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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Are You An Author Advocating For Something?


You may have written a book on a topic and advocate for a certain position.  Perhaps you want people to stand up for or against something or someone.  Maybe you want to lobby for governmental change.  Or you demand changes be made regarding certain business practices, social behaviors, or religious rituals.  In short, you are calling for reform – if not a revolution – or the creation of something new and unique.  How will you go about it, as an author, to be seen as a voice people should listen to?

Certainly it would help you greatly if you are seen as an expert in the area you seek change in.  For instance, if you want to reform an industry, are you part of it?  Do you have the educational background or professional experience that is relevant?  Did you have an experience – even personal – that connects you in an obvious and legitimate way to your subject matter?

Next, what competing experts and/or authors are out there discussing this topic?  What do you say that’s new or more interesting than them?  How would you distinguish yourself from who they are and what they are about?

Is there an upcoming event, anniversary, holiday or honorary day that you can tie your message to that will enable you to generate substantial media coverage?

Should you partner with other advocates and form a coalition?  There is strength in numbers to get attention for your cause – but your role will dwindle by comparison.

How controversial is your position?  What will it take for people to listen – even if they disagree?

Do you spend more time talking about a problem and you elaborate on a reasonable solution?  People want answers and hope, not negativity.

Are you backed by an organization, celebrity, politician, wealthy person, or an established community leader?  That person or group can greatly help – or hurt – your ability to be accepted by others.

What statistics and facts do you have at hand to substantiate your claims or accusations?  Don’t lose out because there’s a gaping hole in your story.

Do you have a strong visual to demonstrate your cause?

Lastly, are you rallying people through social media to show traditional media that people care and are coming together in support of your vision and mission?


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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

57 Twitter & Social Media Tools For Authors


Facebook.  LinkedIn.  Google+.  Pinterest.  Twitter.  Instagram.  YouTube.  There are many, many social media platforms out there.  Which ones are right for you and your needs?  Check out www.SocialMediaWebsites.com and see many others that could be helpful to you.

There are plenty of tools to help you manage your social media as well.  Check out TweetDeck, HootSuite, CoTweet and Seesmic. 

If you want to monitor what’s said about you online, look at Attenti, Buzzlogic, Disque, and IntenseDebate.  You can also use Google Alert, Media Funnel, Sendible, Nutshell Mail, and Actionly.  Rapportive can identify the social media sites that people visit, based on their email address.

Which blogging platform should you use?  WordPress, Tumblr, Bloggr, TypePad, Movable Type, and Soomla can fit the bill.

Twitter has many analytic tools, including: Twitalyzer, mBLAST, Klout, and PeopleBrowser.

In fact, there are so many useful tools to help you maximize your use of Twitter that it was a struggle to narrow it down to the following:

Twitonomy – Helps you to organize the tweets of specific followers or particular words.

Tweriod – Breaks down your followers based on their engagement and movement, including times of day they show up online.

Twtrland – Organizes social profiles into 60,000 categories and allows you to filter searches of people and topics.

Cybranding – A great hashtags analytical tool showing you influencers on specific hashtags.

Common.it – Helps to categorize people based on influence, people who share your content, and how engaged certain members are.

Mention.net – Helps you monitor keywords and how others use them in their posts and shows when others share your blog posts.

Needtagger – Helps you find relevant conversations that you want to engage in.

Socialbro – Tells you when people who follow you on Twitter are online.

Topsy – Search back to 2006 to research what’s been posted on Twitter.

NewsMix – Discover terrific topics and story ideas based on anything top influencers tweet about.

SumAll – Reports with Twitter stats are emailed to you.

Riffle – Helps give you data on any specific Twitter user – popular hashtags, most shared links, profiles of connections, etc.

Trends24 – Gives details on trending terms.

Trendsmap – a map you can zoom in on to see popular terms and hash tags and where they are used worldwide.

TweetChat – Follow specific hashtags and see who tweeted them.

TwChat – Twitter chats in real time.

Nurph – Planning and organizing a Twitter chat.

ChatSalad – Twitter chats calendar.

Swayy – Learn what your Twitter followers are interested in.

DoesFollow – Learn who follows whom.

Hashtagify.me – Hash tag analytics in-depth.

RiteTag – Recommends best hash tags to use.

Seen – Collects media associated with a hash tag.

KeyHole – Twitter’s version of Google Alerts.

Twilert – Get real time keyword email alerts.

The One Million Tweetmap –  Real-time tweet monitoring based on location.

Twipho – Search for photos via Twitter.

Twazzup – More real-time keyword monitoring.

FollowerWonk – Search twitter bios and get analytics about your followers.

Ifttt – Connect any two social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter.

Of course all of these tools have a novelty aspect to them, but they also can be applied in a strategic way.  You can greatly expand your influence, number of followers, and ability to connect with those you want to partner with.

Lastly, use TweetAdder or Tweepi to target who to follow – and whom you want to follow you.


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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Time To Kill Ebola – Quarantine The Country


Mad Cow Disease, Avian Fly, West Nile Virus, Pig Flu, SARS.  In the past decade, fears of a pandemic have been raised by the alarmist media and frightful health community.  Thankfully, none of them came to be anything significant in the United States.  But with each new threat identified, the public has become numb to dire warnings of death, disease, and doom.

Now Ebola is here.

Many mistakes have been made.  First, Ebola was not in the United States until a sick and infected man from Liberia was allowed to fly here for treatment.  We imported a disease that did not exist in the US.

Then, the Texas hospital where the man was treated, either violated protocols or wasn’t properly informed or given all the necessary resources because two nurses have now come down with the deadly African disease.

I’m not a disease expert, but it seems like this disease has a chance to spread across the globe if something isn’t done to prevent and treat infections.  I have zero confidence in the CDC or any government to truthfully and competently address this disease.

It’s not easy being alive in 2014. We live with fears of a pandemic, terrorism, global warming, and an economic meltdown.  Every generation has lived through tough and challenging times.  Many periods of history were harsh but as society progresses with technology; it seems our demise on a grand scale is more realistic.  It’s something that would happen quickly and suddenly.

OK, so why the fear-mongering?  Why go dreary and depressing?  Sorry, that’s not my intention here.  But the whole threat of an Ebola outbreak seems more real to me than prior panics.  The virus is nature’s terrorism and we have many vulnerable spots.

The world should pool its resources and knowledge in an unprecedented way to kill this scourge before it goes any further.  Nothing else will mean anything if everyone dies.  Of course no one wants life disturbed and disrupted, but better to be inconvenienced now than fighting for life later.

Do some drastic things.  Quarantine the US – no outside flights enter our country.  And we don’t leave the country.  Close all businesses, homes and schools for a period of time.  Until it’s safe again. Wait 21 days? Sorry, no book tours and no public appearances, authors.  We need to go into lockdown.

I know, it’s not realistic and to do so could collapse the marketplace, but we’d all be alive to pick up the pieces later.  Otherwise, we risk extermination that could happen rapidly and forcefully.  The race for a cure is on – or an inoculation.  But look at polio, AIDS, and other diseases and how long it took to find a solution.  We can’t cure cancer or even the common cold.  Do we stand a chance against Ebola?

Halloween is approaching but we don’t need to dress in costumes to fabricate a scare.  We have a real one right before us.  How will we meet this threat?

The optimistic side of me says that there will be a way to contain this and that technology and science will save us.  But there’s another side that says human error and behavior could doom us.  Just like the stock market and economy goes through cycles, viruses go through cycles.  We’re due for a pandemic and all the signs point to the real possibility that it’s here, now.

But should we survive this latest scare and threat, I’m sure there will be plenty of books written about it.  Then social media can go viral about the books and instead of a killer plague circulating it will be an author or book that infects society.  But until then, lock your doors and self-isolate. Death could be at our doors.


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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

Paperbacks Sold Online Rule The Marketplace


Ebook sales, by units, rank third, behind hardcover books and paperback books.  When you look at revenue, ebooks are still third but fall further back from the other two formats.  This comes from a Nielsen Books & Consumers Survey from January to June, 2014.


42% of all books sold are paperbacks.  25% are hardcover books.  23% are ebooks.  3% are audios.  7% are “other” though I can’t imagine what that looks like if its not print, audio, or digital.  But because paper books sell for a lot more than ebooks paper books make up more than 80% of the book revenue.

When it comes to where books are sold, we are an Amazon nation.  Amazon sells six out of every 10 e-books sold. Online commerce accounts for 39% of all books sold (based on units not price).  These books can be in any format.  Almost all of the online commerce comes from Amazon. 21% of all sales come from bookstore chains, primarily Barnes & Noble.  Mass merchandisers, book clubs, independent bookstores, supermarkets, warehouse clubs and drugstores combine for 21% of the market.  16% of all books sold don’t come from any of these sources.

What was interesting about the survey is it revealed what motivates the purchases of book buyers:

·         12% said in-store displays inspired their purchases.
·         10% said friends and family recommendations influenced their purchases.
·         8% said they purchased their titles after browsing the websites of online retailers.

I’m also sure that social media, traditional media, advertising and other factors influence book purchases.

All of these surveys, bestseller lists, and sales scans tell us where people buy what they buy.  But are consumers reacting to the marketplace or does the marketplace react to consumers?

For instance, if you determine you will only buy ebooks, then what you buy depends on which reader you use and what that company offers by way of selection and price.  Such a person will never be influenced by what’s in a physical store unless they purposely window-shop and use the store as a showcase.

There were some genre variances in people's buying habits.  For instance, 47% of all romance book units purchased come online but only 25% of all children’s book units sold come online.  A likely reason is that romance or erotica is purchased online so no one feels awkward buying it in a store.  Further, fiction increasingly is read digitally, whereas children’s books are physical by choice.


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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What Are America's Reading Habits?



Earlier this year the fifth installment of Digital Book World, held annually in New York City, revealed the book industry is losing teen readers to other forms of digital entertainment.  The same study - put out by Nielsen Book – shows only 4% of all book buyers read e-books only.  However, the number of Americans who own digital reading devices has jumped to 50% as of January 2014.

The Pew Research Center’s survey of reading habits at the beginning of this year revealed several interesting insights.

88% of college graduates read at least one book in 2013, but that means 12% - or 1 in 8.5 college grads, didn’t read a single book in an entire year.  What’s wrong with that picture?  Overall, 24% of Americans 18 or older didn’t read a book in 2013.  31% of men, almost one in three, did not read a single book in one year.

We think older people love to read but 30% didn’t touch a book last year (those 65+).  Based on income, the likeliest reader come from those earning $50,000 to $75,000, where 85% read at least one book.  Surprisingly, 81% of blacks, 76% of whites, and 67% of Hispanics read a book last year.

Women read ebooks more than men, and blacks read ebooks twice as often as Hispanics.  College students read ebooks at more than three times the rate of those with no more than a high school diploma.  Of those earning below $30,000 in salary – 14% read an ebook vs. 46% of those earning over $75,000.

So do those stats change whom you write for – or whom you sell to?

Just write a great book and market the heck out of it – but know that chunks of various groups – older, under-educated, white, poor people – are tuning out books.  The marketplace has to find a way to get books in their hands, into those who didn’t read, let alone buy, a book in 2013.  The nation may have a literary gap, but it has the tools to narrow the gap.
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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Writing Content For Very Distracted Readers


How do we write books for a world that moves at a frantic pace, for readers who are too busy to stand still for a minute? How do authors market to people who have busy lives and long to-do lists?

America, for a long time, has been living a disposable lifestyle. Many of us get new smart phones every two years when our contracts run out. We lease cars three years at a time. We move on average every seven years. We trade in who we date and marry with increased frequency. Jobs come and go. 

We’ve become a society of temporary – we are doing something for the moment, and then we’re not. We are a distracted society. We multitask the day away. We are consumers of content, continuously moving away from videos to TV to books to blogs to magazines to so many forms of entertainment and information. When we buy something we don’t expect it to last forever – or 10 years or even five. We enter into situations knowing they have a shelf life. Everything expires, gets replaced and falls off our menu. Variety and diversity are great and what is wrong with trading up or embracing new? The old culture of hang on to people, jobs, or other things until they die, break, or leave you is no longer the norm. But we need something in between these wild swings. The extremes are not where we want to be.  

But our world is on a breakneck pace, one that gives all of us ADHD. I know I find it harder to focus on things. Often, I feel rushed through the day, not always able to enjoy the moment I’m in. But the minute I try to take a timeout from such a life -- maybe take a day off.  I feel lost and displaced. I’m so used to being on the go that I don’t know how to relax or smell the roses.

Maybe people turn to books so not only can they learn, laugh, or escape to another world but also as an excuse to take time out for themselves. If you sit for even just 15 minutes at a time -- away from the chaos of life and demands of the day -- to read a book you feel transformed and rewarded. You can satisfy time to yourself, free from voices, demands, needs, debts, and setbacks. You are in the zone of you, one on one with your book. What could be better?

I tried reading a book for pleasure last month, Paulo Coelho’s Adultery. I’m only up to page nine. Nothing is wrong with the book. It’s me. I just haven’t been able to calm my mind to give myself permission to relax and read. I too often have one or more things to do with my kids, the house, my wife, my parents, my job, bills to review, chores to get on, and day to day demands of commuting and exercise, and well, you get the point. I’m not one to make excuses. If it means something to you, you always find a way to do it, right?!

But the world is on overload. Mine sure is. You are writing for people torn in 20 directions. How will you guide them to your book?

You may be too distracted to finish reading my blog post. I felt distractions tugging at me as I wrote this.

We are a nation so busy doing but not always appreciating or reflecting or dreaming. But we need to do more of those things and there is no better way to start a conversation with ourselves than to read books. Lots of them!


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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gone Girl Best Movie Of The Year


My wife and I saw Gone Girl in the movie theater and loved it.  I’d give it the Oscar for best movie.  No other movie is this well written and well acted.  It provides a blend of entertainment and moral message.

In fact, the messages are plentiful – covering marriage, infidelity, obsession, the media, perception and appearance, the legal system, womanhood, manhood, and family.

Not since Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction or The Hand That Rocks The Cradle have we seen such a villainous, obsessed, scorned woman than the one presented in Gone Girl.  Never have we seen a setup as big as this since Body Heat.  If I just named a number of classics from the past three decades it’s done intentionally.  Gone Girl will be such a classic.

Based on a book – as many great movies are -- the movie adaptation seems to do it justice from what my wife tells me.  She read the book.

It’s funny, you can watch the movie and tend to side with the guy – if you’re a guy -- and the woman – if you’re a woman.  There are many layers of guilt and truth to a story of betrayal, disappointment, revenge, and redemption.

It’s a movie all couples – married or dating should see.  You’ll never think your relationship is so bad after seeing this film – but you’ll be afraid that your relationship won't last a long time – knowing the chances that someone  in it is disappointed, perhaps to the point of desperation. 

The movie should be retitled to: “I love you, fuck you, and they ______?”

Did You Know?

Back in 1896, National Geographic did something that seems more commonplace today – publishing a photo of bare-breasted woman.  It would be more than a half-century later before Playboy came to be.

The magazine began publishing in 1888 and by the next year it started to include photographs.  This year it celebrates its 125th anniversary of publishing photos – 539 of which are of bare-breasted women.

The magazine’s earliest mission was to “document the world and all that is in it.”

READ THIS!

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Authors will hashtag their way to success

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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014