Monday, June 8, 2020

Lessons From BLM Protesters On Book Marketing

DC Protests: Thousands Pour Into City To Protest Police Brutality ...

The past two weeks of nationwide protests on behalf of Black Lives Matter and justice for the killing of George Floyd are forcing unprecedented dialogues on race and police reforms to take place. In my lifetime of 53 years I have not seen this level of activism – on any issue.  I believe not only will this movement create lasting change, it will re-write the books on how to advocate publicly to address any issue. I also think that, despite being plagued by some violent confrontations and early looting, it will serve as a model for authors to follow when it comes to finding a way to get one’s voice heard.

Sure there is a difference between marching for justice and hawking a book, but the concept is the same. Whereas protesters seek justice and change, authors seek notoriety and book sales – and to impact people with their message. So what tactics do protesters employ that authors can apply?

·         Speak out – loudly and clearly. These protests were very visible. To get attention for anything, you must stand up, stand out, speak up, and say something of importance.

·         Repeat and rinse. The key here is there was no single protest that sticks out. Rather, multiple daily protests in scores of cities across the United States over many days and weeks is what is getting the message through. So, persistence, consistency, and effort is what is needed to be heard.

·         Images and slogans will get the point across. We all remember “No justice, no peace” and “Black Lives Matter” and chants of “What’s his Name? George Floyd.”  Can you come up with a catchphrase or short and direct way to summarize what you have to say?

·         Think nationally, but act locally. Make your message local in practice but national in scope. Create customized or individually packaged stories that have bigger and broader implications.

·         Tap into fear, anger, and other emotions. Controversy sells – but it also gives attention to something. Authors need to speak in a way that cuts to the heart of a matter and makes people fill up with emotions.

·         Challenge people to think or act differently. Protesters made us think and evaluate deeply how we do or don’t do things that contribute to our state of affairs. Authors can help us confront our lives.

·         Humanize the message. Make it about life and death, about the quality of life, about values and ideals, about real-world stuff, and people are bound to feel your pain and connect better with you.

Protesters also acted courageously. They took a chance, marching when it was dangerous to congregate due to corona, illegally violating curfews, and walking despite knowing there could be some bad actors that could turn peaceful protests into violence. Authors need to also have the courage of their convictions, to be driven to do what is right by speaking up not just for a book, but a book that represents something.

Now, this does not mean there is a formula for protesting or for getting media attention for your book, but there are patterns for each, and in many cases, they can have a similar flow. Authors, watch how and why these protests are getting our attention, whether your support or oppose them, and extract some of their peaceful, strategic techniques to craft a more successful marketing campaign for your message.


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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 Bo

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