Guest Post: "Building Brand Recognition from Scratch," by Rudy A. Mazzocchi


It’s Marketing 101 – how do you rise above the noise? I’m very new to this publishing industry, but have spent over 25 years designing new products and focusing on how to “take market share”. In learning this new business – yes, writing, publishing and promoting your book is a business – I spoke with dozens of authors, editors, publishers, publicists and literary agents. Here’s the 10-step formula, built by consensus, that I was provided.

1.      Study and thoroughly understand your genre.
2.      Draw on your personal experiences and support your story with sound research.
3.      Write, revise, and re-write… then write again.
4.      Use professional editors before you call your manuscript “final”.
5.      Do not self-publish unless you have enough empty storage space in your garage.
6.      Identify the best Literary Agent and Publisher specific to your genre.
7.      Seek out a well-known reviewer, author or celebrity to provide a “blurb” for your cover.
8.      Promote, Promote, and Promote – Social Media, eMail Blasts, Virtual Book Tours, etc.
9.      Submit (and hopefully receive) as many Literary Awards as possible.
10.  Follow with a second novel to show substance and to support the “brand”.


Well, let me tell ya. After being at this for four years and having spent considerable amount of money on professional editors, cover designers, publicists, award submissions, media packages, website designers, and hundreds of uncompensated hours… I still believe in this formula. I might be turning a profit soon from the royalties, but here’s what I’ve accomplished.

1.      The release of two thrillers, in what has become known as The EQUITY Series; (EQUITY of EVIL and EQUITY of FEAR): www.rudymazzocchi.com
2.      A top-tier New York Literary Agency; the Trident Media Group: http://www.tridentmediagroup.com/
3.      A dedicated publisher; Twilight Times Books: http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/
4.      An endorsement on the cover of EQUITY of EVIL by Dr. Robin Cook (Coma)
5.      Recipient of three literary awards and finalist in four others
6.      100 reviews on Amazon with a rating of 4.9 stars (out of 5.0) – EQUITY of EVIL
7.      Over 100 blog posts, interviews, blog reviews, and radio interviews
8.      Thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and my Blog Site
All this, and I’m still doing the same thing on a daily or weekly basis. I’m now chasing after Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a review of my second novel, EQUITY of FEAR, Tweeting (or is it “Twittering”) on a daily basis, working with my publicist on monthly Press Releases, submitting for more book awards, drafting email blasts to various groups who might be interested in my new book, and sending out weekly media packages to various TV and Newspaper sources all over the country.

And for what? I’ve done what I was told to do by all the “professionals” in this industry. Perhaps it’s my fault for not making it clear what my goals were from the beginning. Let’s start with that interview on the Today Show – only since The Oprah Show is no longer what it used to be. Then there’s that thing they call the New York Bestsellers List.  Come on! I’ve read some real trash that was on that list… it’s not out of the question… right? THEN, we can finally focus on how many millions of copies we’ve sold, what they’ll pay for the movie rights, and who’s going to play the role of my main character.

Back to reality. I’ve come to the realization that I might have to just live with the pure pleasure of finally holding a printed copy of my book(s) in my hand, beam with pride as I show the kids (when they visit) the framed awards hanging in my den, and the deposit of those royalty checks every three months which warrant a nice dinner out with my wife. As they say, you need to enjoy the journey, and it’s been a fascinating ride. I have a “blurb” from one of my most favorite authors, Dr. Robin Cook, a review from Stephen King, and had a personal phone conversation with Dan Brown. What more could an inspiring thriller writer ask for? Well… maybe a call from George Clooney or Ben Affleck?

Final advice. I really don’t have any personal advice to offer other than what you might glean from the above. However, the best piece of advice I was given, from one of my publicists, was to “always act and speak as if you are already a best-selling author”. Hello… Oprah?

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Rudy is best known as a medical device and biotechnology entrepreneur, inventor, and angel investor, with a history of starting new technology ventures throughout the U.S. and Europe. He's been privileged to have the
opportunity to see the newest innovations in healthcare and work with some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists and physicians in the industry.

Authoring more than 50 patents, he has helped pioneer new companies involved in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and even embryonic stem-cell development. Through these efforts, he has become the recipient of many technology and business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Healthcare and the Businessman of the Year Award.

Combining these experiences and opportunities, with thousands of hours of travel and long evenings in hotel rooms, he found the initiative to start writing a collection of medical thrillers based on true events, known as The EQUITY Series. The first book of which is entitled "EQUITY of EVIL" (released March 5, 2012), and the second entitled “EQUITY of FEAR” (released March 25, 2013).

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