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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Books!


Image result for thanksgiving day images

My wife and two kids are heading to Boston for Thanksgiving, a ritual that goes back some six or seven years.  My wife’s aunt and uncle have greeted 20-something family members with open arms – and lots of food and drink. My daughter, 11, wants to ask people what they are thankful for.  Here’s my list, as it relates to books and life.

I am thankful for…

·        The existence of books in our world.  Where would we be without the transfer of knowledge all of these centuries? Books have been our way to connect generations of experiences, discoveries, theories, fantasies, and thoughts.

·        The re-emergence of independent bookstores and all of the retailers that now sell books.  Without them, all that would be left would be Amazon.  A wealth of goods or knowledge should not be concentrated in the hands of an all-too-powerful corporation.

·        Writers, who with courage and conviction, want to pick up a pen or laptop in any given day to create something from nothing, to give voice to an idea, to provide a means to transmit what’s on their minds and in their hearts.

·        Teachers who make strides to raise a literate society, and get students at any age to engage with books and to read as much as possible.

·        Libraries and librarians, who are underpaid and understaffed but manage to filter stacks of knowledge so that patrons are exposed to the books and resources that will benefit them. Parents give us not only love and safety, but a deep admiration of books.

·        The news media, for even though it gets a bad rap, is a huge champion of books, truth, and knowledge. Without a flourishing media, books don’t get discovered, and America gets dumber.

·        Book publishers, who in the face of a huge self-publishing movement, manage to publish a record number of books. They uphold standards but open the doors for our nation to be exposed to a variety of thoughts and credentialed writers.

·        Literary agents, who tirelessly seek to advocate on behalf of writers who deserve a good publishing home – and to be compensated fairly for their good works.

·        Editors, who help make good books great and great books legendary.  Editors have a lot of power but the truly gifted ones know how to help authors produce a better book.

·        Book promoters and marketers, who give exposure to some interesting, important, and needed books.  They can make anything sound better than it is, so beware, but they do more good than harm.

·        Self-publishing, for even though it allows for some real garbage to see the light of day, more importantly it allows for new voices to be heard that never ever could have gotten past self-appointed gatekeepers. Self-publishers innovate and force traditional publishers to be even better than ever.

I am also thankful for so many others involved  in the book world, from writing coaches, and book shepherds, to cover designers, printers, distributors, and those who earn minimum wage to stack bookshelves or who intern for peanuts at a book publishing company.  Everyone involved in the process  of seeing a book created, published, promoted, sold, taught, and read is precious.

I am especially thankful for those who remind us that free speech is not to be taken for granted, that banning, censoring, or burning books can’t extinguish the forces behind them.

I am thankful for all who post reviews online about a book and those who donate books to help those in need. I am thankful for, the invention of light bulbs to read books 24/7.  I am thankful for comfortable chairs to settle into for the reading of a good book.  I am thankful for Starbucks and good snacks to consume while digesting an appetizing book.

I am thankful to be alive and to be here to say Happy Thanksgiving!  Eat up and go write, read, or buy a book!


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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 ©2019. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Do You Have The Right Book Marketing Attitude?

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There are many skills one needs to command in order to be good at marketing their brand and promoting a book to the news media.  If I could boil it down to three key areas, it would fall into mastery of the three A’s – aptitude, attitude, and awareness.

Let’s start with the one anyone can change, and that’s your attitude.  One must be of the right mindset to be successful. Optimism, confidence, curiosity and courage come to mind when I think of attitude.  You must be relentless, ambitious, and willing to try new things.  Believe in yourself and find inspiration in the world around you.  Know that you can do this – and do it well!

The next area to focus on is awareness.  Are you aware of the current events, fashions, and lifestyles out there?  You’ll need to know a little bit about a lot.  You can seek to tie your message to what’s in the news and to tap into the way people feel, think, and act. Have an awareness of what certain media covers – and of how they cover it. See where you can fit in.

Lastly, certain aptitudes will be needed to excel in the book publicity world.  You need to be good at communicating with others, mastering verbal pitches, emailed messages, or in-person conversations.  You should be good at researching, writing, creating story ideas, and thinking like the very media you seek to impress.  You need to be disciplined, with your time and resources, people savvy, and street smart.  It’s a very competitive world out there and the driven, skilled, and connected stand a better chance than most.

Another aptitude needed is creativity.  Can you craft a pitch that taps into our push-button areas, like sex, religion, politics, or human-interest stuff – life, death, celebrations, milestones?  Can you tie your message into a major area, such as:  business health, family, money, sports, history, entertainment, hobbies, social media, etc.?

Our world comes down to simple things. Are we trying to acquire something? Are we in need to saving or protecting someone?  Are we looking to stop something from happening or perhaps we seek revenge for a perceived wrong done to us?

Most pitches to the media involve a hero and an enemy or a problem-solution.  Or, the pitch is about power, personality or values.  

Do you have the aptitude, awareness, and attitude to tap into what people think, feel, want or need and turn it into a story about you or your book? The answer must be YES!



“I  am definitely going to take a course on time management-just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.”
--Louis E. Boone

“We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.”
--Denis Diderot

“Don’t think, just do.”
--Horace

“The thoughts we choose to act upon define us to others, the ones we do not define us to ourselves.”
--Yahia Lababidi


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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 ©2019. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Why Authors Can Market A Book At Any Stage Of Life



 Image result for baby images"


When I talk to authors about promoting their books and marketing their brands, I often draw the analogy that writing and publishing a book is like giving birth – a worthy accomplishment – but the real work begins with raising that child (marketing your book).  

Well, someone I went to high school with just adopted a newborn and she reminds me that if you stay focused and work hard, you can accomplish some amazing things.  She’s 52 years old and has a brand new baby!

I have an 11 – and 14-year-old and I’m the same age as Michelle, but she is first experiencing motherhood. Even stranger, a good friend, Fred, whom I’ve known since I was five, and is my age, is the grandfather of a seven-year-old.  Here are people,-each finding parenthood at different stages of their lives – each seeking to raise healthy and loving children who hopefully make the world better than how they found it.

Writers are like people who become parents, as each develops at their own pace.  Some writers get published at a young age, some middle-age, others as seniors – and some never break through.

But once a writer births a book the real drama begins.  There’s nothing more rewarding than writing a book than to market it successfully and to witness how your voice helps others.

Fred, at 19, became a dad.  When my first kid arrived, I was a month shy of 40, and Michelle is 52.  Our kids likely will each be raised differently, given many factors, but we each go through the same challenges, seek some of the same rewards, and get thrown for some of the same curves.  Authors, too, may want different things but many want their book to sell, to touch the lives of others, to get another book deal, and to be viewed with respect.

So, writers, take heed of Fred, Michelle, and myself.  Enjoy whatever stage you are at but know you should never give up on your book marketing, just as you’d never give up on your own child.

I fondly recall meeting Fred in kindergarten and becoming best buddies in elementary school.  We loved to play baseball, stickball, flag football, handball, paddleball, off-the-wall, Chinese handball, boxball, hit-the-penny, Nerfball, Wiffleball,and all of the sports the streets of Brooklyn afforded us. But we could also have deep, philosophical conversations, see a movie, or play hours of Donkey Kong and Asteroids.  We were born 12 days apart but our kids are a generation apart.

Michele, whom I had a crush on in high school, with her green cat eyes, is now discovering her way through parenthood.  Like all authors – and parents – the rewards can come no matter how long it takes you to find your path.  

May we each experience the joy our books – and kids – bring us.


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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 ©2019. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

PEN Expands Its Free Speech Fight Across America


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Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s and 1980s I felt assured of a few things being around forever -- my parents, baseball, newspapers, television, and movies.  Well I’ve learned people die (Dad’s gone three years).  I also learned leaders don’t remain on top forever, as newspapers gave way to cable television and now online media.  Baseball went from the national pastime to the third-or fourth-most popular sport.  Network TV is done and streaming TV from companies is now the rage.  Movies in theaters are under siege and draw far fewer crowds than they used to.  So where am I going with this depressing visit down memory lane?

Free speech.

Yes, your constitutional right to free speech, that thing you take for granted, needs your help if it’s to be protected.  Just as you saw how dominant forces have come and gone, some out of fashion completely and others diminished greatly, don’t think for a minute it can’t happen to something like free speech.

Thankfully there are some amazing groups that call attention to the full protection of our First Amendment.  The ACLU, PEN America, and American Booksellers for Free Expression are the ones that immediately come to mind. They need your money, time, support, and awareness. They are part of dozens of major groups that make up The National Coalition Against Censorship (www.ncac.org).

Free speech is under attack everywhere – in schools, at libraries, on campuses, on social media, and in the funding decisions made by governments.  Censorship, book bans, hate speech, nudity and pornography, political dissent, data exploitation…we must be aware of the issues confronting our 2020 world of information – whether online, in print, at work, school, home, or the public street corner.

To help support free speech, celebrate literature, and defend press freedom, PEN America just announced it will launch six regional chapters across the US to support its NY headquarters and offices in DC and LA.  Austin, Birmingham, Dallas, Detroit, Tulsa, and the Piedmont region of NC are the six new locations.

PEN CEO Suzanne Nossel recently said PEN’s move will help “push back against the breakdown of civil discourse, the marginalization of vital voices, and encroachments on press freedom.”

For nearly – a century, PEN has worked to defend and promote authors, playwrights, poets, and those in the literary community championing for writers’ freedoms, rights, and free expression.

It seems slow of PEN to open these offices, but it’s never too late to further free speech. 

What will you do to help?


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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 ©2019. 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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.