Monday, October 1, 2018

Authors Should Learn From Movie Theater Rainout

Recently, after a long, hard day at the office I went to a movie theater some 20 minutes from work.  I had looked forward to seeing this escapist movie all day.  However, when I got to the theater’s box office, the worker, who looked exhausted from doing nothing, told me the 8:00 p.m. showing of the film was cancelled.

“Cancelled?  Why?,” I asked, with shock and disgust in my voice.

“The rain.  We cancelled the 8 o’clock. Next one is at 10:30,” she informed me, her eyes gazing away, her voice trailing off as if she’d run a marathon.

“Are you kidding me?” was all I could utter in amazement. I walked away an unhappy man.

I never heard of such a thing.  Here’s an idea – people go to the movies because of the rain.

To be clear, it did rain most of the day.  Nothing unusual for NYC.  It’s not like the street flooded and there was a super storm with high winds.  Just rain.  Water.  And for this, they cancelled the movie.  They didn’t even change their info online, so I was working blind here. The theater remained open -- it just wasn't showing the movie. Odd.

Ok, so aside from wanting to vet about an idiotic approach to business, I think there’s a lesson to share for authors and book publishers.  You must meet a consumer’s needs, desires, and expectations.

No bait and switch, please.  Advertise and promote your book as is, nothing more, or people will feel cheated.

Don’t miss out on your commitments or appearances – people will never forget that you didn’t show up or fell short of delivering what was promised.

Do not lie or mislead the media – they will never cover you again if you bullshit them.

I know, I know, it sounds contradictory to what you’d expect a book marketer and promoter would say, but it is true.  You can’t sneak away from what you need to do – and you can’t dilute or overstate your message.  As a published author, you are responsible for comporting yourself with dignity and class.

I’m so angry that I’m not able to rely on what usually is a reliable thing – to go to the movies, on schedule, to escape life for a few hours, turn off the phone, shun the burdens of the world, and ignore the ills of the world.  I was deprived of something that should be consistent 100% of the time.  Trust me, there was no blizzard that day. Businesses didn’t close. Kids had school.  The subways ran, albeit on delay.  Restaurants were open.  It was business as usual – except at this movie theater.  Authors, learn from this.

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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. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.

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