Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Key Book Marketing Lessons Inspired By TV’s NYPD Blue

 NYPD Blue logo.jpg

Are you seeking out ways to market your brand and sell more books? Look no further than learning some lessons by watching re-runs of NYPD Blue.

Yes, that classic, gritty television crime drama that left the airwaves 15 years ago can serve as inspiration to authors and publishers looking to push their books to consumers and the media.

The Steven Bochco series, which ranks as a top-10 crime drama series of the past quarter-century on most people’s lists,  explored the personal and professional lives of cops in the world’s top city in a way that had not been done before.

The Emmy-winning series can now be found on Hulu. My 15-year-old son and I are midway through the 12-season, 261-episode treasure of Andy Sipowitzisms. I enjoyed its original ABC run from 1993-2005, but re-watching with my kid has allowed me to study it on multiple levels, and I must say it really holds its own today.

So how did they solve crimes, get confessions, and make the dirty, violent streets a little safer? They used the following methods, all of which can be used to sell yourself and promote your message:

·         Appeal to their sense of morality – Yes, sometimes they can tap into a criminal’s heart or moral compass and guilt them to give up a confession. Perhaps you can appeal to the ethical mindset of others to get them to appreciate your message. 

·         Get to their level – The police speak to the alleged criminal on a level they understand, using their language, expressing their words, and speaking in references they would understand. You must do the same.

·         Throw out a hypothetical and see if it sticks – Sometimes they would bait someone by suggesting what could have happened, though the cops really were not sure themselves of what happened. But they put out a scenario to see if the criminal buys in. You too can share hypothetical situations to see if any of them resonate with the people you seek to impress.

·         Befriend others and make a connection – Perps start saying things they shouldn’t reveal to the cops when people butter them up and make like they are friends.

·         Imagine how they think and anticipate their behavior based on habits – Deal with people by making assumptions, playing the odds, and understanding human nature. People can be predictable with their habits, so play into them.

·         Rely on fears and threats – Sometimes to get what is needed during an interrogation, the police will use threats of jail, revenge, or physical violence to get their way. They effectively play on the fears of the people they are dealing with. You too can play on the fears or insecurities of those you talk to – but don’t threaten anyone bodily harm!

·         Play to their ego – Make someone feel important, smart, sexy, or successful. It works to your favor every time.

·         Keep asking questions until you learn enough information to use against them – Information is your ally, so keep observing and asking questions until you learn enough to sell someone on what you have to offer.

·         Use lies to make them believe something and trick them to act in your favor -- Yes, the police try to manipulate the accused, hoping they can trick them into confessing or making a mistake. Your stakes are not so high. You are not trying to fool someone into getting themselves locked up in jail, but you can make some suggestive statements to see how someone reacts. Perhaps you can lure someone into buying your book if you say something that triggers them.

·         Act on a hunch – Go with your instincts and speak or take action based on this hunch.

·         Hope for a lucky break – Sometimes you cannot say or do anything that gets you what you want. Sometimes it comes down to getting lucky that things go your way. But you create luck by putting yourself in as many opportunities as you can.

·         Believe in yourself and know you have what it takes to get the job done – The cops have faith in themselves and the process to get the job done right. Of course it is TV land with 100% case clearance, but it is a good idea to trust you will succeed.

·         Utilize teamwork and the support of others – Though many cops have a hero complex and want to go it alone with the bad guys to battle evil, the truth is they need each other and the help of the public to get the job done. You also should lean on others to assist your efforts.

·         Be willing to put in long hours or go the extra mile – Some of these cops work overtime, not just to collect a few extra bucks, but because they are committed to succeeding. You too must work hard, smart, and long hours if you hope to break through.

·         Employ humor to diffuse a stressful situation – This always works, whether for TV cops, authors, or anyone.

·         Offer kindness – a soda or empathy – In almost every episode, the police offer a drink or a pat on the back to someone they just told bad news to. With criminals, they try to ease their mind by a cop offering a beverage. You too can lure someone on to your side with a friendly smile, an offer of a beverage, or an effort to sound like you care about them.

·         Act with a sense of authority – The police have a badge, which gives them actual authority, but there is still a perception of authority that goes with it. You too can be perceived as an authority if you sound and look like one. Speak with confidence, conviction, and a certain swagger.

You too can employ these tactics to sell books. Sure, you are not tuning up some skell during an interrogation, but you can employ your bag of tricks to communicate in a way that influences others to do what you need them to do. Try it.


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached

at  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas

expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him

on Twitter @theprexpert. 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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