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Monday, February 8, 2021

When Personal Views Get In The Way Of Book Sales



When we discuss our books or selves to others, with the hopes of convincing them to buy a book, follow us on social media, click on a website, or to embrace our branded message, how do we go about doing it in a way that wins people over?

It all comes down to our core needs, shared values, and common interests. What will make you seem relatable to another, without saying something that could turn them away?

They always say to avoid sex, politics, religion, and race. Unless your book deals with those areas, run from them. The nation is too sensitive – and exhausted – to discuss them if they don’t pertain to your message.

So, what do most of us tend to relate to that is neutral?  

·         Money

·         Love

·         Purpose

·         Passion

·         Hope

·         Freedom

·         Democracy

·         Dreams

·         Nature

·         Entertainment

·         Sports

Stick to basic human needs: 

·         Clothing

·         Food

·         Shelter

·         Security

·         Wellness

Chirp about things commonly agreed on:  

·         Getting a better education

·         The importance of family

·         The power of the imagination

·         The pursuit of happiness

·         The value of charity and kindness

·         The strength of friendships

You can be funny, emotional, provocative, creative, forceful ... and get your message across. You can also piss people off – as a strategy – if that is what you think will work. Determine what kind of personality you want to project – and then live and breathe it in everything you say and do.

In a book by William Ury, The Power of a Positive No, he says: “Anger can blind, fear can paralyze, and guilt can weaken.” Do you want to draw people in by using anger, fear, and guilt – or do you want to call upon other emotions, ideas, questions, and solutions?

Authors seek to get potential readers interested in buying their book. They will use social media, advertising, awards, traditional media, speaking, and other vehicles to sway people, which is fine, but they must really give thought as to what their core message is and exactly what type of image they want to cast out. What they say – or don’t – and how they say it is what will drive people to or from them.

This doesn’t mean avoid controversy or merely tell others what they want to hear. But it does mean there is no reason to share dogma on irrelevant matters or to go beyond the reach of your book’s message. Authors must not let things blind them from obtaining readers, simply because they or their readers hold certain views or values on unrelated matters.

What I suggest is getting harder and harder to do. Our social media reads like a tattoo. From our profile and posts to our reposts and video messages, we leave a trail of insights on our values, politics, faith, etc. Bumper stickers, lawn signs, flags, patches, hats, T-shirts, floor mats, and digital footprints scream who we are. But is it so important to anyone to sell your mystery book that you have to champion your political preferences? Will people buy a sports book simply because they see the author has a view on abortion, guns, or some other push button topic? No need to play with fire.

It gets harder and harder to separate an author as a citizen, but both authors and consumers need to judge a book by its contents and not the personal views on unrelated matters of an author.

Now, it cuts both ways. Some will sell more books – or lose more sales – because of politics, religion, etc. This could be a calculated selling point on the author’s part, though I caution against it. I also implore consumers to buy books with some blinders on, otherwise they will only hear one type of viewpoint or limit what they read based on irrelevant factors.

So, what will you read as a consumer today? Why? And what will you say to promote your book – and why?

Let’s try to unite the nation by not purposely pushing the great cultural divide even further apart. Do your part, please, to market and consume books based on the merits and not on irrelevant things.

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

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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. 

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