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Friday, March 27, 2015

Interview With Author Ben Anthony

What inspired you to write your new book?

The people around me, my immediate environment and all events happening in the world as reported by News Stories

What is it about?
"Maya: Initiate 39" explores the plight of Maya taking a journey through ---coming from a broken home since her mother left, ending up with the dreaded juvenile cult, the Alternative Lifestyle Club, popularly known as the ALC, and then growing up into a stand-up woman.

What challenges did you overcome to write it?
 I avoided the constraints known as Laziness, procrastination, yielding myself to other frivolities and most importantly the 'writer's block syndrome' by keeping myself abreast with family-related issues 

What do you find rewarding about writing a book?
The grass to grace move of Maya's predicament.

Where do you see the publishing industry heading?
Taking a vivid projection from my stand-point, i see the publishing industry directing its dynamics of literary operation in "digitals"-the advanced use of e-books, iTunes, Google Play,  and other developed digital formats as completely-suitable replacements to hard copies-print versions.

What advice do you have for fellow authors?
To my fellow authors, I say the following:
1) Don't give up on your writing as you prepare real hard to face incessant rejections.

2) Because your book was accepted by a publisher doesn't necessarily make you a good writer (vice versa).

3) Expect the 'Writer's Bloc'(a situation were a writer appears not to have anything to write) because it happens. However, keeping yourself acquainted with information concerning the related topic of interest is a way of avoiding the Writer's Bloc.

4) Lastly, learn to always polish your writing skills by continuous writing. In my opinion, "a good writer becomes better  when he or she progresses from being  labeled a 'bad' writer, via constructive criticisms of work(s) by an array of honest reviews, and takes writing as a 'take-home-assignment-for-life' interest. 

For more information, please see:

Barnes and Noble: Maya: Initiate 39.

Available in: Paperback. From Linkville Press: Maya was raised single-handedly by her father, Samuel, who had divorced his wife, Cynthia years ago, on gro...
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Marketing Flashcards For Authors

My seven-year-old daughter has shown great progress in becoming an independent reader.  One of the things I believe will help her is for her to recognize more words by sight.  I decided to buy some flashcards that help her learn scores of words on one side, and then a chance to create new words on the other side.  It made me think that it would be cool if we had flashcards for ideas, especially ones that help authors to build up their book marketing and publicity skills.  Maybe I’m onto something?

There are many books, online courses, and seminars that profess to tell authors how to promote themselves and their books.  This blog has done that for the past four years.  But if we had to narrow down the core elements that represent the foundation of PR building blocks, what would they be?

Flashcards are usually quick reminders of things.  Children learn numbers, equations, letters, words, and images that help them expand their minds.  Teenagers and even adults use them to prep for tests and to prepare for speeches.  We associate many traits and ideas to a single picture, phrase, or symbol.  Authors need their reminders and cues to jumpstart their book publicity.

I would break the cards down into the core areas that they need to address:

·         Social Media
·         Traditional Media
·         Speaking Appearances
·         Direct Bulk Sales
·         Branding
·         Networking
·         Writing Pitches
·         Press Kit Development
·         Media Coaching
·         Research And Learning
·         Website Launch/Revision
·         Bookstore And Library Singings
·         Brainstorming
·         Creating Marketing Materials

Of course, there are other cards that could be created, but this is a quick-study method, so let’s focus on the above.  Then break each of those 14 areas into subsets.  For instance, traditional media would list national/local/international TV, radio, and print (newspapers, magazines, newsletters, newswires, trade publications).  Social media would be divided into content you generate blogging, podcasting, via video, and on various platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.  Then there’s getting coverage by others: bloggers, podcasters, reviewers, and major media websites like The Huffington Post.

So the flashcards would identify the areas that need attention, post questions, and give you food for thought so that you’ll spur your own ideas as to what you should be doing.

The questions for each area would revolve around the obvious.  For instance, if the flashcard reads Twitter, it may have these questions:

·         How much time shall I designate towards it today?
·         How many people will I seek to follow me today?
·         How many people will I choose to follow today?
·         How many tweets will I send today?  What will they say?
·         How many retweets will I share today?  What will they say?
·         What types of lists shall I create today?
·         Whose tweets will I read today?
·         How many people will I Direct Message or respond to today?
·         How much time will I spend reading and learning about the profiles of Twitter members?
·         What leads can I find on twitter that lead to real-world contacts?

You get the idea.  It’s all very logical and methodical.  If only you had 240 hours in a day!

If flashcards are helping my little girl to read, they can help you promote and market yourself and your book.  Don’t forget to create a flashcard that says: Read BookMarketingBuzzBlog!


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

98 Reasons We Read Books

For authors and promoters to market books properly they should have an appreciation of why readers choose to read books in the first pace.  It's our job to convince people why they should read the book we’re promoting. Look at why Americans are passionate book readers, and take a gander at this list, one that is surely incomplete.

I read books because I:

1.      Can.
2.      Feel that I should.
3.      Want to read the word in my own voice and take ownership of them.
4.      Value ideas and information being in one single volume.
5.      Couldn’t remember everything they capture unless I could refer to them often.
6.      Get a sanity check.
7.      Can compare how my life measures with others.
8.      Find an outlet to deliver the rant I want to actually go on.
9.      Want to look and sound intelligent.
10.  Want to gain entrance to a book club that provides a social payoff.
11.  Will learn what others know and create an equal platform.
12.  Want to gain information and insights that will help me negotiate with others.
13.  Need to update and revise previously acquired knowledge.
14.  Want my assumptions challenged.
15.  Get to hear multiple sides or eye-witness accounts to history.
16.  Want to compare it to the movie, play, or TV show version.
17.  Want to tune out my environment.
18.  Will feel hope and optimism.
19.  Can validate what I know, feel, and think.
20.  I can’t think of a better thing to do while in the bathroom, on a train to work, on a plane, or by the beach.
21.  Enjoy doing it before I fall asleep.
22.  Feel alive.
23.  Feel I belong or am understood – and not alone.
24.  Am given an environment that stimulates my thinking and allows me to contemplate, letting my mind wander freely.
25.  Gain a supplement to fill in the void.
26.  Garner a greater insight and understanding on a subject from a perspective and vantage point not otherwise available to me.
27.  Can feel fear and anger without repercussions or an obligation to act.
28.  Am able to see the other side and hear opposing viewpoints.
29.  Can see the record corrected.
30.  Want to see what’s on the next page.
31.  Want to find something that’s quotable.
32.  Seek ammunition to shoot down the arguments of others.
33.  See books as inspiring freedom, educating us, and leading us to live a fuller and rewarding life.
34.  Get sexually aroused.
35.  Am aided in the practice of my faith.
36.  Need a second, third, and fourth opinion.
37.  Like to hear voices from other eras or distant lands.
38.  Enjoy a well-researched, comprehensive body of work on a topic of interest to me.
39.  Get to read to another – child, blind, illiterate – and pass on the joy of books.
40.  Find something worth sharing with others.
41.  Enjoy trivia.
42.  Like to look at statistical data.
43.  Feel I can be intimately put in touch with the lives of others.
44.  Discover word games and puzzles.
45.  Improve my vocabulary.
46.  Enhance my communication skills.
47.  Become a better writer.
48.  Use books to study aid to help prepare for a test.
49.  Want to be on the same page with others.
50.  Learn something new.
51.  Discover things I wasn’t aware existed.
52.  Remain in touch with an activity I have done since I was a little boy.
53.  Feel connected with others who read books.
54.  Want to get a taste of any of the millions of stories that I could never have the time, courage, circumstance or ability to actually live out.
55.  Feel compelled to.
56.  Would feel like I am missing out if I didn’t read.
57.  Know that history lives in books and dies without witnesses.
58.  Couldn’t imagine wordls that could be behind with the ones others have blueprinted in their books.
59.  Can live in another’s shoes without paying for them.
60.  Believe life is better on a printed page than in reality.
61.  Become informed of things we all should know about.
62.  Need a good laugh.
63.  Learn a new skill.
64.  Come to understand how things really work.
65.  Want to discover a philosophical truth.
66.  Need to understand myself better.
67.  Can use some good advice.
68.  Need a good cry.
69.  Want to learn something – anything – and be better for it.
70.  Love being engaged in a lively debate.
71.  Enjoy seeing an issue dissected and examined as if under a lab microscope or cross-examined in a court of law.
72.  Want a stage to live out a fantasy.
73.  Am inspired to achieve more professionally.
74.  Want to see a new path to get what I want.
75.  Am exposed to a fresh perspective on how to reach greater heights in my personal life.
76.  Want to escape my life.
77.  Need a suspension of society’s rules and mores.
78.  Want to be in a world that doesn’t obey the science, history, and imitations of the real one.
79.  Don’t find that other infotainment – blogs, movies, and TV – can serve all of my needs.
80.  Can immerse myself in the life of another, whether real or fictional.
81.  Find it's the one thing that separates me from animals and insects.
82.  Find it’s an activity that requires you bring nothing to the table but an open mind – and to stay awake.
83.  Can do it without needing another person.
84.  Can do it anywhere, anytime.
85.  Can do it without asking anyone’s permission.
86.  Am curious and searching.
87.  Seek to know life’s secrets.
88.  Believe books are art.
89.  Find books not only contain words, but images that dazzle and amaze.
90.  Can be a voyeur to things I would never really want or be able to do, yet I want to see the way others watch a train wreck.
91.  Feel like books can expose the world’s wrongs.
92.  Want to correct the world’s shortcomings by understanding what they are and identifying solutions.
93.  Believe even bad ideas need to be exposed.
94.  Appreciate that my parents encouraged me to read and I repay them book by book.
95.  Had a few good teachers who made book-reading fun and not a chore.
96.  Want great ideas from the past to travel directly to me.
97.  Love how words dance with one another – and then swap partners.
98.  Ran out of battery on my smartphone.

Please add to this list, and pass it along.  Every book-lover will enjoy the list and anyone who should be a book fan may be inspired to become one.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Learn To Promote From HS Debate Champs

Promoting something like a book requires one to be good at the power of persuasion. Lawyers know this skill well, as do politicians, businessmen, and husbands and wives. So do debaters. My nephew, who attends Booklyn Technical High School, just won the New York State HS Debate Championship with his debate partner, Dante DeBlasio, the son of New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio. The duo was recently featured in The New York Times. Here is the story: . They also participated in an interview with BookMarketingBuzzBlog. Here it is:

Interview with Dante DeBlasio
1.      What do you find fulfilling about debating others? Debate is an ideal opportunity to learn about current events and alternative views on a wide variety of topics. Debaters are given the unique opportunity to dive deeply into a topic for a year and consider policy solutions to many current issues. I also enjoy the competitive aspect of debating, especially the ability to face some of the best teams in the state and country.

2.      Does debating help you see there are two sides to every issue-- or does it make it clear to you that one side is truly right on an issue? Debate shows that there are often two sides to an issue, but one side usually has better arguments supporting it. One good aspect of debate is that it forces you to learn both sides of an issue, but at times this can be a bad thing since we might have to support a position we know is badly supported or one that goes against our beliefs.

3.      Is the debate team's success inspiring you to consider a career in law or politics? The debate team has definitely led me to look more deeply into our legal and political solutions for issues that affect the world. I am still not sure what career I want.

4.      As a key member of the NY State champion high school debate team, how would you describe what it is like to partner with Sam and work together with the goal of winning every argument? Sam has been a great partner this year and we’ve worked very well together, which was instrumental towards this victory. The most important thing has been finding the best ways to complement each other’s strengths and ensuring that the workload is evenly distributed. Communication has also been very important since we both need to understand the strategies we are employing.

5.      What skills or techniques do you employ to be so convincing? I use three main techniques to be convincing. The first is voice control, I use my voice’s loudness and tone to emphasize certain important points and I use my voice to carry emotion. The second is posture; I adopt a confident pose at the beginning of every speech and don’t sway or move excessively which allows me to show assertiveness. The third is rebuttal skills. If you are able to effectively answer your opponent’s arguments in a direct manner judges will look more favorably upon your speech performance. 

Interview With Sam Eluto
1.      How do you prep for a debate? I prep for debate by researching other people's positions on an open case list and tailor my positions towards those arguments.  

2.      How challenging is it to argue for a position you don't personally believe in? It isn’t relatively hard because you can still bring up valid points with the position, even if you don’t believe in it.

3.      How difficult is it to lobby for an argument when you don't feel fully informed on the topic? It is very hard, and that’s why you try to research before the debate.

4.      What does it feel like when you know you are convincing the judge and winning him or her over? It is hard to recognize because judges are supposed to be as objective as possible

5.      Do you recognize the potential power of being persuasive and being able to get others to accept your point of view? Yes and it is a powerful skill that debate helps to foster because you have to be able to convince a "judge" of your specific argument in order to win, and you are supposed to do that under time constraints and pressure. The ability to simulate the real world can get you far in life. 


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Is It Retarded Not To Use That Word?

I was recently reading a horrible story in The Journal News, my local paper in Westchester, about how a former teacher’s aide was denied tenure after blowing the whistle about a principal of a special education program who reportedly physically and verbally abused students.  The main takeaways from the piece should be: (a) bad principal (b) teacher’s aide was wronged (c) kids need better protection.  But what I also got from the article was that the English language is being hijacked by the PC police.

In describing how the principal allegedly berated and cursed at students, the article reported “and called one of them the R-word.”  The R-word?  I had to read it three times to realize the paper wouldn’t publish the word retard.  Now, that’s retarded!

We already have the N-word and the F-word, and C-word and A-word.  Now we have the R-word?  Soon we’ll run out of letters to identify every single word someone has a problem with.  Look, words like fag, Chink, niggar, asshole, fuck, cunt and others are not nice at all.  They attack us in a jarring way.  But to deny their existence is to alter the reality of the world.  Terms that offend us need to be said when describing what was said.  To sidestep the words and mask them is to offend those who deeply revere our language.

There are many debates on this but I think it’s clear that we must defend the words we use, even when it hurts to listen.

The true crime is that a trusted principal called one of her intellectually challenged students a retard.  We are not to be shamed or to feel at fault for reporting it.  The principal is the villain here, not the word itself.  Let’s not bastardize our language.

I do understand that in certain settings, certain words don’t get used.  For instance, when kids are in the room, no one should say fuck.  Same goes for being in church or a government office.  But, to substitute it and make reference to “F-word” is just as inappropriate.  Maybe worse, because as you seek to camouflage it, you heighten it and shine a spotlight on it.

As an ardent defender of free speech, I especially don’t want to see words changed or dressed up.  Our language serves a very important function in society, even in an ugly situation, we must speak the same words.  No one wants to hear sexist, racist, hate-filled diatribes, and such exchanges should be avoided, but when they happen and the media reports on them, just say the words, unfiltered, without apology.  It’s not our fault.  We are not the ones who called another a nasty name.

Can you imagine if it goes beyond a handful of typically censored words such as dick, tit, Kike, and the like, and spreads to other words?  Or maybe it expands to cover not words, but ideologies and viewpoints?  Eventually, we’ll scrub away every thought, event, and person that doesn’t meet some kind of conventional standard.

No one wants to champion the use of bad words or to degrade society to only speak in vulgar terms, but as journalists and authors, and as witnesses to the world we live in, please don’t hesitate to use the very word that is fundamental to the telling of a story.  No dashes, no bleeps, no substituting of words.  Let the harsh reality of the words that offend us be exposed for what they are. I certainly am not saying we should all use hurtful language. No, we should avoid such things from the beginning, but when such words are used, we should feel obligated to acknowledge them.

Am I wrong?  Am I insensitive?  Am I being rude?  No, I am protecting our language and exposing the truth of the matter.  If you don’t like it, I won’t tell you to go f—k yourself because not only would it be rude to use the actual word, it would be a gross violation of our language to not spell it out.  So I will leave you with this; See words as facts.  Report them as they are and the truth will come out.  But the minute you try to reshape the truth, we all live a bit of a lie.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015