Why you should never pay for “Book Blast” marketing

If there’s one word in the book promotion space that should make you run away in terror, it’s “Blast” – and unfortunately it’s used quite often. Even as positive benefit.

That’s because marketers who don’t know what they’re doing think a “Blast” sounds powerful. And it is. But it’s overkill, and it doesn’t actually sell books.

Here’s how it works.

1. They get a ton of followers, by following a ton of people.

2. They charge authors money.

3. They Tweet or Share info about your book to all those followers.

Why it fails

1. It’s not a curated group. They aren’t pitching your book to people who give a crap about it, or target readers of that genre/subject who may be interested. They are Blasting it to everybody – and most of the people following book marketers are going to be other authors who dream about selling more books; not readers who would enjoy yours.

2. It’s repetitive. They probably Blast dozens of books a month, if not more. Their followers will quickly tune them out, or ignore their formulaic posts. It all becomes more noise. It has to be a “Blast” because those same followers are actively ignoring everything they say, so they need to keep blasting/screaming/yelling louder and louder, with more exclamation points, in the hopes of Blasting Through defensive barriers and skepticism.

3. It’s like shooting a pigeon with a shotgun. You end up with feathers and inedible gore. People who sell “Book Blasts” think the value is in the number of followers they have. It sounds impressive to say they’ll Tweet your book to 350K followers. But it’s unlikely to make even one conversion unless…

(How to do it right)

Sorry for using so many lists, but they keep things coherent.

1. First you need a segmented lists, and the list has to be of readers who like a specific genre, and they need to sign up to hear about free/cheap books in the genre or topic they’ve selected.

2. Then they have to know, like and trust the person giving the recommendation. And that’s unlikely to happen if a profile is just Blasting all the time and not producing any interesting or useful content.

3. And then you need to make the book you’re promoting look amazing, sound amazing, and appear to be a great deal that’s in demand and being reviewed well by more people they like and trust. All of that’s really hard to do on Twitter or in a blast, which is why blasts rarely work.

Don’t think about book marketing as a one-time “Blast” meant to overwhelm your target readers. Don’t focus on the sale as the end game. Instead, you want to think about building a trap: leave out some enticing bits of food over time so the pigeon knows where to look for tasty treats. Build trust by being reliable and consistent. Make them feel calm and safe.

Speak in soothing voices. Build a beautiful birdhouse they can live in.

If you spend your time building an author platform like this, even if that one bird flies away, you’ll get a dozen more tomorrow because you’ve built a bird-friendly environment. And you can stop wasting money on shot-gun shells.

So stop Blasting, and trying Attracting.

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1 Response

  1. Dear Derek,
    I am sorry to read that you had a bad experience with promoters using “book-blast” which is strikingly similar to our trademarked company name BookBlast™ / bookblast. “Passing off” in order drum up business confusingly similar to ours infringes on our exclusive trademark rights.

    (The presence or absence of a space or use of a hyphen between the words “book” and “blast” is immaterial – after all there is no substantive difference between someone labelling their carbonated beverages “CocaCola” as opposed to “Coca-Cola”.)

    I have had a couple of emails from clients (perfectly satisfied!) asking about “book-blast” and I have had to clarify and confirm that they are totally unrelated to us.

    Since the promotion in question had nothing to do with our company and its publishing, writing, agency and marketing services, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could clarify in your write up that “book-blast” and BookBlast™ / bookblast are entirely unrelated.

    Many thanks for your consideration.
    I look forward to hearing from you by return,
    best regards, Georgia

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