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Marketing Savvy: Making Better Book Marketing Decisions

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PUBLISHED MARCH/APRIL 2020

by Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer, media-connect.com —


publisher branding

Brian Feinblum

No waiting around for a lucky break or giving people two weeks to respond to your outreach. Get out there and get in front of people.

There’s no avoiding book marketing if you want your book to succeed. But for authors and publishers to promote their brand and books successfully, they need to have a keen understanding of both what they are doing and why they are doing it. They also need a positive attitude, resources, and the ability to evaluate the choices in front of them.

The first step in this process is to first have a clear understanding of:

  • What are you seeking to accomplish with your book and the marketing of it? Set your goals.
  • What options are available to utilize to promote your voice? Identify which tools and approaches can be employed.
  • What resources—time, money, skills, connections, ideas—do you have that can be applied here?

Next, you need to come up with a marketing plan, one that includes small, incremental steps over a sustained period of time that can be both evaluated and built upon to maximize results. You need to commit to a plan but allow for a reasonable flexibility to change it where needed.

  • Do you understand the challenges, pitfalls, and potential problems you will face in pursuing your plan? Do you have a plan B when things don’t work out as well as you’d hoped?
  • Are you ready to commit your mind, body, soul, and schedule to making your book a success?

Once there is a plan in place, and you are properly educated, rested, and motivated to succeed, the next step is to determine how you will make solid book marketing choices along the way. You can’t just wing it; you need a certain frame of mind to approach this, otherwise every day you are merely reactionary or subject to whim.

For instance, will you be guided primarily by ego, greed, fear, knowledge, experience, or hope? Be aware of what really tugs at you and rules your decision-making process. You need a system or structure to classify, analyze, and act upon book marketing methods and opportunities.

Early on in the process of marketing a book, you must evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). Be honest and list everything. Confront who you really are and what the landscape for marketing your book actually looks like.

The four things you’ll need to rely on to execute your book marketing plan efficiently will be awareness, attitude, aptitude, and assertiveness. You need to be aware of the possible paths to follow and resources needed to follow them. You most certainly need a positive, resilient, and open attitude. Your aptitude is your skills, knowledge, and experiences. If they are lacking, you’ll need to hire help. Lastly, you’ll need to be assertive in your actions. No waiting around for a lucky break or giving people two weeks to respond to your outreach. Get out there and get in front of people.

Everything you do needs a quick cost-benefits analysis:

  • Is what you’re doing the best use of your time and resources?
  • What is the potential payoff if successful?
  • What are the odds of success for a task versus odds of success for other tasks?
  • Are you doing the right thing but choosing the wrong method?
  • Are you pursuing the right goal and prioritizing them properly?

If, once you make a decision and pursue a course of action, you find the results fall short of expectations, evaluate if you should:

Continue as is and hope things change.

  • Throw in the towel and shut it down.
  • Change expectations to align with results.
  • Do something to change what you are doing.

Should you want to tinker with things, look into these areas:

  • Personnel—change who you use for help.
  • Materials—add in or switch out resources.
  • Reduce/expand—do more or less of something.
  • Reverse—do the complete opposite of what’s been done.

It’s not easy to promote a book or make tough decisions, but you can do it. You have to. Your book deserves to be discovered, and your writing warrants a chance to live another day. So buckle down and take a wild ride on the road of book marketing.


Brian Feinblum is the chief marketing officer at media-connect.com, a nationwide book publicity firm, and the publisher of the award-winning bookmarketingbuzzblog.blogspot.com.

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