Speed Shrinking With Author Susan Shapiro

SpeedShrinking-NewQuote (3) Recently, my friend, the talented author Susan Shapiro, came out with her first work of fiction, Speed Shrinking.

This book offers a very humorous account about a female sugar expert, who fell prey to her cupcake cravings right before she was set to appear on a national TV show.

Sue, a master marketer, has been doing a series of "Speed Shrinking" events to dramatize what her main character went through — she checked about 8 shrinks in eight days!

Anyhow, check out this story in the Independent from writer Claire Prentice about the Speed Shrinking event last Friday.

Susan was kind enough to invite me to be one of the "speed shrinkers," as you can see in the article. A photo of me is also included.

Now, before the holidays, is a good time for you to get Susan's entertaining book Speed Shrinking.

It's ideal for those of you, who have sugar issues, who are eager to lose weight, who would like to be entertained and read some beautiful writing, and who to laugh at your food challenges. If anyone can get you to do it, Susan can.

Read about Susan's other Speed Shrinking events, too.

Book Promoting: Should We Authors Be Outrageous, Provocative & Original to Become Bestselling?

Whether you're a reader, an author or a publishing insider, I invite you to join in the interesting discussion now brewing about what constitutes good book promotion.

Last weekend, I did what I thought was a fun, humorous, zany, admittedly provocative sandwich-board publicity stunt at BookExpo America, the largest book publishing event in North America.

I first wrote about my unusual promoting here and here and you can read some comments from people here, too.

To summarize, my intentions were:

  • To drum up interest among potential readers in my first book SUGAR SHOCK!;
  • To intrigue people in my upcoming, as-yet-unpublished second book, The Weight-Loss Habits of Highly Successful Losers (working title);
  • To acquaint people like you (my target audience) with my work so they can learn how to break free of their bad habits or what I call "babits™" so that they can lose weight, get energy, boost their libido, become happier, etc.;
  • To garner media attention;
  • To make contacts within and outside the publishing industry, which could lead to a variety of exciting partnerships; and, of course;
  • To build my platform even bigger.

DSC00094 My gimmick at BEA was this: On two days (of the three-day event), I walked around selected places at the Javits Center in New York City wearing a sandwich board that jokingly asked, "Are You `The One?'" (I did so with permission and for a fee.)

The sign also was displayed all weekend long  at my booth.

My sandwich board — which was humorously designed by renowned graphic artist and author Hillary Carlip to look like a single's personal ad — poked fun of the fact that I'm a single woman and an author available to both the right man and publisher.(Incidentally, Hillary — who has done work for Jennifer Anniston — also designed my Gab With the Gurus radio show blog and my new site to promote my upcoming book, The Weight-Loss Habits of Highly Successful Losers.)

BetterHabits_small_for_blog_insert My sign also provocatively stated, "Will put out on first date!!" (Yes, I was embarrassed by this remark, but, of course, I was just joking. What I meant is that I would "put out" information about my next book, The Weight-Loss Habits of Highly Successful Losers; tell you about my first book SUGAR SHOCK! (you can sneak a peek here); and share how I help people break their bad habits or babits™.

Wow! I thought I was just cleverly showing that, in these uncertain economic times and crowded market, authors who want to make a splash need to be what I call "author-preneurs." In other words, to boost our platforms and build interest in our books, we should show initiative, originality and a sense of humor.

At BEA last weekend and afterward, as I sorted through business cards and email addresses of of people I'd met, I thought I'd at least partially succeeded in my goals. My off-the-wall marketing gimmick made lots of people laugh and chuckle. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to meet hundreds of people in the book industry — booksellers, librarians, editors, authors, publishers, etc. — as well as members of the media.

But since BEA, I've taken some flack and had a change to think more about my unusual marketing approach. In particular, my gutsy, guerialla-book promoting, sandwich-board-wearing efforts were criticized first here and then again here by Lynn Price, editorial director of Behler Publications, who writes the Behler Blog.

After Lynn's less-than-flattering remarks about my publicity stunt, I took time to reply — first to her initial post, "Authorpreneurs my stinky foot," and then to her second one, "It's All About the Show." (Incidentally, since then, Lynnn and I also have shared polite, private emails. She's also getting a copy of my book SUGAR SHOCK! in the mail since she was questioning the quality of my writing.)

Now that I've been blasted (or so it feels and) compared to tactless authors, who wear toilet bowls on their heads (ouch!), I'm wondering: Was I wrong to be so provocative, adventurous and and flagrantly innovative  at BEA?

Did I goof bigtime or was I right to walk around wearing an innovative sandwich board, which asked, "Are You `The One?'"

Did my publicity stunt turn off you, my dear readers? Or, if it backfired, who exactly was annoyed by it?

While I hoped my marketing efforts would get attention, I hadn't planned on being getting so much criticism. But of course, I should be prepared for that — obviously, that goes with the territory. If you put yourself out there, you have to be prepared for the consequences. 

Outrageous pr stunts 047004392X But, hey, I'm now willing to learn from the experience. Clearly, I have a lot more to learn about successful book promoting.

While I've attended numerous, great conferences featuring such people as Mark Victor Hansen, Alex Mandossian, Michael Drew and Warren Whitlock, I guess I need more foolproof, innovative marketing ideas.

Obviously, I should continue to pay close attention to such whizzes as Peter Shankman, author of Can We Do That: Outrageous PR Stunts That Work and Why Your Company Needs Them: as well as Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, John Kremer, Shel Israel, Robert Scoble, Arielle Ford and David Meerman Scott.

So, since I always strive to improve, please tell me what you think.

Did you think my sandwich board gimmick at BEA was creative and funny or misguided and stupid? Feel free to be honest.

And what do you think are the best, most clever ways to get the word out about my next book, The Weight-Loss Habits of Highly Successful Losers? (FYI, I already use my blogs, Twitter, Facebook, my radio show and my massive email list.)

What do you think I should do to spread the word about my  next book?

Please don't just tell me to write a good book. I'm hard at work on that. Besides, that's not nearly enough in this economic climate. As mentioned earlier, we authors need to become author-preneurs.

For those of you here who are familiar with SUGAR SHOCK! and this blog, I invite you to become a pivotal VIP Super Friend of my upcoming book. Please visit my new blog, www.BetterHabitsDiet.com, to learn more about how to spread the word.

And if you're here, because you're struggling with sugar or other unhealthy habits, I invite you to join my four-week Break Free program, which begins tomorrow night.

Authors & Author Wanna-Bes: Experts Tell You How to Become an Author-Preneur

Mark Victor Hansen Are you an author like me? Do you aspire to be an author? If so, I urge you to become one of 100 people who attend Author 101 University, which takes place May 28 in New York City.

This will be an amazing event, I'm convinced. You see, in the past (as I was gearing up for SUGAR SHOCK! to be published, I've learned from most of these speakers, and I promise you that they'll give you valuable information galore.

Meanwhile, on April 28 at 3 pm EST, would-be authors also are invited to my Gab With the Gurus Radio Show, when you'll hear from a variety of
exciting authors, PR and publishing experts, including Rick Frishman, Arielle Ford, Susan Harrow, Robyn Spizman and Warren Whitlock, who will tell you about how a new breed of authors — the
author-preneur (a word I coined).

As always, you can listen either live at 3 pm EST or later, at your convenience.

Meanwhile, at Author 101 University, a variety of publishing and marketing will give you tools and techniques to get your book published and double or triple your income as an author or publisher.

The amazing, bestselling author Mark Victor Hansen will MC the event. (Mark, for those of you not in the know, is the mega-bestselling co-author with Jack Canfield of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, which have sold a whopping 100-plus million books.)

To learn more and sign up for Author 101 University on May 28, go here.

And please join me either live at 3 pm EST or later for my radio show about author-preneurs.

Facebook: Is It a Fast Path to Friends, Fun & Even Fame? Get the Scoop with Gurus Jesse Stay, Mari Smith, Shama Hyder, Etc. on March 24

Are you on Facebook yet? What about Twitter or LinkedIn?

If not, it's time to get on the social networking bandwagon!

First, I strongly urge you to join the more than 175 million hip people now using the wildly popular Facebook social networking service!

If you're not on Facebook yet, would you like to know how to find friends, become popular, get people to check out your services, attend your teleseminar, etc.? Of course, the answer is "Yes!," right?

If you are already on Facebook, would you like to learn how to use it to find friends, fun and even fame?

So newbies and veterans alike, get a Facebook education!

Join me — for free — on March 24 at 3 p.m. EST on my Gab With the Gurus Radio Show. You can listen live or later.

Get details now on my Gab With The Gurus Blog here.

Also, stay tuned for 2 more social networking shows — March 31 is a hot Twitter show with gurus galore and a LinkedIn show is on April 7.

Got any ideas for experts for the LinkedIn show?

We need your help. My wonderful new Gab With the Gurus Associate Producer Meghan Walker and I can't do it all ourselves.

Send suggestions for LinkedIn speakers now.

Tell your friends now about the Facebook show, which they can listen to live or later. For details, send them to http://tinyurl.com/FacebookForAll-GabWithGurus

Bloggers & Journalists: Help Sought from Fast-Working, Accurate, Concise Writers for This Blog

Calling astute, well-trained, fast-working, concise journalists, bloggers and journalism students or recent journalism grads! This Sugar Shock Blog wants you!

As readers know, I’m still recovering from the after-affects of a bite from an infected tick — i.e., I’m one of some 200,000 Americans stricken each year with Lyme disease. Having this illness has forced me to cut back on working, including my time blogging. Plus, I need to focus on paid writing gigs. (In case you didn’t know, I’m a professional writer, with a master’s in journalism and hundreds, if not thousands of writing credits.)

Anyhow, the Lyme disease symptoms have made it harder for me to have time to blog, which is why I need help from you. What’s made it harder is that Jennifer Moore, my wonderful, long-time blogging assistant/researcher, recently had to resign due to other demands on her time (such as a real job).

Please spread the word. FYI, unpaid, qualified interns — who will get university credit — are preferred.

By the way, in case you’re wondering why I’m posting this in the middle of the night, it’s because I woke up with a horrid Lyme-triggered headache — worse than I’ve had in weeks — so I write to deal with the pain. Writing has been my one salvation during this trying Lyme time. It’s seen me through headache hell, as well as cognitive craziness galore. And other ailments.

Again, please write to me if you — or someone you know — would be ideal to write for this blog, which, as I posted earlier, will soon be revamped and renamed the Get Your Fill Now Blog. Shortly, all posts will be no longer than 100 to 150 words.

When you contact me through this moderated comment function, please let me know if your comment is confidential and just for my eyes or publishable. Hope to hear soon from you or someone you know!

New York Writers: Learn About The Future of Publishing From Industry Bigwigs on Sept. 10

Susan_shapiro_head2_2New York writers — or wanna-be scribes — you need to catch this amazing panel at Cooper Union on Wednesday (Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.) featuring a Who’s Who of big-name publishing professionals.

The event — which was organized and is being moderated by acclaimed journalism professor and accomplished author Susan Shapiro — will enlighten you as to the views of these movers and shakers as to what may happen in this unpredictable world of publishing.

You’ll hear from the following panelists:

Clearly, if you’re in New York and a writer — or even an avid reader — you’ll want to attend this event, especially when you learn that proceeds are going to charity.

Indeed, to her credit, Sue — the author of five books herself, including Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus — is allocating all ticket sales from the Future of Publishing Panel to PEN American Center’s Writers’ Fund.

The fee to attend this program is modest — $20 at the door and $15 in advance. To attend, email Sue.

Full disclosure: Although I would plugged this fascinating program no matter what, I’m also spurred to get the word out for two more reasons. Firstly, Sue (the organizer/moderator) is a good friend of a good friend of mine, the talented writer Sherry Amatenstein, and secondly, I just signed up for Sue’s upcoming essay-writing class.

(Admittedly, it’s kind of strange to be a writing student again, master’s degree and all. But I want to put on my diligent student hat, because, although I’m an experienced journalist, blogger and published author, I really need help to become proficient at writing personal essays. Hence, Sue’s will be the fourth essay-writing class I’m taking.)

Anyhow, please spread the word about this exciting Future of Publishing program and get your ticket now!