Wednesday, June 25, 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

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