Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Hunger Games Of Book Publishing

I love The Hunger Games franchise as a moviegoer. For all those who insist, “the book is better than the movie,” I think you’re nuts. Sure, a book is a great vehicle to tell a story – but come on, a Hollywood production of an action adventure has no peers!

But I’m not here to compare films vs. books. The Hunger Games could offer a message to those in book publishing that can resonate for years to come: cooperate with those you compete with.

You may see the movie as being about courage, or a rebellious and reluctant warrior, and about a totalitarian government that would sacrifice innocent lives of the many so that the select few could enjoy life to gluttonous proportions. Indeed, it is all of that. But it’s about how those who are literally trying to kill one another first team up with each other.

Authors may see one another as competitors – for shelf space, readers, media attention. But the enemy is not an author. It’s everything and everyone else that threatens to suck the time and wallet of the consumer dry. All other forms of entertainment threaten authors, not the books of the other writers.

Before authors need to fight each other they must band together to get consumers on their side.

Many authors know the way to book sales, awards, recognition, and media coverage is to lean on other authors to help. This is especially true with social media. Many bloggers are authors, and in addition to hawking their books, they help fellow authors promote their works, hoping the kind act will be reciprocated.

How can authors help one another?

·         Share information and resources
·         Offer constructive feedback, solicited or otherwise
·         Brainstorm with each other
·         Network with each other offline
·         Offer tips and strategies
·         Exchange contacts and refer professional help (editors, cover designers, promoters, lit agents)
·         Review their books on your blog or exchange guest posts
·         Tweet out their blog post
·         Connect with one another on FB or LinkedIn
·         Write testimonials for each other
·         Purchase something together, such as ad space
·         Lean on them for moral support

One thing that’s different from The Hunger Games, where only one remaining player wins, and all else lose, publishing has room for multiple winners. In fact, there’s room for thousands of authors to enjoy successful careers. Perhaps by working with each other, more authors will experience true success.

Interview With Author Marjorie Hopkins

What type of books do you write? Thus far I have written Christian books and children books.

What is your newest book about? My newest, and only published, book is Dying to Meet Him - Wit and Wisdom from a Funeral Director's Wife.  It is Christian's perspective
on death and dying and overcoming the fear of death/dying. The back of the books states: "Are you excited about  life? That's great, but did you know that Scripture actually warns us to think about death? In the Bible we're told that '[D]eath is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart' (Ecclesiastes 7:3, NIV). Do you take death to heart? Do you have eternity as a mind-set? Life is terminal, yet it seems the one thing we don't want to think or talk about is death the only certain thing in life!"  In this book you won't find a story that is woven throughout each chapter with a hero/heroine, a plot, and a nail-biting conflict and conclusion. You will find a series of short stories that can stand alone but yet have a common theme running throughout them -- the theme of thinking eternally vs. the here and now of this world. This is a busy world and most of us have hectic lives with little time to spare for luxuries like reading and deep thinking. I have kept that in mind and made this book a short, easy read -- one that you might be able to complete in a morning or afternoon over a cup of coffee -- but I hope and pray that the messages inside are eternal ones. I pray they are ones you will remember throughout your life so that the passage from this here and now life into the eternal life is an easy one and an anxiously anticipated one -- so that you will truly be dying to meet Him! Check out the trailer for the book at:  and the web site at

What inspired you to write it? Well, it was more like Who inspired me.  I believe God led me to write this book. I have always wanted to write since before school days and
I finished my education with a B.A. degree in English Composition from
DePauw University, a small private university in Greencastle, IN. I am a free lance writer as well as a book author. Writing gives me a natural high.  It is a passion for me.

What is the writing process like for you?  The idea for this book came very rapidly.  I wrote down chapters and what they were going to be about. I really felt it all came from God. However, I would write for awhile and then get discouraged thinking it was no good and I would
put the manuscript away for a year or two and then get it out and think, "Well, that's actually not too bad"!  So I would begin again and that whole process continued for many years. Usually the writing process is not that painful for me. I usually have the story composed in my mind before I even begin to set it to paper. I get the "flow" of the story and then begin to write, adding in details.

What did you do before you became an author?  I have done a variety of things from becoming the wife of a funeral director  to co-owner of an exhibition fireworks, indoor pyrotechnics and special effects company that did such shows as ABC Monday Night Football, Opening Ceremonies for the World Gymnastics Association, NHRA national drags, RCA Consumer Electronics, and on and on--all across the country.  I always say that having that business for 15 years was a real blast!  I know. I know.  That's bad! I have also been Associate Director for the McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship at DePauw University and a development writer for Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a private engineering school in Terre Haute, IN.  I am also a farm girl.  Grew up on a large grain farm back when farms were farms and not big businesses. I currently do inspirational speaking engagements, too. I think I can claim to be a very well-rounded individual!

How does it feel to be a published author? It feels very good. I feel very blessed.  I always said that if the book helped only one person, then I would claim it as a success. I can claim it as a success! Plus, I have something to hand down to my children that I am very proud of.

Any advice for struggling writers? Keep writing and never give up. Write about things you know and are passionate about and that will make a difference for the good in others.

Where do you see book publishing heading?
Well, certainly electronically--it's already there. But I know I still like to hold the physical book in my hands, so I'm hoping I'm not alone there and that book printing never becomes extinct.


Here is my 2014 Book Marketing & Publicity Toolkit: Based on 20+ years in publishing --

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, 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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