Friday, May 1, 2015

Authors Can’t Take Slip & Fall Approach

Many writers work hard, not only at their craft, but to market and promote their books as well.  Yet, some authors don’t try hard enough, or worse, they look for an easy way out.  For a number of writers, they approach book publicity and marketing like a slip-and-fall con artist.

The other day I was walking home from work to catch a train at Grand Central Station.  I came upon an alarming landscape.  A man was lying in the gutter, eyes closed, arms outstretched like a cross, on his back.  A cab was less than a foot from him.  I asked bystanders what happened.  Several said he hit into the cab.  I said, “You mean the cab hit him?”  They said no, he fell/walked into the cab as he was turning the corner.  It was a fake accident.

The guy in the street was hoping to get a payoff from his shenanigans.

The man in the street had several french-fries in his right hand, holding tightly to them like they were gold.  It was not a natural position for a guy who supposedly was struck by a cab and laying on the street flat on his back.  No way he holds onto the fries.  Not one fell to the floor.

There are people looking for easy pay days, even those willing to lie, cheat, steal, and scam their way to a check.  Just watch Showtime’s Shameless and you’ll agree.  But for authors, there are no shortcuts to riches.  Writers must work hard and intelligently to elevate their brand and become successful authors.

Writers must hammer away with social media, speaking engagements, traditional media and even telemarketing.  They have to try a number of things at their disposal, but they can’t do the equivalent of flopping in front of a car and getting a windfall insurance settlement.

Writers have to embrace a strong work ethic. They must dedicate time and resources to promoting and marketing a book, perhaps at a 3 to 1 ratio of marketing to writing time. You build a following, maintain it, and then grow it some more. You sell, sell, sell – and then sell some more.  You establish your brand and then reinvent it and remind others you exist.  It’s non-stop.  Publishing is not a game that you win once and are set for life.

I guess years ago the slip and fall approach would be similar to a writer or literary agent building up a book-to-be to generate a huge advance – and then the author delivers crap or doesn’t help on the promotions.  But those days, if they ever existed for a few, are long gone.

Writers must persevere through the grind.  Or they can give up and hit a cab.

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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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