Month: March 2000

BEA 2002: Traffic, Not Trends, in New York (1)

BEA 2002: Traffic, Not Trends, in New York Report on the largest booksellers’ event in the US: surprises, trends, technology, and honest education. By Shel Horowitz I was struck by the lack of standout books, the lack of trends, and the vast numbers of attenders–and exhibitors (over 2000, filling both floors of the vast Javits Center. Unlike Chicago, there was lots of traffic even on the fringes. In fact, the only booth holder I spoke to who was dissatisfied with the traffic was located way at the end of an aisle around the 4600s, with about six others who were past the natural end of crowd flow. They had end-cap booths, including a very busy one from my publisher, Chelsea Green, on a cross-aisle just in front of them, which logically moved attenders around and on to the next aisle. This guy definitely felt marginalized. But in past years, the entire Small Press section has felt that way. Some things I did notice: * The ABSENCE of superpatriotic 911 books. I expected the show to be almost drowning in the flag, to have the twin towers gaping at me from every third booth, and to see a lot of books helping America to “stand tall and proud.” To my great surprise (and relief), there was very little about that. The publishing community is responding to 911 in a lot...

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E-Mail Customer Service: How to Keep Yourself Sane and Customers Happy While Answering 2,000 E-mails a Month (1)

E-Mail Customer Service: How to Keep Yourself Sane and Customers Happy While Answering 2,000 E-mails a Month Providing customer service via email to those who don’t provide any details of their problem, can’t configure their email clients properly so that you are able to respond to them, or don’t really understand the question they are asking can be difficult — especially when you receive 2,000 or more such emails a month! Mark Neely offers light-hearted advice on how to deal with the crunch without going crazy while keeping your customers happy. By Mark Neely [Editor’s Note: Since Mark is Australian, you’ll notice some spelling variations. This article originally appeared in the Internet Sales Discussion List (back issues at] Since I monitor a support-related e-mail address for a client, e-mail-based customer service is an issue very close to my heart. This address gets about 2000 messages a month. I answer them all personally. To keep myself from going insane, I have developed some guidelines: (a) I use an “industrial strength” email client (Eudora Pro) – coping with that level of emails requires a sturdy program, robust filtering capabilities and the ability to send pro forma replies when necessary. Outlook Express just doesn’t cut it, and Outlook has too many “resource overheads” associated with it. (b) My personal preference is to answer all incoming emails within the same day. Now,...

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How to Get the Press on Your Side (2)

How to Get the Press on Your Side How to make yourself newsworthy and get free press coverage (Excerpt from Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World). by Shel Horowitz, copyright 2000. It’s easy: make yourself newsworthy. News is anything that other people are interested in. And being newsworthy consists of letting editors and reporters know you’re doing something of interest to other people-having an event; telling a story; creating or participating in any occurrence; supporting, opposing, or even merely observing a trend or activity. Editors and producers have the tremendous challenge of coming up with new stories to fill their pages and air slots-day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. It isn’t always easy to fill all that space. Therefore, you become their ally. Your achievements–along with your ability to publicize them properly and work cooperatively with media people–will cause local editors to welcome you with open arms. Not only will you have a very good shot at getting your press release printed (perhaps several times in different sections of the paper), but a reporter might even arrange a more in-depth story. And that is pure gold for you! Stanley D. Friedman, who produces public affairs programming for WWOR-TV (serving New York City and northern New Jersey), notes that– even in one of the top markets in the country–he has to seek...

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The New Responsibility in Business (1)

The New Responsibility in Business Scott Harshbarger, former Massachusetts Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate, now a lawyer with a practice specializing in ethics issues, spoke on ethics at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts. Shel Horowitz, author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, took notes. Material in square brackets is paraphrased; the rest is quoted directly. The challenges to corporate America, to business leaders, to find ways to restore, repair or demonstrate integrity and confidence in the average investors, in consumers, is a very important issue. This issue affects everyone. If you go back to the 2000 presidential election, what were the issues debated? Terrorism was not a major issue. And we never talked about whether there were major problems in corporate America. Enron was convincing us that we could have dergulation at the same time California was being choked on that issue. But over the last three years, [the economy has suffered] over 7 trillion in lost value. It is not a surprise that this issue, whether or not you can trust the leadership of corporate America, trust the market, is essential. This is not limited only to Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. Pose to your children the question: take $140 million and have your reputation tarnished [as did Richard Grasso of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)] or maintain your integrity and give back...

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Grassroots Marketing a Finalist for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award (1)

Grassroots Marketing a Finalist for Book of The Year Award For Immediate Release Contact: Shel Horowitz, 413-586-2388;              Stephen Morris, 800-639-4099 Horowitz’s Book Named “Book of the Year” Finalist      TRAVERSE CITY, MI: ForeWord Magazine, a major independent publishing trade journal, has named Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World, by Hadley, Massachusetts author and business owner Shel Horowitz, a finalist or its prestigious Book of the Year Award as one of the top six business books of 2000 from independent publishers.      Grassroots, ISBN 1-890132-68-3, was published by Chelsea Green, a mid-sized publisher of energy efficiency, agriculture, and business books in White River Junction, VT. Publisher Stephen Morris said he “gave a copy to every one of my authors so they could better promote their own books.” Morris and Horowitz met while Horowitz was walking the floor of Book Expo of America (BEA), the book industry’s largest US trade show, in 1998, wearing a t-shirt promoting his earlier book, The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant’s Pocketbook. Chelsea Green’s booth that year featured a book called The Sustainable Hedonist. Horowitz pointed to his shirt and said, “We need to talk.” The book debuted in 2000 at BEA, where Horowitz autographed a copy for Studs Terkel.      Horowitz is the owner of Accurate Writing & More, a copywriting, marketing consulting, and career services firm specializing in creating affordable,...

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