Thursday, July 9, 2020

How Do Authors Find What Works In Book Marketing?

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What really is "good marketing," especially when it comes to books?

Good book marketing is anything that helps authors or publishers meet their goals. Usually, the goal boils down to book sales, branding, helping to sell other services, products or books, or to create awareness of a topic or message.

So what type of book marketing will serve these goals?

Most people have trouble pointing to the specific thing or event or act that helps them achieve their goals. But they know overall if they are taking a proactive approach to book marketing, collectively, these things are contributing to growing book sales and other success.

Different tools work differently for each author or publisher. It depends on the book’s genre, book price, availability, and quality of the book marketing effort. Not all ads are equal. Not all media coverage is equal. Not all social media presence is equal. Not all speech is equal. It's hard to say that something will not work until you try it.

Too many authors will dip their toes into book marketing, but they will declare defeat if their few attempts lead to little or no measurable results. All of a sudden, the frustrated author just throws her hands up and calls it quits.

But book marketing is like dating. Just because one date, or a few people that you date don't work out, your spouse-to-be could be the next date. You can't just give up, right?

If the author doesn't quit, they do the next worst thing: they approach everything with distrust and a lack of commitment. They become gun shy and have trouble pulling the trigger even when a good opportunity is upon them.

Then, you have the author who tries to calculate the cost-benefit to any book marketing initiative. I don't blame them for being cautious. But this frame of mind usually stops them from doing anything. They are the people who dip a toe in the pool, think it's cold, and never return. But sometimes, the water warms up and you get used to it. The authors are missing out on many opportunities.

So what's the answer? How can authors find a balance between being optimistic but cautious?

When it comes to promoting a book, simply draw up a list of things that can be done by the following criteria:

-           What is the chance of success?
-           Define success?
-           How much can you afford to spend?
-           Can you do what needs to be done?
-           Which things are cost or time prohibitive, and thus need to go ignored?

Generally, ads don't pay off as much as pursuing news media coverage. Certainly, one should do the free things: speaking, social media, email blasts. Understand that to do nothing is not a strategy, and that to delay or stretch what needs to be done could cost you if you don't pay attention to media deadlines or consumer timeline expectations

Measure and monitor your efforts. Explore what works but keep experimenting and expanding your marketing efforts. Just as good books will eventually find their readers, good marketing will find its way to consumers. Keep pushing your book like you just discovered the cure for coronavirus. Champion what you believe in and get others to believe as well.  

Never give up, never let fear win. Your book deserves more.


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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 

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