Sunday, November 18, 2018

Know Why You Are Marketing a Book; Then Determine The What, How & When

Authors have many, many options as to what they can do to market and promote their book.  So what should they do?

Choice A:  Everything
Not realistic given your time constraints, skill set, and resources.

Choice B: Nothing
Only do this if you want your book to fail

Choice C:  Do What You Can
Start by doing the things you feel comfortable with and capable of doing.

Choice D:  Do What You Can and What’s Needed
This is the winner.  Do what you can and prioritize, but also, do what’s needed and stretch yourself beyond your comfort-zone.  Divide and conquer – some things you will do, some things will get outsourced, and some things simply will not get done – and that’s okay.

So where do you start?

First, know why you are promoting a book.  The what and how and will come as a result of determining the goals you seek to achieve.  Are you promoting a book with a specific wish-list in mind?  For instance, is it to sell a certain number of books?  Is it to build a media resume which could lead to speaking gigs, book deals, and other opportunities?  Is it to impact people with a message that you are passionate about?  Is it to turn your book into a movie?  Is it to build your brand so that you can grow a business?  Is it ego?  Maybe it’s some or all of these things, but know your why to determine the what.

Once you have set your goals, work backwards from there and think of what needs to be done and by when.  The publication date of your book dictates many things.  For instance, if you have any chance of landing a book review in a traditional print publication such as Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, a women’s magazine, etc., you must, must, must send an advance review copy some three-four months ahead of publication date.  If you miss that window, move on.

Think of what you’ll do for free vs. pay for.  You can speak at a bookstore or library, email local organizations to see if they will buy your book, and post onto social media – all for free. You can also pay for Facebook ads, a publicist to secure news media coverage for you, a consultant to help you with marketing, and for certain media opportunities such as paid book reviews.  So budget your time and money for what needs to get done.

One thing should be clear to you – you drive this bus.  Getting your book written and published is like giving birth. It’s your baby. Now you need to raise it through college – that’s the book marketing part.  Your work is just beginning, so know the why to figure out the what.

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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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