Monday, June 30, 2014

Interview with Author JS Foote

What is The Heart of Annie about? 
At its core, The Heart of Annie is about damaged people reengaging in life.

What makes your writing style unique?
I try to be very conscious of the fact that readers are choosing to spend time with my book, when they could be do a number of other things. As a result, I try to leave something on every page that will make it worth their time to have read that page. As a result, I find my books to be page-turners with readers. I get that comment quite a bit, which makes me happy, because it was by design. 

What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to read a good love story, so instead, I wrote one.

What are readers looking for in a novel these days?
There are so many types of readers, it’s really impossible to answer that. I try to write for a reader that wants a smart, entertaining novel – a diversion from a hectic schedule, but a piece of work that touches them. 

What challenges did you face when writing your book?
My biggest challenge was allowing myself to write the book.  I had taken time off from the practice of law to write a book and it felt like such an indulgence. Especially at the beginning, I kept having to convince myself that this wasn’t a huge waste of time.

Where do you see book publishing heading in the future?
I think you will always have the big houses, but I think more and more writers will self-publish, and soon (if not already), it will be the first step in starting a career. More and more, I think the big houses just won’t take a chance on a first time author. Hopefully, as self-publishing grows, more vehicles will be created to gain exposure for your book though, and the good books will rise to the top.    

How to get a bylined article published – and promote your book!

Excerpts from Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the World through Doing Good by Shari Arison

“There is so much suffering in the world – poverty, illness, death, destruction. Most of us tend to blame our hardships on something outside of ourselves, something beyond our control. I know I did. Financial situations, breakups, health issues… many things we all seem to suffer through at various points in our lives. Of course, everyone experiences setbacks, and some difficulties are out of our control – but in order to grow, does it always have to be intensely painful?  Where does suffering really occur? I believe it’s in our minds, in our hearts, and in our bodies. However, there comes a day – and for each of us the timing is different – when we say, “No more suffering!””

“My day came, my light bulb lit up, when I realized that my suffering was from within. Really, think about it: Where do you “live?” I know that I live in, and view the world through, what I think and what I feel.  That day, I made the conscious decision, the conscious choice that I did not want to suffer anymore. That was when I started living. That’s when I acknowledged that I was creating my suffering, and everything outside of me was just a “learning ground.”

“First, doing good builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Second, doing good makes you a leader and an inspiration to others. Third, doing good brings out your very best attributes. And fourth, doing good brings you more happiness and joy to your life.”

“One lesson was loud and clear: Life dishes out trials and tribulations to all of us. The question is what we do with them.”

“When we focus instead on the collective good rather than destruction or confrontation, we bring healing energy to the human race.”

“What positive solutions can you come up with to create the world you would rather have? Remember, we are all one. “

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 © 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Burden Of Being A Book Promoter

Many people have stressful jobs.  Some are stressful because a life is on the line (police, fire, ambulance, doctor), or because one’s liberty is in jeopardy (lawyers, judges, paralegals).  From working at a fast food restaurant to being a politician, Wall Street broker/banker, or a car salesman, many people work under duress.  But the book promoter works under not only a stressful environment (you always need to produce results), but under a burdened frame of mind. 

He or she feels the needs, desires, setbacks, and defeats of his or her authors.  Book promoters are drained at the end of every day from constantly trying to convince someone to believe in them.

Book publicists have to spend time and energy to convince an author that everything will be fine, that the PR campaign will be a success.  The author often brings baggage of doubt and defeat, mixed with fears and a lack of confidence.  Or worse, they are overzealous, demanding and expecting things without investing the effort or resources to make them happen.

After the book promoter gives his author a pep talk, answers questions and spends time putting together an update on outreach and production, he has to now tax his brain to come up with fresh ideas and new pitches for the media.  Then he invests time investigating and searching for new media outlets and additional media contacts at each one.

Next up: pitching the media and dealing with being ignored, strung along or denied a positive response.  Now you go back to the drawing board to again devise a new pitch and a new list of people to contact.  And when you struggle to get some momentum in your favor, expect a call or email from the author wondering how things are going.

You put on your therapist’s hat and begin to again reassure your author how a breakthrough is imminent and not to give up hope.

But who is cheerleading the book promoter?  Who is infusing him with a much-needed burst of inspiration and hope?  How does the book promoter refuel and build up his optimism, fortitude and conviction?  What happens when the book promoter feels exhausted and defeated?

Suddenly, when it seems like the campaign has lost its mojo and is floundering or stagnating, a funny thing happens.

The promoter gets a lucky break, in part from perseverance.  He gets angry at the prospect of being beaten in this giant game and puts a little more effort and edge to his outreach and follows up aggressively.  He dismisses the voice of fear or failure and rises above his streak of shortcomings.  He asserts who he really is – a book promoter who gets results.

And when he breaks through and the media hits start to flow the way rivers do after a heavy rain, equilibrium is restored and the book promoter feels validated, if not vindicated.  He longs for a parade, the hero’s welcome.  Then he’s met by an excited author asking about additional media placements and new story angles.

The book promoter is burdened by his boss, his author, and his own ego to produce and be the star flak he was meant to be.  But he also feels like the world is on his shoulders, for if his writer is to succeed it’ll come down in large part on the publicity generated for the book.  The fate of the author’s book – and even writing career – hinge on every email, phone call, and book mailing of the book promoter.

Book publicists play in the World Cup every day.  It’s a never ending tournament that poses younger and more energized opponents.   The great promoter must have a thick skin to rejection by the media, whines from the author, and commands from his boss.  He has to be resourceful, creative, assertive, and confident – otherwise he becomes just an ordinary person.   In his mind, he’s a hero and a winner, a soldier who always has his eye on the prize – no matter the challenges, risks, and opposition.

Today’s book promoter is burdened most when he cares – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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 © 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It’s Hard to Sell Books To H.S. Dropouts

The book industry is always looking to grow, thinking of how it can sell more books to more people. But one thing stands in its way and it’s not Amazon or the Internet. It’s high school graduation rates. They are low and indicative of a big problem.

In New York state, where almost 1 in 16 Americans reside, the graduation rate for freshman to complete high school in four years is 74.9%. It’s up from 74% from a year ago, but before you celebrate, look a little further.

According to the Wall Street Journal, only 37%, by the state’s definition, of students who started high school in 2009 eventually achieved scores high enough on regional exams in math and English to show they were ready for college and careers.

Students who struggle with English as a second language as seniors have a graduation rate of 31%.

Though the statewide rate is nearly 75% -- which still means 1 in 4 are left behind—certain cities are doing poorly. New York City only has a 61.3% graduation rate, Buffalo 53.4%, Syracuse 48.8% and Rochester at a paltry 43%. The fact that standards are diluted to begin with doesn’t make this look any better.

There’s a big disparity in race graduation rates. 87% of whites and 81% of Asians graduate on time, but only 60% of African Americans and 59% of Hispanics do. The education system is in a crisis to produce students who are not only functional but who can meet the demands of today’s job marketplace.

And we need people who can read well and love to read, otherwise how are we feeding the book world’s need for new, voracious readers? We can’t import new readers. In fact, immigrants are the ones struggling with our language and likely are not the ones buying up a ton of books.

Should—and can—the book publishing industry help to improve our education system?

Certainly, publishing takes literacy seriously, but can they really partner with schools or parents to make a real difference?

It seems that in order to have a healthy reading community we’ll need to introduce books early and often in a child’s maturation period. It’s not enough to get young kids reading books over watching TV or teens to read instead of playing video games. We need to turn out competent, passionate, and vibrant readers. Books are the fruits and vegetables of our mind—and the lifeblood of society and the publishing industry. Read a book and buy one for another.

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 © 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Interview With Australian Sex Author Sabrina Rogers-Anderson

Sabina discusses her recently published book, A Fantastic Sex Life... And How to Get It!

1. How does one get a better sex life? For something that's supposed to be so enjoyable, we spend an awful lot of time worrying about sex. Are we doing it right? Are our skills up to scratch? Are we too young/old/fat/skinny/hairy/bald? My goal is to help people take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the ride. I truly believe that's the first and most important step towards achieving a fantastic sex life. While everyone enjoys different things in bed, there are certain skills and techniques you can learn that are pretty much guaranteed to please your partner until you figure out their little idiosyncrasies. I teach those in my book!

2. What type of person gets the most sex? There's not one category of person that consistently gets the most sex. I interviewed a whole bunch of people of all ages and from all walks of life for my book, and even I was surprised to hear what some of them had to say! A young, handsome single guy I spoke to told me he didn't have sex nearly as often as he'd like because he didn't want to have sex with just any girl - he wanted to have a real attraction and at least a possibility for it to go further. That was refreshing to hear! And then there's the mother-of-two (now three!) who has sex with her husband six times a week. Lucky lady! Whether or not you have a lot of sex is influenced by a number of factors, including your relationship status, age, priorities and sex drive.

3. Is having mediocre sex more often as important as having it less frequently but more intensely? No! We need to stop focusing on numbers. I don't believe there's a set number of times a week that people should be having sex - that's nonsense! It's totally normal for the frequency with which you have sex to go up and down depending on where you're at in your life. I used to think I'd always be the kind of girl who greeted my husband at the door in sexy lingerie, but we have a young baby now and we definitely don't have sex as often. But we know it's a phase and neither of us is unhappy about it, so we're not worried. I think telling people they should have sex a certain number of times a week is not only unrealistic, but it puts a lot of pressure on them and makes them feel inadequate. Quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to sex. As long as you feel satisfied with your sex life, who cares how often you're doing it?

4. How did you research your book? I spoke to dozens of people - men and women, young and old, single and married, with children and without - to find out what types of obstacles they had encountered in the past or were currently facing when it came to have a fulfilling sex life. I then researched solutions to the most common issues people face in order to help them overcome them and have the fantastic sex lives they want and deserve.

5. With the increased demand for erotica and romance books, spurred in part by 50 Shades of Grey, will we see an increase in the sex lives of book readers? I hope so! I think it's wonderful that erotica has hit the mainstream. Sex is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about - we all do it, so we should feel comfortable talking about it openly. I highly recommend reading erotica either on your own or as a couple - it can definitely fuel your fantasies and your sex drive!

6. Where do you see the book industry heading? Digital is the way of the future - people want to be able to read books on their mobile devices. I still haven't been able to let go of my good old paper books though! There's nothing quite like the feel and smell of a good book. I hope they stick around.

For more information, please see:

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 © 2014

The Pink Tile Approach To Book Publicity

My wife and I bought the house that we reside in over a decade ago. From the move-in day, no, the date we went to contract, no the very first time we saw the house, she mentioned how she wanted to update the upstairs bathroom. It had the original pink wall tiles that looked like someone threw-up Pepto-Bismol all over. She got her wish—just a week ago—after we figured out we could do it inexpensively and with less effort than we originally thought it would take.

There’s a lesson in all of this, one applicable to life in general and more specifically to those who are promoting and marketing a book.

Whereas we thought the only way to rid ourselves of the 1949 tiles was to tear them off the wall and replace them, we only recently learned there was a way to recolor them and have them look good as new—for a tenth of the replacement cost. Perhaps you have to see your book publicity efforts the same way—sometimes you need a makeover and it doesn’t have to be a radical one.

As I saw pink turn to pristine white, the bathroom was transformed and suddenly it looked and felt different. No one would ever know that under the thinnest layer of white resides another era, another look. Your book publicity can also use a scalpel or a brush or a new approach—and with just a few changes—could really take off.

So what kind of changes could you make that would get you on course for success?

1.      Look at what you have been doing and note what hasn’t worked or is missing. Start to do things differently. If you find you rely on only using social media to promote, branch out to traditional media or other marketing efforts, such as book signings.

2.      If you find you rely on one method of outreach, such as email, switch it up and take to the phone, and in some cases, make a personal visit.

3.      You might love your website but maybe something looks ugly, confusing, or lacking when others view it. Make some changes and see if they make the user experience better.

4.      You may have a good pitch for the media—or so you think—but if it’s not getting you results you need to switch it.

5.      When you are doing book signings or speaking engagements and you think you should be selling more books, make an effort to help get a bigger crowd. Also, retool your presentation—maybe you don’t say something that inspires a person to buy. Perhaps you give away too much information for free. Maybe you never smile and need to throw some smiles in.

6.      Look at how much time you put into promoting your book. Do you need to increase it? Many authors think about PR and talk about it to others, but often don’t spend as much time actually doing PR.

7.      Maybe you just need a break. Take a few days off if you have been working hard almost daily to make PR magic happen. Sometimes doing nothing is something.

Though I was able to get the bathroom my wife finally wanted, it did take too long to come about. Either I was too cheap to do it initially—and could have had the last 10 years to enjoy it—or I was not investigating enough o discover the alternative approach sooner. Learn from my mistake—don’t wait to fix your PR campaign. 

Explore your options, take action—and then be prepared to make additional adjustments. 

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 © 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interview With Author Sandra Rose

What is the book about? The Seductive Schoolhouse Scandal is inspired by true events.
In one of the poorest cities in the country, a corrupt school administrator stole from students, defrauded the district out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and retaliated against those who reported his actions before justice was served.

What inspired you to write the book? As one of the whistleblowers in this school corruption case, I was harassed, intimidated, and threatened by the guilty party. Followers of this event knew what transpired, but the general population did not know what those who cooperated with district and state investigators had to endure. I refer to this time as 'the dark years of my life'.

What was your profession? I was a schoolteacher, at all levels, and a literacy specialist.

How did you feel when your book was published?  It was exhilarating to see the first copy of my book, especially my portrait on the back cover. 

What advise do you give to struggling writers? I advise struggling writers to persevere, especially when looking for a publisher. As a new writer, I contacted several hundred publishers until I found one to publish my novel. During this journey, I took the advice of several
publishing companies along the way.

Where do you see the future of publishing? I think self-publish and digital books are our future.

For more information, please see:

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 © 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Message That Breaks Through The Clutter

Tuning out ads is something the newest generation does well. The 20-somethings are used to the blurred combination of editorial and advertising. Are they just simply used to ignoring a lot of content, no matter what the message is?

There’s so much distraction and noise out there. Screens are split between content and scrolling bottoms giving sports scores, stock prices, news bits, and ads. When you watch a sporting event, every phase of the game has a sponsor. When you download a video you usually endure a 10-20 second commercial. When you comb through FB posts or blogs, there are ads galore. It goes on and on. How many of us are numb to it all? How good are we at separating paid content from legitimate content? How good are we at seeing the difference between editorial and opinion-filled news?

It’s getting harder to promote and sell a book, not just because books compete with so many free or interesting content products -- music, movies, etc — but because there are so many messages being thrown at us. Our brains are cluttered and bombarded by a constant flow of information, solicitations, and demands. I have a headache thinking about it.

So how do you break through the clutter when promoting a book?

1.      First acknowledge the reader-consumer is truly overwhelmed, distracted, and flooded with choices. Keep your message simple, targeted, and easy to embrace.

2.      Say something that gets people’s attention and then back it up with something substantive.

3.      Make your pitch with the understanding that people are overexposed to information and offers. Make your content memorable and fresh. You can’t merely deliver something similar to others—you must be better!

4.      Connect with people at a time or place where they are more open, and less guarded. People are used to being sold something. Come at them in a way you don’t seem to be selling anything.

5.      Make yourself for one thing. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, go with your strength and keep sticking with a core message that resonates with others.

      Lastly, don’t contribute to the problem of clutter. Elevate standards and only produce quality content that gets attention and helps others. When you say or do something just to get people to pay attention, you may have spent too much time on making an impression, rather than trying to help others.

      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 © 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

What Should You Say In A Guest Blog Post?

To get media coverage in today’s world of book publishing one of the things the more successful authors do is write guest posts for many blogs who are open to accepting content.  So just what should you say in these posts that will serve your goals?

First, I recommend that you pursue as many of these as possible and to accept all offers.  Further, you should respond quickly to all offers and follow-up with your post within the deadline given to you.  If the deadline is open-ended, give yourself no more than a week.

Second, recognize the value here.  You get to say what you want, usually unedited, and speak directly, with passion and conviction, to the readers of another blog.  These readers are your target, otherwise you wouldn’t have approached the blogger or been asked to submit a piece.

Third, always write an original piece.  Bloggers don’t want recycled stuff - that hurts their Google rankings and makes them look like a provider of used content.  However, don’t think you need to write a completely different post than the ones you previously shared.   Just use the same themes and ideas and change the wording, the examples or the stories that you share.  Think ahead of time of a list of 10-25 topics you plan to write about and start to map out each piece.  If you end up not using them for guest posts, you can use them on your own blog.

Fourth, use the post to advertise your expertise or knowledge.  Say things that most don’t know, explain what they don’t understand, question the norms, and address their anticipated concerns or curiosities.

Fifth, reference your credentials in the piece – casually.  For instance, if you are a nutritionist and are writing about serving healthy snacks to kids, mention what you do for your kids (shows a connection), say that in your eight years of treating thousands of patients... (shows experience) or state an example of a real-life situation (shows relevance).

Sixth, where possible, provide attractive images with the post.  Ask if you can provide your photo and book cover as well.

Seventh, say something memorable, opinionated, funny, or controversial.  See the post as an opportunity to go viral or at least be shared with others.  You can only inspire people to send it to others if you say something attention-worthy.

Eighth, make sure you short bio is posted at the end of the blog, including your book title, name, and website or Facebook page, and email or Twitter handle.  You want people to be able to connect with you.

Ninth, don’t overload your piece with links or any commercial statements about buying you book.  People will logically take an action step if your piece is inspiring and informative.

Tenth, champion a certain voice that represents your personality and vantage point.  People want to feel they know you.  They want to like you and buy into your words.  You can do this by writing a friendly tone that gives currency to your message.

Once the guest post is live, you should:

·         Thank them for it
·         Tweet it out
·         Post on Facebook
·         Add it to your list of media placements
·         Consider offering the blogger a guest-post on your blog, if relevant

Next, start the process over!

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 © 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Interview With Book Reviewer & Author Myles Knapp

You review thrillers for the newspapers of the Bay Area Group. What do you believe makes for a great thriller?  A thriller that sells has to have great characters, a great story and enough momentum to keep you involved. Writers I talk with think tension, conflict and plot twists are critical but readers say things like, “I buy every Reacher book” or “When’s the next Dave Robicheaux come out.” Just the fact that I can spell Robicheaux without looking it up convinces me I’ve spent way too much time reading tough guy/tough gal books.

You have a new book that you seek to get published. How hard are you finding it to land a decent publisher?  At this point, I’m not convinced I know how to define a decent publisher. Of course there are the big five. And I suspect many, if not most, authors would love to get a 7 figure advance from a major. But is a typical first book author better of as a mediumish sized fish in a specialty pond working with great pros like John Raab at Suspense Publishing or Adam Chromy at  Moveable Type Management? Or being a smaller fish in Harper’s big pond? I don’t know. What I’m looking for in a publisher is a long term, mutually beneficial business partnership. My job would be to provide great writing and as much personal marketing – blogs, interviews, book clubs, speaking—as humanly possible. With the publisher providing higher level marketing, legitimacy, professionalism and distribution.

As the publishing world changes, I believe the agents, publishers and writers who get it right in the ebook arena are the ones who will have the best long term commercial success. But today, right now, finding a publisher who can provide editorial direction, extensive marketing support and get you into both Costco and Amazon is exceptionally difficult. Even establish writers are finding that promotional budgets and shelf space are shrinking.

It is important to mention that this is not a fault of the publishers. They need to make a profit in an increasingly complex and confusing business. One where no one appears to have figured out which key opens the lock on the chest of unimaginable wealth.

What are the challenges and rewards of bring a writer?  The best part of being a writer is reading something and saying to yourself, “This is GREAT, I wish I could write like this guy.” Then you realize YOU wrote it several months back. For me, those moments are golden. Working in my office, music turned up loud enough so I can’t hear the gas powered motor of the landscapers blow and go leaf sweeper, is the best job in the world. Just me, the music, my fingers and whatever part of my mind and the universe is in control of the keyboard.

As an author, the challenge is, “Is anyone going to buy this?” As a freelance commercial writer I wrote to order. Delivered the agreed upon ad, brochure or white paper, made the client happy, got a check. Under those circumstances, it is pretty easy to chug a couple of espressos, apply your rump to the chair and get typing.

As a novelist the pay back is a lot less assured. I’ve read over 5000 hard edged mystery-thrillers. My novel, Revenge School, is commercial fiction. As a book reviewer I have a good knowledge for what gets published and sells well. But, as a business guy I know that the sale is never made until the check clears.

Where do you see the genre heading?  There’s been a feeling in the industry that the modern day tough guy must be complex. Which seems to be a code word for flawed. And everybody seems to have read the MBA books about market segmentation and the need to be unique. Now we have heroes and heroines that are murderers, crooks, or have some type of unnecessary fault that makes them different. Carried to the extreme I’m expecting any day now to read about a new series featuring a gluten intolerant, serial killer, vampire and a heart of gold.

Complex characters can be interesting. But I don’t think that a quirk for quirks sake has actually resulted in commercial success. The classis heroes—Hercules, Superman, Superwoman—had weaknesses that made them interesting. They didn’t need weird flaws, too. I believe the genre is going to figure that out fairly soon. Then a bunch of characters that John Wayne would be proud to play will explode from books and movie screens all over the world.

What is it about thrillers that appeals to the masses?  Everyone has a place in the back of their mind where they believe that when the big bad guy attacks the school with an AK-47 they’ll run to the rescue armed with nothing but their Swiss Army Knife and blood stream full of adrenaline. Everyone wants to imagine themselves as a hero. Or at least imagine that they have friends that are heroic.

Tell us more about the diversified and successful career that you have had.  Like your readers, I’ve worked hard, had some luck and when I the time came to make a career decision, I tried to make one that resulted in fun, challenging work that brought money into the house and was good for my family. Thankfully most of my choices turned out well.

International high tech businessman. That was cool. Got to live in Europe and Asia.

Advertising guy. One of those unusual advertising guys who worked almost every job in the business. Wore nice suits and worked with Fortune 500 companies on marketing strategies. Shredded ties and started writing. Did ads for gasoline, car tires, allergy filters, software. Even successfully made surge protectors sound important and fun. Laughed a lot.

Realtor. Helped wonderful people find nice places to raise their families.

Marketing consultant. Helped one client hit their five year sales goal in just six months. That helped create good jobs for a lot of nice people.

Book reviewer. Meet some great authors. Read books I like. Write positive reviews for as many books as possible. As a policy, I only review books I like. Even though I’ve spent eons reading tough-guy-tough-gal-takes-on-the-world-and-wins-books, I don’t feel right piling recycled food on another author’s dream.

Where do you see book publishing heading?  As the amount of video options has expanded from three TV networks, to hundreds of cable TV networks, to thousands or millions of internet broadcast networks, the importance of writers increases. No writer, no show. Even “Reality TV” has writers. And the importance of books and short stories as fuel for scripts becomes more important than ever.

In the not too distant future we will see shorter books that are serialized for web consumption. The web folks and bloggers all seem to be focused on “fresh, new content of about 500 – 600 words.” This seems to be driven by Google algorithms. “Fresh, new, short” content appeals to search engines. So daily episodes from a favorite authors can’t be far behind.

Sadly, right now Google can’t tell the difference between 500 words of great content and 500 words of pure drivel. When Google figures that out quality writers will inherit the key to the chest of unimaginable wealth.

I can’t wait.

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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 © 2014

The Amazon Threat To Capitalism, Creativity, And Jobs

Amazon is an amazing company, one to admire even if you disagree with how they treat the book industry. They’ve become the company people love to hate—but it hasn’t hurt their business. They just keep getting bigger and bigger. Now they want you to see them as a smart phone company, as they are about to start selling phones shortly. They also want to become your default wallet, as they take on PayPal with the launch of their own third-party digital payment system. There’s no end to which industry or line of business Amazon not only wants to break into, but just simply break.

How long will it take before the government takes action against the company that wants to sell all things to all people? Amazon is too big not to fail. As much as I fear a world where Amazon continues to treat the planet like Mr. Potter sought to control an entire town in the class movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, I wonder what a post-Amazon book marketplace and consumer landscape would look like.

Even as I wonder how we live with—or without Amazon—they are releasing new products and services. They have taken on Netflix with video streaming and now are challenging Apple with music streaming. Aside from their spat with Hachette over book pricing, they now tussle with Warner Home Video. Amazon refuses to sell movies like The Lego Movie and 300. Is there no end to this?

I simply don’t think Amazon plays by the rules, especially when you look at how it has not been charging sales tax so it can undermine physical retailers, and how it prices books and products at below cost, hoping to use the loss leaders not just to attract business but to put other businesses and entire industries out of business. Its stock is hugely overpriced compared to any standards used to evaluate value, and its increased use of robots to replace workers is troubling. For all that, they are burdensome.

It is further troubling that they treat books and publishing like a commodity, and not a valued art form. But above all else, I fear Amazon because they are so good at what they do and have consumed a lot of power in a lot of industries. They are the biggest threat to capitalism since the Red Scare in the 1950’s.

It doesn’t surprise me that some love Amazon. As a consumer, why wouldn’t you? Low prices, immediate availability, free shipping. There are even some authors and publishers that like Amazon, though they are shortsighted and somewhat clueless when one looks at the big picture. To stop Amazon, and one day they will fall mightily, it will take consumer backlash and industry boycotts.

It remains to be seen when and how these will unfold, but eventually, people will say enough is enough.

CHECK THIS LINK OUT: How to quit amazon and shop in a real bookstore

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 © 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

35 Websites For Those In Book Publishing

There are millions and millions of websites circulating in cyberspace. Which ones should you be reading and checking out? As an author, publisher, or book promoter, you may want to focus your attention on these 35 sites:

1.      Publishers Lunch
2.      Publishers Weekly
3.      Publishing Trends
4.      Shelf Awareness
5.      GalleyCat
6.      MediaBistro
7.      GoodReads
8.      NetGalley
9.      Edelweiss
10.  Writer’s Digest
11. Scribd
12. LibraryThing
13. shelfari

If you want to read news and commentary, try these:

14.  The Huffington Post
15.  Salon
16.  Slate
17.  Matt Drudge Report
18.  TED
19.  Gawker
20.  TMZ
22.  Mashable
23.  Talking Points Memo
24.  The New Yorker
25.  MSN
26.  Next Draft
27.  BizzTek

For major news, check these out:

28.  CNN
29.  USA Today
30.  New York Times
31.  BBC
32.  Wall Street Journal
33.  Fox

If you need a laugh, please see:

34.  The Onion
35.  BuzzFeed

Of course, the first websites to pay attention to are your own, your competitor’s, and your customer’s.

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 © 2014