Friday, November 18, 2011

What’s So Great About Your Book?

When you tell another person about your book, what do you say that will convince them to buy it review it, or read it? Do you say it with a confident look, a strong voice, a smiling face?  What you say and how you express yourself means everything when communicating about your book.

First, take your audience into consideration.  What are their wants/needs/desires?  What is their knowledge or experience as it relates to books, your genre or your specific topic?  Appeal to them on their level.

Second, make short, concise statements as to what the book is about – don’t use sales copy to bullshit someone. Get to the heart of it – and fast.

Third, identify whom you feel would benefit from or enjoy the book.  Do not say it’s for everyone.  Narrow down the demographic and identify who they are.

Fourth, compare it to other popular titles – gain interest by linking to other best- selling titles – but also explain how yours is better or different. People don’t want to think your book is merely like something they already read – they want to feel yours adds something to the conversation.

Fifth, appeal to someone’s emotions, sense of justice, their family, their passions.  Talk to people on their level, with what’s on their mind.  You can’t sell what you have; you offer what they’re willing to buy.

Sixth, highlight three key aspects about your book and present them with a memorable punch line, slogan or sound bite.  Don’t just say something - make a statement. Use your words to craft a visual, to capture an image or idea that you can take ownership of.

Seventh, dare people and challenge them. Raise questions, shake things up, and find the thing that you can champion.  You can’t be just as good as others, or similar, or comparable – you have to find what gives you an edge and use it to get you where you want to be.   Be controversial, be outspoken, be first, be what others don’t expect and above all, be willing to change your message to fit the moment of opportunity.

Goodbye, Regis!

I suspect we haven’t seen the last of octogenarian Regis Philbin, but today was his final day at the nationally syndicated show he originally began doing just for ABC in New York City 28 years ago. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records for having appeared the most hours on TV – over 17,000. No one has been named as his permanent replacement, but Kelly Ripa will no doubt share the stage with someone. No one comes to mind who is quite like Regis. He came off as a likeable guy who always joked around and spoke his mind He represented the ordinary guy but to do what he did, day in and day out, and have the loyal following for so many years is anything but ordinary.

Interview With Author Helen Benedict

1.            What inspired you to become an author? Being a misfit child who loved to escape into the magic world of reading. I wrote my first novel at eight -- writing is all I ever wanted to do because I loved the worlds that other authors created, all I could learn from them, and the ability to fly into other lives and skins. 

2.            What do you like most about being a published author? Moving my readers. Spending time in my imagination. The thrill of feeling a story pour out of me, and of finding just the right words to tell it. 

3.            What do you find most challenging in the process of promoting your book? Penetrating the murky world of getting a book reviewed in this time of diminishing newspaper pages. 

4.            What advice do you have for struggling authors? Persist, persist, persist. And find other writers for company.

5.            Where do you think book publishing is heading in five years? Perhaps to electronic, but actual books will never go away, at least not for another generation. People love books too much -- the way they look and smell and feel. 

6.            What was your most recent book about? Sand Queen is about two women on opposite sides of the Iraq War, and what war does to the human soul, to relationships, and to one's humanity. It's also about two young women simply struggling to survive, and the human spirit of resilience.

For more information, please see:

Please read my prior blog entry about Bill Maher, and an interview with Princeton University Press ePublicity Manager Jessica Pellien

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.

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