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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reflecting On The Book Publicity World’s Last 25 Years



This February 16 I mark 18 years with the nation’s largest book publicity firm and I’m approaching 25 years in the book publishing and publicity industry.  So much has changed over the years, both in book publishing and in book marketing.  But I believe the more that changes, the more that stays the same.  This is certainly true when it comes to promoting a book.

Plenty has not changed when it comes to the brains and execution behind a book marketing campaign. 

You still need:
·         Long lead time and planning, from pre- to post-publication
·         An alluring story angle and media pitch
·         Strong research skills
·         A lot of media connections
·         An awareness of the news cycle
·         Experience in knowing the individual and media outlet that you pitch
·         Courage to pitch, follow-up, and if needed, re-pitch and follow-up anew
·         To be very organized, committed, and passionate
·         To love books
·         To be creative, fast-thinking, and both an initiator and a quick-responder

I realize I may have effectively described myself and many of my colleagues here, but it is true.

Sure, we’ve seen great changes, including:
·         The rise of social media
·         The success of the e-book and digital audio books
·         Bookstore chains fell, Amazon rose, indie bookstores are making a comeback
·         Consolidation in traditional book publishing – five companies publish over 80% of all best-sellers
·         The legitimization and expansion of self-publishing
·         Email taking the lead as the top communications tool

We’ve also seen changes in the news media:
·         Twitter-driven news cycles
·         Shrinking print media circulation
·         Television viewership softening
·         Huge expansion in digital media

It takes a more comprehensive effort to promote and market a book today. There’s no formula for hitting the best-seller lists the way there used to be, where authors launched a book with a review in the New York Times, a feature story in U.S.A. Today, an interview on Today, Oprah, or Larry King Live, and a 10-20 city road tour and media blitz to follow.  Authors now promote their books from their bedroom.  All the, need is a smart phone.  And a good book publicist.

The PR firm where I work has embraced – even led – some of the successful ways to promote authors and books.  We trademarked the radio blitz for authors, where we schedule 20 or more interviews by phone in one morning, reaching millions nationwide.  We also trademarked the satellite television tour for authors, where, from one studio, authors can be interviewed 12,15 even 20 times in just a few hours.  We are also doing major traditional national media, scheduling speaking engagements and generating lots of online media, including social media.

Book publicity requires a solid game plan, a diversified media portfolio, and non-media marketing efforts, such as speaking engagements, book signings, book give-aways and partnering with others to strategically engage large networks of targeted readers.

The publicity agency that I am with represents what’s needed to promote a book today – senior intelligence blended with young go-getters.  We span several generations in terms of our diverse staff.  Much of the team breaks into specialization so someone who knows, loves and succeeds in digital media complements one with more experience in other areas, such as broadcast or print.

But book publicity is not for amateurs.  Even though all of the tools are out there – social media, media list databases, directories of bookstores – there can be a big learning curve or time-suck for the do-it-yourself author when it comes to marketing a book.  Firms like the one I work for are crucial navigators of the ever-evolving book publicity and marketing landscape.

What will the next 25 years -- or even 25 days bring?  Certainly more change is on the horizon, but as I explained, the core elements needed to succeed in book publicity have not changed much at all.

FREE PR WEBINAR FEBRUARY 7: SIGN UP NOW

DON”T MISS THESE!!!

2017 Book Publicity & Marketing Toolkit For Writers Of All Genres

How Would Madison Avenue Hawk Your Book?

Author Blogs: What Should They Say?

The Network of Book Marketing For Authors

Which Of These 6 Reasons Inspires You To Write Books?

How To Craft Press Releases That Net Your Book Media Exposure

The right book marketing strategy for you

Overcoming Book Marketer's Block in 10 Easy Steps
http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/overcoming-book-marketers-block-in-10.html



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 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs

Monday, January 30, 2017

Will You Fight King Trump’s Era Of Big Ignorance?



President Donald Trump and his tandem of denial and divide -- Conway & Spicer -- in just a span of about 10 days managed to:

·         Create and spread fake news.
·         Falsely accuse legit news organizations of being fake (CNN).
·         Claim there can be alternate facts.
·         Demand journalists who don’t report the news as he sees fit to be fired.
·         Declare the media their position party.
      Suggest funding for the NEA would be cut or eliminated.

How far away are we before the media is:

·         Fined?
·         Arrested?
·         Censored?
·         Banned?

Now all of this may seem like a mere distraction from serious issues like immigration, healthcare, terrorism, and the economy. But what could be more serious than our precious freedoms – of the media, of free speech, and of the right to protest?

Before any dictator can fully get his way, he must silence and control the media.  In the tyrant’s playbook, President Trump would create division and fear, to pit one group against the other, and to demonize someone or something that really isn’t a threat.  Oh wait, looks like he’s been reading the handbook that’s been employed by Russia, China, N. Korea, and other iron-fisted nations.

The story, as unbelievable as it is, is not that President Trump does what he says -- he does -- or that what he says often violates laws, ethics, or common decency.  It is about what we – all Americans – will do – to stop, slow down or alter the course King Trump is on.

In a world where lies become truth, where allegations without proof are stated as fact, and where words lose their meaning, we must correct things as they occur in real time.  We must be vigilant, and be on top of every ridiculous declaration uttered by the Novice in Chief, his spokeswoman, Kellyanne “The Con” Conway, and the White House mouth monkey, Sean “Spice up the Facts” Spicer.

When falsehoods, half-truths, and fact distortions go unreported, unchallenged, or misunderstood, we all lose. The battle has begun, and it’s not just over jobs or walls, it’s about truth and justice and how we communicate with one another.

I saw a movie about 15 years ago – the name escapes me – where each day a street in a city changes at midnight.  It may disappear or get re-routed.  Eventually, but slowly, unaware citizens could no longer find their way around or out of town.  They’d become boxed in.  There’s a parallel here.  Each day, President Trump circumvents reality, and in the process, creates and promotes a new one.  If we’re not careful, our understanding or very awareness of the facts could diminish swiftly.

Ok, so good, like-minded people reading this are saying:  “So what should we do about his?  What could we do about it?”

First, don’t give up. Don’t just throw your hands up and feel resolved to seeing him in office for the next four years.  Stay informed.  Don’t just laugh with Bill Maher and Samantha Bee or stay up on things with The New York Times. Watch Fox, read Britbart, and be aware of what’s being debated and championed. I can't give into ignorance.

Second, be an activist.  Letters to the editor, comments on blog posts, and engaging your senator or Congressman or The White House are important to the process. I do this.

Third, sign or initiate petitions on major issues. I did.

Fourth, join or form a protest march. I did -- and will.

Fifth, donate money to organizations that stand up to bullies like King Trump, including the ACLU. I did.

Sixth, argue with friends, family, and colleagues. If they agree with you join forces and take action rather than just whine to each other. I do this.

Seventh, vote in every election and make your voice heard. I did. I will.

Eighth, join PEN America. I just applied.

Most importantly, consume and defend the news media.  They are our watchdog over King Trump.  Make them better, stronger, and defiant.  Words are a powerful weapon, but be aware they can be used for or against you.  As King Trump terrorizes the nation – and the world – with his biased assault on the truth,we must fight back against the Era of Big Ignorance!



“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’.  All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”
--George Orwell, Why I Write

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
--George Orwell

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
--George Orwell

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
--George Orwell, 1984

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
--George Orwell, 1984

“Big Brother is Watching You.”
--George Orwell, 1984

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”
--George Orwell, 1984


FREE PR WEBINAR FEBRUARY 7: SIGN UP NOW

DON”T MISS THESE!!!

2017 Book Publicity & Marketing Toolkit For Writers Of All Genres

How Would Madison Avenue Hawk Your Book?

Author Blogs: What Should They Say?

The Network of Book Marketing For Authors

Which Of These 6 Reasons Inspires You To Write Books?

How To Craft Press Releases That Net Your Book Media Exposure

The right book marketing strategy for you

Overcoming Book Marketer's Block in 10 Easy Steps


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 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Unsubscribe – Except To My Emails



When marketing a book you need to do these two things:  be aware that you should not spam or waste the time of others.  But you also want to be more effective with your time and that means being better at dealing with your own in-box.

Jocelyn K. Cole, put together an excellent primer on this, Unsubscribe:  How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done.

“Email is broken,” she writes. “Or, more precisely, email has broken us. On a regular basis, it inspires hatred, guilt, anxiety, anger, and despair.  The very last thing we think about when we think about email is its utility.  And yet we know it’s a useful, necessary part of our everyday lives.”

We all know that email can be, paradoxically:
·         A time suck and a useful means of communication
·         A form of addiction and also a necessity
·         Filled with loving, useful, informative messages  -- as well as ones of hate, uselessness, and ignorance.

We get overwhelmed by the stream of emails flowing our way but in our quest to get our in box down to a manageable number we end up engaging in exchanges that force us to get back even more emails.  How do we control this?

Here are ways to reduce the madness:

·         Don’t check your email as often as you have been.
·         Respond to emails with short emails - anything long is best done by phone or in person.
·         Prioritize your daily goals and then work in time for email, but don’t let your inbox dictate the entire day.
·         Let others know that you can’t immediately respond to emails – take the pressure off of yourself to respond quickly.
·         Divide up your emails into categories, from “opportunities” to “fires” to “delete” to “if there’s time.”
·         See if you can get others to respond for you or instead of you.
·         See if an auto-response will suffice.
·         Dispatch with easy emails to get your in box totals down.
·         Unsubscribe from things you never signed up for or realize you don’t need to receive.
·         Use good subject lines to clarify what the em is about.
·         Never send em when tired, angry, stressed, depressed, hungry or under a deadline.
·         Don’t make strong accusations or engage in disputes via emails, unless you’re a disenfranchised consumer.
·         Don’t curse, threaten or escalate matters in an email.
·         Get unattached from annoying email chains.
·         Curb your desire to send a rude email.

To help with workflow, try to file emails in various folders, so that you don’t hold onto them in your in-box but you don’t misplace them in case they need to reference down the road.

“Let’s face it, email is killing our productivity,” proclaims the book’s back cover “The average person checks their email 11 times per hour, processes 122 messages a day and spends 28% of their total workout managing their in box.  What was once a powerful and essential tool for doing our daily work has become a near-consistent source of frustration, anxiety, and distraction from our work.”

Maybe what’s really needed is a better approach to time management – not just with email but every aspect of the business day or one’s life.  Check out Kenneth Zeigler’s Organizing for Success:  Prioritize and Get The Right Things Done, Second Edition.

He identifies the 12 areas we need to get a handle on:

·         Take control of your day
·         Project management
·         Organizing
·         Managing priorities
·         Finding more time
·         Controlling your desk
·         Handling interruptions
·         Managing, controlling, and writing emails
·         Managing the phone and using voice mail
·         Delegating
·         Planning meetings
·         Managing procrastination

So what does Zeigler suggest you do to be efficiently organized?

·         Accept the reality you won’t get everything done today
·         Have a portable master to-do list. Skip lines on your to-do list so you can fill in related details as needed
·         Focus on one thing at a time – for completion
·         Improve your communication skills to reduce conflicts, ambiguity, confusion, or wrongful assumptions
·         Train others to be effective and handle more, thus reducing what you need to do.
·         Batch like tasks or activities
·         Slow down, as speed causes mistakes
·         Defer immediate requests where possible as they may end up working themselves out before you need to get involved
·         Work around your natural energy – level cycles
·         Tell others our time is limited
·         Give others deadlines to act
·         Visualize the end result to something and then tackle the smaller steps to lead to such a result
·         Delegate often – but choose the right person
·         Reward yourself and others for completing a task ahead of schedule
·         Keep meetings short and focused
·         Avoid phone tag by offering days/times to connect
·         Don’t use post-its, only a master to-do list
·         Give yourself a pep talk
·         Even if a project isn’t due for a bit, get working on it now so you won’t have to do it all at the end

Good Luck!

DON”T MISS THESE!!!

2017 Book Publicity & Marketing Toolkit For Writers Of All Genres

How Would Madison Avenue Hawk Your Book?

Author Blogs: What Should They Say?

The Network of Book Marketing For Authors

Which Of These 6 Reasons Inspires You To Write Books?

How To Craft Press Releases That Net Your Book Media Exposure

The right book marketing strategy for you

Overcoming Book Marketer's Block in 10 Easy Steps
http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/overcoming-book-marketers-block-in-10.html



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 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs