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Friday, June 17, 2011

PR Can Stave Off The Recession For Your Book

All economic indicators and financial pundits agree we’re struggling to rebound from a deep recession that could get uglier before it stabilizes.  However that doesn’t mean you can afford to not market or promote your book.  In fact, this may be a better time for you to do so since conventional wisdom says the first thing to cut in slow economic times is advertising, marketing, and PR.  What others fail to do shall provide you with less competition and more opportunity.

If you agree on the fundamental of business that the way to make a sound product or service profitable is to market it, then there’s no reason to shy away from that just because the economy is rocky.  But what you should do is spend wisely and get the most return on your investment.

True, the nation is in an economic war, meaning everyone is battling for the same dollar.  Money is scarce, credit tight.  But in order to make money you need to spend some.  If you still believe there’s a market for your book, then you must market to it.  If you were convinced people won’t be interested in reading it, don’t promote it.   But the economy didn’t change this – only your perception did.  If you have a book that appeals to 60 million dog owners or 160 million women or some other large group or targeted niche, you should market your book.  The only thing that’s changed with the recent economic tumble, is that you’ll need to market smarter and, more often than before.  It’s a numbers game, always has been.

Over the past few years, despite a rocky economy…

·         The words in your book haven’t changed.
·         The ways to market your book haven’t changed.
·         The number of people who’d be interested in your book hasn’t changed.

What’s changed is fear rules reality, guessing trumps facts, uncertainty exceeds certainty.  If marketing a book was good idea six months ago, then it’s still a good idea today.

Okay, so fewer people will buy anything, and they will spend less money than before.  But what will they buy?  They will buy the book that helps them escape (a great novel, humor, photography), they will buy books for their kids, they will buy business books (to find a way to make money), and they will buy any book they would have bought previously unless that book covers a toxic topic.  Toxic books include books whose advice can’t be implemented, ie: how to buy and sell real estate during a boom (don’t make me explain this one).

The rules to promoting a book during a recession are the same when the economy is solid: get out there and speak before groups, do radio and television  interviews, send your book to reviewers, blog and seek out online opportunities; and tie your message to what’s on people’s minds or in the news.

If you let the recession scare off your promotional efforts you might as well not publish your book either. But if you recognize that there is opportunity in the marketplace, rev up your PR efforts and put your best foot forward!

*** Brian Feinblum can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @thePrexpert.

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