Saturday, February 28, 2015

Parasail Your Author Fears Away

As a writer, do some things look thrilling but scary to you?  Perhaps you are contemplating putting your idea for a book out there to publishers and literary agents, but the fear of rejection is overwhelming the potential reward of being published.  Maybe you are considering plunging into self-publishing, but your concern that it could flop supersedes the potential payoff of a book that gets embraced by readers.  Think of engaging in a book marketing or book publicity campaign, but the fright of spending time and money overcomes the possible benefits such an activity could deliver?

In life there are many times where we get understandably scared of something that looks like fun but then find a way to forge ahead so we can realize the enjoyment of  having done it.  And yet, many times we do get derailed and hold back.  We end up not taking that extra step to transition from point A to B.

Why do we fall short of the finish line of our quest?
·       We let the negative potential takeover the positive.
·       We only worry of “not accomplishing” instead of obsessing over how it’ll feel “to accomplish” it.
·       Whispers from those who failed to go where you want to go creep in and become the only sound you hear.
·       You start to diminish what you’re trying to do and downplay it to the point you render it meaningless.
·       You forget that you’ve overcome greater obstacles in the past.

My son knows about overcoming fear in the pursuit of a goal.

While on vacation in Key West this winter, my 10-year-old son looked around and with an adventurous spirit too big to fail – or see danger – he wanted to do everything that he saw a sign for – scooters, skydiving, motorboat, jet ski.  And as soon as he’d cross something off his list, like snorkeling, he was ready for the next thing, not fully grasping that he just did something for the first time in his life.  Next up: parasailing.

I was 31 when I first parasailed along the coast of a Ft. Lauderdale beach.  I hadn’t done it since, though it was a lot of fun.  Now my son was asking to go and I was happy to join him for his debut in the air.  All excited to go, he started to get nervous once on the boat.

He looked at the parachute and remarked: “It looks like it’s made out of a garbage bag.”  I concurred.

When the two teenage girls went first, he got antsy and said “This is crazy.”

As he put on the harness he asked if I was scared and I said “Yes, but it looks like fun.  We’ll be fine.”

We all need a dad to tell us whatever we are pursuing is worth doing, that we can do it despite the potential downside.  We all need to pursue our parasail.

When it was our turn we listened to the boat captains' instructions, which were pretty simple: “Hold on!”

We are seated on a harness that clamps on to something that holds us to the garbage bag-like parachute.  The boat picks up some speed and a bungee-looking cord attached to a machine on the boat starts to let some slack go and suddenly we are lifting up into the air, the way I imagine one has an out-of-body experience.

We kept rising until maybe 25-30 feet and then there was a pause.  They wanted us to wave to the camera that was held and pointed by one of the workers.  They of course easily sold us a $40 DVD of photos and video to capture the moment.  My son and I were too frightened to let go to wave.

We quickly, but seemingly gently, scaled higher, eventually climbing at least a few hundred feet into the air.  It seemed peaceful and quiet.  It was nice we had each other, not only to comfort one another, but to share in such an exhilarating moment.

As things below us seemed smaller, the immensity of the ocean and sky grew.  We had a true birds-eye view o the world.  I took a second to pause with full awareness that I was somewhere extraordinary.  It was worth the risk and the feel of fear.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Stripes Of Our Pets & Dr. Seuss

Lulu.  Buzz.  Spots.  Stripes.

That’s the dead pet roll call for the past decade – all since my son was born.  We still have Daisy, a sweet English Bulldog with some good bark left in her.  But we lost our most recent pet while on a family vacation and it always saddens me to tell my kids another living creature no longer resides with us.

Stripes was a fish who lived about 15 months, outliving Spots, another fish, by about 6 months.  The kids wanted fish.  I never cared for fish.  I only knew about goldfish that die after a week.  It amazed me to see Stripes live so long, though so short compared to humans.

I hated cleaning out his bowl.  I started out cleaning it once a week, then every other week, then once a month, and then every five weeks – or longer.  Ironically he died a few days after I cleaned his bowl.  Maybe living in squalor was better for the little guy and I screwed up by freshening up his house.  Perhaps he had a broken heart, waiting for his family to return from its vacation.  Who knows?

What do you do with a dead pet?  We cremated our pugs, Lulu and Buzz, and sprinkled the ashes at a pet cemetery. Actually, I think I have some of Buzz’s ashes in a garage.

Spots died last January.  My sons and I tried to dig up the ice-cold sand by a local beach and we were able to lower him in a box about a foot deep.  He’s so close to the water, but not quite swimming in it.

I remember when my childhood pet, a rabbit, died.  I biked him over to a park that I played baseball at and tried to bury him under home plate.  But the ground of winter was too cold to pierce.  So I left him on the plate – in a box.  I imagine he ended up in the landfill somewhere.

The whole burial thing – for humans – seems like a waste.  The land should be used for the living.  I can’t recall the last time I visited relatives in the graveyard.  I have their memories, photos, and for some, videos.  That’s how they stay alive and relevant – by thinking of them, talking about them, and living out their best advice.

Stripes, wherever you end up, thanks for being a loyal pet.  You were no dog, but you had a special way about you.

When we got word that Stripes was sideways we didn’t dare tell the kids until we got home.  Why ruin a vacation over something you can’t do anything for?

As the moment approached and my wife broke the news to the kids, they paused to say they were sorry to see him go, but in the same breath came requests for a replacement pet.  They entertained all kinds of creatures, including a fish and another dog.  As long as they don’t say cat, we’ll be fine.

Kids are resilient.  They have a lot of love to give and if Stripes isn’t there to receive it, they are ready to move on and give it to another pet.

Maybe we’ll consult a new book from Dr. Seuss, What Pet Should I Get?  Never heard of it?  The long-lost manuscript was uncovered by his widow, Audrey Geisel, and will be released July 28 from Random House.  By the way, don’t forget to celebrate his birthday – and National Education Association Read Across America Day -- on March 2nd.

When a pet falls it makes you think of all the pets that came before.  For me, there was Crackers, Dusty, Patty, and Tyrone – parakeets.  There were rabbits, goldfish, turtles and my first dog, Brandy, a basset hound that didn’t become mine until I was 26.  

No doubt there will be new pets – one pretty soon – and more deaths to come – and in between, great memories of the creatures we share our lives with.  Hug your pet tonight – or clean its bowl.  It’s the least you can do.  Goodbye, Stripes.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Victor Hugo: My Hero

When I celebrate my 48th birthday on February 26, I share it with one of my all-time  favorite writers, Victor Hugo. The French-born idealist was birthed in 1802 and went on to pen a number of classics, most famously Les Miserables. I have seen the play eight or nine times over the past 25 or so years, most recently in 2014 on Broadway. With each viewing I am left feeling  I need to go again. Should great writing satiate us or leave us wanting for more?

What I like best about his work, aside from loving every single song, is that it is filled with questions of morality, faith, human spirit, justice, and love. Few books or plays tackle so much, so well -- and remain so relevant a century-and-a-half later.

Below are some of the best lines from his masterpiece. I hope they touch you and make you think as much as they have impacted me:

“Even the darkest night end and the sun will rise.”

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful to live.”

“Not being heard is no reason for silence.”

“If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned!”

“A man is not idle he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.”

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

“He was fond of books, for they are cool and sure friends.”

“Before him he saw two roads, both equally straight; but he did see two; and that terrified him—he who had never in his life known anything but one straight line. And, bitter anguish, these two roads were contradictory.”

"The future has several names. For the weak, it is impossible; for the fainthearted, it is unknown; but for the valiant, it is ideal.”

“To die for lack of love is horrible. The asphyxia of the soul.”

“Let us study things that are no more. It is necessary to understand them, if only to avoid them.”

“There is always more misery among the lower class then there is humanity in the higher.”

“You can give without loving, but can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. and great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. and even loved in spite of ourselves.”

“Let us sacrifice one day to gain perhaps a whole life.”

“What is said about men often has as much influence upon their lives, and especially upon their destinies, as what they do.”

“For there are many great deeds done in the small struggles of life.”

“Faith is necessary to men; woe to him who believes in nothing!”


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

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 © 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Interview With A Playboy Editor & Author , Albert Podell

Albert Podell has been an editor at Playboy and national outdoor magazines and written over 250 articles. He wrote a new book that sounds fascinating: AROUND THE WORLD IN 50 YEARS:  My Adventure to Every Country on Earth. Here is an interview with him:

1.      Albert, what inspired you to write about your around the world adventures? My friends.  When I began my quest in earnest to visit every country in the world, I had no certainly at all that I would succeed because there were so many difficulties and obstacles, so I never thought of writing a book because I never knew if there would be any achievement worth writing about. I did send lengthy emails – I called them dispatches from the field – every couple of weeks while on the road, and after several years, my friends started to urge me to use them as the basis for a book because they thought they were interesting, informative, and exciting. When I completed my final country, more and more friends urged me to write a book so I could share my adventures and observations with the world. As I was starting to consider the idea, one of these friends, a magazine editor, forwarded a batch of my dispatches to a literary agent, Tony Outhwaite, a former Oxford University Press editor, who loves both foreign affairs and adventure, and Tony contacted me and told me he loved the dispatches and that if I wrote a book about my journey, he would definitely sell it. So I did, and he did.

2.      Which country did you enjoy the most or least? Why? I like Ireland the most because it is peaceful, relaxing, and safe  – unlike the last 40 countries I visited – and beautiful and charming. The people are warm and welcoming and mostly understandable, if they speak slowly. The women are lovely, the hiking and climbing in superb, and the elves are enchanting. It would be Paradise if only they would learn to cook a little better… My least favorite was the island-nation of Naura in the Pacific. It is a vast wasteland, devastated by years of rapacious surface mining of its once-huge deposits of guano. With those all exhausted, it has no natural resources, no industry, and little income. It is so small that I was able to bicycle around it in four hours, and there is so little to see or do there that it is boring and bland.

3.      What travel tips can you share with us? Far too many to fit in this space. But, if your readers are willing to spring for 99 cents, I recommend that they buy my Survival Guide for the Adventurous International Traveler, now available as an e-book, which is loaded with tips on planning, packing, preventing illness, avoiding the bad guys, and bargaining for souvenirs.. Among my top tips: Never stay in a hotel room in the tropics that has little red spots on the wall near the bed. (That room is open to mosquitoes, and previous occupants have squashed many after being bitten.).

4.      What were some of your more unusual experiences traveling? My strange visit to North Korea Eerie encounters with the spread of militant Islam Being forced to eat the brain of a live monkey in Hong Kong. Here are others:

·         Learning about the Dogon practice of female genital mutilation.
·         The relics of slavery and the Afro-American tourist experience
·         Attacked by flying crabs in Algeria
·         Blasting out of a minefield in Morocco
·         Traveling in Benin and Togo with a guide who was also a voodoo priest
·         Inside the Thai massage parlors          
·         Observing the plight of women in most of Africa and much of Asia.
·         Sandboarding in Namibia
·         “Selling” three New Zealand nurse to an Arab chief of police in Algeria
·         Tough traveling to Timbuktu
·         When Mongolia customs agents found animal skull in my suitcase
·         Tracking the golden bamboo lemur in the Ranofamina ainforest
·         Talking to the dead and turning their bones in Madagascar
·         Atop the floating islands in Lake Titicaca
·         Trapped between Cape buffalo, hippos, and crocodiles
·         Crashing into a wild boar and wrecking the car in Botswana
·         The night of the egg-laying turtles in Nicaragua
·         Swimming with the penguins and seals in the Galapagos
·         Attacked by a tiger shark in the South Pacific
·         The drowning nation (going under the ocean from climate change)
·         Searching for edible mice in Malawi and fruit-bat pie in Tonga
·         Almost drowning on a Costa Rican whitewater rafting foray
·         Eating rats in Ghana, anteaters in Panama, elephant dung beetles in Kenya
·         Stranded on Kiribati
·         Run-in with the guerrillas in Yemen
·         Grunting with the gorillas in Ruanda
·         Hunting with the nomads in Libya
·         Eating matzos with the Arab camel drivers by the Great Pyramids
·         Going back to Vietnam, after 48 years
·         Robbed in the Khyber Pass by al-Queda prototypes
·         Shooting a robber in Algiers, escaping across the Sahara
·         My failed hope for a longitudinal traverse of the globe
·         Breakdown on the Peak of Death
·         Inventing a sure cure for jock itch  
·         Dodging Ebola
·         Arrested in the Congo
·         Detained and interrogated by Cuban secret police
·         Diving on the Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon
·         Visiting Mogadishu, the most dangerous city in the world.
·         and my encounter with the amazing penis-theft panic in Kinshasa

As a former Playboy editor when will you pen a tell-all on the exotic jungle known as the Playboy Mansion? What a prescient question! I actually do that in chapters 1, 25, 26, and 27 of the sexual memoir I’m working on, now 80% written and tentatively titled  Pussy Galore, The Helpfully Hilarious History of One Happy Horndog. My literary agent, who is a very respectable and proper chap, considers the manuscript too hot for him to handle, so if there are any bold agents reading this, please contact me at

5.  What challenges did you have in writing your new book? Many, including:
·         The number of words, which had to cut from 196,000 to 120,000 to reach a reasonable price point.
·         Whether to tell each tale or chapter in the present tense, as it was taking place, to give it a sense of immediacy, or in the past tense, looking back on it. I ended up fudging and sometimes sliding from one to the other.
·         Whether to portray myself as an ultra-brave Indiana Jones or an honestly worried, and often scared, Albert Podell. I went for the latter and called myself “a cautious adventurer.”
·          Whether to leave out the all the lovely, friendly, safe countries from Switzerland to Taiwan to South Korea to most of South America so I could concentrate on the danger zones, which I did..
·          How to relate all the danger-filled episodes in their full terrifying impact yet not discourage readers from taking adventurous trips.
·          How to sustain the suspense in a book where the readers know from the first page that I survived and endured and completed the mission.
·          Whether to begin at the beginning and explain how I got involved in this crazy quest, or to begin with sheer adventure and work in the bio business later, which is what I did.
·          Whether to tell the tale chronologically, or to break the narrative for interesting and essential materials (which I did with chapters on what exactly constitutes a country and what weird foods I had to eat along the way.)
·          Whether to use a properly literary style or a more conversation one. I opted for the latter and tried to write it as a story told to my friends around a campfire  
·         Major battles with my editor, who wanted to take out all the sex
·         The sharp economic shift from earning $400 an hour for writing briefs as an attorney to earning, after four years of labor, less than ten dollars an hour as an author.
·          Finding a title that could encompass it all. I went from Between a Croc and a Hard Place to How I Survived to 196, to Adventure of a Lifetime, to the final title, Around the World in 50 Years; My Adventure to Every Country on Earth.

6. Where do you see the future if book publishing going?
Down, but not hopeless. Publishers need to realize that they are no longer isolated and insulated in a literacy enclave, but they are part of, and competing against, the entire spectrum of entertainment entities, from films and TV to video games, and the entire information industry, from blogs and podcasts to Wikipedia and social media. To face that competition, and get a solid market share of it, publishers need to change their stodgy ways, Specifically, they need to

·         Hire brighter, sharper people and pay them appropriately so they don’t go to work for hedge funds and cable networks. An office full of dowdy bookworms just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
·          Use market research, testing, focus groups, daily electronic sales reports from bookstore registers, SKU analysis, and every marketing tool used by every other business in the nation except theatrical productions, which operates solely – and usually unprofitably -- on ego.
·         Abandon rigid habits, antiquated assumptions, and formats that no longer work in the digital age.
·          Stop being so foolishly frugal; learn that you have to spend money to make money.
·         Understand that every book is special and has its own special market or markets. Be sensitive to that and position that book for maximum exposure to those markets most likely to be most receptive to it.
·         Do not overlook the audio book market, which has doubled in revenue in each of the last two years
·          Be less imperious and work more collaboratively with their authors, who know more about their book and its likely audience than anyone else.
·         Introduce the authors to those who will be marketing and selling their book and encourage a free exchange of ideas soon after the author is signed.

·          Learn the difference between marketing, merchandising, advertising, and public relations, and structure their organizations accordingly. 


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

The Sun Also Rises On The Hemingway House

They come to see six-toed cats.  They come to see a historical landmark that’s nearly 165 years old.  They come to see where a shipwreck salvation pioneer built  a home that was architecturally ahead of its time.  And visitors from all over come to see where Ernest Hemingway produced 70% of his legendary works.  The Hemingway House is something to behold, even if you are like me and don’t like the books of a man who won a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize and had numerous novels turned into movies.

I had visited the Hemingway House a number of times in the 1990s when I’d go visit Key West, which was then just a three-hour car ride from where I lived in Ft. Lauderdale.  I hadn’t been back in nearly two decades until I came down with my family for a vacation in mid-February.

Hemingway was many things I will never be – a hunter, a fisherman, a war correspondent, and a fall-down drunk who suffered from diabetes, bipolar depression, and a penchant for cheating on each of his four wives.  His writings come from his life experiences, and though one can appreciate the writings or lifestyles of others, I never really fell in love with the work of a man who would end his life prematurely with the help of a shotgun.  He was just shy of 62 years of age.

He wrote more than three dozen books and short stories and spent years writing for the news media.  He sounded like an interesting character and one who truly lives on the extremes – passionate about life and death equally.

But even after hearing one of the best tour guide speeches ever and being in the historic setting of his old house, I couldn’t muster up an interest in buying any of his books in the gift shop.  But I was amazed at how many people come to visit his house and pay homage to a man gone more than 50 years.  I would estimate there were at least one hundred people coming every hour.  It easily is visited by thousands of people every week of the year.  So if over 100,000 people visit annually – and 5% buy at least one book, he’ll sell better in death than most living authors.  Don’t forget he’s on school reading lists as well.

In fact, back in 1983 or ’84 when I was walking the halls of Murrow High School in Brooklyn, I had to read The Sun Also Rises.  My term paper reflected my disinterest in the book.  I thought the dialogue too simple, the story too slow.  My teacher disagreed, especially when I challenged him as to why this book was considered a classic. Lesson learned.  You get a C-when you speak your mind in school.

However, despite my lack of enthusiasm for his writings, I must admit I admire the career he had and I envy his following that’s fueled interest in 2015 for a man who died in 1961.

It is wonderful that we honor writers in such a way, by preserving their homes or creating museums dedicated to their works.  I recall going to see Margaret Mitchell’s home (Gone With The Wind), Ann Rice’s Home (Interview With The Vampire), Eric Carle Museum (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), and the museums and homes of other talented and revered writers.  It is the stories about our storytellers that cause fans and curiosity-seekers to flock in droves to such places.  People feel connected when they come together for a common purpose, such as visiting where geniuses created their works.

Will there be a Brian Feinblum House to visit?  What will be displayed and fawned over?  Will it show how I developed into The Book Marketing Buzz Blog blogger or the author of The Florida Homeowner, Condo, and Co-Op association Handbook?  Will it show a newsletter I handed out a college called Peace, Love & Democracy – or my online newsletter from the late 90’s, The Sunny Times?  Have I written anything memorable, anything that could outlive me?

We don’t need a physical structure to live the writings of another or to honor the ideas, sprit, and creativity that flowed from the author.  But it is making the world a better place when we keep talking about writers and encouraging a new generation to read the books that influenced so many who came before them.

Hemingway you may not have been my kind of writer, but I applaud your efforts to write what you live, to pen what you know, and to influence the hearts and minds of millions from beyond the grave.  There should be more Hemingway Houses darting the landscape.


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Which Genre Is Best In Show?

I confess to getting a kick out of watching The Westminster Dog Show, even though I feel a bit guilty.  Why would I feel guilty watching a dog beauty contest?   I think it’s because I feel the animals are being used and manipulated in an unnatural setting.  Dogs should compete at their own levels, not under a human standard of dogness.

The way they “show” the dogs seems foreign to how dogs really interact.  We love that dogs run, bark, roll over for belly rubs, try to lick us, love to sit on our laps and be by our side.  None of these features are included in the judged event.  Instead, it’s a competition run by a bunch of stuffy snotnoses who believe they are qualified to be in a superior position to rate dogs on a subjective scale. We should embrace a dog's natural imperfections and not penalize them for being unmanicured. Their sloppiness and and doofiness is what we should hug.

This year the competition featured 196 dog breeds, which is weird because not even 20 years ago there were maybe 145 breeds.  The evolution of dogs is out of control.  Breeders are genetically altering our dogs and mixing breeds and certain physical traits that are not natural.  This has me wondering: Are we creating more genres of books the way society is breeding new dogs?  Is our genre explosion good for us?

It’s not enough to say you write science fiction books.  Are they post-apocalyptic adventures?  Are they futuristic stories?  Are they time-travel books?  Are they human vs. robot books?  It seems that every genre has its subgenre themes and categories.  If enough people tend to write on a type of topic, a genre has been created.

Mommy porn.
Lesbian vampire erotica.
Terrorism fantasy.

These are just some of the scores of mini-genres floating around now.  What makes a genre a genre?  Can a mini-genre belong to multiple genres?  Does everything really need to be labeled and catalogued to such a degree that the books in a genre get trivialized?

Drama, mystery, comedy, etc. just don’t cut it anymore.  We need to further classify a book to the point likeminded ones are clustered to form a new genre.  It would be akin to the supermarket not just having a candy aisle, but multiple sections for candy, each with it’s own distinct theme: gum, sucking candies, milk chocolates, chocolate with nuts or flavors, etc.

In the end, the best dog is singled out, and the same comes with books.  Despite a flurry of new genres, only a handful of books will be deemed “the best in show.”


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

What Is The Profile of American Social Media Users?

Social media consists of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Blogger and many sites that allow people to share information, post profiles, and connect with one another via different content from blogs, and tweets, to videos and podcasts.  Who is using all of this social media?

According to, 73% of US Internet users accessed social networking sites in 2013 – up from 67% in 2012 and 46% in 2009.  Internationally, the largest annual growth in social media usage came from India, a 39.1% leap from a year earlier.  Indonesia rose 18.9%, Mexico by 15.8%, Brazil 10.1%, China 9.8%, and Russia 8.3%. also says:
·         Women users on Facebook outnumber males, 7 to 6.
·         73% of those aged 30 to 49, who used the Internet, used Facebook.
·         Overall percentage of time spent on Facebook out of all social network time, in the US,, was 33.3% last year.
·         The most-connected age group on Facebook is 18-24 year-olds.  They average 649 friends vs. 277 connections for 35-44-year-olds or 129 for those ages 55-64.

According to
·         77.3% of Americans use the Internet.  Only 26.5% of the rest of the world uses it.
·         In early 2012, California’s 29.8 million Internet users led all states, followed by 17.2 million in Texas, 16.1 million in New York, 14.8 million in Florida, and 10.2 million in Illinois.
·         43% of all Americans used Facebook as of 2010.
·         As a percentage of a state’s population, the five biggest Internet users were, in 2012: New Hampshire (90.1%), 87.8% of NJ, 87.5% of CT, and 86.2% of Massachusetts.

According to Adweek, users aged 25-34 tend to be the biggest group of social networkers.  One in five FB users or 32.1 million people are in this bracket.  22% of Pinterest users, 21.5% of Twitter users, 32.2% of Instagram users and 27% of those on Tumblr fell into the 25-34 demographic.

Adweek predicts that the biggest percentage growth in users of social media will come from those 65 and older.  This age bracket will go to 16.6 million users from 14.6 million in the next year – a 15% jump.

How do some of the social networking sites compare to one another?  In 2015, Adweek estimated the number of American users for the following sites as:

Facebook 156.5 million
Instagram 60.3 million
Twitter 52.9 million
Pinterest 47.6 million
Tumblr 19.1 million


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fairness Is Overrated, Says New Book

I came across an interesting book from Nelson Books, Fairness Is Overrated: And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace, by Tim Stevens, a team leader at an executive search firm specializing in helping churches and ministries find great leaders.

The book launched January 6 and is sure to get some buzz just for its catchy title.  The author explains why a resume is worthless, how to guard against career-ending mistakes, why Facebook and Twitter should be used at work, and why it’s messy to work with friends.

Chapters include headings that include:
·         Live a life with margins
·         Get naked
·         Find leaders, not doers
·         Teams trump personality
·         The pain of growth
·         The five stages of failure

One of my favorite chapters is one about asking questions.  He says: “A person who doesn’t ask questions comes off as proud and untouchable.  There is an air of superiority that emanates from the know-it-all.  He or she may not know it, but others don’t enjoy being around someone who has all the answers.”

I certainly identify with one who always inquires about something.  There is always something to be learned, and knowledge invites more knowledge – and more questions.

Tim leaves us with dozens of nuggets of leadership nuggets, including these:

“Above all, leadership requires humility.  People will follow a humble leader anywhere.”

“Leadership is not an exact science.  If you do the same thing twice, it can be exactly right in one instance and the absolute wrong action in the next situation.”

“Great leaders balance the skills of believing the best in their people, courageously having course-correcting conversations, and spotting the next great team member.”

“Trying to be fair often produces a culture of comparison and jealousy.  The best leaders know that fairness is overrated.”

“There are four types of leadership: leading in (self-leadership), leading up (your boss), leading out (your peers), and leading down (those who report to you).  Every person, whether you are in the corner office or a cube farm, has responsibility for the first three.”

“That is why I want to build guardrails into my life; Mark Beeson, my good friend, calls them “rumble strips.”  Those are the bumpy grooves on the shoulder of a road that keep you from going into the ditch.  Without rumble strips, you could be in the ditch before you know it.

No one is going to put rumble strips in your life for you.  That is up to you.  Your rumble strips may not be the same as mine, and mine may not be the same as yours.  But everyone needs rumble strips.  It all begins with self-leadership; before we talk about leading a church or a business, we must talk about being a leader worth following.”


2015 Book PR & Marketing Toolkit: All New

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2015