Friday, April 24, 2020

Are Books Really Pets To Their Authors?

                                                  English Bulldog In Front Of A White Background Stock Photo, Picture And  Royalty Free Image. Image 10440916.

Every dog I’ve ever owned eventually left me. 

My first dog, a basset hound named Brandy, was adopted out when I had to move from a Florida house to a Brooklyn apartment. Other dogs died. One got hit by a school bus. One had lymphoma, another had to be put down due to violent episodes, one was put down due to old age and health, and another was fostered for a month and didn’t warrant adoption. That’s the nature of pets. But in every situation, I gave the dog love, attention, and cared for its needs. Perhaps authors should start to look at their books as a pet dog or cat.

Look at how analogous a pet and book are to one another:

·         They each need daily attention—one to market; one to meet its physical needs.
·         They both cost us something—one requires money and time to generate sales and publicity; the other needs resources to survive and thrive.
·         They both have a shelf life—one needs attention for a period of time to give it a chance to succeed; the other will expire in a matter of years because nature dictates it.

I was recently fostering a mini-bulldog. Even though I knew she was not our forever dog (too small, wild, and yappy), I was willing to put the effort and resources into nurturing her while a rescue organization finds a permanent owner for her. Maybe we all need to take a fostering approach to the books we will raise.

Whether you promote your book and brand for a few weeks, months, or years, your approach is to make sure that you succeed at what you do. You have clear objectives and you stay motivated to pursue them. Just as you do when fostering a pet, you foster your book so that it is put in a position to grow and succeed. Survive, then thrive.

Nothing is permanent—not your pet, your life, or the window of relevance for your book. Foster your book with pride, energy, resources, and optimism. Sure, your book will eventually move on or die a death, but while you care for it, go big and go strong. Give life to your baby—whether a book or pet.

When fostering a pet, it takes a village. My two children and wife all pitch in. The bulldog rescue organization that eventually placed her also helped get this dog needed medical attention while we cared for her. Your book also needs a team. Others—friends or family—can help you sell your book. There are organizations, bookstores, libraries, or a publisher that also may help further. You can hire others to help market or promote yourself and your book.

When we care for pets, we do so with selfish and selfless objectives. We want to help an animal enjoy life and address its needs. But we also want the pet to fulfill and meet our needs and desires as a fun companion. 

Books, too, demand attention, like a pet, but they can give back in many ways. Nothing makes an author feel happier than when he or she gets a great book review, makes a book sale, gets invited to speak somewhere, or feels validated by others.

Whether you love animals or want to help these cool beings, think about adopting or fostering one. And if you are an author, foster your book and take ownership of it. You can feel the rewards of book marketing done well. 

It’s a wuff world out there, but sometimes your barking may deliver exactly what you wanted to achieve.


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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 ©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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