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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Book Publishing Needs Its Super Bowl Moment



The 55th Super Bowl will take place this year with the likelihood of massive television ratings and sold-out television advertising time — at a rate of $11 million per minute! It has been the biggest television spectacle for decades. Even those who don’t know a sack from a holding penalty will watch. The ads, halftime show, and wing, pizza, and beer-fueled pregame partying are now American rituals. Can the book world ever approach having such a unifying event?

Sports and entertainment industries have championship games and awards nights to honor and promote their worlds. Books? Crickets.

Why can’t book publishing have a star-studded two-hour televised event that celebrates literacy and the power of books, that honors great writers and industry professionals? Dramatized book readings. Awards. Interviews. Speeches that empower the creative writer and curious reader in each of us. It could be amazing. But no one is doing it. Why?

Why should books play second fiddle to Netflix and the NFL? Granted, more people prefer to binge a show or watch athletes do battle on the field, but it doesn’t mean the book world, one that sells tens of billions of dollars of books annually, can’t get together to promote its product and people.

Why not make the show a telethon, raising funds and books to aid literacy in America? Make it about free speech. Show the powerful impact books have had on famous and successful people — or to influence social activism and movements. Let a dad talk about reading to children or a grandmother read to the newest generation.


All genres should be acknowledged, from erotica to faith, adult nonfiction to children’s fantasy, poetry to textbooks.

People should learn how an idea becomes a book. They should hear what acquisition editors, publicists, cover designers, booksellers, editors, book reviewers, social media marketers, literary agents, and publishers actually do. The show can take us behind the scenes to appreciate why and how books come to be.

Social media, films, television, sports, and video games already dominate the mindshare of people. Let’s rally for books!

So, as you guzzle down and munch on your Super Bowl fare, enjoy what could be a great game and all of the sideshow fixin’s — and think about how we can gather together to watch a show by, about, and for the book world.

 

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Why Authors Should Nor Lose Hope

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/why-authors-should-not-lose-hope.html

Authors Should Promote The Books Of Others to Help Their Own Book

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/promote-other-books-to-promote-yours.html

How Authors Can Increase Their Website Traffic

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-authors-can-increase-their-web.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

Free Speech Loses With Senator Hawley Book Cancelled

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/free-speech-loses-with-senators.html

This Is Exactly How Authors Sell More Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/this-is-exactly-how-authors-sell-more.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

Book Industry Hurt By Death Of Book Expo

 


For 73 years, the book industry had a tradition. Each year, book stores, publishers, literary agents, publicists, writers, editors, and the media would cluster to highlight and discuss hot books, trends, and upcoming titles. They were literate people who treasured the written word. Then corona came and knocked the event into the ashes of history.

My first gathering, at the time, called the ABA because it was put on by the American Booksellers Association, was in 1990. It was held in Las Vegas. It was just 23, my first time in Sin City. That was a lot of fun. The event would be renamed shortly thereafter, when Reed Exhibitions took the event over.

What started humbly in 1957 peaked around the turn of this century, when some 40,000 attendees filled the convention floor for what used to be a spectacle event. Then the Internet grew stronger, Amazon took the industry by storm, e-books flourished, and Border’s closed down. The Great Recession knocked out some indie bookstores, the news media started to transition from print to digital, and things just changed for the book world. Book Expo America has been in decline for a good decade or so. Now it is no more.

I attended many shows over the years, including ones in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles. I even met my wife at one, in 2000, in Chicago. I will always have fond memories of the show, one that used to draw celebrities, best-selling authors, and those who wanted to be both.

Book Expo America did not just get cancelled for 2020. Reed Exhibitions recently announced the current incarnation will be no longer. What takes place next is anyone’s guess, but there is a desire – maybe even a need – to have the industry get together and share in a love of books. People need to connect – to match a face with an email address, to share stories, exchange ideas, impart knowledge, and engage in a way that is not just transactional.

Books, compared to most products, are people-centric. Books touch us so deeply. So can the people who write, edit, publish, market, and sell them.

I presented a workshop at BEA to industry professionals and authors about book publicity, in 2018 and 2019, the final two years of the show’s existence. It is hard to believe that it is all ancient history. But the book world is healthy and as the world recovers from corona, hopefully a new tradition can be launched in 2021 that lasts a long, long time.


Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Why Authors Should Nor Lose Hope

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/why-authors-should-not-lose-hope.html

Authors Should Promote The Books Of Others to Help Their Own Book

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/promote-other-books-to-promote-yours.html

How Authors Can Increase Their Website Traffic

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-authors-can-increase-their-web.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

Free Speech Loses With Senator Hawley Book Cancelled

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/free-speech-loses-with-senators.html

This Is Exactly How Authors Sell More Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/this-is-exactly-how-authors-sell-more.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

When Will The Book Industry Raise Its Standards?



Anyone can write or publish a book. Anyone can market, edit, or sell a book, too. No licensing standards. No legal clearances. No minimum experience required. No moralities threshold. You can be a convicted murderer, rapist, or terrorist — as well as a dummy, hater, cheater, abuser, addict or abject degenerate — and do any of the above.


Does this type of environment allow for the producing of great books and ensure against    garbage being published?

Now, free speech, to remain unfettered, cannot have any legal strangleholds to determine who is qualified to share their viewpoints, art, or reporting. However, we could use some suggested higher standards or voluntary guidelines to raise the quality of books released.

We could also use some encouragement to hold people accountable and demand that those who practice the art of book publishing, sales, editing, marketing, and reviewing deliver a higher level of product and service.

On the other hand, other industries are not much better than book publishing. Is Hollywood, Wall Street, Capitol Hill, or Madison Avenue holdings its products, services, or practitioners to greater standards to ensure it produces high quality work?

Don’t look to politics for hope. To qualify to run for president of the United States, you don’t have to pass a knowledge or skills test, don’t need to have prior legislative experience, are not required to be physically or mentally fit, and you could have a long record of criminal convictions.  Just be 35 and make sure you were born here.

The US Supreme Court is similar. You don’t need to be a judge or even a lawyer to sit on the highest court.

No wonder America draws in some awful candidates for high office. We see higher standards in place to be a barber, taxi cab driver, or dog groomer.

Publishing can do better, regardless of how pathetic other industries are. It is not that we need regulation for its own sake or for regulating to become a cash cow business unto itself, but it would be nice to see publishing reform itself.

For instance, should there be a certification process so that one can be acknowledged as being minimally experienced, trained, or qualified to do what they do, whether it be editing, marketing, or selling books? Could there be trainings that are required to all licensed professionals even after they are certified? Can there be an ethics course delivered? How about one on better communication, time management, and relevant legal issues?

The book industry is basically a conglomeration of the following:

**5, soon-to-be 4, huge publishing corporations
**8Small presses
**University presses
*8Hybrid publishers
**Self-publishers

Three out of four newly published books come from the non-traditional, self-published arena. Many freelancers are hired to do work for first-time, amateur authors. This is all done by the pull and tug of free market forces, of trial and error. No standards. No trainings. No centralized database of information or registration.

Publishing is a Wild West product of the global gig economy, where one’s side hustle can impact what we read or discover — and impact a writer’s career.

Now, to be fair, there are various trade associations that seek to educate its members while helping to promote the services of its members. Some will occasionally discuss ethics, offer classes, and help polish the image of its group. But these groups fo not work together and the average author doesn’t even know these groups exist.

The book world couldn’t even unify to keep its lone industry event going, shuttering its 73-year-old Book Expo America. The answer is not to continue doing things in virtual silos.

We need to truly unite, gather, support, and educate one another. We can still compete with one another, but let’s elevate our work product so that better books can be produced and used to inspire a better world.

 

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Why Authors Should Nor Lose Hope

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/why-authors-should-not-lose-hope.html

Authors Should Promote The Books Of Others to Help Their Own Book

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/promote-other-books-to-promote-yours.html

How Authors Can Increase Their Website Traffic

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-authors-can-increase-their-web.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

Free Speech Loses With Senator Hawley Book Cancelled

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/free-speech-loses-with-senators.html

This Is Exactly How Authors Sell More Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/this-is-exactly-how-authors-sell-more.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Helpful Resources For Writers: Grants, MFA Programs, Events, Media


There are many resourceful websites for writers, but few are as comprehensive, accurate, and useful as Poets & Writers (www.pw.org).

Here are seven resources you can find there:

Directory of Thousands of Poets and Writers

www.pw.org/directory

Master of Fine Arts Programs

www.pw.org/mfa

List of Writing Contests & Grants

www.pw.org/grants

Publishing News

www.pw.org/daily_news

Literary Events Calendar

www.pw.org/calendar

Local Readings/Author Events

www.pw.org/local

Literary Magazine Database

www.pw.org/literary_magazines

 

“What isn’t said is as important as what is said.”

--Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad

“The first draft of anything is shit.”

--Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway

“If you don’t make mistakes, you’re notworking on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.”

--Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics

“In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine.”

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”

--Salvador Dali

“In art one is either a plagiarist or a revolutionary.”

--Paul Gaguin

“It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.”

--Jean-Luc Godard

 

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

Why Authors Should Nor Lose Hope

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/why-authors-should-not-lose-hope.html

Authors Should Promote The Books Of Others to Help Their Own Book

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/promote-other-books-to-promote-yours.html

How Authors Can Increase Their Website Traffic

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-authors-can-increase-their-web.html

How Can Authors Market More Efficiently?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-can-authors-market-more-efficiently.html

Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/12/are-you-book-marketing-badass.html

Authors Need to Know Why They Write Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/09/authors-need-to-know-why-they-write.html

Free Speech Loses With Senator Hawley Book Cancelled

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/free-speech-loses-with-senators.html

This Is Exactly How Authors Sell More Books

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2021/01/this-is-exactly-how-authors-sell-more.html

How Authors Should Build A Platform

https://bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com/2020/10/how-authors-should-build-platform.html

Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2021. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.