Thursday, October 24, 2019

Why Authors Must Really Piss Off Potential Readers

Image result for angry images

When promoting your book, you’ll need to speak with energy, passion, and conviction.  You will want to say things in a catchy, sound-bitey way.  You will seek to impact and influence others by being interesting, entertaining, and inspiring.  You will also need to be provocative and be prepared to turn off at least half of the people listening to you.

Yes, the key to success in selling a lot of books and securing tons of media coverage is to focus on a key segment of the population – and then ignore or even dismiss the rest of the country.

I realize this isn’t the advice most people would give you.  The current way of thinking is that one should broaden their message to appeal to more people.  I say you should narrow it and double down on what appeals to your core.

Let’s face it, most people will not buy your book or even know it exists.  Most people will not be interested in your message. They may even disagree with it. Everyone’s focused on other things and you simply are not on their radar.  Play into that. Appeal to the few who will be your potential consumer and speak their language and seek to win them over at the expense of losing the vast majority.

Why?  Well, out of 330 million Americans you only need 1% of 1% of the population – or 33,000 – to buy your book and be very successful.  Heck, if you sell to 10% of 1% of 1%, that’s 3,300 and that’s not bad either.

You may say, “OK, I understand only a few people may buy my book but how does it  help me to ignore or turn-off those who may buy it?”

The truth is every author has a potential following, some bigger than others.  You first need to do all that you can to appeal to the likeliest buyer, especially if it means turning away from others with a message that forces one to choose sides.  The more controversial, the better.

The extremes sell, not the middle.  We want heroes and villains, not just people who are decent citizens. We want rich and poor, not ordinary middle class. We want beauty and the beast, not average looks.  We want life and death and drama, humor, sex, and power struggles. 

Mediocrity.  The norm.  Average. It doesn’t sell.

So look at how you pitch yourself to the media or advertise your book. Can you push towards any extremes - highlight something while even putting its opposite down?  Can you risk alienating readers?  Sure, it’s what you need to do.

People need someone or something to push their buttons. They want a wild personality.  They love a crazy story. They want to escape their lives. They want a strong leader. They need direction – and you can give them that.

In life, looking to compromise or settle is fine when buying a car or figuring out a restaurant to visit, but when it comes to promoting your book, never settle. Push buttons and thrive on turning people away. It means you are strengthening your appeal to others, the ones most likely to actually buy your book.

“If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point.”
--Antonio Porchia

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”

--Ludwig Wittgenstein

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RBrian 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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