Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday Lights Shine Upon Valuable Book Marketing Lessons

I recently took my family to see how a neighborhood that’s well-known for its holiday decorations dressed up for Christmas.  Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, New York has drawn the curious gawkers for the past three decades.  This mostly Italian enclave in a borough of a million ethnicities and cultures really goes all out every holiday season.  There’s a lesson or two to be applied to book marketing.

When you look at what gets attention, in this case it really is the big, the bright, the shiny, the new.  Each house individually, is fighting for attention.  How will each one stand out and differentiate itself?

Of course, the bigger the property or house that you have to work with, the better positioned you are to present a fat display of attractions, but even the smaller houses can get in on the act.  Lesson:  Make the most of what you have to work with.

Some houses clearly copy each other.  We saw a number of repeat light designs or props.  In trying to keep up with one another some really lose their uniqueness.  Lesson:  Borrow what works, but don’t overdo it – otherwise you lose your ability to stand out from a crowd.

Contrast and context are important. What your neighbor does with his property can influence how yours is perceived.  Sometimes homes clash, where two neighbors are blinding one another with overwhelming light power.  Those who have nabes that feature subtle displays or none at all help your house stand out. Lesson:  Present yourself in the context of others.  Know the setting you’re in and sell your book not in a vacuum but in the environment that’s out there.

Less can be more. When every inch of land and house is decked out it’s almost harder to appreciate than when you leave some space.  Write within the margins – otherwise your words just bleed all over the place.

Imagery is still important.  Santa, nutcrackers, elves, and blow-ups of popular cartoon characters and statues depicting the Nativity scene still rank high in displays.  Is there any imagery you can use to market your book or brand?

These enormous displays are special on their own, but when you cluster them it creates a unified effort to impress and entertain others.  Lesson:  If authors work together they have more power to draw a crowd and then each one gets some kind of benefit from it.

The last lesson may be the most important.  Aside from these generous homeowners spending thousands of dollars each to put people in a festive mood and volunteering to bring joy and happiness, it’s a smart move towards a long-term payoff.  Property values will rise from this.  The display gets people to discover the neighborhood and gives it a more appealing feel.  Authors too, must see their book publicity efforts in a similar light (pun intended).  

Writers market their brands and books not only to generate immediate sales or to share their wisdom. They also build a following and generate goodwill that can be cashed in down the road when they seek speaking engagements, to get a new book published, or to convert their network into consumers of other services or products.

Dyker Heights is a marvel and a freak show.  It not only brings good holiday cheer to all but it serves us some valuable book marketing insights along the way.  Happy Holidays!

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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 2016 ©.
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