Thursday, February 4, 2021

Why Authors Don't Get What They Want


“My book sales are going nowhere.”

“I haven’t received many book reviews online.”

“The news media hasn’t really covered my book.”

These are the words likely spoken by authors across the country, perhaps by you. I hear them all of the time from authors seeking my help to promote them and market their books.

Authors want to be successful. Many want to sell lots of books, win awards, and become famous. All of them want their words read, to see their books, change minds, hearts, and actions, and to impact society. But words alone won’t get them where they want to be. Marketing will.

So why don’t authors get what they want? Simple: They market poorly or not at all.

No surprise there. But what is surprising is why they don’t market their books well or often.

They tell me:

* “I don’t know where to start.
* “I don’t have the time.
* “I don’t have the budget.
* “I lack the training and knowledge.
* “I am afraid and it feels awkward.
* “I tried and failed.
* “I don’t want to do anything but write.

Sometimes it is all of the above; often it is a combo of several reasons; and sometimes it comes down to just one excuse. All of it is real. All of it is bullshit.

If you want to succeed as a writer you have to market and promote. Either you do it — or pay a pro to do it. Likely a collaborative approach works best, where you do what you can and let others supplement.

Engaging in book marketing is like dating. Sometimes you say or do the wrong things. You may date or hire the wrong person. Your insecurities and lack of experience can be taken advantage of. All you want is love (sell books), but all you do is get hurt — and rejected.

The answer is simple, but not easy. The answer to the question all authors ask: Why hasn’t my book taken off? is marketing. But authors need to discover, early on, that marketing must be done — often, well, and in a diversified way. It needs constant attention, like an infant. But nurture a baby well and he or she grows into a beautiful person. Your brand can grow and your book can blossom, too.

So what do authors need?

**A kick in the ass. Yes, tough love here. Get off the living room — or therapist’s couch — and start taking hold of your fate.

**Park the ego and go out and prove your book is great. Don’t sit back and expect or demand success. Dig in and roll up your sleeves. Take action now!

**Resources. Find free information, like the kind offered in this blog, from magazines, webinars, and fellow writers. Information is power!

**Courage. Stop letting fear take over. Knowledge and help will empower you to succeed. You lose when you do nothing, but by taking action you at least give yourself a fighting chance.

**A budget. Do what it takes to invest in your brand and book and hire those who can do the heavy lifting or teach you how to do things that will help you get publicity and sell books. Don't cheap out!

So, how do authors get what they want? They go after it.

What are you going to do?


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  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 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 America. For more information, please consult: 

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