Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why Every Author Needs To Create A Commercial That Never Airs

Promoting and marketing a book is similar, to a degree, to promoting other pieces of creative content – movies, plays, television shows, music, etc.  One of the tools used by these other forms of entertainment is to make a commercial.  The economics for books don’t typically allow for authors to shoot and air commercials, though many make video trailers for their websites and social media. Though I don’t recommend making a commercial – for radio or television – to hawk a book,  I do recommend that you imagine what such a commercial could look like and use the creative process that would go into crafting it to be applied to how you would actually promote your book.

If you were to make a commercial, what would your theme or overall message be?  You can’t be all over the place in a 30-second spot.  Begin to formulate what your most important and appealing selling points are.

Answer these nine questions:

1.  What visuals would support your commercial?  Think of the imagery – illustrations, photos, documents, and videos – that would be in the background or speak for you.

2. What colors would support your message?  Look to your book cover or website for guidance.  Which colors set the tone and mood to reflect your subject?

3. The same with sound.  What audio would augment your message, either in the background or the forefront?  Would it be by someone famous or something historical?

4. What action steps would you push?  Is it to buy the book?  Is it to download something or to sign up for something at your site?  Is it to follow you on a specific social media outlet?  Is it to embrace an idea or express a view?  Think about what you want someone to do, how you’ll inspire them to act, and how you’ll share the recommended steps you want someone to take.

5. How will you insert a sense of urgency?  Why should anyone do anything – and why now?  Answer that or they won’t feel obligated to do anything.

6. How fast would you speak?  Which taglines or phrases will you use that will become memorable?  How will you use language to your advantage?

7. Who is your target reader?  Identify the demographic profile of your reader and only level your message to them.  Appeal to your base and expected core of followers.

8. How will it begin and end>  Strong openings draw people in and a memorable finish leaves them inspired to act.

9. Do you give them enough of a reason to care?  What reward or benefit or pay off are you promising to them, should they buy your book or click somewhere?  Think of this as the closing argument by a lawyer who needs to make her case in a tightly packaged 30-second summation.

Of course, in this case, you aren’t really making a commercial, but by going through the creative thinking process of putting one together, you’ll begin to formulate how to present yourself – in media interviews, book signings, social media posts, press releases, and speaking engagements.  You’ll begin to focus your message and present it more theatrically.

You are the producer, on-air talent, and corporate sponsor of your marketing campaign. Once you’ve fine-tuned your presentation go out there and make a name for yourself!

Could the media think your pitch about your book is bullshit?

How do authors generate article ideas to promote their books?

What does it really take to land on a best-seller list?

Can you sell 10 copies of your book every day?

Great book PR lessons from kids, clergy, women, contractors & sportscasters

How do authors get on TV?

Here’s the 2017 Author Book PR & Marketing 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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