Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bad Marketing Plan: When A Charity Has To Pay You!

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Like you, I receive a blizzard of solicitations daily in the mail, online, while consuming media like T.V., radio, or newspapers, and of course via e-mail. One approach to marketing annoyed me so much I had to cash in on it – and hopefully teach a lesson.

There was some stated message of urgency about a check inside an envelope. Of course I opened it. The check for $2 was made out to me, sent along with a letter begging me not to cash it but instead to send this charity a check.  I won’t name the charity, but instead of donating to them, I cashed the check.

Now, you may say that was not nice, that it’s a charity desperate for funding, and that if I didn’t want to give, I don’t have to, but to cash it is just mean.

I would say this instead: Bad marketing practices should be exposed and those who practice them should know better.

If you want to highlight what a charity does, why it needs money, and identify how you can help, great. But if you falsely advertise yourself by extending a check to me that you don’t really want to give me, that’s not cool.  Further, to use such tactics doesn’t sell who you are or why I should give. It only hopes that its check trick will guilt me into giving.

Folks, learn from this. When you market anything, including your books, don’t trick people. No lies. No bait and switch. No false promises. No insincere offers.  No bullshit. Any idiot can cheat, steal, con or mislead. Use your skills, passions, and desires to craft a better marketing approach.

Book marketing generally uses harmless factors to persuade people to buy a book. If one makes a mistake, they ‘re out 20 bucks. They didn’t lose hundreds or thousands to a scam, lie, or overhyped product. But still, even, if you are marketing a 99-cent e-book, always:

·         Be honest.
·         Highlight achievable benefits.
·         Focus on facts.
·         Build yourself up without putting others down.
·         Promise a pay-off that is obtainable.
·         Have fun by doing the right thing.

I don’t know of anyone put in jail for trying to market their book, but take responsibility for what you say and do – or purposely don’t say or do when it comes to promoting your brand and book.  Take the high road and earn that book sale. 

Resorting to trickery, fake news, or unnecessary threats may end up backfiring on you. Someone’s always waiting to cash in on a marketing mistake.


Free 2020 Book Marketing Toolkit for Authors

Try These 10 Ways To Promote Your Book

10 Rules For Authors Promoting Their Books Well

Look For These Book Marketing Lessons All Around You

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 ©2020. 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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