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Saturday, February 22, 2020

An Arcade Of Vintage Games Helps Authors

Image result for classic arcade games images

Sometimes you can go home again.

Wouldn’t you go back to being a kid for a few hours if you could?

If you want to get the adrenaline rush of childhood, go to the Pinball Museum in Delray Beach, Florida.

It’s really a vintage arcade where you can play for an hour or all day and night. It’s two floors of wall-to-wall games we all know and love. There’s Pac-Man, Asteroids, Galaga, Donkey Kong, and pinball machines going back more than a half-century.

Step right in and feel the memories flood back. The competitive juices start to flow through your body. Your hand-eye coordination is quickly challenged. Old strategies come back to you. Your body stance and positioning fall into place. Your trigger finger is not as fast as it used to be and an arthritic fatigue settles in after hours of playing. You love every minute of it as if it were 1982 again.

By the time I was done, I’d get the day’s high on Donkey Kong, second highest on Asteroids, and the highest on some pinball machine for age 50+ males.  Yes, they break down scores and records that way.

God, so much fun. Joy sticks. Fire buttons. Flippers.  The sounds of an arcade abuzz with a room of dreamers is just as powerful as the sounds we love – the roar of a crowd at a sporting event, the crashing of waves onto a sunny beach, or music at a concert.

So what does any of this have to do with books and marketing? Absolutely nothing, except that the arcade represents something we all need – a hobby or a release of energy that is totally disconnected from our writing life. Sometimes we just need a good escape.

Life has enough stresses, challenges, and demands. The arcade is such a wonderful respite from all of that. As an author you are a writer, promoter, marketer, and cheerleader. All of that takes courage, energy, strategy and talent. The arcade lets you park your life and allows you to jump into a risk-free war between you and machine. You strive to beat others and then to improve upon your scores, always looking to gain an edge to beat your best.

The arcade has no drawbacks. You leave feeling victorious – or motivated to come back and try again another day. I can’t wait to go back!


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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 ©2020. 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.

Friday, February 21, 2020

For Authors, The Writing Is On The Wall

Image result for subway train graffiti free images

Breaking and entering.  Defacing public and private property. Trespassing.

Most people would say one who does those things is a criminal. The punishment?  Try a reward of millions.

Let me explain.

Carlos Mare is no ordinary criminal. He was a young graffiti artist in the late 70s and, 80s in New York City. Now he is the curator at the newly opened Museum of Graffiti in Miami, Florida. His works of art hang in New York City’s museums. He was interviewed in a movie and featured in a book. He’s gone legit.

On a recent vacation to South Florida, I revisited Wynwood, an area of Miami that was in disarray until graffiti artists reclaimed it and turned it into a living art gallery. The museum opened in December. I happened to catch a great tour by Mare, who knows many of the top taggers from back in the day who now sell their works for millions of dollars.

He explained that graffiti, once the scourge of a city in decline and chaos, was really an artform. He said it was a justifiable expression of those in poverty and left behind. It was the voice of the people, right there, on walls, trains, trucks, gates, and on any surface visible to the public.

Having grown up in New York City in the 70s and 80s, I can attest that there was some great graffiti art out there, especially on the sides of trains. But there was also a lot of crap. People scribbled their illegible names onto things like storefronts, wall maps, or handball court walls. It wasn’t always art – just a lot of spray paint plastered by youthful punks.

Still, I get Mare’s point.  Some artists – yes they were artists – used the city landscape as their mural to paint a picture of life that was not always pretty, to speak out for things like love and peace and against violence and hatred.  Some of those artists got arrested (he never did) and some died young, a casualty of the poor and violent streets they sought to rise out from.

The museum is something that cold not have been imagined a few generations ago. Police and the governments of cities across the country tried everything to combat the graffiti, spending tons of money to clean it up or prevent its existence. Usually, when graffiti would pop up somewhere it was a bad sign that the city was falling further into lawlessness.

But now a whole neighborhood embraces the graffiti and has risen because of it. The museum educates and inspires its visitors and makes us see things differently.  As a writer, you seek to tell a story, share information, convey ideas, question things, and inspire others. So do these graffiti artists. They teach us that what was once unpopular, even hated, can later be embraced. Styles change. The nation changes.  

Writers – and artists – can and should always lead the way.


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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 ©2020. 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.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The 6 Ways To A Winning Book Sales Pitch

Image result for winning images

The power of marketing a book rests in one’s ability to play up a story that matches with what society already expects. Your brand's success, though you want it to be unique and reflective of who you are, will depend on how well you meet six key factors.

The half dozen areas that anyone promoting a book must address are these:

·         Values.
·         Perceptions.
·         Stereotypes.
·         Needs.
·         Desires.
·         Emotions.

Think about it. Does your book sell an idea, a resource, a story, or something else?  Why will any of it appeal to anyone?

I’ll tell you what appeals. Something that makes one’s life better, makes one feel better about life, fulfills one’s dreams or needs, serves their values, substantiates their perceptions, or meshes with their emotional state. That’s it. The rest is immaterial.

Now that you know the secret sauce, serve it!

Sure, there are other reasons people buy a book – nostalgia, intellectual curiosity, entertainment, to learn something, to improve some aspect of their lives – but any of those things falls under the six areas I identified for you.

So what do you do with this information? You apply it to how you market your book, brand yourself, or promote a message to the media. These six serve as your litmus test. Are you spinning a story that addresses one or more of these six areas? If not, move on, and keep developing a sales or media pitch that relies on the foundation of things all people buy on.

Knowing what people’s values, perceptions, needs, desires, emotions, and stereotypical views are will help you craft the right message and utilize the best words that really move people.  To think you can succeed without acknowledging any of these six areas is a seriously flawed approach.

Almost any news story plays on many of these six areas.  Headlines are always based on playing up to – or challenging – assumptions. You, too, can do it. Start pushing the right buttons and you’ll be amazed at the results.


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How Do You Pitch Your Book To The Media In The Face Of Breaking News?

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10 Rules For Authors Promoting Their Books Well

Look For These Book Marketing Lessons All Around You

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 ©2020. 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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

How To Craft A Great Elevator Speech For Your Book


                             Image result for elevator speech images


The hardest thing for an author to do when promoting his or her book to the media, is to take what could be a 300-page book and perhaps a lifetime of experiences and ideas and to come up with a succinct pitch.  To succeed at marketing your brand or selling our book, you will need to sum up your book or existence using maybe 150 words and saying it in less than 25 seconds.   Can you do that?

The good news?  It is possible to do – and you can do it!  The bad news?  You have no choice.

Social media is made for people who can use few words to get a strong message across. Today’s marketing landscape demands that you say something new, unique, and interesting in a manner of seconds.

So how does one figure out what to say?

Be prepared to answer the who, what when, where, why, and how about you and your book. Spare the details. You just need the highlights.  Prioritize and list the key 5, 6 or 7 points, that you believe will get people’s attention. That’s really all that you need to do. Say enough, but only so much, that will tease others or lure them into wanting to know more.  You don’t have to tell your whole story at first. Just give us a snapshot of it.

If you’ve ever had to put a resume together, you know the challenges of putting your lifetime of relevant professional experiences and personal accomplishments on one page is quite a daunting task. But you also know, because the process forces it upon you, that a page is plenty of space to convey a message and form an image. It won’t say everything, because it’s not necessary to do so.   But it will say enough to lead the reader to an action step:  to call you in for a job interview.

The same is true with your elevator speech or short press release. You need to think in terms of headlines and bullet points. Ask yourself:  What’s the core of the story here?  What am I selling?  Why will anyone care? That’s what you must answer – and be brief!

Here’s the best way to do it:

1.      Note as many things as you want to say about your book.

2.      Do the same to describe who you are.

3.      Now start to prioritize these points. Which sound more interesting than others?

4.      Now find ways to use fewer words to convey each point, substituting out many words for a few with impact and color.

5.      Compare what you wrote with what you’ve seen others say or write about their book or themselves.

Eventually, you start to discard things that are add-ons, points that are not as important as some others.  Then you start to think about what the main or singular reason that people will care about your book, so you lead with it, and everything else is there to support it.

Go with your strengths. Is it drama, humor, news, or beauty else?  What are you selling – is it the substance of the story, your personality, your ideas, your research, your discoveries, your style of writing – or something else?

It’s like dating.  Would your profile talk about how you like to do crossword puzzles or will it focus more on bigger things – career ambition, your looks, your personality, and other filters people use to determine a potential match? Well, describing yourself and book is the same – you seek to get enough attention to warrant a date or the next step.

Determine what’s a primary point vs. a secondary one. Figure out what would inspire people about yourself or your story. To just describe things or summarize them without there being a deep reason or desire will only convey information but will not really sell anyone on what you offer.

You need something to anchor your pitch to, just like a mall needs an anchor tenant store. You need a foundation to build on. Identify your singular strength and then the rest of your points support it.

For instance, if your book is geared towards helping a specific class of people to solve a specific problem, then boil it down to that. If your book is merely to entertain or maybe awaken your political voice or is there to note our history, then say so. Build it up and zero in on that main point.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel you have a clear rallying point, you have a problem. Basically you need to find a good way to answer:

·         Why should someone buy your book?
·         Why should the media interview you?
·         How do you inform, inspire, enlighten or entertain us?
·         How is your book better than a competitor’s?
·         Would it matter if your book never existed?

You need to imagine you had one sentence -- a tagline -- to state who you are or what your book represents. What would you say? Can you say it in a way that no one else can claim what you say?

Take ownership of your message – and keep it short!


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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 ©2020. 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.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Book Marketing Lessons From Religion


Image result for praying images

A friend of mine serves as the treasurer for the local synagogue that we both belong to. He recently told me the temple can’t afford to pay what it pays the head rabbi and that we should downsize from two full-time rabbis to one, and maybe an assistant.

I wasn’t expecting to hear that. It was a shock.  But I did know we were running small deficits over the past few years, borrowing from an endowment to make annual budgets even out.  The day of reckoning came to us this past fall.

It was like hearing your favorite band is breaking up.  For the past decade, I have been a member of the temple, I’ve only known it to have these two rabbis. They’re young, different, and progressive. They’ll be gone by June.

The reality is the temple is not merely running a deficit or possibly mismanaged. It’s shrinking.

Like many religious institutions across the country, worship service attendance and participation is down. A few generations ago the temple had 1600 families. It now has fewer than 500. It’s bleeding red ink and people.  Something needs to be done.

I recently led an effort to find a way to retain – and grow – membership for a dying institution. It’s still in its infancy, but the process of marketing the temple appears to be an obvious task. It’s just that it hasn’t been done much - or well – in recent years, if ever.

The task is tall, the need is great, and the chance of success is unknown to unlikely.  But we must try.

The key ways we’ll grow is with:

·         Strategic marketing efforts.
·         Constant and consistent outreach.
·         Great follow-up.
·         A division of labor by many people.

We’ll need some marketing materials, a limited budget, and for some luck to come our way.  But it is a numbers game. If we expose a positive message to a targeted group of people we’ll likely win over someone.  Maybe a few someones.  Over the year, if we grow by 5%, and again the next year, we’ll be in far better shape than we are now.  More members bring new ideas, passion, and the reward of expanded community. And more money to the temple.

The principles to marketing a temple, to a degree, are similar to those for promoting a book.  For example, you need a good message sent to a targeted group of people.  Word-of-mouth works best.  You need referrals and to have loud mouths act as feeders for you.  Authors need someone to send readers their way; temples may need local realtors, pediatricians or PTAs to share information about them to prospective adults and families.

Maybe the biggest similarity to marketing a book or temple is praying.  Why not?  Praying to get more members can’t hurt – nor can praying for book buyers. You need to feel inspired and optimistic to market anything.

At some point, if people are to join the temple, they’ll need to decide:

Do I want to belong to a temple?
If so, why this one?

Readers, too, need to decide:

·         Do I want to buy a book?
·         If so, why this one?

Each temple – and each book – offers something specific.  People need to feel a need or desire is being met.  They need to trust in you.

Even though the book industry stopped declining and experienced a bit of a resurgence this past decade, it feels like books are still in danger.  A smaller percentage of adults read books than previous generations. They buy fewer books, per capita.  The art of reading a book has become fractured.  We’re not all reading the same books, not even in the same format.

Religion is the same.  Church and temple closings happen on a regular basis. Membership has slipped and people simply are not as tied to their house of worship or faith to the same degree that society used to be. It’s still a strong, relevant demographic, but like books, temples and churches are not guaranteed super longevity.

But many people value either or both.  They see religious organizations as a central part to society’s growth and personal functioning of many.  They also see the book as the backbone to an informed, educated, and enlightened society.

I don’t know what will become of my temple, or even books, but I will keep fighting for the things I value highly. Marketing is vital to keeping the temple – and books – alive.  Say a prayer for either or both.


DON”T MISS THESE!!!
New Year's Resolutions For Every Author

Free 2020 Book Marketing Toolkit for Authors

17 Book PR Strategies That Work

The Author Publicity Priority List

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 ©2020. 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.