A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
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Monday, October 7, 2019
When Should You Dump Your Own Book?
you just pack it in and stop promoting your books, perhaps due to low sales,
bad reviews, and a lack of buzz on social media? Or should you double-down and be in it to win
need to find a balance – doing enough of the right stuff to give their book a
chance at success – but to not just pour more money and time into something
that is a clunker. So, when do they know
when it’s time to stop promoting a book?
first thing an author must do is evaluate, based on the facts. Over a sustained period of time, let’s say
three months post-publication date, an author should see:
many books were sold.
much publicity was generated.
feedback’s been received about the book
an author has to look closely at:
he or she has done so far to push the book.
else can possibly be done to market the book.
hard to think when you live in a bubble or inside your ego. Step outside of your box and look objectively
at things. Is the book better than the
attention it’s received? Can you approach
your marketing differently? Is it time
to give up and move on to the next book – or leave behind the world of books
for others to handle?
as it’s not easy to confront:
absence of your youth.
relationship is decaying.
favorite sports team sucks.
jeans no longer fit you.
must come to grips whether your book still has potential or whether it is dead.
you make an emotional choice, look at the facts. Have you really done all that you can to make
the book a success? Think about what
more could be done in regards to:
marketing to your connections and the marketplace
may discover a lot more can be done or that shit, you tried your best and fell
short. It’s safe to err on the side of
caution and to keep trying a little past a book’s expiration date. At least you’ll know you did all that you
could and that the reading public just wasn’t ready for you at this time. It’s worse if you throw the towel in prematurely,
giving up before really trying. A book doesn’t sell itself. You need to make things happen.
what might you do differently before throwing your hands up and admitting
someone to help do what you can’t, won’t, or don’t know how to do.
and do things you didn’t yet try.
more of what has worked.
others for help – not just advice, but to call in favors to help get your book
in the right hands.
who your targeted reader is and then hunt that demographic down.
how you speak of your book. Change the theme of our elevator speech and express
your summary in a new way.
if you can partner with others in a strategic way that you had not thought of
discounting your book’s price, even giving copies away in exchange for more
reviews or other favors.
remember, the critics don’t always know best.
Just look at this film review by The New Yorker in 1939: “I sat cringing before MGM’s Technicolor
production of The Wizard of Oz, which displays no trace of imagination,
good taste, or ingenuity…I say it’s a stinkeroo.”
in yourself, give it your best shot, rethink your approach, try again, and then
know when to pack it in.
get annoyed if your neighbor plays music at 2 a.m. Call him at four and tell him how much you
--Peter Darbo, film director
“It is easier to
resist at the beginning than at the end.”
“The greater danger
for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in
setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
“The fool doth think
he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
“The supreme paradox
of all thought is its attempt to discover something that thought cannot think." --Soren Kierkegaard
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