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9 Steps To Successfully Market Your Self Published Book

Market your book to have a chance of selling anythin
Use these 9 steps to promote your book, sell more copies and land a publisher.
Use these 9 steps to promote your book, sell more copies and land a publisher.

9 Steps To Successfully Market Your Self Published Book. Lots of people write and self-publish their own books. In the age of electronic publishing, nobody even needs paper never mind ink anymore. But the challenges for authors remains the same and that is this; how to get people be aware of and eventually read their books. Of course there are no guarantees but these 9 steps will certainly not hurt.

  1. Build awareness. You need to build recognition for yourself and your book(s). Think of this as your brand. The best place to start is locally. If you can start to garner recognition in your own backyard you have a chance of garnering some more nationally. Join a local book club and offer to share readings from your work. The same approach can be used with libraries by offering to give a talk about the book. You will not get paid but you can start to build a following.
  2.  Write a blog. Writers need to write and this is a way to share your insights with an audience. Blogging platforms are easy to come by and not expensive. The one you are reading is a good example.
  3.  If you do not have a twitter account and Facebook page devoted to your writing then start both. The key to success with social media and blogs is to contribute to them regularly.
  4. Make friends with local booksellers. I know the book store is becoming a thing of the past but given where you live there are bound to be some.Once they know you, see if you can do signings, or bring the talk you gave the library and the book club and give it again at the book store.
  5. Find a charity (like a local animal shelter) and arrange a book sale with 100% of the proceeds donated to the charity. It’s another way to start building that recognition as not just a good writer but a socially responsible one too.
  6. Contact the local schools and see if you can base a writing workshop for teachers with the book as the center piece. Schools are strapped for resources and the fresh insight a published author can deliver will be worthwhile and appreciated.
  7. Submit your work to publishers. I do not have to tell you that self-published writers have the most difficult time getting any traction. But to be taken seriously you will have to eventually get published. Yes, you will be turned down a bunch of times. But you only need one ‘yes’.
  8. For signings, workshops, charity events etc. write and send press releases to the local media. Be sure to include a photo of yourself and the book cover along with how to contact you for comment.
  9. Take the publicity you gain from number 8 and post it to your web site. Publicity from a third party will boost your credibility in the eyes of potential customers and publishers.

For anyone who acts on all nine of these or even a few, let me hear from you and how you did.

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P.R. ‘Offensive’ Heather Bresch Doubles Down On EpiPen Price Increase

Coming to a dart board near you; Mylan CEO Heather Bresch.

P.R. ‘Offensive’ Heather Bresch Doubles Down On EpiPen Price Increase. Admiration for public relations practitioners who are advocates for their enterprises  when they are mis-represented in the press is where the profession earns its merit and distinction. Scorn is what gets heaped on us when we are spinning bad behavior. Pity is what I feel for people whose livelihoods depend on working in such places where trying to explain away something terrible is the order of the day. Say hello to Mylan Pharmaceuticals and CEO Heather Bresch who blamed ‘the system’ for the massive price hikes on a pharmaceutical that has not been changed or improved lately. Rather than reconsider the price increase and her own salary boost CEO Bresch pointed a well manicured finger of blame at ‘the system’ for this failure, claiming further that ‘no one is more frustrated than I am’ at whoever this ‘system’ is.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch ; a public relations disaster for her company. P.R. 'Offensive' Heather Bresch Doubles Down On EpiPen Price Increase
Milan CEO Heather Bresch; a public relations disaster for her company. P.R. ‘Offensive’ Heather Bresch Doubles Down On EpiPen Price Increase

Price Spike

Milan CEO Bresch is the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Minchin, D-W.Va. Her company’s EpiPen’s are used to save the lives of people who experience severe allergic reactions that cause their airways to close. Mylan acquired the decades-old product in 2007, when pharmacies paid less than $100 for a two-pen set, and has since been steadily raising the wholesale price. In 2009, a pharmacy paid $103.50 for a set. By July 2013 the price was up to $264.50, and it rose 75 percent to $461 by last May. In May 2016 the price spiked again to $608.61, according to data provided by Elsevier Clinical Solutions’ Gold Standard Drug Database.

Bresch Interviewed; Blames Customers

During an interview on CNBC, CEO Bresch argued that a ‘lack of transparency in the complex health care system — with bigger cuts for everyone along the supply chain — “incentivizes higher prices” in the industry. She pointed out that copays and deductibles are on the rise, too. “This system needs to be fixed. No one knows what anything costs,” Bresch told CNBC on Thursday.The Mylan CEO compared the health care industry to the real estate mortgage crisis of 2008. “Our health care system is in a crisis…This bubble is going to burst,” Bresch said. Bresch did not cite increased costs of raw materials, new taxes, regulations, or demand for the increase in price. Nor did she explain why the same medicine is available in Canada for hundreds of dollars less.

When Corporate Governance Is Broken

Who To Blame For That Salary Increase? Bresch had no explanation for the over 600% in pay raises she has received as CEO, with her earnings going from approximately$ 2.5 million a year to over $18 million a year. No vague ‘system’ to pin that on.  Shareholders should look to the Mylan board of directors for an explanation since they are the ones who approve these increases.

What Is A P.R. Person To Do?

Everyone has bills to pay, I get that. Hell, somewhere someone is explaining how the Clinton Foundation is a good thing. But behavior like this from the Mylan CEO will get people killed. Someone is going to die because they could not afford an EpiPen.  And it may be lots of people who die needlessly because Heather Bresch needs the money (sarcasm). So Mylan public relations people, polish your resumes and get out there. No need to go down with this ship. Leave your CEO to ride this one to the bottom all by herself. She deserves it and you deserve better.

NOTE: the writer is an asthmatic who takes epinephrin in pill form daily.

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Mylan CEO Bresch Creates PR Nightmare

Mylan Pharmaceuticals raised the price of the EpiPen beyond the ability of most to afford it.

Move over Martin Shrkeli. Corporate greed and hubris has a new face. While her appearance is only slightly nicer than Shrkeli’s her ability to generate public relations troubles for her company are on an even par. And what of the public relations people who have to provide cover for this wide awake nightmare? Keep reading. Mylan CEO Bresch Creates PR Nightmare.

Heather Bresch 

Mylan is the pharmaceutical company that cornered the market on the life-saving EpiPen and then dramatically increased its price. Not coincidentally Mylan also jacked up the pay of top executives.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch is under fire for increasing the price of the EpiPen and taking a raise of over 670%.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch is under fire for increasing the price of the EpiPen and taking a raise of over 670%.

Between 2007, when Mylan acquired the patent for the EpiPen, to 2015, the wholesale price went from $56.64 to $317.82 — a price increase of 461 percent. Similarly, compensation for Mylan CEO Heather Bresch increased astronomically over the same time period. According to NBC News, Bresch went from making $2.453,456 in 2007 to $18,931,068 in 2015, amounting to a 671 percent raise over eight years. Good work if you can find it. While Bresch was not the only executive at Mylan to receive added compensation, hers was the highest and most egregious.

Fortunate Son Daughter

With apologies to Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bresch is the daughter of senator Joe Manchin, a Democratic U.S. senator from West Virginia and the state’s former governor. Heather Bresch’s career has risen along with her father’s, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by her critics. Her father got her a job around 1992 when her stint as an aerobics teacher in California did not go as planned. The future senator was elected Secretary of State in 2000 and in 2002 Heather was named the company’s lobbyist. There are plenty of other examples of how Heather’s responsibilities increased as her father won elections. Read them all here: How a senator’s daughter became CEO of the company at the center of the EpiPen controversy.

Bresch had other P.R. gaffes when her MBA from West Virginia was rescinded. Mylan CEO Bresch Creates PR Nightmare

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Bresch did not actually have enough credits for an MBA from West Virginia University, even though the news release announcing her new, high-profile job said she had earned one. The school, through its own investigation, found Bresch had been given grades “pulled from thin air” because of her “high profile.”

Her father was finishing up his third year as governor at the time, and Bresch’s critics were vocal about whether her connections led to this drama. The school took the degree back. But that’s not the end. She reincorporated her U.S.-based drug company in the Netherlands, which cut its tax liability. Ouch. Mylan CEO Bresch Creates PR Nightmare

Flack For Mylan

To their credit the company has a statement on their web site and puts the blame for the increase on ‘the current changes in the healthcare insurance landscape.’ To read the entire statement click here; But the media is not buying it. Mylan and Bresch are buried in bad publicity.

The company’s twitter account makes no mention of the EpiPen but the rest of the twitter-verse is awash in negatives. These come from all parts of the media; left, right and all other ways media leans today. It amounts to universal condemnation. So what can public relations people learn from this?

Easy. Some leaders are terrible. Terrible at understanding the optics of juxtaposing their big raises along side of price increases for medicine that is life saving for millions. Terrible because they failed to learn anything from Martin Shrkeli. Terrible because they spent their lives above the rules based on their ‘high profiles’. Terrible because they have no shame. Could Bresch and Mylan recover? Sure. Reduce the price immediately, say you are sorry for the whole thing and promise to learn from these mistakes. Hands of those who think this is likely? No one? Okay.

What will hopefully happen is that the negative press and government investigations that will follow force the board to fire the well connected but hard to love Bresch from her job as CEO. Bresch will then claim she was victimized because of her gender. But no one will believe that either.

Mylan CEO Bresch Creates PR NightmareMylan CEO Bresch Creates PR NightmareMylan CEO Bresch Creates PR NightmareMylan CEO Bresch Creates PR NightmareMylan CEO Bresch Creates PR Nightmare

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Delta Airlines Computer Outage Public Relations Failures

Delta Airlines offered $200.00 vouchers to travelers delayed by 3 hours or more.

On August 9, 2016 Delta Airlines experienced a system wide computer failure that caused the cancellation or delay of over 2100 flights. The airlines crisis plan had all the right elements but fell short when executed. Delta Airlines Computer Outage Public Relations Failures Delta Airlines Outa

For Lack Of A Horse

For lack of a horse the kingdom was lost. But for the lack of a single router, all of Delta Airlines was too. On August 9, 2016 Delta Airlines entire network went down stranding thousands and creating an on line/news crisis. At first glance, it seemed like Delta had managed the crisis reasonably well. CEO Ed Bastian had issued two apology videos. The company waived re-booking fees for those left stranded, gave anyone delayed by more than three hours a $200.00 voucher and had CEO Bastian participate in a Q&A session led by the A.P. At first look, it seems like textbook crisis management, or was it? Delta Airlines Computer Outage Public Relations Failures Delta Airlines Outage. 

Bad I.T. Infrastructure

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian speaks during one of two apology videos issued in the wake of the August 9, 2016 system wide network failure that stranded thousands.
Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian speaks during one of two apology videos issued in the wake of the August 9, 2016 system wide network failure that stranded thousands.

Scratch a little deeper and discover that Delta does not have the infrastructure needed to manage their I.T. needs including routing, ticketing, employee scheduling, or on line communications with the Delta App. “A single router should not bring an entire system down,” said computer software and Agile Development expert Ryn Melberg. “There should be redundant systems located at different sites around the country or even the world that can take over in the event of a crisis like this. That everything from networks to public relations is all run from a single location is a sign that redundancy is not built in at Delta.” Delta Airlines Computer

Lackluster Customer Communication

Customers complained that they could not get any real time information from the Delta App for several hours. Add to that the stumble and finger pointing between the airline and Georgia Power over who was at fault over the power outage that caused the Delta ‘house of cards’ to fall that ensued. That anyone stuck at an airport cared in the slightest who was to blame for the outage seems doubtful.

Delta later claimed responsibility. But why not delay assigning blame? This only diverted  resources at Delta that could have been better employed. According to a statement Mr. Bastian later made;

“About 2:30 Monday morning, we lost power to our core data center. The reason we lost it was that we had a power control module that failed. That caused a loss of the transformer that was providing the core power to the data center,” Bastian said in the AP interview. “We have redundant systems in place to take into account power failures. … Unfortunately, when the system tripped over to the B source, we did not have certain servers wired to protect against the power outage. As a result, it caused the entire system to come down.” If your redundant systems are wired incorrectly or just not wired at all, then there is not a redundant system. This statement strains credibility and would have been better left unsaid. Instead, Delta confirmed that their I.T. practices were lacking. “This makes you wonder what else is there at Delta that is not wired correctly or exists at all,” Melberg said. Melberg also stated that the computer infrastructures at most airlines was decades old. “All the new technology in the airline industry is inside the planes, not on the ground,” she stated. “From phones to ticketing etc. you expect to hear that screeching modem sound from 25 years ago when you call or log on to one of the airlines.” Delta Airlines Computer Outage Public Relations Failures

Two Hundred Dollars Not Enough

Consumer advocacy groups representing airline passengers sent a letter to Delta asking the airline to increase its $200 voucher offer, noting some displaced families paid far more than that to accommodate themselves in the wake of the outage, never mind what it would cost to re-plan, re-book another trip. Delta Airlines Computer Outage Public Relations Failures

In part, the letter read: “Families have missed weddings, organized tours and cruises. Businessmen have missed meetings. And, many others have been faced with financial repercussions because of Delta’s technology failure. Your airline’s customer service response has been disappointing. This event was not a cancellation of choice by passengers, nor was it an “Act of God.” This is a failure by Delta.” The letter goes on to say that the Aug. 21 date to rearrange travel affected by the outage is “unreasonable” and the $200 voucher is “clearly inadequate,” noting that European Union regulations require compensation almost three times that amount.

In a statement, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said: “After this catastrophic, system-wide implosion, Delta owes every passenger a full refund — no questions asked – or rescheduled flights without costs or time limits. This airline must do more than just waive change fees. It must make each and every customer whole again.” Delta Airlines Computer Outage Public Relations Failu

Sincerity Lacking

It takes more than ‘playing like’ you care to manage a crisis. While Delta’s crisis plan had all the right strategic planning and tactical elements, it failed because customers remained far worse off afterward in spite of anything the airline said or did. Choices on domestic air carriers are fewer and fewer, but who of those passengers will choose Delta if another choice exists? Delta Airlines Outage.

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Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go

These steps will help prevent your personal information from getting into the wrong hands while playing Pokemon Go.

Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is the most popular game of its type ever. The challenge for players and others in positions of responsibility is the worry that playing could open them and their employer up to hackers and other on line vulnerability. The lines between personal time and work are pretty blurry. Lots of people use their smart-phone for both business and their personal lives. Bad idea. You do not want to be the guy whose phone provided the opening for cyber bandits to loot the company of business and personal information. Adding to that pain is the negative attention your enterprise will receive from media and customers that will accompany such a cyber breach. Here are some ways to prevent these types of vulnerabilities.

Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go. These steps will help prevent your personal information from getting into the wrong hands while playing Pokemon Go.
Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go. These steps will help prevent your personal information from getting into the wrong hands while playing Pokemon Go.

Go To The Nintendo Site

All new Pokemon Go players need to register with Nintendo and not register from their Google accounts. Players who will go to the Pokémon Go site will receive a unique I.D. and password there. Using your own Google account to register will make you more vulnerable to cyber threats, so do not do that.  Another thing worth knowing for players and non-players is to keep your financial information separate from other information on Google. You need a barrier or firewall between yourself and all that financial information. Don’t keep everything in a single place.

Never Use A Debit Card On Line

Using a debit card on line for Pokémon Go credits is not a good idea. The reason is that it is too difficult to recover your funds if they are stolen from a debit card.  Use a credit card, but not your regular credit card. Get a low limit credit card just for on line purchases. Using a separate credit card with a low limit for buying Pokémon Go credits, iTunes songs, books, and movies and other on line purchases will not make your funds as vulnerable.  I have a card with a low limit that I use exclusively on line. With a low limit my exposure is lower if the card is hacked, lost or stolen. Plus the card I have covers losses from cyber and other theft. Everyone should have one if they are going to make any purchase on line.

Keep Locations Off The Internet

In the age of social media so many want to post the details of their lives, adventures playing Pokémon Go and vacation details on line. My opinion is that this is another bad idea. No one would consider posting a sign on their home that says ‘I’m away, please rob me’ so why would you post the same information on your Face Book or Twitter account? So be smart. Post the results of your Pokémon Go hunt when you get home. Same for vacations.

For others who do not want to be tracked on line or live and/or work near sensitive installations, playing Pokémon Go might not be a good idea. So if you do not want anyone to know where you are, just don’t play Pokemon Go or any other Geo-Caching type of game. Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go

Physical Dangers Playing Pokémon Go

Unlike most web and app based games, Pokémon Go requires players to explore the environment in and around their neighborhoods and towns. Players should use good judgment while playing. Play in places where there are lots of other people around, in well lit parks or other places that are well travelled. Don’t go in places that look suspicious, and whatever you do, never play while driving.  Turn the alert off on your phone while driving to avoid any possible temptation. Rules for Pokémon Go in the car are the same as for texting. Just pull over if you have the urge to hunt for a bit. Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go

Problems Averted

By following this simple advise, Pokemon Go players, their business colleagues and their loved ones can stay out of trouble by keeping their personal and business information safe from the prying eyes of cyber thieves who are always on the prowl, looking for easy Internet prey. The game they play has far more downside than any other. Avoid P.R. Problems: Cyber Self Defense When Playing Pokemon Go

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