Saturday, April 18, 2020

How Do You Score In The Book Marketing Game?

Can't Travel? Play These Games Instead During COVID-19 And Social ...

Book marketing is about keeping score. Do you want to win the game?

People do things for the fun of it or because they are passionate about something. That’s why kids play a sport or adults choose to write. But there is also a competitive side to all of this. Kids want to win the games they play and authors want to see their works get published, praised, and paid for.

Authors can learn from those who play Scrabble.  There are people like my sister who are very smart and filled with a great vocabulary, like my sister. But she loses most often to me because I focus not on the quality of a word but the score of the word. Afterall, the game rewards those who score the most points, not those who make nice words.

It is the same in book publishing. Rewards don’t always come to the best written books or the writers who work the hardest. No, compensation, fame, and fulfillment comes for those who know how to play the book marketing game. How a book is promoted and sold is more important than what is in the book. Now don’t get me wrong, all things being equal, I want to see great books do well. They deserve our attention. But the world keeps score and things don’t always add up as you think they should.

Scrabble scores go high when one uses certain letters with high values strategically. It likes players who know how to take advantage of the board real estate – with double and triple word scores. It also likes when one can build more than word at a time, based on the juxtaposition of the letters already on the board. And should you get an S or a blank, well, those are gold!

People can score a lot by using words that we never use in everyday speech. There are over 100 two-letter words that are recognized by Scrabble as legit, even though in the real world you would never use xi, ki, or os in a conversation. What do they even mean?

The rules of Scrabble, like life itself, may not seem fair or reasonable, but they are the same for everyone. The skills you need to succeed in life are not just the ones you value, such as being a wordsmith or a great writer. No, you need to combine your talents with a certain level of scheming street savvy to make it big in life.

Too often we are blocked or quarantined in our thinking. We act under a set of beliefs as if they are rules when in fact you may be limiting yourself to a set of morals or values that are misplaced. We all have a sense of how things should be, but that doesn’t mean that is how they are. 

The sooner you adjust to the reality of the book marketing game, the sooner you will break through.


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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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