Friday, February 2, 2018

Should Authors Resort To Making Robocalls To Sell Books?

The average man, woman, and child will receive about 100 robocalls this year.  Last year a record number of such calls were made in 2017: 30.5 billion robocalls, up another 1.2 billion from 2016.  As the marketing stage for companies, charity solicitors, and politicians moved towards non-human contact, will book publishing take to such tactics?

You may not get a robocall urging you to buy a book or to attend a local author appearance, but authors and publishers are turning to automated ways to push books out.

Amazon will recommend books to those who browse the page of a book one contemplates buying, encouraging the purchase of similar books.

Barnes & Noble will automatically send emails to its members, pushing generic discounts or calling attention to new best-sellers.

Authors will blast lists of emails with uncustomized content, asking for book sales, clicks to a website, reviews -- or making pleas to read a blog post.

Social media sites are filled with ways one can send out the same message to many people, blindly shouting a statement that is not personal and possibly not even relevant.

But authors, publishers and bookstores can’t help themselves.  They need to be discovered, heard, and seen.  There’s heavy competition out there for the attention and wallet of consumers.  Many people can choose to do something other than buy or read a book. Will it be your book that they seek?

Robocalls may not be cost-effective for the book industry, but I wouldn’t rule them out as a viable, alternative way to gain traction with a developing readership.

The truth is, as things become automated and easy to click a button to share with the masses, the art of customized messages to targeted outreach will continue to fall by the wasteside.

Authors and publishers need a quick fix and an easy score. They can’t afford to put too much money, time, or resources into marketing a specific book.  This is where the allure for mass outreach on the cheap comes into play.

But what’s truly effective for authors is not SPAM or robocalls or even viral videos.  What still works is writing a great book, promoting it creatively and tirelessly, with a message that appeals to whom you believe is your core readership and targeted fan base.  By focusing on fewer people and sharing less effort to reach a huge number of phones, in-boxes or doorsteps, the publisher and author shall succeed.

Authors are best-served not with an advertisement, but with media coverage, especially media consumed by book buyers of your genre and message.

Authors will see more results from a bookstore signing than to spend all day tweeting into the wind.

Publishers will move more books by marketing directly to organizations with memberships that match a book’s demographics than to solicit all bookstores to carry a book.

There may be tens of billions of robocalls and trillions of tweets, FB posts, and You Tube likes taking place in 2018 and in future years, but nothing is more powerful than taking steps to reach your targeted reader, one at a time.  

Customize, don't mass produce.

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. 

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