By Alex Greenwood
I’ve written previously about “The Bump.” Put simply:
“Your interview is important, but it has been bumped by something more newsworthy.”
It happens. Roll with it. (Read the post for more on that.)
Interestingly, there’s something related to the bump that’s just as frustrating; I call it “The Dump.”
Let’s say you pitch a reporter on a story or interview. The reporter says “Yes, I like it,” then interviews you or your client–or has you complete an email “interview.” Once complete, you wait.
And wait. Weeks pass and no story appears online, in print or via broadcast.
Soon you realize that the story was either killed (the editor didn’t like it, a better story came up, too similar to a recent story, your interview/info wasn’t all that interesting, no room in the publication, etc.) or the reporter simply forgot about it and moved on.
Hence, “the Dump.”
Been there. Done that. It’s not a good feeling, and it’s even worse when the reporter doesn’t tell you they’ve elected to dump the story.
For example, I once invested a couple of hours on an email interview with a publication. Many weeks later, the interview remained unpublished. Beyond checking that my interview was received, I didn’t follow up with the reporter (who has a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing). It’s obvious the story isn’t going anywhere, and I’d rather not waste my time (or the reporter’s) trying to litigate the merits of the story any further.
Trust me, it’s more than an average “bad day” when you have to explain to a CEO client that the twenty minutes they spent on the phone with a reporter (whilst running to catch a plane at LAX) isn’t going to materialize–particularly if the reporter gives you the silent treatment when you follow up. I don’t like it–I think it’s common courtesy to tell an interviewee or their PR rep that the story is dumped–but reporters have no obligation to do so.
The point is, you can spend a lot of time, effort and energy pitching, interviewing–and yes, even writing–something that by all indicators looks like a sure thing, yet it never sees the light of day. It’s frustrating, but it helps to remember there are no guarantees (if you want guaranteed coverage, buy an ad). Even a good story or interview can simply end up–through no fault of your own–in the dump.
Don’t get mad. Remember, just like “the bump,” “the dump” may not be forever. Perhaps that same reporter will remember you as a source when a similar story pops up. So, no sense starting a feud about it. Brush yourself off and move on. Opportunity awaits.
(And you can recycle your interview on your blog…)
I received an email from LinkedIn recently, suggesting I congratulate “Jane Smith” (not her real name, obviously) on a high-profile position with a respected institution. I was stunned.
Why? Because “Jane Smith” was fresh out of college, and not twelve months earlier she had implored me to help her find a job–any job.
I’d worked in proximity with “Jane” on a project for a client, and figured that though she was indeed young and a tad immature, she deserved a shot at a job–especially in this tight economy. So, I spoke on her behalf to a client, who agreed to interview “Jane” for an open position. It wasn’t a high-prestige job, and it didn’t pay the precocious “Jane” what she wanted, but it was steady work.
“Jane” agreed to the interview.
The day of the interview, my client contacted me and said “Jane” was a no-call, no-show. She never went to the interview, never emailed, called or sent so much as a tweet telling my client she was going to ditch the meeting; nor did she ever apologize. That made me look just dandy with my client, I assure you. I emailed “Jane” and asked why she didn’t go or at least let my client know she was no longer interested.
I did a little research and found out that in between agreeing to the interview and the date for which it was scheduled “Jane” had apparently scored a job that was probably a better fit than the one offered by my client. Good for her; but I was dismayed at the rudeness and immaturity she demonstrated to my client and me. I stuck my neck out for her, and she made me (and herself) look foolish. I was stunned by her immaturity and ingratitude.
So, fast forward a year and imagine my further dismay to find out “Jane” was just promoted to a job requiring strong social skills that most people ten years older than her don’t often get. Color me flabbergasted (and what her boss was thinking when making this decision is beyond me).
Certainly “Jane” is smart, but if the networking and social skills she demonstrated previously are any indication, “Jane” will eventually make a similar mistake–and do it to someone who has a longer memory than mine. I don’t wish her ill, but I do hope she grows up–a lot. God only knows how many other people she carelessly disregarded climbing the ladder. The old saying about being good to “people on your way up…” comes to mind.
Needless to say, I did not congratulate her on LinkedIn.
By Alex Greenwood
We often get requests from local organizations, churches and non-profits asking us to perform free work. The first impulse is usually “you betcha!” but that’s not always the most realistic answer to the request.
We’re proud of our long record of helping non-profit organizations by providing free (pro bono) services. We try to perform a set amount of community service hours every year. To that end, AlexanderG PR has helped several non-profits improve their image or promote fundraisers and special events over the years. We do the work with a happy heart: it’s an honor and privilege to serve our community.
However, the realities of the economy, time/scheduling and just plain “paying the bills” prevent us from helping every non-profit organization on a pro bono basis. Don’t get me wrong–we’re happy to discuss an organization’s needs–and if it’s a good fit for everyone, we’re glad to help out. Unfortunately, it’s not always feasible for us to work gratis on a project. However, we do try to recommend another firm or PR pro who might be able to help.
When we do agree to work on a pro bono basis, we’re careful there is a clear scope of work–a list of what we will and will not be able to do. We also make certain the non-profit we’re working for understands their role and deliverables in the process. As a former non-profit board member, I know it’s easy to forget that the company doing free work needs your help in supplying information, personnel and resources to ensure a successful project.
Pro bono work recipients have to make it a two-way street to help the donating firm be as efficient and successful as possible. That’s why the scope of work (hours, deliverables, timelines, etc.) is set in advance and must be respected by the client organization–it prevents misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations and (yup) even recriminations later.
Keep that in mind if you’re the non-profit looking for pro bono help: assurances to the prospective donor firm that a point person will mind the scope of work is a huge help in winning that firm’s assistance.
We also recommend you thank the firm often. In a program, on posters, online, invite them to post-event celebrations–wherever you can. Many firms won’t ask, but they will readily accept some credit and publicly-expressed gratitude for their work.
Being a business that’s sought after for pro bono work is indeed an honor, and we highly recommend all businesses help out their community organizations when possible. The trick to it is balancing the needs of paying the bills while being an energetic community booster.
DO YOU HAVE A CREATIVE PROJECT IN MIND BUT NO MONEY TO DO IT?
DON’T FEAR THE CROWD!
Learn the Ins and Outs of Crowdfunding Through Kickstarter & Indiegogo
J. Alexander Greenwood
Award-Winning and Top-Selling Author
Do you have a creative project you want to bring to market, but no rich uncle to fund it?
Have you ever considered trying your hand at crowdfunding through Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
Learn valuable secrets to success in this seminar by J. Alexander Greenwood, a first-time Kickstarter who raised 106% funding for his project. Alex is author of the Top-Selling (#1 on the Kindle Business Shopping & ECommerce Chart) Kickstarter Success Secrets.
In this 90-minute seminar, Alex gives your non-profit group, club, organization, company or class helpful tips, tactics and “do’s and don’t’s” based on his experience and research as a successful crowdfunder. He offers practical advice, anecdotes and ideas that are easily digestible and ready to be put to use on your campaign. Alex is a dynamic speaker who imbues his talk with great visuals and sound, common sense and humor. He has been interviewed about crowdfunding and his writing on numerous blogs as well as recently on radio and TV stations nationwide, including KSHB-TV and Audio Dust Jacket Radio.
Selected previous speaking engagements:
Philanthropy Midwest Conference
United Way of Wyandotte County
Topeka Community Foundation
KC Ad Club
The Greater KC Chamber of Commerce
The Kauffman Foundation
Praise for J. Alexander Greenwood’s Kickstarter Success Secrets:
“J. Alexander Greenwood generously shares his experiences with Kickstarter. More than a guide to the process, this work is frank about pitfalls as well as the correct strategies he adopted. If you’re thinking about crowdfunding a creative project, this work is worth your time. ”
“Nice, succinct, to-the-point analysis by J. Alexander Greenwood. He covers his successful (and modest) campaign to fund a paperback issuance of his third novel, Pilate’s Ghost. On a 21-Day Kickstarter campaign timeline, he successfully raised over $1600 (hence the ‘modest’ reference).”
“Very good coverage of the successful factors he measured, as well as those that he would have changed. Most valuable was the social media marketing metrics he presents, and his take on the “tribal” outreach necessary to crowdsource funding successfully for at least minimal virality. Many thanks to the author!”
Now scheduling seminars for March through November 2013!
Available in person or via Skype and other online meeting applications.
Contact Alex at Alex(at)AlexGPR.com or 913-907-4426 for rate and scheduling information.
Today through March 9, 2013 is Read an Ebook Week–an international celebration of ebooks in which thousands of authors, publishers and retailers feature free and discounted ebooks to help promote the joys of e-reading to the world’s readers. This means discounted and free Kindle ebooks, Nookbooks and iBookstore compatible books!
Each year, Smashwords authors are the most active participants, and the easy to use, no hassle Smashwords store features the largest selection of participating titles.
Caroline Street Press is offering a sweet deal on its top-selling ebooks–all in any format including free Kindle ebooks, Nookbooks or iBookstore. If you like mystery/thrillers with a touch of quirky humor, interesting locales and a wee bit of snark, then click over to Smashwords and get them for FREE or 50% off! Smashwords offers books in ANY ebook format, so no matter what your ereader, these books will work just fine.
Pilate’s Cross –FREE with Code: RW100 THIS BOOK IS NOT OFFERED FREE ANYWHERE ELSE.
Inspired by a true story, “Pilate’s Cross” follows John Pilate, his sardonic imaginary pal Simon and lovely new friend Kate as they investigate the cold case mystery of a murdered college president. In too deep to wash his hands of the mystery, Pilate risks his life to uncover the truth of what happened in 1963 and why it’s just as deadly today. REVISED 2012 EDITION. Only available here as free Kindle ebooks, Nookbooks or iBookstore. This special price is not valid anywhere else but at Smashwords.
Pilate’s Key –Only 99 cents with Code: REW50
This Kindle Book Review 2012 Mystery/Thriller Semi-Finalist is the second book in the John Pilate series. “Pilate’s Key” picks up weeks after “Pilate’s Cross” ends. On the mend from a near-death experience in the snowy Midwest, John Pilate is taking it easy on the beaches of Key West. Of course, Pilate has a way of getting into trouble–and the only way out is to find the key…Pilate’s Key. Also named a “Page Turner” by Shelf Unbound literary magazine. Only available here as a discounted or free Kindle ebooks, Nookbooks or iBookstore. This special price is not valid anywhere else but at Smashwords.
Pilate’s Ghost — Only $1.50 with Code: REW50
When a shadowy enemy rises from the dead, and the heavy hand of a guilty past weighs on his marriage, John Pilate must master his own fear and marshal his resources to defend his family and his life. Soon he discovers he isn’t the only one fighting a desperate battle, and that not all ghosts from his past are hostile…
Only available here as a discounted or free Kindle ebooks, Nookbooks or iBookstore. This special price is not valid anywhere else but at Smashwords.
Also, Kickstarter Success Secrets is only 99 cents–no code required!
Want to try your hand at crowdfunding your creative project through Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Learn valuable secrets to success in this brief book by a first-time Kickstarter who successfully raised 106% of his funding goal! This brief book gives you easy-to-understand tips, do’s and don’t’s ready to be put to use on your crowdfunding campaign. Check out this interview with the author on Audio Dust Jacket!
Free Kindle ebooks, free Nookbooks, free iPad-compatible ebooks–they’re all available during National Read an Ebook Week. Check it out!
Catch a fun interview with author, public relations consultant and publisher J. Alexander Greenwood on the Audio Dust Jacket radio show. Greenwood chats with host Kevin Finn about the burgeoning crowdfunding movement and his book, Kickstarter Success Secrets (2012 Caroline Street Press).
“It’s a fun interview, and I enjoyed sharing a few concepts and experiences chronicled in Kickstarter Success Secrets with the listeners,” Greenwood said. “Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are tremendous resources for people trying to fund–or invest in–creative projects. My ebook gives readers a peek inside the fast-paced world of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.”
Greenwood’s crowdfunding campaign was to find backers (investors) for a paperback version of his third novel, Pilate’s Ghost.
Part of Greenwood’s pitch sums up the project:
It’s not cheap to produce a print-on-demand paperback. Costs of editing, typesetting, book design, cover design (After two–going on three–covers I owe my brilliant cover artist a stipend!), production, review copies and shipping can add up. It can cost anywhere from $1200-$1500. Put simply: my current financial situation makes it unrealistic for me to offer the paperback version of this new book.
Any profits I’ve made on the ebook versions to date have been completely swallowed up by the paperback costs (and the website, eBook formatting, book trailers, review copies, postage, PR, advertising, etc.). Put simply: my current financial situation makes it unrealistic for me to offer the paperback version of this new book.
He offered numerous perks to backers, including autographed copies, free ebook downloads, and even the right to name a character in the book.
The campaign raised 106% of his Kickstarter campaign goal of $1500 in just 21 days–an unusual outcome. In the interview, Greenwood talks about what he did right, wrong and what he thinks about the future of crowdfunding.
Kickstarter Success Secrets is a brief ebook that gives you easy-to-understand tips, do’s and don’t’s ready to be put to use on your crowdfunding campaign.
By Alex Greenwood
Today, we have another edition of our continuing series of interviews with authors, songwriters and other outspoken creative people. We’re excited to introduce you to author Laurence O’Bryan. O’Bryan won the Outstanding Novel Submitted award at the Southern California writer’s conference in 2007–his novel The Istanbul Puzzle was selected by the agents and editors attending out of over 300 unpublished novels submitted. The same novel was shortlisted for Irish Crime Novel of 2012, five years later. He also wrote The Jerusalem Puzzle and is working on a new book in the “puzzle” series.
He is a member of the UK Crime Writer’s Association, the Society of Authors, the Irish Writing Centre, two “live” writing groups in Dublin and online writing communities in England and the States. As he says, “My research has taken me all over the world, from San Francisco to deep in the Arab world. And I still enjoy looking at the stars and listening to the stories of strangers.”
Let’s be strangers no more–meet Laurence.
AlexanderG Whiz Blog: How long have you been writing and why did you start?
Laurence O’Bryan: I have been writing almost every day since mid 2000. That’s almost 13 years! I must be a slow learner.
Why mystery thrillers?
Mystery thrillers are what I like to read, James Rollins, Dan Brown, and everything in between!
I am working on a different mystery, which will take readers to another type of conspiracy, but nothing far from what I am doing now.
Your books take place in “far away” places. What draws you to these settings?
I always enjoyed the way a good book would take me, for a low price, to strange and amazing places. I think it’s one of the best things about reading. You can cross the galaxy, go under the earth and into a great pyramid whenever you want with a book.
Why do you think readers like your books?
I hope it’s for the adventure, the taste of romance and the history too.
You’ve been favorably compared to Dan Brown. That can be a double-edged sword to some. How do you feel about that?
I have no problem with Dan Brown. I enjoy his books.
Your books have won–or were finalists for–prestigious awards. Has that influenced the way you write? In other words, do you feel pressure to make every book “award worthy”?
No, I just hope someone might consider them and I get a night out.
How do you like working with Avon/Harper Collins? Have you ever been tempted to go “indie”?
A big publisher is a stamp of approval. It’s not the “easy road to riches” that some think, but it has given me a lot of confidence and international exposure. I am being released in about 15 countries thanks to Harper Collins.
How do you market your books?
Social media mainly. I also do radio interviews locally and I have been on TV here in Ireland. I have been lucky to get some newspaper reviews too, both here and across Europe.
What tools do you use to reach and stay connected to your fans and meet prospective fans?
I have two blogs www.lpobryan.com where you can read about my writing, enter competitions and read guest posts from other writers.
I also have a social media blog www.yourasms.com where I provide free advice on social media for writers and others.
You can buy my books on either site.
You’re based in Ireland–does that help or hurt you as you try to sell books and/or build an audience in the United States?
I am in Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland, and it’s hard to reach a US audience, but luckily I have two good blogs and a Twitter account @LPOBryan (please follow!) so I don’t feel too far away. I have a lot of US based support and I appreciate that.
What are you working on now?
I started a new novel yesterday – another in the puzzle series. I am aiming to write 1,500 words a day and have it written in three months! Then the editing will start!
Any advice for writers?
Don’t give up the day job! It takes a lot longer than you think to make a living at this. Every writer thinks they will be the exception. It’s not easy when you find out the truth.
True indeed. Where are your books available?
On Amazon ebook and paperback:
and on iTunes.
and on Kobo.
Anything I forgot to ask that you’d like to say?
I really appreciate all the support from every reader. Writing is becoming far more social than it used to be. That’s a good thing for me. There are articles on writing, historical puzzles and how to get the most out of social media for all on my blog sites, all free, if you come along and take a look. I look forward to meeting you.
Thanks Laurence! Best wishes for your continued success.
Find Laurence O’Bryan here: