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Thursday, October 31, 2019

What Can Authors Learn From Madison Avenue?


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There are many lessons one can learn about book marketing by observing what works in real-word marketing of non-book products and services. Here are some strategies to follow, avoid, or question:

Crate and Barrel
I purchased a couch last week and for every day since that time I’ve received an e-mail from them to hype one thing or another.  It’s terribly annoying.  I can’t see sending someone an e-mail any more often than once a week, and even then, it would need to highlight a special sale, a new product or service, some amazing event, or dramatic news.  I’ve gotten used to pressing delete when I see an email from them, sometimes without looking at their message or offer.  Lesson:  Do not contact your network via email too often or they will tune you out and fail to pay attention to you.

Coca-Cola
You may wonder why a consumer brand giant with over a century of successful history would continue to advertise itself. You can’t market yourself once and declare yourself a winner.  No matter how popular or successful you are, you need to remind people that know you – and introduce yourself to new people. Coke wisely spends a zillion dollars to fend off current and future competition. Lesson:  No matter how good your book is, or how successful you were today, you must always invest in getting the word out tomorrow, whether through publicity, marketing, or advertising.

Starbucks
Like many companies, they encourage consumers to sign up for points that get calculated for every dollar spent. Starbucks will give free drinks and food to those who earn a certain number of points or make specific purchases during off-hours.  They wisely give people incentives to spend often and stay in touch via email. Lesson:  Reward your customers and give them something for free.

McDonald’s
They, like many other huge brands, combine with charities and give money to some big ones.  In fact, they formed their own – Ronald McDonald House – which funds help for sick children.  Lesson:  Donate a portion of your proceeds to a charity.  It is good for business – and it helps others.

Victoria’s Secret
The sexy lingerie company, though not as popular as it used to be, uses a broadcast lingerie show to get attention for itself.  When advertising becomes editorial content and consumers embrace it, you have won.  Lesson:  Make your ads filled with information so that the distinction between product and content diminishes.

Every company has strategies to beat its competition, expand its market share, further its brand, recruit top talent, and grow its stock price.  Every author needs strategies to sell books, build a brand, and find bigger publishing deals.  

How will you market yourself today and tomorrow?       


DON”T MISS THIS!!!
Top All-Time Posts of Award-Winning Blog: Book Marketing Strategies & Book Publicity Resources


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.

Interview with Author Andrea Simon


FLOATING IN THE NEVERSINK

 Floating in the Neversink by [Simon, Andrea]


1.      What is your book about? A novel-in-stories, Floating in the Neversink follows a sensitive and impressionable young Jewish girl, Amanda Gerber, through the evocative summer world of New York’s Catskill Mountains, interspersed with Brooklyn’s Flatbush, from 1955-1961, a time of veiled innocence and impending turbulence.

2.      What inspired you to pen it? I spent every summer of my childhood at my grandmother’s house in the Catskill village of Woodridge during the heyday of the Borscht Belt in the 1950s to 1960s. The house was located between two bungalow colonies and within walking distance from several hotels. Contrasting with country life, Brooklyn during those years was also rife with eccentric artifacts and behavioral breakthroughs. The memories of those times have remained with me, not only as a formative time in my family’s history but as a unique era in the Jewish experience.

3.      Why should we read your book vs. the other million new books published each year? Floating in the Neversink is unique in many ways. Its structure as a novel-in-stories makes it very readable and accessible. Its descriptive prose and attention to detail enable the reader to be fully immersed in a fascinating time and place, and to identify with relatable and compelling characters. As a literary work, the book stimulates provocative discussion about memory, family, loyalty, and the role of fiction as a relevant counterpart to cultural norms.

4.      Your book takes us back to Brooklyn, 1950s. Why? This was a significant time in the social fabric of American culture. This is when music and television captured the public’s imagination, when teenagers were caught between the staid role models displayed in shows such as Father Knows Best and the growing unrest of the anti-war generation of the 1960s, and when the youth was challenged by dramatic changes in civil and gender rights. Movies and television have portrayed Brooklyn as the epicenter of teenage rebellion. Brooklyn-born baby boomers long to return to the carefree streets and uncomplicated play of their youth, and younger generations are attracted to a long-ago place that appears to be fun and simple.

5.      Why is historical fiction such a vital means to tell a powerful story? Historical fiction brings authenticity and authority to storytelling. It provides a dramatic through-line from which the author can weave tangential plot devices, and a context to highlight comparative thematic growth in the characters.

6.      Any advice for writers? My advice to writers has been consistent over the years. It’s very basic. And I’m talking about literary writers. Despite the vagaries of the book publishing world, writers should never focus on the bottom line. They should dedicate themselves to their work and mapping out consistent time a regular schedule for writing.

7.      Where do you see the future of book publishing? In the last several years, I have been very disheartened by the book publishing industry: the focus on marketing and sales, the weakening of editorial standards, the digital revolution’s emphasis on small and ungrammatical bites of communication, the closing of small bookstores, the lack of mentoring and encouraging of literary writers. Lately, though, I have read that consumers are still buying print and e-books as exemplified by Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, breaking all records. There are countless blogs, book clubs, and online platforms that encourage reading and the exchange of opinions. The big challenge to a writer is to keep up with these changes without compromising standards.


DON”T MISS THESE!!!
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Can You Follow The 3-Minute Book Publicity Rule?

Is Some of Book Promoting Like Job Hunting?

How Could Authors Maximize Attending A Conference?

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 30, 2019

How Should Authors Profile Their Targeted Readers?


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Everyone has a blind spot, not just when driving a car or steering their life, but in how they market their brand or promote their book.  What’s your gap that needs attention?

Assume there is a blind spot and seek to find what until now has remained hidden to you.  Ask yourself:

·         Where does my message not resonate?  Why.
·         Why do some people not perceive me the way I’m projecting?
·         Is there a disconnect between what people hear and what I say?
·         Am I failing to fulfill a need, serve a desire, or at least empower, entertain, enlighten, or educate others?

The minute you think that everything you say, do or believe is perfect is the moment you know something is missing.

We are human and we all are misunderstood at some point in our lives, by many people including those closest to us.  Remember, all conversations or presentations are two-way exchanges. What you do, say, look like, and give a feeling of is then translated back by those who perceive, observe, interpret, and come to internalize what you said or did. They then match it up with their personal baggage, professional abilities, psychological handicaps, or physiological limitations.

Aim not to please all of the people, all of the time. Don’t settle on pleasing some of the people, some of the time. Seek to win over a majority of people, the majority of times.  That still means you’ll fail to get millions of people to take your side, but it also means millions could follow and support you (if you can reach that many people).

When you look at the image/message that you seek to share or show off, start to ask: Who will love it vs. hate it? Who will understand you and who won’t?  Who will need such a book – and who won’t?

Start by looking at a variety of obvious demographics and see where people fall into categories that will be drawn to or repelled by the sight of you. Likely, these factors will be important:

·         Race
·         Age
·         Wealth
·         Sex (gender/sexuality)
·         Religion
·         Region
·         Political party
·         Pet owner
·         Health
·         Intelligence/education level

Just those above-mentioned 10 areas will define who is open to your message, who is closed, and who is on the fence. We can’t predict all outcomes based on single characteristics, but when you holistically examine criteria for judging/ranking people by their variety of affiliating milestones, and characteristics, we see some huge patterns form in an undeniable way.

So test your message and look against these demographics. Will black, younger women be as enthusiastic as older, white males? Will well-educated fat, dog-owners feel the same as well-educated, skinny cat-owners?  Can you win over soccer fans as easily as those who like to go to church regularly?

An author is almost like a politician. You have to appeal to those who naturally will find you appealing. That’s your base.  Speak to them so that you win over a lot of them. But then expand beyond that and see who else would be open to your book.  Don’t waste time on those who need a lot of convincing or are harder to reach and influence. Remember, perfection is not your target – just to win over majorities in the majority of places you appeal to.

It’s not easy for authors to admit failure, but they need to, at the start of their campaign, to promote a book. Instead of believing their book is for everyone or that tons of people will enjoy their book, they need to say: "Ok, I know more than 90% of the country won’t buy or read my book, no matter what I say or do. Let me focus on those who, if they hear about it, will buy the book.”

Predict who to appeal to, dismiss the rest, and you’ll succeed wildly!


See These Great Resources:

Top All-Time Posts of Award-Winning Blog: Book Marketing Strategies & Book Publicity Resources

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 29, 2019

The 3-Minute Rule For Book Publicity


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“Success in life and business is dictated by your ability to convey your information to others so they understand it the way you do,” says Brant Pinvidic, author of The 3-Minute Rule: Say Less to Get More from Any Pitch or Presentation.

He’s right.

Perhaps his book’s message can help you promote your book to the news media or sell your brand to the public.

His book jacket says it all:

“Want to deliver a pitch or presentation that grabs your audience’s ever-shrinking attention span?  Ditch the colorful slides and catchy language and follow one simple rule: Convey only what needs to be said, clearly and concisely, in three minutes or less.”

Sounds simple enough, but maybe it’s not so easy to do. However, it’s necessary, so figure it out!

Pinvidic knows something about convincing others.  He has sold over 300 TV shows and movies, helmed a large production company that had big hits like The Biggest Loser, and ran a television network. Sure he’s all about the Hollywood spin, but so what. He does what you do:  take a product (book) and sell it (to consumers, media).

The formula, according to Pinvidic, comes down to how you answer these four questions:

1.      What is it?
2.      How does it work?
3.      Are you sure?
4.      Can you do it?

So, when presenting yourself, be ready to:

·         Describe exactly what you are offering.
·         Show how it works for others to achieve their goals.
·         Prove why your ideas are good and validated.
·         Explain how others have the ability to replicate what you achieved.

He breaks it down another way. First, conceptualize your book. Give people a proper image or vision of your book so that they can understand what it is and how it will benefit them.  Next, contextualize your message. Show how it has relevance to them and their world. Lastly, actualize the concept into a reality. Prove how your book impacts them and why they need it.

He goes on to share that when you promote yourself, such as when you have a book, you should:

·         Say it right (problem solved/desire satisfied)
·         Say it enough (repetition)
·         Say it boldly (be confident).

I leave you with a shortened version of his checklist that helps you identify what to say in your three-minute pitch:

What Is It?

·         What is your unique premise/offer/solution?
·         Who exactly is it for? What benefits could be gained?
·         How easy is it to implement?
·         How does it compare to the competition?

How Does It Work?

·         How can you deliver on your promise?
·         Are you taking any unsafe or costly shortcuts?
·         How are you qualified to discuss this?
·         How many people could this help?
·         What’s your track record?

Are You Sure?

·         Did a third party validate you or your claims?
·         Have others succeeded with your approach?
·         Why can’t your competition do this better?
·         How do you know there’s a need for this?

Can You Do It?

·         What have you done that’s similar?
·         Why would it fail or be restarted?
·         Could anything in your past ruin this?

Literary Agent Bible

Where should authors look to find a listing of top literary agents to connect with?  Check out Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents:  Who They Are, What They Want, How to Win Them Over, by Jeff Herman, whose literary agency has helped get over 1,000 books into print. The 28th edition, released a year ago, profiles more than 125 powerhouse literary agents and provides essential details on the Big 5 and independent publishing houses.  Check out www.JeffHerman.com.

Don't Forget To Check Out:
Top All-Time Posts of Award-Winning Blog: Book Marketing Strategies & Book Publicity Resources

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.

Monday, October 28, 2019

How Authors Can Maximize Attending A Conference


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How can one get the most out of attending a writing-related conference?

Let’s first define a few things:
·         Are you attending the conference or presenting at it?
·         Is the conference about the craft of writing, getting published, editing, book publicity, or book sales?
·         How big is the conference?  How many attendees?  How long will it last?
·         Is it online or held at a location?
·         What are your goals for participating?

If you are presenting at a conference, I would assume you are there to not only give back to those who attend but to commoditize the appearance.  Are you getting paid to speak?  Are you selling your book there?  Can you find clients for whatever service that you sell?  All good questions.

This piece is written for those who attend a conference, where their goal is to learn and have an action step taken, such as get published, sell more books, or discover how to be a better writer.  So what can you do to take advantage of whatever the conference can offer?

Look at it in three parts:
·         Pre-conference.
·         At the conference.
·         Post-conference.

Pre-Conference
There are plenty of things you can do before attending a conference that will position you to experience the conference more effectively. Start by consulting the website that’s dedicated to the conference. Look at who is going to speak.  See what they will discuss and determine ahead of time, if there are competing sessions, which ones to attend. Contact those who are giving a session after you’ve reviewed their biography.  Introduce yourself and tell them you look forward to hearing them present. For those whom you won’t hear speak, see if you can connect with them via social media.

Next, look at who, if anyone, is sponsoring the event.  Reach out to them and thank them for their support.  Invite them to connect with you on social media.  Share your blog or website with them.  They may be vendors who want to sell you something, but you want to sell them on who you are and to tap into their networks.

Reach out to those who are putting the conference on.  Ask if you can connect with them via social media. Compliment their organization. Look at their organization’s site and see what resources may be listed.  Ask them if you can submit a guest post to their blog or be considered, if relevant, to be a future speaker.

If emails are listed for the organization’s members or speakers, put them into your networking database.

If members of the media are attending the conference, see if a list of who is attending is available. 

If you have a book to promote, contact them. If there’s a newsletter that you can subscribe to via the conference’s organization, sign up for it.

If the event is in another city, see what else there is to do while you are there.  I don’t just mean sightseeing locations, but rather, are there publishers, media, authors, literary agents, or other members of the book publishing community that you can seek an appointment with?

Is there something you’d like to hand out at the conference – like a business card; gift, or special flier?  Find out how many will be in attendance and bring enough items.  Ask if there’s an opportunity to sell or showcase your book.

See if the website references the last time the conference was held and examine how the event is described.  What happened then and who attended?  Consider reaching out to last years participants and tell them you’ll be attending this year and welcome their advice on what to do or expect.

At The Conference
You are there to accomplish something, most likely to learn, sell yourself/book, and network.  Gather information by asking questions, attending as many workshops as possible, and socializing at meals or evening cocktails. Don’t be shy -- befriend someone. Always be ready to give your elevator speech and to ask people what they do.  Have business cards with you at all times.

Grab any handouts from anyone – you can filter them later.  Place your handouts, if it is allowed, so that others discover you.  Dress appropriately but seek to stand out, not blend in.  Be memorable in what you say, how you say it, how you act, and in the image you project.  

Be offensive minded.  That means reach out and say hello to strangers.  You have nothing to risk.  Staying on the sidelines as an observer is easy -- but not productive.

Follow-up on the email and social media introductions you had made prior to the conference.  Seek out people who had responded to you.

After a session concludes, walk up to the speaker and share words of praise, your card, and an offer to hang out later.  Again, you have nothing to lose.

Seek out the organizers and compliment their good work.  Tell them about your book and ask them questions about their group and why they got involved.  Exchange cards.
  
Post-Conference
All of your hard work before and during the conference goes to waste unless you follow-up on the ground work that you set in motion.  If people contact you, respond quickly.  If you reached out to people who were previously, unresponsive, try them again.  If you met someone at the event, stay in touch with them.

If you enjoyed the event, plan on being at the next one. Even better, ask them if you can speak at it (if relevant).  Ask the organizers of similar events put on elsewhere that they know of. Look into attending those as well.

Post positive comments about the event on your social media, blog, or podcast – and share with those who attended or that you connected with. ?If there is a group hashtag, be sure to include it.

Who knows, maybe after you observed and experienced this event, you’ll want to put on your own conference.  Don’t dismiss such an idea.  Explore it and see what can be done.  Maybe you can pull it off by combining forces with an existing group.

Participating in conferences is a great way to be exposed to news ideas, acquire knowledge, test out assumptions, make great connections, and market your brand.  But the work of the conference, as you can see, starts way ahead of the event, and continues far beyond it.  Make the most of it!


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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.