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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Finding A Good Hook For Your Book




The news media, to make a general statement about the needs, desires, and proclivities, of media across all mediums – digital, print, audio, and visual – needs one thing:  a good hook.

All media, local or national, big or small, old or new, needs to have interesting stories for its readers, listeners, viewers, or followers.  With such stories, the media outlet establishes itself as a reliable source of content and positions itself for advertising, subscriptions, and other benefits.

So what’s a good hook?  One that appeals to a particular media outlet.  A good business story may not work for a health magazine or a sports radio show, but a juicy political story can work for Time, Politico or NPR.  So rule one:  Know what types of story a specific media outlet and editor/producer would even consider.

Here are some potential hooks you can develop for your book:


  • Offer a how-to angle.  Show us how to do something useful, interesting, or desired – and do so in a way that’s better than others who talk about this.
  • Share a secret –but make sure it’s something people really value and want to discover.
  • Expose an injustice or a lie.
  • Counter a myth and show how people have been wrong about something.
  • Solve a real problem – champion the solution.
  • Be critical of something in the news, show a problem exists that wasn’t fully known about, or speak out against the establishment on a timely topic.
  • Discuss a button-pushing topic like sex, religion, or politics in a unique or controversial way.
  • Lend insight on news of the day.
  • Be the first to say something – or say something that’s been said before but in a distinctive way.
  • Say something that’s so counter intuitive or opposite popular beliefs – and declare your own truth.


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The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

Step out of your book marketing prison

Do authors have the right attitude to succeed at book marketing?

While popularity of social media grows, traditional media still leads the conversation

Authors should see book marketing like going to a gym regularly

How to model success of authors for your own book publicity

How to be persistent when marketing books effectively

How authors convince media of their uniqueness

Authors should zoom in on book marketing now

How authors can communicate better when promoting a book

How authors can sell more books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

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 ©2019. 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.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Book Market Braces For Expired Copyrights Of Classics To Flood Internet


Related image

Thousands of books will enter the public domain in 2019, including classic works by iconic writers such as Marcel Provst, D.H. Lawrence, Agatha Christie Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, and Rudyard Kipling.  A large body of works will lose their copyright this year, which means some author estates and publishers will not make as much money as they used to, while the public will be saturated with a variety of editions to choose from and they will likely be available at cheaper prices. 

As a result, some of these books may get greater exposure with more publishers hawking their editions.

Why the sudden surge of books losing their copyright status?  According to The New York Times this “traces back to legislation Congress passed in 1998, which extended copyright protections by 20 years.  The law reset the copyright term for works published from 1923 to 1977-- lengthening it from 75 years to 95 years after publication – essentially freezing their protected status.”

So what’s wrong with that you say?

Plenty.

No. 1, writers – or likely their estates – will no longer control the content.  This means that anyone, for any reason, can republish the work, write unauthorized sequels or spin-offs, or even alter the original book.  As a writer what protects your legacy?

No. 2, the writer and heirs should still cash-in on the works.  Why should they suddenly have others selling their product and seeing money they should be getting go into someone else’s pocket?

No. 3, now free copies of the book can circulate.  Just post an e-book of a 1923 classic and give it away.  Do we need more free books flooding the marketplace?  Google Books, which has more than 30 million works scanned in its vast online digital library, can now release its newest ones from the past, including Tarzan and the Golden Lion, and Edith Wharton’s A Son at the Front.

“Publishers are right to be concerned about a proliferation of unreliable editions, some of them probably not very good,” said John Kulka, the editorial director of library of America, a nonprofit that publishes American literature, classics, according to the Times article recently.

The Prophet and the Zombie, a slim book of spiritual fables, was published nearly a century ago and has sold nearly nine million copies.  This January 1st it entered the public domain.  Anyone with a smart phone or laptop can start selling it – or giving it out for free.

In 2021, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby comes up for an expired copyright.  Next year Billy Budd, The Magic Mountain and Winnie-the-Pooh’s When We Were Very Young will be in the public domain.  

Just think, in 2115 your book published this year will be available to all -- and you won't earn money from it or have a say in your legacy..


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Authors should see book marketing like going to a gym regularly

How to model success of authors for your own book publicity

How to be persistent when marketing books effectively

How authors convince media of their uniqueness

Authors should zoom in on book marketing now

How authors can communicate better when promoting a book

How authors can sell more books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

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 ©2019. 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, January 19, 2019

Can You Design & Craft A Hand-Bound Book?




My wife and kids like to make home-made pizzas.  They taste pretty good, too.  I suppose one could say:  Why bother?  Just go to your local pizzeria and get a pie for 15 bucks – or less.  But there’s something about making something on your own, by hand, that still appeals to people.  This may hold true for those interested in making their own books.

In a new book, Bookforms:  A Complete Guide to Designing and Crafting Hand-Bound Books, created by The Center for Book Arts, readers are treated to a comprehensive manual for making books by hand, with a focus on functionality in design.

Bookforms presents all the instruction one needs to craft a book by hand, showcasing an array of historic bookbinding styles from all over the planet.  It is for professionals and hobbyists alike, tackling a wide range of projects.  It traces the functional roots of each structure, explains their appropriateness for various uses, and provides projects for making an essential structure for each style of binding.

“The objective of Bookforms is not only to provide you with a solid foundation that can be built upon, but more importantly to demonstrate the inherent artistic qualities of bookmaking as a multi-disciplinary art-making form,” says Alexander Campos, the director of The Center for Book Arts.

“We want you to understand books as creatively as possible,” adds Campos.  Bookforms will become an invaluable resource to you as you grow familiar with the different tools, materials, and structures and learn to master the tools and materials you need to bring your brilliant ideas to life.  Bookforms is a window into fine craft.  It will give you an insight to the world of bookbinding and to the binder’s line of thought, helping you to think as a bookbinder.  Emphasis was put on the intersections between the craft of bookbinding and the work of the book artist.”

Bookforms, published by Rockport Publishers (January 22, $30, 176 pages, hardcover, ISBN:  9781631596056), an imprint of The Quarto Group, covers many topics, including: how pamphlets and accordion books are assembled, the secret to crafting multi-signature books, how non-adhesive bindings work, and how the worlds of fine art and bookmaking merge together. 

So why is Bookforms a noteworthy book?  Just ask Lydia Anderson, the marketing manager for The Quarto Group:  “I think people just love books, and many recognize that they can be works of art, booklovers and artists alike can be interested in making their own.  And to that end, it’s directed at artists who wish to explore the book as object, and also booklovers who wish to fully understand the craft that goes into making one.”

The Center for Book Arts in one of the few contemporary arts organizations dedicated to the art of the book.  Founded in 1974 in Manhattan, it was the first not-for-profit organization of its kind in the nation, and has since become a model for others around the world.  The Center promotes active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object.  It facilitates communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary visual and literary arts.  They achieve their mission through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting.


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The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

Step out of your book marketing prison

Do authors have the right attitude to succeed at book marketing?

While popularity of social media grows, traditional media still leads the conversation

Authors should see book marketing like going to a gym regularly

How to model success of authors for your own book publicity

How to be persistent when marketing books effectively

How authors convince media of their uniqueness

Authors should zoom in on book marketing now

How authors can communicate better when promoting a book

How authors can sell more books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

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 ©2019. 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, January 17, 2019

What The Media Wants From Authors Today




While authors and publishers seek to promote their books, every single day some 3,500 new books are published or self-published.  That’s five books every two minutes.  Only a fraction of those books are promoted to the news media, competition is fierce to get the attention of journalists, bloggers, podcasters, and producers.  Here’s what you need to know to even have a chance of influencing media coverage for your book.

In order to garner media exposure for your book you need to fully understand what the media is looking for, how they like to be approached, what turns them off, and what they want and expect to receive from you.

1.      Understand The Media
Even the biggest media outlets don’t have a lot of resources dedicated to covering books and authors.  News rooms have been slashed by declining ad budgets, decreased circulation, viewership, and listenership, and changing media consumption habits of consumers.  Understand that short-staffed, overworked staffs need things presented to them in a concise, neatly packaged manner.  You have to do the leg work to bundle a story for them. Do not expect them to spend hours tracking sources down, reading your entire book, and meditatintg on how they can cover you.  If you don’t make an obvious case for yourself, they won’t probe any further.

2.      What The Media Wants
Each media outlet has several key concerns.  First, how do we scoop the competition and increase readers, listeners, followers, or viewers?  Second, does a story match with our advertising demographics (will your story appeal to the types of people the media outlet hopes to sell ad space to)?  Third, will a story go viral or get more attention because the subject of the story (you) has a large online following?

3.      Is The Story Easy/Cheap To Cover?
The media’s slashed budgets means that their smaller staffs lack time and budget to cover stories.  If you can help them produce a free or low cost story, this will appeal to them.

4.      Do You Offer Something New, Unique, Timely Or Unusual?
The media seeks differentiation, not just more of the same.  It wants what it has not yet covered or what competing media outlets have not yet gotten ahold of.

5.      They Want What Sells
The media wants something that either involves its core beats – crime, politics, business, sports, weather, entertainment -- or it wants what pushes buttons – sex, religion, weird stuff, scandals, or a violation of ethics that offend us.

6.      News Before It’s News
Timing is key.  Talk to the media about your book BEFORE it’s officially published – not months later when other media has covered it or it ceases to be considered news.

Interesting Random Factoids


How To Read & Why
“Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?

“Ultimately we read – as Bacon, Johnson, and Emerson agree – in order to strengthen the self, and to learn its authentic interests…

“The pleasures of reading indeed are selfish rather than social.  You cannot directly improve anyone else’s life by reading better or more deeply…

“And yes, though the moral decision cannot be made merely by reading well, the questions of how to read and why are more than ever essential to help us decide whose work to perform.”
--How to Read and Why by Harold Bloom

The Importance Of Unread Books
“A person’s library is often a symbolic representation of his or her mind.  A man who has quit expanding his personal library may have reached the point where he thinks he knows all he needs to and that what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.  He has no desire to keep growing intellectually.  The man with an ever-expanding library understands the importance of remaining curious, or open to new ideas and voices…

“The sight of a book you’ve read can remind you of the many things you’ve already learned.  The sight of a book you haven’t read can remind you that there are many things you’ve yet to learn. And the sight of a partially read book can remind you that reading is an activity that you hope never to come to the end of.”
--New York Times Book Review October 14, 2018

Library Of Alexandria
“The Royal Library of Alexandria or Ancient Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world.  It was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts.  It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, with collection of works, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and gardens.  Alexandria was considered the capital of knowledge and learning, in part because of the Great Library.  The library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum of Alexandria, where many of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world studied.

“The library was created by Ptolemy I Soter, who was a Macedonian general and the successor of Alexander the Great.  Most of the books were kept as papyrus scrolls.  It is unknown precisely how many such scrolls were housed at any given time, but estimates range from 40,000 to 400,000 at its height.

“Arguably this library is most famous for having been burned down resulting in the loss of many scrolls and books; its destruction has become a symbol for the loss of cultural knowledge.  Sources differ on who was responsible for its destruction and when it occurred.  The library may in truth have suffered several fires over many years.  In addition to fires, at least one earthquake damaged the city and the library during this time.  Possible occasions for the partial or complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria include a fire set by the army of Julius Caesar in 48 BC and an attack by Aurelian in the 270s AD.”
--Wikipedia

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Book Trends For 2019



Step out of your book marketing prison

Do authors have the right attitude to succeed at book marketing?

While popularity of social media grows, traditional media still leads the conversation

How to model success of authors for your own book publicity

How to be persistent when marketing books effectively

How authors can sell more books

Celebrate National Thesaurus Day

Have You Set Your Book Marketing Goals?

The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

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 ©2019. 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.