Friday, August 12, 2016

When Should You Abandon Your Book?

Authors and publishers do their best to promote books to the news media but what happens when the PR campaign tanks or fails to soar?

At some point you throw in the towel, but when is it the right time to quit? It’s not easy admitting failure or giving up on your book, but you don’t want to throw good money or your valuable time at a dead dog.

Just because something is not going as you’d hoped, doesn’t mean it’s going badly. First assess where you are at. Exactly what media did you obtain – and how much more media do you have left to contact? Maybe it’s not as bad as you think, and if there’s still plenty of media to reach out and follow-up with, don’t stop!

Of the media you are getting, is it favorable and positive – or negative and critical?  If people like the book, that’s a good sign and it should invite you to persevere.

Do you have new pitches or new people to contact at the media outlets you already got rejected by?  Is there something coming up in the news cycle or calendar that you can envision using to tie your book to?  It’s possible, even if you emailed 300 people or mailed 50 books – and got zip – future efforts will bring about better results.  You just need to change something about your efforts.

I have seen PR campaigns start slowly, even be in the dumps several months into them and then things start to finally click.  A little luck, a little more elbow grease, and a creative spark can team up to give your media campaign a huge boost. Media begets media. Once you get a few stories, reviews or interviews under your belt you build momentum, confidence and legitimacy in the eyes of the media.

You shouldn’t quit on your book unless you have lost all hope-based on facts and not fears – that you can get more media coverage.  Too often, authors get turned off by rejection. They may start out contacting the biggest, most competitive media outlets and feel hurt or surprised that others don’t see the genius of their book.  But you can’t fold so quickly.  Test different messages and approaches to different media outlets and people.

Authors would feel less frustration if they could at least converse with the media. It stinks when you don’t get feedback or an opportunity to talk to the gatekeepers. It’s awfully quiet when emails get sent and no one responds.  Step it up and call some media. Be assertive and track them down via social media.  Find third parties to introduce you to some media.  Send books and some item that gets their attention.  Create an outrageous pitch.  Stage a provocative event.  Post cool content on You Tube, FB, Twitter, or your blog.  Fight for your writing life!

But if after you try all of that and still get nowhere, with no signs of hope, cut the book loose. Walk away and don’t look back.  You can’t have regrets when you know you did all that you can.  If you have doubts whether you’ve done all that you could, don’t quit just yet.  Keep at it until you know in your heart that you’ve tried everything. 

To learn more on how to promote books, read my greatest blog posts from the past five years and 2,000 posts:

2016 Book Marketing & Book Publicity Toolkit

2015 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit

2014 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit

Book Marketing & Book PR Toolkit: 2013

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 2016.

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