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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How To Promote Books In The 21st Century



We have been living through a mega-marketing revolution for authors and publishers over the past 15 years.  The 21st century for book publishing requires a degree in technology as much as it does in mass communications and English.  It’s a great time to promote a book, considering the number of opportunities and tools available, but it’s also the worst time, as publicists and authors feel overwhelmed by how man outlets they need to contact in order to do a lot of activity that may not necessarily yield a lot of book sales.  There’s more media than ever, but more competition than ever for it.

I broke into book publishing in 1989 when I went to work for a small, independent book publisher.  Back then the hot thing was cable television, syndicated radio, and major print, from newspapers to magazines.  There was no Internet.  The fax machine was big, as were Direct Mail and telemarketing.  In-person events and road tours sold lots of books.  People barnstormed across the country to create media buzz and book sales.  It took time and money, but it worked.  Just 44,000 books were published that year.  Now, in the United States, that many books are published every two weeks.

Fast-forward a quarter century later.  Now it’s 2015 and not only are there new media and marketing options, there are new book forms – e-books, vooks, and downloadable audiobooks.

Today we have the following tools to promote with:

Television
Radio
Newspapers
Magazines
Newswires (Free & Paid)
Newsletters
Trade Journals
Blogs
Online reviewers
Podcasters
Webinars
Seminars
Telemarketing
Direct Mail
Mobile
Websites
Apps
Social Media
--Twitter
--YouTube
--Pinterest
--Instagram
--Facebook
--LinkedIn
--Google+
--Vine
Advertising, from display to search and pay-per click to product placement.

It boggles the mind – where does one start?

Authors need to do what makes sense – find a way to reach your core readership.  For each author and book a customized plan needs to be mapped out.  Rather than feel burdened by all of the options to promote, just get tunnel vision and focus on the areas you need to.

There are no “have to do” lists here.  Find what works for you and keep doing it until it doesn’t work anymore.  You can choose to ignore social media or spend all of your time living on FB and twitter.  You can do road tours or you can do webinars.  You can email the media – or call, visit, or snail mail them.  You don’t have to adhere to a specific medium or format.

Most authors don’t need to sell a million books to be successful.  For some, selling 10,000 copies is huge.  Find the media and means to reach it that suits your strengths and passions.

Tons of opportunity -- and competitors – await you.  Experiment, choose wisely and pound away.  You can succeed at what you do without doing everything.

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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. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015


2 comments:

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