Follow by Email

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Where’s My Graduation?


I am envious of my two young kids but not for obvious reasons.  They both had their last day of school on the first official day of summer.  One will leave pre-school behind and graduate to kindergarten.  The other will advance to third grade, midway through his elementary school stint.  Though I’d love to begin summer camp with them, what I envy is that they are moving forward and building on their accomplishments.  They have a clearly defined school year and they understand they are climbing the educational ladder.  But for me, and most adults, we’ve settled into a static world.  I won’t have a graduation ceremony this month.  No awards, trophies, diplomas or certificates.  Just a paycheck.

It’s a long cycle to be in, once there are no new grades to enter.  I got to grade 17 and have been there since 1989.

Authors may feel the same way, writing and writing away but not seeing themselves graduate to the next level.  But each published book, I suppose, feels like you’ve advanced to the next grade.  But then getting published is not enough of a plateau.  You want the book to sell, to be critically acclaimed, to make an impact.

We need to have goals and to be told that a grade has been concluded and that we advance to the next level.  We need certificates, diplomas, ceremonies, and awards.  Otherwise, there seems to be a point one reaches where it’s day 2796 of a long journey with no clear mountain top in sight.

Authors can graduate with each book, and publishers graduate from each successful season.  Our watches are set not to sunrises and sunsets, but to events and significant moments that define our accomplishments.  For some of us, the clocks seem overwound, a day that doesn’t seem to end.

I long for my next graduation, some moment that defines one from the other.  I don’t want to go back to school but I do want to see a concrete accomplishment come soon so that I can feel like I’m moving ahead on what may still be the road to the unknown.

RECENT POSTS: IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Writers: Beware Of The Baseball Steroid Scandal

Bookstores Are A Living Web

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

When Authors Outslug Each Other On Book Marketing

Watching Legend Paul McCartney Perform

Bookstore Market Varies Across The Country



Is Your Book Worth More Than A Piano?

Time To Throw A PR Hail Mary?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist


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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Bestseller That Never Was


Imagine making the bestseller list in June for a book that doesn’t come out until October? You would think the publisher would be ecstatic that its book hit No. 1 on amazon,  right? Ballantine Books, who was set to publish Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, squashed the book. It is a highly unusual move, for many reasons.

First, the book is already a money-maker. Since when does a publisher not publish a book that will make it money?

Second, the author has not been convicted of a crime, but has been accused of making a racial slur years ago. I am not saying we should justify such behavior, but I think it is up to the American public to buy her book – or not – and for the publisher to not stand on ceremony. It is hypocritical when publishers sell books written by or about despicable people, from murderers to billion-dollar scammers, to those at the center of political scandal, and now say they are dumping Deen.  I hope - -and expect – another publisher to pick up the book and cash in.

Third, the book itself is not controversial. She doesn’t have racist language in the book and the book is not even about her – it’s a bunch of recipes. To not publish her book is akin to censorship.

On the other hand, it’s about time public figures who make millions of dollars for entertaining people, realize that they can’t abuse the public’s faith in them. She is paying a price by having her show dumped from The Food Network, and from sponsorship deals, and from others ceasing the selling of her line of products. I get it – these corporate brands don’t want to be sullied by her bad image. But I feel a book is different.

Anytime we shun the written word it is tantamount to silencing someone and impinging on her freedom of speech. Sure, publishers can choose not to agree to publish someone’s book and consumers can decide whether to not buy it, but once you committed to selling a book - -and it hits Amazon’s bestseller list – I think it sets a bad precedent to yank it off the shelves.

Look, is the world being denied anything so great in Deen’s book? Probably not. But the bigger picture is that publishers should not run scared just because an author’s character has been challenged. I don’t see publishers removing from their backlist books that were written by people later convicted of crimes or accused of moral inappropriateness. Publishers publish books by people accused – and convicted -- of crimes all the time. They publish books of those who have admitted to bad judgment, poor behavior, and unethical statements. Half the Republican party makes slurs on race, gays, women, and the poor but I don’t see that stopping publishers from publishing books by that party’s leaders.

What is next – if an author has a messy divorce and accusations fly about affairs or escorts, will publishers cancel his or her book? Or what if an author is arrested for a DUI or for consuming drugs illegally? What about an author who was a bad parent or a lousy neighbor? Which type of crime – or in this case, non-crime – will it take to make a publisher cancel its project?

Let me make it clear: I don’t defend the words or actions of Deen but I do defend the right to freedom of speech and her book should never have been squashed. I am sure it was not an easy decision for the publisher, even though they will get backlash as censors. I am sure they lament they will lose money on the project when they could have made millions. But they think they did the right thing. And some will support that decision.

But it is sadder today that they knocked her book out than the initial discovery that a celebrity chef used the N word. Words do mean something – especially if they never get published.

RECENT POSTS: IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Writers: Beware Of The Baseball Steroid Scandal

Bookstores Are A Living Web

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

When Authors Outslug Each Other On Book Marketing

Watching Legend Paul McCartney Perform

Bookstore Market Varies Across The Country



Is Your Book Worth More Than A Piano?

Time To Throw A PR Hail Mary?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist

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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Interview With Debut Novelist Tina Frisco


Interview With Author Tina Frisco 

1.      What type of books do you write?  My debut novel - Plateau: Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012 - is fiction, mystery and adventure with a spiritual twist.  I'm also beginning a series of children's books.

2.      What is your newest book about?  The first in the children's book series is about a two-year-old girl and her newborn quadruplet siblings.  The book addresses how her parents inform her of the quadruplets' arrival, how she accepts them into their home, how she interacts with them, and what she learns.

3.      What inspired you to write it?  My niece had quadruplets last November, and I realized this would be a wonderful opportunity to write a series of children's books that were not only traditionally educational, but ethically educational as well.

4.      What is the writing process like for you?  Contrary to what most writing authorities advise, I don't develop a plot outline.  I've discovered that I write best when I allow my thoughts to flow and lead me to where the story wants to go.  I write at my computer, because my thoughts stream rapidly and I type faster than I write.

5.      What did you do before you became an author?    I worked as an R.N. with the California State Department of Health Services, as a Health Facilities Evaluator Nurse.  We're the dreaded folks who visit health facilities to evaluate whether they're up to code with state and federal regulations.

6.      How does it feel to be a published author? Extremely satisfying and exciting!  I've been a writer all of my life.  I composed little poems and songs as a child, then received my first guitar at age fourteen, which launched my passion for music and song-writing.  I've written many songs and performed in many local venues over the years.

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? Don't give up!  Don't ever get discouraged by writer's block.  Sometimes we have to walk away from our writing for a day or so, and when we return to it refreshed, we find that our thoughts are free-flowing once again.  And don't get discouraged by publisher rejections.  There's a plethora of reputable self-publishing options available nowadays, as well as myriad online support groups, websites, etc.  Follow your passion and allow it to lead you to your goal!

8.      Where do you see book publishing heading?  More and more people are self-publishing, not willing to wait the enormous amount of time it takes to hear back from traditional publishers.  There's also a trend toward the digital, which serves the needs and preferences of many.  I suspect, however, that the printed book will hold its own.  There are still a vast number of us who like the feel of a book in our hands, enjoy turning the pages, and appreciate seeing the book sitting on our desk in anticipation of being picked up once again...

For more information, please see:
Radio Interview - http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avant-garde/2012/08/30/a-chat-with-tina-frisco--author-solidly-on-a-spiritual-pat


READ THIS

Book Marketing Lessons From  Times Square

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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Interview with Author Lenora Rogers


Interview With Author Lenora Rogers

1. What types of books do you write? I write about history, my greatest passion and something I am always learning about. I share what I have learned in a historical fiction format. I also write a great deal about the visual and performing arts on my blog.

2. What is your newest book about? It is a historical fiction and the setting is on the island of Malta. The book will be written as a paranormal mystery. I have a number of internet friends that live and work in Malta and they have provided me with a great deal of background about the country and the subject of my book.

3. What inspired you to write it? I have always wanted to write but was never quite sure where to begin. I have always been passionate about the Arts and History, and have always shared with others that passion. I have a great friend, Victoria Adams, who encouraged me to pursue this and so we started off my doing an interview on her blog page. I interviewed Director, Ray Mizzi, about a movie he was doing in Malta, called Adormedira. This was the initial inspiration for my own blog, Lenora’s Culture Centre and Foray into History. With some help and support from the people at PDMI Publishing, I was off and running. In less than a month I had over 2,200 followers.

4. What is the writing process like for you ? The process has been very time consuming, but I have enjoyed developing my story and the characters. I have also had to learn how to use my time wisely, so that it allows me to be more creative. I have had ideas for my characters but they are always evolving and changing, which can add time to the process of getting things written in book form.

5. What did you do before you became an author ? I have worked in many fields: Nursing Aide, Child care worker, secretary and on the job helper at a construction company.

6. How does it feel to be a published author ? I’ll let you know when I get there. I do however find the whole process exhilarating. Now I am developing a blog, organizing my story ideas, and communicating with fellow authors in the internet community

7. Any advice for struggling writers? Dream. Never let anyone tell you that it’s too late or that something won’t be of interest. You never know how many people out there are truly interested in the things you are passionate about until you share. Joining a community of people who are just as passionate as you are can be electrifying.

8. Where do you see book publishing heading ? As the cost of putting a book out on the market comes down, more people can bring their ideas to market. They have to be careful to seek professional help in putting the manuscript together or readers will get too tied up in how
something is said rather than what is being said. As long as you believe in what you have to say, it will be rewarding to make it available to the reading public.

For more information, please see:


READ THIS

Book Marketing Lessons From  Times Square

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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Times Square Hustle A Model For Authors


While walking through Times Square with my eight-year-old son the other day, I saw the world through his fresh pair of eyes and found the hustle and bustle of the world’s most famous playground to serve as a model for ambitious writers looking to market and promote their books.

The little guy had never walked through this part of the city at night before.  He was in awe of the bright lights, crowds of people, and the street peddlers.  He was like a tourist, though the city is in his backyard as a resident of neighboring Westchester.

I grew up a city boy, making hundreds of trips on the subway from Brooklyn, to the core of a city that always has a flow of activity.  It is never boring here.

My son observed how a lot of places sold similar stuff – NY-centric T-shirts, artwork, hats, and plastic memorabilia immortalizing landmarks and skyscrapers.  He saw that the way to win business depended on a number of factors:

1.      How attractive your display is (colors and lights help)
2.      Your price (we were drawn to the $1 skyline photos)
3.      Opportunity (a food vendor comes in handy when walking a lot)
4.      The merchant that stayed open later won the business of stores that closed earlier
5.      When you have a crowd gathered, sell anything – someone’s buying it

Authors and publishers can learn from this.  Granted, most of the consumers came from other countries and states, or the suburbs, so they tend to buy useless things that get your attention for the moment.  But when you’re a hardened New Yorker exposed to this daily, you tune it all out.

Authors and publishers need their version of Times Square, an area dedicated to books and all things literary.  Consumers like book fairs.  We need more of them – permanently.  There should be a district in every city and town that caters to the arts, where a few blocks are dedicated to galleries, bookstores, and other intellectual experiences.  Where as a red light district caters to the x-rated side of humanity, we need a green light district that showers us with the thinking side of life. 

Times Square will always be around.  It’s a big mall of theaters, restaurants, hotels, stores, and street vendors and scammers.  The three-card Monty tables, hookers, and drug dealers have long been pushed aside, but the flashing-light streets are still littered with people looking for entertainment who themselves become part of the act. 

Times Square seems insane to an eight-year-old.  He noticed how no one paid attention to the traffic lights, including us.  I told him that the rules are different here – you react to your surroundings.

He noticed a heavy police presence.  I told him crowds of people invite criminals and terrorists. 

He didn’t seem to need a deeper explanation. 

I showed him where the New Year’s Eve ball drops from but he couldn’t imagine how that happens – a crystal ball falling from a building and not breaking.

He wasn’t fazed by all of the TV screen billboards sucking up the real estate on the sides of tall buildings.  His generation is used to digital bombardment.

As our journey wrapped up and we picked up my wife and daughter (they saw Annie, my five-year-old's first Broadway play), we realized we’d spent several hours walking the streets.  We had a memento to share – a street artist’s charcoal sketch of the two of us.  It was terrible – my son looked like a girl and I looked like a freak. 

Lesson learned: Some things sound like a cool idea, but don’t always turn out that way.  The $15 piece of failed art was our proof that if you sell something, someone will buy it. 


RECENT POSTS: IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Writers: Beware Of The Baseball Steroid Scandal

Bookstores Are A Living Web

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

When Authors Outslug Each Other On Book Marketing

Watching Legend Paul McCartney Perform

Bookstore Market Varies Across The Country



Is Your Book Worth More Than A Piano?

Time To Throw A PR Hail Mary?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist


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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Can Some Authors Make Money?


Forbes just released their annual list of the most powerful celebrities, which bases its ranking on a combination of estimated earnings as well as what it rates as  "TV/radio rank; press rank; marketability rank; and social rank."

Several authors made the cut. EL James is No. 3 and James Patterson is No. 6. Here are the highest-earning authors of the past year:

#42 E.L. James ($95 million)
#44 James Patterson ($91 million)
#69 Rachael Ray ($30 million)
#75 Stephen King ($20 million)
382 J.K. Rowling ($13 million)
#87 Suzanne Collins ($55 million)

Who said there’s no money in book publishing?


RECENT POSTS: IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Writers: Beware Of The Baseball Steroid Scandal

Bookstores Are A Living Web

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

When Authors Outslug Each Other On Book Marketing

Watching Legend Paul McCartney Perform

Bookstore Market Varies Across The Country



Is Your Book Worth More Than A Piano?

Time To Throw A PR Hail Mary?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist


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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Searching For Goldilocks Marketing



Humans are very finicky.  Especially New Yorkers.  We only seem happy for about 10 days out of the year.  The winters seem long, summer so short.  Too cold, too rainy, too windy, too hot.  Rarely do we acknowledge a perfect day – and we can be very demanding in defining such perfection.

It seems the minute we went from the 50’s of early Spring to the low 80’s in June, people quickly lamented it’s too hot or humid.  I want to smack these people.  After a winter that never seemed to end, I will not complain it’s too hot – even if it is.  I’ll take sunny and hot over cloudy, grey skies, or cold and windy day.  If it means I sweat just standing on a street corner waiting for a light to change, so be it.

People complain about everything – all the time.  I think we just don’t know how to acknowledge or embrace the ordinary.  Not every movie will win an Oscar, not every meal is gourmet, not every sporting event defines a career or season.  And not every day is 78 degrees and sunny.  Most things don’t suck nor are they amazing.  The vast majority of days, people, things, events – and books – are on a spectrum of mediocrity and ordinary.  We search, too often, for Goldilocks, for our food day to not be too cold or too hot, but just right.  It rarely is.

Books are the same way.  They can’t all be great and few are.  They don’t all stink either.  Some do.  But your book marketing can exceed the value of your book.  You can promote in a way that helps your book overachieve.  Go for lofty goals and heights – but be content if you produce mediocrity.  It can be worse, and for many, it will be.

How do you achieve Goldilocks Marketing?

1.      Deny yourself the truth your book is ordinary or at best pretty good.  Market it as if it’s a great, Pulitzer-worthy, next-big-thing book.
2.      Be bigger than you are.  Ever notice short people have the biggest mouths?  Napoleon Complex perhaps?  Well, embrace that within you – act, talk, think bigger than you really are.
3.      Don’t fear the bear.  Goldilocks broke in to a house of bears.  Be daring and enter into territory you thought was beyond your means.

Finally, believe in fairy tales, because the dream to excel as an author is what you’ll need to turn a fantasy into a reality.  And if you fall short, don’t complain.  Keep trying, even if the day is hot and humid.


RECENT POSTS: IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Writers: Beware Of The Baseball Steroid Scandal

Bookstores Are A Living Web

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

When Authors Outslug Each Other On Book Marketing

Watching Legend Paul McCartney Perform

Bookstore Market Varies Across The Country



Is Your Book Worth More Than A Piano?

Time To Throw A PR Hail Mary?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist


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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What’s Next For Digital Books?


Barnes and Noble just admitted its color tablet Nook has been an abject failure. Its stock tanked on the news, causing a cloud not only over B&N, but the digital book industry. No one knows what’s next in digital publishing except for a few tech lab rats, but to have an understanding of where we’re heading, let’s take a look back at the past year:

June 2012 – Kobo announces its Writing Life self-publishing program, competing with Amazon’s KDP and Barnes & Noble’s PubIt.

August 2012 – Digital Book World starts publishing weekly aggregated e-book bestseller lists that break out price tiers.

December 2012 – Publishers Marketplace launches Bookateria, an online book discovery platform. 

January 2013 – Reader Link pairs with Textr in the US.

February 2013 – Bookish launches and Daily Lit joins forces with Plympton, an e-serial start up. 

March 2013 – Digital children’s publisher, Frederator, launches and Amazon Publishing launches literary fiction and memoir imprint as Little A, also adds digital shorts imprint, Day One.

None of the above items were landmark events, but collectively they show how fast and continuously things move in the digital space.  Heck, it hasn’t even been that long since the Kindle debuted and revolutionized how books are read and sold.  The iPad followed a few years later.  We’re due for the next big thing.  

I suspect deep into the fall, on the cusp of the holiday season, we’ll see some shiny new object come out that we’ll all think we have to have. 

And by the time some of us get around to buying it, some other new digital toy will hit the shelves. 


RECENT POSTS: IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM

Do  You Market Your Books Doggy Style?

Writers: Beware Of The Baseball Steroid Scandal

Bookstores Are A Living Web

Does Your Book Blog Do These 16 Things?

When Authors Outslug Each Other On Book Marketing

Watching Legend Paul McCartney Perform

Bookstore Market Varies Across The Country



Is Your Book Worth More Than A Piano?

Time To Throw A PR Hail Mary?

Writers Read This: You Are Marketers

Why Authors – and Publicists & Publishers Need A Therapist


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 is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013