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Thursday, March 26, 2020

How Are Authors Selling Books In A Pandemic?


               2 More Great Book Buyback Companies to Sell Books To
Many libraries, schools, and bookstores are closed. Amazon is behind in deliveries. Speaking appearances and book signings have been cancelled. So how are books being sold in this environment?

Here are the answers each correct in some fashion:
·         Social media is helping to sell more books
·         Traditional and digital media is covering books
·         Authors are doing webinars and online courses to sell books
·         New online retailers are sprouting up
·         Not everything is closed everywhere – it just sounds like that
·         E-books are skyrocketing
·         Audiobook downloads are surging

There is reason to hope. Everyone is cooped up and are open to reading books. Many run to the safe confines of books, whether to escape reality or to use this time to learn what they had been meaning to finally get to.

So many books do well in this environment, including:

·         Children’s Books – kids need to learn and be entertained without school
·         Thrillers – always a good time for them
·         History – let’s learn from past disasters, depresssions and pandemics – or read about better days of the past
·         Entertainment – love a good distraction
·         Personal Finance – time to balance a budget and grow your assets
·         Investing – gotta make back the money lost on Wall Street
·         Survivalist Techniques – we are all preppers now
·         Politics – the 2020 election is coming
·         Humor – we need a laugh
·         Sports – we can read about the past until the future games begin
·         Health –  this is our number one focus – how to stay healthy in mind and body
·         Religion – we need some spiritual nourishment, especially when the churches and temples are closed
·         Self-Help/Motivation – we all need uplifting stories now
·         Cooking – if you can’t hit a restaurant or even afford takeout, learn how to cook
       Travel -- if you can go somewhere physically, time to go with your mind -- and plan a future trip

Plus, let’s look forward, whether it is weeks, a month or a few months – stores will reopen, delivery times will improve, and the financial devastation will slowdown and start to return to better times.

But for the moment, as the world is upside down and filled with pain, fear, and uncertainty – and financial insecurity fills millions of homes and thousands of others confront death and severe illness – the book world is combusting. Indie stores have laid off workers and shuttered operations. Some publishers are looking at bankruptcy or a merger. Book releases scheduled for April or May are getting pushed back. Even the nation’s leading book trade show, Book Expo America, had to reschedule its date but right now its home, the Javits Center in NYC, is being used as a makeshift hospital to battle a plague. It is ugly out there.

Still, the belief is it is temporary and we just need to weather the storm for the moment.

A decade ago the industry was hit by many challenges – the Great Recession, the ebook revolution,  Amazon taking over the industry as Borders drop dead, technology allowing for the majority of published books to be self-published, and the Internet providing free competition for content providers.

But the American book industry rose from the dead and all of that transition and uncertainty. It is going through another tough time now, as many Americans are. Every day that passes means we get a day closer to recovery. The pandemic seems like it is a book that has no ending, but the truth is, we know how it ends. And we know that the book world will get a new beginning and rise up. I can’t wait for the sequel!

Please Read These Timely Posts

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, March 25, 2020

What Types of Books Get Media Coverage During A Pandemic?

                     Image result for uplifting images

As an author or publisher you may be wondering: How will I promote a book in this environment of fear, shutdown, and uncertainty?  

The answer?

One day at a time.

Do not use these wild times as an excuse to not market your book. Shy away from complaining of what is not, and instead focus on what is. Never sit on the sidelines feeling sorry for yourself.
Just get it all out now – cry, scream, question things – and then roll up your sleeves and get to work. Just accept it: the world is not always fair, and at times, it can be harsh. But you can survive – and then thrive.

In the best of times, it is an uphill battle to get your voice heard, your brand grown, your book sold. In that respect, today is no different than a month ago. But what has changed is what the media is looking for.

Here is what I see as the popular topics for the news media:

·                  Health
·                  Healthcare Policy
·                  Seniors/Aging
·                  Fitness
·                  Medicine
·                  Caregivers
·                  Healthcare Technology
·                  Business
·                  Personal Finance
·                  Wills/Estate Planning
·                  Wall Street/ Investing
·                  Economy
·                  Oil/Energy
·                  Travel
·                  Global Relations
·                  Leadership/Management
·                  Self-Help/ Inspirational/ Motivational
·                  Crisis Management
·                  Parenting (home schooling/kids stuck at home)
·                  Politics (2020 election)
·                  Education (online learning/college/graduations)
·                  Law Enforcement (lawlessness concerns/cops sick/jails unloading criminals)

Even though these are the hot topics right now and likely for the next few months, other stories can be pitched to the media. Certain media outlets still want to talk about books and novels. They will talk to humorists. We need to laugh. They will talk to entertainers, to distract us. They will talk to people with interesting memoirs. Life goes on, and some media outlets will purposely downplay coverage on coronavirus because after awhile we need to follow something other than a body count or how far the Dow Jones dropped in an hour.

So what should you do?

First assess if you can talk about the virus in a way that it relates to your book or area of expertise without sounding like an opportunist or ambulance chaser. Next, play up why your book or subject matter is not corona-themed and provides a much-needed break from the serious coverage out there.

Craft multiple pitches. Pitch multiple mediums, multiple outlets, multiple people at each outlet. Be persistent and keep trying.

The world is upside down and for many people alive today, they have never seen anything like this. A pandemic threatens the health and lives of billions of people. The world financial markets are crashing. The spirit and psychological state of mind of many is challenged under these dire circumstances. But we also believe -- and know – this shall pass, eventually --  and most of us will find our way our of this hole. But until then, I wish you the very best – to be safe and sane!


For more information, please see a Pandemic Playbook for Book Marketing:
https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/a-book-marketing-pandemic-playbook-for.html.


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.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook For Authors


                                      Image result for playbook images


In these challenging and panic-filled times, there is reason for hope, not only for our nation’s well-being, but for your ability to promote and market your book successfully,

But before we proceed to talk about what you can be doing and should be thinking, let’s simply acknowledge where we stand. I think by being realistic, but not alarming, we can reasonably wrap our heads around things.

Ok, times are upside down and getting worse by the minute. There is a national emergency amidst a global pandemic. Things are moving into lockdown mode. The number of cases and deaths are surging, hear and abroad. So much is unknown, and what is known is not positive, and yet people need to be optimistic, patient, and supportive of each other. To only live in fear and frustration will lead to poorer results.

Americans are rightly stressed out over, in no order, their:

·         short- and long-term financial future
·         job security
·         state of health
·         loved ones’ lives
·         sanity
·         safety

I am already prepared to slay my family after a week of working from home and 24-7 living under house-arrest type rules. However, I also am thankful to be alive, working, and stocked with the essentials, including Oreos, Pringle’s BBQ potato chips, and Tic-Tacs.

It is no doubt something crazy that we are all going through. It is a strange disruption, but we are all in it together, albeit each of us suffering different measures of loss, pain, or sacrifice.
However, here is the other side to all of this bleakness. We cannot give up hope – and there is no reason to just throw the towel in. Authors are in a unique position to use this period of time to still brand themselves and sell books, and definitely can use this time to place themselves in a stronger position once this crisis begins to lift.

So, what should authors be doing right now?

·         Building up a treasure chest of content, both to be sold now and in the future. Diversify the type of books that you have to sell, appealing to different sectors of potential customers.

·         Putting content into new formats. Take that hardcover book and turn it into an audiobook. Take your e-book and also issue a print-on-demand paperback.

·         Expand on the number of products and services that you offer. If you have a book out, issue another one. If you have books, create online courses out of them.

·         Educate yourself on all things digital – from social media to Zoom to podcasting, blogging, You Tubing – even if you resisted this before. Learn, try, do. Experiment. You can break through into areas you never really thought about.

·         Keep seeking out media – or hire help to do it. There are plenty of opportunities out there, especially from media that doesn’t want to just cover corona 24/7. There is also plenty of media that can cover you if you find a corona pivot in your message. Sure no book was written about Corona until recently, but many books can speak to it as it impacts the things they often discuss. If you talk about parenting, now it is about parenting through an emergency. If you discuss personal finance, well, it is time to discuss it in the context of Wall Street and Main Street collapsing. If you write about history, dust off the 1929 playbook on depressions or the 1918 one for pandemics.

I also believe the way for you to get through these unbelievable wild times, you need to first:
·         Reflect on what you are thankful for and build strength from the positives.

·         Acknowledge problems and potential pitfalls and start to plan for them or deal with them.

·         Seek out mental support, whether online or by some other means, just so you can speed up the process of healing.

·         Stay in touch with everyone – by phone, video, or in person via social distancing with a handful of people. We still need human support and interaction.

·         Make plans to again travel, speak publicly, and actually be at bookstores or libraries, but don’t put a date on it. Know it will happen; we just don’t know when. But you can still research things, plan out presentations, and network with people online so that when things open up again, you are ahead of the curve.

·         Lastly, don’t feel defeated. People need or want your book and to hear what you have to say. Use the media to funnel those ideas and messages that were relevant before a pandemic – and still are during and after it.

Stay healthy, sane, and loving. The rest will have to settle itself. As you continue to push your brand and execute a marketing plan, you will grow and get back on your path to author wellness.

Please Also See These Recent Posts

How To Pitch The Media In This Crazy News Cycle

Opportunities Arise For Authors During Coronavirus

We Shall Defeat Coronavirus!

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, March 19, 2020

Opportunities For Authors Arise During These Challenging Times


                      Business Plan: Defining Your Opportunity

In such a short period of time we went from being a strong economy to one under the threat of a great recession. We went from being a nation where its biggest health risks come from the things we do to ourselves – obesity, addiction, smoking, suicide – to one that is challenged by a new virus that could kill untold numbers. The news seems terrible today and easily worse tomorrow. But could we possibly take some positives from all of this – and apply it to our lives and ability to promote our books?

Most definitely.

Every generation has had to confront a challenge, either one familiar to others or something seemingly new and uncharted. We always come away stronger, rebounding and thriving. The pain and loss suffered were real and seem insurmountable or unrealistic at this time. But with some distancing, we came back from the depths of despair, destitution, and destruction to rebuild something that was bigger and stronger.

America overcame slavery, a civil war, two world wars, dozens of recessions/depressions, a terrorist attack, and the upheavals of presidential assassinations and civil unrest. Today we are taxed with a moment that will define who we are now – and who we will become.

I know how the story ends. There will be economic bloodshed. There may be mass casualties of life lost. But we will somehow, with great introspection, resilience, and grit come out of this. And we’ll be forever changed by it.

I hope and pray we keep the suffering to a minimum, in our physical, mental, and economic health. We know it’s a worldwide phenomena. This pandemic will impact everyone, though some will feel it more than others. But we have to, as we soon begin to confront the worst, have a vision of life psot-Coronavirus-19. If we can somehow see past what has not yet fully arrived, we might be able to better understand what is to soon happen.

We are undergoing a new normal that can last indefinitely. We await a vaccine, more testing, and a way to effectively treat or mitigate the damages of the virus to our bodies. The timetable of those medical developments will dictate not only our ability to save lives, but to get us close to being able to reboot our lives and the economy.

So, in the meantime, what can we do to ensure our writing continues, that we position our brands to survive to a recovery, and that we market our books and promote our messages?

Rule 1: Don’t give up hope – and don’t stop promoting yourself.

Rule 2: Seek to insert yourself into the current news cycle and find a way to bend your message to what is in the news today.

Rule 3: Adapt to how people are sharing information. Our digital world seems to have doubled overnight. With voluntary quarantines and mandatory isolation, we are in public less often and not gathering at big events. We now will communicate online, whether we like to or not.

Rule 4: Use this time not to think of what you can’t do, but what you can do. We don’t just lose something without gaining in another area. There’s opportunity, even in loss or change.

Rule 5: Write more. Use this time to create more books, develop online courses, beef up social media, and to position yourself to re-emerge from this calamity with some new ideas and products.

One thing is certain. More people are spending more time at home and circulating short distances within small circles. They will have more time to read books. Authors will finally have less competition that movies, plays, sports, and concerts used to generate. For the moment, books can provide nourishment to the minds and souls of a worried, exhausted, and isolated public. You can fill a void.

Authors should also, whether writing fiction or non-fiction, children’s books or poetry, give thought as to what type of books will soon be in demand – both to weather our troubled waters and for the recovery period that will surely come. You have to think about what people will need, want, or desire. Just as a generation of authors weaved in plot lines of terrorism to their books post 9/11, what will we see put into books in the 2020’s and 2030’s?

This is one of those generational moments of a before and after. We all will see life differently the longer this pandemic panic goes on for. How could we not be changed by something that threatens our well-being and economic security?

The story lines right now resemble fiction, things we never fully prepared for or thought imaginable. And as we live through them, we will write new fiction and non-fiction that reflects who we have become, individually and as a society.

Life from just a few months ago seems so quaint. “Remember when we used to do (blank) and think that (blank).” Fill in the blanks. A new world is coming. We never wished for it, but we will need to embrace it if we are to get beyond it.


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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.