Many authors come to me, asking, no, telling me they should be media superstars and feel perturbed at not yet having made it big. This especially happens when authors have had successful careers and feel they have good credentials to designate them as a leading expert in their field. But rarely do authors want to examine specific factors that play a role in their ability to get publicity.
· How good is your book, especially compared with the competition?
· Just how unique is your message or viewpoint?
· How do you stack up to other experts on your topic, including non-authors?
· Is the timing right or did you miss your window?
· Are you willing to do heavy lifting and pay handsomely for a professional publicist?
· Are you more ego-centric and less concerned about helping others, solving problems, or supporting legitimate cases?
Many authors fall short of generating a quantity of publicity or quality media coverage. They do too little, too late. They try to go it alone or mistakenly rely on their publisher. Often they need to hire a publicist, but must choose wisely.
Authors are not grounded or realistic. They are often wildly ravenous for media exposure. They want the attention, the validation, and the book sales. But they must crawl before they walk and walk before they jog, and jog before they sprint. Some authors want to sleep all that and win the decathlon without training.
Part of the problem is the media itself. Too often we see outrageous instances of a stupid video getting a million views and going viral out of nowhere. Or we read about an odd story that gets picked up by every newspaper and magazine. Or someone writes a book and hits the best-seller list and every author looks at this and claims: “I’m just as good – if not better – than them.” It’s like someone sees a guy win the lottery by playing his cousin’s birth dates and plunks down 50 dollars in tickets in hopes of replicating the feat.
The lure of the media is just too tempting to ignore. It seems obtainable and it can be so rewarding when one gets their 15 minutes of fame. But the process of getting media exposure is like trying to win a carnival game: It looks easier than it is – and many factors conspire against you.
There is only so much media to go around but the number of published books and authors seeking publicity seems to be growing. The competition for the attention of the media and reading public is fierce.
Authors often feel they aren’t as famous, influential, or successful as they should be. They blame their publisher. They blame their publicist. They blame a dumb public. They blame the media. And each of them may play a role, for sure, but it really begins with the author.
Is the author:
- Egomaniacal and not realistic?
- Not actively pushing the book because he believes the “great” content should sell itself?
- Not doing a variety of things to promote and market the book?
- Lazy when it comes to the use of social media?
- Pushing a book that is flawed or mediocre at best?
- Promoting eggs when people want bacon?
Authors deserve to have the widest possible exposure for their books but they compete with one another and when millions of books are flooding the marketplace, few will get to stick out.
Many books don’t need to become best-sellers or sell 50,000 copies to be a success. But if you’re looking for the media to turn you into a star, don’t expect fame and glory until you examine all the factors that can impact and influence your marketability.
Interview With Author Ima Bratt, In character
What type of books do you write? My books are best suited for mature children and/or childish adults.
What is your newest book about?Although the title is a bit misleading, my book "Rather Unpleasant CAUTIONARY TALES for Ill-Mannered & Immoderate Children" is a collection of rather unpleasant cautionary tales for ill-mannered & immoderate children.
What inspired you to write it?I like to think that the stories I relate help to prevent potentially good children from becoming potentially wicked children that left to their own devices become potentially wicked adults. Heaven knows we don't need any more of those. You see, it’s not about making a name for myself, it's about creating a better world. But please, there's no need to thank me, really... I do it for the children.”
What is the writing process like for you? Well, in order for me to write my shocking exposés, first I have to stalk...I mean “observe”, potentially wicked children in their own habitat. This requires that I wear disguises, and in some cases camouflage, to avoid discovery. This is often a very grueling undertaking and, if I'm crouching in the bushes, can cause cramps. Other than that, I'd say my process is much like that of other writers- I sit down with my notes in front of the computer, down a box of Ho-Ho's in less than 60 seconds, and then riding the sugar high I type furiously until I crash and pass out. That, I believe, is how classics are born. Dr. Suess must have had an enormous Ho-Ho bill.
What did you do before you became an author? I lerned how to spel.
How does it feel to be a published author? Quite thrilling actually. But I won't let it go to my head; I've vowed never to forget the little people.
Any advice for struggling writers? I've heard that the more you struggle the faster you sink...move sloooowly.
Where do you see book publishing heading? Albuquerque.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013
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