Friday, October 24, 2014

Promote Your Book Like Ebola

Instead of living in fear of a pandemic, learn from the Ebola scare and realize the obvious marketing lesson here: Things can spread virally – quickly and easily.

Ebola was flown into the US and suddenly two more got infected (the nurses treating the patient).  They easily could have infected hundreds or thousands of people.  One nurse flew on a place with 150 people, unprotected.  Someone else who treated the Ebola victim went on a cruise with 1400 passengers.  Do the math.  Just a few can spread it to many more and then any of those can each spread it to more, and so on and so on and so on.

What scares us about Ebola should be embraced as book marketers and promoters.

Do the math.  If you have 1000 followers via all social media platforms and you give them something so moving and amazing- or you incentivize them so highly – and they each share something from or about you with their followers (and if each had 1,000 followers), you’d reach one million people.

Yes, think about that.  If you email something to 1,000 people – or tweet to them, call them, visit them, mail something, or use FB or some other platform – and they love what you sent AND feel compensated and incentivized to send to their lists, you will quickly reach one million people.

But we know it doesn’t work that way.  Why?

1.      We fail to reach all of our connections.  An email to them may only be read by 50% or fewer.

2.      Of those reached they weren’t moved or motivated to go out of their way to directly reach out to their followers.

3.      There wasn’t a strong action step being asked of people, such as visit a site, buy a book, or connect to you.

But if you could take a moment and think about doing something that would truly rally those in your social media circle, you could spread your message faster than Ebola infects people.

Just as Ebola is reportedly spread by direct contact, such as blood or bodily fluids, it takes a certain level of contact to infect others with your message.  You simply cannot tell people to do something.  You must touch them deeply and tap into their emotions, desires, fears, wants, needs, and dreams.  What can you give, say, or do that will mean something to another but not bankrupt your available resources!

Always look to elevate your game.  Why shake hands when you can hug?  Why hug when you can kiss?  Your marketing is the same way.  You are seeking love out there, not a casual high-five.

When you get dressed, different accessories or quality of clothing will influence the level of attention that you get.  Clean clothes make a better impression than dirty ones.  Matching is better than not.  Certain colors, fabrics and styles are more attractive than others.  Brand labels and shiny extras add up.  Throw in a manicure, pedicure, a nice hairstyle, and some perfume or cologne and you have someone you could be drawn to.  Dress up your marketing the same way.

Think of doing something and then look to one-up it.  Plan on offering a discount?  Make it worth their while.  Ten or 20% off means nothing.  Looking to send out an email?  Use color, visuals, appealing typeface and bold headlines to truly look inviting.  Whatever you have to say, say it with impact and style.  Determine if you are going for humor, sincerity, or some other message and then pour it on in that direction.  If you’re gonna get wet, take a shower.  Don’t do something halfway or half-assed.  Be what you want to be and take ownership of it.

Your message has to be constructed with the idea that the recipient needs to care.  Just because you wrote a book, no one gives a shit.  But if you explain your book solves a problem, entertains, enlightens, or helps them, they may listen.  Further, if you put in a time-sensitive action step, they may do something now.  Additionally, if you not only promise there’s a valuable pay-off in getting your book – at a discount – but you give them a reward or prize, you may just win them over.

The reason fears of a pandemic soar when there is a small outbreak of things like Mad Cow Disease, West Nile Virus, Bird Flu and Ebola is because diseases know that things can spread, very easily, very quickly.  As a book promoter, you need to embrace the same techniques, and instead of killing off the masses, spread the word to millions about your book.  You can’t infect everyone, but rather, those you reach out to need to do their part to touch others.


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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