Saturday, April 3, 2021

Are Author Confessionals Traumatizing The Media?



Did you ever suffer a major loss or setback? Were you: sexually abused? nearly killed? in a horrendous accident? addicted? A mass shooting victim? Suffering from a lousy childhood? terrible marriage? bullied?

Maybe you witnessed something horrible or you serve as a caretaker/cop/doctor who tends to people who are sick, disabled, dying, suffer from dementia or are mentally imbalanced?

Everyone has a story to tell about being a victim at the hands of another. Sometimes they fall victim to self-sabotaging behavior. They are bloodied — literally — or psychologically damaged — but they find a way to survive and thrive. They live to tell about it. And write a book.

I should know. I hear from authors every day who have published their trauma-turned-inspirational stories. The problem is that bookstore shelves are stuffed with such stories, where each book competes for attention over who had the toughest life. How do you stand out when everyone else pleads their sob story?

It sounds nuts, but stories that used to be exceptional or rare are now so often discussed and stated so matter of factly that the reading public and news media are numb to it. The shock value, revulsion, horror, fear, pity, or anger that we should feel is just not present.




Every other blog post, podcast, news story, talk show, reality show, TV series, film, and book has someone telling us a sad story. It may come with an uplifting ending, but we have traveled too often down these roads before. And if real life can’t supply enough tragedy, fictionalizations of trauma fill the entertainment world.

So does this mean you shouldn’t discuss your story of pain, punishment, and panic? No, of course not. Shine a light on your truth.

That is who you are. Write what you know.

But your ability to tell a dramatic story is challenged by the excess bad-luck stories floating around us. You will need to not only convey facts but the burden is on you to make us feel, to elicit a response, and to give us a true reason to care other than to experience passive empathy.

Most books that restate their moment of pain, loss, and sorrow try to find a silver lining and convey a piece of wisdom for how we should live our lives, which is fine. But many prescriptions sound the same. It is Self-Help 101. People need to hear something new or for the old to be stated in a fresh voice.

A big challenge to getting the news media to cover your story is that many journalists fear their readers/listeners/viewers are desensitized to -- and oversaturated by -- such stories.

Another hurdle to getting your story covered by the media is that they are not comfortable discussing certain subjects, such as incest or suicide. They believe their readers/listeners/viewers don’t want to hear this. Sometimes the reporter or talk show host feels the story touches a nerve for them personally and they want nothing to do with it.

Lastly, though some people choose to feel better about themselves when they read a train wreck story, more enjoy an uplifting, inspiring story of redemption, a comeback, or success against the odds. The more you provide relevant and helpful advice that people can use and relate to, the better. Just don’t make it too positive. People get turned off by good news for others.

Geeze, humans really are complicated!

Contact Brian For Marketing Help!!

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand.

Learn, Grow, Succeed!!

I Guarantee Books will Soar Post-Pandemic


Are Literary Agents – Or Authors – Full Of Crap?


The Psychology of An Author’s Book Marketing


Is Social Media A Bust Or Boon For Authors?


Here’s Why Authors Need A Dominatrix!


How To Get More Social Media Connections


How Authors Can Build Their List Of Potential Book Buyers


How Much Should Authors Spend On Book Marketing?


Are You A Book Marketing Badass?

About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed 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. It was also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America. For more information, please consult: 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.