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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Could Authors Just Write And Be Left Alone?

Many authors just want to spend their time and mindshare on writing.  Makes senses.  Writers write.   It’s their gift, their passion, and their purpose.  Yet, many know they need to promote and market their books.  So is it possible, in 2014, to be an author and not be very active in the publicity arena?

1.      Social Media
If you don’t tweet, blog or post on Facebook or YouTube, you do yourself a disservice because people look for you there.  Further, it’s a great way to get discovered.  But, that said, the next best thing is to hire someone to be your surrogate online and act as if they are you.  Cost aside, the danger is the surrogate says or does things that contradict the brand you want to exude.  So, can you just forget social media?  Yes, but it then puts more of an emphasis on other areas: news media, speaking engagements, direct marketing, etc.

2.      Traditional Media
The key branches are TV, radio, print, and online.  You can send books to reviewers and other media and then passively wait for a response.  It is not intrusive on your time, but not very effective either.  More emails and calls are needed, especially with non-book reviewers – feature editors, columnists, reporters – to get coverage.  Can an authoor ignore traditional media?  Yes, but they’d need to hire a publicist to fill the void, and even then, you’ll need to respond to interview and guest-post requests.  Could you avoid social media and traditional media?  Doubtful.

3.      Advertising
It is not cost-effective to advertise books unless you have a bigger pay-off than sales, such as branding or if you can sell a higher-priced service or product.  But if you won’t do social media or traditional media, advertising is better than nothing, provided it’s done wisely through Google, Facebook, etc.

4.      Speaking Engagements
Many authors are busy, shy, or lazy and avoid making public appearances, whether it be bookstores, libraries, events or speaking engagements.  Though speaking is a great way to sell books, it’s time-consuming to set up and execute, and it is not as important as getting media or social media.

If authors don’t promote their books – and don’t pay to promote or advertise them – little hope exists for a book to take off unless someone famous champions it.  So, sadly, the answer is no, authors can’t just write and be left alone.  They must participate in marketing or run the real risk of seeing their book ignored and silenced.

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


  1. Straight up. No BS. Thanks for the article. I am just starting out and I find that you are absolutely right. Writing a book is hard. Editing a book is tedious and even more difficult. Marketing is turning out to be the toughest part of all. When you have no money to spend, social media is the way to go. See my blog at

  2. You are absolutely right when you say that "if authors don’t promote their books – and don’t pay to promote or advertise them – little hope exists for a book to take off unless someone famous champions it." But you don't need someone famous to promote your book. I believe many authors are finding book subscription services such as those at or to be the most effective way to get your book in the hands of new readers and promote sales. I know an increasing number of authors to use both, allowing them to concentrate on writing books, and leaving the subscription services to market and sell their books. It's the way to go!

  3. It would be nice, though, to be able to just write, but there's other work to do.
    Thanks for tips.


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