Book Marketing Tip of the Week
May 28, 2007: Sierra Club Birthday,
Amnesty International Birthday,
Spy Novels Are Splendid Day


In this issue . . .
-- Food & Wine magazine
-- Q&A: Marketing a Romance Novel
-- Playboy magazine
-- Amnesty International magazine
-- Q&A: Search Engine Marketing
-- The Costco Connection magazine

Food & Wine magazine
Food & Wine is a monthly magazine for food and wine lovers. Send info to the editors in care of Food & Wine, 1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10036; Fax: 212-764-2177. Email: Web:

  • Dana Cowin, Editor in Chief. Email: Welcomes email from readers.
  • Pamela Kaufman, Executive Editor. Buys excerpt rights.
  • Tina Ujlaki, Executive Food Editor
  • Kate Heddings, Senior Food Editor
  • Lettie Teague, Executive Wine Editor. Email:
  • Michelle Shih, Features Editor
  • Salma Abdelnour, Travel Editor
  • Jeanne Park, Senior Online Editor
  • Heidi Swanson, blogger and author of Cook 1.0, wrote an article on How to Be a Natural Cook (2/07).
  • John Edge, author of Southern Belly, wrote an article on Southern foods (2/07).
  • Anya von Bremzen, author of The New Spanish Table, wrote an article on Valencia foods (2/07).
  • Michael Steinberger wrote an article on becoming a wine expert where he featured Tom Stevenson's The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia (2/07).
  • Peggy Knickerbocker, freelance writer out of San Francisco, California. Wrote about Diane Johnson's Le Divorce and other novels (6/03).
  • Andy Borowitz, author of Who Moved My Soap?, wrote a humorous article (6/03).
  • Amanda Hesser, author of The Cook and the Gardener, wrote an article on Taste of Texas (6/03).

Q&A: Marketing a Romance Novel
Question: My first romance novel was published in hardcover in August of 2006 by Five Star Press. Their letter of offer to me indicated that they have standing orders at libraries all over the country as well as standing orders at book-of-the-month clubs, so I thought my book would find many homes and I would see a substantial return.

The book received superlatives reviews, was featured as book of the month on one of the romance websites, and sold out twice on When my accounting arrived last week, I was dismayed to discover only 260 copies had been sold -- not even to cover my advance.

So I REALLY need your advice on how to market this book -- since my publisher doesn't seem to have a marketing plan. I hadn't intended to be a salesperson, particularly since I've spent the last year writing a second and third novel. Merely including it on doesn't attract the attention of readers. Only someone who deliberately searched for my name or the title of the book would even find it.

If you have any tips readily available, I'll jump on them.

John's Answer: I'm not sure what you meant about your book selling out at twice. Books don't sell out at Amazon. Amazon might run out of stock, but if they are only stocking two copies, selling out really has no meaning.

I'd be curious where you book got its superlative reviews. I presume those reviews were not in the New York Times, People, Time, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, or other major media where it might actually have an impact on sales.

Personally, if I were you -- and if you have the ebook rights to your book -- I'd give away copies of the ebook to as many readers as I can. That's the best way to build an audience for your future books. And that could help you get a contract with a real book publisher that has a built-in-romance audience.

Encourage any websites devoted to romance novels to give away your ebook or at least a sample chapter or two. Look also for romance bloggers and offer them free chapters or ebooks. You need to build an audience and, as a new author, the best way to do that is to give people free samples.

If your book is really good, giving away free copies will only boost sales of the hardcover book.

Playboy magazine
Playboy, 680 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago IL 60611. New York Office: 730 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10019. Email: or (letters). Web: Featured an excerpt from Kevin Phillips's American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush (4/04). Featured an excerpt from Daphne Merkin's Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave (5/07). Excerpted a story from comedian Woody Allen's Mere Anarchy (5/07).

  • Hugh Hefner, Editor-in-Chief
  • Christopher Napolitano, Editorial Director
  • Stephen Randall, Deputy Editor
  • Leopold Froehlich, Executive Editor. Reviewed Robert Sullivan's Rats (4/04). Reviewed Martin Torgoff's Can't Find My Way Home social history (5/04). Reviewed Curtis White's novel America's Magic Mountain (1/05). Reviewed John Uglesich's Uglesich's Restaurant Cookbook (1/05).
  • A. J. Baime, Articles Editor. He is the author of Big Shots: The Men Behind the Booze.
  • Amy Grace Loyd, Literary Editor
  • Scott Alexander, Senior Editor, Modern Living. New and interesting products, including books (5/07). This section featured C. Edson Armi's American Car Design Now (5/04). Featured an item on Christie Mellor's The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting (6/04).
  • Chip Rowe, Senior Editor, Forum, 730 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10019. Email: Features reader responses to articles as well as news about sex, censorship, politics, culture, and more. Featured a tidbit about Earle Fox, author of Homosexuality: Good & Right in the Eyes of God? (3/04). Featured an item on Sexual Rights in America (4/04). Featured an interview with Ron Arnold, author of The Wise Use Agenda (5/04). Featured a story about Susan Patron's The Higher Power of Lucky where he also featured ten other children's books often cited for sexual content (5/07). Cited a review of Laura Sessions Stepp's Unhooked: How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love and Lose at Both (5/07).
  • The Playboy Advisor, 730 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10019. Web: Email this column via this website. This Q&A column on sex, relationships, health, and lifestyle often features books in answers to questions. For a question on poker, they recommended Jake Austen's A Friendly Game of Poker (3/04). For a question on drinking, they quoted Gene Ford's The Science of Healthy Drinking (3/04). For a question on pheromones, they quoted The Scent of Eros by James Kohl and Robert Francoeur (3/04). For a question on vermouth, they quoted A.J. Baime, author of Big Shots: The Men Behind the Booze, and their resident liquor historian (4/04). Featured a quote from Joan Elizabeth Lloyd, author of Nice Couples Do, in answer to a question on oral sex and false teeth (6/04). Featured a quote from Seymour Diamond, author of Conquering Your Migraine, in a short article on hangovers (6/04). Featured info from No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States Since 1880 and a quote from Laura Corn, author of 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex (1/05). Featured Joan Sewell's I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low Libido (5/07).
  • Marilyn Grabowski, West Coast Editor
  • Joseph de Acetis, Fashion Director
  • Jennifer Ryan Jones, Fashion Editor
  • Timothy Mohr, Associate Editor. Reviews music.
  • Robert DeSalvo, Associate Editor. Reviews DVDs and movies.
  • Andrew Bradbury, Researcher. Interviewed novelist Chuck Palahniuk, author of Rant (5/07).
  • Bill Vourvoulias reviewed novelist Jim Crace's The Pesthouse (5/07).
  • Matt Steigbigel reviewed Marc Baptiste's Marc Baptiste Nudes (5/07).
  • Playmate News. Featured an item about Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs (6/04).
  • Mantrack. This section features new personal technology, fashion, travel,autos, and entertaining. Featured an item on the Crazy for Crab cookbook by Fred Thompson (3/04). Featured Rebecca Bent's Burgers: 50 Recipes Celebrating an American Classic (6/04).
  • Party Jokes Editor, 730 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10019. Email: They pay $100 for jokes they reprint.
  • Arthur Kretchmer, Contributing Editor, Automotive.
  • David Sheff, Contributing Editor. Interviewed cartoonist Matt Groening, author of a number of books (5/07).
  • Jonathan Littman, Contributing Editor. Author of The Fugitive Game, he wrote an article about Kevin Mitnick (5/07).
  • Bill Zehme, author of Carson the Magnificent, interviewed Don Rickles in 20 questions to mark the release of Rickles' Book (5/07).
  • Robert Levine interviewed Martin Van Creveld, author of The Changing Face of War (5/07).
  • Jaime Wolf. In an article on cocktails, he featured three books: Harry Craddock's The Savoy Cocktail Book, Jerry Thomas's How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon-Vivant's Companion, and George Kappeler's Modern American Drinks (5/04).

Amnesty International magazine
Amnesty International publishes a quarterly magazine for its members. Send info to the editors at Amnesty International Magazine, 5 Penn Plaza, New York NY 10001; 212-807-8400. Web:

  • Gwen Fitzgerald, Editor
  • Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice, reviewed Thomas Jackson's Civil Rights to Human Rights (3/07).

Q&A: Search Engine Marketing
Question: I have written several books but this is my first mystery novel. What is your advice about search engine marketing?

John's Answer: 1. Make relationships with the top 30 websites where your potential fans visit. Offer those website owners free content: an interview with you, a review copy of your book, an excerpt from the book, a free download, an article based on the book, etc.

2. Don't worry about search engine marketing. You're in a very competitive category to get anywhere near the top 30 websites for "mystery fiction" or "mystery novel." Anything below the top 30 websites too few people notice. So create relationships with the website that are already in the top 30. That's a better use of your time, attention, and money.

The Costco Connection magazine
Costco, the warehouse club, publishes a monthly magazine for its members. Send info to the editors at The Costco Connection, P O Box 34088, Seattle WA 98124-1088; Fax: 425-313-6718. Street address: 999 Lake Drive, Issaquah WA 98027; 800-774-2678. Email: Web:

David Fuller, Editor; 425-313-8510. Email:

Tim Talevich, Associate Editor; 425-313-6759. Email:

T. Foster Jones, Senior Editor. Email:

David Wight, Online Editor. Email:

Will Fifield, Reporter. Email: In an article on catering, he featured a sidebar by Sharon Naylor, author of Renewing Your Wedding Vows (6/07).

Stephanie Ponder, Reporter. Email: Wrote an article on the new The Lost Files of Nancy Drew (6/07). Costco gave away 10 Nancy Drew Pocketbook Mysteries.

Steve Fisher, Reporter. Email: Wrote an article on diabetes where he featured Richard Jackson and Amy Tenderich's Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes (6/07).

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco Book Buyer. Her June pick was Celia Rivenbark's We're Just Like You, Only Prettier. Costco gave away 10 signed copies of the book to its members.

Chris Penttila, a freelance writer, interviewed Celia Rivenbark (6/07).

Teresa Thompson, Pharmacy Buyer. Featured supplements along with Caroline Apovian's The alli Diet Plan (6/07).

Valerie Ryan, Contributor, feature book previews of Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bradford's The Penny, Jeffrey Deaver's The Sleeping Doll, Martin Cruz Smith's Stalin's Ghost, and John Perkins's The Secret History of the American Empire (6/07).

David Horowitz, Columnist, Ask David Horowitz. Answers questions on consumer issues. Web: Horowitz is the author of many books.

Marc Saltzman, Columnist, Ask Marc Saltzmann. Q&A column about electronics, computers, and technology. Saltzmann is the author of 13 books.

Eric Taub, a freelance writer, interviewed Lea Iacocca, author of Where Have All the Leaders Gone? Again, Costco offered 15 signed copies of the book to its members (6/07).

Diana Jordan, a freelance writer, featured an article on sports publicist Kristi Roehm who gives away books to professional sports players. The following books were featured in the article: Barack Obama's Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope, John Maxwell's The Difference Maker, Rhonda Byrne's The Secret, and Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and The Tipping Point (6/07).

Lica Alcalay Klug, a freelance writer, featured a book by Stuart Gustafson and Robyn Freedman Spizman: Questions to Bring You Closer to Dad in their member connection section (Gustafson is a member). To be featured in this section, send an email to with The Member Connection in the subject line.


I believe man will not merely endure, he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he, alone among creatures, has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit, capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man; it can be one of the props to help him endure and prevail. — William Faulkner, Nobel prize-winning novelist

More great quotes at

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