The New Boy! Welcome Nick Wale!

 

 

Roberts HIT

Nick Wale turned “Reprisal: The Eagle Rises” into a hit overnight.

Interview undertaken by interviewer  Alex Laybourne and reblogged on several sites including http://www.nickwale.org

Ever hear the song “Hungry Like The Wolf”? Well, this guy is hungry for the hits. It becomes a struggle when you have written a book—a good book, no less! What do you do? You can hire some PR guy or girl who takes thousands off you and does nothing. You can pretend you wrote the book for your family. You can say that “there’s no money to be made in writing.” You can be the art writer with a chip on your shoulder.

You should meet the “Hitmaker.” He has just sailed into the top twenty on Amazon, again, with “Reprisal! The Eagle Rises.” The writer is Cliff Roberts, and the PR is Nick Wale. I caught him for an interview! What sells? Let’s get some free advice from a guy near the top of the pile.

Q) Hi, Nick, how are you taking to being the “Hitmaker”?

A) Hola! Who the hell came up with that? I thought that was an album by Burt Bacharach. I like it though. The “Hitmaker” is doing just fine… Just getting by, I guess.

Q) Modest? You are currently in the top twenty again? Is that just getting by?

A) No, Cliff Roberts is in the top twenty. Nick Wale, Hitmaker, or whatever you call him is still the dude who promotes books.

Q) Let me ask you—how do you take to all the stuff you’ve been called? You were “King of the Author Interviews,” then you were “Winner Wale,” and now you get called the “Hitmaker.”

A) I don’t really take it. It just is. I don’t let that stuff get out of proportion. If people believed half the hype in the world, we would all be driving Gremlins.

Q) So, what is a hit book?

A) A hit book sells. It sells because it has something about it. It doesn’t have to be perfectly edited, it doesn’t have to be THAT commercial. It just has to have that IT factor. It catches on. The trick for a PR is to identify WHAT will make it sell, and then exploit that. For Roberts, it’s the fact that he writes excellent stories. For Chris Keys, it was an eye for detail. Terry Irving has a unique way of writing. It’s different for everybody. All books aren’t born equal. A good PR realises that each book will have weaknesses, and people will pick on that. You just have to work hard to make sure the good stuff gets to the majority of people.

Q) What do you do that other PR services don’t do?

A) Nothing. I just do it with class, and I don’t make people take out mortgages to hire me. I don’t tell them that they will sell a million copies, either. I do what I can, and when the magic elves help me—it clicks! Don’t believe the hype when a PR agency tells you that if you spend ten thousand dollars you will have a hit. You probably won’t. A hit shouldn’t cost any more than time, patience, hard work and working with a professional who will charge you professional prices. The problem with the majority of PR services is simple—they don’t get hired that much—so the person who DOES hire them has to pay them a lot of money to make up for it.

Q) How often are you hired?

A) All the time! Results, a good eye for clients, a good list of authors, strong candidates for hit novels keep me in that magic thing called work. A good reputation helps. I think the biggest factor is that I just bring in the results—be it sales, strong interviews, opportunities, chart placings—whatever. I just bring them in.

Q) What should people look for in a PR?

A) Someone new, someone who doesn’t give you a spiel about how rich and successful they are. I was told by a great friend of mine, Jacob Singer, who is a top stock market analyst, “If you are told by someone that they have the tips to make you a million dollars—ask yourself—why aren’t they using them themselves?” That has always stuck with me. If someone is telling you how successful they are, question it. Look for evidence. I always try to tell my clients that anyone promising a number one tomorrow is lying through their teeth. Number ones take time.

Q) You are a conservative guy by nature, aren’t you?

A) Totally. I never rush into anything because that’s a good way to end up broke. I don’t rush, I don’t take people’s word for anything. I look at what they have done. I look at what they have achieved and where they are headed. I try to follow the example of a writer and businessman named Tom Blubaugh. Tom is a genius, but he never rushes into anything. He makes good decisions, and he makes them after giving them a lot of thought. I try to do the same. I ask myself, “Is this good for my business?” “Is this good for me?” and most importantly “Do I need this stress?”

Q) Did you get coached in the art of business?

A) No, not really. I just copied off successful people I know. I tried to see what worked for them. I worked for a writer called Mike Trahan, he was another guy who never rushed into anything. You had to explain things through and through. No funny business. Guess what? I took that to heart, and now I ask more questions than my clients. You can’t leave anything to chance.

Q) So, I guess you made mistakes, too?

A) Sure! I have passed up some great manuscripts. I have lost business through making mistakes. I have screwed up interviews. The important thing is that I got back up and tried again and again. I learnt from my mistakes, and that is what’s important. If something doesn’t work with your promotion—give it another shot! Try something else! Do anything, but don’t sit on your fanny wondering where it all went!

Q) How should people begin their promotional efforts?

A) Look at a budget. Look at what you can afford, and then look at what will sell your book best. Will it be a Facebook ad that will get you a new audience? Will you spend advertising money on your Facebook page? Will you buy an auto-tweeting client? Will you hire a PR? What will your budget allow you to do? Then look at where the market is… Are thrillers selling? Are memoirs? What is number one on Amazon? What does your book has that makes it stand out? Who are you? Do you havepersonality? What are your past experiences? Were you in the Service? You need to look at every angle. I will explain why.

The reason you need to look at every angle is simple. You need to know what groups you can join, military writers groups—for example. If you join one of these groups to promote your book—you will be more likely to be accepted if you have a military-themed book or background. You need to look at who you are and what you have to offer.

Q) What would you do with Joe Bloggs aged twenty-six with no job, a loan to pay for your services and a book about skateboarding?

A) I would get Joe on the youth groups, skateboarding groups. I would have him on webinars talking about skateboarding. He would be promoting his book the old fashioned way—with personality to an audience that wants to hear about his work. Not just spammed links all over the Internet. Joe would also be running a sample book; he would have professional interviews and double interviews with relevant people. Joe would be busy—too busy to remember that he has no job.

Q) Do you really think “spamming” is a bad idea?

A) Yes. It’s a bad idea all around because it ruins your reputation. You only get one reputation—bestselling writer or spammer? Your choice.

Q) How can you account for the success of “Reprisal! The Eagle Rises”?

A) I can’t. The readers can. Cliff Roberts and I have no idea why it took—we just did the right things. We promoted it the old fashioned wayand now it’s roaming around the top echelon of Amazon. Why did it hit? Where to flies go in winter? What happened to perms? Nobody knows, and frankly, nobody cares. You just have to do the right things to make the hits happen. Seriously, analyse yourself, your book and look where it will sell. Get yourself professional interviews, professional representation and exploit your books strengths. That’s how the magic happens. It worked for Lloyd Tackitt. I helped move 2900 of his books in one month. It happened for J.W. Northrup when his short stories went wild with sales. It happened for Cliff Roberts when he broke the top twenty on Amazon. It happened for Carol Bond. It can happen for you.

Q) Last question—where can people contact you?

A) Get to me via email at Nicholas.Wale (@) hotmail.co.uk or you can write to me at Nick (@) nickwale.org. You can also find me at my website www.nickwale.org . It will be a lot of fun meeting you!

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I Grill The Griller…

Chris1Maybe I should tell you a little about Nick. He cut his teeth in the harsh world of “Independent Publishing,” the world where the many release their books to the few. Ask him about his first hit and he will tell you about Terry Irving. Ask him about his home life and he will tell you about his girlfriend Lori. Ask him about the world of books and you will hire him. He has ideas that many people wouldn’t even think of.

It was a hot summer day, not a bad cloud in sight. Nick is an ardent believer in the Law of Attraction (LOA) and you will always find him sitting, thinking about his next move. Disturb the peace at your own peril. Looking like a country boy, he is at home in t-shirts and jeans. His hair always short and his accent very English. Let’s go take our lives in our hands and disturb his peace and quiet…

Q) Hey, Nick, what’s new with you?

A) Hola Chris. How goes my buddy, the bestseller?

Q) Pretty good! Okay, so I have been up all night racking my brains to think of things to ask you. You started as an interviewer right?

A) I did. I was a pretty green kid actually, asking questions that I thought were pretty clever. The fact is, I didn’t get really good until the first time an author got mad at me.

Q) What happened?

A) I asked him questions he didn’t like and he got so mad he left. I decided from that moment on, that you didn’t need to ask the most invasive questions to get results. You just needed to get your interviewee on side and find out what makes them tick.

Q) Did you always want to interview people for a living?

A) Hell, no! I loved it– but I didn’t want that career forever. I still enjoy it from time to time. Sometimes, I feel like returning to it, but that won’t happen.

Q) What is Hot Books?

A) Chris, Hot Books is a way of thinking. It’s a new idea I had to help move books. We list them and then buy a continual Facebook ad to keep the customers coming. They see a book they like, they buy it, and the page grows as writers come along and ask for their books to be added to the page. It’s a way of putting a lot of product out there without spending thousands on advertising. One page, one advert and one cost.

Q) Now, I have read somewhere that you have never worked with a flop? Is that true?

A) It’s a lie. I have worked with a flop. A book I once worked with was so bad it didn’t sell a single copy. I couldn’t get anyone to review it. I guess that’s what happens when an author writes a book about pubic hair.

Q) Why did you take it on?

A) Because I thought it might take off. I thought it could be a novelty– it wasn’t. It was an attempt to write something that would become a modern classic and frankly, it was so bad, the author eventually gave up trying to sell it. I think he wrote a straight-forward murder mystery next. I wasn’t asked to promote that one. I think my opinion of his ode to pubic hair pissed him off.

Q) How would you describe yourself?

A) Smart, intelligent, handsome… Nah, I guess I would describe myself as a modern day baby-boomer.

Q) You believe in the ethics of the baby boomers?

A) I think it worked at the time– that was probably the most productive time humans have seen in recent years. The recent move towards welfare dependency is rather scary, but I don’t talk politics.

Q) Why is that?

A) Because my job is to talk about books, writers, the great things people are putting down on paper. Nothing in my job description gives me the right to sanctimoniously rant about politics to people who want to hear about books.

Q) Do you believe other artists and promoters should feel the same way?

A) Not at all. Feel free to do whatever you want! Just don’t ask me to give my political opinion during an interview.

Q) So, what is different about your approach to the promotion of writers?

A) I believe that all books can potentially make money. I believe that all writers have the right to make a living from their books and my whole ethos is promotion for fair prices. I started Novel Ideas to work with independent authors who couldn’t get on the big rollercoaster called the “PR MONSTER.” You know, the ones who couldn’t afford the big guns to come out and spread the word about their books. The way my approach differs is simple– I do the leg work and appeal to the people who read books. I use the tools we all have–the internet–and I make sure everyone knows that the book exists without flooding the world and driving everyone mad.

Q) Do you think you are the future of PR?

A) No, I actually think I have more in common with the past. The way the record companies worked in the 50s and 60s. Back then, you knew a record was good if you could hear it endlessly without getting sick of it. I have the same approach. I take a writer’s work, and I submit it to the public in a way that they take without thinking “oh GOD NOT AGAIN”.

Q) Do you think many writers over-promote their work?

A) Yes, almost certainly! I think there are already so many books on the market and then people go crazy promoting their books and soon the whole market becomes so. People just walk away and look for new places to spend their money. It is so easy for a writer to scare away readers.

Q) Of all your interviews, which was your favorite?

A) I can’t choose a favourite, per se. I think my favourites have been the interviews I have done with guys like Boyd Lemon, Mike Trahan, Mike Walsh and Gordon Osmond. I also really enjoyed the interviews I have done with writers like Joseph Langan and Greg Eddolls. My first big interview was with Terry Irving. I am very proud of my body of work.

Q) Have you ever had a difficult interview? How do you deal with that?

A) Sometimes, you get people who don’t really know what to say. When that happens, you just have to go along with it and play it by ear. I think a good interview takes chemistry and to get chemistry you have to spend time building up a rapport. Take a guy like Mike Trahan– If you walk in there and try to shark him, he will kick your ass out of that interview quicker than a flash. You have to know what to ask and how. The boundaries are set by the interviewee, and if you want to be experimental, don’t do it with someone who is likely to dislike being experimented on.

Q) What would you class as experimental?

A) Again, politics is the number one NO during a general interview. Do not start a political flame war. Do not threaten the interviewee. Keep things above board and do not ask things that you would not like to be asked. You are not David Frost– therefore, do not pretend to be.

Q) What do you think of David Frost and his famous interviews with Richard Nixon?

A) There you go trying to be experimental.

Q) Is it true that you broke all attendance records on the weekly book webinar?

A) Yes, I did… But that was some time ago, now. I think that record must have been broken by now.

Q) What did you think of the interviews you have attended on that show?

A) Angie (Harris) is one of the most interesting interviewers I have ever come across. She has this way of putting people at ease. I think Gordon (Osmond) is crucial to the success of the show because he has such a literary knowledge. I think most writers would feel happy to be on that show. Lori (Nick’s fiancee) and I attend all the time.

Q) So, what is next for you?

A) Well, currently, we have highly-placed books with Terry Irving and J.W. Northrup. I think Ellen Mae Franklin is a forthcoming bestseller and we should find out where her book is headed over the next few weeks. My money, however, is on Mike Trahan. His E-book just came out and I think it might just be the biggest hit Novel Ideas has ever worked with.

Q) Thank you for your time, Nick!

A) Not a problem, Christopher.

You can find Nick Wale at his website right here!

We got Nick to take a photo for us… He gives us the mean cell phone look…