Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What Must Authors Consider When Marketing A Book?

A full-page ad in the Sunday Book Review section of The New York Times is listed at $41,955, while a half-page ad goes for $24,200.  Compare that to the MSRP of several luxury cars – BMW 3 ($33,150) Cadillac ATS ($33,215), or a Lexus ES ($38,100).  Which one provides you with better value?

Or are you best served by a book publicity campaign that can run you $10,000 to $25,000, depending on the duration and depth of service provided?  As one who makes his living in book marketing, I can tell you that your money – if spent wisely – will see a pay-off when you utilize a proven book publicity pro to build your brand, market your book, and publicize your messages.

Oh, did I mention The Times charges extra for things like color ($9,420 extra for a full-page)?  If you want the back cover, add in another $2,215.  Willing to settle for your ad to fall on page six, that’s another $1,000!  So the cost of a full-page, full-color, premium positioned ad on Sunday costs over $53,000!!!  That would cover two Mazda Mazda 3’s or the price of two substantial book campaigns that could last six months each – versus a single day, single publication attempt to influence enough people to sell enough books to make it worthwhile.

You get the point.  I’m not anti-Times, nor do I think ads are worthless.  For a handful of companies, full-page ads make sense.  For 99.99999% of all writers and publishers, a solid book publicity campaign that’s driven by an experienced, paid advocate makes more sense.

Authors and publishers try to get a grip on what they can do that will move the dial and too many fall short when doing a few things in a half-assed way and they are left to incorrectly conclude that nothing seems to help them sell books.

It’s logical that we look for quick fixes – the big ad, the review at a key publication, a morning TV interview, a paid speaking gig before a huge audience – but we need to earn media exposure and place it into perspective.  What most of us need is the fortitude to persevere daily in a grass-roots campaign that builds up one’s brand while incrementally increasing book sales.  It takes a lot of little things to add up into something substantial.

I laugh when authors tell me a publisher “has publicity covered” or when an author says “I should be on every major TV show” or when a literary agent claims “Every bookstore should carry this book.”  Really?  Don’t believe the hype.  No one has everything covered and the media and bookstores need constant reminders, strong reasons, and lots of convincing to give coverage or shelf space to your book.  You’ll need to work at it. 

The book marketing landscape is huge. There are hundreds of media markets out there.  Do you have all 320 covered?

There are thousands of magazines, newspapers, major blogs, key websites, and leading podcasts – are you advertising in any of them?

There are thousands of bookstores across the US – are you speaking at any of them?

There are well over 100,000 libraries in America – will you appear at any of them?

How often do you post on Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, Linked In, You Tube and leading social media platforms?  How much content – video, blogs, podcasts – do you create, and how do you disseminate it?  How are you going about getting more connections and followers?

There’s so much that could be done and a certain amount that has to be addressed every single day.  Don’t believe anyone is doing everything that’s needed and don’t expect anyone, like the media or a bookstore, will feel they should do anything for you.  It’s up to you – be smart, be realistic, be active – and get help.


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Enjoy New 2018 Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit -- 7th annual edition just released

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. Also named by as a "best resource.”

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