Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dan Poynter on How to Find a Publisher

Guest Column: Dan Poynter on How to Find a Publisher

Perhaps you would rather a publisher handle the production and distribution of your book. The secret is to match your manuscript to the publisher.Better publishers specialize in one or two niche markets. They know their subjects and do not have to send your manuscript out to a reader for evaluation. They also know how to reach the potential buyer and can jump-start your sales by plugging your book into their existing distribution system to specialty shops.

To find these specialized publishers, check your own bookshelf and visit a couple of larger bookstores. Look on that shelf where your book will be. Search your topic at an online bookstore such as Then go to your nearby larger public library and consult Books In Print, a multi-volume reference listing all the books that are currently available for sale.

Look for smaller publishers who do good work. Then look up their addresses in the last volume of BIP. When you contact a smaller, specialized publisher, you will often get through to the top person. The editor or publisher will know what you are talking about and they are usually very helpful. They will be able to tell you instantly whether the proposed book will fit into their line.

Another way to match your manuscript to the publisher is to see the listings of appropriate acquisition editors in Literary Market Place but remember that LMP lists larger publishers not all of them. Also check the Acknowledgments in books similar to yours; authors often reference their editor.

Call the editor (or the publisher in a smaller house), reference the similar title they published and ask if he or she would like to see your manuscript. Then you will have someone to send your work to. Never just mail a manuscript off to a publishing company; always send it to a specific person. Larger publishers receive more than 200 unsolicited manuscripts every day.Most are not opened. They are rubber-stamped "Return to Sender". You are getting rejected without being read.

AGENTS. Many publishers prefer to have manuscripts filtered through agents.In this case, you must match your manuscript to the agent because they specialize too. See books like yours and contact the agents of those books. Check the Acknowledgements; authors often acknowledge their agent. Or make a Google search and contact the author.

Don't send manuscripts, proposals or query letters randomly out to just any publisher. Send to publishers who know what you're talking about, want to hear from you and know where to sell your book. Do your homework!


Reprinted from 'PR/PR Pulse, a free e-zine featuring tips and techniques for gaining publicity. To receive this e-zine, please send an email to with 'Add Me' in the subject line.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Joan Stewart on Editorial Calendars (PR/PR Pulse)

Joan Stewart on Editorial Calendars

If you aren't taking advantage of editorial calendars from newspapers and magazines in which you want coverage, you're missing a valuable tool. An editorial calendar is a list that outlines specific topics the publication will address within each issue that year. It also notes topics of special sections and other supplements. The calendars are printed primarily for advertisers so they can plan their advertising budget months ahead. For Publicity Hounds, editorial calendars are also valuable road maps that help you pinpoint the issue where your story might best fit.

Editorial calendars from several publications, placed side-by-side, give you a bird's-eye view of which publications you should target with your story ideas, and when. Far too many businesses learn about special sections only when a newspaper advertising rep calls asking them to buy an ad. By that time, most of the stories for the section are already assigned to reporters.

For a free editorial calendar, direct your request to the publication's advertising department. While you're at it, ask for the entire media kit. It's loaded with valuable information about audience demographics.

For more information, visit: .

Reprinted from 'PR/PR Pulse, a free e-zine featuring tips and techniques for gaining publicity. To receive this e-zine, please send an email to with 'Add Me' in the subject line.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Spring Cleaning in the Salon

It’s Spring Cleaning Time in the Salon

As the weather starts to warm and the sun streams in through the salon’s windows, I realize it’s spring-cleaning time. I love spring-cleaning. It’s an excuse to turn everything inside out and reanalyze how we do things. After a while, we just don’t see things. Take a fresh look.

It the salon, it’s also a great time to check the expiration dates on everything. Any retail products nearing expiration are gathered up and sent to a local women’s center.

While cleaning, we check the electrical cords on all appliances for wear. Anything that shows signs of wear is discarded and replaced with shiny new replacements. How much fun is that?
Plants can only stay if they fit the theme and are in spectacular condition. Otherwise, the dust-catching green leaves are out of here. I’m skeptical of anything that requires a ton of dusting.

Could it be it’s time to purchase new towels for the salon? It’s such an easy way to update the look. Toss the tattered magazines and look books, replacing them with current spring trends.
I might need to drag out the touch-up paint and fix nicks and scratches that detract from the salon’s appearance. When will it be time to repaint? Should I be thinking about fitting it into the budget?

Once everything is sparkling clean, it’s time to arrange the retail. Building small attractive displays of new spring merchandise, such as Nurture Lotion, will attract attention. Keeping the displays and testers in client areas can increase sales. Perhaps we can even build some specialty services around new products.Everyday cleaning is great for keeping dust and germs at bay.
Deep cleaning and adjusting the layout makes everything feel new. What a great way to prime for hot summer sales.


I occasionally do product reviews. If you would like to be considered, you may send a sample to: Erin Snyder Dixon, PO Box 1189, Newport News, VA 23601. We do not receive any funding for reviews. If you would like to pass along a discount code, we will consider including it in the review. We don not guarantee that we will review a product or the time-frame in which we decide to do so. It is helpful if background info is included that can be included in the review. We review products (products, books, CDs, tools, etc.) that are related to health and beauty, or the written word.

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