Sunday, April 4, 2021

Market Your Book Like It’s 1981?

Today’s book marketing landscape offers many opportunities and obstacles to marketing a book. Some complain it is burdensome; others embrace it. What if authors took a 1981 approach — instead of depending heavily on zoom, tweets, blogs, and email -- to sell a book?

Forty years ago you would market a book by:

**Being interviewed on morning television shows like The Today Show and afternoon talk shows like Phil Donahue, The Dinah Shore Show, and Merv Griffin.

**Advertising in a major newspaper or magazine.

**Mailing postcards to bookstores and libraries.

**Scheduling 12-city tours with media appearances and bookstore events at Borders, Barnes & Noble, B.Dalton’s, and independent bookstores.


**People reached out primarily through phone and mail to schedule speaking engagements, media appearances, or solicit bulk book sales.

**Mailing review copies to scores of news media outlets, including advance review copies to dozens of print book reviewers.

Times have changed.


The mainstream media opportunities have decreased in the number of outlets and the size of listeners, viewers, and readers at these media outlets. Now you need to supplement by pursuing countless online media outlets.

Advertising in print is rarer these days and simply cost-prohibitive to most. Digital ads on Amazon, Facebook, and Google are targeted and less costly, but reach fewer people.

With fewer bookstores and local media outlets available to host authors, most tours are done virtually. Radio is done by phone. Television is done from an affiliate studio where the author resides. Some interviews are done by skype, zoom, or email.

Most galleys are sent digitally, via pdf, kindle, or nook. Authors and publishers now use GoodReads and NetGalley.

Authors create content – blogs, podcasts, and videos – and distribute it via social media platforms.


Most communications are done now by text, email, or tweet. No one really talks to anyone anymore.

Yes, times have changed!

The truth is that authors need to embrace and master technology to more aggressively market their book and promote a brand. However, old ways don’t need to die out or get ignored. The smartest way to market a book is to diversify your approach. A little of this, a little of that. Experiment. See what works for you. Then double down and concentrate on the most cost-effective methods.


You don’t have to go back to 1981 to promote a book properly, but you can take a page from the past, and blend the physical with the digital. Find the paths that work for you and get the word out!

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.

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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: 

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