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My Role in Ryan Holiday’s Publicity Stunt

Author Ryan Holiday wrote an essay for NY Observer‘s BetaBeat called “A Simple Stunt Reveals How Blogs Will Print Anything for Pageviews” this week, bragging about how he duped GalleyCat with fake book deal news. He wrote:

All it took was writing in my announcement that the book had been acquired in a “major deal.” This was quickly picked up by the publishing industry blog GalleyCat, which immediately interpreted this to mean my advance was $500,000.

His essay did not link to my original story or my response when news of his publicity stunt broke, but I wanted to be perfectly clear what happened. No one writing about this incident, including Holiday himself, has ever contacted me for comment.

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Beth Lamb Named Associate Publisher at Vintage Anchor

A number of publishing organizations have announced new hires this past week.

Beth Lamb will move from Rodale to Random House’s Vintage Anchor imprint as vice president and associate publisher. She will report to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group executive vice president Anne Messitte.

Seale Ballenger will jump from Zola Books to Disney Publishing Worldwide. Ballenger will begin in his new role as publicity director on July 8, 2013.

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James Altucher: ‘I never hit publish unless I’m afraid of what people will think of me’

Would you pay readers back for reading your book?

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was author and entrepreneur James Altucher, sharing his unique promotional strategy for Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream. Once you read his inspirational book, he will give you back your money.

During the interview, Altucher also shared some of his unorthodox writing advice as well.

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Kevin Smokler: Put Yourself in Your Reader’s Shoes

Are you struggling to build a book tour online or in the real world? Before you do anything else, put yourself in your reader’s shoes.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was author Kevin Smokler, talking about his new book–Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven’t Touched Since High School. During the interview, he also shared tips for writers struggling to organize a book tour. Check it out:

I’ve had lousy events that were 75 people and I’ve had great events with three people. It is all about the person who comes to see you–and that can be in physical space at an event or in digital space in terms of something you are doing in media. You first and foremost have to answer the question: ‘Why is this person listening to me?’ The answer is not ‘Because I wrote the book.’ ‘Because I wrote a book that was interesting to them in a number of ways’ might be the answer. But for everything you do to promote a book, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the person listening and make sure you are answering the question: ‘Why are they listening right now?’

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Author Turns Book Release Party into a Game

Instead of a book party or traditional author reading, novelist EJ Koh celebrated the release of Red with a huge Red War game in Central Park earlier this month.

Read more at the Red War page. Above, we’ve embedded a photograph of some participants, taken by Jon Chang. A variation of the Assassin game, the event reenacted the struggle between Spirit and Wake forces in the book. An organizer known as “Red General” described the scene in New York City:

Red War got 700 registrations over a span of 3 weeks and attracted over 200 attendees on the day of the event. The games ran from 11-3pm. Red War was inspired by Red and its characters, so the teams were split between Spirits VS. Wakes consisting of each side trying to obtain as much energy (numbered pieces of duct tape) off the opponents’ backs. Upon the conclusion of the game, the winners were announced (Wakes won and evil prevailed). An informal Q&A with EJ was conducted on the spot and everyone went to grab Chipotle together afterwards. Granted that this is not your typical book reading/author meet and greet, but we all enjoyed it immensely. It was cool to watch EJ take time to connect with her readers by placing herself in her own game, running around in the world she created with those who showed interest in being a part of it.

Book Promotion Strategies That Actually Worked

What’s the best book promotion strategy you’ve ever seen?

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian took to Reddit to seek promotion advice for his new book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.

He asked the network of loyal readers: “What are some of the smartest things you’ve seen people do to promote a book? … I’d like to make the most out of all this time I have to do some awesome stuff for the fine folks who’d pre-order/buy a copy.”

We’ve collected ten reader responses below to help you plan your own book promotion.

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‘Game of Thrones: The Exhibition’ Opens in New York City

Westeros is coming to you! “Game of Thrones: The Exhibition” opens today in New York City. The video embedded above offers a sneak peek of this special exhibit.

New Yorkers have until April 3rd to drop by and check out this traveling exhibit. After this, it will go on to make stops in Sao Paolo, Amsterdam and Belfast. The Gothamist reported that visitors will encounter “Daenerys Targaryen‘s dragon eggs, the Stark family’s Winterfell costumes, and assorted weapons.”

Here’s more about the exhibit: “Presented by HBO and international partners, the exhibition is free to the public and focuses on key characters from five of the noble houses: Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon and Greyjoy. It will showcase a trove of more than 70 original artifacts from Seasons 1 and 2, plus select pieces from this year’s new season.”

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Red Hen Press’ Chocolate Bar Strategy

Red Hen Press brought 250 custom-made chocolate bars to the AWP conference this year, promoting books on their list with a tasty treat. They didn’t bring any leftovers home (photo of Rodney Wittwer‘s Gone & Gone chocolate bar embedded above).

As authors and publishers struggle to attract attention in bookstores, conferences and events, the strategy might be useful. We caught up with marketing associate William Goldstein to find out more. He explained:

Red Hen has been making chocolate bars for AWP for 10 years now. The idea behind it is that chocolate makes people stop and look. People pick up a bar, marvel that it looks just like the book, and then pick up the book. Authors especially seem to appreciate it, often seemingly more than their actual books!

(Photo credit: Emily Stone)

Pre-Order a Novel, Get a Valentine’s Day Sext from the Author

Sexting, the fine art of sending dirty messages to your lover, has landed a few celebrities in hot water. But one novelist will send all his faithful readers a sext on Valentine’s Day.

Electric Literature will publish an eBook edition of Sam Pink’s Rontel on February 14th, the literary journal’s first novel. If you pre-order the $4.99 eBook, Pink will send you a sext message on his release day. You can read an excerpt from the novel at Recommended Reading:

we’re teaming up with Lazy Fascist Press to release a special digital edition of RontelRontel‘s narrator is an unnamed man for whom life is a “pile of things” that refuses to work together; a man whose underlying problem is that adulthood arrived without ceremony or certification. The novel is unsettling (often hysterically so), and it would be easy to call it “gritty” or “raw,” but really it’s just honest. In Rontel, we begin to recognize ourselves in a man who cannot relate to others, we realize that we all deserve to be exiled for the thoughts we’ve thought, the things we’ve nearly done.

6 Ways to Promote Your Book on a Budget

Are you struggling to promote your book on a budget?

We’ve collected some links that will help you promote your book without spending any money at all.

Six Ways To Promote Your Book on a Budget

1. Visit these free sites to promote your eBook.

2. Pitch articles, interviews or blog posts to media outlets. Read our How To Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post for more details.

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