Scott Lorenz is an award-winning author/publicist and the owner of Westwind Communications. I asked him to sit down for an interview, sharing his experiences as a publicist and his book, Book Title Generator. Grab your favorite beverage and join us. Scott, take it away:
How did you get interested in writing?
My mother would read to my brother and me every night. The most memorable book was Call of the Wild by Jack London.
How did you discover that you wanted to be a writer?
I was in the first grade and wrote a poem about the janitor Mr. Truax. I got such encouragement from my teachers and my parents it must have stuck in my mind.
How are you inspired?
I get inspiration when I am doing something else like flying my balloon, walking with my wife, even taking a shower! Most importantly I’ve noticed that I have clear thoughts on resolving an issue, or formulating a letter. It’s quite amazing.
What's the most awesome book title you've ever read?
The most influential book on my life was Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss which was given to me by my wife. It’s responsible for helping me to create and develop my book marketing and book publicity business into the success it has become.
How was Westwind Book Marketing started?
My firm was in general PR and marketing for many years. I worked with doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, tech start ups etc.
One day a romance author contacted me to promote her book. It was the beginning of a great lifelong pursuit. But, before that I was approached in college to promote a book called “Howard Hughes the Hidden Years” which was how the world found out about his eccentricities. Ten years later books became my main focus.
How much did you research while writing your book, Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book?
I’ve been writing about topics for authors for 20 years. The titling of a book is one of the most important. With the advent of Amazon, Google and the power of ‘search’ it was quite apparent the old way to title a book was out of date. So I set out to study the best titles in the business, interview authors on the process and create a system for titling a book that all authors should review before they title their own books.
What are some ways to come up with a good book title?
I have 96 pages on this topic in my book but, in a nutshell, first determine the audience. Ask what search term or phrase people use to find your book. Use that term in your title or subtitle. Evaluate the competition in the space. Determine the genre of your new book. Create memorable titles using idioms, numbers and alliteration.
Did you expect 'Book Title Generator' to become a multi-award-winning book?
I did expect to win awards but I did not expect to win 15 awards to date. That was a pleasant surprise. One thing I noticed over the years was how the media perked up when they found out a book we were promoting had won an award. There’s a certain cache that goes along with winning an award boosting it in the eyes of everyone who hears about it.
As a publicist, how do you differentiate between public relations, marketing, and advertising?
Marketing is the overall umbrella under which public relations, publicity and advertising fall. The reason authors seek my help is that an article in a newspaper or magazine or an interview on TV, radio or a podcast is a third-party endorsement which carries more credibility than a paid ad. Furthermore, paid ads are very expensive and not usually affordable or even practical for most authors. An ad a little larger than a business card in the NY Times Sunday Book Review is about $10,000.
What's the best way to get media coverage for your pre-launch start-up?
For each of our client’s book we create an electronic press kit with a pitch letter, press release, a synopsis or logline, excerpts, and media questions. We try to make it easy for members of the media to say yes to an interview. We then target members of the media most likely to be interested in a particular book. We create angles that tie a book into breaking news or topics in the news. The media does not exist to promote your book. They exist to entertain and inform their audience. The mistake many authors make is creating too much of a hard-sell in the pitch which turns off the media. Book publicity is a little art and science and is why authors hire my firm.
What are your plans for the future as a writer? Are you working on anything new?
I frequently add new articles for authors to my blog www.Book-Publicist.com. I am inspired by my clients and their successes and strive to keep focused on delivering results. The book business changes every day and the methods to promote books evolve at a faster pace now than ever before. So we are constantly trying new techniques which I incorporate in my articles to share with authors.
My next book will be useful to authors no doubt… stay tuned.
People can connect with me at www.Book-Marketing-Expert.com
or email email@example.com
Thank you, Scott, for the insightful interview. Readers, scroll down to read more about Scott’s book.
Title: Book Title Generator: A Proven System in Naming Your Book
Author Scott Lorenz
Genre: Non-Fiction, Business Writing, Publishing
Publisher: Westwind Book Marketing
It’s the first thing they see…
…and if done right, can make all the difference.
Is your Title designed to sell?
George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 started out as The Last Man in Europe and Dracula was originally titled Dead/Un- Dead.
Would Harper Lee’s renowned classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, have done as well as Atticus?
What will they read next?
If the title doesn’t grab them, it’s game over. Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. He shares his secrets. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman's World, & Howard Stern to name a few. You’ll learn:
- How to effect sales with a title change.
- The power of numbers, alliteration, and idioms.
- Why keyword research is important and how to do it.
- plus, much more.
Book Title Generator is designed to help authors and publishers spark the idea to lead them to the perfect book title. It’s the surefire way to find your winning title.
You’ll adore this crucial piece of the marketing puzzle because he writes with wit and humor to help you truly know the concepts.
ONCE YOU GET those basic keywords down, the next step is working them into your book’s title listing. For example, if you’ve settled on “paranormal romance” as your genre for your debut novel Once Bitten, great, you’re on the right track. You will need to find a logical way to work keywords in. What do I mean by logical?
Keyword stuffing (jamming in every possible word) doesn’t work. For one thing, it looks unprofessional. On the level of search engine functionality, jamming a bunch of phrases into a listing has proven ineffective for increasing exposure. Yeah, the bots have caught on and caught up to us.
When you go about the task of entering your book title into the Amazon page you may want to consider something like:
Once Bitten: A Paranormal Romance.
Right away, the logical use of genre-based keywords does two things. First, it allows searches to differentiate between the Once Bitten book that falls into the cooking category, the one that’s a memoir about being attacked by an angry snake, and yours. The other is that it announces its presence to readers.
Nailing the right keywords also comes later in your book’s Amazon experience, too.
Keywords might not be as obvious as your genre title either. Keywords and search behavior are as wide and varied as anything else we humans do when we get in front of our computers. Keywords may include settings. Let’s say you write World War II military thrillers. Readers of that niche are well-practiced in searching for that specific term. A book like that may want to add the subtitle, A World War II Military Thriller.
Your best keywords may end up drilling down deeper into the genre than just paranormal mystery, into a specific niche genre like urban fantasy or something else.
If you are writing a book series centered on a specific character, eventually their name will fall into the realm of logical keywords. Readers talk about characters. If senior heartthrob Jack Longtooth is going to serve as the hero of Once Bitten in the endless series of books, you may want to add that name as well. Once Bitten: A Jack Longtooth Paranormal Mystery.
The key to understanding keywords in titles is that they are there to complement your book’s core title. On their own, words like Once Bitten can mean anything.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
The book is available on Amazon in ebook for Kindle, paperback and as an audiobook.
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Book Marketing, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it's their first book or their 15th book.