I realize that many writers must be feeling all
kinds of negative things, from stressing over deadlines to anxiety about
marketing, to depression over finding a publisher. In my bid to give helpful
advice to authors, maybe I too, though a part of the solution, could be fueling
their bad feelings. So, for today, let’s explore some writer challenges and
take a different approach to them.
see tons of books everywhere - online, in bookstores, splashed in ads, reviews,
etc. You wonder: Why isn’t my book published and out in the market? It could be
because your book sucks or because you failed to take the necessary steps to
get it published. But, for today let’s see things differently. Maybe other
people have published books, but many of those books are crap. They got
published because an editor related to the author due to being gay, black, or a
woman - or all three? You have a good shot these days, so no excuses. Or, maybe
some of the books author just fill all of the boxes on a publisher checklist,
but really the books are mediocre at best. Finally, maybe some authors paid to
get their books out there. They may have promised to buy tons of copies from
the publisher or committed to pouring a big budget into marketing. In such a
case, they really are no more worthy than a self-published author, but they
used assets to get into a publishing house. Does any of this make you feel
better? Probably not, but at least you see why things are the way they
2. Book Review Whores
You see some books get a lot of professional and consumer reviews. Why do they get all of the attention, you wonder? Again, your book might suck or you failed to get into the right hands at the right time. Or, perhaps something else is at play. Maybe some of those reviews are indirectly paid for. Maybe a publisher has a side deal regarding advertising to get a review. Perhaps it’s identity politics at play-- the book meets demographic checklists on gender, race, religion, sexuality, and politics for a reviewer. It’s not your fault that you arent’t reviewed.
Social Media Stars
Sure, you know that you need to be more active on social media -- to post regularly and pursue more connections- but you feel it’s a waste of time and as a technophobe, you’re bot proficient as it. But maybe there’s another reason why social media studs are out there. Could be luck. We hear of the few successes- and not of the many failures. Also, social studs could be paid to help others-- you can have a social media surrogate, you can buy followers, and you can pay for ads that lead to followers. It’s not all of your fault -- social media is a dirty playground with a few lottery winners.
Everyone says they are a best-seller. How can that be? Well, some lie. Others take the minimal route to get there -- they were in the Top 20 in an amazon sub-genre for one hour and technically made a list. Others rig it -- they pay friends, family, employees, or clients to buy the book and register enough sales to hit a list. Honest or lazy folk like you are left behind. Most best-sellers aren’t on the list because they have great books -- but they have great marketing.
News Media Personalities
Maybe you want to be featured by the news media and wonder why your great book is not getting its deserved attention. Could be because your book is sub-par but likely it’s because of a number of factors. First, a lot of media comes to those who have a book publicist. They have the connections and know-how. Second, authors get interviewed when they bring something to the table, such as having a big social media footprint (so you can promote the media segment). Third, some media is interested in certain topics and if your book doesn’t cover that topic, forget it. Fourth, let’s face it, good-looking, younger people are featured on TV over crusty, old, out-of-shape people. Again, it may not be your fault the media shuns you.
So, what have we learned today? It’s simply not your fault that your book isn’t getting attention or sales. Money, age, race, gender, looks, politics, and personal connections all conspire for or against you.
Authors can acknowledge these realities and either quit, embrace them, or persevere despite them. Keep writing -- and marketing -- and do your best. One day you’ll get your due. Maybe. Well, I hope so.
“One of the main reasons we fail to stick to new good habits and ditch negative ones is that we focus on changing what we’re doing (or not doing) without also making sure that we embrace this habit as a new and valuable part of our identity.” --Jen Sincero, Best-selling author
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this
award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is
copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now
resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue
dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The
Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This
award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts
over the past dozen years, it 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 2021 and 2018
as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by
www.WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades,
including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book
publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with
many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with
best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen,
Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard,
Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C.
Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a
panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA,
Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction
Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland)
Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association.
His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal,
USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News
(Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The
Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: