Publishing Poynters


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Dan Poynter

Book and information marketing news and ideas from Dan Poynter

April-June 1997

Do not buy a (mechanical) postage meter. They are being phased out to reduce meter fraud in the $20 billion of metered mail each year. Digital, electronic and computer-based meters are coming soon. Pitney-Bowes, with 85% of the US market, recently offered a small ("personal") unit for just $19.75/month.

When ordering supplies by mail, telephone, fax or on-line, always pay by credit card. If you get ripped off, you can protest the charge to your bank.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), regulator of sales by telephone, mail, fax, e-mail, etc., has a web site:

Free from the Postal Service: The Small Business Guide to Advertising with Direct Mail and the Postal Business Companion. Jammed with useful information, both cover much more than mailing information. Ask for them.

When photocopying a newspaper article, try placing a black sheet of paper behind it. The dark sheet will help minimize ghost characters from the other side of the paper.

The Publishers Marketing Association (PMA) is growing and moving to 627 Aviation Way, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Other number remain the same: tel: (310) 372-2732; fax: (310) 374-3342; e-mail:; web site: Change your address file and send for information if you are not a member.

If you like cats, you will love Catz. Make a web search for this screen saver program and order it. You will be glad you did. Oh, they have Dogz too.

Wanted for review: books on money, financial, downscaling, thrift, cookbooks, gardening, etc. Send to A Penny Saved, Diane Rosener, 8205 Avens Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. Tel: (719) 598-4615.

1-800-FLOWERS reported a 150% increase in online sales in December 96 over December 95, accounting for more than 10% of its overall holiday sales. Around 80,000 flower and gift orders were placed via the company's web site during December, generating over $4 million in sales. Sales via the web site were up over 1,000%.

Are you using the Net's secret weapon? Every e-mail message you send should include information about your latest product as well as your Web address and other contact points. Try to keep it short, though-netiquette suggests a signature should be no more than four lines long. This tip from Mary Westheimer of BookZone, which represents more than 600 publishers.

Our Fax-On-Demand upgrade is still in the works. We apologize for the inconvenience. The system is working but not as well as we would like.

Ingram has a fax-on-demand system with information for bookstores, libraries and international customers. Give BookFax a try by calling (615) 287-6700.

Small Press Week is March 24-30. Contact PMA for details. Tel: (310) 372-2732 or

What do editors want? Wouldn't you like to know before you send off a review copy or news release? Kay Borden surveyed 135 newspaper professionals on the subject of business news. To get a copy of the eight-page results, send $10.45 to Franklin-Sarrett Publishers, 3761 Vineyard Trace, Marietta, GA 30062. Tel: (770) 578-9410.

PIIGS (Publishers' Invoice & Information Generating System) has been released in a new 2.0 version. The $800 program is currently being used by some 220 independent publishers. Demo editions are available, contact Steve Carlson at Upper Access, PO Box 457-a, Hinesburg, VT 05461. Tel: (802) 482-2988. e-mail:

Antiquarian, Specialty, and Used Book Sellers Directory lists 5,261 book dealers and what they want. Check the subject index and send your brochure to appropriate stores. For example, we sent our catalog of parachute books to all the aviation and military book stores. The $85., 863-page directory is available from Omnigraphics, Penobscot Building, Detroit, MI 48226. Tel: (800) 234-1340. Sample pages:

On-line: Eleven percent of the 98.7 US households are on the Internet. And 25% of them are visiting shopping sites. There are over 900,000 domains and 16,146,000 host computers. The most popular items purchased by on-line shoppers are PC software (53%), books (37%), and CDs/tapes (30%). Other popular items are PC hardware, airline tickets, clothes and consumer electronics.

World-wide, nonfiction outsells fiction by $55 billion to $25 billion.

At book signings, do not just sit at the table. Walk around the store with your book in hand and introduce yourself to everyone. Be the store's official greeter. Thanks for this promotional idea from Larry James, the relationships expert.


When you write and publish a book, you commit history. The book has to be correct and up-to-date. People move a lot-22% each year. So we call every telephone number and verify all the addresses each time we go to press. Checking is expensive but necessary. And thank you for the changes you send to us.

Is this any way to run a publishing company? We think it is and we have been doing it for over 28 years.

Clipping service for just $35/month and $1.25 per clip. Nehemiah & Solomon, Greg Roy, PO Box 284, Phippsburg, ME 04562. Tel: (207) 389-1428

Wear your book cover. Take your book to Kinko's. They will scan the cover and reduce it to fit on a button. Or if you have a scanner and color printer, copy the cover yourself and take the print-out to Kinko's. Very effective and very inexpensive.

Try offering 2nd and 3rd books at a steep (40%?) discount when you next make up a brochure. Many people will order more than one. Thanks for this promotion idea from Jim Donovan, author of Handbook to a Happier Life.

Recycle your information. Put your book on audio tape, lead a seminar and consult on the subject. Wring maximum value out of your information. Also consider joining with authors and publishers of like books to produce a CD ROM to be sold by all.

We are environmentally concerned; we are committed to a clean earth. If you do not want mailings from Para Publishing, please let us know-we will take your name off the list. Oh, and please help keep the air clean for skydivers.

Book Promotion Professional Development Course in Santa Barbara. Our seminars are all about nonfiction book publishing, promoting, marketing and distributing. Dates are listed in the Calendar section. Limited to just 18 participants, $495. These weekends are so popular, they fill 6-8 weeks in advance. Call Para Publishing at (800) PARAPUB toll-free for a brochure with testimonials from some of our more than 900 graduates. (FOD 167)

Credit card software is finally here. PC Authorize (and Mac Authorize) run about $350. Now you can eliminate the mini terminal and printer. See the article by Alan Canton in the February edition of the PMA newsletter. For more details, call Tellan Software (800) 483-5526. And/or log on to

Publishers may wish to trade in their .com Web addresses for .info addresses. Internic added seven more extensions. Over 900,000 domains have been registered, 85,000 each month and 90% are .coms.

Para Publishing
Your Book Promotion Partner

Dan Poynter will be speaking: In addition to the Santa Barbara workshops, Dan is taking his book-marketing message on the road. Come and meet Dan or send someone from your staff. Call telephone numbers and/or our Fax-On- Demand machine now for details. He will be speaking:


It is time to share: Please send us your book marketing tips for inclusion in Publishing Poynters. You will be helping the thousands of publishers who receive this informative newsletter. When sending marketing opportunities, you must include full details and your telephone number.

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Para Publishing, Dan Poynter, PO Box 8206-199, Santa Barbara, CA 93118-8206 USA.
Tel: (805) 968-7277; Fax: (805) 968-1379
Alternate Web site:


  Contacting Para Publishing LLC. Email:
  Telephone: +1-805-968-7277; Fax: +1-805-968-1379
  Postal Address: PO Box 8206-240, Santa Barbara, CA 93118-8206 USA.
  Street Address: 530 Ellwood Ridge, Santa Barbara, CA 93117-1047 USA.

Some relevant numbers: SAN 215-8981: Fed ID 95-6532235: Duns 09-141-9358: ISBNs 0-915516 and 1-56860.