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Media Interest Growing in What It Takes to Be a Liberated CEO

Posted on June 13th, 2014 | Author practices,Big Fish Media,Media relations Category | No comments

We were excited when Scott Leonard, author of The Liberated CEO (Wiley 2014), hired Big Fish Media to help him and his team get the word out about this intriguing book.  Over recent weeks, media coverage has been growing, with strong interest in Scott’s program for reinventing the workplace.   Among recent developments Scott appeared for a lengthy segment on the Unfinished Business radio program aired on KNX and KFWB hosted by Renee Fraser and Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire.    Financial Advisor ran a feature summarizing his three-year sabbatical and how it applies to the book; published Scott’s article, How You Can Recharge Your Entrepreneurial Batteries with a Working Sabbatical, Fast featured his piece, Everything You Need to Know to Become a Remote CEO, and Upstart Journal ran a feature, and an essay by Scott, as well.

And there’s far more coverage and interviews which you can check out on the’s in the press page.  Why do you think Scott’s message and strategies are connecting across a number of audiences?  I’ll discuss this in a future post.


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Why It Wasn’t Such a Bad Winter After All

Posted on April 9th, 2014 | Big Fish Media Category | No comments

It was a harsh six months here in the Northeast. We took a pounding with a never-ending barrage of snowstorms and the freezing temps courtesy of the Polar Vortex.   But spring is here.   Finally.   It’s time for baseball and trout fishing (two of my greatest passions).

Now that the weather has lifted, I see that actually, the winter was better than I’d realized because we got a lot done for our clients—here’s just a sampling:

  • National media campaign.  Al Lewis and his writing partner Vik Khanna asked me to publicize their important work on the ineffectiveness of corporate wellness programs including the publication of their e- book Surviving Workplace Wellness.  Al and Vik make my job easier because they are so original and have so much to say on a topic that is constantly in the news cycle.  Our work began last year when we helped them get an op-ed last year in the Wall Street Journal, among others, and built on that momentum in 2014 by scoring articles and placements in Fast Company,, IndustryWeek. and Harvard Business Review Blog Network. Al also wrote a book with Tom Emerick and we helped them get into Fortune and placed a cover story in Workforce magazine among numerous placements.
  • Editorial development and promotion.   When we first met Scott Leonard, he had a great idea for a book about a three-year sabbatical he took from the helm of a company he founded.  We helped him develop his concept into a saleable book proposal, then steered him to a publisher.  Later, we coached him through the writing process.  The result:  The Liberated CEO came out in March, published by Wiley.  I was especially happy to see this book published because it offers such a positive message:

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Finding Facebook Friends and Fans: What Authors Need to Know About Big Changes in Facebook

Posted on January 25th, 2014 | Content Marketing,Media relations,Self Publishing,Social Media Marketing Category | No comments

Chances are once you’ve published new content to your website, you automatically update your other social media platforms to reach friends and fans: you send out a tweet, update your Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts, share on Google+, and post to Facebook. What you may not know is the new content you just posted on Facebook will not automatically appear on your friends or fans’ newsfeeds. In fact, your content will reach smaller number of fans than before. If you want to ensure reaching all your fans, it will be at a cost.

In the good old days it was a given that your posts would appear in your fans’ newsfeeds (where people spend the majority of their time) but according to Facebook, the onslaught of content has increased competition for what is limited space. Over the past six months, Facebook changed its algorithm; now, fewer fans are reading your content in their newsfeeds.

Reaction to the changes at Facebook has been mixed. The small business owners profiled in the New York Times article, “Facebook Revamps Ads to Compete With Google,” are not complaining; in fact, some have embraced the changes. But comments posted by other small business owners to an Advertising Age article (“Facebook Admits Organic Reach is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads,”) are far from happy. To read candid comments on the relative worth of Facebook for business owners, irrespective of the changes, read “A Social Media Marketer Assesses Facebook’s Advertising Platform” (NYT).

There is no doubt that Facebook is an important tool for authors. It’s where you can generate “Likes” for your work, comment on posts, and interact with your fans. But with these new changes, you’ll have to decide whether it’s the right social distribution channel for you. Our recommendation?

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It’s Never Too Early: Self-Promote Your Self-Published Book While You’re Writing It

Posted on January 14th, 2014 | Author practices,Self Publishing,Social Media Marketing Category | No comments

Big Fish Media is chronicling author Susan Price in a series of posts as she navigates the world of self-publishing. We follow the choices she faces, the decisions she makes, and the challenges she encounters in all areas, including research, production, and marketing. We’ll also offer tips, resources, and insights about self-publishing.

By Sarita Venkat

Susan is in the home stretch of completing her manuscript. As an expert on the topic of family philanthropy (she’s been immersed in the field for 15 years), Susan is writing a book titled Generous Genes: Raising Caring Kids in a Digital Age, which builds upon her 2001 book The Giving Family. Generous Genes will reflect the way kids are using technology as a tool in their giving. She started writing her book in earnest in early 2013; countless hours of research later, along with more than 100 interviews, and nearly half the words toward her goal of having a 60,000 word manuscript by February 1, 2014.

But, similar to the conundrum many writers face, it’s been challenging to keep up the writing momentum and find the time to promote her yet-to-be-published book (she’s also accepted a few paid consulting opportunities; while enticing when she’s getting no advance for her book, they have added a further wrinkle to her already tight schedule).

Publicity is critical at all stages of the self-publishing process so it’s never too early to promote your tome. As someone who has traveled the traditional publishing route with her previous titles, Susan will miss having a publicity department supporting her new book. (“Even though people complain that they didn’t get much help from the marketing folks, they still do some things for the author.”)

For example, Susan took advantage of the 2013 holiday season to generate buzz for her book

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HR Magazine Features Article by Client Van Horn on the Recession and its Impact

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 | Author practices,Media relations Category | No comments

The October 2013 issue of HR Magazine features an article by Heldrich Center Director Dr. Carl Van Horn that draws upon the findings from his recent book, Working Scared (Or Not at All): The Lost Decade, Great Recession, and Restoring the Shattered American Dream, and distills the causes of the Great Recession and the devastation it brought about for American workers.  Big Fish Media provided editorial and media outreach services for Dr. Van Horn’s landmark book.

What Van Horn labeled the “lost decade” is characterized by several factors, including the longest recession on record, the highest unemployment in 30 years, and a drop in median family income. He identifies four forces that are driving labor-market transformations: globalization and offshoring; mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring; the transition from industrialization to a knowledge- and service-based economy; and deunionization. Van Horn explains that these forces contributed to the widespread dissatisfaction that American workers have as they try to support themselves and their families in the face of reduced benefits and decreased or nonexistent training and educational opportunities in the workplace. As the United States struggles to recover, Van Horn notes that it must “develop more aggressive pro-growth policies and devote greater effort to enlarging the nation’s economic pie rather than fighting over the best way to divide it.” Read the article online or request a print copy.

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Six Steps to a More Engaging Author Website, Part 2

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 | Author practices,Content Marketing,Social Media Marketing,Uncategorized Category | No comments

In our latest post, we shared three out of six steps many of the most engaging effective author websites have in common.   In part two, we provide three more.  I’d love to hear your ideas about what we missed!

4) Hosting a Dynamic Blog: Websites with a built in blog get 55 percent more traffic than websites without a blog. While that’s a compelling argument to have a blog our recommendation is to only maintain one if it’s updated at a minimum once a week—if not more. A good blog should offer a steady flow of insight into the author’s activities, thoughts, and ideas.

  • Author and NYT journalist Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code) blogs frequently on his site. In fact, his blog is front and center: it’s the main feature on the homepage. In addition to its frequency, Coyle integrates pictures and videos and has catchy post titles—“How to Spark Motivation? (Step One: Shut Your Mouth)”; “A Two-Minute Video That Might Change the Way Your Kid Thinks”; and “Best Parenting Tip Ever.”
  • Dan Ariely, (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions) an author and professor, posts his “Ask Ariely” Q&A column from the Wall Street Journal to his blog. The questions are varied and Ariely’s responses are brief and interesting (he incorporates plenty of behavioral science research into his answers). The bottom line: Ariely blogs prolifically about his field of interest and expertise making the blog a must-read.

5) Having a “Rockstar” Testimonial: It’s always better to have other people talk about how great you are and author Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) hit the jackpot on this front. His homepage features a video clip of U2 front man Bono recommending Florida’s bestselling book to a panel

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Six Steps to a More Engaging Author Website, Part 1

Posted on October 18th, 2013 | Author practices Category | 1 comment

In a previous post, we established why authors should have their own website. An engaging author website is the gateway to multiple audiences: agents, editors, the media, readers, and reviewers, and thus, it should showcase your work and ideas and give people a sense of your personality. Setting up a website yourself or hiring an affordable designer does not mean you’ll have to spend a significant amount of time or money. In fact, you’ll expend more time and energy on your Twitter and Facebook accounts than your website in the long run because once set up, all you have to do is update the site with fresh content.

In the next two posts, we highlight features from several nonfiction author websites that we think are effective in engaging readers and building traffic. We hope these ideas inspire you to be creative on your own site.  All of these can be developed by you, without spending more money  on a web engineer or designer.

1) Crafting an Effective Tagline: A tagline, which should feature prominently on your homepage, does two things: it either summarizes you and your expertise or it describes what your book is about. It signals to the reader that you are an expert and your website contains the best information on a particular subject. We also find that a tagline sets the website’s tone. Check out the following:

  • On author and entrepreneur Chip Conley’s (Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow) main website (Conley has two other book-related sites), the first thing you’ll see is the following tagline: “Creating Transformation at the Intersection of Business + Psychology.” (The tagline is placed next to Conley’s inspirational TED Talk.)
  •  “The Movement That Is Transforming How New Products Are Built And Launched.”

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Key Elements of Author Websites (post 1 of 4)

Posted on October 14th, 2013 | Author practices,Self Publishing,Trade Publishers Category | 1 comment

Big Fish Media has added website design to our portfolio of services.  During the last six months, we have developed the official website for the legacy of C.K. Prahalad; and the website for the book Choosing Change, by Susan Goldsworthy and Walter McFarland.  We’ll have more news about our planned offerings soon; along the way, we’ve been doing our homework on top issues for nonfiction authors deciding to develop a website for their book. Over the next week or so, we will publish four posts offering insight, tactics, advice, and best practices to authors, drawn from our experience and analysis of successful nonfiction author websites.

Remember that in almost every case, authors need to be active in social media as well as operating a successful website. And, as Jason Allen Ashlock wrote in his excellent column The Truth About Author Websites, many experts believe a bad website does more harm than good.  Because of the importance of costs and providing updated and new content, we still recommend WordPress as the best development platform and learning to self-admin your site is critical.

Consider a few of these basic must-dos for an author’s website, assuming his or her book is going to be published commercially and in distribution:

1. Keep content fresh: whether via blogging, news updates, interactive Q&A features, or other means; don’t allow your site to become stale (if you’re going to have a blog, be committed to creating new material at least once a week). Link to your social media.

2. Invest in a WordPress-savvy designer for a simple, elegant and functional approach. That may seem like obvious advice.  What’s important is to visualize information in a style that consumers are used to: note the design on Simon & Schuster’s new websites. 

3. In terms of functionality, the

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Self-Publishing: What’s Your Motivation?

Posted on October 3rd, 2013 | Author practices,Self Publishing,Trade Publishers Category | 2 comments

by Sarita Venkat

Big Fish Media is chronicling author Susan Price in a series of posts as she navigates the world of self-publishing. We follow the choices she faces, the decisions she makes, and the challenges she encounters in all areas, including research, production, and marketing. We’ll also offer tips, resources, and insights about self-publishing.

 Even before Susan self-publishes her book she has something many—if not most—self-published authors lack: a solid foundation. In our conversations I learn what sets Susan apart from other writers.

  • Having passion: If you are writing a book to make money, stop right now. The only way you’ll succeed is if you are deeply passionate about your topic. Working with parents to help them instill philanthropic values such as giving and serving in their children (toddlers to teenagers) is Susan’s passion.
  • Being clear and focused: Susan has a purpose for writing her book: she wants to update her 2001 book The Giving Family: Raising Our Children To Help Others. For the new book, she will incorporate fresh ideas and insights that reflect giving in the digital age. Susan is also writing this new book to secure more speaking engagements. (“I am an extrovert and giving speeches is a great way to interact with people.”)
  • Understanding self-publishing: Susan has already traveled the traditional publishing path with her previous six books. But she wanted to try something different this time. Similar to other authors, she wants to retain more control of the publishing process and prefers not to find an agent or publisher this time. But, Susan is aware that it won’t be easy. If you are self-publishing be clear about what parts of the process you will do and those that you will outsource.
  • Being a subject matter expert: Susan has been

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How to Meet the Self-Publishing Challenge: A Case Study with Nonfiction Author Susan Price

Posted on September 18th, 2013 | Self Publishing,Trade Publishers Category | No comments

by Sarita Venkat

I just finished reading Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch’s book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. In excruciating detail, the authors take the reader through a step-by-step process on how to self-publish by (fittingly) self-publishing APE. The book is a guide and resource for authors exploring an alternate publishing route. It’s also a good reminder that in the digital age, it doesn’t hurt writers and publishers to know about the social and technical tools available and accessible to them.

That said, self-publishing isn’t for the fainthearted. The information is overwhelming and the choices numerous. So it got us thinking—why don’t we help demystify the process by shadowing a nonfiction author as they navigate the self-publishing maze?

Meet Susan Crites Price. Susan is a Washington, DC-based freelance writer, book author, and speaker. She an expert on the topic of family philanthropy. Susan has talked about this issue on television (Oprah, NBC’s “Today”) and has written about it in various publications (Working Mother, The Chronicle of Philanthropy).

In 2001 Susan published The Giving Family: Raising Our Children To Help Others, a highly regarded book in the philanthropic world. According to Susan, the book helped her secure some speaking engagements, allowing her to talk about a topic she’s passionate about and in the process, sell more copies. Susan is currently writing an updated version taking into account technology’s role in charitable giving. (“Twelve years ago kids didn’t give online. Today, they do a million things online—including philanthropy.”)

Susan has already traveled the traditional publishing path with her previous six books, so this time she’s decided to self-publish. Why? Similar to many people she wants more control over the publishing process and prefers not to spend time finding an agent or publisher.

So, we’ll

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