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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Can Books Keep Up With An Ever-Changing English Language?



In 1828 the Webster dictionary was born.  It wasn’t updated until a century later, in 1934, and then a third edition popped up in 1961, causing controversy that’s still debated today and is the focus of an interesting 2012 book, The Story of Ain’t:  America, Its language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published, by David Skinner (Harper).

One of the many changes to the dictionary in 1961 was the surprise inclusion of “ain’t.”  The book notes:

“Newspapers lunged at the story of the dictionary’s shockingly liberal treatment of ain’t.  In Chicago, the Tribune and the Sun-Times picked up the same newswire item, announcing, “The word ‘ain’t’ ain’t a grammatical mistake anymore.”  The next day, the Toronto Globe and Mail weighed in.

“A dictionary’s embrace of the word ain’t will comfort the ignorant, confer approval upon the mediocre, and subtly imply that proper English is the tool only of the snob.”  But this was something more than your typical lecture from the union of concerned citizens.

"We live in a world of problems, the newspaper explained, problems that arise from misunderstandings between individuals and even nations.  “Where language is without rules and discipline, there is little understanding, much misunderstanding.  How can we convey precise meanings to the Russians, when we cannot convey them to each other?”

Certainly, a lot changed in the quarter century between editions.  Skinner notes:

“There was the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II, all of which left their historical fingerprints on the fast-expanding lexicon.  Movies, radio, and television came to the fore, contributing not only new forms of entertainment but new words to describe them.  The role of women changed, the baby boom started, the Kinsey reports were published, rock ‘n’ roll was invented.  Cars and roads multiplied.  The civil rights movement began.

"The idea of America changed.  American culture became “popular,” and serious culture was popularized.  The language of Americans went from being a source of modesty to a source of pride, and mined for literary and scholarly purposes.  More Americans became more educated and spoke and wrote like educated people speak and write.  Feelings about proper usage changed."

There’s been a long-running debate about dictionaries -- are they to reflect how language is used or to enforce rules that no longer seem to be followed?  Who dictates which changes to impose upon others?  Even the different dictionary-making companies will disagree on the words and rules to include or remove over time.

Shouldn’t a dictionary unify us and agree on a standard for all to attain?  If not, we are left with a system that, without exact rules, will fall apart and lead to misunderstandings and eventually an inability for anyone to understand another.  We will allow language to fall apart and become a puzzle of jumbled images left to wide interpretation and abuse.

“Language is the expression of ideas,” wrote Webster in 1828, "and if the people of one country cannot retain an identity of ideas, they cannot retain an identity of language.”

Are we already amidst an era of disunity when it comes to proper usage of words in America?  Think about the numerous threats, challenges, and influences on our words and how we communicate with each other.  Here are some to think about:

Spanglish:  As America sees the number of Hispanics rise – now over 60 million – we see an increase in the breakdown of English.

Ebonics:  As America sees the number of African Americans rise- now over 40 million – we see an infusion of new speech patterns and phrases entering the masses by way of pop culture.

Emojis:  Non-words are taking over online communication.

Texting/Emailing:  We see a decrease in word-selection, punctuation, capitalization, proper syntax and the observance of the very rules that used to dictate our communications.

Technology: New terms come out of new inventions at a record pace.

Social Media:  New terms are born daily out of the billions of global postings.

At some point, probably within the next decade, we will see the creation of a new dictionary that radically alters the language.  Not only will it reflect current usage and mass abuse – it will seek to establish and legitimize these changes as a new standard. But such attempts to standardize a constantly evolving and shifting target will prove to be impossible.  English will likely see a change unseen in centuries, similar to how few people understand or value old, Shakespearean English today.

The English of 2028, on the 200th anniversary of Webster’s radical dictionary publication, will be one that is somewhat unrecognizable to anyone who lived before the 21st century (which is only 18 years ago!).

Authors are starting to write books that not only are written in a language and style unfamiliar to the reader of the 20th century, they are potentially writing for a shorter legacy than other writers had enjoyed.  Will someone in 2068 even understand a book from 2018?

Or, is all of this discussion blown out of proportion?  We know language, mores, politics, inventions, ideas, and science have always evolved over time and each has even undergone a revolution -- or several, but one has to wonder if our world of global sharing around the clock is also hurting our ability to understand, appreciate, and value this voluminous amount of communicating.

Please feel free to join me on LinkedIn --https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum/.


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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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Book World Needs Its Banksy Art-Shredding Moment



The world’s most famous street artist, Banksy, caused a stir when a Sotheby’s auction for one of his pieces – Girl with Balloon – fetched 1.4 million dollars and then simultaneously in spectacular fashion, destroyed the work via a shredder that was secretly built into its frame.

Great P.R. stunt.

Some believe the shredded remains could be worth a lot more than what the original work was sold for.

The book world needs some gimmicks like this.  What can the industry do to stir things up?  How about these ideas?

·         Scandal over authorship – did a best-selling book really get written by someone else?
·         Book ban -- can Amazon refuse to sell a controversial book?
·         Hoax – successful book turns out to be lies.
·         Big lawsuit – someone sues a big author for defamation or libel.
·         Publisher faux pas – some publisher does something crazy like re-write a classic or decides to keep a book on the sidelines that people clamor for.
·         A new format for the book gets invented.
·         Publishers should make the first half of a book available for free – if one likes it they will buy the rest of it.
·         An author becomes a hero – thwarts a bookstore shooting.
·         Someone buys out the remaining copies of Trump’s printed books – and burns them all.

Ok, so maybe the Banksy stunt has not been rivaled of late by the book industry, but why can’t something attention-getting happen that lights up the book world?

·         Why don’t we see a brawl in public over a book?
·         How about someone famous confesses to a crime in his or her memoir?
·         Let’s unearth the lost or secret writings of some big-name politician, celebrity, or pro-athlete.
·         It’s time to get an author rant on video that goes viral  - maybe J.K. R0wling is captured screaming crazy, racist stuff at her book editor or 50 Shades of Grey author.  E.L. James is filmed sleeping with a priest and a donkey.

What could rival the popularity of Banksy carving up his own art?  What if a famous author shows a manuscript for a book that he or she decided against publishing and torches it on FacebookLive?

How about an author, maybe a mild-mannered best-selling one, is captured on tape assaulting a journalist during an interview?

Or can we have an author put on trial for punching a politician in the face?

Folks, we need something to spotlight books.  Please do your share to commit a wild act that gets our book world more publicity and attention.

Please feel free to join me on LinkedIn --https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum/.


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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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

Interview With Bi-Lingual Book Marketer Rosalba Mancuso




1.      As the founder of www.AdvicesBooks.com , please tell us what your site does. My website was born with a mission: promote books and literature internationally. For this reason, through Advicesbooks.com,  I offer book promotion services to publishers, authors and book publicists who need exposure in the European literary market. Furthermore, Advicesbooks.com  is also a site where I publish my book reviews in Italian and English and offer literary translation services from English to Italian. 

2.      Rosalba, how challenging is it to write book reviews, travel guides, and online content in Italian and English? Of course,  it is always hard writing in a different language. I  am an Italian native speaker and behind my English writing, there are several years of language training and daily reading of English books. For the rest, I find that writing pieces in English and Italian is a good way to improve my writing skills. In English,  I write travel guides about my loved Sicily and about books I read and loved.  In Italian,  I write about many other topics as a freelancer. I feel honored when I write in English and readers understand and appreciate what I write.  Likewise, I am happy when customers who hire me to write in Italian remain satisfied by the quality of my native language.  However, when you write nearly every day like me in two languages,  the unique challenge you have to face is the one to monetize your content. The fierce online competition in the writing field made this challenge harder and harder.  

3.      What do you love about writing and books? I love the power of words. Words serve to inform, educate, communicate and shape our emotional life.  For this, I love books and writing  over any other kind of device, over the Internet and the Social Networks,  which, badly, shape and twist our mind with images.  In  my view, writing and books  are the only tools to escape the Internet addiction and save our humanity.
  
4.      Can you tell us how the beauty of Italy compares to that of America? There is no comparison between Italy and America. They are two different countries, with different history and culture. Italy has a very ancient history and its beauty comes just from this. The Italian landscape, literature, architecture, drink and food contain all of the charm of the Italian history. No other country in the world has an equal beauty. America has a more recent history and if I am not mistaken,  it was discovered by an Italian. However, I love America very much, because this Country welcomed many Italian and Sicilian migrants and helped them find a better future when it was impossible to find it in Italy.   

5.      What advice do you have for struggling writers? My most valuable advice is the one to try finding a unique perspective and voice to stand out of the crowd. I always think that  the worst mistake of writers is the one to write for themselves  and not for their readers. They fail and waste their time to write stuff that others have already written.   Instead, writers  must learn to write about the needs of their readers. This is the only strategy to sell books or monetize online content.

6.      Where do you see the global book publishing industry heading? Unfortunately, global book publishing is heading toward emptiness. I noticed this trend in both Europe and America.  Book publishers release only books by famous authors, while new writers always remain unpublished and, obviously, unknown.  Newbies  try self-publishing, but, amid the crowd of self published books, it is nearly impossible to find excellent works and all this endangers the entire book publishing industry.  When I founded Advicesbooks.com, I had already noticed this trend and so, I thought to give my small contribution to make new authors known abroad. Today, my book site is among the top 50  book marketing blogs, because, every month, readers buy several books through it. But, to reach a global editorial success, an only book site is not enough. Success always depends on traditional book publishers. They still have the financial power to   release and publicize new books globally. A new good book, if a traditional publisher set up a good marketing strategy, can still get success and sales, in spite of the unfair competition from the Internet  and the digital alienation of readers.

Please feel free to join me on LinkedIn --https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum/.


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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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Annual Number Of Published Books Hits A New Record




Book publishing is booming with more books published than ever before, according to Bowker Books in Print.

The number of books published in 2017 is not completely known, in part, because those using, Amazon’s KDP platform don’t use ISBNs, which are issued by Bowker, and Amazon doesn’t release its data.  However, based on ISBNs, over 1.35 million books were published last year.  

For the first time, self-published books crossed the one-million threshold, reflecting,a 28% increase from 2016.

This means over 3,500 new books are released every single day of the year – about one-fourth come from traditional publishers and about 10% are for e-only books.

Create Space is essentially the biggest publisher in the world if you look at its number of titles released.  752,000 self-published books came from the POD publisher owned by Amazon, representing some 55% of all books published.

Smashwords, Lulu, and Author House are the other self-publishing leaders but each are just a fraction of the market dominated by Create Space.

“2017 was a landmark year for self-publishers," says a report issued by Bowker.  “The clear message communicated by the 2017 data is that self-publishing is still evolving, still growing at a rapid pace, and shows no signs of slowing down.  The largest increase was in print books, showing an increase of 38%.”

Other highlights from the report show:

*Since 2012, the number of self-published titles increased by 156%.

*13% of all new self-published titles in 2017 were ebooks.

*Small publishers, defined by Bowker as those publishers who have produced 10 or fewer ISBNs, experienced modest growth of 4% to bring their total output to 56,396 for the year.

When I broke into book publishing in 1989, I recall the number of new books released to the public that year was around 45,000.  It’s hard to believe that we release that many in America in just a dozen days.  Think about that. 

Over Christmas break the same number of books that used to take a year to be released will flood our marketplace, one that’s overcrowded with millions of titles published just in the last few years.

With the nation at around 330,000,000 men, women, and children, one new title is released for every 250 Americans each year.

Please feel free to join me on LinkedIn --https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum/.

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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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book Marketing Buzz Blog Posts #3,000!




One Of The Nation’s Leading Book Marketing and Publicity Blogs Celebrates Its 3,000th Post By Turning It Into A Press Release



New York, New York  -- Where should writers and publishers turn for strong, honest, and experienced-based advice about book marketing?

One may not have to look much further than the award-winning blog, www.BookMarketingBuzzBlog.blogspot.com, recognized by Book Baby and Feedster as a top book publicity blog. What began seven-and-a-half years ago as a means for a book marketer, Brian Feinblum, to brand himself, has turned into an important source of inspiration and information. Today it published its 3,000th post.

"I originally wanted the blog to serve as a lead generator to the book publicity firm where I still work --as the chief marketing officer (www.Media-Connect.com) -- and to show my support for the plight of those in the book publishing industry, including authors, publishers, editors, and literary agents,” says the blog’s founder, Brian Feinblum.

He is proud to have hit such a milestone, and is glad he persevered during times of feeling like he should just give it up.

“There were times when I thought it was too much work to write daily posts, promote them on social media, and to keep coming up with useful, original, and engaging content,” reveals Feinblum, a resident of New Rochelle, New York.  “But I kept pushing myself – it’s a thankless addiction.”

His very first blog post, in May, 2011, was about Donald Trump, back then a businessman and star of television’s The Apprentice. 

“I thought then, as I do now, that he’s a master of deflection, deception, and denial,” says Feinblum.  “But book marketers and authors can learn a lot from his style and approach."

He blogs most often on topics that matter to those seeking to build a media resume, develop a brand, get an empowering message out there, sell books, and get discovered.  www.BookMarketingBuzzBlog.blogspot.com frequently posts useful content and resources on the following:

·         How to promote a book successfully
·         Ways to market a brand cost-effectively
·         How to use social media wisely
·         Keys to crafting a message that’s embraced by others
·         How to become a best-selling author
·         Ways to impress the news media, despite a ton of competition

He also likes to advocate for books, and often pens posts on censorship, book bans, free speech, literacy, visiting libraries, patronizing indie book stores, how Barnes & Noble can stay afloat, and why books matter to society and each of us.


His all-time, most-clicked blog posts are as follows: 

2016 Book Marketing & Book Publicity Toolkit

So where does he draw his ideas from?

“I scour books on communication, sales, marketing, and publishing,” says Feinblum.  “I also read trade publications such as The Writer, Publishers Weekly, and Writer’s Digest, but I rarely check out other book publicity blogs.  I don’t want to copy others or produce more of the same.  I strive to be timely, relevant, insightful, and unique.”

He also draws from his many interactions and experiences with those in the book world, especially the authors and publishers that he has met during three decades of a vibrant publishing career.  He’s spent nearly the last 20 years at www.Media-Connect.com, and also has worked for several small presses, authored a book, and has contributed articles to various publications that serve writers.

His insights also come form the many talented authors whose books he has promoted over the years, a list that includes Henry Winkler, Jeff Foxworthy, Dr. Ruth, Ken Blanchard, Seth Godin, Kevin Leman, George Wallace, Harvey Mackay, Cindy Adams, Jackie Collins, and Stephen Covey. It also includes many first-time authors, self-published authors, and a handful of university press writers.

“I enjoy educating, enlightening and helping those who need direction, resources, and inspiration to succeed at promoting their books,” says Feinblum.  “I love books too much to see them go unread, ignored, and devalued.”

Though he admits to checking the traffic to his blog about a dozen times a day he likes blogging because it gives instantaneous gratification. “Anything that happens to us can be fodder for the blog,” he says. “I’ve related all kinds of events and experiences to the act of book marketing, drawing on lessons from youth, sports, my children, what’s in the news, movies, death, dogs, and history.”

Feinblum estimates his seven-and-a-half-years of blog posts could easily add up to 1,200,000 words, based on an average 400-word blog post.  That’s roughly 20 books at 60,000 words each.

“For all of that output, I haven’t made a cent, never took an ad dollar, and don’t allow any product placement,” he proudly says.  “But I’m enriched by knowing that I’m writing what I want to, what I know best, and what’s useful to so many struggling writers, curious publishers, and lovers of books.”

So what advice does he have for those seeking to be mentioned, featured, or interviewed for his blog?

“I enjoy writing on books about books – all books that talk about writing, writers, publishing, language, bookstores, literacy, free speech – and I have interviewed hundreds of authors from all genres and welcome authors to email me to arrange for an interview," says Feinblum. "I also like to shine a light on book industry organizations such as The Authors Guild, ABA, BISG, ALA, AAP, AAUP, PEN, IBPA, National Book Foundation, etc."

From books of poetry, children's books, compilation books of essays and gift books, to books on business, health, parenting, politics, lifestyle, memoir, self-help, inspirational and religion, he has promoted well over a thousand authors over the years, representing every possible book imaginable. His blog certainly reflects a wide variety of experiences and interests.

For more information about www.BookMarketingBuzzBlog.blogspot.com, please consult Brian Feinblum, 914-462-2038, brianfeinblum@gmail.com.

Please feel free to join me on LinkedIn --https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum/.


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http://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2018/10/how-to-have-successful-book.html

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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.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.