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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Interview With Book Marketer, Publicist & Blogger Brian Feinblum



I realized I have interviewed scores of people for my blog, so why not run an interview with myself? here it goes:

Brian Feinblum is a Senior Vice President and the Chief Marketing Officer of Media Connect. He’s been in the book publishing and public relations industry since 1989 and is about to celebrate 15 years at MC. He lives in New Rochelle with his wife, Laura,, their two young children, Ben and Olivia,  and an English Bulldog. His kids remind him that he has two fish as well. He also publishes a daily blog, www.BookMarketingBuzzBlog.blogspot.com, that is about to reach its 1,000th post.  

What do you love most about working in book publishing?
I really value the written word and the sharing of ideas. Books can inspire, inform, enlighten, and educate us. They spark debates and get people talking. The world is a better place because of books. I enjoy meeting the authors, publishers, and members of the media to discuss their lives, share stories and generate ideas in a stimulating conversation.

If you weren’t promoting books, what would you be doing?
Well, I enjoy baseball, but if I were to promote the Mets I’d need to be on the road too often. Plus their losing ways would challenge me! I love to travel but if I started to promote the travel industry, my passion would turn into a job and I may never truly take a vacation. Let’s see, what’s left? I can see promoting a politician that I believe in, but then scandal and lies will no doubt come up and I don’t want to be dirtied by that. Maybe I’d promote Playboy magazine. Who gets tired of being around beautiful women? Hey, Hugh Hefner, are you looking for help?

What do authors need to know about promoting a book?
First, they must understand they are marketers and promoters, not just writers. Second, if they don’t promote their book, they must hire someone to help out. Third, it’s really a collaborative effort-authors and their publishers must work together and they should collaborate with a professional publicist. Self-published authors know they need help but published authors do too. Authors need to step back from their ego and realize that promoting their book to the news media is far different than writing it or marketing it to consumers.

Which skills, characteristics, or interests do you believe make for a really good publicist?
Obviously you need lots of energy for this job and an ability to see the potential in something -- even when you get told “no” 97 out of 100 times. Strong communication skills, especially writing, are a must. I think being street smart is more important than being book smart, which may sound strange, but I find that to be a promoter is to have an ability to strategize, be aggressive, and to plan ahead. Those who are “too smart” and overthink or set too high of a standard for themselves remain paralyzed or gripped with feelings of insecurity and uncertainty. You need to be prepared to jump into a burning building even if you don’t have all the proper gear to battle the blaze.

Is there a person or event that shaped you to be who you are today?
When I was five, my dad lost his twin brother to suicide. I learned at an early age that life can be challenging and fragile but that there must be a way out of any situation, no matter how bad the circumstances are. My father inspired my interest in writing and to use my words and ideas to promote good values. To this day he’s an avid writer of letters that get published in newspapers. We used to talk about big issues such as the war in Vietnam, when I was just five, six, seven years old in the early 1970s and those discussions helped shape my liberal, peace-loving, socialist ways.

What has been the key to your success?
A positive attitude, an ability to listen to what others feel, need and want, and a desire to make positive changes in the world. I ask a lot of questions and always want to learn. I also give others the forum in a conversation to tell me stories and share ideas, rather than me hogging the stage and talking about myself. I know me already. I want to know you. 

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mass Communications Disconnect


Twenty-five years ago Nike launched its “Just Do It” PR campaign slogan.  Four years before that it was Wendy’s “Where’s The Beef?” that filled the public’s brainwaves.  Both were possible due to TV commercials.  I’m not so sure we’ll see too many ads like them again, ones that everyone knows and quotes.

It may be ironic that in the era of expanded communications, the chances of something greatly influencing society have decreased.  But the chances of something getting at least some traction have greatly increased.

We are in a split-screen society, literally and figuratively.  No one source rules all.  Twitter is not in every household, nor is a newspaper or a TV show or a radio show.  People consume information from different sources at different times in different ways.  This dilutes our ability to experience the same content at the same time but it increases our ability to see more content from more choices than ever before.

The Pew Research Center did an interesting study recently, showing where people get their news from.  It shows 69% saying TV is where they go to get most of their news.  But apparently you can choose more than one medium.  50% chose the Internet.  28% choose newspapers and 23% radio.

It makes sense that newspapers drop down.  The other three are more immediate and up to date.  But there’s an overlap here.  When one listens, to say, NBC News, on TV, you may notice they quote AP, NYT or the WSJ as their source.  When you read the news online, do you go to a newspaper Web site or read a blog that quotes a newspaper?  I think newspapers still hold the biggest responsibility in reporting the news that others then follow and report on.

A dozen years ago the numbers were as follows:

·         74% TV
·         45% Newspapers
·         21% Radio
·         13% Internet

TV managed to stay within 10% of where it had been.
Radio increased by about 10%.
Newspapers got cut by about 40%.
Internet nearly quadrupled itself.

Times have changed and they will continue to do so.  Among 18-29-year-olds, 71% picked the Internet as its dominant news source and just 55% said it was TV.

People skim tweets to take in what’s in the news.  30% of US adults say they consume news through what they see on Facebook.  Will people soon make voting decisions based on a Youtube “news bulletin”?

What will happen is that the news industry will fall into the hands of brands—outlets, not mediums—who get their information shared on all platforms.  Someone like the New York Times could still be in a position to lead, provided it positions itself everywhere.  It no longer can be seen as a newspaper.  It’s a source, an influencer and a place where news is reported and debated.  It must be on radio, TV, Web sites, blogs, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, YouTube, and on every portal that transmits messages, images, sounds, and information.  That’s who will lead the news.

Authors should view themselves like media outlets.  You are a brand and that book must be published in all formats and promoted on all platforms.  The days are dwindling when a print-only book can be promoted on outlets that run reviews and conduct interviews.  You need to promote that book with audio, video, print, digital, excerpts, guest posts, byline articles, reviews, interviews, stories, tweets—and every imaginable media.

There’s an overload of information out there.  But the only way to be heard is to add to that overload.  You strive to stick out in whatever medium your message is transmitted.

Look at other industries—

Models compete with each other on all fronts.  If natural looks don’t do it, go see a cosmetic surgeon.  If that doesn’t work, sleep with someone to advance your career.  Or blackmail them.  Or do porn to get someone’s attention.  I’m not advising one to do any of these things, but this is the competitive nature of the business world.

Wall Street competes based on, in theory, building better companies that make money.  But after that fades away, companies compete with payoffs, bribes, and threats.  They steal talent, undercut the competition, dilute their product quality, treat workers poorly, and skirt taxes by doing tax tricks or setting up overseas offices.

Sports competes based on teams getting in to shape, practicing hard, and strategically looking for ways to get an edge and win.  When that doesn’t get you a championship, you look to buy free agents to win.  You turn the other eye when athletes dope up.  You risk a player’s health by throwing them on the field even when you know they are risking injury.

Now, publishing doesn’t have to stoop to lying, breaking laws, cheating, or acting like the above-mentioned, but the analogy here is that people in all industries do whatever it takes to succeed.  Authors must take the same attitude, but channel it in a positive way.

Don’t look to take a competing author’s book and throw it in the garbage or to spread lies about others.  But think about how you can outsmart others to promote your book.

Don’t plagiarize, blackmail the media, or pay Amazon to destroy a competing book, but do muster up your inner Barnum and look to utilize all mediums and tools that are available to you to get a strong message out.

Maybe you’ll pick up some ideas while you watch the Today Show, while skimming your local paper, while reading tweets, and while uploading some podcasts.  We multi-task through our multi-media world.  In a time of mass communications, we lack the big message.  Maybe authors will discover how to have their voices heard and break through the clutter.

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Over 65 Websites For Writers & Publishers


Web Sites That Pay Off
The sites below feature databases or tips regarding freelance writing opportunities, writing grants and contests, and markets to sell your writings.



Finding The Right List To Market Your Book
Looking for lists of people to contact, perhaps hoping to sell your book or market a service to? Check out these seven resources (mailing list brokers):


Check Out These Writer and Book Web Sites
Looking to keep up on the publishing industry? Try these:


DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Could Bugs Bunny Team With Batman?


My eight-year-old son insists Santa Claus doesn’t exist.  I told him Santa is real, if he wants him to be.  I told him it was his imagination that gives blood to Santa.  He doesn’t believe in Santa and thinks adults are foolish for fostering the notion some fat guy can slide down every chimney across the world over the course of a night, with the help of flying reindeer.  My daughter, who almost turns six, keeps asking if the Tooth Fairy is alive.  She hasn’t lost a tooth yet, but when she finds five bucks under her pillow she may just believe in anything I tell her.

What’s interesting about Santa and other fictitious characters in literature, film, television, theatre, song, or cultural lore, is that there are really hundreds or thousands of characters that we all know of and can identify with in some way.  To many of us, we think of Capt. Kirk as being real.  Same with Bugs Bunny, Snow White, Batman, and Dora the Explorer.  We probably know of more fake personalities than we do real ones.

Think about it.  In any given year, from the books your read, the shows you watch, and the movies your see, you may be introduced to a thousand or more “people”, none of whom are real but they exist in our minds and fantasies.  Some of these characters stay with us for a lifetime.

We live with modern mythology all around us.  We put value in our superheroes, even our villains.  We learn about our dark side by watching the drama and misfortune of others unravel before us at a safe distance.  We also dream about the good life and extra sensory powers from the fantastic entertainment supplied by creative writers, producers, and illustrators.  The fictional world fills the hours of our real days and helps us shape our lives in a way that reality itself cannot.

It’s a special universe where all of these characters can exist in our hearts and minds.  Could there ever be a movie that brings different worlds together, such as Bugs Bunny and Batman?  Probably not, simply because these two worlds present opposite interpretations of life.  Bugs is a care-free, wise-cracking prankster with no responsibilities.  Batman has a burden on his shoulders to keep the world safe from itself.  In our minds, these worlds can exist side by side, along with countless others, but they couldn’t be merged into one movie or singular place and time.

Authors have an opportunity to create whole new worlds and heroes and moments that can live on beyond their lifetime.  What a great power to have—to influence the minds of multiple generations.  Being an author is the one thing that’s better than anything I could imagine.  To be a creator is the best of all worlds.

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Which Books Are Worthy Of Publicity?


As a professional marketer and book publicist, my initial response would be: the ones I get paid to promote. But there are some books and authors that I could never take on as clients – some for moral reasons, and others for practical ones. But in a world of free speech and the free-flow of ideas, don’t all books deserve the opportunity to be publicized?

I can think of many books that probably don’t warrant being published, let alone publicized. Certainly, books with factual errors, sloppy editing, or poor writing don’t deserve to see the light of day. Then you have books that are just bad or terribly boring. Some books propose logic-defying theories or present idiotic opinions or fantasies as fact, so they too should remain off the shelves. Or should everything be published and then left to the media and the consumer to discern its value?

There are something like 3,000 books published every single day of the year in the United States. Many won’t sell beyond 500 copies. Do all books warrant publicity? Should each one have a chance of being discovered?

There’s no legal obligation to promote a book. Freedom of speech dictates one can, if they have the means, publish their words without fear of government retaliation. But the marketplace bares no legal requirement to sell, promote, or buy any books.

Some books aren’t very promotable. They have a deficiency, such as an ugly cover, an offensive title, or content filled with inappropriate concepts or extreme views. Maybe the book’s okay, but nothing special and more likely a replica of 50 other books. Or maybe the book’s decent but the author is not promotable – bad personality, says dumb things, doesn’t speak as well as he/she writes. Further, some books can be well-written and have a sane, credible author, but just not have much of a market. Is anyone looking for novels written about cats choking on hairballs?

In an ideal world, all books would be reviewed under some type of neutral or fair setting, where all such reviews would be made available to everyone. Personal differences, policies, time, money, or access would not play a role in which – or how – a book is reviewed.

But consumers don’t have time to read all of these reviews, even if somehow one was written for every book. And all books are not necessarily accessible to all, due to cost, format, or distribution. Reviews can’t be unbiased or opinion-free, but wouldn’t it be great if somehow books could be summarized and described without being rated, praised/criticized, or judged?

Some books really deserve publicity – they are well-written, interesting, significant, and thought-provoking. They are leaders in their genre. They are authored by credentialed writers. They may be among the best books of the year, even of an era.

But those are few and far between. Most books are no more deserving – or undeserving – than the next one. All it takes to promote something is your time, resources, and vision – you don’t need anyone’s permission, you don’t need to apply for anything, and you have no limits placed on you. The creative, energized, connected author and publisher can excel at PR, even when the book is no better than ordinary.

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Are Authors Sexy Enough For The Books They Write?


One would think being a good-looking author would be an advantage for the promotion of a book. But what happens when an asset becomes a burden?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; but let’s face it – some people are better-looking than others, by most objective standards.  Though there may not be a single way to measure beauty, most people would agree about things such as body size, height/weight proportion, skin quality, hygiene, hair, a smile, etc. So when an author seems to meet the criteria of being attractive, perhaps even sexy, what role does this play in a book publicity campaign?

Certainly, the more visual one is, the more likely he or she is drawn to doing things that promote his or her good looks. Such a person is drawn to TV, online video, and photos. The cover of the book may be draped with the author’s image. The Web site might be image-focused and less content-oriented. The press release may highlight images over words. The key is to balance the physical beauty with the inner beauty, to come across as a beautiful being, not just being beautiful. Style and substance must blend together – and never should style dominate so obviously.

For certain genres or books, the subject matter warrants a visual connection or a highlighting of something worth staring at.

Coffee table books, books on fashion, exercise, travel, photography, home design and nature lend themselves to showcasing images of beauty, and it doesn’t hurt if the author is equally as attractive as his or her subject matter.

But books on home repair, dog training, and taxes don’t seem to need a pretty face to sell them. Yet, romance books, wedding planning manuals, and books about relationships seem to lure a reader’s expectation into thinking that the author has to be attractive and having a sexually active life.

They say not to “judge a book by its cover,” but do consumers judge a book by the looks of its author?

With the use of social media, one’s looks are becoming more important. You now hear an author’s voice, see their face and body, and read their words. You feel like you live with them, following 24/7 updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, and media postings. Most people are drawn to a book – its content – first and foremost. Whether an author is ugly or hot, most won’t buy a book unless they feel they will find it useful or enjoyable. But no doubt, an author’s credentials, looks, media exposure, and past writings can influence buying decisions.

So what does one do if they want to exploit their looks? This is usually when things get out of hand, when authors lead with muscles and breasts, and not their minds or character. Authors sometimes become imbalanced, highlighting their looks, while letting their ideas, research, words, and creativity get lost in the process. But good-looking authors should not shy away from opportunities to reasonably showcase their beauty.

So what’s reasonable?

Don’t wear gaudy jewelry or use hair products excessively.
Don’t wear skimpy, tight clothing.
Don’t comport yourself in a flirty, almost drunk manner.

Keep the attention more on your face – as well as your heart, head, and soul. Don’t let your looks become a distraction. Make sure that you act as if you were the least attractive person in the room, and feel obligated to go out of your way to impress people with your ideas, level of vocabulary, and your compassion. Be beautiful without announcing that you are.

Opposite of the problem of how to contain one’s overflow of sex appeal and raw beauty is the issue of what to do if you are merely ordinary in the looks department, or even tipping the scale towards being unattractive.

The short answer is: Who cares!?

Looks shouldn’t play a role in whether someone buys your book. But they can, in some cases, so if there’s a way to minimize or maximize one’s looks, there’s no reason not to try. There are many simple solutions available.

First solution: Cover up a shortcoming with clothes, make-up or body posture.

Second: Make a change, if possible, such as losing weight, going with a new hairstyle, making cosmetic changes to your teeth or body, or taking vitamins/drugs to help with a condition.

Third: Distract people from focusing on what is perceived as a drawback, and get them to focus on your asset.

Fourth: Ignore all of this and play up any type of perceived weakness or shortcoming, and seek to make fun of it, or somehow turn it into a plus.

Fifth: Do nothing to hide a shortcoming, and hope other consumers with a similar setback will identify with, and even support you because of it.

We know looks play a role in the facets of life, so one’s appearance certainly plays a role in the success of an author’s book publicity campaign. We’d be na├»ve to think otherwise. Assess your appearance, and determine what should be played up or downplayed, and strive to find the right balance so that consumers can go beyond appearances, and get to what really counts: the seductive beauty of words. 


DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

18 Questions Writers Must Ask



Writers love to write and if the goal is to be a successfully published author, you will need to ask—and answer—these 18 questions:

1.      What shall my book be about?

2.      Who is going to be my core reader?

3.      How can I write a book that is marketable?

4.      Who can help me edit and package my manuscript?

5.      Who can I reach out to so I have popular or well-credentialed people who will write testimonials?

6.      Who do I know that is qualified to write an introduction, foreword or prologue?

7.      How will I publish my book: self-publish or find a publisher?

8.      If I seek to find a publisher, have I created a query letter and book proposal?

9.      If I seek a publisher I’ll need a literary agent.  Who should I contact that represents books like mine?

10.  If I plan to self-publish, which formats will I publish in—paper (hardcover or trade paper), e-book, audio-book, vook (video and text)?

11.  If I self-publish and print books, have I priced out printing costs based on format, print run quantities, and various page counts and paper qualities from at least six reliable vendors?

12.  Have I set a timeline to accomplish each of the steps I’ll need to complete a book, from conception to publication?

13.  Have I created a business plan of how to market and promote this book?

14.  Who else do I need the help of—cover designer?  Book marketer?  Book publicist?

15.  If self-published, do I need a book distributor or some type of sales force?

16.  What can I do to secure bulk sales with companies, groups, associations, non-profits, schools, government agencies, and others?

17.  Am I ready to create a Web site for the book at least 5-6 months prior to the book’s scheduled release date?

18.  Am I active on social media way before the book is out, building my platform daily?

Knowing which questions to answer is the first step to actually addressing them.  You may have many more questions the further you advance into the publishing process.  If you chip away at the biggest questions, day by day, you’ll eventually overcome your fears, shortcomings, or concerns.  Good luck!

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What’s Online & Why Am I Looking For It?


I am usually busy doing something—reading a newspaper, checking email, making a call, doing work—when I’m waiting on a line or commuting to or from work.  I rarely just space out or close my eyes or busy myself in nothing.  But I recently found myself not wanting to do any work and I’d already done whatever else I normally do in the course of a go-go day.  What I did next, I suspect, is what many people do — I just randomly searched for things online.

Maybe it starts out with a visit to a friend'sFacebook page.  Then you decide to track down someone you haven’t spoken to in a decade.  You scan the news online and check a sports score, stock quote, or watch a video someone sent you.  This is just the tip of it.

Then you start to just type in miscellaneous crap—

Is Andy Rooney dead? (He is).
Elvis songs, 1973.
Starting Mets team, 1986.
Things to do in Philadelphia.

After seeking anything mildly connected to your life, your interests, or your needs, you start surfing the erotic, the weird, the trivial.  One search then leads you into others, and so on and so on.  Now you are lost in the vast void of useless information.

It’s interesting how specific some searches can become.  I can’t believe the depth the Internet categorizes, files, and lists when it comes to mundane facts or baseless opinions.

The internet has an answer for everything, from “best restaurant in Oregon” to “shortest person to dunk” to “ugliest dog, 2007.”  When it comes to sexuality, porn of every type is available, not to mention Top 10 lists such as “best breasts in Hollywood, natural” or “best male butts.”

To the surfing proficient, this is not news.  But what is interesting is how the digital world first sought to capture the physical world and then, upon doing that, it now has created a whole new world of digital content—tweets, blogs, videos, Web sites—that now need to somehow be tagged, organized, and shared.

The world is getting bigger by the second, at the click of a button.  But the more there is to search for, the less satisfying each search seems.  Why is that?

It’s getting harder to shock us.  Barriers of all kinds are broken with every video that shows sex, violence, life, death and the extreme activities one can take part in.  All of life prior to the past few years seems rated G by comparison.  It’s not bad nor good.  We can’t just keep watching car wrecks as if they are without consequence.  The internet has turned everything into cartoon violence.  The internet has turned everything into cartoon violence but in reality, people do bleed, die, hurt, cry, and suffer.  You wouldn’t know it when you are online.

Do people search online for answers to deeper questions:

What’s the meaning of life?
Is there life beyond Earth?
Where do we go after we die?
How can we have world peace?

Instead, all we get is:

Are Kim Kardashian’s breasts real?
Who is James Franco sleeping with?
Miley Cyrus twerking video?

Any resource could be used wisely or stupidly.  Any object can be used to further a life or kill it.  Any idea can be taken to support good—or corrupted into supporting evil.  The Internet is a tool for geniuses and dumbasses.  Which one are you?



Excerpt: Animal Liberation: New Revised Edition by Peter Singer

“Do I really do my share when it comes to protecting animals? Perhaps animal liberation is also human liberation. Animals should be seen as independent sentient beings, not here merely as a means to a human ends. We cannot let speciesism go unchecked.”

“What do we do about animals who may cause harm to humans? Should we intervene to make sure animals don’t kill each other? Can plants feel pain or do they possess human-like qualities?”

“Experimentation on animals must be banned, but at what price to humans?”

“Our diets and fashions must be changed, but at what price to humans?”

“Our attitudes towards humans – and non-humans – must change on a grand scale. We can no longer defend animal slavery.”


DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Should You Promote Your Book On Christmas?


The frenzy of the holidays is upon us.  Last minute shopping.  Wrapping up the year’s loose ends.  Getting ready to see family, friends, or take a vacation.  We’ve mentally checked out and are physically consumed.  Is this really the time to promote your book or to be active on social media?

On the one hand, things should just shut down.  We all can use a break and that includes a time out from our obligations, routines, or passions.  It seems there’s a universal or at least nationwide acceptance that nothing is getting done until January 2 or 3 or 6—depending on when you plan to check back into reality.  We all need a rest, whether we create or consume content.

On the other hand, if everyone is slacking off, this is the time to continue your efforts to market your book and have your platform rise high.  You can rest when you’re dead.

Maybe one should strive for a happy medium—to slow down and at least do nothing for a few consecutive days, but there’s nothing wrong with spending a few hours a day checking emails, doing your social media, or writing your next book.  The key is it should not overwhelm you—do whatever it is that makes you feel good.

I will continue to blog every day, in part, because I’ve built up a reservoir of content that merely hast to “post” each day.  I love to write and frankly, feel weirdly uncomfortable when I’m not writing, but during this break I will make an effort to avoid certain activities or limit others.  It’s important to cleanse one’s mind, to step back from the craziness of normalcy, and just recharge and start fresh.

Certainly I would recommend not to go heavy on your social media output during the winter break for traffic will be reduced by a good 50%.  And of those who are reading your tweets and posts, many are not of the mindset to be very active.  They have stopped working and are lounging about.

Further, the buying frenzy will finally have slowed down.  People will pause and stop consuming.

But right by New Year’s Day, people will start exchanging and returning gifts and cashing in gift cards.  People will be buying plenty of books—so you want to dig in and showcase your newest book.

Soon it will be the calm before the storm of 2014.  Enjoy the silence, the distance from your routine, and the moment that permits you and all of us to just do a lot of nothing.

Before you know it, it’ll be back to the grind—at a renewed, frenetic pace.

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Can Books Kill People?


They can if you are reading one while driving!

According to a survey published by USA Today on December 16th, people responded to the question as follows: “What were you doing when you nearly crashed while driving?”

31% said “Read a book or newspaper.”

The worst was 40% said “used my phone to be online.”

30% said they were texting or talking on a phone.

27% were applying make-up.

Perhaps, unrelated, but in the same day’s newspaper, a list of the states with the worst drivers, as ranked by carinsurancecomparison.com, showed these 10 states had the lousiest drivers:

1.      Louisiana
2.      South Carolina
3.      Mississippi
4.      Texas
5.      Alabama
6.      Florida
7.      Missouri  (tie)
7.    North Carolina (tie)
9.    Montana
10.  North Dakota

Do Book Shoppers Browse Much?

According to a survey published in USA Today, most shoppers don’t search beyond the second page of results when looking to buy something.

83% will not go past four pages.
75% will not go beyond three pages.
58% will not go beyond two pages.
28% will not search beyond the first page.

Will there be More Political Books Than Laws Passed?

The coming 2014 election season will no doubt spawn many books on political agendas and issues, policies, and politicians. But there will be little to say. The 2013 Congress has passed, as of December 9th, just 52 laws. Since the end of World War II, no Congress was as bad as this one. The 1995 session produced the previous record low – 88 laws. For a do-nothing Congress, there’s sure to be a lot of promise-filled books coming out of those involved in Capitol Hill.


DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Are You A Good Literary Citizen?


It may seem like a simple question, and one you likely would feel disposed to answering with a resounding yes, but perhaps the question begs defining and its answer requires a further explanation into your thought process.

I would be inclined to define a literary citizen as one who reads, and further as one who promotes the act of reading. There may not be a clear cut number of books that one must read, but given a choice, I’d suggest that one who reads frequently – at least a book a month, would qualify.

Further, one who patronizes bookstores would be favored over someone who borrows books, since the act of selling books is what keeps publishing alive – though there is nothing wrong with going to the library, acquiring books via friends, or downloading a free book.

Next, buying a paper book supports bookstores and the physical community they create for book-lovers. Though buying e-books is fine, I’d give a higher nod to paper.

So, let’s see, next would be your efforts to encourage the reading of books, in general, to others. You can do this by posting book reviews, buying books as gifts for others, telling friends and families about the books you have read and by quoting books in a conversation, memo, or presentation.

You can donate books to the library or needy. You can volunteer your time to an after-school or literacy program that encourages reading. You can preserve the written word by helping out at a library.

Could you do more? Sure, you can always go beyond these suggestions. You can make your life about books. You can work in the book publishing industry, write books, and invest financially in book-related businesses or stocks. You could lobby Congress to pass legislation that supports free speech, literacy, and the availability of low-cost books.

Notice I never spoke about what type of books you read. You may seem more literary by reading poetry, literary fiction, memoirs of historical figures, and books that probe and analyze the social and psychological boundaries of our existence – but what you read does not define whether or not you are a literary citizen. If you read 50 Shades of Grey, or Shakespeare, or Snooki’s autobiography or Steve Jobs’ memoir, or any other book, it doesn’t matter.

I do think it’s good to diversify one’s book portfolio, to expose yourself to various genres, new ideas, conflicting views, and wild fantasies. Reading can bring so many slices of life to our dinner plate.

Are you a good literary citizen? How would you define who is a literary citizen? Can you do more in 2014 to further a world of literary citizens? May you be one, encourage someone to become one, and further support the literary citizens of our day.

DON’T MISS THIS!!!

Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

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 © 2013