Friday, January 20, 2017

Overcoming Book Marketer’s Block In 10 Steps

I have a confession that most writers will hate me for: I’ve never had writer’s block.

I generate ideas continuously and at a fast pace.  They may not all be great, but they fuel my writing.  I’m never looking for the perfect line or idea opening. If I waited for them, I’d never begin writing. I believe in free-writing and then, if necessary, going back to tidy things up and edit it for clarity, impact, and utility.

But I know people get writer’s block all of the time.  Just as bad is its cousin, book marketing block.  No, I never get that either, simply because there’s always something to be done to market a book and little reason to sit crippled on the sidelines waiting for some perfect idea to materialize.

Don’t overthink – just get in there and start doing something.

So what is book marketer’s block?  It’s when you feel you have no strategy, no direction, no clear means to get to a goal.  You feel paralyzed and don’t know what to do first or at all. You are overwhelmed with confusion, fear and doubt. You have pent up energy to do something but you don’t quite know how to funnel it properly and effectively.

Before you can tackle book marketer’s block, take an honest assessment of your concerns and abilities.  Ask yourself:

  • Do I have enough time or resources to do this?
  • Do I feel I know how to market a book properly?
  • Do I want to do this?
  • Do I have the attitude and personality to promote a book?
  • Are there book marketing functions I can pay someone to execute and if so, how do I find such a person?
  • Do I have confidence that book marketing will help me achieve my goals regarding branding, sales, and media exposure?
  • Do I lack the energy to market a book?
  • Do I suck at managing my time?
  • Do I simply have a fear of failure – or a fear of success?
  • Do I have a fatalistic view of my book or the marketplace?
If you can begin to address these questions or concerns, you may begin to soothe your fears and calm your nerves.  Once you start to honestly confront those issues and formulate a solid book marketing plan you’ll be in a position to get things done.

Strategic changes are not as hard to implement as the mental ones.  To gain control over our book marketer’s block, try these 10 things:

  1. Ask others for advice and to be your sounding board.  Seek out their love and support, too.
  2. Acknowledge and then dismiss past failures, losses or missed opportunities. Give yourself a fresh start.  Don’t let what has held power over what is or over what will come.  Walk away from regret and disappointment and welcome opportunity, hope, and possibilities.
  3. Relax and give yourself a break.
  4. Do one small book marketing element – do it well and find satisfaction in the doing,  as well as gratification in the positive result.
  5. Drop one thing that gnaws at you and replace it with something new.  You don’t have to do all aspects of book marketing well, just some.  If you don’t like public speaking, throw it out.  Screw it.  Focus on other things.
  6. Reverse some of your book marketing approaches if they’ve yielded little or no results.  For instance, if you relied on a certain pitch or message, change it.  If your approach was to mail books first, send emails or make calls first.  If you determined speaking to only small organizations was the way to go, only pursue large ones.
  7. Assume the worst and expect little – keep your standards low to remove pressure on your performance.  But try your hardest to excel and once you earn a victory, let’s propel you to a winning streak.  Success begets success.
  8. Give yourself permission to succeed.
  9. Manage your time better.  Allow yourself enough time to market successfully.  Set deadlines – a minimum and maximum amount of time assigned to a task – and dedicate your mind, body, and soul fully to it.
  10. Never operate in a vacuum – go on out there and press the flesh, experiment, take a chance, allow yourself to fail, be ready to accept a victory, seek feedback and support, and join the rest.  The writing world that knows it has to market books in order to achieve success.

If you still feel stuck after all of this, have someone take your book and throw it in the garbage right in front of  you, because that’s what you are doing – throwing away an opportunity – if you don’t get out there and market your book.

If that doesn’t work, have someone smack you across the face with your book.  Who says words lack power?  Wake up and get real.  It’s hitting you in the face – literally – that for your book to make it you’ll need to get beyond your book marketing block.

If all else fails, just stop what you are doing and read any of my 2,200 blog posts.  If you can’t find inspiration, ideas, or resources from any of them then you probably should switch professions.  I know it’s not easy and it may not be any fun, but book marketing will help you and give your writing a readership.  

Block everything else out and go out and make your book a winner!

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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