A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
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Sunday, March 1, 2020
What Really Determines Your Book’s Fate?
are a number of rumors, misconceptions, and errant ideas circulating in the
book world when it comes to what actually makes a book a success. Let’s explore
reading an article about what it takes to raise a successful child. First you
would ask to define what successful means – and then you’d run down a list that
looked like this:
of social media, movies, news, video games
appearance and abilities
victimized at a young age
to mental wellness services and healthcare
sure you can add to the list of nurture vs. nature, but you get the point.
Well, the same approach, to a degree, can be taken with books.
gives a book a better chance of success?
of targeted readership.
of competition in genre.
of the book.
what it really comes down to is this:
the publisher is
– this gives some a leg up on bookshelf access and the ability to be reviewed
by the media.
the book’s editor is
– the quality of a book’s editing can dictate success; and a connected editor
can lobby for more marketing budget for a book.
a publicist is hired or used – having a pro advocate for your book can
make a big difference.
Money – funds for
advertising, traveling, promoting, and hyping a book is a huge factor.
of you may have answered book reviews as a big factor in a book’s success. Yes -- and -- no.
reviewed the book and their influence or size of following.
the review was positive or negative.
number of reviews garnered.
plenty of books succeed with few reviews or some nasty ones.Why? Because you can do so many things to
promote or sell a book, including:
& Library Appearances.
a Bests-Seller List.
good books lack reviews – they didn’t send books in time or to the right person
– or couldn’t afford to reach a lot of reviewers. Or the reviewers ignorantly
chose not to review them – or were so overwhelmed by submissions that they
didn’t really choose but merely stopped looking.
really determines your book’s fate?
excuses. No complaints.
hard and relentlessly.
should win out over mediocrity.
but let’s be realistic. Some people start out with an edge, some with a
deficit. I get it. But you can’t stop there and forever give up to a rigged
process. You need to show people why your book matters – and why they should
want or need it. If you don’t lobby for your book, no one else will.
some books that are nothing special, maybe even downright bad, sometimes get
media coverage, book sales, and even critical acclaim? Sure. Happens all of the
time. Work around it.
determine your book’s fate. What’s it gonna be?