You Can Be Famous!: Insider Secrets to Getting Free Publicity
Danek S. Kaus
Robert D. Reed (2009)
Reviewed by Ron Standerfer for Reader Views (10/08)
You know the drill. You are a small business owner with a product to sell; or perhaps an unknown writer with a story to tell the world. Or maybe, for whatever reason, the only product you are selling is yourself. In any case, you have a need for lots of publicity; preferably the kind that is free, or at least inexpensive, to obtain.
Getting free publicity in the age of the internet and electronic journalism should be a snap, right? Wrong! Tap a few search words into Google like “press kits,” or “internet marketing” and you find yourself sliding down a slippery slope into a confusing jungle of esoteric terms and offers to solve all your publicity problems for a modest fee, or perhaps a series of affordable monthly payments. It’s enough to make you tear your hair out and wonder why all this information couldn’t be consolidated and presented in easy-to-understand, layman’s terms.
Enter “You Can Be Famous!” Before I discuss the contents of this handy and extremely useful book, let me make two observations. First, do not be misled by the title. It is a catchy, almost irreverent title that invokes visions of Paris Hilton’s latest antics or who’s going to be on Oprah next. In fact, my first thought when I read the title was the words of a colleague who told me that I didn’t need to write a book to be famous. All you need to do, he said, is to expose yourself on a busy street corner and you will get all the publicity you can handle. “You Can Be Famous!” offers no such advice. It is a serious book.
My second comment is that the author, Danek S. Kaus, knows what he is talking about, and it shows in his writing. He has worked as an editor, staff reporter, freelance journalist, and ghost writer and has published hundreds of articles in newspapers, magazines, and websites. As a publicist, he has helped clients to get free publicity in such major media as USA Today, The New York Times, and CNN. As the saying goes, when it comes to the publicity business, he has been around the block of few times.
“You Can Be Famou” is is made to order for someone like me who likes to attack a new subject in an orderly fashion. In a series of concise and well-written chapters, the author leads the reader through the basics, starting with the simple concepts of publicity and advertising; and ending with discussions about such journalistic intricacies as “VNRs” and “B-Rolls.” The book contains plenty of sample press releases, biographies and the like for the writing-challenged among us and I especially like that each chapter ends with a review of what was covered, along with a preview of what will be discussed next. In my opinion, these are must have items for any “how to” books.
When “You Can Be Famous!” arrived on my desk, I was in the process of promoting a book of my own. This afforded me the opportunity to not only review it but to road test it as well. So far I have found it to be enormously helpful and I suspect others who do not have the deep pockets to fund elaborate marketing plans will be equally impressed by its usefulness.
“You Can Be Famous!” by Danek S. Kaus promises insider secrets to getting free publicity—and it delivers. Follow the checklist and do your homework and you’ll be on your way!