Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Book Marketing Like A Taxi Driver

While sitting in a yellow taxicab in Manhattan (No, I didn’t use Uber), it occurred to me the numerous similarities between how a cab driver goes about his business and how authors need to attack their publicity and marketing.  Come on a ride with me as I note 11 ways authors should promote books like a cabby.

1.      Be Assertive
Taxi drivers are not relaxed, passive, or conservative by any stretch.  They hustle to get fares and they literally cut corners to expedite their trips so they can get a new customer.  Learn from them.  Be scrappy and aggressive.

2.      Prepare To Change Directions
Taxis are always moving, but never in the same direction for too long.  You too must be out there and moving, but be ready to alter your course or methods.

3.      Be Ready To Apply Your Brakes
Sometimes you need to stop an activity and pursue a new one.  If a cab doesn’t stop, it can be fatal, and if you fail to see the stop signs to what you’re doing, you’re in for a crash.

4.      Anticipate And Be A Lane Ahead
Cabs always look ahead and see how they can negotiate traffic to position them to where they want to be.  They switch lanes often.  Survey your landscape and anticipate the roadblocks you need to navigate around. 

5.      Break The Rules – But Don’t Be Reckless
Cabs speed, fail to signal, and sometimes cut people off.  You too will have to push in ways that may seem like you’re pushing the envelope – just don’t run a red light!

6.      Know The Road Conditions
Cabs prepare to drive in bad weather, darkness, or lousy roads.  You should prep yourself for the bumpy road ahead.

7.      You Never Know Who You’ll Meet
Cab drivers never know who’ll get in their cab.  It could be a celebrity, a grouch or a crazy person.  They are prepared to talk to them to find out.  You too should talk to anyone and everyone everywhere, from supermarket lines to PTA meetings.

8.      Don’t Forget To Stop
All that speeding towards your goal sometimes requires time to pause, reflect, assess, and move on.  Cabbies have to stop in order to get a new fare and pick up passengers.  You may not pick up a passenger, but when you stop to take a break you might pick up a valuable idea.

9.      Fulfill Your Purpose
Taxis have a single purpose – to make money by taking people from point A to B, over and over.  Know what your purpose is – to market and promote your book to the targeted readers who would want your book.

10.  Use A GPS
Cabbies know the roads but always take along a GPS because they need a map to where they are going.  They can’t afford to get lost.  You too, need a road map.  Know where you’re going otherwise all that you’ve done is go nowhere fast.

11.  Time Is Money
Just as taxis often charge based on a meter (time and distance traveled), think of your own meter.  Put a value to your time and make sure you spend it wisely. 

One other similarity between cabbies and authors – aside from the mediocre pay and long hours – is that they are both called “hacks”!


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

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