By Brian Feinblum, Senior Vice President and Marketing Officer
Benjamin Franklin, who seemingly invented everything –the post office, lighting rod, bifocals, odometer, and a stove to name a few– once said words to the effect of “Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today.” He was not a procrastinator, but rather a curious, diligent, creative, and assertive individual who was driven by a passion for words, freedom, learning, and succeeding at any endeavor he put his mind to. He always seemed to act with a sense of urgency.
That’s how he got so many things done, like founding a library, firehouse, and democracy in America. He was an author, a publisher, and a great man of ideas and beliefs that still drive our nation to this very day.
Do your book marketing and publicity efforts have an urgency attached to them? Do you act as if you must do it today and not wait until tomorrow? You have to work at marketing and promoting a book – every day in every way. Complacency, laziness, and slowness are not the attributes of a successful person in any industry and certainly not in the book publishing arena.
Time can’t be lost to planning, researching, experimenting, deciding, or reviewing what to do. You simply must do – every day. Action taken is what positions you for success – not the contemplation of action. Way in advance of your book’s publication is the time to strategize, explore your options, and brainstorm. But at some point you need to get out of school and into the real world. And once you do, you must work hard at whatever you seek to create.
Treat each day as being special. Pace yourself so that you have enough time to execute your daily book marketing to-do-list. Each day, have a certain number of things that MUST be done. Then, have a list of other things that COULD be done – if time permits. No matter how little or much you do today, wipe the slate clean for a fresh start tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.
Authors need to be industrious, scrappy, and aggressive when it comes to book marketing. You need to do what others won’t, can’t, don’t know to do, don’t know how to do. You must keep an eye on the prize and continually take steps to finish what is a marathon. Voyeuristic authors won’t get far. No time to stand on the sidelines and just observe, hope, or bet on a wrong strategy. You need to dig in and keep shoveling until you hit pay dirt – or find your hole is just too big to get out of.
Remember Ben Franklin. He didn’t just stop with one achievement. He willed himself to keep meeting new challenges. Maybe Franklin didn’t have modern-day distractions to contend with; but he certainly could have pacified himself with the pleasures of his day and not pursued his work as heartily as he did.
Look into yourself and connect with the inner entrepreneur, the inner winner who wants to make his or her book a success. It’ll take time, money, luck and disciplined effort.
You can do it – but only if you keep at it.
Related: 27 Tips to Help You Pitch the Media