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Thursday, January 29, 2015

At The NY Public Library, A Physical Amazon



Shhh! I’m sitting in one of the nation’s most esteemed libraries, The New York Public Library.  The main building of the nation’s largest library system is located at the center of the country’s most culturally important city, on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.  I’m here to say the library is alive and well – but it’s lost in another century.

I saw that some of the shelves in certain sections were barren.  How could a library, especially an esteemed one, let any bookcase space go unused?  Apparently they are in the middle of renovations and the books are hidden in a basement or worse, stuck in a New Jersey warehouse.  The blank walls sadden me and serve to forewarn us about the fate of our beloved libraries and physical books.

Despite the empty shelves, plenty of hall space was filled with books, just as I remembered as a child.  This building is enormous in size and in its depth of materials.  It is primarily a research library and less a lending one.

Some of the volumes that caught my eye was a set of 800 tall, hard-covered books that contained copies of the old card catalogs from 1911-1971.  I opened a random edition and couldn’t believe how many books are shown, on a page.  When you multiply it out you realize how many books used to exist – and that was up until 45 years ago.  We have published more books in the time period since – than in the history of all book publishing combined prior to then.

There were a few exhibits going on.  The main one featured 175 years of photography, and of course, photography books.  Given the subject matter and available content, I was vastly underwhelmed but encouraged to know that such a tribute existed.

I sat down at these old, large tables, made out of solid wood, sitting in a heavy wooden chair.  A desk lamp provided enough shadowy light to remind me of being back in school decades earlier.

Though I live in a suburb of NYC, I could still get a library card for the NY Pubic Library.  When I went to look at a particular reference material, I was told I needed a card.  I marched down the hall and got one.  The room looked dank and temporary, without a window.

You can’t help but walk around this illustrious building and historically-significant, architectural marvel, and not feel like you are part of something special.  So many words, ideas, and experiences are contained here, sitting side by side, waiting for someone to rediscover them.

At the photography exhibit, there was a placard that noted the decade-old Facebook is the single largest photo-sharing source in the world.  Some 350 million photos are uploaded daily – and growing.  This means in a 10-day period, 3.5 billion images are added to an already overcrowded site to a fattening Internet.  From New Year’s to April 10, Facebook will have posted 35,000,000,000 new photographs.  Additionally, 10,000,000 blogs will have been created.  Further, some 200,000 new books will have been published.

The library used to truly be a place where information was stored.  The books, magazines, newspapers, and journals represented a significant percentage of all recorded information.  Now a day of content added online far outstrips the voluminous content stored in any single library.

Libraries still serve a valuable need.  First, for those who can’t afford books or an eReader, they can have access to books for free.  Second, if you need the help of a trained librarian to find the info needed, you’ll be happy.  Third, to gain access to non-digitized books, documents, and physical records, get to the library.  Fourth, if you want to see an exhibit or hear an author speak, come on by.  Lastly, it’s a safe haven to students, researchers, bibliophiles, and those looking for a quiet respite from the world out there.


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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Authors Should Take Note Of Beer Co.'s Super Bowl Ad


The media world is on overload. Each day 300 million hours of video are watched on You Tube. On Facebook, 350 million photographs are uploaded daily. More than 100,000 blogs are created every 24 hours. There are 2,000 books published daily. How does one's message get heard?

One company is taking a smart approach. London-based New Castle beer couldn't afford to spend 4.5 million dollars on a 30-second TV spot to showcase its brew during The Super Bowl. Further, Anheiser-Busch is the main beer sponsor and had thrown enough money at the live event to ward off competitors. New Castle has one third of one percent of the $100 billion beer sector.

New Castle did something brilliant. It decided to get 20-30 non-beer brands to participate in its ad that will air online and on select NBC local affiliates during the Super Bowl. It is getting attention for its novel approach, as evidenced by The New York Times writing about it. Further, social media from the participating companies is creating a bigger buzz.

Could authors and publishers think this way, finding a means to work with each other to get attention and reduce costs?

Cross-promotional ad campaigns make sense. What if you bad a best-selling book, let's say by a really well-known author, and you place an ad for it side by side with s far lesser known author. The ad is not only a reminder to buy the popular book but is a way to create awareness for the unbranded author.

You can do the same with a social media campaign. Link the big and small so that the smaller book gets attention it otherwise would not.

Do something clever like having two different publishers with competing genre leaders join forces to discuss their books. It would be the best road show since Bush Sr. and Clinton teamed up for charitable causes.

How about this: Take the authors of two totally different genres and find a way to combine them. Can a business author tour with a diet and fitness author, or a parenting expert work with a pet expert? Why not?

How about you do a spoof on big-name celebrity book club selections? Or maybe you create a video of a fake book reviewer who hates everything--except your book. Perhaps you show a humorous video of how books are green-lighted and in the end it is a dog that is reading submissions.

New Castle had the right idea. Get others to subsidize your costs and make the campaign itself a media-worthy story.


DON’T MISS: ALL NEW RESOURCE OF THE YEAR

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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Interview With Author Bethany Straker On Fear


1.      What inspired you to write your book? A couple of years ago, I suffered from anxiety, and I felt that I didn’t want to spend time dwelling on what was happening to my mind and body by reading all these self-help books. I found myself watching comedies, surrounding myself with comfort. I wanted anything I read to make me laugh, and make me feel less alone, maybe even laugh at myself. ‘Why Am I Scared of Everything?’ was a reaction to that.

2.      What message do you want to leave people with? I’d like the reader to take comfort from the universal themes of being nervous about the bigger and smaller things we all deal with, but also to leave people with a smile, realizing how these things just don’t matter. Our heroine, Regina, often paints the ‘worst case scenario’ in the book, and we can laugh at the improbability of this. It’s a message to tell people to just go for it. The inspiring quotes at the bottom of each page can act as a mantra for those tackling that particular anxiety.

3.      What do most people fear most often? We always hear about people fearing the big things: death and illness for example. ‘Why Am I Scared of Everything?’ looks at this, but the common everyday fears as well. So many of us fear just being in a room making small-talk with strangers. We fear flying, how we look, how we behave, driving. Almost anything can be a fear – and they’re all far more common than people think.

4.      What do people with anxiety fear that most don't concern themselves with? I remember not wanting to leave the house. I’d imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong. It’s the details that most without anxiety don’t think about. Thoughts like, ‘If I wear that, people will laugh at me.’ ‘I won’t be able to park, and people will watch me and judge me.’ ‘I’ll say something stupid to someone and look foolish.’ If you’re a confident person without anxiety, these are things that barely cross your mind. But with anxiety, just a trip to buy a newspaper can be a source of worry.

5.      Do people fail to take steps to prevent things that could go wrong? A lot of people with anxiety can do exactly the opposite. They take steps to avoid anything going wrong. Avoiding going out or not pushing themselves to achieve their ambitions.

6.      How can one be more optimistic and less anxiousThe knowledge that other people have the same issues, that anxiety is so common, can give people strength. For me it was a gradual process. I tried to look at my fears and dissect them, and I realized none of them were important. Practical things for me were listening to uplifting music, watching really funny films, getting exercise and not beating myself up if I didn’t do what I thought ‘I should’ do that day. If people stop pressuring themselves to do something they might end up doing it through wanting to anyway. 

      For more information, please read this:
      More than forty million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders, and women are twice as likely as men to be riddled with unfettered anxiety.

      Author and illustrator Bethany Straker has had personal experience dealing with anxiety, and wanted to adopt a humorous approach at addressing our common fears. In her new book, Why Am I Scared of Everything?: A Diary of Our Greatest Worries and Inspirational Quotes to Remember, she highlights a selection of common anxiety-inducing fears such as:
    
      Being a failure
     Aging
     Changing jobs
     Having children
     Flying
     Becoming a bag lady
     And many more!


      With witty illustrations and inspirational quotes on each spread to help any anxiety sufferer get through the tough times, Why Am I Scared of Everything? promises to make the reader laugh at his or her own worries while feeling as if they aren’t alone in their fears. Available for pre-order now @ Amazon. The book debuts in February from Skyhorse Publishing.

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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

2015 Anniversaries For Authors To Celebrate


Anniversaries are plentiful in 2015.  Whatever happened in 1215, 1915, 1815, and even 1990 contributed to the world we have today.  No doubt books have been – or will be – written about the celebrated events of yesteryear.  Below is a random sampling of milestone events:

100 Years Ago
Pluto was photographed for the first time
The first submarine disaster takes place
Babe Ruth makes his pitching debut
AT&T becomes the first corporation with a million stockholders
BMT (Brooklyn Rapid Transit) begins subway service

150 Years Ago
Lincoln assassinated
Civil War ends
Congress bans slavery
Alice in Wonderland is published

350 Years Ago
New Amsterdam legally becomes British and is renamed New York after English Duke of York

80 Years Ago
The first Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl is played
Iceland becomes first Western nation to legalize abortion
Monopoly board games go on sale

50 Years
First person to walk in space – Russian Astronaut Alexey Leonon
Death of Winston Churchill
MLK Jr’s First March from Selma
Sound of Music premiers
First US combat troops land in Vietnam

800 Years
Signing of the Magna Carta

200 Years
The War of 1812 concludes
Napoleon is exiled after defeat

25 Years
Hubble Telescope was launched
Encyclopedia Britannica sales peaked at 120,000 volumes
The number of librarians peaked
Gorbachev elected as the first president of the Soviet Union
Germany is reunified

75 Years
Elmer Fudd makes his cartoon debut
Booker T. Washington becomes first African-American to be depicted on a US postage stamp
The Battle of Britain in WWII

DON’T MISS: ALL NEW RESOURCE OF THE YEAR

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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A 4-State Bestselling Plan


Florida recently surpassed New York as the third most-popular state.  A number of years ago Texas had supplanted NY for No. 2.  And some time last century, California zoomed past New York.  Times are changing.  Are books changing with them?

If you think about it, California, with 38.8 million people, has twice as many as Florida’s 19.9 and New York’s 19.7 million.  Texas just hit 27 million.  Four states hold 105.4 million – almost a third of the United States’ 320 million residents.  If you have a four-state approach to books you can:

·         Become a bestselling author
·         Generate major media coverage
·         Create a national legacy
·         Influence America's culture

These four states account for a huge chunk of the country, but if you want to concentrate on the 10 most populated metropolitan areas, zero in on these cities and their neighbors:

·         New York City metro 19.9 million
·         Los Angeles metro 13.1 million
·         Chicago metro 9.5 million
·         Dallas-Ft. Worth metro 6.8 million
·         Houston metro 6.3 million
·         Philadelphia metro 6.0 million
·         Washington, DC metro 5.9 million
·         Miami metro 5.8 million
·         Atlanta metro 5.5 million

·         Boston metro 4.7 million

Now, focusing on four huge states is not easy.  They are thousands of miles apart from each other.  Florida and New York are up to 2000 miles apart from the top of one to the bottom of the other.  Both are over 3000 miles from California, Texas, Florida, New York, and California are each big landmasses that would take time to navigate.  Each has numerous cities worth visiting.  But to narrow down a nation by hitting just four states is pretty incredible – and strategic.

If books focused on themes that appealed to people who live in those states you’d increase the chances of people buying books in those states.  Set a novel in Florida and California and you hit nearly 60 million combined.

One thing that we see is that the United States is made up of some mega states, then medium-sized ones like Pennsylvania and Ohio, and then smaller states.  The coastal states or border states tend to get the people, while middle America is kind of scattered around.  It’s been this way for a long time.

In terms of marketing to the four biggest states, you need to zero in on the biggest cities, such as SF, LA, SD for California or New York City, Buffalo, and Albany in New York, or South Florida, Orlando, and Jacksonville in Florida, or Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio in Texas.

By pursuing events, bookstore signings, and sponsorships in those cities, you have a chance of generating local or national media headquartered there.  The other 46 states would naturally follow without doing anything.

A bonus to all of this is that you’re visiting some of the most beautiful parts of the country in CA and FL.  NY offers history and skyscrapers.  Texas offers good steaks.  Get your plane ticket set: Four states to a best-seller!

DON’T MISS: ALL NEW RESOURCE OF THE YEAR

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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

The State of the Union For Books


President Barack Obama issued a passionate State of the Union address that revealed an ambitious agenda, a chance to shape his legacy, and an opportunity for the nation to reflect on where it is and questioned where it's heading.  Though he didn't directly mention any new initiatives to help writers or the book publishing industry, I have a few initiatives he could have presented to the watchful eyes and ears of an American public eager to see the nation grow as it moves beyond the shadows of The Great Recession and The Terrorism Era.

While Obama talked about making community college free, which could help to sell more textbooks, eh didn't talk about things that would really boost society, like:
·         A tax cut to book publishers
·         Allowing people to buy books pre-tax
·         Banning tales tax on books
·         Giving writers tuition reimbursement for Master of Fine Arts program participation
·         Creating a program to provide up to $100 worth of books to those living in poverty each year
·         Boosting government budgets for libraries
·         Hiring an army of 100,000 literary tutors to help immigrants, children, the unemployed, or those in prison to read and gain the most valuable of all skills

Granted, the State of the Union is just a big speech, full of bluster and chest-thumping, but even so, books should be a part of the national dialogue.  We need our top leader to share a vision about the value of books and to support the role they play in a society like ours.

Forget talk of the military, housing, jobs, or the political favorites such as abortion or immigration.  President Obama should have appealed to the masses by talking about books.  It's a safe area.  Who doesn't support reading and learning?  Who doesn't benefit from a more literate society?

Okay, so books won't win elections and talking about them is not too sexy.  But if we just keep talking about energy, taxes, the environment, ISIS, and the repeat issues of every local, state, and federal election, we'll never get to talking about books.

How about creating a national book club?
Could we declare 2015 the year of the book?
Shall the government fund awards to honor books?
Might the White House want to dedicate a day to meeting with publishing ambassadors and authors who make a difference?

The State of the Union was strong and inspiring, but next time the president of the United States could simply say: Read more books!

DON’T MISS: ALL NEW RESOURCE OF THE YEAR

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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Marketing Lesson's From Sal's Pizzeria


You wouldn't expect the busiest pizza place in town to be the one that doesn't deliver, doesn't accept credit cards, and fails to have  a customer-friendly demeanor, but Sal's in Mamaroneck, NY is hands-down the best pizza joint for miles. The competition is fierce, as just within two blocks of this establishment are no fewer than three pizza-dishing restaurants.

So how does a place become the unequivocal leader, the ultimate brand pace-setter? How can authors separate themselves from the pack in a similar fashion?

I don't even think Sal's advertises anywhere. It simply makes great pizza and its word-of-mouth has spread -- pun intended. They let their product be their spokesperson.

If you write a great book, that is the basis for getting raving fans. Without that, what word-of-mouth is being spread?

Now food and books are very different. You need food to live. Books may seem like your lifeblood but theoretically you can survive without books-- or can you?

Consuming food becomes a public experience, whereas reading books is more of a private thing.

Pricing varies wildly on food, from a slice costing two-and-a-half bucks to fifty-dollar dishes at high-end restaurants. Books are not expensive and digital books are dirt-cheap.

Whenever I talk to people about restaurants and pizza, almost everyone agrees Sal's is the best. This popularity is validated every time I wait on a line that often is out the door at Sal's. But many will also comment about the attitude its staff seems to take. They have a chip on their shoulders. You would think it is a negative, and one friend tells me he refuses to eat there because of their blatant disregard for the paying customer, but I think Sal's thrives in part because they remind you in their own way that their food is so good  that they can practically tell you to get lost.

Remember Seinfeld's Soup Nazi? Welcome to the Pizza Nazi.

I think all aspiring authors should take a trip through the door at Sal's and see firsthand how to build a brand -- and enjoy a slice or two or three of the greatest pizza in Westchester.

DON’T MISS: ALL NEW RESOURCE OF THE YEAR

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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015