Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Marketing Ethics

Marketing and promoting a book has many challenges today. We battle increased competition in an overcrowded marketplace and are taxed with the challenge to make something ordinary and old sound unique and new.  But all of that aside, there can be many ethical challenges for today’s publicist and marketer.  Here are some questions that are bound to arise:

·         Should you promote a book that is bad or boring?
·         Can you promote an author that you don’t like?
·         Should you promote a book that you disagree with?
·         What if the author and you disagree on what the talking points should be?
·         How do you promote a book that you know is not as good as 50 others in the same genre?
·         Should you say an untruth to promote a book?
·         How do you give enough time to promote each of the books you’re assigned to work on?
·         Should you suppress or avoid the truth while promoting a book?

Before you formulate answers to these questions, consider what your overall ethics and morals are.  Once you have a sense of who you are and what you stand for, you’ll be able to tackle questions in all areas of your life – professional, personal, business, political, relationships, etc.  Your role as a book marketer is an extension of you and not an isolated part of who you are.

Factors that may weigh on your decisions and ethical choices include your:

·         Fear of losing your job or sacrificing the potential for advancement.
·         Risk of angering others or feeling alienated.
·         Legal ramifications.
·         Tolerance for guilt.
·         Religious beliefs.
·         Peers do, say or think.
·         Risk-reward for action, opposition or inaction.
·         Education level.
·         Access to all of the information/facts.
·         An understanding of your choices and options.
·         Attitude, mood, mental state, or emotional state.
·         Past experiences.
·         Ego/pride/entitlement.
·         Sense of right-wrong and hierarchy of values.
·         Level of awareness of a dilemma even existing.
·         Sense of loyalty or allegiance to a person, place, thing or concept.

What would you choose to do in any of the above listed situations? Think about it now so you will know how to act when these situations arise.

Interview With Author Ethan Evers

1.      How does it feel to have written a book that became an amazon best-seller for medical thrillers? It's a great feeling because I know that I'm getting my message out to a lot of people. I hope it changes the way they think. I know it has for some, because they told me. 
2.      What is the book called? What is it about? The book is titled "The Eden Prescription" and shows what might happen if an all-natural cancer treatment ever got close to clinical trials which would publicly validate it. There is a battle going on behind the scenes now, the scale of which a lot of people don't understand. On the one hand, pharma companies will sell about $80 billion worth of chemo drugs next year and you can imagine they're motivated to keep that going. On the other hand, the science behind natural medicine for cancer has advanced at a revolutionary pace in the past ten years. There are now over 250 active clinical trials testing cheap, non-patentable natural medicines against many different cancers, with several breakthrough results already reported. Any of them may pose a direct threat to Big Pharma's cash flows, and there are already signs of organized efforts to slow natural medicine down. I go into great detail about this in the bookin a fictionalized way, of course. Believe it or not, two similar revolutions in natural medicine occurred before and were completely snuffed out: one a century ago, the other thirty years ago. I know this because I spent five years researching natural medicine in order to write this book.    

3.      What advice do you have for authors looking to breakthrough? Write about something that you are passionate about, something you desperately want to communicate to the world so you can change it for the better. Then write with excellence. Don't fall in love with a favorite scene, character trait or even sentence. If it doesn't fit in the story, get rid of it or park it for use in another project. If you have to spend six months rewriting the first half of your book to make it shine, do it. Don't ever compromise on quality. You owe it to your readers and to yourself.

4.      What do you love most about being a writer? I love the pure creativity of inventing people, places and events, and then being able to talk through them. I also love the feedback I get from readers. One said the book inspired her as she went through cancer treatments which included a component of natural medicine (which worked, by the way). 

5.      What do you make of the book publishing landscape and how it is changing? I first looked into self publishing about six years ago before it really took off. Since then, the scale of this industry has grown far beyond what I ever imagined. I published my book probably as that industry was peaking. Now there are so many Indie publishers and self-published authors trying to sell their works, it is extremely difficult to have my voice heard in the crowdeven when my book has been awarded a Kirkus Star. It's hard to compete with books that are being given away for free, something which was unheard of just a few years ago. But I also sense the public is becoming more discerning with regards to quality. Where and how to find it is the key question, and right now I don't know how to answer that.  

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.