How should you approach your book marketing right now?
There’s so much going on in the U.S.:
- The murder of George Floyd by a police officer.
- The pandemic that keeps us sheltering in place.
- Massive unemployment that devastates families.
Understand that too many Black men have died because of the color of their skin in recent years and in the past: (This is only a list of the well-publicized cases. Too many Black men and women have died that we don’t know about.)
- George Floyd
- Ahmaud Arbery
- Trayvon Martin
- Tamir Rice
- Michael Brown
- Eric Garner
- Philando Castile
- Breonna Taylor (a woman)
- Martin Luther King, Jr. & other civil rights leaders
- Medgar Evers
- Malcolm X
400 Years of Oppression
These killings are part 400 years of oppression of Black people going back to the days of slavery.
And yes, advances have occurred, but being black is dangerous in this country, especially for men.
What should your book marketing look like when the streets in every state of the U.S. are filled with protesters rightfully demanding change and racial equality, what should your book marketing look like?
Pause Your Book Marketing
Again, I am the lone wolf once again, suggesting that authors rethink their strategies.
Right now, the voices of a vast number of Americans are calling for racial justice and equality. Against this backdrop, it is unproductive to market your books as usual.
I know that no one else is saying this. I don’t care.
Look, I’m not suggesting that you stop marketing your book. I’m recommending that you hit the pause button.
What You Can Do Right Now
Here’s a list of steps you can take during this crisis:
- Join the conversation.
- If you can, join a protest march.
- Promote books by Black authors.
- Post images that support the protesters and their messages.
- Collaborate with Black authors and help them promote their books.
- Include people of color in your marketing images.
- Quote black authors who have suggested reading or writing tips.
- Interview a Black author for your blog.
- Have you read books by Black authors? Let your readers know. Here are some prominent Black writers: James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Colson Whitehead
- Quote from a book by a Black author and add the hashtag #OneLineFriday on Twitter.
- Follow Black authors and thought leaders on Twitter and Instagram and Like their Facebook pages, if they have them.
- In last Friday’s Book Marketing Update I listed four sources with lists of books by Black Authors. Here’s another list: 43 of the Best Books by Black Authors.
- Prepare and promote quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, and other leaders writing about the Black experience.
- Watch movies about Blacks and racial injustice. “Just Mercy” and “I Am Not Your Negro” are two movies to watch now.
8 Tips from the Instagram App Later
Later is an Instagram scheduling app that I use. Here is what Later suggests if you use Instagram:
- When writing your captions: “if you are about to write/say the phrase ‘people of color,’ stop and think you are really talking about. If you mean Black, say, Black. With a capital’ B.'” – Robin Theade
- Be mindful of your hashtags (support black lives matter, but don’t use that hashtag).
- Include black voices in your posts, visuals, partnerships, and community.
- Ask for permission before reposting an image to your feed
- Diversify your feed. When you find a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) account that teaches you something, opens your mind, or moves you — share it with your followers.
- Create authentic and actionable steps for a more inclusive, long-term content strategy.
- Continue to take the time and space to be actively anti-racist—and use your platform to create change.
Book Marketing During a Crisis
In the past, I wrote about book marketing during a crisis. Be sure to read them:
- Book Marketing and COVID-19: Change What You’re Doing
- How to Handle Your Social Media During a Crisis
Several books have profoundly affected me and helped me to understand the Black experience in the United States. Here is a partial list:
- “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison (This book taught me what it is like to be Black in this country.)
- “Another Country” by James Baldwin (This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.)
- “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (It was a painful yet necessary read.)
- “Native Son” by Richard Wright (This is a truly important book.)
I have not joined the marches. You see, I have two lung diseases that I never discuss publicly so I’m especially susceptible to COVID-19. However, I support the movement in other ways.
Many of you who are reading this post are from outside of the United States, where protesters are also marching. I am humbled by you and your participation. And some of you are either Black or biracial. Please use the comments below to add your advice. To everyone: tell us what you are doing during this time of unrest.
I am an author and social media consultant for writers. My focus is on helping writers like you surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online and building their platform. I also provide content writing and email marketing services. Be sure to download my ebook about Twitter marketing. You can get it now for free!