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News from Kleiner's Korner
Michael Kleiner Public Relations
& Web Site Design

Making the Unknown Known
June, 2008

1. The Power of Networking and Different Types of Networking

I missed an  issue last month, but I'm back with a June newsletter that I trust you will find interesting and informative. I had been wanting to do something around networking and when a story dropped itself in my lap last week, I realized I have different examples of networking that would make for a fascinating issue.

My trusted author colleague, Susan C. Haley, author of the award-winning Rainy rainydaypeople.jpgDay People (available in print and audio), and with whom I shared a panel discussion on Authors Helping Authors (see Article 4 below), has written extensively about four principles of networking and what they mean and involve. While geared toward books, the priniciples could apply in any business.

The four principles are:
1. Networking is first getting to know yourself; your strong vs. weaker attributes, a prioritizing of what you wish to achieve.
2. Networking is a reciprocal process.
3. Networking is action; physically doing something. It’s the perpetuation of action begetting reaction. We must take responsibility in the creating of our life. 
4. Networking is balance. It’s imperative to maintain a balance between your expectations and your contributions. 

“I have learned that networking is a process," writes Susan. "Results aren’t instant. I think it’s as much a building of a recognizable name as interest in a specific title or titles. For me, by being active in writing groups, online communities, message forums, e-mail lists and now some E-zines, I’ve drawn interest in my writing based on my Florida Writer column, list messages and comments on issues other than my books in various forums. With auto signatures, I've been able to draw a fairly large audience to my web site.

“My ‘Miracle’ story led to Pauline Hager (author of Memoirs of an American Housewife in Japan) recommending my web site all over the place. I’m very grateful to her. It’s a long process, my friends. Expecting instant or huge results quickly will lead to disappointment. I'd like to impress on people not to give up if results aren’t instant and to be prepared for a continuing effort at exposure and also to embrace a reciprocal attitude in helping other writers. I’m continually evaluating my own motivations, and I work sincerely hard at being honest and genuine in my ‘networking’ efforts. Actually, I think my personal reward comes more from that than selling a book.”

Susan was widowed at 55, and through writing was able to deal with the despair but realized. "it was a solitary existence." A friend helped her publish two books and led her to the Florida Writers Association. When asked to lead a chapter in Sarasota County, she panicked.

"I learned that if I’d take a step forward, others would do the same," she wrote in Infinity Publishing's Author's Gazette. "They’d meet me in the middle. To ripple a pond, all one must do is throw in their pebble. Next, I started tossing pebbles into the ponds of other writing groups, assuring them we were all under the same creative umbrella. FWA wasn’t an invader of their independence, but a support net; its fibers reaching across the state and beyond.

"It became apparent that the third principle of networking was doing. It’s attending workshops and conferences, visiting bookstores and related places of business. It’s researching reading clubs, organizing events, becoming familiar with the local publications and media. Most important of all, it’s offering an outstretched hand, a smile, a welcome, a thank you. 

"I then discovered a fourth principle of ‘networking’,  Balance. It’s being willing to learn as well as teach, to listen as well as speak. It’s being a shoulder to lean on as well as seeking one on which to lean. It’s giving encouragement as well as looking for it. It’s attempting to be what others would wish to emulate and creating something others would want to use or share, or in my case, read."

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Eco-Libris putting "stamp" on marriage of books and trees

(Networking Note: I placed an announcement in the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia e-newsletter about my next book event. An e-mail from fellow member Raz Godelink was the next one I received.)

You look at the Harry Potter tomes and may bemoan the trees that sticker_ecolibris2.gifdied making J. K. Rowling rich and famous and Harry Potter an icon. (Only the last three books indicate they were published on recycled paper). What if there could be an exchange to bring some of those trees back?

Enter Eco-Libris, which has come up with a nifty, simple and affordable idea which marries the love of books while being environmentally friendly. Raz Godelink is CEO of Eco-Libris, which has offices in Newark, DE and Seattle and recently joined the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. Targeting authors, book stores, book publishers, book clubs – just about anyone involved in the book industry – the idea is they buy a certain number of stickers from Eco-Libris for a certain number of books. When a sale is made, the sticker (above), which says:  “Eco-Libris: One tree was planted for this book,” can be affixed to the book. For each sale, a tree is planted. Yes, the sticker is printed from recycled materials: “from 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) and 70% pre-consumer waste, and they are printed with non-toxic ink. The envelope and the thank you letter, which you receive with the stickers, are made of 100% post-consumer waste,” according to the Eco-Libris web site. Their tag line is “Balance out your books.”

They work with three non-profit tree planting organizations: Sustainable Harvesting International, which covers Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama in Central America; RIPPLE Africa, which works in Africa, primarily in Malawi; and The Alliance for International Reforestation, which plants trees in Guatemala and Nicaragua. The photo at left is of recently planted trees at Kachere Primary School in Malawi. Photo courtesy of RIPPLE Africa).

Since Eco-Libris launched in July 2007, over 47,000 books “have been balanced out,” resulting in 61,500 trees being built.  Around 20,000,000 trees are cut down in the U.S. alone each year to produce books. These countries were chosen because communities have been devastated by deforestation. “We chose countries which could gain the most value,” said Raz in an interview. “We wanted to help environments with reforestation and communities gain sources of income.”

The cost ranges from $5 for five books/five trees to $23.50 for 10 books/10 trees to $47 for 50 books/trees to $93 for 100 books/trees to $450 for 500 books/500 trees. You go to the web site – http://www.ecolibris.net– place your order and Eco-Libris sends you the stickers with postage paid by them. Their goal is to balance out 500,000 books by the end of 2008.

Print On Demand (or author originated publishing) would seem an ideal partner, because the philosophy behind POD contributes to conservation by only printing a book when it is ordered. Thereby, there aren’t a lot of unsold books lying around gathering dust. Infinity Publishing prints on recycled paper. There is no indication on the iUniverse books I have.

“The thinking behind Eco-Libris was there is a tremendous usage of paper with a tremendous environmental impact associated with it,” said Raz. “It will take time until we reach a point of sustainable paper and alternatives. We have to do something now and not sit and wait. We do believe in taking action and in the power of small changes to make a big impact...Eco-Libris is for everyone. It is a green business that enables people to do something reasonable, affordable, yet with an impact: plant one tree for every book they read. We believe that taking responsibility for the environmental costs of the books we read is only natural. We strive for a world where reading books doesn’t have adverse effects on the environment, and therefore our mission is to make reading much more sustainable than it is today.”

Raz grew up in Israel. There have long been campaigns to donate money to build trees in Israel and the Jewish holiday of Tu B’shevat is dedicated to trees. “Perhaps, subconsciously that influenced me to start Eco-Libris,” he says. “Since I was a kid we were planting trees in the forest. The need to plant trees and the value of trees grew up with me. I became aware of keeping trees as a natural resource and not to just transform them into paper.”

“What a book is” has changed over the last several years. Ebooks and audio books have gained in popularity. These developments could effect Eco-Libris’ businesses. Raz sees these developments as a way to reach their goal. With Ebooks especially, it can be hard for readers to adjust to reading a book on a screen and their instinct would be to print it out, thereby defeating the purpose of preserving paper.

“Firstly, ebooks will become part of the greener alternatives eventually,” said Raz. “It’s something good to support. Things work in stages and ebooks will be a better alternative sooner or later. With Eco-Libris we want to raise awareness, so when someone opens up a book and sees our sticker, they will think of trees. Like with food, you think of the ingredients.”

The name Eco-Libris is devised from a Latin phrase Ex-Libris which means‘from the books’ where a label was put on a book to show who owned the book. We see Eco-Libris as the new, green version of Ex-Libris,” Raz says. “In our vision people will balance out their books by planting trees and will indicate their commitment to sustainability by putting an Eco-Libris sticker on the sleeves of these books. As people once showed their love for books with Ex-Libris, we hope to see people show their love for books and the environment with Eco-Libris.”

3. Connections through memberships

I am the immediate past President of the Mt. Airy Business Association. Our tag mabalogoweb200.gifline is “A Network That Works.” A couple of months ago, a member, JAE Enterprises, Inc.which consults with for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations in any stage of their development, received a three-year, $1.5 million federal grant to serve as intermediary to assist non-profits in Camden,  NJ with technical assistance and training. They decided to look within the organization first for PR help. In addition, I knew of another member who did a lot of work with Camden organizations. While the RFP did not fit him, he had contacts in Camden that did. With this example we see how “a network that works” can work. 

I received three queries within a short space of time through the membershipsbnlogo200.jpgdirectory of the Sustainable Business Network web site. I am a new member to SBN so it was gratifying to see such a quick response. Two of the three had not joined SBN yet. There was a woman who was writing her business plan and knew she would need a web site. The others were referral/ collaboration partnerships. We’ll see if anything comes about, but the key is we know each other is out there. Maybe, it paid off to pay a little more to have a more detailed description on the web site. Be aware of who does what in different organizations you belong to, because the best form of advertising is often word of mouth. Within this newsletter, you may have found potential contacts. 

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4. Infinity Publishing Conference:
Panel: "The Power of Networking:
Four Principles From Networking to Marketing:
Authors Helping Authors"
and Authors Reading Circle

At the Infinity Publishing Conference in October, 2006, something special happened. Authors wanted to talk to other authors. After a long day of seminars and dinner on opening day, 20-30 people gathered to read excerpts from each of their books. It was a remarkable event. People were overwhelmed by the quality of the writing. The creation of an Infinity Authors’ community took root. Over the next couple of months, Lois W. Stern gathered a database of authors,their books, elevator pitches, e-mails and web sites. I downloaded the book covers and created an Infinity Authors page on my book web site.  Eleven authors followed suit. InfinityAuthorslogo150.gifInfinity's book cover designer designed a logo for us. At the 2007 Conference, Susan C. Haley, Lois W. SternDonna Jaske  and myself (the core group that worked on the community during the year), along with Jerry D. Simmons, former VP of Time-Warner Books, presented a panel: "The Power of Networking: Four Principles From Networking to Marketing: Authors Helping Authors." Listen to the podcast of the panel.

The reading circle happened again. Listen to the podcast and discover the diverse talent of writers whose books you might decide to add to your bookshelf.

5. Next book appearance:
Mt. Airy Authors Day, June 21

On June 21, I will be among three authors at Mt. Airy Authors Day at Lovett Memorial Library, 6945 Germantown Avenue, discussing my book Beyond the Cold: An American's btccover4.jpgWarm Portrait of Norway.

Readers have found Beyond the Cold to be much more than a travel book. Beyond the Cold traces the development of my affinity and passion for Norway, its people and culture although I am not of Norwegian descent. It begins when I spent a year in Norway with my family at age 11 in 1969-70 (attending a Norwegian school) and my return trips as an adult. The book is unusual in that it is told through a child’s eyes and memories and an adult perspective. Among my adult trips was to attend the International Summer School at the University of Oslo with 500 students from 70 countries, returning to speak at the 50th anniversary of the Summer School and my honeymoon. As I have found a second home and family in Norway, Beyond the Cold shows the value of travel and multicultural experience, and a country that is more than cold weather. The book has received many positive reviews including Fjell og Vidde, Norway’s largest outdoors magazine, The Norseman, and the newsletter of the Sons of Norway on Long Island, NY. The book includes a section about Mt. Airy and the community organizations.

The book may be purchased at Buy Books on the Web, Infinity Publishing's online bookstore, or call 877.BUY.BOOK or 610.941.9999.

The schedule for Mt. Airy Authors Day: 1:15 p.m.: Lori L. Tharps, Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love and Spain; 2:30 p.m.: Liz Farmer Jarvis, debut of Mt. Airy history book; 3:45 p.m.: Michael Kleiner, Beyond the Cold: An American's Warm Portrait of Norway. Slides of the country will be shown, including travels above the Arctic Circle. More information see the flyer.


6. Web Site Promotions

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7. About Michael Kleiner PR & Web Design
logobullet.JPGJust by our name -- Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Site Design -- you can see how we believe public relations and web sites are integrated and integral parts of your business. We provide one-stop shopping, keeping your professional image and brand identity consistent. We do more than public relations and we do more than just web sites. We do more than just host your web site and register domains. We offer blogcasts (combination of blog and podcast) to e-mail marketing to e-commerce to web sites formatted for mobile devices and more. And all priced not to break your budget.

We work with authors and the award-winning Michael Kleiner is an author himself, so he brings his experience and reputation in PR and being an author to the table. But public relations and promotions are not a cookie-cutter field. It takes creativity, imagination and thinking outside the box to know what angle will interest which reporters, whom to target, and what cross-promotions can be utilized to find out of the ordinary places an author may appear. The company serves small businesses and Michael Kleiner just completed a two-year term as President of the Mt. Airy Business Association and eight years on the executive committee. More than 80% of the membership is sole proprietors. Among his specialties are special events. Michael Kleiner understands small businesses, authors, PR and web design and strives to live up to his tagline: "Making the Unknown Known."

Most recently, he spent May, 2007-November 2007, promoting the first anime convention ever in Philadelphia and the first ever produced by an African-American owned company. It was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the weekend event drew several thousand.

2003 Home-Based Business Advocate Award from Small Business Administration for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and for Region III (PA, DE, MD, VA, WV, DC)
2003 Communicators Award of Excellence in Feature Writing, an international award. 



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© 2008 Michael Kleiner Public Relations and Web Design