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Friday, October 18, 2019

Do You Have The Book Marketing Gene?

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I always knew I would be a writer.  It’s all I’ve ever done.  I don’t know from blank pages or writer’s block.  My problem has always been that there is not enough time to pursue all of the writing that is inside of me.  How does one steal time?

What I didn’t know is what form my writing would take.  I used to think it would be as a newspaper reporter.  I instead wrote a book and now blog virtually every day.  I write press kits, letters-to-the-editor to magazines and newspapers, and work, alternately, on three books.  Whatever the form, the core skill is the same: write something of interest.

In theory, anyone can write.  But most don’t and of those that do, many don’t do it very well.  Some can write for a situation – a eulogy or toast, a term paper, or a love letter – but otherwise, lack the discipline, skill, ideation, research capabilities or analytical qualities to write with any depth, consistency or durability.

Writing book marketing content such as press kits, website copy, social media posts, or advertisements is a skill.  Even for those it comes naturally, it must be practiced and perfected.  Where possible, you should have an appreciation for language, a sensitivity towards the psychology of humans, and a broad awareness of the world on multiple levels.  That said, you can do it.

Some say you are born an artist or a writer. For others, their lives shape their creative expressions.  Maybe it’s a combination of the two. But in any case, authors who need to promote their book and market their brand must rise to the occasion and find the calling of their book marketing gene that they didn’t even know resided within them.

Exactly what does a book marketer need to do?  He or she has to:


  • Be confident to ask for something every day, but humble enough to accept "no" more than 90% of the time.
  • Have good writing skills, such as being able to summarize a book in a press release, a 30-second elevator speech, or a tagline for a website or business card, or a social media post.
  • Be convincing and persuasive in all forms of communication – written or oral; in person or via computer; to all types of people:  media, bookstores, libraries, consumers, social media, fans. 
  • Always make an effort to promote and sell, regardless of the circumstances, venue, time, day, or your mood.
  • Process connections, actions, and thoughts through a single prism: “How can it/they help me and my book?”
  • Have a sense of urgency, opportunity, and optimism.
  • Be able to overcome objections, anticipate resistance, and assume what people want or need to hear.
  • Go beyond the book to sell a brand, a voice, or a big-picture view of things.
  • Express a vision, a way of seeing himself or herself, as some type of expert, hero, or leader, who with the power of conviction, words, and an empowering voice can truly make a difference.
But the reality is that most authors are not book marketers.  They are quiet individuals who shun the spotlight, who are more comfortable in writing than in publicly speaking.  They just want to make a positive impact, where their words do their talking and not their lips. So how do we bridge the gap between the reluctant or unskilled author-turned-marketer, and with what’s needed to become the outspoken, even brash marketing persona?

Well, some just can’t hack it.  They won’t even try.  Their only choice is:  Go without marketing and doom their chances of success or outsource to others to do what’s needed.

For those who can participate and contribute to their marketing efforts they need to decide:  To what degree will they play an active role vs. outsource vs. ignore certain aspects of marketing.

Make no mistake.  Book marketing is not rocket science but it is a skill and a mindset and you need to be willing to explore it if you have that book marketing gene before giving up or deferring to others for help.  You may just surprise yourself.


DON”T MISS THESE!!!
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The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

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How Authors Can Sell More Books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

How Authors Get Bulk Sales Now


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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

7 Key Media Coaching Tips For All Authors

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Here’s my media coaching advice for authors:

1.      Be a tease.
You may have a great story to tell, lots of advice to share, and some really strong opinions that you want to shout.  Hold back.  Your goal is not to say everything, only something that will tease and get people’s attention.  You don’t need to get married – just asked out on a date.  Tease, but don’t reveal all!

2.      Show a personality.
People gravitate to a personality.  Show them humor, emotion, intelligence, ideas – whatever it takes for people to sense you are qualified to be an expert, that you say something useful, and share it in an interesting way.  You become a character with a persona – put on the uniform and become a superhero author!

3.      Remember to have them take an action step.
You can talk and write all you want.  Your goal is to get people to take an action step, which usually is to get to your website or to buy the book.  Say whatever is needed to encourage an action step.  Give something away for free that people need to download at your site.  Once there they see what you’re all about and can order the book or connect with you.

4.      Know your 5-6 key points to be made in every interview.
It doesn’t matter what you are asked, only what you say. Your points don’t have to be the most important things about the book but things that will help people gravitate to you and feel you relate to them, that you offer what they need, that you are interesting.  Part of your point is to say the name of your book a few times, mention your website with a resource for people to download, and to reference your qualifications – but don’t read off a resume.

5.      Know your audience.
Be aware of the readers/listeners/viewers that you are speaking to. What are their needs/desires/demographics? Be aware of sensitivities and think about what you should purposely say or avoid based on what you know of them.

6.      Have fun.
You might be nervous – it’s natural.  But in the end, it’s a conversation that you are having and you just need to be you, relax, and enjoy the process.  This is your opportunity to be on the offensive and get your message out.  Good, bad or mediocre, whatever happens, there’s another interview opportunity that will come, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself in any one interview.

7.      Give context.
Remember, people don’t know anything about you or your book.  Find a way to quickly summarize who you are and what your book is about.  Don’t assume the audience or media knows anything.  Set the context and provide a foundation - and then go into certain key areas that you want to emphasize.

I can give you dozens of tips, strategies, and insights on how to do media interviews.  But the main thing to remember is that you have something useful or interesting to say and that you are there to share, help, and be a conduit for information.  You are speaking to the media to make the world better and to fill a void.  Book sales, fame, and website clicks will naturally follow if others feel you resonated with them.  So don’t obsess on that stuff – just think of how you can make a positive impact in sharing a story, an idea, a fact, or a feeling.


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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

How Do You Become A Really Successful Writer?


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First, define what success means to you.  In order to have a goal, you need to define exactly what it is  -- and then makeg a list of the steps needed to get there.  You may have more than one path that can get you to where you want to be.  Choose wisely.

Second, become a better writer.  This means editing your work – or hiring someone to edit your content.  It also means be a better reader and learn from others as to how to write with impact, an economy of words, and a style all of your own.

Third, formulate a business plan to commoditize your writings and figure out how you can help sell other services, products, and books.

Fourth actively promote your brand to the news media and through social media.  To be a successful writer, people must know of you and like your voice.

Fifth, be successful at life.  The more time you can devote to writing and marketing your writings, the better, so master what needs to be done at your job or home life.  Learn to schedule your time efficiently, be organized, get rest, and to find ways to nurture your soul.  Be self-disciplined and focused.  Be persistent and persevering.

Sixth be ready to seek out – and handle – criticism of your writings.

Seventh, believe deeply in yourself and value your approach to writing.  Celebrate any successes along the way.

Eighth, be open to rewriting your work.  Sometimes a good idea sparks a need revision.

Ninth, always be networking, for lots of success comes from knowing successful people or those who can do something for you.

Lastly, be willing to learn and improve.  Read books, take courses, and attend writers conferences.  Improve your vocabulary and know more about the subject matter you are an expert in.  Consider getting a mentor, coach, or even a therapist to help you grow – as a writer and person.

The key to being a successful writer can vary from person to person.  Some writers thrive in chaos, where their lives are in shambles and the world around them is seemingly out of control while others need to have their lives in order, writing based on a foundation of security.  But however you define success as a writer or in life – take the time and effort to improve your situations and to build a strong foundation from which to create your masterpiece.


“Painting is the intermediate somewhat between a thought and a thing.”
--Samuel Coleridge

“What can’t be cured must be endured.”
--Edward Fitzgerald

“Most truths are nothing but prejudices.”
--Remy de Gourmont

“Experience is a good school.  But the fees are high.”
--Heinrich Heine

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How Authors Can Sell More Books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The 8 Rules of Book Marketing Successfully


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If you were to compare the marketing of books to other products, what would be a similar item?

Books are generally sold in bookstores and online, most often via Amazon.  But they can be sold anywhere – gift shops, schools, museums, stationery stores, churches, airports, newsstands, etc.  They can be sold via an author’s website as well.  But what is just like books – an information /entertainment product that sells, typically from $10 to $30, that can exist in hard form or digital, in written or oral?  And how many products can be sold years after they were created?  The book is unique.  So is its marketing.

Publishing is a nickel and dime business.  If you receive a royalty, you may only get a buck per book sold.  If you self-publish, your compensation per book sold is far greater but you’ll need to sell a certain number of copies to break even and cover your costs for printing, distribution, editing, advertising, and promotions.  In both cases, there’s a motivation to promote a book. Most other products are not marketed like books, simply because the economics differ or because one can’t promote a widget and the person behind it the same as one markets an idea, a voice, or a personal brand.

Here are some rules to keep in mind when marketing books:

1.      Know why you are marketing you book.  What exactly do you hope to accomplish?  Are those achievable expectations?  How much money, time, and mindshare are you willing to invest?

2.      Understand your competition is fierce and that no matter how great you think your book is, be prepared to be ignored, rejected, or dismissed.  That doesn’t’ mean you should take no for an answer, but do not expect everyone to embrace you and your book.  Be prepared to prove and demonstrate the special qualities of your book.  No one is waiting around to anoint you king.

3.      Be ready to diversify your approach to marketing and to experiment in one or more ways to promote and market your book.  If something doesn’t work for you, invest more in what does, and just because something works today, doesn’t mean it will tomorrow. Build on what works and expand to other areas, choosing from things like:  speaking engagements, webinars, direct mail, advertising, flier handouts, email blasts, social media, news media campaign, bulk sales, affiliated sales, etc.

4.      Know that what you invest to market a book now could have a substantial payoff down the road, for future books.  Also know that you help promote your backlist by promoting your newest book.  Lastly, be aware that you are always marketing your brand as an author-expert, which can help you sell other products and services or allow you to impact and influence others with your empowering message.

5.      Think about what you will do (that you enjoy doing and are capable of doing) – and acknowledge what else needs to be done.  Divide that portion up into outsourcing to others and then dismissing the rest. You can’t afford to do everything, so prioritize, and once you decide on your course of action, don’t look back with guilt or second-guessing.

6.      Do what’s free, of course, but don’t confuse that with the things that can be done to market your book that cost money.  On the other hand, just because you pay someone to do something doesn’t mean you’ll reap a reward from those efforts. You need to hire correctly – and to invest in things that are reasonably achievable and worth doing.

7.      Learn from the successes of others, but don’t be jealous of the riches of others.  Determine if you can copy what they did – or would it involve luck, a special relationship, or more time and money than you would like to spend?

8.      Just when you feel like giving up or all is lost, keep going. We often need to push just beyond what feels like a breaking point. It can turn into a breakthrough moment instead.

You are selling words and what attaches to them – experiences, emotions, ideas, opinions, and dreams.  The value of those words is unlimited.  You will set the price on what your book is really worth.


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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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

Will Books Exist In A Future Game of Thrones World?

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I recently became a late adopter of Game of Thrones.  It only took me eight years to catch onto the Emmy-winning, critically-acclaimed series that concluded this year.  Of the eight seasons, I’m now nearly into season number three after a week and a half of binge-watching.  But this post is not about the fictional world of kings, whores, and wars.  It’s about time and the future of books.

Let me explain.

In watching Game of Thrones I found it interesting to see how evolution takes place.  Though the world of the show is not historic and seems to be set in a mythological time and place, it certainly closely resembles Medieval times.  So in watching how people lived with limited resources, knowledge, or needs, one can then compare to our present-day world and wonder if a thousand years forward our world will be evolved for the better.

It’s hard to accept certain things.  From a young age we are told of how things will be later on – that we may wed, raise a family, get old, and die.  We accepted it only on some level, not fully understanding or appreciating what awaits us.  Even now, in my middle-age, I somehow don’t wish to fully acknowledge that a time will come when I might be debilitated and just a shadow of my former self.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but one day, I imagine, you wake up and realize that you are on an irreversible course with death.

Ok, so back to Game of Thrones.  Certain things remained the same over time – the consumption of food, the joy of sex, the bonds of family, the ego that drives people to violence, and the fear of the unknown.  Perhaps all of these things make us inherently human and will continue to exist.  Or maybe they won’t.  Perhaps the book, with us for centuries in its current printed form, will no longer be with us in the future.

Books are us.  They are extensions – and reflections – of who we are.  There’s a reason that thrillers involving psycho killers outsell books of poetry that discuss love, life, and morality.  There’s a reason business books outsell some other genres.  Books give us not only what we want, but what we need.

The future of books is at a crossroads.  Will books keep acting as an authoritative, comprehensive, research-based source of reliable information – or will they become a home for old blog posts and opinionated essays?  Will technology make books obsolete, whether an e-book or a printed book, simply because people will only look for shorter pieces that pop up on our screens from a simple search?

Like anything, we -- society — define the value and worth of a viewpoint, a way of life, a thing, a resource.  Books still have perceived value today, but will that always be the case?  

Will a futuristic Game of Thrones exist with books?  Time, technology and human lifestyle will dictate whether our world embraces or extinguishes books.


“A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen.”
--Paul Valery

“People know what they want because they know what other people want.”
--Theodor Adorno

“The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.”
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He will never have true friends who is afraid of making enemies.”
--William Hazlitt


DON”T MISS THESE!!!
Authors, Avoid These 21 Worst Practices For Seeking Media Coverage

How Do Authors Get The Media’s Attention?

Authors, How Do You Brand Yourself?

The Book Marketing Strategies Of Best-Sellers

Book Marketing Buzz Blog Celebrates Post #3,000

How Authors Can Sell More Books

No. 1 Book Publicity Resource: 2019 Toolkit For Authors -- FREE

How Authors Get Bulk Sales Now


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 brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. 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 http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.