Thursday, January 19, 2017

Author Ethics & The Book Marketer’s Code

We live in a hyper-competitive society, a dog-eats-dog world.  We think that everything is fair game in the business world.  We’re an ultra-capitalist nation that values making a buck above almost anything else.  While there’s nothing wrong with being a gutsy, savvy, tough-negotiating, and skilled entrepreneur, you still must not only respect and observe the law, but honor the spirit of it as well as adhere to a standard of ethics.  Consider this your book marketer’s code:

1. Do no harm in how and what you market.  If your book is admittedly lousy and inferior, or worse, filled with lies, half-truths or shoddy research, please don’t market your book as if nothing’s wrong with it.

2. Act honestly and with integrity.  This means be explicit in your promises and stand by whatever you say or do to induce a book sale.

3. Treat others fairly, with respect and compassion.

4. Sell your book if it offers something of value – and stand by whatever claims are made in your book.

5. Do not put competing books down or make personal attacks on the author.  You can point out where they fall short, but use facts and not rude attacks to state your case.

6. Avoid using coercion, unsavory statements, manipulation or fear tactics to market your book.  Stay away from fueling racism, sexism, or hatred to market a book.

7. Fairly represent your credentials as an author.

8. Never resort to lowly tactics such as price-fixing, price gauging, or bait-and-switch.

9. Avoid participating in a conflict of interest; otherwise disdose them.

10. Treat potential customers with respect, gratitude, and professionalism.

11. Strive to upgrade and improve the book marketing process -- don’t merely resort to copying others who rise no higher than the lowest common denominator.

12. Explain any risks or additional actions that may be needed in connection with the use of your book or services.

13. Recognize that there are vulnerable people who should only be sold to at their level or with the help of their guardian or close relative.  They are not to be taken advantage of:

·         The mentally ill
·         The impoverished
·         Aging seniors
·         Young children
·         Illiterates
·         eople with Alzheimer’s, brain disorders, or handicaps

Anyone acting out of an obvious disadvantaged state of mind should not be your targeted sales mark.

14. Ethics are not complex.  If you are bullshitting and twisting facts to meet your needs, stop doing that.  If you have to make a false premise, don’t do it.  If you need to apply pressure or undue influence you are not doing the right thing.

15. Err on the side of caution, respect, fairness and kindness.  Instead of looking how to just sell a book, see yourself as filling a need.  You are here to help others and hopefully your book will do something for the reader.  Sell with that frame of mind or intention.  Sell and market on the basis that people will appreciate your book if only they knew about it.  But do it with good intentions and a good heart.

Any dope can lie, cheat, steal, misrepresent, manipulate, coerce, or employ fraud and threats to sell something.  As a book marketer, be above that.  Embrace the book marketer’s code.

All-New 2017 Book Marketing & PR Toolkit 

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 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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