Shining the Book Promotion Spotlight on Frank Zaccari

A native of western New York, Frank Zaccari earned a degree in finance from California State University at Sacramento after serving as a military medic in the U.S. Air Force. He spent over 25 years in the high-tech industry holding positions from account representative to CEO, and for nearly 20 years specialized in turn-around management of companies under 100 million dollars. Upon becoming a single, custodial parent after nearly 25 years of marriage, he left an industry that he loved to buy a small business in order to be home to raise his children. He is currently the owner of an insurance agency and resides in Sacramento, California. Inside the Spaghetti Bowl is Frank Zaccari’s third book. Previous books are: When the Wife Cheats and From The Ashes: The Rise of the University of Washington Volleyball Program.

You can visit his website at www.frankzaccari.com.

Visit him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001207722973.

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz, Frank.  Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

Inside the Spaghetti Bowl will touch the heart of every reader. Every family goes through difficult times when a loved one becomes ill. Even though your parents have lived a long and meaningful life, it is never easy to see them grow old and sick. Inside the Spaghetti Bowl is the actual story of our family dealing with the failing health of our mother.

This book is a celebration of life, family, culture and tradition as we document the last eight days of our mother’s life. Inside the Spaghetti Bowl shares the tales about the memories, trials and sacrifices made by our parents and grandparents that allowed the family to live the American dream.

The book’s main theme discusses the unconditional love families share through the good and the bad. I hope the readers will see their own family as they catch a glimpse into my family, a family that is always there for each other no matter what the cost. I hope the memories make them smile.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

Even before the book was released, I tried to create interest using facebook and twitter. I would post “teaser notices” every week letting friends know where the book was in the writing, editing and release process. I also contracted with a PR firm to create a press release and distribute it to over 2,900 magazines, newspapers, blogs, radio stations etc… Since I am a new author I wanted some professional help to get started rather than flounder around trying to figure out what to do by myself.

After that, what happened?

The next step was to contact Dorothy Thompson from Pump Up Your Book to schedule a virtual tour. I used Dorothy with my first book. It helped me make contact with other writers and generate exposure for my book.  The third step was to send the press release to my local newspaper and my home town newspaper. Both carried a feature article about a local author raising the importance of family. This helped to create discussion about the book.

What did your publisher do to promote your book?

Since I self published the entire writing world is a new experience.  Without a publisher all the marketing and promotion is up to me.  The virtual book tours have been a wonderful way to make contact with other writers and many potential readers.  They are also a great source for feedback.

I created a website www.frankzaccari.com as source of information. I contracted with a PR firm to help promote the book. They were able to schedule some radio interviews and professional reviews. It was fun but a little pricey. I am starting to learn the “social media” tools. Lately, I have been using facebook to keep people informed and will have a give-away promotion in December. I am learning how to effectively use twitter – still have a long way to go however.  I found with twitter there are far too many posts announcing where someone is going for lunch. I haven’t found the magic formula yet, but I am going to keep trying. I am open to any all suggestions from your readers.

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?

I am grateful for the bloggers who have agreed to review my book and be involved in the virtual book tour. I didn’t see a big increase in sales with my first book, but with some of the pre-release promotion that’s been done for Inside the Spaghetti Bowl I hope the comments and feedback from the bloggers help to build a ground swell. In my dreams the book goes viral…hahaha.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  Do you find it is or isn’t?

I am still learning how to effectively use facebook and twitter. Both still appear to be more of a “what I am doing today” medium rather than a real marketing tool. I do see the potential but I haven’t cracked the code yet.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

I am making phone calls and sending emails to the 2,900 outlets that received the press release. This is a slow and often tedious process but I believe it is necessary for name recognition for the book and for me as a new author.

I also am involved in an online/real time author chat room each month. This gives me an opportunity to hear how more accomplished writers are marketing and promoting their work. It is almost like a writers support group.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

To date the virtual book tours have generated the most activity and least expense. Since I have only been writing for two years, I am unknown in the literary circles. My lack of name recognition is my major challenge.

If I had the resources or was a known quantity I would run ads in the major newspapers, blogs and radio stations. Hopefully that day will come.

What are your experiences with offline promotions such as booksignings?

These events consume a great deal of time and can be fairly expensive until the book and/or the author reach critical mass or the Tipping Point. As a new and unknown author I am using every available avenue and opportunity to promote my book.

Thank you for this interview, Frank!  We wish you much success!

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