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Saturday, June 23, 2018

What Will Move An Author To Promote His Book?


What will influence authors as to whether they will promote their books to the news media?

It’s not a trick question.  The author of the 21st century must be very active in promoting one’s book and brand.  If the author gets help from a book publisher – if a publisher’s involved -- an author will still heed to supplement its efforts.  No one can do everything that is necessary to properly promote and market a book.  It takes a village.

Given there are so many ways a book can be marketed, one must divide and conquer.  First, an author must identify what could be done and then narrow down what should be done.

For instance, think about all of the things that can be done, from speaking, affiliate sales, direct marketing, traditional media, digital media, social media, advertising, etc.  Narrow down which areas are of most importance to your situation, based on preferences, skills, resources and the nature of your book.

Next, identify your resources.  Who do you know that can help?  Who can you hire to assist in some areas?  How much time do you have to dedicate to this?  What skills or knowledge do you lack for some of this?

Authors, at the very least, are responsible for quarterbacking their writing career.  They must take ownership of their fate and actively champion their brand – every day, all year, whether a new book is out or not.

All too often, fear, ignorance, ego, or myths play a much greater role in this process than they should.  After promoting and marketing authors for decades, from the fax-a-pitch to tweet-a-pitch era, I can tell you that authors have to take it upon themselves to ensure they are getting maximum exposure for their books, brand and ideas.  No one else is looking out for them

Authors need to educate themselves so that they don’t fall in love with the wrong vision.  An author’s brand is like their health.  You need a holistic approach with specialists tackling specific diseases and body parts.  Just as it is not enough to only diet or to only exercise, one needs the right balance of proper movement, nutrition, and mental therapy in order to live a healthier, more fulfilling, longer-lasting life.  You need to take a comprehensive, long-term approach to your writing career and branding efforts.

But, just as America has largely failed to remain healthy, too many authors have failed to maintain their brand the way they need to.  You’re not alone if you feel lost or are falling short, but you can and must do better

So what will it take to get an author more involved with his or her publicity?  Hopefully I made the case here.  It’s simple.  If you want something, you need to work at it, and anything worthwhile usually requires help, guidance, and teamwork.  Seek out your team and take care of your writing career.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”




Friday, June 22, 2018

When Did I Turn Into A Curmudgeon?




I never thought I’d see the obsolescence of the world I grew up in.  I’m only 51 and the writing’s on the wall for a lot of things:

·         Baseball used to be America’s pastime –now it ranks behind soccer, football, and basketball.
·         The fun of driving will be replaced by robotic cars.
·         The joy of reading printed newspapers and magazines will go digital.
·         Streaming on demand replaces the movie-going experience.
·         Textbooks have been tossed for digital -- and classrooms are being replaced by online learning.
·         Some in-person seminars are replaced by cold webinars.
·         Legitimate news sources are replaced by propaganda, bias, and fake news.
·         Tweets replacing letter-writing that’s mailed and delivered by hand.
·         Going to real stores has been replaced by Amazon.
·         Working from home and the gig economy replace central office where people interact with each other.

But I like some changes, including:

·         Advances in medicine.
·         GPS over getting lost all of the time.
·         Carrying a computer in my pocket.
·         Netflix over Blockbuster.
·         Online dating replacing the demoralizing bar scene.

Social mores have evolved as well, mainly for the better. There is a lot more tolerance, acceptance, and fairer treatment of groups of people that had been left to feel like third-rate citizens, including ethnic minorities, the disabled, women, LGBTQ, and those who suffer from mental illness -- though a lot more remains to be done. We have gone backwards in how we treat immigrants.

Things have also improved when it comes to the rate of killings in America, but mass gun violence is exploding. Suicides have skyrocketed and the opioid epidemic is as bad as the drugs of my youth -- heroin, cocaine and crack. Obesity has ballooned over the past two generations as well. Smoking rates have dropped way down but it remains to be seen if e-cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, gambling, and other vices will fill the void.

My dad used to lament that the music of my day – the 80’s – was not as good as that of his glorious 1950s.  I told him back then that there’s room for both – appreciate the old and the new.  I also told him that 80’s music evolved directly from the 50’s, that if the 50’s sound was to be sustained it would have been, but instead it gave way to the demands of modern society.  Perhaps that’s true today for all things.  

I try to flow with the times, but I can’t help but think that my way of life is disappearing.  It happened slowly, over years. First tape cassettes got replaced by DVDs and VHS tapes by CD’s.  VCRs became part of the cable system as a DVR.  That’s fine.  But then things changed more dramatically, where old habits are almost not recognizable.  We started to completely do away with things, places, and jobs – all replaced by technology’s advances.

There are some people who never go to a bank, a post office, or a dry cleaner.  They get all of their food delivered, meals cooked outside the home, and everything they buy or sell is done online, through individuals or with overseas dealers.  We’ve lost our sense of what’s local or even of what ties society together.

The answer can’t be to not advance, but not every change is for the best. 

can’t fault the new generation’s way of life nor can I fully make the case that my version of the world, circa 1978, was ideal.  But can’t we slow down the march towards taking every aspect of life and turning it upside down?  

I take no joy in knowing that today’s kid will write the same blog post as this one – not 40 years from now – but perhaps only 20 years later.  Things are changing at a faster pace and with more upheaval than ever before.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Are Authors Really Promoting The Benefits Of Their Books?




Many authors promote their books in simple terms – “It’s a fun read” or “You’ll learn a lot.”  They may position themselves as experts on something, but fail to highlight what one will truly gain by consuming their book.  Here’s a tip:  know the benefits your book offers and champion them.

You may think such simple advice is obvious, but if you reflect on your pitches to the media, do you notice that you undersold or completely ignored the beneficial highlights?

The first thing you must do is reduce the potential readership demographic of your book.  Something that appears to be for everyone, appeals directly to no one.  You are better off segmenting your readership rather than trying to capture everyone.  

For instance, if your book appeals to these demographics – white, middle-class, middle-aged, then say so.  If it’s for women who have kids, say so.  If it’s mainly for African Americans or people who enjoy soccer, say so.  It becomes a strength or a selling point to the class of people that you appeal to.  If you capture even a tiny percentage of a specific group, you’ll be a best-selling author or a wild success.

Second, ask yourself what the main reason would be for someone to read your book?  Will it make them think a certain way, feel something, discover a truth, feel inspired, laugh, feel empowered to act – what?  Whatever your answer to that question is, you should speak of your book only in such terms.

Third, does your book expose secrets, break news, shed light on famous people, or serve some kind of eye-opening confession?  If it’s sensational and offering a wild story, go with that.  Highlight its revelations.

Fourth, go beyond your genre and be specific.  It’s not just a business book, but about workplace management.  It’s not just a health book, but about using a special diet to treat a specific cancer.  It’s not just a novel or a romance story but one of BDSM for LGBTQ.  Again, play up the targets and present stories, headlines, and tips that bring out the real reason one would care about your book.

Fifth, once people are sold on the true, substantive benefits of the book’s contents, you next have to highlight packaging, style, and presentation.  How does the book look and feel?  Does it have images and artwork?  Is the book neatly packaged and printed on glossy paper?  Is it an e-book with extras - video, photos, and important links? Sell the way the information is presented – but only after you’ve convinced people the info is worth their time and interest.

Sixth, lastly, sell the benefits of a book by you.

You have competitors – why should the media talk to you vs. other authors, film directors, politicians, celebrities, and newsmakers?  Figure out what qualifies you to write this book and highlight the training, work experience, personal stories, or qualifying traits that you possess.

Authors have the burden of showing why one should pay attention to them.  The media operates out of a number of assumptions, biases, and limitations.  You need to overcome all of that.  

Sell the benefits of your book’s contents and presentation, as well as your background, and you’ll be in a much stronger position to secure a book review, interview, feature story, byline article, or guest-post.

Good luck!


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Can Time Be Your Book Marketing Asset?



I went to Toorneau to have the store reset my Tissot watch, a present I bought for myself a couple of  Father’s Days ago.  Part ornament, part touch of 20th century life, the watch is still useful to me, especially when it’s set six minutes ahead of the world.

Yes, even though one wears a watch so that they precisely know what time of the day it is,  I choose to be several minutes ahead of everyone.  It makes me feel confident, as if I have an advantage.  It gives me a cushion if I’m running late or need to plan ahead.  I treasure the extra 360 seconds.

We all play games with ourselves, telling our minds one thing, when reality says another.  To achieve anything, you need a vision of where you want to go.  For me, having a watch tell me the future time helps me live in the moment and to properly prepare for what’s coming next.

I feel a sense of urgency when I look at my watch and it’s later than I think, only to remember I buffered some extra time so I wouldn’t be late or miss a deadline like a train.  My car clock is also set ahead. Maybe I’m just neurotic, but time is our most precious commodity, along with money, air and water – and we need to conserve, savor, and best utilize all of them.

So, analogous to my watch being set ahead of the time, I ask if you are keeping ahead of your book marketing pace?

First, do you have a timeline and a schedule for your planned book promotion activities?

Second, are you on time, behind, or ahead of schedule?

Third, what will it take to keep you ahead of the curve?

By planning your activities and allowing for cushions or pockets of time in between them to handle unanticipated setbacks or challenges, you manage to stay in control of your fate as an author.  To market without a plan – or to not market at all – is a plan to lose.

You need to properly allot the time necessary to effectuate your goals.  Things often take longer than we hoped for.  It’s human nature.  The marketing that you do often involves the schedules of others.  Book reviewers, advertising outlets, bookstores, and others all have their time constraints and schedules that will impact when and how you interact with them.

Time often is our enemy, but by planning ahead and pacing things with some extra time, it can prove to be a manageable ally.


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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Book Marketing Tips, Resources & Ideas For You



5 Ways To Market Your Book Successfully

1.      See opportunity in everything and everyone you come across.
2.      Barter for anything that you want.
3.      Determine what others want or need – then give it to them.
4.      Think virally and creatively – don’t play it safe.
5.      Ask for what you want, pursue it, beg others, negotiate, and share something of value.

Don’t Get Contaminated By Book Marketing Mold
Are you a victim to toxic publicity practices when it comes to promoting and marketing your book?  Have you been doing too much of the wrong things – while ignoring what really should get done?

Battle for Your Blog’s Soul
Your posts need to be purposeful – they exist to serve your goals, whatever they may be.  How will you choose between a post that’s:

·         Short vs. long.
·         Quantity vs. quality.
·         Style vs. substance.
·         Ideal vs. practical.
·         Saying too much vs. teasing enough.

Did You Know?
As of December 2017, according to American Booksellers Association, the number of independent bookstores in America jumped 35% since 2009.  There are roughly 2,320 ABA member store locations.

Need a Good Book on Marketing?
Try Platform:  Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt

What Do You Do When at a Networking Event?
According to the satirical book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings; How to Get By Without Even Trying by Sarah Cooper, 33% are avoiding everyone.  Further, 23% pretend not to be waiting in line to talk to the important people, and 90% are hanging just on the outside of a group of people who are talking and laughing, wondering what it must feel like to be accepted.

Which Publishing-Related Startups Can Help You?
In 2014, Publishers Weekly identified dozens of startups that were hoping to bring something new to the book market.  I wonder how useful they are – or if they are around four years after.  Some are doing well, like Wattpad, Scribed, Digital Public Library of America, and Biblio Crunch.  But what of the rest.  Admittedly, I have no clue, but you might be interested in checking them out:


Celebrate On October 30th
It’s National Publicist Day.

It’s A Wonderful Twitter
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” This is a paraphrased line from the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life. I think of it when my phone rings to tell me that I snatched a new follower on Twitter.  I start to salivate like Pavlov’s Dog. It is amazing how technology trains us to react with enthusiasm because we feel more connected to another, even though we may never speak to or meet this person.

What Do Book Reviews Reveal To Us?
We may think that a book review is merely about a single book but really it’s about much more than that.  It’s about society, all books, and about the reviewer.  It’s about the world and what we know about it.  A review tries to put things into context for a universe that is largely unexplainable.

Where Are The Book Reviews?


Check These Out

Questions For You
·         Do you newsjack, where you take ownership of something in the news and comment on it?
·         Should books be shorter?  Spanish uses 30% more words than English to say the same thing.  Are you speaking Spanish or English?

DON”T MISS THESE!!!
Exclusive: Book Expo Panel on Book PR Preview

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Do you think like a book marketer?

How should authors sell themselves?

The keys to great book marketing

How Authors Can Capture The Media’s Attention

Big Marketing Lessons From My All-Time Top 10 Blog Posts

Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released


Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.”