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Friday, November 30, 2012

Great Media Pitch. Now Improve It!


Getting the news media to pay attention to you can depend on no less than a dozen factors – from contacting the right person at the right media outlet, to timing, newsworthiness, popularity of the topic, credentials of the spokesperson, the needs and desires of the media, etc.  But one thing that needs to fall into place in order to register some media exposure is a catchy pitch.

A pitch can be a 15-second verbal explosion out of your mouth.  It can be a targeted e-mail.  It can be a press release.  Whatever form it’s in, it has to spark an idea, generate curiosity, and come off as intriguing.  Saying what others say won’t separate you from the masses.  You will need to generate a phrase or a word that makes them think, feel, laugh, or question things.

It may need to be sarcastic or declarative or outrageous.  It shall need to tie into something big, famous, or important.  It should feel like news even when it’s not. And it must sound timely and immediate – the media likes to have a deadline to beat.  Above all, the pitch has to pique their curiosity enough to ask for more information and a copy of your book.  You just need to hook them in -- and then you can close the deal.

So what will impress the media?  Different things will impress different people.  One reporter may want an entertainment angle, while one needs a health theme to the story.  Some people and books could very well appeal to multiple types of media beats.

Whatever you come up with, keep trying. Once you hear something that sounds edgy, look to build on it.  The pitch may come to you quickly but it still may need to be played with.  The substitution, addition, or deletion of even a single word can make all the difference in how the media receives you.

First, determine the tone – will you use deeply serious, confrontational, demanding, questioning, or other?

Second, decide if you lead with credentials or the subject – “bestselling author Joe blow says blah,blah” or “Economy may rise by double-digits in 2016, says professor Joe Blow in a new book.”

Third, if you use humor, how outrageous will you be?  How will you know that people understand the wit?

Fourth, determine the length of the pitch-- shorter is better.

Fifth, which words can be changed so as to give the pitch a certain feel – perhaps an intellectual voice works or maybe go for athlete speak or perhaps it’s the voice of the victim or that of the small businessman.  Determine how you shall be seen.

Sixth, think about how to tune your pitch to the news cycle of the day/week, calendar events, or stuff that is in the news now.

Lastly, whatever pitch you have, see if you can tweak it and make it better.  You are competing not just with yourself – but the pitches of millions of others.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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. All material is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Print Book Sales Rise, Sort Of


The number of printed books year-to-date vs. a year ago is down 11% across the board, but one area was showing growth: juvenile nonfiction, which showed an uptick of 4% in that same period. another birght spot: board books (fior infants/toddlers) rose 2%. Adult nonfiction declined by 15%, adult fiction by 13% and juvenile fiction decreased by just 3%.  No doubt, with a new holiday season of ebook reading device purchases, the number of print books sold will likely experience another double-digit decline in 2013. Still, even with the increasing popularity of ebooks, some 482,000,000 printed books were sold this past year, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which doesn’t necessarily include a lot of sales, such as those conducted by authors at events or their Web sites.

Interview With Best-Selling Novelist Jamie Freveletti

1. What is your new book, Dead Asleep, about? Dead Asleep takes my character, Emma Caldridge, a chemist and ultra runner, to an island in the Caribbean where she searches for a mineral unique to the area. While there she meets with superstition and folklore. As a scientist she begins to unravel what's real from what's imaginary, but while she does a very real virus begins attacking the population. The island is quarantined, leaving Emma trapped with some unsavory characters and no way out.

2. What inspired you to write it? I was reading some "folklore" about ancient sailors reporting sea monster sightings, and on the heels of that a group of Japanese sailors (present day) videotaped the first sighting of a giant squid-- with 40 ft tentacles. Suddenly it was clear to me that those ancient sailors weren't lying. Imagine if a 40 ft long massive tentacle rose out of the ocean? You'd be terrified! I decided to look into other phenomenon that seem otherworldly but had an actual scientific answer. As a scientist Emma is the perfect person to unravel the mystery. This book was challenging and fascinating to write.  

3. What draws you to the thriller genre? I've always loved the genre starting from when I was a young girl reading Edgar Allen Poe. I was only 9, but I loved it! I moved on to Nancy Drew mysteries and Agatha Christie and my love for them has never died. It's great to now be able to write them. A dream come true, really.

4. You also are the new voice for Robert Ludlum's Covert One series. What are the challenges of writing for a best-selling franchise? The biggest challenge was overcoming fear! My mother introduced me to Robert Ludlum's books--I think she gave me her copy of The Matarese Circle. When the Estate contacted me I was flattered but scared to death, really. I didn't want to mess up his legacy. I spent a lot of time analyzing his style and then just went for it. I'm pleased to report that the fans have been wonderful! I enjoyed every minute of writing his characters.

5. What do you love most about being a writer of fiction? I love being able to live in my imagination for a portion of each day. It's like play to me, and it refreshes me and takes me away from any troubles or mundane problems that the real world presents. On a practical level, I love that my thirty or forty minute one way commute is gone. My current commute is from my master bedroom to the coffee pot in the kitchen. You've gotta love that!

6. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? Ahhh, what a tough question. Everyone in the industry has this on their mind. Authors as well. I definitely see the formats reshuffling. When Borders closed a lot of shelf space was lost. Add to that the convenience of E-readers and it seems to point in the direction of electronic books, but I think it will settle out at a mixture print and electronic books. I have children that are avid readers and when they're not streaming movies on their computer, watching YouTube or interacting on Facebook they read actual books. I've asked them if they'd like an e-reader, but they've declined, saying that they spend all day on the computer and prefer a book to relax. Since they are the next generation, I think that's instructive. I don't think print will die, as some are predicting, but I'm no fortune-teller either. We'll see what the next year brings!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. Please note that Jamie’s newest book was promoted by my employer. 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Marketing Books Successfully By Phone


Some book publicists and marketers operate almost exclusively by email, social media, and texting.  Many consumers and members of the media prefer it that way.  But there’s still a place for good ol’ fashioned phone calls and because some people use the phone far less often than a decade ago, any phone call seems to stick out with far more greater impact.

So what are the keys to good phone etiquette?

  1. Keep it short  - no one has time for you to blab on.

  1. Only call people that you cannot seem to reach any other way and are too important/valuable not to call.

  1. Don’t bother leaving a message; instead, try again at another time or on another day.

  1. Be a polite caller and a good listener.  No one wants a call that comes on with blatant selling.

  1. If you get through to the person you want, don’t ever put them on hold.

  1. Use the call to get their attention for your emails or letters and leave the details in your correspondence.

  1. Give them your best pitch and then get a sense of their reaction, needs, roadblocks or desires.

  1. Get the recipient to agree to an action step to click on a site, agree to receive a book, a promise to respond to an email.  It can be step one of a two-part closing process – just get them to agree to do something.

  1. Use the call to hear the passion, conviction, sincerity, energy, and happiness in your voice.  Let them fall in love with your phone persona.

  1. Do not hound them or call back repeatedly.  You get one shot to impress them.

How you establish rapport with someone depends on who you are calling and the subject matter but suffice to say asking how the weather is, flirting, or expressing extreme or controversial viewpoints on unrelated topics is probably not the way to leave a good impression.

Lastly, even if they can’t see you, those whom you call can sense it if you are smiling.  Always smile and talk as if someone is right in front of you.  Sometimes a friendly voice and a nice smile go a long way.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How You Know A Book Is Successful


How does one know if their book is a success? I guess it begins with how one defines “success.”

Some may judge a book purely by its sales, but how many sales make you a success?

Some believe hitting a best-seller list is the grand definer of success, but which list means the most?  How often did you make the list? How many lists did you make?  Where exactly did you rank on that list?

Others believe a book is a success because it gets a message out there that the public needs to hear.. How did the public react to it?

Some want the book turned into a movie, a play or TV series.

Others think the mere existence of their book is a success in itself.

Some use a book to get publicity, which helps them serve their real goal of building their brand and possible, positioning them to charge higher fees for their consulting and seminar business.

There clearly are different standards of success-and different measurements and degrees to take into account.  Success, ultimately, is defined by the author and probably takes into account expectations vs. end-results reality.

Books can sell well and never make a best-seller list.  Books on a best-seller list may not sell well overall but for the one week they made the list.  Books can generate a ton of PR but not sell well – and books that sell well sometimes have no PR going for them other than strong word-of-mouth.  So many things can influence --and define -- a book’s success.

Perhaps the question should not be asked of an author if their book is a success, but if the public thinks it is.  Most consumers would judge success based on sales and how much money the author earned as a result.  Many would also judge a book by the size and depth of media coverage a book received.

But I think a book is a success if it makes a positive impact on the reader – even just one reader.  Did you inform, enlighten, educate, or inspire another? Or make them think, laugh, cry and feel alive?  Who can argue with a book that impacts the life of another?

Then again, it doesn’t hurt to be a best-seller and be reviewed by the New York Times.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Book Sales Could Determine Amazon’s Publishing Future



Amazon is in an interesting position. The company lost money last quarter, despite taking in more than $13 billion in that period.  That’s about $150 million in revenue every day. On the other hand, they are investing in their infrastructure. By building warehouses to speed up their delivery capabilities they will be an even bigger force soon.

It owns a good chunk of the book market – about 1 in 4 books sold in America come from Amazon. For e-books, it owns 55% of the market. But its new publishing line (Amazon Publishing) is largely being boycotted by most independent bookstores and all 689 Barnes and Noble stores.

Amazon’s biggest book will be released November 29th, The 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss. The industry eagerly awaits the results. Amazon continually pushes for exclusivity deals with authors, literary agents, and other publishers, prohibiting stores from offering certain ebooks to its customers. As a result, the stores and some publishers have fought back.

The arbiters of the publishing wars will be the consumers and they will dictate what the book publishing and retailing landscape will look like when they vote with their wallets this holiday season. Depending on the outcome of this cliffhanger, the story may be turned into a movie.

Or at least a book, one in which one of the current big players won’t get a chance to sell.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Should Be Every Day



This Thanksgiving Day may mean different things to different people, especially given millions just endured a devastating hurricane and millions of others continue to deal with unemployment across the country. But even without tragedy, loss or death in one’s life, there are many challenges to being in this world.  I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving is a time to reflect not on what we lost or failed to obtain, but to cherish what we do have and more importantly, whom we have in our lives.

Though Thanksgiving seems to be a time to reaffirm family, friendships, and charity to the less fortunate, Christmas increasingly is a time for gluttony and excess.  It is all about presents and consumerism. There is room for both, though it would be nice if it could be Thanksgiving  Day every day. Instead of saying: I want, I need, I must have… we each should say: I am thankful for, I am appreciative of, I love...

I am thankful that our nation finally is at peace, that my family is healthy and safe, and that those in my life have found the strength and will to overcome the challenges that come their way. The world's not perfect and my life could benefit from changes, but today I want to treasure just how things are and value the world on its own terms. Life ain’t so bad, and at times it can be downright great.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Twinkie Publishing Coming Next?



When you have an iconic 80-year-old company such as Hostess going out of business you pause for a moment, first to lament that Twinkies and hostess Cupcakes will cease to be, and that 18,000 people will be unemployed. Then you wonder: How could that be? How could brands like Wonder Bread just disappear after being a household name for several generations? How does something so popular just get erased as if it never existed?

Could the same thing happen with book publishers?

It is a logical question to raise, given that a few years ago one would have thought it crazy to imagine major food brands closing shop after such a long, successful run. But we know all businesses, with the exception of a few, eventually close up shop. It is just the Darwinian way of the business world.

As hard as it may seem that brands like Simon & Schuster, Random House, or Wiley could ever go out of business, we see mergers eat up brands and bankruptcies completely kill them. Publishing certainly is not immune to the economic laws of the land. And unfortunately, publishing as an industry, is under attack from new mediums such as the Internet.

Maybe a big publisher can merge with Hostess and form a new entity, one that offers tasty snacks while you read a good book.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Monday, November 19, 2012

500 Million Tweets A Day Sell How Many Books?


Twitter has its fans and detractors.  It also has established itself as being the leading measurer of taking the nation’s pulse. If you want an instant polling of America’s reaction to rumors, news, or events, you can find it on Twitter. It is so quick to tabulate a response to what is happening in the world that it creates an impression that then gets responded to and so on and so on, creating its own loop of activity. Twitter and the social media world takes on a life of its own.

So what is the end result?

500,000,000 tweets are sent every 24 hours – and those numbers are growing daily and spike during major events such as a political debate, a hurricane, an election.  One day in the near future there will be a billion tweets a day.  Then two and four billion.  The number is breathtaking.

But what do all of these tweets mean to book publishers and authors?  The more tweets they and the rest of the world generate, the more diluted their impact becomes.  Yet, to not tweet, means to depreciate your positioning in the marketplace and with the news media.  So how does one tweet meaningfully, productively, and profitably?

Like everything else about the book marketing process, you have to show up to have a chance.  This means you cannot have a marketing strategy that does not include Twitter, at least to some degree.  Yet, many authors avoid or dismiss Twitter.

A certain amount of tweets need to be generated during various hours of the day and night, each including hash tags to help with discoverability.  If you tweet often enough – but not to the point you feel burdened by tweeting – and if your tweets are worded just right, you have a chance of strangers reading your tweets and acting on them. They may click on your site and/or buy your book.  They may also retweet your tweets and open your tweet up to many, many others who may otherwise had not heard about you.

Twitter is a bit of lottery and skill, but it allows for novices to compete, at some level, with professional advertisers, marketers, and publicists. There may be a half-billion tweets circulating every day but it only takes one of your tweets to make a difference for your book’s success.

Good luck tweeting – and be sure to tweet this blog post!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Option Of Doing Nothing


The other day I was on Metro North, a commuter rail that brings me from New Rochelle to Grand Central Station in Manhattan, an experience I’ve had for the past nine years since moving from the city to the suburbs. As always, I was using my commute time to read and write, but at some point I looked up to see the woman opposite me was not reading a newspaper, talking on a cell phone, emailing, surfing the Net on an iPad, doing work or listening to music.  She was just staring out into space, perhaps deep in thought or totally cleansed of any thought.

At first I thought she was wasting her time.  I probably write the equivalent of a book while on the train each year – and I certainly have read many while riding the rails.  Here she was, unarmed of a device, publication or pad. She seemed naked and odd to me.

But then I realized she was perhaps the smart or lucky one, finding a way to be free of gadgets, distractions, or the words and thoughts of others. Maybe she was the liberated one and the rest of us on the train are just blind servants to consuming media in all forms.

Still I love how I spend my train time and find it gives me a chance to be in an intellectually stimulating zone, free of the world’s interruptions and annoyances.

I can’t judge another so easily, though it’s tempting.  Who knows how this woman spends her other commutes – maybe she chose to do nothing or maybe economics and other factors made the choice for her.  Who knows how she spends the rest of her day – maybe she consumes more blogs, magazines, and games than one could ever imagine.  But for this moment, she was free to think or do nothing at all. It’s a novel idea, almost a luxury, that fewer people in fewer situations are embracing.

Okay, I have to go now. I finished writing this while on my morning train after having read the newspaper.  Not much time to do nothing, but for me that’s just fine.  I’m sure that she feels perfectly content doing what she enjoys as well, even if it nothing at all.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Friday, November 16, 2012

Moving Your Perspective



Most people don’t like change, at least not initially, because it usually is forced upon them.  Humans make changes and adjustments because of a loss, threat, fear, need or a desire.  They change because their health, safety or finances depend on it.  They change because someone told them they need to.  They change because doing nothing or the same just doesn’t work anymore.

But change can turn out to be good, especially once you get past your familiarity with the old, and see that new ways could be better and that opportunities for exciting things that you didn’t even foresee can take hold.

Today is my company’s last day in the offices we called home for over 13 years.  We are not going far – just across the street, to be joined with our parent company – a place we had come from in 1999.  But there’s always something unsettling with any change that may take a little time to shake.

It feels like a whole new company is forming overnight, but in reality we are joined by our colleagues under one physical roof. In the end, there will be a greater synergy and a sense of size to us, which will be nice.

But it is strange that come Monday I will come to a new office with new faces.  I didn’t switch companies but it feels like we just grew 7 times our size.

I have packed up all of my stuff and in the process tossed a portion of it, realizing I don’t need dead files following me around.  In the process of cleaning out desk drawers, closets, and a conference room you come about history and old campaigns that flood the mind with memories.  The last few weeks seem as if they’d been spent in a time machine, revisiting another era.

When I saw documents dated from the 1990s which may not seem to be terribly long ago, it feels like an eternity has passed.  Those were the days of a different media landscape, a different book sales market, and of an Internet that had only AOL and Amazon to show for itself.

Cleaning up the past helped me forge ahead into the future.  When you look back at anything, you realize how far you’ve come, and it inspires you to know that so many more new memories and success stories await you.  So even if this latest change causes me to pause with a bit of sadness, it also gives me pause to see new opportunities awaiting me.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sinatra Book Launch Is Saucy!


Photos From Sinatra Book Launch Party At New Haven’s Sally’s APizza

I have never been to a book launch party at a pizzeria, but the release of Sinatra & Me by Franz Douskey is unlike any other book I’ve promoted.  So when I joined two colleagues to take a two-hour train from Grand Central Station in Manhattan to Sally’s Apizza in New Haven, Connecticut, I knew we were in for a treat.

The book, an intimate look at Frank Sinatra and the life of an iconic singer and actor, was based on dozens of hours of interviews with Tony Consiglio, the man who was closest to Frank Sinatra and who spent three decades on the road with him.  Consiglio died in 2008 but Douskey, a writer whose last book was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, was able to capture Consiglio’s account of his friendship with Ol’ Blue Eyes by piecing together dozens of taped interviews they had conducted in the 2000’s.

Sinatra & Me is the first non-fiction print book for Tantor, one of the nation’s top three audiobook publishers.  Tantor, based in Connecticut, has launched a line of books that will be released simultaneously as print, e-book, and audiobook.

To read more and see photos, click on: http://www.media-connect.com/blog/sinatra-me-book-launch-party/  

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Who Really Controls The Book Market?



According to a recent report issued by Bowker Market Research as reported by Publishers Weekly, 57% of books sold did not come by way of Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Warehouse clubs, Wal-Mart, Target, book clubs and a host of other outlets contribute to the book sale mosaic.  Independent bookstores take 6% of the market.  Christian bookstores sell 2% of all books sold.  Supermarkets and grocery stores account for 1% of the market.

The only significant sales changes from a year ago comes with two areas.  Amazon increased its share of the market from 20% to 27% and the broad category of “all other channels” dropped from 21% to 13% of the market.

Additionally, ebooks now make up 22% of all book sale revenue.  A year ago it was 21% so it looks like they have stalled.  Mass market paperbacks, over the last year, declined significantly, from 15% to 12% of sales revenue.

Perhaps the book market is more diverse than we realize.  But regardless of who sells a book and in what format, the industry appears to be diverse and strong.

On the other hand, if the future of the book industry rests in e-books, Amazon owns the market.  Its Kindle collection is responsible for 55% of all e-book downloads.  The Nook is a distant third at 14%.  Apple’s iPad (12%), iPhone (3%) and ipod (2%) own 17% of the ebook market.  6% of ebooks are read on desktops or laptops.  Sony ebook Reader only accounts for 1% of the market. Other smartphones collectively make up 3% of ebook sales.  All other devices combined makeup 4% of the market, including Google Nexus, Galaxy Tab, Kobo Arc, and Microsoft Surface RT.


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Colbert Says Santa Should Not Quit Smoking


Media Frenzy Over Santa Dropping His Pipe

One of my clients revised the classic book, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas so that Santa is pipe-free.  The PR is heating up. It was on Colbert the other day.  http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/421161/november-12-2012/blitzkrieg-on-grinchitude---santa-s-pipe?xrs=share_fb   The Today Show, View, CNN, and Kelly and Michael, also talked about the book. The NY Post and LA Times have also covered the story about Santa quitting smoking.  The Great American Smoke Out, sponsored by the American Cancer Society takes place November 17. If Santa can quit, maybe others can too!

An interview with author Pamela McColl can be found at http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/interview-with-publisher-of-santa-quits.html


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©



What Do Bad Book Reviews Mean?



The old adage is: “No PR is bad PR.”  You can take that to mean that any type of PR is better than none, just as long as people get to know your name. But what happens when you get a bad book review?

Don’t crap in your pants.  Toughen up. If a reviewer says your book sucks, chalk it up to the reviewer just not liking your book as an individual choice.  If you get a bunch of bad reviews then it means your book may not be loved by all, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad book. If there are just as many positive reviews then it just means your book is either loved or hated – and there is no in between.  You are looking to please some people, not all of them, so who cares if 309 million Americans think you’re a loser with a crappy book – if a million like it you are R-I-C-H!

But if our skin is not thick or your perspective of the world of book reviews is narrow, let me help you put it in perspective:

·         A great review may yield few or no sales. A bad review doesn’t necessarily turn off would-be buyers but it just becomes a non-opportunity to win new fans.

·         It depends on how many reviews you receive, and how many are bad.  If you get 25-30 reviews, some are bound to be a little negative. It’s the law of averages at play.

·         Just how bad are the reviews?  Are they deeply negative or do they only mention some minor shortcomings?

·         Where are these reviews posted?  How big is their readership?  Maybe the biggest mouths have the smallest followings?

·         Even bad reviews have a positive few words that can be pulled for a good quote.  Highlight the good praise and ignore the rest.

The things that count more than reviews are:

·         Sales
·         Impact of your message on others.
·         Your brand.
·         Favorable media coverage from interviews.
·         The fun you had in writing your book.

Pay attention to what’s really important and don’t worry about what any book reviewer says about your book.  Then again, we all want to be loved by everyone and every review is a posting of judgment that can wound or raise our egos. Just stand back and look at the bigger picture and do not let a review take up too much of your time or focus.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great Ideas Await Some Of Us



My son, Ben, is going to be eight in a few months and the other day he struggled to deal with the fact that an idea he had for an invention had already been invented.  It was not important what the invention is but that he was thinking about creating things.  But he was near tears after learning that his big idea was over and done with.

I tried to console him but failed to do so. I told him that he’ll have plenty of ideas and one day one of them might lead to a new invention, a new business, or an improvement to an existing one.  I told him that new things are invented every day and that he may invent something related to a thing that doesn’t exist yet. I told him Thomas Edison failed for years of thousands of experiments before he created the light bulb.  I gave him all of the encouragement that a father could, but it wasn’t enough.

Who am I to council about patents, opening a business, or creating something new?  I create with words but for all of my ideas, dreams, hypothesizing, questioning, investigating, and pontification I have not created shit.  How could I tell him what would be genuine, legitimate advice from someone in the know if I am someone in the dark?

But we give advice every day that we have no firsthand knowledge of.  Priests console couples about relationships and parenting but know not from these things.  Guidance counselors who went from the classroom to their jobs give career advice to high school or college students when they may never have lived a day outside of academia. And parents give their kids words of wisdom even when they don’t have a real-life experience to draw from.

My son wondered if he’d have another good idea only to see it owned by another. He had genius block, telling me he didn’t have any other ideas. He put too much pressure on himself to come up with a big idea.  I told him ideas should just come naturally and flow from experience.  I told him many ideas come out of an experience, a need, or a desire.  He’s only experienced a fraction of one percent of what the world is all about.  Imagine how many ideas he’ll have once he gets out of second grade?

We all want to discover the big idea but sometimes ideas find us.  Or so I believe, for I have not come up with the next big idea either. But I know it’s out there, waiting for me to claim it.  Or perhaps, for Ben to do so.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, 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 blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2012 ©

Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview With The Author Of The Happy Hour Effect



Kristen K. Brown, a bestselling author, speaker & certified holistic health counselor was interviewed today about her new book that launches today.

1. What is your new book about? The Happy Hour Effect is a resource guide to help people pinpoint the areas of their life that cause them stress and the areas that energize them and then setting goals to shift the balance between the two. It's a book that can be used throughout life because it's flexible to fit our ever-changing life circumstances and needs. It's easy, fun and really simple to use because every secret (chapter) is focused on a different aspect of life so regardless of where you are struggling at any given time, there is a chapter for it.

2. Why did you write it? As a young widow mom in corporate America, I have experienced extreme stress. But I have also discovered ways to manage it without prescription medication, without elaborate life changes and without adding more stress in the process. Stress contributes to illness and the leading causes of death in the United States plus it causes issues with work productivity, relationships and so much more. I want to help guide people using fun and easy experimentation to find the right stress solution for them. There is no one-size-fits-all way to manage stress so I want to give people options and support to find what works for them.

3. How will you get people to embrace its message? Through my speaking, writing, social media and media appearances, I am spreading the Stress Less Revolution and educating people on why it's so important to manage the inevitable stresses of life in a more positive way. I'm not just some doctor or expert who is pushing for everyone to stress less. I'm a regular person who went through extreme personal and professional suffering that caused extreme stress. But I found a way through it and made it my mission to help others get through it too. I am now a certified Holistic Health Coach, have my Master's certificate in Integral Theory, speak to organizations on stress/wellness, appear in the media regularly and have multiple books and online training products to help others minimize stress and maximize life. I am inspiring the world by preaching what I've practiced and practicing what I preach.

4. What did you love most about the process of writing your book? I love hearing people's stories and seeing the amazing changes that can happen with the tiniest of tweaks to their lifestyle habits. It's the most fulfilling thing to know that I am helping people live better lives through my writing. And really, it's not me making the changes. Every individual discovers their path themselves. I just give them the map.

5. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? It's so interesting because I self-published my first book, "The Best Worst Thing," that was very successful and then parlayed that success into an agent and multiple traditional publishing offers for "The Happy Hour Effect." Both approaches required extensive marketing, time and money. So while I see self-publishing growing, there are still so many authors who put something out there but then don't have the expertise or means to market it to make it a success. So while it's wonderful to have the option to put a book out that a traditional publisher wouldn't take on, there is also a risk of an oversaturated market. I think self-publishing has a long way to go in getting inexperienced authors educated on what they need to do to create and market a high-quality book that's comparable in quality to a traditionally published book. And of course digital books are a whole other subject. We all know the growth of digital books and that they are the future - so there is a lot to learn there to create the same feel and experience as holding a hard book in your hands.

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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. BookMarketingMediaBuzz is copyrighted material © 2012.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lincoln Is A Movie You Must See


Lincoln Is Sure To Win An Oscar

Steven Spielberg has made some great movies in his career, which now spans nearly four decades, but he has outdone himself with Lincoln. This film ranks up there with his best work -- E.T., Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler’s List.

There are many challenges to bringing an iconic figure to the big screen. For one, we know how the story ends. Many books and movies have covered Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and the freeing of blacks from slavery. But Spielberg managed to pull off a whopper. Part of it was his great direction, and part was getting excellent acting performances from Sally Field and Daniel Day Lewis (See There Will Be Blood, Gangs of New York, My Left Foot), as well as rich supportive roles from the likes of Tommy Lee Jones and a cast of recognizable faces. But the biggest reason the movie is a rich success is that it has such fascinating material to play with.

I left the sold-out theater in Manhattan in tears, along with many others. What impressed me was how Lincoln was depicted, the human side. This man had to face so much upheaval in his life and presidency. While in office he lost a son, his wife nearly cracked up, the country fought a bitter civil war, and he pushed through a constitutional amendment that freed the slaves. But it all came at such a heavy price and ultimately cost him his life. He spouted wisdom and stories to anyone who would listen and came off more like a preacher than a politician. He seemed kindhearted and visionary, but he wasn’t beyond doing what was practical and necessary, even if it meant twisting the words and intention of laws -- and legislators’ arms.

I cannot imagine what any national leader goes through to keep a country moving forward but it is clear that Lincoln faced challenges that few presidents have had to deal with, both politically and personally. Even if you are convinced you know everything about Lincoln, I urge you to see this movie. It may move you to cry, to cheer, to jeer, but it will move you for sure. 

Great movies tell stories in ways that make viewers think about them long after they have left the theater. This one will stay with me for some time to come.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Does Election Show Power Of Media & Marketing?


If you think about it, the recently concluded election put a few marketing truths to the test.

For instance, the idea that money can buy you influence and power only worked for one side when it came to the battle for the White House. Each side spent over a billion dollars to wrestle control of the government. Apparently it wasn't enough. Things stayed virtually unchanged. Obama remained in the Oval Office, the Democrats retained the Senate and Republicans kept the House of Representatives.

Another growing assumption is that all you need to win over voters or customers is to market to them online. However, perhaps because the electorate is so diverse, no one media seemed to dominate, though one may argue that TV got a huge share of the advertising budget from the parties and candidates.

Marketing a mediocre product can sell that product better than a good product would sell without a marketing budget. This seems to be generally true, but again, when it comes to the voters, some voted contrary to the blitz of media ads coming at them because their ideology or beliefs were stronger than any 30-second attack ad.

Polls can be wrong. It turns out they were fairly accurate in predicting things but the media likes to dramatize the election the way weathermen like to hype an upcoming storm. The race was seemingly close in the popular vote and in certain battleground states, but the electoral college landslide leaves a different impression.

Certainly one thing authors and publishers can conclude from election politics: the news media likes controversy, winners and losers, new ideas, familiar personalities, and making predictions. Pitch them ideas and story angles that play into their mindset -- not just about politics, but anything. And if that doesn't work, tell them you have a story idea about 2016. They cannot wait to get started covering the next election

Friday, November 9, 2012

Amazing Photography Book On Boxing


New  Sports Illustrated Book, At The Fights, Opens Eyes To World Of Boxing Like No Other




It is one thing to have one career as a world-renowned specialist, but it is quite rare to become world-renowned in a second career, in a totally different field. One of my clients did just that - -and to stunning results.

For 23 years Howard Schatz was an internationally respected retina specialist, researcher, medical textbook writer, and Clinical Professor at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco.  In 1995 he left San Francisco for New York to pursue a career in photography. And what a career it has been. He is releasing his 19th book, AT THE FIGHTS (si.com/atthefights) in a week, and it has already been featured in Sports Illustrated and Time.  This Sunday, November 11, his work will be featured on the cover of the NYT Sunday Magazine as well as to illustrate the cover story.

Since he left medicine he has become  recognized as one of the most accomplished, prolific, and award-winning photographers of the past 17 years.  His photographs have appeared in countless publications. Vanity Fair ,ESPN Magazine and others have published his work regularly. He has done covers for Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, Time, and US News & World Report.. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Forbes, Elle, and “O” The Oprah Magazine.  He has photographed many prominent individuals, including: Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Jane Lynch,  Michael Douglas, Pierce Brosnan, Ricky Gervais, Sissy Spacek, Robin Williams, Pele, David Beckham, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Muhammed Ali, Alonzo Mourning, Serena Williams, George Steinbrenner, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. His commercial clients include Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Nike, SONY, Mercedes-Benz, Escada, Virgin Records, and McDonalds among dozens of others.

His newest book features the people important to boxing today, depicting the culture of the sport and its business, including over 70 champion boxers -- current, recent and legendary. This evocative book is a visual triumph that features:

  • The insightful words and stunning images of modern-day gladiators, in the ring and in Schatz’s studio, including Manny Pacquiao, Andre Ward, Sergio Martinez, Bernard Hopkins, Tim Bradley and Vladimir Klitschko.
  • Unique portraits of the most respected and well-known trainers, judges, referees, promoters and managers, physicians, commissioners/presidents, writers and blow-by-blow ringside commentators.
  • Insightful commentary from 50+ boxing experts, culled from interviews totaling 500,000 words.
  • Unique studio portraits of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Mike Tyson.
  • Portraits and interviews with recently deceased legendary ring writer Bert Sugar and legendary champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier.
  • Dynamic ringside action shots from recent championship bouts.
  • 400 unique photographs that were culled from over 150,000 images.
  • The unique body art of many of the fighters and the messages scripted on their skin.
  • A stroboscopic shot that captures the speed and incredible footwork of middleweight Sergio Martinez in a single frame.
  • A 7-foot long gatefold featuring scores of modern-day champions.
For more information, please consult  www.Howard.Schatz.com