Friday, November 8, 2019

The Road Test To Successful Book Marketing

Image result for roAD TEST IMAGES

A good friend of mine just told me his daughter passed her road test on the first shot. She is the last of his four kids to get a driver’s license. He said his other kids each took the test multiple times. I know the feeling.  I recall showing up for six road tests.  Sometimes in life, you need to fail in order to succeed. This is a true book narketing lesson.

Growing up in Brooklyn, circa 1970s and 80’s, to parents who didn’t own a car or a driver’s license, I was rarely in a car, unless you add up all of the times we took a car service to go somewhere or when Grandpa Louis would occasionally drive us somewhere. So when I was in high school and had the chance to take driver’s ed and learn how to drive, I was excited and petrified.

Most kids learned to drive with the help of a parent or relative who drove.  Even if they went to driver’s ed they got to practice with someone at home. I was shocked when I was given the chance to drive on the streets of Brooklyn.  I knew nothing. Even the dashboard was an unfamiliar site. The steering wheel was in front of me, but everything else, from the gas pedal, to the lights, to the turning signal or even the radio knob, was foreign to me.

Each time I went on the road, with three other kids and an instructor with a dual break, I felt like I was on an adventure. Everything was so new and unfamiliar, and yet it was fun to do something adults did, to do what my parents had never done.

I passed the written test the first time. I took the classes and then the driving lessons.  But I really had very little road time under my belt. I had no sense of the road, no sense of timing.  Everything seemed to unfold before me but I had no control, other than to break where needed. Every car door, every vehicle, every pedestrian…all of them seemed like lurking dangers that I could neither predict nor dictate.

Knowing what I know now as an experienced, safe driver, I realize how unprepared for the road I really was back then. Still, I took my road test, and failed.

I failed again.

And again.

too fast at a yield sign. Touching the curb when parking. It didn't take much to fail.

I think I then passed, but at age 17 or 16, I  immaturely did not follow through.  I had to actually put in some paperwork but at escaped me.  A little while later I went to get my physical license but I was told it expired for failure to process the papers.

I had to take the test yet again!

I showed up with a car that failed. The windshield had a thin-line crack and the DMV guy said I couldn’t take the test that day.

I came back again -- and passed!

So I showed up at least six times to take a test. I failed three times.  My car failed once. And I passed twice.

So what’s the lesson to all of this other than think twice about sharing the road with me? Never give up.  When it comes to life, and book marketing in particular, do not give up. Stay after the prize, even if you fail a few times.  And even when you succeed, you may fail again afterwards. No matter.  Get back out there and try again.

There are many tests in book marketing and even when you pass them one day, you need to take them again tomorrow, and the next day.

My first car was a used piece of shit that I bought for $400.It was an ’84 Plymouth Horizon with 60,000 miles and a history of headaches.  I’ve learned over the years that used cars purchased from individuals are usually lemons and that most American cars are not very good.  But that’s mother blog post.

Family and friends enjoyed ribbing me over how many times I took a road test but it didn’t matter. I passed, had a license, and was equal to everyone on the road. With time and practice, I felt capable and confident to drive.  And with time and practice, you too will succeed at book marketing.

Be prepared to fail, but keep striving to succeed.  Never let a momentary setback stop you.

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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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