Thursday, October 3, 2013

Authors Need Their Twerking Moment

In case you haven’t been online, watching TV, or reading a newspaper over the past month, Miley Cyrus (singer/actress) made headlines when she “twerked” on MTV. The dance is a sexually suggestive one that instantly changed the way people see her. She no longer is a Disney actress or the daughter of singing legend Billy Ray Cyrus. She is now more Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Miley is now synonymous with outrageous.

It was a calculated move on her part. She wanted to break free of her good-girl image. There’s more money in being a bad girl. Besides, sex sells and Miley is just shaking her way to the bank.

Whether you believe in her dance style or career choice is not the issue here. What you can take away from this is that Miley found a way to turn heads -- literally -- and take an already high profile and place herself way up the fame chart. Authors should think about how they can have their twerking moment, a defining highlight that gets people to focus their eyes on them.

Does this mean an author needs to shake her ass to get some attention? No, of course not. But making a catchy video, blogging something controversial, or making some envelope-pushing speeches would help.

Some authors just don’t want to have to do tricks to get others to read them, and I can understand that. A book should speak for itself. However, in order to get someone to notice the book exists; authors will need to do something explosive to draw attention to it.

So what can an author do to get attention? Let’s examine what typically gets attention:

1.      Sex/Beauty/Fashion
2.      Animals/Pets
3.      Money
4.      Celebrities
5.      Sports
6.      News
7.      Family/Parenting/Children
8.      Faith/Religion
9.      Health & Fitness
10.  Humor
11.  Technology
12.  Disaster
13.  Nature
14.  History/Politics
15.  Birth/Death

Now think about how you might be able to combine some of these push-button areas, but please no sick combinations like sex and animals. Now add in things like emotional triggers, location, images, and other motivational factors.

They key is to create something new, unique, different, or simply outrageous. Push the envelope. Making a risky video or a strongly worded blog is worth doing, especially if you are a relative unknown. You have little to lose. In order to get yourself heard, you need to be loud.

This doesn’t mean you have to sink to the lowest common denominator or be sleazy, cheap, rude, nude, mean or disrespectful. It just means you can’t quietly comment on something. You need to go all out and take a stand on something. There’s no neutral gear in book marketing -- you must always have your foot on the gas pedal.

Not sure what to do? Start by looking at what already gets attention. See if you can use core common threads that link high-view videos or top-click blogs. I know you can't just be a talking head discussing why your book is a nice read.

Miley is twerking it. So can you. Find your twerking moment and you’ll never look back again.

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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 He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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