Tuesday, May 18, 2021

How Taxing Is Your Book Marketing?

This past week I did what I always have done as the tax filing deadline approaches: Panic. 

Fewer things unnerve me more than filing my taxes. It’s never pleasant. The fear of owing overwhelms me. Knowing I need to dig through a year’s worth of receipts and records always puts me in a tizzy. I am forced to confront my life’s reality. 

I used to do my own taxes, when filing was simpler and I didn’t have a family, house, or even a car. I read up on the law and filled out the forms. I even saved a few bucks by not hiring an accountant. Then, about 15 years ago, my wife made me promise to get an accountant. She thought it would alleviate my stress of pouring through bank statements, credit card receipts, and W2’s. It didn’t. 

But the accountant did prove helpful to file the taxes, which over the years, has gotten more complex. Throw in a family, donations, home businesses, a house, and sales of stock and you realize an accountant is the way to go. But in order to get your accountant to work his or her magic, you must get that tax wizard all of your documents and calculations. So, 80% of the work still involves me sifting through the numbers and suffering for a period of weeks of anxiety leading up to getting this stuff to my accountant. 

In piecing a year’s worth of expenditures and purchases, not only did I realize just how much I spend on things like Starbucks and books – or my wife does on her hair – I realized the process of evaluating one’s ledger can be applied to an author’s marketing efforts and results. 

Just as I looked to see how I spent my money last year, an author can take stock of what he or she has done – or plans to do – when it comes to book marketing. Whereas I looked for tax-deductible activities and expenses that I could write off, authors can look to see how they account for their time and money spent on book publicity. 

First, examine what your wish-list is for book publicity. Will you invest enough time, funds, and resources into them – or are you shortchanging your efforts? 

Second, reflect on what you already done – and measure the results. Find a way to do a cost analysis of your efforts. Not everything can immediately be measured, of course. Some things that you do now will have long-term pay-offs. Plus, not everything is about money. You may get something else out of what you put into your publicity efforts – such as spreading a positive message that informs, entertains, inspires, or influences others. 

This year, I procrastinated a bit more than usual and failed to take advantage of the tax-filing deadline being pushed back a month by the government due to the pandemic. I got an extension, mainly because I got my information to the accountant too late for him to turn it around in time. But it’ll be done soon. I already feel some relief in knowing I did my part. 

You, too, can do the same with our book marketing. Take stock of what you have done and plan out what you hope to execute. Fund and staff your efforts accordingly, reflect on the results, and remain in control of your book marketing destiny. 

Hopefully, things end up in the black in your accounting ledger – for your taxes and your book marketing.


The Etiquette Show, a cable access television show that airs on MNN in New York City, just featured me for nearly 14 minutes. Would you like to see me in my man cave interviewed by a woman in her attic, dishing on what I love about marketing authors since 1989? Check out the clip below – skip the ads and start at 24:30 on the time counter.

Interview on MNN, a NYC Cable TV Station


Contact Brian For Marketing Help!!

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at brianfeinblum@gmail.com 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  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. It was 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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