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Monday, October 7, 2019

When Should You Dump Your Own Book?

Image result for getting dumped images

Should 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 it?

Authors 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?

The 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:

·         How many books were sold.
·         How much publicity was generated.
·         What feedback’s been received about the book

Next, an author has to look closely at:

·         what he or she has done so far to push the book.
·         what else can possibly be done to market the book.

It’s 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?

Just as it’s not easy to confront:

·         your mortality.
·         the absence of your youth.
·         a relationship is decaying.
·         a favorite sports team sucks.
·         those jeans no longer fit you.

…you must come to grips whether your book still has potential or whether it is dead.

Before 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:

·         advertising
·         speaking engagements
·         social media exposure
·         media campaign
·         direct marketing to your connections and the marketplace

You 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.

So, what might you do differently before throwing your hands up and admitting defeat?

1.      Hire someone to help do what you can’t, won’t, or don’t know how to do.

2.      Experiment and do things you didn’t yet try.

3.      Do more of what has worked.

4.      Ask others for help – not just advice, but to call in favors to help get your book in the right hands.

5.      Rethink who your targeted reader is and then hunt that demographic down.

6.      Remarket how you speak of your book. Change the theme of our elevator speech and express your summary in a new way.

7.      See, if you can partner with others in a strategic way that you had not thought of before.

8.      Consider discounting your book’s price, even giving copies away in exchange for more reviews or other favors.

Just 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.”

Believe in yourself, give it your best shot, rethink your approach, try again, and then know when to pack it in.


“Never get annoyed if your neighbor plays music at 2 a.m.  Call him at four and tell him how much you enjoyed it.”
--Peter Darbo, film director

“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.”
--Leonardo Da Vinci

“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.”
--Michaelangelo

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
--William Shakespeare

“The supreme paradox of all thought is its attempt to discover something that thought cannot think."
--Soren Kierkegaard


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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.

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