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Friday, September 18, 2020

Do Authors Take Responsibility For Book Sales?

 


 

“My publisher did not promote my book much at all.”


“The distributor was not strong at marketing my book.”


“The media ignore me because I am not a celebrity.”


“I don’t have time for social media.”

 

You have heard these statements before. You may have even uttered one or more of these complaints. Life seems unfair to so many authors and all too often they fail to take full responsibility for their book sales.  If they are not willing to honestly accept their role in book sales generation, they will end up unhappy and unsuccessful.

 

We live in a blame-someone-nation, where people rarely take accountability for a problem. We simply do not like to take ownership of a mistake, loss, or missed opportunity. It is just easier to deny yourself of any blame and to point the finger elsewhere. Well, I have to admit, I screwed up recently, and my way of taking responsibility was to eat a thousand bucks.

 

I will explain in a minute, but first let’s zero in on the problem if we are to see a solution. The problem with authors not seeing themselves as responsible for their book’s fate leads them to sit on the shelf, hoping, demanding, and needing others to step into that role. But no one else wears that role but you. Not your publisher, not a distributor, not a literary agent, not a bookstore. They may have incentives to see your book do well, but they expect and need authors to step up and make things happen.

 

Authors need to take initiative, invest time and money, and pro-actively promote and market their books. No one else will. Taking ownership means that you recognize your obligation, set goals, and then actively do things every day to improve your chances of selling copies of your book.

 

Armchair-quarterbacking others and venting complaints won’t get you very far. You will just be bitter and frustrated. In this world, being successful beats being right. Even if you feel 100% justified in complaining about how someone failed you or did you wrong, the only way to fix it is to take matters into your own hands and assert yourself. Sell books! That is your to-do list and mantra. Sell books! Nothing else matters.

 

Of course, it is not easy to confront the truth, accept failure or loss, and pay a steep price for it. I should know, I had to take ownership of a lousy mistake. It was not book related, but the example is relevant.

 

My wife sent me on an errand recently. She rolled up a rug from the dining room. One of our prior dogs urinated one time too many on it a while back. We tried cleaning and airing it out. But it still stinks. So, I took it to a local carpet store and asked them to cut a few feet of the carpet that had the heaviest stains and scent of dog. But I failed to show the carpet store the correct spot. They ended up cutting a chunk of the good part of the rug.

 

At first I thought it was their fault. But when I realized it wasn’t on them, I was confronted with a choice: Play the angry consumer and blame them or take responsibility and pay the price.

 

On the way back to the store I contemplated both scenarios. I justified putting it on them – they can afford a mistake and I cannot. But then I realized how wrong that would be and even though it was not convenient to admit my error and pay for it, I had to go that route.

 

The carpet still needed to be cut, reducing its size to the point it would no longer serve the dining room. But all was not completely lost. We repurposed it for my wife’s home office. I had to buy another remnant for the dining room. A thousand bucks later, our dining room has a whole new look.

 

Hey, look, doctors make mistakes. So do judges, cops, teachers, athletes, actors, and well, everybody.

 

Including authors.

 

But have no fear. Empower yourself and take ownership of your book’s fate. Learn from me:

 

·         Honesty is the best policy.

·         Make the most of any situation.

·         Double-check before taking action.

·         Act on facts, not guesses or assumptions.

 

Take responsibility today. Reap the rewards tomorrow.


“Action is the foundational key to all success.”

--Pablo Picasso

“We spend so much money on the military yet we’re slashing education budgets throughout the country. No wonder we’ve got smart bombs and stupid rucking children.”

== Jon Stewart

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”

== Frank Zappa

“Condoms aren’t completely safe. A friend of mine was wearing one and got hit by a bus.”

--Rob Rubin

“I strive to be a skeptic, in the best sense of that word. I question everything, and yet I’m open to anything.”

--Amy Tan

“I finally have a dental plan. I chew on the other side.”

--Janine Ditullo

 

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. 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 The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby 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.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Is Today A New Year For Authors?

 


When I was younger, I thought sports was my religion. I played it obsessively and watched it on TV and in-person. I read about it in newspapers, magazines and books. I was good at playing and very knowledgeable about it too. I love baseball and enjoy football. If the Knicks are good, I watch (so not so much). It seems like everything in life can be explained through sports – the challenges, tension, joy of victory, agony of defeat – There are so many analogies between sports and religion – both require faith; both have us rooting for a specific team; stadiums and arenas are temples; sports has rules, ethical dilemmas, and history, just like religion; and each one requires participants to be passionate, even blindly.

But I know that sports and religion are two very different things. However, as I hit middle-age, books are now my religion. I believe books represent people and the human condition, and collectively, we are all one force. There is no substitute for God, but books provide nourishment for the soul, teach us values, spread love, and make us feel better. If religion is about being good, serving community, and living in harmony, books sure do come close to providing all of that.

As the Jewish Holidays are upon two to two-and-a-half percent of America, it is causing me to reflect on the past year and to look towards a fresh start. I don’t need to wait until January 1 to rally around life. The truth is, we don’t have to wait for any holiday or invitation to put our lives and values under a microscope, and to take stock of where we have been. Today – or any day – can be the one where you change to make changes, improvements, and commitments to a better life.

It isn’t easy to make changes, especially if they are forced upon us – or worse, if we don’t realize a change is due, especially when a new opportunity exists for us.

This past year has probably yielded the most change to the most number of Americans since World War II. Huge numbers of people lost their jobs and businesses, while countless others suffered pay cuts and losses in profits. Trillions in wealth were simply wiped out. Millions were sick from a mysterious disease and hundreds of thousands have died from it. Add on to that the violence from race riots and huge increases in crime. There is blood in the streets, pain at home, and worry about the future. We all have to relearn how to work and go to school – and how to live. We don’t even know what to do with downtime when there is no where to go, nothing to do.

Human relationships suffered a heavy blow, as some of us have not hugged or kissed those we would normally embrace. We have not traveled far nor visited some of our friends and relatives for fear of sickening them or ourselves. It has been a year of isolation, trauma, and loss.

So the new year of my religion is now. Is it time to celebrate and to plan ahead? Is their an urge to rejoice in our hearts? I can’t even attend services at my temple. I long for a return to community.

But, like all years past, including ones of job loss, the death of a loved one, divorce, or other setbacks, I will celebrate life. I have a ticket to live and that can’t be minimized and dismissed. Setbacks, losses, tragedies, and even horrible events – as bad as they are – cannot, will not, and must never stand in the way of pursuing the precious good in the world. There’s a lot of love, fun, and beauty to be experienced, at any age or stage. We must never let the past define us, or make losses any greater than they have to be. Embrace optimism, opportunity, and the wonders of life that await you.

It is hard to see beyond the smoke of a fire burning your house. It’s difficult to breathe when you are drowning from a storm’s devastation. It is nearly impossible to hear beyond the ambulance siren of injury, sickness, or death. But we will come through it. We must.

Sometimes the game plan is simply survival. Get to the next day. Build up your strength. Meet new people. Treasure life but hope and reach out for more. Get lucky by putting yourself into situations that can lead to good things. Life goes on and things will get better.

The Jews around the world celebrate the year 5781. If they can survive millennia of persecution and prosecutions, we can get beyond today’s state of affairs. Pogroms, the Inquisition, and the Holocaust in Europe. Slavery in Egypt. Anti-Semitism globally. In more than one era or nation, Jews have been jailed, beaten, killed, and vilified. If they can find hope in tomorrow and seek out happiness today, we all can follow their lead.

Happy New Year.


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. 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 The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby 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.

Do We Need To Re-Evaluate Which Words We Use When Marketing A Book?

 1984: George Orwell

2020 is the year of the cancel culture. For better or worse, everything is under microscopic review. America is re-evaluating its his history, police, politics, and films, as well as its brands, actions. and even its words. 

We know statues products law enforcement, sports team name, flags, and many iconic images cite being questioned, debated, and changed. All this stems from Black Lives Matter movement and the nation's awakening to fighting racism.

Many might cheer for one move  -- banning the use of the chokehold by police, or the removing of the Confederate flag at NASCAR events, but we also question if we have gone too far in calling for the Jefferson Memorial to be to be closed. That's all political and cultural, and those discussions will come for weeks and years to come. We can celebrate the name change of the Washington Redskins, and explore how companies can improve directly in the workplace, but do we also have to change the very words that we use?

PRDaily.com recently reported on a story that identifies five racially offensive phrases that it says PR pros should delete from their vocabulary. Does this border on some Orwellian approach to control a thought by changing our language, or is it a well-intentioned attempt to make us look deeply and thoughtfully about what we say and how it is heard? As George Orwell noted in his writings, language manipulation causes the downfall of great societies.

My gut instinct opposes attempts by the PC police to mess with our language. It will get to the point that we speak in code and no one will really know what we're saying.

Though language evolves over the years, no word should be off limits, should it? Intention, more than the word used,, is most important to judge whether one intends to be mean and ill-willed. The words themselves are nothing without context.

No word, by itself, means exactly what you may think it means. For example, take the word love. You can say "I love you" or you can say "I love to hate you." Two different thoughts, same word.

I can say "good job" in my daughter for acing her test. Or I can say good job to my fellow gang member for punching out a cop who almost arrested us. Same word,  different meanings. Context is everything.

If I call someone the N word, out of anger, that's different than two black people joking with each other while throwing the same word around.

Now, it is true that when we promote a book to the news media, we must act responsibly, professionally, ethically, and wisely. We cannot just curse or spew racial epithets in our communications, unless for some reason they are relevant and stated in a certain context. Even then, we must be very, very cautious.

But what are we bordering on bending over too much to be culturally sensitive? For instance, the article in PRDaily said not use "urban" or "inner-city." Why? Some say urban because they mean just that -- those who live in cities, as opposed to the suburbs. PR daily says it is code for racially stereotyping Black community. Urban is used by all people, similar to the way that awards like the Grammys have an "urban" category. So what should we say instead? It says use the term "metropolitan population" for city dwellers. If referring to the low income economic class, say low-income or the "high-need," although the latter sounds like people with disabilities or learning disorders. In our bid to move away from words that may have mixed connotations we further obfuscate our language and confuse each other over what we're actually saying.

I recall a movement a generation ago to get rid of terms like Indian giver or gypped, words that were rooted in racism or hatred of a group of people. Many people using these terms may never have thought of the words' origins and just used them to mean they got cheated. But over time, these words are rarely used.  Society is not worse off for it, though one should not be excoriated using them if they are in the right contact. Then there are terms that almost no one knew were linked to racism. PR Daily said no can do is not to be used now. People just use it as term to reflect that they can't do something, right? But apparently this term stems from Chinese immigrants in the 1800 who said no can do when they meant I can't do that. So, if we use it now, it is apparently perceived as a slight to the Chinese.

The article also noted "tipping point," "dreadlocks," and "grandfathered-in' are no-nos as well, again because of negative old attachments to them. It gets tricky when you look at any word's origins. So many words reflect their time's negativity. Will we eventually not even be able to use the words kill, Beat, hit, or conquer because they have to do with violence, war, and crime? We use them everyday in sports for instance, the Mets killed the Yankees 9-1. We use them in business. For example, company profits beat the expectations of Wall Street. We use them in our entertainment. For example, Beyonce has a hit song rise to the top of the charts.

There is no easy answer here, other than we should not purposely look to offend people while understanding words alone, depending on context and intention, are not being used offensively. If we really took apart our language we will lose more than a few words. We will endanger our ability to communicate and still fail to remove real thoughts or seeds that are racist and harmful.

 

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. 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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Interview With Inspirational Author Linda A Olson

 


  1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?

I had trained in this area through workshops, seminars, and Bible Studies for several years. While attending a 3-day Writer’s conference, I recognized how many more people I could reach which inspired me to put my material into a book. My God-given mission is: To Impact A Million people a year through story. This is one avenue.

 

  1. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?

My target reader is Kingdom Entrepreneurs & mission-driven people; anyone who wants to personally grow to impact many more people.

Love Your Story gives you everything you need; tools, strategies and practical tips to address the area where your greatest power lies: knowing your identity in Christ. You will discover: A simple pathway to your true identity, who you are in Christ, How true champions are created, Strengths you didn’t even know you had, The favor on your life, Practical tools to rise above every challenge and soar and much more.

  1. 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?

No matter what you face, you can be an overcomer if you remember who you are in Christ. It is why the Angel Gabriel told Mary, “You are highly favored by God” before He shared his purpose for coming to visit her.

 

  1. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? I encourage you to invest most of your time, energy and money into enhancing your message which is your story as opposed to perfecting your writing skills. You can hire someone to enhance your story skills but no one can tell your story like you can.

 

  1. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?

Self-publishing has clearly taken over the book industry and it will continue. With the competition continually on the rise, and people’s time being so limited, the trend is shorter books, & higher quality to get the attention your book deserves. Less is More.

 

  1. What challenges did you overcome to write your book?

I needed to be confident this was something God wanted to write as opposed to my own ego getting in the way and secondly if this was a message He wanted me to communicate through a book that my faith to provide the financial investment had to bigger than my fear.

  1. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?

This book will give you the simple tools to lay the foundation for everything you do in life. Once you allow God to define your story, what was seemingly impossible will become possible and you will impact more people than you ever imagined. It is definitely a must purchase!

Linda Olson is the author of Love Your Story, Let God Define Your Story To Be The Champion You Were Meant To Be  She is a TEDx speaker, Story Empowerment coach, and Founder of Wealth Through Stories. She is known as the 2-minute Story Whisperer who helps you find, create and hone your story into two minutes or less. Her mission is to impact a million people a year through story. See more at: www.wealththroughstories.com

 

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https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-bestseller-code-for-authors-books.html

 

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached

at brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas

expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him

on Twitter @theprexpert. 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.