Friday, May 1, 2020

Which Book Marketing Advice Should Authors Trust?

Positive Advice I Have Received Over the Years | LetterPile

I have been giving out book marketing advice ever since I began promoting authors to major media outlets back in 1989. Fast-forward three decades later and I still provide guidance to authors and publishers seeking to brand themselves, sell books, and gain media coverage. But it has dawned on me that for all of the useful advice I have provided and resources shared, there are many others, either intentionally or mistakenly, giving out some really crappy advice. How is the author or publisher to know whom to listen to?

Well, like anything else, you need to see confirmation that the source of advice is validated by third parties. Are other professionals that you respect saying they respect this source?

Is this person credentialed and qualified to make the statements he or she makes? Look at their resume of training, work, and experiences.

Next, do you see some of the same advice showing up on other sites or publications that are respectable?

Fourth, does the advice make sense? Was it backed up with proof of effect or at least sample success stories? Does it sound like it could or should work, or does it seem odd to you? Give it the smell test.

Fifth, is the person giving you advice selling something, and if so, what?  You don’t want to see a conflict of interest get in the way of getting advice.

Now, that said, someone may have a public endorsement of their work. So what? For every positive there could be 100 negatives, but no one will highlight the negatives. They can seem to have a proper resume but that does not mean they know anything. And bad advice can he repeated often but it doesn’t make it any more accurate just because it gets circulated. Something may sound like it should work, but the truth is there may be things that you just wouldn’t be aware of that stand in the way from the advice actually being accurate. And, just because someone is selling something it doesn’t mean that their advice is wrong.

So where does this leave us. I just told you trust no one and yet, give people a break under certain circumstances.

Sometimes you have to experiment and test out certain theories or suggestions. You mix and match what works for you. Sometimes what is good advice for one is not for another, and vice versa.

The advice that I can give you is to customize the advice. Figure out what someone is recommending, then discern why it may work for you vs how it worked for that person, and remain optimistic and hopeful that you can find what works out best. There are many things you can do for free – and many things you should pay for. But you need a budget, a marketing plan, and sound goals with ways to measure what works.

The best advice that I will offer you is that you must take action to brand yourself. Of course what you choose to do, to what degree, and for how long, is up to you. Your efforts may be dictated by your time, skill set, knowledge base, money, preferences, and needs. Trust in yourself and in what you want to accomplish and you will begin to filter all advice through your gaols and capabilities. I wish you well on your journey.


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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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