Thursday, November 16, 2023

Does Self-Help Advice Help Authors?


There are tons of self-help books seeking to motivate, inspire, and rally the masses to be good, do better, and live your best you. They tell us to get off the couch, stop whining, and to do something with our lives. But just how true is their wisdom -- is it merely rah-rah wishful thinking that only a select few can act upon, or are there offerings full of practical, improvements and guidance that anyone should be able to take advantage of? More importantly, are their theories and teachings in self-help books applicable to authors marketing their books?  

There have been some great self-help, motivational, and inspirational books, published over the past century that still ring true today. A few that came to mind are: 


  • Tony Robbins: Awaken The Giant Within 
  • James Allen: As A Man Thinketh
  • Napoleon Hill: Think & Grow Rich
  • Dale Carnegie: How To Want Friends & Influence People
  • Og Mandino: The Greatest Salesman in The World 
  • Norman V. Peale: The Power Of Positive Thinking
  • Stephen Covey: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • Victor Frankl: Man’s Search For Meaning

Read any or all of them and you’ll have a foundation of values and inspiration to achieve great things in life.   

A book can work magic on its readers only if the reader is open to it. So, my advice below, though I think it’s great and useful to authors marketing their books, is only as wonderful as a reader thinks it to be.  

Here is my self-help advice for authors:

  • Today is a new day. What you did yesterday -good-or- bad-is not today. Treat each day as a unique entity and an opportunity to get your book out there. Rest not on your accomplishments nor whine over past failures. Start fresh today.  
  • Embrace failure and rejection. Book marketing id a numbers game. Most often, you should expect to hear NO. That’s ok. For you, success just means getting a YES, regardless of how many denials you accumulate. The author who gets a bookstore to say yes to a query on scheduling a book signing on their first phone, call is no better off than the author who had to hear NO six times before getting a yes today. Both have one book signing.  
  • No reason to be risk-averse or to play things safely. You have little to lose - you haven’t done shit yet. Go out there and put yourself on the line. Hustle, speak up, and assert yourself with a sense oof urgency and purpose.  
  • Do what’s normally not done by most people. Find alternative routes to get to your destination if other ways are blocked.   
  • Challenge your assumptions and move past the things that you think hold you back. Find role models to inspire your best behavior. Seek out a mentor.  
  • Before you seek out a solution to a problem, look to avoid the problem in the first place. Or, redefine your situation so as not to be stuck in a problem. In any case, see any problem as an opportunity. 
  • Be industrious, scrappy, and hungry. Think like a criminal. 
  • Find a way to say yes to an idea or opportunity, rather than an excuse to say no.
  • Think like an outsider, the underdog, or a 10-year-old kid.
  • Play devil’s advocate and think like a contrarian. 
  • Don’t look for anyone’s permission to succeed. Take action and ownership of what needs to be done
  • No is a delayed yes. Persist. Try harder. Try again. Try a new message. Try a new method. Try until radio silence or rejection is replaced with a yes.  

Good luck in your book marketing pursuits. It ain’t easy out there, but you just need to keep going at it, without looking back.

Need Book 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. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


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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  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by 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:  

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