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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Where Does The Book Rank Among The Greatest Inventions?



In a special National Geographic edition, 101 Inventions That Shaped the World, it was nice to see things like the printing press, radio, and television alongside cloning, robots, computers, drones, and the World Wide Web.  Of course, putting together such a list is bound to anger, frustrate, or challenge many, but the magazine did a good job of noting things that saved or greatly enhanced so many lives.

The list was not consistent, hailing the invention of rubber with no mention of plastic.  It highlighted steam-engines (trains) and jet planes but not the automobile.  It praised modern numbers but not language or words.  The Swiss Army Knife was there – and razors – but not refrigerators or air conditioning.  But this is quibbling.

As the magazine states, “Innovation and invention have allowed us to save lives, wage wars, communicate across oceans, and reach outer space.” It grouped its entries based on certain themes, including these:

·         Advancements in medicine
·         Access to communication and transportation.
·         Developments in military and industry.
·         Discoveries in science and electronics.
·         Small, practical inventions that improve our daily lives.

When it comes to the media, I learned the following:

·         By 1937, 28 million U.S. households – 80% of the total -- owned a radio.
·         During World War I, the U.S. banned all radio stations not used by the government.
·         The Federal Communications Commission was created in 1934 to regulate radio and television.
·         In 1946, only 6,000 TV sets existed.  In 1948, one million TV sets circulated in the U.S.  It jumped to 12 million in 1951.
·         As of 2006, half of all homes have three or more TVs.
·         The final episode of M.A.S.H. in 1983 is still the most-watched single program in history (125 million), even though the country was much smaller back then.
·         The www came about in 1989 for mass adoption – but some version of it existed as early as 1969 at universities and military offices.
·         The Polaroid instant camera was introduced in 1947.
·         The first newspaper was published in 1605 in Germany.
·         Paper, invented in China in year 100, was first used in Europe in 1309.
·         In 1455, the Gutenberg Bible is completed.

Books have existed in written form for thousands of years -- and now printed for over 550 years.  They are arguably one of the greatest inventions ever as they influence, inspire, educate, and entertain society.

DON’T MISS THESE:
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Good book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint

Authors don’t need to panic when speaking to the media

Best Author PR Strategy: Cover The Basics

Can you sell at least 10 copies of your book every day for a year?

What Does It Really Take To Hit A Best-Seller List?

An author primer on how the news media works

10 Lessons For Authors-Turned-Bloggers

Can you market your book for five minutes a day?

Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How Will You Market Your Author Brand Each Day?



I read a recent article in The Writer about how authors can move their career forward 15 minutes a day.  The idea is right – do something daily to help yourself – but the question is:  What should you do?

There are many things writers can – and should do – to promote their brand and books.  Time is precious and authors lack some of the skills or desire to do what’s necessary to advance their writing career.  Authors need to prioritize, not based on what’s convenient, fun, or achievable, but on what’s vital to bringing a big pay-off.  

Sometimes it’s as simple as blogging, tweeting, or connecting with a fellow writer.  Other items it is doing the heavy lifting to secure speaking engagements, scheduling media interviews, and drafting articles to post online or submit to print publications.

Writers can organize their efforts according to any number of factors.  I would recommend they set their long - and short-term goals, identify resources to help them, and work backwards from there on what they need to do incrementally in order to make real achievements.

Today, Will You:
·         Make calls?  How many? To whom?
·         Send emails?  How many? Too whom?
·         Mail letters, books or items to others?  How many?  To whom?
·         Spend time on social media?  For how long?  On which platforms?

Setting daily goals and budgeting time is crucial to achieving substantial progress and success.

What will you do today that’s reactionary?
·         Responding to emails.
·         Commenting on social media posts of others.
·         Getting back to people who left voice mails.

More importantly, what will you do, offensively, to grow your brand, increase book sales, and influence others with your writing?

How much time will you spend on nurturing your growth as a writer, such as:
·         Reading blogs like this one or taking in a publication like The Writer?
·         Participating in a writers conference?
·         Reading books and learning more of what you write on – or on matters relating to publishing, marketing, and promoting?

In the end, you can’t do everything – not enough time, money or ability.  So accept that.  Let stuff go.  Now think about what you want to focus on and how you can do those few things really well.  Go the extra mile.  Give something you are doing a boost.  Make the extra call, send a longer email response, retweet something.  Quantity and quality equals success.

DON’T MISS THESE:
What actually works in book publicity?
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The Dimwits of English Language Explored In A Curmudgeon’s Book

How Many Bookstores Do We Really Need?

Good book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint

Authors don’t need to panic when speaking to the media

Best Author PR Strategy: Cover The Basics

Can you sell at least 10 copies of your book every day for a year?

What Does It Really Take To Hit A Best-Seller List?

An author primer on how the news media works

10 Lessons For Authors-Turned-Bloggers

Can you market your book for five minutes a day?

Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

16 Book Marketing Strategies For Writers Learned From Thrillerfest



I just got back from speaking on a panel at the annual conference, Thrillerfest, and I’m happy to report that the publishing world is healthy and bustling.

Why am I so optimistic?

This conference, now in its 12th year, has been growing every year.  They expected around 800 attendees but cracked past 1,000.  The New York City gathering of some of the nation’s most talented thriller writers – people like Joseph Finder and Karin Slaughter – also includes first-time, unknown, or self-published authors.  I was happy to offer advice and guidance to all of them, for everyone at every level needs help.  

Best-selling writers want to get bigger or at least maintain their share in the marketplace.  Medium-sized writers want to break into the circle of elites, and the beginners are eager to get established and build a readership.

So what were conference attendees told?  

Here are 16 strategies all writers – regardless of genre or status – can and should follow when it comes to marketing and promoting a book:

1.      Diversify your efforts, from social media, digital media, and traditional media to speaking engagements, advertising, and other efforts.  Don’t overly rely on any one area, especially social media.

2.      Experiment and see what works for you.  Which platform is more effective for you? Which approach will help you reach your targeted goals?  Keep trying until you find what produces good results.

3.      Realize that traditional media validates; social media circulates. Before you go all tweet-happy, make sure you actually have something worthwhile to share or say.

4.      You don’t have to be on all the social media sites – pick one that works best.  Will it be Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest or something else? Will you focus on blogging, podcasting, or video generating? 

5.      Follow what successful authors do.  Copy the best and don’t look back.

6.      Make sure you have a website – don’t just rely on social media pages.

7.      Cooperate with other authors.  Partner with them to reach more readers.  Don’t see them as competitors.

8.      To market well, it requires planning, timing, persistence, creativity, network, time, money, and luck.

9.      Make an effort to have a good business card – the card stock is key.

10.  Put yourself on a disciplined editorial calendar to write blog posts and to participate on social media.

11.  Attend writer conferences.

12.  Always network with others and spend more time growing your network than simply sharing with your existing one.

13.  If something doesn’t go as planned, try again.  At some point, if results don’t follow, try something else.  But always do something to promote yourself.

14.  Understand that book marketing can have a short- or long-term pay-off, maybe even both.  The pay-off isn’t always in book sales, though it can be.

15.  Promote your author brand – not just a new book or a specific character or service.  Seek out media exposure about you as a writer and use social media to connect with others – not just about your book, but about your life.

16.  Though your priority is to write and get published, you have to split your efforts between creating and marketing.  Even if you pay others to promote and market you and your book, you still have to invest some time to be involved.

DON’T MISS THESE:
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Writers can shine a spotlight on themselves

The Dimwits of English Language Explored In A Curmudgeon’s Book

How Many Bookstores Do We Really Need?

Good book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint

Authors don’t need to panic when speaking to the media

Best Author PR Strategy: Cover The Basics

Can you sell at least 10 copies of your book every day for a year?

What Does It Really Take To Hit A Best-Seller List?

An author primer on how the news media works

10 Lessons For Authors-Turned-Bloggers

Can you market your book for five minutes a day?

Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Can Books Inspire Policy Or Government Changes?



Depending on your view of the world – and your values, politics, and faith – you may see certain things as being great or bad.  But we can all agree that authors can help create a better world -- and a better impression of it.  So where are all the books that can help us fix the world?

Books that spotlight a problem are important, to a degree, for they get us looking at what needs to be addressed, but books that offer real solutions hold more promise.  It’s not enough to complain, or expose a pothole – we need ideas and action to resolve problems.

As a liberal, I can’t understand how Donald Trump became president nor how he holds onto the presidency amidst daily allegations of ethical violations, law-breaking, and rules-busting.  All we hear is Russia this and Russia that but nothing has happened.  Where are the impeachment hearings or something tangible? We hear a lot of bluster from Democrats and accusations by the media.  Is there enough here to take action, to draw accurate conclusions that lead to punishment or change at the White House?  The system feels broken and stagnated.  Can books and authors come out with books that lead to change or action?  Or will nothing come of all this?

Al Gore, at it again, releasing an updated film version of An Inconvenient Truth.  Could this be the type of content that leads, to change – or will we continue to go backwards with the U.S. withdrawing from a global climate treaty?

Books, over the years, have led to changes in people’s views, which led to changes in actions – from how we treat women, blacks, and the disabled to how we parent, invest money and eat.  But those changes take years – decades – and come slowly and in small doses.  It’s very hard to move the public opinion needle despite facts, figures, and events.

We live in an era where information is doubted or contested – fake news is really a problem; frauds dismissing facts as fake news is a problem; and over-relying on the Wild West Internet is a problem.  We need books to settle things and get society moving in a uniform – and correct – direction.

Books don’t just have competition to make money, but to be believed.  Books can cover books.  Media outlets can dismiss books. Movies, plays, and other forms of communication can run counter to books.  Books struggle to dominate any discussion when so many options for information exist.

But, it’s up to writers and book publicists to rally around the right books.  Do we know which ones they are?  Do they exist? What’s right today can be wrong tomorrow.

We need a book that explains everything at once – or is that making it even harder for us?  You might agree on one issue, but not another.  But the book shouldn’t be viewed as a political party platform – it should be viewed as an unbiased, honest representation of the facts as we know them to be.

It’s hard to promote the truth in a book because we don’t even recognize it when it’s in front of us.  But something needs to be done to counter the lies, harm, and evil that circulate daily. We can’t sit back or stay on the sideline.  Go write, promote, and read the books that are needed, that are most important, that are pure and good!

So which books should we read?  Which ones need to be written?  Can we even agree on that?

Books can inspire us.  Time’s running out.  If we want to see a better world, we need books to lead the way.

DON’T MISS THESE:
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Are best-selling books really any good?

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Employing a real book strategy

Good book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint

Authors don’t need to panic when speaking to the media

Best Author PR Strategy: Cover The Basics

Can you sell at least 10 copies of your book every day for a year?

What Does It Really Take To Hit A Best-Seller List?

An author primer on how the news media works

10 Ways To Effectively Approach Book Publicity

10 Lessons For Authors-Turned-Bloggers

Can you market your book for five minutes a day?

Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017


Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Do Any Authors Make Real Money Writing Books?



Most authors don’t make a lot of money writing books.

This is a statement that’s been asserted for probably a century or more.

Is it really true?  If so, why is that?  Can anything be done to reverse it?

First, let’s examine this statement and break it down. What’s considered “a lot of money”?  It’s all relative, isn’t it?

Second, if most authors aren’t making a lot, what percentage of authors are doing well?  Is it 1%, 10%, 25%?

Today, authors can make money from writing books in a number of ways:

·         Book sales
·         Selling rights to books (foreign, movie, audio)
·         Using the book to generate interest in the author/website, then converting that interest to do something that can be commoditized (leads to consulting clients for the author, leads to getting a new job, leads to selling backlist or other products, help get you speaking gigs, etc.).
·         Getting media exposure that leads to getting a book deal with a big advance.

Even if the statement is true that most writers don’t make a lot from penning books, look at the flip side -- some authors make a lot.  I’m also sure some authors make some money, though not a lot.  Even the ones who say they made very little or lost money when factoring time spent or costs associated with the book (editing, printing, marketing), we’d see a positive connected to their book.  Perhaps the book helped a reader.  Maybe it made the author feel good.  So, upon closer examination, could we say that most authors get some kind of satisfaction and/or compensation from writing books?

Well over a half-million writers have a book published in a year.  They obviously do it for a reason, and almost all of them would come back to do it again at a later date.  Writers love to write.  They have many books inside of them.  They just need time, courage, and support to actually write, publish, and market a book.

Writing a book should be measured in terms of these factors:

  • What would you have done with the time you devoted to writing, publishing and promoting your book if it never existed?
  • What value, in terms of dollars, could you put on that time?
  • Money or time aside, is the world better off for having your book?

Book can really have a pay-off if you look at how authors use them.  They become a writer’s resume, a chance to shine and get discovered.  The book becomes their brand and positions them to be seen as an expert. A book can legitimize you.

But writing books should still be a profitable venture.  Sure it creates an author brand and helps share a positive idea or message that potentially helps others, but why doesn’t one spending hundreds of  hours on researching, writing, editing marketing and promoting a book have a financial windfall for his or her efforts?

Writing books is now seen by some as not being much different than saying you have a blog or that you sing, dance, do comedy, or perform creatively.  In fact all of these things compete with one another.  The free podcasts and blogs compete with consumers who determine how to spend money and time on entertainment, information, and educational resources.

But authors are unique and books are special.  Many people think they have a book inside them but only a certain few will go out and get it done.  They should be able to earn a living from it if they are decent writers.  Society should reward its creative talent.  

Do authors make big money?  They are enriched for the process of writing a book – but they do deserve compensation for what they do.

DON’T MISS THESE:
Are best-selling books really any good?

Writers can shine a spotlight on themselves

The Dimwits of English Language Explored In A Curmudgeon’s Book

How Many Bookstores Do We Really Need?

Employing a real book strategy

Good book publicity is a marathon, not a sprint

Authors don’t need to panic when speaking to the media

Best Author PR Strategy: Cover The Basics

Can you sell at least 10 copies of your book every day for a year?

What Does It Really Take To Hit A Best-Seller List?

An author primer on how the news media works

10 Ways To Effectively Approach Book Publicity

10 Lessons For Authors-Turned-Bloggers

Can you market your book for five minutes a day?

Complete Author Book Marketing & PR Toolkit for 2017

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs