How To Love Book Marketing

This post by Bryan Cohen originally appeared as a guest post on Joanna Penn‘s The Creative Penn site on 3/9/14.

Opening note from Joanna Penn:
I teach a lot of authors about book marketing and many start the workshops with dread, knowing they have to learn this stuff, but not really wanting to do it.

My aim is always to change their mindset to one of happily incorporating marketing into their daily lifestyle, and generally, by the end of the day, most authors are much happier! In today’s article, Bryan Cohen talks about his own marketing change of heart.


If you had fun marketing would you be looking for advice on a book marketing blog?

Probably not. I imagine most people search these blog posts for a magic bullet. A marketing solution that takes less time and energy. A tactic that leads to increased sales and more time for writing.

I’m not sure this post fits the bill, but I will tell you what I’ve done to make space in my life for publicizing my books.


Stranger Sales

The summer after I graduated from college, my favorite acting professor invited me to New York City to run the marketing for her show that was part of the New York Fringe Festival. I’d had some success promoting student plays, once packing a 250-seat house to the brim by promoting an unknown but lewd play as an age 18 and up affair. My professor hoped I’d fill the seats in New York, but despite my best efforts, I failed to get the word out.

I understood what worked for marketing on a college campus to my friends and peers. Using flyers, Facebook events and cheap/free tickets, I was able to pack the house. The same tricks didn’t work in the Big Apple, especially given the 50+ other shows going on at the same time. I’d failed to learn an important marketing truth:

What works for your friends and peers won’t always work for strangers. And without strangers on board, your sales will be severely limited.


From Chore to Reward


Click here to read the full post on The Creative Penn.