Thursday, July 13, 2017

What Can Work In Book Publicity?

I went to lunch the other day with a literary agent and talked shop – the challenger of the book industry, shrinking news media, and the domination of Amazon.  I realize we had a little bitchfest over the state of things from how Barnes & Noble is struggling even with Borders gone to the challenges of first-time fiction authors to get published or sell books. But the truth is, things aren’t so bad now nor were they so great in the past.  There are always going to be some that win while others that lose in the ever-changing economy and always evolving book publishing industry.  Who knows, maybe these are really great times!

When it comes to what media is available to authors, a lot is out there that’s achievable.  But it takes planning, effort, time, strategy, and resources to succeed at promoting a book properly.

On the one hand, major mass media is diluted.  USA Today, Today Show, and Howard Stern don’t deliver the numbers they used to.  However, social and digital media offer massive numbers that didn’t even exist until the past decade or so.  For authors to make a name for themselves they’ll need to diversify their efforts and vary what they devote time and money towards.

An author can’t just focus on one type of media, say TV or print, nor can they ignore any type of medium to promote in.  Speaking engagements, direct marketing, blogger tours, radio interviews, book reviews, and other tools are at your disposal.  Use them!

Authors need to do these things in order to have a chance at breakthrough success:

·         Talk to fellow authors for guidance, support, resources.  Yes, network with your own kind.  Collaborate, not compete.

·         Work at social media. The world lives in a box – mobile devices – and right now Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram are necessary for authors to promote a book.  Blog, tweet, and podcast your way to fame.

·         Pursue public appearances and speaking engagements.  They actually move books.

·         Be relentless in your pursuits and willing to experiment in what you do to promote, market, and advertise your book.

·         Hire a publicist to go after major media and support their efforts.

The thing is, you need to approach book marketing and publicity as something that’s necessary in order to be successful even though the art of promoting a book doesn’t guarantee its success.  But we know that not promoting it virtually guarantees failure.

There are no sure-fire formulas for what works – it depends on the author’s credentials, personality, time availability, communication skills and message.  It also depends on the book from title and cover, to price, contents, packaging, publisher, distribution, genre and competition.

The chances of major success in book publishing is low.  It’s a numbers game. With something like a hundred books being published every hour, how can many break through?  There’s only room for some to be successful, but nothing stops you from being one of the lucky or exceptional few to break through.

Media begets media.  Never refuse a media opportunity.  PR is a numbers game – throw enough story angles at enough media outlets and something should come of it.  Find something worthwhile to say, say it often, loudly, creatively, and confidently.  Promote relentlessly.  

If your book’s truly good, someone will notice it.


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Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017

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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