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Friday, December 19, 2014

Donations To The Humanities Are Up

Only one in $20 donated in 2013 went to the arts, culture, and the humanities, but the 16.66 billion dollars represented a boost of 7.8% from the prior year.  The Wall Street Journal reports that religious organizations and causes get the most donations, accounting for nearly one in three dollars donated.  Over 100 billion dollars flowed to religion last year.  Education received half of that amount.

So which sectors get the most donations?
1.      Religious
2.      Educational
3.      Human Services
4.      Foundations
5.      Health
6.      Public Society Benefit
7.      Arts, Culture, Humanities
8.      International Affairs
9.      Environment and Animals

One may wonder which is more important – saving lives or merely improving them?  Should more money be given for life-death matters – or should it be invested in improving the lives of others?  Should donations merely benefit a few people in a significant way or many, but on a lesser level?

For the arts, humanities, and culture, I can see many ways donations help museums and institutions to thrive or survive.  There’s no end to what can be done to service the needs or desires of the population.  Just look at books.

We could donate money to help libraries, museum exhibits, and organizations to provide more books, resources, and support staff.  We could buy books for the underprivileged, hire tutors to address literacy, and fund writers’ grants.

16 billion and change seems like nothing, considering what our government spends money on.  One billionaire, like Michael Bloomberg, could single-handedly fund what was given last year for the arta, books, and cultural groups – and still have billions left over.  Maybe that’s what we should do – get a new billionaire each year to invest in the arts and then find another to fund the following year and so forth.  He could pay for all of the books consumers bought from Barnes & Noble this year  - and still have billions of dollars available to fulfill his whims.

Have you contributed to the arts and humanities?  What are you waiting for?  Below are the most common reasons high-net-worth households gave for opening their wallets in 2013:

74.9% believe their gift can make a difference
73% received personal satisfaction from giving
66% like to support the same cause/organization annually
63% want to give back to their community
62% gave to groups they volunteer at or serve on the board for
50% give because of political or philosophical beliefs
45% seek to remedy an issue that affected them or those close to them
44% gave as a spontaneous reaction to those in need
40% gave because of religious beliefs
40% donated to honor another person
34% gave to earn a tax break
33% gave out of a desire to set an example for future generations
29% gave when asked

Maybe we can take a page from this playbook and use it when it comes to book sales.  Let’s rewrite the donation reasons and turn them into bookselling strategies:

1.      Convince others your book can make a difference
2.      Show them they’ll receive satisfaction from reading
3.      Get readers used to buying the same type of book over and over
4.      Show them how your book gives back to the community
5.      Have them buy because of a political or philosophical belief
6.      Show how the book remedies some aspect of their life – or the lives of those close to them
7.      Have them buy your book on impulse

It’s worth a shot, try it.

I’ll leave you with this:

The Wall Street Journal said 70% of those polled said they’d take an action (donate) after seeing a friend’s social media post about making a donation.  SO the key is to get your friends to buy your book!  But you already knew that.


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014

Interview With Grammarly Chief Marketing Officer Yuriy Timen

1.      How are people using Grammarly? Grammarly is the most advanced automated grammar checker out there. It is a web application that is currently used by four plus million people around the world. Students use it to write stronger essays, theses, and college applications. Teachers are using Grammarly as a 24x7 supplement for grading students’ work. Professionals use it to get instant feedback on the accuracy, impact and credibility of their English writing in a variety of disciplines – including legal, healthcare, marketing, technical and journalism. Grammarly has also been an equally powerful tool for job seekers who can use it to perfect cover letters and other related communication with potential employers. Non-native English speakers use Grammarly across a variety of these use cases as well as their everyday written communication like emailing.

2.      Is our use of grammar getting worse as a society? I think the use of correct grammar has been on the decline because of how connected the internet has made us. We communicate more information with more people in less time. As a result, our grammar is being sacrificed when texting, emailing, and sending a Facebook message. There are also more English speakers in the world than ever before with nearly two billion people. As more and more people are learning English, the difficulty is collectively mastering it. The key to solving this will be bringing proper grammar to people in an instant and informative way.

3.      Why was the site created? Grammarly was started in 2008 by our founders, Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn, both English language learners with the mission to improve lives by improving communication. We want Grammarly to be an easy way for students, professionals, job seekers and English language learners to become better, more accurate English language writers and help them learn and understand the rules of grammar. Well-written English is critical to learning and achieving better grades, attaining a job or better position in one’s profession, and can help non-native English language learners reach their goals.

4.      You conducted a recent study about how one's writing skills impact his or her career opportunities. What did you find out? We recently reviewed 448 freelance professionals' profiles in eight categories on Elance, an online staffing platform, and summed up the results in an infographic. Our goal was to determine whether accurate, or inaccurate, writing in a freelancer's personal profile is related to that person's credibility, hireability, or pay. We found that the best-reviewed freelancers across all categories are those with the least writing errors per 100 words. Also, overall better writers tend to earn more money per job particularly in the fields of engineering & manufacturing, finance & management, legal, and sales & marketing. It is important to remember correct grammar pays off!

5.      Any expansion plans for 2015? We have some exciting plans for 2015 that include bringing Grammarly everywhere you write and perfecting our algorithms. Our goal is to use machine learning and deep Natural Language Processing expertise to create the most accurate automated proofreader that’s available 24x7.

6.      What could be done to improve the area of employing good grammar? A lot of people use tools like Grammarly to grammar check their work. Whenever you have individual questions, there are helpful blogs and resources like Grammar Girl. Besides that, good grammar is like playing a musical instrument. You have to keep practicing to remain proficient. English is my second language and, besides using these tools, I have found that reading and keeping a journal daily has drastically improved my grammar.

7.      If English is too hard to learn, should we just switch to Spanish? English, Spanish, French; languages all have their learning curves. Grammarly is focusing on the most widely used and impactful language: English. I’m very proud to be a part of Grammarly’s efforts to provide an easy way for students, professionals, job seekers and English language learners to become more effective written communicators.


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, First Amendment!

The Bill of Rights became a part of the United States Constitution 223 years ago this month (December 15, 1791).  The first 10 amendments were ratified by the original colonies-turned-states with great debate.  Only 17 amendments have been added since then – and none since 1992.  Oddly, that amendment was submitted by Congress to the states for ratification in 1789 - before The Bill of Rights – and took over 202 years to get ratified by enough states, setting a record.  The amendment prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms for the House of Representatives.

Over the years, 33 amendments have been adopted by Congress and sent to the states for ratification.  Only six never made it.  However, over 11,500 proposals to amend the Constitution have been introduced in Congress since 1789.

It is quite difficult to get an amendment passed.  First, you need a good idea that will get millions of dollars of support.  Second, you need a good PR campaign.  Gee, it sounds like book publishing.  But what you’ll really need is this:

A two-thirds majority of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass it OR two-thirds (34) of the states voting to have a national convention.  Once either thing takes place – no easy feat – you need ¾ of the state legislatures (38) to ratify it OR you must hold state-ratifying conventions in ¾ of the states.

Originally, 17 amendments were approved by the House for The Bill of Rights, but only 12 were approved bythe Senate.  Of the dozen, two were not approved by the states.

Most people, despite years of American history in school, can’t name most of the rights listed in The Bill of Rights.  These days the Second Amendment comes up for debate because of the rampant gun violence plaguing America.  The Third Amendment seems irrelevant – about housing soldiers.  The fourth pops up, as it covers unlawful searches and seizures.  The Fifth Amendment is about double jeopardy and eminent domain.  The Sixth covers speedy trials.  The Seventh says you have the right to a trial jury.  The Eighth says no to unusual punishment by the government.  The Ninth is never talked about and the Tenth says the states can take on powers not delegated to the US by the constitution.  But the biggest amendment – and my favorite – is the First Amendment.  Let’s read it together:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Our prized content, from movies and blogs to newspapers, television and radio, is protected free speech.  So are books.  We all have the right to speak our views – and many feel we have an obligation to do so.

We must keep testing the limits of these rights and to push the envelope of our civic duties.  We are to be good citizens of the world and it begins with the sharing of ideas, news, opinions, and dreams of all sizes and shapes.  Be glad there are opposing viewpoints and ignorant statements swimming around the Internet and traditional media.  It means the First Amendment is alive and well. 

Happy Birthday, First Amendment.


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014

Interview With Author Jean Burk

1. What type of books do you write?  Educational guide books for students to have success in their journey through high school, college and beyond! My “College Prep Genius” books are an accumulation of information about how students can ace standardized tests for college entrance and scholarships! “High School Prep Genius” is like a personal high school counselor/expert that gives the parents and students a step-by-step guide through each month of each year with information that most guidance counselors don’t know that will help students gain an incredible edge. Our VocabcafĂ© book series are fun and wholesome novellas that each contain 300 SAT level words in context with the definition and pronunciation at the bottom of the page to instantly reinforce high level vocabulary building. They easily help students learn to speak and write on a professional level!

College is so expensive and the average student spends 20 years (2 decades) of their life paying off loans and families are looking for answers. As a one-income family, twelve years ago, we had no money for college and a friend told me that there was so much money based on a test score so this intrigued me to start researching standardized tests since colleges go up on their rankings nationally based on their test scores, the higher the test scores-the more money students get! After going through numerous test questions to find what does and does not work, and looking for the recurring patterns found on the test, my son became a National Merit Scholar and we threw away seven trash bags full of college offers! (free tuition, full-rides, free room/board, grad school money, study-abroad stipends…) Then after my daughter received free college/scholarships my friends wanted to know what we did and that is when I wrote the book, “College  Prep Genius” and ultimately created a practical class to go with it to teach students how to how these type of tests.

In the last ten years, many of my students have raised their SAT scores 600 points, become National Merit Scholars and even gone to Ivy-Leagues for free! The reason most students bomb test is because the questions are purposely misleading and the wrong answers look appealing. The students are only given a minute per question and most do not finish the test on time. We teach how to answer every question in 30 seconds or less.

When students learn the hidden, recurring patterns/profiles on each test, they can cut their time in half and answer all the questions quickly and correctly. This is for all students since many valedictorians and top 10% students come to my class because they bombed the test.

Here are a few video testimonials:

To view a couple of speeches I gave a few years ago about free college and acing the SAT, go to:

 2. What is your newest book about? My newest book (not finished yet) is about why there’s only a 16% chance of your/average student graduating from college and how a parent can change that course now. It is based on why most schools are not teaching the right subjects for college success, the reason for the lack of motivation of today’s students, the 20-40 hours of wasted time each week that parents spend on “certain” sports (from an early age) that is absolutely useless for scholarship money, etc. It will give parents a roadmap for success starting in elementary school and beyond, winning scholarships in grade school, earning college money from the cradle on.

3. What inspired you to write it? After teaching my program in numerous public, private, charter and homeschool settings, I’ve seen tens of thousands of students who are discouraged because no one had given them the correct information at the right time-often it is too late for certain milestones that they could have easily achieved had they known about them. Parents put a lot of trust in their school counselors and unfortunately most of them are too overwhelmed with changing schedules and dealing with discipline problems to help students-spending about 30 minutes per year, per student and that’s not enough time to lay out a four-year plan for anyone and many are ignorant on vital information that students need to succeed! Parents must become proactive and the main source because ultimately they are the ones paying for college. It is exciting to students, especially those in poor districts, have hope in attaining college/career dreams when they have felt/been told they are not smart enough or don’t have the money to get a degree in a field of their choice. My synopsis is that: any student can go to college and can go for FREE!

4. What is the writing process like for you? As a visionary, my writing can be very scattered because I have over ten books (not just education/college) that I’m working on so when I get an idea/inspiration I add to it. Fortunately I am surrounded by analytical perfectionist that help me coral my thoughts and bring them into a more uniformed arena and keep me focused on one project at a time.

5. What did you do before you became an author? I was a homeschooling mother who wanted to raise my children up to be a disciple in Christ with Godly character, who were independent thinkers, and an asset to society. They were my first priority and it was worth every bit of sacrifice to stay home with them to do this because nobody loved them more than my husband and I.

6. How does it feel to be a published author? I really don’t think much about it because I simply found a need and filled it and then found out that most people were in the same boat (no money for college) and it seem like a natural thing to share what we found out with others to help change their lives as well.

7. Any advice for struggling writers? Yes, just do it knowing you will make mistakes, and that you will revise many, many times and you will always feel like there is more to add but you must have a stopping point. When you have more to say, either revise/update later or write another book highlighting the new ideas.

8. Where do you see book publishing heading? Even in the age of digital publishing/e-book readers, there will always be that desire to hold a hard copy in one’s hands as you absorb, highlight, make notes on key points in a book or want to sink into a lawn chair and escape the world with that all-absorbing novel. We must teach the next generation to not lose this art as technology takes over our world.

For more information, please consult:


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stupid People and Dumb Things, 2014

George Carlin, the deceased but one time acerbic and controversial comic, used to tell a joke about stupid people.  “You ever wonder how many stupid people say and do stupid things?” he used to ask.  “Well, I made a list – and it’s long.”

Never ending is more like it.  I made my own list to honor some of the dumbest things I’ve observed in 2014.  I hope you’re not on it, but you never know.  We all do dumb stuff and even if we think we’re smart, kind, and helpful, chances are we said something another could be offended by.  None of us are anywhere near perfect and we cannot be all things to all people.  The more you go in one direction, the less you are in the other.

So who has shown exemplary behavior when it comes to stupidity?  Let’s start with these:

1.      Post Office  - I bought stamps the other day because my Forever Stamp (valued at 49 cents) would not cover my holiday card.  The weight of my card was in line with a 49-cent envelope but the shape of it was more square than rectangular.  The US Postal Service determined a 21ç tax cover them for having to handle different-sized mail. When I was given the loose stamps they gave me an envelope to hold them.  That’s their version of a bag, which is fine, except it was not big enough to hold any thing.  Leave it to the post office to not have right-sized envelopes.

2.      Apple – It has the audacity to sell products like the iPhone 6 or iPod touch with inferior cases.  Not one of their cases offers a screen protector.  But other places sell cases, like the Otterbox, that protect your phone.  Hmm, could Apple hope that your screen breaks so it can charge you for a new phone or bully you into getting its insurance program?

3.      Heavy Bank Doors – On recent visits to a Wells Fargo and a Citibank in Manhattan left me bracing my body to pull the heavy cover-sized glass doors to enter their banks.  I can't imagine anyone with a handicap, the elderly, or small women not struggling to gain entry.  Trying to create the image (illusion) that the bank is an institution of stature can be expressed in offering better rates, improved customer service, and convenient hours – not in palace-heavy doors.

4.      Starbucks  - They also make the genius list of creating an environment welcoming customers to drink good coffee in a comfy area amongst other people who like to chat or read, but they get a razzle for being out of those green sticks that seal your coffee. Did they not anticipate selling coffee and people needing those?

5.      Ticket Vendors – Why, when I buy a ticket to a concert or sorting event, do I pay multiple fees?  I get it that Ticketmaster charges a fee, but when you say one is a processing fee, another is handling, and another is something else, you feel like a sucker.  The worst is when they tell you there’s a fee for picking the tickets up at Will Call.  Some charge for emailing tickets that you print.  Really?

6.      Saturday Night Live – It had one great year – its first – and the next 39 have been hit and miss every single year.  The DVR is the perfect way to watch it.  Opening monologue by the guest host, then the “news,” the musical guest, and then give each skit a minute before moving on to find the one or two good ones like Second-Hand News or Drunk Uncle.  I can’t believe how many successful people have come out of that show to star in movies and TV shows.  I also can’t believe how many of them have died prematurely.

7.      Being Against Those Protesting For Change – You can support the police and still be for reforms in trainings, management, and attitude.  To constructively criticize is not the same as to destroy something.  The “I Can’t Breathe” protests in New York City have shown amazing restraint – no looting, no building burning, no violence.  Sure they will inconvenience people, but that’s the price we pay for ensuring everyone’s safety and fair treatment.

8.      Anti-Environmentalists – There is a mound of scientific evidence showing we pollute the air, oceans, and ground and that we are threatening our food chain, our sea levels, and the very air that we breathe. It is due to both natural and man-made causes, and we need everyone to pitch in to reverse the destruction.  It’s not a political issue and it’s not about jobs.  It’s about sustaining the planet so our grandkids can live.  To oppose saving the planet is suicidal.

9.      Pro-Gun Enthusiasts – I’m only for more guns if those who oppose background checks, mandatory trainings, testing for crazies, and limits on size of gun and number of guns owned can shoot each other.

10.  Government – As a liberal, I believe a government could do a lot to help its people but I am convinced after watching it operate for the past four decades (I was 7 when Nixon resigned) that government is truly broken no matter who is in power.  Run by lobbyists and corrupt politicians, politics trumps production, and it’s obvious to me that few changes, on a national level, can only take place if citizens work together to pass referendums and demand action.

11.  Pennies – Why do they still make pennies?  They cost the government more to produce than they are worth.  What costs a single cent?  Just stop producing them.

12.  Bank Tellers – Tellers will remind me that I have the convenience of doing my banking online 24/7. I respond to them with: “If you keep encouraging me not to come here, you won’t have a job one day.”


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014

Interview With AuthorRise Co-Founder and CEO Chris Weber

1.      What is Author Rise? AuthorRise is a set of tools to help authors grow their readership and market their work more efficiently and effectively. I think that authors need two things to be really successful (other than great work!): first, information about what’s going on with their business, and second, tools to take advantage of that information. It’s insane to me that authors, and even a lot of small publishers, have so little access to good data about what’s going in terms of their marketing and sales. So we try to help answer questions like “is all of this Tweeting and Facebooking I’m doing actually selling more books?”

2.      How did you come to create it? AuthorRise came about in response to what’s really a "best of times/ worst of times” situation for authors. It’s tough because a lot of the support that used to come from publishers has evaporated. The upside is that today, an author has, in theory, the ability to sell books to every single person with an internet connection. In effect, that makes every author a business of one. And while bigger companies have lots of tools at their disposal to measure their business, authors have almost nothing. So we’re building a company whose sole focus is to build tools that empower people to make a better living doing what they love. On a personal level, literature is my first true love and my co-founder has been a journalist for 15 years. So it’s hard to imagine something more gratifying than building a business dedicated to authors. Our whole company is still only three people, all book lovers, and when we started, we all shared a requirement that if we were going to work our butts off it had to be for a worthwhile goal. 

3.      So what exactly does one do on your site? Our goal is to be the only place our authors have to go to build their business. Right now, there are two main features. First is an analytics dashboard that puts both social media and sales data in one place. Today we’re tracking Twitter and Amazon, but as we grow we're incorporating other social platforms like Facebook and other sales platforms as well. We want to give authors as complete a picture of their business as possible and that starts by trying to connect actions and outcomes. The second feature is a marketing tool. It’s called Flyers and the idea was to create a template that would make sharing content like articles, blog posts, and reviews more efficient while also connecting them directly to whatever book an author is focused on. We’re also building a great scheduling function, so you can line up months of marketing at a time. Reposting great content is one of the most powerful ways to increase reader engagement, yet most people just don’t think to do it.  The great thing about Flyers from an author’s perspective is that we can track them all the way through to a sale, so you know exactly how many people are reading your work, how many are buying your books, and where they’re coming from.

4.      How do you make money from the site, Right now we’re still beta-testing the service, so it’s totally free. As we build more services and add features we’ll be adding premium memberships for a monthly fee of $5 and $10. I feel very deeply that we should only make money if we help our authors make money. I also know budgets are tight for a lot of authors, especially those just getting of the ground, so we’ll always have a free service that’s actually useful, not just a stripped-out version of our paid plans.  We’re also building services for smaller publishers who are managing multiple authors and rely heavily on social media. These take a lot more work on our end, and so come with a fee that we work out individually based on what the publisher needs.

5.      Where do you see the future of book publishing heading? I think the old idea of how publishing works is increasingly obsolete. Publishers were originally relevant because they controlled the means of production. It was necessary to have a publisher because they literally made your book. We’re at a point now where an author can write a book and place it directly into the hands of a reader. It’s a beautiful thing and it means that if an author can find even a small loyal audience, they can make a great living. This is a big problem for publishers. When’s the last time a reader bought a book because of the publisher? It happens, but not enough. Small publishers actually do a great job of this by focusing on specific topics that readers then associate with both the publisher and the author. I think the way big publishers stay relevant in the future is by focusing on creating similarly great experiences for readers. If they can create real value for a reader, then they’re naturally attractive to authors as well. Authors write the books, readers read them; the problem that still needs to be solved isn’t production, it’s context. Context is putting the right books in front of the right readers, and this isn’t just the publishers’ problem, this is a problem for Amazon and every other online bookseller as well. Cracking the problem of context will decide the winners of the future. 

6.      What is next with social media and how it will be used in the book world? Social media will continue to be an incredibly useful tool for people striking out on their own and making a go of it. One thing I do know is that the amount of information being tossed around is only going to go up. So for the book world, and anyone else trying to use social media to grow their business, the imperative is bringing the signal above the noise. Content marketing is the best thing I’ve seen so far that aligns an author with an audience, but it’s going to be increasingly important to be very conscious about how the message is targeted to ensure it reaches the right people.


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Time For Bookstores To Demonstrate Uniqueness

Over Thanksgiving Weekend I spent some time with my wife’s uncle and he told me about a company he works for that arranges for product demonstrations at bulk stories like BJ’s and Costco’s.  For instance, if a food vendor wants to hand out samples or a manufacturer wants a product such as a household item or toy put on display and demonstrated, the would arrange for it.  It occurred to me that bookstores need to do this.

They started the process a long time ago by having authors come to talk, answer questions, and autograph books.  But the format needs improvement.

First, every store needs to hold events and they need to happen around the clock.  Stores must actively woo customers and increase foot traffic.  Once in the store, people are bound to buy something.

Second, turn the author appearance into a show.  Have a comic author do standup.  Have dramatic readings of a novel or get people to act it out.  Dress up in costumes, sing, and have fun.

Third, get it to be interactive.  Use a screen to help make the presentation with multimedia.  Get the audience to participate and feel involved.

Fourth, do demonstrations of products.  Talk about the Nook or showcase new books with a store clerk talking briefly about each one.  Give people some perspective by comparing competing titles of a similar subject matter.  Insight and information helps people make buying decisions and leads them to buy something.

Fifth, stores should use their sound systems to provide sample book readings that are pre-recorded – or better yet, share audiobook samples.

Sixth, hand out a flier each day that highlights what’s new in a genre or by a revered author.  Bridge the past with the present by showing how today’s bestseller is covering a topic that had been covered 20, 40, 60 or 100 years ago, but differently and in conjunction with the mores of those times.

Seventh, have a screen showing film clips of books turned into movies.

Eighth, have a meet the author section where authors are not physically present, but patrons can view a short video by the author that is not shown anywhere else.  Call it exclusive content.  Make it so the bookstore experience is that, an experience, one to be shared, felt, and worthy of inspiring a purchase.

What I don’t believe in, however, is book exclusivity or exclusion.  Right now we have two worlds trying to co-exist.  For instance, bookstores may not carry certain print-on-demand titles, especially if they are from Amazon-owned Create Space.  Further, Amazon sells ebooks formatted for Kindle, so they will vary from what the Nook sells.  I like the idea that every book retailer – whether physical or digital – sells every book in every format.  Books aren’t vacuum cleaners, where one stores ells one brand, and another store sells a different one.

Bookstores can be unique in how they display books, how they service and inform people, how they bring in people to connect to consumers – whether they are authors, professional experts, or community members.

Once bookstores realize they can do anything Amazon does online AND leverage its shelf space with human contact, the book marketplace would shift back to brick and mortar.  Maybe one day a book will be written about such a phenomenon and the author will come to a store to discuss it and drink wine with the patrons.


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, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. 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 © 2014