Saturday, March 21, 2020
A Book Marketing Pandemic Playbook For Authors
In these challenging and panic-filled times, there is reason for hope, not only for our nation’s well-being, but for your ability to promote and market your book successfully,
But before we proceed to talk about what you can be doing and should be thinking, let’s simply acknowledge where we stand. I think by being realistic, but not alarming, we can reasonably wrap our heads around things.
Ok, times are upside down and getting worse by the minute. There is a national emergency amidst a global pandemic. Things are moving into lockdown mode. The number of cases and deaths are surging, hear and abroad. So much is unknown, and what is known is not positive, and yet people need to be optimistic, patient, and supportive of each other. To only live in fear and frustration will lead to poorer results.
Americans are rightly stressed out over, in no order, their:
· short- and long-term financial future
· job security
· state of health
· loved ones’ lives
I am already prepared to slay my family after a week of working from home and 24-7 living under house-arrest type rules. However, I also am thankful to be alive, working, and stocked with the essentials, including Oreos, Pringle’s BBQ potato chips, and Tic-Tacs.
It is no doubt something crazy that we are all going through. It is a strange disruption, but we are all in it together, albeit each of us suffering different measures of loss, pain, or sacrifice.
However, here is the other side to all of this bleakness. We cannot give up hope – and there is no reason to just throw the towel in. Authors are in a unique position to use this period of time to still brand themselves and sell books, and definitely can use this time to place themselves in a stronger position once this crisis begins to lift.
So, what should authors be doing right now?
· Building up a treasure chest of content, both to be sold now and in the future. Diversify the type of books that you have to sell, appealing to different sectors of potential customers.
· Putting content into new formats. Take that hardcover book and turn it into an audiobook. Take your e-book and also issue a print-on-demand paperback.
· Expand on the number of products and services that you offer. If you have a book out, issue another one. If you have books, create online courses out of them.
· Educate yourself on all things digital – from social media to Zoom to podcasting, blogging, You Tubing – even if you resisted this before. Learn, try, do. Experiment. You can break through into areas you never really thought about.
· Keep seeking out media – or hire help to do it. There are plenty of opportunities out there, especially from media that doesn’t want to just cover corona 24/7. There is also plenty of media that can cover you if you find a corona pivot in your message. Sure no book was written about Corona until recently, but many books can speak to it as it impacts the things they often discuss. If you talk about parenting, now it is about parenting through an emergency. If you discuss personal finance, well, it is time to discuss it in the context of Wall Street and Main Street collapsing. If you write about history, dust off the 1929 playbook on depressions or the 1918 one for pandemics.
I also believe the way for you to get through these unbelievable wild times, you need to first:
· Reflect on what you are thankful for and build strength from the positives.
· Acknowledge problems and potential pitfalls and start to plan for them or deal with them.
· Seek out mental support, whether online or by some other means, just so you can speed up the process of healing.
· Stay in touch with everyone – by phone, video, or in person via social distancing with a handful of people. We still need human support and interaction.
· Make plans to again travel, speak publicly, and actually be at bookstores or libraries, but don’t put a date on it. Know it will happen; we just don’t know when. But you can still research things, plan out presentations, and network with people online so that when things open up again, you are ahead of the curve.
· Lastly, don’t feel defeated. People need or want your book and to hear what you have to say. Use the media to funnel those ideas and messages that were relevant before a pandemic – and still are during and after it.
Stay healthy, sane, and loving. The rest will have to settle itself. As you continue to push your brand and execute a marketing plan, you will grow and get back on your path to author wellness.
Please Also See These Recent Posts
How To Pitch The Media In This Crazy News Cycle
Opportunities Arise For Authors During Coronavirus
We Shall Defeat Coronavirus!
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 email@example.com. 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 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.