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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Which Book Marketing Advice Should Authors Trust?


Positive Advice I Have Received Over the Years | LetterPile

I have been giving out book marketing advice ever since I began promoting authors to major media outlets back in 1989. Fast-forward three decades later and I still provide guidance to authors and publishers seeking to brand themselves, sell books, and gain media coverage. But it has dawned on me that for all of the useful advice I have provided and resources shared, there are many others, either intentionally or mistakenly, giving out some really crappy advice. How is the author or publisher to know whom to listen to?

Well, like anything else, you need to see confirmation that the source of advice is validated by third parties. Are other professionals that you respect saying they respect this source?

Is this person credentialed and qualified to make the statements he or she makes? Look at their resume of training, work, and experiences.

Next, do you see some of the same advice showing up on other sites or publications that are respectable?

Fourth, does the advice make sense? Was it backed up with proof of effect or at least sample success stories? Does it sound like it could or should work, or does it seem odd to you? Give it the smell test.

Fifth, is the person giving you advice selling something, and if so, what?  You don’t want to see a conflict of interest get in the way of getting advice.

Now, that said, someone may have a public endorsement of their work. So what? For every positive there could be 100 negatives, but no one will highlight the negatives. They can seem to have a proper resume but that does not mean they know anything. And bad advice can he repeated often but it doesn’t make it any more accurate just because it gets circulated. Something may sound like it should work, but the truth is there may be things that you just wouldn’t be aware of that stand in the way from the advice actually being accurate. And, just because someone is selling something it doesn’t mean that their advice is wrong.

So where does this leave us. I just told you trust no one and yet, give people a break under certain circumstances.

Sometimes you have to experiment and test out certain theories or suggestions. You mix and match what works for you. Sometimes what is good advice for one is not for another, and vice versa.

The advice that I can give you is to customize the advice. Figure out what someone is recommending, then discern why it may work for you vs how it worked for that person, and remain optimistic and hopeful that you can find what works out best. There are many things you can do for free – and many things you should pay for. But you need a budget, a marketing plan, and sound goals with ways to measure what works.

The best advice that I will offer you is that you must take action to brand yourself. Of course what you choose to do, to what degree, and for how long, is up to you. Your efforts may be dictated by your time, skill set, knowledge base, money, preferences, and needs. Trust in yourself and in what you want to accomplish and you will begin to filter all advice through your gaols and capabilities. I wish you well on your journey.


PLEASE CONSULT THESE TIMELY RESOURCES

Do Authors Need To Pay Bribes To Succeed?

What Will a Post-Corona book World Look Like?

How Do Authors Promote Books When The Media Is Corona Centric?

How Are Authors Selling Books Through A Pandemic?

A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook

What Types of Books Can Get Media Coverage Now?

The Bestseller Code For Book Marketers & Authors

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.

Interview with Author Amy Gray-Cunningham


Daring to Believe: A Memoir of a Living Kidney Donor by [Amy Gray-Cunningham]


What inspired you to write this book?
I donated a kidney to a stranger on July 6, 2019. While I was researching becoming a living donor, I couldn’t find many easy-to-read or inspiring books about kidney transplants. The books I did read, however, were either boring or so technical I couldn’t understand it. Also, throughout the process, I experienced things that I felt were unique and wished I had known about before the surgery—not that I would’ve changed my mind, but it would’ve been nice to be more prepared. So, I decided why not me, and I wrote Daring to Believe.

Who should read it—and why?
Everyone should read it! Not only is Daring To Believe about being a living kidney donor and the process I went through but I reveal intimate details about my life and what led to my decision to donate a life-saving organ to a stranger. This easy-to-read, often humorous book reveals much interesting information about kidney disease. But, the essential part of the story is my spiritual journey where I admit to human frailties and mistakes. It’s a book that everyone can relate to and hopefully will inspire people to dare to believe in the impossible.

How is it better or different from others in its genre?
Daring To Believe I don’t feel better than another book but what sets it apart is it's about my journey through the kidney donation process. It’s easy-to-read yet humorous. It’s personal yet inspiring. And, its an honest, first-person account about one of the most life-challenging yet affirming decisions a person can make—a decision that saved a person’s life and changed many lives in the process.

What challenges did you overcome to write your book?
The most significant challenge I had to overcome was myself—self-doubts and negative self-talk. Who would want to read my story? Who do I think am I? I’ve never written a book before—what makes me think I can do so now?
These and many more questions I wrestled with during my time at writing Daring To Believe. Eventually, I decided to write to one person. A conversation, I guess you can say, between me and Evelyn (my avatar). 
Also, I had to give up being perfect and just let myself write. I scheduled writing time into every day and sacrificed many family gatherings so that I didn’t miss a session. I became committed to Daring To Believe and it to me.
I joined a writer’s critique group and learned many valuable tips about writing and how to make it better. I’m still friends with many of those women today.

What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your book?
I hope my readers are left with the inspiring belief that anything is possible if only you dare to believe. I hope my book inspires others to become living donors or to reach for whatever their calling is in this lifetime. I hope it inspires others to tell their stories because if someone didn’t share their story of David Ensley and his need for a kidney, I would’ve never been able to tell mine.

What advice do you have for struggling writers?
Never give up. Learn everything you can about the craft of storytelling and then write! Keep learning and keep writing. And, don’t worry about being perfect because you won’t be perfect but keep writing anyway. Oh, and hire a great editor!
Question: Where do you see the publishing industry heading?
Answer: I think self-publishing is the wave of the future if it’s not here already. It’s effortless to self-publish, but you must be committed to marketing yourself or hiring a publicist to help you. It takes dedication and time, but it can be done.

For more info, please see: www.amygraycunningham.com

PLEASE CONSULT THESE TIMELY RESOURCES

How Do Authors Promote Books When The Media Is Corona Centric?

Advice to Authors From A Book Promoter of 30 Years

How Are Authors Selling Books Through A Pandemic?

A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook

What Types of Books Can Get Media Coverage Now?

The Bestseller Code For Book Marketers & Authors

What Should You Do to Market Your Book?

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, April 29, 2020

Interview with Author Eugene St. Martin Jr.


Observations by EC

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? Basically as I go about my life I keep figuring out what is important to me or working to do that. I think about ways to play tennis and to learn tennis. Also, I keep working to find my song, my swing and ways to help others find their swing.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? To families and especially to young people looking to find their song, their swing in life.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?  As I have read this book over these last times there is a little zen idea where one brings one’s mind back to the present and one lets go… an emptying…

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? To be thankful for the opportunity to write and sort out things in our life.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Looks like it is going towards a digital ebook and audiobook direction where people are reading on their devices and possibly reading less novels. For me audiobooks are fun. Still, I like a traditional book because I can put it down when I want, there are no batteries, and I can give the book to someone.

6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? No big challenge. It is just an expression of my life.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? It is just a light little book that may help one to think. The audiobook of this book is beautiful. When the book is read out loud slowly it is like a meditation.

About the Author
Eugene St. Martin Jr. has been a part of the tennis community in Baton Rouge, LA by maintaining the green clay tennis courts and instructing both children and adults of all ages and abilities. He enjoys walking, nature, and singing in his church choir. St. Martin Jr. has published several other literary works including “Christmas Stories and More by E. C.,” “A Tennis Journey by E.C.” and more. For more info, please see: https://www.iuniverse.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/763240-Figuring-Out-Something-by-E-C--


PLEASE CONSULT THESE TIMELY RESOURCES

How Do Authors Promote Books When The Media Is Corona Centric?

Advice to Authors From A Book Promoter of 30 Years

How Are Authors Selling Books Through A Pandemic?

A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook

What Types of Books Can Get Media Coverage Now?

The Bestseller Code For Book Marketers & Authors

What Should You Do to Market Your Book?

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.

Book Publishing News & Author Marketing Resources


 Tips for Teaching Kids How to Process Breaking News

Explore Affiliate Sales
Looking to find people to sell your book for you? Hoping to make a little extra by selling other people’s books? Want to get an affiliate commission by listing your own book on a site and pushing sales through it? Explore these:



Alternative Audiobook Publishing Platforms
Looking to turn your story into an audiobook? Check these platforms out:

PodiumPublishing
Scribl
ListenUp
FindawayVoices
AuthorsRepublic
AudioCreation Exchange


New Online Retailer For Indie Bookstore
Go to www.BookShop.org and see how a new digital retailer is soaring in les than three months from its launch date.


Online Course Platforms
Looking to turn your book and areas of expertise into an online course? Try these:



Print-On-Demand Options
Here are your best options should you want to self-publish and go the POD route:



NYPL Turns 125

As the New York Public Library celebrates its 125 uears of serving the reading needs of America’s biggest city with its doors closed due to Corona, it recently identified the five most-checked-out books of all-time, which are:

The Snowy Day
The Cat in the Hat
1984
Where The Wild Things Are
To Kill A Mockingbird


Print Book Sales Are Down
Due to corona and closed bookstores and supply chain interruptions with Amazon, print book sales have suffered in 2020. Unfortunately, in 2019, both adult non-fiction and fiction printed books were each down from 2018. However, print still seems healthy. In 2018, non-fiction print sales was up 4.9% and in 2019 it dipped only by 1.9%.



“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” –JFK


PLEASE CONSULT THESE TIMELY RESOURCES

Powerful 2020 Book Marketing Toolkit -- FREE

How Do Authors Promote Books When The Media Is Corona Centric?

Advice to Authors From A Book Promoter of 30 Years

How Are Authors Selling Books Through A Pandemic?

A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook

What Types of Books Can Get Media Coverage Now?

The Bestseller Code For Book Marketers & Authors

What Should You Do to Market Your Book?


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.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Is There A Mathematical Formula For Book Marketing?


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I don’t know how I will look back on the times we live in now. It is hard to put distance from an all-consuming present, but I suspect I won’t see these days as all bad, as lousy as they are. For one, I get to spend more time at home with my family, which means I get to take afternoon walks with my youngest, a 12-year-old girl. I cherish those walks because they are just daddy-daughter times and we don’t merely walk. We talk, and we explore life together. One of our chats today was about math and I found a lesson to apply to book marketing.

I shared with her that I like the exactness of math. There is a formula for everything, and with the right calculations, we get the same answers and have universal agreement on the facts. With math, something is either right or wrong, nothing left up in the air, nothing in between two answers, and no gray areas.

She said that is exactly what she doesn’t like about math. She likes to explore feelings, ideas, and to form opinions and to not be tied down to an exact singular way to see things.

It got me wondering about book marketing. Though there are many principles that guide what I do to practice the power of securing publicity, there are no exact formulas to follow. It’s not as much math as it is an art.

When I was young I actually accelerated at math and was in the top 10% nationally on my SAT math. My English language skills, even as an English major, lagged. I took a creative, artistic approach to math and a mathematical approach to writing. It seems to have worked.

Math helps ground us and gives us a foundation of what is true. Math can’t explain everything, but it can give us a perspective to operate from. Can you find a way to see your book marketing efforts as an expression of some type of mathematical formula?

Well, start with percentages. What are the percentages of success when applying certain book PR strategies? What percentage of your time is split between certain functions, such as speaking, social media, traditional media, or networking? Can you measure certain metrics even when it is challenging to do so? See, math can play a role, even if it is not the only answer.

People always look for formulas when it comes to book marketing. For instance, people want to know the cost-benefit of something like advertising. Can one accurately predict how many sales of books will come from spending a certain amount of money on advertising? Nope.

Can one assume how many book sales they will generate if they get a certain level of media exposure? Of course not.

Is there a way to say with certainty if one has a certain sized online following that x amount of book sales will be generated? No way, Jose!

Ok, so you might ask, Why would anyone agree to market their book if no formulas or reliable indicators exist by which to measure things?

We do book marketing even though its results vary from person to person, book to book. It is a huge wildcard, but one with great promise. Few things in life come with guarantees or predictability, and most such things are boring or negative, such as taxes, aging or death. But book marketing, done well, and when diversified in its approach, can yield significant results. It all depends on your goals and why you seek publicity. The only way to measure results is when done against your needs or goals.

Book marketing, even though it lacks a proven, scientific formula, does work for many. Of course, one formula is true: Those that don't try to market their book are guaranteed to see no results. Now that is some math none of us believes adds up.


PLEASE CONSULT THESE TIMELY RESOURCES


How Do Authors Promote Books When The Media Is Corona Centric?



Advice to Authors From A Book Promoter of 30 Years



How Are Authors Selling Books Through A Pandemic?



A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook



What Types of Books Can Get Media Coverage Now?



The Bestseller Code For Book Marketers & Authors



What Should You Do to Market Your Book?



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.