Sunday, January 13, 2019

Busting The Myths Of Book Marketing

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Authors hear a lot of advice on what to do - or not – when it comes to book publicity.  Below are several myths debunked:

Myth 1:   The media is shrinking.

No, it is actually expanding.  Just redefine “media.”  If you mean the number of newspapers, you’re right, it’s decreasing.  But the number of media outlets is expanding when you add in news media web sites.  And if you throw in social media’s ability to amplify the media – through tweets, FB posts, podcasts,  video, and blogs – it has exploded!

Myth 2:  All you need is coverage at a few big media outlets and you’re set.

The news media is huge and diverse.  People can get a message through multiple sources and forms of media.  But no one media outlet, short of maybe The New York Times, can truly make or break someone.  Authors need to get exposure in many outlets across all mediums -- radio, television, online, and print – in order to break through the clutter.

Myth 3:  The media needs you

No, they don’t.  They have more than enough to cover – books, movies, sports, politics, news, crime, accidents, weather, celebrities.  They may have airtime or space to fill but it doesn’t mean they need you.  Show them why they should want you.

Myth 4:  You need to get at least 30 reviews to be noticed.

Book reviews are more about quality, than quantity – and who says what is important.  A respected book review publication is more valuable than what a random customer says.  But authors should focus on media coverage overall – not just a certain number of book reviews.  Getting praise in a radio interview, podcast, or a TV segment is more important than hitting some made-up benchmark for book reviews.

Myth 5: If you’re not a best-selling author, you can’t get a lot of publicity.

Having promoted numerous best-selling authors I can tell you that it opens the door to media coverage when you have a name, but it still doesn’t guarantee anything.  The media outlet still has to see you as being the right fit – and you’re always competing against other news, books, products, services, and events.  So, even when you are unknown, that doesn’t mean you can’t get media coverage.  You may have to work a little harder and longer at it – and you’ll need a lucky break, but a good book by a credentialed author on a timely topic can find its way to media coverage.  Remember, all best-selling authors and celebrities were unknown at one time.

Myth 6: If I don’t live in a big place, like New York City, LA, or Chicago, I won’t get a lot of media.

No matter where you live, your book, back story, qualifications and news hook will be the same.  Either it’s good enough to get attention – or it’s not.  Being in a big city can even be a disadvantage for you.  The author in Milwaukee has a better chance of getting local media coverage and building a following than one living in New York City, where local media is being pursued by tons of people.

Myth 7:  I should promote my book as soon as it’s published.

Your book promotions can easily begin six months before publication date.  You can draft your press kit materials, design your website, post on social media, seek out speaking engagements, get media coached and do a lot of things in preparation for your book launch.  Around four months before publication date, you would send out advance review copies to book reviewers at long-lead magazines, newspapers, and book review publications.  By two months prior to pub date you contact national morning TV shows, reaching out to other media, like bloggers, and seeking to schedule bookstore and library appearances.  Do not wait for the day your book is published to start promoting.  You will have missed out on your window of opportunity.  You can still promote your book for the first 3-4 months it’s out, but you should also do the things prior to publication that will put you in a position to succeed.

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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 ©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 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.

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