how you and the media connect with each other. That means opportunities – and ways you can leverage those opportunities – abound.
Think about TV interviews as just one example. Not that long ago, TV producers wanted you in their studio for an interview, which meant you were faced with the time and expense of traveling. That might not be so bad if you live in Miami and were slated to appear on a Miami TV station. It was more problematic if you live in Philadelphia and the TV interview was in San Diego.
But because of the pandemic, remote interviews through Zoom or Skype have become common. Distance is no longer an obstacle for someone in Denver who is interviewed by a TV show in New York.
Let me suggest a few other ways that landing media placements continues to grow in value:
The reach is greater - Many print publications may have disappeared, but the newspapers still prospering are reaching more people than ever before. The New York Times has about 833,000 print subscribers, which is impressive on its own merits. But add the online readers – 5 million digital subscribers – and the reach really takes off. Nearly all newspapers and magazines have an online version available, and those online articles also have long lives. Someone might see your interview this week or they might see it next year. TV and radio stations also often post interviews online, reaching audiences far beyond the limits of their broadcast signals. In addition, news aggregators such as Apple News and Google News compile links to articles, drawing more attention to those articles from readers around the world. Your interview not only lives on the publication’s website, it’s also being picked up by other organizations or apps dedicated to sharing news stories.
More data is available - You can make use of analytics to gain more information than ever about how well articles or interviews are received. You can track the traffic to your website as a result of a media placement, and you can get demographic and geographic information. Through social media, you can see who is liking or sharing the news articles or broadcast interviews, and determine whether a message is getting a positive or negative response.
It’s easier than ever to share media triumphs - Social media also allows you to share your media successes with your followers, giving you the opportunity to personally add even more value to those placements. Every time you are interviewed, you can share a link to the article, video or audio recording, reinforcing to your followers that you are a thought leader in your field whose insights are valued by the media. You can also connect with those people who share, like or comment on the posts, potential interaction that at one time didn’t exist.
Yes, the media landscape has been changing for some time now, and not always for the better. But media interviews are still an extraordinarily valuable part of your personal and corporate branding efforts – so keep pursuing those opportunities every chance you get. -- Bringing value!
Now for all aspiring writers thinking about writing their memoir or autobiography!
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9780826363114, $19.95, PB, 208pp
Synopsis: A memoir is any nonfiction narrative writing based in the author's personal memories. The assertions made in the work are thus understood to be factual. While the memoir has historically been defined as a subcategory of biography or autobiography since the late 20th century, the genre has become differentiated in form, presenting a narrowed focus. A biography or autobiography tells the story "of a life", while a memoir often tells the story of a particular event or time, such as touchstone moments and turning points from the author's life. The author of a memoir may be referred to as a memoirist or a memorialist. (Wikipedia)
"Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" provides a lively instructional guide and DIY manual for anyone looking to wrestle the unruly past onto the page. In thirteen chapters, Laura Kalpakian provides tools to develop narrative form, scenic depiction, character development, and dialogue. There are chapters devoted to excavating the Family Story and the slippery Truth, especially when telling stories not solely your own.
In "Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" Kalpakian also explores the use of letters, diaries, and photographs, and she offers tips for research, publishing choices, and the uses of music. With a broad exploration of technique and development, and a range of reference, Memory into Memoir includes examples, extensive resources, and animating prompts.
Critique: An exceptional comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in style, organization and presentation, "Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community library, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections. For aspiring and experienced writers alike, "Memory into Memoir" it should be noted that "Memory into Memoir: A Writer's Handbook" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Laura Kalpakian is the author of thirteen novels and four collections of short fiction. Kalpakian is also the winner of an NEA Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, the Anahid Award for an American writer of Armenian descent, the PEN West Award, and the Stand International Short Fiction Competition.
"The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" is a monthly roster of well-wishers and supporters. These are the generous folk who decided to say 'thank you' and 'support the cause' that is the Midwest Book Review by donating to our postage stamp fund this past month:
Michelle Muriel -- "Westland"
Nathan Timmel -- "We Are 100"
Pete Ripmaster -- "The Long Way Home"
R. Christian Bohlen -- "Healing the Stormy Marriage"
Irene Wittig Designs -- "Creative Painting on Everyday Ceramics"
Joyce Scarbrough -- "Stormy Pieces: A Mobile Writers Guild Anthology"
Karthik Sekar -- "After Meat: The Case for an Amazing, Meat-Free World"
John Viscount -- "The Mind Supplement: A Deeper Dive Into Mind What Matters"
Merrill Lefflea -- Dryad Press
Eric Peterson -- Huckleberry House LLC
Sherry Franzier -- Frazier Public Relations
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So until next time -- goodbye, good luck, and good reading!
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James A. Cox
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